Is surfing sexist?
Bye Bye Barry: Premier resigns
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FREE • April 17 2014
Pressure to halt potential high rise on Oxford Street
LEST WE FORGET Memorial to Fallen Lifesavers to be unveiled on April 27
By DANIEL PAPERNY Design consultations surrounding the west Oxford Street precinct are “concerning” and community members have been rendered as “silent observers” in the process, community activist Matthew Gain says. Mr Gain’s ‘Save West Bondi Junction’ community group was formed to ensure any development at west Oxford Street is in accordance with the existing Waverley Local Environment Plan 2012 and does not threaten surrounding heritage sites and historic homes. The LEP requires building heights not to exceed 9.5 metres on the Waverley Bus Depot site and 15 metres in the area between Oxford and Grafton streets. Mr Gain, a resident of Leswell Street in Bondi Junction, questioned why Waverley Council would proceed with a design charrette to redevelop west Oxford Street despite no decision being reached regarding the sale of the bus depot. “The Waverley bus depot makes up around 50 per cent of the designated land under consideration,” he said. “Why are council funds being used to develop concepts for this state government land that is not even for sale?” On April 4, representatives from Save West Bondi Junction met with Waverley Mayor Sally Betts and council planning officers in a bid to ensure fair community representation during the design consultation. Mr Gain said Waverley Council agreed to allow three “suitable” residents to be “passive viewers” of the process, but only after those residents sign a confidentiality agreement. “We were invited to be participants of the charrette, however we needed to be silenced throughout the process. We couldn’t even share any of the things that were seen,” he said. “This hardly feels like the open and transparent process the council is espousing. Given those conditions it doesn’t seem that us being involved is
going to be productive [but] I am open to discussing this and working out a way forward.” Of particular concern to the community group is council’s inclusion of a report called the ‘Bondi Junction Urban Design Review’, prepared in 2013 by City Plan Services. It calls for the creation of an “iconic tower” on the site, which Mr Gain says could lead to a large scale redevelopment of the area. “What we are attempting to do is educate a diverse group of residents in the area [and] create an environment for them to voice their concerns,” he told the Bondi View.. “We are incredibly concerned about the potential of that public asset being sold into private hands which may impact what it’s currently doing: helping to deliver great public transport.” Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith promised to campaign against the redevelopment and said it would not go ahead. “I just thought that the whole thing was a pie in the sky and should be dropped,” he said. “Residents can rest assured that no development will take place on the Waverley Bus depot site, and I will always campaign against moves to over-develop local communities.” Labor councillor Paula Masselos said greater attention needs to be given to the Mill Hill heritage conservation area on Spring Street that will be impacted by any potential redevelopment. “We should be fighting very hard to respect and defend the interests of the residents and their amenities,” she said. Currently, no heritage architects or urban planners have been consulted in the design consultations. “It’s in a heritage conservation zone. At the moment that’s only an addendum and I think it should be at the front and centre of [the discussions],” Cr Masselos said. A further community consultation will be held on May 13 from 5:30pm at the Waverley Library Theatrette.
Fallen lifesavers to be remembered at Coogee Coogee MP Bruce NotleySmith said surf lifesaving was part of the “social fabric” of Coogee and the Fallen Lifesavers memorial will serve as a national installation recognising those who sacrificed their lives for Australia. “I can’t think of a better place than the electorate of Coogee to have this memorial,” he said. “Not only is it home to the oldest surf clubs in Australia, but of course, further to the west of the Coogee electorate, is where the Anzacs corralled
Photo: Chris Peken
BY DANIEL PAPERNY A new memorial will be unveiled at Coogee Beach later this month to commemorate the Australian surf lifesavers who served as soldiers in international conflicts since World War I. The ‘Fallen Lifesavers’ memorial will feature a statue of a digger and a lifesaver by Australian sculptor Alan Somerville with a large sandstone and grass terraced seating area facing Coogee beach. With 2014 marking one hundred years since the outbreak of the war,
The Fallen Lifesavers memorial at Coogee Beach
before they went off overseas. “The culture of surf lifesaving and the clubs - the red and yellow colours on the beach every weekend - it’s so ingrained in the fabric of the life of Coogee.” The Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club was founded in 1907 and club governor Tony Waller said Australia’s war veterans found great solace in the clubhouses and the values they instilled. “As a consequence of the mateship, the camaraderie, [and] the larrikinism that was surf lifesaving in those early years [after WWI], the Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club became a [symbol] for the lifesavers who had served their community and their country,” he said. “I think that connection, that dedication to the community, is still there”. Mr Notley-Smith said the memorial will act as a tribute to the heroism of volunteers who protected their communities and made invaluable contributions to society. “These are people
who not only served in a volunteer capacity looking after all the locals and visitors alike on the beaches but, year after year, saving their lives and having one of the most enviable safety records of beaches around the world...and then went off to war to serve their country in another capacity and paid the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. Waverley councillor Paula Masselos called the memorial “a great initiative” with the surf lifesavers being an internationally respected icon. “I think our volunteer life savers do an excellent job and it’s really good that we have an opportunity to actually acknowledge that people who gave their life in war, also gave their time to serve the community twice over,” she told the Bondi View. A remembrance wall listing the names of all fallen lifesavers is expected to be installed in April next year to coincide with the ANZAC centenary. The official opening of the Fallen Lifesavers memorial is open to the public. It will be held on Sunday April 27 at 10am at the South Coogee Beach promenade.
Sexism in Surfing? BY SHAMI SIVASUBRAMANIAN When 13-year-old Melbournite Olive Bowers wrote to Tracks magazine about its sexualisation of female pro surfers, it caught the attention of surf communities and mainstream media nationwide. The self-proclaimed “surfers’ bible” featured a ‘Girls’ section containing not female surfers but bikini models. “I urge you to give much more coverage to the exciting women surfers out there, not just scantily clad women,” Olive wrote to the magazine’s editor, Luke Kenndey. This week, the Bondi View opened the conversation on surfing culture to our own community. Nicola Atherton, a former professional surfer and the newest female addition to the TV show Bondi Rescue, finds the ongoing sexism disappointing, especially for young girls entering the sport. She blames public relations and sponsorship representatives. “A lot of the surfbrands will tell you that being a world champion isn’t the aspiration of the everyday girl,” Ms Atherton said. “The gypsy-boho, idyllic-location, girlie, carefree attitude is what they believe their target market demographic aspires to. I’ve heard them say many times about credible surfers that they just can’t market them.” Ms Atherton said she was influenced by sponsors from a young age and pressured to look “a certain way”. “They told me to lose weight a few times and that’s hard when you’re young. Especially when your goal is to win or be competitive.” She worries for the future of female surfing, too, and fears that young girls lack positive role models. “I remember when I was that age and there were surf girl mags dedicated to women in
professional surfing. And they were really positive role models for me. So when I look at today’s media in relation to women’s surfing, it’s almost pornographic in a way.” Surf school director Brenda Miley has made it her mission not to get mad but to get even. She started Let’s Go Surfing 21 years ago to encourage more women to participate in surf competitions. In 1999, Ms Miley founded the Bondi Girls Surfriders Club and was the National Women’s Director of Surfing Australia for several years. “There wasn’t even women’s surfwear or wetsuits at all,” she recalls. “You had to wear boys’ stuff!” Ms Miley says the issue of objectification is not limited to surfing, but is symptomatic of a broader ongoing struggle on female representation. “Opening up the conversation about women’s sexualisation is a much bigger picture. Because that’s everywhere in life. Just keep getting out there and surfing.”
Brenda Miley, founder of Let’s Go Surfing
Club revamp to Call for compassion pose traffic woes at Boonara Avenue 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: Michael Koziol Bondi View Editor: Daniel Paperny Contributing Editors: Triana O’Keefe and Paul Gregoire Contributors: Anthony Bell, Declan Gooch, Edmund Kirkwood, Virat Nehru, Angelo Risso and Shami Sivasubramanian Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Contributing Arts Editor: Emma Salkild Live Music Editor: Sharon Ye Dining Editor: Jackie McMillan Advertising Managers: David Sullivan, Toni Martelli, Robert Tuitama, George Tinnyunt and Hendri Hendri Design: Joanna Grace Publisher’s Assistant: Deeksha Chopra Distribution Manager: Danish Ali Cover Photo: Chris Peken - Tony and Tom Waller 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 Virat Nehru The redevelopment of Hakoah Club on Hall Street, Bondi Beach, has ignited a heated debate around the state of traffic congestion in Waverley. Labor councillor Paula Masselos said the difficulties of traffic congestion signal a wider problem, not just limited to Hall Street. “Now with the Hakoah redevelopment, it’s brought in a whole lot more traffic and a whole lot more congestion,” she said. “This is an example of what potentially might happen elsewhere.” Labor councillor John Wakefield urged Waverley Council to respond to the needs of the community. “Council’s responsibility is that any development that is approved is sensitive to its neighbourhood. If something seems to be having an impact on that area, then the council needs to respond to that impact,” he said. Cr Wakefield argued that reworking the existing traffic and pedestrian plan will help alleviate the issue of congestion. “A well worked-out traffic and pedestrian plan enhances an area,” he said. “What we have in Bondi universally are two hour metered or two hour not metered zones. It’s very unsubtle, it’s very un-resourceful, it’s very unstrategic.” Liberal councillor Joy Clayton said traffic and congestion are to be expected in densely populated area such as Waverley and it is unfair to single out Hall Street. “Why pick on Hall Street? It’s [traffic] everywhere you go down Bondi Road for instance, at any time of the day. It doesn’t matter where you are in Waverley. It’s a highly densely populated area,” she said. “It’s a lot of people living in a small 9.2 [square] kilometres. They know that the traffic’s bad, but it’s their preference.”
A spokesperson for Waverley Council said the council is now offering support to the Bobolas family. “We understand this is a BY Virat Nehru to recover costs to the point of Waverley Council has driving that family to sell their difficult time for the owners and we hope they will accept resolved to recover up to family home,” he said. the support we offer them,” the $350,000 of legal and clean-up Cr Wakefield said the costs surrounding a Boonara rubbish should not have been spokesperson said. Greens councillor Dominic Avenue property in Bondi. allowed to accumulate to such Wy Kanak voted against the This is the fourth occasion an extent in the first place. move to recover costs and on which the Land and 73-year-old Mary Bobolas noted a proposal for rolling Environment Court has was arrested on April 14 by ordered the council to clean-up Waverley police officers when clean-ups at Boonara Avenue had not been actioned. the notorious Bobolas family’s council workers moved in “Yes, we should realise property since 2005. to trim a series of branches our obligations under the Labor councillor John obstructing the Boonara Public Health Act and keep Wakefield disagrees with Avenue rubbish heap. acceptable neighbourhood the decision, arguing council Upon the removal of the amenity for our residents,” Cr should not seek to salvage its tree branches, Ms Bobolas financial outlays. confronted an attendant female Wy Kanak said. “But council should also “While council has an police officer, seized her badge be showing compassion and obligation and responsibility to and was taken into custody innovation in the way it deals ensure that the place is cleaned that morning on grounds of with the family.” up, council should not attempt assault.
