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#040 Nov ‘09


arts & entertainment news monthlynewcastle|hunter|coast

KATE Planet MILLEREarth HEIDKE Awaits  The Cosmic   Timing Of   wolfmother 

 joe perry  Legend  h t i m s o r e  A  Travels Beyond 

 WHITLEY  h   A Mammot  Return 


Al DiWorld Meola Sinfonia

belle promotions proudly presents

Australia & NZ tour

March Perth 5th Sydney 7th Bellingen 9th Byron Bay 10th Sydney 12th Sydney 13th Brisbane 15th Kuranda 16th Auckland 18th Christchurch 19th Wellington 22nd Hobart 24th Melbourne 25th Adelaide 26th Canberra 27th Newcastle 29th Parramatta 30th

Tix on sale now! All dates and venues

No. 40  index  08 News   14 Wolfmother   16 Spiral Stairs 17 Karnivool Afro Moses   19 Midnight Juggernauts   20 Joe Perry 21 Frenzal Rhomb   22 CD Reviews   24 Gig Guide   26 Christoph and Marc Adam   28 MM9   30 Whitley   31 The Angels Angry Anderson   32 Badfinger  The Acacia Strain  Talking Shop   33 Kate Miller-Heidke  34 Fashion   36 Motoring – Lexus LFA   37 Heath Franklin’s Chopper  Kitchen Complaint   38 Live Reviews  40 Fat As Butter review  41 Gamer’s Corner   42 Film Reviews   43 DVD Reviews   44 Socials 

Publisher’s letter How about that rain at Fat As Butter at about 3pm. Sent everyone running for cover, but True Live and Bob Evans played on. It was also somewhat intimidating running the police cordon at the entrance. That was the biggest police presence I have seen at any festival. Also, would like to say hi to the L-plate motorcyclist who bit the tarmac on Maitland Road after FAB. After going around me on the inside at 80kph in the wet, it all came unstuck. I stopped, checked he was OK, and then suggested he be careful. Well, he didn’t quite like the advice and threatened me. On your bike son, on your bike. Much love all, KB

Fat As Butter Festival 09 PAGE 40

Editorial Phone 4929 4739

Editor Nick Milligan

Gig Guide

Sub-Editor Amanda Bevan Stephen Bisset

Sales Enquiries

IT Manager Kieran Ferguson

Sales Manager Phone 0410 295 360

Sales Kevin Bull Nick Milligan


Senior Writers Peter Douglas Hugh Milligan Mark Snelson Writers Amanda Bevan Nick Bielby Stephen Bisset Kevin Bull Andrew Chesham Noah Cross Sean Frazer Paul Frost Scott Gilbert Lucy Hearn

Jess Henderson Krissy Kavalieros Anthony Pollock Byron Struck Ryan Stuart Lee Tobin Nathaniel Try Abbey Wright Marija Zeko

Robyn Moore Mark Snelson Graphic Designers Kevin Bull Nick Milligan Cartoonist Dave Townley Jones

Photographers Johnny Au Kevin Bull David Campbell Jim Garahm Michelle Ho

Reverb Magazine is locally owned & published by The Lockup Garage. Printed by Spotpress Pty Ltd: au     r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9


Giveaways Up for grabs this month: • 5 signed DVD copies of Heath Franklin’s Chopper, Make Deadsh*ts History • 1 double pass to Festival Of The Sun, December 11 and 12 in Port Macquarie • 1 double pass to the Open Arms Festival, November 28, Coffs Harbour • 1 double pass to the Queens Wharf Brewery’s NYE Party, featuring The Living End and Children Collide. Just tell us what you want by emailing First come, first served.


With the Friday January 22 Sydney Big Day Out tickets snapped up in record time, a second Sydney BDO was announced... and also sold out. It’s only the second time in the festival’s 18year history that a second show has been staged in any city. Fans can now attend the second festival, comprising of the same bill on Saturday January 23, 2010. The popularity of the event and the line-up made it necessary to present a second BDO in Sydney. Coincidentally it will be the 100th Big Day Out since starting on January 25, 1992. The ridiculously well appointed line-up for 2010 will include Muse, The Decemberists, Powderfinger, Lily Allen, Groove Armada, Eskimo Joe, Grinspoon, The Mars Volta, Kasabian, Ladyhawke, The Horrors, Karnivool, The Temper Trap, Dizzee Rascal, Calvin Harris, Rise Against, Magic Dirt, Peaches, Mastodon, Lisa Mitchell, Bluejuice, Kisschasy, Tame Impala and Girl Talk. Head to for all information.

The Seabellies


Lily Allen

Renowned for their explosive live performances, Newcastle sextet The Seabellies announce their long awaited return to touring bringing with them friends, LA band Eulogies. 2008 climaxed for The Seabellies with a blistering set in New York’s CMJ Festival and a series of shows across the USA where they befriended [and borrowed backline from] hip Los Angelino band, Eulogies. Now back on Australian soil, The Seabellies return the favour. This will be Eulogies’ first Australian tour and lead singer/songwriter Peter Walker commented “we are overjoyed about coming over there, it’s been a wish of ours for a long long time”. This will be the first run of dates for The Seabellies since commencing work with ARIA awardwinning producer Wayne Connolly [Paul Dempsey] and they are looking forward to showcasing new material from their forth­coming album, Bye Limbo Lake. Both artists are enjoying substantial support from national broadcaster Triple J. The Seabellies with debut single ‘Orange X’, and Eulogies with ‘Two Can Play’, taken from Here Anonymous, through Dangerbird Records/Albert Productions. To celebrate reuniting these artists, punters who pre-purchase tickets will be eligible to receive a limited edition 7-inch vinyl pack and digital download, featuring music from both artists. A donation from ticket sales on this tour will be donated to the Pablove Foundation, dedicated to fighting childhood cancer with love. Catch the Orange X tour when it comes to Newcastle Leagues Club, Newcastle, on Friday November 20, 2009. Tickets on sale now through, The Rock Shop, Billy Hydes and Ramjet.


Sydney dancefloor princes Chris Stracey and Jack Glass have already built up a Bag Raiders hype storm. ‘Fun Punch’, the lead single from the Bag Raiders EP, was resolutely flogged by all those in the know and landed the duo on ‘Best of 2007’ lists and compilations galore. Their Power Rangers-inspired film clip received over 700,000 views on YouTube. Fast forward to 2008 and the release of a second EP on the Bang Gang label, Turbo Love. The giddy, synthesiser heroics of the title track saw it become one of the year’s most played songs on Triple J. Bag Raiders’ 2009 diary has been jam-packed with a record released on A-Trak and Catchdubs’ Fool’s Gold label in America and a Turbo Love Remixes release soon after. What’s more, the boys have also began work on a full-length album and have just returned from a tour of South America and the US. Catch Bag Raiders at the Beach Party on Saturday November 21, 2009, at the Bar On The Hill, Newcastle University with The Potbelleez, Frenzal Rhomb, Barrelhouse and Killaqueenz. Tickets available now from Ushops on campus, The Rock Shop, Billy Hydes, Ramjet or    

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the living end

THE LIVING END RING IN THE NEW YEAR AT THE QUEEN’S WHARF BREWERY Yep, 2010 is fast approaching and the Queen’s Wharf Brewey are giving you another good reason to stay in town for your New Year’s celebrations. They have announced that The Living End, Children Collide, Dead Letter Circus and Benjalu will ensure that you receive a massive dose of rock as 2009 comes to an end. As an added bonus for New Year revellers, anyone who purchases an early bird ticket (before Friday November 20, 2009) will go into the draw to win an exclusive rock experience. One winner and a friend will get special pre-show access to attend the sound checks for both The Living End and Children Collide and then meet both bands over pizza and drinks before the show kicks off. Once gates open, the lucky winners will enjoy VIP access for the show. A reminder though — New Year’s Eve at The Brewery is an over18s-only event, so photo ID will be required. Tickets are available from the venue, Ticketek or and are $66 plus booking fee. Gates open at 6pm on Thursday December 31, 2009. CHRIS CHENEY REVEALS HIS FAVOURITE GUITAR RIFFS With The Living End set to rock in 2010 at


If you were relieved to see Homebake announce a cracking line-up for 2009, then you’ll love their recent second announcement of acts. Lucky ticket holders to this sold-out event will also get to see Howling Bells, Red Riders, Paul Dempsey, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Yves Klein Blue, Jonathan Boulet, Parades, Gin Wigmore and The Cardinals, The Scare, Die! Die! Die!, Bridezilla and Catcall. They are added to a bill that already contains Powderfinger, Jet, Sia, Daniel Merriwether, Hilltop Hoods, Eskimo Joe, Midnight Juggernauts, Sarah Blasko, Tim Finn, Closure In Moscow, Bumblebeez, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Roland S Howard, Tumbleweed, Underground Lovers, The Middle East, Sugar Army, Funkoars, Tiki Taane [NZ], Phrase, The Aston Shuffle, and Record Producer. Homebake takes place on Saturday December 5, 2009, at The Domain, Sydney.


‘’For a moment, a bright, empty town square. And then a figure darts across, and another and another — businesspeople, roller-bladers, a cowboy, several street-sweepers, a halfdressed bride, a film crew, a line of old men, a tourist, a beauty in a mirrored dress, Abraham and Isaac, a family of refugees, a fool — more and more people, the bizarre and the humdrum, fleetingly connected by proximity alone.’’

the Queen’s Wharf Brewery, Reverb took the opportunity to ask their front man, Chris Cheney, about his all-time favourite guitar riffs. Here’s what he said. “In the right context, a great guitar riff is as important to a song as the chorus, and in some of my favourite songs it’s the riff itself that is the hook. The best ones are simple and instantly recognisable and I think you should be able to hum a great guitar riff. The intro riff, or ‘lick’ if you like, of ‘Johnny B Goode’ is the greatest rock ‘n’ roll intro ever — it’s hard to imagine the song having the same appeal without it. Thanks, Chuck!” These are the songs that Cheney listed: AC/DC — ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ The Police — ‘Message In A Bottle’ Sex Pistols — ‘Holidays In The Sun’ Chuck Berry — ‘Johnny B Goode’ The Who — ‘Baba O’Reilly’ Bruce Springsteen — ‘Born To Run’ Henry Mancini — ‘Peter Gunn’ Eddie Cochran — ‘Summertime Blues’ Jimi Hendrix — ‘Purple Haze’ The White Stripes — ‘Seven Nation Army’ White Noise is out now through Dew Process/Universal.

The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other is an extraordinary play by acclaimed European playwright Peter Handke, that will unite over 60 performers from the Tantrum company in one performance, creating over four hundred and fifty characters, all without dialogue. This spectacular performance will take place in the open-air at Wheeler Place, adjacent to the majestic Civic Theatre on November 26-28, 2009 at 8pm. Adults are $25, $18 concession (16-26 year olds), $14 for 5-15 year olds and children under 5 years are free


Let dance be your passport as you travel around the nightclubs of the world with L!vesites’ Dancing in the Streets, taking place on three Friday nights in November for free. “Each of the three nights has a different theme, venue, dance style and musical performer, so audiences will have a completely different cultural experience each time,” Programme Director, Paul Tibbles said. “We’re particularly excited to have Newcastle’s only known Latin band, Chunky Salsa & Friends, and world renowned artist Afro Moses at the events.” The outdoor events will involve free dance lessons, dance demos, live music and DJs between 6pm and 9pm. Friday November 13 kicks it all off with Salsa & Cha Cha in Wheeler Place with Chunky Salsa & Friends. On Friday 20 it is Jamaican Dancehall at the Foreshore Park with Afro Moses & The Spirit of Bob Marley. Wrapping it up on Friday 27 it is Disco Inferno at Pacific Park with Mark’s Music Machine. r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9   



While the first announcement of Peats Ridge was an incredibly patriotic selection of artists, the organisers have added an impressive headliner. Manchester’s pioneering trip hop duo Lamb, are returning to Australia to play at the festival. They’ll be joined by Fear Of Monsters, Jeff Martin [CAN], Lost Valentinos, Telepathe [USA], Mount Mocha Kilimanjaro [Japan], Ripperton Live [Switzerland], Mama Kin, Passenger [UK], The Barons of Tang, Christian Vance Live, OKA, Kid Sam, Tom Ugly, Dan Mangan [CAN], The Strides, Dizz1, Oakley [OG], Grenell [NZ], Tinpan Orange, Sacred Earth, Mic Conway’s National Junk Band, Greg Sheehan, Seekae, The Crooked Fiddle Band, Marshall and the Fro, Fergus Brown, Saritah, Deep Sea Arcade, Brian Campeau, Castanets [USA], Ernest Ellis, Jack Shit, Monkfly, Meem [DJ], The Medics, Kira Puru and the Very Geordie Malones, Chase the Sun, Darth Vegas, Emma Davis, Peret Mako, Pan Electric [UK], Sarah Humphreys, Melatonin, Abbie Cardwell, Royal Chant, Bushwalla [US], The Paper Scissors, The Levitators, Tommee, Goldie Feather, Leroy Lee, Monkey Boy: Mick Hart, Jason Lowe, Cabins, Cameras, Miso, Leena, The Sins and Seagull. They join a bill that already includes Sarah Blasko, The Panics, Leader Cheetah, Whitley, Blue King Brown, Young Heretics, Dappled Cities and Jack Ladder. For full information please head to www.


Hold on to your party hats, as this January sees the annual Boys Of Summer tour return for its fifth and most impressive year yet! With previous line-ups boasting an eclectic collection of acts such as Comeback Kid, I


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Killed The Prom Queen, Set Your Goals, Misery Signals, Evergreen Terrace and Parkway Drive, we are proud to announce that the 2010 edition will be spearheaded by Buffalo bruisers Every Time I Die [USA]! Far from being overnight sensations, Every Time I Die are now entering their twelfth year as a band. Backed by a new label — the iconic Epitaph Records — the quintet’s renewed sense of urgency has resulted in their most aggressive and musically complex outing yet, the stunning New Junk Aesthetic. Combining the tongue in cheek five-piece’s trademark riffing and lyrical wit with a hostile and destructive attitude not seen since the group’s formative years, New Junk Aesthetic is sure to top both fan’s and critic’s top 10 lists for 2009. Every Time I Die will be joined on the tour by 50 Lions, Trap Them and Mary Jane Kelly. Tickets are on sale now. It hits The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Friday January 15, 2010, and the Oasis Youth Centre, Wyong, on Saturday January 16, 2010.

The Australian Surf Movie Tour kicks off for its 28th year, and it’s taking local musician Nick Saxon with it. Curated by director Tim Bonython, the theme this year is Past, Present and Future, and will look at the highlights of Bonython’s body of work. “It had to happen — the Australian Surf Movie Festival was destined to showcase a good stack of my old ‘gold’ footage. I’ve been shooting surfing since 1978 with my first trip to Hawaii. Since then I went on to create dozens of films,” explains Bonython. From Nick Saxon’s recent trio project, Dr Robotnik, which featured in the Reverb and Bacardi Band Comp, to producing his own side dub/breaks project, Nasty Canasta, the musician just can’t stop moving. Supporting other great artists and bands like Custom Kings and Tijuana Cartel, his euphoric, unique blend of funk, classical and reggae roots can have an audience chanting for more. As he now focuses his sights on his new album and his UK tour, Nick has been specifically requested as the only artist, to tour with the Australian Surf Movie Festival. You catch this amazing film screening, along with Nick Saxon’s musical performance, at The View Factory on Sunday November 27, 2009, from 8pm. Tickets available from

With Open Arms

Following on from a massive inaugural event last year, the Open Arms Festival is back for 2009. Returning to the sunny mid-north NSW coast town of Coffs Harbour and proudly presented by Triple J, Open Arms showcases Australia’s biggest artists together with a blend of our best young bands, spread across two stages. From Rock, Indie and Hip Hop to Electronica through to

Roots artists, DJ’s and local performers – it’s all inclusive. Lineup includes Hilltop Hoods, Karnivool, Children Collide, Cassette Kids, MM9, Bertie Blackman, Regular John, Jericco, Fridget Pop, Tom Ugly, Tsuyoshi Suzuki, Andrew Till, Oka, Ebb n Flow, HeartTribe, Thad Lester, Twobble Twins and Bass Surgeons. So head North on the last weekend of November to the Coffs Harbour Showgrounds, Saturday 28.


It’s hard to go past a BYO festival. The concept is almost too good to be true. But this welcome feature makes the High&Dry festival in St Albans incredibly appealing. With a lineup that features sublime experimental jazz/ electronica outfit Entropic, Kyü, Melanie Horsnell, Decorated Generals, Meem, Dragonfly & Julez, idea idea by Master of Ribongia [M.O.R], Lanie Lane, The Barons of Tang, Combat Wombat, The Bakery, The Crooked Fiddle Band, Thundamentals, Rumpunch, The Phonies, Juke Baritone, Fuji Collective, Extended Family, Mojo Juju’s Gut Bucket Gospel, Brian Campeau, Svelt, Westernsynthetics, Deaf Hedge, Yen, Donné, MonkFly, Emma Davis, Void DJs, Foreign Dub DJs, Jack Shit and many more. Art and live performance will be provided by Sketch the Rhyme, Surgical Side Show, Two Fat Bastards, Oh Really!?, Erth, The Bambles, Lovelorn, Scavenger X, Token Imagination, and Strings Attached. Tickets to High&Dry Festival are $160 plus booking fee, and includes camping. The event takes place from November 27-29, 2009, at Camp Wollimi, St Albans [two hours northwest of Sydney]. For more information, head to

Thursday 5 November - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle With Seekae Tickets from or Moshtix outlets

‘This New Technology’ EP out now on iTunes Featuring Remixes from Nile Delta & Memory Tapes Album out 2010 on Siberia / Inertia 12   

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Two years ago, legendary Welsh progressive rock band Budgie came to Australia for the first time in their 25 plus year career. They loved the visit so much the first time that they’re coming back — and swooping Newcastle. See why the likes of Iron Maiden, Metallica and Soundgarden have covered their music. Budgie are supported by Phil Emmanual at Cardiff Panthers on Thursday November 26, 2009.


cat power

CAT POWER TO GIVE NEWCASTLE THE BLUES The enigmatic Cat Power returns to Australia this summer backed by Dirty Delta Blues; the same band that accompanied Cat Power on her sold out national tour of March 2008 and who feature the talents of Jim White [Dirty Three] and Judah Bauer [Blues Explosion].   Cat Power will perform at the Pyramid Rock Festival on Phillip Island, at Sydney’s Days Like This festival and for a series of headline appearances in holiday markets and beachside cities around the country — a first for Cat Power. Road trip, anyone? Most recently Cat Power has toured the


When a band releases an album that is named one of the year’s essentials and “absolutely spectacular post-hardcore” by Alternative Press, said band has a lot to live up to. That was 2008, and now Polar Bear Club has returned with an album that is even more groundbreaking than their last — Chasing Hamburg. Effortlessly seaming together the sounds of 90s punk and hardcore — akin to bands like Lifetime and Hot Water Music — with a refreshingly 2000s style, and their own personal twist, Polar Bear Club will no doubt be one of this years breakout bands. Back in 2005, the members of Polar Bear Club got together as a side project to their various bands with little to no intention of being a full time band. Spread out amongst states and time zones on the US east coast, the band released the EP The Redder The Better before 2008’s critically acclaimed Sometimes Things Just Disappear on Red Leader Records. Poised to be one of 2009’s greatest successes, Polar Bear Club will spend the remainder of 2009 criss-crossing the US and will start their global assault in January 2010 with their first tour of Australia. You can see them at The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Friday January 22, 2010, with support from Break Even and The Gifthorse. Tickets are available now through Moshtix.


