Category Archives: Review

Live Review: COG “Between Oceans” Tour @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane – 11th June 2009

Review by Bec

[Photo: Stuart Blythe]
   Cog fans are a loyal bunch. They’ll come up to you and tell you how great their band is. “Sold out. Melbourne Hi-Fi, and now here,” one fan tells me. (He waits until he sees me write this in my notebook.) They’ll bear the unusually cold Thursday night to happily wait in line. And they’ll keep coming back to see Cog live – for some fans this is their fourth or fifth gig. Little wonder, if you believe what another fan proclaims: “Best live band – ever”. That’s a pretty big call.

Certainly, Sydney-based Cog is a WYHIWUG (what-you-hear-is-what-you-get) band. If you love their CDs then you’ll love their live shows. No disappointment there. Lead singer, Flynn Gower’s vocals, like his stage presence, are deliberate, steady and enunciated. He’s obviously a dedicated musician as are other band members, Lucius Borich, on drums, and Luke Gower on bass who is extremely animated on stage.

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CD Review: The Little Stevies – Love Your Band

by Felicity Rennie –

The Little Stevies - Love Your Band    I am not convinced that the use of a rainstick (or a very convincing similar effect) in the opening strains of Sunshower, the first track and first single from The Little Stevies’ debut album Love Your Band, is a coincidence. An instrument noted for its relaxation qualities, it says a lot about the album that follows, which, like a rainstick, is carefully constructed, filled with surprise gems, and is unequivocally soothing. This is a strong, inspired debut from a very promising three piece.

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Review: Judith Lucy’s Not Getting Any Younger – Brisbane Powerhouse

judithlucy-small    Judith Lucy‘s Not Getting Any Younger
Review by Lisa Lamb

I was fortunate enough to first see Judith Lucy perform in the early nineties at the Sit Down Comedy Club and she just gets funnier! Whether she’s talking about the horror of getting older,

global warming or an ill fated trip to Italy with her biological mother where she ended up drinking wine from a cereal bowl, you will laugh until your jaw aches. She is so natural on stage, which is possibly why she has been a successful comedian for the past twenty years, and her audience participation is second to none, especially the Ask a Young Person segment, involving her asking a seventeen year old boy if he shaves his pubic hair?
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CD Review: Karnivool “Sound Awake”

Review by: Stuart Blythe
karnivoolcdIt’s been four years in the making but after setting a new benchmark in Australian heavy rock with their debut album “Themata”, the pressure was on. Fortunately the wait has been worth it!!

Re-enlisting Themata’s producer Forrester Savell, the album was recorded at Perth’s Blackbird and Kingdom Studios over several months, and later mixed at Melbourne’s famous Sing Sing Studios’. Savell has done a superb job on this record with each band member clear in the mix, and the various landscapes of sound captured impeccably. Singer Ian Kenny relays “It was a no-brainer in the end. Once we made the decision to let him into our space, we really relied on him to don the heavy black boots and start kicking heads, which he did. Plus, the guy’s got the goods musically – he’s like the cleaner who comes in after a murder.”
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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.


Chinese Whispers
Line in the Sand
Coming Home
Winter Solstice/The Rosary
Black Snake Blues
Closing Down Blues

Save Me

Bands: The Armada –
Black Board Minds
Venue: The Hi-Fi Bar, Brisbane –
Date: May 10, 2009

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

Headkase CD Launch The Worm County Circus with special guests Devilution and The Kidney Thieves @ Rosie’s – 8 May 2009 : Live Review

by Lisa Lamb

The Kidney Thieves are a positive energy fix combining funk, rock, phychedlic and tribal metal with anti-pop tunes like Dance Town Show Down, guaranteed to get the keep the audience moving. They are talented and very comical with a passion for ludicrous song titles such as Sex Panther, Online Pelvis & the Exotic Juicer, Battle worm (escapes from Doom) etc and great stage names like Captain Chrispy Booyah and Crafty J.

Lead singer Jack Muzak is the lord of charisma, looking like a modern day Jack Sparrow. He promises to take the audience on a journey to fuzzy tinkle town via his keyboard which he also shares with Travis also known as Travesty, Intravenous and occasionally John Travolta.


