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Live Music Reviews

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 11:13pm

 

You’d imagine City Calm Down have been pinching themselves a lot lately. Although it may have taken them three years to perfect their debut album In A Restless House,the pay off has been enormous ­­– ten sold out shows across the country says it all. City Calm Down’s signature brand of broodiness seemed to rub off on both support acts. Problems impressed with their experimental...

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 11:10pm

It’s not often that a large group of drunk music lovers pile into a room, stand virtually silent and listen up for one voice. However, when that one voice belongs to Montaigne, it’s entirely understandable.
 
Opening with an unfamiliar tune that’s set to feature on her forthcoming album, In The Dark, the vocalist sang, “I never really knew what you meant to me,” as an ethereal...

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 11:08pm

 

Despite Melbourne being home, Oh Pep!’s mega overseas touring schedule over the past year meant Friday night’s show was very special indeed. Baby Blue started the evening, playing to their largest crowd yet and supported by some very enthusiastic friends at the front. Their trundling surf pop featured simple rhythmsand nasal guitar tones, overlaid with the narratives of Rhea Caldwell...

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 11:04pm

 

There are two things in the world that everyone loves: a good old fashioned raffle, and a super adorable kid. These two things aren't typically found at a local indie band's album launch, but Smile employed both to get everyone extra hyped-up for the celebration of their sophomore album, Rhythm Methods.
 
Tonight’s lineup was a fantastic testament to how bloody good...

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 10:56pm

 

The Tote helped kick off a big weekend of Murlocs gigs in support of their sophomore album, Young Blindness. The show sold out well in advance and it was an evening loaded with melodic-R&B-psych-pop-rock (and $1 pots).
 
The Crepes helped warm things up for the hometown heroes. Frontman Tim Karmouche and his colleagues presented the audience with some dreamlike tunes...

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 1:42pm

Keep Star Shining was a profound celebration of the life of 20-year-old Werribee native Star Gray. Gray was the daughter of prominent sound technician Neil Gray and the show was originally organised as a fundraiser to support her when she was admitted to hospital. However, as can be the aggressive nature of cancer, she passed away on Sunday March 6, 2016.
 
All the bands had met...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 11:08pm

As far as contemporary music goes, Bluesfest’s 2016 lineup may have been the finest Byron Bay has ever seen. Of course, this is a family-friendly festival that caters for everyone from hip local teens to the bring-your-own-deckchair crowd, and with its retro attractions landing more on the pop side of the spectrum, blues diehards may have felt under-represented. Still, predictability was out...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 11:05pm

 

Let me preface this review by divulging the love I had for Oasis. I had posters on my wall, I bought singles collections from eBay, I would aimlessly Google anecdotal stories about the brothers’ relationship, the rifts within the band and the story of Britpop, taking it all for gospel. Making demi-gods out of sour faced and perpetually pissed off Brits, train wreck addiction never...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 11:00pm

 

It’s been six years since The Decemberists last played in Australia, with the band making their triumphant return to our shores off the back of last year’s album What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World. The band played a good dose of the new album, along with old favourites that capture the Portlandians’ inimitable ability to turn folklore into song. Support came from Shakey...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 10:58pm

 

There aren’t too many bands that can go the distance for 25 years, but that’s exactly the milestone The Onyas were celebrating this evening. Unsurprisingly it was the jewel of Collingwood, The Tote, hosting the festivities. The Onyas handpicked some standout bands and good pals to support them for the birthday bash, including the punk rock legends Meatbeaters, who made the trek all...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 10:54pm

 

You’d be forgiven for thinking an iconic Melbourne nightclub was a bit of a strange choice for a guy perhaps best known as one third of Blue Mountains crew Thundamentals; forgiven, and then absolutely proved wrong. Tuka has long been producing solo work outside of Thundamentals, however the past couple of years have proved particularly fruitful. With an extended headline tour for his...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 10:50pm

 

It’s not worth discussing how many landmark gigs The Tote has hosted in its time, but it is worth saying that Tyrannamen played one of them last Saturday night. It was a sold-out crowd as Melbourne flew the rock’n’roll flag with boisterous pride. In fact, the front bar was full of ticketless scallywags transferring stamps from one wrist to another. All in the name if rock, of course....

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 10:48pm

 

Comprising drums, bass, guitar and vocals, Vintage Trouble style themselves as a modern soul band, but musically they lack the hallmarks that make that genre special – most importantly the passion, feeling and groove. These are elements that can’t be captured on a sheet of music, but are there in between the ink lines.
 
Despite hailing from Hollywood, the group have a...

Posted 30 Mar 2016 @ 10:49pm

 

Despite the success of Kamasi Washington’s The Epic and his high profile collaborations, it was still surprising to be greeted by a long entry line and a packed to the gills Prince Bandroom. Old jazz heads commingled with younger fans, the mood: anticipatory. At 9.36pm Washington and his group emerged and got down to work, teasing their toes into the set with a mid-tempo number...

Posted 30 Mar 2016 @ 10:40pm

There’s a train of thought in the contemporary music community that the age of indie-rock bands fuelled by white dudes dominating the airwaves is over. It’s hard to disagree, watching the never-ending tidal wave of bargain bin indie (bindie) bands touring the globe for a year on a record warmly received by Pitchfork, before falling forever into the abyss. Look at the biggest (and sustained)...

Posted 30 Mar 2016 @ 10:37pm

 

In the week leading up to The Hills Are Alive, there were a few questions I wanted answered. How big is this hill? How many times do I actually have to walk up it? And how the hell am I going to cart all my crap over? Luckily, in their eighth year, it seemed the festival gods had thought of everything. After heading to baggage drop, it didn’t take too long for my whining to be...

