Category Archives: Review

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.

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

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.

Dropkick Murphys @ Tivoli – Brisbane 27 May 2008

Dropkick Murphys
The Dropkick Murphy’s, who have evolved over the past decade into one of the most beloved punk-inspired bands in the world, played to a sell out crowd at The Tivoli.  

Dropkick Murphys Dropkick Murphys Dropkick Murphys Crowd Dropkick Murphys
Review on it way… 

Links:  The Tivoli  –  The Dropkick Murphy’s  –  Sick Of It All  – FasterLouder 
Photos:  LifeMusicMedia photoset 

Brisbane Zombie Walk 2008 – Review

Brisbane Zombie Walk 2008
BRAINS!!!  At 3pm, Sunday 25 May 2008, Roma Street Parklands filled with zombies that had once again gathered for Brisbane’s annual Zombie Walk.  More than a thousand zombies had arrived and started their pilgrimage through the city.   Onlookers stood back and stared, cars beeped and zombies moaned.  Leaving a trail of blood, they stumbled through to quench their thirst before disappearing into the night.

Bloody good event!

Read the event organisers “post-walk statement” here.
Brisbane Zombie Walk 2008 Brisbane Zombie Walk 2008 Brisbane Zombie Walk 2008 Brisbane Zombie Walk 2008

Links:     Zombie Walk Brisbane  –  Brisbane Blog   
Photos:  LifeMusicMedia photoset
flickr Zombie photogroup
Cara photostream
schmick.01 photostream

Do you have photos? Then leave a comment with links to other photos below.

Photo Gallery : Matchbox Twenty at Brisbane Entertainment Centre – 21 April 2008

Photographer: Stuart Blythe

Rob Thomas – Matchbox Twenty @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre – 21 April 2008

Continue reading Photo Gallery : Matchbox Twenty at Brisbane Entertainment Centre – 21 April 2008

V Festival – Gold Coast, 30 March 2008

VFestival - Gold Coast 2008

Review By: By Lisa Kither courtesy of thedaily.com.au

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.

VFestival - Gold Coast 2008 VFestival - Gold Coast 2008 VFestival - Gold Coast 2008 VFestival - Gold Coast 2008 VFestival - Gold Coast 2008

Links:  TheDaily.com.au
Photos: V Festival photo set on flickr

4C Arts Collective – Art Party – 7 March 2008

Danny Wilhelm - Villains Of Wilhelm
4C say “4C is an arts collective devoted to utilising and promoting the strengths and talents of artists in a myriad fields to create events that positively contribute to the community”. 

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