Brisbane four-piece Cub Sport stole the heart of fans at the Corner Hotel in Richmond on the 4th of March, bringing their indie-pop music to an intimate crowd of 750 guests – as a part of their BATS tour.
Led by singer/guitarist Tim Nelson, Sam Netterfield on the keys and vocals, bassist/guitarist Zoe Davis, and drummer Dan Puusari, it would be difficult to not be enchanted by the bands presence. Nelson has an aura about him that draws everyone in – it was a time to put down the phone, forget about recording, and simply watch and listen. One moment you were listening to a rock inspired track – next a gospel inspired tune (namely their hit single O Lord), a woeful ballad and finished with a chilled out acoustic.
Shining a bright light on the intimate relationship between Nelson and Netterfield allows the audience to feel immersed with the band – after the pair publicly announced their engagement in July last year after an eight year friendship-turned-relationship. During the show fans caught a glimpse into the thoughts of their relationship lyrically, with Crush and Solo III explained to be written after the pair realised their feelings for each other were real. The bands creativity behind their lyrics showcased brought a whole new depth and meaning to the audience that made for exceptional music.
Crowd-favourite Come on Mess Me Up, a powerful track that undeniably speaks to anyone who has fallen deeply in love, left the audience with emotions high – with not one member of the audience not singing along. After the single reached number 24 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2016 and catapulted Cub Sport into the Australian music scene, it was very clear that the track would be performed at the end of their set. I definitely did not cry (cannot confirm).
Of course, with the wild enthusiasm the audience had for the band, their last song wasn’t really their last song. After a bow, a wave and an exit, Cub Sport re-entered onto the stage to give us one last tune – a cover of Kanye West’s Ultralight Beam. The band had debuted this cover on Triple J’s program Like a Version back in 2016 and had collected over 700,000 views on YouTube. The highlight of the cover was the magnificent guitar solo by Davis, after the band gave her a spotlight to really show off her magical skills.
Cub Sport could easily be thought of as one of Australia’s most influential queer bands. With Nelson and Netterfield engaged, and Davis also in a queer relationship, they use their platform to engage the public in discussions on equality for LGBTQ+ people. Their music videos are also example of normalising queer relationships in this heteronormative society, namely the clip for O Lord, an ode to Nelson and Netterfield’s own relationship.
If I were to give a highlight of the album, I simply could not – I can only recommend you listen to the entire thing in one sitting, eyes closed, just feeling the emotions that Cub Sport exude through their music.
Words by Silje Melsom.