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Exclusive: Black mark against bike hub

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Sydney’s most comprehensive What’s On guide

Norrie wins in High Court

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april 3, 2014

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DJs and drag queens feel lockout squeeze


“It’s a ghost town by 3am”, says Maxi Shield

BY TRIANA o’keefe The state government’s lockout laws are being keenly felt in Sydney’s gay district, with one of Oxford Street’s oldest venues reducing its opening hours and the strip being plunged back into chaos and uncertainty. The Midnight Shift will close its doors Mondays to Wednesdays, opening them again at 2pm on Thursdays. The Shift’s venue promotion manager Leigh Harder said the decision was difficult but necessary during these challenging times. “Due to recent changes in the NSW liquor legislation, along with the impact of a five-year freeze on the CBD entertainment precinct, the Midnight Shift hotel will soon only open four days a week,” Mr Harder explained. “We apologise to the local patronage that this change will impact on, however, our usual spectacular entertainment and hospitality will be available Thursday to Sunday, with some exciting new additions.” Maxi Shield, one of Oxford Street’s most celebrated drag queens, told City News she has had to source work elsewhere. “I was actually working Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights and have had to negotiate opportunities outside of the Shift,” Maxi said. “I started at the Shift in 1997, since I was a baby drag. It is sad to see it come to this.” Maxi spoke of the ‘tidal effect’ within the gay community and the demise of the area’s nightlife since the new laws were introduced. “We would watch the crowds go from Flinders, to the Oxford, to Stonewall and end up at the Midnight Shift,” she said. “Now our security guards have to turn them away after the lockout. I never thought I would see an enforced closing time on hospitality.” While the full extent of the lockout’s casualties on Oxford Street is for now unknown, it is already forcing venue

operators to make drastic changes or risk closure. Most of Sydney’s dedicated gay venues are situated along Oxford Street and are all covered under the new rules and lockout zones. Stonewall, ARQ, the Oxford Hotel, the Beresford Hotel and Phoenix are among those in danger of losing vital revenue that allows them to open on quieter nights. ‘Gay Bar’ closed in early March after 12 months of operation. Marcus Pastorelli from Harbour City Bears, a community group for bears and their admirers, shares concerns for the precinct’s future. “It has been our experience that these venues work hard to ensure a safe environment for people to come together and enjoy a night out,” Mr Pastorelli told City News. “It’s very disheartening to hear from venues that they are needing to reduce the number of days they are trading, or have to put off investments to upgrade facilities because they aren’t sure they’ll still have a viable business in a few months’ time under the new laws. “Staff are having their hours cut, our DJs have less work - how is this good for our community?” While the new laws have obvious effects for the gay community, other popular Oxford Street venues are feeling similar repercussions. The Standard, a live music venue above Kinselas, has temporarily closed its doors to rebrand. “We are changing, in essence from a typical live music bar to a bar with music in it,” said the venue’s music and entertainment director, Matt Rule. The venue has converted its large music staging area into a bowling alley, inspired by the famous Brooklyn Bowl in New York. As Sydney succumbs to the pressure of these lockouts, Maxi Shields is afraid Oxford Street will lose its iconcic status as a party precinct. “Sydney is - well, was - an international city,” she said. “Now it is a ghost town by 3am.”

Moore opposes compulsory vote for business Council trigeneration BY JOHN GOODING Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s office has lashed out at recommendations made by a NSW parliamentary inquiry which would require all local businesses to vote in council elections. The Electoral Matters Committee report recommends the City of Sydney adopt the electoral model used by the City of Melbourne “in all respects,” which includes compulsory voting for those on the non-residential electoral roll. Those constituents include landlords, businesses and business owners. Under current legislation the roll lapses after each election, meaning non-residents must reapply for the next poll. The inquiry recommends these electors are no longer required to continuously re-apply. The City gave the NSW Electoral

Commission more than $200,000 to raise awareness of voting rights among businesses ahead of the 2012 election. In total, 1709 non-residents enrolled to vote out of 80,000 who may have been eligible. But the Lord Mayor’s office believes there are ulterior motives at play. It is speculated that these measures could result in an increased conservative vote. “Any politically-motivated changes to the City of Sydney electoral process will be seen by voters as a cynical ploy to try and take control of the City council,” a spokesperson for the Lord Mayor told City News. “These recommendations take us back to the bad old days of the 1990s. In 1995 concerns about the City’s electoral roll being inaccurate and out of date led to NSW Crown Solicitor warning it would be ‘unsafe

Against compulsory voting for businesses: Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore

Published weekly and distributed in the CBD, Pyrmont, Ultimo, Surry Hills, Woolloomooloo, Darlinghurst, East Sydney, Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay, Rushcutters Bay, Chippendale and Glebe. Distribution enquiries call 9212 5677. Published by the Alternative Media Group of Australia. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of content, The City News takes no responsibility for inadvertent errors or omissions. ABN 48 135 222 169 Group Publisher: Lawrence Gibbons Group Manager: Chris Peken Group Editor: Michael Koziol City News Editor: Triana O’Keefe Contributing Editors: Paul Gregoire and Daniel Paperny Contributors: Brendan Day, Georgia Fullerton, John Gooding and Virat Nehru Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Live Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley Dining Editor: Jackie McMillan Advertising Managers: David Sullivan, Toni Martelli, Robert Tuitama and George Tinnyunt Design: Joanna Grace Publisher’s Assistant: Deeksha Chopra Distribution Manager: Danish Ali Cover: Chris Peken - Maxi Shield Email: Advertising: Contact: PO Box 843 Broadway 2007 Ph: 9212 5677 Fax: 9212 5633 Web:

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to hold an election for the City of Sydney’. “Implementing the Melbourne model will require a costly army of bureaucrats to work out who is entitled to be on the roll. The Australian Electoral Commission, which looks after resident voters, does not track information about the turnover of businesses.” In its submission to the inquiry, the NSW Business Chamber indicated it is “very concerned that the number of businesses participating in local government elections has dropped sharply over recent years,” and believes that “this trend must be reversed as a matter of priority.” They argued the requirement to re-enrol before each election is “a source of major frustration with members of the chamber”. Both the NSW branch of the Liberal Party and Liberal councillor Christine Forster, whose relationship with the Lord Mayor is often antagonistic, also argued the low non-residential vote is a problem in their submissions to the inquiry. “These businesses can, and should, have a significant voice in the democratic process of determining who is elected as Lord Mayor and councilors in Australia’s biggest commercial and only truly global city,” Cr Forster wrote. “Yet the numbers of nonresidential voters have plunged over recent electoral cycles to levels at which the sector is virtually disenfranchised.”

‘reckless’: report

BY MICHAEL KOZIOL A statutory committee report has condemned the City of Sydney’s pursuit of trigeneration at Green Square as “reckless” and says the modelling was based on “incorrect or uncertain factors”. The state parliamentary Public Accounts Committee report, ‘Polygeneration in New South Wales’, found multiple shortcomings and inconsistencies in the certification system for such emerging technologies. Council reported that its trigeneration plans stalled because of uncertain gas and electricity prices, flaws in the energy rating system and the slow pace of regulatory reform. Committee chair Jonathan O’Dea accepted those points but concluded: “While the City of Sydney’s aims are commendable, it is reckless to spend significant amounts of public money based on incorrect assumptions.” The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) only recognises onsite polygeneration as cleaner energy supply, ignoring off-site or precinct-level generators. Some stakeholders, including the City of Sydney, interpreted

a 2010 ruling by NABERS as an incentive to invest in more efficient precinct-scale technologies. But a later clarification appeared to overturn this. The committee stopped short of recommending an overhaul to the certification system, acknowledging “the importance of maintaining the integrity of the NABERS system”. “The committee recognises the problems encountered by the City of Sydney in its attempts to establish a largescale polygeneration precinct at Green Square,” the report noted. “However, the committee questions the amount of work undertaken by the City

of Sydney, and the inherent financial risk, when the modelling was based on incorrect or uncertain factors. ‘The committee considers that, in the current regulatory framework, the City of Sydney has set overly ambitious targets for its precincts.” Liberal councillor Christine Forster said the report vindicates her long-held position against trigeneration. “Technically and commercially, it was a highrisk project,” she said. “As a general principle, I think we have better things to be doing.” But Cr Forster said she would consider supporting future trigeneration projects if changes to the regulatory environment make it viable. “If the economics stack up, absolutely. However, I would still argue it’s beyond our expertise.”

Concept designs of a Green Square tower were released last week. The City had planned to use partly power the precinct using trigen.

EXCLUSIVE Funding set for mark against bike hub Walsh Bay festival Black by Triana O’Keefe different communities including LGBTI

BY JOHN GOODING A new community festival in Walsh Bay will attempt to bring people back to the area’s quiet streets and assist struggling retailers. The Walsh Bay Arts Festival, the brainchild of Walsh Bay Arts and Commerce, is expected to take place in December. “We’ve had shopfronts empty for seven or eight years because of lack of foot traffic,” said WBAC coordinator Brigit Kennedy. “Only through having festivals have we been able to establish some understanding of where Walsh Bay is.” Historically the area has a strong reputation for the performing arts. WBAC represents all arts companies based the area, which includes the Sydney Theatre Company, the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and the Sydney Dance Company. The City of Sydney is set to approve a $30,000 grant for the festival. According to a sub-committee report, contributions from local businesses and arts companies totals $120,000, but the festival would require an additional $30,000

to cover infrastructure requirements, marketing and publicity. “The festival will lift the profile of one of Australia’s unique arts precincts locally and nationally,” the report states. In 2010 the precinct hosted an open day which attracted 10,000 attendees, but was lacked the resources to make the event a regular occurrence. According to the City of Sydney, approximately 20,000 people are expected to attend. “There’s a lot you need when you’re first starting off,” Ms Kennedy said. “It’s not sustainable to do it through grants all the time; we’ve got a consultant in to make it sustainable. “We want to run off the Sydney Writers Festival model, where some events you charge for and some events are free.” Kennedy said that the festival would build on the “cross-pollination” of audiences between events and organisations, and would help turn around the precinct’s economic misfortune. For more information visit:

Former City of Sydney councillor Phillip Black has raised concerns about the proposed Taylor Square bike hub, urging the City to instead establish a museum or gallery to boost its cultural program. Since 2013, when significant discussions were being held to consider a permanent exhibition space and the City’s cultural policy discussion paper was released, Mr Black has called for greater cultural exhibition within the City of Sydney. “The City holds a very significant ‘civic art and items collection’ that rarely sees the light of day, except for furnishing Sydney Town Hall and other civic places,” he said. “The council has no ‘city gallery’, unlike many other local governments including Manly or Lane Cove. There are historical reasons for this lack, but the issue is not even touched upon in the City of Sydney’s cultural discussion paper.” The establishment of a gallery would enable the exhibition of this collection, encourage philanthropy and host community-curated exhibitions from all

groups, Mr Black said. “It will ensure that a proper investigative process will occur to seek property, funding, staff and cultural program development,” he told City News. “I encourage the LGBTI community to lobby for the City of Sydney to establish a community cultural gallery that will include LGBTI exhibitions.” Liberal councillor Christine Forster has argued that the old T2 building should have become a permanent gay and lesbian museum. A motion to pursue that was rejected at the most recent council meeting. “Many community members with whom I have discussed the proposal have expressed broad and enthusiastic support,” Cr Forster said. “Clover Moore, however, still needs to be convinced.” Mr Black agreed that “conducting an investigation to establish the feasibility of continuing such an exhibition space would have been wise and prudent”. He was a member of the Clover Moore Independent Team while on council.

