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Inside :

#029 Dec ‘08 >> arts & enterta inment news >> pricele ss

Win Ti ckets to.. .

monthly >> last thursday of the month >> newcastle >> hunter >> coast

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A n d rew M c M a n u s P re s e n ts

Starring reggae’s greatest LIVE!

y e ll a V r e t n u H , y r e in W Lindemans Saturday 31 January 136 100 tm ke tic ! w o n le a On s Register your details on for your chance to WIN 2 FREE tickets to Raggamuffin and a BACK STAGE PASS to MEET your favourite Raggamuffin artist * For ticketing and transport packages contact Rover Coaches 4990 1699 or For accommodation contact or ph 4990 0900


The Radiators

Austen Tayshus

THU+ Garry Who

FRI+ Defaced



Nick Fish + Dexi



Jim Ward (At the Drive In + Sparta + Sleepercar)

FRI+ Kevin Allen


(One Small Step For Landmines)

Klaus Hill +Mc Spikey T


Calling All Cars




Masif X'dream



Tickets for all live shows can be purchased from the venue, or online at

Ken Tubman drive, Maitland 49335786


No. 29 index 10 13 14 16 19 20

21 22 24 26 27 28 29 31 32 33 34 36 37

38 Fat As Butter letter from ed Dear Reader,

ReverbMagazineislocallyowned&publishedbyThe Lockup Garage. Printed by Spotpress Pty Ltd: au

Well, another year is about to pass us. Its certainly been an eventful 12 months, from Heath Ledger’s sad passing in January 2008, to Obama’s election as President of America. I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone that has supported

Reverb this year - particularly those of you that go out of your way each month to pick it up, as well as our subscribers. Here’s to another prosperous year. Have an awesome Christmas and be safe on New Year’s Eve. Until next month, Nick Milligan xx

38 40 41 42 43

Local News Mystery Jets Mountain Goats Parkway Drive Jason Lowe Pomomofo Pnau Snow Patrol Died Pretty CD Reviews Gig Guide Mercy Arms Donavon Frenkenreiter Salmonella Dub John Steel Singers Ellington Kid Confucius Tycotic Bob Corbett Jim Ward The Inheritors Fashion: Island In The Sun Motoring: Audi RS6 Avant Live Photography tutorial, part 2 Live Reviews Public Enemy Film Reviews Mark Dynamix Gamer’s Corner Vinyl Reviews


Lots of free stuff here in the Reverb office for you to get your hands on. # The lovely people at Social Summer Festival have thrown in another 2 double passes to their massive event being held at the Beachcomber, Toukley on December 14. # Kid Confucius are playing the Cambo December 5, and we have 2 double passes to the gig, plus a copy of their latest The Let Go thown in. # We also have 5 copies of local blues guitarist Glen Terry’s latest, Soul Searchin’ Just email!

Editor Nick Milligan

Vintage Milligan

Krud beekay und krudmn

Terry and1988 Kevie Kevvie circa


Hugh Milligan Peter Douglas Stan Sykes Ashleigh Gray

Angela Cronin

Editorial - - 4929 4739 Entertainment Guide - Sales Enquiries - Sales Manager - - 0410 295 360 Production Manager.- - 0414 672 095 6

Production Manager Kieran Ferguson

Senior Writers

Writers Kevin Bull Nathaniel Try Noah Cross Kieran Ferguson Nathaniel Try

Jason M Henson David Long Marija Zeko Abbey Wright Stephen Bisset Kai Tipping

Patrick Tangye Sarah-Kate Harris Kieran Ferguson Chrissy K David Campbell Tim Boehm Chris Brown

Kieran Ferguson Nick Milligan Kevin Bull


Jason M Henson

Any comments can be sent to editorial@ or give us a call on 4929 4739.

Kevin Bull

Jim Graham Sean Roche

Graphic Designers

Sales Kevin Bull Tommy Lueng

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine



Kings Of Leon


Birds Of Tokyo

BIRDS TAKE FLIGHT In the lead-up to appearances at Southbound, Rock-It and the Pyramid Rock Festivals and also a national run on the Big Day Out tour, Birds Of Tokyo have announced The Wild Eyed Boy Tour. Hitting Perth and all major East Coast cities, the tour will see the band play its biggest headline shows yet. Catch Birds Of Tokyo at Friday March 6, 2009. Tickets available from



Sickboy is a garage folk/punk trio that plays original, overdriven music with passion and poetry. They were formed by singer/guitarist Mark Spence in 2001 in Atlanta, where they left behind a quickly forgotten legacy of kicking around, playing nearly every venue in town, replacing drummers, shouting at the top of their lungs, releasing an EP, and always writing new material. Mark got tired of five years of beating his head against a wall and wound up in Australia in January of 2006, where he started putting a new trio together, and that has made all the difference in the world. Catch Sickboy at The Beach Hotel on Saturday December 13, 2008. Doors open from 8pm and entry is free.




Since forming in March 2006, Benjalu have been chilling out crowds around the nation. Celebrate New Year’s Eve with them at the Prince Of Wales (on December 31, 2008 - der).

Making their return to Newcastle Entertainment Centre (where they were famously joined on-stage by Eddie Vedder), Nashville’s Kings of Leon sold out their show in 30 minutes. They play Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Sunday March 22, 2009. Tickets are... gone. Whitley

THE LAZYS TAKE JD After thousands of votes Jack Daniel’s is proud to announce the overall winner of The JD Set is the Central Coast’s The Lazys! The winner was announced at the exclusive JD Set Award 2008 event presented by Nova in Melbourne at the Prince Bandroom, with special guest MC Jabba. The event featured a full performance from the winners followed by a special set by the mighty Gyroscope. The JD Set was covered nationally by Nova’s new music show Launchpad, hosted by James Mathison and Patience from The Grates. The band will be heading in to Alberts Studios over the New Year to put down their five track EP which will be released late February. Then in March they will be heading out on a nationwide tour proudly supported by Jack Daniels.

CIVIC HOTEL HEATS UP The Civic Hotel, Newcastle, is pumping again, with DJs now performing on Friday (10pm3am) and Saturday (9pm-3am) nights. If you head along for a dance, you’ll be in the safe hands of Loods, Brenton, Tap Tap DJs, Menna and Webber. As Webber explains, you’ll hear artists like “Daft Punk, Presets, Crookers, MSTRKRFT, Count & Sinden, Pnau, Digitalism, Bag Raiders, Calvin Harris and Justice, but there are large influences in our tracks from other genres such as rap and hip hop.”



VAUDEVILLE HIT THE UNCHARTS It’s official! Vaudeville from Newcastle and Kate Bradley & The Goodbye Horses from Brisbane have come out on top of our voting pools and will play live at the Tooheys Extra Dry uncharTED grand final, where one lucky band will be transported straight to the stage on the Big Day Out 2009 Tour! The two finalist bands have made it to the top spot, beating off thousands of bands that have been featured on over the past six weeks. The grand final will be held on Wednesday 3rd December at The Oxford Arts Factory in Sydney from 7pm. The event will feature a special performance from Big Day Out performers Sparkadia and be hosted by Nova’s Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross and MTV’s Ruby Rose. The final will be aired on MTV Australia on 12th December 2008 (grand final).

Yes, ladies. Your favourite folkcrooner Whitley is returning to Newcastle. Having built a massive word-of-mouth following through the internet and tours with Lior, Josh Pyke and The Panics, Whitley is a star on the rise. Lately he’s been playing shows in the USA with his pal Ben Kweller, but he’s heading out for another Australian tour. Whitley will be joined on all dates by the gorgeous Lisa Mitchell. His last show at the Northern Star sold out in record time, so don’t hesitate to grab a ticket to Whitley’s show at The Cambridge Hotel on Friday January 9, 2009.

Catherine Britt

BRITT RETURNS Catherine Britt will play her final show of 2008 in her hometown of Newcastle, at the Northern Star Hotel, on December 6. That day will also see the release of the Deluxe Edition of her acclaimed third album Little Wildflower.

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine



Phil Smart

COME TECH-GETHER While it’s still a secret to many, fans of minimal tech dance music were very stoked when legendary underground DJ Phil Smart decided to move to Newcastle - and on December 20, 2009, he’s throwing a party! Together is an intimate dance party and will feature Phil Smart and Girl Friday on the decks. Playing a chilled array of “far flung beats, low slung house and maximum minimal”, Smart and Friday will are your best option for celebrating the solstice eve. Head to the side bar of The Cambridge Hotel on December 2o, 2009. Tickets $8 on the door. For more info, head to secretservicenewcastle - 02 4929 4739

Crystal Castles

PLAYGROUND WEEKENDER Hailed as Australia’s most gorgeous music festival getaway, Playground Weekender 2009 features Primal Scream, The Streets, Crystal Castles, Salmonella Dub, Blue King Brown, Soul II Soul Sound System, Grafton Primary, Nic Fanciulli, Ashley Beedle, Norman Jay, Whomadewho, TZU, D.I.G (Directions In Groove), Ewan Pearson, Todd Terje, Tom Middleton, Jimpster, Paper Scissors, Pomomofo, Wow, and Russ Dewbury. It takes place over three days at Del Rio Resort, Wiseman’s Ferry, on February 6, 7, and Sunday 8, 2009.

You lucky kids with Big Day Out tickets will now also get to see the artists on the massive second announcement. You can enjoy the musical stylings of ex-System Of A Down vocalist Serj Tankian, Hot Chip, Lupe Fiasco, Dropkick Murphys, Black Kids, Holy Ghost!, The Vines, Died Pretty, Sparkadia, Pee Wee Ferris, The Getaway Plan, Children Collide, Little Red, Mammal, Mercy Arms, Ajax and Andee Frost. They join a line-up that already features the likes of Neil Young, Arctic Monkeys, My Morning Jacket, The Prodigy, Cut Copy, Birds Of Tokyo and TV On The Radio. For more info, and all the Big Day Out side show details head to

V FESTIVAL 2009 V Festival 2009 has kicked things off with a first round announcement that includes The Killers, Snow Patrol, Kaiser Chiefs, Elbow, Louis XIV, Duffy, The Do, Tame Impala, The Temper Trap and Canyons. Surely more massive bands to be announced. Tickets are on sale now with the Sydney V Festival taking place at Centennial Park on March 28, 2009.

The Swell Season

THE SWELL SEASON ARRIVES The distinctive and heartwarming duo of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who perform live as The Swell Season, are heading to Australia to The Sydney Opera House Concert Hall as part of the January 2009 Sydney Festival. The Swell Season, made up of Hansard from the Irish band, The Frames and Irglova, a classically trained Czech pianist and vocalist – made headlines in February 2008 when they won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for ‘Falling Slowly’. The song was also nominated for a 2008 Grammy award. ‘Falling Slowly’ was of course one of the beautiful songs from independent Irish film, Once, a low-budget romantic musical portraying struggling artists. Head to for more info.

Jeff Beck

GUITAR GOD REAPPEARS It’s only been 32 years since Jeff Beck came to Australia, so there really isn’t any cause for excitement. He’s a regular. But nonetheless, we here at Reverb are more than a little giddy. His first Sydney show sold out in minutes, so hopefully you’ve got tickets to his second show at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on Friday January 31, 2009.

edition 029 - Dec 08 - 11

3 Days Ago

HALI ROCK FEST FLIES THE REDKITE It is always great to be able to rock out for a good cause, and the Hali Rock Fest is exactly that. On Saturday December 6 at the Halekulani Bowling Club, local bands No Pressure, Hazmat, Inflight Entertainment, Neon Heart and 3 Stripe Ave get together in support of Redkite, and Australian charity that provides support to families battling with childhood cancer.It runs for 6pm to midnight, $15 adults, $10 kids, $35 families (2 + 2).

Inflight Entertainment

FANS CHOOSE JAYWALKER SINGLE Leaving it up to the public to select what tracks will be included on your next release could be considered risky business, but this is exactly what Jaywalker have done. Fans were asked to vote for their favourite demo, and the 3 most popular were recorded properly. Out of the mix came three songs, ‘Music’s Gonna Save Us’, ‘Coming Undone’, and the next single ‘Second Chance’. You can hear them all at jaywalkerband

Comeback Kid

HARDCORE BOYS OF SUMMER Possibly the best hardcore touring festival, Boys of Summer hits the Oasis Youth Centre, Wyong, January 18. Now in its fourth year, the Boys of Summer lineup includes Carpathian, Canadians Comeback Kid, Americans, Verse plus from Brisbane, Against. The live brutality of Carpathian and Against is well known, but it will be the overseas ingredient that will add the extra magic. Comeback Kid are one of the biggest names in hardcore today, and this will be the first time Australian audiences will witness Verse live. You will be whipping the blood and spittle off the Oasis walls.


Kate Miller-Heidke

Not too long now until the Festival of the Sun festival kicks Port Macquarie into the summer mood. Held at Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park, 12th and 13 December, the organisers have again brought together a great lineup. The Panics, Lior, Operator Please, Kate Miller-Heidke, Wolf and Cub, That 1 Guy, True Live, The Vasco Era, Paul Greene and Dallas Frasca are just a few of the highlights. Head to for all the info.


THE BEST VIEW IN TOWN At the top of town, The View Factory have certianly opened its doors to the best local music, and their December calender is full of choice cuts to lead you into the New Year. Every Thursday you get the “Not Rock” Band Comp, Friday 5 will have Jessica Locke, Sunday 7 has a special performance from The Understudy Bob Corbett and Jason Lowe, and Friday 19 there is a triple header with A Disappointing Fireworks Display, Lola Flash and The Understudy. Basically, Tuesday til Saturday, it’s live music at the View Factory.

3 DAYS AGO AND ETHEREAL SPLIT I have it on good authority that the boys of 3 Days Ago and Ethereal are going their separate ways. Both bands have been solid performers on the Central Coast scene for years, and will leave a big hole.

Chris Wilson

14TH BLUE MOUNTAINS FOLK FESTIVAL LINEUP ANNOUNCEMENT The Blue Mountains Folk Festival celebrated its 14th anniversary a few weeks back by announcing the first lineup for BMFF 2009, March 13, 14, 15. Too big to fit on this page, here are a few of the highlights, Paul Kelly, Lior, Preston Reed, Chase The Sun, Archie Roach, Chris Wilson, Doug Ashdown, The Bakery, Robyne Dunn, and many many more. Early bird tickets are available until December 31 at $135. For all the details, tickets and the complete lineup announcement, head to

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine


MEN OF MYSTERY With an insanely diverse sound, Mystery Jets are a four-piece, indie-pop band originating from Eel Pie Island, London. Singer Blaine Harrison talks to Noah Cross about the band’s history. What can you tell us about Eel Pie Island in London? It’s a lovely place. It’s a historic island near Twickenham, where bands like The [Rolling] Stones used to play. We made our first album there too, because my father owned some land. [Eel Pie] is like an escape from the rest of London. Whose idea was it to start your latest album, Twenty One, with a massive air-raid siren? - 02 4929 4739

That was my idea. The reference point I had in my mind was King Crimson. When we started, they were definitely one of our biggest influences. They supported The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park around 1969, and they started their set with an air-raid siren. Someone was operating an actual WWII siren from underneath the stage. I remember hearing that story when I was young and thinking it was the most amazing thing in the world. We start our own gigs with it now as well. You have such a diverse sound – is that intentional? We used to want to be that way – in the beginning we all had such different tastes. When I was writing a song, I’d want it to sound like Radiohead or Portishead. If William [Rees, guitarist] wrote a song, it was influenced by The Smiths etc. As we’ve developed and grown up, it’s become less of a priority [to sound eclectic]. Your father, Henry, used to be a permanent member of the band

– what is his involvement these days? He doesn’t tour with us, but he still writes with us. Me and him work a lot together on the lyrics. [Henry] also plays the piano, so a lot of the songs he writes are pianobased. [On stage] we felt we had to break away and step into our own shoes, which he was very understanding about. [William and I] had been performing with him since we were 14 and formed the band with him when we were eight years old. We were in awe of him – it never seemed weird that he was older. We were into the same music. He knew the time would come when we needed to perform without him, but we have not broken away from him creatively.

England at the time was Brit-pop, I think we kind of grew up in our own bubble. My dad plays a lot of prog, a lot of Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis and that sort of stuff and we were teased a lot about it at school. But that was what we really wanted to do and growing up with pop music was an unnatural ground for us to cover. With the second album we felt like we wanted to do that and we wanted to go out on a limb and try and do something we had never done before. Likewise with the next album, I think we will try and explore something that does feel completely new. That is the only way you can not trap yourself and not bury yourself in a hole.

Does writing pop music come naturally to Mystery Jets? I don’t think it did initially. We didn’t really grow up with pop music - we are 90s kids and although what was going on in

Mystery Jets play The Falls Festival, Lorne, Victoria & Marion Bay, Tasmania, on December 30 & 31, 2008. Then they are in Sydney at The Metro Theatre, Sunday January 4

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The Mountain Goats are a live experience like no other other. Having cancelled their Australian tour earlier in the year, singer John Darnielle and his two off-siders are returning for what will be a stunningly intimate performance at The Cambrige Hotel. Stephen Bisset spoke to Darnielle about the group’s recent album Heretic Pride and why he loves horror movies.

Heresy, exotic snakes and misanthropic authors are rarely topics of conversation when interviewing a musician. However, John Darnielle is no normal singer/ songwriter. For more than seventeen years, the former mental health worker from Claremont, California, has been plying his distinct vocals and highly literate observations about love, life and all things in between under the guise of The Mountain Goats (with fellow ‘Goats’ John Wurster on drums, and Peter Hughes on bass), who left fans bleating in anguish when they cancelled an Oz tour earlier this year. “Well, we’re coming back in December,” Darnielle says reassuringly. “Our memories of Australia are always fond – actually going to Tasmania for the Falls Festival is one of the fondest memories I have of anything – you can imagine, I guess, when an American hears the name ‘Tasmania’ and sees it on a map, he figures he’ll probably never go there. You know? It seems too remote. So to actually land there, and see a place that might have only been a spot on a map and see that it’s a really beautiful place, that was great,” he muses. For Darnielle, to be touring to such far reaching places as Australia with a band that began as a ‘hobby’ between his time as a psychiatric nurse and attending college, is as much a trip as the one he is soon to embark on to our shores. “Well [The Mountain Goats] wasn’t really a career until 2001… but, yeah I’ve been pretty surprised to be at it that long,” he says. “[But] I’ll keep doing it ‘til it no longer amuses me, I’d guess, but I can’t see that


happening; I love to play music.” “I doubt that anybody has any achievements in mind when they first start their bands other than ‘make some noise’ – I certainly didn’t have any higher ambitions than that, and the only difference now is that I ‘make some noise for the people who seem to like it’,” Darnielle enthuses. And like it the people do. The band’s sixteenth long player Heretic Pride has generated the same critical acclaim as previous efforts like, Tallahassee, The Sunset Tree and 2006’s magnificent Get Lonely. For Darnielle, Heretic Pride, produced by long-time Goats collaborators Scott Solter and John Vanderslice, was the most fully realised album going into the studio. “This time we were closer than usual to having an idea of what we were going to do, though a lot of stuff changed a lot – most dramatic change was ‘Michael Myers Resplendent’, but the studio is sort of like a sausage grinder,” he says. “We come in with our ideas and then in the gears of the experience they get transformed. John and Scott contribute quite a great deal – I’m not one of those ‘I have this VISION IN MY HEAD, HELP ME REALIZE MY VISION’ kind of auteur people, that stuff holds little appeal for me – it’s about working with others, finding the music in that.” Naming an album Heretic Pride could be a dangerous move in the current social and political climate in the U.S, but Darnielle is adamant… well almost… that he is in no way a heretic.

