26.04.17 Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
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2 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 3
THE ANECDOTE ALBUM LAUNCH &DUYHGXSRQWKHDLU Featuring special guests Mandy Connell (Stray Hens) â€˜Remembering Iceland: An Introspectiveâ€™ (Anita Quayle & Shannon Bourne) Sat April 29 Doors open 8pm Wesley Anne High St, Northcote Entry $15 â€˜$FDSWLYDWLQJYLUWXRVLFDQGÄ UH VSLULWHGDFRXVWLFWULRIHDWXULQJ FHOORWUXPSHWSHUFXVVLRQDQG VRDULQJYRFDOVĂš
4 â€˘ THE MUSIC â€˘ 26TH APRIL 2017
250 High st, Northcote Hill 9482 1
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THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 5
Lifestyle Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
Heart Of An Android
Celebrated Canadian two-piece Japandroids will return to Aussie shores this July for a five-date headline tour around the country. The pair are coming hot off the release of their third album Near To The Wild Heart Of Life.
Where and when? For more gig details go to theMusic.com.au
Back At The Drive In
With their first new album in 17 years set to drop in just over a week, Texan icons At The Drive In have announced Australian headline dates for Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in September and October.
Years Richard Kingsmill was triple j Music Director, now replaced by Nick Findlay, as Kingsmill steps into the new role of Group Music Director for the triple j group of music networks. Delayed Escape With word last year that the metalcore kings would be going on “extended hiatus”, New Jersey’s The Dillinger Escape Plan have made plans to bring their swansong to Australia one last time with a tour this October.
6 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
The Dillinger Escape Plan
e / Cultu Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
Publisher Street Press Australia Pty Ltd
Problems I Want To Know
Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast
Melbourne hip hop act Baro is embarking on a May headline tour in celebration of his forthcoming EP, Just Problems You Need To Know, due for release on 19 May. Along with the tour and EP announcement, the rapper has also dropped new single, Pretty.
National Editor – Magazines Mark Neilsen Editor Bryget Chrisfield
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Gig Guide Justine Lynch firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistants Brynn Davies, Sam Wall
At The Drive In
Mix It Up
Senior Contributor Jeff Jenkins Contributors Bradley Armstrong, Annelise Ball, Emma Breheny, Sean Capel, Luke Carter, Anthony Carew, Uppy Chatterjee, Daniel Cribb, Cyclone, Guy Davis, Dave Drayton, Guido Farnell, Tim Finney, Bob Baker Fish, Cameron Grace, Neil Griffiths, Kate Kingsmill, Tim Kroenert, Pete Laurie, Chris Maric, Fred Negro, Obliveus, Paz, Rod Whitfield, Sarah Petchell, Michael Preberg, Paul Ransom, Dylan Stewart
Back on the road after successful tours in 2015 and 2016, KLP is bringing her new Mix Match tour to cities across Australia from May to July. The Sydney artist continues to bring a polished blend of club beats and live vocals.
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Dropping In Brisbane pop rockers Hey Geronimo have been hard at work of late on their second release, announcing that they’ll be debuting a bunch of new tunes on an east coast tour this June and July.
A Grande Tour Worldwide pop icon Ariana Grande is bringing her Dangerous Woman tour to Australia this September, performing chart-topping hits from her 2016 album of the same name and more.. THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 7
Music / Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
Rally On Fire
Ginger Pride Rally
The hottest event of 2017 is the Ginger Pride Rally, and not just because from a distance it looks like the venue is on fire. Federation Square will be host to the antibullying event on Saturday.
FRIEND: have you heard the new Kendrick album? ME: yeah it’s okay, not as good as *looks at smudge on hand* Peter Pablo @notacroc
Cest The Ticket French post black metal group Alcest have touched down in Australia for their Kodama tour. Each show will be a unique electrifying and sweat-drenched event as they are supported by different supporting act at each gig. Away
Kreator Kreator have announced a new tour to bring their brand of Teutonic thrash-metal back to Australian audiences in September. The German group are returning for the first time in three years to sate their fans needs for fistpumping, sweatdrenched ecstasy.
8 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
Home And Away Michael Gow’s emotionally epic play Away is opening 3 May at Malthouse Theatre. The story of three families moving to the coast to try to move on in their lives is a powerful and dramatic work.
Arts / Li Music / Arts / Lifestyle / Culture
Not So Empty Orchestra
Melbourne Karaoke Festival
Start memorising lyrics because Melbourne Karaoke Festival is rapidly approaching. This free event turns Karaoke into a competition as hopefuls perform in front of a panel of judges. Check it out on Friday at 206 Bourke St.
[ Formerly The Hi- Fi Bar ]
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March 1977 was the very first time music icon Alice Cooper toured Australia and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his debut trip, Cooper has confirmed he return this October for a headline tour.
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THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 9
THE PRICE OF BEING
Under the cover anonymity, Amy Shark became used to dissecting her personal life in her songs. Now, everyone does the same. She opens up to Brynn Davies about struggling under media and public scrutiny, when everyone wants an explanation. Cover and feature pics by Kane Hibberd.
ournalists often walk a fine moral line during interviews. It doesn’t matter if you’re in investigative or music media, the conundrum remains the same — how far are you willing to push an interview subject on personal matters in order to get your story? To most, Amy Shark is known simply as the next big thing. Her 2016 breakout single Adore hit #2 on triple j’s Hottest 100, and has surpassed ten million streams on Spotify, peaked at #3 on the ARIA chart, #1 on the Australian iTunes chart, was shortlisted for the APRA Song Of The Year... the list seems infinite. But remove the accolades and you have Gold Coast local Amy Billings, who, after years of writing songs inspired by her most vulnerable moments, feels a little caught in the headlights with all the attention. “It was hard because I’ve never had to talk about my songs over the years — I just had the same four people that would listen to my songs and know what I was talking about and wouldn’t ask any questions,” she explains. “I got really comfortable with writing so much shit that was really personal, and it was great because it’s like therapy for me, it’s such a relief. “Now, I’m trying to keep that rawness, but also I’ve been through all the promo with Adore and everyone wants to know every single thing about that song, and every single word they highlight: ‘Why did you write this? What was it about?’” she says, sounding a touch exacerbated. “It’s scary because I have to be prepared to give people answers on this stuff that I’m not overly confident talking about, you know? Like, a lot of this stuff is really heavy. There’s songs on this EP that are so heavy and it’s like, how am I going to manoeuvre myself around this?
10 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
Would she feel more comfortable sitting face to face having these conversations, rather than baring her soul to a string of strange voices on the end of a phone? “Mm, this one’s good though, you sound 100% totally interested and like, you’ve got a voice that’s easy to talk back to,” she laughs, loosening up. “I’ve had some people where it’s like, man, I don’t even think you know what you wanna get out of me! But this is not like that, but it would be nice to be able to sit and have a coffee and just unleash stuff.” Her six-track debut EP Night Thinker does indeed cover some truly soul-baring moments, moving through anger, passion, love, heartbreak, admiration — considering that she’s married, it’s a relief to hear that “it’s almost never about what I’m going through now.” Billings is surprisingly light-hearted when exploring the themes driving her work — those she’s comfortable revealing. She’s both affable and brazen, with a strong Queensland accent, dialogue smattered with swears and colloquialisms, (on more than one occasion she calls me ‘man’). She’s also got this wry sense of humour — you almost have to pause before laughing just in case she’s being serious. “Yeah like, what I do is I break up with my husband every now and then when I need to write, and then we get back together,” she says, totally deadpan. There’s a pause, and then she cracks up. “I’m totally joking. No. Basically, there’s such a massive story behind me and my husband... There’s a massive story that came with a group of friends that I used to have; there’s a massive story about my childhood and my family. Obviously I’m not going to talk about all this, but there’s certain things I can cherry pick, moments from all those years and all those situations and scenarios I was in.” “To be fair, Adore was written about me thinking about one night. This certain party that I went to and I was overthinking everything. Zoning in on all these tiny little things that I may have said to this
A lot of this stuff is really heavy. There’s songs on this EP that are so heavy and it’s like, how am I going to manoeuvre myself around this?
person that I liked, what he may have said to me. I subconsciously fall into writing about things that I don’t even know I’m about to write about. But it’s always shit that’s happened to me, that I’ve felt or I’ve been through, it’s hardly ever about what I’m going through now. I could write a million songs about a million different things, because I zone in so much on them, you know?” There’s a line in one of her first singles, Spits On Girls, that’s always been a source of fascination. “If you like your life, stay off the drugs/ If you like the drugs, share them with celebrities.” Is she comfortable talking about that one? “Yeah, of course. I mean, I asked for this, right?” “So Spits On Girls, I remember when I put that on triple j, and the comment from Richard Kingsmill was ‘I really like this song, but I have no fucking clue what she’s talking about.’ And the reason he had no idea what I was talking about is because that song is so personal — I’m talking about my family, I’m picking apart everyone in my life. It’s hard to follow that song emotionally.
Here’s a piece of Amy Shark trivia: she directs and edits her own film clips. “I kinda knew that it was never going to be like it used to be with the big film clips, the big Mariah Carey budget, or anything really,” she says. “Golden Fleece is a funny one because literally I had no budget. I’m like ‘Okay, what can I do to make it still look intriguing but I don’t have to pay for shit?’”
“That line in particular, I was hanging around with bad dudes at the time. It was the same thing every weekend: they’d do a bunch of drugs and they’d sit there thinking that they were God’s gift, and it’s like, you’re in a shitty rental, and it’s sorta like me just taking the piss — if you’re gonna do all these drugs, do them next to Kanye! I dunno, do it somewhere cool. You guys are just total losers sitting here thinking you’re so cool, and I was never a big drug user or anything, I was just exposed to it a lot, and I guess it was just me having a dig at people who thought drugs were cool.” Throughout the chat she’s made a number of references to childhood and family, and she’s mentioned in previous interviews that she intentionally performs under the moniker Shark to protect her family’s identity. This is the aforementioned line. “No, it’s okay, yeah it’s...” she begins to answer. Although she does end up sharing a little here, it’s more important to set an example, hopefully, for future interviewers, and to leave her personal life personal. “I don’t want [these questions] to ever stop me from being who I am or stop the songs I write, because I know people are relating. People are connecting, and all the messages I get online — ‘This is helping me through this’ — and I don’t wanna change the songwriter I am... Obviously I can sort of say ‘Oh, it’s not about me’ even though it is. It’s a tough one man, it’s a tough one. I’m still learning, it’s just hard for me because I write for myself and not to sell music or to be successful. I dunno, I just write.”
What: Night Thinker (Wonderlick/Sony) When & Where: 6 May, Groovin The Moo, Bendigo
Her clips are filmed locally, from her old school hall to a local dance studio. She even uses the same group of dancers between clips. “I’m utilising people I know and what I can create for a very minimal budget. I’ve always really loved theatre and stage shows, I always have, so the more theatrical I guess.” But she’s careful to keep her clips as minimal as their budget —
“Sometimes in music videos, if there’s too much happening... I feel like they’re disguising the song. Like, they gotta make up for this shitty song by having this really good film clip to match it. With my songs I’m like ‘This song is so good, I don’t want people to be taken by the video, I want them to listen to the song.’”
THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 11
Left Behind When it comes to his plots, legendary screenwriter Damon Lindelof is a next-level secret keeper. Guy Davis grills the cult TV-maker on this latest hit show, The Leftovers.
t was always leading been here.” That’s what Damon Lindelof, creator of the acclaimed, provocative HBO series The Leftovers, claims when he talks about the show’s relocation to Australia for its third and final season. Speaking to The Music last year in Melbourne, where the series had established its base camp while filming in locations in the city, around Victoria and interstate, the screenwriter and producer said he didn’t want to “talk specifically” about how the story of The Leftovers brought its characters Down Under but he did state that “the beachhead of The Leftovers has been here for some time”. “One of the characters — Kevin Garvey, Sr, played by Scott Glenn — left for Australia sometime during season
Damon Lindelof, The Leftovers
This season is about a journey from one place to another, and that journey takes place in Australia.
two of the show,” says Lindelof, whose credits include Prometheus, Tomorrowland and, of course, co-creating the TV series Lost. “He’s been wandering the continent, and his journey culminates in the Melbourne area at around the same time the rest of the show is colliding with him.” “But I don’t really want to get into the specifics of how and why that happens,” he adds with a smile. That may be frustrating, but fans of The Leftovers have perhaps come to expect a little mystery from the series, mainly because it poses some thorny questions about human nature and behaviour in the face of unimaginable change. In many instances, the show leaves it up to the viewer to determine their own response
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to the action, rather than offering an easy answer or tidy resolution. The series explores the aftermath of the Sudden Departure, an unexplained event that saw 2% of the world’s population vanish without a trace. The people left behind must carry on, all the while wondering where these people have gone, why they’ve gone and what it all means to the people who have remained. Needless to say, things get complicated — emotionally, psychologically and metaphysically. Season two of The Leftovers saw the show relocate from New Jersey to Texas, a move that enabled the introduction of new characters, a change in the show’s visual palette and a tonal and thematic shift in the storytelling. The even greater relocation in season three allowed for an even greater leap, but one that was in keeping with the overarching ideas at play in the series. “One of the really interesting things we’ve had is that when we were talking about moving the show to Texas in season two, we were also talking about how we wanted the show to feel,” says Lindelof. “I think The Leftovers built a reputation — one it deserved — for being sad and intense and sometimes depressing and despairing. We didn’t want to apologise for that but we did feel there were other flavours we could start working into our central ideas. And that led us towards Australia. This season is about a journey from one place to another, and that journey takes place in Australia. The characters are moving to a common destination.” Part of the reason for The Leftovers’ shift to Australia stemmed from the show’s creative team drawing inspiration from a variety of Australian films — The Last Wave, Walkabout, Picnic At Hanging Rock and Wake In Fright were a few name-checked by Lindelof. “There’s something about those movies that asks, ‘Am I losing my mind? Is that even a bad thing?” he says. But something else the shift in location enables is an exploration of how the world outside America has perceived and reacted to the Sudden Departure — if it’s even called that elsewhere. “We always assumed it was a global event and one that had repercussions in the same way but there may be different permutations of that,” says Lindelof. “It’s in the global collective consciousness. But there’s a running joke that the Americans all refer to it as October 14th and the Aussies are, ‘Actually, it’s the 15th”. Or, you know, the Sudden Departure is called something different in France.” Still, the focus remains squarely on the characters through whom the audience has experienced the dizzying, disorienting feeling of life in a changed world, and Lindelof says there’ll be a resolution. “The challenge we’re facing, in addition to what the ending of this story feels like, is that we’re doing it in eight episodes, and we already have this amazing ensemble,” he says. “We couldn’t introduce any new characters too much. The first four episodes are designed to set the story we’re telling; with the final four, they’re like curtain calls for these characters.”
What: The Leftovers When & Where: 8.30pm Thursdays, Showcase on Foxtel
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Into The Light Lovably pompous rockers The Darkness are headed back to Australia. Vocalist/guitarist Justin Hawkins tells Brendan Crabb about hiding his Queen tattoos from Roger Taylor and just how serious the band really are.
he Darkness singer/axeman Justin Hawkins is “in the middle of England” during a break from recording album number five. The more modest studio circumstances described seem far removed from the exorbitant budget and rampant excess which surrounded the creation of the retro hard rockers’ 2005 second LP, One Way Ticket to Hell... And Back. “[The] second album we spent a lot of money and time on it. But there’s really no need to do that, because if you’re tight, well-rehearsed and the songs are good then it’s better to make an album quickly, because then it’s
DC, those were always the two bands we were most often compared to. Some people said we were the gay AC/DC, and other people said we were the straight Queen. I’m happy with either of those. We’re somewhere in between I think.” In one of their first Aus outings, their 2004 Big Day Out appearance; their flamboyant, glammed-up delivery and aesthetic visibly confounded many festival-goers. Nowadays, the reactivated British outfit’s self-awareness and sense of humour still seems to continue straddling a fine line with some rock fans who ponder if they’re an outright piss-take. “I’m glad about that,” Hawkins says of this reaction, “because when you think about AC/DC, you’re talking about a bloke in a school uniform, you know? I can imagine that they inspired the same response in the early days. And I think the longer you do it, the more obvious it becomes that you’re taking it seriously,” he laughs. “If
Some people said we were the gay AC/DC, and other people said we were the straight Queen. anything we take it too seriously. I think we take ourselves more seriously than a band like Coldplay. Actually, I don’t think that’s true at all — Coldplay are right up their own arses. I think when you get to five, six, ten albums, that sort of thing will stop hopefully. “I think a lot of rock is just really average... There aren’t that many extraordinary rock bands that are doing something totally different. So there’s always a chance, there’s always an opportunity. You’ve just got to be the best that you can be. It would be nice to think we were household names,” he laughs again. “I think we’ve got a bit of work to do to get that back really. But I’m up for it.”
When & Where: 2 May, Max Watt’s; 3 & 5 May, 170 Russell; 6 May, Groovin The Moo, Bendigo more of a snapshot of where the band’s at. I think we’re quite proud of where we’re at, at the moment. Even if we spend a month or so on drum tracks, it’ll still sound the same,” the jovial main-man laughs. “It’ll still sound just as awesome I think. This is definitely a cheaper option. The [new] stuff’s more progressive, it’s a bit harder, the riffs are getting bigger. We don’t feel like old blokes yet anyway, let’s just say that.” Hawkins waxes lyrical about recent recruit, “super talented” drummer Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen sticksman Roger. “We did most of the writing at one of his father’s properties, so it’s like a dream come true for me. I had to hide the tattoo of his father’s face to avoid any embarrassment. Everyone used to say Queen and AC/ 14 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
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THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 15
Rock Formation Gemma Ray conjures flaming volcano superheroes in her latest work, The Exodus Suite. By Martin Jones.
nyone who just spent the week immersed (literally) in the flood clean-ups around Murwillumbah in Northern NSW, an area renowned as a giant caldera, might be compelled to ask Gemma Ray about the character named Caldera that opens and closes her latest album, The Exodus Suite. Turns out Ray was not inspired by her last performance at nearby Mullumbimby Music Festival. “I watch too many nature documentaries I think, but in a lot of my records there’s various natural disasters,” Ray explains of the mysterious Caldera figure. “I basically went from my previous records having songs that relate to volcanos, and Caldera just turned into this goddess character that I developed.
Ray confirms that road testing songs played an important role in the development of The Exodus Suite. “Leading up [to] The Exodus Suite I was doing quite a bit of touring and a lot of that touring ended up being as a duo, myself and my drummer [Andy Zammit]. And he plays keyboards at the same time and triggers strange sounds and that. And some of the songs were really developed over a year between the two of us. And really the new album was really about the two of us.” Zammit and Ray will be joined by multiinstrumentalist Gris-de-Lin on the Australian tour to help fill out the widescreen arrangements on The Exodus Suite. Ray said she’s in the middle of working out her Australian setlists as we speak, but she’s hoping to try out some new material she’s been working on recently. “Yeah I’ve been working... well I don’t work record by record, really I just write all the time but I’ve indulged myself and had a month off and have been
She represented something to me that was fun to play with - this kind of strong woman emerging out of an extinct volcano.
working quite hard on new material, which has been really great. There’s a couple that would be nice to play so I’ll see how I go. Gris-de-Lin is coming over [to] stay with me for a couple of days in Berlin before we head off and we’ll see what works and if we can do some new stuff that would be really cool.”
When & Where: 27 Apr, Northcote Social Club; 28 Apr, National Gallery of Victoria; 29 Apr, Caravan Music Club
At 9 o’clock in the morning this is probably going to make no sense, but in my head she popped up like a comic superhero in my record. That’s why I’ve got a separate 7” in there with the two Calderas [songs] together. She represented something to me that was fun to play with - this kind of strong woman emerging out of an extinct volcano but full of flames and having a kind of boxing match with myself.” Anyone who’s witnessed Ray in all her glory on stage, made up like a ‘50s sci-fi heroine, wielding a huge Hagstrom guitar with a whopping kitchen knife sticking out of its bridge, will recognise more than a little of the Caldera goddess. You’ll see for yourself when Ray tours Australia later this month.
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WED 26 APR
WOUNDED PIG SHE BEAST DANKENSTEIN HEAD LOPPER
THU 27 APR
THE HEDONISTIC PLEASURES THE HEMUSANS
FRI 28 APR
THE BRAVES DEAD END DEVOURS
SAT 29 APR EVE 5-7:
BENNETT, BRIDGES & MCGUFFIE LATER:
SLOW GRIND FEVER SUN 30 APR
STILL MOVEMENT SLOW DISSOLVE LADY DEE
MON 1 MAY
SCREEN SECT FILM CLUB TUE 2 MAY
THE MAKE IT UP CLUB
THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 17
Melbourne’s lined up to get another 5000-seat arena. Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas reckons Victorians won’t have to settle for anything less than “the best facility, not only in the nation, but in the world”.
That’s a wrap people, and what an amazing MICF it was. Congrats to Hannah Gadsby, this year’s Barry-winner for her sold-out hit show Nanette.
Sam Johnson snagged this year’s Gold Logie and the one-and-only Gold Hat, but even better is the added attention it’s garnered for his cancer charity Love Your Sister. Molly Meldrum & Samuel Johnson. Pic: Nine Network
Backlash Higgin Bottom
There have been rumblings this week about former Abbott chief of staff Peta Credlin gunning for Kelly O’Dwyer and the federal seat of Higgins.
While it’s amazing some new pics from Season Seven of Game Of Thrones have been released, it just reminds us we still have to wait nearly three months to see it.
Logies Down The ratings were down for the Logie Awards – was it just an off year or are we suffering from Awards fatigue?
18 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
Page Hamilton, heavy rockers Helmet’s riff-meister, tells Brendan Crabb why they still owe grunge’s superstars a fruit basket.
ropelled by the record label pursuit for the next Nirvana, alt-metallers Helmet somewhat inexplicably landed a lucrative deal with Interscope prior to second album, 1992’s Meantime. This was despite their no-frills aesthetic and more minimalist approach hardly being easily marketable. Irrespective, vocalist/ guitarist Page Hamilton recalls inking a three record deal worth $1.3 million. “The big thing about it was that it was guaranteed money. It was three firm, meaning that had never been done before in the music business. I said this many years ago, but we should send Nirvana a fruit basket, because they... An indie band had never been given a deal like that before, and Nirvana wasn’t given that deal because nobody thought Nevermind would sell six million copies or whatever. “We were buddies with Nirvana, had played together and Sub Pop was inspired by Amphetamine Reptile (Helmet’s label). So I think everybody was thinking all these indie bands are going to sell millions of records. It’s hilarious to me that people would ever call us grunge, or compare us to Nirvana. We were a New York City band, they were a Pacific Northwest band, completely different styles of music obviously.” Despite any commercial expectations, Hamilton
insists Helmet never kowtowed to external demands. “We weren’t looking for a major label deal, so it wasn’t like I was coming up with the Unsung riff and thinking, ‘This is going to be a huge hit.’” After already performing Meantime in its entirety in Australia, 1994 follow-up Betty would go on to be afforded the same treatment. “When we put Betty out, someone said, ‘I was kind of expecting another Unsung’. I’m like, ‘No, that song’s done. I’m not going to try and rewrite something just because it was successful.’ I don’t think it’s healthy as a musician to recapture something just because there was some accidental success or whatever. I think you have to keep pushing forward. “Betty is probably a little more ‘fuck you’ than Meantime, because there was something about the success of Meantime that, I don’t mean to sound like a dick or whatever, but it kind of rubbed me the wrong way. We did (1990’s) Strap It On, which is a really good record. Then we did Meantime which is a natural extension, but all of a sudden we had all these fans we didn’t have before because there was an MTV buzz clip.” Although allowing devotees to embrace nostalgia via aforementioned heritage tours, Hamilton continues creating. 2016’s Dead To The World was Helmet’s first record in six years, while the main-man’s additional endeavours include production and film soundtracks. “I work on jazz music every single day when I wake up. I listen to a lot of orchestra music and jazz stuff. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think there’s kind of an endless supply of inspiration if you don’t get stuck in a musical rut. Helmet’s never been a mainstream thing as far as I’m not trying to please anybody. To me it has to be a musical thing and come from a musical place.”
