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music, arts & culture monthly

central coast | hunter | north coast 

deep sea arcade new darlings

FREE #069 May ’12


of the brits

 The real story behind the split 


 Face to face with the guitar icon 


 Return from their descent into hell 

plus: Band of Skulls + The Maccabees + Hilltop Hoods + Catcall + The Raveonettes

McManus Entertainment Presents




For travel & accommodation packages contact

2012 R TOU







photo by kevin bull

No. 69

Reverb Magazine is locally owned & published by The Lockup Garage. Printed by Spotpress, Marrickville:



News Groovin The Moo Locals Band of Skulls Mickey Avalon Leftfield The Maccabees Hilltop Hoods The Darkness Murder By Death The Butterfly Effect Deep Sea Arcade The Raveonettes Daniel Champagne Catcall Slash Cartoon Horoscopes Album reviews Bluesfest review Live reviews GOATS festival review Dig It Up festival review Motoring — Nissan GTR Anna Faris (The Dictator) Film reviews DVD reviews Gig guide

8-13 14 15 17 17 19 20 21 22 23 24-25 26 27 27 28-29 31 31 32-33 34-35 36-37 38 38 39 40 40 41 42-44


editor’s letter


This month I made my yearly pilgrimage to Bluesfest to catch up with my North Coast Manager, and to take in the stellar lineup. Personal favourites were Yes, Trombone Shorty, Alabama 3, Dawes and Maceo Parker, but to be honest, it did not matter which way you looked, the music was impressive. On the home front, my step-daughter, Lauren, has moved out and I have replaced her with a brewery. After watching my brother and our cartoonist, Tony Jenkins, set up a keg fridge, I have been convinced that this is the way to go. I have a Pale Ale and a ginger beer bubbling away in the back room. In a few weeks, the kegs will be chilled and the bottleshop will be a thing of the past. Much love guys, Kevin


Senior Writers

Charli Hutchison



Kevin Bull


Kellie Jones

Jarrod Beckley or 0410 295 360

Peter Douglas

Jessica Kellar

Tim Boehm


Nick Milligan

Roger Killjoy

Kevin Bull

Sales, Newcastle & Central Coast

Kate Hamilton

Matt Petherbridge

Kirri Liepins

Cass Hannigan or 0410 295 360

Sallie Maree Pritchard

Jonathan McCallum

David Jackson

Mark Snelson

Jo McIntyre

Kellie Jones

Sales, North Coast

Jamie Nelson

Drew Hooper or 0458 559 938


Cormack O’Connor

Julie Lowe

North Coast Mgr

Michaela Bruton

Amelia Parrott

Matt McIntyre

Gig guide

Stephen Bocking

Kevin Bull

Terry Paull

Sophie Metcalfe

Eliza Church

Thomas Peasley

Brooke Nash


Stephanie De Vries

Max Quinn

Glen Pearson


Tony Jenkins

Cameron Edney

Melissa Roach

Mark Snelson

Sean Frazer

Baz Ruddick

Cassie Virgona


Paul Frost

Luke Saunders

Roger Virgona

Steve Burrito

Shelby Houghton

Haylee Steen

Amie Hudson

Rod Whitfield

6  reverb

magazine issue #069 — May 2012

art director


Cam Bennett

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Postal address PO Box 843, Woy Woy NSW 2256

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iislington slington SATURDAY MAY 5











hamiltons best schnitzels



and steaks has moved to


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Giveaways just email First come, first served

5 copies Five copies of 7 Worlds Collide, 7 Years Apart on DVD

4 double pass/

3 copies

album packs

Win one of four double passes to see Tijuana Cartel at either the Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, on Saturday May 19, or the Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, on Saturday May 26, as well as a copy of the band’s current album, M1.

Three copies of Nick and Liesl’s Feather on CD

5 copies

Five copies of Kasabian’s Live at the O2 on DVD

1 double pass/ single pack

Win a double pass to the Minds in the Water movie screening at Mullum Civic Hall, Saturday June 9, as well as a copy of the Band of Frequencies single, ‘Free Again’, and Lionheir’s single, ‘Waterfall’.

5 copies

Five copies of Pennywise’s All or Nothing on CD

flight of the conchords


The wait is over - New Zealand’s much loved folk comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords are finally coming to Australia, this July. This will be the first ever run of Australian headline shows for Kiwi funny men, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. Clement said of the announcement, “we are finally returning to Australia, mostly to apologise”. In a buoyant career spanning almost 15 years, Flight Of The Conchords has become one of Australia’s favourite comedy and musical acts, with the band gaining notoriety for their hilarious ditties including ‘Carol Brown’, ‘Foux Da Fafa’, ‘Epileptic Dogs’ and many more. New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘fourth most popular folk-parody duo’ make musical comedy an art form. Come hang out with New Zealand’s best export after sheep’s wool, as Flight Of The Conchords woo you with their fearless rhymes, tough urban beats and the best daggy jumpers their country has to offer. Flight of the Conchords perform at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Tuesday July 10.



Following the successful launch of the New Generation Hunter Valley Winemakers ‘Caravan of Courage’, in Melbourne, on Thursday April 19, the bus has been loaded with the very best Hunter Valley wines, and is heading north for a month-long east coast adventure, jam-packed full of Pop Up Wine Bars & Dinners in secret spunky locations. The New Generation Hunter Valley Winemakers are made up of David Hook (David Hook Wines), Andrew Thomas (Thomas Wines), Rhys Eather (Meerea Park), Nick Paterson (Mistletoe Wines), Mike De Iuliis (De Iuliis Wines) and Andrew Margan (Margan Wines). And according to self-nominated spokesperson, Andrew ‘Thommo’ Thomas, “one of the most important things these days, whether you’re a large or small wine producer, is staying connected with your consumers.” If the answer is to build a big green bus, fill it with wonderful Hunter Valley wine, and invite the thirsty folk of Newcastle, Sydney, Port Macquarie, Byron Bay, Brisbane and Noosa to join in the ride, then the boys are on a winner. Tickets start from $30 for the secret location Pop Up Wine Bars in Sydney and Brisbane, but this is only the start of the fun. In Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Byron Bay, the experience is taken a step further with Pop Up Wine Dinners at Rustica (Newcastle), The Stunned Mullet (Port Macquarie) and Byron Beach Cafe (Byron Bay) where the beautiful menus will be matched to the New Generation Hunter Valley’s finest wines. The New Generation Hunter Valley ‘Caravan of Courage’ arrives at Rustica, Newcastle Beach, on Thursday May 10 (Pop Up Wine Dinner); a secret location in Sydney on Friday May 11 (Pop Up Wine Bar); The Stunned Mullet, Port Macquarie, on Tuesday May 15 (Pop Up Wine Dinner); Byron Beach Café, Byron Bay, on Wednesday May 16 (Pop Up Wine Dinner); a secret location in Brisbane on Thursday May 17 (Pop Up Wine Bar). Tickets for the Pop Up Wine Bars in Sydney and Brisbane are on sale now at Tickets for the Pop Up Wine Dinners are available at the participating restaurants – Rustica, Newcastle, (4929 3333), The Stunned Mullet, Port Macquarie, (6584 7277) and Byron Beach Cafe, Byron Bay, (6685 8400).

8  reverb

magazine issue #069 — May 2012

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Splendour In The Grass have dropped their line-up and once again it’s looking like the year’s must-do event. Without going into too much detail, here it is – Friday July 27: Jack White, At The Drive-In (only Australian show), The Shins, Explosions In The Sky (only Australian show), The Afghan Whigs, Kimbra, Spiderbait, Gypsy & The Cat, DZ Deathrays, Howler, Lanie Lane, Big Scary, Michael Kiwanuka, Yacht Club Dj’s, Bertie Blackman, Youth Lagoon, Pond, Ben Howard, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Kate Miller-Heidke, Emma Louise, Chet Faker, Canyons (DJ Set), Nice and Ego (AV/DJ show), Alison Wonderland, Flume. Saturday July 28: Bloc Party (only Australian show), Hilltop Hoods, Miike Snow, Dirty Three (only Australian show), 360, Lana Del Rey, Tame Impala, Ladyhawke, Mudhoney, Band Of Skulls, Last Dinosaurs, Muscles, Seekae, Friends, Jinja Safari, The Beautiful Girls, Tijuana Cartel, Bleeding Knees Club, Shihad, Here We Go Magic, Mosman Alder, The Cast Of Cheers, Wolf & Cub, Danny T, Sampology (AV/DJ show), Gloves, Luke Million. Sunday July 29: Smashing Pumpkins, The Kooks (only Australian show), Gossip, Azealia Banks, Wolfmother, Missy Higgins, 50 Years Of Dylan, Metric, Django Django, San Cisco, Electric Guest, Angus Stone, Fun., Blue King Brown, Yuksek, Ball Park Music, The Rubens, Zulu Winter, The Medics, Husky, Father John Misty, Parachute Youth, Gossling, Nina Las Vegas, Beni, Alley Oop, Harris Robotis. Splendour in the Grass is at Belongil Fields, Byron Bay, July 27-29.

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After selling out arenas all through the USA, Canada, the UK and Europe, and headlining Coachella and Lollapalooza and many other festivals, The Black Keys are very pleased to announce their long-awaited return to Australia, this October. Their latest (and seventh) album El Camino is now platinum in Australia, reaching #2 on the ARIA album chart. Its infectious opening track, ‘Lonely Boy’ is a certified global smash hit single, achieving double platinum sales in Australia, reaching #2 on the ARIA single chart and #2 on the Triple J hottest 100. The show features huge visuals from 20 projectors, giant mirror balls, and all the hits from their deep and consistently awesome back catalogue. The transformation of The Black Keys from a two-piece garage band playing small clubs to being worthy headliners of arenas and festivals could not be more just or complete and proves that the pure combination of good times, great music and grit can still turn to gold. Rest assured, you haven’t seen a show like this before. The Black Keys perform at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Sunday 21 October.



Ladyhawke will be making a very welcome return to venues across Australia, in July, to perform musical gems like ‘My Delirium’, ‘Paris Is Burning’ and ‘Back Of The Van’ from her ARIA Award winning self-titled debut album, and showcase tunes from her forthcoming album, Anxiety, which will be unleashed on May 25. Rediscover the familiar and ridiculously addictive 80s electropop sounds of Ladyhawke’s hugely successful debut album and be blown away by the heavier, guitar-driven feel of her deliciously long-awaited second album when Ladyhawke performs at the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Thursday July 19.


In late February, one of Coffs Harbour’s favourite sons, Jason JJ Skinner, had an accident that landed him in a critical condition in Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital. While he is responding well to treatment, the road ahead is going to be a long one and JJ will be out of action for a good part of 2012, unable to work and needing full-time care. Born and raised in Coffs Harbour, JJ is a much-loved and well-known character. On Saturday May 5, The Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs Harbour, is inviting the whole community to come down for a day to raise some money to go towards making JJ’s recovery a little easier — A Day For Jay. There will be entertainment for the kids, raffles, food, and music (Quick Fix in the beer garden, followed by Jade Porter, and the JJ Band in the band room).

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The organisers of last year’s Whiplash festival vowed to make 2012 bigger and better, and that is exactly what they have done. Headlining will be Denmark’s very own mind-bending, sonic-altering and souldestroying export, Mnemic. Mnemic have a style all of their own, described by the band as ‘future fusion metal’. Joining Mnemic on the stage this year will be Brazil’s underground death metal devils, Unearthly. Australia’s main support comes from Dawn Heist, with their melodic brand of electronic groove metal. Adding to all this will be a roster of the very best Australian metal artists, with the final line-ups being announced very soon. Whiplash festival will be at the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Friday October 26.


Hot, brassy, and explosive, A Great Day For The Race is the newest instalment in a journey that began when Flap! formed during an informal jam at the 2007 Port Fairy Folk Festival. True to those roots, they’ve since gone on to become firm festival favourites country-wide, having torn it up everywhere from Port Fairy to Woodford, Falls, Adelaide Fringe, Apollo Bay, Melbourne Jazz, Rainbow Serpent, the National Folk Festival and many more. A fiery yet charming ensemble featuring horns, guts, words and skins, Flap! have been described as music that is both old and new, a rambunctious collage of 1920’s jazz, English folk, gypsy brass and Trinidadian calypso influences. The end result is something fresh and distinctively Australian. Flap! perform at Coorabell Hall, Byron Bay, on Saturday May 19; Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, on Friday June 1; Ocean View Hotel, Urunga, on Saturday June 2.



groovin the moo ADDS LOCALS TO Line-up

With the Groovin The Moo tour about to kick off, it is wonderful to hear that four locals have been added to the now sold-out Maitland event. With Triple J’s involvement, Boatfriends have been added as the Unearthed winner. Joining Boatfriends on the local’s party bus will be 1929Indian, The Guppies and We Built Atlantis. The bands will be the first four to play, so get there early. Groovin The Moo will be at Maitland Showground on Saturday May 12.


Are you looking for a career in audio, film, electronic music production or digital media? Are you also interested in finding a reason to spend some time in beautiful Byron Bay? Well on Saturday May 12 the planets will align, and SAE Byron Bay will be throwing open its doors. Tour the industry calibre facilities, including the renowned SSL9000K recording studio — the only one of its kind for educational use in the world - as well as advanced multi-track recording, mixing and surround sound studios, and the latest in digital audio, sequencing and electronic music production technology. Aspiring cinematographers will also be able to tour the Green Screen facility, and see demonstrations of professional digital video camera techniques, including steadicams and doorway dollys, plus see the prolevel post production suites on campus. So pack your sunscreen and register online today at to start your career in some of the sexiest industries known to man.

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It’s been a crazy year for Aussie-Swedish duo Nick and Liesl. 2011 saw them tour Australia and Europe with their critically-acclaimed debut album Feather, and only days after returning from overseas they wowed crowds at the 2011/2012 Woodford Folk Festival. Their European tour, which took them through Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland, included live performances on French TV and German radio, as well as the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg. After the seven-week tour, Nick and Liesl returned to Sweden for some family time and, inspired by the haunting winter darkness there, worked on new material for their next release. They are now back in Australia for a year of festivals, including Palm Creek Folk Festival, near Townsville, in June. The festival will complete Nick and Liesl’s upcoming tour which includes shows at No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen, on Saturday May 19; Armidale Club on Thursday May 24; Wauchope Arts Centre on Saturday May 26; 33 on Hickory, Dorrigo, on Sunday May 27.


‘Frog’ is the amalgamation of folk and progressive (prog) styles, and FrogFest is a celebration of this genre. With beginnings in 2011 as a single event in Sydney, the festival returns in 2012 as a seven-date tour through NSW, ACT and Victoria. “There are many great Australian bands that fit nicely into this genre, some underground, some more widely accepted,” explains organiser Dave Carr. “FrogFest presents a perfect opportunity to get them together, and to let the country know about what they’re creating. People need to hear this music. When you combine these two concepts you end up with a result that is both groundbreaking and harkens to something quite ancient - it’s pretty exciting.” Frogfest will be at Kantara House, Green Point, on Sunday May 6 (BOB, Dave Carr’s Fabulous Contraption, The Rhythm Hunters, Chaika), and Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Friday May 11 (The Crooked Fiddle Band, Mr Fibby, BOB, Dave Carr’s Fabulous Contraption, James Kemp).

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reverb magazine issue #069 — May 2012   9







6686 2135 liz stringer












Melbourne-based folk/blues chanteuse Liz Stringer is set to take to the road celebrating the release of her much anticipated CD Warm In The Darkness, with a bigger band and a much bigger sound, providing a natural progression from her previous releases to date (Tides Of Time, Pendulum, and Soon). Performances at Port Fairy Folk Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, Apollo Bay Music Festival, Mossvale Music Festival and the Australasian World Music Expo have cemented her powerful and riveting live shows as an audience favourite. Liz is also known for her dedicated work ethic, touring relentlessly around the entire country — a big favourite in oft-neglected touring destinations like Darwin and regional Western Australia. Liz Stringer performs at the Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, on Friday May 4; Mullumbimby Bowling Club on Friday May 11; No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen, on Saturday May 12.




hat fitz and cara robinson


Musical gypsies Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson invite you to be part of what will be their final run of Australian shows for some time. As the last rays of autumn quietly fade, preparations continue in earnest for their annual European run across nine countries and many of the world’s most prestigious festivals. These Australian shows promise to be quite memorable with the dynamic duo showcasing many of the tunes off the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut release Beauty ‘n the Beast. Recently recorded and produced by the highly respected Jeff Lang, Wiley Ways confirms that, from a life on the road constantly performing their unique blend of hill country blues and old time folk, an album has evolved, laden with passion, emotion and sheer energy. Their material is original yet crosses boundaries as if from a forgotten time. Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson perform at Lizotte’s Lambton on Thursday May 3, and Lizotte’s, Kincumber on Friday May 4.


Friends, lovers and supporters — Trial Kennedy has decided to call it a day having had the amazing pleasure of writing and recording two albums, two EPs and a split EP, and touring Australia literally hundreds of times. Trial Kennedy will play their final tour in June getting to all the places they can possibly can, performing at the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Saturday June 16. 10  reverb

magazine issue #069 — May 2012

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If James Brown and Joni Mitchell shared one night of passion, they may have conceived Lionheir. The soul-rock artist is a free-spirited live performer who captures imaginations with his cutting-edge songwriting. Originally based in Sydney, Lionheir spent two years writing songs in the hills behind Byron Bay and recently recorded an album with ARIA-nominated producer and engineer, Anthony Lycenko, and musicians from The Whitlams and Afro Dizzi Act. Lionheir was formerly known as Paul Appelkamp and toured the nation many times over as a solo artist. Under the title Paul Appelkamp, he had three previous releases, was a winner of the 2010 Sonicbids Fuse Festival competition, a finalist in the Blues & Roots category in the 2010 Music Oz Awards, and played at many large scale festivals such as Peats Ridge Festival and more. But Appelkamp has been reborn and, feeding on sounds from the 50s and 60s, Lionheir is touring with a full swinging band in support of his debut single ‘Waterfall’, performing at the Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs Harbour, on Sunday May 20, and Mullumbimby Civic Hall on Saturday June 9.


Australian audiences need no introduction to The Brian Jonestown Massacre nor their enigmatic musical director Anton Newcombe. The psychedelic collective have been embraced by Australian fans who have rewarded the band with numerous sold-out shows in the past, with punters eager to see what the next genre-defying salvo, delivered by Newcombe and his cohorts, will be. The next quiver from Newcombe’s musical bow is the forthcoming album Aufheben which will be released in Australia on April 30. As an even bigger treat for Australian fans, The Brian Jonestown Massacre will be joined in Australia by the fabulous Raveonettes. After the best part of a decade honing their instantly recognisable sound and seeing it co-opted by so many other bands aspiring for a similar level of greatness, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo are blazing a newer, darker trail with their brilliant fifth album ‘Raven In The Grave’. The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Raveonettes perform at Level One, Newcastle Leagues Club on Friday May 25.

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The 10-legged beast that is Karnivool has arisen from its slumber with plans to get a little festive with their fans on the Melodias Frescas tour, which will see the band hit the highways through June and July. Yes folks, the tour (which translates as Fresh Tunes) will reveal to the world some of the band’s new material which has been agonised over, in Perth, for the past year. Since Karnivool’s last Australian jaunt, a year ago, various members have taken time off, or on the road with other projects, as well as tinkering around in a studio in Perth putting the bits and pieces of Karnivool’s third album together. The global success of Sound Awake resulted in nearly three years of global touring, so it was definitely time for a little breather. As a collective Karnivool loves to take new material out on the road to give it a bit of a shake before the band head into the studio, so this tour will give people a glimpse of the Vool’s new musical knickers as they pirouette across the country. Karnivool perform at the Entrance Leagues Club on Wednesday July 11; Newcastle Panthers on Saturday July 14; Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, on Thursday July 19; Coolangatta Hotel on Saturday July 21.



Debut Album out mAY 4 oN IV Y leAGue ReCoRDS Features “Satellites”, “Swimming Pool” + “The World Is Ours”

Album lAuNCH SaT 19 May


It’s time to get excited. The return of Australia’s own genre-defying trend-setters, TZU is upon us. The new single ‘Beginning of the End’, is, to put it very simply, about The End. It sees the band at their finest — seamlessly merging genres and sounds, whilst tackling current global issues head-on, to create a glorious alternative pop statement. The band’s last album, the bulkace Computer Love was a Triple J feature, and saw them nominated for the AMP shortlist and the J Award Album of the Year, along with an APRA for Best Hip-Hop Artist. The just-announced tour will see the boys tour the nation extensively, showcasing new material along with many TZU classics. As well as working on new material for the album, the boys have been busy doing all sorts of wonderful things since we last heard from them, like smelling the roses, making babies and travelling the world (or at least trying to). TZU perform at the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Thursday May 17.


