There’s no doubt about it, Bigsound Live has the biggest and best lineup of Aussie music at any event. But with 150 bands performing in 15 venues in Fortitude Vallley over just 2 nights, of course there are going to be clashes. Most people probably aren’t going to worry too much about Cosmic Psychos playing at the same time as Perch Creek (and good news, the majority of the timetable is like that) but there are a few artists going head to head that might be a bit difficult for people to choose between. We’ve had a good long think and attempted to justify who we’ll be catching out of the following 7 clashes.

GRRL PAL vs. Pearls


Perth electro duo GRRL PAL and Melbourne’s favourite glam rock quartet Pearls might not seem like an obvious clash at first, but if you delve a bit deeper you may find yourself struggling to pick who to see: I know I am. Both bands have been making waves this year: Pearls still riding high on their album Pretend You’re Mine which they dropped in February, and GRRL PAL on the back of their one song a month release plan, which is now (obviously) 8 songs in. As for comparison, the execution is a bit different but the feel of the music is incredibly similar and I find it hard to imagine anyone liking one band and not the other.

The choice? If you’re so inclined, you could probably catch the first half of one and then dart through Chinatown Mall for the end of the other but if we had to make a decision, we’d probably head to The Woolly Mammoth and check out GRRL PAL, mostly because their new single ‘Kwler Than U’ is awesome.

Super Best Friends vs. Mangelwurzel


Canberran punks or Melbournian… ummm… how do you describe Mangelwurzel? Anyway, Super Best Friends and The Wurz (???) hit the stage at 9:40 and they’re both so much fun to see that I guarantee you will want to stay for the full half hour. We’ve been big fans of Mangelwurzel for basically forever, but Super Best Friends know that the way to any humans heart is puppies and their latest video for ‘All My Friends Are Leaving Town’ is a four-legged feast of pure canine joy.

The choice? Not going to lie, we’re still undecided. If you like your punk served straight up, there’s no choice at all – SBF are your guys, but if you’d like a bit of a twist we’d wholeheartedly recommend Mangelwurzel.

Ella Thompson vs. Harts vs. Sex on Toast


This one is just cruel, Bigsound. Three freaking amazing artists, all at the same time? Not even a well coordinated attack could get you seeing more than one song of each, and that’s at best. All three wear their 80s influence on their sleeves, and all three have some famous fans: Harts flew to Minneapolis to work with Prince, Ella Thompson joined Mark Ronson on stage on his recent tour and Sex On Toast had Molly Meldrum in their latest video. (And who doesn’t love Molly?)

The choice? Seriously, this one is really hard. I’m going to go with Harts because I’ve managed to completely miss his show every single time I’ve tried to catch him but I’ll probably have ‘Oh Loretta’ in my head all night anyway.

City Calm Down vs. Le Pie


We’ve waited a long time for City Calm Down to save new wave. Their debut album was one of the most teased and talked about records for over 12 months before we even heard the first single thanks, in no small part, to the support from tastemaker label I Oh You. But early this year, Le Pie released her debut solo EP and, despite being inspired by girl groups of the 50s and 60s and her background as a drummer and singer for punk bands, it’s a brilliantly crafted piece of dark and vulnerable pop.

The choice? City Calm Down’s recent shows HAVE gotten rave reviews, but we’re definitely going to check out Le Pie.

Dorsal Fins vs. Totally Mild


Both Dorsal Fins and Totally Mild are favourites on the Melbourne scene (and not just because someone from almost every Melbourne band is in Dorsal Fins) so I’m having trouble deciding on this one. Totally Mild’s debut Down Time certainly didn’t get the attention it deserved and was kind of a musical opposite to Dorsal Fins’ debut, which sprawled across genres and ideas in an almost mixtape-y kind of way. But this variety that doesn’t work so well on record, is exactly reversed in Fins’ super-energetic live show.

The choice? Dorsal Fins have been working on a follow up to March’s Mind Renovation and the potential to hear some new tracks is very tempting. Plus I did pass on Ella Thompson’s solo show and she is amazing, so yeah. Dorsal Fins it is, I guess.

The John Steel Singers vs Crepes


Brisbane’s favourite sons The John Steel Singers hit the stage at the same time as Melbourne’s hottest new property Crepes. Both bands have just released new singles in the past two weeks, The Singers put out ‘Weekend Lover,’ which sounds like they’ve injected some funky guitars and Metronomy influence into their already incredible sound while Crepes have ladled some extra synth onto their chilled guitars for ‘Size Of Your Town.’ Both tunes are really great and should be getting a lot of radio play soon.

The choice? When in Brisbane do as the Brisbanians (???) do, or at least what I assume they do, and go see some Brisbanian (???) bands. We’ll be checking out The John Steel Singers, and possibly enjoying some late night crepes afterwards.

Gang of Youths vs. Tired Lion


Two great guitar bands are head to head late on Thursday night, with Perth’s Tired Lion and Sydney’s Gang of Youths closing the triple J Unearthed Stage @ Oh Hello! and The Zoo stage respectively. Both bands are on a high right now: Tired Lion were the winners of the Unearthed Splendour in the Grass competition and opened the main stage at Byron and Gang of Youths are just about to wind up their mammoth 6 week national tour so they’d definitely be great to see.

The choice? Let’s face it, they’re the last bands on Thursday night. I’m probably too drunk, too tired and definitely too comfortable to bother changing venues so if I am at The Zoo for John Steel Singers, I’ll be staying there for Gang of Youths. If magically I have a burst of energy, I might run up to Oh Hello to catch the end of Tired Lion but it’s unlikely, eh.

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