09.08.17 Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
Brisbane / Free / Incorporating
Tour: Sarah McLeod
Tour: The Jungle Giants
Tour: Raised By Eagles
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JAME S VINCENT MCMORROW T H E K I T E ST R I N G TA N G L E M A N S I O N A I R • WA F I A S AT U R D AY 2 3 S E P T E M B E R B R I S B A N E F E ST I VA L • R I V E R STAG E O N S A L E N O W AT S EC R E T S O U N D S.C O M NE W ALBUM ‘ TRUTH IS A BE AUTIFUL THING’ OUT NOW VIA DE W PRO CE SS / UMA
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 3
JONSON STREET BYRON BAY FRIDAY 18TH AUGUST
LETTERS TO LIONS, MINI SKIRT SATURDAY 19TH AUGUST
THE JUNGLE GIANTS, HEAPS GOOD FRIENDS, SEASIDE FRIDAY 25TH AUGUST
ISRAELI CHICKS, STORK, SATURDAY 26TH AUGUST
THE COURTNEYS, PANDAMIC
free live music every Sunday from 3.30pm.
FRIDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER
HARLEM, BLEEDING KNEES CLUB SATURDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER
OCEAN ALLEY, THE VANNS THURSDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER
THE PIERCE BROTHERS SATURDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER
DROP LEGS SUNDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER
ILLY THURSDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER
06 AUG Andrew Tuttle + Doolie Single Launch
13 AUG Kristy Apps + Isis
20 AUG Tiarne + Pink Matter
27 AUG MIXTAPE
Mark Preistly + Hugo Race/ Sabrina Lawrie/ Kelly Brouhaha
FRIDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER
All ages welcome.
SATURDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER
TIJUANA CARTEL SUNDAY 22 OCTOBER
KINGSWOOD TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE WWW.THENORTHERN.COM.AU 4 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
Brisbane Airport is keeping Livespark free. Mixtape is proudly supported by APRA AMCOS.
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 5
Music / Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
Californian outfit The Growlers will be making their way to Australia for a run of shows along the east coast this November in support of their 2016 full-length, City Club.
The Kite String Tangle
Kite In Flight Following last month’s release of his self-titled debut album, The Kite String Tangle has announced he will head out on an Aussie headline tour in October with fellow Brisbane acts, Golden Vessel and Austen.
Saskwatch Out! Celebrated Melbourne ensemble Saskwatch are celebrating the fresh release of their fourth studio full-length, Manual Override, with the announcement of a massive 14-date national tour lasting from early October through mid-November.
We Ain’t Lion It remains to be seen whether triple j’s Hottest 100 will remain on this date in January after the radio station starting seeking its listeners’ opinion about when the countdown should be held.
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Perth rockers Tired Lion have dropped Fresh, the new single from their upcoming debut album Dumb Days. They’ve also announced they will take the album around the country for a headline tour after its September release.
Arts / Li Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
On The Dash
Celebrated emo outfit Dashboard Confessional will return to Australia for their first shows in five years next month on a whirlwind three-date east coast tour that will stop in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
FRI 11 AUG KELIS
FRI 11 AUG PON CHO
SAT 12 AUG
NEW FOUND GLORY
TUE 29 AUG STONE SOUR
FRI 1 SEPT
SAT 12 SEPT
A FIST FULL OF ROCK FT. HOODO GURUS, YOU AM I, JEBEDIAH & ADALITA
FRI 8 SEPT
SAT 9 SEPT
RNB Fridays Live have announced a massive lineup led by Craig David. The UK artist will be joined by a slew of fellow headline acts including KELIS, Sean Paul, Kelly Rowland and more in October.
HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
SAT 15 SEPT
SAT 16 SEPT AFI
THUR 21 SEPT
MAX & IGGOR CAVALERA
FRI 22 SEPT YOU ME AT SIX
SUN 24 SEPT LEGEND VOICES OF ROCK
Future Of The Left
Welsh alt-rock faves Future Of The Left will return to Australian shores in January next year. Revisiting our neck of the woods in support of their fifth studio full-length, The Peace And Truce Of Future Of The Left.
FRI 29 SEPT THE GAME
MON OCT 2 AT THE DRIVE IN
SAT 14 OCT ANDY GRAMMER
(07) 3325 6777 TICKETS & INFO GO TO: EATONSHILLHOTEL.COM.AU EATONSHILLHOTELPAGE 646 SOUTHPINE RD EATONS HILL
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 7
Music / Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
Sounds A Million Bucks
Adelaide producer Luke Million has recruited Mookhi and Nocturnal Tapes for his just announced headline tour, kicking off on 1 Sep. The shows will coincide with the release of his upcoming EP, Come Together, due out 25 Aug.
Every Day’s Lahey Day After dropping her latest single, the powerhouse that is Alex Lahey has announced that her debut album, I Love You Like A Brother, will drop 6 Oct. A national tour to coincide with release kicks off on 4 Oct.
*I see a guy with a shark tooth necklace* ME: Holy shit, that’s sharpest part of a shark. Who is this mysterious and brave hunk? @thenatewolf 8 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
Heavy Breathing Sydney’s favourite instrumental rockers sleepmakeswaves are coming to Queensland for BIGSOUND this September and have announced two headline shows around the state in support of their highly acclaimed third LP, Made Of Breath Only.
Arts / Li Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
Melbourne producer Yeo hits the road again this September and October in support of his highly anticipated new album. Desire Path The tour kicks off in regional WA with Adelaide’s Lonelyspeck accompanying on select dates.
Sucker Punched BIGSOUND are delivering the ol’ KO with their second artist announcement. We don’t know how they coerced so many talented artists into one space, but the likes of sleepmakeswaves, WAAX and Confidence Man will now also be playing live at the conference in September. Ben Folds
Fly Folds Acclaimed singer-songwriter Ben Folds has confirmed that he will be return to Australia in February 2018 for two-part solo piano shows; the first half a curated set, the second handed to the audience for a Paper Aeroplane Request show. THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 9
Maroochy Music & Vis Arts Festival
From humble, youth-oriented roots in 2015, the Maroochy Music & Visual Arts Festival has blossomed into a broadly appealing event with something for everyone — and event talent co-ordinator Zac Abroms wouldn’t have it any other way, he tells Mitch Knox.
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y Zac Abroms’ own admission, the Maroochy Music & Arts Festival wasn’t always for everyone. Returning for its third year running this month, the event made its debut in 2015, when it attracted a much narrower crowd than is expected to roll up to the Old Horton Park Gold Course for this year’s festivities, which are set to be headlined by a double serve of delight in Alison Wonderland and The Presets. But cast an eye further down the line-up, and that broad appeal becomes apparent quickly, with artists from Horrorshow, Bernard Fanning and Northeast Party House to OKBADLANDS, Mallrat and Skegss populating the bill. “I think maybe, in the first year, the audience that the festival attracted really was pretty young, and as we’ve grown that’s kind of expanded,” Abroms, the event’s talent co-ordinator, reflects. “And, when we’re presenting things like your Bernard Fannings’ and even The Presets, we’re really tapping into a 30+, 40+ market as well, which goes kind of hand-in-hand with other aspects of the festival.” “So you’ve got these legends of Australian music, and, you know, I’m still an active music listener and I’m still seeking out new things online constantly, and we’ve got stuff at Zac Abroms the other end of the
scale,” he continues. “The likes of Billy Davis & The Good Lords, who are only two singles deep but shaping up to be just one of the smoothest, most credible jazz-influenced urban outfits out of Melbourne, and even young Mallrat, who is an absolute favourite of ours around the office... so it really is a pretty wide gamut of artists we’re running.” To further drive that distinction home, other points of particular pride on this year’s line-up in Abroms’ eyes include Norway’s Anna Of The North — the festival’s first-ever international artist, on her first Australian tour — and old favourites Gang Of Youths, of whom Abroms says the Maroochy fest team are “shameless” fans. “I think that we try, we really do try, to keep things diverse and to keep presenting our punters with something that’s new,” he says. “Even with respect to Anna Of The North, this is her first Australian tour, this is our first international artist, and we’re super stoked to be presenting her.” Despite the breadth of sounds on offer, Maroochy fest is nonetheless a cohesive affair, unified by its inextricable link to its physical location, which Abroms says is as much a part of the festival’s character as its line-up. “The Sunshine Coast has an effortlessly chill vibe, and it happens completely organically,” he marvels. “It’s impossible to come up there and not instantly feel relaxed, because that’s what the organic culture is. So whilst we are a music festival and people do get loose and dance hard at the end of the night, the festival itself has a lovely, chilled vibe about it.” “That’s part of the reasoning that went into the naming of the festival; we toyed with catchy names but, in the end, we just wanted to name it after the place where it sits,” he says. “I would love it if we slowly start to earn that reputation as being, you know, it’s a great time to visit the Sunshine Coast around the festival, because that’s when Maroochydore’s really on show OKBadlands for all the world to see.”
I think that we try, we really do try, to keep things diverse and to keep presenting our punters with something that’s new.
Maroochy Music & Vis Arts Festival
D OKBadlands’ Sally Latter shares with Rod Whitfield what people can expect from the duo’s live show.
rawing their name from an old-school western movie from the late ‘40s, OKBadlands are an electronic pop duo consisting of two like-minded Brissie women who have been mates for a very long time. After jamming together for a couple of years, they decided to teach themselves the art of writing and recording self-produced music, and 2015 saw them putting their sounds down on tape for the first time. Since then they have become quite accomplished at the art of DIY music. They are soon to step out of the confines of their studio and take to the stage at the Maroochy Music And Visual Arts Festival. “We like lots of groove and lots of harmonies,” describes Latter, “we like writing pop songs, but we try to give them a bit of an edge.” They take that sound to the next level when they play live, and this is what punters can expect from their show at the festival. “If people are there early enough, they should come check us out,” she says, “of course they don’t have to if they don’t want, but we will be the only band on because there’s only one stage. We record most of our music electronically, but when we play live we try to interpret it a bit differently, so we have a fourpiece band. So it’s a bit more of an organic sound I suppose. “So we just try to have a lot of fun on stage, put in lots of harmonies, and it’s just like a different interpretation of our recordings. And just with more energy.” Latter is very excited to be a part of such an exciting and eclectic festival line-up. “Yeah, it’s crazy, fuck the game!” She enthuses, “yeah, Bernard Fanning’s playing, Gang Of Youths
as well, Horrorshow, just a whole bunch of amazing Aussie acts.” After Maroochy, the duo has secured a spot on the incredible BIGSOUND Festival in Brisbane, alongside the likes of sleepmakeswaves, Slotface, The Creases and many, many more. They should also have a full-blown release out by the end of the year.
...It’s more about what we’re doing than where we’re going. “We’re going to release an EP after that,” she reveals. “It’s been finished for a little while, we’ve just been releasing songs off it slowly.” As a duo, the two are more interested in working on and perfecting their art than on worrying too much about the business side of music and making it their livelihood. “We don’t really think about goals and aspirations too much actually,” she states without hesitation, “we just want to get better at writing and mainly focus on what we’re creating rather than the career path of it all, I suppose, it’s more about what we’re doing than where we’re going.”
