Page 1

22.02.17 Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture

Issue

138

Brisbane / Free / Incorporating

Inside: Brisbane Comedy Issue Alex Williamson

Joel Creasey

Fiona O’Loughlin


2 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017


THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 3


JONSON STREET BYRON BAY FRIDAY 10 FEBRUARY

THE STRIDES, DROP LEGS, 420 SOUND, SALT BRAINS SATURDAY 11 FEBRUARY

DON’T MISS free live music every Sunday from 3.30pm.

SUN 05 MAR

ESSENTIAL INTENTIONS & ATYPICAL PRESENTS DRO CAREY, THE POSSE, DREEMS, DJ OI, RIF RAF, DAD BOD, WEBBER THURSDAY 16 FEBRUARY

WIL WAGNER, LAURA STEVENSON, LUCY WILSON, IONA CAIRNS FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY

POWER LUNCH, CLOCAS, BLISTER SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY

Fronz Arp The Long Johns

HEADS OF CHARM

SUN 12 MAR

JOSH RAWIRI & THE INVISIBLE VIBRATIONS

FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY

THURSDAY 2 MARCH

FRENZAL RHOMB FRIDAY 3 MARCH

DUMB PUNTS SATURDAY 4 MARCH

PRO VITA Ofa Fanaika Áine Tyrrell All ages welcome.

FRIDAY 10 MARCH

WAXHEAD SATURDAY 11 MARCH

BEC SANDRIDGE

23RD FEBRUARY

UNI PARTY - DJ SETS FROM JEREMY NEALE + SPECIAL GUESTS 24TH FEBRUARY

LOST ANIMAL, GLENN SCHNAU, 100% 25TH FEBRUARY

PVT, JACK GRACE, FOREVR 2ND MARCH

BEDLAM RECORDS PRESENTS: DUMB PUNTS 3RD MARCH

KATY STEELE 4TH MARCH

MARGARET GLASPY

THURSDAY 16 MARCH

TAMAM SHUD Brisbane Airport is keeping Livespark free. Mixtape is proudly supported by APRA AMCOS.

FREE

BRISBANEPOWERHOUSE.ORG

4 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

FRIDAY 17 MARCH

DUSTY BOOTS TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE WWW.THENORTHERN.COM.AU

WWW.THEFOUNDRY.NET.AU THEFOUNDRY.OZTIX.COM.AU 228 WICKHAM STREET, FORTITUDE VALLEY


QPAC presents

model citizens CIRCUS OZ explodes back onto stage at QPAC with their latest high octane circus show MODEL CITIZENS.

12–15 April 2017 Playhouse, QPAC Book Now QPAC.COM.AU | 136 246

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 5


Lifestyle Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture

Alrighty Then

Sydney soul rockers Polish Club have announced that they’ll be releasing their debut album, Alright Already, on 31 Mar. Alongside the album, the rollicking duo have confirmed plans for a headline tour this May/June.

Polish Club

At Lahst

8

Allah-Lahs released their third album Calico Review last year and we still didn’t get a tour. That’s about to change though as the LA rockers have announced their debut east coast run this May.

The number of years it has been since Midnight Oil performed live after it was announced the band will embark on a world tour this year from April.

Northeast Party House

Beach Trip Locked in to play Groovin The Moo this year, Melburnian sextet Northeast Party House have announced a run of shows in support of their new single, Calypso Beach, in May and June. 6 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017


e / Cultu Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture

Teal Deal

In support of her brand new single, Private, Vera Blue has announced that she will kick off a national headline run this April with special guests Mammals and Plgrms.

Vera Blue

Allah-Lahs

WED 22 FEB

Midnight Oil. Pic by Cole Bennetts.

DESCENDENTS

WED 22 FEB ROM COM TRIVIA

FRI 24 FEB SIX60

FRI 24 FEB

RNB FRIDAYS FT. ROJDAR

FRI 3 MAR

GLENN SHORROCK & BRIAN CADD

FRI 3 MAR TJR

Longitude & Raditude

SAT 4 MAR

Legendary rockers Midnight Oil have announced their first world tour in 15 years, over 50 gigs around the world as part of The Great Circle World Tour, which will return to Oz in October/November.

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE

THUR 16 MAR HEART OF IRELAND

FRI 24 MAR

Slumberjack

MEGA 90ÊS

MON 3 APR

ALTER BRIDGE

SAT 8 APR COG

FRI 21 APR

PUPPERTRY OF THE PENIS

THUR 27 APR THE DARKNESS

THUR 11 MAY STRASSMANÊS iTEDE

Luca Brasi

WED 17 MAY ERIC ANDRE

THUR 15 JUN ADAM HARVEY & BECCY COLE

Bras Tracks Tassie punk lads Luca Brasi are fresh off the Party In The Paddock festival and eager to announce a set of headline dates for themselves later on this year in June and July.

Jacked In support of their forthcoming EP, Fracture, Perth duo Slumberjack have announced an Australian headline tour slated for this May. The dance act will kick off in Brisbane, before stopping in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

(07) 3325 6777 TICKETS & INFO GO TO: EATONSHILLHOTEL.COM.AU EATONSHILLHOTELPAGE 646 SOUTHPINE RD EATONS HILL

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 7


Music / Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture

Hot Air

For a regular hit of news sign up to our daily newsletter at theMusic.com.au

sleepmakeswaves

Post-rock instrumentalists sleepmakeswaves have announced plans for their third full-length, Made Of Breath Only, alongside huge tour plans. The ARIA-nominated band’s run will kick off in March.

Brewsvegas

Viva Brewsvegas Brisbane’s biggest celebration of the art of frothies, Brewsvegas, is turning four this year. Head to any one of more than 70 venues around town to take part in more than 100 beersoaked events from 10 Mar.

Vincent & Jules

[first day as surgeon] Whoa shit there’s a whole fuckin skeleton in here lol spooky @AndrewChamings

New Flavour Vincent & Jules are teaming up with The Zoo to get the Cookies & Cream series back in action. Catch the promoters’ re-launch party at the newly minted venue this Saturday with sets from Therapist, Cedarsmoke and more.

8 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017


Arts / Li Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture

Lit

Flourophone

Blending music with analogue and digital lights, Speak Percussion create a dazzling amalgam of light and sound, theatre and virtuosic instrumentalism. Flourophone starts 18 Mar at Redland Performing Arts Centre.

Make It To Regionals Queensland Music Awards finalists have been announced. Half of the overall winners come from outside Brisbane, with the batch of standouts being led in nominations by up-andcoming Mackay songstress Tia Gostelow.

Tia Gostelow

Hello Rumour Has It is bigger than ever and coming to Brisbane. The smash-hit stage show, starring Naomi Price (The Voice Australia) in her award-winning portrayal of international superstar Adele, hits town 11 Mar.

Naomi Prince in Rumour Has It

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 9


Musical

Th stage The t adaptation d t ti off G Green D Day’s ’ American A i Idi Idiott album lb is i coming to Brisbane, and the two real life rockers playing antihero St Jimmy — Chris Cheney and Phil Jamieson — talk to Steve Bell about transitioning from one type of stage to another. Cover and feature pics by Terry Soo.

F

or many years East Bay punks Green Day relished their typecasting as snotty-brat teens, espousing the virtues of anti-values like apathy, self-loathing and narcissism with a scathing humour that suited their high-octane pop-punk perfectly. As time passed, however, and they became a massive deal on the world stage, both their music and their worldview matured to the point where their 2004 seventh album American Idiot — a sprawling conceptual piece penned by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong — was lauded upon its release for its articulate appraisal of the various malaises afflicting post-9/11 suburbia. It peered presciently at how the typical troubles associated with youngsters coming of age

Come and tear up the seats!” Cheney chuckles wickedly were being exacerbated by both insipid government and the corporations controlling mass media — magnified by a general all-pervading sense of disillusionment and lethargy — with these forces combining to potentially push a whole generation off the rails. It was an ambitious move by Green Day (and Armstrong) but one that paid handsome dividends, reviving the band’s career and leading to a stage musical adaptation of American Idiot that opened on Broadway in 2010, winning two Tony Awards. It took all of the songs from the American Idiot album — as well as a few from 2009 follow-up 21st Century Breakdown — and moulded them into a compelling narrative, one as pertinent now as it was back when the songs were penned. 10 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

Now Brisbane theatre company, shake & stir, are bringing an exclusive Australian production of the “punk rock opera” to QPAC, and for the pivotal role of St Jimmy (at times performed by Armstrong himself on Broadway) they’ve tapped two genuine Australian rock stars — Chris Cheney (The Living End) and Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon) — to play the character in separate stints, but both of whom are currently preparing together to inhabit this somewhat nefarious character. “Whether St Jimmy is a saint or not depends on your definition of saint,” Jamieson reflects, “but I don’t think so — he’s a villain. He’s the musical villain.” “That’s what drew me to the idea of actually being able to pull the role off, I think, I don’t have to go out there and play Mr Nice Guy,” Cheney smiles. “I can just dig the heels in a bit, and get a bit gritty with the character. He’s the one who sort of leads the lead character Johnny down the path of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. “[Johnny] starts out as this squeakyclean kinda teenager, and then you see his descent into debauchery. So there’s some pretty harrowing scenes: for all of Green Day’s crazy, kinda wacky punk image, there’s some really dark lyrics in there.


Musical “It covers universal themes but also correlates back with what’s going on in America right now, with the madman at the controls, it’s like history almost repeating itself. But there is that timeless theme in the musical, with these kids trying to get out — trying to escape and find a better way — and tripping up wildly.” Both Cheney and Jamieson were well acquainted with Green Day when American Idiot first came out — especially Cheney, given that The Living End supported them on the Australian Insomniac tour in 1996 — but both remember being taken aback by the album’s strength. “I loved the record when it was released, I thought it was really, really impressive back in the day,” Jamieson gushes. “I went and saw the tour — I think from memory old mate here [points at Cheney] might have got up and ruined a song with them when I saw them, a Clash song. In the wrong key. But I was really impressed by it.” “They were in the wrong key, I wasn’t,” Cheney laughs. “So I thought it was their best work,” Jamieson continues mischievously. “I mean I loved [Green Day’s 1994 breakthrough third album] Dookie — so did the world — and then Green Day did what they did and I sort of wandered off. I guess you can become a bit complacent about acts after a while, you go, ‘I know your tricks, I know those bits, ‘ but then they brought [American Idiot] out and I was, like, ‘Wow, okay, I don’t know all your tricks. It’s a really, really impressive record.” “Billie Joe’s always been a huge fan of The Who and rock operas and all that — he’s got a Jesus Christ Superstar tattoo on him — so it’s kind of cool that a writer like

that could embrace it and put it into the form that he did,” Cheney reflects. “It’s a cracker of a record. It’s not easy to write songs that are linked — it’s like the second side of Abbey Road [by The Beatles] or something, the way that all of the songs were linked together. I love that sort of thing, it’s like the nutty professor or something, but it’s not easy to do.” Both leads are really looking forward to their first major theatrical experience, even if they’re a tad overwhelmed by the quality of the Australian cast around them. “I’m not an actor — obviously — and what I found when I came here is that the cast are all ‘triple threats’, for want of a better term — they can sing really well, they can dance really well and they can act really well,” Jamieson tells. “So it became a bit of thing where I was fairly terrified going to rehearsal — I think I might have psyched myself out a bit. But it’s very daunting. And the piece is also quite challenging. It’s great, though, it’s really fun and it’s really quite a moving piece — it’s definitely not 42nd Street, it’s more like Les Mis. It’s sad, there’s some really, really moving parts.” “I haven’t performed in theatre since Year 12 drama but I tell you what, though; I reckon I’m always acting when I’m on stage anyway!” Cheney laughs. “I’ll see some footage back and go, ‘Who the fuck is that guy?’ So while I do think that this acting caper is a stretch for the two of us, obviously, maybe it’s not that much of a stretch. I feel like when you get on stage I become this other thing anyway, and we’re playing the kinda rock’n’roll guy in this show so it’s not really a huge leap.” And both of these acting newbs are at pains to point out that you don’t need to be a veteran theatre lover to dig American Idiot. “It’s not just for the theatregoers, it’s for the rock’n’roll fans,” Cheney stresses. “It’s definitely worthy and will be a lot of fun,” Jamieson agrees. “It will be loud and they will be serving alcohol, but it will be in a theatre. And there’s some really funny theatre moments in the performance which are a bit kitsch — which I love — then there’s some full-on rocking out and some dark, incredibly moving moments as well. I can’t wait.”

GETTING IDIOTIC Both of the rockers playing St Jimmy believe that there’s a lot more discipline required for acting than when they’re on stage playing music with their bandmates. “In my first run-through I put my wrong hand on something, so that destroyed the whole piece,” Jamieson recalls. “So I’m trying to get my head around staging, and being really disciplined about where I put my feet.” “Yeah, in a rock band — especially my band anyway — I can kinda go off on a tangent, and the other guys will just follow,” Cheney continues. “Here, those other 20 kids in there are not going to follow if we decide to mix it up halfway through a tune! Nor would the band!” Jamieson — who takes over as St Jimmy after Cheney’s run concludes — has been in the fortunate position of seeing a full run-through, and was floored by the calibre of the cast. “It’s pretty impressive — they don’t hit any bum notes, not that I’ve heard,” he marvels. “They leave that to us. They never hit a bum note, which is annoying, and they know all their choreography and they’re always right... It gives me the shits. But they’re actually incredible, just seeing how well the cast act it out and how well they sing it, and how much emotion they put into it — that’s worth the ticket price alone, regardless of us douchebags.”

What: American Idiot When & Where: 23 Feb — 12 Mar, Playhouse, QPAC

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 11


Music

Gimme Shelter Genuine EDM wunderkinds Porter Robinson and Madeon have been circling each other for years, but Cyclone discovers that when the Shelter live tour wraps they’ll be heading their separate ways.

