Category Archives: Live Review

Live Review | One 4 All – Karalbo @ Brisbane Powerhouse 16 October 2009

One 4 All – Karalbo @ Brisbane Powerhouse 16 October 2009
Photo and Review by José Eduardo Cruz

One 4 AllFor many reasons, tonight’s offering is nothing short of spectacular. This is theater at its rawest and most natural without the star attitude. The performers are not paid actors, nor are they trained or would they be considered seasoned professionals. Karalbo is a collaboration between several well know Brisbane artists and youths from various cultural backgrounds trying to find their place in an ever-changing society. The motivation behind this project was to present, if only to a few, a stage and an audience to express valuable stories and somehow come to grips with the duality that invariably comes when you are born and raised within a cultural construct and grow up within another predominant cultural construct that will, try as it may, always see you as an outsider.
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Live Review | UK Subs @ The Zoo, Brisbane 7 October 2009

Live Review: UK Subs @ The Zoo, Brisbane 7 October 2009

Review By Jose Eduardo Cruz

UKSubsThis rather cold Wednesday night presented itself as an interesting proposition from the start. It would have been safe to assume that if you had decided to set up a hair spray stall just outside the venue you would have made a handsome profit. Or perhaps spiked bracelets and belts may have also pocketed you enough for a six pack of beer.

This is a nostalgic night for many of the punters present tonight trying to relive past experiences from faraway places and long gone times. I had the pleasure of speaking to two such fans that could not contain their enthusiasm over what this meant to them. One had seen UK Subs 30 years ago before he migrated to Australia. The other saw them 15 years ago and duly noted the aging process that had taken a hold of Charlie Harper. Such is the life of a legendary trend setter.
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Live Review | Clare Bowditch supported by Scarlett Affection at the A & I Hall, Bangalow 27 September 2009

Review + Photo by Elize Strydom
Clare BowditchClare Bowditch is smack bang in the middle of recording her fourth studio album in Berlin. The album isn’t set to drop until next year but Ms Bowditch and her band of merry men have hit the road for a national tour to celebrate the release of the single ‘The Start of War’.

The first stop was Bangalow in northern New South Wales. The set included old favourites such as Lips Like Orange, Divorcee by 23 and Autumn Bone plus new tunes including the single and other fresh offerings ‘Running’ and ‘Bigger Than the Money’.

New to the mix were young singers Sally Mortensen, Annabelle Tunley and Rachael Head of Victorian acapella group, Aluka. The trio provided backing vocals as well of plenty of laughs in response to their zany array of outfits.

Bowditch and the Aluka girls opened the show by coming through a side door and wowing the audience with a rendition of Between the Tea and the Toast.
There’s no denying she’s a born entertainer.
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Live Review: Kreator + Mortal Sin @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney 24 September 2009

Kreator @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney 24 September 2009
KreatorOnly having one support act seems a trifle insufficient for a band of Kreator’s standing – insulting even – but that’s what confronts us Thursday night at the Metro Theatre. Still, it looks to be a promising evening. I have never, in fact, seen such a huge line to get into the Metro before, and that’s always a good sign as it suggests that the opening band is worth giving a shit about. That honour goes to Sydney’s Mortal Sin, a band that have been kicking around for nearly as long as Kreator. They do themselves proud. Though, unfortunately, by the time we get past the line and into the venue we’ve missed half their set – and of the half we do see most of it is taken up by that marvel of the rock n’ roll genre, the thrash metal ballad.
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Live Review: Grinspoon + Philadelphia Grand Jury + Bridgemary Kiss @ The Hi-Fi Brisbane 19 September 2009

Grinspoon + Philadelphia Grand Jury + Bridgemary Kiss @ The Hi-Fi Brisbane 19 September 2009

