Items filtered by date: December 2013
Thursday, 05 December 2013 18:36

Stanton Warriors: Time To Get Up

Whether it’s through crossover cuts like ‘Get Up’ and the new single ‘Cut Me Up’, remixes for the likes of M.I.A. and Daft Punk or their lauded Stanton Sessions mixes, the UK bass duo know how to keep bodies moving.  

Australia bound over the festive season, Mark Yardley/ Dominic Butler sat down with Scene to spread some pre-Christmas cheer.  

You’ve been pigeonholed as a breaks outfit since the beginning, unfairly I think, because your sound is much more than that, right? We actually came out of the UK garage scene in the late ‘90s and started making our beats in a certain way. Different scenes were playing our tracks from breaks DJs to house DJs through to 2 step DJs. We never really declared what our genre was, preferring to let the music do the talking. Even now we aren't sure what it is nor do we care as long as people keep dancing and enjoying what we do!

Do you think the success of tunes like ‘Get Up’ changed people’s perceptions of you and what you’re capable of? I think it showed how a relatively underground tune can have commercial success as well. We have never aimed for the charts etc and have only made tracks that we actually like. So to have a track get play listed and played all over the place definitely brings more people into our sound.

Congratulations on the success of ‘Cut Me Up’; what kind of feeling were you trying to create with it? We made the track primarily to play out with without even thinking about how it would do. Them & Us — who feature on the track — are Ami Carmine who sang with Basement Jaxx and Killa Kela who's the original king of the beatboxers. They are a couple who live at the end of my street; we had a few beers and knocked the track out! The reaction’s been amazing! 

Tell me about the new album? What direction are you taking? Lots of fresh beat directions, great songs and heavy sonics. There has been lots of interesting music coming out of late from the UK bass scene through to the San Fran Dirty Bird sound, which arguably fits into what we do. So we have taken lots of influences from that but added our own Stanton imprint. We feel its our most exciting music yet. It’s gonna drop early next year.

Think back to your early productions like ‘Right Here’; aside from the obvious digital advances, how has your approach to producing changed over the years? Well, we still like to go against the grain. We have never jumped on the latest trend and always made music that we actually want to hear. To us a good beat will always be a good beat and likewise for basslines, vocals etc. We will throw literally anything into mix on top of this to get the desired results. I think this approach has helped us sustain longevity. 

You’ve both very active on Twitter and Facebook; do you think being accessible to fans etc. is a non-negotiable these days? The vast majority of DJs pay someone to do their social media. We do our own 100 percent, which we feel is important. We are Stanton Warriors, no one else. Facebook especially is our window to the world and when you look in, it’s just us or maybe a hungover us stuck in some obscure airport somewhere.

Are those pics on your Twitter feed real, in the sense that hundreds of people have inked themselves with you logo? Yeah they are all real. Forty nine people have a real Stanton Warriors tattoo on their bodies. We've seen most of them in real life. It’s pretty crazy to be honest. We are flattered that people would do that. Free entry for life for all of them! 

Can the album format survive in the digital age? I think so. The DJ mixtape thing also can as well as the EP format. I guess supply and demand will dictate what survives. One thing is for sure, people will always want good music!

If you could give only one piece of advice to bedroom producers wanting to get a break, what would it be? Originate, don’t duplicate. Don't worry about trying to be the next whoever. Do your own thing and stand behind it! 

Who are a few producers you’re feeling at present? Woz and Gorgan City from Black Butter Records are doing good stuff. Marten Horger and Mafia Kiss are doing exciting new beat-y stuff also. Lots of one-off producers doing great tunes. The non 4/4 style of uptempo beats is definitely making new waves.

Predictions and plans, release wise, for 2014? Our label, Punks, has a load of releases forthcoming. We have our artist album and a load of separate collabs coming out. Nonstop tours of the whole planet. Lots more sushi. More podcasts. Merchandise coming forth soon. And maybe a liver transplant.

Stanton Warriors headline Blah Blah Blah Block Party, behind Oh Hello, Saturday December 28.

Published in Electronic
Thursday, 05 December 2013 18:16

How I Live Now Tickets

'How I Live Now' is the big screen adaptation of the award-winning young-adult novel by Meg Rosoff, directed by acclaimed, Academy-Award winning director Kevin Macdonald.

