Residents rally for Bronte RSL
The Holy Fool: Leunig at SWF
Sydney’s most comprehensive What’s On guide
FREE • may 15 2014
Words up: Sydney Writer’s Festival comes to Bondi
writing the waves
By SHAMI SIVASUBRAMANIAN The Sydney Writers’ Festival will be hitting the shores of Bondi for the first time next week. Sydney Writers’ Festival (SWF) artistic director and North Bondi local, Jemma Birrell, has added four major events to the schedule, to be held at the iconic Bondi Pavilion in collaboration with the Rock Surfers Theatre Company. One event will be an interview with Bob McTavish, ‘60s surfing icon and author of autobiographical memoir Stoked! Mr McTavish will explore his life and experiences in the surfing culture of the ‘60s through to the ‘80s in a discussion with editor Luke Kennedy of Tracks Magazine on May 24. “We’ve put that [interview] there because there’s such a strong surfing community in Bondi. It’s a great fit for the area, and hopefully all those people who have a great love of surfing will come along,” said Ms Birrell. Mr McTavish’s new book More Stoked! is a follow-up to Stoked! and as such, is a compilation of stories from his life, including original poetry and photography. “I always make sure there’s something quirky in my stories. My motto is: ‘If it ain’t got the quirk, it ain’t gonna work.’” One of these “quirkier” tales involved Mr McTavish finding a dead kangaroo near Yamba. “[One night] I scraped a dead kangaroo off the road, put it up on the roof racks, and took it back to the house I was staying at near Yamba. I threw it into the backyard because we had 13 dogs. And they ate every bit of that kangaroo! I woke up the next morning and only their paws and the pad of their feet were left,” he said. Mr McTavish is hoping the audience will not only enjoy the humour behind his work, but also find solace and encouragement in his spiritual journey. More Stoked! explores Mr McTavish’s journey to become a Jehovah’s Witness, a path which involved examining faith and different religions before finally coming to find one that resonated best with him. “It’s made a huge change in my life, but [it’s] a positive, wonderful change. I’m not preaching. I just hope that part of the book helps some others who might be searching or having a difficult time in life.” Other events at the Bondi Pavilion include lyrical poetry by Inua Ellams, a live broadcast from the bedroom of poet laureate Telia Neville, and a collection of stories called Sunburnt: Six True Tales of Holidays from Hell. The Sydney Writers’ Festival commences next Monday, May 19.
Bronte parking rates under review Plans to make historic Bronte the permissible parking duration from one to two hours during winter, and free parking after 6pm during summer. Council will receive information on all contractual arrangements with suppliers of the parking meters, including ongoing maintenance agreements over the costs, terms and durations of parking meters implemented at Bronte. Cr Masselos said the current parking scheme has placed increased pressures on local businesses with the allowable hours being “too short,” meaning that parking prices have become “unreasonable”. “Traders along [the] Bronte Beach cafe strip are increasingly concerned
Photo: Swell Restaurant
BY Daniel Paperny Councillor Paula Masselos has called on Waverley Council to investigate the feasibility of changing parking meter regulations in Bronte during the winter months. The proposal applies to the cafe strip on Bronte Road at Bronte Beach and between 484 to 520 Bronte Rd (on both sides of the road), with the present rate fixed at $6.60 per hour. The move has received bipartisan support, with Council now set to explore the option of turning off the parking meters “during the winter months”, allowing visitors free parking at all times in the area. Other options include reducing the rate to $4 per hour, increasing
Bronte Road near the beach, where parking rates are to be investigated
about the drop in trading during winter months,” Cr Masselos told the Bondi View. “We have a council that represents small business but ... we needed to consult with residents regarding the potential impact of these meters.” Owner of Swell Restaurant in Bronte, Sandy Bruns, has lauded the move, arguing that although Bronte is a unique destination, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain her business during winter as a result of the current parking scheme. “I’ve been in restaurants for over 39 years but when you’ve got 10 shops all vying for the same local business, it becomes difficult for people to ... enjoy what we’ve got to offer without paying a premium for the parking,” she said. Ms Bruns said she is in favour of competition, but argued that local businesses are at a great disadvantage when their patrons are faced with “very expensive” parking rates. “Is it better to have 20 nice buzzing cafes or 50 gloomy empty ones?” she said. Cr Masselos said the current scheme was also problematic for Bronte residents who own more than one vehicle. “There are lots of people who have two or three cars per house,” she said. “With these prices, it’s not friendly to small business or the community.” Waverley Council is expected to schedule an investigation into parking meter rates in Bronte at the start of the new financial year in July.
House heritage item under way
BY Virat Nehru A Conservation Management Plan (CMP) has been finalised for Bronte House, giving recommendations for the ongoing use and care of the historic location. Dating back to 1845, Bronte House is the oldest known residence in the Waverley LGA, as well as one of Australia’s few surviving colonial residencies. Currently owned and managed by Waverley Council, the site is being leased as a private residence to publisher Matthew Hanbury and his wife Clare Hanbury. Previously, Bronte House was occupied by renowned restaurant critic Leo Schofield until 2004. Waverley Labor Councillor Paula Masselos argued that council must consider the long-term implications of the recommendations outlined in the CMP before putting them into effect. “We need to be very clear about the intent of a number of recommendations before we go any further,” she said. “We need to [consider] the future of the house so it stays in the hands of the community and keeps its integrity as an
important historical home.” Cr Masselos also questioned the Plan’s proposal to potentially commercialise Bronte House. “[The CMP] includes the recommendation to turn Bronte House into a bed-and-breakfast if we can’t find tenants, and the commercialisation of a historic home like that has serious concerns,” she said. Greens Councillor Dominic Wy Kanak expressed concerns over the Plan’s failure to consider the values of an indigenous relationship with the land on which Bronte House stands. “Heritage items need a guiding document to help protect their unique qualities. It also should allow public
The oldest known residence in the Waverley LGA, dating back to 1845
REVEALED: Bronte residents “ignored” in RSL redevelopment plans Published fortnightly and distributed to Bondi Beach, Bondi, Bondi Junction, Dover Heights, Waverley, Tamarama, Clovelly, Randwick, Rose Bay, Coogee and Maroubra. Distribution enquiries call 9212 5677. Published by the Alternative Media Group of Australia. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of content, The Bondi View takes no responsibility for inadvertent errors or omissions. ABN 48 135 222 169 Group Publisher: Lawrence Gibbons Group Manager: Chris Peken Group Editor: Xiaoran Shi Bondi View Editor: Daniel Paperny Contributing Editors: Triana O’Keefe and Paul Gregoire Contributors: Carmen Cita, Indiana Kelly Edwards, Samantha Jonscher, Virat Nehru, Nick Richardson and Shami Shivasubramanian Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Contributing Arts Editor: Emma Salkild Live Music Editor: Sharon Ye Dining Editor: Jackie McMillan Advertising Managers: Toni Martelli, Robert Tuitama, George Tinnyunt, Jim Baghdadi & Mike Contos Design: Joanna Grace Publisher’s Assistant: Deeksha Chopra Distribution Manager: Danish Ali Cover Photo: Samuel Lindsay - Bob McTavish Email: email@example.com Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: PO Box 843 Broadway 2007 Ph: 9212 5677 Fax: 9212 5633 Web: altmedia.net.au
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BY Daniel Paperny Community activist Stephen Lightfoot has called on newly elected NSW Planning Minister Pru Goward to “take control” and stop redevelopment of the Bronte RSL, citing concerns the proposed six-storey site could bear significant ramifications for local amenity. A series of papers documenting discussions between the state government, developer Winston Langley Burlington (WLB) and other stakeholders have emerged as the result of an investigation set in motion by Labor MLC Luke Foley before parliament in March. If approved, the proposal sees to the construction of a 2,231 square metre commercial and residential space with a floor-to-space ratio that is double the existing regulation and a height of 20 metres that exceeds the current limits by seven metres. The papers outline all discussions between relevant parties from July 1, 2013 in what Mr Foley called an attempt to “get to the bottom” of the issue and “get some answers for the local community”. But, Save Bronte’s Stephen Lightfoot said the papers confirm fears the state government has “ignored” residents over a prodevelopmental agenda. “The documents show a bias in favour of the developer against [the] community, against Waverley Council,” he told the Bondi View.
“It’s totally at odds with the state government’s planning policy, which is a community and local council based planning policy, and we are now calling on Minister Goward to rein in this rogue department”. The NSW Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC), which oversees matters of a state significance, concluded in January that the WLB proposal had strategic planning merit and should proceed to the gateway for a determination. But in an April 10 meeting with Department of Planning representatives, Mr Lightfoot said that then director general Sam Haddad admitted the Bronte RSL proposal was a “local planning issue” and seemed “unaware of the Council’s strategic planning work”. Council’s strategic planning
input into heritage protection, but I am disappointed that the CMP did not investigate the Aboriginal heritage values attached to Bronte House and its grounds,” he argued. “I believe this does not properly fulfill the Burra Charter for Heritage Protection and I intend to make my views known to the NSW Heritage Council.” Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners, the architectural and heritage consultancy firm responsible for putting together the Plan could not be reached for comment. The CMP will be submitted today in an application to the Office of Environment and Heritage for approval as a heritage item.
review resolved to reject WLB’s planning proposal on July 16, 2013 and was backed by the Joint Regional Planning Panel’s (JRPP) refusal of the application nine days later. “How is it possible that the head of the Department of Planning was not aware that Waverley Council had, since October 2012, done a comprehensive strategic planning process? The department obviously have kept that a secret. It’s completely outrageous,” said Mr Lightfoot. Greens MLC David Shoebridge criticised the state government’s planning system, saying it favours developers who can circumvent decisions made by local councils and the JRPP by appealing to the PAC. Labor Councillor Ingrid Strewe
questioned factual inconsistencies in the papers, arguing the Department of Planning “underplayed” the significance of WLB’s proposal by affirming it would “service a potential 1km catchment of 18,920” people in accordance with a 2011 Census. However, Cr Strewe said WLB’s application had included both Coogee and Bondi Junction in the original catchment and was for 30,000 people. The Department of Planning papers also declare there had been “no communication received from the State Members on this issue”. Fellow Waverley Labor councillor Paula Masselos called this a “betrayal of public trust” and questioned why the Department of Planning declared the views of Vaucluse MP Gabrielle Upton and Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith as “unknown”. Cr Masselos raised concerns over impacts on local traffic, arguing the proposal was “a disaster waiting to happen” with Bronte already having a significant amount of congestion. “[Residents] want appropriate development. For the department to be disregarding the resident voice in this ... it further adds to the impression that this is all about the developers, not about the community,” Cr Masselos said. Waverley Council will now re-evaluate WLB’s application and prepare a report for Minister Pru Goward to consider as part of a gateway determination in the coming months to determine the future of the Bronte RSL site.
Stephen Lightfoot & Labor MLC Luke Foley rallying to protect Bronte local amenity
“I realised it was effective as there were so many people talking about it and talking about the education cuts and the Commission of Audit,” she said. Ms Garozzo was concerned about the Audit’s recommendation of a 14 per cent rise in student fee contributions, but what the government actually announced in the federal budget was a higher increase of 20 per cent. Mr Hockey also announced plans to deregulate university fees during his budget speech, which was another major concern raised by the protesters. “Our changes to higher education will allow universities to set their own tuition fees from 2016,” Mr Hockey said.
