The incomparable Grace Jones will be returning to Australia next month to perform as part of Modulations at Carraigeworks, during Vivid Sydney - the festival of light, music and ideas. She'll perform for two nights on the 31st of May and the 1st of June and these will be her only Australian appearances. It's her first time in Sydney since 2011 and continues on from the tradition set by the inagural Modulations event last year, to feature a huge international guest at the top of their showcase. Last year we were of course gifted the wonderful Pet Shop Boys.
Three years after the departure of former vocalist Johnny Craig, American post-hardcore band Emarosa are back with a new album, Versus and they're getting themselves ready for a mainland tour of Australia. Taking over for Craig is ex Squid And The Whale frontman Bradley Walden. The new lineup has re-energised the post-hardcore quartet, and their upcoming tour should be a good time.
The consistently awesome Circa Survive have just announced an East Coast tour of Australia this September in support of their fifth album Descensus. In the ten years since Circa Survive exploded onto the scene with their debut Juturna they've gone from strength to strength, and their live show is supposed to be especially worth seeing.
Up and coming electronic act The Kite String Tangle and folk-pop's rising star Dustin Tebbutt have announced an East Coast tour this June on the back of their collaborative single 'Illuminate', released as part of a 10" vinyl split. 'Illuminate' blends The Kite String Tangle's beautiful production and layered electro pop with Tebbutt's gorgeous vocals.
Australian rock trio My Disco are playing Hobart's Dark MOFO Festival this June, and in the spirit of fairness they're also playing a select number of shows on the mainland. After having played only one show in the last 18 months, this mini tour will be a chance for fans of My Disco to get a chance to hear some new music from the band in advance of a new, as yet unnamed album.
The Districts are one of those bands on the Splendour line up we can see being strong contenders for festival highlight; they've been killing it overseas at the moment with their sophomore album A Flourish and A Spoil, with shows at SXSW successfully in the bag and a dance card of festival spots at the likes of Reading & Leeds, Lollapalooza and OutsideLands still to come. Breaking through initially with their debut Telephone, the Pennsylvanians have cultivated for themselves a strong and enviable fan base that is hankering for some more Australians in the international contingent - we can't wait to have music fans out this way get introduced to what's a great live show and brilliant output from the band.
In news we can all turn up to, a brief tour of Australia and New Zealand has been announced for Atlanta rapper and recent presidential candidate Waka Flocka Flame. Flame, a man known for his high energy live shows, will be bringing his Turn Up Godz Tour to venues across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Broome, Wellington, and Auckland. Joining Waka on stage will be none other than special guest DJ Whoo Kid.
Wolf Alice were last in the country over New Year's, bringing in 2015 with us at the Falls Festival on the coast and in Tasmania and we're particularly stoked to see the British band are coming back so soon after for another run of shows! Continuing to tour internationally and develop a brilliant reputation for themselves as a live performance act, Wolf Alice were one of the visiting SXSW bands to Austin that we had the most trouble getting in to see play, with the lines for their shows extended on for ridiculous lengths of time. We finally were able to check them out near the end of the festival though and man, have they come such a long way from their first SXSW shows in 2014. A powerful live band, they're going to be ones to watch at Splendour this year, for sure.
The last time we saw The Vaccines, they were performing a surprise set in a tiny venue at SXSW. Riling up the crowd, the band shot through after 20 minutes to get to their next show, leaving the audience all flustered. There were a few Aussies in the crowd that night and chatter turned to when we'd see them in the country next soon after they finished playing. Having become festival favourites over here, The Vaccines are of course coming back for Splendour in the Grass, but on the same trip they're going to be hooking up with Palma Violets for two headline dates too!
You've probably heard "King" being flogged on commercial radio in the last few months but come July you'll be able to hear more of Years & Years' music when they come through for Splendour. The London-based trio will be making their debut headline Australian appearances in Melbourne and Sydney, coming off the back of their first ever UK headline tour and raved about spots supporting the likes of Sam Smith and Clean Bandit.
In this issue: Megan Washington joins the PPCA board, Record Industry sales drop,#NotON Violence against women campaign picks up speed, Channel [V] launch new channels, Timmy Trumpet and Savage kick goals with "Freaks", DMA's release debut EP in the USA, who was signed this weel, plus the ARIA charts.
MS MR were definitely one of the standout bands we were able to see at SXSW recently, that is, when we could worm our way into the crowds that were packed out for them each time! With a new album being prepared for a July release, Australians can be getting around Lizzy and Max soon when they play Melbourne and Sydney as well as the sold out Splendour in the Grass.
Photo: Linda Brownlee
Ah, the big one. Yesterday, when it was revealed the Splendour in the Grass sideshows were being unveiled, the obvious reaction from many was BLUR. The iconic British band who broke hearts when they pulled out of the Big Day Out tour in 2014 was added to the winter festival instead, set to make good on the last boo-boo that kept them from coming to Australia last year. Today, they've gone and one upped the original festival announcement in confirming three exclusive arena shows for fans in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth this July.
It's going to be a Liverpudlian love in this July, when The Wombats and Circa Waves join forces for a run of Splendour sideshows to take them through Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide! The Wombats were only out in the country recently for a few promo shows in support of new album Glitterbug but as always, have made sure that fans around the country (sorry Brisbane) are still going to be taken care of as best they can on this next trip out to Australia. Circa Waves, who played Splendour last year before returning to tour with The 1975 at the beginning of 2015 have also fast conjured for themselves a fan base of dedicated music lovers who no doubt will be showing up in force upon their return.
Remember when Of Monsters and Men first stormed through Australia with their acclaimed first record? You had to cram into venues to be able to see the band and My Head is an Animal became ingrained in our heads for months afterward. After two years away, the band is set to return for Splendour but of course, couldn't make the journey all the way out here without slotting in a few little headline shows of their own!