Inside: Why is abortion still a crime? Page 3 Thousands fill the CBD for anti-Abbott protest Page 4 Eat & drink Page 16 Whatâ€™s On guide Page 18
May 22, 2014
AHEAD OF THE CURVE Semi-Permanent - showcasing local art and ideas
Inner west less affordable than ever Sydney lights up the path to reconciliation
Newtown is a key area lacking affordable housing in the inner west
Published weekly and freely available Sydney-wide. Copies are also distributed to serviced apartments, hotels, convenience stores and newsagents throughout the city. Distribution enquiries call 9212 5677. Published by the Alternative Media Group of Australia. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of content, City Hub takes no responsibility for inadvertent errors or omissions. ABN 48 135 222 169 Group Publisher: Lawrence Gibbons Group Manager: Chris Peken Group Editor: Xiaoran Shi City Hub Editor: Paul Gregoire Contributing Editors: Triana O’Keefe and Declan Gooch Contributors: Carmen Cita, Samantha Jonscher, Nick Possum and Madelaine Wong Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Live Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley Dining Editor: Jackie McMillan Advertising Managers: Toni Martelli, Robert Tuitama, George Tinnyunt, Jim Baghdadi & Mike Contos Design: Joanna Grace Publisher’s Assistant: Deeksha Chopra Distribution Manager: Danish Ali Cover: Kelly Thompson - Race Day Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com Contact: PO Box 843 Broadway 2007 Ph: 9212 5677 Fax: 9212 5633 Web: altmedia.net.au
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NCC volunteer coordinator Ainsley Warner warned that most properties would become unaffordable to rent or buy for low income earners, like herself and her husband, in the future. “It’s difficult to think we will be able afford anything in the inner west within a few years,” Ms Warner said. “It feels inevitable that Sydney is moving towards becoming an exclusive and unaffordable city to live in.” Ms Warner also believes the long-term effects of Sydney’s affordable housing crisis are farreaching, and will result in longer waiting lists for public housing, along with an increased need for boarding houses and a higher incidence of homelessness. Cr Ellsmore expressed concern about rising rental stress, which refers to a situation where a person is required to spend more than a third of their income on rent. “There [are] no properties that a student on Austudy could afford to rent which would not place them in rental stress,” she said. UNSW queer officer Dylan Lloyd knows about rental stress all too well. The law student and Ashfield resident has to pay two thirds of his income on rent. “Rental stress to me is that every week I have to be extremely conscious of every single purchase I make. It’s worrying about how much food I’ll be able to eat.”
BY Carmen Cita As part of National Reconciliation Week, the Vivid Path to the Future installation will be on display at Sydney University from May 27 to June 3, two pivotal dates in Australian history. The first date marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum, which eliminated two discriminatory references from the Constitution. The second commemorates the High Court’s Mabo decision, which overturned the concept of terra nullius to acknowledge native title. Despite these historical triumphs, the Constitution still contains two clauses which deny Indigenous Australians equal recognition. Section 25 gives authority to ban people from voting on the basis of race, whereas Section 51 (xxvi) allows the government to make racially specific laws if it deems it necessary. This inequity has inspired the Recognise movement, which is pushing to remove racial discrimination from the Constitution. Recognise spokesperson Shannan Dodson, a Yawuru woman living in Camperdown, explains that the Constitution disregards over 40,000 years of indigenous history. “We are the only country in the world with a constitution that doesn’t ... acknowledge its first peoples. When it was written ... our founding document was based on an assumption that Aboriginal people would die out. More than 100 years later, we’re still here,” she said. In 2012, the Expert Panel made up of ATSI community leaders and parliamentarians established a case for removing the offending constitutional provisions, but their recommendations can only be adopted following a federal referendum. In a bid to ensure every Australian makes an informed vote, Recognise has already attracted more than 185,000 supporters nationwide.
President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, is one such supporter. She believes that “enshrining the principles of equality and non-discrimination” by removing the racist provisions will help towards advancing democracy in Australia. “At its core, constitutional reform is about reconciling our past, building a solid foundation for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationship and looking ahead to a united future,” Ms Triggs said. The Wirriga society at USYD will celebrate NRW with a free screening of John Pilger’s documentary Utopia, a critical investigation of the Indigenous experience. Wirriga president Kyol Blakeney urges everyone to see the film. “It breaks down a lot of myths and stereotypes that have been used to undermine Aboriginal culture. We need to dispel the myths held by people who don’t understand what indigenous Australians go through on a daily basis.” Photo: Michael Amendolia
As a solution, she advocates limiting the rate at which rent is increasing by legislating stronger protection laws for renters’ rights. “Australia is one of the only developed countries that allows rent increases linked to the ‘market’. We are also one of the only countries to allow landlords to evict tenants without reason, meaning unscrupulous landlords can evict renters who don’t agree to rent increases,” she explained. “A simple step like limiting rent to the consumer price index would [halve] the rate of rent increases in the inner city in the last five years.” Luckily, groups addressing the worsening rental market do exist. The Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NNC) compiles a weekly list of affordable accommodation in the area and distributes it to over 60 other organisations.
Photo: Sylvie Ellsmore
BY Paul Gregoire A national rental affordablity report has found that less than one per cent of properties are affordable for people living on minimum wage in inner west Sydney. In the Marrickville local government area, this decreased to zero per cent. Anglicare Australia conducted its annual Rental Affordability Snapshot last month, collecting data on rental properties from newspapers and real estate websites around the country. Marrickville Greens councillor Sylvie Ellsmore is not surprised by the findings, and says that Sydney is facing an affordable housing crisis which is only getting worse. “Half of the residents in our area are renters. Younger people in particular are renting for longer as they are unable to break into home ownership,” Cr Ellsmore said.
Shannan Dodson of Recognise wants constitutional reform
Zoe’s Law calls into question criminal status of abortion in NSW BY Paul Gregoire The Zoe’s Law bill, which is still poised to go before the upper house, has renewed calls to remove abortion from the NSW Crimes Act. Women and health professionals are currently being criminalised for undergoing and performing abortions, a procedure that polls have consistently shown the majority of Australians support. A national study published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 2010 found that 61 per cent of people believed abortion should be lawful without question for a woman in her first trimester of pregnancy. But, despite strong public support for the decriminalisation of abortion, the impending Zoe’s Law bill seeks to confer a 20-week-old foetus personhood status. Were the bill passed, it would present even graver implications for women and medical professionals. Jenny Leong, the recently pre-selected NSW Greens candidate for the seat of Newtown, prioritises decriminalising abortion as a key issue in her campaign. “Many people don’t know that abortion is in the Crimes Act, but ... they’re outraged and support the need for this antiquated, anti-choice law to be repealed [when they do],” she said. “While abortion sits within the Crimes Act, a woman’s right to choose is more vulnerable to conservative attacks.” NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi believes that until abortion is decriminalised, as it is in Victoria and the ACT, no new laws relating to pregnancy loss should be passed. “Once personhood status is enacted for a foetus, another layer of criminality will be added. The rights of the mother could be superseded by the rights of a foetus,” Dr Faruqi said.
While Zoe’s Law would only apply for the purposes of grievous bodily harm, Dr Faruqi points out that foetal loss is already criminalised as an extension of grievous bodily harm to the pregnant woman. “Any alternatives to recognise loss without enacting foetal personhood can only be considered after we’ve moved to decriminalise abortion,” she said. National chair of the Women’s Electoral Lobby Melanie Fernandez says that if women are to have legitimate choices around their reproductive health, abortion should be decriminalised and governed by health legislation instead. “It’s really outdated legislation and it’s not in step with what the community both in NSW and throughout Australia think. Around 80 per cent of people support a woman’s right to choose,” said Ms Fernandez.
Ms Fernandez explains that establishing human rights for a foetus while abortion remains criminalised could lead to women being prosecuted for having an abortion that would otherwise be considered legal. “If you have a piece of legislation that gives human rights to a foetus … it’s going to be very difficult for judges to make the call that abortion is still legal in certain circumstances,” Ms Fernandez said. Vice-president of Reproductive Choice Australia Jenny Ejlak says prosecutions for procuring an abortion have occurred within the last decade across NSW and Queensland. “People say, ‘Look, yes, it’s in the criminal law but no one ever uses it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ But, it actually is broken. It creates a lot of stigma for women and healthcare providers.”
Protesters at an anti-Zoe’s Law rally, including Jenny Leong and NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi
Mixed response for state plans to build inner city schools BY Madelaine Wong Sydney’s population is expected to grow by 1.3 million people by 2031, according to a recent report, which means that a shortage in education facilities will soon become a major issue. In response, the state government’s Department of Education and Communities (DEC) has launched a consultation process which gives voice to parents, educators and members of
the inner city community. Liberal City of Sydney councillor Christine Forster believes the plan proposed by the NSW Liberal government is a “positive” step. “The consultation process will give the growing number of families who choose to live in the City of Sydney a chance to have a say in their children’s future,” she said. Cr Forster is optimistic that a new
The current supply of public high schools in the inner city will not meet future demand
high school will makes use of state-ofthe-art design to offer students “a broad curriculum, exceptional educational resources and the healthiest possible learning environment.” As a former teacher, the Lord Mayor Clover Moore agrees that the shortage of public schools is an urgent matter. Education is vital in our community, she said, throwing her support behind plans for better schools and resources. Not all councillors, however, are won over by the DEC’s plans.Whilst Greens councillor Irene Doutney supports the consultation process, she remains sceptical of the state government’s ability to adequately fund future plans to establish a new school. “The federal government has just cut school funding to the states which will make these promises much more difficult to realise,” she said. “My concern with [the plan is that] it talks about medium- and long-term needs when the work needs to be started now if it’s to meet the projected demand by 2018 and the potential 2500 high school places needed by 2026.” Labor councillor Linda Scott shares Cr Doutney’s reservations. Cr Scott welcomes the consultation process, but is adamant that a firm funding commitment needs to be in place to ensure infrastructure plans are pursued. “The City’s Childcare Needs Analysis research, published in 2013, predicted an 88 per cent increase in children aged between five to 11 living in inner Sydney in 2031. The research is in and we know the answer – we need more schools in the inner city,” she said.
