Bars & Pubs

What We’re Watching at The Spiegeltent This Brisbane Festival

By Sophia McMeekin
3rd Sep 2013

As part of this year's Brisbane Festival, the iconic Spiegeltent is opening it doors again, and this year the line-up of shows is the most eclectic yet. The tent is playing host to a bevvy of live acts as diverse as old school jazz, the hottest Indie banks, and risque Cabaret.

With musical acts for the indie kids, jazz, rhythm and blues, and good, old-fashioned rock'n'roll on the menu, no matter your musical taste, The Spiegeltent will have you covered. There are also acts that will appeal to the whole family (and a few, slightly more racy shows thrown in just for the grown ups). Here are our picks of the shows you have to catch this year:

Indie Enthusiasts:

Hungry Kids of Hungary

Indie-alt pop rock masters, Hungry Kids of Hungary are set to deliver a repertoire of favourites from their 2013 album, You're A Shadow. Get those toes ready for tapping and your body ready for some serious swaying as they bust out radio favourites, including Sharp Shooter, Twin Cities, and Set It Right. 

The Basics

For the first time in over three years, Kris Schroder, Grammy Award winning, Wally De Backer (Gotye) and Tim Heath will end their hiatus and reunite at this intimate and exclusive performance. The Basics, with their hint of 1960s pop sensibilities, is a ten-year story of mateship and adventures, but, first and foremost, it's a vehicle for a legacy of amazing songs. 

Big Scary

Big Scary have come out swinging with their colourful second album, Not Art. Tom Lansek and Jo Syme joined forces a few years back to create a dream pop and rock outfit with a boy strummer and girl drummer. And after some time of quiet refinement of grooming new music and moods, they want to show you what they've been working on. 

Dick Diver

Much-loved Melbourne guitar slingers, Dick Diver have charmed the nation with their second album, Calendar Days. Combining inquisitive eccentricity with a non-parochial, but still classic, Australian- ness, catch the deep pop thinkers at their first Brisbane show since 2011. 

The Trendsetters:


The captivating and honest, Ghostpoet is touring his 2013 sophomore album, Some Say I So I Say Light. With a style sitting somewhere between MC and performance poet, and marked as one of the most distinctive and forward-thinking voices to emerge in British music this Mercury Prize nominated rapper is one not to miss. 

Ólafur Arnalds

Performing in Australia for the first time, Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds, is one of the world's most bright and able young composers and multi-instrumentalists. Combine this with the fact that this cool guy hails from Iceland and use to play in series of metal bands, and you know your ears are in for a treat. His recent performance at SXSW was critically regarded as a highlight and he has also contributed to the soundtracks for films such as The Hunger Games, Looper, and Broadchurch.

For the Family:

Treasure Island

The Spiegeltent will be transformed for this wonderful re-telling of a much-loved childhood classic. Come on a ride with this dynamic cast as they battle the elements, each other, and themselves on a swashbuckling journey in search of hidden treasures.

Topsy Turvy

Everything goes wrong-way-round in this circus-inspired show. Gasp in awe as the Strongman precariously balances on a stack of chairs, witness the beautiful, Jesseeka tango while poised on a tightwire, and be in hystericswith the clown's antics in a box. But don't be fooled by the glitter and glamour of showbiz, these three will manage to turn anything Topsy Turvy.



Catch USA desert rockers, Calexico, as they return to share their western-inspired music with lucky Brisbanites. Some 22 years since they first met, Joey Burns and John Convertino have successfully collaborated with Willie Nelson, Jim James, Nancy Sinatra, and a swagger of other outstanding musicians from around the world. This is one not to miss.

Russell Morris

With a career spanning forty-five years, music icon, Russell Morris heads to Brisbane Festival with his number one 2013 ARIA Australian album, Sharkmouth in tow. The Spiegeltent will be transformed just for Morris's performance, returning to a vintage era where Australia's notorious and colourful characters of the 1920s and 1930s are illuminated via songs and a labour of love.

Risque Acts:

La Soirée

It's back! Popular demand called for a return of La Soirée to The Spiegeltent with a dazzling show featuring new performers and many of your old favourites. Full of saucy wit and skillful acts, La Soirée showcases the crème de la crème of twisted cabaret entertainers from around the world.

Fear of a Brown Planet

Aamer Rahman and Nazeem Hussain are award-winning comedy duo, Fear of a Brown Planet (FOABP). Tackling the topics of immigration, race relations, and the War on Terror head on, FOABP promises to provoke and entertain audiences with an anarchic take on politics and race, while boldly tackling the delicate topic of Islam.

Psst! Want to win two tickets to URBAN, showing at on Sunday The Courier Mail Piazza 15th of September? Sign up to our eNews to go in the draw!

TUL Note: Today's List Love post is proudly sponsored by Brisbane Festival and endorsed by The Urban List. Our sponsored posts will never be a secret - the List Love seal will be stamped on any sponsored material you see on the site. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible.

Image Credit: Jairo Zavala

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