P

orter Robinson and Hugo “Madeon” Leclercq have formed a post-EDM supergroup. They’re touring a spectacular audiovisual live show behind their viral glitch-pop hit, Shelter. But fans should catch them in Australia this February - the Shelter experience is a one-off. Robinson, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Leclercq, from Nantes, France, each began as kid bedroom producers - their career trajectories “shockingly similar”, Robinson recaps during our three-way phone call. “Hugo and I met online about 11 or ten years ago -

We are not making an album and we do not have more music together.

so that was way before either of us had any whisper of a music career. We were both on music production forums. We were the young guns doing it. So Hugo was 11 or 12, I was 14 or 15. In a way, we had a kind of rivalry.” Being underage, the pair independently created electronic music inspired by, not club culture, but video games and crossover acts like Daft Punk. As such, they’d bring fresh perspectives to the scene, culminating in high concept albums. In 2014, Robinson - Skrillex his patron early on - presented the dazzling Worlds. The next year, Leclercq aired Adventure. Both have collaborated with others - Robinson teaming with Zedd and Mat Zo, and Leclercq lending his production prowess to Lady Gaga and Coldplay. Though associated with the electro-house 12 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

sub-genre “complextro” (coined by Robinson), they’re now more interested in “songs”. “I’ve seen so many micro-genres come and go that the emergence of a new one doesn’t get me as excited as it once did,” Robinson remarks. “But songs are timeless.” Throughout, Robinson and Leclercq exchanged music and feedback. Their friendship has transcended music. “Hugo and I can talk endlessly and alienate everyone else in the room,” Robinson notes. In August they launched their first collab, Shelter - Robinson supervising its sublime animated film clip. Still, assembling a back-to-back show behind one single is daring. Says Leclercq, “When Porter and I started talking about collaborating, we really were focused on making a song. We didn’t think about a tour right away. [But] the more we talked, the more we revisited our discography, the idea for the show came to us.” “Right,” Robinson affirms. “It’s the two of us really revisiting our own discography - reinterpreting ourselves and reinterpreting one another. It’s brand-new. It consists of both [of] us on stage at the same time: playing live, singing, playing keys, triggering samples, [playing] drum pads - the whole works.” Since the initial leg of the Shelter Live Tour - encompassing 30-plus North American dates - the combo have tweaked the set. “It’s mostly nerdy stuff,” Leclercq says. They need to keep it stimulating for themselves. However, the duo are adamant that there won’t be an album. “What was attractive to us about this collaboration was that it was gonna be fleeting,” Leclercq explains. “It was gonna be one song, one tour - and then nothing more. So we are not making an album and we do not have more music together.” They’ll part following Coachella. Indeed, Robinson and Leclercq are inherently restive. They also value their own autonomy. “If we kept Shelter going for too long, then the ways that our tastes don’t fully overlap would become frustrating,” Leclercq says. Despite its ephemerality, Shelter is proving “beneficial” to the pals’ solo work, both already plotting new projects. They’re cagey about details. Yet Leclercq has progressed the most. Robinson recently revealed on Twit Twitter that his output slowed in 2015 due to “self-doubt and depression”. Today he’s positive. “I think most of my and Hugo’s most raw artistic ambitions are, to be honest, kind kinda being expressed outside of Shelter right now in the new music that we’re writing. I think that we’re both really rest restless and anxious and have these new ideas that we’re really, really amped up about - whereas Shelter we see as being more of, like, a homage to our pasts. Hugo and I have known each other for ten years - and we do see this tour as a way of looking back. But, in a way, we’ve almost saved some of the things that we really wanna express in the future - we’ve kept that out of this show so that they’ll arrive fully formed in a really solidified vision in the future. So we’re censoring ourselves a little bit with this show.”

When & Where: 24 Feb, Riverstage


Image by Dylan Evans

La Boite presents

Single Asian Female

LA BOITE THEATRE COMPANY

by Michelle Law An incisive new comedy skewering race and gender in contemporary Australia from Brisbane-based award winning writer Michelle Law. Step into the after-hours of a suburban Chinese restaurant and meet three hilarious women who are definitely talking about you in their native tongue. Two sisters at odds with each other and a mother harbouring a secret that threatens to tear her family apart.

Sat 11 Feb – Sat 4 March La Boite Roundhouse Theatre laboite.com.au Telephone 3007 8600 Tickets from $30

Director Claire Christian Set & Costume Design Moe Assaad Composer/ Sound Designer Wil Hughes Lighting Designer Keith Clark Performers Emily Burton, Patrick Jhanur, Alex Lee, Courtney Stewart, HsiaoLing Tang and Emily Vascotto

Production Partner

La Boite Theatre Company is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland

This work was developed with the assistance of the Lotus Playwriting Project, an initiative of Playwriting Australia and Contemporary Asian Australian Performance (formerly Performance 4a)

La Boite Theatre Company is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its funding and advisory body

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL PROUDLY PRESENTS

‘His lunacy is truly inspired and remarkably structured… dreams are rarely this weird or wonderful’

++++HERALD SUN

BRISBANE CITY HALL 23 – 26 MARCH 7.15PM (6.15PM SUN)

POWERHOUSE THEATRE 25 APRIL, 7PM

BRISBANEPOWERHOUSE.ORG & 3358 8600 THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 13


Frontlash

Music

Far From Middling They might be from Sydney but did you see Middle Kids playing Conan last week? If you ever questioned what BIGSOUND could do for your band: that.

Rock Opera

So Much Room For Activities There have been heaps of awesome gigs about town of late, from the Mountain Goat Valley Crawl to Bruce Springsteen and the weekend’s Yonder fest and beyond. See the Live section and online for recaps and pics.

A God In Church

Lashes

ICYMI: Guns N’ Roses’ drummer Frank Ferrer let loose at The Bearded Lady’s ‘Church’ Sunday session earlier this month. You can see the clip on our site, and experience a similar kind of magic every week from 3pm.

Bruce Springsteen @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Pic by Dave Kan

Backlash Brick-rolled

Melbourne band Keggin has had to scrub their online presence after their drummer, Dave Holder, was made the city’s LEGO Master Model Builder. Apparently goonthemed punk tunes and family-friendly plastic bricks don’t mix.

Chart Of Darkness Another week, another goddamn film soundtrack takes #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart, this time Fifty Shades Darker. The measurement system is 100% broken.

The All-Washed-Up Seal is back on The Voice after a threeseason absence. If that doesn’t confirm to you that the show is nothing but the equivalent of career life support for the dried husks of the stars of yesteryear, nothing will. 14 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

Drummer Chris Hrasky is looking forward to getting out of Trump’s America for a little while, especially if it means playing Sydney Opera House. Rod Whitfield gets the word on Explosions In The Sky’s upcoming tour.

C

hris Hrasky, drummer for Texan post-rock instrumental four-piece Explosions In The Sky, has an extra special reason for wanting to leave the United States and come to tour Australia (above and beyond wanting to play shows and be in our beautiful island nation). “I’m looking forward to getting out of the US for a little while so I can avoid watching its daily collapse,” he laughs, but it is a laughter tinged with a touch of regret. “We just want to say sorry for everything that’s going on in America right now, hopefully it will all turn out ok, maybe! We’ll see what happens, but good luck to us all, I guess. I’ve never seen anything like this here, the protests and the marches, so that encourages me that there are millions upon millions of people in this country that are just saying, ‘Whoa! This is just not the country we want.’ It’s a crazy time, so we’ll see what happens.” Political turmoil in their home nation aside, the band have something truly special to look forward to on their upcoming third tour of Australia: a very rare appearance for a rock/alternative act at the Sydney Opera

House. “That’s a pretty crazy one, when we saw that that was happening,” he says. “That’s the type of show you tell your parents about, ‘Hey Mom and Dad, we’re playing the Sydney Opera House!’ One of the most famous buildings on the planet, it’s iconic. That’s pretty exciting.” Known for their highly theatrical sound and stunning visuals, the show, along with all of the other gigs they are playing around the nation, promises something pretty special for the Aussie punters coming along, however Hrasky downplays this just a little. “I hope so,” he understates it, “we toured most of last year, so we feel really tight as band right now, so hopefully things will go well. We actually haven’t played live since November, so maybe we’ll be a little rusty, but we’re rehearsing and getting things going again.” The band have forged an incredible career for themselves, having formed way back in the late ‘90s and playing a style of music that is just about as far away from the mainstream as you can get. Hrasky is a little amazed by their success and their longevity himself. “Yeah, it’s pretty remarkable,” he admits, “it was certainly never our plan. It was a daydream for sure, we wanted to play music in Austin and have fun really and do something interesting, but the fact that this has lasted this long and this is our day job is amazing. We feel very lucky.” There seems to be no end in sight either. “Yeah, we’re going to tour most of this year, and we might do a soundtrack next year. Then we might take our first break for a long time. But we all want to work on new music, and the plan is definitely to keep going as long as we still feel interested and excited about it.”

When & Where: 24 Feb, Queensland Performing Arts Centre


FEBRUARY WED 22

r food fros 20t%icokfeft holde until able up e Redee7mpmigonnigthht g

Redland Performing Arts Centre presents

Speak Percussion

ACOUSTIC WEDNESDAYS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/DANNY WIDDICOMBE

WARPAINT & JONTI - SELLING FAST FRI 24

AMERICANA AMPLIFIED - FREE ENTRY

W/HEARTWORN HIGHWAYS, DANA GEHRMAN BAND & GOOD WILL REMEDY SAT 25

ANIMALS AS LEADERS - SELLING FAST W/PLINI & NICK JOHNSON SUN 26

AMERICANA SUNDAY SESSIONS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/SUE RAY & DJ DON CANDON

MARCH WED 1

ACOUSTIC WEDNESDAY - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/OFA FANAIKA

HOT 8 BRASS BAND

An extraordinary fusion of light and sound Analogue and digital fluorescent lights, the naked flame, strobe lights and custom-built LED discs are combined with percussion to create a kaleidoscopic world of sound and light.

& MOULDY LOVERS THU 2

TRIFFID MUSIC TRIVIA - FREE IN THE GARDEN HOSTED BY JEREMY NEALE FRI 3

JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW - SELLING FAST & MORETON SUN 5

AMERICANA SUNDAY SESSIONS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/MITCH POWER, MEGAN COOPER, BEN MASTWYK & DJ DAN CANDON

Workshop 2pm • Performance 7.30pm Redland Performing Arts Centre –Concert Hall Performance: $20 – $35 Workshop & performance: $30 Bookings: Phone 3829 8131 or visit www.rpac.com.au *Booking fees: $4.10 per transaction by phone; $3 per ticket online

BABA ZULU (ISTANBUL)

W/MZAZA & SABROSA SOUND SYSTEM WED 8

ACOUSTIC WEDNESDAYS - FREE IN THE GARDEN

Supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and the Department of Education and Training; the City of Melbourne, the City of Darebin and the Danish Arts Council. Photo: LASALLE

W/ROB MOIR (CANADA)

TEENAGE FANCLUB - SELLING FAST & GOON SAX

R ED L A N D P ER F O R M I N G AR T S CE N T R E P R E SEN T S

THU 9

FRIGHTENED RABBIT - SELLING FAST W/SPECIAL GUESTS FRI 10

THUNDER

& SPECIAL GUESTS SAT 11

HARTS & YEO

NAOMI PRICE AS ADELE

SUN 12

AMERICANA SUNDAY SESSIONS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/THOMSON

MIDGE URE

PLUS INDIA ELECTRIC COMPANY WED 15

ACOUSTIC WEDNESDAYS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/JAMES BENNETT

THE DAMNED - SELLING FAST & SPECIAL GUESTS

‘Fabulously entertaining.’ THE COURIER-MAIL ‘The next best thing to seeing Adele live.’ Stage Whispers

FRI 17

WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME

A CELEBRATION OF IRISH MUSIC Featuring PATTY MCHUGH, FOX N FIRKIN, ANDY MCDONNELL & ALAN BOYLE SAT 18

TAKING BACK SUNDAY

W/ACCEPTANCE & ENDLESS HEIGHTS SUN 19

MARTHA WAINWRIGHT & OH PEP

Adele’s deliciously frank life story comes alive in a show featuring her greatest hits, including Rolling in the Deep, Someone Like You, Set Fire to the Rain and Skyfall.

SATURDAY 11 MARCH, 7.30PM

SPECIALS

Redland Performing Arts Centre, Concert Hall

WEDNESDAY Mates dates 2 beers + 2 burgers from 5pm THURSDAY $1 poppers and wings from 5pm

TICKETS: $38 - $50 BOOKINGS: 3829 8131 or www.rpac.com.au *

WWW.THETRIFFID.COM.AU | 7 STRATTON ST, NEWSTEAD TICKETS - WWW.OZTIX.COM.AU

A production by The Little Red Company in association with Christine Harris and HIT Productions Photo: Dylan Evans *Booking fees: $4.10 per transaction by phone; $3 per ticket online

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 15


Credits Publisher Street Press Australia Pty Ltd Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast National Editor – Magazines Mark Neilsen

Music

Next Level

Editor Mitch Knox Arts & Culture Editor Maxim Boon Gig Guide Editor Justine Lynch gigs@themusic.com.au Contributing Editor Bryget Chrisfield Editorial Assistant Brynn Davies, Sam Wall Senior Contributor Steve Bell Contributors Anthony Carew, Benny Doyle, Brendan Crabb, Caitlin Low, Carley Hall, Carly Packer, Chris Familton, Cyclone, Daniel Cribb, Dylan Stewart, Georgia Corpe, Guy Davis, Jake Sun, Liz Giuffre, Neil Griffiths, Nic Addenbrooke, Rip Nicholson, Roshan Clerke, Samuel J Fell, Sean Capel, Sean Hourigan, Tom Hersey, Tom Peasley, Tyler McLoughlan, Uppy Chatterjee Photographers Barry Schipplock, Bec Taylor, Bobby Rein, Cole Bennetts, Freya Lamont, John Stubbs, Kane Hibberd, Markus Ravik, Molly Burley, Stephen Booth, Terry Soo Sales Nicole Ferguson sales@themusic.com.au Art Dept Ben Nicol, Felicity Case-Mejia Admin & Accounts Meg Burnham, Ajaz Durrani, Emma Clarke accounts@themusic.com.au Distro distro@themusic.com.au Subscriptions store@themusic.com.au Contact Us Phone: (07) 3252 9666 info@themusic.com.au www.themusic.com.au Street: The Foundry, 228 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 Postal: Locked Bag 4300 Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

— Brisbane

16 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

The avant R&B leanings on Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow’s We Move came as a surprise to many, but, as he tells Cyclone, sonically it’s his host honest work yet.

