BMA Magazine #534 - June/July 2023

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life in the liminal In Between


[Canberra’s Entertainment Guide]

#534 JUNE/july 2023

Given this issue’s content, I guess we can call this the Punk ‘n’ Poetry Edition. Which pleases me greatly.

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EST 1992 [CONTENTS] p. 40 DAMI
p. 24 p. 31 p. 34 PONY AUSSIE


‘Takes all kinds to make a world,’ we carp at opportune moments of twee. But in the kaleidoscope of human combination, there is one distinct line that places us on one side or the other.

You’re the kind of person that ‘gets offended’, or you’re not.

Upon clicking on an intriguing header for an AdNews article that stated, ‘Penis billboard draws complaint’ (I mean, how could you not?) I read about a pious fellow who had complained about the word ‘Penis’ being printed in 1200 point font over a Melbourne main highway. It was part of an ad was for the upcoming Puppetry of the Penis show; the complaint read thusly:

‘We teach our children to behave civilly and use words appropriately. This billboard offends against this dignity by thrusting the male genital part into the public arena for entertainment and laughs...

‘Since the billboard is on our route to the City, to Church, and to numerous other events, we cannot avoid it without taking considerable detours. It is clearly visible from places we have been invited to with our children. We are reluctant to expose our children to it for that length of time, so it is affecting our freedom to participate. We would like it to be removed.’

To recap, this poor bastard, and his long-suffering family, is driving an extra 45 minutes out of his way simply because he doesn’t want to see the word penis. Not an actual penis, mind, but the word penis (and let’s not get into the evident sexual frustration on display here‘Thrusting’? ‘Exposed’? ‘Length’? Good Lord, indeed...)

This, friends, is someone firmly entrenched in ‘gets offended’ camp. Being in the perpetual grip of finding everyday things offensive must be exhausting, ensuring infuriating walk-on-eggshells relationships. And the very term, ‘I find that offensive’, is a subtle power game. “I find that what you have said is offensive, therefore I want you to change your behaviour so as to not offend me any more.”

Well you can just go and fuck right off.

I mean, I say that—using up one of BMA’s precious swear stocks for the year for hopefully comic effect—but I actually feel for these folk.

As such, and for our poor 45-minute-detour-penis-guy, here’s another version of that letter which may help:

‘Dear Ad Standard Board,

I have recently seen a billboard that uses a word I am uneasy with. Inflicted with a staunch upbringing, having been indoctrinated to believe that the male organ is, in fact, the very instrument of Beelzebub himself, I have shied away from any education, or indeed interaction, with the subject since the age of five.

‘And now, with my own children to love, care, and fiercely protect, I find myself ill-equipped to deal with this confronting scenario.

‘As such, I am asking for help. How can I teach my children about the concept of a p... a pa... a peeahhh... a prong-dangle? For currently I am doomed to see them wallow in humourless ignorance, before gradually and inevitably developing deep-seated emotional issues tied to the mystique of sex, ultimately winding up with their adult selves penning angry letters with curious word choices like ‘thrusting’ and ‘exposed’.

Your assistance would be greatly appreciated, 45-minute-detour-penis-guy.’


Rob Aspinall is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and DJ based in Canberra, providing infectious R&B grooves and neo-soul flavour to his audiences. Taking influence from the likes of Masego, Jordan Rakei, Hiatus Kaiyote, Robert Glasper, and Allen Stone, Rob and his band blur the lines between jazz, hip hop, and soul to create crossgenre intricate soundscapes, with carefully crafted lyrics depicting experiences from self-love to artistic struggle. All this can be enjoyed via new track Misty Morning Roads, and its subsequent launch show with special guest Sam Sly! From 7:30pm, $20 + bf via Humanitix

Two of Canberra’s powerhouse, horn driven bands will come together for one night of big sounds. Brass Knuckle Brass Band has been a CBR mainstay, and festival fave, for over a decade; not bad for a group first thrown together for a one-off Wednesday night jazz gig. Lucy Ridge and the Derby Widows have quickly established themselves as a powerhouse ensemble, with a nine-piece band complementing the show-stopping vocals of Lucy Ridge. Their soul and blues sound, full horn section, and insightful song writing will make you move and think in equal measure. From 7:30pm, $20 + bf via Humanitix

Jamie Hutchings and Darren ‘DC’ Cross both emerged from the Australian alterna-boom of the ’90s—Hutchings originally as the founding member of Bluebottle Kiss, with Cross being out front of Gerling—and have been crossing paths ever since. At their upcoming show, Jamie will be performing songs from his expansive, critically acclaimed back catalogue, from ‘Kiss to Infinity Broke, and solo stuff to boot. Darren will be performing as DC Cross: instrumental folk guitar, three albums in, and just off the road as special guest to Ed Kuepper and Jim White. 8:30pm, $20/$15 via venue

Witchskull have finally announced the fruits of the past year’s labours with the announcement of their eagerly anticipated fourth studio album, The Serpent Tide. To celebrate the occasion, the band are crowning a huge bill dubbed Metal Knights. The mini-fest features an impressive cast, including Pure Envy, Elm Street, Dark Horse, Just Say Ozzy!, and Aiffel. This marks the Australian Croation Club throwing open its doors to live music more, so there’s a multitude of reasons to get along and support. If none other, than to have a bloody good time. 4:30pm - midnight, $55 via Moshtix

UK death doom purveyors Esoteric are bringing their 31 year, seven album history to town. From the mind-bending darkness of ‘90s double albums Epistemological Despondency and The Pernicious Enigma, to the expansive epics in The Maniacal Vale and Paragon of Dissonance, they have never compromised on their initial aim – to unleash aural mayhem. With supports by Sydney’s excellent Burden Man, and Canberra’s own death doom vets Futility, this is a must for fans of epic death-laced doom metal. 7pm, $44.40 via OzTix

an award-winning

creates music that

between cinematic folk and baroque pop. Otherworldly harmonies, and honest and existential lyrics, are suspended in deeply nuanced production. Dreamself is her third studio album and celebrates the liminal space between awake and asleep, where stories unfold through abstraction and try to make sense of experiences and situations. See her, and support Amy Vee, this July. 7pm-9pm,

Coda Chroma (aka Kate Lucas) is singer-songwriter from Ballarat, Victoria who sways $25/$20 via venue Jamie Hutchings + Darren ‘DC’ Cross / Spilt 8-Inch Record Launch / Thu, 29 June / Smith’s Alternative Rob Aspinall / Misty Morning Roads single launch / Fri, 16 June / The Shaking Hand BKBB + Lucy Ridge and the Derby Widows / Giving us the horn / Sat, 17 June / Live at the Polo Witchskull headline Metal Knights mini-fest Sun, 24 June / Australian Croation Club Esoteric / Epic death-laced doom metal from Birmingham / Fri, 30 June / The Basement Coda Chroma / Launching new LP Dreamself Fri, 14 July / Smith’s Alternative



Winter is officially here, but the music doesn’t stop! Grab your scarf and your beanie but, most importantly, don’t forget your dancing shoes! I’ve got a list of great gigs you’ll want to be tapping your toes at and, if you’re feeling ambitious, maybe you’ll want to get involved and put your performance skills to the test. Local events incoming!

After a successful debut last year, Mic Check is back as Mic Check 2! Hosted by NewBorn Noise and Cutlab, this will be a night not to miss. The event will be hosted by local hip hop legends MN Cappo (emcee, The Street University hip hop masterclasses) and Chemi-cal (scratch DJ and Canberra DMC Champion) who will be spinning the finest tunes for you. There will be an array of local hip hop artists as well as an open mic! So, if you’d like to give it a go, get in early for an opportunity to perform. It’ll take place on Saturday, 24 June from 9pm at Smith’s Alternative. Tickets are available for $20 via the Smith’s website.

What better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than enjoying the folk tunes of Josie Dunham! Catch her at Smith’s Alternative on Sunday, 25 June from 3pm until 5pm. Josie is immensely inspired by nature and relationships and uses her music to explore her connections, both physical and emotional.

This is Josie’s farewell show before she heads overseas for a while so you better catch her while you can. You may see some other talented guests joining her on stage too. Opening the show will be local musicians of the same high standard; Tab Hart and Julia Walker. Tickets are available via Smith’s Alternative’s website for $15.

Gia Ransome is heading on her east coast Crush tour and she’s bringing her band along for the ride. The final destination is a hometown show at The Shaking Hand on Friday, 30 June from 7:30pm. This tour is to celebrate the release of the brand new single which the tour is named after. Gia describes the

sound as “indie rock/psychedelic pop with a hint of danger”. Also performing will be Sydney’s Drive By’s and our local Fin Geach. Tickets are available over at Humanitix for $15.

Our very own Burntout Bookings is turning 2 and thus is throwing a party to celebrate! Interstate bands Suzi (Melbourne), All Regards (Melbourne), and Goon Gremlins (NSW) will be hitting the stage along with locals Box Dye and Bad Lunar

If you aren’t already familiar with these fabulous musicians, you can expect a night of indie/rock and alternative. The venue will be serving food and drinks. Parking at this venue is limited and Burntout Bookings encourages you to carpool or use public transport/e-scooters.

And this event is all ages to boot, so bring the whole family! It’s taking place at Live at the Polo on Saturday, 8 July from 7pm. Tickets are $35 and are available via Humanitix.

Looking to get hands-on in the music scene? Canberra Eurosession takes place every Monday from 4pm - 6pm at Smith’s Alternative.

Inspired by the pan-European balfolk sessions in the UK, Adam Fenech is hosting these weekly free sessions and encourages all skill levels to come along.

As a group, you’ll play through a piece of music. There will be sheet music available or you can learn by ear. Either way, Adam will be there to guide you. Bring your choice of instrument to the next Monday session. For more info, contact Adam at canberraeurosession@gmail. com.

And that’s this month’s highlights! It may be getting cold out, but our local venues will warm both your hands and your hearts.

Happy gigging and all the best. Until the next one!

PAGE 14 @bmamag
Josie Dunham

Emerging Canberra singer-songwriter, Leila, is only relatively new to the big, wide world of music, but she’s chalked up plenty o’ performances in short time. And no wonder.

Accompanying her folky acoustic pop sounds is a posivtively amazing voice. With a debut single in the offing, the time is now to get to know her better...

How did you start on this magical musical journey?

I have always loved to sing and have found it to be a great way to express myself. As a child, I was captivated by The Wiggles and would mimic them on TV for hours a day.

I would put on home ‘Christmas concerts’ for my family nearly every year just because I loved performing for people.

Before long, I started to use an instrument other than my voice. After I picked up the guitar and the piano, a love for creating my own songs, and twisting covers, developed.

Describe your sound:

Folky acoustic pop.

What key tracks should people check out?

I don’t have any tracks out at the moment but people should definitely give my Instagram or Facebook a follow if they like my sound. There are some exciting announcements coming up.

Who/What are your influences, musical or otherwise?

Birdy, Emeli Sande, Calum Scott, Amy Shark, P!nk, and Chris Stapleton have all inspired me in my music career so far.

What are some memorable experiences you’ve had?

Performing at Enlighten Festival as a part of the Illuminations, and performing at Relay For Life. Both experiences were really rewarding in so many ways.

What do you love about the scene?

The people - musicians, producers, booking agents, and more. At every level, everyone is there for one another, willing to give advice if one needs it.

It’s a really supportive environment.


What are some of your proudest moments?

It would have to be when I was singing one of my unreleased original tracks at a gig to an audience that had never heard it before. One of the audience members started singing along. Another thing I’m proud of, is when a member of the audience approached me and said that a particular cover I sang really helped her through hard times.

That particular comment made me really honoured that I could help someone just through doing what I love.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan on releasing some original music, and I have some extremely cool gigs in the pipeline that I’m excited to announce very soon.

What makes you laugh?

I always appreciate a dry or sarcastic sense of humour. I believe in not taking life too seriously.

What pisses you off?

When others are too quick to judge and don’t accept people as they are.

Where can people check you out?

You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, and Youtube which are all located in this link below.




Oh boy is it cold right now! Y’all need to get warm at a gig ASAP, and luckily I have some juicy recommendations...

Are you ready for a Wollongong/CBR punk combo line-up? Well then head to the Burn The Capital show at The Basement on Saturday, 17 June! We’ve got Radio Rejects (Dharawal), None For One (Dharawal), Parrots with Piercings (Ngunnawal), and Gunk (Ngunnawal) all in attendance. Two ‘gong bands, two CBR bands, cos life’s all about balance, y’know?