“I would not say so,” he says firmly. “Well, technically probably yes, if we lived in the fifteenth century I’m sure I’d qualify as heretical. But, you know, I think the modern age overvalues heresy – it’s almost the default position, you know?” “Everything’s “edgy,” nothing’s doctrinal, or so it seems to me over here. Hence the narrator of heretic pride gets what all heretics really want – martyrdom.” Darnielle’s literary tendencies come to the fore on Heretic Pride, lot least with his almost idiosyncratic turn of phrase, but also with references to two writers – Sax Rhomer the author of the Fu Manchu series and horror impresario H.P Lovecraft. “I’m a fan of the imagery they conjure up, sometimes – both of them as human beings are total failures, though, which I do find kind of morbidly fascinating,” Darnielle explaines. “Why are people with great imaginations so hateful? Is there a connection? I think that’s the inspiration for me.” Another inspiration for Darnielle is a love of horror movies which manifests itself on Heretic Pride in the form of Michael Myers Resplendent and How to Embrace a Swamp Creature. But for Darnielle, trying to rationalise a love of horror is kind of missing the point. “I mean, I do know why I like horror movies – the blood, the violence and the people at the end of their ropes, but as to examining why that compels me, I dunno, all explanations that try to go deeper always sound silly to me. I like gory things, wild things, desperate things! It’s how I

am!” Ask any musician about what they’re influenced by and they’ll more than likely rattle off a list of bands, their family or even the Lord God on high. But as stated earlier, John Darnielle is no ordinary singer songwriter and his influences come from the most eclectic of places. “The sounds of words; hand rolled incense made by members of obscure cults; cooking; exotic snakes; musical instruments; the thought that there are things in the world about which hardly anyone knows anything, including me,” he says. “I was always the kind of kid who could find inspiration under pretty much any rock I turned over, I am interested in practically everything.” Darnielle’s interest in ‘everything’ spills over into the realm of music as well. A selfconfessed music junkie (current faves being Birds of Avalon, Shearwater, and Kaki King) said he had no time for the concept of a ‘guilty musical pleasure’ and that nobody should be embarrassed about anything in their collection. “I don’t feel guilty about any of the music I like,” he says. “If anybody tries to make you feel guilty for taking pleasure in any piece of music, you have my blessing to punch that person in the nose. Not too hard, but enough to get your point across.” The Mountain Goats play The Cambridge Hotel on Saturday December 6, 2008.

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine


Wed dec 3 front bar 9.30pm free

Nick Saxon, Hot Girls, Centre Section Sunday Dec 7 Front Bar 8pm free

Corey Price, Jesse Wise, Tom Hudson Wed Dec 10 front bar 9.30pm free

Big Deal (germany) Sunday Dec 14 front bar 8pm free

Olly and Sophie Wed Dec 17 front bar 9.30pm free

Dragstrippers, The Zillers, Phoenix Down Sunday Dec 21st front bar 8pm free

Like Alaska all night Sunday Dec 28 Front Bar 8pm free

Annie and Marty, Danny Byrne, James Wiley Wed Dec 31 front bar 8.30pm free

NYE Karaoke Party

Coming Soon

NYE – Live it up Karaoke and DJ Tyrell jan 21 - The Muddy Turds (tas) Live It Up Karaoke thur, fri & sat 9.30pm Kurts Rock Trivia

Sunday from 7.30

Guitar hero Every Monday from 9

Pool comp Tuesdays $100 7.30pm $


90 MEALS 7 Days a Week

Bistro now open til 10pm Thu-Sat




edition 029 - Dec 08 - 15

Y T I C E H T N I T A E SW In just a few years, Byron Bay five-piece Parkway Drive have cemented their place as Australian Hardcore’s most productive, successful and hard working band. On a seemingly unstoppable roll, vocalist Winston McCall took some time out to chat about the band’s achievements and their summer ‘Sweat Fest’ tour with Nathaniel Try. It would have been hard for anyone to guess you would become as big as you have in such a short time. Apart from the increase in crowd sizes and album sales, you can actually afford to eat and pay for accommodation now. What memories do you have of the last few years? It’s pretty much a giant blur of tours, shows and sleeping on floors. We’ve put so much effort into travelling and playing, we realise it has basically been ‘fun work’. It’s nice to be able eat and sleep in a bed now. There was a time when we were on tour in the USA and you could get five cobs of corn for a dollar, so that’s all I ate for four days straight. Four years ago, you guys were practising three times a week. Obviously that dedication helped you to become better songwriters and live performers. Was there a point that a decision was made to pursue the band as a career rather than a hobby? There wasn’t really a point we decided it would be a career. It eventually got to the stage where we had booked so many shows, we realised we couldn’t hold down jobs. When we first went overseas we lost all of our jobs, luckily it went alright over there and hasn’t really stopped since. There’s clearly a difference between playing an arena to 5,000 screaming fans and jamming out for 50 of your mates in a shed. Has the fun worn off or do you still get the same excitement about every show? It’s still amazing. I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t enjoy it, that’s why it’s so hard to classify it as work. I enjoy it now as much as when we first started. It’s great now because by the end of a few months off, we’re itching to get back on stage and play. It feels like we’re starting all over again.


Until you guys came along, Byron Bay wasn’t typically renowned as having a large scene. What bands influenced you to start Parkway Drive? There were previous bands from Byron Bay, such as Shoot To Kill which Ben (Parkway Drive’s drummer) already drummed in. A few of us were in one before called Blueprint For A Nightmare and there was Think Straight who started the whole scene. Basically we wanted to keep going after our old band broke up and we wanted to do something new. At the time there wasn’t anyone doing metal orientated hardcore. We started hearing about these bands that sounded so heavy you couldn’t categorise it as hardcore, but at the same time they had the same roots as the bands we grew up on. We wanted to play music that kids could dance to the whole time, rather than waiting for one heavy part in each song to let loose. You guys spend about 75% of the year on tour. Are there any favourite shows or cities that come to mind? Basically they all blend in, but I think London’s pretty amazing. Every show we’ve played there has been ridiculous. It’s the kind of place that we get off stage every time and say, ‘That was the best show we’ve ever played’. There’s a venue there called The Underworld, it fits like 600 kids, is really cramped, there’s no barrier, a tiny stage and as soon as you start playing kids mob the stage and trash the gear. It’s probably the best venue in the world as far as I’m concerned. Just before the Australian ‘SWEATFEST’ tour in December, you’re playing across Europe on ‘Never Say Die’. What’s it like to be headlining over Unearth, a band who were possibly an influence for you guys when you started out?

who were doing the kind of music that we wanted to play. To be playing that tour, let alone headlining is crazy. It means we’ve got to play really well. I’m hoping it goes well, I’ve got a feeling Únearth might blow us off the stage. Either way I’m stoked to be seeing those guys again. It’s hard to have a plan for the future, with how unpredictable the music scene is world wide. But, do you have any idea what your next release will be; album number three or a DVD maybe? Were working on both at the moment, but it looks like the DVD will be finished sooner. Simply because we want to put more time into writing and it’s hard to find time to write these days. We’re about half way through working on a DVD documentary. We’ve been filming everything we’ve done in the band since the day we started, so it’s got some interesting stuff. Just to finish up with, who has the most annoying habit to deal with whilst on tour? Chode’s (Parkway Drive’s merchandise guy) really bad, but Ben is just as bad. He went through a patch where he ate nothing but burritos for three weeks straight. He would fart every three minutes and we were stuck with it for weeks! It was the most disgusting thing in the world. Eventually, it got past humour and reached the point where we tried to kick him out of the van and had to pull over for him to fart because we were all so sick from it! Parkway Drive play Newcastle Panthers on Saturday December 13. For more information: parkwaydrive

Huge influence! They were one of the first bands we heard

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine - 02 4929 4739

edition 029 - Dec 08 - 17 “LA ST NIG HT I




Friday February 6

Adam Green’s ‘Sixes & Sevens’ out now on Rough Trade/ Remote Control


TUE 16 DEC OXFORD ART FACTORY with special guests

Tickets from or 02 8256 2222 or 1300 797 118

José González


Tickets from or 1300 GET TIX (438 849), on your mobile via, and all moshtix outlets

Australian tour 2009

José González Veneer & In Our Nature are available now on Shock Records.




“Pure Genius”



MountaiN goats



0 20



with guests




e mb



both shows



the mountain goats ‘heretic pride’ out now on remote control records


AU S T R A L I A N TO U R F E B R UA RY 2 0 0 9






Tickets from, 1300 GET TIX (438 849),, and all moshtix outlets.

Tickets from, 1300 Get Tix (438 849) on your mobile via & all Moshtix outlets ALSO PERFORMING AT ST. JEROME’S LANEWAY FEST. ALL WE COULD DO WAS SING out now on Dew Process / Universal Music




FRIDAY 12TH DECEMBER MANNING BAR Tickets from, 1300 Get Tix (438 849), & all Moshtix outlets.

Man Man’s “Rabbit Habbits” out now on Anti / Shock



We first heard about Jason Lowe while at the Lass O’Gowrie one night about six months ago. The publican insisted, with an enthusiasm we simply couldn’t ignore, that we had to “have a listen to this amazing young musician, he’s destined to go places!” A CD in a jukebox at a pub doesn’t always do a singer justice, but in this instance, conversation simply wasn’t an option. We were captivated!

musician would be a significant part of your future? Well, I grew up with my ma playing me endless Cat Stevens and James Taylor, and dad playing Jimi Hendrix, and music for me was always that magic air of emotion that I needed in my life, and so I found myself fiddling on guitar, fascinated by it by instinct. In January 2007, I let loose and started writing songs.

Lowe’s music is powerful – the combination of exceptional vocal ability with meaningful lyrics and great guitar is bound to be successful. There’s something different about Lowe, which is almost inexplicable. Perhaps his young age of only 20, perhaps the fact that he’s pretty humble about it all, perhaps that he plays from the heart. Whatever it is, Jason Lowe has the ability to ‘touch’ people with his music.

Who has been your greatest inspiration and support and in what ways have they helped you with your musical career? My greatest inspirations are my distant cornerstones, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan, and I draw all I need in my musical learning from those guys, and no one can top them in my mind, and no one has come close since them, they teach me who to be, give me what I need, put me down, and keep me going too.

With accolades from renowned musicians such as Lloyd Spiegel, with festival crowds raving about his soulful performances and with his single ‘Faith’ debuting at number one in its genre in the Triple J Unearthed charts, it’s easy to predict Lowe’s future. His recent win as Artist Of The Year at the Newcastle ABC Awards also didn’t surprise us.

THE LOWE DOWN The Newcastle ABC Artist of the Year, Jason Lowe was shocked by the win, and feels the pressure and expectations now placed upon him. Veronique Moseley caught up with Jason to see how he is coping.

You won the Newcastle ABC Artist of The Year Award, an amazing achievement for such a young musician. Can you describe your feelings when your name was announced? Well, I was stunned I must admit, I was just sitting there with my friend, pretty bummed about how I played, and it really surprised me. I am so honoured and humbled by it though, and just hope I can make everyone proud. You recently went overseas. How did that trip influence you? It was all a quest for experience, inspiration and writing - really just to cure my restlessness for movement. The original plan was to find Joni Mitchell, I’ll still be working on that, so it just influenced my spirit, as I knew it would. How long have you been into music? At what point did you decide that being a

What has been your most exciting gig to date and why? Would have to have been 2007’s Bluesfest shows, I played two little intimate shows there and it blew my mind, to finally have a listening audience was a real growing experience, allowed me to let loose of all I had in me that I had to hold back for so long, due to the audiences we have here in Oz. You’re currently recording your album. Can you give us any clues as to what to expect? When is it due out? Well it hasn’t hit the studio yet, but the tunes are ready besides a couple I’m waiting on, and I was to do it independently, but now I guess it comes down to when ABC are ready. I’m hoping Jan/Feb. It will just be an album of honest poems from last year of the road to this year’s travels far and wide, set to music... who knows. Catch Jason Lowe during December Dec 5 - Stag and Hunter Hotel Dec 6 - Brackets and Jam, Lake Munmorah Community Hall Dec 7 - View Factory w/ Bob Corbett Dec 10 - Lass O’Gowrie Hotel Dec 13 - Stag and Hunter Hotel

fine food with a musical mood

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Wednesday, 3 December 2008 Lulo Reinhardt - $35 Thursday, 4 December 2008

Eugene Hideaway Bridges w/ Krystel Keller - $75 Friday 5, Saturday 6, Sunday 7 December 2008 Jon Stevens w/ Benjalu - sold out Tuesday 9, Wednesday 10 December 2008 The McClymonts - $90 Thursday 11, Friday 12 December 2008 Glenn Shorrock - $99.50 Saturday 13, Sunday 14 December 2008 Wendy Matthews w/ Mark Wilkinson - $110 Tuesday, 16 December 2008 The Hands - $60 Wednesday, 17 December 2008 Bondi Cigars - $70 Thursday 18, Friday 19 December 2008 Diesel w/ Microwave Jenny - sold out Saturday 20, Sunday 21 December 2008 Diesel w/ Josh Owen - sold out Saturday, 27 December 2008 Mental As Anything - $99.50 Sunday, 28 December 2008 Dr Goodvibe - $17.50 Wednesday, 31 December 2008 Jenny Marie Lang - $145 Sunday, 4 January 2008 Demi Hines + Christine Anu w/ Sarah Humphreys - $103.50 Tuesday, 6 January 2008 Jon Cleary w/ Donne - $75 Wednesday, 7 January 2008 Hawksley Workman w/ Jill and Matthew Barber - $32 Thursday, 8, January 2008 The Rodric White Quartet featuring Guy Strazz - $15 Friday, 9 January 2008 Beccy Cole w/ Rose Carleo - $95 Sunday, 11 January 2008 Move Trees - $15

Phone: 02 4368 2017 Lot 3 Avoca Drive Kincumber NSW 2251 - 02 4929 4739

edition 029 - Dec 08 - 19

It is 9am in Leeds, UK, the morning after a gig, and Pnau’s Nick Littlemore has just had our interviewed connected. Not the best time to throw questions at someone. Kevin Bull has a short and sweet conversation with the songwriter. So how are the English taking to Pnau? Yeah, it’s been pretty good. They’re joining in the carnival of errors. It is chaotic.

POMOMOFO - MIX TAPE Rising to the top of Sydney’s indie-dance scene, Pomomofo have learned how to get a party pumping. It’s appropriate then, that they’ll be making their way to the Social Summer Festival on December 14. Singer Nikos Andronicos tells us what songs inspire him the most. METRONOMY HOLIDAY “My girlfriend sang this incessantly for months before I actually heard the real thing, and the original is as bent as her a capella version. That’s saying something. And I

love out-of-tune guitars through cheap amps.”

so nostalgic. And we weren’t even born then.”

PHIL COLLINS SUSSUDIO “Patrick Bateman’s love song of choice. That is all.”

DJ FUNK - PERCULATOR “A booty house anthem. Possibly the most carnal track I have ever heard. And I’ve got all DJ Assault’s records.”

TEST ICICLES - YOUR BIGGEST MISTAKE “This is a mind-blowing, anarchic, musical rude finger. Kinda electro. But all punk.” SMASHING PUMPKINS - 1979 “I would have picked a Nirvana song to represent our 90s grunge love affair, but this is the song of choice to finish all DJ sets because it’s

D:REAM - THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER “Most euphoric 90s pop song ever. Narrowly beats M People’s ‘One Night in Heaven’. Pomomofo play the Social Summer Festival on Sunday December 14, 2008. In Super VGA is out now.

Are you able to work on new material while touring overseas? Yeah, I’ve been writing a lot actually. I’ve been working with the Killers, and a friend of mine, Martin Craft. He was in a band called Sidewinder. We’ve got together about half an album. We try and keep pretty busy. There’s been a real resurgence of electronica within Australia. Are you finding that this the case worldwide? Yeah, they’re all looking to Australia. A lot of people are talking about Australian music. We’ve had a very warm welcome, quite different to when I came over eight years ago. So are you feeling that the time is NOW for the music of Pnau? I think today in the world because of the internet, there is a real sense that if you do something good it will be recognized worldwide and not just in your tiny satellite of your town. Are you comfortable with your music now being played on commercial radio? You know, I like music. I listen to commercial radio sometimes. I didn’t know it was being played on commercial radio. Are there any plans for Empire of the Sun to tour?

WAKE UP, NICK! We’re making a film. At the moment I’m writing the script, and we’ve just filmed some stuff in Mexico a few weeks ago. In a nutshell it’s about the realisation that every single cell in our body, every wall that we touch and every globe that we turn on, everything is connected. It’s coming to that realisation and surrendering to that. It’s a long journey of discovery and learning, you should just take your time. You’re at the Brewery in Newcastle for New Years Eve. Can we expect anything special? Oh come on, this year’s going to be special. It’s going to be amazing. We’ll have special guests on the night, and the costumes have now gone off and spawned new costumes. They’ll probably make up over half the crowd. Last time we played in Newcastle, it was the biggest response we have ever had from any gig we have ever played. It was amazing. Pnau play The Queen’s Wharf Brewery on New Year’s Eve. Tickets available right now, so don’t delay.

Songs From

The Solar System While Snow Patrol’s ability to write stirring ballads was no secret to the indie underground, it wasn’t until the Irish five-piece penned a tune called ‘Chasing Cars’ that the world took proper notice. 3.5 million album sales later, Snow Patrol were faced with writing a follow-up record. Guitarist Nathan Connolly explains to Nick Milligan that this challenge simply made them more ambitious...


now Patrol have landed in Australia for a one-off show in Sydney. The reason for this whirlwind trip? The Irish group have made a fifth studio album called A Hundred Million Suns, that consolidates their spacious, yet tightly coiled melodic rock. Their genial singer, Gary Lightbody, has said in an interview that Snow Patrol actually enjoyed the recording process for the very first time. Their guitarist, Nathan Connolly, confirms.

knowledge? “There’s always things you want to improve. There’s a few songs [on Final Straw] that perhaps shouldn’t have made the record, but it was five years ago. A lot has happened since then – it was the best that we could make at that time. We haven’t made the same record again,” says Connolly.

“We were more confident, perhaps,” says Connolly. “That was a big factor. It’s not that we didn’t like the studio, but I think we felt a bit comfortable. Now we’re more aware of what it entails and we’re much better musicians.”

Despite the gargantuan success of Eyes Open, which has sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide, Snow Patrol were never tempted to write a carbon copy of their breakthrough single ‘Chasing Cars’. “We’ve never been poked or prodded by a record label, or tilted toward a certain genre or style. We weren’t afraid to be more experimental and make an album with our heart and our heads,” says Connolly.

How might their third album, Final Straw, have sounded with their modern recording

Their latest record ends with an epic 16-minute track called ‘The Lightning Strike’, that


contains three phases (‘What If This Storm Ends?’, ‘Sunlight Through The Flags’, and ‘Daybreak’). It’s the hallmark of a band with ambition, but also a lack of thought for translating their studio recordings to a live setting. “Playing the songs live was probably the last thing we thought about,” chuckles Connolly. “Recording is fun because you have an idea of where you want the record to go, but it might not end up that way. We certainly didn’t want to repeat ourselves and not evolve and progress. There’s no master plan. ‘The Lightning Strike’ will be a tricky one to perform, but even on the last album we wouldn’t have been that ambitious.” Connolly joined Snow Patrol in 2002, and is credited for having a big impact on the sound of their 2003 record Final Straw. “It’s really difficult to say what sort

of influence I had. I think I come from the same place as Johnny [Quinn, drummer] and Gary – we feel that melody is the most important thing,” says Connolly. Along with album sales, Snow Patrol’s live audiences have also increased exponentially. What goes through a famous rock guitarist’s head when he’s playing to ten thousand people? “You concentrate on the music, but that makes it sound like work,” says Connolly. “Honestly, it’s taken us a long time to feel comfortable [on

stage], whether it’s in front of ten people or ten thousand people. I don’t know if we’re desperately seeking someone’s approval, but performing is something that we always want to be better at. You can’t take it for granted, but you also can’t lose sight of how much fun it is.” Snow Patrol perform at the V Festival in Sydney on Saturday March 28, 2009. A Hundred Million Suns is out now through Universal.