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rish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow is challenging himself by opening up — and letting go. McMorrow, who broke out with 2010’s folky Early In The Morning, recently presented the avant R&B We Move — his most individualistic, and liberated, album. This time, the usually autonomous Dubliner liaised with external producers — chief among them Canada’s Nineteen85, whom he befriended two years prior. Down with Drake, Nineteen85 has studio credits for the mega-hits Hold On, We’re Going Home, Hotline Bling and One Dance. McMorrow approached such exchanges as a chance to learn — and to grow. Still, collaborating necessitated “humility”. “I think it is difficult when you come from a background of just being very used to taking care of everything yourself,” McMorrow ponders. “The idea of including people didn’t feel very natural to me at first but, at the same time, [it] was also a kind of imperative for me. Life should be about expanding your horizons.” McMorrow recognises that the R&B orientation of numbers like the falsettosung Rising Water has surprised fans. “On paper, it can raise some eyebrows.” Yet this exploration began with 2014’s Bon Iver-y

second LP, Post Tropical. McMorrow then discovered a mutual love of Timbaland and The Neptunes with Nineteen85. Extraordinarily, he provided backing vocals on Drizzy’s Views. However, McMorrow, increasingly postgenre, has also lately teamed with trop house DJ Kygo on his I’m In Love. Themes of anxiety, depression and disclosure pervade today’s urban music. McMorrow wrote about his suffering from teenage anorexia and bulimia in the otherwise oblique We Move track I Lie Awake Every Night. “It’s there for everybody to see within any press releases,” he shares. “I made a conscious decision to put it there — in spite of my more guarded self and in spite of other people saying to me that I probably shouldn’t, because sharing information like that can kinda lead to that becoming the dominating conversation point from time to time. But that was the point of it: this record was about me truly doing something different — not even different, but closer to me. When people talk about this record and say it’s so different, the reality is this is the closest thing to me as a person and as a musician and as a music lover as I’ve ever done. If I wanna fully inhabit that sort of belief system with this record, then a huge part of that was honesty and not shying away from things just because they’re uncomfortable for me.” Last performing in Australia exclusively at 2016’s Splendour In The Grass, McMorrow and band are returning for national dates. Spanning his album trilogy, McMorrow’s new show has “a lovely flow”. Ironically, despite his soulful turn, McMorrow is “constantly playing guitars”. “The show has been really revelatory for me,” he says. “Sonically I think we’re existing on a level that we’ve never existed on before... I’m not a bragger so, if I say that I feel like it’s infinitely better, hopefully that resonates with people!”

When & Where: 3 Mar, The Triffid


Eat / Drink Eat/Drink

Shhhhh...

IT’S A SECRET

Are you over fast food? It might be time to pimp your meal with an item from the fabled Secret Menu. We took our empty stomachs to Maccas to test drive some of the best burger hacks from Mickey D’s secret stash.

What’s the Secret Menu?

These unofficial items are outlandish creations made from combos of different things found on the existing menu. Secret items have been dreamt up by fast food lovers across major chains, but McDonald’s has by far the biggest selection. You can’t order these burgers over the counter, so expect to do a little self-assembly.

Land, Sea And Air Burger A carnivore’s delight, this Franken-burger features beef, chicken and filet-O-Fish patties, stacked into one artery clogging beast. It’s a whistle-stop tour through the animal kingdom (in your mouth). What to Order: a regular cheeseburger, a Filet-O-Fish and a McChicken.

Verdict: I love wordplay as much as the next man, but despite the nifty, pun-elicious logic behind this burger’s name, it’s not quite as much fun to eat. The sticking point is the seafood element, which throws a jarring, fishy tang into the flavour combo that just doesn’t work.

McGangBang With a McChicken rudely shoved in between the patties of a McDouble, it’s not hard to work out how this saucy burger got its racy name. These meat-filled buns are Ooo La La. You know you want it.

What to order: a McDouble and a McChicken Verdict: Easily the most successful mashup from the secret selection. You get all the flavours of each burger, without the combination becoming too overwhelming. We can see this becoming a favourite of the drunk Maccas run at the end of a night out.

Big McChicken Who needs bread when you have deep fried chicken? This tribute to the coronary on a plate that is KFC’s Double Down, this monster is a Big Mac with the bread replaced by McChicken patties. What to order: three McChickens and a Big Mac Verdict: This is a real gut-buster and not dissimilar to eating a deep-fried breezeblock.

Construction is a little on the messy side, and it’s no mean feat fitting it in your gob, but once you’ve figured out how to eat the thing it’s a pretty good meal, although a food coma is a very likely side-effect.

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 17


Music

Fully Fledged Katy Steele has emerged from Little Birdy as a completely independent solo artist, but not without experiencing the pain of a few cracks while breaking out of her old shell, she tells Brynn Davies ahead of the release of her debut Human.

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ith Little Birdy put to bed, Katy Steele moved to New York to find her own sound and make a solo album. “I’m independent, so I do what I want,” she jokes, sipping a coffee while on the phone to us from WA. But her newfound independence involved some difficult soul searching to find her voice. “I took my time, it had to be right. I had a few goes [writing the album] in America and it wasn’t really sticking. I was like ‘I can’t put this out! It’s not me!’” Two failed attempts at a record

Leaving the the band “was completely about challenging myself as an artist and wanting to kinda be in charge of all the production and wanting to have a solid vision just by myself, like I didn’t want to share that any more... you have to share it with people, and I kinda didn’t wanna any more,” she protests with a giggle. Avoiding the cliche of the folky acoustic singersongwriter debut record, Human is a textured, rich wall of sound, with the matured voice of Steele weaving through intricate percussion and plenty of gospel tones. Steele chats about the nature of a solo album, the way “you have to have something solid to say and you have to have been somewhere,” she suggests. “Like, if you wanna be a soul singer you have to have that pain in your soul otherwise it isn’t gonna come through, and that’s kinda what happened to me. I went through some crazy depression and experienced anxiety like I’ve never experienced it before and that was really a jolt to the system because I’d never really been that debilitated before, you know?” Not that New York was “doing my nut in!” she enthuses, “it just kinda aggravated the anxiety.”

Because I had come from Birdy and I had it in my head that I had to do something completely different... but I think sometimes you can take that too far.

Channelling Bjork in an moment of inspiration, Steele “walked around for like a week recording all the noises [of New York] and I’m pretty sure that didn’t help my anxiety because if you actually notice how many noises are going on, like, it would drive you mental!” she laughs. It’s no wonder that the peace and familiarity of Perth was what she needed to finish the record.

with two different producers later, and “they just weren’t really right, so I scrapped them and came back to Perth,” she shrugs. Steele is open about her struggle with depression and anxiety during this time; a combination of self-imposed pressure — “I was being really, really hard on myself going ‘you gotta write a hit song, you gotta do the best record possible’” — and her unfamiliar surroundings. “It was more to do with the headspace I was in and it was the production I couldn’t get across the line — I didn’t know what I wanted. Because I had come from Birdy and I had it in my head that I had to do something completely different... but I think sometimes you can take that too far and I think I was just trying to make things maybe not as much about the songs at first,” she muses. 18 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

What: Human (Independent) When & Where: 2 Mar, The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba; 3 Mar, The Foundry; 4 Mar, SolBar, Maroochydore


QPAC presents A Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company production

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Starring JAMES ROWLAND

8-11 MARCH 2017 CREMORNE THEATRE, QPAC

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THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 19


Music

That’s Golden Stephen Dorrington’s ex-girlfriend yelled at music icon Dennis Knight when he didn’t win first place in a songwriting competition. He tells Brynn Davies about his thespian rock’n’roll and pouring four litres of gold paint on his head.

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radesman-cum-actor-cum-musician Stephen Dorrington is gearing up to launch his new EP 1987 at New Globe Theatre on 24 February, accompanied by a bunch of local bands, back-up singers, dancers and even a choir! To top it off? It’s his 30th birthday! “It’s one of those things where I’m like, ‘Oh, I want to do that. And that... and that,’” he jokes. “It’s been an interesting sorta progression of things... Probably the launch itself has been six months of planning. It’s ridiculous how much goes into it and even now someone

of them together is very interesting - my sister loves to improvise and Lauren is very organised but they work well balancing each other. I don’t think I particularly fit into a niche of any kind, and that’s quite difficult when you’re starting out because naturally you wanna fit in with everyone. But when you realise you don’t fit in, your strength can be that you’re versatile and dynamic.” “The opening number Thespian is an ode to the time I spent doing theatre... I got to a point with theatre where I felt like a big fish in a small pond a little bit. I got nominated for Best Actor at the Gold Coast [Area] Theatre Awards - I didn’t win, but just getting that nomination I’m like, ‘Yep, done that, now I’m satisfied,’” he explains. “I wrote it to try and win a competition and I came fifth - my girlfriend at the time abused the judges. Like, ‘Noooo’,” he wails. “One of them being Dennis Knight who toured with Johnny O’Keefe back in the day. And she’s abusing him and I’m there going, ‘Don’t, just don’t’.”

Naturally you wanna fit in with everyone. But when you realise you don’t fit in, your strength can be that you’re versatile and dynamic. His press shots adhere to his colourful character - literally - depicting Dorrington covered in gold paint. “I went to the paint shop and I’m like, ‘I need the truest gold you have in an acrylic. So they’re like, ‘What are you painting?’ and I’m like, ‘I’m gonna pour it over my head’. They looked and me and my expression hadn’t changed and they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re not joking!’ The photo shoot itself - I loved everything except for the fact that the paint was really cold and it was the middle of winter, not that we get winter in Brisbane, but I sat there for four hours shivering with paint absolutely everywhere!”

When & Where: 24 Feb, New Globe Theatre will come up with something or I’ve gotta redo that or change the format of that and it’s like, where am I gonna find time?!” he gasps in mock horror. “Originally I did a gig with my drummer and he’s like, ‘Let’s just bring in a whole band’. Angus and Allen came on board and in Angus I found a guitarist that matches me perfectly. I don’t even have to say anything to him, he just knows, and that’s really rare. I’ve played with a lot of people and I’ve never been able to find anything close to that. And he’s very very quiet so it kind of balances me out!” jokes Dorrington. Also joining them on stage will be Dorrinton’s “sister, who I have a duo with, and the other singer Lauren I’ve played opposite with in theatre shows,” he tells. “The two 20 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017


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BOOK NOW BRISBANECOMEDYFESTIVAL.COM THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 21


Brisbane Comedy Festival

The Perfect Storm Veteran comedian Wil Anderson tells Samuel Leighton-Dore why he’s waited so long to debut his new show, Critically Wil.

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ith last year’s show Fire At Wil praised by critics as his greatest stand-up work to date, veteran comedian and all-round nice guy Wil Anderson could be forgiven for feeling the pressure ahead of the debut of his 2017 offering, Critically Wil. But between extensive touring in the United States, hosting his top-charting podcast Wilosophy and fronting ABC advertising gauntlet Gruen - he doesn’t really have time to stress about expectations. “My intention every year is to make my show better than the year before,” Anderson tells. “That’s all I can control, there are people in the audience who have been watching me on the ABC for years and kids who weren’t even born when I started doing stand-up. All I ever really sit down to do at the start of each year is see if I can be better than the year before.” Having just returned from his latest stint in the United States, it felt only natural to ask Anderson, who has long provided local political commentary, his views on the dreaded Trump administration. “Trump won the election as I was flying into the US, so good thing they couldn’t build a wall that quickly or I mightn’t of gotten in,” Anderson jokes, before admitting that Trump’s unprecedented election has impacted the way American audiences respond to stand-up material. “We were finding people

22 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

after the election weren’t laughing as much because they were terrified. There were people storming out, it was pretty crazy. “I would say it was a life-tourism experience, being there right in that moment when people were trying to work out what was going on.” While Anderson is hesitant to concede that comedians have political influence (“If comedy had a real impact, Tony Abbott wouldn’t have been elected”), he believes he has a responsibility, when it comes to US politics, not to attack “the man himself” and get distracted from the genuine implications of his administration. The result, he says, is a show that addresses the world that allowed for a man like Donald Trump to become President - without once mentioning his name. “In this day and age, if we want to move forward together we need to attack the arguments instead of attacking the people themselves,” Anderson says. “I think this show, more than anything, encapsulates themes I’ve touched on throughout my career. I’m talking about news, journalism, politics, Australia.... I’ve always drawn on these subjects, but the times have now come together in a certain way. It’s a perfect storm, it’s a whole bunch of different ideas that have come together things that I’ve got a unique perspective on. Having grown up in rural Australia, immigrated to the US, worked extensively in journalism and charmed audiences around the world, there’s more than just a ‘Trump card’ up Anderson’s sleeve.

What: Critically Wil When & Where: 24 - 26 Mar, City Hall

Incredibly Fabulous Joel Creasey may only be in his mid20s, but he’s already got a decade of experience on the comedy circuit under his belt. Alannah Maher speaks to the GQ Comedian of the Year winner about being a Poser.

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s Australia’s 2017 comedy fest season kicks off in earnest, Joel Creasey is adamant he doesn’t want to be another comedian vying to tell their best Donald Trump joke. But he’s not afraid to dispel some “fake news” (about himself) and dish the dirt about the mortifying experience of accidentally sleeping with some of old mate Donald’s supporters. “Some comics do great political comedy and some really thought-provoking comedy, and they’re just martyrs to me, I can’t do that,” the 26-year-old comedian shared ahead of the debut his new hour of stand-up, Poser, premiering at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. “I’m just going to tell you some embarrassing stories I’ve gotten up to, some celebrities I’ve had run-ins with, and some terrible people I’ve had sex with - and you can laugh at all of my misfortunes and you can feel better about yourself!” The last year hasn’t been totally taken over with misfortunes for Creasey, however. In addition to whoring himself (in the best possible way) across Aussie TV screens, he’s been packing out comedy venues as farflung as New York and Montreal, rounding out the year by taking home the coveted award for GQ’s Comedian of the Year. Creasey says that with newfound recognition comes newfound confidence, something no one would have ever accused him of lacking: “I feel like this exposure has given me the confidence to go, ‘you know what, people think I’m funny’. And I’m not going to try to change the face of comedy,


Brisbane Comedy Festival

Making Up Magic ImproMafia are conjuring the magical word of Harry Potter before your very eyes. Allanah Mahar falls under their spell.

I’m just gonna do what I can do. And that’s telling funny, silly pop culture stories.” A decade on from his first appearances on comedy line-ups as a 16-year-old wearing “terrible, cute cartoony-type like shirts on stage”, his wit only seems to gets riper with age. While his knack for insult humour has earned Creasey a reputation as a cardcarrying bitch, he also isn’t hesitant to make himself, his identity or his place within the frivolous world of celebrity, the punchline. “Ultimately the jokes do come back on me a lot of the time, because I am ridiculous. But also incredibly fabulous.” He reassures his audiences that they’ll be safe: “If you buy a ticket to come see my show, you are so safe. Anyone outside of the theatre, they’re in trouble.” “Pumped” to get back on the road and perform some stand-up, the Perth boy looks forward to visiting Queensland: “I find Brisbane audiences really appreciative and we love that as comedians, they’re big laughers and they love a drink too, which is perfect for us.”