Have y’all heard of Quivers? Well, they were described by Pitchfork as, “like the Go-Betweens but with Coachellaconquering ambitions”. If that doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will.

Quivers (Naarm) are a cathartic jangle pop band on the verge of finishing and releasing their third album, which should be out early 2024.

Coming up with them from Melbourne will be the DIY bedroom post-punk pop sounds of Pretty In Pink, who boast sad girl party tracks complete with hooky guitars and hyperreal vocals. And on the local support front we’re being represented by our dream-pop post-punk darlings, dogworld

Catch all these talented groups on Saturday, 24 June at sideway! Can you believe, Burntout Bookings is turning 2 years old? Big congratulations to Founder/Manager Sarah O’Malley! In such a short time you’ve put on so many awesome shows and built up such a great reputation for Burntout, so kudos! The Canberra music crowd is certainly richer for having you.

With a name like Burn The Capital, this is sure to be a gig full of energy. Maybe the bands will have a brawl on stage over their town pride. Who’s to say? You’ll have to show up and find out...

Straight Arrows (Gadigal) are heading our way to celebrate the launch of their new single, Walkin Thru My Mind.


Wanna come and celebrate Burntout’s birthday? Well, all you gotta do is come on over to Live at the Polo on Saturday, 8 July. You’ll be greeted by the likes of Suzi (Naarm), Box Dye (Ngunnawal), Bad Lunar (Ngunnawal), and Goon Gremlins (Awabakal) on the elevated stage. Will there be great music? Yes! Will there be lovely people? You betcha! Will there be pierogi? Of course there will. Get on it!

Frenzal Rhomb are back in town promoting their new album, The Cup of Pestilence! They’ll be telling you where drug dealers take their kids and how to make Gravox at The Basement on Friday, 21 July, and can you believe they’ll be joined by their legendary mates, The Meanies!?

Such a killer combo, this is sure to be a night to write home about (or not, depends how tolerant your family is).

If you wanna walk through my mind, this track transports me to a dim, smoke-filled living room, with lava lamps, worn-in couches, and the devil’s lettuce floating playfully around the room while the vinyl slowly scratches and spins in the corner.

I get this same tangible fantasy in my head when I listen to something like Anemone by The Brian Jonestown Massacre; music that makes you feel like you’re growing up in the ‘60s. It sure is a fun stroll into nostalgia, even though this song is brand new. Ain’t psychedelic punk rock cool like that?

Anyway, back to reality! Come check out Straight Arrows live at sideway on Saturday, 17 June!


Cable Ties was one of ‘em.

If you read my article on the upcoming Henry Rollins tour [EDITOR NOTE: and you really should; it’s terrific - Bossman Sko], you’d have learned of a couple of Aussie punk bands he showed affection towards a few years back.

And now you get the opportunity to check them out for yourself right here in the capital! They’ll be setting up their gear on The Shaking Hand stage on Friday, 11 August with Our Carlson (Naarm).

Cable Ties are a truly amazing band. The show they played at The Phoenix way back when with Moaning Lisa and Slagatha Christie was hands down one of the best gigs I’ve ever experienced, so I sincerely urge you to go see these guys while they’re in town. Absolutely S-tier. And there we are for another month. Stay warm, and see you next!


17 June - Burn the Capital – Radio Rejects (Dharawal) None For One (Dharawal)and Parrots with Piercings and Gunk

@The Basement

17 June - Straight Arrows launch ‘Walking Thru My Mind’


24 June - Quivers (Naarm) with Pretty in Pink (Naarm) and dogworld (Ngunnawal)


8 July – Burntout Bookings Turns 2!

@Live at The Polo

21 July - Frenzal Rhomb ‘The Cup of Pestilence’ tour with The Meanies

@The Basement

11 August - Cable Ties (Naarm) with Our Carlson and local supports yet to be announced

@The Shaking Hand

Cable Ties

To all those punk faithfuls — branded with Black Flag tattoos, a perpetual tattered copy of Black Coffee Blues bedecked on bedside table — I have wonderful news for you. Our muscle-bound, grey-haired wellspring of concisely worded rage and wisdom is coming back to Ngunnawal country to entertain and enlighten.

I speak, of course, of the one and only, Henry Rollins.

In case I need to tell you, Henry is one of the most iconic figures in punk history; a legend who inspires punk musicians to this day. His ambition to be eternally moulded by new ways of thinking and new points of view, both in the world of punk and outside it, is something to be commended.

He is known by fans for his relatable and down-to-earth nature, harbouring a genuine desire to see talented musicians be recognised, and succeed.

Many punk kids praise Henry for being easy to connect with, with many citing occasions where sent fan mail or sought advice has



been met with a reply. And not just any reply: a thorough and encouraging one to boot.

Henry Rollins truly is a Punk Dad to all.

If you’re not super familiar with how built into the fabric of the punk/rock music world Henry is, I highly recommend his podcast, Henry and Heidi, recorded in LA with long-time friend Heidi May. His stories about best friend Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi), getting to know Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead), being reluctantly dragged by his bandmates to his first KISS concert, and the experience that was putting together Lollapalooza, are all utterly captivating, as is every other episode. He is a master storyteller with much to say about his rich and remarkable life.

Speaking of stretches of time, hard to believe it’s been seven long years since he’s toured this country, with his An Evening With Henry Rollins tour being the previous outing. I, for one, have missed him terribly. By the sounds of it, he’s missed us too.

I was so incredibly fortunate to get the opportunity to ask him about some of his struggles through lockdown, and his thoughts on modern Australian punk.

Henry is renowned for his extensive travelling, country hopping as much as one human can. He actively strives to be home as little as possible, sometimes being in LA for a mere few weeks a year.

So, for someone with such an ambitious and unyielding wanderlust, the COVID lockdowns hit particular hard.

“It was depressing,” Henry recalls. “I had conditioned myself for a


lot of travel and lost all that during the lockdown. I had to find things to do from a fixed location.

“I adapted,” he continues, “but it was challenging. “Some things are bigger than you are, so you have to figure out a way through. I’d rather do that than waste time just being frustrated.”

Grateful to be able to return to the big island that is Australia, it seems Henry sure has a soft spot for this place, with some of our capital cities drawing particular praise.

“It’s a beautiful country, and the audiences are amazing,” he enthuses. “I liked it immediately upon arrival the first time. I always thought Melbourne was really cool. It seems to have the café society thing happening, which I think is aesthetically appealing.

“Brisbane looks like a postcard. Like, it’s too beautiful to be real; some of the views of the ocean?

“Perth is incredible…

“I guess I like being in Australia,” he concludes. “Anywhere you put me there, I’ll be okay.”

And should you be wondering where you might see Henry out and about when he’s not on the stage, suffice to say, a local punk gig is a hotspot in which to keep your eyes peeled.

“I go to shows when I’m not onstage myself,” Henry confirms. “I have a fair grip on Australian bands and if there’s something happening on a night off, I’m there.”

Speaking of Henry and Aussie punk, did you know he’s a massive fan? Well, now you do.

I discovered this for myself in 2019 when a panel discussion on punk music was put together to promote the release of the docu-series, Punk. On this panel were the likes of Marky Ramone, John Lydon (or Johnny Rotten as you might know him better), and Mr Rollins himself.

The recording of this event became infamous for the actions of one of the more opinionated and dominating participants.

“It was “heated” on account of a very drunk and sad Johnny Lydon [feeling] compelled to ruin the event. I don’t know the guy but it was a bad time.”

Bad time though it may have been, Henry did manage to sweet talk the microphone away from Johnny to give a shoutout to Australian punk, citing bands like BB and The Blips (Gadigal) and

Cable Ties (Naarm) as some of the groups that had caught his attention.

He’s quite partial to the punk movement in Australia, as it ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to his impression of what modern day punk looks like.

“At this point, it’s a moral/civic idea,” Henry states. “You see a lot of groups targeted for abuse like LGBTQ, women, non-white, etc. I think a true punk rock person would be standing up for these people.

“For me, at this point, it’s more than music. It’s a way of thinking; a set of values. I think it’s fair that if you ask different people, you’ll get different answers as to what punk rock means. I think all those answers would be correct and personally definitive.”

To all those punk rock bands out there that are starting to gain some traction, Henry has some insight into why fame and success can sometimes tarnish a group on their way to stardom, and why it’s not usually any fault of the musicians.

“As a band grows in popularity, more people become involved,” Henry says. “That’s where things can potentially start to go bad. It very well might not be the band but those people and the mechanism of the higher altitudes. A beer company becomes involved, and so on. It’s compromised by a lot of very small decisions.

“It’s probably a confusing thing for a band,” Henry continues. “They want to play in front of a lot of people, get paid, all the good stuff. There’s nothing wrong with any of that. But it seems to come with downsides.

“Fame and popularity are very tricky things. I think it’s easier to get it wrong than otherwise.”

As always, I’m very interested to see what the now 62 year-old spoken word artist wants to rant to us about at this point in time. Something infuriating, no doubt. But hopefully something inspiring as well. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

And, dear reader, if there are any questions you have for him that weren’t answered here, he has a reputation for hanging around after his shows for as long as people want to talk to him. He may be built like a brick s**thouse and have a resting kill face, but he’s deceptively inviting and loves a thought-provoking question or two. So go have a chat! I know I will.

Henry Rollins takes his Good To See You tour across Australia in June/July, visiting Canberra/Ngunnawal country for his Tuesday, 20 June at 8pm show at Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music. Tickets are $68.50 on sale now via Ticketek

If spring draws grey nomads to Floriade, and summer sees the rev heads come for the ‘Nats, then winter seems the time to tempt a Frenzal to Canberra. Perhaps because, I suspect, it’s a time that Lindsay “The Dr” McDougall can take advantage of the proximity to the snow.

Whatever the case may be, once again this winter—Friday, 21 July at The Basement to be precise—The Rhomb make their frosty pilgrimage, and there’s much to talk about with Frenzal frontman Jason “Jay” Whalley. After all, they’re charging in with a fresh batch of songs from their new full length album, The Cup of Pestilence.

The 19-tracker is now a part of what I call The Glenno Years. Sydney-via-Orange legend Glenn “Glenno” Smith has provided the striking illustrated cover art for the three most recent albums, with ‘Pestilence now sharing gallery space alongside Smoko At The Pet Food Factory (2011) and Hi-Vis High Tea (2017).

Glenno also plays in a band with Whalley called Chinese Burns Unit, but I digress.

It is not solely the aesthetic change that signifies The Glenno Years. There has been a significant sonic switch-up too. Said three albums saw the band make the long journey to Fort Collins, Colorado, in which they called upon the pop-punk godfather and Descendents/All founder Bill Stevenson, at the storied studio that is The Blasting Room.

The interview found Whalley in typically fine, witty form. With the opening leg of the tour in Adelaide and Melbourne under the studded belt, Whalley is fresh off taping their guest programming of Rage. I openly wondered about the internal pecking order for how the music videos were selected.

“The method in our band is full democracy,” Whalley states. “So it was 12.5 songs each for the programming, even though it was only Lindsay and myself in the studio. So for every video that Gordy (Foreman, drums) and Dal (Michael Dallinger, bass) chose there were these extensive notes to read out.”


“Yeah, but Dal has the absolute worst taste in music ever,” Whalley bemoans. “So while Gordy is picking Carcass, Dal is making me read out: ‘Hi. I’m Jason from Frenzal Rhomb, and here’s my favourite band… Boxcar Racer’. I delivered the message like a hostage video.”

Tune in for that one!

When I introduced the idea of The Glenno Years, Whalley was quick to interject.

“Oh, so you’re about to say that you guys only started writing good songs in 2011?” He soon lets me off the hook.

“It’s funny, because while people have been reacting to this new record, there’s people doing all these rankings of the entire Frenzal Rhomb catalogue. Which is very confronting,” he reveals.

”But then I read them and, like, 90% of them, like, yeah… you’re probably right. ‘That was a shit record, that should have been number nine…’ But there seems to be a lot of love out ther for the last three or four records.”

This is understandable. One thing The Blasting Room process has provided is a consistently excellent production over all three records. So just how did the fortuitous relationship with Bill Stevenson come to pass?

