Recently, the Melbourne music scene has seen an outrageously productive surge in brilliant, unique talent. Venues within the city’s varying suburbs have inspired and have encouraged many world-renowned acts such as Crowded House, Hunters & Collectors, The Avalanches and The Cat Empire. In more recent time and even within 2016, a handful of talented Melbournian bands emerged onto the scene bringing with them inventive new ways to hear and look at music. Alex Lahey and Camp Cope are no exception to this. Both bands have a refreshing and energetic sound on record, and their live sound is another thing altogether. The two female-fronted bands banded together last Sunday on the 16th of January at the Old Bar returning to where their stardom began.
Radio Monash are thrilled to announce that it will be sending four presenters to attend the 2016 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards in Sydney next week. Covering the event live from the Red Carpet on Wednesday the 7th of December, our presenters will be face to face with some of the most iconic and celebrated personalities of the Australian Film and TV Industry. Radio Monash is the first community owned and student-run media organisation to be invited to the event in the history of awards, which is an achievement we are both incredibly humbled and excited by. Read more …
Ever since the Buggs and Elvis impersonators became popular, tribute bands have always been a staple in music entertainment. Tribute cover bands serve as a great way for bands who are perhaps getting too old to perform, or the more morbid side of it, for bands whose members are no longer with us, to be injected, to avoid a pun here, with more life. Unlike cheese, bands do not get riper with age but tribute bands are sort of a way to pick a rotting cheese off the shelf and repackaging it and calling it “blue cheese” and “decadent”. Many would argue the Strokes aren’t getting worse with age, despite being in the game for over a decade now, and people who’ve listened to their most recent Future, Present, Past EP would agree they are losing their touch a bit. But the Strokes are well into middle age now and have lost touch with their 2001, Is This It selves. The band no longer play dingy, and smoky, packed venues, nor do they indulge in on-stage antics with intense audience participation, tossing microphone stands like javelins. Luckily enough for us, The Smokes, pulled us into a time machine, said “where we’re going, we don’t need synthesisers!”, and took us back to a time around 2006 where The Strokes were in full swing and were filled with youth and energy.
LA pop rockers, Bleached have continued to wow audiences on their ongoing tour of Australia in promotion of their second album, Welcome the Worms. This is the first time that the trio: singer, Jennifer, lead guitarist, Jessie and bassist, Micayla have crossed our shores and hit up Melbourne’s renowned Northcote Social Club on the 30th of May.
If you have seen my earlier reviews, you will know that I am a massive fan of US jazz fusion supergroup Snarky Puppy. Too many times in previous years have I seen them headline the Melbourne International Jazz Festival or tour their latest album, and been unable to attend due to my age. But this year, I vowed to see them, at last an adult. Within a minute of receiving the email that Snarky Puppy had announced a new concert in Melbourne, I had the ticket booking page bookmarked to my laptop, and the opening time for tickets added to my phone’s calendar. I was not going to miss out this time!
From the beginning, they had us hooked.
Front man David Le’aupepe had the crowd from the first “shake of his ass”. His innate ability to make the crowd believe every word that he sang drew you in from the first second. Gang of Youths has always had a unique sound that focused heavily on its lyrical prowess. Yet, the band’s intimate performance expanded this connection with listeners even further.
The release of their debut album ‘The Positions’, which graced fans just over two years ago, was, lyrically, based on the life of Le’aupepe. The record examines the struggles of his wife’s battle with cancer, furthermore details their eventual separation. His hurt and his passion, his love and his fight come through the music the band produces. The front man’s ability to draw on his experiences and communicate them so well within his performance allowed him to make everyone in the room not only believe every word he spoke, but to also relate to it. The band’s ability to connect with its audience is extraordinary – from the beginning they had us all hooked. Read more …
There was anything but ‘Silence’ at Trivium’s second, and sold out, Melbourne Show on Wednesday night. The Silence in the Snow tour brought two blistering local acts along for the ride in Orsome Welles and Orpheus Omega.
Trivium are no strangers in Melbourne, this tour being their 4th visit in 5 years. Having been to all of these gigs, I have seen it all. A Trivium crowdreaffirms all the aesthetic stereotypes of your typical metalheads. Standing a comfortable 6-foot from the ground, I was still one of the shortest in the room of 800-odd people, 90% of whom were colossal, bald, tattooed 25-45-year-old men decked out in all black. A complete surprise. Read more …
Wednesday 23 March, Monash University Clayton Campus, SummerFest
I felt slightly disconcerted when I entered the ‘Soundshell.’ Small pockets of people milled about, lounging on inflatable sea creatures. Most groups had considerable distance between each other and not much chatter. It hardly seemed like the setting for a good show.