Continue reading Headkase CD Launch The Worm County Circus with special guests Devilution and The Kidney Thieves @ Rosie’s – 8 May 2009 : Live Review

Review: Alex Lloyd @ The Zoo, Brisbane 8 May 2009

Alex Lloyd @ The Zoo, Brisbane 8 May 2009
Author: Merryn
Photo: Stuart Blythe
Alex LloydWhat in the world has happened to Alex Lloyd? Or, more to the point, his fans? Last night’s gig at The Zoo resembled more a congregation for the Corpse Bride than an intimate gathering to celebrate one of Australia’s best artists.

Best Artists you question? Yes! Come on guys, this is a man who’s brilliance dazzled all at the turn of the century, and it wasn’t luck My Friend. With credentials that put other Musicians to shame, Alex Lloyd is one of Australia’s most under celebrated treasures.
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Madeleine Paige “The Voice Behind The Noise” EP : Review

Madeleine Paige    Brisbane based Madeleine Paige is in a class of her own.

It’s refreshing to receive an EP to review that one instantly likes and that was exactly the case with this.

Madeleine Paige’s latest EP entitled “The Voice Behind The Noise” consisting of 5 beautifully crafted songs that were recorded at Massive Studios by Matt Redlich (Hungry Kids Of Hungary).

Madeleine has been praised in recent reviews for her live performances and this certainly translates well within this album.

Starting out with “Ditty”, an upbeat happy bouncy tune that will surely remove any blues that you may be feeling.
Track 2, “My Love Looks”, is a lulla-ballad styled song where you are carried away by just her voice and soft acoustic accompaniment.
“It’s over (and over again)” is one of my favourites on this EP. A haunting lament that is definitely worth having a listen to – over and over and over again.

Madeleine’s angelic voice, coupled with well written and performed songs, will mesmerise all listeners.

“The Voice Behind The Noise” was released on 8 May 2009. Madeleine Paige is currently touring and her show is one that shouldn’t be missed.
Rating: 4/5
Tour Dates:
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Mzaza / Paris Dreaming – Parliment of Birds CD Launch -The Press Club

Mzaza / Paris Dreaming
Parliment of Birds CD Launch -The Press Club
Author: Lisa Lamb

mzazza    If you ever feel you are in the wrong country, listen to Mzaza and you will know you are. This six-piece Brisbane group combines sounds from East & West with ease and sensuality. Vocalist Pauline Maudy is stunning in a black cocktail dress with feathers, and birds in her hair. She is outrageous, yet reserved and very, very classy. Singing in French, Spanish and Arabic with ease and her voice is like liquid amber. In the intimate setting of The Press Club, you could easily be transported to Paris or Marseille. This is world music at its finest!

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Elize Strydom gets stuck in the mud at the 20th Annual East Coast Blues and Roots Festival

Bluesfest – 20th Annual East Coast Blues and Roots Festival
Friday 10th April
Review: Elize Strydom

Personality test: What sort of footwear would you choose to wear to Bluesfest?

a. Thongs from Woolies
b. Gumboots from Bunnings
c. Your brand new Dunlop Volleys
d. Au Natural (bare feet)

If you answered a. you’re an optimistic idealist. If you picked c. get set for disappointment. If you deliberated between b. and d. then read on…

The 20th Annual East Coast Blues and Roots Festival was always going to be muddy. In the two weeks leading up to the festival the Northern Rivers had copped near-torrential rain, flash flooding and damaging winds. I spoke to Festival Director Peter Noble a day before the gates were due to open and he was optimistic. One day of hot sun beating down on the Belongil Fields meant they had “dodged a bullet” and things were looking up. Yesterday the Rain Gods withheld their mercy but they’re well and truly smiling again today. Steam is literally rising off the sodden grass as punters – young and old – stream past sniffer dogs, security checks and wrist band fasteners. Tracks between the festival’s six stages, market stalls, food tents and port-a-loos have been beaten and new tracks are appearing as people try to avoid the shin deep mud pit at the centre of the original track. So many are falling at the first hurdle as their thongs flick splats of mud up their legs and backs. Others are literally stuck in the mud as their feet plunge into the thick brown slosh and fail to emerge. Now is not the time to suffer from unpreparedness – there’s music to see, oh so much music. More than 500 artists and 220 performances, to be exact. I’ve gotta start somewhere, why not with Watermelon Slim and the Workers?
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The Kill Scene, Feline Down, Twist Oliver Twist @ The Globe – 11th April, 2009

The Kill Scene, Feline Down, Twist Oliver Twist
The Globe – 11th April, 2009
Author: Lisa Lamb

