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themusic 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013




Swervedriver The Naked & Famous Tumbleweed Soilwork Foals The Cinematic Orchestra Alter Bridge The Barons Of Tang Man Man Davey Lane Luke Mullins Anime Fest Madrid Fashion Week


Album: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Live: Horrorshow Arts: Lovelace Gear: The Great Australian Songbook Games: Grand Theft Auto V …and more









Cover: Alexandra Lekias Local News Gig Guide Eat: Finals Football Foods Drink: Alone Travel: Mbantua Festival Culture: Ghost Tours




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Wed 2 Oct: Vibrations At Valve Band Competition ; Thu 3 Oct: Core Show feat: “Passive Resistance� , “The World In Cinematic� , “In Hydes Shadows� , “Fisherman Of The Aqua Dome� , “The London Keys� ; Fri 4 Oct: A Night Of Horror at The Valve feat: “Cryptic Scorn� , “Risen Dred� , “Foundry Road� , “Acid Nymph� , “Hematic� , “Carbon Black�; Sat 5 Oct: Midi In The City feat: Advanced Human, Alphatown, Null Objects, H.P.S. , The Honeymakers , Methodix , Trinity, We’d , Simon Mann , Luke Killen , Drox & Illbot , Nik Forrest , Squarepeg , George Sadlik , Oliver Gurney , Endosound , Shahin Basdimir , Simon P , Aaron & Harry and many more; Sun 6th Oct: Mighty Ash Album Launch feat: “Mighty Ash� , “Jen Saunders & The Corruptibles� , “The Funkhouse Collective� , “DJ A.S.K.� and many more

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Street Press Australia Pty Ltd


EDITOR Mark Neilsen



MUSO EDITOR Michael Smith


CONTRIBUTORS Adam Wilding, Andrew McDonald, Anthony Carew, Ben Meyer, Ben Doyle, Ben Preece, Bethany Cannan, Brendan Crabb, Brendan Telford, Callum Twigger, Cam Findlay, Cameron Warner, Cate Summers, Chris Familton, Chris Maric, Chris Yates, Christopher H James, Cyclone, Dan Condon, Daniel Cribb, Dave Drayton, Dominique Wall, Dylan Stewart, Glenn Waller, Guido Farnell, Guy Davis, Helen Lear, Jamelle Wells, James d’Apice, James Dawson, Justine Keating, Kris Swales, Liz Giuff re, Lorin Reid, Lukas Murphy, Mark Hebblewhite, Mat Lee, Matt MacMaster, Paul Ransom, Paul Smith, Rip Nicholson, Robbie Lowe, Ross Clelland, Sam Hilton, Sam Murphy, Sarah Braybrooke, Sarah Petchell, Scott Fitzsimons, Sebastian Skeet, Sevana Ohandjanian, Simon Eales, Steve Bell, Stuart Evans, Tim Finney, Tom Hersey, Tyler McLoughlan

PHOTOGRAPHERS Angela Padovan, Carine Thevenau, Clare Hawley, Cybele Malinowski, Josh Groom, Justin Malinowski, Kane Hibberd, Peter Sharp, Sara Wills, Thomas Graham, Tony Mott





Celebrate ten whole years of Art After Hours tonight at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. That’s an extra five hours a week of open art gallery, times 52 weeks in a year, times ten years. That equals a big number (maths is hard). There are many reasons to head along, including but not limited to swing dancing, a pop-up bar and Sarah Blasko as a guest speaker. You can even explore exhibitions for cheap, eat, watch live music, films and talks, or try your hand at a workshop.


In case you didn’t get enough of an art fix at Art After Hours, you can wander through our little city and find art in strange places during Art And About Sydney. Themed ‘Private Lives… Public Places’, the festival gives us perhaps a little too much information about some of our artists. This is probably best shown in one of our favourite exhibitions: undergarments have been strung up around the CBD, each adorned with someone’s dirty little secret.

Brett Dayman, James Seeney, Andrew Lilley

ART DIRECTOR Nicholas Hopkins

ART DEPT Eamon Stewart, Brendon Wellwood, Julian De Bono

ADMIN & ACCOUNTS Loretta Zoppolone Shelley Neergaard Jarrod Kendall Leanne Simpson

DISTRO Anita D’Angelo


CONTACT US PO Box 2440 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012 Level 1/142 Chalmers St Surry Hills NSW Phone (02) 9331 7077


Grand Theft Auto if you must. Everyone else seems to be doing it. There are a lot of frustrated girlfriend jokes going around out there, but guys and gals alike have just spent the last week with eyes on their screens, and fingers glued to their controllers. On the Gold Coast, EB Games decided to put cocaine (it was actually sherbert) on the counters as a “promotional tool” to celebrate the release, while in the UK, a fan was hit with a brick, stabbed and robbed on his way home. The crazy things people will do for a video game.



After visiting Hawaii, Florida and Wyoming, the cast of Modern Family are in talks to spend their next group holiday in Australia, with executive producer Steve Levitan divulging the info at a preEmmy Awards event. Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara or Jesse Tyler Ferguson; not sure who we’re more excited to see.



At all the things with more women in them than Tony Abbott’s cabinet: triple j’s Hottest 100 of All Time (a whopping 9), Zoo Weekly’s staff meeting (3), and the Indonesian government cabinet (4). It’s not really a laughing matter, but making jokes is how women have been dealing for centuries. It’s pretty ridiculous that Julie Bishop is the only woman in the government’s upper echelons (maybe Gillard was psychic?), but Tony justifies his decision to ignore half the population. There are plenty of women knocking at the door, the PM would just rather they use the staff entrance.

It’s been revealed how you too can be one of Australia’s richest people under 40: sell chocolate or coffee, model, be really, really good with computers, make muesli, be the daughter of a media mogul, or play sport. These are some of the professions people hold on BRW’s list of the 100 wealthiest young Australians. The list also suggests this cashed-up generation would rather live in San Francisco and are mainly dudes.


This is either the greatest or most confusing sportscast you’ll ever watch, depending on which side of the Seinfeld fence you sit. But for mega fans this is, “Gold Jerry, Gold!” Louisville sports anchor Adam Lefkoe drops 41 Seinfeld references into a five-minute broadcast, touching on everything from Junior Mints to the Soup Nazi. The greatest TV show of all time continues to give. THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 17

national news


Loud, proud and rather overwhelming on stage, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard continue to prove they’re so much more than a novelty band name. 12 Bar Bruise was a revelation upon its release last year and has shown itself to have plenty of longevity and with many muttering from overseas wondering just who the heck this Aussie garage punk beast is, the septet look set to take their warped brand of rock as far as it will go. All hail the King when they head out on their Float Along – Fill Your Lungs tour, playing Corner Hotel, Melbourne, 19 Oct; Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane, 1 Nov; The Standard, Sydney, 2 Nov; Ya Ya’s, Perth, 8 Nov; and Mojos Bar, Fremantle, 10 Nov.



Turning 18 is always one hell of a party, so it’s no surprise that Homebake has turned out all the stops for their monumental celebration. The birthday party will take place over THREE massive days on the Sydney Opera House Forecourt and surrounds, with things going something like this: 6 Dec: Paul Kelly, Gurrumul, Eskimo Joe, Vance Joy, Thelma Plum and Sheppard; 7 Dec: The Presets, The Cat Empire, Architecture In Helsinki, The Aston Shuffle, Way Of The Eagle (ft Dan Sultan, Daniel Merriweather, Amy Findlay, Harry Angus & Lachlan Mitchell), Deep Sea Arcade and Bam Bam; and 8 Dec: Birds Of Tokyo, Bernard Fanning, The Rubens, You Am I, Beasts Of Bourbon, Kingswood and Courtney Barnett. Along with comedy, markets, bars and other entertainment, you can be sure this 18th is going to go off! Proudly presented by The Music.


When a band changed everything you know about a genre, then no matter who you are or what you listen to you’ve got to pay them dues. Misfits fucked the ideals of punk right up when they arrived on the scene more than three decades ago, mixing horror stylings and imagery with highintensity jams and going on to influence everyone from Metallica to AFI. Still at the top of their game after all this time, pray at the Misfits altar when they perform at The Zoo, Brisbane, 16 Jan; Corner Hotel, Melbourne, 17 Jan; Factory Theatre, Sydney, 18 Jan; and Amplifier, Perth, 19 Jan.


It’s hard to believe that Gossling is yet to give us a debut record, such is her continued prominence on the Australian music landscape and the quality swag of tunes she’s already managed to accrue through her career thus far. Things are all set to change, however, with the Melbourne indie pop wonder ready to present Harvest Of Gold on 1 Nov, and will be leading a full band along the east coast for three special evening showcases. Be moved by the unique tones of Gossling when she plays 15 Nov, Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane; 20 Nov, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; and 23 Nov, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney.


Brisbane indie faves The Cairos write offensively catchy tunes and have a killer live show to boot. You don’t need any more. Crazy that they still haven’t got a debut out, but that’s happening soon; in the interim, we’ve got new single Obsession and a run of dates right around the country: 17 Oct, Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane; 18 Oct, FBi Social, Sydney; 19 Oct, Workers Club, Melbourne; 20 Nov, Prince Of Wales, Bunbury; 21 Nov, Mojos Bar, Fremantle; and Ya Ya’s, Perth.


Mysterious Providence crew Daughters look set to make good on the promise shown by their output in the early-noughties, making a return to the stage and trekking Down Under for a few rare shows. Check them out 9 January, Crowbar, Brisbane; 10 Jan, Bald Faced Stag, Sydney; 11 Jan, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle; 14 Jan, Amplifier, Perth; and 17 Jan, Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne.



When you’re calling your tour Spreading The Disease, you know something infectious is coming. No doubt the Steel Panther boys know all about STDs and will probably be testing the waters once again when they return to Australia for their biggest headline shows yet. Catch Michael Starr, Satchel, Lexxi Foxx and Stix Zadinia when they slip into their lycra at the Brisbane Riverstage, 6 Dec; Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, 7 Dec; Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, 8 Dec; and Metro City, Perth, 12 Dec. Incredibly, everywhere except Perth is actually all ages so kids – get along! Tickets for all dates are on sale this Friday.

national news PATRICK JAMES



Catch the red hot Findlay sisters on the upcoming Stonefield headline tour, which is hitting loads of dates throughout the next few months: 24 Oct, UQ, Brisbane; 25 Oct, The Racehorse Hotel, Ipswich; 26 Oct, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; 2 Nov, The Loft, Warrnambool; 8 Nov, Karova Lounge, Ballarat; 13 Nov, Zierholz, Canberra; 14 Nov, The Beach Bar, Wollongong; 15 Nov, The Annandale, Sydney; 22 Nov, Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane; 23 Nov, The Other Side, South Stradbroke Island; 23 Nov, Villa Hotel Noosa; 24 Nov, The Northern, Byron Bay; 29 Nov, Ferntree Gully Hotel; 13 Dec, Meredith Music Festival; and 14 Dec, Festival Of The Sun, Port Macquarie. The sisters and drummer Manny Bourakis will also act as one of the supports at Fleetwood Mac’s shows, 16 Nov, Hope Estate, Hunter Valley and 30 Nov, The Hill Winery, Geelong. This is in support of their selftitled debut album which lands 11 Oct.


One of the biggest finds at the recent BIGSOUND music conference was Sydney’s Patrick James, who, backed by a magnetic band, drew the entire floor at Ric’s under his spell. Venture out and discover your new favourite singer-songwriter when the velvet voiced artist gets a few more dates in before bunkering down to put the finishing touches on an already anticipated debut. James will perform 7 Nov, Rad Bar, Wollongong; 9 Nov, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney; 14 Nov, Ellington Jazz Club, Perth; 15 Nov, The Fly Trap, Fremantle; 22 Nov, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne; 24 Nov, Queenscliff Festival, Bellarine Peninsula; and 27 Nov, Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane. Proudly presented by The Music.


It’s been a pretty incredible year for Australian music, what with ten Aussie records hitting the top of the charts and a 50 per cent increase in the number of artists and recordings nominated for ARIA Awards by members compared to figures from 2012. With voting underway, we’re excited to tell you that the nominees for this year’s awards will be announced on 15 Oct at the Art Gallery of NSW along with winners of Fine Arts and Artisan awards. The full glitzy shebang that is the 27th Annual ARIA Awards will then take place at The Star on Sydney’s Darling Harbour come 1 Dec.



And so it gets bigger and better. After a modern first list of acts, Bluesfest 2014 is getting back to the influences of many of those artists – alongside some further fresh faces of course – adding to the festival bill with Doobie Brothers, Aaron Neville, Gregg Allman, Boz Scaggs, India.Arie, Dr. John, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Jamaican Legends ft Ernest Ranglin, Sly & Robbie and Bitty McLean, Suzanne Vega, Jimmie Vaughan, The Wailers, Ozomatli, CW Stoneking, Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, Grandmothers Of Invention, The Magic Band, Robben Ford, The Paladins, Music Maker Foundation ft Little Freddie King, Cool John Ferguson, Pat Wilder. Huge names there – and the beautiful thing is there’s still more to come.


Not men to back away from new experiences, The Bennies have taken their party-hardened mix of punk, funk, ska and psych to venues far and wide this year. From a 30-date tour with their buds The Smith Street Band to a bush doof psy-trance festival, they’ve got sweaty in places of every ilk, all in the name of a good time. Now, before they fire up our Asian friends with shows in Japan and China, the Melbourne blokes will dangle their second album, Rainbows In Space, in front of us, playing Crowbar, Brisbane, 24 Oct; Island Vibes, Stradbroke Island, 25 Oct; House show, Bunbury, 1 Nov; Ya Ya’s, Perth, 2 Nov; Phoenix Lounge, Canberra, 7 Nov; Black Wire Records, Sydney, 8 Nov; Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, 9 Nov; Karova Lounge, Ballarat, 14 Nov; and Ding Dong, Melbourne, 16 Nov. THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 19





Now in its 35th year, Newtown Festival returns on 10 Nov to Camperdown Memorial Rest Park. It aims to promote and celebrate the diverse Newtown community and raise awareness of the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and its programs; proceeds from the gold coin donation entry fee will be returned to the Centre. Performing on the day will be the likes of Dappled Cities, Home Brew (NZ), The Snowdroppers, Nicky Bomba & Friends, Palms, Oscar Key Sung, Guineafowl, Gay Paris, Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers and more.





Ten years after first banging out tunes around Perth in 2003, The Kill Devil Hills are set to release their first live album, Past And Future Ghosts. Comprising live versions of songs from the band’s three studio albums and other single releases, as well as two previously unreleased tracks, this reveals the full feverish range and breadth of the band on stage, thunder through to tender. The band are going on a launch tour, stopping by the Factory Theatre on 8 Nov.

Musician, author, politician, entrepreneur, animal saviour... Kinky Friedman isn’t slowing down even as his 70th birthday looms next year. He returns to Australia for his Bi-Polar World Tour to celebrate the release of his new Live From Woodstock album. See him at the Brass Monkey, 19 Nov; The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, 20 Nov; and The Vanguard, 29 Nov and 1 Dec.

The BellRays’ vocalist, Lisa Kekaula, has announced a special DJ Set at Newtown’s The Midnight Special on 20 Nov. A couple of days later, on 22 Nov, The BellRays will play a headline show at The Annandale. The band’s last visit here in June saw Kekaula’s vocals almost give out, due to their hectic European and Australian tour schedules. This time around, Kekaula will be in better health and ready to wow the crowd once again.


The Crooked Fiddle Band are set to release their second LP, Moving Pieces Of The Sea, on 1 Oct. From their roots in post-rock, prog, folk, world music and punk, and displaying an inherent ability to withstand easy classification, with this release the band has evolved their own distinctive sound. They’re hitting the road in support of the album, performing at The Small Ballroom, 25 Oct; Manly Moonshine Bar, 14 Nov; Wollongong Diggers Club, 15 Nov; Baroque Room, Katoomba, 22 Nov; The Standard, 23 Nov; Polish Club, Canberra, 6 Dec; and The Entrance Leagues Club, 14 Dec.

Vaudeville Smash are proud to announce the release of the new video for Devil Said, which is the third single from their debut album Dancing For The Girl. The video was filmed in and around Melbourne’s most iconic hot spots, from Croft Alley to the State Library. The band will be performing at The Beresford on 19 Oct following the cancellation of their album launch show earlier.


It’s already been revealed that Iron & Wine will be visiting Australia again in April 2014 when he was announced in the initial batch of acts for Bluesfest, and now sideshows have been confirmed, including one at the Sydney Opera House on 23 Apr. Texas based singersongwriter Sam Beam will have his full band in tow, in order to bring the material off the lush new album Ghost On Ghost to life.



Plenty of Australian talent has been announced for the Sydney Opera House 40th Anniversary Concert on 27 Oct. Deborah Mailman, Baz Luhrmann, Sarah Blasko, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, John Butler, Megan Washington, Paul Grabowsky and members of the Wharf Revue will join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, artists from Opera Australia and the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for the 40th Anniversary Concert. The Concert will take place at twilight on the Opera House Forecourt.


local news


Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey toured Australia in March this year and is already returning to Melbourne in November to perform at the prestigious Australian World Music Expo with his band. He will also play an intimate solo show at The Vanguard 10 Nov.


R&B superstar Jason Derulo will serenade party-goers at an exclusive live set on 4 Oct at Marquee, The Star. The US singer-songwriter will perform a selection of chart topping hits including his latest single Talk Dirty To Me from his recent album release, Tattoos.


Sydney bruisers Hand Of Mercy are capping off the biggest year of their six-year career the only way they know how – more touring. Having already lapped Australia, the UK and the vast majority of continental Europe, the band will return to Europe on the monster Impericon Never Say Die 2013 tour. See them off when they play Hot Damn on 26 Sep.




Already set to appear at the iconic Bluesfest in Byron Bay this coming Easter, it is now confirmed that LA natives Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros will also be performing a couple of headline shows. See their joyous and uplifting live show at the Enmore Theatre on 10 Apr before they hit Bluesfest on 17 Apr.

Back from their recent trip to Brighton, UK for this year’s Great Escape Festival, Sydney’s Made In Japan are launching History, the first single from their second album, at FBi Social Club on 19 Oct. The new record, Tame All Those Thoughts, is due for release 1 Nov.



Tickets to Jack Johnson’s From Here To Now To You performance at the Opera House Forecourt 10 Dec swiftly sold out. An additional show has been added to the venue, set for 11 Dec.





After amassing plenty of new fans from his support slot for Justin Townes Earle earlier this year, Nashville singer Robert Ellis returns to Australia for some east coast shows. Co-headlining will be Cory Chisel, they play The Basement Circular Quay, 20 Nov; Lizotte’s Dee Why, 21 Nov; The Small Ballroom, 22 Nov. 22 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Sydney Opera House welcomes Corroboree Sydney, a new national festival for all Australians that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Over 11 days and nights in November, leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, writers, dancers and musicians will showcase their creativity and share their stories as part of Corroboree Sydney. The events include guided tour The Bennelong Walk; new TV series hosted by Rhoda Roberts, NITV’s In The Frame; Songrites: Cultural Lab workshop; and Songrites: In Conversation panel. Corroboree Sydney is held from 14 to 24 Nov.


Sydney hip hop heroes Big Village are collaborating with Newtown brewers Young Henrys to bring you Big Village Brew. To celebrate they are throwing a launch party, with Big Village’s current A list, including Suburban Dark ft Jeswon (Thundamentals), P.Smurf (Daily Meds) and Rapaport (Loose Change) along with many more. It all happens at the Factory Theatre on 18 Oct.


Closure In Moscow look set to continue taking alternative rock to planets unfound, with their brand new album, Pink Lemonade. See what’s been going on in those wonderfully wide-scope minds by heading along to Transit Bar, Canberra, 28 Nov; Annandale Hotel, 29 Nov; The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, 30 Nov; and Tattersall’s Hotel, Penrith, 7 Dec.


Sarah McLeod is paying her dues to the ‘50s and ‘60s classics that she grew up with on new EP, 96% Love Songbook. She launches 15 Nov, The Basement; 16 Nov, Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba; 17 Nov, Heritage Hotel, Wollongong; and 24 Nov, Brass Monkey.

RETURN OF THE EMPIRE Smashing the boundaries of circus, cabaret and burlesque, Empire by Spiegelworld will return to Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter, at the Spiegeltent from 7 Jan.























NOT DRONING, WAVING Words Ross Clelland. Photos Kane Hibberd.

The release of their latest album, I See Seaweed, has seen The Drones reach new levels of critical and commercial acclaim. They pretty much haven’t stopped since. Gareth Liddiard takes Ross Clelland through European touring, chatting with Neil Young, and a small earthquake – among other things.


t’s kind of like Gareth Liddiard hadn’t thought about being a bit tired, perhaps until he thought he should be a bit tired, his identifiable drawl exhaling as he ponders The Drones’ schedule over the past few months. “Yeah, suppose we haven’t really had a breath since the record. We’ve tried to, but every time we think about it – things kept popping up. But that’s ended up being pretty normal for us – and that’s a good way to be, really.” Taking I See Seaweed to its audience has seen The Drones in the iconic surrounds of the Sydney Opera House, as well as playing and curating their own version of ATP’s I’ll Be Your Mirror

Dylan. Y’know – the chords are good, The Band are good – but really could be mega-fucking boring, if you were honest about it. It’s choices: you can hide behind the words, or hide behind the music. Like, if you see a hole, you patch it up – that might be with a good line of words, or a good melody line.” Another of those things that grew as it rolled along was a support spot for Neil Young, the venerable Canadian so impressed with the band, they ended up tagging along to New Zealand for the shows there. For The Drones, Young remained suitably enigmatic, at least early on. “Didn’t really deal with him at first – talked to his manager, the crew, some of the band – [Crazy Horse guitarist] Poncho [Sampredo], he was always up for a chat,” recalls Liddiard. “But Neil pretty much kept to himself. He just napped before a gig, I think. And then he just kinda sneaks up and starts talking. Did it to me and [Drones’ keyboardist Steve] Hesketh the one night. We’re standing there in the pitch dark backstage – and then you realise there’s this guy in a check shirt in the conversation as well. Maybe it’s better if you don’t know it’s gonna happen. Only later do you go ‘Fuck! That was Neil Young we were talking to’.”


festival, before taking up an invite to take their so-Australian music to Spain’s prestigious Primavera Festival and then onto the rest of Europe. You wonder how well Liddiard’s twang translates to a foreign audience. How’s his pig Spanish? “Ha, yeah – pretty shit,” he admits. “You should stick to what you know. I can do the ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’ and ‘thank yous’. That’ll do. And in Europe, it’s like one night in Spain, the next two nights in France, another one in Luxembourg, then Germany. Look, don’t bother trying to be a smartarse – it’s just not gonna work.” Similarly, the songs themselves. Liddiard considered how a line like “What kind of arsehole drives a lime green Commodore?” can have a context to a Portuguese crowd: “They can just take it at face value, really. Some might dig deeper and work it out. Or know the English as we go. They can just take in the words or the energy if it. Or a bit of both. “I mean, look at something like Led Zeppelin, the music is the sound of what it is. If you just listened to the words, and you’d probably turn it off.” He chuckles then goes on, “As opposed to something like 26 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Liddiard’s conversation turns to The Drones’ newest member. “Hesketh is used to that sort of thing. He’s the one who just seems to know everybody, and just drops it in: ‘You know, when I was talking to Slash…’ and things you really don’t expect. He’s had spas with Eva Mendes, as you do. Some of the people in the list of numbers on his phone is quite impressive. Bit of a dark horse, our Steven.” He laughs. The keyboardist – whose previous credits include times as touring member of Jet and You Am I among others – has changed the band’s sound and dynamic, at least a bit. “Yeah…. maybe,” Liddiard conditionally agrees. “We’re a band that changes very slowly anyway – maybe you’ve got to wonder what some of the newer songs might have sounded like if we didn’t have him there. Maybe it’s just having that extra place the music can go. I just don’t like getting stuck in one way of working for too long. We’ve been enjoying the new songs, and finding new ways into some old ones. “And what’s the worry? Yeah, get another guy in, just see how it goes. It was my idea I suppose – Dan (Luscombe) can play piano as well as guitar, I mean he’s good and all, but even he can’t play both at once.” There’s another dry laugh. He then gets even more

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION The post on The Drones’ Facebook profile page was typically conversational, and to the point: “Hey all, The Drones are looking for a space to rent in or around inner-city Melbourne. We want to set up a recording studio in it for at least 6 months so we can make a new record.” There followed a few conditions, among them “reasonably priced rent”, “no noise issues as we are pretty loud” and “the ability or potential to be heated so we don’t freeze”. Fair enough. Liddiard and The Drones have made a bit of a habit of not making their records in typical studios. Thus, Gala Mill is an historic farm building in rural Tasmania. Havilah was recorded in Liddiard’s and Fiona Kitschen’s rough-hewn home in country Victoria. So now they’re after a more urban space. “Just a space for us, where we can leave all our shit, and just go there and work on things.” The reasons, practical and artistic: “We can’t use Havilah like that anymore,” says Liddiard. “Where we used to record is our lounge room and kitchen now.” “And we’ve sort of got sick of the countryside – we’ve done four albums that way. Maybe I just want to be able to walk out and go get a kebab when you feel like having a break.”

practical: “It does help the democracy in the band – it’s better to have an odd number. Band votes often come down to a stalemate – you can pretty much guess the teams – and we’ve now got the tiebreaker.” Even as the The Drones go on this latest tour, playing the venues you’d probably expect to find them, Liddiard’s thoughts are turning to the next thing, the next record. But he dismisses the idea of this being a particularly purple patch. “A creative spurt? Nah, not really. I’m always doing stuff. Like between Havilah and the Seaweed, I did the solo album, did the Nothing Butts record with Spencer Jones and James Baker, worked on the Ben Salter record – other things I’ve probably forgotten. Oh, did our DVD in there somewhere. Toured here, there, and everywhere,” he diarises. Working with another near-mythic music figure in the many-credited Spencer Jones seems a particularly happy memory, with some odd asides. “Yeah, we did have a good time making that Nothing Butts record,” says Liddiard. “But working with Spencer, just hearing the stories – knowing the history acutely. I mean, dig out that old Beasts Of Bourbon best of… Beyond Good And Evil, and there’s a photo taken of them playing

at the Metro in Fremantle – and if you look up on the balcony, and there’s me, and my sister, and my girlfriend. And that’s when I was in high school.” Liddiard has proved his credentials, as if he had to. “Always loved them – those bands, that era – yeah, I know those old farts,” he jokes, before adding, a little more seriously, “… and what they mean to us even existing.” An existence they worried about continuing at one point: “And then we were in the earthquake.” Sorry? “Yeah, an

earthquake – up here at home. It was only a little one – only a ‘4’ or so,” he says matter-of-factly. “Y’know, enough to rattle the crockery – we were just sitting there, listening to a playback, and it was like a big storm just whipping up outside. “But then I realised what was really going on, and I’ve never been so aware of a ceiling before,” he now laughs a bit at the memory. “Yeah, worried slightly about the workmanship – looking up, and deciding it was probably a good idea to get out. We went outside, basically to check – ‘Jesus, it’s not the end of the world, is it?’ The funny thing, it woke all the birds up – and you could hear all this chirping and noise out in the dark. That made it even weirder.”