What: Joel Creasey: Poser When & Where: 12 & 23 Mar, Brisbane Powerhouse

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very muggle, mudblood, witch and wizard still waiting for their Hogwarts letter to arrive is invited to a Potterthemed spectacular, and ImproMafia’s Artistic Director Amy Currie solemnly swears that they are up to no good. “We at ImproMafia love doing genre-based impro, we’re always doing full-length plays, basically, completely improvised and we love to gently mock the things that we are very, very fond of,” she says. With previous shows tackling Shakespeare, murder mysteries and something called Lord Of The Thrones (“...you can guess what we were parodying there”), the impro-comedy mob thought it was high time they took on the Potter universe to “take the piss out of it just a little bit”. Developing on the approach first coined by Adelaide’s Scriptease, Potter Unplotted will delve into minor characters. “We have 150 names and they have been collated from throughout the books and films: these are the characters that are mentioned once in passing, you might have one whole paragraph in the whole series of books,” Amy explains. With the five actors drawing names from the “Goblet Of Fire”, the audience will vote on whose story they want to hear and Currie is rather tight-lipped on which characters she hopes will find life on the stage: “I think almost anyone in the Harry Potter world

could be absolutely fascinating because there are so many questions that are raised when I look at the wizarding world. How do they live on a day-to-day basis? What are their hopes and dreams? What are the dirty little secrets? And I think you could have a very, very good time indeed answering those questions.” With varying levels of Potter-heads among the cast, preparation has involved some serious homework - being drilled on spells by a Harry Potter expert, and practicing wand technique and naming conventions. “If you’re going to parody something, you need to get it right,” says Currie. She assures us ImproMafia have been to “Harry Potter bootcamp” and promises they’re “prepared for any eventuality”. But they’re not only taking their own word for it, a brief quiz before the show will determine the biggest Potter-head in the audience, who will then be charged with making sure the cast don’t stray too far from JK Rowling’s writings. “So if we say something completely ridiculous like, ‘I’m just going to get on my magical spaceship and fly to the moon,’ that person will be in charge of yelling out at us and telling us we’re not allowed to do that,” Currie explains. Each performance of the six-night run will feature a completely unique and unscripted set of characters and circumstances. With the final three shows already sold out, Potter fanatics will need to get in quick before tickets become as elusive as the golden snitch.

What: Potter Unplotted When & Where: 28 Feb - 5 Mar, Rooftop Terrace, Brisbane Powerhouse

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 23


Brisbane Comedy Festival

Wake Up Call Fiona O’Loughlin woke up (in more ways than one) and she’s using that insight in her latest show. She tells Samuel Leighton-Dore about a few of her favourite things.

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hen I ask comedian Fiona O’Loughlin how she prepared the material for her upcoming show, the very last seven-word response I expected to bounce off the Melbourne-based mother’s razor-sharp tongue was: “I just woke up from a coma.” But it turns out the much-loved comedy matriarch did just wake up from a month-long coma — and she’s only now dealing with the intense ramifications.

I just woke up from a coma.

“Unfortunately, I’ve been somewhere very dangerous,” O’Loughlin tells as she boards a train seemingly packed with screaming schoolgirls. “I’ve been in a coma for a month, in intensive care, so coming back from that has been very difficult, both physically and psychologically. “It’s about finding something funny and joyful in something so dark. After I recovered physically, I had a complete nervous breakdown. I woke up with thigh-gaps!” she cackles. “Eighty per cent of people in ICU have some level of post-traumatic stress, and I definitely suffered from that. I lost my mind.” Without going too far into how and why O’Loughlin ended up in a month-long coma with a 7% chance of survival, I’m told it was due to symptoms left untreated due, in part, to her well-documented struggle with depression and alcoholism. “I didn’t do anything,” she informs. “But when the chips are down, our game gets brighter.”

24 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

She’s talking about stand-up comedy; the unvarnished lens through which she’s already shared such intensely personal struggles with audiences around the world. “Autobiographical stand-up is the only instrument I play,” she tells me. “What happens in my life is all I’ve got, so I turn it into fodder. I just don’t see why it’s wrong to talk about it [mental health]. It’s my go-to and that’s how it’s always been.” Having gone through a separation and fought off her demons with alcoholism on a very public platform, O’Loughlin says she’s come under fire from a number of family members. “My mother was like, ‘Goodness me, why would you want to tell the whole world?’ And I just said, ‘That’s who I am. I am an alcoholic.’ Now there isn’t a pub I can walk into in all of Australia without someone knowing.” It’s perhaps no surprise that O’Loughlin’s unapologetic style of swiping through the grit of life strikes such a strong chord with audiences across Australia and around the world. Within minutes of our phone conversation, I find myself opening up about my own experiences with mental health and depression; sharing a laugh about the time I farted while attempting suicide as a melodramatic 15 year old. She exudes fearlessness and, as you take a seat at one of her shows, you know that nothing is off-limits. In an increasingly political-correct society, a real thirst for no-bullshit conversation has grown. But the need for hold-your-sides belly laughter has never been greater. This is precisely why O’Loughlin could very well be a hero of the moment. In a small and competitive industry such as standup comedy, some might be surprised to hear O’Loughlin describe her peers with such love. But, during our conversation, she makes a point of reading out some of the supportive text messages she’s received over the years. “We all know what it’s like and how lonely we are,” she tells. “I’ve been so comforted and protected by my peers. I think it’s because we are so alone in stand-up, there’s this unique camaraderie.” With her new show already promising to draw on a truly unique breadth of (somewhat devastating) experiences, there’s little doubt that Fiona O’Loughlin has dusted herself off, bandaged her scraped knees and hopped back on the proverbial horse. And, as always, she’s hoping some newbies come along for the ride. “My audience is getting younger and younger,” she observes. “I fucking love Gen Y — they would have to be the most informative generation ever.” Regardless of your age or familiarity with O’Loughlin’s work, as tickets go on sale for her stint at the Brisbane Comedy Festival, take this writer’s advice: you’d be downright stupid to miss it.

What: A Few Of My Favourite Things When & Where: 22 — 26 Mar, City Hall


Brisbane Comedy Festival

See You Next Tuesday Alex Williamson wants to Make The World A Banter Place. He tells Neil Griffiths about his new show.

“I

think that there’s some odd things going on in the world and in people’s lives personally,” he says

Are You Ok? Rhys Nicholson wants you to know that he’s fine, and he’s showing it via the magic of dick jokes. Samuel LeightonDore checks in with the queer comedy firebrand.

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uddled before a whiteboard in his fiance’s office (“I’m only here for the air conditioning”), Sydneybased comedian Rhys Nicholson is putting the final touches on his seventh solo show - and his regular audiences can expect a few changes. “I think this show’s a lot less political,” say Nicholson, which doesn’t strike us as being particularly difficult, especially when you consider that he last year took a very public stand for marriage equality by getting hitched to lesbian and

down the phone from his country home in South Australia. “People have a hard time, it’s true. And comedians are reputably depressive cunts and that’s no different to me. So I think it’s good to hear some different sorts of banter to get you through the day.” Williamson has gained a massive following on social media (over 1.3 million) on the back of regular videos he shares online. Though he recently took the piss out of the hugely publicised phone call between Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull, fans shouldn’t expect too much content about the US president at his upcoming gigs. “There’s a little bit of Trump, but I feel like it will get overdone,” he says. “I feel like that’s gonna be the focus of a lot of comedians this year, so I’m only gonna really touch on that. It’ll be about being inclusive for people. There’ll be a message. It won’t just be me saying ‘cunt’.” So what does 2017 and beyond hold for Williamson after the Adelaide Fringe? “I’ve always considered getting into porn,” he teases. “But I’m getting a bit of a gut now and you don’t see too many overweight fellas in there doing the hard yards. It’s pretty fit sort of lads so I think I’ve missed my chance

fellow comedian Zoe Coombs Marr at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. “I’m making a conscious effort not to speak about marriage equality so much this time around. It’s something I’m still very passionate about, but I’ve got nothing new to say on it.” That’s not to say that his upcoming show, aptly titled I’m Fine, isn’t intensely personal. Set to debut this month at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, before touring nationally, the show is very much anchored in the firstperson experience. “All of my shows are very much about me, I’m narcissistic in that way,” he jokes. “However, this show is very much about my personal life. It’s less political, more sociopolitical - which I know sounds wanky.” For Nicholson and his fiance, triple j presenter Kyran Wheatley, day-to-day life can present conflicting interests when it comes to calling ‘dibs’ on potentially funny content. “We both work in media, so it’s almost at the point now where something will happen and we both look at each other and think ‘whose content is this?’” Rhys says. A self-professed master of selfdeprecation, Nicholson’s “punching-up” brand of humour relies on making himself the lowest possible denominator. That way, he

there as well, I think I’ll just keep pursuing the comedy thing. I can get by comfortably just selling tickets to live shows. There seems to be comedians around the world who don’t really want the spotlight as talented as they are. They like to do just do their show and appease their fans and go and live their own life and stay away from that, you might call it ‘Hollywood spotlight’, or whatever it might be. That actually feels like a more appealing lifestyle to me.”

What: Alex Williamson: Make The World A Banter Place When & Where: 4 & 5 Mar, Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse

explains, nobody else is off limits. “When I first started, I was maybe a little more shouty and arrogant on stage,” he admits - “but audiences don’t trust someone if they’re really sure of themselves on stage. “The new show is basically 55 minutes of dick jokes,” he laughs. “I’m pretty happy with it, it’ll be nice and shiny by the time it gets to Adelaide. I’m not there to change minds, I’m really just there to be funny.”

What: Rhys Nicholson: I’m Fine When & Where: 28 Feb - 5 Mar, Turbine Studio, Brisbane Powerhouse THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 25


Brisbane Comedy Festival

Farce Times Sami Shah knows the secret link between Baywatch and Islam, and Sam Wall discovers he’s not going to sugar-coat it.

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ami Shah is a busy man. He’s a regular contributor to ABC RN and ABC Melbourne. He has two books out this year — the sequel to sci-fi novel Fire Boy and The Islamic Republic Of Australia, an in-depth look at the full spectrum of Islam Down Under. Now he’s on the comedy festival circuit with Islamofarcist, after only just finishing an impressive two-show, 16night run at Perth’s Fringe World. “Basically, you watch your voice a lot. You spend a lot of time like, not yelling. Because you’re gonna lose your voice and once that happens then there’s an issue.” Pro tip: Stay out of Northbridge, “So you don’t get in fights with random guys who are drunk.” Shah is bringing Islamofarcist to Brisbane for the first time after winning Queensland’s Tour Ready Award at last year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival. The show is an hour-long exploration of Islam, as a religion and as a part of Australian society, a topic that Shah is distinctly equipped to deconstruct. As a Palestinian immigrant, an Australian citizen, a Muslim-born atheist, Shah possesses a rare combination of qualities: “outsider perspective with insider knowledge”. “I’m not gonna sugar-coat either side. I’m not gonna tell you that Islam is a feminist religion, nor will I say that Islam is a terrorist

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religion, I would have a more informed point of view.” Shah would be the first to tell you, however, that there are much more significant things at play here. “More importantly, [Islamofarcist] is about the intersection of Islam and Baywatch, which not many people realise is a very important topic that requires further exploration, which I hope to provide.” Can we get a clue as to where exactly that intersection lies? “Oh, you have to watch the show. There’s no way I’m giving that one away. That’s the main point.” (With a little needling, Shah spills a bean, saying it may have more to do with Pamela Anderson than the Hoff). Timeless ‘90s beach dramas aside, there could be a real danger of a stand-up show losing its potency in the year between winning the Tour Ready Award and actually touring it, let alone one with its foundation in such politically urgent themes. Ironically, this has actually worked in Shah’s favour. “It’s actually more relevant now than it was when I wrote it,” says Shah, sounding almost disappointed. “I was worried when I wrote it that it would have like a six-month shelf life at most but that’s clearly not a problem at all. “Even to the conversation Jacqui Lambie and Yassmin [Abdel-Magied] had on Q&A the other day about Islam,” Shah continues, “that Sharia Law is a feminist religion and all that, that’s all stuff that I addressed in the show a year ago. So I’m glad I’m kind of rolling it out still so that people can see that and hopefully get better answers than a shouting match on TV allows.”

What: Islamofarcist When & Where: 16 — 19 Mar, Graffiti Room, Brisbane Powerhouse

Deadly Funny Meet the all Indigenous stand-up supergroup, the Aboriginal Comedy Allstars. Co-founder Kevin Kropinyeri gets funny with Alannah Maher.

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ome of the biggest comedy stars under the Milky Way are heading to Brisbane this festival season for what is arguably the most ‘Aussie’ show of them all. The Aboriginal Comedy Allstars are back in town and one of their number, the joyously ridiculous Kevin Kropinyeri, is particularly delighted to be dishing out mischief and belly laughs with his contemporaries again. Performing comedy for a little under a decade now, Kropinyeri has been a firm favourite among comedy fans, winning over audiences with his warmth, silliness, keen observational style and untempered physicality. “You can expect to see a lot of physical comedy and quick-wit comedy — we’ve all got our different styles,” he says of the Allstars. Joining Kropinyeri on stage are Andy Saunders, a man of many voices (including beatboxing) who will disarm you with charm; Matt Ford, who brings a fresh take to being a decidedly self-deprecating and trendy young urbanite; and special guest Dane Simpson, an up-and-coming stand-up comedian with a unique, cheeky style. After sweeping the country with a historic 75-date tour last year, the Allstars have seen audiences grow along with their brand. Each comedian brings their unique perspective on life in modern Australia to their craft, and their top-shelf humour has been known to dispel any qualms about whether any “whitefellas” in the room will get a laugh, while also giving a nod to the shared experiences of Indigenous people. Kevin describes it as a “hilarious cultural education into Aboriginal Australia”.


Brisbane Comedy Festival

A Hard Knock Life Botox Party‘s Judy Hainsworth gives Samuel Leighton-Dore the rundown on the difficult world of #FirstWorldWhiteGirl problems.

“We get a lot more non-Indigenous people come to our shows now, which is great. A lot of the feedback I get back from non-Indigenous people is, ‘Wow! You’re so warm and inviting, absolutely hilarious, and we learnt a lot’.” As a founding member of the Allstars, Kropinyeri describes the show as “the flagship of Aboriginal comedy in this country”. Each Allstar has a smattering of television credits, festival performances and awards to their name. It was through bumping into each other around the country that Kropinyeri and Andy Saunders came up with the idea to bring together the stand-up supergroup. “To bring an Aboriginal comedic supergroup together to bust through on the Australian comedy scene is awesome,” says Kropinyeri, reflecting that just a decade ago there was only one Indigenous comedian on the professional circuit. “But, first things first, it’s about being funny. We wouldn’t be making a living off selling out shows if it wasn’t funny.” Describing his own comedic style, Kropinyeri says: “You can expect a bit of music; stories about kids, family, exes; laughing at the expense of the dysfunctional pain of my past.” While many comedic acts are looking to play off the heightened political atmosphere of the time, the Allstars will be doing what they’ve always done: serving up punchy, high-energy five-star quality comedy, sharp wit and out-there physical humour. “As comedians, we see things differently, we always see the funny in something.”

