Why are all the good bands touring in May? When June comes around I’ll be stuck seeing Elvis impersonators and shitty hardcore bands.
Seriously though, on record at least, Cloud Control are awesome. They have generated quite a bit of hype latley after supporting bands like Yves Klein Blue and Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros and will be relasing their debut album Bliss Release on the 14th of May.
They will be embarking on a national headline tour in May. The Dates are:
Thursday 13th May – The Harp, Wollongong
Friday 14th May – Oxford Art Factory – Sydney
Saturday 15th May – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Friday 21st May – Republic Bar, Hobart
Saturday 22nd May – East Brunswick, Melbourne
Sunday 23rd May – East Brunswick, Melbourne
Thursday 27th May – Prince Of Wales, Bunbury
Friday 28th May – MOJO’s, Freemantle
Saturday 29th May – Amplifier Hotel, Perth
Wednesday 2nd June – Beach Road Hotel, Sydney ( Free )
Friday 4th June – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba
Saturday 5th June – Transit Bar, Canberra
Tuesday 11th June – Great Northern, Byron Bay
Wednesday 12th June – The Zoo, Brisbane
Saturday 19th June – Jive Bar, Adelaide
A new haircut, a new band, a new sound. On his fifth album April Uprising it feels like John Butler is looking for a fresh start. Joined by Nicky Bomba, a prominent member of Australia’s roots scene, on percussion and Byron Luthiers on bass there is a marked difference between the sound of Grand National and April Uprising. That’s not to say that there aren’t elements of his old sound there, because there certainly are, but it is also the closest thing to a rock album he has ever released
Like most of John Butler’s work, this album is highly political which can be heard right from catchy album opener Revolution. He seems to have taken a more subtle approach to his usually literal lyrics, which works in his favour. This is most noticeable on Johnny’s Gone a track about our former prime minister.
While many will be critical of the move into a more commercial sound, April Uprising contains some great radio friendly tracks. One Way Road has been played all over commercial radio and television commercials in the last few months and it’s easy to see why. Mixing his trademark roots with a rockier sound is a winning formula and it is by far the best track on the album. Don’t Wanna See Your Face is a heavier funk track and sounds like nothing else he’s released. C’mon Now could almost be a punk anthem if it wasn’t for the 12 string guitar and Butler’s vocals.
There are signs of his old sound on Ragged Mile and A Star is Born but it isn’t quite the same without the previous trio. Byron Luthiers’s use of electric bass instead of double bass gives the tracks more of a punch but lacks the subtley and warmth of Shannon Birchall’s work. Nicky Bomba’s percussion is not as intricate as Michael Barker’s but does its job well, even providing more of a rock edge.
While the 15 tracks are great for die-hard fans, for the casual listener it can feel like the album drags on and is too heavy going in places. That said, April Uprising contains some of the band’s catchiest work and whether or not you enjoy this album really depends on how much of a John Butler Trio fan you are.
The Temper Trap will be touring part of Australia in July. After relocating to Europe, releasing their great debut album Conditions and impressing crowds at mjaot festivals, there is no doubt that they would be great to see live. There is just one little problem I have with this tour: the price.
I may be a broke student, but music is something I refuse to skimp on. I can’t walk past Polyester Records without buying anything and I will go to pretty much any gig that I can get into. Where I draw the line however is paying $60 to see an Australian band with only one album. I understand that booking a venue like Festival Hall(even if it is a shit box) costs more than a small pub, but seriously, it costs almost the same amount to see an international band like Vampire Weekend.
For those of you who are happy to fork out, the dates are:
Thursday 22 July – Metro City, Perth
Saturday 24 July – Festival Hall, Melbourne
Tuesday 27 July – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Sunday 01 August – Powerstation, Auckland
Oh Hi We Didn’t See You There We’re…The Honey Pies might be a mouthful but it one of the best demos I have heard in a long, long time. The Honeypies a relatively new Adelaide band whose influences range from 60’s garage to 90’s grunge and even modern day indie. With members from other popular Adelaide band they create catchy guitar pop.
Sex Wax kicks things off with surf guitars and a catchy garage beat. It is the most 60’s sounding track on the demo and it you aren’t dancing, or at least tapping your toes by the song’s end, there is clearly something wrong with you.
Fool in Love on the other hand is the kind of jangly indie-pop that Triple J are all over at the moment. The memorable guitar riff and vocals work well together and the soaring chorus is extremely catchy and could give most of today’s big indie bands a run for their money.
Too Cool For School is the least notable song on the demo. While it isn’t bad by any means, its 90’s influences veer too far into bad high school band territory for my liking. After hearing what their capable of on the previous tracks, it falls a little bit flat.
They do redeem themselves with Sold My Soul an old-style acoustic folk tune and excellent use of harmonies. They slower pace is a perfect way to finish off the demo and shows just what the band are capable of.
