Forte #735

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#735 12.03.20 FREE


IN CONCERT WIT H

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

3–4 JUNE ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE, HAMER HALL mso.com.au 2

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Feature Story Local Feature

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The Loop

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News

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Food

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Creatives

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Reviews

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Columns

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The Guide

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Do the Screaming Jets even need an introduction? Since the late 1980’s they have released eight albums, gaining more steam with each one as well as touring extensively nation-wide. Nowadays, they’re one of Australia’s most esteemed rock and roll outfits, and are heading to Geelong as part of their Sunshine and Hurricanes tour, as a continuation of their 2019 Dirty Thirty 30th Anniversary tour in 2019. To celebrate their return, we’re giving away a LIMITED EDITION embroidered ‘The Screaming Jets’ denim jacket worth $150! This one’s a medium size and will up your street cred by 110%.

While the rest of the country has been busy stocking up on toilet paper and baked beans in the wake of Coronavirus, we’ve been battling a serious case of the Race Car Blues… and while it’s not deadly, it sure is infectious. We’re of course talking about the third album from Melbourne rock favourites Slowly Slowly. The follow up to their critically-acclaimed 2018 effort St. Leonards, Race Car Blues hit the airwaves late last month and we just can’t get enough of the electric collection of songs. Frontman Ben Stewart’s lyricism and vocals are constantly moving in new directions and ways for this release, and once you add the punk and heavy sound that the rest of the band brings, you are left with the striking album that is Race Car Blues. With their most commanding work to date now out and a national tour set in stone, the Melbourne four-piece are now gracing the Forté cover! Have a read of our feature story with Slowly Slowly frontman Ben Stewart and check out the album, stat.

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Further in this issue we chat with coastal garagerockers Bones and Jones, beloved Australian supergroup Seeker Lover Keeper, Californian indie-rock outfit Wavves, Pennsylvania multiplatinum showstoppers Live, Popcultcha’s director Ash Howard, plus heaps more.

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Contributors Anthony Morris, Alastair McGibbon, Chris Lambie, Dr John Lamp, Kim Price, Renee Abbott, John Foss, Alex Callan, Paul S Taylor, Tammy Walters, Daniela Koulikov, Lynette Walker, Wylie Caird, Chris Michaels, Adrian Aloi. Advertisers and agents are advised that all advertising copy is their responsibility under the trade practices act. Advertisements are published in good faith and on the understanding that the content is legitimate and lawful. Advertisers and or agents submit advertisements at their own risk. The editor and creators hold no responsibility whatsoever for the content of the magazine in the case that it may offend. Forté accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions. Forté reserves the right to edit all articles and letters.

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IC ON E IC M NEW SA ING D OF L ON BUI ATI R E ENT GEN INM A T ER ENT


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COU R A

R T V A LL EY

Easter

Easter Sunday 21st April 2019

Live Music • Wines • Cocktail Bar • Craft Beer • Cider • Food • Children’s Entertainment

Where: Harcourt Valley Vineyards 3339 Harmony Way, Harcourt. Time: 11am-5pm Ticket Price: $22 Early Bird before April 10 (www.trybooking.com/BAYOG) $29 after April 10 Shuttle buses will be running all day between Castlemaine Train Station and Harcourt Valley Vineyards. Cost: $10 return and must be pre-purchased

www.facebook.com/HVVEasterFestival

www.facebook.com/HVVEasterFestival contact Marie 0431 996 515

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email – harcourtvalleyevents@gmail.com

contact Marie 0431 996 515

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NIALL HORAN ANNOUNCES NICE TO MEET YA AUSTRALIAN TOUR

STEEL PANTHER ANNOUNCE ‘HEAVY METAL RULES’ TOUR

In the words of the man himself, “Nice to Meet Ya tour is going international baby!”. Irish heartthrob and ex-One Direction star Niall Horan has announced that he will be bringing his Nice To Meet Ya tour to Australian fans later this year, in support of his new album Heartbreak Weather (due for release tomorrow, March 13) which features lead single ‘Nice To Meet Ya’, vulnerable ballad ‘Put A Little Love On Me’ and the feel-good bop ‘No Judgement’. This tour will mark Horan’s second headline tour of Australia since he toured his 2017 debut album, Flicker, back in 2018. Catch Melbourne at Rod Laver Arena on October 3. Tickets via Ticketek.

Prepare for the wildest, wettest, dirtiest, hardest, heaviest most rocking heavy metal tour to hit Australian shores ever in the history of anything... ever. This May, controversial hard rockers Steel Panther will land in Australia once again for a run of dates, hitting stages in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Newcastle – and they’re bringing ATL nu-metal authorities Sevendust along for the ride. This tour comes off the back of Steel Panther’s latest record, which is also called Heavy Metal Rules, displaying all the hard rock tropes and glam shreddery you'd expect from the party band. Time to feel the steel. Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne – May 22. Tickets via mjrpresents.com

MONTHLY BOOZY BRUNCHES ARE COMING TO MUNICH BRAUHAUS

BIRDS OF TOKYO ARE TEAMING UP WITH THE MSO

If two hours of unlimited pretzels, schnitzel, käsespätzle and apple strudel is how you like to spend your Sunday, boy do we have something for you! Embracing the bottomless brunch trend, Munich Brauhaus have launched a monthly, all-you-can-eat, mega-brunch series that boasts food stations brimming with platters, pretzels and traditional hot dishes; sensational salad and dessert bars; and a two-hour drinks package to boot. Coined Das Brunch, each event will be guided by a different theme, with the first (Sunday March 22) taking inspiration from autumn, complete with flower crowns and floral displays. We’d recommend wearing your stretchy pants.

Melding elements of contemporary and classical music, Birds Of Tokyo will join forces with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for two special performances in June. Since forming in Perth more than 15 years ago, Birds Of Tokyo have become one of Australia’s most successful contemporary acts, with a stack of hits including ‘Lanterns’, ‘Plans’, and ‘I’d Go with You Anywhere’ amongst their expansive catalogue. Lead by Conductor Vanessa Scammell, the five-piece band will join the MSO to reimagine Birds Of Tokyo classics live in concert, alongside showcasing brand new music. Birds Of Tokyo will perform with the MSO at Hamer Hall on Wednesday June 3 and Thursday June 4. For tickets and more information, visit the MSO website. Photo by Cybele Malinowski.

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THE MARYSVILLE MUSIC WEEKEND RETURNS

THY ART IS MURDER ANNOUNCE 'HUMAN TARGET' AUSSIE TOUR

Returning to the heart of the Yarra Valley, Marysville Music Weekend – formerly known as Marysville Jazz and Blues Weekend – has unveiled a taste of what’s to come for its 2020 festival. Leading the first announcement is Melbourne folk-rock duo Pierce Brothers, and the Guitar Showdown, which will feature legendary guitarists, Geoff Achison and Jimi Hocking together onstage. Taking over various music venues for three huge days of live music, the festival will feature more genres than ever before, spanning jazz, blues, contemporary folk, roots, country, and everything in between. Marysville Music Weekend is happening across Marysville from October 18 – 20. For tickets and more information, head to www.marysvillemusicweekend.com

The ‘Men In Black’ (the best of the best of the best) of Australian Death-metal, Thy Art Is Murder, are back for 2020, with the announcement of their Human Target Australian Tour, set to cause carnage across the country in May. This will be the Sydney band’s first headline run since the release of their most brutal record to date, far out-stripping the angst-ridden lyrics and cataclysmic melodies of its predecessor, 2017’s Dear Desolation. Promising to be the biggest and most insane live show Thy Art Is Murder has ever done on home soil, this tour will be their most ambitious with help from supports Dying Fetus, Fit For An Autopsy, Enterprise Earth and Aversions Crown. Lock in May 22 at 170 Russell in Melbourne friends, and bring your own neck braces for this one. You’ll need it for the self-induced whiplash.

‘THE WEDDING SINGER’ MUSICAL IS COMING TO AUSTRALIA

AUDIO-TECHNICA AND YULLI’S BREWS LAUNCH THE KARAOKE KINGU BEER

Looks like we’re scoring a musical adaptation of another classic 90s flick! Thanks to the legends over at David Venn Enterprises (the entertainment company behind Bring It On The Musical), Australia will be seeing the Broadway musical adaptation of The Wedding Singer for the first time this June. Based on the 1998 Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore-starring hit film of the same name, the acclaimed musical follows New Jersey’s number one wedding singer Robbie Hart as he tries to win over his soon-tobe-married dream girl, Julia. Featuring a book by Chad Beguelin (Aladdin) and longtime Adam Sandler collaborator Tim Herlihy and music by Matthew Sklar (Elf The Musical), you can expect big hair and even bigger laughs when this heartwarming comedy comes to the stage. The Wedding Singer makes its Australian premiere on June 19 at Athenaeum Theatre. Tickets are on sale from 11am Thursday March 5.

Audio-Technica has been providing premium products for nearly 60 years. Adding one more notch to their belt, the legends over at AT are adding a limited-edition beer to their lineup thanks to a collaboration with Yulli’s Brews. Named the Karaoke Kingu Japanese rice lager, the idea spawned as a way to celebrate the art of karaoke – a popular pasttime in AudioTechnica's homebase in Japan. Featuring a rad Astro Boy inspired design by Sydney-based artist Jeremy Lord, they’ve even created a merchandise line for the beer, complete with shirts, stubby holders, slipmats, stickers and even a disco ball keyring. Audio-Technica are launching the Karaoke Kingu Rice Lager at Yulli's Brews HQ in Alexandria, Sydney in April, with the beer being available for purchase online and in selected pubs and bars in NSW. Head to Audio-Technica Australia for more information.

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SLOWLY SLOWLY REVIVE PUNK WITH RACE CAR BLUES 2019 WAS A HUGE YEAR FOR SLOWLY SLOWLY. Three singles from RCB were released throughout 2019; with him because he lived in squalor and was obsessed A NATIONAL TOUR, FOUR SINGLES, A LIKE ‘Jellyfish’, ‘Creature of Habit Pt. 2’, and ‘Safety Switch’. with his art. He had no partner his whole life, died alone, and I remember just being like, 'I’m like Michelangelo, A VERSION, AND COUNTLESS FESTIVAL ‘Jellyfish’ gained a huge following, placing at #57 in triple j's Hottest 100 of 2019, the group’s first time I was born to do this' and it was my first moment of APPEARANCES. YOU’D THINK AT THE END OF THAT, THEY’D BE READY TO TAKE IT EASY appearing in the countdown. true confidence.” FOR A WHILE, RIGHT? WRONG! BEN STEWART (VOCALS, GUITAR), ALBERT DOAN (GUITAR), RCB will be the first time fans get a taste of the first Slowly Slowly have also announced a national headline tour to support the release of Race Car Blues, across ALEX QUAYLE (BASS) AND PATRICK MURPHY part to ‘Creature of Habit Pt. 2’. Softer and slightly (DRUMS) ARE BACK WITH AN EXPLOSIVE THIRD slower than its sequel, Pt. 1 was written second. Each April and May this year, with the first Melbourne ALBUM, RACE CAR BLUES.FGDGDFGDFGDFHGD show selling out in less than two days. The guys will track has its own beauty: the first has a smooth lyrical be joined by New Zealand punk rockers Bakers Eddy flow, carried by a soft electric guitar that is joined by a Race Car Blues is a milestone for front-man and steady drumbeat, while the second is fast-paced, heavy and alt-rock/emo four-piece Colourblind as support songwriter Ben Stewart. While 2018’s St. Leonards was and electric. acts for all shows. a reflective album, looking back at painful moments with a wish to rectify, this captured a different process. “During the writing process for Part 1, I built a guitar “Live is like a real release for me, I absolutely love Stewart explained: “The last 18 months has been about loop. The phrase that you hear at the very beginning of it. It’s always been quite easy for me to tap into changing my thought processes and my habits to allow the song, it was one of those ones where it all kind of that performance mindset, where you’re just kind myself to enjoy the journey of [making music]. just flowed out.” Stewart continued, “I was feeling very of thrashing around and stuff like that. It comes so nostalgic and that all tied together pretty quickly. And naturally, it’s a bit innate for me; I don’t know what it “I’d say I really started trusting myself a lot more,” then Part 2 was obviously a bit more high energy and is. All the boys always say, before [a gig], 'Oh no, you Stewart continued. “I think because we really honed have that twinkle in your eye', and it always means so I was kind of bouncing off the walls of my writing in on our live performance; when I’d get home from a room at home, just trying to keep up with my brain. So that I’m going to jump on Pat when he’s playing drums that’s how those two came together.” and knock over the drum kit or kick over Quayle while leg of touring I felt really inspired to write things that he’s bent over trying to tune his bass or something. I I felt would work in a live setting as well. ‘Michael Angelo’ stands out as a milestone is Stewart’s just love it.” “There are some heavier moments on this record songwriting. A ‘triumphant pinnacle of letting go’, we because I feel like I was coming off the back of a lot of For any musicians interested in the recording of the hear Stewart step back from self-doubt and accept his touring. We were lucky enough to play a lot of big stages, talent. The lyrics say it all: “Tell the status quo/ That album, two main electric guitars were used; “Albert and it’s hard not to write for that scenario in the back I’ll be letting go/ Of everything I ever said/ I’m Michael used his [Fender] Jazzmaster, that was a huge staple on our record for the more gnarly tones and making a of your head. That sort of shifted, for me, writing for Angelo”. He signals an embrace of his own ability. the stage, as opposed to writing in my bedroom and real rock record,” Stewart explained. “I just happened to be reading up about his life at that then figuring out how we were going to take that to the stage. I had total trust from the other band members time and how he was this incredibly dedicated artist, a “My main guitar was a Rickenbacker 330; I got new lot of the people he worked with left or refused to work as well; the boys were so supportive.” one mid-last year which is a white one with these 10

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high-gauge pickups. For some reason, the strange marriage between that and Albert’s Jazzmaster just worked. And even Malcolm [Besley, producer] commented, he said: “My favourite thing about the record was the guitar production.” The album is a celebration of a lot of things, most importantly of Stewart backing himself, and his songwriting ability. This is Slowly Slowly at their best yet. Each time you listen to it again you can dissect pieces that stand out, whether its Quayle’s bass track on ‘CoH Pt. 2’, Murphy’s beat on ‘YABTTT’, the ‘Michael Angelo’ solo or simply the whispered “…fuck” heard before the second chorus of ‘How it Feels’. Punk isn’t dead, and you can hear it in Race Car Blues. Race Car Blues is out now via UNFD. Catch Slowly Slowly at 170 Russell in Melbourne on Friday May 15 (sold out) and Sunday May 17. Tickets via slowlyslowlyband.com Front cover photo by Kane Hibberd Written by Thom Devereux


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THE LOOP

B A L L A R AT BELLARINE

2020 APIA GOOD TIMES TOUR REVEALS ITS BIGGEST LINE UP YET Australia has produced some of the world's biggest music artists and bands over the years. From the rock'n'roll legends out of Sydney AC/DC and INXS to the pop queen herself Kylie Minogue, the land down under has a reputation for great music around the world. gdGDFGDFGDFHGD So, when it comes to curating a lineup of legends for the annual APIA Good Times Tour and there are a plethora of artists to choose from across most genres, you can expect to be served up a sizzling lineup of legends for its eighth instalment. And you can bet your bottom dollar they’ve done just that. Featuring eight of our all-time favourite Aussie stars, this year’s tour will see performances from Brian Cadd, Deborah Conway, Joe Camilleri, John Paul Young, Kate Ceberano, Leo Sayer, Vika & Linda Bull and, making her Good Times debut, Ms Wendy Matthews. That’s a lineup talent-heavy enough to make any Australian proud! The group of all-stars will hit the road in May and be heading from Bunbury to Tweed Heads, with stops in Perth, Adelaide, Geelong, Melbourne, Bendigo, Launceston, Hobart, Thirroul, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Toowoomba and Brisbane in between in what will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of

Australia’s biggest music stars perform their most loved hits and share the stage and songs with one another. With a lineup that boasts biggest names in the history of Aussie music, it would be wrong of us to not address some of their accolades… Let’s begin with Perth-born rock veteran Brian Cadd. A singer, songwriter, producer and ARIA Hall of Fame inductee, Cadd has done it all, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Currently, in his 70’s, Cadd dropped his latest album, Silver City, last year and celebrated it with a slew of gigs. Looking back, Cadd kicked off his career with two of the most celebrated bands of their day, The Groop and Axiom, with hits ‘Woman You’re Breaking Me’ and ‘A Little Ray of Sunshine’, which he soon followed with a string of massive hits as a solo artist. In his time behind-thescenes in the industry, Cadd went on to produce and work alongside music heavyweights from around the globe. The 2019 Live Legend recipient, Deborah Conway, has contributed much to the music industry the past 40 years. Having started her career in Melbourne as a vocalist for the The Benders, Conway has played a countless number of live shows from stadiums to lounge rooms; has recorded a lot of songs, some of which have raised eyebrows, some of which have been

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played on radio; and has been a part of an endless list time’ selects his favourite songs from more than 20 of projects, proving herself as versatile a talent that international Top 10 singles and 5 global Top 10 albums. our country has ever seen. It was the release of her For 30 years, the glorious voices of Vika & Linda Bull acclaimed debut solo record String of Pearls in 1991, have comprised one of the most distinctive, versatile which saw her take home an ARIA Award in 1992, that and emotionally charged sounds on the Australian music landscape. Since their multi-platinum conquest catapulted her on a journey that has produced no less of pop radio with The Black Sorrows in the late 1980s, than 11 records and ensured her as a mainstay of the the sisters have forged diverse pathways into soul, Australian touring scene. Rolling Stone Living Legend Joe Camilleri is gospel, rock, country and the island music of their Australian music royalty. A name that is as iconic as Tongan ancestry. Their rich solo vocals and instinctive Ross Wilson, Daryl Braithwaite and John Farnham, harmonies have spawned eight albums of their own, as Camilleri has given his life to writing, performing and well as illuminating studio and concert performances by celebrating music. Writer of milestone Australian songs Paul Kelly, RocKwiz, C.W. Stoneking, Deborah Conway, such as ‘So Young’, ‘Hit & Run’, ‘Shape I’m In’, ‘Harley Kasey Chambers and many more. In November last year, & Rose’, ‘Chained To The Wheel’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’, Vika & Linda deservingly took their place in the Music as well as leader of two of Australia’s most successful Victoria Hall of Fame, joining other Victorian music bands, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons and The Black Sorrows, superstars like Olivia Newton-John, Chrissy Amphlett, Joe and his music have become part of Australian music Renée Geyer, Paul Kelly, ACDC and John Farnham. culture. He was inducted along with other members Last but certainly not least, Australian alternative of the Falcons into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007. For pop singer Wendy Matthews joins the lineup. As an Camilleri, it’s all about moving forward and to that end, artist, Matthews has an expressive voice that never fails The Black Sorrows released their 21st album (and Joe’s to move those who hear it. Her music is an unhurried 49th!), Citizen John, in March last year. journey of clean melodies, infectious energy and simple John Paul Young joins these three all-stars, and is grace. This is exemplified by the reality that her music undoubtedly one of the most popular Australian artists is now in more than one million homes in Australia of the ’70s, with a string of hits, and over four million and all her albums to date have multi-platinum status, record sales, cementing him a place in Australia’s music which is a huge achievement for any artist. history. A true pop music icon, Young is so well-known Taking songs from every genre and making them her in this country that he doesn't even need to use his own; from jazz to blues, from rock to gospel, from soul name. Say his initials - JPY - and just about everyone to outright infectious pop and of course, the beautiful can immediately picture the star performing on ballads, Matthews’ immense talent and capacity to Countdown, or they can instinctively sing the choruses capture and define a diverse range of styles in her music of ‘Love Is In The Air’, ‘Yesterday’s Hero’ and ‘Standing has earned her the ARIA for Best Female Artist in 1990, In The Rain’. In 2009, he was inducted into the ARIA 1992 and again in 1993. We’ve got our fingers crossed Hall of Fame and in 2012, his 40th year in the industry, for renditions of ‘The Day You Went Away’, ‘If Only I he was honoured with an Order of Australia for his Could’ and ‘Friday’s Child’. services to charity and the music industry. With these eight artists who have spent decades Multi ARIA Award-winning artist, Kate Ceberano, producing some of the most wonderfully crafted and has been in the business for over 35 years - writing brilliantly performed songs in the world, there’s a huge and performing both jazz and pop music - with seven array of hits that the setlist will draw from. Platinum and seven Gold albums to her name so it only You can expect to hear the likes of ‘Ginger Man’, ‘A makes sense that Ceberano returns to the APIA Good Little Ray of Sunshine’, ‘Man Overboard’, ‘It’s Only The Times tour for the fourth time. From her beginnings in Beginning’, ‘Harley & Rose’, ‘Chained to the Wheel’, ‘I the mid-’80s as a 15-year-old sensation fronting pop- Hate the Music’, ‘Love Is In The Air’, ‘Bedroom Eyes’, funk band, I’m Talking, she has barely drawn breath ‘Pash’, ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’, ‘Thunder since, racking up 27 albums over 35 years to be the most In My Heart’, ‘Never Let Me Go’, ‘Let’s Kiss’ – just to prolific Australian female recording artist of this era. In name a few. This is going to one a rollicking rock-n-roll 2014, Ceberano became the first (and only) Australian rollercoaster like no other! woman to be inducted into the Australian Songwriters' We can already smell the nostalgia. Association (ASA) Hall of Fame and 2016 saw Kate on the Queen's Birthday Honours’ List, becoming a The APIA Good Times Tour rolls into Geelong’s Costa Hall on Saturday, May member of the Order of Australia for significant service 30 and Bendigo’s Ulumbarra Theatre on to the performing arts and charitable organisations. Wednesday, June 3. Tickets to this unique, The perpetually effervescent, Grammy-award winning, international chart-topping British music once-in-a-lifetime tour are on sale now. legend Leo Sayer continues to pack houses worldwide to this day. In the more than four decades since he embarked on his illustrious music career, Sayer has written songs for some of the most influential names in the business and is revered worldwide for his own songwriting and live performances. Carrying the same energy from his 20’s with him to his live shows where it’s clear the disco era still thunders in his heart and soul, as well as the soles of his feet, APIA Good Times audiences can expect a stunning performance as the man described as ‘one of the greatest pop voices of our

