19.04.17 Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
Brisbane / Free / Incorporating
WHY WE ADORE
From your ﬁrst day at SAE, you’ll start creating in world-class facilities, on the latest software and equipment, all under the guidance of our expert lecturers – discover how you could bring your creative career to life at our Info Night.
REGISTER TO ATTEND - sae.edu.au/events 1800 723 338
INFO NIGHT. BRISBANE CAMPUS. THUR 20 APR 6PM – 8PM.
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THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 3
JONSON STREET BYRON BAY FRIDAY 21ST APRIL
MAGIC BONES, TRAPDOOR, MELTED COUCH
THE KITE STRING TANGLE (SOLD OUT)
SATURDAY 22ND APRIL
THE CHERRY DOLLS, FLYING MACHINE, THE VELVET ADDICTION FRIDAY 28 APRIL
PSYCHEDELIC PORN CRUMPETS, SUNROSE, GALAXY GIRLS SATURDAY 29 APRIL
ROLLING BLACKOUTS CF, DONNY LOVE, RAAVE TAPES FRIDAY 5TH MAY
Polish off the weekend with a good dose of free live music every Sunday from 3.30pm.
SUN 23 APR Avi Misra CKNU
MIDDLE KIDS (SOLD OUT) 20TH APRIL
MAJOR LEAGUES 21ST APRIL
TOP DOLLAR SINGLE LAUNCH + OFFICIAL CLIENT LIAISON AFTER PARTY
SATURDAY 20TH MAY
SATURDAY 6TH MAY
SUN 30 APR
FRIDAY 12TH MAY
THE WALKING WHO SATURDAY 13TH MAY
BLEACH GIRLS WEDNESDAY 24TH MAY
RYAN ADAMS FRIDAY 26TH MAY
FESTIVAL OF TIBET Tenzing Yeshe, Gyenyen Tenzin and Tenzin Kunsang
ROLAND TINGS 23RD APRIL
SATURDAY 27TH MAY
BORNEO Brisbane Airport is keeping this event free.
TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE WWW.THENORTHERN.COM.AU 4 • THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017
WWW.THEFOUNDRY.NET.AU THEFOUNDRY.OZTIX.COM.AU 228 WICKHAM STREET, FORTITUDE VALLEY
SLIM JIM PHANTOM May 18-21, 2017
BORICH - RAY BEADLE - HARTS BONNIE TYLER KEVIN CASH SAVAGE AND THE LAST DRINKS IAN MOSS JILACHYMI HOCKIDOLEYNG'S BLUESANDMACHITHE HORNS NE - THE SHANE PACEY TRIO OF CONVICTION CHEAP FAKES - DARREN JACK BAND
CLAUDE HAY - HUSSY HICKS - BLUES ARCADIA AND MANY MORE
THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 5
Music / Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
Where and when? For more gig details go to theMusic.com.au
Say What? Punk trio Cable Ties are heading off on their Australian tour to accompany the upcoming release of their debut album Say What You Mean. Kicking off in June through July, their furious and compelling jams will have you hooked.
Golden Down (Under) UK icons The Stranglers have announced they’re coming our way next February as part of one of the largest tours in their 40year history. They’re calling it the Classic Collection tour, so get ready to hear all your faves.
What A Head In support of their long-awaited self-titled debut album, Wollongong’s thrashing rock’n’roll group The Pinheads are setting off on a headline tour across Australia and New Zealand through May and July. 6 • THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017
Arts / Li Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
The return of colossal doom act Pallbearer is going down in venues across Australia following their release of third album Heartless. The Arkansas fourpiece will send shock waves through the country when they hit stages through June and July.
FRI 21 APR
PUPPERTRY OF THE PENIS Cable Ties
22 & 23 APR
4TH ANNUAL BRISBANE BEER FEST
The guy that figured out babies instinctively hold their breath under water probably had a lot of explaining to do.
THUR 27 APR THE DARKNESS
FRI 28 APR
FRI 5 MAY TUJAMO
THUR 11 MAY STRASSMANÊS iTEDE
FRI 19 MAY
MOS REUNION TOUR
FRI 26 MAY BLISS N ESO
THUR 15 JUN ADAM HARVEY & BECCY COLE
FRI 16 JUN
BABY ANIMALS & THE SCREAMING JETS
SAT 17 JUN
YG LIVE & GUESTS
SUN 23 JUL DEF FX
SAT 12 AUG
Australian Heritage Festival
Get Some Culture It’s time to clear your schedules, Australian Heritage Festival just opened on World Heritage Day with over 1000 events running in every state and territory over a five-week period.
NEW FOUND GLORY
FRI 8 SEPT TORY LANEZ
SAT 30 SEPT
SING IT LOUD TOUR
THUR 9 NOV 80ÊS MANIA
(07) 3325 6777 TICKETS & INFO GO TO: EATONSHILLHOTEL.COM.AU EATONSHILLHOTELPAGE 646 SOUTHPINE RD EATONS HILL
THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 7
Lifestyle Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
French black metal duo Alcest’s Kodama world tour touches down in Oz this 23 Apr when the three-piece stop in at Crowbar. They will be supported at this show by local shoegaze favourites Deafcult.
Speed Freak Internationally renowned singer-songwriter Kim Churchill has lifted the veil on new single Breakneck Speed, complementing the new work’s arrival with the announcement of a run of tour dates from midnext month.
theMusic.com.au: breaking news, up-to-the-minute reviews and streaming new releases
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Solid Gold The Gold Coast Music Awards nominees are out with 43 of the region’s finest being named as finalists across seven categories, including Amy Shark, Gold Coast favourites Hussy Hicks, Benny D Williams and more.
e / Cultu Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
The Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre (BEMAC) announced its autumn World Music Cafe program earlier this month and it kicks off from 22 Apr with a new generation of contemporary Asian sounds from Brisbane’s May Lyn, Noralyn and Matt Hsu.
Stone Sold Stones Corner Festival is on 30 Apr with all the usual craft beer, wine, food trucks, market stalls, family activities and sick tunes. Regurgitator top the bill with Sahara Beck, Luke Daniel Peacock, Hemingway and more, around the hub of the Stones Corner Hotel.
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THE PRICE OF BEING
Under the cover anonymity, Amy Shark became used to dissecting her personal life in her songs. Now, everyone does the same. She opens up to Brynn Davies about struggling under media and public scrutiny, when everyone wants an explanation. Cover and feature pics by Kane Hibberd.
ournalists often walk a fine moral line during interviews. It doesn’t matter if you’re in investigative or music media, the conundrum remains the same — how far are you willing to push an interview subject on personal matters in order to get your story? To most, Amy Shark is known simply as the next big thing. Her 2016 breakout single Adore hit #2 on triple j’s Hottest 100, and has surpassed ten million streams on Spotify, peaked at #3 on the ARIA chart, #1 on the Australian iTunes chart, was shortlisted for the APRA Song Of The Year... the list seems infinite. But remove the accolades and you have Gold Coast local Amy Billings, who, after years of writing songs inspired by her most vulnerable moments, feels a little caught in the headlights with all the attention. “It was hard because I’ve never had to talk about my songs over the years — I just had the same four people that would listen to my songs and know what I was talking about and wouldn’t ask any questions,” she explains. “I got really comfortable with writing so much shit that was really personal, and it was great because it’s like therapy for me, it’s such a relief. “Now, I’m trying to keep that rawness, but also I’ve been through all the promo with Adore and everyone wants to know every single thing about that song, and every single word they highlight: ‘Why did you write this? What was it about?’” she says, sounding a touch exacerbated. “It’s scary because I have to be prepared to give people answers on this stuff that I’m not overly confident talking about, you know? Like, a lot of this stuff is really heavy. There’s songs on this EP that are so heavy and it’s like, how am I going to manoeuvre myself around this?
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Would she feel more comfortable sitting face to face having these conversations, rather than baring her soul to a string of strange voices on the end of a phone? “Mm, this one’s good though, you sound 100% totally interested and like, you’ve got a voice that’s easy to talk back to,” she laughs, loosening up. “I’ve had some people where it’s like, man, I don’t even think you know what you wanna get out of me! But this is not like that, but it would be nice to be able to sit and have a coffee and just unleash stuff.” Her six-track debut EP Night Thinker does indeed cover some truly soul-baring moments, moving through anger, passion, love, heartbreak, admiration — considering that she’s married, it’s a relief to hear that “it’s almost never about what I’m going through now.” Billings is surprisingly light-hearted when exploring the themes driving her work — those she’s comfortable revealing. She’s both affable and brazen, with a strong Queensland accent, dialogue smattered with swears and colloquialisms, (on more than one occasion she calls me ‘man’). She’s also got this wry sense of humour — you almost have to pause before laughing just in case she’s being serious. “Yeah like, what I do is I break up with my husband every now and then when I need to write, and then we get back together,” she says, totally deadpan. There’s a pause, and then she cracks up. “I’m totally joking. No. Basically, there’s such a massive story behind me and my husband... There’s a massive story that came with a group of friends that I used to have; there’s a massive story about my childhood and my family. Obviously I’m not going to talk about all this, but there’s certain things I can cherry pick, moments from all those years and all those situations and scenarios I was in.” “To be fair, Adore was written about me thinking about one night. This certain party that I went to and I was overthinking everything. Zoning in on all these tiny little things that I may have said to this
A lot of this stuff is really heavy. There’s songs on this EP that are so heavy and it’s like, how am I going to manoeuvre myself around this?
person that I liked, what he may have said to me. I subconsciously fall into writing about things that I don’t even know I’m about to write about. But it’s always shit that’s happened to me, that I’ve felt or I’ve been through, it’s hardly ever about what I’m going through now. I could write a million songs about a million different things, because I zone in so much on them, you know?” There’s a line in one of her first singles, Spits On Girls, that’s always been a source of fascination. “If you like your life, stay off the drugs/ If you like the drugs, share them with celebrities.” Is she comfortable talking about that one? “Yeah, of course. I mean, I asked for this, right?” “So Spits On Girls, I remember when I put that on triple j, and the comment from Richard Kingsmill was ‘I really like this song, but I have no fucking clue what she’s talking about.’ And the reason he had no idea what I was talking about is because that song is so personal — I’m talking about my family, I’m picking apart everyone in my life. It’s hard to follow that song emotionally.
Here’s a piece of Amy Shark trivia: she directs and edits her own film clips. “I kinda knew that it was never going to be like it used to be with the big film clips, the big Mariah Carey budget, or anything really,” she says. “Golden Fleece is a funny one because literally I had no budget. I’m like ‘Okay, what can I do to make it still look intriguing but I don’t have to pay for shit?’”
“That line in particular, I was hanging around with bad dudes at the time. It was the same thing every weekend: they’d do a bunch of drugs and they’d sit there thinking that they were God’s gift, and it’s like, you’re in a shitty rental, and it’s sorta like me just taking the piss — if you’re gonna do all these drugs, do them next to Kanye! I dunno, do it somewhere cool. You guys are just total losers sitting here thinking you’re so cool, and I was never a big drug user or anything, I was just exposed to it a lot, and I guess it was just me having a dig at people who thought drugs were cool.” Throughout the chat she’s made a number of references to childhood and family, and she’s mentioned in previous interviews that she intentionally performs under the moniker Shark to protect her family’s identity. This is the aforementioned line. “No, it’s okay, yeah it’s...” she begins to answer. Although she does end up sharing a little here, it’s more important to set an example, hopefully, for future interviewers, and to leave her personal life personal. “I don’t want [these questions] to ever stop me from being who I am or stop the songs I write, because I know people are relating. People are connecting, and all the messages I get online — ‘This is helping me through this’ — and I don’t wanna change the songwriter I am... Obviously I can sort of say ‘Oh, it’s not about me’ even though it is. It’s a tough one man, it’s a tough one. I’m still learning, it’s just hard for me because I write for myself and not to sell music or to be successful. I dunno, I just write.”