The clean-up continues outside the Boonara Avenue home on Tuesday. Photo: Kira Spucys-Tahar
Barry O’Farewell: bottle of wine brings down premier Top secret BY MICHAEL KOZIOL A soap opera of historic proportion unfolded Wednesday before the shocked people of NSW. As Prime Minister Tony Abbott travelled to Liverpool to announce the city’s long-awaited second airport, Premier Barry O’Farrell – who was supposed to join him at that press conference – was instead announcing his resignation. In one of the most sudden and dramatic events in Australian political history, a single bottle of Penfolds Grange appears to have brought down the leader of a state. With just 12 minutes’ notice, a handful of reporters (most were already en route to Liverpool) ran to state parliament from the nearby Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing. Mr O’Farrell told the ICAC on
Tuesday afternoon that he had not received a $3000 bottle of wine from Liberal Party fundraiser and businessman Nick Di Girolamo. Mr Di Girolamo’s company Australian Water Holdings, which has links to the family of disgraced Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid, is alleged to have corruptly billing Sydney Water for expenses and donating the money to the Liberal Party. It also lobbied the government over a potential deal to roll out water infrastructure. But on Wednesday, it became known that ICAC would receive as evidence a thank you note from Mr O’Farrell to Mr Di Girolamo. “We wanted to thank you for your kind note & the wonderful wine,” the handwritten note says. “1959 was a good year, even if it is getting further away. Thanks
Never say thankyou: the premier’s handwritten note uncovered by ICAC
for all your support.” The ‘all’ is underlined in the note. Mr O’Farrell told stunned reporters that he “still can’t recall” receiving the gift and appeared to have suffered a “significant memory fail”. “I do accept that there is a thank you note signed by me,” he said. “I accept the consequences of my actions. And that is, that as soon as I can organise a meeting of the parliamentary Liberal Party for next week, I will be resigning.” The airport announcement now completely overshadowed, Mr Abbott praised Mr O’Farrell as a man of high integrity. “He innocently, inadvertently misled ICAC yesterday. He has taken the utterly honourable step of resigning as premier,” the Prime Minister said. “I admire him tremendously for this, although I deeply regret the necessity for it.” The ABC’s state political expert Quentin Dempster said the premier’s integrity was “on the line overnight” once he was drawn into the ICAC inquiry at very short notice this week. There was speculation on Wednesday that Mr O’Farrell could be indicted for perjury. The premier was recalled to the ICAC hearing Wednesday afternoon, where he apologised for giving incorrect evidence just the day before. “I gave yesterday my best recollection of that which was
stages light up the night
clearly was mistaken,” Mr O’Farrell said. “I regret that.” He told the hearing that despite the thank you note coming to light, he still does not recall receipt of the bottle of 1959 Grange. The ICAC made it clear that no further action will be taken against Mr O’Farrell. Treasurer Mike Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian are understood to be the frontrunners to replace the fallen premier. A well-placed source within Liberal Party staff told the Bondi View that “Baird is ahead for now but Gladys can still win”. A 2012 opinion piece by the then Sunday Telegraph political reporter Barclay Crawford suggested Mr O’Farrell would support Ms Berejiklian as his successor, were he forced to step aside for some reason. Nobody imagined then that it would actually come to pass. And all, of course, as Kate and William arrived to visit their former colony.
BY TRIANA O’KEEFE & michael koziol ‘Secret’ performances by big names in international music would be enabled under a City of Sydney plan to encourage touring artists to collaborate with local musicians. The Live Music and Performance Action Plan calls on the council to work with the immigration department, promoters and venues to create greater flexibility. The report says it is “common practice” for major touring artists to perform ‘secret shows’ at more intimate venues, often teaming up with local acts in the process. Stevie Wonder, Prince and Lady Gaga are among those known to play late-night gigs after their arena shows. But there are roadblocks imposed by visa regulations and exclusivity contracts, which the City of Sydney would like to see relaxed. The Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa requires an approved ‘entertainment sponsor’ (typically the promoter) to detail the artist’s work while they are in Australia, including all locations the work will occur.
Contracts between venues and promoters typically prevent artists from performing secondary gigs before or after primary concert. According to the action plan: “These exclusivity clauses also apply to touring band members and continue even after the primary concert(s) have sold out.” The plan reveals that “initial conversations with local promoters, festivals and venues indicate a willingness to revisit current practice”. It suggests that the immigration department could provide concessions for artists to perform in smaller venues once the primary concert has sold out. Chair of the Live Music Taskforce John Wardle said it is exciting when local artists are able to work with touring talent. “The effect is just enormous, not only for Sydney’s nightlife, but for the local musicians and venues as well,” he said. “Just look at 505 and the Basement who have had Harry Connick Jr’s band and Prince’s band play after shows.” A spokesperson for the immigration minister said the City of Sydney has not yet approached the government on this issue. “We will consider any proposal on its merits,” the spokesperson said.
BY MICHAEL KOZIOL A ‘Citizens Jury’ of 43 Sydneysiders has presented a list of 25 recommendations to Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Premier Barry O’Farrell on how to make the city’s nightlife safer and more vibrant. The jury recommends the state government establish a “night-time events co-ordination” department to businesses to extend their trading hours and diversify the late-night economy. It also recommends that exemptions to the state’s lockout laws be made available to venues that pose a low risk to public safety. There was unanimous support among the jurors to streamline
processes and reduce red tape around the approval of events and festivals. The jury met over five weekends and was addressed by a number of experts including the Australian Medical Association’s Dr Peter Aquilina, former director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, and representatives of NSW Police, the crime statistics bureau and the City of Sydney. It also undertook a night-time tour of Sydney’s entertainment hotspots, including Newtown, Haymarket, George Street and Kings Cross. The recommendations will be tabled in state parliament and have been welcomed by Cr
Jury member Josh Sprake says the recommendations were unsurprising
Moore, who described them as thoughtful and sensible. “The Jury saw a need to diversify Sydney’s nightlife, improve late night transport and recognise education and the media have a role to play,” the Lord Mayor wrote. She noted that eight recommendations fall within the City of Sydney’s direct responsibilities, toward which council is already progressing through OPEN Sydney, the Live Music Action Plan and its Public Toilet Strategy. 21-year-old telecommunications consultant Josh Sprake, who was one of seven or eight jury members under 25, said the process was hampered by its focus on reaching consensus. “Owing to this handicap, the jury was unable to criticise ideas or support other initiatives that may not have been popular but would have been effective at addressing our goals,” he told City News. “Most of the recommendations such as increased late night transport, increased police numbers, more CCTV footage and cutting red tape are things the NSW government and City of Sydney are already pursuing.” Among the report’s other recommendations is for the 1.30am lockout and associated measures to be reviewed after 12 months, rather than after 24 months as currently planned by the government.
Vigil honours victims of gay therapy BY Declan Gooch On a drizzly Saturday night, as the city’s party hotspots cranked into gear, a small group of people sat silent inside Oxford Street’s Stonewall Hotel to remember those traumatised by so-called gay conversion therapy. Seventeen kilometres away, in the southern Sydney suburb of Ramsgate, one of Australia’s last remaining ex-gay ministries closed its doors with a special service. Anthony Venn-Brown, CEO of Ambassadors and Bridge Builders International, organised the Stonewall vigil, which was originally to be held outdoors at Taylor Square until the rain arrived. He told the Bondi View the solemn commemoration was more appropriate than a celebration of Living Waters’ closure. “We do know that some individuals in these programs have been so tormented about their faith and their sexuality and driven to depression, to attempt suicide,” he said. “We should be remembering the terrible impact of those things.” Mr Venn-Brown was once a preacher at some of Sydney’s biggest churches, such as Hillsong. He was also married with children. But after the agony of going through an ex-gay program and trying to suppress his sexuality, he saw the process for what it was. “When I came to terms with all of that...I didn’t want one person to live one day in the eternal torment that I lived in for 22 years.” About 20 people attended the vigil, including gay advocates from religious groups - including pastor Mike Hercock of the Surry Hills Baptist Church. He said Living Waters’ closure points to broader issues of equal rights. “Things like marriage equality are important, because what they do is they put on the agenda legitimacy as a gay person and a gay couple that
the church can’t ignore,” said Mr Hercock. Dr Margaret Mayman, a minister at the Pitt Street Uniting Church, was recently able to marry her partner in New Zealand after its government passed marriage equality legislation. “We can celebrate that young people are growing up in a different world...and that we need to hold on to those things to give us hope, so that we keep going and do the work that’s still needed,” she said. A representative from Living Waters Australia did not respond to requests for comment. The ministry is known to have closed its doors due to a declining membership base. Photo: Declan Gooch
Citizens Jury delivers unsurprising verdict
Anthony Venn-Brown, Margaret Mayman and Mike Hercock at the vigil on Saturday
[the government] to the tribunal four times to fix her dampness. She ended up with pneumonia, and a heart condition,” Chris, who preferred not to give his last name, told the Bondi View These issues are not exclusive to public housing in Millers Point, he argues, but are occurring state-wide. “There are so many stories of bad workmanship, they are coming back again and again to fix the same problem, and getting paid each time.” Photo: Natalie Cox / Capture That Photographics
BY EDMUND KIRKWOOD Successive state governments have failed to adequately maintain properties at Millers Point, public housing tenants say. Damning accounts of the neglect shown to these ageing properties call into question the legitimacy of the government’s claim that the houses have simply become too expensive to maintain. In an interview with the Bondi View, lifetime resident of Millers Point Barney Gardner cited poor workmanship and infrequent government inspections as reasons for the continued dilapidation of government housing in the area. He pointed to dodgy gutter repairs as just one example, which he claims have caused more flowon problems for many tenants. “For some reason my newly installed gutters were overflowing. Later, another workman told me that the gutters weren’t bevelled properly – the gutter wasn’t slanted towards the downpipe - causing them to overflow,” Mr Gardner said. “But no one from the government came down to inspect the work.” A common result of bad guttering and substandard repairs is dampness and moisture in walls and floors, creating a potentially hazardous and structurally unsound living environment. Mr Gardner recounts a house with dampness between the upstairs bathroom and the downstairs ceiling as a result of poor piping. “Because the pipes haven’t been married together properly, water is getting into the downstairs’ ceiling. I went in there and there was a light fitting full of water.” Chris, a Millers Point resident of 40 years, alleged that a resident had to take legal action against the government to fix endemic household dampness that caused her severe respiratory issues. “We had one person who had to take them
Residents protest outside Sydney Town Hall
Mr Gardner said inspectors from Housing NSW have been alerted to the problems but have done little about them. “They’ve chosen to ignore the problems, and in doing so have made things a lot worse.” Residents also contend that companies contracted to do maintenance on behalf of the government have not completed renovations, leaving jobs unfinished and exposed to further damage. “I had a leaky tap. The plumber knocked all the surrounding tiles off to fix the problem, and he’s just left it [the tiles off],” Chris said. “It’s been left there with a plastic sheet over it [held together] with duct tape.” Mr Gardner alleges that contractors, as recently as two months ago, have deliberately not finished jobs, and when asked why, told him that the government is not paying them enough to fully complete the job. “A month ago one of my neighbours said that the [housing] department was sending someone to paint the inside of their house,” Mr Gardner said. “But the painter turned up and said he could only paint the ceiling, explaining that they weren’t paying him enough, and that he would be losing money if he painted the whole house. “This is a common story of what’s going on all around the state.” Despite grim living conditions, many residents are willing to endure ongoing maintenance issues as long as they can stay in their beloved Millers Point. “We just want to remain a community,” Chris said. “What they’re doing is heartless. It’s wrong.” The office of family and community services minister Pru Goward did not respond to requests for comment.
