Tag Archives: Denis Semchenko

Review : 65daysofstatic at The Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane – March 12, 2015

Review by Denis Semchenko
Photos credit Stephen Goodwin
65daysofstatic at The Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane
‘Post-rock’ is a tired term – in fact, so tired it’s lost its meaning since the genre’s noughties heyday. This writer has long discovered that instrumental rock music doesn’t need to come with a ‘post-‘ or ‘math-‘ prefix attached to it in order to sound good; in the end, it either does or it doesn’t. It has now been 15 years since Explosions In The Sky first showed us how delicate instrumental rock can be and before that, Slint and Tortoise did the same for a mix of tricky time signatures and sparse guitar atmospherics.
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Live Review | The Church @ Old Museum, Brisbane | November 1, 2014

By Denis Semchenko

The Church

It’s been some time since I’ve visited the Old Museum, and it’s pleasing to see that the concert hall’s spacious natural reverb is still there. In hindsight, The Church couldn’t have chosen a more apt venue for the Brisbane launch of their new album Further/Deeper than the Old Museum: a stately red brick building that indeed resembles a place of worship.
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Live Review | Caspian + Meniscus + Hope Drone @ The Tempo Hotel, Brisbane | March 21, 2014

Words by Denis Semchenko
caspianIt’s a gorgeous Thursday evening in the Queensland capital, the smell of the rain still hanging in the crisp air after an earlier downpour. Following a brisk walk to the Tempo, we are met with a killer blast of noise: that’s Hope Drone, eagerly conforming to their moniker by dousing the venue with bucketfuls of post-black metal (yep – everything is “post” these days) and death growls. It’s not all Cookie Monster-esque bluster, though – the quartet aren’t shy on melody and have their cleans and atmospherics down pat.
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Roxy Music, Cameras @ Brisbane Riverstage – 1st March 2011 [Live Review]

By Denis Semchenko

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  After the first day of autumn in Brisbane discouragingly turned out to be another stifling experience, the evening breeze is a welcome reprieve. The Riverstage is an unusual sight – half the hill is lined with seats in stark contrast with how the place looked last time I attended a show there (trying to balance myself on a slippery slope at the rain-sodden Sunset Sounds).

Considering the vast majority of tonight’s crowd are baby boomers, young Sydney six-piece Cameras fall on largely indifferent ears with their moody, echoey indie-rock. Influenced by the same doleful post-punk sounds from the late ’70s/early ’80s northern England as Interpol (the bass player even looks like a younger version of Carlos D: smart black shirt and jeans, knee-level Fender P), they give it their all despite muted response. Tunes like Defeatist and Kreuzberg are steely and brooding in equal measures; I make a mental memo to catch the band at a venue gig in the future.

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MM9 vocalist Daniel Sutherland – LMM Interview

Interview: Denis Semchenko

  Off the back of a national tour with Karnivool, MM9 hit the road with their headline ‘Let It Take Over’ National tour which sees the band playing throughout October/November 2010.

MM9’s vocalist Daniel Sutherland (DS) took some time out for LifeMusicMedia (LMM)…

LMM: First of all, are you guys looking forward to heading up to QLD and playing gigs?
DS: We love playing any shows in QLD…the shows and the people are always awesome.
LMM: Also, are you excited about your forthcoming One Movement showcase in Perth?
DS: Just a wee bit..haha…we’re playing over 2 nights. We figure it’s going to be a great opportunity for something? You can never tell in this industry… Continue reading

PVT (Pivot), Seekae, AXXONN @ The Zoo, Brisbane 19 August 2010 – Live Review

Review: Denis Semchenko
As is the rule with The Zoo on school nights, there’s only a handful of people inside the room by the time AXXONN – aka Brisbane electronic music artist Tom Hall – announces his appearance by producing a series of bleeps from his keyboard and laptop. Not deterred by lacking crowd numbers, he quickly fills the sonic space with heady drone-electro, hitting one cutting, heavily-sustained synth chord after another. As the kick drum gets more insistent and bassy, the lucky few listeners in the room begin to “get into it”, rewarding each track with progressively louder applause. Hall’s one-man show may not involve much antics to ensure an enthralling viewing experience, but the music itself makes for an excellent listen.
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Review: So Frenchy So Chic: Nouvelle Vague, Berry @ The Powerhouse, Brisbane June 14, 2010

By Denis Semchenko

  If indulging in French chic ever seemed like a good idea, The Powerhouse on the last day of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend certainly has a solution: the two-part musical program called So Frenchy So Chic and designed to bring the spirit of Montmartre to the River City. And so, as the French say, bienvenue – we’ve arrived to get our dose of Parisian charm.