Photo: Brigitte Garozzo
BY Paul Gregoire In the federal budget announced on Tuesday night, Treasurer Joe Hockey unveiled the most sweeping changes to the higher education sector since the 1970s, including the deregulation of tertiary education fees and increases to student contributions. These reforms are what students from the Education Action Group were drawing attention to when they staged a protest against federal education minister Christopher Pyne during the live broadcast of Q&A on April 28. Sydney University student Brigitte Garozzo, who smuggled in the banner protesters unfurled during the program, believes their statement achieved its purpose.
Students who protested against Christopher Pyne on Q&A with their banner
“With greater autonomy, universities will be free to compete and improve the quality of the courses they offer.” However, University of Sydney SRC education officer Eleanor Morley told the Bondi View that deregulation would result in rich students being able to attain quality education, while poor students will be relegated to underfunded institutions with overworked staff. “Each university can charge however much they want for their degrees because Pyne has stated that he wants a US-style two-tiered model, where the elite universities in Australia can charge astronomical fees,” Ms Morley said. “I think what it will result in is a deterrent to poor and working class students attending university.” The Abbott government announced in the federal budget they will fund courses run by non-university providers, which includes private colleges. Ms Morley believes that funding private colleges will see a further erosion of the quality of education on offer in Australia. “They’ve suggested expanding the demand-driven system to include private colleges which are essentially run like businesses with their main aim being profit and not quality education,” Ms Morley said. Fears the student protesters held over the lowering of the HECSHELP repayment threshold, however, were not as dire. The threshold will be slightly lowered to an estimated $50,638 from 2016.
Leunig: the Holy Fool speaks at SWF BY Carmen Cita Kicking off next week on May 19, the Sydney Writers’ Festival (SWF) is a celebration of writing that challenges and provokes, so it comes as no surprise to see the name of Australia’s favourite cartoonist and moral philosopher, Michael Leunig, on the program. Unafraid to broach the most controversial topics, from warmongering to politics, Mr Leunig has gently prodded Australia’s collective consciousness for more than four decades. Mr Leunig started his career in the Whitlam years, working alongside the likes of Germaine Greer and Phillip Adams, at the Nation Review. Popular amongst urban intellectuals, the alternative Sunday newspaper had a reputation for bold, left-of-centre journalism. SWF artistic director, Jemma Birrell, is thrilled to have Mr Leunig on the program. “He is one of Australia’s greatest cultural commentators. I have always admired his ability to pinpoint the social issue of the day, and explain it with humour and insight. He knows how to shake up the frequency and make his audience think outside the boundaries,” she said. Beyond his cartoon work, Mr Leunig also has a penchant for painting and poetry. His latest book, Holy Fool, is a collection of 240 paintings. Mr Leunig distinguishes these paintings from his cartoons as a more spontaneous and primal expression of his sensibility. “The contemporary art world in Australia is very media and fashion driven. It tends to be overly cerebral and intellectualised, making it too constricted, too supervised, too judged, too political or unnatural and, ultimately incoherent and alienating. “The book is a plug for a freer, more open and organic, less fashion-conscious or less political way forward — not just in the art world, but in
society at large,” Mr Leunig said. Drawing on an old religious concept, the Holy Fool is one who deliberately flouts social conventions to serve a sacred purpose. This spirit of playful subversion permeates all of Mr Leunig’s work. “For me, the Holy Fool is the unassuming childlike adult who sincerely and innocently speaks outrageous truths,” the artist explained. “When the emperor stood naked, it was the child who unashamedly stated the obvious truth that nobody dared utter. That quality of frank, almost embarrassing, naivety is not only refreshing, it is a licence to upturn repressive conventions or taboos, mindless conservatism and stale cultural habits.” In addition to his sold-out Holy Fool session at the Writers’ Festival, Mr Leunig will participate in two panel discussions: The Art of Indignation on May 24 and The Land of the Fair Go or No Go: Has Australia Lost its Soul? on May 25. Cartoon: Michael Leunig
Prime time outrage over education deregulation
Whistleblower wins: Marrickville councillor’s suspension overturned
BY Paul Gregoire The appeal of Marrickville Greens councillor Max Phillips against his two month suspension from council has been upheld by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The suspension was issued by the NSW Division of Local Government after Cr Phillips refused to apologise for informing local residents about a $5 million offer made to council by the property development company Meriton. The offer, part of a proposed Voluntary Planning Agreement, was made by Meriton in return for Marrickville council agreeing to double the height allowances for the Lewisham Towers development in late 2012. Cr Phillips had originally argued that council’s code of conduct requires honestly and that if he had apologised, it would have been dishonest. However, Justice Haylen did not agree with this argument and instead found that the information Cr Phillips released was not confidential. Prior to the suspension, an independent reviewer found that by revealing information from a confidential business paper, Cr Phillips had breached the code of conduct. But, Cr Phillips claimed the information had first been delivered at an earlier oral briefing. “What Justice Haylen is saying is basically that you can’t retrospectively make things confidential
if they are already in the public domain,” explained Cr Phillips. “Council’s reasoning was basically that Meriton asked it to be confidential. Meriton are a private interest and they might want confidentiality … but council has to look at it from the public point of view.” Having recently been preselected as the Greens candidate for the seat of Summer Hill for the 2015 state election, Cr Phillips has made cleaning up politics one of the main focuses of his campaign. No Lewisham Towers convenor Tamara Winikoff thinks the tribunal made the logical decision in upholding the appeal. “Max acted ethically in a way we would expect from our local government representative and for him to be punished for that would have been completely unacceptable,” Ms Winikoff said. In Ms Winikoff’s opinion, the suspension was a way of trying to “muzzle” councillors from keeping the community updated. “We’re outraged that there was the intention not to be transparent in disclosing the nature of the relationship with the developer,” she said. “The matter that was being discussed should never have been regarded as commercial-inconfidence and according to our legal advice, that was the case.” But independent councillor Victor Macri, who was mayor of Marrickville at the time Cr Phillips disclosed information about the offer, thinks the tribunal’s decision is “appalling”. “Max clearly did the wrong thing and they saw differently. Max blatantly got papers marked as confidential and gave them to the media,” Cr Macri argued. Cr Macri explained that the offer made by Meriton was not a firm commitment, and that, as a result, the appropriate time to consult the public would have come once council had made a decision about the offer. “It was a proposal that had to be nuanced and
massaged. [It] was an offer. We had to look at it and say we can accept this, or no, we can’t accept this. So, how can you go to the media and say that [before council had made a decision]?” Recently, a competition between architectural firms for a new design for the Lewisham Towers development was won by Sydney-based firm PTW Architects, and Meriton is now their client.
Marrickville councillor Max Phillips outside court
news in brief Lord Mayor promises more childcare is “in pipeline” At Monday’s council meeting, the Lord Mayor and City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone revealed that council was “on track” to deliver its commitment to establish six new childcare centres by 2016 significantly under budget. Ms Barone says the $55 million set aside for childcare will “remain intact” and the leftover $22 million will be retained for future childcare programs. “There are six facilities in the pipeline ... We just recently accepted a tender for a centre on Bourke Street,” she said. Ms Barone explained that council had explored alternative leasing options in order to meet its target for a fraction of the projected cost. Councillor Linda Scott was sceptical, arguing that council appeared to be abandoning close to half its childcare budget. “There is a huge childcare shortage in the inner city
and more facilities are needed now,” Cr Scott said.
Sale of Bondi airspace debated in secret Waverley Council is considering confidential negotiations which could see airspace for a first-floor balcony in Bondi leased to a hotel developer at a dramatically lower rate than the footpath space directly below it. The Swiss Grand Resort and Spa Hotel is looking to build a 111 square metre balcony in time for its reopening next year, but little other information has been disclosed to the public. Labor councillor John Wakefield put the confidential nature of the negotiations down to commercial in confidence, but added that the “main substantive matters [should have been] dealt with in the public domain”. Greens councillor Dominic Wy Kanak agrees, stating that it sets “a dangerous precedent” for further commercial inquiries into public airspace, which he believes is “not in the public interest”.
Sydney Film Festival makes the most of its local roots BY Samantha Jonscher Sydney Film Festival (SFF) director Nashen Moodley believes that there is something transformative about sitting in a darkened room with 500 strangers to communally share in the emotional ups and downs of a good film. “Film festivals allow you to have a very different experience than just going to the local multiplex,” said Mr Moodley in his third year in the role. “To watch a film with 2,000 other people is a very different experience to watching a film with 10 people in a regular cinema.” Above all though, Mr Moodley believes that film festivals are for everyone, and was interested in creating a festival of shared experiences where everyone feels welcome. This year, that sense of community has been extended to the Festival Hub, described on the SFF website
as the “beating heart of the Festival” where film lovers can meet between screenings. The Festival’s 2014 theme is “seeing in the dark,” an idea that Mr Moodley hopes will be realised in theatres across the city as audiences engage with thought-provoking films. Hub programmer Matt Ravier has teamed up with local businesses in the City of Sydney LGA to ensure the Hub is a place where people want to relax by introducing a Gelato Messina cart and a TITLE pop-up store as well as a discounted ticket counter. The Hub will double as a bar and performance space offering a daily informal film club, talks from filmmakers, local and international performances, a trivia night and a “Girl Rock Riot” dance party. The Festival Hub is a key part of Mr Moodley’s vision. He wants it to be
The Rover, one of three Australian films featured in the SFF Official Competition
more than a place to buy cheap tickets, and rather a “place to be social and share ideas.” Once again popping up in Sydney Town Hall, Ravier says the Hub will be bigger and better than ever before. “This year, the Hub simply could not be contained, spreading to the grand Treasury Room upstairs at Town Hall.” This year’s SFF line-up features an unprecedented number of Australian films, including the highly anticipated drama The Rover, which will be one of three Australian films competing for the Sydney Film Prize. Australian film director Rachel Perkins (Redfern Now, Mabo, Bran Nue Dae) has been named as president of the Official Competition jury that will judge the 12 selected films. “I screened the first movie I directed at the Festival almost 20 years ago and I can still remember the terror of watching the film in front of its first real audience,” said Ms Perkins. As for the audiences at this year’s SFF, Moodley urges people to be adventurous and hopes that people will come to see something extraordinary they wouldn’t see otherwise. “Film festivals offer a curated experience in a time when we have so much choice. We don’t always know what to choose,” he said. However, audiences will still have plenty of choices to make, with the festival boasting its biggest line-up yet. Cinephiles will be able to choose from 183 titles from 47 countries, including 15 world premieres and 122 Australian premieres. The Sydney Film Festival runs from June 4-15. Tickets for the full program are on sale now.