Cartoon: Peter Berner
Legacy of government neglect at Millers Point
The image of the injured beagle puppy, which has a bandaged leg and a cone around its neck, went viral on social media two weeks ago after being published on the Facebook page of animal advocacy group ‘Oscar’s Law’. The puppy was for sale at a pet store in the Westfield shopping complex in Carindale, Brisbane. The Facebook post spawned a change.org petition calling for the prohibition of live animal sales in Westfield shopping malls, signed by more than 70,000 people. But the RSPCA has defended the pet shop owner, labelling the social media campaign “totally berserk”. RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said the owner of the Companion Petz store, Scott Sheppard, has taken care of the injured puppy adequately, and that the RSPCA is fully satisfied with his efforts. “The vet concerned had no qualms whatsoever that the pet store owners were doing the best they
The injured beagle puppy in a Queensland Westfield pet store
satisfied that there was nothing wrong,” Mr Beatty said. “Unfortunately people just kept carrying on, and to be honest I feel sorry for the owners.” Mr Sheppard said he planned to take the animal home but decided against placing the puppy in an animal carrier as it became too distressed. The Queensland Code of Practice for pet shops requires that no sick or injured animals be on public display. However, the code is not mandatory. President of Oscar’s Law Debra Tranter said that was a poor excuse for inaction, and that there were a variety of superior alternatives available for injured pets. “The pet shop has the option of placing that puppy in foster care in a home environment so it could heal and recoup,” she said. Ms Tranter said Australians should purchase their pets from registered breeders rather than pet stores. “It’s not acceptable to display animals as products in glass windows. It’s a critical period of socialisation in a puppy’s life.” Lynda Stoner of the Sydney-based Animal Liberation advocacy group said pet stores lend themselves to impulse purchases, often to the detriment of the pet. “People tend to buy these animals on the spot, and they’re ill-equipped to look after them,” she said. “These animals get sent to pounds to be killed, and so the cycle just goes on and on.” In February, the NSW government flagged support for a number of recommendations including the creation of an official breeder licensing system, encouraging people to buy pets from rescue organisations and greater grant funding for microchipping and desexing programs. These measures follow on from long-term pressure applied by Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who in 2007 unsuccessfully attempted to ban live animal sales in pet stores. Westfield did not respond to requests for comment.
BY PAUL GREGOIRE Renowned inner west street artist Sid Tapia has teamed up with Sydney Water and Marrickville Council on an initiative with the unique proposition of utilising street art to reduce the sort of graffiti which some see as vandalism. In what is the pilot project of Sydney Water’s anti-graffiti initiative, Mr Tapia has painted a 75 square metre mural on the side of a pump house just north of Sydenham Station, which was previously heavily tagged. Mr Tapia said the “Let it Shine” mural is located where it can be easily seen from passing trains, and features a character inspired by his young daughter. “What I wanted to give to the community was something that would really inspire and encourage life into the person. I wanted to create something that would genuinely speak to everyone,” he said. “There are balloons which all have the names of artists from the inner west area [who] are very well-respected and inspired me.” A Camperdown resident, Mr Tapia explained that providing artists with allocated spaces to paint fosters better relationships between the community and the artists. “When there’s an actual mural that shows a lot of respect for the community, shows a lot of respect to fellow artists that in turn prevents other graffiti artists wanting to come and vandalise it,” he said. Sally Armstrong, manager of ‘people and places’ at Sydney Water, said the pump house was continually being tagged and was detracting from the local amenity. “We own a huge amount of assets around
greater Sydney. We have a big problem with tagging on lots of our sites, which is a safety issue and an amenity issue,” she said. “If you use a local respected artist, what you find is that the people responsible for tagging and putting up other graffiti tend to respect that artist enough that they don’t deface their street art.” This trial initiative is more cost-effective than removing graffiti, explains Ms Armstrong, and is part of Sydney Water’s liveable city strategy, which aims to improve local neighbourhoods. “If we do one say…at the northern beaches, the art piece that we commission will look very different because we want to make sure that it matches in with the community values,” she said. A Marrickville Council spokesperson said they were pleased to be contacted by Sydney Water to collaborate on a project to combat tagging. Photo: Chris Peken
Injured pup sparks pet shop debate Street art to BY Angelo Risso possibly could by the injured puppy. We said that we displace tagging It’s the photo that galvanised more than 70,000 had investigated the matter and we were well and truly signatures, but it may not be exactly as it seems.
Sid Tapia and his “Let it Shine” mural
Violence down despite later trading No try:
Richard Adamson, board member of the Newtown Precinct Business Association, said the alcohol-related violence has reduced because of the entertainment on offer at local venues. “The thing about the small bars is that it is attracting a different clientele. I think it’s really to do with the offerings around food, particularly live music as well,” he said. Mr Adamson, who is also the director of Young Henry’s Brewery, sees a benefit in the City of Sydney’s live music taskforce actively promoting live music, an
initiative that Marrickville Council supports. “Live music doesn’t make the primary purpose of going out drinking alcohol. I think that is a big positive,” he said. “The Green Room and the Midnight Special, those venues are regulars for live music.” It was expected that once the CBD lockout began, revellers would increasingly choose areas such as Newtown and Enmore as late night alternatives. Taxi and hire car drivers the Bondi View met on Friday night said more people were leaving the city before 1am and
Photo: Paul Gregoire
BY Paul Gregoire There has been a reduction in the rate of alcohol-related assaults in Newtown at the same time as Marrickville Council has been trialling extended trading hours for a number of venues on Enmore Road, the Bondi View can reveal. The statistics were outlined in a council report based on data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. While not analogous to the situation in Kings Cross, the figures would appear to discredit the link between early closing and reduced violence. Incidents of alcohol-related assault in the Newtown district, including Enmore, fell 14.8 per cent from 2011 to 2013. Between 2009 and 2013, council trialled later trading hours for ten venues on Enmore Road. “Out of that ten, three of those are restaurants and cafes that you can drink at and four of them are venues that regularly have live music,” said Greens councillor Sylvie Ellsmore. She argues the type of venues that have been granted the extended trading hours has helped lead to the reduction in violence. “People are just better behaved in small bars because of the smaller space,” she said. “There’s a much lower level of alcohol-related violence from the stats they’ve done of all the small bars.”
Open later but less violent: the Enmore Road entertainment precinct
heading to Newtown in particular. But Cr Ellsmore is concerned that in response, Newtown police are tightening their grasp around liquor licensing. “We have evidence that the police are changing the way they respond to new liquor licenses because of the new CBD lockouts. The police are clearly doing something different in Newtown and Enmore than what they were three months ago,” Cr Ellsmore said. “We need to ensure that positive, inclusive spaces in Newtown and Enmore are not restricted by a heavy-handed police response to alcohol management.” The Stinking Bishops is a licensed dine-in cheese shop that opened up on Enmore Rd two weeks ago. They initially had trouble obtaining their liquor license from the Newtown police, even though they are not a late night venue. Jamie Nimmo, co-owner of the Stinking Bishops, said after the initial difficulties Newtown police have been in contact and are being supportive. “We’re trying to push a good kind of cultural relationship between alcohol and food as a kind of matching,” he said. “We had some difficulties sort of surrounding it. I think the political climate at the moment surrounding alcohol has just made it a bit more difficult with people pushing licenses through.”
Rozelle Village rejected BY MICHAEL KOZIOL The proposed Rozelle Village development at the old Balmain Tigers site has now been rejected for a third time. The complex was to contain 247 apartments across two towers of 20 and 24 storeys, plus the redeveloped Balmain Leagues Club and a retail section. The Department of Planning and Infrastructure previously recommended the development be refused, primarily due to the adverse impact on Victoria Road traffic and the movement of buses along Darling Street. Declaring that “there has been no workable solution provided by the proponent to overcome the traffic and transport issues” posed by the development, the independent Planning and Assessment Commission
determined to reject the developer’s application. Rozelle Village managing director Ian Roberts said he was extremely disappointed with the decision, having revised the project three times in response to the demands of government and the local council. The Department of Planning and Infrastructure noted in its report that “the local community was very vocal, both for and against, this project”. It received more than 12,500 responses to the final ‘preferred project report’, 42 per cent of which were in support. The fate of the leagues club and the site is now unclear. Mr Roberts said Rozelle Village has “no immediate alternate plans for the redevelopment of the site”. He previously told the Bondi View that towers of fewer than 20 storeys would be economically unfeasible and would not proceed. Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne says the developer must now recognise that only a scaled-back proposal will ever be approved.
By ANTHONY BELL While Australia boasts some talented local performers, international acts often enjoy preferential treatment. Still, the Sydney arts scene, and those around the country, get by through the sheer determination of their professionals and the crowds who love them. Out of all these performers, the stand-up comedian is arguably among the toughest. They may not be associated with an American ‘hit’ show, but they are not to be looked down upon. Lone and learned men and women of the business, operating on the street and behind the scenes, are constantly alert and prepared to reduce even the most powerful leader or star to a hilarious caricature. So, how do the comedians feel about modern comedy and Sydney’s scene? Apparently, pretty good! Tom Murphy is young and paying his dues. Starting out as a terrified teen in Adelaide who went on to host comedy nights and is now working his way about Sydney, Murphy understands just how strange the comedy industry is, and adapts to overcome the challenges facing both the scene and himself. “It’s hard to get people out of their houses in Australia,” he says. “I can’t pin down exactly what you could say Sydney audiences are like. They’re different from room to room. But things like social media are a huge boon for comedians wanting to build their own personal audience. Chances are getting better.” Murphy says it’s sometimes very hard to get gigs because the supply of comedians is so large and the accessible venues are
“We’re different from the average comedy night. There seemed to be quite a few events that were going on for us, with performance nights like Story Club, Erotic limited to a centralised area. Fan Fiction and Cut and Paste, and we “People are very intense about their thought having a home for things like that work and the industry - but I wouldn’t say might help them cross-pollinate…that and they’re disrespectful. If you go in wanting help talented but vulnerable people become to do it and wanting to learn, people are exploited in various nefarious ways. So professional and treat you well,” he says. far, both premises have been pretty well “[Though] gigs are pretty much verified.” centralised and there isn’t much happening Why shouldn’t it be going well? The outside of the city.” venue is a performance space first and The pressure is on for comics to ply foremost, but it also has ambience and their craft in Sydney, network and complete a licensed bar for the punters, as well as side projects – something Murphy, like additional opportunity for performers – in his friend and figure of inspiration, Tom and outside of the traditional stand-up Ballard, sees as very important for all comedy. artists – comedians are working toward the Add to that The Giant Dwarf’s regular goal they unanimously see as the pinnacle shows which have tied into events such of their profession: getting “picked up”, be as the Sydney Writers’ Festival and Vivid, it at festivals or with agents who can take and it goes to show how individual efforts them to bigger and better enterprises. often coincide and combine with personal These chances grow as new venues dreams to create something that nearly sprout up on Sydney’s streets. The Sydney everyone can be part of. However, this Comedy Festival is just around the corner, creates a new question – how do budding which boasts a mix of international and comedians get involved? local talent. New comedy nights are also “We certainly have looked into letting being featured at venues like the Windsor others hire out the venue, and this might on Park and Scruffy Murphys. include producers putting on shows. Not to mention innovative performance Because it’s a live venue, and because we spaces like the Giant Dwarf that are also use it for our own filming, we’re not opening their doors too. The Giant quite sure what the mix will turn out to Dwarf, run by the infamous Chaser crew, be. We’re cautious of over planning,” says is keen to help expand opportunities for Morrow. comedians. He continues: “If you want to get “You say ‘to help’. I say ‘to exploit’,” jokes involved, come in and see a show. See what comedian and member of The Chaser, sort of things are being done and get in Julian Morrow. touch with the crew that are managing the He explains how this new performance events. Getting yourself and your ideas out space came together organically to help there is really worth pursuing. Everyone is solidify a whole number of creative always looking out for the next interesting, new and talented ‘thing’. The Chaser are endeavours.
