Live review: Nautical Mile – Crowbar, Brisbane, December 1, 2019

It is joked that there’s something in the water in Perth with the number of fantastic bands coming out of the city, and pop-punk outfit Nautical Mile is no exception. On Sunday night, Brisbane was treated to the last leg of the band’s national ‘Only Way Is Through’ tour, and while the show was the last, it was not least. 

Brisbane’s Grizzlyshark burst onto the stage with their intense riffs and punk sounds, getting the night off to an energetic start. These guys have only been on the scene since 2017 but based on their ripping performance on Sunday night, they have a big future ahead. 

Sydney band Halfwait kept the energetic vibes going with their incredibly catchy rock/grunge songs and guitarist Jon Barca laid down fantastic mind-bending guitar solos. This band were also incredibly supportive of all the other bands that played that night, standing in the front row each set and getting right into all of their songs. This can be said about all of the bands on Sunday night; it was a very supportive line-up who cheered each other on. 

As a more glistening pop outfit, the addition of Gold Coast group BLIGH seemed a bit random to be placed with the rock and punk sets of the rest of the night. It’s not often that the stages of Crowbar see a keyboard and such funky bass lines and riffs, but their set was fun. It would be great to see these guys play with bands that are a bit closer suited to their genre and maybe having them play earlier in the night would have been a better fit.  The intense punk/rock vibes that were built with the earlier two bands waned a little with the smooth pop sounds of BLIGH. That is not to say that they weren’t great; they are talented, technical and very polished. This band has only just come from out of high school, and it won’t be long until they are making their way into the triple J Hottest 100.

The time for pop-punk had arrived with the headliners Nautical Mile. Throughout the night, vocalist Brodie Owen had been rocking out to the other bands with intense energy and that only amplified when he finally hit the stage. He does not stay still throughout the set and his enthusiasm is contagious.  The crowd had sadly dwindled to mainly bands and a few punters, but the band still played at full energy and the crowd were dancing along from the first note. The album that is the namesake of the tour was released in October this year, and the set included all of the songs from this album. Every song on this album is catchy, fun and good old-fashioned pop-punk goodness, which meant their set was all highlights. In saying that, Spin the Bottle and Marionette are especially fantastic on the album and were excellent to see live. 

A touching, lump-in-throat inducing moment came during the title song The Only Way Is Through, with Owen dedicating it to his younger sister who tragically died in July this year. It was heartfelt, intense and sad but a fitting and lovely tribute. Rounding out the set was the singalong Regicide which saw the crowd getting the opportunity to yell along with the “woah, woahs”. Owen’s clean vocals and occasional screams are fantastic, but the rest of the band keep their end of the bargain, all being incredibly talented and complimenting each other well. Guitarist Dan Ray provides slick riffs and fantastic backing vocals, Nick Henrisson plays bass effortlessly, and Caleb Wynter is tight with technical, driving drums. This band deserve a bigger Brisbane crowd and hopefully their next show will be a Friday or Saturday and they get the hype they deserve.

Nautical Mile list some of their influences as A Day To Remember, All Time Low and Simple Plan and this comes through in all of their songs. They are fun, polished and bring back the pop-punk vibes of the early 2000s. Even though pop-punk never really left, Nautical Mile is heading the resurgence, and it will be awesome to see how far this band goes as we enter the “Rawring Twenties”.

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