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12  reverb

magazine issue #069 — May 2012

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kate martin


On the album tour for her debut album, Townsville’s Kate Martin and her band almost died. Driving at night along the Pacific Highway between Brisbane and Sydney, the semi-trailer that they were behind burst one of its tyres. There was a loud bang, and then out of the darkness, a truck tyre bounces towards their tour van. Luckily, the tyre bounced over the van, leaving them with an out-of-control semitrailer in front of them. Despite this experience on her first national tour, and after two years of recording a new album, Martin is going back on the road. Joining Martin will be Ben Wells and the Middle Names — no strangers to touring, they have clocked up over 10,000kms in the past year alone, driving from their home town of Hobart to all points along the east coast of Australia. Both outsiders in the Australian music scene, Martin and Wells will be meeting in the middle to perform at the Brewery, Byron Bay, on Friday May 4, and the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Wednesday May 16.


Liz Martin has the kind of voice that makes you want to lean in close — a deep, lush, beautiful sound. It’s a voice and talent that’s earned her a gold record with Paul Mac, tour spots with Sigur Ros, Silverchair and The Black Keys and the long-standing respect and admiration of Sydney’s underground electronic scene. Liz is now set to tour the country after the release of her criticallyacclaimed third album Dance A Little, Live a Little. An album that fits into the sweet spot between pop, folk and jazz, with a poetic groove and a remarkable collection of songs that reference glam rock, New Orleans big bands, Parisian noir thrillers and sci-fi romanticism. Ranging from sophisticated pop to playful instrumentals and tender ballads Dance a Little, Live a Little has the special lustre that comes from real performances, rather than the cutting and pasting of formula pop. Liz Martin performs at the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Wickham, on Friday May 18.


After releasing All Eternals Deck to critical acclaim last year, The Mountain Goats will be bringing their unique brand of American indie storytelling to Australian audiences once again in May. All Eternals Deck is an eclectic mix of inspirations ranging from century-old painting to 70s cult films. According to singer songwriter John Darnielle, the tracks “cluster around themes of hidden things and the dread that hidden things inspire”. Recorded across four different studios, each with a different producer, All Eternals Deck demonstrates how different seasons, moods, producers and locations play out into song, and confirms Darnielle as one of the most innovative and creative songwriters of his generation. The Mountain Goats perform at the Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, on Thursday May 3.

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Herb of the Month Damiana



Terror is so much more than five individuals making music — it is an energy, a force, a refuge and a voice for all the lost and unheard. This is an attempt to put into words that force expressing the band’s dreams, visions and hopes, through the underground music medium of hardcore. This is the story of Terror, tirelessly sharing their ambitions live on stage, over 300 times a year since their inception in 2003. The band has no boundaries when playing a show. Performing to festival thousands one day and following it up with a show in a squat the next, Terror welcomes all, playing for whoever is willing to listen. Terror performs at the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle on Friday July 6, and the YAC, Byron Bay, on Monday July 9.

Damiana was the first herb the guys at Happy High Herbs introduced to the public, and it’s a rather suss-looking, green leafy substance. But unlike most of the other herbs I’ve tried, it smells nice. You can either drink it like a tea, or smoke it. As a non-stinker, I drank it, but I’ve been told you can use it as a substitute for tobacco or even pot. Anything that helps people become non-stinkers has to be a good thing. The blurb that came with the herb says it’s a ‘love potion’ too. I think I should start reading these things before I load up at work. After just a few sips, damiana leaves you with a nice warm, relaxed feeling. It’s quite pleasant. I’d totally recommend you try this stuff. I don’t know if I’m any sexier or calmer but hey, I was pretty calm and sexy to begin with. Well, according to me. ~Steve Burrito, taking it for the team


Two of the most influential bands in the history of hardcore music, New York’s Sick Of It All and Agnostic Front, will be touring Australia together this May on the New York United Tour. Sick Of It All are celebrating their 25th year as a band. In honour of this achievement, they recently released Non Stop — an album of re-recorded classic hits. With nine studio albums to their name and still exhibiting as much energy as the day they started, Sick Of It All are showing no signs of slowing down. Since 1982, Agnostic Front has been amongst the most venerable and notorious outcasts of the New York hardcore movement. The two records that started it all, United Blood and Victim in Pain, are legendary releases and were partially responsible for the hardcore genre itself. Rounding out the bill is Sydney’s Toe To Toe. Over nearly two decades the tale of Toe To Toe has been rooted in survival, struggle and conviction. Forming at a time when many felt real hardcore punk rock had enjoyed its day, the band rallied against trends and reared up in the face of fashion to become Sydney’s proudest exponents of a form of music that remains well and truly on the outside. Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front and Toe to Toe perform at the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle on Friday May 4.

tijuana cartel


After a well-earned break over New Year, Tijuana Cartel is back! Prepping a new live show, sporting a new single and ensuring that their passports are seaworthy! ‘Offer Yourself’ is the band’s first release since M1, and marks the results of their recent, and ongoing collaboration with EMI A&R boss and producer Scott Horscroft (360, Presets, Empire Of The Sun). The Offer Yourself Tour will be a joyful one-month dash from the east coast to the west, as Tijuana Cartel bid a fond adieu to their loyal fans before embarking on their greatest adventure to date — an overseas tour that will include performances at two of the world’s most renowned and notorious festivals — the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, and Germany’s Fusion Festival. Tijuana Cartel perform at the Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, on Saturday May 19, and the Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, on Saturday May 26.



Hailing from Melbourne, Frankenbok have been in existence since 1997. With three albums and two EPs under their belt, the guys are about to release their heaviest work to date, ‘The End Of All You Know’. Being the first release on their own record label, Fair Dinkum Records, the band has ensured that the fans are the real winners. Only available through their website, each copy will come with an album cover t-shirt, album cover poster and sticker. Musically, the album blends heavy metal styles, ranging from thrash, to punk to southern rock riffage and straight up heavy metal, all with a very Australian flavour and the unique sound that the band have crafted over their 15 years. Frankenbok are the real deal. They are a genuine band of brothers who love to play it hard, fast and loud. They will be performing at the Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland, on Friday May 25.


Since her debut album, ‘Cheaper Than Therapy’, four years ago, Marissa Saroca has racked up tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles, splitting her time between home and the faraway cities of London, Paris, New York, and Toronto. Upon each return, she has enlisted friends and musicians Adam Miller (eight-string guitar) and Adam Morris (drums), to bring her tunes and stories to life. The result is ‘Boys Write Love Songs Too’ — eight original tracks full of soul, attitude, life, love, and honesty, all showcasing that irresistible voice. With Miller as producer, ‘Boys Write Love Songs Too’ perfectly captures the exciting, raw energy of the kind of live show one can only expect from such seasoned musicians. Saroca’s love for R&B/ soul is still evident; the album’s occasional rock edge helping flaunt her newfound sassiness. The album also includes a bonus track from indie pop-rockers Little Blak Dress, featuring Marissa as special guest rockstar. ‘Boys Write Love Songs Too’ will be launched at The Underground, Grand Hotel, Newcastle, on Monday May 28 with support from James Chatburn and Jay Chase.

lisa mitchell


Set in the architectural splendour, rich acoustics and otherworldly ambience of some Australia’s finest churches, last year’s Heavenly Sounds tour with Seeker Lover Keeper was a resounding success. This June, it will be the delicate vocal stylings of Lisa Mitchell which will be rising to the upper reaches of these unique venues — revisiting captivating tunes from her AMP award-winning album Wonder (‘Coin Laundry’, ‘Neapolitan Dreams’, ‘Oh Hark’ and ‘Clean White Love’), and introducing her new aptly-titled single Spiritus, as well as an exclusive sneak preview of songs from her forthcoming sophomore album, due out later this year. “How romantic it will be to play the first tour for my new album inside beautiful historic churches,” says Lisa. “I am so looking forward to sharing these special shows with the talented band that I’ve found and with the listeners that find themselves in the pews! And I haven’t even mentioned the darling men of Georgia Fair will be kicking off the evening with their floating harmonies. What an incredible tour we have to look forward to.” Lisa Mitchell, with Georgia Fair in support, will be performing at Christ Church Cathedral, Church Street, Newcastle, on Monday June 4.


Lambton Lizotte’s: Wednesday May 2, Elisa Kate & Matt McLaren + Jay May Jane + Missing Myrtle + Phillip Bracken; Wednesday May 16, Dan March + Glowing Embers + Hudson Arc + The Broken Loose; Wednesday May 30, Jenny Biddle + Sarah McLennan + Rein Room + The Delta Lions. Kincumber Lizotte’s: Wednesday May 2, Jess & Lachlan + Paul Rothenbuhler + Bird and I + Jade Gannon & The Juveniles; Wednesday May 9, BB Acoustica + Rowan Falzon + Hipsister + Mirabooka; Thursday May 10, Mike McCarthy album launch; Wednesday May 30, Daisy Ella + Rachel Summerell + Mark Cashin & The Lil Hussys.


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reverb magazine issue #069 — May 2012   13

g r o o v i n t he m o o l o c a l s

G.T.M. ROLLs OUT THE LOCALS Groovin the Moo may be chock-full of international artists, but it’s the locals that are filling the early bird slots. We speak to them to find out why getting to Maitland before midday is a must.


‘Women in Cages’ has been getting a wonderful reception from Triple J and FBI. Have you managed to catch it being played? We’ve been lucky enough to catch ‘Women in Cages’ being played a few times on FBI and Triple J Unearthed. It’s a great feeling 1 know that our music is getting out there and that people are enjoying it. Was there a specific sound you were trying to capture on your EP, The Dreaming? We get a lot of our music influences from stadium bands, whose sound is formed from the drive to surpass the ordinary and inspire audiences. Who are you looking forward to catching at Groovin The Moo? We’re definitely looking forward to seeing some of the great Australian, as well as international, acts joining the line-up this year. We are particularly excited to see Digitalism and Ball Park Music. We need to get to Groovin The Moo early to catch you. What will the punters get for their early start? We put a lot of time and focus into making our live show more of an epic experience for our audiences, rather than just another gig. Punters should expect nothing less at Groovin the Moo.

The Guppies

So how close are you to an EP or a full album? We started working with management and an agent in late February, so we have been going hard on some new tunes and getting used to working in a modern day A-team You have been getting some love from Triple J. Have you managed to catch it being played? Our mates will always call us to say “dude they are playing your track on the js!” and we’ll catch the last 20 seconds of it. But even that is rad to hear. Who are you looking forward to catching at Groovin the Moo? We are really hanging out to see Wavves because they are basically a reason to live. I will be trying real hard to make Nathan from Wavves my new best friend. We need to get to Groovin the Moo early to catch you. What will the punters get for their early start? Well, besides the complete humbling serenity of watching the sun rise on the dawning of a new day, we will literally be having such a swell time that you will feel compelled to also. Other than that, we will play the gnarliest geezer rock ‘n’ roll!

We Built Atlantis

Was there a specific sound you were trying to capture on your EP, Empty Cities? We were going for an integration of electronic and synth sounds from popular music, mixed with pop punk, metalcore and post-hardcore influences - basically a little something for everyone. Are you still looking for a new singer?. We are still trialling someone at present but we haven’t confirmed anything yet. We are going in to record our second release in July and as we have composed this new creation of ours it has a lot more in it, vocally, such as stronger harmonies and counter-melodies. Who are you looking forward to catching at Groovin The Moo? We can’t wait to see a lot of acts on the lineup, especially The Getaway Plan, Muscles, Parkway Drive and City & Colour. We need to get to Groovin The Moo early to catch you. What will the punters get for their early start? We have totally structured our live set just for GTM 2012, so the crowd get the best experience! We will be playing our most high energy set to date, and the heaviest and most crowd-pleasing songs that we have.


How is the production going for the EP? The production is coming along slowly but surely. I guess the main interruptions are shows and writing/rehearsing new songs and that can’t be too bad a thing. Is there a specific sound you are trying to capture? Our repertoire in its entirety is really quite eclectic, and we aim to pull together certain tracks that work together to provide a consistent sound on the EP. In doing this, we have actually put one or two of our better known songs on hold for a future EP or album, which is looking like having a darker, more sombre vibe. Who are you looking forward to catching at Groovin The Moo? Wavves for sure, Public Enemy for sure, and Mutemath seem like they would put on an energetic live show. I think I’ll have to wait to see what kind of headspace I’m in when Digitalism and Kaiser Chiefs play simultaneously. We need to get to Groovin The Moo early to catch you. What will the punters get for their early start? The combination of our far out astral sounds and the fact that the punter is at Maitland Showground at a rock festival, pre-midday, should make for quite a surreal experience.

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band of skulls

Britain’s BAND OF SKULLS have set their sights high with second LP Sweet Sour, an eclectic bag of songs addressing the themes of friendship, life pressures and homecoming. MAX QUINN speaks with bassist/vocalist EMMA RICHARDSON about avoiding the sophomore slump. Tell me about where you’re at as a band right now. It must be such a huge deal to release a second record when so many bands only get the chance to release one. It’s amazing. We’re pretty grateful to be on the second record now. Everyone’s so excited about it. We’re appreciating every moment — it’s incredible being able to go out and tour the world and see the reaction to the live show. How has the reaction to Sweet Sour been so far? It seems to be going down quite well so far. We’re looking forward to seeing how it plays out live now that people know the songs. We’ve just finished a week-long tour supporting The Black Keys and it was great to play our new songs to a crisp audience. Nobody knows who we are so it was a great chance to showcase some songs. Sweet Sour is both the name of the album and the lead single. What is it about that song that endears itself to you? It’s the title that best reflects the recording process, as well as what the record is about. If you could sum up the experience in two simple words, [they would be] the dark and the light. Was this a hard record to make after your debut release Baby Darling Doll Face Honey,

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which took everybody by surprise? It was difficult because we put the pressure on ourselves to write a really good record that we were all proud of. The first couple of weeks [of writing] were a pressurised situation. We’d just come off tour and locked ourselves away and expected brilliance right away. We didn’t decompress. But after we relaxed a little and stopped beating ourselves up about it, it became much easier. Do you suffer from writer’s block? Occasionally. I think it’s when you’re trying really hard to come up with something that’s creative and you’re forcing it. That’s never healthy and I don’t think you get good results. It’s good to let it happen naturally. I read this great interview with John Darnielle, of Canadian alt-rockers The Mountain Goats, and he was discussing writer’s block. His opinion basically was that writer’s block is a bourgeois luxury — because there’s no such thing as 7/11 store clerk’s block or steel mill worker’s block. Do you agree? We choose to be in this position to try to be creative. I don’t think you can treat writing music [like] working down a coal mine. But you choose to do it, and you put your heart and soul into it, so in a sense it’s a luxury to have this as a job. I’d never

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take it for granted at all but there are absolutely frustrating times with it. It becomes about how you utilise your skills when you’re at your best. I think that’s reflected on the new record for sure. Do you agree that this is a more mature, considered effort? Absolutely — we grew up. It’s all about life experiences, and what you go through as people to get to the point where you are today and how you make sense of that. You have — and we have had as a band — a series of defining experiences that lead you to certain conclusions and that point you in different directions. Tell me about that. What have you experienced? Well, as a band, we’ve discovered how important home is. When you’re young you want to get out and travel and find new places — we certainly did — and when you get out there and do it, you get a little homesick. We’ve realised that it’s good to have a solid base to go back to in Southampton rather than drifting around. It’s a very supportive community and we’re lucky to be a part of it. Band of Skulls will be performing at Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay, on Saturday July 28.

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m i c k ey a v a l o n   —   l ef t f i e l d

Locked & Loaded

Ye s h e P e r l , o r M I C K E Y AVA L ON as many of us know him, is a force to be reckoned with . Coming off the back of his 2007 selft it le d debut , Av a lon h a s returned with his sophomore album, Loaded, and his fifth Australian tour in as many y e a r s . COR M AC K O ’CON NOR had a chat to the ‘slow rap’ sensation about his new material and his former life i n H o l l y w o o d ’s s e e d y u n d e r b e l l y.

Mickey Avalon is a man famous for his somewhat unique approach to music. In fact if you mention his name to anyone in their early 20s they’ll probably be able to recite every word of ‘My Dick’, a hidden track at the end of 2007’s Mickey Avalon. “We were recording songs all of the time and whatever came into our heads, we were laying down. We thought it was a pretty stupid song and we were going to scrap it. But looking back, it’s a timeless idea and that’s probably why it’s sold lots. It’s pretty fucking cool and something that can be remixed at any time.” How this man, marred by personal tragedy, came to be so successful is an inspiring story. At one point Avalon was so low that he was prostituting himself to support his heroin addiction. “The

opportunity arose to get into music and I just didn’t turn back,” says Avalon. “I didn’t see myself having any other chance to do anything else. Failing wasn’t an option — I couldn’t not show up. I had friends that had similar opportunities but they didn’t take them. My work ethic was better than I thought. This is the best job I’ve ever had and I couldn’t imagine missing out on it.” With his first album behind him, Avalon cut himself free from his major label. “It was a pain in the ass last time around. I just got off the label and cut the record that I wanted to. I feel like this album is similar to the first album in a lot of ways but some of the songs I did with other producers. There are still a lot of the ‘Jane Fonda’-sounding songs on it though. I like it when you can understand a lyric instead of super fast rap.

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Ru mou r s of a L E F T F I E L D come back i n 2 010 cau s e d a f re n z ie d re sp on s e f rom b ot h old fa n s a nd ne w. Fou nd i ng me mb e r N E I L B A R N E S s ay s he h a s a lw ay s felt t he ba nd h ad some u n f i n i s he d bu si ne s s si nce t he U K ele c t ron ica pione e r s ca l le d it qu it s i n 2 0 0 2 . B I R D Y sp oke w it h Bar nes about Lef tfield ’s retur n , t he i r l ate s t l iv e rele a s e , a nd t h at i n fa mou s 1 9 9 6 s ho w at B r i x ton A cade my.

Appearing at Australia’s Future Music Festival last year proved Barnes right. If the audience reaction was anything to go by, Leftfield had indeed been sorely missed. “The audience at Future blew me away,” says Barnes, who captured the madness on record and film, and has released it as a package entitled Tourism. Still, by Barnes’s own admission, nothing will probably ever come close to Leftfield’s now infamous 1996 Brixton Academy performance which was so loud that it literally brought the roof down. According to Barnes, what seemed amusing at the time now just appears plain dangerous. “I remember being on stage and seeing all this dust falling over the DJ desk out of the corner of my eye,” Barnes recalls. “I thought it was just dust through the lighting on the stage but it turned out to be the actual plaster coming off! The mess at the end of

it was really bad. The ’96 system was ridiculous, we had four stacks at the Brixton and I have no idea how we got through the show. It was just like having a jet in there! I think our sound man was a bit deaf — and before the show, I mean. “That wasn’t the loudest show we’ve done, though. In ’06 we played in Belgium and that was so loud that all the gear moved from the back of the stage onto the stage because it was vibrating so much. I think we started to reconsider the safety of the show after a Leeds performance. We were doing sound check and when we booted the system up this enormous 12-by-eightfoot crate fell off the ceiling and smashed on the floor just as I walked past!” So there were some life-threatening moments, sure, but overall, Barnes recalls his musical partnership with Leftfield’s other half, Paul Daley, as good times. Most

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It’s not about something being hard or easy — if something doesn’t sound good it doesn’t matter how hard it is. It’s stupid.” Since the release of his debut, Avalon has travelled to Australian shores every year. “I love it in Australia. I have the flag tattooed on my arm. The fact that I can go there and

it’s like my vacation and I’m getting paid is a highlight for me. I used to think that all people suck so I should just go where the weather is good, but in Australia the weather is good and so are the people! I think my music connects with Australians because they just want to have a good time. If you start taking acid you’ll probably get into Jimi Hendrix and psychedelic music. I just think kids want to fuck around and have fun so they come to my shows. It’s like a party. I’m also bringing the new record with me. This is my first time in Newcastle and all my shows usually sell out — come party with me and do the ‘Jane Fonda’.” Mickey Avalon performs at Fanny’s, Newcastle, on Thursday May 17 and the Coolangatta Hotel on Saturday May 19.

of all, the remaining member is proud of the duo’s legacy and the influence they had on many of today’s DJs and producers. “We had some great shows, that’s for sure — the performances were amazing. But after a while, I suppose we got a bit over it too. Paul and I decided there wasn’t much more at that time that we could do by working with each other. We’d spent so much time together on the stage and in the studio, we just felt like we’d exhausted ourselves — so we called it a day.” Nevertheless, for Barnes there remained an itch to do it all over again, this time without Daley. Leftism [1995] and Rhythm And Stealth [1999] were amazing albums and there was plenty of demand to revisit them in a live setting — both at home and overseas. So Barnes hit the road with his backing band and singers. “What I was surprised about the most at Future was that there weren’t really that many expats in the audience,” Barnes says. “I honestly thought it’d be full of English people but it was mainly Australians in the crowd and they were extremely knowledgeable about Leftfield! I’d never thought about doing a live album or DVD but Australia had [such] an amazing energy that at one point someone suggested recording it and it just seemed like a no-brainer. The shows were so great, the audience was so good... I don’t know what I’m going to do with Leftfield from now on but all I know is that we’ve left a strong legacy. We managed to make two excellent albums and even though it was a struggle sometimes, it was a fun struggle.” Tourism is out now through Warner Music.

