Poison Oak shine a well-deserved spotlight on Townsville’s “buzzing” music scene

Singing praises for their fellow musical peers and the iconic venues that host them, Poison Oak give a rightful shout-out to their unsung birthplace of Townsville.   

Earlier this month, Poison Oak released Around My Head, a nostalgic, guitar-laden single that saw the Townsville band reflect on the inescapability of a particular muse. The quality of the single — complete with high energy vocals and a catchy earworm hook — should come as little surprise, given Poison Oak’s birthplace in a city that’s quietly becoming Australia’s rock n’ roll capital.

Poison Oak — comprised of bandmates Ray Pearson, James Balthes, Chris Reiterer, and Adrian Tarca — are the first to admit that Townsville is “usually forgotten about,” but are equally championing of the fact that their beloved hometown “has stepped up it’s game within the creative music scene.” As one of many acts to put the Queensland music hotbed on the map, Poison Oak’s neighbourly pride is undoubtedly well-placed. 

Poison Oak

Singing praises of both their fellow music peers and the local venues that host them, we caught up with Poison Oak for a run-through of the Townsville’s buzzy music scene, with shoutouts to the likes of Late November and local festival organisers Neighbourhood Sessions. Scroll down to see the communal creative effort that inspired Townsville’s rising star status, and listen to Poison Oak’s new single Around My Head below. 

Late November

This pack of wild hounds are a flagship band for the tropical town. Mixing a style of brash indie guitars, melodic vocal lines, catchy saxophone and brass that drive their sound between innovative and familiar. Making their introduction in 2016, Late November is made of high school pals, that have stuck to their guns for all these years. Not to mention, they have a strong driving force in promoting and supporting the music that happens within the regional town.

Otherwise Bar

If you ask the locals where to go if you want to listen to original music. Then they’ll mostly point you in the direction of Otherwise Bar. Maintaining a rock n roll aesthetic throughout the bar room, with dimly lit lights and stools centred around a stage, Otherwise, has hosted a range of great Australian since 2019. Also, a huge supporter of the local music scene through their Freshly Squeezed Shows and Open mic. Otherwise, has become somewhat the home base for the Townsville original music scene.

Poison Oak

Hidden Pillars

With soaring rock riffs, and wailing vocals, Hidden Pillars have established themselves as must see act through out Townsville. There latest releases have showcased their great production, as well as their craft for capturing a slick rock hook which can be seen in their single ‘Deleted”. Following a similar sound to Nothing but Thieves, they have a modern rock sound that has captured the hearts of many late-night punter passing through Otherwise.

Neighbourhood Sessions

Neighbourhood Sessions, have been bringing A class festivals and events to the thirsty public of Townsville. Notably known for their Neck of the Woods Festival that has seen headline acts such as San Cisco and Ball Park Music and array of great local artists. Neighbourhood Sessions have filled out the creative music space in Townsville, bringing in much needed events and artists throughout the Town.

Poison Oak

Comfort Royale

This duo punch out some groovy dance numbers, combining indie pop with elements of soul and sweet saxophone lines. Only just coming onto the scene in the past year, they a large support for the Townsville music community. Just recently Isy hosted an Abelton Live workshop with Alice Ivy aimed at supporting students and beginners in music production with the program.


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