Tag Archives: elize strydom

Bluesfest 2010 Highlights!

Review: Elize Strydom
[Photo: Stuart Blythe]
There comes a point during the festival – usually when you’re trudging through the mud towards the Mojo tent to get a good possie for that band you can’t believe you’re about to see – when you get the blues. For the past few days you’ve existed inside a bubble of banjos, harmonicas, dust bowl/mud pit dancing, university cigarettes, gumboots, ferris wheels, Hare Krishna fare and music from across the globe. You’ve been wrapped up in a place where Crossroads, Mojo and Jambalaya (and maybe the port-a-loos) are the only destinations you need to remember. All of a sudden you realise it will all go up in smoke tomorrow. You’ll have to pull down your tent and sit in a traffic queue for an hour before you get to the highway and start your journey back to reality. I guess that’s why people come back again and again; to get another injection of the magic.
Continue reading Bluesfest 2010 Highlights!

Interview: Tom Ballard – comedian extraordinaire!

Interview: Elize Strydom
Knock Knock… Who’s there? Tom…. Tom who?
tom-ballardTom Ballard, the triple j Breakfast co-host and comedian extraordinaire. He’s only 20 but he’s already performed at comedy festivals in Edinburgh and Montreal. He was the youngest person ever to win the prestigious Best Newcomer award at the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He’ll be in Brisbane soon for a run of solo shows called Cogito Ergo Some Funny (as part of the Brisbane Comedy Festival).
That’s not funny. Yeah, you’re right. But Mr Ballard is!

Life Music Media (LMM): Afternoon Tom! Have I woken you up? I’d say your sleeping patterns have changed a lot since starting in triple j Breakfast?

Tom Ballard (TB): Yes, I used to sleep until 12 and eat good food. Now I get up at 4am and eat a lot of sandwiches and come home at about 1.30pm and then have a nap and try to continue to clean my apartment. That’s my rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.

LMM: Has radio taken over your life? You’ve obviously still got a bit of room for comedy.

TB: Yeah, I’ve got to figure out that balance. It’s been an intense couple of weeks so far. This week, I had a gig on Monday night which threw me off schedule so I’ve been trying to catch up on sleep. Hopefully I can figure out the napping thing so I can work both ends of the day.
Continue reading Interview: Tom Ballard – comedian extraordinaire!

Wolfmother @ Falls Music and Arts Festival 2009

Photos and Words: Elize Strydom

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By the time Wolfmother hit the stage the air temperature had dropped dramatically. Thankfully, the Wolfies’ electrifying tunes brought the heat back. They played the old crowd-pleasers plus a swag of new ones from their recent release, Cosmic Egg. As usual, Stockdale ruled the stage but not without a bit of competition (performance wise and hairstyle wise) from bass player/keyboardist, Ian Peres.

Photo Journal: Falls Music and Arts Festival 2009

Photos and Review: Elize Strydom

Every year the population of the sleepy seaside town of Lorne, Victoria swells. Music lovers from all over Australia pack their bags and load their cars and make the pilgrimage to the Falls Music and Arts Festival.
[Click image to view photo journal]
Falls Music and Arts Festival
Lorne is situated on the Great Ocean Road and while it is tempting for me to keep on traveling that road, I know that rolling green hills covered in lush green grass and stages set for some the world’s best acts await, just 10 kilometres inland.

Traffic crawls along the winding dusty road, but I’m sustained by the knowledge of what is about to be unveiled, around the next corner.
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Falls Music and Arts Festival
I put up my tent and it disappears amongst a sea of temporary canvas homes. What hope do I have of finding it late tonight? Ah well, it’s all part of the adventure!

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Interview with Tom Fleming of Wild Beasts

Interview: Elize Strydom

Wild BeastsIt is 9 o’clock in the morning and Tom Fleming has already been down to visit his parents and is now on the train headed for Leeds to meet up with his band, Wild Beasts, for rehearsal.