“Way back, we played a bunch of shows with All,” Whalley explains. “So we sort of knew Bill, and we had heard that he had done some recordings for Bodyjar in their early stages.

“Then the No Sleep festival came up, the Descendents were playing, and we approached Bill to see if he was into working with us idiots. Turns out he was, so we booked in as soon as we could.

“When Smoko’ turned out so well, we were hooked. For a start, they make us sound much tougher than we actually are.”

I compared the production of The Glenno Years albums to the one immediately prior


(Forever Malcolm Young) and put it to Whalley that, while there was a noticeable shift, the production still held up well 17 years later. The answer I got led to an unexpected revelation.

“Well, for a lot of people, that one is either their favourite or least favourite record as far as production goes. It’s rawer. It also reflects that we were trying to do everything live and record vocals in the studio with no headphones.

“Ultimately, for me, song wise it was a bit… I dunno. Rambling, or something like that. Of course this was before we introduced the punk rock spreadsheet.”

Excuse me… The what? This needed immediate clarification.

“I’m quite open about it,” Whalley says. “We always write way too many songs for a record, so choosing the final cut was a nightmare; everyone had their favourites and opinions. As a result, the album is going to have 25 songs on it, or something ridiculous, and it’s going to be way too long.

“So we came up with the punk rock spreadsheet. We make a column with 60 or 70 songs down the side and everyone gets to vote on it, including manager Chris. Any song that gets three votes is on the record. We then see if we have half an hour of music.”

As my head swirled at the possibilities, more revelations came.

“If we don’t have enough, then the wild cards come out,” Whalley reveals. “You start seeing people put in their shit song that they think is wonderful, and you know that’s when the lobbying starts. ‘I’ll vote for your shit song, but only if you vote for mine’.”

So the punk rock spreadsheet has incorporated the worst parts of political society by bringing in lobbying groups?

“Yes,” Whalley states. “This is what punk rock has been missing. I think a lot of bands are going to get on board.”

Spreadsheets, lobbying groups, band politics; it’s surely inevitable this becomes a monetised product that can be sold at a highly inflated rate?

“Absolutely,” Whalley says. “We are going to call it the FR Spreadsheet and use the Excel font on the app. It will be big. We first tried it on the Sans Souci record but it was unrefined. Now we have gone from thinking of each other: ‘These guys are idiots, I know the best five songs in a row for this record’, to politics, where everyone is only a little bit unhappy but you get 19 songs and 33 minutes on your album.”

Genius! So how many songs were entered into the punk rock spreadsheet for Cup of Pestilence?

“60 songs made it into the spreadsheet this time,” Whalley says. “While half the album was picked out pretty much straight away, we still went through the spreadsheet to work out the rest.

“Our process is to demo every song with full intent,” he continues. “That means we work out all the vocal harmonies and play it as best we can in order to see if it’s a hit. If we discover it isn’t, the song goes into the bin.”

I had to ask - if the punk rock spreadsheet dates back to Sans Souci, and the lobbying groups fail and send two-thirds of the songs to the bin, does anyone try and recycle something from the trash for the next album?

“Lindsay is notorious for trying that, and I will have no truck with it,” Whalley flatly states.

“Seriously, though, my attitude is, if the song didn’t make it once, it’s not good enough. Every now and again I might work on a verse that was in the bin. But I think, as a songwriter, you always know the best songs are the ones that just all fall out in one go. They’re the keepers. If you have to really work to bring it in, it’s generally not happening.”

The lobby groups aren’t very forgiving either.

“Often, I will come in hot with ten songs that I think are the best ten songs of all time,” Whalley says. “After working through it, we are left with nine of them sucking thanks to Gordy being absolutely brutal on what works and what doesn’t.”

The results spreadsheet and the key stakeholder control group can’t be denied. The new album sounds warm. At first I wondered if the subtle change I was hearing was down to this being Dallinger’s first album picking up the mantle from Tom Crease.

Crease had to bow out of Frenzal in 2019 due to ongoing hearing problems, and Dal was Tom’s top pick. He certainly has done a hell of a job, with some absolutely ripping basslines to be enjoyed throughout the album

That wasn’t quite what I picked up in the listen, though. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something in there; something warmer, or organic or, to rehash an earlier comment, “tougher” sounding. Was it the bass tone?

“Well picked up on!” Whalley confirms. “As for the bass tone sounds, it’s probably because Dal and the rest of us had nothing to do with it.” Whalley goes on to explain.

“In the studio, Dal was like ‘I bought my bass!’ and Bill (Stevenson) was like, ‘That’s nice’, and the bass was taken away. Bill was like, ‘don’t worry we got this,’ and then another bass and amp was prepared by the studio engineers who know the precise sound that’s going to work best for the album.

“Then there was the EverTune guitars, which I’m certain are going to be the death of music.”

[Briefly, an Evertune guitar is a special bridge (the bit you put the strings in) that’s set up so it physically can’t be put out of tune]

“Bill and team worked out that in a 20-day recording you waste a full day tuning guitars,” Whalley continues. “While you can make it so that you can bend the strings, the joy of playing with Lindsay is that his rhythm is a bit wild. He plays all over the place, with little signature bends and things that make it exciting.

“So we told Bill - ‘No EverTunes’. And he sort of sighs heavily. But it’s part of the magic of the record. We get these little microtone parts that are just a little bit out and more natural.”

How long did it take Gordy to do the drums?

“God, he’s such a fucking insane drummer,” Whalley enthuses. “He has a few goes at it, and he’s done. He does 18-19 songs in a day and then sets his mind to his real goal of drinking for the other 21 days in the studio.

“Which was good because it allowed me the time to focus on the numerous three-part vocal harmonies that I had spent so much time on in pre production.”

With album out and tour underway, what’s left to look forward to?

“For me, the best part of this tour is getting to play with The Meanies for 15 weeks in a row,” Whalley beams. “They’re a hugely influential band for me.

“In fact, the worst insult Link (Meanies vocalist) ever dropped on me was that Frenzal Rhomb sound nothing like The Meanies. “But this is all I have ever tried to do!” Whalley laughs.

“They’re in career best form off their last album, which I think is their best album. They’ve morphed from ‘90s frantic punk to this almost garage rock thing. It’s still so exciting to see them.”

There is, indeed, much excitement to be had for fans young and old when Frenzal Rhomb make mayhem with The Meanies at The Basement on Friday, 21 July for The Cup Of Pestilence album launch. Tickets are $59.90 via OzTix.



Over a near 20-year career the outfit have played alongside a laundry list of great bands in the genre (and beyond), including Fu Manchu, Red Fang, Torche, and Sepultura

Wouldn’t mind seeing that lot on the same bill to be honest. But their June bill is no less enticing with supports from Whisperhead and Slowbeard. Get yer tickets from OzTix.


Greetings from under my electric blanket in the garage where only the blackest of tidings are sent forth from lands afar...

Oh man, I shouldn’t have gotten Diablo IV on the early edition before writing this. It’s electronic crack I tells ya! But I digress.

Off the back of their recent run with master shredder Plini, I Built The Sky play The Basement on Thursday, 15 June

And holy dooly... if their prog stylings aren’t enough to entice you along, there’s a competition with some fine chests of loot to be plundered, including a novel addition to their tour in the form of a music masterclass.

A select few will provide a full meet and greet on top of a run down with main man Ro Han on all things songwriting, technique, and much more. The masterclass tickets include a chance to win a stunning Maton acoustic guitar (Australian made and the among the best there is), a Boss Katana 50 watt amp, or a set of Ro’s signature Bare Knuckle pickups. There’s only 20 tickets available for the masterclass so do not miss out on yours!

Swedish stoner rock riff lords Deville are making the effort to come to Canberra on Wednesday, 21 June before another Covid impacted touring schedule gets them caught up.

Witchskull have finally announced the fruits of their labours of the past year with the announcement of their fourth studio album, The Serpent Tide. It’s a labour of love produced in Melbourne at Toyland, as well as Goatsound Studios with long time collaborator Jason PC.

The band’s label, Rise Above Records, put forth the happy news that Friday, 16 June is the date to circle, and released the video for the lead single of the album, also entitled The Serpent Tide which online now.

The band are playing a launch on Saturday, 24 June at The Australian Croatian Club in Downer on a huge bill dubbed Metal Knights. The veritable mini-fest features a hefty cast in support, in the corporeal forms of Pure Envy, Elm Street, Dark Horse, Just Say Ozzy! and Aiffel. Tickets are available now at Moshtix.

The Skull have also prepared a few shows down the east coast, and a couple forthcoming in town, so keep an eye out for those. All the best to the boys for the new record.

Saturday, 24 June has all the opportunities for all the metal flavours with the Eurovision WA legends Voyager coming to The Basement big room on the Canberra leg of their full Australian tour.

After coming a hard done by 9th, but still defying all the odds and representing Australia so awesomely on the world’s biggest musical competition stage, you know you’re in for an epic night. If you really got the Eurovision bug and want to meet the guys, they have a great meet and greet package available [actually, they don’t; it’s sold out - BOSSMAN SKO]

Also on Saturday, 24 June out the back room of The Basement, Sydney thrashers Dark Order celebrate 30 years in the game with a huge night of headbanging madness, and they’re inviting you to join them for the party.


With Chain Tombstone and The Dead Men, Depuration, and Dyatlov Pass in support, along with a set covering Dark Order’s eight-album career by the headline band themselves, the night will be dialed to 11. Get your tickets via OzTix now.

Friday, 30 June gifts us with a monster show with one of the UK’s absolute best doom bands of all time paying a visit to The Basement. Esoteric have been doing it slow for 31 years in 2023 and are one of the earliest proponents of what was dubbed later as the “funeral doom” style of death-laced doom metal. Almost impenetrable heaviness is on the cards to ticket holders and you will kick yourself if you miss the Maniacal Pyrrhonism Tour! Fantastic support bill too, with Sydney’s excellent Burden Man and Canberra’s own death doom vets Futility providing a perfect compliment to the main course.

Megadeth fans have a big mark on their fridge calendars for Wednesday, 12 July with the exciting news that Dave Ellefson and Jeff Young are reuniting to perform the seminal albums Killing is My Business...and Business is Good and So Far, So Good...So What in their entirety!

And the meet-and-greet theme for the month continues with packages available for this one as well. So dig out your battle jackets and vinyl and tapes and get your tickets for this naught to be repeated event today.

Mid July is going to be a big week at The Basement with the Canberra leg of the Exhumed tour rolling into town on Sunday, 16 July. A huge local bill will be on hand to join the gore metal masters including Wretch, Carnal Viscera and Claret Ash. It’s been 20 years and 40kgs for me since the guys rolled through town last.

Photo for proof on the left, there, showing my much thinner self with Exhumed member Leon Del Muerte as well as The Secret Devil Zine editors who has gone on to join bands including Nails.

Tickets on sale via OzTix now!

Lastly, this month gives us the cryptic promise of the headliner for this year’s instalment of Hard Out! happening at Rose Cottage on Saturday, 22 July

Said headliner is announced on Saturday, 24 June, but confirmed for now are The Vee Bees, Hydranaut, Spoil, The Barren Spinsters, B.C., Oceanlord, Escape Syndrome & Grand Duke. That’s enough to steel your reserves and buy some thermal undies. Tickets are on sale now at Moshtix.


Before I get to my interview with Dami Im, her upcoming show at The Street Theatre on Friday, 14 July, and her new EP and lead single In Between, I want to go back a decade to 2013 and discuss why there should be an idiom added to the Australian lexicon. I proffer the phrase “done a Dami”, which I loosely define as “wildly exceeding expectations in the face of disbelievers”.


For those who don’t recall, Dami Im was a contestant on Season 5 of The X-Factor. Born in Korea and living in Queensland, Dami was, and is, an incredible pianist and gospel singer, and this talent shone throughout the competition.

In the earliest part of that season, as they were whittling the contestants down, Dami was the last person eliminated at the super bootcamp, meaning she didn’t progress to the live finals. A young man in those finals decided he couldn’t commit to the competition and Im ended up taking his place, singing for Dannii and Kylie Minogue in New York City. She would go on to win.

The resultant winner’s single, Alive, debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA charts, with both the single, and the associated self-titled album, going certified platinum.