What: Night Thinker (Wonderlick/Sony) When & Where: 30 Apr, Groovin The Moo, Townsville
Her clips are filmed locally, from her old school hall to a local dance studio. She even uses the same group of dancers between clips. “I’m utilising people I know and what I can create for a very minimal budget. I’ve always really loved theatre and stage shows, I always have, so the more theatrical I guess.” But she’s careful to keep her clips as minimal as their budget —
“Sometimes in music videos, if there’s too much happening... I feel like they’re disguising the song. Like, they gotta make up for this shitty song by having this really good film clip to match it. With my songs I’m like ‘This song is so good, I don’t want people to be taken by the video, I want them to listen to the song.’”
THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 11
Left Behind When it comes to his plots, legendary screenwriter Damon Lindelof is a next-level secret keeper. Guy Davis grills the cult TV-maker on this latest hit show, The Leftovers.
t was always leading been here.” That’s what Damon Lindelof, creator of the acclaimed, provocative HBO series The Leftovers, claims when he talks about the show’s relocation to Australia for its third and final season. Speaking to The Music last year in Melbourne, where the series had established its base camp while filming in locations in the city, around Victoria and interstate, the screenwriter and producer said he didn’t want to “talk specifically” about how the story of The Leftovers brought its characters Down Under but he did state that “the beachhead of The Leftovers has been here for some time”. “One of the characters — Kevin Garvey, Sr, played by Scott Glenn — left for Australia sometime during season
Damon Lindelof, The Leftovers
This season is about a journey from one place to another, and that journey takes place in Australia.
two of the show,” says Lindelof, whose credits include Prometheus, Tomorrowland and, of course, co-creating the TV series Lost. “He’s been wandering the continent, and his journey culminates in the Melbourne area at around the same time the rest of the show is colliding with him.” “But I don’t really want to get into the specifics of how and why that happens,” he adds with a smile. That may be frustrating, but fans of The Leftovers have perhaps come to expect a little mystery from the series, mainly because it poses some thorny questions about human nature and behaviour in the face of unimaginable change. In many instances, the show leaves it up to the viewer to determine their own response
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to the action, rather than offering an easy answer or tidy resolution. The series explores the aftermath of the Sudden Departure, an unexplained event that saw 2% of the world’s population vanish without a trace. The people left behind must carry on, all the while wondering where these people have gone, why they’ve gone and what it all means to the people who have remained. Needless to say, things get complicated — emotionally, psychologically and metaphysically. Season two of The Leftovers saw the show relocate from New Jersey to Texas, a move that enabled the introduction of new characters, a change in the show’s visual palette and a tonal and thematic shift in the storytelling. The even greater relocation in season three allowed for an even greater leap, but one that was in keeping with the overarching ideas at play in the series. “One of the really interesting things we’ve had is that when we were talking about moving the show to Texas in season two, we were also talking about how we wanted the show to feel,” says Lindelof. “I think The Leftovers built a reputation — one it deserved — for being sad and intense and sometimes depressing and despairing. We didn’t want to apologise for that but we did feel there were other flavours we could start working into our central ideas. And that led us towards Australia. This season is about a journey from one place to another, and that journey takes place in Australia. The characters are moving to a common destination.” Part of the reason for The Leftovers’ shift to Australia stemmed from the show’s creative team drawing inspiration from a variety of Australian films — The Last Wave, Walkabout, Picnic At Hanging Rock and Wake In Fright were a few name-checked by Lindelof. “There’s something about those movies that asks, ‘Am I losing my mind? Is that even a bad thing?” he says. But something else the shift in location enables is an exploration of how the world outside America has perceived and reacted to the Sudden Departure — if it’s even called that elsewhere. “We always assumed it was a global event and one that had repercussions in the same way but there may be different permutations of that,” says Lindelof. “It’s in the global collective consciousness. But there’s a running joke that the Americans all refer to it as October 14th and the Aussies are, ‘Actually, it’s the 15th”. Or, you know, the Sudden Departure is called something different in France.” Still, the focus remains squarely on the characters through whom the audience has experienced the dizzying, disorienting feeling of life in a changed world, and Lindelof says there’ll be a resolution. “The challenge we’re facing, in addition to what the ending of this story feels like, is that we’re doing it in eight episodes, and we already have this amazing ensemble,” he says. “We couldn’t introduce any new characters too much. The first four episodes are designed to set the story we’re telling; with the final four, they’re like curtain calls for these characters.”
What: The Leftovers When & Where: 8.30pm Thursdays, Showcase on Foxtel
IVY & THE BIG APPLES LIVE THE COMPLETE ALBUM FROM START TO FINISH
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
MAJOR LEAGUES + BUGS
SHOW RESCHEDULEEDIV Y TOUR!
TH FINAL SHOW OF
AY SAT 20 M OLI THE TIV
ID. W REMAIN VAL SED FOR 30/3 SHO IL. BEFORE 25TH APR ALL TIX PURCHA MUST BE CLAIMED IRED REFUNDS IF REQU
THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 13
Blame It On The Boogie Endless Boogie frontman Paul “Top Dollar” Major and his Strand Of Oaks counterpart Tim Showalter talk to Steve Bell about their impending Australian tour and “the camaraderie of rockin’ for real”.
he only real tangible connection between New York City grove monsters Endless Boogie and Philadelphian rockers Strand Of Oaks — apart from the fact that Tom Showalter, frontman for Strand Of Oaks, has an image from the cover of Endless Boogie’s last album Long Island tattooed on his sternum — is that they’re both veterans of Boogie festival, the weekend shindig held each Easter in the rural Victorian enclave of Tallarook. And not just veterans of the bash, but bands who by all accounts covered themselves with hedonistic
Strand Of Oaks
I’m like this beerdrinking, overweight dude... I just felt like I could have grown up in one of those small towns, I woulda fit right in.
glory. The brand new Strand Of Oaks album Hard Love features a track called On The Hill about a drug-fuelled epiphany at Boogie back in 2014, while Endless Boogie — who even have the perfect name for the shindig — distinguished themselves onstage so much on their last Boogie sojourn that they were asked to play the same set again the following afternoon (which they did, backing up like champions). Now both bands are coming back Down Under to do Boogie all over again, and have been corralled into doing some co-headlining east coast shows while they’re here 14 • THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017
— the prospect of which clearly thrills Showalter to no end and seems to make Endless Boogie frontman Paul “Top Dollar” Major pretty happy as well. “I’m so jacked to be making it again to the Boogie festival, to be watching you guys and hanging and stuff,” Major drawls. “I was listening to some of Hard Love and you mention what an experience it was last time, so man I’m excited.” “I think it’s going to be amped up a bit this year, because it’s you guys and Cosmic Psychos — we’re going to have to get jacked, and I’m ready to go for it,” Showalter gushes. “I’m ready. I hope you guys find that jam and just choose to never stop it, maybe to the point that we can have Bloody Marys the next morning and that’s just when the jam’s ending. Maybe you can start Occult Banker and just run that for about eight hours and I’d be totally fine with that.” Both Major and Showalter profess to having loved their previous visits to Australia in general, not just the Tallarook region. “Oh yeah, big time,” Major smiles. “This will be the fourth time, and every time’s just been fantastic. It’s like the feeling of meeting people you already knew all your life, even though you’re talking to them for the first time — there’s this camaraderie of rockin’ for real that I always got in my head out of the ‘70s Australian bands — while the rest of the world was getting progressive or whatever, it was like, ‘Woah’ — and that initial spark from people like Lobby Loyde is still riding through the music today.” “I totally agree. That’s exactly the way I felt the first time I went down there,” Showalter continues. “I was, like, ‘Oh, I just feel like this is who I’ve been looking for.’ There’s a lack of cynicism and it’s just like fun. There are people there who are genuine but who also like to rage full on if there’s a chance for it. And also, I’m like this beer-drinking, overweight dude — and people are all very handsome and amazing looking down there — but I just felt like I could have grown up in one of those small towns, I woulda fit right in.” “I remember saying a few times that when we’re playing down there everybody’s in like such a good head, and so genuine and real,” Major reflects. “I was saying, ‘Does anyone ever get depressed here, man? Everyone seems so fucking happy! What’s going on?’ People were, like, ‘Oh yeah, we get depressed, but not tonight! We’re rocking!’” But really when it all boils down to it, the two musos are really just excited about getting back to Boogie again. “I can’t wait for the jams and for the all night out under the stars action just hanging out together,” Major smiles. “It’s going to be so good.” “I’m hoping that we just become seamless, like it literally does become an endless boogie,” Showalter laughs. “No one will be able to tell where we start or you begin — there’s just a jam that just continues in and never stops, I can’t wait.” “It’s going to be the real deal,” Major agrees. “It will be life-affirming. There will be no cooler place on earth to be than at the Boogie festival.”
When & Where: 21 Apr, Black Bear Lodge
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THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 15
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When Size Matters
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At The Dakota weren’t using their heads when they stuck the lead singer’s girlfriend in a cow costume during Darwin’s hottest month. Paul Brandis tells Brynn Davies about being a budding band in a tiny city, and about their EP Melt (P.S. it’s not named for the heat).
t The Dakota hail from the steamy NT capital Darwin. As locals, you’d think they’d be smart enough to film an outdoor video clip away from the hottest time of the year, right? Wrong. “The hottest time in Darwin is OctoberNovember when it’s sorta not raining too much and it’s really, really humid, and that was when we decided to do it,” keys player Paul Brandis laughs. “It was raining on the way out and it started off cool, but because we were in the bush and it had been raining it just got ridiculously hot and humid. You’ve probs been to Bali or Thailand right? Like, real thick humidity.” The lead singer’s girlfriend was pressured into the toughest job — wearing a full-coverage cow costume and acting as the runaway protagonist who steals the band’s beer. “We pressured her into it, I’m not sure how happy she was. You can imagine it would have been hard to do anywhere in Australia, let alone up in the Darwin heat, it was pretty chaotic. “So we’re running around in the bush and every time the camera’s not rolling everyone just ripped everything off. I think Dylan
[Podsiadly] put the suit on at the end of the day and he lasted about five seconds before he tripped over. “It’s a bloody miracle that we didn’t injure ourselves. I got the closest — there’s a shot where I’m jumping over a log but I failed to actually make it over. I face planted real bad. It was one of those funny cartoon moments where you land but you know you’re gonna fall over — I think I stumbled about four steps before I ended up just accepting it and falling over,” he laughs. Formed from a number of Darwinian bands, At The Dakota have continued on after losing their co-founder Steve Lees — “he followed his heart down to Sydney with his soon-to-be-wife” — to release their EP Melt, “based on the idea of your brain melting due to stress,” he explains, “not the heat!” “It’s a bit of a dark record to be honest, about mental health issues and all that... It goes from the point of [Dylan] leaving his last relationship and dropping out of love to feeling lost, and then to the end of that journey finding the girl he’s with now.” While the music scene in Darwin is tightknit, the lack of venues is an issue. “There’s not a huge amount of venues, probably only got about three, so it does make it hard... I think everyone keeps an eye out and makes sure they try not to book at the same time if it’s too similar with the same crowd. “Getting out of Darwin into the rest of the country is crucial in terms of taking it further as a band. The only problem with Darwin is that because it’s so small, if you’re playing a gig every weekend, you’re trying to draw the same crowd in and they’re gonna get sick of ya. We try to space our gigs out every few months to make sure we give people a chance to miss us, I suppose.”
What: Melt (Independent) When & Where: 22 Apr, The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar
Choose Live Before Danny Boyle imagined babies crawling across ceilings, Irvine Welsh’s modern masterpiece, Trainspotting, became a genre-busting theatre show. Guy Davis meets the show latest director, Adam Spreadbury-Maher.
n between the 1993 publication of Scottish author Irvine Welsh’s genre-defining novel Trainspotting and the 1996 release of director Danny Boyle’s acclaimed screen adaptation, the story of a loose-knit group of Edinburgh friends and frenemies feeding their various needs with drugs, sex, raves, sport or random explosions of violence made its way to the stage. Well, the term ‘stage’ is used loosely, because something with the raw, rude energy of Trainspotting couldn’t really be restricted to the proscenium arch, could t?
