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The beguiling sounds of The Understudy

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The Old Fella has ’em rolling in the aisles

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That’s Entertainment

Newcastle garage popsters The Guppies

A stellar start for J Smith and the Kids PAGE 31

Stephen Bisset caught up with Trash McSweeny, frontman for art-rock outfit The Red Paintings to chat about difficult creative processes and art as a confrontational tool.

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The revolution will not be televised

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What’s on the... dvd

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fter the success of the guffaw-fest ‘The Hangover’, actor Bradley Cooper became somewhat of a modern-day matinee idol thanks to roles in such films as ‘Limitless’ and the crime drama ‘Place Beyond The Pines’. As Pat Solatano in director David O Russell’s (‘Three Kings’ ‘The Fighter’) latest effort, Cooper proves that he is one hell of an actor. Against medical advice and without the knowledge of her husband, Pat Solatano Sr. (Robert De Niro), caring mum Dolores Solatano (Jackie Weaver) discharges her adult son and bipolar sufferer from a mental health institution after his minimum eight month court ordered stint. Although he is on medication and has mandatory therapy sessions, Pat Jr. feels like he can manage on the outside solely by healthy living and looking for the “silver linings” in his life. This is a deeply engaging film that will resonate long after the credits have rolled.

t’s been over six years since Queens of the Stoneage released their brilliant set ‘Era Vulgaris’, so it was with baited breath that I awaited the arrival of ‘Like Clockwork’ and the band have, once again, failed to disappoint. While they may’ve gone a bit crazy with the guest list on this record – Elton John (seriously – Elton John on a Queens album), Trent Reznor, Nick Oliveri, Jake Shears and Dave Grohl all lent their respective talents to the QOTSA oeuvre but, it is when the core four-piece cut loose with their signature fuzz-heavy amps and manic delivery that this album really shines. What sets this apart from previous sets is a new sense of musical adventurism that manifests itself in a much wider musical palate that includes some deeply introspective tracks dripping with melancholic piano lines and even some tracks, especially ‘I Sat By The Ocean’, that could possibly see some mainstream action.

Queens of the Stoneage – Like Clockwork Out Now

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o, it’s got Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in all of their machismo glory, it’s got some of the most high-octane car chases since the last film in the franchise – what more do you need to know? This time around, former cop Brian O’Conner (Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Diesel) on the opposite side of the law. Now, backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, they must pull one last job in order to gain their freedom. As they assemble their elite team of top racers, the unlikely allies know their only shot of getting out for good means confronting the corrupt businessman who wants them dead. Hard-nosed federal agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) never misses his target. When he is assigned to track down Dom and Brian, he and his strike team launch an all-out assault to capture them. But as his men tear through Brazil, Hobbs learns he can’t separate the good guys from the bad. Now, he must rely on his instincts to corner his prey. Vroom!

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“The body painting does get interesting – we had a guy crap on a painting and smear the result all over the canvas, we’ve had people launching stage props through windows and we’ve even had people painting cars out the front of the venue – I guess all good art is about confrontation.” Catch The Red Paintings at the Cambridge Hotel on Thursday, June 13.

Stephen Bisset

o say that Trash McSweeny, frontman for Australian/Los Angelino art-rock outfit The Red Paintings has suffered for his art would be more than an understatement. His latest musical vision, the brilliantly adventurous and orchestral album, ‘The Revolution Is Never Coming’, took the five-piece over five years to complete and was fraught with problems – personal, financial and mental. “It was an absolute nightmare to create,” McSweeny told TE. “I guess that at the beginning I didn’t realise the epicness of my original vision. I’d compare it to wanting to create a paining like Leonardo Da Vinci and then realising that you don’t have any of the skills to accomplish it. “The process ended up involving five years of constant running around the world, seven different mixes that were combined into one super mix and the thing was mastered like ten times. “It was an extremely difficult process for me personally too – I met all of my demons during that period. I was having seizures and I even contemplated suicide a couple of times. I definitely reached my lowest point during that time.” McSweeny added that there was a period where he thought the album would never see the light of day, which caused him to sink even lower given that many of the band’s fans had pledged funds, via the band’s website, and he felt as if he had let his benefactors down. “I’d raised all of this money and I felt as though I couldn’t deliver, which just made