When & Where: 28 Apr, 170 Russell
THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 19
In The Air
At A Glance: The Anecdote Hometown: Warburton, Victoria
Year formed: 2014
For you if you like...
The Anecdote’s Andrew Darling explains how Tony Abbott inspired their debut album Carved Upon The Air. Words by Brynn Davies. The National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) have opened nominations for their 14th annual celebration this August. It’s open to any Indigenous artist from Australia and the Torres Strait. It follows a big year for Indigenous music, with the likes of AB Original winning the Australian Music Prize, Troy Cassar-Daley winning Album Of The Year at The Golden Guitar Awards and Jessica Mauboy and Busby Marou topping the ARIA charts. This year will also see a National Indigenous Music Awards double album released, featuring some of the best Indigenous music from the past 12 months or so, coupled with some of the best-known and loved songs from Indigenous artists over the past half-century (so expect to see the likes of Jimmy Little, Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach, Christine Anu and more). The timeframe is no coincidence, as it comes in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the national referendum to recognise Indigenous people.
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he “fire-spirited acoustic marriage of cello, trumpet, percussion and soaring vocals,” that is The Anecdote is the result of “friendship and ongoing collaboration”. Singer/guitarist Andrew Darling explains, “Michael our cellist, and I have played together in many bands of widely differing styles. His wife Leanne started jamming with us. We’ve played many festivals, toured, done some great supports, and now we’re launching our debut album.” On their record Carved Upon The Air “rather than [have] an overt ‘theme’, there is an emotional continuity to the album. The music explores how we are in our isolation and in our beauty, and tries to find the place where these often opposing states of being meet as necessary companions. It celebrates the beauty in our pain,” muses Darling, who adds that Tony Abbott provided great inspiration. “He inspired much creativity all around the country. Our song Exiled was written for those who contributed to dreaming (or nightmaring) up the atrocity that is Australia’s current offshore detention asylum seeker policy, and for all those who have suffered, despaired, self-harmed and died under its uncaring hands.” “The album was recorded over two and a half years, during which Leanne and Michael, two thirds of our trio, had a baby. We basically dealt with this by proceeding very slowly! Fortunately the beds of the tracks had been recorded, and we were doing brass and string arrangements, and mixing, by this time. The songs span [an] almost 20-year period, containing experiences from across my whole adult life. Songwriting becomes a beautiful way of keeping your history alive.”
The Dirty Three, Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley, Bon Iver, Chet Baker, Bob Marley.
Ideal rider item? A record player with much vinyl. Why? Mine’s broken.
The live scene needs more... Intimacy, hush and total focus from reverent audiences.
Current inspiration? The devastating power and openness of Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree.
Dream support gig? The Dirty Three with extended band membership of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker.
Fun fact: “I once bowled to Australian cricket captain Allan Border, knocking him to the ground by hitting him in the balls.”
Five-year plan? “Same place essentially: hunkering down by the fire with a guitar, trying to grasp the next tune from the air.”
When & Where: 29 Apr, Wesley Anne; 6 May, Skylark Room, Upwey
Answered by: Chelsea Allen
Answered by: Annette Hughes
Answered by: Lorien-Summer Moysey
Single title? Tell Me When It’s Over/Oh, Cruel World
EP Title? Whispering Highway
Single title? Epsom Salts
How many releases do you have now? Three singles: Poor Time, Thief If Sky (with B-side Planet) and Sweet Mathilda Waltz. Our debut album is out early 2018.
What’s the song about? It’s an amalgamation of many concepts, though primarily it’s about releasing the demons we all have trapped in our minds!
Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? We just wanted a recording of our live sound, but our production team MEJU raised our understanding of music by some orders of magnitude. They dismantled and reassembled our sound with a new harmonic integrity.
How long did it take to write/record? It took about two weeks to complete! Which is rare as I usually write everything on guitar so this was rather an anomaly. I did it all in my bed!
What’s the song about? TMWIO is about people supporting each other in loss and tragedy, but being otherwise absent in life. How long did it take to write/record? We pre-produced the two songs in a few weeks — one of the benefits of a home studio set up! But actual tracking time for each of the songs was just a few days. Is this track from a forthcoming release/ existing release? We’re releasing this double single in the next three months, and following that up with an EP — or all things going smoothly, perhaps even an LP. What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? We went to Megan’s family home for some extra-quiet recording space — it was inspiring being surrounded by family mementos, and old instruments, etc. And her dad’s scotch collection was excellent. We’ll like this song if we like... Gospel, Americana, blues. Or just stomping and clapping around the living room to soulful, mournful music meant to move you. Do you play it differently live? The two songs are essentially as you’ll hear them live! We encourage audiences to stomp and clap with us. When and where is your launch/next gigs? 28 Apr, Compass Pizza. Website link for more info? greatauntmusic.com
What’s your favourite song on it? I Only Come Here. In it I hear David Bowie’s Starman, fallen to earth, on his way home. We’ll like this EP if we like... Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan, The Incredible String Band. Hurray For The Riff Raff, Tim Buckley, Big Star. When and where is your launch/next gig? 29 Apr, Open Studio; 5 May, Saint Martins Place. Website link for more info? datsonhughes.com
Is this track from a forthcoming release/ existing release? Nah, it was just something I created to put online! I haven’t had a release as such but watch out for my band Bōnewoman, there is definitely something in the works! What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? My bedroom and home environment! I surround myself with so many trinkets, treasures, and colours to keep me inspired that the outside world can be unappealing in comparison! We’ll like this song if we like... Let’s see if I can get this right... Bjork. Kate Bush. Little Dragon. Do you play it differently live? Yeah, I play everything guitar! I love electronic music but can’t work it out live yet! Eventually, I plan on getting the launch pad and drum machines involved! When and where is your launch/next gigs? 29 Apr, Charles Weston Hotel. Website link for more info? soundcloud.com/punksumo
THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 21
World Of Music Multicultural Arts Victoria is breaking down musical stereotypes with Multi Futurism. We spoke to a few of the artists on the bill about the limitless spectrum of sound that’s been slapped with a “world music” label. Amin Payne
Mojo Juju: An exercise in bringing the traditional forward and connecting future music to its roots. It’s holding a very important space, of cultural passage, collaboration and innovation. Claire Nakazawa: Multiple futures existing simultaneously. Various genres embracing and merging with technology. People from different cultural and genetic heritages sharing approaches, styles and aesthetics. A boundary pushing phase embracing creative freedom and innovation.
When’s the last time your particular sound was given a generic ‘world music’ label? Have you been involved with Multicultural Arts Victoria before? Amin Payne (Amin Payne X Hari Sivanesan): Yes, I was involved in the 2014 Re-Mastered synths. It was the collaboration between the Mehr Ensemble (traditional Persian Trio) and myself. Mojo Juju: Yes, just recently I played with my band at Victoria’s Multicultural Festival in Federation Square and then in collaboration with The Pasefika Vitoria Choir at Piers Festival. Claire Nakazaw (Haiku Hands): This is our first time as Haiku Hands. One of our members, Beatrice Lewis, collaborated on an album and live performance with Sinit Tsegay in 2015.
How do you define Multi Futurism? Amin Payne: To me, Multi Futurism is the fusion of different cultures and traditional sounds with modern sounds and technology where the result is educating and entertaining to the audience.
Amin Payne: My solo release Saffron was given the world music/hip hop label due to its content of Arabic, Indian and Persian samples, which was infused with modern sounds and hip hop elements. Saffron was an one-off project. Mojo Juju: I don’t think I’ve been labelled “world music”, but I’ve been called most other things... soul, blues, jazz etc. But I’m not a revivalist or even very interested in the genre. It’s too constricting for me.
Why do you think people shoehorn all these eclectic musical styles into one box? Amin Payne: Because it’s a lot easier to label it as world music than to get into its depth, details of its origin and the complexity of the compositions and to inform listeners that it’s non-Western music. Mojo Juju: Sometimes I think it’s laziness. But I guess a lot of the time it’s because people hear what they relate to and they zero in on that. I suppose people are looking for something familiar. Claire Nakazawa: It’s an easy way to describe music made using electronic processing technology that may share a particular sound. I think we’re still forming language around this art form, trying to keep up with morphing genres.
When & Where: 5 May, The Gasometer Hotel
22 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
In Focus Van Gogh And The Seasons
Many artists have been inspired by the seasons - Botticelli, Vivaldi, Frankie Valli. One of the most striking attempts is coming to Melbourne from Thursday with Van Gogh And The Seasons, the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition for 2017. There will be nearly 50 of the master painter’s works exhibited, on loan from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and Otterlo’s Kröller-Müller Museum, displayed at NGV International from 28 Apr - 9 Jul, as well as talks, tours and the usual NGV Friday Nights program.
THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 23
Laughter And Tears Playwright Joanna Murray-Smith may not be a fan of stand-up, but she knows a thing or two about being funny. She tells Maxim Boon about her new comedy for MTC, Three Little Words. To read the full interview head to theMusic.com.au
laywright Joanna Murray-Smith is a seasoned hand at conjuring humorous moments on stage, but that’s not to say her oeuvre could be easily classified as comedy. In fact, pigeonholing MurraySmith’s canon is quite a head-scratcher. At a glance, her prolific output of stage works - more than 20 to date - reveals a keen instinct for both the comical and a far darker spectrum of storytelling. From Bombshells, a virtuosic collection of scintillating monologues exploring the female psyche, to The Gift, a quietly sinister drama about the obligation of parenthood, and most recently Switzerland, an imagined pseudo-biopic about the final days of author Patricia Highsmith, Murray-Smith’s texts
Catherine McClements and Katherine Tonkin in Three Little Words
As a species, we have an innate ability to see the funny side of most situations
hopscotch between a range of competing theatrical tonalities. A case in point, Murray-Smith’s new play for Melbourne Theatre Company, Three Little Words, is an anti-romantic comedy of manners about the breakdown of a marriage, set against the backdrop of a contemporary, cosmopolitan milieu. When compared shoulder to shoulder with MTC’s last Murray-Smith outing, its 2015 production of the tense psychological thriller Switzerland, the thematic gulf between these two plays seems to confirm the restlessness in MurraySmith’s writing. 24 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
But, while it may appear that this capricious variety is a deliberate trademark, the shifts in Murray-Smith’s dramatic panorama are far from tactical, she insists: “I think it’s natural to want to mix it up, but I’m never selfconscious about it. I think it’s how the brain works, or how my brain works at least.” In fact, Murray-Smith sees her plays as sharing more similarities than differences. “Although a synopsis of Three Little Words might make it sound like the polar opposite of Switzerland, for example, they’re actually not that different when you look at what’s going on under the surface,” she explains. “Switzerland was a serious idea that was surprisingly funny, and Three Little Words is a funny idea which is surprisingly serious, and that is a dynamic I find myself returning to again and again - this mix of dark influences with a hefty dose of comedy.” The trick to achieving this elastic tether between the earnest and the amusing is not over thinking it, MurraySmiths says: “Comedy asserts itself very naturally. I’m very distrustful of plays which have no humour, or anything that has no humour for that matter, because I think you’re short-changing the truth.” Her skill at striking a balance between darkness and levity has proven highly rewarding for Murray-Smith. She ranks amongst the most presented living playwrights in the country, and overseas her popularity is almost peerless amongst those Australian dramatists whose work is staged internationally - for instance, her most successful play, Honour, has been translated into more than 30 languages. One possible reason Murray-Smith’s plays have an edge on the world stage is the lack of overt Australiana in her storytelling. “I’ve always preferred writing a kind of heightened world, that in a way derives its theatricality from the fact that it’s not placed in a particular location,” she notes. “I’ve always felt it important to avoid locating my characters somewhere that might make an audience feel that the story doesn’t belong to them. I want my plays to belong to the audience that is watching them, wherever they happen to be.” While her narratives may boast an impressive level of flexibility, navigating both comedy and tragedy across bord borders and cultural barriers, one consistency in many M of Murray-Smith’s plays is the privileged socio-economic bac backgrounds of her characters. It’s an idee fixe that has com under fire from some commentators, critical of the come way these bourgeois stereotypes might reinforce certain noti notions of social elitism in theatre. However, MurraySmith believes these characterisations are an important part of what makes her texts globally accessible. “The kinds of people I write about, exist in one guise or another all over the world. And for that reason, the kind of predicaments they face have a very international appeal,” she points out. “I want my plays to resonate as fluently in Tokyo as they do in Melbourne.”