Danny Boyle is responsible for some of the first very clear, strong and powerful cinema memories I have.
This is what Adelaide Festival audiences - and eventually theatregoers around the country - will experience when the UK-made immersive production, Trainspotting Live, arrives on our shores. Credited with inspiring Boyle to bring Trainspotting to the screen, the show, which has already been staged in warehouses, underground car parks and other unconventional spaces around the world over the last couple of decades, will be presented at the Station Underground venue. “It’s really exciting to put theatre in non-traditional spaces,” says the production’s director, Adam Spreadbury-Maher. “They are hostile environments that are not meant to have theatre in them but you’ve already got the audience on-side - to them, it’s already
interesting, arresting, and they have to pay attention.” Indeed, Trainspotting demands more of its audience than simply attention. This is an immersive, interactive production - indeed, one of the pioneers of the form popularised by companies such as Punchdrunk and Dream Think Speak - that thrusts the theatregoer into the midst of it all. “It’s such a different way to experience theatre and a nice way for people who are familiar with it to experience Trainspotting,” says Spreadbury-Maher. “It adds another dimension to the piece where you think you know Trainspotting but seeing it in a live immersive performance adds another layer to the piece. Spreadbury-Maher has been attached to Trainspotting as director for the last few years, overseeing its evolution from a sprawling theatrical work with a 25-strong cast and a two-and-a-half-hour running time down to a more streamlined 75-minute production with a cast of seven. And as both a fan of Boyle’s film and an enthusiast of what a live theatrical experience can deliver, he was thrilled by the prospect of taking on the project and being able to “revisit and rework and refine it over time”. “I watched Trainspotting when I was 13 or 14 and Danny Boyle is responsible for some of the first very clear, strong and powerful cinema memories I have,” he says. “But the play predates the film, and as a theatremaker I was also able to look to the novel, to Irvine Welsh’s original writing. That’s not to say I don’t think the film is extraordinary but what you can do on stage is very different. There’s a different contract with the audience, so what can we do that’s more immediate and more visceral? It opened up a whole new world of opportunities. And even the most seasoned experiential theatregoer comes out of Trainspotting going ‘Whoa’.” Trainspotting is very much back in vogue at the moment, due in no small part to Boyle and his cast reuniting for the big-screen sequel T2 Trainspotting, opening in cinemas February 23. (Spreadbury-Maher calls it “brilliant”.) And this renewed buzz has seen a new generation of fans intrigued by what Trainspotting has to say. “To revisit it in 2017, particularly with what has happened in Europe with the Brexit referendum and in America with Trump, the music may have changed a little bit but not much else has,” he says. “I think it’s a treat for fans of the novel and the film, but there’s something there for a new generation - in London and Edinburgh we were getting audiences members as young as 16 or 17. They hadn’t seen the film or read the novel but had only heard the buzz about this show.”
What: Trainspotting Live When & Where: 19 - 22 Apr, Brisbane Powerhouse
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Frontlash Cementing Their Status
They See Me Rollin’
So, Brisbane misses out on sideshow action as per usual, but the city will be represented at Royal Blood’s headline outing in Sydney via local four-piece Concrete Surfers. Break a leg!
Post-Blues Blues If you missed, or are missing, the fun at Bluesfest over the long weekend, fear not: we’ve got some sweet, soothing words and pics to help ease your sadness in the Live section.
New Name, Old Favourite Supanova Pop Culture Expo is dead; long live Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming Expo!
Patti Smith @ Bluesfest. Pic by Josh Groom.
The Forgotten Capital Speaking of sideshows: Proximal to Byron Bay or not, three-day (heck, even one-day) festivals aren’t for everyone, so let’s start seeing some headline love slung Brisbane’s way in future, please.
Bad Times On Good Friday A Sydney street party was marred by a spot of violence and police intervention at the dawn of the long weekend; seriously, why can’t people just go out, have a good time and not be dickheads?
Nice Knowing Ya? Obviously, no one wants this outcome, but if international tensions come to a head and we’re actually staring down the barrel of all-out nuclear war: know that we loved you all. 18 • THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017
Fran Keaney from Melbourne outfit Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever explains “impossible waterfall” jams to Brynn Davies and the reason behind their “cumbersome name”.
ccording to Fran Keaney, who at the time of our call is frantically trying to set down lyrics for a new song, there’s “no real answer” behind the choice of the band’s verbose title. “It’s supposed to be a vague feeling. We used to just be called Rolling Blackouts but we had to change that because there was a band overseas with the same name and it wasn’t gonna work. It didn’t occur to us to shorten the name from Rolling Blackouts,” he laughs. “One of our earlier songs was called Rolling Blackouts and it was about Tom [Russo — guitarist] holed up sick in a hostel in Cambodia, so it’s informed by that. But also a lot of our themes have a connection to the idea of home and away — being somewhere and wanting to be somewhere else. Disconnected from someone else. Inland versus coastal. We just like the vibe and the audacity and the melodrama and the vagueness.” The Melbourne quintet have undergone numerous transformations since their inception as high school garage band Aura in 2003. After working in separate bands for a few years, the current set-up features Tom Russo and brother Joe, Joe White, Marcel Tussie and, of course, Keaney. “We never really gave it a tilt with the older ones and I don’t think we really needed to,” Keaney
comments on the band’s evolution. “We recorded something and put it out on MySpace, but other than that we didn’t even put things into community radio; it wasn’t quite up to the standard... But from those first bands you can probably trace our band. We’ve always played a similar type of music — jangly pop — since 2003, but we weren’t very disciplined about it and only now in this third iteration have we tired to execute it a bit better. We’re playing shows now where as before you’d play as the supporting band on a Tuesday night and then have a rest for two months,” he laughs. Keaney says their latest drop, The French Press EP, was approached in more or less the same way as their previous releases. “It’s sort of a collection of songs from the three songwriters in the band; two from me, two from Joe, two from Tom. It’s always been a communal thing, it’s never been a case of ‘I’ll be the singer, I’ll take all the credit for your song.’ That’s a song that you wrote, so it works if you sing it. It’s an organic thing, it’s a collective. On the EP’s title track, Keaney states, “We went about writing our different verses separately. Tom knew that his would be about being overseas having cast everything aside, adrift, and my one was gonna be back home: similarly lost, but trapped in a mundane day to day office life. We had the idea for a motif — French press — the idea of a coffee pot versus the French media. We thrashed out the song just jamming — we call these jams ‘impossible waterfalls’, like that picture of a waterfall that shouldn’t exist the way that it is, that just doesn’t stop flowing... It’s probably our favourite song to date.”
What: The French Press (Ivy League Records) When & Where: 28 Apr, Black Bear Lodge; 29 Apr, The Northern, Byron Bay; 30 Apr, Shark Bar, Miami
Joe Agius (The Creases), Lena Molnar (100%), Millie Perks (IVEY), Rian King (Good Boy). Pic by Terry Soo
In Focus The Blurst Of Times
The Blurst Of Times Festival is back again with its mix of punk, rock, hardcore and jangly pop. It features the likes of Skegss, Ngaiire, Good Boy, The Creases, 100%, IVEY and more, with quality Qld acts lining up alongside a few choice interstate visitors. It’s so huge it’s across three venues – The Brightside, The Foundry and Black Bear Lodge – and all takes place 29 Apr.
THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 19
Songwriting & Fighting Perfecting a new songwriting style landed punk rockerturned-country star Chris Shiflett in some hot water. The Foo Fighters guitarist tells Daniel Cribb a couple of stories about his new album.
aving just crossed the Portland state line in preparation for a headline tour, Chris Shiflett’s itching to showcase material from his third solo record, West Coast Town. Although he released All Hats And No Cattle in 2013 - a collection of honky-tonk covers - it’s not been since his self-titled debut with backing band The Dead Peasants seven years ago that the Foo Fighters guitarist has dished up an LP of originals. “I don’t know if this matters to anyone else on earth, but it mattered to me - it was important to me that I made a record that I was really proud of,” Shiflett begins. “Listening to your own music, for me, is a little like listening to your voice on an answering machine.
That is the trouble you get in writing songs that deal with specific stories
I had never really been comfortable writing like that,” he admits. “It took me a few years to get in a space where I felt comfortable doing that - this batch of songs, it was important to me that they were less vague rock’n’roll lyrics and more specific storytelling.” It was a successful creative exercise that also got him in a little bit of hot water. “Right before I left home for this trip, I finally got the actual CDs. I took one out and unwrapped it and was looking at the artwork... I left it on my desk at home,” Shiflett explains. “I get a text from my wife today and she says, ‘Yeah, I was just reading the lyric book, couldn’t help but notice these songs are all about us getting in fights and then a bunch of songs that clearly aren’t about me.’” he laughs. “And then she says, ‘Room 102?’ So that is the trouble you get in writing songs that deal with specific stories.” It’s the art of framing a situation in a certain light so it can be interpreted in a number different way - a friendship that blew up 20 years ago can become a break-up song. The album’s title track, West Coast Town, has a wide range of possible influences; if you’re familiar with Shiflett’s work with SoCal punks No Use For A Name and Me First & The Gimme Gimmes, that’d be your first port of call for interpreting the song’s lyrics. “Of course I love punk rock and I love rock’n’roll, but I’m also a 45year-old man and think a little bit different; I’m a dad now, I have a 13-year-old son... your outlook changes. I love the music, but I have no desire to live the lifestyle I lived when I was 25 now,” he tells. That’s not to say you won’t see Shiflett playing in punk bands again - he even jammed with Rise Against during Foo Fighters’ 2015 Aussie tour. Gushing over time off in Byron Bay and Perth during the same trip, Shiflett says he’d love to tour West Coast Town around Australia in the near future - not as soon as some might have hoped, though, with the guitarist shutting down Foos tour rumours that had been circulating online. “I actually got asked by a journalist down in Australia a couple of weeks ago what our plans were, if we have any plans to tour Australia,” he says. “What I said was, ‘I don’t know anything, you’ll probably know before me.’ And what they printed was, ‘Foo Fighters Guitar Player Confirms Australian Tour.’ It was crazy - they literally printed the exac exact opposite of what I said, which was pretty funny.”
What: West Coast Town (SideOneDummy Records/ Cooking Vinyl Australia) “You always have these little things that bug you. And this one, I just really wanted to make a record that I didn’t feel like that about any of it. And I think I came a lot closer than I have in the past.” Having grown up with punk music and getting his start in that scene before joining Foo Fighters and eventually developing a love for country (he now hosts country podcast Walking The Floor), Shiflett’s able to draw on a diverse range of songwriting techniques, but there was always one aspect of the craft that had escaped him until West Coast Town. “Country tends to be specific and tells stories, and 20 • THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017
Into The Light Lovably pompous rockers The Darkness are headed back to Australia. Vocalist/guitarist Justin Hawkins tells Brendan Crabb about hiding his Queen tattoos from Roger Taylor and just how serious the band really are.
he Darkness singer/axeman Justin Hawkins is “in the middle of England” during a break from recording album number five. The more modest studio circumstances described seem far removed from the exorbitant budget and rampant excess which surrounded the creation of the retro hard rockers’ 2005 second LP, One Way Ticket to Hell... And Back. “[The] second album we spent a lot of money and time on it. But there’s really no need to do that, because if you’re tight, well-rehearsed and the songs are good then it’s better to make an album quickly, because then it’s more of a snapshot of where the band’s at. I think we’re quite proud of where we’re at, at the moment. Even if we spend a month or so on drum tracks, it’ll still sound the same,” the jovial main-man laughs. “It’ll still sound just as awesome I think. This is definitely a cheaper option. The [new] stuff’s more progressive, it’s a bit harder, the riffs are getting bigger. We don’t feel like old blokes yet anyway, let’s just say that.” Hawkins waxes lyrical about recent recruit, “super talented” drummer Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen sticksman Roger. “We did most of the writing at one of his father’s properties, so it’s like a dream come true for me. I had to hide the tattoo of his father’s face to avoid any embarrassment. Everyone used to say Queen and AC/ DC, those were always the two bands we were most often compared to. Some people said we were the gay AC/DC, and other people said we were the straight Queen. I’m happy with either of those. We’re somewhere in between I think.” In one of their first Aus outings, their 2004 Big Day Out appearance; their flamboyant, glammed-up delivery and aesthetic visibly confounded many festival-goers. Nowadays, the reactivated British outfit’s self-awareness and sense of humour still seems to continue straddling a fine line with some rock fans who ponder if they’re an outright piss-take.
