LIVE: Cub Sport @ YES


Cub Sport has become somewhat of important LGBTQ icons since their career started in early 2010. Hidden beneath the Australian quartet’s beach pop, the innocent love story of frontman Tim Nolan and his now husband and synth player Sam Netterfield is enough to warm your heart, but their sparkling synth-pop sound filled the sold-out basement of YES like a packed out post-wedding party. 

London based twosome Dirty Nice are the supporting pop prop-up of the evening, giving us the ’90s version of Jungle with their experimental electronic music. The band had sounds that mirrored tracks such as Jungle‘s Happy Man but the air, grace, and humour of double-denim laden poster boys NSYNC. For just two musicians they’re energetically fun, jumping down from the stage during their set and dancing with the crowd transforming YES’ small dance floor into a Studio 54 set up.

Cub Sport start their set with the acapella Unwinding Myself, a perfectly tuned performance by Tim Nelson who is adorned in an Elvis style gold jacket with matching twinkling eyes. It’s an emotional performance met by a crowd who are completely engaged and evidently still finding themselves. Cub Sport and their music are identifiable and prominent for a generation who are longing for acceptance. Songs such as Chasin and it’s lyrics “I don’t even know what I want/out of life/what I’m chasing” are reassuring and comforting to an audience that is still exploring life’s endless possibilities. 

Cub Sport’s set tonight is a homage to the utmost pop perfection. The catchy chorus in Hawaiian Party is forcefully sung back to the band almost drowning the musicians under a sea of synchronic, passionate voices and ‘Sometimes’ is played like the ultimate pop classic that it is, with hints of ’80s Madonna synth-pop whirring the atmosphere into full party mode. The band’s music is raw, emotional and straight from Tim Nelson‘s heart. The constant eye contact between the frontman and his husband displays perfectly why the band has formed and grown so organically. It’s an expression of love and affection, embracing and accepting and that’s why most of the audience are here, to dance without a label or care for anything but the safety blanket of the pure pop paragon. 

Pouring their hearts into their set, Cub Sport deserves the sold-out party they have been greeted with and are constantly thanking the crowd for coming down to show their support for their music. “I just can’t believe it,” Tim exclaims with a hand resting on his chest and an expression that’s struggling to hold back the emotion in his quivering smile. The quartet is a special kind of band, with all four interacting with their fans after the gig, signing autographs and showing genuine care for the people here tonight. It’s rare to find, but Cub Sport are always reaching out through their relatable rhetoric and charming interest in their audience who are so beautifully absorbed in their music.

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