What: Three Little Words When & Where: Until 27 May, Southbank Theatre
Es Are Good Joe Goddard talks to Bryget Chrisfield about falling asleep standing up in clubs and thinking The Shamen “were actually singing about someone called Ebeneezer Goode” before he was a lad.
ou’ll probably recognise Joe Goddard from his collaborative musical projects such as Hot Chip, The 2 Bears and About Group (to name just a couple). On his second solo record Electric Lines (the follow-up to 2009’s Harvest Festival), Goddard somehow references all of his musical identities while taking the listener on a magical mystery tour through the history of clubland. And, to this pair of ears, Electric Lines is a personal best from his complete discography. When told this scribe was reminded of discovering, and becoming obsessed with, various styles of dance music through the decades while listening to Electric Lines (on repeat), Goddard offers, “It’s the same for me, it’s just kind of going back through a lot of the different things that I’ve loved over the years and just trying to bring that all in together into a record. So, you know, I’m obsessed with hip hop and with disco and with garage and with house music, and so I wanted to represent all of that stuff.” We’re curious to know which clubs Goddard frequented back in the day and he singles out “jungle, drum’n’bass clubs”. “That was the big thing in London at the time,” he continues, singling out The Blue Note as a regular haunt. “And we wouldn’t be allowed in every time because we were underage, but sometimes you’d get in, sometimes you wouldn’t.” Goddard estimates he was around the age of 15 or 16 when he first started hitting the clubs. “Obviously that’s a steep learning curve when you first gain entry to a club,” he points out. “I didn’t know anything about drug taking, really, at that point, so I was kind of wondering why everyone had so much energy at, like, three o’clock in the morning. And I was kind of falling
I didn’t know anything about drug taking, really, at that point, so I was kind of wondering why everyone had so much energy at, like, three o’clock in the morning.
asleep in front of the speakers sometimes. Like, I remember literally falling asleep standing up a couple of times, waiting for Squarepusher or Aphex Twin to come on at like four or five o’clock in the morning, and maybe just drinking a little bit, but not doing any drugs. And just not being able to keep my eyes open, but really wanting to stay and try and make it through the night to see those people,” he laughs. Goddard remembers that “there was a massive outcry” when The Shamen’s Ebeneezer Goode dropped the “Es are good” chorus lyrics. “I remember when I was at school, we were 13 or 14, something like that, and there were some people going around - I don’t think many of my friends really knew what ecstasy was at that point, not fully. Maybe some of my friends’ big brothers would tell stories about ecstasy or something and people would go ‘round the playground, like, ‘Do you this song by The Shamen is actually about drugs?!’ And I don’t think I believed it at the time; I thought they were actually singing about someone called Ebeneezer Goode!” he laughs. “It certainly took me a long time to work out what it was about!”
What: Electric Lines (Domino)
THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 25
Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming Expo
Puzzling It Out It’s taken three years, but Gotham star Cory Michael Smith can finally call himself The Riddler — and he couldn’t be happier with where he’s headed, he tells Mitch Knox.
dward Nygma — aka puzzle-prone supervillain The Riddler — has always had the potential to be one of Batman’s most intriguing, multi-layered foes, though it took comic books decades to elevate the man from a one-note gimmick to a complex, three-dimensional character. Popular Fox TV show Gotham has achieved the same over the course of its three seasons to date, but for actor Cory Michael Smith — presently in Australia ahead of his impending appearance at Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming Expo — it still felt like an eternity. “It started so slow for me; season one really tested my patience,” he laughs. “I was just some dopey, gawky, chipper dude walking around the GCPD, trying to make some friends and make people laugh and test people, and I just kept pissing people off and upsetting them, but it was this long period for him — it felt very much like his life. “I actually said to the producers, I was like, ‘When does this change? When does my life change? When do things start happening?’ and they were like, ‘Yeah; yeah, that’s Edward’s experience, isn’t it?’” he continues. “But once the ball started rolling, I started having a blast, and I’m having more
26 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
fun than ever.” Although the Gotham crew have finished filming season three, the final eight episodes are yet to air, and Nygma’s acceptance of his role will only be seen when the show returns this week in the US, with an episode titled How The Riddler Got His Name. For his part, Smith is positively jubilant about the prospects of what that means for the character after so long a journey. “I finally get to call myself The Riddler on-screen for the first time,” he enthuses. “And I feel like it’s just a very cool thing, because up until that point, it’s like, I wasn’t really The Riddler... But, now, as it stands, I am truly the third live-action Riddler, and that’s just a pretty cool thing. But, in terms of the narrative, it’s pretty exciting to now have this moment where he is donning the name and donning the hat, and is wearing the green suit, but that doesn’t mean anything if he doesn’t know what his objective is, or what he wants from this, or how best to be this person... Initially, I have him doing things that are a bit brusque and tight and forced — he’s trying to figure it out — but I want him to kind of move to a very different version of The Riddler.” It’s not just his own character about which Smith is excited, but Gotham’s direction in general — which, he teases, is set to delve even deeper into the comics’ mythological well as the show stares down the barrel of season four. “We’re going to see some transitions happening at the end of season three,” he tells, “and some identities unveiled that I think are going to be really surprising... The people that love Batman and the mythology are really going to get excited by some of this stuff that we’re doing.”
Con Artist TV legend Lee Majors is no stranger to fame, but for the first time in his 50-year career, he’s experiencing fandom in the flesh. Guy Davis gets up close and personal.
is first role in Hollywood saw him get beheaded by screen icon Joan Crawford. His last role saw him playing the slightly degenerate dad of horror stalwart Bruce Campbell. And his lengthy career in between saw him playing a couple of legendary characters himself. Now Lee Majors, perhaps bestremembered as the bionic hero of the much-loved 1970s TV series The Six Million Dollar Man, is coming to Australia as a guest of the Melbourne Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming Expo. It’s the first Australian convention appearance for the veteran actor, although he’s recently started doing a few such cons in the US. “I never really had the time before — I was always working,” he says. In fact, Majors is keeping pretty busy well into his 70s. In addition to his role as Brock Williams on Ash vs Evil Dead, he’s recently popped up in guest spots on fanfavourite programs like Weeds, Community and Robot Chicken. But he enjoys the convention experience, even as he marvels at the sheer numbers of fans who rock up for a little face time with their pop-culture heroes. “It’s a good time, even if you only have time to shake hands, write your name and answer a question or two, maybe take a photograph,” he says. Majors is also impressed by the dedication fans show to their project of choice — cosplay particularly tickles him. “Believe it or not, I’ve had people come up to me with red tracksuits on,” he laughs, referring to the outfit worn by his The Six Million Dollar Man character, Colonel Steve Austin. “They really get into it.”
Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming Expo
Roman’s Legion If you want to know what’s coming next in Blindspot, well, that’s easy. Luke Mitchell tells Sam Wall to expect everything.
But it’s not just admirers of The Six Million Dollar Man or Ash vs Evil Dead Majors encounters during his convention appearances. That’s probably to be expected, though — he’s worked pretty much non-stop since 1964, when at age 25 he played the ill-fated husband of Joan Crawford in the schlock-horror thriller Strait-Jacket. “She chopped my head off before the opening credits,” he recalls with a chuckle. “It’s interesting — I get fans from all generations,” he adds. “Big Valley fans tend to be a bit older. The age drops a little bit when it’s fans of Six Mil from the ‘70s, then again when it’s The Fall Guy from the ‘80s. And there are teenagers and kids who like Ash vs Evil Dead — a lot of people love that one, and I see why. It’s very gory but, man, is it funny. And I wouldn’t have done it if it was totally horror. But I watched the first season and I found it so funny I had to do it. It’s a gas.” Just as much of a gas for Majors is seeing the impact and influence his work has had upon fans. “I’ll have people come up to me and say ‘I joined the military because of you’ — these are people who are high up in the military,” he says. “Or they became a fighter pilot like Steve Austin. Or they went into science because of the bionics on The Six Million Dollar Man. It’s amazing the influence you can have on people when they watch a show when they’re young.”
hooting for season two of Blindspot wrapped just a couple weeks ago and Gold Coast native Luke Mitchell is coming home for some much-needed R&R with the friends and family. “I actually haven’t been home for almost a year,” he shares, “so it’s a little bit overdue, you might say.” While he’s here, however, he’ll also be stopping in at Supanova to meet fans of the crime thriller, not to mention his turns on The Tomorrow People (John Young) and Agents Of SHIELD (Lincoln Campbell). “We did a couple [conventions] last year, one in London and then one in Hanover in Germany, and we had a great time,” says Mitchell. “It’s just great to be able to meet fans from all over the world. It’s a really kind of surreal and cool experience. At the end of the day, without fans we wouldn’t have a job. If people don’t want to watch you, you’re not gonna get employed [laughs]. So I’m incredibly grateful.” He’s safe in the job as Blindspot’s Roman. Introduced at the beginning of season two as the brother of main protagonist Jane “Remi” Doe — whose discovery in a duffel bag in Times Square with her memory wiped but her ass-whooping skills intact, a la Jason Bourne, kicked off the show — Roman became an instant favourite. “I think joining a show after the first season is always a tricky thing, you know, entering a fandom,” Mitchell explains. “You
never know how the fans of the show are going to respond to your character. It could be a really positive thing or it could be a really negative thing... But I’ve got to say the response from Blindspot fans has been pretty special considering I play a pretty complicated character.” Mitchell is being polite. Roman’s been working his way into the light, but he’s still an amnesiac super soldier/terrorist with a Masters in torture and an extreme case of antisocial personality disorder. “He’s a very interesting character to play, let me tell ya,” Mitchell allows. “It’s a tough one,” he adds. “I guess I just try and boil it down to the basics, you know, and the basics are he has this incredibly strong connection with his sister, who’s his only blood relative. He’s been through a very traumatic childhood experience, and so this bond he has with his sister is the driving force behind this guy.” Difficult mentality aside, Blindspot is another in a line of physically demanding roles for Mitchell, as Roman has a tendency to resolve his issues by throwing people about the room. “I’m currently post surgery on a tendon repair in my hand,” chuckles Mitchell a little bashfully. “There’s a couple of intense fight scenes coming up and there was a slight mishap during one of them where I cut myself with a knife and ended up in the emergency room. But I’ve been looked after very well and now it’s just up to me to do some rehab to get the movement back.” With the season (and Mitchell) wrapped up and only a couple of episodes left to air Mitchell is tightlipped about the direction of the show, only offering, “It’s very tough to say without giving too much away because a lot happens in the tail end of this season. But basically everything that can happen will happen,” laughs Mitchell. “Trust will be tested and when things come up it’ll be interesting to see how the different people react, and let’s just say for the majority of the time they don’t react well.”
