Items filtered by date: July 2013
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 17:01

Trollop: Theatre In Preview

If someone calls you a trollop, you can usually be assured that they don't like you, or the activities you are getting up to. Generally used to describe someone who is perceived as sexually disreputable or promiscuous, 'Trollop' is the latest production for QTC and is a tale of romance that starts to unravel and uncover alarming truths.

Starring local actress Amy Ingram as Clara and written by Maxine Mellor and featuring a talented cast including Lucy-Ann Langkilde and Anthony Standish, 'Trollop' is a theatre experience that will make you squirm.

Describe the show in 5 words?
Dark, funny, twisted, isolated, and just a bit messed up.

What is your role and how did you come to be involved?
I play the role of Clara (the Trollop). I was lucky enough to be involved over the play's development as an actor with Playlab, QTC and The Lord Mayor’s Fellowship. Then I was asked to be in the final production. Hurrah!

Your fav. line in the play and why?
Hmm, well I don't say much actually but I do quite like Eugenie's line (another character in the play) — "I bring the end of days to your door" — because actually she kinda does.

What can audiences expect when they come to watch?
Some dark moments, some surprises and maybe the chance to change their mind about a few things.

Can you describe a typical rehearsal?
We talk a lot, get up on the floor, try things out. It is just about finding the right pathways and staying connected as characters within the story. Sometimes we get things wrong and sometimes we smash it (Wesley, our Director, really doesn't understand this saying). We also have fun.

What has your preparation for this role entailed?
As I was involved in earlier developments, I have been able to sit with the script for a while and I also do a lot of outside reading and watching different interviews on Youtube. I listen to certain music and I also look for clues in everyday life that can be linked back to the story.

What about your character do you relate to? What don't you understand?

Clara is a tricky one. I'm still working her out to be honest. But I recognise things in her for sure. I understand how she switches off from what is happening otherwise it's too overwhelming. I think we westerners certainly have a way of shutting down to what is going on in the world around us. Outer empathy gets duller and duller with every new tragedy or disaster. Without giving too much away, what I find hard as opposed to not understanding, is the way her brain works/ the imbalances and figuring out when she shifts from one emotion to the next. It really changes from character to character depending on how like or unlike you they are — but that's the fun part/ the challenge navigating your way to get your character under your skin.

If you could have a dinner party and invite 6 guests - who and why?
Hmmm depends. Fun dinner party? Or one of those deep philosophical dinner parties? I think I'd just like to have a dinner party with six hot dudes all fighting for my affections. Kidding (but no not really).

Any crazy/ weird/ funny stories from behind-the-scenes?
What happens in the rehearsal room, stays in the rehearsal room.

What's the best relationship advice you've ever received?
Don't settle. You should be better together.

Anything else our readers should know?
That they should come! This is an amazing new play by a Brisbane playwright about things that affect us here and now. You won't be bored. I promise.

'Trollop' will be staged at the Bille Brown Studio, QTC from August 1-17.

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:56

War Horse: Theatre In Review

The National Theatre of Great Britain's hit production 'War Horse', based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, is a truly spectacular show.

'War Horse' tells the story of Joey, the beloved horse of a boy called Albert. Joey is sold by his father to the cavalry at the outbreak of World War I and shipped to France and is taken on a journey, serving on both sides before finding himself trapped alone in no-man's land. But back home, Albert cannot forget his horse and, even though not officially old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find Joey and bring him back safely. With such an emotionally wrenching storyline and with the added element of war, the simplicity of the set was an excellent choice. Changes occurred through projection screens, fog and lighting and was very effective allowing the story to flow without interruption.

The lighting and the deafening sounds of war, as well as the force of the images on the screen, made the experience feel hyper real and I felt like I was in the war zone and alongside Joey ploughing the field. I cried when Joey was sent to war. I cried when Joey and Albert were united. So the moments of light comic banter provided a welcome relief.

I also want to make special mention of the  horsemen puppeteers who became the horse, who made me forget that the horses were puppets. Through their body movements, they captured every detail of a horse’s movement — every characteristic and subtle nuance of each horse from the flickering of the ears, the stance, the head movements, the tapping of the foot to the feelings pain when they were injured or exhausted. A truly remarkable and uplifting experience. Do not miss this.

'War Horse' is at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC until August 4.