things even worse. I ended up having to track down all of the numbers of the people who donated and personally apologise for not being able to deliver on the promise.” To add to the tribulations, just after the final mix was completed, renowned mixer Bryan Colstrum (Alice In Chains, Billy Idol) passed away from a stroke. Thankfully, the album has surfaced and the band are set to return to Australia for a national tour. Anyone who has seen The Red Paintings live will know that this is

not some floor shoegazing outfit. This is modern situationism at it’s finest. Their idiosyncratic performances incorporate elaborate costumes and even live body painting which has led to some pretty interesting stories. “We take our live shows very seriously,” he said. “With each new release, we develop a new stage show, which usually takes around three months of pre-production and about four to five hours to set up each night.

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Stephen Bisset

espite only being on the scene for just over three years, Newcastle indie-garage band The Guppies are already kicking some serious goals. You know you’re onto a good thing when the likes of the Living End’s Chris Cheney is saying things like

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“…reminds me of the Saints, which can’t be a bad thing”, snaring regular airplay on the national youth broadcaster with the tracks ‘Never Liked Mondays’ and ‘Bad Blood’ and the likes of Birds of Tokyo, You Am I, The Rubens and Ball Park Music taking the band on the road. In a case of striking while the iron is hot, the band is about to release their selftitled debut EP at the Great Northern this weekend.

Frontman Lachlan Morris told TE that the band couldn’t wait to unleash their short, sharp burst of melodic and energetic garage pop on Newcastle punters. “Yeah it’s going to be a great show – anyone who is into high-energy gigs will hopefully be into it,” he said. Morris said some of the ideas for the EP had been brewing before the band even got together. “I had a handful of songs, around 20 of them, that I wanted to do with a band, but I had no members,” he explained. “I met up with our first bass player James and our drummer Angus [Geraghty] in high school and we ended up being named finalists in the [2011] Triple J Unearthed High competition. “So when it came time to do the EP, a few of those songs that I had written before were on the list as well as some that had been written with the band, and we eventually whittled it down to the songs on the EP.” In keeping with an almost intangible sense of urgency that exists behind the band’s music, the EP was completed in just two days. “Yeah, we recorded it in around two days down at Linear Studios in Sydney, which was just awesome,” he said. “It was pretty much just us tracking the bass, drums and, vocals live with a few overdubs done to beef the guitars up a bit but, what you hear on the EP is very similar to what we’re doing live.” And with the aforementioned supports this band has been snaring, it’s obvious that they are no slouches on stage. “Yeah, we’re all just so stoked with how it’s all going,” he said. “We’re all still really very young, so all of this is really very exciting.” Catch The Guppies when they play at the Great Northern Hotel on Saturday, June 16.

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A beguiling dawn

A

fter dabbling with a number of world music and folk collaborations over the years, Australian/ Canadian singer-songwriter Kimberley Dawn Lysons has gone full-band mode with her latest outfit – the idiosyncratic and ethereal Dawn. The band are about to hit the road for their debut headline tour in support of their debut album ‘The Spinning Jenny’, an eclectic set of beautifully lilting folk, with lashings of light and shade that provides the perfect backdrop for Lysons powerful delivery, along with her signature looping vocal arrangements and poetic and emotional lyrics. Born in Australia to Canadian parents, Lysons is descended, on her father’s side, from an Indian princess and an English officer. Each generation, her family has travelled to a different country or continent, so it’s no surprise that her musical influences are many and varied and that her family’s nomadic history was an everpresent influence when writing the album. Catch Dawn when they play at the Great Northern Hotel on Friday, June 14.