A pop-up LGBTI exhibition space during last year’s Mardi Gras festival


BY PAUL GREGOIRE With the federal government poised to confirm Badgerys Creek as the location of the city’s second airport, Marrickville Council and residents have condemned Sydney Airport’s new master plan, which they argue will increase air traffic and noise over the inner west. Federal infrastructure minister Warren Truss approved the Master Plan 2033 in February, but disagreed with Sydney Airport’s projections that indicated a second airport would not be required. Tempe resident Patrick McInerney said it was “ridiculous” that the plan makes allowances for aircraft movements outside the airport curfew times. “What they’re trying to do is increase the capacity of the airport but also increase the capacity for noise over our area,” he said.


“They are trying to show evidence that there is no need for a second airport. I mean - the curfew was put into place for a good reason and it should be held.” Mr McInerney supports the second airport at Badgerys Creek because it is expected to create more than 100,000 jobs in Western Sydney and “will minimise the issues that we have with aircraft noise”. Marrickville Labor councillor Chris Woods said the second airport is the solution to accommodating increased air traffic in Sydney. He pointed out that the master plan predicts passenger numbers and freight to double, yet only proposes an increase of flights by a third. “A second airport for Sydney would certainly have the ability to handle the spill over if the flight and passenger predictions prove to be

inaccurate,” he said. The Greens Party opposes a second airport but wants KingsfordSmith to be closed and replaced at another location. Councillor Max Phillips does not contend that another airport would reduce air traffic noise. “That might mean that all the regional flights and freight aircraft will go to the second airport and that frees up more slots for larger aircraft to come into Kingsford Smith,” he said. Cr Phillips fears that a second airport could become a “white elephant” that nobody uses and proposes that a replacement airport should be built, but not necessarily at Badgerys Creek. “If a replacement airport can be found and built then…we should look at closing Kingsford Smith down,” he said. “That’s what they’ve done overseas when they’ve had inner city airports that are causing too much noise like in Oslo.” A spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development said plans for a second airport would not affect the current Master Plan. “The owners of Sydney Airport will be required to submit a new master plan well before a second airport is operational,” the spokesperson said. “The government is committed to maintaining the regulatory arrangements in place at Sydney balance the needs of the airport and community amenity.”

Norrie wins case against gender binary

BY MICHAEL KOZIOL After a legal fight spanning several years and five levels of courts and tribunals, transgender activist Norrie mAy-welby has finally prevailed in the nation’s highest court. The High Court of Australia yesterday dismissed an appeal from the NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages and upheld a NSW Court of Appeal decision allowing a person to be recognised as neither ‘male’ nor ‘female’ on their birth certificate. The judgment stated that “not all human beings can be classified by sex as either male or female”. Norrie first applied to be identified as sex “non-specific” in 2010. Yesterday’s High Court judgment was unanimous and Norrie’s solicitor, Scott McDonald, described the verdict as decisive and “a very positive outcome”. The court’s ruling demonstrates “there is nothing in the enabling limit sex to a binary concept of being male or female, even in the circumstances of a sex change”, Mr McDonald said. “We now know that our existing laws are capable of including and recognising sex and gender diverse people.” At a press conference in Sydney, Norrie told of their relief and joy at the final outcome. “I am extremely excited, this is a marvellous victory, it’s a fantastic thing not just for one person but for the huge team of people who worked towards this,” they said. Mr McDonald suggested the High Court verdict could open up the opportunity for

people to register as genders other than “nonspecific”, which was Norrie’s preferred term. He said the decision would have Australiawide implications and although by no means a world first, was an issue that had not been tested before at the High Court level. Mr McDonald said the Registrar had “a fairly tough day in court” on March 4, when the case was heard in a succinct session by five High Court justices. Norrie told reporters it was an important step in securing equality for gender diverse people. “It’s important for people to have equal rights in society,” they said. “Why should people be left out because they’re not male or female?” With characteristic flair Norrie flagged their intention to celebrate with a few friends and wait for the Registar to “cough up the goods”. “It’s [been] swings and roundabouts but I’m on Wikipedia now,” they said with a smile. Photo: Michael Koziol

Marrickville makes noise over airport master plan

Celebrating: Norrie mAy-welby in Sydney yesterday


they’re being overrun with very little ability to have any say about that. We all want to raise our children here but the needs of kids and families seem to be a long way down the pecking order.” Ms Sharpe wants to revisit the issue of the proposed light rail path down Devonshire Street in the north-eastern corner of the electorate, and said the state government has not fully investigated the underground alternatives. She welcomed the opening of the inner west light rail extension but said the government’s failure to deliver the GreenWay is “a lost opportunity”. Among the three major issues on which Ms Leong will focus is removing abortion as an offence Photo: Chris Peken

BY Paul Gregoire & Michael Koziol Labor’s Penny Sharpe and the Greens’ Jenny Leong have both identified affordable housing as a priority issue for the seat of Newtown ahead of next year’s state election. Ms Sharpe, a sitting member of the upper house, won Labor’s community preselection at the weekend with 64 per cent of the branch vote and 58 per cent of the open community vote. About 1500 voted in the preselection, from a possible 50,000, to elect Ms Sharpe ahead of candidates Sean Macken and Natalie Gould. Ms Leong was preselected the previous weekend, narrowly defeating former Marrickville mayor Fiona Byrne. Among the local issues she wants to tackle are affordable housing, inaccessibility of train stations, demands on working women and a lack of child care availability. Ms Sharpe said that while she recognises the need for some development in the innercity, social and community considerations need to receive sufficient attention. “For Sydney to be a sustainable and global city, it can’t just continue to expand on the margins. That necessarily means that increased density is a part of it,” she said. “[But] the community feels like

Greens candidate Jenny Leong

under the Crimes Act. “A woman’s right to choose is a fundamental human right,” she said. “The fact that in NSW we still have that criminalised is hugely problematic and what it does is opens up the doors for these kinds of one-off laws, like Zoe’s Law.” Ms Leong said the state has been moving backwards with attacks on civil liberties and an increase in police powers. She is taking aim at is the O’Farrell government’s lockout laws and the suite of measures that accompanied them, such as mandatory sentencing and last drinks. “People in Newtown love living in a vibrant city,” Ms Leong said. “To actually attempt to shut down some of our vibrant nightlife and also increase police powers I think is a huge concern.” Formerly the crisis response campaign coordinator for Amnesty International, Ms Leong is also supporting upper house Greens member John Kaye’s push for a transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity in NSW. Ms Leong was generally seen as a slightly more conservative candidate than Greens rival Fiona Byrne, who was tainted by her support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. Ms Sharpe is from Labor’s left faction, and both

Photo: Chris Peken

Jenny v. Penny: the battle for Newtown

Labor candidate Penny Sharpe

candidates share policy goals in many areas. For Ms Leong, the difference is one of authenticity. “Having a really strong progressive voice to represent the people of Newtown in state parliament, that can stand up for the things that people in Newtown actually support and believe in, is a way for us to start setting the agenda,” she said. But Ms Sharpe, currently the shadow transport minister, said Labor is the party which can form government and deliver tangible results for Newtown. “I’ll be a senior member of the team. I’ll be at the decision making table,” she said.


New bike lane to complete link

by Michael Koziol A direct cycle route between the harbour and Botany Bay will finally be realised following the construction of a missing link along Bourke Street, the City of Sydney has announced. The council has confirmed the cycleway will be a shared path adorning both sides of Bourke Street between Phillip and Wyndham streets in Waterloo, adding to the 50 kilometres of shared pathway in central Sydney. “While our preference is to install separated cycleways whenever possible, Bourke Street Waterloo is a clearway and repeated requests to install a separated cycleway were refused by the state [government],” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said. “City staff have done extensive work upgrading the design of the path to ensure it is safe for all road users.” The final design will include lighting upgrades, improved signage and 40 new trees. According to the Lord Mayor, more than 450 bike riders use the Waterloo part of Bourke Street every weekday.

The shared path will “provide safe infrastructure for less confident and younger bike riders, giving everyone a chance to get around”. The additional shared path is likely to draw a mixed response. The cycling group BIKE Sydney had been pushing for a separated bike lane, stating in December: “We think it is vital that the City of Sydney’s flagship cycling route should be delivered as a separated cycleway for its entire length.” But the shared zones are popular with pedestrians who object to cyclists who decline to use the road. “I am so sick of sharing footpaths (not shared zones) with cyclists who flagrantly engage in this illegal behaviour,” Elizabeth Elenius, convener of Pyrmont Action Inc, wrote to City News. “I am also so sick of being verbally abused by cyclists whom I politely try to educate.” Construction is expected to begin in December and be completed by the end of 2015, four years after consultation on the project started.

Kirby tells of North Korea atrocities

BY Michael Koziol Retired High Court justice Michael Kirby has told a Sydney University audience of his personal shock at the revelations made by North Korean defectors during a commission of inquiry he headed into crimes against humanity committed by the outcast regime. The year-long investigation released its report in February and found evidence of crimes including abduction of foreign nationals, imprisonment and extermination of political opponents, and piracy. Mr Kirby will travel to New York later this month to present the findings to the United Nations. “In my 34 years as an Australian judge… nothing that I had ever done prepared me for the horrors revealed in the testimony of the North Koreans,” Mr Kirby said on Monday. The highly-respected former judge said he began the inquiry not knowing a great deal about the secretive state and had a degree of openmindedness.


“I certainly didn’t believe everything about North Korea that I read in the media.” But having concluded the investigation Mr Kirby has likened the alleged crimes to those of the Nazis, Khmer Rouge and apartheid South Africa. He told the university audience of political prisoners arrested for seemingly trivial matters and associations, who were then starved and abused in camps where they were forced to eat grass, lizards and rodents to stay alive. “Contrary to the assertion of North Korea, everything in human rights in North Korea was not good – it was bad. Very bad. And it had to be revealed.” The inquiry was refused access to North Korea by the tightlycontrolled regime, who viewed it as a puppet of the United States. Instead, Mr Kirby and his fellow commissioners received testimony from defectors and refugees in Seoul, Tokyo, London, Washington D.C. and Bangkok. The case could be referred to the ICC.

Fellowship of the arts Gold-plated pissoirs BY GEORGIA FULLERTON The NSW government has invited local visual artists to apply for a $30,000 grant aimed at facilitating professional development and community support as part of a 2014 fellowship from Arts NSW. Applicants in the first eight years of their professional practice can apply for the grant, which will support a selfdirected program covering overseas travel, internships, workshops and research. A shortlist of up to 12 artists will be selected to participate in an exhibition

at Artspace Visual Arts Centre in Woolloomooloo. Gabrielle Upton, MP for Vaucluse and Minister for Sports and Recreation, said the initiative was an excellent opportunity for local artists. “The NSW Government is offering this fellowship as part of its commitment to supporting the professional development of artists in the community,” she said. Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith said it will allow local emerging visual artists to gain recognition for their work. “[They will] exhibit

Jamie North’s 2013 exhibition Innerouter at the Sarah Cottier Gallery

in an internationally recognised arts centre, and receive support for their professional development,” he told City News. Last year’s fellowship winner, sculptor Jamie North, travelled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to undertake a residency with new materials and technology. As part of his fellowship grant, North worked with the Calgon Carbon Company and Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens to investigate “humanimpacted landscapes” in America through the mediums of sculpture and photography. Sydney based painter Sinead McLaughlin praised the initiative for its attempt to retain and nurture emerging Australian artists. “I think the fellowship is a terrific idea, there is so much talent out there and unfortunately it’s hard to maintain and extend that talent without the proper means to do so,” she said. “The fellowship means artists can have the option to travel and utilise their skills. Without [this] opportunity, the raw talent that exists in Australia would really go to waste.”

