CONGO TARDIS #1 MY DISCO AMON AMARTH JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW
N O W AVA I L A B L E O N I PA D • W E D N E S D AY 11 A P R I L 2 012 • I S S U E 1219 • F R E E
INPRESS • 3
AU S T RA L I A N P R E M I E R E S - S Y D N E Y O N LY
STOP THE VIRGENS
CO-CREATED BY KAREN O & KK BARRETT. MUSIC DIRECTION BY SAM SPIEGEL & NICK ZINNER. DIRECTED BY ADAM RAPP.
FROM THE FRONT WOMAN OF THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS, AN EPIC MUSIC THEATRE EVENT
3 0 M AY â€“ 3 J U N E O N LY. O P E RA T H E AT R E .
BRYCE DESSNER, NICO MUHLY & SUFJAN STEVENS AN EXCEPTIONAL COLLABORATION FEATURING NEW WORK FROM THREE OF NEW YORKâ€™S DEFINING CREATIVE MINDS. A V I V I D L I V E C O M M I S S I O N W I T H T H E B A R B I C A N LO N D O N & M U Z I E KG E B O U W E I N D H OV E N
2 8 & 3 0 M AY. C O N C E RT H A L L .
BO OK NOW SYDNEYOPERAHOUSE.COM/VIVIDLIVE
4 â€¢ INPRESS
SATURDAY 14 JULY THE PLENARY ON SALE TUESDAY 17 APRIL
INPRESS • 5
WEDNESDAY 11TH APRIL
OLIVE GREY + JOSH FORNER + LAUREN BOOMGARDT 8pm $8 THURSDAY 12TH APRIL
PHIL LYDDY TRIO 6pm WINSTON + BENJAMIN JOHN ELLIOT + TOAST 8:30pm $6 FRIDAY 13TH APRIL
JASON LOWE EMMA WALL BAND + MICHELLE PARSONS
SATURDAY 14TH APRIL
YEO 5:30pm ALISON FERRIER + DEAD WATER CITY + PETE EWING AND RUTH LINDTFZ!! 8pm $10 SUNDAY 15TH APRIL
Open...MON - THU...from 4pm ‘til late FRI...from 2pm ‘til late SAT - SUN...from 12pm ‘til late
Live Music Bookings email@example.com www.wesleyanne.com.au
NEW AUTUMN MENU
THE GOOD SHIP SAM BUCKINGHAM + JENNY BIDDLE
TUESDAY 17TH APRIL
OPEN MIC NIGHT
Autumn Special 2 for 1meals on Monday $12 Jugs of Cider till 6pm. OPEN FOR LUNCH FROM MIDDAY
bookings: 9482 1333
6 • INPRESS
INPRESS • 7
THE BANDS THE INDUSTRY THE LOCALS THE ENCORES THE DJS THE GIGS THE PRODUCERS THE CLUBS THE REMIXES THE ARTISTS THE FESTIVALS THE GROUPIES THE ALBUMS THE TOURS THE FANS
PASSENGERS SAFELY OFF
Being a PSO stands for a lot. It gives you a special standing in your community. As a Protective Services Ofﬁcer, you help keep our train stations safe. And in helping others, you might even discover something more satisfying than a 9 to 5 job for yourself. Apply to become a PSO today. P.S. Your community needs you.
PROTECTIVE SERVICES OFFICERS
Help keep our train stations safe. Become a PSO. Visit policecareer.vic.gov.au or SMS “proud” to 132 001. POL0097
8 • INPRESS
INPRESS • 9
W E D N E S D AY 1 1 A P R I L 2 0 1 2
Week 3 Melbourne Comedy Festival Polash Larsen & Nic Velissaris - East Meets West, Travis Nash - Mind Boat, Sean Ryan & Craig McLeod - 2 Dudes 1 Show, Alistair Bates, Dain Hedgpeth & Damian Smith - 20,30,40, Charlie Ranger & Nicholas Waxman - A Sunburnt History see Loop website for details Fri 13. 10pm - Melb Techno Collective & FINN Audio present Mind Music Jani Ho (live), Sam McEwin, Matt Radovich & Dean Benson Live visuals by VJ Junior
Sat 14. 10pm - ebb&flo Mike Callander, Nikko, Jon Beta & Lister Cooray - Visuals by Netzair Tues 17. 7pm - Read&Rights Discuss 'The Tall Man' by Chloe Hooper Coming Up... Thu 26. 7pm The Short Greek Film Festival
12 The Front Line brings you the hottest industry news 12 This week’s best and worst in Backlash/Frontlash 14 Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements 18 Hoodoo Gurus take a trip down Memory Lane 20 Lateef The Truthspeaker put to the Taste Test 22 We’re waiting for The Sonics 23 Mark Lanegan plays his cards close to his chest 24 Last Dinosaurs are setting up the rest of their lives 25 Lou Barlow is still coming to Australia. Phew 25 Amon Amarth pillage all before them 25 Zoophyte are enjoying their second coming 26 Rüfüs feel foreign 26 Margins avoid the instrumental cliches 26 The art of loneliness with Vincent James McMorrow 26 My Disco are not your average rock band 28 On The Record rates new releases from Love Connection and Paul Weller
FRONT ROW 30 30 31 31
This Week In Arts plans your upcoming schedule Henry Rollins talks about his love of life on the road Cultural Cringe explores the notion of an “arts accord” Michael Chamberlin waxes lyrical on writing for himself 31 Indie filmmaker Rick Alverson talks New Jerusalem and The Comedy
Alex Aronsten & the Southern Lights
Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast Editor Shane O’Donohue firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor Bryget Chrisfield Editorial Assistant Samson McDougall Front Row Editor Daniel Crichton-Rouse email@example.com Staff Writer Michael Smith
Melody driven roots country. Yehar. 5pm
SATURDAY 14 April
Raised by Eagles
Alt-country-bluegrass-rock-popcrossover band featuring Nick O’Mara (Fingerbone Bill), Luke Richardson (The Stetson Family), Johnny Gibson (Van Walker Band) and Luke Sinclair (the Idle Hoes). 9pm
firstname.lastname@example.org National Sales & Marketing Director Leigh Treweek National Sales Manager – Print Nick Lynagh Account Manager Cat Clarke Account Manager Brad Turner
DESIGN & LAYOUT
SUNDAY 15 April
Perch Creek Family Jug Band Three high-vibe, hootenanny Sundays of bluegrass, old-time jazz and country blues by this awesome homegrown jug band. Five-part harmonies, and multi-instrumental madness will ensue. 5pm
109 UNION ST, BRUNSWICK UHBBOOKINGS@YAHOO.COM.AU
10 • INPRESS
Oliver Phelps discusses life as George Weasley Fragmented Films looks at The Human Centipede II Seann William Scott reheats some American Pie Steve Hughes talks about Australia’s cultural cringe Film Carew weighs in on New Jerusalem and Rebellion Filmmaker Michael Tucker explores mixed martial arts Tim Bonython captures surfers on screen Illustrator Beci Orphin prepares for the inaugural Field Trip
BACK TO INPRESS 37 Gig Of The Week feels all Scattered 41 LIVE:Reviews has a Rockabilly Riot with Brian Setzer 44 Sarah Petchell will Wake The Dead with her punk and hardcore talk 44 Andrew Haug takes us to the dark side in The Racket 44 Dan Condon blues and roots in Roots Down 44 Fragmented Frequencies visits WOMADelaide 46 Pop culture therapy with The Breakdown 46 Hip hop news with Intelligible Flow 46 The freshest in urban news with OG Flavas 46 New currents with Dance Moves 47 Fill your dance card with our Club Guide 48 If you haven’t appeared in Fred Negro’s Pub, your mother probably still speaks to you 48 Jeff Jenkins gets down and local in Howzat! 49 Our Gig Guide fills your diary for the weekend 52 Gear and studio reviews in BTL 54 Find your new band and just about everything else in our classy Classifieds
For your chance to grab one of three double passes to Jordie Lane’s Farewell Melbourne show on Friday 10 February at the EBC, along with two double passes to Blanche DuBois’ Saturday 11 February Toff In Town show, head to the Inpress Facebook page.
SATURDAY 14 April
31 32 32 32 32 34 34 34
THE UNION HOTEL
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Senior Contributors Jeff Jenkins Overseas Contributors Tom Hawking (US), James McGalliard (UK), Sasha Perera (UK). Writers Nick Argyriou, The Boomeister, Atticus Bastow, Steve Bell, Alice Body, Luke Carter, Dan Condon, Anthony Carew, Chris Chinchilla, Rebecca Cook, Kendal Coombs, Adam Curley, Cyclone, Guy Davis, Liza Dezfouli, Lizzie Dynon, Guido Farnell, Sam Fell, Bob Baker Fish, Robert Gascoigne, Warwick Goodman, Cameron Grace, Andrew Haug, Andy Hazel, Kate Kingsmill, Michael Magnusson, Baz McAlister, Samson McDougall, Tony McMahon, Count Monbulge, Luke Monks, Fred Negro, Mark Neilsen,
Roger Nelson, Danielle O’Donohue, Matt O’Neill, James Parker, Adam Psarras, Josh Ramselaar, Paul Ransom, Leonie Richman, Antonios Sarhanis, Ingrid Sjolund, Dylan Stewart, Izzy Tolhurst, Nic Toupee, Rob Townsend, Danielle Trabsky, Dominique Wall, Doug Wallen.
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Cassandra Fumi, Stephanie Liew
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THURSDAY MAY 10
WEDNESDAY JUNE 27
SATURDAY MAY 12
& JAPAN FOR
SUNDAY JULY 8
FRIDAY MAY 18
GASOLINE INC. BUSBY HELM + THE SOULENIKOES, ODD THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT + NUMBERS RADIO & GREENTHEIF
+ REDCOATS & SLEEPMAKESWAVES
INPRESS • 11
COLD CHISEL SHOW LIVE IN CINEMAS
Cold Chisel’s Sydney show will be beamed live via satellite to cinemas across Australia and New Zealand as the next CinemaLive screening in high definition and Dolby 5.1 sound. The band will play the Hordern Pavilion next Wednesday 18 April in support of their first new studio album in 14 years, No Plans. The screening will take place at 9pm along the east coast, 8.30pm in South Australia and Northern Territory and 7pm in Western Australia. Frontman Jimmy Barnes said last week, “We’re really proud of this new
INDUSTRY NEWS WITH SCOTT FITZSIMONS firstname.lastname@example.org
going to Melba isn’t put in the ‘too-hard basket’ as we head towards a brutal federal budget where the Government is mercilessly cutting to ensure they arrive at surplus. It’s important this money stays within the arts funding system and is just redistributed,” he said. He also said that despite Melba’s shallow release output last year (which equated to $250,000 per album), “The Australia Council’s funding should not always be based on how many sales you make. This said, personally I’d love to see more Australia Council money being spent on the intersection of culture and commerce; investing in organisations and businesses so that they may increase their capacity for continued support of the arts.”
album and want as many people to hear it as possible. The idea of having this gig beamed out to cinemas seemed like a great way of getting people to hear a few of the new songs live as well as all the ones they know. We’ve played a lot of gigs around Australia over the last 35 years, but this will be the first time we’ve played in over 100 places on the same night!” The album was released last week, the band headlining Bluesfest to launch it. The Hordern show will be a mix of classics and material from the new album, which features the last recorded work of late drummer Steve Prestwich. Tickets will be on sale through cinemalive.com.
INERTIA OUTSOURCE WAREHOUSE TO SONY
“OUTRAGE” OVER TAX DOLLARS FUNNELED INTO CLASSICAL LABEL
Contemporary music stakeholders are outraged that classical music label Melba received $750,000 to release three albums last year. As first reported in The Australian, the highly regarded Melbourne-based Melba Recordings has been receiving financial grants of up to $5 million from the government since 2004. The huge amount of money is seen by contemporary music lobbyists as evidence of a disparity of funding between the classical arts and the rest of the arts and music scene, especially given the small audience for the ‘classics’. According to the annual report, last year Melba released three albums. During the year they earned $750,000 in government funds and $275,980 in “patron income” while CD sales (including back catalogue) amounted to $18,000. Melba’s current ambassadors include the likes of Baz Luhrmann, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Sir James Wolfensohn and Sir Gustav Nossal. In an email leaked to The Australian, Musica Viva’s artistic director Carl Vine claims that Melba had managed to exclude itself from the peer-review process of Government funding. He cited labels like ABC Classics, which released 23 records last year, and independent labels like Tall Poppies and Move, who distribute up to ten releases a year without – or with little – funding. Outside of the classical realm, contemporary music stakeholders were shocked at the amount of money offered to the classical genre. Music lobby group SLAM [Save Live Australia’s Music] said in a statement. “We are outraged that this amount of funding should be provided to a single organisation outside of the peer review process. The sheer size of the initial grant provided to Melba Recordings is equal to the entire budget of the music board of the Australia Council. “We are deeply concerned about how this outof-round funding came about and call on the Australian Government to do a full investigation into the Australia Council and the role of all the Federal Arts Ministers since 2004. At a time when technology is threatening the livelihood of musicians and election promises to the contemporary music sector remain undelivered, we call on the Australian Government to redirect this funding to urgent contemporary music programs
and support.” Their email, signed by more than 100 people when The Front Line saw it last week, was to be sent to Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean’s office. The Front Line contacted Melba for a response, but CEO Maria Vandamme was unable to comment in time for deadline. When asking for a media contact, the receptionist assured us that they were a “very small organisation”. Vandamme told The Australian that Melba had “been denied the possibility of peer assessment because there is no program at the Australia Council to support our work.” In 2004, when Melba first received the funding, ArtsHub ran an article claiming that not only had Vandamme bypassed the Australia Council, but with the aid of “very influential friends” went above the Arts Minister to then-Treasurer Peter Costello. Current Federal Arts Minister Crean declined to comment to The Front Line last week and is believed to be reviewing Government funding for the promised National Cultural Policy, for which submissions closed last October. Not all stakeholders were keen to take aim at the classical section though. Nick O’Byrne, General Manager Of The Australian Independent Records Label Association [AIR], who has been a long-time campaigner for further recognition of contemporary music in Australia, told Your Daily SPA that the issue wasn’t so much about classical versus contemporary, but rather a transparency of Government funding. O’Byrne wants to ensure that the Australia Council is not undermined because of the scandal. He said it was important that music stakeholders “don’t make this debate about classical music versus contemporary music. That’s not the point. In fact, it’s undeniable that some of Melba’s projects do have serious cultural significance.” O’Bryne, through AIR, has, like a number of other music industry stakeholders and representatives, made submissions to Minister Crean’s office regarding the National Cultural Policy. When – or if – finalised, it will be the first time Australia has had such a policy in 20 years. And with recent studies valuing live music – particularly smaller indie gigs – in the billions of dollars, it is hoped that whatever funding granted to the arts will flow across all sectors. But O’Byrne warned that if Melba is to have its funding redistributed, there’s no guarantee that it will stay in the arts. “I want to make sure that the $1-$2 million potentially
Inertia has outsourced its warehousing and distribution operations to Sony DADC, the independent label announced last week. The new warehouse set-up will take effect Monday 6 August, but the label said that it would not affect the A&R, production, sales, marketing, publicity and client operations departments. Inertia’s Managing Director Colin Daniels told Your Daily SPA, “Inertia has grown at a rapid rate in the past few years. In 2011 we sold close to two million units. Outsourcing our warehouse operations to Sony DADC enables us to apply all our energy to our core business model, marketing and selling independent music.” Sony DADC’s Managing Director Darren Houghton said, “This new addition complements our existing client portfolio and demonstrates DADC’s global and local commitment to support all areas within the entertainment industry.” Sony DADC has facilities in Australia, UK, USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, India and China. Earlier this year Inertia announced their new platform for artists, Inertia Access.
Dew Process and Secret Service imprint Create/ Control have lined up Canadians Metric, Brisbane’s The Jungle Giants and New Zealand’s OPOSSOM as part of the label’s first reveal. It was launched earlier this year as the latest in the wave of re-structured labels that claim to give more power back to the artist. Largely it’s for artists who have the ability to create their own recordings without label funding who will then use the label for distribution, promotion and marketing. Bands are also given access to an online store so they are able to sell directly to fans. Metric, who have been a successful independent band off their own back, will release their album Synthetica through the label in mid-
BONO AND THE EDGE INVEST IN DROPBOX
U2’s Bono and The Edge have investing in filesharing/storage service Dropbox, which has been valued at $4 billion. The company tweeted last week, “@Dropbox is excited to welcome Bono & The Edge as investors. Thanks for the support and look forward to great things!” They also posted a photo of the U2 band members with Dropbox co-founders Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston. The pair are believed to have taken part in the San Francisco start-up’s $250 million funding round last year. The company was valued at $4 billion then. Bono has been involved with technology investments as a co-founder and managing partner of Elevation Partners, which has invested in companies like Facebook and Forbes. The LA Times report that Elevation are also raising a new $1 billion fund. However this is the first time Bono has had his name directly tied with a technology company as an investor.
ALOE BLACC JOINS BAMBOOS’ NEW ALBUM Aloe Blacc, Megan Washington, Tim Rogers, Daniel Merriweather and more guest on Melbourne band’s The Bamboos’ new album. Their fifth album Medicine Man will be released Friday 1 June through Inertia with the contemporary funk and soul outfit welcoming a number of guests, as fans have already heard through single I Got Burned, which featured You Am I frontman Rogers. Other guests include Australian chart-toppers Megan Washington and Daniel Merriweather and soul star Aloe Blacc. Bobby Flynn also lends his voice, regular collaborator Kylie Auldist sings on four songs and Melbourne’s Ella Thompson contributes to three songs, as well as joining the live line-up. Bandleader Lance Ferguson says of the record, “I’m proud of the arc of the evolution of the band and I think it’s a natural progression of songwriting. We still wear our influences on our sleeves, but it’s definitely music for now.”
Despite some frustrating band scheduling, the weekend’s Boogie festival was another triumph, with Justin Townes Earle, Royal Headache, Dead Meadow and Eilen Jewell our bests-onground. Let’s hope organisers keep the number of punters at future festivals capped…
Myki are reportedly furious a passenger was forced to jump a fence at Jolimont station to swipe off over the weekend, yet still managed to do so successfully. The Government has now engaged Tough Mudder to help them develop a far more challenging set of obstacles at stations.
WITH A BULLET
HopeStreet Recordings are fast becoming one of our fave local labels, their latest release, The Bombay Royale’s You Me Bullets Love, a riotous Bollywood-inspired blast of dancefloor goodness.
CAUGHT IN THE WEB
TheMusic.com.au. We’re online. Properly. Finally. Check it out.
music 12 • INPRESS
June. The Jungle Giants have a new EP that the label will handle, while producer Kody Nielson aka OPOSSOM has his debut album Electric Hawaii ready for an early June release. Meanwhile, Melbourne music company Kiss Or Kill have announced that they’ve signed Dead City Ruins for management, bookings and PR. They join a stable of bands that includes Internal Nightmare, Scar The Surface, Deliverance We Prey and Netherealm. Canadian singer/songwriter Al Spx – aka Cold Specks – has signed to Mute for the release of his debut album I Predict A Graceful Explosion.
Hip hop festival Supafest got a little less supa yesterday, when a Twitter exchange between a fan and one of the headliners, Missy Elliott, made it clear the R&B star had no idea she was booked to play it. This followed Diddy’s cancellation earlier in the day.
Gotta say that Monday’s Easter special Q&A pitting super-atheist Richard Dawkins against Pope-in-waiting George Pell was a major let down. Apart from Pell’s comment about “preparing some young English boys”, that is.
Tom Ballard Doing Stuff
BEST COMEDY MELBOURNE FRINGE
“non-stop laughs from start to ﬁnish” Time Out 2012
INPRESS • 13
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
GEAR UP FOR GIRI
WEDNESDAY 11 APRIL
World renowned rhythmic didgeridoo virtuoso Ganga Giri and his world electronic fusion band is launch an exciting new visual projection show that accompanies the already high energy live experience. This live visual projection show has been produced in conjunction with Australian/Serbian VJ/artist Meltstation and features footage captured by Ganga Giri on his travels deep into the heart of Australia and across the world. Renowned for electrifying and high energy live shows, the band continues to develop new aspects of the live experience with this 90-minute live visual panorama. The shows at Phoenix Public House on Friday 27 April and Theatre Royal on Saturday 28 will be Ganga Giri’s final Melbourne shows until the end of the year as the band is off on tour to Europe and North America from June.
KIM BOEKBINDER (USA) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
DJ K.B ENTRY $10, 8.30PM
THURSDAY 12 APRIL
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FEST
POLITICALLY INCORRECT ENTRY $30 DOOR, $25 CONCESSION, 6PM THE ALLEYS SEESAW HOWARD ENTRY $4, 9PM $2.50 POTS, $5 VODKAS!
FRIDAY 13 APRIL
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FEST
POLITICALLY INCORRECT ENTRY $30 DOOR, $25 CONCESSION, 6PM SINGLE & FILM CLIP LAUNCH
BELLUSIRA NEW SKINN
ANNA SALEN RIOT IN TOYTOWN ENTRY $15 DOOR, $12 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX, 9PM
SATURDAY 14 APRIL
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FEST
IT’S BUSINESS TIME
New Zealand’s folk comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords are finally returning to Australia. Kiwi funnymen Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement will play a series of all-ages shows around the country in July. Over their 15-year career the duo have worked on radio, television, released albums and appeared in films, with McKenzie recently winning an Oscar for Best Original Song for his work on The Muppets. Throughout their live performances the duo pick up multiple instruments, including the ukulele, toy piano, keytar, synth and a 1987 Casio DG-20 Casio electric guitar set to mandolin. They play the Plenary on Saturday 14 July. Frontier members pre-sale via frontiertouring. com/fotc kicks off 4pm on Thursday 12 April. General public tickets go on sale from 9am Tuesday 17 April.
With their singles Be Ready When I Say Go and Plastic Guns already doing the business on radio, Emperors are set to release their highly anticipated debut album, Stay Frosty, supported by a whirlwind nine-date national tour. They will be playing an instore at Fist2Face on Saturday 19 May (afternoon), followed by a show that night at Phoenix Public House.
POLITICALLY INCORRECT ENTRY $30 DOOR, $25 CONCESSION, 6PM BROADWAY MEET ME IN COGNITO MADISON JASPER’S DILEMMA WOLFS CHAMPAGNE REGGAE QVSQ ENTRY $15, 9PM
SUNDAY 15 APRIL
POLITICALLY INCORRECT ENTRY $30 DOOR, $25 CONCESSION, 6PM MINI-RESIDENCY
UNDERCOLOURS KITCHEN KNIFE WIFE ENTRY $8, 9PM
MONDAY 16 APRIL
BANGIN’ IN THE BANDROOM
Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes are getting ready to take their soul train on the road with an Australian tour to celebrate the launch of the Love Letter video and limited edition seveninch vinyl. In typical Clairy Browne fashion, they will be kicking off the tour with a wild club show at the Prince Bandroom on Friday 27 April consisting of multiple stages, their in-house marching band and some of the cast of the video busting out some sick chorrie on the dancefloor.
HOUNDS DJ ALEX C (HTBH) FREE ENTRY, 8PM $10 JUGS!
TUESDAY 17 APRIL
On Sale At Moshtix:
EL MOTH GHOST ORCHID
Mimi Velevska 05/05
MATT KELLY (SOLO) ENTRY BY DONATION, 9PM $10 JUGS! COMING UP - TIX AVAILABLE THRU MOSHTIX: SCOTDRAKULA (MON IN APR) EL MOTH (TUES IN APR) KIM BOEKBINDER (USA) (WED IN APR) UNDERCOLOURS (SUN IN APR) ENNIS TOLA – SINGLE LAUNCH (19 APR) MISSFIRE (20 APR) AGILITY – SINGLE LAUNCH (21 APR) SECRETIVE GEORGE – FINAL SHOW (26 APR) REAL HOT BITCHES 80S DANCE PARTY - FUNDRAISER (28 APR) MURDER BY DEATH (USA) (17 MAY) SELLING FAST
HALF OR ALL?
Iconic Brisbane bands We All Want To and Halfway will hit the road together for a joint national tour, gigging through metropolitan centres and bringing their acclaimed indie sounds to fans around the country, They will be playing the Empress Hotel on Saturday 5 May and the Kew RSL Club on Sunday 6 May. Nick Barker will support both nights.
After four years performing to crowds at festivals around the country, residencies at some of Melbourne’s most notorious music institutions, a tour of Tasmania and selling out their debut EP, Reaction, Madre Monte have turned it up a notch and will be releasing their second EP, Raza:Madre, in May 2012. Hard hitting horns funkin’ up ‘50s style cumbia, a tight rhythm section dissecting Afro-Colombian progressions, skankin’ guitars infusing reggae grooves, and a frontman recreating the ancient mythological stories of Colombia, all intertwine to create what is now Melbourne’s unique ninepiece Latin reggae outfit. Madre Monte will be launching their EP on Friday 18 May at the Northcote Social Club
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FEST
As their album Country Proud hits the number one spot on the ARIA Country Charts, McAlister Kemp announce a special show at Hallam Hotel on Saturday 21 July. The duo will be backed by a six-piece band. The first single and title track off the album is set to become an Australian anthem with its powerful core message, gospel backing singers and ‘reverse banjo’. The 2011 CMC New Oz Artists of the Year and Golden Guitar winners for Best New Talent launched the follow-up to their debut smash success in March and so far it has been making a massive impact on the Australian charts.
WHAT A SAINT
Saint Jude are a Melbourne-based five-piece playing gospel-tinged country and garage blues with a rock’n’roll swagger. A culmination of three years of writing and rehearsing, the members of Saint Jude cut their teeth in bands such as Little John, Dynamo and Downhills Home before bringing together their love for past masters such as The Faces, Little Feat and The Band, into their debut self-titled record, full of low-key rumination and coarse, unmannerly charm which they are proud to call their own. From the opening soulful summer retreat of All Ways Were Lost, to the sombre, textured ebb and flow of Bury Me Down, and the country-tinged pop and quilted harmony of new single I Don’t Know Why, Saint Jude have conceived and executed a complete album of light and shade, similarly sparse and dense. They launch the album at the Tote on Friday 20 April with support from Eaten By Dogs and Rich Davies & The Devil’s Union.
MONDAY $8 BURGERS TILL 8PM TUE - SUN 4-7PM HAPPY HOUR
WEDNESDAY 11TH APRIL
MONDAY 23RD APRIL
Hayley Couper & Band
+ The Ovals + Ruckle
Monday Night Residency
SUN 15TH APRIL
FRIDAY 20TH APRIL
TUESDAY 24TH APRIL
FRI 13TH APRIL
MON 16TH APRIL
SATURDAY 21ST APRIL
THURSDAY 26TH APRIL
+ Ainslie Wills
+ Better Than The Wizards
Cairo Knife Fight [NZ]
SAT 14TH APRIL
THURSDAY 19TH APRIL
SUNDAY 22TH APRIL
SATURDAY 28TH APRIL
THUR 12TH APRIL
Aluka EP Launch
+ Oscar Key Sung (Oscar n’ Martin)
Aluka EP Launch
Koin Op Karaoke
(Feat. members of Oscar n’ Martin & UV Race) ‘Exotica’ Launch
14 • INPRESS
Hope Addicts are about to release their their long-awaited, self-titled fourth album. Recorded by Simon Grounds (Underground Lovers, Laura Jean), the new album presents a harder edged band sound and will be available for sale from Monday. Having spent 2011 touring, releasing and selling out of the first pressing through Europe playing the club and festival circuit, then touring parts of Australia with their Sound Of The City single, playing with the likes of The Kill Devil Hills and Texas Tea’s Kate Jacobson, Hope Addicts have settled for a short while to launch the new album on these shores. This will be the last time you’ll be able to see Hope Addicts in the format that really took them to a new level, particularly overseas, as most members will be relocating to Europe over the next few months. They launch the album at the Old Bar on Friday 27 April with guests Plague Doctor, Roller One and Jess Ribeiro.
Conway Savage & Suzie Higgie
THE STEVENS RECORD LAUNCH
W HARMONY AND BOOMGATES
FRANKIE WANTS OUT RECORD LAUNCH
W THE FUNK BUDDIES AND THAT GOLD STREET SOUND
W THE DUB CAPTAINS AND ECHO DRAMA
W TWISTED EFFECTION (WA) MEET ME IN COGNITO AND CRUEL TO BE KIND
ANZAC DAY EVE
SAL KIMBER & THE ROLLIN WHEEL W JACK ON FIRE AND THE EASTERN ( NZ )
TIX FROM: JOHNCURTINHOTEL.COM OR AT THE DOOR
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL AND CURTIN COMEDY PRESENTS... ADAM KNOX + LADY BONER SHOWS
- MARCH 29TH, 30TH & 31ST APRIL 2ND, 3RD, 5TH, 6TH, 7TH, 9TH, 10TH, 12TH, 13TH, 14TH, 16TH, 17TH, 19, 20TH & 21ST SATURDAY 14TH
ADAM ASKEW 10.30PM
HEY SAM 12.30AM
CLIPPING SUNDAY 15TH
COSMIC PIZZA WITH NHJ & GUESTS THURSDAY 12TH
T’FUNK - LIVE DAVE PHAM JUICY
MJ / AGENT 86 / M PHAZES / FLAGRANT
IBIMBO TUESDAY 17TH
“ROOF TOP PARTEY”
MR THOM JOYBOT
“SOUTH SIDE HUSSLE”
“FREE RANGE FUNK”
LEWIS CANCUT DJ WHO AGENT86
SAM MCEWIN JEAN-PAUL PAK MAN
ADAM ASKEW PLUS GUEST BOOSHANK
MONDAY: PALE ALE FISH AND HAND CUT CHIPS $13 TUESDAY: KANGAROO FILLET W MASH, VEG & RED WINE JUS $14 WEDNESDAY CHICKEN SCHNITZEL AND HAND CUT CHIPS $13 THURSDAY: 280G GRAIN FED ANGUS PORTERHOUSE STEAK $14 FRIDAY: CHICKEN OR EGGPLANT PARMA $14/$13 SATURDAY: CURTIN BURGER AND HAND CUT CHIPS $14
PHATO A MANO MR GEORGE MATT RAD
- APRIL 14TH
ANDREW O’NEIL ‘ THE OTHER ALTERNATIVE ‘
- MARCH 29TH APRIL 5TH, 12TH & 19TH
POP UP PLAYGROUND + LATE NIGHT LETTERS AND NUMBERS SHOWS
TIGER FUNK “COSMIC PIZZAS”
NHJ PLUS GUEST
TRADING HOURS MON - WED 3PM - LATE THURS & FRI 11:30AM - LATE SATURDAY 4PM - LATE LATE KITCHEN HOURS THURS & FRI 12:00PM - 2:30PM & 5PM - 9:30PM SATURDAY 6PM - 9:30PM
D’AFRO MR MOONSHINE AYNA INPRESS • 15
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
up to their multi-platinum selling Permission To Land that spawned the smash hit singles I Believe In A Thing Called Love, Growing On Me and Get Your Hands Off My Woman is due out later this year. Tickets for the second show on Wednesday 9 May are on sale through Ticketmaster now.
CLAPS FOR COLLINS
YOU BLOODY RIPPER
Since the release of last year’s debut EP Willoughby’s Beach, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have been pretty busy. The seven-piece opened Meredith Music Festival and won a plum slot at Melbourne’s Big Day Out. Just recently the band were invaded on stage during their Warrandyte Festival performance and they killed it when supporting Girl Talk earlier this year. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are well and truly gaining a reputation as one of the country’s most exciting live acts. They’ve taken some time to work on their debut album, though, with Bloody Ripper being the first single off it. To celebrate, they’re hitting the road. Catch the band at Bar Open on Sunday 29 April and the National Hotel on Friday 4 May.
Legendary New York City guitarist and singer/songwriter Paul Collins will return to Australia for a one-off series of gigs in May. The shows will begin with some acoustic tunes and an intimate ramble of amazing rock stories about Collins’ times in the scene and on the road. The intimate start to the show is an individual and personalised approach, where Collins tells his unique stories. Colllins’ dedicated Fender Strat style and powerpop guitar sound, his iconic vocal rasps combined with his keen sense of intuitive songwriting, is the backdrop for a great live rock show. He plays the Tote on Saturday 12 May and the Caravan Music Club on Sunday 13 with support from Wolfy & The Bat Cubs, Richard Lane (Stems) and Glenn Morris (Screaming Tribesmen).
Royston Vasie get set to release their highly anticipated debut album Tanahmerah in June and are giving you a taste of what’s to come in the way of the catchy first single You Want It Now, featuring distinctive guitar hooks and a huge chorus. Having just returned from a successful national tour with the great Ben Kweller and Manchester Orchestra, the band has gained a reputation for being one of the most exciting live acts in the country, having supported an impressive list of bands such as The Cruel Sea, The Vasco Era, Wolf & Cub and British India. They launch the single at the Northcote Social Club on Saturday 28 April.
The Bombay Royale launch their spectacular debut album You Me Bullets Love on Saturday 19 May at the Hi-Fi with very with special guests The Bluebottles, DJ Manchild, video artist Abracadabla and the Sapphire Dance Group. This week’s RRR Album Of The Week, The Bombay Royale mash up the magic and mayhem of vintage Bollywood with surf guitar, crazy rhythms, outrageous costumes and irresistible dance moves. Throw in two huge screens to transform the Hi-Fi into a Sub-Continental cinematic extravaganza, and you’ve got a party of Bollywood dimensions. Tickets are on sale now from thehifi.com.au. You Me Bullets Love is out now on HopeStreet Recordings through Fuse. Head to hopestreetrecordings.com/ ymbl to download the irresistible title track, or listen to the whole album currently streaming at soundcloud.com/hopestreet-recordings.
LOU & LAURA
One of the most prolific and influential songwriters of his generation, Lou Barlow, returns to Australia in solo mode this April. A founding member of Dinosaur Jr and Sebadoh, two of the most acclaimed rock bands of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, Barlow is considered a pioneer of the lo-fi movement. Opening both Northcote Social Club shows (this Tuesday and on Wednesday 18 April) will be multi-instrumentalist Laura Macfarlane, well known around town for her involvement in many bands including ninetynine, Lee Memorial and Sleater-Kinney.
I’M A LADY
Ladyhawke will undertake a national tour in July. As well as playing past hits including My Delirium, Paris Is Burning and Back Of The Van, she will unveil tunes from her forthcoming album, Anxiety, which will be unleashed on 25 May. Tickets for the show, which takes place at Billboard on Tuesday 17 July, go on sale at 9am tomorrow (Thursday).
ANOTHER WAVE OF DARKNESS
A second show at the Palace has been announced for The Darkness, after the band sold out their first show on Tuesday 8 May. This will be The Darkness’ first Australian tour in four years, and will feature the original line-up following their reunion last year. Their yet-to-be-titled third studio record (their first in eight years) and follow16 • INPRESS
Buckley Ward will be launching their new album So Pretend across a number of their favourite local venues when they head out on the road this month. Foreshadowed by the single Into the Darkening Blue and title track So Pretend, Buckley Ward’s forthcoming album is due for release on Friday 20 April. It’s an album with pop at its heart, and something less definable in its veins. On the surface, the shimmering melodies and pitch-perfect harmonies dominate, but listen closer and the album’s darker undercurrents snap sharply into focus. Since the release of their first single in late 2011, momentum has been steadily building behind the band and has seen them open for such names as Jungle Giants, San Cisco and Big Scary, the latter taking them on a national tour. The band launch their album at the Toff on Saturday 19 May and play Pure Pop Records on Sunday 27 .
Save My Soul (Symphony No. 3) is the follow-up album to Cam Butler’s album of 2008, Dark Times (Symphony No. 2). Featuring a true symphonic line-up of a 23-piece string section, orchestral harp, timpani and percussion, drums, acoustic guitars and solo electric guitar, the result is the finest example yet of Butler’s orchestral vision to combine modern electric guitar techniques and sound with string orchestras. Not slipping into any easy categories, Save My Soul exists in its own world between cinematic orchestral music, modern classical and Australian underground guitar music. Save My Soul will be launched at a special multimedia concert with multiple screens, projections and surround sound audio at the Northcote Uniting Church on Saturday 19 May.
MASEO AT THE TABLE
Known all over the world for his role as one-third of legendary hip hop group De La Soul, DJ Maseo is bringing his immense talents on the turntable to Australia. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Maseo’s interest in music emerged at the age of six after observing a family friend practicing on his DJ equipment. His ambitious journey to stardom officially began when his mother gave him his very own set of turntables, thus beginning his destiny. DJ Maseo plays the Espy on Saturday 21 April. Free entry.