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magazine issue #069 — May 2012

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t he m a cc a bee s

The Wild Outdoors

Heavy touring in the UK and Europe is finally paying off for Brighton indie-rockers THE MACCABEES, with their first Australian tour kicking off this month. AMELIA PARROTT spoke with guitarist HUGO WHITE, between UK tour dates, about the band’s big new sound. Speaking from Liverpool after wrapping up a hometown show in Brighton the night before, White is enjoying a rare day off from the band’s rigorous touring schedule promoting the Maccabees third album, Given to the Wild. “We’ve actually been rehearsing all day so it’s not as much of a day off as I’d like but we’re on a pretty busy schedule at the moment,” he explains. “We’ve been touring for a long time so it does make it even more exciting to be coming to Australia now,” says White. “It’s something that we’ve always wanted to do but it doesn’t always work out that way. We were really excited when we found out we were coming. My younger brother [Will], who’s playing keys, is the only one who’s been to Australia before.” The new record is vastly different from earlier Maccabees material — atmospheric and synth-heavy with an almost stadium rock vibe. But White says the band didn’t set out with a particular sound in mind. “It is more the result of an effort to keep evolving as a band and to push ideas,” he says. “We were writing songs with the real intention to make it move forward from the last record. I think that’s just a natural thing [for us] — we want to be a band that progresses and changes.” However, as White explains, Given to the Wild presented the band with new challenges when it came to performing the songs live. “We wrote that album as a studio thing, so doing it live was really [about] working it all out.” ‘Pelican’ is the first track many Australians would have heard from the Maccabees. “We love that song but in terms of it reflecting on the record — we never thought it was a song that sums it

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up because it is quite different,” says White. “[But] we saw it as a good way of introducing people to us. Once you got that you could spend a bit more time getting into some of the slower-paced, more atmospheric songs, or the songs that require a bit more time.” The shift in the band’s sound has prompted comparisons to other atmospheric and stadium-sounding bands like Kings of Leon and Arcade Fire. Given to the Wild was even produced by Markus Dravs, the man behind Arcade Fire’s albums Neon Bible and The Suburbs, as well as releases by Coldplay and Björk. But White is coy about the comparisons. “We didn’t set out to make it like any other bands so hopefully it isn’t. But in saying that, we love those bands.” Despite initial teething problems moving the songs from the studio to the stage, White is happy with how the songs are being received. “The new songs seem to be going down as well as any of the old songs,” he says. “It already feels as though the songs belong to the crowd which is really nice.” White is also excited to be playing the new material on festival stages for the first time, while in Australia. “I think it’s going to be well-suited to festivals… because they’re much bigger songs. Even when we were writing some of the songs, we were [envisioning ourselves] outdoors in the dark at a festival — creating that sort of atmosphere.” The Maccabees perform at Groovin’ The Moo, Maitland Showground, on Saturday May 12.

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h i l lt o p h o o d s

Up from the Underground

Long gone are the days of the hard road for members of HILLTOP HOODS. Arguably Oz hip hop’s best-known flag-bearers, the trio have returned with their fifth LP, Drinking From The Sun, which has cemented their status as legitimate platinum-selling artists. MAX QUINN caught up with the group’s beat-smith, DJ DEBRIS, to talk about the new record. What I’ve always liked about Hilltop Hoods is your ability to stay connected to your roots through all of the success you’ve had. I was wondering if you could talk about that — being true to where you come from. I guess we’re just three pretty humble guys. We don’t let much get to our heads. If somebody does, the other two take it upon themselves to level the playing field. Coming from Adelaide helps us stay grounded. We have our friends and families here, and it’s an organic place to live and work from.

whole Australian hip-hop scene — coming up from the underground and drinking from the sun, as well.

Now that you’re putting out platinumselling records, it must get harder to make music about going down the hard road. Is that something that you think about? When we wrote The Hard Road it was at the end of an era. We’d worked a lot of shitty jobs in factories for a long time, and there were a lot of hurdles to overcome. It’s not much of a hard road anymore, but it’s a lot of work to maintain our direction and continue where we’re going.

Musically, you’re breaking a whole lot of different ground. The record opens with elevator music and a round of applause, but it breaks so quickly into the sombre piano that we hear on ‘The Thirst’. What were you shooting for with this record, from a production standpoint? That’s another thing that just happened that beat just invited a storytelling vibe. We thought that [‘The Thirst’ parts one, two and three] would be a great intro and outro to the record and we decided to put an interlude in there to explain what the album’s about. I guess it just evolved. But it was what we were aiming for, yeah.

Do you think that sense of coming to fruition is reflected on Drinking From The Sun? Yeah. It’s quite reflective of where we’re at and what we’ve been through. It’s a bit of a narrative record – it tells a few tales about what we’ve been up to and where we’ve found ourselves over the last couple of years. It seems like a really paradoxical title for what I think is quite a dark record. Can you explain that? I think it’s just the vibe of the tracks we chose more than anything else. I get what you’re saying, but it was just how the album evolved. It’s more of a metaphor for the

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Do you agree that it is a somewhat darker release? There are a lot of darker beats, definitely. There’s more of a narrative, and I guess it’s just a more mature record. We’ve lost so much perspective because we’ve been in bed with it for the last three to six months and I’m having a break from it, to be perfectly honest.

And then it all ends with this comment in part three that says something like: ‘from day one, we’re making two albums.’ Is there a second album you’ve been working on? That’s a secret. We’ll leave that up to you to make what you will of it. Hilltop Hoods perform at Groovin The Moo, Maitland Showgrounds, on Saturday May 12; Plantation Hotel, Coffs Harbour, on Thursday June 28; Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay, on Saturday July 28.

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t he d a r k n e s s

Small-Town Boy THE DARKNESS exploded on to the music scene in 2003 with the release of their debut album Permission To Land. But in 2006, after selling millions of albums and becoming one of the hottest tickets on the international touring circuit, singer JUSTIN HAWKINS walked away from the group, blaming alcoholism and a cocaine addiction that reportedly totalled about £150,000 over three years. NICK MILLIGAN spoke to Hawkins about the band’s comeback. Australia is a long flight for a band from the UK. Is it worth the effort? Yeah, it’s actually not too bad going there but coming back kills you — both the actual time difference and the way it affects your body. Spiritually, leaving Australia is a difficult thing to do. But we’ve always liked it and I’m looking forward to it massively. When the original line-up of The Darkness reformed in early 2011 did it feel just like the first time around? From the first minute we sat down and ate together, it just felt like a family. It was a bit more special. We felt like, ‘oh yeah — these are my brothers’. And we realised how much we missed it. You’ve been working on album number three — did you have any strong ideas on how you wanted this record to sound before you started making it? We do it on a song-by-song basis, rather than an overall idea of what [the album] should sound like. We treat every song the way it wants to be treated. But in my mind I was hoping it would be a rockier, sparser album. Half of it is like that — it’s old-school rock. The other half is a bit more lavish. Just like the first record [Permission To Land]. You had songs like ‘Black Shuck’ that were really stripped down, then ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ which is a more layered recording. On the second album [One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back] we threw the kitchen sink at every song. So [this new

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record] is more like the first album in that sense. We kept the songs to the bare minimum and only added stuff if we felt like it really needed it. Has your approach to the lyrics been different on your new album? The first album, in particular, contained a lot of love songs. There are a few more [love songs on the new record], but on that first album there were also a lot of local folk stories and [there was a lot of] anger. I’ve moved back to my home town now. I spent 12 years living in London. But I went back to [Lowestoft, Suffolk] and I’ve been living there for the past few years and I think that comes across. The first album was a small town record. The second album was a big city record. Now we’re doing small town songs again and I think they’re a bit more fun, really. If you treat your little town as a sort of micro-version of the world then it’s a lot easier to have real things to hook ideas on. We used to be fond of referencing local places and it’s just because it’s real. ‘You shouldn’t forget where you come from’ is my motto — that’s why I live there again and have [the town’s name] tattooed on my stomach, so I never forget. When The Darkness began performing live again, after your hiatus, did you find that your old songs were just as much fun to perform? Yeah, that was one of the reasons why we wanted to [reform] — playing those songs for people. For me, a particular favourite is ‘Growing On Me’. The way the first verse

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is — it’s really sparse. It’s just drums and voice when the riff cuts out. When you hear the crowd singing it back to you, you think, ‘Fuck yes. Awesome’. You feel like a million dollars. It’s a proper moment. That always used to be early on in the set and as soon as we started rehearsing [after we got back together again], I couldn’t wait to play that song [live]. In an interview after you left The Darkness, you said that one of your reasons for quitting the band was that you found the cycle of writing, recording and touring very “monotonous”. (laughs) Well, I may as well stop you there... you have to discard anything I’ve ever said. Most of the time I’m just talking out of my arsehole. I remember [saying] that. I felt bad about saying that nonsense. Because [recording and touring] is the very thing you miss as soon as you stop doing it. It’s the only semblance of a routine that you get when you’re a musician. When I’m not on tour I’m totally at a loss to know what to do with myself. As a songwriter are you always tinkering with new material or do you take breaks from songwriting? I take big breaks from songwriting and then hear something and think, ‘fuck, I wish I’d written that’. I kind of believe that songs are in the air and you grab them. You have to be there with your net to catch them. You have to have a guitar in your hand

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and you have to be looking for it. Because that’s what we do. Me and my brother [guitarist, Dan] work and work and work until something comes. If you don’t sit there and do it, then nothing comes. It is quite an intensive process and we take these breaks from it. But you know the time is right because you hear [music] and you really wish that you were doing it. It’s a natural cycle. After leaving The Darkness you certainly didn’t stop songwriting. You continued to write music and collaborated with a number of people including Meat Loaf, Steel Panther, Adam Lambert, Def Leppard and your own band Hot Leg. Do you feel like you’ve returned to The Darkness as a more rounded songwriter? Yeah, I suppose so. I think the main thing is that when you work with people, you recognise that there are different standards and expectations and you discover that there isn’t a wrong or a right. You learn to trust your instincts. I used to over-think everything. I would distil everything until I felt like it was perfect. That’s not always the way to do it. Everything should be a narrative. When you write a song there should be bits of it that are great, and the bits that aren’t so great aren’t necessarily bad because they’re setting up the next bit. When you work with other people, you work on a deadline and you learn to put that perfection to one side and find out what the song is really about. What are your plans for 2012? Do you have a release date for your new album? Yeah, we’re hoping it’s going to come out in June. We’ve recorded it all. It’s all mixed and sounds great. We just need to work out what will be the official track listing and which ones will be bonus tracks — and the artwork. We’ll be off then. The Darkness perform at Newcastle Panthers on Saturday, May 5.

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Whisky & the Devil MURDER BY DEATH are a gothic/country band that love to write songs about whisky and the devil. CORMACK O’CONNOR had a chat with vocalist ADAM TURLA about their upcoming tour and getting their music featured in the Inglourious Basterds trailer. Your name is quite misleading. Where did it come from? It’s the name of a very silly 70s movie that I used to watch when I was a kid — it was a spoof on murder mysteries. It’s a dark comedy and that’s the feeling we wanted to create as a band — something that was silly but had a dark sound. How did you guys come to have your music on the Inglourious Basterds trailer? It was one of the coolest, most random things to happen to us. I got an email from the producer saying that they wanted to use our song. I’ve heard that Tarantino picked it but I’ve never met the guy so I don’t know. I was waiting for the movie to come out — I’m a big fan — so when I got the email I nearly crashed my car. It was perfect. How did Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) come to sing on some of your tracks? Basically we were on the same label 10 years ago and he said he wanted to sing on one of our songs. It was before either of us had known any success. We played a few shows together, though. A year or two later they were really famous!


Scott Brackett joined the band recently. What changed when he joined? He was playing in another band for about six or seven years. He played a couple of shows with us and we hit it off. When we were writing we wanted Scott to be part of the band and he wanted to do it. He plays so many instruments as well — accordion, mandolin, keyboard, sampling, vocals, percussion, trumpet… it’s crazy! It allows us to use all these sounds that we couldn’t have [created] as a four-piece. What’s the fascination with whisky and the devil? Where we come from is bourbon country — it’s the drink of choice. It just naturally made its way into a bunch of songs. With the devil stuff, I studied a bunch of religions in college and I was very interested in weird dark arts — shamanism, religious cults and other strange supernatural things. I was very focused on religion, folklore and philosophy.


magazine issue #069 — M ay 2012

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Who are your influences?

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When I was 18 I started playing for this band and music was my focus. So for pleasure I tend to do something that isn’t related to music. I mean, I listen to music but I’m not thinking about someone else’s music while I’m writing. I’m a reader and a movie watcher, I don’t really listen to that much music. Tell me about the song ‘I’m Afraid of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’. I wrote the song while I was backpacking and busking across Europe when I was 18. I was working in construction and I saved up enough money for a plane ticket and then I would just play guitar in the street. I saw that play at a festival in Canada [but] I think it was written in Italy. It’s me making fun of mopey, complaining music. It was a bit of a joke — I didn’t think it would ever be on a record. The play was horrifying though! [laughs] A lot of your songs have long titles. Why do you use them so often? I think it was something we did more when we were starting the band because we were just messing around all the time. We try and keep them shorter now because I really don’t care what the songs are called. What’s the band’s biggest achievement? We’ve been playing for so long and our audiences are still supportive. I think we’ve got a lot of room to grow. It surprises me and thrills me that we can do this. Even going to Australia amazes me — it’s such a long way away. No one in the band or crew has ever been, so we’re all excited to do this tour. I hope we’re lucky enough to continue travelling! What’s unique about your live show? I think people respond to the fact that we enjoy performing. We care about the set and spend a lot of time picking a range of songs and giving people a whole experience. We craft ups, downs, quiet moments and rowdy moments. I love a rowdy crowd; it’s good to get people energised, especially with the drinking songs. [laughs] Murder By Death perform at the Side Bar, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Sunday May 20.

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Bird Flies Away Appearing on stage for the last time with his (now former) band THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, vocalist CLINT BOGE is relieved to be putting the final unhappy chapter in the band’s 12-year story behind him. In February, it was announced that Boge would be leaving the band ‘to pursue other musical interests’. His other band, Thousand Needles in Red, has been extremely active over the past few years. Plus he is shortly to release a solo record, which might surprise many Butterfly Effect and Thousand Needles fans. But to lay the blame for his departure on his diverse musical interests is far from the truth, as Boge told ROD WHITFIELD. “Yeah, it’s bittersweet for me,” begins Boge. “The thing that I’ve been saying to people in all the interviews is that I’ve left the band to ‘pursue other musical interests’. That’s just a polite way of spinning it. I was pursuing other musical interests while I was in the band. I don’t want to insult [Reverb] readers by having them think that — I want to put forward my side of the story, so people don’t sit there thinking ‘Clint’s left this perfectly good band that was working harmoniously’ — that just wasn’t the case. I left because the relationships had got to the point where I thought that staying any longer would have pushed them to a darker and much nastier place. I feel that getting out when I did was not only the correct thing to do for me, but also [meant] that we could do a final tour, and still sit in a room together. “But mainly I just wanted to say to the people reading this that I didn’t leave a perfectly good band that was functioning and firing on all cylinders. I’m leaving something that I feel is no longer true in its course, and has diverted off it quite

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substantially because of one or two people’s wants — selfish wants. Rather than looking at it in terms of ‘why are we here, what are we writing, who’s listening to our music and what is relevant?’, they’ve totally pushed that to the side, and they’ve concentrated on their own agendas, and I think they’re wrecking the band. “I’ve said it in many arguments in the band room, ‘what are you doing, where are you going, where are you taking it?’. You’re driving this amazing thing, that we all worked really hard on, into the ground, and taking no duty of care, especially when it comes to thinking about the fans that listen to the music.’ And that was another thing that I got quite emotional about — it’s no longer about the fans, it’s about our own agendas. Somewhere along the line this selfloathing crept into the band. Not by me, can I just say for the record. I loved The Butterfly Effect. It’s not something that I fuckin’ throw away easily, and to suggest that I frivolously went ‘oh fuck it, I’m just going to go and do Needles now’, is

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bullshit. It’s insulting man. I don’t want to get all negative and shit, but it’s just disheartening. “It got to the point where I felt they were no longer my brothers, and the more I questioned it, the further away they got from me. There was the comment, ‘this is business man, I don’t need to be your fuckin’ friend’. That broke my heart. Only we know what went down. There’s my side, their side and the truth. There’s three sides to every story. “[But] to look on the positive side of things, we worked really hard — we were in each other’s faces for a long time. To last 12 years of hard core touring — I think we got over a thousand gigs under our belt — that’s roughly a hundred gigs a year, one gig every 3.5 days, that’s quite a feat in itself. I mean a hard rock band in Australia? There’s not even that many places to bloody play! We’ve done extremely well, and I’m proud of everybody’s effort to make it this far, so that’s the yin to the yang of it. That’s the positive out of the negative.”

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“So it’s onwards and upwards. I’ve got Needles still going. I’m going to release a solo album this year as everybody does when they leave a band. It’s going to be pretty laid back — sweeping orchestral stuff, more acoustic, maybe even bordering on adult-contemporary. Singer/songwriter sort of stuff — a bit of a departure for me... so heaps of positive things out of this.” “I feel a lot lighter in my heart, and I wish them all the best. But I think to continue without the voice and the face of the band, good luck to ‘em. If they do it and they get bigger and better, there you go — the proof will be in the pudding. They can give me the finger and say ‘fuck you, buddy!’ [laughs].” The Butterfly Effect, with Numbers Radio and Greenthief in support, perform at the Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, on Wednesday May 2; Coolangatta Hotel on Thursday May 3; Plantation Hotel, Coffs Harbour, on Wednesday May 9; Newcastle Panthers on Thursday May 10.

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On the back of a huge response overseas in 2011, Sydney five-piece band DEEP SEA ARCADE have released their debut album, Outlands. A remarkable album that flips between melancholy and unabashed joy, it perfectly captures the band’s lifespan – from the short and sweet early hits that hooked triple j listeners, to the spaced out nature of their live shows. MATT PETHERBRIDGE caught up with singer/songwriter, NIC MCKENZIE.