When Daisy (Saoirse Ronan), a teenager from New York, is sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with cousins she soon immerses herself in a dreamy pastoral idyll until their perfect summer is blown apart.

To win one of five in-season double passes to ‘How I Live Now’ This competition has closed.
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1. Winners will be drawn at random at 10.30am Monday 9th December at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
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4. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 17:15

Tom Sharah: Top Five Childhood Memories

1. Watching 'The Little Mermaid' and the ABC taping of 'Into the Woods' on constant rotation.

2. Putting on fully-costumed one-man shows at my parents' dinner parties.

3. Having a very hard time pronouncing words — avocado was agicado for instance.

4. Singing my heart out to the national anthem at morning school assembly and then being brought up on stage by a teacher to demonstrate to the entire school how it's done. I froze in a nervous panic, and have never sung the song since.

5. Waking up every morning at the crack of dawn to draw pictures of my favourite performers and divas. I had the most impressive collection of coloured Textas and glitter glue.

See Tom Sharah in his cabaret show 'It's Raining Me' at the Brisbane Powerhouse December 5-7.

Published in Cabaret
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 17:10

Zen Zen Zo: Physical Theatre In Preview

With nearly 20 rich years of performance and entertainment at the Old Museum, physical theatre company, Zen Zen Zo will soon be moving to Brisbane Powerhouse.

“We're really excited for the change,” Merlynn Tong of the company's training centre says. “I guess we felt like it was time to grow, and move somewhere different with more artistic and creative minds around us. Brisbane Powerhouse is such a hub of creativity at the moment. The new artistic director Chris Stewart watched a show there and that started the discussion. I'm really excited to be near other artists and I've got an air-conditioned office I'm excited about too,” she laughs.

Any plans for major productions are set aside for the moment, as the company prepares to sift through years of history, and shift it 3km north-west. “We're all quite concentrated on the move, trying to get things together. I'm literally standing in front of 20 years’ worth of costumes and sets and all sorts of things in my office at the moment. There's been a lot of wearing things and playing with the props and it's been lots of fun.”

Now in its 16th year, Zen Zen Zo’s acclaimed training program, ‘Stomping Ground’ will open the new year.  “This is the course that will kick-start the year and we're really excited because we've got international artists from New Zealand, America, Canada and Singapore all flying in to do it. It's such a big celebration to start the year with.”

Now the Training Centre manager, Merlynn originally had the program to thank for her involvement with the company. “It's actually my favourite course of the year and it's how I joined the company. All the training we do — the Suzuki Method, the Viewpoints, the Butoh — it's all meant to create an actor that's full of presence. You would leave the course feeling so focused and so sure of your goals for the year and I think that's just a fantastic way to start the year,” she says. “It's more than actor training — it's a personal transformation as well.”

Aside from 'Stomping Ground', Zen Zen Zo’s interns will share in the spotlight come 2014. “I'm the ‘intern mama’ of the interns. Every weekend they talk about their journey through the internship and I think watching these eight wonderful artists grow and spread their wings over a short time of five months, and knowing that I was part of that journey, was my favourite part of the year.”

Zen Zen Zo has come a long way since its inception with its first, self-titled performance. Now, 20 years will mark another huge milestone. So what keeps this ‘intern mama’ doing what she loves? “It’s power to transform. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally — there's a power of transformation that only live performance can provide and for me, not many other forms can provide that.”

'Stomping Ground' runs from Jan 6-17 at the Brisbane Powerhouse. 

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 17:02

Vans Warped Tour: Live Review

The Warped Tour has changed a little since the last time it was in Australia. No longer is it strictly reserved for those with a taste for punk rock, patches and safety pins.

Click here for photos from the festival.

Take groups like Aversions Crown for example. They kicked off the day playing a style more akin to Suicide Silence, and dished out more breakdowns than RACQ deals with on any given weekend. Vocalist Colin Jeffs was equally chaotic – his ear-splitting screams sounded like a demon erupting from the gates of hell. But Aversions Crown failed to match their efforts energetically, because besides the occasional windmill, they played a colourless set.

