Items filtered by date: May 2013
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 16:46

The Vampires Tickets

Fusion dynamos The Vampires are jazzing things up in Brisbane next month.

The Sydney ensemble brings together a unique blend of jazz, old-school reggae and South American influences as well as a collection of noteworthy young musicians. The band is set to be part of a premier line-up of bands at the Brisbane International Jazz Festival when they play the Powerhouse Saturday June 1 at 2pm.

To win a double pass to the show This competition has closed.
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1. Winner will be drawn at random at 4pm Thursday 30th May at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. 
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2. Winner will be notified by e-mail. 

3. Entrants' e-mail address will not be usd for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 16:33

Martha Wainwright Tickets

The wonderfully talented Martha Wainwright is heading to Australia with her band for a national tour beginning in Brisbane this Friday.

Fresh from warmly received performances in Europe and North America, Martha will represent material from across her career to date — show stoppers from her emotionally-charged debut album to her acclaimed tribute to Edith Piaf, and to Martha’s latest LP of original material, ‘Come Home To Mama’.

To win one of two double passes to the Tivoli May 31 This competition has closed.
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Terms and Conditions:


1. Winners will be drawn at random at 3pm Thursday 30th May at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. 
[Winners have been drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. 

3. Entrants' e-mail address will not be usd for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:33

Cal Wilson: Comedy In Preview

Cal Wilson had Hollywood in her sights when comedy snuck up on her.

“I turned around and went, 'oh, I'm not an actor, I'm a stand-up comedian',” Wilson says of her surprise career. “My initial dream was to become an actor, and then I started doing improv and theatre sports, and then did some stand-up, and thought, 'oh, I quite enjoy this and I seem to be doing ok', and got more work doing that. So it wasn't really a plan, but I gave myself five years for it to work out, and that was about 15 years ago, I think. I haven't gone back waitressing yet.”

The only thing Wilson is serving up these days is fresh, snappy comedy. Best known as a Melbourne International Comedy Festival regular, she's also featured on TV favourites 'Thank God You're Here', 'Spicks and Specks', and 'SkitHouse'. At the start of June, the New Zealand native will join fellow stand-ups Dave Hughes, Colin Lane, Mikey Robins and plenty of others in 'Laugh Your Pants Off' at the Gold Coast's Jupiters Hotel & Casino.

Is there any rivalry between the headliners? “We're friends,” says Wilson. “I think maybe when you start out at the very beginning you might see people as rivals, but I know the guys really well and it's always just really nice to catch up. Because everyone's so busy, the only time you see each other is backstage.”

The comedy community is something that Wilson loves. “You catch up with the same bunch of people in all different places. We do festivals at different places round the world. You just walk into a bar that you've never been in, but you know everybody in the bar.”

It's in these offstage moments that the best — and most cringe-worthy — gig stories come out. “At the time they're just awful, but then they're hilarious when you're hearing them from someone else or you're sharing your worst,” says Wilson, whose worst begins with the line 'we were doing an improv gig in a chicken factory'.

“They just got bored halfway through us doing our set,” she says of the angry and thoroughly intoxicated crowd of workers. “And then they just threw chicken drumsticks at us until we left. So we just ran off stage being pelted with chicken drumsticks. It was definitely one of those gigs where you go, 'well, I'm having a bad time and also scared for my life'.”

Thankfully, the gig opportunities are only getting better, particularly for female comedians, says Wilson. The success of performers like Ellen Degeneres, Judith Lucy and Denise Scott has provided inspiration and paved the way for funny women like Wilson to gain prominence. “It's just a profession that traditionally women haven't had the role models to go 'oh, yep, there's lots of funny women doing it', but now I think it's really changing.  People are much more used to seeing women on stage now, so it's not a big deal anymore.

“I think it's quite a blokey environment, and I think you have to be able to be one of the boys. It's changed so much, though. When I started out, I felt [that] new comedian thing of feeling like you have to compete, but now I don't think there's that competition, and I don't think it bothers the boys either.”

The one thing competing in Wilson's life is her famous accent, which after eight years in Melbourne, still struggles between Kiwi and Australian. “I don't know what accent I have any more, because I go back home to see my parents, and they're like, 'oh, you sound so Australian', and then when I'm here people comment on my accent. I think I will probably always have it. And I know that my in-laws think it's hilarious the way my son pronounces 'bin', because when he sees a rubbish tin, he sounds like a New Zealander, like 'bun' and not 'bin'.”