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omedians Judy Hainsworth and Kaitlin Oliver Parker are back to have a good old-fashioned bitch about the countless struggles of undeniable privilege. You know, the real struggles. Like dealing with kale shortages, un-bespoke furniture and battling that dreaded FOMO. Playing a trust fund princess and alcoholic trophy wife from the outskirts of Brisbane, #FirstWorldWhiteGirls sees Hainsworth and Parker tear themselves to shreds in the name of explorative humour. “We wanted to write something that was taken from our own lives,” Hainsworth tells. “We are white and we are privileged, and we both went to nice private schools and we looked at the problems in our lives and realised how trivial they were.” Encouraging members of the audience to stand up and share their own first world problem, #FirstWorldWhiteGirls manages to non-intrusively turn a mirror on those willing to experience it, wrapping up some pretty weighty subjects with shiny paper and a frilly pink bow. On the surface, the show is about a group of ladies who get together for a Botox Party — and yes, before you ask, apparently botox parties are a real thing. “These women will have a doctor or nurse come over with syringes and botox, there’ll be canapes and champagne — the works!” Hainsworth explains. If you weren’t

too busy laughing at the show’s punchily delivered observations, the premise itself would probably be enough to make you cringe. But there’s more than meets the eye, according to Hainsworth, who insists the show encourages a deeper self-examination. “I actually do think it’s quite political,” she says. “We talk about Trump, we make comments about feminism and the pressures put on women, the many disparities between men and women. “Comedy lets you say things that you couldn’t otherwise because people let their guards down. Once you get someone to laugh, they’re kind of on your side and you can get other things across. We sneak it in there.” With sell-out shows and rave reviews to back them up, Hainsworth and Parker enjoy the diversity of their audiences. “We’ve got a bit of everyone. There are women who drag along their partners, we’ve had a hens night. But, yeah! Groups of women love to come along.” With plans to tour the show nationally, the pair are also eyeing a future on the silver screen. Having recently filmed a video promo for the show and receiving a really strong response from audiences online, the comedy duo admit to noting the success of ABC iview hit series The Katering Show. It makes sense, too, with #FirstWorldWhiteGirls ticking all the self-deprecating boxes of a 2017 comedy smash.

What: Botox Party When & Where: 7 — 12 March, Brisbane Powerhouse

When & Where: 14 — 19 Mar, Brisbane Powerhouse

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 27


Brisbane Comedy Festival

Hard To Crack Ben Russell and Xavier Michelides are finally over their early career jitters. Now it’s time to mess with the audience. Joe Dolan meets the dynamic duo.

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t’s been almost a year since No Show premiered at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, but since then co-creator and co-star Ben Russell has made a mission

Up Close And Personal Five years since his last solo show, Sammy J’s bringing his life story to the stage. Joe Dolan learns about the butterfly effect.

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s the sound of his young daughter babbles over the phone line, Sammy J is quick to clarify “That’s not me, I haven’t just suddenly turned into a baby!” Best known for his work as part of human/puppet duo Sammy J & Randy, the Melbourne comic is looking forward to telling his own remarkable yet true story in his new show, Hero Complex. “It’s very much a butterfly effect show,” he says. “It starts off with me trading Phantom comics with 28 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

out of having as much of a laugh as possible with his fellow performer, Xavier Michelides. “The most fun is that you’ve got someone else there,” says Russell. “It’s not all on you and you can relax a little bit more. You’re not working as hard so you can put that energy into making each other laugh.” Russell also admits he’s more on the receiving end of a character break, saying, “He’s a lot harder to crack than me, especially when he’s driving the scenes. He knows he can just throw something in that I haven’t heard, and I’ll just lose it.” No Show follows the trials of two seasoned performers who find out that no one has bought a ticket to their new show. Ironically, it has gained much bigger audiences and locations since its humble beginnings. “It’s been really fun doing it in theatres,” Russell muses on the journey his show has taken. “I’d say it’s gotten better since we’ve gotten to do it in actual theatres... Putting it in a theatre is kind of easier; it’s more theatrical than the kind of show you might put on above a pub.” The crowds are also more diverse from the show’s first incarnation, moving from a “comedian’s show” to a more accessible and well-rounded production. “We get

my school gardener, and then two decades of weird stuff came directly out of that, including the birth of my daughter.” He adds, “This is my first solo show in five years, and for a couple years this story has just been kind of waiting to be created. So I just threw myself into it, and it’s a very ridiculous tale and a very fun one to perform.” Sammy J also says he’s excited about the prospect of returning to a comedic reality, saying “Sammy J and Randy exist in this sort of completely silly fictional world, and we’re never trying to push some kind of message or anything, whereas this show is a real and personal tale. It has all these photographs and videos from when I was younger, so it does have a much bigger personal element.” Beyond his work in the duo, the musical comic also found critical acclaim in his Playschool-style parody series, Playground Politics, which saw the multitalented Sammy J become an inadvertent teacher. “It was a delightful, but a completely accidental by-product,” he laughs, “I had people saying they were watching it with their kids and it was sparking real conversations about these things with the families — and that was never the intention. I would be mortified if I thought

a lot of pass holders in when we do the festivals, because we’re working with those themes of self-doubt within performance, and not having anyone show up and still doing the show, working with all those existential crises,” Russell continues, “it has kind of just gotten more approachable while not seeming to lose any of its soul or its relevancy. I think because it’s in a more theatrical setting, people seem to be just as on board as ever. We have a lot of improv and a lot of play, and we just read the audiences a lot better now, so we just mess with them a lot more.” That self-doubt, says Russell, comes from a very real and tangible place: “In the beginning I was thinking, ‘I don’t even know if people are going to find this funny,’ because we both have really messed-up senses of humour, so it was a relief to know that, yes! It is funny, and that people like what we’re doing.”

What: No Show When & Where: 7 - 12 Mar, Rooftop Terrace, Brisbane Powerhouse

I was ever educating someone.” While politics has always been a passion for him and his comedy, Sammy J admits. “It’s never been the stuff I’ve been known for. In a sense, you know, you always want to, sort of, train for those sorts of things and be ready when the chance comes up. So [Playground Politics] was a nice chance to flex that comedy muscle, to use a hideous physical analogy.”

What: J: Hero Complex When & Where: 23 - 26 Mar, Brisbane Room, City Hall


Brisbane Comedy Festival Focus

Alex Ward

What’s your show called? Quiet Could you please give us a brief description of your show? Girl has bad teeth. Girl’s family focuses on that way too much. Girl’s teeth aren’t so bad now, but she uses excessive attention on mouth against family and eventually the world. Girl thinks about corn chips a lot, but shows great restraint and only mentions them once in her show. How’s it feel to be doing your debut hour of solo stand-up? It’s very exciting! This is something I have been working towards the last year - I’ve been a disgusting,

Becky Lucas

What’s your show called? Little Bitch Could you please give us a brief description? It’s just a bunch of insane, awful thoughts that I’ve somehow arranged into a ‘show’. I like to think of it as an hour that will make you laugh and feel less alone. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. Have you had a chance to crowdtest Little Bitch? Yeah... My management organised a few trial shows for me where they gave the audience a sheet to fill out their feedback. When I was reading through the comments

Damien Power

What is your show called? Utopia: Now In 3D! Could you please give us a brief description of your show? It covers some pretty big ideas, from a personal perspective, to do with utopia and idealised notions of life and love and romance and then talks about bigger societal versions of those same themes... But it is also very funny [laughs]. I really have trouble selling the show ‘cause I say all those things and then people get deterred because it’s like, “Ugh, it sounds like a lecture”.

dirty ‘gig pig’ (fancy industry jargon), jumping up on stage as much as possible to feel ready to take on this hour and I’m happy (and the audience should be too) to say I do feel ready. How was the reaction to Quiet in Perth? It was well-received, mostly! I had one matinee show which was entirely made up of Belgium exchange students who didn’t speak English and my live Belgium translator was sick that day, but even they left with smiles on their faces! A smile is international language. Four guys from the audience of

the other day I saw that one man had just told me that I looked much better with my hair down. So I’ve been wearing my hair in a ponytail, just to piss him off. Has your weekly newsletter been helpful in creating/polishing Little Bitch? There are certainly bits in my show that I have touched on in my newsletter. It’s a much less ego-destroying way of getting feedback from an audience as opposed to trying out a story at an open mic and getting no laughs and feeling like a loser idiot who should JUST QUIT (sorry, I’ve had a coffee). To

How was the reaction in Perth? It was good actually, for a first run. Normally those first runs can be pretty tough, but the show has plenty of really good jokes in it so it was just a case of moving them around. Perth’s a pretty tough audience, really. You’ve been nominated for the Barry Award in Melbourne the last two years, do you think this is the year you take it home? Jesus [laughs], I try not to think too much about that. I think if I come back with a good show, which I think this one is, and people that have come to

another show took me out for dinner and drinks. We stayed out until 4am. I would say that their reaction was so positive that it was almost a negative, because if that kept happening I would eventually die. Are you excited to bring it back to your home state? I definitely am. I have a few bottles of sunscreen I need to use up before they go off and I’m excited to see mum’s pantry. What’s your pre-show ritual? How do you unwind after a show? Pre-show: Try not to have a beer. Unwind: Have a beer.

be honest (and slightly boastful) I’ve actually been so busy with other writing work that I haven’t been sending out my newsletter the past few months. So now you’ve made me feel guilty. What makes Chris Brown’s Loyal the best song ever? Ah, I see you’ve been reading my Twitter feed. Sorry about that. I think it’s a solid song with a cool beat. Obviously I’m not a fan of Chris Brown’s other pursuits, but I can’t fault that song and it really puts me at odds with my feminist beliefs. But, come on! Have you heard it? It’s catchy as hell.

previous years come and enjoy it and like it and get a lot out of it, then I think that’s the best you can hope for in the long run. You did ten nights in a row at Fringe World, how do you prep for that? I think you have got to be well aware that you will suffer a deep depression [laughs]. At some point in those ten nights. And you can’t be too surprised when it happens. The less surprised you are the better. It is exhausting, it absolutely honestly is.

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 29


Music

What I Got

Dune Drinks

Sublime With Rome frontman Rome Ramirez talks to Steve Bell about respecting past glories while exploring new frontiers.

The brew-masters at Young Henrys are men (and women) of their word. They promised those brilliant Brissy boys, Dune Rats, that if their album went to #1 on the ARIA charts they’d let them loose in the brewery to cook up their very own special edition beer – and gosh darn it, that’s exactly what they did. And lo, it came to pass that Young Henrys created the Dunies Lager, a limited edition beer in honour of Dune Rats. Described as a “slightly hazy, summer smasher”, with a “full blown dank hop nose and flavour”, it’s been cooked up with a blend of Mosaic, Citra, El Dorado and Azacca hops. Get one down your neck ASAP people.

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ong Beach ska-punks Sublime were right on the verge of breaking through to the mainstream in 1996 when tragedy struck - their charismatic frontman and songwriter Brad Nowell passed away in a San Francisco motel room from a heroin overdose at the age of 28. Their acclaimed self-titled third album dropped just two months later, spawning the smash hit single What I Got and making Nowell (and his band) posthumously famous all over the globe. Strangely, as the years passed Sublime’s popularity never waned - their legacy and popularity even seemed to increase with time. In 2009 Sublime’s remaining members Eric Wilson (bass) and Bud Gaugh (drums) decided to further honour the band’s legacy by returning to the live scene, recruiting new frontman Rome Ramirez - a long-time fan - and hitting the road as Sublime With Rome. “I’ve been a fan for pretty much my whole life, so to be able to play that same music now is like a dream,” Ramirez tells. “But I’ve been doing it a long time now and we’ve added to the legacy, and just to be able to travel the world with the guys, immersed in this music, it’s like I get to live a whole different lifestyle - and all because of the band.

“[Sublime’s music] is so timeless just because you can’t slap a label on it: seriously, I think that’s why Sublime has become so legendary. The songs just don’t really sound like anybody else, and Brad was originally able to write lyrics that connected with what everyone was thinking, especially in SoCal where people are a little more carefree and open-minded, and I think Sublime hit that on the head.” Naturally Sublime With Rome sought to become more than a nostalgia vehicle, since adding to the band’s canon with two new albums. “One of the things that Eric and Bud were really adamant about when we started was writing new music, and continuing to keep writing and push the envelope,” Ramirez reflects. “It’s hard to be in a band and not create music. Having been in the band for a few years now, we have a level of comfort and writing new music is one of the parts in the process that we really look forward to. “At this point it’s just about putting together shit that we dig. If you listen to our contributions to Sublime it just sounds like a melting pot of different genres - there’s some shit that sounds a little more on the hip hop side, some that’s a little more on the rock side, and then some trippy sounds that are a little more on the What I Got produced side, so it has its own vibe or sound. We just really try to stay focussed on writing shit that we like, and shit that we’d like to listen to.”

When & Where: 4 Mar, The Tivoli; 5 Mar, Miami Marketta, Gold Coast


Music

One Good Turn

In celebration of releasing their new album New Spirit, PVT’s Laurence Pike speaks to Matt O’Neill about stumbling through five albums in the modern music industry.

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o speak with Laurence Pike is to speak with a man who, despite well over a decade of professional exposure to convince him to do likewise, still resolutely prioritises the transformative power and artistry of music over the more cynical philosophies preferred by its accompanying industry models. “I think it’s a real commercial music mentality for a band to only allow themselves to be one thing,” he muses. “I mean, I get it. It’s basically about branding. If your band changes their sound over a number of albums, your branding pretty much goes out the window. And, really, that’s a problem in the music industry - because then they have no idea how to market you. But the thing is, none of us have ever really been interested in marketing. I mean, we want people to be able to access the music. But, the marketing is just not important to us.” It’s an attitude that’s apparent throughout the history of Pike’s best-known project, electronic pop experimentalists PVT. Hardly unsuccessful, the Sydney/London trio have nevertheless often made life harder for themselves by shifting sound from record to record. “The thing is, the shifts that seem dramatic on record don’t seem that dramatic

to us. Because, you know, we’ve had three years of experiences and music and meals. Bottles of wine. Whatever,” Pike laughs. “There’s a journey there that we’ve taken and the music naturally morphs with it. For me, the artists I’ve always admired have been people who believed the music had to move forward. You know, when I was a kid, I was obsessed with Miles Davis - that was his dogma. That was his drive. In PVT, we’ve always felt the same.” With their latest album New Spirit, PVT have once again shifted their identity. After exploring more conventional song structures with 2013’s Homosapien, the band have blasted off into more sprawling and experimental soundscapes with their followup. But, New Spirit also feels like something different from the band’s usual shifts. Thematically concerned with exploring what it means to be an Australian in these times of political conflict and confusion, New Spirit feels like PVT’s most honest, organic and weightiest record to date. “I see it as a reaction and engagement with politics,” Pike says. “We wanted to explore this idea of Australian identity. There were many times, during the process of making the record, where we just felt like, ‘What fucking country are we in?!’ Just feeling, you know, genuinely and utterly confounded by the state of the country. Like, it’s not political. It just felt like something we had to engage with and acknowledge. I hope it’s worked.”

