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Live Music Reviews

Posted 6 Jul 2016 @ 10:12pm

 

There was barely any time to pause between songs for Fuzzsucker tonight. He showcased some impressive energy, which was only matched by his erratic costume changes, ranging from a black wife beater, to a black faux coat to a Canberra Raiders jersey. While is it was unclear if this was a strictly musical or comedy act, he had the crowd in stitches with his over the top performance....

Posted 6 Jul 2016 @ 10:08pm

 

Jess Cornelius and her band Teeth & Tongue are back in a very big way to launch their bold new single Dianne. Long hailed as one of the country’s most dynamic and exciting performers, Cornelius’ return has been enthusiastically received, along with the promise of a heavy synth presence on her new album, Give Up On Your Health.
 
First up is Karli White who spends her...

Posted 29 Jun 2016 @ 10:05pm

 

In its six years of existence Bedroom Suck Records has come to embody what it means to be independent and innovative in the Australian music scene. Run by all round nice guy and drumming extraordinaire Joe Alexander, the label is home to some of the most unassuming, genuinely talented people making music at the moment.
 
Opening the night is Pillow Pro who invite the...

Posted 29 Jun 2016 @ 10:02pm

As representatives of both the Megahertz and Rockdogs descended from the clouds via parachute, touching down in the centre square to great ovation, the stage was officially set for another Reclink Community Cup. The event, held in support of Reclink Australia and their mission to provide and promote sport programs, as well as art programs, for disadvantaged people, looked set to be the biggest...

Posted 29 Jun 2016 @ 9:59pm

Even the coldest day of year, snowing in some non alpine regions of the state, couldn’t put a dampener on The Living End’s last show on the Melbourne leg of The ShiftTour. Luckily, the sold out Forum was heated and the beer was flowing.
 
The 131s are a newly formed Melbourne punk group. Seeming chuffed to be there, the sleeve disliking boys arrived on stage, ready to warm up the...

Posted 29 Jun 2016 @ 9:56pm

Walking into the Athenaeum Theatre, there was a sense of midnight mystery in the air. The regal venue would soon play host to Melbourne’s own The Paper Kites and their new twelvefour theatrical show.
 
Sydney quartet I Know Leopard arrived onstage surrounded by the synth sounds. Halving the lead role, Luke O’Loughlin and Jenny McCullagh’s vocal arrangements were amplified...

Posted 22 Jun 2016 @ 9:13pm

 

Turning up to Rod Laver Arena on the coldest, wettest night of the year to see what could be a washed out band from the ‘80s was not a very appealing prospect. Even walking through a polychromatic crowd of colours, ages, different sexual orientations and glitter didn’t spark our enthusiasm.
 
But from the very first note, Boy George, wearing a pink-on-pink ensemble, had ...

Posted 22 Jun 2016 @ 9:10pm

It feels like The Smith Street Bandhave been everywhere since the release of their third album, 2014’s Throw Me in the River. Yet no matter how many shows they’ve placed in the last two years, they still managed to sell out three final shows to cap off the touring cycle.
 
Though, there are arguably better ways to farewell the Throw Me in the River tour than by performing with a...

Posted 22 Jun 2016 @ 9:08pm

 

Tonight brings to an end the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, and what could be a more fitting ending than a performance from one of history’s most groundbreaking jazz musicians. The 2660 seat Hamer Hall is completely full as the Wayne Shorter Quartet walk gracefully onto the stage. After a warm round of applause, the audience becomes silent and Shorter and his band take to...

Posted 22 Jun 2016 @ 9:05pm

Having been performing professionally since his teenage years in the 1950s, Eddie Palmieri strolled onstage waving, seemingly at ease.
 
He began with a beautiful solo piano jazz piece titled Life, which was dedicated to his late wife. Better known for his manic, percussive style of playing, it was interesting to note the classical influences in the flowing melody of this new song...

Posted 21 Jun 2016 @ 5:38pm

 

The question “Why?” can be a valid point of departure for an account of rock’n’roll history or a broader inquiry into rock’s constructive merits, but to ask “what does this band endeavour to achieve?” will only ever get you so far.
 
Rock bands have existed for unnumbered reasons over the years, and there’s no way of ensuring that the listenership directly understands the...

Posted 15 Jun 2016 @ 9:11pm

 

Mulatu Astatke has continued to be embraced by young generations of music fans, and not solely for the classic 1970s records that laid the foundation for Ethio-Jazz. His collaboration with UK collective The Heliocentrics in 2009 was a resounding success, showing an interest in experimentation and modern sounds unexpected in a gentleman of his years.
 
