Wednesday, 30 October 2013 16:50

Horrorshow Tickets

“‘King Amongst Many' is the most forward thinking album that we’ve done,” says Solo, one-half of Horrorshow with Adit.

“At least lyrically, I’ve come to a point where, having dealt with the introspective — the teenage years, the puberty and so on — I’ve now broadened my focus and interest and that’s been the focus on this new album.”

Horrorshow will road test ‘King Amongst Many' when they land The Zoo Friday November 1, and Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel Sunday November 3.

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Published in Competition
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:30

Horrorshow: All Hail The Kings

There’s no doubt that any label boss is taking a rather large punt when they back a new artist.

Yet when Urthboy decided that Horrorshow ought to be signed to his Elefant Traks imprint, his risk was very well calculated.

Sitting back some years later after seeing 'The Grey Space' and 'Inside Story' albums hit the big time, he can rest assured that LP number three, 'King Amongst Many', is doing even bigger and better things. It's a milestone in the group’s career that Nick Bryant-Smith — aka Solo, who teams with Adit to form Horrorshow — has been working towards for as long as he can remember.

“I always loved music from a really early age,” he says. “I was in rock bands, jazz bands, playing the drums and things. I liked to sing as a kid and when I was about 13 years old and started high school, I got introduced into hip hop around year 7 and year 8.”

Taleb Kweli and Common were the flavours of the moment, but it was really when Bryant-Smith heard '1979' by Adelaide’s Hilltop Hoods that the die was cast.

“Right then, I realised that there was this whole local scene and identity in Australia that I didn’t know existed; I was hooked from that moment and fully immersed myself in the culture.

“I went to the record stores and bought all the latest music that was coming out; at the same time, Adit, who was in my year at high school — as well as some mates of mine – worked and backed each other and collaborated on some music and we sort of started to find our way.”

Fast forward a few years and the lads are flying high after performing a swag of dates around the country to launch the new album.

“'King Amongst Many' is the most forward thinking album that we’ve done,” Bryant-Smith suggests. “At least lyrically, I’ve come to a point where, having dealt with the introspective — the teenage years, the puberty and so on — I’ve now broadened my focus and interest and that’s been the focus on this new album.”

Admitting that he's always been into history, Bryant-Smith sees the LP as an opportunity to carry on a tradition.

“You’re a small part of a bigger thing,” he says. “We’re about gaining the respect of other hip hop heads and knowing where we sit amongst the world around us — as well as communicating all of that to your audience. The whole album fits into an ideology of tradition and freshness and originality.”

Unsurprisingly, the media has already welcomed their new material with open arms; punters have voted with their feet by quickly selling out shows in Melbourne and Sydney. Expect the Queensland gig — coming towards the end of the tour — to be the most hyped. The lads have had the chance to refine their performances and will want to go out with a bang.

“We’ve flipped things up a little bit for these sets,” explains Bryant-Smith. “We’ve played a lot of live shows in recent times; we’ve really cut our teeth on the live show format and with that we wanted to kick things up a notch and give people a new experience musically.”

So with Adit making a special effort with a whole swag of on-stage gear (yes, more than a set of turntables), expect transitions and live experiences not ordinarily associated with hip hop.

“We’re looking to really inject new life into this set,” explains Bryant-Smith. “Largely with a whole lot of new stuff, but also a few old favorites for our fans.”

'King Amonst Many' is out now. Horrorshow play The Zoo Friday November 1, SolBar Saturday November 2 and Byron Bay's Beach Hotel Sunday November 3.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:57

Sprung Festival 2013: Live Review

As the sun’s rays shone down from above, Brisbane’s Aussie hip hop massive descended on Victoria Park for the third incarnation of Sprung.

Arriving just in time for Melbourne’s Brad Strut I notice a crowd of hundreds gathered early, lapping up his every word while he fought the direct sunlight in his eyes. Rumours of Trem being there to take the stage for a Lyrical Commission reunion were proven unfounded but that didn’t stop the man they call Strutter putting in a heavy performance.

Thundamentals took to the second stage just as Horrorshow were finishing up on the main stage and were lucky enough to get a strong crowd for the majority of their set.

