Sometimes when you've had a bad work week, all you want to do at the end of it is go somewhere or do something that requires little to no thinking, beer and a sense of not giving a crap. If you work in music, sometimes the perfect remedy for this is a loud rock show. Thankfully, there was a line up at the Adelaide Unibar which took care of it perfectly overnight. Melbourne's Kingswood were back in town to wind up their massive album tour for Microscopic Wars, a tour they'd started here back in August. If I'm honest, the first show of that tour had everything working against it, so it seemed like tonight was a perfect opportunity for the band to return and play the show many fans had been expecting. And with an extra show being added in Adelaide, the demand was obviously high.
Taking over the Cliff Dive Bar for a night of revelry, Converse show that they still have their finger on the pulse of youth culture, inviting blog pop wunderkinds Collarbones and REMi, fresh off his national run supporting Allday and claiming the AIR Independent Music best Hip-hop/Urban release. Throw in free tinnies courtesy of Pistonhead and a novel approach to the issue of phones at gigs – hand them in at the door and take your happy snaps on a disposable camera – and you have yourself a damn good night.
Ball Park Music are one of those bands who've always been..there. They've been dominating the Australian live circuit for ages now and for a while there, you could've put money on the Brisbanites being on any touring festival during the summer/New Year period. Currently, Ball Park Music are taking the 'Trippin' The Light Fantastic Tour' around the country and have been pulling large numbers with each stop. Their first of two Adelaide shows was testament to the force they've become as a band.
After a lukewarm start in Sydney due to atrocious sound issues, I was a bit nervous with my decision to fly down to Melbourne and do it all again. This was a line-up that was quite literally a dream for me and felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so to be underwhelmed twice would not only be soul crushing personally, it would have been indicative of what Australia and New Zealand could expect from the rest of the long-awaited tour. But all those angry tweets and general complaints that arose out of Sydney and the lack of sound checking seemed to benefit Melbourne; this time the crew behind Soulfest were on the ball. This led to a festival that felt like an entirely different, better experience than Sydney, and felt much closer to what the promoters intended the festival to be.
Sydney can be a weary bunch when it comes to artists who have abandoned them before; the last time Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) was supposed to play the Enmore Theatre, he cancelled at the very last minute and left a bitter taste in our mouths. To add to the cynicism, Yasiin missed his scheduled flight the morning of Sydney's Soulfest and disappointed us once again. So third time's a charm, right? With a few sideshows for Soulfest's once-in-a-lifetime line-up sprinkled around Australia, a headline performance from Mos, two days after Sydney's Soulfest, promised a chance for the rapper to make it up to his fans and show that he is actually worth the wait.
The world is now well and truly acquainted with Sixto Rodriguez, courtesy of the momentous Academy Award-winning documentary "Searching for Sugar Man". After such a roller coaster career, arguably still on the rise, it seemed only fitting for Sydney to offer Rodriguez its iconic Opera House.
On Sunday October 21st Brisbane’s The Blurst of Times Festival hit Melbourne for the first time. Held at Seaworks in Williamstown, the day featured a line up of excellent Australian talent, across three stages.
It's hard not to have unrealistic expectations when a dream line-up like this lands. The promoters of Soulfest must have worked been working miracles in order to make something like this to happen. It was something that immediately saw the East Coast of Australia become a point of envy for discerning music lovers around the world. Many of these acts could have been big draw cards in of themselves, but to put them all together seemed too good to be true - and it was treated so until the minute we entered. Sydney was the first stop for this inaugural Soulfest tour, so nerves were high when we stepped into Victoria Park - an odd spot for a major music festival - to get a taste of just how this was going to shape up.
Brisbane's Arundel have undertaken a fascinating journey to bring them to the point they're at now. With its origins as a solo project that resulted in brilliant tracks like "Living with Dinosaurs" (that we featured on the AU some 3 years ago) from Lucas Arundell (yes, two l's), Arundel has evolved into a massive five piece, with three vocalists, a thousand instruments on stage and an entrancing, varied performance that is impossible to look away from. And along the way it genuinely feels like they're attempting to do something that no one in Australia is right now...
The Melbourne Festival has been spending the last week celebrating, well, Melbourne, and how could you honour the city without mentioning the magical musical history that haunts the city streets. So there's no surprise in the acts chosen, from hip-hop bastion and social advocate Urthboy, to a tribute to one of the greatest musical icons of the city's lineage, Rowland S Howard. It makes sense that the honouree of this night is just as beloved, that being the funk soul act The Bamboos, who just the night before were honoured with an award for their saxophonists.
The Griswolds' Australian tour has been a while in the making for many fans. Their debut album, Be Impressive, was received incredibly well upon its release a few months back, though it's fair to say a lot of the excitement surrounding the record also came down to the fact that Australian fans hadn't seen the Sydney band play many gigs extensively through 2014. Instead, the band has been generating a strong international fan base, touring and appearing at festivals in the US for the past few months. It made sense that their Australian album tour would be popularly attended and as Adelaide falls on the midway mark of their run around the country, it's glaringly evident that The Griswolds are becoming quite the powerhouse live band.
On Thursday night I went to what I’m pretty sure was my first ever “pop” concert. I mean I’ve been to plenty of gigs, but Sheppard’s concert, their last of the current Australian tour, at Perth’s Astor Theatre, was probably my first ever proper “pop” concert – you know with the “young” (in some cases very young) screaming fans and such.
2011 saw the release of Josh T. Pearson's first solo album, Last of the Country Gentlemen. Recorded in Berlin in just two days, the highly anticipated album came ten years after acclaimed The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, the only release made with former band Lift to Experience.
It doesn’t happen very often that when a band drops a new album we’re graced with a live show to go along with the promotion train that follows it. Sydney fans were fortunate to not only have Irish rockers The Script play for them, but it was at The Metro too, a considerably smaller venue than the last time they were here. After seeing their invigorating show last time I was keen to check them out again and see the difference a more intimate setting would make on their performance.
New Orleans band Tuba Skinny returned to Australia to play two shows at The Basement in Sydney.