Some people said we were the gay AC/DC, and other people said we were the straight Queen.
“I’m glad about that,” Hawkins says of this reaction, “because when you think about AC/DC, you’re talking about a bloke in a school uniform, you know? I can imagine that they inspired the same response in the early days. And I think the longer you do it, the more obvious it becomes that you’re taking it seriously,” he laughs. “If anything we take it too seriously. I think we take ourselves more seriously than a band like Coldplay. Actually, I don’t think that’s true at all — Coldplay are right up their own arses. I think when you get to five, six, ten albums, that sort of thing will stop hopefully. “I think a lot of rock is just really average... There aren’t that many extraordinary rock bands that are doing something totally different. So there’s always a chance, there’s always an opportunity. You’ve just got to be the best that you can be. It would be nice to think we were household names,” he laughs again. “I think we’ve got a bit of work to do to get that back really. But I’m up for it.”
When & Where: 27 Apr, Eatons Hill Hotel
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The New Cool On his new album UK rapper Loyle Carner (aka Ben CoyleLarner) has immortalised his parents. He explains to Rip Nicholson that he just wants to talk about what’s relevant.
s a point of difference to the usual US rap culture pervading our mainstream, Ben Coyle-Larner (artist name: Loyle Carner) makes music that peruses diary entries or family albums and presents the persona of a young man entering adulthood. For the 22-year-old South Londoner, this provides space for his innermost thoughts and feelings or, as he puts it, real talk.
more money and riding a tour bus as opposed to the train, but there’s all the same stuff still happening. You can still lose people, you can still be brokenhearted, you can still be disillusioned by the weight of the world and how it’s turning out and I think that’s what’s important to keep writing about as opposed to writing about changes and currency.” For now, Yesterday’s Gone (named in honour of his late stepfather’s unreleased album featuring a track of the same name) shows how close Coyle-Larner is with his family as shown in his final track, Sun Of Jean, which features both of his parents. “Before my father passed away he made an album that we didn’t know about,” he divulges, explaining he kept tracks tucked away and unheard on his laptop until he “finally plucked up the courage to listen to it”. His father’s piano playing on Yesterday’s Gone became the heavily sampled album closer, over which his mother describes her son as “that scribble of a boy”. “It’s almost like it immortalises them for a lifetime, it’s crazy,” he admits.
It’s cool not to be cool.
It’s his brand of real talk on this LP that Coyle-Larner finds overwhelming to elaborate on, but this is also what lends gravitas. “For me, on this album I’ve said everything I’ve wanted to say, and I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do, and it’s a very truthful snapshot of what it’s like to be me right now. And that’s all I can do. In my eyes it’s truly me and if that doesn’t go down well then that’s just how it is.”
When & Where: 3 May, Woolly Mammoth
“That’s how it has to be. I’ve got no illusions that when I start making an album, I’m speaking for now. So if I make an album when I’m 30, it will be about being 30. I never really thought much of a message but I guess now that it’s cool to open up and it’s cool not to be cool. Instead of worrying about having loads of cash or whatnot, just talk about what’s relevant to you and fingers crossed people listen to it.” The video for his Ain’t Nothing Changed single, from his Yesterday’s Gone LP, released at the end of January, finds Coyle-Larner playing an older version of himself. When asked if he believes he’ll still be in the rap game in 20 years, he replies. “Yeah, I think so, man. “Everyone keeps talking about, ‘You’re playing shows now that are a little bit bigger, are you worried the music’s going to change?’” he shares, before clarifying, “Okay, yeah, you might be making a little bit 22 • THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017
Eat / Drink Eat/Drink
LOOKS GOOD ENOUGH TO E AT One of the most surprising developments in our increasingly digital-dependent society is the role social media is playing in the food industry. Culinary stylists, food photographers and artisan bakers are now amongst the world’s most important influencers. Here are four of our favourite foodie Instagram accounts for you to drool over.
Julie Lee Patti Page
Famous for her stunningly composed photos and food collages (which can also be purchased as prints), Julie Lee’s breathtaking images truly elevate top-notch food to new artistic heights. Her sumptuous photos revel in vivid colours and vibrant textures, while also charting Lee’s world travels as she seeks out the prettiest plates from around the world. Prepare for some severe food envy.
The humble sugar cookie has become the canvas du jour for any self-respecting food artist, and Patti Page is one of the best in the biz when it comes to decorating these creatively brilliant biscuits. Her moreish masterpieces not only look delicious, but also tell whimsical stories, as do her stunning cake designs. If you don’t want to take our word for it, her more than 124,000 followers can back us up.
Marcus Nilsson @pissinginthepunchbowl Sweden-born New York-based photographer Marcus Nilsson started his career as a sous chef before following his bliss into food photography. His indie hipster-chic snaps offer beautifully crafted images of everyday eats, with occasional forays into more elaborately styled shoots, channelling an Old Dutch Masters vibe.
Edd Kimber @Theboywhobakes Since winning the first season of The Great British Bake Off, Edd Kimber has become an internationally recognised food writer and stylist, with a massively successful podcast, Stir The Pot, to boot! His utterly delicious Insta-feed includes links to recipes so his more than 116,000 followers can reproduce his nom-worthy bakes at home.
THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 23
Humble Pie Spiral Vs Dutton
An enormodome-sized proposition in selected territories, hard rockers Black Stone Cherry are relishing building an Australian live following from scratch. Brendan Crabb downs shots with drummer John Fred Young.
The Minister For Immigration And Border Protection Peter Dutton is such a divisive figure that he even rubs international folk the wrong way, not just Australians. If you check out the upcoming limited Aussie version of Spiral Stairs’ new album Doris & The Daggers it features a cover of Dutton dressed as lamb (geddit?). It’s not the only Aussie reference though, as it comes on Saints coloured splatter vinyl with bonus 7” of songs about his time living in Brisbane (Pig City and Vultures Of Caboolture).
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f we can make one planet and put all of the kick-ass rock fans on it, where all the kick-ass rock bands could go play, that would be killer,” Black Stone Cherry’s loquacious tub-thumper John Fred Young says in a friendly Southern drawl, before bursting into laughter. “We wouldn’t have to tour so much.” Not that the Kentucky heavy rockers are averse to hard graft. Their maiden trek Down Under last year supporting glam jokesters Steel Panther afforded a useful introduction to many Australian rock enthusiasts. It’s also a sizeable head start compared to how they carved a following in the UK, for instance — a market where they’re a bona fide arena outfit nowadays. “It’s crazy because in England, we started touring over there in 2007. We were riding around in this little airport shuttle van, peeing in bottles because we were trying to make the shows and didn’t want to stop,” he chuckles at the memory. “Just craziness, and playing for like a hundred people. Now, over there we’re headlining Wembley and doing headline arena tours, and doing the Download Festivals. It’s unreal.
“Coming down to your guys’ way, our band has never been that band that looked at a stage or a club and if it was a smaller place be like, ‘Oh man, we should be playing somewhere bigger’. As long as the people are in there, Man. We’ve played for ten people and we’ve played for close to 100,000,” he laughs again. “We’re used to it.” After an abbreviated set last year, Aussie devotees will receive the full headline treatment this time around. “We’re just a grassroots band, man. We’ve got fans that travel all over to come see us play. And we’re a live band. That’s from being influenced by great bands like Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, Zeppelin and Sabbath. I think if we had been (around) in the ‘70s, we would probably be one of those bands, hopefully,” he laughs again. “But we’re here now, man. We’re trying to look to the future, keep the tours going. And we’re coming to Australia again; I’m so excited. Live, that’s where we come to life. That’s where all those years huddled up in a little practice house on my grandparents’ farm, just hours and hours, missing school... That’s where it pays off.” The Music’s interview occurs the week of the Cheaper To Drink Alone (from last year’s Kentucky record) single/video being issued. Surely Black Stone Cherry sampled the local alcoholic product during their initial Australian jaunt. “I’m a bourbon guy,” the drummer explains. “I know that sounds so spot-on to be from Kentucky. Probably five out of nine of us on this bus are bourbon guys. We were blown away by the great amount of really good bourbons you guys had. Everywhere we went; the hole in the wall bars, they’re cool, just laidback places. I had some beer down there that was really good, I can’t think of the name. I’m a beer connoisseur too. We just had a blast.”
When & Where: 20 Apr, The Triffid
Party Hard, Get Ska’d
Steve Douglas of The Resignators says that the band is venturing into new territories for their upcoming release. By Rod Whitfield.
here is a bit of a story behind the brand new single Party Dates from Melbourne ska/punk act The Resignators, besides simply being a selfdescriptive thing. “We all agreed unanimously on the title,” says guitarist and vocalist Steve Douglas, “it really suits our ‘party style’ philosophy, and it is a shouted gang vocal in the first line of the song. I wrote that song as a true story about our trumpet player, Jeremy Meaden. He told me about his wild partying days, and the song starts there but goes through his life up to this point, getting married and having babies and all that stuff.” It is the first single from an upcoming album of the same name, and while they very much maintain their up-tempo vibe on the record, existing fans of the band may also be a little surprised some of the album’s content. “We are always high energy, but this album will be our most adventurous to date,” he reveals, “it’s more cross-genre. There is a big nod to New Orleans jazz on the album, as that is where a lot of the ska horn style came from. “The Jamaicans used to be able to pick up New Orleans radio, and it had a huge effect on the use of horns in ska. But there is also some salsa, some latin influence, which also played a big part in the formation of
ska. Of course, there are some straight up punk rock slammers as well.” The band have also done something pretty wildly different for the B-side of the single, a cover of seminal ‘80s underground punk act God’s classic track My Pal. “[Lead singer] Francis [Harrison] had that song on CD while we were driving through Canada and after listening to it over and over on long rides between shows I thought that it would be a great cover,” he recalls, “It is such a simple iconic riff that it left a lot of room for interpretation. The whole concept of teenagers writing a song that epic really appealed to me, but a bit sad they didn’t last long. We love the fact that they were Melbourne boys, of course!” They’re heading out on an extensive tour of the nation in support of the album and Douglas has very high hopes for that jaunt. “It is going to be the greatest tour,” he predicts, “mainly because we have a bunch of new songs to play for our friends around Australia. We don’t get to see our fans in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane that often, but it is always a pleasure when we do. We have a big Toyota Coaster tour bus that makes life on the road relatively easy, and we all just love to travel.”
