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#043 Feb ’10


arts & entertainment news monthlynewcastle|hunter|coast


The Decemberists  YOU AM I 






C H U G G E N T E R TA I N M E N T, N X F M , V I D E O H I T S , C H A N N E L [ V ] , [ V ] H I T S , M A X & TA K E 4 0 P R E S E N T








No. 43  INDEX  08  14  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  24  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  36  37  39  40  41  42  43  44

News  The Decemberists  AFI  Every Time I Die  The Blackeyed Susans  The Man In Black — Tex Perkins  Yeasayer  Enter Shikari  Jonathan Boulet  CD Reviews  Gig Guide  Five Talkin’  Clutch Jaywalker  Midlake  Steve Vai  You Am I  Talking Shop  Jamie Lloyd  Violence  Motoring –Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.5  Tommi Makinen Edition  Gamer’s Corner  Fashion –  Superurban  Falls Festival Review  Live Reviews  Kitchen Complaint  Big Day Out Sidewhow Reviews  Big Day Out Review  Homebake Review  Reverb Xmas Party Review  Film Reviews  DVD Reviews  Socials 

Publisher’s letter The BDO this year turned out to be a great way to lose weight. You basically sweated kilos in the heat, and then on Saturday afternoon you had a 20 minute downpour right in the middle of Dizzee’s set (how good was the guy? … killed it). Out came the $2 raincoat, and I kept photographing from under plastic. Highlights for me were The Decemberists, The Mars Volta, Muse, The Horrors, and Peaches’ dive into the crowd. Bring on Good Vibes, Future, Playground Weekender and Soundwave. On a more sombre note, I have just been to my second funeral in two months. If there is one thing this has told me, it’s to live life to the fullest, and if that involves music, immerse yourself. Until next time, much love all. KB.

Editorial Phone 4929 4739 Gig Guide Sales Enquiries Sales Manager Phone 0410 295 360 Production


Editor Nick Milligan IT Manager Kieran Ferguson Sales Kevin Bull Nick Milligan

Senior Writers Peter Douglas Hugh Milligan Mark Snelson Writers Stephen Bisset Kevin Bull Andrew Chesham Noah Cross Paul Frost Scott Gilbert Lucy Hearn Jess Henderson Mark Henderson Chrissy Kavalieros

Liana McDonald Scarlett O’Horror Steve Tauschke Lee Tobin Nathaniel Try Photographers Tim Boehm Kevin Bull David Campbell Dane Geercke Roger Hedger Justin Lees Jake McKee-Wright Scarlett O’Horror Terry Paull

Anthony Smith Mark Snelson Linda Wales Graphic Designers Kevin Bull Cartoonist Dave Townley Jones

Reverb Magazine is locally owned & published by The Lockup Garage.  Printed by Spotpress Pty Ltd: 6   R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0







Up for grabs this month: • 2 x Empire Of The Sun t-shirts, exclusive to Reverb. • 2 x Brian Jonestown Massacre prize packs that include a copy of Who Killed Sgt. Peppers, a t-shirt, tour poster and a double pass to the gig, Thursday, March 4 at the Cambridge. • 4 x double passes to Tycotic at Woy Woy Leagues Club, Saturday, February 6. • 1 x double pass to Kill Devil Hills, Thursday, February 11 at the Northern Star Hotel. • 2 x double passes to The Mess Hall, Thursday, March 11 at the Cambridge Hotel. Just tell us what you want by emailing First come, first served.



Newcastle has long been a fan of Australia’s enduring, legendary rockers, You Am I. To say thank you for two decades of loyalty, singer Tim Rogers will lead his band through a special free performance on the wharf of Newcastle’s Queen’s Wharf Brewery. With Newcastle harbour as its backdrop,

this is sure to be an unforgettable show. With their track ‘Berlin Chair’ claiming the #52 position in Triple J’s Hottest 100 Of All Time and their last studio record Dilettantes released to critical acclaim, You Am I show no signs of slowing down. Music starts at 2pm on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Be there early to get yourself a great position on the wharf.

Massive Attack, the UK’s ‘trip-hop’ pioneers, bring their haunting and hypnotic fusion of hazy beats, dub, hauntingly soulful melodies and choice samples to Australia this March. Founding members Robert Del Naja (3D) and Grant Marshall (Daddy G) will be joined on tour by vocalists Horace Andy, Deborah Miller, Martina Topley-Bird, and band members Damon Reece (drums), Angelo Bruschini (guitar), John Baggott (keyboards), Winston Blissett (bass) and Julien Brown (drums). Tickets go on sale Friday, February 5, 2010. Also on February 5, Massive Attack will release their fifth studio album, Heligoland, featuring guests Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, Martina Topley-Bird, Elbow’s Guy Garvey, Portishead’s Adrian Utley and long time associate, ragga-reggae veteran Horace Andy. For the first time in this region, all patrons purchasing tickets for Massive Attack’s Australian and New Zealand dates will have the option of including a copy of their much anticipated new album Heligoland at no extra cost. Ticket buyers will have a choice between receiving a digital download of the album with six bonus tracks, or a physical Tour Edition that will feature an exclusive cover. Massive Attack will perform at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt on Monday, March 15, and Tuesday, March 16.








FRI 5 Cambridge Hotel NEWCASTLE




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With their impending run of shows nearing sold-out point, Brian Jonestown Massacre have added a Newcastle date to their upcoming Australian tour. Celebrating the release of Who Killed Sgt Pepper, the Brian Jonestown Massacre have announced this Australian visit will include founding member Matt Hollywood. This is as close to the original line up as you are ever going to see on stage. Recorded in early and late 2009 between Iceland and Berlin, the Brian Jonestown Massacre are moving forward with their new full length album, Who Killed Sgt Pepper. Working with musicans like Will Carruthers (ex-Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized), Unnur Andrea Einarsdottir (who recorded vocals on the last BJM album) and Felix from the Russian band Amazing Electronic Talking Cave and various musicians from France, Germany, and Iceland, this is BJM’s most multi-cultured and inspired release to date. 13 tracks ranging from ambient bhangra beats, to rock, to shoegaze, to the gypsy influences of Eastern Europe and then back again to the swirling psychedelia that has won the band a devoted legion of followers around the globe, Who Killed Sergeant Pepper is a high water mark in a career full of brilliant releases. Australian fans will not only be the first territory to receive the album, but will also receive the bonus EP One with their copy of the album. Who Killed Sergeant Pepper is out February 6, 2010 on LTD/Inertia. They play the Cambridge Hotel on Thursday, March 4, 2010. Tickets on sale now through Moshtix.


West Australia’s Gyroscope had a whirlwind 2009 and there’s no sign that things will slow down soon in 2010 when they embark on a tour to promote the follow up to their #1 album Breed Obsession. Their forthcoming LP was recorded in Wales with producer extraordinaire Gil Norton (Pixies, Foo Fighters) at the helm. They’ve already given their fans a taste of the new material with the first single ‘Live Without You’, but audiences will get their first chance to soak up the resulting material live when the band take to the road this March. Unlike so many others who find their feet performing in a myriad of other bands first, Gyroscope’s Daniel Sanders (vocals/guitar), Brad Campbell (bass), Rob Nassif (drums) and Zoran Trivic (guitar) formed while still teenagers in Perth in 1997. Gyroscope come to town to kick-start the new University year at the Welcome Back Party at the Bar On The Hill, University of Newcastle, on Thursday March 4, 2010. Tickets are available from The Rock Shop, Billy Hydes, Ushops on Campus, Oztix and www.


While the music world was rocked by the shock death of cult music icon Jay Reatard (real name Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr) on the morning of Sunday, January 13, 2010, it was further disturbed by the news that police were treating the tragedy as a possible homicide. Reatard, who was in Australia for 2009’s Laneway Festival tour, was found dead in his home by a room mate at 3.30am. The initial report was that Reatard had died in his sleep, but then news was leaked that the incident was being investigated by the homicide bureau. This caused a buzz online, with people assuming that there was foul play involved. However, authorities stated that it was standard procedure for homicide detectives to investigate a death of this nature. Reatard’s 2009 album on Matador Records, Watch Me Fall, received critical acclaim. Jay Reatard was 29 years old.


This year, Playground Weekender will continue its rise as one of the east coast’s favourite boutique festivals. Taking place at Del Rio Riverside Resort, Wiseman’s Ferry, the 2010 line-up will include Lupe Fiasco, Orbital (Live), The Polyphonic Spree, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Bluejuice, Ok Go, The Cribs, Jamie Lidell, Steve Lawler, Bjorn Again, Guy Boratto, LTJ Bukem, British Sea Power, Norman Jay MBE, James Lavelle, Mark Farina, Nikodemus, Pivot, King Tide, Washington, Ewan Pearson, The Jezabels, Lost Valentinos, The Bees (DJ Set) plus many more. For all info head to playgroundweekender. It takes place February 18-21, 2010.



Lady Gaga is bringing her Monster Ball tour to Australia with a brand new and spectacular arena production and full band. Now two additional cities get the full Gaga experience with new concerts announced for Newcastle and Wollongong. Tickets for these two new shows will go on sale at 9am on Tuesday, February 2 through Ticketek. Catch her at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Saturday, March 20, 2010. R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0   






The Mess Hall, Australia’s premier exponents of cinematic soundscapes and loose-limbed glam stomp, are embarking on a national tour, their first in support of their new and critically acclaimed album, For The Birds throughout March. Where For The Birds departs from The Mess Hall’s previous recorded works is in the scope of its musical ambition and the band’s willingness to experiment. The most noticeable change comes in the band’s desire to play with a newfound sense of swing that owes a debt of gratitude to the great jazz players of a bygone era, whilst the live show still retains the raw power for which the band has become so highly regarded. Equal parts soul revue, rock and roll sledgehammer, and real-time live soundtrack, The Mess Hall concert experience is a wonder to behold. The band are joined by two of Australia’s finest and most original bands, Bridezilla and Cabins, ensuring that the advice of “get there early” has never been more appropriate. The Mess Hall will be playing the Cambridge Hotel, Friday, March 5, 2010.

Huey Lewis & the News will tour Australia for the first time in over 20 years, when they bring their ‘Still Working for a Living’ tour to Australia in March, 2010. One of the biggest bands in pop history, Huey Lewis & the News boast over 20 million album sales, two Grammy awards and an Academy Award nomination. Since 1979, the band have consistently toured the world to prove the 80s never really died with hits such as ‘Power of Love’, ‘I Want a New Drug’ and ‘Hip to Be Square’ continually on the set list. Special guests Richard Clapton and 1927 will join the band on stage for the first time on the tour in the Hunter Valley. Richard Clapton, an ARIA Hall of Fame inductee, is hailed as one Australia’s greatest singer songwriters. With a career spanning 37 years, Clapton has remained one of the most respected artists in Australian music, recently selling out his last Sydney State Theatre show in less than one hour. Catch Huey Lewis & The News at Hope Estate, Hunter Valley on Saturday, March 20, 2010. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.


Men At Work’s legendary front man, Colin Hay, will play at Newcastle Lizotte’s on Sunday March 28, 2010. Performing songs from throughout his long and stellar international career, Hay is sure to deliver an amazing night of music. His songs reached a new generation through actor Zach Braff and the producers of Scrubs, who constantly used his music in the hit TV series — even giving him a cameo as the Troubadour. Tickets will sell out fast for this show, so head to


With the heat of the BDO behind us, we prepare for the onslaught of Sydney’s Soundwave on Sunday, February 21. If you don’t happen to be tied up in church that day, here’s the list of sideshows to get you all sweaty.



Following his highly successful Australian tour of last year, gypsy guitar legend Lulo Reinhardt returns, and is coming to the Central Coast. Grand-nephew of jazz great Django Reinhardt and nephew of Gypsy violin master Shnuckenack Reinhardt, Lulo continues the family heritage as one of the most unique voices in gypsy-jazz music today. Lulo’s Latin-Swing Project combines pure gypsy-swing with elements of latin music such as flamenco, tango and bossa nova. Lulo Reinhardt will play Kantara House, Green Point, Friday, February 19.



This February, festival favourites Chase The Sun will bring their brand of high-octane blues-rock to venues up and down the east coast, stopping in at the Wickham Park Hotel. The band are no strangers to Newcastle audiences, having been on tour since forming three years ago. They’ve lit up the Wickham Park stage in the past, but this time they’ll be previewing songs from their new album, Rednecks & Gentlemen, due in March, 2010. Don’t miss the chance to see one of Australia’s best live bands in action. Keep an eye out for them this April as they head to Bluesfest. Chase The Sun, with special guest Cass Eager, will be at the Wickham Park Hotel, Thursday, February 4, 2010.


Swamp, punk, country-rock, blues, folk – you can decide what all this sounds like mixed together when the Kill Devil Hills come to town. Their third album released late last year, Man, You Should Explode, garnered rave reviews, and has sent the band on a neverending tour of the country.The band has also started venturing abroad, having toured the US and Canada, with plans to head to Europe later this year. But before they go, Novocastrians get their chance to see Kill Devil Hills live at the Northern Star Hotel, Thursday, February 11, 2010.


It’s a long way home from wherever you are if your hometown is Skinnskatteberg/Fagersta in Sweden, and you’ve sold more than 300,000 copies of your releases while going bonkers all over the world for more than a decade. So in 2001, No Fun At All took a break. Living like an ordinary Jimmy Brown for a while helped the band to get angry again, and in 2004 they started doing occasional reunion gigs. One thing led to another and 10  

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Faith No More Mon Feb 22, Enmore Theatre HIM Mon Feb 22, The Metro Alexisonfire, Comeback Kid, Anti-Flag Mon Feb 22, The Forum Meshuggah, Dies Today, Whitechapel Mon Feb 22, Manning Bar AFI, Gallows Tues Feb 23, Luna Park Big Top Glassjay, Sunny Day Real Estate, Motion City Soundtrack Tues Feb 23, UNSW Roundhouse Jane’s Addiction, Rolo Tomassi Tues Feb 23, Enmore Theatre The Weakerthans, Jordie Lane Tues Feb 23, Annandale Hotel All Time Low, The Almost, Dance Gavin Dance Tues Feb 23, The Metro A Day To Remember, Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, This Is Hell Wed Feb 24, The Metro Reel Big Fish, The Aquabats, The Creepshow Wed Feb 24, Manning Bar Paramore Wed Feb 24, Luna Park Big Top Placebo Wed Feb 24, Enmore Theatre Escape The Fate, Emarosa, Architects Wed Feb 24, The Metro Clutch Wed Feb 24, Gaelic Club My Chemical Romance, The Get Up Kids Thur Feb 25, Luna Park Big Top Taking Back Sunday Thurs Feb 25, The Metro

suddenly a new album had been recorded in Studio Underground, the same studio that gave birth to classics such as ‘Out of Bounds’ and ‘No Straight Angles’. The new album Low Rider shows that NFAA today is back to their Ramones/Bad Religion roots and definitely much more than just another 90s skate-punk act. The sound of No Fun At All has always had punk itself as a steady ground, but the band’s manic energy also incorporates a huge dose of melody. In the spirit of DIY, this is the first release on the band’s own label, Beat Em Down Records. So crank it up and enjoy the ride. No Fun At All play the Woodport Inn, Monday March 15, and the Cambridge Hotel, Wednesday, March 17, 2010.


Founded by Chuck Ragan, the singer, songwriter, guitarist and Hot Water Music co-frontman, The Revival Tour is to launch in Australia in 2010. Drawing from a diverse group of established musicians in indie Americana, rock, punk, Irish folk, The Revival Tour will take the band of travelling musicians throughout Australia, including Newcastle. In traditional revival fashion, once the music starts, this new guard of young, genre-defying musicians keep it rolling, teaming in and out through each other’s sets until the final farewell of the night. The Revival Australian Tour will include Chuck Ragan [of Hot Water Music], Frank Turner, Tim Barry [of Avail] and Ben Nichols [of Lucero], with additional musicians Jon Gaunt and Todd Beene. “As artists, we go on tour together and then in the final days of the tour — after everyone is familiar with one another — you’re playing songs with your tour-mates and having a blast,” states founder Chuck Ragan. “I thought, why can’t we get together, rehearse before the tour starts and perform together during the entire tour?” Ragan says of his inspiration for The Revival Tour. “Some of our set for that night’s show is chosen in advance, but everything else evolves organically on stage,” he elaborates. “It’s truly one of the most special tours I’ve ever been a part of.” Catch The Revival Tour at The Cambridge Hotel on Sunday, April 25, 2010. Tickets on sale now through Moshtix.

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With memories of his wonderful Red Bar gig last year still fresh in our minds, Carus returns to bless the faithful and convert the curious. 2009 was a big year for Carus — there was the release of his fourth album, Creature Of Habit and much time spent on the road. With a March tour of Europe not far off, Carus embarks of an east coast tour that brings him to the Cambridge Hotel, Wednesday February 10.


Local hip-hop hits the peninsula in February with a line-up that’s as long as your arm. Tycotic headlines along with Prem Bedlam and DJ Ntaprize. The long line of special guests includes Dirt Squad, Urban Freeflow, Poetic Transition, Beat Theory and Patos Breegz. Tycotic’s most recent record, Conversation Domination, is a truly solid release that crosses into many genres while having its feet firmly planted in hip-hop. Tycotic and the whole crew play the Woy Woy Leagues Club, Saturday, February 6, 2010.

Henry Rollins returns to Australia this April at the invite of Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Sydney Comedy Festival. In addition to Sydney and Melbourne, Newcastle gets a taste of Rollins’s latest hilarious and topical muse entitled the Frequent Flyer Tour. “Since I was last on tour, I have been working in television and radio, travelling all over the world,” says Rollins. “And like everyone else, dealing with the changes America — and the world — is going through. I thought America would become a more peaceful place in 2009. I had no idea the country had so many lunatics. There’s a lot to remark upon, of course. There always is.” When Rollins talks about travelling the world, he’s not referring to plush resorts and genteel European cities. Rollins’s most recent travels include stops in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, China, and Senegal. These global experiences — like past excursions to such vacation hotspots as Pakistan, Myanmar, and Siberia — not only supply humorous anecdotes for Rollins’s talking shows, but they inform his worldview. As Shepherd Fairey’s tour poster bills it, “Knowledge without mileage equals bullshit.” Henry Rollins’s Frequent Flyer Tour comes to Newcastle Panthers, Wednesday, April 28, 2010.


The Pigs are a family of talented yet confused hillbillies who play super-charged acoustic instruments. At the Civic Theatre in October 2009, they had Novocastrians spellbound as part of ABC 1233’s Night At The Wireless. The Pigs now return to Newcastle to launch their new album, Horses. With their unique combination of music and comedy, these creative, bluegrass-loving entertainers will be right at home at Lizotte’s Newcastle. The first single off The Pigs’ second album, Horses, is a


thigh-slapping country version of Beyoncé’s hit song, ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ with special guest John Williamson on jaw harp. The video includes Beyoncé-inspired line-dancing and has been featured on The Country Music Channel and ABC TV (Indie Video of the Week on Rage). In December 2009, The Pigs performed ‘Single Ladies’ live on Mornings with Kerri-Anne. The rest of The Pig Family create a backing with banjo, fiddle, lagerphone and steel-string guitar, along with John Williamson’s very special jaw harp. The result is an irresistibly toe-tapping, strangely hip, bluegrass makeover. Pigs’ guitarist, Streeetch Pig, explains “We wanted to acquaint people with the original, old-timey version of the tune. You see, my younger brother T-Bone sat down and wrote ‘Single Ladies’ on his banjo, back in 1854.” See The Pigs at Lizotte’s Lambton on Thursday, February 11, 2010.


Sydney’s golden boy of electro is ready to set dancefloors on fire in 2010 with the launch of his three-track 12-inch on the Bang Gang label. Cassian will hit the CBD Hotel, Newcastle, on Saturday, February 13, 2010, with support from Menna, Loods and Tap Tap. Reverb chats with Cassian about his new release. What was your main goal in putting together this release through Bang Gang? I wasn’t really thinking about anything else other than making a few good tunes that I could look back at in a few years and be proud of. Where do you draw the most inspiration for making your music? My influences are pretty broad but for the EP I would say it was mostly 70-80s funk/ soul influences, coupled with the newer Aussie dance music. You’ve done remixes for a number of people — how do you approach a remix of someone else’s music? I listen to the song a few times and figure out what parts I like and how I want to turn the original into something that I can call my own. I usually only choose a few parts from the original, maybe the vocals and one or two other instrumental parts.



With Reverb having witnessed King Tide’s recent Central Coast gig only a few weeks ago, we know exactly what the Hamilton Station Hotel is up for when the Rude Boys tour hits town. It was an amazing gig, and as the band have not been to Newcastle for many years, this is one that is not to be missed. Their latest album, Roots Pop Reggae, is a veritable feast, offering up an atmospheric blend of flying drums, skank guitar, sexy organ bubble, solid bass playing, wicked lyrics and sweet vocal hooks. It’s the sexiest thing you can do standing up. King Tide play the Hamilton Station Hotel, Friday, February 19. Roots Pop Reggae is out through Vitamin Records. 12  

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How would you like your own songs to be viewed in comparison to other current producers? I don’t think that I’d necessarily want my songs compared to other producers. I think it’s best when a song is just taken for what it is and not compared to other stuff. What can Newcastle audiences expect from your upcoming show? Just a good party! Some good tunes and good times too. How did the very catchy song ‘Final Round’ come together? I was just jamming on one of my keyboards and came up with the first chord progression then everything sort of flowed from there. I added the Street Fighter samples a bit later on. Catch Cassian at the CBD Hotel, Saturday, February 13, 2010.