Protestors take over streets for March in May
BY Xiaoran Shi Thousands took to the streets across the nation’s capital cities last Sunday to protest Abbott government policies as part of March in May. The protest is a follow-up to March in March, a series of protests staged across the country two months ago, which formed the first major mass movement against the ideas and policy implementation of the current federal Liberal government. Sydney organisers put forth the highest numbers of up to 20,000 people in attendance, whilst police estimates sat at a more conservative 8000. Regardless of the exact numerical value, crowds filled the entirety of Belmore Park on Sunday afternoon for the purposes of “sending a message of no confidence and shaming Abbott and his henchmen,” as expressed by Isaac Davis, a social worker who also participated in March in March. Mr Davis believes the federal government has “aggressively” acted against the interests of most Australians and should be “deposed”. At the same time state and territory leaders were discussing spending cuts at an emergency meeting, protestors gathered for a rally in the inner city Park to listen to speakers call for change on a broad spectrum of issues, ranging from climate change to parliamentary corruption to indigenous affairs. The speakers were united in urgency against the cuts to healthcare, education, the arts and other public programs which were announced as the cornerstone of the
federal budget earlier last week. Spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition group Ian Rintoul denounced the government’s offshore processing policy in his speech, but was quick to note that blame also lay with the previous Labor government, responsible for establishing the Manus Island detention centre. “Any threat to Australia doesn’t come from refugees, it comes from Canberra,” Mr Rintoul told the crowd. Another speaker, journalist Anthony Loewenstein, echoed the sentiment that March in May exemplified a need to “build back grassroots movements” in order to hold governments accountable, regardless of their political designation. Although the protest was well-attended by members of the Greens and the ALP, organisers made the decision to turn down offers from political parties for their representatives to speak at the event. Signs bearing “Save Medicare” and “No Education Deregulation” slogans were prominent, but many participants got creative too, with placards satirising education minister Christopher Pyne’s “grub” gaff waving in the air. Following the rally, crowds made their way down George Street to Victoria Park for a 2km march that roused clamorous support from passing cars and pedestrians. A group of 100 or more protestors also conducted a sit-in, blocking off the entrance of Lee Street onto George St. USYD student Daniel Cheers, who took part in the sit-in, says that though only attended by a fraction of the total turnout for March in May, the occupation was important because actions should “escalate in response to escalating government pressure”. More than 10 people were arrested as a result of the sit-in.
Pirrama Park set to become more spinclusive BY Triana O’Keefe The City of Sydney council has abandoned its plans to erect a Liberty Swing in Pirrama Park after an expert report commissioned by council found that its installation would not make the park ‘accessible,’ as initially projected. City Hub first reported last year that a Pyrmont community group, consisting of local businesses and residents, had approached council to propose the installation of a Liberty Swing in the 1.8 hectare Pyrmont park. The group suggested that installing a Liberty Swing would allow children in wheelchairs to use the play equipment alongside able-bodied children, thereby making it an accessible space. At a meeting in December, council supported the idea and committed to conducting the research necessary to enable its implementation. Landscape architect and inclusive play specialist, Fiona Robbe, was engaged by council to investigate the matter. Unfortunately, while Ms Robbe’s report identified Pirrama Park playground as a district level playground designed to be accessible and
provide some inclusive play opportunities for children with mild to moderate disabilities, it ultimately determined that the installation of a Liberty Swing would not necessarily transform the park into an inclusive space. According to the report, an ‘Inclusive Playground’ is one that “welcomes all children and their carers to play together, regardless of their differences in age, ability, culture or gender”. It should have no barriers to use, such as “obvious awkward add-ons, or ungainly postures required to use [it]”. However, a Liberty Swing would require a fence, which presents a “barrier to use”, and while anyone can use the swing, it is only operational for one user at a time. As a result, council concluded that it would not be proceeding further with the Liberty Swing proposal. Instead, the report suggested the installation of a wheelchair accessible Kinderland Spinner. Such a spinner does not require a fence and allows for able-bodied children and up to three children in wheelchairs to use the equipment at
the same time. As with the installation of a Liberty Swing, the addition of the Kinderland Spinner to the playground does not necessarily make the space “inclusive”. However, the Spinner would make Pirrama Park more appealing to a broader range of users, both with and without disabilities. Greens Councillor Irene Doutney, who moved the proposal for the Liberty Swing, says this new proposal is welcomed. “The aim was to install a piece of equipment that could be used by anyone and this is our best solution,” Cr Doutney said. “The spinner will allow these children [in wheelchairs], who currently can only watch other children having fun, to participate in activities that other children take for granted.” Cr Doutney also advocated the broader benefits the Spinner would have on the community at large, and emphasised that the project was a “community-led initiative”. “It will provide an important asset for what is one of our newest regional parks and make the area a drawcard for those less fortunate in our city,” she told City Hub. “I believe all our regional parks should provide areas for the enjoyment of children with disabilities. That’s what [the City’s] strategy is all about.”
news in brief Murder house under the hammer A house in Rozelle that was the site of a 2009 double murder is up for auction at the end of this month. Property developer Albert Frisoli and his brother Mario were found dead in the lounge room of the Goodsir Street house five years ago. Giuseppe Di Canni, a former business associate of Albert Frisoli, was sentenced to 30 years in prison last September for the killings. Real estate agents must disclose any so-called ‘material facts’ that may influence a potential buyer’s decision to make an offer or put in a bid. Mention will not be made on brochures and leaflets, but if anyone makes an enquiry, the agent must disclose the grisly details. The property is expected to sell for more than $2 million on May 31.
Council votes for shorter meetings Leichhardt councillors will delegate more and discuss less under a new system designed to make council meetings more brief. For months, council has considered proposals to make award-winning Pirrama Park in Pyrmont more accessible. Now a solution may be on the horizon.
Council passed a motion put forward by Labor councillor Linda Kelly and Leichhardt mayor Darcy Byrne which would see meetings start half an hour earlier than usual at 6:30pm. The first 30 minutes would be dedicated to agenda items before the public is able to speak to issues. Council will also formally review the committee structure, examining their terms of reference, member composition, frequency of meetings and decision-making authority, as well as delegating more work to the general manager.
Rugby union player dies Balmain Rugby Club has paid tribute to 25-year-old Toby Crisp, who died on May 9 after suffering a heart attack during a football game. Mr Crisp fell ill during the fourth-grade game between Balmain and Mosman earlier this month. Balmain Rugby Club dedicated their wins on the following weekend to their fallen teammate and held a fundraiser on May 18 in his honour. Mosman club offcials and the NSW Waratahs communicated their condolences.
Eight-building complex approved for Balmain waterfront by Declan Gooch A development application (DA) for an eight-building apartment complex to be built on the Balmain waterfront has been approved, despite vocal opposition from residents and politicians. Redevelopment of the Nutrimetics site on Elliott Street was knocked back by the state government’s Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) in 2012, and rejected again on appeal in the Land and Environment Court. But, the JRPP unanimously passed a nearly identical application at a meeting on May 15. The original proposal was rejected primarily due to the proposed
development’s scale. However, three panelists who initially rejected the bid were on the panel when it was approved this month. Jenny Mortimer, a member of Leichhardt Council’s Rozelle precinct group, has campaigned against both applications and says she is shocked by the outcome. “The local people have no voice. It’s really the people with the big money [who] rule,” she said. The Nutrimetics site is owned by the Roche Group, which did not respond to a request for comment. Leichhardt mayor Darcy Byrne has denounced the JRPP’s decision, arguing that the state government
An outline of the proposed development from the council’s report to the JRPP
has reneged on its election promise to return planning control to local communities. “The fact that we had to use $450,000 of ratepayers’ funds to defend the JRPP’s previous determination in the Land and Environment Court because the state government refused to defend its own agency’s ruling was a disgrace,” said Cr Byrne. The DA proposes a complex with 104 dwellings, including retail space and room for 251 cars. Council estimates the cost of the development at close to $55 million. Local residents are concerned about the heritage of Elliott St, and about the impact of two five-storey buildings on the view. There is also concern, echoed by Cr Byrne, regarding traffic problems that are likely to arise due to the 251 extra vehicles on the Balmain Peninsula. NSW Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker threw his support behind concerned residents. “No one would oppose developing that site ... but, it’s the scale and the impact which is the question, and the JRPP has let us down,” he said. He also criticised the JRPP for ignoring recommendations presented by council staff to delete the fifth storey from the tallest buildings. Greens councillor Craig Channells argues the complex would block access to public space. “Whilst there is to be greater public access to the harbour foreshore, this will now be dominated by the bulk and scale of the development,” he said.
Councillors pay tribute to Melinda Manikas
BY Declan Gooch Melinda Manikas has been remembered this week as a determined, courageous woman by her fellow Leichhardt councillors. The 38-year-old Balmain ward councillor died on May 7, following a long struggle with cancer. She is survived by her husband Michael and their young daughter Victoria. “It is unspeakably awful to have lost such a brave, young leader,” said Leichhardt mayor Darcy Byrne. “The courage and tenacity Melinda showed in getting elected to public office and fighting against cancer were truly remarkable.” Before joining council, Ms Manikas worked as a chartered accountant and then with Westpac for a number of years. She was elected in September, 2012 as a Liberal representative. Ms Manikas took a leave of absence from council with the support of her colleagues last year to receive medical care. She had previously been successfully treated for breast cancer following the birth of her daughter. Fellow Liberal councillor John Jobling moved a remembrance motion at a council meeting on May 13, immediately following an overflowing church memorial service. “She came along to council with enthusiasm, ability, quality and a desire to work with not only the people of Balmain, but the people of the whole of the Leichhardt council,” he said. “She … desperately wanted to come back to council, and did [so] on a couple of occasions.” Liberal councillor Vera-Ann Hannaford, a close friend of Ms Manikas, told City Hub that
Ms Manikas threw herself into the role. Cr Hannaford recounted how Ms Manikas doorknocked and letterboxed during campaigns with her daughter in a pram. As the cancer spread, Cr Hannaford said that Ms Manikas “felt she was letting the residents down by not being there for them.” “In such a short amount of time, she made her mark on the Leichhardt LGA, the council, council staff and the residents, and she will be missed and remembered by everyone she came in contact with,” Cr Hannaford said. Fellow Balmain ward representative Craig Channells, a Greens councillor, also remembered Ms Manikas for her dedication. “We always got on well, and her passing away is a sad loss to the council and the community,” Cr Channells said. Cr Jobling echoed his colleagues’ feelings, saying that Ms Manikas was “a role model for ... the future [of] local government.” A by-election will likely be held later this year.
Melinda Manikas campaigning with daughter Victoria
It’s not what you thinkler, I’m Big Nathan Tinkler
By Gavin Gatenby After a few late nights and cases of cider, my old mate Dave, the Central Coast police detective, and I, were well on the way with the script and lyrics for ICAC –The Musical. In the process, Dave was steadily imbibing, although it only seemed to enhance his quite unexpected creative powers. “I’ve gotta get another case,” I said, heading towards his garage fridge. “You private eyesh are all the fuckin’ shame. How can you shink of work at a time like thish. Don’t take on any more low-rent missing person cases, you shtupid marshupial, you’re too fuckin’ good for that … this is going like a bush-fuckin’-fire.
We’re gonna make millionsh and retire and go fuckin’ fishin’...”. “I was referring to cider, you stupid cop,” I said. “We’ve gotta keep the creative juices flowing”. Copies of the Sydney Morning Herald littered the table and we had a laptop dedicated to monitoring Kate McClymont’s tweets from the commission. “Now ash I shee it, Nathan Tinkler ish a tragic character. A huge, huge, man, but doomed by hish many tragic character-type flawsh,” Dave said. “A real, genuine working clarsh Novo-fuckin’-cashtrian electrishan who jusht wanted to do good by hish native town.” “Yeah, yeah. Just remind me about the tragic Shakespearean character flaws ...” “Mainly, that heesh a forenshically schtupid carpetbagger, ‘tho there are othersh, too numeroush to mention.” “Right on, comrade. Can we hear Tinkler’s opening again?” Dave’s finger hovered uncertainly and then stabbed at the keyboard. This ICAC’s a hijack, It’s boring as batshit, They’re just trying to sabotage me. The Knights wanna skin me, The Nats wanna skim me, But I’m just a great fuckin’ guy, that’s me. “Then, the chorush ...” It’s not what you thinkler I’m Big Nathan Tinkler, I’m Buildev and Patinack Farm.