Photo: Anthony McMenamin.
Get up, stand up
doing it just so we can keep our eyes on the competition and kill it, to preserve our own survival,” says Morrow. All joking aside: “I’m confident Giant Dwarf will create more occasions and opportunities for new comedians to try out.” Sydney Comedy Festival, Apr 22-May 17, various venues, various prices, sydneycomedyfest.com.au;
The Giant Dwarf, 199 Cleveland St, Redfern, giantdwarf.com.au; Corona Comedy, 48 Park St, Sydney, free, thewindsoronpark.com.au; Scruffy’s Comedy Club, 4349 Goulburn St, free, Sydney, scruffymurphys.com.au; USYD Revue at the Seymour Centre, May 9 & 10, City Rd & Cleveland St, $15-22, seymourcentre.com/events/event/ the-2014-sydney-uni-revue
EAT & DRINK
Café Del Mar A gently melodic tinkle heralds the arrival of Restaurant Manager Jessica Mead, wafting across the floor in a bright Camilla Franks kaftan. Her welcoming smile and down-to-earth nature suits this little slice of Ibiza, pitched to become the crowning jewel of Darling Harbour. The blue-tiled Mediterranean kitchen produces arguably the $ - mains less than $15
$$ - mains between $15-$22
ROCKS & CBD Heritage Belgian Beer Café This beautiful beer café, housed in a restored 1914 St Patrick’s Girls’ School hall, is sympathetically integrated with Harry Seidler’s neighbouring Cove Apartments. Start your Belgian beer adventure with silky Stella Artois ($9/330ml) poured in a nine-step ritual that ensures a creamy mousse. “Belgian beers are all about cleanliness,” Manager Gonzalo Burgos explains. My favourites were Leffe Blonde ($9/250ml) with a distinctive clove note that suited Abbey Cheese Croquettes ($15) with pear jam; and Duval ($13.50/330ml) with Duck Rillettes ($18), sharp pickles and rye bread.The house speciality is Moule
By Jackie McMillan best food I’ve had in an area better known for family-style dining and the odd tourist trap. Sibella Court’s blue and white colour scheme continues into roughly hewn fabric awnings, shading a balcony overlooking the waters of Cockle Bay. With several styles of seating, it beckons as the perfect place for sundowners. Start with draught Peroni ($9) or craftier Moon Dog ‘Love Tap’ ($10) as the sun goes down and The Star lights come up. While the brand speaks to me of lazy Sunday sessions; down to providing everything you need in one killer cocktail – El Jalisco ($19) featuring Don Julio Reposado, chilli, ginger, chorizo and a Laphroaig rinse – it’s also a credible restaurant. Dining as a twosome, I skipped over shared mains in favour drinking snacks from Crispy Cased Berkshire Pig Jowls ($24); to vibrant Snapper Tartare ($24) set off by fennel and Yarra Valley caviar; to a pretty Blackmore’s Wagyu Bresaola ($28). Make sure you check out the loos… Rooftop Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf, 35 Wheat Road, Sydney (02) 9267 6700 www.cafedelmar.com.au Cocktails, Bar, Modern European $$$$ $$$ - mains between $22-$30
Kilo Pots ($30). I take my mussels Roquefort with Chardonnay, cream and spinach, alongside Peche Lambic ($13/330ml) fruit beer. 135 Harrington Street,The Rocks (02) 9241 1775 heritagebarandrestaurant.com.au Pub Bistro, Belgian $$$$ Gowings Bar & Grill Despite the glamour, I found this restaurant surprisingly approachable, and frequented by a diverse range of people. A casually dressed woman, relaxing with a novel and classic Prawn Cocktail ($18) for companionship, proves my point. Entertained by the lively sounds of the upstairs function space, you’re unlikely to feel lonely if you pop in for flavoursome Hot Spanner Crab Cakes ($19) or
$$$$ - mains over $30
perfectly handled Darling Downs Black Angus Rib Eye ($48/350g) with condiments on the side.Tartare of Yellowfin Tuna ($18) is marvellously simple, whilst a pair of Whole Roasted Quails ($38) prove indulgent. Sides are necessary, and so is dessert – the perfectly pink pleasure of a layered verrine of Berry Mousse ($15). Level 1, 49 Market Street, Sydney (02) 8262 0062 qtsydney.com.au Modern Australian $$$$ The Flynn What struck me as a sports bar heaved a collective sigh of relief when the throbbing mass of Happy Hour suits gave way to casual, relaxed diners. Pushing through to the cavelike interior, one is rewarded with a spot of Teutonic sophistication with
Chefs Gallery The duck pancake is dead – long live the shredded Peking Duck Roti Wrap ($16.90/6 pieces)! It was my highlight of Chefs Gallery’s revised menu, which centres upon Chapas – Chinese style tapas. Before you wince, recall the Chinese have been sharing small dishes – dim sum – all the way back to the Han Dynasty; and reduced portions means sampling more dishes! Begin your adventure with a black vinegarbased Seaweed Salad ($6.90) or the Cucumber Salad Bar Manager Luke Reimann turning out a Blue Cheese Martini ($19) that highlights Crystal Head Vodka in a way that’d make Dan Aykroyd smile. It’s a shoe-in with Gorgonzola-stuffed Zucchini Blossoms ($14); while his Rum Chocolate Manhattan ($22) sets off the Rangers Valley Angus 300-day Grain Fed Steak ($28) a treat. Even the thin Chorizo Artisan Pizza ($19) is a winner, with lashings of piquillo pepper mayo. 2A Bligh Street, Sydney (02) 9223 0037 theflynn.com.au Pub Bistro, Cocktail $$-$$$ EASTERN SUBURBS The Hill Eatery Breakfast here is a stimulating experience, with plant life draping the walls, brown leather sofas,
($6.90/10 pieces). Both dishes lightly feature chilli oil, whetting your appetite for upcoming Chinese dude food – like tasty Macanese Style Pork Fillet and Floss Mini Burgers ($15.90/3 pieces). Though pared back, their beautifully photographed picture menu is still extensive, so consider finding seven friends and unleashing your inner noodle star at a Hands On Noodles and Chapas Feast ($69/head). It’s only offered to one table a night because it includes the Master Noodle Chef attending your table personally. With the rest of the restaurant watching enviously, you’ll attempt to master the art of stretching, piping (and eating) three types of noodles including toothsome knife-sliced sorghum, and beautiful handstretched Squid Ink Noodles ($20.90) wok-tossed with mussels, calamari and buttery garlic sauce. Ease any embarrassment by burying your face in a barnyard of Piggy Buns and Totoro Marshmallow Rabbits ($19.90). Shop 12, Ground Floor Regent Place, 501 George Street, Sydney (02) 9267 8877 chefsgallery.com Chinese $$-$$$
and repurposed wood benches. When it comes to the food, it’s all about honesty, with a farm-to-table philosophy. Although tempted by breakfast cocktails, some joggers guilt me into Green Juice ($6.50) with apple, mint, cucumber and citrus.You feel healthier just looking at it. Muffins, like Date, Banana and Chocolate ($4.50), are baked fresh daily. Mexican Baked Eggs ($18.50) start the day off in good stead (if you can finish it)! Love Eggs ($16.50) gets it right with field mushrooms, fanned avocado, ricotta and poached eggs on sourdough. It’s also a bar of an evening, with a strong local following. 39-53 Campbell Parade Bondi (02) 9130 2200 thehilleatery.com.au Café, Breakfast, Bar $-$$ 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
Le Pub Balmain As I got stuck into an excellent crusty French-bread take on Sydney’s obsession with miniaturisation - Le Petit Dog ($6) with lamb shoulder, lime labne, green chilli jam and coriander - the ladies at the next table mused: “I guess if I order a Grilled Chicken Salad ($18), I won’t feel so bad about the wine.” So expect to find both the venue and clientele much INNER WEST Quarrymans Hotel The steampunk update of this Pyrmont stalwart includes a boilerplate bar and repurposed materials, from cracked leather stools to a railway signboard listing two dozen on-tap Aussie brews. Enjoy an easy-drinking Grainfed Brewing Co. Sneaky One ($5.50/reg) or Nail Brewing’s fabulous Rick Disnick ($6.50/reg) strawberry wheat beer, sitting amongst limewashed walls, softly distressed window frames, hipster aprons and Edison light bulbs. First floor dining,The Drunken Fish, offers up tasty small plates like Confit Chicken Wings ($14) on blackened corn, or Berkshire Pork Belly ($14) with cider-stewed apples, pear, blue cheese, and raspberry
You met him at Pony Dining, but now Chef Damian Heads is riding his own horse. Taking over the Neutral Bay Pony outpost, he’s created his own remarkably unpretentious bistro, despite the fancy Matthew Darwon fit-out featuring five kilometres of wood! Actually Darwon’s simple organic shapes and materials suit Damien’s cooking style, which – while reminiscent of home cooking – takes it to a level you couldn’t
Wagyu House A circus tent of lighting alerts you to this Korean mecca of meat. Pull your vehicle directly into the centre of the restaurant; get met by a smiling waiter and directed into ‘The Butcher’. Greeted by an extensive, white-plate selection, ranging from mixed to marinated meats, vegetables and seafood, we eventually lean towards marination. Selecting Chilli Seafood Sticks ($10/3), Angus Short Rib ($25) and Pork Belly Chilli ($20.64/259g) with Baek Se Joo ($22/300ml) mellow Korean ginger and ginseng rice
changed from the old Monkey Bar days. The beverage list takes the best of beers from The Heritage, and throws in a decidedly French selection of drinking fun. Enthusiastic staff will happily guide you through how to best consume your Lillet Blanc ($7) – lemon and soda - or Lillet Rose ($7) – orange segments and lemonade. The menu reproduces the best of Gallagher’s sister Le Pub in Sydney’s CBD, with a bit of a Balmain twist. I tucked into a beautiful Whole Lemon Sole ($20) dousing it with my dining companion’s béarnaise, which accompanied his nicely cooked grass-fed L’Entrecote ($26) scotch fillet. Dishes come with beer matches that see your steak teamed with Kronenbourg 1664 ($6.50/330ml). Though I’d personally recommend double-parking small ceramic cups of Manoir De Kinkez Cidre Cornouailles ($16/375ml) and Eric Bordelet Calvados ($14) with a Pork Cheek ($16) with crispy pig’s ear, blackberry and cauliflower ‘velvet’. 255 Darling Street, Balmain (02) 9555 5711 lepubbalmain.com.au Pub Bistro, Modern French $$
vinegar pearls followed by well-cooked Pan-Fried Snapper ($28) on kipflers, chorizo, corn and pickled jalapenos. 214-216 Harris Street, Pyrmont (02) 9660 0560 quarrymanshotel.com.au Pub Bistro $$$ The Merton Hotel With “no pokies, and no gambling of any kind,” The Merton Hotel is “very family-oriented,” explains Bar Manager Jake Dylan. After a Peroni ($7.00/schooner) in the cosy front bar, we head to the bistro armed with the 2011 Botanica Chardonnay ($30/bottle).The menu combines the talents of a Thai Head Chef and a Mexican Sous Chef.We settle for Curry Goat ($23) - tender Booma Boers goat meat in a rich, flavoursome Caribbean curry.Tableside Pickapeppa Spicy Mango Sauce adds an element