WHAT: I See Seaweed (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: 26 Sep, Zierholz @ UC, Canberra; 28 Sep, Metro Theatre; 22 Nov, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle; 23 Nov, The Farmer & The Owl, Wollongong THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 27


MADRID ON THE GRID Carloz Diaz’s 2014 Spring-Summer collection was unveiled earlier this month at Madrid Fashion Week. Bombarded with the noise of global fashion weeks, it took bold statement to catch our attention. We believe Carloz Diaz has done that with his latest line. It’s an impressive fusion of raver fashion, spider motifs, bold block colours, blunt bangs and short shorts. Pics from


FEEL SO REAL One the eve of revisiting their debut album Raise for the first time, Swervedriver mainstay Adam Franklin reminisces with Steve Bell about flogging the guts out of his Mum’s car, and his attempts to escape mundanity via volume and distortion.


rash Oxford guitar four-piece Swervedriver had already unleashed a cunning strategic plan to boost their profile before their debut album Raise hit the shelves in late-1991. Instead of singles they’d released a string of strong EPs in the leadup to the album’s release, meaning that when their debut dropped there were a lot of eager ears keen to revel in the scorching guitars, pummelling rhythms and evocative (albeit downcast) lyricism. The album was a stunning continuation of the UK ‘shoegaze’ sound pioneered by bands like Ride and My Bloody Valentine, even though the Swervedriver aesthetic was rooted more in the tuneful racket produced by US precursors and contemporaries like Hüsker Dü, The Stooges, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. Now decades after the fact the recently-reformed outfit are touring Raise in its entirety for the first time, and frontman and chief songwriter Adam Franklin is clearly excited to be revisiting this fruitful creative era from his youth. “I think over time you realise that people don’t really change that much, so people generally have the same overall mindset,” he reflects. “I think there was a mixture of youthful aspirations and enthusiasm, and it was exciting because we were just starting out as a band, and getting to travel to places that we’d never been to before to play shows was the dream come true. I think also alongside that youthful thing, there’s also a lot less confidence – probably paranoia, although the paranoia wouldn’t properly kick in until a few years later. Sometimes you imagine going back to these things and you think you’d probably do it better – you’d probably operate in a much more logical manner – but at the same time, the music wouldn’t have been what it was without that youthful mindset. And we certainly never thought of it as being a career, that was like an anathema to us – ‘This is just what we’re doing now, we’ll be doing something else in five year’s time blah blah blah’ – so on that level it’s amazing to be asked back to play this album twenty-two years later.” From a lyrical perspective Raise was concerned primarily with youthful notions of escape – all fast cars, open


roads and evading the drudgery of everyday life. “You know, the first car that I ever drove was a Ford – it wasn’t a Ford Mustang, it was my Mum’s Ford Escort and I used to take that out,” Franklin smiles, referencing Raise single, Son Of Mustang Ford. “I remember one time

gigs to go to or shows to go to – and even though a song like the b-side Afterglow had lyrics about driving across the desert, it was really about a relationship. I think lyrically there was just a lot of ‘boys’ stuff ’ in there – cars and space travel and stuff like that – but at the same time it’s also grounded in reality, there’s songs about young relationships and break-ups that mean the end of the world until you meet another girl the next week. I think there’s a balance there. “Someone who saw one of the original Swervedriver reformations in London said to me that there was always a certain world-weariness to Swervedriver so it

“I THINK ALSO ALONGSIDE THAT YOUTHFUL THING, THERE’S ALSO A LOT LESS CONFIDENCE – PROBABLY PARANOIA.” taking it to one-hundred miles-an-hour on the Oxford Ring Road, almost like a mythical rite of passage – ‘I’ve got to do this!’ – something that I’d never dream of doing now. But all of those driving analogies were almost like a wanderlust in a way, the car imagery was like a vehicle itself for the lyrics. Rave Down is about small-town boredom and wanting to have something to do – have

suited us being older – we might’ve had more hair back then, but we weren’t just singing about teenage lust, so it still works as older guys. I think it’s an interesting balance between youthful enthusiasm for the world and wanderlust, and there’s that world-weariness as well.” Musically, Raise has stood the test of time impressively. “In some ways you think we were sixth down the list or something, but people are still talking about it today. I think the most rewarding that was that people definitely got the Swervedriver ‘thing’ – there was definitely imagery involved and a certain individualistic style – and I think that people really grasped that. I think that all bands are an amalgam of their favourite things, and people sort of got what we were about from the outset.”

WHEN & WHERE: 27 Sep, Metro Theatre


oral history

THE MAKING OF THE POWER AND THE PASSION MUSIC VIDEO Sydney history, artists’ rights and the perfection of the Midnight Oil “formula” – it’s all wrapped up in the making of the Power And The Passion music video, as Kris Swales discovers when he tracks down three of the key players.


t’s a cement pylon like many others under the Woolloomooloo viaduct – covered in the ubiquitous markings of an inner-Sydney graff writer, with a forlorn pile of plush toys rotting at its base. This particular pylon may be stripped bare, but the large painting on the next pylon along is one of nine surviving from the Woolloomooloo Mural Project. Conceived in 1982 as a community statement against rampant development and a document of the area’s history, the project also included seven temporary paintings, including Robin Heks and Graham Kime’s now iconic I Love A Plundered Country where the plush toy shrine now stands. With those five words, Heks and Kime captured some of the spirit of Midnight Oil’s Power And The Passion, released later that year. Then the music video, shot under the viaduct, announced them to the rest of the world. Rob Hirst (Drummer): I think Ray Argall and co went looking for a place that would also represent this sense that we had back then – which, by the way, is very much still alive – of the big media barons, ahem, Rupert – and others and big corporate greed running the show against the endeavours and the passions of the little guy. So we found that location down in Woolloomooloo. Merilyn Fairskye (Artist/Curator, Woolloomooloo Mural Project): We had a real run-in with Midnight Oil at the time because they didn’t ask our permission to shoot in front of the murals. Ray Argall (Director): It is interesting that now we live in a world where Intellectual Property is a really crucial


issue and I’m acutely aware of it in all the work I do. However 30 years ago the process we went through was a very simple, straightforward clearance with the Council to work in a public area. Merilyn Fairskye: As one of the two organising artists on the project I did go and speak to their manager* – who, I have to say, was rather hostile. Ray Argall: I think Gary [Morris, Midnight Oil’s manager until July 2013] would’ve been the main person that negotiated with them to resolve anything. I have to say that in my experience, Gary and Peter [Garrett] both deal with the absolute most integrity. Merilyn Fairskye: Eventually they agreed to pay the two artists a usage fee of $50 [$157, adjusted for inflation].

Ray Argall: The [music video] budgets were not big. Anywhere between the lowest for around $1000 [$3,144, adjusted] and the highest probably didn’t get above 10, and we were probably in the middle ground somewhere. Merilyn Fairskye: I don’t want to make out that we hate Midnight Oil or anything like that! It’s just because we were so involved at the time with defending artists’ rights; we were all real activists around it. Ray Argall: Once we’d found that area to work in... If you look in the clip you can see when we’re circling around, there’s quite a little crowd of people. You know, there’s music playing and it’s probably a warm late spring night or something. Rob Hirst: It was a really cold winter’s night, I remember. I was sick as a dog and didn’t really want to do it. I got dragged out there but as soon as the music started we were kind of on. Ray Argall: We rolled the playback pretty much from beginning to end and I just captured that energy not unlike I would’ve on stage, however there was no audience so I was able to go everywhere with the camera. We were probably there for a couple of hours. We did around four runs of the song. Rob Hirst: Pete’s dancing and his performance is just great. It really just defined that unique dancing style. After I kicked the drums off the thing I had nothing more to hit, so I just grabbed a drum and sort of do this weird, Whirling Dervish thing along with Peter. Ray Argall: I also got them the next day to basically do the same thing, a few runs of the song in a studio

against a chroma key background. That was going to give me the parts, what I needed from them, to work with all of the other images I was going to put together. Rob Hirst: This is the one that featured all the cut-ins that became a real Midnight Oil feature in so many of our clips for the next 10 or 15 years – fast edited cuts of corporate greed, the media and Big Macs and McDonald’s and crook lawyers and greedy accountants and what have you.


Ray Argall: I had some stuff in my own archives that I’d shot, and I just went around capturing images that I thought would work. Rob Hirst: It’s all thrown into the mix, cut up really fast, and then that lovely animation as well which kind of gives the other side of the coin, which was that “get into the panel van and just drive up the coast with a sack of brown rice and go surfing” kind of thing. Ray Argall: The animation came from a guy called Graeme Jackson, who was a very experienced animator who’d worked overseas and so forth, and that was something that the band, they’d come across him somewhere and obviously discussed it with him. Rob Hirst: The overriding theme of Power And The Passion of course is the little guy fighting big corporate greed and media lies and some other very familiar and favourite Midnight Oil topics of the ‘80s! After what News Limited showed to be capable of with the hacking in Great Britain and elsewhere, and News Limited’s influence on the recent Australian elections, you’d have to say “well, sorry folks, nothing much has changed there”.

Ray Argall: I just cut all those other elements to the music so that that would give that, if you like, acceleration of thematic ideas, it would inject it into the song. Because really, at the end of the day all of the themes and concepts and ideas are great, but it really has to work with the music. Rob Hirst: I think what we learned was that the way to seduce people is to get a killer beat, great melodies, then get Pete dancing. Then, by stealth, the message goes in. I’m sure that Power And The Passion was the first of the clips and the songs where it dawned upon us, the right formula. *NB – Gary Morris was unable to be contacted before deadline. Read a longer version of this story on THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 33



I’ve not been stopping at all, just keeping going. You don’t have time to drop your bundle. “It has been difficult, but it has helped because we work in a really collaborative way anyway. The rooms I like to be in are not hierarchical; people have their different areas that they’re in charge of but it’s not like someone is the boss. It’s collaborative.”

How to delineate between myths and angels: actor Luke Mullins talks to Dave Drayton about Small & Tired.


rom May to the end of July Luke Mullins starred as Prior Walter in an epic production of Angels In America that ran at Belvoir’s Upstairs Theatre, and an extended season at the Theatre Royal. Come August he was already in Melbourne putting the final touches to Night Maybe, a play by Kit Brookman that featured, among others, Tom Conroy, under Mullins’ direction. Now, with barely time to catch his breath, Mullins swaps his director’s cap for his actor’s hat preparing for Small


& Tired, written and directed by Brookman, and starring Conroy once more, alongside Susan Prior, Paul Gleeson and Sandy Gore, beginning this week in Belvoir’s Downstairs Theatre. “There’s no transition; they’re just all on top of each other, so it’s been very busy,” says Mullins, showing no signs of wear in the foyer of Belvoir Theatre during a break from Small & Tired rehearsals. “Actors started rehearsing Night Maybe while I was still performing Angels In America up here so it’s been kind of a continuous thing, which has been good.

In contrast to the sprawling seven-hour opus that was Angels In America, Small & Tired is a more intimate play. Written for Mullins by Brookman, it uses the myth of Orestes as a launch pad to examine ideas of love and family in contemporary society, with Mullins as Orestes, returning home from a decade abroad in the wake of his father’s death. “They’re very different projects in terms of the stuff Kit writes. Night Maybe is a much more surreal, slightly non-linear, non-narrative piece of writing that exists in a subconscious terrain, which is the sort of work I’m very interested in directing – how to stage a kind of subconscious world and create an immersive subconscious experience for the audience. Whereas Small & Tired is a much more narrative-driven character piece – and not something I would want to direct – so there’s no clash there. Night Maybe I had a vision for that in terms of being a director; Small & Tired I want to perform in, the writing and the character I absolutely want to perform. “This is very much about people not saying what they mean – taking the indirect line – but it’s sort of nice to do that because, personally, my natural energy sits more in that kind of place: the intimate.”

WHAT: Small & Tired WHEN & WHERE: 26 Sep – 20 Oct, Belvoir

GYPSY KINGS Attempting to describe The Barons Of Tang’s sound, double-bassist Julian Cue tells Kate Kingsmill, “We’ve got a lot of quite quiet instruments playing in a very loud band.”


he Barons Of Tang play tiny punk clubs in America, massive folk festivals in Europe and gypsy bars in Northcote, but this is not a band with an identity crisis. Punk and folk music may sit at opposite ends of the musical spectrum, but to doublebassist Julian Cue, they are almost the same thing. “You could call punk rock a more modern, suburban folk music, if you want to analyse it too much!” He laughs. “Folk music is just music of the people… I guess sonically it’s got some conventions. When you say ‘folk music’, most people think of Irish folk music, but folk music can be anything from music from Mali or Indonesia or – so it doesn’t actually mean anything.” Musical bowerbirds The Barons Of Tang take cues from all around the world, from French manouche jazz to Eastern European gypsy folk. “There was a while ago when there were all these indie bands that were playing with a calypso twang, which I quite liked actually,” Cue confesses. “It sort of comes in waves, the sounds that people are trying to make at any given time. Ours is just a little less hip or something! It’s just a little bit more obnoxious.” Perhaps boisterous might be a better word? “It inspires some sort of convulsion,” Cue agrees. As a seven-piece band wielding more exotic instruments such as an accordion, saxophone, double bass and bass


clarinet, The Barons Of Tang’s songwriting process is also a little more unconventional. “Because it’s not as guitar-driven as a lot of bands, and we’re not an especially vocal band either,” Cue explains, “the way we come up with melodies and stuff like that – we rely a lot on the dynamics of the reed instruments to carry the melody or express a feeling. I guess we’ve got one foot in orchestral composition and one foot in more modern rock’n’roll composition, so we meet somewhere in the middle.” After six years touring relentlessly, The Barons Of Tang finally started

recording their debut album, titled Into The Mouths Of Hungry Giants, last year. “We were pretty excited to look at recording an album as [a way of ] making an extravagant version of these songs,” says Cue. “Just in a production sense, having a chance to put in various instruments that we don’t get to use all the time like a dulcimer or a toy piano or even a contrabass clarinet. We’ve got a lot of quite quiet instruments playing in a very loud band, so it can be tricky to know how to mix that as it often is in a live context as well. And trying to capture the energy, which is really our thing. It was hard, but we’re pretty stoked with the results.” WHAT: Into The Mouths Of Hungry Giants (Bird’s Robe Records) WHEN & WHERE: 26 Sep, Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle; 27 Sep, The Standard; 28 Sep, Katoomba RSL; 24 Oct, Hotel Steyne; 25 Oct, Yours & Owls, Wollongong; 26 Oct, Black Cherry Halloween/ Day Of The Dead Fiesta, Factory Theatre


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SMOKIN’ ‘WEED Tumbleweed’s classic line-up first reunited a few years back, and now they’ve finally gone the whole hog and released a new album. Frontman Richie Lewis talks to Steve Bell about turning their back on nostalgia to remain relevant.


or a while in the ‘90s, Wollongong rockers Tumbleweed were one of the hottest bands in the country, dominating the airwaves with a stream of fuzz-laden singles, EPs and albums, and taking their powerhouse live show all around the globe both on their own and alongside a slew of high-profile bands such as Nirvana, Mudhoney and The Lemonheads. The original (essentially “classic”) Tumbleweed line-up split in 1995 and it wasn’t until a 2009 offer from Homebake to reform that they played together in anger once more. That initial foray went well enough to prompt more ecstatically received shows and now the five-piece have taken matters to their logical next step with the release of new album Sounds From The Other Side, following a realisation that they needed some new tunes if they were going to be more than a mere nostalgia act. “That’s exactly the catalyst for deciding to record again in the first place,” frontman Richie Lewis recalls. “A few years ago we thought, ‘Well, what are we? Are we a nostalgia act or are we a band?’ Bands write stuff and bands record stuff and bands are creatively vibrant and relevant, not only for the musical landscape out there but personally, you know, to challenge yourself creatively. That’s what we wanted – we wanted that outlet in our personal lives.

just the synchronicity of the five members,” Lewis reflects. “With our previous releases there were things that we didn’t like about them: we didn’t like the cleanliness of [1992’s self-titled debut], but we thought that Galactaphonic (1995) sounded pretty cool. There were some

“But at the same time, as far as the band goes and the legacy of whatever Tumbleweed is from our years of being together, we’re not an RSL act, we’re not a nostalgia act – we can’t do that, it’s not we’re about as people or as a band. We’re totally against that sort of shit. We did it for a little while and it was fun – we didn’t think that was going to happen – and when we realised that we still had chemistry as a band and as people we were left at that crossroads, and it was either, ‘Okay, let’s stop now because we’re not going to do that anymore, or we write stuff’. It’s very exciting to be at the tail-end of that decision and have the record in the can.”

songwriting issues; what we wanted to do was write the record that we’d always wanted to make but we didn’t feel that we’d made. We were always a little bit disappointed with our albums back in the day because we just didn’t think that it sounded like what we thought we sounded like when we played live.

Once they’d decided that new music was required to remain relevant, Tumbleweed roped some old colleagues back in and basically just waited to see what happened next. “Well one thing that we’ve always done is just try to be ourselves, and just try to be natural and organic and leave a certain amount of what comes out up to the spirits or the synchronicity of life, and I suppose 36 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

was one of the definite things – we thought, ‘Okay, if we’re going to do this we’re going to do it with Paul, because the sound that he got on Galactaphonic was the most definitive Tumbleweed sound’. Also we wanted to record it that same way, which was to two-inch tape, and to try and keep those elements the same as in the original days. We wanted to keep almost the blueprint for what we did back in ’92, however bring [in] the musical knowledge we’ve acquired since then – just growing up and playing lots of different music with different people – and write better songs.” The new album sounds defiantly Tumbleweed – they were often pigeonholed as ‘stoner’ or ‘grunge’ back in


“We thought that the person that had gotten closest to that ever was [producer] Paul McKercher, so he

the day, but where does Lewis see them sitting in the overall scheme of things? “I’ve never seen ourselves as a stoner rock band,” he tells. “I do like stoner rock – I like the sound of it – but we don’t write those sort of songs. And as far as grunge, well, not really – what is that anyway? I sorta think that we’re just a rock’n’roll band – back in the day we were inspired by a lot of great rock’n’roll from The Stooges to local bands like The Celibate Rifles and The Stems and early Hoodoo Gurus, whatever. There was so much stuff that contributed to our sound, and before Nirvana came along we were making very similar music but it just didn’t have a name – it was just Australian alternative music, or Australian independent music. Rock’n’roll.”

WHAT: Sounds From The Other Side (Shock) WHEN & WHERE: 28 Sep, The Annandale; 11 Oct, Tattersalls Hotel



CASSIUS IS OVER Foals have learnt to write songs. They’ve also learnt to breathe. And as Walter Gervers informs Benny Doyle, the band’s lit a fire that’s not ready to go out.


ou don’t have my number,” Foals toyed on Holy Fire’s second single (unsurprisingly titled My Number), but as the Oxford five are fast finding out, more and more people are dialling in. This third full-length sees the band stretching their sonic spectrum to the edges of their abilities. Digestible art pop, relentless rock force, stuttering angular riffs – undulation after undulation. It’s a record of extremes, a statement that their bass player Walter Gervers is quick to agree with. “I think there was a feeling of not holding back. If a certain song had an identity we weren’t about to rein it in too much and change it. In fact it was quite nice not making a song that was definitely heading in a different direction and sort of smothering it and making it more ‘Foals’. What we actually did do was not do that and not add too many layers and make it safe. “There wasn’t really a specific thing that we wanted to achieve [with Holy Fire], so that in itself is quite a pleasure going into writing and recording because you have that clean slate again. We were back home in Oxford, and after all the touring it felt real refreshing to be writing new music again. There was no briefing, like, ‘This is what this record is going to be about, this is what it’s going to sound like’. It really did naturally

by NME as the best song of 2010. That same grand ambition is obvious throughout Holy Fire, and although ideas were “ping ponging” relentlessly during recordings at Assault & Battery Studios in London, communication was continual and rewarding. “They would come to Oxford for a bit of preproduction, and Yannis would send them loops and tapes and bad room recordings,” he remembers. “We had between nineteen and twenty tracks in very rough form, and then it was just a case of

and calm and he likes to have a laugh; and Flood is bustling with energy the whole time and he can’t really sit still and he wants to get his hands dirty, he wants to get into the guts of the songs. They’re quite different, but you put them together and they’re a calming combo for each other.” Listening to Foals’ three records back to back, they all seem consistent to themselves, yet distinctly individual. They hold a constant feeling – a vibe – and stand as capsules in time, reflecting band members growing up as musicians and people. “We really do treat them like that,” Gervers agrees. “Sometimes we do go back and listen to the records themselves but not very often. We don’t get too sentimental or wistful about the old records; we just want to keep making different things and keep people on their toes. I think it could be the death of the band if we start to cover the same ground.” Indeed, if you’re not looking forward you’re looking back, and then you might miss the turn coming up. It’s this mindset that has taken Foals from their university-centric hometown to headlining act at the recent Latitude Festival in Suffolk, UK. “We’re always going to be neurotic and anxious about what’s getting released – like any band is – but we’ve learnt to relax a little bit more, and that goes back to songs having their own identity,” says Gervers. If we’re into it and we like it we’re pretty sure other people will as well, so it’s just about being relaxed and letting things breathe a little bit more.” Foals can’t wait to return to Australia. After all, our country’s given the band their only number one record, an achievement that’s not lost on Gervers. “That was a huge surprise for us – that was unreal.”

“I THINK IT COULD BE THE DEATH OF THE BAND IF WE START TO COVER THE SAME GROUND.” evolve, which means that for its strengths it has this big palate of songs which are wildly different.” Production issues on the group’s first two albums have been well documented (Dave Sitek applying additional reverb on 2008’s Antidotes; Paul Epworth being replaced by Luke Smith on 2010’s Total Life Forever). This time around, Foals called in the serious big guns. Flood and Alan Moulder are two of the most commanding names in music production, having together worked on records for the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and The Killers, and individually at the helm of releases from artists as diverse as PJ Harvey, Nine Inch Nails and My Bloody Valentine. Interestingly, the quintet got a taste for what was possible when Moulder provided the mix for Spanish Sahara, off Total Life Forever. Unsurprisingly, that majestic and at times lucid track acted as the centrepiece for the record and was recognised 38 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

getting in there and chiselling away, which was really satisfying. They were great to work with to bounce ideas off, and there was a trust in them because of what they’ve worked on before.” And although their resumes are formidable, thankfully their personalities are not. “They’re just regular dudes, it’s great,” Gervers smiles. “Alan’s a sort of sound doctor – he’s very considered

Gervers is being rather gracious here. Obviously. Foals’ fanbase Down Under is rabid. But even if we Aussies in the know expected such a result, the band didn’t, making it all the more special. “It was really exciting and it hasn’t happened to us anywhere else before so good on ya,” he beams. “It was a really good combination that week and there was a lot of luck in it, and it definitely doesn’t mean we’re a different band in Australia than we are anywhere else. I don’t know what else to say? It was cool, but we’re definitely not a chart-topping band – and we probably won’t be anywhere else in the future – but just to have that moment where we came in number one is pretty cool.”

WHAT: Holy Fire (Warner) WHEN & WHERE: 28 and 29 Sep, Enmore Theatre





EPIC RETURN Free from compromise and with a point to prove following a founding member departing, Sweden’s Soilwork again set about becoming a “melancholy, melodic, epic metal band”. Drummer Dirk Verbeuren and Brendan Crabb revel in this momentary bliss.


’m not sure how the pressure got there, but when I joined, I started touring with them for (2003’s) Figure Number Five and went through to (2005’s) Stabbing The Drama,” Soilwork sticksman Dirk Verbeuren explains. “I would say that definitely at that time, certain band members had got to this point where they wanted to kind of simplify things a little bit, and make the music more accessible. Which ultimately produced some really great songs for us, I think… I’m not really trying to criticise that, I just think that in the event of that happening, the initial feeling of the band may have got lost a little bit. “The band initially started out being this melancholy, melodic, epic metal band and some of that kind of got lost because I think we more simplified our stuff. So over the years, I didn’t fight that because I was one of the people that wanted the band to have just more angles. You could have some songs like that, but not every song needs to be like that… You can’t be one of those people who can really voice their opinion in the band; you don’t do that the week you join the band. But eventually over time I became more vocal about those things, and I think now we’re definitely at a point where everybody gets to truly express what they feel about stuff, and other people will listen to them and not just dismiss them, which in the past may have happened.”

After the aforementioned period whereby they lost sight of their initial modus operandi, the Swedish sextet sought to redress the balance. The inaugural step was 2010’s excellent The Panic Broadcast, which was rammed home by this year’s The Living Infinite, touted as melodic death metal’s first double-album. The progressive effort contrasts their signature shred-fests and 260BPM hyperblasts with much tantalising ear candy. What makes tackling such an ambitious venture more admirable is it represents their first long-player since founding guitarist, songwriter and producer Peter Wichers’ latest exit. Verbeuren chuckles when the “first ever melodic death double-record” tagline is raised, suggesting while it could

be correct, it was merely a label promotional tool. “For us, it was really just about making a statement in the first place to ourselves. We’ve been through some turmoil in recent years with the line-up, and just

music for us,” the drummer admits. “Peter’s talent is undeniable, but I think every musician in this band is very proficient as far as what they do, and that includes songwriting. After separating with Peter for the second time, we definitely wanted to prove that, ‘hey, Peter’s not just the only guy who makes Soilwork what it is’.” Further galvanizing the troops was the only prior Wichers-free long-player, 2007’s Sworn To A Great Divide being widely viewed as a creative nadir. “That’s definitely a record that I personally feel is flawed because the band was torn between musical directions. Some people wanted to go one way, some people wanted to go another way, and we didn’t really manage to fit those things together. Even though there’s some great tracks on that record, in the end I don’t think it came out as well as it could have, if we had been more on the same page.” Nowadays, they are. Obviously any double-album risks someone’s vision being compromised or quality of material being diluted. They weren’t unaware of this

“FOR US, IT WAS REALLY JUST ABOUT MAKING A STATEMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE TO OURSELVES.” the band being a little bit torn musically in different directions. For us The Living Infinite and this new line-up was really something where we wanted to prove to ourselves that we still have a lot to say. We can still grow, become a better band and even take it to the next level.” The result was a twoLP set projecting a far more collaborative ethos. “Peter was a very active songwriter and did write a lot of classic

prospect: “We first had the idea to do a double-album, pretty much before we had a note of music written. We didn’t want to have filler; we didn’t want to compromise anything. If it was going to be a double-album, we needed it to be a strong double-album. That was the first requirement for us. So we started writing. We got a bunch of demos together, looked at it, and said, ‘there’s so much variety here, there’s so many different ideas; this can work’. That’s when we sealed the deal on it. “I would definitely say that starting with Panic Broadcast, we really had that spirit, where there’s not a worry about radio songs, singles or this or that. It was just to write kick-ass tracks. If it’s a good song and we’re all feeling that, we’re gonna put our heart and soul into it.” WHEN & WHERE: 3 Oct, Manning Bar

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They’ve made one of th i the mostt progressive pop albums of the year, but Iain Cook and Chvrches are still keeping it as real as possible, writes Benny Doyle. Pics by Kane Hibberd.


ecause of its mid-September release date you won’t see The Bones Of What You Believe on the 2013 shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize. Doubt it will be there in 2014, either. But for Chvrches, that’s inconsequential. The electro pop trio from Glasgow are happy to avoid the hyperbole that comes with a record as consistently brilliant as their debut, with Iain Cook more interested in the experiences he and bandmates Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry are squeezing from their music. “People keep mentioning that things are going so good and we don’t even have an album out,” Cook says, on the phone from Chicago after soundcheck for a soldout show at the Metro. “And I guess it is, but we’re just trying to stay focused and not think too much about things like hype and buzz – these things that people keep saying to us. We run a day-to-day operation; we’re just trying to do what we do and not get carried away with everything or not get bogged down about stuff. But the positive side is definitely worth dwelling on and we feel really honoured to be out here [in Chicago] and indeed in Australia in a couple of months, playing to people that really enjoy our music so far away from home – it’s a really exciting thing for us.” Forming a couple of years ago after falling for the voice of diminutive Mayberry, whom Doherty and Cook had called in to do some backing vocals, Chvrches took a variety of different elements – carnal synths, hip hop beats, earthy electronic textures – and let them spark off each other. Album opener The Mother We Share “first defined the band”, but the full-length was still a slow build as opposed to a specific “eureka moment”,


as Cook calls it. “There were quite a few [times] in the studio where we all got really excited and started shouting and jumping around, and those things are essential because if you don’t get excited about what you’re doing then it’s tough to expect other people to get excited about it,” he says. While tinkering in Cook’s basement studio in Glasgow, the band drip fed our ears with further singles Recover and Gun. Each new song brought with it further waves of excitement; it also showcased Mayberry as a special kind of frontwoman, her purity managing to cleanse whatever production Doherty and Cook put behind her. “I think the vocals are probably the most significant contributing factor to [our] sound,” Cook agrees. “Obviously

we’ve all played in other bands before and they sound nothing like Chvrches, but I think there’s just something about the juxtaposition of [Lauren’s] voice against what we’re doing with the production and the dirty synths with that sweetness put against that harshness – that’s really what [makes] the sound of the band. As well, I think she has a very natural sounding voice and her accent comes across in a really gentle but honest way which doesn’t sound affected – those are things that are really important to the sound of the band.” The balance works so well that it would have been easy for Chvrches to throw a few more singles in, pad the record out with a bit of filler and watch the blog-generated hipster dollars flow into the coughers. Instead, they challenge us and keep us intrigued, taking the 12-track everywhere from the dark and depraved to the washed out and come down. There’s not a dull moment found on The Bones Of What You Believe, and it comes back to the group’s commitment not to dwell on contentment. “I think it’s really important that when we put out an album it has a shape to it; a sense of purpose and momentum, and something that you can listen to from start to finish,” Cook reasons. “We grew up listening to music that way, particularly on vinyl, and we had that in mind when we were sequencing songs. We didn’t just want to top-load it with the songs everyone knows and have it then taper off, we wanted to maximise the impact of the peaks and the troughs and try and show everyone the full picture of what we were doing.” Having just been a part of Laneway Festival’s first foray into America, Chvrches are thrilled to be


a part of the Australian event next year. And if Cook’s vibe is anything to go by, the shows will arrive fully formed for audiences Down Under; just make sure you Insta that shit so the band can continue improving their dancefloor sermons. “We all come from indie and rock backgrounds – we’re not just standing there and pushing buttons, we really want to put on a show and a performance, and it’s something that we’ve grown into in the last year since we’ve been playing live and hopefully we’ll continue to do so,” he explains. “We’ve grown into just the three of us on stage and we’ve worked really hard to try and fill the stage in terms of what we’re doing and the interaction with each other, but also in terms of lighting production. We’ve got this guy Louie who has built a set for us based around our artwork and iconography, and some of the stuff he’s doing with a reasonably small set-up is pretty mind blowing, but I don’t get to see it because I’m facing the other way. But I’ll jump on Instagram after the show and just [look at] what people are seeing, and it’s like, ‘Holy shit!’. So we want to keep working on that, on the production, because there’s only three of us on stage and there’s no live drums so it’s just trying to make things as exciting as possible.” WHAT: The Bones Of What You Believe (Goodbye/Liberator) WHEN & WHERE: 2 Feb, Laneway Festival, Sydney College Of The Arts THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 43

visual art

LOOK AND LISTEN Graphic designer Dave McKean is coming to town to share another of his passions – music – as Simon Eales discovers.


emember how on Entourage Johnny Drama always goes to Comic-Con dressed as Tarvold from his TV show, Viking Quest? Well, that’s where my idea of a comic convention comes from. Costumes. Lanyards. C-grade celebrities. But it seems that’s grossly misguided. The Graphic festival at Sydney Opera House looks like it’s going to be an epic multidisciplinary art event. Joining the likes of comic art


pioneer Art Spiegelman and Seth Green and the Robot Chicken team will be polymathic graphic storytelling genius, Dave McKean. McKean’s groundbreaking body of work from the past 30 years includes illustrating the most successful graphic novel of all time, Batman: Arkham Asylum, as well as Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman and Coraline. He’s collaborated with Richard Dawkins, The Rolling Stones and Terry Gilliam, and done over 160 album covers for bands like Counting Crows, Fear Factory and John Cale. But he’s also a musician and brings his show, 9 Lives, to the festival – a combination

of his own artwork, stories and music. “The show came out of just being asked to do it, really,” McKean says. “It’s such an extraordinary venue it seems a waste not to try and come up with a bit more of a performance involving music and projected imagery.” McKean will narrate nine stories, some of which are from his books and films like Pictures That Tick and Neon. “They’re not really connected; they’re just nine separate people’s lives. You find out a bit about each one in either a song or a story. In one of them the story encompasses the whole person’s life, and one of them takes place in a tiny three minutes of someone’s life.” McKean has composed the songs over the last six months and plays them onstage with a small orchestra: “I’ve talked to an audience before. I’ve done slide-shows and showed my films. But I’ve never done anything that is just telling stories and singing songs. I do sing in public but just to very small groups of people. So this is quite a big jump,” he laughs. McKean says his music comes from a similar conceptual place to his graphic art. “I love jazz, and folk music from around the world, tango music, African music. They match very closely the places that I like setting my stories and the imagery I use.” Despite his extraordinary level of experience, McKean still feels trepidation about moving into this new performance art realm. “Everyone’s asking me, ‘How do you think they’re going to react?! Do you think they’ll start throwing chairs because it’s not going to be what they expected?’ Anyone who comes thinking they’re just going to see Arkham Asylum on the screen is going to be disappointed!” WHAT: Dave McKean: 9 Lives WHEN & WHERE: 5 Oct, Graphic Festival, Sydney Opera House

CHANGING TYMES That guy from You Am I and/or The Pictures has got around to releasing music under his own name, and as Davey Lane tells Ross Clelland, he’s got plenty of ideas, songs, and styles to go on with.


s rock’n’roll dreams go, Davey Lane is living a pretty good one. He plays guitar in what he still calls his “favourite band of all time”, You Am I. Gets called on to play sideman to the likes of Barnesy, and with The Pictures had an outlet for his own work.

assessment: “Mostly it’s just me dicking about in my boffin cave.”