Via the speed of the interweb and some great interviewing from our writer Stephen Bisset Reverb was the first media outlet in Australia to announce [via Facebook and Twitter] that legendary indie rockers Pavement are returning to our shores — yes, we even beat Triple J to the punch! Shameless chest-beating aside, the news of Pavement’s return is a dream come true. They’ll perform at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on Thursday March 4, 2010. They will also headline the Golden Plains Festival at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, Victoria.

USA with The Pretenders, visited South America and released Dark End of the Street, a six-track double gatefold 10-inch and   digi-pack taken from the same recording sessions as her last album, Jukebox. Following the Australian dates, Cat Power will visit Singapore for the first time followed by her second visit to Japan and the first with her band. Don’t miss your chance to see Cat Power at Newcastle Panthers on Saturday January 9, 2010. Tickets on sale now through Moshtix and the venue.


Announcing its most amazing line-up yet, the Laneway Festival is set to return to Sydney for another year. In 2010 you will get the chance to see the legendary Echo & The Bunnymen, Kurt Cobain’s muse Daniel Johnston, Black Lips, Florence and The Machine, Mumford & Sons, Radioclit, Whitley, The Xx, Sarah Blasko, Dappled Cities, Hockey, Kid Sam, Eddy Curren Suppression Ring, N.A.S.A, Wild Beasts, The Middle East and The Very Best. In 2010, Sydney’s Laneway Festival will move from its normal home near Circular Quay to the Sydney College Of Arts, Balmain Road, Rozelle, on Sunday January 31, 2010. For all info, head to


Noticing a lack of industry nights in Newcastle, Reverb is delighted to be throwing a little get together at The Red Bar, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Tuesday December 8, 2009. Entry is free, giving all the employees of the hospitality industry no excuse to not turn up and mingle. If you work in a bar, restaurant, cafe, night club — or even just serve customers for a living — come along and enjoy cheap drinks and the mischievous beats of D-Steady and Matt Saxon. It should be a nice little warm-up for Reverb’s Xmas Party on Saturday December 12, 2009. Tickets are currently close to selling out on Moshtix — don’t wait till it’s too late.


In June this year, John Butler proudly announced the new line up of the ever evolving John Butler Trio. Prominent Melbourne musician Nicky Bomba (drums and percussion) of ‘Bomba’ fame and principal drummer on ‘Sunrise Over Sea’, joined the band and bass player Byron Luiters from Sydney outfit Ray Mann Three completed the new line up. Catch them at Newcastle Panthers on Thursday January 14, 2010. Tickets available now through Moshtix or the venue. Support act is Brett Dennen.

Live music returns to the city as Pacific Park comes alive with the sweet sounds of some of the region’s finest original artists. Park Sounds is produced by Music Industry Business students currently studying at the Newcastle Campus of Hunter TAFE and is presented by AAA Projects as part of the City Council’s Summer Festival. Park Sounds supports the aspirations of the Renew Newcastle initiative to highlight cultural events and revitalise the city. A diverse and intricate fare is on offer with multi-award winning soloist Amy Vee, followed by the cabaret flavours of Great Toad and the Chameleon Circus, the rich harmonies of Central Coast five-piece Jonnday and the roots-based grooves and textures of grandmastermonk. Weather permitting, Park Sounds will run from 2-5pm, Saturday November 7 at Pacific Park in Newcastle East and is an alcohol free, all ages, family friendly event with free admission.


One of Australia’s favourite summer festivals returns with a massive line-up: The Killers, Basement Jaxx, Kid Cudi, Salt-n-Pepa, Busta Rhymes, Naughty By Nature, Killaqueenz, ZTrip, Gym Class Heroes, Plump DJs, Dave Seaman, Art Vs Science, Bass Kleph, Friendly Fires, The Gossip, Chuckie, Craze, Chase and Status Live, Sam Obernik, Slimkid3 and Armand Van Helden. It takes place on Saturday February 13, 2010 at Centennial Park Sydney. Tickets on sale now through Moshtix.


As we move towards the festive season, 1233 ABC Newcastle and L!ivesites are very excited to present Chill on the Hill, a fantastic night of music under the stars. Featuring the sounds of soul-jazz songstress Zoe K and The Money Shot Band, blues and roots collective Joe Hall and The Tree House Band, local rock outfit The Nickson Wing and DJ Maynard, this is the perfect opportunity to bring a blanket, your family and friends and your favourite Friday night picnic. Hosted by 1233 ABC Newcastle, this night of music will be made that little bit more exciting as the perfect forum to kick off Music Awards Week and announce the very first winner in this year’s Awards — 2009 Broadcasters’ Choice. Chill on the Hill is a free open air concert at Mt Carrington on Friday November 6, 6–9pm.


With Mark Cashin bunkered down in Studio 301 recording his sophomore release, we have been given a taste with new single ‘California’. On the back of his successful 2008 debut release Bed of Light, and the single ‘Black & Blue’ receiving major airplay throughout America via Error Fm & 272 Records, ‘California’ has followed suit. The single has struck a chord offshore, particularly in California once again, with strong follow-up spins on this track. The video is a piece of work as well, so hunt it down on Youtube. Next chance to Mark Cashin and the Lil Hussy’s will be at the Beach Hotel, Friday November 13, followed by Jack’s Bar and Grill, Erina, Tuesday 17.


Yarra Valley based singer/songwriter Carolyn Oates, is celebrating the official Newcastle launch of her latest single ‘Trash & Treasure’. She will play a show at the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel on Sunday November 22nd, at 6pm, with special guests Amy Vee, Michael Peter and Nick & Liesl. ‘Trash & Treasure’ is a statement about capitalism gone completely mad. “We get all passionate about separating church and state,” says Carolyn, “but no one bats an eyelid when big business muscles their way into politics. Look at the mess the world is in now, big business has gotten so greedy they have lost all sense of reality. And who pays for it all? Us, you and me.”


M.O.P., short for Mash Out Posse, are an American hardcore hip hop duo. The duo, comprised of Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame, is known for the aggressive delivery typically employed by both emcees. Although they maintain a strong underground following, they are mainly known for the song ‘Ante Up’, released on 2000’s Warriorz. The group has frequently collaborated with DJ Premier. Fame sometimes produces under the moniker Fizzy Womack, and has produced a significant amount of tracks on all M.O.P. releases since 1996’s Firing Squad, as well as work for other artists including Big Noyd, Teflon and WuTang Clan. Catch M.O.P. at The Cambridge on Sunday November 29, 2009.



Loaded has become one of the premier all-ages events in the region. This year, Sydney based screamo-metal band The Vaine, and Melbourne hardcore/metal band Missouri Breaks, will headline an event that will feature a full bill of local support acts across three rooms, including metal, hardcore, punk and rock in The Mainroom, hip hop and dance acts in The Studio and an Acoustic Chill Space. “The Loft Music Events team of volunteers have gone all out this year to pull together a line-up guaranteed to offer something for most musical tastes,” says Loft Youth Venue Activities Officer Dale Garbutt. All tickets for the show including pre-sale and door tickets will be $15. Loaded will be at The Loft Youth Venue, Friday December 11, 2009.

Kira Piru

What better place is there to see local live music other than Lizotte’s at New Lambton and Kincumber. Coming up in November on Wednesday nights – November 4, Brendan Lewis and Renny Field at Lizotte’s, Kincumber. At the New Lambton venue you find Ben Webb, Bobby Virtue, James Chatburn Band and Broadway Mile; November 11, Gilbert Whyte, The Justin Walshe Folk Machine and Rory Ellis at Kincumber; November 18, Coby Grant, Rose Carleo, Crocq and Joshua Brave at New Lambton; November 25 — Beth Robertson, Leah, Kira Piru and Grandmastermonk at New Lambton. r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9   



After a well-documented line-up change, all eyes were on Wolfmother vocalist Andrew Stockdale. What would the wild-haired rock god do next? Hatch a Cosmic Egg, of course. Nick Milligan speaks with Stockdale about the new breed of Wolfmother. Did you have a clear idea about how you wanted your second album, Cosmic Egg, to sound compared to your debut album? I definitely wanted to make sure that it had the same sort of energy as the first record. I’ve seen bands who have done well on their first record, then the second record sounds like they’re exhausted from touring for four years and are singing in a lower register — like ballads. I wanted to make sure [that this new album] didn’t get too soft (laughs).

couple of the songs I had a really ambitious perspective, where I would think, “The album needs a song like this.” For a while, with some of the songs, I was just trying to rediscover rock ‘n’ roll and fall in love with it again. After all the shows and doing in-store appearances, and sleeping on buses — all this gruelling stuff that wasn’t inspiring or romantic — sometimes I wasn’t that interested in writing a massive song. I just wanted to listen to the records I loved and forget about all of that.

Could you feel expectation from Wolfmother’s worldwide fan base as to what you were going to write next? I didn’t pay any attention to that. Maybe for a

Did you find that you needed to be away from the commitments of touring before you could continue to write effectively? I wrote ‘Pleased To Meet You’ when we were in


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Tokyo. I was just stuffing around in my hotel room and I came up with that riff. Our manager called up and said, “If you guys have got a song, they’re looking for a song for the Spiderman soundtrack.” So I sent that through to the producer, and they sent that to Sony Pictures, and they loved it and put it on the soundtrack. From that I found that if I had half a day off, I could go into my room and make something up. Even when we were last touring as Wolfmother, I would go into studios on the road. That’s the way I’m going to try and do things from now on. I like the way that Led Zeppelin would [record] ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Stairway To Heaven’ in one studio in New York, on the road. Then they’d finish off another three songs at some

house in England, and then put it all together [for an album]. Why do records have to be like, ‘We’re going to tour for three years, then we’re going to spend one year writing, then one year in a studio…’ That sounds so exhausting. How has the new group of musicians in Wolfmother impacted on the sound that you guys create? I think Dave [Atkins] has a really expressive element to his drumming. It’s very emotive and primitive. There was an element of that in Wolfmother in songs like ‘Colossal’ and ‘The Joker and The Thief’, but he’s taken that and magnified it. That would be one of the changes in the sound. As for everything else,


We d N ov 4 - Fr o nt B a r 9. 3 0 p m

Searchin Within, Candy and the Full Moons S at N ov 7 - B a c k Roo m 10 p m

Aternus Dominium, Corroted, Deathmaask, Osmium Grid Sun Nov 8 - Beer Garden 2pm


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The Coconut Trio, Jen Buxton

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Truth Ruby, The Clap, The Havelocks Fri N ov 13 - Ba c k Roo m 10 p m

The Shake-up, Athol, Kids at Risk

Sun Nov 15 - Beer Garden 2pm

Nick Saxon

Sun Nov 15 - Front bar 8pm

Funky Farmer, Shanna Watson, Jen Buxton We d N ov 18 - Fr o nt B a r 9. 3 0 p m

Skinpin (syd), Scab Duty, Genius

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Judged by You, Clean Break, The Exiled S at N ov 21 - B a c k Roo m 10 p m

End of Aeon, Lanstrom, Memorial Drive, Karma Cops

  “... I was just trying to rediscover rock      ‘n’ roll and fall in love with it again.” 

Sun Nov 22 - Beer Garden 2pm


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The Coconut Trio, Jen Buxton

We d N ov 2 5 - Fr o nt B a r 9. 3 0 p m it’s an evolution more so in songwriting and life. It’s about changing as a person and writing what’s around you. It’s not like I’ve written AC/DC’s ‘She’s Got Balls’ or something (laughs), where I’ve said, ‘Here’s a theme, here’s a riff and here’s a song.’ I feel like this record is a reflection on personal experience. I find myself playing songs like ‘Cosmic Egg’ and getting far more emotional. There’s a bit more expressiveness in it. You seem to have retained that sense of theatricality in Cosmic Egg, which was also present in your previous work. I take that as a compliment. I’d love to put way more of that into [our music]. A few people have asked me, ‘Would you ever love to do a musical?’ Part of me thinks that would be cool, but another side of me thinks I should just stick to rock ‘n’ roll and not get distracted by that. I do like the theatrical side of [music], but I also like seeing a band with just bass, drums and guitars — singing with raw power — the raw simplicity of rock ‘n’ roll. It’s refreshing, because it trims off all the fat. ‘Woman’ is just bass, guitar and drums. When that simplicity works, it’s magic. I am influenced by theatrical elements. If you go and see a musical, you can see them singing with an English accent or as a peasant or a pirate. [In rock] you can change the way you sing. You can go into character, rather than sing generic pop vocals. I like that in musicals — you can invent yourself. The term ‘Cosmic Egg’ is a yoga position — but why was that also the best name for this new album? Well, I had one other idea for a title but it was way too negative (laughs). [Cosmic Egg] didn’t take itself too seriously — it seemed kind of humourous. I like records like Magical Mystery Tour — psychedelic titles. I liked the name for that reason, but then it turns out that the other meanings of Cosmic Egg were relevant to the band. An ending and a new beginning.

Sometimes something ends and you can get absorbed by it, or you can see that something else is happening. You need to look around and realise that life’s going on and changing. You can go with that.

Sagacity, Osmiuim Grid, DeathMaask

Are there any recurring themes in the lyrics of the new album? Sometimes, but I try to avoid that. There are recurring themes, but hopefully I didn’t repeat myself too much (laughs).

Sun Nov 29 - Beer Garden 2pm

Wolfmother have played before some massive audiences — what goes through your mind when you’re performing to over 10,000 people? Sometimes you can think, ‘I hope those people at the front don’t get crushed.’ (laughs). But the best gigs are when you’re not thinking. If I’m thinking, it’s not a good sign. You need to be oblivious to everything. When you get into that state-of-mind, they’re the best live moments. Have you always been a confident front man? At our third show at Candy’s Apartment in Sydney, I remember on the third song —  ‘White Unicorn’ maybe — I thought, ‘Fuck this, I’m going to take a massive risk.’ So I did a massive swing with the guitar neck. Then I walked off the stage and thought ‘Fuck man, you made a fool of yourself. What have you done? That looked so egotistical.’ Then I watched a video tape of the gig and in the set, you see the guitar neck move about two centimetres. I realised that it doesn’t matter. If you do something extremely dramatic on the stage, it looks like nothing! You quickly realise the rules of the stage. You can do anything up there and it doesn’t matter. Cosmic Egg is out now through Modular/ Universal. Wolfmother perform at the Falls Festival in Lorne and Marion Bay from December 29-31, 2009. For all information, head to

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Slow Down Honey

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Sketching Cato, Like Alaska, Centre Section The Bad and the Ugly

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Jen Buxton, Ruby, Tim Crossey

Mondays 9pm Muso’s jam night - cheap booze, free pool Tuesday – Hamilton’s best pool comp 7.30pm Beer of the month:


Live It Up Karaoke

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Happy Hour Thurs & Sun 4-6pm $3.30 Schooners Live Entertainment In the Beer Garden every Sunday




7 Days a Week

Bistro now open til 10pm Thu-Sat



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OPEN 9.30AM-3AM DAILY EXCEPT SUN 10AM-MIDNIGHT r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9   


spiral stairs

the   real   deal With a stellar new solo album, Spiral Stairs is on another steep rise. The cofounder of legendary indie rock band Pavement chats with Stephen Bisset about The Real Feel and Pavement’s return to Australian in 2010.

I guess I’ll start with the obvious — where are you and what are you up to at the moment? Back in Seattle. I was in Melbourne and Brisbane for the last seven weeks. Getting ready to rehearse for a short West Coast US tour starting next week, and trying to get over this damn jet lag. The Real Feel is your first solo album proper. Why did it take so long to do a Spiral Stairs album? PSOI (Preston School of Industry) albums were also solo records, but I thought since it’s been so long since the last one, I would start fresh. The hiatus came because of my lack of inspiration in music. When I finally found it again, I felt like it had nothing to do with PSOI. There is a definite ‘jammy’ quality to the album, especially on songs like ‘Subiaco Shuffle’. How much of it came out of mucking about in the studio?

‘Subiaco Shuffle’ was actually written in Melbourne with my friends in the band Gersey, a couple of years ago, and it was born out of jamming. We made up some songs together for a show I played and they backed me up. When I tracked these new songs, we definitely jammed it up. What is ‘the real feel’ for the uninitiated? The real feel is what they call the ‘real tempature’ in weather terms. It also means other things, of course. The Real Feel features possibly some of the most hilariously disturbing artwork in recent memory. When was the last time you felt like that rock and roll racoon? I felt that way many times over the last few years. It’s been one crazy party — and I’m glad that’s over. I hear you’re planning a move to our shores soon. Does that mean we can expect regular Spiral Stairs/Preston School of Industry/ Pavement tours Down Under? I hope so. Pavement is coming in March. The recent announcement of the Pavement reformation sent shockwaves around the world. Back when Pavement started, did you think that you guys would have such an effect on the indie rock landscape? Had no idea. Just a band trying to play like our favourite records. The fame came much after we left the landscape. I almost got to see Pavement at the University of Newcastle way back in 1993, I think it was. Unfortunately, I was refused entry as I was underage. I even tried sneaking in, but to no avail. Who is the one band you wish you got the chance to see but never did? Probably The Butthole Surfers. I went to the show, took the acid, but the cops shut the place down before they played. How did the reunion come about? Many, many phone calls and just a good time in all our lives to do it. What are you looking forward to most about getting back onstage with Pavement? Laughing again. If there’s one thing you could say you’ve learnt from playing rock and roll, what would it be? Sonic Youth. They invited us to play in the early days and it’s been one hell of a lesson. Any Australian bands float your boat on your recent antipodean sojourn? I like Tic Toc Tokyo. Tall Buildings. The Moodists, and Died Pretty. If you could choose five albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what would they be? Then Play On by Fleetwood Mac, Compilation by The Clean, Desire by Bob Dylan, Los Angeles by X, and Ocean Rain by Echo and The Bunnymen. What’s one question you’ve always wanted to answer in an interview that no one has ever asked you? Why do you call yourself Spiral Stairs? The Real Feel is out now through Remote Control Records. Pavement play the Enmore Theatre, Sydney, March 4 2010.