Jumping to 2016, Dami releases album Classic Carpenters, celebrating the Carpenters clan, and is soon announced as Australia’s entrant into the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

Photos: Ken Outch

The year prior was our nation’s debut, with Guy Sebastian being given a wildcard straight through to the finals, ultimately finishing in a very respectable fifth place. This time round, however, Dami would have to do it the traditional way - getting enough votes to get through the semi final, and then again having the final decision wrought by the judging panel and public votes.

“No one expected me to get such a great result,” Dami says.

And so, a pre-planned trip to Uganda to see her sponsor child Jovia as part of her role as Ambassador of Compassion Australia, literally the day after the competition was over, was not cancelled.

Im won her semi final and finished second overall, in a result Australia has never bettered. Eurovision had changed its voting process that year to inject new excitement into the format.

Under the former system, Dami would have won. It was that close.

Bringing us nearer to the present, and this time last year, Dami and her husband Noah celebrated ten years of marriage with the birth of their son, Harry. Somewhere in those early days someone asked Dami if she still sang, like motherhood was some sort of a switch that turned her previous life off.

In the push and pull of this big life change, her Korean heritage, and weighty expectations from both society and record company, Dami started to write an album around her sense of exisiting in the middle of it all, and yet feeling separate.

“When I wrote the EP, I was pregnant,” Dami shares. “It was a really difficult time emotionally, getting my head around the whole change.

“There’s a double meaning to the title In Between. My life’s always been in between these different things. In between being Korean and being an Australian.

“I have always felt like I was neither, in some ways.

“And now, I find myself in between being a mother and a career person,” Dami continues. “I don’t always feel like I fit perfectly anywhere. I guess that’s a normal thing. It’s a process of constantly shifting and floating around between all these identities.”

I found Dami to be somewhat circumspect in her answers, like she was in between two minds as to whether to speak honestly or with a filter. The title song, co-written with Jude York, has a similar meditative tone.

“I wrote it when I wasn’t having a great day. I was just feeling really down,” Dami reveals. “I had a big cry, and decided to walk through the nearby cemetery. I read all the stories on the headstones.

“It got me thinking: in the end, we all end up here. No matter what we do, how long we live for or what kind of life we lead, everyone’s going to end up here.”

And so, from death, life was breathed into a new song.

“In Between is about remembering that life is really about those in between moments,” Dami explains. “Not necessarily the big milestones and grand achievements, even though naturally we do look forward to those, and have goals to strive for.

“It’s the everyday in between moments that matter in the end.”

Speaking of dreams, I don’t normally go into my interviews trying to rewrite the handbook, but in Dami’s case I had to ask her a question I was pretty sure she’d never been asked before.

The most formative friendship of my teenage years and young adulthood was with a girl called Steph whose story is strikingly similar to Dami’s - born in Korea, moved here as a child, also played piano and sang in church. We travelled to Korea, where I stayed with her family. Whilst there in her native home, I asked her what language she dreamed in while overseas, and never forgot her reply.

Now was my chance to ask the esteemed Dami the same.

“Ha!” she laughs. “It depends who you’re talking to in the dream; whether it’s your family or people you work with. If it’s an abstract dream, I think it’d be in Korean. If I’m just by myself, walking in the desert, then running away from snakes [it’s at this point I start laughing; I know that dream], I would probably scream in my mother tongue,

Umma is Korean for mum. I used to call Steph’s mum Umma too. How appropriate. That interlude aside, this tour is about the journey and the future, Dami’s glorious style choices, playing the hits (I’m assured that a couple of Carpenters songs will be included) and an acknowledgement of her fans new and old alike.

“I’ll be sharing the new songs, of course, but I also want the show to be relatable to people’s own transitions and seasons in their lives,” she says. “It’s the 10th anniversary of the Dami Army that I met through The X Factor, so we’ll have a party with music.”

We all can relate to being in between relationships, cultures, work identity, and life stages. A party with Dami Im to acknowledge and celebrate this unifying experience sounds like a wonderful time.

Dami Im’s new EP In Between is out on Friday, 7 July through ABC Music. Her east coast tour starts the same day in her hometown of Brisbane. She performs at The Street Theatre on Friday, 14 July at 8pm. Tickets are $59 + bf via the venue.


The Gentleman’s Companion / Rock out with your cocktail out / Sun, 18 June / Yazz Bar, Yass

Yass, queen! If you fancy a visit to our dear neighbours down in Yass, then Music Theatre Projects has a little something to welcome you to the region. Rock songs, cocktail recipes, ripping yarns - shaken, not stirred. With a seasoning of rock standards, in celebration of the cocktail, Dianna Nixon stands ready with glass in hand and a voice that will rumble, soar, chat, and cry in this solo gambol inspired by Charles H Baker’s delicious 1939 tome of instructions for satisfying imbibement and degustation. 4pm - 6:30pm, come for the show (tix $25), a cuppa, a meal and, importantly, a cocktail

Monthly Gang Gang Comedy Returns! / With Aiden Jones / Wed, 21 June / Gang Gang

Gang Gang Comedy is back this June with the newly renovated Gang Gang Cafe ready to host some of the best comedians from around the country. This month, rising star on the national scene Aidan Jones is headlining, with local supports Suma Iyer, Sam Silla, and Laura Johnston. Your MC for the evening will be Chris Marlton. Aidan Jones has featured on triple j, ABC, and Triple M, and his debut stand-up special Taco was released worldwide on Amazon Prime in 2022. Doors open at 7pm, tickets available from Humanitix

Piers Lane / Legendary UK-based Aussie pianist Thu, 29 June / Snow Concert Hall

Legendary UK-Based Australian pianist Piers Lane spoils Canberra audiences with a stunning program of treasures by piano composer giants Rachmaninov and Chopin. Five times soloist at the BBC Proms, Piers Lane has a worldwide reputation as an engaging, searching and highly versatile performer. He has written and presented over 100 programmes for BBC Radio 3, including the 54-part series “The Piano”, and at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished services to the arts. 7pm, $60 - $110 via Humanitix

Now in its eighth year, NAIDOC In The North is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through story, song, art, dance, and ceremony. It is held in Canberra, on the lands of the Ngunnawal People, and welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds to learn from our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community through workshops, performances, activities, and entertainment. In 2023, NAIDOC In The North will return to it’s original home at Belco Arts – on the shores of Lake Ginninderra. 11am - 2pm, free for all the family

Poetic City Zine Fair / Browse, buy, or make your own zine / Sat, 8 July / The Street Theatre

Well now; I can’t preside over the printed form and not celebrate and champion this event, can I? Zines are the ultimate in DIY publication for poets and artists. And at the Poetic City Zine Fair, you can browse, buy, or make your own! CanberraZine Emporium will host a maker space where you can create your own zine, with zines for sale from makers both local and Australia-wise. Local ziners are also invited to book a table to sell and trade their work. Spend the afternoon showing, sharing ‘n’ trading zines, chatting to fellow appreciators, and creating something new. 1pm, 5-hour drop-in event, free entry

QL2 Dance Gather - The Meet Up Performance Mon, 10 July / The Playhouse - Canberra Theatre

Meet Up is a biennial gathering of Australian youth dance companies, organised by QL2 Dance and held in the Nation’s Capital. Acting as a connection opportunity for dance professionals at all levels, for us mere mortal punters it presents a chance to see six innovative new dance works by Youth Dance Companies from around Australia: QL2 Dance – Quantum Leap Ensemble (Canberra), Yellow Wheel (Melbourne), Stompin (Launceston), Catapult – The Flipside Project (Newcastle), AUSTI Dance and Physical Theatre (Wollongong), and FLING Physical Theatre (Bega). 7pm, $35 + bf via venue

Naidoc In The North/ Indigenous story, song, art, dance, and ceremony / Sat, 8 July / Belco Arts

Crying Wolf

“Earthquake is Fine,” says Head of Earthquake Department

A series of expensive fines have been issued to the Intraplate Faultlines responsible for the 3.8 magnitude earthquake in Southern Victoria in late May this year.

BMA’s Chris Marlton investigates.

Shuddering Consequences

Tissue boxes wobbled, egg yolks quivered, and loose-fill asbestos danced in the ceilings of Melbourne homes on the morning of Sunday, 28 May as Southern Victoria was struck by yet another earthquake.

Ingrid Stitt, State Minister for the Environment, was on her doorstep Monday morning to meet reporters.

“We are officially shook,” said the Labor MP. “But we don’t intend to take this lying down.”

Indeed they did not.

At 2pm that afternoon, Minister Stitt’s office had approved the surprising decision by Cathy Heycock from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of Victoria to issue a $22 million fine to the 3.8-Mag Earthquake responsible.

The quake was Christened “Earthquake Mickey” by Dr Bertrand Timbal, General Manager of the Research Program Unit within the Science and Innovation Group overseen by the Divine Metric Mediators at the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology less than two hours before the groundbreaking fine was issued.

Earthquake Mickey was contacted by BMA Magazine for comment, but has not yet responded.

Unified Response

Lauren Blizzard, Chief Media Officer at The Natural Disasters Union (NDU), issued the following press release on Wednesday, 31 May:

“The NDU hold strong to the following eternal truths:

A) All Natural Disasters, Earthquakes, Mudslides, Wildfires, Hurricanes, Sinkholes, and those known associates, are born of the relative excess quantity of natural agent as defined by humanity. If a tree falls in the forest… etcetera, etcetera...

B) One Species’ trash is another Species’ treasure; and

C) We ain’t got any money.”

Landslide Peter and Hurricane Andrew, the Co-Managing Directors at the NDU, arranged to meet with Minister Stitt’s Office. At time of reporting, it has been difficult to learn if such a meeting took place for the simple consideration—in this humble reporter’s opinion—of the logistics of a mudslide and a hurricane occurring simultaneously inside a meeting room full of fleshy humans.

Family First, and Second

Earthquake Mickey’s ex-wife, Tsunami Sue, agreed to speak with BMA Magazine about how the recent events have disrupted her life.

“He doesn’t pay child support, so how in hot hell is he supposed to pay a fine like that?” she bemoaned, wind-swept, and on the verge of tears.

“Our children, Cyclone Olivia and Acid-Rain Jed, hardly see him as it is. If he gets put in jail for being unable to pay the fine they’ll never see their father.

“This state Government just doesn’t care about families!”

PAGE 28 @bmamag Exhibitionist | Comedy in the ACT

In stark contrast, Mickey’s current girlfriend, Avalanche Blanche, holds a different view.

“Any publicity is good publicity, ain’t it? We’ve already signed a book deal out of this, and I’m getting a perfume endorsement. We’re gonna call it Blanche-Stanche.

“And I’m excited to announce... I’m pregnant!

“Yesiree... The earth shook for me too the other night. That Mickey of mine is one hell of a lover!”

NDU Faces Backlash

The current media circus has pointed attention to another issue that the National Disaster Union have been quietly battling in the courts for the past 18 months.

Light-Breeze Sally filed a discrimination suit against the NDU in late 2021 for not allowing her membership.

“I’ve got a right to have my form of Natural Disaster recognised and embraced on the same level as the rest of them,” said Light-Breeze in a recent interview with esteemed publication, Gust-Weekly.

Lauren Blizzard from the NDU responded sharply that, “Simply being a social disaster is not enough to qualify to join the Union. We have standards… standards that this candle-blower isn’t capable of understanding.

“Tell her to get back to me when even ONE insurance claim she’s responsible for causing is refused… just ONE, and then we can talk.”

Uncertain Terms

Minister Stitt’s office maintain that the $22 million fine will stand, and that Earthquake Mickey’s refusal to pay has resulted in the case being escalated to the Supreme Court of Victoria, where Mickey will be expected to show up and face the music.

The case is scheduled to begin in October 2025, to allow time for a number of expensive, Tokyo-style, earthquakeproofing modifications to be installed into the Supreme Court foundations. These include load-bearing walls and supporting beams.

“These stalling-tactics don’t phase us,” said Sinkhole Jim, Head Lawyer at NDU. “We’ll show up when they ask us to. We’re not shying away. We don’t care what they do to the building, Mickey’s gonna show, and you better believe he’s gonna bring the house down.”

Chris Marlton is a comedian, writer, painter, and film-maker. His comedy special Mephisto Waltz is available to watch for free on YouTube. All upcoming comedy shows are available at www.linktree/ChrisMarlton. Follow @chris.marlton & @ laserfirecomedy on Instagram and @ChrisMarltonComedy on Facebook.