When: 26 Aug, Maroochy Music & Visual Arts Festival, New Maroochydore CBD THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 11
Maroochy Music & Vis Arts Festival
Cyclone chats to Mallrat about working with Tom “Allday” Gaynor and the mixture of electronic, hip hop and pop influences that shape her latest sound.
risbane’s teen pop rebelette Mallrat (aka Grace Shaw) won hearts, minds and dancing feet when in 2015, styling herself as the “Hannah Montana of the rap game”, she unleashed the bouncy Suicide Blonde. But has Shaw outgrown her Disneynabbed descriptor? “Well, it was particularly relevant when I was in school,” Shaw considers. “It does get people’s attention... I probably don’t think of myself like that anymore, but I don’t mind it, either. I love Hannah Montana, so any comparison is good.” The rapper/singer has just wrapped a tour supporting her “bestie”, Tom “Allday” Gaynor - stopping by Splendour In The Grass. Next, she - and DJ Denim -
Gaynor’s Speeding - one the groovy Baby Spiders. The arachnid title comes from a line in Gaynor’s opening verse, but Shaw determined it. “It reminded me of something very bizarre - which is that, when I was maybe six, I found this spider in my backyard. I took it to the museum - and it was a new species. So I told Tom about that and he was like, ‘Okay, we have to call the song Baby Spiders.’” Shaw is prepping fresh solo music. “I’m gonna do an EP - it’s actually almost finished,” she says. “I’m so excited to release it - I think it’ll be out by the end of the year.” Though routinely associated with hip hop, Shaw has transcended the idiom. “I really like that people call me a hip hop artist, but I don’t really think I am,” she ponders. “I listen to a lot of hip hop and I love hip hop production - and definitely faster verses and stuff I’m really drawn to. There’s so much to be taken from
I’m so excited to release it I think it’ll be out by the end of the year.
hip hop production - like 808s and everything are just incredible. But I think I fit maybe in the pop world, more than anything. But, also, I’m super into electronic music. The new stuff is even a little bit folky.” Indeed, Shaw belongs to Generation Playlist. She admires post-MCs such as Kanye West. Shaw raves about Lil Yachty’s energetic set at Splendour. “I was watching side-stage, but I kind of regret it - the crowd was so fun, I should have been in the crowd. But it was so good. He’s a super-cool person.” Still, Shaw extols the wonky Scottish beatmaster SOPHIE - and Lana Del Rey. Like Gaynor, Shaw has generated interest Stateside, Uninvited’s housey For Real soundtracking a Google Pixel phone campaign. “I’m about to move to LA, but I haven’t got my visa yet,” she reveals. “Once that’s all sorted, I’ll be over there.”
When 26 Aug, Maroochy Music And Visual Arts Festival, New Maroochydore CBD
will join the Maroochy Music And Visual Arts Festival, Shaw promising her cherished fans “lots of dancing”. The then high schooler started making music after catching the wry Gaynor live. She shared a demo with his keyboardist, Tigerilla, who produced her rap/ electro/indie breakout Suicide Blonde. Meanwhile, Gaynor became Shaw’s mentor. “He’s honestly the most incredible person!” Last year Shaw issued her first EP, Uninvited, via Dew Process. She’s since blessed two songs on 12 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
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Maroochy Music & Vis Arts Festival
With the world class lineup on display this year you could be forgiven for being distracted from the ‘VA’ aspect of Maroochy Music & Visual Arts Festival. It would be your loss though, apart from an underlying lean toward the natural world and uniform standard of excellence each artist is utterly unique. Here are a few that will catch your eye at MM&VAF.
When: 26 Aug, Maroochy Music & Visual Arts Festival, New Maroochydore CBD
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If you’ve been on Instagram anytime in the last few years you’ve probably seen someone sporting one of Wintercroft’s ‘low polygon masks’. Steve and Marianne Wintercroft design and supply the digital templates for the fantastic creations, so that you can download and build them at home, with options including most of the extant animal kingdom, mythical beasts and even Halloween horrors. Mr Wintercroft himself will be there to present a coveted Golden Ticket to the ‘best mask in show’ at the festival, so get folding.
Rhys Gordon fell in love with tattooing in his teens and we’re so happy that he did. Gordon’s work combines the traditions he learnt while spending eight years in studios in London, Amsterdam and Thailand with his deep love of Japanese tattooing. He’s bringing his exhibition Behind The Lines to this year’s MM&VAF, which uses live tattoo demonstrations, photography, illustration, film and artefacts to uncover the history and modern place of body ink in Japan, Polynesia and the West.
Maroochy Music & Vis Arts Festival
Thom Stuart’s work is a visual delight, a cavalcade of natural and urban environments captured in abstract washes of colour. Regularly working in both the studio and the street, Stuart has wed a wide array of influences, from graffiti and surfing iconography to musical sub-cultures like hip hop and punk, into an arresting and unique body of work that explores the dead space in landscapes.
Brisbane-based graphic designer and fine artist Conrad Square is our favourite kind of artist, the kind that goes big and bright. The 29-year-old’s charming mech characters are inspired by Japanese pop culture and the neon sprawl of Tokyo, and are constructed from simplistic shapes and lines filled with striking colour. In contrast to his sweet style, the concepts explored in Square’s pieces range from false sources of contentment and urban decay.
Influenced by the symbolism and design aesthetics inherent in nature’s repetitive geometric growth patterns and organic landscapes, Bradley Eastman aka Beastman’s multidisciplinary works are a trippy exploration of abstracted landscapes, evolutionary life forms and human intervention conveyed in his own distinct visual language. His concentric lines and tessellated patterns combine to create a mesmerising whole, evoking the naturally occurring micro and macro beauty of nature in a single glance.
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 15
Rocky Road Iconic Aussie rocker Sarah McLeod explains to Rod Whitfield that itchy feet have led her to kiss a lot of frogs (musically speaking).
nyone who’s followed the career of firebrand Aussie rocker Sarah McLeod, from the mighty Superjesus, through the sojourn with Screaming Bikini, duets with Jeff Martin from The Tea Party, dalliances with electronic music and the various iterations of her solo career, would have noticed that she loves to shake things up, step out into left field on a regular basis and keep things interesting. For herself and her audience. And this is very much set to continue, with the release of her new solo rock record Rocky’s Diner and subsequent tour, which she is doing strictly as a twopiece. She is taking a drummer out on the road with her,
I jump a lot between musical styles. I get bored really quickly.
and doing everything else, guitar, bass, vocals, samples, herself. All at once. It’s a big responsibility and will require much concentration on her part, and she admits to feeling a little toey about it all as the tour gets closer. “I’m excited, and a bit nervous, because it’s a whole different set-up and a whole different way of playing than I’ve ever done in my life before,” she says, while walking her dog in a Sydney park. “I’m trying something totally new, and I know it works because I’ve done it in the rehearsal room and recorded a whole bunch of songs live in the studio, but we’ve never actually played it in front of anyone. “So until the first gig’s out of the way, I’m probably going to feel a little bit jumpy, but it’s exciting because it’s
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different, and that’s what’s making me scared! One gig in and I’ll be like ‘yeah, cool!’” So how does it work, and does it take much solo practice on your part? “Oh my god yes!” McLeod says without hesitation, “and normally I hate practising by myself, but I must. The bottom two strings are playing the bass but I’m still able to play the rest of the guitar, play all the majors and minors and all the clean fiddly bits, but still hold down the bass. It’s a bit of a handful. It’s kinda got this ‘60s vibe to the songs, a ‘60s Motown feel, but it’s delivered with this really heavy twist. It’s really cool, but it’s weird.” Ultimately, the enthusiasm for this coming album and tour is veritably flowing out of her. “I’m more excited to play this show than any other show I’ve put together, ever in my life. I just want people to come and see it, tell me what they think and experience it with me.” McLeod realises that the multi-faceted nature of her projects and musical direction may have been an issue for some over the 20-plus years of her career and, looking back, simply puts it down to a short attention span and a proneness to boredom. “I think that there were things that I could have done better,” she admits, “there were years that I lost with a sea of confusion, because I jump a lot between musical styles. I get bored really quickly. In hindsight, it’s probably better to stick with one thing and just get really good at it, but I can’t help myself. I go off on tangents and I waste years doing different kinds of things in different countries, just because I get itchy feet. My brain is constantly searching for musical fulfilment, so I kiss a lot of frogs, so to speak.” She feels confident that those days may be in the past now, however. “I think I’m through with that now, I think I’m back to focusing again, I’m good. I’ve got that all out of my system.” So much so that she already has one eye set on the next step for this new project. “I feel comfortable in where I can take the next record,” she says, “I’ve already got the next record planned, I know exactly what it should sound like, I know what new influences are going to come in to take it to the next level. Whereas before I was just flying song by song. But now I’ve got a plan, and I feel it’s easier to control me!” She laughs. Fans will be ecstatic to learn that McLeod’s original, and probably still best known musical project, is now firmly back in her medium to long-term plans alongside her newest incarnation. “The Superjesus are really feeling comfortable again for me now, and we’ve started writing some new songs. So there’ll be a new Superjesus album, and I think I’m just going to stick with these two projects, and beware of the moon. And I’ll be just fine!” McLeod laughs again. So don’t expect a new Superjesus album to drop tomorrow, but it is most definitely on its way. “Yeah, we’re hoping to get it out by the end of next year.”
What: Rocky’s Diner (Kobalt) When & Where: 22 Aug, Crowbar; 5 Oct, Solbar, Maroochydore; 6 Oct, The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba; 7 Oct, Miami Tavern; 8 Oct, Bryon Bay Brewery
Daydream Nation Bryget Chrisfield sits down with Jen Cloher to discuss the particular struggles Australian artists face and how hard she’s tried “to understand how things like Brexit and Trump and Abbott happened”. Pic by Tajette O’Halloran. To read the full interview head to theMusic.com.au
’I wonder what it’s like being with a partner who is also in the same profession who all of a sudden became one of the hottest acts in independent music around the world?’
s soon as we pressed play on Forgot Myself, the lead single from Jen Cloher’s upcoming record, excitement set in. There’s a sense that Cloher’s self-titled fourth album will usher in the success she so richly deserves — it’s definitely her time/ turn. Sitting inside Thornbury’s Short Round cafe wearing a black jumper, Cloher jokes that she feels like The Fonz as she bids one journalist farewell while inviting us join her at a corner table. “It feels like because [this record] had an international release as well... Just having that scope to be able to really go for it, you know? Has been really fun.” She then shares, ”I decided in the end that there was no title that suited it better than Jen Cloher, because it does really sum up where I am right now in my life... I mean, anyone who comes to my music — whether they know much about me at all — would’ve been curious, like, ‘I wonder what it’s like being with a partner who is also in the same profession who all of a sudden became one of the hottest acts in independent music around the world?’... So, you know, I’m telling them,” she laughs. “It’s not just talking about a broken heart or missing someone from afar; I mean, there’s deeper issues in there. And it’s a very Australian album and I think also — I’m not sure, but it feels like maybe one of the few Australian albums that really talks about the music industry, and not in a romanticised way. You know, songs like Shoegazers and Great Australian Bite — I’m really having a conversation directly there to people who work in the music industry: to artists, to those who have gone before us... [acknowledging] that it’s been a really hard country to grow up, as an artist, in.” Her band is rounded out by musicians she shares with other bands: partner Courtney Barnett on guitar, Bones Sloane (also in Barnett’s band) on bass and Jen “Sholaki” Sholakis (also in East Brunswick All Girls Choir and Jade Imagine) on drums. As such, Cloher admits that “just finding the time for [her] music has been a bit of a struggle”. But Cloher points out, “I’m excited about touring, because we’ll actually get to play a good sort of 16 or 17 shows in a row — so in Australia, then to Europe, then to England — which’ll be great for our band, ‘cause we’ve never really been able to do that.” The bulk of Cloher’s latest set was recorded at Jumbunna in South Gippsland, Victoria. “It was so great, because it took us all out of our lives,” Cloher recalls. “We
were able to go home at the end of the day and cook meals with our partners there and pets — Sholaki had her dogs... I wanted to include partners, because I’d gone through the experience of music kind of separating me and Courtney, and I know what it feels like to spend a lotta time away from your partner because of music.” On the second single to be lifted from her self-titled set, Cloher muses, “Regional Echo’s really kind of, I guess, in a way the heart of the album... And I’m using the small town as a metaphor, you know. There’s that kind of romantic aspect of being an Australian, so the flipside of that... is that maybe we never sort of see beyond our backyard a little bit.” And Cloher believes it’s “a really common experience all around the world” to feel isolated in this way. ”I think the reason why we saw someone like Trump being voted into office is that there’s all of these people that feel very kind of cut-off and ignored, and they’re not living in the big cities, and they feel like they haven’t had a voice for a long time. And I guess it’s not kind of romanticising that, but I think it’s also worthwhile understanding — I really had to try to understand how things like Brexit and Trump and Abbott happened. How did we get to a point where this happened? And a lot of the album was about me trying to make sense of a world that I’m not a part of and I don’t live in. “I guess I was trying to step outside of that understanding... It’s worthwhile, it keeps me from becoming too narrow-minded myself and I think it also helps me to really stand by what I believe in. You know, if I understand the other side and really go in depth into understanding how someone might think of immigration, for example, or how they might think about marriage equality from the other side; it gives me, I dunno, a more intelligent place to present my own argument or my own viewpoints.” After our interview concludes, we wander towards the counter to settle up. But Cloher makes a detour to what she laughingly refers to as “my office” — another cheeky reference to The Fonz.