Chicago murder metal maniacs Macabre are back in Australia with their sick gore humour. They blend elements of true crime, math rock, nursery rhymes, punk, thrash, folk melodies, death metal, jazz fusion, black metal and more into an energetic, catchy and unmistakable amalgam. Fast and heavy, with a focus on serial killers, the original band members are still going strong after more than 25 years and no line-up changes. Macabre’s rabid fans, including members of bands ranging from Carcass to Slipknot, relish the band’s tight and increasingly sophisticated music; they exult in their musical chops as much as in the band’s sense of humour, their killer music, and its deadly subjects. Check them out at the Bendigo Hotel on Tuesday 26 June, the Corner Saturday 30, and the National Hotel on Sunday 1 July.
BUCKLEY AT THE KNEES
GET IT INDIA
GET ON ROYSTON
A MACABRE SHOW
THE RIGHT CHORD
It’s been a long road since the release of Blackchords’ debut album in 2009 to where they are right now – preparing to release their first new material in a couple of years. Having just recorded their second album in the Yarra Valley with Mercury Prize-nominated and Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer David Odlum at the helm, the band have produced a thoroughly international sounding album to be proud of. After fans helped fund the album, Blackchords are giving back with a showcase of their new material at the Phoenix Public House with support from Pony Face and Howl At The Moon this Saturday.
Sydney band Buried In Verona will release their third album Notorious at the start of June. To celebrate, they’re going on a national tour, with support from The Plot In You (visiting Oz for the first time from the US), Byron Bay’s In Hearts Wake (who have just returned from the US where they were touring and recording for their forthcoming album) and Silent Screams (UK). Catch the show at Next on Thursday 21 June and at Ringwood OLP on Friday 22 (all-ages).
Joe McKee, the former frontman of acclaimed group Snowman, is embarking on a co-headline tour of Australia this month with Ben Salter (The Gin Club, Giants Of Science). Taking in six states and territories this could be the last time for a while that these two artists grace Australian stages. Don’t miss them when they play at the Gasometer on Saturday 28 April with Single Twin (solo) and at Pure Pop Records on Sunday 29 April. McKee is set to release his debut solo album, Burning Boy, which was written in various countries over a three-year period all over the globe.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
FOREWORD LINE INPRESS PRESENTS
EYES WIDE OPEN
Taking a short break between writing songs for her debut album, Owl Eyes is set to launch her new single Crystalised on a short run tour of small, intimate venues on the East Coast. This will be the first chance that Owl Eyes fans will have had to hear some of the new songs, and possibly the last chance to catch the wonder of Owl Eyes in smaller, up-close-and-personal venues. She plays the Toff In Town on Sunday 20 May.
HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Justice Crew and Johnny Ruffo have been confirmed as special guests for pop band of the moment One Direction on their sold-out debut Australian tour. The Melbourne show will be held at Hisense Arena this Monday. Justice Crew emerged from Australia’s Got Talent in 2010. They have released multiple hit singles that have achieved gold and platinum status, toured with Janet Jackson and Chris Brown and received an ARIA Award nomination in 2011. Johnny Ruffo is a 23-year-old singer/songwriter and dancer, who recently emerged in the spotlight as a finalist from The X Factor Australia in 2011. Listing his inspirations as idols such as Michael Jackson, Usher and Justin Timberlake, he is set to launch his own recording career with Sony Music in the near future.
If you missed Cash Savage head up her fine-tuned Last Drinks at the Spiegeltent in March, you missed another milestone in the inevitable rise to glory of one of Melbourne’s signature acts. Already revered in music haunts across Victoria, Cash spent 2011 grooming a tight-knit tour bus of local talent into an impeccably unpredictable blues country outfit. The result is a well-oiled assemblage of sizzling performers, capable of delivering the rousing live experience for which Cash is so widely acclaimed. A night with Cash Savage promises an encounter of passion, honesty and heartfelt musicianship. Catch Cash & The Last Drinks at Phoenix Public House with Eddie James & The Prowl and Hounds Hounds Hounds on Friday 20 April and at Caravan Music Club with The Nymphs on Saturday 21.
With only a few short weeks to go until the 2012 Groovin’ The Moo tour kicks off, the final local artists have been added to the Bendigo bill. triple j Unearthed winners Grand Perceptor will be joining GTM Bendigo along with Loon Lake, Them 9s and Darts. GTM will also be playing host to the first regional Channel [V] presenter search. Tickets are completely sold out.
GREEN AND KEEN
Launching their debut album The Leaves Stay Green at Bennetts Lane on Saturday 19 May, husband and wife duo Kimba & Ryan present a considered selection of original melodies and reworked standards, underpinned with a sense of longing, a whimsical ache and a loyalty to the jazz idiom. The Leaves Stay Green shows Kimba & Ryan doing what they do best; hypnotising their listeners with dulcet vocals, melodious strings and swingin’ phrases, soothing the senses and making sweet loving music. Kimba & Ryan’s live performances are known for their energy, humour and the immediate connection they find in their audience. Their album launch will offer a jam-packed set with selections from the debut album and other spontaneous tunes from their vast repertoire, featuring special guest musicians.
INPRESS ON THE NET
It’s been a long time coming, but all the stuff you love about Inpress is now available online at TheMusic.com. au. Relaunching last week, TheMusic will feature all the content you find in Street Press Australia’s weekly publications (Inpress, Drum Media, Time Off and Drum Perth) plus extra content generated especially for the site. We have brought together a team of bloggers to cover everything from music and arts to whatever else is on their minds. TheMusic will play host to exclusive prerelease music streams and acoustic music performances
KEEP ON ROLLINS
With a number of shows already sold out, and the rest on the verge of being so, a fourth and final Melbourne show for Henry Rollins at the National Theatre has been announced for Saturday 21 April. The Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 shows have both sold out and the Friday 20 show is very nearly sold out, so get in quick for the final show to avoid disappointment. Rollins will also be appearing on Adam Hills in Gordon St Tonight on the ABC on Wednesday 18 April. Whether you’re a fan of Black Flag or not, Rollins consistently gives an eclectic performance that’s filled with passion. The shows also feature Austalian comic Bruce Griffiths.
filmed in our very own low-rent office spaces. We can also bring you audio from stories that normally only appear in print. Our Your Daily SPA newsletter expands into the most comprehensive local industry hub online – offering wall-to-wall coverage of industry showcases and conferences from BIGSOUND to South By Southwest. We feature reviews from our national team of writers, meaning you get more than one opinion on releases. And from our Australian Musician and Behind The Lines teams we feature all the latest in gear news and reviews. And then there’s our store. Also, as the weeks roll by we will be archiving all the content from our publications past.
Entering the building on the ground floor in late 2010, Split Seconds worked their way into the hearts of local independent music fans on the back of their eminently likeable singles All You Gotta Do and Bed Down. Their self-titled EP released in March 2011 helped secure a place in the 2012 Triple J Next Crop alumni. With the release of their new single Top Floor on Wednesday 18 April they will head off on an East Coast tour with co-headliners Underlights. They play the Northcote Social Cub on Thursday 10 May and Karova Lounge, Ballarat on Saturday 12 May.
I SEE REDD
Californian deities Redd Kross will perform their genre-defying classics Born Innocent and Posh Boy EP as side shows to the inaugural Dig It Up! series of events this month. Catch Red Kross at the Northcote Social Club on Friday 27 April, supported by Iowa. Released in 1980, Posh Boy EP is snot-nosed punk with a teenage mentality, and Born Innocent upped the obnoxious quota.
INPRESS • 17
HOODOO YOU LOVE?
PARTY MACHINES For their 30th birthday celebrations Hoodoo Gurus have pulled out all stops, inviting some of their favourite bands from across all periods of time from all over the globe to party: all capital city lineups are different, but the bands involved include such names as The Sonics, The Fleshtones, Redd Kross, The 220.127.116.11’s and many more fine acts. Brad Shepherd offers the following sage words:
DIG IT UP! TOUR CONCEPT
ON THE EVE OF THEIR TRIUMPHANT DIG IT UP! TOUR, HOODOO GURUS GUITARIST BRAD SHEPHERD TAKES STEVE BELL ON A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE AND FIRES UP FOR THE ROCK PARTY TO END ALL ROCK PARTIES.
irthday milestones are always a time for reflection, especially once a decade when you hit of the big ones with a zero on the end. Some people rue the passing of time and mourn the end of an era, while others take a more holistic approach and accept the moment for what it is, perhaps even see it as an opportunity to celebrate what has gone before. Thankfully the members of Aussie rock royalty Hoodoo Gurus are strict disciples of the latter approach and now – as they celebrate the passing of three decades since the release of their first ever single, Leilani, back in 1982 when they were still known as Le Hoodoo Gurus – they’re throwing a massive nationwide party for all of their closest fans and acquaintances. “It doesn’t add up, does it? Thirty years – it’s hard to get your head around that,” Hoodoo Gurus’ guitarist Brad Shepherd puzzles incredulously of the milestone. “When I was a kid in the ‘70s you’d think that World War Two was thirty years ago, you know? It’s really hard for me to get my head around it. Oh well, we just plod along. It keeps me interested – I still love listening to electric guitar. I still love listening to myself play electric guitar! I just love electric guitar period. It’s always been deeply resonant with me; I loved it when I was a kid listening to the Stones and The Beatles. I loved hearing the sound of Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar and Tony Iommi’s guitar and I still love it – it still gives me a huge thrill to put on the second Television album and all that fantastic articulation of the notes. It just doesn’t let up! Thank Christ, because I didn’t have a Plan B really!” These days it’s difficult to imagine an Australian rock landscape without the Hoodoo Gurus and their swag of songs that have become ingrained in the national psyche. But back in the early ‘80s they were new kids on the block and it wasn’t until 18 months after Leilani dropped that their debut album, Stoneage Romeos, was released, complete with its iconic cartoon artwork and slew of catchy radio fodder such as My Girl, I Want You Back and Tojo. Now, all these years later, the band are celebrating their birthday by playing this classic debut in its entirety – as well as all the other hits they’ve accumulated over the years – and they’ve invited some of their favourite bands from across the globe to help them blow out the candles. But for true Gurus fans, it’s this trip back down memory lane to 1984 that will be the real highlight of the Dig It Up! concert extravaganza. “I think maybe we did that once before and that was completely unofficial – we didn’t announce it, we didn’t exploit it at all, it was just something silly that we did in Melbourne once,” Shepherd explains of playing Stoneage Romeos from start to finish. “I don’t think we even made a particularly big deal about it to the audience – we played at The Corner once and I think we did Stoneage Romeos and [1985 follow-up] Mars Needs Guitars! and that was our set! We may have even done it backwards... But it’s not something that we’ve ever really done to any great degree at all and it will be interesting for us as much as anybody there, just to see what happens when we do that and how it’s going to feel. It’s been nearly thirty years since our set was predominantly those songs from our debut album – and it was a typical debut album; it was just 18 • INPRESS
what we were playing in the set at the time. So that’s what we’re going back to. It will be very interesting.” As an album, Stoneage Romeos is up there with the best rock’n’roll debuts in the history of Australian music, alongside such classics as Radio Birdman’s Radios Appear, You Am I’s Sound As Ever, The Saints’ (I’m) Stranded and AC/DC’s High Voltage. Many iconic bands such as Midnight Oil, INXS, Powderfinger and Hunters & Collectors (to name but a few) didn’t really find their feet until their second or third longplayers, but the Gurus hit the ground running. “Again, I think it was a typical debut in that we were able to work the songs up over a couple of years, so it wasn’t like, ‘Ooh, we’ve got an album to do so let’s go into the studio and see what we come up with.’” Shepherd reflects. “Those songs had been around a couple of years, so we’d had time to work out our parts on those and we pretty much knew what we were doing. A lot of it was more or less live in the studio. “And we’re blessed to have Dave Faulkner in the band – he’s deeply entrenched in the notion of classic songwriting and I think that’s our secret weapon. Not only that, but when you’re influenced by ‘70s glam rock and ‘50s rock’n’roll and ‘60s psychedelic and garage rock and ‘70s punk rock and then you mix that together with a songwriter that’s listening to Irving Berlin and Hoagy Carmichael – that’s actually what he grew up with, so he learned a deep appreciation of classic songwriting because that’s what his parents were playing in the house – that in itself is a unique mixture and I think that that stuff is evident a lot on that first album.” Along with their great tunes the Gurus had considerable visual appeal as well – all long hair and paisley shirts – but despite their tender years at the time, they also had the advantage of having been in relatively successful punk bands, particularly Shepherd’s stints in Brisbane bands The Fun Things and The 31st before relocating to Sydney to join The Hitmen. Then there’s Faulkner’s time fronting The Victims. “We’d certainly had some experience before that in the studio,” Shepherd concedes. “I’d probably had the most experience actually, because I’d done two albums with The Hitmen prior to that, the other guys not so much even though they’d made fantastic records. We’d all made pretty well-regarded punk rock singles – although they were all done on the cheap – but [the studio] wasn’t an unusual environment for us. We were excited too – we were still kids and it was exciting for me to go and record at Trafalgar because that’s where Radios Appear had been recorded. So there was certainly an energy of excitement when we made that first album, but we also felt comfortable and confident because it wasn’t completely foreign to us; (a) the songs weren’t foreign to us, we were very confident playing them, we’d been playing them for years and (b) we’d had some experience in studios anyway.” And the songs on Stoneage Romeos have stood the test of time remarkably well – try and put on nearly any other album from 1984 without cringing or wincing with pain.
“We were out of time anyway back in 1984; we were competing with the Thompson Twins and bands like Real Life, I guess,” Shepherd laughs. “It was ludicrous but it actually worked in our favour, because it was a real alternative to what was the conventional wisdom for record companies as to what would make them a quick buck. The first album did come out on an obscure indie label – Big Time Records probably became more well known after the Hoodoo Gurus, they were really a small label here in Sydney – the larger multinationals were just not interested in the Hoodoo Gurus; we were laughable to them. Once we started selling some records they became more interested, but we were just on an independent label for that first album and that was as good as it was going to get for us at the time. “We were amazed in fact that we could do anything – we were so completely against the grain of what was popular in music then that it was remarkable to us that anyone paid us any attention at all. I don’t know what I was doing – I mean I left The Hitmen and on paper it just didn’t look right; it didn’t seem like the Hoodoo Gurus had a hope in hell! But I loved the band – they poached me from The Hitmen because they had lost a couple of members, Roddy Radalj and Kimble Rendall left within about a week of each other. It was a tough decision. I didn’t know what I was doing and I felt that there was a real possibility that the band would just fall flat on its arse, but I loved Le Hoodoo Gurus and I just felt that there was a real magic in the songs.” All these years later there’s plenty of life in the old dog yet – the new Gurus retrospective, Gold Watch, features crackingly sardonic new single, Use-By Date, which addresses this matter both figuratively and literally – but a milestone such as this is as good a moment as any to look back and take stock of some of the high points of a wonderful career. “Oh God, there’s just countless highlights,” Shepherd marvels. “There’s always that nice thing of meeting your heroes and they say complimentary things about your band. Iggy Pop came up to me at a party and told me how much he loved the band and Joey Ramone used to come and see us every time we played in New York. We’ve become good friends with the guys from The Dictators and they were huge heroes of mine when I was struggling with learning to play the guitar in the ‘70s. It’s amazing to me that I’ve been able to stand on the same stage as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and where Creedence and Led Zeppelin played. It was a huge thrill for me to play at Festival Hall in Brisbane, because that’s where I would go and see bands as a kid – it’s pretty mindblowing. It’s the fan in me I guess. And the thing that excites me when I’m playing is still the show I’m going to play on any given night – that excites me too.” WHO: Hoodoo Gurus WHAT: Gold Watch (Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 25 April, Palace, Pony, Spleen Bar
“It’s pretty amazing. Honestly it’s doing my head in – it’s too good to be true. People are just going to overload. We just wrote out our ultimate wishlists and started approaching people and a lot of the people at the top of the lists said, ‘Yes!’ – I’m amazed that it’s going to happen.”
‘60S US GARAGE LEGENDS THE SONICS “I’ve never seen them, but people who have seen them just rave about them, saying it’s incredible. Gerry Roslie is seventy this year and he’s still got that amazing scream! I really can’t get my ahead around the fact that I’m going to see The Sonics playing stuff like He’s Waitin and Cinderella and Psycho and The Witch! It’s blowing me away! I would pay to go to see that – I would pay to go to my own show!”
YOUNG OZ ROCKERS “They are exciting to me those bands, that next crop. They get it. Bands like Royal Headache and The Lovetones and Belles Will Ring, they’re all fantastic. There are so many bands around who seem too many generations removed from real rock’n’roll, like it’s just their interpretation of what rock’n’roll is. Some bands don’t get it, but those bands get it – they’re really deeply connected to it. It’s exciting that it’s sort of gone underground – they’re not even attempting to get on radio or anything, they’re just expressing themselves. It’s very cool.”
! s k a e r f l l a
the misfits are back and this time they mean business!
as seen on abc2
: S INCLUDE E R U T A E F SPECIAL RT FILM
Y SHO VEGAS RBASBHORT FILM ERAZE D THE SCENES CLIPS 8 X BEHIN H MISFITS ON SET WIT IAL EFFECTS STUNTS & SPEC VISUAL EFFECTS
series 1 3 boxset
scan for series 3 trailer
new on dvd
INPRESS • 19
TASTE TEST: LATEEF THE TRUTHSPEAKER THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY I believe it was Prince – 1999. I loved it. It was on cassette, so… no, I don’t still have it. But I still love that record. Who doesn’t?
THE ALBUM I’M LOVING RIGHT NOW
Little Dragon [by Little Dragon]. Actually just revisited it, and I might like it more. Just all around great – creative music, great lyrics, great mood. Funny story: I met Yukimi [Nagano, vocals] years ago at a festival and she gave me some vinyl and said she liked my stuff. Now I’m a huge fan of her stuff.
MY FAVOURITE PARTY ALBUM
I’m not sure I have one… I think I like it when a DJ is able to drop a song I really like, and maybe don’t think of as a party record, and he/she is still able to rock the party hard! Z-Trip is awesomely skilled in that arena.
MY FAVOURITE COMEDOWN ALBUM
Anything by Bob Marley. Seriously. His stuff is just super moody, mellow and positive. Natural Mystic, Sun Is Shining and Stir It Up are some of my favourites.
THE FIRST GIG I EVER ATTENDED
Slick Rick & Doug E Fresh, Zapp featuring Roger,
Klymaxx and Too Short at the Oakland Coliseum. I was eight years old and my mother took me. I loved it. The crowd knew all the words to Too Short. And his stuff wasn’t available in stores. There were huge gang fights outside the show and my mother was scared we might not get away safely. Did I mention I loved it?
THE WEIRDEST GIG EXPERIENCE I’VE HAD Strangest gig was probably the Casual vs Saafir battle back in the day at what is now the Independent (back then I think it was the Crash Palace or the Kennel Club or something). After a long set from Casual (Aceyalone and Abstract Rude had opened), Saafir came in fresh and, with a bunch of written prepared material, battled a freestyling Casual (read: unwritten, spontaneous rhymes). I thought it was pretty much a tie, but a lot of people thought Casual lost – and nobody cared that Saafir had written. I learned that day to be prepared, and don’t lean to heavily on freestyles – because crowds don’t really care about that. People don’t really battle like that anymore, but it was a surreal moment back then, and it made for some interesting times.
MY BIGGEST NON-MUSICAL INFLUENCES When I was younger I went to an international summer camp in Cuba with kids from all around the
world. The American delegation (to which I belonged) met with other kids – some from countries we had invaded. I remember talking to a kid from El Salvador who had lost an arm to the Contras. Boy did I feel like an asshole. But he was very cool with me, and we actually bonded over some hip hop. I performed a dance at the camp “talent show” to Rakim’s You Got Soul and the crowd rushed the stage. I knew right then what I was going to do for the rest of my life.
THE COOLEST PERSON I’VE EVER MET
MUSICAL HERO: CHUCK D
20 • INPRESS
SUPER MOODY: BOB MARLEY
Probably Chuck D. The guy is incredibly down to earth and real. I met him on tour (Public Enemy/ Blackalicious/Dilated Peoples) and the guy was calling me by my first name by the second day. I knew all of his records. He was one of the reasons I picked up a microphone. And he’s asking me and [Gift Of] Gab and [Chief] X[cel] and Dilated on to his tour bus, just to “talk.” The guy is exactly how you would want your music hero to be, except better. Swear to god.
IF I COULD HANG OUT IN ANY TIME AND PLACE IN HISTORY Maybe the late ‘60s or early ‘70s? There was a lot of great music being made and a huge shedding of inhibitions, coupled with a reexamination of the value of introspection. The girls were hot, too.
IF I WASN’T MAKING MUSIC
I’d be a doctor. I’ve always had a penchant for keeping a cool head in high pressure situations, as well as a love for figuring out biological puzzles and an unreal kinesthetic memory. Lot of time (and dues) in school though. As far as future professions – maybe something that helps music reach more people, or thrive more as an industry. Maybe something in the tech field. WHO: Lateef The Truthspeaker WHAT: Firewire (Longtime Listener)
A FILM BY GUS VAN SANT
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INPRESS • 21
WE’RE WAITIN’! NEARLY 50 YEARS AFTER THEY FIRST STARTED MAKING THEIR AWESOME RACKET, GARAGE LEGENDS THE SONICS ARE FINALLY COMING TO AUSTRALIA. SAX PLAYER ROB LIND TAKES STEVE BELL THROUGH THEIR REMARAKABLE JOURNEY.
arage legends The Sonics are one of those rare bands whose influence down the years far transcends any success they experienced in their own lifetime. They formed in the port city of Tacoma, Washington in the early ‘60s and existed in relative isolation for the duration of their short career, releasing three albums and a river of killer singles before finally burning out sometime in 1968. But thankfully their story didn’t end there. While the members of The Sonics all busied themselves with studies and careers, their catalogue of roughshod rock’n’roll numbers took on a life of its own, in the ensuing years having its fingerprints all over the work of not just countless bands but also whole scenes such as garage, punk and grunge, their music revered worldwide generations after they last played a chord in anger.
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Apart from brief reformations in the ‘70s and ‘80s, The Sonics lay dormant until 2007, when the core of the band reunited for the annual Cavestomp garage rock festival in Brooklyn, and it went so well they’ve been playing sporadically around the globe to rapturous crowds ever since – especially in Europe where they’re particularly lionised – and now, courtesy of the Hoodoo Gurus’ Dig It Up! extravaganza, we’re about to see them play their garage classics such as Psycho, Strychnine, The Witch and He’s Waitin’ in Australia for the very first time. “I’m really looking forward to getting together with the Hoodoo Gurus, because it’s really because of them that we’re coming down – they started the deal,” The Sonics’ saxophonist Rob Lind explains. “Before I even knew who they were, years ago, I stumbled across a song of theirs on YouTube called I Was A Kamikaze Pilot and I thought, ‘Damn! That’s a good song! Those guys are rockers just like us!’ Now we’re going to get to play with them, it’s great.” It’s not surprising that Lind fell in love with that particular Gurus track – after the group disbanded he became a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War, before embarking on a career flying commercial airliners – but it is quite astonishing that The Sonics have been able to re-inject their songs with their trademark fire in this latest phase of their career. “We had some offers [to reform] prior to Cavestomp – for years prior – and we just kept turning them down, because our drummer Bob Bennett lived in Hawaii and we hadn’t been playing individually. Larry [Parypa – guitar] was working in the insurance business, I was an airline pilot and Gerry [Roslie – organ, vocals] was running a little asphalt paving company and we started talking – ‘Gosh, maybe we should try this?’ Fortunately we were adults at the time so we made a decision, because we knew we had a good reputation – we kind of had a legacy – so we said, ‘Let’s take a shot at this, but if we’re not ready, let’s not go onstage and be fools. Let’s not have people look at us and say that our records were good, but we’re just jerks trying to take advantage of it and we can’t play’. “So the three of us – Gerry, Larry and I – got together and rehearsed for about eighteen months pretty steadily and it looked like it was getting to the point where it could work. Then we brought in [a rhythm section and] it kind of gelled, so we rehearsed and went out and did Cavestomp. Then we got a call from London and they asked us to go over and do three shows there and we said, ‘Sure!’ and we were off. We still try to play as hard as we can – that’s what we’re all about. We’re better together than we are individually – there’s musicians around who man for man are better than we are, but together we’re pretty tough and we try to bring that wherever we play.”
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22 • INPRESS
During their initial incarnation in the ‘60s, The Sonics established themselves around their stomping ground in the Pacific Northwest, but geographic isolation meant they gained little traction anywhere else. “We were a Northwest rock’n’roll band, pure and simple,” Lind admits. “We played from northern California right up to Canada and we played Washington, Oregon, Idaho – pretty much in that area. After our first album some cuts from that were being played [on the radio] back east, so we went over for one tour and played in Philadelphia and a bunch of other places, but it was just a blur – we slept in the daytime and played at night and I never knew where we were. We were being driven around by these guys with guns and we’d pull up behind some building, go in the back door and play, then get back in the car with the guys with the guns and they’d drive us someplace else. But primarily we were playing in the North West. “We did make a bit of a change because the records came out and began getting a lot of airplay in that area – in those four states there – so we started getting asked to open shows for people like The Beach Boys. We’d been playing in teenage nightclubs to start with and then as The Witch got going and Psycho got going we started playing bigger places like auditoriums and roller rinks – playing three sets, all night long – and we started getting the opportunity to step out in front of 25,000 people and do a half-an-hour before The Beach Boys, or The Lovin’ Spoonful or The Mamas & The Papas or The Righteous Brothers or people like that. So that was kind of fun for your friendly neighbourhood Sonics to be backstage drinking beer with The Righteous Brothers!” Looking back from this distance The Sonics’ distorted, heavy sound and the often ribald subject matter of their songs seems totally out of sync with what else was happening in the ‘60s, but not in their neck of the woods. “We came from a rock’n’roll town – Tacoma was a rock town and that’s what people wanted back then. It was tougher audiences and if you played swing or jazz or stuff down there, they’d probably throw vegetables at you! They wanted rock’n’roll and that’s what we wanted too, so we gave it to them and it turned out pretty well.” But even as they were giving the people what they wanted, the members of The Sonics had no inkling whatsoever their incendiary music would resonate so strongly down the ages. “You know, we were in it to meet women – I’ll be totally straight with ya,” Lind laughs. We were 19, 20, 21 years old with testosterone flowing out of every pore in our body and we wanted to meet cute girls. One thing became another, we started playing more, made some albums and we just had a great time. It was a great time. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to go out and play rock’n’roll music every Friday and Saturday night – it was just great.” WHO: The Sonics WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 25 April, Palace Theatre; Friday 27, Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh
TOGETHER WE REIGN IT’S EXCITING TO KNOW THAT MARK LANEGAN CAN STILL MAKE QUALITY RECORDS UNDER HIS OWN NAME, THOUGH, AS HE TELLS DAN CONDON, HE STILL GETS BY A WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS TALENTED FRIENDS.
arely a year has gone by in recent times that Mark Lanegan hasn’t jumped on a plane and made the long journey to Australia for a tour with one of his lauded projects. Last year he visited with Isobel Campbell, before that under his own name, while prior to that it was with The Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli as The Gutter Twins that he made the journey to our corner of the world. This time he tours with the Mark Lanegan Band – which is the name that is credited to the creation of this year’s Blues Funeral – and while one might expect him to have some solid reasons as to why he finds our country so endearing, he’s quite low key in response to being asked. “I’ve always enjoyed it,” he announces in his distinct, deep voice from his Los Angeles home. And the things he looks forward to aren’t any different this time around to his previous visits. “Same thing I always look forward to, seeing friends, playing music and getting some good food.” The aforementioned Blues Funeral is the first release credited almost solely to Mark Lanegan in a while.
Likewise, he doesn’t make much of the fact that it has been eight years since the last Mark Lanegan record was released. He’s been busy and he’s been enjoying himself and the only reason this album came to life was because he had nothing else to do. “Just because I did a lot of other things in the in-between years, made multiple records with some of those projects and did multiple tours with all of them and, you know, it really wasn’t something I really gave a lot of thought to, making another Mark Lanegan record, because I was enjoying all of those other things,” he says. “But eventually the time came when I looked at my calendar and I didn’t have anything happening and realised how much time had gone by. I didn’t really intend for so much time to go by between them.”
“I really like it,” he says. “I like the songs, I like the way it sounds but I really enjoyed the process of making it, it was a really relaxed and enjoyable process so that’s part of the reason why I like it.” The process was an interesting one. Working with producer and former Queens Of The Stone Age bandmate Alain Johannes, Lanegan had no concept of any of the album’s songs before they started making the record. “My last record Bubblegum , I did the second half of it with Alain Johannes, who I also played with in the Queens and have various other things with. After making part of my last record with him I always knew that when I made another one I would make it with him. So that was in the back of my mind even though I didn’t really plan on making a record, I just realised that I had some time and it had been a while since I made the previous one so I started writing songs and recording them.” Literally. Lanegan would pen a tune and then take it into the studio. “They were all written while I was making the record,” he explains. “So I started with none, wrote one, started recording it and wrote another one, so on and so forth. So they were all written specifically for this record while it was being made. I just started making them and once the song was done it sort of tells me what the next one is gonna sound like so on and so forth.” Lanegan is quick to give Johannes credit when it comes to the final product. “I’d write a song, show it to him, describe elements I’d like it to have – how I’d like it to sound – he would achieve that and then he’d bring about a hundred more things to the table as well. So it’s definitely a 50-50 affair.” Collaboration is one thing Lanegan does a lot of and, unsurprisingly, it’s something he does pretty damn well. “Unless I was playing every instrument by myself like Prince, even records that have my name on them are collaborative. One of the things I enjoy about making music is working with others.” It’s something that’s made easier when you have such talented friends. The guest list on Blues Funeral might not quite hit the heights of Lanegan’s previous record Bubblegum (which boasted the likes of PJ Harvey, Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri of Queens Of The Stone Age, Greg Dulli and Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin), but it’s pretty impressive all the same. “I need not look any further than my circle of close friends to find a bunch of guys that I’d love to have on a record and they’re usually guys that I’ve already been making music with, sometimes for a lot of years,” he says. “So, I knew that I wanted to have [Afghan Whigs’] Greg [Dulli] on something, I knew that I wanted to have Josh [Homme] on something, I knew that I wanted to have Chris Goss on something, so I specifically looked for places to have those guys and the same was true of everyone who was on the record, really. They were all guys that I wanted on the record and asked to play on it.” Even though he knew he wanted them on the record, he wasn’t thinking of how they could fit when writing the songs. “No, but I look for opportunities.” he says. “I look for the thing that might fit them the best. But when I’m writing I don’t really think about anything other than just writing the song.” As far as whether there’s anyone he’d like to work with outside of his group of friends, a dream collaborator if you will, Lanegan acknowledges there are definitely a few, but draws a blank. “I get asked, maybe not this exact question, but some other question quite often, probably because I do a lot of collaborating,” he says. “I almost always go completely blank; it’s like when people ask me what I’m listening to right now, I just absolutely have no idea. My answer is that I know there are a million people I’d love to work with if the opportunity presented itself.” He’s not one to over-think the power that collaboration has on his own writing skills, but he acknowledges that it is there. “Not that I can specifically give you an example, but I know – well I hope – that there’s things that I learn from every project and I know that I’m taking something into the next one, whether it be another collaboration or a solo record or whatever,” he says. “The beauty of working with other people is that you get the opportunity to do things that you might not do left to your own devices and see things through somebody else’s eyes and share a vision at the time.” WHO: Mark Lanegan Band WHAT: Blues Funeral (4AD/Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 26 April, Forum
INPRESS • 23
JURASSIC SPARK WITH JUST ONE EP TO THEIR NAME AND A STRING OF DANCEABLE GUITAR POP SINGLES BEFRIENDING THE AIRWAVES, BRISBANE’S LAST DINOSAURS ARE ALREADY EARNING SUPPORTS WITH THE LIKES OF FOSTER THE PEOPLE, FOALS AND WE ARE SCIENTISTS. TYLER MCLOUGHLAN SITS DOWN WITH SEAN CASKEY AND SAM GETHIN-JONES TO SHARE THE ANTICIPATION OF FINALLY DELIVERING DEBUT ALBUM IN A MILLION YEARS TO A WAITING AUDIENCE.
s Last Dinosaurs frontman Sean Caskey busies himself with the coffee machine, bassist Sam Gethin-Jones kicks back on a couch in the boardroom of their record label Dew Process and makes idle chat about what the band has been up to in recent weeks. With their debut album In A Million Years out now, they’ve been wined and dined by Rolling Stone, among others. With coffee in hand, Caskey plonks himself down and explains why it has taken over four years for their debut record to appear. “It wasn’t on purpose, but it was definitely a good idea,” he admits. “It was just, I dunno, the rate that I write songs is incredibly slow and not all of them are very good, so it was just a matter of waiting until we’d come up and polished enough
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songs that were worthy of an album. We were meant to record ages ago, and we thought it was a good idea to just wait another year, six months.” From the isolation of a friend’s farm in the Byron Bay hinterland, the four city kids – the band rounded out by Caskey’s younger lead guitarist brother Lachlan and high school drummer buddy Dan Koyama – found the right environment to tease out their muse. “Going to a farm is kind of like a big deal for us because we never go to a farm – you never go to a place where there’s no [phone] reception. It’s like when you’re there, all you can do is walk around in the bushland or be inside the house writing music, so it’s a good place to work hard,” says the frontman. It became an ideal setting for road testing material too, particularly the overtly confident riff of album opener Zoom that preceded the album release as a summer season musical highlight. “I remember it was at a stage where we’d been trying to write a lot of songs, and like good songs, which is even harder to do. Every day and night I’d make loops on a loop pedal, just guitar or a kids’ keyboard thing… I figured out the riff but I couldn’t play it all because it was too complicated for me to play. But I recorded it and when I showed the dudes they all liked it,” Caskey says of the track that ultimately placed just outside of triple j’s 2011 Hottest 100 at 125. “We played this party [at the farm], which was the funnest thing – it was in this big bunch of trees in the open field, and they had a massive tent and like a big spit roast. They had a little tent for us to play in, and we played Zoom. And I just remember, ‘cause I was pretty stoned at the time, I was vibing so hard – like all of us were vibing really hard,” he laughs. “Everyone was having so much fun!” Caskey continues. “We played [Zoom] and everyone was loving it – there was no lyrics or anything. When we played it, that time was when I knew that it was a good song.” Caskey is a thoughtful and extremely bright 21-year-old who treats the craft of songwriting as a life-long career, one in which he intends to make his mark. Amongst typical album fodder of relationship insights, the jangle-pop of Time And Place shows his intentions through the conduit of Nikola Tesla, the pioneer of the modern electrical supply system. “I went nuts on YouTube just researching the crap out of Nikola,” he enthuses of the inventor. “In science or physics, you learn about Tesla, and they just touch on it, they never really explore it. I didn’t really think much of it [at the time] because I didn’t really care much for school, but I went nuts on Nikola ‘cause I found out like everything that we have now is basically from him, essentially. And he was just a really, really interesting character. I could go on for ages. The main reason I wanted to write about him was because – you know Thomas Edison? – well, he did basically two percent of what Nikola did, but because he was American and Nikola was Jewish, they discriminated against Nikola to a point where he had multiple breakdowns and then stopped inventing things. “It’s so sad… I obsess about a couple of things to a ridiculous point, and Nikola is one of them. I actually was just very sad and Time And Place is like an indirect apology to him.” Caskey’s Tesla bent directly relates to the overall theme of timelessness which is introduced in the first chorus of the album as he states: “I don’t want to be just another/Fighter without fire/Nothing to inspire/In a million years when we’re older/Finally we can be part of history.” “I’ve thought about a lot over the last few years, the idea of immortality, because obviously it’s impossible – but the only real immortality is to be remembered and recognised, and I feel like the only way you can do that is to become someone significant, or have a recording of something, like write a book, or have a song or make a video,” he reflects. “That’s why I think Zoom is a good opening track and it sums up the whole album because that song is about making an impression on the world, on someone’s world – if someone’s thinking about me after I’m dead, then technically I think that it’s sort of like I’m still living. And Zoom’s about wanting to not be someone that’s forgotten.”
performing STONEAGE ROMEOS in its entirety (plus other smash hits)
Beginning pre-production last February, the decision was made to return to Jean-Paul Fung (Birds Of Tokyo, Little Red), a producer and engineer only slightly older than the band members, who had produced Time And Place as a single in late-2010. “We worked with him and he was just like the maddest dude. Like, he’s such an interesting character, and we got along with him really, really well,” Caskey says as Gethin-Jones nods emphatically.