According to Wilson, 'Laugh Your Pants Off' will be a veritable smorgasbord of comedy delights. “You're gonna get a wide range of people, because everyone's so different in their on-stage persona. So there's gonna be something for everyone. It's gonna be like a yum-cha of comedy, so you'll get to pick and choose which bits you want — if you don't like the chicken feet, you can have the little pork buns.”

Her final advice to anyone planning to attend the Jupiters show: “I think bring a spare pair of pants, in case you do indeed laugh the first pair off and you can't find them.”

Cal Wilson performs In 'Laugh Your Pants Off' at Jupiters Casino On June 7.

Published in Comedy
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:31

Fast Festival: Theatre In Preview

The full program for this year's Festival of Australian Student Theatre (FAST) has been announced.

The Festival, now in its fourth consecutive year, will be held at La Boite and will feature 11 shows created and performed by some of Australia's finest emerging acting talent. FAST 2013 will also hold interactive forums and workshops, as well as the 48-Hour Play Project, in which groups of artists get together to produce and perform a piece of theatre in the space of two days. Festival Director Nuala Furtado says that the aim of the festival is to give the cream of Australia's young acting crop the opportunity to meet and network with prospective future collaborators.

“The Festival of Australian Student Theatre is a wonderful opportunity for students who have recently graduated to showcase their work on a national platform alongside their peers who are also studying or have studied in a similar circumstance in the past four years. What FAST allows them to do is meet and mingle with people who are in the exact same place in their career in a semi-professional atmosphere.

“It gives them an opportunity to see the kinds of works that other universities are creating from all across Australia. In our universities we encourage students to go and see works in Brisbane, and whilst these aren't necessarily all the same or at a student level, what we are doing is putting them all together. It gives all these young professionals the opportunity to see each other, mingle and get to know each other and liaise and talk about their experiences. We hope we're providing them with the tools to enter the industry with a confident approach. We know it can sometimes be quite daunting when you graduate and you haven't necessarily been given the opportunity to present a show or present work outside of the university context.”

This year's festival will be held in the La Boite Roundhouse Theatre and the La Boite Rehearsal Room. Nuala says that this means that shows can take place in spaces appropriate to the nature of the individual performance.

“There will be a more focused live art experiential work within the La Boite Rehearsal Room and the Roundhouse will feature the bigger pieces with larger casts. In the rehearsal room we've got a number of solo shows, and the program in there is a lot more intimate than what you would get if you were to go to one of the shows at the Roundhouse.”

Nuala hopes that FAST will help to dispel any perceptions of student theatre as amateur or unprofessional, and says that audiences can expect a high level of quality from this year's performances.

“I think one of the best things about FAST is its ability to shock and push the boundaries. There are sometimes negative connotations that come with the idea of student theatre; I think people often associate it with the idea that it’s unfinished or unpolished. FAST programs some of the best works from around Australia and it's really about showcasing the best talent from several universities across Australia. People can expect to see a large variety of work and I hope that it will dismantle the idea that student theatre isn't the same standard of quality as the rest of the industry … I think that a lot of artists can trace their practice and their passion for their practice back to their university days and I think this is such a worthy venture.”

This year's Festival of Australian Student Theatre will run from May 30 to June 1. Tickets can be purchased online at laboite.com.au

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:25

Delicacy: Theatre in Preview

Lucas Stibbard ventures out of comfort zones as he brings cannibalism to the stage.

“I wouldn't go and see it to be shocked, I would go to see what the story is about. Which is, how do two people get to the point where one of them actually manages to eat the other one? It's based on the cannibal case from Germany, so it was inspired by that.”

The play is based on the real life story of 'Der Metzgermeitser', in which a man advertised online for a volunteer with whom he partook in a dinner, before he proceeded to eat his guest.

“[Julian Hobba] took that and actually started to look at what it might be like to be in the last hour with those two people and how two people could get to that point,” director Lucas Stibbard explains.

