Live Music Reviews

Posted 10 Jan 2017 @ 1:31pm

Reviewed on Friday January 6


Almost two years since Catfish And The Bottlemen cancelled what would have been their first Australian tour, hundreds of fans packed into a sold-out Enmore Theatre, eagerly anticipating the band’s Sydney debut. And as if to make up for lost time, Catfish turned it up loud.


Melbourne punk rockers Fan Girl warmed up the crowd with an...

Posted 10 Jan 2017 @ 1:25pm

Reviewed on Wednesday January 4 (photo by Ashley Mar)


Local Sydney singer-songwriter Dave Drayton opened up proceedings for the evening. Though he’s usually billed under the alias of Zzzounds, Drayton delivered his unusual form of emo-folk with aplomb, letting the crowd slowly turn in his favour. In between songs, his banter was casual – more akin to playing in front of his...

Posted 19 Dec 2016 @ 1:17pm

Reviewed on Saturday December 17


It was a week before Christmas, and the milestone wasn’t lost on Polish Club, who served up a rendition of festive queen Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ in their punchy, strident style during the last show on their first headline tour. While the room was busy belting out Carey’s track with smirks galore, Ginuwine’s ‘My Pony’...

Posted 19 Dec 2016 @ 9:53am

Reviewed on Thursday December 15 


Few can say they’ve had as much of a whirlwind year as B Wise. Having been given a healthy boost onto the Australian hip hop stage in 2016 under the extended wing of Elefant Traks, he’s gone from strength to strength, including the official release of his debut EP Semi Pro, supporting the likes of ScHoolboy Q, and now headlining his own show in...

Posted 16 Dec 2016 @ 12:07pm

Reviewed on Thursday December 15


Generally, the idea of seeing a version of a vintage band that only contains a couple of members of the classic lineup should be approached with extreme caution. The Monkees, however, have never been your average band.


Only Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork remain from the Pre-Fab Four that debuted on American TV in late 1966; Davy...

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 4:44pm

Reviewed on Tuesday December 13


Science dictates that time goes only one way; that the past is a foreign country, inaccessible and remote. But who gives a rat’s about science? If Japandroids’ sweaty, deliciously slobby gig at The Red Rattler on Tuesday proved anything, it’s that a beloved band can return to its roots with ease, somehow stepping back to its beginnings without...

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 11:52am

Reviewed on Tuesday December 13 (photo by Ashley Mar)


Money might not buy love, but a vast production budget can fill 51,000 hearts with joy. Love or loathe their music, there is no resisting a Coldplay show – or any show – as spectacular and warm as this.


With an opening quote from Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, we were promised a wonderful adventure and...

Posted 13 Dec 2016 @ 2:16pm

Reviewed on Monday December 12 (photo by Ashley Mar)


For a band that only has two studio albums to its name – the last of those coming more than two decades ago – The Stone Roses stir a religious fervour in their fans to rival any of their contemporaries.


Even on a Monday night, half the world away from Manchester, the band’s first show of three at the Sydney...

Posted 12 Dec 2016 @ 3:38pm

Reviewed on Sunday December 11 (photo by Ashley Mar)


An open letter to Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice on the occasion of its fourth birthday.


Ah, Frankie’s. For the last four years you've not only provided the best selection of beers and spirits alongside the greasiest yet most delicious pizza, you've provided a playground for rock stars visiting our fair city, a...

Posted 12 Dec 2016 @ 10:55am

Reviewed on Friday December 9


Less than five years ago, Flume was a music industry outsider. Half a decade on, the Sydney producer was playing to over 18,000 fans at Qudos Bank Arena, the culmination of his influence and career on display in this spectacular hometown show.


Much like Flume, Sophie has come to define a subgenre of electronica: PC Music. The UK...

Posted 12 Dec 2016 @ 10:30am

Reviewed on Friday December 9 (photo by Ashley Mar)


In perhaps the queerest and most female-empowering set to ever grace the Metro stage, electronic debauchery was in full swing on Friday as Peaches utterly destroyed the joint.


Habits began the night with their signature “sad goth party jams”, but the party was in short supply. Their combo of pulsing bass and...

Posted 12 Dec 2016 @ 10:19am

Reviewed on Friday December 9 – Saturday December 10 (photo by Benjamin Hunt)


Ah, FOTSUN. Port Macquarie’s beloved BYO music festival where you’re urged to “pop a tit or nut” as you pass campers, and where rules and shoes are hard to come by (costumes are not). Spirits are always high, and there’s a decent selection across two days of local bands and artists generally kicking...

Posted 8 Dec 2016 @ 1:00pm

Reviewed on Tuesday December 6


If you ever want to see a fully mesmerised, perfectly quiet audience, go to an Angel Olsen show. Touring in support of her recently released record My Woman, the Missouri singer-songwriter treated a packed-out Factory Theatre to her markedly refined alt-country dissertations, topped by her appropriately heavenly, lilting vocals.



