Photos Stephen Boxshall.
We’re lucky enough to have Koops, El Colosso vocalist, submitting a tour diary while they’re away on their European tour. We wish them all the best! Thanx Koops and El Colosso! – Ed.
In another few days the band that I sing in – El Colosso – is traveling to Europe for its first international tour. First tour of anywhere, actually. We haven’t toured Australia yet, apart from a few gigs in Ballarat, Bendigo and Frankston.
We’re heading off to play twenty-odd shows in thirty-odd days, promoting our debut album Pathways, taking in Germany, Slovakia, Belgium, France and Spain. It’s a tour that doesn’t just involve a crap-ton of money and a big flight to get there, but also a kind of leap-of-faith to remove ourselves from our families and jobs and commit to really living rock and roll every night for more than a month in a different city every day, in rooms full of perfect strangers, 14,000 kilometres away from everything we know.
Not fucking fantastic being away from our families though. In truth, that totally sucks.
Preparing for the tour has been a lot of work, but huge fun. We’ve not just stepped up rehearsals for the many weeks leading up to it, we’ve also been preparing new songs for our next record. AND we’ve also had the opportunity to play at The Forum, supporting South African band Seether. How many times have we all been at that venue and dared to dream of one day playing there? We were like kids in candy stores. Or just like the big bloody kids we really are playing at the Forum! But the new album is written, we are super-tight with our tunes, and all that remains is for us to get there and show a different part of the world what we can do. Continue reading
Words Mark Ireland.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.
When bands pay homage to other artists there are two groups; cover bands who just play the songs of other artists and then there are tribute acts, when bands take on the mannerisms, use the same stage props and so forth. The Iron Maidens definitely fit into the tribute act category, from the copy cat mascot, instead of Eddie The Head its Edwina T Head, and the band members have changed their stage names to copy their male counterparts, instead of Bruce Dickinson it’s Bruce Chickinson and Adrian Smith becomes Adriana Smith.
At some of their gigs, Iron Maiden play the intro from UFO’s ‘Doctor Doctor’, so for true fans it was a great tribute of finer details.
The crowd was full of testerone and passion and fans who knew all the words to the songs. The crowd, as well as the band, kicked into high gear from the start when ‘Aces High’ obliterated the room. Then it was straight into fan favorite ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’. It revved into high gear when this reviewers personal favorite riff from ‘The Trooper’ electro shocked the room.
Pretty much every song brought a deafening scream to The Corner Hotel and shook the venue to the foundations. Continue reading
Words El Jefe.
So I found in my hot little paws a copy of the new 7-inch by Rathead, Sick Of My Brain/Drinks. Gonna give it some bonus points ahead of the final siren for the true genius of having it pressed outta vinyl made from the last ever batch of Green Slime (though Slime With Worms woulda been cooler!). Great touch, guys!
Rathead are based in Shepparton, not too far from the NSW/Mexico border, and are comprised of Taylor Bain, who wields the guitar and handles the vocals and Sam McPherson on drums and backing vox.
Soundwise, they immediately brought to mind a tonne of mid-80’s post-Detroit style riffnroll. No-one I could really put my finger on, but the vibe was as familiar as ya fave boots. Continue reading
Words Will Oakeshott.
Photos Alex Kwong Photography.
If this event could be surmised in one phrase, the legend of Black Flag, part-time actor, writer, spoken word genius and prodigy of anything else which interests him, Henry Rollins captured this show’s essence with his quote: “Life is weird, great and dangerous”.
Adelaide quartet Dirty Pagans had the honour of opening the event and were hellbent on crafting a weird and wonderful statement about their art. In terms of the historical undulated road modern rock’n’roll has undergone for decades since its inception, this four-piece are on a mission to explore the majority of this genre’s pathway. Elements of southern rock, classical rock, thrash metal, hair metal, stoner rock and sludge rock were all combined to create a rather original sound. Featuring songs from their Dirty Pagans EP and recently released full-length VOLUME 1, Dirty Pagans left an imposing impression on the modest but very intrigued audience. It was slightly abnormal but on that same note, awe-inspiring also.
Words Mark Ireland.
Photos Stephen Boxshall.
Every year Melbourne rock city gets destroyed by Cherry Rock, the best street rock’n’roll festival. For twelve years it’s been promoting local and overseas rock and metal acts, giving them a chance to play to a massive festival crowd, this year was no exception.
Opening the festival was Wurst Nurse, they kicked off proceedings with their anthemic punk that electro shocked the crowd. It was unseasonably warm weather for Cherry Rock, good beer drinking weather, and A. Swayze & and the Ghosts from Tasmania were a great addition to the day, their unique post punk sound was what was needed to send the crowd left of centre.
