Category Archives: Review

Neil Young @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre – 21 January 2009

As Neil Young took to the stage at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, the crowd was set for a journey as this legendary musician weaved a magical blanket of music that transported you through the decades.

Performing “Hey Hey, My My”, “Just singings a song won’t change the world”, “Old Man” and “Needle and the Damage Done” – to name a few – was just mind blowing!

Without doubt, Neil Young is Legend!

Bon Iver @ The Tivoli, Brisbane 17 Jan 2009 Photos and Review

Photographer: Elize Strydom

Click image for larger photo.

Matt Burgess of Burgo’s Blog attended the show and writes:

“Last night, I had probably the most visceral experience of my life, watching Bon Iver perform live at the Tivoli in Brisbane. To call it sublime would be an understatement.

It was over two years ago (side note: how fast is time going these days? I mean, honestly…) that the dulcet tones of Justin Vernon first made their ways to my ears. I managed to catch the tail end of the Hazeltons days/post DeYarmond Edison days, but really – if I’m honest – I was probably only fully hooked when I first heard Skinny Love. It’s a cardinal sin to admit something like that, when you’re a music blogger (especially considering the strength of the Hazeltons era), but that’s the moment when I realised that this was… different. That there was something transcendent in this music. So when the news made its way to me that Bon Iver would be performing at the Tivoli, I knew I would be going.

And man, am I glad I did.”…

Read Matt Burgess’s full review at http://www.burgoblog.com/2009/01/18/bon-iver-live-tivoli-brisbane-2009/

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Big Day Out 2009 Gold Coast Review

Big Day Out 2009 Gold Coast Review
Author: Tara Kai Hammond

Whilst 2009’s Big Day Out line up contained more locally-grown artists then big- name-crowd-pulling international acts; other activities and entertainment like the dunking-pool, the movie theatre, and the ‘ carny’ style rides; all helped this years festival to be a big day out of live sun, fun and music for all styles and ages.

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[photo: Stuart Blythe]

Sporting band leader outfits, The Grates to took the stage and were an obvious crowd favourite. Patience has an instant reapport with the massive crowd and has them singing along and on each others shoulders, poppin and bobbin.

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All Tomorrow’s Parties – Riverstage, Brisbane 15 Jan 2009 Review

All Tomorrow’s Parties – The Riverstage, Brisbane
January 15, 2009
Author: Stephen Goodwin
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Photo:Matt Palmer – Click here for full ATP Gallery

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Saints, Spiritualized, Robert Forster, The Necks, James Blood Ulmer

“And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow’s parties”
– The Velvet Underground & Nico, 1967

The sun blasts Brisbane’s Riverstage bowl with pitiless intensity. The eyes almost hurt, and punters stake-out the little shade that exists as soon as they come through the gates. It’s a piercingly bright summer day that feels more suited to a day at the beach (or a Gunslinger showdown, for the more dramatically inclined) than the latest instalment of All Tomorrow’s Parties – the festival often dubbed “the ultimate mixtape”. Yet with the sun barely past the meridian, blues-jazz auteur James Blood Ulmer seats himself near the front of stage without fanfare and begins to play.

The open space and bright light of the Riverstage is a world away from the smoky, intimate bars that birthed the blues, yet Ulmer is unperturbed. His be-ringed hands glide languidly across his guitar, generating poignant echoing blues music to make the hardest soul melt. In a way, the fierce afternoon heat assists, forcing the few hundred early arrivals to seek the shade at the front of stage. His talented fingers and crooning, quavering voice do the rest. Katrina – she “ran a whole lotta people outta town” – is, perhaps, the highlight, but every song is greeted with generous applause and by the time he departs the initially reserved Ulmer seems to have almost warmed to both crowd and setting.

Avant-garde rock minimalists The Necks seem to confuse as many as they delight with a performance that’s not so much a set as a single instrumental movement. Over 45 unbroken minutes, pianist Chris Abrahams, double-bassist Lloyd Swanton and drummer Tony Buck construct, and then deconstruct, a hypnotic piece that blends their three instruments into a slowly evolving ocean of sound. With Abrahams facing away from his fellows, Swanton with eyes tightly shut, and Buck hunched studiously over his kit, there’s the overwhelming sense that the transitional cues are aural rather than verbal. But the true testimony to their skill is the organic fashion in which their initial gossamer web of piano and cymbals evolves into a portentous mass of deep bass tones and kick-drum thumps. By the end, we’re back to the start and wondering whether the intervening 45 minutes were merely a dream.