Woodland Kitchen and Bar
By Jackie McMillan
of sweetness to the robust flavours, enhancing Jamaican Jerk Chicken ($22) and Pulled Pork Tacos ($14/3) too.The Betel Leaves ($8/3) convince me to return to try the Thai dishes soon. 38 Victoria Road, Rozelle (02) 8065 9577 themertonhotel.com.au Pub Bistro,Wine,Thai, Jamaican $$ Nithik’s Kitchen Hankering for good Indian? This Rozelle gem by Chef Vikram Arumugam (ex-Aki’s) has an innovative and flavoursome menu. Southern Indian Samuthiram ($18.90) is a definite favourite, layering school prawns, crab and rice pancakes with a creamy coconut sauce and a side of Bengalese shrimp, chilli and tomato paste.Tree of Taste ($12.90) gives an oral and artistic demonstration of Vikram’s flavour palate. Great coconut
achieve without the intense heat of a woodfire grill utilising slow-burning charcoal and iron bark timber. Grilled Haloumi with Smoked Tomato Relish ($15.50) illustrates my point admirably, presented simply but delivering a unique smoky aroma. It even outshines his Grass Fed Dry Aged Sirloin on the Bone ($38/350g). On the floor, the personable and warm Laura Simmons knows her way around his menu, matching a pretty Seared Scallop Salad ($22) to my Blood Orange Margarita ($15). The focus upon everyday dining continues into a Lamb Backstrap ($34) presented on smoky eggplant with quinoa, tomato and herb salad; plus sides that include Mash ($6) that’s ninety percent potato (practically a restaurant miracle)! Crunchy Steamed Greens with Almond Butter ($8) will set off your steak, and if you throw in a jammy Woodstock Octogenarian Grenache ($46/bottle) you might start wishing you were a Louvre apartment complex local. 2/19-25 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay (02) 9904 3400 woodlandkitchen.com.au Modern Australian,Wine $$$-$$$$
wine, we cross the carpark to a table brimming with banchan. These small vegetable sides – from kimchi to ultra-sweet carrot and potato hunks – go well with our self-barbequed charcoaled selections. Joyous but very messy… 668-670 Parramatta Road, Croydon (02) 9797 9999 Korean $$ Belmore Lebanese Bakery Burwood Road offers up a multicultural melange of cuisines including at least five international bakeries. Owner of Belmore Lebanese Bakery, Eddie Zanbaka tells me: “I am the oldest and probably the most established”.
The rhythm of Eddie’s life flows around the feast days and celebrations that bind his local community together. During my brunch a steady stream of regulars pop by for Holy Bread (Qurban) ($5/5). Baked at high temperature in his store centrepiece - a remarkable round artisan brick oven – Meat Pizza (Manoush) ($3.50) with lamb, onions, pepper and spice, is crisp and delicious. For lunch on the run try fluffy Za’atar ($3) cooked with oregano and sumac, wrapped around vibrant tomatoes and olives. 339 Burwood Rd, Belmore (02) 9759 2490 Lebanese, Bakery, Pizza $
Toxteth Hotel “I am a chef and cannot keep calm,” is printed on a nicely thematic union jack affixed to the kitchen. By contrast though, the men inside the glass box are deadly silent, moving like a well-oiled machine. This is lucky because this popular Glebe local is packed with a mixed bag of locals and visitors. A somewhat forlorn music trivia host tries his best to lure diners inside, chutney and homemade ghee notches Masala Dosa ($13) above most I’ve tried.Vikram’s curries are all great: from Meen Manga Charu ($25) of barramundi, coconut and green mango, to labour-intensive lychee-stuffed cottage cheese balls Lagaan Ke Kofti ($18) liberally dunked in cashew gravy and scattered with dried fruit. 679 Darling Street, Rozelle (02) 8084 8921 Indian $$-$$$ DARLO, KINGS X & SURRY HILLS 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
but it’s clear my fellow Aussie all-weather backyard compatriots are here for generously portioned tenbuck rump steaks or fish’n’chips, from the Monday/ Tuesday Dinner Menu. I dabble with lightly battered Jalapeno Poppers ($12) with cream cheese, smoky bacon and Baja sauce, and panko-crumbed Brie ($13) with sweet-chilli jam and aioli, 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 with good patty char from the fast-paced grill. My meal highlight was Fried Whole Baby Snapper ($24) with sweet and sour apple sauce, leading me to dub this chef Sydney’s battered and fried pub king. Their excellent bottle shop explains why you can pick up a decent drop inside – perhaps the Joseph Chromy Pepik Pinot Noir ($42/bottle) – or maybe just match your favourite fried food with Bilpin Pear/Apple Cider ($8.50). 345 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (02) 9660 2370 toxtethhotel.com.au Pub Bistro $-$$
offering up a loosely 70s-themed Italian red-sauce diner where you can eat and drink inexpensively up to the city’s new witching hour of 3am. Alex Lehours’ artwork pushes you at the Stolen Spiced Rum Dark & Stormy ($14); or there’s Mulo ($16) – vodka, ginger and Ramazzotti – that compliments tasty Meatballs ($14) in rich tomato sauce. Kick on with longnecks in paper bags against simple standout pizzas like Pollo ($16) with chicken, avocado and mozzarella, or light’n’bright Capelli D’Angelo ($16) with rocket, chilli and prosciutto. 1 Kellett Street, Potts Point (02) 9360 0260 rocafelas.com.au Italian, Pizza, Cocktails $-$$ The Carlisle Bar This bar wins my most sexy and clever
cocktail title: Rye An’ Gosling ($18) made with rye whiskey, Goslings rum, ginger beer and freshly squeezed apple juice. If Sydney women weren’t drinking whiskey before, they are now. After your fling, retire to the workman’s bar – a ‘steerage class’ lounge suited to tapas snacking. Homemade Haloumi ($14) is out of this world, made with real milk (not powder) by an 86-yearold Greek woman.Tortilla Chips ($16) with guacamole go hand-in-mouth with a Skinny Bitch ($18) cocktail: because excess in denial is the Kings Cross way. Chef isn’t giving any secrets away about his Spicy Chicken ($16), but will talk you through Prawn and Calamari ($18). 2 Kellett St, Kings Cross (02) 9331 0058 thecarlislebar.com.au Bar, Bar Food, Cocktails $$
FOOD NEWS With drizzly weather predicted The Rocks Vintage Dinner took place under a gorgeously intimate, street-length fabric marquee. Seated at the long, beautifully adorned communal table between seasoned attendees and enthusiastic, young newcomers, we perused the menu, giggling as the latter group explained Wine Odyssey’s Enomatic pouring system “like a Pick’n’Mix for adults“. We availed ourselves of their 2012 Belgravia Gewürztraminer from Orange, and a helping from their huge pan of braised beef cheeks with pearl barley and mushroom risotto, arguably the dish of the night.The Cut’s new chef Grant Croft produced the best overall set of dishes: scallops with mushrooms, peas and bone marrow, and braised beef brisket with liquorice, spinach and carrots.Ananas Bar and Brasserie won dessert hands down, with a trio of mini éclairs – yours to be had for just two rocks.This cashless exchange system was just one exemplar of the celebration of analogue pleasures, which included Gramophone Man, singers and dancers, all put on by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority to promote a dining district of Sydney we shouldn’t just leave to tourists! www.therocks.com
By Rebecca Varidel
THE ROOSEVELT Who doesn’t love Champagne? Last week was the launch of what will now be a fortnightly event, in the secluded back of The Roosevelt – the seductive Monroe Room. The first Wine on Wednesdays taste event was on Champagne, a two-hour session ($75/head), hosted by Moët & Chandon Brand Ambassador Garth Forster. We travelled our way from a classic Champagne cocktail through Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial NV and Rosé to Moët Ice. The
first event included both food and sabrage – the opening of the bottle with one whoosh of a sword. The only blade I’d ever wanted to hold in my hand was a chef’s knife – until now that is! Although a sword looks a bit dangerous, one day I might have a go. Wine on Wednesdays at The Roosevelt will showcase wines and winemakers, both local and from around the globe. 32 Orwell Street, Potts Point (0423) 203 119 theroosevelt.com.au
The Silence Came
Have you ever wondered how your favourite films, television shows, or novels would turn out, if only you could call the shots? If so, then you could find the theatre piece you’ve been waiting for in 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-yearold Darlinghurst terrace house. The audience dictates the direction the action onstage will take for each and 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”. Maurice has been “very humbled” by ticket sales so far and this show is garnering major early interest from a Sydney arts crowd whom, Maurice is confident are “really ready for something alternative.” Tickets are selling out quickly, so audiences keen for a night of fascinating “choose your own adventure” theatre, should snap them up soon. (SW) Apr 21-May 26, The Commons, 32 Burton St, Darlinghurst, $20, thesilencecame.com
His latest release is currently enjoying top-end iTunes chart success, but back-track to just two days before the release, and Dan Sultan is gushing about the recording process for Blackbird. “We had quite a few songs to choose from,” reveals Sultan. “But [producer] Jacquire King had some great ideas and was
able to cull some songs. It’s nice to have someone who’s not emotionally attached to make those decisions.” The singles Under Your Skin and Same Man are pumping over multiple airwaves, and the former of the two sports a video that would make any sane person cringe - “we were comfortable with each other and we’ve worked together in the past... But it was a little bit [weird],” he says. Sultan is flying the flag of rock ‘n’ roll loud and proud and becoming ambassador for AMRAP (The Australian Music Radio Airplay Project) and Record Store Day, as well as campaigning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, has managed to interlink his many passions. “There’s my music and there’s my profile,” he says simply. “With a profile comes a certain level of responsibility and I’ve always been brought up to have a bit of a social conscious, so it’s a nobrainer.” (CD) Record Store Day, Apr 19, various independent record stores incl. Red Eye Records,Title & The Record Store. Dan Sultan, Jul 11, Metro Theatre, 624 George St, Sydney, $49+bf, metrotheatre.com.au. ‘Blackbird’ out now via Liberation Music.