But Aversions Crown's vice was Reel Big Fish’s virtue – from vocalist Aaron Barrett's Elvis-like chops to the band's booming brass melodies, everything about them was vibrant. They blitzed through '90s ska punk classics like 'Boyfriend' and 'Beer', with the crowd lapping up the group's tongue-in-cheek humour.

Then We Came As Romans stepped things up a notch. WCAR roared through their electro-fused repertoire of double-barrelled distortion, maniacal screams and Coldplay-like sing-alongs. One minute they pummelled away at their instruments as if they were valueless; the next it was as if the band fired up a teleporting device en route to Ibiza. Moshers flailed their limbs regardless.

Next up were Warped Tour veterans Millencolin, and the band wasted no time blasting out high-octane assaults of pop punk. They screamed through their set – all three guitarists uniting to sing some of the catchiest hooks imaginable.

Finally it was time for the headliners – the Metallica of punk rock, The Offspring. They assembled onstage; fans cheered gleefully. The Offspring blazed through stadium punk numbers like ‘The Meaning Of Life' and 'The Kids Aren't Alright'. But what was most impressive was their longevity. Their vigour was relentless right until they wrapped things up with 'Self Esteem'.
By: David Miso

The long, hot day at RNA Showgrounds featured a string of phenomenal acts over three stages, which made the sunburn and hangovers well worth it. Capping the list of A+ performances was The Used who played on the main stage. Even with perfectly executed circle pits and a wall of death, the highlight of the set – and maybe even the highlight of the entire day – was the band opening their song ‘Box Full Of Sharp Objects’ to the tune of ’Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana.

There was no time for rest when Warped AU veterans, New Found Glory, played after The Used. NFG played their 2002 release ‘Sticks And Stones’ in full and guitarist Chad Gilbert stole the show when he crowd surfed for an entire song in a sea of diehard fans.

In the spirit of an early 2000s throwback, Simple Plan played their hit emo-pop songs like ’Shut Up’ and ’I’d Do Anything’ in between their sex jokes and long-winded discussions about good-looking Aussie girls. The guys played well, but the in-between-song chitchat would have been much more fitting at a 15 year old boy’s birthday party.

Sydney pop-punkers Tonight Alive marked their place in the Australian punk music hierarchy with their set on the main stage being the most diverse showcase of talent of the day. Playing early in the day, Tonight Alive pulled a massive crowd which gave festival headliners a run for their money.
By: Nik Wylie

To view photos from the Brisbane leg of Soundwave visit

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:58

Brisbane Record Fair: Let The Fun Begin

Think record collecting is all about dusty LPs and unhelpful sales assistants? You’ve been watching too much ‘High Fidelity’.

Vinyl has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years thanks to initiatives like Record Store Day and a trend among young musicians for putting material out on limited edition vinyl runs. Being able to hold your music in a tangible, reassuringly square format is something downloads and MP3 players can’t hope to compete with.

Another joy of collecting vinyl is the history that goes along with each record. Egg Records’ owner Ric Trevaskis knows all about this. “I have a copy of Australian garage band, The Missing Links’ ‘Driving You Insane’ album with Edmund Kuepper's name written on the back and scrubbed out in pen and Christopher Bailey's name written on top of it. Both of those guys are from The Saints and they covered ‘Wild About You’ on their first record so it would have been that very record that Chris Bailey learnt the song from.

"By dropping the needle on that record so many times, it was covered in scratches and jumped all over the place. I had to send it down to the ABC archives in Sydney where they put it under a microscope and corrected the groove with a scalpel so I could play it.

"The story gets better because the record has a price tag on the label for 99c from when Ed Kuepper bought that record at the market back in 1973. It must have then been stolen from Ed by Chris and then somehow managed its way into Rocking Horse where I found it many years later.”

As with any kind of antique hunting, there’s always the possibility that your purchase could be an undiscovered gem. “At the last Brisbane Record Fair, one collector [found] a beautiful little 45 inch single of ‘Wild About You’ by The Missing Links. It's worth a couple of hundred dollars but he found it for about $10. It was the talk of the fair!”

The Brisbane Record Fair runs on the second Saturday of each month at The Boundary Hotel, The Hi-Fi and Rumpus Room in West End.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:55

Zephyr Timbre: Fortitude From The Valley

Old school local electro-fusion group, Zephyr Timbre, will reunite for a one-off charity show.

