Catch acoustic sets from local legends, a showcase of cultural indie excellence, and some of the most promising up-and-comers on the scene today.
The Triffid is one of Brisbane’s most beloved live music venues, with its domed theatre space (housed in one of the historic hangers left over from World War II) regularly attracting some of the world’s biggest and best performers; thus far in 2023, it’s welcomed the likes of Rina Sawayama, Fontaines DC, Soccer Mommy, Maisie Peters, Dodie, Saosin, Boston Manor, Delta Heavy, Henry Rollins… The list goes on and on and on.
While it’s best known for its 800-capacity bandroom, The Triffid also has an idyllic beer garden, which often hosts its own suite of live music performances. Even sweeter is that most of the shows hosted there are free to attend – and who doesn’t love a spot of free entertainment!? So we’ve rounded up all seven of the free shows set to go down in The Triffid’s beer garden later this month – have a look through the full list below, then head here to see everything else going on at the venue.
What: Songs You Know And Love is a series of free acoustic and original performances by local singer-songwriters, hosted every Friday evening throughout August in The Triffid’s beer garden. Each two-hour show kicks off at 5:00pm, promising brilliant sets from some of Brisbane’s best. This edition will feature hard-rocker Pete Cullen and multi-instrumental composer Salliana Campbell.
When: Friday August 11, starting at 5:00pm.
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Who: Cullen is often seen performing with The Hurt, doling out a rousing wallop of hard-rock and outlaw country. He’s thus far released five studio albums – the most recent being 2019’s High Tide – and dropped the standalone single Heart Of Steel back in February of this year. Meanwhile, Campbell is an award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist. In addition to her soulful singing, she plays on a five-string violin, nyckelharpa, octave mandolin, baritone bowed psaltry, piano, hammered dulcimer and hurdy gurdy. Among her sprawling list of achievements are an ARIA nomination with her band Tulipan, and the 2022 APRA Screen Award win for Feature Film Score Of The Year (which she earned for her work on The Drovers Wife: The Legend Of Molly Johnson).
What: A matinee celebration of the latest album by Canadian-born, New York-based producer David Levy (better known as the man behind the musical madness that is Out To Lunch), for which he linked up with East Timorese world music artist Etson Caminha. According to the official copy, Levy “had been traveling internationally to collaborate with musicians living in refugee camps and post-conflict countries for his last project, The World United In Song, when he met [Caminha].” Levy will perform tracks from the album with a full band, while the ARIA-nominated CJ Shaw will open up the show.
When: Wednesday August 16, starting at 3:00pm.
Who: Out To Lunch is the brainchild of Canadian native David Levy, who oscillates freely between jazz, hip-hop, house music, dub reggae, funk and more. He began working with Caminha after the pair met during recording sessions for The World United In Song – a project that spanned much of 2018 and 2019 – and the pair quickly started working on their own collaborative effort. Back in January of this year, they released the eponymous album Out To Lunch Featuring Etson, a genre-bending effort described on Levy’s own website as “a fusion of electronic world, reggae, hip hop, and funk sung in a unique language developed specifically for the release”.
Opening the show, CJ Shaw is a singer-songwriter and music teacher, beloved for his stellar storytelling and fierce fingerpicking skills. Late last year, he was endorsed by Jimmy Barnes as a nominee for Music Teacher Of The Year at the ARIA Awards. Also in 2022, his music vide for Ain’t Many Like Lennie was picked up for broadcast by SBS TV, who spotlit it on the air and through SBS On Demand. Shaw’s most recent full-length effort was 2021’s All Sorts.
Head here for more info on the Etson event.
What: The Triffid’s flagship live music event for its outdoor garden area, aiming to platform the most exciting new acts in the local scene. This edition will feature indie-rock bands Arugula and Sectionals, plus solo stalwart Maira.
When: Thursday August 17, starting at 6:30pm.
Who: Originally the solo garage-rock project of singer/guitarist Aidan Harding Bradburn, Arugula is a fast-rising quintet inspired by old-school greats like Count 5, Them and 13th Floor Elevators, as well as modern mainstays like GOAT, Bananagun and The Black Angels. Their seven-track debut EP, Rocket Club, arrived independently back in June.
As explained in her official bio, 19-year-old Maira uses music as “a form of escapism”, exploring “themes of growing up, self-identity and her own struggles with mental health” through soundscapes that meld atmospheric ambiance with grungy guitars and slick pop sensibilities. “Maira’s relatable and unfiltered lyricism meets infectious melodies that will sweep over you when you need them most,” her bio (aptly) continues.
Sectionals are a trio determined to shake things up, breaking out on the scene with their feelgood tune It’s Good To Recycle. They’ve since kept the vibes alive with their debut EP Open Home (which arrived last August) and two recent singles, Breakfast Pizza and Up Late Brew, both staying true to their mission of “creat[ing] fun songs out of mundane moments”.
