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Live Music Reviews

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:58pm

 

Contemplating the meaninglessness of existence on any given Sunday afternoon, one can do well to decide that meaning can be created in the form of small experiences and pleasures like patting a fluffy dog or soaking up rays and sweet tunes at a rooftop gig.
 
Aussie independent record label Bedroom Suck presented Melbournians with an afternoon of local musical delights,...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:57pm

 

Outside the Athenaeum Theatre, flagged by velvet ropes and a red carpet, sat an off-white limousine complete with Canberra plates and Australian flags mounted on the hood. If there was ever any doubt that Client Liaison were here to bring it, it was erased before walking into the building.  
 
Inside, Luke Million had the crowd eating out of his hands. Million jumped...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:56pm

 

First to jump onstage was Lost Talk. Fierce frontwoman Amy immediately commanded attention with screamed vocals radiating sass, while the band upped the ante with a high intensity set. 
 
Next was Perth alternative outfit Childsaint, who showcased their gritty garage rock with plenty of passion, their melancholic lyrics reaching out to everybody in the room. Local garage...

Posted 27 Mar 2017 @ 12:30pm

Considering the current enormity of King Gizzard, it really strikes home how lucky Melburnians are to experience this incredible band in such an intimate setting. As an eclectic crowd of the eager punters jostled for a spot, The Gizz entered the circle to thunderous applause and adoration.
 
For the first half of their whopping double set, it was all about showing off the new toys...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 12:35pm

 

Supporting Huntly was Shouse; a local duo who make fun dance jams. Their smooth set was made even smoother by the addition of a live saxophone soaring over all the tracks. They had everyone moving to their addictively catchy beats.
 
Sandwiching Shouse was two DJ sets from disco queen Brooke Powers. Bringing the bouncy house tracks, she quickly had the whole sweaty room...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 12:02pm

Gloom lords Departe opened the night, being the only Australian band on the lineup. The Tassie natives delivered sinister and expansive soundscapes, treating the crowd to a crushing wall of noise. Their first full-length Failure, Subside was met with monolithic acclaim last year, eerily balancing droning post-metal with shattering blast beats and reverberating vocals. One thing to be taken...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:57am

 

There was this fast bowler back in my high school cricket days, perhaps the quickest kid in the district. Facing up to him one Saturday morning, he pitched his opening delivery just short of a length. Like a python attacking its prey, the ball reared up sharply, honing on my rib cage. I fended defensively, somehow turning the wide of fine leg for a boundary. “Nice shot off the hip,”...

Posted 20 Mar 2017 @ 5:31pm

 

Opening the show was Thy Art Is Murder, all the way from Blacktown, Sydney. Despite being a stone’s throw away from HillsongChurch, Thy Art Is Murder’s music is about as far away from worship as you can get. They presented their anti-religious and vaguely misanthropic message in the cloak of blast beats, breakdowns, and violently impassioned vocals, with more than a dash of...

Posted 17 Mar 2017 @ 10:03am

A Chain and the Gang show isn’t your standard gig, it’s a once in a lifetime experience to worship at the altar of Ian F Svenonius, one of the greatest rock icons and commentators of music in the last 30 years.
 
Testament to his engagement with music, Svenonius was up the front of the crowd taking photos of the support bands. Primo and Parsnip are two bands made up of some of...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:49pm

As always, the Port Fairy Folk Festival was jam-packed with an eclectic mix of musical treats.
 
Melody Pool showcased smoky, soaring vocals that were at times reminiscent of Stevie Nicks' dulcet tones. Among a brace of sparking originals, her rendition of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game was a poignant highlight in a gold-plated set.
 
The Jerry Cans featured fiery fiddle and...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:47pm

 

From the opening few bars of Teenage Fanclub’s set, it was evident that their current live show is fairly restrained. A far cry from Reading Festival 1992, but that was no surprise and no crime.
 
The initial lack of guitar-power in the mix was faintly worrying, and rendered both new and old material quite lifeless. The main issue being that the band’s approach, in both...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:47pm

Opening the night’s show was triple J Hottest 100 runner-up, Amy Shark. As the garden punters took a pew on their picnic rugs, the rising talent offered up a selection of her lesser known, yet equally impressive tunes. Included in the mix was Spit on Girls, a fitting addition to her set only three days after International Women’s Day. Picking up her guitar, Shark also shared Home, Deleted and...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:40pm

 

The last of the Zoo Twilight concerts was appropriately concluded by The Specials. An effervescent timeless group with an abundance of fun-time tunes delivered with a lyrical conscience.
 
They bounded onstage, replete with both old school and new school rude boy wear and the sold out audience was set for a riveting finale.
 
Aided by minimalist strings, the...

Posted 14 Mar 2017 @ 12:13pm

Once again we descend upon the small town of Meredith seeking entertainment, adventure and spiritual release. We arrived on site at the Nolan’s farm a little later than usual, and our beloved Bush Camp was already closed, but we quickly found a serene and shaded spot in the tree-laden area of Ringwood. Besides having to memorise an entirely new way to get home at night, this worked out well as...

Posted 10 Mar 2017 @ 10:04pm

International Women's Day was a fitting choice for the Unity concert, programmed as part of Brunswick Music Festival with an inspiring lineup of female vocalist and spoken word artists. Brunswick Music Festival has again succeeded in bringing culturally diverse musical talent to the 'people's republic of Moreland'. Even those not previously familiar with first performer Parvyn were clearly...

Posted 8 Mar 2017 @ 3:16pm

 

Deep Scene played to an already packed room, treating punters to their brand of melodic punk rock. If this was the bar to be set for the night, anticipation was already high.
 