Never heard of Koelma, Chris Hartcher’s a schemer, And I’m not workin’ Eight by Five. It’s not what you thinkler, I’m Big Nathan Tinkler. “It works for me. I think we’ve it,” I said, twisting the top off another cider. Dave picked up his guitar and sang along with himself on the playback: I’ve got horses for courses, I get ‘round the rules. I’ve got workers who’ll all give a little. To get my coal loader, Spent fifty-three thousand, On deadbeats and pricks from both parties, Free Enterprise Foundation, filched sixty-six more, Money that walked out the door. It was all a huge rip-off, I never got nothin’. Best pollies that money can’t buy in. “He was never really a committed free enterprise ideologue, was he?” I mused. “Capitalisht lootersht never are. It’s not about the ideash. They leave that stuff to the Inshtitute for Public Fuckin’ Affairs. It’sh all about greed. Heesh a Nathan fuckin’ Tinklerite, pure and shimple. I feel hish pain and outrage. You pay and you expect resultsh, right? He paid out good money to politicians and the bashtards never delivered and
now some terrible legal harridansh from some anti-corruption thing he’s never heard of are assashinating his character, eh.” “It’s terrible, terrible. How’s the next bit go?” Jodi McKay said, ‘There’s no fuckin’ way! Developers dollars forbidden!’ But Rooz and Tripodi, They’re a fuckin’-poor showdee, They never got through my coal loadie. “I’m seeing here – entering stage
left – a chorus of Newcastle Knights tragics and disaffected Labor Party members. Maybe they arrive in clapped-out old utes, or on foot, ‘cos they’ve closed the railway line. I’m seeing windswept streets and boarded-up shops. But, who do you see as Tinkler?” I asked. “We gotta get Demis Roussosh, the Shinging Tent ... unless he’sh lost weight.” “It might not be the sort of role he’d think reflected well on him. Performers can be sensitive about these things,” I said.
Will Nathan Tinkler be played by Demis Roussos in ‘ICAC – The Musical’?
By Declan Gooch Leichhardt councillors will no longer have authority over any planning decisions, under a radical overhaul of the council’s development application process. Rather than councillors deciding on applications at Building and Development meetings, an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP), led by experts, will be set up, following a vote at an extraordinary council meeting on May 6. “The ongoing corruption saga in NSW politics and the revelations at ICAC have shown that there needs to be stronger anti-corruption measures put in place at both local and state government levels,” said Leichhardt mayor Darcy Byrne. Cr Byrne put forward the motion with his Labor colleague Simon Emsley.
Greens MP Jamie Parker
“The only way you can guarantee that politicians are not being inappropriately pressured either by developers or by objectors is to take the politicians out of the process,” Cr Byrne said. The mayor emphasised that while individual applications will be decided by the IHAP, councillors will retain control over planning rules to “remove the possibility of them being inappropriately lobbied”. Under the current system, development applications (DAs) are assessed by council officers. If two or more councillors request it to be taken out of officers’ hands, or if there are eight or more objections made, the DA will go before council. The new system will work the same way, except that applications will go to the IHAP instead of
councillors. Liberal councillors voted for the motion with their Labor colleagues. “Some of the councillors lack the skills and ability [to decide on DAs]. This is not [particular to] Leichhardt, it’s across the board in many other councils,” Liberal councillor John Jobling said. “It will also reduce the number of appeals that will go to the Land and Environment Court, which are poisonously expensive.” The arguments for an IHAP were strongly rejected by Greens councillors, who voted against the motion on the basis that it takes power away from elected representatives. “One of the reasons we were elected is because there’s a trust that we will ably and properly represent our local communities, particularly in planning decisions,” Greens councillor Rochelle Porteous said. Under the IHAP charter adopted on May 6, applications will be decided on by a mix of experts in law, architecture, urban design, and environmental and social planning, as well as community representatives. While put forward as an anticorruption measure, Cr Porteous believes it has the potential to engender unscrupulousness. “The code of conduct that councillors work on is stronger than the code of conduct that has
been proposed for members of the planning panel,” she said. “We have more checks and balances currently … than you would have with the new planning proposal.” NSW Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker is also strongly opposed to the IHAP proposal for the same reason he argues against Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPPs) at a state level. “What it does is take power away from the community and their representatives, and hands it over to unelected, unaccountable, non-local people, who don’t understand the issues of the area,” Mr Parker said. “It’s ridiculous to suggest that it’s an anti-corruption measure. It’s actually an anti-community measure.” But Cr Byrne criticised the position held by the Greens, arguing that it is more important than ever to take power away from politicians. “Given the ongoing corruption saga we’ve seen in NSW, I think it’s strange if politicians ... fight to make sure they personally get to vote on individual DAs,” he said. IHAP meetings would be held during the day, which runs the risk of excluding members of the community who work during office hours from serving on or speaking before the panel. The IHAP will be trialled for one year starting in September.
Cartoon: Peter Berner
Council to overhaul local planning assessments
Semi-Permanent spreads lasting ideas By ALEXANDRA ENGLISH The words ‘gender’ and ‘inequality’ are used in the same sentence all too often because, shamefully, gender bias is still prevalent. Everyone is familiar with the Women’s Liberation Movement of the ‘60s, the Germaine Greer of the ‘70s and the Girl Power of the ‘90s, but a conversation that is often overlooked in the public sphere is the relationship between gender and art. Illustrator Kelly Thompson understands this all too well, but rather than use her gender as an excuse to admit defeat, she uses it to propel herself forward. Thompson’s illustrations are inherently feminine and she describes one aspect of her work as “very bright, bold and full-coloured,” and the other as “very soft, feminine and delicate. Across both styles there is definite femininity in both my subject matter and my line-work,” she explains. Thompson is an advocate for young artists and believes that women need more creative female role models. While no one could ever deprive women of their girl power, the achievements that female artists have achieved recently (case in point: Del Kathryn Barton’s Archibald Prize) show that the gender inequality argument is becoming redundant. A round of applause goes to Curvy for being a major contributor in publishing emerging female artists over the past decade. Curvy was launched in 2004 as an annual book that unearths female creative talent. Each page shows the work of boundary-breaking female creatives across design, fashion, illustration and photography. For Thompson, Curvy was a publication that spoke to her heart: “An old boyfriend of mine gave me the very first issue of Curvy with a little note inside saying: ‘To my very own Curvy creator, I look forward to seeing your work in the next issue,’ [and] I remember looking through the book and feeling very inspired and in awe of some of the amazing work people were doing,” she says. “The next year I submitted a couple of
my very first fashion-based illustrations and I got in.” While gender equality will always be an important subject for discourse, it is not to say that female artists are the only ones struggling to be taken seriously. Technology has made creativity available to anyone with a laptop. The idea that anyone can be an artist adds to the pile of pretentious non-art that ‘serious artists’ must fight their way through by elbowing the Instagrammers and tripping over the rebloggers on their way to the top. “I’ve been speaking about this a lot recently,” Thompson explains, “it is very difficult for young artists to get their work out there and gain that muchneeded profile that has so much weight put on it these days.” There is also the relationship between art and money as an artistic concern. Curvy presents established and emerging artists who have found a way to live and work between two extremes, giving young female artists the motivation they need to follow the same path. “Publications such as Curvy and events like Semi-Permanent are very important for promotion, inspiration, encouragement and also reaching people outside of the creative community,” Thompson says. “Curvy is a great supporter of that.” Murray Bell, co-founder of Semi-Permanent, says he and Andrew Johnstone started the event with the intention of providing “a platform for local artists, and [to] showcase international and travelling talent.” Semi-Permanent is a creative collective that began as a conference event and has evolved into something of a festival of creativity spreading art and design inspiration. Thompson, a Semi-Permanent veteran, has seen how powerful the event is from both sides of the podium: as a student in the audience, and then as a speaker. “I’ve spoken at four [events]… It is just so incredible to be in an audience and listen to some of the people who inspired and motivated you when you were young,”
she says. “Even now I am always in awe over the speakers. I remember [as a student] feeling quite overwhelmed by just how successful and creative everyone seemed; their success appeared unattainable at the time, but was obviously the motivation I needed.” Semi-Permanent and Curvy were created within one year of each other and have grown together like childhood friends. “We love [Curvy],” says Bell. “We
helped start it back in the day and it’s great to see it still operating. I think there is so much amazing female creative talent in this world and it’s great to give them a voice.” While the concept behind Curvy will always be to promote women doing creative things, it is the hope that the readership will extend to people who have their eyes on the art, rather than on the genitalia of the artist. (AE) Semi-Permanent, May 22-25, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, $40-795 (3-day VIP pass), semipermanent.com
Curvy contributor Audrey Kawasaki
EAT & DRINK
The Workers At a time when the Labor Party seems to stand for little more than getting back into power, this place harks back to the days when it used to stand for something: the workers. It’s guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye to anyone who remembers the glory days of Whitlam, Hawke and Wran. They’re the dudes on the roof – apparently the question Bar Manager Jeremy Baldi gets “asked the most”. So consider it $ - mains less than $15
$$ - mains between $15-$22
INNER WEST JamVybz Restaurant & Café Despite Jerk Chicken ($17.99) creeping onto bar menus, there isn’t much authentic Jamaican in Sydney.This brightly coloured Glebe flagship cooks it over wood-fire, coated with tasty jerk marinade producing bona fide falling-off-the-bone goodness. Initiate yourself with the Chef’s Sample Platter ($18.99) bearing codfish fritters, jerk chicken wings and jerk prawn kebabs. With homemade ‘slaw and pineapple to sweeten the deal, it appeals to both seasoned and unseasoned Caribbean eaters.“Reggae dancehall favourite” Curried Goat ($19) is deliciously tender, while Coconut Curried Shrimp ($22) is mild and easy to eat. Sweet Potato Pudding ($8.50) is warm and