Oh Hi We Didn’t See You There We’re..The Honey Pies is a great demo however at times it feels like the band are trying to experiment with as many styles as possible and haven’t really developed their own sound. But with an album due out next year and some more touring, these guys could do very great things.
The Honey Pies- Sex Wax.mp3
The cooling system at Gertrude’s Brown Couch is known for being a bit crap and tonight it certainly lived up to its reputation. Most the diverse crowd were seated on the floor and tried to keep cool by making make-shift fans from showbags and albums from the merch stand. Luckily the live music on offer was well worth venturing into the heat.
Yelka is one of my favourite local singer-songwriters and she certainly didn’t disappoint. Joined on stage by Georgia Fields on ukulele and back-up vocals and Joel Williams on Keyboard she performed a great set. One of the great things about Yelka is that her songs can be both funny and touching at the same time. A large portion of the songs in her set were dedicated to mean boys (let’s face it, we all know a couple) as well as more unexpected subjects such as Joel getting parking fines on Ticket to Park and the old people in who live in the nursing home where her dad works. Her cover of Beyonce’s Crazy In Love was the highlight of the set with Georgia Field’s harmonies working perfectly with her excellent vocals.
As great as Yelka’s set was, tonight was all about Mezz Coleman. Joined on stage by what appeared to be half her family and a bunch of friends to launch her fantastic debut album Parts of You, Parts of Me, it felt like you were witnessing a really awesome family gathering. Bridging the gap between jazz and pop she delivered brilliant set that was entertaining and at times moving. Beginning with album opener Personal(complete with a string section comprised of co-workers) it instantly becomes clear just how powerful Mezz’s voice really is. The songs on the album really come alive in the live setting, especially the sorrowful Sorry, Sorry and the jazzy Don’t Touch Me. She dedicated the infectious Found in Family to the Footscray crew and it was one of the most upbeat moments of the set. Yelka and Georgia Fields were invited onstage to perform a three-part harmony version of Don’t Leave Nobody But The Baby from the film O Brother Where Art Thou? The singers’ vocals worked wonderfully together and it was one of the set’s highlights. The best track of the night however was the album’s first single and set closer Circus. Inviting everyone who had played on the night back onstage, it really was a grande finale. The combination of horns, strings, backing vocals, the band and Mezz’s powerful voice was amazing and well worth braving the heat to see. As soon as she finished playing, the chants for an encore began and she closed the night with a soulful cover of The Beatles classic Oh Darling, leaving the crowd desperate for more.
I have really been neglecting this blog latley. It’s something I told myself I would never do, and in between studying, stressing out and numerous internet problems, I did.
After having a studying induced mental breakdown last night, I’ve decided that it just isn’t worth it and will try and devote as much time as possible to blogging. Expect many reviews and mental breakdowns.
Also, i’m fiddling around with new headers. Any feedback would be awesome.
Very few bands can get away with writing a party song about not wanting to party, but Philadelphia Grand Jury aren’t just any band. Which is probably why they’ve been signed to London based label ‘Too Pure’ and are indefinatly relocating to the UK.
I must admit I’m unhappy about this, especially since I’m yet to see them live. But those of you who are overage can catch them on the I Don ‘t Want To Party(Party) headline tour around Australia. This will be their last Australian shows in the foreseeable future, so make sure you come along.
02.04 Sussex Inlet RSL, Sussex Inlet
03.04 Club Sapphire, Merimbula
04.04 Tathra Hotel, Tathra
09.04 Karova Lounge, Ballarat
10.04 East Brunswick Club, Melbourne
11.04 East Brunswick Club, Melbourne
15.04 Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
16.04 Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
17.04 The Zoo, Brisbane
22.04 Jive Bar, Adelaide
23.04 Jive Bar, Adelaide
24.04 Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Philadelphia Grand Jury- I Don’t Want To Party (Party).mp3
I’m going on school camp tomorrow. It involves hiking, drop toilets and tents. I am going to die.
Anyway, before I get attacked by drop bears and the smell of unshowered teenage boys, I thought I’d share a few covers with you.
Before they released The Stand- Ins Okkervil River asked other bands to cover songs from the album and post them on youtube. One of my favourite coveres from this project is Bon Iver’s cover of Blue Tulip. There is less emphisis placed on the lyrics than in the orginal, but with Justin Vernon’s falestto it’s hardly a problem. Seriously though, he could record and Canibal Courpse cover and make it sound like the prettiest thing in the world.
Bon Iver- Blue Tulip.mp3
I have an almost endless supply of Magnetic Fields covers and I thought I’d post another one. In year 10 Neon Bible by the Arcade Fire was my favourite album. I was given a burnt copy by a friend and, along with The Shins, they introduced me to the wonderful world of indie music. They did a cover of Born on a Train a couple of years ago, and it isn’t bad, although Win Butler’s voice doesn’t\sound it’s best. If you’re a fan of either band it is worth a listen.
I have to post the video because my internet is having a hissy fit.