Review by: Hannah Collins

Featuring an Aussie band that’s been a part of my life for a good part of the last 15 years, I headed to Brisbane’s Hi-Fi on Saturday with a smile on my face, and recollections of all the fun had listening to old Grinspoon albums as a teen! Taking Australian audiences by the hand, the Grinners boys are out n about, representing the release of their latest album, Six minutes to midnight, for the Takes one Album launch tour.
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Live Review: Cannibal Corpse @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 13 September 2009

Review by: Jamie Cook
Photo: Mel Hone

corpse_1_11_resizeOnce upon a time, Death Metal bands that toured this great country we call Australia was rarer than rocking horse shit. However, over the past four or so years, there have been more of these groups hit our shores than illegal boat people. It was that time once again for Metal Heads to hold onto their faces, as the legendary Cannibal Corpse was in town to rip it off.

Apologies go out to the local lads from Brazen Bull and Defamer for missing their set, as other commitments caused me to arrive that extra bit late.

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Live Review: The Bronx, Numbers Radio and Mariachi El Bronx @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 09 September 2009

Review By: Hannah Collins
A punk gathering with more ink than I’ve ever seen in one place gravitated to Brisbanes Hi Fi on Thurs 9th for what will soon become, a show of constant intrigue.
Mariachi El BronxEntering the venue and approaching main viewing area, I’m tuned in to the sight of a rather tall, masked clown making funnies on the stage. Standing alone, in front of the red and gold, fanned Bronx titled backdrop, it feels somewhat like a circus. Deep red lighting accentuates the atmosphere, as the “clown” begins to chant and stir the audience. Statements like “get those tequila shots into you guys!” come ringing from right of stage.

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Live Review | Shapeshifter @ the Hi-Fi, Brisbane, Friday 11 September 2009

Shapeshifter @ the Hi-Fi, Brisbane, Friday 11 September 2009
Review by: Will Alexander – Photo: Jose Eduardo Cruz

ShapeShifterIt was New Zealand night at the Hi-Fi Brisbane last Friday, and if the accents didn’t give it away then the multitude of girls walking around screaming out for their countrymen did. Irrespective of how bad (and hilarious) the Flight of the Conchords make us look though, there’s no shortage of amazing New Zealander entertainers out there and Shapeshifter are undoubtedly some of the finest. Shapeshifter has earned no small degree of fame after the release of three albums, and you get the sense listening to them that they’ve come close to perfecting an electronically heavy but still organic sound. Unmistakably a drum and bass act on their studio albums, you more often than not see them referred to as a ‘dance’ act in live reviews. This may seem like an oversimplification of their sound but in reality the rising and falling of the beats is energetic and soulful – and doesn’t come across as straight drum and bass at all.
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Live Review | Sugar Army with Buick Six @ The Troubadour, Brisbane 4 September 2009

Sugar Army supported by Buick Six @ The Troubadour 04.09.09
By José Eduardo Cruz

sa2smallBuick Six are relatively new within the industry, but do not be fooled by the anonymity. They are a three piece local Brisbane band that has a fresh sound, or at the very minimum, is doing what other bands are doing within the genre, but just that much better to gain rapid notoriety. Three piece bands will always have the difficult task of producing a full sound, which is why many three piece bands turn into a four piece. That being said, Buick Six have an incredible full sound for a three piece which carries them throughout their whole set. The strength in their sound lies in the ability to create shades of colour in their music. The bass player grooved, the drummer walked off covered in sweat and the guitarist challenged a punter to jump on stage mid set after being asked to play Daddy Cool. Every member had the confidence needed to survive in this game, but remained humble enough to greet punters that thanked them throughout the night. These guys are very young and deserve much greater recognition which should come if they continue to perform such energetic shows filled with genuine artistic flair.

