Day two of the annual Rites Of Passage Tattoo Festival held at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building welcomed punters of all ages through its large doors into a world filled of art and culture.
Lining the entrance were stalls of assorted goods, varying from alternative jewellery to barber knives, hot chilli sauces to the soft amplifications from Cranbourne Music’sFender and Gretsch guitars, along with various merchandise stands like Killer March and Crawling Death.
Following the sound of buzzing needles around the first line of stalls lead me to find the first tattoo booth along the wall, which was Paul Rapley’s stand. Rapley was hard at work on a rib piece, and the guy receiving it made the overly asked question of “does that hurt?” sound even more rhetorical. Continue reading →
For Australia it’s certainly turned into the year for the Kyuss / QOTSA member tour! RexEverything with the Dwarves in April / May, BrantBjork also May, QOTSA just announced they’re playing Splendour at the end of July and of course MojoBurning bringing out Nick Oliveri!
As well as playing the Mojo Burning Fest in Brisbane, Oliveri has been touring and playing two sets a night. Firstly, his Death Acoustic set, a mix of covers and originals played on his acoustic yet sung like he’s on stage with a fully amplified band; and then a second electric set with a local backing band. For Melbourne it was the always impressive MyLeftBoot. Continue reading →
Crossover legends Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (D.R.I.) have a career that spans about four decades. Which for folks at home means that they starting playing music about 5 or 6 Star Wars films ago. While the band never really broke into the mainstream, they have had a strong ‘underground’ following throughout their career, and their influence has been felt all across the genres of metal, punk and hardcore. This was D.R.I’s first time in Perth and it was bound to be an interesting night.
Right before Scalphunter took to the stage I overheard a punter mention that it had been forever since they’d seen Scalphunter open for another band. But, holy fuck, do they know how to open – with an explosion of screaming and blaring guitars. Even though he barely takes a moment to breathe between each song, frontman Steve Knoth somehow manages to keep things at an insane level of intensity. Seriously, the guy has some fucking stamina. But the same could be said for any member of the band. The crowd was a little small, given how early in the night it was, but it didn’t stop Knoth from stirring up the audience, walking through the crowd and taunting them to show even just a little more energy. They played a short set compared to what fans might have been used to, but it was pitch-perfect and punk-as-fuck and a perfect way to start off a big night. Continue reading →
Comprising an ecstatic Melbournian line-up for the evening, Organ Donor kicked off the first of three massive nights in celebration of The Bendigo Hotel’s 7th Birthday Bash. The three-piece unleashed their defiant hardcore rhythms throughout the filling band room, setting the pace for the evening’s line up to follow.
Batpiss are next in line, who hit the stage with a loud presence; distorted vocals mix through their coarse layers of spiralling guitar licks and dooming drums. Bringing the boozy crowd to the front of the room are the deepening grooves of their set list that turns into rounds of applause as they slur The Bendi a happy birthday. The venue doesn’t look big enough for the amount of punters who have managed to find enough space to stand. This makes it hard to believe that it’s become big enough to provide the space for the swelling pit of jumping heads that’s on the rise, though they’re making it work as they jump wildly about throughout the Batpiss show. Continue reading →
Trembling inside the darkened walls are the rumbling amplifiers that ricochet Melbourne’s High Tension once they’ve taken to the stage. Front woman Karina Utomo growls into the heavily beaten drum patterns, sometimes bellowing high pitched screams into the mic. The guitar riffs raise tensions of their own, fiercely backed by the heavy bass lines. At times singing, but mostly screaming, the crowds conversation turns to muffled pauses of awe as Utomo owns their set, ensuring that the evenings line up is going to be memorable.
Sick Of It All bring the NYCH ruckus onto the stage with them as they power straight into their set with such high energy and intensity that the crowd takes a moment to ease into their anthems. With a bit of warning, they play “The first song we ever wrote”, ‘My Life’, and unplugged ears cop an absolute beating. Front man Lou Koller gives more of a considerate warning: “Don’t get scared, cause it ain’t pretty.” Each of them are obviously in their elements as they run an engaging muck on stage, engrossing punters into the brewing pit with ‘Black Venom’, Koller eagerly tells us to “Get down to this shit!” Continue reading →
The recent Isaiah Mitchell with Seedy Jeezus ‘Under The Influence’ Australian Tour was such a unique one that we thought we’d do a post including all the songs that they covered together, along with an incredible photo gallery from Melbourne’s Stephen Boxshall.