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HOT LICKS WITH GEOFF ACHISON

MACEDON RANGES MUSIC FESTIVAL

Bluesman Geoff Achison is serving up a solo treat this Sunday, March 15, at The Studio at 54 in Ocean Grove. The internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter and guitarist played his first tunes in his father’s band. Later, he was hired as the lead guitarist for the late, great Dutch Tilders. Among his many and varied highlights was winning the Albert King Award at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Kylie Auldist, Geoff Achison & the Souldiggers, Shaun Kirk and Michael Dunstan are a small but sweet selection of who will be performing at this weekend’s Macedon Ranges Music Festival. Gisborne Steam Park hosts the event on Saturday, March 14 where all ticket sales will be donated to the Cambodian Kids Foundation. Find out what else is in store on the day by having a look at macedonrangesmusicfestival.org.

UNDERTOW AT THE PIVOTONIAN Miranda Nation makes her feature directorial debut with this Geelong-shot psychological thriller about grief and obsession set against the backdrop of local footy culture. Struggling to cope after losing her unborn child, photo-journalist Claire (Laura Gordon, Joe Cinque’s Consolation) becomes increasingly obsessed with Angie (Olivia DeJonge), a pregnant young woman Claire suspects of having an affair with her husband, AFL player and mentor Dan (Rob Collins). It’s an obsession that could put both women in danger, but the deeper Claire digs, the more unsettling her discoveries become. evocative Surf Coast cinematography by Bonnie Elliot (These Final Hours) and a starkly topical underbelly, it’s bound to have audiences talking long after the final credits roll. Sessions run until Saturday, March 21.

SARAH MCLEOD NEVER SURRENDERS

LOVIN’ THOSE COOL SOUNDS Guitar-pop outfit Cool Sounds live up to their name. The Melbourne band dropped their third album, More to Enjoy, last year to some fine reviews. Among the album’s tracks is ‘Around and Down’, inspired by the deaths of former band member and friend Zac Denton and John Clarke. Major Tom’s, Kyneton – March 21. They will be joined by Snowy. Cool Sounds will also make an appearance at Meadow Festival.

VS WESTERN SYDNEY MARS STADIUM, BALLARAT

MARCH 29TH 4:00 KICKOFF

With respect to Bon Jovi, Sarah McLeod will sleep when she’s dead. Until then, she has a whole lot more rocking to do. And she has already been rocking for a long, long time. ‘Killin’ It Til I’m Dead’ is her new single, a track about undying and unwavering confidence. It is a result of podcast HatJam, hosted by Eskimo Joe’s Kav Temperley. Sarah will kick off her latest run of shows at Geelong’s Workers Club on April 2. Photo by Nix Cartel.

GET BACK TO SQUARE 1 AT KICFEST 2020 It’s an exciting process of change every year, music students of Kardinia International College come together to make a new iteration of their school band, Square 1. Each year, different musical styles, performers and instrument blends create a new energy and a new roots/ pop sound. Square 1 gives a powerful sound featuring three-part vocal harmonies, a pumping rhythm section, percussion, trumpets and sax. The group perform original tunes, written by students, and they also cover artists such as Laura Vane, Amy Winehouse and Alice Russell. Last year the group recorded four original songs, with a hugely successful launch at the Piano Bar (you can find all the tracks on Spotify)! ‘Get Down’, a fast-paced and catchy tune written by Isaac Haigh and Nicolas Rinaldi, is being used for the school’s promo video for the upcoming festival KICFest 2020 where the group will be playing live on the main stage. You simply must check these guys out, so get down to the free event at Kardinia College on Saturday 21 March. It’s on from 12-6pm. More info at www.kardinia.vic.edu.au/

ALL RISE FOR LITTLE WISE Sophie Klein is behind Little Wise, whose musical journey began when she saw The Waifs perform as a fourteenyear-old. The singer-songwriter has released two albums, including the Pozible-funded Want It All. In a review for yours truly, Chris Lambie gave the release 4/5, calling the album “feisty yet sweet”. The Palais, Hepburn Springs – March 28. Little Wise will be joined by Paper Jane. Photo by Elena McGannon.

JERKFEST VI If you are a jerk, we have the festival for you. Jerkfest is growing up right before our very eyes. Celebrating its sixth outing, the line-up includes Golden Pelicans (USA), DJ Meltdown (Japan), Amyl & the Snifters, Power Supply, Lowlife, Straightjackets Nation, Civic, Parsnip, Hierophants, The Living Eyes, Constant Mongrel, Ausecuma Beats, Bananagun, RMFC, J McFarlane’s Reality Guest and Rapid Dye. Barwon Club, Geelong – March 21.

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WINSTON SURFSHIRT WILL BE BRINGING THEIR SWEET TUNES TO TORQUAY

The Daylesford Polo will once again return to Drummond’s Mingela Polo Club on Saturday, 21 March to raise funds for TLC for Kids. Over 1,000 guests are expected to make their way to the stunning grounds, putting money back into local Australian producers and vendors from deserving regional areas. The Hepburn region will be brought to life with breathtaking pastoral scenery of seasonal fruits and florals, alongside lavish marquees and lounge settings for guests and polo aficionados to enjoy an air of field-side al-fresco extravagance. The event will also feature Fashions on the field, pamper stations, a rosé bar and plenty of Instagrammable moments. Tickets are now available at daylesfordpolo.com.au.

Winston Surfshirt has developed a devout following since debuting with their near double platinum single ‘Be About You’ off their extraordinary album ‘Sponge Cake’, with the love and fandom only surpassed with the sophomore release ‘Apple Crumble’. And now they’ve just announced a national tour for their latter release. Promising to be their biggest tour to date, the six-piece will be taking their live show to 11 metro and regional cities across Australia & New Zealand, including a stop at the coastal music hub of Torquay Hotel on June 19. Photo by Jordan Munns.

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THE WHITETOP MOUNTAINEERS RETURN

STAMP OUT AND ABOUT

The Whitetop Mountaineers have made the trek from the hills of Virginia to Australia a few times now, and we’re so pleased they keep doing so. The duo, comprised of Martha Spencer and Jackson Cunningham, perform old-time country singing, with Jackson on guitar, mandolin and claw hammer banjo and Martha on fiddle, guitar and banjo. The Bridge, Castlemaine – April 3 & The Piping Hot Chicken Shop, Ocean Grove – April 4.

YOU KN OW YOU’RE GE T TING OLD WHEN… Getting old is inevitable. The grey hair on my head proves it (but my hair angel Steph at Brown & Co hides the evidence). Every day I’m getting closer to my pensioner card and 10% off my weekday lunch at The Telegraph. We all want to grow old gracefully... Or at least acquire a lil grace after years of slinging our shoes over our shoulders after the Geelong Cup; or after tequila shots and the walk of shame down Pako after a night at Lamby’s with Dan… Sam… whatever his name is.

SLY WITHERS FIND CLARITY

As you get older you aren’t always bestowed with maturity. However, I feel you do earn wisdom and the benefit of hindsight. You also begin to recognise the small signs that your younger (aka ‘I can back it up’) days are passing you by.

Perth’s Sly Withers are heading this way in support of their new single ‘Explode into View’, complete with a video that features behind the scenes footage. Speaking about the track, guitarist/vocalist Jono Mata was on the brink of a new relationship when the song took shape. Unfortunately it never came to fruition, but through the confusing times moments of clarity were found. Barwon Club, Geelong – May 15. Photo by Shannan Stewart

They aren’t the beginning of the end. Instead, it brings freedom and confidence in your life choices. You don’t need to keep up anymore. But even though we might be years away from retirement living, the aging process starts in your 30’s: • You’ll respond to an invitation the day after the rsvp date so you can decide if you really do have the energy to attend. (TBH, it might even be the day before the actual event). • Facebook shows you memories from 10 years ago and you can’t remember where the photo was taken. • Every sunny Geelong day is “washing my sheets ‘cause they’ll dry on the line” day. • You get excited when plans are cancelled so you can stay in and watch Married At First Sight. • You have two wines at dinner so you can drive home. You don’t have the patience to wait for an Uber. • You take a jacket (for bonus points a cardigan) on a night out. When you leave the club, you look at other people and say to yourself ‘aren’t you cold?!?’ • You left the above club because the music was too loud.

BAD//DREEMS GO REGIONAL Sweet dreams are made of a Bad// Dreems regional tour. The tour gives the jangling rock and rollers a chance to show off their third album, Doomsday Ballet, to fans a little on the outer. According to their website, the album “deals with the absurdity of the post-truth world, via a dark psychedelic vision of the end of days”. Theatre Royal, Castlemaine – May 21; Torquay Hotel, Torquay – May 22; and Volta, Ballarat – May 23. .

• When you reach down to pick a pen off the floor, you make a ‘grumph’ noise. You know it, it’s that same noise you make when you get up off the floor. • You bathe in Deep Heat (or any anti-inflammatory cream) before going to the gym… and after the gym… and after a shower. • You have seven different types of T2 tea and you’ll have a cup before you go to bed. • Your sleepwear is flannel AND practical. If you’re single it’s comforting, if you’re in a relationship you’ve settled. But you know what, embrace it! Bears retreat into their dens for hibernation over winter. Possums play dead to avoid responsibility. Well, it’s a defence mechanism but they choose that over running. Knowing that about them, I think the possum is my spirit animal. You’ve earned this time in your life to do what you want to do, as long as you’re not hurting anyone. So, make yourself happy. Be adventurous. Try new things. Stay in and watch Netflix. Drink that lemongrass honey tea. Be that bear… Just take a jacket with you if you’re going out. It’s getting colder at night.

Stampsy’s on the socials if you have any more aging signs to list - IG @ lee_stamps and FB StampsyKROCK

YOUTH GROUP & ART OF FIGHTING Two much-loved titans of Australia’s indie rock scene, Youth Group and Art Of Fighting, are coming together for a co-headline tour this May. Making four stops along the east coast – Melbourne, Castlemaine, Sydney and Wollongong – this tour will also be the first time either band has played in Adelaide in over a decade. These shows will see each band perform a full hour long set and dive deep into their respective back catalogues, playing songs new and old, well-known along with cult faves. The Bridge, Castlemaine – May 3.

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WRITTEN BY WYLIE CAIRD

ALONG CAME THE RUBENS

LA MAMA PRESENTS LADIES OF THE BAY

Having spent a tidy amount of time in the last while touring North America, the UK and Europe, The Rubens are turning their attention to home with a generous tour in support of their latest single, ‘Live in Life’. Riverlinks Westside, Shepparton – June 19; Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – June 20; Torquay Hotel, Torquay – June 26; and Whalers Hotel, Warrnambool – June 27. Joining the band on tour will be Alice Ivy. Photo by Giulia McGauran.

Ladies of the Bay returns after a sold out season last year, heading to Deans Marsh, Warrnambool, Brunswick, Portarlington and Camperdown this March. Nat, Tracy, Fiona and Naomi have grown up together in the Bay. They have gone through many life changes, but their enduring friendship carries on with their summer tradition – camping at the caravan park. Ladies of the Bay will take you laughing and crying back to your own summers. Sometimes all we have are the memories. Inspired by real stories from Aussie summer days where friends reminisce about the simpler times, this is a funny, vivacious, new show that you won’t want to miss! at Deans Marsh Community Cottage, Deans Marsh on March 20; Mozart Hall, Warrnambool on March 21 & 22; Senior Citizens Hall, Portarlington on March 28; and The Theatre Royal, Camperdown on March 29.

THELMA PLUM IS COMING HOME Nominated in six categories at the 2019 ARIA Awards, Thelma Plum made a big impression with the release of her debut album Better in Blak. The good times would continue to roll in 2020, with the singer-songwriter landing three tracks in triple j’s Hottest 100. One such track, ‘Homecoming Queen’, is the name of her new tour. Torquay Hotel, Torquay – June 20. Thelma will be joined on tour by Kira Puru.

BENDIGO TUNES IN JULY

RAGE 3 Eighteen months of filming throughout Australia and Indonesia has come down to this: the Rage 3 Movie Tour. It’s all killer, no filler as the team has put together the best bits for your viewing pleasure. Join Creed McTaggart, Noa Deane, Shaun Manners, Jaleesa and Jake Vincent, Beau Foster, Barns and Toby for a night of waves, stories and music. Torquay Bowls Club, Torquay – March 22. Special guests include Blistar and Cupid and the Stupids.

Lost Lands festival is back in 2020 for another jam-packed weekend taking over the idyllic grounds of Werribee mansion from 30th Oct – 1st November. The family-friendly festival is set to host a number of incredible musicians, alongside an array of creative workshops sure to keep both adults and kids entertained for the three-day event. Crowd favourite folk duo The Pierce brothers are taking time out from their sell-out shows across Australia to grace the stage at Lost Lands, alongside singersongwriter Jess Ribeiro. Be sure to secure your discounted pre-sale tickets asap at www. thelostlands.com.au

HEAD NORTH WITH THE KITE STRING TANGLE A Berlin residency and sold out Australian tours were but a couple of the highlights for The Kite String Tangle in 2019, the solo project of Brisbane producer Danny Harley. One of the biggest highlights in 2020, meanwhile, is sure to be the release of new album C()D3X. Due for release March 20, fans can get a taste of what to expect on his second album with the single ‘North’. Workers Club, Geelong – June 13.

THIS IS NO TIME FOR JOKES Before the Melbourne International Comedy Festival kicks off, a small but undeniably talented batch of funny individuals will get you laughing for a good cause. This is No Time for Jokes is a special, one-off fundraising comedy event for the Victorian Bushfire Disaster Appeal featuring Claire Hooper, Sami Shah, Aurelia St Clair, Gavin Sempel and Bart Freebairn. Barwon Club, Geelong – March 15.

Music practice space wanted

Hold on tight because the Aireys Inlet Open Mic festival takes place this weekend, March 13-15. Working its magic for the thirteenth year, the festival welcomes more than 140 acts of all sizes and sounds. Of course, there is the Special Mystery Guest who will close out the show. We don’t even know who it is, and we have asked very nicely. It’s free, but donation buckets will be scattered around the festival. Now that is a top-notch deal.

MEET THE KING & THE EASY TRIO With his heart in the blues of the 1940s and ’50s, ‘The Easy’ Ian Matthews is regarded as one of the best harmonica players in the business. King Maxwell plays a mean, mean guitar. And Barry ‘the Undertaker’ Miller is a boss when it comes to brushing a snare. As The King & the Easy Trio, they have released the album Mighty Natural. Major Tom’s, Kyneton – March 14. Joining them on the night will be Jarrod Shaw.

BENDIGO CRAFT BEER & CIDER FESTIVAL Feeling a little thirsty? The Bendigo Craft Beer & Cider Festival takes place this Saturday, March 14 at the Tom Flood Sports Centre. More than 100 beers and ciders will be available to sample, plus all the usual good stuff that comes with an event such as this – food trucks, sweet tunes and a few games. A kids’ zone will keep the little ones busy. There are various tickets available, with further information through bendigocraftbeerfestival.com.au.

SUPERGIRLY SPARKLES An all-singing, all-glamour laughfest that takes place across two forty-five minute sets and comes with a whole lot of costume changes? Sign me up. Lulu McClatchy is SuperGirly, and Pop Rival is a show that takes a sweet jab at tabloid-shifting celebrities and pop singers – “right through their shallow hearts and to the tune of their own songs”. Joined by Ana Mitsikas, Pop Rival plays out at The Palais, Hepburn Springs on March 14.

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AIREYS INLET OPEN MIC

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It was meant to be a solo project for guitarist Jordan Forster, but the voice of Mason Matheson was too good to waste. Performing under the moniker Vessel, Forster is inspired by his travels, while the Bendigo-based band is a healthy serving of desert rock and psych metal. Vagabond Blues is their new release, an album that is themed around displacement and progress. The Vine, Bendigo – March 13.

It’s a weekend’s worth of hinterland delights at the Deans Marsh Festival, set to run across March 20, 21 & 22. The event kicks off on the Friday night with ‘La Mama - Ladies of the Bay’, a show inspired by real stories from Australian summers. From there, settle in for a weekend of great local produce, arts and crafts, market stalls, activities for the little ones and much more. Further information is available through deansmarsh.org.au.

THE LOST LAND RETURNS

Send your info to: enquiries@fortemag.com.au

VESSEL IS FEELING THE BLUES

DEANS MARSH FESTIVAL

Bendigo’s Ulumbarra Theatre will play host to three outstanding and diverse artists in July. On July 16, Archie Roach performs. One of Australia’s most admired names in music, Archie recently released a memoir and new album titled Tell Me Why. On July 18, your throat will be hoarse after singing along to the countless hits of James Reyne and Mark Seymour. And on July 25, it’s a slice of country magic with The McClymonts.

CL ASSIFIEDS

BALLAN AUTUMN FESTIVAL Come together with the fine folk of the Moorabool Shire and celebrate local culture, creativity and community at the Ballan Autumn Festival. Visitors will be treated to market stalls, live entertainment, a parade and even a cake decorating competition. For those masking a secret identity, the festival is holding a superhero cosplay competition. It all takes place on March 15, with all the information you need available at ballanautumnfestival.org.

