For the past nineteen years Cherry Bar has been a huge part of not only my personal rock’n’roll life, but also of Melbourne’s. Any visitors who come to Melbourne who like live music, the one answer you give them is simply Cherry Bar.
What made this simple hole in the wall bar such a special place for music lovers, this can’t be told in one sentence, because it means so much to different people for many different reasons. For aspiring bands, it was a place to cut your teeth and get a chance to play on a legendary stage, it was intimate. There was no barrier between the bands and the stage, and it wouldn’t take much to fill. For touring musicians, it would be a place to kick back after a gig and maybe jump on the decks and turn the crowd on. Continue reading →
The almighty Beastwars made their return to the stage after lead singer Matt Hyde fought cancer. The electric energy in the air was palpable, the crowd and the band were salivating. Honeybone, Holy Serpent and Child all played face melting sets, Holy Serpent especially tore the flesh slowly from all that witnessed. I hadn’t seen them in quite a while so it was great to be pulled into the vortex of sludge and doom once more. Their sound crawls under your skin like a flesh eating virus, first my fingernails started to shiver and then I could feel the bass riff in my teeth, at the end of the set I was vibrating. Continue reading →
When German long-haired fuzz rockers Kadavar last toured Australia, it was in 2013 as part of what turned into being a massive double header with Sweden’s Blues Pills. The buzz for both bands even before they hit was already huge and then as soon as they left, Australia was already eagerly awaiting their return. In Melbourne we were lucky enough to see them perform four shows over as many days and people are still talking about. Fast forward to 2016 and Australia is once again blessed to see Kadavar on our shores.
Cross Town Traffic wasn’t playing on the car stereo on Saturday night but was in my head as I stumbled haphazardly through side streets trying to evade capture on the main roads in an unexpected Saturday evening gridlock. Although it didn’t swallow me whole, it did unfortunately mean that I missed seeing Elbrus opening up the night at The Corner Hotel. Continue reading →
On the morning of festivals Melbourne often likes to act all dramatic. Early on Sunday it was cold, wet and overcast and looking like this years Cherry Rock was going to be a soggy mess. To be honest the only difference it made to my attire for the day was to throw a couple of sealable lunch bags into my pocket to save my phones life in the event of a flood. Nothing though was going to stop the punters this year with international headliners Red Fang (US), The Shrine (US) and Beastwars (NZ) as well as a strong local contingent featuring Warped, Child, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Horsehunter, My Left Boot, Clowns, The Ugly Kings, Dr Colossus, and interstaters HITS (Brisbane) and Los Hombres Del Diablo (Sydney).
The rain had already subsided as punters started to roll up at midday. The dual-stage fest kicked off with Dr Colossus on the AC/DC Lane stage and sounded incredible. It was such a great mix for the two-piece whose style of rockin doom only includes lyrics about The Simpsons. Perfect. Singer / guitarist Dr. Jon’s vocals were up higher than I’ve previously heard in the mix and shot out and up the lane way giving their sound extra depth and strength. Best I’ve heard them.
Melbourne stoner blues rockers Child have been blowing minds for some time and it’s so awesome to finally see them with their name on vinyl. Blending stoner, rock and soulful blues the bleeds from the heart, Child’s music is made to be heard on vinyl.
They’ve just kicked off their launch tour with a gig at The Tote Hotel in Melbourne with Holy Serpent and Grim Rhythm, check out the photo gallery from Sally Townsend Photography below.
Child are playing the Crowbar with the recently signed to Desert Highways stoner groovers, Hobo Magic, as well Frown and Black Deity; and Hermann’s Bar in Sydney with Los Hombres Del Diablo, Witchskull and The Neptune Power Federation. Check the poster for dates or Facebook event for more info.
Performing the entire ‘Black Sabbath’ debut album live on its precise 45th anniversary, and appropriately on Friday the 13th, was a collaboration of some of Melbourne’s most respected original heavy rock exponents, brought together for the first time to form a local super group, going by the name The Wizards.
With lead vocals from both Matt ‘Chappy’ Chapman (My Left Boot) and Jake Haugis (Dead City Ruins). Guitar duties were shared by Neil Wilkinson (Redcoats) and Daniel Firth (My Left Boot), bass Jim Coelli (Sheriff and A Gazillion Angry Mexicans) and on drums was Liam ‘Cuff Norris’ Cuffley (Matt Sonic & The High Times, Grindhouse and My Left Boot.)
If the name of Melbourne blues rock trio Child were to be taken literally, then surely its parents would be Jimi Hendrix and Tony Iommi.
The band’s self titled debut is a gripping display of fuzzed out, blues inspired heavy rock at its finest and drips with raw human emotion. Guitarist / singer Mathias Northway channels B.B. King on the albums opening track Trees with the timeless refrain “Every day I have the blues”. Impressive Hendrix-esque solos are complimented by classic, sombre vocal melodies made powerful by poignant, whiskey soaked whiteboy blues wailings.
There are so many amazing bands out there that sometimes the ones we should be obsessing over just fall through the cracks. For me, Torche was one of those bands. After only previously hearing a very small portion of their catalogue and about them from some of those around Melbourne, it was evident the gig was definitely one to attend. Plus the local contingent was a solid reinforcement.
First up were DEAD who I could review without even needing to be there. They’re a favourite Melbourne staple and I’ve caught them loads of times, but I’ve also never seen them play a bad set. Although one thing that does change is just how kick arse they are. The guys keep building on the strong foundation of what they’ve always had and are going from strength to strength, which is great to see. For a two piece that play as one though sound like 10, they have become even tighter and more powerful and with Dav Byrne mixing, these guys were even way more massive than usual. Continue reading →
Doomsday promised an impeccable night, boasting a killer line up and pulling out all the stops to give Melbourne’s community of doom and sludge enthusiasts a night of pure bliss. It showcased some of Melbourne’s best local talent, teamed with international heavy weight headliners Windhand and Beastwars. The spirit was high and the excitement grew over the course of the evening, especially in regards to this being Windhand’s first tour of Australia. There was no doubt this five piece from Richmond, Virginia had struck a chord in the hearts of Melbournians with their fusion of metal and psychedelic rock.
Motherslug opened the evening and set the tone of what was to come. Shrouded in green light, their set was incredibly atmospheric and stoked the fires of early punters. Horsehunter followed, taking the stakes even higher with their thunderous, fortifying sound, rich with melodic constructs and progressions. They seem so beyond their years. DEAD were another band that blew me way. Having been my first time witnessing this band, I hadn’t seen such ferocity from a two piece since San Franciscan sludge / doom outfit Black Cobra. They proved themselves to be just as intense as those that preceded them, proving that a band doesn’t need an epic set up and an army of members to conjure and project a sound with such force. Continue reading →