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:50

360 Allstars: Urban Circus In Preview

Gene Peterson is a passionate and committed young musician rightly claiming that his ‘360 Allstars’ outfit is ‘purely fun’. The crew is something of a circus — if you want to call it that — but one that replaces animals with basketball freestyling; clowns with breakdancing; and hoola-hoops with BMX flat landing.
With that — and what’s more interesting — is that with partner-in-crime Sam Perry, the duo provides an interesting twist to the traditional music performance. “We’re two artists doing the music for the ‘360 Allstars’ show; we use live looping — everything we’re doing is running off stage — we have a keyboard, drum kit and synthesiser; Sam also has vocals running through a guitar-effects pedal and then channelled through a loop pedal which allows us to build something up – bigger and bigger. By the end, we’re sounding like a full band!”

Indeed, admitting he writes the music collaboratively with Sam — a very talented artist in his own right — they play the music live together. Gene explains, “I’m the producer and director of the show; I did all the casting and brought everyone together, even from overseas. There are lot of logistical things going on in the background — but even with that, I still get to be the session musician I want to be — it’s not an office job!”

But a dream job it sounds like. And as a youngster, he was open to any paid professional work. “My first opportunities came with session music and touring with shows. That’s how I got into this area of the industry. After touring with ‘360 Allstars’, they asked me to write the music for the show instead of just turning up to play the drums!”

And that was as exciting as it was life-changing. Yet this radical urban circus — as it were — is not Peterson’s first coup de grace, however it is the one where he feels most at home. “I do wear a number of hats,” chimes the multi-talented entertainer. “I don’t mean to boast by saying that,” he claims in jest, “but it is my baby — or monster as it has grown to be! It’s an intricate setup but it’s working well and we’ll be recording a live DVD at the Brisbane show. We’re many months into the tour and it gets better and better every time.”

No less, with 7 people on stage and 10 overall, the performances are more than just music. They take perspectives from all over the world and bring them together in a unique and compelling way. What’s not to like?

‘360 Allstars’ will perform AT Redland Performing Arts Centre, Thursday July 25; and Judith Wright Centre July 31- August 3.
To win a double pass to the show (valued at $78), click here.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:43

Verbill: Abilities Strictly Verbal

Verbill is a talented Brisbane MC doing things the independent way. With his self-titled debut EP released in December, and lauded as one of the best local hip hop EPs of 2012, a quick stint travelling overseas sees Verbill back on his home-turf for a night of EP launches, kicks and snares.

“Raven and Myk approached me about doing a dual launch with them in Melbourne and Brisbane and I was all for it. I am looking forward to it because not only do I get to put on my own show, but I get to witness theirs. Raven and Myk are some of Melbourne’s dopest MCs, and DJ Discourse is a very talented dude. There’s a number of great supports on the evening, including The Optimen. So for all the people in Brissy who appreciate good hip hop, make sure you come down and check it out.”

Born in Switzerland, and raised in Brisbane, Verbill has long been on the underground radar as a member of former crew Left One, and further cemented his status with a feature on Brad Strut’s ‘Legendary’ mixtape in 2006. While his hard-hitting flow may have been tempered by maturity, ‘Back In The Days’, the second single released off his debut, shows his hip hop allegiances with a streak of youthful irreverence.

“I’d just like to point out that every song on my EP, with the exception of ‘Buggin&Illin’, is 100 percent true… I moved to Australia at a very young age.  Everything I talk about in that song, all the parties, drinking, all-nighters, girls, smoking, running amuck, dodging police and skateboarding, all happened here in Brissy.

“I have even had people from other parts of the world tell me they can relate to the content of the songs. It’s cool to think that we could grow up in places that are totally separated geographically but still share such similar experiences.”

Another standout on the EP is ‘Everything’, featuring the vocals of Jay from Paua, with the aftermath of a break-up providing the inspiration to tread the road of heartbreak. Too often in hip hop, break-up songs can be held captive by misogynistic undertones and resentment, but Verbill wanted to show a different side.

“Writing that song was pretty ironic, because when I was with the girl she always used to ask me to write something about her. I never did though, because I was too busy writing rhymes about how sick I was at writing rhymes, plus I didn’t really know how to write ‘nice’ songs at that point.

“When we broke up and went our separate ways, however, I wrote that song at a time that I was missing her. It came naturally and it was sort of my way of dealing with not being with her. At the same time, it is a tribute to her and a way to say thanks for the impact she had on my life and all the good times we shared together.”

Circulating through the same crowds, the EP is the result of his collaboration with well known Brisbane producer Nick One.

