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It’s all about the girls
FREE • february 6 2014
World champion Pedro Barros headlines Bondi’s 10th Bowl-A-Rama
Surf club reno botched: members
BY JOSHUA TASSELL North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club’s sparkling new clubhouse is unfit for purpose and a waste of money, club members have told the Bondi View. But the claims have been strenuously denied by club management. Replacing the post-war structure that had lingered for 77 years, the $7 million, four-storey building comprises a gym, education and training room, changerooms, function rooms, and a subterranean level for surfcraft and equipment. The former clubhouse was in drastic need of updating, described
as “fit to be condemned by the time it was demolished” by the federal member for Wentworth, and donor to the renovation fund, Malcolm Turnbull. The redeveloped clubhouse opened in September last year to a series of flattering reviews, and architects Durbach Bloch Jaggers were lauded for the design, deemed both functional and aesthetically fitting. But not all members of the club are pleased with the renovations. “For a facility that was updated because it did not sufficiently serve the needs of club members, the
renovations do not necessarily achieve this purpose,” one competitive rower, who did not wish to be identified, told the Bondi View. “The gym is no different from any other part of the clubhouse in that the facilities don’t match the needs of any particular group in the surf club,” he said. “From a competitors’ perspective, there is not nearly enough floor space or equipment to train adequately or correctly. Even in terms of the kids, there’s not enough there to learn with.” Another club member and
rower, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, questioned the utility of the equipment. “Almost everything is doubled up,” he said, listing equipment items used for identical purposes. “The lifting platform we used to have in here [after the renovations] was shit. People in the changerooms would come up and complain constantly that it was too loud. It was taken away, and now they won’t fix it up, even though it’s an easily solved problem.” Club management said the procurement process had been transparent, but acknowledged some difficulties in the execution of the redevelopment.
“The gym refit was overseen by a full gym committee,” a club spokesperson said. “They investigated what equipment we had previously and utilised contacts within the gym community and their buying power to purchase brand new equipment at an unbeatable price. “Obviously with any new building there are going to be some teething problems but we’re working with the builders to rectify that,” he said. The club members who spoke to the Bondi View also allege both office and surfcraft storage facilities within the new structure are inappropriate for purpose.
“Transporting equipment is not any easier in the new building,” one member said. “The surfcraft storage area is badly designed. It’s hard to get gear in and out.” The club spokesperson said those claims were “completely unfounded” and described the redevelopment as a success. “We have double the space for storage than we had before.” On inspection last week the storage facilities for surfboats were bare. One of two roller doors is unusable because a large concrete pylon blocks the entrance. The pylon and the roller door do not appear on the development plans lodged with Waverley Council.
assault. At his bail hearing the court heard Mr Ennis was already on bail at the time for a near-identical assault in Bondi in September last year. Also on Australia Day, two men were charged after the assault of hotel security outside a venue in Bondi Junction. The pair had been asked to leave the premises due to intoxication. Waverley Council enforces a number of alcohol-free zones across the area during the summer months and Mayor Sally Betts said lockouts have been introduced in most of the larger pubs throughout Waverley. “Recent reports of alcohol related violence have been shocking and saddening,” Cr Betts said. “Council runs community education campaigns, like My Bondi Summer, and works closely with the
Photo: Kim Colville/Elsee Photography
BY KIRA SPUCYS-TAHAR After a string of high-profile assaults in the city over recent weeks, alcohol-fuelled violence has now come to the beach with attacks on Australia Day marring celebrations. A 24-year-old Irish backpacker was attacked by an unknown man on Campbell Parade, Bondi at about 9pm on Australia Day. He was punched and fell to the ground, hitting his head on the pavement. The attacker fled the scene. The site is almost directly opposite where 23-year-old Michael McEwen was attacked and king hit on December 14 after he had been drinking with friends in a local Bondi park. One of his alleged attackers, Jamie Ennis, was ejected from the Beach Road Hotel shortly before the
local police regarding liquor licence applications and policies to manage anti-social and violent behaviour.” Adam Purcell, Chairperson of the Eastern Suburbs Liquor Accord, said they would want to review the results of recent government initiatives in the CBD before supporting expansion across the eastern suburbs. “To think that this type of violence will disappear with a sweep of the lockout wand is naïve,” he said. “Licensed premises have a part to play in the reduction of random street attacks but we also need to address drug or steroid use, the drinking culture...and the desensitisation of young people to violence.” Lenore Kulakauskas, Bondi Beach Precinct representative to Waverley Council’s Liquor Working Group, said the current alcohol-free zones are not particularly effective and need to be better policed by council.
A car driven by 90-year-old man crashed on to Bondi Beach after plummeting down the South Bondi hill just after lunchtime on Tuesday, February 4. The car initially drove into a burger joint before smashing through metal railings on the promenade and coming to a stop 15-20 metres away on the famed beach sand. Lifeguards called paramedics who treated the man for chest injuries. He was taken to St Vincent’s hospital in a stable condition.
Bowl-A-Rama skates into Bondi 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 Acting Bondi View Editor: Kira Spucys-Tahar Contributing Editors: Triana O’Keefe and Paul Gregoire Contributors: Alisha Aitken-Radburn, John Gooding, Sophia Morris and Joshua Tassell Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Contributing Arts Editor: Emma Salkild Live Music Editor: Sharon Ye Dining Editor: Jackie McMillan Advertising Managers: David Sullivan,Toni Martelli and Robert Tuitama Design: Joanna Grace Publisher’s Assistant: Deeksha Chopra Distribution Manager: Danish Ali Cover Photo: Dean Tirkot - Pedro Barros 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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Wishing tree woes BY SOPHIA MORRIS Residents of Avoca Street in Bondi could lose their beloved ‘wishing tree’ after Waverley Council found the tree to be in “poor health”. The tight-knit community of neighbours on the street, where all the trees are heritage listed, is passionate about the wishing tree. The fig acquired its name thanks to local resident Donna Lorenz. Inspired by a visit to the Burning Man festival in the US state of Nevada, she decorated the tree with string to which she attached laminated cards on which people could write their hopes and desires. Her initiative proved an instant success, with both children and adults having filled the cards with their wishes. “The tree is definitely part of the community. This year all the wishes are for keeping the wishing tree,” said resident Adrienne Wright. Despite this support, Waverley Council has declared that the tree is dying and will need to be removed. “A council arborist found the tree had been in poor health for an extensive period of time,” a Waverley Council spokesperson said. “Council will only remove the tree if it’s deemed the tree will not survive. Council is committed to the safety of its residents, which is why it proposed to remove the tree.” Since receiving news of the decision, Ms Lorenz, with the help of other Avoca Street residents, has been fighting to save the wishing tree. “I was mortified. I love that tree,” Ms Lorenz said. “As the wishing tree, it had grown to mean so much to the street, especially the kids. I mean, who would want
screenings under the banner of “10 years of blood, sweat and BY KIRA SPUCYSHawk will emerge from cheers”. The first annual TAHAR competitive retirement Bowl-A-Rama began The skateboarding to take part in the festival Vans Bowl-Afestival for the first time. at Bondi in 2005 and Rama will celebrate its “I’m excited to finally is now the biggest professional concrete 10th birthday at the participate in Vans skating series in the Bondi skate park with Bowl-A-Rama Bondi world, with other events six days of events from after seeing the action in Wellington, New Tuesday, February 18. from afar for so many York, and Getxo, Spain. The main years,” Mr Hawk said. “We started from skateboarding “I can’t wait to skate it such humble beginnings competition will take in person!” all those years ago and place on Saturday, Bondi resident Ben to be here 10 years February 22 with Key will compete in later is truly amazing,” both Pro and Masters the Pro division while said Frontside Events divisions showcasing fellow eastern suburbs director, Chad Ford. some of the world’s locals Geoff Fletcher, “This year we are set most successful skaters. Adam Luxford and The line up includes Scott Spring will contest to have the best line up of riders in the world current world champion the Masters title. celebrate with us.” Pedro Barros and Amid the flurry of Gabrielle Upton, members of the ‘Bones flips, twists, grinds and the NSW sports Brigade’, skaters Steve ollies of competition, minister and member Caballero, Mike McGill, the ‘Festival of the Lance Mountain, and Skateboard’ will include for Vaucluse, said the Bowl-A-Rama is fast Nicky Guerrero. The art shows, music iconic skater Tony performances, and film becoming an important event on the local sporting calendar. “The event not only showcases Australian and international skateboarding prowess but also provides the perfect opportunity for visitors and competitors alike to explore the lifestyle offerings of iconic Bondi Beach,” Ms Upton said.
to chop down a wishing tree?” Ms Lorenz believes that removing the tree should be a last resort. She has consulted two independent arborists, both of whom believe the tree could be saved. “They said that the tree had regrowth, that it could use pruning and feeding and should be given a chance for rehabilitation,” she said. According to Ms Lorenz, the reports from the two arborists she consulted will not be considered by council because the arborists are qualified as level one, compared to the council’s more qualified level five arborist. She has therefore decided to hire a level five arborist to inspect the tree, and has been given until February 14 to report back to council with her findings. Photo: Kira Spucys-Tahar
Violence hits Bondi
Under threat: the wishing tree on Avoca Street.
The latest buzz
Native beekeeping workshops are filling up fast
BY Alisha Aitken-Radburn Bondi is abuzz with interest in sustainable workshops, with a new native beekeeping workshop for eastern suburbs residents filling up in record time. The classes are run at Barrett House, a sustainable demonstration venue, coordinated by Randwick City, Woollahra and Waverley councils. The councils have joined forces to form the tri-council Ecological Footprint Program, which oversees initiatives like Barrett House, offering community members the opportunity to see working examples of sustainability that they can implement in their own homes. City East Community College, which administers enrolments for the classes, has noted growing interest in courses with a sustainable focus, from composting and worm farming to bicycle maintenance. Angel Nunley, assistant
principal at the college, said the free sustainability courses run in partnership with the Footprint program always fill up fast. “It is great to see that our area has such a keen interest in these important issues,” she said. Lance Lieber, organiser for Transition Sydney, a group focused on supporting local sustainable action, said the sustainability workshops offered through the tri-council program were “fantastic”. But he emphasised more needs to be done to boost community awareness. “In the Waverley Council area there are over 65,000 residents, so two or three composting classes each month are not enough to educate and engage everyone in the community,” Mr Lieber said. “We need to be pouring more money into initiatives like the urban beekeeping workshops so that class numbers can be increased and more people can get through them.”