“I think thematically it's a lot about disconnection, it's a lot about two people being quite disconnected and alienated in different ways. One of them is definitely psychopathic, he is actually a sadist, and the other is definitely a sociopath.”

Different entirely from his previous success, 'Boy Girl Wall’, Lucas appreciates the opportunity to challenge himself. 

“I make comedy and audience engagement and handmade theatre, that's kind of my bag — with audience interaction. But there's not audience interaction in this one, no scratch and sniff moments or anything like that. The concept of it was intriguing for me. It’s community theatre doing what it does best, which is letting people try stuff out. I wanted to try doing something that was modern realism, something that is totally not what I do — cannibalism, and pushing the fourth wall in the traditional sense. I just wanted to have bit of a go. In the director's notes I just finished the other day, I was talking about an artist and writer I love named Paul Pope who was talking about an early work that he's done that came about from having written sci-fi most of his life and deciding he wanted to write a modern crime story because as an author he wanted to work out in another gym. It's great to try to work and see what different muscles you can actually stretch and stuff.” 

Despite the morbid nature of the story and production, Lucas explains that he and his two actors, Cameron Hurry and Gregory Scurr, have really enjoyed themselves.

“It's been a lot funnier than I thought it would be, actually. We've had a good laugh, because you've kind of got to, otherwise it's just incredibly depressing.”

Lucas Stibbard encourages his Brisbane audience to assess the show themselves; to go and see the production without being influenced by what he termed the marketing hype. “I would much rather they go in avoiding marketing hype. Go and see the show. If you think you’re going to be offended by it, then don't go. If you’re interested and open-minded, go in with an open mind, sit and watch it and take from it what you will. It's not up to me to tell you what to think. It's up to you to do what you want.”

The Brisbane Arts Theatre presents 'Delicacy' until June 15.

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:11

Live Review: Seth Sentry

Holy shit! I haven’t seen The Hi-Fi as animated as it was Saturday night (May 25) since, well... I can’t recall.

Seth-Sentry-21

And I’ve seen a fair number of shows at the West End venue. With both levels so crammed sardine juice was leaking from the walls, Seth Sentry had 1200-odd devout followers in the palm of his hand. And aside from a little shyness at the start (surely play-acting, Seth?), the Melbourne rapper — whose 2013 has included trips to South By Southwest, a live appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ and an endless run of charting singles — delivered a performance that offered more than a glimpse at what Seth can expect to be doing across the next couple of years.

Seth-Sentry-30

With a gorgeous crowd singalong of ‘The Waitress Song’ and near-chaotic scenes of rabid rans dancing during the hits ‘Dear Science’, ‘My Scene’ and ‘Float Away’ this was a performance that packed international punch, showmanship unlike any other Australian rapper I’ve witnessed for some time and a genuine warmth from Seth towards the fans, his face mirroring utter shock/ childlike wonder at the wall of faces showering him with love.

It must seem like an eon ago that we chatted backstage at Sprung Festival last year, mate — enjoy the ride that awaits you.

Seth-Sentry-24

Photos: Stephen Sloggett

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:03

P-Money: International Gratitude

It sounds like a New York block party, echoing the raw and very real sounds of the street. It’s called ‘Gratitude’, the latest album by P-Money, and the tour is storming Australian shores in June.

When it comes to production, he's the man with the midas touch. He's been doing it for years and 2013 is no exception. It might have been a three-year gap between studio albums, but New Zealand’s P-Money says he's been keeping busy in the meantime.

“I've been doing my own thing DJing and doing a bit of radio back home, I've been doing all kinds of stuff actually, but the one constant thing is always production. I also did an entire album for Aaradhna, a singer from New Zealand who's doing really well. And I also did some stuff with Sky'high, a female rapper from Sydney. I did half of her debut album and kinda helped break her into Oz.”

The release of 'Gratitude' has been a patient one, with P-Money working hard to garner support from various American artists and focus on displaying his talents to a wider audience. It's a plan he says is coming together one step at a time.

“I got stuck into making the album around September/ October last year, and that's when I kinda pieced together the idea. I had all these beats and I wanted to get all these American features on it, more so than my previous album, and push my name out there as a hip hop producer. I want to sort of introduce myself, because I've been doing it a long time but as far as the US side of things go and maybe even worldwide, I doubt many people know of my work or know who I am.”

