AU ABROAD

Songs the NT should be turning up for ahead of BASSINTHEGRASS 2015!


Hilltop Hoods at GTM Maitland, 2015. Photo: Johnny Au

This Saturday, an impressive contingent of some of the country's best touring acts will fly north to spend the weekend in Darwin at the Bassinthegrass music festival. While the rest of us look ahead to the freezing winter section of the music calendar, Northern Territorians get to soak up some amazing live music in the tropical climate many are envious of. Instead of hooking you up with an artist's hit single to hype you Darwinians up for the festival, we take a look at the artists below and some their finer cuts from recent releases you should get around in the lead up to Saturday's event.

HILLTOP HOODS (Adelaide)
Played Bass Before?: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006

You may have heard of them.

The Adelaide crew have recently wound up a successful tour around the regional centres, headlining the national Groovin' the Moo tour and before that, they were performing alongside the likes of Drake, Avicii and The Prodigy for the Future Music Festival. Safe to say, the Hoods are definitely in festival mode as we reach the end of May. Their recent sets have earned them acclaim from audiences around the country and their latest album Walking Under Stars (number seven, for those counting) is still a joint radio stations are looking to for accessible tunes to be set on high rotation. The Hoods have a formula working for them and it's one that's worked for years now - the proof just keeps coming through with each dynamic live performance.

Keep an eye out for their horn section and prepare to shed some clothes.

Turn up: "Cosby Sweater" and "Live and Let Go".

BIRDS OF TOKYO (Perth)
Played Bass Before?: 2011

Ian Kenny may currently be thrashing stages around the country with Karnivool, but the Perth frontman will be switching hats this weekend as Birds of Tokyo takes to Bassinthegrass for the second time. It's been a while since Australian crowds have seen the band perform extensively around the country, as they've been working on new material in the US. Recently, they unleashed a new single and indicator of a forthcoming EP entitled Anchor. Birds of Tokyo will be touring new material through May & June, with this special Darwin show being first up on the tour bill.

Turn Up: "Anchor" and "When the Night Falls Quiet".


Illy at GTM Bendigo, 2014. Photo: Serena Ho.

ILLY (Melbourne)
Played Bass Before?: 2013

Representing for Melbourne hip-hop up in Darwin this weekend, Illy has already spent some time in the US writing and working on new material to follow on from 2013's Cinematic release. The ARIA Award winner toured Europe last year with the Hoods on a successful run of shows, while Canada also welcomed Illy and his crew earlier this year. Touring relentlessly around Australia in 2014 further cemented Illy's reputation as one of Australia's best live performers and as a result of such tours, Australian live music crowds have also been introduced to some killer young talent - including the likes of Baro, Tkay Maidza and REMi.

Turn Up: "One for the City" and "Haters Wanna Copy (ft. Spit Syndicate)".


Kingswood at the AU review x Footstomp Canadian Music Week showcase, 2015. Photo: Rick Clifford.

KINGSWOOD (Melbourne)
Played Bass Before?: 2013

One of our favourite bands, the Melbourne rockers only have a few shows in Australia left before they relocate to the sunshine and palm trees of LA. Recently in Toronto for Canadian Music Week (pictured), Kingswood have been able to take their Micro Wars album way further than the Australian circuit in the time since its release. Regarded as one of the country's best live rock bands at the minute, Kingswood always offer a great time and know how to work their crowd into a sweaty frenzy.

Turn Up: "I Can Feel That You Don't Love Me" and "Eye of the Storm".


Flight Facilities at Sydney's Laneway Festival, 2015. Photo: Johnny Au.

FLIGHT FACILITIES (Sydney)
Played Bass Before?: 2015 is their debut.

The wildly popular Sydney duo have, like the Hilltop Hoods, been spending much of 2015 on the festival circuit nationally, dropping excellent sets on crowds at both the Groovin' the Moo and Laneway Festivals. Their Down to Earth album features so many good tracks it's hard to isolate any definitive highlights, but when they've managed to get the likes of Reggie Watts involved, that kind of collaboration is hard to go past.

Turn Up: "Down To Earth (ft. Sam Rockwell)" and "Sunshine (ft. Reggie Watts)".


Sheppard at Sydney's Enmore Theatre, 2014. Photo: Gwendolyn Lee.

SHEPPARD (Brisbane)
Played Bass Before?: 2015 is their debut.

The Brisbane pop powerhouse that has become Sheppard has been one of the Australian music exports to have done phenomenally well overseas in the past 12 months. The US has taken to them as if they're one of their own, performing on Ellen and having "Bombs Away" debut at #31 on the US Billboard charts. They scooped up a couple of ARIAs last year for "Bombs Away", taking the Most Played Australian Work and Pop Work of the Year gongs, before continuing to dominate on live stages.

Turn Up: "Let Me Down Easy" and "This Electric Feeling".


The Preatures at GTM Bendigo, 2015. Photo: Kimberley Salmond.

THE PREATURES (Sydney)
Played Bass Before?: 2015 is their debut.

The Preatures have been storming the live scene around Australia and abroad in the US and through Europe over the past year and a half in particular, with Planet Blue Eyes landing the Sydney band amongst some of the most in-demand Australian acts currently touring. They've just come off the Groovin' the Moo tour like some of their other Bassinthegrass festival mates, but this is going to be their first time up in Darwin performing for the Ampitheatre crowd. Show 'em some love!

Turn Up: "Somebody's Talking" and "Rock and Roll Rave".


Thundamentals at The Zoo in Brisbane, 2015. Photo: Julian Panetta.

THUNDAMENTALS (Sydney)
Played Bass Before?: 2015 is their debut.

Thundamentals have only recently finished an Australian tour off the back of the "Elephant in the Room" single, marking the first anniversary of the release of So We Can Remember. Last night, it was announced that they'll be joining the Hilltop Hoods on a full European tour in August, so their Bass appearance this year is going to be one not to be missed, for sure.

Turn Up: "Home in Your Head (ft. Mataya)" and "Smiles Don't Lie".


Kid Mac at Singapore's Music Matters Live showcase, 2014. Photo: Johnny Au.

KID MAC (Sydney)
Played Bass Before?: 2015 is his debut.

Kid Mac's shows off the back of the release of Head Noise have been wonderful to follow. Touring his second album internationally as well as hitting up pockets of Australia with the material since 2013, the Sydney artist has definitely fine tuned his live show and indeed, his presence as a live performer. Also one of the creative minds behind TV documentary series The Crew, Kid Mac has been mentoring three artists for the opportunity to travel to Darwin with him and perform at Bassinthegrass especially. A special episode of The Crew is going to be filmed in Darwin - so keep an eye out, you might spot yourself!

Turn Up: "Higher" and "Love is a Drug".

--

BASSINTHEGRASS is held at the Darwin Ampitheatre on Saturday, May 23rd. For tickets and more event information, head to www.bassinthegrass.com.au