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A

fter releasing the starkly simplistic yet beautifully layered and lyrically honest album, ‘What Not To Think While In Love’ in 2008 under the name The Understudy, former Newcastle-based songwriter Lucinda Hearn took a break from writing to concentrate on pursuing a “real job”. Thankfully for us, Hearn has resurrected the Understudy with the release late last year of the equally moving follow-up to ‘What Not To Think’ – an EP that overflows with a kind of engagingly naive bedroompop sensibility but one that is also tempered with the same lyrical depth and lush delivery that underpinned the debut long player. “I decided to take a break from songwriting for a while,” Hearn told TE. “I moved cities and decided to have a ‘real career’ for a while – y’know, a nine to five office job. “Then I basically stopped writing for two years – not because I didn’t want to, it was just that I couldn’t. Anyone who has tried to make a go of being an artist

will know that this is a difficult thing to achieve – I’d come home from work and just want to relax and have a beer with friends.” Hearn said that a bad break-up and a career shake up provided the impetus she needed to put pen to paper again. “Yeah, I went through this really horrible break-up and then my job was made redundant,” she explained. “So, I used that money and I took the songs that I had started writing at the beginning of the breakup over to the Bronx, as I had a friend [Chris Frank] who was living there at the time, and we basically recorded the whole thing, bedroom style, in around ten days, playing all the instruments.” Hearn said The Understudy employs a ‘revolving door’ method of band membership and could just as easily be seen as a full band, duo and trio, but while she said this model does open up certain avenues for creativity, this is but a mere by-product of more pragmatic reasoning. “I’ve been writing songs since I was eight-years-old and, not long after that, I decided that it was going to be me, as The Understudy, with more of a revolving line up,” she said “The reality of it is that it was purely a

but, for me a good live show is where you leave thinking that you weren’t meant to be anywhere else, so when a show blows my mind, for whatever reason, I have this sense that I was meant to be there and I hope I can impart some of that when we play live.” Catch The Understudy when they play at the Lass O’Gowrie on Thursday, June 13.

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logistical decision; people are busy with their own creative endeavours, so to make sure things keep rolling on, this was the best way.” Hearn said that she looked forward to the prospect of playing at the Lass, and that punters could, hopefully, expect a night they won’t soon forget. “I don’t often go out to see live music

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gig guide...

Dynamic Duo

K

im and Mick have been playing music together for the past three years, combining their styles and experience to create an exciting duo. These guys perform an eclectic range of songs, from the classics to today’s tunes and everything in between. Both musicians have an extensive history in the industry; Mick is the drummer for the award-winning blues band ‘The Bluezone’. Mick joined the band after returning from the US where he spent a year-and-a-half living and touring and has been playing professionally for 15 years. Kim has recently released her debut solo album, ‘Two White Horses’, and has also been performing solo shows in the area for the past two years. With both female and male vocals, great harmonies and great songs, Kim and Mick are sure to entertain. Catch Kim and Mick when they play at West Wallsend Workers Club on Friday, June 14.

5 SAWYERS: Wednesday, DJ Timmy Coffey; Saturday, DJ Patsan. ABSOLUTE THAI, Charlestown: Friday, The Royal Key; Saturday, Little Black Book. ADAMSTOWN CLUB: Saturday, Love That Hat. ANNA BAY TAVERN: Saturday, Outerphase. ARGENTON HOTEL: Friday, Karaoke. ACVOCA BEACH BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Red Alert; Saturday, Sound Proofed BAR 121: Friday, Dean Kyrwood; Saturday, Mardmax. BAR PETITE: Wednesday, JJ King; Friday, Tim Rossington; Saturday, Anna Milat; Sunday, The Dreamcatchers. BEACHCOMBER, Toukley: Wednesday, Suburban Spin; Friday, DJs. BEAUFORD HOTEL: Saturday, Jim Overend. BELMONT 16s: Wednesday, Michael Montgomery, Milton Ward; Friday, Roadhouse Rockers; Saturday, Jimeoin, The Big Bang Quartet; Sunday, Cool Change. BELMONT BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Trevor Mac. BELMONT HOTEL: Saturday, Bad Bad Things. BELMORE HOTEL: Friday, Jack Daniels and Co; Saturday, Dan Runchel and Friends. BERESFIELD BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Jet 2 Vegas; Saturday, Dr Dave’s Jukebox Saturday Night; Sunday, Red Dirt Country Band feat, Snowy Robertson. BERESFIELD TAVERN: Friday, Lianna Pritchard. BLACKBUTT HOTEL: Friday, Hornet; Saturday, Moonlight Drive. BRADFORD HOTEL: Saturday, Crimson Tide; Sunday, 2Funky. BREAKERS COUNTRY CLUB: Saturday, Jenny Marie Lang; Sunday, Jack Evans Trio. BUDGEWOI SOCCER CLUB: Saturday, Double Lines; Sunday, Antioine. CAMBRIDGE HOTEL: Wednesday, Polyfox and the Union of Most Ghosts, The Cupcake Conspiracy, The Sufferjets; Thursday, The Red Paintings CANTON BEACH SPORTS CLUB: Friday, Rebel Rousers; Saturday, Spectacular Feets. CARDIFF RSL CLUB: Friday, Talk of the Town; Saturday, The Rat Bags. CATHO PUB: Sunday, Loose Bazooka.

