Remember the good ol’ days of actual, live entertainment called concerts? Although everything is still on pause at the moment, Brisbane’s pop-fuelled fusion WALKEN is walkin’ us through their favourite pre-iso gigs.

Iso life has been a bit on the boring side. Although there’s been plenty of livestreams to keep us entertained, nothing quite hits the spot like being in the middle of a crowd, drinking a beer, and thrashing around to some damn fine music.

Brisbane’s WALKEN knows that ache for concerts all too well. They recently put out a new track called ‘Fever Dreams’, and as much as they wish to pop back on tour and play that baby live, the current pandemic has put a halt on the fun of concerts.

As WALKEN is made up of three pals who met up at numerous gigs in Brisbane back in the day, the alt-rock, punk, and power-pop fusion collective are reminiscing on the days of yesteryear, when concerts were the place to be on a Saturday night.

From WAAX to The Smith Street Band, and even cheekily throwing in one of their own headlining gigs, join WALKEN as the walk us through their favourite pre-iso gigs.

Check out ‘Fever Dreams’ by WALKEN:

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15/08/19 – WAAX (w/ Sweater Curse & Colts) @ The Triffid, Brisbane

Matt: If you don’t think WAAX are one of the best bands in Australia right now, I would like to tell you that I’m not mad, I’m just extremely disappointed. In my opinion, WAAX are seriously amazing and there’s really no way you could think otherwise if you caught a live set of theirs. Marie is so commanding as a lead vocalist and her stage presence is incredible to witness firsthand.

I think another huge selling point is their consistency too. We’ve played a few shows with them and have seen them play a bunch of sets, but I still leave with my mind blown every damn time. It’s easy to see why they’ve impressed so many people (old mate Bernie Fanno, included) and catapulted to success over the past few years.

Another great highlight of that night was Sweater Curse, who I was lucky enough to watch from side stage. Their use of dual vocals and vocal harmonies is so perfect. They’re bound to properly blow up soon, because their music is too good and they’re too lovely of human beings not to.

Check out ‘Labrador’ by WAAX:

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12/10/19 – FUCKED UP (w/ LOSER) @ Crowbar, Brisbane

Pat: This gig was extra fun because all three of us don’t usually go out to see a gig at the same time without one of us being involved, playing, etc. But we were all super keen to see FUCKED UP play at Crowbar Brisbane before they changed to their new location, so will still a small gig in the basement.

WALKEN with FUCKED UP

FUCKED UP honestly can do no wrong in my opinion – going through their back catalogue I think you can find fulfilment for any musical craving. The gig didn’t even sell out, but they played one of the most satisfying sets I’ve ever seen, like it was tailored for every fan in there. LOSER were great too, super tight and clearly stoked to be there. I got the same photo with FUCKED UP’s singer Damien that I got at Soundwave like 8-9 years ago. I was just the happiest dude ever that night!

WALKEN with FUCKED UP

01/02/20 – WALKEN (w/ Bad Neighbour, The Redundants & Lunchtime) @ Greaser, Brisbane

Matt: Yeah yeah, I know, it seems a bit wanky putting one of our own shows on a list like this, but there’s another gig we played next on the list as well – so you can enjoy rolling your eyes again really soon.

But for real, this was a suuuuper fun show to play. I always enjoy playing Greaser because it’s a super low capacity venue, so if you have enough people there the crowd energy is insane. The room was packed for our set and the crowd was crazy. I was terrified about my gear being damaged every second and I LOVED IT.

All of the other bands were great too, Bad Neighbour especially surprised me – mainly with how powerful Coop’s voice is live. He’s a terrific melody writer and lyricist, so it wouldn’t surprise me if you start hearing their name more and more. The Redundants were always an awesome watch too. The main songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Dan is actually our Tour Manager and Guitar Tech when we’re on the road, so we had just gotten off a fun two weeks of touring with him and it was lovely to see him shred the stage for the night.

Unfortunately The Redundants are no longer a band, but you should really listen to their last EP ‘Nothing Crushes Us’ which was produced and mixed by Keelan Sanders, the same lovely fella who has produced and mixed our new couple of singles.

Check out Nothing Crushes Us by The Redundants:

06/03/20 – The Smith Street Band (w/ WALKEN) @ Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville

Pat: This was the last run of shows we did before Covid-19 put everything to a halt, so I guess we can be thankful that it was such an awesome run to end on for the time being. 

I had stupidly decided to book flights around the 3 shows we had booked with Smithies while the other guys drove up north, and then Tiger cancelled my flight to Cairns (cheers Tiger, big love). So I actually missed the first show of the run and our guitar tech Dan had to quickly learn half a set and play my parts in Cairns (actual big love to you Dan). So I especially loved the Townsville show because I actually got to play it! It was just such a massive response, even for our set.

We met so many locals that came to the show that were clearly just starving for live music, and they were so good for a chat throughout the night. We played great, the crowd loved it and sang along to some of our songs, then Smithies just turned it up to another level when they went on. Super great night with super lovely people.

Check out ‘I Still Dream About You’ by The Smith Street Band:

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11/03/20 – The Menzingers (w/ Press Club & Semantics) @ The Zoo, Brisbane

Matt: This was the last gig I saw before the world had to temporarily end, but it was a really good one, so that was nice at least. I was lucky enough to score a door spot off Nat from Press Club, who we met while touring North QLD with Smithies and their crew – she’s an absolute legend.

I’m a big fan of what Press Club are doing but had never had the chance to see them live. I was always either broke, on a tour or just playing another show on the same night. I was stoked to finally catch them and they didn’t disappoint one bit. Nat has so much energy and intensity when performing on stage and the other members are all incredible musicians who work off each other super well.It was also rad to catch Semantics on that stage also, despite the occasional technical difficulties. But hey, is it really a gig if everything goes according to plan?

The Menzingers were super tight too, but not exactly my cup of tea, I guess. I ended up leaving with about 20 minutes of their set left to go and I got some Lord Of The Fries. That was the perfect end to my pre-iso period. 

Check out ‘After The Party’ by The Menzingers:

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