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“The pre-production was done at JP’s mum’s farm, which is a really nice farm too and a really, really nice house… I slept where we were jamming and I’d literally wake up, pick up the guitar and we’d just go, and we’d go on until late at night. Sometimes [when] we were feeling uninspired, we’d go outside for a run at like midnight, in the middle of nowhere – just like the stupidest shit cause we were just so bored. So we’re running and then we’re just like, ‘Oi, next time lets run backwards in single file’, so cars drive past and there’s five dudes in skinny jeans running backwards in the middle of nowhere,” he laughs. Built with the help of historical ideologies, the Last Dinosaurs’ future does indeed look bright, and Caskey is deservedly proud of In A Million Years, and the history the young band has made together. “We knew that this was our chance to create something that could potentially set up the rest of our lives, so we just worked really hard together to make the best possible piece of art that we could, and I definitely think we did that.” WHO: Last Dinosaurs WHAT: In A Million Years (Dew Process/Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 17 April, Pheonix Public House; Wednesday 18, National Hotel, Geelong; Thursday 19, Karova Lounge, Ballarat; Friday 20, Northcote Social Club, Wednesday 2 May, Northcote Social Club
IN BLOOM CAM LEE IS ENJOYING THE SECOND COMING OF MELBOURNE BAND ZOOPHYTE, HE TELLS NIC TOUPEE.
PERFECT WAY of it, and I love to be able to hear people ask for songs.”
US INDIE LEGEND LOU BARLOW IS ON HIS WAY BACK DOWN TO AUSTRALIA FOR A SOLO TOUR, AND HE TELLS STEVE BELL HOW WE’RE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO SEE HIM PERFORM UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL.
t’s a pretty invigorating, albeit hectic time, for Lou Barlow right now. Firstly, both of the major musical projects from his past – Dinosaur Jr, the band he co-founded and which occupied him for most of the ‘80s until he was evicted, and Sebadoh which he founded next and which similarly took up most of his ‘90s – are enjoying a second wind and entering new phases of recording and touring. Then there’s his solo career. Originally just an adjunct to his main day job, back in 1996 here in Australia the then nascent indie label Spunk Records released Lou Barlow Plays Waterfront – a live recording of a Sydney instore he conducted while in the country on a Sebadoh tour – and people fell in love with the honest, forthright nature of his stripped-back catalogue. Since then he’s toured here numerous times in solo guise and even released two solo albums – 2005’s Emoh and 2009’s Goodnight Unknown – and now, even amidst the flurry of band activity, he’s found time to fit in another jaunt down to Australia on his lonesome.
zoophyte is defined as an animal which visually resembles a plant. Cited as an example is the pretty awesome sounding Vegetable Lamb Of Tartary, which is a fabled Asian tree which was said to have grown sheep as its fruit. What this has to do with Zoophyte – the Melbourne band formed in 2004 – is anybody’s guess. None of the band members look particularly like they’re going to sprout an unexpected animal in flowering season. However, it could – at a stretch – be said that Zoophyte have engaged in some clever metamorphosis. They began in 2004 as a rock/funk/folk/pop band with many creative cooks, subsequently dissolving under the weight of their own success in 2007. Zoophyte have since become a more focussed rock band, now ready to share their new single Let It Go with the world. It will be followed by a longplayer later in the year. The only constant member of the band since their 2004 beginnings is Cam Lee. “Our last disc, Another Point Of View, was released in 2007 and we were touring it around for a while. Then one band member left, and then another left, and before you knew it, it was just me and the bass player [Andrew Gilpin] left without a band,” Lee laughs ruefully. “We made a pact to get together regularly and keep writing, to try to write a song a week for at least a year. We actually managed to keep that up, and come 2009 we found ourselves with at least 50 or 60 songs – or parts of songs, at least – so we got a new band together.” Not entirely surprisingly with all the line-up changes, Lee and Gilpin’s Zoophyte sounds very different to the previous model. “This new album is completely different from where we were in the past,” he confirms. “We were a range of different musos and any track we wrote back then could have been folk to funk to rock, or anything in between. This time, for the new album, we have a much clearer direction in what we’re doing; it started with just the two of us writing.” While being stopped mid-career stride was a blow to Lee, he now admits that it may well have been for the best. “It was strange and hard for me, because when you first start a band you try really hard to get momentum, and we started to receive airplay on triple j and were touring, and all of that came to a grinding halt, and then we had to start again,” he says. “But at the same time, it gave me time to sit back, have a great time writing and enjoy music for the music’s sake,” Lee says philosophically. “I think while it was devastating at the start, in the end it was definitely a blessing.” Another great luxury of taking his time was that Lee was able to take some months to indulge his love of guitars and get the guitar tones on the album just right. Lee is a guitar geek and is not ashamed of it. “I’m not the best guitarist going around,” he says humbly, “but I do take a real interest in tones and sounds. It’s a big sounding album, very guitar based, with lots of pedals and delays. We have a lot of fun in the studio doing it, and we’re all lucky enough to be close friends, not too hung up on popular sounds, we just write music that at the end of the day we can all hang our hat on. There’s a generally positive vibe, which comes across as happy and engaging in our live shows as well.” WHO: Zoophyte WHAT: Let It Go (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 April, Prince Bandroom
“It’s strange, people don’t ask me to do it in general,” Barlow muses of the solo aspect of his career. “When I’ve done solo tours in the States they don’t usually go very well. I’ve opened solo for Dinosaur Jr and it’s always a real struggle. People don’t ask me to do it, but for some reason people in Australia are always keen and manage to twist my arm – it’s the only place where there’s any demand for me to play solo. I don’t know why. But to me it’s great, because generally I don’t pursue stuff – I just wait around for people to ask me to do things.” Despite this laissez faire approach to his craft, playing acoustically is something that the affable Barlow genuinely enjoys. “I love it, I love it,” he enthuses. “I really enjoy every aspect of my career right now. I get to play with Dinosaur Jr which is awesome, and I get to play with Sebadoh which is equally if not even more so awesome. But when I play by myself, when I’m doing my own thing, it’s so intimate and it’s kind of my most natural state, when I’m playing solo. I’m absolutely the most relaxed I can be, and I love the intimacy
The intimate, stripped-back nature of these solo shows – which find Barlow covering the gamut of his entire catalogue, from the more well-known material of his main bands through to material from side projects such as Sentridoh and Folk Implosion right back to tracks from his first band Deep Wound – also brings his lyrics into focus, his ultrapersonal musings having always been one of his main songwriting strengths. “Yeah, right, people can actually hear them, it’s great,” he laughs self-deprecatingly. “As a listener and as a fan I think that the lyrics are basically equal with the texture. I think that for me personally lyrics are incredibly important. Those are the things that really draw people into the music and make it interesting. And when I write songs I have to believe every single word that I’m saying otherwise I can’t remember it. “I had this discussion with J [Mascis – Dinosaur Jr frontman and co-founder] a couple of years ago when we made the last record: ‘Don’t you want to work on the lyrics more? You’ll be able to remember them!’ And he was just, like, ‘No. I don’t care’. So then we went on tour with Dinosaur Jr he didn’t know the lyrics to his own songs for months,” Barlow exclaims. “You make lyrics that mean something to you so then you remember them – that’s my whole thing. I don’t think I’m a poet and I don’t think I write great lyrics, but if I write them about something that I’ve experienced then I will then remember them – it’s very practical.” Barlow is also fond of breaking his solo sets up with some choice covers – not usually songs which are that wellknown, but ones which fit seamlessly amidst his own material. “When I just do my own things I feel that I bog people down in ‘my deal’,” he admits. “It can get kind of heavy, I guess, and then when you play someone else’s song it just lightens things up – it just takes the pressure off everybody and it adds a space where people can sort of relax a little bit, because when they know it’s just coming from me it creates this claustrophobic emotional atmosphere. Which is great, I think, but then in a more realistic way it’s not great – it’s good to just let people know that I have a fucking sense of humour maybe, or that I love other songs too.” Although anyone who’s witnessed a Barlow solo set will attest that there’s indeed a sense of humour at play, one that manifests in the form of witty anecdotes and subtly hilarious between-song banter. “I can do, that can happen,” he laughs at the notion of being funny onstage. “It comes pretty naturally, but to be perfectly honest some days I’ll think of something and be, like, ‘Maybe I should say something
about that when I play’, but then if I actually contrive something to say it doesn’t work that well, and it makes me more tense if I say it. If I thought about it beforehand and then I say it I’m like, ‘What a fucking cheeseball! What an asshole!’ Ideally it’s stream of consciousness. But there’s always funny people in the audience – I think that other people are funny, and if you give them the space to speak their mind they will make it easier for me.” But for now it’s all about the future, and with both his bands on the verge of releasing new records Barlow is well and truly in creative mode, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’m in a really got spot with writing – that’s totally where I’m at right now,” he attests. “We’re making the Dinosaur album so I’m writing songs for that, and we’re making a Sebadoh record coming up. It’s weird – I realise now that my song cycle is so fucking glacial. It used to be every day, or I’d have a day when I’d write five songs, but these days I end up writing all of these tiny bits and then they just slowly come together. “They’re almost like these things forming in space and then little bits gather onto them, and all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Wow! Holy shit, it’s a song! I had no idea! How did that happen?’ Or, ‘It’s a song with four parts in it – holy fuck!’ I just let it all come together as things come into my head, in between doing all of the other shit that I have to do.” WHO: Lou Barlow WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 April, Northcote Social Club
WRATH OF THE NORSEMEN VIKING MARAUDERS AMON AMARTH ARE ONCE AGAIN DESCENDING ON AUSTRALIA TO RAVISH AND PILLAGE ALL BEFORE THEM. MARK HEBBLEWHITE GRABS ALL THE COMPANY’S SILVER TO PLEAD GUITARIST JOHAN SÖDERBURG FOR MERCY. AFTER THE AXE WOUNDS HEALED, HE WAS ABLE TO GIVE US THE RESULTS.
urtr is a figure in Norse mythology,” explains Amon Amarth guitarist Johan Söderburg as he breaks down the raison d’etre behind the moniker for Amon Amarth’s eighth studio album, Surtur Rising. “In these myths the fire giant Surtr helps to bring about Ragnarok – the events that lead to the end of the world. He also fights and kills the god Freyr in the final conflict. He’s pretty badass.” No unicorns here people, just giants and gods wielding big swords and even bigger battle-axes as they gleefully fight their way through chaos, destruction and rivers of flowing mead. Dude – metal! Although Viking metal (a concept that doesn’t really require any explanation) originated with the likes of Swedish black metal master Bathory and Johnny Hedlund’s ravaging death metal hoard (also known as Unleashed), it’s Amon Amarth who took the genre to the next level. Despite taking their name from Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings (Amon Amarth is the Elvish name for Mount Doom aka the big fuck-off volcano Frodo is trying to reach in order to destroy the one ring) it’s been strictly tales of pissed-off Norsemen for the quartet ever since they recorded their Thor Arise demo way back in 1993. Hey, when you’re on a good thing – stick to it. “We don’t see this as a gimmick or anything, Johan [Hegg] our vocalist writes about what interests him,” Söderburg explains, graciously answering the obligatory ‘Viking’ question the band has probably been asked, oh, 200 million times already, with relative good cheer. “The Viking period is a fascinating part of our country’s history and there’s so much to explore so we do it. It’s that simple really – if we didn’t enjoy it we’d stop writing about Vikings and go find something else.”
While intrinsic to the band’s identity, tales of big swords and bushy beards aren’t the totality of Amon Amarth’s appeal. This band churns out quality melodic death metal that somehow retains its brutality while also offering memorable hooks and choruses that are stuck in your head for months. And while early classics such as 1998 debut album, Once Sent From The Golden Hall, hold a special place in the hearts of long-time fans, it’s the band’s recent output, beginning with 2006’s With Odin On Our Side, that has really taken Amon Amarth to the next level. Not only did the album become the band’s first appearance in the Billboard charts, it also heralded a fertile creative period that continues to this day. “That album definitely represents a shift for us because it was the first time we recorded an album at Fascination Street studios and even more importantly the first time we worked with Jens Bergen,” says Söderburg. “Before this we used to produce the albums ourselves – which was okay – but Jens definitely helped us make our records sound better. “There are great songs on the older records, especially on Fate Of Norns, which has songs like The Pursuit Of Vikings and An Ancient Sign Of Coming Storm, which are fan favourites. But working with Jens takes the pressure off and means that we can focus on making sure the albums sounded like we want them to.” Indeed the group’s latest effort, Surtur Rising, sounds enormous – a clarion call of scything Swedeath that will make you think that a Viking horde has just crashed through your living room. But there are noticeable differences from Amon Amarth’s last album, Twilight Of The Thunder God. Where Twilight… featured a number of ‘instant singles’, including the catchy as hell title track, the massive stomp of Guardians Of Asgaard and the cello-infused Live For The Kill, Surtur Rising doesn’t boast an instant head turner. Gone are the flashier moments of Twilight…, replaced by a more cohesive, heads-down death metal assault. Was this a conscious choice, perhaps a reaction against the decidedly ‘commercial’ flavour of Twilight Of The Thunder God? “I don’t completely agree with that way of describing the album,” Söderburg replies after a lengthy pause. “I see what you mean by saying that there are no obvious singles on this album, but I don’t think that the direction of the songwriting is that different from Twilight.... Our music is death metal, but at the same time we all grew up on traditional heavy metal like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden and those influences are definitely on all our albums. We
didn’t sit down and write Surtur Rising by doing anything particularly different to what we’ve done before. I think the album is a natural progression from Twilight…. We’re not a band that changes greatly between records and I think our fans like that about us. They know that when they buy an Amon Amarth record it’s going to be solid heavy metal – and that’s definitely what Surtur Rising is. I will say though that when we finished and were listening back to the songs, we were happy at how the album flowed together – so on that point I would agree with you.” Amon Amarth are now frequent visitors to our shores, having played multiple times here over the last few years. One would think that for a bunch of Swedes, visiting Australia would be a complete cultural inversion, but Söderburg takes it all in his stride. “People always think that we would find Australia a completely alien place because of how faraway it is from Sweden and how different the weather is,” he laughs. “But really, like America and Western Europe, Australia isn’t particularly exotic for us – although we love coming down there because you have great beer. It’s when the band goes to places like India that we really open our eyes and feel that we’re in a place nothing like where we come from. But at the same time Indian metalheads are just like metal people from anywhere else in the world – they like to hear good riffs and good songs. It doesn’t matter that we come from a completely different culture and sing about things that have never affected their country. We’ve found that wherever we go, whether it be France, Australia or India, metal fans like to hear songs about Vikings. It’s pretty universal really.” WHO: Amon Amarth WHEN & WHERE: Monday 16 April, Billboard INPRESS • 25
LAUNCHING THEIR SECOND EP, RÜFÜS’ TYRONE LINDQVIST TALKS TO SAM HOBSON ABOUT FEELING FOREIGN, AND THE COMPLEX TALE OF HOW HIS BAND’S SOUND HAS EVOLVED.
MELBOURNE FOUR-PIECE MARGINS SHUN THE BUILD-TOCLIMAX CLICHÉ ADOPTED BY SO MANY INSTRUMENTAL GROUPS ON THEIR EXCELLENT NEW ALBUM DIVIDE. BY DOUG WALLEN.
ecause we need labels – we need them to sate our burning obsession to compartmentalise ostensibly and affrontingly foreign things, to name them, to understand them, so that they challenge us less, and so that we can file them away in our minds where they ‘belong’ – Rüfüs have been labelled an ‘indie dance’ band. But labels distort things. They place an unclear film across the truth of the thing they’ve been stickied to. When one listens to Rüfüs, there’s the immediate and striking sense that, though there’s a beat on each of their tracks that’s undeniably danceable, their sound’s actually made of a complex, quilted network of very different things; different beginnings, different sensibilities, different influences. They’re profoundly more than that silly tag suggests. “It’s a big part of what we do, I guess, that [deliberate diversity],” the band’s synth player and co-vocalist Tyrone Lindqvist explains. “It’s [all] three of us who write the music, and it started off with just me and Jon [George], and we [alone] came from really different backgrounds. I grew up playing classical music, and piano, and then [went on] to play alternative acoustic pop. Jon, he didn’t really do much musically until he got out of school, when he started DJing, and learning about music production.” “I guess we have really different tastes, too,” he continues. “I listen to [almost] every type of genre out there. Jon, he’s into a whole [different range] of stuff. When we got together, I guess our music came of all that difference, and that’s why it sounds like it does. “I mean, I’ve come from loving flamenco…” Lindqvist offers, quickly retracting his statement to explain less radically what he’s just said. “I went to a boarding school, and every night they made you study for three hours, but I wasn’t into studying too much, so I’d listen to album upon album, any genre, anything that would tickle my fancy. I guess, when we started
Y making music together, it just clicked. Jon’s big influence at the time was house music, mine was alternative pop – stuff that’s more hook-based. We met halfway. We did a couple of songs, and we just had this feeling – I don’t know – it just felt foreign, in a weird way. Same when we were choosing the band name, and put those umlauts on the U’s – it just felt really foreign. I don’t mean like it was from Europe or anything,” he qualifies with a laugh, “it just had this ‘stranger’ feeling, and we really liked it. It felt right.” “And when we write music,” he continues, “it’s usually very feeling driven; we write music to get a feel. For our first EP we were going for a very summer afternoony feel, really relaxed, but it has this dark undertone. And then with this new EP, [we’ve] taken that and moved it [into] a more night-time, Sundaynight thing. It’s just got a different vibe to it.” But from his meandering tone, there’s a sense that this wasn’t entirely an intentional shift for the band. “No, none of it’s too conscious,” he muses. “You learn things on your first EP… like, you learn things all the time when you write a song, especially when you play live. We were touring a lot last year with the songs we’ve got on this new EP – trialling things – and where things started isn’t at all where they’ve finished. So it wasn’t so much conscious, it was more crowd-reaction based, and [our] influences over the course of a year, as opposed to just writing the songs in a day.” WHO: Rüfüs WHAT: This Summer (Gigpiglet Recordings/Inertia) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 April, Phoenix Public House
SHY IRISH TROUBADOUR JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW TALKS TO KATIE BENSON ABOUT THE ART OF LONELINESS.
Released two years ago in Ireland, Early In The Morning spent over a year in the charts, peaking at 23 while his stripped-back cover of Steve Winwood’s Higher Love reached 21 in the UK and has over two million hits on YouTube. It’s been a big turnaround for the self-proclaimed introvert, but McMorrow attributes this success the result of passion and good old-fashioned hard work. “I always felt like if you put your head down and worked you’d at least have a chance at it, so I got frustrated with people who just wanted to talk about it. So that’s what started me working by myself... I had to teach myself all these other instruments and I had to learn how to record,” says McMorrow. “And it all just came from there. I never felt like I needed to add other musicians to the mix. I was just sitting in a house working by myself because I could.” Much has been made about the house by the Irish Sea where McMorrow recorded the album. Surrounded by the classics from modern American authors and an array of instruments, McMorrow explains his seaside sojourn was a happy accident that’s turned into a big part of the album’s mythology. “It could have been anywhere – on top of a mountain, downtown Brooklyn – it wasn’t that I needed to be at one with nature. I had no money at all; someone offered me a house so I took it. I needed to be there for a period of time because it takes me a while to write and record and I needed somewhere that was quiet, so the house was a complete blessing. The album is reflective of where it was recorded, so it was incredibly fortuitous and meant to be, but no, not thought out.” 26 • INPRESS
Is it too much of a cliché to say it was worth the wait? Released last month via Casadeldisco (Harmony, The Nation Blue, Oh Mercy), Divide rekindles the patient dynamics of guitarists Dave Geisler and Adam Cooper, bassist Brett O’Riley and drummer David Kneale. The record ranges quietly all over the map, from the Slint-ish guitar touches of Ice Station and percussive jitters of Man Versus Nature to the tumbleweeds of distortion on Division Suspension and John Faheyesque finger-picking on Static Cleaner. Other detectable influences run the gamut, seeming to touch on Sonic Youth, Dirty Three, Calexico, Tortoise and Brian Eno. In fact, the only thing you won’t hear is the buildto-climax trajectory run into the ground by so many instrumental acts. “That is our modus operandi: to totally avoid the post-rock cliché of ‘build, build, build, be really loud’,” confirms O’Riley. “That is incredibly boring and we don’t want to have any part of that. We’re all punk rock guys and have a history of playing in really heavy bands, so for us the challenge is to not go with that instinct. To pull it back and play as quietly as we can, because that’s harder. We’re going against our natural instinct.” Closer to his punk past, O’Riley also plays bass with agitated Melbourne noise-punks Blacklevel Embassy (featuring Margins guitarist Adam Cooper) and just had his first rehearsal with Dude Mountain, a doomy metal band that was formerly a guitar/ drums duo. The other two members of Margins
don’t play in other bands at the moment, busy as they are with families, jobs and mortgages. Not confined to a rigid four instruments, Margins include piano, glockenspiel, loops and other textures. Then there are cameos on Divide from percussionist Dan McKay (The Nation Blue), lap steel guitarist Chris Rainier (who has played with them live) and a keyboard-wielding Matt Bailey (ex-The Paradise Motel). The distinctive voice of Teeth & Tongue’s Jess Cornelius also materialises on Rabbit Head, although as yet another instrument rather than a lyrical device. That said, you won’t find the band “carrying 15 tons of extra gear we use for one song,” as O’Riley puts in, when they play live. “We just tend to pick the ones we can pull off,” he continues. “There’s a couple we just can’t do that were purely improvised. But we all have a bit of a swap [between instruments]. We do have a MIDI keyboard we can plug in to get pretty good Rhodes [piano] sounds. Sometimes one guy will play something else. Sometimes someone won’t play for most of the song and then just play two notes, because that’s all the song needs.” Margins are now mulling plans for a remix EP leaning on the bands’ peers and using the spare parts from their sessions. And there could be the possibility of some well-placed free downloads in the future. “Some of it’s great,” O’Riley reckons. “We just couldn’t have a record that’s two-and-a-half hours.” WHO: Margins WHAT: Divide (Casadeldisco) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 April, Old Bar
FULL-ON AND STIMULATING
MEANT TO BE or James Vincent McMorrow, music has always been a solitary experience. From beginnings of self-taught guitar at school, the Irish singer has gone on to create a haunting debut that he wrote, recorded and played entirely by himself. The process took place over six months of isolation, where some days only one or two song lines would present themselves to McMorrow in the quiet.
ou might remember Margins from their selftitled debut album, released way back in mid-2009. At the time things looked good for a follow-up album, with the first recording session happening before the debut was launched. But a year-long gap before the second session coupled with finding a label – their previous label Low Transit Industries had since folded – and other snags means that we’re only now hearing Divide, the second album from Melbourne’s instrumental quartet.
After wrapping recording, McMorrow released the album without a label in 2010. While it slowly gathered steam at home he was off touring the UK and the US. Months later he returned to find Early In The Morning had exploded in Ireland and the usually reserved musician was thrust into the spotlight. “When I came back to Ireland, people everywhere knew of the album and who I was. I’m actually quite quiet; I keep to myself, so it was quite jarring initially. It’s really surreal, but dream come true for me, because you always want to be acknowledged for what you do in your place of birth.” This success opened the doors to the European festival circuit, where McMorrow received a swag of glowing reviews. Though the loner counts wading through the Glastonbury crowd in his wellies as a total nightmare, performing to all the muddy faces a day later was more the stuff of dreams. “Going out amongst the crowd always kind of terrifies me, but in the shows themselves, that doesn’t affect me. It’s strange, I’m quite shy, but when I’m on stage a whole different aspect comes out. Music’s quite an introspective thing – you’re creating something that’s personal, but then you have to go and play that live. Well, unless you’re Enya. You make the record and then you want to try and connect that with people, I want it to be an experience that means something to them. Once you realise that’s part of it, you go to that place in your mind where it makes sense and you can do it and enjoy it rather than just get through it.” WHO: James Vincent McMorrow WHAT: Early In The Morning (Dew Process/Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 6 and Saturday 7 April, Bluesfest, Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm; Thursday 12, Toff In Town
“IF YOU LOOKED AT IT ON PAPER YOU’D SEE GUITAR, BASS, DRUMS AND LOUD AND THEN IT’S JUST A ROCK BAND, BUT OBVIOUSLY IT ISN’T.” MY DISCO GUITARIST BEN ANDREWS EXPLAINS THEIR INTEREST IN OTHER AVENUES OF MUSIC TO BRENDAN HITCHENS.
hat started as a subtle reference to their idols in Big Black has, over the years, grown more and more into a fitting band name. Though their music would be radically out of place in a nightclub, there are distinct dance influences to the My Disco sound. Journalistic hyperbole has seen their influences described as far ranging as minimal techno to post-dubstep and guitarist Ben Andrews is omfortable with that. “Just meeting other people and other bands and seeing what they’re into helps broaden your pallet,” he says. Spending considerable time overseas does too, with drummer Rohan Rebeiro’s “obsession with minimal techno and house music” coming from his time spent living in Berlin. In a sense the band has not only created their own disco, or alternative party, but a militant musical niche. Operating outside of the music industry and on their own terms, the band still shares the identical ethos that saw their first show take place in an all ages Collingwood café almost a decade ago. Recipients of an AIR Award for Best Independent Punk Album, while they may shun the acclaim, there’s no disputing their connection to the punk scene. “Even though we do operate virtually one hundred per cent outside of those things and don’t see ourselves in any kind of Australian independent music context, it was still nice to be recognised for whatever it was worth.” Together with their sound, a strong aesthetic edge has always coexisted in My Disco, from the panoramic Warwick Baker photography that adorned their Paradise record, to their screen-printed tour posters and provocative press shots. Premiering their maiden film clip earlier this year, the band expanded their artistry with a clip that features a laser light show and an interpretive ballet routine. Andrews says that while
the thought of a film clip isn’t something they’ve focused on, he is gratified with the result for Turn. “We’ve always been interested in other avenues like touring, making records and playing live all the time. We don’t rush things, so we hadn’t ever thought about doing a clip up until the last year. But I think the clip suits the ideas and concepts we’ve put forth with the band throughout our career, being visually full-on and stimulating. Like our music, it’s pretty repetitive with a lot of senses going on.” Like their visuals, their music may too polarise people, yet it has a strange ability to cross genres and continents, be it the hardcore scene in Indonesia or a club in Prague. “It’s hard to describe our music,” says Andrews before pausing, “because if you looked at it on paper you’d see guitar, bass, drums and loud and then it’s just a rock band, but obviously it isn’t.” On completion of their upcoming tour, the band will return to South East Asia for shows in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. No strangers to the continent, having first toured there in 2004, the band, as Andrews puts it, have been “everywhere in Asia,” having already played in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan. Along with Asia, they have extensively toured North America and Europe, recently playing in such far-flung destinations as Serbia and Macedonia. Harbouring aspirations to add “Budapest, Romania and Bosnia” as My Disco tour destinations, you get the feeling this trio of globetrotters may just end up becoming our country’s greatest tourism exports. WHO: My Disco WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 April, Toff In Town
DOCTORIN’ THE HOUSE
MELBOURNE HIP HOP DUO JUSTICE & KAOS WERE ALL THE RAGE IN 2007, BEFORE GOING SURPRISINGLY QUIET. NOW THEY’RE BACK FOR GOOD, WRITES ALEKSIA BARRON.
WITH A LOT OF THE MUSIC REFERENCED BY LOCAL PARTY-STARTERS CONGO TARDIS #1 ORIGINATING FROM THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES, LEWIS CANCUT ADMITS TO BOB BAKER FISH THINGS ARE “ECONOMICALLY COMPLICATED”.
he debut album from Melbourne hip hop duo Justice & Kaos has been hotly anticipated since 2007 – perhaps one of the longest lead times for such an important release. MC Justice (also known as Christian Ng), had built a reputation as a prolific battle rapper. Teaming up with school friend, MC/producer Kaos (Rohit Mukerjea), they formed the duo affectionately known as J&K.
album prelude.” However, a debut LP still hadn’t come together. “We both work full-time, so finding that time to work in the studio has always been a struggle.”
By the mid-2000s, they were firmly entrenched in the local hip hop scene, particularly Ng, who won the 2005 Scribble Jam MC Battle – the first non-American to take out the title. When Justice & Kaos released their debut EP Turn It Up in 2007, it seemed that grand success could only be just around the corner. They received an ARIA nomination (Best Urban Release) and were named Best New Artist at the Aus/NZ Urban Music Awards. However, instead of bursting out of the gates with the expected follow-up debut album and constant tours, the duo went quiet. “We kind of lay dormant for a while,” says Ng. “We were sort of in a situation with our label at the time – which was a major label – where we didn’t really feel like we were getting the support we needed.” Perhaps it’s not that surprising that mainstream Australian record labels hadn’t yet worked out how to deal with the burgeoning local hip hop phenomenon (even the Hilltop Hoods were still climbing the mountain – The Hard Road was released a year earlier in 2006). Ng, however, sees the quiet period as ultimately beneficial to the duo. “It gave us an opportunity to learn the business, learn how it all worked. So even though between 2007 and 2009 we didn’t really put much out, we were still learning a lot about the industry.” However, he readily admits that it allowed Justice & Kaos to fade from prominence. “We weren’t at the forefront of anyone’s minds, we weren’t putting ourselves out there.” That changed in 2010 with the release of Theme Music, their second EP, which Ng describes as “a bit of an
Determined to find a way to break through their blockers, Ng and Mukerjea decided to take inspiration from US rap projects such as Crooked I’s Hip Hop Weekly and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Friday. They created the Home indVasian project, where they released a new song every week for 30 weeks. The fans responded – the Home indVasian tracks surged in popularity, and the duo began to realise that mainstream attention wasn’t vital to help them spread their message. Now, they’re excited to be getting back on the road. “The last year has been particularly busy, churning out a track a week, and we’re just looking forward to getting out and doing shows after being stuck in the studio for so long,” says Ng. He also promises that the long-awaited debut album isn’t far off (and means it this time!). As proof, they’ll be trying out a couple of the songs on their upcoming tour: “We’ll do a couple of tracks from the album at the shows,” promises Ng. Now that they’re back in the thick of things, Justice & Kaos plan to stay here. “We want to finish the album ASAP and get that out,” says Ng. There are also plans for a mixtape in the coming months, and a possible Home indVasian 2 project. WHO: Justice & Kaos WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 14 April (under18s 1pm, 18+ 9pm), Laundry Bar
t’s Dr Who meets Democratic Of Congo,” laughs Lewis CanCut, one-third of cross-cultural soundsystem Congo Tardis #1. He’s attempting to decode the outfit’s name, which is the easy part. When it comes to defining their sound, that’s when the trouble begins. The tropical bass tag gets bandied around quite a bit, primarily because the music they’re influenced by seems to come from warmer climates: music such as reggaeton, baile funk, kwaito, cumbia and all manner of unique hybrids that have sprung up in far flung places. Their music is an electronic dancefloor-ready melange of these and numerous other styles, acknowledging the influence but incorporating it into their own unique booty-shaking vision. When it comes to appropriating and mixing styles that are not part of their culture, CanCut attempts to be sensitive and non-exploitative, though he admits that it can be quite shaky ground. “The music we’re into is largely cultural and they’re not cultures that we have anything to do with,” admits CanCut. “We’re white, middle-class people that are in a cultural vacuum. So we have to listen to a lot of stuff, immerse ourselves in it and take something out of that to work with. “I guess our reasoning for appropriating it and that being okay,” he continues, “is because a lot of the music that we’re referencing, like baile funk or kuduro from Angola or kwaito from South Africa, they’re all derivative of American music a lot of the time. You know baile funk is a rip-off of Miami bass, so appropriating is a big part of those styles anyway. Occasionally we hear back some DJs in Colombia are playing some cumbia that we made or something. So that’s a nice ego stroke, that it’s not one-way all of the time. “ The problem of course is economic and CanCut recognises that there’s a fine line. “This is how we make a living and a lot of the music we play at our gigs comes from third world places.
It’s economically complicated. We’re really benefiting. We’re putting our own thing on top of it but we’re taking something a lot of the time from people who don’t have a lot and really distorting it, essentially. “I like to think that we’re pretty discerning in what we use in our sets,” he continues, “because there’s a lot of stuff that’s derivative in a really bad way that takes from the source material without really understanding the key elements of it, without representing it very well.“ With two members working at the same inner-city record store, Congo Tardis have been juicing up exotic beats for about two years now. Ms Butt, CanCut and Paz are all experienced DJs around town and it was through repeatedly appearing on the same bills that the trio realised they were increasingly drawn to club music from places other than the US. They started doing nights together and before long had evolved into the soundsystem that is Congo Tardis #1. Earlier in the year they released their debut 7” on limecoloured vinyl, a three-track slab of exotic dancefloor electronics, including Drink The Lime with vocals from Marawa The Amazing and a Faux Pas remix. “It’s always such a fun process the three of us working in the studio, no doubt there’ll be heaps more of that. It feels good when we do our show as a soundsystem to incorporate our own tracks and edits,” CanCut says. WHO: Congo Tardis #1 WHAT: Number One (Scattermusic) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 14 April, Scatter Scatter, Twotwotwo Warehouse, Collingwood
11 songs that have the love of a cowboy bathed in lonesome blues and the rock ‘n’ roll swagger of a woman past midnight
INCLUDES THE SINGLE
CD & DOWNLOAD OUT FRIDAY APRIL 13 www.ginwigmore.com
INPRESS • 27
SINGLED OUT WITH BRYGET CHRISFIELD
ON THE RECORD
GRAHAM COXON What’ll It Take EMI
NOW we’re talking! As soon as this track rolls into your ears you’ll stop whatever you’re doing just to appreciate every millisecond of sound. (Sorry, boss.) The kaleidoscopic keys, insistent riffs and repetitive lyrical query, “What’ll it take to make you people dance?” are the aural, attention-grabbing equivalent of an elder pinching your ear and hauling you from the room. Then drums invade the mix and insist you upturn a table. Carn, you know you wanna! It then fades out like a dying chicken: “BOOK-BOOKBook-book-book…” Seriously rabblerousing and not to be missed. “What’s wrong with me?” Graham Coxon, the answer is: sweet FA.
BEAR IN HEAVEN
Paul Weller is in the midst of a musical rejuvenation. In 2010, his Wake Up The Nation swept aside his most recent forays of meandering folk experimentations and respectable Britrock (we’ve got a lodge of Gallaghers to look after that in forthcoming decades). Weller preempted the wake-up call that stirred his home nation – there was a fire in his pin-striped suited belly. But while his government shuffled impotently through the riot post-mortem, Weller remains defiantly cogent.
Brooklyn’s Bear In Heaven really hit their straps with their 2010 sophomore effort Beast Rest Forth Mouth, an album that saw them grace the world with their celestial disco-synth presence. Recorded in the summer of 2011, follow-up offering I Love You It’s Cool doesn’t veer too far away from the aesthetics that have made them who they are today, whilst attempting to mess with the formula just enough to widen their horizons.
Sonik Kicks is part-two of what might one day become regarded as Weller’s Golden Period (or maybe even, the Silver Fox Phase). Seemingly taking his cue from the mayhem of Nation’s Fast Car/Slow Traffic mini-motorik homage, much of Sonik relishes in emboldened beats; whether it be Judy Garland-coloured kosmische in Kling I Klang or the intensely post-glam Around The Lake. Those pugilistic rhythms even penetrate the otherwise psych-blues of Drifters. By the time Weller hits Paper Chase, he’s basically concocting a toughened-up re-imagining of the genre once known as acid jazz.
As we’re reluctantly enjoying the last remnants of warm weather, we’re reminded that winter is lurking. It’s an interesting time to release the second album from Melbourne four-piece Love Connection, particularly as their blend of jangly guitar pop really taps into those loose, lazy carefree emotions that summer seems to bring. Their music is slight and breezy, brimming with a hazy psychedelic warmth. Hearing it now seems to exacerbate the feelings of loss, imbuing the music with a certain woozy melancholia.
Ah, yes, I heard this on the radio and have been waiting for some time to treat my ears. WTF!? This one’s shit and definitely not the track that made me run off the road when it threatened to blow out my humble car stereo speakers. For someone who publicly slams LMFAO and David Guetta, Santigold in playing it safe with the wishy-washy Disparate Youth, which (instrumentally) sounds like a rip-off of I Love You So by Cassius with added guitar sample courtesy of The Rapture. You’d never pick it as Santigold if no one worded you up beforehand. Fingers crossed previous single Big Mouth (CHOOOOON \o/) is more characteristic of her forthcoming Master Of My Make Believe set.
All Or Nothing
Throughout you also hear Weller’s past rearing its well-coiffured head, only for it to be re-styled in a manner befitting a 21st century modernist. Green is The Jam’s arch-punk in the fumes of Autobahn-rock and Study In Blue is dubbed-up The Style Council while By The Waters is dandified solo-indie Weller. How can so many cross-pollinations of genres and sub-genres deliver such a coherent longplayer? Must be all those mod cons working still. Andrew Mast
Organ is prominent and the vocals are democratically mixed back down within the instrumentation. Initially this is off-putting as we’ve been conditioned to expect vocals up front, yet it really works for Euphoria enhancing the feeling of losing connection with your senses that certain days of summer combined with herbal or chemical intervention often bring. Of course deciphering the lyrics is near impossible, and the vocals come off like loose ramshackle wails or inebriated sing-alongs, yet they’re never harsh or ill-fitting and in fact often take the role of another instrument, regularly providing the melodic hook to the songs. These guys are clearly in thrall of ‘60s psychedelia, though they seem to separate themselves via a clear love of jamming out a melodic idea to its full potential and then perhaps even a little further, and in this sense they bring to mind mid-’90s shoegazers such as Ride or Slowdive. The album’s centrepoint is also its biggest departure, a 20-minute, synth-driven ambient electronic piece titled Euphoria. From the album cover, to the mix decisions, to the title track to the release date, Euphoria is a bold artistic statement brimming with joyous pop hooks.