SKETCH by Michael Koziol Half a million dollars for a toilet? Well, not quite. But there was momentary confusion at Monday’s council meeting over whether the City of Sydney was poised to approve $500,000 in expenditure on pop-up urinals. The ‘public toilet strategy’ will investigate the permanent installation of retractable urinals in party-zones such as Kings Cross, which have been trialed in previous summers. It was later clarified that the $500,000 will fund both the investigation and installation of the toilets, pending council approval. Liberal councillor Edward Mandla asked whether the open-air toilets would be permissible under state law. “Given that we don’t know, it’s impossible for [me] to vote for something that’s illegal,” he said. The legality of the urinals was not confirmed, but the City’s manager of business and safety Suzie Matthews said they were used by many other world cities including London, and noted that the design prevents bystanders from witnessing urination. Cr Mandla also condemned

the proposed toilets as discriminatory, because in most cases they are not accessible for women or the handicapped. “So what we’re saying is that this [public urination] is a problem of men?” he asked. Ms Matthews acknowledged the problem and said: “Obviously we need a range of toilets for our range of population.” Cr Mandla objected to a variety of proposals at Monday’s meetings, including the supply of magazines at city libraries (“Lesbians on the Loose” was singled out for criticism) and a plan to encourage green roofs and walls (he described the award-winning Central Park buildings as “just awful” because “they look like they’re about to decay and collapse”). Meanwhile, City News noted an abundance of pink and red jackets adorning female councillors and staff, for no discernable charity or cause. Labor councillor Linda Scott welcomed the return of her party’s colour to the chamber. “I’m a chardonnay socialist!” she was later overheard to joke.


approval in a pre-gateway review by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) on February 3, with the application now set for a re-evaluation by Waverley Council planning officers. Waverley councillor Paula Masselos said that by appealing to the PAC, the developer is “challenging” Waverley Council’s interpretation of the Local Environment Plan 2012 and this could set a dangerous precedent for future developments in Bronte. “PAC should never have approved it. What it’s actually doing is giving the developer another avenue that is not appropriate,” she said. Photo: Chris Peken

BY DANIEL PAPERNY A planned redevelopment of Bronte RSL is “excessive” and “inappropriate” because of its impact on child safety and traffic movement within Bronte, says Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith. Located at 113 Macpherson Street, the RSL site is subject to a development application by Winston Langley Burlington, which would create a six-storey commercial retail space with a Harris Farm supermarket if approved. “The presence of a supermarket would mean delivery trucks would cause serious traffic issues in a currently quiet residential area and create a dangerous situation for schoolchildren from Clovelly Public School, who will have to share the road with those trucks,” Mr NotleySmith told City News. Mr Notley-Smith argued that while the RSL site is in need of redevelopment, the proposal is “far in excess” of what the community wants. Despite both Waverley Council and the JRPP unanimously turning down the proposal, Winston Langley Burlington appealed to planning minister Brad Hazzard with the DA submitted for consideration together with new zoning regulations proposed by the developer. Under the new zoning, the proposal was recommended for

“If the DA is approved, it’s going to have a domino effect [and] I don’t think that the area can cope with this.” Dr Stephen Lightfoot of community group ‘Save Bronte Village’ said the PAC’s decision contravenes Mr Hazzard’s promise to returning planning powers to communities and local councils. “[Mr Hazzard] promised to allow councils and communities to set the vision and rules for development in their local areas and what he’s the exact opposite. It’s just not right.” In July 2013, Waverley Council unanimously rejected the application on the grounds its size and bulk were in excess of floor space restrictions, with the proposed site reaching a height of 20 metres – more than 7 metres above the permissible zoning regulations. “I think it’s clear to everybody that this proposal is beyond reason for that site and for the unique Bronte Village,” Mr Notley-Smith said. “I have been fighting to ensure that this [application] doesn’t get up and it’s not over yet. I have argued my case and the case of the residents until I’m blue in the face with the [NSW] Minister [of Planning] and I will continue to do it.” Mr Notley-Smith will lead a delegation of Bronte residents and Waverley Council representatives to meet with Department of Planning director-general Sam Haddad to discuss the future of the Bronte RSL site on April 10.

Pedestrian safety project unveiled BY BRENDAN DAY Waverley councillor Leon Goltsman has welcomed a $300,000 project proposed by the NSW government to improve pedestrian safety on Old South Head Road. If approved, the project will install new crossing points at Kobada, Military and Diamond Bay roads, as well as renovate existing pedestrian refuges at Lancaster Road and Princess Street. The initiative comes as a response to concerns over pedestrian safety shared by the state government and local community. “The purpose is to improve pedestrian safety and access, especially to and from bus stops in response to high traffic volumes and pedestrian crashes,” a spokesperson for Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) said. Mr Goltsman spoke positively of the project, saying the interactions he enjoyed with members of the public indicated it would be received warmly. “When I’ve had a coffee and talked to locals about the crossings, it’s clear that people think [the refuges] are inadequate,” he said. “It’s good to see that something is being done about it.” A spokesperson for RMS confirmed there would be a reduction in available parking along Old South Head Road, with 24 parking spaces

scheduled to be removed. “Changes to kerbside parking spaces and relocation of bus stops would be required to ensure safety and visibility of pedestrians,” the spokesperson said. “The existing pedestrian refuges at Princess Street and Lancaster Road will be widened and some parking will need to be removed to ensure they meet Australian standards. “There would be no changes to traffic lanes as part of the work which would likely start before June if the project is approved.” With kerbside parking already scarce, Mr Goltsman predicted the decision to further reduce the availability of parking may upset some local residents and visitors. “It’s going to be a little bit more difficult to park along there now, and there will be some people who will be disrupted by this,” he said. But Mr Goltsman remains a supporter of the project, arguing its benefits were far greater than its drawbacks. “Overall, it’s certainly a positive outcome for the pedestrians and drivers who deal with Old South Head Road,” he said. “Safety should always be our highest priority and the slight reduction in parking spaces is definitely outweighed by the increase in pedestrian protection.” Source: RMS

Bruce on Bronte: RSL proposal ‘beyond reason’

Proposed pedestrian refuges on Old South Head Road

could all be at risk. “Council confirmed that there are no parameters,” he told City News. But Waverley Mayor Sally Betts argued the process will allow residents to give feedback and help council develop a comprehensive strategic plan that best benefits the area. “We want to involve the community from the beginning,” she said. “The state government is looking to shift the way we look at planning [and] we are saying, ‘Let’s look at this area strategically - what do you want?’” “We are talking about buildings, parks, traffic, amenity and asking residents, ‘What do you want your world to look like? Do you

Photo: Newtown Graffiti via Flickr

By VIRAT NEHRU Waverley Council will hold a second community consultation tonight regarding its plans for West Oxford St in Bondi and the Waverley Bus depot. The consultation is part of council’s ‘charrette’, an intensive planning and design phase, to develop a strategic plan for Bondi Junction. Concerns have been raised the charrette may amend parameters that were set by Waverley’s Local Environment Plan (LEP) and the Development Control Plan (DCP) in 2012, with the Save West Oxford Street community group requesting clarification about its scope. Waverley Greens councillor Dominic Wy Kanak said heritage provisions, existing zoning and airspace over Syd Einfeld Drive

In need of work: the western half of Oxford Street, Bondi Junction


want another childcare centre, do you want more playground equipment?” But Mr Wy Kanak said council was aligning itself to a prodevelopmental agenda which could prove detrimental for the local community. “Council appears to be aligning with the O’Farrell government’s asset sales objectives by reviewing the zoning status of the bus depot, and is also responding to developer pressure in a climate of planning laissez-faire (anything goes) to re-shape the western end of Bondi Junction,” he said. Labor councillor Paula Masselos argued council should stand firm about enforcing the existing guidelines in the LEP, putting the interests of the community first. “There is a potential to make Bondi Junction even more congested. Do you know what a crawl it is to go up Oxford Street? We shouldn’t be looking at a design charrette that has the potential to challenge the existing LEP,” she said. But a spokesperson for Waverley Council said any changes to the LEP and DCP will necessitate comprehensive community input and discussion. Labor councillor John Wakefield said a lack of transparency in discussions about the future of the Waverley Bus depot is the bigger issue.

“With full transparency, if the mayor had declared her meeting with the minister responsible for the sale of the bus depot…would the councillors have made the same decision?” he asked. Mayor Sally Betts responded that there is no hidden agenda, with a mayoral report on the discussions to be presented before Waverley Council on April 22. “The state government said at some stage in the future they are interested in maximising all of their properties [but] there was no plan,” she said. “We arranged a meeting to ask what their intention was [but] they did not say ‘sell the bus depot’. We told them we had a master plan for Bondi Junction. I’m not sure what’s not transparent [here],” she said. A spokesperson for Waverley Council said council was adopting a proactive approach for strategic planning. “We are asking the community what they want their precinct to look and feel like. It is not only a matter of buildings: it is about … making Bondi Junction a sustainable liveable city.” The second community consultation will be held from 5:30 to 7:30pm tonight, April 3, at the Waverley Library Theatrette in Bondi Junction. Daniel Paperny contributed additional reporting.

Cartoon: Peter Berner

Council lock-step with state government, critics say

Meet the Locals

Meet the Locals introduces you to local businesses that support a local independent press. By choosing to market themselves locally, these businesses are encouraging people to shop locally. By supporting local business, you are keeping money and jobs at home. So if you support your community, support these local businesses. Together we can keep Sydney unique, vibrant and sustainable.

Deli Fresco

Shop 12-13 Spring St, Eastgate Shopping Centre. Bondi Junction (02) 9387 3067. Like to entertain? Platters of fine meats and cheeses take your fancy? Then look no further than Deli Fresco. This family run business has over 25 years experience in the deli game and has won multiple awards for their outstanding selection and diverse options. Specialising in fine cheeses, Deli Fresco makes a point of offering weekly specials and samples. “Don’t be shy in asking us for a taste,” says owner Roy Barbaro. “Our policy is try before you buy.” With a large number of our community requiring

special dietary considerations, Deli Fresco has recently updated their ticketing system to include important information including gluten free and coeliac options. Deli Fresco prides themselves on authentic products that won’t disappoint. Roy recommends the Polish Smoked Garlic Sausage that can be enjoyed on a cheese platter or lightly fried on a barbecue.