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine

The Resurrection of Died Pretty Having officially broken up in 2002, the live sound of Died Pretty is back with us. Homebake and the BDO await, but as singer Ron Peno tells Kevin Bull, just don’t call it a reformation. It’s just a chance for them to flex their muscle once more. It was lovely to see you guys as part of the “Don’t Look Back” series earlier this year. It was beautiful to hear Doughboy Hollow live again. Thanks you for that. Look, we had a wonderful time. Brett (Myres, guitarist) and I actually like to concept of the “Don’t Look Back” series so it was just nice to go out and present an album and just play it from start to finish. Brett and I were a little sad when it all finished. After doing the “Don’t Look Back” series, why now Homebake? Because we were invited. We were very excited. It’ll be another year since we played. We’ve just got to be careful doing these reformation things. We are split up. Brett and I are very careful about what we take so things like Homebake are wonderful. It’s a very different audience at Homebake than at “Don’t Look Back”. Yes, I think we’re the vintage band aren’t we? There are some great bands on the bill actually. The Eddy Current Suppression Ring are on I think. I’m looking forward to seeing them. Are Cut Copy on also? So I guess we’re the vintage band, and of course Crowded House are playing aren’t they. Is it going to be a retrospective show? We won’t be doing Doughboy Hollow from start to finish again. It’ll be a bit of a mish mash. With these sort of outdoor festivals type things, the slower songs don’t come across that well. We’ll be doing a rocking set, I guess. Are they going to put you on the big stage? - 02 4929 4739

They better. Look, I have no idea. We’ll wait and see. We don’t really care. It’s just lovely to be invited along, it’s just really, really sweet. We’re very excited and very thrilled with it. Back in 2002 when you guys did split up, you said that people were not interested in Died Pretty. Are they listening now? I guess so. They were listening at the Enmore (“Don’t Look Back” series). Fans come out of the woodwork I guess. We’re just doing it for fun and hope that people who do come along for the first time to see us enjoy it. I saw a lot of your shows in the late 80s, early 90’s so I have that behind me. A young 18 year old catching you live for the first time at Homebake will be an interesting reaction. Whether it will be good or bad, I don’t know. Hopefully positive. Like I said, you do have to be careful with these reformation type shows. It’s 20 years down the line, 20 years older, you have just got to be really careful. I’m always careful about performing. I’ve started wearing hats now cause I’m thinning on top. I’m really self conscious of those things. You see some people performing and you go “Oh My God”, they haven’t looked after themselves well. But I think we have kept ourselves in good stead. Putting that into context, does the nude Rolling Stone spread haunt you? I would prefer if people didn’t mention it. I did it and I can’t be regretful of that. It was fine and I thought it was a nice bit of publicity at the time. I don’t think it helped album sales for Trace though. I don’t go Why? Probably I would think a little bit more about it if I had to go back, being so bold. I did it, it’s done, that’s it. Doughboy Hollow is often cited as a landmark Australian album. Looking back, can you understand why? It’s just a very strong album, everything just came together for that album. For us as a band I think we’d turned a corner. Everything just fell into place, the lyrics, everything.

I remember saying to Brett when we were writing the songs and when we were doing the demos in the studio, that we were on to something really special here with these songs. I felt something really special with this album. I guess I’ll see you at Homebake? Well when you look down in the photo pit, I will be in there taking photos of you. So give me a smile. Oh my god. No profile shots. I got to make sure that I don’t look too jowly then. Chin up. That’s the bad thing about getting older, everything goes south. Died Pretty will be performing at Homebake and BDO. Their debut album Free Dirt will be available though Aztec Music soon.

edition 029 - Dec 08 - 21

cd reviews



THE WEEK THAT WAS The Week That Was Spunk/EMI 4/5 After releasing two critically acclaimed records, Sunderland’s Field Music decided to stop being a band in the ‘traditional sense’. So now Field Music’s two creators, brothers David and Peter Brewis, are working on ‘solo projects’ where they help each other (yes, kind of like the Broken Social Scene thing). The Week That Was is Peter’s brainchild and it’s a beautifully realised vision. Echoing the lush 80s Brit-pop of groups like XTC, and the sparse, slowburning production of Pink Floyd, The Week That Was is as arresting as it is cinematic. The percussive rhythms throughout songs like ‘The Airport Line’ give this album a unique energy. Nick Milligan

PEABODY Prospero Nonzero/ Shock 3.5/5 Album #3 for Sydney’s Peabody, Pea and the first for new members Jared Harrison (drums) and Tristan Courtney-Prior (guitars). It is a denser sound that carries a rawer punch than previous efforts due to a more layered production. The dirty bass intro of ‘Buzzard Vs Ibis’ drives the song from start to finish, 3 minutes of screaming vocals and strangled guitar. Definite highlight. Opposing this is the shimmering slide guitar and harmonies of ‘Where Are You Coming From?’, giving the album as a whole more colour and depth. Closing with the mid-tempo blues swagger of ‘Sweet Oblivion’ brings images of the Dandy Warhols, only darker and with a nasty sting in the tail. Fine release, will be brilliant live. Kevin Bull

THE NEW BLACK A Young Man’s Death Creative Vibes C 3.5/5 Out of inner city Melbourn Melbourne comes the debut album for The New Black, and it is full of pop hooks, sharp-edged guitar with a nice dose of 70’s punk simplicity thrown in. Bright and punchy stabs that will have you singing along even if you don’t know the words. ‘Can We Be Like Them’ thunders along on a bed of insistent drums and is a full throttle rocker, while ‘Getting Us High’ with its descending guitar motif brings in a touch of the psychedelic, and a more serene feel to the album. This is a fine debut that finds the band flexing its own unique muscle. Kevin Bull

DEERHUNTER D Microcastle 4AD/Remote Control


THE SEA AND CAKE CAR ALARM PopFrenzy 4/5 Although their earlier albums supposedly had a pronounced jazz influence, Chicago’s enduring indie-pop group The Sea and Cake are still sounding as fresh as ever. Their eighth album in a fourteen year career, Car Alarm indeed changes gears between shoegaze-inspired rock and straight-up indiefolk. Songs like ‘A Fuller Moon’ makes the most of Sam Prekop’s hushed vocals, and the title track comes over like a midnight jam between The Thrills and Sonic Youth. Electronic elements dance throughout ‘Weekend’, which twirls around uptempo drums. Car Alarm is equal parts joy and melancholy. Nick Milligan




Broader Than Broadway

Electric Aborigines


Ecstatic Peace! E 3.5/5

Belles Will Ring’s debut Mo Mood Patterns was one of my favourite releases of 2007, so being handed their new EP to review was a delight. The expected sound production is here - gleaming harmonies, atmospheric pop with a definite nod to the 60s. Nothing wrong with this as Belles Will Ring do it so well. The ascending harmony hook and chiming guitar of ‘Priest Coats’ is a highlight. ‘A Thousand Odes To You’ swings along with an infectious groove and ‘Renegades’ touches on 60’s brit pop. The EP also opens and closes with ‘I’m Walkin’ Here’ and ‘Silvereyes’, songs that will have you drifting into and out of this musical experience. It is an accomplished release. Kevin Bull

ADAM MILLER Out Of My Hands O Independent 4/5 Ok, Adam Miller is a bloo bloody great guitarist and on his 3th full release he lays his hand on a multiple of styles that are all dealt with magnificently. ‘Dinosaurs’ delivers a bouncy groove that is bright and joyous. With ‘Out Of My Hands’ he is just showing of. Super quick guitar work that is spellbinding. His jazz leanings are all over ‘Holding Hands’, and ‘Rushing In’ is tender and delicate. Much credit must be given to Peter Gray (bass) and Nic Cecire (drums) whose backing is just perfect. Understated when they need to be, and forceful and driving when the time calls for it. Wonderful acoustic release, no vocals but all Adam Miller. Kevin Bull

THE CURE T 4:13 Dream Universal 4/5

Beginning with a pulse rem reminiscent of Radiohead, Awesome Color throw you into a swirl of multi-colour psychedelia, a sound that pushes boundaries yet sounds surprisingly familiar. I kept hearing influences that are totally unrelated, early 90s grunge, Mars Volta freak, 70s’ Grand Funk stomp, and it felt so comfortable together. What underpins it all is a rock and roll stomp that holds it all in place. ‘Burning’ is driving rocker with a stoner rock swirl that has to be played loud, and the opening track Eyes of Light is ferocious. Though the final few tracks wane, this release is a wonderful surprise to find. Expect a tour in the New Year. Kevin Bull

THE BIRD & THE BEE Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future Blue Note/EMI B 4.5/5 Fans of The Bi Bird d & Th The Bee Bee’s self-titled debut will be pleased to find all their wonderfully eccentric pop stylings well and truly present in this latest offering. Each track is whimsical and surreal, as Inara George’s sweet silky vocals drift amongst synthesisers and strings. The bass lines have been fattened considerably for a much bolder sound, and songs like ‘Diamond Dave’ and ‘Ray Gun’ are drawn more directly from the duo’s jazz roots. It’s truly intelligent pop music, drifting deliciously through inspired melodies and lush harmonies. Hugh Milligan


As the sprawling jangle of o opener ‘Underneath The Stars’ bounds along like a bright-eyed child, it becomes apparent that this is a happy Cure album. While their ability to write dark, tortured goth-pop may define parts of their career, never forget that The Cure have penned dozens of joyous pop songs. Hearing Robert Smith’s voice, as unmistakable as ever, is like greeting a friend who has been away on an extended holiday. ‘The Only One’ and ‘The Reasons Why’ are startlingly good - in fact, there’s no filler on 4:13 Dream... just a band who are getting better with age. Nick Milligan

There’s a twisted edge to this mini-album – maybe it’s Katrina Noorbergen’s raw vocals (that are often similar to a young Björk à la The Sugarcubes), the fuzziness of the guitars or a general roughness around the edges, but this is pop at its dirtiest. Driving rhythms and wailing choruses create a sound at times reminiscent of The Kills, at others of Little Birdy, with a brooding energy burning beneath each song. We Are is a mini-album that nevertheless packs quite a punch, with ‘Forwards Backwards’ being a real standout. Hugh Milligan




Heart On

Inertia 3.5/5

Deerhunter’s dreamy, half-awake half-a approach to ambient punk has always divided audiences, despite echoes of groups like Velvet Underground and The Strokes. Although Karen O has been a long term fan, Deerhunter remain an underground entity. This feels like a vastly introspective record for singer Bradford Cox, with softly sung moments lingering and floating across almost silence. These interludes seem to keep the listener at arm’s length, before the rockier sections explode and burst into flame. These dynamics make Microcastle both challenging and rewarding. Noah Cross

Inertia 3.5/5 The virile combination of Jes Jesse Hughes and QOTSA’s Josh Homme is back to give you another leathered slap. Drawing on Homme’s stoner-rock influence and Hughes’ penchant for Sourthern rock’n’roll (think ZZ Top meets Iggy Pop), EODM shoot straight from the hip - it makes you wanna throw on some denim slacks and swagger around in your biggest pair of cowboy boots. Songs like ‘Now I’m A Fool’ echo of our very own Daddy Cool. ‘Cheap Thrills’ shoots straight from the hip and is a high-point on this tight package. Noah Cross


Jess previously fronted ess Cornelius, who previou Melbourne band Moscow Schoolboy, makes her solo debut with the dark and grungy Monobasic. It’s markedly morbid, as songs like ‘Come From Nowhere’ sound like something from an early Garbage album and others such as ‘This Is Now’ seem more like distorted pub rock. Jess’ voice is comparable to PJ Harvey in its emotionallycharged coarseness, but while the result is a satisfyingly moody rock album, there’s very little that makes it stand out from other albums in the genre. Hugh Milligan

Solid Gound Best Seven 3.5/5 New Zealand love their reggae, re and The Black Seeds have been at the forefront of the local movement. Album number four may not offer anything groundbreaking, but this band knows what they’re doing, and they do it bloody good. Lyrically a bit too lightweight, it is the brass, bass and infectious rhythms that carry the album. Tracks like ‘Slingshot’ with it darker, deeper feel, ‘Afro Phone’ and ‘Rotten Apples’ letting the funk loose, and the dub of ‘The Bubble’ and ‘Make A Move (Dub)’ mix up the overall sound, making this a mighty fine Reggae excursion. Kevin Bull

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine

cd reviews



RAZORLIGHT Slipway Fires Universal 4.5/5 Razorlight exploded out of England with giant blooms of hype, ultimately pitted against groups like The Strokes and The Libertines. Their debut album, Up All Night, delivered in spades. Two parts mod, for every part garage punk and indiepop, the record was a tight package indeed. Razorlight’s 2006 selftitled follow-up album was panned by most critics and saw them take a step into the rock’n’roll background - particularly in Australia. While it was a solidly crafted second record, Razorlight were seemingly no longer the rock world’s latest saviours. It seems that singer and principal songwriter Johnny Borrell, who apparently spent time in isolation to write the songs for the

release, Slipway band’s third re Fires, has clearly done some self-assessment. immediate and sincere, Slipway Fires is feels like an effortless rock excursion. It contains the power of Ocean Colour Scene, the jangle of The Coral, and the melodic sheen of numerous British groups from the past three eras. Razorlight make their intent very clear by opening the record with ‘Wire To Wire’, a gripping piano ballad, that pushes Borrell’s vocals to the fore, stark and powerful. Then follows ‘Hostage Of Love’, which is Razorlight’s attempt at timelessness. It works a treat. At the centre of Slipway Fires is a work of pure genius called ‘60 Thompson’. With a whispered acoustic

SNOW PATROL A Hundred Million Suns Universal 3/5 Those that discovered Sno Snow Patrol via their breath-taking third album Final Straw, will continue to be disappointed with this very safe fifth album. Where the beauty of Gary Lightbody’s songwriting was once distorted with beautiful melancholy, now lives rather pedestrian melodic structures that ultimately don’t connect with any emotional core. ‘Lifeboats’ and ‘The Golden Floor’ are two rare moments of innovation. The 16-minute closing track, which is comprised of three sections (didn’t Coldplay end Viva La Vida in a similar way?) is ambitious enough, but this sounds like a band who have become a caricature of themselves. Noah Cross

TRIPLE J’s LIKE A V VERSION 4 Various ABC/Universal A 3.5/5 This latest installment in th the Like A Version series (which is still essentially a rip-off of Andrew Denton’s ‘Musical Challenges’) is a hit and miss affair. The unexpectedly inspired ‘versions’ are provided by After The Fall (Billy Joel’s ‘Only The Good Die Young’), British India (a raw, soulful take on Hot Chip’s ‘Boy From School’), C.W. Stoneking (‘Seven Nation Army’) and Saosin (a stirring cover of ‘Time After Time’). Paul Kelly puts his trademark on ‘Rehab’ and Plan B does a lilting version of The Smiths’ ‘Stop Me’. Jamie T’s stripped back nod to Rancid is a worthy mention too, as is Snowman’s haunting ‘Strange Fruit’. Nick Milligan - 02 4929 4739

guitar riff, Borrell delivers a measured ballad that continues to deliver emotionally after dozens of listens. Borrell’s vocals border on spoken word, as he muses on a girl that’s keeping him at a distance. ‘Stinger’ and ‘Burberry Blue Eyes’ are two sublime rock songs that arrive in quick succession. If anyone has been guilty of doubting Razorlight’s deserved claims of greatness, then Slipway Fires will set them straight. Borrell is not just a rock star, but a powerful and transcendental singer. The final track, ‘The House’, evokes Springsteen’s soulful moments. This is essential listening - and the mark of a rock band who have figured out what they’re capable of. A modern masterpiece. Nick Milligan

Water Never Waits Independent

4/5 If Sickboy sound slightly American for a Sydney-based group, then that’s because their singer, Mark Spence, moved to our shores from the States in 2006. Taking Nirvana’s simplicity, indie-folk stylings and a punk ethos, Sickboy create songs that are both edgy and palatable. Tunes like the Iggy Pop-esque ‘Bellevue’ would have appealed to the late Kurt Cobain and would probably be lapped up by the likes of Evan Dando, Jeff Tweedy and Frank Black. The eccentricities in the songwriting never sound contrived - neither does the decidedly British influence of ‘Big Kicks’. An impressive release. Nick Milligan

JAY REATARD M Matador Singles ‘08 Remote Control 3.5/5 underground Jay Reatard rose to unde superstardom as the brains behind garagepunk group The Reatards. This release is a collection of the singles that were released after his debut album Blood Visions. Reatard creates bouncing acoustic pop-rock songs, that utilises the twang of his voice to make everything sound decidedly off-kilter. He revels in his own simplicity, paying homage to everyone from Frank Black to 70s Brit-punk groups. It’s charasmatic and even charming, in a warped kind of way... Noah Cross









Eugene McGuinness seems as starry-eyed as he is bursting with acidic humour. ‘Those Old Black And White Movies Were True’ sounds like it’s from the era in which it describes. In fact, most of McGuinness’ pop music sounds very dated - and deliberately so. The echoey vocals and soft layers of orchestral instrumentation hark back to everyone from Roy Orbison to The Kinks. While the eccentricities of the lyrics sometimes feel at odds with purity of the sound, McGuinness clearly thinks a lot about production values. A thoroughly cinematic and unique approach to pop music. Noah Cross

THE POTBELLEEZ P Self-Titled Vicious 2.5/5

‘Don’t Hold Back’ might be The Potbelleez’s breakthrough single, but it’s also the most overplayed club anthem of the year. It’s present here on the Irish/Australian dance duo’s debut record. There are some intense moments of electronica, which will remind some of the chilled beats of Endorphin. But so much of The Potbelleez fails to engage the listener. The songs feel very one dimensional and the vocals don’t resonate with any profound impact. The album may have benefited from more vocalists and more innovative sampling. With so much powerful and euphoric dance music being produced at the moment, this album falls short. Noah Cross


Local troubadour Bob Corbett Co has been receiving a swag of praise lately and Storyboard is the reason why. He calls himself a folk singer, but that title doesn’t do justice to the eclectic nature of these songs. Shifting from pop to alt-country, and then back through roots, reggae and blues, Corbett’s thread is sublime melody and emotional sincerity. Like the great Australian story-tellers (Paul Kelly et al), Storyboard is consistently excellent and insightful. What particularly impresses are some of the rhythmic vocal arrangements, like the a cappella finale, ‘The Prettiest Face’. Check it out. Nick Milligan

F FRIENDLY FIRES Self-Titled XL/Remote Control 3.5/5 This debut album opens in the t vein of Klaxons - atmospheric walls of ambient synth-pop. With an extremely British sound, ‘In The Hospital’ will remind many of Talking Heads - quirky melodic lines and slinky beats. ‘Paris’ is reminiscent of our very own Seabellies, with it’s stomping groove and soaring chorus. ‘Strobe’ has the echoed, Parisian groove that The Teenagers have made popular in recent months. ‘Lovesick’ is a fat slice of 80s synthfunk (think Hall & Oates), that highlights Friendly Fires’ desire to be uber-stylish. Catchy and direct, Friendly Fires are brimming with potential. Nick Milligan

MANIC STREET PREACHERS Generation Terrorists SonyBMG 4.5/5 This landmark albums was Manic Street Preachers’ entry into world music - and what an entry it was. Released in 1992, the album’s lyrics were credited to bassist Nicky Wire and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards, while the music was composed by singer James Dean Bradfield and drummer Sean Moore. Although the Preachers have continued to evolve throughout their often shocking and mysterious career, Generation Terrorists shifted between brazen cock-rock (‘Slash ‘N’ Burn) to powerful and melodic punk (‘You Love Us’). They also showed a tender side on ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ and the duet with porn star Traci Lords ‘Little Baby Nothing’. A stunning debut. Nick Milligan

TEMPLE OF THE DOG Temple of the Dog A&M 5/5 Temple of the Dog are the natural forefathers to Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Cornell up front, Ament, Gossard, McCready, Cameron backing, and Vedder lending support. Put together as a tribute to Mother Love Bone vocalist Andy Wood, this is a lost classic with a sound closer to Soundgarden than Pearl Jam. ‘Pushin Forward Back’, ‘Your Saviour’ and the 11minute opus ‘Reach Down’ are personal favourites but there are no duds on this disc. If you are a fan of either Pearl Jam or Soundgarden, and you don’t have this, get it now. If you already have Temple of the Dog, you know what I’m talking about. It should be in the collection of anyone who loves early 90s rock.