Bookish and brooding, self important and slick, the Wild Beasts are on the verge, threatening to wow the world with their three part harmonies and suggestive, erotic and at times dark themes. Their second record Two Dancers was unleashed a few months ago and, far from being a difficult and disappointing follow up to last year’s Limbo, Panto, it has pushed them into the spotlight and all the way to Australia for January’s St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival.

Fleming says that was something the band accepted gladly, will smiles on their faces, to boot.
Continue reading Interview with Tom Fleming of Wild Beasts

Interview: Sam Clark – Broken

Sam Clark   Since Neighbours first aired on Australian television it’s almost been de rigueur for its stars to branch out and launch a singing career. It’s fair to say that the move has panned out better for some than others (Holly Valance anyone?). Sam Clark is the latest actor to step up to the plate. Elize Strydom (LMM) caught up with him a few days into a three month promotional tour from his new single ‘Broken’ and discovered this kid ain’t no one hit wonder.

Life Music Media: Where do I find you this afternoon?

Sam Clark: 662km from the city..city..of…thhh…Sydney. Ah, I can’t even speak! I’ve been driving for too long already.

LMM: You have a relentless schedule ahead of you for the next three months. How are you going to handle it?

SC: I’ll just have to man up and deal with it! It’s all good fun. I get to play my music. I’m releasing my first single so it’s exciting. I just have to look at all the positives and the workload is something that has to happen.

LMM: You’re no stranger to hard work. Tell me the difference between the average day on the set of Neighbours and the average day as Sam Clark the rock star?
Continue reading Interview: Sam Clark – Broken

Live Review | Clare Bowditch supported by Scarlett Affection at the A & I Hall, Bangalow 27 September 2009

Review + Photo by Elize Strydom
Clare BowditchClare Bowditch is smack bang in the middle of recording her fourth studio album in Berlin. The album isn’t set to drop until next year but Ms Bowditch and her band of merry men have hit the road for a national tour to celebrate the release of the single ‘The Start of War’.

The first stop was Bangalow in northern New South Wales. The set included old favourites such as Lips Like Orange, Divorcee by 23 and Autumn Bone plus new tunes including the single and other fresh offerings ‘Running’ and ‘Bigger Than the Money’.

New to the mix were young singers Sally Mortensen, Annabelle Tunley and Rachael Head of Victorian acapella group, Aluka. The trio provided backing vocals as well of plenty of laughs in response to their zany array of outfits.

Bowditch and the Aluka girls opened the show by coming through a side door and wowing the audience with a rendition of Between the Tea and the Toast.
There’s no denying she’s a born entertainer.
Continue reading Live Review | Clare Bowditch supported by Scarlett Affection at the A & I Hall, Bangalow 27 September 2009

Live Review: ATP NEW YORK 2009 Curated BY The Flaming Lips & ATP – September 2009

Author: Elize Strydom
Imagine a festival on the set of Dirty Dancing. Or the Shining. Or a combination of both. Imagine a festival where there is no branding or on-site sponsorships. Where the crowd only reaches 3000 people, max and you don’t have to line up for hours and purchase a beer with a drink ticket. Where there are no VIP areas or back stage hangs and the artists mix it up with the punters. Where all shows are indoors and the weather doesn’t matter. Add to that sets from three Australian bands (The Drones, The Dirty Three and Bridezilla) as well as Animal Collective, The Jesus Lizard, Sufjan Stevens, Suicide, Deerhunter and the Feelies. It’s not a dream, it’s All Tomorrow’s Parties New York. Elize Strydom and a bunch of other Aussies managed to score cheap flights and experience the magic.

Photos of the live performances: The Drones, The Feelies, The Dirty Three feat. Nick Cave on piano, Panda Bear, Iron and Wine, Suicide, The Jesus Lizard and David Cross.