Lockout here for Mardi Gras
Photo: Gazzarazzi Photography
BY MICHAEL KOZIOL and Triana O’Keefe Grassroots forces mobilising to fight the state government’s liquor laws have been dealt a hammer blow, with Premier Barry O’Farrell yesterday announcing the lockouts will commence on February 24. It was originally rumoured that venues would be given until April to be prepare for the new regime. But Mr O’Farrell believes two weeks’ notice is sufficient. “Venues and patrons will now have time to ensure they are fully aware of these changes and are ready when they take effect on 24 February,” he said. That means Mardi Gras, traditionally an occasion for late
partying, will fall on the first weekend under the new laws. Independent MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, said the decision to rush in the lockouts was a “recipe for chaos”. “Stakeholders need time to plan so they can put in place adequate resources and inform staff, and police need to be prepared,” he said. Mr Greenwich expressed concern that the lockouts will have a negative impact on the Mardi Gras festival, with visitors provented from accessing venues. “We can expect long queues on the street with potential for conflict,” he said. Key players in Sydney’s live
In both those cases, the lockout applied at the later time of 3am, and last drinks at 5am. music industry last week formed On its website, the Alliance says an official alliance to “protect” the Sydney’s late-night economy has city’s nightlife. The Sydney Late Night Culture been over-regulated for a long time. “These new laws will turn back Alliance suggested alternative measures to combat alcohol-related the clock on Sydney and its now lively late-night cultural scene,” it violence, such as a dramatic argues. overhaul of the after-hours public Save Our Nightlife, a collection transport system. of DJs, bar staff, party-goers and The group’s founding members their supporters, describes the laws include MusicNSW, TheMusic. as “draconian” and argues they com.au, SLAM, FBi Radio, won’t do anything to stop violence GoodGod Small Club, Oxford Art except punish regulars. Factory, inthemix and The Music Spokesperson Cadell DJ Network. The Alliance does not Producer said the government receive financial support from the needs to change its priorities. alcohol or hotel industry. “The majority of the people in Its first campaign, 01:31 - Keep the problem areas at these times are Sydney Open, has received students who mostly cannot afford significant support from musicians the cost of catching taxis home,” and revellers. he said. “When you’re dealing with any “This knee-jerk reaction is government it is important to show punishing the majority for the you have numbers on your side,” actions of a tiny percentage of said Kirsty Brown, executive officer people.” of MusicNSW. But within the group, there is an “Numbers are votes. And the acknowledgment that overturning votes of the young people are the laws is a foregone prospect. becoming more and more crucial.” Asher Robinson, also known as The Alliance is asking the DJ Alloy, posted in the Facebook government to demonstrate why group this week: “I hate to say it believes a model based on this, but should we potentially be Newcastle, a regional town of only focusing our efforts on revoking half a million residents, can work this [sic] laws at the 2 year review in Sydney. Academic studies on period.” lockouts show mixed results: a There will be a statutory University of Queensland paper review of the laws after two years, found the policy had reduced although the Greens are pushing violence on the Gold Coast but for that to be brought forward to six months. not in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
news in brief Sharpe steps up Labor’s Penny Sharpe will seek pre-selection for the newly created seat of Newtown, the Sydney Morning Herald revealed on Tuesday. Ms Sharpe currently holds a seat in the legislative council, from which she will need to resign if preselected. A redistribution will abolish the Marrickville electorate and instead create the seats of Summer Hill and Newtown. The latter is notionally a Greens seat with a margin of 4.4 per cent. Ms Sharpe, who has been a leader of the marriage equality movement within Labor, told the Herald Newtown would be “probably the most progressive seat in Australia”.
Rainbow flag rises The rainbow flag will be erected over Sydney Town Hall tomorrow to mark the city’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. “The City of Sydney has a long history of supporting the GLBTI community and will continue to do so,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said. The Mayor indicated council is investigating options for a large flag
or other symbol at Taylor Square, the heart of the city’s queer community. This is Sydney’s 36th Mardi Gras. The flag-raising ceremony will take place on Friday at midday.
Jury’s in The “Sydney Your Say” Citizens Jury had its first meeting on Saturday and was addressed by the City of Sydney’s business and safety manager, Suzie Matthews. The jury is considering the question: “How can we ensure a vibrant and safe Sydney nightlife”. The 43 members were randomly selected from a pool of applicants who responded to an unprompted invitation, and were mapped against the census profile for Sydney. Iain Walker, executive director for the New Democracy project, said the purpose of the jury is to get new voices into the policy debate. “People get very used to hearing from industry groups or from community groups,” he said. “We just try and get a cross section of people you’d see walking down the street.”
Crown Street makeover to boost outdoor dining
reduce the number of parking spaces along the section of road by two during the day and five at night. “We are upgrading [Crown] street to make it a much better place to eat, especially to eat outside,” a council spokesperson said. “The City of Sydney consulted extensively with the community on
this project. Combining the two bus stops will provide a more efficient use of the street’s kerb space while delivering the same level of service.” The spokesperson said cyclists could use the nearby Bourke Street cycleway, or continue to use Crown Street by sharing the travel lane with general traffic. The Photo: Newtown Graffiti
BY JOHN GOODING Crown Street in Surry Hills will undergo a makeover in midFebruary as construction begins on streetscape upgrades. The section of Crown Street between Devonshire Street and Cleveland Street will be affected during construction. According to the council, the proposed changes will “improve accessibility and create more space for outdoor dining”. In addition to kerbside dining, Crown Street will boast more sidewalk space, standardised parking time limits, a raised pedestrian crossing, more trees and gardens, and improved lighting in the area. But the bicycle shoulder lanes that run the length of the street will be eliminated in order to increase the sidewalk area. Council will also combine two city-bound bus stops into one, remove the slip lane at the intersection of Cleveland Street and Baptist Street, and
Roadworks will start mid-February
street is a designated slow-speed environment where the limit is 40km/h. “The City has carried out traffic modelling, including bus movements, which indicates there would be little – if any – impact on traffic flow and parking along Crown Street,” the spokesperon said. But questions have been raised about the thoroughness of the consultation process. The Red Lantern, a Vietnamese restaurant owned by chef and television host Luke Nguyen located on Crown Street, told City Hub they had not been consulted or informed by council of the proposed changes to the street. Down the road, bistro and wine bar Bishop Sessa also claimed they were not consulted, but said they supported the proposed changes. “We are all for beautification works of the area. A wider footpath and improved landscaping particularly will improve local amenity and, hopefully, make the area more attractive to visitors,” said owner Erez Gordon.
City slickers race for a greyhound BY SHEENAL SINGH Retired racing greyhounds are capturing the hearts of inner city dog lovers. Burdened by a lack of space, locals are increasingly looking to the svelte, tidy and surprisingly low-maintenance breed. Sydneysiders adopted more than 70 greyhounds last year through Greyhound Rescue alone, a rehoming organisation in NSW. Content with only a quick zoom around the park and a couch to relax on, greyhounds slip comfortably into urban life despite their lively reputations. With busy lives and a small terrace house in Darlinghurst, finding the ideal canine was tough for Monty Marshall and his partner, Nick Lowman. Until they found Jack. “When we first met Jack we were shocked by how big he was. We were concerned our house wouldn’t be big enough for him,” Mr Marshall said. “After a few days we realised space isn’t an issue if you have a comfortable bed. Greyhounds sleep all day. They’re lazy!” Four years later and with more Facebook friends than his humans, Jack has the neighbourhood wrapped around his paws. “Until we had Jack, we hardly knew our neighbours...but it’s amazing how a dog breaks the ice. Everyone walks away with a smile. I love that,” Mr Marshall said. Adoption was a no-brainer for Leichhardt couple Michael Pfeffer and Amanda Stern. Conscious of the large number of greyhounds in need of a home but suspicious about their seemingly faultless temperaments, they adopted Jerry and Olive after months of research. “To be honest they sounded a little too perfect on paper as they are listed as great in small homes,” Mr Pfeffer admitted. “We attended a few greyhound social
gatherings and were surprised to learn that what we had read was indeed true.” The couple was drawn immediately to Jerry’s independent nature, while Olive first came into their lives as a cheeky foster dog. Barring some house training hiccups, both have adjusted to urban life. “Our greyhounds are as much a part of the family as anyone else. We love their companionship.” At the end of their racing careers, greyhounds like Jack, Jerry and Olive are finding loving families through re-homing efforts across NSW. Advocacy group Greyhound Freedom will hold a rally at Martin Place on Thursday to raise awareness about greyhound welfare in the racing industry. It coincides with the final public hearing of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Greyhound Racing. Organisers expect a turnout of about 200 people. Gone are the Dogs Rally, 6 February, Martin Place, 8am.
Nick, Monty and their greyhound Jack
Mardi Gras organisation now has more equality in its representation of genders. “I feel like there’s been a really conscious change to be more inclusive not just of women but of trans-people as well,” she said. But Mardi Gras is not all about the parade and the parties;
Women take centre stage at Mardi Gras
Cautious optimism on Indigenous referendum officer for the advocacy group Recognise, said there are fears that a referendum may be voted down by the public. “If this went to a referendum and failed it would be a terrible outcome for reconciliation and our future as a country,” Ms Dodson told City Hub. “We’re determined to make sure that doesn’t happen,” she said. “There are many Indigenous Australians and Indigenous organisations in Sydney that have been campaigning for decades for the rights of Indigenous people and constitutional recognition, so it coming to fruition would mean all this hard work has paid off.” Marrickville councillor Sylvie
Photo: MSomaya Langley
BY JOHN GOODING A leading Indigenous campaign group is optimistic about a referendum on Indigenous recognition in the constitution, but warned that a “no” vote would be “a terrible outcome” for the country. In his New Year’s Day message Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government would attempt to hold a referendum recognising Indigenous Australians as the traditional owners of the land in the federal constitution. “We want it to happen as quickly as possible but a rushed job might be a botched job,” Mr Abbott told reporters on Australia Day. Shannon Dodson, media
there’s also a range of cultural and entertainment events. Pinball is showing at the Tap Gallery as part of Mardi Gras. It’s a play about a lesbian mother who is fighting for the custody of her son. Sarah Vickery, director of Pinball, said Mardi Gras had never appealed to her because she had
Photo: Chris Peken
BY PAUL GREGOIRE Women are playing a more central role at this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, an event that has been criticised in the past for being too male-orientated. The Dykes on Bikes are celebrating their 26th year in the parade and media officer Lyn Doherty expects to assemble about 180 women ranging from their early twenties to their late sixties. “As always we will be starting the parade off with a huge roar,” Ms Doherty said. “You know it’s about to start when you hear Dykes on Bikes coming down the street.” Ms Doherty said the biggest change in women’s involvement is not who’s in the parade but who’s putting it on. “The Mardi Gras committee and the organisers had a very male focus and there are a lot more females actually involved in all the hard work that goes into putting on the parade.” DJ Sveta is co-curator of the HiFi bar space for women and genderdiverse people at Mardi Gras Party, which will feature an all-female DJ line-up. “I’m trying to curate so there’s entertainment for and by not just women but trans-people,” she said. “I’m trying to introduce some music that people don’t normally associate with Mardi Gras.” Ms Sveta told City News the
The referendum will be important for local communities
Ellsmore said even if it was only a symbolic change, it would still be important to the community. “If it’s a symbolic amendment, whether it wins or fails will depend on how the community gets engaged behind understanding what it means to recognize Aboriginal people as the first owners,” Ms Ellsmore said. “That process of the campaign would be one of the big achievements if it gets passed,” she said. Ms Dodson said that getting a federal constitutional change approved by the public in the past has been difficult. “History tells us when people don’t know, they vote no,” she said. The previous Labor government initially pledged to put the issue of recognition to a public vote before the 2013 election but later decided to delay it amid fears that there was not enough public support. Ms Ellsmore is more optimistic and said even though the Howard government’s 1999 attempt to attach a preamble to the constitution failed people did not give up. “When John Howard put up the preamble that failed, which included some quite soft and not very meaningful words, people didn’t feel let down and that we shouldn’t try again,” she said. “People weren’t happy to settle for a wishy-washy change.”
