Friday, December 16, 2005

Melbourne v Sydney

"When it comes to catching a live band, Melbourne knocks the harbour city into a cocked hat. "

This article goes in depth about why there is a lack of live venues in Sydney compared to Melbourne. It definitely shocking to a city that can hold an Olympic games, struggles to create a live music culture. What shocked me about reading this article was that a pub could have a few hundred people could be watching a football game on a screen without a licence but if you have a lone acoustic act performing in front of a handful of people you need a licence. Makes me think, Melbourne is a lucky place.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Car Park Festival

Golden Square Car Park, Chinatown, Lonsdale Street Melbourne CBD

What do festivals share in common? Expensive food, drinks smelly toilets, people who are there to be seen and a mix bag of bands. Nothing much amiss here with the first Car park Festival (or the last). The Car Park festival was ran jointly with St Jerome’s and Meredith Music festival. But for some reason it all just felt like I was watching it all in a pub, I was hot and sweaty, pub there were no pots of draught.

Before turning up, one of my friends said “they said it has a unnatural amphitheatre”, but how does that work in a car park in the middle of three buildings? There was a dip that started down about half way down the car park, which provided good view of the bands for tall and small. Also was concerned about the sun, due to no shade until about 5pm and that sun and concrete create an enormous about of heat, which in fact was correct, it was bloody stinking hot. It didn’t start filling up with punters until 5.

Missed opportunities for this festival were that there were no merchandise stands (stubby holders would have done well) and expensive drinks. Who wants to buy a $5.50 can of VB when you can walk down the block and buy a $3 pot in an air-conditioned pub? Between the bands like many other people, I went out of the venue to buy food and drinks elsewhere and to enjoy air-conditioning, and even went to a cheap shop to by a stubby holder for $2.

My highlights of the day were Billy Childish (what with his Amazon inspired website?), Architecture in Helsinki(who said they were taking a break for a while), Sons & Daughters, and the first half of the Avalanches DJ set. After that there were only half the people left in the car park, maybe they had realized that DJ Dexta and James de la Cruz that aren’t in the lineup anymore. Also was a little disapointed that new kids on the block Airbourne (from country town Warrnambool) and Wolf Mother weren't there. On a positive note the hole thing finished at 10.10, so we all could go home a decent time (maybe I'm getting old).

Will we see another Carpark festival? Can't say, numbers didnt impress, it was too hot standing without any shade, so looks we'll have to wait till next year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gig: Hoodoo Gurus & The Meanies

Kings of Moomba (Hoodoo Gurus) & The Meanies, The Corner, 10th Aniversery

Monday, 28th of November 2005

So The Corner had there 10 year celebrations, I’ve been to some good gigs and some fairly average ones (especially when I have ended up behind some tall dude or one of those lovely pillars). No Smoke, new bars and dinning area (which I didn’t check out) which will start the venue into there next 10 years.

The doors did open at 8pm and I was thinking, maybe it’s a start of a new era of early gigs, where I’m not home at a late time, but then I am getting old. I was a bit disappointed when I rocked up at 9 that I missed out on a free stubby holder, but I soon forgot about that as Wally Meanie told me I should buy a poster with a grin on his face.

The Meanies soon started after 9, transporting the corner back to the early nineties. The Meanies were my teenage heroes of music, and back in the 90’s I would venture into Au-Go-Go records to buy there latest CD or T-shirt. I was happy enough to see them and hear again Scum, Ranbo Mania and other classics. Also the DJ of the night was the owner of the record store, well that’s what a friend told me.

Next up was the Hoodoo Gurus, introduced by a cuddly Russian lass. That night they were call ‘The Kings of Moomba’ but don’t know if this was good for ticket sales or a hinderance (see poster, real names sold out first).

After the first Song the leading man, Dave Faulkner, proclaimed that they will only play song made before 1985. Later on in the night a friend told me that she heard a couple of girl complain in the toilet about there choice of set list. The punters didn’t care because every tune that was played was a crowed pleaser as they played there wonderful hybrid of trash pop tunes and infectious songs.

After watching two great live performances, I thought glad I don’t smell like smoke, but when I got home my girlfriend said to me “you smell like smoke”.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Berry Street Bash at The Retreat

Sunday 20/11/2005

Sunday was a fantastic day, not a cloud in site and a pub offering a range of live acts and cool beer. The Retreat Hotel in Brunswick had the “Berry Street Bash” plus the beer garden. Wrong I was. The bands were inside for day, which was such a pity, because I have seen some outside gigs at the Retreat and its great fun.

The line for the day included Hovercrafts, Tranquilisers, Crayon Fields, Kids from Russia, Hot Little Hands, Plug-In City, Red Ink Spills, Ned Collette, Gorgeous and DJ Dallas Crane. It was a shame they weren’t playing outside as I would of seen more of these acts.