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CONCRETE SURFERS HANG TEN Take twins brothers Jamie and Jovi Brook and throw them together with good mates Trent Courtenay and Sean Foster, and you get Concrete Surfers. The Brisbane band enjoys creating huge walls of fuzz and has supported a host of artists including Royal Blood, The Gooch Palms, Harts, Ocean Alley and Pist Idiots. ‘Never Understood’ is their new single. The Eastern, Ballarat – March 14.

B EN DIG O AU GO G O

100 AIM HIGH “It’s a story from the hot and dull Australian suburbs, for the kids born into mediocrity and low expectation, that choose to search for a bigger and more challenging life.” That is 100’s Rowan Tucker speaking about ‘Weightless’, the new track from the Sydney outfit. The band is taking the song on the road for the first time in 2020, and fans will be pleased to know an EP should arrive around Easter. The Eastern, Ballarat – March 26.

Don’t worry about black cats and walking under ladders! Bendigo heavy rock/metal trio Vessel will launch their latest album Vagabond Blues in a big Black Friday show at the Golden Vine on March 13. The band has come a long way since guitarist and songwriter Jordan Forster first recorded music under the Vessel moniker in 2012. Forster, who had previously played in various bands around town, says Vessel was an outlet for “songwriting that never really fit the mould of any of those other projects”. Fast-forward eight years and Vessel is busy establishing itself on the live circuit, with gigs in Bendigo and Melbourne in the past six months in preparation for the album launch. “The album was largely written in 2016-17 and recorded through 2018,” says Forster. “But looking to find our audience and build a bit of a social media presence, I delayed the release to see if I could garner any label interest.” That came via the involvement of newly established Swedish boutique vinyl label Majestic Mountain Records. “By the time our official release date of February 7, 2020, rolled around, we had managed to build some

THE GOOCH PALMS CALL FOR CHANGE For those that got there early for The Stranglers on their recent tour, you would have been treated to Newcastle’s The Gooch Palms. And you may well have been treated to their new single, ‘Great Dividing Range’. Comprised of Leroy Macqueen and Kat Friend, the indie-punksters new track makes comment on climate change

and inaction. Purchases through Bandcamp will be donated to Two Thumbs Wildlife Sanctuary. Volta. Ballarat – March 28.

hype online,” says Forster. “And in an amazing four days, we were able to sell out of vinyl through the label. It really shows that putting a bit of a strategy in place with releasing music can be worthwhile.” Forster describes the album as “a diverse, heavy rock outing, ranging from fast-paced fuzzy classic rock to long, spaced-out heavy jams, and everything in between”. And punters will be pleased to know the band has restocked its vinyl and CD supplies ready for Friday’s show. Support from Melbourne-based metal outfit 29 Bones and stoner/grunge rockers Peeling Sun. From 8.30pm; entry $5 at the door. ALSO HAPPENING AROUND BENDIGO IN THE NEXT FORTNIGHT: It’s time to jump aboard the monthly Blues Tram, where local musicians Jo Jo Smith and Carl Pannuzzo - making his rails debut – will bring the soul. Departs Central Deborah Goldmine at 2pm, returning at 4.15pm. Tickets $39 from the Bendigo Visitor Centre or online at www.bendigotourism.com Castlemaine’s country/folk/rock trio Blue Lucas are launching their single Train Station at Handle Bar on Saturday, March 14. Support from blues rockers Jess Parker and the Troubled Waters. From 8pm. Melbourne-based five-piece Idle Men bring their blues-inspired R+B to the Golden Vine on Saturday, March 14. From 9pm. The Rent-A-Row Festival of Winemaking at Heathcote’s Shiraz Republic continues this month, with musical performances from Rhyley McGrath (Saturday, March 14); Midweek Blues (Sunday, March 15), Sherri Parry (Saturday, March 21) and the Erica Hawkey Band (Sunday, March 22). Visit shirazrepublic.com.au/rent-a-row for full details. NSW folk/western singer-guitarist William Alexander will be performing songs from his EP Garlic Pickin’ Time at the Old Church On The Hill on Saturday, March 21. Support from Melbournebased singer-guitarist Nathan Power. From 6.30pm. Contact: nettee136@gmail.com

Written by Lynette Walker

Sarah Blasko - Sally Seltmann - Holly Throsby

LADIES OF THE BAY

A funny, vivacious, new show inspired by real stories from Aussie summer days. days.

Sunday 29 March 4pm The Capital, Bendigo

Fri 20th March, 7pm Deans Marsh Sat 21st March, 8pm Warrnambool Sun 22nd March, 6pm Warrnambool Fri 27th March, 6.30pm Brunswick Sat 28th March, 7pm Portarlington Sun 29th March, 3pm Camperdown

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SEEKER LOVER KEEPER

Beloved Australian supergroup Seeker Lover Keeper, consisting of Sally Seltmann, Sarah Blasko and Holly Throsby, are bringing their soaring vocals and three-part harmonies to unmissable shows in both Bendigo and Anglesea. The trio were described by Sally Seltmann as having a very “vocal-heavy” sound, with roots deep in 1960s girl groups, predominately from the 1960s girl group The Ronettes. “They [The Ronettes] have this great song called ‘be my baby’ and we’ve always all really liked that style. I guess when we were writing the songs, we just felt like that was the natural way we were making our songs sound, so we just decided to go for that." The trio are no stranger to touring, coming off the back of a number of very successful shows in September and October 2019 showcasing their latest album release ‘Wild Seeds’. “There were big crowds at all the shows, and everyone was all singing

along,” Sally recalls fondly. The energy of the trio is infectious, and their upcoming shows are set to be unlike any other that the supergroup have done to date. The Bendigo and Anglesea shows, in particular, will not be ones to miss out on. “It’s going to be really great, the Bendigo show, and the Anglesea show… we are doing those ones just as a trio so it will be just me [Sally], Holly and Sarah, with nothing else. “I’ve always really loved it because the harmonies and the vocals kind of become even more powerful… And it’s a bit more intimate, people can really hear the lyrics and its really fun for us. We really enjoy playing just the three of us.” Seeker Lover Keeper began as a group of close friends that naturally progressed to performing together as a band, so for Sally, she is just really looking forward to touring with her close friends again: “usually on tour, we laugh so much and we just have a really fun time.” Fans of Seeker Lover Keeper can expect something very special at the Bendigo show, with the band set to perform a cover of a song that they have never performed before. It has also been revealed that the Bendigo and Anglesea shows might be the last show for fans to see Seeker Lover Keeper for a while. “These are our last shows for a while, so we are coming to the end of the cycle of the wild seeds album, but I’m sure we will be playing shows and doing music again at some point in the future.” The band is set to make the shows a “last hurrah” for the ‘Wild seeds’ album and should not be missed by Seeker Lover Keeper fans. Seeker Lover Keeper will perform at Anglesea Memorial Hall in Anglesea on Saturday March 28 & at The Capital in Bendigo on Sunday March 29. To purchase tickets, head to www. seekerloverkeeper.com.au/shows Written Mackenzie Pennycook

BONES AND JONES Coastal garage-rockers Bones and Jones have been busy bees for the last year. With their debut LP Living Given released back in 2018, the six-piece have performed at a swag of scintillating live shows ever since, earning them a pretty solid reputation in the music industry. Now, they’ve launched into 2020 full steam ahead with the release of their much anticipated second full-length Bees. We sit down with vocalist/guitarist Jasper Jolley. The second Bones album is finally out and this time around there’s a new addition to the lineup. How did it come about that George Wilson joined the gang? George first came on board playing with us live for a couple of shows doing some percussion and backings on our new songs. We felt we needed a boost in our live shows so got him on board. I’ve played with George for most of my life so it felt only natural having him alongside us; it was a natural progression from him playing with us to becoming a member. When it came to recording the album, we got him in to do some percussion and he helped out with some backing ideas and now recently he has picked up the lapsteel and saxophone which has been

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stunning line-up of musical artists guaranteed to get your feet tapping and your soul singing at the Marsh Stage on Sunday. Performing under the stage name OTTA, dynamic duo Josh Rigg and Toby Johnson will be taking to the festival stage, capturing sounds and inspiration from the minds and landscapes around them. Hailing from the Otways, their emotive rhythmically driven melodies promise to take you away to other worlds.

DEANS MARSH FESTIVAL RETURNS Going strong for more than two decades now, the Deans Marsh Festival is a combined treat of live music, street performers, Otway food and wine and a unique artisans’ craft market – and is set to return again at the end of this month. Taking to the Deans Marsh Recreation Reserve from March 20-22, this year’s festival theme is “Experience Our Hinterland” and provides the perfect opportunity to experience what makes the community unique, delving deep into what the hinterland has to offer and the amazing things the locals are creating, growing and making. With fun for the whole family, you’ll find a range of great local produce from the region, market stalls with all sorts of craft-y, quirky, delicious, useful and produce-y stuff for you to browse and buy, and a tonne of kid’s activities, including games, foot races, puppet shows, a jumping castle, a circus space, pony rides while the grown-ups indulge in great food and wine. There will also be a range of vintage displays, line dancing sheep-dogs, and festival-favourites the dog-jump and Jack Russell races. And of course, what is a festival without music? This year, Music at the Marsh has been working alongside the Deans Marsh Festival to present a

sick! We’re lucky to have him on board because he has such a great ear. Having been in the Tiny Giants together, was it a natural addition to the recording process? Yeah! George and I have been playing music together since we were little tackers so it feels really natural and we can read each other quite well no matter what we're playing or doing. It's sometimes scary adding another element into a band but because we’ve all been mates for such a long time, whether it's in the studio or live, we all feel totally comfortable. I know in the past you have produced/recorded a lot of music including Living Given, the group’s debut album. Was Bees selfproduced again and if so, what can you tell us about your home recording setup because the last time I saw it, it was pretty damn special. Living Given was recorded when I lived in Footscray in my back room that I’d converted into a little studio. I didn't have lots of gear then but was able to scrape some stuff together. That was pretty DIY, but it was a good reflection of our sound then. We really wanted to change it up for Bees. We tracked it in Paul Maybury’s studio in Fairfield, I’d worked there a bit in the past and it's a great spot so only felt natural to track there. We did lots of demos for Bees so we knew exactly what we wanted to do at Paul’s. We did some additional stuff at my joint and then took the tracks to Nick Huggins and wrote some strings and horns for it and

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Erik Parker joins OTTA on this year's lineup. Parker is known to spend his days concocting and recording songs in his studio, in the Dandenong Ranges which results in beautiful self-produced releases. Often performing as a solo act, Parker explores a blend of soul, blues, dub and rock. The sound is tied together with live-looping, beatbox, guitar, vocals and harmonica, which is sure to get the crowds moving early on. Forté favourite Alister Turrill will also join in on the fun with honest, flawed, gravel-throated, folkin' blues. Renowned blues/folk/rock/roots artist, Alister has been referred to as a songwriter of the highest order, and a sign that the future of Australian blues is in good hands by Lloyd Spiegel himself. Do you really need any more convincing than that? Festival-goers can drown themselves in reverbsoaked indigo blue ballards and dreamy nightmares with Lorne based artist PJ Holloway, while The Ming Ming Gift Shop Band round out this year's lineup, with their Acapella and instrumental folk bangers from many traditions via the Maribyrnong Delta. A true celebration of the rich and diverse hinterland community of artists, craftspeople, local producers and musicians, make sure you take some time to check it out. Witness the heart of Deans Marsh come alive from March 20-22. Visit deansmarsh.org.au/ deans-marsh-festival/ for more info.

recorded them in the old Hall in Point Lonsdale. Not a lot was done in the space I’m in now but really lucky to have it! Living Given featured songs written by all the members of the group with everyone stepping in to share vocal duties or help out in ways other than their primary instrument in the band. Was Bees a similar process, or is Donna a bit of a special track on the album as Finn sings? We like to keep it pretty split with Finn and I sharing the singing in our sets so we came into tracking with the same idea. More so with the songs I sing, I take a thought-out idea, sometimes a demo, to the band and it gets developed from there. With Finn’s songs, it's certainly more collaborative and written as a band. It’ll be the second album released on homegrown label Bonsai Records. How did you first link up with them? Ella who is Bonsai said she was interested in releasing the record around the same time we were shopping around and trying to figure all that stuff out and it went from there, we were both pretty green on the whole music business side of things so it’s been nice working through it together. We have all been such great pals already so it felt only Natural, Willem [Kingma, long-time collaborator] also came onboard and has been doing all the videos and artwork for both us and Pollyman. It’s been really great as it all runs out of the same studio and we rehearse there. Having a nice little community of pals who are all pitching in and pushing each other is a really beautiful thing to be apart of and I count myself really lucky to be surrounded by such a great and hard-working group of friends. The front cover for Bees is absolutely incredible. Who was the talented artist behind it? So lucky to have Willem do that for us. Will and I became mates in high school and always worked on different projects with my music and his films. He’s always done our videos and artwork, more or less, he’s just an extra member of the band. Lyrically, where were you coming from for this album and how does your current mindset differ from when you were fresh out of school writing for Living Given? Each song is different to me. It's hard to look back sometimes because how I was feeling when I had written the song has slipped my mind and then it takes on a new meaning as I get older, I suppose songwriting is a good timestamp like that sometimes. There's a couple of older songs of mine such as ‘Bees’ and ‘Bye Bye’, and with Finn’s songs, I'm not too sure. Bones and Jones will be taking Bees to the stage at The Retreat Hotel in Melbourne on March 18 and The Dart and Marlin in Warrnambool on March 20. Bees is out now, available on all streaming services. Written by Alex Callan

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STEVE BANKS AND THE SIDEMEN Some take up guitar to be heroes, strutting their stuff as a solo instrumentalist or a band’s blazing lead player. Others prefer to be singer/songwriters, using the instrument to create tunes and accompany themselves. Another player, however, is the one that finds a primary calling in helping others realise a musical vision, though they might occasionally shred or write songs too. Please welcome, the sidemen – the engine room and backbone of so many bands. And now it’s time to shine the spotlight on these sidemen. Conceived by Steve Banks, a Byron Bay local, ‘Steve Banks and The Sidemen’ is a production dedicated entirely to showcasing some of the greatest musicians who’ve played with iconic bands like The John Butler Trio, The Black Sorrows, The Paul Kelly Band and 10cc (UK). Alongside Banks, the production features Bruce Haynes (The Paul Kelly Band, worked with Renee Geyer and Archie Roach), Jeff Burstin (The Black Sorrows, Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons) and Greg Lyon (The Hip Operation, Georgie Fame, Crossfire, Doug Parkinson and many more) as well as Grant Gerathy (former drummer from John Butler Trio), Rick Fenn

NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE While the shelves at Woolworths and Coles are emptier than millennial’s bank accounts, Northeast Party House has added an extended Shelf Life to their catalogue. Their highly anticipated third album, Shelf Life, dropped Friday 28 February and is already filling the void. Known for their infectious beats and club anthems, the six-piece Melbourne outfit wanted to steer clear of the club scene moving into their third instalment, but it seems they just can’t shake their wild dance floor fusions. “Nightlife and club culture has had a huge influence on this album and we have spoken at length as a band to move away from past things themes that have gone into on past albums which were on partying and being young, and turns out we just can’t escape our own experiences and that’s what we like to write about,” explains guitarist, Jackson Shoe. “While the whole album has these themes around clubbing and nights out and connecting with people, there are also a few songs about relationships and I guess that’s what has been going on in each of our lives while we’ve been writing this album; commenting on our own personal relationships and the life that we’re living which sometimes involves nightclubs.” ‘Sometimes involves nightclubs’ includes a very major experience which involved a 17-hour bender at the infamous exclusive Berghain in Berlin – the nightclub that turned away Conan O’Brien and

(10cc, Jack Bruce from Cream, Mike Oldfield, Peter Green); both from the Byron Bay region, along with special guests Ms. Vanessa Baker and Ms. Martine Monroe who bring their superb vocal talent to the party! “This show is a product of serendipity; a chance meeting between musos, the right chemistry, the right players, the hits and the clear pedigree back to those great bands we all loved,” Banks reveals. “10cc, The Black Sorrows, John Butler, Paul Kelly, Crossfire and so many more, it’s our chance to contribute to keeping live music alive! That and a chance to add, indelibly, to the soundtrack of our lives.” The show explores the careers of each musician through a brief interview on stage with Banks. It's an opportunity to celebrate their proudest moments, discuss the songs they’ve written and those that have influenced them. Some of the hits the band will perform include, Family Man (written by Rick Fenn and recorded by Hall & Oates), and Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc, Chained to the Wheel and Harley and Rose by The Black Sorrows and Oh well by Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green) along with a cracking setlist of songs that inspired the Sidemen to be musicians in the first place. “With this group of musos, it shows Australia has punched well above its population mass with regard to the music scene,” Banks says. “Influence and parallels certainly, but we had and still have our own brand. These performers have literally thousands of performance hours and dedication to their craft between them, providing joy to the listening audience. If you’re a music fan by any means, this will be so worth it.

WAVVES RIDING 10 YEARS OF KING OF THE BEACH 2010 was the year that Twi-hards went crazy over the confirmation of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s relationship and Lady Gaga wore THAT meat dress. It was also a great year for music. Kanye released My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Arcade Fire with The Suburbs, Robyn gave us Body Talk and Tame Impala made their debut with Innerspeaker. Over in San Diego California, Nathan Williams, was one half of the “Indie It” couple with Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, and having wild success with his third album, King of the Beach, which featured the couples cat Snacks on the cover, for his indierock outfit Wavves. With glorious tracks ‘Green Eyes’, ‘Post Acid’, the title track ‘King of the Beach’ and ‘Stained Glass (Won’t Let Me Into Yr Heart)’ leading the charge, King of the Beach was the start of a new era for Williams, moving out of mums basement and into the recording studio with Dennis Herring. “I actually didn’t really know who he was. [My team] said he had done one of the Modest Mouse records which I thought was cool. I went and looked through his stuff and I think I said no originally because I had seen some of the last records he had done, like some Christian rock and I was like ‘eh I

It all goes down at The Potato Shed, Geelong – Saturday March 21.

is known for its lengthy opening hours, deep techno and EDM non-stop soundtrack, strict rules pertaining to phone use, photography and mirrors, and its ANYTHING goes attitude – which heavily informed the groundwork for Shelf Life. “Yeah, that was a good time”, Shoe laughs. “We’re all so different in the band – we’re all roughly the same age but we all have different personalities and different lifestyles and I had been there quite a few times and knew what to expect. Then on the other side of the spectrum is Oli, our bass player, who really doesn’t club much and it was a whole new world for him. But for all of us it was a really amazing bonding experience,” he says. “We were in there for 17 hours and it felt like heaven and it felt like hell. It was just a great thing to share with each other. That’s the thing that I love about music – that escape and having that little time to yourself to forget all of the pressures of the world we live in and Berghain definitely has that and when creating our music, giving people something to be happy about and to forgot those outside troubles is the whole point of it.” To help them get into that zone and fuel escapism beats with quality production, Northeast Party House sought external assistance for the first time ever, recruiting Kim Moyes from The Presets as their producer. “On this album, the one idea we had from the start was to make a really concise album,” Shoe explains. “Working with a producer and working outside of Melbourne was something we really wanted to do and then when we were discussing potential producers Kim’s name popped up and made sense to us because The Presets have been a pretty influential band on us growing up and when we started the band. The main benefit that we got [from working with Moyes] was having a voice that we trusted to make those decisions.” The result is a dance floor explosion that will last on your music shelf for decades to come; no expiry date in sight.

