The Waiting Room – an inconspicuous house turned music venue on Browning Street is a venue that emits a house party vibe with BYO drinks, fairy lights strung up and a garage gig style band setup.

The event is Interstellar Overdrive, the first in what is hoped to be many psychedelic music nights. The bands start up and the sound is cool and nostalgic, created for a time and a place most of us have never even experienced. Even the musically uninitiated were psychologically transported from the tiny West End venue to San Francisco circa ’67.

Playing on the night was West End based psychedelic band, Magenta Voyeur, as well as The Unofficials and Electrified Fooling Machine. “I was recommended a book, Tom Wolfe — The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” explains Mark Cosgrove, guitarist and vocalist of Magenta Voyeur. “So after reading it I lent it to Davey Romain (guitarist and  vocalist for The Unofficials). With the book in the back of our minds, last summer I suggested we have a night with both our bands playing, and the collective of Magenta Voyeur and The Unofficals, now dubbed the Psychedelic Syndicate, was born.”

Magenta Voyeur formed in early 2011 with the idea of creating music that was different to the usual mainstream songs being played. The band includes Mark, his brother Jeremy on bass, Raymond Williams on keyboard and drummer Jon Swain. “Magenta Voyeur is the product of Jeremy and I growing up and playing music together and a chance meeting with Ray who also shared our taste in music and ambitious direction. After a few drummers, Jon answered our ad and within the first jam everything fell into place,” says Mark.

A Triple J Unearthed commentary muses that the boys’ sound suggests a personal record collection heavy on 1970s music, and listening to their songs including Jungle Song, The Filth of Paradise and Psychedelic Shotguns, the groove is definitely evocative of the original psychedelic rock (“psych rawk”) movement. “I guess we play psychedelic and progressive music because it is one of the most expressive and profound emotion-evoking genres,” says Mark. “They’re not just songs but journeys.” Interstellar Overdrive packed out the intimate, informal and very West End venue of The Waiting Room for an evening of psychedelic music.

It seems fitting that a raw manifestation of ideas like this should take place here, in the midst of Brisbane’s cultural and creative centre. “The event idea evolved to include visual stimulus and the opportunity to express creativity. With future nights to come we want more interactive options. We chose The Waiting Room for its intimate capacity, its DYI style event hire and because it was in West End,” says Mark. “We felt it being suited to have the event in West End, not only because we live here, but because West End is seen to be on the forefront of counterculture and alternative thinking in Brisbane. West End is the last safe haven for live music.” Keep an eye on Magenta Voyeur’s Facebook page for future gig details.

Words by Megan Greaney  |  Images by Gillian van Niekerk