It was one of the most missed opportunities I have ever seen at pub in Melbourne, not to put the bands outside, in the beer garden. There were so many more punters hanging out in the beer garden compare to the small and awkward band room. But at the end of the day it was to help a good cause.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Saturday 19th November 2005


If you were writing an add for the Rob Roy Band Room you’d probably write something like “its small but cozy”. It’s a room that probably wasn’t built to be used as a band room due to some obstructions like the large door way near the stage and a pillar in the middle (like the Corner). But the Rob Roy does play an important part as it’s a great venue for showcasing up and coming bands.

Tonight’s show was a ep release of a band called Osterberg but I was there to see The Kits, lucky for me there were number two and I left after them (not very rock’n’roll).

First up was The Black Popes who played some pop/rock tunes that reminded me of a softened Marvelous 3.

After a fairly long intermission with some exceptionally slow music, that nearly made my better half and me fall asleep standing up, The Kits came to the stage. There music reminded me of early 90’s grunge, plus a hint of currant bands such as the Hives and The International Noise Conspiracy (or even old New Bomb Turks on their !!Destroy-Oh-Boy!! LP). All importantly The Kits got a bunch of people (well a bunch of girls) dancing up the front.


OSTERBERG website has mp3's but you have to sign up.

The kits website has 2 mp3's, 'City to City' and 'Young Girls'.

I couldnt find a link or website to the Black Popes.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Dead Frenchmen

Something I found at Kinko's some time ago, left in a photocopier. Have a look at Dead Frenchmen, they also have two mp3 Ghosts take over and sleep of reason on there site. Also Timberyard Records has a track called Tokyo on there site. (Updated 12/11/05)

Soul Contention

I said to these friends of mine "do you want to see a soul band play", but they just said “they’ll probably only play funk”. Soul Contention Featured three odd looking guys horns, a rhythm section and three fantastic singers. One of the singers had a great old northern soul voice. They definitely didn’t play a funk soul mix. They played more of your well known soul songs (don’t get me wrong I like pop), but it would have been great to hear some other soul material, maybe they could of played Gloria Jones Tainted Love.
They were tight and probably the closest I will ever get to see a soul band from the 60’s.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

High Vibes 2005 (High Street, Norhcote)

Cockfight Shootout at Punch Salon

Sunday (25/09/05) saw a sunny day down on High Street, Northcote with High Vibes festival. Kids, Adults, and dogs were found wandering the street enjoying bands, food and flowing beer. Is this one of the last surviving street festivals with the likes of Brunswick street and St. Kilda (meant to be on break) gone?

I found Cockfight Shootout playing in Punch Salon, kind of a strange combination with the amber liquids, hair product and a fucking loud rock band playing. While leaving I took this photo and it sent my ears ringing to an amazing level. The
High Vibes festival is about showcasing local acts, and Cockfight Shootout is definetly one of them, struting there stuff over Melbourne venues for some time.

The kids waiting to see Mountains in the Sky at Northcote Social Club

From what I hear, and didnt see while listing to Mountains in the Sky (well I was down the back), its kind of the music (or anthem) for your dreams (well my dreams are very cut and paste anyway). Featuring many different instruments and comming from many different inspirations.

Cockfight Shootout have some tracks on website, including Earth Grazer, Ward Zero and Something Strange.

Mountains in the Sky web site is lacking content, so hopefully more information will be added. For a bio and some other info check Trifekta have an artist profile.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Spoon + Small Goods & Screenings

The Corner, Fri 9th Sept 05

I keep on forgetting to post this gig that I saw back in September. I had seen both Spoon and the Small Goods last year (different gigs) at the corner, both were fresh then, but now have lost a little magic.

The Screens took to the smaller stage, and was plagued with problems, it was kind of start and stop affair. The
Small Goods, from Port Fairy/Warrnambool, took to the stage, making a sound that was totally not what I was expecting. Last time they had a experimental sound with wailing guitars and effects, but this time it was a wailing lead singer with pop numbers. If they were pub food I would have to be the soup of the day, given the soup of the day is unpredictable, not knowing what you’re going to get. Some of the boys from Small Goods have come along way from playing in a cover band in Mid 90's called Toe Jam, playing in such country pub as the Whalers.

But the reality of the day was we all came to see Spoon play, which they did. Spoon change the pace of the place with their catchy pop that woke everyone up and got your foot tapping to their off beat tunes. They were the Burger and Chips of the pub menu, a solid performer, where you new what you were going to get. Leaving you with a full stomach and songs going round in your head on the trip back home.


Spoon has a few demo and tracks on there site, I turn my Camer On from Gimmie Ficiton was their signiture tune from that album and I summon you (demo), from the same album.

