Review by Stuart Blythe and Rachel Pope
Nestled in bushland within the beautiful setting of Belford in the Hunter Valley, The Gum Ball festival was held over the weekend of April 27th-29th.
Touted as a laid back family friendly, BYO musical camping experience, Gum Ball certainly delivered. From the moment you arrive there is an immediate positive feeling, a relaxed sense of self and an anticipation of good times ahead. The serenity of the surroundings, the diverse age group and the family friendly feel was both complementing and comforting.
Friday night kicked off in spectacular fashion with The Joe Kings, Front End Loader, Massy Ferguson, Two River Blues and The Tongue taking the stage with The Bakery closing out the night. For those who wanted to kick on there was also the Silent Disco. The entire night set a high standard for the day ahead.
Continue reading Live Review: THE GUM BALL Festival – 27-28th April 2012
Review by Ben Connolly
There are a couple of caveats to make about Stonefield as they took to the stage at The Northcote Social Club. The first is that they are a band of young, impossibly cute sisters from country Victoria, all apart from singer/drummer Amy Findlay, able to lay claim to being teenagers. It’s abundantly clear at times, too, with their youth defying their position – furtive, self-conscious glances to each other through face-shielding long lanky locks, seeking silent approval and encouragement – never mind the packed room full of hopeful adoration right at their feet.
The second note is about the style of music they produce – 70’s era synth-heavy psych-influenced prog-rock straight from their parents vinyl collection. It’s a genre with a shaky recent history in the Australian rock scene, with name after name hailed in the UK press as the next great hope of rock music only to fall in a heap come time and critical analysis. It’s a hype seemingly mirrored in Stonefield’s already mythically-charged short history – plucked from their country-town garage, they won a slot at Perth’s One Movement industry event, where a band booker snapped them up to play on the John Peel stage at the holiest of holy grails, Glastonbury. All of this while still labouring under a short EP and doing the merry-go-round of Triple J’s perpetual Unearthed treadmill.
Continue reading Live Review: Stonefield @ Northcote Social Club, Melbourne – 24 April 2012
Interview by Robert Pugsley
The Darkness, the glam rock, balls out quartet from Suffolk are coming back to Australia for the first time in 6 years and Life Music Media was able to catch up with bass player Frankie Poullain as he told us about their comeback, new material and a surprising approval of One Direction.
We started off asking Frankie about why The Darkness decided to reform after their fracturing and eventual drug induced implosion in 2006? Frankie exclaimed down the phone that it was “A sense of duty, we have a sense of duty to rescue people from getting their ears assaulted by vacuous soulless music”
Continue reading Interview: Frankie Poullain – THE DARKNESS
Interview by Robert Pugsley
British rockers Reef are heading back to Australia in June, so put your hands up and your eyes down as Life Music Media interviews Gary Stringer lead singer of Reef.
You may remember Reef for their 1997 hit “Place Your Hands ” from their Glow album or you may remember them from their Hey Hey It’s Saturday performance when they hilariously reacted to the poor treatment of some young Red Faces contestant by trashing the stage whilst screaming “Your Old”. Reef then threw down their instruments and literally did a runner. An angry Daryl Somers stared down the camera and boldly claim that Reef “will never work in this town again!” But alas poor Daryl it looks like Reef and their Aussie fans that are having the last laugh.
Continue reading Interview with Gary Stringer – REEF
Interview by Stuart Blythe
With London’s premiere post-dubstep duo Mount Kimbie returning to Australia in May (2012) as part of the The Hi Fi Shoreline Series, Stuart Blythe from Life Music Media caught up with Dominic Maker *one half of Mount Kimbie* for a chat.
LifeMusicMedia: You’re heading to Australia in May as part of The Hi Fi Shoreline Series of shows. What can fans expect at the shows?
Dominic Maker – Mount Kimbie: We’re not 100% sure yet. We’ve been locked away for a few months but hopefully we’ll be ‘bringing the party’ by the time we get down there.
LifeMusicMedia: Have you got any pre-show routines/superstitions?
Mount Kimbie: Used to like arriving about 5 minutes before we played but now we just make jokes about the local culture and try and stay at the optimum level of drunk for performing. Which is not very.
Continue reading Interview: Dominic Maker – MOUNT KIMBIE
Review by Ben Connolly
It was abundantly clear from the get-go that there was an elephant in the suffocatingly packed band room at The Corner Hotel, and it was in the guise of one John Paul Jones. This was not his gig – his name didn’t appear on the posters, gig guides or tickets and nor was there an allusion to him with the band’s name – Seasick Steve. Singular. Not “Seasick Steve and Friends”, not even the oblique “Seasick Steve Trio”. This was, for all intents and purposes, a solo gig by one of the most enigmatic and curious blues performers to have broken through into the mainstream during the past few years.
But it cannot be argued that the full house was solely there to bear witness to Seasick’s foreign hobo stories and wicked collection of do-it-yourself guitars. A cursory glance through the crowd put it almost overwhelmingly at middle-aged men; a stink of stale cigarette smoke clinging to their jackets, their greyed locks either trimmed close in demure recognition of their fading youth, or proudly allowed to grow and slicked back. They could easily be fans of either artist and a warm enough welcome was extended to the man with his name on the posters as he introduced the set with Diddley Bo, a slide blues number played on a junkyard one-string contraption.
Continue reading Live Review: SEASICK STEVE – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne – 10 April 2012
Review by Ben Connolly
It’s not often that an accomplished artist of the calibre of Anglique Kidjo is in danger of being overshadowed at her own headline gig. But early on the evening at her East Coast Blues and Roots sideshow in Melbourne recently, that was clearly on the cards, with both the support act Vusi Mahlasela and even the venue itself, the Melbourne Recital Centre, proving to be highlights on what was to become a magical night.
TheMelbourne Recital Centre seemed a strange choice of venue, with the architecturally intriguing concert hall tucked away in a corner of the cultural precinct usually playing host to staid chamber pieces and sober recitals. High-energy, percussive-intense gigs of the type Kidjo has become famous for seemed an incongruous mix for the plush, sit-down hall – a round peg trying to squeeze into its obtuse, honeycombed exterior, if you will. This is not to detract from the venue itself – far from it, in fact, as many of the full house took the opportunity to marvel at its plush interior. The warm foyer invited curious exploration, with wide, flowing stairs leading to the stalls above. The hall’s walls were etched with flowing designs, like that of a wood-worm snaking its way throughout and invited child-like wonder as patron after patron failed to resist the urge to run their fingers along its entrails. Once seated, the vaulted ceiling and angular facias all spoke of its acoustically-pleasing design – the proof of which was highlighted time and again throughout the performances.
Continue reading Live Review: Angelique Kidjo @ Melbourne Recital Centre – 5th April 2012