What: Jen Cloher (Milk!/Remote Control Records) When & Where: 24 Aug, The Foundry THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 17
Giant, If True The Jungle Giants’ Sam Hales shares with Jessica Dale why album number three has changed everything.
or Sam Hales, The Jungle Giants third album always needed to be something different from their first two — what he didn’t expect was that his whole working philosophy would need to shift to make the change. “The process was completely different. That kind of shaped everything else to change. I would say more time and thought went into everything but with a more relaxed attitude. In terms of the process, I started doing nine to five, as opposed to writing here and there,” Hales explains.
I was being easier on myself. Just kind of getting back to playing around. It made me really happy.
“I kind of reshaped how I write and that changed how I look at things, in turn, it changed how much I output as well. What I was doing was I was starting at the same time every day and working on a song until I didn’t know where to take it. “I also screwed off that idea that it’s ‘delivered down to you’ from some exterior source. For me, I fucking hate that. I used to definitely think that was the case, and so I was less responsible for my own output, so I could be like, ‘Oh, fuck today then because nothing is coming to me,’ but then in terms of how I matured was like, ‘Well, I’m responsible for what I’m putting out so if it’s a shit day at least I’m doing something.’ “I was just able to push it every day, and then even if it was for nothing, I was being easier on myself. Just kind of getting back to playing around. It made me really happy.” 18 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
Quiet Ferocity marks another change for Hales. This time ‘round he took total control and took to the producer’s chair for the first time. He enjoyed the process so much that he now wants to work with other groups. “Yes, I would love to do that! I love that. Heaps of my favourite bands, writers, they do their own production. You can always tell, too. Chairlift’s Patrick Wimberly, I love that guy because he’s an awesome writer, awesome producer, then he does this really cool thing for other bands. It’s not always specifically what he would do for Chairlift but you can tell there’s an angle he’s bringing. I like that. “What it used to be was all writing for me then I would think, ‘Aw, screw the production, that’s just another thing.’ But then after a little while, I realised that it has to be happening at the same time for what I want to be doing now, or else it’s just all up in the air. “It took me a while to figure out how to slow down, so I could just be like, ‘Oh well, I know this song needs this ride sound.’ But in the past I would be like, ‘I’ll just do that later.’ But then now it’s like, ‘I have to do the ride sound because it’s going to dictate what’s the next part,’ and so I love that and that’s just another thing that I love doing now.” Hales and the band will be taking Quiet Ferocity on the road this August and September. Previous tours weighed on Hales heavily during the recording stage, as he tried to create an album that translated just as well live as in studio. “We’ve already started rehearsing it and it is freakishly easy for some reason, which feels weird to say. It feels like I’ll jinx it. “Every record we do, it’s then like you just have to go figure it out again, but with this one there was one thing I had in mind when I was writing it. A lot of the production I was influenced by was from writers that condense, you could have like 15 guitars but actually you can make one guitar louder and more effective, so playing with that idea about just condensing things and maybe just say, ‘What’s the thing that’s making all the things good?’ And then slowly starting to take out the things that don’t. “It’s all seemed to work and click and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a big shit fight. Like with Speakerzoid, we had to add a touring member. And for the first record, we just had to figure out how to do anything,” he laughs. “But then with this one, it’s more just, ‘Aw, cool, we have the set-up, it’s perfect, we just have to learn the parts properly.’”
What: Quiet Ferocity (Amplifire Music) When & Where: 18 & 20 Aug, The Triffid; 19 Aug, The Northern, Byron Bay; 26 Sep, Spring Break, Airlie Beach
Hammer & Tongs
Phil Slabber outlines the future plans for Crooked Colours and explains to Rod Whitfield why they’re now running on all cylinders.
his coming October sees Perthbased indie electronic outfit Crooked Colours embark upon their first true overseas tour. They play a whole gamut of dates across the month throughout Central Europe, with just one of those dates falling in an English-speaking nation. Phil Slabber is a little nervous about their first full-blown jaunt abroad, with the latter point causing him the most consternation. “Yeah, I definitely am [nervous],” he admits, “I’m a bit worried about the language barrier. We’ll see how we go, it should be okay.” Do you have anyone in the band or touring party who speaks any of those middle-European languages? “No, but I speak Afrikaans, so that’s a little bit Dutch, right?” Slabber laughs, “hopefully that’ll help a bit.” Prior to that however, the band head off on a ten-date tour of their homeland - which takes in every mainland state - in celebration of the release of their new album Vera, which came out in late-June. While their sound on record is a little low-key, Slabber promises punters that they pep things up a little bit in a live setting. “We’re going to bring it pretty high energy,” he describes, “the record, when you sit down and listen to it, it’s pretty chilled, but we’re going to ramp it up for
the live show. I’m going to try to get a bit of interaction happening with the crowd, and we like to keep it nice and sweaty in the live shows. We want to see people up and dancing.” The band return from Europe in late October, but they are far from done for the year at that point - early 2018 is looking pretty busy for the band too. “We’re going to try to do a few festivals come summer,” he reveals, “we’ve got a couple of yet-to-be-announced festies over the break. Then we’re in the process of organising a North American run for March. “So we’re all engines firing at the moment, we’re looking at a pretty big six-toeight months.” This is in marked contrast to the 18month period leading up to the release of Vera, when the band struggled a little with the writing process and with some personal and collective demons that existed within their ranks. “We kinda [got] bogged down with the writing,” he recalls, “and there was a bit of self-doubt, and questioning what we wanted to do. Then we all moved states, and a whole bunch of other stuff, we got really sidetracked for a while. But we got back on track and we’re completely focused now.” So much so that they now feel super confident in setting medium to longer term goals for themselves and the band’s career. “Yeah, definitely,” he confirms, “we’re going to try and knock out this album’s touring schedule, and then we’re going to knuckle down and get the next record written and finished so that it’s not another two-year process between releases. “We want to follow it up pretty quickly.”
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What: Vera (Sweat It Out) When & Where: 12 Aug, Woolly Mammoth
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 19
Leagues From Home Singer, guitarist and amateur frog scientist Anna Davidson digs up old memories with Anthony Carew ahead of the release of Major Leagues’ debut LP, Good Love.
couple of days ago, I was going through my parents’ cassettes,” offers Major Leagues guitarist/vocalist Anna Davidson. She’s back in Toowoomba, back in the house she grew up in, feeling “nostalgic in a good way”, and rifling through old stuff, old memories. “[My parents] have kept all their old tapes, it’s amazing. I found this song that I’d written in primary school, in like Grade Five, and it was called ‘The MurrayDarling Basin Song’. I went to listen to it, but, my dad had taped over it! I can still remember the first line of it. I wish I still had it. It could be a #1 song.”
A lot of my songs came out of living down there; being away from Queensland and so many of my friends. Springbrook, outside of the Gold Coast, and there were always frogs there. Whenever I got into something, I’d get really obsessed. So, for two years, it was frogs, I learnt everything about them.” After moving to Brisbane, she played in a string of go-nowhere bands, before Major Leagues “just gelled”. They were friends, coming from different musical places — guitarist Jaimee Fryer had played in church and folk bands, bassist Vlada Edirippulige came from a jazz background — but bonded over a love of Pavement, The Breeders and My Bloody Valentine. Their jangly guitars led them to support a host of other janglers over the years: Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Alvvays. And, after two EPs — 2013’s Weird Season and 2016’s Dream States — they’ve finally released their debut LP, Good Love. Produced by Jonathan Boulet, the set is duly filled with guitars that sparkle and chime. Its songs are about relationships, but “not necessarily romantic relationships”. Jaimee And Anna is about the bond between the band’s two songwriters; its lyrics (“So far from home/How’s it feel to be alone?”) referencing the distance between the two, when Davidson was living in Melbourne with Miller. “The song began as an expression of missing Jaimee,” she says. “I really enjoyed living [in Melbourne]. But, it made things harder [for Major Leagues], we couldn’t write together much. A lot of my songs came out of living down there; being away from Queensland and so many of my friends. That gave me a bit of inner turmoil to fuel my writing.”
What: Good Love (Popfrenzy) When & Where: 17 Aug, The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba; 18 Aug, Elsewhere, Surfers Paradise; 19 Aug, Black Bear Lodge
Davidson, who’s softly spoken and shy, admits to being “socially awkward” and finding the interviewing process “pretty uncomfortable”. Speaking about Major Leagues — the Brisbane-based, jangly indie-pop outfit she fronts — feels “like bragging”, to her. She definitely doesn’t want to speak, in a promotional conversation, about her late husband, Bored Nothing’s Fergus Miller, who took his own life late in 2016 (“I’m not really comfortable with that, yet”). But Davidson is happy to recount her childhood years; having, she thinks, moved past the point of being embarrassed about the past. Davidson played clarinet and violin in school bands growing up (she even went on band camp, a trip from Toowoomba down to Canberra), but her greatest childhood obsession was with frogs. “I wanted to be a frog scientist,” Davidson recounts. “My dad’s parents had this cabin in 20 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
In Focus The Foundr y ’s 2 n d B i r t h d ay Hatchie and Holiday Party Pic: Terry Soo
On 10 Aug The Foundry will celebrate turning two with local and interstate guests hitting the stage. The line-up features Melbourne’s GL, Babaganouj’s Hatchie in her first solo show, experimental popsters Party Dozen and electro-pop newcomers Holiday Party.
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 21
Out Of This World
want to be the first comedian in space,” Rhys Darby declares as we discuss bucket list career goals. “I think getting beyond this world and actually working in space would be a dream come true. If there’s a spaceship heading to Mars in my lifetime, with a crew of fascinating people that are going to create to the next human civilisation, then maybe I’d want to be on that ship, even if I’m in my sixties. But as an entertainer. People are still going to need entertainment in space, right?” It’s a bold ambition, but the New Zealand-born comedy megastar already has plenty of experience braving strange new worlds. Since 2014, Darby has been based in the heart of America’s notoriously ruthless showbiz thunderdome, Los Angeles. The standard issue dog-eat-dog mentality — the default setting for many the Hollywood elite Darby now calls neighbour — is quite literally a world away from the affable, ultra laid back New Zealand spirit this much loved funny man reflects. While he may now boast global fame, the comedy actor has managed to maintain the same soft spoken, endearingly awkward, bumbling charm that has been an ever-present fulcrum for his various characters. Like an elastic tether, his disarming nature
New Zealand’s greatest comedy export Rhys Darby is a weirdo and proud. He talks reincarnation, space travel and conquering alien worlds with Maxim Boon.
speaks to Darby’s strong connection to his native Kiwi culture. Whereas other antipodean imports to the American TV and film industry have had almost all trace of their country of origin wiped away — the likes of Russell Crowe, Karl Urban and Sam Neill amongst the most high-profile examples — Darby has not only retained his, but made it his trademark. This is in no small part thanks to the way his side-splitting talents were first introduced to the world. As Murray Hewitt, the adorably byzantine band manager and NZ-US cultural attache, with hair like a lego-man and “ginger balls” to match, he became a beloved cult figure on hit HBO comedy series, Flight Of The Conchords. It’s been ten years since Darby, alongside Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, first flew his Conchord to the States. And in that time, he’s built up an impressive number of other screen credits, landing his first major movie role in 2008, starring opposite Jim Carrey in Yes Man, followed by appearances in a string of film and TV hits including The Boat That Rocked (2009) and NZ-made indie hit Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016). Later this year, he’ll be making his summer blockbuster debut in in the hotly anticipated reboot of Jumanji. But predating this world-reaching screen success, Darby was putting in the hard yards refining his craft on the live comedy circuit, first in his native New Zealand and then, following the success of his first solo show at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival, in the UK.
