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Live Music Reviews

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...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:28pm

Enter Shikari are an absolute powerhouse live, and they keep equally frenetic company. In what will sadly be their last tour before taking an indefinite hiatus, Sydney-based Stories opened with an exceptionally tight and enthusiastic set, closing what has no doubt been an incredible journey with a dark, raw power.
 
 
UK's Hacktivist followed suit with a very different kind...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:25pm

 

Soulful duo Take Your Time kicked things off with vocal samples over smooth, rich production that didn't sound a touch out of place. Between harmonisation and a great chordal structure, the duo's only weakness seemed to be their male vocalist, who tended to take a backwards seat to his counterpart after being relegated to bass duties later in the set. The band's stronger tracks were...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:13pm

 

Gabriella Cohen has had a cracker of a year. The mighty success of her album Full Closure No Details earned her a deal withDot Dash/Remote Control Records and High Road touring, and tonight, she's fresh from heating up stages at Bigsound and Sunifest. Not even 12 months ago, the Brisbane native made a move down to Melbourne to spread the word of her solo venture, so tonight seems a...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:11pm

 

It was time to escape from Melbourne’s finals fever with some classic garage rock. The Sonics’ sound helped shape the sound of your favourite bands (Mudhoney, Nirvana, even LCD Soundsystem) and it’s easy to see and hear why.
 
Thee Wylde Oscars kicked off proceedings with some vintage rock‘n’roll stylings and outfits to match. It was fun, fun, fun in music form. The...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:08pm

 

What a grouse lineup this was. First up were Disasters. The young guns delivered sharp metalcore with mean cymbal-cracking breakdowns, as the singer ran around in front of the stage and screamed himself breathless. This is one of the best things about Northcote Social's bandroom - its low-set stage allows for a homely, up-close-and-personal atmosphere where bands can easily interact...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:06pm

 

You can always count on Reverend Horton Heat to rock the shit out of a show. The trio hit the ground running hard and fast, pulling out their classic Psychobilly Freakout as one of the first songs in the set. Consummate showman, lead singer and guitarist Jim Heath (AKA “the Rev”) and upright bassist “Nature Boy” Jimbo Wallace played back-to-back smiling affably, Leave it to Beaver-...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 11:17am

 

Angelsea three-piece Tiny Giants are all still at high school and display a profound ability for psych rock and ‘60s pop. Their set was let down only by too many drum fills and far too washed out vocals.
 
Speaking of affected vocals, primary support Baked Beans’ Matt Blach got the mix right with his otherworldly vocal range pitching perfectly over the band’s surfy circus-...

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