Last time we met you were very excited about heading to London and rightfully so, because they loved you! Was it a gratifying experience? It was amazing. We didn’t expect to have much interest around us when we got there. We played The Great Escape, on the Mojo stage, to a really big crowd. We played Brighton Digital — we had a really amazing reception there. We also got played by Zane Lowe on BBC1. We weren’t in rotation — that doesn’t really happen until you release an album. But we got a lot of spot plays here and there, so it was amazing. It really set up those tours, because it’s a huge radio station over there. When we spoke last, you were preparing to release a mini-album. It never came through... and instead, Outlands stands as a full-length album. What happened? We wrote and recorded the mini-album and… nobody’s heart was in it. It seemed

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Dow  the like a cool idea, but after the songs started to come together, it seemed like a waste of good songs. We knew it would be a massive shame to not put ‘Lonely in Your Arms’ and ‘Don’t Be Sorry’ on the album, because we’re really proud of those songs. It dawned on us that we had enough to do a proper, cohesive album. There are songs on the album that we mixed two or three times — you spend so much time trying to make things perfect… much to our management and label’s dismay [laughs]. In the end, we worked so hard on making it really good — we went for it. What was it like working with Dan Grech-Marguet? It was very interesting. He’s Nigel Godrich’s protégé. He’s worked with Radiohead, The Kooks, The Vaccines and a heap of other bands ready to break in the UK. He was one of the most humble people I’ve ever met and really pleasant to work with. When

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wn with e Beebs you meet people that are really talented, they’re not so fussy about gear. They’re more interested in productivity and the sound. At times, he seemed so nervous to even show us a mix, for fear of rejection. Then he’d press play on an amazing mix that blew our minds. But he’s really heading towards being held in that ‘super producer’ regard, so I don’t know whether we’d be able to afford to work with him again. It would be a really special thing. My favourite song is ‘Forever’. I like that feeling of floating. Basically the guitar melody at the start was part of another song we wrote in high school. I’d heard ‘Fur and Gold’ by Bats for Lashes — more specifically the song ‘What’s a Girl to Do?’ with those Phil Spector drums, and I thought, “fuck, that would be awesome in that song”. So we revisited it and it breathed new life into the song. The whole recording process spanned from our high school bedroom recording, to doing the drums in

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the big room at Studios 301. The rest of the song was recorded in Megaphon Studios and the keyboards were recorded two hours before we did the album mix — so it spanned across the life of the band, right up until the end of the album. That’s quite amazing to put together a recording like that... I guess that’s the beauty of modern recording. Everyone has the ability to record. People believe you need the perfect gear to record with. A lot of bands now are recording themselves — a lot of the bands I listen to. If you record something and you’ve got a vibe and you’ve put some crappy effects on it — sometimes, that can be the best thing because it can’t be recreated, no matter how hi-fi the gear is you’re using. One journo described ‘Steam’ as “Bowie’s ‘Rebel, Rebel’ mixed with Supergrass”. Do other people’s wacky reference points make you re-evaluate your own music?

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I don’t think so. A comparison that we get a lot is that our music sounds like The Smashing Pumpkins, especially the song ‘Outlands’ — which is quite weird. I think it’s more entertaining than anything. When people interpret a song and a lyric into their own lives and regurgitate it with something that comes to mind for them, I think that’s the greatest compliment. They bring their own thing to it. What inspired you lyrically on the album? A lot of songs came out of relationships I’d been in. ‘Ride’ was inspired by a girl who would get up at 5am, [go to work], get home at 7pm and go to sleep, so we never hung out for about 18 months. And during that period and the period after we broke up, there were all these songs coming to life. I was meeting lots of new people, but it was a very lonely experience — so it inspired a lot of songs, including ‘Lonely in Your Arms’ and ‘Don’t Be Sorry’. A lot of the new songs became very optimistic about falling in love, like ‘Girls’. When you’re with someone for a long time

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and you meet new people, you find yourself being attracted to other people. You want to have fun, but you also want to emotionally protect yourself. Most times, I don’t really know how I feel about something until I write a song about it. It’s very cathartic. Are you looking forward to coming back to Newcastle? I really like the Cambridge. Newcastle has a cool art scene. We always tend to have fun in Newcastle. I love all the kids from the Cooks Hill Art Club. This chick named Margaret Velma had this house that was a castle, with all these winding staircases. It was the first time we were in Newcastle and we thought, “shit, this place is awesome!”. In terms of the crowd, we always get quite a good response. All the arty kids like it, and some of the punkier, tougher guys! Deep Sea Arcade perform at the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, Friday June 1, and the Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, on Friday June 22.

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Despite most often being credited as a twopiece band — Wagner as the musical genius with sole writing responsibilities and Sharin Foo as the super sexy and cool lead vocalist, the Raveonettes have employed the help of many musicians on their records, fluctuating from two to five members. “I like the way it is now when we are just three people,” says Wagner. “We are all super good friends. We all respect each other personally and musically as well.” Coming to attention in 2003 after releasing their debut album Chain Gang of Love, The Raveonettes have achieved worldwide notoriety for their super loud, dark and edgy music. I asked Wagner about being hailed by NME as the front runners of an American pop music

Unchain the Noise Not your average commercial clones, Copenhagen-born, New York-based band The Raveonettes are arty and talented with a dark and interesting sound which remains distinctly their own. BAZ RUDDICK caught up with SUNE ROSE WAGNER, songwriter and backbone of The Raveonettes. renaissance. “I don’t think about it too much,” he said. “It’s flattering. I think it is nice to inspire people. It’s nice to be inspired as well. If you can give some inspiration back to people I think that’s the way it should work. That’s wonderful.” While NME’s ‘pop music renaissance’ is debatable, The Ravonettes were the first of many bands to tap into a rich 50s

Americana vibe, combining old-school surf guitars and infectious riffs, coupled with super tight harmonies and thick overlaid noise. “I think we brought certain musical styles to people’s attention for sure. When we started out 10 years ago I don’t think there were a lot of bands who named Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers as their main influences, especially among

young kids. I definitely like to think that we came from a very different angle when it came to music. That’s probably what inspired a lot of people.” Artistically, Wagner takes inspiration more from literature than music. “I write about stuff that I have experienced in my life. But I think reading books gives a better vocabulary and a better way to present your ideas on paper. It’s quite inspiring to read books. You always get a different perspective on things which I think is very valuable to the way I write songs, Visually it gives you a lot of ideas and a lot of good emotions you can take and use.” Having released three albums, The Raveonettes are on the verge of releasing a four-track EP. “I prefer to just do like three or four songs rather than doing 10 or 11 songs. It takes a lot of time. I like to do things fast. I don’t want to spend a lot of time working on music. I think music is really cool when it has a certain level of spontaneity to it. You express it and record it and it’s out there and you may never change it again. I get all these crazy ideas... I sit down by the piano, I make sure the chords are right and the progression is right and I’ll just sit down and do it super fast. That’s why I want to wait till the last minute and just do it all super quick.” The Raveonettes perform with The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Newcastle Leagues Club on Friday, May 25.

Stonefield perform at the Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, on Thursday April 19; Coolangatta Hotel on Sunday April 22; Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Saturday April 28.

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Living out of a Suitcase With plans already set for an extended North American tour later in the year, Daniel Champagne will be traversing Australia, far and wide, in support of his latest live release Real Live. MEL ROACH spoke with Champagne about his unique playing style. With so many years of touring, is there a place you call home? I don’t actually ‘live’ anywhere anymore. I’ve just been on the road touring. I’ve been doing this long enough to have different families, different homes, all around the country. It’s really cool, actually, and it’s a good excuse to keep touring. You’ve described childhood memories of watching your father play with his band. And you picked up your first guitar at the age of five. Do you still hang out with your father and his band? He’s no longer in a band. He’s kind of put the guitar down these days and I’ve taken over, I guess. I used to watch my dad play when I was younger — he was a singer and songwriter and I tried to play his songs, steal his guitars [laughs]. You make playing the guitar look so easy. I guess guitar playing is one of those things where if you think about it properly you know what to work on. It doesn’t actually take that long to get things down. I think a lot of guitar playing is about how you’re going to play it — much more than just practising the simple stuff. Are there any formulas you follow when writing your lyrics? It comes out over a long time. I’ve never been able to sit and write a song during the one sitting. Because I’m touring a lot, I don’t have that much time to sit down — more a 10 minute interval between getting in the car, getting to a gig, setting up etc. Sometimes I might get a few days off where I can sit down and work on it — put it all together. If it’s something I want to play live and eventually put on a record, I feel it deserves time spent on it. Have you had singing lessons or does it just come naturally? The school I went to when I was a kid, it was kind of cool to sing, if that makes sense. The teacher that we had was really inspiring and he just got us all singing these old folk songs and I sort of worked with him a lot outside of school. I was a young soprano and I really enjoyed that. But guitar has always been my first love. The gaff tape strapped to your guitar — explain this.

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The gaff tape’s for my tapping — it gradually wears it away and cracks it. I’ve actually gone through quite a few guitars doing this. You recently hit up Bluesfest for the second time, your first being 2010. How did you like the crowd and the reaction they had to your music? It was great! I think in general, festival crowds are there to have a good time, unless you do something really, really bad [laughs]. I was only there a few hours because I had another gig on but it was great. You’ve travelled the world with your music. I know there must be many highlights but what sticks out? Well I really enjoy playing in Canada — all the festivals are really good to me over there. Also when I tour Europe. I think a highlight would have been playing at Port Fairy [and] Woodford folk festivals — you get to perform next to some of your favourite artists like Jeff Lang, John Butler... there’s so many out there. You’re more of a three-piece band in the one man. You’re the singer, guitarist and percussionist. How do you get your head around it all? It can really be quite easy. It’s like an elaborate picture made up of many triangles to make an even bigger triangle. It’s all about breaking it all down and putting it back together right. I’ve seen a few interviews and guitar tutorials, by you, on Youtube. Are you OK with revealing your secrets? To be honest, most of it I stole off other players. They aren’t necessarily my secrets. A lot of the time with that sort of stuff, I really don’t know what I’m doing. Usually in the performance I just get really, really excited and go nuts. [But] I’ve got my heroes —  most of them American and Canadian. Your new six-track EP, Real Live, was recorded at live shows across the country. I see a few songs were recorded at Lizotte’s. Yeah — four of the six tracks were recorded live there. I really like the recording and I really like Lizotte’s. Daniel Champagne performs at Lizotte’s Kincumber on Thursday May 3; Lizotte’s Lambton on Friday May 4; Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, on Sunday June 3.

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It’s been five years in the making, but Sydney’s CATCALL has finally readied her debut album, The Warmest Place, for release this month. She speaks with MAX QUINN about Sex and the City and the songwriting process. What’s happening today? Today is a TV day. I’m watching that new HBO show called Girls. It’s about these four girls in their mid-20s living in New York. It’s kind of interesting. That sounds awfully Sex and the City to me. It’s grittier and younger. It seems like they’re all from fairly well-to-do families, though. It’s still in its very early days. Which Sex and the City character are you? Carrie Bradshaw is pretty funny. So is the main character in Girls. I haven’t gotten into it enough to know which one I am. The record is finally out this month. What took you so long? I started Catcall in 2007. It’s been five years. When I started the project, I wasn’t writing with anybody for the first couple of months. It was a solo venture. Very lo-fi — bedroom demos; big, looping software; heaps of keyboards. I didn’t start collaborating until later on that year. I had a lot of growing to do. Then there was the process of getting a label and starting to produce all the demos, and realising that there was a lot more to learn when we actually started work. You can’t change the course of time. Lots of life has happened between then and now. Are these older songs, then? ‘August’ and ‘The Warmest Place’ are the oldest songs — I wrote those in 2007. The newer songs came to fruition around the end of 2008. It was a slow process of writing and writing and writing, and then signing to Ivy League and working out how we were going to get it out. The songs don’t feel that old to me because I haven’t toured them to death. [In fact] I’ve never really toured at all.

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Do you have a bank of new songs as well? I haven’t started writing for the new album yet. I will start again after the tour, but at the moment it’s full steam ahead with the live show. I don’t know where I’m going to go with it. It seems like it takes some artists a long time to get that first one out, but then the process becomes more free. I think a lot of artists who get it done quickly have industry support and label assistance straight away. For me, there was a lot of development that needed to happen over the last few years. There were times when I thought I was ready, but I really wasn’t. I needed to become better at performing in the studio, and better at writing. Sometimes I would start writing, and be like: “Yes! Done!”. But my producer would say: “No no no — there’s so much more to do with this”. And that was a process that took forever as well. Hopefully the next time will be quicker. How do you take it when your producer turns around and says: “No, that’s not right”? Are you precious about your art? I love it, because I’m always left to figure out what needs to change. My producer for The Warmest Place would tell me if something wasn’t working, but he would leave me the creative space to change it. That’s a good working partnership. I think the first time it happened I realised that I had a lot of growing to do as a songwriter. But I really enjoy it now because I get to make the song better. It’s like having an editor. Catcall performs at the Northern Star Hotel, Hamilton on Saturday May 19. The Warmest Place is out Friday May 4.

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As a member of one of the biggest bands in the world during the late 80s and 90s, Slash’s path to stardom left a trail of explosive destruction. Guns N’ Roses would eventually spiral out of control sending all its original members on their separate ways. But Slash continued to make inspiring music smashing charts around the world, touring and recording with Slash’s Snakepit and Velvet Revolver. In May, SLASH will release his brand new solo album Apocalyptic Love. But unlike his solo debut, the new album doesn’t feature a huge list of guest performers. Instead Slash has spent the past few months working hard in the studio with the band he has spent close to two years out on the road with, coming up with some of his best material yet. CAMERON EDNEY spoke to one of the world’s most iconic and influential musicians about Apocalyptic Love, fanatical fans and… pacing yourself.

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With Apocalyptic Love, you have kept the album solid using the band you’ve spent the past couple of years on the road with, fronted by Myles Kennedy. Does it feel more like a band now, rather than a project? Yeah. It’s a solo thing because it’s something that I initiated and put together, but over the course of that tour, we really started to establish the band vibe. I have a pattern of how it all works and it just comes together. Making this record definitely had that collective feel to it. I’d come up with guitar parts and cool choruses and send that out to Myles, then he would come up with some stuff and write some lyrics and we’d get a loose framework for an arrangement. I’d take it in with Brent and Todd and hone in on connecting all the dots. I don’t have to necessarily write bass lines, [or] say what the drums should or shouldn’t do, they just naturally do their own things and that’s very much the cohesive structure of the band. I would imagine you guys did a lot of work in pre-production for this one? There was a lot of hardcore rehearsing for this because we didn’t want to go into the studio and do 20 takes [laughs]. Let’s talk about that... how much of what happens in the studio is spontaneous? Of course the song is mapped out to a certain point in pre-production but when it comes to your solos, especially, how much of that takes place on the spot during the recording sessions? I’m still trying to figure out the right answer for that. When we put a song together and there’s a solo section, the most spontaneous first take of that is usually what ends up sticking. You keep practicing and playing around in that melodic space, because that’s what you hear in your head, and add a note here or there. The adjustments happen spontaneously. By the time you go in to actually record it you have a framework that you work loosely in — where it starts, where it ends, where the middle is... a structure. But it changes every time, so whatever take it is that we ended up using, that’s the one that stays. It’s always been like that — even the most written-out sounding solos were initially a spontaneous run that just stuck. As time goes on, how have you found is the best way to deal with all the anxieties that come with releasing a new album? Get as far away from it as possible [laughs]. It goes on — there are definitely moments where you feel completely confident and relaxed about it and then the following day you can be totally insecure. The best thing is to be doing something else. In my case something else would mean doing everything related to the record without sitting around wondering what’s going to happen. Usually you start touring before

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the actual release happens and you begin playing the songs live so you’re not really sitting around! Speaking of doing things related to the album, you’re back in Australia right now doing a lot of press for Apocalyptic Love. Can we expect to see you back here before the year’s end for a full-scale, headlining tour? We should be back around September or October. We’ll play a full set with a lot of new shit in it as well as some things we did before. Over the years you’ve shared the stage with the who’s who of music. When you look back on the early days out on the road who gave you the best advice and what was it? Advice on the road… I was never good at listening [laughs]. Don’t drink the little miniature bottles of Jack because they’ve got piss in them — that was good advice. You just have to live and learn. How have you now found is the best way to deal with the people you end up living with out on the road, especially during those not-so-pleasant times? You just make it work. I’ve been in a lot of different bands over the years and you just find your own space. In this particular group... it’s probably the easiest bunch of guys I’ve ever travelled with. Everybody just does their thing and a lot of it is about being respectful and courteous. If everybody’s like that, then you don’t get in each other’s way. When you’ve got egos and people who are very self-centred — that don’t really give a shit about everything else that’s going on, it can get pretty difficult. I think for your own protection and the protection of others, you just find your own space. Everybody’s got their own spot that they label as theirs for the most part, so you just stick to that and do your own thing. I’m very quiet, I keep to myself.

Cooper, Lemmy, Ozzy Osbourne. Has there ever been someone that you wanted to work with but due to conflicting schedules or tours it just never happened? Doing the last record, I had to cold call all of those people and get them on board. Prior to that, all the collaborations that happened did so by chance and for the most part were spontaneous. A lot of them were extensions of having met and the language of a couple of musicians getting together is that... music. The next thing you know you end up playing together. There was never a lot of forethought in this last record. I had written a lot of music where I specifically went, “so and so would sound good on this and so and so would best fit this”, and then I went and reached out to those people. If I was going to do another record like that... right now I couldn’t tell you who I’d want to have on it, it would really depend on the music first. Two guys I would really like to work with, who I know and have worked with before, are Paul Rodgers [Bad Company] and Robin Zander from Cheap Trick. I could write a list of people that weren’t on the last record that would have been cool to work with but the material didn’t call for it. It all really depends on the material. What do you feel has been the most important lesson you’ve learnt to date? The main thing is probably pacing yourself. It’s really important to understand what your limitations are and to learn how to handle the amount of responsibility you’ve got in order to pull off a great gig every night.

I wanted to ask you about an incident that took place last year in Italy when a fan crash-tackled you during a performance. When things like that happen with fanatical fans, even more so now after the tragic loss of [Damageplan guitarist and Pantera founding member] Dimebag Darrell [shot and killed on stage in 2004], is it possible to feel secure on stage anymore? Having done this for so long, I never really thought about that. I’ve had people get on stage and had some violent issues [but] you have security and it’s never been that much of a big deal. When the Dimebag incident happened it was more about Dimebag than anything. [However] after that Italy incident you start to be a little more conscious of how vulnerable you really are [but] then you keep doing it — you can’t really dwell on it too much.

When you hear yourself referred to as an icon, something we see reserved for the likes of Page, Beck and Hendrix, what runs through your mind? There’s part of you that’s very flattered when anything like that comes up, when you have someone that gives you a compliment about your playing ability or maybe something that you wrote or recorded, but you really can’t take it to heart too much. As a musician, and a guitar player especially, I’m very aware of all the other people that are doing it. There’s the ones that are my heroes, that I think are the genuine articles — the originals that you want to become as good as. So you can never say “I’m better than that” or “I’m as good as that” — that keeps you humble right off the bat. Then there’s all of these cats around that aren’t famous that are fuckin’ incredible. You never take it for granted that you can go out there and that you have fans. I’m trying to impress myself and trying to get better in my own little world — my expectations of myself are high and I haven’t gotten anywhere near that so I just keep plugging at it.

Let’s look at some of the great artists you’ve worked with over the years... Alice

Apocalyptic Love is available on May 18 through Sony Music.

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reverb magazine issue #069 — May 2012   29


Grand Junction Hotel 88 Church Street, Maitland 02 4933 5242 / MySpace / Facebook















with Phil Levy



Phone us on 6646-2305 Tickets can be purchased over the phone with a Credit Card. A $2.50 booking fee will be charged.

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magazine issue #069 — M ay 2012

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t o e n a i l c l i p p i n g s   —   cr u n chy f o r t u n e s

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3 Dinkum Bohos 4 Keegan Sparke 5 Trace 5 10 Acid Bleed David Knight 11 11Shiny Shiny 12 Kellie Knight 12 Skin Walkers 17 18 Luke Vasella 19 Malcolm Gladstone 19 Acid Bleed 24 Norman & Louise 25 26 Kellie Knight Fiona O’Loughlin 29 Cole, Cox, Lovejoy from 6pm | FREE

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Steve Burrito’s crunchy fortunes

Taurus: This month you will release your inner ninja. Unfortunately you’ll be stuck in traffic at the time and only manage to leap into the back seat of the car and break the cup holder. Your lucky food will be kebab and your lucky time will be 3am.

Virgo: This month you will develop Hippopotomonstroses­ quipedaliophobia, which is the fear of long words. That sucks, doesn’t it? Stay away from people carrying large birds of prey and calling you Mary. Did you remember to feed the cat?

Capricorn: Pelicans don’t chew, so why should you? You thought Placebo was your favourite band, but now you realise that it was just all in your head. But don’t worry, this month you’ll be faster than a speeding ticket. Egrets? I’ve had a few.

Gemini: This month you will discover that your ability to put your thumb in ‘there’ doesn’t mean you should actually do it. Your lucky sensation this month will be mind-numbing boredom and your favourite sport will be motor racing.

Libra: It doesn’t matter how much tequila you’ve had, you cannot catch a duck. Did you know that three out of four people make up 75 per cent of the population? Take life with a grain of salt and a slice of lemon. Your lucky move is sexy.