Right now, he’s often a one man band. “I can demo just about everything at home,” he explains. “Can do most of the guitar, bass and keyboard stuff, but I’m the usual ‘guitar player as frustrated drummer’ – a few Ringo drum fills, and then ask Brett [Wolfenden – one-time Pictures drummer, and now in Davey’s solo band] to be clever with it.

The first result of said “dicking about” under Lane’s own name is The Good Borne Of Bad Tymes, the first of a number of EPs covering a range of styles. “It started out being a full album,” the guitarist explains. “But it seemed to have two really different sides to it – the guitar-poppy one people might expect, and the other which leant more on keyboards and vocal effects.

“It’s a real freedom. I can make a record that sound ‘passable’ - and not have to watch a red light telling you you’re spending $700 a day just playing around.” And releasing under his own Field Recordings label, “There’s no expectation, no one breathing down your neck saying, ‘We need the songs by Thursday’.” His own

“I love records that go different places, that can take a bit of a left turn through it. But this just seemed a little stilted, a little

“It’s my life, and it’s my hobby – and that’s got to be a good place to be.” But after The Pictures “just sort of ground to a halt”, Lane had to consider what came next. “I worked out there was no expectation of what a record with my own name on it should sound like,” he says.


too disjointed – it couldn’t decide if it wanted to be Tubeway Army or The La’s,” he jokes. “So I just decided to split it in two, and each is a little more cohesive.” Like many a good songwriter, the EP’s title goes with a lot of accepted wisdom about the art and craft of it – that the best songs come from heartbreaks and troubles. “That’s always, yeah!” Lane heartily agrees. “I’ve rarely written a good song when everything’s fuckin’ rosy – maybe you’re just too busy enjoying yourself?” WHAT: The Good Borne Of Bad Tymes (Field Recordings/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: 26 Sep, Heritage Hotel, Bulli; 27 Sep, Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle; 28 Sep, Spectrum




ALMOST FAMOUS Now that Kiwi outfit The Naked & Famous are in their 20s, vocalist Alisa Xayalith tells Ben Preece that the band have “become more refined and settled in the way [they] create music”.


t wouldn’t be too strange an analogy to liken Passive Me, Aggressive You, the 2010 debut album from The Naked & Famous, to something as obvious as kerosene. No matter which way you look at the international success of this New Zealand five-piece – the syncs, the reviews, the tours, the festivals, the general acclaim – it’s safe to say that Auckland hasn’t seen anything that has sparked a fire so great in some time. Lyrical content oozed a youthful view that connected with the right party kids at the right time, while the sound itself was very much ‘of the now’, sharing space with the likes of Passion Pit and Empire Of The Sun that reinforced this blend of electro as a credible genre of music. Flip forward a couple of years and second-album syndrome seems inevitable. The fivesome toured relentlessly so, once they eventually stopped in mid2012, it took them a couple of false starts to truly hit their stride. They decamped to Los Angeles, sharing a home a couple of minutes away from the bustle of West Hollywood in the deceptively beautiful and serene environs of Laurel Canyon and truly knuckled down writing their second release, which would eventually become In Rolling Waves. “Looking back, it’s all a bit of a blur,” confesses vocalist Alisa Xayalith. “We were just touring non-stop for about two-and-a-half years. I feel like playing that many shows just changes you and we’ve gained a lot of experience. We really had to just stop touring to get into the writing properly. When we began writing, we decided it was important that everything was playable live. We always took a song into the rehearsal room to make sure there were enough people even to push the buttons and, if there was something extra that a physical pair of hands couldn’t handle, we’d go back to the drawing board and rewrite what we needed to rewrite to feel that way of working.” In Rolling Waves isn’t a drastic departure from Passive Me, Aggressive You by any means, if anything it’s the older, wiser sibling that still possesses that vital feeling of youth and freedom, but is more assured and confident.


“We’ve never really been a band that has written in a thematic way or with a message,” Xayalith explains of the band’s songwriting process. “This one is a collection of moods and experiences. We were 18 or 19 when we wrote that first album and definitely didn’t have the experience that we

Inch Nails) co-produced two tracks and London’s Alan Moulder mixed the record. The band entered the Sunset Sound studio earlier this year with engineer Billy Bush and immediately set to work. “The first day was the most exciting first day of anything I’ve ever experienced,” Xayalith reveals. “We were going to be spending the next three weeks there, every single minute of every single day, and it was so fun! When we wrote the songs, we had rehearsed them and that had helped everybody get to know their songs inside and out. The stress of being in the studio wasn’t there as it was all so positive. Billy Bush mixed

“THE SPECIAL THING ABOUT BEING IN A BAND IS THAT YOU HAVE THAT SUPPORT STRUCTURE.” all have had now that we’re in our 20s. I feel that has really come through on this record and the songwriting and all the creative decisions we decided to make. Even the lyrics, I feel like we’ve become more refined and settled in the way we create music.” The Naked & Famous band members Thom Powers and Aaron Short co-produced In Rolling Waves, Justin Meldal-Johnsen (M83, Beck, Nine

the last record but we’d decided he’d be engineer this time around as we had an amazing opportunity to work with Alan Moulder – his repertoire and back catalogue of what he’s worked on was immense. I feel like this record has had some really cool people work on it.” It wasn’t all rosey though, Xayalith says she battled through writer’s block: “Being creative, there are so many highs and lows – there were weeks where I felt like I was a terrible songwriter and I never achieved anything and I was never going to do anything as good as what I’d done in the past. I was able to turn that negativity into something creative. It was definitely the cathartic release I needed to truly feel like this album was anything worth pursuing. WHAT: In Rolling Waves (Universal) WHEN & WHERE: 26 and 27 Jan, Big Day Out, Sydney Showgrounds



WILD LIFE Asking Alexandria are returning to Australia, and as Ben Bruce tells Benny Doyle, this time they’re coming for the koalas.


hen I started the band my goal was never to even reach this sort of level,” admits Ben Bruce on the phone from Texas. “I would have been happy pottering around on tour, playing in front of four-five hundred people a night – that was what I was aiming for then. As time’s gone on and we’ve got bigger and set new goals we have new visions of where we want to take the band now, so each time we grow and reach a goal we strive to move onwards and upwards and create new goals. It’s a problem when you hit the roof and stop there.”

Up until this point, the career of Asking Alexandria has played out as a thing of increments. Since forming the group in 2008 while based in Dubai, guitarist Ben Bruce has been tirelessly working towards discovering the band he always wanted to lead. With From Death To Destiny, the British quintet’s third record, he’s just about there. Charting in the Billboard top five – a first for the York hardcore act – From Death To Destiny sees Asking Alexandria pushing towards a more classic rock sound, the group somewhat turning their back on stylistic trends that Bruce now considers stale.


“We fell into a little pigeonhole from the last record of being a breakdown band and just playing a lot of open breakdowns so we really tried to steer clear of that this time,” he says. “We concentrated more on writing driving riffs or licks and weird passages and stuff and bigger and better choruses instead of relying on breakdowns to make the song heavy. We were so open with where we wanted to be and we were finally brave enough to release a record where we were like, ‘We’re going to play exactly what we want to play and showcase a lot of our different influences, from Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crüe to Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, to Slipknot and Korn. As a record it’s so diverse and it reaches out to so many different kinds of people and different audiences.” About to embark on a heavy touring schedule throughout the coming months, Asking Alexandria should have these new songs on lock by the time they land in our parts once more for Soundwave 2014, their second appearance at the festival following a successful run in 2011. And Bruce confesses he also has a personal agenda this time around. “Well, it’s got nothing to do with music but last time I was too scared to hold a koala bear, so I might try [that this time],” he laughs awkwardly. “I heard they had syphilis or some shit like that, so I was like, eww, I don’t want to touch this bear and then come home to the missus and try to explain to her, ‘I swear I wasn’t cheating on you, I got it from a koala bear’. [No one’s ever buying that story], it’s like the ‘dog ate my homework’ bit.”

WHAT: From Death To Destiny (Sumerian/ADA) WHEN & WHERE: 23 Feb, Soundwave, Olympic Park

GET REEL Anthony Carew delves into this year’s Reel Anime program. Whether you’re into pseudo-medieval worlds, futuristic mythos or coming of age tales, this celebration of Japanese animation has got you covered.


hen that grand master of anime, Hayao Miyazaki, announced his retirement from filmmaking, various career eulogies recycled that oft-used but perennially-inaccurate cliché: that Miyazaki was to Japanese animation as Walt Disney was to American. You can dismiss it easily – one was an animation auteur, the other a salesman; one a master of storytelling, the other marketing. But the argument falls down at its most basic level. Madman’s Reel Anime mini-festival is an annual reminder at the incomparable levels of artistry and sophistication at work in Japanese animation – in the way films are allowed an identity far beyond being a vehicle to shill toys. This year’s highlight is Hiroyuki Okiura’s A Letter To Momo, a Miyazaki-esque portrait of a 12-year-old girl arriving on a remote island in high summer, moving back to the town where her mother grew up after the death of her father. She’s watched over by three Japanese deities reincarnated as zany goblins, and the film strikes a sweet balance between metaphysical-realm hijinks and the pain of grieving and growing up. Makoto Shinkai follows last year’s Children Who Chase Lost Voices with The Garden Of Words, another piece of profound cinematic romanticism. Here, he’s obsessed 48 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

with recreating, in animation, highphotorealist depictions of water; his film filled with constant rainfall, which leads to droplets splashing up, dripping down, and running along everything. The film tells a tale of a neartragic attraction between two school-skipping daydreamers, and doesn’t even reach an hour-long, but it packs a mighty emotional wallop. The Garden Of Words works like a perfectly-mounted power-ballad: over-thetop, manipulative, and almost embarrassingly sentimental, yet one that crests with a crescendo that’ll dent even the hardest of hearts.


Otherwise, Reel Anime plays much more to genre nerd-dom. Berserk Movie 2 – The Battle For Doldrey follows last-year’s Berserk: The Egg Of The King with the second-part-of-the-trilogy saga of hyper-masculine warriors at war in a pseudo-medieval fantasy-world ripe with testosterone and liberally littered with carnage; it feels like there’s as many sword-fights in 90 minutes than in Lord Of The Rings’ 10 combined hours. Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo and Ghost In The Shell: Arise make no concessions to any viewers not already steeped in the lore of their highly-sexualised near-futureworld mythos. And 009: Re-Cyborg reboots an old, beloved manga serial for a new age; its tale of cybernetic heroes dusted off for an alternate-2013. WHAT: Reel Anime WHEN & WHERE: 3 to 16 Oct, Dendy Newtown





2 0 1 3





A WIDER VIEW For the new Alter Bridge record, frontman and selfconfessed “musical slut” Myles Kennedy infused a more universal sensibility. Brendan Crabb helps him make a brand new start.


think that we just try and, for a lack of a better phrase, keep it real,” vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy good-naturedly chuckles when The Music suggests that despite their success both collectively and outside Alter Bridge, there’s a noticeable lack of pretension surrounding their melodic hard rock. “Just try and have a very honest approach about it. None of us are really super outgoing, overly charismatic… I know I’m certainly not the most charismatic frontman in rock‘n’roll. I just am not that guy. So when you are aware of that, you just try and use what gifts you have to the best of your abilities, and I think for us it’s about just trying to craft good songs.”

Such a sentiment is a cornerstone of the American quartet’s appeal. The “gifts” to which Kennedy refers are none too insignificant either, himself being blessed with a golden set of pipes. Former Creed members, virtuoso axeman Mark Tremonti, Scott Phillips (drums) and Brian Marshall (bass), have a tangible chemistry when combined with the ex-The Mayfield Four main-man. This is again evident on fourth full-length, Fortress. The new collection arrives after brief downtime, during which Kennedy fronted Slash’s band, Tremonti released his first solo LP and Phillips formed Projected with members of Sevendust. Kennedy also has a nearly-completed solo record in the works. Alter Bridge is the focal point now though, and the singer believed a slight shift in subject matter was required on Fortress. “You’ve got this dilapidated building on the cover, and the actual meaning of the song is if you have these structures around you that you think are indestructible or steadfast. They can be governments or religions or marriages; any sort of an institution that brings you solace. As time goes on you realise that a lot of that is very temporary and fragile. I used to be very inward with my lyrical approach. As time’s gone on you realise you only have so many situations to draw from... So I’ve had to learn to be more aware of other people’s lives and other people’s situations, and draw inspiration from that. That’s always kind of the goal, to have something that resonates with people other than yourself. But at the same time, realising that the subject matter should be something that you can relate 50 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

to enough to convey it passionately, and if you’re gonna play it night after night you want to believe in it when you’re singing it. So it’s kind of a delicate balance.” An integral facet of maintaining their songwriting balance is broad influences.

rock and metal. I started with Zeppelin and Van Halen, and then wanted something heavier. Then I discovered Accept and Metallica; it was just the faster and more metallic, the better. Then one day I woke up and was like, ‘I’m going to discover this jazz art-form’. That was when I started going down that road.” The road is where Alter Bridge will remain for the foreseeable future, including returning here for Soundwave 2014. Although Kennedy is encouraged by the response afforded their style of rock in places like Australia, he’s concerned by its lack of a firm foothold elsewhere. “It’s definitely a lot different than it was 25 years ago.

“I’VE HAD TO LEARN TO BE MORE AWARE OF OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES AND OTHER PEOPLE’S SITUATIONS, AND DRAW INSPIRATION FROM THAT.” “I’m a musical slut,” Kennedy laughs. “I will one minute be listening to Miles Davis or John Coltrane, and the next minute Gojira. I tend to get very… I don’t want to say bored with listening to the same genre over and over; I just need different stimulation. When I was probably about 13, I went through about four years where I was definitely into hard

It seems to be much more of a niche fan-base. At least here in the States, we definitely feel that. Hard rock isn’t embraced by the masses like it once was. But there are still diehard fans out there, and hopefully that will continue. I think as long as there are people who feel alienated or different, hopefully metal will continue to provide a certain amount of solace. I know that for me, that was what it was. I needed something to help me find my identity and my tribe.” WHAT: Fortress (Roadrunner/Warner) WHEN & WHERE: 23 Feb, Soundwave, Olympic Park



After graduating with a degree in fine art, Jason Swinscoe chose music via The Cinematic Orchestra. “I have always used visual cues and conceptual ideas to construct music,” he tells Guido Farnell.


ne of the many delights of this year’s editions of the Melbourne and Graphic festivals, The Cinematic Orchestra have been soundtracking our lives with their sumptuous scores for imaginary films for many years. The outfit, which was brought together by Jason Swinscoe in the late ‘90s, will team up with local orchestras Philharmonia Australia and the Sydney International Orchestra respectively. “The orchestrations are much more elaborate than what you might be used to hearing on record,” Swinscoe says. “The albums usually only featured a quartet, which was sometimes multitracked to achieve a bigger effect. Hearing an orchestra which has 24 strings in addition to woodwind, brass and a harp player transforms the music and gives it much bigger sonics that are simply a pleasure to listen to.” In putting these shows together, Swinscoe has teamed up with the Heritage Orchestra’s Jules Buckley, who wrote a lot of the orchestrations. “I have worked with Jules since the Live At The Albert Hall show,” Swinscoe enthuses. “Jules understands the music and even though he is classically trained he understands the vibe of jazz and street music. It can be daunting working with an orchestra, because so many people are involved in making the music. I do enjoy a loose and free approach to making music, but many composers and conductors who score for film tend to be more rigid in their thinking. I find the process a lot easier when I have a good relationship with the conductor and we are on exactly the same page.” As Swinscoe talks, it becomes obvious that he is driven by a desire to use the orchestra as an instrument and adopt a more experimental approach to making music. “Well just adding an orchestra to your music is kind of boring and I genuinely want to do something more interesting and experimental,” he stresses. “At the moment I really like Johnny Greenwood’s work. His approach is quite academic but the sonics and what he gets out of the players end up sounding quite experimental. It really comes through on his soundtrack for The Master.” Over the years, Swinscoe and The Cinematic Orchestra have evolved from being a sample-based

outfit celebrating jazz and soundtrack music from the ‘60s on their debut album Motion to subsequently move across a multitude of styles with each successive album. What ties it all together are the atmospherics of the music and the image that it intends to create in the listener’s mind’s eye.

component. The influence of my art school training was immediately apparent in the music. I have never been keen on recording three-minute songs. I was more interested in recording mini-soundtracks where the first section was like an opening scene, section two is like the body of a story and the third part is the final reveal where a story is completed. I have always used visual cues and conceptual ideas to construct music.” Once the choice was made to pursue music, Swinscoe turned his hand to composing sonic art. “Sampling was the beginning for me and I had to work through and write out of it,” he reflects.

“I HAVE NEVER BEEN KEEN ON RECORDING THREE-MINUTE SONGS.” Unsurprisingly, Swinscoe’s fascination with sound and vision can be traced back to his university days. “I went to art school and studied fine art,” he confirms. “I studied visual art and did a lot of photography and made a lot of short films. I stopped painting and was drawn to working in more 3D spaces. In my spare time I was in a band. When I graduated I forced myself to choose between music or visual arts. It wasn’t until I started recording Motion that I realised the music had a very strong visual

“I kind of was like studying music while composing and producing those records. It was learning through making mistakes, but I learnt a lot very quickly. I was always having arguments with people in the band who would tell me that something I’d written didn’t work according to western music theory when it in fact sounded and felt right to my ears. Sometimes those mistakes lead you to discover something amazing, which sounds magical even though it may not seem to be such a great idea.” Currently in the studio working on a new album that should be completed by the end of the year, Swinscoe cautions that the shows in Australia will not preview any new tracks: “The new album is very electronic and will need to be presented very differently when it’s played live. I don’t think it will lend itself to this grand, orchestral approach.” WHEN & WHERE: 6 Oct, Graphic, Sydney Opera House Concert Hall THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 51


INSIDIOUS POP Fake voices, isolation, carnivale grotesquerie – Philadelphia’s Man Man know no boundaries. Frontman Ryan Kattner ushers Brendan Telford into their heady world.


ver the course of four albums, idiosyncratic rock collective Man Man have crafted a sonic world steeped in warped variation. Steadfast in their convictions of subversive lyricism, and inhabiting their vignettes with garish brushstrokes, the band defy categorisation simply because the fluidity of their music leaves nothing to hang a label to. It’s all weirdly immersive, continuing with On Oni Pond, an album that the band has stated is both a natural progression from 2011’s Life Fantastic and a musical reboot. Ryan Kattner

(who immediately breaks the ice by speaking in an intentionally ridiculous deep voice) maintains that it’s the contradiction inherent within the band’s aesthetic that continues to fuel the band’s seemingly boundless propensity for creativity. “It’s a natural progression because I constantly evolve, which helps when not feeling bogged down by what people’s expectations are of what you should or could be,” Kattner explains. “To evolve is to stay relevant, to remain hungry, to force challenges upon yourself.” This conscious shift in focus on the construction of music mirrors


Kattner’s shift in emotional weight over the past few years, resulting in a hitherto unseen restrictive veil being lifted. “[Life Fantastic] was written in a pretty bad place, whilst On Oni Pond was written with my drummer Chris (Powell),” Kattner explains. “By stepping away from bouncing ideas off of four guys, the intimacy of working with a partner allows you to take stock more wholeheartedly. I didn’t want to gravitate towards the personal world that the last record inhabited, and the reality of the situation was that Chris was the only one who wanted to write songs with me. Plus we had decided that if the songs didn’t come by the end of the summer, we might have to go our separate ways. It was a terrifying thought, and made us put the blinkers on. It was like, ‘Fuck it, let’s make a great record’. It’s not like we have 401K or mortgages; we have nothing to lose. If nobody likes it, fuck ‘em.” On Oni Pond encapsulates the fearlessness, intellect and absurdity that pervades the band. The sequencing of the tracks swings from carnivalesque jeers to jaunty eclecticism, the musical intricacies reflecting the juxtaposition between melody and subject matter, and Kattner sas that he is only getting started. “I get really bored with one-dimensionality; we are not onedimensional beings, so why should music be? Why can’t a song break your heart, make you laugh, contain nightmarish imagery, be a children’s story – why can’t one song embody all these things, and still be catchy and poppy? That’s the insidious nature of the lot of our songs; they are catchy in really sneaky ways. I feel like has congealed into something special here. I feel like an overzealous father showing everyone photos of his hideous kids. They are beautiful to me, promise.” WHAT: On Oni Pond (Anti-/Warner)

GOLDEN YEARS It may have taken The 1975 ten years to knuckle down and record their debut album, but still, lead singer Matthew Healy seems surprised to inform Dylan Stewart, “There’s so much bullshit that happens when your band starts to break.”


t’s Friday morning in Manchester and Matthew Healy, lead singer for British group The 1975, has a pretty big weekend on the cards. “Our album comes out on Monday so I’m just fucking busy as anything. I’m in my home town for the first time in about six months and back to London this afternoon to prepare.” Preparation is something that Healy and his bandmates have had plenty of leading up to their debut LP release. “[Over the past ten years] we fucked about, we quit the band and we got back into the band,” Healy reflects. “One of us went to uni then dropped out of uni, until we got to age 23 and decided to put out an album.” It seems the time was right to put the band first. “The last six months have been a very humbling time. We’ve been a band for ten years and we’ve never released music… Now, as a band who have been together for so long and never played a headline show, we’re embarking on, essentially, a world tour of sold-out shows. It’s been incredible.” With the backing of Sony Music and the production techniques of Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Foals) on board, there’s certainly an air of expectation; something the band embraced in the studio. “All the music on the album was written way before anybody knew us,” Healy


reveals. So, when the band went in to record, “It was more a process of preservation. We gave a lot of credit to the actual recording process. I’m a firm believer that physically recording a record is a task enough in itself. All the creative elements of the music need to be locked in before you can go into a studio and experiment with production ideas.” And deciding on Crossey? “There’s so much bullshit that happens when your band starts to break. Everybody involved is like, ‘Oh, you need to make a record with this guy and this record sold XYZ

amount. You need to do a record with Justin MeldalJohnsen because he did that new M83 record and it sounds aaah-mazing.’ Do you not know why the M83 record sounds amazing? It’s because M83 are fucking amazing! So in my mind the best person to produce a 1975 record is us. Mike Crossey was the first big producer to come along and say, ‘You’re totally right, and what I want to do is help you embrace all of your demos and make [them] a grander sonic expression’.” Soon The 1975 will be bringing their album to Australia as part of Big Day Out 2014’s epic lineup. Healy is more than a little excited to return to a country in which he spent some of his formative years. “I actually lived in Melbourne from when I was about two to when I was about four years old. Aside from that, though, the boys and I have never really been to Australia and we’re really excited about it. WHAT: The 1975 (Sony) WHEN & WHERE: 26 and 27 Jan, Sydney Showground Sydney Olympic Park


much as possible live. You know, you get all these acts that say they play live, and then unload a few laptops and mixers or whatever and press play,” he argues. “That’s not live. If you say you’re going to play live, the least you could do is actually fucking play live. It’s so important for us that there’s something going on stage so you’re not just staring at the back of a laptop. It has to be dynamic, it has to be entertaining.”


It’s pretty good to see that Disclosure still preach what they practise; it could’ve been easy to become jaded after the umpteenth interview on the topic. The whole ‘crossover’ thing has been thrown at them constantly, with the Lawrences apparently figureheads for groups such as AlunaGeorge and Duke Dumont to step out of the ‘underground’. How does Lawrence feel about all this? “Ummm, well, I mean, good, good,” he says. “I mean, it’s great that there are people who listen to our music and have that much of a mind about it. I don’t really know what the term ‘crossover act’ means in terms of us, even now. Does it mean we’re making music to cross over, or does it mean that we’ve made underground music and for some reason it’s in the charts? No one seems to know; I think that’s kind of unclear in the term. But personally, I think we’ve just carried on making the music we were making when we were considered underground. Now that it’s gotten popular, people consider it mainstream.