Robert Forster tempers his patrician loftiness with a boyish enthusiasm and playfulness that’s quite endearing. Seemingly so excited to be at ATP that he kicks off five minutes early, he and his band members squeeze out 11 summery pop songs to perfectly match the balmy late-afternoon. The selection leans heavily to Go-betweens tracks, but Forster skips the hits for obscurer choices such as Head Full Of Steam, German Farmhouse and Make Her Day. Surfing Magazines and Quiet Heart form a lovely duo of charm and tenderness, while Darlinghurst Nights and the rollicking Here Comes A City illustrate why Oceans Apart garnered critical acclaim. It’s left to If It Rains, Pandanus and Heart Out To Tender to hold the fort on behalf of Forster’s impressive solo repertoire.

J Spaceman’s (aka Jason Pierce) Spiritualized, incarnated for ATP as a seven-piece complete with a pair of wonderful gospel singers, bursts out of the blocks with the frothing, squalling admonishment of You Lie, You Cheat. What follows leaves the crowd spell struck, and proves a mere 45 minutes is hardly enough to fully appreciate the complex beauty of a sound that threads together rock, psychedelia, gospel and blues. Word wankery aside, it’s divine, and choosing a highlight is nigh-impossible. The bliss-out space-rock of Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space? The plaintive, hopeful poetry of Shine A Light? The anthemic grandeur of Soul On Fire? Or perhaps the wonderful, country-inflected rendition of Spaceman 3 classic Walking With Jesus? By the conclusion, if I wasn’t already, I think I’m in love, because the gospel singers just own Come Together, for all that they leave stage before the wig-out finale of guitar cacophony.

Surely no act on today’s ATP bill is more anticipated than The Saints. Billed to perform their seminal debut album in order, in its entirety, and with original members Ivor Hay and Ed Kuepper joining Chris Bailey, there’s a palpable feeling that the home-town performance could prove one for the annals. Anticipation peaks as the band emerges to the strains of bagpipes and Kuepper and Hay fire up. The joy is short-lived though. They open not with (I’m) Stranded, but Swing For The Crime – a cut from 1979′s Prehistoric Sounds. Shock and surprise soon turn to deflation and disbelief as they transition into This Perfect Day and it becomes clear that, somewhere, there’s been an unannounced change of plans.

In the end, only five out-of-order songs from (I’m) Stranded feature in the brief eight-song set. Criminally, not one is the title track. Equally mystifying, the mix is nothing short of appalling, reducing the crisp, ferocious beauty of Kuepper’s guitar to indiscernible droning sludge. The best moments come from the bluesy Kissin’ Cousins and a slow-tempo version of Messin’ With The Kid where Bailey’s acoustic guitar helps rather than hinders. But the verbal abuse sections of the crowd hurl at the departing band after they conclude with a disappointing rendition of Nights in Venice highlights how much of a letdown they were tonight. Know your product? Apparently not.

After The Saints, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds are left with a lot to do. Fortunately, their 90-minute set is an absolute barn-burster that completely erases the sour taste left by the The Saints‘ lead balloon. All energy, gusto and unignorable charisma, Cave prowls the stage, alternately treating his guitar with violent disdain and imperiously lashing the audience with his evocative lyrics. It only takes a few songs to grasp that the act of creating Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! has propelled the Bad Seeds’ passion for live performance into the stratosphere. Dual drum kits intensify the bottom end while the regular mandocaster wig-outs of Warren Ellis push many a Bad Seed classic to the edge of mania. And even if there’s a touch of greatest hits about the selections, there’s a frightening intensity in the delivery. Tupelo, The Mercy Seat, Papa Won’t Leave you Henry, The Weeping Song – all are simply searing.