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Live Review | Dukes Of Windsor & Trial Kennedy’s @ The Zoo, 8 August 2009

Dukes Of Windsor & Trial Kennedy’s @ The Zoo, 8 August 2009
By José Eduardo Cruz

Dukes Of WindsorTonight, The Trial Kennedy displayed a level of professionalism that made them the shining star of the night. Firstly, they had to temporarily replace their drummer due to the fact that their original drummer had contracted chicken pox a few days prior. The fill in drummer learnt an entire 45 minute set within one day which, was an amazing achievement given the structure of their songs. He powered Trial Kennedy through their set with 20 inch crashes and an Australian made drum set. Secondly, after their first song their bass amp blew up and had to be fixed on stage before they could proceed. In the interim, their vocalist proceeded with an acoustic song until the amp could be fixed and they could proceed. Even with a shorten set; Trial Kennedy worked their every bit of energy to showcase their music. These guys are in the process of recording their second release and this should see them headline their own set of shows in the not so distant future.

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Live Review | The Herd @ The Zoo, Brisbane – 31 July 2009

By José Eduardo Cruz

The Herd
The Herd supported by Koolism.
July 31 @ The Zoo

This is to be The Herd’s final national tour for twelve months. Although they had decided not to tour for the remainder of 2009, they succumbed to popular demand for another tour. Since this is a fan’s tour, their fans came out in absolute support and made this night a Sold Out night several days in advance.

It is always good to see a support act receive acknowledgements from a crowd that is eagerly waiting for the headliner. Koolism do an excellent job at drawing several acknowledgements from tonight’s crowd. It is amazing what two guys, a laptop and some decs can do. It’s worth a mention that several punters, at the conclusion of their set, quickly moved to the side of the stage to personally greet and congratulate them.

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Live Review | Kev Carmody “Cannot Buy My Soul” Landmark Australian Music Event @ Brisbane Riverstage 1 August 2009

Review By: Elize Strydom

Kev Carmody“You’re going to a Kev Carmody tribute, eh?” Silence. “So, who’s Kev Carmody?”

Sadly that was a common response when I mentioned tonight’s gig to friends. Sadly, it was my initial response, too. However, I’ve been told that that is what the show is all about: taking one of Australia’s finest songwriters and exposing his talents to a whole new audience. Kev Carmody has been singing about the realities of Aboriginal society for the past 24 years through blunt protest songs and poetic ballads; blending folk, country, rock and gospel. In 2007 Paul Kelly pulled together the who’s who of the Australian music scene and an album was released featuring those singer songwriters performing Kev’s songs. Tonight those artists – including Paul Kelly, Bernard Fanning, Missy Higgins, John Butler, Clare Bowditch, the Herd and the Drones – will take to the stage to honour a man who is very much alive and passionate about his people and his country.
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Live Review: FourPlay @ The Tivoli, Brisbane 25 July 2009

By: Stephen Goodwin
FourPlay String Quartet @ The Tivoli, Brisbane

FourPlay String QuartetFew bands could be as innately suited to The Tivoli’s lush interiors as the sonically eclectic FourPlay String Quartet. Coaxed all the way to Brisbane to feature in the Deborah Conway-curated 2009 edition of the Queensland Music Festival, the fourtet of Sydneysiders grace the venue with an exquisite set worthy of a far-larger audience.

Over the course of a little more than an hour, the ensemble treats a small, enthusiastic crowd to new material that shows they still have the creativity and talent to match their genre-crossing ambitions.
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Live Review | The Butterfly Effect + Dead Letter Circus + Calling All Cars @ The Tivoli 10 July 2009

Review: Hannah Collins

The Butterfly EffectRecently returned from the UK, stand up Brissy, prog rockers Butterfly effect embark on yet another journey around Australia to promote their fourth studio album “Final conversation of Kings”.

Kicking off the first live show in a string of tours for The Butterfly Effects “Final Conversation tour”, a band of a smaller stature, not lacking in rock adjure, show Brisbane they can do it, and do it well. Calling All Cars, a three piece from Melbourne rocked it hard in the lead up to Brisbane’s Dead Letter Circus taking stage as the main support for one of Australia’s favourites.