CARAVÃNA SUN Energetic surf indie rockers Caravãna Sun have entered 2020 strong, with a catchy as all hell new single, signing to Berlin's label Embassy Of Music and a slew of gigs lined up to see them through until the latter half of the year. One gig we’re particularly excited about is when the sun-soaked Sydney-siders take on Melbourne’s Flavour Fest. We chat with vocalist and bassist Ant Beard ahead of their appearance. Congrats on the new single 'Charlie', which hit many right in the feels with its vulnerable undertones. I understand it spawned from a personal difficulty. Was writing this song all part of the healing process? Yes for sure! Music and songwriting can provide a window of observation into these experiences. It’s about moving further toward the heart and trying to understand myself and this concept of struggling better through expression. Above all, the song was written as a reminder for myself and others that, although we can feel very alone in the dark times, there's always space to reach out for help. Despite being a vulnerable song, it’s still quite uplifting, keeping the band's vibey, sundrenched rock. Was it hard to do this? No I’d say it really wasn't hard, that's why it works. Over the years we’ve put a lot of energy into trying to write and create things that were thought out and precise. This process was truly so easy in its resistance. It’s like, the more we let go, the more the song was willing to show itself and all we had

Shelf Life by Northeast Party House is out now! Written by Tammy Walters

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don’t think that will really work out’ and eventually they talked me into it,” Williams recalls. Herring, who had won two Grammys and produced platinum and gold records for the likes of The Hives, Elvis Costello, Counting Crows and the aforementioned Modest Mouse, would go on to produce King of The Beach, introducing Williams to the world of studio recording and the opportunities it presents. “The records on the wall weren’t really a big deal to me or anything, but I was mostly excited about the equipment he had and what I would be able to use to record my own stuff. I would start to get ideas around instruments and the board he had,” Williams explains. “I didn’t have any money at that point, so even just to use his guitars – I was like a kid in a candy shop! There’s a song on the record, ‘When Will you Come’ which Stephen (Pope) was sick so I got to fool around and wrote the song on the spot and I got to play the drums myself and the bass and some of the instruments in there. It was exciting!” The SoCal singer also notably restrained the reverb and distortion on his vocals for the album which was met by mixed reviews from fans and from friends. “I remember I played a rough mix of the album to friends of mine in San Diego at the time and they were like ‘This sucks, it’s going to ruin your career’. At that point it wasn’t cool to write a song that you could hear and understand,” he says. The risk was worth it. The album, which was leaked and consequently released early, holds up 10 years later and will be celebrated on an anniversary tour where King of the Beach will be played in full length with fan favourites. “I’d say maybe three to six of the songs have been somewhere in the set when the album came out but a few of them are very rarely played. Even when we did do them, I don’t think we did them much justice live, so it will be great to revisit them all.” Wavves brings King of the Beach to Melbourne Thursday 2 April at Corner Hotel! Written by Tammy Walters

to do was write it You’ve joined the Embassy of Music family in Germany. What's this mean for future releases? We’ve been touring Europe for the past eight years and have formed some of the pillars of this band around performing to such incredible audiences. Signing this deal began as a conversation but like all things in our world, it always comes back to the same thing, the song! They believed in what we had to say and how we wanted to say it. You’ll expect to see a lot more of Caravãna Sun eating pretzels along the Rien, let's just say that. You guys have been pretty consistent over the past few years, following the summer with your music. Does winter mess with your vibe? It's a weird scenario, I LOVE winter but can't help but think you always want what you don’t have. Summer has been great for us and always had a huge connection to people being together. It’s the time community comes out of their homes and into each other's eyes. A chance to connect to one another, we just provide the soundtrack! You guys are performing at music and food festival, Flavour Fest in Melbourne this month. How did this one come about? This one came in again from some great relationships. Australia is a relatively small country not to mention the music industry. We’ve always provided ourselves by putting on a show that’s worth talking about and this one will be no exception. There are a few cooking demos as well. Is there a Caravana chef amongst you that might benefit from a few tips and tricks? I’d have to say Chris Smithson on Keys and Synth would have to be the Su Chef for us, ESPECIALLY when it comes to whipping up a mean breaky after a morning surf. There’s something in the way he moves around that hot plate that would make anyone weak at the knees Flavour Fest runs on Saturday March 21. Visit www.flavourfest.com.au/ Caravãna Sun will also take to Melbourne’s Stay Gold on Friday March 24.

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MITCH JAMES Australia has a habit of stealing ideas or people from other countries, putting a shiny Made in Australia sticker on them and claiming them as our own, and, like true siblings, we’ve reached over the Tasman Sea on several occasions for products to sell from our ‘sister country’. The sweet fluffy cloud of sugar that is the pavlova, and the New Zealand invented, Australian branded flat white with a side of OUR delicious treat, the lamington. We stole horses with Phar Lap and seized a Gladiator with Russell Crowe, and sometimes we even try our luck with royal songstress, Lorde. Heck, we even blanket the whole country as our own. Joining the claim clan is busker turned pop star, Mitch James. We now have good reason to call James our own. James has just signed a record deal across to Sony Music Australia and at time of publishing just moved to Sydney! He also collaborated with our own national treasures, 2003 and 2009 Australian Idol winners, Guy Sebastian and Stan Walker respectively, in their production effort DNA, for the latest release of ‘Sunday Morning’. “I love writing songs with the DNA guys. They are so underrated that it’s unbelievable. They’re incredible and I feel like they’re world-class songwriters. Being in Sydney will be great to just have access to it all,” James explains. “Basically in New Zealand with my label it reached a point where we were just butting the ceiling and

POLARIZE MEET US IN THE MIDDLE Since diving headfirst into the music scene with a handful of singles and their debut selfproduced EP Do What You Want in recent years, Melbourne’s heady pop powerhouse Polarize has been turning heads for all the right reasons. From gigging in the city on a weekly basis to international touring, it’s all uphill for this band! We sit down with frontman Rudie Dodd. First up, can you describe your band and the music you make? We are a five-piece indie rock/pop band. I think I’m attracted to music with lots of melody to it, so naturally, most of our songs tend to be melodically driven pop. Congrats on the latest single, ‘Meet Me In The Middle’. Is there a story behind this song? The lyrics for the song touch on a few different subjects but to me, the song is about songwriting. There’s a feeling I get occasionally when I’m out at a ‘party’ or something and feel like I don't really fit in, but I remember I’ve got this creative output which is way more satisfying than fitting in at the said party. When I’m in social situations, especially with people I don’t know too well I feel like writing songs the most, which is kind of bizarre. You recently jetted over to Japan for a sixday tour promoting the single. What was the

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the Australian office has been super supportive and making me a priority and in comparison they have unlimited resources and networks. It made sense! I have nothing but love for the team back home but it’s just the right time to move on a move forward to a new challenge and be this small fish in this big pond, and keep working hard and hopefully the same thing happens as it did back home.” It seems like James always had international intensions, particularly given his extraordinary origin story, one that hasn’t been fabricated by record labels as a cash-grab. The story goes that at 14 years old, James learnt guitar by studying YouTube tutorials, and at 17 years old with only a $20 bill in his pocket, he boarded a one-way ticket to London. A rocky start saw James busking on, and eventually living on, the streets of cold London, getting mugged and beaten and almost giving up on his dream. That is until a YouTube video of James busking caught the eye of New Zealand artist Maala who shared it with the A&R rep for Sony Music New Zealand. Returning home to a record deal, James has gone straight to the top touring with Ed Sheeran and Six60, his debut album hit the top of the New Zealand charts and garnered over 100 million streams, receiving a Gold certification in New Zealand, and he was nominated in the MTV Europe Music Awards for Best New Zealand Act. Impressive! “It’s almost that I felt too comfortable. I love New Zealand so much but I’ve always had these international intentions. I don’t just want to be that New Zealand guy who just does well at home and nowhere else. It was tough and I almost gave up several times but I want to take on the world and I think Australia is the next natural progression.” He already has big plans with the Australian label including a studio album and national touring. “I’ve written it all and just waiting to get into the studio with whoever is going to produce it. I feel like it’s 10 times better than the first record,” James boasts. We expect nothing less from this star! Listen to ‘Sunday Morning’ by Mitch James now on all good streaming services. Written by Tammy Walters

highlight of that experience? There were so many highlights it’s hard to pick just one, but it’d probably have to be our second last show. We played at this place called The Ruby Room right in the middle of Shibuya, Tokyo. We’d all had a rather large one the night before, (we booked a room in a Karaoke bar that was all you can drink red bull and vodka) so we were feeling pretty wretched, to say the least. But the ruby room ended up packing out, and it somehow was the best show of the tour. The energy in the room was crazy, the crowd was into it from the first till the last song. Some guys bought us a round of shots and handed them to us on stage, the crowd was shouting for an encore, and some friends we met that night took us to this cool bar where we jammed and drank Old Fashions until the early hours of the morning. It all felt pretty rock n roll. Are you currently working on new music? Will it be following the same direction as the recent single? We’ve got a bunch of new songs that we’ve been playing live recently that are sounding really great. They are all pretty different from ‘meet me in the middle’ and we are going to track them live in the studio, which is something we haven't done before. Hopefully, we will have a new single out very soon. You’ve been busy with performances the past few months – what’s the best thing about taking your music to the stage? How do you prepare for a show? I just love trying to play the songs better than the last time we played them. That’s the best feeling when we are playing live and a song sounds better than ever, even better than the studio recording. If you could collaborate with any other band, who would it be? Gorillaz What are the plans for the band for 2020? We are going to keep recording and writing, keep playing as many shows as we can, maybe another international tour and I’d like to release an album, but that might have to be early next year! Keep tabs on the band via www.facebook.com/ polarizebandau/

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LIVE UNDER THE SOUTHERN STARS Under The Southern Stars just can’t stop with the mind-blowing line-ups! This time they’re going all out for the Rock Carnival Festival Series which will see three massive, rock defining acts of the ’90s enter Australian shows for a huge evening of live entertainment. For live acts you can’t get any bigger than Pennsylvania multi-platinum showstopper, Live, co-headlining with UK giants, Bush and San Diego saviours, Stone Temple Pilots. “We’re so excited,” exclaims Live frontman, Ed Kowalczyk. “Last year we did, I think, 70 concerts with Bush co-headlining all over North America and became good buddies with them. Then we got the call for this tour to be with Bush again and then Stone Temple Pilots who we’ve never toured with so we just jumped at the chance!” Australian’s are more than ready for their return. You can’t go to a pub on the weekend without hearing the seminal track, ‘Lightning Crashes’ with chorus cries of ‘Oh I feel it coming back again’ booming through the bar. Their Australian chart record speaks volumes with seven Top 5 albums, three of which topped the charts at #1 for a total of ten weeks, and a string of top 40 singles. “Every time we get together to put together the battle plan of where we’re going to go all over the world, as soon as we see Australia it’s just like yes! It’s always been that way; really since the early ’90s since we first came down under it was really apparent that we had hit a nerve with people over

PSYCHO ZYDECO Returning for its ninth year, this year’s Herb and Chilli Festival is a celebration of all things hot, with a two-day buffet of food, music and entertainment. As part of its tantalising program, Sydney-based roots act Psycho Zydeco will bring the heat to the stage with their blend of Cajun, blues and swamp! We sit down with band all-rounder Gregg Hatton ahead of their festival performance. First up, can you give us a quick intro to the band? Formed 1993, we delve into all the variations of what Zydeco is today. Blues, a bit funky, strippeddown acoustic-ish, rural and our own unique hard kicking Zydeco. We use monster accordion, guitar, sax and drums… Frottoir (body armour washboard) and industrial-sized Cajun triangle. What is it about the style of zydeco that you drew you in? This music is so up and so ready for a good time. Plus, we are able to add our own influences and grooves into the music which allowed us to perform at either a blues, jazz, world, country, folk or rock festival. Inspired by the sounds of New Orleans and Louisiana, who are some of your main influences? Clifton Chenier is the main man, but Buckwheat Zydeco, Rockin' Dopsie, Boozoo Chavis and Beau Jocque have been massive influences for us.

there. There was a beautiful relationship beginning and it really hasn’t moved at all since then,” says Kowalczyk. “Australians really appreciate bands like Live who get up there and play like it’s their last one we’re going to do every night. People know when they come, they know what they’re going to get and it’s going to be something special that they can take with them in their lives and be inspired by that.” But there was a point of anxiousness and finality for fans. In 2009, lead guitarist Chad Taylor revealed that their two-year hiatus looked to be permanent. Kowalczyk left soon thereafter and while 2016 saw the reunion, unease clouded over fans. While in 2018 the reformed original band released EP Local 717, it hasn’t been enough to stamp their permanency – until now! “I hope we’re waved that anxiety now because we’re committed to touring now. I mean our band is called Live, you know! We’re looking forward to touring this year and making a new record this year and for those years following! Onward and upward,” Kowalczyk confirms. The album which will be released smack bang in the middle of two major album milestones for the 90’s rockers; last year’s 25th anniversary for Throwing Copper and 30 years of Mental Jewelry in 2021. Their plans for album number 10 is spicy. “The EP Local 717 was a little taster of the new flavour we have available to our creative thing. I’m hoping because it’s a full-length album that we can take the gist of Local 717 and expand on it and have some different types of songs. There were no slower songs on the EP so there will be room for that, so it’s all exciting!” If that’s not evidence enough that Live are well and truly back then I don’t know what is. Catch them at Under The Southern Stars at Hastings Foreshore Reserve, Mornington on Saturday 11 April or at Yarrawonga Showgrounds Sunday 12 April 2020. Tix at www.underthesouthernstars.com.au/ Written by Tammy Walters

You’re heading to Melbourne for the Herb and Chilli Festival – a mecca for iron-tongued spice-lovers. How did you guys get on board for the festival? Clive, the organiser has been after us for a few years now but we could never get it done. But this year it all worked out and we are looking forward to playing some Hot Zydeco and Fiery Swamp Blues at this great festival. What can punters expect from your performance? A Gumbo of Zydeco, Cajun, Blues and Swamp music producing a sound that is only Psycho Zydeco. Driving washboards, drums, guitar and sax combine with some amazing accordion playing that will make you want to grab a washboard and get up on stage and start scraping with the boys. What do you enjoy about performing at festivals and live on stage as opposed to recording in a studio? Or vice-versa. We made our name as a live band, there are not too many bands that have played as much as we have. So we are always bouncing something new to one another on stage and you are never quite sure of where the song might go, so that's a big thing which has kept it fresh for so many years. Recording, we have pretty much played live in all the studios we have worked in. I don't think it would sound like us if we recorded it bit by bit. An ode to the celebration – favourite hot dish? I'm not much into the Chilli wack....a very spicy Panang Curry is as far as I can go. Stef, our Accordion player does not seem affected by the chilli, so it will be interesting to see how far he goes at this festival. Lastly, best tip to ease the burn of something spicy? To quench the chilli fire, I could say just play your Zydeco faster… but I'm not sure that would help out with the burning. But a milky drink seems the best to cancel out that fire. The Herb and Chilli Festival comes to 125 Quayle Road, Wandin on Saturday March 14 and Sunday March 15. Grab your tickets and find out more at the festival website.


THE TORQUAY HOTEL HAVE ANNOUNCED A BOUNTY OF QUALITY GIGS, YET AGAIN While the weather is cooling down, we can’t say the same thing about the acts coming into the Torquay Hotel. The past few months we’ve seen a slew of high calibre acts take over the bandroom on the coast – especially with the recent Torquay Hotel Summer Series, which saw the iconic regional music venue host a specially curated season of incredible Australian music. From the likes of Melbourne’s Slowly Slowly, Press Club, Montaigne, Something for Kate frontman Paul Dempsey, acoustic indie-folk duo The Dreggs and Aussie legends Spiderbait, to Sydney’s raw-power Ruby Fields, The Beautiful Girls, Californian act The Growlers and the mighty The Amity Affliction, the hotel just keeps delivering the goods! And it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon with a bunch of juicy gigs just announced for the upcoming months. Coming up at the end of March, Brisbane duo Hollow Coves (Ryan Henderson and Matt Carins) will be bringing their indie-folk vibes to the hotel. Their 2017 debut EP Wanderlust features the track ‘The Woods’, which has racked up more than forty million Spotify streams. Wanting

to continue the spirit of the EP, the pair set to work on a full-length album which resulted is 2019’s Moments. Good vibes will be aplenty. Following on from legendary performances at Falls Festival this summer and two places in the triple j hottest 100 (‘Maybe You Know’ #61 and ‘Teach Me About Dying’ #50), Holy Holy will make their way to the hotel as part of their regional Australia tour this April. It’s been a landmark six months for the band since the August release of their third critically acclaimed album My Own Pool of Light, which landed the coveted triple j feature album, was voted #5 in the best albums of 2019 by triple j listeners and received nominations for triple j album of the year and ‘Best Rock Album’ at the 2019 ARIA Awards. They also put on one hell of a live show so make sure you mark Friday April 3 in your diaries, stat. Australia’s favourite electric-dance act Client Liaison are then back in a big way at Torquay Hotel for Easter Sunday. From their very own fashion label, self-titled festival and a string of much-loved, radiofriendly, dance-pop via the 90’s anthems, Client Liaison have melded kitsch and substance to become one of the country’s most powerful live electro outfits, generating a string of high rotation singles in the process to promise a multisensory experience which feeds any listener’s appetite. International in flavour, cosmopolitan in style, Client Liaison’s Harvey Miller and Monte Morgan will have you partying all night long. Coming in hot off the back of an extraordinary triple j Like A Version this month (FYI, ‘Lady Marmalade’, check it out) and having just been awarded the prestigious Levi’s® Music Prize, Melbourne singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist G FLIP is locked in to play not one, not two, but three shows in Torquay this May – and by the time this goes to print

it’s likely all three will have sold out. Having previously sold out all four headline Australian tours to date and with over 86 million streams globally, there’s a serious vibe for G Flip right now. Later in May will see Bad//Dreems and Melbourne folk-rock duo Pierce Brothers bring their Regional Tours to the coast. The Bad//Dreems tour follows the release of their album ‘Doomsday Ballet’ in 2019 that was backed with Australian and UK tours as well as Falls Festival shows across the holiday season, while Brothers Pat and Jack Pierce will head out on a massive regional run of the country coinciding with the release of the upcoming single, Kanko (Mountain Song) - their first new music in two years. Taking to the coast in June, Winston Surfshirt have announced the triple j supported national ‘Apple Crumple Album Tour’. The Sydneybased funk and soul band have developed a devout following since debuting with their near double platinum single ‘Be About You’ off their extraordinary album Sponge Cake, with the love and fandom only surpassed with the sophomore release Apple Crumble. Expect a sweaty night of funk, soul, RnB and hip-hop on June 19. Aussie music angel Thelma Plum is keeping the momentum going for both the hotel, and herself, after a colossal 2019 with the announcement of a huge nationwide tour! The Homecoming Queen tour comes off the back of her debut album Better In Blak, which was nominated for ‘Album Of The Year’ at last year’s ARIA Awards and came in at a healthy #3 on triple j’s album poll. On top of that, she also did very well in triple j’s 2019 Hottest 100, with ‘Not Angry Anymore’ at #78, ‘Homecoming Queen’ at #65 and ‘Better In Blak’ at #9, making her the highest-ranking First Nations artist ever. HUGE. She will hit up the hotel on Saturday, June 20. Finally, to round out the recent announcements, The Rubens have announced their biggest Australian tour yet, set to take them around the country between May and July. Clocking a whopping 27 dates in total, the tour will see The Rubens hitting metro cities for the first time since their LO LA RU album shows in 2018, and lucky for us, the tour includes a stop at the Torquay Hotel. The shows come on the back of their recent single ‘Live in Life’, released last year. 2019 proved to be a big year for the Aussie five-piece, who spent a huge chunk of the last 12 months touring through North America, the UK and Europe. Catch them on Friday, June 26. We love you, Torquay Hotel. Check out their list of gigs and get onto buying your tix!