Something truly unique will be on show at the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, and it involves a trip to Japan. Timeframe: High Tea with Mrs Woo pushed young Newcastle-based fashion designers Rowena, Juliana and Angela Foong into the spotlight with their unique sense of style and an increasingly international profile. Contemporary Japanese fashion: the Gene Sherman collection is an exhibition drawn from

Dr Sherman’s recent gift of Japanese fashion to the Powerhouse Museum, and includes the work of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo [Comme des Garçons]. Fruits: Tokyo street style by photographer Shoichi Aoki showcases a vibrant and engaging collection of photographs that celebrate the fresh approach to fashion by Tokyo’s youth. The exhibition runs from February 5 to March 14, 2010.




Sydney band The Rumjacks have just released their second EP entitled Sound As A Pound and they are hitting the road for an east coast tour throughout February. If ‘punk’ means “do it yourself”... And ‘folk’ means “of the people”... then The Rumjacks can be said to play folk punk music. Since their inception in late 2008, The Rumjacks have achieved a lot. They have played up and down the Australian east coast numerous times. They have two EPs available, Hung, Drawn & Portered and the brand new Sound As A Pound which have both been released in Japan to critical acclaim. Their consistent drive and energy has scored them festival shows and support slots with overseas acts, such as legendary punk bands UK Subs and Leftover Crack, and also big Australian acts such as Magic Dirt, Regular John and The Fumes. The Rumjacks play the Hamilton Station Hotel, Friday, February 12, 2010.


Just as we were sending to print, the news that Deep Purple will be returning to Newcastle hit our inbox, and made the Reverb office all wet in the nether regions. These guys are supreme legends of the heavy rock genre, with classics like ‘Smoke On The Water’, ‘Woman From Tokyo’ and ‘Black Night’ now standards. Deep Purple play the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Thursday April 29. Tickets go on sale Monday February 8.

Newcastle’s premier dance party, Sundae Fundaze, will return on Sunday February 7, 2010 to the Clarendon Hotel. The first event of the year will be headlined by Ajax and Doom (Bang Gang), who will be hitting the decks together for the very first time. They’ll be joined by known associates Kato, Dan Cares, Loods, Menna and Boogie. “SF will continue to roll out quality gigs for Novocastrians and anyone else prepared to make the journey for a bit of fun in the sun,” says Operations and Events Manager Shaun Raymond. AJAX Since leaving his job as an art lecturer, Ajax has taken the dance world by storm. He’s even started his own record label Sweat It Out [ sweatitoutmusc], which launched in Feburary 2008, and represents such artists as Gameboy Gamegirl, Edu K, Act Yo Age, Oh Snap and Killaqueenz, D CUP, and his elusive self. Ajax has put his own spin on tunes by Princess Superstar, Midnight Juggernauts, The Emergency, Naive New Beaters, and the Valentinos. DOOM Jaime Doom, a member of the all powerful Bang Gang collective — the Cavaliers of club, barons of Baltimore, tramps of techno and hobos of house — is one of the finest party rocking DJs this or any other dimension has ever seen. Doom is completely unafraid of taking a trip into the murky waters of sonic exploration, with complete disregard for acceptable club convention and what is commonly recognised as “good cricket”. His current contractual home, Modular Recordings, through Ministry Of Sound, sees him lead the Bang Gang 12 Inches record label, releasing vinyl by like-minded artists such as Bag Raiders, Like Woah!, Soft Tigers, Muscles and KIM. Along with partner Hoodrat, he’s toured the world, playing raves in Tokyo, smelly clubs in London, Parisian cheese factories, German leather dens, New York discos and Melbourne toilets. Tickets are selling quickly for $20 pre-sale from the Clarendon and whatever tickets are left will be on the door for $25.

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THE DECEMBERISTS   and their story of the year Inside the elegant expanse of the hotel’s lobby, Big Day Out artists and road crew bustle back and forth, preparing for a week of sideshows and two giant festivals in Sydney. White tour vans fill a driveway that’s normally reserved for European sports cars and valet


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parkers. Journalists sit patiently on the numerous lounge suites, waiting to meet their prospective interviewees. Sitting with me at a small table off the main foyer is Colin Meloy, the lead singer and bard-like visionary behind Oregon’s folk-rock powerhouse, The

Decemberists. The band’s 2009 epic opus, The Hazards Of Love, is already recognised as a modern masterpiece. It’s a rock opera of sorts — one giant piece of music that tells a tale of lovers in a forest, overcoming the dark conspiring of evil, jealous forces.

In the band’s nine year history, this is their first trip to Australian shores. The Decemberists’ sold-out, high-energy performance the previous evening at Sydney’s Metro Theatre was testimony that their visit is long overdue. By Nick Milligan.


Your show at The Metro seemed to go really well. Were you happy with the response? Yeah, it was great. It was really fun. It’s nice to do our own show apart from the Big Day Out stuff. That was really pleasant. Is Australia what you’ve expected it to be? Well, I didn’t really know what to expect. In some ways yes, some ways no. For one thing, the jet lag is not as bad as everybody was making it out to be. But I think I was talking mostly to people from the east coast (of America) and England. But on the west coast the time is more in our favour. There was only a three hour difference when we arrived in New Zealand. The look of the cities, as far as places I’ve been outside the United States, this is the least foreign — almost including Canada. Australia feels more akin to American cities than Canada. It’s taken The Decemberists nine years to come to Australia — why so long? I think the expense of it — we were waiting for an offer that we wouldn’t be losing money on. Even though our records are licenced over here, I don’t think they were selling well enough to warrant promoters to be knocking down our doors, until this time around. I said last night during the show that we’re lazy and that’s sort of true. At this point in our career, the idea of going somewhere and slugging it out for no money… it’s really a hard thing to swallow. Which is a bummer, because it’s great to be here and to play, but it just hasn’t been viable until now. The Decemberists’ music is hard to describe — it gets called everything from folk-rock to baroque pop. When you first formed the band in Portland, did you have a clear idea of how you wanted to sound? Oh, man… not really. So much of it seemed accidental. In some respects, I felt that the songs I was writing at the time were very straight forward. Beatle-pop, straight up, three-and-ahalf minute long folk-rock songs. I felt like if we had a normal ensemble performing these songs, it would do them a disservice or somehow wouldn’t bring out certain qualities in the music. Initially we were just drums, guitar, upright bass and accordian as a way — it seems superficial — but I wanted to mess up the arrangement, so we weren’t just two guitars, bass and drums. Then I discovered that my band mates were so able and dynamic and could move around and exist comfortably in all sorts of genres. That led me to experiment with other styles of music. You were in a band before The Decemberists called Tarkio. How did they sound? Initially Tarkio was a kind of rural, Americana thing. Which is what I was into at the time. I was living in Montana and it felt right. But near the end of Tarkio, I began to experiment with more British-folk modalities. ‘My Mother was a Chinese Trapeze Artist’ and ‘Cocoon’, which became Decemberists songs, were tail-end Tarkio songs. The Decemberists are known for their lyrics, and your approach is like that of a bard, in terms of story-telling. Has that always been your approach to lyrics? The early Tarkio stuff was a lot of abstractions — the Michael Stipe school of songwriting. That was what initially broke (writing) open for me as a kid. After learning guitar and trying to figure out songwriting, I was trying to figure out what you write about so it doesn’t feel hackneyed.

I grew up listening to REM and Robyn Hitchcock and I realised that you can write about anything. It doens’t have to make linear sense. It can be just the sound of the words that propels whatever narrative might be in there. That’s initially how I was writing and it was great and really loose. But then as I got more involved in the songwriting I started to carve more clear narratives. Have you ever felt compelled to be more literal or confessional in your lyrics? I’ve dabbled and I think there’s a lot of stuff that’s

will a few catch words or phrases and then build from there. During your set last night at The Metro, you only performed ‘The Rake’s Song’ from The Hazards Of Love. Have you found that it’s tricky to pull songs from the album into a different context? Yeah. When initially I was working on The Hazards Of Love I went on a solo tour and I was playing the songs on their own, and it felt normal then. But then when it became the record, it’s harder to pull [the songs] out of

attracted to writing longer suites of songs, so I don’t think it would be too distressing. I think the guitar stuff would have been a little eye-opening. But sometimes you think, ‘Would I be a fan of my own band?’ I’m sure every musician thinks that at some point and there’s no way of knowing. I can’t tell, I might not like [The Decemberists]. But who knows? The Decemberists have taken on all kinds of concepts and creative ideas, including an orchestral tour. Do you have any ideas kicking around in your head that you’d like to get to

  “Although in a lot of the songs I’m dressed in    these weird characters and landscapes, a lot of    them are my own observations of the world.”  based on my own experiences and observations. It may not be that recognisable. I think ‘16 Military Wives’ is a very personal song, because I was grappling with something I was witnessing — the start of the Iraq war and the Academy Awards at that time. Although in a lot of the songs I’m dressed in these weird characters and landscapes, a lot of them are my own observations of the world. The songs that we’re going to do for this next record, I’ve left off a little of that stuff as an experiment. ‘The Rake’s Song’ has been receiving airplay on Triple J, and is written from the point of view of a killer. Is it fun to write in such a completely different headspace? Oh, absolutely. I think that’s part of the fun of it. I’ve always found first person monologues to be really compelling — a basic introduction to this person. In that musical theatre, vaudeville way. How a character would step away from any context that they might be in and have an aside with the audience, to tell them ‘this is what I am and this is what I do’. The seed of the idea for The Hazards Of Love album came from when you stumbled across an EP from 1966 by Anne Briggs called The Hazards Of Love. Before you found that, had the idea of writing a rock opera ever occurred to you? Yeah, I guess it felt like it was probably inevitable. Writing a long suite of songs always suggested it. I was writing these songs that might not have worked on their own, but I felt they would probably work as part of a larger whole. It became a very organic process of discovering what would exist on its own and what would become a longer piece. I guess it would follow that eventually I would find [a subject] that would invite a longer piece. When starting on The Hazards Of Love, that became an interesting prospect. The stories in your lyrics are often so detailed — one might assume that you write the words before the music. But you write the music first, don’t you? Yeah, I’ve never been able just to write lyrics and then shoehorn them into a song. I know there are lots of people who sit at typewriters who type out a song and fit it into a melody. [For me] it has to happen at the same time. A melody

their context. They feel unfinished. ‘The Rake’s Song’ is the one that works best on its own, but even then it feels a little weird. Your song ‘The Crane Wife 3’ was covered by Marianne Faithfull with Nick Cave singing backing vocals. What did you think when you first heard that Marianne wanted to cover your song? Excuse the pun, but it’s a fairly faithful rendition… It is, I think it’s great and the musicians she’s playing with are phenomenal, with Marc Ribot on guitar… I was pretty blown over — really flattered that she would consider it. Honoured. [The song] fits her really well. You played a new song last night. Does this mean you’ve given a lot of thought to how your next record will sound? Yeah, I think so. I think it will continue to evolve, but we have a pretty good idea. Is there an over-arching concept like in The Hazards Of Love? No, but I think it will feel pretty consistent. All the songs were written in a spurt last spring and summer. My wife and I bought a house up on the hill in Portland and it was a really rough winter. It dumped snow on us and we got stuck in our house, up this steep, windy road, for like two weeks. But it was beautiful — we were up in the woods. But when the spring came it was just so extraordinary up there. There was this crazy spurt of activity where I wrote a bunch of songs, so it’s mostly from that era. We’re recording it in May, so we’ll be recording in the late spring. I think it will be a really organic, pastoral record.

at some point? I’m still toying around with doing a theatre piece and that might come together over the next couple of years. There’s been some initial talks with a theatre (group), so that seems promising. Also working on books with my wife, who’s an illustrator, has always been an exciting prospect. That might crop up. From last night’s show, it’s clear that you know how to work a crowd. Have you always been a confident frontman? No, I think early on a lot of my confidence has come from getting really blotto on stage. Sort of The Replacements school of rock ‘n’ roll. There was a while where I thought that was cool and you had to do that — just get wasted. If you could make it through your songs, that was cool. If you couldn’t, then whatever, who cares? While I was never brave enough or original enough to really do The Replacements thing, where they really didn’t care, I think I still had my pants in a knot about making sure I was pleasing people. But I grew out of that and now I don’t necessarily need to be wasted to make a fool of myself on stage. Are you a fan of many Australian bands? Absolutely. We played a Go-Betweens song last night [‘Bye Bye Pride’], though I don’t know if they spent much time in Australia — they were over in England. But I’ve always had it in my head that they were Australian. Midnight Oil’s Diesel and Dust was on my cassette player a lot when it came out when I was in junior high. I like a lot of New Zealand bands — I’m a big Flying Nun (record label) fan. But as far as recent stuff, I haven’t dug in that much.

Are you the most comfortable writing at home? I’ve always written at home. I’ve never been able to write on the road, in buses or hotel rooms. I envy people that can do that, because you would be really productive. But I have to be at home, in a happy comfortable place. Otherwise I feel I’m too distracted or whatever I come up with be will coloured by my discomfort.

What are The Decemberists’ goals for 2010? Just another record? I think so. Hopefully once we’re back from [Australia] we can have some downtime to work on some other projects, before we head into the studio in May and start that whole cycle again. So hopefully 2010 is a year of a lot of good, dynamic creativity all over the map. We’ll see.

If someone had played you The Hazards Of Love when The Decemberists were first forming, what might you have thought of it? I don’t know. I think I would have been pretty baffled by it. But even then I feel I was being

Thanks for your time, Colin. Great, thanks. The Hazards Of Love and The Crane Wife are out now through EMI/Capitol.

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CRASH LANDING Eight studio albums in to a career of hard touring and furious live performances, Californian rockers AFI are returning to Australia. Nick Milligan speaks with drummer and founding member Adam Carson about Crash Love and the history of his band.

Are AFI looking forward to returning to Australia? Absolutely. Last time we were there was in 2006, so it’s long overdue. Unfortunately we don’t get to make it out there as often as we’d like to, and as often as we should. The very first time we ever went to Australia we got a very warm reception without having to do any of the work. What are your fondest memories of your trips here? I remember playing our first show. We’re a band that’s toured for most of our career. There are places in the world where we have really good shows that have come as a result of going back over and over and really working it to where we can play to a couple of thousand people. In Australia we didn’t have to do that. We showed up and had sold-out shows and enthusiastic crowds and people caring about what we were doing. It’s not that we wouldn’t have put in the work, but it was so refreshing to right off the bat play shows to people who care. It says more about Australia than it does about the band. It’s so great that there’s a country where people still want to hear guitar-based rock bands. Decemberundergound [2006] had a very expansive sound. Was it difficult to figure out where your next record, Crash Love, should move sonically? Not necessarily. For the most part it happened organically. Even when we have songs that have multi-layered production and are expansive, there’s usually a rock song under there. It usually starts with the four of us playing in a room. There are some exceptions on December­


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underground, but we approached Crash Love as we have every other record. The one difference is that Jade [Puget, guitar] and Davey [Havok, vocals] had just finished their Blaqk Audio project and, in a way, had exorcised all the electronic demons [chuckles]. Playing guitar and writing songs on the guitar felt fresh and exciting to them again. These songs, more than ever, began as rock songs and stayed intact as rock songs through the recording process. When we got to the studio it seemed fairly obvious how we needed to record them. What would you have thought of the album Crash Love if you had heard it in 1991 when you were forming AFI? I probably would have thought it sucked [laughs]. Really early on in the band’s career I wasn’t interested in hearing anything that wasn’t 220 beats per minute. As a result, I missed a lot of good music. I was too punk. Bands like Sonic Youth and some of my favourite bands today, I just didn’t give the time of day. There was a lot of avant garde music here in the Bay area in the early 90s and late 80s — bands like Steel Pole Bath Tub. Bands that had a cool vibe but presented themselves in a slightly slower, artistic way. I had no time for them. That was a phase and it passed pretty quickly. If I had heard Crash Love when I was 16, I probably would have thought we were poser sell-outs. But if I had heard it when I was 20, I possibly would have been impressed with the musicianship. I think we’ve been able to keep the spirit of the band throughout all of our records. We just try to make records that sound fresh and don’t sound like we’ve gone down that road before.

  “IF I HAD HEARD    CRASH LOVE WHEN I    WAS 16, I PROBABLY    WOULD HAVE    THOUGHT WE WERE    POSER SELL-OUTS.”  Do you ever go back and listen to your earliest records? I don’t make a habit of it, but every once in a while. Maybe I’ll be trying to relearn a song or two and I’ll throw something on. I’m really proud of the early stuff. When I hear it I shudder, because there’s definitely some musicianship problems and they’re not necessarily the best recorded or performed records, but there’s a vibe and an honesty to them, so I think they stand up a little bit. You guys have released eight studio records — what could you identify as the biggest turning point in the band’s sound? Certainly the most significant moment in ‘98, between our third and fourth record, when Jade Puget joined the band. That had such a significant impact on the trajectory of the band. But if I were to pick another moment, in 2003 when we released our first record on DreamWorks (Sing the Sorrow), our first major label record, that was the first time we had all the resources at our disposal — mainly money.

We had enough money to spend the time in the studio that we needed. We had the ability to stretch out and experiement. To make mistakes and find the best method of recording possible. That was a pretty significant moment for us. During the making of Crash Love, you changed producers. You had been working with David Bottrill, but you switched to Jacknife Lee and Joe McGrath. What was behind that change? It’s not that exciting a story. We were beginning the record and trying to get all the tones. We’d tracked all the drums, most of the bass and some of the guitar. It took us a while to realise that we weren’t happy with the sounds. It wasn’t any individual sound, it was more of an ethereal thing. It just didn’t sound right. Nobody could really figure it out. It took us a while to come to that realisation. It’s a hard decision to make, because I don’t know it was necessarily David Bottrill’s fault, but we had to try something new. So we started over and we brought in Joe McGrath, whose an old friend and a great producer, and went to a different studio and suddenly things started sounding the way we had envisioned it. It was the first time we had really experienced that, but we made the record eventually sound the way it was supposed to. AFI perform at the Soundwave festival on Sunday, February 21, 2010 at Eastern Creek Raceway, Sydney. Tickets are selling fast through Ticketek.


THE NEW JUNK Having recently visited our shores as part of the annual Boys Of Summer tour, vocalist of New York’s metalcore heroes Every Time I Die, Keith Buckley, took some time out to discuss their latest release, New Junk Aesthetic, with Scarlett O’Horror. On your latest album, New Junk Aesthetic, how did the collaborations with The Bronx’s Matt Caughthran, Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz come about? I get asked this question a lot and I don’t know if people think I had to seek them out through management and we arranged meetings and signed forms or something. They’re all my friends. I called them up, asked if they would do me the honour of appearing, they said yes, and then they came to the studio. It was all pretty DIY which is a forgotten art form now that everyone is famous and has lawyers. In your song, ‘The Sweet Life’, you incorporated a few lines from Mathew Wilder’s ‘Break My Stride’ with your own twist. Is there a particular

significance to that? I was trying to write lyrics to that song and at that particular part I got an idea for a melody. I wrestled with it for a bit because I knew it was familiar but it was the only and best one that could fit the part. Then I finally realised it was the Wilder part and I thought it was too funny to let go. I didn’t try to fool anyone by changing the lyrics. It fits the context perfectly. In your lyrics there are a lot of references to God. Is religion a key part of your life and the song writing process? Only because I see what it does to people and the world around me. You can’t be free of religion. I’m an atheist, yet I have a three hour security check at the airports because of what religion has done to the world. It’s not mine,

but I’m constantly affected. What was Jordan Buckley’s inspiration for the album art for New Junk Aesthetic? The lyrics mostly. We just went over ideas based on context and he took it from there and put his own spin on it. A bit over a year ago you made the switch from Ferret Records to Epitaph Records. What sparked the change? An expired Ferret contract. It was a time to move to the best independent label out there and we were lucky enough to be invited. How have things been since the departure of drummer Mike Novak? Better than they ever have been. Band morale

is at an all time high and we’re all better friends than we’ve ever been. Good riddance. You guys have been together 11 years now. How do you keep your music fresh? We are constantly trying to wipe the 10 million shitty, talentless Myspace bands off the planet and we won’t stop until all music is sincere again. Any advice for up-and-coming bands out there? Mean it. Who has been your favourite band that you’ve toured with? Every Time I Die. It’s the only band I’ve ever toured with. New Junk Aesthetic is out now through Epitaph.

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THE BIG REVEAL Celebrating the 20 year anniversary of their inception, The Blackeyed Susans have released a comprehensive box-set called Reveal Yourself. The band has reformed to tour again, reminding us of why they’re one of the most wellrespected bands that this country has produced. Nick Milligan speaks with principal songwriter Phil Kakulas about the history of the Susans, including working with ex-band mates like Warren Ellis and David McComb. How did you find the process of putting together the Reveal Yourself box-set? At the start I found it rather daunting, the prospect of going through 20 years of Susans material. There were the official releases, but the idea of going through all the radio stuff, demos, tapes and so on — there’s an awfully big pile. It took a little while, it was over a year that we sifted through. The process was that we chucked a whole lot of stuff in, and then we took stuff out until we felt we had something that represented the band, or ‘revealed’ the band. We wanted something that wasn’t overly indulgent. We didn’t want to try people’s patience.

the air. I remember the money floating down around us. That was the last time I ever played a board game with him (laughs).