Aquarius: Don’t tans look great, I can’t wait until I’ve got old lady leather skin too. You buy a car to get to work, now you go to work to pay for the car. Is there something wrong with that picture? Party like it’s $19.99. A large Hawaiian is not always a pizza.

Cancer: You will be called in for questioning after rumours spread that you spent the 80s pumping up the jam and getting jiggy with it. This month the sewer people will also steal your skateboard, and you will see a prostitute give a clown a tattoo. Leo: Have you ever seen a wild budgie? Of course you haven’t, they don’t exist. Budgies are Satan’s spawn and they’re filled with caramel. Congratulations - this month you will again fail to be normal, and that’s why we love you.

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Scorpio: You new catch cry is ‘drink ‘em pretty’, and looking at who you’re considering sleeping with, it’s come just in time. Just remember, the last thing I want to do is hurt your feelings, but it’s still on the list. Your lucky wave is the micro


Sagittarius: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots. Consistency is only a virtue if you’re not a screw up. Someone you know is Eric the Memorable, but you can’t remember who. Your lucky smell is nice.

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Pisces: Somebody you know has a wizard’s sleeve in their pants. This month you will follow the smell of cheese for three days until you realise that it’s the cheese that’s following you. Oh and we changed your safe word to “ohhhhh yeah!”. Oh yeah. Aries: An old friend will suddenly take on an aura of mystery. Lay off the passion pop sunshine, and keep your pants on. Your lucky number will be three. Yeah – you wish. In a small village in Paraguay, you will be hailed ‘King of the Things’. What’s that about?

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fridays from 6pm | $5 entry 6621 4729 108 keen street lismore 2480 reverb magazine issue #069 — May 2012   31

album Reviews Feature albums

The Civil Wars

The Shins


Dust and Dirt




Remote Control




The Black Seeds 4.5/5

The Black Seeds have a wellestablished sound somewhere between reggae and funk, so the first track on Dust and Dirt, bordering, as it does, on psychedelic pop, took me by surprise. ‘Out Of Light’ incorporates quell and calm, the echoing vocals an instrument in themselves. But don’t be fooled, the title track returns to the futuristic, edgy funk we are used to. ‘Pippy Pip’ is one of many contextual titles and the first single with zest. The album builds to the instrumental crescendo of ‘Loose Cartilage’, with its invitation to dance, before toning down to the sly and flowing ‘Frostbite’, about flirtatious compromise. Houseboogie ‘Don’t Turn Around’ successfully blends with the rest of the album despite its slight genre change. Overall, The Black Seeds new experimental energy proves triumphant. ~jamie Nelson


Nothing Is Wrong ATO Recordings/Warner


For a band only formed in 2009, Dawes know how to perform within their genre. Sounding more country than folky, Nothing Is Wrong showcases Dawes’ storytelling and musical prowess. ‘A Little Bit of Everything’ reveals promising songwriting, while ‘Fire Away’ has more of the upbeat sounds of their first album, North Hills – not a bad thing. A second album requires innovation and evidence of growth to keep the audience’s attention, and Nothing Is Wrong delivers in spades. A refreshing, modern take on alternative country music.  ~Jonathan McCallum


Cognitive CO-op/Universal


Cognitive is the debut release from newly formed metal supergroup Soen. Fans of Tool will be in heaven as soon as they hear the intense but clean vocal sound of Joel Ekelöf, in combination with some great harmonies on every piece. The track ‘Oscillation’ proves exactly why the musicians in this group are so well-respected, with an opening riff heavy enough to challenge even the most extreme, drop-tuned metal bands of today, and superb technical drumming from ex-Opeth Martin Lopez. I had this track on repeat. The transitions between heavy, technical metal riffs and softer, lyrically-powerful verses are executed brilliantly. If they can follow this one up, Soen could become a force in the metal world.  ~Thomas Peasley

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magazine issue #069 — May 2012

Barton Hollow

The first song on this Grammy-winning album of quaint love songs backed by folk-pop tunes is about a lost billet-doux - its evocative imagery enhanced by the gorgeous vocal chemistry of duo Joy Williams and John Paul White. ‘Poison and Wine’ is a quiet libretto of romantic demise showcasing the perfect vocal balance. The title track is a dark swinging southern, Williams and White singing “I’m a dead man walking here/ that’s the least of all my fears”, their voices entwined still more powerful than the stronger presence of instruments on the song. ‘Falling’, a harmonic soliloquy about a break-up, is as lyrically deep as it is musically rich, featuring clever use of plucking during the verses. A brilliant debut. For fans of folk ballads.  ~Jamie Nelson

DZ Deathrays

Port of Morrow

Pop quiz time: What do you get when you take away three members from iconic indie band The Shins? Answer: James Mercer. Sure Port of Morrow is a smooth listen and, in some places, it even has the bloody brilliance of old-style Shins, especially on tracks like ‘Simple Song’, that will make those of you who grew to love this band when Natalie Portman paid them lip service in the movie Garden State, happy. Ballads like ‘September’ are proof that there has been lyrical advancement in the five years between albums. But it does feel a little like Mercer, the self-confessed puppeteer behind The Shins, meticulously crafted this album in a studio. And in doing so, took away the raw energy the band once had.  ~Shelby Houghton

Julia Stone By The Horns


Picture Show Records




According to Wikipedia, Mike the Headless Chicken, was a rooster that lived for 18 months after his head had been severed, missing the jugular and one ear. He died in 1947 after a clot cut off his blood supply. Miraculously, he lived for a year-and-a-half without much going on up top and the kind of heart condition that not even Jim Morrison would envy. As far as I can tell, it’s about the same story for DZ Deathrays. They’ve had a pretty good run. They’ve put out a couple of pretty good records, and their latest, Bloodstreams is among them - gnarly-riff city from go to whoah. In all, it’s a pretty decent Aussie indie/garage/screamy long-player. But at the same time, it’s a clogged artery. There is just no heart to this record. No matter which way I slice it, there isn’t a discernible quality that makes me want to invest anything in DZ Deathrays. If you’re a fan of what they’ve done previously, you’ll probably like this. If you’re not, you’re not missing out. Here’s to a painless coronary.  ~Max Quinn

lowlakes Lowlakes

Kunshaus Records


This self-titled EP marks the first release from Aussie band Lowlakes. Opening track ‘Songs For Motion’ draws you in with a dark, atmospheric vibe and passionate vocals by singer Thomas Snowdon, who has a touch of Thom Yorke about his voice. Unfortunately the EP goes downhill from there. As brilliant as Snowdon’s’ voice is, it can’t carry the recording on its own. If the music behind the vocals was better utilised to complement Snowdon’s voice and create some more dynamic pieces, this band could be a stand-out. But apart from the opening track, this record is downright tedious.  ~Thomas Peasley

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One of Australia’s favourite indie sweethearts remains as sweet. While Julia Stone’s vocal tones don’t differ from her earlier albums, she’s as enchanting as ever. Just like the video clip for her single ‘Let’s Forget All The Things That We Say’, Stone is seen walking the streets of downtown LA on a frosty morning. A black and white backdrop of old cinemas tower over the tiny Stone as she walks you through her own inner streetscapes of love, deception, defeat and resurrection. “Everyone’s a little lost on how to love well... the beautiful thing is that everyone keeps going back for more.” Stone’s solo work lacks the folksy sound of her collaborations with brother Angus, but catchy keys, bass, electric guitar, drums, viola and violin, not to mention heartfelt lyrics, lure you into Stone’s world. Quite the open book, this latest chapter in Stone’s life is a story worth reading. ~Mel Roach

Gin Wigmore Gravel & Wine Island Records


The title of New Zealand songstress Gin Wigmore’s sophomore release, Gravel & Wine says a lot about its content, with a little more emphasis on the gravel this time around. The drum tracks are huge and bottomless - ‘Jungle Drum’ by Emiliana Torrini pales in comparison. Wigmore’s voice sits in stark contrast to the deep rumble of drums and bass, soaring like a nicotine-addicted bird after a pack of cigarettes. Other songs feature humming choirs and twanging guitars. But the whole thing comes together - playing out like the soundtrack to a bitter story about a jilted lover. Don’t worry though, it’s not all gravel. We get a good swig of that sweet wine on tracks like ‘If Only’, which starts out with Wigmore’s beautifully smoky voice, a piano and a kick-arse bass line. Touché Gin, this album is a good play. ~Cormack O’Connor

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Not Your Kind of People

After a lengthy hiatus, Garbage are back with a collection of trademark electro-pop anthems atop an altrock platform. Comeback albums are a tricky proposition. Fans scrutinise and compare to past works while doubts linger as to whether the chemistry and songwriting prowess remain intact. Garbage’s fifth album, Not Your Kind of People, is a mixed bag. Things get off to a shaky start. ‘Automatic Systematic Habit’ is a dull dance-pop tune with sugary chorus and clunky lyrics. First single ‘Blood for Poppies’ rectifies the early disappointment before ‘Control’ delivers the first genuine highlight - a dark, haunting opening that morphs into 80s-inspired industrial rock with a charismatic vocal performance from Shirley Manson. The noisy electro-rock of ‘Battle in Me’ and similarly upbeat ‘Man on a Wire’ inject some much-needed edginess and sass. But the remaining songs are a hit or miss collection of bright moments peppered with bland songwriting. Impeccably produced by Butch Vig and co, Not Your Kind of People is a solid, although uneven, return - an album with enough gems to appease the diehards but unlikely to expand their fan-base. ~Luke Saunders

Soulfly Enslaved

Roadrunner Records


Soulfly’s eighth studio album continues their transformation from the tribal, nu-metal rhythms of their early days into the vicious, contemporary metal beast they are today. Enslaved takes a faster, darker direction, retaining Soulfly’s world music flavour and moulding it into a precision modern metal assault, with heavy thrash influences and a subtle hint of death metal. New drummer David Kinkade (Borknagar) makes a particularly strong statement. He maintains Soulfly’s percussive, tribal flair, but with new-found intensity and creativity through clever variations, relentless double bass and occasional blast beats. Max Cavalera and fellow shredder Marc Rizzo are in equally fine form, upping the speed and technicality while delivering Soulfly’s trademark chugging riffs. The guitar solos are particularly impressive from both a melodic and technical aspect. Lyrically, Cavalera delves into new territory, crafting a concept album about slavery, with familiar gruff vocals delivered with undoubtable passion. The devastating groove of ‘World Scum’ and cracking tempo shifts on ‘Treachery’ are standouts and although some of the songwriting sounds a little stale, there are enough killer tunes to keep the listener interested. Max Cavalera’s rejuvenated line-up and a tighter, meaner attack has produced Soulfly’s heaviest album to date. ~Luke Saunders

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album Reviews album of the month

Alabama Shakes

Silversun Pickups

Temper trap

Warner Music


Boys & Girls

In the Belly of the Brazen Bull




Liberator/PIAS/Wichiya Recordings



Neck of the Woods

This third album, upon first listen, washes over you in beautiful and distorted waves. With every subsequent listen you discover something different – the Silversun Pickups have an uncanny way of uniforming their tracks while retaining their individuality. However, they tend to wade through a sound we have become accustomed to whispered vocals and psychological catharsis, shying from further exploration. Each song lasts about five minutes before blending seamlessly into the next and all feature a dark, warped sound. The intro to ‘Bust Bees’ is almost identical to ‘Growing Old Is Getting Old’ from Swoon. ‘Here We Are (Chancer)’, ‘Simmer’ and ‘The Pit’ all follow the now-familiar dreamy and nocturnal recipe. Regardless of having no change in scenery, Neck Of The Woods is still a great album, embracing the hypnotic texture that the band (and fans) are so familiar with. Not a disappointment, but nothing new either. ~Jamie Nelson


Some Nights Warner Music


The most interesting thing about fun. is the punctuation in their name. Some Nights is an exercise in boring pop – well-produced generic tracks that have all the elements of good songwriting, but lack emotion. Some artists tackle layered songs extremely well. Fun. approach layers with the idea of having as many contrasting abrasive noises as possible on most tracks. ‘We Are Young’ is the lead single and, despite lacking this awful layering, is one of the least interesting tracks on an already bland album, wasting the talents of Janelle Monáe. If this song piques your interest check the album out. For those going in off the hype alone, prepare to be sorely disappointed by Some Nights.  ~Jonathan McCallum

Cairo Knife Fight Cairo Knife Fight II Loretta Records


The self-titled follow-up LP by New Zealand duo Cairo Knife Fight is an explosive blend of prog and post-grunge, smothered in distortion. I was shocked to discover this band is a mere twosome - the power they possess sounds like a band of at least four. Erratic drumming and solid riffs pack a punch, and spirit-conjuring vocals whirl up a vortex of electricity, giving off a trippy, brooding vibe. Captivating loop-pedalled guitar work on ‘The Opiate of the Living’ adds ambient drama. ‘The Secrets of Sin’ is heavy, dirty and brazen - all the things one craves in a rock ‘n’ roll song. Although only four tracks, Cairo Knife Fight II is quite long, and reeks of quality. Self-indulgence for the masses. ~Charli Hutchison

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Temper Trap

Their 2009 debut album, Conditions, sold nearly a million copies worldwide and fans of Australian band, The Temper Trap, have been craving more. Their self-titled second album explores new avenues and brings us even more of the explosive, pounding drums and intricate, soaring vocals that have underpinned their success. ‘Dreams’ promises a slow-burn but is in fact loaded with one of the record’s hookiest choruses, while ‘Need Your Love’ is warm and intimate. ‘Rabbit Hole’ is an explosion of sounds and the stark but soulful ‘The Sea Is Calling’ is an album highlight. But the standout track is, without a doubt, ‘London’s Burning’, written in the aftermath of last year’s riots. Ambitious, charming and unique, The Temper Trap nonetheless remains true to the band’s balladry and melancholic origins. ~Haylee Steen

‘Hold On’ by Alabama Shakes is love at first listen. It leaves you lingering on its final note and then hitting rewind. What a treasure to hear such soulful, genuine music in 2012. It starts with a simple rock beat, followed by the addition of guitars, and then Brittany Howard man can that girl sing! Her gravelly, screeching and spirited voice puts the shake in Alabama Shakes. She takes the listener trekking through mountains and when you reach the highest peak she brings you back down with your legs quivering. “Must be somebody up above sayin’ come on Brittany, you’ve got to come on up”. The Shakes’ sound is reminiscent of earlier decades - soul rock infused with southern twang, motown and blues, with all the heartbreak. Their debut record Boys & Girls offers a fresh take on these genres with experimental ears and arrangements. The combined talents of Brittany Howard, Zac Cockrell, Steve Johnson and Heath Fogg have put Athens, Alabama in the spotlight for all the right reasons. ~Jess kellar

Counting Crows Underwater Sunshine Sony


It’s been five long years since Counting Crows’ last full-length release (2007’s glorious Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings), and while die-hard fans may be disappointed to be getting an album of covers in Underwater Sunshine, this is Counting Crows we’re talking about – arguably the most consistently good pop rock band of the past two decades. The album is a nod to the Crows’ influences and their San Francisco Bay Area history - the work of a band unafraid to do things a little differently. A bit of Dylan, a dash of Byrds and a little Big Star, as well as some songs from the band’s early incarnations (Tender Mercies and Sordid Humour). All of these are in-the-pocket performances, intelligently arranged and deftly executed. What stands out most are the songs you haven’t heard – covers of ‘Hospital’, by Coby Brown (who?), and ‘Like Teenage Gravity’, by Kasey Anderson, highlight the band’s special ability to take the unfamiliar and make it sound like you already know all of the words (and by the second listen, you do).   ~Max Quinn

Will and the People Morning Sun Independent


According to their Facebook bio, Will and The People are “a collective… who have decided to play and make music together forever” – a vibe evident in the London five-piece’s new album Morning Sun, with its unique indie-reggae sound. Every track offers something new, from feel-good, relaxed tracks like ‘Lion In The Morning Sun’, bouncing with joyful lyrics, to solid hits like ‘Salamander’ and ‘Stranger’. Be prepared to sing along to the right-on reggae of Morning Sun  ~Eliza Church

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White rabbits Milk Famous Mute


The new album from indie-rockers White Rabbits is another stylish adventure in quirky songwriting, inventive musicianship and layers of complex sound. Milk Famous features bright, textured production by Mike McCarthy (Spoon), complimenting the colourful arrangements, amidst a foundation of funk, indie-rock and moody pop. The eclectic nature of the songwriting and interesting use of percussion, keyboards and sound effects lends an unpredictable edge, revealing the shifting moods and surprising directions of the album. Not all songs hit the mark - some promising ideas are not fully realised but, for the most part, Milk Famous sounds fresh and edgy. ‘Heavy Metal’ is a dark but lively opener - clunky industrial sounds sliding between a funky bass-line and smooth vocals. The up-front percussion on ‘Temporary’ is cleverly countered by stabs of guitar and strong vocal hooks. The tricky drum beats on the addictive ‘Everyone Can’t Be Confused’ offset a more straightforward pop approach, with just a hint of their off-kilter style. Comparisons to Spoon are unlikely to disappear, but while sharing some similarities with their experienced mentors, White Rabbits are no mere clones. They offer enough musical twists and compelling melodies to break new ground of their own.   ~Luke Saunders

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the Cribs

The Jarman brothers of The Cribs are back with their fifth album, minus ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr who played on their last. The record sees the trio explore a much more gritty sound. For the most part, the memorable, pop-inspired guitar riffs of songs like ‘Men’s Needs’ are gone, replaced with a wall of distorted guitar reminiscent of early-90s alt-rock. While this may give the album a more lo-fi feel, the lack of a second guitarist is obvious. Lyrically, the album is more personal. This comes out on tracks like ‘I Should Have Helped’, ‘Like a Gift Giver’ and ‘Butterflies’. Ryan’s delivery is sincere and at times surprisingly delicate. The change in direction on this album is a bit of a shock, but get past the band’s image as up-beat indie-popsters and you will appreciate this grungy, lo-fi offering a whole lot more.   ~Amelia Parrott

End Of Fashion

Holiday Trip of a Lifetime universal


Known as one of Perth’s most raucous rock bands, End of Fashion are back and barely recognisable. The band have turned a complete 360 degrees adopting a spacey, electronic sound that will have fans bewildered. Although the song structures are creative, the album is consumed by synthesisers into a vapid, airy mess of echoes and delays. ‘Superlove’ sounds like a recycled Muse song with Justin Burford’s falsetto vocals encased in a heavy blanket of clean over-production. Single ‘Sleepaway’, a dreamy, wistful tune, is the album highlight – its comforting rawness giving us a break from the electronics. Kudos to End of Fashion for extending themselves creatively, but perhaps the transition needed a little more time to break in. ~Charli Hutchison

Butterfly Boucher

Butterfly Boucher Independent


With her signature array of experimental sounds, love-based lyrics and just a hint of darkness, Boucher has spread her wings a little further in her latest independent release which has given her a chance to reconnect with her child-like freedom. Opening track ‘5678!’ has an almost circus quality to it, with eccentric sounds, bopping and plucking. Boucher and producer Jamie Kenney have created a bigger-sounding album with added band members. But despite all the bells and whistles, Boucher is at her best when the music is stripped back and the timbre of her vocals can be appreciated, such as in ‘Warning Bell’. While Boucher’s talent on piano and vocals has landed her alongside the likes of Sarah McLachlan, it’s surprising she hasn’t come up with the big tracks to take her to the next level. But full credit to Boucher for her experimentation, despite it sometimes being distracting or detracting.  ~Jess Kellar

reverb magazine issue #069 — May 2012   33

Images ©kevin bull

bluesfest Review

crosby, stills & nash

candi staton

earth wind AND fire

Bluesfest Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay April 5-9, 2012

Driving up the Pacific Highway, the blazing sunshine promised a reprieve from the countless horror stories of mud and mould told by Bluesfest veterans. Indeed, the gumboots stayed pristine over five days of glorious weather, making up for the summer we never had. Then there was the music - something for everyone, all the time. So many genres that Bluesfest felt almost a misnomer. I came with huge expectations, but Bluesfest 23 just blew this 23-year-old’s mind. They really have the right to call themselves ‘Australia’s premier music festival’. The set up at Tyagarah was flawless; not to mention the sound quality, the facilities — oh. and the food! Opening night was a bit of a blur as we tried to

get our bearings, kicking off with Canned Heat, whose marriage of blues and rock had us boogieing away. Fifty years strong and still with three original members - talent doesn’t get old, it just gets better. The headliners Cold Chisel played a perfect mix of sing-along classics and getting-toknow-you tracks from their new No Plans album. Friday kicked off with a bit of soul from Candi Staton, in what marked her first trip to Australia over a long career and we were so glad she made it — pouring her heart out to an appreciative audience, young and old. Personally, I was most excited about Earth Wind and Fire. After squashing ourselves to the front in anticipation, we were treated to a memorable performance.