Thor-tful Flatmate

It’s tough being a Thunder God’s puny human flatmate, but that’s life for Darryl, Thor’s long-suffering roomie. Our first encounter with poor ol’ Daz saw Thor Odison explaining why he’s taking some well-earned down time in Australia (and why he was conspicuously absent from the events featured in Captain America: Civil War). In the latest instalment, by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, Thor (played by Aussie mega-hunk Chris Hemsworth) tries to pay his rent with Asgardian loot and biceps the size of bloody coconuts. Come for the humour, but stay for the gun show. Pow Pow!

What: New Spirit (Create/Control) When & Where: 25 Feb, The Foundry

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 31


If you love surfing, surf fashion, surf films, oceaninspired art and music, surf conservation, seaside yoga or participating in non-competitive surf events for the pure fun of it, then you best head on down to the white sands and blue waters of Byron Bay, 24 – 26 Feb. The three-day beach-bound event is a celebration of all things surfing and most events are absolutely free. Check out the full program of events at byronbaysurffestival.com.au

In Focus B y ro n B ay

Sur f Festival

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Brisbane Powerhouse and ImproMafia Present MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA’S

TOUR

featuring:

MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA FUNADDICTS THE UPSTEPPERS KINGSTON STOMPERS DJ’s Troy Destroy Tim Hellofahat DJ RudeKat DJ Greazer Kilmarnock Steve

7pm Tue 28 Feb – Sat 4 Mar | 6pm Sun 5 Mar Rooftop Terrace, Brisbane Powerhouse fee ($3 M15+ Tickets $24/$20 + transaction single/$6 multiple)

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Presented with permission of ScripTease | Image by Kris Anderson

“Lush and expansive...unlike anything else to be seen, heard or felt.” Glide Magazine

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Friday 24 February 2017 Concert Hall, QPAC BOOK NOW QPAC.COM.AU | 136 246 THE WILDERNESS – THE NEW ALBUM OUT NOW explosionsinthesky.com

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 33


Music

Rest In Peace

MAGIC

W AT E R Staying hydrated is very important, we all know that. But why does water have to be soooooo boring? Kickstarter comes to the rescue again, with the Flavour Bottle, a receptacle tricks your brain into thinking bog standard water from the tap is actually a flavourful fiesta in your mouth. And how does it work this voodoo magic? It’s all in the nose, apparently. A scented piece of silicone around the nozzle delivers a hit of delicious whiffs with every gulp. Well, we reckon that smells pretty good.

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compassion for musicians to know what we were goin’ through personally, because Treme did a good job of, you know, kinda showin’ that.” His band often play at jazz funerals and, on those who don’t understand this type of funeral “culturally”, Pete shares, “They’re just like, ‘Wow, they have entertainment, they To read the have music, at the full interview funeral?’” head to Pete points out Born and raised in New theMusic.com.au that jazz funerals Orleans, Hot 8 Brass Band are “broken into sousaphone player/band two parts”. After the band play “slow samba music to pay their respect... the second part leader Bennie Pete informs is [what] they call cuttin’ the body loose. So Bryget Chrisfield that jazz that would be when the band would, you funerals help his community know, gather ‘round the hearse and play one more dirge and play more of an up-tempo face “the reality of death”. toon when the hearse would, like, leave from the procession and go on to the actual burial ith sousaphones weighing in grounds, and leave the band there, you know, at up to 22 kilograms, we’re entertaining the onlookers and the friends tipping The Hot 8 Brass Band get of the family... and the family members and stung by hefty excess baggage charges friends could, like, you know, think about for international tours. Band leader/ more of the good times.” sousaphonist Bennie Pete confirms, Attending these funerals also helps open “Especially with my instrument ‘cause it up dialogue about death and Pete informs, gets charged for the overweight and the “You could even critique it; you could get wit oversize.” Perhaps he’d be better off buying your siblings or your parents or your wife or a separate seat for it, then? “They already whatever - your husband - and say, ‘Look, charge me sometimes for an extra seat,” he if something was to happen to me this is laments. “So I need three seats. what I would prefer - or this is what I want... The Hot 8 Brass Band were given a and you could leave that in the hands of boost of exposure when they were featured your loved ones and your family members in two Spike Lee documentaries: When The and if they around when that happens they Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts (2006) could do whatever they could within their and If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise power to make that happen for you. And (2010). The band was also featured in the that would help them deal with, you know, third season of popular HBO series, Treme, leaving you and missing you until they leave. which Pete credits for encouraging tourists So it’s just an ongoing thing and it’s kind of to explore “the neighbourhood bars” and a therapy, you know; it’s therapeutic and it “the mom and pop restaurants right in the helps everybody kinda cope with the reality neighbourhood” rather than “just comin’ to of death.” New Orleans for, you know, like, Bourbon Street and The French Quarter”. “And also, at the same time, they were helping rebuild those places by just supportin’ it, you know, and giving the owners and New Orleanians When & Where: support and inspiration... And they had a 1 Mar, The Triffid; 2 Mar, Solbar

W


THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 35


Music

Balancing Instinct & Reason Margaret Glaspy tells Chris Familton about staying grounded, and trying to capture the tension between emotion and logic in her songwriting.

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ith so much work going into the writing, recording and producing of debut studio album Emotions & Math, Glaspy had both high hopes and realistic expectations of how her album would be received by both critics and music fans. “When I was making the record the big success was that it would be finished and I’d get it to where I’d like it. Anything else was going to be the icing on the cake,’ she says humbly. “I take it with a grain of salt in terms of measuring success. I know I’ll probably make

back to snippets of things I recorded back then, I can see what I was going for. I see what I was trying to accomplish. I’m glad I waited a bit longer until I was a more mature artist though.” The album’s title refers to that conflict (or healthy co-existence) between emotional and reasoned responses and feelings that we all encounter daily. Glaspy found a way to draw that omnipresent part of her personality into her songwriting. “It is in everything I do. There’s always some measure of discipline or logic or practice and then there’s the side that just happens. The skills you learn work alongside the natural flow and keep it on track. The reason why the record is called that is that I see it rise in my life a lot. I see both sides of that rage pretty hard all at the same

It’ll be an evolution all the time for me I hope. time. I’m very analytical and very emotional and I think they complement each other but sometimes it’s difficult. I’ve always felt I wanted to be either a left or right brain person and label myself as one, but it’s not that simple. Everybody has their own chemistry that makes us special and unique and human.” Glaspy already has one eye on recording her next album, once this touring cycle concludes in September. It promises to be another stage of her journey as a songwriter. “I’ll never make this record again and I look forward to that and I’m happy about that. My DNA is to evolve and make new things. Our responsibility as artists is to take people some place and not just leave them in the same place all the time. It’ll be an evolution all the time for me I hope. That’s the goal.”

When & Where: 4 Mar, The Foundry

some records in my career that others will hate and hopefully they’ll like a few of them too. I can’t take it all too seriously but I’m certainly appreciative.” Getting to this point, in her late 20s, has meant Glaspy has had plenty of time to develop and refine her songwriting and guitar-playing since she first ventured into that world in her late teens. “That’s evolved quite a bit and changed over time, slowly. I started to write songs when I was 16 or 17 and now I’m 28. I don’t know if that’s a success story or a failure story, but it’s my story,” she laughs. “My love for music has always been very consistent and I think my skill level has changed for sure but when I listen 36 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017


Music

Peaceful Protest And Practical Activism Tegan Quin, one half of Canadian indie-pop sisters Tegan & Sara, tells Anthony Carew she’ll be putting up a fight against the ugly politics of the Trump administration.

“I

love peaceful protests!” beams Tegan Quin. Tegan, one half of the Canadian sister act Tegan & Sara, maintains that, currently, the nascent Trump administration has her feeling “a pretty constant course of anger and frustration”, but the 36-year-old LA resident, when talking of attending women’s marches or airport protests, maintains a sense of hope. “We’re gonna fight all the backwards nonsense that comes out of this administration,” Quin says. “America is a great country, and it’s been really sad watching them

A very necessary part of being a decent human being is that you use the opportunities that come your way to do good.

struggle, the way they have over the last year, through this incredibly negative and upsetting election. It’s just so sad when the news feed is full of racism, sexism, bigotry, Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia. It’s horrible.” Artistic activism isn’t new for the Quin twins. Each is openly gay, and they’ve spent their career supporting queer issues. “We’ve always thought that a very necessary part of being a decent human being is that you use the opportunities that come your way to do good,” offers Tegan. “We’ve never wanted to be preachy about it, [but] we felt a social responsibility right from the start. Whether that was running T-shirt drives for charity, or donating to organisations, we’ve always had this belief in practical activism.

“As far as creating the music, though,” she adds, “that’s utterly self-centred: all I do is write about myself!” But, Tegan thinks, even though her songs are filled with her emotions they’re not really filled with her; as songwriters, the twins have long hewed — across eight albums and two decades — to pop music’s ‘universal’ over the specific. “I know that we’re all obsessed with getting to know the artist, and there’s always going to be people who want to know what our lives are like, and who we’re dating, but my ultimate hope is that when the music comes in, you’re not thinking about me at all, only your own experiences,” says Quin. Which isn’t to say that they don’t want to have a direct connection with listeners. That’s something that’s been there since their beginnings, as Calgary schoolgirls “travelling around [Canada] on a Greyhound bus”. “When we were starting out in the late ‘90s the first thing we did was get a website, put an email up there and say ‘Write to us,’” Tegan recounts. “Our first piece of email we ever got was totally a criticism! It said: ‘The only reason you’re getting any attention is because you’re teenage girls.’ At that time, there was this prevailing male scepticism that we had to deal with. Even when we signed with Neil Young [and his Vapor label] in 1999, there was so much male scepticism. ‘Why would Neil Young sign you?’ Just that standard sexism, dudes who just couldn’t understand how Neil Young could relate to anything written by a young girl. I think we’ve thrown that narrative into flux, because I’m always writing about relationships with women, so we’re perfect for any guy who only wants to hear songs written about girls.” Through years of doing everything themselves, the sisters forged a direct connection with fans, leaning on them for restaurant recommendations or to help with merch. They have a particular fondness for Australian audiences. “I was so fucked up, so jetlagged the whole time,” Tegan remembers their first Australian tour, “and, after dark, when Australians started to drink, I could not understand anything that was said to me. But we loved an were so profoundly affected, and it really shaped it, and the next few years, because we became obsessed with build building Australia.” Their latest tour finds Tegan & Sara playing the Mardi Gras Party and shows at the Zoos in Melbourne and Syd Sydney. They’re excited to play non-traditional gigs — “We up for anything!” — and return to Australia. Even “We’re thou they “can’t stand to sell [their] own merchandise though anymore”, Tegan wants to make things clear: the twins are “definitely not jaded”. “We’ve been so invested in our careers that we take a lot of pride in our success,” offers Tegan. “As women, and as queer people, straight up we’ve had to work really hard. Instead of feeling jaded that it was such hard work, or that it took so long, I just feel pride. When people criticise us for changing our sound, or stupid trolls write dumb shit on our Instagram page, I don’t feel angry, I feel pride. Yes, we did succeed. Yes, we do get played on radio. Yes, we have become successful. But we earned it. I look at Sara, and think: ‘Fuck, man, we did it! This is so great!’”

When & Where: 6 Mar, The Tivoli THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 37


Album / E Album/EP Reviews

Album OF THE Week

Horrorshow Bardo State Elefant Traks

★★★★½

Horrorshow’s latest is a sophisticated, sexy, dance-inflected record. It’s tough to think of a less likely sentence! But with Bardo State, rapper Solo and beatsmith Adit have managed to explore new terrain. And it’s thrilling. The first three minutes of opener My Time give no hint of the surprise. Those minutes are a neatly conceived, tightly executed bunch of brags, not unlike what we’ve heard for a decade. Then, 180 or 190 seconds in the world caves in, the spaceship takes off, the curtain drops, and gritty reality gives way to a dreamscape. It’s a stunning moment that crowns an exceptional song. Astray is spacious, voluptuous, and properly sexy when Solo tells us “She leans in to me and says, ‘Don’t be afraid.’” Sex remains in the air later on Never Say Never. Eat The Cake is a funked-out dance jam. So many new tricks! That’s not to say the our hosts have forgotten anything: Non-Stop and Ceiling Fan show off Solo’s command of lower case “p” politics; he’s always breathed rare air on that score. If You Know What I Mean is a searing mission statement. Cherry Blossom is big and bouncy. Bardo State is saucier and more immediate than anything Horrorshow have shared with us before. This stuff is Old Dogs 2.0. James d’Apice

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Holy Holy PAINT Wonderlick/Sony

★★★★

Flying Microtonal Banana Flightless/Remote Control

★★★½ 2016 was one long victory lap for King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard as Nonagon Infinity climbed to #2 in the ARIA charts and they headlined their own mini-fest around the country. But that victory lap meant that, unusually for a band so prolific, they released just one album in 2016. The sweet and simple formula of write a killer hook then repeat, repeat, repeat — which has reaped fine rewards in the past — is coming close to wearing a little thin here. That said, there are still plenty of new directions, such as the nightmarish Open Water and the unconventional lead single Rattlesnake, which pogos along to an electro-robotic pulse for the best part of eight minutes.

38 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

Technically it’s something of an experimental release as the guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica have been modified to play “microtones” (ie, notes that are less than a semitone apart) and a blaring Turkish horn called a Zurna intermittently wails across a number of tracks. But despite the innovations, much of the album sounds exactly like the King Gizz we know. There doesn’t appear to be any anthems here that might dominate the Js the way Gamma Knife did, but the reassuring thing about King Gizzard is even when a new release is underwhelming, it’s more than likely there’ll be another one along in six months. Christopher H James

As a songwriter, Timothy Carroll has rarely put a foot wrong in his entire career. Whether focusing on his solo output or Holy Holy, Carroll has always been a meticulous craftsperson, his songs consistently as intelligently constructed as they are emotionally resonant. But this is something else. This is something quite special. Holy Holy’s 2015 debut album When The Storms Would Come felt largely like the vision of Carroll and Holy Holy co-founder Oscar Dawson. It was clean and gently textured songwriting lightly augmented by additional instrumentation. PAINT bears all the fingerprints of the pair’s backers — Graham Ritchie, Matt Redlich and Ryan Strathie — and it is so, so much better for it. (And, to be clear, their debut album was outstanding.)