There seemed to be two tribes here; bearded men wearing AC/DC t shirts and alternative types with canvas shoes. They were not mixing. In the fifteen minutes between gates opening and the first act the atmosphere was growing markedly more awkward. Despite a couple of DJs pumping out tracks, there seemed to be little energy in the air.
Which is why Dorsal Fins were such a delight when they hit the stage. Any trace of the queasy pre-show atmosphere disappeared extremely quickly. This is a band who plays with genuine joy, and this joy is translated straight back into the audience. Everything they do lives on the premise of fun, and these songs contain a swagger and attitude that oozes an irresistible personality. Cliques no longer matter when a band like this is playing; I can imagine grandmothers having as good a time here as emos. Even the AC/DC shirts made their way to the front of the stage. Dorsal Fins make it feel harder not to dance.
I’ve wanted to review this band for a while but have been tossing up whether I want to keep them a secret or not. If my Facebook stalking is correct, the band of four met in school and has been playing the Melbourne scene since 2014.
I first saw them last year when they supported indie-folk band Mango Retreat’s EP launch at The Worker’s Club in Fitzroy. I remember thinking that the lead singer had a really strong voice, but it wasn’t until I saw them play at the Penny Black in Brunswick and more recently at the Arcadia Hotel in South Yarra, that I took a real liking to the Brunga’s sound.
Brungas Band is named after the band’s bassist Alex Brunga. They are a group of good-looking young guys with an indie-surf-rock sound, and hot, original lyrics and melodies to boogie to. Their stage presence is also on point- the lead singer even took his shirt off at one of their shows (sadly I missed that one).
Josef and Jan Prasil, the German twins behind Amistat, opened with Presence, the first song on their new album. The audience was still, silent and in complete awe of the twins’ on-stage connection felt by everyone inside the Northcote.
Josef and Jan brought a unique and synergized sound to the stage. The eerie folk/pop sound of Parley with influences from Passenger and the Tallest Man on Earth is perfect for car chills, music for the house, and a night drinking by a fire.
Nameless Depth, Parley, and Vada were my personal favourites but the whole album is definitely worth a listen. If you’re into folk and indie music, do yourself a favour and check out Amistat!
You can still see Amistat live:
Saturday 19th March – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 2nd April – Odd Fellow – Fremantle, WA
Sunday 3rd April – Four5Nine – Perth, WA
Oliver’s Army performed first, playing tracks from his album Nothing Ever Really Stays the Same. Ryan Oliver played without a band and still nailed each song. With sounds similar to Darren Middleton and Bandito Folk, the audience sat on the floor, relaxed, and enjoyed the raw quality of his voice and the sweet sound of his harmonica.
Liquor Store and Ryan’s cover of Tom West’s I drank all the rum were highlights. A special mention to the guys who came on stage to sing some melodies for Liquor Store and a shout out to Tom who wrote I drank all the rum because he was dumped on Christmas Eve over text message. Poor Tom.
Ben Whiting played next and blew away the audience with a voice to rival the likes of Vance Joy, Matt Corby, and Passenger. His indie-folk sound was compelling and got the crowd on their feet. Wildflower and Private Island, also the title of his upcoming EP, were popular with the crowd.
Ben is known throughout Melbourne for busking and last night played with a full band. David Knight, also a solo artist, played keyboard, Victor Salamandra from Columbia on the drums, and his cousin Billy Donaldson on guitar- all great musicians and worth a mention.
Keep an eye out for Ben’s EP launch later this year
Amistat- photo by @jasmin_elise
Off the back of a dynamic new album in -Off the Edge of the Earth an Into Forever, Forever-, Sydney alternative dance three-piece Art vs Science are now roaming the country, dazzling crowds and setting the pace for live Australian music in 2016. Alongside them where a variety of local acts and electronic songstress KLP.
Timothy Neville and Elias Valbe went to see the dynamic trio and their touring pals last Friday. Read more …
Unify: A Heavy Music Gathering is Australia’s premier metal and hardcore showcase. And in light of the fall of Soundwave, Unify is now the only major festival of its type taking place.
This two-day BYO boutique camping event entered its second year this weekend, selling out 5000 tickets. Sporting the likes of Aussies Parkway Drive, In Hearts Wake and Tonight Alive on the top end of the lineup, the festival featured international acts for the first time this year, with pop-punk heroes Neck Deep and State Champs appearing.