Head here for more info on the latest Garden Sessions event.
What: Songs You Know And Love is a series of free acoustic and original performances by local singer-songwriters, hosted every Friday evening throughout August in The Triffid’s beer garden. Each two-hour show kicks off at 5:00pm, promising brilliant sets from some of Brisbane’s best. This edition will feature soul-touching songster Zeke Foster.
When: Friday August 18, starting at 5:00pm.
Who: So reads his official bio: “Zeke Foster brings a sense of confidence and bravery to exploring the depths of love, loss, heartbreak and ultimately the human desire to be seen and heard. Using his experienced craftsmanship, Zeke endeavours to bring audiences into a world where the things we are so afraid to say or admit are brought into a space of vulnerability and empathy.”
Thus far in 2023, Foster has released three standalone singles, each as unique as the last but equally cinematic and bewitching: Diamond Rare in February, followed by Never Impossible in April and Half Of Me just last Friday (August 4).
What: Exactly what it says on the tin, a showcase of acoustic sets from up-and-coming singer-songwriter native to Brisbane. Staring at 6:00pm on the last two Wednesdays of the month (August 23 and 30, respectively), each show will feature two intimate sets from your new favourite artists. This edition will feature indie-folk luminary Lachlan Flanagan and the rootsy duo of Anna Armstrong and Jordan O’Farrell.
When: Wednesday August 23, starting at 6:00pm.
Who: As his triple j Unearthed page so aptly puts it, Flanagan’s “passionate, reflective, hopeful [and] nostalgic” songs roar to life with “effortless compassion and authenticity”, as the rising singer-songwriter “shares his thoughts with the rawness of an honest lover or introspective friend”. He’ll appeal to fans of soulful indie artists like Paul Dempsey, The Hamptoms and Lior, with the melancholic slant of his slow-burning pop songs – like those on his 2020 EP Something Worth Designing – one of their major selling points.
Hailing from the Sunshine Coast, Armstrong and O’Farrell – performing under the joint moniker Anna & Jordan – lean heavily on atmosphere and charm, delivering harmonic odes to life that are damn near impossible not to swoon over. Their latest single, Helicopter, landed back in February; its a cruisy tune with a cantering beat, lowkey but loaded with character as Armstrong’s bewitching vocal takes the foreground. We can’t wait to see how these two magnificent musicians bring their soundscapes to life acoustically.
Head here for more info on the Acoustic Wednesdays series.
What: Songs You Know And Love is a series of free acoustic and original performances by local singer-songwriters, hosted every Friday evening throughout August in The Triffid’s beer garden. Each two-hour show kicks off at 5:00pm, promising brilliant sets from some of Brisbane’s best. This edition will feature genre-bending local Nikolaine Martin.
When: Friday August 25, starting at 5:00pm.
Who: “Get ready to throw the rule book out the window,” reads Martin’s Unearthed profile, teasing soundscapes that the human mind simply cannot comprehend through description alone. His songs certainly fit the brief, clashing elements of jazz, country, soul, blues, hard-rock and roots – all beautifully and harmonically so. His page goes on to promise “a unique [and] raw stage presence and prodigious vocals to match”, selling Martin as “an unmistakable authentic [and] original artist”. If songs like One Of Them and Catador give us any indication of what his live show is like, we already know Martin lives up to all the hype and then some.
What: Exactly what it says on the tin, a showcase of acoustic sets from up-and-coming singer-songwriter native to Brisbane. Staring at 6:00pm on the last two Wednesdays of the month (August 23 and 30, respectively), each show will feature two intimate sets from your new favourite artists. This edition will feature folk-pop firestarter Harry Kidd and introspective indie king Luke Bernard Eaton.
When: Wednesday August 30, starting at 6:00pm.
Who: Drawing influence from the likes of U2, Hozier, Gang Of Youths and Sam Fender, the 22-year-old Kidd wields a soundscape that teeters between pop, folk, roots and indie-rock, but somehow never quite lands in any one genre. His sound is entirely his own, blending twangy acoustic with sharp synth and drum machine beats on Scars, and soaring into the stratosphere with widescreen strums and strings on Sirens. It’s said that Kidd “prides himself on creating meaningful and engaging work”, with a dedication to “delivering inclusive and highly impressive live shows”. The former is palpable in his recorded efforts, and the latter… Well, you’ll have to find out for yourself on Wednesday August 30.
Eaton released his debut album, Notes From A Floating World, last September. He describes it himself as “something like a travelogue account of my thoughts, feelings and dreams; combining words, music and ambience to form a record people can either listen to from start to finish – or pick apart and engage with as they please”. The album, rootsy and raw, bursting at the seams with authentic character, lends itself perfectly to the stage, as Eaton is sure to prove at this show.
Head here for more info on the Acoustic Wednesdays series.