One man’s waste is another man’s gas BY TRIANA O’KEEFE This week, the City of Sydney council passed the Draft Advanced Waste Treatment Master Plan, which will now go on display for public exhibition. The waste treatment plan is part of a suite of master plans focussing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, trigeneration and decentralised water. Both the Trigeneration and Renewable Energy Master Plans were adopted by council on 24 June 2013 and 19 December 2013, respectively. The draft plan provides the blueprint for an advanced waste treatment system avoiding up to 95 per cent of the City of Sydney LGA’s domestic, commercial and industrial
waste from going to landfill through a combination of recycling materials and converting non-recyclable waste into renewable gas by 2030. Benefits of the plan involve replacing 100 per cent of the City’s own fossil fuel natural gas consumption. In addition, it will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the City’s LGA by 6.9 per cent. Altogether, the suite of master plans forms part of the City’s plan to reduce carbon emissions by 70% by 2030. The Draft Plan will also avoid the costs associated with final disposal to landfill of domestic and commercial waste. Greens Councilor Irene
Doutney ensures the community that the Waste Master Plan has undergone a thorough analysis of a number of processing methods designed to meet the goals of the plan. “This is the first step in making those goals a reality,” Cr Doutney said. “One of the most significant challenges for this project is for council to secure a suitable site that could handle an advanced waste treatment plant that is located near transport links and the gas network.” But, Councilor Doutney says that although this is a big hurdle to clear, it is not impossible. While the project will represent a significant cost to the council, the rising cost of landfill and state government waste tax will eventually see the City become an economic beneficiary of the plan.
BY xiaoran shi With the City of Sydney’s resolution in March to forge ahead with its plans to transform the long-vacant T2 building in Taylor Square into a ‘cycling hub’, a new motion tabled by Labor councillor Linda Scott at this month’s council meeting calling for the establishment of an GLBTI archival space was defeated. To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) last year, council facilitated a pop-up exhibition space, managed by SGLMG, on Oxford Street. However, the not-for-profit organisation has consistently lobbied the City for the establishment of a permanent
Mardi Gras museum. Buoyed by considerable community support, the idea became one of the key issues at the last lord mayoral elections in 2012. All leading candidates endorsed the platform put forward by SGLMG to turn the former nightclub, a site with a significant GLBTI history, into a permanent museum. Cr Scott was particularly vocal on the issue, with a pledge of “a one-off, $1 million grant of cash and in-kind assistance to make the museum a reality” comprising one of her major election promises. While conceding that she would consider competing proposals for use of the T2 building at the time of the election, Cr Moore has since gone on to retain her lord mayoral
T2 building, previously proposed site of a permanent Mardi Gras museum
position and carry through with her plans to realise Sydney’s first bike hub. Work is likely to begin on the site next year. Soon after the closure of the temporary Mardi Gras museum on Oxford Street, SGLMG withdrew its Expression of Interest to occupy the Taylor Square location, stating that the existing space was a “better option for [its] future needs”. Liberal councillor Christine Forster, a long-standing proponent of a permanent GLBTI museum, argued that this was due to the SGLMG’s lack of funding and staff, which was all the more reason for the City to step in and provide additional financing and resources. For Cr Forster, the possibility of a museum, cultural centre or exhibition space for GLBTI materials is “not a dead issue”. She was one of three other councillors, alongside Cr Doutney and Cr Mandla, who voted with Cr Scott in favour of her motion proposing that the City of Sydney “provide expertise, resources, and an archival space to members of Sydney’s GLBTI community and GLBTI organisations, free of charge, for the storage of items appropriate for donation to a future Sydney GLBTI Museum.” Cr Forster sought to amend Cr Scott’s motion by adding a clause requesting more involved engagement from the gay and lesbian community, citing that the proposal is “not a top-down
suggestion, but a grassroots decision”. Both the amendment and the substantive motion were lost. Following heated debate, council unanimously resolved to collaborate with the State Library, the National Library of Australia and the Australian Gay and Lesbian Archives to “gauge how significant community materials can be appropriately collected, stored and [made] available for research and exhibition,” as per a motion moved by independent councillor Jenny Green. “I continue to be a strong supporter of the creation of a GLBTI museum in Sydney. ...This is the first positive step [in that direction],” said Cr Scott. Greens councillor Irene Doutney was similarly hopeful about the establishment of a GLBTI museum in the future. She is of the belief that council should be responsible for “purchasing the space”, but should work in tandeom with the GLBTI community to run and maintain the collections. Cr Forster, on the other hand, remains sceptical, saying that any motion urging for a permanent GLBTI museum would be met with antagonism from the Lord Mayor as the idea is “not [one] she has her hands on”. Cr Forster moved a motion in March to investigate the fiscal viability of a permanent GLBTI collection, but that too, was defeated.
Cartoon: Peter Berner
Push forward for GLBTI archival space
An open letter to the organisers of Tranny Bingo
BY Indiana kelly Edwards This op-ed is written by local trans* rights activist Indiana Edwards in response to a City Hub article published on May 8. If the pen is mightier than the sword, it follows that words are weapons. Within cis-normative society, ”tr*nny” is commonly used as a slur. A quick Google search reveals the kind of negative, hyper-sexualised stereotypes the word is most often associated with. It might seem like harmless fun for drag queens to whimsically and parodically use this terminology to promote their events, but at the end of the day, when they remove their make-up and shed the sequins, the trans* community is left to face the consequences. We face transphobia daily. It can be obvious displays of hate such as violence or name-calling with derogatory terms like “tr*nny” or “she-m*le”, or it can be more subversive and passive forms, such as getting poor reviews in the workplace, and being turned away from housing and job interviews. The National LGBT Health Alliance recently reported that suicide rates amongst transgender Australians are at least 14 times higher than the rest of the population. From the
limited research available on the incidence of sexual violence against transgender persons, we know the trans* community is a high-risk minority group. A 1993 national survey funded by the Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health revealed that from a sample group of 146 members of the trans* community, 71 respondents reported 157
incidents of sexual violence. Almost a third reported rape by a lone assailant while approximately one in eight reported pack rape. The organisers of Tr*nny Bingo may not have any “malicious intent” but by using and validating this word, harm is done. Since the ‘90s, “tr*nny” has become a popular slur to describe members of our community in a
derogatory and objectifying way. We realise we can’t control what people say, think, and do, but we can educate society and foster a better understanding of current trans* cultural norms. Many of those who have stood in support of Tr*nny Bingo are gay men. It is ironic to see so many gay men speak out last week against Miranda Devine’s article in the Daily Telegraph, which argued that the term ‘gay’ is not a homophobic slur. Of course it is. Just as the words “gay” and “fag” are routinely used to denigrate homosexual men, “tr*nny” is a slur transgender people hear all too often. The organisers of Tr*nny Bingo are not trans* and do not live the trans* experience the way we do. When weighed up against the daily grind of the trans* experience, the derogatory and objectifying language that cis society uses to label us, a name change is not a huge ask. You may think that your events raise awareness, and hell, it looks like fun, but please change the name. We have lobbied and worked hard to get where we are today. It’s time for change and we need you as allies. Your word appears to be more important than the safety and well-being of all trans* people.
Bondi butts out with smoking ban BY Nick Richardson A report recommending a comprehensive ban of smoking in public areas was presented at Waverley Council’s operations meeting last week, calling on council to restrict public smoking and “improve the health of the community”. The May 6 report builds on Council’s previous efforts to institute a ban on smoking at all of its beaches and outdoor dining areas in the LGA. Council will now consider a 12 month trial of smoke-free footpaths within the Oxford Street Mall in Bondi Junction and other designated streets in Waverley in a move to assess the feasibility of enforcing the ban across Waverley and gauge community support. “Smokers caught dropping a lit cigarette may receive a $200 fine for littering or a $60 fine for littering an extinguished butt. Rangers can also fine people smoking in smoke-free areas $110 for disobeying a sign,” said a Waverley Council spokesman. “Our bans are in place to protect children and residents from passive smoke. Bans are also in place to educate smokers to put their butts in
ashtrays and garbage bins to prevent them from being washed into stormwater drains and on to our beaches.” The objectives of the smoke-free trial will see a concentrated effort to minimise cigarette butt pollution in public places throughout Waverley, improve public amenity and the maintenance of public property, and protect the health and social wellbeing of the community. The Waverley trial comes in response to complaints about secondhand smoke in the area. Although new state government legislation will come into force in July 2015, further limiting where smokers can light up, the proposed ban in Waverley exceeds state regulations to restrict smoking in public by prohibiting smoking on footpaths and in open air areas where drinks are served. “Up to now there [were] already strategies in place to restrict smoking in certain public areas, such as cafés and restaurants with outdoor seating,” said Waverley councillor Leon Goltsman. “The intent of this report is to identify ways [to] prevent people from smoking in nearby areas or when [queuing] up because their smoke still makes its way into nonsmoking areas and counteracts existing non-smoking policies.”