The second band – and a highlight of the night – was Melbourne post-punk legends Bench Press. Aussie punk at its finest was showcased by frontman Jack Stavrakis. He radiated a palpable and nervous...

Posted 8 Mar 2017 @ 1:57pm

 

When Spiderbait announced a run of shows to celebrate the 21st anniversary of their most lauded album, Ivy and the Big Apples, it’s pretty safe to say Melbourne liked them apples.
 
Support came from Bitch Diesel, a trash punk pop band made up of four no shit-taking females, singing songs about super relatable stuff. Bad bosses, getting dumped, a penchant for white wine,...

Posted 7 Mar 2017 @ 6:08pm

Zo Damage, a prolific photographer for Melbourne's underground music scene, is celebrating her tenth year of being a published music photographer. She commemorated this by challenging herself to photograph 365 gigs over 365 days. The Damage Report is an exhibition of this challenge.

 

As is fitting for an exhibition of music photography, each night is accompanied by a concert...

Posted 6 Mar 2017 @ 6:45pm

The Pixies returned to Melbourne for a dazzling, sharp performance that illustrated their continued legacy as an iconic band within the alternative rock genre. Their last Australian tour was in 2014 for Sydney’s Vivid festival. Three years later, they’ve made their return, touring their latest album Head Carrier.
 
The Pixies have been rocking since the ‘80s. Since then, they’ve...

Posted 6 Mar 2017 @ 6:42pm

Brother Ali took to the stage to raucous applause. He was the main draw for the vast majority of fans. Whether you think an MC means a Mic Controller or a Master of Ceremonies it can be agreed that Brother Ali makes his mic work a ceremony.
 
His set mixed catchy songs with moments of crowd control and speeches. The interlude discussions had heavy themes of love and politics. Even...

Posted 1 Mar 2017 @ 11:04am

Stadium-sized singalongs, crowdsurfers galore and unexpectedly spectacular covers were on the menu when The Gooch Palms stormed through Yah Yahs
 
Tonight’ll be the last time we ever see The Gooch Palms play at a venue the size of Yah Yah’s. What the two-piece garage rock’n’roll outfit lack in band members, they make up for in enormous onstage energy. Leroy Macqueen and Kat Friend...

Posted 1 Mar 2017 @ 10:59am

 

It was in a reflective mood that I ventured to see Gawurra. The theme of reflection recurred throughout the evening prompted in part by the carpet in the Velvet Room which is the same colour and pattern as the carpet in the church of the small town where I grew up. On settling in to see support act Didirri, the sound was crystal clear. He played a series of his own songs in the manner...

Posted 1 Mar 2017 @ 10:56am

Phoenix Street found itself hosting waiting fans interlocked in isolated arguments of which MC would be best of the night. Andre Jemal got a sneaky mention. Penny Purr got named dropped. All punters agreed that Scribe was an MC worthy of headlining a talented roster of performers. 
 
The show started and cycled through MCs seamlessly. When one MC finished, barely a minute would...

Posted 1 Mar 2017 @ 10:39am

Brooklyn’s Big Thief made their Australian debut off the back of their lauded album Masterpiece. The four piece looked timid on the large stage, their nervous energy palpable from the crowd. While they never quite looked at ease, this enhanced the sincerity of the set.
 
It was hard not to be moved by their performance with lead singer Adrianne Lenker’s voice full of unfiltered...

Posted 1 Mar 2017 @ 10:36am

 

The night began with Corin adequately warming up the venue, pushing out her signature mix of hammering beats tied with old video game samples. Oscar Key Sung followed, proceeding to pull things back to a more relaxed space. It’s hard not to be relaxed by the man, he’s got a voice as smooth as butter which, in part, captures the nostalgia of popular R&B while simultaneously...

Posted 24 Feb 2017 @ 1:59pm

 

Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest is one of the most unassuming rock stars you’ll ever witness, so much so he played The Gasometer, a humble sized room for the lo-fi genius.
 
The bandroom filled up quickly for Dan Oke and his band Jarrow who possess an upbeat blend of garage and surf rock which was an ideal match for Car Seat Headrest. Oke rocked out so hard during the...

Posted 24 Feb 2017 @ 9:45am

What do you get when you fill a bus with the finest faces of Melbourne’s music media scene and send them on the road for three days? Well, besides hungover. You get the Victorian Music Crawl, a musical adventure like no other.

 

It’s no secret we are spoiled when it comes to both quality and quantity of music and arts in Melbourne....

Posted 23 Feb 2017 @ 5:53pm

Post-rock doesn’t get as good as Explosions in the Sky, the quartet who have defined the genre for nearly twenty years. Support comes from New Zealand’s Fazerdaze who impress with their hypnotic dream pop and graciousness towards the attentive crowd. They serve as a palatable starter for the main course of the evening, striking the perfect balance of energy during their set.
 
As...

Posted 22 Feb 2017 @ 3:44pm

Upon walking down the stairs into 170 Russell and hearing the sounds of Nursery Crimes’ Sad from their ‘92 belter, Fun Hurts, we’re instantly transported back to a time when the city was awash with mohawks, Goo was the best place in Melbourne, and punk rock was all the rage.
 
Teenage memories came bubbling back to the surface as Nursery Crimes blew the dust off their back...

Posted 22 Feb 2017 @ 3:42pm

California’s Neurosis have nurtured their ear-splitting noise for over 30 years, gradually transitioning from roots in hardcore punk to the complex post metal beast they’re now recognised as. They’ve crept along the murky outskirts of the heavy music spectrum with a sound too challenging for mainstream ears. 2016 birthed their eleventh studio album, Fires Within Fires, which saw the band...

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