I want to be the first comedian in space. While his innate Kiwi-ness may now be the quality turning the heads of American casting agents, it was during his time in Britain that Darby realised what an asset his national heritage was. “I’d always been obsessed with the great British comedy actors — Monty Python was absolutely everything to me — so I wanted to get over to the UK and be part of that. But when I finally arrived there, I found that having a unique New Zealand angle became an advantage. I was one of the few acts that had this accent and this style of performance. It’s funny thinking about it, because I wanted to get there and be part of something, but being outside of that was the thing that opened doors for me,” he explains. “So I used that to my advantage, and in American, the biggest land of all, they really took it. So yeah, it’s become something to be proud of, the way I speak and think, because it’s got that different level to it — it’s different to the stock standard stuff people and can see and hear almost anywhere.” There is, however, one facet of the New Zealand identity Darby was keen to shed: “I think sometimes New Zealand gets stuck in
22 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
Darby turns lizard “Were-Monster” for The X Files
this idea of itself as this tiny rural country, a remote island at the bottom of the world. But that, ‘We don’t really matter, let’s just get our head down and stick to farming’ attitude didn’t really click for me. I always felt from the beginning that I would try and seek the big time. I believed I could make it, that I was just as good as the big British stars I really admired.” It’s not only his tenacity and globetrotting that have helped Darby forge such an accomplished career. As a performer, he boasts an extraordinary level of versatility, showing fine form at standup, improvisation (as showcased in the recent Australian incarnation of the Whose Line Is It Anyway? franchise), acting, singing, writing and even political activism. “It’s something that’s just emerged over time,” Darby insists. “The only idea I had at the beginning was that I wanted to be involved in live comedy and I wanted to eventually end up acting. I’m happiest when I’m performing, and I’ve never said ‘No’ to anything. I’m a big yes man. Actually, being in the film Yes Man was a real watershed moment for me. I think that experience showed me where my career might be headed. Some standups might only write one kind of joke or perform in a certain way. For me, comedy felt like a much bigger universe.” Another aspect of Darby’s personality has proven just as magnetic as his quintessential New Zealandness. He’s a cardcarrying nerd. “I’ve always been obsessed with paranormal stuff and robots and things like that. I’ve always done goofy sound effects and mimicked ray guns and what have you on stage” he smiles. “I don’t know if you believe in things like this, but I think if you put yourself out there, if you show that you’re really into these kinds of things, then one thing leads to another and you end up being part of them.” Indeed, revealing his inner-geek has led the comedian to some surprising opportunities, including a guest appearance on The X-Files and a recurring role voicing Coran on the Netflix remake of anime saga Voltron.
He’s also wearing his paranormal-loving heart on his sleeve in his latest stand-up show, Mystic Time Bird. Drawing inspiration from a deeply personal event, it features a mercurial mix of emotional candour and batshit kookiness. “My mother passed away last year, and I was stuck in Hawaii working, with a lot of time to myself, and I really started to think about who I was and whether I wanted to continue in comedy. I felt like a lot of me was doing it for mum, and I wasn’t sure how much I was really getting out of it personally,” he shares. “So, I went to get some advice, and I found this mystical man — a kind of shaman if you will. And he believed that I was a bird in a previous existence. So yeah... it’s possibly the weirdest show I’ve ever put out there.” He may be tapping The Twilight Zone for his comedy, but Darby hopes by embracing his more eccentric side he’ll set an example for other kindred misfits. In fact, it’s a tactic that has helped him conquer an alien stronghold. “There’s a lot of people who probably grow up thinking, ‘I’m a geek. I don’t fit in here. I’ll just hide away in my bedroom and play computer games.’ It feels like it’s so easy for people to feel insecure about not fitting in at the moment. But if you can be proud of the fact you’re different and put yourself out there as a bit of a weirdo, then all the other weirdos will come out of the woodwork to work with you. I think that’s why I’ve managed to fit in in LA. Hollywood is a whole bunch of weirdos.”
What: Mystic Time Bird When & Where: 20 Aug, City Hall Brisbane THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 23
Think Local, Go Global Big congrats to Brissy acts Holiday Party, Carmouflage Rose and Nice Biscuit - this year’s winners of the triple j Unearthed stage spots at BIGSOUND, which has just announced a bunch of other new acts too, by the way.
Navigating The Blues
They Grow Up So Fast The Foundry turns two this week, and they’re throwing a big ol’ party with GL, Party Dozen, Hatchie and Holiday Party to celebrate. Help usher in their third run around the sun on 10 Aug.
The Faithless Man Believes
Have you noticed the Valley has a new swingin’ live music joint on Wickham St? If not, The Gig opened late last week and hosts jazz bands every night from 7-9pm.
Backlash Not Your Call
FYI, sometimes the person using their phone at a gig is actually a reviewer taking notes, so don’t yell at them to “focus on the band”.
In The Red
At the risk of being labelled as preachy, just a quick heads up that we hit Earth Overshoot Day — the day that we use more resources than the planet can produce in a year — earlier than ever in 2017.
Bad Jeans Levi’s ‘Live In Music’ menswear campaign seems pretty ill-advised — certainly badly timed — given the current gender disparity in music. Here’s hoping we see an equal amount of attention paid to women in the industry.
24 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
Jesse Redwing tells Rod Whitfield how “a white boy from Sydney” who grew up listening to punk music found the blues.
ome believe that to play or even appreciate the blues, the style has to be in your blood, you have to be born loving it or born with a guitar in your hand and the blues scale already a part of your DNA. However, Sydney-based singer, songwriter and guitarist Jesse Redwing, proves that this is absolutely not the case. “I grew up listening to punk music, and I still love punk,” Redwing reveals, speaking from Hollywood. “I love a lot of different types of music. My family doesn’t listen to blues, and I’m a white boy from Sydney. But somehow that spirit got into me. I was just drawn to it, I don’t know why; maybe it’s some affinity between Jewish people and black people — we both had to struggle. “I think [the blues] just suits my personality, I can be a bit of a depressive sometimes. But music just fixes everything.” Ultimately, he feels that while the blues is still associated with African-American culture and sprang from the southern American plantations during the 19th century, it can be played and appreciated by anyone in this day and age. “There’s no colour for the blues: you can be white, pink, green — you can be a tuna-fish sandwich and still play the blues!” he laughs. Blues-loving punters can check out Redwing’s own unique take on the style
when his debut album I’m Comin’ On is released. As is so often the case, especially with the blues, there is a long and involved story behind the writing and recording of the record. “I couldn’t be more psyched,” he enthuses. “It’s been two years in the making and I can’t for people to hear it. “In fact, it basically represents the last five years of me playing in bars and pubs around Australia — just the culmination of that, playing with my boys for all those years,” he goes on, “and all the songs that came out of it. By the time we got to the studio in ‘15 it was just all super-tight and came off like a dream.” The songwriting and production on the album walks a sweet line between paying homage to the old-school sounds of the classic bluesmen of yesteryear while still maintaining a youthful exuberance. “We did most of it live. That’s what I’m all about, keepin’ it real, baby!” he quips. “I wanted to keep it real and live but still crisp and modern sounding, not necessarily intentionally retro.” At this stage he has just two special showcase-type shows in the States, one in LA and one in New York, but he hopes the shows will lead to more extensive sojourns Stateside. “I’m a US citizen, which makes it much easier,” he says. “So I’m trying to gain some traction over here at the moment, covering the west and east coast at this point with the hope of getting a foothold and getting back here within six months to a year to do a proper tour.”
What: I’m Comin’ On (Create Control) When & Where: 17 Aug, Black Bear Lodge
Golden Eagles Things were a bit leery at the eyrie to start, but guitarist and vocalist Luke Sinclair tells Martin Jones that Raised By Eagles are in fine feather on their third LP, I Must Be Somewhere.
n the space of about five years and exactly three albums, Melbourne country/ rock outfit Raised By Eagles have gone from playing for kicks and a few admiring friends, to a touring band with awards, a record label and an audience. That has meant facing a few changes. “You develop this idea of your audience, which we never had before,” says singer/guitarist Luke Sinclair discussing the experience of making third album, I Must Be Somewhere. “So you’re thinking about them, thinking about, ‘are they gonna like it? Is there enough lap steel on this song? Should I write a song that’s more true to the reason that our fans liked us in the first place?’ All those kind of things start playing on your mind.” Of course, things that sound radical and risky to the artist might be barely noticeable to the objective listener. I Must Be Somewhere sounds like no one but Raised By Eagles, rich with heart, songcraft, and Nick O’Mara’s trademark slide guitar. “I think I realised that as we were working on it,” agrees Sinclair. “And especially after we’d finished working on it: we can’t really help sounding like who we are. The four of us are still the guys writing the songs and arranging the songs and playing the songs and there’s a certain energy that comes from that in itself.” That said, the four-piece had probably more outside input than ever before, with a label (ABC) and producer (Shane O’Mara) both invested in the process. “Well I mean the ABC, the only influence they really had was making an eight-track album a ten-track album,” Sinclair reveals. “Because traditionally the first two were eighttrack records... So we had to make sure we had ten good songs, because we didn’t want to put any filler on there. “And Shane as a producer, it was great to work with
It felt like there were other things at play, which were new for us. Which was a reason why I was apprehensive about the record. But I’ve fallen for it.
someone who had ideas for songs that I never would have thought of... So the influence was positive. But yeah it was a bit more than just the four of us. It felt like there were other things at play, which were new for us. Which was a reason why I was apprehensive about the record. But I’ve fallen for it.” It’s true. Where last record, Diamonds In The Bloodstream, stepped up and dazzled in the first couple of listens, I Must Be Somewhere sneaks up on you. Sinclair and I spend a good half-hour trading admiration for The War On Drugs album Lost In The Dream, an important influence on the slow-burning tone of I Must Be Somewhere. “The more songs you have, the harder it is to come up with a setlist,” Sinclair considers of how the new album has affected the live show. “Some of those old ones are starting to collect a bit of dust. But now we’re doing this headline tour it’s going to be good. When you do a headline tour you can play longer sets, so we’ll be dusting those ones off. I’m looking forward to playing them again.”
What: I Must Be Somewhere (ABC/Universal) When & Where: 25 Aug, Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 25
FUNCTIONAL FITNESS F
rom the Bowflex to 8-Minute Abs, juice cleanses to the ThighMaster, not all fitness fads are made equal. The Jane Fonda-style aerobic sesh went the way of the perm some time ago and the king of the workout heap has clearly been CrossFit for some time — they’ve even basically got their own Olympics now. But there’s new muscle maker on the playground, and if the CrossFit crowd aren’t your speed, but you still want to ‘whip’ yourself into shape, maybe F45 will be your ticket to a hot summer bod.