I Love You It’s Cool
Opener Idle Heart is the blueprint of Bear In Heaven 101 – Kraftwerk-lite rhythms held in check by drummer Joe Stickney’s preciseness and elevated by Jon Philpot’s graceful tenor. Single The Reflection Of You is typically upbeat, an ‘80s synth cavalcade that is the perfect collision of Pet Shop Boys and M83. Further along in the mix is the lo-fi glitch of Sinful Nature, a menacing burble that mirrors The Smiths circa How Soon Is Now?, whilst Space Remains offers an intense kaleidoscope of beats and tones that is in turns chaotic and energising. That said, much of what makes up the rest of I Love You It’s Cool melds together, becoming an indistinguishable mesh of sound and colour. Not that any of this is bad by any stretch of the imagination – Bear In Heaven’s coup is the juxtaposition of originality and familiarity – it merely becomes a soundscape rather than a suite of discernible songs. A good album then, yet somehow not quite the great album they clearly have fermenting inside of them. Brendan Telford
Bob Baker Fish
“Don’t be fooled into thinking this will be generic punk rock fodder,” reads the presser. Enter aggressive guitar shreds, bass fingering that moves as fast as a spider on fire and galloping drums: “What’s the fucking problem/With the world today?” These dudes defo inspired The Living End and it’s impossible to sit still while listening to this one. It could be a new form of torture. “Any of you fucking pricks MOVE and I’ll execute every motherfucking last one of you.” Hey, send the hate mail to Tarantino!
ZOOPHYTE Let You Go Independent This sounds a lot like Use Somebody by Kings Of Leon. Similarly, it should get plenty of spins on commercial radio. Pleasing chorus harmonies will have you humming along in no time and singer Cam Lee is a natural vocalist, expressing vulnerability without sounding like a sissy. Elvis Aljus demonstrates powerhouse drumming. Let You Go doesn’t leave you thinking, “Wow, these guys are exploring newfangled sonic territory,” but something tells me they’re happy to be compared to acts that have succeeded before them. If straight-up pub rock is your thang, Zoophyte is worth a Google.
EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS Man On Fire Shock Beats me how Alexander Ebert has so many charmingly lilting melodies up those cheesecloth sleeves! Back in 2009, the Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros frontman welcomed us into his Home, warming our hearts via an irresistible whistling refrain and sing-along chorus. This first taste from the band’s second album lures you under a warm blanket in front of a campfire before coaxing your “two dancing feet” into action: “I want the whole damn world to come and dance with me.” I have absolutely no doubt this is Ebert’s mission statement and why the hell not? Good to hear the adorable Jade Castrinos on BVs also since it’s believed the pair are no longer an item.
The second album from Melbourne five-piece Buckley Ward is certainly an ambitious affair that should see them build on the momentum they’ve gained over the summer through a high-profile tour with Big Scary. Produced to perfection, So Pretend is packed full of crisp, lush instrumentation that’s reminiscent of mid‘80s U2. It’s also expertly mixed, allowing the various instruments to exist alongside each other without feeling overly cluttered or forced. But while the album certainly sounds polished and impressive, it’s not quite the sum of its parts as the whole shebang is let down by some lethargic songwriting along the way. That’s not immediately apparent in the first three tracks. Opener Breathing In has a nice little rhythmic dynamic going on as the instruments are gradually layered on top of each other, creating something both laidback and difficult to ignore. Exes And Ohs is a quality trip into Shins-ish indie territory while Into The Darkening Blue sees the keyboards and synths take centre stage in a track that has a real ‘80s vibe to it. But from here on in, aside from the campfire singalong Not Enough, the tracks start becoming a little similar as the band stick with the tried-and-true mid-tempo formula. This insistence on staying in a mid-tempo comfort zone almost seems representative of the album’s reined-in feel. Everything clicks together so well, but at times it’s crying out for an instrument to stand out and do something interesting, or for the vocals to get a little ragged and raw.
The anti-brostep album. Whatever the hell that means. This is what Songs has been pitched as by 27-yearold Christopher Mercer, aka Rusko, and to a degree he is dead on the money. Eliminated are the bloated, weighty warbles that long-haired reformed emos have used to win Grammys. In their place: a sense of melody, joy and cultural infusion. What’s ironic is Rusko is leading a backlash against a scene he helped spawn. What’s marvellous is that he’s trying to blow up modern dubstep from the inside out.
Manhattan’s Blockhead – aka Tony Simon – has been producing alternative hip hop since before people even started using ridiculous genre-isms like ‘alternative hip hop’. As far back as the late-‘90s he’s been producing for Def Jux artists like Aesop Rock as well as making a name for himself on Ninja Tunes in his own right.
Interludes After Midnight
That’s not to say the English producer is denouncing beats altogether. Far from it. But what you find all across Songs is a sense of refrain. Pressure is an absolute storming track that would rock the core of any dancefloor worth a boogie, but Rusko makes you move with tender 2-step and a nod to London garage that recalls early Streets material and Artful Dodger. Thunder, meanwhile, couldn’t be further from Rusko’s Cockney Thug days, the hands in the air euphoria far more Calvin Harris than Caspa. When he does offer up some bread and butter though, he does so with a strong Caribbean flair, his dubstep influenced with natural sprigs of sound and driven by some familiar and not so familiar voices such as fellow Brit Rod Azlan (Skanker) and Italian reggae artist Alborosie (Love No More).
Despite his global presence New York is placed front and foremost on this record, making the opener Never Forget Your Token an ode to the subway system with a couple of well-placed samples. Even though he uses NYC for the start of the journey, the record isn’t afraid to travel. We take a trip to California for Meet You At Tower Records, and when the psychedelic folk vocals mash together with a sample from deep south rapper Young Bleed’s Give And Take, we’re pretty much touring the whole of the US in five minutes. Panic In Funkytown is probably slightly too fast to be considered what used to be called trip hop, but it’s heavy sampled rhythms conjure up late nights nodding and smoking bongs. Hungover Like Whoa slows down further, and the watery atmospherics and lagging beat are the stuff next-morning nightmares are made of. Midnight Blue is so deep and heavy that it’s hard not to get completely sucked into its dark void, and to contrast this he sandwiches it in between the much lighter Tools Of The Industry and the glitchy swirling shuffle breaks of Snapping Point.
These guys certainly have talent, there’s no doubt about that, but they need to embrace a more adventurous edge in their writing to take that next step.
Constantly exciting with a shimmer that still holds onto his roots of sound, Songs is a smart and individual affair, Rusko managing to break away from the current pack of dubstep producers without alienating his fans in the slightest.
On his fifth album for Ninja Tunes, Blockhead has both paid respect to his past and delivered what would be expected, as well as pushing forward with new ideas and juxtapositions – traits that make him a compelling artist.
In 2010’s Absolute Dissent, Killing Joke delivered one of their most confounding records. Two years on, it still looks like nothing more than an attempt to summarise their entire spectrum of influence within a single record – a murky collage of post-punk, industrial metal, synth pop and dub reggae that, despite boasting some of the band’s best material, never quite worked. MMXII is much more organic. It ebbs and flows. In actual fact, it’s the rawest and most human Killing Joke have ever sounded in their 34 years as a band. The blistering fury of the band’s latter years is still present and accounted for, but it’s tempered significantly throughout by more melodic approaches (and arguably the best production of the band’s career). Geordie Walker hasn’t delivered such textured and melodic leads since 1996’s Democracy. Jaz Coleman sings more cleanly and passionately than he has on any record since 1986’s Brighter Than A Thousand Suns. Even in the album’s most aggressive moments, you’ll find lush layers of synths augmenting and undercutting the band’s impenetrable guitar noise. Upon initial listens, such unrepentant melodicism does seem to dilute Killing Joke’s majesty somewhat – but further investigation reveals a more potent record. There’s an honesty and humility to MMXII that lends unprecedented heft even to the record’s lighter moments. Ironically, MMXII delivers what Absolute Dissent couldn’t – a comprehensive and cohesive overview of Killing Joke’s chaotic and multi-faceted identity.
It has been almost four years since Jason Pierce, the smarts behind space-rock band Spritualized, released a record. The resulting Sweet Heart Sweet Light was worth the wait, a complete revelation for a guy that has lived a well-documented rockstar lifestyle that included cheating death back in 2005 when he was hospitalised following a bout of severe pneumonia. He seems to have come out of it all feeling okay and their seventh studio album is evidence of this. Where the emancipation of Songs In A & E hinted at a reborn person, Sweet Heart… propels Pierce’s vision forth, opening with his indulgence for movie scores, eventually evolving into a rock album. Combining the feedback pedal (hey, how about a symphony orchestra?), the odd gospel elements (hey, is there room for horns?) it’s all here in the lush DIY style that he invented and which melds British rock with an obvious affection for Southern States music.
New Zealand’s Bic Runga kicks off her first record in five years with a shot at perfect pop and doesn’t hit too far from the mark. The ‘60s girl group-inspired number, with a ‘screw you, I don’t care’ attitude, Tiny Little Piece Of My Heart, is backed with echo-soaked handclap percussion and is the kind of opening track you’ll skip back to hear again before you even push through to the rest of the album. It’s not the only case of ‘60s revisit-ism, as Devil On Tambourine has a heavy Zombies feel and borrows most of its melody from The Turtles’ Happy Together, but it’s so obvious that you have to read it as an ode as opposed to trying to fool yourself into thinking it’s an original idea.
While the Grammys is hardly the infallible barometer of quality music it may have once been, the good news story emanating from it earlier this year was Nashville-based duo The Civil Wars. They won Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Folk Album and now, 14 months after its Stateside release, their debut Barton Hollow gets time on Australian record store shelves.
Another triumphant offering from a mad genius.
The delicate sparseness of Everything Is Beautiful And New sounds like it’s been pulled from a musical, Runga’s lyrical picture-painting is descriptive and metaphoric while it holds onto a thread of melancholia. Subtle production on this song and elsewhere – like the hip hop beats and strings on Good Love and Darkness All Around Us – really gives her vocals enough space to be right out in front where they need to be. Belle is sung in French, and if the album wasn’t already so varied in styles and contexts it would probably stick out as a bizarre idea, but as an interlude it works brilliantly. Strangely, the album’s flattest moment is lead single Hello Hello, which does a really terrible job of hyping listeners for the accomplished collection of tracks Runga has assembled. Ditch this track and you have a near-perfect pop album.
Sweet Heart Sweet Light
The epic Too Late picks up where 2008’s Soul On Fire left off and features at a halfway point that traverses music in all its shapes and forms, from straight rock’n’roll to mesmerising musical scores and then back to a man, a guitar and a piano. His distinct vocal has never been a polished thing and it’s what makes his songs, these songs, such a joy to listen to. Yes, there are the more experimental moments where a track will sound like a five-minute intro, but it’s intended perhaps to enhance listening to the album as a whole.
THE CIVIL WARS Barton Hollow
On the surface they seem a quaint country duo. Both Joy Williams and John Paul White contribute to the vocal equally and there’s a lot of space in and around their achingly gorgeous melodies and harmonies – and it’s these vocals that have and will continue to sell The Civil Wars to a massive audience. A huge number of musicians contribute, but it never sounds as if there’s more than three or four people in the room. It’s testament to producer Charlie Peacock, his deft touch allows each instrument to have its place without clouding the incredibly strong vocal interplay of Williams and White. The title track is almost clichéd in its execution, all big harmonies and big, punchy guitars, but the way in which these two go about it is perfect. But Poison & Wine is the duo’s crowing achievement, a heavily, tragically emotional slice of adult contemporary pop just waiting for a hundred more film and TV syncs. If Gillian Welch and David Rawlings set out to become stars, they might sound a little like this. Dan Condon
INPRESS • 29
THIS WEEK IN
THURSDAY 12 The Extraordinary General Meeting – directed by Brigid Gallacher; a comedy about Alan on his first day of work. He already has a deadline, a nemesis, an impossible task to complete. His colleagues couldn’t care less. Opening night, 6pm. The Tuxedo Cat until 20 April.
FRIDAY 13 Labyrinth – directed by Jim Henson, starring a young Jennifer Connelly and a delightful David Bowie in tights. An action-packed, fantastical, musical, comedic adventure. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm. Waitressing... And Other Things I Do Well – cabaret artiste and comedian Gillian Cosgriff on how to manoeuvre those difficult postuniversity years, holding a performing arts degree. A collection of original songs and a few more familiar numbers, to aid this exploration into the challenges faced by twentysomethings. Opening night, 8.30pm. Chapel Off Chapel until 14 April.
1996 Port Arthur massacre, a play that weaves real life accounts about coming to terms with the horrors of that day. Closing Night. Red Stitch Actors Studio.
WHO WILL SURVIVE IN AMERICA?
ONGOING Red – written by James Logan, directed by Alkinos Tsilimidos, a Melbourne premiere performance about abstract expressionist artist Mark Rothko, set in his Manhattan studio in the late 1950s. Where he is madly painting a set of murals commissioned for the new Four Seasons restaurant. Starring Colin Friels as Mark Rothko and André de Vanny as his assistant Ken. Sumner Theatre, MTC until 5 May. Simmon Munnery’s La Concepta – a ‘pop-up’ restaurant originally devised for the 2011Edinburgh Fringe. Transported in two large trunks, La Concepta will pop up in different outdoor spots across Melbourne offering patrons a zero-calorie, interactive and intimate dining experience. Conceived and handbuilt by the ever-unpredictable UK
SATURDAY 14 The Plague Dances – written by Marcel Dorney, created by Four Larks (Malthouse Company in Residence 2012); an exploration in dance, the riot of motion and mayhem that spans from medieval rites to modern day marathons of mass movement. “Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”– Nietzsche. Opening night, 8pm. Tower Theatre, Malthouse until 6 May. Beyond The Neck – directed by Suzanne Chaundy, written by Tom Holloway, set in the aftermath of the SIMON MUNNERY
30 • INPRESS
comedian, Simon Munnery. Haute cuisine without the shame of eating. Part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Until 22 April. Truth – it is possible that this show is about quantum physics. It is definitely a collection of hyperbolic characters, second-hand costumes and professional dance moves, all strung together with a true story. The brand new show from the makers of Angus, Ecstatic (Winner: Best Comedy, Melbourne Fringe and Auckland Fringe). Part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Tuxedo Cat until 22 April.
FROM REVOLUTIONISING PUNK ROCK WITH BLACK FLAG TO NARRATING NATURE DOCUMENTARIES WITH NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, HENRY ROLLINS HAS DONE IT ALL. “WHILE THE IRON’S HOT, I’M GOING TO SAY YES TO EVERYTHING,” HE SAYS TO MATT O’NEILL. Henry Rollins both exudes and inspires confidence. Across his career, he has demonstrated an almost inhuman obsession with personal improvement. He remains in a better state of physical and mental conditioning at age 51 than your average male at age 26. Disarmingly intelligent, he speaks with authority and good humour on politics, culture, music, literature and countless other topics. “My goal as an artist is to be clear – to get the material across,” the spokenword artist says directly. “I can’t tell people what to do or how to react to something. They’re going to do what they’re going to do. It’s up to me to make it clear. They can do whatever they want with what I give them but at least they will know what I meant. What I don’t like is grey area. ‘You weren’t very clear about that’ – that’s a
fail, in my book.” Such confidence is neither surprising nor undeserved. The past 30 years have seen Henry Rollins celebrated across more disciplines and in more capacities than most artists could so much as name. Beginning as vocalist for legendary ’80s hardcore outfit Black Flag, Rollins’ subsequent output has seen him praised as a musician, author, poet, spoken-word artist, actor, television personality, radio host and photojournalist. “I come from nothing. I come from nowhere. What do I have to lose? My reputation? I don’t have one,” he laughs. “And it’s all interesting to me. It’s all interesting. I just show up. ‘Hey – you want to act?’ Hell yeah, I’ll give that a try. I’ll show up. I won’t go around calling myself an actor but I’ll show
up. I mean, I enjoy the touring the most – it certainly takes up most of my time – but I also have to eat every day. If I can do that through doing stuff I find interesting, I’m going to do it.” What is surprising is what actually drives Rollins forward. His confidence and reputation automatically suggest a figure driven by ethics or ego – and, despite his protestations on both counts, those are clearly both factors in his work – but, in truth, his career is defined through much simpler terms. It’s a matter of survival. Uneducated and operating without any specific profession to his credit, Rollins is simply determined not to be discarded by his own society. “My country is not necessarily a country as much as it is an idea. Democracy is an idea. The constitution
is a marvellous thing to aspire to. It is, as much as anything else, an environment that you pass and fail in – it is an environment that you survive,” he outlines clearly. “I’ve thought that since the summer of 1984 where, as a 23-year-old, I first began to understand Reaganism. At this point, I am hellbent on surviving America. “I tell you that – and I say yes to work – because, for people like me, it’s over after a while,” Rollins laughs. “‘Thank you, that’s enough, we’d like a younger version’. All of a sudden, you don’t have any work. While the iron’s hot, I’m going to say yes to everything.” WHO: Henry Rollins WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 18 April to Saturday 21, National Theatre
C U LT U R A L
WITH REBECCA COOK Throughout the ’80s and ’90s Cringe has vague memories of Prime Minister Bob Hawke on the TV news talking about an ‘accord’ while she was eating chops; it was nightly background noise. It must have had some subliminal effect on me as now when I hear the word ‘accord’ an image of a besuited Hawke flashes through my mind’s eye (similarly there’s another image of a more relaxed and possibly overrefreshed Prime Minister when you mention the America’s Cup). The reason for this recent flashback is that the word ‘accord’ has been broken out of its cryogenic capsule next to Walt Disney and is back in public dialogue. Last week at a meeting in Melbourne, the state and federal Arts Ministers agreed to develop an Arts Accord. What does this mean? Well, for one thing it’s unlikely to be daily news. There’ll be no children growing up with flashes of Simon Crean when they hear the ‘a’ word. The previous accord was an industrial relations agreement that enabled the unions to become involved in workplace negotiations. It was revolutionary at the time and gave birth to maternity leave, superannuation and award entitlements. So what can we expect from the Arts Accord in practice? Details on the deal are sketchy in the communiqué issued from the cultural pow wow. “Ministers acknowledged the importance of integrating arts policy within the reform agenda of all jurisdictions, and the need
for clearer avenues of cooperation and collaboration. To that end, Ministers agreed to the development of an ‘Arts Accord’ between the Australian, state, territory and local governments over the next 12 months and that this commitment will be reflected in the National Cultural Policy.” Sounds like a lot of waffle at this point, we’ll have to wait and see how much, if any, impact it has. Other issues discussed inside the tent included the Major Performing Arts Framework and a commitment to establish an ‘Excellence Pool’ to support major performing arts companies. The idea is to use the pool to reward companies that “demonstrate the hallmarks of a worldclass enterprise”. The most anticipated arts document (possibly in the history of the universe) – the National Cultural Policy – was also discussed but there was still no indication as to when it might be revealed. Speaking of revelations, Tim Ferguson’s Comedy Festival show, Carry A Big Stick, in which he talks about living with multiple sclerosis for the first time has become the first hit of the festival with extra shows being put on in a larger venue from Friday. After his regular season sold out in a flash, fans of the former Doug Anthony All Star have been given a second chance to see the show; it has been moved to the Supper Room in the Melbourne Town Hall on selected nights to allow an extra 700 seats to be flogged. Perhaps it’s Ferguson’s quaint warning that’s making the punters line up in the aisles: “Be mildly nervous. Be very mildly nervous.”
ECSTASY OF GOLD
COMEDY FESTIVAL REGULAR MICHAEL CHAMBERLIN IS BACK FOR 2012 WITH HIS NEW SHOW, JOY AND DESPAIR. HE CAUGHT UP WITH ALEKSIA BARRON TO TALK COMEDY WRITING, REHAB AND HIS IMAGINARY FOOTBALL CAREER.
It wouldn’t quite be the Melbourne International Comedy Festival without Michael Chamberlin. The comedian has been treading the festival boards regularly for a decade now and is back again for 2012. His new show Joy And Despair promises to look at those dizzying highs and hard-to-swallow lows – like going out on a few great dates before suddenly being stood up. “It’s basically my world view,” says Chamberlin, explaining the philosophy behind Joy And Despair. “It’s a life of extremes, contrasts and contradictions.” Like many comedy shows, the title evolved over time: “It was initially going to be called Ecstasy And Agony but I figured people would think it was a horrifying tale of a stint in rehab.” Regrets, though, Chamberlin has a few. “Having said that, a show about a stint in rehab would probably sell a lot more tickets.” Chamberlin describes his own comedic style thus: “A man in a grey Bonds T-shirt with a girl-like voice who isn’t afraid to not wear shoes onstage.” He’s known for his witty style and clever wordplay – unsurprising, given that he’s one of the most prominent comedy writers in Australia and has worked on a number of prolific TV shows. He’s not afraid to be brutally honest about the comedy writing process, though. “The show’s actual development involves me thinking of a few ideas, filling out the blurb for the Comedy Festival guide then sitting in front of my laptop, writing material, trialling material, patting myself on the back, punching a wall in frustration, wondering if I can fake an illness to get out of doing the festival then performing it a few times and
WEASELED OUT OF A WAND
the end. There was a while where I thought, ‘Where does one finish and the other begin?’ But luckily I know the difference now.
Celebrating its ten-year anniversary the Supanova Pop Culture expo rolls into town in April and brings with it names worthy of a BI-MON-SCIFI-CON that are more than likely to induce geekery, swooning and fanboy-ism: there’s the likes of Cliff Simon, better known as system lord Baal in Stargate SG1; Janet Fielding, aka Tegan Jovanka in Dr Who; Richard Horvitz, the genius who voices Dagget on Angry Beavers, and a whole host more – not least
Joking aside, he is a little miffed he didn’t get to keep his wand, though there is at least one memento he snuck past the rigorously managed prop team.
OLIVER PHELPS TALKS TO DAVE DRAYTON ABOUT LIFE AS A WEASLEY, STEALING FROM HIS OWN STORE AND NO LONGER HAVING A WAND. of all James and Oliver Phelps, or should that be ‘Fred and George Weasley’? “We were doing the films as we were growing up, obviously, so we were only about 14 at the time so you’re still trying to learn who you are yourself, let alone who a character is,” says Oliver Phelps, who played George in the Harry Potter film franchise. “So it was quite interesting striking the balance, it took a few years but I got there in
“Once you have been filming for a while you learn that you’re not one and the same, it gets easier to put it down and be able to do my own thing, especially when we finished filming, I would have looked like a bit of an idiot if I was still there holding a magic wand, you know? Or even got beaten up if I did it!”
“As soon as we came off set the prop guys were always just there with their suitcase waiting to put stuff back in going, ‘We’ll take that now, thank you,’ I think they could [see] what we were planning at the time,” laughs Phelps. “I wish I was quick enough to think of taking
finding out it’s not that bad.” Does Chamberlin prefer writing for himself, or writing for other people? “When I write for other people, I make more money yet when I write for myself, I get to use the C-bomb,” he explains. “So it’s swings and roundabouts.” Having written for the likes of Rove and Adam Hills In Gordon St Tonight, it’s understandable that Chamberlin enjoys the chance to back himself on a stage and unleash. He’s had a busy year since his last MICF appearance, where he performed his 2011 show Things I Haven’t Done. “I moved to Sydney, asked a girl out on a date to her face, got bullied by a seven-year-old girl, yelled at a beautiful person in a supermarket, ran over a dog with my car, cried whilst reading a book to my five-year-old nephew,” he says, recalling the 12 months past. “So not much.” As for whatever 2012 may yet hold, he’s prepared to be flexible – in the name of teamwork. “At this stage, I’m just keeping myself fit in case the Hawthorn Football Club need me to play centre half forward… or carry the water.” (No doubt Lance Franklin is looking forward to this particular recruitment strategy.) Like any performer, Chamberlin draws strength from the things he enjoys most. And his favourite thing about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival? “Doing interviews with Inpress.” Well, shucks. WHO: Michael Chamberlin WHAT: Joy And Despair WHEN & WHERE: Until 22 April (excludes Monday), Victoria Hotel – Acacia Room something at the time. I’d always wanted to take my wand, I really wish I could have kept that. I took a bag from the Weasley Joke Shop, which I probably shouldn’t of taken, but I thought, ‘Aw they’re not gonna miss this…’ So I took that and got it framed and put it up in my house in England. It’s nice, the joke shop was very much a ‘Fred and George’ element, so it’s nice to be able to have a prop from that set.”
A PORTRAIT OF A DIVIDED AMERICA
“I HATE MOST MOVIES,” SAYS RICK ALVERSON TO ANTHONY CAREW AS THEY DISCUSS HIS FILMS NEW JERUSALEM AND THE COMEDY. “Thanks so much for letting me rant,” chuckles Rick Alverson. The 40-yearold filmmaker has, indeed, stated, “I hate most movies” (“I have a lot of adamant disgust for what I see in both the commercial and independent marketplaces”) and decried the “millions of people regurgitating meaningless banalities 24 hours a day” amidst the internet’s “fucking soup of useless information”, but it’s preferable to the usual banalities and pleasantries of the promotional conversation. Alverson talks philosophically, and at length, as opposed to the tight soundbite; and it reflects on his ultra-independent status in American cinema. Alverson spent years playing in the indie-rock band Spokane, who released nine records on estimable indie imprint Jagjaguwar (home to Bon Iver, Black Mountain, Okkervil River, etc.). In 2009, Alverson was building a house in Richmond, Virginia and he decided to add in an equity line to buy some film gear. “So I started making The Builder,” he says. He made the film with his friends – including lead actor Colm O’Leary, who played an immigrant Irish builder – and, then, got his former label on board. “I’ve known them since Jagjaguwar was literally a bedroom label,” Alverson says, “I was really pleased when they came on board, because their company means a lot to me.” Jagjaguwar recruited Sam Amidon and Sharon Van Etten to author songs, and built Alverson’s career with indie music’s DIY/communal spirit. Thus, 2011’s New Jerusalem starred Will Oldham as a proselytising Southerner trying to convert O’Leary’s depressed vet; and 2012’s The Comedy finds Heidecker & Wareheim (yes, Tim & Eric), LCD Soundsystem honcho James Murphy, Gregg Turkington (Neil Hamburger!), Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, and Richard Swift playing out a painful satire on ultra-ironic Brooklyn hipsters. Comically (or not?), The Comedy’s title itself is ironic (“I seem to have
really confused people with the title,” Alverson says, “I see it as a drama, a study of empty contemporary American culture”), which may be one reason why the film has provoked audiences. Alverson sees this ‘controversy’ as the by-product of “bringing something that was in no way meant to be a mainstream commodity into a mainstream arena”. “It’s amazing how much of a disconnect there [can] be between your urban, art-film audiences and the more general, commercial-cinema audience,” Alverson says. “My films are the furthest thing from experimental or avant-garde movies, they’re of the pop world. Yet, people seemed utterly baffled by [The Comedy]; I keep hearing that ‘nothing happens’ or that there’s ‘no story’.” The idiocy of the general public does little to dent Alverson’s firming auteur status; with New Jerusalem’s socio-realist drama and The Comedy’s conceptual callousness being a continuation of the same ideas. “The Comedy explores the same kind of numbness of the lead character in New Jerusalem, but in a much larger way. Where that numbness is a cultural numbness. With New Jerusalem, Alverson – a confessed atheist – was interested in using “the objectivity of the lens” to explore the “ideological warfare” of an increasingly divided America suffering under the rise of fundamentalism. “New Jerusalem was a way of clearing the table of all of this ideological noise,” he says, “to analyse something I’m baffled by: the steadfast, relentless belief in this thing that can never be proven, and never be justified. I wanted to make a film about that kind of faith, and about religion, but on a human level, where hopefully a viewer wouldn’t know my own leanings, or prejudices.” WHAT: New Jerusalem WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 April to Monday 16, ACMI
let’s enjoy what we’re doing.’ It is a bit like gap year actually. I’m actually in California at the moment where my brother and I have been taking meetings with different people and doing development and trying to sort out some future projects, which has been nice. We’re fortunate in that we’re able to go and travel and do
a lot of cool stuff on the way after the filming finished but it’s nice to still deliver a little bit of Potter to everyone.” WHAT: Supanova WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 April to Sunday 15, Melbourne Showgrounds
Having replaced his wand with a golf club – both Phelps twins are avid golfers, Oliver informs me the two played a round yesterday with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) – Phelps is enjoying his newfound freedom, but is far from severing his Potter ties and acting ambitions. “I compare it to when you leave senior school; you know that that’s it, you know that there is nothing else after that. What do you do after that? It was definitely that kind of feeling, but after then it was like, ‘Oh, okay, INPRESS • 31
WITH BOB BAKER FISH When the lunatic who makes a film called The Human Centipede (Monster) promises that its sequel will make the original look like My Little Pony, then it’s time to have fear. When said film is banned in Australia, then that fear is only reinforced. When the clearly unhinged director, who writes this filth with his sister no less, laughs gleefully in the extra features about the Schindler’s List moment in this sadistic black and white (and during one moment brown) monstrosity, well that’s when you lose your lunch. The Human Centipede II (Monster) is appallingly gruesome, unrelentingly bloodthirsty, and sickeningly twisted. Sure, you can hide behind the notion that it’s a comment on copycat movie violence, yet the filmmakers are enjoying delving into the taboo and the extremity way too much to remain credible. So when our short, fat, mentally challenged hero watches the original film for the umpteenth time and begins to construct his own 12-person human centipede, with, yes, ass to mouth staples and laxative injections, it’s over the top barbaric coprophilia on a scale you have never seen before no matter how perverted you are. The problem is that despite its vile unrepentant desire to shock, it’s extremely well shot, cleverly scripted with a bleak pitch black humour, and looks amazing, particularly on Blu-ray. Believe the hype, this film – which takes extremity too far – is disgusting and not fit for human consumption. Gantz (Eastern Eye) is manga nerdom heaven, with two super-cool Japanese guys in skin-tight leathers and improbable comic book guns on the cover. A live-action adaptation,
it’s both high concept and high octane. When our two cover stars die after being hit by a train they find themselves in an empty apartment with a giant black orb. It’s from here that things start to get interesting, and to delve any further into the plot would be disingenuous, as the filmmakers excel in the slow reveal between over-the-top bouts of almost-video game action. Just trust me when I say they’re saving the world. From the producers of the similarly great Death Note, both Gantz and its sequel Gantz: Perfect Answer (Eastern Eye) build the interpersonal relationships between the protagonists within this strange new world into a quite shocking and unexpected conclusion. If you think about drug baron films, they’re all like Blow and Scarface – ie. about cocaine. Why? Because nose candy turns ugly things sexy, making it tolerable to live in the US. But where are all the uplifting stories about a regular guy who makes his fortune slinging crack or pushing heroin? Nowhere, because those films focus on the street hustlers, your Drugstore Cowboys or Panic In Needle Park. Then of course there’s marijuana, and whilst Weeds gets an honourable mention, you couldn’t exactly accuse Mary Louise Parker of being a drug baroness. Mr Nice (Eagle) is the tale of Oxford educated Howard Marks who made a fortune importing and dealing cannabis during the ’80s. At the height of his powers he was importing consignments of up to 30 tonnes. Played impeccably by Rhys Ifans, you know the trajectory. It’s the same as all drug baron films. Up with fun and debauchery, then down, down, down, where he realises amidst the sweet pungent haze of greed, he’s lost the most important things in life. All that’s left is to enjoy the ride.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II
REHEATING THE PIE
“I DON’T KNOW IF I WOULD HAVE DONE THE FILM IF IT HAD BEEN ME GETTING PISSED ON OR JIZZED ON,” SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT SAYS TO GUY DAVIS ABOUT AMERICAN PIE: REUNION. Up until the moment I start talking to Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott, the discussion regarding American Pie: Reunion had been surprisingly mature and meaningful. Co-stars Chris Klein and Tara Reid had been on-message about the sex-comedy franchise’s balance of humour and heart, something echoed by the Reunion writing-directing team of Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, the creators of the Harold & Kumar series. Then, within five minutes of talking with Biggs (reprising his role as the sexually frustrated Jim) and Scott (back as immature party animal Stifler), Biggs has leapt from his chair and started to degrade the images of his fellow actors on the poster next to him. Common decency forbids me from discussing some of the things that ensued. “We wrote the film. And directed it,” claims Scott. “Jon and Hayden, they’re not even real people.” “We also designed this poster,” declares Biggs. “It’s actually scratchand-sniff.” “That’d be awesome,” cackles Scott. “We’ve really matured,” deadpans Biggs. “Yeah, we’ve grown up a lot,” says Scott, pulling the most sincere of expressions. Actually, they have. Hilariously lewd comments about their colleagues and one another aside, Biggs and Scott are keen to explain how American Pie: Reunion – which brings back the entire cast of the 1999 original and adds a few new ingredients to the mix – is a slightly more grown-up take on the recipe. “I was really relieved when I read the script and then when I saw the finished movie that it’s really not that gross, apart from a few scenes,” says
Scott. “It’s really more raunchy talk and embarrassing, chaotic situation than anything else, which goes back to the first American Pie. And it’s funny because of that. I don’t know if I would have done the film if it had been me getting pissed on or jizzed on or whatever – instead, it’s funny because Jon and Hayden know what made it work so well to begin with and we all know how to play that.” Indeed, Biggs found that getting back into American Pie’s particular comic rhythms, especially in his scenes with Eugene Levy as Jim’s well-meaning but over-sharing dad, was something of a snap. “We came back after eight years” – American Pie: The Wedding came out in 2003 – “and by lunch time on the first day it was fucking great,” he says. “‘Oh, yeah, I remember this!’ With Gene and I, our first scene was in Jim’s bedroom and it was surreal – we’re sitting in the same position as in the first film, everything in the room is exactly the same down to the fuckin’ porno magazines, and it all comes flooding back as soon as we started talking.” And even though many of the American Pie cast had sort of lost touch with one another between the last sequel and this new one, Biggs and Scott are convinced their renewed friendships will remain strong. “I know we’ll be keeping in touch a lot more now... well, not me and him,” says Scott, pointing at Biggs. “But me and Gene will be BFFs, I know that for sure.” “I don’t know, man,” retorts Biggs, “you should hear some of the shit he talks about you.” WHAT: American Pie: Reunion WHEN & WHERE: Screening in cinemas now
SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT
WITH ANTHONY CAREW Could Will Oldham – the Bonnie ‘Prince’ of indie Americana, reigning ruler of sad-and-salty songwriting for nigh on two decades – be something other than just another indie musician appearing in indie films? Could he be, somewhat secretly, one of American cinema’s most interesting actors? It feels like some sort of transgressive statement, as if this musician could somehow steal the critical thunder destined for anointed it-girls and next-big-beefcakes. But Stable Will has the pedigree: he stole scene after scene as a wild-eyed teenage preacher in John Sayles’ Matewan back in his youth; and, since returning to acting as effective indie celebrity, he’s indulged in a fascinating run of projects, from key turns as uneasy wanderers in Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy and Wendy & Lucy, to bizarre comic creepiness in a run of truly random pop-cultural 32 • INPRESS
oddities (Wonder Showzen episodes, Kanye West videos, R Kelly’s Trapped In The Closet). Rick Alverson’s New Jerusalem gives Oldham his most sizeable role, ever, and reaps the endless rewards. Alverson is an indie musician turned filmmaker, and his cinematic interest is in realism; the film filled with long expanses of silence that soak in the surrounds; moments of real time that etch its drama in the everyday. His story brings two men together at a tyre shop in small-town Virginia: Colm O’Leary an Irish veteran back from Afghanistan, dealing with feelings of emptiness, ennui, depression, drift; Oldham his evergabbing co-worker, a god-fearin’ man whose proselytising carries with it both nurturing, selfless love and a harder edge of forceful persuasion. You can’t quite call New Jerusalem a discussionpiece given how often the mise-enscène calls for contemplative quiet, but the two friends stand on the divided
sides of American society: the numb, disenfranchised, smirking disbeliever and the church-going, faith-pushing, happiness-spouting evangelist. And, as they talk over the micro matters of O’Leary’s life – and, effectively, his soul – they are personalising the debates that rage on a macro political level. There’s a thoughtfulness to all the words in the discussion; Oldham’s character, in particular, understanding the power of picking the right phrases in service of proselytising. With his icy blue eyes and wild eyebrows, Oldham’s expressive face is set off against a glistening bald head and the physicality of his form speaks volumes, conveying emotions unspoken beneath the text. The pair spend plentiful screen-time eating – sitting down for meals at a range of low-rent diners – and Oldham makes every bit and every chew matter; each relaxed nibble or rapacious chomp loaded with meaning. It’s a brilliant performance that will, likely, fly way under the critical radar; and hopefully his Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy duties don’t stop him from more film work, more performances of this scope
and heft. After exploding onto the world cinema stage with La Haine – a film that felt like the detonation of French’s society’s simmering racial powderkeg – Mathieu Kassovitz has done little to live up to all those plaudits prematurely tossed at his feet. Assassin(s) was Oliver Stone-esque; The Crimson Rivers a dimwitted serial-killer flick; Gothika a goonball crazy-house horror-pic buoyed by a secretly awesome turn from Penélope Cruz; Babylon A.D. like some leftover Luc Besson B-movie. Such a run of genre-trawling makes Rebellion a genuine surprise and handily suggests a ‘Kassovitz grows up’ narrative as it shakes off his boyish history. It’s a searing psychological portrait of a historical standoff in New Caledonia, with insurgent rebels taking gendarmes hostage, and Kassovitz starring as the French negotiator sent to tiptoe through the philosophical minefields of a locked standoff. It’s the stuff of constant tension, a war-film turned political discussion-piece in which the masculinity of combat reels back to philosophical dialogues on all
RAGING AGAINST THE MAINSTREAM
EX-HEAVY METAL DRUMMER TURNED STAND-UP COMEDIAN STEVE HUGHES HAD TO CHASE SUCCESS IN ENGLAND BEFORE AUSTRALIA GAVE ITSELF PERMISSION TO LIKE HIM. HE TALKS TO BAZ MCALISTER ABOUT THE WEIRDNESS OF CULTURAL CRINGE. Steve Hughes is not in the fucking mood for interviews. Who can blame him, really? When Front Row calls, he’s on a mate’s couch wolfing down dinner at midnight somewhere in the depths of England, having just ticked another gig off his punishing touring schedule. “I’ve done 90 fucking gigs in a row and I’m trying to answer questions, and I don’t even know what I’m fucking supposed to be doing in three days!” Hughes says. “I live on a couch with a barking dog next to a flat that’s been getting renovated for the past three weeks, and I’ve driven over 5,500 miles in the last seven weeks, and it’s ‘Can you answer these questions?’. No! I can’t even go to the shops. I haven’t done any tax. I’ve not bought socks in a year. I’ve spent money solely on petrol, food and drugs for the past seven weeks. I don’t know what I’m doing until I get to the fucking gig! “Someone rang me from Melbourne today: ‘When are you doing this? Are you going to come and hang out in Melbourne?’ I don’t know, dickhead! You haven’t left your home town in 20 years. I’ve met 4,000 people in the last 12 months! That’s what you feel like telling them, anyway, but of course you have to pretend,” Hughes says conspiratorially. “But it’s all right, I know you so I can talk to you.” Sydneysider Hughes kicked off his career as a drummer in the underground metal scene and turned to his brand of ranty, issue-based stand-up comedy in the mid ’90s. In 2002 he based himself in Manchester in the UK and he’s enjoyed great success there; his current UK tour is sold out, given a boost by his spot on TV comedy behemoth Live At The Apollo in December. “It was fucking perfect timing, impeccable,” he says. “TV sells more tickets. Some people aren’t into art, like us, where they can
search things out. But if they see you on a TV show they might think, ‘I’ll give it a chance’.” Hughes still plays, recently having put the finishing touches on a new album of music, but says he still has many other projects outside comedy he would love to pursue. “I’m 45 now,” he says, “and it’s the first time I’ve thought age is a bit of a hassle. I’m starting to get a bit tired, but I’ve still got all these ideas and I keep thinking, ‘Fuck, I’m running out of time’. I’d love to write a book about the Australian metal scene. Nobody’s done it – no one seems to do anything in Australia.” Frustration with his native land is one of Hughes’s biggest bugbears. He says the Aussie lifestyle breeds laziness, and the country is a conservative, mainstream place ruled by workingclass psychological oppression. That’s why he had to fuck off to England to make a living with his style of comedy. “Every time you try to do something in Australia it’s, ‘Who do you think you are, mate?’” he says. “If you wrote a book about the Australian heavy metal scene it would probably sell better in Europe. They’d be legitimately interested in Europe. I used to open with this line: ‘It’s good to be back in Australia. I knew I had to fuck off to make you people like me.’ England has given Australia permission to like me. It’s weird. Unless you go straight from obscurity to mainstream, there’s no middle ground in Australia. The underground never seems to get a break.” WHO: Steve Hughes WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 19 April to Saturday 21, Melbourne Town Hall – Main Hall as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival
forms of forced occupation, with armed dissidence and French colonialism of the same stripe. Rebellion marks an interesting companion-piece to Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods And Men – another film that used recent real-life tragedy as narrative device to carry a study of colonialism and its repercussions – even if, aesthetically, there’s no comparison. Where that quiet, noble picture carried with it an ascetic austerity that mirrored the martyred devotion of the monks-in-Algeria it depicted, Kassovitz’s flick is far busier;
his camera forever moving, turning endless circles around men locked in conversation. It has the feeling of a corridors-of-power thriller, without the same tiresome forward-thrust. Here, Kassovitz’s noble hero won’t untangle bureaucracy, right wrongs and save lives; only become trapped in an ideological morass that, like quicksand, sucks him in slowly, with full awareness of his imminent demise, knowing all too well the more he struggles, the more he sinks.
