Manu Crook$ and Caiti Baker reign supreme through BIGSOUND’s second night

Night Two of BIGSOUND brought some huge voices out to The Valley on Wednesday night. Split between heavy hitting vocals and fleshed out bands, we were spoiled for choice; when you have the likes of Total Giovanni and The Belligerents rolling alongside buzz artists like Body/Type and Willaris.K, you know that the Australian band scene is heaving.

We made sure we were at The Empire Hotel to see Darwin’s Caiti Baker perform and man, she didn’t disappoint. Her vocals have been likened to those of the late Amy Winehouse recently but Baker’s attitude and charm make her stand out all on her own – she’s always been talented but to see her performing her solo material with her band fleshing out the rhythms brilliantly, it’s evident that Baker has found her comfort zone and is relishing it. Following on from Baker’s set, Melbourne favourite Kylie Auldist followed up with a set of club beats to back her own powerhouse vocals, proving a fun night was ahead.

Taking charge as Wednesday’s closing act for the triple j Unearthed Stage, MANU CROOK$ hit the stage to prove all that acclaim ain’t just all hype. Yeah, the crowd was surprisingly small but the Sydney rapper’s commanding presence and hard-hitting, consistent set turned a middling audience into one big turnt up, sweaty mosh. The immediacy of his southern hip hop inflected beats and melodic raps place MANU at the forefront of the new-gen Aussie rap that’s ready to take on the world; this showcase at BIGSOUND was a clear reminder of that.

BIGSOUND wraps up tonight!

Additional words by Chris Singh. Photo by Michelle Grace Hunder.