Being somewhat of a beats maestro, P's confident his production will open the eyes of heads to the movement in his part of the world.

“I would hope that it would at least make people aware of hip hop from overseas, if they're not already. There's really quality production and quality artists from all over that can hang with the American talent. In saying that, this album doesn't have many of my Kiwi MCs on it but it's still a good way to shed some light on our scene.”

Influences come from near and far for a consumer of ’90s era hip hop. It's a time when his passion found roots, as he explains.

“I listened to everything that was out at the time, from A Tribe Called Quest to Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep and Gangstarr, and I was leaning more towards the production side of things because I always liked the people behind those projects. I guess they all have a more New York lean to it or are sort of sample-based with heavy drums — that whole sound. That's what I love and enjoy and grew up on and I think it comes through on the music that I make.”

After signing to Duck Down Records in February, P-Money is quick to express how the work he loves has been fast-tracked by his new musical family.
“What Duck Down have been able to bring to the table is amazing. They have a lot of history in the game so they have relationships with a lot of people. So working with them it granted me a bit more access to some of these artists than I would have had if I was on my own trying to contact them.”

The recording process can be a tedious one when working with so many collaborators, but it’s crucial for all parties to be involved, P says.

“One by one, we would just reach out to an artist with the track, so I'd send out the music with a rough description of what I'm going for with the song and see if they're into it. I mean these dudes get paid for their work as well, they're all professionals and have their own ideas but you make it work, and if we come to an agreement and they like the song, we just get it done.

“There's four songs that we put on my Soundcloud leading up to the album [release] – ‘Welcome To America’, ‘The Professional’ with Roc Marciano, ’The Hardest’ with M.O.P and ‘Break It Down’ with Freddie Gibbs and Fashawn. Those are all my favourite songs, that's why I released them first, to kind of put my best foot forward.”

P-Money plays Alhambra Lounge Sunday June 9. ‘Gratitude’ is out now.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:56

Strange Talk: Staying Ahead

Though they’ve received acclaim for their live performances and debut album, Strange Talk are just trying to stay ahead.

“As an artist you need to keep up with the times or even stay a little bit ahead of the times,” says lead vocalist Steve Docker. “It's cool to say it’s all already been done, but you can't say where music will be in 30 years time.

“With our album we wanted to explore what we could do on a bigger scale and push ourselves forward. Who knows, our next album could be a cafe chillout session, that's the beauty of it.”

It's safe to say the Melbourne electro-pop outfit will most likely stick to their winning formula with future material. But Steve maintains they'll always need to have an edge.

“I was watching the ‘The Voice’ a few weeks ago and you see these straight-out rock singers who just don't shine anymore. Unique, odd tones to the voice is what resonates more with people and it’s the same with production – traditional rock is very difficult to shine through everything else.

“Technology has advanced so much that you have to implement that into your music, until a time where the organic, live sound might be the next big thing – like Daft Punk.”

It might sound like Strange Talk are being too hard on themselves, but Steve insists that pressure is a no-fly zone for the band.

“We try and steer clear of anything to do with pressure – especially when it comes to writing. As soon as you get overwhelmed when writing, that's when you start getting frustrated and end up writing stuff that's no good. We come from a very popular culture background and it’s in us to naturally sway towards that pop formula which we try to stick to.”

Before heading off to the United States, the band have one last tour planned, teaming up with Brisbane's own Hey Geronimo.

“After our most recent national tour we weren't going to do another before leaving for the States. But we wanted to do something that we hadn't done before which was touring with another band. It should be interesting to see how it goes, and good practice for us.”

Strange Talk play Alhambra June 14 and Sol Bar Maroochydore June 15.

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:10

Archie Roach: Road To Recovery

Following the sudden loss of his partner of 38 years and fellow musician, Ruby Hunter, in February of 2010, things only continued downhill for beloved Aboriginal singer-songwriter, Archie Roach.

Later the same year, while teaching music lessons in an isolated place called Turkey Creek in the Kimberly, he himself suffered a stroke. He was taken by Flying Doctors to Broome then Perth and underwent extensive rehabilitation.

Just when Roach thought things couldn’t get any worse, in mid-2011 he was diagnosed with the early stages of lung cancer, which led to the removal of half of his lung. His year from hell seemed unrelenting.