Kevin Bull

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Monday 1 December Cambridge Hotel Misery Signals

Tuesday 3 December Cambridge Hotel Liberation Front + Serenik + R Mac Delany Hotel Adam Miller Lizottes Lulo Reinhardt Northern Star Hotel Morgan Evans

Thursday 4 December Chilli Lounge A Nighttime Skyway Enmore Theatre Crowded House Hunter Valley Brewery Austin Tayshus + Garry Who Lass O’Gowrie Hotel The Understudy + ADFD + Birds & Belles Lizottes Eugene Hideaway Bridges + Krystel Keller Northern Star Hotel Mark Wells

Halekulani Bowling Club Hali Rock Fest w/ No Pressure + Hazmat + Inflight Entertainment + Neon Heart + 3 Stripe Ave Hardys Bay RSL Dan Granero Hunter Valley Brewery Nick Fish + Dexi Lass O’Gowrie Hotel The Decades Lizottes Jon Stevens + Benjalu Maitland PCYC A December Truth + Level 8 + Memorial Drive + Same Old Story + Second Opinion Mangrove Mountain Club Chontia and the New Colours Northern Star Hotel Catherine Britt + Morgan Evans Pulse Nightclub, Gosford A Nighttime Skyway + Adelle Salamander Tavern Mark Cashin

Sunday 7 December Chilli Lounge Ellington + Save The Cheerleader Grand Junction Hotel Australian Beef Week Show Lizottes Jon Stevens + Benjalu Prince of Wales Hotel The Mounzers + Steve Kopandy Queens Wharf Brewery King Farook San Remo Neighbourhood Centre A December Truth + Mind Priorities View Factory Bob Corbett + Jason Lowe

Tuesday 9 December Acer Arena Billy Joel Cambridge Hotel Gorilla Biscuits Hordern Pavillion MGMT Lizottes The McClymonts

Wednesday 10 December Sketching Cato

Friday 5 December Belmore Hotel Sketching Cato Cambridge Hotel Kid Confucius + Empire Burlesque Chilli Lounge Memorial Drive + Shadowmill Crowne Plaza Jenny Marie Lang Diggers @ the Entrance Chontia and the New Colours + Sam Buckingham Doyalson RSL No Pressure Grand Junction Hotel The G. Numan Project Hunter Valley Brewery The Radiators + Defaced Lass O’Gowrie Hotel Grandmaster Monk Lizottes Jon Stevens + Benjalu Northern Star Hotel Paul Greene Premier Hotel Mark Cashin Raymond Terrace Youth Centre Same Old Story Sirens, Terrigal North of the Border + Storm + X-Fire Stag and Hunter Hotel Jason Lowe The Loft Her Nightmare + Dropsaw + Hopeless + Half Mast View Factory Jessica Locke Woodport Inn Dan Granero

Saturday 6 December Acer Arena Kanye West + Nas + Scribe Brackets and Jam North, Lake Munmorah Community Hall Jason Lowe Cambridge Hotel The Mountain Goats + Baseball Camp Shortland Rockin’ The Black Dog w/ The Boat People + The Seabellies + Jenny Morris + Newcastle Chamber Chior + The Retro Rockets + Vaudeville + Fiction + Daniel March + Amy Vee and the Virtues + Mark Wells Chilli Lounge Her Nightmare + Mark My Words + Dropsaw + Hopeless + Half Mast Domain Homebake

Cambridge Hotel Ellington + Reptiles Lass O’Gowrie Hotel Jason Lowe + Andie and George band Lizottes The McClymonts Sirens, Terrigal The Mounzers

Thursday 11 December Acer Arena Billy Joel Cambridge Hotel Cigars for the Man Chilli Lounge Reptiles + Cabins + Slow Down Honey Grand Junction Hotel Abbie Cardwell Lizottes Glenn Shorrock Manning Bar The Bronx Metro Theatre Lynch Mob + Faster Pussycat Northern Star Hotel Emily Rose

The Mounzers

Friday 12 December Brackets and Jam South, Kincumber Mountain Reserve Orange Fox and the Fever + Dr Goodvibe + The Drop Cambridge Hotel That One Guy Chilli Lounge The Protectors + The Mounzers + The Parkers Grand Junction Hotel Dragstrippers Hunter Valley Brewery Jim Ward + One Small Step For Landmines Lizottes Glenn Shorrock Manning Bar The Datsuns Northern Star Hotel Whiskey Go Gos + The Tunstalls Port Macquarie Festival of the Sun The Loft DJ Rise View Factory Grandmaster Monk + Juke Baritone & the Swamp Dogs Woodport Inn Nick Skitz

Saturday 13 December Bayview Hotel, Woy Woy Dan Granero Beach Hotel Sickboy Bimbadgen Estate Alicia Keys + Jordin Sparks + Lowrider Cambridge Hotel Existence DJs Chilli Lounge Peabody + He Died Gallant + The Steel Hordern Pavillion surrounds Nevereverland w/ The Presets + Cut Copy + Bang Gang Deejays + Klaxons + Ladyhawke + Hercules and Love Affair + AJAX + Whitest Boy Alive + Van She + Muscles + Van She Tech + Pepperoni + Tame Impala + The Bumblebeez + Canyons + Lost Valentinos + Temper Trap Hunter Valley Brewery Klaus Hill + Mc Spikey T Lizottes Wendy Matthews + Mark Wilkinson Newcastle Panthers Parkway Drive + Suicide Silence + A Day To Remember + The Acacia Strain + Confession Oxford Arts Factory Man Man + The John Steel Singers Port Macquarie Festival of the Sun Stag and Hunter Hotel Jason Lowe Wickham Park Hotel Indiana Phoenix Woodport Inn The Fumes

Saturday 20 December Cambridge Hotel Newcastle Funk Collective Hunter Valley Brewery Masif X’Dream + S Dee Lizottes Diesel + Josh Owen Metro Theatre Ida Maria The Loft Loaded w/ Falling For Beloved + Curse at 27 + Blades + The Storm Picturesque + Liberation Front + A December Truth + Tycoptic + Urban Freeflow + Soul Purpose + Nameless + Laird & Lomas + Mojo’s Lab + NC Boys + DJ Kid Dream + Joshwa Leigh + Todd Bartlett View Factory Buddy Knox Woodport Inn The Inheritors

Sunday 21 December Lizottes Diesel + Josh Owen Prince of Wales Hotel The Tunstalls + Elisa Kate

Wednesday 24 December Cambridge Hotel The Spirits + Broadway Mile Grand Junction Hotel Nick Raschke Combo

Sunday 14 December Acer Arena Kylie Minogue Beachcomber Hotel Social Summer Festival w/ Mercy Arms + Amy Meredith + Grafton Primary + Art vs Science + Huoratron + Mark Dynamix + Tommy Trash + The Mounzers + The Inheritors Belmore Hotel Paul Greene Cambridge Hotel Pegz + Dialectrics + Beats Working + Scott Burns Chilli Lounge Mammal + Poetikool Justice + Origin of Janken Civic Theatre Spicks and Specks Grand Junction Hotel Big Deal Rockt Lizottes Wendy Matthews + Mark Wilkinson Prince of Wales Hotel The Deposits + Nick Saxon

Tuesday 16 December Acer Arena Kylie Minogue Lizottes The Hands Oxford Arts Factory Adam Green

Wednesday 17 December Acer Arena Kylie Minogue Cambridge Hotel Centre Section + Lockjaw Lizottes Bondi Cigars Sirens, Terrigal The Mounzers South Newcastle Rugby Leagues Club Jon Stevens

Thursday 18 December Lizottes, Kincumber Diesel + Microwave Jenny

Elisa Kate

Saturday 27 December Cambridge Hotel Cotton Sidewalk Lizottes Mental As Anything

Sunday 28 December Grand Junction Hotel Brass Knuckles Lizottes Dr Goodvibe Prince of Wales Hotel Ghost Road

Monday 29 December Oxford Arts Factory Soko

Wednesday 31 December Cambridge Hotel Hot Damn Duke of Wellington Hotel The Blues Bombers Fly Point Ampitheatre, Nelsons Bay Eve Bay w/ Cicadia + Aquasky + Harris Robotis Grand Junction Hotel Zoe K and the Money Shot Hardys Bay RSL Dan Granero Lizottes Jenny Marie Lang Newcastle Panthers Dirty Deeds Northern Star Hotel Driver 8

For The Diary


Friday 19 December Cambridge Hotel Evening Son + Cigars for the Man + Amathyst Chilli Lounge Thrillers Christmas Party Diggers @ the Entrance Peter Healey and the Hurricanes + Chris Taylor Grand Junction Hotel Ooh La La + Ramon and the Spanish Pimp Hunter Valley Brewery Calling All Cars + The Satellite Nation Lizottes Diesel + Microwave Jenny Northern Star Hotel Zeppelin at the Taj - The Tinku Band The Entrance Leagues Club Mick Hart + Sarah Humphreys View Factory A Disappointing Fireworks Display + Lola Flask + The Understudy Woodport Inn Timmy Trumpet

January 3 Fleet Foxes + The Dodos - The Metro January 3 Public Enemy - Newcastle Panthers January 5 The Buterfly Effect - The Entrance Leagus Club January 5 The Kooks - Hordern Pavilion January 6 Donavon Frenkenreiter Cambridge Hotel January 6 Franz Ferdinand Enmore Theatre January 8 The Black Keys + Gomez Newcastle Panthers January 9 Whitley Cambridge Hotel January 17 All Tomorrow’s Parties Cockatoo Island January 18 Boys of Summer tour Chilli Lounge January 20 The Ting Tings The Metro January 21 Bullet For My Valentine UNSW Roundhouse January 22 Arctic Monkeys Enmore Theatre January 22 My Morning Jacket The Metro January 23 Big Day Out Sydney Showground January 24 Neil Young Sydney Entertainment Centre January 24 TV on the Radio The Metro January 24 The Prodigy Hordern Pavilion January 29 Ryan Adams and the Cardinals Enmore Theatre January 30 Jeff Beck Enmore Theatre January 31 Ragga Muffin Lindemans Winery, Hunter Valley January 31 Leonard Cohen Bimbadgen Estate, Hunter Valley February 3 Ani DiFranco Enmore Theatre February 6 José González City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney February 8 St Jeromes Laneway Festival February 14 Good Vibrations Centennial Park

Coming in January Jan 4

Demi Hines and Christina Anu

Jan 6

Jon Cleary

Jan 7

Hawksley Workman

Jan 9

Beccy Cole

Jan 16 Chris Gudu Jan 18 Dougie MacLean Jan 21 Ross Wilson Jan 23, 24, 25 Ian Moss Jan 31 Brewster Brothers

The Year Of


After journeying into the world across mountains of hype, Mercy Arms have settled and made peace via a beautifully crafted self-titled album. The band’s guitarist Kirin J Callinan speaks to Nick Milligan about Mercy Arms’ new independence.


ost people had heard of Mercy Arms before they’d heard their music. Rumours of a record label bidding war over an unknown group from the suburbs of Sydney, very quickly made their way through the Chinese whispers of trendsetting circles. A touring support slot with The Strokes exposed the group to the right audience and it was quickly revealed in the media that Mercy Arms were working in the studio with TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek. A slot on the inaugural Australian V Festival certainly didn’t make matters any worse. It may come as some surprise then that Mercy Arms’ self-titled debut album has entered the world as an independent release. It will come as an even bigger surprise to the purists amongst us, that Mercy Arms have indeed lived up the hype that has circled them since their inception. Their previously released debut EP Kept Low, was some indication of the band’s intentions, but any substance in the songwriting was overshadowed by walls of stylized echoes and overblown production. There is a directness and immediacy The group’s lanky and provocative guitarist Kirin J Callinan explains that Mercy Arms indeed wanted their debut album to surprise people. “The EP was just a collection of recordings and a crosssection of where our heads were at. The album was made at one time and place, with one producer. Melodically I feel the album is more consistent,” says Callinan. “I think we wanted to show how much we’ve grown. I think there’s still a way to go and we’re going to better it again and again and again.” Was it important to surprise their preexisting fans? “We definitely wanted to surprise people – I know that’s my personal ambition when I wake up in the morning. Given everything that we’ve had in the past, with the hype getting out of control and being detrimental…I don’t want to sound unpatriotic, but it’s a very


Australian thing – the tall poppy thing. I really believe in this record as someone who is a music-lover, but I think there was a perception out there about us being a bit more of a fashion-band, or whatever, but we wanted to make a record that we would love.”

played keyboards and we organised to jam. I arrived at his and he had a heap of keyboards set up. After a couple of hours or so of fairly uninspiring jamming I confessed that I wasn’t really all that good a pianist but I did play guitar. He pulled out another six string and we clicked.”

Mercy Arms are headlining the Social Summer Festival at The Beachcomber Hotel, Sunday December 14, 2008. For all information, head to

Callinan is speaking to Reverb from London, where the band have been on tour for six weeks with Cut Copy. “So far the crowds have been very appreciative. I think punters can be a little pessimistic over here in the UK, but so far it’s been great,” says Callinan. “I think we want to come away from the trip with new friends and new inspiration.” Mercy Arms’ debut record is indicative of a band with a grounded and mature outlook (who are also big fans of The Go-Betweens and The Triffids). Callinan reflects on their early opportunities. “When we were with Capitol, we had all these opportunities and offers thrown at our feet,” Callinan reminisces. “There were all these ridiculous ideas about doing two songs in Buenos Aires and two songs in Iceland – the world was our oyster and we could do anything we wanted. But I think we’ve made a very real record, and a very human album, and perhaps that might not have been the case if we’d been able to throw a lot of cash at it.” So with 2009 just around the corner, are Mercy Arms setting themselves goals? “We’d love to be back in the studio by the end of this year working on the next record,” says Callinan. “We’re in a lucky position in that given the time that we’ve been together we’ve written a lot of songs and we’ve got the material for another record already – but we’ve been working on new ones lately, and that’ll be the trend: to write new songs for a new record so that they’re as fresh as can be.” Vocalist Thom Moore, along with Callinan, has been a driving force in the band since the very beginning. Callinan explains the formation. “Julian (Sudek, drummer) and I met Thom at a Morning After Girls show,” explains Callinan. “I told Thom I

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine

Playing With Water

Tired he may be, but Donavon Frankenreiter is a sweet soul eager to answer my questions adequately. He is all too well aware that he lives a privileged life. Nevertheless Donavon is quick to settle the score, “If the everyday person saw how it is (the music business), he may not want to do it. It’s not all fun, there’s a lot of work behind the scenes, it can be very frustrating�. The worst part about life on the road certainly has to be “being away from the family. Missing my wife and kids. Like my kid’s first word, that’s tough�. Donavon’s career has two parts, the pro surfer and the musician. The surfer’s career began as a teenager at San Clemente, California, that saw him visit Australia for the first time when he was 14 and many times thereafter. Scoring a sponsorship deal with Billabong allowed him to travel the world and make the transition to become a pro surfer.

Somewhere in Amsterdam, American surf rock musician and surfer Donavon Frankenreiter is “fried right now�. He sure sounds tired as he speaks to Marija Zeko about embarking on his promotional tour for his latest album Pass It Around.. Around

During the latter part of his career, the musician was heavily influenced by his friendship with folk star Jack Johnson, which has spanned 17 years. Donavon started off with the band Sunchild, who had a 70’s rock mood. Eventually the band disbanded in 2001 and Donavon pursued his solo career. His friendship with Johnson helped him find a record label, signing and producing his first album, as well being introduced to Johnson’s fans. Donavon’s first album, a selftitled 2002 release, was recorded with Johnson as a co-producer, who also contributed vocals. The follow up album went with a different label and

was aptly named Move Yourself. Frankenreiter has taken live performance in his stride. “Everyday of my life, I don’t take anything for granted,� he muses. “There’s no time to reflect when I sit around with my wife and kids and then when a tours over, it’s an amazing thing... to play music, to take it to more places than I could imagine�. Posed with the question which career he prefers, he’s at odds to favour one over the other. “It’s more of an intense feeling onstage. When you’re surfing it’s a solo feeling whereas music is an intense thing where you have to do an hour and a half worth of stuff. It’s intense sharing it with an audience. It’s a completely different feeling from surfing�. Asked about Johnson’s liberal take on marijuana, Frankenreiter chooses his words carefully as he believes in balance and sums it neatly as, “I don’t really promote one thing. It’s different strokes for different folks.� Fans can expect to see Frankenreiter reach Australia for December 28th and most of January as he does The Falls Festival. He can be spotted frequenting his favourite beach, Snapper Rock, Queensland. “It’s one of the most amazing surfing places. There are so many great waves, it’s a huge country�. A huge country that welcomes Donovan back with open arms. Catch Donavon Frankenreiter on January 6, 2009 at the Cambridge.