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karnivool  —  afro moses


With a fierce live reputation and their latest album, Sound Awake, enjoying critical and commercial success, Karnivool have staked a claim as Australia’s premier hard-rock act. Prior to embarking on a whirlwind US and UK tour, bass player Jon Stockman speaks to Paul Frost. I see that Ian Kenny, your lead singer, finishes his Birds of Tokyo tour just three days before you guys head around the country again — will you be tempted to start a show with a Birds of Tokyo song just to mess with Ian’s head? Let’s just say that he has a heavy reliance on his tour diary to know which band he is singing in front of! Your most recent album, Sound Awake, was described by the band as a real “slow burner that you will grow to love”, and then it debuted at #2 on the ARIA charts. Was that a surprise? We were wondering how it was going to go, but over the previous four years we had built up a solid foundation of core fans and we figured they would go out and buy it. There was also a lot of positive internet reaction from our MySpace site — mainly from people asking when the hell it was going to be finished! We all feel that it just needed to happen that way for the record. It was exciting too — so much of the stuff was so long and epic, and I think that was the reason it took so long to finish. How has your live show evolved since you first formed in the late 90s? We’ve always had this philosophy that if we give everyone a great show visually, then

they’re going to want to come back for more. We started doing samples in live shows, and that added a lot more atmosphere behind the music. It gave us the opportunity to replicate more of the sounds from the CDs, but with more of an intensity that befits a live performance. Describe that feeling of being on stage performing in front of a packed club. The smaller the venue, the more intense it feels for the band. It is more personal — it is harder to play in front of 40 people in a small club than 10,000 at the Big Day Out, because there is so much anonymity when you can’t see the faces in the crowd. I remember the first time we sold out a show at the Annandale in Sydney, there was so much energy and it felt like we’d made real headway there. It’s such a massive rush and you throw yourself around so much more — it’s a real interaction between the crowd and the band. The recent documentary Something in the Water looked at the strength of the Perth music scene — how do you explain the strength of talent to come from the area? One thing I have noticed in our experience is that the Perth music scene has always been a really supportive community. We found it hard when we were finding our way in Melbourne. We were getting a lot of hostility

photo © kane hibberd

from a lot of the bands because it’s just so competitive down there. It’s also the drive of people — it’s a lot harder for bands from Perth to get national exposure because of the fact that they have to travel so far to visit the eastern states. It can be very expensive for very little return.

released that we would never take four years to do the next one! There were a lot of times along the way when I’ve tried to see how we can make things quicker and focus those ideas on the next album, so some of that should pay off. Hopefully it won’t be another four years, but we’re not promising anything!

There was a four year gap between your last two albums — can we expect a similar time frame before album number three? The first album [Themata] was four years after our first EP [Persona] and we said when it was

Karnivool hit The Bar On The Hill at Newcastle University on Sunday November 22, 2009, and then play next year’s Big Day Out tour which hits Sydney on January 22 and 23, 2010. Sound Awake is out now through Sony Music.

I would be one of the pioneers supporting this. It’s a good thing. I open my mind to everything, but I’m not attached to anything. To me, technology is improving life; you cannot run away from that fact. And what I know is, when life changes for the better, you have the choice to change for the better too.

Spiritual Guidance Having travelled the globe performing the traditional music of his homeland, Ghana, AFRO MOSES has found Newcastle welcoming, and Australia fruitful. KEVIN BULL caught up with Moses to discuss world music, new technologies and James Brown. Having found success in your native Ghana and Europe, Newcastle appears to be your Australian home base. What drew you to Newcastle? I followed my heart. A God-sent woman who really supported my music, my life and my everything was based in Newcastle. Newcastle is my third home. I’m still classified as an International Musician, as I still travel around the world. Being so recognised in Ghana, how does it feel to walk around Newcastle without the attention? The most important thing in my life is caring about how I feel. I don’t care what people

think about me. Of course I enjoy the celebrity status in Ghana, and it’s a good thing. Attention is good for everyone, but the main point is to stay focused on how you feel about yourself. A song on my new CD says the words “I love myself”, and some people here don’t understand why I’m singing those words. This world is a journey, and when you reach where we are supposed to go you will know. The spirituality in my music, is not forcing anyone, unless the person is ready to be connected.

The nickname “The African James Brown” has been given to you. What’s your reaction to this? It was a good inspiration and an honour, as James Brown has been an inspiration to the whole world, like Michael Jackson. But I am still me, and my name is Afro Moses. You have held true to your African musical roots. What reaction do you get from Australian audiences when they are presented with something so authentic?

The Australian audiences have reacted very well; they love the rhythm and the messages. The good thing is, people cannot stand still when they hear my music. Even if they don’t know how to dance, they tap their foot or shake their head. I get a lot of people coming up to me telling me good things about my music after the shows.

Of all the traditional instruments that you incorporate into your performance, what would be your favourite? Every instrument has different qualities, so I don’t really have a favourite. I stand as ‘God’ or ‘the universe’ — whatever you believe in, the name is not important. It’s about having faith in something. You are God, I am God, we are all God. God doesn’t differentiate between black or white, tall or short, big or small. I love all my instruments in the same way. What are your thoughts on incorporating new technologies and techniques within traditional African music?

You were invited to perform at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Can you tell me about this experience? It was really amazing to play at Darling Harbour in front of about 20, 000 people from different parts of the world, celebrating their lives. To me, music and sport brings worlds together. Gone are the days where women stay home, children go to school and men go to work: Today we have some women driving taxis, trains and aeroplanes. Isn’t it beautiful and wonderful? What white man can do, black man can do. What men can do, sometimes women can do it better! So that’s why I have my new song, ‘Where Is My Respect’. I’m waiting for a time when human beings are going to use their mind, not what they know. Imagination is sometimes more important than knowledge. And if we can learn to listen to our feelings, we can change those thoughts that we hold at the moment to good thoughts. We can do anything and the world would be a happier place, just like I saw, that day at the Olympic Games. Catch Afro Moses at the Bitter & Twisted Festival at Maitland Gaol on November 7-8, Livesites’ Dancing In The Streets on November 20, Lizotte’s New Lambton on November 27, and The Grand Hotel Maitland on November 28, 2009. r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9   


midnight juggernauts

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT After the resounding success of their debut record Dystopia, Midnight Juggernauts have been quietly tinkering away on its successor. To discuss their new album and tour, Anthony Pollock speaks with guitarist Andrew Szekeres. Having just viewed the video of your single ‘This New Technology’, would you say that it marks a progression from your earlier album, Dystopia? Yeah, I would say that with the three of us, it’s an ongoing process. As we gain experience playing, our music will just naturally evolve. It would appear that there are many influences at work, from psychedelic 70s rock to progressive to even New Wave. Where do you see the influences coming from? It starts for us from the early 70s with the early prog-rock that started around that time, as well as some dance, lots of rich-layered music and even, for example, John Carpenter and his movie scores. What I enjoy with Carpenter’s work, like Halloween and The Thing, is his ability to evoke and reinforce what’s being portrayed on screen, whether it be anxiety, excitement or just plain fear. I think most bands look to get a certain response from their fans. With the three of us we look more to achieve writing the type of music that we would want to hear, especially going back to our influences and including the proggy elements — lots of synth and bass mixed with rock. We’re certainly

concentrating on what sounds good to us, and what works for each individual song musically. How would you say that you guys approach your songwriting? Is it planned out ahead of time or more just an evolutionary process that comes from jam sessions? Yeah it does seem a bit like [an evolution] at times. I would have to say that we are definitely one of those bands that loves to grab our instruments in a rehearsal studio, and just jam to have a bit of a feel, because to be quite honest, that’s where a lot of songs tend to feel a lot more organic. At the same time, with our new material a lot of planning was also thrown into the fold. It helps to give us a direction of where we’re going. So with the upcoming tour and summer festivals, Midnight Juggernauts will be busy until the New Year. What is in store for the Midnight Juggernauts into 2010? That’s it. Well, there’s the promoting of the new album and touring overseas. That will definitely keep us busy for a fair while and we’ll just take things as they come after then. Midnight Juggernauts perform at The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle on Thursday November 5, 2009. This New Technology is out soon. r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9   


joe perry

hings changing    “…w e can see t he r ecor d  t n e e s e v a h d n  a u nd us.”  mble aro u r c y r  indust

FIRSTCLASSTRAVEL There’s been some uncertainty about the current state of Aerosmith — where are things at? We had some dates that [Aerosmith] had committed to about a year ago, so we’re going to fulfill that obligation, then we’re going to be officially off the road and out of the picture for a while — which leaves me plenty of room to spread out. Well you’ve just released your new solo record, Have Guitar, Will Travel. Did you have clear ideas about how you wanted it to compare to previous solo albums? Yes, definitely. The last one turned out to be a real solo album. I had the songs written in a style where I could do the singing (and play most of the parts). Then we polished it off and finally got it to a level where it could be an album. I just didn’t see any reason to bring in a bunch of people to reproduce it. On this record, I really planned to play with a whole band and play the songs live, as opposed to layering the songs. I wanted to get that live energy on there. Aerosmith’s 1986 collaboration with Run DMC on ‘Walk This Way’, was groundbreaking for its time. Aerosmith were also the very first band to have their own Guitar Hero game. Have you always been very conscious of remaining relevant to new generations or has it happened by chance? 20   

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As the guitarist and principal songwriter in Aerosmith, Joe Perry is an undisputable member of rock’s royal family. Whilst fulfilling his committments with his 150 million album selling group, Perry took a moment to speak with Nick Milligan about his new solo record, Have Guitar, Will Travel. Probably half and half. We really keep our ear to the ground, because we can see things changing and have seen the record industry crumble around us. At the same time, every day, we see fans around us that want to hear rock ‘n’ roll. With a lot of new bands coming out all the time, we think, ‘How are people going to hear our music?’ The record companies put their head in the sand and assumed the whole internet thing was going to go away, and it didn’t. Having seen so many changes over the years, not just in technology, but in musical styles, you realise that you have to stay ahead or you’ll get behind. With the Guitar Hero game, it’s an awesome way to get music out there. There’s a whole generation of fans out there that are familiar with Aerosmith songs that even I’ve forgotten — album cuts and songs we never played live. I’ve got eight year-old kids coming up to me asking about this song and that song, and I have to scratch my head to remember what album they’re on. At 2009’s Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony, you played on stage alongside

not only Metallica and Flea, but legends like Jimmy Page, Ronnie Wood and Jeff Beck. What goes through your head when you’re in a situation like that? You switch back and forth between being a fan and realising you’re not in a dream (laughs). I know Jimmy the best — I’ve known him for a long time — but I know Jeff pretty well, too. I’ve gotten over the initial shock of sitting down and having dinner at the same table as them. But once in a while it will hit me and I realise if I hadn’t heard these guys, I probably wouldn’t have picked up a guitar. Have the songs on your new album been around for a while, or did you write music specifically for this record? Well, ‘Do You Wonder’ has been around for a good ten years. I wrote it with Marti Fredrickson and it just didn’t have any lyrics on it. I brought it to [Aerosmith] maybe three times and it didn’t capture anybody’s ear. When we started working with Brendan O’Brien (on the new Aerosmith album), we thought it would be a good song to work on. But when the record got shut down, I took it

and put it on my record. One day I woke up and my wife (Billie) had written a whole set of lyrics for it. We gave it to Hagen (vocalist) to sing and now it’s going to be a hit for me. Do you find there’s ideas that you can explore on your solo albums that you can’t with Aerosmith? Definitely. If you listen to the riffs, there’s no way they’d sound the same if Aerosmith performed them. Everybody interprates music differently. There’s a different kind of energy on [Have Guitar, Will Travel]. That’s why I do it — otherwise, what’s the point? I’ve heard that you’ve got a collection of around 600 guitars — is that right? Yeah — I’m actually in the process of thinning them out. It’s ridiculous. There’s too many and I’ll never play them. They should be in somebody’s hands. I have a small batch that are certainly irreplacable, mostly because I played them on certain tours and in certain eras. There are guitars I will always keep, but I’ve got three and four of the same guitar. Most have been given to me. If I can make more guitars available to potential players, then so much the better. Have Guitar, Will Travel is out now through Stomp.

frenzal rhomb

Enemies Of Experimentation On the eve of their triumphant return to Newcastle, Stephen Bisset caught up with Frenzal Rhomb frontman Jason Whalley for an eclectic conversation about baby showers, Kyle Sandilands and selling out. In typical rock star fashion, Frenzal Rhomb front man and punk-rock raconteur Jason Whalley blew this interview off just minutes before it was supposed to take place. Although at least he had a good excuse. “Yeah, sorry about yesterday,” says a conciliatory and slightly hung over Whalley, when I finally caught up with him. “You see, my partner and I are about to have our first child and we ended up having a bit of an impromptu baby shower with lots of men, drinking and card games. Apparently traditional baby showers are quite boring, so we kind of mixed it up a little.” Apart from preparing for the joys of fatherhood, and a recent 12 month overseas sojourn, Whalley is set to hit the road again with Frenzal Rhomb on a tour that will bring them to this year’s Uni Beach Party. Whalley says a recent tour with old friends Nancy Vandal left him a little surprised at the amount of love still left in the room for the seminal Aussie poppunkers. “It was beyond all expectations,” he explains. “Admittedly our expectations were pretty low, but it was really amazing. I just couldn’t believe there were still a bunch of toothless people bashing their heads in to our music. It was nice.” But don’t go getting any notions of the band hitting the road again out of some altruistic vision of ‘giving the people what they want’. Whalley wholeheartedly agrees with the suggestion that this current tour is a John Farnham- esque grab for cash. “You’ve definitely

hit the nail on the head with that one,” he laughs. “In fact we’re currently planning to do a national tour with John Farnham at some point in the future.” For a band that has been around for as long as Frenzal Rhomb [seventeen years and counting] and experienced so many line-up changes [Whalley is the only original member], you would think that the band would have evolved since the heady days of wowing punters in the sweaty smoke-filled back room of the Hunter on Hunter. Not so, according to Whalley. “Well we’ve written about 12 more songs since then,” he confesses. “We’ve basically been playing the same set for years.   I guess you could say that Frenzal Rhomb are the enemy of experimentation.” Even so, Whalley says the band is planning to get back in the studio in the near future, but considering the band is now spread out around the country, the logistics can be a problem. “Yeah we’re definitely going to record again soon,” he say,s enthusiastically. “We just need to re-arrange all of the chords from our last album and we’ll be right. We get together about once a month and because Gordy [Foreman, drums] lives in Melbourne and Tom [Crease, bass] lives in Adelaide, it’s not always the easiest thing to do, but we’re definitely working on putting something out pretty soon. We’re all really keen to hunker down and try to write and record some songs that aren’t shit and play a few festivals under the

extremely broad banner of entertainment.” Given Whalley’s much publicised stouch with Kyle Sandilands, it was inevitable that the conversation would turn to the shock jock’s recent air blunders and sacking from Australian Idol. He says he was more surprised at the reaction of the media than that of his one-time nemesis. “There’s that German term ‘schadenfreude’ and I think that kind of applies here,” he says. “I mean, he calls me all the time when he needs advice on real estate tips, but sadly I don’t think I can help him now. The sad thing is that it’s more of a reflection on the nation than Sandilands. I mean, he’s not going anywhere because his ratings are through the roof. It feels a bit weird defending him but watching the media crucify him was just sickening — I mean, when did they earn the right

to be so high and mighty?” Ask Whalley what has kept punters interested in his band for so long however, and he is at a loss for an answer — as is their manager, so it seems. “Yeah, I’ve got no idea what it is,” he says. “Actually, our manager rang me while we were on tour with Nancy Vandal and asked me, ‘why do people still come to your shows?’ Which is nice coming from your manager, but I’m really not sure either. I guess we’re just really entertaining to toothless seventeen year olds from the end of the train line.” Frenzal Rhomb headline Newcastle University’s Beach Party on Saturday November 21, 2009 at The Bar On The Hill. Tickets available from

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album reviews Feature albums



The Uprising Warner Music 4.5/5

Crash Love Interscope Records 4.5/5

Muse’s fifth album is a curious beast — it could best be described as a sort of space opera, comprising a dense miasma of rock and classical influences. It opens with a defiant call to rebellion, ‘Uprising’, that is uncannily reminiscent of Radiohead [although the generic fight-the-power message is a dead horse that no longer needs flogging]. One of the later tracks, ‘United States of Eurasia’, is a sublime, tongue-in-cheek homage to Queen that segues into a performance of Chopin’s ‘Nocturne in Eb Major’, curiously titled ‘Collateral Damage’. The album’s finest achievement however, is its three-part ‘Exogenesis: Symphony’, a vast and ambitious orchestral/electronic work whose thematic and structural integrity stands independent of every track that has gone before. For fans of: Radiohead, Queen.  ~Hugh Milligan

‘Convoluted’, ‘diverse’ and ‘focussed’ are a few words that spring to mind upon initially hearing AFI’s eighth studio album, Crash Love. As with Sing The Sorrow (2003) and Decemberunderground (2006), repeated listening enhances each song individually, as exciting inclusions are further realised. Front man Davey Havok’s vocal delivery is refined and somewhat withheld, yet still unmistakably distinguished. This minor amendment allows Havok’s contribution to be more universally palatable than some of the shrieked literature he has previously bestowed. The bouncy guitar riff employed for ‘End Transmission’ is contrasted with a signature dark vocal undertone. This is evident in the desolate lyrics, “I confessed to you I saw a body, you said you’d seen a few.” Admittedly this isn’t AFI at their imposing best. Though after an 18 year reign, releasing Crash Love will ensure this ever evolving foursome another few years in existence. For fans of: The Cure, Joy Division, Misfits. ~Nathaniel Try

Spiral Stairs The Real Feel Remote Control 4/5

While indie twerps and rock nerds everywhere are soiling their slacks over the upcoming Pavement reunion, one of the architects of their lo-fi slacker sound Spiral Stairs (Scott Kannberg to his mum) has jut released his first solo album proper with The Reel Feel — and it’s a corker. There is a kind of ragged desperation that comes with these ten country and 70’s rock tinged numbers, which is no surprise considering this is the first thing that Stairs has recorded since the split from his wife. Recorded in both Melbourne and Seattle, Spiral Stairs’ recording has retained the services of his postPavement band Preston School of Industry, along with John Auer (The Posies, Big Star) and Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) and I got a sense these guys had a lot of fun making this record, despite it’s sometimes dark and brooding lyrical content. Songs like ‘Subiaco Shuffle’ sound like they were written on the spot (which, when you have the aforementioned in a room together, is definitely not a bad thing). Fans of Spiral Stairs’ angular, dextrous playing are in for a treat especially on the expansive and meandering ‘Blood Money’ — an eight minute country-rock opus and the hook-laden rambler ‘Maltese T’. While the Pavement reunion might be the main course, The Real Feel is at the very least quite a filling entrée.   For fans of: Nick Cave, Neil Young, Pavement, Beasts Of Bourbon. ~Stephen Bisset


