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Live Music Reviews

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 12:37pm

 

Right from the get-go, Melbourne five-piece Enlight laced into their set and sounded great. They have an interesting sound, it could possibly be described as atmospheric prog-pop, but when they fire up and get heavy, they do so very skilfully, reaching out, smashing you around the face, before pulling back again.
 
These guys weave nice, intricate guitar lines and sweet...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 12:34pm

 

The fourth instalment of Girlhood’s art show launch and gig proved to be a popular Friday night choice. It was cold and rainy and there was a line outside of the Old Bar, with a one-in one-out door policy being adopted. Complaints about the wait and the weather funnelled down the line, but once punters were inside, it was well and truly worth it.
 
Crop Top set the tone...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 12:32pm

 

He’s the indie folk dreamboat that’s stolen our hearts over the last few years. Now, singer/songwriter Dustin Tebbutt is making his way around the country on a jam-packed tour celebrating his debut full-length, First Light. Holding down the much-loved Northcote Social Club for his second sold out show at the venue, Tebbutt treated his Melbourne fans to a truly gorgeous affair....

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 12:27pm

 

Starting out as a YouTube vlogger and cover artist, Troye Sivan has since taken over the pop world with his EP Wild and debut album Blue Neighbourhood. Now, on the last leg of his world tour, he’s playing to his largest headlining audience ever.
 
The sold out show was packed to the brim with excitement; screaming teenage girls, young gay teens pining for attention, pride...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 12:17pm

 

The crowd filling the Croxton to watch Cash Savage and The Last Drinks was filled with the enthusiasm of an audience five times its size. People were dancing; smiles on their faces and drinks in hand.
 
After spending the last year touring Europe, and playing on local festivals like Meredith, Dark Mofo and Wave Rock WA, Cash Savage and her merry band of Last Drinks...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 12:01pm

 

Promising “the greatest show on Earth,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s performance was hyped to the highest of heights. Luckily, the daring duo opened their show with Light Tunnels and immediately lit a fire under their seated audience. Behind the pair’s podiums hung three screens, projecting images of the rich and famous and iconic Grammy moments. Thus, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made was...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 11:56am

 

The Carlton was flowing, the sound guy was wearing a Scott & Charlene’s Wedding T-shirt and about 80 people were crammed into the Yarra Hotel for what promised to be the Melbourniest Melbourne gig in recent memory. Though billed mostly as a one-off reunion show for Panel of Judges, an early oughts post punk outfit with a cult following, the gig also served as the first local...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 11:52am

 

While they’re currently touring in support of one of their best albums to date, it wasn’t long ago that things appeared all but over for America’s Black Tusk. In 2014, the swamp metal trio were finalising their most recent LP, Pillars of Ash, when co-founding bassist and vocalist Jonathon Athon died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. The band could’ve dissipated, but...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 9:17am

 

Screaming Females’ sharp songwriting, relentless work ethic, and flawless technical performance all come together in perfect harmony in their brand of guitar driven punk rock. After playing over 1000 shows in the US over the past 10 years, the band finally made the trek to Australia on the back of last year’s Rose Mountain LP. Headlining a sold-out show at The Curtin, Screaming...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 11:45am

 

Winter at the Tote, it’s like Christmas in England as punters convene around the front bar and gently toast themselves by the fire. On this particular night they were treated to four distinctly different bands, all meandering their way through Australia’s underground music scene, achieving plenty of success.
 
Hot Topic had the job of opening the night, newcomers to the...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 11:41am

 

Ryan Downey proved to be the most fitting opener on a cold Friday night. His voice was noticeable as soon as one walked into the venue, rich and deep, travelling slowly along with his acoustic picking. Many folks took their time in arriving, he made a serene start to the evening, gently drawing the early comers in.
 
Sydney’...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 11:38am

 

"I'm going to make a loop now...predictably." After three LPs and a slew of headline tours, James Blake knows what he's about. His three-piece lineup cruised confidently through a post-Splendour trip to Margaret Court Arena with a set heavy on stormy material from his recent The Colour In Anything.
 
Pritchard's generally low-key set had its biggest fan at the back of the...

Posted 29 Jul 2016 @ 3:00pm

Even if you’re a mega fan, it’s easy to take The Cure’s discography for granted until you see and hear it laid out bare for you, as the band did across this 35-song marathon consisting of a 19-song main set and four encores of four songs each. Whether you’re a fan of the band’s more commercially-visible material or the darker, moodier, more frantic material, whether you only have their...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 5:19pm

Five bands, one bus, 18 days and 15 stops from Hobart to Darwin. It’s either a stroke of genius by Up the Guts creators Jack Parsons and Jimmy Clarke, or your idea of hell. However you look at it, the tour is likely coming to a town near you, landing at Melbourne’s Gasometer Hotel, to confirm it's the former – pure genius.
 
The night comprises short sets and there is no great...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 5:02pm

 

It’s hard to understand how Spring King and Beach Slang ended up co-headlining a Splendour sideshow. While Beach Slang has found a following with an evergreen brand of shoutalong pop-punk, Spring King have made a name with the sort of garage inflected post-punk that Kasabian and The White Stripes were making in the early 2000's.
 