“I met Nick through his brother Sammsonite [The Optimen]. It wasn’t until years later that we started working together and he started showing me some of his beats. Working with Nick is great because he is very good at what he does. He was just as passionate about the project as me and brought a lot to the table.”

With the EP available since December last year, Verbill understands that in the music world six months can be a nail in the coffin, but the choice was made to put off a live show until all loose ends were tied.

“[The EP] probably took about two years in total, and there were probably four tracks dropped from it… Being my debut release, I wasn’t entirely sure how to put it out, but I definitely wanted to make sure it was done right.

“In the process I learnt a lot about the industry. The good things about the hassle I went through is that I now feel like I have the knowledge and tools to do things a lot quicker the next time around. I have the structure in place now… I guess the plus side to it is that people have had more time to digest the music before they see it performed live.”

With an LP in the works, this experience will undoubtedly come in handy.

Verbill plays the Transcontinental Hotel with Raven & Myk Reid Saturday July 20.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:38

Don Giovanni Double Pass

A new production from Opera Australia’s Oz Opera, ‘Don Giovanni’ is about love, betrayal, passion and revenge.

He’s stolen kisses and broken hearts, but has opera’s great Casanova gone a step too far?

Find out in this exciting new production of Mozart’s classic masterpiece, directed by Michael Gow.

To win a double pass (valued at $110) to the Saturday July 27 performance at the Redland Performing Arts Centre, Cleveland This competition has closed
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 2.30pm Tuesday 23rd July at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winner drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winner notified]
3. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:24

Karen Anderson: Top Five Inspiring People

1. My parents. My dad has been paraplegic since the age of 16, yet he had a successful business, never once complained, and gave his kids all we could ever need. My warm-hearted mum has not only been an extraordinary mother but also stepped into dad’s role as well. They are very wonderful people. I am very lucky.

2. Nelson Mandela. For so many reasons, including his fortitude, persistence and wisdom. Great personal sacrifice given for a just cause.

3. Malala Yousafzai. She is so young, so erudite and eloquent, so admirable, so very, very brave. This young woman is an extraordinary role model for all.

4. Stephen Fry. Ahh, for the words. All the wonderful words he whips together to make me savour language even more. And also, for his honesty around his mental health stuff, and the help that offers people.

5. Paul Keating. For his wit, and his legacy, and because he used to manage a rock band. Plus, he champions the arts. He sees the true value of it. More politicians should.

Karen Anderson & The Fortunate Sinners play the Brisbane Jazz Club July 19.

Published in Jazz/ Fusion
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:19

360 Allstars Double Pass

There will be breakdancing, basketball freestyling, BMX flatlanding and more at Redland Performing Arts Centre when the 360 Allstars perform their amazing new production!

Replace acrobats with breakdancers, substitute a basketball freestyler for a juggler, swap the unicyclist for a BMX flatlander, and throw in a Roue Cyr artist and you get an exhilarating circus performance, like nothing you have seen before!

And with live looping plus live music from Gene Peterson, 360 Allstars is as aurally exciting as it is visually astounding.

To win a double pass (total value $78) to the performance at the Redland Performing Arts Centre, Cleveland, Thursday July 25 at 7.30pm This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 2pm Monday 22nd July at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winner drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winner notified]
3. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:13

Kooii: Live Review

On Saturday night, the Hi-Fi was abuzz as local reggae royalty Kooii held headline billing.

But before they stormed the stage, there was a veritable who’s who of Brisbane’s reggae and roots scene on show. DJ Rudekat owned the ones and twos early on, toasting a fast filling Hi-Fi before Georgia Potter and Ladi Abundance both provided earthy sets that showcased how strong the local scene has become. Chocolate Strings owned the title for main support act, and boy did Ofa and the band bring the skanky funk home to roost, the dancefloor resembling a heaving, sweaty beast long before Kooii were scheduled to start.

Ducking out for a quick slice of pizza, only to encounter a potent cloud of sweet smelling herbs, Kooii were already playing by the time I returned, a brass overload only improving the night’s offering. Kooii were tight, yet loose, able to meander at times before returning to a more structured setting to ignite a crowd that oozed love toward the stage, especially when it was announced that Mr Lachlan Mitchell — aka Laneous — was celebrating his 30th birthday. With the stage lights dimming and Kooii making their way offstage, it seemed we may be robbed of an encore. But with Dubmarine’s Kazman swallowing the mic as he urged Kooii to return to the stage, the lads did and it was like we’d been transported back to Bourbon Street — this was reggae mashed with jazz; funk soiled by rock; this was roots music with plenty of swag. And the crowd lapped up every moment.