WHITE NOISE UK duo Disclosure are the biggest dance act in the world right now, which means a lot of talk. Cam Findlay cuts through the crap with Howard Lawrence.


an, so sorry Cam,” Howard, the younger of the two Lawrence brothers and one half of Disclosure, says the third time our interview is cut off. “We’re driving at the moment, and there was this tunnel.” It’s been a very controversial couple of months for Howard and his older brother Guy, with every major music publication establishing an opinion on the young brothers. “We haven’t really done anything except shows, which means we really haven’t had any time to think about anything else other than playing shows,” Lawrence stresses. In this day and age, where every single artist is meticulously examined thanks to the internet, it’s practically unheard of for two young brothers to become the most prominent players in the dance game within three months. Not that that’s the case here; Disclosure have been around for four years, at least. Along with the obligatory glowing reviews of Settle – an album that blends pop structuring with deceptively simple and entrancing bass and dub – there’s been just as many accusations of ‘playing the game’. A few major publications have said that Disclosure are pandering to what’s popular; one has said they’ll be the death of what’s popular in the UK’s much-loved house scene. It’s a hell of a lot of reading into two guys who, honestly, don’t care, as long as they’re making music people will dance to. “I’d say there really hasn’t been any change,” Lawrence responds thoughtfully on the topic. “I think that the main difference is the stuff that we’re listening to has changed slightly. We’ve just moved onto different stuff. And I mean that about us and people in general. When we started, we were listening to a lot of house music, and it’s just kind of broadened to a lot of other different things now, really. House music has always been a big part of what Disclosure is and now suddenly it just seems that house music seems to be dominating the charts. Which is obviously great for us, but it does put us in this strange situation. Like, people saying that we’re playing house music because it’s popular. That’s simply not true; it’s always been what we’ve done. And I 54 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

think, if you listen to our music, there’s a lot more to it than that anyway.” One example: their live show. If you’ve managed to catch a Disclosure show before, either live or filmed, you would have noticed the obvious attention the brothers Howard give to the visual aspect of their gigs. It’s become a calling card for the duo in our current climate where a ‘live’ DJ can be someone who simply presses play on Ableton and dances around for an hour. “It’s really important for us that there’s something going on onstage, always,” Lawrence says. “It’s pretty lucky in that our music kind of lends itself to that. You know, it’s pretty simple to pull out all the percussion and have different pads and things for it. It was kind of a learning curve to get to the point where we are now... I mean, it’s taken us a lot of time to get comfortable playing all these different parts at once. And obviously, you can’t play every part of every track, but we try to do as

“I think it’s frustrating when you meet these people who think that being in the mainstream is a bad thing,” Lawrence responds when asked if that gets on his nerves. “Obviously, changing your music to get into the mainstream is probably a bad thing, that’s the wrong way to go about it. But we’ve just kept doing what we’ve been doing naturally, which is writing pop-structured songs in the style of house and garage music. And yeah, there’s a lot of people saying that we’re some kind of new movement.

“IF YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO PLAY LIVE, THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS ACTUALLY FUCKING PLAY LIVE.” That we’ve become some poster [children] or something. Like, as if they look at who we’ve worked with and make some kind of connection. Honestly, AlunaGeorge, and all the other guys we’ve toured and played with, it was just a matter of meeting them in certain situations. When we started all these projects, none of us knew each other. We just met via the music we were playing. There’s no conspiracy; they like what we do and we like what they do.” Luckily, Howard Lawrence seems pretty relaxed on the whole issue. It seems he’s been prepared to accept the obstacles that obviously pop up with such fame, and the two have kept their heads on straight. “When we started, we were never worried about what was gonna get into the charts; you can’t be, that can mess everything up. We were just making the music that we wanted to make at the time. That’s still what we’re doing.” WHAT: Settle (Universal) WHEN & WHERE: 28 Sep, Listen Out, Centennial Park; 1 Oct, The Hi-Fi


MC/singer Theophilus London and soulful expat Sam Sparro. “The intention behind this [album] was really to get my listeners to understand how history can create the future. Working with new collaborators really helps to cement influences from the past who have led me to create the sound that I have.”

The unlikeliest collaborators enhance the new release from The Bloody Beetroots, but it’s about creating the future as Bob Cornelius tells Cyclone.


taly’s electro-punk The Bloody Beetroots, led by the charismatic Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo (aka Simone Cogo), headlined the Boiler Room at last summer’s Big Day Out. Now the sometime DJ has teamed with rock royalty in Sir Paul McCartney and Killing Joke bassist-cum-feted producer Martin ‘Youth’ Glover for the rocktronica Out Of Sight on The Beetroots’ latest album, Hide.

Cogo started his music career playing with punk bands in beautiful Venice. He’s currently based in Los Angeles. The Bloody Beetroots originated in 2006. Three years on, Cogo furnished the Australian crossover LP, Romborama, taking in his signature Cornelius, on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak. Over time he’d develop The Beetroots into a live band. Now Cogo is back with Hide and it has several implausible guests, from Mötley Crüe drummer and EDM convert Tommy Lee to seasoned UK guitarist Peter Frampton, hipster


Arguably, Hide’s most intriguing cameo is McCartney on Out Of Sight. Cogo recycled a song by McCartney’s experimental (and electronic!) ‘90s vehicle The Fireman. “I was in the studio with Youth and he basically helped make it happen. He asked me who I would like to collaborate with on my new album and I told him Sir Paul McCartney. He actually had an old song from Paul – one thing led to another, and Out Of Sight was created not long after.” Latterly Cogo has suggested the “layered” Beetroots is not only ‘punk’ musically, but also ideologically, talking up his online “cultural movement”, The Real Church Of Noise. “My message doesn’t really change year by year – it’s more about the philosophy behind music and art and culture. I want more kids today to stand up for what they believe in – even if that’s not straightforward.” Indeed, Cogo is no militant punk. After all, he did remix Britney Spears’ Ke$ha-authored Till The World Ends (not to mention the theme to MTV’s supernatural series, Teen Wolf), although possibly that was subversive. “Anyone who knows me knows I like to take something and rip it apart and create something new from it. So that’s what I did – I wanted to destroy and recreate the track.” WHAT: Hide (Hussle/Ministry Of Sound) WHEN & WHERE: 1 Dec, Stereosonic, Sydney Showground



If you hear The Dangerous Summer album and get the urge to hurtle it into space, go ahead. From what Cody Payne tells Benny Doyle, they won’t be offended.


t’s funny that albums holding arguably the most gravity in phonograph recording history have ended up surrounded by none at all. The Golden Records were sent into space in 1977 along with the Voyager spacecrafts. Holding the natural sounds of Earth – surf, wind, thunder, animal calls – native music from various cultures, greetings, images and more, the gold-plated copper records were meant for extraterrestrial life, offering a taste of what’s happening in our part of the galaxy. American four-piece The Dangerous Summer liked the ideals of that space undertaking and wanted to capture the same thing on their third LP, “so we were thinking let’s make an album that’s based on the sounds of The Dangerous Summer,” says bassist Cody Payne. “We wanted to make something a little more timeless,” he continues. “So many bands have this new sound to their recordings, but we wanted to do something a little more raw, almost like grungy – especially with the vocals – and make it really passionate in the sense of the sound. We just wanted to make our Golden Record, the one that we’re really proud of [which] represents us as a band.” To grasp the spirit of who they are now, the Maryland rockers let their current line-up shine through, and with new recruits Matt Kennedy (guitar/keys, formerly of The Graduate) and Ben Cato (drums) bringing plenty

to the table they pushed for a bigger and bolder Dangerous Summer. “I think we’re getting more, I guess the word is ‘worldly’ with our sound,” remarks Payne. “We just tried to get a little more experimental with the ‘rock band’ thing.” What they observed and heard from bands such as The National and Japandroids also encouraged them to add more layers and dynamics, removed of any pretention and bullshit. Payne cites such acts as being part of a “cool, more underground [scene] that have their popularity, [while still] creating this whole new wave of mainstream rock music.”

The resulting sessions saw Payne remove the sole burden of songwriting and open the experience to his bandmates. Jams continued that way until the feeling was good enough to start structuring and penning lyrics, with Golden Record speaking of joys and struggles, scepticisms and hope. “This time it was just four guys in a room rather than one bringing a song to the table,” explains Payne of the creation process. “You can hear that in certain songs, and I think [that feeling] is only going to get stronger as we get more comfortable with each other and know how to communicate when we’re writing and when we’re trying to get an idea across. We’re excited about it and will continue to write that way [in the future].” WHAT: Golden Record (Hopeless) WHEN & WHERE: 1 Dec, Warped Tour, Barangaroo; 6 Dec, Warped Tour, Exhibition Park, Canberra THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 55



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This week: we get lost in the world of Grand Theft Auto V, get deep inside Lovelace and Haim prove to last beyond the hype.

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD Float Along – Fill Your Lungs Flightless/Dot Dash/Remote Control When it comes to making soundscapes that punk rockers and pop enthusiasts can enjoy together, they’re fine purveyors. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (which, by the way, is much more fun to say with the emphasis on each word’s final syllable) have returned with arguably their most polished release to date. Having settled themselves somewhere between surf rock and drone-scuzz-pop – as far as made-up hybrid genres go, it’s quite descriptive of the album’s sound – Float Along – Fill Your Lungs sees KG&TLW driven and focused on making a rollicking record that never gets too far ahead of itself. Taking a leaf out of Neil Young’s book and opening with a 15-minute double-whammy opus Head On/Pill totally works and sets the tone for the following seven tracks.


TRACK LISTING 1. Head On/Pill 2. I Am Not A Man Unless I Have A Woman 3. God Is Calling Me Back Home 4. 30 Past 7

5. Let Me Mend The Past 6. Mystery Jack 7. Pop In My Step 8. Float Along – Fill Your Lungs

It’s difficult to escape the sitar and theremin across much of the release, but neither is ever used in a gimmicky way – rather to reinforce the dreamlike and, it must be said, late-era Beatles sound across each song. With seven members it makes sense to include only eight tracks on the album, so that each has time to build, sway and ultimately come tumbling down around one’s ears with no restrictions. There is no rush to get through any song (God Is Calling Me Back Home being the possible exception). The album traverses aural landscapes regularly occupied by San Cisco (Let Me Mend The Past) as well as The Black Angels (Mystery Jack) proving that there is something on Float Along – Fill Your Lungs for everyone. Dylan Stewart THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 57

album reviews



Sounds From The Other Side

Crucible – The Songs Of Hunters & Collectors

Shock The hard-rocking boys from Wollongong are back and they haven’t missed a step. When Tumbleweed got back together for live gigs a few years ago, I’m sure there were dudes in their 30s and 40s all over Australia who couldn’t wait to relive their teenage years and 20s of beer, bongs and maybe even the odd beer bong. Well, now that experience is available anytime, anywhere, with Sounds From The Other Side, Tumbleweed’s first long player of originals in over a decade. Sounds From The Other Side isn’t about reinventing the wheel, but it never sounds like a lazy rehash of the good old days either. Night Owl is all denim and leather swagger, which turns into an “ooh and aah”-infused chorus. A real stand-out, Dirty Little Secret sounds like the kind of song you’d need cranking on your car stereo if you were being chased down an outback highway by a rogue semi-trailer. Things go a little


★★★½ vintage with Drop In The Ocean, which owes a lot to Bowie’s Heroes musically, thematically and lyrically. And Queen Of Voodoo is Tumbleweed singing about the kind of chick you want Tumbleweed to sing about – a bit of rough trade on the banks of the New Orleans everglades who knows how to party. It’s dirty; it’s big muff guitars; it’s the almost monotone yet somehow melodious vocals of Richie Lewis. Aaaah, Tumbleweed’s Sounds From The Other Side is just like being back in the warm, loving embrace of 1995, and it couldn’t feel more like home. Pete Laurie



At the other extreme, Something For Kate’s When The River Runs Dry and The Living End’s Say Goodbye are perhaps too straight. While Husky’s echoey Blind

Eye, The Panics’ surprising Alligator Engine and Abbe May’s Dog, obviously in heat, are among some of the interesting sidetracks. Meantime, Oh Mercy appear to think Bob Dylan should have sung The Slab. So to the most iconic (and problematic) of all – Throw Your Arms Around Me. Even its originators admit to never quite getting it right and Neil Finn has had repeated goes at it. Here, he offers a soundcheck version duet with Eddie Vedder’s swallowed melodrama that again doesn’t damage the hymn, but equally doesn’t add much to it either. Overall? Flawed, but mostly sincere. Ross Clelland

Days Are Gone Universal

In My Room/Balance/EMI

For instance, sharp, echoing drum patterns give lengthy track Still On Fire an ‘80s electro flavour reminiscent of New Order. Its reverb-drenched, pulsating bassline creates the impression of a polyphonic ringtone being played underwater. Likewise Trails impresses with

As ever, tribute albums remain a schizoid beast, some artists doing the testimonials by simply covering, while others seek to recast completely. In that latter category – and one of the major talking points – elements of the long-missing Avalanches taking to the early industrial funk of Talking To A Stranger, and cut-and-pasting their fingerprints all over it.




Lost lacks a coherent vision, instead wavering between trip hop in the vein of Portishead and modern club fare. Operatic, watery opener The Dream as well as Gravity and Candy Tongue each feature a different female vocalist (Low, Jana Hunter and Marie Fisker respectively) to the detriment of Trentemøller’s style. This isn’t to say the singers are bad; rather, their vocals dominate the tracks’ structures while the music itself meanders in the place of his usual, sophisticated electronica. In fact, it’s the instrumental sections of Lost that really shine.

It is probably time for Hunnas to get such a reappraisal; a superlative live band, and Mark Seymour’s songs – often illustrating the inarticulate angst of the Australian male – all a bit lost as they became best-known for an accidental footy anthem, and embraced by those blokes in wife-beaters who were probably being critiqued in the first place.

★★★ its Nintendo 64 aesthetic – shimmering chimes contributing to a busy, ecstatic sound. What these two tracks, as well the cinematic, tribal beat of Never Stop Running have in common is that they stray from gentle, minimal electronica, instead going all out in energy and texture. While Lost isn’t mind-blowing, it’ll be difficult to find someone who doesn’t like at least a few songs here. Though previous fans may be unconvinced, more experimental tracks such as the spooky, oriental-influenced Morphine, which employs various percussion elements to great effect, burn brightly through the regressive elements of the record. Stephanie Tell

It’s easy to be cynical about Haim. On one hand it all seems so contrived: three sisters who’ve previously had pop star aspirations finding their place in the spotlight via not-quite-underground indie circles playing an excessively polished brand of groovy pop that is frankly irresistible and oh-so-bloggable. But their first album makes it hard to deny that they have the songwriting and performing nous to back it up. Days Are Gone starts in familiar territory; we’ve had time to sit on Falling, Forever and The Wire – practically perfect pop songs – but they proceed to prove they have more where that came from. The soulful pop-leaning title track is a sure-fire radio single, the dirty and dark R&B of My Song 5 channels Prince, while Running If You Call My Name has Haim jumping on the big

★★★★ cavernous, reverb-laden synth pop that’s so prominent in the indie scene right now. Frankly, this is a record destined to be played in hairdressing salons all over the world; it’s slick, sexy and just edgy enough to not feel like a guilty pleasure. Rest assured Haim will become very popular in the coming months and years; there’s simply no way they can’t. But even if and/or when that hype dies down, we’ll still realise their songs are great and that they’re the kind of band we need far more of in the realm of commercial pop. Dan Condon

album reviews









When The Iron Glows Red


Seasons Of Your Day

Bed & Bugs


Rhymes Of An Hour/ Balance/EMI

Sub Pop/Inertia

Dew Process/Universal The Panics’ voice does the almost obligatory solo thing, in a manner that will appeal to enthusiasts of the band, and may find some new fans. For the most part, Iron is a little less lush than some of the band’s work, the focus more on Laffer’s plaintive voice and storytelling, sometimes with a social conscience, as in the workingman’s tale of the title track. There’s some Paul Kelly-style tales of memories and affection too, like the lighter To Mention Her, a duet with Angie Hart’s equally distinctive tones. Overall an understated listen.

Those Creed paycheques must feature numerous zeroes if threequarters of its membership seem willing to continue peddling grunge-lite tripe there, while their musical (ahem) alter-ego craft increasingly potent, searing hard rock. Boasting pure songwriting chemistry with Myles Kennedy and his golden pipes, virtuoso guitarist Mark Tremonti plays a key role in their hardest-hitting, most metallic effort (see The Uninvited). Highly accessible but soulful, Addicted To Pain’s anthemic hooks, All Ends Well’s uplifting refrain and mini-epic title track fit snugly alongside the groovy, syncopated riffs of Cry A River and Bleed It Dry’s startling Tremonti solo.

Ross Clelland

Brendan Crabb


Californian slow-core pioneers Mazzy Star stand firmly in the earth of their own woozy sound garden, and sound like they never stopped playing. After a relatively light-hearted opener, In The Kingdom, incorporating a softly gurgling reggae organ riff, Dave Roback and Hope Sandoval dive back into opaque, velvet dreamscapes and familiar melancholy passages. Lead single, California, is a standout, offering a simple acoustic arrangement that unwinds at a leisurely pace, stretching off into the night. The album never takes off; it’s a sweetly woozy listen without a natural start or finish.

Bed & Bugs offers a slightly different inflection of garageinfused punk than previous Obits releases – not a jarring shift, just a tangibly different vibe. It’s not laid back per se, just slightly more relaxed, and touches of psych-folk (Machines), surf (Spun Out) and even swampy blues (Malpractice) come into play, although footto-the-floor rockers (I’m Sick, I’m Closing In, Taste The Diff) still rule the roost. Frontman Rick Froberg’s immaculate pedigree is still prominent; another fine batch of slightly off-kilter but otherwise pristine rock’n’roll from one of the best guitar-slingers around.

Matt MacMaster

Steve Bell














Razor & Tie/Shock


After a promising few years on the Sydney live scene, Zeahorse completely dropped off the radar only to return with a new label (Inertia) and a long-awaited debut. On Pools, the Sydney band demonstrate an evolution into a much tighter unit which maintains the baritone guitar noise fundamental to the Zeahorse sound; it wouldn’t be them without the super down-tempo of tracks like opener Career, lead single Tugboat (a personal favourite), the aptly titled Familiar Faeces and a banjo hoedown in Junktown Train. It’s music that is clearly made for their own pleasure – and fuck the rest if they don’t like it.

Moby’s status as a techno pioneer is well deserved, but as Janet Jackson once asked: what have you done for me lately? His 11th release pads the lack of innovation by being a collab-fest cast of thousands rehashing moods already well explored. Results range from Mark Lanegan growling superfluously just like his host (The Lonely Night), Wayne Coyne being typically happy-hippy (The Perfect Life) and Cold Specks’ Al Spx who fits techno-blues quite snugly on two tracks. All this simply extends his trademark into the realm of over-familiarity; thus Innocents comes off as a greatest hits without any hits.

Dennis Lyxzén is not one to sit still. Even after a wonderful career in near-perfect hardcore outfit Refused and great political punk rockers The International Noise Conspiracy, the man has more to say. So comes INVSN (that’s “Invasion” for those reading aloud), the man’s latest work. What it lacks in anger and surprises, it partially makes up for in pop hooks. Easily the most straightforward release attached to the man, the record never really escapes the trappings of its style. This is neat, to-thepoint, pop-influenced punk rock and it knows it.

Churning out three LPs in as many years would take its toll on most bands, but Split shows us that The Ocean Party are capable of pumping out a steady stream of lackadaisical lo-fi pop tunes with no apparent decrease in quality. With every band member contributing as a singersongwriter on the record, you would be forgiven for thinking that Split could have ended up a discordant mash-up of competing egos. Yet Split flows seamlessly from leisurely opener Quarter Life to dreamy closer Outside with impressive cohesion. With a total running time of just over half an hour, Split is definitely worth a lunch break listen.

Adam Wilding

Mac McNaughton

Andrew McDonald

Ash Goldberg THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 59

single/ep reviews


BECK Gimme Independent With both acoustic and otherwise albums in the works, this comes with Tom Waits-ian empty bottle and xylophone percussion and vocals treated, phased and wobbly. Typically idiosyncratic.

LACHLAN BRYAN & THE WILDES 309 WJO Distribution Just gravelly enough Hume Highway alt-country. Bryan’s voice shakes hands with Bill Chambers’ growl and a watertight band to drive it. Someone gets shot, sun comes up, someone’s gone.





Event II

Spreading Rumours




R Plus Seven

You already know Spreading Rumours’ lead single Ways To Go with its almost-schoolyard taunt for a hook and a chorus that won’t leave you for days. But there’s perhaps a more electro foundation present on Grouplove’s second record – the opening I’m With You sizzling with pulsating rhythms while Borderlines And Aliens treads more familiar territory for the LA group – lyrically whack with crazy instrumentation. Schoolboy strikes more emotionally while Hippy Hill is just flat out weird.


The first Deltron 3030 album defied expectations, entering alternative hip hop folklore at the genre’s peak and the original Deltron crew are back (DTA, Del and Kid Koala) for the sequel. Where the first album had a loose thread of futuristic fiction, the new album creates a definitive and linear narrative. There’s a certain irony that a future-themed album has such a retro sound, and it seems unlikely that Event II will have the same traction as the first. That’s more about where hip hop is at today – the concept and album work well, but times have changed. Chris Yates

Spreading Rumours is a melting pot of genres and sounds all smashed into one pop song at a time, and for the most part Grouplove pull it off.

Give the man credit: he takes chances. Having worked his way up the electronic music food chain, Daniel “Oneohtrix Point Never” Lopatin has made his debut on the esteemed Warp records by abandoning his overlapping drones and giving his fuzzy, crackling sound a shave. But “he who dares, wins”, as they say, as R Plus Seven contains some dynamite material: stunning adventures in crystalline hi-fi, with the likes of Zebra and He She revealing a deviously skewed intellect and expectation-defying compositions. It’s pure magic.

Ben Preece

Christopher H James

THE SOLICITORS Quicksand Popboomerang Blokes in the suits, ties and sneakers make power pop in the manner of time immemorial. Or at least from the time Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe knew the bride when she used to rock and roll.







Dancing With A Ghost

Scar The Martyr

Wine Island



Orange Lounge Recordings

Stately, piano-driven alt-r’n’b style, notable for its main promotional push coming from it being part of the background noise on Grand Theft Auto V. Who needs radio when we have Playstation?

Young Tamworth musician Ashleigh Dallas is raw on her debut album. Her technical ability on the fiddle and banjo, and country music nous, is outstanding but she’s still trying to find her voice. Warm but yielding, highlights include The Candle and the infectious instrumental, Slapsister. Dallas may not grab your attention immediately, but the strength of this album is in the details. Kasey Chambers, Bill Chambers, Busby Marou and co-producer Matt Fell have all had a hand in the record, but it would have benefited from a stronger personal stamp from this supremely talented artist.

Joey Jordison’s (Slipknot) latest exercise in heavy metal hybridisation sees him joining forces with Jed Simon (ex-Strapping Young Lad) and Chris Vrenna (ex-NIN) for Scar The Martyr.

Formulaic to the point of pedestrian, not even Jordison’s typically water-tight drumming is enough to save Scar The Martyr from sub-par banality.

Former Karma County guy and much respected guitar study goes for the full-bottle double album affair, with each disc (Bianco and Rosso – sensing one of the themes?) showing two distinct sides of his nature. The first is mostly built around some nicely sinuous blues, with Gallagher’s own sly wit in evidence, and some individually observed covers – a slinky Baby, Please Don’t Go, and Icehouse’s Love In Motion notable. Other half is the more laidback, but still identifiably his. The quiet conversations with you – some confessional, some conspiratorial – are underpinned with his assured playing.

Ross Clelland

Scott Fitzsimons

Glenn Waller

Ross Clelland

BLACK CAB Go Slow Interstate 40 Typically warm krautrock electronica – if those terms don’t all contradict each other – from the widely respected, yet mostly domestically unknown, sporadic Melbourne combo. Quite great.

TWIN SHADOW Old Love/New Love 4AD/Remote Control


Fans of said bands will find little to celebrate here, however. None of the angst which gave STM members’ previous work any grit is to be found on this release and at best it serves as a soundtrack for the lowest common denominator to spark up a glass pipe to.

live reviews

BEACH FOSSILS, TV COLOURS, MAJOR LEAGUES The Standard 20 Sep Although initially plagued by technical hiccups (malfunctioning effects pedals), Major Leagues have officially stepped up to the big league. The almost-all-girl band from Brisbane have spent the last month opening for some of the country’s best, including The Preatures and The Holidays, and have now found themselves a new fan base in the The Standard’s Friday night revellers. Despite the lack of distortion, they played a tight indie pop set, full of thrashing solos. They would often skew into Best Coast-style surf rock territory with tracks such

Calyer, from EP What A Pleasure, which had fans from the early days shaking in time with the beat. The energy only built as the set went on, with Payseur breaking a string and borrowing a guitar from one of the supports. They played a mixture of young and old songs, including Birthday and Burn You Down from this year’s Clash The Truth, and Daydream from their self-titled debut. They have a refreshing way of interacting with the crowd and with each other, beginning the set with “Let’s get fucking sexy”, and later stopping to thank Beach Fossils and asking the security guard to let people up on stage to “fuck me up and punch me in the face”. The crowd did not take Payseur up on that offer, but did jump on stage and take selfies or dance, give him beer and fist-bumps, or just used the stage as a launching pad for a


as Silver Tides, and finished off kneeling on the stage completely focused on their guitars. But TV Colours seemed like an incongruous choice. The Canberra locals played poppunk that changed the mood, strangely providing a quick insight into what would come next. They played without enthusiasm and made little effort to engage the crowd, instead spending half an hour shouting and playing the same three chords over and over. Yawn. Beach Fossils have finally landed in Australia, having previously cancelled their 2012 Australian tour. They performed with gusto, speeding up their dream pop so it became more like catchy surf punk. It was a pared-back set, just the band: Dustin Payseur, Tommy Gardner, Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson, their instruments, and more than a little distortion. They opened with

breathy folk; however, their sleepy vibe was a little too enticing at times. Clearly competent and very sweet (perhaps a little awed too), tunes like Old As The Hills were particularly impressive for their slow burn. Just a little more variety would have really kicked it, though. Those of us with short attention spans were more than rewarded with Calexico, who could never be accused of being genre-trapped or navel-gazing. The sevenpiece travelled from mariachi to contemporary country and acoustic semi-electro soundscapes seamlessly. Almost two decades together and counting, tonight we got a good mix of the group’s musical career, with highlights including soundtracks, the so called ‘Tex Mex’ crossovers and sweet little interludes where the big collaboration weren’t scared to hold back and let


crowd-surf, while the rest of the crowd moshed. Beach Fossils even banter with each other and fight with their guitars while they play. The encore included Crashed Out and Twelve Roses, a fanfavourite. Payseur ended the night with his own personal existential crisis, mumbling for the last couple minutes about not knowing who or where he was or where he was going, expanding a three-minute track into a tenminute multi-layered epic. Hannah Story


Sydney Opera House Concert Hall 22 Sep New Zealand trio Tiny Ruins warmed the crowd tonight with

hall, it seemed), before finally leaving on a somewhat unusually slower finale, The Vanishing Mind. Nothing vanishing about this gig anytime soon though. Liz Giuffre

CIVILIANS, NEW BRUTALISTS, OLLIE BROWN Brighton Up Bar 19 Sep Before Civilians took the stage to launch their debut single, We Were Wrens, released earlier this month, the gorgeous and extremely talented Ollie Brown opened the night, to a relatively small crowd, but owned the stage with the presence of someone playing to a sold-out stadium. It’s no wonder this guy was once


some slowness take over. Promising to allow room to make the gig ‘as cinematic as possible’, with just a red curtain backdrop in the main concert hall, they took the Opera House through the desert and out across the countryside with Two Silver Trees, Dead Moon and Maybe On Monday especially. Holly from Tiny Ruins returned for a duet on Slowness (simply lovely), and the group also let in a cheeky Joy Division moment with Love Will Tear Us Apart in the mix. Their cover of the band Love’s ‘60s track, Alone Again Or, also raised the roof – with so much in their own back cats to choose from, these gestures were not only refreshing, but really generous. Returning for two encores as well as many a clap and singalong, ringleader Joey Burns apologised for not having had time “to get in amongst it” in town (and in the concert

crowned ‘Australia’s Best Busker’ and has toured with the likes of Bic Runga and The Beach Boys. His stand-out performance was Oh Sam, a song about a girl who had an affair with a married man and according to Brown is a “terrible person”. New Brutalists delivered a rather lacklustre performance. It seemed as though nerves got the better of vocalist Claire Price, who for the greater part of their set sang to the floor, making it impossible to understand anything she was singing. It was unfortunate as Price actually has an incredible, soulful voice, so hopefully this was just an off night for her. By this point the crowd had steadily increased and the room was almost full, but very few eyes were on the stage for the New Brutalists. The highlight for this reviewer was watching two girls THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 61

live reviews shuffling on the dancefloor as if they were at a rave. By the time indie rock collective Civilians took the stage, the bar was packed and everyone was up and ready to dance to their soulful folk beats. That the guys managed to squeeze the six of them and all of their various instruments onto the tiny stage was no mean feat, but they managed and they delivered a killer performance. This unique sextet comes complete with two trombonists, a violin and an electric ukulele (who knew they even existed?!) and bring an incredible energy to the stage in the way they move and engage with the audience. They say their music is “for the people”, and it is no doubt the crowd were swept away by the performance. Deborah Jackson

the Sydney duo to new heights but even they probably weren’t prepared for how many turned up and how responsive their huge hometown crowd was willing to be. With a projection of the pattern from their album cover lighting up the stage, “A-Diddy” emerged from behind a massive set-up that included two keyboards, while Solo mixed new album tracks with older favourites like All Summer Long, and grinned out at the crowd in apparent disbelief as they finished his lines for him. Bringing social awareness and poetry to some soulful production is what Horrorshow do best and after killing their new single, Unfair Lottery, and making sure everyone was feeling good Solo added, tapping at his own temple, “Are you thinking about this shit, Sydney?”