CAVES BEACHSIDE HOTEL: Friday, Ryde Duo; Saturday, Katrina Burgoyne. CENTRAL HOTEL, Stroud: Thursday, Kirsty Larkin. CESSNOCK SUPPORTERS: Friday, The Snape Brothers; Saturday, Karaoke.; Sunday, Kids’ Disco & karaoke, Ruby The Clown. CHARLESTOWN BOWLING CLUB: Friday, D’Lish; Sunday, Lianna Pritchard. CLARENDON HOTEL: Friday, Mick Jones; Saturday, Dan Beazley. CLUB SINGLETON: Wednesday, Jimeoin. COLLIERY INN: Friday, KIaraoke. COMMERCIAL HOTEL, Boolaroo: Friday, Dan Beazley. CRICKETERS ARMS: Thursday, Greg Bryce; Friday, Just Jace; Saturday, Michael Mills. D’ALBORA MARINAS: Sunday, Kim. DAVISTOWN RSL: Thursday, Bobby C DENMAN HOTEL: Sunday, Brett O’Malley. DENMAN RSL: Saturday,The Bad and the Ugly. DIGGERS AT THE ENTRANCE: Friday, Adam Toole; Saturday, Duellin Piano Show. DUKE OF WELLINGTON: Friday, Two Good Reasons; Saturday, ME; Sunday, Bobby C. EAST CESSNOCK BOWLING CLUB: Thursday, Talk of the Town; Saturday, Holly Wilson. EAST MAITLAND BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Silverhair; Saturday, Flying Mare; Sunday, Peter Stefanson. EDGEWORTH BOWLING CLUB: Friday; Neon Duo; Sunday, Katrina Burgoyne. EDGEWORTH TAVERN: Friday, Revin Rockers; Saturday, Hell Bent. ENTRANCE BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Jukebox. ENTRANCE LEAGUES CLUB: Saturday, All Star. EXCHANGE HOTEL: Thursday, AGT; Friday, The Capulets; Saturday, Kotadama. FAMILY HOTEL, Maitland: Friday, Outerphase. FIVE ISLANDS REC CLUB, Speers Point: Friday, Darrel Gibson; Sunday, Aubrey and Martin. GATESHEAD TAVERN: Thursday, Lennie Live. GEORGE TAVERN: Saturday, Kim and Mik; Sunday, Troy Kemp.

