September not only welcomes the new season of Spring, but it annually transforms Brisbane from the Rivercity, to the City of Lights. Brisbane Festival brings a multitude of people out of the woodwork to appreciate the beauty that their hometown can offer. As families and couples spread themselves wide and far across Brisbane’s South Bank, I find myself struggling to find standing room inside the festival’s Spiegeltent to witness quite possibly Bandito Folk’s finest moment to date. The local quintet’s chemistry of melancholy and melody take centre-stage with their offerings of Host and Wooden Box before reaching a new vibrancy with a climatic rendition of Acetone. The Spiegeltent allows a great dynamic versatility that matches the Bandito Folk’s arrangements, a venue characteristic that lacked in prior performances at the Powerhouse and Black Bear Lodge yet prepared the band for the full house before them. Their guitarist, affectionately known as Igor, seems to have his own fanbase that would accentuate each lead break or gesture with “Show me some love, Igor!”. Keeping talk to a minimum but gratitude at a high for band and crowd alike, Josh Tuck leads the final two songs of Furrow and Away. With the closing strains of Away, the group’s realization that they’d accomplished something special began to shine through. From Tuck’s howl to keyboardist, Aled Humphrys’ elated smile, Bandito Folk exuded a charm that lingered in the room long after their departure.
– Rob Knaggs