HORRORSHOW, HOME BREW, JIMBLAH Metro Theatre 20 Sep Adelaide hip hop artist Jimblah opened the show mixing beats on an MPC – a stage technique that the triple-threat producer/ singer/rapper pulled off with ease. While sidekick vocalist Georgia B wasn’t quite at home on stage, Jimblah’s palpable passion and unique rhythms made up for it. New Zealand trio Home Brew started straight up with a couple of new a cappella verses from MC Tom, before launching into an entertaining and clever set of often tongue-in-cheek tracks trailing a bit of an Eminem influence. Horrorshow’s new album, King Amongst Many, has boosted 62 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

UNSW Roundhouse 21 Sep Led by frontman Jens Kidman, whose unique stage mannerisms have amusingly been described by others on social media as being akin to watching an underwater car accident, Meshuggah kicked off the sold out co-headline bill by receiving widespread approval. Locking into a punishing groove tighter than a duck’s arse, the Swedish tech-metallers’ rhythmically displaced brutality was aided by a multitude of blinding strobe lights pulsating in perfect time with the music, while its members were a whirlwind of synchronised headbanging and sweaty hair. They largely eschewed chatter


There was an adorable moment when Solo dedicated Make You Proud to his big brother and as the audience blinked back tears, his bro appeared in the wings and came onstage for a hug. But the absolute highlights were the shiver-inducing Own Backyard – featuring Jimblah, who came out to share the song and showcase his singing prowess – and their closing track and live show favourite, The Rain, which they started with some vocal loops, building layers and tension and finished with a frenzy of jumping and some legit emotional arm-waving. Perfectly crafted song selections and the fierce energy of young kids turning up with their parents and diving into the mosh gave this show the edge and nudged Horrorshow a step closer to world domination. Lorin Reid


in favour of tearing through a 75-minute display, filled with the atonal leads and unorthodox syncopations that have inspired a whole new generation of metallic djentlemen. Although predominantly focusing on recent material resulted in a few audience grumblings, opener Swarm was a neat, slow-burning segue into the appropriately named Combustion, while the likes of Rational Gaze, Do Not Look Down, ferociously multi-faceted Bleed and New Millennium Cyanide Christ were ruthlessly and intricately executed by a band who, after two decades-plus, remain in strikingly hypnotic form. It’s a simple conclusion to draw that the well-publicised, financially and emotionally draining legal battle endured by Lamb Of God growler Randy Blythe has afforded enhanced perspective and enthusiasm

for the privileged position of membership in one of metal’s biggest names. Although he’s never brimmed with charisma, Blythe’s demeanour understandably appeared more spritely than usual. “It was an interesting year; you all know what happened, I’m not gonna preach,” was the extent of remarks on the subject. It was a fitting introduction to Walk With Me In Hell, whereby the floor became a sweltering, elbow-throwing, pogoing mélange several notches in intensity above that which greeted their predecessors. Although sharing equal set time, the vociferous response to the Virginian natives loudly indicated who the majority had paid their hard-earned for. Now You’ve Got Something To Die For’s mass singalong combined ably with the uproarious


reception for Black Label, Laid To Rest, Ruin and 11th Hour. Steel Panther vocalist Michael Starr’s cameo delighted the audience, coaxing Blythe to don his bright blue vest during Redneck. Lamb Of God’s appeal isn’t any great mystery; visceral, groove-laden and unforgiving fare. While offering few surprises – songwriting, setlist or performance-wise – they’re crowd-pleasers and there are far worse propositions within the current heavy music climate. Brendan Crabb


Factory Theatre 21 Sep The second year of Sydney’s boutique dance festival OutsideIn was a celebration of culture,

live reviews great food and a line-up more diverse and experimental than the city had seen before. The Factory Theatre was the perfect venue and the atmosphere was unbelievable. From the beginning crowd energy was up and the quality of the performances turned a gorgeous Sydney day into a legendary festival.

and the 22-year-old’s 40-minute set confirmed that this talented songstress is headed for big things. Her deep house-inspired synth pop tunes are masterfully produced and live Rose is a bundle of joy. Tracks Again and Ready got huge dancefloor reactions, and her closer, The Good Life, nearly blew the roof off the place.

Poor organisation meant the festival opened 45 minutes after the first act was supposed to begin, and eventually the whole show was running two hours late. Despite this, the trendy Sydney crowd seemed to love every minute. Following a schedule was near impossible, but most of the airy crowd was happy to go with the flow and follow their ears to whatever sweet sounds tickled their fancy.

In the Courtyard Wave Racer showed why he’s one of the most talked about young artists in the country. His glittery, hyperactive beats drew a huge crowd and they weren’t disappointed. Rock U Tonite and Stoopid were the obvious highlights in an unflawed set. The compact Factory Floor stage, with its laser shows and thumping beats was essentially an all-day rave. Mark Pritchard, a true pioneer of electronic music, was right at home. Dirty but somehow classy house, and super fun jungle beats

Early, most chose to frolic in the sun and groove to the tight


funky drops provided by Mary’s Basement in the Courtyard. Jimmy Sing’s diverse set then amplified the energy. Meanwhile upstairs on the main stage Movement made their festival debut in stunning fashion. Their spacy set was a throwback to ‘90s RnB, though their ‘minimal soul’ sound was fresh and inventive. Lewis Wade’s soulful vocals soothed the modest crowd. Frames & Felix Lloyd’s set was not restricted to any particular genre, hopping from disco to fistpumping techno, from hip hop to euphoric pop and anywhere and everywhere inbetween. Melbourne trio I’lls suffered a few technical difficulties and failed to really entertain. Their subtle, slow-building melodies seemed to be missing something. Plans Only Drawn was their strongest song, an intricate number with a beautiful hymn-like opening. Elizabeth Rose was up next

ness: more volume, more attitude, more reverb and more guts. Sunny melodies and breezy arrangements carefully cut from the same cloth as their long-distant forefathers are electrified and amplified tenfold, while gunshot snare hits straightened backs and got feet stamping. Another great set from a band that deserves far more recognition.

Hermitude came out an hour after the festival was supposed to have finished, which meant they played to a thinned-out crowd and had to cut their set in half due to noise restrictions. The boys thanked OutsideIn’s “most hardcore motherfuckers” for sticking around and showed their gratitude by pulling out the set of the day. Without any real plan the boys jammed out on beat pads and keyboards before getting behind the

Birmingham quartet Peace completed their first tour here with their show at the OAF, and put on a decent one. Whilst their blustery set had a sense of urgency and power, it peaked around the halfway mark in terms of energy and plateaued from there. Their songs are an admirably catchy mashup of trippy Stone Roses guitar swirls and punchy Britpop sensibilities, but none of it was terribly original or memorable. They’re


were on the menu as Pritchard served up a master class set. Organisers Astral People put together a supergroup to reinterpret and perform The Avalanches’ classic album, Since I Left You. Ten performers filled the stage, among them Jonti, and Moktar Youngblood and Daniel Finn of Polographia. Lead singer/ saxophonist Rainbow Chan was superb and the whole act was truly a spectacle and a fitting tribute to one of the greatest Australian albums of all time. Their renditions of Frontier Psychiatrist and Electricity were inventive and funky, and there wasn’t an act that had more fun on stage. Laurel Halo’s set was heavy, shaking the walls of the Factory floor and the core of every raver, before Objekt took the stage. The electronic engineer’s experimental set was a little techno, a little dubstep and a shitload of fun.

Freddie Gibbs busted out a ferocious set that rocked the foundations of the Factory Theatre. With precision Gibbs fired off furious lyrics about his street upbringing and hood life. Smoking blunts on stage and repeatedly chanting “fuck police”, Gibbs was menacing and got one of the biggest crowd reactions; he can call his first set in Australia a success.

decks. They brought out dance machine Chaos Emerald for Speak Of The Devil, which absolutely went off, as did Get In My Life. The spontaneous set showed Hermitude are masters of their craft, the perfect end to a killer day. Cameron Warner

PEACE, MILLIONS Oxford Art Factory 21 Sep Young Brisbane outfit Millions gave us a lively set of jangly pop tunes played with their usual panache and professionalism. Their banter and down-tuned demeanour yielded little in the way of enthusiasm or energy, but that belied the excellent musicianship they have to offer. Their MO is to refract clean cut ‘50s pop songs through a prism of contemporary more-


an affable lot, and never sank into rock-star self-seriousness, preferring to chat to a boisterous crowd and get on with playing their music. Their first fulllength, In Love, featured heavily, and a neat cover of Disclosure’s White Noise popped up but unfortunately sailed over many heads. They transformed the frothy dance number into a swaggering, sneering roadhouse blues ballad; a defiinite highlight. Peace aren’t destined to change the face of indie music, but as a touring band they deserve a good career. They played for the audience, not themselves, and didn’t treat the gig like a box to tick on the way to ticket royalties. The mix was great, they played well (extra points to guitarist Douglas Castle – great axeman) and there’s always room for more throwback Britpop, even if it’s slightly derivative. Matt MacMaster THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 63

arts reviews


In cinemas 26 Sep Lovelace is the decidedly opinionated biopic of Linda Lovelace, star of Deep Throat, one of the highest grossing pornographic films of all time. Split into two parts, the first half coasts along depicting how Lovelace, raised in a devoutly Catholic family, came to be a porn star, which is confounding for its lack of conflict or motivation. Midway through comes a sudden reversal and the events replay with all the conflict and misery of Lovelace’s one-film porn career. It is an interesting device that ultimately fails. The first half is alienating and disengages the audience; the second half is much more riveting with stomachchurning tension, but by that point much of the audience will have already checked out and not come back. Unfortunately many performances — particularly Amanda Seyfried as Lovelace, Peter Sarsgaard as her husband



In cinemas 26 Sep

Enmore Theatre

Truth and the perception of truth is the driving force in Sarah Polley’s new film, a documentary exploring her family history. The frustrating thing about Stories We Tell is that to go into any depth on the story would give an insight that would distort a first viewing, so, the description of this film really needs to be on its style and not on its content. Most films, even documentaries, latch onto a central subject and every other character assists the telling of the material. This film is the complete opposite: The characters around the central characters are the backbone and for this aspect Polley should be commended. At the same time, the reason this isn’t done too often is the difficult task of asigning emotional attachment.

With support from former triple j colleague Scott Dooley, and playing to a sold-out, double-backed home crowd, it’s perhaps a no brainer that Wil Anderson kicked comedy arse tonight. However, to say the gig’s success was a given would be unfair to how hard the bloke works. Arguably, he doesn’t have to - he’s been on the telly for long enough that he could turn up and churn out some classic hits and be done with it. And true, Good Wil is a show with a few classics from Anderson’s armoury - his health, his politics, his commitment to stating the obvious in a way that can satisfy both the hippest hipster and biggest bogan all at once. But the different, and impressive, part is that these classics remain challenged by Anderson



Sydney Theatre The concept was to get together boys with great voices who normally trade mostly on laughs. Here they just used their musical powers as their main currency, and with a loose theme of Australian songs, Perfect Tripod exhibited a wide range of riches indeed. Sure, there were funny moments (there’s nothing like trying to make Little River Band or early Kylie look and sound like a ‘50s barbershop quartet), but most striking was just how fucking good these boys sound, and how fucking great some of the tunes they’ve rearranged have come out. Genre bending with reckless abandon, it swayed from disco to folk to lady swoon songs to shameless mainstream pub rock, as well as moving



This brings the viewer into a frustrating opinion because




Many dramatic biopics strive for subjectivity, as allusive as that may be. Lovelace is overwhelmingly anti-pornography, which can come across as heavy-handed, even though Lovelace was anti-pornography herself. It is not that the audience may not agree with that theme, but the overwhelming nature and emotionally exploitative tactics taken by the filmmaker are reminiscent of Michael Moore. The story of Linda Lovelace is confronting enough without the exclamation point.

just one step sideways when needed. Gotye’s done stuff other than Somebody..., yeah? Chisel can go places other than Khe Shan. And we have great female songwriters; thank heavens some men in power remember that (Abbott, listen up!). While there was a knowing irony about it all (the fine line between a cappella greatness and Human Nature, as it was put tonight), the strength of the performances and the tunes was undeniable. And, like any good tribute act, the genuine love for the material was as clear as the Farnesy in the finale. Dead set musical legends.

Polley is messing brilliantly with convention to show an incredible idea – that truth is the perception of truth – making this film incredibly honest while also producing a very vague documentary. The viewer constantly struggles to connect with anything, which is sort of an anti-feat considering her fascinating family history. While its length will hold back enjoyment, it will have your mind puzzled and plagued with thoughts on the design of the documentary and its quest for truth.

himself (including handing some of his style, and even key concepts, over to Dooley to play with too). Most fun tonight was Anderson’s play with timing and delivery, particularly a jittery little side-to-side dance and mockAM caller whine he uses to make a good punch line great. As well, his willingness to apparently make an intimate connection with a full theatre, complete with playing just enough with a heckler (almost creepy, but just enough), already makes it worth leaving the DVD player to see him in the flesh.

Sam Hilton

Liz Giuffre

Matthew Ziccone

Liz Giuffre

and career manager and Sharon Stone as Lovelace’s mother — only shine in the second half.


games reviews

theme with incredible grace and fidelity. It’s the little things that prove it. Like watching your dog maul someone’s face. When Grand Theft Auto IV was released in 2008 (yes, it’s been that long), it immediately polarized gamers the world over, as the kooky do-what-you-want attitude of previous titles was replaced with realism, grit and genuine limits on your character. It received gold ratings everywhere and became one of the biggest games ever, sure, but many fans were heard crying out, “where’s the fun?” Its subsequent DLC expansions started adding elements that improved that “fun” aspect of the game, but it’s GTA V that truly finds a perfect balance between realism and entertainment – well, as close as you’re going to get, anyway. The car physics are extremely well-developed, but the handling’s a bit more forgiving; gun fights will see you dead from one headshot, but there’s plenty of strategy and equipment that will see you getting better and better at these sections. And, thank god, Rockstar have added in checkpoints during missions; no more infuriating restarts when you fail.



PS3/Xbox 360 In my first few hours of playing Grand Theft Auto V, I a) trained a pet dog to attack my enemies b) played nine holes of golf, punctuated by crashing my golf cart into benches and c) ran down the street in my underwear, punching pedestrians in the back of the head. Newfound virtual psychopathic tendencies aside, the world of GTA V is incredibly expansive, diverse and, most importantly, immersive. GTA IV established the series as one of realism and immersion, and its successor continues that

Creating such an immensely detailed city, Rockstar have pretty much managed to combine the storyline and environment into a seamless whole. Each of the three main characters occupies very specific locales at the start, which change as the story progresses. Driving past certain landmarks, you anticipate something huge happening at them in future missions. The environment is so integral, partly, because it’s so beautiful; mountain ranges fill the horizon, light reflects sharply off of tall skyscrapers, and the water physics might just be a contender in that long-fought graphics battle. How they’ve managed to do this with almost no loading times – with the caveat of a pretty hefty install file – is a triumph. Creating a city so huge, though, does throw up its own set of problems. The huge distances between mission objectives and safehouses often becomes tiring (the ability to instantly switch between characters alleviates this slightly). While I’m on drawbacks, the combat system has been overhauled, but in true GTA fashion, the targeting systems and maneuvering still feel pretty clunky at times, with a few different settings making it slightly more flexible. The heists, acting at the centrepiece of the game, are spectacular, but I won’t give too much away on that front. Suffice to say that, along with the vast majority of Grand Theft Auto V, you’re totally immersed in each experience from start to finish. If it takes a good mauling someone to prove that, then hell, I’m on your side. Cam Findlay THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 65



PRODUCERS: Kasey Chambers & Matt Fell


STUDIO: Foggy Mountain Studios, NSW Hunter Valley

MIXING ENGINEER: Matt Fell @ Love Hz Studios, Leichhardt

MASTERING: Jeff McCormack @ Music Cellar Studios

ARTWORK: Warner Music (in-house)

HANGING WITH FAMILY After being part of Kasey Chambers’ touring band the past couple of years, fiddle and mandolin player Ashleigh Dallas called on the country star to co-produce her debut. She talks to Michael Smith.


n accomplished fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and banjo player as well as a singer, Tamworth-local Ashleigh Dallas hadn’t necessarily thought of herself as a songwriter, but with a friend and mentor in Kasey Chambers, in whose touring band Dallas plays, there was no way she was going to neglect that side of her creativity. The result is a debut album, Dancing With A Ghost, culled from 76 songs and co-produced by Kasey Chambers and Matt Fell. “To have Kasey come in to put her heart and soul and herself on the line to co-produce my very first record was something I thought I could only ever dream,” admits a still stunned Dallas. “Kase threw in lots of ideas musically and she understands me as a person and I feel that was important because the whole time she never lost focus that it was my record and essentially I’m a musician. So she made sure I played fiddle on every track that a fiddle could be appropriate in, and I played acoustic guitar. I felt she brought a lot of herself to the record. “And it was important to have the instrumental track [Slapsister] on there. That was such a big thing for me, because obviously I do play a bunch of instruments and play in Kasey’s band as a band member, and that’s something I don’t want to lose. As much as I love [being] the singer-songwriter, I’d love to be the musician singer-songwriter.” Chambers’ co-producer Matt Fell is himself a multi-instrumentalist and played bass, acoustic guitar, Hammond organ and a couple of other instruments on the album. He’s been making quite an impression on the Australian


country music scene, winning the Producer of the Year gong at last year’s Country Music Association Awards in recognition of his 2011 production on albums by Graeme Connors, McAlister Kemp, Tracey Killeen and Sara Storer. “I found Matt really interesting to watch; you can see his mind ticking over. He was very good too with the percussion, suggesting different feels that would take a song away from where it might typically go. He was much more about layering and also the sounds of instruments, and I felt Matt and Kase really complemented each other because I guess Matt’s a lot more technical but Kase would bring it back to the more country elements – then they’d blend them together and create more ideas. But because Matt was also playing bass, so he wasn’t always thinking producing, he was thinking let’s make it more a band, and it worked really well.”

“I NEVER FELT LIKE I WAS IN A STUDIO AND THAT WAS A BIG THING FOR ME.” Very much a family affair, Dancing With A Ghost was recorded by Kasey’s brother Nash Chambers at his Foggy Mountain Studios in the NSW Hunter Valley. “Nash also sang harmonies on one of the tracks. Foggy Mountain Studios is one of my favourite studios in Australia. It’s got this real homey and earthy vibe, the control room is that big and feels very comfortable the minute you walk in there. Then he has three separate rooms – a drum room which is also a vocal booth when we don’t have the drums in there, another room at the back with a vocal or a guitar booth, and a little one in the middle, and it’s all set up brilliantly and sounds awesome. I never felt like I was in a studio and that was a big thing for me because I wanted to feel more comfortable and at home, like I was just hanging out with friends.” Fell then mixed the album at his own facility, Love Hz Studios in innerSydney Leichhardt on the studio’s HD ProTools rig with its Apogee Converters. Jeff McCormack then mastered the album at Music Cellar Studios. Dancing With A Ghost by Ashleigh Dallas is out now on Essence Music through Warner Music.

Stevie Wonder Mya Anastacia Rihanna



THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN SONGBOOK Published and distributed by Music Sales Australia, The Great Australian Songbook: The Ultimate Collection is just that – more than 300 of the most popular songs of the last 60 years and more written by Australian songwriters, presented in alphabetical order, with (as is standard these days) guitar chord tablature above the musical scores and lyrics for those of us who still don’t read music, so we can bash the songs out on battered old acoustic guitars at parties. Not every song is Australian-composed – UK singer-songwriter Tom Springfield wrote The Carnival Is Over for The Seekers, who made it a number one hit – but they’re certainly songs that are part of our musical DNA, from the ‘traditional’ The Wild Colonial Boy, through A Pub With No Beer to AmericanAustralian John Butler’s Zebra. All up, hours of fun. Michael Smith



RRP: $89.95 Mooer’s range of mini pedals goes beyond the norm to include products like the nifty little Micro DI box. For those out there unfamiliar with the term ‘DI’, it essentially means ‘Direct Injection’, or a way to balance, boost or attenuate your signal before it hits a PA or Audio Interface. Mooer’s Micro DI is much quieter and smaller than the majority of DIs on the market, and with the inclusion

of an on-board cabinet simulator that’s incredibly useful to have. Picture this scenario: you’re a guitarist or bass player who’s been called in to play a gig at a venue you know has good foldback (or are running in-ears), but you don’t have the room on stage for your amp. Easy – chuck the Micro DI at the end of your pedal chain, throw on the cabinet simulator and you’ll get similar results to a mic’d amp. Reza Nasseri




RRP: $89.95 The Mooer Pure Octave is another pedal in their range that packs a big punch for such a pint-sized stomp box. The unit is based on the hugely successful Boss OC-2, although it also lets you add an octave higher, and two octaves higher, without any added distortion. The pedal has three mini knobs for sub octave, dry signal and upper octave and a large mode knob that gives you the ability to combine up to four octaves (two below and two above) on top of the original

The 2013


guitar signal. There’s just about every combination of octaves you can imagine, but the best part about the pedal is the tracking, so accurate it can hear just about every note in a chord clearly. My personal favourite setting was in the four-octave mode (two octaves above and below), with all the knobs cranked, placed in front of my Marshall Plexi with a driven tone. Here I was able to get a sort of church organ sound, which was unlike anything I’d ever heard come out of a single pedal.

The Mayones Regius 8 is like your dream custom 8-string because every little detail has been painstakingly completed. This instrument is interestingly made of swamp ash, with a Flamed-Maple top, a 27”/11-ply Maple neck and a silky Ebony fingerboard. A pair of Seymour Duncan-8 Blackout pickups sound the business, providing low noise with maximum output and clarity, and if this wasn’t enough, add eight Sperzel Trim-Lok tuners and an awesome ABM fixed bridge (probably the most comfortable bridge in the world) into the mix. As soon as I held this guitar in my hands, I knew it was incredible, and as soon as my pick hit the strings it was love! The strings have the perfect amount of tension, the set-up and intonation was bang-on, the tuning pegs held pitch perfectly (even with a low F#), the bridge felt amazing and the pickups produce the ultimate in ‘Djenty’ goodness.

Reza Nasseri

Reza Nasseri





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the guide travel







Grand final day greets us for another year this Saturday and, as always, Australia’s AFL and non-AFL lovers will come together to celebrate a truly national day. For the AFL diehards among us, and whether or not your team has made it to the last dance, grand final day marks the end of a season which began some ten months ago, most likely at a point when one of your club’s lesser-known assistant coaches declared each player as having ‘trained the house down’. Those four painfully overused words provided fans with optimism about their teams’ chances in the forthcoming season and that maybe, just maybe, this was going to be ‘their’ year. But alas, the last Saturday in September is upon us and once again most of us are watching on impartially, our team’s hopes dashed like a federal Labor party campaign worker a few weeks ago. We’re once again left to lament where it all went wrong… 76 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Nick Birrell breaks down the biggest day on the AFL calendar for the lovers and the shruggers. For those less enthusiastic AFL followers across the country, grand final day is a bit like a nonracing fan’s Melbourne Cup Day. Although most people around you at Flemington or in the pub are about to watch their one and only thoroughbred race for the year, suddenly they’re a ridgy-didge racing enthusiast and form analyst. Similarly, grand final day seems to bring together a

Illustrations by Sophie Blackhall-Cain group of people who inexplicably, quite magically, have recently acquired a wealth of AFL-knowledge that allows them to dissect the contest to a point where they can confidently pick the game’s first goal kicker and the Norm Smith medallist. Yet the reality of grand final day for non-footy fans is that it is essentially a day to get together with close mates and/or family, an excuse to let the hair down, maybe glance at the TV a couple of times during the game and to imbibe a few bevvies. Regardless of whether you’re into AFL, it’s one of the most exciting days on the calendar and we as Aussies choose to celebrate it in a variety of ways. For those lucky enough to be part of the 100,000 strong crowd at ‘The G’ on the day, the experience is simply unforgettable. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend six grand finals and irrespective of who’s playing, the atmosphere is almost indescribable.

footy The buzz around the ground in the lead up is festive and there’s a nervous excitement in the air, as diehard supporters of each side dare to dream of their team gracing the dais as premiers come 6pm. One of the most exhilarating parts of being there is hearing the roar of the crowd as the national anthem – this year performed by Australian music icon and long-time France resident Tina Arena – draws to a close. The near-deafening, goose-bump inducing sound is something in Australian sport that remains unrivalled from year to year – although 95,000 Liverpool fans may argue this after their spine tingling rendition of the clubs anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone, at the same venue back in July.

If you decide on the pub, then you needn’t worry about suitable viewing as most pubs will put the game on TVs dotted about the venue, or maybe even hire a projector that’s big enough to cater for expected crowds. But of all the great upsides in heading to the pub – freeflowing beer and food, good company, cheerful banter, as well as the chance to maybe strike it lucky post-game – it should be noted that there are some downsides. Be prepared for fellow pub-goers to drown out the game’s commentary (which can be a good or bad thing), and other less interested watchers might try to annoyingly capture your attention as you attempt to focus on the game. You may also find yourself subjected to an overzealous, reptilian-like supporter who’s bitter about missing out on a ticket and who you really won’t want to be around regardless of whether their team wins or loses. Those after a more relaxed setting will decide that a barbie at a mate’s place is the way to go. But take careful note when accepting any invitation to a friend’s house and do so only after careful research of the prospective host’s audio-visual set up and potential guest list. The TV has to be a minimum of 160cm and if the attendees appear to potentially be a group of disinterested stiffs, seek an alternate gathering – as a matter of urgency.

Shortly after finishing high school, a friend of mine selflessly put his hand up to host a group of 40 or so people for the Geelong versus Port Adelaide grand final in 2007. For some reason he thought that a TV set up in his garage, no bigger than the laptop I’m typing on, would cater for his guests – but oh how wrong he was. Unless you were seated in the first row you spent that afternoon crowded around the car radio. Thankfully, the day was saved as all of us wannabes drunkenly reminisced about how good we thought we were in our early playing days and if not for a few injuries how we all would’ve been at the MCG that day in a far more important capacity. So whether you’re a footy fan or not, AFL grand final day is one of this sport-loving nation’s favourite days. It’s an excuse to gather together, to celebrate how lucky we are in so many ways, to forget about our troubles for a while, maybe sip a frothie or two (or ten), a sparkling, enjoy the company of others, and if you’re lucky, raise your glass high to your team who have – with skill, dedication, bravery and a lot of luck – somehow managed to clinch that holiest of Aussie grails, the premiership cup.

Attendees at this Saturday’s game will hopefully not only enjoy the most fiercely contested and exciting game of the AFL season, but also be uplifted by pre-match entertainment provided by Perth favourites Birds Of Tokyo. Ticket-holders will also be treated to a half-time performance by Aussie music royalty Hunters & Collectors. Their hit, Holy Grail, has become synonymous with football’s biggest day and will no doubt please the masses come Saturday. That said, if John Williamson turned up and played the spoons for three songs, then whistled dixie out of his butt, it would still be ten times better than the utter shite dished up by Meat Loaf back in 2011. For those who aren’t as fortunate to secure a ticket to the game (and you can thank those undeserving corporates who year-in, year-out are seemingly gifted tickets), there’s the option of either heading to your local pub or to the home of whichever one of your mates has the biggest TV screen. THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 77



efore 1995 I didn’t really care about footy. I lived in Derby, in North West Australia, and my friends and me were too innocent and far from the rest of the world to have any sporting loyalties based on nationality or geography or time. We were into NBA of the early ‘90s and late ‘80s or whatever was at the video store. Derby was such a footy-centric place, too. I remember one of my dad’s friends asking me why I “didn’t like sport”. I said I did, I liked basketball, but that wasn’t what he meant. The irony passed me by. Then one joyous day, Dad announced that Fremantle were starting an AFL club and we were all to be devoted fans. His enthusiasm was infectious. I started designing a logo immediately. ‘The Stingrays’ was my submission for the team name. Looking back

DICKIN’ AROUND Not everyone gets to follow a footy team from its inception. Nick Allbrook from Pond shares some of his memories – the good and the bad – of the Fremantle Dockers through the years.