By Jackie McMillan educational to mosey across the Astroturf rooftop, Woodlands Margaret River Chardonnay ($43/bottle) in hand, and gaze at photographic memorabilia. Tuck into Chihuahuas ($5.50/each) – mini Mexican hot dogs with grilled franks, jalapenos and cheese – as you search for the birth of land rights: Gough pouring sand into the hands of Vincent Lingiari, immortalised in the Paul Kelly song From Little Things Big Things Grow.Yep, the menu is definitely dude food, but it suits the Wednesday night crowd, looking for three-buck tacos, cheap beer and laughs – best provided by singing duo Smart Casual. Craving vegetables I picked Más Verduras ($5.50/each) – fried zucchini tacos with pico de gallo and Quesadillas de Espinica ($13) – grilled spinach and ricotta tortillas with salsa fresca. A Blood and Sand ($16) Whisky cocktail helps the Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($13.50) and support act comedians go down… 1/292 Darling Street, Balmain (02) 9318 1547 theworkersbalmain.com.au Bar Food,Wine, Cocktails $ $$$ - mains between $22-$30
deliciously sweet, leaving you feeling the good vibes - driven home by the Bob Marley posters and tunes. 72 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (02) 9571 1158 jamvybzrestaurant.com.au Jamaican $-$$ Le Pub Balmain Sydney’s obsession with miniaturisation continues with Le Petit Dog ($6), an excellent, crusty French bread ‘hotdog’ stuffed with lamb shoulder, lime labne, green chilli jam and coriander.The venue and clientele feel much changed from the old Monkey Bar days, with a decidedly French twist. Dishes like Pork Cheek ($16) with crisp pig’s ear, blackberry and cauliflower ‘velvet’ are well matched by thematic tipples including Manoir De Kinkez Cidre Cornouailles ($16/375ml) or
$$$$ - mains over $30
Eric Bordelet Calvados ($14). Lillet Blanc ($7) with lemon and soda sits nicely against beautiful Whole Lemon Sole ($20). It’s further improved by my dining companion’s béarnaise, accompanying his nicely cooked, grassfed L’Entrecote ($26) scotch fillet and menu-nominated Kronenbourg 1664 ($6.50/330ml) beer. 255 Darling Street, Balmain (02) 9555 5711 lepubbalmain.com.au Pub Bistro, Modern French $$ Toxteth Hotel “I am a chef and cannot keep calm,” is printed on a thematic union jack affixed to the glass box kitchen. However the men inside it are deadly silent, despite the crowds attending for generously portioned ten-buck offerings from the Monday/Tuesday Dinner Menu. I dabble with lightly battered Jalapeno Poppers
Seawall Bar & Restaurant With the controversial Barangaroo precinct drawing ever closer to completion, neighbouring Walsh Bay has seen some interesting developments of its own. Seawall is the latest spot to bed in for winter, eagerly awaiting the expected increase in foot traffic. The immediate good news for local residents and theatregoers alike is that they’ve scored Head Chef Dion Green (ex-Bondi Hardware) in the kitchen. His silky Ricotta Gnocchi with Moreton Bay Bugs, ($12) with cream cheese and smoky bacon, and panko-crumbed Brie ($13) before moving onto sliders.Twenty bucks buys you four, and conveniently there are four choices:‘Zucchini’, ‘Crab’,‘Buttermilk Chicken’ and ‘Beef’. The latter scrubs up best, but my meal highlight was Fried Whole Baby Snapper ($24) with sweet and sour apple sauce; leading me to dub chef: Sydney’s battered and fried pub king. 345 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (02) 9660 2370 toxtethhotel.com.au Pub Bistro $-$$ ROCKS & CBD Chefs Gallery The duck pancake is dead – long live shredded Peking Duck Roti Wraps ($16.90/6 pieces)! They’re my highlight of the revised menu, centring upon Chapas – Chinese style tapas. Before
Peas, Zucchini Flowers, Lemon and Pecorino ($25) is worth your visit alone. With a side salad of Witlof, White Peach, Candied Pecans and Peas ($10) and a citrusy, seafood-friendly 2012 Jamsheed Madame Chardonnay ($10/glass) apiece, you and a friend could indulge in a great, inexpensive, waterfront lunch, perched at repurposed science lab benches. Green’s imaginative dishes, including a beautifully presented Stuffed Calamari with Chorizo, Potato, Onions, Squid Ink Vinaigrette and Tomato Jam ($20), have already created a buzz. They’re supplemented by a small but interesting wine list; or you could indulge in cocktails and Oysters ($3.50/each) - best with mignonette vinaigrette - as you savour deep breaths of the sea air before Sydney’s al fresco season draws to a close. My pick of the list is the Jalisco Mule ($19), which accentuates standout Don Fulano Blanco Tequila with organic StrangeLove ginger beer, spiced poached pear, cinnamon and star anise. Shop 6, 17 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (02) 9252 7995 seawallrestaurant.com.au Seafood $$$
you wince, recall the Chinese have shared small dishes – dim sum – since the Han Dynasty; and reduced portions means more things! Start with vinegarbased Seaweed Salad ($6.90) before moving onto Chinese dude food: tasty Macanese Style Pork Fillet and Floss Mini Burgers ($15.90/3 pieces). Unleash you inner noodle star at a Hands On Noodles and Chapas Feast ($69/head) where the Master Noodle Chef will take you through stretching, piping (and eating) noodles including handstretched Squid Ink Noodles ($20.90) wok-tossed with mussels, calamari and buttery garlic sauce. Shop 12, Ground Floor Regent Place, 501 George Street, Sydney (02) 9267 8877 chefsgallery.com Chinese $$-$$$ Café Del Mar Restaurant Manager Jessica Mead wafts over in a bright Camilla kaftan.
Her welcoming smile suits this little slice of Ibiza, pitched to become the crowning jewel of Darling Harbour. The tiled Mediterranean kitchen produces arguably the best food I’ve had in the area, with the blue and white colour scheme continuing into roughly hewn fabric awnings, shading the balcony overlooking Cockle Bay. It screams sundowners from draught Peroni ($9) to El Jalisco ($19) featuring Don Julio Reposado, chilli, chorizo and Laphroaig. Dining as a twosome, I skipped over shared mains for snacks like Crispy Cased Berkshire Pig Jowls ($24); vibrant Snapper Tartare ($24) accentuated by Yarra Valley caviar; and pretty Blackmore’s Wagyu Bresaola ($28). Rooftop Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf, 35 Wheat Road, Sydney (02) 9267 6700 www.cafedelmar.com.au Cocktails, Bar, Modern European $$$$
EAT & DRINK
By Jackie McMillan
Bishop Sessa The closure of Bistro Bruno has seen restaurateur Erez Gordon really focus his tender loving care upon his Crown Street star attraction. With Chef Paul Cooper’s cooking already on point – my beloved Scallop Ceviche ($18) with cucumber, avocado, lemon and ginger beer sorbet thankfully remaining on his updated menu - Erez has directed his attention elsewhere. Upstairs he’s added a walllength, quintessentially Sydney (without being clichéd) cityscape by photographer Shane Rozario. He’s also DARLO, KINGS X & SURRY HILLS Jonkanoo Just when you’re bored with Mexican and Korean spinoffs, authentic Caribbean bursts onto the Sydney scene. In a beautifully decorated pale blue and white weatherboard setting, you’ll eat small tings and bigga tings; indeed heaps of tings you will adore! Lusting for the accompanying coconut bread and ‘slaw, I ordered Jerk Pork ($16/half pound, $32/pound).While Oysters Natural with ‘Jamaican Gravy’ ($3.50/each) amused with pickled vegetable ‘gravy’ served in a Captain Morgan Rum bottle, my favourites were Trini Carnival Doubles ($12) overflowing with curried chana, pepper and mango. Soused Mackerel ($16) served with ginger ale and sweet
potato chips tastes quite fishy, suiting a good slather of the on-table Uncle Tyrone’s Caribbean sauces. 583 Crown Street, Surry Hills (0415) 922 240 jonkanoo.com.au Jamaican $$$ Rocafelas “If everyone’s going to evacuate and be scared of the area, I’m staying in,” declares Rocko Tozzi, son of Kings Cross hospitality royalty Antonello Tozzi. He and Nate Johnson are offering up a loosely 70s-themed Italian red-sauce diner where you can eat and drink inexpensively up to the city’s new witching hour of 3am. Alex Lehours’ artwork pushes you at the Stolen Spiced Rum Dark & Stormy ($14); or there’s Mulo ($16) – vodka, ginger and Ramazzotti – that compliments tasty Meatballs ($14) in rich tomato sauce. Kick on with
GoodTime Diner By Alex Harmon Describing itself as having the ‘gritty underground bar scene of Old New Orleans’, The Eastern’s newest diner is lacking a little in the good time feel department. It still looks very much like the ill-fated Greek restaurant (Anatoli) whose space it took over. Luckily the food EASTERN SUBURBS Shuk Bagels may have started the ‘Jewish food’ craze but Shuk continues it with a melting pot of traditional and modern Israeli flavours with some Mediterranean touches. By day it’s a bakery/ restaurant/pickled food store. By night, you can be tempted by Haloumi ($12) with walnut, honey and coriander seed, or share Cured Beef with Kale and Provolone ($16). House-Made Gnocchi ($24) with mint pesto (from their garden), tomato and baked ricotta is delicious, but it’s hard to beat juicy Roast Chicken
very invested in the floor, from explaining the wholecarcass, nose-to-tail philosophy, to constructing original cocktails, including the appetite-inducing Gin Yum ($17.50); described as “an Asian vacation” in a glass. However it’s in personalised wine service where Erez really shines; down to cheeky (verbal) descriptions of grapes being trampled “by unwed girls” where one can “taste the desperation”. The 2008 Tibooburra Solitude Vineyard Pinot Noir ($77) over-delivered with a surprising floral, feminine edge against Roasted Aylesbury Duck Breast with ‘Ducketta’ ($33). The best dish I ate - a truly unctuous jowl of Melanda Park pork with Hawkesbury River calamari and barbecued corn - can only be ordered via the outstanding value six-course Degustation ($69/head). Chef brined the (already standout) pig for three days, rendering the fat into a beautiful, soft protein that sensuously echoed the tender, translucent calamari - sensational. 527 Crown Street, Surry Hills (02) 8065 7223 bishopsessa.com.au Modern Australian $$$$ longnecks in paper bags against simple standout pizzas like Pollo ($16) with chicken, avocado and mozzarella, or light’n’bright Capelli D’Angelo ($16) with rocket, chilli and prosciutto. 1 Kellett Street, Potts Point (02) 9360 0260 rocafelas.com.au Italian, Pizza, Cocktails $-$$
GREATER SYDNEY Royal Cricketers Arms Thirty minutes and thirty years from Sydney is a pub where strangers chat, and Bar Manager John Mundy uses common sense and conversation to enforce the rule of law. Over an Old Speckled Hen ($11.50/pint) you might enquire after his jar of Pickled Eggs ($1.10/each). Eat “the manager’s hangover cure” doused in Worcestershire and Tabasco right at
comes through with the goods. As the big sister to GoodTime Burgers (downstairs), they pride themselves on ‘low and slow’ cooked meats. The 6-hour BBQ Pork Ribs ($39) certainly attest to this – falling off the bone and dripping in sweet, sticky BBQ sauce. While you do want to come here for a feast, the snacks are good too, like Tortilla Chips with Guacamole and Salsa ($12) and tasty little Mac’N’Cheese ($8).You can still get your burgers – and they’re rather sizeable – the Juicy Lucy ($15.50) had us in awe with its wagyu patty stuffed with mozzarella. This isn’t for the vegetarians, especially since the pick of the cocktail list has to be the Texas Old Fashioned ($17) with bacon-infused bourbon, that’s garnished with a bacon ‘swizzle stick’. Sure, the vibe might not yet be there, but being the new kids, I’ll give them a chance to let the grease settle. For now, just loosen the belt buckles and indulge. The Eastern, Level 1, 500 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction (02) 9387 7828 goodtimediner.com American, Burgers $-$$
($28) marinated in Mediterranean spices, with burghul pilaf and labne. Crème Caramel ($10) spiced with ginger and topped with pistachios ends the evening swimmingly. Go and break bread at Shuk – you won’t be disappointed. 2 Mitchell Street, North Bondi (0423) 199 859 shukbondi.com Middle Eastern, Mediterranean $$ The Hill Eatery Breakfast here is a stimulating experience, with plant life draping the walls, brown leather sofas, and repurposed wood benches. When it comes to the food, it’s all about honesty, with a farm-to-table philosophy. Although tempted by breakfast cocktails, some joggers