Performance Space creates social art with Pspace something you look at but something you can play with,” he says. “There’s props and costumes and the kids can interact with them on their own terms. I’ll be there performatively as a guide, as one of my fantastical creatures.” It’s this interactivity of performance art that Shoulder loves. Although he studied digital media, he found he was drawn to the performance world. “It was a pretty natural process to see how people express their ideas on the stage and I discovered I wanted to move away from the screen and use my body,” he says before adding, “It makes me feel alive, that’s the main thing!” It’s the same for performance group Friends With Deficit who were given the reins to curate NightTime: Talent Quest. “The audience reaction is immediate and that can affect the way that you perform or the way you lead them through a story,” says Amelia Wallin from Friends With Deficit. They’ll be leading audiences through a tongue-in-cheek look at talent quests, where several artists will explore ideas of “what it means to ‘show off’ your skills, to questioning what it even means to have talent or to be part of a spectacle,” says Wallin. What is guaranteed from the night is art and performance that is “not a passive experience but a very active one,” she promises. For something more philosophical, Theatre Kantanka’s Clubsingularity brings together a lonelyhearts club and a cosmology group as they explore questions of the cosmos and the universe - all within a contemporary cabaret setting with original song and dance. For director Carlos Gomes, performance art offers both artists and audiences something out of the ordinary. “It is challenging the viewer, not just the concepts, but to see it in a different way,” he says. “With performance, you have surprise. The universe is like this; it’s unpredictable and dangerous and that’s what I want to capture in the show,” he says. With the recent controversy surrounding the Biennale and cuts to Fine Arts courses at TAFE, the general feeling amongst the art community is one of
apprehension. “Everybody is imagining there’s difficult times ahead,” says Dean. It is why it’s so heartening the City of Sydney is supportive of art events like Pspace Social. “I think it’s important for them that people have an enriching experience in the city, rather than one just defined by trade or commerce,” says Dean. She finds people want to see art and artists want to interact with audiences. With events like Pspace Social, it
allows those interactions to happen that are not always possible. Letting artists encounter audiences face-to-face which “can be gratifying and interesting or challenging” as well as giving audiences the unique and exciting “experience of art as its coming to being,” says Dean. (MT) May 15-24, various venues, free-$35, performancespace.com.au Photo: Chris Peken
By melody teh For interdisciplinary arts organisation Performance Space, their art festival Pspace Social is all about breaking down walls between artists and audiences. It’s a way for both to meet “outside the normal context of traditional art forms,” says co-curator Bec Dean. Pspace Social’s four projects will give audiences a chance to experience “live art” in the bustling Surry Hills and Darlinghurst area. “It’s us trying to engage people who wouldn’t normally have art experiences but also it’s responding to artists wanting to do things in different contexts,” explains Dean. For artist Justin Shoulder, it’s been exactly that: a very different and challenging experience. “It’s great to make site-specific work because that’s new for me,” he says. For the project Micro Parks, which asked five artists to respond to five different parks, Shoulder was challenged to create sculptural pieces at a children’s playground. Predominately a performer, he says: “It’s one of the biggest sculptural works I’ve done. Usually I build work for myself. This work is directed for kids.” Given a playground to stage his work, Shoulder considered how kids learn to understand the world around them. His project entitled 1001 Baddies is inspired from a book his partner’s six-year-old son is drawing. “He’s impaling zombies with hundreds of knives and shooting these melting people,” Shoulder explains. Although Shoulder was initially uncomfortable with the violent imagery, he came to the conclusion that role-playing violence was a way some children experimented with the risks and boundaries of the world, just like playgrounds. Playing with these ideas, Shoulder has created a series of objects that are “like weapons” but with added materials that “both masculinise and feminise” them or even challenge the inherent violence of the objects. This might mean a plastic gun with a clown nose on it or a seemingly sharp and dangerous spike suit. However, as much as creativity goes into Shoulder’s work, he’s foremost thought is the kids. “I want it to be not just
EAT & DRINK
Seawall Bar & Restaurant With the controversial Barangaroo precinct drawing ever closer to completion, neighbouring Walsh Bay has seen some interesting developments of its own. Seawall is the latest spot to bed in for winter, eagerly awaiting the expected increase in foot traffic. The immediate good news for local residents and theatregoers alike is that they’ve scored Head Chef Dion Green (ex-Bondi Hardware) in the kitchen. His silky Ricotta Gnocchi with Moreton Bay Bugs, $ - mains less than $15
$$ - mains between $15-$22
ROCKS & CBD Chefs Gallery The duck pancake is dead – long live shredded Peking Duck Roti Wraps ($16.90/6 pieces)! They’re my highlight of the revised menu, centring upon Chapas – Chinese style tapas. Before you wince, recall the Chinese have shared small dishes – dim sum – since the Han Dynasty; and reduced portions means more things! Start with vinegar-based Seaweed Salad ($6.90) before moving onto Chinese dude food: tasty Macanese Style Pork Fillet and Floss Mini Burgers ($15.90/3 pieces). Unleash you inner noodle star at a Hands On Noodles and Chapas Feast ($69/head) where the Master Noodle Chef will take you through stretching, piping (and eating) noodles
By Jackie McMillan Peas, Zucchini Flowers, Lemon and Pecorino ($25) is worth your visit alone. With a side salad of Witlof, White Peach, Candied Pecans and Peas ($10) and a citrusy, seafood-friendly 2012 Jamsheed Madame Chardonnay ($10/glass) apiece, you and a friend could indulge in a great, inexpensive, waterfront lunch, perched at repurposed science lab benches. Green’s imaginative dishes, including a beautifully presented Stuffed Calamari with Chorizo, Potato, Onions, Squid Ink Vinaigrette and Tomato Jam ($20), have already created a buzz. They’re supplemented by a small but interesting wine list; or you could indulge in cocktails and Oysters ($3.50/each) - best with mignonette vinaigrette - as you savour deep breaths of the sea air before Sydney’s al fresco season draws to a close. My pick of the list is the Jalisco Mule ($19), which accentuates standout Don Fulano Blanco Tequila with organic StrangeLove ginger beer, spiced poached pear, cinnamon and star anise. Shop 6, 17 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (02) 9252 7995 seawallrestaurant.com.au Seafood $$$ $$$ - mains between $22-$30
including hand-stretched Squid Ink Noodles ($20.90) wok-tossed with mussels, calamari and buttery garlic sauce. Shop 12, Ground Floor Regent Place, 501 George Street, Sydney (02) 9267 8877 chefsgallery.com Chinese $$-$$$ Café Del Mar Restaurant Manager Jessica Mead wafts over in a bright Camilla kaftan. Her welcoming smile suits this little slice of Ibiza, pitched to become the crowning jewel of Darling Harbour. The tiled Mediterranean kitchen produces arguably the best food I’ve had in the area, with the blue and white colour scheme continuing into roughly hewn fabric awnings, shading the balcony overlooking Cockle Bay. It screams sundowners from draught
$$$$ - mains over $30
Peroni ($9) to El Jalisco ($19) featuring Don Julio Reposado, chilli, chorizo and Laphroaig. Dining as a twosome, I skipped over shared mains for snacks like Crispy Cased Berkshire Pig Jowls ($24); vibrant Snapper Tartare ($24) accentuated by Yarra Valley caviar; and pretty Blackmore’s Wagyu Bresaola ($28). Rooftop Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf, 35 Wheat Road, Sydney (02) 9267 6700 www.cafedelmar.com.au Cocktails, Bar, Modern European $$$$ EASTERN SUBURBS Shuk Bagels may have started the ‘Jewish food’ craze but Shuk continues it with a melting pot of traditional and modern Israeli flavours with some
GoodTime Diner By Alex Harmon Describing itself as having the ‘gritty underground bar scene of Old New Orleans’, The Eastern’s newest diner is lacking a little in the good time feel department. It still looks very much like the ill-fated Mediterranean touches. By day it’s a bakery/restaurant/pickled food store. By night, you can be tempted by Haloumi ($12) with walnut, honey and coriander seed, or share Cured Beef with Kale and Provolone ($16). House-Made Gnocchi ($24) with mint pesto (from their garden), tomato and baked ricotta is delicious, but it’s hard to beat juicy Roast Chicken ($28) marinated in Mediterranean spices, with burghul pilaf and labne. Crème Caramel ($10) spiced with ginger and topped with pistachios ends the evening swimmingly. Go and break bread at Shuk – you won’t be disappointed. 2 Mitchell Street, North Bondi (0423) 199 859 shukbondi.com Middle Eastern, Mediterranean $$ The Hill Eatery Breakfast here is a stimulating experience, with plant life draping
Greek restaurant (Anatoli) whose space it took over. Luckily the food comes through with the goods. As the big sister to GoodTime Burgers (downstairs), they pride themselves on ‘low and slow’ cooked meats. The 6-hour BBQ Pork Ribs ($39) certainly attest to this – falling off the bone and dripping in sweet, sticky BBQ sauce. While you do want to come here for a feast, the snacks are good too, like Tortilla Chips with Guacamole and Salsa ($12) and tasty little Mac’N’Cheese ($8).You can still get your burgers – and they’re rather sizeable – the Juicy Lucy ($15.50) had us in awe with its wagyu patty stuffed with mozzarella. This isn’t for the vegetarians, especially since the pick of the cocktail list has to be the Texas Old Fashioned ($17) with bacon-infused bourbon, that’s garnished with a bacon ‘swizzle stick’. Sure, the vibe might not yet be there, but being the new kids, I’ll give them a chance to let the grease settle. For now, just loosen the belt buckles and indulge. The Eastern, Level 1, 500 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction (02) 9387 7828 goodtimediner.com American, Burgers $-$$
the walls, brown leather sofas, and repurposed wood benches. When it comes to the food, it’s all about honesty, with a farm-to-table philosophy. Although tempted by breakfast cocktails, some joggers guilt me into Green Juice ($6.50) with apple, mint, cucumber and citrus.You feel healthier just looking at it. Muffins, like Date, Banana and Chocolate ($4.50), are baked fresh daily. Mexican Baked Eggs ($18.50) start the day off in good stead (if you can finish it)! Love Eggs ($16.50) gets it right with field mushrooms, fanned avocado, ricotta and poached eggs on sourdough. It’s also a bar of an evening, with a strong local following. 39-53 Campbell Parade Bondi (02) 9130 2200 thehilleatery.com.au Café, Breakfast, Bar $-$$ The Unicorn Sprinkling some intrigue into the
Paddo pub scene, find yourself a nook this could almost be a small bar. Head downstairs to Easy Tiger, a nightclub that brings ‘70’s American Hustle to the Eastern Suburbs. Cocktails – Negroni ($16) or a Fancy Pants ($16) with amaretto, citrus and apricot - pay homage to this time.You know it’s not ordinary pub food when you can get Activated Almonds ($5) with your beer.Yes, the menu’s on the healthy side, from Grilled Haloumi ($12), olives and capers to Quinoa Salad ($13) with pumpkin, beetroot, Binnorie Dairy feta and optional Chicken ($17).They’re heartier than they sound, but you can still manage some Spicy Pork Tacos ($12). 106 Oxford Street, Paddington (02) 9360 7994 theunicornhotel.com Pub Bistro, Cocktails $-$$
EAT &&DRINK By Jackie McMillan EAT DRINK
Sugarcane Restaurant In a hip strip like Reservoir Street, home to Single Origin Roasters, Bang Bang Café, and half the cutting-edge design agencies in Sydney, it pays to stay relevant. That’s the main impetus behind turning Sugarcane Restaurant, a six-year stalwart, into a South East Asian hawker style canteen. The fit out by Giant (responsible for Red Lantern and Chow Eating House) featuring stripped-back walls with DARLO, KINGS X & SURRY HILLS Jonkanoo Just when you’re bored with Mexican and Korean spinoffs, authentic Caribbean bursts onto the Sydney scene. In a beautifully decorated pale blue and white weatherboard setting, you’ll eat small tings and bigga tings; indeed heaps of tings you will adore! Lusting for the accompanying coconut bread and ‘slaw, I ordered Jerk Pork ($16/half pound, $32/pound).While Oysters Natural with ‘Jamaican Gravy’ ($3.50/each) amused with pickled vegetable ‘gravy’ served in a Captain Morgan Rum bottle, my favourites were Trini Carnival Doubles ($12) overflowing with curried chana, pepper and mango. Soused Mackerel ($16) served with ginger ale and sweet