What Is It? First thing you need to know is the F stands for Functional, which is a word you can’t spell without fun. A quick look at their site leads us to believe both words are highlighted in the F45 dictionary. It says right there on the tin that they specialise “in innovative, high-intensity group workouts which are fast, fun and proven to get rapid results” and plenty of people seem to agree. They’ve even managed to convince Hugh Jackman, the world’s most ripped 48-year-old and a man known colloquially as Huge Jacked Man. The main thrust of their program is that they’ve picked their favourite parts from three different training styles, taking aspects of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Circuit Training, and Functional Training, and melding them into a whole range of quick workout regimes. In their own words, they’ve crafted “27 different, 45-minute workout experiences” that focus on teamwork, innovation, motivation, and results — the idea being that the less tedious, isolating and ineffective someone finds their workout the more likely they’ll show up for session three or four.
Where Can I Get Involved? Good news! If you are looking for a new way to get trim before spring has sprung there are F45 spaces popping up all over the place, at last count Australia had about 500 of them. Here in Brisbane, the best places to get your sweat on are the F45 Training at 360 Queen St and the one at 193 North Quay. 26 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
That’s What He Said Jamie Morton recounts the harrowing moment he discovered his dad’s creative side, and how it all turned into a successful podcast series, to Guy Davis.
It’s been shared around like a dirty little secret.
ornography and your father — that’s two things you may care about deeply, but wish to keep completely separate. Spare a thought, then, for UK author/comedian Jamie Morton, who a few years ago received news of the creative pursuit his dad had engaged in during the early part of his retirement. “He told me he wrote a book, which I thought was amazing,” recalls Morton. “And he said he was going to send me the first few chapters, but not to tell the girls; meaning my mum and my sister. I should have smelt a rat immediately when he said that, but I didn’t.” When the first pages of his father’s opus arrived via email, Morton was a little taken aback. After all, he was expecting a spy novel “or something swashbuckling with pirates”. What he received, however, would change his life forever. Because under the pen name Rocky Flintstone, Morton’s dad had written the erotic adventures of kitchenware saleswoman Belinda Blumenthal. Yep, that’s right: Morton’s dad wrote a porno. And while Morton initially found himself thinking he should close his laptop and forget all about the very existence of Flintstone’s smutty saga Belinda Blinked 1, which saw Ms Blumenthal enthusiastically dallying with everyone from a lusty duchess to a micro-cocked Texan, curiosity prevailed. Good news too, because that was the origin of My Dad Wrote A Porno, a podcast that has generated a cult following worldwide. Alongside friends and comedy colleagues Alice Levine and James Cooper, Morton regales listeners with a chapter of Belinda Blinked a week, the trio affectionately ripping Flintstone’s god-awful prose to shreds when they’re not falling about in peals of laughter. Oh, and occasionally reminding Morton that his 60-something father is the man responsible for some explicit-but-decidedly unsexy descriptions of the act of lovemaking. “Yeah, Alice needs to stop doing that,” smiles Morton. “Every time I think I’m close to getting a handle on it, she’ll go, ‘You know it’s your dad, right, Jamie?’ How could I ever not be aware that my dad wrote this? It’s forever present in my mind. Disturbing on so many levels but, fuck me, it’s funny.” The notion of the podcast came about when Morton started reading selections from the first Belinda Blinked novel (yes, the first — the podcast is current in the middle of the third book and there are more to come) to a handful
of mates, including Levine and Cooper, down the pub one night. “They’ve all known my dad for a decade or more and they thought it was brilliant,” he says. “And we started doing what we do on the podcast, dissecting it as I read it. James, Alice and I have done little projects together ever since we met — we did a web series before My Dad Wrote A Porno — and it felt like this was a natural next project for us.” Morton admits that he was worried the whole thing would fall flat, that no one would find My Dad Wrote A Porno particularly funny — a distinct possibility when it describes its half-naked heroine with the words, “Her tits hung freely like pomegranates,” or deploys the odd gynaecological term “vaginal lids”. But it has found its audience, and Morton is especially pleased that it has done so organically. “It genuinely feels like a show that has become a hit through word of mouth,” he says. “It’s been shared around like a dirty little secret.” And now My Dad Wrote A Porno is going from the airwaves to the stage, with Morton, Levine and Cooper bringing their show Down Under for a series of live shows after successful performances in the UK. “When my dad started writing, he would send me all this crap — sometimes just bullet points, sometimes actual sentences — and one of the chapters he wrote never ended up in a book, but I thought it was just amazing,” says Morton. “Last year we were invited to take part in the London Podcast Festival — they said we should do a live show, and we were working out the form it should take — and I remembered the chapter no one had heard, and it became the special chapter we read at the live shows. And then there’s audience participation, video components, reenactments of certain things. We never get to experience people’s enjoyment of the podcast because, well, it’s a podcast. People get in touch via Twitter and such, which is lovely, but to see and hear the live reactions to dad’s writing has been so much fun. We’d love to do that all over the world.” That’s what she said. Oo-er!
What: My Dad Wrote A Porno When & Where: 21 Aug, The Tivoli THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 27
Life Time Thy Art Is Murder guitarist Andy Marsh tells Brendan Crabb about accepting erstwhile singer CJ McMahon back into the fold and choosing bitter pills over sweet ideals.
ight up until six weeks out, eight weeks out to vocal tracking, it was still CJ McMahon in one hand, and Nicholas Arthur from Molotov Solution in the other,” Thy Art Is Murder’s forthright guitarist Andy Marsh explains of the scenario surrounding their fourth full-length, Dear Desolation. “Both phenomenal vocalists; in my opinion we could only have one or the other, no other vocalists worked to our taste.” McMahon stunned devotees of the Western Sydneybred, now international deathcore outfit by returning at this year’s UNIFY Gathering, after departing in 2015. In the interim, other singers including triple j’s Lochlan Watt substituted on the road. Reasons cited for the perennially
As we’ve gotten through the past seven months together, every day he just blows my mind.
outspoken McMahon’s leaving — financial woes, crippling drug addiction — have been extensively dissected. “He wanted to come back, but we weren’t sure whether we were willing to accept him back, [and] whether he had truly made the adjustments in his life that we felt he needed to assimilate into a band environment,” Marsh explains from his home in Minneapolis. “Once we nailed down that he was coming back, we felt that we had great songs, and his voice came back pretty well I feel. Him being better has made everyone get along better, him being better as a person... He made a lot of changes last year, and we were sceptical about that, but as we’ve gotten through the past seven months together, every day he just blows my mind. It has made the band a better unit together because he’s so mentally healthy now 28 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
that he’s not aggressive, he’s not angry at us, and we’re not treading around him in fear.” There may have been uncertainty regarding who would step up to the mic for Dear Desolation, but McMahon seemingly indirectly helped shape the record anyway. Songwriters Marsh and fellow guitarist Sean Delander again bunkered down in the US with producer Will Putney, who assisted with structures and arrangements. Marsh insists they “wrote music we were going to write anyhow” for the release, to be issued locally via the new Human Warfare label. “Obviously it’s second nature for us to picture CJ’s voice in mind, his delivery, and a sense of drama to the vocals that I feel Nick would... He would have a different spin on it. So we do have CJ in mind. Whether or not that really dictates how we write the music, I don’t think it does. “But it does change how we imagine it. It does influence the choice of words that I use when writing the lyrics as well, because I can imagine his voice. I pictured in my head as I’m writing the lyrics, there’s a little mini-CJ in my brain, saying it really sick,” Marsh chuckles. “Because I’m not a vocalist, I can’t scream the lyrics and imagine how it sounds. So I sit there and picture his voice, and then like an actor, he just comes in with his script, gives feedback, does his thing and fucking nailed it on this record.” Thy Art Is Murder’s chart-bothering 2015 album Holy War spawned controversy for the anti-religious stance of the title track’s video, and the cover’s image a child suicide bomber. This time around they tackle themes like existentialism and the human condition with trademark intensity. “Holy War was more outward expression — this happened to me, this is happening around me, this is causing this, and this is causing these feelings. And (2012’s) Hate was a little bit more primitive than that, where it was just unbridled aggression and hatred for those things,” the axeman explains. “Holy War became the discussion of what those things were. If you think about it in that progression or maturing stages of, I guess, my psyche, Dear Desolation is more what’s going on inside of my brain in response to that hate, or the discussion with yourself about realising I’m hateful or aggressive, sad or depressed. And also more about what feelings happen inside of myself at least, to understand what happens inside of everyone else that would make them do terrible things, or live lives that so far have been not understandable to me. “Just as I’m getting older and I had a kid, the thought of dying, being secular, so being a person of faith or atheist, and different levels of fear that come into contemplating those situations when you’re thinking of existential crises. One day I might die and I’ll never see my daughter again, whereas most faithful people live eternally. So, ‘Oh, I’ll die and then I’ll just sit up in the sky and wait for her to join me.’ Like, this very idealistic image of what that is. And that’s a beautiful thing to think that, but I’d rather swallow the difficult pill that this life is all that I have. A lot of the songs are that kind of discussion with myself, and coming to grips with that journey through life of expecting that death is final.”
What: Dear Desolation (Human Warfare/Rocket) When & Where: 10 Aug, Crowbar; 12 Aug, Miami Tavern
Vale Tony Cohen 1957 – 2017
tudying the resume of venerated Australian producer and sound engineer Tony Cohen — who sadly passed away earlier this week in Melbourne’s Dandenong Hospital at the age of 60 — is like tracing the fertile history of Australian underground rock’n’roll, such is the breadth of his involvement in the lineage.
Born and bred in Melbourne, Cohen became infatuated with sound engineering after undertaking work experience at Armstrong Studios while still at high school, and before long he’d left school altogether to follow his musical dreams full-time. In 1976 he began his career in earnest working on the debut self-titled album by Perth glam-rockers Supernaut, which topped the Australian Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Let Love In album charts on the back of radio smash I Like It Both Ways, while that same year found him working alongside Oz rock legend Molly Meldrum on The Ferrets’ debut album Dreams Of A Love. By 1979 he was house engineer at Melbourne studio Richmond Recorders and a session with the Boys Next Door kickstarted a long and fertile relationship with Nick Cave and his various bands, which continued over the ensuing decades. According to Clinton Walker in his book Stranded (1996) by the The Cruel Sea – time Boys Next Door had morphed into The Honeymoon Is Over The Birthday Party, “Cohen relished their iconoclastic approach”, with Cohen himself admitting the role Cave had on his recording craft to the ABC’s Richard Fidler in 2006: “It was all very experimental then, because we were all learning — I fell in love with this new way of recording... because there were no rules. We were looking for sounds that made your fillings drop out rather than pleasant pop tunes, so we got to do crazy things like find concrete stairwells and abuse equipment, so it was all very attractive for me.”
His sessions with Cave opened many doors, with Cohen soon working on releases such as the Models’ Cut Lunch (1981) and The Go-Betweens’ 1982 debut Send Me A Lullaby. His work appealed to both established acts and fringe-dwellers alike, 1983 finding him ensconced in Sydney working concurrently on Cold Chisel’s final album (of their initial incarnation) Twentieth Century and the Beasts Of Bourbon debut The Axeman’s Jazz (the beginning of another enduring relationship). But it was his work with Cave’s outfit The Bad Seeds which defined most of Cohen’s ‘80s, the soundman going as far as moving with them to Berlin as he produced their first four albums, and touring the world with them as their front-of-house mixer. As he told Walker for Stranded; “I nearly got killed a couple of times, trying to score with Nick. You know, and I saw Nick getting dragged off by the cops in New York, and then we couldn’t find him because they kept moving him to different precincts. That was wild. And then in Amsterdam having knives at our throats as they guys took money out of our pockets. It’s funny to look back on, but at the time...” Indeed Cohen had by this stage earned a reputation for partying as hard (if not harder) than nearly all of the musicians he worked with, no mean feat in the decadent ‘80s with its penchant for rampant hedonism. As his younger brother Martin reflected of his life this week on Facebook, “Tony lived a hard life with drugs and alcohol playing a big part in his professional career. He did give them up many years ago but always knew that he would eventually pay for his sins”. By the end of the ‘80s, things had gotten so bad that Cohen moved into semi-retirement in rural Victoria to shield himself from further damage, but his reputation as an engineer par excellence refused to abate. It was upon his return to production work in the early ‘90s that he finally (and deservedly) began receiving industry accolades: after working on recordings by artists such as TISM, Straitjacket Fits, Dave Graney and Kim Salmon, Cohen took home the 1994 ARIA for Producer Of The Year for his work on The Cruel Sea’s The Honeymoon Is Over, then scoring that same award again in 1995 (as well as Engineer Of The Year) predominantly for his work on Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ Let Love In. And his penchant for working with artists at both ends of the spectrum continued unabated, 1994 finding him equally happy working with established icon Paul Kelly on Wanted Man as he was helping burgeoning Brisbane outfit Powderfinger piece together their debut Parables For Wooden Ears, while the next couple of years found him working with acts including The Blackeyed Susans, Mick Harvey, Hugo Race and Frenzal Rhomb. After this mid-’90s heyday, Cohen largely removed himself from the temptations of the music scene, moving back to regional Victoria to help care for his mother, but his contributions to Australian music will continue to resonate through the ages. As tributes poured in on social media this week it was legendary guitarist Kim Salmon who covered the huge loss most succinctly, calling Cohen “a true great” before adding that it was “an absolute privilege working with him but an even greater honour to count him as a friend”. RIP Tony Cohen.