His latest...

Posted 15 Jun 2016 @ 9:08pm

There is no better place to see a small jazz combo than in a dimly lit club. It’s a purpose built match that conjures up all the smoky allure of history’s great players and the stages that served them. There was a palpable sense of excitement among those in attendance at Bennetts Lane tonight, each knowing they were lucky to have gained entry.
 
Robert Glasper is a big name in...

Posted 15 Jun 2016 @ 9:06pm

Snarky Puppy have garnered a cult following in Melbourne. Perhaps it's due to their Grammy-winning credibility; perhaps it's due to each member's talent as a soloist; or perhaps it's the fact that no other group on the planet is doing what they do, with the degree of excellence and precision that they do it. 
 
Snarky Puppy don't play the type of lofty jazz that beckons...

Posted 9 Jun 2016 @ 4:20pm

Day 1
 
The L4 line out of central Barcelona is a meat grinder of human flesh, rammed with bodies from around the world bound for Primavera Sound. Technically, this is the third day of the festival, with a host of shows already played at club venues around the city, but day three is when the event proper begins at the main festival site, the Parc Del Forum – a concrete playground...

Posted 8 Jun 2016 @ 10:21pm

 

There’s a lot to love about High Tension, regardless of whether they’re supporting or headlining. They’re one of Australia’s best heavy acts at the moment, not only because every band member is talented in their own right, but also because there’s a mutual love between the band and their fans. The majority of their set saw most heads in the audience heaving in unison as vocalist...

Posted 8 Jun 2016 @ 10:19pm

 

Jazz. It’s a fantastic word, lending itself to a revered style of music. But defining it? Good luck. Depending whose side you’re on, jazz denotes a level of purity and technical achievement. You can’t just be a jazz musician. You’ve got to qualify. This is different to, say, rock music – plenty of bad rock bands out there, but no arbitrating guild deliberating over who’s allowed...

Posted 8 Jun 2016 @ 10:15pm

Aarght Records and Cool Death Records banded together for a special Label of Love showcase, promising a night of animalistic lust for the lucky punters crammed into the Shadow Electric. Both labels boast a roster of some of the greatest punk and synth-driven bands playing in the country, and they’re united by an entirely independent ethos.
 
MC Aaron Gocs has the honour of...

Posted 8 Jun 2016 @ 3:57pm

The grand setting of the Melbourne Recital Centre tends to take many performers aback. Jaala admit that it’s the fanciest room they’ve ever been in, let alone played in, with lead singer Cosima Jaala comparing it to the Myer centre. There is a sense that the band are a little uncomfortable with the audience sitting down, not that this hinders the strength of their performance. Lead single Hard...

Posted 3 Jun 2016 @ 3:26pm

Esperanza Spalding is nothing if not multifaceted: at once a virtuoso, a pop-genius, a perfectionist and a conduit. Jazz, of course, is an equally multifaceted beast. Capable of caressing and crashing; of both complexity and modesty. It's fitting then, that Spalding is kicking off this year's Melbourne International Jazz Festival – centred around the theme of evolution. As an artist, she whole...

Posted 1 Jun 2016 @ 8:30pm

 

If Alex Gow and Dan Kelly starred in a sitcom together you’d happily watch it every week. They both have the right mix of sincerity and playfulness to put on a memorable show, and with Kelly and Gow’s Oh Mercy each releasing acclaimed albums last year, a national tour together is certainly well deserved.  
 
Starting the night off is Emma Russack, armed with confessional...

Posted 1 Jun 2016 @ 8:26pm

There are few artists on the planet with a more infamous live show than Chan Marshall – for better or worse. A ticket to a Cat Power show is akin to throwing $70 on a roulette table: sometimes the sheer emotion and desperation of her heart-wrenching ballads of life, love and loss shines through in an evocative and angelic manner, other times it (and the tumultuous life she’s endured) gets the...

Posted 1 Jun 2016 @ 8:22pm

After a lengthy intro replete with beat matching mistakes by his DJ, Midas.Gold appears onstage. Things aren't off to a great start. Following this, Gold's hype man awkwardly dances and mouths lyrics without a mic in hand, while the rapper boasts about his bank balance. Clearly, rapping about having "six zeros" in his account doesn't resonate when everyone's in a pub that has a weekly parma...

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...

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