’23 Splendour Spotlight: Full Flower Moon Band

grungy and ethereal, this project is on a mission to demythologise rock n roll

I’m not going to Splendour, but if I was, I’d be seeing Full Flower Moon Band. Hailing from Meanjin (Brisbane), this bluesy-rock outfit formed in 2015. FFMB have released two albums (the first is Bandcamp-exclusive) and EPs, fronted by Kate ‘Babyshakes’ Dillon and a rotating band. The ‘Babyshakes’ alter ego acts as an electric and intoxicating ‘protagonist’, a guide for listeners and audiences. The horticultural and celestial describes their mission as ever-growing and maturing. 

Their sophomore album Diesel Forever was released in late 2022, and mixed by Michael Badger – known for his work with Amyl and the Sniffers and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. It’s an album dedicated to demythologising a rock n roll culture existence, with simultaneously nostalgic and satirical lyricism. They talk of burnout, isolation and endless travel, dimming the melancholic and addictive glory attached to rock bands. ‘Trainspotting’ recalls the dark comedown after a drug cocktail;  ‘NY–LA’ satirises an often lonely and depressing life on the road – “you can bring the Adderall and we’ll play for free”. Another FFMB high point is their 2019 single ‘Roadie’ describing a spiritual apparition, replete with grungy drums and ethereal vocals. 

Full Flower Moon Band – ‘Roadie’ (2019) official video

Their sound is slow, weird and tempting. While their lyrics certainly mock the ‘rock n roll lifestyle’, their performance seems weird enough that the band doesn’t become a self-fulfilling parody. Their production coaxes you into this world, alluding to AC/DC, and the lyrics show you it’s a farce. Despite this, FFMB skirts overt curation; their performances are energetic and original.

FFMB embraces the weird, and doesn’t force itself into the narrow hole of Triple J-ready music. This is the music Australia should be elevating, not just repetitive indie surf rock.

By all reports, FFMB are excellent live performers. If you don’t make it to Splendour this year, catch them closer to home in Marrickville in October (you can find tickets here).

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