Small Goods have two mp3 up on there home page, Round and Around
taken from This Is The Show(mini album), and Good Afternoon taken from Listen to the Radio(ep).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Necks at the Northcote Social Club

Wednesday, 7th of September 2005

The problem with having any kind of journal is the amount of work and time spent maintaining it. Hopefully it will prove a useful tool in helping me to remember gigs, bands and events.

The delays of posting entries is one of the reasons why I hasn’t posted this entry, luckily blogger you can change entry dates, so I can keep everything in chronological order.

The Necks have been around for awhile (my first time to see them) and are commonly described as a jazz improve group. Don’t let that turn you away or compare it to the ill fated Spinal Tap concert in the park. Basically you could compare them to a soundtrack to a movie, taking you through a journey that is forever changing and growing.

That night the three members took to work using a mini grand, double bas and a drum kit. I didn’t even know you could make some of the sounds using those instruments. There were two sets with the an intermission, giving people time to take a break to contemplate and digest the sounds.

All up it was an intimate gig that sent the punters into a trance like state. It was also a good example of the power of word of mouth as it was packed.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sophie Koh & The Guild league

Northcote Social Club, Saturday 3rd of September

Sophie Koh & Band

Saturday night saw a busy Northcote Social Club, with people waiting to show there tickets to get in to Sophie Koh’s debut album launch show.

This was my first time to the NSC, a very small, but intimate place to catch a gig. Maybe the lighting is a little dark, or maybe I should buy a new camera. It was great not to come home smelling like smoke too, although you do come home smelling like beer. With other venues closing down, its great that the NSC has started (owned by the same people as the corner) with live gigs, showing Melbournians that venues come and go.

First off The Guild league played their Indie/folk/pop with a touch of reggae. Including a saxophone, trumpet, bass/cello, drums and guitar from The Lucksmiths' Tali White.

The Guild League

Sophie Koh played her sweet style of folk/pop/rock, giving her line up a more minimal feeling compared the Guild League, with only a bass, guitar(herself) and drums. The first part of it she played Solo, and later played on the organ with just the drums accompanying her.

Sophie Koh as two tracks on, they are Easily Broken (4.03mb) and Silly Thing (demo version) (3.51mb). Out of the two MP3’s, Silly Thing would be the best example of the music that she played on that evening. She also has a blog, which is sometimes updated.

The Guild League are lacking a website and mp3 samples, but you can get some real player samples which I’m not a fan of. You can also hear them talk to JJJ’s Robbie Buck about there album (8.80 MB) Inner North, while listening you do get to hear some snippets of there music.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Cut Copy has just announced that they are touring with Franz Ferdinad in North America this Autumn, with also some headline shows. Also there is talk of a intimate pre Franz Ferdinad tour in Australia, so keep your ear to the streets, and there website.

Picture: Cut Copy at Ding Dong 2003


The Corner has recently announced from December 2005 all shows will be smoke free. Plus a new bar and smoking area will be made upstairs. That should make things a bit cooler, instead of coming home smelling like smoke and beer, I'll just smell like beer.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bembe Segue at Honky Tonks

It was a late Thursday night at Honky Tonks, full of plenty of try hards and artists. The photo above was taken in the Stair well, leading up to the entertainment. It definitely has some of the best furniture and design for any nightclub I been to.
The reason why I went there was to see vocalist Bembe Segue. It didn’t start until 12.30ish, so we all dance to some soul at cherry around the corner. This was a live gig, with guitars, drums, keyboards, you could describe it as a modern freeform of Jazz (well that’s what I was told). I could exactly find much on the net about Bembe but here is what Ennio Styles from stylin had to say.

As the interview revealed, part of the reason for her unique rapid-syllable singing style comes from her background as a rapper.

Collaborations, she's had plenty: IG Culture, Nicola Conte, Ty, Mark de Clive-Lowe, 4 Hero, Bugz in the Attic, Alex Attias, Sleepwalker, Silhouette Brown, Da Lata, 2 Banks of Four and more. She assures us that her debut solo album is in the works, but given that she is using a 14-piece band, it's not proving a simple exercise.

This was an interesting live show, with a very intimate crowd. The crowd and the band were on the same level, with the crowd pushing ever so closer to the band. One other reason to visit honky tonks is the street art along the way. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the gig due to the poor lighting.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Go! Team at the Corner


Go! Team, The grates and Mid state orange.

Mid State orange started the gig, they had an interesting sound but soon I was soon bored, they seemed a little flat. Then came The Grates which brought up the tempo for the evening and got everyone dancing. Well I didn’t, maybe because I feel a little old. I couldn’t believe the amount of energy that the lead singer has, she just kept on dancing around the stage, maybe on her imaginary trampoline.

It didn’t take long before The Go! Team jumped onto the stage. I was amazed the size of the Go! Team on the small corner stage, but I have seen the Cat Empire play there and they have a horn section. There live sound is very different to there records and would be something hard to replicate, but still came across as a party band. The active band got the dance floor moving, with the exception to the guy on bass (A guy Stereolab standing in).
At the end of the gig I turned to my friends and said “They should have had a live horn section”.

