Tag Archives: March 2016

Live Review + Photos : The Blind Boys of Alabama at Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane – March 31, 2016

Review and photos by Amanda Lee Starkey
The Blind Boys of Alabama at Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane - March 31, 2016 Photographer: Amanda Lee Starkey
The Blind Boys of Alabama have been bringing music to the world for the better part of seven decades, winning multiple Grammy awards over the years.

The aim of the Blind Boys is to being joy through music to fans of the Gospel genre. However you don’t have be a fan of Gospel to enjoy the Blind Boys and their soulful voices. However if you are here to see anything else other that gospel music then “you are in the wrong place” we’re informed.
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The Cat Empire Australian – ‘Rising With The Sun’ Tour Announcement

cat
The Cat Empire announce the ‘Rising With The Sun Global Tour’ with shows in Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Far North Qld, and of course their home town of Melbourne. These shows (many of them suitable for all ages) join the already announced Western Australian dates in March and performances at Womadelaide and BluesFest in Byron Bay, with more shows in QLD and NSW to be announced soon.
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Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Five - March 28, 2016
Photographer:  Stuart Blythe

Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Five

Review By Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Five - March 28, 2016 Photographer:  Stuart Blythe
It was an emotional end to Bluesfest last night witnessing Brian Wilson perform Pet Sounds with original Beach Boys member Al Jardine and long term member Blondie Chaplin accompanied by a mini orchestra including string, woodwind and brass sections as well as drums, percussion, guitars, bass and support singer. This was part of a world tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone’s declared second greatest album of all time and will most likely be Brian Wilson’s last trip to Australia. Hearing the historically important songs of the Beach Boys, live from the creators mouth was a surprisingly special experience considering that I have never particularly been a Beach Boys fan. Realising the place in history of these songs and the way they continue to influence several generations was deeply moving. The world the Beach Boys were singing about in the 60’s seems so innocent compared to the world we live in today. Brian Wilson was not looking his best but still managed to sing songs including Fun Fun Fun, Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda and Wouldn’t it be Nice with a bit of support from Matt Jardine for the sections that were no longer in his vocal range. They created a joyous atmosphere that was so infectious… maybe I’m a Beach Boys fan now just in time before this era sadly comes to and end.
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Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Four - March 27, 2016
Photographer:  Stuart Blythe

Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Four

Review By Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Four
Shooglenifty were a great fresh way to start Bluesfest 2016 Day 4. Their celtic flavours are not often heard at Bluesfest. A great contrast and way to refresh the ears, kind of like sniffing a coffee bean in between wine tasting. With a fiddle, banjo, mandolin, drums, guitar and bass these guys from Scotland had the audience experimenting with their best River Dance impersonations and moving in energetic ways that are not your usual Bluesfest hip swinging standard. With beautiful tunes, jigs and reels that branched out to sound almost middle eastern and esoteric at times, this band can really get you dancing. Violinist Angus Grant kept the focus sharply on the music declaring ‘we only have an hour, so we are going to dispense with the hysterical banter that goes on between songs’. See Shooglenifty perform today at the Juke Joint 4:15pm.
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Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Three - March 26, 2016
Photographer:  Stuart Blythe

Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Three

Review By Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Three - March 26, 2016 Photographer:  Stuart Blythe
Day three was all about soaking up epic saxophonist Kamasi Washington with his band from Los Angeles during their last Australian show for 2016. To see a jazz/funk band of this quality and diversity in Australia is a real treat and must be embraced if you like this genre. Each incredible musician on tour with Kamasi was given plenty of stage time to showcase their unique contribution and own original material with respectful introductions from Kamasi explaining how they met. It was a real neighbourhood affair with childhood friends and Kamasi’s father all on stage. Some have been friends before they had even picked up an instrument. The arrangements were intricate, full of detail, embracing difficult time signatures, highlighting the fine pedigree of these musicians who mix with jazz royalty back in their homeland.
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Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Two - March 25, 2016
Photographer:  Stuart Blythe

Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Two

Review By Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Two - March 25, 2016 Photographer:  Stuart Blythe
Wondering around the Bluesfest site during the early afternoon on day 2, I could hear a beautiful familiar voice rising over the cacophony of sounds emanating from multiple tents. Following the voice lead me to the Crossroads stage to find Djakapurra from Bangarra singing with East Journey, an amazing band from North East Arnhem Land carrying on the tradition of Yothu Yindi. They performed new original songs that are bound to end up in the charts as well as performing Yothu Yindi favourites such as Treaty. Lead singer Rrawun Maymuru’s versatility was showcased with vocal styles ranging form traditional ceremonial song poetry, to ballads and full on rock. His song writing is appreciated world wide through songs he has written for Gurrumul. The band and dancers were truly exceptional and will be appearing at the Boomerang Dance Grounds over the next 3 evenings.
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Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day One - March 24, 2016
Photographer: Stuart Blythe

Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day One

By Wanda Hill
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day One - March 24, 2016 Photographer: Stuart Blythe
Day one and there is already too many choices. Who to see and where to be? The answer… a bit of everything and everywhere. Entering the festival site was made sweet with the sounds of Lord Huron paving the way for a relaxing night at Bluesfest 2016. The opportunity to leave the world of commitments behind and bathe in sweet music for five days is a pleasure that I am always grateful for and being spoilt for choice of which brilliant set of musicians to cast my ears and eyes upon, never gets old. I guess thats why Bluesfest has been going strong for 27 years and still finds new audiences by stepping out of the mould and bringing artists like Kendrick Lamar into the fold.
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Live Review : Blackberry Smoke + Adam Eckersley Band at The Basement, Sydney – March 23, 2016

Review and photos by Peter Coates
Blackberry Smoke at The Basement, Sydney - March 23, 2016 Photographer: Peter Coates
Support act, the Adam Eckersley Band from the NSW Central Coast, took to the stage fresh from their CMC Rocks appearance and delivered a set of country-style folk-rock, full of Aussie attitude with a mean twin-acoustic guitar attack.