18 STAGE 20 SCENE 21 SOUNDS 22 SCREEN
Photo: Donatella Parisini
Photo: Idil Sukan
Clary now enjoys the contrast of spending six months touring and the other six months writing in his rustic, country manor house in Kent, which was once owned by one of his heroes Noel Coward. “I appreciate the contrast between the two, whether I’m doing stand-up or writing books - they’re both a form of self-expression.” The highlight of Clary’s career came while touring this show, when he won Celebrity Big Brother 10 (UK) in 2012. Now he’s looking forward to bringing Position Vacant: Apply Within to Australia. (LK) Apr 22, State Theatre, 49 Market St, Sydney, $69.90, 136 100, sydneycomedyfest.com.au
Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley
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finishing school for Harris and the songs of Peter Allen figured heavily in many talents quests from his early years – hence the name of this show. (MMu) Apr 13, 27 & May 4, Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point, $37.75, hayestheatre.com.au
An eclectic mix of talented artists tackle one of life’s challenging questions in the new production Machine - how do you convince someone to live? Machine takes place in a bathroom,
where a young woman named Christine (Lucy Heffernan) contemplates suicide. As Christine’s death unravels before the audience, her guardian angel (David Jackson) does everything in his power to convince her to live. Inspired by Hari Kunzru’s short story Deus ex Machina, director Rachel Chant says Machine is a discussion of free will and divine intervention. “Is it better to make decisions yourself or have someone step in to clear everything up for you?” questions Chant. “But does that fix anything?” The aesthetically driven production uses design elements to tell the story. “We use projections, sound design and lighting design to blur two worlds; the angel’s world and Christine’s world,” says Chant. “I really like using the design elements to not just support the production but also to help tell the story.” Machine is the second of three productions within The Old 505 Theatre’s FreshWorks program - a series of development showings of experimental works by experienced artists. (SM) Until Apr 20,The Old 505 Theatre, 342 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, $18-28, venue505.com/freshworks-2014
David Harris’ parents had no connection with the theatre - his father worked in coal mines - but one of the greatest gifts they gave him was the freedom to make his own decisions. So, when architecture was abandoned for musical theatre, they were dismayed but let him follow his heart. Rather than choosing theatre, Harris feels it chose him. The beginnings were humble: the Year 8 school musical saw young Harris cast as Superman but he was so skinny the lycra costume “dripped off” him.That’s well over 20 professional years ago now, years that span productions that are theatre staples in this country: Miss Saigon,Wicked, Legally Blonde, Mamma Mia!, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Boy from Oz. Time is a Traveller is an intimate production that weaves the songs and stories of an Aussie country kid who forged a successful career in musical theatre. Working in the original production of The Boy from Oz with Todd McKenney and Chrissy Amphlett was like a
Julian Clary - Position Vacant: Apply Within It has been six years since his last Australian tour and Julian Clary is on his way back with - Position Vacant: Apply Within. Clary is looking for a husband. If you are male and don’t mind being poked with a cattle-prod, go along. Once considered an alternative comic, Clary is now a household name on primetime TV in the UK. The softly spoken, polite, yet innuendo-driven performer, started out 30 years ago with no intention of making a career this way. “I just enjoyed making people laugh. The reason for my longevity would have to be due to my diversity. I have done comedy, written novels, done panto, reality TV and even BBC Radio 4.”
Time is a Traveller
Photo: Tony Lewis
Photo: Aston Campbell
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Contributors: Alexandra English, Alexis Talbot-Smith, Angela Stretch, 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, Lisa Ginnane, Luke Daykin, Lyndsay Kenwright, Marilyn Hetreles, Mark Morellini, Mel Somerville, Melody Teh, Michael Muir, Michelle Porter, Nerida Lindsay, Rhys Gard, Rocio Belinda Mendez, Ruth Fogarty, Sean May, Sharon Ye, Shauna O’Carroll, Siri Williams, Tom Wilson,Vanessa Powell
Strictly Ballroom: The Musical
Baz Luhrmann’s latest creation is bursting at the sequined seams of the Lyric Theatre. Strictly Ballroom:The Musical has finally arrived. In an explosion of colour and feathers, the classic tale about overcoming repression flamboyantly enthrals audiences as much as the 1992 film did (and still does). 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 beside Panaretos’ bright star. The original and rousing Love Is A Leap Of Faith written by Sia Furler and Luhrmann is the hit song. It stirs the audience even more than the obligatory Love Is In The Air – the expected high kick of the production. 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 the senses. (LL) Until Jul 6, Lyric Theatre, Pirrama Rd, Sydney, $55-145, strictlyballroomthemusical.com
Scotland’s favourite stand-up comic, Kevin Bridges, has made his way down under to perform many shows for his Australian fans. The hilarious comedian is performing at the Comedy Festival in Melbourne along with more shows in Brisbane, Perth as well as the Sydney Comedy Festival. Bridges first rose to fame in 2006 at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival and has been getting bigger and better ever since. He was inspired to pursue stand-up comedy after reading Frank Skinner’s autobiography. “I was reading his autobiography and that made the world of stand-up sound tough and quite challenging and ideal for someone who thought they were quite funny,” says Bridges, THEATRE &
PERFORMANCE CONSTRUCTION OF THE HUMAN HEART Dino Dimitriadis’ adaptation of this play is a fast, electrifying and dark comedy about two playwrights as they explore what happens when they move from on script to off while writing their next play. The play will be performed by Michael Cullen as ‘Him’ and Cat Martin as ‘Her’. Dimitriadis describes the play as a “really interesting entry piece into the theatre which is incredibly human and raw, as it
“So, I thought I’d give it a go.” Scotland’s biggest export has recorded his debut DVD and is a regular on the hit comedy show Stand Up For the Week. Audiences should expect the unexpected at one of his shows. “I talk about opinions, observations and just stupid stories really,” says the comedian. “And a woman went into labour one night during my show in Glasgow.” This marks the first time Kevin Bridges will be touring Australia so it should be a good one. (CT) April 22 (two shows), Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Rd, Newtown; Apr 23, Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Rd, Marrickville, $42.90, sydneycomedyfest.com.au
explores a whole range of emotions. It’s not your average night or conventional play and has many different layers to explore, even for veteran theatregoers”. (JA) Until May 3,TAP Gallery, 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, $22-27+bf, apocalypsetheatrecompany.com PINOCCHIO There have been a plethora of adaptations, however, the new theatrical performance of Pinocchio by Adelaide’s Windmill Theatre breathes new life into the age-old story.The classic will be modernised through contemporary music, dance and design. The play, which focuses on themes
Photo: Blueprint Studios
The Australian Ballet provides a luscious feast for the senses with this season’s production of Manon, choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan. Manon (Leanne Stojmenov) falls in love with the student des Grieux (Daniel Gaudiello) while her brother Lescaut (Chengwu Guo) attempts to sell her to the pig-headed Monsieur GM (Matthew Donnelly). What ensues is a dark tale involving murder and rape, brightened by cheerfully comedic acting and footwork by Guo, as he portrays a drunken Lescaut. Ako Kondo is expertly paired with Guo as Lescaut’s
mistress, her disciplined form and enthusiasm evident whenever onstage. While originally lacking chemistry during key scenes, Stojmenov and Gaudiello eventually convince they are a young couple in love. Sets are incredibly detailed, coupled with clever use of lighting. Costumes are lavish and represent early 18th century Paris effectively. Nicolette Fraillon masterfully conducts the orchestra as it performs Jules Massenet’s romantic score, successfully capturing the tragedy and drama confronting Manon. (LD) Until Apr 23, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, $36-224, sydneyoperahouse.com
Music Music explores the often taboo subject of mental illness, breaking down social stigmas along the way. Award-winning playwright Jane Bodie teams up with director Corey McMahon to critique the way mental illness is perceived
of reality, truth and eternal love, aims to educate and entertain children, as well as engage, encourage and entertain families as a whole. Like many fairy-tales, the original story of Pinocchio is at times quite dark and explores children’s fears – like being separated from their parents. Artistic director Rosemary Myers describes going to the theatre as like a “mini family holiday” and encourages parents to take their kids to see one of their favourite childhood fables, to experience it like they’ve never seen it before. (EC) Until May 4, Sydney Theatre Company,
The Wharf, Pier 4 Hickson Rd, (02) 9250 1777, sydneytheatre.com.au PERPLEX A young couple arrive home from holiday to find that things are not quite as they left them.There are some weird pot plants; the electricity has been cutoff, the apartment smells terrible – and where are the friends they left housesitting? So opens Perplex, a lively piece of absurdist comedy from German writer Marcus Von Mayenberg (Fireface,The Ugly One). “Essentially, the whole play is a riff on philosophy, reality and what it means to be alive,” says director Sarah Giles, “and what better
today. “Music proves that the central character can be a fully formed person who just happens to have a mental illness,” McMahon says. Two actors researching a theatre project befriend a seemingly quiet and ordinary man named Adam (Anthony Gee). In reality, Adam’s unexceptional existence is carefully calibrated - a precarious sideways tightrope-walk over his mental illness. Now, Adam’s new friends are at risk of throwing his life dangerously off-balance and there’s every chance they’ll go down with him. “I think people will get a lot out of it,” says Gee. “It’s not very often that Australian work examines mental illness particularly in the way Jane is, she’s tearing down a whole bunch of assumptions,” says McMahon. Music features a stellar cast including Anthony Gee, Sam O’Sullivan, Kate Skinner and Tom Stokes. (SM) Until April 26, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $28-35, griffintheatre.com.au
place to explore reality than in the theatre, which is the ultimate lie.” A comedy about philosophy, this is a play of freewheeling chaos with the ground continually shifting under the audience’s feet. It makes for engaging theatre. (GW) Until May 3, Sydney Theatre Company, The Wharf, Pier 4, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $30-65, (02) 9250 1777, sydneytheatre.com.au CLYBOURNE PARK The Ensemble Theatre directed by Tanya Goldberg brings to life Bruce Norris’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park. Not for the easily offended, Norris’s dangerous and delicious writing
brings to boil the bigotry that is often simmering just below the surface. The split between the 1959 and modern settings provides a pertinent commentary on gentrification and the way in which history lingers in the dry wall. Nathan Lovejoy is the standout performance. His comic timing in portraying the nervous yet self-righteous ‘50s community leader is truly brilliant. Clybourne Park leaves audiences both cringing behind their hands and in fits of laughter. (CK) Until Apr 19, Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St, Kirribilli, $30-65; Apr 23 & 24,The Concourse, 409 Victoria Ave, Chatswood, $30-65, ensemble.com.au
THE NAKED CITY
Welcome to the Hotel Melancholia
By Coffin Ed, Miss Death & Jay Katz A few years ago, during a wet and chilly Sydney winter, a group of homeless men took refuge in a vacant space under the Domain Car Park, opposite St John Young’s Crescent. As the nights got colder and the rain set in their numbers swelled with up to a dozen or more men sheltering there each night. Out of sight from passers-by and no threat to local residents, they remained there for two or three weeks. At one stage they attracted the attention of a Channel 9 reporter who supposedly joined them, bedding down for the night to highlight the plight of those sleeping rough. Then, one day it all suddenly ended when the police or Council rangers cleaned them out and the entire area was fenced off at a cost of many thousands of dollars. Ironically this is the same exact spot where the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust want to build an $80 million, 150 room, five-star hotel designed to cater for cashed-up overseas tourists – all part of a controversial master plan to upgrade the entire area. At first it just sounds like the history of Sydney all over again, where the big bucks bulldoze anything in their way, but does it have to be that way? Why not bump the room numbers up to 300 and set half of them aside for the homeless, especially during the icy winter
months? The State Government could offer generous tax concessions to the developers and the hotel owners to make at least half their capacity available to the genuinely homeless for a token amount of two or three dollars a night. Sounds like a ridiculous idea? Well, take a look at what happens in some international cities like Istanbul in Turkey where the homeless are regularly rounded up by buses in winter and offered free accommodation in hotel rooms that would normally remain unoccupied during the offseason months. Homeless men have been sleeping rough around this area for decades and surely during that time have established some territorial rights. The mix of the dispossessed and the down-andout with wealthy Chinese and Korean visitors would make for an interesting social experiment. We see no reason why tourists would not embrace the cosmopolitan mix. THE HIT LIST: James Cotton is one of the last surviving members of the classic Chicago blues scene of the ‘50s and ‘60s, synonymous with names like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Otis Spann, to name just a few. In Australia for the Byron Bay Bluesfest he plays his first ever Sydney show at The Basement on Wednesday April 23 along with his own band. Regarded as one of the greatest blues harpists of all time, this is a show not to be missed.