The Grates

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Will the Bloc Party Party???

With a sold out HI-FI gig, what will you hear or miss out on when the Bloc Party play. NPR has a live gig from 2005 at 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. It’s a heavy file weighing down at about 60 megs. For a smaller file to hear them live go to the crutch and download "She’s hearing voices", from when they played at this years SXSW 2005.

Australians Cut Copy is also a guest, you can hear a mix they made.
Although you need a password, so you will have to join Modulers mailing list. The file is about 31.9 mb and its about a 1hr mix. This is an interesting mix with music from the 80`s, some of their own tracks, and tracks they like (Daft Punk – Around the world)

There are two interviews for both bands on JJJ. Bloc Partys Singer Kele Okereke talks about the reviews his band is getting for there debut album (1.01mb, 11/03/2005). Robie Buck talks to Cut Copy about what they wanted to achieve with "Bright Like Neon Light" album (4.24 MB, 14/04/2004).


Monday, July 11, 2005

Music podcasts made in Australia

Living away from Aus, I have been keen to know what is going on in the Music world. Pods casts are the new craze and are springing up everywhere. What Australian made pod casts about music are available?

SBS whatever sessions is in its second installment and is available through Pod cast or direct download (MP3) . Episodes range from rock to electronic, roots (or is that folk) to Hip-Hop. Most artists are fairly new, giving them some valuable airtime. What you hear in there pod casts are a track or two and an interview with the featured artists.

Over at ABC they have been pumping out the Pod casts like there is no tomorrow. Currently I have been listening to there Deep End sessions. The Deep End is a Arts, Culture and music show on Radio National (but don’t let that scare you). The featured artists are either from Australia or are international artists on tour. Some of the highlights have been Laura Veirs, Cam Butler and Jens Lekman.

ABC also has recently started a pod cast for its Dig Internet Radio. Two episodes have been Hat Fitz's Country Blues and Ash Grunwald, Bakelite Radio And Blues Progression. I haven’t yet had the chance to listen to these yet so I don’t know what they are like.

Unfortunately the “Youth Network” triple J hasn’t caught on to the whole Pod cast Phenomenon. Triple J only has four available, Sunday Night Safran, J cast, Hack and Dr Karl. You would of thought there would be an Aus music pod cast due to the amount of interviews available through Roby Bucks Home & Hosed program.

Any suggestions about good Australian made Music pod casts please leave a comment.

Links: Pod cast directory

Friday, July 08, 2005


This is a kind of preview to a show comming up. The Go! Team have sold out one gig on Fri 29 July at the Corner, with guests Mid State Orange and The Grates. I think there are still some tickets left for the Thursday night show at the Corner.

Mid State Orange have a track on there website you can download, "Summer". This is a very danceable indie-pop tune, with plenty of pace and keyboards. The singer Louis Richter has a calm voice and the song has some 80s flavors.

The Grates are a Brisbane trio made up of two girls (one being the lead singer) and a guy. You can hear them on JJJ super request, not making a request but having a chat. They do talk to Rosie Beaton so beware, I would of prefered some kid to Rosie.

The Go! Teams Ian Parton talks to Richard Kingsmill about his approach to songwriting for there debut album "Thunder, Lighting, Strike". This interview was made back in 2004.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

New links

One thing that gives me the sh!ts is sites that don’t have full dates on them. How can you tell if they are updated or if a gig was from last year or this month?

The Prince band room, no gig guides what a joke/pity until it has one I wont link it.

The Art House

Revolver Upstairs - Beware: When opening the page it has annoying(or some may say "cool") pinball sound. One question I have where do you turn the friggin thing off? Also gig guide is well hidden in the colour of the front page. One more thing, expect to find lost souls here off chapel street and wankers with designer mullets (eg. members of Jet).

The Laundry - Its cool, well maybe just two girls who worked at the once some years ago to a sold out Niko Case gig, they let me in for free because it was my birthday. This lacks information on any gigs.

Bar Open

Cherry - I think this the official site, but it’s hosted by city search Melbourne Citysearch. Highly recomend the sould night. A usual dj is PBS.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

New links added

Melb Venues
Northcote social club, The Duke of Windsor, and The Palace.

Melb. street press
Beat -

Unfortunately Inpress ( doesn’t have an online presence. Why? I don’t know or understand.

Aus. Music
Live guide - Sometimes it doesn’t give the year of the gig.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


This site is about Melbourne music, links to venues and bands websites. Also pictures that I take at gigs, poster art and rants. I get frustrated when I can’t find the site to a local venue to tell me what on. I’ll start posting after late July, when I’m back in Melbourne town.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Wednesday, May 25, 2005