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From humble reggae dub beginnings to recording and touring with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in a government funded project, Salmonella Dub have seen all sides of the industry. David Long caught up with Andrew Penman for a chat about their upcoming show at the Peats Ridge Festival and how you handle performing with 80 other people. You’ve just completed a tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO). How did this come about? It’s been a long process actually, they approached us about five or six years ago. It’s something that we’ve been working on, and sort of waiting for the dates to line up with everybody. Also, the New Zealand government has been pushing classical music to engage with contemporary music. For us, we wanted to make it a bit more than a band with an orchestra, which of course has been done before. So we invited some guests to play some indigenous music. Whirimako Black was involved playing a few of our classic tracks in te reo (traditional Maori). It came in a way that was, without sounding pretentious, that was more of a historical document in a way. The whole concept behind it was to collaborate with the orchestra, which is a colonial beast, with Maori traditional musicians and with our repertoire. So it was sort of cultures collide. Would you say this album (Feel The Season’s Change) was a fusion of the indigenous Maoris with colonial white culture? Yep, definitely, and trying to present that in a modern context, sort of summing up where the cultures come from collectively. How did the orchestra compliment Salmonella Dub’s music? We ended up spending six months on the arrangements then we had four days of rehearsals. The biggest pitfall with an orchestra and a band is that as soon as the band cranks up you drown them out. So we went out of a way to make sure to make sure that the music was dynamic and the orchestra could be heard. And what impact did te reo singer Whirimako have on your music? An awesome impact. She’s a Maori singer who crosses over into jazz and contemporary. Though mostly she’s delved into reggae, so she fronted a couple of tracks and did an awesome job. To me she’s sort of given it a big band diva approach in a way, Whirimako vocals on a couple of tracks have a real old, Shirley Bessie or Ella Fitzgerald type element. What did you expect of performing with the NZSO, did you get what you wanted out of it? It was better than I expected. I play in the band as well as handle the management, so I’m responsible at the end of the day and it was one of those massive projects where we had no idea how it would come off until the last minute. Of course it would only take one or two people to be out of tune or not into it, and the whole would fall over. So it worked incredibly well. We were very fortunate to be employed by the government to do a regional tour with the orchestra. It’s very exciting, you know there’s eighty people on stage. When the coordinator would walk away with a standing ovation, which he did at most places, it’s quite satisfying. How did you like the arrangements made by Tom Rainy for the performances? We were writing in a classical program using a mini orchestra in the arranging process. It was brilliant working with Tom as he’s just down the road from us so it was a collaborative process. The real interesting thing for me of course was I used to go to high school with Hamish Mckeich, the conductor, and we used to get up to all sorts of mischief. So there was a whole lot of behind the scenes things that fell into place that weren’t expected. It was those things that were meant to be I think. It’s a big production? Yeah it’s one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on. Just mixing the live recording with 84 tracks, it’s like building a


The Salmonella Treatment house of cards in a way. There’s quiet a different vibe and tempo in Feel The Seasons Change compared to your earlier albums such as Heal Me. How did the band find this? Very nerve racking to start with. For the style of show it worked incredibly well because we’re playing a big town hall with two and a half thousand people who are seated. Although there’s the temptation to get a bit raucous at times, we were very disciplined. It was very good for the band to be put through all that, and to come out achieving what we did it was a real confidence booster. Also, most of the members in the band don’t read music so it’s a steep learning curve. You’re the guitarist and keyboardist for Salmonella Dub. How was it for you personally to play with an orchestra? For me it was awesome. I’ve had a classical and big band, jazz background, so I can read music. I also played in my high school orchestra with Mckeich. Dave our drummer had done so much homework on it he was rock solid. It gave me a lot more scope to be textural in what I’m doing, so it was a real pleasure for me. I was able to do a lot more colours and pictures than I would normally, a lot more psychedelic stuff.

“ collaborate with the orchestra, which is a colonial beast... it was sort of cultures collide.” What did it mean to you to have taonga puoron (traditional Maori instruments) woven into your music? It was really special actually, it creates an other worldliness. To me it takes it back to the primeval swamp you know, you almost feel like you’ve stepped back in time. And it’s a really nice opportunity to explore more atmospheric stuff, without any real pressure. Quite often if you’re doing sort of noodly atmospheric stuff at a big festival or pub gig it doesn’t work. Though in that environment without having to charge through tracks or spend a lot of time talking to the audience we get this really nice atmospheric washes with a lot of instruments cutting over the top. Would you agree with the reggae tag that Salmonella Dub’s often given? Not entirely, no. Obviously we’ve created that tag ourselves. Though being white boys from a punk era, it’s quiet ironic really. I was brought up in the 80s listening to punk music then into the 90s with heavy hip hop and drum and bass. It’s a style that we can easily play naturally, but we really do come from more of a rock background. A lot of people at our shows are blown away by the aggressiveness of our

music. We wander the genres of dance, rock, and dub reggae. I remember a few record reps flew over from Australia to a show at Christchurch and they walked away saying “God you’re almost like The Prodigy.” At times it’s the environment, if it’s high energy than that’s the angle we’ll go. The reggae thing is just one part of many, we’re more we’re more of a hybrid than just a reggae band, which creates something that’s more unique. Actually something that sums it up nicely is when we had a bit of music played on Home and Away, It was in the script. One of the cast members was at a show and they said, “Yeah, Salmonella Dub, it’s like reggae on steroids”. Do you draw inspiration from New Zealand’s Beautiful landscape? Totally. The landscape itself, especially on the southern island, is very rugged, similar to Tasmania in a way. Because we’re not in a densely populated metropolis, the landscape has a bigger influence on us. We started out in the city but now we’re more, well I wouldn’t like to think we’ve become hippy’s, but we do draw more influence from the landscape. You’ve been releasing material for quiet a while now. What’s a moment that stands out to over the years? An interesting one from Australia was when we played a festival at Wytaliba, which is at north NSW just on the border. We actually wrote a track about it. It was just a big block of land in the bush, like a hippy commune and we were playing at the annual harvest party. To make matters more interesting the owners of the land had just been paid out 1.3 million dollars by the local feds for a false search. We turned up to play this party and got paid in kind, in produce that they’d grown. Then we had to drive back out the next day for a police squadron of media about this whole raid that had occurred the year before. We ended up writing the track Wytaliba which is on the inside of the Dub Plates album. It’s got a sample on it of the police helicopters coming in with a quote from one of the officers saying “we’ve got no warrant”. So they actually caught it on camera and sued them. How strongly do you feel about celebrating or even initiating the coming together of multicultural nations? It’s really important. If you want to be historical about the state of the world, unfortunately colonialism has shat on most indigenous cultures. Although in New Zealand we’ve had treaty settlements and payouts for land there’s still a long way to go. There’s still a lot of work to do to try and make up for the past. It’s really nice to feel now that there’s a coming of age or acceptance that these things need to be addressed and these cultures are very valid and we need to rekindle them or lose them completely. Salmonella Dub play Peats Ridge Festival. For more info head to

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It’s no surprise that Brisbane’s grandiose six-piece The John Steel Singers, have a massive, warm pop sound. Noah Cross spoke to one of their vocalists, Tim Morrissey, about the group’s new mini-album In Colour.

Did you have a clear idea of what kind of band you wanted to be? I think we did. When we originally formed it was just me and Scott, out of our old band. We got a drummer in. We had an idea of the sort of sound we were going for. At that time we were listening to a lot of 60s music, as well as contemporary pop like Doves and Mercury Rev. We’d even listen to The Kinks and Spoon. We wanted to head in a pop direction, but with off-kilter slant to it. Was there an intention to become a six-piece band? Definitely not. We wanted someone on keyboards, so Scott could play more guitar. Scott and I would switch between playing bass and guitar, but then we got a bass player too. Six months into it we added another guitarist and vocalist and then some brass. I think we’re identified by the brass now. More and more bands are appearing with many members and a spacious, pop sound. Is your band becoming pigeon-holed? I think there’s a lot of them around at the moment – I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. With us it wasn’t intentional. I just think that to achieve our live sound, we’ve benefited from having extra members. When we started out, we didn’t really notice that there were bands going around with heaps of members. I think the only ones we were aware of was The Polyphonic Spree. For people who haven’t seen you live, how do your shows compare to your recordings? Our lives shows are quite energetic. We’ve recently started throwing things out into - 02 4929 4739

the audience, like plastic snakes. I like the idea of music that has lyrical depth, but you can still hear it in a live setting and dance to it. Your recent single, ‘Rainbow Kraut’, has a dirty rock edge – is this an indication of where John Steel Singers are heading? The heavy bass wasn’t intentional until we went into the studio and the producer suggested it. It’s good, because if we released another EP of pop material, it wouldn’t be showing everyone that we have a wider spectrum of sounds. When we do our album this year, there might be some darker, heavier songs along with more upbeat ones. The last twelve months has seen increased exposure for your band – what have you learned about the music industry? At the moment there seems to be a big turning point in the music industry. The older labels are trying to work out how to make money and nobody knows what to do with the download thing. Nobody seems to know anything 100%, in terms of what the way forward is. Hopefully someone comes up with a great solution where people can download music and artists still get paid. It also seems that albums are on their way out. To listen to the John Steel Singers, head to You can catch them at the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Circular Quay, Sydney on Sunday February 8, 2009. Tickets available from and selling fast!

WIDE AWAKE, IT’S MORNING With Wi th an ever ever-growing growiing online fan base, Brisbane group Ellington are taking their enthralling indie-pop music to the road. Noah Cross spoke with singer and lyricist Jack Bosci.

this mature, th EEP P is is more mat ture iinteresting ntterestting and d has a really good story behind it.

When forming the band, did you have a strong idea of what sort of band you wanted to be? Not really, I think bands always have some idea though and we were heavily influenced by bands like Dashboard Confessional, Copeland and Brand New when we were starting out, so i guess we kind of knew where we wanted to take our music sonically.

How old were you when you started writing music? I was about 17. My dad had briefly taught me a few songs on guitar before that, but I never really sat down and started playing and writing until towards the end of High School. i wish i did ha!

A lot of your lyrics seem to be about first encounters and blossoming love - what draws you to those subjects? I never really liked the idea of writing something that wasn’t relevant to what was going on in my life at the time and for it to be meaningful to me, it had to be honest. I was in a pretty long time relationship and as cliche as it sounds to walk away from something like that, something you put a lot of your time and effort into, it’s obviously going to be a big deal and I don’t know many people that walk away from things like that just not giving a shit. How did you want your second EP to differ from the first? I think we’re coming together as a band and have grown so much as songwriters since the first EP. Working with Matt Malpass in the States definitely pushed us to think about different ideas. I think

Which bands inspire to continue writing music? There are so many amazingly talented bands out there that just don’t get the recognition they deserve and the fact they still forge on and write, party and have fun is really inspiring to me!

Have you played in Newcastle before? Yeah we have, we love it here. This town is so much fun all the time. The beaches are great and we can chill on our days off and surf this time around which will be nice! I must say the best cafes out are probably around Newcastle. The shows are always fun and we’re stoked to show people how far we have come and how hard we’ve been working since we last came round this way. Is there a song that you’re the most proud of writing? ‘The World Through Weary Eyes’. That song has so many meanings behind it and so many influences mixed into it that when it was finished, a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

Ellington play at The Cambridge Hotel on December 10 and The Chili Lounge, Wyong, December 7, 2008.

edition 029 - Dec 08 - 29

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Kid Confucius are not a band prepared to rehash past glories. The new release, The Let Go exchanges funk for guitars and hip hop for rock. Kevin Bull chatted with drummer Bart Denaro about their exploration into new territory.

The Let Go has grabbed everyone’s attention. Have you been happy with the way it has been received? Yeah, we’ve had a good response from quarters that haven’t really bitten in the past. We were iTune’s ‘Single of the Week’, we were on the front page of Australian Myspace. That kind of stuff has been really great.

It was natural. We all started listening to a lot more rock stuff. That’s what’s massive now so as a consequence, that’s what’s in our ears 24/7. You can’t help but be influenced by it and start to really appreciate it. That’s kind of what happened. We just thought, “Stuff it, this is what we are all liking so let’s go for it.”

What is it about this album that has grabbed people’s attention? The last album (Stripes) was pretty indulgent. We did all the things that we wanted to do. Our first album (self-titled), we did in home studios. The second album, we were in a real studio. I pulled out some timpani, we had a string section, lots and lots of overdubs. We went to town, and for that lush soul sound, it really suited it. We consciously went in a different direction for this album, not to stagnate, not to rehash old stuff, we consciously wanted it to be a short, sharp punch in the face. It is easier to consume I think. The songs are shorter, they seem to be a lot hookier, I think that’s why. You have described your second album Stripes as a soulful exploration of funk and hip hop, with a little bit of rock thrown in. The Let Go sounds like a rock album, with some soul and funk thrown in. How did this happen? - 02 4929 4739

So there’s been a rock band hiding amongst all that soul and funk all along. Yeah, well personally I grew up on a solid diet of Zeppelin, and we have all been Beatles fans from day one as well. You’ve used a lot of old original equipment in the recording of The Let Go. Original mics, pre-70s gear and live to tape. Was this the original plan when looking at this third album? Yeah, definitely. We did that for Stripes as well. We love that process - the sound, the warmth, the compression of stuff going straight onto tape is really appealing to us. We wanted to get a dirtier, grungier sound on this record as well. We used a lot of the old stuff to emulate that old sound as opposed to trying to do it after the fact. It has made the sound on the record very tactile. It’s right there in front of you instead of it being very clean and very sterile. It’s like you can go

out and touch the dirt. Awesome. Mission accomplished. And it sounds like a whole work as well. The songs sound like they are from the same album which you may not be able to say that about Stripes. Did you have a favourite piece of old gear that you loved to pick up? A couple of weeks before the recording, I stumbled on this 1964 Ludwig kit, all vintage cymbals. Someone at my work knew this lady who was selling it so I pick that up just weeks before, and I think that kit has made a huge impact on the actual sound of the record. You’ve had James Manson join the band on guitar. Was it easy for him to fit into such a large team? Yeah it was, ‘cause he is quite a bit younger ,which means he was really ready to just take up whatever direction we wanted him to go. He came in about halfway through

the writing process so he got a bit of a taste and then helped define the resulting sound. You’re playing the Cambridge Hotel December 5. Now the Cambridge doesn’t have the biggest stage. Have there been times where the stage has been that that little bit too small for the 8 eight you? Yeah, all the time, especially in the early days when we were playing the smaller places. There’s a place in Coolum, it is the best gig anywhere in the country but the stage barely fits the drums on it. I think that’s part of the appeal, the band is pretty much in the audience. We’ve played the Cambridge before so it’s going to be sweet. Catch Kid Confucius at the Cambridge Hotel Friday December 5, and at the Peats Ridge Festival NYE. The Let Go is out now

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From humble beginnings to running his own record label, Central Coast hip hop artist Tycotic is making waves. Whether he’s making beats, writing rhymes or producing records, Tycotic is dedicated artist – to his music, to the hip hop community and to his Asylum Fifty Seven family. David Long chats about his new album Conversation Domination and where all that aggression comes from. What first sparked your interest in hip hop? I was in year four, and I was nine years old when I wrote my first track which was called ‘Airborne’ and it was about rollerblading. I was a little try hard, wanna be the kid and I was listening to Criss Cross and stuff like that. As for influence, I’ve just always been a part of that culture. You’re about to release your new full length album Conversation Domination. How has the creative process been? Well it’s been a lot different. Conversation Domination is a collection of songs that I’ve put aside from since I started writing The People Vs Tycotic because I felt they were more personal tracks. So I’ve kept them together, and I’ve tried to get a collection of tracks that really suited each other and are a lot more personal. I’ve also tried to experiment a lot more with musical stylings, and I’ve tried to incorporate my knowledge from bands with structures from songs that aren’t hip hop. A lot more melody and things like that too. Overall, what does Conversation Domination sound like? A punch in the face! (laughs). I really think it’s a collaboration of where I’m going and where I’ve been. There’s a song on there called ‘Destination Definite’. I feel that phrase, sums up the album. It’s really

How involved do you get in the producing of beats for your albums? Very involved. I produced near 90% of this last album. Smokey Desperado, my brother, he’s got two beats on there, and Rhymes, an Asylum Fifty Seven member, he’s got a beat on there. New Merick with myself and Espah all joined together to do the first single ‘You’, and we all got on the production for that. How much has the city you live in influenced your sound? Very much so. Umina, 2257, that’s what I represent. We’ve got a lot of tracks about or referencing Umina and it’s a deep influence for me. Especially with the group of mates that I’ve grown up with, and what I was doing when I was growing up is what I suppose I talk about now. The Sydney hip hop scene, which is where I’d go and perform because that was the closest thing when I was evolving as an artist, that has also influenced my hip hop style. Just from the MCs I’d cipher with there or kick freestyles with and stuff like that.

Your speeches made reference to “a baby, two bananas and a beer”. Please describe the 24 hours prior to the awards ceremony. How did your wife react when you showed her your bundle of awards? At 1am on the morning of the awards my wife gave birth to our second child Matilda. Kirrily had been in labour all night and her mother and I were by her side the whole time. It was an extraordinary experience. No words can describe how women can do what they do.

At the ABC Newcastle Music Awards, Bob Corbett had a night to remember. Six awards meant that he spent alot of time on stage thanking people, and looking slightly embarassed by the attention. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. You won six awards at the Newcastle ABC Awards and no doubt you secretly held high hopes for some. Were there any that were totally unexpected?


Do you think that Australian hip hop is currently underrated or misunderstood by the mainstream public? Yes and no. I think there’s a lot of underrated artists that aren’t getting that much play, and they’re albums aren’t really getting out as much as they should. Then again, hip hop has come a long way in such a short time – we can’t hope for too much.

reinforced, “that’s where I’m going and that’s just what I do”. There’s a lot of personal songs that sum me up a bit more. You could listen to this album and you’d feel like you’ve met me.

I don’t think anybody could have been prepared for 6 awards. It was a surreal experience. I had a good squiz at all of the entrants and their songs as I do every year, and I was convinced that the Blues and Roots award was going to Gail Paige and that the Pop award was going to Sarah Humphreys, turns out that I tied with Sarah. I was quite hopeful for ‘The Lambton Lights’ in the Folk category though. The Songwriter Recognition Award just blew my mind. With so many great songwriters in the room it was an honour to have even been mentioned.


that so we’re going with them. So we’re going to move forward together and build something big.

I got home from the hospital at 7am and had 3 hours sleep before I had to do things. I think I was so full of adrenalin and endorphins that I forgot to eat anything until it was time to go to the awards at 7pm that night. I grabbed two bananas while walking out the door. The beer came in the half time interval. I completely inhaled it. By the time I’d gotten back to my seat I was pissed. I was the cheapest drunk in the room. It wore off pretty quickly though but not before I had to accept the Pop award with Sarah. I’m glad that she did most of the talking. Of course Kirrily was really happy for me when I told what happened at the awards. With all of the baby stuff going on, it was a couple of days after she had been home from the hospital that I remembered to show her the awards. They were stashed away so that my three-year-old son couldn’t get to the Kombi Bus Tour Award. I don’t blame him for wanting to play with

Conversation Domination The single ‘My Patience Is Up’ is pretty heavy sounding as far as Australian hip hop goes. Where does this aggression come from? I’ve always been into aggressive music. I used to be into Slipknot and our band went into a bit of a death metal phase too. So I’ve always felt that really raw, hectic stuff and I’ve always felt angry hip hop. What’s your role in the Asylum Fifty Seven label? I’m the owner and director of Asylum Fifty Seven. We just did a joint venture with Unda K9, a Sydney label. So I still mainly control yet we bring some artists to the table and they’re really believing in that and we’re liking what they’re going to do with

it. It’s very cool. In your thank you speeches you mentioned several ‘families’ in Newcastle and on the Central Coast. Who have been some key inspirational people in your life? My inspirations have always come from close to home. The biggest inspiration throughout my musical journey has come from my long time colleague Dave Carter. Anyone who knows Dave will agree that he is an exceptional musician and performer. I have learnt more from Dave about live performance than I have from anyone else in this industry. The Screaming Jets also had a big impact on me and Silverchair smashed all of the limitations to bits. In recent years I have drawn a lot of inspiration from the younger acts that are getting around. Acts like Grandvue, Jason Lowe, Sarah Humphreys, Vaudeville, Mark Wells and Morgan Evans are constantly redefining my conventions. It isn’t just musicians that inspire me though. I have been lucky to develop connections with people that share a common work ethic whether they are promoters, photographers, web designers, journalists, or sound guys. We are all trying to improve our industry and we all need each other to survive. That’s why I call them family. Your music crosses quite a few genres, does this ever pose problems when it comes to describing your “style”? Yes it does. It can be a mouthful explaining my folk, pop and roots music to a stranger in an elevator. I sometimes wish that I could release an album that is purely country or purely pop or whatever. Problem is that every time I try to make this type of album, I listen back to it and I get bored. I have genre ADD. It’s not all bad though. I’m glad that I don’t strive to make an album one-dimensional just so that it is easier for me to explain it to someone. That’s why I am really happy with my album Storyboard. Although I cover a lot of ground on the album I don’t think that

Then again, I feel there is a lot of weak artists in Australian hip hop so I don’t feel that everyone does deserve a go. I feel that the people who are getting a play are earning it. When you get there, you belong there. Do you think Australian hip hop could go the way of the US, in terms of commercial take over? Yeah, I definitely reckon it could. But I think there’ll always be the strong underground scene that will respect the real stuff no matter what’s selling in stores. Do you have any musical goals? Yeah definitely. I want to be in the scene to stay, like this is what I do with my life. I’m not just making music for a hobby or nothing, this is what I do full time. I have goals to try and take it as far as I can, and try and bring everyone that’s with me. Catch Tycotic December 20 at the Loaded Festival @ The Loft in Newcastle. Then during January on the Conversation Domination Tour . Jan 9 @ Chilli Lounge, Jan 10 Cambridge Hotel, Jan 16 Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland.