Red Right Hand benefits from a softer club-lounge re-arrangement of soft ivories, brushed drums and finger-plucked fiddle – dramatic yet intimate. Then, in a flash, it concludes in a mania of sawing violin, mashed piano and crashing cymbals. Love Letter and The Ship Song form a quieter mid-set interlude, and amidst the older material, tracks from Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! emerge needle-sharp and glorious. The title track, as well as Midnight Man and More News From Nowhere, show signs of becoming instant classics. Only the demented We Call Upon The Author strikes an off note in its awkward transition into Ellis’s post-chorus funkified loops, but Cave’s vocal delivery is so fluid and poetic that it more than balances the ledger. Anyway, it’s surely nothing a pair of scissors can’t fix.

Cave demands audience participation as the band encore. But the crowd’s ragged call-and-response effort for Lyre of Orpheus prompts him to remark sardonically at the end: “Well, that was messed up”. The unrelentingly fierce rendition of Get Ready For Love that follows feels almost like a punishment for our collective misdemeanour. Unfortunately, all good things must come to the end, but the Bad Seeds have arguably saved the best for last, finishing with the stunning murder ballad Stagger Lee. From start to finish, it’s been a tour-de-force of no equal. And as we all drift off into the night, I muse that, bar a single act, ATP has been peerless too.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ATP 2009 Photo Gallery

All Tomorrow’s Parties
January 15, 2009
The Riverstage, Brisbane
Photographer: Matt Palmer
Click image for full gallery
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Sunset Sounds 2009 Review

By Tara Kai Hammond
Sunset Sounds - Riverstage Brisbane 8th January 2009Sunset Sounds - Riverstage Brisbane 7th January 2009 - Tegan and Sara Sunset Sounds - Riverstage Brisbane 7th January 2009 Sunset Sounds - Riverstage Brisbane 7th January 2009 - The Hives Sunset Sounds - Riverstage Brisbane 7th January 2009 - Violent Soho

In an era when music festivals seem once again to be the current trend, there was definitely something very special and unique about The Sunset Sounds festival, put together by the same crew as the renowned Falls festival.

Originally the festival was proposed to take place in ‘beautiful’ Byron Bay, (under the name – The Byron Bay Arts festival). But the location had to change due to approval issues, and Brisbane’s Botanical Gardens was chosen to hold the event under the new banner – The Sunset Sounds Festival.

I was lucky enough to go along both days and soak up all the sun and sonic-goodness; and the following is an account of my first day at the festival.

*-:SUNSET SOUNDS DAY ONE:-*

After picking up my media pass and with a sense of excitement as I passed through the front gates, I headed straight for a big shady tree in front of the Hibiscus stage where I was entertained by the simple, laid-back, folk-rock, sounds of Australian band, TinPan Orange; which consisted of a Alex Burkoy on violin, and folk/soul driven female vocalist Emily Lubitz, – reminiscent of recent Australian artists such as Claire Bowditch – who strummed, plucked and tapped her ukulele, while singing from her heart and soul about love, life and loss.

Wandered over to the Garden stage for French based artist Soko; Soko‘s voice alternated enjoyablely between a husky-enunciation and a elevated-husky-shriek, but her songs of anguish and dejection, left me a little downhearted. The highlight of her set, for me, was the song I’ll Kill Her; Her live performance was a little strange with crying throughout her set, announcing her early retirement, and finishing her set rocking-out on the drums while singing about having a nervous-breakdown; I’m beginning to wonder if she will.

Recent graduate from Brisbane’s indie-dance-rock scene, Yves Klein Blue; were the first band on the River stage and seemed more than at home during their set. They played a high-energy show that left the crowd hyped-up and buzzing. The stand out song of the set for me and the rest of the audience was obviously the song Polka, but the set was so full-of-life and hot-to-go; that it was hard to tell whether the smoke that billowed of the stage during their set came from the band, smoke machines, or both.

Award winning English band Gomez, was next up on the Garden Stage; and I must admit to being a little bit disappointed due to their low-energy performance, which could have something to do with the fact that it was boiling hot when they played, or just couldn’t be bothered putting in much energy or effort. And also, because their set lacked a lot of the tracks they’re most famous for, like the tune Get Myself Arrested. However they did play some classics and crowd favourites such as Get Miles, Bring It On, GirlShapeLoveDrug, and We Haven’t Turned Around, amongst others. An excellent band in general, but I definitely had high hopes of them being even better live and couldn’t help feeling that they could have done better, (and would have at some point in the past).