Slated to headline Fortitude From The Valley — with all proceeds donated to Bundaberg North State High School, who lost much more than instruments and music resources during the floods of January 2013 — group member Porl DeVille and his wife/ frontperson Manta Ray have been focused on helping those damaged by disaster.

“We have seen a lot of tragedy on our back doors in Queensland with floods and natural disasters and it was basically a way of getting an old school crew together to try and help a new school crew,” Porl says. “The focus is on helping people but also helping musicians and young musicians and actually providing for them in places where they've lost everything.”

The show, which will bring together other old school artists, will see Zephyr Timbre reunited for the first time in over ten years. “It's really significant because it's been ten years since the last show we ever played. The other really significant thing is one of the founding members of the band who produced a lot of the tunes alongside myself, DakarDAN, is no longer with us. So it's almost becoming a tribute to him as well.”

The four-piece band decided to call it quits in 2003, agreeing to go their separate ways in the music industry. “I think all of us had reached a point where we wanted to explore different things, which is exactly what we did. DakarDAN, the bass player explored more of his DJing talents, Manta and I went off to perform in a band called My Ninja Lover, and MC Shureshock went on to tour with Kid Kenobi.

“We all maintained our friendships but we just needed to explore different things. I think the thought was always there that we'd get back together and do something – we just didn't think at the time it would be ten years later and there'd be one of us missing.” 

Fortitude From The Valley will be held at Coniston Lane December 20.

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:49

Stik N Move: Partners In Rhyme

Young hip hop enthusiasts will have the opportunity to take part in a national workshop and see some of the most accomplished artists take the stage.

Hip hop duo Stik N Move are just one of the many artists who will perform at Get On Up – a new initiative that will be travelling around Australia hosting all-ages concerts and workshops. “I'm pumped [to be involved],” Michael ‘Whiz’ Weir of Stik N Move says.

“Working with young people has been a passion of both mine and Nathan's for some time. We’ll be taking it to different communities around Australia — helping the disadvantaged and engaging with youth who might be struggling with mainstream areas of life, like school.”

Not afraid to voice their opinions, the Queanbeyan duo’s politically charged lyrics provide a voice for those who often don’t have one. “We're pretty political. I think for us it's important to get the message out about our people. The media doesn't really touch on it much, so music is a way to get those messages across.”

Growing up, Whiz always used creative outlets to funnel his messages about Aboriginal culture. However, music proved to be the most effective, and universal, tool. “When I was young, hip hop was only new then and I liked the way people were using music to tell their own stories. Being Aboriginal, we've always used music to tell our stories and this is just the modern day approach of that. I think it's very important,” he says.

“When I was in high school I used to paint a lot and I used to try and do it that way. With music it's a lot easier – you just write down your thoughts and your feelings and your emotions to express yourself that way.”

A fan of hip hop throughout his late childhood, Whiz recognises the importance of the Get On Up initiative for young people, and likes how hip hop conveys messages clearly.

“I really like that it's easily accessible. You don't need much to make music — you don't need a flash studio, you don't need much to write rhymes, you don't even need a pen or a book really. It's a free thing for everyone — anybody can get involved.” 

Get On Up takes place at Expressive Grounds, Gold Coast, Dec 14 from 1pm-6pm.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:40

Vaguely Human: Human Nature

Vaguely Human’s embrace of anarchic sensibilities and frenetic lyrics are no obstacle to their catchy, palatable melodies.

“I believe the punk approach comes through in the music in a way; the music is very mellow, but the ideals are somewhat there. There is a middle finger hidden somewhere,” says drummer Guy.

When describing the local four-piece’s sound, it would be more expedient to list the musical sub-genres they don’t come under. “Foot movin' progressive hip hop, acoustic rock and in yo' face punk!” Guy declares. “Our rhythms very definitely come from our heavy rock background, whereas the lyrics have more of an acoustic hip hop vibe, so it just kind of progressed naturally when all four of us got together.”

Lead singer B-Grade did not grow up in a house that was supportive of his genre-defying exhortations. "My parents didn't play music. They got me into piano early and I didn't like it; later on in life I found the guitar and picked that up, and I went from there. I reinvented my love for music again.”

