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Live Music Reviews

Posted 1 Jun 2016 @ 8:18pm

 

It's no surprise the Melbourne Ska Orchestra have sold out Max Watt’s tonight. It may have been three years between their self-titled debut and the month-old Sierra-Kilo-Alpha, but the band have toured so relentlessly that it makes you wonder how they even had the time to whip up Sierra. One thing's for certain, however: all that time spent playing shows has ensured that the word on...

Posted 1 Jun 2016 @ 11:25am

It always surprises me how many concertgoers skip the support acts at shows they’ve paid good money to attend. Ticket holders trickled in as Tora took the stage. With a fun, young energy flowing between them, the Byron Bay boys were brilliant to watch. With the stage already jam-packed, their closing song, Never With Me, saw their main man Meals come to join in the mayhem. Another reminder of...

Posted 25 May 2016 @ 10:29pm

 

Gold Class’ debut album It’s You (released last September) stood out for its sparse soundscapes. However, this was all thrown out live, and it was balls-to-the-wall for an hour. The band returned to the Northcote Social Club with a bang on Saturday night, and those who attended the sold out gig won’t have left disappointed. Launching their split 7” with Mere Women, who played before...

Posted 25 May 2016 @ 10:27pm

Having rocked the sold-out Sydney show the previous night as part of his For Good tour, local hip hop royalty Remi was all set to bring the heat on his home turf, supported by a host of House of Beige labelmates. 
 
Kicking off proceedings was one of Australia's most hardworking DJs, MzRizk, who spun a mix of chilled tracks and some banging old school beats. Man Made Mountain got...

Posted 25 May 2016 @ 10:25pm

 

I first heard Summer Flake’s latest album Hello Friends when Henry Rollins played it in full on LA radio station KCRW. Hearing the new material of Adelaide-via-Melbourne musician Steph Crase streaming from the other side of the world was a little unorthodox. But it felt right – after all, crafty songwriting, melt in your mouth vocal melodies and hazy guitar riffs tend to travel well....

Posted 25 May 2016 @ 10:21pm

Gareth Liddiard has probably been to some bad pubs, full of drunk, aggressive men spitting out close-minded contempt amid clouds of bad breath. He’d have driven some lonely, never-ending roads, only to have his car break down and be too skint to fix it. He’s eaten a few bad tacos, maybe even wound up with food poisoning. Hangovers? Yeah those too. The unbelievably painful, call the booking...

Posted 18 May 2016 @ 8:13pm

 

The mighty Maiden are one of those bands you have to see live at least once even if you’re not into them. Even if you’re not into metal at all. They represent a time when you had to bust your arse to play your instrument at a world-class level, when you couldn’t rely on pre-recorded backing tracks to supply vocal harmonies and keys and additional guitar parts to pad out the sound, and...

Posted 18 May 2016 @ 8:04pm

 

You really couldn’t be prouder of Camp Cope. Selling out their hometown album launch and reaching #36 on the ARIA charts is certainly no easy feat, especially for a band still only 11 months old. Tonight was a celebration of these accomplishments, with the band treating their close friends and biggest fans to plenty of great music and an even greater sense of community. 
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Posted 18 May 2016 @ 8:00pm

 

Local outfit A.D. Skinner opened the night. It was shouty, fast and hard. Primary support, Jack the Stripper walked onstage to a Cypress Hill sample before launching into 40 minutes of growled vocals, intense riffs and earth shattering breakdowns. Those familiar with metalcore would know that Jack The Stripper were an unconventional choice of support for King Parrot, but their over...

Posted 18 May 2016 @ 7:58pm

 

Although Japanese Wallpaper, or Gab Strum, is something of a local celeb, his reception prior to M83 was characteristic of most support acts. Chatter filled the cavernous Forum, failing to absorb the waves of his delicate electronica. The mixing was a little off at points, but the guitar crisply cut through and Strum showed himself to be a modest and appreciative performer. His voice...