I only got the chance to see The Rocketsmiths, (another quality Brisbane band), for a short while; but during that time I was quite impressed with the way they mix the funk-punk-rock-carnivalesque genres quite well. And they also reminded me of one of my favourite ‘old school’, Zappalesque, mixed genre bands, the one and only, Mr. Bungle.

If ego had a name, its name would be Howling Pelle Almqvist! The Hives certainly know how to entertain the crowd, and the power outage early in their set only fired up Pelle even more. The crowd wowed to their show but, for me, with Pelle declaring “You do not cut the power on The Hives!”, it was time to move along to the next act.
Making my way back to the Garden stage, The Cat Empire were a happy and vibrant breath of fresh-air, who put the crowd in a good mood, (with smiles and good vibes all around); got the crowd pumping, (arms and legs in the air and everywhere); and kept the happy-high-energy going the whole one hour set. Playing crowd favourites like Two Shoes, Someday, and So Many Nights, amongst others. And also a few covers as well – one of Paul Kelly’s songs Dumb Things, (which got the whole crowd singing along); and also a French version of The Eagles tune Hotel California, (which segued into their song Chariot). Throughout their six year career as a band they’ve received much recognition, (including their first album receiving seven ARIA nominations; their first two albums scoring double platinum sales; and the fact they’ve done around 600 sold-out shows between Melbourne and Montreal). The Cat Empire continue to be vibrant, warm, engaging, humble band; with attitudes of respect for creativity, the power of music, the environment, and other cultures and humanity in general.

The Cat Empires horn section eventually faded, sounding the end of the nights activities, and as the lights went down, the crowd cheered and began to quietly file out of the main gate like ants; tired, energized and eager all at the same time. And as I left the festival, (high on life and buzzing and beaming from ear to ear); I headed along the bamboo track that leads back into the concrete jungle, (a.k.a Brisbane City); and I let out a big “ahhhhhh” and thought – what a festival!!!… can’t wait for tomorrow!!!

By Tara Kai Hammond

ARIA unveils 2008’s Top 100 Singles, Albums & Digital Tracks, Top 50 Music DVDs

“Low”, the double platinum smash from Flo Rida featuring T-Pain, has topped the ARIA 2008 Top 100 Singles and Digital Track Charts*. “Low” spent three weeks at number one, an incredible 19 weeks in the top 10 and 37 weeks in the top 50, ensuring it was the dominant single of 2008. Flo Rida also had a further two singles within the top 100 and the album “Mail On Sunday” landed at #66 on the ARIA 2008 Top 100 Album Chart*.

 

click here

 

The number one album of 2008 came from Kings Of Leon – the US rock band’s fourth studio album “Only By The Night” outselling all other releases to claim top spot on the ARIA 2008 Top 100 Album Chart. The band’s dominance was clearly evident by the success of the first two singles lifted from the album, with “Sex On Fire” spending 4 weeks at number one during the latter part of ’08, finishing at #5 on the end of year chart, with “Use Somebody” at #30. Chalking up sales in excess of 350,000 units, “Only By The Night” spent 4 weeks at number one and has not left the top 5 since its release. Topping off an incredible year for the band, their previous albums “Because Of The Times” and “Aha Shake Heartbreak” landed at #46 and #81 respectively in the end of year chart.

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bluejuice – let the fun begin!

After witnessing the energy of bluejuice playing live at the Valley Fiesta 2008, the decision was made to investigate the band a little further. I mean, these guys packed in the crowd, had them up and jumping with a charismatic energy from the first step on stage to the last blistering note! Awesome…

What was found in our investgations:
Between stage jumps, speaker climbs and a full on stage performances there lies an extremely talented, inventive and most of all,  funny group.

  • “Belonging to the church of the big fish”… classic!
  • Jumping out of planes to make the filmclip for “The Reductionist”… classic!

EP: The John Steel Singers – “In Colour”

The John Steel Singers have just released their latest indie styled fuzz pop musical offering in an EP titled “In Colour”. 

 

This EP is a great progression for the band and in working with producer Scott Horscroft, the end result speaks volumes. Maybe it’s their conscious decision to make the rhythms more direct and simplified. Whatever it is, you will be transported into a fantasy, surreal, floating world with a sixties laid back summer love feel. 

The opening track, Rainbow Kraut is a clear favourite and after a few listens I found myself humming along and somehow a little uplifted. 

