RITES OF PASSAGE TATTOO FESTIVAL – Day 3. Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton, Melbourne. 09-04-2017.

Words and VLog Callum Doig.

With a great first impression on my visit to last year’s Rites of Passage, I thought it’d be as good a time as ever to come back again to see what the acclaimed tattoo festival had to offer this time. On a colder April day than usual, it was great to finally return to the Royal Exhibition Building for the annual body art expedition.

With mostly locals at Rites of Passage such as Frankie Lee’s, East Brunswick Tattoos, Melburn Made Ink and Benny Bones, there was a collective of international talent that showcased the abilities they had, such as Visual Orgasm from Singapore, Spacifik Ink from New Zealand, Three Tides Tattoo from Japan, Tattoo Family from Malaysia, Paul Martin Tattoo from Scotland and even a travelling artist named Joshua Sara from Melbourne. Each and every parlour came with their own unique style to display throughout the venue. From Japanese to European, to expensively detailed portraits, anything that came to the mind of a patron was there in that exact building. Continue reading

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD, Orb. The Croxton, Melbourne. 10-07-2016.

Words Callum Doig.
Photos Sally Townsend Photography.

© 2016 Sally Townsend Photography.We have plenty of Kings here in Melbourne. King Parrot, King of the North and of course, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, who have been making the biggest of killings in Australia’s rock scene. With the release of their eighth full-length masterpiece Nonagon Infinity, the Gizz boys have embarked on a national tour in support of the new record with numerous sold out shows involved, as well as making an upcoming appearance at Splendour In The Grass.

Joining them in their Melbourne shows were three-piece Geelong locals Orb, who gave off quite a unique impression to the audience of how uncontrived they are, just like Gizzard. For what seemed like a long set felt so short at the same time, as Orb had a little more than what most would’ve bargained for. The trio supplied a hard, psychedelic stoner vibe that was quite reminiscent of the likes of what Kyuss would sound like if they slightly based themselves around the Woodstock era. And while Orb are a group entailing three members, their guitarist and bassist showed a little more of their talent by swapping each other’s instruments halfway through the set. Continue reading

Rites Of Passage 2016 Tattoo, Music and Art Festival – Day 2. Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne. 23-04-2016.

Words Callum Doig.
Photos Mandy Campbell.

Rites of Passage 2016 © Mandy Campbell.Having some ink myself, tattoo conventions and festivals are something I’ve had on my ‘to check out’ list for years. I headed down Rites of Passage on a cold Saturday morning to see what was in store for everyone there.

The very moment I set foot into the building, it was as though I entered The Louvre equivalent of body art. About 95% of the crowd in attendance had tattoos, whether it be just one on their arm, or covered from head to toe, and a handful of people even with what I assumed to be tattooed eyes. From rows A through to S, there was nothing but countless parlours and organisations that came from all over the world such as Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, the U.S. and more. It was impossible to keep track of every single artist at the Royal Exhibition Building, especially with all of the business cards I took off each stand.

The good thing was, it wasn’t all strictly limited to tattoo companies. In fact, there were plenty of stalls set up that sold t-shirts, jewellery, and even supplies and aftercare. Tattoo removalist establishments such as Light Speed and First Impression Laser Clinic were also set up to promote their businesses. Children brought to the conventions with their parents even had the opportunity to get their own tattoos done. Considering that they weren’t above the legal age to have proper ink of course, they had the option to have airbrush and henna tattoos done on them instead. Continue reading

HIGH ON FIRE, Batpiss, YLVA, Big Bread. Max Watt’s, Melbourne. 20-02-2016

Words Callum Doig.
Photos Sally Townsend Photography.

© 2016 Sally Townsend Photography.High On Fire have always been one of those incredible bands that everyone’s heard of, yet hardly anyone realises the strength that lies in their music. For nearly two decades, they’ve thrived on belting out the heaviest and sludgiest tunes metal could ever birth with one of the most dedicated fan bases in the scene. With the release of their highly acclaimed seventh LP Luminiferous, the trio returned to Australia for an all new headline tour in support of the new record. Joining them on their Melbourne show at Max Watts were locals Big Bread, YLVA and Batpiss.

The thirty to forty-five minute wait that you have to sit through for gigs are a pain when you set foot into the venue. Only ten minutes though after doors, Big Bread took the spotlight as the opener. There weren’t many patrons at the time they came on and performed, but there were a handful of those that were appreciative of what Big Bread gave to the audience. Generally, there wasn’t much they had to offer in their presence, but they made up for that with a great sound and show onstage.

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MISFITS, Coffin Carousel, Wolfpack. Max Watts, Melbourne. 11-12-2015.

Words Callum Doig.

Misfits Australian Tour 2015Thirty eight years after their debut into the world of the underground scene and with numerous lineup changes, Misfits still remain one of the most influential and recognisable names to punk and metal music. They’ve been frequent visitors as of late, with their last two tours taking place in 2011 and 2014, and it seems that they wanted more from the Australian fanbase before the year ended. Joining them this time for the Melbourne show were local acts Coffin Carousel and Wolfpack.

Opening up the stage were punk trio Wolfpack, the 100% non-profited group. Even though they were given a forty-five minute set, the trio weren’t picky and kept it towards the thirty minute mark. Wolfpack later announced that they’ve managed to raise $18,300 for animal welfare and that they were performing the next night at the same venue with The Exploited. They pulled in a good crowd, being the first act of the evening, and received some great responses from the audience as they thrashed out a number of fast-paced tracks throughout their spotlight onstage. Continue reading

ZAKK WYLDE’s Black Label Society, Mammoth Mammoth. 170 Russell, Melbourne. 30-11-2015.

Words Callum Doig.
Photos Louis Foo.

Zakk Wylde has been largely well-known as Ozzy Osbourne’s right hand man on the strings for most of his career. That alone though, isn’t the only thing that’s given him big recognition internationally as a musician, as he’s also renowned for his own band, Black Label Society. Wylde and his thrashy troubadours have come back for a run across the country for their first headline tour in ten years with different local supports joining them in each city.

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