In Praise of Tailgating

In Northern Queensland, people are tough. They vote for Bob Katter, drink terrible beer, and repress all emotion (well, not all; they have a reserve for when someone brings up Daylight Saving Time).

Yet despite the tribulations that come with living on or near spectacular coastlines and subsisting on outstanding seafood, there is one thing they don’t do: tailgate.

I was reminded of this the other week when driving on the Bruce Highway between Proserpine and Mackay, arguably one of the most blighted strips of sad patchwork asphalt in the country. I noticed the utes behind me maintain a respectful distance between their vehicles and the beat-up Toyota Camry I rattled along in.

Sure, the faces I saw in the rear-view mirror spoke of frustration at my audacious insistence on maintaining the speed limit. But their vehicle placement was impeccably courteous.

It is different in here in The Capital.

Tailgating is a pastime that Canberrans hold particularly dear, though not for any obvious reason.

It is certainly not because we are in a hurry, because there is nowhere to go with any urgency in this town. There’s pick-up from daycare or school, sure, or going to Emergency, or getting to Dobinson’s early if you are on sausage roll detail for work morning tea and did not preorder them (and in the case of the latter: you are an absolute goose. Always pre-order your Dobinson’s sausage rolls.

Nor is it impatience that compels vehicular space intrusion. On the contrary, Canberrans have an erotic enjoyment of anticipation. A Canberran’s preferred form of edging is awaiting the opening of a national culinary institution. When Messina arrived, we collectively blew our loads.

And hard. So hard, in fact, that pants were ruined, lower backs were thrown out, and a good long sit on a cold, cold wheat bag was essential.

We also queue for events with sustained ardour and some heavy breathing. We understand the payoff that comes after a long wait. Thanks, in part, to these proclivities, The Capital is not an uptight city either. We have been voluntarily dulled by the ease of daily life, seduced by the opiates of high incomes, prudent town planning, and Dobinson’s sausage rolls (and you know— you KNOW—that Jenny (or is it Gemma?) the EA loves a sausage roll. She always brings in homemade scones for morning tea. With Chantilly cream. So maybe you can show a bit of respect for Jenny/Gemma and preorder from Dobinson’s. Could you do that, champ?)

Other states say that the only good thing about the ACT is that marijuana is legal. Canberrans know this reputation to be grounded in ignorance. We are quick to point out that, in fact, marijuana is

decriminalised rather than legal. So actually—we say, polishing our glasses before pointedly readjusting them on our face— it’s not all that good.

Still, Canberra is a city of people who would sooner punch cones than drywall, security clearance allowing.

We informally regulate life tasks through social consensus, including turning on heaters (ANZAC Day) and planting tomatoes (Melbourne Cup Day). Canberrans do this because we love a rule.

Except when it comes to parking inside the lines at the local shops, of course. Or merging, anywhere.

Or how we use the green turning arrow as the chance for a powernap, only making a sprint to turn just before the arrow goes red.

In all these instances, we allow the spirit of chaos to enter our being and cause small to small-medium amounts of inconvenience to those around us. It is the closest we will come to civil disobedience.

To social conventions we declare: heck you, and the Volkswagen Touareg you rode in on.

We are a simple people. Our pleasures are few and unspectacular: a good find at the Kathmandu factory outlet; the many-titted Skywhale; and a book club meeting with a wide spread and a short running time.

We also enjoy leaving Canberra, a proverbial starter’s pistol firing early on the Friday of any given long weekend, signalling the coordinated abandonment of our fair city. Preferably involving unnecessary nose to bumper proximity between cars.

Canberrans just want to feel something, and we don’t really mind what that something is. The soft nuzzle of front to rear bumper is a form of intimacy for us, a welcome relief from the ennui of large incomes and larger residential blocks.

There you are in front of us now, going at or slightly below the posted speed limit. You’ve made that choice, and we are behind you all the way. Like, right behind you. Unlike our North Queensland associates, we are not tough but courteous with our vehicle placement.

What we are is a Territory of soft-handed tailgaters. Is it love? Or is it trolling? We do not know. What’s important is that we know what we like. And I, for one, applaud our community for its chosen pastime.

Unless, of course, you are the driver of a Volkswagen Touareg who was tailgating my Hyundai on the Parkway last Saturday, in which case you need to take a good hard look at yourself. You were so close to me I could practically feel your cold, recently-Messina’d breath on my neck. What I’d really like is if someone keyed a huge, veiny dick onto the side of your car. That’d be nice. And until that happens? Well, I’m more than happy to wait.

Suma Iyer is a Canberra comic who performs across Australia. To keep up to date with Suma, head to @sumaiyercomedy on Instagram.

PAGE 30 @bmamag Exhibitionist | Comedy in the ACT

BMA’s Anthony Plevey talks to playwright Eloise Snape about the upcoming Canberra performance of her first major play, Pony. It’s a one-woman, 30-role exploration of pregnancy that is as brazen and hilarious as it is heartfelt and meditative.

Pony is billed as an “oh-so sassy, crass crusade” through pregnancy. Following a spirited conversation with playwright Eloise Snape, she reveals it to be much more than just a comedic premise.

“It's a fully scripted play,” states Snape. “A single-handed performance in which actor, Briallen Clarke, inhabits 30 roles.”

These roles include protagonist Hazel, her mother and grandmother, and the midwife and doctor, delivering a no-holds barred travelogue through childbearing’s disorientation. It’s a study of the transition from free-wheeling party girl to responsibility-laden mother-to-be in 21st-Century Australia.

Snape acknowledged director Anthea Williams' script collaboration on Pony, her first major work, and her trust of Williams and Clarke in rehearsal.

“It was nice to step back, confident that they knew the story, and knew the ideal way to rehearse to bring the best out,” she reveals.

“Briallen is incredibly, insanely talented. I knew that she would understand the story and the way that I see it.

“The way she delivers the punchlines and the jokes is exactly how I heard them in my head when writing.”

Asked on who is the enemy of this crusade, Snape acknowledged that reality, biology, survival, and loss are chief among the foes. The sense of loss and hope generated by the work has surprised audiences, who perhaps settled into their seats expecting a light serving of crass comedy.

“I was aiming, and hoping, to make people laugh and cry, so it seems to be doing that,” she says.

An aspect of loss is emphasised by the use of the eponymous 1996 song, Pony, by Ginuwine. With its hedonistic lyric, this is Hazel's party-girl anthem. While she self-confessedly doesn't care much about her job, with a child imminent, she's painfully aware of the dwindling chances left to hit the dancefloor to that song.

“She is a Peter Pan type character,” says Snape. “She thinks she is in her early 20s.”

Pony also has its take on the stereotypes of pregnancy and the challenges of being a millennial mum.

“One of the things that we're trying to say with this play is that the journey to becoming a mother is almost impossible,” states Snape.

“The expectation that while you are growing another human in your body, you are also supposed to do all the things that you were doing before. How we are meant to still achieve, work, and run companies.

“All whilst having to choose and juggle birthing classes, gender reveals, and other strange, not necessarily enjoyable things that are expected to be done nowadays.”

Along with the culture shock and “impossibility” of pregnancy, Snape's Pony also tackles the various mental health issues brought on by childbearing.

“Hazel is having her first child, she is struggling with prenatal anxiety, frightened of what she is going to lose, and comparing herself to people in her world,” says Snape.

Relating to her own experience:

“It can be a short period,” she says. “At the time, however, it feels like it's going to last forever. You do, eventually, start to find yourself again. Then, if anything, a year later, you've learned, found yourself, and become more whole as a human being.”

Similarly, Pony doesn't shy away from close encounters of the gynaecological kind.

“Yes, it does get quite graphic and raw with some of the descriptions,” Snape says.

“Through the midwife character, Hazel experiences the way in which, in pregnancy, a woman's body, becomes not only hers but also everybody else's property.

“A thing to be looked at, examined, and judged.

“I don't hold back,” Snape continues. “As much as we want to try to escape our genes and our genetics, we can't. With horror stories in her head, and performance anxiety about the birth and the aftermath, Hazel asks: 'Will my vagina be destroyed?'”

It’s not all out-of-control discomfort, pain, confusion and doubt, of course. The wonder and mystery of motherhood also shines.

“On the journey of the play we go through all of those things with Hazel; the physical changes in the body along with the societal pressures,” says Snape. “However, you walk away with a sense of positivity, hope, and wonder at the pure feat of nature that is growing a human being in your body. How incredible women are and how incredible it is to bring a child into the world.

“Women are so powerful and just complete superheroes.”

To honour this very point, a feature of the season will be the morning Babes in Arms Performance on Thursday, 22 June at 11am.

Her Canberra and Canberra Theatre Centre invite new and expectant mothers to complimentary coffee and cake before heading into a special breast-feeding friendly, house lights on performance.

Pony is showing at the Canberra Theatre Centre between 22-24 June at 7:30pm in the evenings, with a 2pm matinee on Saturday, 24 June. Tickets are $49 - $69 + bf via Canberra Ticketing.


Poetic City Winter Edition

You can warm yourself by the fire of creativity this winter when the second Poetic City Festival rolls out a plethora of welcoming interactive events for established sonateers and the poetry-curious alike. BMA’s Anthony Plevey sharpened his quill and caught up with Festival Director Jacqui Malins to learn what literary delectables await us.

In the first two weeks of July, Poetic City Winter Edition, the second iteration of Canberra’s Poetic City Festival, will combine the themes of winter and urban life to thrillingly activate the City West precinct. These themes will be driven by the key focus of engagement and outreach, with a raft of opportunities for creative interaction and participation via a wide-reaching and deliciously varied program that welcomes all.

Supported by a place-making grant from the City Renewal Authority (CRA) and the ACT Government, the festival will enliven connections between the CBD and the City West area, with a number of the festival’s installations and activities happening in the area between Civic Square, the Australian National University, The Street Theatre, and the Food Co-op.

The festival warms-up in June with a program of workshops, providing accessible, supportive, encouraging, and fun environments for people who might be, as Festival Director Jacqui Malins puts it, “poetry curious”.

“The Festival welcomes anyone who has ever been interested in having a bit of a go, giving them many opportunities to do just that,”

Malins says. “There is a real joy in creating something.”

Creative output from these workshops will feed into the activities, installations, and artworks which will enhance the City West environment for the festival.

“Canberra already has a vibrant and dynamic poetry community and it’s an art form that is open to anyone,” says self-declared poetry evangelist Malins. “It’s very portable. It’s very cheap. We all have the toolkit within us – words and language. All you need is a pen and paper or a phone and you’re away!”

This framing of poetry as an accessible artform is very deliberate. “Poetic City Winter Edition aims to break down perceptions of poetry as lonely musing and silent reading,” Director Malins says. “There’ll be lots of exciting, interactive things happening, with


Putting The ‘Try’ in Poetry

performance and collaborative events showcasing all the things poetry is today.”

The main festival events are happening between 1 -10 July, cross-linking with the CRA’s Winter in The City events and school holidays activities, the Uncharted Territory Innovation Festival, and NAIDOC Week (2-9 July). The latter will bring the voices of Canberra’s First Nations poets, with Us Mob Writing presenting poetry on the theme of For Our Elders.

It’s a program with many highlights, one of which being The Secret Histories of City West.

“The event is facilitated by the fantastic Zoe Anderson and features seven commissioned poets,” Malins enthuses. “Artists choose a site in City West and create a new poem about the secret history, be it real or imagined, of these places.

“Musical duo The Cashews will be using the poetry to deepen and enrich people’s relationship with the city environment.”

Poetic City audiences will be able to access these Secret Histories on a walking tour with the poets on Sunday, 9 July, with the poetry

performed live at each site. A compilation booklet of the works will also be created, and QR code links on the pavement can be scanned to read the poems or listen to a recording.

Saturday, 8 July will be one of the big nights of the fest, courtesy of the SlamCity Showcase at The Street Theatre.

“This fun poetry/party night will feature outstanding Canberra slam poets who have performed at, or won, a poetry slam,” Malins extols. “And we have a special performance by Melbourne based performance poet Waffle IronGirl.”

In what’s proving to be an excitingly busy day ‘n’ night, and to compliment the creme de la creme of the Slam Poetry scene, Saturday, 8 July will play host to, and lovingly nurture, the future voices of the form.

“The Slam Shop on Friday, 7 July is an exciting collaboration with Canberra Slam,” Malins reveals. “It delivers a poetry slam workshop

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for 13 to 18 year-olds especially designed to help young people unpack their own stories, create a slam poem, and learn how to perform it confidently.