The EP is now available through Levity®/Inertia.

“In Colour”
1. Rainbow Kraut
2. Luxembourg
3. Mother
4. Harlequin Maid

 

In support of the album release, the John Steel Singers are embarking on an Australian Headliner tour thoughout November.   Click here for tour details…

Nova Live and Loud @ EKKA – Faker & Intercooler – 16 August 2008

On the closing night of a bumper year at the Brisbane Ekka, Faker and Intercooler proved to be a major drawcard for the Nova “Live and Loud @ Ekka”  2008 series of concerts. 

Faker - Brisbane Ekka 2008

Intercooler - Brisbane Ekka 2008 Intercooler - Brisbane Ekka 2008 Faker - Brisbane Ekka 2008 Faker - Brisbane Ekka 2008
More photos here–>> 

Links: http://www.ekka.com.auNovaFaker – Intercooler

Brisbane EKKA – Regurgitator & Yves Klein Blue – 9 August 2008

Nova “Live and Loud & Ekka” presented another huge night of entertainment with Regurgitator and Yves Klein Blue blasting away the winter chills… the perfect end to a day at the Brisbane Ekka.
Regurgitator - Brisbane Ekka 2008

Brisbane Ekka 2008 Brisbane Ekka 2008 Yves Klein Blue - Brisbane Ekka 2008 Yves Klein Blue - Brisbane Ekka 2008
Yves Klein Blue - Brisbane Ekka 2008 Brisbane Ekka 2008 Regurgitator - Brisbane Ekka 2008 Regurgitator - Brisbane Ekka 2008
More photos here–>>

Saturday 16 August
Faker will be supported by Intercooler in the final of the Nova Live and Loud & Ekka series.
Don’t miss this one!!

http://www.ekka.com.au

The Getaway Plan @ Red Room – University Of Queensland, 19 July 2008

The Getaway Plan
The Getaway Plan played an “all ages” gig at the Red Room – University of Queensland, 19 July 2008 as part of the Brisbane leg of their “Where The City Meets The Sea” tour (supported by Goodnight Nurse and Closure in Moscow).

Live Review: fasterlouder review by brittles 

The Getaway Plan The Getaway Plan The Getaway Plan Goodnight Nurse Goodnight Nurse Legs
Photos:  The Getaway Plan live 
Links:  The Getaway Plan @ Myspace  –  Boomtown Records  – University of Queensland  – FasterLouder 
Support bands: Closure in MoscowGoodnight Nurse 

Parkway Drive & Have Heart @ Tivoli – Brisbane, 13 June 2008

Parkway Drive
Parkway Drive and Have Heart ripped up the Tivoli on Friday the 13th (13 June 2008).

Boston’s Have Heart is easily one of the biggest bands in straight edge hardcore scene and managed nothing less than a solid, full on performance that saw the packed Tivoli crowd jumping and screaming for more… perfect fodder for the mainline act “Parkway Drive“. Have Heart’s front man Pat Flynn is the face of the straight edge movement and proved that this movement is alive and well in Brisbane.

As Parkway Drive entered the stage, the crowd surged forward and erupted in classic hardcore fan style, flying fists, circle pits, and a mountain of aggression. Parkway Drive blistered through their set and did not disappoint, offering up (among others) “Gimme A D”, “Siren’s Song” and “Guns for Show, Knives for a Pro”, their high energy show that would have kept the hardest hardcore critic happy.

Have Heart Have Heart Have Heart

Links:  Parkway Drive  –  Have Heart
Venue:  The Tivoli Brisbane

Home Grown In The Valley Festival – Currumbin Valley, 27 July 2008

 Richard Clapton 
Sunday July 27 sees the birth of Home Grown In The Valley, a boutique music festival in the rain forest surrounds of the Currumbin Valley Bird Gardens. The line up brings together Australian music icons Ian Moss, Richard Clapton and Diesel, revered guitarists Phil Emmanuel, as well as blues & roots legends Kevin Borich and Steve Edmonds.

Sunday 27 July, 2008 @ The Bird Gardens, 746 Currumbin Creek Rd, Currumbin Valley, Southern Gold Coast.  11:00am to 9:30pm

To purchase tickets to Home Grown In The Valley, head to www.inthevalley.com.au or Southport RSL, Scarborough St, Southport.