Sabrina Lawrie
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Sabrina Lawrie

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sabrina Lawrie - Live Review"

Starting solo and in acoustic mode, ex-Little Vegas and The Fuzz Parade frontwoman Sabrina Lawrie builds into her set with the pulsing opener Angry Voices In The Mountain. Giving the appropriate hint of menace Lawrie works into a bare bones cover of Bruce Springsteen's State Trooper with PJ Harvey wails punctuating the tension. Switching to an electric guitar Lawrie lets loose on High Time To Fly, with drummer Jeff Hahn joining mid-song. Although Lawrie's voice is slightly overshadowed by the mix her guitarwork, reminiscent of Led Zeppelin and The Music, draws the audience's attention while Hahn plays a busy beat. Grabbing the moment Lawrie's rocker Booze Made It Easier takes off with the singer furiously strumming against slow sliding guitar work and finishing slightly abashed by the applause. Bringing her set to a close Lawrie plays the chiming blues guitarwork of Ringing In My Ears. - Time Off Magazine Brisbane

"Jumpin’ In The Night #8: SuperHappyFunTimes/Beetle Bar"

Sabrina Lawrie stands five foot one, but she has a voice that would level Tokyo. Earlier this century, she played in an energetic Brisbane outfit with the quirky handle of Little Vegas and the Fuzz Parade. They were good, too, but the scale and volume of her singing left her band sounding a little puny by comparison.

Now she has a new band with a rotating cast called The Hunting Party, and she’s found a sound and approach that’s better suited to her talents. Her songs have expanded to suit her talents: there’s less punky power pop, more lengthy, winding set pieces like ‘Spoke Another Language’, with polyrhythmic drumming by producer Skritch. A CD of demos features droning, Middle Eastern sounds and a lengthy, dubby take on the Police’s ‘The Bed’s Too Big Without You’.

Lawrie also has a passion for straight-up rock, as anyone who’s seen her lay waste to classics like Springsteen’s ‘Mr State Trooper’ and Patti Smith’s ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Nigger’. Watching Lawrie on stage, I can’t work out why she’s not a star: great songs, a voice that’s not of this world, and charisma that you can’t get close enough to. She’s a magnetic performer.

There’s an obvious reason, though, why Lawrie’s talents aren’t known the length and breadth of the country and beyond. For the last couple of years, she’s poured most of her considerable energies into running a venue, Brisbane’s Beetle Bar on the backpacker strip of Upper Roma Street. (If the location sounds unappealing, at least it’s a safe distance from the “entertainment precinct” of the Godforsaken Valley of Fortitude – a major attraction of the venue when it first opened doors.)

It’s an odd-shaped room: long and narrow with a low ceiling as you enter, but opening out with a balcony and high ceiling above the stage. It makes for variable sound quality, depending on where you’re standing, and regardless of the skills of the person behind the mixing desk. What the Beetle Bar does have is character, atmosphere and diversity in the acts presented.

Since the demise of the much-loved Troubadour, it’s been at the heart of the Brisbane scene, becoming something of a rallying point. When the venue started, Lawrie says, “There were a lot of cliquey little scenes that were difficult to penetrate, and they were actually creating competition rather than community, and it really upset me … There’s enough venues in Brisbane and people in Brisbane for it to be a community, not a competition.”

Lawrie has bloodlines when it comes to running venues. For eight years, she worked with her father running The Indie Temple on Wickham Street, and was there when Prince played one of Brisbane’s most celebrated gigs of recent years, with the Purple One and his band playing until dawn in the small basement club after finishing an earlier set at the Entertainment Centre.

When Little Vegas broke up in 2008, she began booking the small front room at The Step Inn. Then came the opportunity to transform the Beetle Bar – which had been closed for months – from a backpacker haven to a music venue. A friend, Aisha Dixon (who was alerted to the opportunity while she was living next door to the best friend of the bar’s owner) suggested to Lawrie that they take the job on together.

Lawrie was reluctant. “I knew how much time and energy it takes to make it work, and I didn’t want to do something half-arsed, because at that time I was thinking about my music career too,” she says. It’s this apparent self-sacrifice that I’m most interested in, but Lawrie is quick to add that she’s not complaining now: the job has helped her to forge alliances with booking agents, media and other musicians, all of which has been beneficial on a personal level.

