Photographer: Stuart Blythe
Photographer: Stuart Blythe
The festival gods were smiling once again on Sunday when a clear blue sky greeted the V Festival as it rolled into the rolling hills surrounds of the Avica Resort on the Gold Coast.
The day brought with it a huge host of bands and thousands of music loving punters, and one Sir Richard Branson who cruised the festival meeting punters and having a great time himself.
In everyone’s life, there is music that defines certain events, or entire generations, and this festival certainly had these on the bill.
Headliners Duran Duran, Smashing Pumpkins, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Presets and Jesus and Mary Chain are among these for many and they were sure to delight. But the earliest acts were dropped as the official start time was postponed until 2pm.
Sadly the days of rain beforehand had turned most of the venue into a muddy slop-fest (that smelled like manure in places) but it failed to dampen spirits despite claiming many pairs of thongs in the boggy holes that were knee deep in some parts.
But we were there for the music. And after wading our way through the bar line and across the crowded fields, there were more problems as the first band on the main stage, Hot Hot Heat, were delayed a further 30 minutes before microphone problems caused more chaos.
But the show did go on and fans were treated to a cracker set from Modest Mouse and Cut Copy, and while Roisin Murphy did nothing to thrill me, a large crowd was singing along to her latest hit.
As the sun set the action picked up as the big names hit the stages.
Queens Of The Stone Age, led by founding member Josh Homme delivered all their hits with high energy and power.
And in the name of safety it was good to see them halt their set when one loser fan threw a can at the stage, only to find himself berated and belittled by Josh before the music continued.
Seeing The Pumpkins was a thrill for me and it was awesome to see them come out on stage and kick off with Today, my personal favourite, for which the crowd sang the first verse without Corgan whose grin and applause for the crowd gave way to a set of sing-a-longs from their biggest albums Siamese Dream and Mellan Collie and The Infinite Sadness as well as newer hits from the 2007 release Zeitgeist.
Rounding out the day, The Presets had a huge dance space cranking in the mud with young and old bouncing up and down to My People, Are You The One, Down Down Down and more, with their live performance assuring fans that the forthcoming new album is sure to be another winner.
Once again Mr Branson has delivered a great festival. The transport out of the venue seemed to go well with shuttles to park and ride stations. The only downside seems to be the $9.50 drinks and $4 waters, far too few toilets and the dodgy stage lateness.
But if you were there I’m sure you didn’t care.
As the final summer festival for 2008, we now look towards Splendour In The Grass which has now been confirmed as the first weekend in August.
Friday night saw just such a commitment fullfilled with a massive arts party @ The Valley Studios – Brisbane. Offering live bands (Black Mustang, Villains of Wilhelm, The Black Arts, My Fiction), DJ’s (Beat and Blue, DJ Charlie Hustle), burlesque performers (Lena Marlene, Dangergirl), artwork exibits (Clarissa Bones and more), Breakdancers and Circus Performers, the night was ever moving and entertaining. Crowd participation was inspired with an art wall that attracted many a budding artist.
Links: 4C Arts Collective
Photos: flickr photoset
The variation of influences throughout The Exploders second LP, Easy and the Sun, are easily identifiable not only by a familiar feel of all that was good of the 70’s to the current era’s commercially successful rock songs, but also a nice harmonised original approach to certain tracks that only enhance the listening experience.
This album is a well balanced mix of raunchy rock, roll and pop with a splash of tailored grunge. The first four tracks, for me, were the most outstanding.
‘Little Summer Dress’ is a feel good song, bringing back the innocence and boppiness of the early Beatles era.
‘Straight Ahead’ with its well grooved bass riffs, tightly woven lead riffs and fast pasted lyrics will leave you pumped. If you’re after an in-your-face, attitude levels to the max, Rock, Roll, Jump and Shout experience then look no further.
With adrenalin pumping, ‘Cola’ delivers a steady paced catchy song that safely delivers you back, but not too softly, to the ground.
‘Blueberry Lane – for me, a five minute journey spanning a number of emotions. This is due to the many characteristic changes e.g, driving verse, floating chorus, raunchy guitar interlude and more!
There are enough hooks (but not too many) to promote a few songs to commercial airplay – and rightly so, the well crafted punchy songs, in my book, are a winner.
Reviewed for: TheDwarf.com.au
Lifting Matt Banham to new heights in musical expression is his 6-piece band No Though Road. Hailing from Adeliade, No Through Road comprises of Matt Banham, Steph Crase, Nic Datson, Marcin Kobylecki, Steve Banham and Ianto Ware.
The album “Too Much or Not Enough” offers twenty, yep that’s right, twenty tracks. 12 tracks are the main CD while we are also given 8 BONUS tracks. So, depending on your musical tastes, this will either be too much or not enough. With this many songs, spanning a year and a half of recordings, you can expect the unexpected. From numbers that offer high energy, get up and dance, to forelorn ballads and some unexpected, surprising off-beat diversions.
A number of songs from this album including “Die For Something” have been doing the rounds on radio stations throughout Australia and rightly so. But, I want more! I’d like to see added to station’s playlists – “I Want You”, “Crush this Town” and “The Next Bob Dylan”. These songs totally rock! “I Want You” is more of a soft rock ballad, but boppy none-the-less. Both “Crush This Town” and “The Next Bob Dylan” are a faster paced – in your face – tracks that would have all punters jumping.
