The Prodigy @ Riverstage – Brisbane 20 January 2009
Photographer: Stuart Blythe
The Prodigy ripped up the Brisbane Riverstage Brisbane – getting the crowd jumpin, bumpin and screaming for more!
|After the success of their singles The Others, It’s A War, and Get It, Dukes Of Windsor will be getting back in the van in 2009 for a national tour to support upcoming single Runaway. Taken from the Dukes’ major label debut Minus, Runaway reflects a sense of escapism, set amongst flowing synth textures, punchy bass-lines, an insistent rhythm and infectious, soaring choruses.|
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/
All Tomorrow’s Parties – The Riverstage, Brisbane
January 15, 2009
Author: Stephen Goodwin
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.
All Tomorrow’s Parties
January 15, 2009
The Riverstage, Brisbane
Photographer: Matt Palmer
Click image for full gallery
It’s with delight The Frontier Touring Company confirms Amanda Palmer will tour Australia and New Zealand in March. Following 2007’s maiden solo voyage to Australia, Amanda will return along with The Danger Ensemble to perform in Brisbane and Melbourne, in addition to playing her first ever official shows in Adelaide, Perth and Auckland.
A one-woman machine, The Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer is a rock musician, artist, writer, political activist and more. With a penchant for the complicated, Amanda Palmer’s debut solo outing Who Killed Amanda Palmer (out now through Roadrunner) snowballed from a small idea into a project that’s nothing short of brilliant.
Who Killed Amanda Palmer sees our fearless heroine weaving together the many threads of her personality, her interests, her extensive artistic family, her astute, witty world observations and Continue reading Amanda Palmer – Returning To The Scene Of The Crime In ‘09
HEAR & NOW FESTIVAL
Sunday 25th January, Australia Day Weekend
Midday – 10pm, Riverstage, Brisbane
HEAR & NOW: 100% AUSTRALIAN LINEUP FOR AUSTRALIA DAY WEEKEND
Brisbane’s Aussie day festival Hear and Now will return for its second coming on 25 January 2009. With a killer all Australian lineup the grassy slopes of the Riverstage and Botanic Gardens will be the only place to be over the long weekend.
Promoters Fuzzy and Ten Pound Crew have dug deep to bring Brisbane the absolute best Aussie talent, so that this Australia Day you’ll have even more reasons to bring out the green and gold.
Festival goers far and wide rated last year’s Hear and Now as their favourite summer festival (and best long weekend to boot).
Hear & Now 2009 is sure to be even bigger and better than ever before, and here’s a few reasons why:
By Tara Kai Hammond
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
Here’s an interesting 1988 documentary titled ‘Brisbane Bands’ we found on youTube.
This documentary focuses on the isolation and struggle many Brisbane punk bands had to endure in the face of conservative Brisbane during the 1970’s.
Mark Callaghan (GANGgajang/The Riptides), Ed Kuepper (The Saints), Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens) and Ed Wreckage (The Leftovers) speak about growing up in Brisbane during the 1970’s and forming bands.
Ed Kuepper reflects on the Saints’ classic single ‘(I’m) Stranded’ and the single’s promo-video.
Filmmakers across Australia are rolling out their video cameras with the Movie Extra Tropfest 2009 call for entries officially now open! The 2009 Tropfest Signature Item (TSI) is SPRING – apt as the festival, to be held on Sunday 22 February 2009, has been the spring board for launching many an aspiring Aussie filmmaker’s career.
Get in quick and look at the entry details before the Thursday 15 January 2009 deadline.
|ART: ‘Contemporary Australia: Optimism’
is the first in a major new national triennial series of thematic contemporary Australian art exhibitions.
Encompassing many facets of contemporary Australian visual art and culture, the exhibition includes painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, installation, video and video installation, cinema, animation, performance, music and comedy.
GoMA until February 22nd 2009
|COMEDY: Brisbane Comedy Festival
Fri 6 – Sat 28 Mar 09
Brace yourselves for the first, the biggest, the best, LOL comedy festival Brisbane has ever seen. The inaugural Brisbane Comedy Festival takes over Brisbane Powerhouse Friday 6 – Sunday 29 March 2009 …that is just under a month of laugh-a-minute moments courtesy of some of the craziest talent from near and far!
|THEATRE: The Alchemist
Start the year with Ben Johnson’s satirical masterpiece and a parade of wildly extravagant characters in this outrageously funny co-production with Bell Shakespeare.
All that glitters might not be gold, but The Alchemist is a dazzling 24-carrat comedy classic.
QPAC: 23 Feb to 14 Mar 2009
“He is our Shelley; he is our Lord Byron!” – Bono
“Leonard Cohen was the first artist I discovered by myself. He is the symbol of my musical independence. The sadness of Cohen was inspiring; it gave me a lot of energy. I always remember all this when someone says that my records are morbid or depressing.” – Nick Cave
“I tell you who I also think is wonderful is a chap called Leonard Cohen. Do you know him? He’s remarkable. I mean, the orchestration is fantastic and the words, the lyrics and everything, he’s a remarkable man.” – Prince Charles
The Frontier Touring Company and Roundhouse Entertainment are honoured to present the legendary Mr Leonard Cohen in his first Australian concert tour in almost a quarter of a century. The tour will include a series of indoor arena concerts plus a day on the green winery shows.
Continue reading Leonard Cohen Australian Tour 2009
The Woodford Folk Festival is almost beyond words. A festival fantasy land that will fill all of your senses. From it’s humble beginnings in 1987, known then as the Maleny Folk Festival, this yearly event has grown into one of the largest ‘folk’ festivals in the world.
Set in the picturesque countryside of Woodford and offering six days and nights of concerts, dances, workshops, circus acts, forums, street theatre, writers’ panels, film festival, comedy sessions, acoustic jams, social dialogue and debate, an entire children’s festival, art and craft workshops, late night cabarets and special events including a spectacular fire event.
A total of 23 different venues will host 580 separate acts and 1600 events over the week. Continue reading Woodford Folk Festival