When & Where: 28 Apr, Crowbar
DROPS Bello Winter Music is once again partnering with the Bellingen Shire Learning Alliance (BSLA) to present Bello LeaF – a program of sustainability and environmental workshops, tours and forums that will run alongside the 2017 festival. A highlight guest at Bello LeaF this year is environmentalist Tim Silverwood, who is at the forefront of a global movement to tackle plastic pollution, particularly in our oceans. Other activities on offer for festival patrons and non-ticket holders include daily yoga and meditation classes; workshops in primitive fire making, native plant propagation and painting landscapes in watercolour; introduction to the local Gumbaynggirr language; rainforest walking tours of Bellingen Island and a community forum about saving the turtles whose home is the Bellinger River that runs through the town. Bello LeaF events are free for festival ticket holders and are available to non-ticket holders by donation on the day. Registration is recommended for popular events. THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 25
Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming Expo
Puzzling It Out It’s taken three years, but Gotham star Cory Michael Smith can finally call himself The Riddler — and he couldn’t be happier with where he’s headed, he tells Mitch Knox.
dward Nygma — aka puzzle-prone supervillain The Riddler — has always had the potential to be one of Batman’s most intriguing, multi-layered foes, though it took comic books decades to elevate the man from a one-note gimmick to a complex, three-dimensional character. Popular Fox TV show Gotham has achieved the same over the course of its three seasons to date, but for actor Cory Michael Smith — presently in Australia ahead of his impending appearance at Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming Expo — it still felt like an eternity. “It started so slow for me; season one really tested my patience,” he laughs. “I was just some dopey, gawky, chipper dude walking around the GCPD, trying to make some friends and make people laugh and test people, and I just kept pissing people off and upsetting them, but it was this long period for him — it felt very much like his life. “I actually said to the producers, I was like, ‘When does this change? When does my life change? When do things start happening?’ and they were like, ‘Yeah; yeah, that’s Edward’s experience, isn’t it?’” he continues. “But once the ball started rolling, I started having a blast, and I’m having more
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fun than ever.” Although the Gotham crew have finished filming season three, the final eight episodes are yet to air, and Nygma’s acceptance of his role will only be seen when the show returns this week in the US, with an episode titled How The Riddler Got His Name. For his part, Smith is positively jubilant about the prospects of what that means for the character after so long a journey. “I finally get to call myself The Riddler on-screen for the first time,” he enthuses. “And I feel like it’s just a very cool thing, because up until that point, it’s like, I wasn’t really The Riddler... But, now, as it stands, I am truly the third live-action Riddler, and that’s just a pretty cool thing. But, in terms of the narrative, it’s pretty exciting to now have this moment where he is donning the name and donning the hat, and is wearing the green suit, but that doesn’t mean anything if he doesn’t know what his objective is, or what he wants from this, or how best to be this person... Initially, I have him doing things that are a bit brusque and tight and forced — he’s trying to figure it out — but I want him to kind of move to a very different version of The Riddler.” It’s not just his own character about which Smith is excited, but Gotham’s direction in general — which, he teases, is set to delve even deeper into the comics’ mythological well as the show stares down the barrel of season four. “We’re going to see some transitions happening at the end of season three,” he tells, “and some identities unveiled that I think are going to be really surprising... The people that love Batman and the mythology are really going to get excited by some of this stuff that we’re doing.”
Con Artist TV legend Lee Majors is no stranger to fame, but for the first time in his 50-year career, he’s experiencing fandom in the flesh. Guy Davis gets up close and personal.
is first role in Hollywood saw him get beheaded by screen icon Joan Crawford. His last role saw him playing the slightly degenerate dad of horror stalwart Bruce Campbell. And his lengthy career in between saw him playing a couple of legendary characters himself. Now Lee Majors, perhaps bestremembered as the bionic hero of the much-loved 1970s TV series The Six Million Dollar Man, is coming to Australia as a guest of the Melbourne Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming Expo. It’s the first Australian convention appearance for the veteran actor, although he’s recently started doing a few such cons in the US. “I never really had the time before — I was always working,” he says. In fact, Majors is keeping pretty busy well into his 70s. In addition to his role as Brock Williams on Ash vs Evil Dead, he’s recently popped up in guest spots on fanfavourite programs like Weeds, Community and Robot Chicken. But he enjoys the convention experience, even as he marvels at the sheer numbers of fans who rock up for a little face time with their pop-culture heroes. “It’s a good time, even if you only have time to shake hands, write your name and answer a question or two, maybe take a photograph,” he says. Majors is also impressed by the dedication fans show to their project of choice — cosplay particularly tickles him. “Believe it or not, I’ve had people come up to me with red tracksuits on,” he laughs, referring to the outfit worn by his The Six Million Dollar Man character, Colonel Steve Austin. “They really get into it.”
Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming Expo
Roman’s Legion If you want to know what’s coming next in Blindspot, well, that’s easy. Luke Mitchell tells Sam Wall to expect everything.
But it’s not just admirers of The Six Million Dollar Man or Ash vs Evil Dead Majors encounters during his convention appearances. That’s probably to be expected, though — he’s worked pretty much non-stop since 1964, when at age 25 he played the ill-fated husband of Joan Crawford in the schlock-horror thriller Strait-Jacket. “She chopped my head off before the opening credits,” he recalls with a chuckle. “It’s interesting — I get fans from all generations,” he adds. “Big Valley fans tend to be a bit older. The age drops a little bit when it’s fans of Six Mil from the ‘70s, then again when it’s The Fall Guy from the ‘80s. And there are teenagers and kids who like Ash vs Evil Dead — a lot of people love that one, and I see why. It’s very gory but, man, is it funny. And I wouldn’t have done it if it was totally horror. But I watched the first season and I found it so funny I had to do it. It’s a gas.” Just as much of a gas for Majors is seeing the impact and influence his work has had upon fans. “I’ll have people come up to me and say ‘I joined the military because of you’ — these are people who are high up in the military,” he says. “Or they became a fighter pilot like Steve Austin. Or they went into science because of the bionics on The Six Million Dollar Man. It’s amazing the influence you can have on people when they watch a show when they’re young.”
hooting for season two of Blindspot wrapped just a couple weeks ago and Gold Coast native Luke Mitchell is coming home for some much-needed R&R with the friends and family. “I actually haven’t been home for almost a year,” he shares, “so it’s a little bit overdue, you might say.” While he’s here, however, he’ll also be stopping in at Supanova to meet fans of the crime thriller, not to mention his turns on The Tomorrow People (John Young) and Agents Of SHIELD (Lincoln Campbell). “We did a couple [conventions] last year, one in London and then one in Hanover in Germany, and we had a great time,” says Mitchell. “It’s just great to be able to meet fans from all over the world. It’s a really kind of surreal and cool experience. At the end of the day, without fans we wouldn’t have a job. If people don’t want to watch you, you’re not gonna get employed [laughs]. So I’m incredibly grateful.” He’s safe in the job as Blindspot’s Roman. Introduced at the beginning of season two as the brother of main protagonist Jane “Remi” Doe — whose discovery in a duffel bag in Times Square with her memory wiped but her ass-whooping skills intact, a la Jason Bourne, kicked off the show — Roman became an instant favourite. “I think joining a show after the first season is always a tricky thing, you know, entering a fandom,” Mitchell explains. “You
never know how the fans of the show are going to respond to your character. It could be a really positive thing or it could be a really negative thing... But I’ve got to say the response from Blindspot fans has been pretty special considering I play a pretty complicated character.” Mitchell is being polite. Roman’s been working his way into the light, but he’s still an amnesiac super soldier/terrorist with a Masters in torture and an extreme case of antisocial personality disorder. “He’s a very interesting character to play, let me tell ya,” Mitchell allows. “It’s a tough one,” he adds. “I guess I just try and boil it down to the basics, you know, and the basics are he has this incredibly strong connection with his sister, who’s his only blood relative. He’s been through a very traumatic childhood experience, and so this bond he has with his sister is the driving force behind this guy.” Difficult mentality aside, Blindspot is another in a line of physically demanding roles for Mitchell, as Roman has a tendency to resolve his issues by throwing people about the room. “I’m currently post surgery on a tendon repair in my hand,” chuckles Mitchell a little bashfully. “There’s a couple of intense fight scenes coming up and there was a slight mishap during one of them where I cut myself with a knife and ended up in the emergency room. But I’ve been looked after very well and now it’s just up to me to do some rehab to get the movement back.” With the season (and Mitchell) wrapped up and only a couple of episodes left to air Mitchell is tightlipped about the direction of the show, only offering, “It’s very tough to say without giving too much away because a lot happens in the tail end of this season. But basically everything that can happen will happen,” laughs Mitchell. “Trust will be tested and when things come up it’ll be interesting to see how the different people react, and let’s just say for the majority of the time they don’t react well.”
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THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 27
Record Store Day Dreaming The annual Record Store Day extravaganza has been gathering steam in Australia in recent years, and record store owner-slash-voracious music consumer Steve Bell has a look at what all the fuss is about from both ides of the fence.
f you’re not already au fait with this now annual institution, in a nutshell Record Store Day (RSD) is like a holiday for music lovers, except that it’s always held on a Saturday and you don’t get a day off work (especially if you work in a record store). It started in the States back in 2007 – making this year the ten-year anniversary – and has really gained traction Down Under recently as the event has spread globally, reflecting the trend back towards physical
product after years where it seemed that music would eventually become a wholly digital concern. If you boil it down there are two distinct aspects to RSD, both inexorably intertwined – catering to hardcore music nerds and supporting the actual record shops themselves. Each year labels, large and small, pump out a stream of eminently desirable limited edition stock – these days almost solely on vinyl – which are only provided to independent retailers. These may take the form of releases that have been out of print for years, have never have been on vinyl before or are often even completely new titles from big name bands (live albums, compilations and so forth). 28 • THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017
An element of chaos is thrown into the mix due to the fact that it’s a bit of a lottery as to what shops get what titles, just by nature of simple economics and that whole supply and demand thing. The whole point is to make people actually have to turn up to the shops with their ‘wish list’ (the releases having been leaked out on the internet in the weeks leading up to RSD) and then hope that they’re a) lucky in terms of picking the right shop and b) early enough to stake their claim on the cherished target(s). This year, as an example, the 2003 rarities compilation Cup Of Sand by Chapel Hill indie legends Superchunk is being released on triple-vinyl for the first time. Now if I didn’t have my own record store I would be lining up somewhere else on RSD morning for that one. So RSD, while fun, can occasionally be competitive, that’s just the nature of the beast. But of course the other – inarguably more important – function of RSD is to celebrate and promote the unique culture surrounding independently owned record stores around the world. It’s an intangible and sometimes nebulous construct – probably one hard to decipher for those raised in the internet age who missed the halcyon days of record store crate-digging – but one of tremendous importance. Shops bolster the RSD experience by putting their best feet forward in terms of free live music and any manner of value-added content to drag people through their door, but the crux is about raising the profile of what happens in these brick and mortar retailers throughout the calendar, not just once a year. Just having a range of physical music at your disposal curated by weird freaks who forgo normal jobs to pander to their individual sonic addictions is an incalculable asset for all discerning music geeks, the tactile experience of search and discovery far more rewarding than any internet quest or streaming mission. And the tangible sense of community that coalesces around a good record shop can never be replicated in a chat room or forum, actual human interaction with likeminded outcasts far outweighing the power of even the strongest online bond. Curiously in some ways – and despite the best of intentions – RSD doesn’t always portray to casual participants the best side of indie record stores, in that the experience can be quite adversarial and due to the nature of the artefacts on offer the prices can be far heftier than usual, offering a somewhat distorted view of the usual experience. But at the end of the day anything that reminds people how much fun it is to go into a record store and flick through the racks and crates, eliciting in the process that indescribable joy of musical discovery, can only be considered a good thing. Don’t forget that while it’s important to get behind indie record retailers for the annual RSD shindig, it’s imperative to support them the other 364 days of the year as well.
