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Live Music Reviews

Posted 22 Nov 2016 @ 2:50pm

The atmosphere of Heaps Gay Heaps Yummy, a feast for the Melbourne Music Week, was utterly striking from the very beginning, before even entering the party. The State Library was alight and brilliantly glowing, in addition to featuring a thumping DJ booth set up on the lawn. The vibrant outdoor atmosphere drew curious crowds. Even for those without tickets, the night was to be enjoyed. With...

Posted 19 Nov 2016 @ 11:04pm

This series, From London With Love, gives you a glimpse of the London music scene from our on-the-ground music writer Augustus Welby.

 

Reviewed on Wednesday November 16.
 
Unless you’re fully tuned in, the nuances and unique assets of Sydney’s Alex Cameron won’t completely reveal themselves. It’s not that his songwriting lacks immediacy; his Jumping the Shark LP is...

Posted 19 Nov 2016 @ 9:52am

It's easy amongst the daily grind to lose track of exactly how necessary it is to celebrate artistic passion within a community like Melbourne. Sometimes, you need a reminder like Melbourne Music Week's Live Music Safari - the collaborative effort a city as awesome as this deserves.
 
From the moment you step onto the front steps of the MMW Hub – the State Library – you are struck...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 3:38pm

 

“Do you respect wood?” asks one audience member to his partner, as they scramble to their seats in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall of the Melbourne Recital Centre. The hall is wooden from the walls to the floor to the ceiling and seats –the better to accompany string and vocal performances, and to carry a much-appreciated Curb Your Enthusiasm reference.
 
As soon as the lights...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 2:29pm

 

Custard were an appropriate choice for opening night of the NGV's Friday Night series since like many of the greats, they present intelligent, off-beat and timeless works of art.
 
Returning in 2015 with Come Back, All Is Forgiven they haven't played live much so one could be forgiven for forgetting what a rare treat it is to watch David McCormack onstage.
 
 ...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 2:19pm

 

Back in the ‘80s, lauded director Wes Craven was forced to defend horror films against the accusation that the genre’s violent imagery encouraged real-life aggression in its audience. “Horror films don’t create fear,” he said. “They release it.”
 
The same could be said of The Drones. The snarky, funny-cause-it-ain’t horror buried in the band’s discography isn’t the case...

Posted 14 Nov 2016 @ 11:21am

Year after year, the opening night event of Melbourne Music Week encapsulates the current music trends, topical issues and local artists that are making a mark on the Melbourne music scene. Her Sound, Her Story: A Celebration Of Women In Music was no exception. Proudly introducing the exhibition and video series by photographer Michelle Grace Hunder and filmmaker Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore,...

Posted 9 Nov 2016 @ 1:09pm

 

The Evelyn bandroom was bubbling with punters eagerly awaiting the return of Melbourne’s scuzzy garage punk emperors Mesa Cosa, marking the tail-end of their widely praised Spill ‘Em All tour, and the band’s first headline show in a year and a half.
 
A late cancellation by key support act Amyl and the Sniffers threw cult emcee Purple Duck into the ring – the last minute...

Posted 9 Nov 2016 @ 1:07pm

 

The Celibate Rifles changed my life.  It was 1986 and suburban high school music tastes were dominated by Australian pub rock: Chisel, The Angels, Oils, augmented with a bit of LA mullet metal and some hair sprayed tinny pop.  Beatbox, a three-hour music video cum social commentary and vox pops show on Saturday morning on ABC television, featured a clip from this Australian band, the...

Posted 9 Nov 2016 @ 1:05pm

 

“Halloween is our fucking Christmas,” declared Corey Taylor triumphantly before launching into Before I Forget, his voice dripping with the volatile energy that makes Slipknot so intoxicating.
 
Frontman Taylor is just months into recovery from undergoing emergency spinal surgery in July, after breaking his back. Only days before the tour, one of the band’s percussionists...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:53pm

 

Touring in support of his debut album 99.9%, Montreal producer Louis Kevin Celestin AKA Kaytranada, brought his slinky smooth beats to Melbourne for the second of two sold out shows.
 
“It’s a party alright? So fucking party like it,” teased Lou Phelps from behind the DJ stand to a lukewarm crowd early on. The younger brother of the night’s headliner, Phelps began with a...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:46pm

 

Pensive, reverent, ceremonial and ultimately joyous, Archie Roach’s performance at the Melbourne Recital Centre perfectly captured the nature of his new album Let Love Rule, which boasts some stunningly beautiful tracks in lyricism and arrangement. 
 
The evening kicked off with local elders and Roach’s friends Aunty Caroline Briggs and Uncle Jack Charles, who delivered a...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:45pm

 

It was one of those gigs that had plenty of Melbourne’s cool kids excited – the neatly-sized Curtin bandroom hosting Oakland’s The Soft Moon, the brainchild of singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Luis Vasquez. In classic Curtin style, the crowd formed just prior to the first note – it seemed there were plenty of ciggies and stubbies to be sucked down before any post...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:56pm

 

The influences and references in Lisa Gerrard’s music are so scholarly and, at times, ancient that seeing her perform is akin to a history lesson in some forgotten language. Yet in spite of her radically obscure expression, she’s drawn a faithful following through work as one half of Dead Can Dance and as a solo act.
 