The Cat Protection Society Op Shop

85 Enmore Road, Newtown. 9516 2072. Love a good vintage bargain? Best of Sydney 2013 award-winner, the Cat Protection Society’s

Enmore Road Op Shop has you covered. “We receive some incredible donations from designer clothes to unwanted gifts that are as good as new” says Cat Protection CEO, Kristina Vesk. “Whether you’re after a unique collectable or just a bargain read at $2, you’re bound to find a great buy.” Following renovations and a new marketing strategy, the Op Shop promises to be “even better than before.” Ms Vesk explains that “new technologies, cheap imports and changing

demographics were challenging the traditional ‘op shop’ model. Add to that increasing costs in rent and utilities and we had to look at how we could sustain profitability.” The important part of buying from the Cat Protection Society Op Shop is that you are supporting the environment by applying the principles of re-use and recycle and you’re also helping our feline welfare work. Is there a more satisfying way to shop?

the finest international cabinet making skills, giving them the ability to cater to every home setting. Conveniently located in Sydney’s thriving inner west, with Annandale Interiors you can shop locally and come away with furnishings that evoke your individuality and unique living space.

EMU productions trading as King Street Theatre

Annandale Interiors

38-42 Parramatta Road, Stanmore (02) 9565 1275 When you step into the showroom at Annandale Interiors, what you’ll find is one of the finest furniture and homeware collections in Australia. Whether you’re selecting leather, timber or fabric, they’ve got just what you’re looking for. At Annandale Interiors, they believe that furniture should complement the environment and architecture that’s particular to your home. With a wide range of leather goods, coupled with a colour palette that covers the spectrum, you’ll find you can select not only the piece that suits your lifestyle, but actually you’ll have several to choose from. And Annandale Interiors has a vast timber collection with a custom design service that utilises

644 King Street, Newtown 0403 070 004 To catch enriching and of-the-moment productions by some of Sydney’s top emerging and established artists, the only theatre to attend is King Street Theatre. Sydney’s only off-Broadway theatre, King Street Theatre has become a cultural hub for all types of entertainment, from drama to musicals to cabaret. King Street Theatre has gone through something of a renaissance since EMU Productions took the reins in 2012. The aim with each of their productions is “nurturing all arts to live, rather than just survive”, that’s why they’re on the lips of every theatre goer in the inner west. Since 1984, EMU Productions has been supplying theatre companies across Europe with quality production services. After they took the trip down under in ’94, they’ve made quite the impact on the local theatre scene. For entertainment, culture – for that show that summons emotions that you’ll never leave behind head to King Street Theatre.

First Hand Aboriginal Workshops and Market Day

By Georgia Fullerton Sydneysiders now have the chance to learn ancient Aboriginal arts and crafts on the first Sunday of every month. Launched on March 2, the interactive craft workshops join Sydney’s Black Markets on La Perouse’s historic Bare Island. The first of these markets were held in December 2013 and deemed such a success that they are built on in 2014 with a regular program. Traditional Aboriginal teachers like Laddie Timbery share their talents in basket weaving, spear making, shell and boomerang art, as they teach the workshops. The idea is to offer an authentic Aboriginal tourism experience whilst supporting the traditional intergenerational passing down of knowledge from elders. CEO of First Hand Solutions, Peter Cooley, says: “First Hand Aboriginal Workshops and Black Markets came about after we noticed a gap in the market for an authentic Aboriginal tourism experience in Sydney. Our motivation to fill this gap came when we realised that by reviving the Aboriginal tourism experience that used to attract international visitors to La Perouse right up to the 1950s, we would also be providing local Aboriginal people with an opportunity to be involved in the local economy. As well as providing [an opportunity for] Aboriginal youth to learn about their culture.” First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation is a registered charity supporting solutions to issues faced by Aboriginal peoples. Cooley says, “After 20 years working

on the ground with Aboriginal youth, I realised their sense of disconnection was largely due to the breakdown in our communities, something which is stopping Aboriginal elders from passing knowledge down to the young.” The social enterprise is hoping to inject funds back into the local Aboriginal community. Cooley continues, “The beauty of paying to participate in these workshops is you are not only learning from skilled Aboriginal people but are also part of a social change that is enabling Aboriginal youth to learn about their culture, which increases their resilience,” he says. “We set up the Black Markets as Bare Island provided such a great space to do this with its tunnels and parade ground. We never would have predicted the response we got from the local community, providing them with a marketplace so close to their homes.” The location of the markets holds historic significance to the locals. Jordan Ardler is an Aboriginal artist from the Dharawal people at La Perouse, who has a dot-painted jewellery box stall at the markets. She is very involved in her community. Ardler says: “The markets for me are such an exciting event. It’s a time when I get to see a lot of the people from my community in one place. I also get to meet so many people from around Sydney who come and experience the culture I love so much.” The young artist feels the markets are a wonderful way to encourage youth to engage with her “beautiful culture”.

“I think the markets are so important [for] the promotion of our culture. Everyone knows that La Perouse has a strong Aboriginal history but this event shows that our culture is still here and very much alive today,” says Ardler. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons comprise 2.4 per cent of the population, however they currently make up 22 per cent of the Australian Prisoner population. Cooley believes this is partly due to a disconnect amongst Aboriginal peoples from their culture and identity. “There is an array of social problems, including some of the highest youth suicide rates in the world. Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander youth are 19 times more likely to be detained in a juvenile facility.” Cooley is not concerned about any protests to ancient cultural knowledge moving outside Indigenous Communities. “We’ve had no issues, in fact it has been quite the reverse. On our Bare Island Market days you have Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the same room learning from our skilled teachers and the rooms are abuzz with everyone learning together. When black and white get together, they start yarning.” Cooley continues, “I think what people are realising is that our workshops and market days are not about Aboriginal culture at the end of a microphone. This is about having real conversations with Aboriginal people - all together.” First Sunday of every month, Anzac Parade, Bare Island, La Perouse, $2-100, first-hand

Artist Laddie Timbery’s Corroboree Studio


The Hill Eatery By Alex Harmon Breakfast at The Hill is quite a stimulating experience. With plant life draping the walls, brown leather sofas, and repurposed wood benches, there’s a bit of the ‘Little Barbershop of Horrors’ in the air – without the horrors, of course. When it comes to the food, $ - mains less than $15

$$ - mains between $15-$22

EASTERN SUBURBS Elmo’s Restaurant Yes, it’s in a club, but this deceptively exciting restaurant is in a glass box overlooking Coogee Beach. Manager Vinni Dias is an excellent guide (and enthusiast) for the traditional end of this Brazilian-influenced Australian menu that includes Pão de Queijo ($8) cheese bread and Sydney Rock Oysters ($18/6) with flavoursome ‘kiss peppers’, lime, Spanish onion, coriander and palmito.The latter ingredient is a revelation in Baked Palm Heart,Tomato, Chutney, Pimento & Gorgonzola ($16), too. Escondidinho de Cogumelos ($15) delivers four types of mushrooms sautéed in garlic and butter, buried

By Jackie McMillan it’s all about honesty. The owners believe in the farmto-table philosophy and source all their produce ethically. Although tempted by their breakfast cocktails, a bunch of joggers arrive and order the Green Juice ($6.50), so I jump on the bandwagon. With apple, mint, cucumber and citrus, I felt healthier just looking at it. Muffins are baked fresh daily and we were treated to Date, Banana and Chocolate ($4.50) straight out of the oven – pretty much heaven. Mexican Baked Eggs ($18.50) start the day off in good stead; that’s if you can finish it – it’s mountainous, with large envelopes of tortillas. Love Eggs ($16.50) gets it just right with field mushrooms, a fan of avocado, ricotta and poached eggs on sourdough. The Hill is also a bar of an evening, with a strong local following. With events such as wine tasting, function catering, and décor worthy of a cult-film set, they’re certainly making a mountain out of this North Bondi hill. 39-53 Campbell Parade Bondi (02) 9130 2200 Café, Breakfast, Bar $-$$ $$$ - mains between $22-$30

under cassava and cheese; but their biggest hit is Moqueca ($34) a red, coconut-enriched fish and prawn stew – oh and eight-buck Mojitos! Coogee Legion Ex-Service Club, 200 Arden Street, Coogee (02) 9665 8230 coogeelegionclub. Brazilian/Modern Australian $$-$$$ Mr. Moustache “Are you going to search me,” a giggling diner asks.Wearing rubber gloves, we’re about to dive into Tortita Ahogada ($12) - the cantina’s messiest dish - a delicious pork sandwich you “drown” with spicy salsa. On one side there’s an opulent bar, and on the other, a colourful kitchen reflecting Mexican street food culture. So drink Mezcal-based cocktails like El Original

$$$$ - mains over $30

del Diablo ($18) with homemade ginger beer against share plates: Seasonal Ceviche ($10);Tostaditas Pato ($12/3) - mini tacos with spicy duck - and Huitlacoche ($12/3) - black corn truffle, roasted corn and fresco cheese.Their star dessert is Plantos Machos ($11) – plantain, coffee liquor and burnt goat’s milk. 75-79 Hall Street, Bondi Beach (02) 9300 8892 Mexican, Cocktails $-$$ The Royal Paddington “He was smoking, I was eating and racking…” Okay, overheard Eastern Suburbs conversations up on the “hidden” rooftop terrace have a certain ruling class blasé about them but you should hike up all those stairs

The Unicorn By Alex Harmon Fringe Bar’s black and white checkered dance floor is gone, and like the mythical creature from which it takes its name, The Unicorn sprinkles some intrigue into the Paddo pub scene. Find yourself a nook and it could almost be a small bar, or head downstairs to and check it out anyway, breaking your journey with a drink in the eyecatching red and black Elephant Bar. Afterwards head to the white, salonstyle bistro, for Grant Burge ‘Holy Trinity’ ($15/glass) and a grazing meal. There’s Natural Oysters ($30/12) and sharing plates available in multiples of 1($10), 3 ($25) and 5 ($40). Duck Pancakes ($10) and Sizzling Garlic Prawns ($10) were my favourites, but the Grilled Haloumi ($10) isn’t bad either. 237 Glenmore Road, Paddington (02) 9331 2604 Pub Bistro $$-$$$ ROCKS & CBD Heritage Belgian Beer Café This beautiful beer café, housed in a restored 1914 St Patrick’s Girls’ School hall, is sympathetically

Easy Tiger, a nightclub that brings ‘1970’s American Hustle’ to the Eastern Suburbs. Cocktails pay homage to this alluring time, with the punch-packing classic the Negroni ($16), or a more easy-going Fancy Pants ($16) frothy refreshment with amaretto, citrus and apricot nectar.You know it’s not ordinary pub food when you can get a bowl of Activated Almonds ($5) with your beer.Yes, the menu is on the healthy side, from Grilled Haloumi ($12) - big planks of Greekstyle cheese with olives and capers - to Quinoa Salad ($13) with roasted pumpkin, beetroot, Binnorie Dairy feta and optional Grilled Chicken ($17). These are actually heartier than they sound, but if you’re still hungry, share a few Spicy Pork Tacos ($12) with a spectacular avocado coriander salsa – crunchy, hot and delicious, you might not want to share. Or ride solo with Prawn Linguine ($16), the kind of meal you want to devour alone. Just take the most secluded nook - that’s the beauty of these big-small bars. 106 Oxford Street, Paddington (02) 9360 7994 Pub Bistro, Cocktails $-$$

integrated with Harry Seidler’s neighbouring Cove Apartments. Start your Belgian beer adventure with silky Stella Artois ($9/330ml) poured in a nine-step ritual that ensures a creamy mousse. “Belgian beers are all about cleanliness,” Manager Gonzalo Burgos explains. My favourites were Leffe Blonde ($9/250ml) with a distinctive clove note that suited Abbey Cheese Croquettes ($15) with pear jam; and Duval ($13.50/330ml) with Duck Rillettes ($18), sharp pickles and rye bread.The house speciality is Moule Kilo Pots ($30). I take my mussels Roquefort with Chardonnay, cream and spinach, alongside Peche Lambic ($13/330ml) fruit beer. 135 Harrington Street,The Rocks (02) 9241 1775 Pub Bistro, Belgian $$$$