INPRESS • 33
THE ART OF FIGHTING
“PEOPLE SEEM TO BE DRAWN TO THE CATHARSIS OF FIGHTING, BUT THEY ALSO REALLY NEED HEROES.” MICHAEL TUCKER DELVES INTO THE WORLD OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS IN FIGHTVILLE. INTERVIEW BY ANTHONY CAREW.
“The history of fighting really goes hand-in-hand with the history of film: boxing was one of the first things ever filmed, and its popularity really grew through cinema, through newsreels,” says Michael Tucker, the co-director of Fightville. That’s reflected in ACMI’s new The Fight On Film programme, which includes a slate of pugilistic pictures. Where the rest are about boxing – and, in so many ways, that history – Fightville looks forward, to the future, in its intimate look at the world of mixed martial arts. “Very soon it’s going to replace boxing as the dominant combat sport in the world,” Tucker says. “People in the mainstream are just starting to realise that it’s not what they thought it was. It’s far less brutal than boxing, and takes far more skill. And it’s a lot safer than boxing. So it’s an exciting time to have this film coming out.” Given that Tucker and co-director Petra Epperlein were “coming off a streak of making four films about the war in Iraq” (2004’s Gunner Palace, 2006’s The Prisoner Or How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair, 2008’s Bulletproof Salesman, and 2009’s How To Fold A Flag), it’s no
surprise to discover the pair were first exposed to MMA via American soldiers in Iraq. Initially they thought it was a “very brutal, gladiatorial world”, but soon came to respect the discipline; “it is martial art, it’s not no-holds-barred, to-the-death, cagefighting,” offers Tucker. Thus, Fightville fulfilled the pair’s documentary-making criteria. “As filmmakers, we’ve always thought that it’s not worth making a film unless you change your mind at least one time whilst making it,” Tucker says. Though Fightville marked a break from their previous films, Tucker sees the rise of MMA in sociological terms intimately tied to the war. “At a time in which the American psyche is so troubled – both in terms of this huge influx of returning war veterans, and in the economic recession that’s been going on – people seem to be drawn to the catharsis of fighting, but they also really need heroes,” he posits. Initially, Tucker and Epperlein thought they were making a television documentary, only to discover something richer when they were welcomed “with open arms” by regional promoter Gil Guillory of USA-
THE ULTIMATE TRIP
“I’M SURE MY WAY OF DOING THINGS IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TO SOMEONE ELSE WHO USES ILLUSTRATOR.” BECI ORPIN TALKS TO KATE KINGSMILL AHEAD OF THE INAUGURAL CREATIVE CONFERENCE FIELD TRIP. Imagine a creative conference that is more like a cross between a music festival and a live cooking demonstration. Field Trip is that thing. It makes sense that speakers at a creative conference should get creative, but the phrase ‘creative conference’ is often right up there with ‘friendly fire’ as one of the most oxymoronic phrases in the English language. Field Trip will be something completely different, offering a fresh alternative to the standard conference model. Creative powerhouse Jacky Winter has joined forces with Australian INfront for the inaugural live event, which features seven creatives all drawn from Jacky Winter’s roster, and spanning vector34 • INPRESS
based graphics, traditional illustration, motion graphics, photography and 3D. “We are trying a completely new format out, “ says organiser and mediator for the day, Jacky Winter’s Jeremy Wortsman. “Our artists will actually be creating their works live in front of the audience, and hopefully the work will actually link together across speakers.” Speakers on the day will be illustrators Beci Orpin and Travis Price, animation specialists and ping pong enthusiasts 21-19, visual wizards Toby & Pete, and Tong & Danny, who are the first photographers to be signed to Jacky Winter’s roster. Opening speaker Beci Orpin is the closest thing to an illustration superstar you will
MMA, who connected them with trainer Tim Credeur and his stable of fighters, which included a driven young kid who caught Tucker’s eyes.
IMMERSIVE FILMMAKING TIM BONYTHON IS TAKING HIS SURF FILM IMMERSION ON THE ROAD AS PART OF THE AUSTRALIAN SURF MOVIE FESTIVAL. HE TALKS TO IAN BARR ABOUT HIS CRAFT. The touring film remains the earliest and most grassroots form of nationwide theatrical exhibition – driving around the country, screening a film in everywhere from small inland towns to big coastal cities. Today, surfing films are the most prominent genre of touring films and Tim Bonython is one of many filmmakers keeping the tradition alive with his latest work, Immersion. Seven years in the making, and condensed from a 13-part series featuring interviews and awe-inspiring surf footage (all kinds of surfing – not just boards) from the past and present, the ambitious two-part feature is currently doing the rounds in Australia. “I was born on the beach in Adelaide; at an early age the ocean was there, but there was no surf,” he says of his roots. “Moving to Sydney when my dad had an art gallery in Paddington, I got access to a movie camera and just started shooting for the heck of it… I got to know a surf shop proprietor, I talked him into letting me shoot the Coke Surfabout. That was my ticket to show the best surfing in 1981. Going back to Adelaide I had this incredible footage, and the only way to show it
was on the big screen.” Immersion’s title reflects not only an immersion into the waves, but also into Bonython’s point of view, as he explains: “Immersion’s really about immersing people in the world of surfing in my eyes.” He also details one of his key movie influences from the heyday of surfing films in the ’70s. “There was a couple of films I saw back in the day. I was totally blown away by a film called Crystal Voyager. [Filmmaker David Elfick] would ride with a high-speed movie camera on his back… That was just mindblowing. This was actually like surfing, but you’re doing [it] in a seat, watching it on the big screen.” For Bonython, this sense of immersion is absolutely key to surf photography; to make even the non-surfing viewers feel like they’re riding a wave. “All the festival’s about is riding a wave, and that you can catch a wave without riding a board,” he says of the films on the line-up. He’s also well aware that, in this democratised mediascape, the medium increasingly requires for surf films to be a labour of love more than anything: “Surfing photography’s evolved so much, but the downside is
that it’s evolved so much that it’s hard for anyone to make a living out of it. So it’s really a passion-driven thing.” Bonython also stresses the importance of music in the genre, especially given his own musical background – including music videos for bands such as Midnight Oil, The Angels and Frenzal Rhomb. “Back in the day, when I lived in the Cross, I’d book bands… I had a strong association with music, as strong as my association with surfing,” he says. And, like any filmmaker worth their salt – surfing or otherwise – Bonython displays a palpable love for the almighty combination of sound and spectacle, experienced in a theatrical setting. “To see that in a theatrical location, with a big sound system, with a proper projector and not a shitty projector… that’s why I still do it. You’re never gonna get that at home.” WHAT: Immersion (as part of the Australian Surf Movie Festival) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 3 May, Esplanade Hotel St Kilda; Saturday 5, Rosebud Cinema; Sunday 6, ACMI
idea for Field Trip came about. “It was a very natural process, and something that was always boiling away in the back of my mind. We’re always looking for new ways to showcase our artists and their work. We’ve always had a very DIY attitude here, so we just thought, ‘Why not do our own event?’ “We hope through this unique delivery method that the
audience will gain a different kind of insight to the creative process that can transcend specific mediums or techniques. I’m not sure if this has been done or attempted before, so it should be very interesting to watch it unfold!” The creative process will be laid bare for all to see. Briefs will be dissected and secrets will be revealed, risks will be
taken and it could all go horribly wrong. Or it will be blow your mind amazing. Either way it’s something that has never been done before and it will be an honest, interesting insight into the creative process of some of Australia’s successful commercial artists. WHAT: Field Trip WHEN & WHERE: Friday 20 April, ACMI
“The first time I saw Dustin Poirier fight was the first one I really went ‘wow’; it was an incredible fight, and I was blown away by how athletic he was, how much beautiful movement there was,” says Tucker. “You could see he had the characteristics of someone who was really taking the sport seriously, and really had a chance at that.” Looking at the sport through four main humans – Guillory, who puts his mortgage on the line to stage a huge event; Credeur, a philosophical trainer steeped in the honour of ancient martial arts; Poirier, who has since gone on to be a rising star; and struggling charge Albert Steinback – the pair make the first cinematic portrait of an oft-underground world. “MMA people can be protective of that world,” Tucker says, “but everyone we met in the film was mostly excited that their sport was growing so fast, and that we were right at that right moment.” WHAT: Fightville WHEN & WHERE: Tonight, ACMI find ‘round these parts. Orpin has lent her signature bright, happy style to high-profile clients such as Schweppes, Visa and Westpac, but her favourite client is still Beatbox Kitchen. Using her artwork for this year’s Field Trip as a starting point, she will create a new multimedia work live onstage to showcase the techniques she tends to use in producing her work. “I’m basing it on how I created the drawings for the Field Trip flyer – the process I go through to create the right images – finding the objects, photographing them, tracing them in Illustrator, adding texture and detail.” The creative process is a very personal thing, says Orpin, who is self taught. “I never learnt computers at school, there was none back then! So I have taught myself, and I’m sure my way of doing things is completely different to someone else who uses Illustrator. “I think just seeing that process will be interesting for anyone in any creative industry, especially as something like that has never been shown in a conference format before.” Wortsman explains how the
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INPRESS • 35
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36 • INPRESS
TOUR GUIDE THIS WEEK
GIG OF THE WEEK
INTERNATIONAL MACEO PARKER: April 11, 12 Corner JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW: April 12 Toff SEAL: April 12 Palais THE WEDDING PRESENT: April 14 Northcote Social Club AMON AMARTH: April 16 Billboard ONE DIRECTION: April 16 Hisense LOU BARLOW: April 17 Northcote Social Club
NATIONAL TOM MILEK: April 12 Beav’s Bar (Geelong); May 25 Cornish Arms THE RUBENS: April 11, 12 Northcote Social Club DEEZ NUTS: April 12 EV’s Youth Centre (AA); 13 Espy; 14 Karova Lounge; 15 Music Man Megastore (Bendigo, AA) CHILDREN COLLIDE: April 13 Corner THE NEARLY BROTHERS: April 13 Caravan Music Club VEIL OF MAYA: April 13 Phoenix Youth Centre ZOOPHYTE: April 13 Prince Bandroom RÜFÜS: April 13 Phoenix Public House THE MEDICS: April 13 Northcote Social Club BALL PARK MUSIC: April 13 Karova Lounge; 14, 15 (U18), 16, 29 Corner SUPER BEST FRIENDS: April 13 Brunswick Hotel; 14 Pony THE PEEP TEMPEL: April 13 Tote THE EASTERN: April 13 Baha Tacos (Rye); 14 Old Bar; 15 Post Office Hotel (Coburg); 24 John Curtin BLACKCHORDS: April 14 Phoenix Public House THE GOOD SHIP: April 14 Grace Darling FAKER: April 14 Espy PUBLIC OPINION AFRO ORCHESTRA: April 14 Twotwotwo BAG RAIDERS: April 14, Bottom End HAYDEN CALNIN: April 15, 22 Workers Club MY DISCO: April 14,15 Toff JAM XPRESS: April 14 La Di Da; LAST DINOSAURS: April 17 Phoenix Public House
THE PUBLIC OPINION AFRO ORCHESTRA
SCATTER SCATTER #4 SATURDAY, TWOTWOTWO WAREHOUSE
With daylight saving over and the weather turning nasty, summer already seems like a distant memory. That’s just one of the reasons we’ll be breaking out the short shorts for this Saturday’s Scatter Scatter party. Over the past few months DJ Manchild and The Public Opinion Sound System have been warming dancefloors with steamy, sweaty nights of tropical disco. The fourth instalment of Scatter Scatter is being super-sized with 17-piece Afrofunk behemoth The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra called in to play live. The mighty Congo Tardis #1, the ace soundsystem created by Paz, Ms Butt and Lewis CanCut, specialising in tribal rhythms from South America and Africa, will also make an appearance, as will DJs Fish and Manchild. Tropical cocktails and palm trees (okay, these may be inflatable) are promised. It all goes down at Twotwotwo Warehouse, 222 Johnston Street, Collingwood, this Saturday.
sdfsdfsdfdsf Tonight the Palace is awash with retro ‘50s fashion, from wiggle skirts to plenty of leopard print, leather jackets and the odd Teddy Boy drape coat. Lest we forget all the quiffs and tatts on display, it’s a reminder that the ‘80s rockabilly revival – like every other subculture to have emerged from that time – was as much about fashion and lifestyle as the music. Brian Setzer, joined by Noah Levy on drums and the irrepressible Johnny Hatton on double bass, get their rockabilly riot off to a fast and furious start with Ignition which, although culled from Setzer’s solo career, sounds like vintage Stray Cats. Hatton, who sports a lime green quiff, once played bass for Elvis back in the late ‘60s. Tonight he plays his double bass like a maniac. Meanwhile, the ease with which Setzer is able to dispense his super-catchy guitar riffs simply dazzles. The first half of the show showcases Setzer’s solo work. ‘49 Mercury Blues and This Cat’s On A Hot Tin Roof jump and jive but they lack the angular, punk edge and nasty sneer of Setzer’s earlier work with Stray Cats. Covers of Folsom Prison Blues and Great Balls Of Fire showcase a mellower Setzer sounding a little like Bill Haley. A blistering cover of Carl Perkins’ Put Your Cat Clothes On with a banging Jerry Lee Lewis piano riff gets the joint jumping.
BRIAN SETZER PIC BY JAY HYNES
MACEO PARKER: Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 April, Corner Hotel
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL LOU BARLOW: April 18 Northcote Social Club HENRY ROLLINS: April 18-21 National Theatre THE FEELERS: April 19 Northcote Social Club JIM BRUER: April 20, 22 Capitol Theatre AUGUST BURNS RED: April 21 Billboard DJ MASEO: April 21 Espy THE 22.214.171.124’S: April 24 Tote CAIRO KNIFE FIGHT: April 26 Workers Club MARK LANEGAN BAND: April 26 Forum DMX: April 27 Trak SIX60: April 27 Hi-Fi REDD KROSS: April 27 Northcote Social Club, THE SONICS: April 27 Caravan Music Club THE EXPLOITED: April 28 Corner ANDREW WK: May 2 Pier Live; 4 Corner Hotel CITY & COLOUR: May 2, 3 Palais Theatre MOUNT KIMBIE: May 3 Hi-Fi ORBITAL: May 4 Palace Theatre DIGITALISM: May 4 Forum DEVILDRIVER, DARKEST HOUR: May 6 Billboard FRANK TURNER: May 6 Espy THE DARKNESS: May 8, 9 Palace WAVVES: May 9 Corner RALPH MCTELL: May 10 the Cube; May 11 Corner THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: May 10 Corner ATMOSPHERE, EVIDENCE: May 10 Hi-Fi MORGAN PAGE: May 10 Alumbra KIM CHURCHILL: May 11 Baha Tacos (Rye); 12 Northcote Social Club DEUS: May 12 Corner Hotel PAUL COLLINS: May 12 Tote; 13 Caravan Music Club
MACEO PARKER: April 11, 12 Corner Hotel LAST DINOSAURS: April 17 Phoenix Public House; 18 National Hotel (Geelong); 19 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 20 Northcote Social Club BLEEDING KNEES CLUB: April 19 National Hotel (Geelong); 20 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 21 Northcote Social Club PASSENGER: April 20 Corner Hotel BIG SCARY: April 24 Corner Hotel DIG IT UP! FEAT HOODOO GURUS, THE SONICS, THE FLESHTONES: April 25 Palace JAY & SILENT BOB: April 26 Palais BLUEJUICE: April 26 Eureka Hotel (Geelong); 27 Pier Liver (Frankston); 28 Hi-Fi (U18 arvo, 18+ evening) BIC RUNGA: May 1 Wellers, Kangaroo Ground; 2 Geelong Performing Arts Centre; 4 Athenaeum Theatre ANDREW WK: May 2 Pier Live (Frankston); 4 Corner Hotel MOUNT KIMBIE: May 3 Hi-Fi PIGEON: May 3 Laundry; 4 Revolver 5 Espy GROOVIN’ THE MOO: May 5 Prince Of Wales Showground (Bendigo) GOSSLING: May 5 Thornbury Theatre PUBLIC ENEMY: May 15 Palace THE MACCABEES: May 16 Hi-Fi DEAD LETTER CIRCUS: May 17 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 18 Hi-Fi BOY & BEAR: May 16, 18 Forum; 19 Costa Hall, Deakin, Geelong; 20 Hi-Fi (U18) YOUNG GUNS: May 30 Hi-Fi FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS: July 14 Plenary
BRIAN SETZER’S ROCKABILLY RIOT LANIE LANE
PALACE 02/04/12 Treating us to songs from her 2011 debut album To The Horses, Lanie Lane and her band charm the crowd with a faultless set that gets us in a distinctly ‘50s state of mind. Lane’s tunes move from the twang of spaghettiwestern country to stomping rockabilly workouts. Her effortless vocals are sultry and sassy yet laden with attitude. Watching Lane transform into a fearsome hellcat after being all eyelash-battingly demure and sweet is a delight. Obvious crowd pleasers include her cover of Janis Martin’s Bang Bang and the single What Do I Do.
Charismatic Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom coaxes an ecstatic response from the audience when he walks on stage. Phantom plays on a fairly minimal drum kit with casual ease, but keeps the beats pumping as he pulls every rockstar pose imaginable. Unashamedly nostalgic, Setzer and Phantom deal a string of Stray Cat hits that starts with Rumble In Brighton. Setzer plays the orange, hundred-dollar guitar he used when he was in Stray Cats all those years ago. Runaway Boys and Sexy And Seventeen add the insolent, brattish punk sneer to proceedings. Stray Cat Strut gives young Melbourne bass player Chris D’Rozario a chance to shine. Not to be outdone by the antics of Phantom and Setzer, he plays with the massive double bass held above his head. A few seconds later he somehow manages to stand on the bass and play, pulling off an astonishing balancing act. The show really gets cooking with an extended version of Fishnet Stockings, which sees Hatton coming back on stage for a wild bass-off with D’Rozario. Not to be outdone, Setzer marches on stage with a sparkly silver double bass and joins the fun. They put on an amazing display of musicianship and their crazy-cool antics set the crowd on fire. Punters are left demanding more when the band finally leave the stage. Rock This Town and a cover of Seven Nights To Rock energetically bring down the night, proving the timeless charm of rockabilly. Truly a night at the hop to remember. Guido Farnell
INPRESS • 37
THE POGUES PIC BY ELAINE REYES
TOUR GUIDE DEEZ NUTS: Thursday 12 April, EV’s Youth Centre (AA); Friday 13, Espy; Saturday 14, Karova Lounge (Ballarat); Sunday 15, Music Man Megastore (Bendigo, AA)
MUTEMATH: May 14, 17 Corner PUBLIC ENEMY: May 15 Palace KAISER CHIEFS: May 16 Palace THE MACCABEES: May 16 Hi-Fi MURDER BY DEATH: May 17 Evelyn; 18 National Hotel NICKI MINAJ: May 18 Hisense Arena THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE: May 19 Forum NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK, BACKSTREET BOYS: May 19 Rod Laver FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE: May 20 Rod Laver S CLUB 7, BIG BROVAS: May 23 Palace Theatre BARRY ADAMSON: May 23 Corner DANNY BROWN, MED: May 24 Prince MICKEY AVALON: May 25 Espy SHOWTEK: May 25 Chasers NATURALLY 7: May 26 Palais Theatre ANTI-FLAG: May 27 Hi-Fi MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND: May 28 Northcote Social Club YOUNG GUNS: May 30 Hi-Fi RAY LUGO: June 1 Scatter Scatter LIGHT ASYLUM: June 1 Phoenix Public House; 2 Toff SIMPLE PLAN: June 2 Festival Hall ZOLA JESUS: June 3 Toff AMON TOBIN: June 5 Palace REEF: June 8 Billboard DAVID MYLES: June 8 Wesley Anne; 9 Caravan Music Club SILVERSTEIN: June 9 Bang; 10 Pelly Bar (Frankston) MARK KOZELEK: June 9 Toff, 11 Phoenix Public House MACABRE: June 26 Bendigo Hotel; 30 Corner; July 1 National Hotel LADY GAGA: June 27, 28, 30, July 1 Rod Laver MELISSA ETHERIDGE: July 15 Plenary THE BLACK SEEDS: July 15 Corner BELL BIV DEVOE, GINUWINE: August 10, 14 Trak Live Lounge HANSON: September 14 Palace SUBHUMANS: September 15 Bendigo Hotel RADIOHEAD: November 16, 17 Rod Laver Arena
NATIONAL HOODLUM SHOUTS: April 18 Old Bar; May 5 Gasometer JAM XPRESS: 19 Room 680; May 10 HomeHouse (Geelong); 18 Prince Bandroom; 26 Billboard N’FA: April 19 Grace Darling HUSKY: April 19, May 6 Corner; April 20 Barwon Club TWISTED AFFECTION: April 19 Bendigo Hotel; 20 Royal Melbourne Hotel; 21 John Curtin Hotel; 22 National Hotel (Geelong); 24 Newmarket Hotel (Bendigo) BLEEDING KNEES CLUB: April 19 National Hotel; 20 Karova Lounge; 21 Northcote Social Club THE SIDETRACKED FIASCO: April 20 Brunswick Hotel LAST DINOSAURS: April 20, May 2 Northcote Social Club SAINT JUDE: April 20 Tote KISSCHASY: April 20 Inferno (Traralgon); 24 Ferntree Gully Hotel CASH SAVAGE & THE LAST DRINKS: April 20 Phoenix Public House; 21 Caravan Music Club THE HERD, THUNDAMENTALS: April 21 Corner BLEEDING KNEES CLUB: April 21 Northcote Social Club TIN SPARROW: April 21 Grace Darling CHET FAKER: April 19, 21, 22 Toff IOWA: April 21 Phoenix Public House POND: April 22 Northcote Social Club BIG SCARY: April 24, 25 Corner JOHN BUTLER: April 24, 25 Hi-Fi THE FUNKOARS: April 24 Espy; May 10 Wheelers Hill Hotel; 11 Pier Live STONEFIELD: April 24, 25 Northcote Social Club HOODOO GURUS: April 25 Palace DZ DEATHRAYS: April 25 National Hotel; 26 Karova Lounge; 27 Tote EMMY BRICE, KATE VIGO: April 26 Thornbury Theatre AN HORSE: April 27 Corner CLAIRY BROWNE & THE BANGIN’ RACKETTES: April 27 Prince Bandroom
38 • INPRESS
GANGA GIRI: April 27 Phoenix Public House; 28 Theatre Royal BLUEJUICE: April 28 Hi-Fi (U18) BEN SALTER, JOE MCKEE: April 28 Gasometer; 29 Pure Pop Records KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD: April 29 Bar Open; May 4 National Hotel SAN CISCO: May 1, 2 Corner JOHN WATERS, STEWART D’ARRIETTA: May 2-6 Chapel Off Chapel THE GETAWAY PLAN: May 3 Corner PIGEON: May 3 Laundry Bar; 4 Revolver Upstairs; 5 the Espy AYA LARKIN: May 4 Wesley Anne THE TOOT TOOT TOOTS: May 4 Hi-Fi DAPPLED CITIES: May 4 Northcote Social Club LANIE LANE: May 4 Karova Lounge; 25 May Meeniyan Town Hall; 26 May Corner Hotel CHANCE WATERS: May 5 First Floor GOSSLING: May 5 Thornbury Theatre EMILY BARKER: May 5 Pure Pop Records; 6 Wesley Anne WE ALL WANT TO, HALFWAY: May 5 Empress; 6 Pure Pop Records, Kew RSL SIX FEET UNDER: May 6 Billboard KIMBRA: May 9 Palais Theatre (AA) CALLING ALL CARS: May 10 Kay Street (Traralgon); 11 Hi-Fi SPLIT SECONDS, UNDERLIGHTS: May 10 Northcote Social Club; 12 Karova Lounge, Ballarat JOSH PYKE: May 11 Forum MICK THOMAS: May 11 Regal Ballroom CATCALL: May 12 Toff BOY & BEAR: May 16, 18 Forum; 19 Deakin’s Costa Hall (Geelong); 20 Hi-Fi (U18) DEAD LETTER CIRCUS: May 17 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 18 Hi-Fi TIM FREEDMAN: May 17 Beav’s Bar (Geelong); 19 Spirit Bar & Lounge (Traralgon); August 10, 11 Bennetts Lane MADRE MONTE: May 18 Northcote Social Club THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: May 18 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 19 Inferno (Traralgon); 20 Pier Live (Frankston); 25 Palace Theatre AUSTRALIAN POPS ORCHESTRA, TODD MCKENNEY, JOHN FOREMAN: May 18, 19 Palms At Crown EMPEROR: May 19 Fist2Face, Phoenix Public House LEADER CHEETAH: May 19 Northcote Social Club CAM BUTLER: May 19 Northcote Uniting Church BUCKLEY WARD: May 19 Toff; 27 Pure Pop Records KIMBA & RYAN: May 19 Bennetts Lane OWL EYES: May 20 Toff TUMBLEWEED: May 25, 26 Tote LANIE LANE: May 26, 27, 28 Corner Hotel ROYSTON VASIE: May 28 Northcote Social Club THE TEMPER TRAP: May 29, 30 Forum TZU: June 1 Corner; 2 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) THE JEZABELS: June 1 Festival Hall THE MISSION IN MOTION: June 2 Tote DEF FX, INSURGE: June 2 Corner MATT CORBY: June 6 Forum THE HARD-ONS: June 7 National Hotel; 8 Karova Lounge (Geelong); 9 Tote BONJAH: June 8 Corner LISA MITCHELL: June 13 St Michael’s Church 360: June 14, 15, 17 (U18) Hi-Fi BURIED IN VERONA: June 21 Next; 22 Ringwood OLP KARNIVOOL: July 5 Hi-Fi; 8 Bended Elbow (Geelong) MCALISTER KEMP: July 21 Hallam Hotel TINA ARENA: July 28, 29, August 5 Hamer Hall
FESTIVALS SUPAFEST: April 21 Melbourne Showgrounds CHERRYROCK012: April 29 Cherry Bar GROOVIN’ THE MOO: May 5 Prince of Wales Showground
THE POGUES, THE BARONS OF TANG
FESTIVAL HALL 04/04/12 Melbourne’s own troupe of zany gypsy punks, The Barons Of Tang, energetically warm the gathering crowd at Festival Hall with a fine selection of Balkan-inspired bangers. The outfit dishes a largely instrumental but joyously life-affirming and exuberantly experimental mix of rockabilly, Eastern European punk, ska and gypsy folk, all of which frequently derails and descends into deranged, thrashing carnival and circus music. Fronted by Julian Cue on double bass and Don Carlos Parraga on accordion, the duo seem to lead the band but are inevitably upstaged by the fascinating antics of sax player Anna Gordon and Aviva Endean, who deals a lot of the group’s riffs on a bass clarinet. Percussionist Annie Pfeiffer’s galloping cowbells also prove to be an amusing treat. This is sadly one of the last opportunities for Australian audiences to enjoy this band’s eclectic sounds since they are heading to America to seek fame and fortune. The Pogues have brought their fans out in droves tonight. Touring the US and UK last year on what was billed as a “farewell tour” it seems likely that this will be our last chance to see The Pogues. Many are keen to ensure that seeing the classic line-up of the band, fronted by the iconic Shane MacGowan, is ticked off their musical bucket list. More seasoned punters regale us with stories of the last time they saw The Pogues some 25 years ago. The Clash’s Straight To Hell introduces the band, who launch with Streams Of Whiskey. MacGowan’s performance is relatively sedate. He seems to need little offstage rests throughout the gig but otherwise is in fine form. Into his 50s, MacGowan seems more weathered than his age suggests, but his gloriously croaky Tom Waits-esque growl perfectly suits the boozy drinking songs that seamlessly fuse Celtic folk rock with MacGowan’s poetic lyrics and the furious angst of ‘80s punk. For one night only Festival Hall is transformed into a Irish pub called Pogue Mahone where the patrons are banging their tankards of ale on the table and singing along with the house band. The combination of accordion, banjo and guitars all combine to create that glorious sound for which The Pogues are renowned. Even at their most frantic, they provide a tight and highly focused accompaniment for MacGowan’s loose ramblings. Amusingly, when MacGowan stops to mutter between songs it is impossible to understand a word. As they work their way through old favourites such as If I Should Fall From Grace With God and A Pair Of Brown Eyes, ageing punks and plenty of Gen X and Y engage in burly-yet-strangely gentle moshing that sees women and children pushed to the back. The Pogues are bringing down an unforgettable night of rum, sodomy and the lash. There is nothing to do but throw your arm around the fella next to you and dance like a sailor letting off steam during a big night on the town. Playing a greatest hits show of timeless classics, fans can’t get enough of favourites such as Sunny Side Of The Street and Thousands Are Sailing before emotional versions of And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (which MacGowan skips a few verses of) and of course Dirty Old Town.