guilt me into Green Juice ($6.50) with apple, mint, cucumber and citrus.You feel healthier just looking at it. Muffins, like Date, Banana and Chocolate ($4.50), are baked fresh daily. Mexican Baked Eggs ($18.50) start the day off in good stead (if you can finish it)! Love Eggs ($16.50) gets it right with field mushrooms, fanned avocado, ricotta and poached eggs on sourdough. It’s also a bar of an evening, with a strong local following. 39-53 Campbell Parade Bondi (02) 9130 2200 thehilleatery.com.au Café, Breakfast, Bar $-$$
Sugarcane Restaurant In a hip strip like Reservoir Street, home to Single Origin Roasters, Bang Bang Café, and half the cutting-edge design agencies in Sydney, it pays to stay relevant. That’s the main impetus behind turning Sugarcane Restaurant, a six-year stalwart, into a South East Asian hawker style canteen. The fit out by Giant (responsible for Red Lantern and Chow Eating House) featuring stripped-back walls with the bar.Tuck into traditional Toad in the Hole ($21) - three good-quality English pork sausages baked in a Yorkshire pudding with mash and onion gravy; or flex your cooking prowess on the high-tech grill.There’s Grass-fed Sirloin ($27/250g), grain-fed beef and Snags ($20/3) – best have a James Squire The Chancer ($9/pint) while you decide. Cricketers Arms Road, Prospect (02) 9622 6498 mycricketers.com.au Pub Bistro, British $$-$$$ Skyline Drive-In Diner Collect a carload for a retro-style dinner and movie ($10/head) at the recently remodelled Blacktown Skyline Drive-In.You’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Happy Days with smiling staff in red-and-white candy striped uniforms, Creaming Soda Spiders ($6) and the smell of
Thai street-style graffiti and posters, and a colourful, fabric-rich roof of hanging silk handbags, provides a welcoming, warm respite from a rain-drenched evening. Now if you’re a staunch loyalist, never fear, while the menu has been updated to reflect Sydney’s current obsession with smaller, sharing portions, favourites like Crispy Chicken, Blood Plum ($17) remain. Bite-sized Prawn, Rice Cake, Caramelised Sugarcane ($4/each) suit smart cocktails, including my favourite, a delicate Jasmine-Tea Infused Gin with Lime and Sugar ($17). They’ve also got a cracking little wine list, courtesy of Ged Higgins (ex-10 William Street), that manages to straddle the whole range of cuisines. My 2013 Jamsheed ‘Le Blanc Plonk’ ($9/glass) gewürztraminer/Riesling blend was equally at home with flaky Roti ($10) and Malay curry sauce, as it was with Pork and Prawn Dumplings ($16). It even stretched to accompany Green Papaya Salad ($19) with chef’s unique salmon and cashew update. 40A Reservoir Street, Surry Hills (02) 9281 1788 sugarcanerestaurant.com.au Pan Asian $-$$
buttered popcorn wafting through the air.Their Peanut Butter Milkshake ($7) is so good you won’t want to share. The Classic Beef and Cheese Burger’s ($8) plump, char-grilled Angus beef patty leaves surrounding fast-food joints for dead.You can also indulge in Original Buffalo Wings ($9) served with ranch dressing; or follow my recommendation and gently squeeze a fat, smoked Frankfurt between a Chilli Dog’s ($8) soft white buns. Cricketers Arms Road, Blacktown (02) 9622 0202 aturablacktown.com. au/food-drink/ American $ NEWTOWN & ENVIRONS Botany View Hotel The front bar feels like a scene from Cheers - for locals, it’s clearly a place
where everybody knows your name. Drink specials abound: from ten-buck Aperol Spritzes “all day every day” to twelve-buck jugs of mainstream beers, to quirky Absolut Vodka ($25/4) mixes. On the menu put out by Darley Street Bistro, the regulars are divided. One tells me: “it’s a bit over-rated, they put too many things on the plate,” but others swear by it. Greek Style Chicken Breast ($23) with skordalia, feta, oregano, tangy mash and a well-dressed tomato and cucumber salad was beaten by Beef Fillet ($31), loaded with bacon/thyme hash-brown, eschallot puree, garlic spinach, truffle brisket croquette and jus. 597 King Street, Newtown (02) 9519 4501 botanyviewhotel.com Pub Bistro $$$
FOOD NEWS I’ve been a fan of Paradise Beach Purveyors’ dips for a while now, tasting most of their award-winning flavours; so it was no surprise to hear they’d scooped up ten awards – including three gold – at the Royal Sydney Cheese and Dairy Awards 2014.What was a surprise was exactly how much I liked Steve Ingram’s latest – the
Fig and Olive Swirl [RRP $8-9].This Mediterranean-style concoction spins fig and olive tapenade through whipped feta crème, achieving perfect balance, and a flavour that’s entirely new to the palate. If, like me, you live in a twoperson home and hate waste, you might like to know that the new Food Love Kitchen dip range comes out of
the same kitchen. Smaller containers (140-150g), priced around five dollars apiece, mean you can toss one in your lunch bag and not feel guilty forgetting the rest of a luxury item in the work fridge. My surprising winner was the responsibly fished Tuna, Lemon & Cracked Pepper as I’m rarely a cooked tuna fan. By cleverly re-imagining the classics using premium ingredients in Chickpea, Lemon & Fresh Garlic Hommus, and Feta,Yoghurt, Cucumber & Fresh Mint, Steve has created two fabulous stand-alone dips, which would both work equally well as fast dinner additions.The Food Love Kitchen range scooped up three silver medals, and is available in independent supermarkets. www.paradisebeach.ws
By Rebecca Varidel
LITTLE FISH BAR When it comes to cocktails in Sydney, some of the most elegant examples can be found at restaurant bars. Add harbour views, like those from Jones Bay Wharf, and the cocktails here are hard to resist.Top them off with bar snacks from the kitchen of the restaurant - Flying Fish - and the bar mix becomes more than a sinful temptation. A visit becomes a necessity. “Don’t let your ice melt,” Bar Manager Amy Crowley warned. Rum Figgie Rum ($22) is her new seasonal
favourite. For something more autumn / winter: ginger liqueur subtly underpins Tanqueray 10 in Gin Genie ($20). Sweet & Sour Cigar Box ($22) lifts Dewars and Lagavulin with vanilla, lemon, chocolate.Wine and beer from the restaurant is also on hand. “Come down more often,” she added as we left. No arguments here... Flying Fish Restaurant & Bar, 1921 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont (02) 9518 6677 flyingfish.com.au/little-fish-bar
Stones In Her Mouth
Carriageworks salutes Lemi Ponifasio in his newest theatre production Stones In Her Mouth. Superficially thought of as a highly political and resilient work, Ponifasio describes it humbly as, “A very powerful medium for women to say what they want to the world”. Ponifasio continues: “The performance is never a confrontation to win over the audience.We’re simply there to serve the space, to activate the space. You’re sitting there holding your own body and you contemplate your own existence.” This production promises to contribute nothing but positivity to the arts. “You make art in order to create a vision of life, because you’re dissatisfied with what you see and what you
Go Your Own Way
experience.The world is not good enough so we have to create a new world, a new feeling, a new dimension of knowing, seeing, and experiencing. If the quality of our lives or the way we look at the world doesn’t improve from creation, then we should stop doing it,” explains Ponifasio. The message embedded into this production is self-reflection and a connection to one’s own existence during the powerful ten-piece female ensemble. “Creation is a means of silence. It’s beauty taking revenge,” says Ponifasio. (RM) May 28-31, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, $35, carriageworks.com.au
What would inspire a musician to leave one of the most iconic and successful rock bands of all time? That’s the question that inspired cabaret performer Catherine Alcorn to pursue the story of enigmatic and fiercely private Fleetwood Mac singer/songwriter, Christine McVie, in her stage show, Go Your Own Way. “It really interested me as an artist, wanting to build my career. I can’t imagine quitting one of the world’s biggest bands if I was a part of it. It was intriguing to me to find the reason behind that,” Alcorn explains. Alcorn is a veteran of translating real life stories to the stage, as seen in her Bette Midler-inspired cabaret show, The Divine Miss Bette. She had a hunch that McVie’s story would work beautifully on the stage. “People leave sharing memories. There is something so beautiful about being able to remember and think about where you were when you first heard these songs,” she says, noting that Fleetwood Mac are a band who, due to their success and longevity, hold a special place in the collective
Truth, Beauty and a Picture of You is already crowded with big sets and even bigger songs.This story is hard enough to condense without splitting the focus and giving equal weight to competing storylines.There is unfortunately little time to explore one or the other adequately and the action rushes to an ending that feels forced. With set pieces that look like they were lifted from The Sandringham in ‘90s Newtown, it evokes the era perfectly with worn barstools and an old poker machine. Freedman’s beautiful songs and sublime lyrics create a welcome nostalgia, the audience needn’t be fans to appreciate the stunning score. There is room for this production to
grow and indeed it should, because with the talent involved and the foundation of Freedman’s music, a roaring success is guaranteed. (LL) Until Jun 1, Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point, $20-48, (02) 8065 7337, hayestheatre.com.au
Photo: Chris Peken
Truth, Beauty And A Picture Of You is a production based on an idea by awardwinning playwright Alex Broun. It features music and lyrics by The Whitlams founding member Tim Freedman and takes inspiration from the backstory of the iconic Australian band. Ian Stenlake (Oklahoma!), Scott Irwin (Beauty And The Beast) and Toby Francis (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) lead a small cast and band. It’s difficult to pick a standout from these three powerhouses of the stage - they go from strength to strength and deliver flawless performances. Sadly there are multiple plots fighting each other for space on an intimate stage that
The Great Moscow Circus Acrobats, a flying trapeze, clowns, animals and daredevil motorbike riders. The Great Moscow Circus is back in town, and it’s bigger and better than ever. The production, brought to Australia by Michael Edgley, has spent the last three years travelling through Australia, raising nearly $500,000 for Australian charities. It will finish its tour in Sydney, with a run of performances that will thrill and amuse audiences of all ages, from toddlers to the golden oldies. Their infamous Globe of Death
19 STAGE 20 SCENE 22 SCREEN 23 SOUNDS
act has been updated, with five motorbikes now whizzing around a globe that miraculously splits in two - making it scarier than ever before. With twenty sensational acts from Russia, and guest performers from all over the world, the circus promises to ignite the audience’s imagination with a two-hour show full of stunning visuals, high-tech lighting and elaborate costumes. (SOC) Until Jun 1, Cahill Park, Gertrude St,Tempe, $32-62, moscowcircus.com.au
Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley
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hearts of the general public. “I remember hearing Fleetwood Mac songs ever since I was a little girl and even now they are played every day, and that just shows how timeless they are,” says Alcorn. “People love their memories. It gives them that time back.” (SW) May 27- Jun 1, Glen Street Theatre, Glen St & Blackbutts Rd, Belrose, $15-70, glenstreet.com.au
Scenes From An Execution
After victory over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto (1571), the Venetians commission a glorious, celebratory work but Galactia - a fictional artist and feminist before her time - is intent on showing the brutal reality. The formidable Glenda Jackson played the original Galactia, but Old Fitzroy’s very spirited Lucy Miller rises to the challenge and possibly even deserves to have a tropical cyclone named after her.