Was the process a walk down memory lane? Yeah, it was. There’s a lot of people there over the years — a lot of fond memories as well. As far as the songs go, you get to see your life thrown back at you in many ways. It’s a little bit like that scrapbook where you turn the page and you’re a couple of years older, until 20 years have passed. Where did it go? I’m always confused by this aging business. You don’t feel any older, but then you look in the mirror and go, ‘Oh… right.’ You’re one of a very lucky group of people that got to write music with David McComb of The Triffids. What was he like to write with? He was an intense person to make music with,

in that when we were writing he was very driven. You couldn’t move away from the kitchen table until you had something. He always amazed me at the clear vision he had for a song — a good imagination and good at expressing what he wanted. In the rehearsal room he would talk each person through their part of the song. He had great ideas for arrangements. He was a shining light and he burned brightly. But he was not a person that could easily relax. One of my earliest memories of him — because I knew him when we were kids — I remember playing Monopoly with him in early high school. He got frustrated — he hated games of any kind, and he threw this board — money, tokens flying in


What do you think it is about Cash that helped create such a legendary status and image? For a start, he had a lot of great songs and that is always the key for successful artists. He was very canny at creating an image. Doing songs that had sort of an outlaw theme was where he started early on, and then doing prison gigs sort of backed that up and gave him some depth and reality to what he was doing — it made him look more than just a guy singing about stuff, he actually got his hands dirty, so to speak. In the years before his death, he reached a much broader market with his cover albums. How do you feel these albums contributed to his legacy? Like most artists that have been around for a long time, the 80s weren’t that kind to Cash. I think he was just languishing really and he had a career that wasn’t really going anywhere and

How important do you think June Carter Cash (played by Rachael Tidd in the show) was to Cash in his on-going battles with addiction and fame? Incredibly important, but I don’t think people are quite aware of the fact that she had her own struggles as well. She is kind of painted as the saviour of Cash, which she really is, but I


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You have had a comparatively long career in the music industry with a range of bands and musical styles, what do you think is the key to success in the industry today? For me personally, it is diversity and the will­ing­ness to do different things. I really wouldn’t recommend what I’ve done to anyone else; I couldn’t take a young bloke aside and say, “This is how you’re supposed to do it, mate”, because I really don’t have a clue. There is no plan with me, it is my ability to adapt and just have a go. If I could give advice to anyone about a music career, it is to jump in head first and have a go, and don’t be afraid to fail.

then Rick Rubin ingeniously began that collab­ oration with him that completely reinvented and reinvigorated his career. And you perform some of those songs as part of the show? The show is the story of his life, and those final 10 years are pretty significant as well. We chose songs that back up the narrative of the story —  the songs themselves tell the story of his life when placed in the right order. Something like the song ‘Hurt’ — it’s incredible how poignant and fitting it is to his story and what was going on in his life at the time. Those last five albums with Rubin are pretty good — but you can actually hear him kind of dying through those records. By the last one his voice is shot and you can tell that he is pretty much struggling to get through. When we play ‘Hurt’ as part of the show, it’s difficult for me to duplicate the vibe of that song — I can’t actually sound like an 80-year old man dying!

The Blackeyed Susans perform at Lizotte’s Newcastle on Saturday, February 13, 2010, and Lizotte’s Kincumber on Friday, February 12, 2010. Reveal Yourself is out now through Liberation.

Are there any pre-show rituals you follow as part of that transformation into Johnny Cash? Well, I’ve got to do the hair — I’ve got to flick it way back. It’s get the black suit on and do the hair which is pretty much my half hour of preparation — and necking a couple of beers before I go on. But I don’t have any of the rituals that perhaps Cash may have become involved in over the years!

Portraying the life of a hard living country superstar adds another string to the bow of chamaeleonic Australian rock icon, Tex Perkins. The Man In Black — The Johnny Cash Story is two hours of music, musings and memories about the man and his legacy. In the middle of a hectic season of successful shows, an enthused Perkins spoke to Paul Frost. How did this role come about for youwhy Tex Perkins as Johnny Cash? I think the producers of the show just approached me as some rock performer with some degree of credibility with the willingness to do just about anything. They actually didn’t know that I had a history with Cash — my first band [Tex Deadly and the Dum Dums] used to do Cash songs about 28 years ago.

You’ve had so many amazing musicians perform and record with the Susans — Kim Salmon, Martin P Casey, McComb, Jim White, et cetera — but also Warren Ellis. Yeah, I learned a lot from the people we’ve played with. Rob (Snarski, vocals) and I have always tried to surround ourselves with people that are better than us and make us sound good. Warren Ellis has such an uncompromising attitude toward what he does. I remember we played a show in Noosa once, around ‘93 or ‘94. We were playing as an acoustic trio. We were billed at this nightclub as “Perth’s hottest acid-jazz band”. You can imagine what happened when they turned off the house music at midnight and we came on. They hated us. After six songs they pulled the plug on us. Warren was absolutely livid. I thought he was going to whack the bar manager, so we got [Warren] out of there, and got ourselves out of there without being lynched.

don’t think she was quite as squeaky clean as the general view has been. What is clear is that Cash wanted her around him as much as possible, and her character is very significant in our show. What’s your favourite song that you perform as part of the show? I think ‘A Boy Named Sue’. It’s such a well written song with a great story and a hilarious way to it. I’m always proud of myself when I get through it without fucking it up [laughs], there’s about 12 verses and a lot of words.

Finally, can we have a brief update on the current and/or future status of some of your other musical projects? The Cruel Sea  We are doing a few gigs at the end of my Sydney run with The Man In Black. Tex, Don and Charlie  We would love to do another record, maybe next year if it can fit with our schedules. Ladyboyz  On the shelf for now, but the suits are hanging up in waiting — we are open to offers. We can bring that out any time anyone wants it! Beasts of Bourbon No fucking way! It’s over baby [laughs], too much blood under the bridge with that one! The Man In Black, starring Tex Perkins, will hit the Civic Theatre for two performances only  — February 6-7, 2010.


WednesdayFeb 3

fr o nt ba r 9. 3 0 p m fr e e

Too Late Escape (Gold Coast), Galaxy Universe Friday Feb 5

front bar 9pm free

Sunday Feb 7

beer garden 2pm

Sunday Feb 7

front bar 8pm free

DJs and cocktails Nick Saxon

Jen Buxton, Michael Ferfoglia, Kurt's Rock Trivia We d n e s d a y Fe b 10

fr o nt ba r 9. 3 0 p m fr e e

Celephai, Cerebral Contortion, Gringo Friday Feb 12

ba c kr o o m 10 p m $ $ $ $

The Rumjacks, Deny and Defy, Rust


Saturday Feb 13

ba c kr o o m 10 p m $ $ $ $

Nunchukka Superfly, Skinpin, Phoenix Down, Spew Ya Guts Up

Since the release of their debut All Hour Cymbals back in 2007, Brooklyn experimento-popsters Yeasayer have been wowing audiences the world over with their expansive, genre-defying sound and drawing comparisons to MGMT and Animal Collective along the way. Now they have a second album under their belts in the form of Odd Blood. Stephen Bisset caught up with front man Chris Keating to chat about playing to no-one and album leaks.

S u n d a y F e b 14

beer garden 2pm free

S u n d a y F e b 14

Front bar 8pm free

Hi Chris. What’s going on? Well, I’m in Baltimore right now where I grew up. I came down here to visit my folks for a few days and right before you called I was lying on a rug drinking tea.

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So how does it feel to finally have the difficult second album on the shelves? It’s always nice to get your baby out there, although I don’t know that the second album was all that difficult to make. I would say that it was more fun than difficult. The album leaked a couple of months early on the torrent sites. Does that tend to stick in your craw a little bit? It’s annoying I suppose, but you have to take solace in the fact that people are excited about it. Ultimately there’s nothing you can do about it and I somewhat embrace some parts of file sharing culture. I mean, it’s nice to share your music but I’m not sure about a whole album. But I mean what are you gonna do? There’s no point getting upset about it. How would you say Odd Blood differs from All Hour Cymbals? I would say that it’s kind of a logical progression. I mean, there were certain things that we did on the first record that we didn’t want to do again. So we basically filled in those negative spaces with new ideas. The new album is basically a realisation of stuff we’ve wanted to do for a while but haven’t been able to because we’ve been on the road for so long. How would you say the amount of touring you guys have done since All Hour Cymbals informed what ended up on Odd Blood. It probably informed it a lot. I mean you end up playing the same songs over and over every night, and honestly, we got tired of singing harmonies every night as it was getting really choral-sounding, so going in to the studio we knew we wanted the vocals to be more up-front. Do you see the album as a document as what you do on stage or do you prefer to see the live and studio stuff as separate entities? I see them as separate in many ways. In the studio we try to make weird sounds and do a lot of experimenting, y’know sometimes we have five rhythmic tracks going on at once and you can’t really pull that off live. And anyway, when

Paul Nickerson

Jen Buxton, Corey Price, Jess Lambie, Kurt's Rock Trivia W e d n e s d a y F e b 17

I go see shows I don’t want to see a perfect recreation of an album, I want to feel that the artist is giving me something unique.

Well as they say, it’s the small shows that build character. Yeah I can’t imaging being some young band fresh out of high school that just gets thrust by some major label onto some big stage without having to work their way through the shit-hole clubs. Y’know when you’re playing to three people and two of them are psyched you’re doing pretty good. And you can actually get to know the crowd on a personal level. [Laughs] Yeah, you can even take requests from everybody. Odd Blood is out now through Spunk.

Sunday Feb 21

Beer Garden 2pm Free

Sunday Feb 21

Front Bar 8pm Free

The Bad and The Ugly

Jen Buxton, Tim Crossey, Kurt's Rock Trivia Wednesday Feb 24

Front Bar free

Candy and the full moons, The playtapes Friday Feb 26

Casino Rumblers

B a c kr o o m 10 p m $ $ $ $

Saturday Feb 27

B a c kr o o m 10 p m $ $ $

Grim Demise, Fallen Dominion, Corotted, Villian

Any plans to come to Australia anytime soon? Unfortunately not soon but I think we’re trying to get down there during our Fall [Autumn]. But if we can get there sooner we’ll definitely jump at the chance. We came down there last year and we all really enjoyed it.

It must’ve been good to see it grow like that? Totally. One of our very first shows outside of New York was in Cleveland and we played to like three people or something, and then we were really scared to go back there for like a year and a half and when we finally did we were playing to over 500, which was kinda nice.

B a c kr o o m 10 p m $ $ $

Kingtide, Rubix Cuba

What was the first album you bought and what was the last one that got your attention? Well the first tape I bought was probably a Red Hot Chili Peppers one or REM, but the first CD I bought was the first Arrested Development album. The last record I bought that I really liked was a Major Lazer record. I really liked the whole idea behind it and there was some really cool stuff going on with it.

What’s next for Yeasayer? I imagine it will just be touring for the foreseeable future? Yeah we’re probably going to tour for the rest of this year, but we’re going to be a lot quicker in releasing the next record mostly because, not because we were lazy, but mostly because we were just touring endlessly. We started out there playing to like three people and ended up playing to a lot more by the end of it.

Fr o nt B a r 9. 3 0 p m

Enemy of Average, Villian, Shambala

Sunday Feb 28

Beer Garden 2pm

Sunday Feb 28

Front bar 8pm

Paul Nickerson

Jen Buxton, Shanna Watson, Kurt's Rock Trivia Coming soon: The Rumjacks Feb 12, Nunchucka Superfly Feb 13, Casino Rumblers late Feb

Mondays 9pm Muso’s jam night - cheap booze, free pool Tuesday – Hamilton’s best pool comp 7.30pm Cheap drinks Monday and Wednesday Live It Up Karaoke

Thur- Sat 9.30-2.30

Little Creatures Pale Ale now on Tap

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




7 Days a Week

Bistro now open til 10pm Thu-Sat



cnr BEAUMONT & FERN ST’s ISLINGTON 02 4961 3852

OPEN 9.30AM-3AM DAILY EXCEPT SUN 10AM-MIDNIGHT R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0   



rock outfit but from then onwards we took on all sorts of influences. But yeah definitely punk and hardcore punk were definite influences on the band. Your latest album Common Dreads seems to be pricking up a few ears. Are you happy with the album as a document of where the band is right now? We were a lot more comfortable with Common Dreads than the first album because it [the first album] was such a rush. With Common Dreads we were able to sit down, experiment and really sink our teeth into it. So yeah, this album was a much better recording experience. It took a while to incorporate everything from the studio to the stage but I think we’re pretty much there now.

DREADFUL FEELING UK post-hardcore/electro-isters Enter Shikari are no strangers to pushing sonic boundaries as evidenced on their latest long player, Common Dreads. The band are about to hit the country as part of the formidable Soundwave line-up, so front man Rou Reynolds sat down with Stephen Bisset for a natter about major labels, stomach cramps in Sweden, and birdwatching. Hi Rou. So are you in England at the moment? No we’re actually on tour at the moment around Europe. We’re in Sweden right now. Sweden? I’m guessing it’s freezing there? (laughing) Absolutely mate, it’s just horrible. Is the band excited about getting back to Australia again for the Soundwave shows? Yeah we all can’t wait really. The Big Day Out was such a good festival and we had so much time off. It was unlike any other tour we’ve


R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0

ever done because the shows are spaced out, so we got heaps of time to see plenty of the country. But we’re all really looking forward to getting back down there to warm up and see some awesome bands at Soundwave. You guys often cite Swedish band The Refused as an influence in your music. Is playing in Sweden like a bit of a pilgrimage for the band? Yeah, The Refused have always been a band we have collectively looked up to since day one but we haven’t really been in Sweden that

much. We were supposed to play Stockholm on our last tour and we all came down with the most horrible fever ever. We were driving through Stockholm and literally everyone on the bus — the whole band and whole crew — got this horrendous twelve-hour bug and we were all literally throwing up every fifteen minutes. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Thankfully though we haven’t had anything like that happen this time around. Listening to your music, there is a definite punk influence to what you guys do. Would you consider Enter Shikari to be a ‘punk band’, or are labels best left to the pundits? Well yeah we really don’t like to consider ourselves anything. When we started we were pretty much a straight up punk/alternative

Since releasing your debut Take To The Skies independently, you chose to sign a distribution deal with Interscope for Common Dreads. Did having a major behind you put the band under more pressure during recording? Well the only difference in the UK is that we can plug in to their [Interscope’s] marketing force which has been great because we can still control what goes out. America has been slightly different with not having contacts or the time to keep going over there. So it’s given us a few problems but nothing we haven’t been able to get over. So to wrap up, are there any vicious rumours you’d like to spread about yourselves? Well we don’t really like to talk out of school too much, and not many people know this, but Rory our guitarist is a keen ornithologist. Enter Shikari play Soundwave Sunday, February 21, 2010. Common Dreads is out now.


THE BEDROOM PHILOSOPHER Sydney bedroom popster Jonathan Boulet is currently pricking up more than a few ears in indie circles with his expansive debut album. Stephen Bisset caught up with ‘the pied piper of bedroom pop’ to find out what all the fuss is about. Hi Jonathan. What’s going in on in camp Boulet at the moment? Well, I was actually just listening to the new [Sydney band] Pivot single that they’ve just put out. Right. What are your thoughts on it? Yeah, it’s interesting. I think I’ll need to listen a couple more times to make a proper judgement on it, but yeah it’s pretty good. Your album has been out for a couple of months now. Are you happy with the reception it’s been getting of late? Yeah I’m actually very surprised with it all. It’s been flogged, I guess. I’ve only really had positive responses to it. There’s no real objections with people saying “oh, this is crap, what’s everyone thinking about”, so I think I’m pretty lucky. Can you give the uninitiated a little insight into the world of Jonathan Boulet? [laughs] Okay. Well there’s not really that much to tell. I was just a kid in the suburbs writing and recording music. The next thing I know there’s labels interested in it — first of all a New York label [Evident Records] got in touch with me. It was really just two dudes from New York who wanted to release what I had recorded so far and I was like “sweet, I’m not doing anything with it”. So yeah, I did that and

then Modular got hold of it and it’s just kept snowballing, which is pretty crazy. What attracted you to the whole DIY aesthetic in the first place? I don’t know that it was ever a conscious choice but more of a way of getting things done. I started out doing little recordings with one microphone just testing things out and I learnt from there. Eventually we were able to get recordings that were good enough to release so we thought “yeah, lets do it.” We don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on some crazy studio that probably won’t get what we’re doing anyway. The wider availability of technology and things like MySpace seem to be loosening the major labels’ grip on the industry. Do you think this phenomenon has made it easier for guys like you to record an album in your garage and get it heard? Yeah totally, it’s been an absolute godsend being able to release international quality CDs from your home. Although I don’t know it will take away from the majors and the big studios and stuff because I mean you can do it yourself, but I guess a lot of people don’t have the time or inclination to figure it out and master it. So while it has become easier, I think the majors and big studios will always exist.


The album tour is due to start soon. Looking forward to getting the songs out there on he road? The last tour we did was the Tame Impala tour last year and that was a while ago now, so yeah we’re all really excited to get back out on the road. Although we haven’t actually started practising yet, so we probably should get a few in before we leave. The tour will bring you to Newcastle. Have you had much experience with our fair city? No, not really. We did the one show at the Cambridge back in September with the Tame Impala guys and we checked out your local skate park which was kind of dirty and old, but looking forward to getting back there and checking out some more. So the live show is a different animal to the album? Yeah well the first time we went out I was playing

acoustic guitar because that’s the kind of vibe the songs had, but it really wasn’t working because we found you could rarely hear the acoustic guitar. So now the set has taken a bit of a rockier turn to make things a bit louder and fuller on stage. Apart from the solo stuff you’ve also kept pretty busy playing drums in Parades and guitar with Snakeface. Are there any more side projects on the horizon and when do you get time to scratch yourself? I’ve got a lot of time to scratch myself — too much time in fact. I’ve been scratching far too much. But apart from those bands, me and a couple of friends every now and then might try a little improv- project. Nothing too serious and we don’t put too much effort into it, but just for the sake of playing music. Catch Jonathan Boulet at the Cambridge, February 26, 2010.


thur 4

thu 11

batfoot, anchor nowhere, blackjaw

homeless yellow, i am the agent, phobiac

fri 5

fri 12

sat 20 ** all ages**

too late escape (qld) and guests

shayne graham, electric mary, vaughan (planet), the howling t) sketches of austin james tongues, waltz n black k sat 6 **all ages** bound by shadows, sat 13 wake the giants, ikarii, elva scandel, north of the border, my name 4 your name red dawn, ruins of an thur 18 empire mercury white, tenthousandsun 7 times, north ulcerate (nz), of the border beyond terror r beyond grace, overthrown

fri 19

the bride, kill crotty, get a dog up ya, drown the armada, there goes the city fri 26

mornings eleven, the dread sky, waltz n black sat 27

teal, the foreign objects, the pixiekills

R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0   


ALBUM REVIEWS Feature albums

SHY CHILD Liquid Love Liberator Music 4.5/5

The fourth album from New York pop outfit Shy Child is a richer, fuller experience than their previous releases – familiar 8-bit lines are used only sparingly in favour of slick, lustrous retro-synth grooves. From the neo-disco style of the single ‘Criss Cross’ to the warm and iridescent anthem ‘Open Up The Sky’, every track has a sense of refinement well adapted to Pete Cafarella’s vocals. The album is often suggestive of Empire of the Sun in its dense chordal hallmarks, with a constant dynamism that never becomes overbearing; it avoids the aggression and rough edges of the duo’s last album, Noise Won’t Stop. It’s sublime and mesmerising electro-pop that’s an absolute must listen. For Fans Of: Empire of the Sun.  ~Hugh Milligan

EELS End Times Shock 4.5/5

Only eight months after the release of his testosterone-fuelled masterpiece Hombre Lobo, Mark Oliver ‘E’ Everett releases End Times. Put simply, this is a break-up record. The grief of the songwriter’s divorce is so close to the surface that it’s almost uncomfortable to listen to. Although E is refusing to do any media interviews for the release of End Times, and produced the record himself, you can’t question the bravery it would have taken to allow the world this window into his pain. No further insight is required. On the swampy fuzz of ‘Gone Man’, E croons “She used to love me but it’s over now, that was a good thing that’s gone man, gone. I take small comfort in a dying world, I’m not the only who’s feelin’ this pain...” E’s wry humour appears for a moment in the piano ballad ‘A Line In The Dirt’: “She locked herself in the bathroom again, so I am pissing in the yard.” In the aching acoustic beauty of ‘Nowadays’, E laments everything in the world around him. On ‘Little Bird’ he begins to plead: “So tell me this can’t be how it’s gonna end, tell me my heart, somehow, Dear God, it’s gonna mend...” ‘High and Lonesome’ cuts straight to the point - it’s a 60-second sound clip of rain, someone dialling a telephone number, running footsteps, a church bell and knocks on a front door. Musically, End Times is E at his best. There is no one in the world that makes music like him. While someone might find his sorrow too hard to swallow, keep in mind that no one is making you listen to it if you don’t want to. True fans will realise that sadness and self-inspection are inherent aspects of Eels’ music. End Times is direct and captivating.   ~Nick Milligan