The first encore deals a simply breathtaking version Rainy Night In Soho, recalling a time before the gentry invaded when Soho was still luridly XXX. The second encore rounds off the evening on a rousing note with the riotous drinking songs Poor Paddy and Fiesta, which sees Spider Stacy enthusiastically hitting a beer tray over his head in time to the music. As many leave drunkenly singing Dirty Old Town, it is clear that The Pogues have delivered a hugely satisfying show. Guido Farnell
MY MORNING JACKET, DAWES PALACE 28/03/12
The Palace is half filled with checkered shirts and beards, when amidst angelic light LA country-folk four-piece Dawes hit the stage. Their sound is bright and clear and lead singer Taylor Goldsmith enthusiastically intones his folk tales via croony facial expressions. Goldsmith jumps around during some great solos and if you close your eyes, you’re suddenly leaning against a bar, sinking a brewski in Branson, Missouri. When My Time Comes and Million Dollar Bill display Goldsmith’s classic songwriting skills and the band’s beautiful harmonies. Dawes finish with the nostalgic-yet-optimistic How Far We’ve Come. As the number of punters increases, so too does the heat and the crowd is now sweaty and eager for My Morning Jacket to take the stage. The band finally strut out to rapturous applause, as Jim James appears swathed in green phosphorus light and looking like a prophet from the musical future. Wearing a long coat, a touchpad synth around his neck and a hairdo akin to a lion’s mane, James plunges straight into the Pink Floydian call-to-arms, Victory Dance. Grabbing his acoustic guitar, he twangs the familiar intro riff to Circuital before strumming the upbeat rhythm for seven minutes of sweet melody. Waves of blue and purple light flow over the band, which introduces It Beats For You and a hypnotic strobe flicks in time with the drumbeat amping the crowd up again. Here James not only demonstrates how classy the band is but also his quirkiness as they end the song with a kooky statuesque pause that goes on a little too long. Wearing a white towel on his head, James finally engages with his fans but it’s impossible to understand what he’s rambling on about due to the reverb on the mic. Off The Record sees the crowd dancing and singing again while James ‘vogues’ onstage before calming us with the gentle Wonderful (The Way I Feel). Playing all the new tunes – You Wanna Freak Out, Holding On To Black Metal, Outta My System, Moving Away and First Light – shows the strength of the latest album and it’s impressive how many people are singing along to every tune. Towel on head again, and this time donning a cape, James and band transition to the rockin’ One Big Holiday to end their set. The encore heralds a sea of hands for Wordless Chorus plus James’s high-pitched howls and it’s safe to say their reputation for amazing live shows remains intact. Anthony Rebelo
SHERIFF, SUN GOD REPLICA, THE JACKALS CHERRY BAR 07/04/12
There are few acts that leave you walking away in a daze, unable to utter anything except, “Wow”. Yet local rockers Sheriff – possibly vacuuming every iota of energy in Melbourne city – rage onto the stage and well and truly begin to melt the faces off the rampant crowd. You’d be hard pressed to find a better triple bill. The Jackals kick things off with swamp blues and country grit, followed up by local wonders Sun God Replica. This band can do no wrong. Playing tunes from their new album Primitive Clockwork, they fire off a cacophony of explosive rock, kindly leaving behind a tangible excitement for the Sheriff lovers. Introduced by a screaming cloaked man and horns reminiscent of an AFL Grand Final, we are instantly part of a performance. This isn’t just a rock band getting up and doing their thing, Sheriff announce themselves as a complete show: a rock’n’roll spectacle. Can they pull it off? You bet. Guitarist Tom Watson immediately loses his shit, charging up onto the bar railing and swinging from the roof as he plays. The crowd can’t help but respond, people climbing the walls to get a better look. Powerhouse bassist Jimi Coelli roars into the mic, howling on What You Want, before introducing new drummer Callum Routledge to the crowd. Routledge is in his element, accomplishing the balance of hard-hitting gusto with refined skill. “Do we have a treat for you tonight?!” screams Coelli, looking to Watson. Suddenly a two-piece horn section appears, borrowed from none other than the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Their harmonies are now even and the boys take the show to another level: Watson is on his knees and a member of the crowd pours beer into his mouth; Routledge closes his eyes and knows he is home; while Coelli makes a gun with his fingers, smiling as he blows imaginary smoke. They have us and they know it. For want of a better metaphor, Sheriff are like the difference between a meaty stew and a thin broth. Endearing and full of heart, they will leave you with the utmost sense of satisfaction. Unafraid to challenge the stereotype, they have created something monstrous, challenging you to ever lose interest, or even try to look away. They’ll find you. They are Sheriff after all. Esther Rivers TROMBONE SHORTY PIC BY CHRISSIE FRANCIS
Australian show, the joy each band member radiates heats the room to a feverish boil as if we’re all crammed in inches away from a cauldron containing sizzling Cajun gumbo. As soon as he sits on his stool, drummer Joey Peebles requires an industrial fan directed faceward. His energy is as infectious as Tommy Lee’s behind that kit! Multi-instrumental prodigy Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews joins his band on stage and we are captivated slaves to his rhythm. Andrews describes the band’s sound as “Supafunkrock”, but it’s more like supercalifunkilisticex pialidociousrock. The interplay between brass instruments is unbelievable, as Andrews thrusts his trombone slide into the bells of his bandmates’ saxes as if challenging them to blow harder. Guitarist Pete Murano earns his nickname “freaky Pete”, making his instrument sing while offering up a shy grin to various lucky audience members. Some improvised call-and-response phrases are blown Murano’s way as brass instruments blast out melodies in quick succession for the guitarist to instantaneously imitate. Jackets and handbags are discarded. Basically anything that gets in the way of backbone-slipping dance moves is passed forward and then placed upon the stage edge. Andrews is a triple threat; 1) He can hold a sustained note on the trumpet that would make Louis Armstrong’s lungs quake, 2) He sings like a true soul brother and 3) He always looks smashingly dashing. How can this svelte frame house the lung capacity necessary to pull off a ridiculously elongated continuous note (thanks to circular breathing and bulging eyes in sockets to complete the effect)? (Fan-recorded video footage clocks this in at over two-and-a-half minutes.) Sure, he’s spent afterwards, but after a theatrical breathless stagger across the front of the stage, Andrews picks up his trumpet and gets straight back into it after just one exaggerated false start. We’re lead through an, “Are you ready?” call and response and then the band perform a tricky, single-note, percussive pattern in perfect unison, obviously thriving on executing the seemingly impossible. Andrews works in I Got A Woman by Ray Charles and some mid-song scatting hits the mark. All players swap instruments for the encore with Andrews taking his place behind the drum kit and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue sure do show us Something Beautiful tonight. They have earned every last clap and the celebratory nature of this gig makes it impossible to head straight home afterwards. The Corner’s downstairs bar heaves with post-show revellers. Therein, percussionist Dwayne “Big D” Williams is available for autographs and bear hugs. Bryget Chrisfield
BLITZEN TRAPPER, PAPER KITES PRINCE BANDROOM 03/04/12
Going to a Blitzen Trapper concert is a bit like starting a journey on Puffing Billy and ending it on the Bullet Train; what starts as a folk concert ventures into hard rock territory and blends the two, becoming faster and more energetic as the night goes on.
THE SPECIALS PALACE 05/04/12
A sparse crowd arrives early enough to catch support act Paper Kites. Which is a shame, because the gentle tunes and elegant harmonies of this unsigned indie-folk band deserve a bigger audience. The endearing quintet employs an impressive array of instruments (only the drummer and bassist remain monogamous) as they take us through tunes from their Woodland EP. Opening with You Might Find It Cheap, Blitzen Trapper then launch into a block of songs from latest album American Goldwing before moving to tunes from earlier albums. The lyrical talents of frontman Eric Earley are showcased when (oh, when) we get to the dark and disturbing Black River Killer, followed by the bleak Evening Star, while Fletcher is dedicated to “bogans”, a newly acquired word in Earley’s vocabulary. Such tunes offer a respectful nod to the sounds of The Band and The Grateful Dead (but without the lengthy psychedelic meandering of the latter). This is particularly evident in some of the vocal harmonies and arrangements. But Furr is Blitzen Trapper’s and theirs alone.
TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE
CORNER HOTEL 07/04/12 Ah yes, you’ve gotta love a Bluesfest sideshow to raise the average age gig demographic. And the venue’s geeup music furthers reflects this: Aretha Franklin and then Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade Of Pale washes over the spirited crowd. Punters vary from Crumpler users to Janelle Monáe look-alikes and every available inch of space is utilised, which forces us into the corner under a pull-down projection screen. No matter, this provides a surface for our spontaneous hand shadow puppet show. Tremé has obviously done Trombone Shorty’s reputation no harm and we brace ourselves for Ooh Poo Pah Doo live. Orleans Avenue stride on stage and it’s an awesome sight, with an instrumental combo that promises eargasms aplenty: baritone and tenor saxophones plus percussion added to the standard guitar, bass and drums. This being the ensemble’s last
THE SPECIALS PIC BY LOU LOU NUTT
Upon finishing the set on Big Black Bird, the previously merely enthusiastic and appreciative crowd goes wild, calling for an encore. A bemused Brian Koch (drums/ vocals) returns to stage. “You guys are so polite and quiet,” he says. “We can’t tell whether you like us or not.” This is the exact same accusation Tim Robbins levelled at the crowd when his Rogues Gallery played a Bluesfest sideshow at the East Brunswick Club last year. Like Robbins, Blitzen Trapper choose to take this for what it is – the crowd wants to hear the band rather than each other: “You guys really seem to be music fans. So thank you.” And to show their appreciation the band notches the energy up to 11 with a couple more songs, finishing the night covering Led Zeppelin’s Good Times Bad Times. It’s a nice touch because, like Zeppelin, Blitzen Trapper are masters at blending hard rock, folk and other traditional genres in a seamless way that never seems to confuse the band’s identity. Overall, Blitzen Trapper do a great job melding homages to their influences in with their own alt.folk/modern roots sounds. Earley’s lyrics are pure poetry and cover themes from gentle whimsy to much darker places. Definitely one to catch next time they’re in town. Eiley Ormsby
Despite 30-plus years in existence (on and off), this is only the second time The Specials have toured our great southern land and tonight they attract three levels of slavering aficionados to the Palace. Punters zealously guard their dancing space and we try to look casual on a staircase with a view. There’s a lot of the band’s trademark black’n’white, police-style check dressing the stage and the backdrop simply reads “SPECIALS”, with LED stacks positioned in front. The Specials are off and skanking with Do The Dog and the former “mods, rockers, hippies and skinheads” in the house immediately burst into action. There’s a fairly subdued stage-crossing from singer Neville Staple, but it’s enough for the crowd, whose singalong is deafening. Shifting straight into Dawning Of A New Era, the players sound better than ever and they clearly love watching the sea of punters rampaging down Memory Lane below. Crap, a security guard sweeps us off the stairs so we’re forced to dance on the seat of a couch against the wall, craning to see.
up to specific punters one level up and, impressively, all intended targets perform classic catches. “I’m so fucking tired, right,” Staple shares. Why would you say that? A Message To You Rudy begins gradually, but our hair is blown back with brass assault before too long. A heckler calls out for Ghost Town. “Relax! It’s so fuckin’ obvious!” Hall rebukes, which is a tad unnecessary. Then Staple tries to diffuse the situation, declaring: “There’s only one rude boy in here.” Nite Klub transports us to the diet pill-infested allnighters of a bygone era and it’s skank central. There’s only one encore tonight and no Ghost Town, probably due to Hall’s earlier objection to a fan’s shouted-out request for same. It’s the subject on everyone’s lips during the penguin parade on the way out of the theatre and mars this otherwise extra-special performance by The Specials. Bryget Chrisfield
Gangsters proves an early highlight and guitarist Roddy Radiation’s fancy footwork is emphasised by his twotone Creepers (black’n’white, of course). Enthusiastic “Ay-ay-ay”s ring through the venue during Monkey Man, further amplifying when Staple teases, “I can’t hear you!” The Specials fall instinctively into pleasing visual formations while they play – very photogenic. “Quiet please, quiet please,” rhythm guitarist Lynval Golding chastises, before touchingly dedicating the band’s Radiation-penned Rich Girl to Amy Winehouse. Time to get amongst it down in Pogoland. The fans can’t get enough of Staple as Judge Roughneck throughout Stupid Marriage and the floor becomes a trampoline for the closing repetitive lines: “Naked woman, naked man/Where did you get that nice suntan?” This scribe cops an elbow to the eye during Concrete Jungle when the throng claps a pattern out in unison before calling out, “JUNG-AL!” (à la the old school Goodyear tyre ads). By way of banter, Terry Hall instructs, “Blow me a kiss and we’ll last forever,” before briefly looking at his watch and announcing, “Done”. They’re a pack of Fred Perry gangstas up there. A sax player seems to be negotiating via eye language (his mouth is busy), which out of two front-row ladies is up for it before abruptly leaving the stage. Bottles of water are piffed
THE SPECIALS PIC BY LOU LOU NUTT INPRESS • 39
OLD AND GRUMPY
Grumpy Neighbour’s contemporary old time folk’n’roll show is back at the Old Bar this Saturday for another rollicking night of stories true and tall. Singing songs from the heart and shootin’ bullshit from the hip, Grumpy Neighbour present their latest album, Judas Ute, a collection of songs from a dark roadside winding across this country.
BAND OF SMITHS
With a swag of new material ready to road test ahead of album number two, The Smith Street Band have announced a series of intimate shows at Melbourne’s the Old Bar. They’ll be playing every Wednesday during April, joined by a host of great local and interstate supports. Entry is free for the first three nights (including tonight) and a lazy $5 will get you in the door for the fourth and final Anzac Day spectacular.
Skyscraper Stan has returned, infected by the big bands of New Orleans and carrying a notebook of fresh songs. Now Skyscraper Stan & The Commission Flats are taking to the Old Bar stage every Sunday in April. Some weeks as a four-piece, others as a brass-fuelled, nine-member strong, hip-shaking wall of sound. With fresh supports every week. Doors open at 8pm with $5 entry.
Jail Bird Jokers are back in town to grace the iconic stage of Revolver once again. Their powerful brand of garage blues rock has shocked and excited crowds in some of Australia’s most prestigious venues supporting the likes of British India and The Go Set. The boys’ Queens Of The Stone Age-esque riffs, smooth harmonies and unbridled drum work have earned rave reviews from triple j Unearthed. Jail Bird Jokers get spooky live on stage with special guests The Electric Sun Kings, The Wells and Feed My Frankenstein at Revolver this Friday.
HAVE YOU HEARD
HOWLIN FOR MORE A GROUSE PARTY
Grouse Party has cooked up a scarily-good lineup for this Friday at the Cornish Arms, headed by very special guest DJ Adalita. Known foremost for fronting Magic Dirt, and for her incredible solo release last year, it’s a little known fact that Adalita also brings the party jams as a DJ. She’s taking some time out from recording her follow-up solo album, and cutting loose with the local queers at Grouse Party. Also on the bill are resident DJ Ann Ominous, plus Criminal Intense (Karina from Young & Restless) in a late-set dancefloor lockdown. Doors at 9pm with $5 entry before 10pm, and $10 after.
Ballarat-based musician Dan Rolls creates songs with impressive guitar-work, including a mix of intense strumming, intricate picking and alternate tunings. Yet through all this guitaring his voice shines through with a sound that draws imagination out of the listener. He plays Revolver for tonight (Wednesday) with guests Del Luna and Old World Sparrow. Doors open at 7pm with $5 entry charge.
At the Espy on Saturday 21 April kicking off the night will be the rockiest bunch of riff rats ever to have come out of Anglesea’s salty shire The Underhanded, followed by the highway rock providers The Art Of Later. Next up is Melbourne’s favorite sisters of riff System Of Venus and to top the evening off, there’s the heavy hitting, rock rolling, riff spliff’n Battle Axe Howlers. Starting at 9pm, it’s free entry down in the Espy basement.
Joshua Hodson-Smith, formerly of Yuri & The Vostok, uses looping melodic guitar lines to create a calming ambiance, interwoven with some slightly twisted feelings towards an array of famous and infamous targets. Smoke Signals (Tanned Old Man), with his repetitious guitar lines, will be interesting to hear next to the cheery sounds of Finn Family, get along next Tuesday to the Old Bar if you want to hear all of the above.
JANE DUST & THE GIANT HOOPOES
The hardest working folks in showbiz, The Eastern, will be returning to our shores for a phenomenal round of shows that will also coincide with the Australian release of their new album Hope And Wire. They play the Old Bar on Saturday night with great support from Harlots, Rattlin’ Bones Blackwood and Grumpy Neighbour.
STRING ’ER ALONG
Have you recorded anything or do you prefer to tool around in your bedroom? My debut solo record, Sugar Baby, is being launched Saturday 14 April. I like to record at night if possible when all is calm and still and I can take a breath. Can you sum up your sound in four words? Melodic, tender, vintage country. If you could support any band in the world, who would it be and why? If I could stagger on stage with jelly legs, and play guitar with fingers made of butter, somehow functioning despite the enormous nerves of such a monumental event, my fantasy support would be Tom Waits. His songs have been a soundtrack to some very meaningful times in my life. A Willie Nelson support wouldn’t be too shabby either. If a higher power smites your house and you can only save one record from the fire, what would it be? I would save Chris Whitley’s Perfect Day album which makes me feel all gooey inside. But remember kids – saving precious things from a house fire isn’t clever or funny. Do you have a lucky item of clothing you wear for gigs and what is it? Yes, I have a lucky girdle I wear for those really special occasions. If you invited someone awesome round for dinner what would you cook? I would cook something very quick and easy like a stir fry as I don’t derive pleasure from cooking food, only eating it. What’s your favourite place to drink in Melbourne? The Lomond on Nicholson Street, Brunswick is the bestest pub. I fell off my stool once there after too much blackberry nip and they still have me back, bless ‘em. 40 • INPRESS
Melbourne-based folk/blues chanteuse Liz Stringer is set to take to the road celebrating the release of her much anticipated CD Warm In The Darkness. She plays instore tomorrow (Thursday) at Readings St Kilda, on Friday at 12.30pm at Basement Discs and I Dream A Highway at 6pm, and at Pure Pop Records on Saturday.
ACTOR, MODEL, GIANT HOOPOES
At the Retreat on Thursday, the heavenly indie pop group Actor Slash Model meets, greets and charms the hell outta the space sonic jives of Jane Dust & The Giant Hoopoes. It will be an evening of pulsating pop and galactical, gyrating space pop romancing. Jane Dust & The Giant Hoopoes’ second album Space Hunters Part I will be out this September.
SORTED FOR E&P S MARSHALL OKELL Sugar Independent
NO ART Exotica Independent
Marshall Okell’s EP is a bit of a mixed bag. There’s the slight country lean in Deep Into The Night, the rockier Anything You Want, the darker blues tones of Almost Killed You and the cheeky grooves of Too Big For Your Boots. They’re easy-listening blues/ roots/country songs that, despite their catchiness, wouldn’t be much without Okell’s organic-sounding vocals. Interestingly, the songs seems constructed wholly around one main refrain and its repetitiveness works in its favour – it’s simple and unpretentious without being superficial. Okell plays at the Retreat on Friday 20 April and Baha Tacos on Saturday 21. TIN SPARROW Fair & Verdant Woods Independent Tin Sparrow’s new EP begins with a welcoming whistle introduction, before launching into the blues-country-pop territory in My Own. Psychedelic tones are explored in Azzuro, complementing pushing drums, swirling organ sounds and the whine of the lapsteel. Sides tells a compelling story of divorce from the frustrated child’s perspective, while Bricks uses metaphors and a girl-boy duet vocal to poignantly explain how one heals a broken heart. Pleasing harmonies and strong endings are present throughout the solid second EP. Tin Sparrow play at the Grace Darling on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 April.
No Art’s Exotica is a strangely mesmerising affair. It’s hard to pinpoint why it’s intriguing; perhaps it’s the understated way all its elements fuse together. There’s the hypnotic bassline, scratchy percussion, clever bridge and dreary yet urgent vocals in Kids In Place. There’s the post-rock stylings in the latter half of Foxfire, which make up for its lacklustre first half. There’s the earthy drum beat, constantly changing, leading the echoing buzzes and fret noises into an intriguing instrumental, Squid Shaker. It is, very quietly, exotic in its own way. THE AVES Panic Independent The Aves play sunny garage pop, complete with husky, lazy female vocals that are rarely in tune yet don’t need to be to suit the music. A cracking solo comes out of nowhere in opener Grow Up, there are gang-repeats to the lead singer’s call and surprising (in a good way) accordion in drunken youth anthem Standby, choppy strumming and a walking bassline in Panic and a boppy ‘60s vibe with a touch of doo-wop in Thick As Thieves. Drink to these songs on a warm night.
THE BELLS OF FED SQUARE
The Federation Bells is an installation of 39 computer-controlled harmonic bells, originally created in 2001 to mark the centenary of Federation. Now, after more than a decade, the bells have been given a new lease of life, with innovative striker mechanisms, new computer controllers and new lids. The result is a remarkable improvement in the bells’ dynamic sensitivity, timing and tone. This Friday, the bells will be re-launched in an eerie, late-night event. Two of Melbourne’s most progressive musical outfits, A Dead Forest Index and Forces, are creating new musical works for the re-invigorated Federation Bells, to be triggered live alongside voice, guitars, drums and loops. It starts after 10pm and will be followed by an official afterparty at the Liberty Social.
MEAN TO THE BONE
ALISON FERRIER LAUNCHES HER NEW ALBUM RECORD AT WESLEY ANNE THIS SATURDAY 14 APRIL.
With rock’n’roll pumping through their veins and the attitude to match, these boys don’t mess around. They are Meanbone and they have one simple mission, to rock. So check out what it is all about and experience a proper rock’n’roll show. It’ll leave you’re head pounding and your ears ringing for days. Meanbone are playing Revolver tomorrow with supports from local lads 23 Angles Of Attack and Famous In Vegas. The doors open at 8.30pm. with tickets $10.00 available on the door.
Sydney heavy hitters Stars Of Addiction play Revolver this Saturday as part of their All For You single tour. SOA have been building great momentum here in Australia and in the US and hope to bring a taste of their new show to their Melbourne fans. Joining them are Bottle Of Smoke and Pretty Villains. The doors open at 8.30pm with entry at $12.
EP REVIEWS WITH STEPHANIE LIEW SKYPILOT Skypilot Independent Brisbane three-piece Skypilot are firmly in the stadium rock genre, with big guitars, soaring vocals and throbbing basslines. They sound like they’d be the lovechild of U2, Coldplay and The National. Although the music is not immediately gripping, it seems like a grower; you need to ease into it. For all its big sounds and polished production, there are some shining moments that are hidden under crispy guitars (Siren), haunting piano and fingerpicked guitar leading into a beast of a jam (Hijackers), and bright keyboard riffs and playful soul basslines (Harold). SUPER BEST FRIENDS Super Best Friends Independent Listening to garage punk three-piece Super Best Friends’ EP, you can almost see them sticking their tongue out and rolling their eyes at you, so vivid is their IDGAF attitude. No Logo Is A Joke is catchy, with gritty, gravelly guitars, and chanting vocals turning into shrieking, but it’s just a taste of what’s to come. There’s riffs reminiscent of video-game music in Karma Karma, group shouting at its finest on You Want It and hilarious mocking of bigoted Aussie bogans in The Bleachers. Super Best Friends play the Brunswick Hotel this Friday and Pony this Saturday.
LEAVING THE COUNTRY
PERTH’S THE GHOST HOTEL SPRANG OUT OF A COUNTRY MUSIC SOCIAL CLUB, AARON GIBSON TELLS NIC TOUPEE.
MUSIC FOR YOUR MIND
In the first collaboration between Melbourne label Finn Audio and the Melbourne Techno Collective, Mind Music will be a night dedicated to dancefloor rhythms that sound just as good at the bar as they do on the floor. Performing on the night will be Finn Audio’s Jani Ho who will be playing live, the Techno Collective’s Sam McEwin and Matt Radovich, and special guest Dean Benson who has been recruited specifically for the evening because of his unbridled ability to rock the house. It’s this Friday from 10pm, with free entry.
New social music enterprise The Kinship launches its debut compilation, The Kinship Collection, this Saturday from 6pm at CERES Environment Park. A showcase of 16 talented and emerging local musicians – including Allie Stringer, Jshwa, Melody Moon and Rachel By The Stream – will launch the Kinship Collection,
a limited edition compilation of alt.folk, hip hop, and reggae to acoustic-electronic fusion threaded around the theme of musical storytelling. In a unique move by The Kinship, its first collection is being released on USB to encourage peer-to-peer sharing and increased exposure for emerging artists. The family-friendly launch is open to all ages. A Kinship gift will be given to audience members who dress in a nautical theme.
RETURN OF THE HUNTER
It got tough being one of the booziest bands around town so Hunter, in consultation with their various tiers of management and health professionals, thought it in their best interest to take a short hiatus in an effort to clear their minds, bodies, livers, and souls. Now they are pleased to announce their return to the stage in order to launch their second EP, named after the delightful Lily Serna. Supports come from Jonesez, Alkan Zeybek & The Lessermen and Valiant Jones. Head to Yah Yah’s this Friday. Entry’s a measly $8.
Sydney vocalist Ngaiire headlines the Grace Darling on Tuesday 17 April, followed by Sydney act The Rescue Ships. The Rescue Ships are Brian Campeau and Elana Stone’s new project, an ideal marriage of their individual talents. Beginning the night are Melbourne seven-piece The Love Birds, performing light-hearted folk/pop.
IF IT’S BROKE
Before a mini-tour of Australia to celebrate the launch of their LP, Poor People will play a rollicking set in the hull of the Grace Darling Hotel this Sunday 15 April. They’ll be joined by the savage and suave Cat Cat and blue-jeaned backyard rockers Velcro.
Monday nights at Lounge, DJ Kiti takes you all on a journey of musical explorations in all things rock’n’roll at Hello Kiti. You’ll hear everything from ‘60s garage and indie to post-punk and synth pop to new wave and new romantic. Old or new, Kiti will leave no tune uncovered.
The Ghost Hotel, hailing from Perth, artfully mix country influences, dream pop and even some jaunty percussive flavours, with all three strings to their collective bow evident on their debut release Maiden Hill. The current incarnation of the band came after founder Aaron Gibson had formed and disbanded a previous version with the same name. He was happily pursuing an acoustic solo career when he found himself indulging in what he thought might be a bit of a lark – a bit of a country music social club. He and a few of his fellow Perth musicians entered in a gentlemanly joust to find out who could write the most ‘country’ sounding song, and it all started from there, he explains. ”I was doing some solo and duo shows, and was writing in a bit of a country style. I think that clicked with some of the stuff Woodie [Paul Wood, former frontman of Red Jezebel] was listening to at the time and Jake [former lead singer and songwriter of Capital City] was too. We all knew each other well and decided to get together for what was a bit of a songwriting club, I guess. Every one just sitting around with acoustic guitars and having a low-key jam,” he recalls. But quickly the competitive spirit made its presence felt – all in the name of fun, of course. “We found ourselves indulging in some one-upmanship about who could write the best country song,” he remembers, laughing. “And it went from there, that we wrote together and formed a band.“ You can hear snippets of those early days of country music competition on Maiden Hill, particularly in early ballad Juliette, “That’s one of the first songs that we all wrote together,” Gibson acknowledges. “We recorded that in 2010 for a songwriting contest. Not long after that, we had another songwrting session where we recorded another batch of maybe four songs which had been kicking around in our live set, but not recorded. The other half of the album we wrote last year.” Gibson hints that you can hear the progression of The Ghost Hotel moving gradually away from a traditional country sound on the album. “I can hear how the songs on the album are different over time, and the later songs move away from country a little bit. Although, and I think you can also hear this, we never really were a traditional country band, and as time goes one we’ve moved away from that. What we do now is make sure our songs have layers,” he says. “Knowing we’ve got three guitars we need to make sure when we write melodies we do it well, and make the most of it. We have an unwritten rule that none of the three will play the same part at any time. which is something we picked up from listening to bands like Wilco. We want to have luscious guitars which sound good, while still leaving room for interesting guitar arrangements.” The three-stage process has resulted in a somewhat eclectic feel to the album, which Gibson thinks is fitting given their varied history. “I’m happy that it’s eclectic and not just locked in one style,” he comments. “We could have done a whole album of more traditional country music, but while that might have been more coherent, it wasn’t right for our first album. I like the way we’re going as a band now, the more rock songs on the album are much more reflective of what we do live now as a band, although there are still elements of country in what we do.” WHO: The Ghost Hotel WHAT: Maiden Hill (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 14 April, Retreat Hotel
INPRESS • 41
A PRETTY PENNY
Penny Ikinger plays at the Lyrebird Lounge this Friday with Burn In Hell (free entry) and on Sunday 29 April for another Goddess extravaganza featuring Melbourne’s finest female artists ($8 door entry). She is also supporting Crystal Thomas at her album launch on Saturday 21 April at the St Kilda Bowling Club alongside The Evolution and Harry Howard & The Near Death Experience.
ACOUSTIC DANCING MIKE ON THE MIC EDDIE MAC PLAYS HOME MADE JAM #2 AT A WAREHOUSE ON THE CORNER OF JOHNSTON AND HODDLE STREETS ON ANZAC DAY, WEDNESDAY 25 APRIL. What inspired your DJ name? It was my nickname at school and sounded pretty cool to me as a DJ name. Simple. In a nutshell, describe what you play. I call it “eclectic” – various musical genres (soul, jazz-funk, boogie, disco, funk, reggae, dub, hip hop) which has a dirty funk groove element to it and can be all joined together via the groove… Very deep ands emotive music but will move your hips and ya feet everytime with a fat dubby bassline! What track turns you on right now? Sorry, it’s a three-way tie. Odyssey – Inside Out (west coast boogie gem. The sad vocals and strings are amazing!) Curtis Mayfield – Love Me, Love Me Now (deep and slo-mo soulful disco with great lyrics and killer Curtis strings). Gwen Guthrie – Seventh Heaven (Larry Levan Mix) (just total dubby disco magic by Larry.) What made you start DJing? Combination of watching my folks play records at home parties, buying hip hop, boogie and funk records in London/NYC in the ‘80s, watching Beat Street/ Krush Groove movies, collecting sneakers, listening to the amazing DJs (Gillles Peterson, Norman Jay, Paul Trouble Anderson, Jazzie B, Gordon Mac, Bobby & Steve) on London pirate radio stations like Kiss FM as well as Andy Glitre and Stephen Ferris on the Rhythm Method on triple j. Plus seeing the whole rave/ underground warehouse party scene in the late ‘80s/ early ‘90s develop overseas and here in Melbourne. It all made me realise what a strong role the DJ plays, how influential the underground dance scene can be and how powerful music can be when played in the right setting on the right system by the right DJ. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen in a nightclub? Legendary Aussie cricketer Dennis Lillee dancing the Macarena at Redheads Nightclub in 1994 at a uni night on Thursday. I saw some crazy stuff at Freakazoid. The best was someone dressed as an Ewok at the Star Whores party. Well, I think it was an Ewok… DJ Ray Shirley using a telephone as his headphones at Silvers funk club on a Sunday in 1993. The most idiotic request you’ve had as a DJ? “Play something funky” when I am playing a James Brown or Parliament record or just angry punters saying “just play Lady Gaga”. The other one is, “Do you mind if I just hide under here?”
Ebb&flo presents their third show for 2012, at Loop this Saturday. It’s their 11th party to date, and for the April edition they’re pulling out their trump card; special guest this month is none other than Mike Callander. Head honcho of Haul Music and all round nice guy, he is one of Melbourne’s leading artists, both as a DJ and producer. If anyone has the musical range to take Ebb&flo to all new twisted levels, it’s Mike Callander. Of course, residents Nikko, Jon Beta and Lister Cooray will also be spinning tunes. Doors are at 10pm and entry is free.
LIVE AT LOUNGE
Lounge presents live bands every Thursday night in April. Expect gaffer tape, long cords, unkept hair, amps, butt cracks, beer stains, sound checks, and Dickies shorts. And of course, there’s the talented bands themselves. Doors open at 10pm and it’s free entry. This week’s bands are Kalacoma, Matt Kelly and The Ghost Orchid.
FRIDAY NIGHT RUINS
Get your horror on this Friday 13 April as Melbourne’s new heavyweight club night Rack & Ruin at Lounge showcases the world’s finest bass cultures delivered by Melbourne’s finest bass DJs. Drawing from a wide array of bass and garage music, house, UK funky, techno and grime, Rack & Ruin promises to slaughter the inner club zombie in you. Featuring monthly support from eminent bass crews Heavy Innit, Too Much and Glitch This, prepare for blood on the dancefloor. This show features DJs A13, Arctic, Same O, Rintrah, David Bass and Cut’n’paste.
They play Afrobeat, Afrofunk, and everything in between! Fresh on the scene, eight-piece Afrobeat band The Seven Ups will be funkin’ your jocks off with two massive sets at Bar Open this Friday. Taking the undeniable influence of Fela’s Afrobeat and the music that came out of 1970s Nigeria, The Seven Ups blend it with their own upbringing of deep-funk, James Brown, jazz, rock and the occasional bit of Ethio-jazz. Getting down is imminent. Doors are at 10pm and entry is free.
BROOKLYN BIRTHDAY BASH
If you haven’t made plans for this Thursday already, make sure you get down to Yah Yahs to help Brooklyn’s Finest and Dr Lovie celebrate their birthdays! It will be the first time Brooklyn’s Finest have hit the stage at Yah Yah’s, and to ensure the party reaches its full potential, they have invited The Communists and Hungry Hearts to aid in the celebrations. With a sweet mix of acoustic guitars, catchy indie tunes and cheeky funk grooves all for the very low price of $5 on the door, Brooklyn’s Finest’s birthday bash is sure to go off.
Hot off the back of their dreamy set at Boogie 6 last weekend, Dancing Heals strip back to acoustic mode with singer/songwriter and founder Jon-Lee Farrell delivering a collection of intimate renditions from the band’s forthcoming debut album at Yah Yah’s this Sunday. Joining the bill is alternative songster Mandy Kane, who has been busy behind the scenes working as an artist manager. Previewing a selection of new songs, and playing some stayers from his previous releases, MK will give it everything he has with the power of just his voice, his songs and his guitar.
Get ready for a killer line-up at the Tote this Saturday night. There’s local heavy-punk-rock trio Wicked City who continue to redefine the term ‘power trio’. Sun God Replica will provide the best elements of ‘60s/’70s fuzz rock, pop and psychedelia all rolled into one gloriously catchy and constantly surprising rock’n’roll machine. Melbourne’s current kings of the underground Batpiss play a distinctly Australian brand of raw-as-fuck primal punk rock that’ll kick your head in, slag down your throat, and rob you of your cash at the merch desk. Last but not least, Spinning Rooms deliver a nasty, sneering, jagged, and oftentimes beautiful sound-wall of Aussie punk noise that will leave you gasping for air by the time they’re finished. Doors at 8.30pm, entry’s $10.
La Bastard return to the Retreat on Saturday 21 April following their triumphant debut album launch in February, which saw a line stretching from the Retreat down to Glenlyon Road. This will be La Bastard’s last gig before they return to the studio to record their new album at the beginning of May, so help make this a huge one. Joining them will be the absolutely fabulous Mesa Cosa, also fresh from the release of their debut ten-inch Infernal Cakewalk. It’s bound to be a night of absolute mayhem, chaos, and dancing.
Ashley Naylor is the frontman for Australian pop’n’roll institution Even. In what limited spare time he has, aside from playing guitar alongside the likes of Paul Kelly, Vika & Linda and occasional forays with the RocKwiz Orkestra, he managed to release his latest solo album, High Horse. This plaintive collection of songs exists in a realm all of its own, devoid of the trimmings and trappings of modern-day production and gimmickry. Naylor plays the Retreat this Sunday with support from Holy Trash. Free entry.
BELLUSIRA – CULPRIT What’s the song about? Mark, bass – The song is all about uplifting people and making them feel good about themselves. It’s about believing you can get through all types of adversity if you have the strength and determination to do so. Is this track from a forthcoming/existing release? It’s the first single off our debut album, which we plan to release later in the year.
Currently enjoying significant airplay for his latest double A-side single Rings Of Smoke/My Final Cause, local indie/art-rock singer/songwriter Michael Plater will be playing a special full-band set at the Retreat on Wednesday 18 April. Playing songs from his forthcoming album Exit Keys alongside a few choice Dylan and Velvet Underground covers, he will be joined on the night by Pete Azzopardi (The Coves, the Happy Lonesome), playing a rare solo acoustic set. The show will kick off at 8.30pm and entry is free.
How long did it take to write/record? The track came together pretty quickly over the course of a few late night acoustic jams with Crystal and Vinny. We hit the studio with Ricki Rae and two days later we were done.
CIRCUS AT THE BAR
We’ll dig this song if we like… Honest, intense, high-energy music. Hopefully a refreshing change from all that bubblegum music flooding our airwaves!
Playing their last headlining show before going back into the studio, Running Away With The Circus are bringing their blistering blend of finely crafted country-folk and rock tunes to Bar Open this Sunday. Sporting a brand new harmonica/ slide-guitarist and horn section, let RAWTC help you squeeze every last drop of glory from your weekend. The supports will be the luminous Autumn Gray debuting material off their soon to be released album and Taylor Project playing from their latest magnificent offering of pub-flavoured ballads, Life, Death, Prizes. Doors at 7.30pm and entry is free.
What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? It was the first track that the new line-up wrote together so we were all feeding off each other’s energy and inspiring each other.
Do you play it differently live? Pretty much the same, just a lot louder. Will you be launching it? We launch the track on Friday 13 April at the Evelyn, supported by New Skinn, Anna Salen and Riot In Toytown. For more info see: facebook.com/ bellusira and bellusira.com.
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NCPS is part of the Navitas group. CRICOS provider code: 01945J 42 • INPRESS
THINK BEFORE YOU INK
THAT’S THE ADVICE OF TREVOR MCSTAY FROM DYNAMIC TATTOO, AHEAD OF HIS APPEARANCE AT THE RITES OF PASSAGE TATTOO CONVENTION AND ARTS FESTIVAL. Canada and Mike Roper from the US. Both incredibly talented artists. Of course there have been others along the way, such as Ed Hardy and Filip Leu, but they have both had the biggest impact on my career.
Ballarat post-hardcore act Like Royalty will be taking the Pony stage this Friday. Opening the night is Melbourne’s Goodbye Galaxy, who seamlessly blends together elements of hard rock/metal music as well aselectronic and 8-bit styles. Up next is Geelong’s instrumental alternative/hard-rock band, Motionless Me. Also onboard is pop-punk act Our Best Laid Plans, who have opened for internationally recognised acts such as Behind Crimson Eyes and Tonight Alive. Doors open at 9.30pm.
Get down to the Gasometer Hotel this Thursday to experience some music so awesome you’re going to need your asthma pump. Become asphyxiated by the rocking tunes of Mining Boom who will be kicking the night off, The Supervibes’ highly toxic garage rock’n’roll, the sweet trashy sounds of Messed Up and the surf beats of The Big Face & The Boogie Woogie Boogie Board Boys. That’s not all; playing upstairs will be power pop-rock four-peice Nervous, punk trio The Clits and the big pop of Big Tobacco.
This Saturday at the Gasometer, join Godzilla and Mummy Complex for a night of musical fun. Dress up and get wasted with Glass Ov Watah, Ban-Shee and DJ Bitch Prease. Meanwhile, Auckland noiserock trio God Bows To Math play upstairs, joined by Brisbane fruit peddlers El Alamein, locals On Sierra (fresh from touring a new EP) and Jess Locke (tuned and tanned from a recent jaunt to South East Asia).