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classic songs like ‘Where’s Your Head At’ have been replaced with a sonic serenity. This album could definitely be the soundtrack to your Summer. For fans of: Mattafix, Groove Armada, Santigold, Gnarls Barkley.  ~Nick Milligan

The Black Crowes Before The Frost… Until The Freeze SILVER ARROW 4.5/5

Recorded over five nights in front of a live audience in the Woodstock barn-studio of Levon Helm, former drummer and vocalist for The Band, this latest offering from The Black Crowes is bursting with charisma. This album is the best of both worlds in terms of getting studio sound and live energy. ‘Good Morning Captain’ takes its hat off to the quintessential southern American blues-rock sound made famous by likes of Creedence and The Band. The bare and acoustic final track, ‘The Last Place That Love Lived’, is vintage Robinson and is perfect for the generation of cigarettelighter-wavers to raise an arm in the air. For fans of Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Black Keys, The Band.  ~Nick Bielby

Alice In Chains


Black Gives Way to Blue Virgin Records 3/5

Head Of The Hawk Dew Process / Universal Music 4.5/5

Black Gives Way to Blue is Alice in Chains’ first studio album in 14 years. When I first started listening to the album I thought, “Layne Staley lives on”. Replacement front man William Duvall, does a great job of recreating Staley’s vocals. The opening track, ‘All Secrets Known’ has the slow, lumbering cadence of a tired army. It’s full of AIC’s signature gloom sound, but it sings of hope and settling the past. The album really gains focus and intensity by the third track, ‘Last Of My Kind’, which for me is the gem of the album. Oddly enough, Elton John provides the piano work for the final, title-track, a heartfelt final goodbye to Staley. BGWTB is a necessary step in the band’s healing process. I’m interested to see where they go from here.  ~Andrew Chesham

Featuring possibly one of the catchiest songs in recent memory, not to mention video, in ‘Broken Leg’, Head of the Hawk by Sydneysiders Bluejuice could well be in the running for Aussie album of the year. The aforementioned ‘Broken Leg’ bristles with 80s inspired (but in a good way) guitar and synths, coupled with a dual vocal attack that sends the fun factor through the roof. The album’s opener ‘Head of the Hawk’ is another standout that goes down the 80s synth route but with more than a hint of XTC intelligence thrown in for good measure. The genre-hopping Bluejuice explore a bit of ska and dancehall on ‘Miss Johnston’ and ‘Facelift’, but it’s the bands’ obvious love for funk and rock that comes to the fore. ‘Work’ rolls along with lazy funkiness that Jamiroquai would be jealous of. With their influences on their sleeves and their tongues firmly in their cheeks, Bluejuice have created one hell of a fun record. They may’ve pricked up a few ears with their debut Problems, but Bluejuice will definitely turn more than a few heads with Head of the Hawk. Mostly killer, very little filler.  ~Stephen Bisset

Basement Jaxx Scars Remote Control/XL 3.5/5

Opening with feel-good club anthem ‘Raindrops’, with vocals from Sam Sparro, Basement Jaxx deliver a jubilant and diverse fifth studio album. It’s loaded with guest vocalists — Yoko Ono, Santigold, Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, Yo Majesty, Amp Fiddler, Lightspeed Champion and Kelis (to name only a few). Scars is like a trip around the universe, a journey of shifting soundscapes and cosmic holiday destinations. ‘A Possibility’ feels like soul number that’s been recorded on a Hawaiian beach and then engineered on the fringes of the Milky Way. Amp Fiddler’s smooth vocals are sublime. Eli Reed’s crooning delivery on the toe-tapping ‘She’s No Good’, is Basement Jaxx’s take on a big band swing. Overall, England’s premier electronic duo have created a lush collection of tracks, that often feel tribal and primitive, as if they’ve taken microphones into a crazy electro jungle. The aggressive quality of

bright yellow Clean Sony 2.5/5

Bright Yellow is one of a handful of young bands currently playing at early-nineties revival. Whereas a large portion of their cohort is towing the indie or grunge line (Bearhug, Violent Soho), Bright Yellow has leanings toward hard rock. One gets the feeling Stone Temple Pilot’s Purple is seminal in their musical development. Whether that is true or not, Clean sounds a lot like an MTVlive session from the same era. It’s sonically reedy, loose in the hands of its players, and sometimes sluggish. There is a ferocity and dynamism to Chris Surgey’s vocals that pulls

Clean’s five tracks from below par to promising, but it is doubtful whether this record will resonate for anyone other than existing fans.  ~Lucy Hearn

Defamer Chasm Norma Evangelium Diaboli Music 4/5

Harkening back to the “glory” days of feral Australian metal, Brisbane’s Defamer have offered up their debut release, the aptly titled Chasm. A detuned and dark slab of organic brutality, Chasm seamlessly bridges the gap between early death metal and impeccable modern influences, to produce a suffocating concoction of dread inducing blackened death. Like early Incantation, this album nauseates, thrills and rages in a violent frenzy of post Floridian torment with thick and solid production, ensuring clarity of sound that never gets bogged down, while songs develop constantly interesting paths. Easily one of the hardest working heavy bands in Australia, with supports ranging from Children of Bodom to Cannibal Corpse, as well as numerous interstate ventures, expect even greater things from these guys in the future. For fans of: Incantation, Immolation, Zyklon, Misery and Cannibal Corpse.  ~Byron Struck

David Gray Draw The Line Polydor/Universal Music 3.5/5

David Gray is the mainstream’s answer to Damien Rice. This Brit folk legend rarely fails to deliver a collection of teary, yet strangely uplifting ballads, and to much critical acclaim. In his latest release however, Gray ditches his formulaic approach in search of a more honest sound. Draw the Line is mature and melodic. It contains all the elements of a “good” album, including strong, smoky vocals (‘Nemesis’), reflective lyrics (‘Breathe’) and, of course, a folksy female touch (‘Full Stream’ and ‘Kathleen’). But Draw the Line all feels a little too polished. It lacks the mainstream appeal of 2000’s White Ladder and 2005’s Life in Slow Motion, and fails to reach new alternative heights. I couldn’t help but crave something a little more raw and risqué from Gray.  ~Andrew Chesham

Angie Hart Eat My Shadow Universal Music 4/5

Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Angie Hart is perhaps best known for her seven year role as front woman for pop outfit Frente! — Eat My Shadow is her second solo album. It’s a collection of quiet and confessional outpourings on love, heartbreak and self-acceptance, although it avoids a minefield of clichés therein thanks to Hart’s intelligent lyrics and understated folk lyricism. There’s a wry humour to love songs like ‘Simple’ (that romanticises the one-night stand) and ‘Funny Guy’ (that plays upon the story of Cyrano de Bergerac), and the album maintains a sense of emotional and musical intimacy beneath Hart’s breathy vocals. There’s something beautifully honest about this album. For Fans Of: Holly Throsby, Tess Henderson  ~Hugh Milligan

album reviews Album of the Month

Living Colour Chair in the Doorway Stomp 3.5/5

Living Colour were one of the true pioneers of the alt-metal scene of the late 80s/early 90s — their feverish mix of arty noise and funk attitude winning them a legion of loyal fans. Their latest album Chair In The Doorway comes six years after their last — but you needn’t fear that the band has mellowed. One listen to the opening track ‘Burning Bridges’ confirms this, a sonically challenging burst of energy that serves as a reminder that the strong social awareness of lyricist Corey Glover has not diminished. The diverse soundscapes found on this album also hark back to their glory days — from the hardcore riffing of ‘Out Of My Mind’ to the “almost pop” humour of final track ‘Asshole’ — while the blues-funk musings of ‘Bless Those (Little Annie’s Prayer)’ highlight the band’s formidable virtuosity as a unit.  ~Paul Frost

Megadeth Endgame Roadrunner 3.5/5

If you’ve got some extra time for headbanging and fistpounding, have a listen to Dave Mustaine and crew’s latest release, Endgame. 25 years on and Megadeth is still churning out blazing, fast solos, heavy rhythms, and testosterone fuelled lyrics. Tracks like ‘This Day We Fight’, ‘1’320’, and ‘Head Crusher’ will definitely give you a sore neck. Endgame doesn’t create anything new or different, but it doesn’t have to. It works within its strength, great guitar and strong rhythm. Sure it’s got all the metal clichés in there but it’s done well. The only thing I can’t forgive them for is the ending of the titletrack — it ends with a fade out. To me that’s the laziest way to end a song. They won’t do that in concert, so why do it on the album? I wonder how I could end this review with a fade out...  ~Andrew Chesham

The Mess hall For the Birds Ivy league 4/5

The Mess Hall’s new venture, For The Birds, is another step in the evolution that these two lads hinted at on their previous award winning album, Devil’s Elbow. This is a much less aggressive sounding album than their earlier work and ventures into territory that sees experimentation with sounds, song structure and instrumentation. The result is intriguing. ‘Bell’, with its quirky keyboard sound, jazz style drum breakdown and vocal loop build-up, would not sound out of place in the world of the Mighty Boosh. The haunting lullaby-like lament of ‘Swing Low’ is disturbingly pretty and begs another listen.  ~Nick Bielby

MUMFORD AND SONS Sigh No More Due process 4/5

You’d be forgiven for thinking Mumford & Sons descend from the deep southern regions of the United States — what, with their bluegrass banjo, double bass and acoustic

guitars combined with Mike Mumford’s charming, yet rough and rustic voice. The four-piece formed less than two years ago, in the midst of London’s flourishing indie/nu folk scene. Their debut album Sigh No More is a stunningly beautiful creation that passionately explores the themes of loneliness and insincere love. The signs of heartbreak are obvious throughout the track ‘White Blank Page’, as Mumford & Sons switch savagely from a soft, sincere and melancholic moment to a lashing of bold, angry and darker undertones. ‘Little Lion Man’, the catchy radio-friendly first single creates an energetic, upbeat atmosphere reminiscent of a country hoe-down; while the epic ‘Thistle and Weeds’ will leave you wanting more. Sigh No More is a brilliant debut that is full of harmonious, earthy folk sounds and thunderous climaxes that make you want to put down the Gibson Les Paul, and pick up a banjo and strum ‘til your heart’s content. For fans of: Fleet Foxes, Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale.  ~Ryan Stuart

The Nextmen Join The Dots Universal Music 4/5

With a tripped out soundscape of orchestral samples, The Nextmen’s fourth record sees them officially shift from the critical acclaim and general obscurity of Britain’s underground hip hop production scene and into a mainstream consciousness. And rightly so. The title track is a culture clash of the aural realm — melodic strings, a soul singer sample, electronic basslines and warm hip hop beats. It’s a nod to the masters like Tricky and Massive Attack, jubilant and brooding all at once. On ‘Round Of Applause’, The Nextmen (Dom Search and Brad Baloo) channel laid-back 90s hip hop in the vein of De La Soul — there’s even a touch of Gorillaz. Dub reggae beats are used to killer effect on tracks like ‘Whisper Up’ and ‘Love For Someone’. Then there’s the darker atmosphere of ‘The Lion’s Den’, which features Ms Dynamite. Join The Dots is certainly an eclectic mixtape of tunes, but there is a common thread between all of these ‘dots’ — well crafted songwriting that can heal the soul. The final track, ‘Burn’, features the icy vocals of UK folk singer Lindsay West and it captures the feeling of longing for a departed lover. Magic. For fans of: Groove Armada, The Cat Empire, Moby, Massive Attack.  ~Noah Cross

Philadelphia Grand Jury Hope Is For Hopers Boundary Sounds/ Shock 3/5

Striving for diversity is always an ambitious process. The key to success seems to be a band’s ability to have a unique and definable sound no matter what style they choose. Sydney three-piece Philadelphia Grand Jury, clearly don’t want to be pigeon-holed, as Hope Is For Hopers shifts gears at every turn. At their core is a penchant for power pop, which they often dress as garage rock. For the most part it’s incredibly catchy and off-kilter enough to keep it interesting. This debut album has

Whitley Go Forth, Find Mammoth Dew Process/ Universal Music

4.5/5 Responding to the stark and stirring nuances of his ‘indiefolk’ debut, Lawrence Greenwood, aka Whitley, returns with a lush and layered sophormore album. The heavy silences that were scattered beneath his husky voice on The Submarine, now echo and throb with dreamy soundscapes, that pulse and shift like memories transforming with time. Songs like the resilient ‘Bright White Lights’ are blurred into instrumental tracks, like the buzzing ‘Warm Winter Sky’. The album’s biggest triumph is to maintain an immediate emotional impact, through intimate vocal delivery, and still include ambitious production. ‘I’ blooms with the hushed, spacey folk of esteemed artists like Beck or Elliott Smith, rolling forward in waves of angelic backing harmonies and symphonic ambience. ‘Poison In Our Pockets’, a love song written from the point of view of Eva Braun, builds into a joyous flourish (despite its dark subject matter) and is perhaps Whitley’s finest moment. ‘Killer’ is a duet with Melbourne vocalist Hazel Brown, who sings in the band Otouto, and playfully addresses man’s lustful urges. Whitley’s melodies seem to effortlessly roll forward in a half-awake state, achieving a timeless depth that is so rare from a songwriter of Greenwood’s relatively young age. This record confirms that Whitley’s Submarine was simply a periscope above the water’s surface... and beneath it was something Mammoth. For fans of: Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Elbow, Sarah Blasko, The Panics.  ~Nick Milligan

very sparse production — clearly a deliberate attempt to keep the songs sounding retro, live and slightly minimalist — but it also means that some of the tracks don’t deliver with the impact that they should. There’s a Hives-esque aggression on opener ‘Ready To Roll’ and ‘Foot In My Mouth’, but rock fans will want a touch more distortion — something to really sink your teeth into. However, the ‘Phily Jays’’ charm will work on many. Look no further than the 60s greaser swagger of ‘Going To The Casino’, which makes you want to throw on a pair of skinny jeans and a leather bomber jacket. Overall, Hope Is For Hopers is an exercise in writing short, tight pop songs and, as a result, it bounds along at a cracking pace. For fans of: Weezer, OK Go, Ben Kweller, The Hives. ~Noah Cross

Short Stack Stack Is The New Black Universal Music 0/5

There is an old saying that goes something like ‘if you can’t say anything nice about someone, make sure they’re out of the room’. Safe in the knowledge that Sean Diviney and co are out of earshot, I will say

that Short Stack are the personification of everything that is wrong with popular music, as evidenced on this atrocious album Stack Is The New Black. You only really need to listen to half of the first song, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ — a cacophonic calamity of guitars, drum loops and keyboards, helmed by the almost tone deaf vocals of the aforementioned Diviney [who also is in possession of one of the most affected ‘try-hard’ singing voices in the history of popular music] — to get the full Short Stack experience. It doesn’t get any better. Short Stack have marketed themselves, quite adeptly, as ‘pop-punk’, yet they are about as punk as Kevin Rudd and make Green Day look like Crass in comparison. Forget Malcolm McLaren and his so-called Sex Pistols… this is the real rock and roll swindle, people. Stack Is The New Black is overproduced dreck of the highest order and the only decent thing I can think to say about it, is that it mercifully clocks in at under an hour. ~Stephen Bisset

TEITANBLOOD Seven Chalices Norma Evangelium Diaboli Music 4.5/5

On first impression, this comes across as simply pure noise. Combining the downtuned, meatheaded stubbornness of early Bolt Thrower with the whirlwind atmospheres of label mates Katharsis, Spain’s Teitanblood have unleashed the sonic equivalent of a maelstrom in hell. I’m not kidding. This is metal in its most savage and primal form, a disturbingly expressive necromancy of primitive urges and morbid disgust, invoked through filthy production that can barely contain its inverted creed. Like a chthonic ritual, this overwhelms the listener with sheer horrific force and leaves you wondering which gods or demons these maniacs either wish to offend or pay homage to. Wrong, in the best possible way. For fans of: early Bolt Thrower, Katharsis, Celtic Frost, Beherit and Autopsy.  ~Byron Struck

Kurt Vile Childish Prodigy Matador/ Remote Control 3.5/5

Kurt Vile’s Childish Prodigy is a continuation of the psychedelic, lo-fi jams heard on last year’s Constant Hitmaker, with the Philadelphian troubadour still looting music’s past for material. A self-confessed musical sponge, Vile wears his influences on his sleeve, with Childish Prodigy sounding like 70’s psych-rock reinterpreted by lo-fi pioneers Sebadoh. His first album on Matador, Childish Prodigy shifts the recording out of the bedroom and into the studio, giving Vile access to a few new instruments and sounds, such as the modulating synth drones heard on ‘Dead Alive’. The presence of the studio is nowhere more apparent than on the loop pedal jam ‘Blackberry Song’, with Vile’s distant drawl undercut by layers of looped sliding guitar chords. Although it retains the inventive songwriting of prior outings, Childish Prodigy still feels a little off the mark, the scuzzy, dilapidated charm of Vile’s previous efforts lost in translation from the bedroom to the studio.  ~Scott Gilbert

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Sunday Nov 1 Clarendon Hotel, Newcastle Sundae Fundayz Croation Club, Newcastle Alps of New South Wales + La Quiete Lizotte’s, Kincumber Daryl Braithwaite Oasis Youth Centre, Wyong The Amity Affliction + Hopeless + We Are The Ocean + Swallow Your Bride Wickham Park Hotel Dave and the Demons + The Mighty King Snakes

Tuesday Nov 3 Jack’s Bar and Grill, Erina Peter Healy Premier Hotel, Broadmeadow Mark Cashin The Junction Hotel Emily Rose

Wednesday Nov 4 Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Crystal Cove + The Hotel Charlie + DrawCard Delany Hotel, Cooks Hill Jaywalker Hamilton Station Hotel Candy and the Full Moons + Searching Within Lizotte’s, Kincumber Brendan Lewis +Renny Field Lizotte’s, New Lambton Ben Webb + Bobby Virtue + James Chatburn Band + Broadway Mile

Thursday Nov 5 Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Midnight Juggernauts + Cut Off your Hands Jack’s Bar and Grill, Erina Angela Murphy Lizotte’s, New Lambton Hat Fitz + Cara Robinson Wickham Park Hotel Adam Hole