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DEVENDRA BANHART What Will We Be Warners 4/5

Devendra Banhart, with his long, scraggly hair and unkempt beard, looks like a cross between Charles Manson and Rasputin, which isn’t so bad if you don’t consider their legacies. Thankfully Banhart, who is half American and half Venezuelan, doesn’t make music like Charles Manson. His latest album What Will We Be is a collection of sounds from the 60’s including rock, folk, and jazz. Rather than sounding derivative the album comes off as more of a homage. The opening track, ‘Can’t Help But Smiling’, with its relaxed drums, simple bass line, and chirpy piano, makes the album easily accessible. From there Banhart competently visits all the above musical genres, with ‘Goin’ Back’ and ‘Chin Chin & Muck Muck’ being particular favourites.  ~Andrew Chesham

BARONESS The Blue Record Relapse Records 4/5

Savannah, Georgia sludge metal act Baroness certainly have big shoes to fill with their latest full-length, after their 2007 debut Red Album was named Album of the Year by metal bible Revolver. Beginning with the eerie, synchronised chromatic runs of ‘Bullhead’s Psalm’, The Blue Record eventually kicks into gear with ‘The Sweetest Curse’, a palm-muted sludge epic with equal measures of brutality and memorable hooks. These two opposites accommodate each other thanks largely to the contrasting vocal styles of guitarists John Baizley and Peter Adams – with Baizley’s otherworldly howl and Adams’ power metal yelp interweaving over the intense riffage. The Blue Record – with its dark tone, chaotic soundscapes and apocalyptic lyricism – is very hard not to like. Its unexpected turns down back alleys of ambient, rock, and jam styles make it an album that metal purists may hate, but that anyone who enjoys the amalgamation of several genres into a satisfying and musically accomplished whole will appreciate greatly.  ~Scott gilbert

MARY J BLIGE Stronger With Each Tear Geffen/Universal 3/5

When it comes to RnB royalty, they don’t come much more regal than Mary J Blige. Known for her raw emotionalism evident on earlier albums such as What’s The 411 and Share My World, Stronger With Each Tear stands as a testament to a woman who has had her fair share of ‘drama’ - and won. That’s not to say that Blige has gone the way of saccharine sweet love songs though. What we have here is a solid collection of smooth hip-hop grooves and even smoother soul, with Blige’s unfaltering vocals soaring beautifully throughout. The main criticism of the album would be that she inexplicably chose to use one of those awful Auto-Tune machines on the first single ‘The One’ - a device usually reserved for people who can’t

sing, certainly not Mary J Blige. Standouts include the hook-laden ‘Good Love’ and the uber-cool ‘I Am’, both of which had this reviewer, not normally a fan of the genre, nodding my head in appreciation. While this album may not reach the same dizzying heights as some of her earlier efforts, Stronger With Each Tear should definitely keep more than a few up and comers on their toes.  ~Stephen Bisset

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL Alter The Ending DGC Records/Universal 2/5

Alter the Ending is catchy and if I was a boppy pre-teen I’d probably totally dig it. But, as one reaches a more mature state of being, it becomes difficult not to feel a little sickened by DC’s sugary beats (‘The Motions’) and cliché love songs (‘Even Now’) because let’s face it – hearing a thirty-something-year-old man proclaim he is “not ashamed to be owned by the impulses of science” (AKA do naughty things to us), in a strangely prepubescent voice, is downright creepy. In fact, DC’s latest release makes it pretty damn obvious that Chris Carrabba and co. are yet to realise that emo is just a tad over – the children have grown up, wiped away their eyeliner and got themselves some real jobs. Perhaps it’s time Carrabba did too.   ~Lee Tobin

GRANT HART Hot Wax High Spot/Fuse 4/5

Having switched from sticks to strings on his debut solo EP in 1988, Grant Hart’s musical style has since evolved beyond the angsty, melodic hardcore that typified his former band Husker Du, culminating in his latest full-length, the uniquely versatile Hot Wax. No two songs on the album are alike, from the summery, Beach Boys melody of ‘California Zephyr’, through to the festive xylophone and robust backing vocals of ‘Narcissus Narcissus’. Separated from the combative songwriting environment of Husker Du, where fellow vocalist Bob Mould would not allow Hart more than half of the songwriting credits on an album, Hart’s penchant for the unique shines through. Nowhere is this more evident than on ‘I Knew All About You Since Then’, a lithe, slinky track populated by droning piano chords, that sees Hart take on the role of lounge singer. Hot Wax is a supremely entertaining album – one that shows an ageing musician flourishing creatively long after his heyday has passed.  ~Scott gilbert

IMOGEN HEAP Ellipse Sony/Megaphonic 5/5

You may know British singer/songwriter Imogen Heap for her work as one half of Frou Frou or for her previous release, Speak for Yourself. Her third studio album has evolved further still, and shows the artist at the height of her powers. The electronic rhythms and dense multi-tracking of her last album are once again prevalent, but they never feel artificial; they blend seamlessly into

acoustic piano and string lines as well as Heap’s ethereal vocals to create a rich organic sound. Her creativity is applied to an eclectic range of styles, from the vibrantly a cappella ‘Earth’ to the tonguein-cheek pop number ‘Swoon’, each intelligently considered and accessibly catchy. Many provide an outlet for her wry humour, such as ‘Bad Body Double’, a song for those who can’t help but see their worst faults when they look in the mirror. It’s more than just electronic indie pop – it’s joyously eccentric, exceptionally polished and unmistakeably unique.  ~Hugh Milligan

JESSE LOCKE In The Bedroom Independent 4/5

Simple melodies coated in a honeyed vocal; Jesse Locke’s new full length album In the Bedroom is a blend of melancholy, perfectly crafted poetry, and an invitation into her own private world. Each song is in itself a short story describing an emotion, an action or an idea still to be discovered. The opening track ‘Moved On’ provides a platform in which the mood of the album is developed, the slow strumming of the guitar perfectly complimented by Locke’s delicate voice allow the audience to really feel the emotional expression of the song. Stand out tracks include ‘Another Year’ which is a reflection of loneliness and looking for that someone, along with ‘Farewell’ which is reminiscent of artists like Leonard Cohen or Joni Mitchell. In the Bedroom is a beautiful album that showcases the growth of Locke as an artist, not only allowing us a peek into her private emotions but also showing us just what she can do with her voice and music. For fans of: Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Ingrid Michaelson, Lisa Mitchell.  ~Mark henderson

THE MCCLYMONTS Wrapped Up Good Universal 2.5/5

Originally hailing from Grafton, NSW, sisters Brooke, Sam, and Mollie, collectively known as The McClymonts, certainly have done well for themselves having grabbed the Australian Country Music Award for “best group or duo” three years in a row (2007, 2008, 2009). Their chemistry, on-stage charisma, and lollipop sweetness easily garners them fans, hence, the release of their second full length album, Wrapped Up Good, should be highly anticipated. Wrapped Up Good is a collection of safe pop country tracks. Opening track ‘Kick It Up’ is a party (or should that be a barn dance?) starter. Lyrics like, “Get a plastic sheet for the bed of your truck/Fill it full of beer and ice” prove that it’s not for the sophisticated cowboy out there, but then who has ever heard of a sophisticated cowboy?  ~Andrew Chesham

OAKBRIDGE It Is What It Is Krosswerdz Records 2/5

It Is What It Is, the debut album from Sydney rapper Oakbridge, is solid evidence of Australian

ALBUM REVIEWS album of the month

hip-hop’s current stasis. Formerly a member of Sydney rap crew Pragmatics, Oakbridge’s debut solo LP is predictable and utterly uniform, with the horn blares and repetitions of “Check it out now!” on opener ‘Introak’ sounding as though the MC has followed a step-by-step guide to recording a hip-hop album. The beats – while generally basic – occasionally shine, with producer Wizdm (half of Sydney hip-hop pioneers Brethren) laying the soul on thick, from the funk flourishes on ‘Way Back When’ to the blaxploitation groove of ‘Believe Us Yet?’. And while manifold cringe-worthy lines populate It Is What It Is – “throw your hands up like it’s the grand final” being a stand out – Oakbridge’s positive attitude and lyrical themes, like the call for honesty and heart in the music industry on ‘What It Needs’, make him a strangely endearing figure.  ~Scott gilbert

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE Saturday Shock 4/5

21 years and nine albums into their career, Ocean Colour Scene are an institution in England. In Australia, their popularity is limited to Pommy ex-pats and Brit-rock obsessives. It’s a shame OCS aren’t bigger Down Under because they are an absolute class act. In some ways, Saturday can be seen as a very safe album, because singer Simon Fowler and the group aren’t attempting to cover any new territory. They’re simply refining and perpetuating their anthemic and distinctive brand of stadium-sized rock, that is quintessentially British in sound. The only modern band that’s carrying the same torch is Razorlight, who share a penchant for insanely catchy, radio-worthy pop-rock that still feels sincere and credible. Fowler’s voice is powerful, soulful and fragile all at once - he remains an absolute joy to listen to. The title track is an instant classic, as its big sing-a-long chorus catches you on the first listen. Of course, it wouldn’t be an OCS record without an emotive ballad and ‘Sing Children Sing’ and ‘Harry Kidnap’ are examples of the band’s beautiful craftsmanship. Do yourself a massive favour and discover Ocean Colour Scene. For fans of: Razorlight, Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Oasis.  ~Nick Milligan

RAVENNA WOODS Demons and Lakes Independent 3/5

Reading the “sounds like” section of a band’s MySpace page is my favourite part about researching a new band. According to Seattle based group, Ravenna Woods, they sound like “wild animals hijacking a motorcycle with a side cart and then carving donuts in your front lawn”. I wish. I would pay to see that, record it, then put it on YouTube. After listening to Demons and Lakes, their debut album, I have to say: their MySpace page lies. They sound more like crazy care bears on a Moped waiting in line at the drive-thru. Actually, they are “TV On The Radio with flamenco sensibilities”. The acoustic guitar, hard harmonising, and pounding percussion make them very listenable. Tracks to watch for: ‘A Devil’s Coming’ and ‘People in High Places’. Currently only available through iTunes.  ~Andrew Chesham



Peasants Spunk 3.5/5

The Courage of Others Speak N Spell 4.5/5

On the stage, there is something about Emma Russack that carries a strong sense of “I’m fucking with you”. On disc, that feeling is more subtle, but still present. ‘By The Shore’ borders on daggy, with its slick lounge-jazz swing and outro of doom, and ‘Sex On The Beach’ is cheese on toast, straight up. But lyrics like “You just put your hands on my chest/And I will do the rest/Oh I am taking off my shirt” indicate that Russack often has her tongue firmly in her cheek - not just in terms of what she’s saying, but in terms of how she’s saying it. Freshly signed to Spunk, this is Russack’s first solo release, and first with that label. Beyond its sardonic and playful elements, it remains a curiosity. ‘I’ll Never Hurt You’ is poignant, minimalist folk, and ‘Autumn’ provides barely 30 seconds of wistful vocals over a string quartet. Russack’s musical choices are consistently odd, but, it would seem, deliberately so. Russack may be strange, but she invented that strange.  ~Lucy Hearn

GIL SCOTT-HERON I’m New Here Remote Control/XL 4.5/5

It is the nuances, the little spaces between the notes coupled with his stark, balls to the wall honest voice that makes Gil Scott Heron’s first album in thirteen years so special. Spending most of the past thirteen years in prison for cocaine possession, one hopes the album’s title I’m New Here is a reference to Heron’s desire to turn over a new leaf. Although these are not affirmations of a reformed convict, but rather gut-wrenchingly honest autobiographical spoken word snippets along with fully realised songs. The latter of which span from skeletal electronic arrangements (thanks to XL Recordings head Richard Russell) to sparse acoustica that borders on angelic. The album’s title track - a beautifully sparse number with guitar and voice recalling maybe Leonard Cohen or Nick Drake - is the definite standout. When Heron sings “turn around, turn around, turn around and you may come full circle again”, you know that he means it. The subject matter may be stark and not backed with the smooth funk his more well-known tracks, ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, ‘Grandma’s Hands’ or ‘The Bottle’, had in spades, but there is something about this album that demands repeated listens. I’m New Here sits somewhere between William Burroughs’ collaborations with The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy et al and the kind of ambient moods achieved by the likes of Portishead or Massive Attack. And when you put Heron’s free-form poetry over the top you have something truly special.  ~Stephen Bisset

SHOUT OUT LOUDS Work Dew Process/Universal 3.5/5

Swedish indie pop group Shout Out Louds spent six months travelling before creating this album, and as a result it’s more centred

After the timeless brilliance of their 2006 record, The Trials Of Van Occupanther, which fused the pastoral atmosphere of early British folk with Southern 70s rock, many have waited patiently for Midlake’s third record. The Courage Of Others has their unmistakable sound. As Tim Smith’s gentle, dreamy vocals appear on opener ‘Acts Of Man’, it’s like a familiar embrace. Most of this new album is slower than Occupanther, which cantered along with uptempo tunes like ‘Roscoe’ and ‘Head Home’. But there’s a simmering energy in the precise melodic arrangements of ‘Winter Dies’ and ‘Core Of Nature’ that leaves you breathless. Just like fellow contemporaries Fleet Foxes, Midlake’s music evokes images of bubbling brooks and sunlight filtered through the branches of forest trees. In general, The Courage Of Others isn’t as immediately catchy as Occupanther, but there is an extra depth to the songwriting here that unravels further with every listen. ‘Children Of The Grounds’ has an ancient quality that gives you shivers and delivers one of the best choruses Midlake have ever written. This Texan five-piece are indeed one of the most accomplished groups in the world at the moment. May their road wind ever on. For fans of: Fleet Foxes, Crosby, Stills and Nash, America, Wishbone Ash. ~Nick Milligan

and less adorned than their last. The tracks are arranged with a sparse simplicity that is, at times, disarming – ‘Four by Four’ and ‘Fall Hard’, for example, have catchy hooks unburdened by dense harmony or unnecessary instrumentation. The album is laid back and listenable, but uniformly so; it often seems to drift at the same pace, and some songs are just a little too anaemic to grab you. Still, there’s a great understated aesthetic from start to finish, and all the various vocals blend together amazingly well. For Fans Of: Camera Obscura  ~Hugh Milligan

STEREOPHONICS Keep Calm And Carry On V2/Universal 3/5

Although Welsh trio Stereophonics claim the title of their new album is lifted from a WWII poster in a pub, it may well have been their mantra after the release of their pedestrian 2007 record Pull The Pin. It was a disappointing follow-up to 2005’s scintillating Language. Sex. Violence. Other?, which proved that frontman Kelly Jones was harbouring an insatiable fire in his belly... and in his pants. There was a sense of urgency and danger on Language that hasn’t been present since. Keep Calm and Carry On is a baby step in the right direction, but again fails to really engage. It has the group’s distinctive sound and feels as

though they’ve attempted to try some new ideas, but the result lacks direction and a cohesive vision. Interestingly, the first single, ‘Innocent’, is one of the best songs Stereophonics have ever released. It’s a radio-worthy rock song that has a sincere sense of nostalgia. Jones attempts to get the venom back with ‘I Got Your Number’, but it’s not as memorable a ball-buster as the likes of ‘Deadhead’ or ‘Doorman’. ‘Trouble’ comes close, however, with its dirty groove and twisting tempo. ‘Live ‘N’ Love’ is a big slab of Brit-rock that Oasis might be proud of, but ‘Wonder’ falls short - it wouldn’t be any higher than B-side status had they written it in the 90s. ‘Stuck In A Rut’ is a slinking blues number with a massive chorus. It’s a rare example of Jones writing a rock song that makes the most of his big, gravelly voice. This seventh studio album gives you the impression that Stereophonics need to deconstruct their sound and reaccess - particularly with the bland and uneventful closing ballad ‘Show Me How’. Just keep calm.  ~Nick Milligan

SURFER BLOOD Astro Coast Spunk 4/5

Barely 12 months old, Floridian four-piece Surfer Blood are already shaping up to be the breakthrough artist of 2010. They’ve toured America four times and have left a long wave of critical acclaim in their wake. Astro Coast is lofty, guitar-driven rock that’s laden with indie-pop hooks and spacious production. There’s the abrasive nuances of groups like Pixies, Pavement and Television, and the pop angles of modern bands like Tokyo Police Club and Vampire Weekend. ‘Swim’ has a resounding chorus that indie kids will cherish, while the twirling guitar runs in instrumental ‘Neighbour Riffs’ are like sunlight reflected in the surface of the ocean. ‘Anchorage’ sounds like a lost Sonic Youth jam that Thurston Moore discarded because it was too poppy. Surfer Blood have released an incredibly impressive debut now watch everyone take a bite. For fans of: Beach Boys, Pavement, Television, Animal Collective, The Cure.  ~Nick Milligan

THE VERSES The Verses Warner 4/5

This self-titled EP sees Killing Heidi’s Ella and Jesse Hooper emerge from the dustbin of Australian pop culture to deliver a truly refreshing sample of soul-infused southern rock. A slave to the mainstream no more, the Hoopers reveal their aptitude for country in this mature four-piece debut – rich in deep harmonies, thoughtful lyrics and uplifting tempos. The record’s success, as demonstrated by the joyous ‘Forever More’, lies in the effortless blend of contemporary and classic sounds. Killing Heidi fans may be taken aback by the duo’s directional shift, and with slots next to Jimmy Barnes and Fleetwood Mac, The Verses are definitely suited to the oldies. However, the group’s pop-rock background does give them an alternative feel which, at the very least, will appeal to mum and dad’s youthful side.   ~Lee Tobin

R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0   


CENTRAL COAST Don’t forget — Live & Local every Wednesday night

5 Feb

Eugene Hideaway Bridges

6-7 Feb Mark Seymour 12 Feb

The Black Eyed Susans

14 Feb

James Valentine Quartet

18-19Feb Ross ‘The Boss’ Wilson 20 Feb

Grace Knight

26 Feb

Renee Geyer

 Monday, February 1 22,27Feb Josh Pyke


Tuesday, February 2 28 Feb

Kim Richey

4 Mar

Uncle Earl

METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY Echo and the Bunnymen SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE Marianne Faithful

Wednesday, February 3 6-7 Mar Jon Stevens

10 Mar

Brian Kennedy

11 Mar

Round Robin Tour

12 Mar

The Brewster Bros

18 Mar

Mary Gauthier

HAMILTON STATION HOTEL Too Late Escape + Galaxy Universe LASS O’GOWRIE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Kate Adamson + Emergency Cheese LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON The McClymonts + Harmony James NORTHERN STAR HOTEL, HAMILTON Daniel Lee-Kendall OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY Mumford and Sons SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE Marianne Faithful VIEW FACTORY, NEWCASTLE The Havelocks

Thursday, February 4 19 Mar

Bruce Mathiske

26 Mar Abby Dobson

28 Mar Brian Cadd 3 April

Mental As Anything

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


R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0

CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Reverb’s Back To School Party w/ Philadelphia Grand Jury + The Bastilles + Fictions + Empire Burlesque + A Catt CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG Too Late Escape GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL, MAITLAND Adam Eckersley LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Israel Cannon LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Mark Seymour + Lou Bradley PRINCE OF WALES HOTEL, MEREWETHER Daniel March QUEENS WHARF BREWERY, NEWCASTLE Jason Bone + The Evening Son WICKHAM PARK HOTEL Chase The Sun

Friday, February 5 BELMORE HOTEL, MAITLAND Vaudeville CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Kindred CBD HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Phil Smart + Deepchild + Jamie Lloyd CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG Shayne Graham + Vaughan (Planet) + Sketches of Austin James ERINA LEAGUES CLUB Chris Byrne

GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL, MAITLAND Mischling + Broadway Mile HUNTER VALLEY BREWERY, MAITLAND Muph and Plutonic LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Eugene Hideaway Bridges LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Mark Seymour + Lou Bradley STAG AND HUNTER HOTEL, MAYFIELD Amy Vee THE LOFT, NEWCASTLE Allay the Sea + Creations + Sienna Skies + Exchanging Hope For Hearts + Violence + Drown The Armada VIEW FACTORY, NEWCASTLE Pat Eyre WICKHAM PARK HOTEL DV8

Saturday, February 6 CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Hardbass w/ Adio Damage + Matrix + Xdream + Biscut + Lec-Trick + G-Luv CBD HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Cassian + Menna-Loods + Tap Tap CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG Bound By Shadows + Wake The Giants + North Of The Border + Ruins of an Empire + Red Dawn CIVIC THEATRE, NEWCASTLE The Man In Black feat. Tex Perkins CROWNE PLAZA, TERRIGAL Jenny Marie Lang ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY Porcupine Tree LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Mark Seymour LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Eugene Hideaway Bridges VIEW FACTORY, NEWCASTLE Sophie Alla WOY WOY LEAGUES CLUB Tycotic + Prem Bedlam + Urban Freeflow + DJ Ntaprize + Dirt Squad + Beat Theory + Poetic Transition + Patos Breegz