re: & Whe When p A r, s 29 - 30 ground e Show n r u o Melb
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Album / E Album/EP Reviews
Album OF THE Week
Gorillaz Humanz Warner
We were floored when Hallelujah Money (ft Benjamin Clementine), the first taste from Humanz, was released in January to coincide with Trump’s inauguration. This song is funereal, Damon Albarn/2D’s bridges act as pleas for humanity; classic Gorillaz, none of us could possibly have anticipated a SpongeBob SquarePants outro! Then another four songs dropped in March: pogoing belter Ascension ft Vince Staples (“The sky’s falling baby drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)”); Saturnz Barz ft Popcaan (via animated video) containing how-low-can-you-go bass that makes us fear the brown note; the sultry Andromeda ft DRAM, which could be a companion piece for previous Gorillaz track Doncamatic; and the rabble-rousing We Got The Power ft Jehnny Beth with Albarn’s Britpop nemesis Noel Gallagher on BVs presenting love as the answer (“We got the power to be loving each other no mat-ter what hap-pens”). But this scribe’s highlights include the robotic, De La Soul-featuring Momentz and the understated horniness of She’s My Collar ft Kali Uchis. Albarn is the mastermind and glue that binds this extraordinary roster of guests (Grace Jones!) together; when singing as 2D he somehow reveals a more human, vulnerable side. Of the album’s 20 tracks (six are Ben Mendelsohn-narrated skits), there’s zero filler. Gorillaz remain the embodiment of their own interlude The Nonconformist Oath. Transcendent. Bryget Chrisfield
Bliss N Eso
Hard To Sleep, Easy To Dream
Off The Grid Illusive
★★★½ Back in 2014, Airling captured the imagination of many with the luscious vibes of Love Gracefully. It’s taken a couple of years but Airling’s (aka Hannah Shepherd) dream pop project blossoms with the release of her debut album. Featuring Big Scary’s Tom Iansek and Graham Ritchie in the credits, the trio have crafted an album of sweetly understated vibes that combines Shepherd’s cool and almost crystalline clear vocals with gently rocking beats and breezy electronica. The spoken word introduction is an invitation to meditate, close your eyes and swim down into the depths of the mix. It is just so easy to drift away to these songs which have been produced to achieve maximal light and fluffy dreaminess. The arrangements are spare and tend towards the 28 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
minimal allowing Shepherd’s vocals to occupy the very centre of the mix. It is easy to see how some of these tunes would rock dancefloors with bigger more demanding beats. Emma Louise, Fractures and Iansek turn in guest spots, but for the most part everyone featured builds on Shepherd’s aesthetic. Airling doesn’t quite achieve otherworldly etherealness, but so much of this mighty debut pushes out solid feelgood pop vibes. Guido Farnell
Bliss, Eso and their DJ Izm have a settled style. It doesn’t change with this, their sixth record. Rhythmic, pulsing flow occasionally shifting into hyperdrive; consistent delivery with space to get a little cahrazy; big hooks; approachable beats; literal raps with jokes and surprising pop culture references thrown in. We know what we’re in for with Bliss N Eso. Tear The Roof Off is the clearest evidence here, tickling the pleasure centres our hosts have helped us develop over their tenure at the top. Coolin’ does the same. There’s more complexity with the subject matter on this record, though. Eso’s confrontation with alcoholism, and his triumph, are set out straight. Believe is earnest. Travelling Band is a heartfelt victory lap. Whatever Happened To
The DJ, though, is problematic. Without DJs, you see, rap music is not real hip hop. There’s discomfort hearing this from white Australians; an element of La La Land awkwardness; white people claiming to do black culture more authentically than black people do. Off The Grid is aptly named for a couple reasons. Bliss N Eso have never fit neatly into an established subset of Australian rap, and some of the themes here are well outside of the comfort zone. The way we get it, though — the sound — is precisely what we’ve come to expect. James d’Apice
EP Reviews Album/EP Reviews
Mary J Blige
An Actor Repairs
Strength Of A Woman
FOUR | FOUR/ABC
You’ve never had to scratch deep into Tim Rogers’ often self-deprecating rock star swagger to find the soul of an old-style theatrical. It’s no surprise this album started out planned for the stage — mostly a musing on the muse as the title character ponders more opening nights behind him than ahead, on a stroll home after that couple of backstage clarets. The Bug for the applause remains, but the use by date is close. As Youth has it “...(it’s) not wasted on the young, but it’s wasted on me”, delivered with a knowingly arched eyebrow, but still with a glint in a slightly jaundiced eye. There’s many curtain calls left in Mr Rogers yet.
Midlake’s Eric Pulido convoked an enthralling line-up of alt-rock ramblers for, in his own words, “poor man’s Traveling Wilburys”, and sets the pace with his fuzzy, psychedelic stomper Restart. From there it’s an eclectic, engaging spin: on Unlikely Force, Band Of Horses’ Ben Bridwell finds his twangy croon allied with soulful piano and horns; Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle’s 100 Million Miles has epic orchestration and an eerie, Dr Who-esque synth; Fran Healy (Travis) goes Americana on Mind Of A Man; Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand) is Jim Morrison in a whimsical mood on oddball Hey Banana. Volume 1 lacks a certain in-the-room warmth (most of the vocals were recorded remotely), but it’s a fun diversion.
Pleasure is like that surly friend of a friend you know, not immediately likeable but if you’re patient you’ll find there’s plenty going on beneath the surface. After six years of near-total silence, Leslie Feist’s return comes in the form of a harsh, stripped down album. With no obvious radio fodder, Pleasure won’t appeal to everyone. But Feist’s committed performance on these patently personal musings, often with no other accompaniment than a sparsely struck acoustic guitar and a distant snare drum, will make connections and pull at the heart strings in curious and unusual ways.
Why does a Mary J Blige record matter in 2017? The short answer might be the lead track Love Yourself, a mesmeric opener punctuated by glorious drums and a throwback Kanye verse. But that gem aside, when Blige was at her peak ab-rocking self, pretty boys dominated the game. She now finds herself in a genre that celebrates some of the darker shades of human emotion, rather than just who to love, how to love. Does the searing clarity of her sound make sense in these hazier times? It’s Me would be haunting in the hands of contemporary R&Bers. In Blige’s it’s a powerful statement of self. Clearly, the passion remains. The strength is beyond question. The only question is relevance.
Christopher H James
More Reviews Online Thurston Moore Rock N Roll Consciousness
Toe To Toe Rise Up
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THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 29
Live Re Live Reviews
Gallant @ Corner Hotel. Pic: Joshua Braybrook
Gallant, Ruel Corner Hotel 17 Apr
Gallant @ Corner Hotel. Pic: Joshua Braybrook
Gallant @ Corner Hotel. Pic: Joshua Braybrook
Patti Smith @ Festival Hall. Pic: Kane Hibberd
Patti Smith @ Festival Hall. Pic: Kane Hibberd
Courtney Barnett @ Festival Hall. Pic: Kane Hibberd
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Playing his first official live show at the tender age of 14, Ruel is a real find with a bright future ahead. The protege of legendary Aussie producer M-Phazes, Ruel possesses a spectacular voice rivalling many of his older contemporaries. Reminiscent of Daniel Merriweather, Ruel powers through a striking set of dreamy R&B-filtered pop tunes. Debut single Golden Years is the clear standout and sure to be a triple j staple over the coming weeks as Ruel’s profile grows. One of the most overlooked albums of 2016 was Bluesfest artist Gallant’s Ology. Steeped in modern R&B vibes, neo-soul soundscapes and anchored by Gallant’s expressive and passionate vocals, hearing the American bring the album to life in a live setting is pure bliss. The slinky Open Up ushers Gallant on stage and he’s met by a surprising amount of screams from a large number of female fans up front. Expansive in his vocal range and expressive with jittery hand gestures, Gallant twists and turns about the stage, his voice easily reaching the far corners of the venue as his arms flail about. The melancholy electronica of Jupiter follows before Gallant truly lets rip on the crunching Bone + Tissue. His falsetto is absolutely mindnumbing, soaring above his band’s instruments and touching the pits of our stomachs. At times it’s hard to imagine Gallant is of this earth, as there are few goose bump-raising voices like his in the current scene. Gallant instils Bourbon with a sparkling energy, while Talking To Myself features a wicked guitar riff and Miyazaki channels old school soul flavours. A cover of Foo Fighters’ Learn To Fly turns the rock anthem into a stripped-back vocal number,
Gallant’s vocals understated over the delicate playing of his band. Keyboardist DANiiVORY fills in for Jhene Aiko on the male/female duet Skipping Stones, nailing her vocal part and providing blissful harmonies alongside Gallant’s ferocious
The future of R&B is here and his name is Gallant. falsetto. As his performance continues, Gallant’s vocals improve even further with each song. The bluesy Episode and handclap-sampling Shotgun are evidence of this, hitting all the right notes as he delivers a phenomenal display that’s dripping with intensity and passion. Weight In Gold is the obvious choice to end the evening, with the crowd’s karaoke effort applauded by Gallant as he leaves it all on the stage one last time. The future of R&B is here and his name is Gallant. Tobias Handke
Patti Smith, Courtney Barnett Festival Hall 20 Apr Under any other circumstances, a musician as loved as Courtney Barnett could sell out Festival Hall on the back of her name alone. But tonight is no ordinary night; in fact, there will never be another like it. The opening chords of Dead Fox kick off Barnett’s set, with the support slot audience still finding their groove for the night. It’s an odd thing to witness for Barnett, who hasn’t filled the role of a warmup act for some time. However,
eviews Live Reviews
she thrives under this sort of spotlight and gives even more energy to her performance than usual. Screaming her lungs out in Pedestrian At Best finally gives the crowd the boost that they need, and an all out mosh fest begins in the centre of the hall. The band is just as excited as their audience for what is about to happen, and boy does it show. In many ways, this is the moment that much of the crowd have not been waiting for. It’s the beginning of the end, the last hurrah, as Patti Smith says farewell to her Australian fans for good. The band enter to an eruption of applause, and dive into the sensational Dancing Barefoot, with Smith sauntering to the stage in an old suit and beat-up Doc Martens. Anyone familiar with the Godmother of punk will know that she’s put in an effort tonight. As soon as she begins to sing, the 70-yearold proves that for all the years of partying and giving a giant middle finger to the world, she has still undoubtedly got it. As someone known for her raw and angry attitude, Smith has a smile and friendly energy that radiates unto every single face in the crowd. “This one is for all the boxers,” she grins, “and Russell Crowe” as they launch into Pumping (My Heart). Smith tells her audience that they haven’t played that song in around three decades and that she may have fumbled the lyrics tonight, but the imperfect perfection of the performance is pure, unadulterated PattiFreaking-Smith. Throughout the evening, Smith revels in giving herself to the crowd through an array of eloquent and beautiful life stories. No one can take their eyes off Smith; she is the most captive and enthralling of raconteurs and she knows it. While she could amass any old group of musos to play along, Smith has brought together one of the most
electrifying and flawless backing bands around. The backing vocals of pianist and bassist Tony Shanahan are out of this world, while Andy York and the inimitable Lenny Kaye astound on guitar. Even drummer Jay Dee Daugherty is on top form, coolly pounding away in the background like it’s no ones business. They even welcome The Black Sorrows’ guitarist Kerryn Tolhurst to the stage for a rendition of Beneath The Southern Cross, with a jawdropping breakdown that sees Smith on guitar and every band member at their musical peak.