Cartoon: Peter Berner
This Mardi Gras, it’s all about the girls thought of it as a male focused parade, but on realising it was a larger festival her attitude changed. “It’s going to be a great experience for me because I’ve not actually been part of the festival,” Ms Vickery said. “I’m going to go to Fair Day, which I’ve not done before. So really it’s all new for me.” Emma Harris, who plays the lead in Pinball, said she has been in Mardi Gras plays before, which have tended to focus on men. “It’s really exciting to be a part of one that really is about the girls. Lesbian couples do make up a large part of the community,” she said. Women Say Something will be held at Sydney Town Hall and Steph Sands, the organiser, said women from diverse backgrounds will talk about the theme ‘Dancing on the Ceiling.’ “‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ is a very loose and fun way of looking at success. [It’s] looking at celebrating some of the challenges we’ve actually got through,” she said. Candy Royalle, performance poet, is part of Revolver which features a diverse range of women in the arts at the Paddington RSL. “I really commend Mardi Gras this year in their efforts to be really inclusive and more than that to be really promoting queer women in the arts,” she said.
Sorry not sorry: councillor suspended for refusing apology
BY PAUL GREGOIRE Marrickville Greens councillor Max Phillips has been suspended for two months after refusing to apologise for informing residents about a $5 million offer made to council by developer Meriton. The Division of Local Government (DLG) suspended Cr Phillips, who has now lodged an appeal with the Pecuniary Interest and Disciplinary Tribunal. Cr Phillips said he told residents about the proposed Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) made by Meriton to double height allowances for the Lewisham Towers development at the end of 2012. “They were offering council $5 million in return for council agreeing to increase the density and the height of their Lewisham Towers development,” he said. “This was all being done behind closed doors and the residents didn’t know anything about it.” Cr Phillips said the suspension was issued by the DLG because he refused to apologise to council after it was found by an independent
reviewer that he breached the council’s code of conduct. “I have lodged an appeal… on the basis that by forcing me to apologise when I’m not sorry would effectively be asking me to be dishonest,” he said. “The code of conduct requires councillors to act honestly.” Tamara Winikoff, convenor of No Lewisham Towers, said Marrickville Council claimed that the VPA proposal was commercial-in-confidence, which is information that should be withheld from the public. “Council essentially tried to bar the community from witnessing their decision-making process by declaring the matter commercial-in-confidence,” Ms Winikoff said. “Max Phillips didn’t believe that the matter was commercialin-confidence and therefore that he was entitled to speak to both the community and media.” Greens councillor Melissa Brooks said the material that Cr Phillips made public should not have been confidential and complaints against him that instigated the suspension were politically motivated. A spokesperson from the
On suspension: Marrickville Greens councillor Max Phillips
DLG said their department had completed an investigation into misconduct allegations made against Cr Phillips. “The chief executive was satisfied that there was sufficient evidence of misconduct on the part of Cr Phillips that would warrant suspension from civic office,” the spokesperson said. Independent councillor Victor Macri, who was Mayor of Marrickville at the time the apology was requested, said Cr Phillips was in clear breach of the code. “This appeal is another joke,” he said. “[Cr Phillips] gave away confidential information and he thought it shouldn’t be classified.”
Swimming for special needs
head coach, former Olympian Hamid Mobarrez. Mr Watkins, whose sister is a disabled swimmer, said it was a hugely important cause. “This is an area which is constantly neglected and constantly needs more funding,” he told the crowd at the launch last Friday. Matilda’s mother, Mary, said it’s important for her daughter to learn to swim not just as a lifesaving necessity, but as a social skill.
“It’s a massive self-esteem boost for her and really raises her self-confidence to know that when she comes here with her non-disabled friends, that she’s one of the crowd,” Ms Thompson said. “Too often people judge Matilda on her ability based on her disability, so it’s nice to get a break from that at the pool. Knowing that she can swim also eliminates the stress of being hyper-vigilant.” Photo: Chris Peken
BY MICHAEL KOZIOL Matilda Thompson, 12, loves to swim, particularly at her favourite beach, Clovelly. “I like to make some waves,” she says. Her favourite style is breaststroke. Matilda, who has Down syndrome, has taken swimming lessons at the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre for two years. The centre runs a special program called Swimability on Saturdays, catering for about 13 special needs children. It hopes to expand that to a daily program by collecting funds from the YMCA Swimathon, a national event taking place in 60 pools on March 2, including 29 pools in NSW. The third annual Swimathon will raise money to allow more children with disabilities to participate in customised swimming lessons. Dean McElroy, assistant manager at the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, said he hopes to raise $15,000 from more than 100 swimmers on the day. Nationwide, the fundraiser is expected to net more than $100,000. Also participating in the event are Australian Paralympic Swimming Coach Simon Watkins and the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre’s
Paralympic swimming coach Simon Watkins is assisting the event
Any venue could be exempted from lockout
BY MICHAEL KOZIOL Any CBD venue could be exempted from Barry O’Farrell’s new lockout laws providing it pays a “reasonable fee”, it can be revealed. The legislation allows the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing’s Director General to issue an exemption as long as it “is unlikely to result in an increase in the level of alcohol-related violence or anti-social behaviour”. Under that arrangement, a large venue such as the Ivy complex, owned by Justin Hemmes’ Merivale, could be exempt if it convinced the OLGR that such a decision would not lead to more violent incidents. The Australian Hotels Association’s NSW director of policing, John Green, did not confirm whether any venues had approached the AHA seeking assistance about an exemption. But he told the Bondi View the AHA would assist such a request. “We’ll be working to ensure any application process is in plain language without exorbitant fees so hotels are not weighted down by significant legal and application costs,” Mr Green said. The allowance of exemptions is a “common sense provision”, he said, and the AHA hopes “the Director General considers any exemption applications on that basis”. A spokesperson for the hospitality minister George Souris declined to answer questions and referred the Bondi View to the OLGR. The OLGR was unable to respond to questions before print deadline on Wednesday. The Bondi View asked Merivale if it would request exemptions for any of its venues, including its bar Palmer & Co, which has a 5am licence. We did not receive a response.
No to Jo’burg: Clover cancels trip BY MICHAEL KOZIOL Lord Mayor Clover Moore did not travel to Johannesburg for the C40 Mayors Conference on climate change this week, opting to remain in Sydney to work on urgent policy matters. Cr Moore previously indicated she would attend the conference, however, in an email to councillors, Cr Moore said a number of “critical local issues” had led her to cancel the trip. Those include the state government’s new measures to tackle alcohol-related violence, such as lockouts and mandatory minimum sentencing, and the need to respond to a final report by the Independent Local Government Review Panel. “I remain very committed to our partnership with the C40 and City staff will continue to work with their counterparts in other C40 cities to share knowledge and information,” Cr Moore wrote. The lockouts in particular will have a profound impact upon the City of Sydney’s strategy to diversify Sydney’s night-time economy. The
new laws will apply to an expanded CBD precinct and require patrons to be “locked out” of premises at 1.30am and alcohol service to cease at 3am. Local Government NSW and numerous councils across the state have criticised the O’Farrell government for setting a submission deadline of March 7. The report was released on January 8, and most local councils will not hold their first full meeting for 2014 until late February. Marrickville Mayor Jo Haylen called the timeline “unworkable”, while Keith Rhoades, president of Local Government NSW, said it was arbitrary and unfair. The City of Sydney will be represented at the C40 conference by chief executive Monica Barone and sustainability director Chris Derksema. Rival councillors had criticised Cr Moore’s attendance of the conference when it was first announced, with Angela Vithoulkas describing the planned trip as unnecessary, and Christine Forster labelled it “a junket”.
Viva La Femme By alexandra english Undergarment visionary Mariesa Mae and burlesque tease Penelope Morgan have collaborated with The Spice Cellar. The result? La Femme Boheme - a weekly Wednesday night of glamour, striptease and seduction where entry is free. Fifty dollars will buy a table reservation with three tapas plates accompanied by the seductive temptress that is a glass of Chandon. Mae and Morgan are relatively new to the art of tease and describe their show as a night of bohemian elegance combined with the grace, style and glamour of the Hollywood golden era. While burlesque is traditionally a finely honed way of stripping for an audience, the pair admits that theirs is not a polished production. This is not to say that La Femme Boheme is just an excuse to bring their bedroom underwear dancing into a public sphere, or that the pair are nostalgic 1920s revivalists. Burlesque, for those who don’t know, began in the 1920s as a risqué club act that allowed an audience to be seduced by scantily clad women in a public forum. The movement exploded into popular culture through the next forty years before dwindling and almost disappearing. Classic burlesque, with its props, sets, storylines and elaborate costumes, saw an underground revival in the 1990s and 2000s when performers rediscovered the fun, grace, and showmanship of the art of tease. La Femme Boheme was a product of Mae and Morgan’s brainwaves connecting and sizzling from opposite sides of the world. The pair had studied acting together at NIDA, but afterwards had gone in seemingly different directions; Mae was working on a lingerie line, and Morgan was performing burlesque internationally. It was
several years before their paths crossed again, but Mae says it was perfect timing, “like our brains were on the same wave length on the other side of the world.” “I had burlesque in mind when I was doing my lingerie line but never got around to it,” Mae