Friday Nov 6 Beach Hotel, Newcastle Arachnids + Of The Red Sea Blush Nightclub, Gosford Fortay + Kerser + Izz + Tappa C + DJ Krypt Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Rosevelt Chilli Lounge, Wyong Torch le Monde + Gay Paris + tenthousandimes + The Remnants Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland Extended Family

Lizotte’s, Kincumber 1927 Lizotte’s, New Lambton Julia Morris Mt Carrington Chill On The Hill Newcastle Panthers Ladyhawke + The Swiss Red Bar, Cambridge, Newcastle Amy Vee + Grant Wolter + Renny Field Royal Hotel, Wyong No Pressure Stag and Hunter Hotel, Mayfield Adam Miller The Loft Youth Centre, Newcastle The Heartbreak Club Wickham Park Hotel The Dennis Boys

Tuesday Nov 10 Lizotte’s, Kincumber Jeff Martin + Jason Lowe Lizotte’s, New Lambton Daryl Aberhart CD launch

Wednesday Nov 11 Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle One Vital Word + Coma Lies + Safe Hands Hamilton Station Hotel The Havelocks + Truth Ruby + The Clap Lizotte’s, Kincumber The Justin Walshe Folk Machine + Gilbert Whyte + Rory Ellis Lizotte’s, New Lambton Jeff Martin + Jason Lowe

Saturday Nov 7

Thursday Nov 12

Blush Nightclub, Gosford Slow Down Honey + Mind Priorities + The Snoot Burwood Inn, Merewether French Kiss w/ Tim Lojszczyk + Timmy O’Toole + Enad & Miller Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle The Nickson Wing + Empire Burlesque Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland Rushcutter Hamilton Station Hotel Aeturnus Dominion + Corroted + Deathmaask + Osmium Grid Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle The Barons of Tang Lizotte’s, New Lambton 1927 Maitland Gaol Bitter and Twisted festival Pacific Park, Newcastle Park Sounds Prince of Wales Hotel, Merewether Dan Granero Rhythm Hut, Gosford VulgarGrad The Metrodone, Gosford Town Hall Steps + Bye Bye Birdy Wickham Park Hotel Chase The Sun

Lizotte’s, Kincumber Brian Cadd Lizotte’s, New Lambton 2009 ABC Newcastle Music Awards Metro Theatre, Sydney Blitzen Trapper + Leader Cheetah

Sunday Nov 8 Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland Benjalu Hamilton Station Hotel The Coconut Trio + Jen Buxton Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle Nick Saxon + Kings Fool + Wellsy Lizotte’s, New Lambton Bobby Flynn Maitland Gaol Bitter and Twisted festival Wickham Park Hotel Extended Family

Friday Nov 13


Beach Hotel, Newcastle Mark Cashin Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Sabretung Chilli Lounge, Wyong Caleb Skips Chemistry + Outsane + The Zillers Everglades Country Club, Woy Woy Robert Susz and the Continental Blues Party + Glenn Cardier + Earlwood Greg Hamilton Station Hotel The Shake Up + Athol + Kids At Risk Lizotte’s, Kincumber Mike McClellan + Doug Ashdown Lizotte’s, New Lambton Brian Cadd The Loft Youth Centre, Newcastle The Bride Wheeler Place, Newcastle Dancing In The Streets w/ Chunky Salsa & Friends

Saturday Nov 14 Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Caleb Skips Chemistry + CentreSection + Elephant Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle Potential Falcon + Chameleon Circus + Great Toad Lizotte’s, Kincumber Rocwater Lizotte’s, New Lambton Mike McClellan + Doug Parkinson The Loft Youth Centre, Newcastle The Storm Picturesque + Violence + Rosevelt + Cannons Mouth + Drown The Armada + Allay The Sea Toyota Park, Cronulla A Day In The Park

Sunday Nov 15 Civic Theatre, Newcastle Kate Miller-Heidke + Washington Coast Hotel, Budgewoi Steve Edmonds Band Hamilton Station Hotel Funky Farmer + Shanna Watson + Jen Buxton Lizotte’s, Kincumber Bobby Flynn Lizotte’s, New Lambton Mal Eastick Oasis Youth Centre, Wyong Mest + Lost In Line Queens Wharf Brewery, Newcastle Tijuana Cartel

Hamilton Station Hotel Judged By You + Clean Break + The Exiled Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle Roland K Smith & The Sinners + The Dennis Boys Band Lizotte’s, Kincumber Angry Anderson Lizotte’s, New Lambton Mic Conways National Junk Band Manning Bar, Sydney Obituary Newcastle Leagues Club The Seabellies + Eulogies Oasis Youth Centre, Wyong The Acacia Strain + The Red Shore The Loft Youth Centre, Newcastle Act Your Genre + Atlanta Takes State + Movember Pyjama Party + I, Escape + Crystle Cove + K.O. Kick + Allay The Sea + There Goes The City Woodport Inn, Erina Steve Edmonds Band

Saturday Nov 21 Bar On The Hill, Newcastle Uni Beach Party 09 Bimbadgen Estate B52s + The Proclaimers + Mental As Anything Blush Nightclub, Gosford Batfoot + Famous Mayhem Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Existence

Monday Nov 16 Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Mest + Sleepers + Weisheimer + Local Resident Failure Sydney Opera House Tori Amos

Tuesday Nov 17 Jack’s Bar and Grill, Erina Mark Cashin Sydney Opera House Tori Amos

Wednesday Nov 18 Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle The Storm Picturesque Hamilton Station Hotel Skinpin + Scab Duty + Genius Lizotte’s, Kincumber Chris Jagger Lizotte’s, New Lambton Coby Grant + Rose Carleo + Crocq + Joshua Brave

Thursday Nov 19 Lizotte’s, New Lambton Chris Jagger Metro Theatre, Sydney G.Love and Special Sauce + Bonjah

Friday Nov 20 Acer Arena, Sydney Britney Spears Blush Nightclub, Gosford Numbers Radio Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Here Come The Birds + Lowrider Doyalson RSL Troy Cassar Daley Foreshore Park, Newcastle Dancing In The Streets w/ Afro Moses Forum, Sydney The Buzzcocks + The Spazzys + Royal Headache Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland The Gin Club + Mark Moldre

Roland K Smith & The Sinners

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland Roland K Smith & The Sinners + The Dennis Boys Band Hamilton Station Hotel End of Aeon + Lanstrom+ Karma Cops + Memorial Drive Lizotte’s, Kincumber Mic Conways National Junk Band Lizotte’s, New Lambton Angry Anderson Slam Jam Factory, Tuggerah Caleb Skips Chemistry

Thursday Nov 26 Blush Nightclub, Gosford MM9 + Miramar + Dangerous + Cannons Mouth Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Bodyjar + Grand Fatal + Lungs Cardiff Panthers Budgie + Phil Emmanual Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland Pugsley Buzzard Lizotte’s, Kincumber Jack Evans and the Spiders Lizotte’s, New Lambton Lior Metro Theatre, Sydney The Original Wailers

Friday Nov 27 Beach Hotel, Newcastle Vamp + Such Is Life Blush Nightclub, Gosford Grips and Tonic + Louis Knuxx + Motley + Promisques + Lunchy Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle MM9 + Jerrico CBD Hotel, Newcastle State Of Grace + Vaudeville + DJ Menna + Loods + Tap Tap Hamilton Station Hotel Slow Down Honey Lizotte’s, Kincumber Lior Lizotte’s, New Lambton Afro Moses Newcastle Leagues Club Whitley + Georgia Fair Newcastle Panthers The Angels Pacific Park, Newcastle Dancing In The Streets w/ Mark’s Music Machine Queens Wharf Brewery, Newcastle MC Shureshock + MC Samson + DJ Matt Saxon + DJ D*Steady The Loft Youth Centre, Newcastle Dangerous + Room 24+ Ava Flyway + The Great Escape + Crystal Cove Woodport Inn, Erina Ajax

Saturday Nov 28

Bar On The Hill, Newcastle Uni Karnivool + Dredg + Coerce Hamilton Station Hotel The Coconut Trio + Jen Buxton Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle Amy Vee + Michael Peter+ Nick & Liesl + Carolyn Oates Sails Stage, The Entrance Peter Healey and the Talented Friends Sydney Football Stadium Pearl Jam + Ben Harper + Liam Finn

Blush Nightclub, Gosford Illusions of Dispair + Phobiac + I Am The Agent Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle The Celibate Rifles + The Ride Ons + Sandpaper Coffs Harbour Showground Open Arms Festival Enmore Theatre, Sydney Sia Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland Afro Moses Hamilton Station Hotel Sketching Cato + Like.. Alaska + CentreSection Lizotte’s, Kincumber Adam Harvey Lizotte’s, New Lambton George Smilovici The Loft Youth Centre, Newcastle State Of Grace

Wednesday Nov 25

Sunday Nov 29

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle One Flew East Davistown RSL,The Angels Hamilton Station Hotel,Segacity + Osmium Grid + Deathmaask Lizotte’s, Kincumber Skillion Dub Massive Lizotte’s, New Lambton Beth Robertson + Leah + Kira Piru + Grandmastermonk

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle M.O.P. Hamilton Station Hotel Jen Buxton + Ruby + Tim Crossey Kent Hotel, Hamilton Steve Edmonds Band Lizotte’s, Kincumber Jaywalker Lizotte’s, New Lambton Lior

Sunday Nov 22

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Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson Julia Morris 1927 Bobby Flynn Daryl Aberhart

11 Nov 12 Nov

Jeff Martin 2009 ABC Newcastle Music Awards 13 Nov Brian Cadd 14 Nov Mike McClellan and Doug Ashdown 15 Nov Mal Eastick 17 Nov Julia Morris 19 Nov Chris Jagger 20 Nov Mic Conway’s National Junk Band

21 Nov 26 Nov 27 Nov 28 Nov 29 Nov 2 Dec 3 Dec 4 Dec 5 Dec 6 Dec 8 Dec 9 Dec

Angry Anderson Lior Afro Moses George Smilovici Lior Normie Rowe Diesel Diesel Diesel Wendy Matthews Axis of Awesome Monsieur Camembert

10 Dec 11 Dec 12 Dec 13 Dec 15 Dec 16 Dec

The Church The Church Richard Clapton Richard Clapton Katie Noonan

17 Dec 18 Dec 19 Dec 20 Dec 23 Dec

Bob Corbett + Nick & Liesl Jon Stevens Jon Stevens The Sheila Sessions Bondi Cigars Grant Walmsley

For bookings and information, phone (02) 4956 2066 or visit

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christoph and marc adam

Above  King Street Hotel  right, left  Overt, Darby Street below  Christoph and Marc Adam in Overt

Internal Affairs While the names Christoph and Marc Adam may not ring any immediate bells, their creative endeavours certainly will. This artistic duo have quickly become sought after innovators of interior and industrial design. The pair are responsible for the new look of Overt on Darby Street, plus the insides of the Hunter Valley Brewery and the King Street Hotel — including Tommy Wu’s. Their most recent project was to breathe artistic life into the Fat As Butter festival. By Nick Milligan.

Which artists have inspired you the most? Christoph  I’ve never been overly inspired by art or any one artist in particular — that’s not to say I don’t appreciate some amazing artists from around the world. I find that the majority of my inspiration comes from architecture and life experiences. I seem to be the most creative after coming home from travelling — I think this shows through a lot of my work. Marc  I like Salvador Dali, HR Geiger and Theo Janssen. Dali and Geiger are surrealists and it is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of artistic talent. Theo Janssen is a kinetic sculptor who will blow you away if you check him out online. Tell us about your creative backgrounds. Christoph  I studied fine art and graphic design, both at TAFE. My sister, Bridget, encouraged me to start painting. Marc  I have been painting and drawing since I was four. I have airbrushed surfboards, designed logos, made sculptures, fashion design, assisted art direction and props on a


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movie, designed and built a nightclub and now I am doing music festivals. You name it. I love it all! How much creative freedom have the venues you’ve worked in allowed you? Christoph  Every venue has given us complete creative freedom — budgets are the only things that have restricted certain ideas. Marc  Everyone seems to appreciate the diversity of our combined artistic abilities and there has been a lot of trust in our judgements. So we have been very free to express ourselves and do what we think looks good. What’s your creative process — do you create a lot of drafts and sketches before you get the paints out? Christoph  Marc and I will sit down in a space, discuss ideas, look at old references, images, think about the type of atmosphere we want, colours and mood, then sketch out an idea we’ve both agreed on. And then we do something completely different, always turning out

better than the client — and us — imagined. Marc  We do a lot of brainstorming and sketching in the search for something different and wonderful. Our ideas are constantly flowing so our work always morphs into something different to the initial concept. Which project has been the most challenging? Christoph  Fat As Butter would be the most challenging by far, and exhausting. I love doing the art and design, but have found the most challenging part of festivals is all the creative drafts, putting together budgets, briefs and trying to gain the trust of all the groups involved that make the final decisions. Applying all the concepts to the site is the easy part. Marc  Fat As Butter is a huge task. We have a lot more to deal with than just art and design. There are a lot of people to deal with, all with their own specific requirements and opinions. Then there are people who you rely on to do a good job for you. Tommy Wu’s at the King Street Hotel has been

christoph and marc adam

above  Hunter Valley Brewery   Right  Tommy Wu’s, King Street Hotel    Left, and below  King Street Hotel interior

  “E very venu e ha s gi ven us complet e     cr eative freedom — budgets are the only things   th at have rest ricted ce rtain idea s.”    – Christoph 

a resounding success — tell us about the aesthetic ideas you employed in that space. Christoph  Tommy Wu’s still puts a smile on my face every time I see it. Warehouse chic, Wu’s was always meant to be a cool little Melbourne-inspired bar and we created it using a lot of reclaimed and recycled materials. I think the only part we purchased was the new stainless bar. This venue has such an original vibe — a place you want to get to early and leave late. It’s hard to explain — total home, you just need to check out for yourself. Marc  Well we started with a very small budget and a trip to Melbourne. Probably the two best ways of getting the creative juices flowing. Inspired by St Jerome’s, Section 8 and a few more clubs, we recycled to cut costs and kept a real home feel, like someone has turned their garage into a quirky little nite club. I think people find it relaxing in there and chill out a bit. Which of your completed projects are you the most proud of?

Christoph  Tommy Wu’s hands down. There is nothing better then sitting down with a few friends, playing cool tunes, and drinking beers in a place that looks as crazy as Wu’s. Marc  The whole of King St Hotel has changed in appearance. Including Tommy Wu’s, it is like four different night clubs in one. I think Christoph and I have influenced everyone who has been there. What can you tell us about the entry archway that you’re creating for Newcastle’s Fat As Butter festival? Christoph  FAB this year is going to be amazing. We have the job of theming the entire site from stages to bars. You will see artworks from ‘electro crystal caves’ to ‘animal punters in costumes’. Marc  We are designing the signage, stage banners and a lot of other decorations. We are going to make it fresh and different to other music festivals. It is the biggest project we have done and we have some crazy ideas — who knows

what we would do with an unlimited budget! What other projects do you have in the works? Christoph  I’m going to be co-producing a multimedia project with my sister in New York. It’s called Downtown From Behind. It’s a film project, shooting people riding their bikes from behind on every street below 14th, so downtown. She has been shooting the material for a few months now. I’ll work with her on cutting the edit and adding a soundtrack. It will be close to a nine month project when complete, and shown in a popup space in New York next year. Marc  I have just completed the redecoration of a vintage fashion store on Crown Street, Sydney, called U-Turn. We are always working on King Street Hotel and selling our fashion in Overt on Darby Street. Chris and I are also working on a combined exhibition in December. We always travel somewhere in the mix — it is essential to stay inspired.

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mm 9

RISE OF THE MACHINES Many Machines On 9, or MM9 to their fans, have been around since the beginning of the decade, yet the only recorded product available is a couple of EPs and a handful of singles. This is soon to change with the imminent release of their debut full length. Kevin Bull caught up with guitarist Kerry Foulke to discuss the new recordings. The debut album The Air Between feels like it’s been about to be released all year. How close are we getting? Not long now, we promise! It really has been a long wait hasn’t it? Believe me, nobody’s feeling the delay more than us. We’re absolutely itching to get the album out, but unfortunately there have been a lot of forces at work, both internal and external, that have made it necessary to push the release date back. Everything is starting to fall into place now though, and we’re looking at getting it out there early next year! In the meantime, we’ve released a single off the album called ‘They Murder’, which gives a pretty good taste of what to expect, and we’ve got another one coming out in a couple weeks, ‘A Devil Once Said’, which is a crowd favourite at the live shows… and a personal favourite of ours! How does The Air Between sit when compared to the 2004 self-titled EP and the 2006 EP Prosthetic Boulevard? You know, I really think it’s going to challenge a lot of people’s notions of what we’re about as a band. Not that it’s a complete departure or reinvention or anything; I just think that we’ve gotten a lot better at saying what we’ve been trying to say all along. Fans of the first two EPs will definitely find a lot to like about the new album and at the same time, people who might have been quick to pigeon-hole us


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as being one thing or another in the past, will find a lot that will surprise them. As far as the overall sound and production goes, this time around is a big leap forward for us. We didn’t exactly have the time and budget to go completely nuts, but this time we weren’t forced to compromise on every single aspect of the project the way we had to on both EPs. I’m not putting down our back catalogue or anything; as a musician I think there’s a lot to be proud of there, and as a fan of music there’s a lot you can move to; but The Air Between is definitely the best work we’ve done to date. For a band that prides itself on live performance, have you been able to capture that energy within the studio? That’s something that’s frustrated us in the past, actually. MM9 live shows are pretty full on, both sonically and visually and there’s a huge amount of physicality to them as well. All that makes for an intensity that’s really three dimensional and extremely difficult to nail down in the studio. So yeah, that was definitely on our minds long before the album sessions even started. Once we started tracking drums though, we knew we were on to a winner. The sound was just massive from the minute the faders came up, even with the desk pretty much flat. I’d say that’s probably the first time we’ve gotten Ben’s playing on

tape actually sounding, and feeling, like Ben. Plus, Luke cut his bass tracks to tape at the same time which gave them a real natural sort of urgency. With a foundation that solid, it wasn’t much of a stretch for the rest of us to get really vibed up on every take we did. So yeah, I’d say we got it! For the uninitiated, your sound has been branded hard-edged electro rock. Does this sit comfortably with you? Well, like any band, we’re pretty wary about reducing our sound to a single phrase, but I think “hard-edged electro rock” actually comes pretty close to the mark. We’ve always aimed for a sort of equality between the organic and electronic elements of the band, so that we end up with live drums, bass, guitars, and vocals cohabiting with the synths and programming, rather than it just being a case of hitting a couple of samples to add colour to a traditional band, or throwing a guitar over the top of a dance track. With MM9, each element is an intrinsic part of the songs’ construction. For me personally, one of the most exciting things about this band is that you can never really tell where the next hook is going to come from.