How long have you been tatttooing? I have been tattooing for 31 years. How did you get started? I got into the business because I was fascinated with the art and the permanency of it all. It was a very tough business to get into back then with no press and magazines, and those that were in the business kept to themselves. A far cry from the tattoo ‘scene’ today… The internet has changed everything; not just tattooing but every aspect of our lives. Tattooing is the vogue thing to be associated with and, as with everything that is in, there will come a time when it is out. That is when the really good tattooers will survive and the others will be left scratching there heads. How would you describe your style? I am best known for doing the large scale Japanese style of tattooing. Really it is a Japanese influenced style done by a westerner. Who and what have been some of the biggest influences on your work? The biggest influences in my career have been two good friends of mine, Paul Jeffries from
How have you seen the industry change since you’ve been tattooing? Probably the biggest change that I have seen over the years is the TV shows. That has really had a huge impact on the business. We can argue and bitch about how bad these shows are and how they have created a wave of good and bad tattooers but the reality is that we are busier than ever. The thing that annoys me more than the shows is that now a lot of tattooers see themselves as some sort of celebrities. We are just artists, some very good and a lot very bad, we are not doing anything that special. Tattooing is permanent and should not be taken lightly, not by the customer and especially not by the tattooer. People should do their homework, check websites, social media sites, magazines and go to the studios and ask questions. Think before you ink! Especially about placement and how you might feel about having that tattoo in ten or 20 years. Where can we check out your work? Go to the Rites Of Passage Tattoo Convention And Arts Festival and check out the artists and their portfolios, as that will give you some good ideas and let you see the artists in person. You can check us out at dynamictattoo.com, Facebook or our blog, wordpress/dynamictattoo. WHAT: Rites Of Passage Tattoo Convention And Arts Festival WHEN & WHERE: Friday 27 to Sunday 29 April, Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens
Having supported artists such as Moby, Washington, King Creosote, M Ward and Deertick, Jo Schornikow has recently released her debut single, Bird’s Nest, and her debut solo record, First Time, Long Time. To celebrate, Texture Like Sun and Ainslie Wills will be joining her on the Grace Darling stage on Thursday 12 April.
How long did it take to write/record? A year of tossing around the songs, changing stuff, doing dodgy demos and slightly less dodgy demos – then we knocked it out in four days with producer Paul “Woody” Annison at Red Door Sounds in Collingwood. What was inspiring you during the making of the EP? Woody’s relentless Canberra bashing got us fired up to record the songs, then we’d relax with some Red Dead Redemption on the studio’s PS3. What’s your favourite song on it? It’s a toss up between the new single No Logo Is A Joke and track four, The Bleachers. They’re fun to play live, but The Bleachers’ lyrics are just that little bit more scathing. We’ll like the EP if we like… Future Of The Left, DZ Deathrays, The Bronx, Regurgitator, Eddie Current Suppression Ring, Fugazi.
A LITTLE FOLK, A LITTLE PUNK
Fresh from an awesome performance at the Adelaide leg of this year’s Big Day Out, Adelaide solo acoustic artist Ben David brings his folk/ punk stylings across the border in April for a run of shows and will be bringing his good buddies Wil Wagner, Nathan Seeckts, Ziggy Britten and Tim Hampshire along for the ride. Head to the Gasometer this Sunday to partake in a few whiskey-based beverages and sample the man who is fast becoming a staple of the Australian acoustic punk scene.
How many releases do you have now? Johnny Barrington, guitar/keys/ vocals: Two that we like. This new one and Ready Aim Fire! from 2009.
Will you be launching it? We’ve got two Melbourne EP launches. Friday 13 April at the Brunswick Hotel, with Vultures Of Venus, Qlaye Face and The Fighting; and Saturday 14 April – 2am Pony show (so more like early Sunday morning) with Dirty F.
This Friday at the Gasometer, enjoy the chaotic guitar pop/fuzz of White Walls, the bone-crunching riffs of Scul Hazzards, and the experimental physics influenced jams of High Tea. Yes I’m Leaving will complete the bill and bring their noise/ grunge/garage sounds to the Gasometer for the first time. Playing upstairs will be The Laughing Leaves launching their first EP Coulton with Flying Colours, Late Arvo Sons and Holy Trash.
SUPER BEST FRIENDS – HANDSHAKE
ZEVON IS HEAVEN
Clear and rich in guitar and vocal tonality, Zevon has forged his own path. A member of the Sure Shot Hunters and Paris Wells Band, Zevon is in the middle of creating his debut album. Zevon is playing this Saturday on the Blues Train in Queenscliff.
Four guys from the wrong side of the river. Never wanna cross it? No problem. They’ll come to you. Ships Piano are thrilled to be back at the Tote this Saturday, and in fact will be road testing new songs for their debut album every Saturday in April from 5pm, supported each week by a fine selection of local bands. They’ve supported Wavves at the Corner. They’ve been to Sydney and backed over a guitar in Woolongong. Now they’re bringing their scrappy indie rock tunes to the Tote. Get some of it in your ears. This week’s guests are Udays Tiger. Free in the front bar from 5-7pm.
INPRESS • 43
WAKE THE DEAD
BLUES ‘N’ ROOTS WITH DAN CONDON ROOTSDOWN@INPRESS.COM.AU
METAL, HEAVY ROCK AND DARK ALTERNATIVE WITH ANDREW HAUG
HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH SARAH PETCHELL
through the years but with a fresh energetic streak racing prominently throughout… it’s fast, innovative, melodic, brutal and utterly uncompromising, very cinematic.”
WILLIS EARL BEAL If you’re an ardent consumer of music media then you would have heard plenty about Willis Earl Beal in the past couple of weeks. He’s got everything a cool indie label like XL Recordings, who released his debut record Acousmatic Sorcery last week, could want. He has a weird but completely amazing back story, he seems to have a very endearing personality and, at first listen, he makes some pretty fantastic music that honestly sounds like no one else right now. The first thing we always do is reach straight for familiar comparisons, though I’ve found it difficult after listening to Acousmatic Sorcery. Beal has made no apologies for his adoration of Tom Waits and many are claiming he may be some 21st century-bred incarnation; I don’t feel his has that kind of literary panache that Waits does at this stage, but the kookiness is sure there. Beal’s marked point of difference is what’s selling him right now – he’s a strange guy who plays strange music. There are a couple of aspects to the Willis Earl Beal story which have been massive parts of the promotional campaign that goes along with his debut album. Basically, Beal lives with his grandmother on Chicago’s South Side, was in the army for a stint and over the years has put up hand-drawn posters all across his home city with his home phone number and postage address written on them. If you call him, he’ll sing you a song, if you write to him, he’ll draw you a picture. Acousmatic Sorcery is proper lo-fi, recorded in a bedroom by a guy who is clearly comfortable identifying himself as a part of outsider culture. You can hear Waits, you can hear Seasick Steve, you can hear Ween and you can even hear the spirit of those old Lomax field recordings in his voice at times. Avant-blues is one way it has been described. I daresay there are a lot of blues purists out there who aren’t going to be putting this on their top ten records of the year, but it’s a pretty exciting indication that there might be some hope for the blues genre outside of the regurgitated 12-bar (some of which is still fantastic, it must be said) and the dreadlocked, peace loving, djembe toting ‘roots’ artists who can just be so damn irritating. Take Me Away is one of the most devastating blues songs this scribe has heard in a very long time. A rusty electronic drum beat is the only musical accompaniment as Beal screams out his lyrics with plenty of grit. Evening’s Kiss is possibly the record’s high point; a simple guitar line, with an alluring melody sung over the top, it’s honestly hard to communicate just how simple a song it is but it is incredibly effective. The thing is, you just don’t know how long his music is going to keep people’s attention. There has definitely been a simmering of interest in someone like Seasick Steve, who has probably worn his shtick a little too thin these days, even though he remains a perfectly good performer. The hype surrounding Beal is due to his voice and his story, but not because of his songwriting; it’s just not quite up to scratch. But he promises to be one of the more exciting blues-leaning artists that we’ve seen in many, many years if he keeps it up. In other news, I’ve just returned from Bluesfest! I’ll do a wrap up next week, but for now you can head along to TheMusic.com.au and read all about my adventures at the festival. It would, of course, be remiss of me to write this column and not mention the passing of the great Jimmy Little, who died in his Dubbo home at the age of 75 last week. His contribution to Australian music must not be understated and from all I’ve spoken to who have met him, he sounds as if he was a true gentleman through and through. 44 • INPRESS
SHADOWS FALL Shadows Fall have just completed work on their seventh studio album, Fire From The Sky, for a 15 May release via Razor & Tie. Recorded at Zing Studios in late 2011, it reunites them with longtime friend/producer/engineer Adam Dutkiewicz. The album was mixed by Brian Virtue and features some of the band’s most complex and melodic material in years. Commented vocalist Brian Fair, “Fire From The Sky is not a concept album by any means, but a few common themes do link these songs together. These days, the world seems to be spiraling out of control into a frantic state of confusion, corruption and chaos. It’s as if we are living under the shadow of an impending apocalypse. The songs on this album were inspired by this chaos and the struggle to find answers in these dark days.” Cradle Of Filth will enter the studio at the end of April to begin recording their tenth album. The band’s vocalist, Dani “Filth” Davey, stated, “Thus far we have recorded nine demos with a final two to follow swiftly on their heels in the coming weeks which all sound fabulously twisted, though it is hard to put into words just exactly how this album is sounding that would not add confusion to general expectations. I would personally liken it to a hubbub of Cradle
Main man Luca Turilli from Rhapsody has released the following statement: “We are finally proud to present the new singer of Rhapsody to the world, the person who, thanks to his unique vocal talent, will contribute to the artistic perspectives of the band in the years to come. The new singer is Italian and his name is Alessandro Conti. We wanted to find a singer able to sing in different ways and offering different ‘colors’. Such ability is fundamental for me as in every Rhapsody album I like to compose different styles of songs, passing from the most cinematic and epic impact of some songs to the operatic majesty of other ones, from celestial voices to more aggressive tones. Alessandro was just the best choice in this sense as, in between the multitude of all his vocal colors, he has a great high tone but also an operatic approach that makes the difference.” Deftones frontman Chino Moreno told the Chilean website La Tercera that the band completed pre-production on their seventh album this past week and will enter the studio on 9 July to begin recording the effort for a late 2012 release. “I know everyone says this, but I think it will be the best album we’ve recorded,” Moreno is quoted as saying in the Spanish-language article. “I am very excited about because it sounds futuristic compared to our last album Diamond Eyes – so it feels like a step forward.” Swedish metallers Tad Morose have announced the addition of guitarist Kenneth Jonsson to the group’s ranks. UK doom metal veterans My Dying Bride have entered Futureworks Studios in Manchester with longtime production partner Rob “Mags” Magoolagan to begin recording the follow-up to 2009’s For Lies I Sire.
FRAGMENTED FREQUENCIES OTHER MUSIC FROM THE OTHER SIDE WITH BOB BAKER FISH threw himself off his wheelchair and started dancing on his knees, the crowd went wild. Two members of Tuareg ensemble Tinariwen (including founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib) were trapped by the instability in Mali, so a four-piece took to the stage, and they were magnetic. The stripped down version highlighted the electric bass and hitherto unheard funkiness buried within the wispy twang of their desert blues. Joined by French outfit Lo Jo for part of the performance, Tinariwen were majestic. SHANTALA SHIVALINGAPPA WOMADelaide is a four-day feast of cultural music for the soul, where sounds from the world over bask in Adelaide’s glorious Botanical Gardens. As you wander amongst the spectacular Moreton Bay Figs, relax under the flying foxes, or lie on the hill surrounded by pines, you are transported to new sonic and cultural worlds. Traditional Mongolian throat singers Anda Union offered a workshop in their craft, tuning our ears into the overtones in the music hovering above their deep, throaty growls. The best throat singer was wearing a Quiksilver t-shirt, yet that’s a typical WOMADelaide moment of cultural exchange. Over the coming days they cooked for us, and performed not only traditional drinking songs, but also a rousing fiddle approximation of galloping horses. “Music is beyond entertainment, it’s food for the soul, so close your eyes and leave the rest to me,” offered gentle Santoor composer Shivkumar Sharma, a man with the whitest perm in India. The improvised music of his ensemble was hypnotic, stately and almost divine. Sharma proved as good as his word. Later, handicapped Congolese ensemble Staff Benda Bilili took to the main stage. Their homemade fiddle raised their traditional rumba sounds to ecstatic heights, and when the guy in the white suit who looked like a cross between Flavor Flav and Boss Hog
Solomon Islands pan pipe ensemble Narasirato were the life of the festival, their infectious pipe music an energetic mix of tribal soul. They were everywhere, breathing new life into an instrument long since relegated to cliché by Peruvian market bands. The Master Drummers Of Burundi returned to WOMADelaide after 20 years, with an ecstatic synchronised percussion onslaught, banging drums on their head, jumping impossibly high, and making a peculiar throat slitting action with their sticks, that we later discovered signals their devotion to their King. Melbourne Bollywood fanatics The Bombay Royale theatrically strutted and funked across stage, Korea’s Tori Ensemble created regal court music punctuated by these bizarre moments of free-jazz with a piercing female wail that could cut wood, and Palestinians Le Trio Joubran’s oud music resonated with centuries of tradition. Eccentric mohawked Finish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen offered metal machine music from Finland, US roots reggae exponents Groundation played into the piercing heat, seamlessly merging Jamaican beats with jazz solos, funk horns, improvisation and Rastafarian wisdom, while Indian dancer Shantala Shivalingappa was like a wind-up doll – or perhaps a deity. Each movement was punctuated by her musical ensemble. It was hard to know who was controlling whom. Performing a traditional Southern Indian dance, everything from her hands, fingers and facial expressions were in tune with the music, and as a result we were in tune with her.
THE SUBHUMANS PUNK FANS EVERYWHERE, REJOICE! Short Stack have called it a day to sighs of relief all across the country. The obvious exception to this are devastated teenage girls, but whatever. In a post on the band’s Facebook page, band member Andy Clemmensen stated, “So I’m sure by now you’ve heard the news, Stack is no longer the new black. The past eight years have been a blast, from Budgewoi to Buckingham we’ve met so many amazing people on so many amazing adventures.” When he talks about amazing people and amazing adventures, I wonder if he’s referring to the time Heroes For Hire got them with pee-filled Super Soakers when they were on tour together? One of the coolest new things I’ve heard in a while is the debut album from Viking Frontier. You probably don’t know who they are, but that’s okay because you’re about to. Based in Melbourne, Viking Frontier sounds like a viking party band that takes elements of Turbonegro, Cancer Bats and Every Time I Die at their most Southern rockinspired and mash it up into a bunch of tunes that would provide the perfect soundtrack to a drinking session. Featuring members of Horsell Common and The Abandonment, they have released their debut album Best Of Viking Frontier – Volume 1 as a name-your-price download through their Bandcamp page. So head over there, have a listen and if you like what you hear, chuck a little bit of coin the band’s way! It is definitely a long way off (September!) but this one is for the older punk fans who read this column. British punk act Subhumans will be heading out to Australia for the very first time this September for a round of shows that will feature the band’s original line-up of Dick, Trotsky, Bruce and Phil. The band broke up years ago, but decided to reform in 1998 and since then have released a live album through Fat Wreck Chords and a new set of studio tracks with the album Internal Riot on their own Bluurg label. The band will be playing the capital cities, so you can catch the tour when it hits Melbourne on Saturday 15 September for a show at the Bendigo Hotel. Tickets go on sale on Friday 15 June. It seems to be all about delays at the moment so far as vinyl releases are concerned. Both Monolith and Trial & Error Records have sent out apologies to customers for delays with the pressing of Sol Obscura by In Trenches and Anchors by 4Dead (respectively). Monolith cited problems with the initial test pressing and further unexpected delays, but have promised that the records should have shipped from the plant last week and as soon as they have their hands on them they will be shipped out to customers. As for 4Dead and Trial & Error, it was announced via Facebook that due to a long waiting list at the pressing plant, the release of the LP has been pushed back to 30 April. And finally for this week, details have been revealed for the upcoming Revelation Records 25th anniversary shows in the US. I think the coolest news item to come out of the hustle and bustle surrounding these shows is that New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert will reunite with his former band, the BRILLIANT Shai Hulud, to take up his role as frontman for two nights in June. Gilbert was 14 when he joined the band, and the only recorded material with Gilbert on vocals is the band’s debut EP A Profound Hatred Of Man. Shai Hulud are set to release a new album before the end of the year, which hopefully will see the band head back to Australia ASAP!
AHEAD OF THE WOLFPACK
One of Melbourne’s most pulverizing slam bands, Whoretopsy, are launching their new record at Pony this Saturday. They’re too demonic for Black Friday, so they’re dropping the party the day after instead. How tough is that? Joining them are Sydneysiders Beyond Terror Beyond Grace (who are about to release a new record themselves), Belligerent Intent and The Seaford Monster. Doors are at 9.30pm.
Wolfpack are a three-piece punk rock juggernaut spawned from the ashes of Australian stagesmashers Sin City. With a dynamite live show driven by belting vocals, intense riffs and a turbocharged rhythm section, the band have toured with international acts The Business, The Casualties and Guttermouth. Blasting out some new tracks before their Exploited support at the Corner later this month and fresh from a killer multi-state tour, this is a 2am late show not to be missed.
FLYING GLOBES IN THE ATTICS OPEN YOUR MIND
Tonight (Wednesday) at Bar Open, get dark and express yourself with Virtual Proximity’s improvisations on electronically processed saxophone with DJ manipulation of loops and samples. VP interact in the moment to produce live remixes of pre-composed material. Deep Crossing is a brand new hip hop duo that combines the dark instrumental production of James Annesley with the abstract, metaphysical rhyme style of Mad Scholar. The night also features the deep and constant groove of The Primary Colour. Bust out those fingers for some beard fondling and keep one hand free to enjoy your stout.
Reverb will fly and walls will spin as you take a trip down to Pony this Thursday to see psychedelic freakbeat outfit Dark Globes. Hailing an old school ‘60s sound with a modern twist, Dark Globes play fuzz-induced tunes to shake your bones and melt your mind. Accompanying them on this amazing journey will be neo-shoegazers Flyying Colours and reverb-infused indie rock kids The Attics. Doors open at 9:30pm.
After touring the world with The Wombats and playing at Melbourne’s Laneway Festival, Kitchen Knife Wife are launching their highly anticipated debut album Balloon Head at the Grace Darling on Friday 13 April with support from The Johnsy’s and Alex Hamilton solo (Merri Creek Pickers). Tickets are $10; doors open at 9pm.
FREE FOOTY SESH
Footy play their first show in ages this Thursday at Bar Open, showcasing material from an album that’ll (hopefully) be almost complete. They’re joined by two venerable improvising combos: Aktion Unit and new-ish ensemble Phlegethon. It’s a free show too. Doors open at 9pm.
SiNE are one of Melbourne’s most exciting dub reggae acts. Sub-bass frequencies, skanking horns, soulful vocals and samples are all dubbed and warped live by their resident sound engineer Yuval Shalit (The Cat Empire, Shapeshifter, TZU). While paying tribute to the Jamaican innovators, SiNE deliver futuristic urban dubscapes designed to uplift, incite, transport and transcend. They have supported legendary reggae producer/performer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and were selected for Sydney’s Luminous Festival by modern music giant Brian Eno after he discovered them on YouTube. This show will feature Congolese vocalist Kadima from Blak Roots. SiNE play this Saturday at Bar Open from 10pm.
Time and again, Dirty F have played in the wee hours at Pony to an audience of thirsty and eager onlookers. This Saturday at ungodly hour of 3am, they promise an unhinged delivery of corrosive, post-punk rock truly fitted to such a brave and debauched time of the morning. Dirty F will be joined in this double late show by soon-to-be super best friends of theirs, Super Best Friends, who play catchy, high-tempo, pounding indie-punk tunes, and sound like they could be the soundtrack to possibly the best party ever. Plus, it’s free.
WELL AND GOOD
The Bonniwells will be smashing out a mini twodate residency down below in the Grace Darling cellar bar tonight (Wednesday 11 April). You’ll dig it if you like reverb, fuzz, pop gems, drums, yelling, energy, echo, grooves, hits, fuckin’ idiots and guitars. The band’s good friends High Tea will be joining for one slick Wednesday night!
SET SAIL DOG ATE MY MUSIC
HOW SOON IS TOO SOON?
If your life is getting you down then the best thing to do is go see Eaten By Dogs. They produce alternative country music that should and can be the soundtrack to your impending death and/or next summer road trip. Nothing but hits. Every Monday in April at the Old Bar. It’s free and starts at 8pm.
Taking the stage for the Thursday night late-slot at Pony, Too Soon! are ready to unleash their own loose brand of pop-punk on an audience determined to see the sunrise. Since forming in mid-2011 the trio have begun to build a name for themselves with their enthusiastic and raucous live shows, while their DIY ethic has seen them already pump out two separate six-track EPs packed with short bursts of anthemic punk rock. Free entry.
It’s been nearly two years since The Good Ship sailed over the horizon with their debut album, Avast! Wretched Sea, snagging a haul of rave reviews, a slew of festival spots including Woodford, and a legion of dedicated fans. Now they are nearing completion of their much anticipated follow-up, due for release mid2012. To get the ball rolling they’re launching the first single Seven Seas with an East Coast tour throughout April. Catch them at the Grace Darling with their local favourites Rapskallion this Saturday 14 April.
INPRESS • 45
POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY
URBAN AND R&B NEWS BY CYCLONE
HIP HOP NEWS AND COMMENTARY WITH ALEKSIA BARRON
of Park… is deep, loungey soul – cue the Wurlitzerladen title-track, horn-bled Colliding, and dramatic Up To Me. The track that doesn’t convince is the dancehall Plantation with RuCL. Incidentally, Harlen will shortly commence her studies at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College Of Music!
JESS HARLEN ALABAMA SHAKES The issue of ‘hype’ is one that has long been discussed with regard to musicians who are yet to release an album or even, in some cases, any recorded songs. It certainly isn’t unique to Web 2.0 life, though in a time when traditional media was the go-to for music news, hype often meant the accumulation of praise in the form of reviews or favourable interviews and news bits. With the tallying of those forms now almost useless as a signifier of a musician doing good work (for multiple reasons including media products attaching themselves to artists to draw ‘niche’ markets), hype now comes in the form of industry-centric lists. We get rundowns of who will be commercially successful based on facts about contracts and networks and selfperpetuating online view figures and ‘likes’. And then there’s the music conference, an event that made its way into public consciousness during the past decade’s race to ‘discover’ musicians first. Through music conferences – the only time many in the ‘industry’ actually go out to see live music, it would seem – we got thrown stories of talented unknowns rising up from the glut of ordinaries. It was the Idol of the ‘indie world’ – and just like Idol, once those musicians were applauded and paraded around to show just how much we all loved real talent, they were forgotten about by most when they didn’t instantly become Radiohead. Thankfully, we seem to have calmed down a little since then. That time feels like the adolescence of early-social media, post-major label life, when we professed our giddy love for anything unsigned that took our fancy. We now know that many of those infatuations will not, in fact, lead to lifelong commitment, and so we are (slightly) more wary of shouting our unconditional dedication to that teenaged soul rock group who’ve been together less than a year and have a couple of jangly melodies and some well-recorded demos. Well, some of us are. But music conference hype still very much exists. Out of New York City’s CMJ Marathon last year, for example, came the tale of Alabama Shakes, a young Alabama blues rock band with a raspyvoiced frontwoman and a provocative live set. The New York Times headlined its story on the band, “At CMJ, a critic’s imagination come to life, out of Alabama.” It wasn’t the first time the band had been talked up, but it was certainly the catalyst for many screen inches dedicated to the band, leading to belated reviews of their independent EP, the widely disseminated news of their signing to Rough Trade in November and then, of course, their place in many lists of bands to keep an eye on in 2012. Then came South By Southwest last month and all the industry personnel who didn’t see them at CMJ were able to decide whether that initial hype was ‘justified’, decided largely that it was and the cycle repeated in fast-forward up until the release on Friday of the band’s debut album, Boys & Girls (out in Australia through Remote Control). All that leaves little room to discuss the record itself. But that is perhaps the point to be made of Alabama Shakes for now: it’s so difficult to listen to the record without the background noise of other people’s opinions and expectations that it will require some time to get to know personally or think about critically, to shake off those voices and hear only the band’s voice. For now, after a couple of weeks with the album, I’ll say that it is at least a record I’m willing to get to know. I do already suspect, however, that it’s a good first album from a band that, giving itself the chance, could go on to make great albums. 46 • INPRESS
Brit Rebecca Ferguson recently journeyed to Australia, performing songs such as the ace Too Good To Lose in intimate industry showcases. Simon Cowell’s cred protégée impressed with her deeply resonant voice (so very Anita Baker), Northern English charm and elegance. Sony plans to market Ferguson’s debut, Heaven, for the rest of the year. Exciting stuff. Indeed, ‘90s soul is again in vogue. Boho Australasian soulstress Jess Harlen is back with her second album, Park Yard Slang. Some years ago Harlen moved from Brisbane to Melbourne to study law, but abandoned that for music. Her first album, Neon Heartache, surfaced on Obese Records’ soul imprint Plethora in 2010 – and was well-promoted. She has reconnected with Plutonic Lab (who also produced Speech Debelle) for Park Yard Slang. Harlen’s songwriting has developed considerably, as has her scope – and her voice is velvet. Too often neo-soulsters are more concerned with the groove than song structures. Not Harlen. She rocks out on the ‘60s Let You Down, with punchy, rather than bluesy, guitar. It’s her best single yet. Nobody’s Fault is in the same R&B vein, but downtempo – and redolent of Natalie Merchant’s Tigerlily era. Day Dreamer is gorgeous nu-folk with ukulele (Harlen digs Tracy Chapman). However, most
European artists are putting their own twist to urban. Plan B actually samples innovative Berlin rapper Peter Fox on iLL Manors. You may remember Belgian soulstress Selah Sue (aka Sanne Putseys) from the song Please on Cee-Lo Green’s The Lady Killer (it’s missing from the reissue). Putseys’ eponymous album of last year has now been granted an Australian release by Warner due to its European success. The spunky Putseys is comparable to everyone from funk rocker Nikka Costa (This World) to Kelis (Crazy Vibes) to, inevitably, Lauryn Hill (the Marley-esque Raggamuffin). Putseys has a bluesy voice, but she’s big on reggae – and This World carries a dubby undertow, courtesy of producer Patrice. She ventures into trip hop on Just Because I Do, channelling Tricky muse Martina Topley-Bird. Nevertheless, her theatrical Cee-Lo duet Please is the stand-out. London’s Estelle, signed to John Legend’s Homeschool, has made a lowkey comeback with All Of Me, her third album. Lately Estelle has done a Kelly Rowland, flip-flopping between styles. She threatened to go electro-hop with David Guetta’s Soul II Soulreferencing Freak. That failed – and so here Estelle favours poppy, dancey, retro R&B, many of the songs (such as the ‘80s Cold Crush) welcome throwbacks to the nu-disco American Boy, her biggest hit. Alas, Estelle’s identity crisis is evident on All… – although it’s good to hear her occasionally rap again (Speak Ya Mind, which samples Adina Howard’s Freak Like Me). She throws in the raggafied – and highly Americanised – grinder International (Serious), produced by David Banner and featuring Chris Brown and Trey Songz. Incongruous, yes. It’s strange, too, that ‘empowered’ female artists persist in working with Brown. The song is awful.
DANCE MOVES NEW CURRENTS WITH TIM FINNEY Carefully sequenced like an exploratory DJ mix, Armor On can be divided into four parts: whispery drum’n’bass, banging R&B, percussive house and textured balladry. Richards’ excursions (with her producer Dupri) into drum’n’bass are particularly surprising: on Black Lipstick quicksilver breakbeats are deployed like landmines, tripped by the eerie twists and turns of this deeply ambivalent song of obsession. In the annals of R&B, only Janet Jackson’s 1997 classic Empty is remotely comparable. DAWN RICHARD Typically, R&B and pop’s recent appropriations of dance music tropes – as typified by the efforts of David Guetta, Calvin Harris, et al – have adopted a lowest common denominator approach that works mainly because LCD techniques have always played a major role in dance music. When Rihanna’s We Found Love gears up another overdriven climax, I’m put in mind of early ‘90s classics such as Felix’s Don’t You Want My Love or The Real McCoy’s Another Night. Unexpectedly, the main advocate for a more sophisticated take on R&B/dance music fusionism has been P Diddy, whose Diddy-Dirty Money project resulted in 2010’s fabulous Last Train To Paris, a kaleidoscopic, star-studded epic of emotive rap/R&B hybridism replete with subtle, glittering production, which (especially on B-sides such as Sade) took R&B to near-unparalleled depths of electronic compulsion. Sadly (but unsurprisingly given its limited success), Dirty Money appears to have folded, but key member Dawn Richard continues to carry the flag for this aesthetic. Last year’s unofficial album #A Tell-Tale Heart offered a fantastically machinic, rhythmic take on modern R&B that outclassed nearly everything else in the field, but even more impressive is Richard’s new “EP”, Armor On, a ten track effort that offers the first and last word on how to combine modern R&B with dance music sonics.
I’m guessing that for Richard the appeal of drum’n’bass is less its accelerated tempos than its facility for layering rhythms across one another to build a sense of ever-deepening complexity and force. This layered approach to groove – building from minimal beginnings to a dense tapestry of rhythmic detail – simply matches Richard’s songwriting, which usually starts with a naked vocal line (reminiscent of Brandy in its simultaneously android-like and verge-of-tears feel) and then adds choruses (in the Greek Tragedy sense) of multitracked vocals clashing with skyscraping harmonies, while the songs themselves spiral towards a melodramatic core, of regret, of abandon, of anger – the tenor of the emotions may change but the intensity is a constant. It’s a rhythmic approach at odds with R&B’s usual co-options of the suspended tension of rap and, more recently, the compressed build-up/ breakdown cycles of commercial dance. Nowhere is the difference more noticeable than on the house tracks, perhaps because of their (otherwise) stylistic proximity to the reigning sound of commercial R&B. On the devotional Change, a syncopated kick drum groove gathers percussive drum rolls around it like fairy floss, until the song’s percussive density becomes unbearable. Heaven unleashes a seductive tabla-sampling house groove that becomes submerged under successive layers of tribal percussion, ending as a fossilised imprint. Even Faith, the album’s one concession to contemporary R&B mores (sounding like We Found Love crossed with Drake’s Take Care), is a masterpiece of build, spiralling ever upward towards an anthemic, explosive release.
HUNTER Money can’t buy talent, but it can buy the services of talented people who can make your stuff sound or look fantastic. This is one of the awkward truths of the music industry – that showcasing your talent costs dollars. Anyone who has ever heard a badly mastered record can attest to that. Of course, the old model for sustaining music creation and distribution revolved around making albums and then selling them to fans. However, with the digital revolution (and, sigh, the tendency for many towards music piracy), the cracks are beginning to show, and talented folk are beginning to fall through them. For this reason, I’ve been heartened to see success for some hip hop projects via crowd-funding on sites like Pozible.com. I spoke to Jess Harlen in last week’s Inpress in which she told me that a Pozible listing raised the funds she needed to help master her record – in fact, her fans chipped in four times the amount she needed. With the extra cash raised, she’ll be able to afford her first trip to play a gig in Perth – a city often left off touring announcements because of the high cost of airfares and relatively small population. Support through a Pozible posting also got Hunter: The Documentary over the line earlier this year. I’m only half joking when I say that the only industry more brutal than Australia’s music biz is Australia’s screen industry, and for anyone following the team behind Hunter: The Documentary on social media, it really seemed like these guys were getting shafted every time they drew breath. They had been working with Hunter for two years, right up until his passing, and I think it’s fair to say that many people supported the project wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, Australian hip hop can top the charts, but can’t get a few thousand dollars of funding from a broadcaster to complete a documentary about one of the scene’s pioneers. It’s therefore very inspiring that punters from all over the country paid up to make sure that the documentary could be completed, to the tune of $20,000 (a whole $5000 more than the project’s target). Check out the first webisode for Hunter: The Documentary over at youtube.com/periscopepictures. I’ve written before about how supportive Australia’s hip hop community are of not only each other, but important causes. What’s interesting about the crowd-sourcing model, however, is how it could be used to get some left-of-centre projects over the line. For example, international collaborations are a great idea and can help raise an artist’s profile, but are often financially unviable. Would fans be willing to chip in to help get such a collaboration off the ground? What about touring? Would an artist’s supporters be happy to contribute to a Pozible fund to bring a gig to their town, effectively paying towards the tour in advance? It also gives fans the chance to support people they admire outside the usual methods, such as the generosity shown by Harlen’s fans from towns that she doesn’t regularly play, and who therefore don’t frequently contribute to her income. Of course, artists and creatives considering the crowd-funding model as a possibility for raising capital need to be very transparent about how the money will be used, and preferably offer reassurance as to how they’ll spend any excess money raised. Similarly, a glut of requests for money won’t benefit anyone. However, considering the number of musical projects and ideas that fall by the wayside due to a lack of access to traditional funding options, crowd-funding opens an interesting door to getting them off the ground. Perhaps we’re looking at a shift towards a more direct method of paying for the music we love.
CLUB GUIDE WED 11 Coq Roq: Lucky Coq Cosmic Pizza: NHJ: Bimbo Deluxe Halfways: Workshop Inner City Trash: Lounge Loaded Wednesdays: Revolver Upstairs Lost and Found: Spidey, Gupstar & Dan, Shaky Memorial: Revolver Upstairs Lounge Wednesdays: Matty Raovich, PCP, Adelle: Lounge Wednesday Night Special: Post Percy: New Guernica Wednesdays @ Co: Petar Tolich, Scotty E: Co. Nightclub Whisky Wednesday: Strange Wolf
THU 12 3181 Thursdays: Hans DC, Nikki Sarafian, Jake Judd, Sam Gudge, Sean Rault, Jesse Young, John Doe: Revolver Upstairs Billboard Thursdays: Billboard
Bottom End Thursdays: Bottom End Do Drop In: Kiti, Lady Noir, DJ Foo: Carlton Club Dubstep: Eurotrash First Stop Thursdays: Urban Bar Freakout: Laundry Free Range Thursdays: Lucky Coq Free Trash: Eurotrash Heartbreaker: Revolver Bandroom Inner City Sounds: Workshop Lounge Thursdays: Citizen.com, Ghetto Filth: Lounge Love Story: 1928: The Toff Midnight Express: The Toff Carriage Room New Guernica Thursdays: Post Percy, Awesome Wales: New Guernica Night Skool: Eurotrash Noizy Neighbours: Room 680 Rhythm-al-ism: Fusion Safari Thursdays: Pretty Please
Shake Some Action: Street Party, Samaritan, Polyavalanche: OneSixOne Soul in the Basement: Cherry Bar Switch: EVE The Factory: G-Money & Sammy Prosser: Trak Tigerfunk: Bimbo Deluxe Trinity Thursdays: La Di Da Unlucky: Seven Nightclub Wah Wah Thursdays: Wah Wah Lounge
FRI 13 393 Fridays: First Floor 393 Bass Cartel: Workshop Bass Station: 3D Block Party Fridays: Marrakech Bottom End Fridays: Bottom End Destination: La Di Da Fake Tits: Tramp
Freedom Pass Fridays: Co. Nightclub, Fusion Freeplay Fridays: Amber Lounge Fridays at Eurotrash: Eurotrash GHC Melburn Mixtape Launch: Laundry Upstairs Indecent Fridays: Syn Bar Jerome Isma-ae: Royal Melbourne Hotel Juicy: Bimbo Deluxe Lounge Friday: Citizen. com, DJ Who, Tahl, Dave Pham: Lounge Midnight Massacre: New Guernica Mind Music: Loop Mu-Gen, Token: Eurotrash OneSixOne Fridays: OneSixOne Outrageous Fridays: Wah Wah Lounge Panorama: Lucky Coq PopRocks: Dr Phil Smith: Toff Relay For Life Fundraiser: Chopstick: Laundry Retro Fridays: Club Retro
Revolver Fridays: Revolver Upstairs Roxy Fridays: The Roxy Skism, TC, Tomboy: Brown Alley Sounds of Fusion: Fusion WOW Fridays: Neverland
SAT 14 All City Bass: Brown Alley Alumbra Saturdays: Alumbra Amber Saturdays: Amber Lounge Audioporn: Dr. Zok, James Ware, China Hoops, Rowie: Onesixone Billboard Saturdays: Billboard Bottom End Saturdays: Bottom End Caszeaux Oslo, Shikung: Workshop Ebb&Flo: Mike Callander: Loop Envy: Co. Nightclub Forbidden Saturdays: Amber Lounge
Houseparty: Eurotrash Hotstep: Bimbo Deluxe House De Frost: The Toff Justice & Chaos: Laundry Upstairs Laundry Saturdays: Laundry Lounge Saturdays:, Darren Coburn, Luke McD, Boogs, DJ Who: Lounge Majik Saturdays: Room680 Mashouse Saturdays: 577 Lt Collins More Fire 11th Birthday Bashment: Chant Down, Sista Italians: Mercat Cross Hotel Pash: The Roxy Playground: Seven Nightclub Poison Apple: La Di Da Re.Play Saturdays: Kid Massive: Fusion Saturdays at First Floor: First Floor 393 Strut Saturdays: Trak Survivor: Bottom End Textile: Lucky Coq
TFU Saturdays: Two Floors Up Under Suspicion: Brown Alley Wah Wah Saturdays: Wah Wah Lounge Why Not? Pretty Please
SUN 15 4AM Sunday Mornings: Wah Wah Lounge Be.: Co. Nightclub Get Wet: Word Bar Guilty Pleasure Sundays: Pretty Please Mew Guernica Sundays: New Guernica Revolver Sundays: Revolver Upstairs Soul Be In It: Workshop South Side Hustle: Lucky Coq Spit Roast Sundays: Cushion Star Bar Sundays: Star Bar Sundae Shake: Bimbo Deluxe Sunday Sessions: Lucky Coq The Sunday Set: AndyBlack, Haggis: The Toff
MON 16 Gear Shift: Horse Bazaar Hair Of The Dog: Revolver Upstairs IBimbo: Bimbo Deluxe Monday Struggle: Lucky Coq Toasted: Laundry Bar
TUE 17 Almost Famous: Co. Nightclub All That Tuesday: Berlin Bar Bimbo Tuesday: Bimbo Deluxe Cosmic Pizza: Lucky Coq Choose Tuesdays: Post Percy: New Guernica Dumplings: Eurotrash Fourplay Tuesdays: Cushion MSG Tuesdays: Laundry Oasis: Tramp Space Hopper: Match
INPRESS â€˘ 47
want to leave me alone with him. I have immense respect for Normie. I think he lives not far from my mum in Queensland, so I must look him up next time I visit.”