Mark Lee gives a marvellous performance as the Doge; he seems to have channelled every over-anxious, self-important functionary from time immemorial. Also in the very solid cast: Lynden Jones, Peter Maple, Brendan Miles, Katherine Shearer, Jeremy Waters and Nicole Wineberg. Among the several themes explored by English playwright Howard Barker is the artist’s personal integrity versus their relationship to audience, patrons, government, etc. Is art meant to depict reality and the truth, or a palatable lie? (MMu) Until May 31, Old Fitzroy Theatre, 129 Dowling St, Woolloomooloo, $21-32, sitco.net.au Photo: Katy Green Loughrey
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Contributors: Alexandra English, Alexis Talbot-Smith, Anita Senaratna, Anthony Bell, Catherine Knight, Cheryl Northey, Ciaran Tobin, Craig Coventry, Elise Cullen, Georgia Fullerton, Greg Webster, Hannah Chapman, Jamie Apps, Leann Richards, Lena Zak, Luke Daykin, Lyndsay Kenwright, Marilyn Hetreles, Mark Morellini, Mel Somerville, Melody Teh, Michael Muir, Michelle Porter, Peter Hackney, Rhys Gard, Rocio Belinda Mendez, Ruth Fogarty, Sean May, Sharon Ye, Shauna O’Carroll, Siri Williams
Hypnotic and strange, A Hunger Suite, by Clockfire Theatre Company, is off the beaten track when it comes to traditional theatre. Inspired by the works of Kafka, artistic director Emily Ayoub says the piece is about two characters that exist in a circus universe - focusing on the 19th century world of ‘circus freaks’. “We tried to use Kafka as an inspiration behind this work. His works inspire what the characters are doing in the space,” she says. “Our style is a Kafka-esque universe. You find that in our movement, aesthetic and atmosphere.” The piece is not traditionally narrativedriven; it uses a unique style to
Photo: Courtney Williams
Photo: Ingvar Kenne
Jez Butterworth’s savagely comic play, Mojo, is a thriller which examines the dark underside of the halcyon days of rock’n’roll with grim humour and strong language. “It (Mojo) captures that playful exciting vibrant language and uncanny chain of events that occur,” says Sam Haft, who plays ‘Baby’. “It’s a real comic thriller and there’s a huge musical influence in the play as well.” Mojo debuted on the West End in 1995, receiving the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. It also started a new wave of British gangster movies
A Hunger Suite
Photo: Russell Cheek
during the late ‘90s, including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels “It’s got that Lock, Stock feel mixed with Tarantino and lots of colourful language,” says Haft. The testosterone-fuelled cast and local blues-rock outfits depict the London club scene of the 1950s.The battle for power is revealed through zinging dialogue, live music and action-packed scenes. “It certainly has something to cater for everyone.” (CT) Until Jul 5,The Wharf, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $50-99, sydneytheatre. com.au Ed’s note: Due to health reasons Lindsay Farris will replace Sam Haft as Baby in STC’s production of Mojo.
challenge the audience’s perception of theatre. “We want to push the audience, invite them into something more different,” says Ayoub. “You have to sometimes take a risk, present something different.” First performed in 2012, the production underwent a second development in Istanbul earlier this year, which Ayoub says has given it political resonance. “It resonates what is going on here politically for artists, it looks how far an artist will go to reach limits in artistry,” she says. (SOC) Until May 25,The Old 505 Theatre, Suite 505, 342 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, $18-28, venue505.com
One of the most shocking and controversial stories makes its Sydney stage debut in a powerful new production. Trainspotting is the story of a group of teenagers in the Edinburgh heroin scene of the 1980s. “It’s about youths trying to get away from the unpleasant lifestyle, trying to find a group to be a part of and cult to feel strong about,” says Damien Carr, who portrays protagonist Mark Renton in the production. Derived from both the very successful novel by Irvine Welsh and the award-winning film adaptation starring Ewan McGregor, Trainspotting depicts an intense and raw portrayal of the dark side of life that is still very much just a backstreet away from us all. “You’re going to see a lot of scenes that are in the film and that are very iconic and that everyone remembers from the movie,” says Carr.“It also takes a lot out of the book as well.” The cast is made up of inner west Sydney residents and is still relatable to youths in society today. “It definitely speaks to people now, for sure.” (CT) Until May 24, King Street Theatre, King St & Bray St, Newtown, $27-32, kingstreettheatre.com.au
Slide Cabaret Festival 2014
Slide Cabaret Festival returns for a third year with a lineup of over 20 national and international artists.With the introduction of a second venue and a piano bar, Slide promises a breath of fresh air for Sydney live entertainment. “This year its bigger, fuller and more fantastic,” says Catherine Alcorn, the creative director of Slide. Some of the highlights this year include award-winning New York cabaret artist Kim Smith, who brings his new show Nova Noir to the festival. Nova Noir charts a dark and whimsical path through neo-Weimar pop-fantasia, it’s full of genre-bending pop and peculiar period treasures. Australian singer-songwriter Bianca Moon and musical director Anne-Maree McDonald worked in conjunction with Slide Cabaret Festival to create The Bold And The Musical. The two women write the music behind the TV soap opera The Bold And The Beautiful, and will debut their new production at Slide. The festival kicks off with a music trivia fundraiser for The Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF). (SM) THEATRE &
PERFORMANCE EIGHT GIGABYTES OF HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY Greene’s play skews the stark contrast between our public and private selves. It examines two, average, middle-aged individuals who find themselves a long way off from the fantasy figures they see online. With each of these individuals looking to the online realm for a little something more out of life, Greene aims to examine the “conflict between a digital pornographic fantasy and reality and how that vagueness bleeds into online dating.” Acknowledging that there could be a
fair amount of bleakness construed by audiences from the subject matter, Greene sees it differently. “It is a comedy,” he says, “and it is important to me that the play is funny. It’s important that we can laugh at how bleak the world is sometimes.” (SW) Until Jun 14, SBW Stables, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $32-49, (02) 9361 3817, griffintheatre.com.au STRICTLY BALLROOM:THE MUSICAL Baz Luhrmann’s latest creation is bursting at the sequined seams of the Lyric Theatre in an explosion of colour and feathers. Luhrmann’s holistic creative approach and boundless imagination means his hand is involved in every aspect of
the production, from the design, to the direction and the music. The notes feel like they were written for the stunning co-lead Phoebe Panaretos (Fran) who outshines all except the hilarious Heather Mitchell (Shirley Hastings).The talented Thomas Lacey (Scott Hastings) gives a solid performance as the male lead but is sometimes underwhelming on a very busy stage. Catherine Martin’s costumes are yet another ‘win’ for the designer, referencing familiar elements from the film and successfully amplifying them for the stage. Strictly Ballroom:The Musical is an entertaining, lively night at the theatre that will delightfully overload
the senses. (LL) Until Jul 6, Lyric Theatre, Pirrama Rd, Sydney, $55-145, strictlyballroomthemusical.com SOMETHING TO BE DONE is “one man searching for inspiration in a world that’s deteriorating of its artistic roots,” explains creator and performer Gabriel McCarthy – and it’s all done with no words. It was a risk to stage a performance with no words but McCarthy believes physical theatre is “untapped” in Australia. He felt compelled to break away from the “everyday stuff you see in theatre,” he says. McCarthy hopes that audiences will be open to this new type of theatre.
Until May 31, Slide Lounge, 41 Oxford St, Darlinghurst; The Pullman Hotel Hyde Park, 36 College St, Sydney, $3080, slide.com.au
For him, a performance without words is perhaps the greatest form of communication. (MT) Until Jun 1, Upstairs Theatre,TAP Gallery, 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, $15-20, (02) 9361 0440, trybooking.com/ECTS THE SILENCE CAME Described as an immersive theatre piece set in “a distorted modern society, divided by class and polluted by the seven deadly sins,” it takes place throughout several rooms in a 165-year-old Darlinghurst terrace house.The audience dictates the direction the onstage action will take for every performance. As creator, writer and director Duncan Maurice assures, with
roughly eight hours worth of script for any given direction, the story may depend on the mood of each unique audience: “You couldn’t possibly see it all [and] it will be quite unique every night.” Maurice sees the idea of immersive theatre as “more in tune with the way that contemporary audiences consume culture, art, entertainment and information”, and believes that “those traditional boundaries of sitting, watching and waiting are being tested and pushed”. (SW) Until May 26,The Commons, 32 Burton St, Darlinghurst, $20, thesilencecame.com 19
THE NAKED CITY
Wild In The Streets Downunder-style!