You worked with producer Mike Barbiero (Guns N’ Roses) for The Air Between. Can you tell me about this experience? It was pretty damn cool! I mean, the guy has worked with everyone from Guns ‘n’ Roses to Aretha Franklin, and he was really excited about the project from the word go. We actually tracked the album here in Sydney with Dan (MM9 vocalist/programmer) and Evan McHugh handling the production side of things. Then we sent the tracks over to New York for Mike to mix, which was an unconventional way to do things for us, but it really worked out well. We’d wake up every morning to find our inboxes chock-full of mp3s of different mixes Mike had done that day on New York time; then we’d send our comments back to him, and the next day he’d make the adjustments and send them back over to us again. Kind of a convoluted process maybe, but he was really keen to get input from Dan, Evan and the rest of us, and the end result definitely sounds massive! MM9 play Blush Nightclub, Gosford on Thursday November 26, the Cambridge Hotel on Friday November 27, and Open Arms Festival at Coffs Harbour on Saturday November 28.


A MAMMOTH undertaking While Whitley’s debut album, The Submarine, was a stirring collection of timeless folk songs, his second record is far more layered and ambitious. Nick Milligan speaks with Whitley about his new release, Go Forth, Find Mammoth. Did you want your second album to be a bigger production from its very early stages? Yeah, it was always an idea to be a lot more lush, because the first album was so sparse. I thought it would be somewhere interesting for people to go to, rather than sit on the same thing the whole time. Were these songs written over a long period of time? There was just little riffs, ideas or a mood. There was never a ‘sit down and right the album’ moment. Usually what I do is come up with general ideas and maybe a couple of verses, then I head into the studio and bit by bit make decisions on how the songs should go. A lot of the themes on Go Forth, Find Mammoth are about your shifting perception of death — from being disturbed by the seeming pointlessness of life, to then becoming far more at ease with a human’s place in the universe. What has made your views change over time? I think as I get older I get a bigger picture of what the universe is. The main concern [on the album] is to try and understand it. When

Are you often working on new material? No, I don’t really write at all. It’s the exception really, when I write a song. It comes out in one hit and the idea is there. I save it in my brain and bring it out when it’s time to work on it some more. There’s lots of different ways to write. I’ve started writing at the moment with a friend to do this acoustic duo thing — like a folk thing. That’s a real process. We sit down and jam out an idea, then go away and write some lyrics — really construct something. It’s more like a painting than a mood.

‘Poison In Our Pockets’ is an amazing song — what’s it about? It’s a song written from Eva Braun’s view — it’s like a love letter from Eva in those final few days in the bunker. I watched a film called

Karnivool, Children Collide, Bertie Blackman

Cassette Kids, MM9, Regular John, Jericco, Tom Ugly Tsuyoshi Suzuki, Andrew Till, Oka, Ebb n Flow, Heart Tribe Thad Lester, Twobble Twins, Fridget Pop, Bass Surgeons

COFFS HARBOUR SHOWGROUNDS Saturday November 28, 11am - 10pm Camping Available 27th - 29th

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‘Killer’ is a really catchy song — who do you sing the duet with? That’s Hazel Brown, she’s from a Melbourne band called Otouto. Hazel actually sang on the first record as well. I never set out to write the song as a duet. I actually asked Sarah Blasko if she could sing on it, but she said no because she was really busy. But Hazel came in and sung and the chemistry evolved in the song and it became a really nice duet. What’s ‘Killer’ about? It’s about that first bit of lust that you have for someone else. It feels like an archaic animal instinct. It brings up all of those reptilian brain patterns, like violence. It’s a way of dealing with our little reptilian brains sitting on the end of our brain stems, and putting it into a positive note.

There’s an instrumental song on Mammoth called ‘Warm Winter Sky’, which sounds like you’ve turned a semi-conscious state into sound — was that the main idea there? Yeah, the idea was to try and communicate some sort of meditative state. It sounds a bit hippy, but that was the aim.

Hilltop Hoods


it’s very arresting when you do that. In school, I would always look at it from the view of the Jewish people in the camps and ghettos and how evil the Nazis were. But then it hit me that there’s this girl trapped up in ‘psycho land’, and I’m sure at some point she would have had an awareness of what was going on. When the weight of that hit me, that’s where that song came from.

you look at it through science’s eyes and look back over 15 billion years, and then over four billion from when the Earth was made, it’s quite humbling. It puts those crises of the consciousness to rest. I take a lot of solace in science, and how big the universe is, and how much we don’t know. That’s where I get my chill pill from.

Downfall and I was doing a lot of reading on Nazi Germany at that time. All the numbers of the deaths that occured was one thing to look at, but to look at it from one person’s perspective of how it all went down... I think

Whitley plays at Newcastle Leagues Club on Friday November 27, 2009 and The Peats Ridge Festival from December 29-31, 2009. Go Forth, Find Mammoth is out now through Dew Process/Universal.

the angels  —  angry anderson

Angels rise again It’s not hard to participate when the chorus of ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ arrives. It feels great to raise a glass and sing back ‘No way, get f***ed, f**k off!’ You cannot censor this song and, equally so, Doc Neeson is not shy to express how he feels about an array of topics. By Marija Zeko.

The Angels are as iconic as Vegemite and “G’day mate”. They have epitomised the good ol’ pub band that is ingrained in our culture and have spurned a medley of hits that make one proud to be an Aussie. The life of the Angels originally began in Adelaide when the Brewster brothers, Rick and John, began a band with Doc Neeson joining soon after. They played the pub circuit under the guise of The Keystone Angels and after a recommendation from Bon Scott and Angus Young, received a recording deal, consequently dropping “Keystone” from their title to simply become The Angels. According to Neeson, the band “plays better now than when the original albums were recorded”. The modus operandi of the band was to simply write songs, rather than perform them. Somehow, they ended up performing

Angry Anderson will be back in Newcastle and the Central Coast this month with his solo acoustic show, 35 Years As A Tatt, a retrospective that delves into the background behind his favourite Rose Tattoo songs. “It’s a very casual stroll down memory lane,” explains Anderson. “I tell the story of what inspired the lyrics, and what I have found, by not working off a script the show has its own identity. It’s a way for the people who have followed the music for all these years to be taken back to how it all began. Because we are doing it acoustic, we can do songs that are not played live [by Rose Tattoo]. Off the first album we’re doing ‘Stuck On you’, and off Scarred For Life we’re doing ‘Sydney Girls’. These are songs that were not played often if at all.” Backing Anderson during these shows will be Dai Pritchard (Rose Tattoo) and Randall Waller (Avion, Party Boys, Shania Twain Band), two guitarists that receive much praise from the vocalist for revitalising his back catalogue. “I first met Randall in the early 80s — a consummate guitar player, and so is Dai. They bring a freshness and vitality back to the music that was there when we first sat down with acoustic guitars and tried to write songs — that’s very exciting for me,” he says. “I’ve also become re-interested in my own vocal performance. I never not go out on stage and give 100 per cent, but I am now interested again in what I am doing with the songs vocally. When you start doing them in a different format, it brings another dimension back into it. It’s a great feeling to be reinspired and excited about your own songs that have been around for so many years.” This excitement that Anderson now feels for his songs extends to Rose Tattoo as a band. Having seen what a powerhouse the band was only a month ago, it surprised me to hear that the end was very near not so long

their own songs and the rest is history — “we began the band as songwriters rather than being a band, we played the songs for the people”. Throughout the years they have broken up and reformed under various, and at times conflicting, titles ie. ‘Doc Neeson’s Angels’ vs. ‘The Angels Band’. Despite the ups and down, the essence of the band continues as they embark on an Australian tour encompassing the east coast in November and December. The reason for Neeson rejoining the Brewster brothers, was that their record company asked the band to reform in ode of their 1978 classic Face to Face. “We did an 18 date tour a year ago, it was an exciting surprise. So fans sent requests to tour their state and city, so sponsors got onto it and we got inducted,” says Neeson. It’s no surprise the fans and record company got on board,

The Angels have been a staple Australian diet for over thirty years. Neeson, however, hails from Belfast and his career began as an Arts student and an Education corps sergeant, who served in Papua New Guinea in the late 60s. In 1999, Neeson was in a car accident that left him with neck and spinal injuries. “I still have residual problems, always will,” admits Neeson. “I have a few problems but you can’t keep a good man down — or a rocker for that matter. There was a time once when I had my car broken in an accident and I still kept touring. As soon as I was able to tour again, I did!” Life away from the band includes other pursuits. Though originating from Adelaide, the band is based in Sydney and when probed how he spends his days, he cheekily remarks, “I watch a lot of pornos”. Good for him — but let the truth be known he has visited troops in

The Softer Side of Angry Having recently played Newcastle Panthers with Rose Tattoo, Angry Anderson returns, but not as you would expect. KEVIN BULL chatted to the refreshingly open Anderson about his solo acoustic show, life, death, and why he is just so damn sexy. ago. “I’ll tell you something very honestly. If it hadn’t been for this [Rose Tattoo] lineup, I think that there was a real danger… that’s not the right word, but there was a real feeling that I was just sort of… when I say ‘over it’, it’s not… I just think we had done all there was to do. If it hadn’t been for this particular guitar

lineup, I think the band might have just quietly called it a day,” Anderson admits. “But electrically, Rose Tattoo is a very, very exciting band at the moment. I mean, Rockin’ Rob Riley and Dai Prtichard are two of the most monstrously good guitar players, and putting Paul DeMarco and Geordie Leech back

the Middle East in a morale boosting concert series as part of the “Tour de force”. Perhaps inspired by his days in the army, the good deed earned him two military medals and a legion of fans. “This is something close to my heart that I really wanted to do,” enthuses Neeson. In the years away from The Angels, Doc formed the band ‘Red Phoenix’ and released a self-titled album. Life away from The Angels has been busy, but there’s no hiding Neeson’s excitement at getting on the road again and unleashing the fire within. “These are exciting times. I really love doing this and it’s great when the audience sing along with you. I feel vilified and energised, it’s smashing!” The Angels perform at Doyalson RSL on Wednesday November 25, and Newcastle Panthers on Friday November 27, 2009.

together was the right thing to do, so I’m very excited about the band again.” Being excited by Rose Tattoo was something I had to deal with, as my partner and her girlfriend couldn’t stop raving about Anderson after seeing him in Newcastle. His performance, his presence and persona had them hooked. In their words, he’s just so damn sexy, and I had great pleasure in telling this story to Anderson. “Ohhh I’m embarrassed, I’m blushing,” offers Anderson, coyly. “Well bless their cotton socks. What a wonderful accolade. I have not been privy to that kind of appraisal before. When you said that, I felt myself physically warming. Thank her and her friend because that has made my day.” Putting the sexiness of Anderson aside, I wanted to touch on one of the inevitable things that happens when you get older — dealing with the passing of a loved one. Rose Tattoo have lost their fair share of band members — Pete Wells with prostate cancer and Ian Rilen with bladder cancer both in 2006. With Mick Cocks having also been diagnosed with liver cancer, how has Anderson’s dealt with these experiences? “Even in the bad old days, I always knew that there was a higher power. I don’t believe in the practised ‘God’, [but] there is a wisdom and truth of the natural order of things,” he offers. “I have worked very hard for 20 years to accept my own spiritual being, and my spiritual connectiveness to the universe, to the whole scheme of things, and that all things are as they are. A very wise man once said, you can’t change anything but yourself, but once you change yourself you can change everything.” Angry Anderson brings 35 Years As A Tatt to Lizotte’s, Kincumber, Friday November 20, followed by Lizotte’s, New Lambton, Saturday November 21. r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9   


B adfinger  —   T he A cacia S train  —  talking shop Profiling music industry professionals with Jess henderson

Talking shop

This month we thought we’d profile someone a little closer to home! Read on and find out all the Rock’n’Roll cravings of Reverb’s dedicated Publisher, Kevin Bull. Who do you work for? Reverb Magazine. Current position title? Publisher. How long have you been in this position? Two and a half years. What are the main responsibilities of your position? Working with the contributors with their interviews, CD and live reviews, post processing all the images, doing some of my own interviews and reviews, and paying the bills. How did you get involved in the music industry? A few live reviews for U-Turn back in 2003, Community Radio, and some writing for The Brag. I had some live images printed in Reverb, and began writing the Central Coast section. Before I knew it, I was buying Reverb. Proudest moment? Reverb Third Birthday party last July. Is there anyone you would really like to meet (living or dead)? Jimi Hendrix. Just play ‘Machine Gun’ for me. Best live show you’ve been to? The Cure @ Civic Theatre (‘81), Dead Kennedys @ Bel Air Hotel (‘83), Fugazi @ Morrow Park Bowlo (‘92), Mantissa @ the Cambridge (‘92), Jeff Buckley @ the Phoenician Club (‘95), Morphine @ the Cambridge (mid 90s). Favourite venue? Cambridge Hotel, Metro Theatre, Grand Junction Hotel in Maitland. Favourite musical instrument? Gibson SG. I have a black one, can’t play it but it looks great on the wall Free plug — who should we be listening to? Alberta Cross, Arbouretum. What would be on your ultimate rider? A case of Crown Lagers, antipasto plates, seafood and salads. That’s not very rock is it. Best way to spend a Sunday morning? Sleep in til 11am after drinking until 3am over at my neighbour Tony’s place, strong coffee on the verandah, an afternoon hanging with Kath, Laksa for dinner and a killer gig at the Cambo. On the way home, drop back into Tony’s and drink piss until 3am. Do it all again tomorrow… Any advice for people trying to break into the industry? Do anything for nothing. Don’t expect to make money out of it. The industry is also very small and everyone knows everyone else, so be totally professional, and if you say you’re going to do something, do it twice. 32   

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Finger Pointing Forward Badfinger’s legendary rock story is one of absolute highs and devastating lows. They were the heirs to the Beatles’ pop throne, before their career took a painful turn for the worse. Surviving member and guitarist Joey Molland is coming to Newcastle and it’s a show that’s not to be missed. By Nick Milligan.

over the world. It was a lot of fun. People have made a lot of the tragic events that followed, with losing Pete [Ham] and Tommy [Evans] in ‘75 and ‘83. But we had a tremendous time touring. What was it like recording guitar tracks for John Lennon’s Imagine album? What was he like to work with? For me it was very awesome. I was a big Lennon fan. I always thought he was brilliant. He was very much like you wanted him to be — a plain spoken bloke, very natural — not a rock star at all. I remember sitting there and thinking, this is the guy that wrote ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. And there he was teaching me the chords to ‘Jealous Guy’.

What can people expect from your upcoming tour? I’ll be performing songs from the Badfinger albums, both hits and the lesser known songs. Perhaps a couple of new songs as well. I’ve never been to Australia, so I’m really excited about it. I believe that Badfinger had some success there.

You also played on George Harrison’s 1970 triple record All Things Must Pass. What was that like? It was a great experience because George had a big band with him. Every day Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr were there, along with people like Gary Wright and Billy Preston. We were all at Abbey Road studios together — just a great experience.

What was the atmosphere in Badfinger like when you joined in 1969? The band was called The Iveys originally. They changed their name to Badfinger because they wanted to get back to playing rockier music. When I joined, everyone was really excited because the band had just been signed to Apple Records, which was the Beatles’ company. Of course, Paul [McCartney] had written and produced the song ‘Come and Get It’ for them. For some reason their bass player left and I auditioned and got the job. Of course, ‘Come and Get It’ was a giant hit all

Catch Joey Molland with Hollies vocalist Terry Sylvester on the Legends of Liverpool tour at West Leagues Club, Newcastle, on Wednesday November 4, 2009.

ACACIAN OCCASION The Acacia Strain first gobsmacked Australian audiences with an extreme, enraged and energetic exhibition late in 2008 opening for Parkway Drive. The Massachusetts heavy hitters are striking our shores again for their maiden headline voyage in November. Bassist Jack Strong fielded a few questions from Nathaniel Try. The Acacia Strain left quite an impression on Australian audiences when you first toured here with Parkway Drive at the end of 2008. What memories do you have of those shows? I recall the first day in Brisbane, at Riverstage. It was this huge outdoor stage, and I looked out on to this enormous field, filled with thousands of people. It was incredible. I couldn’t believe how many people were there, and every show after that was the same. Watching the crowd respond to Parkway Drive that night was unlike anything I had ever seen. They are like The Beatles over there. They’re bigger than Jesus. What are you looking forward to about returning to Australia? We get to do a considerable amount of travelling, and Australia has been my favourite place I’ve ever been to. From the people being some of the most kind and excited I’ve met, to the beaches, to those delicious meat pies. I am beyond excited to return.

What’s life on tour like as part of The Acacia Strain? Life on tour with The Acacia Strain probably isn’t as crazy as a lot of people may think. We are an incredibly relaxed band, and the reason why is because we have been doing this for years. We all have our own routines and stay out of each other’s way. But at the same time, we all get along great and can hang out and have fun together. We’re pretty boring, by “normal” metal band standards. We don’t really go out and party and get all crazy, we usually just like to get to where ever we are staying, shower, lounge around and go to bed. Not too interesting.

So far, what does The Acacia Strain have happening in 2010? As of right now, we’ve got these Australian dates coming up. We get home from that, have maybe two days off, and then we head to Canada to support Despised Icon on a few shows. This winter we plan on writing and recording. After that, the future is wide open. The Acacia Strain play at Oasis Youth Centre, Wyong on Friday November 20 and Bald Faced Stag, Sydney on Saturday November 21. Melbourne’s The Red Shore will be supporting for both shows.

kate miller - he I dke

Curious Kate

For Kate Miller-Heidke, the success of her most recent album, Curiouser, hasn’t really sunk in yet. She explains that a recent relocation to London has kept her somewhat away from all of the ‘hoopla’ surrounding the record at the moment. “When I heard that the album and ‘Last Day on Earth’ both went platinum I was completely surprised — it was totally unanticipated,” she says. “Because I’ve been out of the country I feel kind of detached from everything over there which is why I’m really looking forward to coming back to Australia in November, because the tour is in big theatres and I guess then it will all sink in.” Miller-Heidke says opening herself up to cowriting for Curiouser — working closely with her husband Keir Nuttal — played a large part in the album’s success. “Songwriting was always too personal and I felt too self-conscious to collaborate,” she admits. “But after a certain point with Keir, I just lost my inhibitions. We got into a groove where we brought out the best in each other. These songs are better than anything we’ve written individually before.” While many of her countrymen and women have found the musical pilgrimage to the Mother Country slightly less than delightful [tales of The Birthday Party’s early years in London should serve as a cautionary tale to any aspiring muso hoping to make the trip], MillerHeidke says everything seems to be going swimmingly. “I think that because I’ve been living out of a suitcase for what feels like years now, moving over here hasn’t really been that much of a problem,” she says. “Plus we’re living next door to some close friends and we’ve got an awesome studio set up in an old loft that’s kind of away from everything, so it’s been really good so far.” In what seems to be the year of Kate MillerHeidke, she also recently took out the grand prize in the International Songwriting Competition with her song ‘Caught in the Crowd’ — making her the first Australian to do so. Miller-Heidke says while the $25,000 prize money that came with the win was nice, it was just having the judges hear one of her songs that provided the bigger buzz — which is fair enough, considering the panel included such song writing heavyweights as Tom Waits, Robert Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Davies of the Kinks. “Yeah that was just awesome, also totally unexpected,” bursts Miller-Heidke. “Tom Waits is a real musical hero of mine — he’s definitely in my top ten artists of all time. I grew up listening to him and just the fact that he has heard my song is just awesome. Unbelievable.” For now, Miller-Heidke says she is going to be touring for the next couple of months, [she’s currently ‘wowing’ audiences in the US as the support for Ben Folds] before heading back to her London base to start working on new material. She explains that while her live shows have always contained a unique blend of theatre, comedy and great songwriting, she and her band plan to take things to the next level for the upcoming tour. “Over time, my live show has kind of morphed into this massive rock beast,” she laughs. “Also, my band are a bunch of absolutely brilliant musos and   I guess we’re going to make it as theatrical and entertaining as people can take.”