Michael Walters


Aaron Sandilands (Sandilands – Sandypants – Pants)


Nat Fyfe (Fyfe Dog)



Stephen Hill (looked like Jay Watson on debut, before bulking up)


Tendai Mzungu


“They gonna slay them Sydney dogs.”


“I hear purple is the colour of sexual frustration.”


“As long as all my flat whites are the colour of Pavlich’s thighs I’ll be happy.”

LUKAS GLICKMAN “I don’t know anything about them.”


it seems strange that I was actually trying to decide what name I’d like my footy team to have. To think there was a time when the Dockers didn’t exist! This entity, this tribe, that’s been so central to my life since was once no more than an idea. Crazy, mang. So anyway, I jumped straight on the bandwagon. I was converted. Out with Alonzo Mourning and Scottie Pippen, in with Shaun McManus (I know). Dad got me a membership. I got beanie, a poster, a football, a scarf (still got it too, spammed it all over USATV – *swag*). I even got a tape of the song and, no bullshit, listened to it on repeat so, so many times. Oh, the promise of glory! The tribal drums! The hulking masculinity of the chant! Oh, how my young heart did swell when that massive key change burst out of the breakdown and ushered in the soaring triumph of pinch harmonics! Holy crap, get me a glass of water. Some ‘90s Fremantle session shredder needs to be given the key to the city for that one. But those days didn’t last. Soon we realised the song was nothing more than a stolid dirge – a flat, dull chant perfectly representative of the Dockers’ lacklustre on-field performances. The anchor was no longer a symbol of strength and maritime heritage, but of our destined position on the ladder. When my family moved to the big city (Perth is so a city) and the innocence of rural childhood drifted away, even the colour purple (always my professed favourite as a sprout) was shown to have far more dire implications. High school is cruel. Purple is ‘gay’. The Dockers are shit. Dockers victories were so sparse and desperate. I hold only one or two glorious memories of jumping around the lounge room with Dad, ecstatic, screaming to high heavens the names of Peter Bell or Jeff Farmer. Dark days. As everyone in high school constantly reminded me, the Dockers were shit. But wait… WAIT! This is the whole point of the article! This is why I’m not too embarrassed to go ahead with writing this! The Fremantle Dockers were shit! WERE! Past motherfuckin’ tense! In fact, now we’re looking pretty dang good for a spot in the... No. Don’t say it. It’s too precious, too sacred to even say aloud. I’ve been waiting too damn long. I always said that if the Dockers even made the GF I’d have a cardiac arrest in the first quarter and die never knowing the result. And now it’s getting close. Here’s hoping I can hold it together, maybe keep it to an embarrassing but far less permanent pant-shitting or window-smashing or just a good old cry. I’m excited either way. They’ve done so well; Ross Lyon has built them into a fearsome unit. The young players are killing it. The old are killing it. They’re winning convincingly. No more “oh we’re ahead, it’s half time, let’s just chill and hope for the best, good job anyway, lads!” type bullshit that defined the early days. The anchor is again strength. Purple is pride. The chant is manly. Now, at long last, I am the proud, unwavering supporter of a champion team – and all the years of sorrow and gloom and shrinking under the smug-ass gaze of Eagles supporters and East Coasters has just made it that much sweeter. No matter what happens, Pav, Ross, Fyfe, Hill, Walters, Tendai… Everyone, you’re all invited to my house for a beer. You deserve it. Pond will be performing on the following dates: 12 Dec, Metropolis, Fremantle; 13 Dec, The Gov, Adelaide; 14 Dec, The Zoo, Brisbane; 18 and 19 Dec, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; 20 Dec, Metro Theatre, Sydney

footy Any footy fan who’s ever cheered over a goal while balancing a beer in one hand and a pie in the other knows food is a major component of the footy-watching experience. Dylan Stewart looks at how humble stadium fare has transformed over the years. Illustration by Sophie Blackhall-Cain


ne of my most vivid childhood memories is sitting in the old Ponsford Stand of the MCG, tugging at my late grandpa’s sleeve for some coins while he – once again – watched his beloved Fitzroy Lions get torn apart by the opposing team. When half time came, he’d slip some coins into my pudgy, juvenile hand and I’d drag my brother to the heavenly world of the food stall underneath the grandstand. We’d line up, debating how many donuts or chips we could buy while still having enough left over for a can of Coke. Trenchcoat-wearing Fitzroy tragics would line up either side of us, mourning the slow death of their beloved Roy Boys. My brother and I were oblivious to the cursing, the spitting, and the rain that dripped off their coats onto our crisp, woollen beanies. Our eyes were on the prize: handing over those few dollars and racing back to our (wooden plank) seats to scoff our way through our food. It didn’t matter that grandpa wasn’t there when we got back; we knew he’d return by the start of the third quarter smelling like beer and meat pies. And he always did. Food at the footy is a tradition that stretches back centuries and across continents. German football games are invariably attended by bratwurst-wielding fans. 1893 is regarded as the year that the first hotdog was served at an American baseball game (by St Louis Browns’ owner – and bar owner – Chris Von de Ahe). Strawberries and cream are an intrinsic element of Wimbledon, and in Brazil, churrasquinho, or barbecued meat on a stick, is enjoyed by football-goers the country over. On Grand Final weekend in Australia – and around the world – the food and drink that accompanies the game has changed somewhat over the years. Sure, in an underground bar in Prague, ex-Fremantle Docker players

don their purple scarves and hoe into egg and bacon rolls and steins of beer. And in Aussie pubs across the UK, a £5 cover charge will undoubtedly include a can of VB and a warm (at best) pie. But at the ground, in that holiest of cauldrons, things have changed. Food at the footy in 2013 doesn’t just mean chips and hot dogs any more. Half time is no longer simply a game of how many pies you can smuggle into your bag of donuts before the kid on the cash register notices (the most, by the way, is two; and you need to make a return trip for sauce). If you’re lucky enough to find yourself at the MCG this Saturday, take a stroll before the game and you’ll find culinary options that defy the crusted-on stereotypes. Gourmet burgers, pulled pork sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas are all on the menu these days. Stale Carlton Draught is

still offered, but it now sits alongside pale ales, low-carb ales, ciders and half-decent wine options. In the MCC, microbrews and premium European beers abound, as do multiple wine options for the “discerning” footy-goer. Sausage bars (think bratwurst, debrecener and the like) are sprinkled around the MCG as well as Etihad Stadium, and well-known fast food franchises like Red Rooster and Nando’s do a roaring trade on game day. Barista coffees and chocolate-dipped churros are on offer for a quick pick-me-up at three-quarter time, and freshly-made sandwiches appeal to those who might have forgotten to make themselves a roll before catching the train into the ground. Sure, many of these options are double – or more – the price of a bucket of chips, but it seems that, in a reflection of general society, game day crowds want options when it comes to satisfying their hunger. And if the crowd wants options, then the vendors will supply. Spotless (MCG) and Delaware North (Etihad) shell out solid coin to run the bars and food outlets at the grounds, but their duopoly over Melbourne’s sporting arenas works only to the point that attendees buy their goods. It seems more than likely that the smorgasbord of options will eventually hit a breaking point, and footy fans will revert to the foods their dads and grandpas ate – the pies, the chips and vinegar, the Carlton Draught. But in the meantime, if we’re going to sit in the cold, the rain, the wind, then let us enjoy the finer things while we do it. The Fitzroy Lions might not be around anymore. My grandpa is most likely still sitting on a (wooden plank) bench somewhere, cheering them on. They’ll be winning. But he’ll still smell like beer and meat pie. THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 79

the guide




Iconic Aussie festival at iconic Aussie building? Can’t get more Australian than that.

STEEL PANTHER Took over Soundwave Touring’s twitter account and was as amusing as you would have expected, with more double entendres than a Carry On film (and, well, some of them weren’t even implied).

GWAR FOR NFL Schlock horror band has a petition up and running to perform at the NFL halftime show in 2015. Why is this an awesome idea? A giant dinosaur for one and more litres of fake blood than probably beer sold at the event. Check them at Soundwave to get a taste.



Before their big year comes to an end, the local hardcore legends Hand Of Mercy will be putting a lid on the past 12 months with a show this Saturday at Hot Damn, before they make their way over to Europe.

Before he jets over to Europe and North America (where he plans to spend some time crafting a new record), Clayton Doley – master of the Hammond - will be playing one final Australian show at Blue Beat this Friday with the backing of a full band.



Melbourne’s Money For Rope have plans to venture over to Europe. But before that, they’ll be supporting The Drones at Zierholz in Canberra on Thursday and playing at Tattersall Hotel in Penrith a day later.

In the suitable surroundings of Frankie’s Pizza, Newcastle’s Bone Jones & The Skeletones, Melbournian greasers Road Ratz, Los Tones and Pat Capocci will be all things rockabilly and redneck until the very early hours of the morning this Sunday.



The first of a series of annual folk, world and blues festivals will kick off this Friday at Kiama showground. Running over three days, the Folk By The Sea festival feature Ami Williamson, The Rusty Datsuns and more.

Following the news of Harmony’s recent signing to the tight-knit Australian label Poison City Records, there’s also talk of a second album in the works. This Saturday, the Melbournian six-piece will be supporting The Drones at the Metro.



The results of Kooyeh’s recent ventures between the Blue Mountains and Melbourne can now be seen in the form of a debut album. The nine-piece will have the album’s first single in hand at this week’s World Music Wednesdays at The Basement.

This Wednesday, four-piece local rock band Five Decade Faint, Hey, Sugar and Cherry Slick will be some of the first acts to christen the new Valve Bar in its recently assigned home at the Agincourt Hotel.


So, there’s one female in the new Government cabinet and Tony Abbott has nominated himself responsible for women’s policies.

HARVEST Damn shame that it’s cancelled, but we’ll just have to enjoy the bands at sideshows now.

NFL Suing M.I.A. for tarnishing the League’s goodwill and reputation over her middle finger salute during the Superbowl 2012. A football code worried about a musician making them look bad? Pot, kettle, black.

THIS WEEK’S RELEASES… TRENTMOLLER Lost Balance/EMI HAIM Days Are Gone Universal ZAKK WYLDE’S BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Unblackened Shock KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD Float Along – Fill Your Lungs Remote Control



the guide





Each with a new release under their belts (a full-length and EP respectively), Dan Cribb and Ben David will be teaming up this Saturday at Blackwire Records with the support of local folk-punk singer-songwriter Isaac Graham, Ranger Spacey and Koby Geddes.

Answered by: Michael Tramonte Single title: America




Off the back of the release of her debut album Lamentations, Sydney-based future-folk artist Ngaiire has been relentlessly touring. This Friday, she’ll perform at The Small Ballroom before heading to the Heritage Hotel in Bulli a day later.

You may remember keytar superstar Dyan Tai from this year’s round of X Factor. Tai continues to make his name heard this Saturday as he joins alterna-electro-pop outfit Mirella’s Inferno at the Newsagency in Marrickville.



In a partnership that could only be described as a regular sonic odd-couple, indie-rock quintet The Griswolds are teaming up with vegan hip-hop artist Chance Waters in the More Than Friends tour, which hits the Oxford Art Factory this Friday.

Indie roots Brisbanites Good Oak are off to a good start. After selling out their first headline show, they then sold out their entire tour. This Saturday, they’ll be performing with All Our Exes Live In Texas and Little Bighorn at FBi Social.

CLAPS OF THUNDA Thundamentals are bringing their good hip hop vibes to Beach Road Hotel tonight. They’re playing with Yacht Club DJs and Citizen Kay, for cheap as free.


Why should punters visit you? Pizza, beer and rock’n’roll. The good time trio. Rain, hail or shine, Frankie’s will be serving up the best pizza, the best beer and good time rock’n’roll – free of charge. What’s the history of the event? This is our second Swillfest; the first simply titled ‘Inaugural’ was outrageously successful. This one, ‘Swillbilly’, celebrates all things rockabilly. Any advice for f irst timers who want to visit the event? It’s an end of month celebration, welcoming all to dress to theme, abandon the rigours of the work month and celebrate in the key of rock’n’roll. Oh, and forget counting the carbs. Do you have any plans for the event in the future? Swillfest lands on the last Sunday of every month, each month celebrating a different style or movement in rock’n’roll. We hope to repeat each theme annually. I think organically it’ll become an institution unto its own. When and where for your next event? Sunday with Pat Capocci (pictured), Los Tones, Death Valley, The Road Ratz, Bones Jones & The Skeletones, Frankie’s WOrld Famous House Band, Black Cherry DJs and DJ Leroi. Website link for more info?

What’s the song about? Contrary to general perception, it’s about the fall of the American dream. Loosely based on Anita Pallenberg. How long did it take to write/record? We started writing it in Byron during our La Casa residency. We recorded it in about three hours for the album. Is this track from a forthcoming release/existing release? It’s from our existing release Hex.Lover. Killer. It’s probably the most “poppy” song on the record. What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? The Byron Bay lifestyle. Anita Pallenberg. Brian Jones and Keith Richards. Beer; a lot of beer. Taylor Steele and Sybil Steele. We’ll like this song if we like... A song soaked with a strong melody and great hooks. Do you play it differently live? Not really. We may extend the bridge a little from time to time but otherwise it’s fairly similar. When and where is your launch/next gig? We are currently on tour in support of the single: 26 Sep, Beach Road Hotel, Bondi; 27 Sep, The Den, Wollongong; 28 Sep, The Small Ballroom, Newcastle; 5 Oct, The Standard. Website link for more info?


the guide





Answered by: Raphael Hammond

Answered by: Sean Cook

Album title: Burrows St. Poolside Where did the title of your new album come from? The place where I spent writing in summer of 2012-2013, and a love affair with tradjazz and dixieland music. How many releases do you have now? Two! The latest release, Burrows St. Poolside, and our debut EP called The Royal Jelly Dixieland Band. How long did it take to write/record? Some of the songs are four-five years old; most were written about a year ago. Pre-production and recording took about four weeks in total. Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? Yes! Marty Brown who produced the album was wonderful. Whenever one’s self confidence was a little shaky, he always had a solution. Generally the answers to problems involved tequila. What’s your favourite song on it? Until I Fall. It was an outside chance in making it on... But I so glad it did. Bittersweet. Will you do anything differently next time? Spend more time in pre-production. Especially nailing down those slippery horn parts. (And making sure everyone is in the same room at the same time also helps.) When and where is your launch/next gig? 26 Sep, Brighton Up Bar. Website link for more info?

EP title: Maids How many releases do you have now? This EP is our debut. We are planning another release for mid-next year. Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? Listening to the diversity on Houses Of The Holy whilst really stoned was a huge inspiration. It didn’t necessarily inspire us to make psychedelic music but it opened our mind in terms of creativity. What’s your favourite song on it? Mechanism. It is a great representation of what Maids are about: heavy-as-balls pop music with a weird vocal/lyric.




After some time spent dabbling in venue management, Johnny Cass has made a return to music. The Johnny Cass Band has been working on a new album, and in the support of Tombstone Bullets, will be performing at the Brass Monkey this Thursday.

A big outfit with an even bigger sound, Sydney’s Mercury Sky continue to prove their grandiosity with their new single, Victim To The Sea. They will support Teal this Friday at The Standard with Minus House and Village Echoes.



It’s been a long time coming, but Aussie fuzz-rock giants Tumbleweed are back with their new album Sounds From The Other Side. On Monday, three days following the album’s release, Tumbleweed head to Wollongong Town Hall to launch it.

Six years of travel, triumph and tribulation has been condensed into 11 gypsy-punk tracks on The Barons Of Tang’s latest offering Into The Mouths Of Hungry Giants. They launch it at The Standard this Friday with Waiting For Guinness.



All-girl post-punk/new wave trio The Dark Shadows are about to spend some time over in Europe, but we’ll get a taste of their forthcoming album as they launch their new single Eisbär at the Record Crate this Saturday.

After a particularly debauched couple of months abroad, psych slackers Sticky Fingers are back with their new single Freddy Crabs. This Thursday, The Vanns and Lyall Moloney will join Sticky Fingers at Wollongong Uni Bar.



Dixieland-inspired indie-pop outfit The Royal Jellies are suffering some serious déjà vu, as they release their debut album Burrow St. Poolside, which was recorded last summer. They launch the album at Brighton Up Bar this Thursday.

To support the release of their new single, Melbourne’s The Delta Riggs are in the midst of a string of live shows. This Thursday, they’re popping into the Beach Road Hotel with the support of The Dead Love and Bright Young Things.

We’ll like this EP if we like... Interesting vocals, riffs and lots of intricate rhythm. Maids are trying really hard to push heavy music into a semi-“indie” context. Picture a heavier QOTSA mixed with Bloc Party. When and where is your launch/next gig? We have one more stop at World Bar on 27 Sep. It’s going to be really heavy and mental. Website link for more info?


the guide





Answered by: Isaac Walker

This Friday, local indie-folk outfit Sons Of The East will be performing Upstairs at the Beresford. As the event coincides with the release of their debut EP, the trio will be armed with a collection of new material and copies of the release.

Album title: Soul Cleansing Where did the title of your new album come from? Soul Cleansing was titled in hope to be reflective of the music it contains. We did our best to make the album a musical journey in which you should feel contentedly fulfilled by the end.



Urban roots locals The Strides are on the cusp of adding a third album to their catalogue. In the meantime, they will be launching the first single from the forthcoming album this Thursday at Newcastle Lizotte’s and The Heritage Hotel in Bulli on Friday.

Since 2011, The Rusty Datsuns have accumulated an impressive collection of festival slots, released their debut album and now will be supporting Steve Lane & The Autocrats at the Clarendon Guesthouse in Katoomba on Friday.



Davey Lane (lead guitarist in You Am I) can now officially ring in his debut single You’re The Cops, I’m The Crime. This Thursday, he’ll be playing at the Heritage Hotel in Wollongong, Friday at the Great Northern in Newcastle and then Saturday at Spectrum.

In just six tracks, Newcastledwelling heavy-rockers Maids are solidifying their image as some of the quirkiest four dudes in the local music scene. They launch their new self-titled EP at World Bar this Friday.

PRETTY PAPA The past year has seen Papa Vs Pretty undertake a grueling – but ultimately rewarding – recording process. Recorded in Sydney via Los Angeles, the outfit’s second album is due for release early next year, but for now, they’re dropping the first single on Wednesday at Oxford Art Factory.


CHANCE WATERS AND THE GRISWOLDS Do you have more of a Seth and Ryan, or a Marissa and Summer kind of friendship? Chance Waters: I have to go with Seth and Ryan – mainly because I am the cooler, way more interesting and secretly (if you squint a bit) more attractive member of the friendship, but The Grissies have a sort of badboy-from-a-bad-area, in-yourface, handsome aesthetic that complements my gentle (but inarguably superior, OK?) charm. I reckon. The Griswolds; Actually more like a Thelma and Louise type of friendship. What is the most you would do for a friend? CW: I once tricked a guy into going to school at 3am with a box of cookies. Wait, what was the question? TG: Probably play a sick prank on them that leaves them in need of an urgent shower and wondering why we are even friends. Do people ever mistake your friendship as a “special” one? CW: Mistake??? TG: If by special you mean physical and sexual, then there is no mistake about that. Chance Waters and The Griswolds are playing this Friday at Oxford Art Factory.

How many releases do you have now? Soul Cleansing is our first release. We have been and will continue to release film clips of the album’s tracks. How long did it take to write/record? It was quite a lengthy process... Being our debut album, we were still finding our flow both writing and recording. Soul Cleansing took about two years in total. We hope the next will be quicker! Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? We were inspired by sources far and wide... From ‘60s Motown to 21st century electronica. Lyrically, our inspiration came from our life experiences. What’s your favourite song on it? It’s hard to rate your own music. We love all the music we write and hope that you do too! Will you do anything differently next time? Yes. We learned a lot during the production of Soul Cleansing. We may use a recording studio for next time. Also, never book the album launch before the album’s finished! When and where is your launch/next gig? 25 Sep, The Basement; 26, Wickham Hotel, Newcastle; 4 Oct Blue Beat; 6 Coogee Diggers Website link for more info? THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 83








Some peepz reckon John Legend’s fifth outing, Love In The Future, is MOR or ‘soft’ R&B. Ignore ‘em. In fact, the Grammywinner, born with the more prosaic name John Stephens, has learnt a few tricks from illwavers Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Miguel.The Ohio native, once a session pianist for Lauryn Hill, has always been an anomaly, emerging long after the ‘90s neosoulsters vanished. He was the first act signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music, premiering with Get Lifted. The singer’s last, 2010’s nostalgic covers set, Wake Up!, was made with The Roots. Love... is Stephens’ most rounded – and opulently romantic – album (he’s engaged to swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen). Yeezy is more involved than previously as a producer – and brings in two former members of A Tribe Called Quest – with the sonic aesthetic evoking his early solo output. The most overtly hip hop number is Who Do We Think We Are with Rick Ross – unlike much of Love..., it’s not preoccupied with romantic love but material possession (which Stephens questions). Kimbra sings backing vocals on the stellar Made To Love, which, awesomely, samples Chicago houser Lil Louis. Elsewhere, Stephens offers traditional neo-soul, quality hip hop soul, piano ballads and retro covers (Bobby Caldwell, Anita Baker). There’s even a “bonus” duet with properly MOR Seal. The LP’s most avant song comes near the end: Asylum is a twisted power ballad about the madness of love.


What do labels like Broken Hive, Hobbledehoy, Midnight Funeral, The Lair, Poison City and Monolith all have in common? They’re boutique labels only run by one, maybe two, people – three people if they’re extra lucky. And one of the things I’m noticing by trawling Facebook accounts, Tumblr pages and the like is that there seems to be a few misconceptions about indendent labels. The other day my digital library got corrupted and needed a rebuild. But before you tell me I should be using CDs, I tell you to, fear not – I do! My own Wall Of Death is something I’m most proud of but it doesn’t fit in my pocket. A 2TB hard drive does though and every CD on that wall has been painstakingly ripped in high quality for maximum portability. Anyway, the damn thing crashed and took a week to put back together because the library file was fucked – blah blah. My longwinded point is that it gave me a chance to rediscover some great stuff I either haven’t heard in a while or in some cases at all. Cherman shredder Axel Rudi Pell being one of the former. I used to look after his old label SPV and ripped the stuff for back-up. I gave it a listen during the rebuild and got that, ‘Holy fuck, this is rad’ feeling you only get with a set number of albums in your collection. It’s not Yngwie-style widdly diddly at all, but just awesome pure heavy metal. Clean, soaring vocals, nice chuggy riffing and emotive songwriting. Kinda like Edguy when they ease back on the power metal cheese a little bit. I’ve been playing the albums non-stop and Fly To The Moon gives you that lifting feeling that a song like Mighty Wings from the Top Gun soundtrack does. Man I sound old. Top Gun? God help us. Delve deep into your old stuff now and then and reconnect. It’s not always about the latest and greatest. I am, however, going to contradict myself right now and say that I’ve heard some almost finished new stuff from Melbourne’s most excellent Vanishing Point. The guys have been very quiet since releasing The Fourth

Season quite a few years back. They should relocate to Europe because they’d fit right in there. I use the word ‘epic’ a lot I know, but what I heard is just that! Those few years in the dark have led to a refining of their strengths and the new album will impress many. I’m pretty sure it’s out first half of next year. Speaking of CDs (yet again), people are telling me they want to get them but can’t find them in the racks when they head to the shops to buy them. I know it might go against our modern day phobia of talking to people face to face instead of via a keyboard, but ask someone! As physical stock loses store ground for other products, the range a store can hold becomes smaller too and obviously the big guns are going to get racked first and then in a sliding priority scale based on previous sales history. Chances are many of the local bands or smaller bands you’ve discovered do have their stuff distributed locally, but a store is not going to rack it on the off chance you will come in and buy it. Ask them to look it up and order it if you can. Sure, in our instantly selfgratifying world you’re going to have to wait and return to pick it up, but you’re supporting the band and that is what you wanted to do all along, right? That or get it from their site directly and you’ll still have to wait for it to show up in the mail. The more people that do this, especially when a band actively asks their fans to go out and get it, the more sales tick over and eventually said band makes its way onto the store range and suddenly your new favourite band levels up!

The reality is quite different. What is often the case is a person wants to help their mates’ band release a record so they’ll do that – and it will build from there. But there aren’t huge staffs and there aren’t huge amounts of money going into these ventures. Most of these people have day jobs – whether actual jobs or study – and money is scraped together to release music they actually love. There is a huge list of variables that go into the production of a record – record manufacture, shipping (usually from overseas), customs, not to mention the time and cost it takes to assemble the packaging, stuff it in the mail and sending it out to you. I feel that most smaller labels have a good connection with their customers because of the fact that it’s one person (most of the time). It’s easier for them to communicate delays and most are pretty transparent when there are issues. These are a few people trying to deliver a product to you with the odds stacked massively against them. All I’m asking is that we, as fans of music, should perhaps exercise a little patience when it comes to waiting for releases.









Okay, the latest Bluesfest announcement is not for the kids. But it is absolutely tremendous! Call them cheesy, but The Doobie Brothers and Boz Scaggs have written so many enduring songs and are brilliant musical craftsmen. Larry Graham is one of the great bassists of all time; he pioneered the slap-pop technique, played on Sly & The Family Stone’s great records from ’67 through to ’72 and has cut hundreds of great funk tracks with Graham Central Station. Dr John’s Locked Down was the best record of 2012 and Steve Earle & The Dukes’ The Low Highway is one of the best of 2013; both are Bluesfest veterans and their return is more than welcome. The thought of seeing the great Ernest Ranglin (how does he keep going?!?!) with the legendary Sly & Robbie (Google them, they’ve played on everything) is enough to make any self-respecting music fan weep. Throw The Wailers in there and you’ve got a serious reggae party. If you dig guitar, then Jimmie Vaughan, Robben Ford and the Grandmothers Of Invention are going to make you wet your pants and what more can I say about the smooth Aaron Neville and the rough Gregg Allman?


these words are not enough, that a visually transfixed public require pictures with their words. This will be met first with dismissal. Soon, you will decide that perhaps the picture will provide inspiration. A picture is worth 1,000 words, as they say, you think.

The first sentence should initiate your investigation, give your audience further reason to keep reading now that the font is not as large, or not italicised, or both, depending on the style-guide of the particular publication, and it cannot be stressed enough how important this first sentence is. You need to make it as short and sharp as possible (because of the aforementioned changes in type, which, as discussed, present an uphill battle from the start, at least aesthetically) to really capture the reader; remember KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

You Google Image search. The results for ‘arts column’ are uninspiring. You realise that before you can search for an image, your column needs content. Fifteen minutes later you find yourself experiencing surprising and slightly concerning bouts of existentialism as you watch a .gif of Shaquille O’Neal shake his shoulders at you. You cannot write about Shaquille O’Neal shaking his shoulders at you. You think you owe a debt to Marcel Bénabou for this and search for his photograph.

You try writing in the second person. Once (and occasionally still) a daring novelistic technique, the second person voice, you now realise, is perfect for the kind of vacuous inclusiveness required of columns if they’re to garner any interest with a readership suffering from an indoctrinated vanity the likes of which has never been seen before – don’t you think, guys? You think it may not be the best idea to confront any potential readers who may have made it this far with such polemics, but comfort yourself with the knowledge that such a cheap and tactless shot could be validated with the explanation that such a tactic was employed simply to exhibit what’s possible with the second person voice.

Is arts writing ever much more than an attempt – coupled with anecdote, with portraiture of personality – to elucidate the process of these practices? The why and the how, and to lesser degrees the where and the who, of the creation of these works? A painter painting. A writer writing. An actor acting. A musician making music. Why can’t you say musician musicing? Or, following the formula, musician musing, which seems to you to be apt. And by similar logic, would a column about the writing of a column, its conception and construction revealed in fictionalised real time, be an exemplar exploration in such writing? Have you raised questions? Count them, now six. You need a closing statement, something strong, certain but not exclusive.


Suffering from success eh, DJ Khaled? Fair enough. After all, even the highest achievers sometimes pay a price for burning the candle at both ends. But the question hangs in the air: what is it that DJ Khaled actually does? What field is he succeeding in? Fat gain, for one. The chubby youngster on the cover of We The Best bears only a passing resemblance to monstrously fat “bawse” we see in the 2013 clip, No New Friends. He’s also good at proposing marriage to Nicki Minaj and being gently rejected. He doesn’t make beats. He doesn’t rap. So what does he do? In an interview with Complex he tried to set the record straight. “There are beat-makers and there are producers,” he said. “I’m a producer… I find hits. And I put hits out. That’s what I do.” Of course, there’s no artistry in that. For some, this is crucial and makes Khaled worthy of ridicule. How can he claim to make music if he doesn’t actually make music?

