h

Live Music Reviews

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...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 8:52pm

 

Walking into a King Gizzard gig is like preparing for battle. The looming sense of danger translates into a giddy thrill for most punters, and when the house lights go off it’s every person for themselves. All you can do is get swept up in the music and hope you don’t sustain a serious mosh pit injury in the resulting frenzy.
 
Label mates Orb kick off the night’s...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 8:50pm

Eilish Gilligan and her live band were the first to perform tonight. The delightful indie pop songstress supplied an inspiring opening to a show that was to be full of deep vibes centred around swirling and colourful synth chords. With a unique voice that suited the mood of the venue, she demanded full attention with a performance that was humble, yet extremely captivating in its delivery....

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 8:47pm

 

Melbourne’s in the heart of a long touted soul/R&B boom, which seems to be the result of every VCA student, J Dilla freak and jazz head in the city joining an instrumental hip hop group. Whatever you want to call it, this surge of interest is producing some of the most inspiring and original music around. The Leaps and Bounds festival’s Soul by the Pound night at the Evelyn was a...

Posted 6 Jul 2016 @ 10:25pm

 

Karnivool’s Re-Animation tour was somewhat of a mystery, with many fans wondering if it would be promoting a new album. But opening with 2009’s Goliath set the tone of the show - the prog rock outfit were there to please the fans.
 
The glaring siren screams layered over a sensationally dense rendition of Set Fire To The Hive. Simple Boy, All I Know and We Are let the band...

Posted 6 Jul 2016 @ 10:23pm

 

Lurch & Chief’s show at the Corner Hotel on the first day of the seventh month was a rapturous celebration of arguably the most splendid rock bands this city has ever produced. This joy was devastatingly counter balanced by the fact it was their last show.
 
Opening the night was three-piece Pretty City who opened with gusto and tenacity despite only a smattering of 80...

Posted 6 Jul 2016 @ 10:19pm

 

Masco Sound System have a painter on stage when they play. On Thursday night she was painting with her canvas upright and I thought I knew what's going on in it, and then she turned it sideways and my perception changed completely. That's what being at a Masco gig is like -you think you’ve got a handle on their sound and their songs, and then it changes.
 
There's weird...

Posted 6 Jul 2016 @ 10:17pm

 

Sydneysiders Mere Women have been on my radar since the launch of their split 7” with Gold Class back in May. Naturally then, I was looking forward to their gig at The Evelyn last Friday and they didn’t disappoint.
 
The good thing about punk songs is that they generally range between 40 seconds and three minutes in length, so if you don’t like a certain song, it’s over...

Pages