The Sydney Fair The Sydney Fair promises to take visitors into The Great Gatsby era glamour and let them take home a piece of history. This year the fair will host beautiful pieces from bygone eras in the form of everything from fashion, furniture, lighting, art, posters, knickknacks and more. Antiques and vintage items from the Art Deco and 20th century periods will be available to buy and admire at Moore Park over three days. While the majority of the stalls will feature Australian pieces, The Sydney Fair will also host vintage wares from Seattle and New York sellers. The Fair’s organiser Dianne Pickett says unlike many vintage fashion showcases, “there will be clothes for everyone, including sizes up to 16. There will also be vintage fashion for men - something we definitely lack in Australia.” She continues: “This year there is a fashion exhibition with clothing that has been worn by icons like Grace Kelly… there’ll also be dresses by Marilyn Monroe’s favourite designer, Ceil Chapman.” With price tags ranging from 20 dollars into the tens of thousands, browsers and buyers are welcome alike. The Sydney Fair offers a wonderful opportunity to chat with experts about everything vintage and the history behind their wares. (HC) May 22-25, Byron Kennedy Hall, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, $10-30, thesydneyfair.com.au
Deadly Depictions of the Dreamtime - Trevor ‘Turbo’ Brown
By Coffin Ed, Miss Death & Jay Katz In the 1968 American cult classic Wild In The Streets, disenchanted youth are motivated to take over the nation’s streets as rock singer Max Frost is swept to the Presidency on a platform of reducing the voting age to 15. Once in power he further reduces that age to 14 and makes 30 the mandatory retirement age. Anybody over 35 is dispatched to a re-education gulag and permanently dosed on LSD. It’s a scenario mocked as ludicrous and outrageous when the movie was first released but almost a half century later, and on the heels of the meanest Federal budget in decades, we have to ask – could it happen here? With massive cuts to education and health and the prospect of being penniless if you are booted off the dole, it’s the current teen generation who should be thinking seriously about their future in the decade to come. Whilst we are not advocating the kind of street turmoil witnessed in The Arab Spring, we would love to see a political mobilisation of Australian teens and a genuine demand for the voting age to be dramatically lowered. We are sceptical about rock stars aspiring to Federal Parliament but maybe Aussie youth do need a Max Frost (or Maxine Frost) messiah to champion their cause. It might sound bizarre but why not select this potential leader with an Australian Idol/The Voice-style talent
contest? Where teenage contestants would be assessed on their political acumen as well as their vocal prowess. The process would at least be democratic, with a popular vote (restricted to the under 20s) deciding the winner. And please note - SBS or the ABC would need to host the series to keep Kyle Sandilands off the judging panel. Once the new teen leader was chosen, a bill would be introduced by the Greens to lower the voting age to at least 15, followed by mass rock festival-style rallies across the country to support the proposal. Finally, with the support of Clive Palmer and a reluctant ALP the bill would sweep through the Senate. Freshly franchised teams would flock to voting stations at the next election and the Coalition conservatives would be thoroughly trumped. Whether anybody over 35 should be dispatched to a re-education gulag or permanently dosed on LSD, like in the movie, remains to be seen, but the retirement age would definitely be pegged at 30 and made compulsory. This would end the political careers of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey and leave LNP’s Wyatt Roy as the only remaining member of the old Parliament. In the original movie Max Frost and his cronies go on to create an almost utopian, albeit youthfully hedonistic society, that soon spreads throughout the world. The only sour note is the hint that future intergenerational warfare is looming on the not-toodistant horizon from an unexpected source – children of 10 years and younger!
‘Two Wombats’ -Trevor ‘Turbo’ Brown. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Kate Owen Gallery
Trevor ‘Turbo’ Brown’s Deadly Depictions Of The Dreamtime reflects his experiences as an Aboriginal man with an intellectual disability whose youth was scarred by substance abuse and social dislocation. As a homeless teenager his closest companions were animals and this exhibition is dominated by images of native fauna. In Nine Black Galahs, the eponymous birds raise their wings in homage to the sun with the shuffle of their feathers reverberating from the walls as they celebrate life. In Owl, the featured creature stares directly at the viewer with a simple, sincere, yet melancholy gaze. These paintings are bold, bright and colourful and ooze a warmth and depth of feeling seldom captured on canvas. The pieces combine traditional Indigenous techniques with a sensibility which evokes modern animation and they delight with their naivety and dynamism. The show resounds with vibrancy and vitality, and is a demonstration of the emotive power of creative endeavour. (LR) Until May 30, Kate Owen Gallery, 680 Darling St, Rozelle, free, kateowengallery.com
Une Australienne - Hilda Rix Nicholas Hilda Rix Nicholas is one of the most important Australian female artists from the early twentieth century. The Mosman Art Gallery Exhibition, Une Australienne, explores the beauty and richness of the works she created when she moved back to Mosman from Europe after World War I. Gallery curator Julie Petersen, says the exhibition focuses on how Nicholas moving back to Australia shaped her artistic career. “We look at what it meant to her, how it reset her course,” she says. After losing her family and husband in the war, Petersen says Nicholas used her time in Mosman exploring new artistic techniques to create original pieces. “The artworks were made during her recovery period, Mosman became her place of recovery,” she says. “She made these large pictures painted in a fresh and confident manner, and they look as fresh today as they did 100 years ago.” The exhibition features important paintings and drawings that have not been together in a gallery since the 1920s. “Her paintings have been all around the world, they are now out of the lounge rooms and on our walls,” she says. The exhibition also features artist workshops and talks, and a Symposium on June 1st about women artists in the twentieth century. (SOC) Until Jul 13, Mosman Art Gallery, Art Gallery Way & Myahgah Rd, Mosman, free, (02) 9978 4178, mosmanartgallery.org.au
‘The Bathers’, by Hilda Rix Nicholas
Set in futuristic London, The Zero Theorem is the story of Qohen Leth (Cristoph Waltz), an eccentric and reclusive computer expert whose sole purpose for existence is to formulate the meaning of life. Only when he experiences love does he understand the reason for his being. Strangely entrancing yet frustrating to watch, this film is perplexing and incomprehensible at times, the complexities are enhanced by quirky and detached sequences which seemingly have no
relevance to the story. Wide camera angles and coloured over-the-top sets are visually spellbinding and aptly create a distorted vision of the future. The Zero Theorem is a science fiction/tragedy that challenges audiences to unravel the bewildering and seemingly cryptic storylines overloaded with bizarre imagery and peculiar characters. (MM) WWW
The Zero Theorem Godzilla
America is “under attack” in Godzilla, the epic action adventure which sees the mega-monster’s return to the screen, leaving a predictable trail of destruction and chaos. In this mammoth-scale reboot, the imminent mating of menacing radiation-hungry mutations will render humanity defenseless and it becomes apparent that only Godzilla can save the world. The clichéd and cheesy storylines are interwoven with explosive CGI and eye-popping
Unmistakable gasps of coitus onscreen can only mean one thing – it’s all downhill from here. In a film that could be one of the most hysterical of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s creations, Mack (Rogen) and his wife Kelly’s (Rose Byrne) mundane family life is transformed into a battlefield when a partying all-American fraternity move in next door.
3D effects, but sadly lack the edge-of-your-seat excitement. Momentum is slow and extended scenes of the monsters at war aimlessly rampaging through the city become dull and repetitive. Performances are contrived with the exception of Aaron Taylor-Johnson who delivers a credible performance as an explosives expert. Fans of this iconic, superstar monster will be delighted, but others will question whether the world needed another Godzilla disaster film. (MM) WW½
From dildo fights to breast milk skits and the infinite peace offerings of marijuana from Mack to frat-leader Teddy (the ab-tastic Zac Efron), this film leaves no potential comedic avenue untouched. Though the ending felt a little rushed and weak, the bulk of the film is crude, vulgar but so hilariously Rogen. (CD) WWW½
From Poland comes Ida, an award-winning film which touches on the Jewish holocaust and explores lost identities and dark family secrets. Set in Poland in the early 1960s, the story centres on Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), a nun who visits her estranged Aunt (Agata Kulesza) before taking her vows. She learns of her Jewish heritage and that her real name is Ida. The shocking truth about her family’s fate ultimately severs her commitment to the
Sunshine On Leith
Sunshine On Leith is a warm, upbeat musical about family, friendship and love. The film centres on two mates, Davy (George MacKay) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie), as they adjust to home life after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Set in picturesque Leith and greater Edinburgh, Scotland, director Dexter Fletcher captures the feel-good emotions of romances old and new. Adapted from the stage musical CHILD’S POSE Cornelia (Luminita Gheorghiu) is an overbearing and overprotective mother. When her son, Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache), is involved in a car accident that kills a child, she uses her wealth and affluence to stop the manslaughter charges. Child’s Pose is incredibly worthwhile viewing because of its examination of contemporary Romanian society and an enlightening but tragic story. However, the film does not allow the audience to feel empathy towards the main characters. Both harsh and unforgiving, it is not until the last scene that
guilt, love and social inequality come to a head. (ATS) WWW THE DOUBLE Based on the novella by Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Double stars Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) as Simon, a timid office drone in the midst of an existential crisis. Simon is — in the words of a tactless co-worker — “a bit of a non-person”. The unexpected arrival of Simon’s roguish doppelganger is a catalyst but also a mixed omen: will he seize control of his life or disappear completely? Marrying melancholy and
black wit with an oppressive, dystopian setting, The Double is a haunting satire. (JH) WWWW HEALING is an Australian film that is worth watching full of beautiful cinematography. Based on true events it is set in a low-security prison farm 200 kilometres outside of Melbourne. Don Hany (Underbelly) stars as Viktor Khadem at the end of his 16-year stint in prison. Hugo Weaving (Lord Of The Rings) is his caseworker, Matt Perry. Together they set up a bird sanctuary to help heal, not only the majestic creatures,
order. Trzebuchowska is haunting as Ida and delivers a sublime and memorable performance. The story unfolds slowly but is intense and captivating throughout. Ida is a simplistic and breathtakingly beautiful movie, chillingly filmed in black and white. The unevenly centred camera-angles, dark photography and long shots of isolated and barren landscapes are cleverly utilised to enhance the gloom and mystery. (MM) WWWW½
with the same name, Sunshine On Leith features songs by Scottish band The Proclaimers. Tracks like I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) feature in the film in a way that fits naturally with the plotline. Although the film misses the mark with exploring the darker side of returning home from war, Sunshine On Leith is a happy film with strong performances, especially from Peter Mullan as Rab. (SM) WWW½ but also the broken inmates. The mise-en-scène and the elegant movements offer thoughtful symbolism in this evocative story with great characters. (LK) WWWW THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 is the much-anticipated sequel to the 2012 blockbuster. It delivers twice the thrills and mayhem, as supervillains Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) attack Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield reprises his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, who continues to be torn between
his mortal and superhero status, whilst his crime fighting is being publicly scrutinised. The CGI which is becoming more exhilarating and ambitious as the comic book franchise continues, fuels the pumping adrenalin, delivering what can only be described as wondrous escapism at its best. (MM) WWWW CANOPY is an incredible war/ survival drama set during the Japanese occupation of Singapore in1942. When an Australian fighter pilot (Kahn Chittenden) is shot down in the jungle, he joins forces with a Singaporean/Chinese
resistance fighter (Tzu-yi Mo). Battling the odds they desperately fight for survival, aimlessly running through the mangroves evading Japanese soldiers. Language is a barrier, but they communicate non-verbally and an unexpected friendship flourishes. This low budget Australia/ Singapore co-production is suspenseful and engaging. Canopy is a fast-moving, edge of your seat drama in which few words are spoken. This effectively enhances the expressive performances of the small cast of two. (MM) WWW½
Little Hurricane Gold Fever Over the past few years, US duo Little Hurricane have made their mark as purveyors of raw, earthy blues. Gold Fever continues in that vein but with stylistic stabs at new territory: for example, a horn section on track four (Boiling Water) and country elements on several tracks. However, most cuts here are bluesy and swampy to the point where the band, at times, sound like a New Millennium take on Tony Joe White (which is a good thing). Bones, especially, evokes the South in a way that takes you straight to the Bayou on a hot summer’s day. (PH)
