Events — 26 March 2012
The Aussie BBQ at The Bell House

The music made popular in the United States has been exported overseas for decades gaining local talent universal acclaim. While much of the world’s music is vastly ignored domestically, with the exception of cross-over artists, the production team known as Stage Mothers wants all that to change. Stage Mothers is comprised of two music lovers named Mary and Glenn, a Melbourne, Australia couple interested in taking Australian music to the world. And yesterday at Brooklyn’s The Bell House they succeeded with the ‘Aussie BBQ,’ an all day event featuring a cornucopia of Aussie music acts spanning genres.

The crowd was filled with a combination of Aussie ex-pats who were psyched to see some of their nation’s brethren bust out tunes and New York locals curious about what these folks had to offer. The first band we caught was Adelaide’s'Traveller & Fortune.’ ‘Traveller’ is perhaps best described as a folk outfit but they are truly much more. Throughout their set, they busted out solid rock numbers all embodying an authentic local Australian flare and attitude. The band’s instrumentation was quite impressive as well- from the use of a mandolin, keys, and an upright bass, the audience got the full spectrum of talents with the band on display.

After taking in some solid sets from a lengthy list of talented bands, it was time to grab some food. Even though I believe the ‘Aussie BBQ’ has more to do with a celebration of music and less to do with smoking a whole hog, we were happy to see the ‘Urban Rustic Outpost’ from Williamsburg (which has a permanent booth at the Bell House) serving up some traditional slow cooked eats to a hungry crowd. It was a brilliant coincidence. After weighing my options, I decided to go with the ‘Pulled Pork Sandwich’ ($8) served with a side of creamy cole slaw and pickles. The sandwich was a perfect example of how pulled pork should be, sauced just the right way mixed with a melt in your mouth salty goodness.

Once we got our grub on, we took in a set by ‘Pets With Pets’ whose sound could best be described as noise rock with a garage vibe to it. What stood out about them was the risk they were willing to take to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. As the day rolled on I realized how important it is to attend festivals like ‘The Aussie BBQ,’ especially considering that music is universal and not just what your city or top 40 radio station has to offer. And with spots all around the country and the immensely influential South By Southwest Festival, it appears that the ‘Aussie BBQ’ is here to stay as our gateway to the land down under.

- Jay Rubin

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