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Live Review: The Triffid’s 2023 QLD Album Of The Year Event

3 November 2023 | 9:02 am | Tione Zylstra

Awards, a raffle to win a signed guitar, lots of grog, and most importantly, live performances – it was a night to remember.

The Triffid's 2023 QLD Album Of The Year nominees

The Triffid's 2023 QLD Album Of The Year nominees (Source: Supplied)

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It’s that time of the year again, folks – Mariah Carey is defrosting, Kmart is covered in Christmas paraphernalia, and The Triffid announces their Queensland Album Of The Year. 2023 was the Triffid’s 9th year of existence – and 7th year of organising these awards - and, boy, do they know how to throw a party to celebrate.

Emceed by the one and only Dicko, the event was free and open to all of Brisbane… and they turned out in force. A raffle to win a signed guitar, lots of grog, and, most importantly, live performances – it was a night to remember. 

But we’re not going to bury the lead here. You’re here to find out about the Album of the Year. So, to catch you up, the nominees were Beddy Rays with their self-titled album, Cub Sport with Jesus At The Gay Bar, Full Flower Moon Band with Diesel Forever, Felivand with Ties, Hope D with Clash Of The Substance, and The Butterfly Effect with IV. 

Brisbane must be a breeding ground for iconic artists because all of those names deserved to be up on the Triffid’s “Wall of Heroes”, alongside past winners like Ball Park Music, Dune Rats, Powderfinger, and Violent Soho. Alas, there can only be one winner – and Brisbane has spoken. When the votes were tallied up, Beddy Rays took out Album Of The Year with their self-titled record, Beddy Rays. Pulling away a banner to reveal their name on the wall, the band was absolutely stoked, to say the least.

“This is unreal. We’ve been coming here for years. The Triffid is a fucking awesome Brizzy venue: it’s Brizzy through and through,” said frontman Jackson ‘Jacko’ Van Issum. Cracking a joke about how he’d make sure to take a first date there, he then joined the rest of his band – who have all been friends since childhood – to hug, cheer, and admire their names emblazoned on a wall of legends. 

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Let’s take it back now, though. Before Beddy Rays were announced as the winner, there was a whole night of performances to admire. Each nominee had to choose another artist to cover one of the songs from their Album Of The Year contender.

Kicking off the night, Sunshine Coast band Betty Taylor played a stripped-back version of Beddy Rays’ On My Own. With only two of the four-piece band on stage, it was simply guitar-on-guitar action as they played a haunting rendition of the surf-rock song. It was still a bop, just in a different way. Singer Sophie Patrick’s voice added a new depth to the song, giving it a smoother feel. No drums – just ethereal high notes and an iconic electric guitar riff. If they don’t release this cover soon, we will sue.

Next up was Jem Cassar-Daley, who, according to Dicko, was “nervous as shit” to be playing Cub Sport’s Keep Me Safe. But, damn, if that’s her on nerves, colour us impressed. The lower register of her voice gave her maturity beyond her years while still managing to have a breathy and otherworldly voice in the chorus. Just a girl with her piano, she swapped between the low verses and high chorus with ease. And, if you looked toward the back of the crowd, you could see Cub Sport themselves, filming like proud parents as they watched their song be transformed in the best way possible.

Felivand chose KALILA to perform her song, Ripple Effect. The jazzy song came to life with KALILA’s smooth voice. Vocalising like an absolute boss, the audience was captivated by her performance. Her vocal riffs almost felt like they were washing your brain – you could listen for hours and never be satisfied. Kinda like elevator music, but make it slay; the funky song was everything we wanted and more.

Fresh off their own release, Radium Dolls covered Full Flower Moon Band’s Trainspotting. Absolutely shredding the electric guitar, the band did what they do best: rock. With the entire crowd headbanging along – including Full Flower Moon Band themselves – the song went off without a hitch. A gruff and raspy voice coming out of someone with a surfer dude vibe; the Radium Dolls might catch you by surprise… but who doesn’t like surprises, right?

Now, it’s not often that an old band comes out with new music that captures the magic of their original stuff. But that’s what The Butterfly Effect did. They chose Jack Bratt to play their song, Unbroken. And play it is exactly what he did. Adding a kind of soulful and ragged vibe to the hard rock anthem, Bratt’s voice transported you to a dark and stormy night. Reminiscent of early 2000s rock, he really showed his skill on that electric guitar. Those riffs? Insane.

And last but definitely not least, Adelaide’s own Aleksiah covered Hope D’s Hate Goodbyes. Swapping some of the anger in the song for a more wistful vibe, she really put her own spin on it. With vocal riffs every few seconds, Aleksiah showed just how talented she really is – especially considering she only heard the song three days prior. With the lung capacity of an Olympic swimmer, she laughed through the song, continuously making eye contact with Hope D herself, who was singing and dancing along to her own bop.

And then, one Album Of The Year announcement later, the night was over, and we’re left reminiscing on the year that was and, hopefully, the year of amazing music that is to come.