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Live Review – JEFF MARTIN & THE ARMADA @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 10 May 2009

Review by Stephen Goodwin for Life Music Media
Photo: Stuart Blythe
Armada - Jeff MartinArmadas, historically, take a long time to build. It’s something to do with the size of the whole endeavour. On the evidence of tonight’s outing at the Hi-Fi Bar in Brisbane, Jeff Martin’s version – like the venue itself – still needs a few rough edges knocked off before it can truly take on the world.

Even early, the omens are there. Punters are forced to mill impatiently in the street outside the Hi-Fi long past the advertised opening time. Then, after doors open, the wait for psych-blues tie-dye standard-bearers Black Boards Mind feels interminable.

When they do appear, the Fremantle-based five-piece compound matters by seeming determined to turn in a trainwreck. Maybe it’s nerves, but jarringly out-of-sync vocals utterly destroy the first song and a half.

Eventually their sound begins to cohere, the vocals acquiring a straining nasal twang not too dissimilar to the Vasco Era’s Sid O’Neil. But even combined, Black Board Minds’ trio of vocalists possess nowhere near the Melbourne bluesman’s live-wire charisma. Song progression – characterised by a mushy bass-heavy sound that lacks any subtlety – feels equally leaden. The tambourinist’s creditable impression of the energiser bunny says it all: a manic distraction, it only serves to emphasise the act’s rawness.

Staring at Jeff Martin’s guitar rig, one entertains the possibility that it may contain more pedals than there are punters at the Hi-Fi tonight. And that’s not a dig at the crowd size – there’s plenty of the latter.

Martin’s admission during some mid-set technical issues – “it’s like trying to work the space shuttle up here” – feels like tacit validation, and one gets the feeling this massive contraption is the culprit of the early evening delays, and a longer-than-usual wait during the interval.

The downside of these delays is the flaccidness of the crowd. Curiously detached even as the band take up their instruments, they never seem to click with the band. Consequently, there’s too little of the energising feedback that can propel a “merely” good performance into something truly memorable.

For some musical styles, it’s irrelevant. But with the Armada squarely aiming for rock bombast, it’s a limiting factor.

The good news is that Martin and band are clearly “up for it”. It’s little short of jaw-dropping to simply watch skinsman Wayne P Sheehy’s pummelling drumwork. The intensity of sound is a whole order of magnitude more devastating.

Watching Martin, one is torn between appreciating his rich, pitch-perfect baritone, and admiring the almost-arrogant casualness with which he can pause and rip out a fiery solo. And, to the delight of the guitar nerds near the front, he does this often.

All the while man-mountain bassist Jay Cortez anchors the show with unflappable calm.

Several Tea Party tracks wedge themselves into the set, but the evening’s highlights draw themselves almost exclusively from The Armada’s self-titled debut. The sheer immenseness of opener Morrocco. The poignancy of Line in the Sand – even if the nuance-for-power trade-off is clearly felt compared to the “Live at the Corner” rendition. And the demented slide wizardry of Black Snake Blues, complete with a Led Zep excursion into Whole Lotta Love.

One exception is Winter Solstice, the Splendor Solis instrumental forming an spine-tingling acoustic one-two as it segues into new cut The Rosary.

After roughly 90 minutes, with The Armada closing out with another Tea Party staple Save Me, one is left with no doubt that the band has all the elements – strong songs and incredibly talented personnel. Once they iron out the kinks, they may just go on to conquer the world. Unlike the Spanish version.

Set-list

Morocco
Chinese Whispers
Overload
Line in the Sand
Broken
Coming Home
Kingdom
Winter Solstice/The Rosary
Black Snake Blues
Cathartik
Closure
Invocation
Closing Down Blues

Save Me

Bands: The Armada – www.thearmada.com
Black Board Minds
Venue: The Hi-Fi Bar, Brisbane – www.thehifi.com.au
Date: May 10, 2009

Related:
Photo Gallery: JEFF MARTIN & THE ARMADA @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 10 May 2009
JEFF MARTIN & THE ARMADA @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 10 May 2009 and May 2009 Tour Dates
The East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival Byron Bay – BluesFest 2008 – images including Jeff Martin