Interview: Hot Little Hands lead singer Tim Harvey chats with Elize Strydom about touring, singing Japanese…

Hot Little Hands   Interview: Elize Strydom

Hot Little Hands are hard to pigeon-hole, much to lead singer Tim Harvey’s delight. Take a little old soul, a generous helping of electro, four part harmonies and you’ve got…concrete/jungle/samba? Well, they are the genres the band checks on their Myspace page, anyway. Perhaps you’ll just have to see ‘em live and draw your own conclusions.

Life Music Media (LMM): You’re fresh from a tour of New Zealand. How did it go?

Tim Harvey (TH): It was amazing. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it so much. The countryside is mind blowing and the people are gorgeous and so friendly. We played about seven shows. We were kind of freaked out because the first night we got there we played a party and the band that went on before us, when they finished a song, nothing would happen, no one would clap. It was really weird! But when we got on the claps started filtering through.
Continue reading Interview: Hot Little Hands lead singer Tim Harvey chats with Elize Strydom about touring, singing Japanese…

Review: Splendour In The Grass 2009 – Day 2

By: Elize Strydom

Day two! I arrive at the site to find it virtually deserted. I’m here early for good reason. I’ve been hanging out to catch Townsville collective The Middle East and they’re first up on the GW McLennan stage.

Their tunes The Darkest Side and Blood have been getting considerable airplay on triple j and a friend of the band handed me a copy of their record but I’ve been told they MUST be seen live. Five guys and one girl walk on stage and take their places behind various instruments but they won’t be there long. Throughout the set each member will put down his guitar and take up a trumpet, stop tinkling the ivories in favour of the flute, or accordion, or tambourine and on it goes. Rohin Jones takes the role as front man for much of the set. He’s smiley and gracious and thanks the audience for waking up. One minute the sound is gentle, spacious and delicate the next it’s raucous, crashing and emotive. Bree’s sweet vocals weave in and out of the softer tunes and I’m reminded of Bright Eyes during their more country rock moments. As I watch them I picture myself writing this review and just know I won’t do the Middle East justice. I haven’t. See them for yourself, post haste!
Continue reading Review: Splendour In The Grass 2009 – Day 2

Review: Splendour In The Grass 2009 – Day 1

By: Elize Strydom

The clouds have cleared and it’s a sunny 21 degree-er in Byron Bay. I’m at Splendour In The Grass but there ain’t a lot of green stuff on the ground at Belongil Feilds. No matter, no one really comes to this festival to hang out on the lawn, right?

I make my way through the gates sans sniffer dogs and my friend and I head over to the Supertop. “Let’s watch Manchester United!” I enthuse.

“Um, okay.” He says, “Not sure who they’re playing this weekend. But I know Manchester ORCHESTRA are about to play on this stage.”

Uh, yeah, that’s what I meant!

Manchester Orchestra look nothing like I expected – and no, I wasn’t expecting a real orchestra. Lead Singer Andy Hull reminds me of Joaquin Phoenix post identity crisis – a massive mop of hair, unkempt beard and wild eyes. He and his four band mates play long rock jams (with two drum kits!) with minimal lyrics and not a whole lot of interaction with the audience. I’m way up the back and people around me are into it, despite the fact that for most this is the first they’ve seen or heard from the Atlanta quintet. When they break out with triple j fave ‘I’ve Got Friends’ the crowd goes wild. It’s pretty different from the rest of their set. The song has the distinct structure of a ‘single’. When it’s over a bunch of people clear out but I stick around to the end and am not disappointed.
Continue reading Review: Splendour In The Grass 2009 – Day 1

Interview: The Deer Republic – uncharTED top 3 finalist

Interview: THE DEER REPUBLIC – uncharTED top 3 finalist
Author: Elize Strydom

The Deer Republic   Q: Sooo many bands and solo artists entered this competition. Why do you think your music stood out?

Deer Republic: In order to catch fish you need hooks. Once you have the hooks you need fish, luckily enough for us our friends can swim.