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GOSFORD RSL: Friday, Wild Honey Duo; Saturday, Ambah Band; Sunday, Alana and Brent, Jennie Marie Lang. GRAND HOTEL: Tuesday, Jazz. GREAT NORTHERN: Friday, Dawn; Saturday, The Guppies GUNYAH HOTEL: Friday, Janey’s Alibi Duo; Saturday, Sundays Record Duo; Sunday, Defaced. GWANDALAN BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Karaoke. HALEKULANI BOWLING CLUB: Saturday, Too Funky Duo. HAMILTON STATION HOTEL: Wednesday, Adeline Pines, The Delta Lions, Summer Policy; Thursday, Madhouse DJs; Friday/ Saturday, Karaoke; Sunday, AJ Clayfoot and the Beautiful Flowers. HONEYSUCKLE HOTEL: Sunday, Ally B. HOTEL DELANY: Wednesday, DJ Surian; Friday, Incognito, Jay Chase, DJ Patsan; Saturday, The Capulets. HOTEL JESMOND: Friday, The Levymen; Saturday, hey Poncho. HOTEL PREMIER: Saturday, Troy, Dean Kyrwood; Sunday, 24 Hours. IRON HORSE INN: Saturday, Hayden Johns. JUNCTION HOTEL: Saturday, Gian. KENT HOTEL: Sunday, The Mighty Kingsnakes. KING STREET HOTEL: Friday, Danse Macarbre; Saturday, Aston Shuffle DJs; Sunday, Any Given Sunday. KINCUMBER HOTEL: Friday, Kuta Groove; Sunday, Gemma. KURRI BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Temple M; Saturday, Darrel LAKE MACQUARIE TAVERN: Friday, Live Music. LAKE MACQUARIE YACHT CLUB: Sunday, Karen Soper. LASS O’GOWRIE HOTEL: Wednesday, Baltic Bar Mitsvah, James Chatburn; Thursday, The Understudy, Shanna Watson; Friday, Motherlode, Burning Sands, The Way Out. LEMON TREE PASSAGE BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Sahara; Saturday, Pete G. LIZOTTE’S KINCUMBER: Wednesday, Ernina High School Showcase; Thursday, Chris Byrne, Andy Brown; Friday Psycho Zydeco; Saturday/Sunday, James Reyne.

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f you like your music fresh, energetic and engaging, then you’d do well to get out this weekend and check out The Capulets. Just as their audiences do, The Capulets are all about busting a move and feeling the groove and certainly don’t run the risk of being arrested for loitering on stage. Priding themselves on engaging their audiences with their charisma and energy, these Newie boys are well-qualified to keep the party going all night long. The Capulets cover all bases, performing songs from heavy hitters across myriad genres and generations. Think Australian Crawl, Ben Harper, Bon Jovi, Choirboys, Crowded House, Dragon, Franz Ferdinand, Guns ‘n’ Roses, John Mayer, Little Red, Led Zeppelin, MGMT, The Killers and the Beatles, and you’ve got a pretty good idea what you’re in for at a Capulets show – all killer, no filler. The Capulets will be playing at the Delany Hotel on Saturday, June 15.

WARNERS AT THE BAY: Thursday, Karaoke; Friday, The Remedy. WARNERS BAY HOTEL: Thursday, Shivoo; Friday, DJs; Saturday, Rip It Up. WESTON TAVERN: Friday, Joe Balliana and the Elvis Show. WESTS NEW LAMBTON PIANO LOUNGE: Monday, Chris Hanley. WESTS NEW LAMBTON STARLIGHT ROOM: Wednesday, Jimeoin. WEST WALLSEND WORKERS CLUB: Friday, Kim and Mick; Sunday, Darrel. WICKHAM PARK HOTEL: Wednesday, Flash Jam Night; Thursday, Katie Brown, The Floating Bridges; Friday, Milestones; Saturday, The Years, Mick n Josh; Sunday, Jungle Kings, Blake Saban. WINDALE-GATESHEAD BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Vegas; Sunday, Karaoke. WINDSOR CASTLE HOTEL: Friday, Brooke Harvey; Saturday, James Chatburn. WYONG BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Paul Watters; Saturday, Bob Allen. WYONG LEAGUES CLUB: Friday, Girls With Guitars; Saturday, Back To Rock. SEND YOUR FREE ENTERTAINMENT LISTINGS FOR THE GUIDE TO: theguide@newcastlepost.com.au or FAX: (02) 49 611 540