PAINT is noisy, colourful and exploratory. Breathy melodies are gatecrashed by massive synths. Beautiful songs are built off wonky rhythms. Cumulatively, Holy Holy’s membership have cut their teeth with Dukes Of Windsor, Ball Park Music, Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Skinny Jean, Ainslie Wills and Emma Louise (and more). PAINT sees them unleash all of their creativity and pedigrees with one of the best songwriters in the country. It’s a gorgeous listen. Do not miss it. Matt O’Neill


EP Reviews Album/EP Reviews

Children Of Alice Suicide Silence

Dirty Projectors

Crystal Fairy

Children Of Alice

Suicide Silence

Dirty Projectors

Crystal Fairy

Warp/Inertia

Nuclear Blast

Domino/EMI

★★★½

★★½

★★★★

★★★★

Broadcast were one of those bands whose due credit only came after sudden tragedy. Children Of Alice is the debut release of sole surviving member James Cargill together with long-time Broadcast collaborators Roj Stevens and Julian House. Solely comprised of insular soundscapes awash with extraterrestrial sounds, eerie drones and hard to identify percussion, it could be the soundtrack to some long lost episode of The Twilight Zone as each track journeys indistinguishably into the next. It’s adventurous, but lacks the distinctive character of Broadcast’s timeless songs.

Extreme music devotees can be rather pedantic, but the fan entitlement which accompanied Suicide Silence’s singles was staggering. However, evaluating said tracks within the entire album’s scope further emphasises the jarring shift from deathcore mosh merchants to pursuing the modern hard rock/nu-metal nostalgia crowd. Such radical overhauling — proliferation of Deftones-aping clean vocals (which clearly still require refining) and gloomy ambience included — takes cojones. There are fleeting nods to their past, although diehards may revolt after hearing Conformity’s Slipknot-esque melancholy. Adjusting to Ross Robinson’s raw but underdone production proves demanding too. Overall results are wildly uneven, albeit oddly fascinating.

Fourteen years into their career, Dirty Projectors have released their one and only eponymous release. It is unpredictable, genre-defying, endlessly creative and, yet, brilliantly focused, a breakup album, rooted in personal and artistic rebirth. Accordingly, the opening track’s title, Keep Your Name, summons ideas of regeneration, divorce, marriage and the weight of the past all at once while the song itself loops a warped cover of the band’s own 2012 Impregnable Question. Dirty Projectors is obsessed with emotional and sonic ghosts and its glaring absence: Amber Coffman, David Longstreth’s lost love and the Projectors’ lost guitarist.

Everything about this collaboration between The Melvins’ Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Le Butcherettes’ main lady Teri Gender Bender screams “This was meant to be!” Recently, Le Butcherettes toured the US with The Melvins where an encore of Bikini Kill’s Rebel Girl with Teri Gender Bender on vocals was considered the highlight each night. Her over-thetop personality is a perfect complement to some of Buzz Osborne’s most muscular, instantly satisfying riffs in years, particularly on the low slung grooves of the title track and the bruising, howling Bent Teeth. We can only hope this isn’t a one-off.

Samantha Jonscher

Christopher H James

Christopher H James

Ipecac/[PIAS] Australia

Brendan Crabb

More Reviews Online Broads Vacancy

theMusic.com.au

Jeff Lang Alone In Bad Company

Listen to our This Week’s Releases playlist on

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 39


Live Re Live Reviews

Alice Ivy @ Mountain Goat Valley Crawl. Pic: Markus Ravik

Twelve Foot Ninja, Osaka Punch, Humality The Zoo 18 Feb

Whalehouse @ Mountain Goat Valley Crawl. Pic: Molly Burly

Average Art Club @ Mountain Goat Valley Crawl. Pic: Molly Burly

Luke Daniel Peacock @ Mountain Goat Valley Crawl. Pic: Markus Ravik

Pearls @ Mountain Goat Valley Crawl. Pic: Markus Ravik

Twelve Foot Ninja @ The Zoo. Pic: Markus Ravik

40 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

Slamming stubbies and sweatin’ balls, rock connoisseurs squeeze into The Zoo to immerse themselves in the diverse metal stylings of Twelve Foot Ninja as the boys from Melbourne embark on the Brisbane leg of their Sick national tour. Humality open the night in black-button-up, schmick uniformity. Their ability to draw and command the attention of the still-arriving audience is impressive. As the band progresses through key tracks from EPs Nowhere and Now Here, the audience as a single mass throbs to the drum beat, hypnotised. Osaka Punch are eagerly welcomed by the now-welllubricated crowd. In a showcase of their latest EP, 2016’s Death Monster Super Squad, they deliver a smorgasbord of ‘70 to ‘90s pop, funk and R’n’B fused together with the vocal and rhythmic urgency of metal. A rumbling of cheers surges through the venue as it falls into darkness, heralding the arrival of tonight’s headliners. One by one, the members of Twelve Foot Ninja emerge out of the blackened stage, meeting a sea of devil’s horns and raised glasses. The opening song is visually bathed in red lighting and incessant green strobes, snapshotting each movement or pose struck by the band. The boys launch into Mother Sky, which offers a lesson in the use of dissonance, fluctuating between modalities. This must be what an underworld jazz club sounds like. The high point of the evening is reached when the drummer stops mid-intro for what the audience initially thinks is a technical difficulty. However, he merrily brings a young man and lady on stage. The next moment, the guy gets on one knee and

proposes to his girlfriend. This is received with celebratory exclamations from the audience, which grow louder following the young lady’s acceptance. The boys crack open a bottle of champas and raise a glass to the bride and groom to-be.

Audience members raise their hands in elation. The band course through their latest single and tour namesake, Sick, renewing the audience’s energy before they close with One Hand Killing, which possesses the listener with its unrelenting guitar rhythm. Following a sung-speech intro, audience members raise their hands in elation and clap through each verse before bellowing out the chorus in a guttural roar. The band wring out every last drop of vigour in final notes, at last exhausting the audience. Twelve Foot Ninja are trailblazers in Australia’s metal (etc.) scene in the 2010s, and will hopefully continue to push the boundaries of their related genres and challenge our musical perceptions for a long time to come. Cristiana Linthwaite-Gibbins

Mountain Goat Valley Crawl Fortitude Valley Entertainment Precinct 11 Feb It is a balmy evening in old Brisbane town as Fortitude Valley comes to life for the second annual Mountain Goat Valley Crawl. Stretched across five of the city’s best-loved live music venues, the nascent annual event has made it its mission to fill the


eviews Live Reviews

precinct with the sounds of some seriously excellent emergent and established acts of all walks, showcasing a range of brilliant local and interstate talent in the process. When you’ve got five amazing stages, it’s hard to pick who to see first. Our evening starts with the burgeoning melodies of Sweater Curse at The Foundry. Thinking back to the first time we crossed paths with Sweater Curse, they’ve always blown their audiences away with their charm and evocative, jangly melodies that can stop a listener in their tracks. Tonight is no exception. We race to the newly renovated Zoo to see WHALEHOUSE, who sure pack a punch. They belt out tune after tune, seeping energy and excitement and attitude. Frontwomen Zoe Wilson and Amy-Rose Lawson take turns singing and playing, swapping out every few songs and showing off their extensive range. Drummer Sonya Chamberlain keeps up a steady stream of chatter between songs and incites conversation with not only the other girls but also the audience. Back upstairs at The Foundry, Brisbane up-and-comers Future Haunts are plying a polished set of tunes to their decent-size audience. These dudes aren’t doing anything groundbreaking with their refined take on the genre, but they’re clearly accomplished musicians nonetheless, deftly serving up a stream of post-garage indie-rock goodness that leaves us smiling, swaying and impressed. Meanwhile, back at The Zoo are the newly revitalised and blossoming Average Art Club. Their set is a heady concoction of psychedelic rock and indie-punk, the three frontwomen taking turns singing and swapping guitars every now and then, taking the best out of all of them to creative a creative, overwhelming performance. In the cool, intimate surrounds of Black Bear Lodge - easily the most comfortable

venue of the night, temperaturewise, largely due to their supereffective airconditioner - folk singer-songwriter Angharad Drake is serenading a small but dedicated group listening to her sublime brand of introspective mellifluence. Eventually flanked by a backing band of instrumentalists, Drake delivers a near-flawless set of dulcet, honeydipped tunes that demonstrate a formidable grasp of the interplay between melody and harmony. An attempt to watch Melbourne’s Pearls at Woolly Mammoth is aborted almost immediately due to the honestly unbearable heat hanging over the room. Ultimately, although the band on stage are sounding superb, it proves too physically uncomfortable to endure for any

It’s sweaty, it’s messy and it’s absolutely glorious. significant length of time, so we depart, dispirited, less than three songs into their set - sorry, Pearls. We head back to The Foundry for a serve of drony psychedelia from Dreamtime. This respected four-piece trades in “extended meditative jams”, which is the exact opposite of what we need right now, honestly. Multilayered, expansive, meandering soundscapes dominate their seemingly well-rehearsed set, though it would be dishonest to describe any of it as particularly memorable, at least in a hooky sense. However, as the music wanders, so too does our attention, and pretty soon we decide we’ve had all we can take and roam across to The Brightside to take in something a little snappier and more digestible, from Luke Daniel

Peacock and his band. The acclaimed troubadour takes this festival-like opportunity to pepper his set with a bunch of new tunes, and he and his cohorts turn in an exemplary performance that coaxes the crowd right out of their shells to fill the room with an ebullience unlike anything else we’ve yet seen tonight. Well, until we get to The Zoo. As sweaty as ever, the venue welcomes young headturner Mallrat, who steps out to a packed, rapturously receptive room. However, in stark contrast to her exuberant performance at Falls Festival over the new year, Mallrat is missing a vital spring in her step that steers the overall outing to a relatively flat landing. In fairness, it’s not totally her fault - her vocals are buried in the mix, muddied and indecipherable for the majority of her performance, which is a real shame - but it’s clear that the heat and discomfort is getting to her as well. She puts in a valiant effort nonetheless. As the night wears on, it becomes increasingly difficult to actually treat the Valley Crawl as a ‘crawl’ in any real sense of the term. Once it passes the 10pm mark or so, leaving one venue results in lengthy waits to get in to several of the others involved in the event. We amble back to The Brightside to wait for Polish Club to cap off our night. It ends up being one of the smartest calls we’ve made all evening, as we get in with relative ease and, more importantly, the Sydney duo let loose with an impossibly powerful and frenetic set of earnest, roughedged, soul-steeped, garage rock excellence to an utterly packed room. It’s sweaty, it’s messy, and it’s absolutely glorious. Despite the odd setback, the entire event is evidently a resounding success, the silver lining to the cloud of those massive venue queues being, of course, that a great number of punters were obviously exceptionally keen to hear what this year’s line-up had to offer.

More Reviews Online theMusic.com.au/ music/live-reviews

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre Wil Wagner @ The Zoo Wren Klauf @ Elsewhere Ludovico Einaudi @ QPAC Yonder Festival @ The Tivoli

Carly Packer & Mitch Knox

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 41


Arts Reviews Arts Reviews

confrontation — he won’t talk to a woman who flirts with him at a bar, but he will pick a fight with a man who looked at him the wrong way. But life comes searching for Lee when he gets news that his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), still living in the small town of Manchester, has suffered a fatal heart attack. Even though he must, Lee is reluctant to return to Manchester. And he’s shocked to learn that Joe has named him the legal guardian of his teenage nephew, Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Patrick is equally reluctant to leave Manchester — he has all the trappings of a teenager’s life, including “two girlfriends” and a terrible band, and he doesn’t want to leave them behind to move hours away to Boston. So, Lee grudgingly agrees to remain in Manchester, although it becomes more and more clear that something truly terrible forced him out and kept him out for so long. It’s not until around halfway Manchester By The Sea that it’s revealed just what that is, and it’s depicted by Lonergan and portrayed by the actors with such raw authenticity that everything that has happened up until that moment makes a bleak, sorrowful kind of sense. And it also sets the tone for everything that happens next. One might expect Manchester By The Sea to follow a set path towards a satisfying resolution and the way Lonergan has strongly, sensitively written and positioned these characters, one hopes that’s where the movie will go. It doesn’t. Not quite. That’s not to say the story disappoints. But it recognises that the grief and pain felt by Lee, Patrick and everyone else touched — even tangentially — by tragedy isn’t easily quelled. Indeed, there’s a simple admission of defeat by Lee late in the film that is simply crushing. It’s not a melodramatic moment; it’s painful and it’s truthful. Despite all this, Manchester By The Sea is not a downer. Every word, every action — whether he’s driven by the deepest pain or rendered inarticulate by shame — is bruising and beautifully honest. Manchester By The Sea

Manchester By The Sea Film In cinemas

★★★★ Grief is a tough and tricky opponent, and it doesn’t fight fair. It can hit you hard and fast, knocking the wind out of you. It can suckerpunch you at the most unexpected moment. It can simply hammer away at you, relentlessly, until you’re left numb. Manchester By The Sea recognises that grief plays dirty and writer-director Kenneth Lonergan has crafted a poignant, piercing and remarkable film about what it takes to move beyond it, if one ever can. Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) lives a quiet, almost monastic life in Boston, working as a handyman in a small apartment block. It’s clear that he’s purposely avoiding any inkling of pleasure, preferring either isolation or

Guy Davis

T2 Trainspotting

T2 Trainspotting Film In Cinemas 23 Feb

★★★★ Two decades on, Trainspotting remains an era-defining blockbuster, especially for a target audience that is beginning to embrace nostalgia, so a quick fix of ‘90s-era cool is just the ticket for middle-aged saddos like yours truly here. As we all know, there are few things more depressing than trying to relive one’s glory days when you’re past your prime. Getting the gang back together, as T2 does (Boyle and Welsh return, as do screenwriter John Hodge, producer Andrew MacDonald and the core quartet of actors), could easily backfire, maybe even taint any fond regard for the original. A betrayal, you might say. T2 doesn’t fall into the trap of trying to be what it once was, although it has a febrile energy that occasionally echoes that of the first film. And its reminiscence for the past is deliberately frustrating - it wallows in the past, regretting bad decisions, lamenting stagnation and recognising excessive nostalgia as a drug as addictive and stupefying as heroin. I don’t want to make it sound like T2 is a total downer, because it’s not. It’s raucously funny at times, dryly witty at others. It’s terribly touching in its depiction of missed connections and making amends. T2 has Renton (Ewan McGregor) returning to his hometown two decades after he split with most of the money from a drug deal he pulled with Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Spud (Ewen Bremner) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Only sweet-natured Spud, who can’t seem to kick his heroin habit, is happy to see Renton. The conniving Sick Boy, who’s making a dirty living pimping out ‘girlfriend’ Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova) and blackmailing her johns, is out for slow, subtle payback. Begbie wants it neither slow nor subtle - he breaks out of jail to get his bloody revenge. The greatest conflict T2’s characters face, however, is with themselves, their own inability to overcome their addictions, corral their demons, face their futures, acknowledge their faults. Guy Davis

42 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017


Sat 25 Feb The Foundry Brisbane

‘New Spirit’ out now ---pvtpvt.net

THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 43


Comedy / G The Guide

Mother’s Cake

WED 22

Descendents + Clowns: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill

Betty Smokes & the Forgetaboudits: Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane Planet Clare: The Bearded Lady (Front Bar), West End

Warpaint + Jonti: The Triffid, Newstead

The Music Presents

Triffid Acoustics with Danny Widdicombe: The Triffid, Newstead

CW Stoneking & Nathaniel Rateliff: 8 Mar The Tivoli

THU 23

Holly Throsby: 16 Mar Black Bear Lodge

Moreland & Arbuckle + Claude Hay: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley

The Jerry Cans: 22 Mar, The Northern Byron Bay; 23 Mar, SolBar; 24 Mar, Black Bear Lodge

Nuclear Assault + Deraign + Hidden Intent: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley

Guy Sebastian: 31 Mar The Triffid; 1 April The Northern Byron Bay The Waifs: 6 Apr The Tivoli; 8 Apr Miami Marketta; 9 Apr Muro Martin Parlands Bluesfest: 13 – 17 Apr, Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm Laura Mvula: 15 Apr The Triffid Jeff Lang: 5 May Imperial Hotel Eumundi Luca Brasi: 30 Jun The Triffid

Lydia Cole + Emma Fradd: Junk Bar, Ashgrove Smoke + Belligerent Goat + more: The Bearded Lady, West End

Clowns

Family Clown Melbourne hardcore punks Clowns will be making their way up north this month with Californian legends Descendents. Catch the two for their show at Eatons Hill Hotel on 22 Feb.

