IN THE FLESH! Bishop Briggs @ Howler


Splendour weekend had come around once more, and for those unlucky enough not to be gilttering their beards or freezing their nipple tassles off in the Byron Bay parklands, it was just another ordinary Friday night.

Lucky for us, sideshow season was also in full swing, giving but a teeny taste of the Splendour magic for those willing to brave the cold, windy Melbourne weather. Our first cab off the rank was Scottish born Sarah Mclaughlin, otherwise known as Bishop Briggs.


In her first visit to Australia from her current residence in Los Angeles, Bishop Briggs had managed to pack in a sold out show at Melbourne’s Howler bar.

Maybe it was the Splendour FOMO kicking in or perhaps it had just been a tough week for the Howler crowd, but there seemed to be a distinct lack of energy in the room as Briggs took to the stage, replete with head to toe Adidas activewear. Briggs’ unique blend of woozy electronic beats and powerful vocals sounded impressive but didn’t seem to have the desired effect on the sold out crowd. Bishop Briggs’ didn’t let the apparent lack of enthusiasm hold her back, bouncing all over the stage, maintaining a high energy presence and nailing every note.

They say perseverance is key, and it was Bishop Briggs‘ unrelenting on-stage energy that finally got the crowd to get their wiggle on. New single The Way I Do got a resounding thumbs up from the crowd with it’s combination of a trap beat with SIA-esque vocal bombast, and it was the hit single Wild Horses that blew the lid of any hesitance that the room still held inside. Some people wobbled a bit too hard at times in fact, the back of the room where I was standing heaving to the enormous chorus of Briggs’ biggest track.

Not to stifle any momentum gained, Bishop Briggs and her band hit us with one last instrumental breakdown that just about tore the roof off. We may have had the ‘not-going-to-Splendour blues just an hour ago, but in that moment it was like Splendour didn’t even exist. Hats off to Bishop Briggs for a powerful performance.


“Oh God, Sorry..So Sorry, let me buy you another drink”

-This guy went a bit too hard at the back of the mosh to Wild Horses. I apologise again to that poor girl.


It looked great. It really did. Bishop Briggs had the pigtails going on, and the tracksuit, and her band look super into it. I was ready to capture the lot for you guys, I really was. But, alas. A camera malfunction and no back up lens meant that the visual splendour of a Bishop Briggs show will be forever lost to everyone but those lucky enough to be in that room on Friday night.


Feature Image courtesy of Michael Amico, Live Nation.


Alistair is the founder of Bear Family. Alistair resides in Melbourne and can be found wandering the streets searching for bargains and peppermint tea. Come and say Hi, he's nice.

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