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ROYAL HOTEL, Denman: Saturday, Revolver. ROYAL FEDERAL HOTEL: Saturday, Kristy James Duo. ROYAL INN, Waratah: Wednesday, Karaoke; Saturday, Mick Jones. ROYAL CROWN, Dudley: Saturday, Karaoke. RUTHERFORD HOTEL: Saturday, Zane Penn Duo. SALAMANDER SHORES: Friday, Kellie Cain. SALAMANDER TAVERN: Sunday, Kirsty Larkin. SEABREEZE HOTEL: Saturday, Todd Stewart Duo. SEVEN SEAS: Thursday, Jam Night; Friday, Lee Rolfe; Saturday, John Larder. SHAFT TAVERN: Sunday, Rubber Bullet. SHENANIGANS, Maitland: Friday, Karaoke; Saturday, Solid Gold. SHOAL BAY RESORT: Friday, Allon, D Love, Shawn Lidster; Saturday, Four Letter Word, Brooke Harvey, Mark Lee; Sunday, Lennie Live, Twinsanity. SHORTLAND HOTEL: Friday, Tommii. SILK HOTEL: Friday, Postal, Family Values, Staunch, Feskit. SINGLETON DIGGERS, Allroy Park: Friday, Pete Hibbert. SINGLETON DIGGERS, York Street: Saturday, Daniel Arvidson; Sunday, Aleyce Simmonds. SOLDIERS POINT BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Kadence. STOCKTON BOWLING CLUB: Saturday, The Rocker Fellers. STOCKTON RSL: Saturday, Rattle Snakes. SWANSEA HOTEL: Thursday, Matt McLaren; Friday, Phil McKnight; Saturday, Affinity; Sunday, Ty. SWANSEA RSL CLUB: Saturday, Red Sweat. SWANSEA WORKERS CLUB: Saturday, At The Hop SYDNEY JUNCTION HOTEL: Thursday, Open Mic; Friday, Drag Off. TELARAH BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Karaoke; Saturday, Free Juke Box. THE THEATRE LANE: Saturday, Jack Dawson. TILLIGERRY RSL CLUB: Friday, James Naldo. TORONTO DIGGERS: Friday, Back Beat; Saturday, Red Alert. TORONTO WORKERS CLUB: Friday, Kotadama. TORONTO YACHT CLUB: Friday, Klassic Blak. TOWN HALL HOTEL, Waratah: Thursday, Karaoke; Sunday, Ryan Daley. VUES ON THE BAY: Friday, DJ Fuel; Saturday, Redline. WALLARAH BAY REC CLUB: Friday, Summerland Kings; Saturday, Hummdinger. WALLSEND DIGGERS CLUB: Friday, The Big Bang; Saturday, Alotta Classix. WANGI DISTRICT WORKERS CLUB: Saturday, Gen R 8. WANGI RSL: Friday, Karaoke.

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LIZOTTE’S NEWCASTLE: Wednesday, Kieran Wicks, Michael Garrett, Anna Weatherup, New Black Shades; Thursday, James Reyne, Gabriel Lynch; Friday/ Saturday, Diesel, Tim Chaisson; Sunday, Psycho Zydeco. LONG JETTY HOTEL: Sunday, Open Mic. MAITLAND LEAGUES CLUB: Friday, Cover 2 Cover. MAITLAND CITY BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Jimeoin. MARK HOTEL: Friday, Half Nelson; Saturday, Bobby C; Sunday, Love That Hat. MARY ELLEN: Thursday, James Paul; Friday, Sundays Record Duo; Saturday, Tongue In Cheek; Sunday, Jack Daniels. MATTARA HOTEL: Friday, James Naldo; Saturday, Disco & Karaoke. MAVERICKS ON THE BAY: Friday, Karen Soper; Saturday, Pistol Pete; Sunday, Howard Shearman. MAYFIELD HOTEL: Thursday, Karaooke. METROPOLITAN HOTEL, Maitland: Friday, Leeroy. MJ FINNEGANS: Friday, DJs; Saturday, DJs. MOONSHADOW CRUISES, Nelson Bay: Saturday, Just Jace. MOONSHADOW CRUISES, Newcastle: Saturday, Jon-T. MUSEUM HOTEL: Saturday, Rhythm Divine. MUSWELLBROOK RSL: Tuesday, Jimeoin. NAG’S HEAD HOTEL: Saturday, Twinsanity. NEATH HOTEL: Saturday, Kellie Cain. NELSON BAY BOWLING CLUB: Friday, Adam and the Talents; Saturday, Dr Love. NELSON BAY DIGGERS THE LOUNGE: Friday, Soul Station; Saturday, The Levymen; Sunday, James Chatburn. NEWCASTLE PANTHERS: Saturday, DJ. NORTHERN STAR HOTEL: Saturday, Garth Prentice NORTHUMBERLAND HOTEL: Friday, Jim Overend. ORANA HOTEL: Friday, Viagro; Saturday, Blake Saban 3; Sunday, Mermaid Markets. PAXTON HOTEL: Saturday, Shivoo. PEDENS, Cessnock: Saturday, The Piranha Brothers. PELICAN RSL: Saturday, Cover 2 Cover. PIPPI’S AT THE POINT: Friday, Bobby C, Unknown State; Saturday, J-21; Sunday, Mick Jones. PLOUGH INN: Friday, Allan Friehaut. POTTERS BREWERY: Friday, Troy. PRINCE OF WALES: Friday, Katrina Burgoyne; Saturday, Jack Daniels; Sunday, Jerome. QUEENS WHARF BREWERY: Saturday, HP Duo, Tim Broadway; Sunday, Uptown. RACECOURSE HOTEL: Thursday, Sharnee Fenwick, Zane Penn; Friday, Karen O’Shea.

