Mountain Goat Valley Crawl (Saturday February 27, Fortitude Valley)

Words by Peter Hunt

You couldn’t flick a ciggie butt in the valley on Saturday night without it hitting one of Brisbane’s many exciting local acts. Bands, venues & punters came together for the Mountain Goat Valley Crawl, with some of Brissy’s best established live acts holding sway over four packed, sweaty venues (The Zoo, The Brightside, Black Bear Lodge & The Foundry). The sheer number of fans standing shoulder to shoulder was something to behold, giving some of the feisty up-and-comers a chance to win admirers and garner well-deserved hype. Acts like Jeremy Neale, The Creases and Good Boy didn’t have anything to prove, having already dominated Triple J airplay and national tours, though this didn’t stop them from giving back the love to a scene that’s shown them so much already.

Hound’s brand of righteous stoner rock saw a smaller crowd getting down at The Zoo, their music a passing resemblance to the Brisbane powerhouse that is Violent Soho, fitting for a venue that’s had so many legends roam the stage. Hot on the heels of their latest single and with an album behind them already, the Hound lads definitely have a workmanlike approach for all their I-don’t-give-a-fuck stage presence. Their new stuff killed, as did fan favourite ‘God is Calling’; complete with a blistering bass solo.

On the subject of not giving a fuck, Good Boy once again brought their charmingly lazy tunes to The Foundry, evoking the atmosphere of a grungy sharehouse party at every venue they play. Revelling in their freshly minted Triple J Unearthed win and Laneway performance, they nonetheless goofed around the stage like they were just having afternoon tinnies on the deck. It’s hard to stick these guys with the ‘slacker’ label when they’re so intent on everyone having a good time and getting the crowd on side (not that we needed much convincing).

By the end of the night, the Crawl is living up to its name as the crowd stumbles to Black Bear Lodge for a sweaty, loud crescendo courtesy of Babaganouj. One of the final shows with their current lineup, the ‘Nouj gave the breezy indie-pop of their recorded material a harder punk edge for their live show, opening with certified banger ‘Can’t Stop’ and displaying the confidence of a band completely at ease with themselves.

The theme of the night was definitely a raised middle finger to the state government’s looming lockout laws, if the mid-set banter of most bands wasn’t a solid indication, the ‘Fuck the Lockouts’ shirts worn by the entire bar staff definitely was. Despite the huge success of the first due to the legislation, management of the Crawl have stated the event may not be able to return next year. But what could have felt like a wake for the very idea of a vibrant local scene, was instead a huge surge of momentum going forward for Brisbane musos. A sign that all the people involved will do whatever they can to make sure the music doesn’t stop.

Mika Campbell