The Sydneysiders have carved out a nice little place for themselves, and from their relaxed but entertaining set it’s easy to see why. Playing tracks from both their albums as well as new single ‘Smiles Don’t Lie’ MCs Tuka and Jewson had the crowd flowing.

By this point the the sun had well and truly set and temperatures were quickly dropping. The punters enthusiasm was not dampened, though, with the appearance of Urthboy.

Fighting to keep his crowd against the popular Seth Sentry on the main stage, Urthboy pulled out all the stops for a highly entertaining and energetic show featuring lots of banter with the crowd and special guest Jane Tyrell, who arrived on stage during the second song to loud cheers from all over. Midway through, the set took an unexpected but special turn when Urthboy invited a friend out of the crowd, who took the mic and got down on one knee to propose to her boyfriend (he accepted)!

A small but enthusiastic crowd remained on the second stage in anticipation of Crate Cartel and were not disappointed as Maundz & Co proceeded to tear it up. The crowd increased dramatically during their show which only pumped them up even more, delivering probably the most intense set of the day. If the confidence and skill on display were any indication these guys won’t be on the second stages for much longer.

Lazy Grey and Jake Biz are Brisbane legends and the 750 Rebels put in another classic show that will only add to their reputation. Backed by DJ Lopsided they ran through tracks from both their careers with Lazy’s ‘That’s What Rap Is About’ and Jake’s vicious ‘Commercial Hell’ being standouts. Midway through the set they were joined by a pumped up Kings Konekted to the delight of the crowd who raised the bar with a stellar guest spot and opened the way for Jake to announce a new album from him and Lazy Grey called ‘Cold Heat’.

Some of the crowd made their way around to catch the end of a triumphant 360 who was headlining the main stage to a packed-out crowd hanging on his every word. Hip hop in Australia is showing no sign of slowing down.

Visit Scenestr for all the photos from the day!

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:32

Horrorshow: Chart Toppers

Soaring at second spot on the ARIA Albums Chart, Sydney hip hop duo Horrorshow’s new record tells of the darkness rooted in our history. 

The combined project of lyricist Solo and music producer Adit, the duo have finally, after a four year gap, released their third album 'King Amongst Many'; it’s no wonder it was devoured by fans, hungry for some bold new creations. Industry commentary has also propelled Horrorshow to kingly status.

Solo's lyrics are starkly honest and Adit's diversion from traditional tones gives the album a cutting edge. But if there's one thing that centres the pair, it's their understanding of the craft.

“Hip hop touches on a variety of moods and this record is definitely something on the darker side of that spectrum,” Solo says. “But it's really just me, identifying topics that I think are important and that deserve to be spoken and thought about a bit more.”   

Despite the early success of their latest record, the duo retain a large slice of humility.

“It's just a claim,” Solo says about the assertion that  'King Amongst Many' is one of the best rap albums to come out of Australia. “As an artist – as the guys who made the thing in question – we take claims like that with a grain of salt. But we've worked really, really hard with this record and we've tried to push ourselves to take it to places and sounds outside our comfort zone. I hope, in the process, we've made a record that pushes the envelope a bit.”

A careful carver of songs, Solo organises concepts into lyrics and develops them as photographers once developed film in darkrooms. For this latest album, he drew inspiration from the social oppressions swept into the nooks of Australian history.

“A large part of our country is very well-off and comfortable. But some of the things that have happened in order for us to be in this situation – and indeed some of the things that are still going on – show darker sides to the comfortable living most of us enjoy.

“One thing I wanted to do with the record was to encourage people to reflect on that. But not just the dark side. Being so young, [Australia] has the opportunity to set itself on the path we want to go down.”

Horrorshow play Sprung Festival  September 21. ‘King Amongst Many’ is out now.

Published in Urban
Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00

Sprung Festival Tickets

In 2013 Sprung Festival returns to Brisbane for a third straight year; and with it a line-up boasting some of the country’s hottest hip hop acts at the moment.

Topping the bill are 360, Drapht and Seth Sentry while other interstaters include: Funkoars, Urthboy, Horrowshow, Thundamentals, Brad Strut, All Day, Purpose and Dialectrix.

The local scene is fronted by Lazy Grey, Jake Biz and DJ Dcide plus Mr Hill & Rahjconkas and Chelsea Jane.