The idea behind the tour was to “give fans of Isaiah a chance to see him play songs that have influenced him as a musician since he first picked up a guitar at the age of 8. After performing their own set of blistering psych freakout, Seedy Jeezus will be Isaiah’s backing band as he works through songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.”
It was an incredible experience to hear so many amazing songs performed by musicians that have been impacted by them. A lot of the songs people knew, and some were new and great introductions to various legendary bands well worth checking out. Below is the complete set list from each gig that they played on the tour.
Melbourne turned on some pretty inclement weather for the trek out to Rochford Wines in The Yarra Valley for A Day On The Green. A gig I’d been looking forward to for some time. Something For Kate, You Am I, Spiderbait, Jebediah and The Meanies, taking me back to the ’90s at the mere mention of all those names… What a lineup!
The Meanies kicked off the day while the sun shone and a gentle flow of punters streamed through the gates. A nice mix of old and new tracks with Link in his usual fine form, making with the jokes and some new dance moves if I’m not mistaken. ‘There’s A Gap’ slotting into the set beautifully alongside ‘10% Weird’ and ‘Gangrenous’. A perfect start to the day is to watch the Meanies in full flight and they never disappoint. Time for another vino and a bit of a catch up with friends. Continue reading →
Welcoming a swelling sea of Sydneysiders into Luna Park’s Big Top venue are Brisbane four piece, Morning Harvey. The breezy indie rockers ease through their set with the warmth of their sounds serenading the growing crowd.
A band kept an untold secret until recently, Morning Harvey introduce their eccentric and dynamic songs to the receptive punters who become one with the blissful evening.
Though a relatively large venue, The Big Top holds some sort of intimacy within as the stage lights produce a show of their own; soon there is a brief intermission and, after queuing for too long at the bar, the anticipated act of the evening begin… Through a wall of amplified fuzz, The Dandy Warhols erupt into their opening instrumental piece.
The large sea of heads bounce in unison as The Dandys groove into their pre-emptive set, though there are a few minor technical difficulties which are casually excused. Continue reading →
The entire journey for this writer to attend this extremely exclusive show was full of pleasant surprises. Conveniently landing on a Thursday night just before an already scheduled trip to the magnificent city of Melbourne; this was the first of many instances of good fortune which thankfully continued as the event progressed. Writer Ron Carlson captured the essence of the adventure best with his quote: “Life is an aggregate of experience, which continually surprises us”.
The first enjoyable surprise came in the form of the delightfully small yet powerful woman known as Mojo Juju who amongst the hustle and bustle of a building and restless crowd made her presence known very quickly. Armed with just a guitar, different to her usual band setup with musician friends and family in tow, Ms. Ruiz de Lezuriaga silenced the audience with a transition in her voice from a sombre Julia Stone-esque fragility to a deafening superhuman bluesy wail that Chris Cornell would seek advice on how to deliver. Mojo’s songs are fortified with soul and heartfelt lyricism showcasing a maturity which musicians strive to achieve for their entire lives. This talent is amplified by her unnerving yet stunning loud-quiet combinations in her music which is seasoned with an almost indigenous effect; in short she has a poppy charm with a dangerous grunt. This was presented impeccably with her compelling rendition of Jay Hawkins’ ‘I Put A Spell On You’ which somehow shone a blinding light on a dark room and captivated the entirety of the venue. Continue reading →
Friday night in Sydney and the early signs that summer had begun to rear its hot little head had just appeared on the horizon. Warmish, a bit humid, no need for a jacket any more. I took a slow walk to the bus stop, drank a beer on the way and headed to the ‘Hag.
I arrived, grabbed a beer and hit the band room to check out Comacozer. Some hot’n’heavy, bludgeoning riffs were being marched out by the instrumental trio. Screaming guitar licks and a bass player who was doing a great trade in fuzz bass. Some seriously bone-jarring tones were being wrenched from his bass. Their psyche-doom was pretty neat, but ultimately, I think having a vocalist could have helped their cause. Continue reading →