34  reverb

magazine issue #069 — M ay 2012

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maceo parker

justin townes earle

trombone shorty

steve earle the specials

Original bassist Verdine White played with more energy than seemed possible, and lead singer Phillip Bailey’s vocals were otherworldly. Deciding between EWF and Crosby Stills and Nash was a gut-wrenching decision, and we were left wanting more after catching the latter’s encore. We rolled the picnic rug out Saturday for a brew of emotion and passion with Keb-mo and continued with Bettye Lavette and band whose performance was a revelation. Bettye bared her soul, sharing raw and heartfelt emotion and it was pleasing to see the audience give her the adoration she deserved. Another powerhouse female performer, this

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time playing the blues, was Joanne Shaw Taylor, whose smoking vocals and guitar were an inspiration. Storytelling multiinstrumentalist David Bromberg and his country/folk quartet had us in the palm of his hand. We left the evening on an afro-high with Angelique Kidjo. The joy in Kidjo’s performance was palpable as she invited members of the audience up on stage to dance. This one will stay with me for a long time. After a cruisy Sunday we amped things up with Blue King Brown. I had heard big things about how this eight-piece band could mobilise an audience and that they did, from wild dancing to the roots/afro groove,

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to a show of fists in support of the freedom of West Papua. The John Butler Trio had the crowd riding extended instrumentals and singing along to their favourites. Melbourne Ska Orchestra joined in for an awesome version of ‘Zebra’. It’s a beautiful thing that John Fogerty was able to move on from a bitter break-up and revisit his songs from Creedence Clearwater Revival. Monday saw Green River played in full, walking us through such a pertinent time in history. He was in great form and that unique blend of swamp-rock-Americana had us moving in a magical atmosphere where at times our singing nearly drowned

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him out. We decided on Maceo Parker and his band to close out and this has to be one of the funkiest outfits ever. Blissed out on the saxophone and endless solos into the night, it was hard to believe when it was over. Bluesfest restored our faith in the beauty and goodness of the human race. The musicianship and connection between artists and audience was just sublime. There were so many major performances we only caught glimpses of - it truly was an overwhelming experience. They say the line-up gets better each year. I can’t even imagine how this year could be topped, but I’ll be there! ~Michaela Bruton

reverb magazine issue #069 — May 2012   35

live Reviews The Herd

Brian Setzer

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Saturday, March 31

Newcastle Panthers Thursday, April 5

©Tim Boehm

Australian hip-hop favourites, The Herd, did not disappoint their mixed bag of hippie and hip-hopping fans when they brought their ‘A Thousand Lives’ Tour to the Cambridge Hotel, joined by Sydney MC Sky’high, and Blue Mountains crew, the Thundamentals, as supports. Feisty Sky kicked the night off with a short but powerful set filled with new material from her EP Your Highness. The Thundamentals took to the stage and performed favourites off their latest album Foreverlution, including ‘Calm in the Chaos’ and ‘Wanna Be’. The boys had the whole room jumping to some heavy dub-step beats in the middle of the set, before finishing on a high with ‘Paint the Town Red’. It was the first time I had seen the Thundamentals live and they blew me away with their clever lyrics and fancy footwork. With their full lineup on stage, The Herd warmed up with their new single ‘1000 Lives’, followed immediately by pumped-up versions of crowd favourites, ‘The King is Dead’ and ‘2020’, with politically charged lyrics, crazy stage antics and calls to change the world firing us up. We got rowdy to ‘Unpredictable’ and joined in a mass arm-waving sing-along during ‘Only 19’. The Herd finished the night off by calling on the Thundamentals and Sky’High to join in their new song, ‘Better Alive’, in a display of musical madness with a massive crew on stage. Noisy and overexcited, we begged The Herd to come back for one more song and our persistence paid off with a mash-up of all their hits. I left the Cambridge sweaty and hoarse after some of the funkiest and freshest Australian hip-hop and rap on offer. ~Stephanie De Vries

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magazine issue #069 — M ay 2012

New Found Glory + Taking Back Sunday Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney Saturday, April 7

©David Jackson

Lanie Lane, Australia’s answer to Imelda May, opened the show with a set that was tantalising to both the eyes and ears. Lanie’s voice is at once strong and smooth and her songs are timeless. It’s a real treat when you see a musician having as much fun as their audience. Former Stray Cat Brian Setzer may be 53 but the electricity and enthusiasm that he brings to the Rockabilly Riot is unrivalled. The floor was packed from the moment that Setzer took to the stage, beginning his show with a three-piece formation, joined later by a boogie-woogie pianist the likes of which we rarely see nowadays. Highlights from this segment included Setzer’s cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’, moving into the Carl Perkins tune ‘Put Your Cat Clothes On’. Giving his spirited band a brief break, he returned to the stage to perform his renowned rendition of Santo and Johnny’s ‘Sleepwalk’, which was met with resounding applause. A true rockabilly riot calls for a revival, and Setzer delivered when he introduced a new ensemble and then teased the rallied audience by strumming his signature guitar and saying, “a number one riff needs a number one drummer”. Cue original Stray Cat, Slim Jim Phantom, dressed the part in a skinny tie and leather jacket. Together with Setzer’s Rockabilly Riot band, as tight and energetic as they come, this pair delivered some of the Cats’ greatest hits including ‘(She’s) Sexy + 17’ and ‘Stray Cat Strut’. Every person on that stage had their moment to shine, particularly the upright bass players as they joined Setzer in a ‘bass-off’. By the finale, every person in the auditorium was on their feet, swinging and grinning from ear to ear – as only Setzer would have it. ~Kirri Liepins

Zappa Plays Zappa

John Butler + mama Kin

Newcastle Panthers Sunday, April 8

Civic Theatre, Newcastle Thursday, April 12

©Matt McIntyre

New York’s Taking Back Sunday are seasoned professionals and they treated their Australian fans to a solid set containing familiar classics ‘Liar’, ‘Make Damn Sure’ and ‘Twenty-Twenty Surgery’. Their newer songs didn’t seem to resonate with the crowd as they might have hoped but frontman Adam Lazzara was doing a pretty fine job playing on a broken leg from a recent incident involving a falling tree! New Found Glory have remained frontrunners in the world of pop punk music for the past decade and were welcomed to the stage with a roar from the packed venue. Catchy hooks and a few chords strung together by a fast beat are what these guys are all about. Lead singer Jordan Pundik bounced his way around the stage, amping up the crowd, who were allowed to sing almost all of first song ‘Understatement’. Fresh hit ‘Anthem For The Unwanted’, from their latest release Radiosurgery, turned a few seasoned listeners’ heads, rekindling that early 90s spark. A rare opportunity arose mid-set when a punter got the chance to show off his guitar work, taking over the rhythm guitar spot for ‘Failures Not Flattering’, as guitarist Chad Gilbert paraded Pundik around on his shoulders. Finishing the night off with ‘My Friends Over You’, the audience dusted themselves off and limped out of the arena, bruised but happy. A solid co-headline gig for lovers of pop-punk. ~Sean Frazer

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©Mark Snelson

Musical legacy is an oversubscribed phrase. Months before his death in 1993, Frank Zappa was reported as saying it wasn’t important if he was remembered or not. Thankfully, his son begged to differ. Since 2006, Dweezil Zappa has been bringing his father’s music to the masses – but this concert was more than just a tribute. Zappa and his powerful ensemble have the energy and (more importantly) the musical dexterity to navigate the many meandering paths of one of modern music’s truly great innovators. Beginning with the sublime ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ (including a charming Arnold Schwarzenegger anecdote), the band powered through Zappa’s oeuvre – including detours to his early albums with backing band the Mothers of Invention; the jazz inflections of ‘Eat that Question’, and the manic interplay of ‘Debra Kadabra’. The mostly middleaged male crowd were a relatively subdued audience, until called on stage for some audience participation during ‘Dancin Fool’ – with most echoing the exact sentiments of the song. The challenging and uncompromising nature of Frank Zappa’s compositions has always meant that very few performers attempt his work in a live context – this performance showed why Dweezil’s commitment to Frank’s creative output is an essential experience. The joy he gets out of playing and promoting his father’s music was obvious for all to see. Plus, he’s a damn fine guitarist in his own right. ~Paul Frost

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©Julie Lowe

The ticket to John Butler’s Tin Shed Tales tour promised a ‘live and intimate’ event and Butler delivered a performance that was about as intimate as you could get. With his wife Danielle Caruana (aka Mama Kin) in support, Butler shared stories of how fatherhood has changed his life and had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand with his signature instrumental pieces, proving he really can hold his own without the driving power of his famous trio. Opening with ‘Gonna Be a Long Time’, the night was a mix of classic JBT tunes, along with some personal songs about his family heritage (featuring the moving Irish ballad ‘Danny Boy’). And it wouldn’t be John Butler without some political activism thrown in for good measure, with his song ‘Kimberley’ dwelling (just a little too long) on the impact of mining on the pristine West Australian wilderness. A loop pedal on the track ‘Revolution’ created the effect of a full band and closing number ‘Zebra’ proved to be a lasting favourite with the crowd. An encore performance of Butler’s 10-minute instrumental, ‘Ocean’, sealed the deal, and it was in these final moments he proved he has what it takes to hold the stage alone: pure talent.  ~Shelby Houghton

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live Reviews

gig of the month

High on Life Festival

August Burns Red

Henry Rollins

Mark lanegan

Jon Gomm

Bellingen Showgrounds Saturday, April 14

Newcastle Panthers Thursday, April 19

Newcastle Panthers Tuesday, April 24

Hi-Fi Bar, Sydney Friday, April 20

Lizotte’s, Lambton Thursday, April 27

Svelt ©Drew Hooper

Saturday April 14 saw the Bellingen Showground come to life with the Local MADE (Music Arts Dance Extravaganza) High On Life community festival. This event originated to provide a platform for youth in the area to showcase their talents and learn the art of festival production and management. It has now grown to incorporate musicians and artists from a much broader arena. Artists of all ages took to the three stages to deliver high quality music and dance performances amid grounds that had been creatively decorated by a dedicated arts team. Highlights on the day included a performance from students on the Reverb Stage who had attended beat box and hip hop workshops throughout the week, led by Morganics and Travers Ross, and an awesome routine by local dance crew Coastal Boogie. Sydney-based dubstep band Svelt , Sound Spirit, and Didgital all performed amazing sets in the early evening, warming up the audience for the final acts. Returning to Bellingen after a stint in Melbourne, a much more polished Sid Air punched out an impressive set on the main stage, which had the crowd pumped and happy to see their local boys back. Also returning home was Daniel Saddleton, drummer for acclaimed Afro-Colombian roots rock band Watussi, who have recently been supporting Earth Wind and Fire and were returning from Bluesfest. Their high energy dance tunes had the crowd jumping and amped for the final act on the Reverb stage Multiverse, who along with a spectacular laser light show finished the night with some mad beats and a natural high. ~Jo McIntyre

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©Brooke Nash

The Pennsylvanian metalcore band August Burns Red fired up Newcastle Panthers to hordes of sweaty, teenage fans. With a mix of classic songs from earlier albums, as far back as 2003 when the band formed, and a good handful of new material, including tracks from their latest album, Leveler, which was released last June, the boys belted out their killer riffs and metalcore mayhem. The band played tour tight, although the sound mixing, which gave the room a muddy tone of distortion, could have been cleaner. The lead vocalist Jake Luhrs gave an intense and energetic performance, which included a full evening of microphone twirling, standing high above the crowd on road cases and endless growling. The gig cranked along like a steam train with only short pauses for the fans to catch a breath. A rumbling drum solo late in the show brought everyone to attention. JB Brubaker gave a good account of himself on lead guitar with lightening fast riffs and some colourful chord choices. As expected, the mosh pit was in full swing and crowd surfing was a common sight throughout the night. The Christian metalcore boys from the States left their fans with no doubt they are a band on the way to the top of their genre. ~Terry paull

A mere recount would not do the night justice. Henry Rollins is an eloquent, caffeine-fuelled juggernaut of rapid-fire wit. He had one mission — to blow our minds so we didn’t notice our arses going numb. He drew no breath, drank not a drop of water (but, he sure did sweat). He didn’t even pause between stories. Just two-and-a-half hours of non-stop talking (he did float the idea of talking until everyone in the room had died!). It was insane… and amazing. A more apt title for the show would be ‘Henry Rollins and Unlikely Friends’. Not only did each story give a more compelling insight into the bear-like Rollins, but revealed to the audience his warm fuzzy side, as he drew us into his world of colourful characters, unlikely friends and heroes (including the Prezzy of the United Stezzy, Barack Hussein Obama). These included the Pentecostal priest with a penchant for downing turps, whipping snakes and ripping bad-arse blues guitar licks; a Southern Indian brotherhood that taught him to hunt rats and snakes; a smart-alec Nat Geo c i n e m a ­t o g r a p h e r f r o m Australia; Hollywood rent boys with “more punk in their pinky” than Rollins has in his entire body; a North Korean chaperone named Kim; and a girl who lost her eye in a stage-diving incident at a Black Flag show in the 80s. The most remarkable story was of a badly disfigured soldier in a war hospital in Washington, with a picture of himself and Rollins hanging on his wall, taken years earlier before his war injuries. The pair shared a moment — posing for new photos and pretending to break out. But afterwards, the soldier’s mother informed Rollins that her son only had 40 per cent brain capacity and that after his next convulsion, he wouldn’t remember meeting his idol. She hoped the photos would help her son recall his joy at the meeting. The only blemish in Rollins’s show was a touch of misogyny and his insulting the institution of marriage. But, judging by the misty-eyed punk pink ladies in the audience — I doubt he’d have trouble finding a dame to tend to his every whim, wife or no. I give it nine glass eyes out of ten. ~Matt Petherbridge

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©Glen Pearson

©Sophie Metcalfe

It was a beautiful sunny day in Sydney - something of a juxtaposition, as Mark Lanegan is not exactly known for his sunny demeanour. However I had the good fortune, following a feed and a few beers at the fantastic Fox Studios Entertainment Quarter, to walk in seconds before supports Howl At The Moon took to the stage. Though they were fine openers, the vast majority of their set failed to live up to the glorious slow-burn intensity of their opening track, despite vocalist Katie Scott’s killer voice. Lanegan’s band took to the stage with the singer in tow, and unfortunately that set the tone for the night, with the band upfront in the mix and Lanegan’s laid back baritone all but drowned out, making the squall of Steven Janssens’ guitar the real star of the show. It sounded like Lanegan’s voice was in fantastic form, his unmoving countenance almost ghoulish under the blue lights, but I wanted that voice to be the star. He said very little, smiled only occasionally and I would estimate I was in the minority being somewhat disappointed with the show, with each song met with an enthusiastic response. To be fair, the show was billed as the Mark Lanegan Band so maybe I just need to pick my battles better, but the show lacked the intimacy that serves Lanegan’s material so well. ~Roger Killjoy

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New York or New Lambton? It was hard to tell when world class musician Jon Gomm performed at Lizotte’s in an exquisite night of entertainment. Similar to Kaki King, this technically trained percussion guitarist impressed the crowd with the speed and accuracy with which his fingers danced over the body of Wilma, his guitar. Gomm dedicated his first track to his mum and followed up with an unrecognisable Bob Marley cover. His airy voice, blended lyrics and thick British accent often made it difficult to understand what he was singing. But by the third song, Gomm really hit his stride with the Chaka Khan classic, ‘Ain’t Nobody’ - a purely instrumental showcase of a jazzed-up classic pop melody, that he calls his “emergency disco song”. Hailing from Blackpool, the barefoot, black-clad Gomm looked so casual he could have just walked in off the streets. But hear him play his fine-tuned staccato percussive style and you realise what all the fuss is about, including more than two million hits on his track ‘Passionflower’ – a song about a passionfruit vine that overtakes his small concrete courtyard, injecting colour into the greyness of Leeds. Once warmed up, Gomm’s humour and stories flowed. Dashing between styles with the use of guitar pedals, he displayed the versatility of a maestro, and revealed something of his battle between free form creativity and discipline. He even engaged the audience in a brief master class, before closing the night unplugged, with a warm acoustic version of Radiohead’s ‘High and Dry’. Lizzote’s was a perfect fit for Gomm. A cross between The Blue Note and a Broadway theatre and with the most delectable cheese cake on the face of the earth, named ‘New York, New York’ - it may as well have been. ~Jess Kellar

reverb magazine issue #069 — May 2012   37

DIG IT UP Review photos by Cassandra Hannigan

GOATS Review

belles will ring

piper crow ©cassie virgona

hoodoo gurus

red kross

supremo ©jarrod beckley

short notice ©jarrod beckley

GOATS Festival Koala Park, San Remo Sunday, April 15

The 14th Annual GOATS Family Music Festival was the biggest one yet, with an estimated crowd of 12,000. Specifically for musicians aged 25 and under, GOATS attracts young bands and performers from the central coast, Newcastle and Sydney, and as far afield as Canberra. This year an official GOATS media team was established, which teamed up wannabe paparazzi, aged 25 and under (the youngest aged 12), with more experienced writers and photographers. Here is some of their work… Sons of Mercury hit the stage full of energy, their electro indie funk sounds bringing the audience to their feet. Made up of Matt ‘Franky’ Satori, Matty Bryant, Jack Richards and Aron Slater, who each bring their own unique style to the stage, Sons of Mercury put on a delectable, vibrant show. Not only did they get the crowd pumping, they also posed for photos and signed autographs after their set. A big thumbs up. ~Kellie Jones

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sons of mercury ©kellie jones

Leohas are an indie band from Tumbi Umbi, influenced by Joy Division, Foals and The Smiths. It was their first time performing at GOATS and they loved it up on the Swamp stage. “Our set was amazing - we had a few hiccups but [the crowd] loved us,” said band member, Nick, who is studying to become a youth worker. “I loved GOATS and I completely agree we must put youth back in the community.”  ~Amie Hudson Short Notice are a central coast band with a pop-punk sound and a great sense of humour. “I think we played well and woke up the neighbours,” said bass player and singer Aaron Stevenson. Brought together by “a two-string guitar, a set of boxes and a dream”, Short Notice have been together for more than five years, writing their own songs and an album, Stop The Excuses. They played an amazing set.  ~Amie Hudson

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hard ons

Dig It Up Enmore Theatre Sunday, April 22

They say the music scene is suffering from ‘festival fatigue’, well here’s the cure - Dig It Up! The Hoodoo Gurus ‘invitational’ event gathered a group of sonically like-minded bands and a crowd there for the right reasons. Featuring over 20 acts and spread across four venues including the iconic Enmore Theatre, there was much to like. The Fleshtones stole the show early on with their proto-rock and stagecraft (including a set-closing exit through the crowd). But the highlights were many and varied — from the swing and rockabilly kitsch of the 5678’s to a crowd-pleasing return by mystery band Kids in Dust (otherwise known as The Sunnyboys). It was up to Redd Kross to

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remind us that it has been almost 20 years since they last toured Australia, and they then reminded us what a thrilling pop-punk ride it was. The Sonics, original purveyors of 60s garage rock, won over the crowd with classics like ‘Have Love, Will Travel’ and ‘The Witch’. The band seemed genuinely taken with the crowd’s adulation, and their swinging rock was the perfect lead-in to the closing set from the day’s curators. The Gurus ran through their debut album Stoneage Romeos with vigour – ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘Tojo’ clearly crowd favourites - and the band stood justifiably proud of their efforts in getting this bill together. ~Paul Frost

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g e n er a l m o t o r i n g

r e vi e wed

“It’s a supercar Nissan GTR in civvy clothes. Peter Douglas Able to dispatch most competitors with a r e vi e wed by

GTR BETTER YET Given the readies, would you throw down six hundred grand plus on a new Ferrari 458, one of the quickest and most gorgeous cars on the road right now, or would you save four hundred grand and go for something quicker but not as easy on the eye? We are talking here, people, about the latest gen’ Nissan GTR. In the Fazza you get a hand-built masterpiece of Italian engineering that will stop the clock in a scant 3.4 seconds from 0-100kph, with the handling to match; not to mention adequate luxury kit — but at a serious snip. And it’s something else to drive. Then if you really want to accelerate hard and go fast, a mere $170,000 gets you a seat in the new GTR that, like the 458, has a high hand-built content, including the engine, and styling that is as in-your-face as Mike Tyson. It’s a car with instant recognition among the young crowd, capable of stopping the clock from 0-100kph, in less than 3.0 seconds (or so they say). Nissan claims 2.9 seconds. That’s a solid half a second quicker than the Fazza, costing more than three times as much. Did we mention the GTR’s all-wheel-drive, versus rear-wheel-drive, and the super slick dual-clutch six-speed transmission, along with a swag of luxury kit — as standard. Of course, the GTR comes with superb handling, too, especially now that Nissan has fitted asymmetrical suspension settings that allow for the driver’s weight, and near perfect front-to-rear balance, thanks to the trans-axle layout.

