Here’s a few of the Desert Highways team’s Top lists for 2018. Thank you all for your support again throughout 2018, it’s very much appreciated! Also a massive thanx to all of our contributors. Very proud to work with such an incredibly talented group of people!
This month there was a clash of gigs I’d applied for and my pass for Ash came through first. Leading up to it knowing all my photographer mates would be at The Wombats show I was thinking “geez have I made the right choice?” and the answer is YES. Yes I did. With bands that have been around as long as Ash there’s always some trepidation if you haven’t seen a band live before that they might not be any good live, or what if they aren’t as good as they were back in the days of Britpop, have they got old and lost their ability to hit the right notes or have any stage presence? Well they are awesome live, sound amazing and Tim Wheeler is a fantastic frontman. 18 year old me was ecstatic!! Continue reading →
Last weekend the Australian Tattoo Expo hit Perth and while I had every intention of checking out the activities over the weekend, unfortunately I ended up only going on Sunday. Shoulder injuries and camera bags don’t go so great together.
I got there in time for the Shittest Tattoo Competition which had an interesting array of tattoos including a fish that looked like it was done by a five year old and a “We didn’t come here to fuck spiders mate” tattoo, complete with a penis. I thought for sure that would be the winner but a very late entrant proved us all wrong with his polka dot g-string tattoo! Continue reading →
For the 4th Punks Against Poverty show I wanted to do something special and made it a Christmas show. I actually hate Christmas but I figure homeless people probably hate it more than me so why not try to put a happy spin on a shitty situation that’s still happening in the world.
I enlisted some of Perth’s coolest kids to pretend not to be Grinchier than me and sing Christmas songs, there was some resistance but they did it and nobody died. Grant Larseny took this one step further by actually writing a song for it! It’s a great song about Christmas in Australia and I think we can all identify with it on some level. It’s available for download on Bandcamp so definitely check it out!
New band Triggered covered Tim Minchin’s ‘White Wine In The Sun’, Incomplete covered Kevin Bloody Wilson, Joanie Get Angry sang ‘Do You Want To Build A Snowman’ and I’m gutted I missed it I really wanted to see what they did with a Disney song, Blindspot sang about 8 White Boomers and lastly Benny Mayhem sang The Pogues ‘Fairytale Of New York’. I had a playlist of random Christmas songs to play inbetween and despite not hearing half of the songs (it didn’t get paused while the bands played) The Wiggles ‘Felice Navidad’ played and I was feeling pretty proud of myself. Yes I played The Wiggles at a punk show. Continue reading →
Every time I head off to a show or a photoshoot I have this mini panic attack where I’m 100% convinced I’ve forgotten something important, only I haven’t. Tonight I spent an hour travelling to a show just to discover I left my camera battery on the kitchen counter. Of all the nights I choose tonight to screw up and I have all the regrets. ALL. THE. REGRETS. So I decided I’ve give reviewing another shot so I could feel less guilty for having a door spot. I know right, what’s wrong with me?
First up for tonight was The Shakeys. This is the third time I’ve seen them this week and in total contrast to the other nights this room didn’t have too many people there to see the opening act. This didn’t stop the band putting on one hell of a performance though. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen The Shakeys do a half-assed performance! Claire is a badass front woman and full of attitude. They started their set off with ‘Don’t Make Me Crawl’, and during their next song ‘Pink Demon’ people started getting off their seats and moving closer to the stage. They mentioned opening for Marky Ramone on Tuesday night and how he insisted they do a couple of covers. They decided they loved the songs and kept them in their set. Quite literally, it’s the same set as Tuesday night. This just made my job tonight so much easier. I can’t say that for the other bands though. During their final song ‘Drinkin Till Dawn’, they were joined on stage by members of The Beehives GoGo Dancers who danced up a storm. I’ve now decided The Shakeys need gogo dancers at every show! My opinion matters and everyone should listen to me. 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 →
There were some amazing releases that come out in 2016, and as with every year, I start out with the best of intentions keeping a list of my favourites as they hit, only to let it fall by the wayside by about March. Yeah I know, it doesn’t last long! So undoubtedly I will forgot lots of great releases from 2016. There’s been the talked about releases like Metallica’sHardwired… To Self Destruct (which for me has been quite a disappointment, some moments of clarity and power but as whole, it wasn’t the driving force I was hoping for), then there’s been some that have come out of left field that have really thrown me for six and impressed me quite a lot, like Electric MagusOlympus Noms, which is Raul Sanchez (Magic Dirt, River Of Snakes, Midnight Woolf) latest offering through Wild Animals Records. Like with John Frusciante’s solo albums, some sound quite unique and very different to his work with Red Hot Chili Peppers (which is an awesome thing these days!) yet his style and soul still comes through in various ways. Electric Magus is like this for Sanchez compared to his ‘usual’ guitar driven work. It’s totally different yet still somehow connects with me for the same reasons.
I still listen to loads of releases from all around the world, but more and more as time goes on I find myself mainly listening to local bands. Possibly for a few reasons, I like to support local muso’s and friends, it’s possible to see them more live which in turn gets us more stoked on listening back to a band later, and maybe most importantly, there are just so many fuckin incredible bands in Melbourne and throughout Australia that there’s not enough time to sometimes reach out further. Continue reading →