With her album Curiouser and its runaway smash hit ‘Last Day On Earth’ achieving platinum status,   Kate Miller-Heidke is truly riding the crest of a wave. Stephen Bisset spoke to the affable songstress   on the eve of her triumphant return to Australia in November for a run of theatre shows.

Kate Miller-Heidke plays the Civic Theatre on Sunday November 15, 2009. Curiouser is out now through Sony Music.

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title runs—here fashion   photography by J im G raham

left  Leg Avenue Fishnet top $49.95. Custom made Bondage Skirt $199.95 [from $79.95] . Demonia Gothika-200 boots $179.95. Black singlet is Bec’s own.

right  Pink corset minidress $49.95. Corset handbag/backpack $49.95. Libertine Mega Spike cuff $49.95. Libertine Plain spiked collar $49.95. Demonia Riot leather steel capped boots $274.95. Leg Avenue Fishnets $19.95.

LEFT  Libertine Cat collar with bell $39.95. Peacock Corset $39.95. Victorian style bustle skirt $69.95. Demonia Bravo wedges $99.95.


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above  Demonia Bat Shoes $99.95. Demonia Coffin backpack/handbag (also available with spider or cross design) $69.95. Mortisha stretch skirt $49.95.

fashion  —  photographytitle by J im runs G raham here

above  Demonia FU Handbag $59.95. Demonia Wave-302 platform boots $169.95.

right  Lace up Fairy top $44.95. Mortisha stretch skirt $49.95 (both items available up to size 24). Pewter spider necklace $29.95

right  Corset-lacing velvet jacket $89.95. Backless Victorian bustle dress $89.95. Demonia Charade shoes $119.95.

above  Skitta Designs “Cat’s Revenge” tee $39.95. Custom Bondage miniskirt prices from $79.95. Custom dread falls priced from $79.95. Australian-made leather cuffs, collar and belt by Libertine Leather. Collar $49.95. Cuffs from $39.95. 2-Row Pyramid Belt $59.95.

Photography by Jim Graham. Modelling by Jess, Dani & Bec. All clothing available at Underground Empire. 150 Charlestown Rd, Kotara South. Ph (02) 4943 1778.

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general motoring

Lexus Of Luxury There are some dramatic moves afoot at Toyota and its luxury offshoot Lexus with a brace of sporty new models in the pipeline that will definitely take the company away from its label as a ‘maker of white goods’. Cars with heart and soul are the order of the day from the world’s biggest auto manufac­ turer, a point underlined last week at the Tokyo Motor Show when Toyota took the wraps off a new Celica code named the FT86 and Lexus unveiled its ‘supercar’ called the LFA.

It’s not that pretty to look at with a snakeeyed frontal treatment and try-hard race-car rear with a sea of mesh and diffuser, but it’s under the carbon fibre skin that LFA has kick arse credentials. There’s plenty to get excited about because it’s a technical tour de force complete with a specially designed 4.8-litre, direct injection, V10 petrol engine putting out a healthy 412kW and 480Nm. This compact engine put together by

  “Production starts in 2010 and only 500   wil l be made, with perh aps five or ten comi ng    to Aust ralia priced at arou nd $750,0 00.”  The FT86 is a sleek two-door, rear drive coupe with a horizontally opposed 2.0-litre four cylinder engine borrowed from Subaru. It looks sensational in pre-production form and based on that, should be an absolute winner when it arrives here in a couple of years time. Two models are planned, including a performance version, but the Celica nameplate is not signed sealed and delivered. Let’s hope sanity prevails and it doesn’t get called the Voxy, or the Fielder, like some of the other Toyotas at the show. The Lexus LFA is something else again and is unlike anything you have seen or thought of from the specialist luxury maker, even the ISF. Though still comfortable and built to an extremely high standard with quality oozing out the doors, LFA is a purpose–built go-fasty that will keep the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini on their toes.


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Yamaha is built from aluminium, magnesium and titanium alloy and is smaller than a V8. It features a dry sump to further reduce its size. Ancillary pumps are mounted remotely and the engine has ten individual throttle bodies metering fuel at the optimum rate. Lexus boffins wouldn’t be drawn on whether this engine will find its way into other models but the twinkle in their eye told the story. Production starts in 2010 and only 500 will be made, with perhaps five or ten coming to Australia priced at around $750,000. That’s right, three quarters of a million bucks, which is a fairly big swallow for anybody. Is a Lexus worth that sum? Who knows but we have our reservations. Perhaps Lexus dealer principals will fork out the dough and run drive days for the rich and privileged. Oh, how the other half lives. They will be able to enjoy a car that is

reviewed Lexus LFA reviewed by Peter Douglas definitely designed more for the track than the road with a distinct hard edge to it at speed, much like a Ferrari. The faster you go, the better the car behaves. Lexus has been able to figure out a way of mating metal with carbon fibre to produce a body and chassis that is light and strong. The carbon fibre body allows some unusual shapes you simply don’t see with a metal body. Unusually, it’s a front engine, rear driver where other supercars seem to favour the midengine, rear drive or all wheel drive format. What the heck, the LFA has a near perfect 48:52 front to rear weight bias, with all the main components within the wheelbase including the fuel tank. Aerodynamics are aided by a flat carbon fibre undertray and the rear diffuser. Handling is aided by the car’s low centre of gravity and relatively light weight of 1480kg. Power goes to the rear axle through an auto­mated six-speed manual and it’s not a double clutch job. Lexus reckons their single clutch system provides quicker changes with up to seven change speeds selectable by the driver. The car provides four drive modes including Sport and Wet, but we wonder who would use anything other than Sport. It has a double wishbone front suspension and five link rear with electrically controlled

carbon ceramic disc brakes at each corner. Inside is a sea of buffed carbon fibre and a race-style cockpit with beautifully crafted instrumentation and switchgear. We didn’t notice what sort of audio system it has because the V10 engine is a superb accompaniment to driving, sounding a lot like a slightly muffled F1 race car. In pure hard numbers, the LFA is good for a 325kph top whack and a 0-100kph sprint in 3.7 seconds, so there ain’t much that will best it on the street. On the road, the LFA is mild mannered and easy to drive but on the track, it flicks into Superman mode and shows its true colours with a hard edge to handling and feel. LFA is an engaging drive that will please the most demanding driver and feels like it’s doing everything too easily. The low driving position is perfect for picking the apex in curves and holds you firmly in place under the strong influences of heavy G forces. Lexus spent plenty of time developing the LFA at Germany’s Nurburgring race track, even though the F in the name relates to Fuji race track in Japan. We wonder how owners might feel when they drive up in their Lexus LFA but nobody looks, then someone else burbles up in their Ferrari and gets all the attention. Could be damaging to the ego and hard to take after the whopping outlay. And you can forget about going away in it because there is precious little luggage space but who really cares, this is a track day toy that rewards skilful and demanding drivers… with very deep pockets.

H eath F ranklin  —  kitchen complaint

On The Chopping Block Heath Franklin’s impersonation of infamous Australian criminal Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read, has turned into one of the most successful ventures on Australia’s live comedy circuit. Nick Milligan speaks with Franklin about the release of his new DVD, Make Deadshits History: Live At Pentridge.

It was a bit strange. The reason why comedy is usually done in theatres is because theatres are a great place for it — prisons are not ideal. We had no power, so we had to bring in generators and it was a funny space to light. It was definitely a lot of work for me, my manager and stage manager to get it up and running, but it was definitely worth it in the end. It was such a cool vibe.

Is there a process for getting into the character of Chopper before you go on-stage? Not really. There probably used to be, but I’ve been doing it solidly for three years now. It’s harder to get out of character at the end, then it is to get in at the start.

When your first Chopper tour came through Newcastle, you had to add extra dates due to the overwhelming response. Was that reception common throughout Australia? Yeah, especially on that first tour — I was incredibly lucky. At the Adelaide Fringe Festival we sold out a complete season and then added another. I then ended up playing a 2,000 seat venue just to meet the demand. It was not what we expected at all — it was ridiculous, flattering and humbling at the same time.

So you find it’s hard to stop being Chopper? Well, it’s one of those things where everyone after a Chopper gig swears a little more than they normally do. Sometimes some of the manerisms and the intonations stick around with me as well.

Yeah, I think so. A lot of people in Scotland are just like Chopper anyway — hard fighting, hard drinking, hard swearing. The best thing is that when you take something overseas like Chopper, which is quite parochial, that the best jokes are the ones that work anywhere. If a joke gets the same response in Fiji as it does in Sweden, then it’s a good joke. How old were you when you started doing stand-up? I did a lot of live skit stuff when I was younger. I started the Chopper character when I was doing live revues at university. Around 19 or 20. The first stand-up show I ever did was Harden The Fuck Up in 2007.

Is there a lot of freedom in being Chopper? One of the best things about it is that he sees everything in black and white. He makes his mind up about things very quickly, which is good for cleaving through the bullshit a little bit. He either loves it or hates it. He’s a decisive character.

Why has your show been such a massive success? I’ve got a few ideas, but I obviously couldn’t say for sure. He’s a very Australian character — a loveable rascal. Also, because I’ve spent so much time working on construction sites, where people do swear. It’s a part of the vocabulary. To come home and not see [swearing] on television just doesn’t seem right. I think people find it honest.

that your version is inspired by Eric Bana’s portrayal in the film. But do you think your interpretation has evolved into its own character? Yeah, I think so. For those first few sketches for [The Ronnie Johns Half Hour], whatever was taken from the Eric Bana film was enough to give it life, but then you realise that you need to give the character three dimensions. Obviously I don’t see Chopper enough to act as him, so I also draw on people I’ve worked with and my family.

How did you find Pentridge Prison as a venue to perform at?

The real Chopper has claimed that you’re nothing like him — and you’ve said yourself

You took your show to Edinburgh too — did they understand it?

Was it difficult to make the shift from live revues to solo comedy? Not really. The main thing with solo stand-up is that it’s much more of an ego trip. You come off stage with a rush if it goes well. But you take to the stage with a plan in your head, and if something better than the plan comes up then you can run with it. You can’t do that with revues. If you find someone in the audience that’s a bit of a freak, then you can come up with half an hour’s worth of material. Does Chopper have another tour in him or will you come up with a new character? A new character hasn’t come along yet. The main thing for me is to never force anything and to make sure I have a good idea before I do something. I did two Chopper tours and I’ve gotten everything off my chest that I wanted to. I’m worried that if I do another Chopper tour next year then it won’t have the same venom or passion. Make Deadshits History is out now through Laughing Stock.

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Live reviews Stephen Malkmus

tame impala

Metro Theatre, Sydney Tuesday, September 22

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Saturday, September 26

crowd went absolutely nuts. A moshpit formed and both the band and the crowd maintained their intensity throughout the remainder of the set. During songs like ‘Desire Be Desire Go’, ‘Skeleton Tiger’ and their cover of Blueboy’s ‘Remember Me’, the room was electric, and ‘Sundown Syndrome’ has left me waiting in great anticipation for the release of their debut album.  ~Chrissy Kavalieros

Lisa Mitchell Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Sunday, September 27 Stephen Malkmus  ©Michelle Ho

Tame Impala  ©Mark Snelson

Bridezilla’s Holiday Carmen-Sparks oozes sex appeal and she acknowledges the coolness of their support slot, declaring, “Today is the best day of my life, because we’re supporting Stephen Malkmus.” It’s not long before Malkmus, an indie legend by anyone’s standards, takes to the stage with his new group, The Jicks. Before a note is hit, bass player Joanna Bolme warns the crowd against mentioning Pavement. It gets the show off to a slightly awkward and uneasy start, which is heightened when a fuck-wit towards the front yells a request for ‘Trampoline’ after the third song. Another song later, someone yells out, ‘Pavement!’ Malkmus shakes his head with mock distress, saying softly while looking at his guitar pedals, “That was another shit band.” But nonetheless, Malkmus and his cohorts play a raw, ragged, jammed-out set and the singer’s vocals are spot-on. They even do an encore that includes the genius track ‘Hopscotch Willie’. It’s an impressive show, that covers the expanse of Malkmus’ post Pavement catalogue — here’s to Pavement’s return in 2010!  ~Nick Milligan

I arrived at the Cambridge to find the main room already full of punters and The Laurels on stage. They had pulled an impressive crowd, and if you listened carefully you could tell their music was ok, but the feedback and distortion was so intense that it was difficult to enjoy. Next up was the unexpectedly amazing Jonathan Boulet. From the moment Jonathan and his band took to the stage, we were swept away on a joyous journey of sweet folk-pop. The sing along to his Triple J favourite ‘A Community Service Announcement’ was the definite highlight of my night. Onto the band the sold out crowd had been waiting for, Tame Impala. I remember being one of the lucky few who got to see these guys play at a secret Modular party a few years ago in the lead up to being signed to the label, and being blown away, and now, with many more live shows under their belt the band simply keeps getting better. While there were a few sound issues early in their set, they were ironed out swiftly and as the first riffs of ‘Half Full Glass Of Wine’ were played, the

Lisa Mitchell  ©Robyn Moore

Seeing Lisa Mitchell at the Cambridge is like seeing a flower amongst weeds. Running into her in the ladies bathroom is just an example of how much this great Australian talent isn’t being pampered, as she put on her own makeup and swore at her mobile phone. But on stage, when she wasn’t making every man in the room slowly fall in love with her. Opening for Mitchell was Melbourne-based band, Whitebirds and Lemons, who managed to get the crowd excited early on, a surprise for a first support. Oh Mercy also made an appearance, but seemed tired on their last night of the ‘Wonder’ tour, opening with their popular track, ‘Seemed Like A Good Idea’. The highlight of Mitchell’s performance was ‘Valium’, as she stood perfectly still and swept the quiet crowd off their feet. However, the depth of her music on her album fails to translate to the live performance and the audience were left feeling that she may be a little too young to be singing the blues. Another exceptional moment was when Mitchell’s band left the stage for her to perform a rendition of the Dire Straits classic, ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Mitchell is most captivating when on stage alone, because she’s so obviously breakable. A slight spate of stage fright just before ‘Pirouette’ let the sweaty Cambo crowd see the real Lisa Mitchell. She invited the tour bus full of performers on stage for the last song, and you could feel the energy coming from them and resonating through the crowd. Basically – an amazing gig. If you missed her, you should be ashamed of yourself.   ~Abbey Wright

Bad Religion + NOFX Hordern Pavilion, Sydney Wednesday, September 30

Bad Religion  ©David Campbell

Sydney played host to not one, but two of the world’s most worshipped, accomplished and longest running punk bands. On one hand we have NOFX, a quartet of veteran punks making light of highly controversial topics and chanting songs about kicking the Queen in the 38    r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9

private region. At the other end of the spectrum is Bad Religion, a gifted and talented ensemble, who comfortably shift from singing emotive songs about personal relationships, to enlightening listeners on social and political issues affecting the human race. NOFX are masters of comical onstage banter. Given that vocalist/bassist Fat Mike is Jewish and guitarist/trumpeter El Hefe is Mexican, one would assume jokes surrounding these topics would be off limits. This assumption was proved inaccurate as the Californian punks entertained with plenty of possibly offensive gags, such as “Q: Why wasn’t Jesus born a Mexican? A: They couldn’t find three wise men or a virgin.” Of course, they were here to play music too. NOFX satisfied punters with the likes of ‘Stickin’ In My Eye’, ‘The Brews’, ‘Bob’ and ‘Don’t Call Me White’. Fellow Americans Bad Religion were the headliner for tonight. After almost three decades in existence, the precision and finesse with which every note was delivered is to be expected; yet is still truly remarkable. Bad Religion flawlessly executed ‘Do What You Want’, ‘Dearly Beloved’, ‘Sorrow’ and ‘New Dark Ages’ to name a few tunes. It was great to see more of an emphasis on their reputable back catalogue than when the punk rock juggernaut last toured Australia in 2007. It seems unnecessary and near impossible, to decide who was superior of these two exceptionally entertaining bands.   ~Nathaniel Try

Calling All Cars + After The Fall Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Thursday, October 8

After The Fall  ©Robyn Moore

A small but enthusiastic crowd braved the terrible weather to watch Calling all Cars and After The Fall kick off their ‘Go Hunting Tour’ at the Cambridge Hotel and despite the lack of numbers, both bands played as if the venue was sold out. It’s no secret that I love After The Fall. These guys have been long time local favourites of mine and it’s fantastic to see them in fine form again after such a long break from the spotlight. The boys started out big with ‘Concrete Boots’, ‘Raise the Dust’ and ‘Mirror, Mirror’ and then my favourite, ‘The Fighter’ which was a great start to their set. Vocalist Ben then picked up the guitar as they launched into a few tracks off the new album, In Exile. The band has taken a slightly more atmospheric turn with the new album, which strikes a nice contrast to their older tunes. ‘Digital Age’ and ‘Desire’ are definite highlights and showcased the band’s new found range. Next up was Calling All Cars. I admit that I didn’t know much about them before the night, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The two bands complimented each other perfectly and it was easy to see why they were on tour together. They had great energy and the crowd really got into the tracks ‘Hold, Hold Fire’ and ‘Not Like Anybody’. With the tour kicking on across the country until December I would definitely urge you to ‘Go Hunting’.   ~Chrissy Kavalieros