explains. “I was visiting family in England when Penelope got in touch. She was doing burlesque and was looking for a dance partner and wanted to know if I would be interested. “I couldn’t sleep at all that night thinking about it,” she laughs. “It’s been such a fun journey since then.” La Femme Boheme became a solution to showcasing Mae’s lingerie in a way that was a little bit naughty, a little bit nice, and completely beautiful by combining her love for fashion with her musical theatre background. Infusions of cabaret, lingerie, pop culture and explosions of colour “show my lingerie in a sophisticated and elegant format, and … a celebration of the beauty of the feminine.” The show was initially choreographed by Morgan who had been performing burlesque internationally and realised it was time to bring new concepts to the industry. “Most performers seemed to focus on either the vintage pin-up, the shocking and outrageous, the traditional striptease or slap-stick humour styles,” she says, “which are all great, but I wanted to bring back the glamour and finesse that I found was lacking in a lot of Australian shows,” says Morgan. Mae agrees: “We wanted to do private gigs and make money and maybe find a regular venue, and we wanted the show to be elegant, graceful, classy and sophisticated. I noticed that venues in the UK are very supportive of burlesque, but Sydney is kind of lacking.” The pair describe the seductive collaboration with The Spice Cellar as a night where “people can sit back and relax, dine and be transported into a world of magical decadence.” (AE) Wednesdays, The Spice Cellar, Basement Level, 58 Elizabeth St, free-$50, (02) 9223 5585, thespicecellar.com.au
The Spice Cellar’s basement isn’t the only place to spice up an evening with burlesque in Sydney. These sexy shows are also worth a peep: The Vanguard: Dames of Throne Obviously inspired by Game of Thrones, The Vanguard’s Dames of Throne takes from the people of Westeros for a show of fire and ice. The meal and package features a Game of Thrones themed set menu, which could be just as interesting and enticing as the show itself. Feb 6, 7, 9, 12 & 13, The Vanguard, 42 King St, Newtown, $43-135, (02) 9557 9409, thevanguard.com.au Gallery Burlesque: One More for the Road, Burlesque Like a Boss! Gallery Burlesque is super excited about being at The Standard on a Friday night. They can go “batshit crazy” to “kick ass music” with newcomers and burlesque favourites performing all night. Headliner is reigning Queen of Burlesque 2012, Imogen Kelly, and globetrotting temptress Sheena
Miss Demeanour. Feb 7, The Standard, level 3, 383 Bourke St, Darlinghurst, $15+bf, (02) 9660 7953, wearethestandard.com.au Dome Bar and Lounge: Burlesque Fridays This is Sydney’s premier roaming burlesque show that features some of the biggest names in the art of tease, including Holly J’aDoll, Danica Lee, Maple Rose, and Lauren La Rouge. The performance takes place in the bar area where guests can take it all in with a drink in hand. Feb 7, Dome Bar and Lounge, Lvl 1, 589 Crown St, Surry Hills, $20, (02) 9699 3460, domefunctions.com Porcelain Dolls: Glitter in the Air Porcelain Dolls are back with a tribute to Pink for a night of dinner theatre, seductive vocals, a tonne of attitude, burlesque and pole performances. It’s all set to the songs and kickarse attitude of Pink, and audiences are advised to stay away if they don’t like glitter – it’s everywhere. Feb 8, The Oxford Hotel, 134 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, $30-45, (02) 8324 5200, theoxfordhotel.com.au
EAT & DRINK
Elmo’s Restaurant Yes, it’s in a club. Now we have that out of the way, this deceptively exciting restaurant affords you chance to sit in a gorgeous glass box overlooking Coogee Beach. With a mile-wide smile and seductively rolling R’s, Manager Vinni Dias is an excellent guide (and enthusiast) for the traditional end of this Brazilian-influenced Australian menu. He starts me off with excellent house-made Pão de Queijo ($8) cheese bread and setting-appropriate $ - mains less than $15
$$ - mains between $15-$22
EASTERN SUBURBS Mr. Moustache “Are you going to search me,” a giggling diner asks. Wearing rubber gloves, we’re about to dive into Tortita Ahogada ($12) - the cantina’s messiest dish - a delicious pork sandwich you “drown” with spicy salsa. On one side there’s an opulent bar, and on the other, a colourful kitchen reflecting Mexican street food culture. So drink Mezcal-based cocktails like El Original del Diablo ($18) with homemade ginger beer against share plates: Seasonal Ceviche ($10); Tostaditas Pato ($12/3) mini tacos with spicy duck - and Huitlacoche ($12/3) - black corn truffle, roasted corn and fresco
By Jackie McMillan Sydney Rock Oysters ($18/6), which remarkably hold their own against pimenta biquinho (flavoursome ‘kiss peppers’ that aren’t spicy), lime, Spanish onion, coriander and palmito. The latter ingredient is a total revelation in Baked Palm Heart, Tomato, Chutney, Pimento & Gorgonzola ($16) too. Escondidinho de Cogumelos ($15) is a traditional Brazilian “surprise” dish. While the surprise can vary, this version delivers four types of mushrooms sautéed in garlic and butter, buried under cassava and cheese. It’s a delicious surprise, but their biggest hit is Moqueca ($34) a red, coconut-enriched fish and prawn stew, featuring four perfectly cooked fishes – barramundi, blue eye cod, swordfish and salmon – on the day I dined. In case you’re still not convinced, recall what being in a club means in terms of drink pricing – affordable bottles of wine and watching night fall on water over eightbuck Mojitos – priceless. Coogee Legion Ex-Service Club, 200 Arden Street, Coogee (02) 9665 8230 coogeelegionclub.com.au/elmos-restaurant/ Brazilian/Modern Australian $$-$$$ $$$ - mains between $22-$30
cheese. Their star dessert is Plantos Machos ($11) – plantain, coffee liquor and burnt goat’s milk. 75-79 Hall Street, Bondi Beach 9300 8892 mr-moustache.com.au Mexican, Cocktails $-$$ The Royal Paddington “He was smoking, I was eating and racking…” Okay, overheard Eastern Suburbs conversations up on the “hidden” rooftop terrace have a certain ruling class blasé about them but you should hike up all those stairs and check it out anyway, breaking your journey with a drink in the eye-catching red and black Elephant Bar. Afterwards head to the white, salon-style bistro, for Grant Burge ‘Holy Trinity’ ($15/glass) and a grazing meal. There’s Natural Oysters
$$$$ - mains over $30
($30/12) and sharing plates available in multiples of 1($10), 3 ($25) and 5 ($40). Duck Pancakes ($10) and Sizzling Garlic Prawns ($10) were my favourites, but the Grilled Haloumi ($10) isn’t bad either. 237 Glenmore Road, Paddington (02) 9331 2604 royalhotel.com.au Pub Bistro $$-$$$ Ryu Not being a huge fan of shopping malls or sushi trains, up on Level 6 of Bondi Junction’s Westfield you’ll find Ryu. While it does have a train, it also has an oasis at the back where the heaving mall is partitioned by wooden latticework. Plus, they serve sake, including their own sweet and berry-flavoured Sparkling Sake ($13.80/250ml). Food-wise, you’ll
Nithik’s Kitchen After dining consecutively on Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday night last week at this new Rozelle gem, to say I’ve been hankering for good Indian is an underestimation. Vikram Arumugam has taken ten years cooking experience from the (hatted) Aki’s and three years of catering/menu development at home, and come up with an innovative and flavoursome menu. After eating at least half of find a picture book menu of all the favourites from Chicken Katsu Curry ($18.80) with a gravy boat of delicious curry sauce to sweet, smoky and sticky Yaki Noodle with Beef ($15.80). Start off with the Chicken Kara-age ($8.80) – hot, little fried chicken pieces with a dollop of wasabi mayo. Shop 6006, Westfield Bondi Junction (02) 9387 7040 westfield.com.au/bondijunction/ Japanese $-$$
INNER WEST The Oxford Tavern Hopefully the super cute fivebuck Cheeseburger ($5) here – sandwiching beef, mustard, crunchy pickles, ketchup and gooey cheese between soft brioche
it, the 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) introduces you to Vikram’s flavour palate of sweetness (banana), bitterness (bitter gourd), sourness (tamarind and pomegranate seeds) and piquant (chilli). Combine them all for an oral sensation with an artistic layout. Great coconut chutney and homemade ghee notches the Masala Dosa ($13) above most I’ve tried; and Vikram’s curries are all great: from Meen Manga Charu ($25) of barramundi, coconut and green mango, to the rich tomato-based Pondicherry Mix Seafood ($25) which includes murunkai, a fibrous green vegetable ‘drumstick’ you suck the pulp from. Crisp Veechu Parota ($3) bread is a must-have with the labourintensive 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 $$-$$$
buns – will be the death knell for Stanmore McDonalds. Michael Delany’s remodelling of Petersham’s infamous pole dancing and jelly wrestling venue is now the most family-friendly of the Drink’n’Dine venues… if you think up an ageappropriate explanation of The Jelly Wrestle ($20) dessert that comes with gloves not cutlery. Kid-free, I availed myself of a Swinging Tit ($9) with Kraken Spiced Rum and pink jellied foam sprayed onto your arm. Buffalo Cauliflower Balls ($14) with blue cheese and hot sauces will stick to your ribs during a dive bar drinking session. 1 New Canterbury Road, Petersham (02) 8019 9351 theoxfordtavern.com.au American, Pub Bistro, Cocktails $$ The Cottage Bar & Kitchen Sitting in the front yard of this
picturesque cottage with a punch bowl of Strawberry Sangria ($32) I see the makings of a girls’ night out. “I’ll have what she’s having!” Soon after I had my own glass, resplendent with fragrant red berries. Inside the kitsch, homely-vibe is broken up by a domed wood fire pizza oven. The De Jamon Pizza ($26) bearing Jamón Serrano, pear, walnuts, Parmesan and vincotto will make you thankful they didn’t rip it out. Supplement pizzas with share plates, like quirky Pumpkin Mousse ($12); roast Chook ($24) with excellent wild rice pilaf, apricot yoghurt and pistachio crumb; and a Fairground Plate ($16) with candied apples and pillowy marshmallows. 342 Darling Street, Balmain (02) 8084 8185 thecottagebalmain.com.au Bar, Bar Food, Pizza $$-$$$
EAT & DRINK
Phoenix Diner In January this year, a fire struck The Lansdowne Hotel, closing it for six months. The good news – for students, indie bands, backpackers and budget eaters alike – is that from those ashes, the Phoenix Diner has risen. Supported by all-new staff and management, this American diner-style eatery has taken over the first floor of this loosely New York loft-themed hotel. ROCKS & CBD
Café Nice Nice has historically had more in common with Italy than France, arguably the raison d’être behind Fratelli Fresh going “Fratelli French” as bartender Sebastian Vicente describes it. Smart diners stay barside enjoying a commanding view of Sydney Harbour - albeit with a little railway action - eating the bargain two-course Menu du Bar ($29.50) with a glass of Fratelli wine. Bring someone and start by sharing their classic table-tossed Salade Niçoise entrée with freshly seared tuna. Move on to mains – filling Fettuccine with Walnut Pistou, Mushrooms, Ricotta and Goat’s Cheese, or the delicious Fish of the Day (Hapuka) on exemplary gratin. Sharing the Lemon Doughnut with
By Alex Harmon Part café, part street-side hawker, this new addition to Westfield Eastgardens has loads of street cred. It comes with the new dining precinct, which took over Banks Avenue last year. The al fresco dining and paved paths feel like you’re in an artificial land: “Like $$ - mains between $15-$22
GREATER SYDNEY Minskys Hotel This newly renovated hotel - subtly masculine without being alienating to women – has kept the 1am kitchen. Publican Anthony Brady says: “We want people to like this place.” He’s clearly proud of the new menu by Robert Oey, who doesn’t forget it’s a pub, but notches up the standards. He delivers a well-rendered Caramelised Pork Belly ($25) with Asian ‘slaw; Crisp School Prawns ($10) that won’t damage your mouth; and great Chicken Liver Pate ($11) with
Most visitors wrap their lips ‘round a burger, and - loaded up with bacon, Pecorino cheese, avocado, coleslaw and chipotle mayo - the Buttermilk Chicken Burger ($14) gives a pretty good indication as to why. Clever toppings and easy sharing possibilities make their short list of ‘Brooklyn Pizzas’ appealing. I got down and dirty with Sticky Fingers ($16) combining 12-hour slow-cooked pulled pork, pear, walnuts, watercress and blue cheese on a crisp, thin base. Fat Jalapeño Poppers ($6) are hot - despite being stuffed with bacon and cream cheese - so best accompany them with a schooner of Kosciuszko Pale Ale ($5.80) or James Squire The Chancer Golden Ale ($5.80). The already inexpensive food and drinks further reduce for multiple happy hour(s) and nine-buck Monday to Thursday long lunches (12pm-4pm); while for latenight munchies I’m told their Mauritian chef makes his own Biltong Jerky ($3) (sadly sold out on the day I visited). The Lansdowne Hotel, 2-6 City Road, Chippendale (02) 8218 2333 thelansdownehotel.com.au Pub Bistro $