What: Record Store Day When: 22 Apr
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Album / E Album/EP Reviews
Album OF THE Week
Electric Lines Domino
Between his work with Hot Chip and The 2 Bears, Joe Goddard’s output has touched on a wide variety of genres - from rave to soul to folk to reggae. With that in mind, part of the curiosity around his solo albums is simply what sounds he’ll decide to explore on his lonesome. In many ways, he’s hewed close to his standard mix of influences. Cribbing the same sample as Primal Scream’s Loaded and welding it to an AutoTuned vocal lead and spiralling house groove, the six-minute Lose Your Love is a classic retro-but-modern Goddard production. The ‘80s electro patterns and ‘00s synth leads of Lasers bridge a similar divide. But, there’s a dancefloor-ready directness and commercial polish that separates his productions here from either of his aforementioned main projects or his previous solo recordings - even as the spare rhythms and trippy synth washes make for a surprisingly subtle aesthetic overall. It’s more dancefloor-ready than even The 2 Bears’ rave-driven work. But, it’s also more subtle and understated than Hot Chip’s output. In truth, the album’s appeal might be too subtle. Some might want for an album of heavier hitters. But, it’s a fabulously well-crafted listen. One suspects its finessed sheen will reward many repeat listens. Matt O’Neill
The Black Angels
In Plato’s ideal city, as conceived in his political masterpiece The Republic, music (or poetry; the two were synonymous) seen as suspect was to be banned for corrupting the minds of the young and impressionable. If Plato had Homer in mind (or at least large sections of The Iliad), guessing at the man’s thoughts on modern music doesn’t seem like a difficult task. “Me and my animals like Ace Ventura / Your Coca-Cola areola that tastes like sugar”, raps Allday on In Motion, a track saved with genuinely beautiful production from Japanese Wallpaper. Speeding is the South Australian’s second album, and the theme, appropriately enough, is excess. While many Australian rappers seem content to make music for lounging on Bondi Beach, or whose influences
To many people, psych-rock albums are happy affairs: light and summery, imbued with flower-powery lyricism. But as you may guess from the title, The Black Angels’ Death Song is not that kind of psych album. Brooding and cynical, it’s almost the inverse. It’s probably the darkest material The Black Angels have ever recorded, and the most political they’ve ever been. Singer Alex Maas sets the tone on opener Currency; “All the debt and lives you’ve sold/There’s no truth in who we trust” only one of several scathing lines he caws through the song. Half Believing and Life Song continue in that vein, refining the portrait of downtrodden, disenfranchised America. The subversive military-esque snare rolls on Estimate send a clear antiwar message, and Comanche
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are the first three Tribe albums and not much else, Allday’s music is in the here and now. If you close your eyes, you might even be led to think this was Tory Lanez or (maybe too optimistically) Travis Scott, only with strange references to a place called “Melbourne”. This isn’t to say that Allday’s music is derivative; only that it’s strikingly contemporary enough to be compared with those artists. All that remain, though, are the lyrics. “Have the pussy wetter than Gyarados”, he informs us. It’s Greek to me. John Papadopoulos
Moon laments the death and destruction inflicted on the Native American community. Death Song’s sonics are what we’ve come to expect from the band - hypnotic drums, vocals soaked in reverb and crunching blues riffs - but it’s the record’s forthrightness that makes it the intoxicating listen it is. It’s a definite step up from 2013’s Indigo Meadow and a great return to form for The Black Angels. Evan Young
EP Reviews Album/EP Reviews
The Cactus Channel & Sam Cromack
Night Thinker Wonderlick/Sony
Do It For Nothing HopeStreet Recordings
Proving she’s not destined to become a one-hit wonder, the Gold Coast’s Amy Shark has managed to deliver five more songs that meet the standard she set with earworm Adore on her debut EP Night Thinker. Each song adheres to the tried and tested formula of relatable lyrics, gentle vocals, catchy melodies and simplistic processed beats that has already proved successful for Shark with Adore and Weekends. The appeal of Night Thinker, on which Adelaide rapper Allday makes a noteworthy appearance (Worst Girl), lies in its strong lyricism and simple production. It’s more of the same from Shark, but it works.
Melbourne instrumental soul band The Cactus Channel are hypnotic and mesmerising, with circling melodies that posses neither beginning nor end. However, with the presence of Ball Park Music’s Sam Cromack’s singing on this collection of songs, their music well and truly takes on a cinematic life its own, like smoke curling around a crescent moon. While Cromack’s warbly croon is certainly far from a traditional soul performance, the band’s spiralling sounds complement his introspection in a way that borders on the psychedelic. Genres are melted and broken down, only to be revealed to be made of the same mysterious elements. It’s musical alchemy, performed by wizards of the highest order.
Hot on the heels of Northlane’s Mesmer, we get the newie from slamming Brissie post-hardcore crew Deadlights entitled Mesma. Has to be a strange coincidence? Whatever the case, Australia seems to be breeding melodic metalcore acts like horny rabbits right now, and many of them are pretty damn good. Deadlights are no exception. While they list a number of unexpected artists among their key influences, they are not really breaking any new ground in the genre, just doing their thing and doing it extremely well. So if you dig on this style and it’s blatantly clear that many, many people do - check these Aussies out.
Sydney’s Oliver Tank makes music to mope to; his debut album is like sobering up to find the sorrows you tried to drown are still alive and twitching. Aspiring to James Blake levels of glitchy ambience, some of the arrangements are so spare they’re barely there and this is typified by lovely opening track Circles, a slow electro exhalation with a fleeting lyric. But as a whole OT is heavier on anguish than inventiveness, with Tank coming across like a glummer Jose Gonzales, picking the scabs of his angst: on Lost he claims he’s “just okay”, and High With You catalogues the minutiae of a low mood.
More Reviews Online Maximo Park Risk To Exist
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Listen to our This Week’s Releases playlist on
THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 31
Live Re Live Reviews
Vintage Trouble @ Bluesfest. Pic: Josh Groom
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm 13 - 17 Apr Friday
Eric Gales @ Bluesfest. Pic: Josh Groom
Beth Hart @ Bluesfest. Pic: Josh Groom
Buddy Guy @ Bluesfest. Pic: Josh Groom
Patti Smith @ Bluesfest. Pic: Josh Groom
Santana @ Bluesfest. Pic: Josh Groom
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A strong crowd has turned up early at the Crossroads stage to see singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens open proceedings there, the former Carolina Chocolate Drops mainstay promptly invited back after making huge waves at last year’s festival in her new solo guise. Giddens’ humble personality bathes the crowd in warmth as she flits between banjo and fiddle, leading her band through a set of retro-leaning Americana, the highlight proving a beautiful rendition of Hank Cochran’s She’s Got You. Over at the massive Mojo tent UK soul crooner Michael Kiwanuka is another Bluesfest returnee, his profile having risen exponentially since the 2013 debut performance that got so many tongues wagging. Kiwanuka’s music is soulful and ruminative and beautifullysculpted, his voice huge and dripping with expression as he leads his accomplished six-piece backing band — featuring two dexterous drummers — through a succession of emotive tunes such as Cold Little Heartand One More Night. Yet it’s his powerful reading of the inspiring Black Man In A White World that completely steals the show, the moving indictment coated with liberal doses of slinky funk to soften the blow. Decades into her incredible career veteran gospel legend Mavis Staples has lost none of her compelling power, leading the massive congregation before her through songs old and new with equal aplomb. It’s like going back through time when she revisits her familial heritage of ‘60s civil rights legend The Staple Singers with the timeless Touch A Hand, Make A Friend, before finishing with a potent run through of old
standard Mighty Good God. Over at the Delta stage Canadian six-piece The Strumbellas are playing their fun hybrid of disparate styles that they dub “folk popgrass”, the tent full of people young and old bopping along to tunes like Sharks and Rhinestone which are delivered with complete joie de vivre by the consummate entertainers. They play to a sea of smiles which seem to get wider as the set progresses, the experience peaking during the lazily anthemic Wild Sun. Back at Crossroads the inimitable Patti Smith backs up her incendiary opening night headlight slot with a more restrained acoustic performance which nonetheless finds her fronting a massive ensemble, alternating between passionate covers of protest standards like Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall and fascinating spoken word interludes which keep the Beat spirit alive in both content and cadence. She preaches the power of the people like a prophet, pushing peace to the next generations with her powerful polemic and rallying cries like “people raise your arms, we have our fucking freedom!” delivered with so much passion and conviction that it’s virtually impossible not to be swept away by the unity. Hordes of people in colourful Hawaiian shirts — many sporting even more colourful parrot attire on their heads — can only mean that Jimmy Buffett is back peddling his unique brand of island escapism with his band The Coral Reefers. Buffett’s easygoing shtick seems to be a lifestyle choice for many attendees who sing along en masse to stapes like Cheeseburger In Paradise and the perennial Margaritaville, interspersed with affable covers of faves like Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl and even Crowded House’s Weather With You for some local flavour.
eviews Live Reviews
Over at the more intimate Juke Joint The California Honeydrops are peddling the unique hybrid of styles they honed busking in Oakland rail stations. Affable frontman Lech Wierzynski does his utmost to turn the experience into a full party, taking things to the next level during catchy numbers like Candy Man and Drown In My Own Tears. We head past the Mojo tent to spy regular visitor Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue in the midst of a massive and impressive percussion frenzy, which eventually subsides and allows the resumption of the band’s energetic horn-fuelled jazz/rock/funk stylings which by now seem so familiar in this environment. Over at Crossroads, flamehaired guitar virtuoso Bonnie Raitt has lost none of her fire or flair, her honeyed voice and skilful slide work breathing abundant life into songs like Something To Talk About and The Comin’ Round Is Going Through which have the full tent jiving and dancing with gleeful abandon. Up against massive headliners in Mary J Blige and The Lumineers, veteran indie rock exponents The Mountain Goats more than hold their own in the outlying Jambalaya tent. Skittish and slightly eccentric singer-songwriter John Darnielle is like a dervish as he leads his band through a slew of off-kilter gems like Jam Eater Blues and The Diaz Brothers, but it’s their big hit This Year — with its rousing and uplifting refrain “I’m going to make it through this year if it kills me” — which proves a fitting finale to a typically diverse and enriching day of music, culture and fun.