Posted 18 May 2016 @ 7:57pm

 

The second of three sold-out Forum shows for Violent Soho’s Waco tour delivered an incredible lineup of punk-inflected Australian rock, with DZ Deathrays and Dune Rats also on the lineup.
 
And then there was opening support act, Newcastle’s The Gooch Palms, who kicked things off at 7.30pm. Though, their melodic 1960s surf rock throwback didn’t elicit much of a reaction...

Posted 12 May 2016 @ 11:23pm

 

A sweaty torrent of softcore nudity, flying bodily fluid and slightly dicked microphones fucked with the idea of a comfort zone at Yah Yahs on Saturday night. This was the majesty of Totally Unicorn and Batpiss’ double header at Yah Yahs – blurring the line between music and snuff porn.
 
A good show is much like an orange. First you have the skin, then the sweet, sweet...

Posted 12 May 2016 @ 11:21pm

 

Black Cab is up against it tonight. There is no fold back, they can’t hear themselves. Despite repeated calls to the sound tech, who seems to be AWOL, the situation stretches deep into the set. Andrew Coates (vocals) and James Lee (synths) press on, but Wes Holland (drums) seems to give up towards the end and exits stage left. This is a rough start to their east coast run, though only...

Posted 12 May 2016 @ 11:15pm

 

Madrid’s Hinds always look like they’re having the most fun. Whether it be via their inimitable social media accounts or onstage at a sold out show, the band’s unadulterated glee is infectious.
 
Still giddy from their sold out EP launch, Loose Tooth kicked things off with their raucous tunes and hilarious stage banter. Closing with the “hit single” Everything Changes, the...

Posted 12 May 2016 @ 11:08pm

In his brand new single, If You Don’t Love Me, Lyall Moloney sings, “If you don’t love me, I’ll kill myself.” Launching the track at Shebeen, Moloney’s fans not only told the Sydney performer how much they adored him, but they also showed him.
 
Up first, Neon Queen brought together sounds from the rock, hip hop, reggae and electronic worlds. No one knew which one they belonged to...

Posted 4 May 2016 @ 8:25pm

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In the nine years separating Fear Like Us’ self-titled debut and Succour, it's more than just the outside world that has shifted dramatically. The entire band relocated to Melbourne from their native Newcastle, and they've recently added a fifth member, multi-instrumentalist Mark Jennings.
 
What has remained at the core of Fear Like Us, however, is their no-...

Posted 4 May 2016 @ 8:14pm

 

The Tuesday after a long weekend is typically reserved for recovery, that is, unless you find yourself in a packed room of raging hip hop fans. Then it’s a case of topping up alcohol levels again just to keep up with the high intensity of Danny Brown’s epic live show.
 
The support act ZelooperZ wasn’t at the high calibre most of us were hoping for, with fairly uninspired...

Posted 4 May 2016 @ 8:11pm

Blending hip hop with a symphony orchestra; it’s the kind of innovative thinking that would   have our Prime Minister drooling in his sleep. However, with pyrotechnics and heavy beats from DJ Debris and Plutonic Lab, sleep was the last thing on anybody’s mind at Rod Laver Arena tonight.
 
This tour follows the February release of Drinking From The Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung...

Posted 4 May 2016 @ 8:07pm

On the eve of Cherry Rock, German headliners Kadavar put on a special sideshow at the Corner. The room was partly curtained off and one bar was closed, making the Corner even more intimate than usual. There were only a few heads in early, making one think that most people were holding out for Kadavar at Cherry Rock, but by the end of opening band Elbrus it had started to fill up. After Elbrus...

Posted 4 May 2016 @ 8:04pm

Rocking a killer post-Friday hangover, there was nothing more appealing than a night of mellow melodies. When it comes to acoustic arrangements, it doesn’t get much better than Melbourne’s own Vance Joy.
 