Gowings Bar & Grill Despite the glamour, I found this restaurant surprisingly approachable, and frequented by a diverse range of people. A casually dressed woman, relaxing with a novel and classic Prawn Cocktail ($18) for companionship, proves my point. Entertained by the lively sounds of the upstairs function space, you’re unlikely to feel lonely if you pop in for flavoursome Hot Spanner Crab Cakes ($19) or perfectly handled Darling Downs Black Angus Rib Eye ($48/350g) with condiments on the side.Tartare of Yellowfin Tuna ($18) is marvellously simple, whilst a pair of Whole Roasted Quails ($38) prove indulgent. Sides are necessary, and so is dessert – the perfectly pink pleasure of a layered verrine of Berry Mousse ($15). Level 1, 49 Market Street, Sydney (02) 8262 0062 Modern Australian $$$$


Wagyu House Barely outside the Inner West, a circus tent of lighting alerts you to this Korean mecca of meat. Pull your vehicle directly into what appears to be the centre of the restaurant; get met immediately by a smiling waiter. First timers are directed into one half of the restaurant – ‘The Butcher’ – which also owns two NSW wagyu farms. They deal in whole GREATER SYDNEY Sedap Malaysian Kopitiam Part café, part street-side hawker, this addition to Westfield Eastgardens new Banks Avenue dining precinct offers al fresco dining and paved paths. It feels like an artificial land, even on a busy Thursday evening. We relax into an Ice Coffee ($4) laced with heavenly condensed milk. Crisp Pork Rolls ($4/each) are wrapped in bean curd and come with a delicious garlic chilli sauce, while Szechuan Ribs ($15.80) are finger licking good. Everyone’s favourite Malaysian dish, Char Kuey Teow ($12) stacks up well with pork sausage. The Beef Rendang ($14.40) is spot on, but Ice Cendol ($6) ‘green worm’ and mung bean noodles on shaved ice might be

While the outward facelift hadn’t attracted my attention, the steampunk interior of this Pyrmont stalwart made me smile. From boilerplate bar, to repurposed materials like cracked leather stools and a railway signboard listing two dozen on-tap Aussie craft brews, it was hard to take it all in! Pausing for an easy-drinking Grainfed Brewing Co. Sneaky One ($5.50/reg) under the blue neon glow of an Insect-O-Cutor style sign, I surveyed lime-washed walls, softly distressed window frames, hipster

The Merton Hotel With “no pokies, and no gambling of any kind,” The Merton Hotel is “very familyoriented,” explains Bar Manager Jake Dylan. After a Peroni ($7.00/schooner) in the cosy front bar, we head to the bistro armed with the 2011 Botanica Chardonnay ($30/bottle).The menu combines the talents of a Thai Head Chef and a Mexican Sous Chef.We settle for Curry Goat ($23) - tender Booma Boers goat meat in a rich, flavoursome Caribbean curry. Tableside Pickapeppa Spicy Mango Sauce adds an element of


carcasses, slicing, diced and skewering them into an extensive, white-plate selection, ranging from mixed to marinated meats, vegetables and seafood. Spoiled for choice, we eventually lean towards marination: Chilli Seafood Sticks ($10/3), Angus Short Rib ($25) and Pork Belly Chilli ($20.64/259g) while bemoaning not bringing more friends! We pay, and they’re loaded into a shopping basket with a unique array of beverages – Baek Se Joo ($22/300ml) mellow Korean ginger and ginseng fermented rice wine, Asabiraki Sake ($35/300ml) and budget-friendly Korean Hite Beer ($7). By the time we’ve walked across the car park, our table is brimming with twelve different banchan – small vegetable sides – from kimchi to pickled cucumber and daikon, bean sprouts with sesame, and ultra-sweet carrot and potato hunks. There’s also a cabbage-based Korean coleslaw, two dipping sauces and lettuce leaves for wrapping your mouth-wateringly good self-barbequed charcoaled selections. Be warned: it’s joyous but very messy. 668-670 Parramatta Road, Croydon (02) 9797 9999 Korean $$

just for true Malay enthusiasts. Westfield Eastgardens, Banks Avenue, Eastgardens (02) 9344 7095 Malaysian $ Minskys Hotel This newly renovated hotel - subtly masculine without being alienating to women – has kept the 1am kitchen. Publican Anthony Brady says: “We want people to like this place.” He’s clearly proud of the new menu by Robert Oey, who doesn’t forget it’s a pub, but notches up the standards. He delivers a well-rendered Caramelised Pork Belly ($25) with Asian ‘slaw; Crisp School Prawns ($10) that won’t damage your mouth; and great Chicken Liver Pate ($11) with house-made chutney. There’s also a smart, underpriced cocktail list

Quarrymans Hotel


By Jackie McMillan

with a Salted Coconut Espresso Martini ($14), plus an Enomatic wine pouring system – great when you need a big glass of Pichot Vouvray Sec ($13/150ml glass, $21/225ml glass). 287 Military Road, Cremorne 9909 8888 Pub Bistro, Cocktails,Wine $$-$$$ DARLO, KINGS X & SURRY HILLS Rocafelas “If everyone’s going to evacuate and be scared of the area, I’m staying in,” declares Rocko Tozzi, son of Kings Cross hospitality royalty Antonello Tozzi. He and Nate Johnson are offering up a loosely 70s-themed Italian red-sauce diner where you can eat and drink inexpensively up to

aprons and Edison light bulbs dangling from pressed tin ceilings. I know, I know… but somehow here it avoids looking like a cliché; backed up by countless nooks and crannies, well-disguised gaming, and outdoor spaces from courtyards to balconies to a rooftop barbeque. The Drunken Fish first floor dining space offers up surprisingly tasty small plates – like Confit Chicken Wings ($14) on blackened corn, or the more substantial Berkshire Pork Belly ($14) with cider-stewed apples, pear, blue cheese, and raspberry vinegar pearls. Portion sizes fluctuate, though a smallish Prawn Pot ($13) ‘share plate’ does furnish you with a creamy chipotle sauce that goes with everything from Greens and Almonds ($8) to well-cooked Pan-Fried Snapper ($28) on kipflers, chorizo, corn and pickled jalapenos. And if Nail Brewing’s Rick Disnick ($6.50/reg) strawberry wheat beer’s on, you need it to live. 214-216 Harris Street, Pyrmont (02) 9660 0560 Pub Bistro $$$

sweetness to the robust flavours, enhancing Jamaican Jerk Chicken ($22) and Pulled Pork Tacos ($14/3) too.The Betel Leaves ($8/3) convince me to return to try the Thai dishes soon. 38 Victoria Road, Rozelle (02) 8065 9577 Pub Bistro,Wine,Thai, Jamaican $$ Nithik’s Kitchen Hankering for good Indian? This Rozelle gem by Chef Vikram Arumugam (exAki’s) has an innovative and flavoursome menu. Southern Indian Samuthiram ($18.90) is a definite favourite, layering school prawns, crab and rice pancakes with a creamy coconut sauce

and a side of Bengalese shrimp, chilli and tomato paste.Tree of Taste ($12.90) gives an oral and artistic demonstration of Vikram’s flavour palate. Great coconut chutney and homemade ghee notches Masala Dosa ($13) above most I’ve tried. Vikram’s curries are all great: from Meen Manga Charu ($25) of barramundi, coconut and green mango, to labour-intensive lychee-stuffed cottage cheese balls Lagaan Ke Kofti ($18) liberally dunked in cashew gravy and scattered with dried fruit. 679 Darling Street, Rozelle (02) 8084 8921 Indian $$-$$$

Belmore Lebanese Bakery Ten minutes from my Inner West stomping ground, Burwood Road, Belmore offers up a multicultural melange of cuisines including Korean, Chinese and at least five international bakeries. Owner of the Belmore Lebanese Bakery, Eddie Zanbaka tells me: “I am the oldest and probably the most established” of the lot. During my brunch he has a steady stream the city’s new witching hour of 3am. Alex Lehours’ artwork pushes you at the Stolen Spiced Rum Dark & Stormy ($14); or there’s Mulo ($16) – vodka, ginger and Ramazzotti – that compliments tasty Meatballs ($14) in rich tomato sauce. Kick on with longnecks in paper bags against simple standout pizzas like Pollo ($16) with chicken, avocado and mozzarella, or light’n’bright Capelli D’Angelo ($16) with rocket, chilli and prosciutto. 1 Kellett Street, Potts Point (02) 9360 0260 Italian, Pizza, Cocktails $-$$ The Carlisle Bar This bar wins my most sexy and clever cocktail title: Rye An’ Gosling ($18) made with rye whiskey, Goslings rum, ginger beer and freshly squeezed apple juice. If Sydney women weren’t drinking whiskey before, they are

of regular customers popping by for bags of crossstamped Holy Bread (Qurban) ($5/5). The rhythm of Eddie’s life flows around the feast days and celebrations that bind his local community together. “I’ve just had 500 of these get picked up this morning,” he explains over a well-made Segafredo Flat White ($3) and Latte ($3). The Holy Bread is great with coffee, and toasting mine at home fills the house with the heady aroma of orange blossom, rose water, nutmeg and mastika. If you’re eating in, baked at high temperature in his store centrepiece - a remarkable round artisan brick oven – Eddie’s Meat Pizza (Manoush) ($3.50) with lamb, onions, pepper and spice, is crisp and delicious. It sings against freshly chopped chillies, or his truly wicked Chilli Factory Scorpion Strike sauce. However if it’s lunch on the run, I’d suggest his fluffy Za’atar ($3) cooked with oregano and lemony sumac, then wrapped around vibrant tomatoes and olives. 339 Burwood Rd, Belmore (02) 9759 2490 Lebanese, Bakery, Pizza $

now. After your fling, retire to the workman’s bar – a ‘steerage class’ lounge suited to tapas snacking. Homemade Haloumi ($14) is out of this world, made with real milk (not powder) by an 86-year-old Greek woman. Tortilla Chips ($16) with guacamole go hand-in-mouth with a Skinny Bitch ($18) cocktail: because excess in denial is the Kings Cross way. Chef isn’t giving any secrets away about his Spicy Chicken ($16), but will talk you through Prawn and Calamari ($18). 2 Kellett St, Kings Cross (02) 9331 0058 Bar, Bar Food, Cocktails $$ Mille Vini Chef John Lanzafame rattling the pans gave me cause to visit this Italian wine bar, in operation for over a decade. The beautiful heritage-listed

space lined with wines does inspire a powerful thirst. A dry yet strawberryscented 2012 Italian Collefrisio Cerasuolo Rosè ($12/glass) goes well against warmed Sambuca Fritti Olives ($6.50). They defy aniseed expectations with compelling, syrupy sweetness. Slow-baked Ricotta Infornata ($16) drizzled with green olive salsa proved another hit; eclipsed by a decadent Radicchio Salad ($17) with orange segments, walnuts and yes, more cheese! Pull back to shared Rigatoni ($24) with chilli, pine nuts and muscatels, so you can clink spoons in Meringata ($12) with the pretty 2012 Pizzini Brachetto ($12/ glass). 397 Crown Street, Sydney (02) 9357 3366 Bar,Wine, Italian $$$-$$$$