Visit Scenestr to see all the action from Saturday night.

Published in Reggae/ Roots
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:05

Favored Nations: Virtually Inseparable

After a chance meeting at a gig in Los Angeles James Curd (Greenskeepers) and singer Morgan Phalen (Diamond Nights) bonded over sore feet and a love of their craft.

Despite geographical differences; James in Adelaide and Morgan in San Francisco, the pair have managed to create Favored Nations. The name itself references their international interconnectedness.

“When I talk to Morgan on Skype the world really feels like a smaller place,” James says.

Back in Australia, James recruited his friend and multi-instrumentalist Surahn Sidhu (The Swiss, Empire Of The Sun touring band) to create a trio of nu disco, bouncing basslines and warm vocal melodies.

“What happened was we spent maybe a month in LA and then Morgan was in Australia for a month and then all the in-between time Sid and I were in Adelaide. So I guess all of us were probably only in the same room for about a month but Morgan and I have been together a lot and Sid and I have been together a lot.”

Favored Nations are a band that wouldn't have existed even five years ago without the aid of the internet. But James and Morgan love mixing it up through different media and wouldn't have it any other way.

“I think they both work really well but at the end of the day, when Morgan's writing lyrics and stuff, he goes into his own little zone so whether we're together or whether he's at home where he's comfortable writing lyrics in his house, you know, it doesn't make a difference.”

The group’s first EP, 'Blame Game', came together virtually overnight.

“We went together into James' studio,” Morgan says, “and just put together the instrumental track in a few hours, and while he was doing that I was in the kitchen whistling along and I wrote all of the melody while he was working on that. So it takes me a little longer to write lyrics and things like that, but that song was fairly instant.”

‘Blame Game’ is out July 19. Favored Nations plan to tour Australia in January.

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 15:59

Actual Russian Brides: Order Now

Electric pop duo Actual Russian Brides deliver a dynamic blend of machines and lush vocals on their second solo album, ‘Wife Beats’. Vocalist Elle Knox checks in from Berlin.

Berlin is one of the best cities for culture in the world; how have you been received by the locals?
Germany has a culture of electronic music that is unknown in Australia. Germans go out a lot and they will go to a concert in a small venue, sit down and listen to electronic music in a quiet listening environment, in a concentrated and respectful way. For example, our first gig there was in a tiny, very sweet venue called Miss Hecker, a kind of dreamlike living room with a password entry, and the experience was very intimate and special for everyone, including the club owners. 
You’re based in Sydney, do you prefer playing sets in Australia or abroad?
Playing any show is great when A. there are appreciative punters and B. the sound system is good. You can get A anywhere; unfortunately our experience with B suggests that Australia lags somewhat behind.

Elle, it’s reported that you have an abusive relationship with your cello, is this true?
Presently it's packed away in its dark coffin being wilfully neglected. So it might rise, I suppose, at some point and bite me in the neck. I grew up doing it. My family had a local orchestra and I'd have to attend rehearsals from a very young age, playing away until I fell asleep under the piano and was carried home after midnight. It was assumed I'd become a professional cellist, but I became increasingly frustrated with what I saw as its limitations and baggage. I tried forming and joining bands, mixing it with vocals, doing performance art with it, improvising soundtracks for films and shows, even with Sydney Theatre Company and Bangarra Dance Theatre, but I wanted to bounce around the stage being silly and expressive and I felt tied up and weighed down.

I hear you have given up your laptops? How has this changed your sound?
Just for playing live. When playing shows we don't use a computer, this gives an organic feel to an otherwise electro event and also tests our skills to the limit. We'll primarily use an MPC as the centre with drums programming, random samples etc; but the MPC is sick at the moment and it might be terminal. Like a pet, we are not sure if we'll replace it, and we're experimenting with the Elektron Octotrack as another brain option.We do use computers for recording, mixing and as giant samplers. However, whenever we try to make songs fully in the computer they end up sounding like demos from Ableton or something — sorry, the Ableton sound designers are obviously great, but as we're not culturally native with this instrumentation we don't really gel with making sounds this way, or at least we find it more immediate and intuitive using hardware, old and new. Each synth has its own character and idiosyncrasies that makes it attractive to us. When one knows a drum machine or sequencer intimately, when you live with it, it becomes second nature to produce using it and ultimately the sounds become a little more 'ours'.

‘Wife Beats’ is out now through Clan Analogue.

Published in Electronic


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