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FOODIE NEWS A FESTIVAL OF WINE, MUSIC AND FOOD IS HEADING TO BENDIGO In a unique celebration of Bendigo wines and gourmet foods, the Strategem Bendigo Winemakers Festival returns again next month. Transforming Rosalind Park into the city’s biggest alfresco wine garden, the unique celebration will feature wines of the region from 18 wineries, regional food stalls and live music, giving festival-goers the chance to celebrate the end of harvest with local winemakers. It is the perfect opportunity to sample – sample meaning free – hand crafted vintage and styles of local wines in the gorgeous garden setting! Festival-goers can also join a wine and food masterclass with local hospitality heavyweights Finn Vedelsby and Kathie Bolitho for a journey across the region with wine and food pairing. It all goes down on Saturday April 4. Tasting tickets are $45 when prebooked from www. bendigotourism.com and include entry, a souvenir wine glass and wine tastings.

selfless Geelong resident, ruby seven cups are environmentally-friendly, user-friendly, socially conscious, and are pretty damn cute as well! We sit down with Leah to talk all things ruby seven. Hi Leah, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I am 36 (nearly 37! Sssshhh), am married to Joel, have two children, Milla and Chad, a toy poodle called Olly and live in Geelong. I am a qualified primary teacher but have shifted my career towards admin, social media and recently launching my own business… ruby seven! I love socialising! I love being a mum! I love my friends! I love coffee! I love champagne (but I don’t drink alcohol anymore… that’s a story for another day!)! I love food! I love shopping! I love shoes! I love colour! Did I mention that I love shopping? Why did you decide to start up ruby seven? I started up ruby seven for a couple of reasons. Number one is because I wanted to create a constant fundraiser for Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) research. I wanted to create and sell a product where a percentage would go towards FA research. My second reason was that I was sick of spilling my coffee. I have FA and its current effects cause me to be very unsteady so I decided to source a reusable coffee cup that wouldn’t spill, smash or burn me when I held it, but still keep my coffee hot or water cold. I was then on a mission for a cup that would suit my needs, other people’s needs with similar disabilities but also something that would appeal to everyone. The name, ruby seven, is my children’s middle names. Milla ‘Ruby’ and Chad ‘Seven’. They are my motivation for everything. What exactly is Friedreich’s Ataxia? If you’re anything like us, your morning coffee is To sum it up, Friedreich’s Ataxia is a genetic, life. But we know that with the good, comes the neurological, progressive condition that is extremely bad and that’s the reality of coffee cup pollution, rare, with approximately 1 in 40,000 people with with billions of cups ending up in landfill each this condition. The rate of progression varies from year. A small change can make a huge difference person to person. Symptoms typically begin between in the war on waste though and all it takes is the ages of 5 and 15 years, although they sometimes investing in a reusable coffee cup! appear in adulthood. The first neurological symptom to appear is usually difficulty walking and poor In the process of trading our daily paper to-go cup balance. Another early sign of the disease is slowness for a more eco-conscious reusable mug, we’ve come across one local brand who has been bringing us joy and slurring of speech. The difficulty coordinating every morning when we’re lining out for our double- movement (ataxia) can affect all of the muscles. It gradually worsens and slowly spreads to the arms shot flat white – please welcome ruby seven. Designed by Leah Alstin, an inspiring and and the trunk. Most affected individuals also develop

difficulty swallowing, due to difficulty coordinating the muscles of the tongue and throat. In addition to the movement impairments, there is often a loss of sensation in the arms and legs, which may spread to other parts of the body. Other features include loss of normal reflexes, especially in the knees and ankles, and muscle weakness. Many individuals with later stages of FA also develop hearing and vision loss. Other symptoms that may occur include heart palpitations and shortness of breath. These symptoms are the result of various forms of heart disease that often accompany FA. Most individuals with the condition tire very easily and find that they require more rest and take a longer time to recover from common illnesses such as colds and flu. What separates ruby seven from other reusable cup companies? There are so many reusable cups on the market which is awesome. We are working so hard on becoming a waste-free world. I feel that ruby seven ticks this box, and lots more. Ruby seven cups are 100% BPA free. They are made from food-grade stainless steel. They don’t leak, smash or burn your fingers while holding. They have a non-slip base which is a huge positive for people who aren’t great at picking things up (me!) or only have the use of one hand. They are great for hot or cold beverages due to the double-wall and vacuum seal. They have a good size mouthpiece. People who are prone to choking or dribbling will get this. They fit in standard cup holders in cars, on prams, walking frames and wheelchairs. They come in cute colours and they are affordable. $25 which includes the $5 donation to Fara (Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Association). What will 2020 bring for Ruby Seven? Hmmm, what will 2020 bring for ruby seven? Hopefully lots! I only started in December last year and I’ve been totally blown away by the response. I’ve sold out of one colour and am close to selling out of two. I have some new colours coming and a new product! I will never stop raising funds and awareness for FA until a cure is found.

ability to pull through when it comes to satisfying cravings. So what’s on the menu? First up, Perla Tacos will be your go-to if you’re craving the taste of fresh, colourful, spicy Mexican flavours! Created by Torquay locals Will and Elyssa, Perla Tacos create soft corn tacos that are gluten free, generous, fresh and super tasty. They pride themselves on their locally sourced ingredients and healthy cooking methods, also providing vegetarian and vegan options. Olé!? If you’re a fan of pizza (and who isn’t?), Pete’s Woodfired Pizza will be dishing up some of the tastiest pizzas on the surf coast. The dough is homemade, the toppings are fresh and the taste is seriously mouthwatering, it’s guaranteed to make'a you happy. For the meatlovers, Sticks and Bones BBQ will have you coming back time and time again throughout the festival. With Geelong born chef and owner Nicki Morrison at the helm, the flavours can be credited to being smoked over 100% wood for 4-10 hours… yum. The cafe culture certainly hasn’t been forgotten either. Lorne’s Tin Can Alley will be brewing up local coffee; and slinging tasty regional treats across the weekend. Keep an eye out for Fred’s toasties and jam filled donuts from Lorne’s Loutit Bay Bakery as well as loaded fries topped with mountains of caramelised onion, Barongarook chorizo and Shulz Dairy fetta. We’re just stoked that there’s caffeine, because let’s be real – a three day festival, you’re going to need it! With high-quality food in our fingertips, you expect something just as good to wash it down with – and Meadow are pulling out all the stops, catering to every type of taste. For those that enjoy the taste of a frosty amber nectar, you’ll find a solid lineup of craft beers from Salt Brewing. Delicious beer brewed by the beach, they’ll be pouring their Moby Pale Ale (an Australian spin on an American Pale) and their subtle and delicious Kook Blood Orange XPA, (from Australian blood oranges and mandarin hops). Best of all, 10% of profits from the Moby Pale Ale’s will go to Sea Shepherd, who work to defend marine wildlife and protect their habitat in the world's oceans. Talk about a win, win. If gin is more your flavour, you’ll be sorted for the weekend with Great Ocean Road Gin. Since releasing their first gin in 2018, they’ve become a favourite for

gin lovers near and far and we can see why. You’ll be able to see for yourself too, as they serve up their Guvvos Gin. Inspired by native botanicals from the Great Ocean Road, this one’s a modern take on a classic dry style, it’s a luscious citrus gin, with crisp clean juniper, and savoury ocean notes. In short, it’s bloody delicious. The wine hasn’t been forgotten either, with Heroes Vineyard pouring Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and a Sparkling Rosé, as well as wine’s on offer from Bambra’s Dinny Goonan Winery. If working your way through a list of fancy-sounding and super-tasting cocktails is more up your alley, you’ll fall in love with the concoctions on offer at Meadow. Start with the Escape To The Country (Vodka, Lemon, Ginger, Hand-Picked Rosemary) and the Bambra Spritz (Heroes Deeds Not Words Sparkling Rosé, Campari, Orange) before welcoming the night with a classic Espresso Martini (Woolshed Roastery Espresso + Dreams, Shaken With Ice). For those with a more acquired taste, the Wild Blackberry Negroni (Pennyroyal Brambleberry Gin, Campari, Cocchi Vermouth) and the Great Ocean Road Guvvos Gin & Soda / Tonic (Surfcoast botanicals; coast daisy, salt bush, pigface, kelp, eucalypts, honey) are sure to be favourites. Now, how’s that for a festival menu?

MOVE, SIP SIP AND AND MOVE, CURE CURE WITH RUBY SEVEN

BEER & SOBER DUMPLING PAIRING Ah dumplings. Is there anything quite as satisfying as dipping those little pockets of amazingness into sauce and then stuffing your face!? How about beer? Does anything beats the satisfaction of a frosty, perfectly poured pot of the amber nectar at the end of a long day? Like two peas in a pod, it will be all satisfaction this month with Sober Ramen joining forces with The Good Beer Bar by Blackman's to bring you a night of dumplings paired with beer. How good?! You’ll get to indulge in three courses of dumpling created by the team at Sober Ramen which can be washed down with three pots of perfectly paired Blackman’s beer! There will even be a brewer there to talk you through the pairing combos! You can thank us later. It all goes down on Thursday, March 19 from 6:30pm. Tickets can be purchased via eventbrite.

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EAT, DRINK, DANCE, RUBY SEVEN REPEAT AT MEADOW The countdown is on for the much loved boutique music festival Meadow (previously known as By The Meadow) which returns this month for its seventh year. Set to take place on March 27-29, the annual threeday and two-night celebration returns to the lush farmland hamlet of Bambra (Victoria’s enchanting Otway Surf Coast region), featuring festival headliners Angie McMahon and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, alongside beloved 80s channeling Italo-disco heavyweight Donny Benét, Melbourne’s soul journeymen Surprise Chef, the iconic trio of Dyson Stringer Cloher, dynamic alt-country outfit Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys, newfangled rock supergroup Mr. Teenage, and euphonious wordsmith POOKIE, as well as exploratory indie outfit Snowy Band, regular Meadow frequenters The Attics and local legends Matt Bourke & The Delusional Drunks. The festival also welcomes Olympia and Vanessa Worm who will be replacing Frankie Cosmos. Phew, and that’s not even half of the lineup! While the music is definitely the main drawcard, you can’t be expected to party all weekend without fuelling up and luckily this festival is known for their

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Purchase your Ruby Seven keep cup via rubyseven.com.au/ Written by Chloe Cicero

Meadow promises yet another three-day, twonight, once-in-a-year-time party. Grab your mates, grab your tents, stock up the Esky, and escape the rat race to the picturesque Otway Hinterlands – just 90-minutes South-West of Melbourne. The festival goes down March 27-29, 2020 – Bambra, Victoria. The final release tickets now moving fast. Don’t sleep on it.


Choose from a range of starters, including grilled corn, whole fried prawns or some crunchy fries, before indulging in a delicious bowl of Nachos, loaded with pickled jalapenos, mixed meats, rivers of melted cheese and plenty of salsa and guac.

YUMMY

If nachos aren’t your thing, they also serve a range of Mexican dishes, including tasty tacos, quesadillas, burritos and even chimichangas. For those looking for a cheap feed, El Santo have got you covered with $4 tacos, $4 beers and $4 tequila shots on Tuesdays. They also stock upwards of 54 different tequilas and mezcal and sling a mean margarita, so prepare to get tipsy. Don’t stress if you’re vegan either; on Wednesdays El Santo has an entire vegan menu, complete with gluten-free options. It’s packed with delicious dishes such as marinated zucchini burritos and fried cauliflower tacos. Just make sure to book your place early to avoid disappointment.

GO LOCO AT EL SANTO

EASTER HAS COME EARLY FOR VALERIE’S PANTRY

Valerie’s Pantry is Belmont’s favourite bulk wholefoods and liquids store on the bustling High Street strip, offering an alternative to the chain supermarkets sharing the same space. Initiated by Katherine Reynolds, who has a strong appreciation of sustainable produce and living, the store encourages customers to be mindful of the intensity of waste and the impact supermarkets have on consumers and the environment. Due to overwhelming demand, Valerie’s Pantry is once again stocking Loving Earth easter eggs! These creamy and delicious eggs use ingredients that are raw, certified organic, vegan and gluten free, as well as package free, making this chocolate the perfect guilt-free Easter treat. You’ll find the salted caramel eggs, as well as the new hazelnut butter eggs. Drool! Alongside the choccy eggs, you’ll find tubs and containers lining the wall, filled with everything from organic tri-colour quinoa to roasted salted pistachios. Valerie’s Pantry also stocks fresh local and organic produce, pantry essentials, and non-toxic and chemical free home and body products. There’s even a few gift-ey items for the world-friendly person in your life, with takeaway coffee cups, a bamboo toothbrush and other bits and pieces. There’s even a range of beverages promoting gut health by adding probiotics such as Kombucha and sparkling apple cider. Valerie’s Pantry is located at 138 High St, Belmont

Go on, head to El Santo for a festive dining experience like no other. Sombreros optional. El Santo is located at 115 Ryrie Street, Geelong.

Remember when Mexican food was a box of hard-shelled tacos, a block of cheddar and a packet of spice mix? RIP to those days. Now it’s all about pulled pork tacos, obscure chillies, fancy corn and other ingredients required to make authentic Mexican food with the drinks to match. So do it like the Mexicans do: order a few rounds of tacos or tostadas, and match with a mezcal or ice-cold Corona at Geelong’s El Santo. Boasting a flash fit out with decorative tile work, colourful fittings and, most importantly, a delicious menu, this Geelong eatery continues to go from strength to strength in its pursuit of authentic Mexican cuisine with a fresh and tasty menu to share or dine alone.

TACO TUESDAYS • $4 SELECT TACOS • $4 TEQUILA SHOTS • $4 TECATE CANS

3 Mackey St, North Geelong | PH: 0447 531 844 OPEN EVERY DAY 8AM–3:30PM | @THEPICKERSUNION

WEDNESDAY VEGAN MENU AS WELL AS AS OUR REGULAR LUNCH AND DINNER

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GREAT KIDS MEALS SPECIALS AND PLAY AREA

STEAK NIGHT

(SAUCES $1 EXTRA)

WAURN PONDS HOTEL

FANTASTIC FOOD NIGHTS 1154 PRINCES HWY, WAURN PONDS VIC 3216 OPEN 7 DAYS 5243 1154 ALL DAY MENU/SPORTS BAR/ALL NEW KIDS PLAY AREA

MONDAY

PASTA

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PIZZA NIGHT $12 TUESDAY

SCHNITZEL $11

OR

PARMI NIGHT $13

WEDNESDAY

STEAK NIGHT $15

(SAUCES $1 EXTRA)

THURSDAY

BURGER NIGHT $13 26

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WAURN PONDS HOTEL

Coffee Rub 1 L’OR Espresso Sontuoso coffee capsule 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon brown sugar Glazed Carrots and Parsnip 12 baby dutch carrots 3 parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthways 50ml olive oil 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme 30g unsalted butter 30g honey

MANU FEILDEL’S COFFEE AND HONEY PAN ROASTED DUCK BREAST As autumn unfolds, the leaves start to turn and there’s a noticeable chill in the night’s air – it’s all about delicious comfort food from here on out. Luckily, Celebrity chef Manu Feildel has teamed up with L’OR Espresso to create a Coffee and Honey Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Glazed Carrots and Parsnips. Not only is it perfect for autumn, for it’s also the ideal meal to make with your significant other to celebrate an anniversary or just to spend some quality time together, designed specifically to add spice and excitement to any relationship, new or old. “Spicyness of cinnamon and the sweetness of honey are believed to be the nectar of the goddess Aphrodite,” Manu says. “How could you go wrong preparing this delicious dish for your significant other?” PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes COOKING TIME: 30 minutes SERVES: 2 with 2 duck breasts

Method 1. For the coffee rub, pierce the L’OR Espresso Sontuoso coffee capsule on the flat side and gently peel back foil. Tip into a bowl, add remaining ingredients and combine. Rub all over duck breasts and place on a plate. Loosely cover and leave for 1 hour to come to room temperature.

NORLANE HOTEL

2. For the carrots and parsnips, preheat an oven to 180C. Combine carrots, parsnips, olive oil and thyme in a shallow roasting pan. Season with sea salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Add butter and honey and toss to combine, season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Located on the Princes Highway as you come into Geelong, you can't miss the Norlane Hotel! Also known as Oppy’s (a homage to Sir Hubert Opperman, one of Australia’s sporting heroes in cycling during the early part of last century), the hotel is the perfect place this autumn if you’re looking for a place to eat with family and friends, have a punt in our Super TAB or enjoy a drink after work before heading home. The Norlane Hotel has something for everyone. It’s also the place to go if you’re looking for some mean daily meal deals. On Monday’s you can snag a bowl of pasta or a pizza for $12, on Tuesday’s schnitzel is a cheeky $11, while Wednesday will get you a $15 steak. They also do $13 burgers on Thursdays and $16 curries on Fridays. How is that for value? Alongside the food, the Norlane Hotel is a great spot to unwind after a hard days work. With three bars located throughout the Venue, there’s bound to be one suited to your mood! The Bistro Bar has a great range of wine, beer and spirits for you to enjoy with a meal anytime for lunch or dinner, as well as a pretty savvy cocktail menu, while the Main Bar lets you kick back in our lounge area and enjoy a drink. If sport is your calling, the TAB Sports Bar is a must visit featuring Bet-live TV screens for sports, including AFL, NRL, Racing and a variety of world wide events. Try a game of pool and check out our memorabilia photos on display. Quality meal deals and diverse options for beer drinking, you don’t have to tell us twice. Pop on in and see for yourself! Where: 2-8 Princes Highway, Norlane. When: Everyday from 9am to 5am. Ph: (03) 5278 2423. Site: www.norlanehotel.com.au

3. Meanwhile, combine the freshly brewed L’OR Espresso Sontuoso, wine and honey in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is syrupy. 4. Place the duck in a cold frying pan skin side down and place pan over a medium high heat. Cook for 3 minutes or until the skin is lovely and crisp. Turn and cook for 1-2 minutes or until sealed. Transfer to a preheated oven at 180C and cook for 5 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. 5. To serve, thickly slice duck breasts and arrange on serving plates with roasted carrots and parsnip and finish with a generous drizzle of coffee and honey sauce.