Lyrical mastermind B-Grade has lofty goals for the eclectic quartet. “Basically, we write our songs as stories, and part of what we do is try to take a look back at the human condition from the outside and try to identify stories of people that really resonate in the human experience, and how we draw together through our diversity, and that creates that human condition that we talk about.

“At the end of the day you can't force it down some people's throats. You've just got to expose them to what you see, and hope they draw a message from that. And even if it's contrary to what  you meant in that song, at least they're thinking. And I guess that comes back to that ideal, you know — think for yourself, don't be homogenised. That's definitely a strong element through a lot of our songs."

“We'll give you the story,” adds guitarist Vegas. “We'll give you the characters, we'll give you the scenario, but it is for you to decipher.”

Vaguely Human play the Jam N Beats Festival at Club Greenslopes December 14. 

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:34

Live Review: OzManouche Gypsy Jazz Festival

Manouche was once a derogatory term used to describe the local Romany population in France; it has since been expropriated by the hot jazz community and associated with the definitive works of Django Reinhardt, one of the greatest and most confounding deities among the jazz god pantheon.

Along with Stephane Grapelli and others, they formed the Quintette du Hot Club de France and set a new course in the voyages of J-world explorers between the States and Europe. Many of the grandest and most loved tunes in the world were birthed in this idiom. Many pieces in this style take a slow and sweet step; others take a scattered and erratic pace.

The artists over the weekend contrasted and varied wildly in all manners, with one exception; searing guitar lines and beautifully crafted harmony, great dynamic and control, great blending and communication. Everyone. Really. It was all of the highest quality and execution. Every damn act.

From the cool and cavorting Spyglass Gypsies, to the mellow and swollen lines from Lollo Meier and company, The Date Brothers across to Mal ver le Bop, each act had the improvisationites tugging their beards and nodding in appreciation. The Date Brothers have a wistful and winsome duet style with an erratic blend of solo and long runs that can be quite startling and striking to the ear, as it seems to sweep through and past before it really registers. Many fine examples of coloratura and syncopated tremolo.

The morose and slightly manic tones of Monsieur Swing bring a softer and more tepid blend to the weekend. Stately and stern, this group dip into the well of soulful and less buoyant gypsy jazz as they turn out their wonderful and heartfelt performance.

Drawing us along the evolution in his journey, Lollo Meier has woven the heart and variety of many threads to his playing, keeping to the truly casual and technically purist sides of the style, with dedication to the manner of Reinhardt’s playing, which he has studied and blended with his own, to form a super-manouche style that sweeps and sizzles through melodic and modal runs and voicing that really encapsulate the chordal techniques in manouche. In concert with the amazing Daniel Weltlinger, Grapelli devotee himself, the pieces on offer were audacious and totally inspiring as they switched and clashed in a gritty, yet very smooth and measured way, inherent to the flamenco style which Meier has been delving into of late.

Ewan Mackenzie and Kay Sullivan of Paris Dreaming delivered their sweeter café-style thread, showing support and a lovely contrast to the beautiful fiddle-work of Fiona Pears who has a style that melds the classical rigidity of technique and musicianship with the freedom and looser emotion of jazz and a mild dab of …pop (sorry Fiona). Her melodic and harmonic countenance is something to really appreciate as she takes a piece apart and redraws the themes through her hands into reprise-which-is-no-reprise. Great control and depth.

The Furbelows, with a tongue-in-cheek swing-ish style, let the piece roll along and let each add to it, seemingly as they will. The group has a marvellous hold of each other, cue-wise, with a ripe and ready energy that grasps the attention and a line-up that has a slinging good vibe to their work, with a modality and uniformity of movement to the vocal and contrabass/ guitar discourse. The chorus line was sweet and very entertaining, with personality and colour stuffed in every piece.

Mar ver le Bop set a quirkier pace with their resonator and lap-steel take, searching all corners of their phase-space, with their unique and flighty solos. The Cameron Ford Trio are a local mainstay and have been peddling their take on the gypsy jazz thing for many years; with refined skill and style, they are one of Brisbane best jazz groups.

This was one of the more enjoyable series of the last year and it will be hard to top; unless there are developments in cloning I’m unaware of. More fabbo stuff from the BJC.

Published in Jazz/ Fusion
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