“The Fresh Voices showcase [also on 8 July] will give these newest voices in Canberra an opportunity to get up and strut their stuff.”

For those who might find performance a bit daunting, the Potluck Story Share will offer a welcoming story circle, a facilitated group that allows anyone to share a story or poem that says something about their history, ancestry, culture, and connection.

Poetic City Winter Edition will reprise some popular events from the successful 2021 festival. These include the audience-led Haiku For You in which flyers adorn the city with takeaway poetry featuring submitted Haiku verse on a winter and/or urban themes.

Furthermore, the highly popular Poetry Paste-Up workshop is back, providing a place where people can create graphic text-based posters that will go up on Marcus Clarke Street.

The festival will build on existing and new partnerships to ensure an inclusive, diverse festival through events including Queer Voyages

- Journeys in Poetry, Poetry Not Luxury Women’s Open Mic, Mother Tongue Multilingual Mic and Multilingual Poetry Workshop, and Poetry in Colour: Reading & Writing Anti-Racist Poetry with COAR.

Poetic City will also intersect with the visual arts, music, innovative thinking and the natural world.

“There’s A Flock of Words!, which is poetry and art for children inspired by Sidney Nolan’s Birds,” Malins explains. “There’s also the Poetry Paste-Up, as well as the Songs Are Poems songwriting workshop, Poetry as Innovation Machine symposium, and The London Planes of Odgers Lane.”

Centred on interactivity, creativity and connection, the Poetic City Festival invites people of all ages to enjoy good company, creative guidance, and sharing with the Canberra poetry community across a program of 30 entertaining, engaging and thought provoking activities. The time has come to slake that poetry curiosity.

Most Poetic City Winter Edition events and workshops are low fee or no charge but bookings are essential. Full program details at:


What would you do if you could travel back in time? The million-dollar question. As music fans, which decade would you choose? Which artist would you see?

The Quarrymen in residence at the Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool, in 1959? Or perhaps The High Numbers (who had recently changed their name from one which they would ultimately revert back to) at the Railway Hotel, London, in 1964?

Or maybe even see a house band play mostly R&B while introducing some psychedelia at the Marquee Club, London, in 1966?

You would, of course, have been seeing the early iterations of The Beatles, The Who, and, lastly, in an audience of 50 people, Pink Floyd. In somewhat of a snag to this scenario, time travel remains an impossible dream. Some may have been fortunate enough to see Pink Floyd when it included Australia in its relentless 1972 touring schedule, David Gilmour having replaced Syd Barret years earlier.

With band members Richard Wright, Nick Mason, and David Gilmour parting ways with Roger Waters in the 1980s, and the untimely loss of Barrett in 2006 and Wright in 2008, it is left to current-day musicians to authentically re-create their music in a live setting.

The Australian Rock Collective (ARC) does this with incontrovertible ease. Comprising Darren Middleton (Powderfinger), Davey Lane (You Am I), KRAM (Spiderbait), and Mark Wilson (Jet), it has proven its winning methodology, playing to sold out audiences around the country, extending its reputation as a “not to be missed” live show. It pays tribute to music that its members obviously love, and connect with, through carefully curated performances.

Its upcoming 50th anniversary presentation of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon follows successful sold-out tours in 2019 (Abbey Road Live) and 2022 (Harvest Live and Let it Be Live).

ARC member, and Powderfinger guitarist and songwriter, Darren Middleton shared his insights with BMA ahead of ARC’s 12-show metropolitan and regional tour in June–July 2023.

“We are all Floyd fans for different reasons, I imagine,” he says.

“For me, David Gilmour was one of those guitarists that you looked up to. His style, phrasings, and use of effects are very interesting. He was very tasteful in his approach.

“As a whole, Dark Side is a beautiful concept album; rich in textures, tones, and ideas…. I love it.”

The Dark Side Of The Moon (DSOTM) was released in a golden age for music, with other classics like Led Zeppelin’s Houses Of The Holy, Bowie’s Aladdin Sane, and The Who’s Quadrophenia

Hitting the world in March 1973, the album was career defining for Pink Floyd, charting within the top three positions in most of the traditional music markets.

In Australia, its release joined other pre-eminent popular culture events of the period, such as the Sunbury Music Festival.

Originally conceived by Waters, and presented to the band as a conceptual collection of songs about the pressures of life as a musician, the album would eventually include songs that dealt philosophically with topics that remain as relevant today as they were in 1973. The songs on a concept album, as the name suggests, have enhanced coherence when considered in entirety rather than individually. The album speaks of themes such as wealth, war, mental illness, existence, and death.

ARC appears to have an awareness of the importance of such themes, and indeed champions social consciousness issues. The war against Ukraine saw a united condemnation of Russian aggression throughout NATO and allies. ARC raised public awareness by dedicating a song to the people of Ukraine during its Harvest Live tour. Floyd’s Gilmour and Mason re-formed in the same year to release the song Hey, Hey, Rise Up! in protest of the war.

There are a lot of similarities between the period DSOTM was released into and the times in which we now find ourselves. The early 1970s became a period of disillusionment in many countries as Flower Power died and American and allied involvement in the Vietnam War wore down in ugly fashion.

On DSOTM, greed is called out in the song Money, which ironically helped Pink Floyd pocket millions while simultaneously laying the groundwork for its later break-up over finances. I asked Darren whether he saw the song as a reflection of the times it was written in or whether the message was closer to home for Pink Floyd.

“I think that the band wrote a song with a subject they wanted to talk about,” Darren muses. “Not with the vision of it making a lot of money, or with the future including David and Roger fighting about it. It would have been a reflection on a part of society at the time.

“This is often the case with ideas,” Darren continues. “Sometimes you become that which you initially loathed.”

Influencing my own generation’s connection to Pink Floyd’s music was the song The Wall, a song that I hope will form part of ARC’s performance on this tour. Being an avid Powderfinger fan, I couldn’t help but draw similarities between its prophetic nature and that of the Powderfinger song The Day You Come. I asked Darren whether it was evident during the writing process that such a song portends societal issues to come.

“I would say, at the time, you write a song with a message,” Darren states. “You never know what is going to happen with the song, or the future. Time can often give a song relevance or even more meaning… seem more poignant than at the time of its conception.

“That’s one of the beauties of a song and its ability to transcend generations and, at times, social issues.”

One of Canberra’s must-see cultural icons during the 1980s through to 27 September, 2010 was the Planetarium and Observatory located in North Canberra. This featured a movie theatre on a domed ceiling depicting space travel, narrated and set to music.

I can’t quite recall the soundtrack, but I imagine the songs Time and Eclipse would be featured, as I assume they would have been played in planetariums all around the world.

I see these as the perfect accompaniment to celestial footage showcasing the beauty of our galaxy.

Signifying that it is maintaining intergenerational relevance, DSOTM is estimated to be one of only four albums to have sold over 45 million copies world wide. I asked whether Darren thought that DSOTM would remain forever timeless.

“I do,” he states, quickly and simply. “Albums like this capture a moment in a generation’s life that requires it to be passed onto future generations.

“My kids know this album because I play it to them… and they love it as though they were around when it was released.

“Same for The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and a bunch of others. Society through music, captured in a studio, and passed on.”

“As a whole, Dark Side is a beautiful concept album; rich in textures, tones, and ideas…. I love it.”
Catch ARC Presents: The Dark Side Of The Moon at Llewellyn Hall on the 25 June at 8pm. Tix are $96.75 - $101.85 + bf via Ticketek.

CBR band The Decideds’ new track is a rousing concoction of interconnected styles and genres, fusing funk, soul, and disco for a spirited hybrid.

No doubt the run of festivals and sell-out shows throughout the ACT and NSW since 2021 has fine-tuned the seven-piece group’s focus, with So Long persuasively transposing energy and songwriting craft into a bold and expansive all-in sound.

Although the song maintains a typical mainstream pop arrangement, the parts are augmented and super-charged by the various performances and consolidating lines. Perhaps most enticing is this convergence, offering us a soundscape that feels as live as if they’d recorded the song at a gig.

And maybe they did adopt an old-school recording approach, as the sonic fervency is as dominant as the obvious, and yet not, appropriation/amalgamation of styles.

With its lone funk guitar intro a mere taster of what is the foundational core of the track, So Long stretches out into a

brass-led blues-pop song. Amid the thick and intense musical flavours, the vocal performance acts as our anchor, reigning in the rest of the band as though attempting to prevent it from veering too far away from the task at hand. Yet, this is just what we experience when we are in the presence of a live act; any live act really. There is the threat of complete abandon, which in some instances is what we’re attracted to.

Despite this vague sense, however, So Long also contains a certain kind of stability. There’s the underpinning funksoaked bass guitar parts, and the self-assured executions of the drummer.

Said skinsman remains in control throughout, yet adds to the rawness with aptly placed fills and accents.

If you were to venture into a gig where The Decideds hold sway, So Long would undoubtedly sound just like it does here. Which is A Good Thing.



The reverbs also help, as much a crucial part of the sonic apparatus as the performances or the instrumentation.

As the refrain tells us:

I was born with hot blood in my veins And I’ll die just the same

The narrative force is tied to the cyclical nature of this twelve-bar blues variation. It hints at—or perhaps even announces—a stolid acceptance of a state or an unrepentant acknowledgement of the unchangeable self.

The track adheres to the nuances of the genre, with the slide guitar

working in tandem with the lead vocal, and the various vocal additions, including those from Sara Flint (Apricot Ink).

Although Hot Blood contains many of the stylistic attributes of Jack’s previous releases, it does suggest a slight change. The country elements are more pronounced amid the blues rock inferences.

Which is all to say: if the new song is indicative of the new album, it unveils what will undoubtedly be an illuminating aspect of Jack’s expanding catalogue.

Hot Blood is the new track for Jack Biilmann and the first single from his forthcoming fourth album, Divided Mind . The song was recorded live at The Round Plain Church, Rocky Plain NSW, on land Jack’s grandfather owned in 1965 (as featured on the single cover above). It is a sacred site for his family.

Before the first note even rings out, there’s a story to be had about the music. The record was captured via generator power and mixed by Matt Barnes (Hands Like Houses, Madi Diaz) with mastering by Ian Pritchett (The Beautiful Girls, Angus & Julia Stone, Boo Seeka).

Hot Blood is fittingly raw and intimate, harnessing all the connotations of the genre. In this case, it’s a bluegrass country rock-blues fusion that pulses with a determined, almost feverish temperament.

Underscoring Jack’s purposeful, unpretentious vocal approach is a stomping quarter note bass drum. This is led by a slide guitar and various subtle accents and pauses that help generate a sense of action and intensity.

The sound is unrefined and immediate. One wouldn’t be surprised if it were recorded in one take. [ Biilmann himself later confirmed that this song and, in fact, the entire album was recorded live in one take - BOSSMAN SKO ]



of the lead vocal, and the overall dynamism of the track.

The production is suitably warm and concentrated, giving the track an edge and a shine, with the chorus providing the best example. Said chorus also contains an element worth considering, telling us: Hot damn! This is your lucky day! You can’t be all work and no play. Who can really argue with that assertion?


Glitoris returns with Lickety Split, the first track off the band’s forthcoming sophomore album. Glitoris, with its commitment to social justice, has continually leveraged its influence to highlight issues and support grassroots entities within the LGBTQI+, Indigenous, and environmental sectors.

The new track, recorded with Anna Laverty (Courtney Barnett, Camp Cope), is a celebration of sex workers and sex positivity. From its brief percussive introduction to the vocal harmony resolve, Lickety Split features an assortment of approaches: the humorous, the quirky, and the theatrical.

These attributes merge with a ponderous rhythmic pulse, a varied guitar palette, operatic vocal tendencies, and a lyric that relies on lists and a cheeky subversion.

During one’s initial listen, this amalgamation sounds more like a tempered inundation, with all manner of aural patterns and textures coming at you. There are flashpoints that come and go, with each section seemingly empowered by the preceding parts.

Once we reach the end, we’re left with a need to repeat the experience.

During all the excitement, we miss some of the playfulness of the lyric, the sheer comic grandiosity

However, the chorus concludes with, ‘Get on your knees and lick it’, so the point of view here is intriguing, turning the tables on what one might expect.