“It was really bad; it was the lowest point in my life that I can remember. I’m on the road to recovery though, I’m feeling pretty good,” Roach says.
Aside from the emotional trauma, Roach faced many physical challenges that left the ARIA-award winning artist questioning whether he would ever be able to play music again.

“That was something I thought about for a long time, because after the stroke I had trouble playing. I couldn’t use my left hand or walk for a little while and so it was hard to play guitar. I had to relearn that and writing again, and after having half a lung removed I thought I might not be able to sing again,” he says.

“I’ve been playing music since I was a kid, it’s just something I got into when I was younger, but I’ve been playing music professionally as a living for well over 20 years now.”

Although the thought of retirement crossed his mind, Roach eventually picked up his guitar and penned some new songs. From one of the lowest points in his life came an unexpected high note, his latest album ‘Into The Bloodstream’. While it may be a record born out of pain, it is anything but dark. Moving away from the suffering, pain and injustice Roach has sung about throughout his long and distinguished career, he has instead created soulful songs focusing on recovery, joy and, above all, hope.

“’Into The Bloodstream’ is a collection of songs a little different than what I’ve done before, the songs are more uplifting and have a bit of a gospel and soulful feel about them,” he says.

It was in 1990 that Roach captured the hearts of Australians around the nation with ‘Charcoal Lane’, which featured the now iconic song, ‘Took The Children Away’. Many regard the musician as the voice of Aboriginal Australia and the Stolen Generation, which Roach finds somewhat daunting.
It’s fitting, however, that he, alongside The Medics and Bunna Lawrie, will open the Gallery of Modern Art’s exhibition ‘My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art From Black Australia’ in a special one-night only Up Late event.

“I love art. I love painting and all that, especially from indigenous people. I think it’s going to be great,” Roach says. “Craig Pilkington, who produced my last album and who is also my musical director, and I will be singing for about half an hour. We’ll sing a couple of old songs and some new ones off my latest album.”

Despite some of the hardest times he’s had to face over the past few years it seems that ending his music career is the furthest thing from his mind as he makes plans to continue touring the country.

“We are going wherever we can promoting my latest album. Hopefully I’ll write some more songs too and get another album happening and on the way.”

Archie Roach opens ‘My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art From Black Australia’ at the Gallery of Modern Art Saturday June 1 with a free concert from 5.30pm. The exhibition runs at GoMA until October 7; entry is free.

Published in Jazz/ Fusion
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:05

Bleeding Knees Club: GC Globetrotters

After the success of their first album, ‘Nothing To Do’, Bleeding Knees Club have gone from strength to strength.

2012 was a massive year for Bleeding Knees Club. After recording their debut album in New York and releasing it to an overwhelmingly positive reception, the two Gold Coast boys embarked on an international tour, which lead singer and guitarist Alex Wall says helped the band to hone their skills as musicians and mature as artists.

“We have gotten a lot better at our instruments and a lot better at music. 'Nothing To Do' was recorded over a year ago now and we've played a show pretty much every week since then so now we can actually play the music we want to make.

“The band has changed a heap. I started off playing drums with Jordan [Malane] on guitar and we travelled and played like that for a while and then after 'Nothing To Do' came out we changed to a three-piece with me on guitar and Jordan on bass and we had a drummer and then we got rid of that drummer and then we got another drummer but he quit. Now we've got a new drummer who is awesome so that aspect of the band has changed heaps. I guess when we started we were all down for partying, and we still are, but it got old after partying every night for three years. Now we're just hanging out and having fun.”

Their latest single 'Feel' is an earnest and relatable account of a breakup, and the accompanying video is replete with adorable puppy dogs that double as a metaphor for unhappy couples.

“I was in a relationship and my girlfriend was always telling me how to do things and what to do and it was really frustrating me. And then I didn't really want to be in the relationship but it was too hard to get out of it and then it eventually ended and I wanted to be back in the relationship because I felt bad.

“The video is as if I am the dog and the owner is the girlfriend and I'm just on a lead getting told what to do. If I didn't have my owner I'd probably die because I wouldn't be able to get food because I'm a dog.”

Bleeding Knees Club play Alhambra Lounge Thursday June 6.

Published in Rock
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