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Live Review: Cub Sport w/ Amy Shark & Bec Sandridge @ The Brightside


Over the past 12 months Cub Sport have become synonymous with Brisbane’s growing indie music scene. Their debut full-length album ‘This Is Our Vice’ was released in March, and since then they’ve accompanied none other than The 1975 for their Splendour in the Grass sideshows, toured Europe, and even sold-out shows on their album’s national tour. Despite seemingly relentless touring, the quartet graced a sold-out ‘Brightside stage like they damn-well belonged there, and rightly so!

The night was opened by Amy Shark, a powerfully-voiced, ultra charming Gold Coast songstress. With quirky lyricism and crowd-pleasing anecdotes to match, Shark captured the gradually growing crowd’s attention from the start. Her quirky voice, somewhat reminiscent of the powerful voices of Missy Higgins and Sahara Beck, travelled between the softer tracks and emotional ballads with perfection.

Next up was incredibly infectious pop-rock artist Bec Sandridge. The girl from Sydney may have been the only act from south of the border, but she couldn’t be more at home in front of the Brisbane crowd. Her rocking stage presence, guitar waving, and grooves saw the floor fill up quickly, and the crowds danced along with her.

By this time The Brightside was utterly jam-packed, and it wasn’t long before Cub Sport entered to a chorus of squeals and applause. The 4-piece wasted no time getting into their first track, I Can’t Save You, filling the room with groovy electronics and Tim Nelson’s soft, sweet vocals. They continued with Simmer, a bonus but by no means lesser track from ‘This Is Our Vice’, with its bouncing electronic melody and name-appropriate shimmering effects from keyboardist and vocalist Sam Netterfield.

“Despite the crowd barely having room to breathe, let alone move, Nelson’s voice was carried by the hundreds of fans crammed into The Brightside during the third and fourth songs.”

Despite the crowd barely having room to breathe, let alone move, Nelson’s voice was carried by the hundreds of fans crammed into The Brightside during Vice and It Kills Me. Swooning among ladies was aplenty, as the smiling frontman serenaded the dedicated front-row fans throughout Only Friend, with the crowd chorusing as if it were gospel.

Unfortunately, many of the tracks were drowned out in the verses, whether due to The Brightside’s sound issues or the comparative placidity of verses to upbeat choruses. Nonetheless, well-loved track Runner was up next, with Nelson’s incredibly high vocals reaching all new levels.

By now the venue’s temperature was skyrocketing, but Cub Sport kept the heat on with appropriately-titled Sun and I’m On Fire. Another album bonus track, Stay, proved to be a crowd favourite, which was undoubtedly the night’s vocal climax for Nelson. He then took to the keyboard for a surprise mid-set cover of Talking Heads’ This Must Be The Place, delivering an indie take on an already sweet and poppy track. Following this, the crowd’s chorus returned with the heartfelt ballad I Don’t Love My Baby.

The humble, smiley Nelson paused briefly following this to thank their sold-out crowd, hitting us right in the feels, “I can’t believe we’ve sold-out another show!”. Much to the crowd’s excitement, the indie-pop darlings then played what they’d all been waiting for, old favourite Told You So, the title-track of their debut EP from back in their ‘Cub Scouts’ days.

“This final song was a true testament to just how much Cub Sport have grown this year.”

After this nostalgia trip, the crowd were thrown into the band’s recent triple j Like A Version cover of Kanye’s Ultralight Beam, which included sparkling lights, a special vocal solo from Netterfield, and guitar highlights from bassist Zoe Davis, sealed with extended thunderous applause.

The night drew to a close with the album’s emotional and dreamy Come On Mess Me Up. With the entire crowd engulfed in the track, singing along every lyric and feeling every beat, the final song was a true testament to just how much Cub Sport have grown this year.

However, long-time fans just weren’t satisfied. As soon as the band left the stage chants began for Evie, the very first song we ever heard from these now Brisbane favourites. And Cub Sport didn’t disappoint, and although the venue had begun emptying already (lord knows why), the beachy sounds of the track sounded as perfect as when we first heard them on the recording.

Get to know Cub Sport in our filmed interview with Tim Nelson and Sam Netterfield below!