Thirty minutes and thirty years from Sydney is a pub where strangers talk to one another, and Bar Manager John Mundy uses common sense and conversation to enforce the rule of law. Over a malty pint of Old Speckled Hen ($11.50) you might enquire after his glass jar of Pickled Eggs ($1.10/each).You can eat “the manager’s
GREATER SYDNEY Woodland Kitchen and Bar You met him at Pony Dining, but now Chef Damian Heads is riding his own horse in a remarkably unpretentious bistro. Damien’s cooking style elevates homestyle cooking using the intense heat of a woodfire grill. It makes Grilled Haloumi with Smoked Tomato Relish ($15.50) so good it outshines Grass Fed Dry Aged Sirloin on the Bone ($38/350g). Crunchy Steamed Greens with Almond Butter ($8) and Mash ($6) that’s ninety percent potato will set off your steak, especially against the jammy Woodstock
Thai street-style graffiti and posters, and a colourful, fabric-rich roof of hanging silk handbags, provides a welcoming, warm respite from a rain-drenched evening. Now if you’re a staunch loyalist, never fear, while the menu has been updated to reflect Sydney’s current obsession with smaller, sharing portions, favourites like Crispy Chicken, Blood Plum ($17) remain. Bite-sized Prawn, Rice Cake, Caramelised Sugarcane ($4/each) suit smart cocktails, including my favourite, a delicate Jasmine-Tea Infused Gin with Lime and Sugar ($17). They’ve also got a cracking little wine list, courtesy of Ged Higgins (ex-10 William Street), that manages to straddle the whole range of cuisines. My 2013 Jamsheed ‘Le Blanc Plonk’ ($9/glass) gewürztraminer/Riesling blend was equally at home with flaky Roti ($10) and Malay curry sauce, as it was with Pork and Prawn Dumplings ($16). It even stretched to accompany Green Papaya Salad ($19) with chef’s unique salmon and cashew update. 40A Reservoir Street, Surry Hills (02) 9281 1788 sugarcanerestaurant.com.au Pan Asian $-$$
potato chips tastes quite fishy, suiting a good slather of the on-table Uncle Tyrone’s Caribbean sauces. 583 Crown Street, Surry Hills (0415) 922 240 jonkanoo.com.au Jamaican $$$ Rocafelas “If everyone’s going to evacuate and be scared of the area, I’m staying in,” declares Rocko Tozzi, son of Kings Cross hospitality royalty Antonello Tozzi. He and Nate Johnson are offering up a loosely 70s-themed Italian red-sauce diner where you can eat and drink inexpensively up to the city’s new witching hour of 3am. Alex Lehours’ artwork pushes you at the Stolen Spiced Rum Dark & Stormy ($14); or there’s Mulo ($16) – vodka, ginger and Ramazzotti – that compliments tasty Meatballs ($14) in rich tomato sauce. Kick on with longnecks in paper bags
Royal Cricketers Arms
firstname.lastname@example.org By Jackie McMillan
against simple standout pizzas like Pollo ($16) with chicken, avocado and mozzarella, or light’n’bright Capelli D’Angelo ($16) with rocket, chilli and prosciutto. 1 Kellett Street, Potts Point (02) 9360 0260 rocafelas.com.au Italian, Pizza, Cocktails $-$$ INNER WEST JamVybz Restaurant & Café Despite Jerk Chicken ($17.99) creeping onto bar menus, there isn’t much authentic Jamaican in Sydney. This brightly coloured Glebe flagship cooks it over wood-fire, coated with tasty jerk marinade producing bona fide falling-off-the-bone goodness. Initiate yourself with the Chef’s Sample Platter ($18.99) bearing codfish fritters, jerk chicken wings and
hangover cure” doused in Worcestershire and Tabasco at the bar, or experiment with John’s “English breakfast in a bag” by dipping them into pork crackling pounded into dust. It’s the kind of pub you’ll feel right at home in, whether you’re a regular propping up the bar, or a city slicker on the back verandah, cooing over sunset reflected on a neighbouring house across a field of swaying paspalum, while live act Imogen Clark warms up. Staying next door at Atura, I also wandered up during daylight hours for lunch. While I tucked into traditional Toad in the Hole ($21), baking three good-quality English pork sausages into a Yorkshire pudding, with mash and onion gravy; my dining companion flexed his cooking prowess on their new, high-tech grill. Balancing James Squire The Chancer ($9/pint) in one hand, he perfected grill marks on his Grassfed Sirloin ($27/250g) with a wide grin. Grain-fed beef and Snags ($20/3) are also available. Cricketers Arms Road, Prospect (02) 9622 6498 mycricketers.com.au Pub Bistro, British $$-$$$
Octogenarian Grenache ($46/ bottle). Or stay light with a Blood Orange Margarita ($15) and a pretty Seared Scallop Salad ($22) followed by Lamb Backstrap ($34) on smoky eggplant with quinoa, tomato and herb salad. 2/19-25 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay (02) 9904 3400 woodlandkitchen.com.au Modern Australian,Wine $$$-$$$$ Skyline Drive-In Diner Collect a carload for a retro-style dinner and movie ($10/head) at the recently remodelled Blacktown Skyline Drive-In.You’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Happy Days with smiling staff in red-and-white candy striped uniforms, Creaming Soda Spiders
($6) and the smell of buttered popcorn wafting through the air. Their Peanut Butter Milkshake ($7) is so good you won’t want to share.The Classic Beef and Cheese Burger’s ($8) plump, chargrilled Angus beef patty leaves surrounding fast-food joints for dead.You can also indulge in Original Buffalo Wings ($9) served with ranch dressing; or follow my recommendation and gently squeeze a fat, smoked Frankfurt between a Chilli Dog’s ($8) soft white buns. Cricketers Arms Road, Blacktown (02) 9622 0202 aturablacktown. com.au/food-drink/ American $
Bishop Sessa The closure of Bistro Bruno has seen restaurateur Erez Gordon really focus his tender loving care upon his Crown Street star attraction. With Chef Paul Cooper’s cooking already on point – my beloved Scallop Ceviche ($18) with cucumber, avocado, lemon and ginger beer sorbet thankfully remaining on his updated menu - Erez has directed his attention elsewhere. Upstairs he’s added a walllength, quintessentially Sydney (without being clichéd) cityscape by photographer Shane Rozario. He’s also jerk prawn kebabs.With homemade ‘slaw and pineapple to sweeten the deal, it appeals to both seasoned and unseasoned Caribbean eaters. “Reggae dancehall favourite” Curried Goat ($19) is deliciously tender, while Coconut Curried Shrimp ($22) is mild and easy to eat. Sweet Potato Pudding ($8.50) is warm and deliciously sweet, leaving you feeling the good vibes - driven home by the Bob Marley posters and tunes. 72 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (02) 9571 1158 jamvybzrestaurant.com.au Jamaican $-$$ Le Pub Balmain Sydney’s obsession with miniaturisation continues with Le Petit Dog ($6), an excellent, crusty French bread ‘hotdog’ stuffed with lamb shoulder, lime labne, green chilli
very invested in the floor, from explaining the wholecarcass, nose-to-tail philosophy, to constructing original cocktails, including the appetite-inducing Gin Yum ($17.50); described as “an Asian vacation” in a glass. However it’s in personalised wine service where Erez really shines; down to cheeky (verbal) descriptions of grapes being trampled “by unwed girls” where one can “taste the desperation”. The 2008 Tibooburra Solitude Vineyard Pinot Noir ($77) over-delivered with a surprising floral, feminine edge against Roasted Aylesbury Duck Breast with ‘Ducketta’ ($33). The best dish I ate - a truly unctuous jowl of Melanda Park pork with Hawkesbury River calamari and barbecued corn - can only be ordered via the outstanding value six-course Degustation ($69/head). Chef brined the (already standout) pig for three days, rendering the fat into a beautiful, soft protein that sensuously echoed the tender, translucent calamari - sensational. 527 Crown Street, Surry Hills (02) 8065 7223 bishopsessa.com.au Modern Australian $$$$
jam and coriander.The venue and clientele feel much changed from the old Monkey Bar days, with a decidedly French twist. Dishes like Pork Cheek ($16) with crisp pig’s ear, blackberry and cauliflower ‘velvet’ are well matched by thematic tipples including Manoir De Kinkez Cidre Cornouailles ($16/375ml) or Eric Bordelet Calvados ($14). Lillet Blanc ($7) with lemon and soda sits nicely against beautiful Whole Lemon Sole ($20). It’s further improved by my dining companion’s béarnaise, accompanying his nicely cooked, grass-fed L’Entrecote ($26) scotch fillet and menu-nominated Kronenbourg 1664 ($6.50/330ml) beer. 255 Darling Street, Balmain (02) 9555 5711 lepubbalmain.com.au Pub Bistro, Modern French $$ Toxteth Hotel “I am a chef and cannot keep calm,”
is printed on a thematic union jack affixed to the glass box kitchen. However the men inside it are deadly silent, despite the crowds attending for generously portioned ten-buck offerings from the Monday/Tuesday Dinner Menu. I dabble with lightly battered Jalapeno Poppers ($12) with cream cheese and smoky bacon, and panko-crumbed Brie ($13) before moving onto sliders.Twenty bucks buys you four, and conveniently there are four choices: ‘Zucchini’, ‘Crab’, ‘Buttermilk Chicken’ and ‘Beef’.The latter scrubs up best, but my meal highlight was Fried Whole Baby Snapper ($24) with sweet and sour apple sauce; leading me to dub chef: Sydney’s battered and fried pub king. 345 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (02) 9660 2370 toxtethhotel.com.au Pub Bistro $-$$
FOOD NEWS We’re definitely entering dinner and a movie weather. Luckily Sydney Film Festival have expanded upon their inaugural Gourmet Cinema program, which last year left cinema-goers, including myself, thirsting for a glass of Bordeaux wine at Luke Mangan’s Glass Brasserie, after the standout documentary Red Obsession.This year they have packaged up two nights of food and film to tempt and tantilise you out of the warmth of your lounge-room, on the 10th and 11th June. Currently cooking up a storm in Las Vegas, celebrity chef Luke Mangan will be pulling out his Punjabi cabbage and tandoori quail to satisfy your urge for modern Indian after a screening of The Lunchbox, a romantic film that celebrates home cooking in Mumbai ($130/head).The next night, Rob Marchetti from Gowings Bar & Grill will be taking the accessible sharing food route with techniques including wood-fired rotisseries, when he teams his menu up with Two Faces of January, a thriller starring Kirsten Dunst, set in Greece and Turkey ($98/head).There’s little more convivial than sitting down with a bunch of movie connoisseurs over a shared meal, especially with booze supplied by festival sponsors Little Creatures beer and Eden Road wine, so book quickly and I’ll see you there! www.sff.org.au
By Rebecca Varidel
LA SCALA RESTAURANT AND BAR Upstairs on the corner of Jersey Road and Melrose Lane is an elegant affair. To most, La Scala is known for its food, and its restaurant update with the recent arrival of Chef Massimo Mele.Yet the waiting room – the bar – is worth a visit just by itself. The large selection of antipasti from the main room is available as bar food. Service is the best we’ve seen in Sydney for a while, and just as good a reason to visit are
the beverages.Vermouth Flights ($19) – at the top of the cocktail list – with three vermouth tasters are a worthy choice. The cocktails – like Itsy Bitsy Bellini or La Scala Colada – are stunning, yet moderately priced (mostly seventeen bucks). Pick of the crop though has to be their well-considered range of wines by the glass. 2a Oxford Street, Woollahra (02) 9357 0815 lascalaonjersey.com.au
Ever been to a gig where a number from Vivaldi is followed by the grunge of Smells Like Teen Spirit? Timeline, part of Vivid Live, is a “timebending musical odyssey” that trips through musical time. Forty-two thousand years of it, violinist Helena Rathbone says, “It ranges from Aboriginal dance music to Jewish Georgian chant.There’s Baroque to Atlantic, and plenty of contemporary genres as well. It’s truly eclectic.” The show brings together the Australian Chamber Orchestra and one of Australia’s best-loved electronic music duos – The Presets. The broad program includes music from Hildegard Von Bingen, Gesualdo, Monteverdi,Vivaldi, Mozart, Bartók, Schoenberg, Reich, Jelly Roll Morton,
Stravinsky, Ligeti, Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, Nirvana and plenty more. “I’m really looking forward to hearing the music composed and arranged by The Presets,” Rathbone says. “As well as the final compositon, there’s 17 strings, some piano and woodwind, brass, and voice is a massive element. “It’s one of the shows where you can read about it as much as you like, but you won’t truly understand what it’s about until you see it,” Rathbone says. (RG) May 20-24, City Recital Hall, Angel Pl; May 25-29, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Pt, $47109, vividlive. sydneyoperahouse.com
Jez Butterworth’s savagely comic play, Mojo, is a thriller which examines the dark underside of the halcyon days of rock ’n’ roll with grim humour and strong language. “It (Mojo) captures that playful exciting vibrant language and uncanny chain of events that occur,” says Sam Haft, who plays ‘Baby’. “It’s a real comic thriller and there’s a huge musical influence in the play as well.” Mojo debuted on the West End in 1995, receiving the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. It also started a new wave of British gangster movies during the late ‘90s, including Lock,