I moved inside to catch Fluff before the bar got jammed. They play classic rock in the sense of Zeppelin and any other 70s band you could throw a bone at. Neil Wilkinson’s high shrill would put Robert Plant to shame, and local legend Danny Leo is in my opinion the best drummer in Australia hands down. His powerhouse style is something that could shatter a window a 100 metres away. Fluff have an album coming out in a couple of months, so todays set was a good chance to showcase the new material.
On the Furphy stage Gabriella Cohen was charming the crowd with her sweet crunching pop, an interesting inclusion to Cherry Rock.
Soul fever was potent when Fulton Street hit the Cherry Bar stage late in the afternoon, Shannon Wick’searth shattering vocals shook the venue to its foundations. The band have been regulars to Cherry’s legendary soul night, packing out the place on numerous occasions.
The Southern River Band are the new boys on the block and they’ve already earned their stripes by blowing crowds away at Queenscliff Music Festival and Boogie Festival, so todays set broke the crowd into tiny pieces. They’ve already honed that classic ‘Oz Rock’ sound, so the crowd just drank the energy the band threw at them. Their album is in high anticipation, so I think a return visit is definitely on the cards for the near future.
Inside again The Mamas sweet soul pop stylings had the crowd pack the dancefloor and cause a sweaty mess in no time.
I had heard a few things about The Chats, but nothing prepared me for what I saw, tight as fuck, killer riffs and it was all over in 30 minutes, that is rock’n’roll personified. And as one of their song goes, not even time for a ‘Smoko’!
Cash Savage and the Last Drinks have been a festival favorite for a number of years now, so the crowd warmed up to them straight away. Their gothic country blues was what was needed for a cold autumn night. Cash has incredible stage presence that commands attention, like Nick Cave she stands on the lip of the stage and draws the crowd in with every song, The Last Drinks are an amazing backing band that consists of two guitarists, drummer, fiddle player and bass player, so when the band break into ‘The Hypnotiser’, the sound that was created was like a man mad hurricane, with its slow build to its tumultuous climax, it really put the audience through the ringer.
The Cribs have been around since 2001, so it’s safe to say they know how to turn a crowd on its head. They played a varied set from a number of different albums, their latest album 24-7 Rock Star Shit has one of the best titles from last year. As soon as they hit the stage they don’t fuck around and its straight down to business, slaying the crowd with anthemic indie rock gems.
Closing off the Cherry Bar stage was a DJ set from Kid Congo, he played a killer set of mod hits, surf rock and classics from Bowie and Suzi Quatro, the crowd flooded the dance floor immediately as he hit the decks.
What else can be said about The Cosmic Psychos, they are the stuff of legend! Their influence runs deep not only in Aussie bands but also you can hear their sound in many 90s American bands too.
When they ripped out their classic ‘Nice Day To Go The Pub’, the crowds sing a long could have been heard on the other side of the Yarra! The buzz saw bass blast of ‘Dead in a Ditch’ deafened me within seconds. They ended the night with the classic ‘Lost Cause’. The Psychos haven’t changed their sound in over 30 years, the saying ‘If it Aint Broke Don’t Fix It’ was probably coined after seeing the band at the Tote.
After twelve years Cherry Rock is still selling out and looks it won’t be slowing down anytime soon. James Young, co-owner of Cherry Bar and one of the head honchos behind the festival is one of the biggest supporters of live music in Melbourne, and Cherry Rock is the love child of his support of local rock and roll.
Melbourne loves Cherry Rock and Cherry Rock loves Melbourne.
Interview Will Oakeshott.
Musicians expanding their horizons outside of their accomplished art-form has been a rather prevalent occurrence for quite some time. Whether film, television, fashion, business or any other avenue, it has been a movement that countless musicians have ventured toward with varying levels of success. For Oregon’s Stoner Metal band Red Fang, the quartet has somewhat followed suit by joining forces with Teutonic Wine Company, also from Portland, to create a European style red wine blend entitled “Red Fang Red”. As guitarist and vocalist Bryan Giles explains, the scenario came together rather organically:
“The winery is called ‘Teutonic’ and they are a local Portland small winery and they are just really into heavy metal and making wine.” He describes relatively straightforward – “They contacted us to see if we wanted to make a wine with them which we were understandably interested in doing, even though I don’t really know much about wine, but it sounded like a fun experience. We did actually go pick grapes, bottled the wine, corked the wine and sorted the vines around the vineyard. Sadly though, we had to kill all the ladybugs.” Continue reading
Words El Jefe.
Photos Rod Hunt Photography.
The stage setup looked like a well-lived in share house, replete with ice bucket, some tasty beverages, tulips etc. Just missing a bong and sandwich maker! So after some apparent minor delays, John Garcia and guitarist Ehren Groban took the stage (well, mosey’d on to the stage and dragged up the armchairs!), and prior to their collective musical excursion, Garcia gave a rundown on how much he dug the chance to be doing what he was doing with these (classic) tunes, and how he loved that we were all there to support it. Gracious, and humble and clearly battling through some nerves or shyness, he came across as an easy going dude. Continue reading