L L E A Y V R H T O R

OPEN 7 DAYS

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Ingredients 4 duck breasts with skin on 2 x L’OR Espresso Sontuoso, ristretto pour, freshly brewed 200ml white wine 80ml honey Olive oil, for pan frying

The Ponds Hotel is the ideal place to stop, freshen up, stock up or just relax. As the perfect all-round venue, catering to all ages with something for everyone, The Ponds is open seven days a week and has been serving the local community since the 1970’s. Following major renovations the last few years, it now boasts a great new space with a fabulous, vibrant atmosphere, a sports bar, pool tables and TAB and new function and conference facilities. They’ve also installed a brand new children’s play area, alongside an outdoor beer garden and alfresco dining, so it will be the ideal place to bring the kids on your journey to the Great Ocean Road, The Otways or the Western District. The Ponds know the importance of great meals for great value, and hence offer bang-up meal deals during the week. Be it $12 pizza and pasta on a Monday, $11 schnitzel and $13 parmi’s on Tuesdays, $15 steaks on a Wednesday or $13 burgers on a Thursday, there will be something to suit your budget. Enjoy a friendly relaxed atmosphere, quality meals and service with excellent value. Where: 1154 Princes Highway, Waurn Ponds. When: Sun – Wed 9am – 12am, Thurs – Sat 9am – 3am. Ph: (03) 5243 1154. Site: www. waurnpondshotel.com.au/

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GREAT AUSTRALIAN BEER FESTIVAL TO HOST CHAMPION BREWERIES IN 2020 Mon – Fri Sat Sun

DESSERT DESTINATIONS TO SEEK OUT IN GEELONG Alright, let’s be honest here, that new year’s resolution to get fit and cut out dessert from your diet, that’s long gone. So if you’re going to do it, do it right. The Geelong region has a ridiculous amount of amazing desserts that are right under your nose, and definitely worth seeking out. DANIEL’S DONUTS Whether you spell it donut or doughnut, these little round works of art have fast been becoming a favourite of discerning foodies and donut lovers everywhere. If you’re craving the best in deepfried, icing covered treats, Daniel’s is the place to go. A one-stop-shop for doughy treats with familiar combinations and surprising twists, this is one of the main reasons to go down to Portarlington! With over 50 specialty donut flavours, it is definitely worth a drive down! They also offer Vegan donuts if that’s what you’re into. Find them at 64 Newcombe St, Portarlington TWISTED DESSERT BAR How good is heading to a dessert bar and indulging in the sweetest of treats with some of your best humans? How long is a piece of string? Located on the corner Little Malop street, Twisted Dessert Bar is a go-to place for anyone who has a sweet tooth with their range of cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies, brownies, slices and truffles. Alongside the sweets, they’re also known to be slinging deluxe hot chocolates, iced frappes, and cappuccinos daily. As of this month, they’ve just dropped a brand new

Is anything in life more perfectly matched than a frosty, perfectly poured pot of the amber nectar on a hot day? No, we don’t think so either! While there are plenty of ways to try out new beers, nothing will give you the sheer variety and volume of new beer like attending the Great Australian Beer Festival (GABF) when it returns to Geelong in January next year. Now entering its eighth year with a new home at iconic Johnstone Park, the Great Australian Beer Festival (previously held out at the Geelong Racecourse) attracts a crowd of around 5000 for an afternoon of craft beer tasting and education, brewing demos, top local food and live music, with breweries attending from around the country, including more than a dozen from the Geelong region alone! With an explosion of new styles, collaborations and experiments in recent years, the Australian craft beer scene is creating more enticing brews than ever. In creating the ultimate boulevard of beers, this year the GABF (aka beer lover’s paradise) is raising the bar and will be featuring all four 2019 Australian

F /ValeriesPantry I @valeriespantry

9am–5.30pm 9am–3pm 10am–2pm

International Beer Awards (AIBA) Champion Australian Breweries. This includes Gold Coast brewery Balter, who took out the Champion Large Australian Brewery trophy; Queensland’s Green Beacon who have earned the Champion Medium Australian Brewery title; Manly’s 4 Pines Brewing Company who took out the Champion Australian Beer award for their Keller Door: Schwarzbier; and local legends Blackman’s Brewing who took out Champion Small Australian Brewery. As a festival that attracts breweries from around the country to showcase their brews, alongside the growing number of regional breweries throughout Geelong, Bellarine and the surf coast regions, GABF is making good on their promise on bringing good, flavoursome, and creative beers to the masses with these champions! “To have one or two champion brewers attend is a coup! To get all four to feature at our 8th annual fest is sensational,” says GABF Festival Director, Michael Ward. “These breweries have been recognised and awarded at the largest annual beer competition in the world and to have them in Geelong is a real honour.” Alongside these champions, the GABF will host forty-one breweries, including the likes of Young Henry’s (NSW), Modus Operandi (NSW), Stone & Wood (NSW), Exit (Vic), Mountain Goat (Vic), Hawkers (Vic), Bridge Road (Vic), Bricklane (Vic), Prancing Pony (SA), and Coopers (SA) – just to name a few! GABF overflows with fun, from the moment you set hands on your tasting glass, ‘til the time you’re tipping back your last beer of the day! Celebrate and party with your community while sampling hundreds of new brews from all over Australia. Before you know it, you’ll be jamming along with the live music (Sneaky Sound System, Kim Churchill and local bands The Kite Machine and The Run), snacking on delicious food, and learning a thing or two at the masterclasses.

138 High St, Belmont, 3216

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It all goes down at Johnstone Park, Geelong CBD – January 18, from 1pm-8pm. Limited first release tickets are on sale now via www. gabfgeelong.com.au/

menu for autumn and we’re eyeing off the new chocolate crepe with berries and ice cream topped with chocolate and fairy floss paired with the Roxie Rose cocktail… Just try to say no. Twisted Dessert Bar is located at 122 Moorabool Street, Geelong. AUGUSTUS GELATERY While the weather is certainly cooling down, there’s always time to get a cone of something soft, cold and delicious, with the sticky remains on your fingers for hours. Opening in Geelong last year, Augustus Gelatery has you covered with 36 different kinds of the Italian treat, including all your favourites and some unique ones that you’ve just gotta try. Cotton Candy, fig and almond, espresso, bacio, tiramisu, strawberry cheesecake, and choc hazelnut fudge just to name a few. You’ll also find a number of sorbet options (mango, strawberry, lemon, dark chocolate), as well as some delectable vegan options which include peanut butter and jelly, coconut and mango, pistachio, and salted caramel. They’re catering for all sweet tooths across the board – and we’re not mad about it. Augustus Gelatery is located on 41 Gheringhap Street, Geelong. THE CHEESECAKE SHOP Okay so this one’s more of a takeaway destination, but a destination nonetheless… and we simply cannot go past the particularly indulgent, cheesy masterpieces from The Cheesecake Shop. With two stores in Geelong, you’ll find a number of enticing creations like blueberry cheesecake, wild strawberry cheesecake, a French glaze vanilla continental cheesecake, wildberry baked cheesecake, Mississippi baked cheesecake and the holy grail of dessert with an American baked cheesecake. Your grandmother will have to forgive us, but it truly is the best cheesecake. From the traditional classics to the outrageously wicked, there’s a cheesecake (and even some non-cheesy desserts) for every tastebud, for every occasion, and unapologetically, even every day. You can find The Cheesecake Shop at 112A Mt Pleasant Rd, Belmont, and at the Gateway Plaza Leopold (621-659 Bellarine Hwy).

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GEELONG GALLERY PRESENTS THE LOOK Some people just have a look. You don’t have to be beautiful to have it, or young, or famous or notorious. You don’t have to dress on-trend, or even neatly. It’s just a look that’s particularly striking in one way or another; a quality that makes you look twice, without really knowing why. Inspired by this ‘look’, Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery has put together a collection of photographic portraits of extraordinary Australians, reflecting a wonderful range of Australian achievement; and they’ve just launched it at the Geelong Gallery. Aptly titled The Look, the visually stunning exhibition consists of 68 portraits that have been meticulously selected from the NPG’s 3000-strong collection. Featuring depictions of extraordinary Australians from a multitude of spheres including politics, exploration, the arts, science, business and sport, including the young, old; Indigenous, nonIndigenous; women and men; household names and

THE MELBOURNE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL IS BACK We all know the power of films: they can transport, educate and empower. They can make you laugh or cry or leave you so shocked you can’t even speak. But most important of all, film has the ability to raise up marginalised voices and experiences to a global audience, such as those that portray an LGBTQ+ narrative. From the classics, such as 1994’s The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, to modern masterpieces likes the modern favourites Green Book, The Favourite and Bohemian Rhapsody, films have cast light on the LGBTQ+ experience from all angles, delivering an accurate and inclusive representation of people and their remarkable stories. And it’s a light that been cast for three decades now, thanks to the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF). Renowned as Australia’s largest and longestrunning queer film festival, MQFF returns to Melbourne to celebrate 30 years of sharing the stories of LGBTQI+ people and their community through film and the moving image, kicking off from March 12 and running across 12 days and nights. With a kaleidoscope of stories in every colour, the 2020 festival programme (which is spread across central, north and south Melbourne) boasts 113 films, 58 features, 14 documentaries, 88 shorts, 14 Australian showcases and 10-panel sessions and events, all with the intention of unifying and celebrating LGBTQI+ culture and queer cinema.

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people who may be completely unknown to many of us —the National Portrait Gallery’s collection highlights the diversity of Australian experience and achievement, but also that attesting quality; the look. “The Look just emerged very organically; there wasn't actually any sort of strong theme guiding the collection,” explains National Portrait Gallery Curator, Joanna Gilmour. “These are all photographs wherein the subjects are just completely themselves. Completely comfortable in their skin and comfortable with who they are.” Spanning five decades, you’ll find works from the George Spartels early 1970s portrait by Ivan Gaal to Tilman Ruff 2019 by Nikki Toole, as well as works by photographers Adam Knott, Julian Kingma, Michael Riley, Petrina Hicks, Tracey Moffatt, David Rosetzky, Ingvar Kenne, Andrew Maccoll and more. Famous faces in the exhibition captured by these photographers include the likes of Nicole Kidman, Heath Ledger, Carla Zampatti, Bryan Brown, Lee Lin Chin, Megan Gale, Cate Blanchett, Nick Cave, Rachel Griffiths, Ian Thorpe and Layne Beachley, just to name a few. As one of the most ancient forms of art-making, especially thanks to photography since the dawn of the 20th century, Gilmour explains that portraiture

can mean a number of different things, with this exhibition seriously dismantling the misconception that portraiture is all about crusty, old oil paintings of deceased people of power. “Owning and rocking an individual’s distinct ‘Look’ can mean different things,” she reveals. “It might be a model like Maggie Tabberer [2015 Alana Landsberry] who is very consciously projecting a particular type of look, or it could be someone like Ian Thorpe [photographed by Brett Canet-Gibson in 1998] where at 15 year’s old, he's about to dive into a pool and he's completely unaware that there's a camera on him; he's just kind of in the zone and in the moment and just completely himself at that moment. “It's an exhibition wherein we're really sort of trying to dismantle the idea that portraiture is a very formal kind of genre. It can be relaxed, it can be intimate, it can be happy, sad, all sorts of things,” she continues. “It's a much more varied than a much more fluid and contemporary genre than you might expect, and with photography, in particular, you have the opportunity to capture all sorts of guises of a person - including these unguarded, private and intimate moments as well as formal ones.” Even if you’re not into art, Gilmour says this exhibition is accessible for everyone – all you need is a sense of curiosity. “People love people. We are fascinated by other faces and other people and no matter who it is, we can have an exhibition of 68 different people in the show and there'll be at least one person that all of our visitors can really relate to or really connect with through the image and through the photograph. “With portraiture, you don't necessarily need to know anything about art to enjoy it. People are just curious about people, and if they only find one sitter in the whole show who they really sort of feel a sense of connection with, through the photograph, then we've done our job, we've succeeded in demonstrating what a powerful genre portraiture can be.” You can see the exhibition in Geelong until May 3. Photo: Cathy Freeman 1994, by Bill McAuley National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

At a glance, the thought-provoking, playful, unmissable and adventurous program includes titles the daring and provocative debut Australian feature Sequin in a Blue Room; a touching and romantic adaptation of Fiona Shaw’s much-loved novel Tell It To The Bees; XY Chelsea - an urgent and compelling documentary about ex-army intelligence, WikiLeaks whistleblower and trans activist Chelsea Manning; the raucous comedy film The Shiny Shrimps; among many others. “The lives, passions, struggles and successes of queer communities are as diverse as our acronym and this year’s program will showcase some of the best stories from Australian and international filmmakers to our festival,” says Spiro Economopoulos, MQFF Program Director. “Melbourne Queer Film Festival is about sharing the important stories of our community with our community. Get ready to be inspired, provoked, entertained and moved with this year’s selection of films.” In what marks a milestone year for the festival, the desires, loves, joys and fears of the queer community will continue to be projected on the big screens in selected regional areas following the Melbourne showcase. Taking to cinemas in Shepparton, Ballarat and Morwell up until April, the MQFF will bring aforementioned films Tell It To The Bees and Sequin in a Blue Room; alongside Italian comedy, An Almost Ordinary Summer; the heartfelt and intimate coming-of-age story Giant Little Ones; a collection of adventurous, thought-provoking and unmissable shorts in Australian Shorts & Awards; and the Australian feature Unsound which showcases a delicate representation of love, respect, empathy and acceptance, and features Christine Anu in a supporting role. Featuring the best in new and retrospective LGBTIQ+ cinema with a wide array of features, shorts and documentaries to make you laugh, cry and think year after year, the MQFF 2020 promises to be another masterpiece you won’t want to miss. The Melbourne and regional program and tickets are available via mqff.com.au

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THE BLOOMSHED BRING ‘THE NOSE’ BACK TO GEELONG This year The Bloomshed - the award-winning group of independent theatre-makers - have joined Geelong’s Platform Arts (formerly Courthouse Youth Arts) as a new company in residence for 2020 as they bring their expertise in reinvigorating classic texts to the arts community through a combination of new writing and devising. As part of their residence, the Geelong’s arts community welcomes their dystopian, surrealist production The Nose, which will take to the stage for three special performances from March 19-21. Described as an energetic, hilarious and uncomfortable production, The Nose has taken prize of the Festival Director’s Award at the Sydney Fringe Festival in 2017 as well as being nominated for two Green Room Awards, while delighting and amusing audiences in three interstate tours since its inception. Based upon the famous short story by 19th-century Russian author Nikolai Gogal, The Nose is a comedic

SAVE THE DATE FOR THE GEELONG PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL The Geelong Pride Film Festival is back for its third year in 2020 and it’s bigger and prouder than ever. Because of you, the beautiful people of Geelong who have enthusiastically supported the festival year after year, the festival has upsized once again, now screening more than 30 films across four days at the Pivotonian Cinema and Platform Youth Arts. Now known as one of the largest regional LGBTIQ+ film festivals in Australia, the Geelong Pride Film Festival aims to bring a diverse range of contemporary and classic, Queer and LGBTQIA themed films to the Geelong community for an all-inclusive film festival. This year marks an extra special event for the community with the inclusion of the awardwinning locally made film Life is Fine. Filmed on location in Geelong, Portarlington and St Leonards, Life is Fine was made by a talented group of students from Deakin University’s school of Film, Television and Animation (written and directed by Daniel Orfali). Other films include Scottish post-war love story Tell it to the Bees; a cautionary tale of youth, technology and lust in Sequin in a Blue Room; Gay Chorus Deep South documentary; while three collections of short films will celebrate community elders, the best new Australian short films (presented in partnership with MQFF) and a collection of uplifting, positive and humorous films in Happy Endings. The festival runs from April 2-5. Tickets and multi-film passes to the festival can be purchased at gpff.ferve.tickets

and satirical travesty about individuals whose lives fall to pieces amidst total economic chaos. More specifically, The Nose speaks a story of a CEO and his nose, of which decides to claim its independence and run off causing trouble through the streets of the city dressed up as the President of Honduras. Featuring Geelong-based actor, Tom Molyneux, who alongside writer and fellow performer James Jackson and new cast member Laura Aldous, the famous tale has been adapted into a darkly humorous charade, reflecting upon the dystopian post-paradise of our time. Pulling material from the classical repertoire, The Nose attempts to create something new and exciting by devouring the old. A farcical production that will stay with audiences long after leaving the theatre, all showcased in the beautifully modern platform for youth arts, The Nose is intense, weird and on-point, and honestly is not one not to be missed. See The Nose at Platform Arts, Geelong – March 19 – 21. Visit platformarts.org.au/ for more information.


POPCULTCHA HONOURS AUSSIE FIREFIGHTERS WITH FUNKO POP FIGURE TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THE RSPCA BUSHFIRE RELIEF EFFORT For many Australians, this summer will be one they will never forget, thanks to the recent bushfire crisis. This summer, more than 12.6 million hectares burned. Approximately 434 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were emitted into the atmosphere. 33 people died. And next to this loss of human life, over one billion animals were killed in the fires, with many others left injured and starving due to the destruction of their habitat.

The sheer scale of suffering and devastation of these catastrophic fires that swept across the country is like nothing we have seen before. They devastated communities, destroyed wildlife populations and left many feeling bereft and overwhelmed. However, as the deadly bushfires ravaged Australia, compassion proved to burn brighter still as kind people from all over the world extended their hands in friendship and assistance to those in need — human and animal alike. Uniting in the global effort to help animals affected by these devastating fires, Geelong’s connoisseur of pop culture collectables Popcultcha, and Washingtonbased Consumer products company Funko, are working together to raise funds for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to help with the Australian Bushfire Crisis through the sale of a Special Edition Collectable – Bushfire Heroes Firefighter with Koala Pop! Vinyl Figure. Initially designed in-house at Popcultcha, the figurine features an Australian firefighter with a Koala hugging its leg (it’s so cute we could cry), representing all of the emergency service workers and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help rescue injured and displaced animals that have suffered as a result of the devastating bushfires. “Our bushfire crisis got a lot of coverage in the US and so I think it was something that was actively spoken about in the Funko headquarters [Everett, Washington USA],” explains Ash Howard, Director of Popcultcha. “We’ve got a pretty close relationship with them, working together for almost two decades now. We kind of grew up together in the collectables industry and they were very quick to check in and see if we were affected by it, and how they could help. “They were on board straight away to make this happen as quickly as we possibly could. It’s lovely to see our industry come together in a time of need and achieve great things.” All profits from the new vinyl figure, which retails for $19.99 Australian dollars, will be donated to the RSPCA National Bushfire Appeal who are working alongside government and emergency agencies, veterinarians and local authorities to provide muchneeded equipment and supplies, emergency care and identifying and assessing injured animals in need

of assistance. Their work will continue for weeks, months and even years after the fires have ceased. “We watched the whole fundraising efforts pretty closely, and we knew that there was a lot of activity with the Bendigo Bank bushfire appeal, which we donated $10,000 to right off the bat, but then we thought about all the work the RSPCA have ahead of them,” Howard reveals. “The rehabilitation of all the animals was going to be long-term and I think that's kind of where we landed. “There has been an unfathomable number of animals lost or in need of rescue and rehabilitation as a result of this disastrous fire season and we recognise that we all need to help wherever and however we can. We are just hoping that the money can really get directed towards where it's needed the most and the ongoing effort that they're doing.” Operating as an international online store, Popcultcha specialises in selling collectables and pop culture merchandise, making them the perfect partner in selling and shipping this item globally to all customers wishing to purchase it. Since announcing the limited-edition collectable, there has been overwhelming worldwide demand for the item, with collectors from all corners of the globe contributing to the cause. So far 750,000 Australian dollars have been raised and already donated to the RSPCA National Bushfire Appeal. The Popcultcha team will continue to make ongoing donations for any future orders placed at the end of each month. If you want to purchase the figurine then you'll want to head over to the Popcultcha website as this is the only stockist. It does ship worldwide and pre-orders are now open with an expected delivery arrival in June.

“HELP ME FIND MY FUREVER HOME” ANDRE I'm a pretty independent cat that has an inquisitive and adventurous side to me. I like to see what's going on and be a part of the action but I'm not a needy cat. I don't mind my own company and I don't mind some attention. A pat on the head or scratch behind the ear is good but I can be a bit particular about where you pat me sometimes. I'll let you know if it makes me uncomfortable. In saying that I'll come sit on your lap at night or sleep on your bed cause I do like some company. I'm not a fan of other cats or dogs so I'll need a home where I'm the only pet in the house. No small children for me either, I don't tolerate the little ones. I'm a really good mice catcher by the way and I'd make a really good farm cat as long as I can still have some human company at the end of the day of course!' Andre's adoption price is $25 with our 'Are you feline the love?' campaign, and is desexed, microchipped and flea & worm treated. Head to www.gaws.org.au/ to adopt your new best friend. By offering your heart and home to a rescued animal, you’ll not only be enriching your life — but saving theirs! To meet your new best friend, visit GAWS at 325 Portarlington Road, Moolap.