The Kill Scene formerly known as the Dream Sequence inflicted a quick and painless death on themselves in front of a live audience, then musically re-incarnated. Sounding very much like The Cure as they delved into Gothic New Wave with a dark, ambient precision. Playing a blend of originals combined with 80’s British rock like Kate Bush “Running up that Hill”, along with a dark and twisted, yet beautiful version of “Let Me Entertain You” by Queen.    kill scene

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“No Shoes, at Blues…” – By Tara Kai Hammond

Bluesfest – 20th Annual East Coast Blues and Roots Festival
Friday 12th April
Review: Tara Kai Hammond

After a short twenty minute stroll from the car park, a quick ‘frisking’ from security at the gate, and I’m officially allowed into the festival. The first thing I noticed after being ‘frisked’; apart from swampy mud and thousands of different patterned gumboots; was hundreds of joyful, beaming-sunny-smiles, and a happy and radiant vibe which was ‘infectious’.

*Musical highlights*:-
That One Guy played his part percussions-part bass-boom box-making-vacuum or “magic Pipe” as he refers to it) to a small but highly amused, pumped-up and appreciative crowd. With funky high energy tunes one minute, (that make ya want to shake ya bits); to laid back cruisy tunes the next, (the kind that make ya smile and give ya that fuzzy feelin’); That One Guy is without a doubt the most extraordinary and entertaining one man band that I’ve ever witnessed; (and I’ve seen quite a few, including a guy with bopping parrot on his shoulder…)
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Review: The Kills @ The Zoo, Brisbane 30 March 2009

The Kills, Louis XIV @ The Zoo, Brisbane 30 March, 2009
Author: Stephen Goodwin

The Kills : V Festival @ Gold Coast : 29 March 2009

Normally, hitching your music and performance to a hotted-up click track would be a recipe for constriction. For stodgy, uninspired boredom.
A mere 60 minutes with Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart utterly destroys this perception.
For sure, dispensing with the rhythm section for an out-of-the-box click track is an anchor.
But, paradoxically, the song-to-song invariability it confers is freeing in the hands of the Kills. In fact, it’s not so much a deadweight as a barebones framework the duo inject themselves into with such physical and emotional extremity that it’s surprising their songs don’t simply burst.

It’s etched in the moment when Hince lazily sways back and, between riffs, thumps an extra layer of percussion into Kissy Kissy through the bodywork of his six-string.
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The Gin Club @ The Zoo, Brisbane 21 March 2009 Review w/ Hits, Danny Widdicombe

The Gin Club, Hits, Danny Widdicombe
The Zoo, Brisbane – March 21, 2009

Author: Stephen Goodwin

   The Gin Club

Floppy-haired local Danny Widdicombe croons “satisfy me” over and over like a mantra to the accompaniment of a drifting guitar arrangement. I’m in hearty agreement. His voice offers a rough-hewn country charm, but too often his finger-plucked tunes slide into frustrating aimlessness. Twanging excursions into the blues hold more verve, but the aggressive stomping of set-closer My Desire highlights the confusing patchwork of his offerings tonight.

Hits    “Hi. We’re Hits. Not that we have any.”

Hits are definitely the bastard stepchild of tonight’s bill. Wedged between the alt-country stylings of The Gin Club and Danny Widdicombe, the punk-rock five-piece detonates with the percussive force of a psychotic child throwing the biggest tantrum you could imagine.

Decked out from the waist-up as a sailor captain, the howling Evil Dick pilots this ferocious rock rebellion, ably assisted by the killer riotgrrl guitar licks and hair-raising backing growl of Tamara Dawn Bell.
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CD Review: Whimsical Fantasy

CD Review-Whimsical Fantasy

Spiky    This is the first CD from talented French composer Guillaume ‘Spiky’ Muller and it is astounding. Spiky trained in Piano & Musical Theory at the Castle Of Becheville Conservatorium France since 1995 and has the demeanor, passion and Gothic ambiance.. of someone who trained in a castle. Combining a dark and twisted universe influenced by Tim Burton or Terry Pratchett, with symphonic metal and a hint of chaos theory, it’s like an orgasm for your ears.
Opening with the powerful Void Factory. The CD focuses on the story of reluctant hero Nescii (meaning” ignore “in Spanglish language), his call to adventure is strange and often surreal, through different terrain, such as the Enchanted Grounds,

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