To win a double pass to the Saturday September 21 event at Victoria Park This competition has closed
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Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 12pm Thursday 18th July at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winner drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail.
3. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Friday, 17 August 2012 10:46

Horrorshow: Storytellers

Horrorshow’s Nick Bryant-Smith may possibly be the most down-to-earth hip hop MC you’ll meet.

Behind the veil of MC Solo is a hard-working, gutsy guy who turned a high school hobby into one of the country’s most promising hip hop duos.

With best mate and producer Adit Gauchan beside him, Bryant-Smith’s humble bedroom project began as an outlet for his pent-up teenage angst. Now, Horrorshow are plying their hip hop beats to crowds across the country, with a loyal following in tow.

“I’ve always appreciated stories and books that could convey a bigger message than just the story itself,” Bryant-Smith says. “A lot of that has kind of rubbed off in what I do with my lyrics and I definitely think that’s a big part of what drew me to hip hop in the first place.”

The dynamic Sydney duo burst onto the scene in 2008 with ‘The Grey Space’, a debut record that Bryant-Smith describes as “lyrically indulgent”. “People didn't even really know that I rapped,” he reveals openly, “so the first record is almost like a diary in a way because it wasn't written with anybody else in mind other than what I wanted to get off my chest at the time.

“As we've grown as a band and now have an audience around the country — and even overseas — you start to be aware of that and think of ways you can approach writing songs that are going to connect with the audience.”

With album number three in the works, Horrorshow are feeling the pressure from their expanding fanbase to deliver more signature beats. But as Bryant-Smith reveals, it’s all about timing.

“It’s been two and a half years since our last record and I just want to make sure whatever we come back with is absolutely the best thing that we could have produced.”

A recent European tour support slot with the Hilltop Hoods opened Bryant-Smith’s eyes to power of Australian hip hop on a global scale. “We played a show in Amsterdam and I met people along the way who had caught an eight-hour bus from Warsaw in Poland just to come to a gig. These people could barely speak English but they love Australian hip hop.

“The amount of attention and support that artists like the Hilltop Hoods and Drapht have been getting I think really testifies to just how strong the support base is there amongst those kids. It’s a funny thought to think of little old Aussie hip hop sticking it to the masses overseas, but I really think that it’s on its way to happening.”

Horrorshow play The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent at Brisbane Festival Tuesday September 11. brisbanefestival.com.au
Published in Urban
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:39

Brisbane Festival 2012 Unveiled

The Brisbane Festival (September 8-29) has unveiled its 2012 music and entertainment line-up with Julia Stone, Lanie Lane, Nada Surf, Horrorshow, Jonathan Wilson and Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks fronting the The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent.

Other highlights include: Circa will premiere its new production S; laser light show Santos GLNG City of Lights and pyrotechnic extravaganza as Sunsuper Riverfire; the experimental and cross-genre artistic works with Brisbane Festival’s Under the Radar program; La Boite Theatre Company’s brand new production Tender Napalm and Paul Capsis’ moving one-man play Angela’s Kitchen; plus much, much more.

Click here for a full rundown of events.
Published in Events Music

Good Charlotte will headline this year’s V8 Supercars ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600.

The Madden brothers — Benji and Joel — will be joined by iconic rockers The Living End, Oz hip hop’s ‘it’ act 360 as well as Boys Like You, Horrorshow, Urthboy, Sietta, Purple Sneaker DJs and The Faders.

There will be concerts on Friday and Saturday nights at the Broadwater Parklands.

The V8 Supercars ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 takes place October 19-21.

Published in Events Music
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 13:33

Horrorshow Interview

From Strength To Strength

Horrorshow are a group that is, by now, very much ingrained within the consciousness of hip hop fans around the country.

Solo and Adit’s array of achievements following the release of their critically-acclaimed second album, ‘Inside Story’, is impressive. The latest entails an extended European sojourn on which they played a number of shows alongside Hilltop Hoods and Urthboy.

Solo describes the experience in a little more detail. “Europe was amazing man. We spent about six weeks in various countries, holidaying as much as we could and enjoying the European summer as well as doing some music grindin'. We played a show in London with The Hoods. Obviously as kids that have grown up on Aussie hip hop, playing with The Hoods is a massive deal to us. The show we played with them will go down in my memory as one of the best gigs we've ever done. And for them to get me up on stage to kick a verse with them during their set was obviously a very big moment for me personally. Urthboy and Hermitude were playing in London on the same night and they sold their show out too so needless to say we were all in very high spirits at the after party.”