Sunday, February 7 CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG Beyond Terror Beyond Grace + Ulcerate + Overthrown CLARENDON HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Sundae Fundaze w/ Ajax + Doom + Kato + Dan Cares + Loods Menna + Boggie ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY Ace Frehley HAMILTON STATION HOTEL Nick Saxon (2pm) LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Mark Seymour + Lou Bradley PREMIER HOTEL, BROADMEADOW Steve Edmonds Band VIEW FACTORY, NEWCASTLE Soul Shakedown


Wednesday, February 10 CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Carus + Loren HAMILTON STATION HOTEL Calaphai + Cerebral Contortion + Gringo LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Karise + Vanessa Jade + Ruby For Lucy + One Minute of Living LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON The Coconut Trio + Adam Hones Trio + Chelsea Reed + The Havelocks + Joshua Brave WICKHAM PARK HOTEL Red Dawn + Villian + Allay The Sea


Thursday, February 11 THE ANNANDALE, SYDNEY Grant Hart + Simon Day + Tim Steward + Blackie BEACH HOTEL, MEREWETHER Solver CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG Batfoot + Anchor Nowhere + Blackjaw LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Jaywalker album launch + Racz and Waters LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON The Pigs NORTHERN STAR HOTEL, HAMILTON Kill Devil Hills QUEENS WHARF BREWERY, NEWCASTLE Emily Rose + The Healing Heart WICKHAM PARK HOTEL Heart Attack and Vine

Friday, February 12 BEACH HOTEL, MEREWETHER The Great Escape + Enemy of Average CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Centre Section CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG The Howling Tongues + Electric Mary + Waltz N Black ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY The Killers GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL, MAITLAND Errol JM and the Trade Secrets

HAMILTON STATION HOTEL The Rumjacks + Deny and Defy + Rust HOPE ESTATE, HUNTER VALLEY Rob Thomas + Vanessa Amorosi LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Black Eyed Susans LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Glen Cardier and the Sideshow NORTHERN STAR HOTEL, HAMILTON Jaywalker + Melanie Horsnell

Saturday, February 13 CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Breakdown For Bouts w/ Taken By Force + Violence + Renegade + Lockdown CENTENNIAL PARK, SYDNEY Good Vibes CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG Ikarii + Elva Scandal + Harbinger + My Name 4 Your Name HAMILTON STATION HOTEL Nunchukka Superfly + Phoenix Down + Spew Ya Guts Up + Skinpin HOPE ESTATE, HUNTER VALLEY Rob Thomas + Vanessa Amorosi LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Black Eyed Susans OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY The Dodos + The John Steel Singers EAST MAITLAND BOWLING CLUB Helm + Enemy of Average + Red Dawn WICKHAM CROATIA CLUB Batfoot + I, The Hunter + The Great Escape + Heartattack and Vine WICKHAM PARK HOTEL Cornstalk + Renee Hamilton

Sunday, February 14 GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL, MAITLAND Gleny Rae Virus & her Tamworth Playboys LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER James Valentine Quartet METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY RZA

Tuesday, February 16 ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY Gossip + Friendly Fires

Wednesday, February 17 BASEMENT, SYDNEY Yo La Tengo CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Red Ink + Ikarii + Elva Scandal HAMILTON STATION HOTEL Enemy of Average + Villian + Shambala LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER December + Kim Harlow + Ruth Shooter + Dan Ford and the Goods LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Mornings Eleven + Ronnie Peel + Rein Room + The Rockwells VIEW FACTORY, NEWCASTLE Amy Vee + Brian Campeau + mcArtney


Friday, February 19

Wednesday, February 24

CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG Homeless Yellow + Phobiac + I Am The Agent GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL, MAITLAND Skipping Girl Vinegar HAMILTON STATION HOTEL, NEWCASTLE King Tide + Rubix Cuba LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Ross Wilson + Benjalu LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON The Last Waltz

ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY Placebo HAMILTON STATION HOTEL Candy and the Full Moons + The Playtapes LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Renny Fields + Genevive Little LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Racz N Waters LUNA PARK BIG TOP, SYDNEY Paramore VIEW FACTORY, NEWCASTLE Justin Walshe Folk Machine + Gilbert Whyte

Thursday, February 25 BONJAH

Saturday, February 20 ANZ STADIUM AC/DC CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Bonjah + Ryan Meeking and The Few + Coby Grant CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG The Bride + Kill Crotty + Get A Dog Up Ya + Drown The Armada + There Goes The City GEORGE TAVERN, MAITLAND Steve Edmonds Band KANDY BAR, MAITLAND Zillers + Shambhala + Villian LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Grace Knight LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Ross Wilson + Benjalu WISEMANS FERRY Playground Weekender

Sunday, February 21 BATEAU BAY HOTEL Steve Edmonds Band EASTERN CREEK, SYDNEY Soundwave ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY Lupe Fiasco GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL, MAITLAND Sugarcane Collins LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Ross Wilson + Benjalu WISEMANS FERRY Playground Weekender

Monday, February 22 ANZ STADIUM AC/DC HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY Faith No More LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Josh Pyke MANNING BAR, SYDNEY Meshuggah + It Dies Whitechapel METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY HIM THE FORUM, SYDNEY Alexisonfire + Comeback Kid + Anti-Flag

BAR ON THE HILL, NEWCASTLE UNI The Scare + Here Comes The Birds + The Great Escape GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL, MAITLAND Justin Walshe Folk Machine + Gilbert Whyte LUNA PARK BIG TOP, SYDNEY My Chemical Romance + Get Up Kids METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY Taking Back Sunday + Enter Shikari QUEENS WHARF BREWERY, NEWCASTLE Mark Wells + Tenthousandtimes

Don’t forget — Live & Local every Wednesday night

3 Feb

The McClymonts

4-5 Feb Mark Seymour 12 Feb

Glen Cardier and The Sideshow

14 Feb

Dexter Morph

18 Feb

Arrebato Ensemble

19 Feb

The Last Waltz Tribute Show

20-21Feb Ross ‘The Boss’ Wilson 23,26Feb Josh Pyke

Friday, February 26 CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE Jonathan Boulet CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG Mornings Eleven + Waltz N Black + The Dread Sky CIVIC THEATRE, NEWCASTLE Tim Minchin GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL, MAITLAND Anarchist Duck HAMILTON STATION HOTEL Casino Rumblers LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Renee Geyer + Zoe K & the Money Shot Band LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Josh Pyke SYDNEY FOOTBALL STADIUM George Michael

Saturday, February 27 BIMBADGEN ESTATE, HUNTER VALLEY Tom Jones + David Campbell CHILLI LOUNGE, WYONG Teal + The Foreign Objects + The Pixiekills GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL, MAITLAND Dom Turner + Supro HAMILTON STATION HOTEL Grim Demise + Fallen Dominion + Villian + Corotted HOPE ESTATE, HUNTER VALLEY Whitney Houston LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Josh Pyke LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Renee Geyer + Zoe K & the Money Shot Band QUEENS WHARF BREWERY, NEWCASTLE You Am I

27 Feb

Renee Geyer

4-5 Mar Jon Stevens 6 Mar

The Bodacious Cowboys

11 Mar

Brian Kennedy

12 Mar

Chris Smither

18 Mar

Cotton Keays and Morris

19 Mar

Mary Gauthier

20 Mar Bruce Mathiske

21 Mar

Deni Hines

26 Mar The Brewster Brothers Trio 27 Mar

Abby Dobson

28 Mar Colin Hay Band 31 Mar

Jon Cleary

For bookings and

Tuesday, February 23 ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY Jane’s Addiction LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Josh Pyke LUNA PARK BIG TOP, SYDNEY AFI + Gallows MANNING BAR, SYDNEY ISIS + Baroness THE FORUM, SYDNEY Orbital UNSW ROUNDHOUSE, SYDNEY Sunny Day Real Estate + Glassjaw + Motion City Soundtrack + RX Bandits


information, YOU AM I

Sunday, February 28

phone (02) 4956 2066 or visit

GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL, MAITLAND Buggirl KENT HOTEL, HAMILTON Steve Edmonds Band LIZOTTE’S, KINCUMBER Kim Richey LIZOTTE’S, LAMBTON Mick Fleetwood Blues Band R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0   



FIVE TALKIN’ Reverb asked a selection of talented individuals to tell us which five albums took their fancy in 2009, and why. Jamie, from Bluejuice, provided some deeply compelling observations.

JAKE STONE (Bluejuice, co-vocalist)

JAMIE CIBEJ – (Bluejuice, bassist)




The most convincing mainstream pop record of the year, from a singer who can really sum up the zeitgeist at an indie club level. The sound of a heaving, sweating party laced with sexual misadventure, gender confusion and experimentation. This is the sound of youth, packaged for almost any generation. Dancehall, hip hop, techno and pop… Annie Lennox is jealous, and the world is impressed.


PHOENIX Wolfgang Armadeus Phoenix

A grandiose claim in almost anyone else’s hands, somehow these French indie pop geniuses live up to the title of their forth album. It’s a breakthrough from almost every perspective, honoring the history of the group with incredibly emotive, consistent songwriting, tasteful interpretations of the current trend of dance production and brilliant keys and guitar arrangements that almost make me weep. ‘Girlfriend’ is the best song, but who could look past ‘1901’ for pure force? Thomas Mars, you are a gifted singer, and extremely attractive.



Dave Longstreth is a genius, and most other people are trailing in the wake of this indie producer/songwriter. His lovely, catch-all attitude to writing and arrangement draws in classical, folk, indie and afro-pop, RnB influences, sandwiching them between his blown-out singing and backing harmonies. It’s the arrangements that really point out Longstreth’s cracked brilliance. Things are too loud, things run long, everything is roughly vying for your attention. It’s off-kilter, DIY genius. And then ‘The Stillness Is The Move’ is a sweet slice of RnB. Weird.



The keyboard sounds and funk-influenced groove of singer/songwriter Michael Angelakos’ writing and production totally thrill me to pieces. He’s a livewire of energy, a flash-fire of a falsetto singer, and when that stomping backing part comes in for ‘Little Secrets’, I almost want to throw up, it’s so intense. Similarly, when the kids are singing ‘Higher and Higher’, the energy is so perfect and untamed, I can’t contain myself. Similarly, ‘The Reeling’ and ‘Sleepyhead’ take the 70’s and 80’s and turn them into a technoinfluenced party for the kids of today. Poetic, wonderful pop music.



I love this band a great deal, and their new EP gets close to what makes them so emotionally affecting in performance. The single ‘Hurt Me’ is an epic take on sadomasochism, with a lot of Kate Bush thrown in for good measure. Listening to singer Hayley Mary scale the heights of her falsetto is like an ice pick to your emotions. The band are a pile-driving force, producing waves of power from a simple piano, guitar and drums setup. Great band.


R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0

MILEY CYRUS The Time Of Our Lives

This eight song triumph succeeds on an emotional level that few pop acts can muster in their entire careers. ‘When I Look At You’ is particularly wrenching, perhaps second only to ‘Fleck The Walls’ from Ren and Stimpy’s inspirational Crock O’ Christmas album, in terms of tenderness and beauty.



Despite the fact that I don’t really understand the connection between Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana (are they related?), I do respect their abilities to generate royalties for Walt Disney, a man I’ve always admired for his adherence to anthropomorphism. Depicting Robin Hood as a fox? The guy had vision.


17 AGAIN SOUNDTRACK Various Artists

It’s at this point that I must admit that I’ve hardly bought any new release albums this year. Sure, I bought Passion Pit but Jake has already included them in his list. I also bought the new one by Heavy Trash, but I haven’t listened to it yet. I was going to mention Fleet Foxes, but apparently that was released last year. Dang.




You’d think that someone in a band would have a better idea about new music. Let’s just say that in 2009 I dropped the ball and will commit to paying more attention next year. I am deeply sorry.

BEN WINDSOR (After the Fall, vocalist)


KASABIAN West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

This album has what a lot of albums lack. A real sense of excitement. They’ve stuck to their own sound and have exceeded beyond the first two albums, not just in the music, but as musicians as well. What can I say, these guys are the coolest cats on the block. Awesome production, killer songs, a breath of fresh air.



GALLOWS Grey Britain

I don’t want to use this word but this album is epic. There, I said it. One of the most angry, fucked up records I’ve heard in along time. And you know it’s real anger because the singer has red hair. It comes with the territory. I’m not usually into this type of music, but there’s something about it that just grabs me by the balls and tells me to listen up. Fucker.



Again, not really into the whole prog scene, but this album is pretty special. You must have something going on if you can write a 9 minute song and still keep me interested. Each song rolls into one, taking you on a journey through all sorts of themes. Borrows heavily from Pink floyd, but hey why not? Someone’s got to fly the prog flag, and Muse just don’t float my boat.



This album moves me in mysterious ways. A voice of an angel, with looks that could kill, Natasha Khan will you marry me? I’m yours. The production is killer, especially with all the live percussive drumming. But it’s the songs, the mood, the overall vibe of the thing, that wins me over every time.

Lines Vines And Trying Times

I mean seriously, the last record I bought was Public Enemy’s second album, and you’re asking me for my top albums of 2009? Get back to me in 15 years or so and I’ll show you something worth reading.


CEC CONDON (The Mess Hall, drummer)

WHITE LIES To Lose My Life...

Spare me the Joy Division comparisons, these guys know how to write a song. A short but sweet album, swinging from highs to lows thanks to great production. Not bad for three young geezers.




This is the future of hip hop. Post-Dilla psychedelia meets dubstep and spacefunk in a soundclash for the ages.



The best DJ mix CD of the year, hands down. Modeselektor seamlessly mix some of the most exciting house, techno, dubstep and rap of the year.



Rihanna sets benchmarks in style, hotness, RnB, and socking it to your ex with this forwardthinking masterpiece.



Losties are the conquistadors of the new wave, pushing the boundaries of indie dance punk to the four corners of the globe and firmly to the future all at the same time.


THE VERY BEST Warm Heart Of Africa

At the risk of sounding a little over the top, Radioclit’s magnum opus is a tour de force in future world funk and the perfect soundtrack to the summer, carrying Paul Simon’s legacy into the new millennium.



This is a record that crept up on me. At first I liked a few songs — the excellent ‘A Girl Called Johnny’ and the Townes Van Zandt cover — nothing stood out to me immediately. After a few more listens, I was, and indeed still am, hooked. It’s a dark and beautiful album and a fitting swan song for an Australian musical icon.



This is a collaboration between the Black Lips and King Khan and it is damn good! It sounds exactly how you would imagine a crosspollination of those two bands to sound. There is the stupidity (in a good way!) and raunch of the Black Lips and the beautiful hair-raising voice of King Khan, who at times on this album sounds a lot like Otis Redding. It’s kind of a bastardised gospel/soul album and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.


BEIRUT Live at The Music Hall of Williamsburg

I usually love live albums and this one is no exception. HIs previous two studio albums have been favourites of mine for some time now and, not having seen him live in person, it was great to finally hear live renditions of these amazing songs. The few polished edges that were on the songs have come off and what you get is a confident band inhabiting and moving around within the song structures. I was a little disappointed, however, to find out that he is a 20-something Brooklyn hipster and not the crusty old Jewish man I imagined him to be.


THE MENAHAN ST BAND Make The Road by Walking

This is a great album! It is most of the guys from the Dap-Kings and other assorted players from various bands in the dap-tone stable, playing a bunch of instrumental tunes. It’s funky and groovy in a good way, not in the way that your aunty is after a couple of shandies down at the local bowlo, and certainly not in the way that Skunkhour or DIG were. I saw them at the Gaelic Club this year featuring guest vocalist Charles Bradley who is kind of like a very old-looking James Brown! Needless to say, the show was amazing and so is the record.


THE NECKS Silverwater

The Necks are a fantastic band, so I’m always excited whenever they release something. Silverwater is one long continuous piece of music, which seems to be divided up into a number of movements. As usual Tony Buck’s drumming is a highlight for me and it has a particularly Asian feel to it, with the use of Vietnamese and Indonesian instruments. His guitar playing is also great as well! The Mess Hall perform at The Cambridge Hotel on Friday, March 5, 2010. Tickets on sale now.

C L U T C H   —  J A Y W A L K E R

On the cusp of another Australian tour, Neil Fallon, vocalist of forward-thinking American riffmeisters Clutch, speaks with Steve Tauschke. For Neil Fallon, hindsight is a wise master. It’s an adage that carries significant weight for the creative force behind American rock marauders Clutch, particularly when it relates to appraising his own work. “It’s always hard for me talk about our albums because I usually need a couple of years to objectify them,” says singer and occasional guitarist Fallon, on the phone from his home base in Maryland. In assessing Clutch’s new album Strange Cousins From The West, the no-nonsense 38-year old does however dismiss suggestions that this is a back-to-basics record. “I always see that going-back-to-your-roots thing as a kind of creative surrender or retreat,” he cringes. “But it is important to reference your position and listen to what you did before so you don’t repeat yourself — and to realign your creative compass.” “This one is a very stripped down record and

very simple sonically,” he continues. “I think our last few records had a lot of layers and that’s all well and good, but sometimes you can put too much icing on the cake and it’s hard to taste what it is. I think we wanted to examine the bare bones of what the band does on this album.” Anyone familiar with Clutch’s dependably groove-laden catalogue — nine albums in 19 years — will welcome the familiar bluesy rock grunt of Strange Cousins, released through their in-house imprint Weathermaker Music. “The point of the record label is really just to get Clutch’s music out,” Fallon says. “We’re not interested in signing other bands and making this anything other than it already is. We’re fortunate that we live in a day and age where you don’t need an army of people at a label, you just need a computer and a phone and the artist can go directly to the fan.

“I mean we’ve never made money selling records until now,” he adds. “You can make more money selling 10,000 of your own records than you would a million for CBS. The internet is great for a band who’s not in the business of making Top 40 hits.” For the album, Clutch called on production wunderkind and friend, J Robbins [Jawbreaker, Against Me]. “He’s first a musician and then an excellent engineer,” Fallon says. “The studio can be a drag but the way he operates is you never feel like you’re getting anything done but then before you know it the whole song’s been tracked. It’s almost like he’s a dentist who’s talking to you while he pulls your teeth out and then suddenly the tooth is out and you’re like ‘wow, that was pretty painless!’.” Having recently spent four weeks on tour in Europe, Fallon always looks forward to visiting

his favourite places — the Netherlands, Scotland, Melbourne, along with new destinations. Clutch visit Sydney this month. “Touring gets easier when you know what to expect and when you know how to behave,” says Fallon. “My first couple of tours I was under the assumption that they were going to be my last. But you learn to pace yourself and be in it for the long haul. “There’s such a routine on the road. It’s like you’re standing still and the world revolves around you, you go to sleep and you wake up in a new city. There’s a lot of hurry-up-and-wait — you watch the paint dry and suddenly for an hour and a half you have to rage.” Clutch play the Soundwave festival in Sydney at Eastern Creek Raceway on Sunday, February 21 and the Gaelic Theatre on Wednesday, February 24, 2010.

That’s a bit of a shot in the arm. Yeah, it’s pretty amazing to get that kind of coverage. It’s brilliant. You recently signed a management deal with US-based company, Firewire. How did that come about? That was from a live show we did a year ago. Actually we’ve been really lucky with our live shows in the way that just some of the right people walked in at the right time. We were just playing in Sydney and she (Koo Abuali- Firewire founder) was over from Los Angeles and approached us after the gig and said ‘I’d love to work with you guys’ and the rest is history.

WALKING TOWARDS THE LIGHT So Jason, what’s going on with Jaywalker at the moment? Well at the moment we’re up in Brisbane just doing all the vocal side of things for the album. How long until everything is finished? We’ve got another two weeks in the studio so hopefully everything is finished by then. But yeah, we’re all really happy with everything. Stuart (Stuart Stuart — The Veronicas/Small Mercies) has been really great as a producer. We worked on three songs with him from our EP (S/T) which are also going to be on the album. We had

With a US management deal squared away, a national promotional campaign backed by a major music chain in the pipeline, and their debut album Light and the Shade about to drop, Central Coast acoustic popsters Jaywalker seem to be going from strength to strength. Jaywalker main man Jason Hicks talks to Stephen Bisset about the current hive of activity surrounding the band. such a great connection with him we decided to do the whole album with him. For the uninitiated, can you give an insight into the nuts and bolts of Jaywalker? Basically it started as just myself writing a few songs after Field Day, which was a previous band I was in. I just sort of kept writing and built the band around that. The line up has changed a couple of times but we’ve settled on a four piece which is working really, really well. But it’s changed so much from me doing the bulk of the song writing to the other guys having more

input, which is really cool. Is Light And The Shade going to be released independently? It is. We’re not on a label yet — although the album will be distributed through MGM Distribution. Although a really exciting thing that’s happened recently is that we’ve been picked up by the Sanity group as part of a breaking new artist promotion they’re doing. So what that means is that the album will be in all the stores around Australia as well as posters and various promotional things.