And so it goes; surprise perhaps Glitoris’ very intent. Indeed, Lickety Split surprises in all manner of ways. It’s not the straight-ahead punk mayhem of some of their previous releases though not entirely unlike other tracks such as The Policy, during which a stylistically broader model is utilised.

But again, Lickety Split highlights the band’s audacious creative focus and power.



[ ]

Businessman Dave Fishwick (Rory Kinnear) has lent nearly a million pounds to local businesses in his home town of Burnley, England. When he decides to try to make an even greater difference to the town’s economy by obtaining local investment — establishing a local bank — he knows he is up against a powerful oligopoly: the large banks that have maintained the status quo for up to 150 years.

But Dave knows that his neighbours and business associates have great ideas, of which perhaps the most vital is a free walk-in medical clinic, an idea spearheaded by young doctor, Alexandra (Phoebe Dynevor).

So Dave proposes to set up the “Bank of Dave”, which brings him squarely into the firing-line of the powerful banks, which take the view that Dave must be stopped.

Within Dave’s friendly, open manner, though, lurks a canny interior, and Dave has hired a London lawyer, Hugh (Joel Fry), to get his application in to the Financial Regulation Board and obtain the result he’s looking for — which may not be quite what you’d imagine.

When the Financial Regulation Board, controlled by the banks themselves, finds — with the help of friendly advisor Sir Charles (Hugh Bonneville) — a way to block Dave’s application, Dave must rely on local support and his city-born and -bred lawyer, Hugh.

Regrettably, Hugh sees the entire enterprise through jaundiced eyes; what hope does Dave have of winning his case if his own lawyer doesn’t believe in him?

Filled with characters who are quick to love or easy to detest, Bank of Dave offers both intellectual satisfaction and emotional appeal. Aside from its strong dose of British humour, what makes this essentially true tale feel especially rewarding is to see enlightened community action triumph over an untrammelled monopoly by those with the greatest power and least motivation to further community interests.

Bank of Dave will leave you feeling that if Dave can do something like this, then you can too.

Screening at Palace, Dendy, and Hoyts cinemas.


[ ]

To make ends meet, Charles (Danny Boon) spends most of his life driving people around Paris in his taxi. He’s jaded and essentially switched off, uninterested in his customers’ stories, complaints, tirades, rudeness, self-promotion, and whatever else he’s heard day in and day out.

A passenger on the other side of Paris asks him to pick her up, and when Charles meets his fare, Madeleine (Line Renaud), they take a ride together that will have profound effects on them both.

Driving Madeleine focuses chiefly on the life of one woman. Madeleine lived through one of the darkest periods of human history and suffered evil on the most intimate scale. Yet she is neither bitter, entitled, nor dour, having chosen instead to overcome life’s often unjust vicissitudes, to fight against them, and to embrace joy wherever she may find it. And through her sharing she invites Charles to see his own life differently and to rediscover, buried beneath the weight of his cares, his heart’s soft kernel.

Danny Boon as Charles embodies a typical careworn taxi driver with little to look forward to in his endlessly long days away from his wife and daughter. Boon’s nuanced transformation is outstanding as his character, Charles, gradually sees life through Madeleine’s eyes, his own eyes reflecting his re-engagement with life.

Line Renaud gives a superb performance as Madeleine, dignified yet a little naughty. Inviting Charles into the reminiscences we see in flashbacks, Madeleine reveals more than Charles could have imagined true of this old lady.

Alice Isaaz compellingly plays the beautiful younger Madeleine, a woman imprisoned by circumstances and unfair laws. Strong she may have been, but her fortitude, and actions, couldn’t prevail against a system that denied women their human rights.

Set against the gorgeous backdrop Paris’s famous landmarks, Driving Madeleine is a subtle, poignant, and deeply personal film, telling a story that anyone who has known first love, loss, disappointment, and the transcendent power of the human spirit will relate to.

Screening at Palace cinemas.



Long-time friends Antoine (Lambert Wilson), Baptiste (Franck Dubosc), Laurent (Lionel Abelanski), and Jean-Mich’ (Jérôme Commandeur), along with their wives, are taking their other best friend, Yves (Guillaume de Tonquédec), to sunny Paros in Greece to celebrate his fiftieth birthday. But serious weather grounds their flight, so the group reluctantly goes instead for a sunny beach holiday at Yves’s family home in Brittany.

Yves, eager to impress, provides a long-winded introduction to his family seat, going from one uninteresting feature to the next, further irritating friends who aren’t keen to be there in the first place. But they decide to make the most of it. At least the area is beautiful, and the beach is nearby. Unfortunately, the inclement weather seems to have followed them; the friends find themselves largely confined indoors due to relentless rain.

Increasingly bored, the old friends revisit old times, and bit by bit things take a turn for the worse as what they really think of one another emerges. Their wives, doing their best to stay out of the rising chaos, aren’t especially enjoying themselves either, but it is Yves’s wife, Laure (Lysiane Meis), who quietly and politely endures the worst time of all. Forced by circumstance to play hostess rather than holiday with the rest, she is largely ignored as she cooks, cleans, serves, makes everything pleasant and smooth, and tolerates the increasing focus on everyone else’s petty grievances — especially her husband’s.

Once the birthday celebration is under way on the big day, it all finally goes so painfully and whackily wrong that the friendships of a lifetime look like being in tatters.

With terrific performances bringing to life characters with the kinds of foibles we should have left behind when we reach our fifth decade, Happy 50 is a romp, bringing to light much that the protagonists would have preferred remain hidden as the mayhem of shattered illusions tests loyalties and fortitude. For a satisfying, often very funny, couple of hours away from it all, Happy 50 is the ticket.

Screening at Palace cinemas.

[ ]


I Built The Sky

Here as part of the highly anticipated headline world tour which saw fans raise in excess of $30,000 to see Ro and his exceptional live band perform across Australia, United Kingdom, Europe & India. 7pm, $40 + bf via OzTix THE BASEMENT

Rebus Theatre Presents: Systems and Sanity

A theatrical journey through the mental health system by people who have travelled there, or got lost along the way. 7pm, $25 full/$10 concession via Rebus Theatre website


Cabaret de Paris

Be transported by the atmosphere and excitement of a Parisian-themed revue with a parade of firstclass entertainers, and the daring beauty of exquisitely bejewelled dancers. 7:30pm, $71-$199 +bf via venue



Rebus Theatre Presents: Systems and Sanity

A theatrical journey through the mental health system by people who have travelled there, or got lost along the way. 7pm, $25 full/$10 concession via Rebus Theatre website


Jack Biilmann & The Black Tide: Divided Mind Album Launch

Following the success of the Full Circle album in 2021, Jack Biilmann is back with his fourth album, the distinctive Divided Mind. With supports Hope Wilkins, The Burley Griffin, and Toby Morwitch. 7pm, $20 + bf via OzTix


Josh Shipton and The Blue Eyed Ravens

Celebrating the Rivers and Stones album launch. 7pm, $15/$10 via the venue


Escapado Sol Live

Providing country, soul, Latin, jazz, and funk-based solutions since the late Quaternary period! 8pm, free entry



National Photographic

Portrait Prize 2023

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects. 10am5pm daily, $15 adult / $12 concess. / $10 Circle Of Friends / under 18s free


ABBA Dancing QUEENS Drag Lunch

The ultimate immersive brunch led by resident Drag Queens, giving you top ABBA vibes and the best moves. Think lashes, lipstick, and dancing queens! 12pm, $65 via Explore Hidden THE CLUBHOUSE, KALEEN

Chris O’Connor Live

Chris O’Connor plays vintage blues as if they were written yesterday. 2pm, free entry


Great Aunt + Sarah Humphreys

Get set for a fabulous afternoon of folk tunes and tales. 3pm, $15/$10 via venue


Rebus Theatre Presents: Systems and Sanity

A theatrical journey through the mental health system by people who have travelled there, or got lost along the way. 4pm, $25 full/$10 concession via Rebus Theatre website


Canberra Choral Society

Present - Coming Home

An evening of exquisite choral music by Dan Walker (world premiere), Ola Gjeilo, and Sally Whitwell. 6pm, $30 to $50 + bf via Trybooking


PAGE 42 @bmamag

John Flanagan

Award-winning songwriter John Flanagan has been praised for his authentic, heartfelt storytelling and uplifting performances. 6pm, $20/$15 via venue


None For One & Radio Rejects

From Ngunnawal Country from Dharawal Country, they’re ready to heat up the capital on a cold winter’s night. Joined by locals Parrots with Piercings, and Gunk. 7pm, $15 + bf via OzTix


Pearl Jam + Red Hot Chili

Peppers - Double Header Tribute

Featuring two huge sets of Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers hits, performed by Eddie’s Bettermen and Chilly Willy.

Supported by Jen Broadbent, who’ll be performing a mixed acoustic set of hits. 7pm, $25 + bf via OzTix


MAXO - Can’t Hold Me Back

Single Launch

Canberra based Pop singersongwriter MAXO is back with a brand new single Can’t Hold Me Back. He is bringing the band along with a new live show. 7pm, free entry


Brass Knuckle Brass Band + Lucy Ridge at the Polo

It’s official, Brass Knuckle Brass Band and Lucy Ridge and the Derby Widows are on the same bill! Big, bold, and brassy. 7:30pm, $20 via Humantix


Rah! Records Social Club

Sydney’s premier underground hip hop label, Rah! Records, is coming to the ACT to tout their wares. 9pm, $15/$10 via venue



CBS June Blues JamHosted by The Stage Invaderz

The host band will be followed by some of the finest musicians in the Canberra region jamming together for a great afternoon of live Blues music. 1pm, CBS members $5, general $10


The Gentleman’s Companion

A solo cabaret inspired by iconic cocktails of the ‘30s. 4pm, $25, via 123tix


AVA Martina Live

AVA Martina is a singersongwriter, composer, and multidisciplinary artist based in Canberra. 4pm, free entry


Eden Plenty Live

Australian artist, singer, songwriter, and guitarist Eden Plenty is a devoted music craftsman, using his range and thought provoking lyrics to make each song like a personal exploration of emotion. 4pm, free DICKSON TAPHOUSE



Scratch is an informal showcase for raw, rough, risk-taking works-in-progress. Scratch is for theatre-makers who are itching to share ambitious ideas, make new connections, and take their creative projects to the next stage. 7pm, $5 via venue


Open Mic Comedy

Free entry, 7pm THE BASEMENT


Deville (SWE)

Swedish riff lords Deville make their first trip to Australia this June after Covid halted their plans in 2021. 7pm, $35 + bf via OzTix THE BASEMENT

Boom Boom Kid (Argentina)

The punk band from Argentina play catchy as f*ck tunes, mixing punk with power pop, Latin, and hardcore. Joined by high energy punk band Sonic Reducer, and the Neolithic rock by B.C. 8pm, $15 THE SHAKING HAND


Australian Series: Red Desert Sand

William Barton joins the CSO Chamber Ensemble for an enthralling musical tribute to desert landscapes. Featuring works by Barton, Ros Bandt, Sculthorpe, and Katy Abbott, with a world premiere from Aaron Wyatt. 6:30pm, $35-67




Eagle Eye JonesNew Growth Tour

Eagle Eye Jones embark on their debut album tour for New Growth. Equal parts cinema and grit, rock and ambience, euphoria and philosophy, you’re invited into their world of disturbing troughs and triumphant peaks. 7pm, $20 + bf via OzTix


Craig Woodward + Donal Baylor & Friends

Clawhammer banjo tunes, fiddlin’ n singin’, mountain blues, ballads, Cajun 2-step, waltzes, and stomps from the swamps! 7pm, $20/$15 via venue


An Evening with The James Morrison Quartet

Australia’s most celebrated jazz musician brings his quartet to Canberra for one unforgettable night of jazz. 7:30pm, $65 + bf via Eventbrite


In His Words: Voices of Fatherhood

Step inside modern fatherhood. The state. The practice. The meaning. 7:30pm, $32 - $42 + bf via venue


Pilots of Baalbek, Grand Duke & The Absentee

Three local purveyors of righteous riffage combine. Pilots of Baalbek bring their spaced out classic rock, Grand Duke deliver down-tuned guitar heaviness, and The Absentee bring mind melding instrumental prog rock. 7:30pm, $10


Funk Fusion: A Night with Muesli & FunkyTrop

Two of Canberra’s low down funkiest bands together in one night, joining forces to warm up your winter. Supported by Tropitec Collective. 7:30pm, $20/$25 via Humanitix