FOOD NEWS Last week I was treated to a sneak preview of The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room’s inaugural Crab Carnival open to the public from the 1st-13th April.They’ve planned a wonderful selection of events including hermit crab racing, crab eating competitions and a five-buck crab taco Happy Hour every day of the fortnight between 6pm and 7pm.While I was treated to Cajun spiced soft shell crab and Craberol cocktails featuring Belvedere Pure and Aperol shaken with fresh juices and Peychard, the full menu includes even more crabby delights from crab toast to snow crab linguine. crab-carnival


SOIREE The Wentworth Hotel was a famous Sydney hotspot in the 60s, and the first five-star hotel in Sydney. So, it’s not surprising that their ground floor bar has Cocktails of the 60s as part of the list: Blue Hawaii, Mint Julep, Moscow Mule, Rob Roy, Sidecar, Tequila Sunrise, Blood and Sand, and my retro tipple of choice: the Vesper Martini ($18). How marvelous is it to rediscover these classics, and with elegant

If you’re keen to learn more about cooking seafood at home, Cleanfish Australia’s Saturday Seafood Market (8am-midday) provides you with the opportunity to hear from fishermen, seafood experts and chefs, how to get good results using different seafood products at home. Seeing Coorong Cockles popped open on a barbeque by Red Lantern‘s Mark Jensen teamed with a beautifully balanced Vietnamese dipping sauce, inspired me to try doing the same at home with excellent results. Business owner Jules Crocker (who has been in the seafood game for over fourteen years) convinced me to try fresh uni (sea urchin roe) on hot, buttered toast – wow!

By Rebecca Varidel table service to match? Yet the current number one has to be the cool and refreshing Absinthe Minded ($18), which was created to celebrate the 19th Biennale of Sydney. It just sings, with the sweetness of strawberry, orange and peach, tempered by the anise of the wicked green fairy. Of course there’s also wine and beer and the usual suspects, if you prefer. Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, 61 – 101 Phillip Street, Sydney (02) 9228 9188

Can relationships ever really be the fairytale we want them to be? In a story of self-destruction, love and self-discovery, Wonderland explores the cultural beliefs about relationships we are raised with, and asks if they are truly attainable. Alexandra Howard, lead actress and writer of the production, says the show is about a relationship being the catalyst for self-discovery. “It looks at the point where we question what we were raised with, and whether it is right or wrong where we question our values,” she says. A realistic story set in a fantastical setting, the production incorporates sculptures by international artist Andrew Grenfell, to embody the monsters within the characters. “The characters are telling their

story to a counsellor set in the modern day and ‘Wonderland’ is essentially their relationship,” says Howard. “As you delve into the story they start to function more within the wonderland they’ve created.” The show is an interesting and original reflection on our society and the fairytale ideals we have about relationships, questioning how people today don’t know how to be in relationships. “It’s about them going through this abstract journey in a world based on what’s happening in their life. It’s common ground everyone will be able to relate to,” says Howard. (SOC) Apr 8-12, City Rd & Cleveland St, Chippendale, $29-39, 93517940,


Music explores the often taboo subject of mental illness, breaking down social stigmas along the way. Award-winning playwright Jane Bodie teams up with director Corey McMahon to critique the way mental illness is perceived today. “Music proves that the central character can be a fully formed person who just happens to have a mental illness,” McMahon says. Two actors researching a theatre project befriend a seemingly quiet and ordinary man named Adam (Anthony Gee). In reality, Adam’s unexceptional existence is carefully calibrated - a precarious sideways tightrope-walk over his mental illness. Now, Adam’s new friends are at risk of throwing his life dangerously off-balance and there’s every chance they’ll go down with him. “I think people will get a lot out of it,” says Gee. “It’s not very often that Australian work examines mental illness particularly in the way Jane is, she’s tearing down a whole bunch of assumptions,” says McMahon. Music features a stellar cast including Anthony Gee, Sam O’Sullivan, Kate Skinner and Tom Stokes. (SM) It won’t be long until internationally acclaimed Scottish folk band, Breabach, hits our shores once more to play the final leg of their Boomerang Tour. Playing to sell-out crowds, the band offers a contemporary twist on the more traditional Scottish highland music, and has been praised for their energetic and entertaining performances.

The Gigli Concert

Photo: Frank Farrugia

Anyone involved in the theatre scene knows it’s tough, almost impossible, “but some of us just feel compelled to keep going, so we do,” says actor Patrick Dickson. It helps when Dickson has the chance to explore the fascinatingly eccentric character of quack psychiatrist JPW King in one of the greatest Irish plays of the last century - Tom

Murphy’s The Gigli Concert. “He’s bright, but not smart. He’s camping in his office because he’s one of life’s misfits,” says Dickson. Enter a mysterious Irishman with a problem: he wants to sing like the great Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli. Luckily, JPW King believes anything is possible and what unfolds is a lot of drinking, a lot of music and “a lot of magic,” says Dickson. Widely regarded as Murphy’s masterpiece, the play is many things - “It’s a comedy, but an intelligent comedy. It’s not one-liners and gags,” says Dickson. “It’s emotional. The work of Gigli is embedded in the play, so because it’s opera, it brings the emotional level up.” Perhaps most of all, it’s a beautiful glimpse of “people who wouldn’t normally know each other, who find something very special in one another,” says Dickson. (MT) Apr 4-May 4, Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton St, Darlinghurst, $30-43, (02) 8356 9987,



Photo: Blueprint Studios


Music April 5-26, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $28-35, Like the boomerang, the band travelled from Australia, to Scotland, and back again to join the Australian and New Zealand folk festival circuit. “It’s been totally great,” Breabach’s bass player James Lindsay exclaims in his thick Scottish accent. “We’ve been in the van quite a lot actually. It’s been nice to see more of the country.” When the band returns from their short New Zealand visit, they’ll play a string of gigs before wrapping-up their tour at the Sydney Opera House for the Homeground Festival. The free event will celebrate both the past and future of First Nation music, dance and culture. “Each culture in some way had been repressed, made illegal or actively discouraged, so that kind of tied all the cultures together,” Lindsay says. This is an opportunity to hear and witness one of Scotland’s finest folk bands by picking up a copy of their recently released album, Ùrlar, or catching their performance at the upcoming Homeground Festival in Sydney. (EC) Apr 5, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, free, (02) 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse/homeground


Life can be utterly unpredictable, and starting and raising a family can be both a rewarding and terrifying experience. Insomniac Theatre explores the joys and difficulties of parenting in their poignant comedic production of Motherhood Out Loud. The production is a series of skits that portray all the beautiful, hilarious and downright crazy moments of raising a family, says director and producer Maggie Scott. “It’s not a cutesy look at motherhood, all rosy with rose-coloured glasses on, it shows you the downsides too,” she says. Premiering in Australia after a hugely successful run in the United States, Motherhood Out Loud is a fiercely real and honest portrayal of the changing


families in society. “It has a bit of everything, same-sex family, adopted family, blended family. There are not just nuclear families anymore, there are many different mixes,” she says. The production uses simple monologues and staging to express the evolving experience of life, from birth all the way to becoming a greatgrandparent. “It goes from childbirth to the first day at school, to grandparents and everything in between, and let’s not forget the obnoxious teenagers!” she says. This unique and relatable show promises to make audiences laugh and tug at the heartstrings. (SO)

Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley

For more A&E stories go to

Until Apr 6, The Exchange Hotel Balmain, 94 Beattie St, Balmain $18-25,

Contributors: Alexandra English, Alexis Talbot-Smith, Angela Stretch, Anita Senaratna, Catherine Knight, Cheryl Northey, Ciaran Tobin, Craig Coventry, Elise Cullen, Georgia Fullerton, Greg Webster, Hannah Chapman, Jamie Apps, Jemma Nott, Leann Richards, Lena Zak, Lisa Ginnane, Luke Daykin, Lyndsay Kenwright, Marilyn Hetreles, Mark Morellini, Mel Somerville, Melody Teh, Michael Muir, Michelle Porter, Nerida Lindsay, Rhys Gard, Rocio Belinda Mendez, Ruth Fogarty, Sean May, Sharon Ye, Shauna O’Carroll, Siri Williams, Tom Wilson,Vanessa Powell


Photo: Bob Seary



Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a young girl’s courage in the face of ignorance and bigotry during her father’s defence of a young black man in 1930’s Alabama, arrives at New Theatre Sydney. Christopher Sergel’s adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird will be directed by Annette Rawlinson in this instance. The play will be performed by nine-year-old Tegan Croft (Scout), Hudson Musty (Jem), Kai Lewins (Dill), Lynden Jones (Atticus Finch) and Craig Meneaud (Tom Robinson). “For me it is both exciting and daunting to perform in a play that has generated quite a resonance

with so many people. Even those that don’t normally go to the theatre are telling me they are coming,” says Lynden Jones. “It’s wonderful to be able to play a character that is so passionate & willing to fight even though he knows he can’t win. Performing a play in which the children have such prominent roles is also so engaging and [it’s] wonderful to see the energy and excitement they bring, and have passed on to all of us, to come to rehearsals and perform the play” says Jones. (JA) Until Apr 19, New Theatre, 542 King St, Newtown, $17-32,

Review Sydney Harbour provides an unforgettable backdrop for Opera Australia’s modern adaptation of Puccini’s popular and accessible opera, Madama Butterfly. Butterfly (Hiromi Omura), a 15-year-old Geisha, marries an American naval officer visiting Japan. Unbeknownst to her, Pinkerton (Georgy Vasiliev) is marrying out of convenience, and intends to find an American bride. Pinkerton vows to return in spring, leaving the love-struck Butterfly, who has renounced her religion and ancestors and waited for three years. Omura is breathtaking vocally as Madama Butterfly, clearly giving her all to the performance and commanding attention whenever onstage. Stand-in on the night,Victoria Lambourn, dominated vocally as Suzuki, Butterfly’s loyal maid, while Michael Honeyman as Sharpless stood out amongst the generally flat male vocals. Lighting was controlled and well executed, incorporating a glowing moon, sun and even fireworks, which provided

Audience participation – it’s as old as the hills. Think the colosseum, where a few bored thumbs pointed downward sent the unlucky gladiator out of the contest for good. Then there was reality TV, where no matter how hard and often you voted – somebody remained to carry on next week. Of course, modern politicians have turned riding the wave of audience participation into an art form, with their blessed focus groups. That’s leadership from ‘behind’, thinking the public’s thoughts after them. Fight Night takes audience participation to a new level. Pushing the boundaries of polite theatre by attempting to read the minds and hearts of the audience, every


PERFORMANCE PERPLEX A young couple arrive home from holiday to find that things are not quite as they left them.There are some weird pot plants; the electricity has been cutoff, the apartment smells terrible – and where are the friends they left housesitting? So opens Perplex, a lively piece of absurdist comedy from German writer Marcus Von Mayenberg (Fireface,The Ugly One). “Essentially, the whole play is a riff on philosophy, reality and what it means to be alive,” says director


member holds the electronic power to vote in the palm of their hands. Created by maverick Belgian collective Ontroerend Goed and direct from a season at the Adelaide Festival, they are old friends of the STC. Plenty of fun but challenging and provocative for those with the ears to hear, there is nothing like a bit of good old audience participation to shine the spotlight on one’s own personal politics. After all, there is complicity in the press of a button as well as the downward thumb. You’ve gotta love democracy. (GW) Until Apr 13, Sydney Theatre Company, The Wharf 2, Pier 4, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $35-65, 9250 1777,