I am ever abandoning a common thread. I consciously used the same core instruments and recording philosophies for each song so that the album has it’s own timbre. This diversity in genres is also an asset when performing live. It furnishes my show with the dynamics to make it a journey. What does winning the Newcastle ABC Awards mean to you? It means that I am not completely deluded in thinking that my music that I write might just be OK. It means that I can justify the battles that I fight to get my music out to a wider audience. Most importantly it means that I have chosen the right path for me. What would be your “dream come true” in terms of your music career? My dream is to be able maintain a balance between my music and my family. My family is my music. If I can keep the food on the table and raise happy children while writing and performing my music then my dream will have come true. Recognition and success is needed for this to happen but my dreams aren’t founded on these things. Boringly pragmatic I know. Finally, besides the ABC Awards you have also received recognition being in the top ten of the MusicOz Awards, and your track ‘Share Crop Gone’ came 6th out of 3000 in the Australian Songwriting Contest. Where to from here? Overseas? If an opportunity arises to go overseas then I would definitely consider it but right now my sights are firmly set on Australia. I am in such a great position to be able to use music as a means to see the country and hopefully widen my audience at the same time. Having just released ‘Storyboard’ the timing is right for me to get out there. December will see me performing seven dates in Adelaide and Melbourne. I will be heading to Western Australia, Tasmania, North NSW and Queensland in the first half of 2009. Catch Bob Corbett at the View Factory December 7 supported by Jason Lowe.

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine

during Limp Bizkit’s performance. Despite the Big Day Out incident, Ward continues to feel strong support from our shores. “Australia was a really special place in At The Drive-In’s history, as well as Sparta. I’ve always found loyal supporters in Australia and I feel I have a good relationship with the country, so I hope to keep exploiting that for as long as possible,” says Ward.

The Rise Of Sparta While Jim Ward’s role as co-founder of seminal sem min nal posthardcore group At The Drive-In has forever cemented him in rock history, his creativity continues on in two projects - the post-punk band Sparta and the indie, altcountry Sleepercar. Nick Milligan spoke to Ward about his upcoming show in Maitland. When Jim Ward appears on the phone, he sounds extremely content. “I’m in a van travelling down Interstate 3, on my way to Alburquerque, New Mexico. We’re on tour with Coldplay in America for about three weeks. It’s a pretty good life,” says Ward. At the moment Ward is touring as the lead signer of Sleepercar, an alt-country group he has formed to provide an outlet for softer, acoustic writing. The band have just released a debut record called West Texas, and some its content will feature in Ward’s upcoming

solo acoustic tour of Australia. He’s also hoping for warm Australian sun. “It’s about twenty degrees Fahrenheit outside right now,” he laughs. “But I’ll be bringing my girl along and one of my good friends, who will be playing the shows with me. So we’re just going to drive around [Australia], have a good time, hang out, write a few songs and eat some food.” So what can we expect from his live shows? “I’ll be playing a few Sparta songs – some different, more quiet versions.

It’s a pretty mello mellow show – an unplugged thing. I’ll do a couple of Sleepercar songs, as well as [tracks] from my solo record,” explains Ward. “I also have a few new songs I might try out.” Ward first appeared on the world’s rock radar as a key member of the seminal and highly influential post-hardcore band At The Drive-In. The El Paso, Texas, teenager (he was 17 when he coformed the group) experienced a lot of the music industry at a very young age. At The Drive-In’s Australian performances are as infamous as they are memorable. Their performance in Sydney for 2001’s Big Day Out saw the group walk off stage mid-set, after the crowd refused to calm down and stop moshing. Later that day a girl by the name of Jessica Michalik was crushed to death

At The Drive-In’s unexpected breakup in 2001 shocked their fans, particularly as the group were on such a steep rise in popularity. Some had touted them as “the next Nirvana”. Singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala (with whom Ward had formed the band) and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez cited creative differences with Ward and departed At The Drive-In to form their new project called The Mars Volta. Ward then decided to leave music to study, but was asked by At The Drive-In drummer Tony Hajjar and bassist Paul Hinojos to form a new group called Sparta. Ward admits that he wouldn’t have lasted long as a student – the call of music would have drawn him back. “If [Tony and Paul] hadn’t of asked me to join Sparta, I’d probably still be doing what I’m doing now. I wouldn’t have lasted without being in a band – maybe three weeks. I’m very motivated to be a musician,” says Ward. With so many projects on the boil, is it fair to assume that Ward

garage in 2006 we have progressed to an exciting period where stacks of opportunities are arising, and making music has never been so much fun. We feel the music we’re making at the moment really holds a lot of meaning. How’s the support in Australia for emerging bands and artists at the moment? Dave Jenkins: There are so many great bands out there at moment, though perhaps not enough of a market to financially accommodate them all. There are, however, plenty of places to play gigs and there’s always lots of helpful people in the industry. Tij:. People seem to be really supporting and craving local independent music at the moment. I think it’s really great!

Inheriting The Love Gigs on the moon, growling fans and male groupies all seem to magically co-exist in the world of The Inheritors. From playing pubs to festivals, this Central Coast three piece are putting their running shoes on in preparation of the music industry marathon – and they’re already loving it. David Long spoke to the band about their part in December’s Social Summer fest, and life as an exciting up-and-comer. The Inheritors formed in 2006. What do you think about the progress you’ve made so far? Billy Burgess: Since our dodgy beginnings in a damp - 02 4929 4739

You’re playing the Social Summer fest in December. Is there anything in particular that you’re looking forward to about it? Dave: What’s not to look forward to? It’s in the middle of summer, there’s numerous stages with numerous bands, and they’re all great! Tij: I can’t wait to swim and dance to dj’s in the pool. What do you think of playing festivals as opposed to normal gigs? Billy: I think festivals are really good, the whole vibe and atmosphere of a festival is awesome. Then there’s the possibility of your music being exposed to so many people who haven’t heard it before that is really exciting. Who are you going to make sure you see at the Social Summer Fest? Billy: I’m keen to see The Mounzers and Slow Down Honey. They’re two of my favorite bands and they never disappoint. Tij: I’m pretty keen for some Grafton Primary but I imagine they’ll be on towards the end of the day and I’ll most likely have passed out by then.

grows restless if he’s not writing a song? “I never really stop. Musicians make music, so that’s what I do,” says Ward. “My [solo work] is a good chance to not be loud. Sparta is very well-rehearsed and organized. Which is great. But it’s also good to play stuff that’s more relaxed.” Ward certainly learned a lot from his time with At The Drive-In. “I’ve learned to be clear-headed when making decisions. I think back about all the times I was sad and hurt, and I try not to put myself back in those situations. You try to treat other people the same way,” says Ward. Ward’s growing wisdom has had an impact on his lyrics. He agrees that these days his songs are a lot more world-weary compared to his earliest efforts. “I’m constantly putting things down on paper and making notes. When you’re young, you want to write about what can happen in the future. Then at some point you realise that you’re living in that future. I like being fictional in my songs too. The first verse could be about me, and then the second verse could be made up. The great thing is that I have no responsibility to anyone. I can write about an imaginary world,” says Ward. Jim Ward performs at the Hunter Valley Brewery on Friday December 12, 2008. Tickets available from the venue or through www.bigtix.

Living End’s bass case at the Coaster Festival and we fell off and got in trouble... but neither of us can remember this happening. What do you love most about playing live? Billy: I love the special energy that is conjured between the band and crowd, and the mystical feeling that rarely manifests itself anywhere else. I also love to see the smiling faces in the audience and within the band, or just in my own head. Ever had any crazy experiences with deranged fans? Dave: For a while we were ending our sets with a verse and chorus from the Who’s ‘My Generation’. A couple of months ago we played a show at a pub, and we had finished the song when a clearly intoxicated old man arrived on stage and started.. err.. I guess you could say growling the words, “talking ‘bout My Generation”. He didn’t seem to mind we had finished playing the song. Would you say The Inheritors are more of a hard working band or hard partying band? Tij: I think we probably qualify as a hard partying band before a hard working band. Dave: But we work amazingly well with hangovers. Do Inheritors groupies exist? Tij: Yes. Billy: But so far they are all male. Where in the world would you most love to play, and who with - your dream gig? Billy: I would like to play on the moon. maybe with Pink Floyd, but I guess that doesn’t count. I’d love to play anywhere overseas. I’d like to do a tour on a boat and pull into a different port every night. Tij: Maybe that guy ‘seal’ could support us?

Have you ever been completely star struck? Dave: I met The Living End at Coaster, but I was too drunk to be star struck

So are The Inheritors prepared for a long hot summer of festivals and music? Inheritors: We can’t wait!

Did you say or do anything a little embarrassing? Billy: Apparently Dave and I were sitting on Scott from The

The Inheritors play Social Summer Fest in December 14 @ The Beachcomer Hotel.

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Island In The Sun Photography By Sarah-Kate Harris

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general motoring


Audi RS6... Anything But (RS)



But they had no hope of stopping us in the RS6, we would have been just a bluuurrrr apart from the times we nearly lost it on tight corners taken too fast.

Audi’s $270 grand RS6 Avant (wagon) could very well be the world’s fastest wagon but it’s a dead-set handful when you explore the curves at pace. You need to be right on your game and not thinking about golf or the yacht to stay on your side of the road because of the weight and the power_ 2025kg and 426kW respectively.

Despite being all wheel drive, the arse-end comes out pretty easily to be caught by the car’s ESP system but it became fairly annoying to rely on an electronic butt-saver that momentarily shuts down the engine. You can’t get a flow going. We got better as the 650km day wore on taking delicate advantage of the sports ESP to just nip a little of the drive away without a complete shut down _ we were kings of the road then.

Physics has been tamed to a certain extent by electronic trickery but these are serious figures by anyone’s measure, well over the revered 500 horsepower mark and approaching 2.5 tonnes with a tank of fuel and two passengers. That’s not forgetting 650Nm of torque lurking under the bonnet to put ripples in the road through all four wheels.

And the sound - think Williamtown RAAF base on an open day at not quite the volume - that V10 has an indescribable sound at any speed but is best at wide open throttle - sounds like a screaming banshee. The auto is quick as a double clutch ‘box and even if you leave it in D, there’s no mucking around, no waiting, no slurring between cogs.

But if it comes to a pissing competition, owning an RS6 Avant would put you right out front to be eclipsed only by wankers in Lambos or Ferraris and there ain’t too many of those thank goodness. You gotta love Audi for having a crack though, who else would shoehorn a Lamborghini-derived, 5.0-litre, V10 under the bonnet of a wagon and then attach two turbos to it? Oh, and drive all four wheels through a quattro system that can selectively isolate one wheel to feed in more or less power as any varied scenario might demand.

We used manual paddle shift most of the time and saw 240kmh in fourth and 276 in fifth with a cog to go. It was still pulling hard at 276 on a closed west coast road but we chickened out and there was a corner looming. Audi says the RS6 is speed limited to 250 - yeah, right.

t’s a sad fact that only rich old guys or shonks with deep pockets will be able to enjoy the pleasures of driving this brutal car and few if any would be up to it - too intimidating, too much car and too pussy whipped.

Thankfully you don’t have to worry about operating a manual gear stick or clutch because the RS6 has a six-speed Tiptronic auto with three modes: lame, naughty and wicked (something like that) and the suspension is multi mode similar: mushy peas, keep it sane and jiggly tits (or something like that). We went for ``wicked jiggly tits’’ to prove how macho we were and to keep the wild Audi more or less under control during a mad fang in Tassy last week. Tell you what, the two-headers must be thoroughly sick and tired of wild-eyed motoring journos driving insanely quick cars poorly on the winding Tassy roads.

All that weight is down to all the gear on the car - analogue and digital TV, mega Bose audio, high-end fittings like Nappa leather (even on the roof), panoramic sunroof, voice control of electronic functions, electric tail gate, electric everything - the list is nearly endless and it all adds up. But the ESP we have to say is pretty good and there are a million airbags and other safety gear. The Bose got a workout after we jettisoned Barry Manilow’s CD and plugged in the iPod. It wasn’t all a mad fang, we spent plenty of quality time in cruise mode enjoying the Teutonic ambience inside the RS6 and it’s a class act. The styling is a little on the staid side but is saved by 20-inch alloys and six-piston Brembos peeking from behind. Otherwise, the RS6 could be just a flash Audi A6 Avant with badass wheels. Until you line it up and pull the trigger - 0-100kmh in the low 4.0s and instant grunt at any speed. It’s just the thing for a person who lacks self control. We saw 24-litres/100km fuel economy at one stage reducing to about 15 in normal driving conditions and it has to be 98. Plenty of options are available including carbon brakes at a mere $21,000 and other goodies you might like. It’s easy to elevate the price over 300 grand, about 80 of which goes in GST and LCT (Luxury Car Tax). Would we buy one if we were a rich old shonk? Probably not though it was fun to have a taste in Tassie. Our ``green’’ conscience wouldn’t let us have one - he he.

“...and the suspension is multi mode: mushy peas, keep it sane and jiggly tits... We went for wicked jiggly tits.”


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eye on the world - live music photography part 2 Super Massive

In Part One of Reverb’s Live Music Photography tutorial, we looked at the equipment needed and the features to look out for. Part Two will cover how best to use your camera to create those magic live images. I will make it clear from the start that all Live Music photographers will have their preferred settings and technique. There is no single setting that will give you that perfect photo every time. Shooting live music can be a pressure cooker of a situation. At larger gigs you will be given 3 songs to get that ‘money shot’, so understanding the menu system and button layout of your camera is essential. The lighting conditions and performers are never statics, so making camera changes on the fly is part of the game. By Kevin Bull, Mathew Packer, Jim Graham, David Campbell and Joel Courtney

Camera Modes Most if not all late model digital cameras will have a multitude of camera modes available. The three you need to understand are aperture priority (AV), shutter priority (TV) and manual (M). When set to aperture priority, you assign the aperture and the camera decides the shutter speed for correct exposure. In shutter priority, you set the shutter speed and the camera decides the aperture for correct exposure. In full manual mode, you decide both shutter speed and aperture.

speed. You line up the performer, depress the button half way to check what aperture the camera selects. It reads f1.8, the widest your lens will go, and you shoot. After taking a few shots, you check them out on the LCD screen, and they are all under exposed (too dark). How do you get more light into the camera? You can decrease the shutter speed but you then risk the performer being blurred due to his movement. You can increase the ISO but noise will now start to appear in your images or you could already be at the maximum ISO. It can be tricky sometimes.

When venturing out on your first few live music photography adventures, using either shutter or aperture priority would probably be a wise move. It will take out one of the variables, and let you concentrate on the action at hand. That does not mean you can set and forget. There are still adjustments that you will need to make.

Understand the point of the frame within the viewfinder that the camera will calculate the exposure. With the Canon 40d, it is always the centre of the frame, regardless of where the focus point is. Personally I feel that this is a real deficiency in the camera, and that the exposure metering should take place on the focal point. To put this into perspective, imagine you’re shooting a close up of the singer at the microphone, and his head is to the left of frame. You move the focal point to the left of the frame so it sits over his eye. The centre of the frame is now metering the background and giving you the incorrect expose. You will need to place the centre of the frame over the singer’s face, get the correct exposure, set the shutter speed and

So what is the perfect shutter speed to get that nice crisp image? There are two things that need to be taken into account, handshake and performer movement. A good rule of thumb in order to eliminate handshake is to set the shutter speed to 1/focal length. That would mean shooting at 1/50 at 50mm, 1/125 at 125mm and 1/200 at 200mm. You will really need to keep this in mind when using a zoom lens. To eliminate performer movement really depends on how manic they are on stage. With a singer standing motionless at a microphone, you could get away with 1/80. If the singer is contently running around the stage, you might need 1/250 or higher to get the results. Keep in mind that it’s specifically their face that needs to be crisp. Movement in their arms, legs or microphone gives a feeling of energy to your image, and can be desirable. There could also be the desire to deliberately add performer movement to your image. Slowing your shutter speed will achieve this. Personally, I try not to drop below 1/125, and at well lit gigs I will bump it to 1/160 or 1/200.

File Types

White Balance

Most late model digital cameras will allow you to save your files as RAW or JPEG file formats. RAW files are unprocessed data taken directly from the image sensor, and can be extremely large is size. A raw converter is used in post production to make precise adjustments to white balance and colour correction, before being saved in a file format such as JPEG or TIFF. JPEG files have been compressed in-camera, and are a lot smaller in size when compared to RAW files. The benefit of shooting in RAW is the control you have in the post editing process, and that they are essentially a ‘digital negative’ perfect for archiving.

This is usually horrible in live music venues. Trying to get it perfect at the time of shooting is near impossible due to the hugely varying lights. Forget about getting it right, and set to auto white balance. I have found that a tungsten white balance setting can at times correct unwanted reds.

Using my Canon 40d and 24-70mm f2.8L in manual mode, I would normally start at 1/125 shutter speed, f2.8 aperture and 800 ISO. Firstly, I set the focus point for the composition I am after. Then I take an exposure reading on the performers face to see how much light is available. If it is too bright, I would decrease the aperture to f3.5 or f4. If there is still too much light, I have the choice of increasing the

aperture accordingly, recompose your shot with the singer to the left, and shoot. All this has to be done in seconds before the lights change or the singer moves away from the microphone. If you are shooting in shutter or aperture priority, you also have the problem of the camera constantly adjusting the exposure setting for you. If this is the case, you will need to press the exposure lock button (AE lock) while the centre of the frame is over the singer’s face, and then recompose. While in either of the priority modes, you also have the ability to make minor adjustments to the exposure that the camera assigns. By using the exposure compensate button (please read your manual), you can deliberately force the camera to under or over expose the frame. Nothing beats getting the exposure right at the time of shooting. Sure you can correct slightly under or overexposed images in post production (eg. Photoshop), but you will be adding noise to your images if they are underexposed.

Lighting Though we are specifically talking about your camera setting, I will mention a couple of lighting situations that can dramatically affect your camera’s ability to expose correctly. Red lights can be very tricky to handle. The exposure reading with the camera can be right off, and often you will get blown out reds with little detail. I have found that by under exposing red lights, you can retain far more detail in faces. Setting to tungsten white balance can sometimes help. Quite recently the advent of LED lighting has added another variable. These work quite differently to your standard concert lighting, and can create rather unpleasant results. Compensating for LED light at the time of shooting can be near impossible. Much discussion of late has been done in concert photography forums on dealing with this type of lighting, and it appears the best way is to shoot RAW (explained inFile Types) and to correct it in post editing.