Stock and Two Smoking Barrels “It’s got that Lock, Stock feel mixed with Tarantino and lots of colourful language,” says Haft. The testosterone-fuelled cast and local blues-rock outfits depict the London club scene of the 1950s.The battle for power is revealed through zinging dialogue, live music and action-packed scenes. “It certainly has something to cater for everyone.” (CT) May 17-Jul 5,The Wharf, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $50-99, sydneytheatre.com.au
Photo: Ingvar Kenne
Photo: Beau Greely
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Cruise Control Three couples travel on the Queen Mary II seeking luxury escape. Instead, they find themselves confronted by a series of tensions – marital, sexual and cultural - which erupt when they all sit down for dinner. As the cruise progresses, these begin to unravel the foundation of each marriage. Written and directed by Australia’s most celebrated playwright, David Williamson, the script is sharp and peppered with ironic one-liners and puns. In addition, there is a synergy between story and performance, creating a rhythm that makes the play absorbing and hilarious.This is helped
by convincing performances from a superb cast, such as Peter Phelps as Darren, the brutish Australian, and Kate Fitzpatrick as Silky, the nononsense New Yorker.They deliver their lines with impeccable timing and tone. Perhaps one fault is the staging of the dinner table.When seated some actors are turned away from the audience, but in a nutshell, Cruise Control is one of the best plays onstage in years. (MP) Until Jun 30, Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St, Kirribilli. $30-69, (02) 9929 0644, ensemble.com.au
Photo: Clare Hawley
Slide Cabaret Festival 2014
The Great Moscow Circus Acrobats, a flying trapeze, clowns, animals and daredevil motorbike riders. The Great Moscow Circus is back in town, and it’s bigger and better than ever. The production, brought to Australia by Michael Edgley, has spent the last three years travelling through Australia, raising nearly $500,000 for Australian charities. It will finish its tour in Sydney, with a run of performances that will thrill and amuse audiences of all ages, from toddlers to the golden oldies. Their infamous Globe of Death
15 STAGE 16 SCENE 18 SOUNDS 20 SCREEN
act has been updated, with five motorbikes now whizzing around a globe that miraculously splits in two - making it scarier than ever before. With twenty sensational acts from Russia, and guest performers from all over the world, the circus promises to ignite the audience’s imagination with a two-hour show full of stunning visuals, high-tech lighting and elaborate costumes. (SOC) May 21-Jun 1, Cahill Park, Gertrude St,Tempe, $32-62, moscowcircus.com.au
Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley
For more A&E stories go to www.altmedia.net.au
Slide Cabaret Festival returns for a third year with a line-up of over 20 national and international artists. With the introduction of a second venue and a piano bar, Slide promises a breath of fresh air for Sydney live entertainment. “This year its bigger, fuller and more fantastic,” says Catherine Alcorn, the creative director of Slide. Some of the highlights include this year include award-winning New York cabaret artist Kim Smith, who brings his new show Nova Noir to the festival. Nova Noir charts a dark and whimsical path through neo-Weimar pop-fantasia, it’s full of genre-bending pop and peculiar period treasures. Australian singer-songwriter Bianca Moon and musical director Anne-Maree McDonald worked in conjunction with Slide Cabaret Festival
to create The Bold and the Musical. The two women write the music behind the TV soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, and will debut their new production at Slide. The festival kicks off with a music trivia fundraiser for The Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF). (SM) May 19-31, Slide Lounge, 41 Oxford St, Darlinghurst;The Pullman Hotel Hyde Park, 36 College St, Sydney, $30-80, slide.com.au
Contributors: Alexandra English, Alexis Talbot-Smith, Anita Senaratna, Anthony Bell, Catherine Knight, Cheryl Northey, Ciaran Tobin, Craig Coventry, Elise Cullen, Georgia Fullerton, Greg Webster, Hannah Chapman, Jamie Apps, Leann Richards, Lena Zak, Luke Daykin, Lyndsay Kenwright, Marilyn Hetreles, Mark Morellini, Mel Somerville, Melody Teh, Michael Muir, Michelle Porter, Peter Hackney, Rhys Gard, Rocio Belinda Mendez, Ruth Fogarty, Sean May, Sharon Ye, Shauna O’Carroll, Siri Williams
“We’ve all got runs on the board,” remarks Camilleri. “We’re professionals working together onstage, but we support each other and love what we’re doing.” The show is now tried and tested, the gang have hit the road and they’re excited. A talented group with decades hits between them, they look forward to playing for their fans and alongside their industry friends. Their performances are a celebration of the art of live music, but also harken back to their collective history in the Australian music scene. (AEB) May 18, Star Event Centre, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, $76.50, apiagoodtimes.com.au
A Hunger Suite Hypnotic and strange, A Hunger Suite, by Clockfire Theatre Company, is off the beaten track when it comes to traditional theatre. Inspired by the works of Kafka, artistic director Emily Ayoub says the piece is about two characters that exist in a circus universe - focusing on the 19th century world of ‘circus freaks’. “We tried to use Kafka as an inspiration behind this work. His works inspire what the characters are doing in the space,” she says. “Our style is a Kafka-esque universe. You find that in our movement, aesthetic and atmosphere.” The piece is not traditionally narrativedriven; it uses a unique style to
Photo: Courtney Williams
With a new tour of legendary Australian musicians, the Apia Good Times Tour will showcase classic hits as well as new work from these legends of the music industry. 2014’s line-up, which includes Joe Camilleri, Richard Clapton, Russell Morris and Leo Sayer, is bopping across Australia to bring audiences a collaborative event as fun for old fans as new punters alike. “There’s no ego, we all love each other’s music,” says Camilleri. Explaining how each performer relates to the whole show, he continues, “I watch how the other guys play and what they bring to the performance and I feel like stealing their stuff – it’s that good!
challenge the audience’s perception of theatre. “We want to push the audience, invite them into something more different,” says Ayoub. “You have to sometimes take a risk, present something different.” First performed in 2012, the production underwent a second development in Istanbul earlier this year, which Ayoub says has given it political resonance. “It resonates what is going on here politically for artists, it looks how far an artist will go to reach limits in artistry,” she says. (SOC) Until May 25,The Old 505 Theatre, Suite 505, 342 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, $18-28, venue505.com
Photo: Russell Cheek
Apia Good Times Tour
One of the most shocking and controversial stories makes its Sydney stage debut in a powerful new production. Trainspotting is the story of a group of teenagers in the Edinburgh heroin scene of the 1980s. “It’s about youths trying to get away from the unpleasant lifestyle, trying to find a group to be a part of and cult to feel strong about,” says Damien Carr, who portrays protagonist Mark Renton in the production. Derived from both the very successful novel by Irvine Welsh and the award-winning film adaptation starring Ewan McGregor, Trainspotting depicts an intense and raw portrayal of the dark side of life that is still very much just a backstreet away from us all. “You’re going to see a lot of scenes that are in the film and that are very iconic and that everyone remembers from the movie,” says Carr.“It also takes a lot out of the book as well.” The cast is made up of inner west Sydney residents and is still relatable to youths in society today. “It definitely speaks to people now, for sure.” (CT) Until May 24, King Street Theatre, King St & Bray St, Newtown, $27-32, kingstreettheatre.com.au
His Mother’s Voice Enduring piano lessons as a child is pretty standard in western society, but in Shanghai of ’66 when the Communist Party reigned, one defiant mother had to teach her son to play in secret. Justin Fleming’s play, His Mother’s Voice, details the true story of a mother-son relationship from the birth of China’s cultural revolution, to the eve of the Tiananmen Square protest. The story demonstrates the love of two people from different worlds: a mother’s love that drives her to sacrifice; and a young man’s love for his country. Director and co-founder of bAKEHOUSE Theatre, Suzanne Millar, was drawn to this story that is at times poetic, humorous and dramatic and
PERFORMANCE EIGHT GIGABYTES OF HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY Greene’s play skews the stark contrast between our public and private selves. It examines two, average, middle-aged individuals who find themselves a long way off from the fantasy figures they see online. With each of these individuals looking to the online realm for a little something more out of life, Greene aims to examine the “conflict between a digital pornographic fantasy and reality and how that vagueness bleeds into online dating.” Acknowledging that there could be a
fair amount of bleakness construed by audiences from the subject matter, Greene sees it differently. “It is a comedy,” he says, “and it is important to me that the play is funny. It’s important that we can laugh at how bleak the world is sometimes.” (SW) Until Jun 14, SBW Stables, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $32-49, (02) 9361 3817, griffintheatre.com.au STRICTLY BALLROOM:THE MUSICAL Baz Luhrmann’s latest creation is bursting at the sequined seams of the Lyric Theatre in an explosion of colour and feathers. Luhrmann’s holistic creative approach and boundless imagination means his hand is involved in every aspect of
the production, from the design, to the direction and the music. The notes feel like they were written for the stunning co-lead Phoebe Panaretos (Fran) who outshines all except the hilarious Heather Mitchell (Shirley Hastings).The talented Thomas Lacey (Scott Hastings) gives a solid performance as the male lead but is sometimes underwhelming on a very busy stage. Catherine Martin’s costumes are yet another ‘win’ for the designer, referencing familiar elements from the film and successfully amplifying them for the stage. Strictly Ballroom:The Musical is an entertaining, lively night at the theatre that will delightfully overload
believes it is more relevant today than ever before. “With Australia building its relationship with China, it’s important to be aware of miscommunication, of things unsaid,” she explains. “Justin has taken a big idea – the relationship between China and Australia – and gently examined it through the prism of a family. “At its heart, it tells the story of someone who has come from a difficult life in a brutal place, who asks Australia to give him refuge; to give him a future.” (AE) Until May 17, atyp Studio 1, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $20-30 (02) 9270 2400, bakehousetheatrecompany. com.au
the senses. (LL) Until Jul 6, Lyric Theatre, Pirrama Rd, Sydney, $55-145, strictlyballroomthemusical.com SOMETHING TO BE DONE is “one man searching for inspiration in a world that’s deteriorating of its artistic roots,” explains creator and performer Gabriel McCarthy – and it’s all done with no words. It was a risk to stage a performance with no words but McCarthy believes physical theatre is “untapped” in Australia. He felt compelled to break away from the “everyday stuff you see in theatre,” he says. McCarthy hopes that audiences will be open to this new type of theatre.
For him, a performance without words is perhaps the greatest form of communication. (MT) Until Jun 1, Upstairs Theatre,TAP Gallery, 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, $15-20, (02) 9361 0440, trybooking.com/ECTS THE SILENCE CAME Described as an immersive theatre piece set in “a distorted modern society, divided by class and polluted by the seven deadly sins,” it takes place throughout several rooms in a 165-year-old Darlinghurst terrace house.The audience dictates the direction the onstage action will take for every performance. As creator, writer and director Duncan Maurice assures, with
roughly eight hours worth of script for any given direction, the story may depend on the mood of each unique audience: “you couldn’t possibly see it all [and] it will be quite unique every night.” Maurice sees the idea of immersive theatre as “more in tune with the way that contemporary audiences consume culture, art, entertainment and information”, and believes that “those traditional boundaries of sitting, watching and waiting are being tested and pushed”. (SW) Until May 26,The Commons, 32 Burton St, Darlinghurst, $20, thesilencecame.com 26
Blow, blow, thou winter wind!