Do you have any plans to head over to the US in the near future? Yeah, definitely this year. We were looking at last year but we figured, let’s put the album out here first and do a good tour around it and then head over. Koo has been able to generate a fair bit of interest over there which is good, so we’re planning on going around mid year. You’re about to embark on a pretty extensive east coast tour in support of Light and the Shade. What can people expect from the shows? Well first of all this is the first really big tour Jaywalker has ever done so we’re all really excited. Our live show is something we really highly regard and we all really love doing it and hopefully that will show through onstage. We like to keep things fresh onstage. A lot of times we’ll change the arrangements or maybe break into a jam session in the middle of a song. We like to tweak things to give it a bit of an edge live and maybe to keep people on their toes. Jaywalker bring Light And The Shade to Lizotte’s, Kincumber, February 11, and The Northern Star Hotel on February 12, 2010. R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0   



 “I’m never satisfied with what we do,   so when Occupanther came out I had changes I wanted to make.” 


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The second record by Midlake, The Trials Of Van Occupanther, came dangerously close to glorious perfection. The five-piece from Denton, Texas, delivered a suite of sweeping, pastoral soundscapes that caught the breath of everyone who heard them. Three years later they’ve returned with another amazing opus, The Courage Of Others. Nick Milligan speaks with Midlake’s singer and songwriter, Tim Smith.

Actor Jason Lee is famously a fan of you guys — has he heard your new album and what does he think of it? Yeah, he loves it, as far as I know. We played it for him a long time ago. He came and listened why we were still working on it. Then Eric Pulido [Midlake guitarist] went out to visit Jason in California and played it again for him — the finished album — a couple of times. [Jason] really loved it and wanted to put together a documentary or something, and we did that. He came to Denton several times to film us. I don’t know if we’ll get a full documentary done by him, but there’s a box set coming out which has a 10-minute glimpse into where we live. You can see a bit more of the band and who we are. Jason has always been a good friend of ours and we can’t thank him enough. You just did some warm-up shows in America that were your first gigs in two years. How do your new songs fit in alongside your older material on stage? The older songs are what they are — you’re not going to change ‘Roscoe’ to fit the new style. You’re not going to mess with ‘Head Home’ or ‘Young Bride’ to fit the new style. We don’t want to piss anybody off. But they’re two different albums. When you’re making a record do you keep the stage in mind, or are you happy to create a studio album? Nothing we did in the studio seemed too fantastic to be able to pull off live. We were aware that it would probably come together really quick, and it did. We practiced for about a week on the new album after we had it done, and we had learned all the songs. I don’t think we were ever worried about trying to pull it off live. Did you have any clear ideas about how you wanted The Courage Of Others to differ from Van Occupanther?

I’m never satisfied with what we do, so when Occupanther came out I had changes I wanted to make. But what I disliked about the album is probably totally different than what other people might see as a problem. I might be totally focused on my voice. But I think we get a little better as we get older. We’re listening to more music and getting more confident with who we are as musicians and as a band. It’s a natural progression to get to The Courage Of Others. Although it did take a long time and that’s due to my influences and falling in love with a different style of music to what we came from. Were the songs on The Courage Of Others all written closely together or over a long period of time? I guess a fairly long period of time. The title track was written as a B-side for Van Occupanther so that was really old, and we never used it. We wanted to hold on to it for the next album. ‘Children Of The Grounds’ we started playing towards the end of our touring for Van Occupanther, because I’d written that around that time and we thought we’d throw it in [the set] to see how it did. But the rest of the material was written while we were recording. There was also a lot of material that was thrown away, because I realised [the ideas] weren’t good enough. Why did you choose ‘The Courage Of Others’ as the album’s name? I think it’s a pretty darn good one — it would be hard to come up with a better one. I just always liked the name. When we didn’t use it for a B-side, we thought this would be a great song for the next album and that it was a great album title. There was never a question. We had that [name] so long ago. The words fit nicely together. Are there any recurring themes or motifs?

There’s a lot ‘nature’ elements in it, and I suppose that comes from my love of older poetry. Like William Blake. I’m not a scholar at it or anything, but I do enjoy reading it. It doesn’t seem odd to me — I wouldn’t know what else to write about. Do you labour a lot over the lyrics? Yeah, I am. I write the lyrics last. I’m never good at taking a blank page and having no music and coming up with something. I usually have to hear the music and then it will start to evoke something to say and words will come out naturally. I’ve never been a great admirer of my voice, so to find things that sound decent when I sing them, that’s one of the tricks. It does take me a while, but not nearly as long as writing the melodies and harmonies. By that point, lyrics are almost a puzzle. If I’ve got a good strong melody, I’m not as worried about coming up with something. It’s just what comes out of my mouth naturally. I may just sit there and mumble some stuff, and that’s really how it gets started. I might sing a word or two that makes sense with the music and then I’ll take it from there. On [Van Occu­panther] there was more that I intended to say when I started, but on this [new] record I didn’t really know what the overall theme would be. Is there a song on The Courage Of Others that you’re the most proud of? I think my favourite is ‘Small Mountain’. Though it seems that when we’ve played it live, it’s the weakest one — people seem to not connect with it. They’d probably rather talk to their friend than listen to it, but people don’t really have the album yet. Maybe in time people will start to like that song more. It was written about when I was in college and my parents lived on the top of this hill. I’d spend time up there and wait tables at my dad’s restaurant. It was just a good time for me, so it was nice to

have a song that I can relate to it. I like the melody also, so that’s probably my favourite. What would you have thought of The Courage Of Others if someone played it to you in 1999 when Midlake were first forming? Oh, man. I wouldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t believe that we’d actually gone in this direction. I know at that time I wouldn’t have liked it. I wasn’t into the music I’m into now. I probably would have thought we’d missed the boat somehow. I believe the band formed when you guys were studying jazz at the University of North Texas — what was your sound then? We were jazz musicians, but right from the get go we’d never really play jazz music. We’d play some funk stuff and then jump right into playing Led Zeppelin. For jazz musicians, rock is sort of frowned upon for how easy it is. If we had friends that knew we were playing, the best thing we could play was Herbie Hancock or Stevie Wonder. A distortion pedal seemed like a no-no. It took us a while to get away from the jazz. Do your jazz skills carry across into the music you make now? Yeah, especially with the new music. We were able to improvise a bit more. It felt nice playing live, because [the songs] do change a little bit from night to night. It’s freeing. We used to tour with seven keyboards, so you’re very set on what you’re going to play and what the sound will be every night. There’s not really any room for screwing around. It’s nice to have a real flute player now instead of a keyboard. Do Midlake have plans to return to Australia? Yeah, I think we do. I’m not 100 per cent positive of when, but I’m positive we’ll be there. The Courage Of Others is out now through Speak n Spell.

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STILL SOUND AS EVER It’s hard to believe that it’s been 17 years since You Am I released the seminal Sound As Ever album — let alone twenty years since Tim Rogers and co. got together in a Castle Hill garage. I guess time flies when you’re having fun. Now, after eight studio albums, untold miles on the road and various ups and downs, You Am I are headed back to Newcastle for a special one-off free show at the Queen’s Wharf Brewery to say thank you to Newie fans for years of support. By Stephen Bisset. Rusty Hopkinson, who has been hitting the skins for You Am I since 1995’s Hi Fi Way, says Newcastle has always held a special place in the collective heart of the band and it seemed like a good idea to say thanks for the years of support. “Yeah, well someone offered us the chance to do the show and we thought ‘that sounds like a bloody good idea’,” Hopkinson enthuses. “We’ve always done really well in Newcastle and have always had some really loyal fans there, so it certainly wasn’t a hard decision to make. “We’ve had heaps of Cambridge and Bar on the Hill shows that were really memorable and Newcastle has always been a highlight of the tour and there’s always a great deal of merriment on the drive home after the shows,” he quips. For a band that has such an extensive catalogue spanning eight studio albums and five EPs, choosing a set-list for a ‘best-of show’ might prove problematic, however Hopkinson says the band prefer to play it fast and loose and that fans both new and old will be catered for. “Yeah I tend to stay out of it [writing the set-list], although I always pipe up with one or two songs, but I’m really happy to play anything,” he explains.


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“It also has a lot to do with what Tim feels like singing as well. There might be some songs that he’s sung a lot over the last couple of years. But I’m sure we’ll come to a workable array of songs that will keep everyone happy.” Die-hard fans expecting obscure tracks from early EPs like Snaketide might be left hanging, but Hopkinson says he wouldn’t rule anything out at this stage. “Yeah we often joke about playing ‘Home’ or something like that but whether or not that would become a reality, I’m not really sure,” he says, cryptically. “There’s definitely a lot of love for the old stuff so who knows what we’ll be playing by the time we get up there to Newcastle. “I mean we do have a fairly extensive back catalogue but when we played with the Stones we were backstage with their guitar roadie and he had this huge book — a bible of every Stones tuning from all of their songs. So I guess that kind of puts things into perspective, although there will definitely be some stuff in there we haven’t played for ages.” When talking about a band like You Am I it’s hard not to bandy about such epithets as ‘seminal’, ‘influential’ or even ‘Australian rock royalty’ as some of the more hyperbolic of us

scribes might opine. However Hopkinson says while You Am I have definitely made an indelible mark on the Australian music scene, he finds it hard to think of the band in those terms. “It’s very hard to think of our band as anything other than the band I play in with my mates,”

to every time we can get together and play.” For Hopkinson, the secret to You Am I’s longe­vity amid the standard ups and downs of any Australian touring band, is knowing when to give the band some breathing space. “I think we know when to walk away from it

le and  al ly w el l in Ne w ca st re ne do s ay w al e  “We’v ther e, me re al ly lo ya l fans so d ha s ay w al e av  h m ak e.”  t a ha rd de cis io n to n’ as w ly in rta ce it  so he explains. “Although even before I joined the band you could tell it was going to have some influence on the scene, just because at the time there weren’t many people who were trying to write songs like Tim was, and trying to incorporate the heaviness of the grunge aesthetic with a musical approach that borders on English late 60s stuff like The Move and Humble Pie from the 70s. Those things were very uncool until Tim started using a lot of those influences. “I’ve been told enough things by people about why the band is important but at the end of the day the band is important to me and I look forward

for a little while and when to give Tim space when he wants to do some solo stuff,” he says. “I remember the first time Tim made a solo record all these people were like ‘oh are You Am I splitting up’, and we were like ‘no, my mate is doing a solo album and it’s really good.’ I think at the end of the day we’re all really good friends and we’ve been around for long enough now that we don’t have to live in each others pockets and I think that’s a good way to do it.” You Am I play the Queen’s Wharf Brewery, Saturday, February 27. Entry is free.

TA L K I N G S H O P  —  J A M I E L LOY D  —  V I O L E N C E



This month we’re out of the studio and at the gig, chatting to veteran front-of-house sound mixer, Greg Weaver. Who do you work for? I work with some fantastic artists such as Sarah Blasko, The Whitlams, Paul Kelly and End of Fashion. I also work with almost anyone that can pay me. Current position title? Front of House Sound/Tour Manager. How long have you been in this position? About 20-odd years. What are your main responsibilities? Mixing live sound and arranging travel, transport, accommodation, production, crew etc, for touring bands. How did you get involved in the music industry? I was working as a wedding DJ and I met a couple of people who were at the same event doing a PA for a live band. We got to talking and a few weeks later I got a loan from the bank, quit my day job and went into the PA business. Proudest moment? In the music biz, it was the first time I did a big sold out show at the State Theatre in Sydney. I was the tour manager, production manager and FOH guy, and was leading a great team of people. Is there anyone you would really like to meet (living or dead)? Steve Jobs [co-founder and CEO of Apple]. Best live show you’ve been to? For sound, Steely Dan last year at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. I can still remember to this day a Phil Collins show from the mid-80s. It must have been pretty good for me to still remember it. Favourite venue? The Enmore Theatre, Sydney. Favourite musical instrument? Fender Strat and a Marshall amp. Free plug — who should we be listening to? Dan Kelly, Boston, Sarah Blasko. What would be on your ultimate rider? Schweppes soda water (300ml size), a selection of different types of hummus, the perfect mango. Best way to spend a Sunday morning? Waking up in my own bed. Any advice for people trying to break into the industry? There’s no easy way. Be prepared to work for little or no money at the start of your career.

FUTURE MAN Riding on the heels of his 2009 sophomore record Beware Of The Light, Jamie Lloyd continues his steady climb since bursting on to the dance scene in 2006. Now this talented producer from the Future Classic stable is coming to Newcastle, Reverb caught up with Lloyd to find out what’s making his mix. How did you get your start in the electronic music scene? Playing gigs around town and trying to pass the music that I was making around to everyone. What kinds of music are you playing at the moment? Deep techno, left-field house music, space hip hop, and old soul music. Your favourite place to play records? On the beach. Greatest DJing experience? At Hamster Beach Party on NSW south coast, 2007. Influential DJs and/or producers? Maurice Fulton, Moodymann, Luke Vibert, Smith and Hack. Latest and upcoming recording projects? Working on a project called Little Hat with partner Sui Zhen. Craziest thing you’ve seen at a party? A girl poo her pants. I never forget the look on her face. Poor thing! Top 10 current songs 1. Mole — ‘In My Song’ 2. Michael Cleis — ‘La Mezcla’ 3. Loud e fied — ‘Robotism’ 4. Floating Points — ‘Vacuum Boogie’ 5. Omar S — ‘Just Ask The Lonely’ 6. Boyd Jarvis — ‘Nabudoo’ 7. Brooks — ‘Serve It Up- Hip House mix’ 8. Trickski — ‘Harmony’ 9. Mu — ‘Let’s Get Sick’ 10. Afefe Iku — ‘Mirror Dance’


If Bury Your Dead and From The Fallen Dreams had a love child, its name would be Violence. Still in their infancy, Newcastle five-piece Violence are on the cusp of launching their debut self-titled EP. Scarlett O’Horror sat down with front man Glen Mountford and bassist Lee Darby for a casual chat about an uncertain beginning, and how a night of karaoke can be an unlikely inspiration. Why the name Violence? Lee Darby  Neither Glen or I named the band, I’ve tried to change it a couple of times and it just seemed to stick. It’s aggressive, it suits the music and it has a bit of an impact on who would be looking at the band. If you see a band with a name like that you have to have a look don’t you? Why hardcore as a genre? LD  No other genre of music is so sincere and so straightforward. Glen Mountford  If you can listen to a CD and gain something from it to make your life better or to change how you think about something, or even just be happy for a while, you can’t get much more than that. It’s just such a productive style. For me personally, it’s just about being happy and having fun. LD  Pop might be fun to listen to but there’s just not the same depth and sincerity. There’s so much conviction in hardcore. GM  Growing up I listened to a lot of punk and it was just a natural progression. How do you feel being a part of the Newcastle hardcore scene? LD  [laughs] What’s left of it? It really is good because Newcastle in the past has produced so many good hardcore bands. There’s nothing that can compare and it’s so good to know that somewhere down the bloodline, even though we’re nothing like the original bands that were first coming out like FMD and Arms Reach, that we’re still a part of that. The Newcastle hardcore scene is just a remnant of what it was, the bands have changed, the audience has changed, the fans have changed, but it’s still here. You wouldn’t want to be a part of anything else.

Top 3 All Time songs 1. Frank Zappa — ‘Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow’ 2. The Stylers — ‘For You’ 3. Arthur Russell — ‘This Is How We Walk On The Moon’

You’ve only been around for a little over a year. How do you feel you guys are doing? LD  The band wasn’t even a band before this year [2009]. We experienced a significant change in band members in 2008. It was a rocky start for us. GM  It’s only really boomed this year. LD  We’ve really put in the hard yards and put a lot of effort into the EP. Our first demo was just for around Newcastle but this new EP is to get us out of Newcastle and get new people into our music. GM  It’s not all blue skies at the moment but if we put in the effort I feel really confident.

Jamie Lloyd plays at the CBD Hotel on Friday February 5, 2010 with Deepchild, Phil Smart, Tom Haze, Utah, Stuart Harrin, Sol Campbell and Jay Parker. Tickets are $15 on the door. Starts 9pm.

Lee, you’ve been in other bands such as Jack Napier, do you feel you’ll stay the distance with Violence? LD  Oh definitely, after being in a band with that sort of status you get the idea about how

you want to run with things. That band was quite professional in that respect and I’d like to go along the same path. Every member of the band put in 110 per cent, they had their heads screwed on and that’s important for me in this band. Jack Napier got a fair way and it would be good to see this band do the same thing. I’m definitely here for the long haul. One of your songs is entitled ‘Shake What Your Mama Gave You’ — what’s the deal with that? GM  It’s just a really pointless name that has no reference with the song in general. It’s just a line in this heaps techno song that I sang at karaoke, it was the only line I knew. (Laughs) In a way it’s good, because it shows that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. LD  It’s just a fun name of a track to break up the seriousness on the EP. Biggest influences? GM  For me it’s just a heavy sound, I can’t personally put it down to one band in particular, ‘cause I gather so much from so many different bands. I think we put our own personal thing on it. LD  Yeah, we put our own personal spin on it. It’s bloody hard, I mean there are only so many different progressions of an open note you can do. I try to bring some melody into it. What message do you hope to achieve with your music? LD  Just honesty and a bit of conviction, something you can follow through with and something you can stay true to. Whatever the message might be in our songs, if you can relate to it in any way, that’s a big positive for us. Any last words for the kids? LD  Anyone who comes to the shows, thanks heaps! Kids out there starting bands, make sure you don’t forget the roots of hardcore. Don’t just copy some other bullshit out there. Just get it straight from you heart with as much conviction as you possibly can. That’s the best way to do hardcore. What are your plans for the future? GM  We have our EP coming out in February, so we’re putting a lot of energy into organising a solid show for the launch. We’re also working on landing some gigs outside of Newcastle, that’s our major goal for 2010. Violence will be playing the Breakdown For Bouts fundraiser with Taken By Force, Renegade and Lockdown, at the Cambridge Hotel, February 13. This is followed by their EP launch also at the Cambridge Hotel, Saturday March 20, 2010. R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0   



TOMMI TERRIFIC Twenty five grand gets you plenty of choice in the new or used car market. It gets you a new Toyota Corolla, Holden Cruze, Ford Focus or Hyundai i30 among other riveting hunks of metal  —  yawn. In the used car market, there’s much more on offer depending on how old you want to go and how many cylinders you want. Go for something big and boofy, sleek and sensuous, reliable and economical, or take a punt and go for something sporty. But here the choice narrows while the worry factor increases, because you just know previous owner(s) will have given the beast a fair bit of stick. Still, some sporty cars are up for it while others fall short. We endured the buying experience last month with a wallet full of cash burning a hole in our pocket. But the choice was pretty much a lay down misère in the shape of Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evo 6.5 Tommi Makinen edition. The one with the big reputation, almost as big as the double decker rear wing. It’s a whole lot of car, or was back at the turn of the century in 2000. Out we went in search of said Aussie Makinen only to find that there were a scant 100 Aussie-spec cars imported. They cost $80,000 when new because of a weak currency


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exchange rate between here and Japan but that didn’t stop rally hounds and hoons from coveting what was one of the quickest point-to-point cars on the road at the time. According to Ralliart which imported them, about 30 have been written off and the most of those remaining would still be mercilessly and regularly flogged by rally drivers. It’s a rarity to see a Makinen 6.5 on the street. Unless you go for a Jap’ import. We checked out [Sydney’s] Parramatta Road and there were heaps for sale, heads on ‘em like white mice. They were all around the $25K mark but some had only 40,000km on the clock — as if! The Jap spec’ Makinen is different from the Aussie one because it’s based on the Lancer GSR while “our” local model was based on the RS2 variant, a rally homologation special with scant equipment but a trick titanium turbo that really lit up the performance as well as other go-fast goodies. The Jap spec’ car has the same power output but only the turbo impeller is titanium. For the record, both cars are rated at 206kW/ 373Nm output which is a bullshit figure dictated by a gentleman’s agreement among the Japanese manufacturers not to make engines with more than 206kW — say what?

In reality, the Makinen is good for about 225kW according to those who know. And that means a 0-100kph sprint in the low 5.0 second bracket and a roll-on acceleration to compare with a big V8. As it turned out, we took a punt and bought private despite not having a warranty. This proved to be a bit of an issue because the car had glazed front discs and a noisy valve lifter that required more money be put on the table. It had 82,000km on the clock and is in the bright red duco with Makinen stripes — not fitted to the Australian version. All the goodies are there — Brembo multi-piston callipers, Enkei 17-inch alloys, large intercooler, yaw control diff’, alloy suspension components, close ratio five speed manual, Momo wheel, Recaro seats. Like the Aussie model, the suspension is hard, but after this amount of time and 80,000km, it’s softened a bit and doesn’t rattle your cage. We took the car for a squirt down south and it felt pretty much the same as the first Makinen we drove back in the day. The steering has rapid response and the Jap spec’ car has a better turning circle than the locally delivered model. It hooks hard into corners as the tricky diff apportions drive to the wheels most capable of maintaining grip. Driving out

reviewed Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.5 Tommi Makinen Edition reviewed by Peter Douglas of tight turns is a real hoot because everything hooks up and boom!… it blasts out like a shot. Even with glazed brakes, the car has stopping power to match the get-up off the mark. That superb 2.0-litre, twin cam engine keeps on giving — from off-idle to redline at around 7000rpm. It makes so much grunt you can be a real lazy bugger and hardly change gears. The Japanese spec’ Makinen is better equipped than the Aussie model, with remote central locking, vanity mirrors, higher grade audio, a rear wiper and other handy stuff. The four door sedan body is practical and can take four adults and their luggage easily. The Recaro sports seats hold you tight and the Momo feels good in your hands, but no metal pedals. Don’t get a flat tyre because there’s only a space saver in the boot. On reflection and with a bit more cash spent on sorting it and tuning it, the Makinen seems like an excellent prospect for a sporty car. It could even become a collector’s item.