If you would like more information about the RSPCA National Bushfire Appeal or are looking to make an additional donation you can do so via bushfires.rspca.org.au/

BENDIGO QUEER FILM FESTIVAL The Bendigo Queer Film Festival celebrates its 17th run in 2020, continuing its ongoing celebration of the diverse local queer population over the course of one jam-packed weekend. Known for its accessibility and exceptional creative standard, the festival is a dynamic environment that thrives on attendance from unique individuals across all walks of life. Opening night, April 3, features a screening of Tell it to the Bees (Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger) at Eaglehawk’s Star Cinema. The festival also features a strong collection of shorts from the MQFF. Don’t forget that Queer Country runs alongside the film festival. For a more detailed look at what's going on, visit bendigoqueerfilmfestival.com.au.

TIM YOUNG BRINGS BALLARAT TO MICF The name Tim Young might be familiar to the local comedy fans out there. A comedian and producer from Ballarat, Tim founded the Rat’s Locally Grown Funnies, with the aim of giving regional comedians stage time without having to travel to Melbourne. Now Tim is bringing Ballarat to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, with a show dedicated to his weird and wonderful life in Ballarat. We sit down with Tim ahead of the show. First up, can you tell us a bit about your journey into comedy? I have always been the big mouth at parties and once, as a throwaway line, I said to a friend that I’d love to try stand up. He booked me in to do an open mic night without me knowing. I was terrified, then I got my first laugh and I was hooked. You’re representing your home of Ballarat quite literally at the upcoming performances at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. What can we expect from the show? Many stories of misadventure both in the small regional Victorian town and also in other parts of Australia. Things that should have gone right but went oh so wrong. There’s something in the show for everyone because we all stuff up from time to time. Based on stories from the ‘Rat, what was your process like in pulling this altogether? There’s been plenty of observation and then trial and error. You find a story from your everyday life that you think is going to get a laugh and then you trial it several times to see if anyone agrees with

CLUNES BOOKTOWN FESTIVAL RETURNS If your love affair with the printed word (and picture) runs deep, then this may be the event for you. Clunes Booktown Festival returns on the first weekend of May (2 & 3) with a series of renowned authors and guest speakers joining the historic country town in north-west Victoria for a festival of the book filled with ideas and arts. Along with author talks and panel discussions, festival-goers can discover the largest collection of rare, out-of-print and collectible books in Australia, go inside heritage buildings, listen to live music while sampling local food and wine, watch street performers, visit exhibitions, and immerse themselves in stories. Check out the program and secure your tickets at www. clunesbooktown.com.au/2020/

BENDIGO FESTIVAL OF AUSTRALIAN FILM Bendigo will turn its eye to cinema this month with the arrival of the Bendigo Festival of Australian Film. Making its debut, the four-day event (March 20-23) will take place at the Bendigo Bank Theatre, featuring eight fantastic films. It kicks off with a screening of Death in Brunswick. The film, starring Sam Neil, Zoe Carides and John Clarke, turns 30 this year. Director John Ruane presents. Other films include Angel Baby, The Dressmaker, Judy And Punch, Children of the Revolution, Bran Nue Dae, Blessed, and My Brilliant Career. Further information is available through bendigoregion.com.au.

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you. After a while you find the bits of that story that work, you keep them and discard the rest. Finally, you put all those stories that have worked together into some sort of order to make an hour-long show. You’ve lived in Melbourne, Brisbane, Townsville, the Northern Territory and overseas, how did you actually end up in Ballarat? 16 years ago I moved to Ballarat for love, we’re still together today and living happily in the ‘Rat. We’ve lived in some other places but have always come back. Ballarat is totally different to anywhere else that I have lived. It’s a brilliant and at times very confusing mix of old and new. For example, historic Lydiard St with its gold rush era buildings is only a couple of hundred meters from a government office building made entirely of mirrors. How do you prepare for a show? Do you have any weird rituals that you do? I like to stay distracted for as long as possible up until I go on stage. I love to stand on the door and greet people as they come into shows. Also, I have to be drinking out of a left-handed water bottle pre-show. As the founder of Locally Grown Funnies in Ballarat, you’re clearly passionate about having it accessible to regional areas. How have you seen the scene grow over time? The comedy scene in Ballarat has come along in leaps and bounds, There are now regular open mic nights as well as BallaratCat which is a monthly night in Ballarat that brings some of the big names in comedy to our little town. Locally Grown Funnies continues to bridge the gap between the two, giving emerging comedians a great gig at which to spread their wings without having to drive all the way to Melbourne. It’s exciting times for comedy in Ballarat and surrounds! What else have you got up your sleeve for 2020? I’m working on a couple of really exciting projects for TV and hopefully fitting in some touring around everything else. It’s all very exciting and great fun too!! You can catch Tim’s performance at The Charles Dickens Tavern, Melbourne from April 6 – 19. Tickets can be purchased via www. comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/ballarat

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REVIEWS BY ANTHONY MORRIS

BEATS

DOWNHILL

QUEEN & SLIM

DARK WATERS

MILITARY WIVES

Everybody loves a film set during one crazy night, and this night’s about to get pretty crazy. It’s Scotland in 1994, and best friends Johnno (Cristian Ortega) and Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) are heading off to their first ever rave… which might also be their last, as laws banning outdoor dance parties are about to come into effect. Worse, Johnno is about to move with his family to the suburbs, while Spanner seems destined for a life of crime. Their big night is a big mix of comedy and drama (like all the best nights out), with the boy’s sense of their friendship coming apart reflected in the feeling that the whole rave culture around them is coming to a close. It’s hardly a sombre film, though it does take its characters seriously; rather it tries to capture a moment long gone and briefly make it shine again.

A couple on a skiing holiday in the Alps find the buried cracks in their relationship forced to the surface when the approach of a (seemingly) dangerous avalanche sees the father fleeing and leaving his wife and sons to die. If this premise sounds familiar, congratulations: you saw (or at least heard about) the 2014 film Force Majeure, of which this is a remake. That was a near-masterpiece of character comedy; this stars Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, so it’s not a complete loss. This never actually improves on the original in any way, but the Ferrell-Dreyfuss team up is a good one, with both playing characters clearly suppressing (or trying to) some of their natural instincts to make their marriage work, only to have their conflict constantly coming to the fore. Surprisingly short (at under 90 minutes, it’s a good half hour shorter than the original), this leaves very little up in the air; it’s fatal for a relationship comedy like this to come down firmly on one partner’s side, and yet this does in a very blunt fashion. But individual moments still work; there’s a broader, sillier, funnier comedy about being on holiday buried under this film’s chilly surface. National Lampoon’s Alpine Vacation?

Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) is a lawyer angry after one of her clients was executed; Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) is just hoping the date they’re on is going to work out. It doesn’t, though not because Queen lets him know on the drive home there’s not going to be a second date. Pulled over by a cop who’s aggressive from the start, Queen gets shot (minor) then Slim shoots him (fatal) and now our not-exactly lovebirds are on the run. There’s a constant thread running throughout about the wider political effects of their actions; the cop had killed an unarmed black man a few years earlier, making them as much rebels as wanted criminals, and almost everyone they encounter is African-American with their own take on the system. But for the most part this is a touching, tentative romance, following two very different people (with great chemistry) who gradually realise all they have is each other. Their plan is to first hit up Queen’s uncle (Bokeem Woodbine) in New Orleans then head to Florida, and their journey across America’s south provides a stunning and beautifully shot backdrop to the slowly tightening net around them. The solidly realised settings, harshly realistic politics and swooningly romantic relationship all combine to intensify each others impact; the result is thrilling.

Corporate lawyer Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) has come a long way from Parkersberg, West Virgina – but not so far that one of its residents, farmer Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp) can’t show up at his office. Tennant has a lot of dead cows and sick livestock; it’s not Bilott’s area (he works in corporate defence), but as his grandmother still lives in Parkersberg, he makes a courtesy call. What follows was two decades of lawsuits exposing the toxic chemicals DuPont was putting in the ground – and the bodies of everyone in the western world. As a paranoid corporate thriller, Dark Water’s greatest achievement is its mood, a dankly malignant tone that seeps into everything. This suffocating malaise embodies the forces Billot is up against; they can’t be beaten because they’re everywhere and everything, a pollution that rots the soul. The actual story isn’t quite as grim, despite the usual reversals and setbacks (in part thanks to great performances from Camp, Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway and Tim Robbins), but Haynes’ lasting achievement here is the tone rather than the narrative, presenting a vision of America that’s rotted out from under, a world where everything exists for a reason and that reason will kill you slowly if there’s a dollar in it.

With their partners freshly shipped off to fight in Afghanistan, the wives at a UK military base have little to do but wait for news they hope will never arrive. In the wake of her son’s death serving his country, Colonel’s wife Kate (Kristin Scott Thomas) knows this pain too well, so with her husband away, she decides to help out with the social committee run by laid-back Lisa (Sharon Horgan). Do their differing styles clash? Does the idle suggestion that the women form a choir turn into something bigger than both of them? Are there more than a few setbacks along the way before a final heart-warming triumph? That’s a big yes: with The Full Monty director Peter Cattaneo on board and a script “inspired by a true story”, this warmly professional effort hits all the right notes without ever breaking out into something original. The formula’s predictable and apolitical (no questioning the war here) but rock solid and handled well, so bring plenty of tissues. The best part of this is Thomas and Horgan’s performances; they’re both lively enough to make this feel like a real story and not just a blatant (but often successful) attempt to make viewers cry.

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COMING SOON

Mar 19th HONEYLAND Mar 26th MS FISHER & CRYPT TEARS Apr 3rd-5th PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL April 9th ROMANTIC ROAD April 9th QUEEN & SLIM

bees...

Perth based producer and songwriter Nic Rollo has just put out his killer new single ‘Monster’. It’s an eerie but catchy one; absolutely magnetic synth-pop for fans of Cub Sport, Troye Sivan and Halsey. It’ll touch a nerve with anyone who has ever said anything in anger that they regretted later. With the track out, Nic sat down with us and shared his top 5 TikTok creators! #1 - Nic Rollo @nicrollomusic Am I allowed to say myself here as a shameless plug? Let’s assume so. If you haven't already, you should go check out my TikTok account (nicrollomusic). I post such a large variety of videos, from music related to more ‘funny’ stuff. Is it a bit cringey at times? Yes. Am I ashamed of it? A little bit sometimes. Will you enjoy it? Definitely. #2 - Edgar @edgar I came across Edgar a few months back when I was just starting on TikTok. He was making a lot of ‘how to make a song like x person’ videos, which would always seem to blow up. They were pretty funny and actually sounded quite good. More recently he’s been capitalising on TikTok with a new song that he released which is currently blowing up, it’s impressive and inspiring to watch! Check him out if you want to laugh and also be informed (to some degree) on music production. #3 - Carson Smelliot @carsonsmelliot If you think vocoders and talkboxes are cool, you’ll love this guy. He posts videos of him using his talkbox singing popular songs, and honestly it’s so entertaining… There's something fantastic about hearing an ultra processed vocal. He’s another HUGE account, with over 1.9 million followers (Edgar has about 1.2 million).


AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS MADE SURE TORQUAY KNOWS AUSTRALIAN PUNK IS ALIVE AND WELL

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that leave you in this frantic guessing game while you’re jumping around to it. It’s really cool. Their set felt a bit quick, maybe it’s hard to sustain that guttural vocal style for too long – it makes me want water just thinking about yelling like that – or maybe it went for well over half an hour and I was just too beered up to realise? Either way, I guess it left me wanting more, which is a good sign of their quality. Amyl blasted onto the stage at about 10.30, all big mullets and thick riffs, whipping the crowd into a quick frenzy. They played a fair few of their older tracks of Big Attraction that had everyone singing along to ‘Balaclava Boogie’, and a lot of raised beers chanting back to ‘Walking to the Westgate’. It was the newer tracks where things got particularly loose though. It wasn’t the biggest crowd I’ve seen in that room before, but definitely one of the most high-energy mosh pits. During tracks like ‘Cup of Destiny’, ‘Gacked on Anger’, and the closer ‘Got you’, the front section of the room was a swell of sweaty people pushin’ around under crowd surfers, and a few people climbing up and hanging from the rafters. Shit got wild. And the frontwoman of the sniffers, Amy, was right there along with it. If they’re a band you’re into, you have to see them live. Amy’s stage presence is madness, fully taps into the manic energy of each of the band’s songs which had her ending up right down on the floor with people, jumper-punching moshers and having a crowd surf. Did she hang from the rafters too? Can someone confirm that? I don’t know; I was jumping around a fair bit myself and may have had a couple of drinks. Regardless, Amyl and the Sniffer’s raw energy made it a super fun night and showed the Surfcoast why they’re one of the best live acts to catch at the moment. It was super fun Mum, ya shoulda been there.

ANNA CORDELL Nobody Knows Us Ditto Distribution Reviewed by Kim Price

I hadn’t heard about Anna Cordell before but by the end of the first song, I was hooked. If the name is new to you too, but you like Julia Jacklin and Lana del Ray, then you’ll fall in love with Anna Cordell. The alternative folk artist creates haunting yet whimsical music and throughout her album, Nobody Knows Us, you’ll have constant chills running down your spine. The 11-track album has great folk variety throughout. Whether the track is stripped back with simply a piano or encompassing violins and acoustic guitars, there’s plenty to love from this Melbourne artist. ‘Lie Awake’ moves away from the angelic sounds we’d heard earlier on the album and belongs on the soundtrack to Wuthering Heights. In fact, the whole album sounds like it’s the fourth Bronte sister. ‘Wintertime’ is spellbinding and poetically asks some of life’s biggest questions. If I step onto this boat I say no/To all of those other journeys/And the madness is born/In the wondering – what if? All of Cordell’s songs are poetic beauty and I’m obsessed. I love it when Australians sing and their accents shine through and Cordell blends hers perfectly with soft melodies. Be haunted and enchanted by the mesmerising sounds of Anna Cordell which makes for perfect late-night listening with a glass or two of red.

Torquay Hotel has been killing it with gigs lately. I don’t know if they have a new person booking the bands or something, but in the last year or so, the place has grown into a hub-venue for alternative music that the surf coast has been desperately thirsty for. Over the last few months, they’ve had a charcuterie board of Australia’s best current rock like Cosmic Psychos, Skegss. Murlocs, Tropical Fuckstorm, Cash Savage and Amity

Affliction, as well as the crème de la crème of bands that are just bursting through the underground scene, like Pist Idiots and Civic. The latest band to hit their stage, which currently straddles both of these scenes, was the country’s preeminent dirtbag punk outfit Amyl and the Sniffers. The night started off Geelong-heavy with Vintage Crop and Vertigo as the openers. VC were up first, some hometown favourites of mine. They warmed up the crowd with their wiry guitars and off-kilter beats and mix of wry-wit verse lyrics and amped up choruses. The crowd was receptive as they pumped out some of their bigger tracks like ‘Headache’, ‘Gerald pt. 2’, and the always intense ‘American Living’. Their set also included a lot of new tracks I’d never heard before. They sounded mad so it makes me keen for whatever they’re thinking of releasing next. Vertigo were next up, I hadn’t seen them play in a long time but I was quickly reminded why they’re considered some of G-town’s best hardcore punks. Their energy is so wild. I think it’s like, they definitely have that hard-core format of SCREAMquickriffSCREAMquickriff, but each riff within a song will bounce around in new directions

MILD MINDS

OCEAN GROVE

RORY ELLIS

JACK RIVER

MOOD

Flip Phone Fantasy

Inner Outlaw

Stranger Heart

Foreign Family Collective

UNFD

Independent

I OH YOU

Reviewed by Tammy Walters

Reviewed by Alex Callan

Reviewed by John “Dr John” Lamp

Reviewed by Kim Price

WHEN: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 WHERE: THE TORQUAY HOTEL, TORQUAY REVIEWED BY LIAM MCNALLY PHOTOS BY JOSHUA BRAYBROOK

Mild Minds set the MOOD on this dreamscape After Ocean Grove’s first album became an immediate debut LP. favourite of mine, I didn’t really know what to expect after Luke Holmes left the band but after listening Since signing to the fruitful label, Foreign Family Collective, curated by the duo behind ODESZA and to Flip Phone Fantasy I was pleasantly surprised. alongside Australian EDM giants Rüfüs Du Sol, ‘Superstar’ further extends the Ocean Grove curated Running Touch and Golden Features, Benjamin David, ‘Odd World’, which I do feel doesn’t come across as the mastermind behind Mild Minds is are sitting in the naturally as it did on The Rhapsody Tapes but elite booth of the dance club. ‘Superstar’ is a very worthy opener with its expansion Moving in with single ‘MOVEMENTS’, Mild Minds of the bands Nu Metal stylings. prepares the body for a physical, plugging the aux While Dale’s vocals are punchy enough to maintain the heaviness of Ocean Grove throughout the album, I chord straight into the pulse to maintain a steady heartbeat and injecting colourful dye sporadically into do really miss the hardcore-esque vocals of Luke and the bloodstream to monitor oxygen levels. ‘EMBRACER’ the punch it gave to the overall sound. But that being is where the happy gas mask is secured to your face, a said, the chorus of ‘Sense Again’ does really highlight what Dales vocals are best for, 90’s tinged Daniel Johns tingling calm cascading the body and mind, building to a pastel palette dream sequence of chimes and styled singing. delicate whispers. ‘Thousand Golden People’ lends the most to the Rhapsody Tapes with its contrast/juxtaposition ‘SWIM’ reflects every bit of its name with rippling effects, serene synths and graceful echoing vocals. between rapping, melodic and heavy riffs, cleans and This track could sink seamlessly into the catalogue of bouncy choruses. The riff after the chorus is a highlight their Foreign Family Collective alumni Rüfüs Du Sol. is unique and genuinely heavy, it’s as if the guitar is ‘FORMATIONS’, ‘DESTINATIONS’ and ‘DOPAMINE’ are snarling at you. the conflict-ridden part of the unconscious journey, I wasn’t sold on ‘Ask for the Anthem’ at first, but strobing bass lines and uneasy washes of synth it’s grown to become my favourite song on Flip Phone Fantasy. It’s funky basslines, unique vocals and chorus signalling chaos. The resolution and final piece is told through ‘VIEW’ with its celebratory builds and are all unreal. infectious bouncing sonic scope. I do love the expansion of the band and the direction they are heading it, but I do miss the heavier sound. MOOD is bold, balanced and a brilliant showcase of the Grammy-nominated artists production talent.

Rory Ellis is a name well known in the country blues Electronic pop princess Jack River has returned area. He’s played here for many a year, even if he’s with a seven-track EP Stranger Heart. gigging around Budgewoi at this time. With sugar-coated vocals, ethereal synths and Inner Outlaw is his latest release, and it has all hard drum beats, Jack River builds on her solid Fools that we have come to expect from him as a singer/ Gold foundation which saw her enter hearts and our songwriter. Central to each track is a story, all worth charts. listening to, all well-crafted, but there are some which The EP opens with the short, electronic and fairystand out above the others. like track ‘Lonely Heart’ before ‘Later Flight’ breaks The Station is one which I particularly like, but the through with an almost rock edge. track which is getting all the comments is The Letter. Through her writing, Jack River, aka Holly Rankin, Songwriters are often described as being able to has taken us on emotional journeys through hope, make a song out of anything, but here Rory was given grief, joy, fear and, most of all, love. While we’ve been dancing to her tunes for the past three years, a story that is absolute gold. An amazing story and he the new EP sees a more emotive path taken by the has a direct link to the subject. His grandfather served in WWI, and was on that sea digi-angelic artist. of blood and mud that they called the Somme. That ‘Dark Star’ is reminiscent of the work we first heard experience made many anti-war. Rory’s grandfather from Jack River, but ‘Closer’ - an intimate piano ballad and his mate poured out their bitterness in a letter – is something completely different, and I can’t turn it and sealed it in a bottle where they were working on off. Stripped back, perhaps for the first time, we can the Church St Bridge where it was discovered in 2017. hear Jack River’s vulnerability. Her lyrics; I take and Seventy years later his grandson immortalised I take, think that I'm not enough/That my love is too that story. rushed, too much/If it's the last thing I do/I’ll let it all go for you; are powerful and her mesmerising vocals Now it’s up to you. Get this CD and listen to it. have you spinning. Tracks ‘Infinity Roses’ and ‘80’sHD’ finish the EP strongly and as soon as it ends, you’ll want to listen all over again. Ah Jack River, you’ve done it again, and I’m so very happy you have.