There’s no question, though, that running the venue sucks up an enormous amount of time and energy, and Lawrie compensates by being formidably organised. Again, this has flow-on benefits for others, especially in the local scene.

“In the early days of the bar we were working predominantly with younger, less experienced acts,” she says. “So if you can not only send them all the information that they need to know [and] also help educate them at the same time in terms of giving them contacts in the media, and giving them little hints and tips in how to promote themselves, that also helps them and helps us.”

When the Troubadour closed its doors, the venue’s importance was magnified, and it began to put on bigger shows. Still, there’s no small element of risk, and there are down days. “It’s hard because there’s no consistency,” she says. “It’s difficult to have consistency when you’re working with venues that have original, unknown bands.

“I’ve got to think to myself if I wasn’t doing this I’d be doing a day job somewhere. So whenever I think my time is strained, and I’m not focusing on my music, I weigh it up and go, this is worthy and something I’m passionate about and care about. It’s worth it; I just need to rearrange my time a little bit.”

In the meantime, there’s an album on the way with The Hunting Party. A single will be released in December, followed by an album in February 2012, with recording sessions being squeezed in between commitments to the bar. Hopefully when it appears Lawrie’s music will receive more of the attention it deserves – depending, presumably on her ability to leave the bar long enough to promote it. Without people like Lawrie, there’d barely be a music scene here at all. -


Don't Wanna Work Today (Single) - Tongue - 2001
I Won't Tell (Single) - Tongue - 2001
Gifthorse (Single) - Little Vegas and the Fuzz Parade - 2007
Only Say It Once (Single) - Little Vegas and The Fuzz Parade - 2008



Over a career spanning 15 years that shows no signs of letting up, Brisbane-based artist Sabrina Lawrie has forged a reputation as a powerful, energetic vocalist and guitarist and charismatic live performer.

As she draws close to completing her debut solo album (due for release Feb 2012) signing with boutique management label, Red Dust Artist Management and securing a national distribution deal with Checked Entertainment in Australia, it's a sure bet that an exciting step lies just over the horizon for Sabrina.

Lawrie burst onto the scene in 1996 with first band, Sabadah, before imprinting herself on the Brisbane live music world as the lead vocalist of the resident band of cult venue The Indie Temple, Tongue.

The band’s single ‘Don't Wanna Work Today' received strong airplay on local radio stations Triple J and Triple M while the accompanying film clip, shot live at The Tivoli, garnered attention on Rage, Channel V, MTV and Video Hits.

Lawrie spent five years with Tongue before moving onto a third band, Level Seven, in 2003. While she wrote over 25 songs while a part of the group nothing was formerley released.

When the opportunity to join up with Little Vegas & The Fuzz Parade emerged in 2006, Lawrie jumped at the chance and was rewarded. Her punky, no-nonsense vocals fused perfectly with Little Vegas’s garage-rock style and the band enjoyed much exposure and success in Australia.

They won WotNext’s 2007 People’s Choice award and the Valley Fiesta’s 2008 Emerging Artist, paving the way for the recording of a three-track EP with cult producer Skritch. The EP featured the song ‘Gifthorse’ which scored at #7 on 4ZZZ’s iconic Hot 100 list in 2008.

The Fuzz Parade proved to be prolific live performers, playing hundreds of shows in Brisbane and Sydney and supporting Giants of Science, Screamfeeder and The Spazzys as well as a host of others.

The recording of a second single entitled ‘Only Say It Once’, with Darek Mudge at The Shed proved to be Lawrie’s final contribution to The Fuzz Parade and she left the band on good terms in 2009.

Her recent forays into the solo world have seen Lawrie take a glorious step forward from her garage-punk past to channel her explosive voice into a new sound, winding through mystery-infused rock-fueled jams to scale some truly remarkable vocal peaks.

Her backing band, 'The Hunting Party' is a revolving cast of some of Brisbanes most respected rock renegades. Members include Skritch (Drums with Mick Harvey, Tex Perkins Dark Horses), Andrew Davis (Drums with The Red Paintings, Tongue), Steve Palmer (Guitarist with Los Huevos, New Jack Rubys), Jeff Hahn (Drums with Los Huevos) and many more.

It has been an ambitious but assured step, provoking a fresh wave of live shows and new-found local interest. Not surprisingly, the release of new single in December 2011 as well as an accompanying full-length player, set to go public in early 2012, is highly anticipated.