Kicking off an incredible showcase of Australian songwriters was Ainslie Wills. Filling us in on the tales behind a selection of her tracks, Wills captured the attention of the...

Posted 3 May 2016 @ 5:21pm

CherryRock’s tenth anniversary was a perfect reflection of Cherry Bar’s long standing mantra. After fighting for their right to keep holding the festival because of the new high rise buildings that loom over AC/DC Lane, CherryRock016's 'Too Tough To Die' slogan was bloody perfect.

 

The two stage set-up allowed the entertainment to alternate between stages without more than...

Posted 27 Apr 2016 @ 8:36pm

 

Never was there a more ideal union than Davey Lane and Gabriella Cohen, both possessing the kind of talent that inspires both awe and envy. While the end of their month-long residency was always going to be bittersweet, it also led to a few surprises, proving why teaming up for a residency was worthwhile in the first place. Support came from Jacky Winter in solo mode who treated the...

Posted 27 Apr 2016 @ 8:29pm

Rivals Sons are in the country supporting some band called Black Sabbath. Their warm, sexy blend of blue collar blues rock cuts from the same cloth as the best ’70s bands. Think Led Zeppelin, Canned Heat, The Animals, Cream, Free, Foghat – the list goes on. They cancelled their 2015 Soundwave appearance due to a new child and haven’t been Down Under since, so it was blessing to welcome them to...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 10:34pm

 

It takes a fair bit of peer pressure to get me into a CBD nightclub on a Monday night, but the lure of guaranteed sadness through the power of song was enough to bring me to 170 Russell for one of Daughter's only Australian shows. And they didn’t disappoint – the sadder I got, the happier I became.
 
I nestled in at the brink of the dancefloor and watched Fractures, the...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 10:19pm

 

To follow an exhibition featuring two paradigm-shifting artists is no easy task. As a result, the live music portion of NGV Friday Nights often threatens to be underwhelming. And yet, so well curated is the program that the performers don’t just manage to soar in their own right, but also complement the Warhol | Weiwei pieces on view in the next room.
 
Deradoorian is the...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 10:17pm

 

Downstairs at the Grace Darling Hotel, Dead Heir are bathing the audience in a lush psychedelic wash; a little bit Jefferson Airplane in the fall after the summer of love, a splash of Hollow Everdaze on a dark Melbourne night.  There’s some good riffs buried beneath the synesthetic surface, and everything is good in the world (at least the distorted sub-stratum of the world that can...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 10:14pm

 

I don’t get Jaala, an up-and-coming prog blues outfit fronted by a pink-haired Joplin wannabe named Cosima. They’re a wilfully difficult sort of band – “experimental” – and I have zero patience for it.
 
If Jaala are a quintessential underground act, Methyl Ethel are model export material. They open their headline set with an epic INXS-worthy guitar jam, standing with...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 10:11pm

There’s no better place to be on a Friday night than at your local, listening to some of the best sounds the city has to offer. On the eve of Record Store Day, I found myself at The Tote to see the infectious groove machine that is The Sugarcanes. It was a big night for the self-described “rock n soul quintet”, who premiered their debut self-titled LP to an eager crowd.
 
To say...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 10:32am

Rival Sons are the perfect band to support Black Sabbath on their worldwide ‘The End’ tour. Their style is relatable to fans of Sabbath, whether they're aged 16 or 66. Their songs are direct enough that if you haven't heard of Rival Sons before you'll still find yourself singing along by the end of each track, and their style is defined enough that even if you're not a fan, when you hear them...

Posted 15 Apr 2016 @ 10:16am

 

Progressive rock isn’t for everyone. Known for its complex song structures, shifting time signatures and lyrics that delve into the abstract, the genre’s frequently too challenging for mainstream ears. However, if you like your music thought provoking and as fluid as water, then you really can’t go past a band like Caligula’s Horse.
 
After support sets from Melbourne’s...

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