With a 50mm f1.4 on your camera body, you would think that setting the aperture at f1.4 in order to get as much light into the camera is the way to go. So wrong. Shooting at such a wide aperture will limit how much of the subject will be in focus. This is called Depth Of Field (DOF). For example, using a 50mm at f1.4 on a Canon 40d, with the subject two metres away, only 8.5 cm will be in focus.

Shutter Speed and Motion Blur - 02 4929 4739

Your decision on the correct shutter speed and aperture will be based mainly on the exposure metering of your camera, even if you are using full manual mode. If your camera has spot metering, use it. If it does not, partial metering is the next best thing.


As an example, let’s say you turn up to an average lit pub with a 50mm f1.8 lens. You set to shutter priority and dial in 1/125 as your shutter




This could mean that the singer’s nose is in focus but his ears are not. Even worse, the microphone could be in focus, but his eyes are not. In this situation, but setting the aperture to f2.8, the DOF increase to 17cm, and you have a greater chance of things being in focus. Personally, I will set the aperture at between f3.5 and f4 if lighting permits, just to get that extra DOF. Often this is not the case, so having the fast lenses are essential.

Focus If your camera has multiple focal points, use them. It will save you from having to recompose after focusing using the centre focus point. It is also important to be aware that most auto focusing (AF) systems have at least one focus point, typically the centre point, that is many times more accurate than the others, especially when you are shooting at wide apertures. Also remember that your AF system works on points of contrast. If you’re trying to lock onto someone’s plain-coloured shirt, your AF system may struggle or refuse to lock. Pick something where there’s a sharp contrasting point. Eyes are good. At this point, I need to explain the term Plane Of Focus (POF). Because focus depends on the distance between lens and camera sensor, focus is not on a point, but on a plane which is parallel to the sensor. Be very careful if you typically shoot with the centre focus point, lock focus on the performer’s face and recompose.... you’re going to be in trouble. By using this

shutter speed or decreasing the ISO. If there is not enough light, I would increase the ISO to 1600 or 3200. If there is still not enough light, I have the choice of decreasing the speed, or swapping to my 50mm f1.4. When I shoot, I wait for my moment and shoot off 3-4 frames. There are a number

technique, you will find that the POF will usually shift a notable amount and suddenly the eyes that you focused on are now unpleasantly blurred. To visually understand this, do the following test. Put a coin on the floor and place a ruler over it with the coin in the centre. Stand with your feet together, big toes just touching the ruler right near where the coin is. Now turn on the spot to the right, not too much, and reposition the ruler so it is just touching you big toes again. Is the coin still under the ruler? What you have in front of you is the Plane Of Field (ruler), the performer’s face (coin) and recomposing (turning on the spot).

of reasons why I do this. The AF system may not be absolutely spot-on with the first image, but the second, third and fourth will be. I am also surprised at how much does change in these 4 images. Eyes open and close, facial expression, lighting changes, and with four images taken of the moment your chances of getting it just right increases.

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live reviews



Cheap Trick The Galvatrons Newcastle Ent Centre Thursday November 6, 2008

Def Leppard

Rapidly up and coming Melbourne band, The Galvatrons, opened the evening with a stunningly professional performance. The pressure was definitely on these guys as they were playing alongside music greats Cheap Trick and Def Leppard. However their ballsy, vigorously hardcore and sweat-filled live set earned them the respect of many of the punters, even the ones who were


Last, but certainly not least, Def Leppard!

Wyong has a good reputation for being a bad place, but it is growing towards a good reputation for being a great place to go to a gig. With venues like Oasis and the Chilli Lounge forming a mass following, they are becoming the Coast’s equivalent to Sydney’s Roundhouse and Manning Bar.

Confession are no small-time hero’s, despite their only recent launch into the hardcore scene. They’re fronted by Micheal Crafter, a man who has been a member of I Killed The Prom Queen, Carpathian and Bury Your Dead. Crafter stepped onto a two foot stage at Oasis youth center, and all of a sudden, there is nothing but respect and admiration in the room. His first words remind everyone that he is one of the fathers of hardcore as it is today.

The night started off with Pergamum, playing one of their best shows yet, and

Review and Photography by Jason Michael Henson


single spotlight, kick drum and an acoustic guitar that the audience realised her bursting talent.

Sunday November 9, 2008

Walking on stage barefoot, with an opening didgeridoo sequence, it was easy to see that Xavier Rudd still holds his indigenous rock and folk sound, with his music taking a slightly new direction. A loud and psychedelic performance, it is still the didgeridoo that signatures his work, with a fresher rock edge that takes bass and drums to a new a level. His past tunes still play regularly throughout the performance, some turning slightly into a Saturday night at King Street Hotel. The ‘one-man-band’ played incredible sounds that echoed throughout the Civic as an Aboriginal man playing the didgeridoo in the corner

Dallas Frasca Civic theatre, Newcastle “Have you got rhythm in Newcastle?” a colourful Dallas Frasca yelled from stage to the full house audience at the Civic Theatre. All there to experience a Xavier Rudd performance, the crowd was left mesmerised by the musical battle that played out between Frasca and a top-hatted Jeff Curran, whose solos depicted pure country rock beat. Frasca’s new album, Burnt Toast, fails to show her voice’s limitless abilities as she commits in a live performance to the extreme. But it wasn’t until Frasca sat alone on stage with a

JEFF MARTIN The Metro, Sydney

Sunday November 9, 2008 The lights in the Metro dimmed in preparation for Jeff Martin and his new band, and from the opening chords that reverberated up and down throughout the venue you knew that this was going to be a concert full of eclectic energy and cultural synthesis unlike any other you had seen before. Starting off the set heavy, Martin then introduced the song ‘Broken’ which he wrote whilst in Arizona.

And it sounds like it too. It is full of emptiness and the loneliness you’d expect for a song written in a desert state. This self proclaimed ‘satanic rockstar’ also showed his softer side when he dedicated the song ‘Rosary’ to his Grandma, with the lyrics “I’ll always love you” (which is reportedly what his grandma said just before she died). However, this song was not regret at her passing, but more of a celebration of her life, and it filled the Metro with a song full of respect and love for someone who was obviously a very big influence on Martin.


Tame Impala Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Saturday November 15, 2008 Man, what a hot and sweaty venue the Cambridge can become, but when you think about it, ‘hot’, ‘sweaty’ and ‘You Am I’ go hand in hand. Condensation literally ran down the venue’s windows. Before getting to Mister Tim Rogers and co, Tame Impala warmed up the crowd with their impressive brand of 60s psychedelic groove. How young are these guys? They must be in their teens, which


Next up was Cheap Trick. Unfortunately, and you may criticise me all you like, these guys were outright boring and were clearly outshone by The Galvatrons. The songs sounded good, the guys looked good (for their age), but there was just no enthusiasm or energy bouncing off the stage to truly connect to the audience. Although there were pieces of crowd interaction, there just seemed to be no life or movement to back it up. It wasn’t until the final few songs that Cheap Trick seemed to have a fire lit under them.

followed by A Silent Fiction. Never a band to disappoint a crowd, playing their high energy show.

A Silent Fiction Pergamum Chilli Lounge, Wyong Saturday November 8, 2008


To try and describe how good these guys were in words would just be an insult to the band. It was phenomenal! Oozing with energy, sex appeal, class and good ol’ dirty rock ‘n’ roll, the band brought much of the crowd to their feet immediately, with all arms waving in the air and singing along to each song perfectly. One particular standout was the classic ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’. Singer Joe Elliot hardly needed to sing, as the fuelled up crowd were vocally just too overpowering. If you weren’t able to make it to the show, you should be ashamed as you will regret it for the rest of your life! Truly an electrifying experience! Seven thumbs up!!! Review by Ashleigh Gray Photography by Kevin Bull

clearly only there to rock out to Def Leppard These guys are really a band to be on the look out for!


signalled a ‘peace’ sign. Rudd continuously uses repetition of melodies and sounds that come so naturally to him, it is like a beautiful calm lands over his faithful fans at the Civic. Seeing Xavier Rudd live is not just an opportunity to experience the man behind the popular songs and albums. It’s an opportunity to see a man run between instruments, beating bongos, playing the electric guitar and managing to hit a few notes on the harmonica between breaths and lyric. Overall, the combination of Dallas Frasca and Xavier Rudd is not to be missed. Review by Abbey Wright Photography by Jim Graham

And then things got weird. Mixing in some Eastern-influenced blues and roots with the rock, his voice oscillated between loud and soft, venomous and safe, sexy and angry. At one point he played a guitar solo with a violin bow; pouring forth a wave of sound that enveloped the audience before finishing with a flourish and saying, “I hope nobody took acid tonight, ‘cause that really would’ve f**ked you up!” That could’ve been said about the whole concert, really. Review and Photography by Patrick Tangye

makes the quality of their music only the more impressive. It is not often you see a mildly curious crowd at the beginning of the set going nuts by the end. They had won the crowd over, leaving it up to the You Am I warhorse to step up to the mark and be counted. Any doubts as to whether there was any rawk left in the You Am I engine were quickly dispelled. Opening with ‘Damage’, the appreciative crowd was delivered a fine mix of old and new. Tracks from latest CD Dilettantes was well represented, and were given an injection of live agro. Didn’t hurt them one bit.

The tender ‘Heavy Heart’ had the burliest blokes singing along. You could imagine their tattooed arms around the shoulder of the guy next to them, beers in the air in salute, joining in with Tim Rogers. ‘Berlin Chair’ was delivered late in the night, and received a mighty roar. It is clear that You Am I and their honest Australian narrative is held close to the crowd’s heart. This was a mighty rock show, with an equally impressive support. As Tim Rogers states midway though the set, “…and I’m Timmy Rogers, and dreams do come true.” Review by Kevin Bull Photography by Tim Boehm

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine

live reviews SLIPKNOT

massive scissor lift. The melodic vocal line screams quadruple platinum and the sheer volume of Slipknot shirts make you think the economy has never been richer.

Machine Head Acer Arena, Sydney Sunday October 26, 2008 Acer Arena was fuming with the thick tang of sweat. Through the smoke, the fires of the underworld erupted like a volcano, calling for the pit to open up. As the circle clearing was initiated, the violent whirlpool unfolded. Demons brave enough to enter are slammed and danced as if involved in an exorcism. The drummer’s a feature as they thump away on massive rigs, including a beer keg literally rising to the roof on a


The Metro, Sydney Tuesday October 28, 2008 True to their Metal flamboyance, Dragonforce ascended onstage and hurled themselves into their opening number. Singer Zippy Theart looked every part the metal man with his overflowing locks and leather pants coupled with a mischievous demeanour in dire need of a good time. He revelled in initiating crowd participation via clapping, signalling people out in the crowd and extending vocal octaves for a heightened arousal.

Herman Li

The showmanship extended to the remainder

Fat As Butter, odd name for a festival, but when the Dandy Warhols are coming to town, who cares. Unfortunately I missed The Seabellies due to a ticketing mixup. Heard them from the gates... what can I say, wish I had seen them. Grafton Primary sparked the main stage and had the crowd jumping early. It was obvious that people were here for a big day.

The Metro, Sydney

Wednesday November 19, 2008 On a cool Wednesday evening Glasgow based alternative rock outfit Snow Patrol took to the stage at The Metro. With no support act, the quintet was met with a deluge of applause as The Metro had reached full capacity. Vocalist Gary Lightbody threw himself into his set, hurling ‘You’re All I Have’, ‘Signal Fire’ and

The team play of The Herd is brilliant. The way they play off each other is such a joy to watch. It was great to see Regurgitator live again. Powerful and enthraling, and the highlight for myself.

Bitching aside, ‘Shut Your Eyes’ was played followed by the lovely ‘Chasing Cars’. The ambience accelerated to nostalgic and amorous as the bevy of ex pat Brits

Cut/Copy, End Of Fashion, Cassette Kids, Modern Joy Newcastle Panthers Friday November 21, 2008 - 02 4929 4739

Butterfingers injected a harder rock edge into their sound, and live it sounded great. They were having a ball on stage. The boys from TZU were animated and engaging. A lot of fun to watch, and they made a real connection with a now packed foreshore.

‘How To Be Dead’. The audience participation was in fifth gear as they sang on, leaving their inhibitions at the door with the beer flowing freely. Unfortunately I was at the Entry/Exit point that became an airport as people flew in and out, spilling beer on my bare feet for added frustration. Never mind the constant chit chat that drowned out Lightbody’s voice when not singing.


Cut / Copy

Corey Taylor worked the crowd and shouted out to all the dedicated fans and fresh faces. The crew pulling off a

Crowd favourites included ‘Fury of the Storm’, ‘The Warrior Inside’ and ‘Revolution Death Squad’. The showmanship was rampant as Theart delighted in a beer offered by someone

Camp Shortland, Newcastle Sunday November 2, 2008


The constant waves of people trying to crash the floor being rejected by the security crowd surfers all seemed to end up crushing me. (I think all had a pretty ruff night) My whole row was mimicking Joey Jordison (drums) making the scaffolding shudder dangerously.

of the band as each member had their chance to bask in the spotlight. Guitarists Totman and Li united with Bassist Leclercq for lingering solos with the ethos being to outshine yet unite - all in good fun of course. Keyboardist Pruzhanov was a madman, not content to remain in the background. He had no qualms about joining the boys on their solos with his portable ‘keytar’, stealing the show with a demonic solo that was a fusion of classical and disco. Drummer Makintosh was a heartbeat away from a stroke as he pounded his kit, in keeping with the madness engineered by each member.


Dandy Warhols


Super Massive

So, keeping in the spirit, I donned my best ‘socially conscious’ dancing shoes and headed off to Panthers. After having to deal with some unusually bureaucratic reception staff, I made my way to the main auditorium in time to catch new Central Coast band Modern Joy. Their Brit-pop-inspired synth-driven pop seemed to get a few heads nodding, and they lurched into their set with gusto, clearly relishing the large stage.

massive show with a set that reminded me of the Harbour Bridge on the eve of 2000, had the millenium bug had of hit and Sydney exploded. I defiantly left feeling as if I had been hyped into a nihilistic psychosis. Highlights were many, especially ‘Psycosocial’, ‘Before I Forget’, and their title track. Big props to Machine Head - they shredded it. So hard in fact that they tripped the PA at several points. Review by Kai Tipping Photography by Kieran Ferguson

in the crowd, returning the favour with an offering from his own stash. The crowd was a meaty mixture of young and old, the young guns clearly introduced to the band courtesy of ‘Through the Fire and Flames’ via its inclusion on video game Guitar Hero III-Legends of Rock. A few more numbers including ‘Soldiers in the Wasteland’, ‘Valley of the Damned’, ‘My Spirit Will Go On’ and the British power metal band had arrived at their raison de etre ‘Through the Fire and Flames’. A shit load of moshing and fist thrusting and the nights festivities had come to an end. Review by Marija Zeko Photography by Kevin Bull

Faker put on their usual high standard performance. These guys are at the top of their game. Dandy Warhols were the band most came to see and they did not disappoint. With a set that covered all albums, it became a big sing-a-long party. The only downer of the day was how messy the young kids became, and how early it was. Throwing up at 3pm is not good form. The ‘over enthusiastic’ front of stage security was also a worry. Review and Photography by Kevin Bull

in the audience let themselves go. Drummer Jonny Quinn’s performance was vibrant and neatly lent support to Connolly and Wilson’s guitar and Bass. To round up a hearty set ‘Make This Go On Forever’, ‘Open Your Eyes’ and ‘Take Back The City’ were played. There was something for everyone with no room for complaints as Snowpatrol put in a sterling performance. Review by Marija Zeko Photography by David Campbell

I had never heard of Sydney outfit Cassette Kids going into this. However once they took to the stage I had the distinct feeling that I had indeed heard it all before. Their pastiche of Rogue Traders, Garbage and Melbourne chanteuse Paris Wells is certainly nothing new, but they delivered it with enough conviction and energy to get at least a row of people nodding their heads along the crowd barrier. By the time End of Fashion came on, thankfully the crowd had grown somewhat, but still not to the proportions the ambitious promoters would have hoped. Playing a set that consisted mainly of songs from their new album, Book of Lies, it was good to finally see the crowd getting into the gig as much as the bands were. ‘Oh Yeah’ was a definite

highlight, and hey, who cares if that riff is a blatant rip off of ‘Where is My Mind’ by the Pixies - at least it got the crowd singing along. The night rounded off with Melbourne electro pop darlings Cut Copy who delivered a great set of memorable tunes, not least of which the standout ‘Lights and Music’ to an appreciative crowd. Albeit a crowd that still hadn’t managed to realise its full potential. If this set was a dry run for their upcoming Big Day Out and U.S tours, Cut Copy fans are in for some pretty good shows indeed. Review by Stephen Bisset Photography by Chrissy K

edition 029 - Dec 08 - 39

bringing tha noise chuck d interview : kieran ferguson photo by robert downs

for his staunch political views and equally powerful positive influences, and he is happy to tell me about his latest push, women in hip-hop.

Public Enemy are arguably the most important and influential Rap outfit of all time. Their first three albums, Yo Bum Rush the Show, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet are at the start middle and end of hip hop’s golden era. The group’s two frontmen, Chuck D and Flavor Flav, represent the voices that started rap, and their backers, The Bomb Squad, broke ground for the hip-hop sound as we know it today. Public Enemy feature multi-layered, sampled tunes and life changing, dope ass, bangin’ beats.

“It’s not like a music tour, but I’ve been on the lecture circuit for 19 years, it’s just a part of me. My conversation on this comes from me being a part of Byron Hurt’s film, Beyond Beats and Rhymes, which is based on how women need to be a big part of hip-hop.” The film looks at negative stereotypes and behaviours portrayed in the hip-hop industry. Something that has always been a big part of PE is being a positive role model, being strong of character. Something not generally associated with mainstream hip-hop these days. I ask Chuck for his views on the modern crop of rappers... “They’re called rap and rollers, but i just don’t think that works over a 20 year period.

Do you see yourself in that position of authority? Like the principal? “Ha, principal? No. I’m more like the consigliere, people come up to me for advice. I tell them that it’s all within their control. “Travelling around world wide has added to the longevity of Public Enemy. Being to many places and seeing many people has made it something beyond ourselves, and we really don’t take that lightly”. Public Enemy have a big responsibility on their shoulders with so many people looking up to them. “You gotta be in good condition to handle the position, is what we say,” says D. Having been together for over 20 years now, their music spans an entire generation. They have surely seen lots of passers by in the game? “We call ourselves the ‘Rolling Stones of the rap game’. I’m not sure if I’m Mick or Flavor’s Keith, but we enjoy doing what we do,” says D. “The game changes every year,” he continues. “You gotta pay attention to that. I think it’s important in some situations to remain very consistent. It’s almost like being the security of the art form at the door. While people are inside gettin’ their party on, someone has to remain consistent and preserve the standard. I’m very happy my group has been able to do that.”

“You gotta be in good condition to handle the position, is what we say.” I catch up with Chuck D from his hotel room in Vancouver. He is in the middle of a lecture tour, addressing a panel about violence against women. Mista Chuck has always been known

There comes a day you got ta get responsible, you got kids, you have to show up at the PTA meeting and make some sense to the teachers who are teaching the kids.”

Many people would be familiar with PE for their anthems like ‘Black Steel’, ‘Fight the Power’, ‘Bring tha Noize’, and ‘Welcome to the Terrordome’. I ask Chuck, himself a member of the Bomb Squad, what it’s like to make sample based music in this time where samples are now a commodity rather than the artform that they were originally used and intended. In recent tours and albums they have used a lot more live instruments... “I think there is a combination that we try to do as a group,” says D. “We play sounds. Which is an important aspect of what the Bomb Squad instituted - the playing of sounds as opposed to compositions.” Like any group of people in the spotlight, Public Enemy have had been exposed to controversy. From line-up changes many years ago (Professor Griff was fired from the band, only to rejoin many years later), to Flavor Flav’s colourful and questionable reality TV shows (The Surreal Life, Strange Love and Flavour of Love) documenting among other things, his real life romance with Brigitte Neilsen. I ask Chuck D what it’s like to have to constantly answer to journalists, for non-music related topics. “Well I’m a grown adult, and as an adult it behooves you to talk about things in an adult way. I think it also can help in the topics that you choose as a song writer,” says D.