This is for the people that Patti Smith has touched and inspired over her 40+ years of music, and they absolutely love her for it. Barnett can once again be seen as she eagerly watches from the side of stage. Suddenly, Smith gestures her forward and Barnett joins the group for People Have The Power. It’s a message that Smith and Barnett have carried for the entirety of their respective careers, and to see the two together is a surprising and welcome delight. With the long singing of Smith at the top of Land, the crowd explode with anticipation for the nine-minute epic. It would be enough to have the track all on its own, but Smith and co take it to another level by flawlessly dropping in the legendary Gloria at the last minute. The band leave the
stage, and immediate the booming of claps and stomps begin. The crowd are nowhere near done, and neither is Smith. The group return and an incredibly sincere Smith thanks her Australian crowd. “You are my show, you’re my concert,” she says earnestly, and the piano introduction of Because The Night brings the audience to tears. With a final and mighty push, Smith kicks the whole night into overdrive with Rock ‘N’ Roll Nigger, the band belying their years with more youthful energy than any other punk band around. Smith brandishes her chosen weapon before her audience, before pulling it to pieces by the strings and holding it defiantly above her head. The band remove their instruments and step forward to greet their crowd, and Smith delivers a phenomenal a capella rendition of Wing before leaving an Australian stage for the last ever time. In some senses, this is not the big send off that may be expected of someone with Smith’s calibre, but that is exactly what makes it so perfect. She is simultaneously burning out and fading away, giving a completely atypical Patti Smith performance without making a massive deal out of her last hurrah. This is not one for the last minute fan or the random punter off the street; this is one for the diehards. Those who grew up on her music and her attitude, that set the cogs in motion for the brilliant female artists like Barnett who would follow in her footsteps. This is for the people that Patti Smith has touched and inspired over her 40+ years of music, and they absolutely love her for it.
More Reviews Online theMusic.com.au/ music/live-reviews
Andrew Bird @ Melbourne Recital Centre Michael Kiwanuka @ Corner Hotel Peking Duk @ 170 Russell Gretta Ray @ Howler
THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 31
Arts Reviews Arts Reviews
born Hiba Elchikhe is as lovely a Disney Princess as you could ask for, with bright, crystal clear vocals. Her Jasmine is perhaps a little under-headstrong (more a fault with the sparsely-written role than the performance itself), but the chemistry between her and Melham is undeniably magnetic. Easily the standout performance of the night comes from Michael James Scott as the Genie. This American show-stealer, imported for Aladdin’s debut Australian tour, has an unfathomable amount of energy, and every ounce of this va-va-voom is vividly applied to making his performance as jaw-dropping as possible; a spontaneous standing ovation after the show’s most lavish number, Friend Like Me, is an indication of how remarkable Scott is. Bringing a fresh, contemporary spin to this character, his megawatt sass adds an infusion of urban swagger, in a performance peppered with strategically added local references to win over the home crowd. This 2014, Broadway-made stage adaptation of the animated 1992 film, which featured the voice of the late, great Robin Williams as the genie, is not so much a literal live action remake as it is an homage to its cinematic source material. There is plenty that’s familiar — the biggest hits from the movie’s Oscar-winning soundtrack are all present and correct — but there are also several departures for both narrative and practical reasons. Gone is Aladdin’s monkey sidekick Abu, replaced by a trio of loveable rogues, Kassim (Adam-Jon Fiorentino), Babkak (Troy Sussman) and Omar (Robert Tripolino), who act as Aladdin’s faithful besties. Sardonic talking parrot Iago, the animal familiar of the villainous Jafar — portrayed with pantomimic flare by Adam Murphy — is replaced with a diminutive henchman (played by Aljin Abella), complete with plenty of avian-themed shtick as a knowing reminder of the substitution. There’s no doubt this show is a knockout success. Aladdin is a stellar night out. Aladdin
Aladdin Theatre to 22 Oct, Her Majesty’s Theatre
★★★★ Disney Theatrical’s impossibly opulent production of Aladdin is everything you could wish for; a veritable (and literal) cave of wonders packed with more show-stopping choreography, crystal encrusted costumes, dazzling pyrotechnics and high-energy charisma than you can shake a magic lamp at. Disney has turned out a production better heeled than any Australia has seen in years. But this show’s greatest riches are its shining, shimmering and splendid principal cast. As Aladdin, home-grown talent Ainsley Melham’s fine vocals, tight dancing and excess of charm make his performance a joy to watch. British-
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Joan Theatre to 30 Apr, Theatre Works
★★★★ The Rabble’s latest outing, exploring the fate and horror of the life and death of Joan of Arc, begins in darkness. As faint pools of light throb over the inky black of the stage, figures are revealed in poses of devotional piety. Their gestures flicker and tessellate across the stage, as arms are flung open, chest offered up to heaven. Bodies crash to their knees, over and over, a demonstration of near-masochistic, humble submission - the pain of an individual is insignificant when compared to the suffering of the whole human race. This rhythmic ceremony, as bodies appear from the gloaming just to be subsumed, back into the shadows, is a scene of arresting grace. It will become a devastating counterpoint for the tortures that await this young woman. The four actors on stage (Luisa Hastings Edge, Emily Milledge, Dana Miltins and Nikki Shiels) dutifully take their turn as the used and discarded Joan, trapped in a gaping, wrought and violent experience, before returning to the pack to be a distinctly masculine inflictor of suffering. One Joan is graphically violated as a perverse test of purity. Another is force fed cigar smoke until she is left choking and gasping on the floor. Repetition is a common theme - perhaps a signifier of the cycles of abuse that have persisted before and since Joan’s tragic end. As Joan is forced to hurl herself onto an ever increasing pile of kindling, over and over despite the physical toll; it seems clear she knows what end awaits her. The piece ends with four monologues, the first spoken passages of the production. They trace out the life of Joan, as a young girl driven delirious by divine visions, as a hero decried as a heretic, as a human being describing the terror of burning to death, and finally as an abstract concept, a totem of inspiring resilience and desolating tragedy. Joan is an astonishing, graphic and unapologetic display of trauma, transformed into raw, heroic strength. Maxim Boon
Local Music By Jeff Jenkins The Wright Stuff Dave Wright loves Bruce Springsteen. HWY, the second album by Dave Wright , is his Born To Run, a road record, where the open road is both inviting and threatening. The title track tells the sad story of a man’s wife who’s killed in a car accident, Coming Home is the tale of a truckie, while Rain rocks with romance. “I’ve been driving all through the night,” Dave sings. “But still my eyes shine, like headlights on the highway, because every passing line brings me closer to you.” Then there’s Happiness, which is loaded with Springsteen references, with Dave declaring, “If you believe in The Boss, like I do.” Like Bruce, Dave loves epic - there are just eight songs on HWY but it runs for 43 minutes. Expect epic when Dave Wright & The Midnight Electric play the next three Saturdays at the Grandview in Fairfield. Dave grew up in Colac and did his first gig, aged 14, at his local church. Growing up in a country town inspired album highlight, Avenues Of Honour, which sees Dave joined by a couple of heroes - Mick Thomas and Squeezebox Wally, Mark Wallace,
from Weddings Parties Anything. As well as Bruce, the Weddoes are another obvious inspiration for The Midnight Electric. They make Aussie folk punk. The highway is alive tonight.
A Classic “So there’s four guys in a bar, they’re all coincidentally bald...” It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s the opening of A Time To Be Lonely, one of many highlights of Tim Rogers’ new album, An Actor Repairs, where every song’s a story. Some artists just get better with age. World-weary has never sounded so good. “I don’t wish any bad on you,” Tim sings, “I just don’t wish you all that well. Middling health, middle-class wealth, not a season-pass to hell.”
40, including four number ones and 22 Top 10 entries. But, strangely, only 14 Aussie singles have hit the Top 40, with no charttoppers and just four Top 10 hits. Dream Days Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over peaked at number two in the US 30 years ago this week. It’s also the 30th anniversary of John Farnham’s You’re The Voice entering the UK charts, where it peaked at number six. Hot Line “You got me jumping out of my skin, I’m rattling ‘round like a skeleton” Screamfeeder, Sonic Souvenirs.
Single-Minded Sixteen weeks into the year, 57 Aussie albums have hit the Top
THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 33
The Heavy Shit
Nick Veljanovski, Artist:Diego Patino
Visual Art Wank
It’s a common cliche in critical parlance to describe something — a new book/film/show/album — as And Theatre “unmissable”, the (often hyperbolic) implication being that this contribution represents something like the Foyers With pinnacle of the particular creative pursuit. Overuse of the term in this context has lessened its impact somewhat, Dave Drayton but a new initiative is making unmissable things a powerful force in the arts again. The Unmissables is an online tool from the Missing Persons’ Advocacy Network that reimagines the Missing Persons’ Poster as something more present, personal and alive than a fraying A4 flyer at the bus depot or a greyscaled portrait on one panel of a milk carton. Pairing families of long-term missing people with artists and writers, The Unmissables seeks “to re-engage the public with their stories — to help make the missing, unmissable.” With the initiative now launched there are a number of ways to get involved — families of missing persons can register a missing loved one, artists and writers can register their interest to use their skills to assist these families, and anyone can donate a wall of their residence or workplace to be used for a mural of a missing person.
O G F l ava s
Urban And R&B News With Cyclone
Kendrick Lamar surely has the hip hop album of the year in DAMN. Even before it dropped, the cover art had prompted memes. Days after, Lamar’s headline slot at the desert Coachella, streamed online, became a global event. Praised by President Obama, the Compton MC’s status is now such that inevitably some heads are disputing it. Contrarians will say that Joey Bada$$’ ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ is superior. Yet K-Dot is in his
34 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
Chris Maric with Rod Smallwood
own league. Lamar’s fourth album, DAMN. is less obviously ‘conceptual’ than 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly — which manifested the #BlackLivesMatter movement. He’s evolved beyond the jazz-hop that inspired David Bowie’s Blackstar. The DAMN. vibe is psych-soul filtered through trap. Lamar has again worked with Top Dawg Entertainment’s in-house producers, but also James Blake (the strange ELEMENT.). DAMN. thematises temporality, revealing (Lamar’s) shifting perspectives on race, success and destiny. Lamar renders the rapper as a sphinx posing philosophical riddles. One word song titles, like HUMBLE., play off associations. A parable, BLOOD., might be the most intriguing hip hop album intro ever. Produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, DNA. recalls Run The Jewels’ Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck). Lamar mocks an absurd dissection of Alright on Fox News. The big guests are Rihanna (the wavy anthem LOYALTY.) and... U2. Mercifully, Bono’s presence on the suitey XXX., about America, isn’t bombastic. Bookended with BLOOD. is the riveting Sliding Doors narrative of DUCKWORTH. — named for Lamar’s father. Beatmaker 9th Wonder flips Hiatus Kaiyote’s Atari. DUCKWORTH. belongs to the tradition of Nas’ 2001 Rewind — and Organized Konfusion’s literary hip hop. DAMN. is an epiphany.
Metal And Hard
’m sure if you’ve been reading this Rock here column for a while, which I hope With Chris is the case, you’ve no doubt heard me Maric ramble on about the time I went to the UK last year and rode a bike for three days from London to Download Festival to raise money for a few children’s charities. Well, I’m doing it again! This is the fifth year Heavy Metal Truants will be taking place and the metal nerds in charge of it in merry old England have dubbed it Revenge Of The Fifth. Essentially we ride out of London on our trusty (or not so trusty) two-wheeled steeds and for the first couple of hours you think, “Hey, this is fun,” then the hills start and you begin to re-think your decision. Day one — 80kms, day two — 140kms and the final day is an easy 50kms into the festival — well, easy once you’ve knocked out 220kms already! My fundraising page is at www. justgiving.com/australiantruants and if you’d like to donate some spare coin to the fundraising efforts please do via that link! You can do it via PayPal too, all you need to do is select to pay in British pounds (GBP) and the PayPal link will pop up. Easy! The first day of the ride is 7 Jun, which happens to also be my 40th Birthday. So if you would like to donate, think of it as buying me a couple of beers to soothe my sore-saddled ass ha ha. Of course, Heavy Shit will be littered with tales of my European escapades as we report in from the goings on during the ride and Download. We’re also returning to the mighty Hellfest! If I can swing it, I’m hoping to get up to Copenhell in Denmark too! The northern summer beckons! Heavy Metal Truants is the brainchild of former Metal Hammer editor and ridiculously nice guy Alexander Milas and Iron Maiden’s eternal manager Rod Smallwood, who is an inspiration to ride beside. When you feel tired and sluggish he comes steaming past you, nearly 30 years your senior, and gives you a pep talk like only an old school Brit can. It keeps you going another 30 kilometres. In other news, the tours keep on coming. In the last week or so, some amazing things have been announced. The Dillinger Escape Plan are calling it a day and will come through town one last time, Teutonic titans of thrash (which so should’ve been the name of the tour) Kreator and Vader
have announced a massive double header, Entombed AD are coming and Daemon Pyre have been locked in as main support, making it even better, and even At The Drive In have announced they are coming. I saw them at BDO around 2000 or so and it was incredible. For the players, Richie Kotzen will be making his debut appearance in Australia in August. Did you know he has released 22 solo albums?! His stints in Poison and Mr Big hardly rate a mention in his mammoth catalogue! Local action is all around too. Brisbane pirates Lagerstein have now relocated to Europe for the foreseeable future to plunder the motherlands and are appearing at Mammothfest in the UK in October. Taberah, Harlott, Somnium Nox, Flaming Wrekage, Hollow World, Sanzu, Desecrator: plenty of metal that doesn’t have a whiff of breakdown anywhere.