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ou might think that after 53 years tending the land, as both a mixed farmer and then a viticulturalist, that the world of stand-up comedy may be an odd career choice, but for Rod Gregory, aka The Old Fella, it was the perfect fit. Gregory, who first came came to our attention after tickling the nation’s funnybone on the hit TV show ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ with his laconic and selfdepreciating brand of humour, is heading to Newcastle next month in what seems to be a never-ending tour for the risible sexagenarian. “I’m really looking forward to Newcastle – I think it’s going to go really well,” Gregory told TE. “The show will basically be a bit over an hour of set-‘em-up, knock-‘em-down comedy with no swearing, just a lot of good old fashioned laughs.” As testament to the love Australia has for The Old Fella, Gregory said that even game one of the State of Origin couldn’t compete with his comedy stylings. “It’s just been amazing – we’re still packing houses,” he enthused. “In fact, we did a show last night in Port Douglas and we only had about ten spare

seats and we were up against the State of Origin – in Queensland. I bet there were a few disgruntled husbands in the audience but I’m sure they were happy at the end of the day because they didn’t have to watch their team get beat.” Gregory said he often had to pinch himself regarding his newfound success, especially considering he fell into the game quite by accident. “I guess I was forced into comedy in some ways,” he explained. “After I had my third back operation my surgeon told me that I wouldn’t be able to lift more than three kilograms. “My family decided that I should try to write some short stories but, as I left school at 14, I had no idea how to create characters, so I ended up enrolling in a ten-week comedy course. “At the end of the course, the guy running it said I should give stand-up a crack and the first time I did I never felt more alive.” Catch The Old Fella when he plays at Wests, Lambton on Sunday, July 7. TE is giving you the chance to win a double pass to see The Old Fella at Wests Lambton. To enter, email your name and contact details to editorial@ newcastlepost.com.au with ‘Old Fella’ in the subject line by no later than 5pm on Tuesday, June 25. Winners will be notified by phone.

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Given that this is one band who has cut its teeth on the road, it should come as no surprise that their songwriting is heavily informed by their experiences on tour. “Most of our songs are about being on the road and all of those emotions that are wrapped up in it – being exhilarated, scared, happy and that feeling of uncertainty about

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what’s going to happen next. “It really is an amazing feeling, not just touring in a band, but travelling in general, where every experience is so new – honestly sometimes I feel like a new baby finding things for the first time.” Catch J Smith and the Kids when they launch their EP ‘The Good//Bad Times’ at the Cambridge Hotel, supporting Ash Grunwald, on Saturday, June 22.

