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...
Mikki Gomez was at the Metro Theatre in Sydney on Friday night to witness the return of The Beautiful Girls and the Pierce Brothers. She brings us these photos from the pit:
Soulfest came to Sydney over the weekend, with the likes of D'Angelo, Aloe Blacc and Anthony Hamilton bringing some amazing soul and R&B vibes through to Victoria Park. Nathan Atkins brings you this gallery from the event!
Jim Gaffigan is funny. He's an American comedian in every respect, filling his set with American themes, references and characters - though that's not to say he doesn't work hard at being accessible. His set on Thursday Night at the Sydney Just for Laughs festival (his second of three) was filled with his first impressions of Sydney, from our shirtfronting Prime Minister to the city's nonsensical lock out laws ("so between the hours of 245am and 3am, that's when people decide that they're not feeling violent anymore? Is that how it works here?"). He also made sure we were on top of the American references. He must have noticed a lack of Hot Pockets at the supermarket.
The Wharf Revue team are at it yet again with their biting satire of Australian politics this year. Titled Open For Business, the show makes no bones about the state of the current political landscape and has a fair go at everyone involved. The regular team of writers Phillip Scott and Jonathan Biggins, along with Amanda Bishop are joined this year by newcomer Douglas Hansell, and the revived team is energetic with some fresh blood.
For a liqueur that has allegedly existed since 1525, Disaronno’s profile in Australia is surprisingly low. The launch of Disaronno Terrace at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel set out to change that, with the picturesque Eastern Sydney venue playing host to the unique event. Disaronno Terrace events have taken Europe and the Americas by storm, with over 11000 cocktails served at more than 50 events.
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.
Supported by Lindi Ortega and Marlon Williams, Justin Townes Earle Performed at The Metro Theatre in Sydney lat night and Belinda Dipalo was there to bring you these photos.
New Orleans band Tuba Skinny returned to Australia to play two shows at The Basement in Sydney.
Katy Steele played an intimate, one night only gig at The Basement in Sydney, to show off her new solo album.
Gwendolyn Lee brings us this photo gallery from The Script's intimate show at the Metro in Sydney tonight.
Tim Minchin was in Sydney today to promote the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda The Musical, opening at Sydney's Lyric Theatre on 28 July 2015 with tickets on sale Wednesday, 15 October 2014 through Ticketmaster. Tim performed "Quiet" and "When I Grow Up" at today’s launch event and Nathan Atkins brings us photos from the performance.
Hidden away in one of the trendiest laneways in Sydney - just off the main Kings Cross strip - is a moody neon-lit modern Chinese restaurant going by the name of LL Wine and Dine. It's no secret that we're huge fans of the place over at the AU; along with it's sister restaurant PaperPlanes in Bondi Beach, LL Wine and Dine benefits from the playful, thematic touch of restaurateur group The Barge Brothers. Unlike the bright and perky PaperPlanes, LL Wine and Dine goes for the dark, seductive look and this is probably due to the venue's underground history as both an illegal gambling den and a sex shop.
I was fortunate enough to travel around India with Sheppard back in 2012 (you can look back at the interview I conducted with them HERE) and by the end of that trip, having seen them live a good 5 or 6 times, I never wanted to hear their catchy single "Let Me Down Easy" again. In my books, that's the sign of a great pop single. Indeed, the band have skyrocketed in the pop world since then - everything starting with that track no less - breaking ARIA chart records and selling out shows around the world. All this without coming from the X-Factor or Idol factory, which in many ways has dulled any sense of enthusiasm about the local pop scene.