HELL HATH NO FURY I must confess that with each passing generation of consoles, I find myself increasingly difficult to impress. I’m sure I’m not the only one. As more and more titles push the envelope with exceptionally detailed graphics and vast storylines, gamers eventually take these things for granted, and the bar is lifted ever higher. When a game such as Bayonetta appears, however, it reminds us of the timeless quality that so many next-generation games lack — style. Assembling an outrageously over-the-top tale of war between heaven and hell, just to throw all gravitas joyfully out the window with self-referential humour and campy innuendo? That’s style. Cutscenes spliced together from cinema reels? Style. And a witch dressed in couture, who massacres angels with guns strapped to her stilettos while summoning demons from the depths of Inferno using her hair? That, my friends, is style. This absurd little gem is the brainchild of Hideki Kamiya, a man with considerable experience in directing extreme action games. He’s perhaps best known for his Devil May Cry series, and comparisons between the two are somewhat unavoidable; much of Bayonetta’s brutal and stylish combat, as well as its combo-driven score system, are derived from the franchise. The plot revolves around two ancient European clans, the Umbra Witches and Lumen Sages, who were mutually destroyed five hundred years ago. Bayonetta, the last of the

reviewed Bayonetta [Xbox 360/Playstation 3] reviewed by Hugh Milligan rated 9.5/10

Umbra Witches, awakes in modern times with no memory of her past, and in searching for answers uncovers a celestial plot to reshape the entire universe. Beyond this premise the narrative quickly becomes difficult to follow, mired in confusing twists and ambiguous flashbacks; thankfully, it’s presented through slick cinematics and counteracted by Bayonetta herself, who diffuses the narrative with kinky one-liners at every turn. Bayonetta makes this game. She’s a thoroughly entertaining heroine whose sinfully twisted sexuality is highlighted in every aspect of her appearance. In her dialogue with other characters she’s a purring sex kitten, making lewd insinuations while sucking suggestively on a lollipop. In combat she’s a sadistic dominatrix, brutalising her enemies with all manner of demonic blades, whips and pistols. She pole dances. She bleeds rose petals. She destroys angelic barriers by blowing kisses at them. In terms of gameplay, this translates into a versatile and highly customisable combat

system. The linear platforming in each level is punctuated by a series of ‘Verses’ in which waves of enemies must be dispatched with as much gruesome creativity as possible. The relatively simple controls have a deceptive learning curve that appeals to various degrees of skill; you’ll probably start off just by mashing the punch and kick buttons and still perform some impressive moves, but as you progress you’ll learn to string these into more elaborate combos for higher scores. Dodging is also well executed — evading an enemy’s attack at the last possible moment engages Witch Time, a brief period of slow motion in which you can wail on them to your heart’s content. Then there are Torture Attacks, which are almost fetishistic displays of power. After building up magical energy by performing combos, Bayonetta can trap an enemy within various instruments of execution and torture, including guillotines, iron maidens, racks, wheels and chainsaws. Context-sensitive button mashing not only bumps up the bonus you receive, but makes these moments disturbingly satisfying. My particular favourite is the Horse — not a pony you want to ride. Bayonetta’s most potent weapon is her afore­mentioned hair, which can take the form of

demons to aid her. This is used to spectacular effect when fighting the game’s ludicrously massive bosses; after causing enough superficial damage, she delivers the killing blow by summoning her own monstrous guardian to literally rip them to pieces. These encounters are just some of many that contribute to a staggering scale and constant sense of climax. Such a scale, it must be said, takes a toll on the game’s graphics, and you will encounter occasional frame rate issues and screen tearing. The camera will also misbehave from time to time, especially in confined spaces, but these are only small annoyances that do little to detract from the experience. Everything looks stunning, the levels and characters are highly imaginative and brought together with numerous little touches of finesse. Even the game’s soundtrack is a delight, mixing upbeat pop and dance music with smooth jazz and bebop. Bayonetta is, at its core, an uncomplicated game. It’s a sublime hack-and-slash fantasy whose mechanics remain addictive and fun even after multiple play-throughs, with a collection of unlockable weapons, costumes and characters that provide an ongoing challenge. Beneath its convoluted plot lies a cheeky playfulness, with a protagonist who’ll easily sell herself to male gamers. The fate of humanity may be in peril, but at the end of the day she need only strike a sexy pose and shout, “Let’s dance, boys!” Yes ma’am. R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0   




above  Adam wears Nuevo sunnies by Sabre $129.95, skull & cross necklace by ZoeMou $154.95, summer shirt by Grand Scheme $79.95, Casio vintage watch $129.95. Carrie wears Camden fedora by Coal $99.99, Bikini Kill sunnies by Sabre $129.95, babushka doll necklace by Tu $89.95, tee by Chip Chop $89.95, joey pant by April 77 $234.95.

top  Mitchy wears nervous breakdown tee by Rad $29.95.

right  Trav wears unbalanced tee by Mont La Roc $59.95.

Photography by Justin Lees. Styling & direction by Cal Lynch, Justin Lees & Dan Kish. Modelling by Adam Della-Grotta, Nikki Della-Grotta Lees, Carrie Toddhunter, Ryan Nix, Mitchy Revs, Abby Revs, Travis Jameison.


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above  Adam wears rebel without applause tee by Grand Scheme $59.95, raw hide boardie by Koast $109.95.

below  Abby wears the Camden fedora by Coal $99.99. Mitchy wears the fields beanie by Coal $44.99, chair bro shirt by Huffer $134.95, micky death tee by Grand Scheme $59.95, chino short by Grand Scheme $79.95.

above  Carrie wears logo tee by Fucking Awesome $ 54.95, brocade leggings by Lenko $69.95, Little Miss Snow White necklace by ZoeMou $110.00. Mitchy wears Big check shirt by Grand Scheme $79.95, nervous breakdown tee by Rad $29.95, joey jean by April 77 $234.95, Sector 7 mid shoe by DC $189.95

left  Ryan wears the Camden fedora by Coal $99.99, Big check shirt by Grand Scheme $79.95, Transistor jean by April 77 $234.95.

above  Trav wears poolside sunnies by Sabre $129.95, old remedy Ttee by Mont La Roc $59.95, slashed short by Huffer $134.95. Adam wears sabbath tee by Huffer $69.95, joey jean by April 77 $234.95. Nikki wears California condor trucker by Loser Machine $44.95.

All clothing available from Rad. Shop 5/185, Darby St, Cooks Hill. Ph 02 4927 8988.

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FALLS FESTIVAL REVIEW FALLS FESTIVAL Lorne, Victoria January 29-31, 2009

In 2009, the Falls Festival maintained its reputation as Australia’s most amazing musical event. As a festival, it ticks all the boxes. Perfect location. Perfect sound. Cheap alcohol. Amazing line-ups. Chilled out crowd. 2009’s event played host to a massive amount of quality live bands. However, one bizarre occurrence marred what would have otherwise been another perfect year. One of the headline bands, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, played a set with no vocals. Indeed, their dynamic singer, Karen O, was on stage. Yes, she was holding a microphone. But it wasn’t working. When the first song finished and the problem hadn’t been fixed, it was quite awkward. When the entire set passed without the microphone being fixed, it was nothing short of surreal and embarrasing. What a let down. There’s nothing else to complain about, however. On the opening night, the likes of Lyrics Born, Datarock and Wolfmother got the festival off to a high-energy start. The new incarnation of Wolfmother is certainly a lot more brutal on stage than the old one, due in part to dual guitarists. Earlier in the day, Whitley whipped the crowd into a sing-a-long with Washington joining him on stage for a stirring rendition of ‘Poison In Our Pocket’. The second day was kicked off with Teeth & Tongue evoking the [still living] spirit of PJ Harvey, before Lisa Mitchell bounced around the stage like a little china doll. Scotland’s The View looked a little out of place playing to a tiny audience, possibly because in Europe they’re a stadium band. Grizzly Bear replicated the beautiful harmonies of their recordings, but felt a little dwarfed by the large outdoor venue — definitely a band to see in more intimate quarters. Meanwhile, Welsh rockers Future Of The Left played an aggressive, energetic show.






Emiliana Torrini had the crowd singing with her song ‘Jungle Drum’, and White Rabbits proved to be another surprise highlight. Their sound on stage, with two singers, was huge — a swelling, dynamic wall of indie rock. The Temper Trap played to an overwhelmingly large audience — there were people as far as the eye could see — and the crowd sang every note. The band looked genuinely shocked by the response as they played their massive summer anthems, like ‘Sweet Disposition’. Midnight Juggernauts sounded very loose in their night-time set, failing to really deliver the energy required to get 16,000 people moving. 36  

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They also played an awful cover of Blur’s ‘Girls & Boys’. The final day was consistently entertaining throughout. Philadelphia Grand Jury reminded the crowd of why they’re the most exciting live rock band in the country, and Dappled Cities sent hearts aflutter as always. Another massive crowd came to watch Art Vs Science, who were amazing. They’re the ultimate party band and are surely set to become bigger than The Presets. Their infusion of electro and rock is insatiable — it will devour you. With Dan Mac leaving his keyboard to play a shredding guitar solo, whilst sculling a beer,

he then led AvS through a stomping cover of ‘Boom! Shake The Room’. The John Steel Singers, dressed as horses, joined them on stage for a gallop. Comedians Tom Ballard and Arj Barker provided some comedy in the afternoon — if only Barker could have gone for longer. He’s hilariously funny and it felt like his 20-minute set was over far too quickly. As 2010 approached, Moby, with his full band, took the crowd through a powerhouse set of his classic hits. Everybody leaped as one when he played ‘Bodyrock’, and feet were moving for ‘Honey’. In a tribute to his home city of New

York, Moby sang a cover of ‘Walk On The Wild Side’. It was a truly memorable show. Hilltop Hoods rang in the new year and it was evident that they have become one of the biggest bands in the country. If you’re not a hip hop enthusiast, it’s hard to understand why they are so massive, but you can’t argue with 16,000 people with their hands in the air, going crazy. If you’ve never been to the Falls Festival, it’s well worth the journey down the Great Ocean Road. There are many wonderful events on Australia’s festival calendar, but none of them come close to topping this wonderous gathering. By The Reverb Team



I started to think it was a mistake going to Newcastle for New Year’s Eve as we walked to the venue through the quiet main streets, passing tumbleweeds and families calling it a night. I was reassured when I saw the Brewery, a massive cauldron of colour and high energy. Dead Letter Circus were good. Children Collide were ok. Their songs were a bit repetitive and lacked influence, in the shadow of The Living End. I was shocked at how organised the venue was. I didn’t know whether to be impressed or freaked out by the overkill of police presence and security. I didn’t wait in a bar line and I even saw a guy picking up cigarette butts at one stage. The atmosphere on the harbour was chilled out and the mixed bag of people at this gig were flaunting that special ‘New Year’s Eve vibe’. Living End remain one of the best live acts I’ve witnessed and whether it’s a new tune like ‘Raise The Alarm’ off their most recent album, White Noise, or a golden oldie like ‘Second Solution’, they have the whole audience going crazy, and tonight was no exception. ‘All Torn Down’ rocked everyone and I think

the audience rocked them right back, as they started to party with us. Chris Cheney (vocals/guitar) was getting right into it. He stood on his guitar and chugged a beer during ‘Prisoner of Society’, the tune that is time and time again, a live song that blows me away. Another highlight was a newie, ‘How Do We Know’, which was funky and sexy. The instrumental part of this song was the epitome and roots of The Living End. They covered ‘Waltzing Matilda’ in their true rockabilly/punk fashion and it was amazing. ‘White Noise’ ended the show and as I looked around at my generation rocking it out I thought, “How can something unspoken seem so Loud ?!”  ~Liana M c Donald

THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS Entrance Leagues Club Wednesday, January 6

dancing right from the start of the show. After Matt McHugh’s car accident and the band’s down time I’m looking forward to the release of a new album, due to come out in May of this year. ‘I Thought About You’ was another taste of their new sound. It was a bit too poppy for me, but it was catchy and well structured music that was easy to sing and dance to. I really started to get into the groove when they played some of their old tunes off their first record, Morning Sun. For me, the earlier, more chilled and bluesy sounds of the Beautiful Girls are better suited to the band and they do it so well. It showed when they played ‘Periscopes’, with Paul Bromley (bass) and Bruce Braybrooke (drums) getting lost in their instruments and lead singer and guitarist, Matt McHugh, riding the wave of the in-sync rhythm. The song of the night was the last, ‘Morning Sun’. There wasn’t a single person not moving in time with the harmonious and laid-back sound.  ~Liana M c Donald

CAT POWER Newcastle Panthers Saturday, January 9


The Beautiful Girls explain their new single, ‘Don’t Wait’ on their MySpace page as “Just a song about going life and having a good’s just a pop song.” That line from this great little band summed up the whole night, and explains the new direction their music is taking. The new tune played live was funky and had everyone in the place

Candlelight flickers across a stage of instruments as Cat Power’s band, including Dirty Three drummer Jim White, appear on stage. A burning stick of incense casts a waif of vapour into the heavy darkness. As the band strike up a slow, hypnotic intro, Chan Marshall steps from the stage’s wings, an almighty cheer welcoming her. Her familiar, husky croon rolls out a smokey cover of ‘The House Of The Rising Sun’. So begins a mysterious and elusive set from Cat Power. Dressed in jeans, a khaki jacket and wearing her hair in a ponytail, the gorgeous


singer says very little, but walks back and forth along the front of the stage during her performance. Eyes closed, Marshall often seems to be in her own imaginary playground, with much of her vocal parts feeling improvised. It’s magic to listen to, but requires some intense concentration. The set list meanders in a hypnotic state, with almost every tune delivered in the same tone and tempo, making tonight’s performance feel a little like a one-trick pony. A few instrumental jams by Marshall’s backing band lift in intensity, but invariably return to a half-awake state. Frustratingly, no songs from the brilliant record, You Are Free, are included. Finishing with two almost unrecognisable renditions of Cat Power’s hits ‘The Greatest’ and ‘Lived In Bars’, this intimate performance from Marshall and her band is equal parts captivating and exhausting.  ~Nick Milligan

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LIVE REVIEWS Gig of the month

EMBER SWIFT Lizotte’s, Kincumber Wednesday, January 13


I’ll be honest, a review of Ember Swift’s current tour was originally not on the list, but on the strength of her latest release Lentic, I just had to be here. Lentic is enthralling — a wellcrafted mix where East meets West, and electronica meets folk. When presented live by Swift and her five piece band it becomes an uplifting, emotional and heartwarming experience. Swift engaged her criminally thin audience throughout the evening with tales of China, and the meaning behind many of her songs. For example, ‘Eclipse’ contains lyrics from the famous chinese folk song, ‘The Moon Represents My Heart’, though the melody of Swift’s song bears no resemblance to the original. Having this explained, and how she has used it to tell her own story enabled the listener to feel a part of the song. There were many highlights — the improvised playfulness between percussionists Adam Bowman and Cheryl Reid, the seamless addition of the traditional chinese instrument, the gu zheng, plus the ease that all six musicians managed to replicate Lentic gave a surreal air to the evening. Much of the set was taken from Lentic which gave the feeling that you were listening to a complete body of work. Nothing felt out of place, and everything was where it should be. That said, there were a couple of additions that brought warm smiles to faces. ‘I Wish I May’, a song written by her 95 year-old grandmother was a lovely, personal touch, as was the deconstruction and rebuilding of AC/ DC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’. Her interpretation was near unrecognisable apart from the lyrics, and fitted the tone of the night with ease. Ember Swift’s Lentic project is a near masterwork that has set her on a path of self-discovery and self-awareness. We, as the listener have been invited to take this walk with her. Take her hand, it is a beautiful and enriching path you will take.  ~Kevin Bull

JOHN BUTLER TRIO Newcastle Panthers Thursday, January 14


Tonight was the perfect example of why I love writing about and sharing my passion for 38   R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0

bands in this magazine. My friend and I jumped the line and I followed her right to the front of the barricade where she’d take her photographs. I stayed there the whole time and I’ll be forever grateful that as a five foot person I could see all the magic! ‘Company Sin’ was the first song JBT played and it literally blew me away. I wondered how it would be topped but it was, over and over. The epic and immaculate guitar solo in ‘Betterman’ is exactly why I love John Butler. Some of their new tunes, like ‘High For A Living,’ flew past with a soaring energy. The guitar solo at the beginning of ‘Treat Yo Mamma’, was astounding and you could have heard a pin drop. ‘Daniella’ and ‘Zebra’ were the highlights for me tonight. They were released with such a bursting energy, and the enjoyment on stage was felt throughout. John busted out on harmonica, Bryan Luiters was getting intimate with his huge double bass and Nicky Bomba delivered a drum solo I could actually feel. The show was John Butler at his best, after all this time he hasn’t lost that vigour and passion. I thought the new trio worked and for reasons of my own, tonight’s show shifted my life and I left with a sense of empowerment. I don’t know how, but he manages to do it every time.   ~Liana McDonald

BOYS OF SUMMER TOUR Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle December 29 — January 1


Opening a show to a half full venue is a highly unenviable position for any young band to find themselves. Rupturing onto stage with some supreme tunes, Wollongong’s Mary Jane Kelly was unfazed by the scattered and lifeless early show-goers. The dynamic quartet moved meticulously through a speedy set of catchy punk jams before many punters had even arrived. With members hailing from Melbourne and Byron Bay, 50 Lions’ exceptional onstage charisma is undoubtedly what allows them to remain such an unyielding force in the Australian hardcore scene. Whilst the band ordinarily delivers an enthralling performance, on this occasion the group were as sloppy as two week old milk. Sure, it was stimulating to witness songs from late 2009’s Where Life Expires, but this was not 50 Lions at their commanding best. To label New York’s Every Time I Die a lacklustre and leisurely live band would be a criminal offence. Whilst the animated quintet is performing, it’s unfeasible to find your eyes probing the room observing what anyone else is doing. When they are playing, everyone is gazing intently. Early in the set, front man Keith Buckley proudly exclaimed that the Cambridge Hotel took their “Australian virginity”, as it was the first venue the

PEATS RIDGE FESTIVAL Glenworth Valley December 29 — January 1

What better place to be than at the Peats Ridge Music Festival in Glenworth Valley on the Central Coast for New Years Eve, to see out 2009! Take one beautiful valley with a small river running through the heart of it, set up a myriad of stages and marquees, fill them with such a varied cross section of music and performers as to be mind boggling, then let loose thousands of enthusiastic campers into the valley to create a city of tents and activity. That is the picture that becomes the three day festival at “Peats Ridge — The Glenworth Valley Sustainable Arts and Music Festival”. Included in a massive performers list is such quality bands as Sarah Blasko, Dappled Cities, Ash Grunwald and Lost Valentinos, but to name a few. The reputation of this event has lured great international personalities like the Canadian Jeff Martin formerly of the cult band The Tea Party. Lamb from the U.K. blessed our humble event and took everybody on a musical journey that fired up the senses. A special mention should go to Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro from Japan for their intense brand of instrumental funk/pop. Those guys were serious entertainers, that seemed to enjoy themselves as much, if not more than the ever appreciative crowd. It’s simply impossible in a small review to name all the great players that made this year’s Peats Ridge Festival the awesome success that it was, but bands like Austin Busch and the Good Reasons played superbly, the ever popular Fear Of Monsters, and the engaging sounds of Deep Street Soul were highlights for me. Blue King Brown with their infectious grooves and social commentary are a “not to be missed” band. A Sydney band that

ensemble ever played at in Oz, some five years back. This disclosure was audibly accepted quite favourably by the crowd, who continued to jostle for position. The impeccable performance propelled upon us embraced the likes of ‘Wanderlust’, ‘Floater’ and of course guitarist Awesome Andy’s amusing onstage banter. Towards the termination of their vigorous set, Buckley pronounced “I’ve been in Australia for a week and a half and haven’t even partied yet. After we finish, we’re all partying together!” This offer was evidently far too enticing for many to refuse. And so it occurred, just as planned.  ~Nathaniel Try

POLAR BEAR CLUB Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Friday January 22


Brisbane’s The Gifthorse unquestionably enjoyed their visit to our fine metropolis. Vocalist Shane Collins proudly declaring that the band spent their day bathing at the Bogey Hole and eating Indian food on Beaumont


gave its all at the festival and is most certainly on the way up is The Bakery — I dare you to keep your feet still while this band bashes out high energy funky tunes, complete with a tight brass section and a stage presence that would be envied by a lot of other bands. For those of you that may no have caught them around the traps yet, local powerhouse blues band Chase The Sun, blew the roof of the main stage. Being an annual event, if you’ve missed out previously, you can rest assured that this musical circus called Peats Ridge Music Festival will be rolling into the valley again this coming New Year’s Eve. I know where I’ll be, where will you be?  ~terry paull