Solo also got the opportunity to open for another of his musical favourites in Brother Ali as Urthboy was supporting the Rhymesayers MC for his Munich show. Solo explains how the vibe during their set was redolent of earlier times.

“The gig in Munich was kind of on the other end of the scale. We did a 20 minute set at the beginning of the night to like 20 or 25 people ... on some real old school shit, how our sets used to be here in Australia a couple of years ago when we were opening for people and peeps had no idea who the fuck we were. But I really enjoyed that feeling again, that challenge of having to win over a new crowd of strangers and introduce them to our music.”

Recently, Solo and Adit also played a set at Splendour In The Grass after having touched down in the country the same day. Fans of the duo will have the opportunity to catch their well-travelled live set when they embark on their ‘Walk You Home’ tour later this month.

Horrorshow play The Zoo August 28 supported by Seth Sentry.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 03 March 2010 09:49

Horrorshow Interview

 

Strength to strength

“This year I’m definitely keen to try and hook up with some different people around the country who have been doing their thing,” says Solo describing his musical perspective going forward into the new decade.

Sydney duo Horrorshow have just kicked off their national tour with a sold out show in their hometown of Sydney. The response has been so great, a second show has been announced. It’s been a whirlwind journey for Adit and Solo, only having completed high school a little over four years ago. Solo, Nick Bryant-Smith to the government, describes what the past few weeks have entailed.

“I’ve just been getting stuff happening for the tour like organising local support acts.”

Accompanying Horrorshow on the ‘Inside Story’ tour will be their 1dayer crewmates Spit Syndicate. Bryant-Smith tells how it is truly the cherry on the cake to travel Australia and play shows with close mates. “I’m stoked. The thought of the hard work me, Adit and the boys have put in over the past couple of years ... I think of this as the reward for that. Other kinds of rewards like the financial side aren’t that huge but the thought that because of that, me and four of my best mates get to travel around the country for a month straight doing what we love puts a smile on my face.”

When quizzed about any places in particular that he looks forward to playing, Bryant-Smith muses about the times to come. “There are certain cities where we have been lucky enough to link up with cool local people so it’s always good to go back and visit your friends. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Adelaide because it’s always an interesting challenge playing there. They’re a crowd that’s very passionate about their hip hop and the way it should be done.”

The spirit of networking whilst on the road is something Bryant-Smith really enjoys about touring a live show. The young MC describes the virtues of the process. “You got to have your fam in the places you go. They show you the good spots to eat and assist with various other services that all make a difference between passing your time in a place and really being able to enjoy it. It makes you less of a tourist. I think that’s important in thinking about how you’re going to relate to the crowd.”

Linking with interstate people also has practical benefits in terms of musical collaboration. Bryant-Smith elucidates on the situation as it stands in 2010. “I love making music with Adit and he loves making music with me but it’s also really good for the both of us to work with other people because we haven’t done heaps of that. He’s having a much more hands-on role with the new Spit Syndicate album and there’s a few producers around I’m definitely keen to work on some tracks with.”

The profile Horrorshow now possess is a characteristic producing untold profits. Bryant-Smith recently contributed a track to the new M-Phazes album just released last Friday. “Phazes called me up and sent me a couple of beats and I only had about a couple of weeks to write the song, he really cracked the whip. But I really wanted to get on the album because he’s a very talented guy and has made a lot of awesome shit. Other than that, I’m slowing trying to get something happening with the Hermitude boys as well.”

Bryant-Smith is already looking ahead to the subsequent Horrorshow album and it’s clear that the principle of collaboration is seeping through his attitudes. Other than crew members, Horrorshow haven’t previously been prolific in terms of getting MCs to feature on their tracks. “I would love to get on that collaboration tip more with the next album, in the traditional hip hop sense of getting some guest rappers on there because we haven’t done much of that other than the boys. Over the past couple of years with touring, we’ve met lots of people along the way and now I have a bit of a secret wish list of people it would be good to work with.”

Horrorshow play Step Inn March 12, Sands Tavern March 13  and The Great Northern March 14

Published in Urban

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