By Coffin Ed, Miss Death & Jay Katz The recent raid on a VIP suite at Randwick Racecourse and the arrest of a high-profile sporting celebrity and his wife for cocaine possession generated a familiar round of media reports blaring, “Sydney is awash with cocaine”. So what’s new? Sydney has been snorting the illicit substance ever since the early ‘20s when returning troops from World War I enthusiastically introduced it to the party scene. Up until 1927 possession of the drug was not a criminal offence but since then there’s been a neverending game of cat and mouse between suppliers, users and the powers that be. The Randwick raid perhaps demonstrates that some egalitarianism has embraced the fight to stamp out this ‘evil’ with all levels of society now put on notice. It used to be just rock stars who were busted along with teenagers out for a bit of fun on a Saturday night. Now it seems the long arm of the law has extended to tap the shoulder of those familiar faces that fill the social pages of the Sunday rags. The only real thing that changes with Sydney’s love affair with ‘blow’ is the price and the quality. Despite high volume seizures by Customs and the Federal Police, supply has remained pretty much constant over the past thirty or forty years and during that time the drug has gained a real social respectability unlike the more stigmatised heroin and ice. Distribution by a web of local dealers is now highly sophisticated and thanks to the mobile phone, door-to-door delivery is now the norm – no more trawling the mean streets of Kings Cross for a clandestine deal. Whether the targeting of Eastern Suburbs high-flyers continues or was just a one-off, the sporadic prosecution of those unlucky enough to be caught in possession is bound
to continue as the very token war on drugs drags out. No more is the farce more evident than on the streets of Kings Cross where weekend partygoers are often ambushed by sniffer dogs at Kings Cross station or randomly searched in nightclubs and bars. Meanwhile, a never-ending stream of punters enters the Supervised Injecting Centre all clutching their supply of heroin or speed ready to shoot up. Obviously it would be pointless for police to stand at the entrance and bust these patrons and nobody’s suggesting they should, but where is the rationale with these constant lucky-dip police busts? In the U.S. where even a minor drug possession can lead to imprisonment, President Obama has indicated that he is prepared to use his pardon power to grant clemency to “hundreds, perhaps thousands” of people who have been jailed for nonviolent drug crimes, i.e. possession of small amounts of heroin, crack or cocaine. Whilst we seldom jail people here for minor drug possession, we do put them through the court system and record a criminal conviction with a system of enforcement that is entirely random in its application. Maybe a much better tactic would be to spend the money wasted on petty prosecution and deploying the drug squad to Randwick Racecourse, on an education campaign emphasising the nasty things that drugs like cocaine can do to your body - especially if you become a regular user. Back in the 1920s, when the quality of imported cocaine was particularly potent and its use both heavy and widespread, there are reports of people presenting to their local doctor with complaints of a hole in their nasal passage and in extreme cases the collapse of their nose altogether. The same thing, although relatively rare, is apparently still happening today. Not a good look if you are planning a day in the VIP suite at Royal Randwick!
One Year Performance 1980-1981 - Tehching Hsieh One Year Performance 1980-1981, documents 12 months in the life of artist Tehching Hsieh. During that period he committed to punching a clock each hour of every day and photographing the process. The result is a series of snapshots which display a man in various states of distress, sleep deprivation and boredom. The pictures also demonstrate a disturbing uniformity. In each image, Hsieh wears an anonymous grey shirt embroidered with his name. There is nothing to prove the passage of time in these stills except the slow growth of the artist’s hair. It is this comment on the bland sameness of working life, complemented with the blankness of his gaze, which conveys the power of the exhibition. This piece is a confronting look at a society which insists on conformity and slow destruction of individuality. In this performance, Hsieh reflects on the futility of ordinary existence, and ironically its value and opportunity. (LR) Until July 6, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, free, (02) 8571 9089, carriageworks.com.au
Photo: Zan Wembeley
THE NAKED CITY
Agency of Inanimate Objects - Izabela Pluta
‘Museum’, 2014 by Izabela Pluta. Image courtesy of the artist and Galerie pompom
Izabela Pluta’s photographs are black and white but they invoke a multilayered world of kaleidoscopic colours. Agency Of Inanimate Objects, her new exhibition at Galerie pompom is an intriguing display of versatility and innovation. Pluta takes the discarded objects of materialist society and transforms them into monuments of aesthetic beauty. The artist focuses on society’s relics. In Four Sides Of A Piece Of Coal #1-4, a lump of black fossil fuel becomes a multifaceted story of the eroding effects of time. The life-sized image, Museum, occupies a wall of the show. It is a piece which incorporates mammoths, trees, mountains and glass cages. The mural is a monochromatic montage of mirror surfaces and reflections that uses natural history motifs to comment on temporal transience. This exhibition is a thought-provoking journey into the potential of the photographic medium and an exploration of hidden aspects of modern detritus. (LR) Until May 25, Galerie pompom 2/39 Abercrombie St, Chippendale, free, galeriepompom.com
Future Fallout - Kate Mitchell/ Venus Of Venus - Tara Marynowsky
Kate Mitchell and Tara Marynowsky are two very different artists being showcased at Chalk Horse Gallery in Darlinghurst. Mitchell’s works are quirky comments on modern society. In Future Fallout, the artist cycles to a colourful psychic shop which collapses as she opens the door. As the façade crumbles into reality she returns to her bike and rides away. The simple film is an animated metaphor of life’s conundrums In Venus Of Venus, Marynowsky’s pieces are deceptively childlike. Her pastel watercolours and collages survey the feminine in various incarnations from motherhood to wicked witch. Directly influenced by her maternity, their soft tones and smudged lines indicate the beauty and uncertainty of the experience. Together these artists represent distinctly unique visions of the contemporary world. (LR) Until Jun 7, Chalk Horse Gallery, Lower Floor, 171 William St, Darlinghurst, free, chalkhorse.com.au
‘Destinataire’ by Tara Marynowsky, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney
Bonjah Beautiful Wild Melbourne-based outfit Bonjah’s third album Beautiful Wild started making an impact months ago, via the 2013 singles Evolution and Blue Tone Black Heart. This song cycle includes both those tracks and nine other cuts, all of which amply demonstrate why Bonjah is one of Australia’s premier blues and roots outfits. An album of stomping pace and catchy hooks, the record is pervaded by an organic, down-home feel. Highlights include the shimmering opening track Bullet In The Barrell, the swaggering rocker Honey, and the title track – a piercing ballad with poignant vocals from lead singer Glen Mossop and guest vocalist Ella Hooper. (PH) Mick Harvey - Intoxicated Man/Pink Elephants Intoxicated Man/ Pink Elephants is a box set reissue of Mick Harvey’s interpretations of French singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg’s original work. Harvey, best known for collaborations with Nick Cave, takes the listener on an emotional journey, from deep dark moments to loving passionate moments.The instrumentals combining guitar, drums, piano, organs and violin in a multitude of ways create folk, rock and jazz melodies which all build the atmosphere of each track. Haunting and mesmerising vocals from Harvey, Cave and Anita Lane are all perfectly used here. However, perhaps a selection of the ‘best’ tracks would have been better for a reissue. (JA)
For their first time in Australia, South African DIY hip-hoppers PHFAT will be embarking on a tour of Australia’s east coast with little idea of what to expect. However, ask member Mike Zietsman how he is feeling and he’s keener than any jelly bean. “There is splinterings of lost South Africans that moved to Australia who have heard of us, but mostly I see this as an opportunity to make a great first impression,” says Zietsman. “But, what is my perception of Australia? Hmm, you guys don’t seem to like us in sports? No, but I think there is a kind of developed party scene there, which is what caught my eye in terms of PHFAT.” Sports aside, there’s no doubt that this tour will be a stark contrast to their regular jaunts
LIVE WIRE Jeff Duff: With the backing of Bowie’s official online presence, this Australian muso will be performing all of the notable hits from an iconic career. Duff has performed David Bowie songs frequently over his career and will be bringing hits such as Space Oddity, Lets Dance, China Girl, Changes as well as the legendary alterego that is Ziggy Stardust to the ears of devoted appreciators. Joining him will be The Whitlams’ guitarist
around their homeland. As a group, they refuse to sell their music – preferring to share it on their website for fans to download and share accordingly - a method that most musicians would usually avoid. “Personally, I always buy the physical CD if I can,” he says. “But with our music, I realised that it was going to get to more ears if we maximise the process of sharing because we didn’t want to work with record labels. “The record labels we did work with were very cool, but the way that they are set up, as a musician you often get cockblocked,” Zietsman laughs. “I didn’t want to do that again, and we wanted to be able to make stuff very quickly, so giving away our music was the way... that worked best.” Every South African hip-hop lover could vouch for that. Not only have the group graced
opening slots for mammoth acts such as Public Enemy and Bert McCracken’s outfit, The Used, from their own homegrown reputation they have been able to sell-out venues all over their country with just their name on the flyer. “It’s just this sustainable little thing without outside funding or labels. We are our own little entity and I’m hoping that with the short time in Australia that we have we can start making headway and start connecting with the real grassroots fans over there.” This electro hip-hop mish-mash will be storming through Sydney over the next couple of weeks in support of their latest single Lights Out featuring JungFreud. (CD) May 16, MUM @ World Bar, 24 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross, tickets onsale at the door, 18+ only, theworldbar.com.au
Sydney Live Music Guide
Jak Housden, keyboard player Glenn Rhodes and drummer/percussionist Jess Ciampa. Thu, May 15th,The Basement, Circular Quay. Jo Elms: Noted as one of the most perseverant voices in the Australian jazz scene, Elms has had a wealth of success not only here but in her homeland of New Zealand. Playing some of the most prestigious jazz festivals as well as drawing some all-star comparisons, a celebration of sorts will take
place tonight in support of her debut EP The Right Time. Supporting Elms tonight will be former The Voice contestant and compulsive busker Alex Gibson. Fri, May 16th, Foundry616, Ultimo. The English Beat: Dust off your Trilbies, tonight will mark the return of Birmingham’s kings of Ska. Following on from their successful stint back in 2012, Dave Wakeling and his iconic band will incite
the most ferocious ‘moonstomping’ and sing-a-longs you’ve ever bared witness to. There will be hits such as Mirror In The Bathroom,Tears Of A Clown, Can’t Get Used To Losing You and so much more. Not just fantastic music, but an awesome insight into history. Sat, May 17th, Metro Theatre, George St. APIA Good Times Tour: Joe Camilleri, Richard Clapton, Leo Sayer and Russell Morris have all carved out individual careers within the world
of music. Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, INXS and Roger Daltrey (The Who) are just some of the acts that these guys have been affiliated with, but this tour will purely be about them. As a showcase of their most famous hits individually, they will combine for unique renditions of Hit & Run, Girls On The Avenue,The Real Thing and You Make Me Feel Like Dancing. Sun, May 18th, Star Event Centre, Star City Casino. Concert for Cambodia: Hosted by Australia
frequent Arj Barker, this concert will feature the lungs of Aussie legend Jimmy Barnes and his hugely talented daughter Mahalia, Melbourne singer/ songwriter Lior, former contestant of The Voice Prinnie Stevens, iOTA, Mitchell Anderson and The Party People Collective. All proceeds from the night will be donated to the Cambodian Children’s Trust, so give a little and get an earful in return. (CD) Wed, May 21st, Enmore Theatre.