Rocketman — Flying Solo

50th Anniversary Tour

Greg Andrew pays homage to Elton John in his two-hour concert, celebrating the golden anniversary of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in the first set, with the second set being all no.1 hits. 8pm, $60-$65



Hazy Dayz Live

The local duo cycle through the genres, including rock songs with a twist, with classics sprinkled in between. 8pm, free entry


Gusto Gusto

West Preston’s finest hit the road to launch their new single 400 Bones. 9:30pm, $20/$15 via venue



The Chris Harland Blues Duo Live Revisiting the best of the blues standards. 2pm, free entry


Metal Knights Metal Festival

ft Witchskull

Six local and national bands from 4:30pm to midnight, with Witchskull ripping through new tracks from their fourth LP The Serpent Tide, plus Pure Envy, Elm Street, Dark Horse, Aiffel, and Just Say Ozzy!. $55 via Moshtix or $65 at the door


Napoleon Ice Cream Band

Napoleon Ice Cream are four misfits who met in line for Mr Whippy, playing their own brand of punk-pop with a dash of indierock. 6pm, $15/$10 via venue


Voyager Australian Tour

Australia’s Eurovision representative Voyager enter promised land with their new synth-metal anthem Promise 7pm, $45.50 via OzTix


Canberra Blues Society presents

19-Twenty + James Southwell

19-Twenty have been whipping up a frenzy on the festival scene, playing an electric, infectious riff and groove based blue-billygrass-rockin’-roots band. 7pm, $25/$30 + bf via Humanitix


Dark Order

30th Anniversary Tour

Chain Tombstone and The Dead Men, Depuration, and Dyatlov Pass join Sydney thrash metal veterans Dark Order, to mark 30 years of headbanging madness by performing many of their classic songs. 7pm, $15 + bf via OzTix


In His Words:

Voices of Fatherhood

Step inside modern fatherhood. The state. The practice. The meaning. 7:30pm, $32 - $42 + bf via venue


A Winter Concert:

Durufle and Boulanger

Experience Durufle’s Requiem and three works by Lili Boulanger with a top-notch choir and players

7:30pm, $40/$35 via trybooking


Rocketman - Flying Solo

Greg Andrew embodies the charm, versatility, and dynamic charisma of Sir Elton John in this 50th Anniversary celebration of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. 8pm, $65 via


Mic Check 2

Live Music is back with the second year of Mic Check hosted by MN Cappo & Chemi-Cal. 9pm, $20 via the venue



Josie Dunham

Josie Dunham seeks to share her most personal stories and reflections on love, grief, joy, and change. 3pm, $15 via venue


In His Words:

Voices of Fatherhood

Step inside modern fatherhood. The state. The practice. The meaning. 4pm, $32 - $42 + bf via the venue


HoneyClub Live

4pm, free entry



Wilfrid Gordon

McDonald Partridge

Australian Chamber Orchestra’s immersive musical interpretation of the heart warming book by Mem Fox,will delight audiences young and old. 6pm, $15-$20



PAGE 44 @bmamag


Corn Nut Creek (USA/AU)

The Appalachian Americana trio bring toe-tapping banjo and fiddle and beautiful three part vocal harmonies. 6:30pm, $15 on the door



Jamie Hutchings/DC Cross

Jamie Hutchings (Bluebottle Kiss) and Darren ‘DC’ Cross (Gerling) both emerged from the Australian alterna-boom of the ’90s, crossing paths ever since. 8:30pm, $20/$15 via venue



Esoteric (UK)

w/ Burden Man & Futility

UK Funeral Doom outfit Esoteric conjure ungodly energy for their Maniacal Pyrrhonism Tour. 7pm, $44.40 via OzTix


El and Friends

Songs for people who love dogs, or just like music by a person who loves dogs. 7pm, $25/$15 via venue


Gia Ransome - Crush Tour

Join Gia and band for the hometown show to mark the release of second single, Crush. Joined by Sydney alt/ rockers The Drive Bys and CBR’s own Finley Geach. 7:30pm, $15 + bf via Humanitix


Broken Bins and Friends

Broken Bins proudly presents a night of excellence with special guests Post Irony and Black Iris. 7:30pm, $15 via Humanitix



Importance of Being Earnest

This hilarious reimagining of the beloved classic celebrates the fluidity of gender, reminding us that, “the truth is rarely pure, and never simple…” An immersive experience in the GPAC bar. 7:30pm, $35-$45



Dean Edgecombe & The Seventh Sons Live

A great mix of classic and original R&B, blues and roots. 8pm, free DICKSON TAPHOUSE


Poetic City: Pot Luck Story Share

Shared stories and poetry that will be rich, tasty, and maybe a little bit messy, in the best possible way! 2pm, this is a free event but registration required via venue


Croaker & The Honeybee Live

Bringing their eclectic choice of material; a mixture of jazz/blues/ country, rock, and pop with a Spanish-fusion twist! 2pm, free OLD CANBERRA INN

Poetic City: Recent Work Reading

Enjoy readings by a selection of local poets published by Recent Work Press, and browse a stall of paperback editions. 3:30pm, free THE STREET THEATRE

Poetic City: Mother Tongue

Multilingual Mic

Enjoy poetry in many languages! You too can share a poem in your mother tongue, heritage language, or learned language. 4:30pm, $10 general/$5 conc via venue



Poetic City Festival - Secret Histories of City West

Seven poets and one musical duo have written about a real or imagined history of City West. Expect windows into the past, and fables about what was and what might have been. 2pm, free but register via Humanitix


Poetic City Festival: Poetry Not Luxury - Women’s Open Mic

Women and non-binary people: come and share your poetry at this open mic hosted by Gabriela Falzon of Poetry Not Luxury. Featuring readings by Steffi Linton, Merlinda Bobis, Melinda Smith, plus GWEN, Canberra’s very own poetry band! 4pm, $20/$10/$0 +bf via Humanitix


Croaker & The Honeybee Live

Playing a mixture of jazz/blues/ country, rock, and pop with a Spanish-fusion twist. 4pm, free


SAL Live

Having discovered Joan Jett at the age of 14, SAL is extremely passionate about women in heavy music. Playing her faves a la The Pixies, Fleetwood Mac, and The White Stripes. 4pm, free entry




Culture Club: NAIDOC Week Screening of After The Apology

Join Culture Club for a special NAIDOC week screening of the documentary After the Apology at GPAC. 7pm, free GOULBURN PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE


Poetic City: SlamShop - Slam Poetry Workshop with CanberraSlam

SlamShop is a slam poetry workshop for young people aged 1318 years. Come and raise your voice!

1pm, $5 via venue


Last StandThe Chisel/Barnes Show

Iconic Chisel, with the Oz Rock Anthems Show. 7pm, $25 via Eventbrite


The LCB Live Powerhouse vocals from Monica Moore, blistering guitar from Damian Spencer, rock-solid rhythm drums via Jon Jones, and John Van Buuren on bass. 8pm, free DICKSON TAPHOUSE


Poetic City: Zine Fair and Make-a-Zine Work Space Show, share, and trade your zines, chat to ‘zine makers and appreciators, and make something new. 1pm - 6pm, free


Poetic City: Fresh Voices Showcase

The freshest poets share their new work! 2pm, free, reg via venue


Poetic City: Prosaic CityProse Poetry and Microlit

When does a poem not look like a poem? When it is a prose poem! 4pm, free entry


Poetic City: SlamCity Showcase

CanberraSlam stars shine in full force, with 2022 Finale winner Yleia Mariano, and special guest Waffle IronGirl. 6:30pm, $20/$10 via venue


Karen Lee Andrews Band

The Aussie blues and soul powerhouse is backed by a formidable world-class band. Supported by Wallabindi. 7pm, $25/$30 + bf via Humanitix



A Tribute to George Michael

Crowd pleasing anthems, from Wham! classics of the ‘new pop’ revival to the chart-topping success of the ‘80s album Faith, and beyond. 8pm, $79 via venue



Poetic City Festival:

Secret Histories of City WestWalking Tour

Stroll through the city to hear what seven poets and one musical duo have written about a real or imagined history of City West. 11:30am, free, with registration via Humanitix



Poetic City: Us Mob WritingFor Our Elders

Us Mob Writing (UMW) is a group of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander poets, writers, and storytellers based in Canberra. At this event, members will share poetry to celebrate NAIDOC on this year’s theme: For Our Elders. 2pm, free, reg. via Humanitix


Poetic City Festival: Queer Voyages - Journeys In Poetry

After drinks and a recitation of Cavafy’s Ithaca at the stone etched with that poem, voyage with poets who write journeys of queerness: Sandra Renew, Zhi Yi Cham, Joo-Inn Chew, and Tom Kentwell. Hosted by Jacqui Malins, with open mic. 3:30pm, $10/$5/$0 + bf via Humanitix


Gia Ransome Live

Ready to make you feel like you’re living a great romance in an old school dive bar. 4pm


Adam Corbin Live

Playing a mix of original material, Australian covers, and blues. 4pm, free entry


Ngapa William Cooper: Australian Youth Orchestra

Join the Australian Youth Orchestra for the world orchestral premiere performance of Ngapa William Cooper, a new work written by Nigel Westlake, Lior, and Dr Lou Bennett AM, with additional lyrics by Sarah Gory. 5pm, $25-59 via Ticketek





Kings Of Thrash - The Mega Years

David Ellefson & Jeff Young perform Megadeth albums Killing is my Business… and Business is Good as well as So Far, So Good… So What in their entirety. 7pm, $50 + bf via OzTix



Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat Live

The young and young-at-heart will delight in this lively stage adaptation, brought to life before your eyes! 10:30am, $38.50 via the venue


The Waifs: Up All Night 20th Anniversary with Josh Pyke

The independent trailblazing folk heroes celebrate the 20th anniversary of breakthrough album, Up All Night, via a massive tour. 7:30pm, $82.50-$174.50 +bf via venue


Rugby League The Musical

A hilarious mix of musical satire, parody, sketch comedy, and standup comedy about The Greatest Game Of All. 7:30pm, $45 + bf via the venue



Roald Dahl’s The Twits

Roald Dahl’s gruesome twosome are ready to delight and disgust in equal measure. 6pm, $25-$60 via venue



Coda Chroma Album Launch

Join the cinematic indie-folk artist for an intimate live show to mark the release of new album Dreamself. String accompaniment and support from special guest Amy Vee. 7pm, $20/$25 via venue


Pete Murray: Greatest Hits

Pete Murray is set to hit Canberra this July to celebrate his first ever Best Of album, spanning the past 20 years. 7:30pm, $89 +bf via venue


Dami Im - In Between Tour

A commencement of a new exciting era in her musical evolution and a reflection of Dami’s personal journey. 8pm, $59 via venue


The Chris Harland Blues Band Live Simple formula, maximum impact, and the command and precision to nail every number. 8pm, free entry



Menslink X-Mas In July


It’s a Christmas in July Winter Wonderland fundraiser for Menslink, with raffles and an auction jam packed with goodies. Black tie code, so dress to impress. 5pm, free


Forever Diamond

Peter Byrne as Forever Diamond for one night only. 8pm, general admission $59.50 via Trybooking


The TEN Tenors: Greatest Hits

Featuring the most loved and requested songs the Tenors have performed across their 28-year history. 7pm, $112 - $152 via venue


Prada Clutch Live & Untucked Sydney’s six-foot something songstress stars in her new show with special guest Monique Kelly from Les Girls, Sydney. 8pm, $59.50 - $63.50


Kirin J Callinan

The enfant terrible of Australia’s underground rock music scene is heading to Smith’s, so buckle up! 9pm, $35 via the venue



Gore Metal Kings Exhumed (USA) San Jose’s Exhumed return from the depths to drench us with their new album To The Dead, a culmination of decades of nightmarish riffs, obliterating blast beats, and hellish screams. 3pm, $54.95, VIP package $159.95 via OzTix



NeonHoney is a music producer and songstress from right here in Canberra. 4pm, free entry


SAL Live

Join SAL and her handmade Cole Clark brand acoustic guitar for her fave rock covers 4pm, free entry



Opera Australia’s Barber of Seville Opera Australia’s finest voices combine with a live orchestra to deliver an instantly familiar score that has been lovingly lifted by movies, cartoons, and commercials.

7:30pm, $15 - $35



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