Walter Trout & His Band – Luther’s Blues Walter Trout’s tribute to Luther Allison is both moving and deserved.This album is well put together; it is ultimately about the pain in blues and the journey that stems from it. Beginning with a strong introduction filled with manic energy in I’m Back, leading into Just As I Am which provides reflection and finally through to Freedom, which leaves the listener with a sense of determination and illuminates Luther’s contribution to the world of blues. It is a compliment from a prolific singer/ songwriter such as Walter Trout and a humble homage to a great and influential musician. (SP)
Early this year, a black and white monochrome music video surfaced and did its rounds on the internet.The fuzzy aesthetics evoked the nostalgia of a time when Brit-pop was at its peak, and music critics compared the sound to Oasis. Channel V has called them “the next big thing” and the band have signed with record label, I Oh You. However, there is one thing that renders the hype surrounding this band particularly remarkable – prior to this video, DMAs had not released any other tracks. No doubt a testament to their songwriting ability, the Newtown trio, unlike other local bands, have not been hustling their way through Sydney’s live circuit. “We didn’t want to play stuff like World Bar at 1am, and all those kinds of gigs,
Tiny Hearts: Paul Derricott and Eamon Dilworth are two prominent musicians within Sydney’s jazz scene and they’re about to launch their debut album Alluvium. It was recorded following their tour across Australia and New Zealand and contains tumultuous yet enthralling compositions featuring Dilworth on trumpet, Derricott on drums, Dave Jackson on saxophone, Steve Barry playing piano and Tom Botting slapping the double bass. Said to be influenced from personal experiences, this fantastic jazz work will not only entertain, but also
just kicking around Sydney. I didn’t want to do it with this band, I want to focus on the songwriting, and focus on the production skills,” says guitarist, Johnny Took. However, the local lads are anything but green.They are the result and alumni of Sydney bands that are a staple in the Sydney live circuit, where they met and have performed together. Took recalls a night backstage with Underlights, a band both he and DMA’s vocalist,Tommy O’Dell, formerly played in. “I remember in rehearsals, he (O’Dell) was like, what about this chorus? And he’d sing the line.We’d look over to him and think, this guy’s voice is out of control!” Guitarist Matt Mason was recruited soon after. “All our best tunes are the ones where Mason barges into my living room and starts pumping out some chords, and
the three of us stand in a circle throwing out melodies and chord changes.” Regarding the hype surrounding the band and their first single, Delete, Took remains grounded. “Yeah, it’s pretty cool,” he laughs. “Yeah, it’s nice, I try not to get too excited. I need to be in this game for the long haul, you know? I’m more excited about getting these new songs out – because there’s just so many more I want to do!” The DMA’s now embark on their first east coast tour – taking on Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in May. Six troublemaking musicians will make up the live line-up. “Too many.Too many troublemakers,” says Took. “It’s gonna be noisy, but it’s gonna be tight, and there’s going to be some big melodies.” (SY) May 22 & 24, Goodgod Small Club, 53-55 Liverpool St, Sydney, $10+bf, goodgodgoodgod.com
Sydney Live Music Guide
open the mind. Thu, May 22nd, Foundry616, Ultimo. Bad//Dreems: As the first band from Adelaide to be signed to Ivy League Records at the beginning of April, this four-piece know a great deal about hard work. Combining the true Aussie elements from the ‘70s and ‘80s rock underworld with snippets of ostracised rockers from the United States, the sound of their debut EP Badlands is raw, often bleak, yet inherently optimistic.Their first Adelaide show on the Dumb Ideas Tour sold out, and it won’t be long before
their Sydney show follows in the same fashion. Fri, May 23rd, Black Wire Records, Takadimi: It’s a celebration to end all celebrations when this crew bring their Leaves To Fall Autumn Tour to a close. They have made a name for themselves with their unique blend of jazz and musical elements from all over the world, creating a sound that is incomparable. This tour saw them travel all over New South Wales and Canberra, but what better place to draw a close than Sydney’s bohemian bowel of Newtown.Tonight they will be joined by BB & Cam,The
Morrisons, On The Stoop and Crystal Barreca Band. Sat, May 24th, St Stephens Main Church Hall, Newtown. David Bridie: He’s been able to work seamlessly between the music and film worlds and tonight will bring the two together in one beautiful representation. Bridie’s latest tour is in celebration of the hauntingly sublime video for his song The Shortest Day Of The Year from his 2013 album Wake. This tour will also celebrate the stellar 30 plus years of musical creativity that Bridie has exuded. A true and completely understated Australian legend, tonight he will be joined by Amanda
Brown. Sun, May 25th, Camelot Lounge, Marrickville. The Great Australian Songbook: Charity concerts are just getting better each year.Variety - The Children’s Charity have been providing help and empowerment to children all over Australia who are disadvantaged, ill or have special needs. Helping this charity to carry on their fantastic work will be Jon Stevens, Shannon Noll, Dave Faulkner (The Hoodoo Gurus) Diesel, Christine Anu, iOTA and many more. Ambassadors and Aussie legends John Paul Young and John Williamson will also be there, so give a little for a
great cause. Mon, May 26th, Enmore Theatre. Ms. Lauryn Hill: She was a member of ‘90s hip hop heroes Fugees, with their killer hits Ready Or Not and Killing Me Softly paving the way for aspiring artists all over the world. Since then, the leading lady of this group has had her own share of success, creating one of the most widely revered albums in The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. As part of Sydney’s VIVID Festival, Hill will be staging a show of great proportions. It’s history in the making. (CD) Tue, May 27th, Sydney Opera House.
F R E E W I L L ASTRO L O G Y by Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): I believe your persuasive powers will be stronger than usual in the weeks ahead. The words coming out of your mouth will sound especially interesting. I also suspect that your intelligence will get at least a temporary upgrade. The clarity of your thoughts will intensify. You will see truths you have been blind to in the past. Innovative solutions to longrunning dilemmas are likely to occur to you. The only potential snag is that you might neglect to nurture your emotional riches. You could become a bit too dry and hard. But now that I’ve warned you of that possibility, let’s hope you will take steps to ensure it won’t happen.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If there was a Hall of Fame for scientists, physicist Isaac Newton (1642-1727) would have been the charter member. He was like Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were to rock and roll, like Babe Ruth was to baseball. The theory of gravity and the three laws of motion were his gifts to the world. He made major contributions to mathematics and optics, and was a central figure in defining modern science. There is also a legend that he invented the cat door, inspired by his pet felines. Whether or not that’s true, it serves as an excellent metaphor for this horoscope. It’s an excellent time for you to
apply your finest talents and highest intelligence to dream up small, mundane, but practical innovations.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): During the next 12 months you will have exceptional opportunities to soak up knowledge, add to your skill set, and get the training you need to pursue interesting kinds of success in the coming six to eight years. What’s the best way to prepare? Develop an exciting new plan for your future education. To get in the mood, try the following: make a list of your most promising but still unripe potentials; meditate on the subjects that evoke your greatest curiosity; brainstorm about what kinds of experiences would give you more control over your destiny; and study three people you know who have improved their lives by taking aggressive steps to enhance their proficiency.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): The moon shows us a different phase every 24 hours, which makes it seem changeable. But in fact, not much actually happens on the moon. It has no atmosphere, no weather, no wind, no plant life, no seasons. There is some water, but it’s all frozen. Is there anything like this in your own life, Cancerian? Something that on the surface of things seems to be in constant motion, but whose underlying state never actually shifts or develops?
According to my analysis, now would be an excellent time for you to revise the way you understand this part of your world, and then update your relationship with it.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Have you thought of organizing a crowdfunding campaign to boost your pet project or labor of love? I suggest you get serious about it in the next four weeks. This coming phase of your cycle will be a favorable time to expand your audience, attract new allies, and build a buzz. You will have a sixth sense about how to wield your personal charm to serve your long-term goals. More than usual, your selfish interests will dovetail with the greater good -perhaps in unexpected ways.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Years ago I had a Virgo friend who was a talented singer. She had technical skill, stylistic flair, and animal magnetism, making her worthy of being a lead vocalist in almost any great band. And yet when she was asleep and had dreams of performing, she often found herself standing in the shadows, barely visible and singing tentatively, while her back-up singers hogged the spotlight at center stage. Moral of the story: Some of you Virgos are shy about claiming your full authority. It doesn’t always come easy for you to shine your light and radiate your power. And yet you can most definitely
learn to do so. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to make progress in this direction.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “There is always an enormous temptation in all of life,” writes Annie Dillard, “to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end . . . I won’t have it. The world is wider than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright.” Your assignment in the coming weeks, Libra, is to transcend whatever is itsy-bitsy about your life. The alternative? Head toward the frontier and drum up experiences that will thrill your heart and blow your mind.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “We are all searching for someone whose demons play well with ours,” writes novelist Heidi R. Kling. That’s good advice for you to keep in mind these days, Scorpio. Those little imps and rascals that live within you may get you into bad trouble if they feel bored. But if you arrange for them to have play dates with the imps and rascals of people you trust, they are far more likely to get you into good trouble. They may even provide you with bits of gritty inspiration. What’s that you say? You don’t have any demons? Not true. Everyone has them. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “When people tell you who they are, believe them,” writes blogger Maria
Popova (Brainpickings.org). “Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.” Those suggestions are especially crucial for you to keep in mind these days. You are entering a phase when your best relationships will be up for review and revision and revitalization. To foster an environment in which intimacy will thrive, you’ve got to be extra receptive, curious, tolerant, and tender. That’s all! Not hard, right? A good place to start is to proceed as if your allies know who they are better than you do -- even as you ask them to return the favor.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Kludge” (pronounced klooj) is a slang word that refers to a clumsy but effective fix for an engineering problem. It’s a cobbled-together solution that works fine, at least temporarily, even though it is inelegant or seems farfetched. Let’s use this concept in a metaphorical way to apply to you. I’m guessing that you will be a kludge master in the coming days. You will be skilled at making the best of mediocre situations. You may have surprising success at doing things that don’t come naturally, and I bet you will find unexpected ways to correct glitches that no one else has any idea about how to fix.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I hesitate to compare you to your fellow Aquarian Kim Jong-il. When he was
alive and ruling North Korea, he was an egomaniacal tyrant. You’re definitely not that. But there are certain descriptions of him in his official biography that remind me of the kinds of powers you may soon exhibit. He was called The Great Sun of Life and Highest Incarnation of Revolutionary Comradely Love, for instance. Titles like that might suit you. It is said that he invented the hamburger. He could command rain to fall from the sky. He once shot eleven holes-in-one in a single round of golf, was a master of gliding down waterslides, and never had to use a toilet because he produced no waste. You may be able to express comparable feats in the coming weeks. (Do it without falling prey to excessive pride, OK?)
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Even if you had a sensitive, nurturing mommy when you were growing up, and even if she continues to play an important role in your life, now would be a good time to learn how to mother yourself better. You are finally ready to appreciate how important it is to be your own primary caregiver. And I’m hoping you are no longer resistant to or embarrassed about the idea that part of you is still like a child who needs unconditional love 24/7. So get started! Treat yourself with the expert tenderness that a crafty maternal goddess would provide.