Continue reading Interview: The Deer Republic – uncharTED top 3 finalist

Interview: Josh Pyke speaks with Elize Strydom about Splendour, touring and studio/producer aspirations [SITG]

Interview by: Elize Strydom
Josh PykeHe’s spent the last two months traipsing from the top of the country to the bottom but Josh Pyke is hungry for more. Charmingly unaware of the affect his music has had on her and hoards of others, Mr Pyke tells Elize Strydom about what’s coming up.

When the Aussie troubadour rides into Byron Bay for Splendour In The Grass next month he’ll be on familiar turf. Pyke may struggle to resist the urge to buy a carton of Tooheys New and head down to the beach front to skull ten beers. You see, he’s quite familiar with the place, our Josh. He celebrated the completion of 13 years of schooling here with a bunch of mates. Each year the guys regroup, rent a house and relive old times. Expect a laid-back, sun-drenched Pyke in holiday mode come July 25th, but don’t show up for his set if all you wanna do is chill.

“I’ve played Splendour twice before and it has a whole different vibe. I can play more upbeat songs which work for a big audience, that’s really fun. There’s less pressure. I get to rock up, have an hour to play my set and the crowd’s already there. It’s also cool to see all the other bands and catch up with friends. “
Continue reading Interview: Josh Pyke speaks with Elize Strydom about Splendour, touring and studio/producer aspirations [SITG]

Interview: Little Birdy – This is the year!

Interview by Elize Strydom
Photo by Tony Mott
Little Birdy - photo by Tony Mott It’s the album Little Birdy have always wanted to make. So what do you do when all your dreams have come true? Bass player Scott ‘Barney’ O’Donoghue tells Elize Strydom he’s happy to relish the moment. For now.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Not that Little Birdy’s first two long players – the top-five dazzler Hollywood and acclaimed debut Big Big Love – could ever come close to being called failures. But on their shiny new record Confetti they’ve well and truly nailed it. By now you would have heard the unofficial single – and clear festival fave – Brother and the single proper, Summarize.
Continue reading Interview: Little Birdy – This is the year!

Elize Strydom gets stuck in the mud at the 20th Annual East Coast Blues and Roots Festival

Bluesfest – 20th Annual East Coast Blues and Roots Festival
Friday 10th April
Review: Elize Strydom

Personality test: What sort of footwear would you choose to wear to Bluesfest?

a. Thongs from Woolies
b. Gumboots from Bunnings
c. Your brand new Dunlop Volleys
d. Au Natural (bare feet)

If you answered a. you’re an optimistic idealist. If you picked c. get set for disappointment. If you deliberated between b. and d. then read on…

The 20th Annual East Coast Blues and Roots Festival was always going to be muddy. In the two weeks leading up to the festival the Northern Rivers had copped near-torrential rain, flash flooding and damaging winds. I spoke to Festival Director Peter Noble a day before the gates were due to open and he was optimistic. One day of hot sun beating down on the Belongil Fields meant they had “dodged a bullet” and things were looking up. Yesterday the Rain Gods withheld their mercy but they’re well and truly smiling again today. Steam is literally rising off the sodden grass as punters – young and old – stream past sniffer dogs, security checks and wrist band fasteners. Tracks between the festival’s six stages, market stalls, food tents and port-a-loos have been beaten and new tracks are appearing as people try to avoid the shin deep mud pit at the centre of the original track. So many are falling at the first hurdle as their thongs flick splats of mud up their legs and backs. Others are literally stuck in the mud as their feet plunge into the thick brown slosh and fail to emerge. Now is not the time to suffer from unpreparedness – there’s music to see, oh so much music. More than 500 artists and 220 performances, to be exact. I’ve gotta start somewhere, why not with Watermelon Slim and the Workers?
Continue reading Elize Strydom gets stuck in the mud at the 20th Annual East Coast Blues and Roots Festival