Passionfruit Caramel is a definite smile-maker. 2 Phillip Street, Circular Quay (02) 8248 9600 fratellifresh.com.au Bar,Wine, French $$ Ananas Bar & Brasserie Champagne tastes on a beer budget needn’t preclude you from checking out the bar menus of Sydney’s big hitters. For under ten bucks a heaving board of Roast Bone Marrow ($8) lets you relish in smearing rich, gelatinous goo onto crusty bread. Foie Gras and Fennel Tartine ($19) arrives balanced by cherry compote, the earthy creaminess suits a 2012 Pierre de la Grange Muscadet ‘Vieilles Vignes’ ($13). While the fat-dissolving properties of pink grapefruit, pineapple and saffron gin in Le French Boudier ($18) were appreciated; it was eclipsed by a
Sedap Malaysian Kopitiam
$ - mains less than $15
By Jackie McMillan
Coffee Martini ($21) that drinks like a salted caramel latte. Chef Paul McGrath’s interesting take on Charcuterie ($32/5 items) is a fine way to finish. 18 Argyle Street, The Rocks (02) 9259 5668 ananas.com.au Modern French/Cocktails/Bar Food $$ Ester The austere minimalism of the room makes you concentrate on the subtlety of what’s in the glass and on the plate; like leaning in to capture a whisker of smoke from the exquisite Roasted Oysters ($4/ each). Wood-fire links Mat Lindsay’s cooking to the new style emerging from high-end favourites like Bridge Room - pared back, unfussy, fundamental. Eat sharing style and let someone play Father, adorning sticky Pork Hock ($32) with the juice of blackened orange. Include a
Vegas,” comments my dining partner. Indeed, if Vegas had a multicultural Sydney-themed hotel it would probably include the new tenants – Bondi Pizza, Ribs & Burgers, Lang Suan Thai, Kingston & Co. and San Churro. We arrive at Sedap on a busy Thursday evening and relax into an Ice Coffee ($4) laced with heavenly condensed milk served in a jar. (I’m unsure if it’s ironic?) Crispy Pork Rolls ($4/each) are wrapped in bean curd and come with a delicious garlic chilli sauce, while Szechuan Ribs ($15.80) are sticky finger licking good. Of course we have to try everyone’s favourite Malaysian dish: Char Kuey Teow ($12), which stacks up well – pork sausage an interesting addition to the bevy of toppings. Beef Rendang ($14.40) is spot on; in fact I couldn’t fault a thing until the endearing waiter insisted we try the traditional dessert Ice Cendol ($6). ‘Green worm’ and mung bean noodles on shaved ice are probably just for true Malay enthusiasts – but they’re fun anyway. Westfield Eastgardens, Banks Avenue, Eastgardens (02) 9344 7095 sedap.com.au Malaysian $ $$$ - mains between $22-$30
house-made chutney. There’s also a smart, underpriced cocktail list with a Salted Coconut Espresso Martini ($14), plus an Enomatic wine pouring system – great when you need a big glass of Pichot Vouvray Sec ($13/150ml glass, $21/225ml glass). 287 Military Road, Cremorne 9909 8888 minskyshotel.com.au Pub Bistro, Cocktails,Wine $$-$$$ Ribs & Burgers Confession time: I find butchers, butchers’ aprons, Berkel meat slicers and knives rather exciting. In case the wall of meat grinders didn’t give it away, this light-hearted space is meant to summon butchers’ shops
$$$$ - mains over $30
of old. Their open-style kitchen dishes up a mean signature Wagyu Burger ($18) piled high with onion rings, salad, dill pickles and pink and BBQ sauces. With a James Squire The Chancer Golden Ale ($7) and some of their ‘famous’ Chips ($4/ small), it’s all you really need for a fast casual bite. Messy but compelling Pork Ribs ($29) are marinated then slow cooked for eight hours, coming with chips and coleslaw (the serve is slightly small). Shop 3, 19-25 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay (02) 9904 5774 ribsandburgers.com.au Modern Australian, Burgers $$-$$$
Star Bar Some people have pubs in their blood; fourth generation hotelier Kim Maloney is a prime example. The first pub he bought was the Student Prince, which has morphed into Sydney’s most glamorous bordello: Stiletto. He now operates Sydney’s St. James, Maloney’s, Sanctuary and Shark hotels, plus The Clock Hotel in sunny Queensland. It follows then that his newly renovated Star Bar is a slick head of charred Cauliflower ($16) and the amazing Blood Sausage Sangas ($6/each). Take on any dessert the small menu cares to offer – my favourite, Three Milks ($11), pays homage to goat, cow and sheep. 46-52 Meagher Street, Chippendale (02) 8068 8279 ester-restaurant.com.au Modern Australian $$$-$$$$ DARLO, KINGS X & SURRY HILLS Harajuku Gyoza Leave surly service behind and travel to happy J-pop world. Shiny red bar stools offer the best vantage points to eyeball their streamlined operation. Anyone can be a winner for a minimal Sake ($7.50) spend
operation, drawing influence from hotspots like Melbourne’s Silk Road. The $2 million facelift contains references to the building’s previous inhabitants Planet Hollywood, and 1930s predecessor Plaza Cinema, with a 62-seat cinema in the original style. “I’m a great meat eater, I love my steaks, the 400g Rib Eye ($33) here is beautiful,” says Kim. It should be – his kitchen coup is 2014 Best Steak winner Danny Russo. Russo supplements the meat with modern Italianate dishes from heaving Antipasto Platters ($17) to Verdura Pizza ($16), to a fun Russolini Parma Burger ($17) boasting crumbed Angus patty, melted mozzarella and Napoli sauce. Bring friends to go the whole hog with his Italian Family Feast ($38/ person). Russo sagely advises: “drawstring pants are a prerequisite” if you intend to add on a Slow Roasted Suckling Pig ($420/whole). Groaning, I concur. It eats well with Birra Moretti ($7.50) and lovely Italian Slaw ($6). 600 George Street, Sydney (02) 9267 7827 starbar.com.au Pub Bistro, Modern Italian, Pizza $$
– so cheer when other people get sake, too. Food’s in a best supporting role – which isn’t to say their namesake Duck Gyoza ($8/5 piece) aren’t tasty – but izakayas are about drinking. Unctuous and fatty Pork Belly Kakuni ($13) goes well with White Sesame Salad ($6), lightly battered ‘Tenpura’ Eggplant ($6) and Koshihikari Rice Beer ($12). Explosive Salted Caramel Gyoza ($9/3 pieces) should put to rest any rumours that Japanese don’t make good desserts. 9-15 Bayswater Road, Potts Point (02) 9356 3834 harajukugyoza.com Japanese $ Devon Café Continuing the exodus from fine dining to approachable eateries, two of Guillaume Brahimi’s chefs
have landed in this little café on Devonshire Street. While there are the usual hipster affectations - a hanging herb garden, and everything from Refresher Juice ($7) to Iced Coffee ($6.50) served in jam jars – the coffee’s great and the food’s even better! The confidently short seasonal menu offers up beautifully presented breakfasts like Citrus Cured Salmon ($18.50) with apple, celery, fennel and split dill cream; and creative lunches like Green With Envy ($23) - nettle semolina gnocchi presented as a spring garden with pumpkin puree, zucchini, yellow squash and peas. Even the muffins are amazing… 76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills (02) 9211 8777 devoncafe.com.au Café $$
FOOD NEWS The Shangri-La Sydney has a young, hip pastry chef in Anna Polyviou. Not only is she good at her craft, she’s entertaining and charismatic in the (rather spacious) confines of her pastry kitchen. I should know, I’ve ventured into her domain - through the service entrance of the hotel - for a dessert degustation. She’s now offering two limited collections of attendees the opportunity to participate in “Dip Me In Honey”, her latest creation on the 26th and 27th of February from 7pm. For $105/head you get a backstage pass into a five-course pastry kitchen degustation, that will even see you leave with honey for breakfast the next day! Her inspiration for this sweet menu was her executive chef Steven’s beehives on level three of the hotel (full credit to them for doing urban beekeeping) combined with seeing “a graffiti piece in an alleyway of a bee”. I also asked Anna what makes her let customers into her private lair:“People’s face reactions get me excited, the shock factor with what I say, or the words used in the menu, or better yet, the taste factor with my creations.” Book in quickly: (02) 9250 6247.
By Rebecca Varidel
BAT COUNTRY As a local, the Bar Bloke was keen. He had already done a daytime reconnaissance: “Perfectly cooked egg, crisp bacon, milk roll and good relish.” So, we moseyed along the same evening for food and booze, when medium-rare steak was served closer to medium. Absinthe fancier Hunter S. Thompson may have chosen the same cocktail as me. This bar is, after all, an ode to him, with references – like the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas quote: “We can’t stop here, this is bat country!” throughout. The playlist features Thomson-inspired 60s and 70s tunes too. Morning Glory Fizz ($17) is served tall; perhaps Thompson would have appreciated it more, but this whisky drinker lost the Chivas under the anise. So we moved on to wine – the only red not available by the glass: Enchanted Path, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($120/bottle). 32 St Pauls Street, Randwick (0406) 191 322 facebook.com/thisisbatcountry1
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT The Duck Duck Goose Theatre Company presents Pinball; a play set in the ‘70s about a lesbian couple trying to gain custody of a son. Part of Mardi Gras Sydney 2014, Pinball is an anti-naturalistic comedy that centres around Theenie as she struggles with her family’s bigotry. “It’s a story about what we have been through in the past in Australia, in terms of laws and same-sex parenting,” says Sarah Vickery, director of Pinball. “We really wanted to put it on to show how far we’ve come,” she continues. Pinball was written in the late ‘70s and the new production reflects on
PRIVATES ON PARADE
New Theatre is bringing back the pomp and irreverence of the classic Privates on Parade, as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. This new production of the play combines song, dance, and a lot of laughs, as audiences are taken back to wartime Singapore and Malaya with a group of young English servicemen. “They’ve been brought together in an entertainment troop to take concerts out to the soldiers and their leader is the rather flamboyant drag queen, Terri,” says Alice Livingstone, director of Privates on Parade. Privates on Parade was written in 1977 and beneath its humour lurks darker themes of
homophobia, racism and colonialism. “It’s a way of looking back and going, ‘Gee we have moved on a long way, look at what we used to be like and look at what we are now’,” Livingstone says. Of her cast Livingstone says, “They’re fabulous. They’re a lovely blend of experienced actors and newer performers.” New Theatre put on a production for Mardi Gras every year and have done so for over a decade. “A lot of people come and see our shows as one of the main things they do during the Mardi Gras Festival,” says Livingstone. (PG) Feb 11–Mar 8, New Theatre, 542 King St, Newtown, $25-32, newtheatre.org.au
JUMP FOR JORDAN Griffin Theatre’s new play Jump for Jordan goes some of the way to explain what it is like to be part of the mosaic of cultures that make up Australia. It centres on Sophie (played by Alice Ansara), an independent Arab-Australian woman who must lie about her life, career and Aussie boyfriend for fear of shaming her traditional Jordanian family. Director Iain Sinclair was attracted to the relatability of the script (written by Donna Arebla). Much of the cast are of Arab descent and he says, “There are lots of immigrant stories bubbling up, it’s quite extraordinary how much is reflected in the script.” Sinclair adds, “Anything new that’s brought up will appear two days later.”