Sarah Giles, “and what better place to explore reality than in the theatre, which is the ultimate lie.” A comedy about philosophy, this is a play of freewheeling chaos. with the ground continually shifting under the audience’s feet, it makes for engaging theatre. (GW) Until May 3, Sydney Theatre Company, The Wharf, Pier 4, Hickson Rd,Walsh Bay, $30-65, (02) 9250 1777, CLYBOURNE PARK The Ensemble Theatre directed by Tanya Goldberg brings to life Bruce Norris’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park. Not for the easily

The infamous Mancini sisters were wealthy and brilliant but scandalously abandoned their aristocratic husbands to dress as men and travel across Europe. Possessions is a brilliant production recreated from their memoirs. Conceived, written and performed by Jane Bergeron and Carrie Ann Quinn, this play combines the historical narrative of the Mancini sisters’ lives with contemporary issues in society today.


offended, Norris’s dangerous and delicious writing brings to boil the bigotry that is often simmering just below the surface.The split between the 1959 and modern settings provides a pertinent commentary on gentrification and the way in which history lingers in the dry wall. Nathan Lovejoy is the standout performance. His comic timing in portraying the nervous yet selfrighteous ‘50s community leader is truly brilliant. Clybourne Park leaves audiences both cringing behind their hands and in fits of laughter. (CK) Until Apr 19, Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St, Kirribilli, $30-65; Apr 23

& 24,The Concourse, 409 Victoria Ave, Chatswood, $30-65, A MOMENT ON THE LIPS Mad March Hare Theatre Company will stage Jonathan Gavin’s awardwinning all-female production. The play, set during a dinner party, moves backward and forward in time, as seven powerful women confront their jealousies, rivalries and their respective ambitions. Real life sisters, Sarah and Beth Aubrey, will also play sisters onstage, their first performance together. Sarah Aubrey says, “I saw the play ten years ago and it’s been in my head ever since. I was incredibly

stunning lighting over the set. This is a cultural event not to be missed and a great introduction for any beginner operagoers. (LD) Until Apr 13, Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquaries Point, $89-330, Photo: James Morgan

Madama Butterfly

“There’s a reason it’s called Possessions… They let go of their money, their jewels and in some ways what was their reputation in order to follow their own truth,” says actor and creator Carrie Ann Quinn. “It’s a really relevant topic in our materialistic world that we live in now.” Bergeron and Quinn met doing their Masters in Fine Arts at Boston University and shared an interest in history’s notorious women and the societal double standards that labelled them as such. “As we started researching we had no idea the amazing things these women had done and so it was really a great choice for us,” says Quinn. This thought-provoking production depicts the fascinating lives of the infamous sisters with the inclusion of various modern-day issues, and relates to women’s lives in the 21st century. Bergeron says, “It’s about living a moral ethical life and being true to yourself and I think that’s really what we’re looking at.” (CT) Until Apr 5, King Street Theatre, 644 King St, Newtown, $15-25,

moved by it and excited that there was a play with seven intelligent, well-rounded, articulate women, who weren’t all sitting around talking about a man – a rarity in the acting world.” (GF) Until Apr 12,The Old Fitzroy Theatre, Dowling St,Woolloomooloo, $21-39, STITCHING Little Spoon Theatre’s third offering is sure to get audiences talking: the play has been banned in certain parts of Europe. Now the raw, poetic and oddly humorous Stitching finds itself onstage in Sydney. The show follows Stu and Abby

as they contend with a difficult decision: to keep the baby or not. Stitching refers to the decisions that have the potential to unravel the fabric of their relationship. Starring co-founders Wade Doolan and Lara Lightfoot, and directed by renowned Scottish director Mark Westbrook, Stitching promises audiences a poetic and uncompromising play about concerns we seldom see this scrupulously onstage. (RG) Until Apr 12,Tap Gallery, 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, $20-30 (Strictly 18+),


Soul Rebels make the brass band hip!

Endcount - Lily Perthuis & Joe Bramwell-Smith Throughout history art strives for a higher purpose: challenging viewer preconceptions, making them question the very society they live in. More often than not, that higher purpose is some sort of abstract notion of the absurdity of life, met with more eye-rolling than appreciation. However, sometimes, in the most unexpected of places, an artistic idea can pop up and surprise, with its simple but poignant message. Enter Endcount – an exciting collaboration between two Sydney-based artists, whose goal is to raise awareness of nature conservation and the plight of endangered species through beautiful art. Lily Perthuis and Joe Bramwell-Smith create artworks through keystrokes

and brushstrokes, with each unique piece representing the total number of a certain species left in the wild. These include Asian elephants, Sumatran tigers, giant pandas, and many, many others. For Bramwell-Smith the artwork is “about the fragility of some of these species and how close to the brink they are. To be able to display every single one of a given species in one image is surprising to a lot of people. Hopefully we’ll get people to think about the impact they are having and start making sustainable choices that will help protect these animals.” (LZ) Until Apr 17, PIERMARQ, Suite 48, Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont, free,

‘Sumatran Tiger’ by Lily Perthuis & Joe Bramwell-Smith

From the Streets

By Coffin Ed, Miss Death & Jay Katz Think of a brass band in Australia and you will more than likely conjure up images of the Salvation Army or a raucous, slightly out of tune, high school outfit.Think of the same in New Orleans and there’s a tradition that goes back decades and forms an integral part of the city’s social and cultural life. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 the devastation not only ravaged the city at large but had a profound effect on the large musical community. Lumar LeBlanc, the co-founder of New Orleans band The Soul Rebels, is still saddened by the event but notes “rather than tear the band apart, it brought us closer together and we became heavily involved in fundraising and rebuilding the local music scene.” The tradition of brass bands in New Orleans goes way back to the earliest marching bands of the late nineteenth century. Over the years they have flourished in the African-American neighbourhoods, through families, social clubs, local bars, funerals and marriages, and of course the quintessential street parades, complete with second line. The Soul Rebels, like Crescent City counterparts The Dirty Dozen and Rebirth, have continued that tradition, infusing the music with modern day funk. In the Rebels’ case, this has extended to rap and harmonic vocals. They formed in the early ‘90s when percussionists Derrick Moss and Lumar LeBlanc met as members of Harold Dejan’s Young Olympia Brass Band. The Rebels, more than any other brass band, have pushed the boundaries of the genre to embrace an exciting


new hybrid. It’s still unmistakably New Orleans, but certainly their music has developed to appeal to a much broader audience. The group now play over 250 shows a year, often opening for the likes of Kanye West and Snoop Dog. In 1995 they released the groundbreaking album Let Your Mind Be Free on Mardi Gras Records. This must still rate as one of the most innovative (and greatest) brass band albums of all time, with its hip vocals and strong lyric lines. Since then they have released a half dozen more albums on various labels with their 2012 outing for Rounder, Unlock Your Mind, a real standout. Despite their current popularity Lumar notes the band still have their roots firmly implanted in New Orleans. “We still love to play the acoustic gigs whenever we aren’t touring and we’ve had our long-running residency at the Le Bon Temps Roule. It’s a music that you can’t fake and will always remain organic, equally at home in a small bar or on a big stage.” Certainly in the digital age of soupedup recordings and highly engineered sound, the humble brass band made up of trumpet, trombones, sax, sousaphone and percussion might seem an anachronism. However, in the hands of the Rebels it is still the freshest and most dynamic sound around. The band have obviously been an inspiration to a number of young Sydney brass bands like The Brassholes and the Hi-Tops Brass Band, who have brought the New Orleans sound to Sydney and mixed it with their own blend of home grown hip hop. Catch The Soul Rebels at their first ever Sydney appearance at The Basement on Wednesday April 16 and again at the Byron Bay Bluesfest over Easter.

Street art by Beastman

Raw, unpredictable and distinct, street art is starting to make waves in the art culture of Australia. With .M Contemporary Gallery showcasing a major street art exhibition called From the Streets, street art is moving from laneways to lounge rooms. Michele Paterson, Director of .M Contemporary Gallery, says the exhibition is designed to open people’s minds about what street art is and its accessibility. “Street art is one of a kind, it’s stenciling, painting, posters, sculptures. There are so many different forms of it, and it is a gift that the artists give for free,” she says. The exhibition is trying to change the way people think about art and collecting art, and show the way different mediums can become valuable collectables. “I want new people looking at art and collecting it, it’s about getting people talking and thinking about art,” says Paterson. “Street art is becoming a bit of a thing in Australia now.” From the Streets will showcase some amazing works from both local and international artists, including Morley, Beastman and Jef Aèrosol. (SOC) Until Apr 27, .M Contemporary Gallery, 37 Ocean St, Woollahra, free,

MikiNobu Komatsu Selected Works “Ecstatic” is the word photographer MikiNobu Komatsu uses to describe his reaction the first time he took in the sights of New Zealand’s South Island. “The landscape is very dynamic... Alps, glaciers, fjords, desert-like barren tablelands... All of these in a small island when you see it on a map, but it’s actually vast when you’re in it,” says the talented photographer. This juxtaposition of being both small and vast at once is at the heart of Komatsu’s exhibition, subtitled The Complex Simplicity of Landscape. Komatsu’s exhibition of landscape photography at the Black Eye Gallery underscores the photographer’s fascination with the South Island and the marriage of light and darkness on landscapes. He notes, “Although landscapes look simple, for me they have depth, layers, different moods, and evoke different emotions... The rich quality of light acts as a portal through which I feel I’m encountering another world, perhaps beyond the physical reality.” The exhibition promises to be an equally transcendent experience for viewers. (SW) Until Apr 6, Black Eye Gallery, 138 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst, free, ‘Rakaia River at Dusk’ by MikiNobu Komatsu

The LEGO Movie Everything is awesome in ordinary Emmet’s (Chris Pratt) blocktastic LEGO world. He follows the rules set by much-loved President Business (Will Ferrell) and enjoys his over-priced coffee. However, a chance encounter challenges Emmet to become extraordinary and join the quest to save the world. Animal Logic completed the painstaking animation for the The LEGO Movie at their studio in Sydney. The process took more than two years

to make the stop-motion style feel seamless, and it is quite an achievement. This is a family movie full of familiar characters from the world of LEGO. Special mention goes to Liam Neeson (Taken) in his glorious turn as Bad Cop/Good Cop. Unfortunately, the last quarter diverts from the entertaining simplicity by throwing in a moral to the story. It’s a nice one, but it feels forced. The corny lines will get chuckles from the adults and the kids will love the action and amusing sound effects. (LL) WWW

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Delving into the Marvel universe for the ninth time, viewers find Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) & Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the midst of an espionage thriller for control of S.H.I.E.L.D.

evil and Noah is instructed to take two of every animal species on board an ark. Noah is a fantasy, strangely bordering on science fiction, as fallen angels resembling transformer robots covered in rocks aid Noah in constructing and watching over the ark. This sadly detracts from the religious perspective. Russell Crowe is intense and gritty as Noah, giving his best performance to date in this fanciful action blockbuster. (MM) WWW