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 29
Album / E Album/EP Reviews
Album OF THE Week
Paul Kelly Life Is Fine EMI
The bold chords of the opening piano passage in Rising Moon immediately jump out, forming a strong foundation to what eventually turns into a formidable sonic landscape. Guitars, organ and backing vocals all mesh together in a huge sound and the album goes tearing out the gates. Paul Kelly’s latest release is eclectic, as is evident even in the first two tracks. Finally Something Good lends itself to Kelly’s songwriting — specifically to his lyricism — as do Firewood And Candles, Leah: The Sequel and Letter In The Rain. In counterpoint, Rising Moon, Rock Out On The Sea and My Man’s Got A Cold highlight a rock-solid band. My Man’s Got A Cold throws something new entirely into the mix with the guest vocals of Vika Bull, as well as a gritty, Tom Waits-esque instrumentation behind her. Overall the album explores new and interesting sonic and instrumental territory for Kelly, with his recent releases being in collaborations, soul music and Shakespearean sonnets. That being said, one can still find familiarity laced through these bold new works. Kelly’s writing still resonates with powerful imagery and vivid settings, as well as the occasional and familiar injection of faith and religion for good measure. Fans of his formative work and ‘classics’ may not be completely sold on some of the material, however anyone who has followed his musical journey will surely see this as yet another powerful stride forward. Lukas Murphy
Milk Records/Remote Control
Girlhood, the latest album from The Preatures, is full of songs about growing up in Sydney as a young woman. The contradictions of being a woman in this day and age are not only expressed lyrically, but are reflected sonically through the contrast of strong, powerful tracks like The First Night and Lip Balm, and slower, softer ballads Magick, Your Fan and Cherry Ripe. On these tracks, frontwoman Isabella “Izzi” Manfredi is more vulnerable and exposed than ever before, her voice floating over emotive instrumentals, and delivering some of her best songwriting to date. The rest of the band — producer and guitarist Jack Moffitt, drummer Luke Davison and bassist Thomas Champion — inject the new album with a palpable energy.
This is album number four for Jen Cloher and in keeping with the title and stark artwork featuring Cloher naked and with guitar - it is her most honest and autobiographical release. So many songwriters cloud their ideas and experiences in metaphors and diversionary tactics, but Cloher goes straight for the literal and personal, detailing the trials and tribulations of extended periods apart from her partner (and guitarist) Courtney Barnett, suburban malaise, gay marriage, Dirty Three and the shallowness and strain of the music industry. It amounts to an internal and external state of the nation address, delivered with poetic poise and intellectual observation. Musically, Cloher and her band frame her songs with a loose, indie-rock sound that
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Opener Girlhood is undoubtedly the album highlight — catchy and driving with a killer guitar solo. “Whatever makes me a modern girl. Nothing makes me a modern girl” Manfredi sings on the track — possibly influenced by Sleater-Kinney’s Modern Girl? She also sings in the Indigenous Darug language of Sydney on pop rock track Yanada and as the daughter of an Italian immigrant, connects to her roots, singing in Italian on album closer Something New. Girlhood is a well-executed album with a strong concept. Madelyn Tait
can be locked and direct with a gentle toughness (Shoegazers), drifting and dreamy (Regional Echo) or noisy and surging like Sleater-Kinney (Strong Woman). That stylistic range creates a flow and dynamism that complements the songs perfectly, ensuring the focus remains on Cloher and her lyrics. It’s hard to distil one’s thoughts and emotions into song with such self-awareness, artistic confidence and lack of pretence, but Cloher has, quite wonderfully, done just that. Chris Familton
EP Reviews Album/EP Reviews
Bedroom Suck/Remote Control
The Bombay Royale Run Kitty Run HopeStreet Recordings
Pleasure Maps delivers a sweet selection of psychedelic lo-fi pop that rocks. In the middle of winter, the warm fuzzy glow of this album is irresistible. Their anachronistic sound takes us back some 40 or 50 years with a mix that feels like a dreamy blur of purple paisley. Surprisingly though, the album kicks off with the post-punk edginess of Desire Lines before giving way to the sun-kissed psychedelic folk of Green Good that feels kind of groovy. The real treat this album delivers is the extended instrumental breaks that feature winding guitar solos and spaced out synths that are so deliciously nostalgic.
Not something that goes into your sandwich, Hamjam is a collaboration between Methyl Ethel’s keys player Hamish Rahn (Ham) and Pond’s keyboard whizz James Ireland (Jam). Opening with the slippery, low-slung funk of the title track, the album blossoms into some occasionally sunny chords that go up against despondent lyrics and a woozy nonchalance that will be familiar to Methyl Ethel fans; less so to Pond freaks. There are a few inspired moments where disaffected apathy meets plastic soul breeziness, but it slumps away towards the end.
There’s some sweet magic woven throughout the gentle ebb and flow of this collaborative effort by The Steoples. In solo guise, LA’s Gifted & Blessed and UK artist Yeofi Andoh have created a swag of interesting, rootsy productions throughout the past decade, but their unification sees the duo peel off into a whole new realm of smooth, soulful, beat-driven electro pop. Opener From The Otherside gives the first taste of this album’s timeless quality; the gentle croons throughout, underscored by dramatic keys in Fated, layered synth textures in We Like The Dark and loads more goodies, ultimately raise it above definition by genres or labels.
For a band who sound like no one else, three distinctly different albums on the trot is exceptional. On Run Kitty Run The Bombay Royale dive further into their exotic influences, such as revisiting the nervous, rubbery funk of classic ‘70s kung fu classics like Enter The Dragon. Bhediya could be an alternate James Bond theme — one where his vodka Martinis are heavily spiked — while the title track is pure joy and one of their niftiest earworms to date. Time to get lost on another daring adventure through an imaginary Bollywood.
Christopher H James
Christopher H James
More Reviews Online Oneohtrix Point Never Good Time Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Zola Jesus Okovi
Listen to our This Week’s Releases playlist on
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 31
Live Re Live Reviews
Minus The Bear @ Max Watt’s. Pic: Markus Ravik
Minus The Bear, Zefereli Max Watt’s 5 Aug
Minus The Bear @ Max Watt’s. Pic: Markus Ravik
Minus The Bear @ Max Watt’s. Pic: Markus Ravik
Minus The Bear @ Max Watt’s. Pic: Markus Ravik
Minus The Bear @ Max Watt’s. Pic: Markus Ravik
Minus The Bear @ Max Watt’s. Pic: Markus Ravik
32 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
Emerging from a six-month-or-so live hiatus to open tonight’s gig, local indie-pop six-piece Zefereli waste little time in shaking off their stage rust to put on a polished, enjoyable show. Sure, there’s the occasional missed harmony or slightly out-oftune guitar, but these things are to be expected (and wholly forgiven) when a band’s been away from the spotlight for as many months as Zefereli have. For the most part, though, the band are in charming, affable form. They treat us to material both new and old, the group making a standout effort for their debut track Once In A While. Zefereli can be proud of their comeback show. Seattle’s Minus The Bear have travelled a long way to be here for us tonight. Having previously visited the country as both headliner and as a festival act, the five-piece are this time riding high on the wave of momentum afforded them by their excellent recent album Voids. The band endear themselves to their attentive, appreciative audience at once, storming out the gates with a bass blast that gives way to the deep grooves of album opener Last Kiss. It’s immediately apparent that all of the group’s members are in peak form tonight; vocalist/ guitarist Jake Snider is as smooth and magnetic a performer as ever, while bassist Cory Murchy and guitarist Dave Knudson are positively enchanting to watch as they ply their formidable skills. Keys/synth lord Alex Rose gets ample room to shine too, masterfully taking over lead vocals on Call The Cops and Tame Beasts. None of this is to underplay the contributions of touring drummer Joshua Sparks, who demonstrates remarkable, mesmerising aptitude for the band’s broad, inventive oeuvre. Indeed, tonight’s set is a genuine treat for fans of all eras.
While plenty of Voids material gets time in the sun, there are highlights from 2012’s Infinity Overhead and even 2010’s synthheavy Omni. In fact, My Time, Into The Mirror and Excuses all work much better live than they do on that record. Of course, as with most bands who have been around as long as Minus The Bear, as wellreceived as their newer songs have been tonight, their “classic” material receives a hearty, heartfelt response every time it pops up. This happens across the board, such as when we’re
This band is truly too good for words — well, other than maybe ‘Please come back soon’. treated to early appearances by the urgent blitz of Knights and the seminal chilled jam of Absinthe Party At The Fly Honey Warehouse (always a standout), as well as for later inclusions Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!!, The Game Needed Me and simply buoyant main-set closer Throwin’ Shapes, which gets the whole room dancing in ebullient, angular style and calling for more. They return to the stage to drop the downright sexy White Mystery, which pulls us all helplessly along into its deep, funky grind, and Voids cut Invisible, before closing for real on evergreen favourite Pachuca Sunrise, leaving us all to bask in its joyous wash as they smile, wave and depart once more. This band is truly too good for words — well, other than maybe, “Please come back soon.” Mitch Knox
eviews Live Reviews
Death Grips Max Watt’s 4 Aug
A curious mood can be felt before one even enters the venue for Death Grips’ first ever Brisbane performance. Security measures are tighter than usual, with thorough patdowns put in place, and the fact that there’s still quite a significant line mere minutes before the band are due to commence builds on the preceding tension. Inside, the mania is teetering on boiling point. No supports are scheduled, but a selection of tracks played at near-concert volume serve to rile things up further. They’re 25 minutes late and given the band’s infamous history, every passing minute brings with it an added measure of tension, but thankfully this night is not destined to become one of those fan horror-stories. Death Grips hit the stage full throttle, erupting into Whatever I Want (Fuck Who’s Watching) with the kind of rapturous fury that is rarely even spoken about, let alone experienced. A palpable urgency permeates the entire space and the room goes absolutely batshit. They charge on through Bubbles Buried In This Jungle, Get Got, and System Blower, with no sign of the intensity letting up in the least bit. They favour their debut, The Money Store, and their latest, Bottomless Pit, throughout, but keep the set somewhat balanced with at least a couple off each album. The sound is really not too crisp, but if anything this intensifies the tactility of the songs and their affect. It is said that peripheral vision connects us to tactile feeling and interiority more than focused vision, and tonight seems to prove this true of sound too. This slight veiling of form somewhat reframes things, so that the feeling of the performance becomes the focus and essential point of connection. The major-label sabotage, the no-shows, the break-up, suddenly it all makes even more sense. For all their creative wit
and cultural subterfuge, Death Grips is as much about unbridled energy as anything else, and in the live arena, this becomes most apparent. If the tap is not in full flow then it just wouldn’t make sense; for there’s no faking this kind of physical sincerity. Zach Hill and Andy Morin violently thrash away at their instruments, while MC Ride cavorts between them, his arms flailing upwards for much of the show. These rambunctious inflations of bodily presence draw equally upon ritualistic mating, combat, and spiritual dances to become an all-embracing, cathartic response to systemic structures of disempowerment; both external and internal. It’s as if culture, language, and thought are being deconstructed and regurgitated through a visceral outpouring of primal vitality. Here the body and spirit take some vital ground back from the intellect.