Set in futuristic London, The Zero Theorem is the story of Qohen Leth (Cristoph Waltz), an eccentric and reclusive computer expert whose sole purpose for existence is to formulate the meaning of life. Only when he experiences love does he understand the reason for his being. Strangely entrancing yet frustrating to watch, this film is perplexing and incomprehensible at times, the complexities are enhanced by quirky and detached sequences which seemingly have no
relevance to the story. Wide camera angles and coloured over-the-top sets are visually spellbinding and aptly create a distorted vision of the future. The Zero Theorem is a science fiction/tragedy that challenges audiences to unravel the bewildering and seemingly cryptic storylines overloaded with bizarre imagery and peculiar characters. (MM) WWW
The Zero Theorem
Unmistakable gasps of coitus onscreen can only mean one thing – it’s all downhill from here. In a film that could be one of the most hysterical of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s creations, Mack (Rogen) and his wife Kelly’s (Rose Byrne) mundane family life is transformed into a battlefield when a partying all-American fraternity move in next door.
The Broken Circle Breakdown This masterpiece directed by Felix Van Groeningen tackles two events that are amongst the most over-used and clichéd in cinema.Yet it does not stray into the sentimental, but rather creates palpable emotion. Adapted from a play cowritten by leading actor Johan Heldenbergh, it is the story of eccentric couple Didier and Elise (Veerle Baetens), who grapple with tragedy
Cornelia (Luminita Gheorghiu) is an overbearing and overprotective mother. When her son, Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache), is involved in a car accident which kills a child, she uses her wealth and affluence to stop the manslaughter charges. From an Australian perspective, it is incredibly worthwhile viewing because of its examination of contemporary Romanian society and for the most part, an enlightening and
when their young daughter is diagnosed with cancer. The film is very raw, but it is that rough around the edges feel that makes it so beautiful. Part of this is the non-linear narrative; the fragmented moments that lay bare the very essentials of life. Spun to the rhythm of American bluegrass music, viewers are left with a portrait of a very genuine tragedy. (ATS) WWWW
Belle, a naval officer’s illegitimate daughter from an African mother, is taken to live with her great-uncle, the benign - if crusty - Lord Mansfield, also the Lord Chief Justice (played by the wonderful Tom Wilkinson). When Belle is a young woman he’s required to rule on a claim by slave traders that insurers must cover them for the loss of their ‘goods’ (human beings)
THE DOUBLE Based on the novella by Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Double stars Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) as Simon, a timid office drone in the midst of an existential crisis. Simon is — in the words of a tactless co-worker — “a bit of a non-person”. The unexpected arrival of Simon’s roguish doppelganger is a catalyst but also a mixed omen: will he seize control of his life or disappear completely? Marrying melancholy and black wit with an oppressive, dystopian setting, The Double is a haunting satire. (JH) WWWW
HEALING is an Australian film that is worth watching full of beautiful cinematography. Based on true events it is set in a low-security prison farm 200 kilometres outside of Melbourne. Don Hany (Underbelly) stars as Viktor Khadem at the end of his 16-year stint in prison. Hugo Weaving (Lord of the Rings) is his caseworker, Matt Perry. Together they set up a bird sanctuary to help heal, not only the majestic creatures, but also the broken inmates. The mise-en-scène and the elegant movements offer
From dildo fights to breast milk skits and the infinite peace offerings of marijuana from Mack to frat-leader Teddy (the ab-tastic Zac Efron), this film leaves no potential comedic avenue untouched. Though the ending felt a little rushed and weak, the bulk of the film is crude, vulgar but so hilariously Rogen. (CD) WWW½
thoughtful symbolism in this evocative story with great characters. (LK) WWWW THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 is the much-anticipated sequel to the 2012 blockbuster. It delivers twice the thrills and mayhem, as supervillains Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) attack Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield reprises his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, who continues to be torn between his mortal and superhero status, whilst his crime fighting
tragic story. However, the film does not allow the audience to feel empathy towards the main characters. Both harsh and unforgiving, it is not until the last scene when Cornelia faces the dead child’s parents that guilt, love and social inequality come to a head. Although the documentary style camera work is sometimes disconcerting, it’s easy to see why it won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. (ATS) WWW
– resulting in the first steps toward abolition of slavery in England. Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson ensure quality acting and comely newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) will undoubtedly be seen again. Will Belle’s love for young abolitionist lawyer (Sam Reid) triumph? Though never reaching great dramatic heights, Belle engagingly tells an important story. (MMu) WWW
is being publicly scrutinised. The CGI which is becoming more exhilarating and ambitious as the comic book franchise continues, fuels the pumping adrenalin, delivering what can only be described as wondrous escapism at its best. (MM) WWWW CANOPY is an incredible war/survival drama set during the Japanese occupation of Singapore in1942. When an Australian fighter pilot (Kahn Chittenden) is shot down in the jungle, he joins forces with a Singaporean/Chinese
resistance fighter (Tzu-yi Mo). Battling the odds they desperately fight for survival, aimlessly running through the mangroves evading Japanese soldiers. Language is a barrier, but they communicate non-verbally and an unexpected friendship flourishes. This low budget Australia/ Singapore co-production is suspenseful and engaging. Canopy is a fast-moving, edge of your seat drama in which few words are spoken. This effectively enhances the expressive performances of the small cast of two. (MM) WWW½
ANY DAY NOW reclaims a not-so-distant past with lush cinematography and lovable charismatic characters. Directed by Travis Fine, the film explores a trial in which a gay couple fight to legally save a child with a disability from his abusive biological mother. Stars Garret Dillahunt, Alan Cumming and Isaac Leyva deliver tender performances that bring charm and dignity to these characters battling with the strains of marginalisation. (CK) WWW
F R E E W I L L ASTROLO G Y by Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): When the path ahead divides in two, Aries, I am hoping you can work some magic that will allow you to take both ways at once. If you do master this riddle, if you can creatively figure out how to split yourself without doing any harm, I have a strong suspicion that the two paths will once again come together no later than August 1, possibly before. But due to a curious quirk in the laws of life, the two forks will never again converge if you follow just one of them now.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I see you as having more in common with a marathon runner than a speed racer. Your best qualities tend to emerge when you’re committed to a process that takes a while to unfold. Learning to pace yourself is a crucial life lesson. That’s how you get attuned to your body’s signals and master the art of caring for your physical needs. That’s also how you come to understand that it’s important not to compare yourself constantly to the progress other people are making. Having said all that, Taurus, I want to recommend a temporary exception to the rule. Just for now, it may make sense for you to run fast for a short time.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you fling handfuls of zucchini seeds on the ground
of a vacant lot today, you shouldn’t expect neat rows of ripe cucumbers to be growing in your backyard in a couple of weeks. Even if you fling zucchini seeds in your backyard today, you shouldn’t expect straight rows of cucumbers to be growing there by June 1. Let’s get even more precise here. If you carefully plant zucchini seeds in neat rows in your backyard today, you should not expect ripe cucumbers to sprout by August. But here’s the kicker: If you carefully plant cucumbers seeds in your backyard today, and weed them and water them as they grow, you can indeed expect ripe cucumbers by August.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): “If we want the rewards of being loved,” says cartoonist Tim Kreider, “we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known.” How are you doing with this trade-off, Cancerian? Being a Crab myself, I know we are sometimes inclined to hide who we really are. We have mixed feelings about becoming vulnerable and available enough to be fully known by others. We might even choose to live without the love we crave so as to prop up the illusion of strength that comes from being mysterious, from concealing our depths. The coming weeks will be a good time for you to revisit this conundrum.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): There’s a piece of art on the moon: a ceramic disk inscribed with
six drawings by noted American artists. It was carried on the landing module of the Apollo 12 mission, which delivered two astronauts to the lunar surface in November 1969. One of the artists, Leo maverick Andy Warhol, drew the image of a stylized penis, similar to what you might see on the wall of a public restroom. “He was being the terrible bad boy,” the project’s organizer said about Warhol’s contribution. You know me, Leo. I usually love playful acts of rebellion. But in the coming weeks, I advise against taking Warhol’s approach. If you’re called on to add your self-expression to a big undertaking, tilt in the direction of sincerity and reverence and dignity.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The planet we live on is in constant transformation. Nothing ever stays the same. To succeed, let alone survive, we need to acclimate ourselves to the relentless forward motion. “He not busy being born is busy dying,” was Bob Dylan’s way of framing our challenge. How are you doing with this aspect of life, Virgo? Do you hate it but deal with it grudgingly? Tolerate it and aspire to be a master of it someday? Whatever your current attitude is, I’m here to tell you that in the coming months you could become much more comfortable with the ceaseless flow -- and even learn to enjoy it. Are you ready to begin?
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “It isn’t that I don’t like sweet disorder,” said English author Vita Sackville-West, “but it has to be judiciously arranged.” That’s your theme for the week, Libra. Please respect how precise a formulation this is. Plain old ordinary disorder will not provide you with the epiphanies and breakthroughs you deserve and need. The disorder must be sweet. If it doesn’t make you feel at least a little excited and more in love with life, avoid it. The disorder must also be judiciously arranged. What that means is that it can’t be loud or vulgar or profane. Rather, it must have wit and style and a hint of crazy wisdom.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I have three sets of questions for you, Scorpio. First, are you anyone’s muse? Is there a person who draws inspiration from the way you live? Here’s my second query: Are you strong medicine for anyone? Are you the source of riddles that confound and intrigue them, compelling them to outgrow their narrow perspectives? Here’s my third inquiry: Are you anyone’s teacher? Are you an influence that educates someone about the meaning of life? If you do play any of these roles, Scorpio, they are about to heat up and transform. If you don’t currently serve at least one of these functions, there’s a good chance you will start to soon.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): According to my reading of the astrological omens, you should draw inspiration from this Chinese proverb: “Never do anything standing that you can do sitting, or anything sitting that you can do lying down.” In other words, Sagittarius, you need extra downtime. So please say NO to any influence that says, “Do it now! Be maniacally efficient! Multitask as if your life depended on it! The more active you are the more successful you will be!” Instead, give yourself ample opportunity to play and daydream and ruminate.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In Raymond Chandler’s pulp fiction novel *Farewell, My Lovely,* his main character is detective Philip Marlowe. At one point Marlowe says, “I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun.” In accordance with your astrological omens, Capricorn, I’m asking you to figure out how you might be like Marlowe. Are there differences between what you think you need and what you actually have? If so, now is an excellent time to launch initiatives to fix the discrepancies.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): There’s a slightly better chance than usual that you will have a whirlwind affair with a Bollywood movie star who’s on vacation. The odds are also
higher than normal that you will receive a tempting invitation from a secret admirer, or meet the soul twin you didn’t even know you were searching for, or get an accidental text message from a stranger who turns out to be the reincarnation of your beloved from a previous lifetime. But the likelihood of all those scenarios pales in comparison to the possibility that you will learn big secrets about how to make yourself even more lovable than you already are.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Author Eva Dane defines writer’s block as what happens “when your imaginary friends stop talking to you.” I suspect that something like this has been happening for you lately, Pisces -- even if you’re not a writer. What I mean is that some of the most reliable and sympathetic voices in your head have grown quiet: ancestors, dear friends who are no longer in your life, ex-lovers you still have feelings for, former teachers who have remained a strong presence in your imagination, animals you once cared for who have departed, and maybe even some good, old-fashioned spirits and angels. Where did they go? What happened to them? I suspect they are merely taking a break. They may have thought it wise to let you fend for yourself for a while. But don’t worry. They will be back soon.
Published on May 14, 2014