Saturday The weather gods are smiling once more as it’s another stunning day to herald the halfway mark of the 2017 Bluesfest, almost faultless
conditions for this annual celebration of all things musical. Over at the Crossroads tent North Carolinian Nikki Hill opens proceedings with a frenetic burst of hard rock and R&B, the beehive-haired singer dancing around the stage belting out tunes in full control of proceedings while her tight band deliver driving barroom boogie behind her. A raucous cover of New Orleans gets people dancing early, but it’s her own soulful tunes like Her Destination that really let Hill’s talent shine through. In recent times the Boomerang Festival has become an integral part of the Bluesfest experience, a dedicated program showcasing Indigenous art, performance and culture. It takes over the Juke Joint stage for the first half of the day and it’s there that we spy Emily Wurramara holding court, the Brisbane-via-Northern Territory singer-songwriter in spellbinding form with her infectious brand of socially aware indie pop. She exudes genuine warmth and a massive personality as she delivers a string of tunes such
Billy Bragg has the besotted crowd singing along en masse. as Coloured Stone’s Black Boy, Lady Blue and her own hit Black Smoke to a large and completely appreciative crowd. Back over at Crossroads legendary UK singersongwriter Billy Bragg is making his long overdue Bluesfest debut, operating in solo mode with just an electric guitar and that inimitable voice as he used to do so potently when he arrived on the scene in the ‘80s. He opens with a string of old classics in
the form of To Have And To Have Not, The Milkman Of Human Kindness and Greetings To The New Brunette, before swapping to acoustic guitar for a folkedup cover of Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’, which has been updated to include topical ruminations on the Trump administration and our current tumultuous political climate. He’s still typically verbose between songs – with his finger firmly on the pulse of Australian political events – but it’s classic hits like Sexuality, The World Turned Upside Down and Accident Waiting To Happen that have the besotted crowd singing along en masse. He finishes with a potent run of Levi Stubbs’ Tears, Between The Wars and There Is Power In A Union, exiting briefly before returning for a triumphant encore rendition of A New England to conclude a brilliant performance. Californian R&B band Vintage Trouble were one of the buzz bands at last year’s festival and have accordingly pulled a big crowd upon their return, super suave frontman Ty Taylor in fine form as he works the crowd into a lather. The music has a strong retro feel but it’s all delivered with a completely modern sheen, the band’s strong and unified musicianship unwavering and allowing Taylor free rein to fill the tent with his unquenchable charisma. Over at the Delta stage UK indie rockers Turin Brakes are showcasing their sophisticated brand of alt-rock, the band having recently expanded from a duo to a quartet and already exude a natural chemistry in this new dynamic. The songs are dreamy and hypnotic with a pastoral, folk-tinged vibe shining through strongly in places, forming the perfect soundtrack for some midafternoon relaxation. Back over at the Mojo tent UK soulstress Corinne Bailey Rae seems over the moon to be playing her first-ever Australian
show, promising to cover the full gamut of her decade-long career to atone for her lengthy absence. Her brand of urbane soul is classy but unpretentious, another singer beaming with a natural charisma that seems to lift the vibe of proceedings with her mere presence, songs like Closer and Is This Love shining in the live environment. Back at Crossroads again and Californian singersongwriter Beth Hart (pictured) is showing why she’s become another Bluesfest staple in recent times, a passionate rendition of Baddest Blues finding her investing totally into every nuance and syllable of the song. She emerges from behind her keys for Waterfalls, leaving plenty of space that adds an element of sensuality, letting the songs and emotions breathe as if the cavernous tent was a smoky jazz club and dragging everybody into her emotional orbit. Tunes like the stirring Your Heart Is As Black As Night and beautiful torch song Leave The Light On prove stunning in their vulnerability, Hart baring her soul and touching plenty of others in the process. We wander past the Delta stage and catch a bit of veteran Roy Ayers’ sophisticated jazz-tinged neo-soul – teasing notes out of the vibraphone as if it’s a natural extension of his being, always with that wicked sparkle in his eye. We then make a beeline to Crossroads to see another legend Buddy Guy in all his glory, pumping out authentic blues with perfect grace. He exudes so much gravitas just by dint of his experience at the musical coalface, songs like Damn Right, I’ve Got The Blues and Feels Like Rain dripping with both indomitable spirit and integrity. Over at the Jambalaya tent, US ensemble Nahko & Medicine For The People have built a jubilant sense of community with their upbeat world music fusion,
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Live Re Live Reviews
the crowd being entertained and educated in equal measure as they’re fed song after song of societal messages wrapped in smooth tunes. Frontman Nahko Bear leads the way like the leader of some spiritual gang, whipping up both his band and the delighted throng before them to raise proceedings to the next level and succeeding at every turn. We finish back at Mojo to tick a session with Chicago rock legends The Doobie Brothers off the bucket list, the band seeming to have the time of their lives as they soak up the adulation from the adoring throng before them. They’re consummate
The perfect climax to this penultimate night of Bluesfest magic. professionals and punch out classy boogie rock with complete abandon, the mood hitting fever pitch in the tent as they pump out classics like Takin’ It To The Streets and Long Train Runnin’ and then return from a fake finale to deliver a stirring rendition of AM radio staple Listen To The Music to close yet another inspiring day of Bluesfest action.
Sunday Easter Sunday is in full swing at the Bluesfest site as we enter the fray and start with a session from Max Jury in the Juke Joint, the currently London-based US singer-songwriter seated behind a keyboard with a three-piece band behind him and two strongvoiced female vocalists flanking on his right. He’s only in his early 20s but his pop-tinged Americana already 34 • THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017
evokes a certain world-weariness, delivering the wistfulGreat American Novel on his own before the band return to unleash an epic version of Princess and finish with the beautifully languid Home, which has most likely never been delivered in such a far-flung locale. Blues-rock guitar virtuoso Eric Galesdelivers an incendiary mission statement to open his set, beaming as he snarls, “I intend to play my ass off for you tonight!” And he proves true to his word, opening with a 12-minute jam featuring rollicking blues, massive solos and thick squalls of guitar. He follows this with a massive take on the ominous Change In Me, which has the strong crowd hollering with delight, Gales seeming like the living embodiment of all that have come before, his guitar almost seeming alive in his hands as he coaxes power and nuance from it in equal measure. Over at the Crossroads veteran Californian Latin rockers Santana have pulled an absolutely massive crowd who spill outside the packed tent and seem delighted with the mixture of cool rhythms, guitar histrionics, horn stabs, chanting and exotic percussion. Frontman Carlos Santana is like a talisman out front of his sizeable ensemble, his accomplished band pumping out a mixture of instrumentals, foreign language originals and left-field covers such as Enya’sOrinoco Flow (Sail Away) – which has people confused and delighted all at once – all of which elicits mass dancing in the front half of the writhing throng of people before them. At the Jambalaya stage, British soul sensationLaura Mvula is holding court and delivering sultry tunes while continually – albeit subtly – exhorting the people before her to dance, moving slinkily around the stage herself during Green Garden and then
getting impossibly sultry during a gorgeous cover of Nina Simone’s See-Line Woman. Mvula dons a massive white keytar during the lush and cinematic Make Me Lovely and the unwieldy instrument doesn’t stifle her urge to move her body to the tribal rhythms one iota, leading the way from the stage as her fans delightedly follow. We catch a few more songs from Michael Kiwanuka at the Mojo tent and then head back to the Delta stage for a return bout with Nikki Hill, who’s in typically ferocious form and delivers a set completely different from the one we witnessed yesterday. The singer exudes confidence as she swans around the stage while
legend Prince Buster who sadly passed away last year, having gifted Madness both their band name and large swathes of their madcap aesthetic. There’s lavish visual production behind the large band that gets positively Python-esque during Herbert, the band heading into vaudeville territory for NW5 before unveiling the anthemic Wings Of A Dove and offering Blackbird as a tribute to the much-missed Amy Winehouse. Guitarist Chris Foreman takes the vocal reins for a potent cover of AC/DC’s Highway To Hell, which catches many by surprise, before the band up the tempo and unleash their string
Mavis Staples @ Bluesfest. Pic: Josh Groom
her band pump out thick riffage, a poignant reading of Johnny Thunders’ You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory followed by a stream of firebrand originals such as the driving (Let Me Tell You ‘Bout) Luv, the slinky Ask Yourself and the good-time frolic ofMama Wouldn’t Like It. Finally we join the large throng in the Mojo tent for UK court jesters Madness, the sound massive as they open with One Step Beyond, which drives the crowd into an immediate frenzy. Singer Suggs is his usual mischievous self as he wanders the stage sporting dark glasses and that perpetual smirk. AfterEmbarrassment they throw in a moving tribute to ska
of ‘80s radio smashes:House Of Fun and Baggy Trousers both have the tent dancing delightedly, before Our House and It Must Be Love evoke mass singalongs, these songs still clearly resonating strongly in the Australian psyche. They’re coaxed back for an encore of Can’t Touch Us Now but the damage has already been done, that cavalcade of hits and memories the perfect climax to this penultimate night of Bluesfest magic. Steve Bell
To read the full review head to theMusic.com.au
Arts Reviews Arts Reviews
Ghost In The Shell
Film In cinemas now
Ghost In The Shell Film In Cinemas Now
★★★ So many movies, TV shows and other pieces of pop culture have sampled or stolen from the 1995 Japanese animated movie Ghost In The Shell over the years that a straight remake can’t help but seem a little late to the party. But there are other issues with Hollywood’s take on this futuristic tale of the increasingly blurred line between humanity and technology, beyond the whole been-there-seen-that feeling that make this version a bit underwhelming. Set in a futuristic, multicultural and unnamed city that resembles Hong Kong on steroids, Ghost In The Shell follows the adventures of Major, a counterterrorism agent played by Scarlet Johansson. Major’s body is a synthetic, robotic chassis but her brain is human - she is the first example of a fusion between the genuine and the artificial. Major’s memories of her past are fuzzy - she’s been told by her superiors that she was rescued from a nearfatal accident and only transplanting her brain (and her consciousness, or ‘ghost’) into a robotic ‘shell’ saved her life. But she’s experiencing what she calls “glitches”, mental flashes that may be malfunctions or may be memories. Director Rupert Sanders (Snow White And The Huntsman) and his top-notch technical team create a world that feels both utterly foreign and increasingly plausible, and watching Major and her colleagues navigate their way through it frequently delivers a disorienting, lost-without-a-map feel. It’s just too bad the action sequences are, for the most part, fairly so-so, despite Johansson’s captivatingly calm screen presence and capabilities when it comes to throwing a punch. Guy Davis
It would be unfair to say that the wheels are falling off the Fast & Furious franchise with The Fate Of The Furious, the eighth chapter in the ongoing street-racers-turnedsecret-agents series. But it is safe to suggest that this time around, the saga perhaps doesn’t have quite as much pick-up as it displayed in previous episodes. To be fair, The Fate Of The Furious is carrying a few more passengers than usual - Jason Statham joins the team as a reluctant hero after doing villain duty in the last movie, while a competently chilly Charlize Theron is the baddie this time around (and there’s a cool cameo that’ll remain a secret). But the movie lacks that crazy but nimble quality director Justin Lin brought to instalments four through six - a simultaneous awareness and appreciation of just how ridiculous the franchise could get - and that Australian director James Wan capably mimicked in the seventh. Incoming director F Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), has been handed the
The Fate Of The Furious
The Fate Of The Furious
keys to a bus and been instructed to drive it like a Lamborghini. The Fate Of The Furious is bloated and burdened with too many stars, too many characters and too many subplots. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun. It just means it’s not as much fun as its predecessors. As the franchise has pointed out with monotonous regularity over the last few films, the notion of family means everything to hard-driving hero Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), who is fiercely loyal to everyone from his long-time love and new wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) to adversary-turned-ally Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). So what would it take for him to “go rogue” and turn against them? Theron’s cyber-criminal Cipher obviously has some pretty serious leverage to force Dom to join her team and pull off an audacious scheme that involves stealing nuclear codes and hijacking submarines. In Fast & Furious logic, Hobbs, Letty and the other members of Dom’s crew are the only ones capable of tracking him down. But likably shifty government agent Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) reckons they need a bit of back-up and assigns Statham’s Deckard Shaw as added muscle, much to the chagrin of Hobbs. After impressively playing a bad guy in Furious 7, Statham slips easily into antihero mode here, antagonising the blustery Johnson and cleverly mixing his sweet and savage sides in a sequence near the film’s end. Statham’s tongue-in-cheek approach actually provides a cool contrast to the overload that’s present in just about every other aspect of The Fate Of The Furious, from the motorised mayhem of the car chases to Diesel’s super-stern performance. Guy Davis
THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 35
Comedy / G The Guide
Mark Sheils: Runcorn Tavern, Runcorn
Archer: The Cambus Wallace, Nobby Beach Triffid Acoustics with Ofa Fanaika: The Triffid, Newstead
The Cactus Channel & Sam Cromack
The Music Presents At The Dakota: 22 Apr The Milk Factory The Blurst Of Times: 29 Apr, The Brightside Jeff Lang: 5 May Imperial Hotel Eumundi The Cactus Channel & Sam Cromack: 2 Jun The Brightside Mick Thomas: 10 Jun Milk Factory Orsome Welles: 16 Jun Black Bear Lodge
Thu 20 Client Liaison + Luke Million: Miami Marketta, Miami Anna & Jordan: Solbar, Maroochydore Magic Bones: The Bearded Lady, West End Major Leagues: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley Tom Lee Richards: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane Black Stone Cherry: The Triffid, Newstead
Sunny Side Up Immerse yourself in the raw expressions of Sydney’s Caravana Sun on their Whale Song tour on 29 Apr. They will be joined at Woolly Mammoth by The Golden Age Of Ballooning and Emily Wurramara.