The vulnerability and unpredictability of Death Grips is liberating and enlivening. This is a performance that understands the significance of the danger element within traditions of live music and ritual. In a culture scape where even the most vibrant acts seem a little too safe and measured, the vulnerability and unpredictability of Death Grips is liberating and enlivening. Like the timehonoured initiation ceremonies that enact the transformative process of the death/re-birth cycle, tonight we’re summoned through such thresholds. And when the final Guillotine drops, we “all fall down... yuh!” Jake Sun
Montaigne, I Know Leopard The Triffid 5 Aug
The sold-out crowd gives a lukewarm welcome to Sydneysiders I Know Leopard, with too many choosing to chat loudly over the band’s blissful dream-pop. Perfect Picture and Jenny McCullagh’s enchanting violin hook quickly has the front half of the crowd swaying in time, before the quartet deviate into a tastefully chaotic outro led by the overdriven tones of statuesque guitarist Todd Andrews. The boppy rhythms and delightful female harmonies in Let Go finally distract most from their conversations. A crunchy guitar solo in Close My Eyes still fails to excite Andrews, but that doesn’t stop the rest of the band — or the crowd — dancing along to the quirky, bustling soundscape and frank lyricism of closer Rather Be Lonely. The lights seem to darken for only a second before the petite figure of Montaigne bursts onstage in a flurry of hip wiggles, ballerina-esque twirls, and plenty of waving to the adoring crowd. The ‘80s neon-pop vibes of Greater Than Me evoke plenty of dancing, as the Sydney singer inventively charades her lyrics between high-pitched vocal runs. After “mutating” the crowd into two choirs, Montaigne conducts The Triffid through a workshopped rendition of Lonely, although she has to take back the vocal reins when her makeshift back-up singers become lost in the fast-paced lyrics. Taking the pace of the set down a notch, Lie To Myself sees Montaigne showcasing her singer-songwriter roots — slinging on an acoustic guitar for this soaring, emotive ballad about “being a young silly billy”. For the first time this evening The Triffid’s crowd is now silent, captivated by the power of her piano-driven Consolation Prize — it’s a rare moment, where Montaigne looks as small and defeated as the
In a show of sincere humbleness, Montaigne moves across the stage to touch the dozens of outstretched hands.
character she’s singing about on a barely lit stage. Next we’re treated to two new songs from her upcoming second album. Unfortunately, both of these songs sound a little too raw, with simple backing of guitar and piano respectively, as Montaigne’s voice overpowers the heart-on-sleeve lyricism. Lifting the room’s energy back up, feel-good track Come Back To Me sees plenty bouncing along as Montaigne shows off the full breadth of her impressive vocal range. The at times “a bit emo”, but mostly jubilant, alt-pop set finishes with Till It Kills Me and I’m A Fantastic Wreck. In a show of sincere humbleness, Montaigne moves across the stage to touch the dozens of outstretched hands while her drummer slowly destroys his drum kit with crashing cymbals and a reckless pounding of various toms. With a set full of extreme dynamics, astounding vocal refrains and honest back stories about the tracks on Glorious Heights, Montaigne is one of Australia’s most charming and talented young pop artists. Jack Doonar
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 33
Arts Reviews Arts Reviews
from the fact that screenwriters Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon drew upon the complications of their own courtship in shaping The Big Sick. But the comedy power-couple — who have collaborated on some well-regarded projects and individually racked up some very cool credits — has done more than adhere to the old ‘write who you know’ adage. They’ve layered in so much wit and warmth and spirit here, coming up with one of the most pleasurable romantic comedies of the year. Nanjiani plays a fictionalised (but not too fictionalised) version of himself in the film — the character of Kumail is a stand-up comedian moonlighting as an Uber driver. He’s heckled by Emily, played by Zoe Kazan, during a set one night, and their flirtation becomes a one-night stand that soon develops into something more. But there are a few obstacles in their way. First of all, Kumail’s traditional Pakistani parents continue to set him up on dates with Pakistani women in the hopes of organising an arranged marriage. That’s enough to drive a wedge between the couple. But then, not long after they split, Emily becomes so ill it forces doctors to put her into a medically induced coma. While she’s unconscious, Kumail finds himself in close quarters with Emily’s parents, played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano in performances so good you may regret that no one ever teamed the two actors up before now. The tentative bonding between these people who know nothing about each other, but share a great love for someone who’s unable to play diplomat between them, is one of The Big Sick’s best attributes, thanks in great part to the acting but also largely due to the sharp writing. But there’s so much to admire and appreciate here, from the winning, vivacious work of Kazan to the way the film quickly but vividly explores the lives, hopes and dreams of a supporting character in the space of a scene. Clever and compassionate, The Big Sick is the cure for the common rom-com. The Big Sick
The Big Sick Film In cinemas now
★★★★ Love — it’s good for what ails you. The things that bring together and unite the couple at the big heart of the new romantic comedy The Big Sick are a key element of this movie’s sensitivity and charm. But what gives this movie real substance — and what elevates The Big Sick — is what threatens to separate them, and how all the people involved acknowledge and address it. There’s a real maturity and honesty walking hand-in-hand with the sharp humour and sweet nature, and it gives the events of the story a personal, lived-in quality. It legitimately earns every laugh and every tear it inspires. Of course, that lived-in quality may well stem
34 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
Atomic Blonde Film In cinemas
★★★ The Berlin Wall is falling down, and so is every bad guy in Lorraine’s path. Charlize Theron gives as good as she gets in Atomic Blonde and as British secret agent Lorraine Broughton, investigating a labyrinthine conspiracy in 1989 West Berlin as the wall dividing the German city begins to crumble, she gets a lot. It’s hard to recall an action heroine receiving as much punishment as Theron’s Lorraine, who eases her pain by lowering herself into a bathtub full of ice and then grabbing a handful of cubes to cool her vodka. But Lorraine isn’t averse to dishing it out either, whether she’s smashing a red stiletto heel into a bad guy’s throat or engaging in a knock-down drag-out fight over several storeys of an apartment building that Atomic Blonde audaciously stages in one long, unbroken take. It’s that kind of movie, one that mixes the violent and the vogue. And the stylishness of the execution and the steely commitment Theron brings to her performance is almost enough to carry it through. Almost. Atomic Blonde is directed by David Leitch, one of the directorial duo behind the excellently ridiculous Keanu Reeves action movie John Wick. And while the two movies share a similar armour-piercing appeal in their depiction of bullets and body blows, John Wick benefited from a straightforward storyline - punks killed Wick’s dog, Wick killed everyone as payback. Atomic Blonde, however, aspires to be a little deeper and more complex, but the material is fairly pedestrian spy stuff involving defectors and double agents. It’s not as smart as it’s trying to appear and it sometimes becomes a bit dull as a result. In all honesty, the scenes of supposed cloak-and-dagger intrigue are really just time-fillers until it gets to the next sequence of Lorraine taking on teams of adversaries in imaginative ways. Atomic Blonde has a gorgeous surface but there’s precious little substance to be found beneath the veneer. Guy Davis
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THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 35
Comedy / G The Guide
The Babe Rainbow
Jerry Seinfeld: Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Boondall
Jordan Kadell: Junk Bar, Ashgrove
Jiveswallow: The Bearded Lady, West End Dan Sultan
Starset + The Comfort + Skies Collide: The Triffid, Newstead Acoustic Wednesdays with Dan Duggan: The Triffid (Beer Garden), Newstead
The Music Presents The Foundry 2nd Birthday: 10 Aug The Foundry Sarah McLeod: 22 Aug Crowbar
Thu 10 Lachlan Mackenzie 4tet: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point
Raised By Eagles: 25 Aug Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall
Thy Art Is Murder + Alpha Wolf + Cursed Earth + Deadlights: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley
Vera Blue: 25 Aug The Triffid; 26 Aug The Mills Precinct Toowoomba; 27 Aug Miami Marketta
Jo Davie + Monique Clare: Junk Bar, Ashgrove
Against The Grain Festival: 25 - 27 Aug Bakery Lane, Barbara Reverends, Brightside Carpark Maroochy Music & Vis Arts Festival: 26 Aug, Old Horton Park Golf Course Mew: 10 Sep The Triffid Dan Sultan: 21 Sep The Northern Byron Bay; 22 Max Watt’s Ali Barter: 22 Sep The Northern Byron Bay At The Drive In: 2 Oct Eatons Hill Hotel Caligula’s Horse: 7 Oct The Triffid
Ride The Rainbow Surfing on the success of their debut album, Byron Bay locals The Babe Rainbow will play The Foundry on 11 Aug and the cosmic ‘60sinspired group are bringing Banana Gun and Parsnip along.
Som De Calcada: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End Josh Pyke + Kyle Lionhart: Miami Marketta, Miami Jon Stevens + Kate Ceberano: Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) (Concert Hall), South Brisbane Anh Do: Redlands Performing Arts Centre, Cleveland Whiskey & Me: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore Thanartist + Sanctum & Solace + Rare Words + Lifeblood: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley
Mono: 8 Nov The Triffid Alt-J: 10 Dec Riverstage
Fri 11 Dean Lewis: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley LiamFest feat. The Flangipanis + Goon On The Rocks + Tai Sui + Sleepwell + Being Jane Lane + The Gutterbirds + Emmy Hour: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley All Crawl with James Reyne: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill PON CHO + Benibee + DJ Jakey J: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hil Habits: Gallery Of Modern Art (GOMA) (River Room), South Brisbane
Hey Baby! + The Jumpkicks + Vesper Green: Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley
Sat 12 Dean Lewis: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley Dan Bolton: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point Sons of Zion: Chardons Corner Hotel, Annerley
Letters To Lions
Shannon Noll: Hamilton Hotel, Hamilton Accomplice Collective: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End The Elliotts: Miami Marketta, Miami Alpha Wolf
Bloody A This 10 Aug Crowbar will welcome Alpha Wolf, Cursed Earth and Deadlights in support of Thy Art Is Murder and their Death Sentence tour. Maybe wear your plugs, we expect a few eardrums are gonna get rattled.
Chocolate Strings + Phil Barlow + Liv Heyer: Night Quarter, Helensvale Matinee Show with The Ten Tenors: Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) (Concert Hall), South Brisbane Mojo Juju: Solbar, Maroochydore Ed Kuepper: The Bison Bar, Nambour Bootleg Rascal: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley The Babe Rainbow + Bananagun + Parsnip: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley Spenda C: The Met, Fortitude Valley
Letter Heads After launching their single, Come Around, Letters To Lions are hitting The Northern on 18 Aug to celebrate. Head out and you’ll be treated to the likes of Mini Skirt, Eliza & The Delusionals. Also, it’s free!