Sure enough, it seems that having these experiences can help you to have some funny stories to relate. Chuck has a story about Flavor Flav, where the rapper was unable to make it to a show in Florida in front of 17,000 people. Chuck had the unenviable job of fronting the crowd and announcing the greatest hype man in the business would not make it to the stage that evening. He also added that they should give him a call and ask why. He then gave out Flavor’s home phone number to the crowd. The next day, a bewildered Flavor asked him, “What did you do man? The phone company is out the front of the house taking down the phone pole.” A long career must surely bring with it many such ecperiences? “We’re on our 63rd tour and I will tell you straight up,” says D, “there’s nothing as enjoyable as touring. But you gotta find the time for it. I wish that there was a thousand days in the year.” You can look forward to Chuck D, Flavor Flav, DJ Lord, Griff and the S1W’s bringing the sounds and the noise to Newcastle Panters Jan 1. Tickets on sale at the venue. Watch Byron Hurt’s Behind The Beats And Rhymes at chuckdpublicenemy

film reviews

NEWCASTLE Reviews By Mark Snelson It is difficult to review Newcastle without some sort of bias as I am the son of surfie parents and I was born and bred in Newie. So the familiarities of just about every location in this film really made me want to like it. Heck, even a friend’s Kingswood station wagon appears in the film! All that aside, there is a lot to like about Newcastle but I don’t think it quite reaches the cult classic status that it has set out to achieve. The movie centres around seventeen year old Jesse a dedicated surfer and

intensifies these scenes. Away from the surf action, the rest of the movie is beautifully shot with many lingering scenes of both the industrial and scene landscapes that Newcastle has on offer. potentially the next big thing in the professional circuit. He wants desperately to break it into the big time to escape the blue collar reality if he cannot get there. A huge coming of age weekend camping trip to Stockton dunes involving good times, love and tragedy – all of which combine to make Jesse re-evaluate his life and realise a new direction that will lead to his goal. The surf scenes in Newcastle are stunningly shot using a mix of cutting edge filming techniques combined with nods to 70’s and 80’s surf films. Even in less than favourable surf conditions such as the heats at Nobby’s it still looks great and the brilliant editing work

There are strong performances throughout Newcastle, notably from lead player Lachlan Buchanan., whilst supporting roles from the likes of Barry Otto, Joy Smithers and Shane Jacobsen certainly add to the appeal as well. So, it looks great and is well played but the story behind it lets down the positive elements of this film. Newcastle certainly captures the adolescent surfing culture that exists here very accurately and it is great to see my hometown up on the big screen but it doesn’t deliver a plot that is memorable or engaging enough to make it a real winner.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE Quantum of Solace marks the 22nd film in the James Bond franchise and the second outing for Daniel Craig slipping into 007’s shoes. It is also the first time that there has been a direct sequel with Quantum almost starting directly where Casino Royale left off. This time Bond has a fire in his belly and his mind set on revenge after losing the woman he loved whilst also doing his best to keep his mind on the job and stop another ruthless villain.

to international DJ’s. So hopefully it’s going to create a little bit of a buzz about Australian DJ’s and artists.

The Dynamix Remixer Our long lost Ministry of Sound friend, Mark Dynamix, has been living in Germany and working mainly on solo projects. With his own record label and finger in several pies, Mark is putting out as much tasty dance beats as ever, and now he’s coming to play our Social Summer Festival. David Long sat down with the electro miester for a chat. You’ve got a huge number of releases under your belt, including 27 mix albums and 8 originals, not to mention your constant flow of live shows. How do you keep up with it all? Well it’s been over a long period of time, so it’s not like it’s so hectic that I can’t think. It’s spread out over a period of 12 to 15 years, my first mix CD came out in 1994. The main thing for me at the moment is not to think about what I’ve done in the past, I just try to focus on the future. Your widely known for your work with Ministry of Sound. What’s been your favourite MOS release to date? My first single release was - 02 4929 4739

‘Identify Me’, and it’s a great experience to have. It’s a fun thing to have a piece of vinyl in your hands that you know you’ve spent weeks on creating, and it’s your first release. Tell us about the Long Distance Records project. The main thing for me is the Long Distance Records website and the records that go with it. We’re doing vinyl and digital releases for every single. It’s not just my own stuff, I’m also licensing music from other Australian artists and trying to give them more exposure. The good thing is we export overseas, and all the records are being picked up and promoted

What is it you love about dance music? I remember when I was growing up in England when I was like 8 years old, and my idea of fun was to go hang out at the record store and wait for the top 40 charts to come out, which I remember used to come out every Tuesday afternoon. I’d be in there after school listening to all the new releases for the week. I remember the staff behind the counter would look at me and go “where are you parents?”, and I’d go “no, no I want to listen to this music, can you play this record for me?”. What’s the song creating process like for you? The reward at the end is great, when you can play it in a club and have people go off to it, but the actual process itself is quite frustrating, long and drawn out. So I try to have two or three projects on the go at once. Then I can do a couple days work on one, leave it for a while, know that it’s not finished then come back to it in two weeks time. Some people say that with dance and electronic music, there’s no air or space in the instrumentation. Do you try and put this space into your music? Absolutely. I know exactly what you mean, and a lot of the formulaic club stuff is completely compressed and pushed so loud and so hard that there isn’t any space left. My preference is to play and make music with as much space as possible.

Bond’s target is Dominic Greene, a supposed environmentalist and owner of eco corporation Greene Planet. But Greene’s organisation is not what it seems. If you are after an action fix then Quantum has plenty of that on offer - it rarely lets up. All the classic Bond elements are in place; car chases, a boat chase, explosions, rooftop fights etc. The only problem is that they have gone for that up close camera and rapid fire editing that has become increasingly popular since the Bourne Identity series came along. There is no denying that Daniel Craig is the coolest Bond to come along since Connery took on the roles

When searching for songs to mix into dance tracks, what aspects do you look for? I try and limit myself to just listening to the more tech inspired stuff, which is usually instrumental and quite...not so much minimal but instrumentally interesting. I hate formulaic, boring club records that are just doing something that’s been done fifty times. I’m always looking for something that’s I guess a bit quirky; something a bit different to the norm, but still accessible to the crowd. Lately you’ve been living in Berlin and touring Europe extensively. How has this influenced your sound? Greatly. I’ve been over to Berlin a few times, but living there and living with the people that are writing music, and going out and clubbing each weekend, and playing gigs and seeing how the German people listen to their dance music, it’s a completely different thing over there, it really is. In Australia we have sport, in Germany they have electronic music. it really is that mainstream. How big is your music collection? Well I’ve been collecting since ’84 so it’s pretty big (laughs). Yeah it’s taking up my whole garage, wall to wall ceiling to floor, that’s in vinyl. CD’s, I probably got 8000 CD’s or something like that, but vinyls I probably got 30 000 to 40 000. I listen to probably 0.05% of that now, but you just can’t get rid of that for it’s nostalgic, because it’s been my career for the last 15 years so it’s not something I just want to throw away.


in the 60’s and Judi Dench is also great again in her role of M. Ukraine beauty Olga Kurylenko also does well as a woman not afraid to use her looks to get what she wants. But I think the great cast are in the wrong hands for this turn. Marc Foster makes great dramas (Monster’s Ball, The Kite Runner) but after watching Quantum of Solace, it is clear he is not quite at home in the action genre. Quantum of Solace is a rather large disappointment, especially after Casino Royale rejuvenated the series so well. It seriously lacks any form of depth and is far too concerned about the action. I realise a Bond film is not a Bond film without oodles of action, it is just a shame that the film makers did not get the balance of a good plot and character development to go with it.

Do you prefer vinyl or CD? Nowadays DJ’ing, I actually do prefer CD, just because it’s more reliable. These days turntables aren’t serviced every two or three months like they used to because hardly anyone uses them. So you get there and the needles are bent or the arms a bit wobbly, and it’s sort of slow to speed up and all sorts of rubbish wrong with the deck so you just can’t rely on them anymore. There’s a bit of an ecstasy and drug stigma that’s attached to dance music. What’s your opinion of this? For every one person that may take drugs at a dance party, there’s three people that don’t -they go out and they drink water and chew on gum. So it’s just bullshit, and that arguments been laid to rest many moons ago, because where’s the violence these days? It’s all in the pubs, not at dance parties. You’re playing the Social Summer Festival in December. What are you looking forward to, and what can we look forward to from your set? I love playing at festivals, because usually it’s a short set, about an hour. So it compresses all the energy and excitement, and you really got to give it your all. I love doing outdoor things, it’s always fun. When I can get out and do festival gigs I always enjoy them, and there’s always a bit of eye candy out there so it’s a good day. Catch Mark Dynamix at the Social Summer Festival, Sunday December 14, 2008 @ the Beachcomber Hotel.

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gamer’s corner presented by Wednesday Wii Games @ Crown & Anchor your entire group is swamped by zombies or pummelled by a Tank. Left 4 Dead is a game clearly designed to be played online with other people, and it’s far more enjoyable this way.

The roof top party winds down on Left 4 Dead... Dead...

GAME REVIEW By Hugh Milligan

LEFT 4 DEAD When it comes to online gaming, Valve is a name that inspires confidence. Games such as Counterstrike: Source and Team Fortress 2 are definitive multiplayer experiences, and even offline titles like Half-life 2 and Portal have become iconic in their immersive gameplay and wry humour. When they turn their hand to survival horror, then, you know the result


will be something special. Left 4 Dead draws its title from the four characters who serve as its protagonists, survivors of a mutated rabies virus that has infected the rest of the population. In order to escape with their lives, they must band together and protect each other from the hordes of Infected that want to tear them to pieces. It’s this premise that drives the game and that makes it such an incredible cooperative experience. You simply cannot survive for any period of time on your own – wander too far from your teammates and you’ll likely be pinned down and eviscerated by an agile Hunter, constricted and choked by the long prehensile

tongue of a Smoker or simply overwhelmed by hundreds upon hundreds of rampaging Infected. Stick together, on the other hand, and the four of you can share healing items, help each other up when you’ve been knocked down and hopefully make it to safety. There are always four players in your team. If you’re the only one playing, the other spaces are filled by bots that will follow and protect you with adequate efficiency, but they’re really no substitute for human teammates. With full text and voice chat, as well as hundreds of pre-recorded voice commands, you can plan the best approach in any situation or warn each other of potential danger. More often, you’ll probably just share a laugh when

The game employs Valve’s trademark Source engine, with a visual style that pays homage to the grindhouse zombie films of the 1960s. Effects such as film grain, vignetting and colour correction create a gritty cinematic feel, and even the loading screens are in the style of old movie posters with cheesy titles and taglines. The environments, both urban and rural, are highly detailed and capture a sense of post-apocalyptic ruin. The game’s music and sound are similarly well-executed – various string and brass cues signal the presence of particular enemies and help to heighten tension and shock the player. The different Infected have distinctive voices just like the survivors, whether it’s the growl of a Hunter, the gross heaving of a Boomer or the creepy sobbing of a Witch. The game features four campaigns with five chapters in each, and in order to ensure effective replay value the game is powered by a “Director” (another cinematic reference) that evaluates the players’ performance as they progress and controls the pace to suit. If the survivors are doing a little too much surviving, it’ll up the ante with some extra hordes and Boss Infected, but if you’re

struggling, perhaps you’ll find a few extra medkits in your path. The Director does an exceptional job of shaking up each scenario so that it feels fresh each time, but still you’ll find that each level can become a little repetitive when you’ve played them all to death. Thankfully, you can expect a host of downloadable content, including new levels, weapons and Bosses to eventually appear. Versus mode, which allows four additional players to take on the role of Boss Infected and try to hinder the survivors, also increases replayability with competitive team-based gameplay more akin to Team Fortress 2. Left 4 Dead is a game that redefines not only cooperative online gaming but the survival horror genre. It’s a must buy – don’t miss it.

Shooting begins on the new Weight Watchers TV campaign...

Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine


vinyl world

In The Groove

Resident record afficianado Stan Sykes talks about the latest in the world of vinyl records.


ANOTHER YEAR AROUND Well ladies and gentleman, another year nearly over and the train just keeps a rollin’. The last 12 months has seen the vinyl market and bi-products (record players etc) gain even more popularity with the good people. Sales have increased world wide, and in Australia we now have a pressing plant and record fairs attracting record numbers - it’s, as they say, “all good.“ Call it retro, call it a backlash against the faceless download culture, but it feels and looks good and fresh and hey one day soon i may even smile about it all. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the vinyl section in some way - if you have any ideas or need information, please feel free to contact me - I may look scary but its all a facade. I’m sure everyone has one, so I couldn’t let this column go by without mentioning my favourite christmas track - ‘Xmas Wrapping’ by US girl band The Waitresses. It gets a spin on the big day and then back in its sleeve. So ending on the inevitable, “I hope you all get the gift of music this Xmas.” Have a safe and happy one and remember to leave a carrot out for the reindeer. x -Stan Sykes - 02 4929 4739


Reissue - repackage... thems the words of Mr Morrissey, I believe? But firstly, let’s not forget the importance of this band upon the musical landscape and the bands they influenced - Stone Roses, Charlatans, Oasis etc - and frankly how fuckin’ brilliant this track is. So Warner have reissued the band’s ten singles released between 1983 - 1986 as a limited run of 5,000 each, plus a box set of these 10 singles + 2 extra singles is also available.

MIDDLE CLASS RUT – BUSY BEIN BORN (Kids) Now on the other side of the coin we have a two-piece out of the States. Rising from much touted Los Angeles teenage band Leisure, these two guys are stamped with the label ‘incendiary post-rock‘! In simpler terms, think Rage Against The Machine meets Jane’s Addiction. I like it...

THE CLASH – LIVE AT SHEA STADIUM (Sony) Sorry, I’m being a tad self indulgent here, but getting a new release of the Clash on vinyl means I feel like I’m in my youth again! This limited release is pressed on 180 gram audiophile vinyl and has great looking artwork. This recording of the band’s second night supporting The Who, was discovered by the late great Joe Strummer when moving house and highlights a somewhat strange time in the band’s history. It’s a great, tight sounding recording, but it has an underlying sound of tension, as although the band was at the height of their success, it’s also the sound of a band beginning to disintegrate as the feud between Jones and Strummer comes to the fore. You can almost sense the atmosphere between them as they played. The release really does span the band’s whole output, from the early tracks of ‘Career Opportunities’, ‘Tommy Gun’, ‘London Calling’ etc, to later songs such as ‘The Magnificent Seven’, ‘Rock The Casbah’, ‘Should I Stay’ - hey, they even include ‘Train In Vain‘ which is one

of my all time favourites. Ladies and gentleman, The Clash are the only band that matters...

12” CLASSIC ALBUM CARTER THE UNSTOPPABLE SEX MACHINE - 101 DAMNATIONS (Big Cat) Or Carter USM if you had a few too many beers and the words were slurring. The band itself (Fruitbat and Jimbob Carter) were pretty unique for its time - all punk energy, lyrics full of puns and quotes over drum machine and sampler, and oh, the black humour runneth over... it was a bleak and pessimistic social commentary, yet immensely entertaining! it covers war (‘Say It With Flowers’, ‘Bloodsport For All’) which actually got banned as the Gulf War started some days later, to alcoholism (‘Final Comedown, ‘A Prince In A Pauper’s Grave’), domestic abuse (‘Sealed With A Glasgow Kiss’), consumer greed (‘Shopper’s Paradise’) to the haunting (‘Falling On A Bruise’). It’s all dripping with black humour - aggressive punk guitars over electronic drum beats. A big must for indie kids everywhere and old fat bastards alike.

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reverb socializm Sunday Fundaze @ The Clarendon

Libbi Gore

Fat As Butter

Paula ‘Jonesy’ Jones + Bob Corbett Jason Lowe

ABC Newcastle Music Awards 2008

Nick and Liesl


Newcastle, Hunter and Coast’s largest music, entertainment and lifestyle magazine

The 9th

AustralAsian Music Business Conference


August 20-22, 2009 Acer Arena, Sydney The 9th AustralAsian Music Business Conference announces its first 10 major speakers and first keynote for the 3-day event, which will comprise 9 panels, 6 keynotes & 50+ speakers. Early-Early Bird registrations are now being accepted at a special low price of $385, limited to the first 100 registrants who register before January 1. Those who take advantage of this offer may enter a competition with the winning entry receiving a round trip to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas plus a full VIP Platinum Pass to the SXSW Music, Film & Interactive Festivals. 1st Keynote: Jon Satterley–Senior Vice President New Media and Global Business Development for Roadrunner Records in New York, former CEO of Roadrunner Records Australia Shaun James–General Manager Music Channels for XYZ Networks (Channel [V], V2, Max, Country Music Channel); former Chairman Warner Music Australia Karen Farrugia–Market Manager Nokia Music Service; former Mobile & Online Content Manager at Universal Music and MTV Network Digital Strategies Jeremy Macvean–Head of Digital Strategy for the Austereo Network and formerly Austereo Marketing Director, he came from an advertising background Julia Davis–Director New World Artists, a leading booking agency with a unique culture & ethos based on sustaining long term artist careers across many genres Marcus Seal–CEO, Shock Entertainment Group, he's a veteran of Festival Mushroom moved to BMG as Marketing Director & Sony BMG International Marketing Ken Outch–Director Of Commercial Music Sony Music Australia; a digital visionary formerly with Destra, Festival Mushroom, Sanity Music and BMG Music Sharon Ashworth–Music Marketing Manager Vodafone, she's also worked with Destra in its heyday and a veteran of Festival Mushroom, Shock and EMI Keith Welsh–Co-Publisher The Music Network, AMCOS Board Member, partner in publisher Rough Cut Music and owner of Catalyst entertainment consultancy Georgia Hull–Senior Director New Media and Digital Business Development for Roadrunner Records Australia Specific seminar topics and agendas as well as speaker allocations on the days will be available after January 15 when daily, two day and three day rates are announced.

Sponsorship, Premium Marketing Opportunities, Showbag Inserts & High-Visibility, Industry-Targeted Programs Available—Phil Tripp Early Early Bird Registration-$385 for 3 days. Go to or call (02) 9557 7766

coming soon to ... THE


Fri Dec 12 sat dec 20



sat dec 13


thu jan 10


(cd launch)

fri dec 19


Woodys Bar

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

$10 SCHNITZEL $ 1 0 PA S TA $ 1 2 T- B O N E

Downstairs FRI 5-Dec FRI 12-Dec FRI 19-Dec


SAT 6-Dec SAT 13-Dec SAT 20-Dec

KICK CC SHOOTERS COVER UP for mor e info contact the venue :

207 entr ance r d

ERINA 4367 5222 for ar tist enquiries contact 4367 5222

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Reverb Magazine : Issue 29  

Reverb Magazine Issue 29 (December 2008) : Includes interviews with Snow Patrol, Mystery Jets, Mercy Arms, The Mountain Goats, Public Enemy,...

Reverb Magazine : Issue 29  

Reverb Magazine Issue 29 (December 2008) : Includes interviews with Snow Patrol, Mystery Jets, Mercy Arms, The Mountain Goats, Public Enemy,...