Bluesfest is already looking amazing and, if the strong rumours I hear are true, it’s going to get so much better. I’m taking my first holiday in you don’t want to know how long as of next week. If anyone knows of any secret blues bars in Vietnam, Singapore or Vladivostok, please let me know.

This is missing the point. Khaled really does make hits. He gets artists together and storms the pop charts. He’s a facilitator, not a creator. Who’s to say what’s more valuable? Would you prefer a good song from artists plucked from a fat Miami disc jockey’s rolodex, or a reasonable song delivered by a Proper Artist? The answer ought to be simple: we want good songs, by any means necessary. Album, Suffering From Success, will be with us in weeks. Let’s see if Khaled’s production skills are worthy of his suffering.

You use bold type to break up the text and capture the reader’s eye. At some point, now perhaps, it’s highly likely you will realise that

It is possible that if you were to end this column with a long and slightly ornate sentence, you would achieve such an effect.



TRAILER TRASH DIVES INTO YOUR IDIOT BOX WITH GUY DAVIS My man-crush – oh, hell, let’s call it what it is: a maninfatuation – on James Spader has been profound and ongoing, beginning with my first viewing of the cheesy classic Tuff Turf (the first of his two collaborations with one Robert Downey Jr.) way, way back in the day. Now I know I’m not the only person to have an appreciation of the fella, because if the existence of the internet has revealed anything, it’s that everyone and everything has a legion of devotees. But I’m bracing myself for a lot more folks to join me in the Spader web now that Joss Whedon has selected the guy to play the villainous Ultron in his Avengers sequel, appropriately titled Avengers: Age of Ultron. Given that every single human being on the planet saw The Avengers at least eight times, it’s highly likely that Avengers: Age of Ultron will gross something in the neighbourhood of nine trillion dollars at the box office

when it opens mid-2015. But how many of those viewers will actually know what an Ultron is, why it’s Age of said Ultron and why Ultron has it in for the Avengers? I’m guessing not many, if any. Okay, some will know. But I never miss an opportunity to use the phrase “Not many, if any.” So in the interests of keeping all y’all up to speed, I did a little research. And the upshot, according to the learned folks at showbiz trade journal The Hollywood Reporter, is that Ultron is “a crazy robot that wants to eradicate humanity”. Created by scientist Hank Pym – aka Ant-Man, who’s getting his own 2015 big-screen adventure to be directed by The World’s End’s Edgar Wright – he’s an adamantium automaton with a highly developed, artificially intelligent brain who gets the wacky idea that the likes of “kindness, empathy and non-psychopathic elements of any kind” are for chumps

BEYOND THE SPEAKERS FILLING THE DEAD AIR WITH RACHEL CORBETT Ever since the conductor of our all-girls school choir realised we could add tenor parts to arrangements because I have a voice that loves hanging out an octave below middle C, there has been some question about whether I should have been born with testicles. So it was fitting that a few weekends ago I packed my tool kit, put on my King Gees and trundled off to Man School. This concept was born from a dinnertime discussion with a

few of my oldest mates from a previous life at law school. They have all gone on to become solicitors and barristers working on high-profile cases and standing up for ‘the little guys’, while I tell funny stories and give away Cold Chisel tickets, but once a month they do me the favour of getting together and pretending I’m still intelligent enough for their company. During one of our catch-ups, my mate Rob lamented the fact that he never learned many of the tasks he



and that mass extermination of the human race is the way to go. Apparently, he also has a big ol’ pile of electronic daddy issues, which is making him sound more and more fun by the microsecond.

about using a made-up word like ‘mysteriouser’. However, Whedon did break his silence a few times when it came to his casting decision.

So are we gonna be seeing Spader in a metal get-up? Is he doing some motion-capture business a la Andy Serkis? Or are we getting that distinctive Spader voice emanating from a wholly CGI creation? Whedon and Marvel aren’t spilling the beans just yet, with press releases stating only that “the Emmy Award-winning actor will play Ultron”. Mysteriouser and mysteriouser, one might think, if they had no qualms

“Spader was my first and only choice,” he said. “He’s got that hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling, but he can be very human and humourous.” He added that Ultron wouldn’t be some unsettlingly rational machine like HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. “Spader can play all of the levels. He’s the guy to break the Avengers into pieces. Bwahha-ha-ha-ha.” Yes, Whedon actually did a supervillain laugh, which makes you either wanna give him a high-five or steal his lunch money, the big dork.

now feels obliged to know as a man. His dad never taught him how to change a washer or fillet a fish, and now he was a 34-year-old professional, fully capable of identifying the mens rea necessary for criminal negligence, but incapable of identifying a Phillips head screwdriver in a toolkit. As he peeled back the layers of shame he felt at not having the assumed knowledge his private parts implied, the other boys started throwing down their perceived inadequacies too, until we had a comprehensive list of all the things they wished they didn’t have to pay other people to do for them.

echoing remotely in our ears, greeting 12 strangers who were in desperate need of our assistance (or the assistance of the professionals we’d hired to teach them). Surrounding us were men who laid floorboards that expanded and trapped families in their own homes, and men who attempted to change a washer and flooded their neighbour’s apartment. Even Jules, in the past, called an electrician to change a light bulb – twice. Basically, these were guys who needed help not only to save their pride, but also to protect the structural integrity of their homes and the homes of the surrounding neighbourhood.

At this point we could have all just raised our glasses to ‘Hire A Hubby’ and moved on with our lives, but while they may have their contracts and legal pads, I have a team of producers whose job it is to make ridiculous ideas come to life and so Man School was born.

By the end of the day I had punched a hole through a wall and plastered it over, grouted tiles, built a fire from scratch, filleted a fish and broken down a lamb. All with an ease that suggested that I, too, have what it takes to be a man. What began as an idea to endow blokes with the skills they were missing ended up with the realisation that I may have missed out myself. It’s lucky I know a good lawyer in case I ever decide to sue God for sending me off without the appropriate tackle.

Flash forward a couple of months and Mez, Jules and I were standing in the middle of a remote campground trying to ignore the Deliverance banjo

the guide All Together Now feat. Kristen Fletcher Trio + Rosie & the Leisure Bandits: The Vanguard, Newtown


Five Decade Saint + Hey Sugar + Cherry Slick: Valve @ Agincourt, Sydney Whip It (Stereosonic Launch Party) with Sherlock Bones + MVP + Luke La Beat: Whaat Club, Potts Point

THE JUNGLE GIANTS Rudimental: Sep 25 Enmore Theatre

The Cribs: Oct 23 Small Ballroom Newcastle; 24 Upstairs Beresford

World Music Wednesdays ft Kooyeh: Sep 25 The Basement

Dan Sultan: Oct 23 Lizotte’s Newcastle; 24 The Basement; 25 Heritage Hotel Bulli

The Drones: Sep 26 Zierholz @ UC; 28 Metro Theatre; Nov 22 Cambridge Hotel The Barons Of Tang: Sep 26 Great Northern Hotel Newcastle; 27 The Standard; 28 Katoomba RSL; Oct 24 Hotel Steyne Manly; 25 Yours & Owls Wollongong; 26 Factory Theatre Ngaiire: Sep 27 Small Ballroom; 28 Heritage Hotel Bulli Foals: Sep 28, 29 Enmore Theatre

Boy & Bear: Oct 24 ANU Bar Canberra; 25 Enmore Theatre; Nov 15 Waves Wollongong Fat As Butter: Oct 26 The Foreshore Newcastle The Breeders: Oct 28 Enmore Theatre World Music Wednesdays ft Kriola Collective: Oct 30 The Basement

World Music Wednesdays ft Dereb The Ambassador: Oct 2, Nov 6 The Basement

Bodyjar: Oct 31 Cambridge Hotel Newcastle

Xavier Rudd: Oct 4 Big Top Luna Park

Patrick James: Nov 7 Yours & Owls Wollongong; 9 Oxford Art Factory

Bonjah: Nov 7 Beach Road Hotel

World Music Wednesdays ft Keyim Ba: Oct 9 The Basement The Jungle Giants: Oct 10 Transit Bar Canberra; 11 Cambridge Hotel; 12 Metro Theatre

Newtown Festival: Nov 10 Camperdown Memorial Rest Park World Music Wednesdays ft The Hi Tops Brass Band: Nov 13 The Basement

Wolf & Cub: Oct 10 Oxford Art Factory

Jordie Lane: Nov 13 Street Theatre Canberra; 14 Yours & Owls Wollongong; 15 Clarendon Guesthouse Katoomba; 16 The Basement; 17 Grand Junction, Maitland; 18 Music Lounge, Manly; 20 Lizotte’s Central Coast; 21 – Lizotte’s Newcastle

Nancy Vandal: Oct 10 Cambridge Hotel; 19 Dicey Rileys Wollongong Andy Bull: Oct 10 Small Ballroom Newcastle; 11 Heritage Hotel Bulli; 12 Oxford Art Factory

Mullum Music Festival: Nov 21 – 24 Mullumbimby

World Music Wednesdays ft Peña Flamenca: Oct 16 The Basement

World Music Wednesdays ft Bobby Alu: Nov 27 The Basement

Katchafire: Oct 16 Penrith Panthers; 18 Big Top Luna Park New Empire: Oct 17 Small Ballroom, Newcastle; 18 Oxford Art Factory; 19 ANU Bar Canberra

Homebake: Dec 6 – 8 Sydney Opera House Forecourt Festival Of The Sun: Dec 13 – 14 Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park, Port Macquarie Pond: Dec 20 Metro Theatre

Mickey Avalon: Oct 20 Metro Theatre

Billy Bragg: Mar 16 Sydney Opera House

World Music Wednesdays ft Watussi: Oct 23 The Basement

Bluesfest: April 17 – 21 Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm Byron Bay


WED 25

Steve Tonge Duo: O’Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross

Ben Panucci Trio + Elana Stone: 505, Surry Hills

Gemma: Observer Hotel, The Rocks

Benoit James: Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly

Greg Agar Duo: Orient Hotel, Sydney

Songs On Stage feat. Greg Sita + Oska + Arthur Marder + Guests: Avalon Beach RSL, Avalon Beach

Papa Vs Pretty: Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst

Musos Club Jam Night: Bald Faced Stag, Leichhardt Thundamentals + Yacht Club DJs + Citizen Kay: Beach Road Hotel (Rex Room), Bondi Beach DJ Dan de Caires: Beach Road Hotel (Public Bar), Bondi Beach The Beatles No. 1s with The Boys: Belmont 16’s, Belmont Knox + King Dog & The Catz + Muddy Lamb: Brass Monkey, Cronulla Songs On Stage feat. John Chesher + Gavin Fitzgerald + Steve Dolman + Guests: Charing Cross Hotel, Waverley Songs On Stage feat. Angelene Harris + Guests: Collector Hotel, Parramatta

Fat Rabbit: Rock Lily, Pyrmont Chris Stretton: Stamford Grand North Ryde, North Ryde Nicky Kurta: Summer Hill Hotel, Summer Hill Rudimental (DJ Set): The Backroom, Potts Point World Music Wednesday feat. Kooyeh: The Basement, Circular Quay

THU 26

Panorama: 3 Wise Monkeys, Sydney

The Catholics: 505, Surry Hills Trick Finger: Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly Orkestrated + Matt Nukewood: Australian Hotel & Brewery (Cool Room), Rouse Hill Angelene Harris: Bar 100, The Rocks The Delta Riggs + The Dead Love + The Bright Young Things: Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach Paige Delancey + Nick Hoorweg + Charlie Meadows: Bexley North Hotel, Bexley North Johnny Cass + Andrew Peacock + Matt Lyons: Brass Monkey, Cronulla The Royal Jellies: Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst

The Petting Zoo: The Little Guy, Glebe

Steve Lane & The Autocrats + Terry Serio & The Ministry of Truth: Camelot Lounge, Marrickville

Songs On Stage feat. Helmut Uhlmann + Heshewonderland + Guests: The Loft, UTS, Broadway

Jimmy Mann: Campbelltown Catholic Club (Caf Samba / 6pm), Campbelltown

Capital Cities: The Standard, Surry Hills

Musos Club Jam Night: Carousel Inn, Rooty Hill

Dick Smithers & The DooWoos: Corridor Bar, Newtown Tug Dumbly & The Hellsong Gospel Choir + Polski Orgoki Portable Orkestra: Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown Rudimental + Gorgon City: Enmore Theatre, Enmore Dennis Val: Gosford Sailing Club, Gosford Victoria Avenue: Hillside Hotel, Castle Hill New Lovers + High-Tails + Mary Gunn: Hotel Street, Kings Cross Nic Cassey: Lass O’Gowrie, Wickham Live & Local feat. Glenn Watson + Roman Sandals + Luke Mahler + GUNK: Lizottes Central Coast, Kincumber Live & Local feat. Josh Rawiri + Annaliesse Monaro + Zoe K & The Shadow Cats: Lizottes Newcastle, New Lambton Live & Local feat. Harry Ward + Benny Walker + Royal Chant: Lizottes Sydney, Dee Why Andy Mammers Duo: Maloneys Hotel, Sydney Dan Spillane: Mean Fiddler Hotel (Courtyard), Rouse Hill


Cath & Him: Mounties, Mt Pritchard


the guide Billy Malcolm: Club Windang, Windang Benn Gunn: Coogee Bay Hotel, Coogee Benny Walker: Coogee Diggers, Coogee Greg Agar: Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why Mic Conway + Liz Frenchman: Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown Songs On Stage feat. Peach Montgomery + Men with Day Jobs: Forest Lodge Hotel, Forest Lodge The Barons Of Tang + Galleri + The Theaves + The Duke of Erlington: Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle Davey Lane: Heritage Hotel, Bulli

Jazz Deguestation feat. Andy Webb: The Spice Cellar (7pm), Sydney

Mashed Fridays feat. DJ Jason K: Oatley Hotel, Oatley

Horegeous + Karl Marx + Woodland + The Spoon Collectors: The Standard, Surry Hills

Luke Robinson + Rob Henry: Observer Hotel, The Rocks Iluka: Optus Centre, Macquarie Park

A Fistful Of Peyote feat. Bloody Lovely Audrey + She Falls Down the Stairs + Alexander Cross & The Daggers: The Vanguard, Newtown The Preatures: Transit Bar, Canberra Sticky Fingers: Uni Bar, Wollongong Amalgam + After Thirteen + My Reply + A World’s End: Valve @ Agincourt, Sydney

FBi Social feat. The Cambodian Space Project: Kings Cross Hotel, Kings Cross

Cool For Cats feat. Camo + Valentino: Whaat Club, Potts Point

Hue Williams: Lane Cove Club, Lane Cove

Kooyeh: Wickham Park Hotel, Islington

The Strides: Lizottes Newcastle, New Lambton

Rick Fensom: Oasis on Beamish Hotel, Campsie

Live Cellar Jazz Jam with Phil Stack: The Spice Cellar (10pm), Sydney

Mother & Son: Hotel Steyne, Manly

Paul Costa + Georgia Fall: Lizottes Central Coast, Kincumber

Dave Phillips: O’Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross

Shivoo: Orana Hotel, Blacksmiths Reckless + Jonathon Jones: Orient Hotel, Sydney The Griswolds + Chance Waters: Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst

PARKWAY DRIVE: 25 SEP UNSW ROUNDHOUSE; 26 PANTHERS NEWCASTLE The Strides + Guests: Heritage Hotel, Bulli

Koppen Terrace: Penrith Gaels, Kingswood

The Delta Riggs + The Walking Who + Born Lion + The Mountains: City Diggers (The Den), Wollongong

Steve Tonge Duo: Hillside Hotel, Castle Hill

Bitch Prefect + Housewives + Destiny 3000: Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham

The Drones + Money For Rope: Zierholz @ UC, Canberra

The Rusty Datsuns + Guests: Clarendon Guest House, Katoomba

OMG! Duo: Hotel Jesmond, Jesmond

Achtung Baby Duo: PJ Gallaghers, Leichhardt

FRI 27

Hitseekers: Club Marconi, Bossley Park

Teenage Handmodels + The Shooters Party + Firesaint: Hotel Street, Kings Cross

Darren Johnstone: Quakers Inn, Quakers Hill

Big Way Out: 3 Wise Monkeys, Sydney

Clock Wise Duo: Club Windang, Windang

Rebecca Moore: Manly Leagues Club, Brookvale

DJ Matt Meler: 5 Sawyers, Newcastle

Pete Hunt: Cock’n Bull, Bondi Junction

Songs On Stage feat. John Chesher + Guests: Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta

Feel Good Friday Jazz+Various: 505, Surry Hills

Jimmy Bear: Collingwood Hotel (Afternoon), Liverpool

Ange: Ambervale Tavern, Ambervale

Two River Blues: Coogee Diggers, Coogee

Jack & Beans: Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly

Hype Duo: Courthouse Hotel, Darlinghurst

Finn: Avoca Beach Hotel, Avoca Beach

Ebony & Ivory: Crown Hotel, Sydney

Dean Kyrwood: Bar Petite, Newcastle

Black Diamond Hearts + James Fox Higgins Trio: Crows Nest Hotel, Crows Nest

Josh McIvor: Newport Arms Hotel, Newport Redlight Ruby: O’Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross Rodney Rude: Oakdale Workers, Oakdale

Electric Elements Crew + DJ Secrt Wepn: Beach Road Hotel (Rex Room), Bondi Beach

Cambo: Observer Hotel, The Rocks

Clockwerk: Beach Road Hotel (Public Bar), Bondi Beach

Tim Conlon: Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why

Dave White: Orient Hotel, Sydney

The Rockin Eddie Band: Belmont 16’s, Belmont

Musica Linda: Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham

Black Bird Blue: Belmore Hotel, Maitland

Leadfinger + The Delta Lions + The Dark Clouds: Dicey Riley’s Hotel, Wollongong

Emma Beau: Ravesis, Bondi Beach

Paige Delancey + Nick Hoorweg + Charlie Meadows: Berkelouw Books, Paddington

Songs On Stage feat. Chris Raicevich + Anthony Duggan + Guests: Ruby L’Otel, Rozelle

Fabolous + Omarion + Chingy: Big Top Sydney, North Sydney

Big Way Out: Scruffy Murphy’s, Sydney

New Horizon Band: Blacktown RSL (Celebrity Room), Blacktown

Hot Damn! feat. Hand Of Mercy + Perspectives + Bare Bones: Spectrum, Darlinghurst

Clayton Doley: Blue Beat, Double Bay

Renae Stone: Customs House Bar, Circular Quay

Dan Beazley: Jewells Tavern, Jewells Folk By The Sea feat. Ted Egan + Casey Donovan + Ami Williamson + Pat Drummond + Fintan Vallely + The Rusty Datsuns + Nick Rheinberger: Kiama Showground, Kiama The Affairs Duo: Kirribilli Hotel, Milsons Point Am 2 Pm: Kurnell Rec Club, Kurnell The Andy Show: Lakeside Village Tavern, Raymond Terrace Hue Williams: Lane Cove Club, Lane Cove Afro Moses Ojah Band: Lizottes Central Coast, Kincumber Dragon + Dylan Wright: Lizottes Newcastle, New Lambton Round Mountain Girls: Lizottes Sydney, Dee Why Lionel Robinson + Tullo: Manly Leagues Club, Brookvale

Glenny Rae Virus & Her Playboys + Leah Flanagan: Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown

DJ Redfoo + DJ Mind Electric: Marquee, Pyrmont

As You Were: Engadine Tavern, Engadine Wil Anderson: Enmore Theatre, Enmore Kooyeh: Finnians Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie

Pseudo Echo + Merrity Murphy + Bob Stamper: Brass Monkey, Cronulla

Oscar Jimenez + Unidos Somos Mas: The Basement, Circular Quay

Nickelback Show: Bull & Bush, Baulkham Hills

Briana Cowlishaw: Foundry 616 (11.30pm), Ultimo

Baby Et Lulu: Camelot Lounge, Marrickville

Craig Thommo: General Gordon Hotel, Sydenham

Shake the Shackles: The Little Guy, Glebe

DJ Tom Annetts: Campbelltown Catholic Club (Club Lounge), Campbelltown

Bernie Segedin: Gosford Sailing Club, Gosford

Roscoe James Irwin + Achoo! Bless You: The Newsagency, Marrickville

Gen-R-8: Cessnock Supporters Club, Cessnock KG Duo: Charlestown Bowling Club, Charlestown

Spit Syndicate + Joyride: Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour

The Sue & Mikey Show: Duke of Wellington Hotel, New Lambton

Tom River & The Boatmen: The Annandale, Annandale

Sundays Record Duo: The Exchange Hotel, Hamilton

Dale Barlow Quartet: Foundry 616, Ultimo

Davey Lane: Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle David Agius: Harbord Beach Hotel, Freshwater

Ben Finn: Massey Park Golf Club, Concord 4 Bar Avenue: Matraville Hotel, Matraville Victoria Avenue: Mean Fiddler Hotel, Rouse Hill Swervedriver + Guests: Metro Theatre, Sydney Heath Burdell + Rachel Eldon: Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale Trio Royale: Nelson Bay Diggers Club, Nelson Bay JJ Duo: North Sydney Leagues, Cammeray Klay: Northies, Cronulla Jim Overend: Northumberland Hotel, Lambton Mandi Jarry: Novotel - Brewery Bar, Sydney Olympic Park


Dan Lawrence: Parramatta RSL, Parramatta

Will Teague: Chatswood RSL, Chatswood

Dragon + Dylan Wright: Lizottes Sydney, Dee Why

Parkway Drive + Thy Art Is Murder + Confession: Newcastle Panthers (All Ages), Newcastle West

Benny Walker: Pacific Hotel, Yamba

Zoltan: Pittwater RSL, Mona Vale

Something To Talk About: Ramsgate RSL, Sans Souci Everyday People Band: Revesby Workers (Infinity Lounge), Revesby Powderfinger Show: Riverstone Memorial Club, Riverstone Duelin’ Pianos + Dave White Band: Rock Lily, Pyrmont Swing From A Streetlight + Tiffany Britchford & The Reckless Abandon + Hearts Collide + Hot Angel: Roxbury Hotel, Glebe Gabrelle Emilia Duo: Royal Federal Hotel, Branxton Rihanna Experience: Scruffy Murphy’s, Sydney SIMA feat. Alister Spence Quartet + Raymond Macdonald: Seymour Centre (Sound Lounge), Chippendale Back To Funk Turns 33: Seymour Centre (Emerald City Garden Bar (Sydney Fringe), Chippendale Mercury Sky: Spectrum, Darlinghurst Harbour Master: St George Leagues, Kogarah Rodney Rude: St Marys Band Club, St Marys Nicky Kurta: Stacks Taverna, Sydney Bang Shang A Lang: Taren Point Bowling Club, Taren Point Money For Rope + Guests: Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith Caravana Sun: The Aztec, Forster Brasil Meets Cuba!+Various: The Basement, Circular Quay Incognito Band: The Exchange Hotel, Hamilton Thy Art Is Murder: The Hub, Port Macquarie









29 SEP




the guide Coverdrive Trio (feat. Mark Wells): The Mark Hotel, Lambton Angelene Harris: The Palace Hotel, Haymarket Liz Frenchman + Paul Greene: The Royal Exchange, Newcastle Ngaiire + Lester The Fierce: The Small Ballroom, Newcastle The Barons Of Tang + Waiting for Guinness + Svelt: The Standard, Surry Hills

Yuki Kumagai & John Mackie: Well Connected Cafe, Glebe Dave Mac + DJ Marty: Wentworthville Leagues Club, Wentworthville Say Whaat!+Buu + DJ Bronx: Whaat Club, Potts Point

King Tide + Ocean Alley: Beach Road Hotel (Rex Room), Bondi Beach Jim Overend: Beauford Hotel, Mayfield Talk of The Town: Belmont 16’s, Belmont The Zillers: Belmore Hotel, Maitland The Mike Whitney Band: Blacktown RSL (Celebrity Room), Blacktown Ben David + Dan Cribb: Blackwire Records, Annandale

FABBA: Windsor Leagues Club, South Windsor Terry Batu: Woolpack Hotel, Parramatta

Iron Lion: Bradbury Inn, Bradbury

Maids + The Ninjas: World Bar, Kings Cross

Hendrix & Heroes feat. Steve Edmonds Band: Brass Monkey, Cronulla Matt Jones: Brewhouse, Kings Park

Wildcatz: 3 Wise Monkeys, Sydney

High-Tails: Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst

DJ Fooey: 5 Sawyers, Newcastle

Perscription feat. Fasmwa + Carl Alley: Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst

El Orqueston: 505, Surry Hills Anton Zammit: Abbotts Hotel, Waterloo Peter Van Hoesen: Abercrombie Hotel, Chippendale Matt Purcell: Absolute Thai, Charlestown Zoltan: Adria Bar & Restaurant, Sydney Dylan: Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly James Fox Higgins Trio: Australian Hotel & Brewery, Rouse Hill Nick Connors: Bar Petite, Newcastle Moonlight Drive: Bay Hotel, Bonnells Bay One Hit Wonders: Bayview Tavern, Gladesville Andy Benke: Beach Road Hotel (Public Bar), Bondi Beach Clockwerk: Beach Road Hotel (Valley), Bondi Beach

Crash Avenue Duo: Northies (Sports Bar), Cronulla

Folk By The Sea feat. Ted Egan + Casey Donovan + Ami Williamson + Pat Drummond + Fintan Vallely + The Rusty Datsuns + Nick Rheinberger: Kiama Showground, Kiama

Kickstart: Oatley Hotel, Oatley

Rolling Stoned + Doors Alive: Bull & Bush, Baulkham Hills Rodney Rude: Camden Civic Centre, Camden Juke Baritone & The Swamp Dogs: Camelot Lounge, Marrickville Ritual feat. SMS + Dostruction + DJ Bronx: Candys Apartment, Potts Point Iron Bark Rock: Carousel Inn, Rooty Hill David Agius: Castle Hill RSL (Terrace Bar), Castle Hill Pop Fiction: Castle Hill RSL (Cocktail Lounge), Castle Hill Listen Out 2013 feat. Disclosure + Azealia Banks + TNGHT + Duke Dumont + Alunageorge + Classixx + Miguel Campbell + John Talabot + Just Blaze + Rufus + Touch Sensitive + Laura Jones: Centennial Park

The Mighty Kingsnakes: Orana Hotel, Blacksmiths Angelene Harris: Orange Grove Hotel, Lilyfield Kye Brown: Orient Hotel (4.30pm), Sydney Souled Out: Orient Hotel (9.30pm), Sydney

Round Mountain Girls: Lizottes Newcastle, New Lambton Dave Cochrane: Cessnock Supporters Club, Cessnock

Mic Conway’s National Junk Band: Lizottes Sydney, Dee Why

The Deep: Parramatta Leagues, Parramatta

Spenda C + A-Tonez + more: Chinese Laundry, Sydney

SGT Slick: Marquee, Pyrmont

Nova Tone: Parramatta RSL, Parramatta

Dragon + Jacob Pearson: Lizottes Central Coast, Kincumber

The Last Train: Club Taree, Taree

Dollshay: Mean Fiddler Hotel (Courtyard), Rouse Hill

A Different Beautiful: Club Windang, Windang

Jed Zarb: Mean Fiddler Hotel (Fiddler Bar), Rouse Hill

Raised By Eagles: Coogee Diggers (The Bunker), Coogee

Soulganic: Mean Fiddler Hotel (Woolshed), Rouse Hill

Shady Rhythm: Courthouse Hotel, Darlinghurst

The Lonely Boys: Mercantile Hotel, The Rocks

Cath & Him: Crown Hotel, Sydney

The Drones + Harmony: Metro Theatre, Sydney

Victoria Avenue: Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why

Heath Burdell Trio: Moorebank Sports Club, Hammondville

Melody Black + Red Bee + Not Another Sequel, Just Another Prequel + Temtris + Acid Nymph + Carbon Black + Coredea: Dicey Riley’s Hotel, Wollongong

Terry Batu: Mortdale Hotel, Mortdale

Mick Jones: Duke of Wellington Hotel, New Lambton Singled Out: Eastern Suburbs Legion Club, Waverley Krista Pav + Funkdafied (DJ Set): Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown

Jellybean Jam + DJ Shayne Alsop: Mounties (Terrace Bar), Mt Pritchard

Greg Agar Trio: Peachtree Hotel, Penrith The Nuts: Penrith Gaels, Kingswood Bob Gillespie: Penrith RSL (Castle Lounge / 2pm), Penrith Peachy: Penrith RSL (Castle Lounge / 9pm), Penrith Castlecomer: PJ Gallaghers, Moore Park Ed Colman & The Twins: Plantation Hotel, Coffs Harbour Jono Lee Jones: Quay West Magenta Shores, Magenta Moonshine: Raby Tavern, Raby