Live reviews Black Eyed Peas Acer Arena, Sydney Friday, October 2

Black Eyed Peas  ©Johnny Au

The Black Eyed Peas certainly don’t hesitate when it comes to elaborate stage design. There were enough neon lights, wardrobe changes and smoke projectors at Sydney’s BEP show to host an infinite amount of cheesy 90s discos. The crowd’s enthusiasm was finally fuelled when the BEP entered the stage [out of a secret door to stand motionlessly in a spotlight of green laser light, might I add]. Clad in silver clothing and accompanied by a strange array of backup dancers, including human speakers, demented masked geishas, and barely-clothed ninjas, BEPa gave more of a theatrical performance than a live gig. In an impressive DJ set, effortlessly blended everything from Fedde Le Grand’s ‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit’ to Michael Jackson’s ‘Scream’ and Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, all from a platform in the air. By this point, the crowd was buzzing, creating a perfect atmosphere for the band to ditch their crazy stage antics and deliver a [slightly] more honest rendition of “Where Is The Love?” Did I feel the love? Ok, maybe just for a second.  ~Lee Tobin

Gig of the month

Marilyn Manson Enmore Theatre, Sydney Tuesday, October 13

As the Enmore Theatre is filled by smoke machines and a black cloth covers the front of the stage, anticipation for Marilyn Manson simmers amongst the adoring crowd. Finally, the cloth is stripped away, revealing one of the world’s most infamous rock stars, as well as Manson’s band [which includes the newlyrejoined Twiggy Ramirez]. On the back of Manson’s jacket read the words, ‘Hell, etc’. Having never seen Manson before, I can only assume he has mellowed slightly, as this performance would not have had him banned in any foreign countries. Your grandma would probably award him a visa. He chats to the crowd and his subtle costume changes are a treat. His ‘shock rocker’ antics extend to constantly hurling his microphone across the stage and grabbing a photographer’s camera from the photo pit. He also has a penchant for taking one swig of fresh beer, spitting it out, and then throwing the rest of the bottle on the ground. He sings one song into a microphone that’s fitted into the handle of a giant dagger. Very cool. Half of his set comprised of new material, with a raw performance of the ballad ‘Devour’ proving a stand out. But Manson fans got really crazy for ‘The Dope Show’, ‘Rock Is Dead’, ‘Dried Up, Tied and Dead To The World’, ‘Sweet Dreams’, and a brutal cover of Patti Smith’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger’. With a one-song encore — ‘The Beautiful People’ — Manson didn’t play the world’s longest set, but he certainly invested a lot of energy, both physically and vocally. Insert devil horns here.  ~Nick Milligan

MArilyn Manson  ©Kevin Bull


6 Nov

Torch Le Monde with The Remnants, Gay Paris, tenthousandtimes Nov 7

all ages punk doors 2pm

Worlds apart (last show), Persist, The Hollow, 10 Paces Nov 7

Famous Mayhem with Skitten Rotte

Nov 13

Pixie Music Nov 14

Metal Evilution Nov 19

Dawn Heist with Deathmaask Nov 21

Nov 27

Crash Tragic EP launch, I Am The Agent, Where’s Jerome Nov 28

Dan Ford and The Goods, One Flew East

All ages doors 2pm

Recoil with In The Wake, Swallow Your Bride, Caleb Skips Chemistry, What Lies Within

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Live reviews

birds of tokyo

regular john




Backstage Butter

Wickham Park, Newcastle Sunday November 25, 2009

Braving the elements, Nick Milligan went backstage at Newcastle’s Fat As Butter to catch up with some of the stars on the bill.

The weather was not kind to Fat As Butter this year, with rain setting in around mid-afternoon. While the initial downfall seemed to dampen the spirits of Butter’s once eager punters, the powerhouse performances by the bands on the bill were a ray of light. Snob Scrilla showed his appreciation for the soaked audience by jumping off the stage to join them in the mosh pit. Urthboy did a great job of sending out ‘The Signal’. Artists like Regular John, Bluejuice, Birds Of Tokyo and Grinspoon all rocked their guts out, injecting enthusiasm into their audience. By dusk, the clouds had settled and the rain was over. Hilltop Hoods worked the crowd into a frenzy, while on the slightly smaller stage Art Vs Science stole the show, proving themselves to be the most exciting new band in Australia. Their performance was primal and sizzling with electro-rock energy. The radio hit, ‘Flippers’, had the crowd going mad, while their note-perfect cover of Basement Jaxx’s ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ was unbelievably good. Art Vs Science are going to be bigger than The Presets — it’s just a matter of time. Despite some unfortunate weather patterns, the vibe of this year’s Fat As Butter was chilledout and really enjoyable. Here’s to next year! ~Nick Milligan


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Ian Kenny (Birds Of Tokyo) NM There’s a few showers around today. Have Birds Of Tokyo ever had to play in the rain? IK  I was actually thinking about this on the way here. I suppose we have, but I think Australian festival culture is favoured by the weather, so this doesn’t happen too often. Either the stage turns into a swimming pool or the grounds turn into a mudbath, so we’ll just see what happens. Hopefully we won’t get electrocuted. NM  Is this one of your last Birds Of Tokyo shows for a while? IK  Kind of. We play a festival next week, then we’re aiming to head into the studio in December to embark on our third album. Karnivool is touring in November and December, so it never really stops. NM  When you’re performing in front of a crowd of over 10,000 people, what is going through your mind? IK  You walk up on stage and your head is like a blank TV with static on it. Then as soon as something on stage happens — the first sound or the first beat — you just kick into gear. Performance is about peaks and troughs and it’s over before you know it.

Phil Jamieson [Grinspoon] NM  How about this weather! Have you played many festivals in the rain? PJ  To be perfectly honest, Nick, I think festivals should be like this. I think there should be bad LSD, mud and long queues for everything. The first festival we played like this was the infamous ‘Mudbake’ in Byron Bay, which was the first Homebake. But I like [the rain] — it makes the punters work for their entertainment. NM  Why does Newcastle have so many loyal ‘Grinners’ fans? PJ I think because we started playing here in the early 90s as a very young band — we would drive [to Newcastle] and play the Hunter On Hunter and other small venues. When we came through supporting the Henry Rollins Band in ‘96 at The Bar On The Hill, we found many fans. Newcastle has always been really nice to us. NM  Is there a feeling in the band that your best songs could still be ahead of you? PJ: You’d like to think so — I’m not exactly sure. I wouldn’t want to be presumptuous. We’re not on a search for a cosmic thing. We’re just a straight-up rock ‘n’ roll band. The harder and more raw it is, the more it works.

Bluejuice NM  Do you guys sense a strong fan base here in Newcastle? Jake  Well after today, yes. Something must have happened in the last six weeks, and I assume that something is a fuck-load of radio play. Stav  It’s either that, or us coming out. Jake  Well, there is a big gay population in Newcastle and I think they really appreciate it. We really want to cash in on the pink dollar here. NM  How is your new material fitting into your existing set list? Stav  It’s nice, because its sort of chilled it out a bit. We don’t have to totally tear everyone’s heart out from start to finish. Now we can make a small incision and tear it out slowly. There’s more mid-tempo songs and a real solidness to the rhythm section now. James [Hauptmann, drums] is a newer addition to the band. Jake  Ned was brought into the band as an old friend, but he wasn’t a session drummer. James is a combination of the professionalism of a session drummer, and the idiocy and uselessness that we’ve come to expect from someone who is genuinely in this band. He has also fucked my sister — that was an apprenticeship.

game reviews

reviewed Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360) reviewed by Hugh Milligan rated 8/10

primed and pumped Orbital Drops Save  

Time, Not Lives It’s been almost two years since the release of Halo 3 [which, despite its enormous hype, failed to cure cancer and bring about world peace], and the next major title in the series [Halo: Reach] is still another year away. Fear not, fanboys — Bungie knows you desperately need another fix of Covenant-killing action to tide you over, and here it is. Chronologically, Halo 3: ODST takes place during the events of Halo 2 and 3, as the Covenant continue to ravage the Earth city of New Mombasa in the wake of the devastating slipspace portal opened by the High Prophet of Regret. While those familiar with this larger context will certainly get more out of the campaign, the plot is insular enough to be followed without it. You are “the Rookie”, a member of an elite military unit known as Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, whose deployment involves plummeting into the city from space aboard a small remote-guided pod. This absurdly dangerous operation goes awry within thirty seconds of commencing, and you are left dazed and isolated after being thrown off-course. What follows is an experience noticeably different to previous Halo games; the task of piecing together the mysterious fate of your team in the dark, rainy streets of New Mombasa is presented much like a film noir. The discovery of clues triggers a series of flashbacks that act as levels in the campaign, and

they can, theoretically, be played in any order you like. Unfortunately, these levels often seem like condensed vignettes obviously contrived to showcase a particular vehicle [such as the warthog, scorpion tank or banshee], and they limit any sense of narrative freedom encouraged by the open-world hub. The campaign is a fun distraction, partic­ular­ ly with friends, but the real strength of ODST lies in its bevy of multiplayer modes. The game’s second disc contains the ultimate Halo 3 multiplayer experience, including not only those maps originally shipped with the game but all of its subsequent downloadable content packs, as well as three brand new maps exclusive to ODST. The Forge map-making tool is also included, as well as Theatre mode   and Bungie’s File Share functionality, so maps you’ve made or replays you’ve saved can be easily shared with friends. ODST also introduces a new co-operative game mode, Firefight — a test of endurance for one to four players against waves of enemies kept fresh and unpredictable by the game’s intelligent AI. Rough patches in its campaign aside, Halo 3: ODST is a solid package that introduces another chapter in the Halo universe along with its most extensive multiplayer functionality to date. Those who already own Halo 3 will find less in the way of new content here, but features like Firefight still have great replay potential.

When Nintendo announced that a new Metroid title would be released on its GameCube console in 2002, fans of the series were excited but cautious. While other Nintendo mainstays such as Mario had leapt joyously into the 3D era, the bounty hunter Samus Aran had been suspiciously absent from consoles for almost a decade. Any fears proved to be unfounded, of course; Metroid Prime was a bold, fresh reinvention of the series that introduced an atmospheric first-person perspective while preserving the open-world exploration and intelligent level design of earlier titles. Samus was back, and ready to dispense her own brand of violent feminism once more. Metroid Prime also introduced a new story line involving Phazon, an insidious mutagenic substance that threatens to corrupt the entire galaxy [including Samus herself]. Two further titles were released, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, to resolve the narrative; the latter was released on the Nintendo Wii and introduced further innovations, such as its masterful use of the Wiimote’s IR aiming system. Developer Retro Studios made all the right choices in refining the series, and Samus Aran was rightfully restored to the modern gaming vernacular. It is this exceptional history that Nintendo celebrates with the release of Metroid Prime: Trilogy for Nintendo Wii. All three games are packaged on a single disc, and those originally for GameCube have received further improvements [in much the same way as Nintendo’s New Play Control! series] to bring

reviewed Metroid Prime Trilogy (Nintendo Wii) reviewed by Hugh Milligan rated 8/10

them in line with Corruption. Similarly, they now benefit from the Wiimote’s IR, resulting in greater fluency and precision — even those who have played through the originals will find them fresh and new. All three titles use the token system of unlocking rewards introduced in Corruption, and there is a massive catalogue of art, music, and features to be unlocked. The real annoyance here is that the most interesting rewards [such as novelty bobbleheads for Samus’ ship or the ability to take and share screenshots] require green tokens — these can only be earned by sending vouchers to friends who also own the game and having them send you one in return. It’s a real pain, and something that should not have been preserved from the original release of Corruption. The package features a slick new menu system from which you can keep track of your progress in all three titles, and even the multiplayer mode from Echoes has been included [although, whether this is a blessing or a curse is debatable]. This is how the Metroid Prime trilogy was meant to be played, and an affirmation of one of Nintendo’s greatest success stories. For those who’ve never experienced it, it’s an absolute must-have. r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9   


FILM reviews

snore VI reviewed Saw VI reviewed by Mark Snelson rated 1.5/5

HIGHER LEARNING Set in 1961 and based on the memoir of Lynn Barber, An Education tells the story of Jenny Miller [superbly played by Carey Mulligan], a doe-eyed Francophile and her relationship with the, much older, suitor David Goldman [played by a very British-sounding Peter Sarsgaard]. Miller, who longs to escape the dreariness of her life, soon finds herself intoxicated by Goldman’s world of jazz clubs, foreign films and sports cars. Miller yearns to know “lots about lots” and the ever-charming Goldman attempts to educate the teen on a way of life not currently on offer at her cloistered, all-girls finishing school. However, the real education in the film comes from the revelation of Mulligan, who simply shines as the wonderfully naive Miller. Beautifully shot

reviewed An Education reviewed by Amanda Bevan rated 3.5/5 and directed by Lone Scherfig, the film is a veritable visual feast with generous helpings of 60s costuming on display. Goldman’s lavish world of swirling colours and prints is perfectly juxtaposed against Miller’s stark, grey microcosm. With a screenplay by novelist Nick Hornby (About a Boy, High Fidelity) the dialogue is sharp and as quintessentially British as a spot of tea and crumpets.

No other film franchise seems to be able to churn out sequels as fast as the Saw series. The original was released in 2004 and we are now up to the sixth instalment in just five years, which is interesting considering the villain met his death in the fourth. So do we need any more? Fans would probably argue ‘yes’, but I think it has well and truly run its course. Saw VI does not waste any time in getting down to business. The opening scene involves a couple of dodgy loan officers forced into a gruesome game that involves each of them trying to outdo one another in the amount of flesh they can strip away from their bodies in 60 seconds. For those not following the series, Agent Hoffman is the new Jigsaw killer — a protégé of the now deceased original. However, continuing the bloody games is becoming increasingly difficult with detectives Erikson and Perez closing in on the identity of Jigsaw’s new helper. William Easton is the chosen victim for the majority of the film and is the head of the claims department of a large health insurance firm. He is chosen for the fact that he is seemingly devoid of morals and ethics when it comes to

choosing the eligibility of the claims that go through his office. He is put through a series of tests that involve choosing the fates of other kidnapped employees with a promise of reaching his family should he survive the hour long game. Directed by Kevin Greutert, Saw VI is very familiar in atmosphere and appearance — which is no surprise considering he was the editor for all previous Saw films. Admittedly it is very nicely shot and the special effects are top notch, but this is not enough to save it. Other than the series outstaying its welcome, the problem here is that the writing is predictable and lacks the tension that all good horrors should have. It is pretty much just a sadistic gore fest for the sake of it. This will please some, but leaves a bad taste for most viewers. Saw VI is far removed from the inventiveness and originality of the original and is really just going through the motions. This one is for the hardcore fans only — but even they may feel the series is past its used by date.

UNCH A L P E T DEBU DEBUT GIG FRIDAY 27th NOVEMBER AT THE CBD HOTEL 9pm start FREE entry special guests : VAUDEVILLE, DJ MENNA, LOODS, TAP TAP more to be announced




r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9

DVD reviews

Love   Games reviewed Adventureland reviewed by Nick Milligan rated 3.5/5

With an amusement park as its ironic backdrop, Adventureland captures the painful learning curve of teenagers finishing high school — and ultimately entering adulthood. James Brennan [Jesse Eissenberg] is all set to head to university in New York and is excited about leaving the bubble of his home town. However, when his parents encounter a financial setback, James is left to pay for his own schooling. He takes a summer job at rundown park called Adventureland, where he meets a new circle of friends, each of which are flawed and funny in equal measure. James is particularly taken by Emily Lewin [Kristen Stewart], with whom he has an instant rapport. He also strikes up a friendship with the park’s mechanic Mike Connell [Ryan Reynolds]. While there’s a lot to like about Adventureland, it is hard to get past the moments of déjà vu in the script. This coming-

of-age, boy-meets-girl tale has been presented many, many times on film. Despite containing fascinating and well-drawn characters, Adventureland is wholly predicatable at every turn and offers very little that’s fresh. It’s served well by a great 80s soundtrack, including an original score by Yo La Tengo. Eissenberg is enjoyable to watch, and fills his awkward hero with honesty and dignity. However, James is practically the same sexuallyinexperienced character that Eissenberg portrayed in the brilliant 2002 independent film

Getting The Chop

reviewed Heath Franklin’s Chopper —   Make Deadshits History: Live At Pentridge reviewed by Nick Milligan rated 3/5

Heath Franklin’s the first to admit that his onstage impersonation of Mark ‘Chopper’ Read is based more on Eric Bana’s now infamous portrayal, rather than the man himself. But nevertheless, Franklin manages to capture aspects of Read’s real-life sense of humour — a dry, laconic wit that uses cheek to subvert his terrifying criminal reputation. In this intimate show, Franklin appears in a venue that would be all too familiar for the real-life Chopper Read — Victoria’s Pentridge Prison — where Australia’s most famous stand-over man was imprisoned in its H block. The prison, which closed down in 1997, is now open for public tours and function bookings — and conveniently for Franklin, it’s gloomy disposition is perfect for a live standup show. Franklin clearly relishes the freedom of

being Chopper, and never breaks character. While the subject matter rarely references the life of the real Chopper, Franklin drops violent anecdotes as a comedic tool to remind you that you’re watching ‘ol’ Chop Chop’, and for the most part the shock value works. Make Deadshits History is Franklin’s second show, and while the extremely Australian humour [which is over-flowing with the word ‘fuck’], simply won’t strike a chord with everyone, the comedian’s sentiments are right on the money — “make deadshits history”. The world is full of ‘deadshits’ that do shitty things, and revelling in Franklin’s rants ultimately becomes a wicked delight. With an extensive and hilarious list of special features, this DVD is a worthwhile purchase — because once you know the jokes by heart, you’ll want to throw it on at parties.

Roger Dodger. He is in danger of being typecast in the same way as Superbad’s Michael Cera [the two surely compete for acting roles]. Kristen Stewart steals the show, proving she has acting chops beyond the overblown romanticism of Twilight [she apparently performed her Twilight screen test while on the set of Adventureland]. While she physically fits the beautiful ‘girl-next-door’ description, Emily Lewin is a nuanced character, and Stewart pulls this off with a seemingly effortless performance. Superbad director Greg Mottola, who has also

shot episodes of Arrested Development, does an esteemed job from his director’s chair, imbibing the dilapidated fairground setting with a rustic beauty. The ‘amusement park’ that these restless employees inhabit serves to highlight their unhappiness. Adventureland has the dry pacing of an indie flick and is served by a strong array of comic performances. Reynolds’ Connell provides a nice addition as the sleazy Mr Fix-It, whose charm ultimately makes him likeable. But overall, its the engaging lead protagonists that make this movie a worthwhile watch.

r e v e r b m a g a z i n e i s s u e # 0 4 0  —  n o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9   


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Reverb Magazine - Issue 40  

Reverb Magazine - Issue 40

Reverb Magazine - Issue 40  

Reverb Magazine - Issue 40