At the Turbine Platform, the amount of hipsters in the crowd initially makes me think I’m on the set for The Bedroom Philosopher’s video – perhaps a similarly-themed follow-up to the notorious Northcote (So Hungover) – but we’re here to watch music rather that mingle with the trend-followers. For the first part of the evening, our host is the diminutive chanteuse Berry. Backed by two leather jacket-wearing, colourful-looking guitarists – one with long dreadlocks,

another in shades (making him look like a cross between an old-time gangster and a French cabbie), she sways and smiles as she sings the chansons from her French hit album Mademoiselle. Continue reading

Live Review: The Cult, The Black Ryder @ The Tivoli, Brisbane 5 May 2010

By Denis Semchenko

[Photo by Charlyn Cameron]

The black is the new black and has always been. With The Tivoli already three-quarters-full with classic rock fans, the suitably monochrome-clad openers The Black Ryder roll out a tight neo-shoegaze opening set. Tonight being the Sydney-based band’s biggest support slot to date, principal leaders Miss Aimee Nash and Scott von Ryper (both former members of New York-through-Melbourne combo The Morning After Girls) command the show with their detached, deadpan presence.
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Live Review: Hoodoo Gurus, The Break, The Gun Street Girls @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 29 April 2010

By Denis Semchenko

Hoodoo Gurus
[Photo: Stuart Blythe]
  Tonight’s triple bill at West End’s Hi-Fi is more Aussie than Paul Hogan’s thongs, Merv Hughes’ handlebar or Rolf Harris’s wobbleboard – and all the more fun for it. Specialising in no-bullshit, classic pub rock, Gun Street Girls provide an invigorating start to the evening as the predominantly middle-aged, ’80s-weathered punters fill the venue. The erstwhile Dallas Crane dynamo, frontman Dave Larkin hammers a very cool Gretsch White Falcon and belts it out like one of the best screamers in Oz-rock that he is. Barnstormers How I Roll, Right Under The Wind and powerpop-tinged Party In Hell get the heads nodding and feet stomping; I consider myself nicely warmed up for the next sonic wave…

…which duly hits as The Break – an instrumental rock combo comprising three former Midnight Oil members and Violent Femmes’ bassist – open with a crunchy Ventures cover.

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Live Review: Orbital @ Family, Brisbane, 24 February 2010

By Denis Semchenko

Family can be a strange place. Despite this being a school night, a somewhat uneasy and restless vibe is easily palpable as dilated-pupil clientele wander about, while one clearly “under the influence” punter tries to strike up a conversation with me about how it’s going to be “a good night” and later passes by and wonders whether I’m “trying to be cool” as I check my phone for messages. Peaking too early is never fun, dude.
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Live Review: Karnivool, Regular John, Coerce @ The Tivoli, 25 November 2009

[Photo: Stuart Blythe]
  Karnivool, Regular John, Coerce @ The Tivoli, 25.11.2009
By Denis Semchenko

Having successfully escaped my Pearl Jam fan-invaded neighbourhood, by the time I get to The Tivoli openers Coerce have already finished. From a friend’s account, the UK combo played a solid set of angular prog-rock with At The Drive-In leanings, which would have by all means made for a decent listening experience for this writer. For the time being, though, Sydneysiders Regular John will do – and they do it with gusto, cranking up heady garage-rock riffs and pentatonic licks and flailing the ‘70s long hair. Some post-2002 Grinspoon echoes are heard throughout but the quartet’s overall feel is that of the ballsy vintage rock & roll, somewhat incongruous given the headliner’s complex, emotion-drenched oeuvre, yet fun nonetheless.

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Live Review: Yeo & The Fresh Goods, Tin Can Radio, Hunz @ Club 299, 19 September 2009

Yeo & The Fresh Goods, Tin Can Radio, Hunz @ Club 299, 19.09.2009
By Denis Semchenko

The music played through 299’s PA is positively deafening on all of the venue’s three levels, while the live sound is only marginally subtler – an obstacle not even helped by my trusty earplugs – however the punishing decibels do little to detract me and fellow music lovers from appreciating tonight’s local talent trifecta. Having recently shared his magic with the Big Sound showcase attendees, raved-about Brissie moodytronica maestro Hunz leads his powerhouse rhythm section (featuring drums prodigy Richie Young) into another riveting performance. A passionate frontman as well as a ridiculously talented singer, songwriter and sonic architect, the erstwhile Hans Van Vliet is a familiar welcome sight as he attacks both his mic and modified synth, every syllable, note and move soaked with emotion and sheer intensity. Several choice tracks from acclaimed albums When Victims Fight and this year’s marvellous Thoughts That Move get an airing, Long Road, Soon, Soon and You Said Hello all packing wistful keyboard arrangements and humungous hooks. During the second half of the show, a laptop glitch prompts the digi-soul man to skip a song from the setlist, apologise to the crowd and bow out with another spirited vocal/musical display. My post-gig recommendation to the uninitiated? If you haven’t seen Hunz yet, by all means do it – you’ll be blown away.
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Interview: Brodie Ann-Wright of Felinedown – uncharTED Live

Interview: Brodie Ann-Wright of FelinedownuncharTED Live
Author: Denis Semchenko

[Photo: Mark Greenmantle]


  Q: How did Felinedown’s involvement in uncharTED begin?

Brodie-Ann: Firstly, we uploaded some songs and that’s how it started – I think we made it into the Top 30 just after putting our songs up, and we were a really new band, so we were very excited. Also, when they were looking for bands for Live & Local, we were really keen to be involved and play among other really good local acts in front of a fresh audience – people who’ve never seen us play before.

Q: How did Felinedown meet and form?

B-A: I had a few songs written with my writing partner Kit [Sivyer, Felinedown’s ex-bassist], and before that I was in theatre and burlesque. We got Glen [Gattenhof], the guitarist,

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