Violent Soho kicked off their 'No Sleep til Mansfield' tour in the sweaty, tropical goodness of Darwin. Top End fans (mostly tattooed, bearded and singlet-wearing) swamped Discovery Nightclub to see the Brisbane rockers pump out tracks from Hungry Ghost.
Darwin Festival was treated to grungey indie-pop of the wittiest variety when Courtney Barnett took to the Lighthouse stage. The first time in Darwin with the 'full band', Courtney was pleasantly surprised by the number of Territorians out on a school night. Obviously word of her cult status and brilliant combination of folk, psychedelia and 90s rock had reached the Top End. A truly awesome night. Check out the photos of the gig from Amy Hetherington.
Darwin Festival was treated to an intimate glimpse into the stories behind some of Joelistics and Sietta's most popular tracks in the aptly titled - In Between Sounds at Darwin Festival. Chinese-Australian MC and spoken word artist Joelistics (aka Joel Ma of TZU) and Filipino-Dutch-Australian producer/songwriter James Mangohig of Sietta combined with powerhouse vocalist Caiti Baker (Sietta) and the smooth-as DJ Soup for an epic show at The Lighthouse.
Darwin local David Spry collected together the rootsiest and grooviest of the Top End music scene to create The Roots Ensemble. David Spry and his band, The Moral High Ground, joined forces with the three-part vocal honey of The Harmony Birds, a brass section led by Matthew Holt, a world percussionist and guest spots by Ward Hancock (Rambutan Jam Band) and the beautiful Serina Pech. A night filled with good music, cheeky mid song banter and all the tropical goodness that Darwin Festival is known for. Amy Hetherington brings us these photos from the night!
Feelings and facial hair, stubbies and singing, charred meat and choral melodies. The Choir of Man was the perfect contrast. Based on the music of Darwin singer songwriter, David Garnham, the musical featured an impressive lineup of some of the NT's favourite male vocalists. Directed by Australian director and producer Wayne Harrison, with musical direction by Chong Lim, Choir of Man was a brilliant bloke-filled musical spectacle and one of the highlights of the Darwin Festival program. Amy Hetherington brings us these photos from the night:
With the NT Song of the Year wrapping promptly, the Happy Yess venue situated within Brown's Mart on Smith Street was preparing to host the official after party, which had also been dubbed an 'Alice Attack' - a night of kicking back and enjoying some live performances courtesy of three Alice Springs acts in Gareth Dawkins, Dave Crowe and Broadwing, plus SkankMC, who brought the night to a close.
Photo: Amy Hetherington
My first impression of the Darwin Railway Club upon arriving on this warm night was that it was larger than I had been expecting. I had a veritable sweat box in my head (apparently it still reaches peak sauna levels in the wet season), but from the beautiful wooden bar set up right through to the extremely relaxed outdoor setting, I instantly get why the 'Rails' has become the Darwin venue du jour for touring bands of late.
Photo: Amy Hetherington
In interviewing the amount of musicians I have this week and in general, having had chats with some music lovers up in Darwin, you ask them who they're digging on locally and among other acts, they've all said David Spry and the Moral High Ground. Performing at Nirvana, the five piece jammed out two and a bit sets of some great, rich roots music and before the night was out, I got what everyone had been talking about.
Photo: Amy Hetherington
I haven't been able to be in Darwin at the right time of year to hit up the famous Mindil Beach Markets for some years now, so when I knew I'd be up during June, I'll be honest when I say that this was one of the big parts of my itinerary I was looking forward to. With some juice, Chinese food and the sun setting in spectacular fashion behind me, I was happy to camp out in front of the outdoor stage for some chilled tunes act as the perfect soundtrack.
New Darwin venue "The Chippo" had its industry night, first look through tonight out in its new digs in Stuart Park. Previously a tiny shed-like music venue out on Dick Ward Drive, internal property developments and issues saw the original Chippo's closure but in a twist of events, this new venue the owners have secured for themselves may turn into one of the best venues Darwin will have to offer.
Right, well, it may as well be laid out now that this is a rave review. I’m throwing in the introductory paragraph towel, I’m afraid. No introductory paragraph towel could really do any kind of adequate mopping of the sweat on the superior brow of this gig, so I’m casting it aside as the useless bit of literary scaffolding it is and replacing it with a premature conclusion: Steve Smyth is fucking terrific. Go see him. Go. Go. Go.
Right, well, it may as well be laid out now that this is a rave review. I’m throwing in the introductory paragraph towel, I’m afraid. No introductory paragraph towel could really do any kind of adequate mopping of the sweat on the superior brow of this gig, so I’m casting it aside as the useless bit of literary scaffolding it is and replacing it with a premature conclusion: Steve Smyth is fucking terrific. Go see him. Go. Go. Go. But if you can’t drop everything and go right now I guess we can rewind this ole VHS of a rave review for Steve Smyth and accompanying drummer Brock Fitzgerald (of Wolf and Cub repute) – rewind back…
The Railway Club is filling fast well before the support act starts for Tuba Skinny’s sold out gig, brought to Darwin by popular live music importers NOOK. The evening is one that brings to mind all the similarities between Darwin and New Orleans – the hot sticky climate, fried food, Tracy and Katrina, and the undeniable vein of displacement and poverty running thick through the social strata.
There are several excellent S.L.A.M day events happening across Darwin today, suitable compensation for the fact that the long overdue monsoon - only just begun to shower relief over the Top End - has been “stolen” yet again by a large low (now going by 'Cyclone Rusty') over Western Australia. Punters have a choice of catching a local band or two at a few venues, most notably the Darwin Entertainment Centre (DEC) which has temporarily converted its balcony bar into a balmy outdoor venue for some three or four hours of local live music.
Playing to a (fairly adoring) home crowd, Darwin’s Green Stone Garden are back on stage for their first gig of the year, fresh from the studio and channeling a new sound. Most importantly, they come armed with some much anticipated new songs, including 'The Island', pegged to be the single when the EP North is released later this year.