After almost 10 years, Australian rock legends Grinspoon are returning to Queanbeyan to perform and this time they will be backed by an all-Canberran line-up.
The music festival, Under The Big Top, is presented by the Harmonie German Club and Mix106.3, and will see talented artists such as Hands like Houses, Young Monks, Sputnik Sweetheart and Sesame Girl wow crowds with their rock and punk performances.
The over-18 event will be held on Friday 28 October at the Queanbeyan Showgrounds.
Grinspoon founding member and singer-guitarist Phil Jamieson said, after two years of COVID-19 impacting the music and entertainment industry, it was exciting to have the opportunity to perform as normal again.
“COVID made it really hard to do anything to be honest. I think one of our first shows back was when we performed at Splendour in the Grass in July last year before the next wave of COVID hit,” Phil said.
“If there’s anything the last few years have taught us, it’s not to take anything for granted anymore. We’ve developed an immense sense of gratitude now.
“We haven’t played in Queanbeyan for at least a decade, so to be returning and playing in front of people again is really exciting.”
The last time Grinspoon performed in the capital was in 2017 at the University of Canberra.
“The last time we were in Canberra, I was just a wee child,” the Grinspoon singer-guitarist joked.
“That show was just unreal, and I’m really excited to come back to the Canberra/Queanbeyan region. This whole Under The Big Top circus element is exciting for me, it’s not often we get to perform under a tent, so it adds a really fun element for me to be able to get down there and do something different.”
Phil was just 17 when he joined Grinspoon. The Lismore band has now performed more than 1500 shows.
“As I’ve gotten a little bit older and wiser, the most important thing for me is establishing that connection with people,” he said.
“Whether you go to see a show in a small venue, or whether it be in an arena with 20,000 people, it’s about connection.
“It’s really wonderful that people know some of the material we’ve recorded over the years. That’s something I really love, as well as acting like an idiot at times and wearing fun costumes.”
Canberra heavy rock band Hands Like Houses bass player Joel Tyrrell said he was honoured to be the main supporting act for Grinspoon at Under The Big Top.
“It’s so nice to be performing again, especially at a bigger-scale event. This will be our first performance for the year and we can’t wait,” Joel said.
“Pre-COVID, we used to get in about 60 to 80 shows per year, however last year we only got one show in at the University of Canberra right in between the lockdowns in July.
“We love playing gigs at home in the Canberra region, especially because we grew up here, so it feels special to us as we’re performing for our family and friends.”
After performing gigs around the globe and selling more than 150,000 albums worldwide, Joel said Hands Like Houses was thankful to receive so much love and support from Canberra.
“Canberra is quite unique because a lot of bands and artists know each other and have lots of fans, so there’s a really supportive music scene here,” he said.
“Post-COVID, it has just been quite difficult for people to get out as much, whether it’s low confidence in events actually happening as there’s been so many cancelled events, or people are getting worried about getting sick, it has put a lot of pressure on promoters to be able to host events.
“Our live entertainment industry has a long way to go and lots of rebuilding, so by starting off with events like this, it’s an important step.”
This performance will also be Hands Like Houses’ first in Queanbeyan.
“I think getting any chance to play somewhere semi-new for the first time is always exciting. We hope to see some new faces and new fans,” Joel said.
“People should expect very high-quality music from a lot of very amazing local bands at Under The Big Top. It features quite a strong line-up of diverse music artists from across Canberra, so you’ll get a taste of everything.”
The music festival will be held on Friday 28 October at 6 pm at the Queanbeyan Showgrounds.
Tickets are $85 per person and can be purchased here.