As part of The Arts Centre’s stellar Spring Music...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:55pm

 

It’s been ten months since the untimely passing of the iconic, one of a kind talent that was David Bowie. There are few artists who have had the same cultural impact as Bowie and so a tribute with a full orchestra and some of the country’s most loved singers certainly seems deserving. With an all-star cast featuring iOTA, Deborah Conway, Tim Rogers, Steve Kilbey and Adalita, each...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:52pm

The stately manner of the Tom Lyngcoln, Matt Weston and Dan McKay was on show as the Nation Blue trio greeted old friends and fans over on the quieter side of the room. This was a celebration of the band’s dual album releases Black & Blue but also their first Melbourne show in a long time as work and family responsibilities make it hard for these three men to tour.
 
Opening...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:51pm

 

Gone are the Smith’s days of Mozza as a wan youth. Evidently, he’s given his recent run in with cancer a hearty fuck off, because at 57 Morrissey’s a strapping bloke with charisma to spare. With key chains swinging from his waist and shirt unbuttoned to reveal a hairy, barrel chest, it turns out that Morrissey’s grown up to be louche and sexy, while still wielding a mic lead with more...

Posted 25 Oct 2016 @ 6:52pm

This series, From London With Love, gives you a glimpse of the London music scene from our on-the-ground music writer Augustus Welby.

 

Reviewed on Wednesday October 19.
 
Over the last 18 months, Jenny Hval has released two uniquely captivating LPs that both shirk easy classification. The latest of these, Blood Bitch, touches on cerebral avant-pop and electro folk...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:57pm

 

The Substation, an arts centre in Newport, provided the perfect setting for XFRMR and Thomson’s Tesla coil. Established in 1882, the site was constructed during the initial phase of Melbourne’s electrical services scheme, inaugurating a new era of technology through power generation.
 
MESS artists Robin Fox and Byron J Scullin (who run the incredible non-profit electronic...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:55pm

 

Walter Schreifels, with only an electric guitar to accompany him, was a solitary figure on the Corner Hotel stage. He didn’t command the crowd, instead he casually, slightly awkwardly captivated his audience. As a founding member of acts including Gorilla Biscuits and Rival Schools – with a musical history dating back to the late ‘80s– Schreifels is no stranger to the stage. From the...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:53pm

 

If there was ever a time to go against the grain it would be at the final show of your sold out tour, smack bang in the centre of the Corner Hotel stage. Escaping the confines of the expected, Montaigne opened her show in an untraditional fashion with the lovable quirk of her 2014 single Fantastic Wreck. Also known as Jessica Cerro, the Sydney pocket-rocket joked afterwards with her...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:51pm

Sydney’s beloved rock group have had a big year, with their third studio album dropping in February and a huge American tour planned for November – still, no matter how busy they never fail to bring it when they hit the stage.  Hayley Mary strolled out like the true performer she is, nursing what seemed to be a whisky-straight. It was clear she was ready to rock.
 
Stand &...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:50pm

 

A Wednesday evening support act might usually draw an ordinary crowd, but when a night kicks off with the Cosmic Psychos, everyone’s there to stomp a foot and raise a stubby. Knighty, Macca, and Dean took the audience by the scruff of the neck with a couple of deadset classics in Pub and Nice Day to Go the Pub. Dean’s drumming was as effortless as ever, cruising through a repertoire...

Posted 12 Oct 2016 @ 1:04pm

For a band that lacks the inherent polish and finesse of a more experienced outfit, the DMA’s sure can command a crowd impressively.
 
Opening with Play It Out and Feels Like 37, the show started well, but had room for improvement. Straight Dimensions was a lovely addition, the flowing track matched well with the chilled stage presence of the band, and signalled the mark of a...

Posted 12 Oct 2016 @ 1:02pm

Following the first cab off the rank in Pappy, Crop Top livened up the room with their loose blend of pop melodies and punk sentimentality. Running through all four songs from their debut demo tape, Top Tape, as well as a few others, the standout was clearly set closer in Baby Boy, the revenge song that could probably be applied to most men between the ages of 16 and 35.
 
Suss...

Posted 12 Oct 2016 @ 12:58pm

You know when you’ve lurked someone online for ages and you finally get to see them in person? That’s how it felt to finally see Chastity Belt live after liking pretty much all their Instagram photos for a solid year. Making their Australian debut, the band have well and truly assimilated themselves into the Melbourne scene, cramming in DJ sets, instore appearances and two packed shows at The...

Posted 12 Oct 2016 @ 12:57pm

 

Cate Le Bon has always felt like something of a well kept secret here in Australia but a packed out Toff In Town certainly begs to differ. Her new album, Crab Day,centres around a made up holiday which reflects the surrealism that features heavily within her lyrics and live show.
 
Up first was the enchanting Ella Thompson, someone who could easily take the title of most...

Posted 12 Oct 2016 @ 12:50pm

 

In 2016, the legacy of The Saints sits primarily as punk rock originators and innovators of the mid to late 1970s. With the looming shadow of their early singles and albums, particularly the 1977 landmark I’m Stranded and its follow up Eternally Yours, the last 35 years have seen constant lineup changes and forays into various musical avenues. With such a large back catalogue and yet...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:49am

 

When it comes to the Melbourne live music scene, there’s no greater milestone than selling out the notorious Corner Hotel. Do it three times over and it’s automatically assumed that your stage presence, performance style and the sheer quality of your songs are of the highest calibre. Melbourne’s own Tash Sultana is a prime example of what it takes to not only captivate a crowd but to...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:47am

 

Sad Grrrls Fest comes at a time when voices surrounding representation and safety within music communities are at their loudest. Perceptions are changing and people are taking necessary steps to make the spaces we all love so dearly inclusive for women and LGBTIQA+ people. While this feels overdue, the day is an appropriate celebration for how far we’ve come while serving as a...

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