Seinfeld Trivia: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley Serene + I Met The Maker + I, The Divide + Not To Regret: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley 5 Bands for 5 Bucks with The Dollar Bill Murrays + OJ Mengel + The Pierce Brosnans + Crimson Nights: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley

FRI 24 The Screaming Jets + Chelsea Rockwells:

Six60 + Vulture St Tape Gang: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill Bernard Fanning + Kasey Chambers + Garrett Kato: Empire Theatre, Toowoomba James Reyne: Hamilton Hotel, Hamilton Little Billy: Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane Kid Ink + Donell Lewis + Kennyon Brown: Max Watt’s, West End Jack Tully + Sean Fitzgerald: Miami Marketta, Miami

Lost Animal

Stephen Dorrington: New Globe Theatre, Fortitude Valley

SAT 25 Landings + Niterunner + Mookhi: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley Port Paradise feat. The Lost Knights + The Counterfeit Umbrellas + Lachy Lyne: Chardons Corner Hotel, Annerley Totally Unicorn + She Cries Wolf + Descent: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley The Screaming Jets + Chelsea Rockwells: Harvey Road Tavern, Clinton

Jonti

Bearfoot + Dosed + Josh Lovegrove: Night Quarter, Helensvale Explosions In The Sky: Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) (Concert Hall), South Brisbane Porter Robinson + Madeon + Lido + Elk Road: Riverstage, Brisbane

Lost And Found Following the recent release of second LP You Yang, Lost Animal brings his album tour to The Foundry this 24 Feb. Catch him along with supports 100% and Glen Schnau.

Beach House Hotel, Scarness ICEHOUSE: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, South Bank DJ Troy T: Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Heads CHILD + Hobo Magic + The Royal Artillery + Indica: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley

44 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

All Strings Attached + The Moon Sets + The Quakers: Solbar (Main Stage), Maroochydore Daryl James: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore Moreland & Arbuckle + Claude Hay: Soundlounge, Currumbin Chasing Ghosts: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley Lost Animal + Glen Schnau + 100%: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley Mar Haze + Fire & Whistle Theory: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane The Empire Strips Back: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley Americana Amplified with Various Artists: The Triffid, Newstead

Mononymous Sydney-based vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jonti will be charming punters and critics alike as he supports the all-girl line-up of dreamy LA psychrockers, Warpaint, on 22 Feb at The Triffid.

Peter Black + Forest Pooky: Junk Bar, Ashgrove P.C. & The Biffs: Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane


Gigs / Live The Guide

Tay Oskee

SUN 26

WED 01

Brunch with The David Bentley Trio: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point

Atmosphere + Brother Ali: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley

Mango Jam Big Band: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point

The Hot 8 Brass Band: The Triffid, Newstead

Wild Marmalade + Si Mullumby + Khan Harrison: Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Heads

THU 02

Father Sin + Fatty & The Beard: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley

The New Savages: Brooklyn Standard, Brisbane Dead Letter Circus + Strangers: New Globe Theatre, Fortitude Valley

Northern Skies

Sam Buckingham + Benjamin James Caldwell: Junk Bar, Ashgrove

Tay Oskee is heading for The Northern with his live band on 25 Feb. His broad sound engrosses those present, running the gamut from soft, melodic dreams to hard-hitting roots riffs.

The Urban Chiefs: Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane

Akova + Shukura Chapman: Miami Marketta, Miami

C H U R C H with Various Artists: The Bearded Lady, West End

Niterunner + Alpha Pi + Hawkmoon + Velvet Flare: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane

Hussy Hicks + Christie Lenee: Night Quarter, Helensvale

Peperine + Rowan Russell: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane

Katy Steele + Hazlett: The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba

DJ Lincoln: Racehorse Hotel, Booval

Americana Sessions with Sue Ray: The Triffid, Newstead

Bliss N Eso: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley

Buzz & The Blues Band + Raku O’Gaia: Royal Mail Hotel, Goodna John Farnham + James Reyne + Daryl Braithwaite + Shannon Noll + Taxiride: Sandstone Point Hotel, Sandstone Point

Pixies: Riverstage, Brisbane The Hot 8 Brass Band + Bullhorn: Solbar, Maroochydore

Sunday Sessions with Jethro: Prince of Wales Hotel, Nundah

Town: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore

Hussy Hicks + Christie Lenee: The Walrus Club, Toowong

Daryl James + Josephson + Byron Short: The Bearded Lady, West End

5 Bands for 5 Bucks with Rugged Coast + Chesterfield + Chakra + The Delicates + The Schwifties: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley

Plini

Mar Haze + Los Laws: Solbar (Main Stage), Maroochydore

Tex Perkins + Murray Patterson: The Bearded Lady, West End The Steele Syndicate + Hooch: The Boundary Hotel, West End

James Halloran + Lucy Fox + Ariel: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane The Empire Strips Back: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley

Veni, Plini, Vici After the success of Plini’s 2016 release Handmade Cities the independent Sydney-based guitarist and composer is supporting instrumental hard-rockers, Animals As Leaders throughout their Australian tour. First stop is The Triffid on 25 Feb.

Animals As Leaders + Plini + Nick Johnston: The Triffid, Newstead Songs You Know & Love with Betty Smokes & the Forgetaboudits: The Triffid (Beer Garden), Newstead Therapist + Cedarsmoke + Age Champion + Death By Carrot: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley The Goon Sax + 100% + Shep Dooley: Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley

Answered by: Daniel Rogan Single title? A Defining Commitment

What’s the song about? My relationship with creating music, the vulnerability it brings and a fear that one day the flow will dry up.

How long did it take to write/ record? We leased an industrial space to record the record ourselves. Writing took only a few nights but it took a few more months to reach a point where we were happy with the recording.

What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? Creating new material is a lot of fun. Going in to the studio ‘fresh’ and with no preconception of where we each song would lead was always going to be best for the album.

Decepticore Mini Fest with Kings At Heart + Atlantis Of The Sky + Path Of Victory + Crave Death + Lycanthrope + Trojans + We Set Signals + Misguided + Evil Eye + Upon a Falling Empire + Furious George + Fragments + Strategies + Uncle Buck: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley

Felix Da Housecat: The Met, Fortitude Valley

Single Focus

Is this track from a forthcoming release/existing release? Yes, it is on our debut self-titled album which is being released through Hobbledehoy Records on a date TBA.

Tailor Birds: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore

PVT + Jack Gray + Jack Grace: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley

Indie

Taxiride: Redland Bay Hotel, Redland Bay

Manu Delago: Queen Street Mall, Brisbane

Mark D’s Big 3: Morrison Hotel, Woolloongabba

Whiskey & Me + Tommy Castles: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore

Brief Habits

TUE 28 OzFest After Party with Yes Sir Noceur + Idiio + GD FRNDS DJs: Miami Tavern (Shark Bar), Miami

Oxide & Neutrino (So Solid Crew): Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley

Fri 03 Caxton Street Jazz Band: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point

We’ll like this song if we like... Summer, guitar songs, J Robbins, books and dogs. Do you play it differently live? The record does have a lot of different layers on it - added percussion and the like - but the amount of energy in our live show can easily match it. When and where is your launch/ next gig? 25 Feb, Fat Louie’s; 11 Mar, Crowbar Website link for more info? briefhabits.com THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 • 45


Comedy / G The Guide

Wren Klauf

The West End Sessions with Sue Ray + The Verandah ChiX + Kristy Apps + Chanel Lucas: West End Uniting Church, West End

SUN 05

Bob Rose & the All-Star Co-Op Big Band: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point Frankie Cosmos: Junk Bar, Ashgrove

Indie

The New Savages: Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane Sublime With Rome + Jakubi: Miami Marketta, Miami A Set Adrift with Asa Broomhall: Mooloolaba Surf Club, Mooloolaba

EP Focus

Answered by: Sam Faulkner

The Goon Sax

Mark D’s Big 3: Morrison Hotel, Woolloongabba

EP Title? GAWK

Suckin’ Goon

How many releases do you have now? LAGLWM and GAWK - an AV collaboration between us and KTL (Kiah The Label). It’s as much hers as it is ours.

The Goon Sax are on a short run of shows to dry-test potential new material for their second album. Joining them at the Woolly Mammoth of 25 Feb are 100% and Shep Dooley.

Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? Our biggest inspiration during the making of GAWK was seeing Kiah’s progress and the development of her brand new artistic style. She is incredible. Do yourselves a favour and look up KTL. What’s your favourite song on it? Probably Cartwheels. Its chorus is like a doped-out Steely Dan/ XTC hybrid. The strong middle section is incredibly fun, too.

We’ll like this EP if we like... If you have a keen interest in XTC, the greatest band on earth, you’ll probably understand how we like to write and perform live. When and where is your launch/ next gig? We released GAWK at the Elsewhere, right here in the great city in Queensland, Gold Coast. Our next show is 11 Mar, Incest Fest, Miami Shark Bar. Website link for more info? facebook.com/wrenklauf/

The New Savages: Brooklyn Standard, Brisbane

Rob Moir + Jesse Taylor: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore C H U R C H with Various Artists: The Bearded Lady, West End Bloodgin + BUDD + Goldstool: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley

Glenn Shorrock + Brian Cadd: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill

The Monsoon Rockstock feat. Frenzal Rhomb + Regurgitator + King Parrot + Darkc3ll + Osaka Punch + Transvaal Diamond Syndicate + Hobo Magic + Not To Regret + Holistic + Plan Of Attack + Heavy Roller + Seraphic + Kobrakai + Mister Ioso + more: Lake Kawana Community Centre, Ingham

Darkc3ll: Hard Rock Cafe, Surfers Paradise

Tinie Tempah: Max Watt’s, West End

Tegan & Sara: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley

Josh Rennie-Hynes: Junk Bar, Ashgrove

Kallidad + Dinner for Deux: Miami Marketta, Miami

Tue 07

Lagerstein: New Globe Theatre, Fortitude Valley

Cam Knight: Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm

DJ Lincoln: Racehorse Hotel, Booval

Eighth Blackbird: Queensland Conservatorium, South Brisbane

Mufaro + Pink Matter + Tyra: Chardons Corner Hotel, Annerley

I Am Duckeye: New Globe Theatre, Fortitude Valley Pro Vita + Ivey + The Bards: Solbar, Maroochydore One Dragon Two Dragon + Juju Bom: The Boundary Hotel, West End Elliot Smith ‘Either/Or’ 20th Anniversary feat. Various Artists: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley

Karaoke: Redland Bay Hotel, Redland Bay

Frenzal Rhomb: The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba

Moses + In Caves + The Flamingo Jones: The Bearded Lady, West End

Flux Pavilion: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley

Sanfellu: The Bearded Lady (Front Bar), West End

Bullhorn + Vaudeville Smash + Fat Picnic: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley

SAT 04 Melissa Western Quintet: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point

Busby Marou: Dalrymple Hotel, Garbutt Killswitch Engage + Fallujah: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill Dave Bently Trio: Imperial Hotel, Eumundi

BaBa ZuLa + Mzaza + Sabrosa Sound System: The Triffid, Newstead MON 06

Katy Steele + Hazlett: Solbar, Maroochydore AlfanAnt: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore

James Vincent McMorrow + Moreton: The Triffid, Newstead

Adele: The Gabba, Woolloongabba

Blues Arcadia + Fiona Boyes: Royal Mail Hotel, Goodna

Katy Steele + Hazlett: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley

Good Life Festival 2017 feat, Party Thieves + Joel Fletcher + Teddy Cream + Jackass + more: Brisbane Showgrounds, Bowen Hills

46 • THE MUSIC • 22ND FEBRUARY 2017

Sunday Sessions with Jethro: Prince of Wales Hotel, Nundah

Pick It Up + The Madtones: The Boundary Hotel, West End

Frenzal Rhomb

The Creases: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley Margaret Glaspy + Slow Dancer + Neighbour: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley Adele: The Gabba, Woolloongabba The Morrisons + Jen Mize + Paddy McHugh: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane Sublime With Rome + Jakubi: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley Kodiak Empire + Hashshashin + Balloons Kill Babies + Weightless In Orbit: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley

Still Going Rhomb Sneaking in a couple of pub shows on their way up north to play at Monsoon Rockstock Festival are Frenzal Rhomb, who’ll drop by The Northern to perform another one of their notoriously raucous gigs on 2 Mar.


Gigs / Live The Guide

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Alex Williamson Make the World a Banter Place SAT 4 MAR SUN 5 MAR

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JEFF GREEN “A national treasure.” DAILY MIRROR (UK) “One of the best comedians in the country.” THE GUARDIAN “Makes you laugh with him and stays with you long after the lights go down.” +++++ BROADWAY BABY (UK)

FRI 17 & SAT 18 MAR AT 8.15PM, SUN 19 MAR AT 7PM

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AUSTRALIAN STAND-UP TOUR 2017

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The Music (Brisbane) Issue #138  

The Music is a free, weekly magazine of newsstand quality. It features a diverse range of content including arts, culture, fashion, lifestyl...

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