The Newcastle Post

espite only being a band for just over a year, Newcastle outfit J Smith and the Kids have wasted no time in getting out there and preaching their subtle and emotive brand of folk-tinged indie rock to as many people as possible. “We basically started around this time last year,” frontman Jay Smith told TE. “I had already booked a tour before there was a band or even any songs – I was at Uni and not really sure what I wanted to do. “Anyway, when I started getting shows booked, I thought, ‘Well, I’d best get a band together and write some songs’ and two months later we were in Melbourne – it’s been a pretty amazing ride.” Now, after countless miles clocked up and many punters impressed, the band is on the cusp of releasing their debut EP ‘The Good//Bad Times’ which is sure to raise their stock even higher in the Aussie indie rock landscape. Smith said the EP was written over a nine-month period and headed down to the Grove Studios on the Central Coast and enlisted the services of Josh Telford (silverchair, Eskimo Joe, Katie Noonan) to produce the set. “It was just a cool place to record – right in the middle of a national forest where you could just do your thing for as long as you wanted,” he said. “Also, working with Josh was just amazing. He’d probably tell you that he didn’t really do much except show up and press a couple of buttons, but his input was invaluable. “Because there was not a lot of pre-production done going into the recording, Josh really did help produce the songs and work out certain arrangements – he’s also known for getting some really great tones and I think he’s definitely done that for us.”

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f you like your music of the dance variety, then you’d do well to get along to Newcastle’s newest venue, Argyle House (formerly Fannys) when Kim Moyes, one half of The Presets, and Beni (Bang Gang DJs, Riot in Belgium) hit town as part of their national Winter DJ tour. “It’s gonna be so much fun,” Beni told TE. “We’re each going to be doing our own stuff plus a lot of new music that we’ve been collaborating on together. “It seems as though I’ve been collaborating with Kim forever – he actually got me into producing music in the first place.” The tour will be the first national DJ run for Moyes in four years. In that time, (aside from Presets output) he’s released ‘Selected Jerks 2001-2009’ while Beni, also no slouch, release his latest album

DJs

‘House of Beni’, last year to great acclaim. Dripping with such club hits as ‘Someone Just Like You’ and ‘It’s A Bubble’, the album achieved album of the week status on Triple J. Aside from that, Beni has also remixed the likes of Tiga, Kimbra, La Roux and has played at festivals around the country including Parklife, Stereosonic, Groovin’ The Moo and the Triple J House Party tour. After the seven-date tour wraps up, Beni said there were no plans to rest on his laurels, with solid touring on the agenda for the remainder of the years. “After this run, I’ve got a couple of shows in Europe in August and then a US tour in September, which should be loads of fun.” Catch Kim and Beni when they play at Argyle House on Saturday, July 6.

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hAVING A ceLebrAtIoN or FuNDrAIser?

hen Golden Guitar winner Trevor Knight takes to the stage at Charlestown Bowling Club later this month for his show, ‘Thank God I’m A Country Boy’, a celebration of the life and music of John Denver, don’t expect it to be just another run of the mill tribute show. “I’m off to Darwin and Indonesia for a week so it will be nice to come back and work locally,” the Bulahdelah resident said. “I’m away for around nine months of the year so it’s always good to perform at home. “I will say, though, that I’m not trying to do a John Denver tribute – I knew John very well and I worked with John so this is more about exploring the meanings behind the songs and I sincerely hope that people leave the show with a lot more insight into the man and his great songs. “I often equate it to acting. An actor can read a script, learn the lines and play the role, however a good actor will take the time to learn the backstory behind the character they’re playing and, while I’m certainly not playing John Denver, for me it is all about discovering that true meaning.” Knight said he first made contact with Denver as a young up-and-coming folk

artist in the US in the late 60s. “I’m from England originally and in the early sixties I discovered the immense power of folk music and decided that I wanted to be a folk singer. So, I headed over to America – just me and my guitar, because that was where it was all happening. “Anyway, John had just got his first professional engagement with the Mitchell Trio and they were coming through Washington DC as I was and we met and formed a friendship. I lost contact with him for a few years but, back in the 80s, I was on Ray Martin’s ‘Midday Show’ and John was always a good friend of Ray’s, as was I, so I guess we just reconnected.” Despite Denver dying tragically in a plane crash in 1997, his music still resonates with people today and Knight said this was due largely to Denver’s unpretentious nature and ability to engage listeners on a deeply emotional level. “When you listen to his songs, there is so much space in there and they are also very inspirational – just listen to ‘Rocky Mountain High’. He just touches on so many emotions.” Catch Trevor Knight when he plays at Charlestown Bowling Club on Saturday, June 22.

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