14 STAGE 16 SCENE 17 SOUNDS 18 SCREEN
It is not so much a work in progress but rather a live reflection on the experiences of second-generation women. Women who not only cope with the typical work-lifefamily-balance, but whom also negotiate clashing cultures. “I can’t think of the last time I saw Arabic women on stage just being themselves,” says Sinclair. The director is excited as it is the premiere of Jump for Jordan, “The risks are higher but the payoffs are greater and there’s nothing more rewarding then bringing new work to the stage.” (ATS) Feb 14-Mar 29, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $49, 9361 3817, griffintheatre.com.au
Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley
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Photo: Brett Boardman
“We picked the most interesting parts, and tailored the show around them.” “It’s not all doom and gloom, either,” he says. “The important messages are there, but it’s as balanced as possible. We wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t going to be fun.” Directed by Nigel TurnerCaroll, written by Rhys Morgan and with musical direction by Jeremy Brennan, Twists and Turns is sure to be a major splash as part of this year’s Mardi Gras 2014 season. (RG) Feb 19-20, Slide Lounge, 41 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, $45-90 +bf; Slide’s Kings & Queens of Cabaret Season, Feb 7-Mar 1, (02) 8915 1899, slide.com.au
how, although life was fashionable, not all was cool at the time. Producer Gavin Roach approached Vickery with the idea of a production with a more female take on themes surrounding Mardi Gras. “Mardi Gras were very excited to actually have a focus on women’s rights and lesbianism and all that,” says Vickery. On the cast of six, she says, “The cast are fantastic. They’re all very experienced. They’re extremely talented and I’m very proud of them.” (PG) Feb 11-28, TAP Gallery, 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, $20, mardigras.org.au/events/pinballtheatre
Photo: John McRae
Matthew Mitcham is one of Australia’s most versatile names. When he’s not diving and winning Olympic gold, he’s singing and playing ukulele at this year’s Kings and Queens of Cabaret at Slide Lounge as part of the Mardi Gras 2014 season. “The show’s an adaptation of the book,” Mitcham says, referring to another of his fortes: writing. “Twists and Turns [the book] is candid, but in some ways it’s a more conservative medium than the cabaret. The show’s PG but you can do things in a way you can’t on the page.” And what can fans expect from the show? “There’s nine songs spliced through an autobiographical story,” Mitcham says.
Photo: Bob Seary
MATTHEW MITCHAM: TWISTS AND TURNS
Contributors: Alexandra English, Alexis Talbot-Smith, Andrew Hodgson, Angela Stretch, Anita Senaratna, Cheryl Northey, Craig Coventry, Elise Cullen, Greg Webster, Hannah Chapman, Jemma Nott, Leann Richards, Lena Zak, Lisa Ginnane, Luke Cox, Luke Daykin, Lyndsay Kenwright, Marilyn Hetreles, Mark Morellini, Mel Somerville, Michael Muir, Michelle Porter, Nerida Lindsay, Nick Hadland, Olga Azar, Paul Gregoire, Rhys Gard, Ruth Fogarty, Sam Crassweller, Sharon Ye, Shauna O’Carroll, Tom Wilson,Vanessa Powell
A husband leaves his wife and son for another man. The logline for Falsettos, playing at Darlinghurst Theatre this Mardis Gras season may sound like other dramas, but this piece of musical theatre is certainly no conventional affair. “I’m not sure if you already know,” lead actor Tamlyn Henderson says, “but everything’s performed in song.” The quirky tale about family and moving forward won a litany of Tony Awards when it was first performed on Broadway in 1992 and twentytwo years later finds itself onstage in Australia. “Rehearsals have been fun, but definitely a challenge,” Henderson says. “Stephen’s a wonderful visual director – so as well as singing, there’s a heap of complex choreography and
Photo: Helen White
interaction going on.” Falsettos will be the first show for Darlinghurst Theatre Company this season. Renowned theatre director Stephen Colyer leads a talented cast, including Henderson (We Will Rock You, Les Misérables), Katrina Retallick (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Addams Family) and Stephen Anderson (Swan Lake, Dead Man Walking). The poised mix of comedy and drama is performed over a live piano score created by William Finn and based on the book written by Finn and James Lapine. Falsettos promises to be toptier musical theatre at its best. (RG) Feb 12-Mar 16, Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton St, Darlinghurst, $3043, (02) 8356 9987, darlinghursttheatre.com
Darth Vegas’ sound can’t be pigeonholed. Their influences span the terrains of jazz, pop, punk and more. Aside from Tom Waits, The Accused and John Zorn’s Naked City, front man Michael Lira cites “spooky cartoons” as one of their major influences. With that in mind, it’s really no surprise that Lira says they’ve invited an extra-terrestrial guest for their last show in Sydney. So what can audiences expect from the gig at the Jam Gallery? “The unexpected,” says Lira. “Definitely some strange and fun music, and perhaps an interplanetary visitor – almost guaranteed.” Darth Vegas have performed together on and off for ten
years and now Lira is finally moving to the States indefinitely to work on composing pieces for the silver screen. He says their last show will be a special one. Along with their special “interplanetary” guest, the newly bionic Neill Duncan will be debuting his one-handed sax for the first time. After being diagnosed with sarcoma in his left arm, Duncan has had a custom saxophone made for the occasion. It will be the first time in the world that a one-handed tenor saxophone has been played. “We’re a very versatile band,” says Lira. (SY) Feb 8, Jam Gallery, 195 Oxford St, Bondi Junction, $10, jamgallery.com.au
Some people believe there are an infinite number of things that can be put between two pieces of bread and deemed a sandwich, while others can never seem to find anything they like. However, no matter what our connection with food is, there is no denying that we can’t live without it. This idea inspired Bite Me; a collection of monologues written by young playwrights, performed by young actors and directed by Anthony Skuse. The showcase is the latest instalment of The Voices Project season at ATYP Studio. The playwrights developed their stories at the National School in 2013 where Tasnim Hossain,
admitted she struggled when trying to define her relationship with food beyond “liking it and eating it.” “I thought I had nothing to say about it, but then realised that everyone has a connection to food,” she says. “Food is life and learning to cook is learning to live. Food is something we take for granted because it’s there every day.” The showcase is comprised of ten monologues including a pseudovegetarian and a boy fighting to not become the dish of the day. Funny, challenging, and cheeky, Bite Me is a celebration of food and life. (AE) Feb 5-22, ATYP Studio Theatre, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $20-30, atyp.com.au
REVIEW - LEGEND! - ‘SLIPS’ CORDON - A SAFE PAIR OF HANDS
PERFORMANCE SWEET CHARITY is a musical centred on the character of Charity Hope Valentine, who is an eternal optimist and dancer. Charity, played by musical theatre star Verity Hunt-Ballard, makes her money dancing with man after man to pay the rent, hoping one will whisk her off her feet. Themes include the pursuit of security via romance
first ever set of Don’s Party, transported through time into the Old Fitz Theatre. Written by the cheeky Pat Sheil, who giggled his way through the show in the back row, and directed by Lex Marinos, Legend! – ‘Slips’ Cordon – A Safe Pair of Hands is equally fun and excessive. It is the kind of theatre where your grandfather is the best plus one to take along (RG). Until Feb 15, Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowling St, Woolloomooloo, $32-39, sitco.net.au
– an interesting notion and somewhat old-fashioned. On Broadway, Sweet Charity was a huge success and has built its own identity in musical theatre. The show is very sexy and physical, capturing Charity’s experience of life and how she tries to desperately transform it. (LK) Feb 7-Mar 9, Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point, $49, hayestheatre.com.au TRAVELLING NORTH An ageing couple flee Melbourne’s
Photo: Katy Green Loughrey
‘Slips’ Cordon is the kind of old codger you love to loathe. Onstage, he reinvents some of Australia’s greatest sporting and cultural legends with a haughty know-it-all pride that’s a winning mix of hilarity and farce. If you think you know the history of the Sydney Opera House or the story of Simpson and his donkey, he’ll make you think again. John Derum is convincing as the cantankerous grandfather who seldom draws breath. Cordon looks like Don Bradman and rambles like Bob Hawke. The stage could possibly be the
cold for the warmer far North Queensland and a change of lifestyle, but Frank is soon beset by heart-problems and Frances has to deal with possessive, needy daughters. Written in 1979, it’s sometimes assumed to be about writer David Williamson’s move to Sydney; in fact it’s about the experiences of his mother-inlaw, a gentle and perceptive woman who’d remarried to an older man – an opinionated,
intelligent, ex-Communist. The concept of the ‘grey nomad’ is now an established one but “. . .living in paradise isn’t quite enough without having a social context of friends, families and meaningful activities to fill in the time,” says Williamson. (MM) Until Mar 22, Sydney Theatre Company, Pier 4/5, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $50-85, 9250 1777, sydneytheatre.com.au EMPIRE There may be quirky costume routines,
balancing acts and an MC, but is Speigelworld’s returning show just another trip to the circus? “No way,” says Memet Bilgin aka 3D Graffiti Guy. “We’re part of a new wave of circus groups. It’s unique and intimate, with far more interaction between the audience and the performers.” With a rising and rotating stage that often places the performers mere inches away,
audiences can watch routines that move from roller-skating to balancing upon a spinning top in a tent made of 3000 individual pieces. This adult-only fusion of vaudeville, burlesque, cabaret and circus promises to be a night out with a difference. (RG) Until Mar 2, Showring, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, $59-149, empireaustralia.com
THE NAKED CITY
IN THE ‘SWILL’ OF THE NIGHT
By Coffin Ed, Miss Death & Jay Katz Well over half a century ago it was not uncommon for those dying for a drink on a Sunday to drive to the International Terminal at Mascot. There they enjoyed a licencing anomaly in the departure lounge whereby alcohol was served for the benefit of passengers and their farewelling friends. If the atmosphere seemed unnaturally convivial it was not the nervous transcontinental first flyers that were downing the scotches, but the pisspots and alcos – and they weren’t going anywhere. If the airport did not appeal there was an abundance of sly groggers throughout the ‘burbs and an inflated premium guaranteed a ready supply of beer and spirits. Unlike the popular stereotype, not all outlets operated down dark dingy alleys behind closely guarded doors. One particular Bondi hotel overlooking the top of Campbell Parade was notorious in the ‘70s for its late-night bottle-o where orders were placed at the accommodation desk and discreetly delivered from a side window. Although it was many years before hotels could trade beyond 10pm, finding a late-night drink in Sydney at the time was a challenge and very much a nefarious adventure for those looking to party on at home or in the back of a crowded car.Years earlier it was even tougher and dating right back to its introduction in 1916 pubs were obliged to shut at 6pm, leading to the longrunning phenomenon known as the ‘six o’clock swill’. When the factories and offices emptied out at 5pm there was a beeline to the local boozer to see who could down the biggest number of schooners before time was called at 6pm. The legislation was designed to prevent workers from staying at the pub for hours on end, forcing them to return to their families in the early evening.
