Live Review: Ball Park Music, Nantes, and Cub Scouts – The Factory Theatre (01.04.2012)

Cub Scouts were on stage when I got to The Factory and they sounded amazing. The small group at the front of the stage who weren’t sitting around on the floor were appreciative of the Brisbane five-piece’s efforts. Songs ‘Evie’ and ‘Do You Hear’ get a great response, no doubt thanks to the recent airplay they’ve received on triple j.

Nantes are on next and they move through their set with ease, following a formula of bass, keys and angsty vocals in most songs. They’re accompanied by an excited girl in the front row who yells “I love Nantes!” between songs, only to be met with “Whoa” from the lead singer. We get a good insight into what to expect soon from this band and though a lot of it sounds very similar, they have a lot of promise. Their enthusiasm for playing live is evident, especially in single Fly that closes their set.

About five minutes after Ball Park Music are due on stage, someone makes an announcement that the band won’t be playing tonight. Their attempt at an April Fool’s joke probably had a few people worried but not worried enough to leave the venue. The band walked out on stage to Dick Dale’s ‘Miserlou’ before ripping into ‘Literally Baby’.

Lead singer Sam Cromack launches himself off his amp at various times, jumps on the drum kit, sculls beers and falls on the ground, all while delivering strong vocals and sometimes while playing guitar. Even when they play new songs that no one knows, the band’s energy is high and they encourage crowd participation at every chance.

The hits come one after another with ‘Rich People Are Stupid’, the song Cromack says is “about wanking” ‘Sad Rude Future Dude’ and of course ‘iFly’. The best moment of the night is when Cromack is kneeling on his amp, keeping us all quiet before the last chorus in ‘iFly’. Someone yells out “Have my babies!”, Cromack replies with “Did you just tell me to have a baby? I’m a male! You can fuck me in the arse a few times and try though.”

‘It’s Nice To Be Alive’ finishes the set before the encore and we’re treated to confetti and streamers flying through the air. Guitarists Brock Smith and Dean Hanson have a jam until the rest of the band arrive and then kill a cover of The Kinks’ ‘All Day and All of the Night.’ 

Cromack jumps off stage and runs past the barrier to out-stretched arms then gets back on stage to jump on the drum kit and on top of both guitarists. He finishes the song on the floor and it’s clear from his face that he’s given us everything tonight.

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Justine McNamara

I'm an Australian living in New York. I work in marketing but I write about music, New York, and my own personal experiences.

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