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Comedy / G The Guide
Bohjass + Lo Res: 303, Northcote Wounded Pig + She Beast + Dankenstein: Bar Open, Fitzroy
Andy White + Kavisha Mazzella: Bella Union, Carlton South Sigur Rós
The Music Presents Mick Thomas & Roving Commisission: 19 May Thornbury Theatre; 20 May Suttons House of Music Ballarat; 21 May The Capital, Bendigo Performing Arts Centre; 17 Jun Caravan Music Club At The Dakota: 5 May The Golden Vine; 7 May The Workers Club The Cactus Channel & Sam Cromack: 25 May Howler Horrorshow: 9 Jun Chelsea Heights Hotel Aspendale Gardens; 10 Jun Barwon Club Hotel South Geelong; 11 Jun 170 Russell Orsome Welles: 11 Jun The Loft Warnambool; 8 Jul Evelyn Hotel
Alyce Platt + Stephen Cummings: Bird’s Basement, Melbourne Muddy’s Blues Roulette with Louis King: Catfish (Front Bar), Fitzroy Ablaze + Rio & The Reservoir Dogs + Warbirds: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Confidence Man + Broadway Sounds DJs + Evan Klar: Corner Hotel, Richmond Crossfire Hurricane + SAOL + Hugh Fuchsen & The Sauce Sauce Sauce: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Christian Bizzarri: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood The All Seeing Hand: Karova Lounge, Ballarat Lomond Acoustica feat. Pete Fidler + Marty Kelly + The Humbuckin’ Pickups: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East
Adore + China Beach + The Fainters: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy
Desecrator + Hidden Intent: The Loft, Warrnambool
Off The Top: Freestyle Fursdays with Various Artists: Gin Lane, Belgrave
The Backs + Crocodiles + Love Bunch + Kate Alexander: The Old Bar, Fitzroy
Piano Sessions with Zoe K: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East
Wasted n Wounded + The Daydreamers + The Avenue: The Bendigo, Collingwood
Dustin Thomas + Benny Black + Nathan Kaye: The Toff In Town, Melbourne
Kelly Brouhaha: Martians Cafe, Deans Marsh
Open Mic Night Various Artists: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick
Ferla + Coastbusters + New Band: The Tote (Front Bar), Collingwood
Gemma Ray + The Orbweavers: Northcote Social Club, Northcote
Mike Noga: Retreat Hotel, Brunswick
The Lemon Twigs: 25 Jul The Curtin
After Dark feat. Lost Talk + The Smith Street Band + RVG: RRR Performance Space, Brunswick East
Sigur Ros: 27 Jul Margaret Court Arena
After eight months touring her latest album All The Bridges in North America, Liz Stringer is bringing her indie-pop melodies home to Melbourne. Don’t miss a fantastic night of quality musicianship at Northcote Social Club on Saturday. Xani + This Way North + Brooke Russell: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood
Imogen Pemberton: Open Studio, Northcote
Luca Brasi: 23 & 25 Jun 170 Russell
Two Door Cinema Club: 25 Jul Festival Hall
The Bridge Home
Lovers of the Black Bird + Tam Vantage + Time For Dreams: The Tote (Upstairs), Collingwood
Oxblood Nightmare + Yarbles + Execution + Esp Mayhem + Vertigo: The Tote (Band Room), Collingwood Silicon Valley + Jay Gordon: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Jono Neva + Babey + Bodies: Yarra Hotel, Abbotsford
My Honey, My Lover Get your fill of warm powerpop goodness from Honey Badger this Saturday when they launch their new EP Lover. The Tote will play host with a supporting line-up including Hollie Joyce, Hot Sludge Fundae, and Moonlover.
Thu 27 Kickin The B at 303 feat. The Po Boys + The Miles Henry Trio: 303, Northcote Kaz Garaz + Hedonistic Pleasures + The Hemusans: Bar Open, Fitzroy 3CR Benefit Gig with Various Artists: Bella Union, Carlton South Albare & the Urbanity Project: Bird’s Basement, Melbourne Au Dre: Boney, Melbourne
Spider In The Corner Brace yourselves for a night of nostalgia at Corner Hotel on Friday as Spiderbait bring back the 1990s. Hot off their tour of vineyards around the county, don’t miss the trio performing their most popular album Ivy And The Big Apples in its entirety.
Cobra Snake Necktie DJs: Catfish, Fitzroy Wine, Whiskey, Women feat. Kelly Brouhaha + Lara K Clarke: The Drunken Poet, West Melbourne Moody Beach + Tankerville + Green Tin: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood
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Max Fotheringham: Charles Weston Hotel, Brunswick Beautiful Beasts + DJ Vince Peach + DJ Pierre Baroni: Cherry Bar, Melbourne
Wilder Genes + Bonewoman + Yukumbabe: Open Studio, Northcote Anna’s Go-Go Academy: Reverence Hotel, Footscray
Gigs / Live The Guide
Dead Planet 1964 + Going Swimming + Mannequin Death Squad + Gonzo: Yarra Hotel, Abbotsford
Helmet: 170 Russell, Melbourne Dougal & The Sunken Sea + Ioda Rosa: 303, Northcote The Orbweavers
Weave Away The Orbweavers are joining Gemma Ray when the Berlin-based artist hits Melbourne to perform songs from her acclaimed second album Exodus at Northcote Social Club on Thursday.
Phil Para Band: Baha Tacos, Rye The Braves + Dead End + The Devours: Bar Open, Fitzroy
The Sadults + Weatherboards + Zockapilli: Forester’s Hall (Woody’s Bar), Collingwood
The Reveries + Moonlight Broadcast + Dj Myles Gallagher: Retreat Hotel, Brunswick
Clap Clap Riot: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood
Oolluu + Jamatar + Human Face: Reverence Hotel, Footscray
The Angels: Hallam Hotel, Hallam
The Velvet Addiction: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran
The Tea Party + Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO): Hamer Hall, Melbourne Oh Pep! + Didirri + Closet Straights: Howler, Brunswick Hills Hoist: Karova Lounge, Ballarat Joel Fletcher: Kay St, Traralgon
After Dark feat. Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange + Albrecht La’Brooy + Kandere + Neil Morris: RRR Performance Space, Brunswick East Zerafina Zara + Alleged Associates: Smokehouse 101, Maribyrnong
Desecrator + Hidden Intent: Barwon Club Hotel, South Geelong In Store with +Andy White: Basement Discs, Melbourne
The Grigoryan Brothers: Bird’s Basement, Melbourne Lyre Byrdland + Trick Dog Syndicate + DJ Jetpack 420: Boney, Melbourne Spaniards: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh
After Dark feat. Dan Dinnen + Miss Whiskey + The Teskey Brothers: RRR Performance Space, Brunswick East Sole Fiction + Shirley & the Other Dude: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick
The Great Emu War + Hotel Fifteen Love + Cosmos: Catfish, Fitzroy Knock Off Drinks with +Chris Wilson: Cherry Bar, Melbourne
Human Rites + Hello Volume + Seance Mystere: The Bendigo, Collingwood
Surfrockarama feat. +The Tarantinos + Los Tremoleros + The Vibrajets + Black Bats: Cherry Bar, Melbourne
Castilles + Department + Plotz + Victor Cripes: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick
Great Aunt: Compass Pizza Bar, Brunswick East
The All Seeing Hand: The Curtin, Carlton
Spiderbait + Tumbleweed + Dark Fair: Corner Hotel, Richmond
Boadz + Michael Yule: The Drunken Poet, West Melbourne Desecrator + Hidden Intent: The Eastern, Ballarat East
Kyle Brew: Edinburgh Castle Hotel (Beer Garden), Brunswick
Lyre Byrdland + Karate Boogaloo + Laneous: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood Amaru Tribe + Oveous + QVLN + Nhatty Man + DJ Emma Peel: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Benny Mayhem + The Ramshackle Army: The Loft, Warrnambool Sugar Teeth + Tooth & Tusk + Harmony Byrne: The Old Bar, Fitzroy BC + Spit: The Post Office Hotel, Coburg Vague Drift #1 feat. Various Artists: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Wounded Pig + She Beast + Wood of Suicides + The High Drifters: The Tote (Band Room), Collingwood Ghostgirl + Lovision + Crystal Myth + Jules Sheldon: The Tote (Upstairs), Collingwood Ceeko + Francois + Rini: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Lava Lakes: Tramway Hotel, North Fitzroy Shaky Stills: Wesley Anne (Front Bar), Northcote Client Liaison + Luke Million: Wool Exchange, Geelong
Mid-Week Shaky Up Give yourself a mid-week reprieve this Thursday when Shaky Stills head to Wesley Anne. A mix of western, country and rockabilly sounds with a rhythm and blues heart, this group is the perfect way to get you through the week.
Neato Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Neeko mixes groovy pop built on lush cords and floating melodies with natural lyricism. You can see her playing her positive rhythms down at Edinburgh Castle Hotel Saturday.