Town: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane The Ten Tenors: The Events Centre, Caloundra The Foundry’s 2nd Birthday Party with GL + Holiday Party + Party Dozen + Hatchie: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley Mojo Juju: Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley
36 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
Josh Pyke + Kyle Lionhart: The Triffid, Newstead
Speedball + The Irrits + Secondhand Toothbrush + Friendly Fire: Coronation Hotel, West Ipswich
Thy Art Is Murder + Alpha Wolf + Cursed Earth + Deadlights: Wharf Tavern, Mooloolaba
The Ugly Kings + The Lockhearts: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley
Gigs / Live The Guide
Slaves + Awaken I Am: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley
Why Thank You feat. White Blanks + Concrete Surfers + more: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley Junior Danger + The Desert Sea + Faux Bandit: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane Josh Pyke + Kyle Lionhart: The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
Comfort Collides The Comfort and Skies Collide are set to support Starset when they touch down on Australian shores at The Triffid on 9 Aug. The US rock legends are here with their second album, Vessels. Performing ‘Sticks & Stones / ‘Catalyst’ with New Found Glory: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill
James Reyne + Boom Crash Opera + Ollie Brown: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley Songs You Know & Love with Daryl James: The Triffid (Beer Garden), Newstead The Delta Riggs + The Dollar Bill Murrays: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley Crooked Colours + Ivan Ooze + Muto: Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley
Sun 13 Brisbane Big Band: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point The Lockhearts: Broadbeach Tavern, Broadbeach
The Ten Tenors: Empire Theatre, Toowoomba
Token Ethnics with Ting Lim + Stephanie Tisdell: Heya Bar, Fortitude Valley
Token Ethnics with Ting Lim + Stephanie Tisdell: Heya Bar, Fortitude Valley
The Hanlon Brothers + Andrea Kirwin + Billy Fox: Peregian Originals, Peregian Beach
Pretty Dry with +Matt Stewart: Heya Bar, Fortitude Valley Tobias: Irish McGann’s Hotel, Roma Alphabet Street: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End Andrew Baxter Band + Ondre Davis: Miami Marketta, Miami
Phil Barlow & The Wolf: Sonny’s House of Blues, Brisbane Sanfellu: The Bearded Lady, West End
The Jungle Giants
Thy Art Is Murder + Alpha Wolf + Cursed Earth + Deadlights: Miami Tavern (Shark Bar), Miami Ungrateful Dead Fest feat. Daemon Foetal Harvest + Facegrinder + Hurricane Death + Scumguts + Asbestosis + Unbound + Awful Noise + more: New Globe Theatre, Fortitude Valley Bearfoot + Billy Fox: Night Quarter, Helensvale Shannon Noll: Norths Leagues & Services Club, Kallangur Lez Karski + Lily & The Drum: Royal Mail Hotel, Goodna Electrik Lemonade + Hemingway: Solbar, Maroochydore Bub-Kiss: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore Elko Fields + A Gazillion Angry Mexicans + The Royal Artillery: Sonny’s House of Blues, Brisbane Fugitive & the Vagabond: The Bearded Lady (Front Bar), West End Emma Bosworth + The Shady 8: The Bearded Lady, West End Ed Kuepper: The Bison Bar, Nambour
A Classic Crawl The household Aussie name that is James Reyne will be at Eatons Hill Hotel with his All Crawl tour on 11 Aug. Singing nothing but Australian Crawl material, you can trust he is bringing the songs you know and love. Don’t miss out on the singalong.
Mon 14 Pretty Dry with Matt Stewart: Heya Bar, Fortitude Valley
If you’re keen to see The Jungle Giants in 2017, you had better be at The Triffid 18 Aug. After the release of their new album, Quiet Ferocity, the band have announced they are hitting the road for one tour and one tour only. Don’t miss out.
Mermaid Avenue + Granvil: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane Americana Sunday Session with Suicide Country Hour: The Triffid, Newstead
Kitty Flanagan: Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, Bundaberg
Brad Butcher: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore
Metal of Honor feat. Those Who Endure + Odysseus Reborn + Flesh Torrent + Alien Skies: Chardons Corner Hotel, Annerley
Something Something Explosion + Guava Lava + Buttermilk: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley
Davey Romain: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End
Keelan Mak + May Lyn + Future Jr: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley
Takacs Quartet: Queensland Conservatorium, South Brisbane
Major Leagues: The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
Mark Sheils: Samford Valley Hotel, Samford Village
Grinspoon + Hockey Dad: Villa Noosa Hotel, Noosaville
Ivy Lab: TBC Club (The Bowler Club), Fortitude Valley
Jump For Giants
Eddie Gazani: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End
Raise The Roof: Oxjam Fundraiser with I Heart Hiroshima + Bris 182 + more: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley
Dear Seattle: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley
Trivia: The Triffid, Newstead
Scat + Chris Poulsen Trio: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point
Hockey Dad + Drunk Mums: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley
Wed 16 Triffid Acoustics with Pepper Jane: The Triffid (Beer Garden), Newstead
Restrung Festival 2017 feat. Blonde Redhead: Brisbane Powerhouse (Powerhouse Theatre), New Farm Restrung Festival 2017 feat. Rafael Karlen + Steve Newcomb + Cris Derksen Trio: Brisbane Powerhouse (Turbine Platform), New Farm
Kitty Flanagan: Brolga Theatre, Maryborough
Jesse Redwing Band: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley
Batpiss: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley
The Big Eagle Jazz Band: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point Restrung Festival 2017 feat. +The Scrapes + Oliver Coates: Brisbane Powerhouse (Turbine Platform), New Farm Keegan Joyce + Jane Patterson: Junk Bar, Ashgrove
Major Leagues + Ivey + Whalehouse: Elsewhere, Surfers Paradise Olympia: Gallery Of Modern Art (GOMA) (River Room), South Brisbane Soda Eaves + McKisko + Samuel Wagan Watson: Junk Bar, Ashgrove
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 37
Comedy / G The Guide
Restrung Festival 2017 feat. The David Bentley Trio + William Barton + Topology + The Noise + Monique Clare + more: Brisbane Powerhouse (Turbine Platform), New Farm
Restrung Festival 2017 feat. Zen Zen Zo: Brisbane Powerhouse (Powerhouse Theatre), New Farm
The Delta Riggs
Punk Astronauts Almost a year after its release, The Delta Riggs are still turning heads with their album Active Galactic. After wild international success, they are bringing their psychedelic disco-punk to The Northern on 11 Aug. Hollerin’ Sluggers: Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane Soulshift: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End The Floating Bridges: Miami Marketta, Miami Stan Walker: Night Quarter, Helensvale YehMe2: Oh Hello!, Fortitude Valley Grinspoon + Hockey Dad: Redland Bay Hotel, Redland Bay
As Paradise Falls + Down Royale + Zeolite + Caetera + Set Me On Fire: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley Mental As Anything: Hamilton Hotel, Hamilton Pete Cullen + P.C. & The Biffs: Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane Som De Calcada: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End Izania: Miami Marketta, Miami Shakafest 2017 feat. Grinspoon + DZ Deathrays + Butterfingers + Tired Lion + Ivan Ooze + WAAX + Goons Of Doom + Trapdoor + Radolescent + Dear Seattle: Miami Tavern, Miami Shaka After Party feat. Hockey Dad + The Creases + Bris 182 + Vices: Miami Tavern (Shark Bar), Miami No One Sings Like You Anymore - A Tribute to Chris Cornell: New Globe Theatre, Fortitude Valley Mojo Webb Band + Phil Barlow & The Wolf: Night Quarter, Helensvale Arj Barker: Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton Sametime: Royal Mail Hotel, Goodna
Mad For Mak Keelan Mak’s single, SKB, has just dropped and to celebrate he is throwing a (free!) gig at The Foundry on 17 Aug. The just-19year-old producer is already smashing expectations with his sultry electronic beats. With Confidence + Seaway + WSTR: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley
Kitty Flanagan: The Events Centre, Caloundra
Queen - It’s A Kinda Magic: Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), South Brisbane
Christian Patey + Ella Fence + Doolie: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane
My Dad Wrote A Porno: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley
Songs You Know & Love with Mama’s Hummer: The Triffid (Beer Garden), Newstead
Hemi King & the Bro’s: Royal Mail Hotel, Goodna
The Twoks + The Moon Sets + Orlando Furious: Solbar, Maroochydore
Los Scallywaggs + Stork + Fight Ibis + Fragile Animals: Solbar, Maroochydore
Town: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore
D-Jahsta: Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley
Silk n Oak: Solbar (Lounge Bar), Maroochydore
Doni Raven & The Collective Insanity + Hamish Gordon: Sonny’s House of Blues, Brisbane
Cakewalk + Glen Schnau + Amaringo: The Bearded Lady, West End Flynn Effect + Mercury Sky + Seraphic + Periapsis: The Brightside, Fortitude Valley
Electric Suede + Port Royal + The Eagle Junction + Breizers: The Bearded Lady, West End
Jones The Cat: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane
Jo’s Boyz: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point
38 • THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017
Hannah Cameron + Monique Clare: Junk Bar, Ashgrove
All Ages Show with With Confidence + Seaway + WSTR: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley
Skies Collide: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley
Los Scallywaggs: Bloodhound Corner Bar, Fortitude Valley
Lemon & Lime with +Henry Saiz: Capulet, Fortitude Valley
Asabl Goodman + Andrew Fincher: The Bearded Lady, West End
All Ages Show with The Jungle Giants + Lastlings + Heaps Good Friends: The Triffid, Newstead
Major Leagues: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley
Mark Sheils: Samford Valley Hotel, Samford Village
Amelia & The Grizzly: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End
Frank Booker: The Foundry, Fortitude Valley
Tyler Cooney Trio: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End
Rhys Darby: City Hall, Brisbane
Tami Neilson: The Flamin’ Galah, Brisbane Asha Jefferies: The Flying Cock, Fortitude Valley
Andy Firth’s Nova Swing Jazz Band + Julie Wilson: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point
Sarah McLeod: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley
A Funkier Mojo
The Twoks: The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane
Mojo Juju is marking the release of latest single, Think Twice, at Woolly Mammoth on 10 Aug. Showcasing a re-invented sound, this tour is sure to be as predicably unpredictable as we have come to expect.
Americana Sessions with Sue Ray: The Triffid, Newstead
Crooked Colours are taking their highly acclaimed LP, Vera, on a world tour. Hitting Woolly Mammoth on 12 Aug, alongside Ivan Ooze and Muto, the trio are making their post-hiatus return to the stage a big one.
All Ages Show with The Jungle Giants + Lastlings + Heaps Good Friends: The Triffid, Newstead
Gigs / Live The Guide
o say Pete Cullen is dedicated is an understatement, averaging around 250 gigs a year, this rock’n’roll countryman is one passionate performer. With two albums up his sleeves, Cullen is about to drop two more in the coming month. One Way In under his rockabilly outfit P.C & The Biffs, and No Way Out a solo, both recorded by Paulie B at Brisbane’s Tanuiki Lounge. “Paulie has collected some
great vintage gear that I knew would suit our sound.” Cullen states, “he has a great ear for rhythm and melody.” But perfection isn’t the main concern over authenticity for the singer-songwriter, “I recorded some tracks at home, and in the distance, you can hear the odd whipper snipper, the dog or truck.” The inspiration came from a southern USA writing tour where Cullen got to immerse himself within the history and culture of the Deep South, expressing that “standing on the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta was probably the most inspiring... you could feel the blues rising through the black soil.” When it came to the recording process, all songs on the albums were recorded within the past 12 months and took a little longer than intended, mostly due to Cullen’s hard working schedule. “I perform 4-5 nights a week and work a day or two at Guitar Brothers in Redhill, every
spare day I had to work on the albums.” Talk about roductivity! When it comes to hearing these releases live, Cullen says even though the alternative country sounds will remain true to the record, the rockabilly tunes are where it will get wild, and it’ll all be going down at Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall this August. “Starts, endings and solos are always improvised, you never know what is going to happen, and that’s probably what makes our Lefty’s shows exciting!”
What: One Way In, No Way Out When & Where: 19 Aug, Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall
THE MUSIC • 9TH AUGUST 2017 • 39
The Music is a free, weekly magazine of newsstand quality. It features a diverse range of content including arts, culture, fashion, lifestyl...
Published on Aug 9, 2017
The Music is a free, weekly magazine of newsstand quality. It features a diverse range of content including arts, culture, fashion, lifestyl...