The result in many cases was that they arrived home stinking of beer, often drunk and ready to pass out on the couch rather than partake in the normal family meal. In 1947 the issue of early closing was put to a public referendum in New South Wales and thanks to a large temperance and religious lobby, the proposal to extend was voted down. Seven years later however, voters changed their minds and in 1955 closing hours were extended to 10pm. A lot has changed since then and we now wallow in rivers of unbridled grog if you’ll forgive the rather emotive metaphor. What is emerging in the latest debate about late-night trading and the earlier closing of bottle shops, is the prevailing belief that alcohol is essential to any enjoyment of late night entertainment. In other words you can’t kick on into the wee small hours without copious amounts of booze to replenish the copious amounts you have already consumed. Surely you’d think that if loaded by midnight the high amount of alcohol already circulating in your bloodstream would sustain that feeling of euphoria for hours to come. We’re not for one moment advocating a ‘midnight swill’ but instead a midnight ‘still’ where all bar activities cease and patrons are encouraged to assume a state of suspended animation - a bit like nap time at a child-minding centre but with a definite adult theme. Rubber mattresses could be rolled on dance floors all over KC and DJs could combat aggression and inebriation with the ultimate chillout set. Clocks would be stopped and started again in exactly an hour. Bodies would be rejuvenated and punch-happy drunks drained of all hostility. Out on the street, Council workers would release controlled amounts of nitrous oxide, evoking a state of universal merriment and laughter. Normal activities would soon resume right through until 4am but the ‘still’ would have put the brakes on the ‘swill’.
TALKING THROUGH YOUR ARTS BUT IS IT ART?
When people ask, “But is it art?” They usually do so because they suspect that the answer is “No”. When confronted with objects of the sorts we may call a disturbance or a nuisance, the value of art both for creators and consumers requires a particular kind of intention; a special sort of relation to the present and past practices of artists and viewers. City of Sydney has commissioned an urban street art project for this year’s Summer Living Colour project. The installation is a garland of 2,000 colourful plants arranged in a geometric floral pyramid that features a graffiti-tagged green wall. This artwork has been valued as art by way of invitation. The concept of the work explores nature and other street art within an urban landscape sculpture. The collaborative designers Sprout Landscape Architects and ‘street’ and ‘graffiti’ artist Beastman, aim to create a work that responds to the environment by engaging the public to react. Beastman is an alias for Sydney-based artist Brad Eastman who says of this work, “I think people are going to get a pleasant surprise at how unique it is when they see it.” So how do we see things? In October last year a survey was
conducted to identify safety concerns in the community with partner agencies NSW Police and the Thomas Kelly Foundation. A Citizens Policy Jury of 43 people is presently convening recommendations that include cleaning up rubbish and graffiti. The soon-to-be announced strategy would be drawn up with the assistance of the Australian Institute of Criminology. The Police Minister seems to be clear about what is NOT art, with his recent comments on Council’s Art Off The Wall brochure, which advertises the Martin Place artwork. “It is extremely disappointing to see City of Sydney Council promoting graffiti which is not only illegal, but a blight on our urban landscape,” said Gallagher to a Daily Telegraph reporter. He continues on with his answers to ‘what is art’, in a straight and narrow translation of vandalism under the disguise of art, causing us to feel unsafe, whilst also driving our young to crime. In deciding what is legitimate art from a legitimate complaint is ambiguous. In a recent media release Council states that illegal graffiti ‘hotspots’ are inspected daily and removed within 24 hours. While Council supports street art (or graffiti), a clear definition of what this type of art is, is as pot-holed and curbed as some of its streets. It may be trivial and worthless, but ART rather than NON-ART at a general level matters more. (AS)
Wollongong, 2013 by Beastman
PASSAGES - MATTHEW HOPKINS/ SHADOWBOXING - SARAH CONTOS
‘Opposites are absorbed, embodied and embraced’, by Sarah Contos, 2014
Gallery 9 in Darlinghurst is hosting two innovative artists who showcase the modernist aesthetic. Passages by Matthew Hopkins features works inspired by his aural recording, Nocturnes. His pieces are a collection of thickly textured pastel pictures which swirl dreamlike off the canvas. These visual representations of sound are an intriguing display of colour and dexterity. The paintings are complemented by playful mixed media installations. Clocks of the Other World, a series of deformed and melting clock faces is a striking and accessible nod to surrealist influences. Sarah Contos’ Shadowboxing is a collection which uses linen, leather and other craft materials linked with techniques such as screen printing and collage, to construct creations which inspire and titillate. Giraffe and Elephant, two alluring earthenware sculptures are a mischievous twist on tribalism and primitivism. These exhibitions are a vibrant exposition of two talented virtuosos. (LR) Until Feb 15, Gallery 9, 9 Darley St, Darlinghurst, free, gallery9.com.au
CHANCE - CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI Carriageworks is currently hosting an astounding trio of installations by Christian Boltanski titled Chance. These deceptively simple creations hide a tangle of complexity. The first, Wheel of Fortune, is an immense scaffolding surrounding a press printing black and white images of babies. The imposing piece overwhelms with its size and startles with its comment on the factory line similarity of humanity. The uniformity is disrupted when a bell sounds and the machinery stops to reveal the intricate uniqueness of a selected face. Wheel of Fortune is book-ended
by Last News From Humans, two towers surmounted by digital tallies of births and deaths around the globe. The unending flow of numbers highlights the inscrutability of existence. The final piece, Be New, is a roller coaster blender of sliced visages which can be recombined to produce a new whole. Emotional and intellectual, Chance is a profound reflection on the fragility, individuality and commonality of the human condition. (LR) Until Mar 23, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, free, carriageworks.com.au
‘Wheel of Fortune’ by Christian Boltanski
HARMONY CARPETBOMBING Welcome to Harmony. Like a hymnbook injected with a hefty dose of despair, unrest and every unrefined part of the human condition; a sense of catharsis creeps into the ear of listeners of Carpetbombing. Its slow-rocking motion takes up all sides, is it a torchlight into the soul, or is it the ravings of a group of emotionally affected musicians? Tantalisingly treading the thin tightrope between two realms, this album pulls at the listener.Wrenching and coaxing in equal measure. Moving through feeling as they move through the album, Harmony’s newest offering is a head-first dive into chaos. (SP)
A conversation with a musician so intellectually and morally driven is a hard thing to come by in a world of fleeting YouTube fame and digital domination. Harrison Stafford, leading man of reggae troupe Groundation is refreshingly real. “Today music is like a product and it’s sold like McDonalds,” Stafford states from his home in Los Angeles. “But we want to inspire other musicians to continue the whole evolution of music by using tools, using voices and using creativity. That’s our goal as Groundation.” Despite the late hour, Stafford is surprisingly enthusiastic. His band’s highly anticipated return to Australian shores will bring new members and the possibility of some fresh tunes that encapsulate their signature sound. With another album slated for release in October, Stafford believes that their travels are a pivotal part of their creative process. “We have been [to Australia] a couple of times but we don’t know that much about the country,” he admits. “We do get more of the people and the energy of Australian life, which we carry with us and which helps us create our music.” Social unification is one of the core values that drive Groundation. Through their Rastafarian
LIVE WIRE Frightened Rabbit: Supported by Gang of Youths, this Scottish collective have solidified their indie-rock royalty status step by step. Last year saw them tour Australia in support of their latest album Pedestrian Verse. It’s an album that had their creative process altered with lead vocalist Scott Hutchison liberating himself from the role as sole songwriter for the band and gaining insight from his fellow members. Undoubtedly a night to remember, expect to hear
influences, Stafford is more than forthcoming with ideas on human beings in our current climate. “There are two timelines going on, one is about evolving with our intelligence and becoming closer to equal rights and justice for all people. This is inevitable. But there is the well being of the planet, using energy and fossil fuels. All of these things could harm our life,” he says. “So our last album Building an Arc is raising that question of ‘Are we going to get serious about things that we know will preserve life or are we going to continue in the direction that we know is the wrong way?’” Stafford is adamant that music is a key and once listeners enter the world of Groundation, their perceived outlook on life may just change. “Our goal is always to focus on the music and keep trying to create the most original music that we can,” he says. “We want to create music that is going to challenge people.” “As people, we get strength through togetherness you know?” he adds. “One person in one life is a very difficult thing but together, we all shine.” (CD) Feb 7, Sydney Hi-Fi, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, $45.50, thehifi.com.au
Sydney Live Music Guide
tracks from their latest as well as their captivating back catalogue. Thu, Feb 6th, Metro Theatre, Town Hall. Major Leagues: As a band that lists only ‘cake’ and ‘skate’ as interests on their Facebook page, Jake, Anna, Jaimee and Vlada from Brisbane make some damn fine music. Breezy guitars, soft and slightly understated vocals and feel good vibes comprise their delicious decibels, reminding listeners of fantastical sunny days driving down the motorway
to a destination unknown. A night in the intimate attic of this venue will evoke treasured memories and can only mean one thing, swaying and smiles. Sat, Feb 8th, Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst. Ludovico Einaudi: He’s one of classical music’s modern day maestros and it’s an absolute miracle that this show has not sold out yet. Scoring for legendary films such as Black Swan and the everbrooding Clint Eastwood concoction J. Edgar, Italy’s
most revered pianist has over 25 years of musical creativity and integrity. His main appeal comes from the ability to destroy the clichés that come with genre, destruction evidenced through his many collaborations with the likes of Coldplay and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sun, Feb 9th, Sydney Opera House. Ed Kowalczyk: Over twenty years since the release of the 1994 classic Throwing Copper by US rock group Live, their legendary frontman is spearheading a celebration like no other.
To mark its two decades of existence, Kowalczyk will be performing tonight with a brand new band to showcase some of Live’s biggest hits including The Dolphin’s Cry and Heaven. Fans need not despair; the 20 year-old album will be played in its complete entirety for fans of every song to revel in the nostalgia of this Jerry Harrison produced artefact. Tue, Feb 11th, Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Julia Holter & Ducktails: Rising from the pool of independent artists within the US scene, Holter
Photo: Phillippe Gassies
LOOSE CHANGE LISTENING PARTY Constant, lighthearted and direct are three things that come to mind when listening to Loose Change’s new album, Listening party. New members to the party will hear a pointed sense of fun, directed at every topic, including themselves. Interspersed with the rhythm are voiceovers and whistles that change the pace and add a new level of humour to an already well thought-out album. Listening Party is a polished unit leading its members in and back out again, using a sharp wit and layers of media to hold their attention in the middle. (SP) (SP)
produces typically fun pop ambience with emotions that encase the listener. Her latest effort, Loud City Song, has been heralded by the likes of culture commanders Pitchfork, who claimed that her “beautiful arrangements” and “experimentation” make her tour a must-see. She will be joined by Brooklyn boy Matthew Mondanile aka Ducktails, who has signature expansive pop melodies that tackle subjects of travel and love and make his appeal even more relatable. (CD) Wed, Feb 12th,The Standard, Darlinghurst.
MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL 2014 In 2014 the Mardi Gras Film Festival celebrates its twenty-first birthday with a brand new partnership with the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. The festival will once again take place as a part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrations, running from February 13 to February 23 with all movies screening at Event Cinemas George Street. The festival will showcase a variety of LGBTIQ films from both Australia and around the world, including multiple Australian premieres, and critically acclaimed titles. From documentaries about transgender porn stars, biopics of lesbian poets, coming-of-age dramas and indie-teen comedies, it is clear that the festival will include something for everyone. Tickets for ten teaser films are on sale at the website providing a taste of what is to come in 2014. Sure to be a hit is Mr. Angel, a documentary that chronicles the journey of transgender porn star and activist, Buck Angel. The full Mardi Gras Film Festival program is out now. (LD)
Feb 13-23, Event Cinemas, 505-525 George St, Sydney, $16-19, queerscreen.org.au
With a stellar cast of Hollywood favourites, Last Vegas is a comedic bachelor party story with a happy ending. Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline), reunite after once being members of a notorious gang called the Flatbush Four. Billy, about to turn seventy, has chosen to marry a woman half his age, until during the course of this adventure he and Paddy renew old rivalries over an attractive middleaged casino singer. Last Vegas tends to be somewhat predictable despite two hilarious cameo performances by Red Foo and 50 Cent. However, if you enjoy some nostalgia, some old-age reflection and a few good laughs, then fans of these enduring actors are sure to find Last Vegas an often witty film. (SC) WWW½
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM This insightful film chronicles the life of Nelson Mandela from childhood to his becoming the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Mandela fought for equality and democracy and was imprisoned 27 years for attempting to overthrow the government and incite a civil war. Scenes of violence and bloodshed are brilliantly recreated with the inclusion of actual footage that disturbingly
depicts the terror of life suppressed by racism. Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is well documented and beautifully photographed with powerful performances from a predominantly South African cast led by British actor Idris Elba (Mandela). This inspiring and heartfelt story of one man’s battle and sacrifice to make South Africa a better country is a fine tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. (MM) WWWW
Love comes in many unexpected forms. Sometimes it comes to a manic-depressive recluse in the form of a runaway convict (Josh Brolin) and she falls right into it. Set over five days, the story revolves around the child of a woman (Kate Winslet) who needs a partner. It plays with the viewer’s perspective by contrasting narration from the boy with flashbacks of
THE PAST Sir Walter Scott once said, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!” He could have been talking about this film – which is full of lies, deception, secrets and misunderstandings; with the sadness, regret, guilt, anger, raised voices, accusations and recrimination that results. The beautiful Bèrènice Bejo shows she’s fully capable of more challenging roles than the one she played in The
12 YEARS A SLAVE Steve McQueen’s powerful account of Solomon Northup, based on the book by Northup, follows his disgraceful forced induction into the Louisiana slave trade. It is both humanising and unabashedly confronting. It’s a movie that thrusts raw degradation, violence and racism upon viewers from the very first shot. By the end it leaves a state of pure distress over the plight of Northup, played by the spectacular Chiwetel Ejiofors. It’s one of the worst stories
brought to film, yet this is one of the most outstanding movies of recent years. (CD) WWWWW GRUDGE MATCH Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp’s (Sylvestor Stallone) sudden retirement after his epic light-heavyweight victory over Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen (Robert De Niro) leaves the tally even and McDonnen in a world of frustration. Thirty years on and in need of money, Sharp reluctantly agrees to a decider. Many will be licking their
the mother’s life. It is a finely crafted heart-warmer about the scope of a woman’s love. This is not a snappy screenplay, but the brooding tones of the photography, believable characters and pacing of the film draw the audience in, immersing them in the drama of this family’s life. Those with the time will enjoy this movie. (LC) WWWW
lips at the prospect of Rocky vs. Raging Bull, however, this is a cute albeit plodding comedy. (CC) WWW THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort, who made millions selling fraudulent, inflated stocks; it follows Belfort’s rise and fall as he ‘conquers’ Wall Street. Viewers are rushed through this whirlwind tale as Belfort and his band of brothers spend their money on prostitutes, drugs, fast cars and more drugs. This is an unbelievably funny
Artist. Bejo plays Marie, whose estranged husband returns to Paris to finalise their divorce. He finds himself trying to resolve the mystery of the alienation between Marie and her daughter Lucie which holds a secret from...the past. Just a tear can be the distillation of all the above. Watch carefully the final scene. (MMu) WWW film, particularly scenes with DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. Australia’s own Margot Robbie proves that you can completely move on from a Neighbours career. (ATS) WWWW JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT Directed by Kenneth Branagh this film is based on the famous character created by author Tom Clancy. Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) attempts to halt a plot to collapse the U.S. economy by a Russian terrorist (Kenneth Branagh). Performances by Kevin
LABOR DAY Costner and Branagh are ‘okay’ and carry a film with an unoriginal and predictable plot. Keira Knightley as the token girlfriend has a laughable American accent. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit fits neatly into the action/spy thriller genre, but is lacking in imagination. Not one of the best Clancy adaptations. (LK) WWW 47 RONIN Evil Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) wants to take over the provinces of feudal Japan, and he’ll do it dressed like a Power
Rangers villain, while a shape-shifting witch (Rinko Kikuchi) does his bidding. Kai (Keanu Reeves) is an orphaned half-demon man in love with his ruler’s daughter Mika (Ko Shibasaki). A series of events triggers his ruler’s suicide and the local Samurai being banished as the ever-disgraced Ronin. This film boasts beautifully realised landscapes, incredible set pieces and inspired art direction with surprisingly strong performances from most of the cast. (TW) WWW
FREEWILLASTROLOGY by Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): “You know it’s Saturday when you are wiping off vodka stains from your face with a marshmallow,” testifies the woman who writes the Tumblr blog “French Fries Absinthe Milkshakes.” I really hope you don’t even come close to having an experience like that this week, Aries. But I’m worried that you will. I sense that you’re becoming allergic to caution. You may be subconsciously wishing to shed all decorum and renounce self-control. To be clear, there’s nothing inherently wrong with relaxing your guard. I hope you will indeed give up some of your high-stress vigilance and surrender a bit to life’s sweet chaos. Just please try to find a playful and safe and not-tooinsane way to do so.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): What is the single best thing you could do to fulfill your number one desire? Is there a skill you should attain? A subject you should study? A special kind of experience you should seek or a shift in perspective you should initiate? This is a big opportunity, Taurus. You have an excellent chance to identify the specific action you could take that will lead you to the next stage of your evolution. And if you do manage to figure out exactly what needs to be done, start doing it!
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When songwriters make a “slant rhyme,” the words they use don’t really rhyme, but they sound close enough alike to mimic a rhyme. An example occurs in “The Bad Touch,” a tune by the Bloodhound Gang: “You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals / So let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” Technically, “mammals” doesn’t rhyme with “channel.” I suspect that in the coming week you will have experiences with metaphorical resemblances to slant rhymes. But as long as you don’t fuss and fret about the inexactness you encounter, as long as you don’t demand that everything be precise and cleaned-up, you will be entertained and educated. Vow to see the socalled imperfections as soulful.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Almost,” writes novelist Joan Bauer. “It’s a big word for me. I feel it everywhere. Almost home. Almost happy. Almost changed. Almost, but not quite. Not yet. Soon, maybe.” I’m sure you know about that feeing yourself, Cancerian. Sometimes it has seemed like your entire life is composed of thousands of small almosts that add up to one gigantic almost. But I have good news: There is an excellent chance that in the next 14 to 16 weeks you will graduate from the endless and omnipresent almost; you will rise up and snatch a bold measure of completeness from
out of the ever-shifting flow. And it all kicks into high gear now.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): One of the chapter titles in my most recent book is this: “Ever since I learned to see three sides to every story, I’m finding much better stories.” I’m recommending that you find a way to use this perspective as your own in the coming weeks, Leo. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, it’s crucial that you not get stuck in an oppositional mode. It would be both wrong and debilitating to believe that you must choose between one of two conflicting options. With that in mind, I will introduce you to a word you may not know: “trilemma.” It transcends a mere dilemma because it contains a third alternative.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In 1984, Don Henley’s song “The Boys of Summer” reached the top of the Billboard charts. “Out on the road today / I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac,” Henley sings wistfully near the end of the tune. He’s dismayed by the sight of the Grateful Dead’s logo, an ultimate hippie symbol, displayed on a luxury car driven by snooty rich kids. Almost 20 years later, the band The Ataris covered “The Boys of Summer,” but changed the lyric to “Out on the road today / I saw a Black Flag sticker on a Cadillac.” It conveyed the same mournful contempt, but
this time invoking the iconic punk band Black Flag. I offer this tale to you, Virgo, as an encouragement to update the way you think about your life’s mythic quest . . . to modernize your old storylines . . . to refresh and refurbish the references you invoke to tell people about who you are.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Food aficionado Michael Pollan says that Americans “worry more about food and derive less pleasure from eating” than people in other countries. If you ask them what their association is with “chocolate cake,” they typically say “guilt.” By contrast, the French are likely to respond to the same question with “celebration.” From an astrological perspective, I think it’s appropriate for you to be more like the French than the Americans in the coming weeks -- not just in your attitude toward delicious desserts, but in regards to every opportunity for pleasure. This is one of those times when you have a license to guiltlessly explore the heights and depths of bliss.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the Inuktitut language spoken among the Eastern Canadian Inuit, the word for “simplicity” is katujjiqatigiittiarnirlu. This amusing fact reminds me of a certain situation in your life. Your quest to get back to basics and reconnect with your core sources is turning
out to be rather complicated. If you hope to invoke all of the pure, humble clarity you need, you will have to call on some sophisticated and ingenious magic.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “What is the purpose of the giant sequoia tree?” asked environmentalist Edward Abbey. His answer: “The purpose of the giant sequoia tree is to provide shade for the tiny titmouse.” I suggest you meditate on all the ways you can apply that wisdom as a metaphor to your own issues. For example: What monumental part of your own life might be of service to a small, fragile part? What major accomplishment of yours can provide strength and protection to a ripening potential that’s underappreciated by others?
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves,” wrote the poet Federico García Lorca. I urge you to make sure you are not inflicting that abuse on yourself in the coming weeks, Capricorn. It’s always dangerous to be out of touch with or secretive about your holy passions, but it’s especially risky these days. I’m not necessarily saying you should rent a megaphone and shout news of your yearnings in the crowded streets. In fact, it’s better if you are discriminating about whom you tell. The most important thing is to not be
hiding anything from yourself about what moves you the most.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Back in 2002, three young men launched Youtube, in part motivated by a banal desire. They were frustrated because they couldn’t find online videos of the notorious incident that occurred during the Superbowl halftime show, when Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction exposed her breast. In response, they created the now-famous website that allows people to share videos. I foresee the possibility of a comparable sequence for you, Aquarius. A seemingly superficial wish or trivial interest could inspire you to come up with a fine new addition to your world. Pay attention to your whimsical notions.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.” That’s what 20th-century author Truman Capote said about his own writing process. Back in that primitive pre-computer era, he scrawled his words on paper with a pencil and later edited out the extraneous stuff by applying scissors to the manuscript. Judging from your current astrological omens, Pisces, I surmise you’re in a phase that needs the power of the scissors more than the power of the pencil. What you cut away will markedly enhance the long-term beauty and value of the creation you’re working on.