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FRI 8TH MAY

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WRITTEN BY ALASTAIR MCGIBBON

BLUES NEWS

WRITTEN BY JOHN (DR JOHN) LAMP

TOO HEAVY TO HUG

SURFBEAT

WRITTEN BY ANTHONY MORRIS

POP

PULP

WRITTEN BY PAUL S. TAYLOR

WRITTEN BY JOHN FOSS

The only reason to see The Way Back – a competently made by-the-numbers redemption story about a high school basketball team and the former star turned boozehound who coaches them – and himself – to victory – is because famous celebrity drunk Ben Affleck is playing the one-time celebrity turned drunk. How good is he in the role he was born to play? Let's find out! For one thing, Affleck certainly has the stocky stance of the professional drinker down pat right from the start. He's a guy drinking out of sadness so there are no good time montages here: he just drinks all the time – in the shower, on the sly at work, and until he can't stand at the same bar his dad used to get blotto in. Fortunately, the film doesn't oversell this stuff (which is often the problem with these kind of redemption films) – he’s a functioning drunk and there's no real reason why he couldn't go on drinking forever if he wanted to. The trick when watching drunks on the big screen is to check out the eyes. Affleck has the beady-eyed squint down pat, but you can tell he's an actor drawing on past memory rather than a current drunk. For one thing, his eyes just aren't watery enough – fans of drunk acting really should check out Jon Hamm in Keeping Up with the Joneses, in which he plays someone who doesn't take a drink throughout the entire film but most definitely looks like he's on the sauce. The decision to keep the actual drunk acting here to a minimum is a smart one, because Affleck's physical drunk acting isn't up to much. He stumbles, he staggers, but it's all pretty pro forma: there's nothing here that comes close to the scene in Bad Santa where Billy Bob Thornton is gradually revealed coming up an escalator and every fiber of his being screams "I am so wasted". What Affleck does get right – and presumably he's the one getting it right because the script doesn't call for it – is a vague sense of explosive menace. Being around a drunk isn't a whole lot of fun because you're never quite sure what's going to set them off, or exactly how they're going to respond to being set off. There's a moment early on where Affleck slaps a beer car across the room and nobody really bats an eye, but it's pretty much the only moment where his boozing feels really felt (obviously he can't really be a dangerous drunk because this is a movie about his coaching teenagers; nobody's going to stick around once he starts slapping the kids). So while the big selling point here is "hey, Affleck's acting out his real life", that's not really what we're getting. Affleck's back on the wagon now and was during this film, while his character is hitting the bottle for close to the entire run time. What we're getting here is Affleck's memories of being a drunk; if this is any real guide it's pretty clear he wasn't having a fun time. Hopefully, he had a plucky bunch of thinly sketched basketball-loving teens to inspire him to get off the booze too.

Hey gang! I don’t know about you lot, but the year is quickly disappearing already – I feel like I’ve blinked and it’s jumped from January to March. It’s either that or I’m losing my memory… which, believe it or not, provides a great segue for me to talk about this week’s comic! This time around, I’ve delved into Moonshine volume one, written by the 100 Bullets dream team of Brian Azzarello (Wonder Woman) and Eduardo Risso (Logan). The year is 1929, and Prohibition is in full swing. “Handsome” Lou Pirlo has been sent to the depths of West Virginia to negotiate a deal with the best moonshiner in the USA, Hiram Holt. A slick-talking New York mobster, Lou thinks his latest assignment will be a cakewalk – but he hasn’t accounted for Hiram being just as tough, ruthless and conniving as any mob boss. When his initial attempts at swindling Hiram go astray, Lou has to juggle the patience of both a furious boss, and an openly hostile Hiram – otherwise, it’ll be all out war between the mob and Hiram’s clan of hillbillies. Matters are complicated when Lou starts to lose time, and people start to turn up dead, torn to pieces. Hiram will do anything to hold on to his operation, and will go even further to keep a much darker secret – and Lou is right in the firing line. So here’s the thing, right: Moonshine has some serious pedigree. Azzarello and Risso, best known for their work on 100 Bullets, should be perfectly placed to pick up a title and produce something that’s an instant classic. That being said, I never got further than one volume with 100 Bullets, and after reading Moonshine, I’m getting the same feeling. Moonshine has a lot going for it – I like Azzarello’s Wonder Woman run a lot, Risso’s artwork is solid and reminds me of Mike Mignola’s fantastic style on Hellboy, and a deliciously pulpy story that makes it perfect for this column. However, I couldn’t help but feel a little let down by it. That’s not to say that Moonshine is bad – I’ve read much worse – but it’s not likely to end up on anyone’s classics list with volume one alone. I think the main issue is that it tries to blend too many elements at once, and in doing so pays more attention to certain aspects of its story than others. Moonshine starts off as a conventional mob story, and comes across as akin to an old favourite of mine, Fatale, but focuses more on the mafioso and his counterparts rather than delving deeper into the supernatural elements that begin to creep into the tale as the pages turn. This is likely by design, but I can’t help but feel that it’s a missed opportunity – the idea of a blend between 1920s mafia noir, redneck hillbilly shenanigans and supernatural horror in a bayou sounds like a no-brainer, but there was a chunk of the story following the mafia men (one is literally called Fat Tony, in one of the cheesiest choices of the entire book) that I felt was rather unnecessary. The creeping horror of dealing with Holt and his men was still interesting, but it felt like an unnecessary deviation from what would have otherwise been an engaging tale. All things consider, Moonshine has a lot of potential. While it is let down somewhat by its composition, it has a lot of really likeable elements – they just don’t pay off immediately. If you like your horror dark, and your noir intense, Moonshine will definitely be your thing.

After the excitement of Pako Festa and The ExCHANGE, there are still some excellent gigs coming up. This time I’m highlighting one local and one international act performing here in Geelong. First up, live and local, and well-known for their 20 years of performing is Lounge Lizards, at Sleepy Hollow on the 22nd of March. At one time, they had a fairly regular session up at the Newtown Event Centre. Lounge Lizards can be thought of as either “nocturnal creatures, raucous and unstable, tend to have bouts of loud behaviour” or “foppish men who frequent bars, cafés, hotel lounges, etc., with or in search of women.” You’ll have to come to the gig to work out which applies to our local Lounge Lizards. The band features the sensational guitar playing of Bill van Parreren, and the rock-solid rhythm section of Manny Blach on drums and Paul Brooke on bass and vocals. Make no mistake, these guys have been around the block. As Bill says about blues, “It makes me smile. It gives me goosebumps. Occasionally, when surrounded by inspiring musicians, it can get you to a higher level that I can’t explain – you lose yourself – and you can’t just create that feeling, it just …. happens. And I’m 100% hooked!” The Lizards are not pretty. But they more than make up for it with a crisp, tight and very fat sound, and they always have fun on stage. All that adds up to a great gig for blues punters. The international artist is Mississippi bluesman, Dave Riley. He’s authentic, gritty and down home; a Hattiesburg, Mississippi native who is a real Delta bluesman. The Dave Riley blues style is marked with equal parts authenticity and guts. His music is succinctly delivered through meaty crunch chords, layered precision picking, and a voice that bellows with authority and mobility. Riley, who spent 25 in the correctional circuit as a guard in Illinois’s Joliet State Penitentiary, is a reformed addict and Vietnam veteran. Dave Riley enjoys music. It lights his face and radiates from his voice. When he is on stage, he is giving the audience everything he has to give. Every performance, no matter how small the audience or how large, is given with his whole being. During the time he served in the army he was exposed to many types of music, not only the blues but big band, rock’n’roll, and jazz. He ended up playing in a military band which travelled from base to base entertaining the troops and sometimes became the opening act for USO shows. Dave Riley met up with Blues legends Sam Carr and Frank Frost and revitalized his career in the mid-90s and they formed a friendship and a music bond that would lead Dave back to the Delta and back into Blues full time. Dave has been playing music in the Delta and taking the Delta back to Chicago just like all those Blues men before him. This is one you won’t want to miss. A couple for fine gigs there, Lounge Lizards at SHBC on the 22nd, and Dave Riley at Pistol Pete's on Friday, 27 March.

Welcome to THTH, Forte’s premier source of all things heavy, hard, fast and metal. These days our attention spans are too short for double albums and that's probably why you rarely see them anymore; it has nothing to do with the fact they're not all killer and some filler. In the past, bands released double albums either in one pack or separately, and some aren't technically double albums, but they're considered double albums. I've seen some articles online about fusing a double album into one album that can fit on an 80 minute CD. So, in the spirit of fusing double albums into one for fun, I've gone done that with Metallica's Load and Reload: 1- Fuel, 2 -The Memory Remains, 3 -The House Jack Built, 4 - Until It Sleeps, 5 - King Nothing, 6 - Bleeding Me, 7 - The Unforgiven II, 8 - Slither, 9 - Low Man's Lyric, 10 - Thorn Within, 11 - Fixxxer, 12 The Outlaw Torn Total album time is 78 minutes. Controversial, I know. So, for me, the first six tracks are a no brainer and there's no time for 'Hero Of The Day'. 'The Unforgiven II' is in there for its fun sing-a-long-ability, as is 'Slither' and same with 'Low Man's Lyric', which beats out the lame 'Mama Said' in the obligatory ballad stakes. 'Thorn Within' isn't necessary but it works well as a good prelude to the final two and strongest tracks, 'Fixxxer' and 'The Outlaw Torn' which sit extremely well next to each other. I didn't consciously make up the fusion of six tracks from both albums each, it just worked out that way. I've tried and tested this playlist on long drives and it works well but upon reflection and time permitting, it might be worth switching out 'Thorn Within' with 'Carpe Diem Baby' coz that's also a fun sing-a-long track. It's all about James' “oooh”s and “yeah”s, especially while driving. Anyway, if you want to see how it flows you can check it out on my Spotify account, details below.

WINNING THE FIGHT FOR THE BIGHT It takes a lot to win an environmental battle. The odds can be really stacked against you as companies (with deep pockets) and often the government of the day on-side fight to inflate their profits at the expense of the environment (and the community). The Fight For The Night campaign was a classic example. Norwegian company EQUINOR secured a licence to drill for oil in the deep waters of the Great Australian Bight. If there was an oil spill (and the odds of a spill are pretty high when you drill for oil in 4,000m deep waters over 300kms from the coast) then it could impact every beach from Albany in Western Australia to Port Macquarie in New South Wales. Some of the world’s most popular beaches including Lorne, Bells Beach, Bondi and Manly would be covered in black sludge. As you can imagine the coastal communities along our great southern coastline were not stoked with this idea. So what to do? The coastal communities packed with surfers did the one thing that they do best… they protest, in the water in big numbers. The Fight For The Bight had just begun. The major paddle out was held at Torquay on 3rd March 2019. It was an overcast day with a small swell pushing into Cosy Corner at the Torquay Front Beach. No one had a clue as to how many people would show up. Local surfer Damien Cole working with Surfrider Foundation Surf Coast had pulled together a large crew of volunteers who spent the week making banners and planning a paddleout. At 10am there were a few hundred people assembled on the beach. By 11am it was a few thousand with hundreds more, young and old making their way to the beach carrying surfboards, bodyboards… anything that would float. The Torquay paddleout in March would feature over 2,300 people paddleout into the ocean off Cosy Corner and create on the biggest ceremonial circles ever seen in Australia. It was the first of over 70 paddleouts to be held around Australia last year as tens of thousands of people came together on the beach to protest against Equinor’s drilling plans. On Tuesday 24th February EQUINOR announced that they were pulling out of the Bight. For most of the morning no-one believed the news as texts and emails flew around the country. ‘Is that true? is this real?’ For many of the organisers and participants it was surreal. This was one of the biggest environmental victories in the history of Australia. The people had won… the Bight was safe…. over 20,000 surfers had sent one of the largest oil companies in the world packing. The Fight For The Bight had been won!

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In other news + Download Festival featuring Deftones, Carcass, Testament, In Flames, Lacuna Coil, and not much else, will be held at the Melbourne Showgrounds on Friday March 20. + Me And That Man will release their new album New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 1 on Friday March 27. + Abysmal Dawn will release their new album Phylogenesis on Friday April 17. + Nile will be at Melbourne's Max Watts on Sunday April 26. + King will play the Northcote Social Club on Saturday May 2. + Iron Maiden will play Rod Laver Arena on Monday May 11. + Venom Inc. and Exciter will be at the Northcote Social Club on Saturday June 13. + Parkway Drive will play Melbourne Arena on Saturday June 20. + Check out this edition’s of THTH’s Spotify playlist by searching for playlist: THTH726 or by searching spotify:user:TooHeavyToHug If you have any news about local metal bands, shows or albums, let THTH know by emailing to tooheavytohug@ hotmail.com or get in touch via Twitter at @TooHeavyToHug

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THURS 19TH

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SUN 15TH

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TUES 17TH 170 RUSSELL: THE DARKNESS THE ESPY: OPEN MIC MURPHY'S: ST. PATRICK'S DAY 2020 PIANO BAR: LIVE MUSIC VALHALLA BREWING & TAPROOM: POETRY NIGHTS WED 18TH

BARWON CLUB: JERKFEST VI BEAVS BAR: LUKE BISCAN BENDIGO HOTEL: SULDUSK BLOOM: LIVE MUSIC

PALAIS HEPBURN: 2020 VISION, MORTON CHOPPERS PIANO BAR: LIVE MUSIC PISTOL PETE'S: KEVIN BUCKINGHAM TRIO QUEENSCLIFF BREWHOUSE: COPYCAT KILLERS SPORTING GLOBE: 456 SATURDAY'S THE TAP ROOM: LIVE MUSIC SUN 22ND BARWON CLUB: TIM HENWOOD THE BARKING DOG: LIVE MUSIC BEAVS: GRACE DRUMMOND, BEAVS DISCO BELMONT HOTEL: SUNDAY SESSIONS CORNER HOTEL: SPACEY JANE DEANS MARSH FESTIVAL THE ESPY: RAW COMEDY THE FOX AND HEN: SUNDAY SESSIONS LIVE MUSIC GROVEDALE HOTEL: WILL GARDINER THE HOPP INN: JOLLY JUGS LAMBYS: DANIEL & ALYSSA, LIAM BLACKWELL THE LAST CHANCE ROCK & ROLL BAR: HEAVY SUNDAY MORGAN'S BAR & GRILL: SUNDAY SESSIONS MURPHY'S: THE FERRITERS OLD BAR: LIVE MUSIC PALAIS HEPBURN: WILLIAM ALEXANDER PIANO BAR: LIVE MUSIC PISTOL PETE'S: SWEET SOUL SESSIONS SOUTH GEELONG FARMERS MARKET SPORTING GLOBE: SUNDAY SESSIONS THE TAPROOM: LIVE MUSIC TERINDAH ESTATE: SUNDAY SESSIONS MON 23RD OLD BAR: MUNDANE MONDAY'S WED 25TH BEAVS: OPEN MIC KARAOKE, LUKE BISCAN PIANO BAR: LIVE MUSIC WORKERS CLUB GEELONG: SEINFELD TRIVIA

CORNER HOTEL: SPACEY JANE DEANS MARSH FESTIVAL EDGE GEELONG: LIVE MUSIC AND DJS GROVEDALE HOTEL: MADZ GOT RICH

BEAVS BAR: OPEN MIC KARAOKE, LUKE BISCAN BENDIGO HOTEL: BENDY WEDNESDAY'S

HOME HOUSE: SOME BLONDE, MICHAEL GOONAN (MAFS) LAMBYS: BEDROCK, LEVI ANDERSON, RESIDENT DJ'S

Experience our design-driven future at Geelong Design Week. More than 80 events will explore new ideas and challenge what is possible. Discover new products and artistic creations Learn how we can design a more sustainable city Experience the latest in digital intelligence and advanced manufacturing Explore the future of learning Find out why Geelong has been globally recognised as a UNESCO City of Design.

See the full program and book tickets at geelongdesignweek.com.au

PH: 5278 2911 38

SPHINXHOTEL.COM.AU FORTÉ 735

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FRI 13 MARCH:

SAT 14 MARCH:

SUN 15 MARCH:

DUO ACOUSTIC SET

ACOUSTIC DUO SET

SOLO ACOUSTIC SET

MADZ GOT RICH With Madeliene on vocals and Richard on guitar a great night is guaranteed. Their repertoire covers a range of top 40 hits as well as classics from over the decades.

RACH BRENNAN DUO Rach and a frequently changing guest accompanist will combine soulful vocals and playful and harmony based acoustic guitars for a killer night out with ya mates.

BEN DEW

Ben provides all the beats – from smooth vocals, clean acoustic rhythms, slide guitar, stomp box and tambourine, prepare for a night of berserk feet tapping.

* FRIDAYS

7PM-8PM *

ESPRESSO MARTINIS

— $12 —

GROVEDALEHOTEL FRI 20 MARCH:

JACK WRIGHT

SOLO ACOUSTIC SET Jack crafts lush melodies and up beat percussion filled with soul and passion. You can look forward to hearing influences from the likes of John Butler and Andy McKee.

SAT 21 MARCH:

MADZ GOT RICH DUO ACOUSTIC SET

With Madeliene on vocals and Richard on guitar a great night is guaranteed. Their repertoire covers a range of top 40 hits as well as classics from over the decades.

FEATURE GIGS: > SAT. 14 MARCH — FREE ENTRY!

Hottest 100 of the Decade Party.

SUN 22 MARCH:

WILL GARDINER SOLO ACOUSTIC SET

Will’s music is perfect for a relaxed atmosphere, yet has the versatility to get everyone on the dance floor. His covers range from Johnny Cash classics to Ed Sheeran.

LOCAL ARTISTS: > FRI. 13 MARCH:

Andy Forster. 9:00PM — BAND ROOM

DJ Insain.

7:30PM — BEER GARDEN 11:30PM — BAND ROOM

> SAT. 14 MARCH:

DJ Neptune.

7:30PM — BEER GARDEN

Madz Got Rich.

> FRI. 27 MARCH:

Hollow Coves.

GROVEDALEHOTEL.COM.AU 1300GROVEDALE (1300 476 833)

WEB. PHONE.

> FRI. 20 MARCH:

Will Gardiner & Kim Cooper. 9:00PM — BAND ROOM

> SAT. 21 MARCH:

Jack Wright. 8:30PM — BAND ROOM

DJ Neptune.

7:30PM — BEER GARDEN 11:30PM — BAND ROOM

8:00PM — BAND ROOM

P. (03) 5261 2001

> SUN. 12 APRIL:

Client Liaison.

> FRI. 22 MAY:

Bad// Dreems.

W. torquayhotel.com.au

torquayhotel 36 Bell Street, Torquay

> PURCHASE YOUR FEATURE GIG TICKETS FROM: TORQUAYHOTEL.EVENTBRITE.COM FORTÉ 735

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ROCKWIZ EASTER SHOW THE

11 APRIL T.5333 5888 HERMAJ.COM

12 APRIL T. 03 5832 9511 BIT.LY/ROCKWIZLIVE2020