Hard to Imagine how bad singing inspired these good Sports

When Tim Nelson, the singer of Brisbane band Cub Sport, saw the now much-derided video of celebrities such as Gal Gadot, Natalie Portman, Mark Ruffalo, Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell, singing an off-key rendition of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, he knew he, too, had to do something.

Mar 30, 2020, updated Mar 30, 2020
Brisbane band Cub Sport will perform. (Photo: Supplied)

Brisbane band Cub Sport will perform. (Photo: Supplied)

“When we saw that Imagine video go up last week, we were laughing a lot, and it was just like, ‘this is too funny, we need to do a version with all of our friends who are Australian musicians and put it up’,” Nelson told InQueensland.

“Then when John Mayer posted his video, where he was singing parts of Ariana Grande’s ‘Imagine’, which was so funny. I was like, ‘OK, if we can make this happen, it will be really worth the effort’, and then we had the idea of using [The Veronicas’] ‘Untouched’, because obviously we’re all meant to be not touching anyone at the moment.”

The end result was a video that featured dozens of Australian musicians, including Vance Joy, Mallrat, Tia Gostelow, G Flip, Montaigne, Tkay Maidza, Ruel, Kira Puru, Alex Lahey, Wafia, Allday Jack River and The Veronicas’ Lisa and Jessica Origliasso.

“I messaged a bunch of people and everyone was really into the idea and send the videos across – the cherry on top was getting the Veronicas singing the final bit,” Nelson said.

“The message that I sent out was ‘this needs to have the energy of the Imagine video, like any key, any tempo, it needs to be a hot mess’, and I feel like it kind of came together like that.

“There are so many amazing artists involved and people actually sound really good in that individual parts and everyone was a good sport and did it with good humour. It’s made people really happy and brightened their day, which is all you can really hope for at a time like right now.”

Right now, Cub Sport should be readying for the May release of their forthcoming album Like Nirvana – which has now been delayed until July 24 due to the COVID-19 crisis – and preparing to embark on an extensive international tour.

“Basically, pretty much everything that we had planned for this year is cancelled now,” Nelson said. “The whole year was going to be full of global touring and none of that is really happening.

“Splendour [in the Grass] is now happening in October and I guess we really have no idea of where things are going to be at that point, but I’m hoping that happens, because I feel like it will be incredible. The vibes will be high if that happens, but other than that, we’re kind of just figuring out, how you work in this new landscape?”

But the band have just released a new song, ‘Drive’, and Nelson said he thought now was the perfect time to put it out as a single, because “it feels really warm and uplifting”.

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“II feel like through a lot of the Cub Sport discography, so much of it has been me working through my own personal journey and a lot of that has been figuring out my identity and sexuality,” the singer, who married bandmate Sam Netterfield in 2018, said.

“It’s been kind of like working through traumas and that sort of thing and turning it into music and I do find that uplifting in its own way, but this song is capturing a really good time and a moment where it feels like I was present enough to recognise the magic of my life while it was happening, because I feel like so often, we look back on times going, ‘wow, that was so good’ but when you’re actually in it you don’t recognise it.”

“Sonically it kind of reminds me of a few songs that always sweep me up in a really nostalgic, happy feeling. The Cocteau Twins’ ‘Cherry-coloured Funk’ is one of the songs that comes to mind. Another song that I would liken it to his ‘True Colours’ by Cyndi Lauper. I’ve got really vivid memories of being in the car with my dad and it just being a really beautiful, happy kind of feeling, and then I feel like there are also some kind of Mazzy Star ‘Fade Into You’ vibes, which is such a nostalgic, happy-sad vibe.”

Nelson acknowledged many in the music industry were struggling at the moment, and said many of Cub Sport’s fans were also doing it tough.

“It’s a funny feeling to be  pushing for support in that way when you know that it’s a hard time for everybody. It’s a hard time because so many people in every industry are going to be hit really hard over the coming months.

“But please, please support the artists that you love, like preorder the albums, buy their merch, share music with your friends, add them to playlists, all of those things.”



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