15 years in the making, and Aussie rockers JET are back in the swing of it, using the 15th Anniversary of their debut album GET BORN as an excuse to get out and re-introduce themselves to the kids who bought the record back in 2003, and who are now in their early thirties and perhaps better able to appreciate quality songs and great live performance than they were! Continue reading Live Review : JET + A. Swayze & the Ghosts at NEX, Newcastle – 29 May 2018→
Newcastle has always played host to international bands. It’s just that it has never been with the same kind of frequency of our neighbours south to Sydney. In fact, my very first proper concert experience was Pantera when they played the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on their Far Beyond Driven tour.
Another resounding success for the Groovin The Moo machine as it landed in Bendigo on Saturday. The day started well with unusual warm weather and a bumper crowd all 22,000 of them confirming another sell out to this ever increasingly popular festival. Although predominantly catering for the teens to twenties there was also a fair bit of grey in the crowd validating the popularity of diversity in the lineup, essentially there was something on the bill for everyone. Continue reading Live Review : Groovin the Moo – Bendigo, VIC – Saturday 5 May 2018→
Dave Hole had been on my radar for many years thanks to regular mentions from a mate, noting that he doesn’t release much or tour Australia often. So here comes Goin’ Back Down album number 12 (I think) – after at least 3 years of preparation, writing and learning about engineering and production, building a studio, as well as working out all of the various musical parts he was going to play. Eight of the tracks see Dave Hole playing everything himself, along with some samples and loops, and 3 tracks feature some sidemen on Bass, Drums and Keyboards. Continue reading Album Review : Dave Hole – Goin’ Back Down→
Black Stone Cherry are still Chris Robertson (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ben Wells (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jon Lawhon (bass guitar, backinisg vocals), and the brutal John Fred Young (drums, backing vocals), and this 6th studio record sees the band repeating the production duties in the Barrick studio in Glasgow KY, where they had first recorded in back in 2003. In addition Chris handled the mixing of this record, and has done a fine job of it. Continue reading Album Review : Black Stone Cherry – “Family Tree”→
Bluesfest 2018 – Saturday 31st March – Day 3
Day three was feeling pretty cruizy and chilled as people in for the whole music marathon were recovering from two huge days of sonic feasting already. No long lines for food and moving around the festival was pretty easy compared to the day before. That was until Jackson Browne was about to start at the Crossroads and then trying to move towards the other stages became an extreme effort as all roads and traffic pointed to Jackson Browne. The Crossroads was completely filled to hear his beautiful clear sound and heartfelt lyrics which unfortunately were slightly impacted for people at the back of the tent by sound bleed from a particularly energetic set by Harts over at the Jambalaya. Not so bad for the crowd at Jambalaya who were being engulfed by Harts powerful sounds.
Juanes at the Mojo had a small but extremely dedicated and appreciative crowd cheering wildly between songs. This Columbian singer sang the entire set in Spanish and at one point thanked the crowd for appreciating and respecting this. His music is diverse and ranged from ballads to hard rock with plenty of danceable tunes in between. All with a distinctly Latin flavour. Having won 20 Latin Grammy awards he is a legend in Spanish speaking countries worldwide but not so well known in Australia. Juanes being a social justice and peace activist was invited to join like minded Michael Franti on stage at the Mojo later in the evening.
The New Power Generation played their final show for the festival at the Mojo so they ramped up the vibe to 110%. Clearly enjoying their Bluesfest experience they gave the audience a show they will never forget. The bigger stage suited their performance and the 10-piece band had the room they needed for synchronised dance moves and expression. Prince’s songs were brought to life by his former band with epic synths, brilliant bass and outstanding vocals by André Cymone, Kip Blackshire and Támar Davis. Támar especially hits those high notes that sound impossible but oh so sweet. Bassist Dwayne Thomas Jr. was dressed as a human billboard advertising himself. His bass and clothes covered with Mono Neon signs, clearly an invitation to google him and find out more. No shyness about self promotion here. People of all ages enjoyed this uplifting and soulful tribute to an artist that has given us so much and departed way too soon.
People were finding it impossible to walk past Chain at the Delta stage, they had to dance walk and groove instead. As Peter Noble said while asking them to do an extra song “Chain are Australia’s greatest Blues band” having formed in 1968 they celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. The Afro Celt Sound System brought a dynamic mix of cultures and instruments to the Delta stage delivering a high energy set filled with sounds and influences from Indian, African and Gaelic traditions. I’m looking forward to dancing with them again today Sunday April 1st at 3pm at the Jambalaya.
Michael Franti and Spearhead had the honour of headlining at the Mojo under the full moon and will play again on Monday night the 2nd of April at the Crossroads at 10pm. As always Michael delivered positive and purpose filled messages through accessible upbeat music to an ever expanding fan filled audience.
Feeling completely satisfied from three huge days of Bluesfest already it was good to be reminded by acrobatic vocalist Ziek McCarter from Con Brio earlier in the day that “this is not a show, this is a party” and the party goes on. Sunday is looking to be massive. Crowds are expected to swell for the big acts coming on tonight – Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Seal, John Bulter Trio and Tash Sultana. It’s the last day of Boomerang Festival today so if you haven’t checked this out yet make sure you are in early enough to catch the magic happening at the Boomerang dance ground and near by tents from 12:30pm.
Bluesfest 2018 – Friday 30th March – Day 2
Mesmerising singing in language, dancing and didgeridoo emanated from the Boomerang Festival dance grounds from early in the day. Smoking leaves scented the air around people gathered to watch Jannawi Dance Clan and Muggera Dancers. Setting the tone, for a day filled with crowd participation, the lead song man invited the audience to learn a few dances. Connecting with, honouring and protecting the land was a strong theme in the movements and intention of the dances we were invited to learn. Continue reading Live Review : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2018 – Day 2→
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2018 – Thursday 29th March – Day 1
Rain cannot keep away the dedicated amphibious Bluesfest patron happy to withstand a bit of discomfort for the annual feast of music, artfully curated by Bluesfest director Peter Noble each year. The festival opened along with the sky, as the fertile fields of Tyagarah became the scene of another epic gathering of masters of sound from around the globe.
CMC Rocks Festival
Willowbank Raceway – Ipswich, QLD
March 15 – 18th 2018
This was our first visit to the 11-year old CMC Rocks Festival, and it will not be the last – what a brilliantly-run, well-managed, relaxed and impressive festival this is, at least from the media viewpoint, but also from the punter’s angle. The venue is laid out around the two main stages, with bars, shops and food stalls all around, plenty of room to view both the stages, and lots of trees to shade under during the day. Continue reading Live Review : CMC Rocks Festival – March 15 – 18th 2018→