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SYDNEY FESTIVAL | the AU review
AU ABROAD

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SYDNEY FESTIVAL

Sydney Festival Live Review: Rokia Traoré, Sing - City Recital Hall Angel Place (20.01.13)

The sparse interior of the City Recital Hall at Angel Place was given an auditory injection of life during Rokia Traoré’s stunning showcase of traditional West African classics that focused mainly on her own Malian heritage.

Sydney Festival Live Review: The New Mendicants - Norman Blake and Joe Pernice - The Famous Spiegeltent (20.01.13)

Two men. Two acoustic guitars. An hour and 15 minutes of music. It would be fair to say that this is the best way one might describe this weekend's debut Australian performance of The New Mendicants, aka Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub, among others, and Joe Pernice from The Pernice Brothers, among others. The pair, who have recorded a few tracks together under the Mendicants guise for a new EP, played tracks from this record, as well as some of their own material from over the years, in the intimate Sydney Festival Spiegeltent. And for the most part, they made it up as they went along.

Sydney Festival Live Review: Lianne La Havas - The Famous Spiegeltent (19.01.13)

It’s fair to say that the British females have been in high demand in the music world in recent years. We’ve drank them up as quickly as they’ve pumped them out, and from Amy to Adele we’ve been treated to a plethora of gorgeously talented women from the UK who each has something unique to bring to the soul-pop-indie music world. The latest darling of that world is Lianne La Havas; the quirkier, cooler take on that other UK export Corinne Bailey Rae, and what more appropriate a place to experience La Havas and her brand of pop/soul than at The Famous Speigeltent on this past Saturday as part of the 2013 Sydney Festival.

Live Review: St Vincent and David Byrne - State Theatre (17.01.13)

Out to perform material from their collaborative album, Love This Giant, David Byrne and St Vincent put on a vibrant, quirky and truly joyous show on Thursday night at State Theatre. Combining their talents for writing infectious pop rock melodies with a compelling dose of experimentation and eccentricity, the duo have certainly made for a successful pairing. Indeed, with David Byrne’s fantastic wealth of experience as former front man of Talking Heads, and St Vincent’s (aka Annie Clarke) indisputably powerful presence in the music scene as a dramatic singer-songwriter, the collaboration was bound to be fruitful.

Festival News: Future Music Festival, Soundwave, Sydney Festival, Big Day Out and more!

In this issue: Aviici to appear at the Future Music Festival, more Soundwave sidewave news, Classixx joining Lindstrøm and Mitzi at the Sydney Festival, Sea Shepherd set to join the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Big Day Out, Red Bull announces the line up for the No Noise Nightclubs at the Big Day Out and Jack Ingram and The Farm completes CMC Rocks the Hunter line up!

AVICII JOINS FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL TOUR

the AU interview: Seth Bogart of Hunx + His Punx (Los Angeles)

What a month to be a queer punk in Australia! Just weeks after a blistering tour from bear-friendly hardcore queens Limp Wrist, the Ramones-esque proto-punk of Hunx and His Punx have just touched down in the land of Oz for the first time ever. While here, the band will perform at both the Sydney Festival and at Sugar Mountain in Melbourne, amongst other headlining shows. We got on the phone with Seth Bogart – aka Hunx, the band's fearlessly fabulous figurehead – to discuss new material, new homes and inappropriate zoo visits.

Sydney Festival Live Review: Orchestre National De Jazz ft. Rokia Traore - City Recital Hall, Angel Place (15.01.13)

One thing I love about events like Sydney Festival is that it gives you the chance to discover new artistic beings you probably should have already known about, but didn't. Robert Wyatt was one such being, whose name I'd heard echo around the music ether over the years, but never really took the time to check out. Until, of course, the Sydney Festival announced a show paying tribute to icon of prog rock, which last night saw the 2009 record Around Robert Wyatt performed by France's national Orchestra, Orchestre National De Jazz.

Sydney Festival Live Review: Sing The Truth ft. Angélique Kidjo + Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright - State Theatre (14.01.13)

Supported by a superb five piece band and some of the best songs in the history of music, it would be fair to say that Angélique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright should have had a fairly easy night winning over their Sydney Festival crowd for the "Sing The Truth" concert - an evening of passionate song that honoured the music and spirit of the great women of music (as the Sydney Festival guide so aptly describes it).

Sydney Festival Live Review: Los Coronas - The Famous Spiegeltent (12.01.13)

Sydney Festival’s anticipated pop-up venue The Famous Spiegeltent in Hyde Park is home to some of the more artful music acts this January, with a large range of styles on offer for the discerning music lover. A highlight on the exciting line-up is Madrid’s popular Los Coronas. As expected, the five-piece brought quality surf-rock to the highly-decorated venue, mixing it with Spanish folk to create the idiosyncratic sound they are known for.

Sydney Festival Theatre Review: The Secret River (World Premiere) - Sydney Theatre (until 09.02.13)

The world premiere of The Secret River is an Australian epic that has been some six years in the making. An adaptation of the Kate Grenville novel, the book was the winner of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize and was short-listed for the Booker. It’s a tragic, historic tale based on facts that are as important to marking the birth of this country as the choice of the Australian flag.

Sydney Festival Live Review: Navicula - The Manning Bar (10.01.13)

NAVICULA

Sydney Festival has begun! My coverage starts with an exceptional performance by Bali’s Navicula, which showcased their musicianship no less than their love of the environment.

Sydney Festival Theatre Review: School Dance - Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Walsh Bay (until 03.02.2013)

In the 80's, people never did anything by halves. The shoulder pads were bigger, the hair permed higher and the technology that was supposed to be portable was the size of a small chid. School Dance is a new play that has a small crew but a big heart. It captures the period so well and is one of the reasons why – even a quarter of a century after the fact – people still like to look back on it with a misty-eyed and nostalgic glee.

Sydney Festival Photo Gallery: Day One The Arrival - Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour (05.01.13)

The Duck - a massive floating (bobbing, even) art installation in Sydney Harbour by Dutch Artist Florentijn Hofman - was launched as part of Sydney Festival's Day One festivities on Saturday. The launch was accompanied by dancing tug-boats, a "floatilla of bath-tubs", the Sydney Philharmonic Choir, TaikOz Trio drummers, didgeridoo and saxophone ensembles and more. Johnny Au was there to capture the excitement at a VERY packed out Darling Harbour.