Ron S Peno & The Superstitions: Labour In Vain, Fitzroy
American Idiot - Green Day Tribute: Sooki Lounge, Belgrave
Rod Payne & Fulltime Lovers + Max Teakle & his Honky-Tonky Friends: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East
Daniel Trakell + Rob Muinos + Luke Brennan: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick
Davidson Brothers: Longhorn Saloon, Carlton Alcest + AlithiA + Arbrynth: Max Watt’s, Melbourne James Reyne: Memo Music Hall, St Kilda NGV Friday Nights feat. Gemma Ray: National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Southbank The Teskey Brothers + The Sugarcanes + Jesse Valach & Blues Mountain Trio: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Liz Stringer: Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Funk Buddies + Shemaiah Kaye: Open Studio, Northcote San Mei: Penny Black, Brunswick
Screamfeeder + Mike Noga + The 131s + Thigh Master + Kill Dirty Youth: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Glenn Shorrock + Bill Tolson: Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick
In Store with Jade Imagine: Polyester Records, Fitzroy La Dance Macabre with Brunswick Massive: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy
Rival Fire: The B.East, Brunswick East Mindsnare + Rust Proof + Broken + Year of The Rat: The Bendigo, Collingwood The New Savages: The Blues Train, Queenscliff Benny Mayhem + The Naysayers + Luke Seymoup + Joe Guiton: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Marcus Whale + Spike Fuck + Biscotti + Emlyn Johnson: The Curtin, Carlton Dan Warner: The Drunken Poet, West Melbourne Lip Sync Chicks + Kit Warhurst + Robert Muinos: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood Destrends + Horace Bones + The Tom Pretty’s + Sofala: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Adam Brand + Matt Cornell + Gemma Kirby: The Grand Hotel, Mornington
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Tamil Rogeon + Australian Youth Orchestra: The Night Cat, Fitzroy
Glenn Shorrock + Steve Hoy: Satellite Lounge, Wheelers Hill
Sad by Sadwest 2017 feat. Various Artists: The Night Heron, Footscray
Jade Kerber: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Tenderloins + Rad Island: The B.East, Brunswick East
Roxy Lavish & The Suicide Cult + Plague Doctor + Tenderloins + Pale Trip: The Old Bar, Fitzroy
Desecrator + Hidden Intent + Blackhelm: The Bendigo, Collingwood
Girl Crazy: The Post Office Hotel, Coburg
Black & Blue: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick
Barely Standing: The Prince (Public Bar), St Kilda
Declan McKinnon & the Knockabouts + Defects + Children Of The Sun + Pug: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick
Contaminated + Kutabare + Christcrusher + Faceless Burial + Incinerated: The Tote (Band Room), Collingwood
The Tipplers: The Drunken Poet, West Melbourne
The Only Boys + Maureen + International Velvet + Bananagun + Narcopaloma: The Tote (Upstairs), Collingwood Nyck + Batts: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Ali Barter + IV League: The Workers Club Geelong, Geelong The Nancy Sinatra Lee Hazlewood Experience: Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury Kitty Flanagan: Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre, Wangaratta Liana & The Perolas: Wesley Anne (Front Bar), Northcote
Wanderers: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood
High Times For Bad Role Models Continuing their High Times For Low Lives tour, The Griswolds are bringing their frenetic energy and catchy vocals to Howler. Hot off the release of their new single Role Models, don’t miss your chance to see them on Saturday. Slow Grind Fever feat. DJ Richie 1250 + DJ Mohair Slim + DJ Pierre Baroni + Loverboy Lopez: Bar Open, Fitzroy The Royal Parks + Slow Motion Pictures + Amarina Waters: Bella Union, Carlton South Soul Cupcake: Bird’s Basement, Melbourne A Man Called Son + Lorikeet + Edit the Empire + Ed Reed: BrewCult Bar, Brunswick Gemma Ray: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh The Shakes + Sunborne + Slim Jeffries: Catfish, Fitzroy
No Ceekspectations Leave your expectations at home and come along to The Workers Club for a night of revolutionary progressive music from Ceeko. The multi-instrumental talent will be supported by Francois, Kaiit and Rini on Thursday.
Nathan Kaye + HPKNS + Erika Fedele: Wesley Anne, Northcote Client Liaison + Luke Million: Wool Exchange, Geelong
Losumo: Charles Weston Hotel, Brunswick Darcee Fox + Bad Moon Born + Sudden State: Cherry Bar, Melbourne The Moonee Valley Drifters: Coburg RSL, Coburg The Angels: Commercial Hotel, South Morang Devil Goat Family Band: Compass Pizza Bar, Brunswick East Spiderbait + Tumbleweed + Destrends: Corner Hotel, Richmond Dirt River Radio + Oolluu + Machine Gun Tounges: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Neeko: Edinburgh Castle Hotel (Beer Garden), Brunswick
Magic Bones: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy
Momentum Chapter 2 feat. Big Words + Kaiit + Zillanova + Rat Child + Mike Gurrieri + Danny Osx: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy
The Baudelaires + Mightiest Of Guns + Ford Flank + Spiral Perm: Yarra Hotel, Abbotsford
The Nancy Sinatra Lee Hazlewood Experience: Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick
Sat 29 Luke Seymoup + The Cooks + Gavin Styles + Jack Robson: 303, Northcote
Grim Rhythm: Forester’s Hall (Woody’s Bar), Collingwood Crystal Myth + Golden Girls: Gin Lane, Belgrave Dianas + Real Love + Prtnd Rnger + The Delicates: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood
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The Whitlams + Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO): Hamer Hall, Melbourne BYO Vinyl Night: Hard Rubbish Bar, Preston The Griswolds + Lime Cordiale: Howler, Brunswick Peking Duk + Ivan Ooze + Bec Sandridge + Apes + Chapel + Dom Alessio + Kuchi Kopi + Mimi + Otious: Karova Lounge, Ballarat Paulie Bignell & The Thornbury Two: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East The Spooky Men’s Chorale: Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank Benny Mayhem + The Ramshackle Army: Musicman Megastore, Bendigo Liz Stringer + Timothy Nelson + Rowena Wise: Northcote Social Club, Northcote
Matinee Show with +Scott Candlish + The Hunter Express + Mango Retreat + Sunborne: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Matt Henry: The Inkerman Hotel, Balaclava Coven Festival with Lizzard Wizzard + Tombsealer + Cement Pig + Field + Master Beta + True Defective + Spawn: The Old Bar, Fitzroy Afternoon Show with Pete Daly + Millar Jukes: The Old Bar, Fitzroy Witch Hats + International Velvet: The Post Office Hotel, Coburg Root Rat + Bitumen + Heat Wave: The Tote (Front Bar), Collingwood Honey Badgers + Hollie Joyce + Hot Sludge Fundae + Moonlover: The Tote (Upstairs), Collingwood Olly & Scuzzi: The Westernport Hotel, Phillip Island Matinee Show with Baby Giant + Whales + Renegade Joe: The Workers Club, Fitzroy
DYLANesque: Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine Afternoon Show with Meju + Datson & Hughes: Open Studio, Northcote Thando Soul Improv with Various Artists: Penny Black, Brunswick Wolfmother + Immigrant Union: Pier Bandroom, Frankston Backwood Creatures: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy
A Rolling Stone Gathers
Old Etiquettes: Retreat Hotel, Brunswick
Sad by Sadwest 2017 feat. Jess Locke + Foley! + Pinkbatts + Diploid + Error Margins: Reverence Hotel, Footscray The Union Club feat. Bob ‘Bongo’ Starkie: Richmond Bowling Club, Richmond After Dark feat. The Shabbab + The Nation Blue + Hi-Tec Emotions: RRR Performance Space, Brunswick East Boo Seeka: Sandbar, Mildura
Wesley Anne will be filled with the folk-blues vocals and virtuosic guitar style of Sydney performer Danny Ross this Saturday. Ross is an engaging performer who is continues to evolve and explore new ideas. Be sure to check him out.
Gigs / Live The Guide
The Drunken Poachers + The T-Bones: Union Hotel, Brunswick Bossa Brunswick: Wesley Anne (Front Bar), Northcote
The Anecdote + Mandy Connell + Remembering Iceland: An Introspective: Wesley Anne, Northcote Hails From Infinity: Wrangler Studios, West Footscray
International Jazz Day with Joe O’Connor Trio + Jackie Bornstein + Stephen Magnusson + Sam Anning + Nathan Slater: Open Studio, Northcote Centre & The South: Penny Black, Brunswick Jules Boult + Friends: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy Brooklyn ‘86: Retreat Hotel, Brunswick
Thigh Master + Pillow Pro + Karli White + Qwerty: Yarra Hotel, Abbotsford
Lindsay Field + Sam See + Gly Mason: Royal Oak Hotel, Fitzroy North
After Dark feat. Orion + The Shifters + Primo: RRR Performance Space, Brunswick East
Dana Crowe: 303, Northcote Still Movement + Slow Dissolve + Ladie Dee: Bar Open, Fitzroy Jenny Taylor + Kutcha Edwards: Bella Union, Carlton South Sergio Latin Trio: Bird’s Basement, Melbourne
Andrew Nolte & his Orchestra: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Matt Borg Trio: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Shogun Rising + Sovereign Stone + Bloody Aztec: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick
Moonrise #3 with Digital P + Mas + Common Nocturne: The Toff In Town, Melbourne
Nick Ferretti + Will Coyote + Crossfire Hurricane + GOD$ + Chillers + New Hat + Sordid Ordeal: The Tote (Band Room), Collingwood Truly Holy + Gregor: The Tote (Front Bar), Collingwood Barely Standing: The Westernport Hotel, Phillip Island Selki + Long Lost + Dog Rose + Tuff Love: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Matinee Show with The Cornersmiths + Paul McManus & The Mayblooms: The Workers Club, Fitzroy
Liz Stringer: Torquay Bowls Club, Torquay Pillow Pro + Crop Top: Tramway Hotel, North Fitzroy Ian Bland & The Lamington Drive Orchestra + Tim Ireland: Union Hotel, Brunswick
Running To Russell Brisbane electronic artist Feki will be priming audiences with his new single Run Away as he opens for Snakehips this Tuesday. Both artists, as well as additional support Swindail, will be gracing the stage at 170 Russell.
Elbow Room: Wesley Anne (Band Room), Northcote Danny Ross: Wesley Anne (Front Bar), Northcote
Mon 01 Comedy Night with Bob Downe: Bird’s Basement, Melbourne Cherry Jam: Cherry Bar, Melbourne The Oh Balters: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Appalachian Heaven String Band + Kimberley Wheeler: Open Studio, Northcote
The Tiny Giants
The Tiny Giants + Gonzo + Rayza: The Workers Club, Fitzroy
Tue 02 Snakehips + Feki + Swindail: 170 Russell, Melbourne Klub MUK: 303, Northcote Make It Up Club feat. Antediluvian Rocking Horse + Xian + Julian Culpan: Bar Open, Fitzroy Anna’s Go-Go Academy: Bella Union, Carlton South Avery Sunshine: Bird’s Basement, Melbourne Chasing Ghosts: Cherry Bar, Melbourne
They have been killing it with massive supports all over the place but this week Oh Pep! are headlining their own tour, with a gig at Howler this week. Catch them Friday with Didirri.
The Vacant Smiles + Giligan Smiles + Phlo: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Irish Session: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East
TK Reeve: Catfish (Front Bar), Fitzroy
The New Savages: The Cally, Warrnambool
Cherry Blues with Spoonful + DJ Max Crawdaddy: Cherry Bar, Melbourne
The Spooky Men’s Chorale: The Capital, Bendigo Performing Arts Centre, Bendigo
The Thoughts + Dan Drodie: Cherry Bar, Melbourne
Wolfmother + Davey Lane + Immigrant Union: The Croxton, Thornbury
Tim Guy: Compass Pizza Bar, Brunswick East
The Bonafide Travellers + Rattlin’ Bones Blackwood + Victor Cripes + Jess Parker: The Drunken Poet, West Melbourne
Kev Walsh: Edinburgh Castle Hotel (Beer Garden), Brunswick
MayDay Party with Hello Tut Tut: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood
Benny Mayhem + Jay Wars & The Howard Youth: Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar, Melbourne
Loobs + The Tropes + Muscle Mate: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood
Marty Kelly & Co. + Pheasantry: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East
Afternoon Show with Shiny Coin + The Faculty: The Old Bar, Fitzroy
Matinee Show with +Ekranoplans + Winter Sun + BJ Morriszonkle: Northcote Social Club, Northcote
Pro Vita + The Football Club + Spicy Boys: The Old Bar, Fitzroy
Afternoon Show with Nelle Hopman Trio: Open Studio, Northcote
The Darkness: Max Watt’s, Melbourne
Big Garage, Tiny Giants Psych garage rockers The Tiny Giants are pumped to be playing The Workers Club this Monday. The Ocean Grove trio will be joined by fellow garage rock groups Gonzo and Rayza.
Two Tale + Pup Tentacle + Carl Karst: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Piss Factory + Cracker La Touf + Hotel Fifteen Love + How Now: The Workers Club, Fitzroy The Moulin Beige: Wesley Anne, Northcote
Drum n Bass Mondays Various DJs: Radio Bar, Fitzroy Plan B : Spotted Mallard, Brunswick
Gig for Raf feat. Zourouna + Blood Burger: The Post Office Hotel, Coburg
I Hate Monday’s with Various Artists: The Bendigo, Collingwood
Tortuga + Platypet Sillhouette + The Kujo Kings: The Toff In Town, Melbourne
Passionate Tongues Poetry Various Artists: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017 • 39
40 • THE MUSIC • 26TH APRIL 2017
Published on Apr 26, 2017
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