What unites the pair is a reverence for...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 4:55pm

Every once in a while there’s a gig that comes along where things just go right. It’s like musical chemistry. You take an act who know how to work the crowd, a kickarse venue where everybody can see, has room to groove, and don’t get toostuck when they try to pick up their feet, and a crowd who are absolutely, positively in the zone. Next thing you know, whizz, bang, boom, you’ve turned lead...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 4:53pm

 

Up and coming indie/folk artist Hein Cooper provided an enthusiastic support slot. Arriving right on time Peter, Bjorn and John, plus some touring members, wasted no time at all getting into new album track A Long Goodbye before quickly following it up with another off Breakin’ Point, What Are You Talking About?. Playing material off their new album was a constant all night, many of...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 4:51pm

After an extended build up bound by climactic instrumentals and a chorus of “woos” from the devoted crowd, English pop-rockers The 1975 took the stage. The foursome placed themselves on top of white platforms surrounded by four pillars, creating the perfect projection structure. Leaving no room for disappointment on the visuals front, the formation was soon lit up in their iconic cover artwork...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 4:49pm

 

In the short time between visits to the country Leon Bridges has exploded in popularity, becoming one of the most adored international acts of recent times. Now playing stages big enough for his enormous talent, The Forum served as a lavish setting for a man who impresses in every facet of his performance.
 
Bridges’ support, Ngaiire could've easily serve as co-headliner,...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 4:47pm

Like the cliche evangelicals that share the same rich southern accent as Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell, their Forum show was about revelation.
 
There were two points of enlightenment as a sold-out crowd worshipped rock’n’roll at arguably Melbourne’s busiest side-show venue on Splendour In Grass weekend.
 
The first point of enlightenment was that the South...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 4:45pm

On a clear winter’s night, a five-piece from El Paso, New Mexico delivered ninety minutes of frenetic music that achieved the same impact and relevance as it did when that band last performed here in 2001.
 
At The Drive-In are considered by many as a defining band of the early 2000s, their album Relationship Of Command tore up the rule book on what could be considered non-genre...

Posted 26 Jul 2016 @ 2:11pm

They say the grass is greener on the other side, and crossing the border to NSW, it all makes sense. After spending too long in Melbourne’s cold winter, it's easy to forget what the sun feels like. Right from the get-go, Splendour in the Grass greeted punters with clear skies and 25-degree heat.

 

There was no sign of the festival's infamous mudfest this year, and after ten...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:43am

Hot off the back of her third album Wild Things, Pip Brown took her brand of electronic pop to the Howler stage, playing to an excited, sold out crowd in her first Aussie shows in three years.
 
Brown set the tone for the show, which heavily featured material from her most recent album, with two tracks from Wild Things, The River and Golden Girl. Taking up her guitar for Another...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:41am

 

Usually visits to The Tote are met with rollicking good times. Times that are characterised by MB cans meeting in the air at full force, the ongoing debate of whether ear plugs are a good/inhibiting idea and mates at various stages of incoherence. Last Saturday was The Tote of a slightly different kind, with Dan Brodie giving punters exactly what they needed on a blustery Melbourne...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:39am

 

The Leaps & Bounds Festival takes its name from a Paul Kelly song. Like so much of Kelly’s oeuvre, the song indulges populist aspects of Melbourne culture: Richmond hill, footy at the MCG, the clock on the silos on the banks of the Yarra. But the festival itself celebrates a different edge of Melbourne; the gritty, sometimes seedy and always vibrant independent music scene, the...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:34am

 

It’s testament to Palm Springs’ appeal that the crowd is already teeming for their set. While singer Erica Dunn jokes that her songs are depressing, there is an uplifting quality to them enhanced by the band’s precision. Tracks Winning & Losing and Sweet Concrete are the most memorable of the set and showcase Dunn’sawe-inspiring ability as a lyricist.
 
Tim Richmond...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:32am

 

It was another frigid Melbourne winter’s evening outside, but the mood, the vibe and the sheer energy happening within the walls of the Workers were hotter than hell.
 
Punters that settled into a good vantage point nice and early to catch Drive Time Commute would've been glad they did. The band was pure chaotic punk/thrash, and they certainly brought the mayhem. The band’...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:29am

 

From under his bushy moustache Cog’s lead singer and guitarist Flynn Gower declared, “I don’t know how the fuck we’re going to do it, but we’re going to try writing again.” This statement brought a roar from the crowd at 170 Russell that could've been heard in Cog’s hometown of Sydney or potential new hometown of Byron Bay. High fives and jumping hugs between friends and randoms...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 8:58pm

 

Last Saturday night, The Grace Darling was taken over by a swarm of young punks coming together to celebrate some of our city’s finest local bands. Both the upstairs stage and the basement were used to create a mini festival of sorts that worked perfectly with the staggered set times.
 
I arrived at the venue just as Melbourne’s latest garage geniuses Cable Ties were...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 8:54pm

As a part of Melbourne’s Leaps & Bounds festival, Heroes was a one night only show that saw five of Melbourne’s independent singers and songwriters take to the stage and sing two songs by kickarse women that have inspired them to create their own music. 
 
The show was the brainchild of Anna Jacobs, who received so much praise from acts during the show that her attempts to...

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