TALKING THROUGH YOUR ARTS The Dealer is the Devil The Dealer is the Devil is an anecdotal account of the prospering sales of Aboriginal Art that has emerged during the 20th and 21st centuries within the Australian and international art market. The author, Adrian Newstead, has more than 30 years of experience working in Aboriginal and Australian contemporary art. He established Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Australia’s oldest continuing Aboriginal art gallery, in 1961. Newstead’s book took seven years to write, it is part memoir, part history and part political commentary. The book begins with his own personal experience of dispossession in the outback, when his car was stolen and valuable artworks were taken. They were recovered from the bottom of the Kimberley River. Newstead is quick to defend his reasons for starting the book in this way, “I wanted people to understand the content of the paintings and the culture from which they come.” From the outset Newstead intended the book to be specifically on the art market opposed to the Aboriginal art movement, but from sending draft runs to respected readers, the overwhelming response was to
find a way to integrate the two areas. Newstead argues that Aboriginal art has been the most transcendental chapter in the history of Australian art. He challenges readers to consider the last 200 years as being a significant period of reconciliation for Australia and its remote Indigenous communities who are desperate to paint their history for future generations. These rectangle frames Newstead describes are long narrative cartoons that have been scattered on “the commercial winds of exchange to the far corners of the Earth”. While Newstead considers the most interesting recordings of history are those written from a personal view, he acknowledges that the little jigsaw cartoons that will be regathered for the world’s visual heritage archives will continue to shape these pictorial translations into words. There is a pervading philosophy in Newstead’s standpoint that is encouraging the enterprise opportunities for independent Aboriginal artists, over sales exclusivity facilitated through intermediary management, such as art centres. Despite the profiteering - he said of his experience in weighing-up a contemporary approach he considers there has been far too much
made of exploitation, “to try and consign Aboriginal people into a traditional straightjacket is a form of Euro-centric tyranny!” (AS) The Dealer is the Devil: An Insider’s History of Aboriginal Art Trade, cooeeart.com.au
Storytellers of the Town Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook
Confronting images and startling installations feature in Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s new exhibition, Storytellers of the Town at the 4A Gallery. The artist explores forbidden realms, such as death and insanity, in her work. For instance, The Class is a cinematic display of a lecture to the dead. The corpses lie still and white shrouded in the foreground as the teacher paces desperately, attempting to instil knowledge into the frozen forms. The blackboard in the background evokes memories of universal anonymous classrooms, and the whole is a shocking comment on the limits of communication. The Class is complemented by other presentations of stark realism. Great Times Message, Storytellers of the Town,The Insane, depicts disturbed women telling their stories. Their hazy images and distraught voices produce a disorienting cacophony of visual and oral noise. Powerful yet sympathetic, this is an exhibition of an artist who defies the limits of conventional discourse. (LR) Until May 10, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 181-187 Hay St, Haymarket, free, 4a.com.au
‘The Class’, image courtesy of the artist and 4a Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
From the Streets
Street art by Beastman
Raw, unpredictable and distinct, street art is starting to make waves in the art culture of Australia. With .M Contemporary Gallery showcasing a major street art exhibition called From the Streets, street art is moving from laneways to lounge rooms. Michele Paterson, Director of .M Contemporary Gallery, says the exhibition is designed to open people’s minds about what street art is and its accessibility. “Street art is one of a kind, it’s stenciling, painting, posters, sculptures. There are so many different forms of it, and it is a gift that the artists give for free,” she says. The exhibition is trying to change the way people think about art and collecting art, and show the way different mediums can become valuable collectables. “I want new people looking at art and collecting it, it’s about getting people talking and thinking about art,” says Paterson. “Street art is becoming a bit of a thing in Australia now.” From the Streets will showcase some amazing works from both local and international artists, including Morley, Beastman and Jef Aèrosol. (SOC) Until Apr 27, .M Contemporary Gallery, 37 Ocean St, Woollahra, free, mcontemp.com
Breabach – Ùrlar Bagpipe notes have a habit of sounding like they are being tortured into being but on this album they are like a mysterious call through an imaginary mist. Building with the speed of the fiddles and the melodic voices that tell a story through the language barrier, Breabach’s Ùrlar is imbued with a hope that bounces on the rhythm. This whimsical album breathes with culture and its journey, subtly rolling on as each instrument chases and plays off each other all the way from The Poetic Milkman to The Old Hill. (SP)
Architects Lost Forever // Lost Together Brutal, dense and formidable, the sixth studio album by British metalcore band Architects won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but for fans of the band and the genre, Lost Forever // Lost Together won’t disappoint. Architects have always been a bit different to most metalcore bands, standing out from the crowd with their incisive, political lyrics (the fact that all four members are vegan give some indication of the collective mindset) and this album will only further that perception. Musically, this is an imposing work, pulling right back from the more melodic territory they were starting to dabble in a few years ago. (PH)
Bliss N Eso
Bliss N Eso’s Max MacKinnon (aka Eso) is certain his fans won’t need any mood enhancers for their upcoming tour: “You won’t need LSD to see the colours at our show, we’re upping the ante this time”. With trucks full of state-of-the-art equipment trundling across thousands of kilometres, the hip hop trio’s Circus Under The Stars is set to be their biggest tour to date. “You haven’t seen this one before, even just being in rehearsals you can feel the vibe. We’re bringing in a whole live band. We’ve got an incredible line-up, it’ll be a spectacle,” MacKinnon says. The 15-date outdoor tour throughout April and May follows their fifth studio album, Circus In The Sky - the eighth best selling release of 2013. The line-up also includes hip hop favourites Horror Show and Seth Sentry. The recording process saw the band jet-setting the globe, says MacKinnon: “We did a little recording in Melbourne, Los Angeles, The Gold Coast, Sydney and Orange County. It was a big puzzle. It was literally a circus. It was wild”.
LIVE WIRE Morcheeba: Since the decade when bandannas, overalls and mood rings were cool, this trip-hop trio have carved out a career of smooth, lavish vocals and down-tempo rhythms.With their eighth studio album Head Up High released last October, the sounds of this collection pose a new direction for the trio that will no doubt translate well for their live shows.They will be supported by Jurassic 5 member Chali 2na. Thu, Apr 17th, Metro Theatre, Sydney.
The trio, made up of MC Bliss (Jonathan Notley), MC Eso (MacKinnon) and DJ Izm (Tarik Ejjamai) have been perfecting their unique sound since their formation in 2000. “You’ve got to practice your rhymes, it takes a long time to find the right words and put a message behind it. We listened to Big Punisher, we found it interesting that he wasn’t just rhyming ‘cat’ with ‘hat’, he was rhyming two or three syllables on two or three syllables. We realised the more you could do, the craftier it became,” says MacKinnon. Bliss N Eso have since enjoyed mounting success with two number one debuts on the ARIA charts and a number of ARIA awards under their belt. MacKinnon believes Australian hip hop is appealing in its honesty: “American hip hop has this saturated sound, a bling culture. The songs remind me of this golden hovering VIP room that nobody can get into, this royal way of rhyming looks down on the listener. Australian hip hop, on the other hand, is modest; it runs on an even playing field. Australian hip hop artists keep it real and always have a positive way of writing.” (GF) Apr 17,The Domain, Art Gallery Rd, Sydney, $65, blissneso.com
Sydney Live Music Guide
The Date Brothers: Two brothers separated by land and sea but drawn together by blood and music, Ian and Nigel Date will be making their debut at Sydney’s finest jazz shack. Ian is taking time out from his adopted home in Ireland to work with his brother and they will bring their signature humour and fantastic energy to the stage to enlighten and engage.They will be joined by Howard Cairns on double bass. Sat, Apr 19th, Foundry616, Ultimo. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80: As the youngest son of Afrobeat founding member Fela Kuti,
Seun and his musical gift have been described as “a relentless Nigerian funkfest”. This will be the perfect set, mixing some of his father’s legendary works with his own new and original pieces, all with the help of his father’s former band Egypt 80.The rhythms are insatiable, the mood is both exciting and nostalgic and will ultimately provide a snapshot into the life of a famous family and their place in history. Sun, Apr 20th, Metro Theatre, Sydney. Gregg Allman: With an interpretation of the blues
that stems from a natural flow of creativity, Allman will be stepping foot on Australian soil for the first time in his extensive music career. As a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band he is known by many as pivotal in music history, steering the band from their beginning in 1969 to the height of the Southern rock genre. Allman will be going solo, pulling material from latest release Low Country Blues as well as picking and choosing from history. He will be joined by his son Devon. Mon, Apr 21st, Enmore Theatre.
North Mississippi Allstars: Touring as part of the monolithic Bluesfest tour, brothers Cody and Luther Dickinson have some sweet country tunes to dish out. They’ve been together for over a decade and the duo have progressed incessantly from their millennium debut, Shake Hands With Shorty. They’ve earned multiple Grammy nominations, toured with the likes of the legendary Robert Plant and played festival slots that are reserved for the messy business end of the day. Get down to the Hernando natives’ set to hear snippets of 51 Phantom and Electric Blue Watermelon amongst
others. Tues, Apr 22nd,The Basement, Circular Quay. Iron & Wine: Paving the way for revered artists such as Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, this South Carolina native has experienced a significant amount of success with his smooth delicate indie-folk. He’s created four albums since his sub-pop debut The Creek Drank The Cradle with no signs of slowing down, releasing live albums and a handful of EPs.This performance marks his debut at the iconic Circular Quay venue. Wed, Apr 23rd, Sydney Opera House.