Track 7 – Die for something starts off with recorders (reminding me of “here we come just a marching down the street”) then quickly moves to raw energy then to 60’s psychodelica – excellent.
Another surprise on the album was the last track (21) “She is only in your DREAMS.” It sounds like the band started partying hard prior to recording this. I have heard similar songs (if that’s what you can call them) at parties where everyone has partaken of copious quantities of alcohol. I think the word I’m looking for is cacophony.
Overall, to sum up, the re-incarnation of Matt Banham into No Through Road, with his unique artistic view of the world can only strengthen his foothold in the Australian Music Industry.
Revied for: TheDwarf.com.au
Brisbane rock band Upsize totally rocked the Basement Bar to over a crowd of a 1000. Upsize are playing gigs around Brisbane promoting their debut CD West End Delicacy . They were the perfect band to get the crowd worked up in anticipation of The Radiators and The Angels performances. Upsize’s performance was outstanding, playing all the songs off their debut CD plus a few others which had the crowd jumping and yelling for more!
When The Radiators hit the stage, a wave of people surged forward. If it wasn’t for the guardrail the band would have been engulfed completely. The crowd varied in ages, from late teens to mid to late sixties. The Radiators had everyone nodding, feet tapping, jumping up and down as well as singing along. Everyone, no matter what age, appeared to know all the words to all the songs.
The Radiators started with a few of their slower and older classics like Summer Holiday , and by the time they started playing You Gimme Head , you couldn’t hear the band over the crowd singing. After decades of playing live gigs, The Radiators continue to wow their audience with an adrenaline filled performance.
The Angels. What more can be said? The name itself makes you want to bow down low and chant “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!” The Angels have a repertoire spanning nearly 3 decades with countless hits including Take A Long Line, After The Rain, Mr Damage, Straight Jacket and their first major hit Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again? , which were all performed to the delight of the audience. All that experience has been polished to the extent that you almost feel that you’re listening to the CD.
Friday night was surreal. Not only did we have more Australian rock’n’roll history than you could poke a stick at, the rock’n’roll was picked up and carried forward into the present by Upsize. As I said at the beginning of the review, Rock shall never die!
The Mares – Love billows from my soul to consume you splendid people as an avalanche does a mountain….. Now that’s a mouth full and a half. I think that in itself is a record – the longest name for an EP ever.
The beginning of the first song ‘Biscuit Tin’ reminds me of the song ‘Echo Beach’ by Martha and the Muffins. This of course, soon changes to the darker side – maybe to Goth Graveyard.
‘Silver Scream’ offers an electric, hard driven yet refreshingly upbeat song that deserves air play and is sure to get the populace up and jumping. J must have been wearing tighter pants to hit some of the notes that he sings, but, all in all – I LIKE IT !
‘New Day’ is my favourite of the five songs. Even though it starts off dark, this song is the only one on the EP that offers hope of life after the EP – it will make you nod your head, tap your feet and generally feel good.
‘Feel’ – What can I say to this? The lyrics are dark, the mood is dark, the music is dark. After listening to the EP fifteen times or so, you get a feel for the dark side of life.
‘Copilot’ – the grungy undertones, favored with resonating guitar bring this song together to form another dark, slightly unhinged mood. I swear that if I was on drugs I would enjoy this immensely.
After days of listening to this EP I feel that I have been (with tongue in cheek) enlightened to the Dark Side.
Seriously, this EP offers a great cross section of punk, grunge, rock and pop. Go out and buy it. Listen to it at least 50 times and you’ll never get it out of your head. Like me, you will be totally wowed.
Review for: Thedwarf.com.au
If you’re into variations of blues, grunge and rock then look no further than the Sydney band – WALRUS. Five years of accumulated practice & playing the traps, has resulted in a fairly outstanding CD – The End Of The Earth Show.
I was comfortably ensconced in my computer chair, head thrown back, eyes closed listening to one of my partners’ guitar pieces, which I had nicknamed “floating”, due to the fact that the music relaxes me to the point of hypnosis, when the song ended and the bluesy guitar of Walrus’ track ‘WAR’ filled my head. Suddenly Roland Smith was yelling at 50,000 decibels “NO ONE GIVES A F**K ABOUT THE WAR. At this point, my eyes flew open, my heart stuttered, my chair scooted back, my knees hit the top of the computer desk and my derriere promptly landed painfully on the floor. What had happened is similar to lying in the sun on a hot summers day and then having a bucket of ice cold water upended over you. Profoundly Shocking! I stayed on the floor for the rest of the CD either entranced by the music or still in shock. I haven’t yet made up my mind on that one.
This music is so full of attitude and basic raw energy, that I’m amazed my mind (and body) is still in one piece. The CD has 5 tracks, the first being ‘WAR’. The bluesy guitar start to the song is soon rocked to bits by Roland Smith with the start of the vocals, shaking up the pace and feel of the song straight up. War will soon have you jumping up and going Yeah! That’s only if you’re not sprawled on the ground in shock of course.
The 3rd track, ‘LIPS’, more of a softer rock is probably my favourite, but might not be the song for hard core rock fans. All in all, even though I’m more of a Rock N Roll person, I have to admit that after playing this CD five or six times, I found myself enjoying it immensely. With their tracks ‘Corn Coloured Vomit’ and ‘Armageddon With You’, I can imagine that this band would be great to see live!!!
Reviewed for: TheDwarf.comm.au
Band Site: Walrus on MySpace