Fri 21 Strand of Oaks + Endless Boogie: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley
Zombie Walk with Honey Remixed + Bella Maree: Night Quarter, Helensvale
Horrorshow: 29 Jun Miami Marketta; 30 Jun The Northern Byron Bay; 1 Jul Max Watt’s
Rhydian Lewis + Band: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point
Luca Brasi: 30 Jun The Triffid
Will Anderson: CBD Hotel, Mackay
The Cherry Dolls + The High Tropics + The Cloacas: Solbar, Maroochydore
Bello Winter Music Festival: 6 - 9 Jul Bellingen
Deadlights + The Comfort + Vitals + Vaela: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley
Colin Lillie + Kelly Brouhaha: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore
Blond:Ish + Audun + Giv: Elsewhere, Surfers Paradise
Mayhem For Mary + Grasshole + Long Holiday + Seas of Valoria: The Bearded Lady, West End
A Breach Of Silence: Flamingo’s On Quay, Rockhampton
Pink Matter: Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) (The Green), South Brisbane
The Seven Ups + Accomplice Collective: The Boundary Hotel, West End
Tylea + Asha Jefferies: Junk Bar, Ashgrove Early Show with Tylea + Asha Jefferies: Junk Bar, Ashgrove The Seven Ups + Colin Lillie + Felicity Lawless: Night Quarter, Helensvale Matt Hsu + May Lyn + Noralyn: Queensland Multicultural Centre (QMC), Kangaroo Point Mojo Webb Band + Bert: Royal Mail Hotel, Goodna Client Liaison + Luke Million: Solbar, Maroochydore Bart Thrupp: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore
Gareth Liddiard: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley Top Dollar + Simi Lacroix + Sooky: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley Captain Dreamboat: The J, Noosa Heads Archer: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane Client Liaison: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley Taxiride
Hold My Beer The fourth annual Brisbane Beer Fest is back this 22 & 23 Apr at the Eatons Hill Hotel. Australian rockers Taxiride join the beerdedicated festival on Sunday so grab your tickets and raise a glass to all things beer.
Lita & The Bones + Leanne Tennant + Austen + more: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley Boo Seeka + Glades + Dean Lewis: Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley
Sat 22 Oh Pep!: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley
Dillion James: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End
Odinfest 2017 feat. Valhalore + Malakyte + Darker Half + Deraign + Dragonsmead + Saralisse + Fenrir + Asylum + Skeleton Quay + Wartooth + Kaustic Attack + Decapitated Mum + Kaerulean + Awful Noise + Wisdoms Realm + Scumbag: Chardons Corner Hotel, Annerley
Micka Scene: Miami Marketta, Miami
Mindsnare: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley
Uncle Buck + Kitten Hurricane + Lions of the Underground + Outlive + Ivorylane: New Globe Theatre, Fortitude Valley
Afternoon Show with Palm + A Secret Death: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley
Shifting Sands: Junk Bar, Ashgrove
36 • THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017
Wide Open Road feat. Band of Frequencies + P.C. & The Biffs + Sabrina Lawrie + SuburbiaSuburbia + Whalehouse: The Triffid, Newstead
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Rolling In The Deep Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are bringing their French Press EP tour around Australia. Catch them for free at The Northern this 29 Apr as the soft punk quartet bring in the feels with their reminiscent vibes and thundering melodies.
Kingfisha: The Boundary Hotel, West End House vs Hurricane: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley Roland Tings + Willaris K + Venue II: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley
Gigs / Live The Guide
The Goon Sax
Alcest: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley Sampha: Max Watt’s, West End Protest The Hero: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley
Wed 26 El Capo + Shannon Carroll: Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Heads
Goon Of Fortune
Death By Stereo: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley
Brisbane’s own The Goon Sax have landed a European tour, but they’re not leaving without a goodbye party. Head to The Foundry to catch their melancholic ‘80s pop vibes on 28 Apr before they head off.
Academy of St Martin in the Fields: Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) (Concert Hall), South Brisbane
Mashd n Kutcher + Sharam Jay: The Met, Fortitude Valley
At The Dakota + Mary Handsome + Electric Suede: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane
Josh Hatcher: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point
Songs You Know & Love with Pete Cullen: The Triffid (Beer Garden), Newstead
Sun 23 Jump Jive & Wail: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point Connor Brooker + Neptune Estate: Crowbar (Crowbar Black), Fortitude Valley Alcest + Deafcult: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley
Africa Entsha: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley
Phill Jupitus: Sit Down Comedy Club, Paddington
The Tommyhawks: Sonny’s House of Blues, Brisbane
Jesse Morris: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore
New Venusians: The Boundary Hotel, West End
2017 Gold Coast Music Awards feat. Amy Shark + Hanlon Brothers + Aquila Young + Yes Sir Noceur: Surfers Paradise Beach, Surfers Paradise
Flaming Wrekage + The Black Swamp + Fragments + more: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley
Clap Clap Riot: The Bearded Lady, West End
The Goon Sax: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley
Miss Fortune + Awaken I Am: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley
Will Anderson: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane
Calais + Trails + Dosed: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley
Dan Baird & Homemade Sin: The Triffid, Newstead
Dada Ono + Georgia Rose: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane Triffid Acoustics with Michael David Thomas: The Triffid, Newstead
Sue-Anne Stewart: Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Heads Hydromedusa + Hobo Magic + 58008 + Smoke + The Badlands: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley The Darkness: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill Matt Henry + Harmony James: Junk Bar, Ashgrove Eddie Gazani: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End
Life Could Be a Dream Sit back an relax when The Triffid plays host to Captain Dreamboat’s Ofa Fanaika. Known for her steadfast social activism, explore the human story within her soulful sounds this 19 Apr.
Beer Fest with Taxiride + more: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill The Seefelds + Kurlipa Reach: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane
Archer: Paper Moon Cafe, Annerley Dustin Thomas + Jackson Villani: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore
Colin Lillie: Sonny’s House of Blues, Brisbane ParaDisco with DJ Boogie Shoes + DJ Anna Sonnenberg: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley Shave & Rave Sunday Sesh with Wolver + Average Art Club + Hey Baby + Doxa: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley Americana Sessions with Jonny Fritz: The Triffid (Beer Garden), Newstead Wolfmother + Davey Lane + Immigrant Union: The Triffid, Newstead
Mon 24 Confidence Man: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley Idylls + Ah Mer Ah Su + Tralala Blip: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever + Emerson Snowe + Sweater Curse: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley Magic Bones
Magic At The Disco Garage punk crew Magic Bones have kicked off their Hotter Than The Sun tour and are bringing their ‘80s new wave punk spirit to The Northern this 21 Apr. Not to mention it’s free entry, so no excuses.
Bootleg Rascal: Miami Marketta, Miami Academy of St Martin in the Fields: Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) (Concert Hall), South Brisbane
The Resignators + Los Kung Fu Monkeys + Kingston Stompers + Guava Lava + Fire Away: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley Fatman Scoop + DJ Bluey: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk: Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane Soulshift: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End Struggle Town: New Globe Theatre, Fortitude Valley The Hot Potato Band + The Mae Trio: Night Quarter, Helensvale
Pez: Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley
Sat 29 The Blurst of Times 2017 feat. Various Artists: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley Braben-Jenner Hot Five + The Boyz: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point Hollow World + I Shall Devour + Kyzer Soze + Zeolite + Caetera: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley Kodiak Empire: Foundry Records, Fortitude Valley ICEHOUSE + James Reyne + Daryl Braithwaite + Shannon Noll + Dragon + Pseudo Echo: Harrigan’s Drift Inn, Jacobs Well The Tommyhawks: Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane Will Anderson: Night Quarter, Helensvale
The Whitlams + Australian Philharmonic Orchestra: Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) (Concert Hall), South Brisbane
Dan Sultan: Old Museum (Studio), Fortitude Valley
Caravana Sun + Hemingway: Solbar, Maroochydore
Bootleg Rascal: Solbar, Maroochydore
Set Mo: Old Soul, Maroochydore
THE MUSIC • 19TH APRIL 2017 • 37
Comedy / G The Guide
Groovin’ The Moo feat. Against Me! + Allday + Amy Shark + Architects + The Darkness + Dillon Francis + George Maple + Hayden James + The Jungle Giants + K Flay + L-FRESH The LION + Loyle Carner + Methyl Ethel + Milky Chance + Montaigne + Northeast Party House + PNAU + Slumberjack + Snakehips + Tash Sultana + Thundamentals + Violent Soho + The Wombats + CC:Disco! + Kinder + Liz Cambage + Luen + MzRizk + Confidence Man + Greta Stanley + Robbie Miller + Tia Gostelow: Townsville Cricket Grounds, Annandale
CHMST + Mholly + Kron + more: Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley
Have You Heard
When did you start making music and why? I began piano lessons when I was 11, which I went on to study at uni. I was often making up songs as a kid and my passion for singing and songwriting grew from there. Sum up your musical sound in four words? Emotive, tuneful, piano, alt-pop.
If you could only listen to one album forevermore, what would it be and why? Well if it came to it, I’d probably actually go for some instrumental classical music. I was brought up listening to classical music and I find it really refreshing. Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? Oh, I don’t play rock’n’roll. Elvis Presley. That is, I don’t think I have a worthy enough answer for this question. Why should people come and see your band? To get lots of feels!
When and where are your next gigs? 22 Apr, World Music Cafe; 5 May, Ric’s Bar. Website link for more info? noralynmusic.com
Mon 01 The Dwarves: Miami Tavern (Shark Bar), Miami
Roland Around Following a run of shows with RUFUS, Melburnian producer Roland Tings is taking his two-piece format around Australia for his own tour. The Foundry plays host to the electronic mastermind this 22 Apr. Barge With An Antenna On It + The Happy Mediums + Marville + Cakes + Screwjacks + Acid Kat: The Bearded Lady, West End Dave Orr Band: The Boundary Hotel, West End The Blurst of Times 2017 feat. Various Artists: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley The Blurst of Times 2017 feat. Skegss + Ngaiire + Royal Headache + The Creases + Alex Lahey + I Know Leopard + Good Boy + Jack River + Jarrow + Columbus + Green Buzzard + Horror My Friend + Morning Harvey + Bris 182 + Planet + Evan Klar + Hot Spoke! + Mezko + Rackett + 100% + Machine Age + Concrete Surfers + Top Dollar + Sweater Curse + Body Type + Ruby Fields + Ivey + Wolver + Royal & The Southern Echo + Nice Biscuit + Voiid: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley Patch Feeney + Blair Jackson + Nicholas Humblet: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane Johnny Cash The Concert: Walk The Line feat. Daniel Thompson + Stuie French: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley A Tribute to Neil Young feat. Halfway + The Predators + Good Oak: The Triffid, Newstead Songs You Know & Love with Pete Cullen: The Triffid (Beer Garden), Newstead Vera Blue + Mammals + PLGRMS: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley Caravana Sun + The Golden Age of Ballooning + Emily Wurramara: Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley
Sun 30 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever + Good Boy + Jarrow: Miami Tavern (Shark Bar), Miami
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The Wombats + Milky Chance + The Jungle Giants: Riverstage, Brisbane
Stones Corner Festival feat. Regurgitator + Luke Daniel Peacock + Sahara Beck + Hemingway + I Heart Hiroshima + Sarah Booker + The Stress Of Leisure + more: Stones Corner Hotel, Greenslopes
Tue 02 Milky Chance + Amy Shark: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley K Flay + Lupa J: Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets: The Bearded Lady, West End 12th Planet: The Biscuit Factory, Fortitude Valley Helmet: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley Biscuit Factory Block Party feat. Doctor P + Krafty MC + more: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley Butterfingers + The Flangipanis + Otis High: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley Newstead Hip Hop Festival feat. B Wise + Birdz + Coda Conduct + Jayteehazard: The Triffid, Newstead Screamfeeder + Ultra Material + Tape/Off + Thigh Master: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley
Carabands The Gypsy Caravan tour is coming to Queensland. That means you can catch You Am I guitarist Davey Lane, Immigrant Union and Tumbleweed opening for Wolfmother at The Triffid, 23 Apr.
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The Music is a free, weekly magazine of newsstand quality. It features a diverse range of content including arts, culture, fashion, lifestyl...
Published on Apr 19, 2017
The Music is a free, weekly magazine of newsstand quality. It features a diverse range of content including arts, culture, fashion, lifestyl...