Street. On their final stint before calling it quits, the quintet impressed with their brilliant melodic punk rock offering. Covering ‘Don’t Tear it Down’ by Australian rock heroes Spy Vs Spy was an exceptionally enthralling addition. Perth’s Break Even comfortably certified why they are fast becoming one of the nation’s most awe-inspiring hardcore acts. Tunes from the quartet’s fantastic debut full length The Bright Side (2009) were superbly executed. All three vertically adept members of Break Even vigorously covered the relatively small Cambridge stage, persistently persuading participation from the audience. ‘Run For Your Life’, ‘November 18th’ and ‘The Truth’ were particularly resplendent inclusions. Exhilarating New York based ensemble Polar Bear Club had been aching to spend summer in Australia. Their thrill to be here was made evident by the upbeat on-stage atmosphere immediately evoked by the quintet. Incarcerating a sound which encompasses elements of several different musical styles, these innovative Americans supplied a mid tempo melody driven performance, shepherded by some peculiarly compelling dance moves courtesy of front man Jimmy Stadt. Taken from 2009’s highly acclaimed full length Chasing Hamburg, the passion exhibited in ‘Our Ballads’ was a personal highlight. This feisty number bluntly challenges an issue purportedly raised by a 53 year-old lawyer, who claims that Polar Bear Club’s lyrics alienate female and male listeners. Tonight’s exceptional line up was very well appreciated, as was the general consensus among punters. .  ~Nathaniel Try



No matter how many gigs I attend at the Hordern, I am always amazed by the 7pm start, which is unfortunate because great support acts such as Midnight Juggernauts are left playing to nothing but friends, family and diehards. We entered the Hordern for the melodic start of Simian’s set — very deep and slow with lights still on. As the sound built the lights went down and the crowd went wild. What followed was brilliant, deep electro that sat very well with the primarily older audience. In a time where the mash-up rules, this was a refreshing change that took me back to my days in clubland and I must say, I enjoyed the journey. The boys certainly made the crowd work for their killer hit ‘Audacity Of Huge’, dropping it in and out for about 20 minutes before launching into the full song which definitely got the crowd jumping. That was going to be a tough set to beat, and Groove Armada certainly rose to the challenge. With a nine-piece band and guest singers, they opened with new single ‘I Won’t Kneel’ and from there they alternated between classics such as ‘My Friend’, ‘Fogma’ and ‘Easy’ and new tracks such as ‘Paper Romance’, which gave them the perfect opportunity to showcase tracks from their forthcoming album, while keeping the crowd interested. By the time the encore hit and ‘Superstylin’’ was played, the crowd were leaping in the air. With an amazing light show and incredible lead vocal performances, Groove Armada always make bringing dance music to the live arena look so effortless, and this performance was no exception.  ~Chrissy Kavalieros


THE DECEMBERISTS The Metro Theatre, Sydney January 19, 2010

Led by the sensual vocal tones of Holiday Carmen-Sparks, Bridezilla treated a loaded Metro Theatre to a dark set of brooding whimsy. It was a suitably impressive entree for the amazing main course that was to follow. From the overwhelming reception that The Decemberists received as they stepped on stage, it was clear that Australian fans were glad the wait was finally over. It had taken the band nine years to make their maiden voyage to our shores — and boy, was it worth the wait. “Hi, we’re The Decemberists from Oregon in the United States,” said singer Colin Meloy, before strumming the opening chords to ‘The Crane Wife 3’. Everything that followed was one big sing-a-long, with the adoring crowd screaming every word of every song. From the mammoth, full-length version of ‘The Island’, to ‘The Sporting Life’, ‘July, July!’ and ‘O Valencia!’, The Decemberists played all the songs that people wanted to hear (although one girl kept howling for ‘Yankee Bayonet’ without success). Interestingly, the only song from The Hazards Of Love was ‘The Rake’s Song’. The encore opened with ‘Eli, The Barrow Boy’, then a cover of The Go-Betweens’ ‘Bye Bye Pride’, before a stirring rendition of ‘Sons & Daughters’. Colin Meloy held the audience in the palm of his hand, getting them to sing — and even sit down — on queue. This was one of the most mind-blowing shows I’ve seen since Leonard Cohen in January 2009 — and that’s saying something.  ~Noah Cross


THE MARS VOLTA Hordern Pavillion, Sydney January 20, 2010

This was a greatest hits set from a band whose self-indulgence makes them one of the most awe-inspiring live acts on Earth. Where their previous Sydney performances were two-anda-half hour odysseys of brutal sonic dynamics and impossible arrangements, this night was ‘conventional’ by their standards — but amazing, nonetheless. Opening with ‘Son et Lumiere’ and ‘Inertiatic ESP’, Cedric (vocals) and Omar (guitar) led their band through a mammoth set which included ‘Cotoplaxi, ‘L’Via L’Viaquez’, ‘Goliath’, ‘Eriatarka’, ‘Cicatriz ESP’, ‘Teflon’, ‘Viscera Eyes’, ‘The Widow’, ‘Since We’ve Been Wrong’, ‘Halo Of Nembutals’ and ‘Miranda That Ghost Just Isn’t Holy Anymore’. Cedric gyrated and danced, if slightly less than usual, and new drummer Dave Elitch was monstrous behind the kit. As you would expect, there were lots of manic break-downs and build-ups, but for the most part the set was comprised of faithful recreations of the studio versions. With ‘Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)’ as their finale, The Mars Volta delivered another jaw-dropping performance, proving that they continue to be aggressively innovative as musicians.  ~Nick Milligan.


MASTODON UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney Thursday, January 21

Having never been to a metal gig before, I had my reservations about attending Mastodon’s Big Day Out sideshow at the UNSW Roundhouse. Would a live venue — especially one as compact as the Roundhouse — be able to accommodate the band’s epic prog-metal thrashing? At first, the answer to this question seemed to be a resounding ‘no’. Arriving halfway through the support act’s set, I was immediately underwhelmed by the venue’s sound, with the brutal groove of Sydney’s Summonus having trouble reaching my ears in the far reaches of the circular space. Shortly after the conclusion of Summonus’s set, Mastodon emerged from behind the stage and launched straight into ‘Oblivion’ — and the noise that the Atlanta, Georgia, foursome produced was absolutely staggering, sounding as huge and ethereal as they do on record. The voices of both vocalists — lead guitarist Brent Hinds and bassist Troy Sanders — were nothing short of remarkable, although initially a little shaky on the vocal harmonies. This problem resolved itself quickly, however, with the two falling into synch by the chugging final movement of ‘Oblivion’. With the creepy, doom-folk intro of ‘Divinations’, many audience members began to suspect a beginning-to-end rendition of Mastodon’s latest LP, the critically acclaimed astral-travel-meets-Tsarist-Russia concept album Crack the Skye — and they were right. Blasting through the album’s seven tracks with wild abandon, the highlight was without a doubt ‘The Czar’, during which Hinds donned a double-necked guitar while drummer Brann Dailor launched a percussive assault, his arms a blur behind his sizeable kit. Although many fans were displeased at the lack of old material, they were rewarded after the customary encore break, with the foursome launching into Blood Mountain’s ‘Circle of the Cysquatch’, which drew a striking comparison between Crack the Skye’s more classic rock leanings and the band’s earlier, thrashy compositions. As one portly, bearded fan was heard saying while exiting the Roundhouse, Mastodon and the venue that played host to them were ‘heaps good’. I couldn’t agree more. ~Scott Gilbert


DIZZEE RASCAL Enmore Theatre, January 24

After two highly charged sets at the sweltering Sydney Big Day Out’s one could forgive UK über-rapper Dizzee Rascal for being a little out of breath. That wasn’t the case as he hit an Enmore stage bathed in red to a growing crescendo of cheers and after a quick round of ‘put your hands together and make some noise’ , and ‘what’s going on Sydney’, it was down to business. Opening proceedings with the throat warbling drum ‘n’ bass of ‘Bad Behaviour’ from his latest offering Tongue ‘N Cheek, it wasn’t hard to see why the Dizzee one is regarded as one of the UK’s true hip-hop heavyweights. Dizzee had the crowd in the palm of his hand with his scattergun delivery on tracks like ‘Road Rage’, ‘Can’t Tek No More’ and ‘Freaky Freaky’ from the aforementioned album, but it was when he busted out ‘Flex’ from his critically acclaimed Maths + English that things were taken to a new level. “Lemme sees you rock, rock, rock”, Dizzee commanded and the crowd obliged, threatening to raise the roof. Unfortunately things went a bit downhill from here with Dizzee exiting stage left, leaving the ‘record-player player’ to play a selection of hip hop hits like House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’ — a false encore that sucked more than a little life out of the set. Thankfully Dizzee hit the stage once again with his signature track ‘Jus’ A Rascal’, from his debut Boy In Da Corner, and from there it was all systems go once again. Dizzee grabbed hold of the crowd and refused to let go — serving up tracks from all four albums with the dub/ raga inspired ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ off Boy In Da Corner a definite highlight. Rascal closed the set with the club-oriented ‘Bonkers’, and when that tub thumping chorus hit, that’s exactly what the audience went.  ~Stephen Bisset R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0   



BIG DAY OUT Sydney Showgrounds Saturday, January 23, 2010

While unbearable heat was predicted for Sydney’s second Big Day Out in 2010 (and their 100th festival ever), it proved to be an empty threat. Around 3.30pm, grey clouds blocked the sun and a cooling breeze extinguished the humidity. You couldn’t have wished for more perfect weather. Bluejuice got hearts racing with their early mainstage performance, as did Karnivool, who sounded gargantuan. Mastodon were impressive, if not a little samey in their arrangements, but they certainly played to some loyal fans. Kasabian, who should have been on much later than 2.30pm, sent the crowd into a frenzy. Opening with 2009’s party anthem of the year ‘Vlad The Impaler’, the mosh pit soon got very out of hand. A circle of death broke out during ‘Shoot The Runner’, and ‘Empire’, ‘Clubfoot’ and ‘Fire’ were amazing. They finished with ‘LSF’. The Decemberists played an incredibly accomplished set. Opening with the 18 minute, prog-folk epic ‘The Tain’, they quickly launched into ‘The Crane Wife 1 & 2’ and then ‘The Crane Wife 3’. The crowd sang along to ‘The Rake’s Song’ and ‘O Valencia!’ Dizzee Rascal proved to be the highlight of today’s event - he was unbelievably good. His performance of ‘Sirens’, ‘Holiday’, ‘Jus A Rascal’ and ‘Dance Wiv Me’ turned the expanse of audience into a rave party. After much crowd chanting, Rascal delivered ‘Bonkers’ - it immediately became an all-time Big Day Out highlight. Lily Allen stepped coquettishly on to the stage and the screams were deafening. Wearing a slinky blue kaftan, Allen looked drop dead gorgeous. She knew it, too. Constant smirks and suggestive dancing laced a set that was full of crowd-pleasers - ‘Smile’, ‘Fuck You’, ‘The Fear’, ‘Not Fair’ etc. The Mars Volta played a set mostly taken from their debut De-Loused In The Comatorium. A stadium full of people were left mesmerised. Powderfinger played a lot of new material in between a few sing-a-long stadium numbers, like ‘These Days’, ‘The Metre’ and ‘My Happiness’. ‘(Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind’ had fists high in the air. Muse came on stage, with giant video screens lighting up all around them. It was a powerhouse set, opening with ‘Uprising’, and then launching into songs like ‘Hysteria’, ‘Starlight’, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, ‘Time Is Running Out’ and ‘Supermassive Black Hole’. Muse’s encore featured ‘Plug In Baby’, before Jet’s Nic Cester joined them on stage for a surprisingly faithful rendition of AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’. Finishing with ‘Knights Of Cydonia’, Muse proved why they’re one of the planet’s leading stadium acts. Groove Armada kept the party pumping in the Boiler Room with hits like ‘Superstylin’’ and ‘I See You Baby, while Fear Factory reminded people of why they’re metal legends. A massive fireworks and pyrotechnics display was a welcome addition. 2010’s second Big Day Out was not only the best Sydney Big Day Out this year, but one of the best ever.  ~Noah Cross. photos ©kevin bull




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FILM REVIEWS 2010 MOVIE PREVIEWS Should we be excited or worried? COP OUT February 25, 2010 The idea of making a police buddy comedy with Bruce Willis and 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan could be pure genius — or possibly disaster. Interestingly, Kevin Smith is in the director’s seat for one of the few films he’s made where he hasn’t written the screenplay. Fingers crossed this one isn’t a cop out.


CLASH OF THE TITANS April 1, 2010 For those of us who remember the original, then a newly updated take on this mythological epic could be amazing — as long as it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The released trailers certainly look promising, with creatures like Medusa, Pegasus, the Stygian Witches, giant scorpions and the almighty Kracken, all returning. With Sam Worthington cast as Perseus, this remake has the potential to be monstrously entertaining. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET May 10, 2010 A horror movie remake? You don’t say? It’s great to see Hollywood try something new. With practically ever other schlock 70s and 80s film given a reboot, Freddy Krueger was a fish in a barrel. However, the makers of this revisit have cast Oscarnominated actor Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen, Little Children) as the nightmarish villain. It could prove a winning decision.


reviewed Invictus reviewed by Mark Snelson rated 4/5 Invictus could well have been another clichéd sports movie about an underdog team and their pursuit of glory, but with it being based on fact during an amazing time in South African history it is a much more compelling movie than one would expect. Invictus tells the inspirational true story of how Nelson Mandela, in his first term in office teams up with Francois Pienaar [Matt Damon], the captain of the South African rugby team in a bid to unite their country. Mandela makes it clear to Pienaar that he wants South Africa to

win the world cup not only to ease tensions that still run between races of his post-apartheid nation but to also show the world that his country is to be taken seriously on the inter­na­tional stage. This leaves a massive responsibility on Pienaar as his team has become the laughing stock due to a series of poor performances in recent matches. Casting Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela is an obvious choice, it is the role he was born to play and he convincingly embodies Mandela in every way. Hearing Matt Damon speak with a South African accent takes a bit of getting

used to but he is also in fine form. Eastwood directs with a passion for the story at hand and has crafted another wonderfully human film. It is also elegantly shot by long-time collaborator Tom Stern, a master at bringing naturalistic imagery to the big screen. Whilst Invictus does not quite reach the emotional impact of some of Eastwood’s recent films, it is still a very impressive movie. On display here is a classic style of film making that may well vanish when he finally decides to stop making them.



THE EXPENDABLES August 13, 2010 Written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, you can be sure that The Expendables will deliver one thing — action. Will it be so bad, it’s good? We hope so. With a star-studded cast that includes Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Eric Roberts, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, it has the chops to pack one almighty punch. With David Zayas (Dexter’s Angel Batista) as the villain, The Expendables has the ingredients to be our next secret shame.


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Up in the Air is the latest film by Jason Reitman [Thank You For Smoking, Juno] and it is a nice blend of comedy, drama, romance with a healthy dose of social commentary thrown in. George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a self confessed commitment-phobe whose job as a ‘career transition consultant’ involves flying back and forth across America firing people. He loves living life out of a suitcase and racking up frequent flyer points as well as all the other elite loyalty cards that come with his excessive travelling habits. However, this lifestyle is threatened by Natalie [Anna Kendrick], a young upstart in his

company who is on the verge of convincing management to ground employees as a cost cutting technique by making them work via video conferencing. This leads to Bingham taking Natalie on one of his cross-country journeys to show her the need for face to face contact in this line of work, a trip that leaves them both questioning ultimate goals and lifestyles. Clooney is the perfect choice for the part of Bingham and it is one of his finest performances to date. He is backed by a solid cast and there are also some fine cameo appearances from Zach Galifianakis and JK Simmons. Up in the Air recently took out the best screenplay

reviewed Up In The Air reviewed by Mark Snelson rated 4/5 award at the Golden Globes and deservedly so, as it is a skilfully crafted adaptation from Walter Kirn’s novel of the same name. Up in the Air is a smart, witty and subtle comedy with provocative themes that linger long after the credits roll.


Summer lovin’ As the narrator states very clearly at the beginning of [500] Days Of Summer, this is a “story of boy meets girl, but you should know up front, this is not a love story”. Indeed, this indie rom-com explores the temporary insanity that once can experience when you convince yourself you’ve found a soul mate. Tom Hansen [Joseph Gordon-Levitt] believes in true love, and thus is waiting for the right girl. When Summer Finn [Zooey Deschanel] takes a job in the office of the greeting card business where he works, her unbelievable cuteness and love of The Smiths is enough to make him think that he has finally met the girl of his dreams. Using constant time-shifts to depict both Tom and Summer’s blooming romance and painful break-up, the film starts to overplay the drama, rather than keep things nice and simple. Writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber, and veteran music video director Marc Webb, are working with honest, heart-felt material, but the numerous plot devices make the film feel clunky. The moments of poignant realism are spliced with unexpected scenes of hyper-reality [like Gordon-Levitt’s extended dance sequence] and narrated montages, and these abstract ideas ultimately distance the viewer from the emotion in the story, rather than include them. You’re reminded that you’re watching a movie. Creatively, the film-makers have crammed

reviewed [500] Days Of Summer reviewed by Nick Milligan rated 3/5 the film with too many ideas. The nature of [500] Days Of Summer’s script means that Gordon-Levitt’s character has to act like an immature and mopey idiot throughout much of the film. While it’s the kind of heartbroken behaviour that most people can relate to, it’s uncomfortable and frustrating to watch. While Deschanel’s character is impossibly gorgeous, she is not a warm person. Many viewers won’t invest in their relationship because of their shared lack of charm. The two actors that play Tom’s friends — Geoffrey Arend and Matthew Gray Gubler — steal the show from their cohorts. Their comic delivery adds a level of enjoyment to the film. Chloë Moretz is also interesting as Tom’s worldly young sister. Another frustrating aspect of the screenplay is the ‘cool references’ that have been peppered throughout in an attempt at indie credibility. Tom listens to The Smiths and sings Pixies songs at karaoke. Summer’s favourite Beatle is Ringo Starr, for no other reason than him being the least popular Beatle. It all makes the film feel a little contrived — although it is a lovely surprise to hear The Temper Trap used in the soundtrack. While it’s refreshing to see a realistic relationship portrayed on film, [500] Days Of Summer often stumbles in its execution.

Space exploration Sam Bell [Sam Rockwell] works for a company called Lunar Industries, which is harvesting an energy source, called Helium-3, from the surface of the moon. He operates the mining station on his own, with only an intelligent robot named Gerty [voiced by Kevin Spacey] to keep him company and tend to his daily needs. Sam’s contract is for three years and he’s only two weeks away from returning home to his wife and young daughter. When Sam accidentally crashes one of the station’s all-terrain vehicles, he wakes up in the station’s infirmary. Gerty’s evasive answers to his questions about the accident lead him to investigate further — and he makes a disturbing discovery. Directed by the son of David Bowie, Duncan Jones, this claustrophobic, slow-burning thriller builds in tension as secrets are revealed. At its core is a rather simple idea, and it’s executed with finesse. The mining station’s isolation becomes increasingly heavy and is the perfect backdrop for the intriguing drama that ensues. Sam Rockwell, as always, is brilliant to watch and Kevin Spacey’s polite, genial Gerty is unsettling. Jones’s minimalistic approach is crucial


GAME OVER In a not-so-distant future, the concept of online virtual worlds has been taken to an extreme. Via a computer, players can control an actual human being in a real-life venture called Society. The creator, billionaire Ken Castle (Dexter’s Michael C. Hall), has also created a follow-up — a blood-thirsty shoot-em-up called Slayers. In this real life ‘game’, players control the minds and responses of death-row inmates who engage in actual warfare. Caught in this twisted new form of entertainment is John Tillman, who, under the

moniker of ‘Kable’, must survive 30 games to win his freedom from death row and return to his wife and daughter. While Gamer contains a number of interesting, and perhaps even prophetic, ideas, ultimately it’s a rather throw-away action flick. There are also some fairly blatant similarities to 1987’s Arnie action classic, The Running Man. There are some nicely staged and visually interesting sequences — like the rave party — but the plot is resolved in very safe and unoriginal territory. It’s a shame, because writer/directors Mark

reviewed Moon reviewed by Nick Milligan rated 4/5 and perfectly delivered, allowing the mystery to unravel. The sets feel intensely real and special effects are used seamlessly and sparingly. Moon has the palpable qualities of a film from the seventies and is filled the visceral nuances. Moon is ultimately a chilling film that maintains its vision until the final credits. It asks some important questions about our future and an impending desperation for natural resources. It’s a very impressive feature debut from Jones. The DVD release has a comprehensive set of special features. There are three audio commentaries, a short film by Jones called Whistle, making-of and special effects featurettes, and footage of live Q&A sessions. All in all, a release worth owning. Moon is released on DVD on Wednesday, February 24, 2010.

reviewed Gamer reviewed by Noah Cross rated 2.5/5 Neveldine and Brian Taylor [Crank] set up an intriguing scenario. Butler returns to arse-kickin’ hero mode and Hall plays a very cartoon-like villain who — insert shocked expression — has plans for world domination. It’s also hard to accept his Texan accent. However, the film does benefit from a very strong supporting cast, which includes Alison Lohman, Ludacris, Kyra Sedgwick and Amber Valletta. It’s a shame that Gamer squanders the potential of its ingredients.

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R E V E R B M A G A Z I N E I S S U E # 0 4 3  —  F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0






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Reverb Magazine - Issue 43  

Reverb Magazine - Issue 43

Reverb Magazine - Issue 43  

Reverb Magazine - Issue 43