Posted 30 Mar 2016 @ 10:32pm

 

There are few musicians left out there like Jeff Tweedy. He’s the kind of person who lets his music do the talking and, most admirably, has always done things on his own terms. In this vein the Wilco frontman's new project, Tweedy, features his son on drums. In their Australian debut the pair performed tracks from their collaborative album Sukierae, along with stripped back versions...

Posted 30 Mar 2016 @ 10:30pm

 

The Croxton Bandroom was larger than expected, like The Corner without the pole, and loud.  Three-piece support band All The Colours were testing the limits of the PA early. With a sound reminiscent of early Muse, their tight black jeans squeezed out some high-pitched harmonies. Their cover of Van Morrison’s Baby Please Don’t Go was the highlight.
 
The big black curtain...

Posted 24 Mar 2016 @ 10:13am

 

Gabriella Cohen provided the soundtrack to a sultry autumn evening at everyone’s favourite local The Tote. The occasion? The launch of her debut album Full Closure and No Details. Although the Brisbane native is still relatively new to Melbourne, Cohen is quickly becoming a local act to watch, supporting Albert Hammond Jr. at his recent Melbourne show and receiving praise for Alien...

Posted 24 Mar 2016 @ 10:11am

 

You are lying in the park in the peak of autumn. It’s usually hot for this time of year however as the leaves begin to fall from the trees, a sly smile crosses your face and happiness surrounds you. This is what it is like seeing The Mastersons live in concert. Opening for Steve Earle at the Melbourne Recital Centre, the vocal harmonies of Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore meld...

Posted 24 Mar 2016 @ 10:07am

 

I arrived at Sunn O))) fully prepared for some loud drone metal. What eventuated was the loudest fucking thing I’ve ever experienced. With smoke billowing onto Swanston St from deep within Max Watt’s, the scene was set before I even walked down the stairs and into the venue’s guts.
 
Why are there so many signs telling me to wear earplugs? I asked myself. Surely, it’s just...

Posted 24 Mar 2016 @ 10:04am

 

Last Friday night was the first night in a long time that I had really wished I had worn more clothes. Leaving the house with only a T-shirt on, the cold weather hit roughly two minutes after I’d gotten off the train. I spent most of my drinking money at an Op-shop in Collingwood on a crappy set of used fingerless gloves and a flannelette shirt that smelt like it had taken the life...

Posted 24 Mar 2016 @ 10:02am

The Port Fairy Folk Festival has reached its 40th anniversary without losing an ounce of its vibrancy and eclecticism. FourPlay kicked off the weekend's proceedings with an energetic performance that demonstrated once and for all that a string quartet is more than capable of rockin’ out with plenty of firepower. On Mississippi Sinkhole the band conveyed a powerful environmental message while...

Posted 24 Mar 2016 @ 9:59am

 

D’Angelo’s performance at the Palais Theatre was a marvel to behold. Attendees didn’t know what to expect. The release of the critically acclaimed 2014 record Black Messiah had captured a brand new crowd of fresh-faced millenials, drawing them towards R&B and neo-soul unlike any of his contemporaries. The back catalogue of D’Angelo’s work, rooted in the early 90s and expanding...

Posted 24 Mar 2016 @ 9:55am

There’s something satisfying about arriving at a gig that will make you sweat, a gig that will demand you dance your socks off. For the Woohoo Revue, it’s an absolute given. These local larrikins treated Brunswick’s Estonian House to a gypsy fanfare in support of the release of their second full-length album, Moreland’s Ball.
 
Front and centre, horn and baritone players adorned...

Posted 16 Mar 2016 @ 8:57pm

A muggy night in Melbourne, a sweaty, packed out venue in Fitzroy, and all was in readiness for a memorable night of left-of-centre Australian rock.
 
Myyth are a Mornington Peninsula four-piece with a very interesting sound. While first impressions are that of a rough and ready alt-punk band, they are super-tight, ultra-energetic and their vocal harmonies are to die for. Their...

Posted 16 Mar 2016 @ 8:54pm

It’s not often that a sober Thursday night out leaves you in a state of absolute ecstasy, but after watching four Melbourne acts smash up the Grace Darling basement, a state of euphoria was reached.
 
Melbourne singer/songwriter Heloise started things off with her sweet, chunky blues and finished with the call of kick-arse country, playing the audience just as well as her acoustic...

Posted 16 Mar 2016 @ 8:50pm

Post-rock is generally verbose. It’s often unnecessarily complicated and the supposed emotional transcendence is habitually, well, mythical. A cataclysmic crescendo without heart is meaningless – no matter how you get there. The genre was flourishing in the mid-’00s, but when online magazine The Silent Ballet began to die, so did many of the genre’s stalwarts – Joy Wants Eternity, Caspian, pg....

Posted 16 Mar 2016 @ 8:48pm

 

Peking Duk's set at the Forum was a superstar display of modern DJing. The act’s investment in visuals and pyrotechnics truly accented the era of the Drop. Every time a song peaked over a soul-shaking bass rhythm, the visuals matched the sublime physical stimulation. The backbone of the set was bangers and mash, so this could accurately be described as the meat and potatoes of...

Posted 16 Mar 2016 @ 8:44pm

 

Commemorating International Women’s Day, Rack Off! featured a stellar lineup of femme-dominated bands, performers and DJs. The festival, curated by Joanna Nilson and run in conjunction with YWCA Victoria, raised funds to support at-risk and marginalised women in Victoria. Rack Off! also made a big statement to the music establishment, highlighting the gap in many festival bills that...

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