Like Father, Like Son Every parent’s worst nightmare is undeniably realised in Like Father, Like Son - a compelling and award-winning film from Japan. When a married couple (Masaharu Fukuyama and Machiko Ono) learn their six-year-old son was switched at birth by a disgruntled hospital worker, they exhaustively search their hearts for a solution which is most beneficial to each child. They agree to “exchange” their son with the other family and questions arise about the importance of blood ties and whether biological parents can re-capture the love of lost children after years of separation. This captivating and heartfelt drama contains many humorous moments that are a welcome detraction from the intense subject matter. An intelligent script complemented by strong performances from a likable cast delivers a controversial and thoughtprovoking film with a predicable but satisfying conclusion. (MM) WWW½
Appealing to the market already created by The Hunger Games books and movies, Divergent is more simplistic and edgy, without all the bells and whistles. With similar themes of survival of the fittest and grappling with authority, Divergent is set in a postapocalyptic Chicago society and begins with a coming-ofage ceremony that determines which of five factions young
Only Lovers Left Alive The ubiquity of vampire films today might lead some to avoid this movie – a ‘vampire flick’ directed by indie film darling Jim Jarmusch. However, they’d be doing themselves a disservice. Not since The Hunger has such a distinctive vampire tale been committed to celluloid. Like
The Hunger, this is an amazinglooking film – all sexy gloom and cinematic as hell – but the narrative here is stronger and more compelling. Essentially a drama/romance, the story revolves around reclusive rock star Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and the love of his
life Eve (Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton). Their performances alone justify the ticket price, but strong supporting roles by John Hurt and Mia Wasikowska add enormous appeal. Highly original and memorable, Only Lovers Left Alive is surely a future cult classic. (PH)) WWWW
The Invisible Woman
people will fit into. Main character Tris (Shailene Woodley) chooses the warrior faction called Dauntless and joins the training academy that teaches weapons and fighting. Drawing on her inner strength she climbs through the ranks while harbouring a dangerous secret, outshining in a test that uses serum to induce a hallucination simulation state. (MS) WWW
The Invisible Woman is a true story about the secret love between Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) and his muse, Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones). Nelly is a talentless actress, coming from a family of actors. The famous Dickens is already married with children and despite his wife’s knowledge of the relationship and subsequent separation, it is still kept secret from the public. The plot focuses on Nelly ‘the invisible woman’ and her moral and philosophical struggles of living as a mistress. She is
also challenged with Dickens’ complexities and isolation inside his fame and popularity - just out of her reach. Jones’ performance is exceptional and subtle. Regardless of the tone of melancholy in this film, it is still a beautiful and brooding tale with some interesting cinematography which evokes a sense of claustrophobia and romanticism. This period drama is pleasantly surprising considering this is only Fiennes’ second directing credit. (LK) WWW
Any Day Now
Divergent THE MUPPETS MOST WANTED The Muppets return to the big screen in their latest musical comedy. Whilst on a global tour, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang inadvertently become involved in an evil mastermind’s crown jewel heist. Ricky Gervais is hilarious as the dastardly manager who leads The Muppets into mayhem and celebrity cameos include Tony Bennett, Celine Dion and Lady Gaga. Delightfully cheesy, this sequel remains faithful to the brand, with an abundance of vibrant and colourful cabaret sequences, 22
catchy songs, endless gags and silly storylines. (MM) WWW NOAH Audiences expecting a conservative re-telling of the story of Noah will be disappointed with this reincarnation, as the story has been modernised. The basic storyline remains the same, where “the creator” floods the world and Noah is instructed to take two of every animal species on board an ark. Noah is a fantasy, strangely bordering on science fiction, as fallen angels resembling transformer robots covered in rocks aid Noah in constructing
With lush cinematography and lovable charismatic characters Any Day Now reclaims a notso-distant past. Directed by Travis Fine, the film brings to life a true tale of adversity with a sophisticated approach to the period genre. It evokes the 1970s setting without feeling forced or retro. The film explores a trial in which a gay couple fight to legally save a child with a
and watching over the ark. This sadly detracts from the religious perspective. Russell Crowe is intense and gritty as Noah, giving his best performance to date in this fanciful action blockbuster. (MM) WWW THE LEGO MOVIE Everything is awesome in ordinary Emmet’s (Chris Pratt) blocktastic LEGO world. He follows the rules and enjoys his over-priced coffee. However, a chance encounter challenges Emmet to become extraordinary and join the quest to save the world. Animal Logic completed the
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. What emerges as most disturbing in this story of a queer family struggling for adoption rights, is its familiarity. (CK) WWWW painstaking animation for the The LEGO Movie at their Sydney studio. The process took more than two years to make the stop-motion feel seamless, and it is quite an achievement. Unfortunately, the last quarter diverts from the entertaining simplicity by throwing in a moral to the story. It’s a nice one, but it feels forced. The corny lines will get chuckles from the adults and the kids will love the action and amusing sound effects. (LL) WWW THE RAID 2 Taking place two hours after the prequel ended, The Raid 2 quickly engrosses the
audience with incredible actionpacked scenes and gory violence. This sequel follows the journey of a rookie cop as he goes undercover into the criminal underworld. Writer/director Gareth Evans’ use of advanced cinematography encapsulates the frenetic choreography of each fight sequence. The violence is jaw-dropping. This film is for fans of bloody violence and ferocious fight scenes. (CT) WWWW POMPEII is an action/romance/ disaster film set in 79 A.D. The story centres on a gladiator named Milo (Kit Harington) and his race against time to save
Cassia (Emily Browning) from the corrupt Roman senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The captivating gladiatorial fighting sequences, romantic entanglements, political intrigue and a horrifying natural disaster all ensure audience interest is maintained. Adversely, Harrington’s British accent is detracting and he’s oddly paired with Browning. The spectacular 3D and CGI effects utilised in the climactic sequences as the volcano erupts, heightens the realism and delivers a visually stunning film. (MM) WWW
F R E E W I L L ASTROLOG Y by Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): It’s Compensation Week. If you have in the past suffered from injustice, it’s an excellent time to go in quest of restitution. If you have been deprived of the beauty you need to thrive, now is the time to get filled up. Wherever your life has been out of balance, you have the power to create more harmony. Don’t be shy about seeking redress. Ask people to make amends. Pursue restorations. But don’t, under any circumstances, lust for revenge.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): ”Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe,” said novelist John Updike. That’s a sad possibility. Could you please do something to dispute or override it, Taurus? Would it be too much to ask if I encouraged you to go out in quest of lyrical miracles that fill you with wonder? Can I persuade you to be alert for sweet mysteries that provoke dizzying joy and uncanny breakthroughs that heal a wound you’ve feared might forever plague you? Here’s what the astrological omens suggest: Phenomena that stir reverence and awe are far more likely than usual.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I wonder if it’s time for you to modify an old standby. I’m getting the sense that you should consider tinkering with
a familiar resource that has served you pretty well. Why? This resource may have some hidden weakness that you need to attend to in order to prevent a future disruption. Now might be one of those rare occasions when you should ignore the old rule, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So be proactive, Gemini. Investigate what’s going on beneath the surface. Make this your motto: “I will solve the problem before it’s a problem -- and then it will never be a problem.”
CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Do you really have what it takes or do you not have what it takes?” That’s the wrong question to ask, in my opinion. You can’t possibly know the answer ahead of time, for one thing. To dwell on that quandary would put you on the defensive and activate your fear, diminishing your power to accomplish the task at hand. Here’s a more useful inquiry: “Do you want it strongly enough or do you not want it strongly enough?” With this as your meditation, you might be inspired to do whatever’s necessary to pump up your desire. And that is the single best thing you can do to ensure your ultimate success.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I swear my meditations are more dynamic when I hike along the trail through the marsh than if I’m pretzeled up in the lotus position back in my bedroom.
Maybe I’ve been influenced by Aristotle’s Peripatetic School. He felt his students learned best when they accompanied him on long strolls. Then there was philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who testified that his most brilliant thoughts came to him as he rambled far and wide. Even if this possibility seems whimsical to you, Leo, I invite you to give it a try. According to my reading of the current astrological omens, your moving body is likely to generate bright ideas and unexpected solutions and visions of future adventures.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Throughout North America and Europe, there are hundreds of unused roads. Many are former exit and entrance ramps to major highways, abandoned for one reason or another. Some are stretches of pavement that used to be parts of main thoroughfares before they were rerouted. I suggest we make “unused roads” your metaphor of the week, Virgo. It may be time for you to bring some of them back into operation, and maybe even relink them to the pathways they were originally joined to. Are there any missing connections in your life that you would love to restore? Any partial bridges you feel motivated to finish building?
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Karma works both ways. If you do ignorant things, ignorant things may eventually be done to you. Engage in
generous actions, and at some future date you may be the unexpected beneficiary of generosity. I’m expecting more of the latter than the former for you in the coming days, Libra. I think fate will bring you sweet compensations for your enlightened behavior in the past. I’m reminded of the fairy tale in which a peasant girl goes out of her way to be kind to a seemingly feeble, disabled old woman. The crone turns out to be a good witch who rewards the girl with a bag of gold. But as I hinted, there could also be a bit of that other kind of karma lurking in your vicinity. Would you like to ward it off? All you have to do is unleash a flurry of good deeds. Anytime you have a chance to help people in need, do it.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): As they lie in the sand, African crocodiles are in the habit of opening their jaws wide for hours at a time. It keeps them cool, and allows for birds called plovers to stop by and pluck morsels of food that are stuck between the crocs’ molars. The relationship is symbiotic. The teeth-cleaners eat for free as they provide a service for the large reptiles. As I analyze your astrological aspects, Scorpio, I’m inclined to see an opportunity coming your way that has a certain resemblance to the plovers’. Can you summon the necessary trust and courage to take full advantage?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Are you sure you have enough obstacles? I’m afraid you’re running low. And that wouldn’t be healthy, would it? Obstacles keep you honest, after all. They motivate you to get smarter. They compel you to grow your willpower and develop more courage. Please understand that I’m not taking about trivial and boring obstacles that make you numb. I’m referring to scintillating obstacles that fire up your imagination; rousing obstacles that excite your determination to be who you want and get what you want. So your assignment is to acquire at least one new interesting obstacle. It’s time to tap into a deeper strain of your ingenuity.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In 1937, physicist George Paget Thomson won a Nobel Prize for the work he did to prove that the electron is a wave. That’s funny, because his father, physicist J. J. Thomson, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1906 for showing that the electron is a particle. Together, they helped tell the whole story about the electron, which as we now know is both a wave and a particle. I think it’s an excellent time for you to try something similar to what George did: follow up on some theme from the life of one of your parents or mentors; be inspired by what he or she did, but also go beyond it; build on a gift he or she gave the world, extending or expanding it.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You have been a pretty decent student lately, Aquarius. The learning curve was steep, but you mastered it as well as could be expected. You had to pay more attention to the intricate details than you liked, which was sometimes excruciating, but you summoned the patience to tough it out. Congrats! Your against-the-grain effort was worth it. You are definitely smarter now than you were four weeks ago. But you are more wired, too. More stressed. In the next chapter of your life story, you will need some downtime to integrate all you’ve absorbed. I suggest you schedule some sessions in a sanctuary where you can relax more deeply than you’ve allowed yourself to relax in a while.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You have the power to shut what has been open or open what has been shut. That’s a lot of responsibility. Just because you have the power to unleash these momentous actions doesn’t mean you should rashly do so. Make sure your motivations are pure and your integrity is high. Try to keep fear and egotism from influencing you. Be aware that whatever you do will send out ripples for months to come. And when you are confident that you have taken the proper precautions, by all means proceed with vigor and rigor. Shut what has been open or open what has been shut -- or both.