Noah THE RAID 2 Taking place two hours after the prequel ended, The Raid 2 quickly engrosses the audience with incredible actionpacked scenes and gory violence. This sequel follows the journey of a rookie cop as he goes undercover into the criminal underworld.Writer/director Gareth Evans’ use of advanced cinematography encapsulates the frenetic choreography of each fight sequence.The violence is jaw-dropping.This film is for fans of bloody violence and ferocious fight scenes. (CT) WWWW POMPEII is an action/romance/ disaster film set in 79 A.D.The story centres on a gladiator named 24

Milo (Kit Harington) and his race against time to save Cassia (Emily Browning) from the corrupt Roman senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The captivating gladiatorial fighting sequences, romantic entanglements, political intrigue and a horrifying natural disaster all ensure audience interest is maintained. Adversely, Harrington’s British accent is detracting and he’s oddly paired with Browning. The spectacular 3D and CGI effects utilised in the climactic sequences as the volcano erupts, heightens the realism and delivers a visually stunning film. (MM) WWW NYMPHOMANIAC This four-hour epic chronicles the life

Underground Cinema Secret film screenings hit Sydney when Underground Cinema starts again in April. Attempting to bridge the gap between theatre and film, this night promises to take the audience away from the usual cinema experience, into something more tangible. Believing that “predictable is boring”, UGC keeps the venue secret until the last moment. This gives the audience a chance to experience watching a film in a different and original location, by “taking cinema out of the cinema”. The venues can be anything from a warehouse to a ballroom. Past nights have shown cult films such as LA Confidential, Beasts of the Southern Wild and 28 Days Later. The film titles are also usually a mystery, but they have now revealed the first film this year will be Rome. Audiences are encouraged to dress the part. The four-hour experience isn’t just the film screening, but also includes live performance, and the venue will be decked out in the style of the movie. (LK) Apr 5 & 6, Location TBA, Sydney, $40-45+bf,

Photo: Laura Owsianka

Audiences expecting a conservative re-telling of the story of Noah will be disappointed with this reincarnation, as the story has been modernised for a new generation of filmgoers. Highly anticipated, Noah is “loosely based” on the biblical epic according to the Book Of Genesis, but is completely different to previous films based on the bible. The basic storyline remains the same, where “the creator” floods the world to obliterate

of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stacy Martin) from her childhood to her self-proclaimed realisation as a nymphomaniac. Told in eight chapters, the episodic nature allows for breaths in what is a very intense and traumatic cinematic experience. Simultaneously disgusting and compelling, Lars Von Trier explores the affliction of sex addiction from a surprisingly empathic and feminist perspective. Although highly pornographic, the sex is not erotic nor salacious, only natural and never to the detriment of plot. What the audience is left with is a highly meaningful and genuine film. (ATS) WWW½

WADJDA is a 10-year-old tomboy growing up in the Saudi capital. She enjoys pop music, wears Converse and dreams of owning a bicycle. Wadjda ‘s mother worries about her daughter’s reputation and her teachers fear the worst. However,Wadjda strives for freedom of expression and she learns how to push, gently, against cultural boundaries. Haifaa Al Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female director, (who sometimes directed from inside a van) commands beautiful performances from her mainly female cast; 12-year-old Waad Mohammed is sweet and spunky and easily carries the film. (RF) WWWW

As an annual superhero blockbuster, audiences know what to expect. However, this film manages to add some very interesting depth to the story and characters, particularly with Black Widow. The plot is very linear and well

done, avoiding meaningless tangents, (unlike some previous Marvel films), and has huge implications for upcoming Marvel titles (hint: as always, stay after the credits). Johansson provides the perfect balance of attitude to Evans’ clean cut Captain America. Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier) does a great job at making the villain so cold, unrelenting and fearsome. (JA) WWWW

Exit Marrakech Exit Marrakech is part of the themed Oriental Night on April 9 at the German Film Festival. Director Caroline Link returns to the continent that earned her an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film with Nowhere in Africa. Viewers may be tempted to go ahead with that Moroccan holiday after seeing some of the landscapes in Exit Marrakech. Travelogue aside, an estranged adolescent son and his selfinterested theatre director father attempt reconciliation via a series of misadventures in

I, FRANKENSTEIN The latest incarnation of Frankenstein’s monster, Adam (Aaron Eckhart), seems to be ‘developing’ a soul. Two hundred years after his creation he battles it out for the fate of humanity against the forces of darkness led by demon Prince Naberius, played by Bill Nighy – who is better suited to comedic characters. It’s a joint American/Australian (Lakeshore/Hopscotch) production filmed in Melbourne and employed a lot of Australians on-screen and off – roughly 500. Audiences that like a good oldfashioned battle between good & evil with multiple special effects will enjoy this. (MMu) WWW

this mystic land. Samuel Schneider (Ben) is solid as the son, coming of age via a feisty prostitute named Karima, played by Hafsia Herzi. The much put-upon father is played by Ulrich Tukur (previously of White Ribbon and Rommel). (MMu) WWW German Film Festival, until Apr 11, Chauvel Cinema, Oxford St & Oatley Rd, Paddington, (02) 9361-5398; Palace Norton Street, 99 Norton St, Leichhardt, (02) 9564 5620, $15.50-82 (5 film pass),

ALL IS LOST stars Robert Redford in his most demanding role to date, as a man lost at sea. Without navigational or communication systems he manages to skilfully survive the elements but as food and water diminish, so does the prospect of survival. Redford delivers a tremendous performance in this riveting and incredible story of one man’s endurance when all hope is lost. He plays the sole character and speaks few lines, but conveys the desperation and hopelessness effectively. The escalating tension will have audiences at the edge of their seats. (MM) WWWW

Kylie Minogue Kiss Me Once As a pop star who’s been top of her game since the late ’80s, you might wonder when Kylie will run out of steam. Not anytime soon if Kiss Me Once is a good indication. A glossy confection of pop goodness, her twelfth studio album sounds as ‘now’ as anything else in the charts – yet it’s still unmistakably Kylie. Highlights include the string-laden single Into The Blue, the glittering title track (written by fellow Aussie pop icon Sia), and the minimalist, vocodered duet with Enrique Iglesias, Beautiful.The less said about Sexercize, the better. Her strongest album since Fever. (PH)

Sietta - The Invisible River Sietta are a duo of beautifully balanced ying and yang. Caiti Baker’s voice melds well with everything James Mangohig does.They move together effortlessly, harmoniously and sometimes with a little sass. Listeners should keep their ears tuned to nuances so delicate they might be missed. Intricate and loving, this album of electronic soul invites listeners in without prejudice, radiating acceptance and comfort. A feeling of sliding into a big hug fills the listener and slowly, but powerfully, rocks. Filling a void most people don’t know they have, Sietta will transport them safely into it and gently lead them back out again. (SP)

A$AP Ferg

Rising from the notorious streets of Harlem, New York, the hip hop collective known as the A$AP Mob are making waves within the global music scene. It’s an organisation that houses rappers, producers, video directors and fashion designers, all dedicated to taking the brand to the pinnacle of culture. An ambitious goal, one that rapper A$AP Ferg admits he had to get used to. “I have learned how to be a team player,” he says. “It’s kind of odd because growing up I was an only child, so when I came into the group I had to reshape my thinking. When you’re thinking for the group, you have to think like, ‘If I blow up, then that’s cool but if [A$AP] Twelvyy blows up and [A$AP] Rocky blows up, then it’s better for the group as a whole’.” From our conversation it’s clear that Ferg is anything but your average rhymer. Darold Ferguson, Jr., as his mother would call him, first set his sights on fashion through his father. The owner of a boutique, who also printed t-shirts for the likes of Bad Boy Records, Ferg took over his business following his father’s passing and continued on to design his own belt line. Rapping, it seems, came later as yet another creative outlet for Ferg. “Music didn’t draw me away from fashion, I’m still very

LIVE WIRE Kylesa: Their home state seems to be consistently spitting out class metal acts and these guys are no exception. For over ten years, this quintet from Georgia has been constantly redeveloping their sound to encapsulate the many points in their career.With six album releases since their inception, including last year’s revered effort Ultraviolet - which was described as the group’s “truest expression of the wildly varying nature of the band’s personality thus far”

connected to fashion, but music has always been a big part of me,” he explains. “I listen to myself rather than listen to other hip hop artists,” he adds. “I’m not going to lie; I listen to myself to better myself. That’s how my style has come to be, I’m not being biased or anything like that, it’s just how I work.” It’s an unorthodox method, yet Ferg still indulges in collaboration. Despite releasing his debut album Trap Lord in August last year, Ferg is churning out feature tracks in earnest. “You have to look out for them because they’re with some of my favourite artists, some mainstream and some underground artists,” he says. A Harlem boy through and through, and with a profile that’s garnering global attention, is it any wonder why so many people outside of his city find something special in his unique amalgamation of lyrical tenacity and pounding beats? “I’m a worldly person,” he says simply. “I could come from Harlem but I’m very interested in culture and I’m just a fan of different music and how different people carry themselves.” (CD) Apr 4, Metro Theatre, 624 George St, Sydney, $60, (02) 9550 3666,

Sydney Live Music Guide

- they won’t be walking away from their sludge-encrusted stage any time soon. Thu, Apr 3rd, Hi-Fi Sydney, Entertainment Quarter. Hunters & Collectors: It’s no wonder that fans have been getting a little restless lately.This Melburnian sevenpiece have rocked stages across the country with the legendary ‘Boss’ Bruce Springsteen, and performed at the AFL Grand Final for lovers of the oval ball to witness. However, the release of the latest tribute album featuring Birds of

Tokyo and Paul Kelly can only mean that these guys are borderline Aussie music royalty. Despite all of this, devotees of ‘The Hunnas’ shall await with bated breathe for the whisper of new material. Fri, Apr 4th, Enmore Theatre. Elizabeth Rose: Injecting some much needed pop and R ‘n’ B-infused electronica into the local music scene, this tour will be a great chance to prove that this Sydney singer-songwriter and DJ sounds as delectable live as she does on the

airwaves. Releasing her selftitled EP over two months ago, Rose has generated a following so vast that a sold out show has already prevailed on this national tour. Joining her will be fellow Sydney duo and beatmasters Fishing, as well as Canberra’s SAFIA. Sat, Apr 5th, Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Rock n Roll & Alternative Market: Dosh AND decibels? Be still our quivering purses! With a plethora of stallholders providing the goods, including clothing, vinyl records, posters, DVDs,

tattoo art, comics and, yes believe it, more; there will also be some tasty tunes for the ears. Perth dudes Rusty & the Dragstrip Trio will be spilling out 1950s-esque gems. Joining them will be Los Tones,The Johnny Casino Three, Lucky Luke and His Shooting Stars, DJs Limpin’ Jimmy and the Swingin’ Kitten and Rod Almighty to name just a few. Sun, Apr 6th, Manning Bar, Camperdown. Mike Nock & Laurence Pike: It’s sure to be a mesh of eclectic sounds and compositions from this daring duo and this will be

their debut with the jazz enthusiasts Jazzgroove. Following on from their 2012 album Kindred, it seems that the sounds coming from pianist Nock and enthusiastic drummer Pike will be leaning towards the electronic bend. Both with their fair share of past notoriety in the music world, together they will be joined by local musicians The Joel Jenkins Trio, who will also provide their own collection of originals and re-vamped covers. Tues, Apr 8th, Foundry616, Ultimo.

City News April 3  
City News April 3