There’s always a little something special about end of year gigs. Not only is it a celebration of what has been achieved over the year that has been, but it is also a prelude to what is coming in the New Year. Hey Geronimo brought their A-Game to the Black Bear Lodge and it was a true celebration a full of hard work.
As one of the most animated and memorable emcees in hip hop history Ghostface Killah, a man known by many aliases, of legendary collective Wu-Tang Clan hit the Metro Theatre for his long overdue return to Australia, teaming up with co-headliner Pharoahe Monch for a strictly Australia-meets-NYC rap affair. To add some Aussie spice to the mix, accomplished emcee The Tongue joined the bill alongside up-and-comers Soul Benefits.
Tell you what, it was a bloody good feeling returning to the ‘Sup for my second Meredith Music Festival. In her 24th year, the demand to visit Aunty Meredith continues to outweigh ticket supply and with a no dickheads policy, a nude sprint race, BYO tinnies and couches, it’s not that hard to see why. This year was no exception, particularly with such a stellar line up boasting the likes of The War On Drugs, De La Soul and Factory Floor but for me, there were 5 standout acts that made my Meredith experience THAT much better.
The War on Drugs returned to Australia for Meredith Music Festival and a lot of sold-out sideshows. They played their first of two sold out shows in Sydney to an adoring crowd at The Metro Theatre.
Following the cancellation of Blur at this year's Big Day Out, the group's lead singer Damon Albarn called time on their reunion shows to release his debut self-titled album Everyday Robots. The album, while well received, essentially ensured that Blur wouldn't be making it to Australian shores anytime soon. But hope remained that Albarn - last here in 2010 fronting his acclaimed project Gorillaz - would make the trip down in a solo guise. And indeed, with just two weeks left in the year he's made a quick trip down our way for not one but two shows at the Sydney Opera House.
Potentially being my last gig of the year, The War On Drugs certainly left their mark as one of my favourite shows of 2014 by playing a beautiful set of dreamy numbers that induced a spiritual experience I didn't expect.
It was a dusty start for punters on the second day of Festival of the Sun, as the weather shined on us once again. Most were slow to hit the stage as they tried to wash their hangovers away - some quite literally with the ocean just metres away. A little late to enter ourselves, Tropical Zombie had already the stage by the time I made it in, delivering a some appropriate tropical vibes to get us all in the mood to groove.
We partnered with hotel brand Ibis to start a music reviewer program which will gave one lucky winner the opportunity to review Stereosonic Festival in Brisbane earlier this month. The winner, Michelle Gianotti, looks back at her experience:
It never ceases to amaze me how some bands manage to stay far below the radar of the average music fan. In spite of no less than six critically acclaimed full length records, international touring (including a visit to Australia for Harvest Festival back in 2011) and ticking all the boxes that an "underground success story" seems to need to require - great songs, consistency, lack of commercialism - Phosphorescent are one of those bands who have done just that. Though in front of an almost sold out Oxford Art Factory crowd, you never would have known it. And maybe that's just as it should be.
Jack Carty arrived at the quaint Grace Emily in Adelaide on the home stretch of his 32-show tour in promotion of new album Esk. The venue and Carty both share a warmth and charm providing the perfect, homely setting for the New South Welshman’s moody storytelling.
Against all odds, expectations and forecasts, Festival of the Sun lived up to its name this weekend in the coastal NSW town of Port Macquarie, delivering two days of great music, excellent vibes and, indeed... a great deal of Sun.
Releasing an album called Here and Nowhere Else is a clear statement of intent. It speaks of the visceral immediacy of the music that Cloud Nothings produce. The chaos, they create remains always in perfect control. Indebted to the thrashing fizz of grunge and punk it is no surprise that the best way to experience that chaos is live.
He’s spent about 6,100 hours on air, conducted roughly 3,520 interviews, achieved a Christmas Number 1 and had himself tattooed in the studio. After all of that, Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall is f***ing off. ABC luminaries and industry folk crammed into The Giant Dwarf theatre on a stormy afternoon to witness his second last ever show, his Great Big F***ing Off Party.
Illy's had a big year. With the release of Cinematic at the end of 2013, the rapper had a huge new block of material which has been toured heavily through this year; national festival appearances, international touring with the Hilltop Hoods, plus two headline tours of metro and regional venues...all of it leading to this, his final run of shows for the year. The 'One For The Cities Tour' marked not only another run around the country off the back of latest single "One for the City", but the final block of Australian gigs for Illy and the Cinematic cycle. And, as expected, the final show of the tour - falling in Adelaide - went out not with a whimper, but a bang.
I've been attending shows in this fine city for years now and still, the concept of have a decently attended gig on a weeknight freaks me out slightly. Sure, there has been a nice resurgence in a love of live music within the community over the past few years especially, but as I stand inside the Adelaide Unibar, a venue which soon may be no more, I'm still a bit worried that people won't turn up to play for our international guests tonight. Cloud Nothings had added an Adelaide date to their short run of Meredith Festival sideshows and I was stoked to finally be able to see the Ohio rock band perform, having missed them at the clusterfuck of a festival that was Laneway 2013.