The band is pretty laid-back with lovely, easy harmonies with some raw emotion in the vocals and gave us a highlight set of ‘The First Album’ and the more recently released ‘The Second Album’. The crowd particularly enjoyed the acoustic solo from Adam in ‘Wheels’ and the set-closer featured some great interplay between the various band members, featuring drums, keyboards and bass. A terrific warm-up set from a great local outfit.

Blackberry Smoke are from Atlanta, Georgia, and have been linked to the stable of The Zac Brown Band for some of their earlier releases. They have been recording and touring for over 10 years, since the release of first album ‘Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime’ in 2004.

The lineup consists of Charlie Starr (lead vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards). While the band is one tight country-rock outfit, there is no doubting the talent and sheer presence of front-man Charlie Starr, with a powerful vocal delivery, sharp moves and great guitar playing.

This is the band’s first visit to Australia for the Bluesfest in Byron Bay, so an early show in Sydney is a great way to see this critically-acclaimed southern country-rock band in an intimate setting. This will be the first and last time we will get to see the band play to 250 people in this country!

‘Holding All The Roses’ is the latest and fourth full-length album from early 2015, but their set was drawn from all four studio albums opeing up with ‘Six Ways’, ‘Let Me help You’ and ‘Like I Am’, before really warming the place up with ‘Pretty Lil Lie’. The crowd knew most of the songs and Charlie Starr was delighted with the response and the frequent singalongs!

The Turner boys on bass and drums must be the most laconic rhythm section doing the rounds, but rock solid with it. Lots of keyboards give some of the songs an atmospheric jazz-fusion feel with some great Hammond organ and honky-tonk piano from Brandon Still, particularly in the extended workout of ‘Sleeping Dogs’ and ‘Holy Ghost’ – but the band never strays far from the electric guitar-based core of the music.

The set rolled on with two cracking tracks in ‘Wish In One Hand’ and my favourite from the latest album, ‘Payback’ which is just a great rock song with a cool story. Title track of the previous record, ‘Whippoorwill’ almost felt like early Pink Floyd in the beginning but rolled into some great guitar work from both Paul Jackson and Starr with a glorious piano and organ solo from Stills.

The songs kept coming, with the simplest of ballads written about Manette, Alabama, One Horse Town, and then a retreat into 1980’s classic rock with ‘Up In Smoke’, contrasting the ballad with rumbling riffs and a wailing solo. The energy started building through ‘Ain’t Got The Blues’ and the enormous-sounding ‘Holding All The Roses’ with more killer riffs and a false ending before the raucous close.

‘Shake Your Magnolia’ closed the set as another upbeat piano and guitar-driven track before the encores brought the band back out, Starr in a tasteful hat, for ‘Too High’, new song ‘Let It Burn’, and the signature southern rock anthem of ‘Ain’t Much Left’.

Good luck Bluesfest – these guys are going to bring the deep south all the way to Bryon Bay this weekend – Do Not Miss Blackberry Smoke!

Click here to view our photos from the show
Blackberry Smoke at The Basement, Sydney - March 23, 2016 Photographer: Peter Coates

Headliner: Blackberry Smoke – www.blackberrysmoke.com
Support: Adam Eckersley Band – www.adameckersleyband.com
Venue: The Basement, Sydney Australia
Date: March 23, 2016
Photographer: Peter Coates – www.facebook.com/InsideEdgePhotography

Live Review : Melissa Etheridge at Enmore Theatre, Sydney – March 23, 2016

Review by Natasha Wyborn
Melissa Etheridge at Enmore Theatre, Sydney - March 23, 2016 Photographer:  David Jackson
Making a welcome return to Australia, Melissa Etheridge was in fine form on Wednesday night. Playing to a sell-out crowd on the first night of a two show stint, Etheridge poured her heart and soul out for a predominantly adoring female crowd. Although older, the crowd responded to the songs with a loud voice of approval. The moment Etheridge walked out on stage she looked at home. There was no holding Ethridge’s fans in their seats, From the first chord to the last, they were dancing in the aisles.
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Tedeschi Trucks Band at Enmore Theatre, Sydney - March 22, 2016
Photographer: David Jackson

Live Review : Tedeschi Trucks Band at Enmore Theatre, Sydney – March 22, 2016

Review by Natasha Wyborn
Photographer: David Jackson
Tedeschi Trucks Band at Enmore Theatre, Sydney - March 22, 2016 Photographer: David Jackson
The harbour city welcomed two of the best to the Enmore Theatre on Tuesday night. Husband and wife rock and blues outfit Susan Tedeschi and slide guitar maestro Derek Trucks took to the Enmore stage for a sold out event. It was the first time the band had visited Australia since 2013 and the fans welcomed them back with open arms! Fans were treated with numbers from the bands back catalogue and their new album ‘Let Me Get By’ which was featured throughout the two hour plus set.
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Twin Haus Release Sophomore EP “Nothing Lavish”

twin haus
After the success of their debut EP, Waxen Myriad, in 2014, Brisbane band Twin Haus began this year recording their awaited follow up, set to be released on March 22nd through Bedlam Records. Whilst continuing to reaffirm their status as one of the best live bands that their city has to offer, the four piece bunkered down for most of 2015 in a preparatory writing mode for their latest release.
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