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We’d pick the GTR every time and, with the change from a Ferrari, stock the garage with a couple of high powered road motorbikes and a quality enduro bike, along with a speed boat, a 4x4, a track day car and a fully equipped workshop. There’s more to life than cruising from café to café so that people can look at you in your car. Besides, the GTR blows the Ferrari into the weeds in a straight line and around corners. Nissan gave us a chance to drive the latest GTR recently in Tassie — over Targa Tassie stages and other transport stages, as well as a mad blast around Symonds Plains race track. It was nearly enough to make us want to grow two heads and become Taswegian. Nearly.


The last model GTR was awesome. This one is better, albeit more expensive. But Nissan has gone over the entire vehicle, tweaked it with more power, more torque, better gear changes, better handling and more kit. It also uses less fuel and generates fewer emissions.


They even had GTR guru Steve Dunn along for the ride. He lives and breathes GTR and what he doesn’t know about them doesn’t matter. Steve trains technicians to service and repair GTRs but says they rarely, if ever, need repair because the entire car is “bulletproof”, in his words. “They will break if you flog them mindlessly. But Nissan doesn’t hold back on quality

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components for the GTR, which features forged pistons, sodium-filled valves, special con-rods and steel cranks. The engines are built, two per day, by one of only eight ‘Takumi’ master engine builders, at the factory in Japan.” Steve describes the power-train as “a mechanical work of art”. We wouldn’t argue with that after 400kms behind the wheel of possibly one of the world’s quickest production coupés.


Power is up from the model’s 390kW to an eye -watering 404kW or 550 horsepower in the old measure. On top of that, the 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V6 kicks out 628Nm from 32005800rpm. Nissan didn’t simply turn up the turbo boost, they comprehensively refined the engine, including meticulous hand finishing of the inlet tract (port and polish). It gets sodium filled valves for better cooling, and exhaust efficiency improvements including smaller secondary catalysts. The engine computer has been revised and other engine functions have been optimised. It allegedly uses 11.7-litres/100km if your right foot can resist the temptation. The sixspeed manumatic has been strengthened and modified for slicker shifts.


Increased body reinforcements enhance handling while grip is improved with new Dunlop rubber, specifically developed for the GTR.

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Well, what do you reckon? It’s out of this world to drive — a wonderful thing with almost limitless urge there all the time. It doesn’t really matter what gear you’re in (within reason) because a dab of accelerator and the GTR launches forwards. And it’s not in the least peaky with a near linear rate of acceleration. You are violently thrust back into the seat when you mash the throttle. But all this is controlled by the car’s numerous electronic modulators that keep it tracking true even at the (high) limit. Balancing the superlative engine performance are the GTR’s dynamics which are right up to the mark. Firm, flattering, engaging and safe. It can be placed anywhere you want with a flick of the wheel. Handling is fairly neutral apart from a slight tendency to oversteer with silly throttle application. The brakes are huge (390mm) and powerful and make light work of stopping this 1740kg missile.


It’s a supercar in civvy clothes. Able to dispatch most competitors with a dab of the throttle and a flick of the steering wheel. There’s plenty inside to keep you happy too — decent audio, comprehensive info read outs, sports seats, climate, even cruise. Pity it sounds shit.

reverb magazine issue #069 — May 2012   39

Film Reviews

Superheros Are Go r e vi e wed

The Avengers r e vi e wed by

Mark Snelson r ated


The first worthy mega-blockbuster of the year has arrived in the form of The Avengers. Merging four Marvel franchises into one was an ambitious move that has paid off, thanks to the smart direction of Joss Whedon. Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) is the director of a specialised peacekeeping force known as SHIELD. When a mysterious villain by the name of Loki threatens the existence of life on Earth, Fury puts together a team of the world’s best superheroes, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr), The Hulk (Marc Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans), assisted by SHIELD operatives Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the sharp-shooting Hawkeye (Jeremy Remmer). But convincing them all to participate (and then co-operate) is no easy task. In the meantime, Loki obtains the Cosmic Cube which harnesses enough power for him to unlock a portal,

allowing an alien army to invade Earth to devastating effect. Differences aside and with no time to waste, the Avengers embark on an epic battle to save the world. The special effects in The Avengers are outstanding, especially during the alien invasion where giant, flying centipede-like creatures are unleashed upon Manhattan, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. This scale of CGI action has not been seen since the Transformers franchise. But Whedon does not forget to have some fun along the way. Even during the tense battle scenes, there are one-liners that leave the audience cackling. Not only are the performances equally good – the sense of fun is palpable and the 3D version enhances the action, unlike many films, where it feels like a gimmick. It is definitely worth watching both Iron Man movies, as well as The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, before saddling up for this ride. Knowing each hero’s personality and anticipating how their ideals will clash adds depth and enjoyment. The Avengers has it all — smart direction, mind-blowing special effects, huge servings of action and plenty of laugh-outloud humour. Catch this one on the big screen and in 3D if you can.

Story of a Saint r e vi e wed

The Lady r e vi e wed by

Mark Snelson r ated


The Lady is something of a departure for producer Luc Besson, best known for his action flicks The Professional and The Fifth Element. The story of dedicated Burmese political activist Aung San Suu Kyi is worth the telling. But unfortunately Besson does not quite carry it off with enough conviction to make it the commanding statement that it might have been. The movie opens with a prologue, set in 1947. Suu Kyi, aged three, is in the garden with her father, a popular leader determined to bring democracy to Burma. Shortly after, he is gunned down at a political meeting by a military death squad. The story then cuts to 1988, when Suu Kyi (Michell Yeoh) is living in Oxford with her husband, Michael Aris (David Thewlis) and their two sons. She receives news that her mother has suffered a stroke and returns to Burma to be by her side. At the hospital she witnesses an influx of injured student protesters, victims of a violent crackdown by government forces. When the 40  reverb

magazine issue #069 — May 2012

people discover she is back in the country, Suu Kyi is persuaded to continue her father’s work in bringing freedom to Burma by leading an opposition party against the brutal regime. Her popularity soars but her landslide win of the Burmese elections in 1990 sees her placed under house arrest. When she learns her husband is dying of prostate cancer, Suu Kiyi has to choose between her country and her family. If there is any fault in this film it is Besson’s saintlike portrayal of Suu Kyi. Anything that may be considered a fault, such as the abandoning of her family for her cause, is tiptoed around, rather than examined front-on. Despite having all the right ingredients for a great bio-pic, Besson’s telling of the story is overly safe, leaving a number of questions unanswered. What makes The Lady rise above the sum of its parts is Yeoh’s outstanding performance, in which she completely embodies the role. Shot mostly in Thailand and Burma, the cinematography is rich in detail and colour. The Lady will appeal most to those with a keen interest in Aung San Suu Kyi and the story of Burma. Despite the breathtaking scenery and Yeoh’s remarkable performance, other viewers might come away from this film unmoved by a story that could have been delivered in a more powerful fashion.

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Sparring with Sacha “I’d met Sacha a couple of times at parties, but it was so brief and I never really knew what to make of him,” says Faris. “But then they asked me to come in and meet him for The Dictator. The whole project was top secret. I was terrified and really nervous, because he’s so good — he’s a genius, and you want to step up to the plate. We ended up doing some of the scenes, all improvisation. About three months later I actually got the role and, as you can imagine, I was very happy to be a part of it.” On set too, Baron Cohen loves to improvise during scenes and he expects his fellow actors to do the same — riffing on the loose outlines for each scenario as given in the script. “We did a ton of improvisation,” says Faris. “I would say that about ten per cent of the time, we followed the script. But we had the writers behind the monitors, throwing out lines to us all of the time —  different jokes, different ideas. Sacha is a genius at improv, so the challenge as an actor, when you are in those scenes, is to stay on your toes. It was really rewarding in that way.” The Dictator marks a departure from the mockumentary format for Baron Cohen. “It’s all actors this time and there aren’t real people,” explains Faris. “It’s not the manon-the-street feel — it feels like a big movie with huge set pieces. The early scenes with the dictator, in his fictional country of Wadiya, are all in palaces where he has a virgin army with all these hot women and animals and compounds. So the whole feel of the movie is visually very lush and big.” The production was based in southern Spain — providing the backdrop for the North African state of Wadiya — and in New York, where Faris filmed her scenes. “Everything about it was crazy,” she laughs. “Even the logistics were crazy, because we were shooting in the summer time in New York and everywhere he goes now, Sacha gets recognised by a huge amount of people. People are just crazy for him. So even

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Sparring with Sacha Baron Cohen (albeit verbally) was a nervewracking, unpredictable, exciting and rewarding experience according to talented actress ANNA FARIS, who appears alongside Cohen in his latest film The Dictator. Faris admits she had no idea what to expect when she signed up to star alongside the man she regards as a comedic genius. if he wanted to do those man-on-the-street Brüno and Borat scenarios, I don’t think he could anymore.” In The Dictator, Baron Cohen plays General Aladeen, ruler of Wadiya, who is determined to resist any attempt to bring democracy to the country he has oppressed for decades. Audiences might well spot some unpleasant characteristics that General Aladeen shares with other, real dictators. “Sacha’s humour is very thought-provoking and a movie like this is so incredibly timely,” says Faris. “I’ve had a couple of people ask me if I think the subject matter is too soon with things the way they are, and I’m not sure that I’m qualified to answer that. It doesn’t seem too soon to me. But in America we’re sort of insulated from the horrors of those scenarios.” Baron Cohen is, she says, a fearless satirist, prepared to mock prejudice and make fun of those who put themselves on a pedestal. “I think one of the many things that make him so brilliant is that while he is mocking other people — strangers or whoever he is acting with — he is also mocking himself. He plays these characters that are just incredibly doltish, and it’s a kind of genius. It’s the same with The Dictator — all of our characters are ridiculous. We are mocking their ideas and also mocking these groups of people. But I think he gets away with it because he plays these severely flawed characters and that puts it all into perspective a little bit.” Already a huge fan of Baron Cohen’s, Faris’s admiration has only increased since working with him. “I think he is in a class of his own,” she says. “He is doing something completely unique. It reminds me of Jim Carrey back in the Ace Ventura days. Sacha is inventing a new wave of comedy and it’s really exciting to watch and be a part of. Do I think that it will make a lot of people mad? Probably. But I think that same quality also makes so many more people laugh.”

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DVD Reviews

DVD Marathon An Ethical Pickle

Film often poses fundamental philosophical questions either through one person’s experience, by examining a particular moment in time, or via a fantastical premise. The Ides of March asks us to think about the lengths people go to in service of the some greater good, and We Need To Talk About Kevin tackles the question of motherhood in the face of violence. The following films are delicious food for philosophical thought.

r e vi e wed

We Need To Talk About Kevin r e vi e wed by

Sallie Pritchard r ated


Mother and Son Imagine if you heard there had been a massacre at your child’s high school. You rush there, your heart threatening to burst, the lights from the emergency services blinding you, only to find that your son is not a victim, but the perpetrator. It’s two years after the tragic event that left Eva, a prolific travel writer and married mother of two, on her own in a rundown house working at a local travel agency. Via flashback she tries to answer the question perhaps no parent can: what did she do wrong? The film presents a series of questions that turn upon the age-old nature versus nurture debate. Is her son Kevin’s

behaviour a product of her initial hesitance to become a parent? How can someone similar to you in so many ways have these violent tendencies? Are they just buried deeper in your own psyche? Can a person truly be evil? This debate is presented flawlessly, making for a deeply upsetting, emotionally intense film. It’s one of those rare films in which the themes radiate from each individual frame. As Eva reflects on her life leading up to Kevin’s deplorable act, the film’s rhythm duplicates the emotions that Eva experiences in the lead-up to and the aftermath of the massacre. The film has a heart that beats too hard, and so too does

the audience, waiting for that moment when it explodes in our chest. From the very beginning Eva seems destined to be covered in blood, both literally and figuratively, and it seems uncertain that she will wash it away. The performances here are excellent. Tilda Swinton is perfect as the long-suffering mother Eva, and Ezra Miller chilling as the teenaged Kevin. John C Reilly is brilliant as Eva’s husband Franklin, the father who unknowingly enables his son’s behaviour. Director Lynne Ramsay has crafted an incredible film that’s equal parts family drama and horror. This really is a film that will stay with you long after it’s over.

Map of the Politique “You can lie, cheat and steal. You can start wars and bankrupt the country. They’ll forgive you for that… but you don’t fuck the intern.” Wise words from Ryan Gosling’s Stephen Meyers to George Clooney’s Democratic hopeful Governor Mike Morris, and they are words that underpin the film’s entire theme of integrity — now more important than policy in the nasty battle that is the presidential election in the US. Or so it seems. The underlying hypocrisy of this idea becomes obvious in the actions of the characters: the old-school campaign manager (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), his underling (Gosling), the nosy journalist (Marisa Tomei), and the opposing nomination hopeful’s campaign manager (Paul Giamatti). The people employed to make the politicians look good are revealed

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The Ides of March r e vi e wed by

Sallie Pritchard r ated

3.5/5 to be ruthless and unscrupulous, much like the public perception of the politicians. Writing for the Newcastle Herald on politicians and their use of ordinary language, Paul Scott suggests that this film is at its most relevant when holding up a mirror to the current state of American politics, post-Clinton, Bush and Obama. This is when the film is at its best – when providing commentary on the American voter and what they will and won’t tolerate in a president.

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The film is a behind-the-scenes look at the American campaign trail, with a taut political thriller thrown into the mix. Its origins as a play are evident in the intelligent dialogue, but the source material never lets the film become static, with Clooney’s direction keeping it moving at a steady pace. The performances, too, are solid — Gosling holding his own beside heavy­ weights Hoffman, Giamatti and Clooney. The problem is that on paper it’s a solid film but there’s something missing. It’s good, but not great, and the performances are excellent, but not memorable. The commentary is insightful but perhaps not as timely as the film-makers think. Much like Clooney’s governor, the film is trying too hard to win the race when it should be focusing on engaging the public.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray (Albert Lewin, 1945) — What if your soul was tangible and could bear the scars of all your sins while you carried on in your most perfect form? Would it become a measure against which to base your moral code, ensuring the soul stayed clean? Or would it become a means with which to ‘get away’ with every ill deed imaginable? Here the titular portrait is a metaphor for the soul. The film attempts to suggest love has the power to redeem the most wretched of souls, and this gives the film a haunting beauty – a beauty which is undermined by the final revelation of the portrait. Still far inferior to the novel on which it is based. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982) – It’s often the science fiction genre that has the most to say about the human condition and much like other stories of androids, cyborgs and robots, Blade Runner is about what it means to be human. Who is truly capable of appreciating the beauty of life? The Replicants, who fight for their freedom, or the humans who have no qualms about killing another creature? The film’s 1992 director’s cut goes further, asking us if we can really define humanity. Crimes and Misdemeanours (Woody Allen, 1989) – A respected doctor has his mistress murdered, while a documentary film-maker in a loveless marriage considers having an affair. The film’s plot appears simple, yet is potentially devastating in its wider consequences — what does it mean if a man commits a terrible crime and is never punished? What if his initial guilt simply goes away? What does it mean if there is no larger moral compass guiding human action? The film’s overarching question then, clear by the film’s end, is the existence or lack thereof, of God. Another Earth (Mike Cahill, 2011) – In this science fiction film, the more fantastic elements provide the backdrop to the central story, that of a young girl’s tragic mistake and the steps she takes to make amends. Exploring destiny and human error, the film’s central question is this — if you had another chance at your life, would you take it? The idea of an identical planet in close proximity to Earth comes to symbolise freedom, something we both fear and crave. 

~Sallie Pritchard

reverb magazine issue #069 — May 2012   41

NEWCASTLE Don’t forget — Live & Local every Wednesday night

gig Guide Newcastle  Wed, May 2

Sat, May 5

Thur, May 10

Tues, May 15

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

Belmore Hotel, Maitland

Bar on the Hill, Newcastle Uni

Great Northern Hotel, Newc



Great Northern Hotel, Newc Merewether Fats

Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson

7-8 May 9 May

Jimmy Barnes & friends Bic Runga

Si Claros, Pocket of Stones, Joe Cox

Lizotte’s, Kincumber Jess & Lachlan, Paul Rothenbuhler, Bird & I, Jade Gannon & The Juveniles

Lizotte’s, Lambton Janes, Missing Myrtle, Phillip Bracken

Thur, May 3 The Ruby Revue

12 May

Liam Burrows and his Band

Fannys Nightclub, Newcastle Pit to Port Comedy w/ Cam Knight, Matty B, Andrwe Wolfe, Dane Hiser, Ryan Black, Gareth Wasik

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl

Michael Peter & the Magic Fleas

Hi-Fi, Sydney

A Date with Effie 17-18 May

Harry Manx

Matt Sonic & The High Times

Lizotte’s, Kincumber Daniel Champagne, Nathan Jenson

Lizotte’s, Lambton Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson

Wickham Park Hotel, Islington Marshall O’Kell

22 May

Diesel & Matt Andersen

24 May

Tex Perkins (solo)

26 May

The Brewster Brothers – The Music of Bob Dylan

27 May

The Black Sorrows

2 June

Mike McClellan

9 June

Amber Lawrence &

Marshall O’Kell

Eye On You

Manning Bar, Sydney

Great Northern Hotel, Newc The Strums, Thieves, Run Squirrel,


Newcastle Panthers

Rin and the Reckless

The Butterfly Effect, Numbers Radio,

Hamilton Station Hotel, Isling Hazmat, Osmium Grid, 4Kings

Hi-Fi, Sydney Devildriver, Six Feet Under, Darkest Hour


Prince Zane Penn

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

Daniel Allars

Frogfest w/ The Crooked Fiddle Band, Mr Fibby, BOB, James Kemp, Dave Carr’s Fabulous Contraption

Liam Barlow

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl The Dennis Boys Band,

Nelson Bay Diggers The Kransky Sisters

James Thompson

Great Northern Hotel, Newc

Newcastle Panthers The Darkness, Voodoo Sons

Mike McCarthy, Dan Hannaford

Hi-Fi, Sydney

Peden’s Hotel, Cessnock Steve Edmonds Band


Kincumber Hotel

Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield

Tim Pringle

King Street Hotel, Newcastle Morgan Page

Belmont 16 foot Sailing Club

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl

Lizotte’s, Kincumber

The Kransky Sisters

Belmore Hotel, Maitland Moonlight Drive

Steve Edmonds Band

Darren Jack

Nick Rheinberger, Sarah Humphreys

Kantara House, Green Point

Lizotte’s, Lambton

Frogfest w/ BOB, Chaika,

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, Toe To Toe

Club Singleton

Dave Carr’s Fabulous Contraption,

Brian Cadd, Russell Morris

Entrance Leagues Club Sea Legs, Elliot The Bull, Who Is Zoe, Not From Hollywood DJs

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl Liz Stringer, Van Walker


13 June

Celtic Divas

Hi-Fi, Sydney

15 June

James Blundell

16 June

Abba’s Back

22 June

Mental As Anything

The Rattlesnakes, Endless Safari Elsyian, Ignite The Box

Mick Fetch

Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Wickham

Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield

The Doctor’s Wife

Moonlight Drive

Sat, May 12 Allphones Arena, Sydney

Lizotte’s, Kincumber


Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

Steve Poltz

Lizotte’s, Lambton James D Smith

One Vital Word

Lizotte’s, Kincumber

Mark Hotel, Lambton Dave Tice and Mark Evans

A Date with Effie

Lizotte’s, Lambton

Metro Theatre, Sydney The Mountain Goats, Catherine Traicos

Mount Kimbie

The Ruby Revue

The Rhythm Hunters

Kincumber Hotel

Liam Barlow

Maitland Showground Groovin’ The Moo w/ 360, Adrian Lux,

Mon, May 7

Kincumber Hotel Itchy Feet

King Street Hotel, Newcastle DJ Minx

Andrew WK, Ball Park Music, Beni, Big Scary, Bluejuice, City and Colour,

Lizotte’s, Lambton

Digitalism, The Getaway Plan,

Jimmy Barnes

Lakes Hotel, The Entrance Dave Tice and Mark Evans

The Musical

Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Wickham

28 June

The Audreys

Laycock Theatre, Gosford

29 June

Tim Freedman

Lizotte’s, Kincumber

Bark, Miss Venezuela, Daniel March The Great Gig in the Sky Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson

Lizotte’s, Lambton Daniel Champagne, Gracie Harding


Northern Star Hotel, Hamilton

phone (02) 4956 2066

Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield

Dallas Frasca

Tues, May 8 Lizotte’s, Lambton


Hamilton Station Hotel, Isling The Cavalcade, The Virture

Tea Gardens Hotel Michael Peter & the Magic Fleas

Lizotte’s, Kincumber

Nicki Minaj Jimmy Barnes

Lizotte’s, Lambton Dan March, Glowing Embers, Hudson Arc, The Broken Loose

Thur, May 17 Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle TZU

Fannys Nightclub, Newcastle Mickey Avalon, Kid Mac

Gallipoli Legions Club, Hamil Bob Corbett & the Roo Grass band

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl Tom Richardson, Benny Walker

Hamilton Station Hotel, Isling The Leadbellies

Lizotte’s, Kincumber The Idea of North

Lizotte’s, Lambton Harry Manx

Fri, May 18 Beach Hotel, Merewether Chance Waters

Belmore Hotel, Maitland Dr Zoom

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Broadway Mile, Jade Gannon, Empra, The Soorleys

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl Sabrina and the Red Vans

Great Northern Hotel, Newc The Jimmy Bazil Project

Kincumber Hotel The Business

King Street Hotel, Newcastle Nick Skitz

Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Wickham Liz Martin, Jacqueline Amidy

Lizotte’s, Kincumber

Harry Manx

Naysayer and Gilsun, Parkway Drive,

Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield

Public Enemy, Purple Sneakers DJs,

Greg Bryce & the Bad Bad Things

John Waters - Looking Through A Glass Onion

Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield Hornet

Sun, May 13 Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl The Eastern

Kincumber Hotel

Lizotte’s, Lambton Bic Runga, Ollie Brown

How To Survive A Bullfight, Waglagon

Chris Wainhouse

1929Indian, Boatfriends, The Guppies

BB Acoustica, Rowan Falzon, Hipsister, Mirabooka

Kate Martin, Ben Wells

Hamilton Station Hotel, Isling

Lizotte’s, Lambton

Newcastle City Hall

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Under Grey Skies, Nothing Is Sacred

Riley & Donna

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

Gold Fields, Hermitude, Hilltop Hoods,

San Cisco, Wavves, We Built Atlantis,

Bic Runga, Ollie Brown

Wed, May 9

Daniel Merriweather, Fantine,

Kaiser Chiefs, Kimbra, The Maccabees, Matt Corby, Muscles, Mutemath,

Lizotte’s, Kincumber

Jimmy Barnes, Steve Poltz

Bar on the Hill, Newcastle Uni

Lizotte’s, Kincumber

Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Wickham

Metro Theatre, Sydney

Wed, May 16

Allphones Arena, Sydney Belmore Hotel, Maitland

Glowing Embers, Hey Lady!,

Jimmy Barnes

Hordern Pavilion, Sydney

Lakes Hotel, The Entrance Darren Jack

Open Mic Night Heat 1

Lizotte’s, Kincumber

Fri, May 11

Lakes Hotel, The Entrance

10 June

or visit

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl

Sun, May 6

Hamilton Station Hotel, Isling

For bookings and

Claude Hay

Hamilton Station Hotel, Isling

Fri, May 4

Axle Whitehead

Menopause –

Brian Cadd, Russell Morris


Great Northern Hotel, Newc

24 June

Our Last Enemy

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl


Fu Manchu, Black Cobra,

Mother’s Day Lunch —

Lime Cordiale

Lizotte’s, Kincumber


Hamilton Station Hotel, Isling

13 May

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

Charlestown Bowling Club

Krafty Kuts

Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Wickham

Elisa Kate & Matt McLaren, Jay May

11 May

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Nova & the Experience, QnRoo,

King Street Hotel, Newcastle

3 May


Bernie Segedin

Lizotte’s, Kincumber Katrina Burgoyne

Lizotte’s, Lambton A Date with Effie

Sat, May 19 Beachcomber Hotel, Toukley The Cavalcade, The Virture

Belmore Hotel, Maitland Ben Crawford

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Monsters of Metal w/ Mortal Sin, Ouroboros, Viral Millenium, Balescream, Sabretung, Exekute, Abacination, Grannyfist, Autolysis, Exit For Freedom

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl Swiss Army Wives, Gleny Rae Virus

Great Northern Hotel, Newc King Tide

King Street Hotel, Newcastle Jam Xpress, Seany B

42  reverb

magazine issue #069 — M ay 2012

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gig Guide North Lizotte’s, Kincumber Harry Manx

Lizotte’s, Lambton The Idea of North

Northern Star Hotel, Hamilton Catcall, Palms

Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield OMG!

Sat, May 26

Wed, May 2

Sat, May 5

Belmont 16 foot Sailing Club

Great Northern Hotel, Byron

Australian Hotel, Ballina

Shannon Noll

Belmore Hotel, Maitland Streets of Omah

Club Singleton Puppetry of the Penis

Entrance Leagues Club Dead Letter Circus, Fair to Midland, Twelve Foot Ninja

Sun, May 20

Great Northern Hotel, Newc

Bateau Bay Hotel

King Street Hotel, Newcastle

Steve Edmonds Band

Kincumber Hotel Aleyce Simmonds

Lizotte’s, Kincumber Harry Manx

Lizotte’s, Lambton Mal Eastick

Side Bar, Cambridge Hotel, Newc Murder by Death

Tues, May 22 Great Northern Hotel, Newc Open Mic Night Heat 2

Lizotte’s, Lambton Diesel, Matt Andersen, Tim Chaisson

Tijuana Cartel, Pigeon, DJ Care Bare Grant Smillie

Lizotte’s, Lambton The Brewster Brothers

Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield Phaze III

Sun, May 27 Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Dead Letter Circus, Fair to Midland, Twelve Foot Ninja

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl The Fuelers

Hamilton Station Hotel, Isling Lisa Hunt

Lizotte’s, Lambton

Oscar Jiminez

Oxford Art Factory, Sydney Devin

Thur, May 24 Bar on the Hill, Newcastle Uni The Axis of Awesome

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens

Gee Whizz, Blush NightClub, Gosf Resist The Thought

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl Dan ‘Rainman’ Johnson

Great Northern Hotel, Newc The Mission In Motion, Jonesez

Lizotte’s, Kincumber The Black Sorrows, Tim Wheatley

Lizotte’s, Lambton Tex Perkins, Nicole Brophy

Sydney Entertainment Centre Florence and the Machine

Fri, May 25 Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Emperors

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl Ngariki

Great Northern Hotel, Newc Jake Nauta

Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitl Frankenbok, King Parrot, War Faction, Zombonimo

Kincumber Hotel Red Sweat

Level One, Newc Leagues Club The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Raveonettes

Lizotte’s, Kincumber The Brewster Brothers

Lizotte’s, Lambton Oscar Jiminez

Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield Sundays Record

Sydney Opera House

Tex Perkins, Nicole Brophy The Black Sorrows, Tim Wheatley

Mon, May 28 Grand Hotel Underground Marissa Saroca, James Chatburn, Jay Chase

Tues, May 29 Great Northern Hotel, Newc Open Mic Night Heat 3

Federal Hotel, Alstonville

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

Finnian’s Irish Taverm, Port


Daisy Ella, Rachel Summerell, Mark Cashin & The Lil Hussys

Lizotte’s, Lambton Jenny Biddle, Sarah McLennan, Rein Room, The Delta Lions

Thur, May 31 Bar on the Hill, Newcastle Uni Boy & Bear, Jungle Giants, Tin Sparrow

Grand Junction Hotel, Maitl Shaun Kirk

Level One, Newc Leagues Club Tonight Alive

Lizotte’s, Kincumber Mal Eastick

Sydney Opera House Temper Trap

Michael Peter & the Magic Fleas

The Vinyl Junkie

A Day for Jay w/ Jade Porter, The JJ Band

The Butterfly Effect, Numbers Radio, Greenthief The Mountain Goats, Catherine Traicos

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs Damo

12 May

A Date with Effie

15-16 May

Jimmy Barnes & friends

17 May

The Idea of North

19-20 May

Harry Manx

25 May

The Brewster Brothers

Plantation Hotel, Coffs Sweet Dreams Bossy Big Heart

Slipway Hotel, Ballina

Rhys Bynon

Jason Kafua

Pacific Hotel, Yamba

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore

4 Way Street


Port Macquarie Hotel

Yamba Bowling Club

David Knight, The Paper Wolves,

Shannon Noll

Yamba YHA Backpacker Resort Guy Anderton

For Folk Sake

Seaview Tavern, Woolgoolga Mick Bateman

Slipway Hotel, Ballina

Sun, May 6 A & I Hall, Bangalow

Rob Saric

Bic Runga

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore Cole, Cox, Love

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay Darky Roots

Brunswick Heads Hotel

Fri, May 4


Byron Bay Community Centre

Australian Hotel, Ballina Ballina RSL

Michael Peter & the Magic Fleas

Coffs Harbour Surf Club


Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

Mark Easton

Harvest Cafe, Newrybar


The Vampires

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs


- The Music of Bob Dylan

Ralph McTell

Cafe Scooterini, Coolangatta


Coastal Soul

26 May

Variety Club Fundraiser

27 May

Tex Perkins and Friends

8 June


10 June

Lazy Sunday lunch with Amber Lawrence

Pacific Hotel, Yamba

Kate Martin, Ben Wells

Brunswick Heads Hotel

Chris Fisher

Rails, Byron Bay

Mick Buckley

Federal Hotel, Alstonville


Sawtell RSL

Thora Zoo

Finnian’s Irish Taverm, Port Darren Jack

Jennifer Gray, Rowland Stones

15 June

Mental As Anything

16 June

James Blundell

17 June

Brian’s Famous Jazz and Chilli Crab Lunch

Wed, May 9

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs Secret Squirrel

Lalaland, Byron Bay

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

Spacie, And Oh!

20 June

Plantation Hotel, Coffs

The H Gang

The Butterfly Effect, Numbers Radio,

Mullumbimby RSL

28-29 June Diesel –


Into The Light tour

SCU Uni, Lismore

Mandy Nolan, Paul McMahon, Ellen Briggs


Ocean Shores Tavern

Thur, May 10

Northern Sounds Karaoke

Pacific Hotel, Yamba

Menopause – The Musical


Lennox Point Hotel

30 June

The Audreys

1 July

Tim Freedman

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

Greg Kew

Plantation Hotel, Coffs

Richie Williams

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

The Only, Rob Pix

Port Macquarie Hotel

Josh Matheson

Lalaland, Byron Bay

Pocket of Stones

Sawtell Hotel


Pacific Hotel, Yamba

1st Avenue

Slipway Hotel, Ballina

Surf Report

For bookings and information, phone (02) 4368 2017 or visit

Port Macquarie Hotel

Soul Shakers

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore

Bats vs Snakes

Bic Runga

Rails, Byron Bay

Lalaland, Byron Bay

Valla Beach Tavern

8 May

Lennox Point Hotel Brian Watt

Great Northern Hotel, Byron

Dinkum Bohos

and his Band

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

Coolangatta Hotel

Brewery, Byron Bay

Liam Burrows

Caravana Sun

Brewery, Byron Bay

Hamilton Station Hotel, Isling

5 May

Mark Easton

Thur, May 3

Bonny Hills Hotel

Caverns, Safe Hands, Tired Minds


Chinderah Tavern

Pat Tierney

Wed, May 30 Lizotte’s, Kincumber

Glenn Massey

Rails, Byron Bay

Rails, Byron Bay

Don’t forget — Live & Local every Wednesday night

Brewery, Byron Bay

Kane Cahill

Jono Lee Jones

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Tom Ugly

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

Pocket of Stones

Lizotte’s, Kincumber

Siskin River

Ballina RSL


Kincumber Hotel

Wed, May 23 Lizotte’s, Kincumber

The Butterfly Effect, Numbers Radio,


Chasing the Jeffery

Rails, Byron Bay Michael Peter & the Magic Fleas

Slipway Hotel, Ballina Yolan

Florence and the Machine

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore Acid Bleed

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reverb magazine issue #069 — May 2012   43


gig Guide North (cont.)  Fri, May 11

Mon, May 14

Lennox Point Hotel

Australian Hotel, Ballina

Byron Bay Services Club

No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen

Michael Peter & the Magic Fleas

Ballina RSL

Great Northern Hotel, Byron

Cath Simes

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay Pigeon

Brewery, Byron Bay Guri Guru

Byron Bay Community Centre Arj Barker Minnie Marks Marshall O’Kell Liz Stringer

Pacific Hotel, Yamba Plantation Hotel, Coffs DJ Brown Sugar, DJ Dirty Luck

Port Macquarie Hotel Rails, Byron Bay

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore

Thur, May 17 A Little Province, Kyle Lionhart

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs Louis Van Senden Mike McCarthy, Dan Hannaford

Slipway Hotel, Ballina

Dr Baz, Kellie Knight

Slipway Hotel, Ballina


Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore Shiny Shiny, DJ Lady K, EDU

Matt Buggy

Australian Hotel, Ballina

Fri, May 18 Australian Hotel, Ballina

Katherine Jones

Ballina RSL

El Pirata

Ballina RSL

Leigh James

Ballina RSL Bowling Club

Clay Blyth

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

Round Mountain Girls

Brewery, Byron Bay

Late for Woodstock

Brewery, Byron Bay

Soulsonic Soundsystem

Federal Hotel, Alstonville


Byron Bay Community Centre

Michael Peter & the Magic Fleas

Grafton Racecourse

Arj Barker

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

The McClymonts

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

Mick Bateman

Lalaland, Byron Bay

Vanessa Lea

Lennox Point Hotel

Mind Electric

No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen Liz Stringer, Van Walker

Pacific Hotel, Yamba

Guy Turk Mescalito Blues

Plantation Hotel, Coffs

OKA, Dub Marines

Plantation Hotel, Coffs

Chris Fraser, DJ Breno

Port Macquarie Hotel

DJ Breno

Rails, Byron Bay

Dave Daly and the Funkenswinkles

Rails, Byron Bay

Ragga Jump

Slipway Hotel, Ballina

Slipway Hotel, Ballina

Like Clockwork

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore

Nick Penn goes the Full Mandy

Ballina RSL

Woody’s Surf Shack, Byron Bay

Brunswick Heads Hotel Coolangatta Hotel Mike McCarthy, Dan Hannaford

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

Rails, Byron Bay Gavin Doniger & the Great Un-Washed

Sawtell RSL Brian Davies, Rowland Stones

Pandamonium DJ’s Mike McCarthy, Dan Hannaford

Coolangatta Hotel Mickey Avalon, Kid Mac Flap!

Ben Francis

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Diana Anaid DJ Breno David Strauss

Slipway Hotel, Ballina Andy Bourke

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore Kellie Knight

Wauchope Arts Hall Nick and Liesl

Yamba YHA Backpacker Resort Nathan Kaye

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

33 on Hickory, Dorrigo

Brewery, Byron Bay Yunya

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs Owen Shannon

Port Macquarie Hotel Nat Col and the Kings

Rails, Byron Bay Siskin River

Seaview Tavern, Woolgoolga Slipway Hotel, Ballina Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore

Nick and Liesl

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay Floyd Vincent

Brunswick Heads Hotel Madison Kat

Byron Bay Community Centre Arj Barker

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs King Tide

Pacific Hotel, Yamba Siskin River

Rails, Byron Bay Pugsley Buzzard

Sawtell RSL Black Tie

Fri, May 25

Tues, May 29

Australian Hotel, Ballina

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

The Liquid Search

Ballina RSL Killer Queen Nitestar Arj Barker Ash Grunwald

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs Lee Simpson Beni

Plantation Hotel, Coffs Coptic Soldier

Port Macquarie Hotel Diana Anaid

Slipway Hotel, Ballina Tightrope

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore Valla Beach Tavern The H Gang

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

King Tide

Pacific Hotel, Yamba

Sun, May 27

Norman & Louise

Tijuana Cartel

Lady K, 1iSAMURAi

Mullumbimby Bowling Club

Thur, May 24

Marshall O’Kell

Great Northern Hotel, Byron

Harry Manx, Yeshe

Pacific Hotel, Yamba

Blues Plantation

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

The Lyrical

Coorabell Hall, Byron Bay


Mullumbimby Civic Hall

Fyah Walk

Brunswick Heads Hotel

Ocean Shores Tavern

Brewery, Byron Bay

Round Mountain Girls

Dirty Channel

Sawtell RSL

Lennox Point Hotel

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay


Quick Fix

Lennox Point Hotel

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

Australian Hotel, Ballina

Glenn Massey

Blaze Sound Sound System

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

Plantation Hotel, Coffs

Lalaland, Byron Bay

Clark Black

Dr Rhythm, Cutloose

Brewery, Byron Bay

Sun, May 20

Sat, May 19 Ballina RSL

Brewery, Byron Bay

Bitter End, Blkout

Great Northern Hotel, Byron

Luke Vassella The H Gang, A Little Province

Sun, May 13

YAC, Byron Bay

Byron Bay Community Centre

Willy Hona

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore

Skin Walkers

Yamba Bowling Club

Nick Penn goes the Full Mandy

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

The Hombres

The Mambises

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

Delicious w/ Strawberry Syme,

Acid Bleed

Pacific Hotel, Yamba

Painted Crow

Ballina RSL

Mike McCarthy, Dan Hannaford

Uki Hall

Glenn Massey

Lennox Point Hotel

Blue Honey

Australian Hotel, Ballina

Lismore City Bowling Club

Lee Simpson

Lalaland, Byron Bay

Rhys Bynon

Norman & Louise

Sat, May 26

Twin Towns, Tweed Heads

Graveyard Train

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

Roger Munsie

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore

Lionheir, Minnie Marks

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore Kyle Watson and Friends

Sat, May 12

Comics on the Run Bevan Spiers

Rails, Byron Bay

Rails, Byron Bay

Bohemian Cowboys

Lisa Hunt

magazine issue #069 — May 2012

Slipway Hotel, Ballina

Pacific Hotel, Yamba

Chasing the Jeffery

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

44  reverb

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

Heckyl & Jive

Dillion James Band

Sawtell RSL

Chris Fisher

Mullumbimby Bowling Club

DJ Brown Sugar, DJ Steve

Rails, Byron Bay

Wednesday, May 16

Mike McCarthy, Dan Hannaford

Lennox Point Hotel

Richie Williams

Mike McCarthy, Dan Hannaford

David Straus

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs

Nick and Liesl

Plantation Hotel, Coffs

Mandy Nolan

Glenn Massey

103 River Street, Ballina Ph 02 6686 2015

Jenny Wynter, Ellen Briggs,

Bluesville Station

YAC, Byron Bay


Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore Fiona O’Loughlin

Wed, May 30 Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs Dead Letter Circus, Fair to Midland, Twelve Foot Ninja

Rails, Byron Bay Bo Jenkins

Thur, May 31 Ballina RSL The Big Gig w/ Mick Neven, Dominick Reynteins, Many Nolan

Brewery, Byron Bay The Checks, Royal Chant

Great Northern Hotel, Byron Dead Letter Circus, Fair to Midland, Twelve Foot Ninja

Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs Kane Cahill

Slipway Hotel, Ballina Troubadors

Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore Gasoline

The Cavalcade, The Virture

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C A I R O S & F L U T T E R A N D

Fri 1 June


Newcastle NSW

Sat 2 June


Sydney NSW

Thurs 7 June


Canberra ACT

Fri 8 June


Melbourne VIC

Sat 9 June


Ballarat VIC

Thurs 14 June


Adelaide SA

Fri 15 June


Scarborough WA

Sat 16 June


Perth WA

Sun 17 June


Fremantle WA

Thurs 21 June


Brisbane QLD

Fri 22 June


Byron Bay NSW



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Reverb Magazine - Issue 69  

Reverb Magazine - Issue 69

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