Coastal Craze: Nelson Bay Diggers Club, Nelson Bay

Everyday People Band: Ramsgate RSL, Sans Souci

Digz: Newport Arms Hotel, Newport

Alan Kash: Revesby Markets, Revesby

Gus n Ella: Engadine Tavern, Engadine Foals + Alpine: Enmore Theatre, Enmore Carl Morgan Trio: Foundry 616 (11.30pm), Ultimo Bears With Guns + Jay Smith & The Kids: Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle Oliver Goss: Greystanes Inn, Greystanes Steve Tonge: Harbord Beach Hotel, Freshwater Ngaiire + Lester The Fierce: Heritage Hotel, Bulli Andy Mammers Duo: Hillside Hotel, Castle Hill Oneworld + Glitterus: Hornsby Inn, Hornsby Gabrelle Emilia Duo: Hotel Jesmond, Jesmond Money For Rope + The Owls + B Massive: Hotel Street, Kings Cross Reckless: Huskisson Hotel, Huskisson



Leon Fallon + Luke Robinson + Brendan Deehan: Observer Hotel, The Rocks

Trance Central feat. Mark Dynamix + Nik Fish + Jumping Jack + Andrew James + John Ferris + DJ Ange + Toby Matrix: Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst


Thy Art Is Murder: Boambee Community Centre, Coffs Harbour

SAT 28

The Barons Of Tang + Ava Torch: Katoomba RSL, Katoomba

Grand Theft Audio: Lakeside Village Tavern, Raymond Terrace

Andy Mammers Duo: Town Hall Hotel, Balmain

Defaced: Warners at the Bay, Warners Bay

Nicky Kurta: Northies (Beach Bar), Cronulla

Michael McGlynn: Kirribilli Hotel, Milsons Point

Fallon Brothers: Toongabbie Hotel, Toongabbie

Bombs Are Falling + Ivan Drago + Nerdlinger + Last + Topnovil + That’s The Last Straw + Feskit: Valve @ Agincourt (7pm), Sydney

Moonlight Drive Duo: Jewells Tavern, Jewells

Hands Up!: Kings Cross Hotel (Late), Kings Cross

Daniel Arvidson: The Windsor Castle Hotel, Newcastle

Sons of the East + Julia & The Deep Sea Sirens + Annabelle Kay + DJ Bambi: Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills

Stormbringer: North Ryde RSL, North Ryde

FBi Social feat.Good Oak: Kings Cross Hotel, Kings Cross

JConnexion: The Vineyard Hotel, Vineyard

Uncovered Duo: Towradgi Beach Hotel (Waves), Towradgi

Gareth Hudson: Iron Horse Inn, Cardiff

the guide Jemma Beech: Campbelltown Catholic Club (Caf Samba / 1pm), Campbelltown Us Too Duo: Campbelltown Catholic Club (Club Lounge / 6pm), Campbelltown Without Parachutes + Village Echoes + more: City Diggers (The Den), Wollongong

DRAGON: 26 SEP LIZOTTE’S DEE WHY; 27 LIZOTTE’S NEWCASTLE; 28 LIZOTTE’S KINCUMBER The Kamis: Revesby Workers (Infinity Lounge), Revesby

OMG! Duo: The Windsor Castle Hotel, Newcastle

The Sphinxes: Riverwood Inn, Riverwood

Louis London + Safia + Pear Shape + DJ Kristy Lee: Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills

The Shrooms: Rock Lily, Pyrmont Sophie Raymond & The Reddy Set + The Sweet Little Army + Spike Flynn: Roxbury Hotel, Glebe The Levymen: Royal Federal Hotel, Branxton Stormcellar: Royal Hotel, Bondi Bounce: Scruffy Murphy’s, Sydney Aura feat. DJ Manny + DJ Herbz: Shelbourne Hotel, Sydney Klay: Sir Joseph Banks Hotel, Botany Liz Frenchman + O’Neill & Rodgers: Southern Cross Club, Woden Davey Lane + Teal: Spectrum, Darlinghurst The Hitmix: St Johns Park Bowling Club, St Johns Park Alex Hopkins: Stacks Taverna, Sydney Chris Peterson: Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith Tumbleweed + Bruce! + Los Tones: The Annandale, Annandale Steve Clisby + Band: The Basement (Early Show / 6.30pm), Circular Quay Steve Clisby + Band: The Basement (Late show / 10.00pm), Circular Quay The Rumours: The Exchange Hotel, Hamilton Steve Lane & The Autocrats: The Front Cafe & Gallery, Lyneham Pacha feat. Tonite Only + Ben Morris + Baby Gee + more: The Ivy, Sydney Lianna Pritchard: The Mark Hotel, Lambton The Dark Shadows: The Record Crate (9pm), Glebe Datson & Hughes + Dead Rabids + Phil Beckett + This Filthy Seed: The Record Crate (2pm), Glebe The Delta Riggs + The Walking Who: The Small Ballroom, Newcastle Niko Schwind + Uone: The Spice Cellar, Sydney Neurotic Ladyland feat. Christa Hughes: The Vanguard, Newtown

Inslain + Upside Downside + Magnatron + Blackened Beneath + Dead Life + Fenrir + Daemon Foetal Harvest: Valve @ Agincourt (Basement / 6pm), Sydney Venom Club+Various: Valve @ Agincourt (First Level / 9pm), Sydney Series + Clockwork + Paranoid + Disengaged AU + A Greater Distance + Tomorrow Never Comes + Ellen Subway: Valve @ Agincourt (Basement / 12pm), Sydney Russell Nelson: Wallacia Hotel, Wallacia Hornet: Warners at the Bay, Warners Bay Yuki Kumagai & John Mackie: Well Co Cafe/Bar (11.30am), Leichhardt Smoke + Mirrors feat. Nocturnal + Marsden Night + Top Deck: Whaat Club, Potts Point

SUN 29

Party Central: 3 Wise Monkeys, Sydney

DJ Tone: 5 Sawyers, Newcastle Craig Thommo: Ambervale Tavern, Ambervale Blues Sunday feat. Mark Hopper: Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly The Dreamcatchers: Bar Petite, Newcastle Taras + Pink Lloyd (Softwar) + Cassette + Marc Jarvin: Beach Haus, Potts Point Andy Benke + Christian Ralston: Beach Road Hotel (Public Bar / 3pm), Bondi Beach Klassic Blak: Belmont 16’s, Belmont Illya Szwec’s Groove Depot: Botany View Hotel, Newtown Nicholas Roy + Dan Twining + Crooked Kingdom: Brass Monkey, Cronulla Peter Northcote + Barry Leef Band: Bridge Hotel, Rozelle Jonah & The Wailers + The Elementals: Camelot Lounge, Marrickville Takadimi + James Chatburn: Camelot Lounge (Django Bar), Marrickville

Coco Disqo: Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown Foals + Alpine: Enmore Theatre, Enmore

Sunday Sessions with +DJ Tone: Oatley Hotel, Oatley

Greg Lines: Western Suburbs Leagues Club, Leumeah

Rob Henry + Three Wise Men: Observer Hotel, The Rocks

Nicky Kurta Duo: Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, Woolloomooloo

Big Arvo feat. Scott Davy + more: Orana Hotel, Blacksmiths Outlier Trio + Lonesome Train: Orient Hotel, Sydney Black Rose: Overlander Hotel, Cambridge Gardens ACO Underground + more: Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst

Pat Drummond: Ettamogah Hotel, Kellyville Ridge

Rockin’ Eddie: Penrith RSL (Castle Lounge / 2pm), Penrith

Swillbilly Swillfest feat. Pat Capocci Band + Death Valley + Road Ratz + Bones Jones & The Skeletones + Frankies World Famous House Band + more: Frankies Pizza, Sydney

Zoltan: Revesby Workers (Infinity Lounge / 1pm), Revesby

Helpful Kitchen Gods + Fabels + Strange Horizon + City Circles: Gladstone Hotel, Chippendale The Morrisons + Matt Gollan: Grandmas Bar (Afternoon), Sydney Ben David + Dan Cribb: Hamilton Station Hotel, Hamilton Dan Spillane: Harbord Beach Hotel, Freshwater

Mick Aquilina: Ramsgate RSL (2pm), Sans Souci

Tabitha & The Clique: Rock Lily, Pyrmont Dave Tice & Mark Evans: Ruby L’Otel, Rozelle Paul Phillips: Ruby L’Otel (1pm), Rozelle Finn: Ruby L’Otel (6pm), Rozelle Little Sundays: The Little Guy, Glebe Love That Hat: The Mark Hotel, Lambton

Liz Frenchman + Paul Greene: Yours & Owls, Wollongong

MON 30

Happy Monday+Various: 505, Surry Hills

Songs On Stage feat. John Chesher + Chris Brookes + Massimo Presti: Kellys on King, Newtown Bernie: Observer Hotel, The Rocks Takadimi: The Front Cafe & Gallery, Lyneham MoTown Mondays: The White Horse Hotel, Surry Hills

TUE 01

Old School Funk & Groove Night: 505, Surry Hills Alan Jackson + Sara Evans + Morgan Evans: Allphones Arena, Sydney Olympic Park

Kooyeh: Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour The Strides: Honky Tonks, Canberra Jamie Lindsay: Horse & Jockey Hotel, Homebush Vtribe: Hotel Steyne, Manly Big Blind Ray + Hank Haint: Hotel Street, Kings Cross David Agius: Kemps Creek Sports Club, Kemps Creek Folk By The Sea feat. Ted Egan + Casey Donovan + Ami Williamson + Pat Drummond + Fintan Vallely + The Rusty Datsuns + Nick Rheinberger: Kiama Showground, Kiama Lazy Sunday Lunch with Nick Kingswell + Gerard Masters + Michelle Martinez: Lizottes Central Coast, Kincumber The Mitch Anderson Band: Lizottes Sydney, Dee Why No Brakes: Marrickville Bowling Club, Marrickville Greg Agar: Mean Fiddler Hotel, Rouse Hill Clave Contra Clave (Latin music competition): Metro Theatre, Sydney Josh McIvor: Mill Hill Hotel, Bondi Junction Pete Hibbert: Nelson Bay Diggers Club, Nelson Bay Angelene Harris: Newington Inn, Petersham Dave White: Northies (Beach Bar), Cronulla Reckless: Northies (Sports Bar), Cronulla Antoine: O’Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross Acoustic Sets with Anthony Hughes: Oatley Hotel (2pm), Oatley


Foals Official Tour Wrap Party +Foals (DJ Set): The Soda Factory, Surry Hills

Enmore Comedy Club feat. Ronny Chieng: Enmore Theatre, Enmore

Neurotic Ladyland feat. Christa Hughes: The Vanguard, Newtown

Mike McCarthy + Dan Hannaford: Martys, Cabarita Beach

The Dirty Roots feat. Dallas Frasca + Kim Churchill + Marshall Okell + Ashleigh Mannix + Penny & The Mystics + Eddie Boyd: Towradgi Beach Hotel (Sports Bar / Afternoon), Towradgi Kate Keighran + Melissa Jane Wylie: Trinity Bar, Surry Hills The Rusty Datsuns: Union Hotel, Newtown Kaos At The Valve feat. Illcontent + Exist Within + Alaska + Seconds Till The End + The World In Cinematic + Heiress + Rivalries + Under Grey Skies + Chambers Of Insanity + Blind Oracle + Blackout To Oblivion: Valve @ Agincourt (12pm), Sydney

Rob Henry: Observer Hotel, The Rocks Co-Pilot: Orient Hotel, Sydney Johnny Cash The Concert feat. Daniel Thompson + Stuie French + Tamara Stewart: Sawtell RSL, Coffs Harbour Disclosure: The Hi-Fi (All Ages), Moore Park Plug and Play (Open Mic): The Little Guy, Glebe




Artist Alexandra Lekias’ new exhibition is inspired by the modern ‘selfie’. She chats to Cyclone about how the selfie can be subversive and why she’s fascinated by online documentation.


n the digital era fashionistas share their fabulous looks on social media, especially Instagram. Now Perth artist Alexandra Lekias is examining the ‘selfie’ phenomenon, driven by the smart phone boom, in her new exhibition, Selfie Sourcing Pudding Party, at the Friends of Leon Gallery in Surry Hills, Sydney. Ironically, it’s not photographic – Lekias works with line drawing, using pen, ink and watercolour. The pop culture fan – who’s long explored the concepts of memory, nostalgia, identity, and coming-of-age – is particularly concerned with how people construct their own personae through online images. But the specific theme of Selfie Sourcing Pudding Party is the “post-party ritual” – chronicling the night as it unravels. “I just find it interesting how there’s these little rituals that have emerged in our youth culture that are common around the world,” says the vivacious Lekias, who, it turns out, has been doing all-nighters to ready her collection. (She actually has her best ideas post-revel, too.) That Lekias prefers illustration is curious since she double-majored in Film and TV and Creative Advertising Design at the Curtin University of Technology. Has she given up film? “Well, I wouldn’t say ‘given up’ on,” she ponders. “I’m just taking things as they go – whatever feels natural to me to be doing, I’ll do it. I might revisit it. I did a doublemajor, so I did Film and TV, and my favourite part of that was writing – and I loved doing storyboarding and telling a story visually... I enjoyed having the control of telling a story through illustration. But I loved studying film, that was awesome, and I’d love to get back into it – just telling stories in whatever medium. I’d like to continue to pursue that.” Lekias relished art in school but was “discouraged from pursuing it” due to a supposed lack of job prospects. She “had a crack” at the advertising industry, hoping to be an Art Director. However, Lekias was left disillusioned by her interning experiences. “It’s just such a boys’ club – it’s not far from Mad Men,” she recalls. “It just wasn’t for me.” What’s more, when Lekias graduated, the GFC hit, leaving few openings. 92 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

That proved liberating – “a blessing in disguise” – as she returned to her Plan A. “I’ve had more luck with art.” The playful Selfie Sourcing Pudding Party counters the way young women are depicted in glossy mags – those paparazzi shots of self-destructive celebrities falling out of clubs – and even ads. And, beyond any association with narcissism, or controversy about pornderived sexualisation, the selfie is potentially subversive. The female self-photographer rejects the patriarchal paradigm of male gaze/female object by capturing herself – looking into a digital mirror, with all its possibilities of reinvention. Not that Lekias is necessarily making a feminist statement. “I’m not terribly well versed in [feminism]!” she confesses. “[But] my subject is always girls, it’s always female, and [I’m] telling stories that are intimate. I guess they are empowering of women – and very contemporary.” Lekias, not being active in the transitionary realm of social media (she has a “dormant” Instagram a friend created for her), first heard the term ‘selfie’ from a young cousin – though only last month it was included in the latest Oxford Dictionaries Online. She instantly came up with her collection’s “fun title”. Initially, Lekias was intrigued by the “institution” of self-portraiture. “I’m personally not into the whole selfie thing – I don’t really construct my identity online like some people do – but I find that really fascinating, this constant documentation and curation of yourself online, just with profile images. [People] know what angle to take themselves at to make themselves look the most attractive and everything. But I find it a bit odd because it is so constructed. It’s presenting a version of yourself that is curated by yourself – it’s not someone else’s interpretation of you. But it’s kind of like an interesting postmodern form of portraiture – and it’s very current and of this generation.” Lekias has drawn her own self-portraits – which she found “awkward”. Lekias’ next undertaking could be more obviously fashion-related. She’s informally engaged

in a ‘365 Dress Project’, wearing a different party dress daily. “When I was about 17 I just decided I only wanted to wear party dresses – secondhand party dresses – so I started just wearing that exclusively and collecting. And, ‘cause I’m a terribly lazy person, I was like, ‘If I had 365 dresses, then I only need to do one wash a year!’” She jokes that this would probably require a swimming pool over a washing machine. “I’ve been meaning to document it, but I’ve not been terribly rigourous with that. So I think maybe next year or something I’ll really document it for prosperity.”

WHAT: Selfie Sourcing Pudding Party by Alexandra Lekias opens at Friends Of Leon Gallery, 28 Sep, 6pm and runs to 19 Oct.












8PM // $10


11:30PM // FREE

level 2, kings cross hotel




Port Arthur, TAS A lantern-lit walking tour to experience the Port Arthur Historic Site by night


Old Melbourne Gaol, VIC Explore all three levels of this old prison (including the execution area)

J Jessica Ribeiro invites you y to join j h l d her on a multi-award-winning Ghost tour in Melbourne, an unexpected bit of Fringe.


once had a boyfriend who didn’t believe in ghosts. He worked as a chef down the road from where he lived and had a ritual of coming home every night to take use the toilet upstairs. On this particular night while on the toilet he could hear the downstairs doors opening and closing and the sound of a rowdy group of people walking around the house. They were laughing, talking and knocking things loudly about. He could smell cigarette smoke too and assumed his other housemates were home and had brought with them a drunken party. When he’d finished in the bathroom he walked down the hall and came to the top of the stairs. At that moment he heard a woman yell and the party below fell silent. He ran down the stairs calling out to his friends but all he found was darkness. All the doors and windows were closed and he couldn’t smell any cigarette smoke either. He thought his friends were playing a trick on him so he called them up. They were down at the pub wondering if he was going to come out for a beer. He also called me to tell me what had happened and confessed that things like this had taken place before but he didn’t want to tell me because he thought I’d stop visiting. The house he lived in was a two-storey shopfront that was used as a bakery back in the late 1800s and then a brothel during the 1980s. I guess there are lots of old buildings filled with haunted tales about their past, and most of us know someone who reckons they’ve seen a ghost. If you have any interest in this kind of thing you might like to take a ghost lantern tour durin this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival. I’d never been on a ghost tour and after looking at the website was already cringing at how tacky I thought it was going to be. Photos of tour guides holding torches up to their faces in the dark, some of them wearing purple crushed velvet medieval costumes. It looked like something from a Gold Coast amusement park adventure ride. I wasn’t keen but I forced myself to go.



Fremantle, WA Every Friday night, through the Fremantle Prison, The Roundhouse and the old asylum at Fremantle Arts Centre

We met Ross the tour guide (who didn’t wear a costume) at Federation Square and headed to St Paul’s Cathedral. He described to us the early days of Melbourne. He told us ghost stories about iconic places around the city. These included the Chloe painting at Young and Jackson’s Pub and the old fisherman ghost who walks up and down platform ten during sunset at Flinders Street Station. He took us to many familiar laneways to share tales about famous crimes from the past. He even suggested that notorious murderer Frederick Deeming, who came to Australia in the 1880s and was caught and hung here, may have been Jack the Ripper. Everything he told us is based on true events. You can look it all up. I felt like we were on an excursion with someone’s eccentric historian uncle rather than a paranormal ghost tour. Ross told us that he had explored theories on “All at once time”, supposedly similar to the Aboriginal Dreaming. His theory was that the earth is alive with a memory of everything that has ever happened. He believed that time was not linear so occasionally living events may get stuck on a loop for centuries. Like the story of Room Number 11 at the Windsor Hotel. The cleaners claim to often hear a women speaking and then a small group of men laughing over and over again. Of course when they open the door the room is empty. I wasn’t scared during the tour but I have to admit that last night when I went to bed I woke up in the dark, feeling afraid, wondering if a ghost had attached itself to me and was in my room following me to the toilet. What makes a ghost tour scary - besides the weird people who go on the tours (God love them)? Lying in bed in the dark thinking about the stories after the tour is over. Lantern ghost tours run all year round throughout Victoria and Queensland. Old Melbourne Ghost Tours is a special event, part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and runs to 6 Oct


The Rocks, NSW Every night of the week you can head on this two hour tour of The Rocks


Old Surfers Paradise, QLD Discover the dark side of the coast and the ghosts that still linger in our Bris Vegas

Taking applications for 2014 up until November 1.      *





CULTURAL CELEBRATION Giuliano Ferla writes about a new Indigenous culture festival in Alice Springs called the Mbantua Festival, and how it celebrates Australian identity.

SOME USEFUL INFO FOR MBANTUA FESTIVAL HOTELS Aurora Alice Springs Alice in the Territory Chifley Alice Springs BACKPACKERS Haven BackPacker Resort Alice Springs YHA Alice Lodge BackPackers CAMPING GROUNDS Old Ambalindum Homestead


he inaugural Mbantua Festival opens pretty soon. It’s a festival to celebrate Indigenous cultures throughout central Australia. It brings together 14 different Indigenous language groups, gathers culturally significant artists from throughout Australia, and draws upon musical and cultural traditions that have been passed down for thousands of years. It also includes Jessica Mauboy. The festival’s co-artistic directors are Rachel Perkins and Nigel Jamieson. Before Mbantua Festival, Perkins directed the films Bran Nue Dae and Mabo, as well as the TV series, Redfern Now. She spoke to me about how the festival, at its heart, is about bringing the legacy of Indigenous culture to broader Australia. “We want people to not only understand [Indigenous culture] more but make it part of their own heritage, in a similar way to how they have in New Zealand… We want to make an opportunity for people to share an ownership of it, a pride in something that is their inheritance by being born in this country. That it’s something that makes up their identity.” She has brought in artists from mainstream Australia who have a close connection to Indigenous culture. Missy Higgins, arguably one if the biggest altpop artists in Australia, acted in and contributed to the soundtrack of Bran Nue Dae and will be performing at the festival. As is Bernard Fanning, who in 2007 did the Across The Great Divide Tour with Powderfinger and Silverchair – a tour which expressly sought to bridge the gap between Indigenous and migrant Australia. Dan Sultan, member of the Black Arm Band, is playing. Jessica Mauboy is launching her album there. The Bungalow Song, a new work created with Opera Australia, is making its world premiere at the festival. But these big acts seem like the self-conscious drawcard, because behind them Perkins and Jamieson are building a festival of substance. Perkins talks about the intimacy of it: “It’s in the natural landscape. It’s designed so that people can sit down with the senior men, these old stockmen, and you can carve a boomerang. Through 96 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

sitting down with these old men and talking you get to sort of enter into their world… [It’s] a festival that Australians can connect with Indigenous culture through, in a very deep, profound and intimate way.” This is, at its core, the message behind this festival. Ownership and pride. Not just from the Indigenous peoples, but from wider Australia. Rachel’s vision is to make Indigenous culture a central part of Australian identity. And there’s a real key thing in what Perkins is saying, and in the festival’s mission. See, I am not immune to lurid sensitivity or bouts of political correctness when it comes to Indigenous matters. But it seems to me that it is more important to step forward with a sense of ownership and participation than to step forward with overzealous care and compassion. I mean, if I want to call myself an Australian I should be able to talk confidently not only about the culture of my European ancestors, but also about the cultures of the First Australians. That it should be part of my national identity. I ought to feel self-assured in that. But I don’t. Because I am ignorant of it. And am embarrassed by that ignorance. I don’t talk about it because I am worried that I will upset someone, which, if you think about it, is really dumb. I know it is born out of some desire to be compassionate or careful or whatever, but I gotta say this sentiment is totally misplaced. Anyway, I’m trying not to be groping and over-earnest. The point I want to make is that it seems that only when you are invested in something and are actively participating in it, do you feel like you own it. And only then does it become part of your identity. The Mbantua Festival Alice Springs runs from the 9 to 13 October and is $240 for a full access ticket. They also do weekend and single-day passes. As far as getting and staying there goes, Territory Discoveries do a four-day ‘Alice Escape’ package which includes flights and accommodation. It’s pretty cheap if you’re flying out of one of the major cities.

Heritage Caravan Park Stuart Caravan and Cabin Tourist Park TRANSPORT TO MBANTUA FESTIVAL Public transport Bicycles for hire Parking at venues For more info head to territory MUSICAL ACTS Missy Higgins Bernard Fanning Dan Sultan Jessica Mauboy Tjintu Desert band





Lonely bastard/ salesman.



WHITE WINE Bring on pain, you’ve had a shit one.


Next time you see someone one sittingg alone at a pub pub, p , don’t dont h ’ a better b go and say hi to them; just kknow they’re person than you, writes Scott Fitzsimons.

Willing to chat in an hour.


The cabinet at home is empty.


Where is the beer garden?


I’ll be dead soon. You can have my chair then.


’m not sitting alone in a pub to write this because my time spent sitting alone at the bar is too precious. There’s too much to do; too many people to watch, too many problems to solve, too many glasses to stare into. Some people write alone at pubs, some people read, but I’ve never understood how they find the time. What matters is that everyone has their own way of sitting by themselves at a pub and that the act truly is one of life’s great pastimes. But it’s one that is slowly becoming misunderstood, not unlike a Slim Dusty album: you know it’s vital, but can’t quite remember why. It’s important to remember that you’re never truly alone in a pub, because God is always with you. Whether your God is a book, sketches or scribbles on a notepad, David Ireland or a seven of draught, you make your own religion in a pub. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter what you do, because the pub won’t judge you. The bar, the walls, the stools are all dripping with history. The pub’s seen it all before; nothing you can do will surprise it now. As such, it’s the safe haven you need to live your life in: the human race’s ultimate refuge. If you’re unlucky enough to get a cluster of uni students at a trivia session, desperate to win free drinks all night because they spent all their money on Entourage DVDs, you just have to bear it (grinning optional). Stick to your stool, be polite and know they’ll leave when their inability to name the capital of Panama leaves them without a jug of beer. The bar staff and the publican will look after you as you’re joined in a silent mutual understanding that these blow-ins are a necessary evil. Even if the bastards have barely spent a fiver. Your counterparts on the other side of the bar will look after you, because they always do. They know your order, so you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to. They know you’re good for the money at some point, so there’s no delay in the stream of drinks. They understand the frustration when you can’t get your regular seat because some tourist has taken it to try and chat up a barmaid and they’ll keep a watchful

eye when you’re the target of the unwanted attention. They’ll share the 1967 Playboy the art students left behind after lunch, if only to marvel at ‘60s comics and the number of photography editors in the credits, and they’ll back you when you pretend to be a glassie just to infiltrate the bucks party raging on in the function room. The pub is a second home and the publican, particularly, is virtually family. Always good for a conversation about the weather if you feel like a chat, they’ll even pretend to care when – in your weaker moments – you divulge the struggles of the past week. People cry out about the death of all the good pubs, but it’s these same people who judge watering holes by the price of novelty tacos and the vicinity weekend markets. “It’s the publican what makes the pub,” a wise man once said. The publican and their ability to provide us with a safe place to sit. They’ll know the habits of all their regulars – from the old man tired with life, to the young woman tired with love and from the student who needs to read (textbook or otherwise) in peace, to the salesman who needs to jump right in to the drink. Where else in your life can you receive such unconditional and personalised understanding and acceptance? And if you don’t have these relationships at the pub you’re sitting at, vote with your feet and find a new one. Now it’s also okay to not want to sit alone in a pub; some people find it quite uncomfortable. They crave conversation and human interaction, perhaps scared of where their thoughts will linger off to if left to their own devices. They’re the type that’s rarely without a partner, but whose relationships are often disposable. They seem to love life, but they’re really just scared of death. It’s not that they’re bad people; it’s that they’re just not ready yet. Their time will come, and we’ll see them at the pub by themselves in the future. We won’t talk, but we’ll exchange fleeting glances to one another, both understanding the importance of the sanctuary that is the pub. THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 97

the end


Carlton Blues and Collingwood Magpies.

PLAYING CONDITIONS Wet and muddy, with Carlton barely hanging on to a late lead.

RUB OF THE GREEN Wayne Harmes dives over boundary line, contentiously punches ball back in, sets up winning goal.

LEVEL OF IMPAIRMENT Depends on which supporters you ask. We say one eye closed.

THE FINAL HOOTER All the fuel needed to further fire up one of Aussie sports great rivalries.


Cronulla Sharks and North Queensland Cowboys.

PLAYING CONDITIONS Elimination final for two perennial underachievers.

RUB OF THE GREEN Sharks score a seventh tackle try, go on to win by two.

LEVEL OF IMPAIRMENT Bottom of the remedial maths class. Need more attention at home.

THE FINAL HOOTER Anti-Queensland conspiracy theories abound. Refs gear up for Centrelink.


USA and USSR men’s basketball teams.

PLAYING CONDITIONS The most important gold medal game ever played, in the heart of the ‘second Cold War’.

RUB OF THE GREEN Seconds put back on the clock allowed the USSR to throw a full court pass, score and win by a point.

LEVEL OF IMPAIRMENT Drunker than a Soviet bucks party.

THE FINAL HOOTER America refuse their silver medals after protesting. The Cold War gets colder. 98 • THE MUSIC • 25TH SEPTEMBER 2013

The Music (Sydney) Issue #7  
The Music (Sydney) Issue #7  

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