HOWZAT! LOCAL MUSIC NEWS BY JEFF JENKINS Like me, I guess.”
GEORGIA FIELDS PHOTO BY DAVE CARSWELL
GEORGIA ON MY MIND
Georgia Fields is growing up. The wildly talented chanteuse is getting set to make her second album. “My first record was only two years ago, but looking back I feel like I was such a baby,” she smiles. “I’m at least a toddler now.” She’s excited about following her self-titled debut. “Everything feels very pregnant with possibilities. The canvas is primed and white, all the paints are laid out, the coffee is hot… I just can’t wait to make a big mess and throw the colours around.” Expect some changes. “I’m very eager to explore some new stories and some new sounds. I’ve been reading about myths and archetypes. I’ve been talking to the moon a lot. I’ve been playing my Omnichord and listening to Bowie.” Georgia calls her new sound “disco pagan” – “dirt, glitter, sex and sky. Still very much a pop record, but slightly unhinged. 48 • INPRESS
Before bunkering down in the studio, Georgia is doing one more gig, next Monday – her first at the Famous Spiegeltent. “This gig will be a virginal Spiegeltent performance for me,” she says. “I’m very much looking forward to drawing back those red curtains and straddling their grand piano. I’ve heard rumours that the Spiegeltent stage has a miraculous kind of energy.” Georgia laughs when Howzat! asks how many people will be on stage. “Ah, my reputation for enormous productions precedes me.” She had 15 people on stage for her album launch, but just six musicians will be present on Monday, including “The Two Daves” rhythm section – Dave Rogers on bass and Dave Kleynjans on drums. Promoting her debut album brought with it plenty of highlights, including singing with the legendary Normie “No Added Hormones” Rowe on RocKwiz. “Normie is just that – a legend,” Georgia says. “I must admit I didn’t know much of his music before we met, and I don’t think he knew much about me.” They spoke on the phone, to decide on a duet (The Beatles’ All I’ve Got To Do). “I asked him what key was best for him and he casually remarked, ‘Oh, I can sing in any key.’ My eyebrows did a little jump and I thought, ‘Uh huh’. But when we started singing together, my lord… he is absolutely incredible! That man really could sing in any key, even the key of H. His charm and natural charisma were so unpretentiously intoxicating that my boyfriend didn’t
Georgia revealed on RocKwiz that the first record she bought was Leonardo’s Bride’s Even When I’m Sleeping. It was also the first song Georgia sang live – at an open mic when she was 13. “It’s one of my favourite songs of all time,” she says. Georgia was “totally star-struck” when she supported Abby Dobson a few years ago. “Her voice cuts right to my heart. We’ve met a few times now, but every time I see her I become this babbling teenage mess and look like the biggest dork in the universe. Abby, if you’re reading this, I love you!”
LITTLE BIG MAN
His name might have been Little, but he lived a big life. Howzat! was lucky enough to interview Jimmy Little when he appeared on Olivia Newton-John’s duets album, 2. A true gentleman, he had amazing grace, as well as a soothing, soulful voice. His final words in the 2003 documentary Jimmy Little’s Gentle Journey were: “I’m just a travelling minstrel man who doesn’t want to stop.” Sadly, the show is over – Jimmy died last week at the age of 75. But his legend lives on.
JIM & TIM
James Reyne is not a big co-writer. He once had a session with Desmond Child, the American hitmaker who co-wrote a stack of hits, including I Was Made For Lovin’ You, Livin’ On A Prayer, Dude (Looks Like A Lady) and Livin’ La Vida Loca. Steve Tyler calls him “a fucking genius”; James calls him “the king of the key change”. But the session was not successful. “I’d make a suggestion and Desmond would say, ‘I don’t think so.’ I really struggle with
co-writing. I can’t say, ‘That’s a shithouse idea’ unless I’m working with a good friend.” James also finds the cliché-ridden co-writing sessions frustrating. “Someone will come in and say, ‘How about Standing On The Edge Of The Night or On The Outside Looking In?’ and I’ll be like, ‘I don’t think so’.” James’ new album Thirteen (out now on Hammerhead Records) features 11 tracks: he wrote six on his own, two with producer Scott Kingman and three with Tim Henwood (The Androids, Rogue Traders, The Superjesus). Tim was just 18 when he first played with James. Recently they talked about starting a rootsy/Americana band. They also floated the idea of resurrecting Company Of Strangers, a collaborative project that had a hit album 20 years ago (featuring Channel Seven newsreader Peter Mitchell). They then planned to make a “Jim & Tim” record, but Tim got sidetracked with a gig in the Rock Of Ages band, so a few of the songs ended up on Thirteen, including the classic pop/rock tune Whatcha Gonna Do About It?
WANTED: ONE BIG BAND
With Jet, Powderfinger, Silverchair and Short Stack all exiting the scene, who wants to stand up and claim the Oz rock throne? Could it be Stonefield? The sisters are set for a huge year, starting with shows at the Northcote Social Club on Tuesday 24 April and Wednesday 25.
Seven Years GEORGIA FIELDS Whatcha Gonna Do About It? JAMES REYNE The Preacher JULITHA RYAN Bad Reality STONEFIELD Love Is Mighty Close To You JIMMY LITTLE
WED 11 Aindrias & Tim Bebida Bar Anti Fall Movement Open Studio Battle Of The Bands, Armed Korean, Am Farrows, Bear Sign, Catharsis, Cheating On Reality, Wish Worth Granting Musicland (Fawkner) Bonniwells, High Tea Grace Darling Hotel Bopstretch Uptown Jazz Café Comedy Festival, Andrew O’Neill Pony Compression Session, Cassawarrior, Dd, Ricka E55 Dan Rolls, Old World Sparrow, Del Luna Revolver Upstairs Dave Gillan, Electric Funkings, Full Code Esplanade Lounge Dave Havea Band Veludo Dawes, Busby Marou The Toff In Town Dizzy’s Big Band Dizzy’s Jazz Club Dru, Flying Saucer Terror, Mild Sparrow Horse Bazaar Dubstep, Drum & Bass The Order Of Melbourne Gustavo Moreno Edinburgh Castle Hotel Isaac de Heer Retreat Hotel Julie Bailey Paris Cat Jazz Club Julien Wilson Quartet 303 Justin Townes Earle, Archer, The ReChords Regal Ballroom Kerryn Fields, Sam Lohs The Drunken Poet Kim Boekbinder, The General Assembly Evelyn Hotel Maceo Parker, Saskwatch Corner Hotel Matt Sonic & The High Times, Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow, DJ Jack Davies Cherry Bar Messed Up, Divorced, Bushwalking, Ice Claw The Tote Mikey Madden The Standard Hotel Olive Grey, Josh Forner, Lauren Boomgardt Wesley Anne Open Mic Dancing Dog Café Open Mic Elwood Lounge Open Mic The Thornbury Local Paul Williamson Quartet Bennetts Lane Rintrah, Mu-Gen Lounge Bar Smith St Band, Let Me Down Gently, Jungleman, White Walls The Old Bar The Rubens, Sures, The Pretty Littles Northcote Social Club
Veil of Maya, The Storm Picturesque, Stories Karova Lounge, Ballarat Virtual Proximity, Deep Crossing, The Primary Colour Bar Open Yes Palais Theatre Yes The Palais
THU 12 Actor/Model, Jane Dust & the Giant Hoopoes Retreat Hotel Alastair Burns The Thornbury Local Alex Aronsten & the Southern Lights, Pina Tuteri, Di Watson, Mary Webb Thornbury Theatre Aluka, Oscar Key Sung, Ainslie Wills Workers Club Apes, Denver Airport, The Bellestrades The Old Bar Bronnie Gordon Musicland (Fawkner) Brooklyn’s Finest, The Hungry Hearts, The Communists Yah Yah’s Burn In Hell Pure Pop Courtyard Children Collide, Deep Sea Arcade, Palms Karova Lounge, Ballarat Closer - A Joy Division Palace Theatre Cold Chisel Festival Hall Cyclone Warning Bluestone Lounge Daniel Gassin Trio Bennetts Lane Dark Globes, The Attics, Flying Colours, Geek Pie Pony David Cosma Bar Nancy Deez Nutz, Phantoms, The Bride, Hallower, Brooklyn EV’s Croydon Dumbsaint, Alithia, Grande Flash Esplanade Lounge Flounder, Number Station, The Run Run, We The People, Glass Mirrors, Smoking Toddlers, Wednesday the Rat Laundry Bar Footy, Aktion Unit, Phlegethon Bar Open Gianni Turcio’s Kerberos Dizzy’s Jazz Club Hugh Stuckey Uptown Jazz Café James Osbourne Collective Paris Cat Jazz Club James Vincent McMorrow, Emily Ulman The Toff In Town Jimmy Stewarts Wonderful Life The Drunken Poet Jo Schornikow, Texture Like Sun, Ainslie Wills Grace Darling Hotel Jo Schornikow, Ainslee Willis The Grace Bandroom John Montesante Quintet, Fem Belling The Commune Joshua Seymour Labour In Vain
Justin Townes Earle, The ReChords, Archer Prince Bandroom Kalacoma, Matt Kelly, Ghost Orchid Lounge Bar Katie Wighton, Hannah Crofts Open Studio Kodo Motif Great Britain Hotel Kodo Motif, Wishful The Great Britain Hotel Lauren Boomgardt Elwood Lounge Lia Avene Veludo Liz Stringer Readings, St Kilda Maceo Parker, Saskwatch Corner Hotel Matt Glass Edinburgh Castle Hotel Meanbone, 23 Angles of Attack, Famous in Vegas Revolver Upstairs Melody Moon Bebida Bar Nervous, The Clits, Big Tobacco The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs) Open Mic Arcadia Hotel Peter Geoghegans Straight Ahead 303 Phil Lyddy Trio, Winston, Benjamin John Elliot, Toast Wesley Anne Sambalamento Fortyfive Downstairs Sammy Owen Blues Band Horse Bazaar Saskwatch, DJ Vince Peach, Pierre Baroni Cherry Bar Scalar Fields, Empty Armour Rainbow Hotel Seal Palais Theatre Summerset Avenue, Far From Nowhere, Storm the Sky, Good Will Hunting, Pete Broadway, My Lasting Reply Next Super Juice Red Bennies Tango Rubino Cruzao Arepa Bar The Alleys, Seesaw, Howard Evelyn Hotel The Big Face & Boogie Woogie Boogie Board Boys, Messed Up, The Supervibes The Gasometer The Rubens, Sures, Dirt Farmer Northcote Social Club The Stetsons Family Band Lomond Hotel The Wedding Present Jive Bar These Precious Things, The Naxalites, Michael Shaun Esplanade Basement Tom Milek Beav’s Bar, Geelong Will Ewing & Friends Sporting Club Hotel
FRI 13 Adalita, Ann Ominous, Criminal Intense Cornish Arms Hotel Aluka, Ainslie Wills, Oscar Key Sung Workers Club
Anton Delecca Quartet Uptown Jazz Café Athenas Wake, I Dream of Nightmares, Nicholas Cage Fighter, Bury Me In Autumn Barwon Club Baby Lemonade, Arlen De Silva Prince Maximilian Hotel Ball Park Music, Nantes, Cub Scouts Karova Lounge, Ballarat Bellusira, New Skinn, Anna Salem, Riot in Toytown Evelyn Hotel Birchall & Woolhouse Baker St Studios Blackmolls Pure Pop Courtyard Children Collide, Deep Sea Arcade, Palms Corner Hotel Cosmic Tonic Veludo Dallas Frasca, Pretty Villian, Sharaya, Written in Ruins Esplanade Lounge Dan Bourke & Friends The Drunken Poet De La Calle, Lucas Michailidis Open Studio Dead Albatross, Diamonds of Neptune, The Asmatics Penny Black Deez Nutz, Phantoms, The Bride Esplanade Gershwin Room Dysphemic, Miss Eliza, Unemployable, Jamima Jonez, Big Words, Koots & Dion Laundry Bar Eastern Suburbs Soul Paris Cat Jazz Club Echo Drama, Friendly Yen Rainbow Hotel Electric Mary, Money For Rope Ferntree Gully Hotel Forces, A Dead Forest Index Federation Square Funk Buddies, Captain Groove 303 George Hyde Sporting Club Hotel Ghetto Pimp, DJ Traffic Jam, The Dub Captains Retreat Hotel Grizzley Jim Lawrie, Eagle and the Worm!, The Bluebottles Victoria Hotel Grizzley Jim Lawrie Victoria Hotel, Brunswick Heavy Innit, A13, Same O, Rintrah, David Bass Lounge Bar Hellraiser, Jason Midro, Master Kaos, St Luke, Snuf.au, Damsha CBD Club Helm The Pub, Bendigo High Tea, Scul Hazzards, Yes, I’m Leaving, White Walls The Gasometer Hotel Hunter, Jonesez, Alkan Zeybek & the Lessermen, Valiant Jones, Sean Simmons Yah Yah’s Jail Bird Jokers, The Electric Sun Kings, The Wells, Feed My Frankenstein Revolver Upstairs
James McCann The Gem Jason Lowe, Emma Wall, Michelle Parsons Wesley Anne Johnny Nandez Hammond Explosion, DJ Emma Peel LuWOW Johnny Nandez Hammond Explosion, Emma Peel, Johnny Topper The LuWow Jon Gomm, Andy Sorenson National Hotel Jowell Y Randy, D-Minus Trak Lounge Bar Kitchen Knife Wife, The Johnsy’s, Alex Hamilton Grace Darling Hotel Kunjani Dizzy’s Jazz Club Last of the Goodmen, Rich Davies & The Devils Union, Ghost Towns of the Midwest, Dj Max Crawdaddy Cherry Bar Laughing Leaves, Flying Colours, Late Arvo Sons, Holy Trash The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs) Like Royalty, Motionless Me, Goodbye Galaxy, Our Best Laid Plans, Wolfpack, White Rabbit Pony Lincoln Road, Wizeguyz Musicland (Fawkner) Liz Stringer Basement Discs Liz Stringer I Dream a Highway Lloyd Spiegel, Alister Turril Ruby’s Lounge Margins, Fourteen Nights At Sea, Yolke, Dumb Saint, DJ Drawfour The Old Bar Masks, Strut & Guests (Dining Room) Edinburgh Castle Hotel Matt Storey, Lisa Salvo The Thornbury Local Michael Paynter, Maddison Wilson, Paul Barry, Rhymada Pier Live Mind Music, Jani Ho, Sam McEwin, Matt Radovich, Dean Benson, Visuals by VJ Junior Loop Peep Tempel, Mesa Cosa, The Jackals, The Kremlings The Tote Penny Ikinger, Burn In Hell Lyrebird Lounge Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith The Toff In Town Pretty Dulcie, Meanbone, By A Thread, State Of Silence Esplanade Basement Rachel Haircut, Electric Sea Spider, Naps Horse Bazaar Renee Geyer Bennetts Lane Rufus Phoenix Public House Science Test Tago Mago
Sean Quinn, Rollin Connection, Ahmet Atasever, Scoober Steve, Jerome Isma-Ae, Dave Juric, Simon Murphy Royal Melbourne Hotel Severed Oath, Battlemode, Hearts Like Wolves, Take Your Own, The Empire Bendigo Hotel The Australian Bon Jovi Show Westend Hotel The Eastern Baha Tacos The Medics, Glass Towers, Drunk Mums Northcote Social Club The Nearly Brothers Caravan Music Club The Seven Ups Bar Open The Stevens, Harmony, Boomgates John Curtin Hotel Tom Tuena, Audemia, Damn that River Idgaff Bar and Venue Trio Los Diablos Cruzao Arepa Bar Vanguards Lomond Hotel Veil of Maya, The Storm Picturesque, Stories Phoenix Youth Centre Victor Pender Cape Café Zoophyte, JK Ruff, Troy Barrett Prince Bandroom
SAT 14 Andre Camilleri The Thornbury Local Anthony Street and Peta Anderson, Olivia Ciciulla, Julia Baar, Crystal Becerra, Louise La Sala, Caitlin Ehrich The Palms Bag Raiders The Bottom End Ball Park Music, Nantes, Cub Scouts Corner Hotel Barry Savage & The Little Caesars, Number One Jones Town Hall Hotel Beyond Terror, Beyond Grace, Whoretopsy, Belligerent Intent, The Seaford Monster, Dirty F, Super Best Friends, Mr Sharp Pony Blackchords Phoenix Public House Brad Martin Labour In Vain Broadway, Meet Me In Cognito, Madison, Jaspers Dilemma, Wolfs, Champagne Reggae, QvsQ Evelyn Hotel Brunswick Parlour Dance feat. Sly Grog, Very Handsome Men, Jack On Fire, DJ Shaky Memorial Retreat Hotel Chief, Hey Sam Lounge Bar Cold Red Mute, 100% Nuts, Hayden Calnin, Empty Armour, Spell House Noise Bar Collider, Cam Butler & the Shadows of Love Northcote Uniting Church Cookin’ on 3 Burners, DJ Dan the Man, Jim Dandy LuWOW
Cookin’ on 3 Burners, Agent Lynch Burlesque, DJ Dan the Man, Jim Dandy The LuWow Daniel Gassin Sextet Uptown Jazz Café Deez Nutz, Phantoms, Nicholas Cage Fighter, Good Will Hunting Karova Lounge, Ballarat Delta Males Bebida Bar Eaten By Dogs Sporting Club Hotel Ebb & Flo, Mike Callander, Nikko, Jon Beta, Lister Cooray, Visuals by Netzair Loop Ennui Breathes Malice, House Of Thumbs, Scar the Surface, Bronson, Internal Nightmare, Divine Ascension, Deliverance We Prey, Abreact Esplanade Gershwin Room Faker, Teenage Mothers, The Pretty Littles, The Naxalites, Phil Para Esplanade Lounge Fish Fry The Gem Frankie Wants Out, Funk Buddies, That Gold Street Sound John Curtin Hotel Glass Ov Watah, Ban-Shee, Bitch Prease The Gasometer Hotel God Bows To Math, On Sierra, Jess Locke, El Alamein The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs) Have You Seen This Boy, We Disappear, Cooper Street, In Your Hands Ruby’s Lounge Hetty Kate, Tara Minton Paris Cat Jazz Club Jeff Lang Baha Tacos Jen Knight & the Cavaliers, Oh Pep!, Wire Bird Horse Bazaar Jenny Biddle, Doc White, Mike Haynes, Not Dead Yet Chandelier Room Jeremy Woolhouse, Shannon Birchall Baker St Studios JK Ruff Rainbow Hotel Jody Galvin & Tenderhearts Lomond Hotel Joe Chindamo Dizzy’s Jazz Club Jon Gomm, Andy Sorenson Thornbury Theatre Jono Francisco, Arlen De Silva Prince Maximilian Hotel Koin Op Karaoke Workers Club Liam Thorpe, Talisa Jobe, Aaron Wales, Dave Diprose, Andy Garlick, Zac Camm, Bones Blackwood,Mike Elrington, Blues Mountain Rifle Brigade Hotel Lieutenant Jam, Peter Dickiebird, Beautiful Dancing Garden Dancing Dog Café Liz Stringer, Tim Guy, Van Walker, Thommy Wilson Pure Pop Courtyard
Max Hay, Warren Howden Dexter Bar Megan Bernard, Khristain Mizzi 303 Michael Paynter, Ian Rickard, Jesse Mitchel, Jess Szalek Ferntree Gully Hotel Mick Pealing, Ross Hannaford Elwood RSL My Disco, No Zu, Forces The Toff In Town Natalie Carolan, Catch Release, Dave Simony, Monique Shelford Edinburgh Castle Hotel Natalie Carolan Edinburgh Castle, early show Neverview, Cubist, Phatter than Jesus, MC Wasp, SuPaK, Token Esplanade Basement New Dub City Sound, Steven Simba Kali The Horn Nigel Wearne Duo The Drunken Poet Rachel By The Stream, Allie Stringer, Elvina, Even Dawn, Link, Martin Johansson, Mattriks, Melody Moon Ceres Environmental Park Raised by Eagles, Alex Aronsten & the Southern Lights Union Hotel Brunswick Renee Geyer Bennetts Lane Russell Morris Caravan Music Club Ships Piano, Udays Tiger, Wicked City, Sun God Replica, Bat Piss, Spinning Room The Tote Sine Bar Open Spencer P Jones, John Nolan Tago Mago Stars of Addiction, Bottle Of Smoke, Pretty Villian Revolver Upstairs Stonefield, Jay Sean, Mother Dearest Eastbank Centre The 64 Falcon Lyrebird Lounge The Coincidents, Auto Da Fe Victoria Hotel The Detonators Harvester Moon Café The Dojo The Order Of Melbourne The Eastern, Harlots, Rattlin’ Bones Blackwood, Grumpy Neighbour, DJ Ruari Fangin The Old Bar The Good Ship, Rapskallion Grace Darling Hotel The Messengers, The Faults Penny Black The Murlocs, Gruntbucket The Great Britain Hotel The Verlaines, Crow, Simon Comber Yah Yah’s INPRESS • 49
The Wedding Present Northcote Social Club They, Until We Collide, Red Sky Burial, Vitruvian Man Central Club Hotel Tim Hampshire, Nathan Seeckts, Ben David, Ziggy Britten, Wil Wagner Barwon Club Twin Ages, The Groves, Dark Globes, DJ Billy Walsh Cherry Bar Victor Pender Cape Café Waylon Joes Highway 31 Yeo, Alison Ferrier, Dead Water City, Pete Ewing, Ruth Lindsey Wesley Anne
SUN 15 Andy Jans Brown, Tim Woods Bar Nancy Anton Delecca Quartet Bennetts Lane Aurora, 100% Nuts, Lachlan Cross Noise Bar Autumn Gray, Running Away With the Circus, The Taylor Project Bar Open Ball Park Music, Nantes, Cub Scouts Corner Hotel Ball Park Music Corner Hotel, Arvo Show Ben David, Wil Wagner, Nathan Seeckts, Ziggy Britten, Tim Hampshire The Gasometer Hotel Chris Wilson Rainbow Hotel Coral Lee & the Silver Scream Labour In Vain Dale Ryder Band, Phil Ceberano, Bad Boys Batucada Esplanade Lounge Dan Watkins, Paddy Montgomery Sporting Club Hotel Deez Nutz, Phantoms, The Bride, Ennui Breathes Malice, Nicholas Cage Fighter, Rise From Royalty Karova Lounge, Ballarat Deserters Carringbush Hotel DJ Xander, Kitty K Cherry Bar Docter Sloth Bendigo Hotel Faye Blais, Freya Hanly, Holy Trash, Ash Naylor Retreat Hotel Freo and the Doc Ruby’s Lounge God Bows To Math, El Alamein, Medicators, Franco Cozzo, Stockades, M. Academy Irene’s Warehouse Hayden Calnin, Sleep Decade Workers Club Hey Gringo Mordialloc Sporting Club Ian Collard, The Bonafide Travellers The Drunken Poet
50 • INPRESS
Jeff Lang, The Stetson Family, Uncle Bill, The Cartridge Family, Nigel Wearne, Jed Rowe Band, The Grand Wazoo Thornbury Theatre Jimi Hocking Mentone Hotel Joel Plymin & Them Blues Cats Great Britain Hotel Joel Plymin & Them Blues Cats The Great Britain Hotel John Butler, Felicity Groom Her Majesty’s Theatre Ballarat John Kennedy’s ‘68 Comeback Special, Ken Maher & Tony Hargreaves Lomond Hotel Kirsten Verwoord, Alysia Manceau Town Hall Hotel Lake Palmer, Dom Di Blasio Victoria Hotel Longyard Cunninghams Hotel Lucy Roleff, Roni Shewan, Karen Heath, Opa! 303 Mandy Kane, Dan & Jon Yah Yah’s Matt Dwyer & The Magnatones Bay Hotel My Disco, Bushwalking, Worlds End Press The Toff In Town Nicky Del Rey & The Slowtown Social Club Middle Park Bowls Club Open Mic Bertha Brown Open Mic Chandelier Room Perch Creek Family Jugband Union Hotel Brunswick Phil Para Duo The Bay Mordialloc Poor People, Cat Cat, Velcro Grace Darling Hotel Renae Brennen Elwood Lounge Revolver Sundays Revolver Upstairs Ron Peno, Dean Richards, Ron Rude, Tiaryn Griggs Pure Pop Courtyard Ron Rude, Dean Richards Pure Pop Records Ruth Lindsey, Kid Garret The Standard Hotel Simon Wright Band Veludo Skyscraper Stan, Hayley Couper, Lily and King The Old Bar The Eastern Post Office Hotel The Good Ship, Sam Buckingham, Jenny Biddle Wesley Anne The Jokers Edinburgh Castle Hotel The ReChords The Gem The Verlaines, Crow, Simon Comber Northcote Social Club Undercolours, Kitchen Knife Wife Evelyn Hotel Velvet Cake Gypsies Penny Black Who is Mr Jones?, Open Decks The Thornbury Local
Wildcat General Strike, Cotton Sidewalk, Slow Chase Idgaff Bar and Venue Winternationale, Afterland, Mou Quartet Open Studio
MON 16 Ainslie Wills, Elk & Whale Esplanade Lounge Alan Browne Project, Joe Stilgoe Trio Bennetts Lane Amon Amarth Billboard Animaux, Better Than The Wizards, LA Pocock Workers Club Ball Park Music, Nantes, Cub Scouts Corner Hotel Christopher Young, Loni Thompson Band 303 Eaten By Dogs, Kinch Kinsky & the Strangers The Old Bar Jade Marx Veludo Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collective 1000 Pound Bend Lou Barlow Northcote Social Club Music Mirth & Mayhem 14 The Hi-Fi Scotdrakula, Bayou, Hounds, DJ Alex C Evelyn Hotel
TUE 17 Alex & Eve Veludo Deez Nutz, Phantoms, The Bride, Delaware Wolves, Outlines Musicman Megastore Engineered Sound Dizzy’s Jazz Club Finn Family, Smoke Signals, Joshua Hodson Smith The Old Bar Irish Session Lomond Hotel Last Dinosaurs Phoenix Public House Link McLennan The Tote Lou Barlow, Laura Macfarlane (99) Northcote Social Club Matt Boden Quartet Bennetts Lane Never Cheer Before You Know Whos Winning Revolver Upstairs Ngaiire, The Rescue Ships, The Love Birds Grace Darling Hotel Open Mic Wesley Anne Read & Rights, Discuss ‘The Tall Man’ by Chloe Hooper Loop Sans Serif, Bill’s Pig Style Fury, Motion Gertrude’s Brown Couch Silver Ray, Sean Simmons Retreat Hotel The Twoks, Brooke Taylor, Eric Parker, Kicking Beyond Matter Esplanade Lounge Weekly Trivia The Drunken Poet
BAHA TACOS Friday The Eastern Saturday Jeff Lang
BAR OPEN Wednesday Virtual Proximity, Deep Crossing, The Primary Colour Thursday Footy, Aktion Unit, Phlegethon Friday The Seven Ups Saturday Sine Sunday Autumn Gray, Running Away With the Circus, The Taylor Project
BILLBOARD Monday Amon Amarth
CORNER HOTEL Wednesday Maceo Parker, Saskwatch Thursday Maceo Parker, Saskwatch Friday Children Collide, Deep Sea Arcade, Palms Saturday Ball Park Music, Nantes, Cub Scouts Sunday Ball Park Music, Nantes, Cub Scouts Monday Ball Park Music, Nantes, Cub Scouts
CORNER HOTEL, ARVO SHOW Sunday Ball Park Music
EDINBURGH CASTLE HOTEL Wednesday Gustavo Moreno Thursday Matt Glass Friday Masks, Strut & Guests (Dining Room) Saturday Natalie Carolan, Catch Release, Dave Simony, Monique Shelford Sunday The Jokers
ESPLANADE BASEMENT Thursday These Precious Things, The Naxalites, Michael Shaun Friday Pretty Dulcie, Meanbone, By A Thread, State Of Silence Saturday Neverview, Cubist, Phatter than Jesus, MC Wasp, SuPaK, Token
ESPLANADE GERSHWIN ROOM Friday Deez Nutz, Phantoms, The Bride
VENUE GUIDE Saturday Ennui Breathes Malice, House Of Thumbs, Scar the Surface, Bronson, Internal Nightmare, Divine Ascension, Deliverance We Prey, Abreact
ESPLANADE LOUNGE Wednesday Dave Gillan, Electric Funkings, Full Code Thursday Dumbsaint, Alithia, Grande Flash Friday Dallas Frasca, Pretty Villian, Sharaya, Written in Ruins Saturday Faker, Teenage Mothers, The Pretty Littles, The Naxalites, Phil Para Sunday Dale Ryder Band, Phil Ceberano, Bad Boys Batucada Monday Ainslie Wills, Elk & Whale Tuesday The Twoks, Brooke Taylor, Eric Parker, Kicking Beyond Matter
EVELYN HOTEL Wednesday Kim Boekbinder, The General Assembly Thursday The Alleys, Seesaw, Howard Friday Bellusira, New Skinn, Anna Salem, Riot in Toytown Saturday Broadway, Meet Me In Cognito, Madison, Jaspers Dilemma, Wolfs, Champagne Reggae, QvsQ Sunday Undercolours, Kitchen Knife Wife Monday Scotdrakula, Bayou, Hounds, DJ Alex C
GRACE DARLING HOTEL
Saturday Ebb & Flo, Mike Callander, Nikko, Jon Beta, Lister Cooray, Visuals by Netzair Tuesday Read & Rights, Discuss ‘The Tall Man’ by Chloe Hooper
LOUNGE BAR Wednesday Rintrah, Mu-Gen Thursday Kalacoma, Matt Kelly, Ghost Orchid Friday Heavy Innit, A13, Same O, Rintrah, David Bass Saturday Chief, Hey Sam
NEXT Thursday Summerset Avenue, Far From Nowhere, Storm the Sky, Good Will Hunting, Pete Broadway, My Lasting Reply
NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB Wednesday The Rubens, Sures, The Pretty Littles Thursday The Rubens, Sures, Dirt Farmer Friday The Medics, Glass Towers, Drunk Mums Saturday The Wedding Present Sunday The Verlaines, Crow, Simon Comber Monday Lou Barlow Tuesday Lou Barlow, Laura Macfarlane (99)
PHOENIX PUBLIC HOUSE Friday Rufus Saturday Blackchords Tuesday Last Dinosaurs
Wednesday Bonniwells, High Tea Thursday Jo Schornikow, Texture Like Sun, Ainslie Wills Friday Kitchen Knife Wife, The Johnsy’s, Alex Hamilton Saturday The Good Ship, Rapskallion Sunday Poor People, Cat Cat, Velcro Tuesday Ngaiire, The Rescue Ships, The Love Birds
Wednesday Comedy Festival, Andrew O’Neill Thursday Dark Globes, The Attics, Flying Colours, Geek Pie Friday Like Royalty, Motionless Me, Goodbye Galaxy, Our Best Laid Plans, Wolfpack, White Rabbit Saturday Beyond Terror, Beyond Grace, Whoretopsy, Belligerent Intent, The Seaford Monster, Dirty F, Super Best Friends, Mr Sharp
JOHN CURTIN HOTEL
Friday The Stevens, Harmony, Boomgates Saturday Frankie Wants Out, Funk Buddies, That Gold Street Sound
LOOP Friday Mind Music, Jani Ho, Sam McEwin, Matt Radovich, Dean Benson, Visuals by VJ Junior
Thursday Justin Townes Earle, The ReChords, Archer Friday Zoophyte, JK Ruff, Troy Barrett
REVOLVER UPSTAIRS Wednesday Dan Rolls, Old World Sparrow, Del Luna Thursday Meanbone, 23 Angles of Attack, Famous in Vegas
Friday Jail Bird Jokers, The Electric Sun Kings, The Wells, Feed My Frankenstein Saturday Stars of Addiction, Bottle Of Smoke, Pretty Villian Sunday Revolver Sundays Tuesday Never Cheer Before You Know Whos Winning
SPORTING CLUB HOTEL Thursday Will Ewing & Friends Friday George Hyde Saturday Eaten By Dogs Sunday Dan Watkins, Paddy Montgomery
THE DRUNKEN POET Wednesday Kerryn Fields, Sam Lohs Thursday Jimmy Stewarts Wonderful Life Friday Dan Bourke & Friends Saturday Nigel Wearne Duo Sunday Ian Collard, The Bonafide Travellers Tuesday Weekly Trivia
THE HI-FI Monday Music Mirth & Mayhem 14
THE OLD BAR Wednesday Smith St Band, Let Me Down Gently, Jungleman, White Walls Thursday Apes, Denver Airport, The Bellestrades Friday Margins, Fourteen Nights At Sea, Yolke, Dumb Saint, DJ Drawfour Saturday The Eastern, Harlots, Rattlin’ Bones Blackwood, Grumpy Neighbour, DJ Ruari Fangin Sunday Skyscraper Stan, Hayley Couper, Lily and King Monday Eaten By Dogs, Kinch Kinsky & the Strangers Tuesday Finn Family, Smoke Signals, Joshua Hodson Smith
THE STANDARD HOTEL Wednesday Mikey Madden Sunday Ruth Lindsey, Kid Garret
THE TOFF IN TOWN Wednesday Dawes, Busby Marou Thursday James Vincent McMorrow, Emily Ulman
Friday Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith Saturday My Disco, No Zu, Forces Sunday My Disco, Bushwalking, Worlds End Press
THE TOTE Wednesday Messed Up, Divorced, Bushwalking, Ice Claw Friday Peep Tempel, Mesa Cosa, The Jackals, The Kremlings Saturday Ships Piano, Udays Tiger, Wicked City, Sun God Replica, Bat Piss, Spinning Room Tuesday Link McLennan
UNION HOTEL BRUNSWICK Saturday Raised by Eagles, Alex Aronsten & the Southern Lights Sunday Perch Creek Family Jugband
WESLEY ANNE Wednesday Olive Grey, Josh Forner, Lauren Boomgardt Thursday Phil Lyddy Trio, Winston, Benjamin John Elliot, Toast Friday Jason Lowe, Emma Wall, Michelle Parsons Saturday Yeo, Alison Ferrier, Dead Water City, Pete Ewing, Ruth Lindsey Sunday The Good Ship, Sam Buckingham, Jenny Biddle Tuesday Open Mic
WORKERS CLUB Thursday Aluka, Oscar Key Sung, Ainslie Wills Friday Aluka, Ainslie Wills, Oscar Key Sung Saturday Koin Op Karaoke Sunday Hayden Calnin, Sleep Decade Monday Animaux, Better Than The Wizards, LA Pocock
YAH YAH’S Thursday Brooklyn’s Finest, The Hungry Hearts, The Communists Friday Hunter, Jonesez, Alkan Zeybek & the Lessermen, Valiant Jones, Sean Simmons Saturday The Verlaines, Crow, Simon Comber Sunday Mandy Kane, Dan & Jon
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