Posted 8 Dec 2016 @ 12:52pm

Reviewed on Tuesday December 6


I’m ever so slightly ashamed to admit this was my first Newtown Social gig. But then, who better to experience in its unassuming confines than the man venerated by many as a saving grace on the songwriter landscape, Cass McCombs?


Casting a singular figure against a backdrop of hardware, Ela Stiles was on hand for support,...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 11:27am

Reviewed on Friday December 2 – Saturday December 3 (photo by Brianna Elton)


Too often the phrase ‘family-friendly music festival’ feels like a negation in terms, proving about as appealing as decaf coffee or sugar-free Coke. After all, the drawcards that appeal to baby boomers are completely different to those that entice the 20-something crowd, and by mediating between...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 11:00am

Reviewed on Tuesday December 6


Ryan Adams had only just finished introducing his band, the assortment of ultra-stylish musos recruited to record his new album Prisoner, when one of the night’s many hecklers called out. “Who are you?” they bellowed drunkenly. Everyone’s a comedian at an Adams show – including the musician himself – so the heckler was undoubtedly trying to be...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 10:34am

Reviewed on Monday December 5 (photo by Prudence Upton)


Acoustically speaking, no Australian venue like the Sydney Opera House gives an artist so much in return for their effort. The wide-open space fills with music quickly, there’s a special feeling surrounding the place, and there’s an elevated air to everything that takes flight in the building. Monday evening was no...

Posted 5 Dec 2016 @ 11:29am

Reviewed on Saturday December 3


Dallas Frasca are a band with a sound like no other – captivating, raspy female vocals, unfiltered old-school guitars, and classic rock-inspired songs with a 21st century twist, all sparking the urge for swigging on Jack and Coke at their shows. It’s just that kind of vibe.


And yet, it was an utter shame the atmosphere was so...

Posted 5 Dec 2016 @ 11:11am

Reviewed on Friday December 2


Uniting like it was 2003 all over again, scene kids of days gone by descended en masse on the Enmore Theatre, ready to unleash their inner emos.


Storm The Sky may have seemed an odd choice to support The Used, given their contrasting sounds, but despite their name they were the calm before the hurricane. Performing a gentler setlist...

Posted 5 Dec 2016 @ 10:47am

Reviewed on Friday December 2 (photo by Benjamin Potter)


Majestic Casual has had a massive couple of years. Going from a YouTube channel with obscure remixes and original music from artists that were almost unheard of at the time to selling out events all around the world is a highly respectable feat. While also considering that the label has been responsible for the...

Posted 5 Dec 2016 @ 10:29am

Reviewed on Sunday December 4 (photo by Ashley Mar)


Where to begin with Confidence Man, the semi-anonymous electro-dance collective that kick things off at a scarcely populated Metro this evening? Sonically, the quartet throw back to artists you didn't even know you missed – CSS, New Young Pony Club, Fischerspooner and The Phenomenal Handclap Band all come to mind across their...

Posted 5 Dec 2016 @ 10:19am

Reviewed on Tuesday November 29 (photo by Ashley Mar)


It began as a humble invitational by the Melbourne band recently deemed to have released the best hard rock/heavy metal album of 2016 by the ARIA voting panel. Now, the second annual Gizzfest has expanded into a massive school night party with a unique carnival vibe, thanks in no small part to our immediate surroundings, one...

Posted 2 Dec 2016 @ 3:10pm

Reviewed on Thursday December 1


It’s a strange experience when you encounter a somewhat stagnant audience at any Aussie gig, especially when the performance doesn’t call for it. We do, after all, hold a reputation for boasting some of the world’s most receptive audiences. Maybe it was the early-ish set time but, to start, the response to Hein Cooper was a little awkward despite...

Posted 28 Nov 2016 @ 6:17pm

Reviewed on Monday November 21


Filing into the dimly lit Newtown Social Club is always a pleasure. The place is easily one of the best venues in Sydney, and provides an intimacy that is hard to match at any of the bigger rooms. Young singer-songwriter Elizabeth Hughes set the tone immediately, opting for an amplified clean guitar mix that seems to be quite popular lately. She...

Posted 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:16am

Reviewed on Sunday November 27


Band Of Skulls are one of those ubiquitous acts who have managed to earn a deeply loyal following. At their Oxford Art Factory gig to support new album By Default, their crowd of super fans was jumping, singing and clambering towards the stage.


Flowertruck, hailing from Sydney’s Inner West, kicked things off nicely. Their brand of...

Posted 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:03am

Reviewed on Friday November 25 (photo by Ashley Mar)


I still remember the summer of ’89, sitting in my short shorts in front of the TV and grooving on the bad boy vibes as the ‘Fire Woman’ video from The Cult’s arena-troubling Sonic Temple LP blazed neon and leather across the screen. “Twisting like a cat on a hot tin shack!” I yelled gleefully as I practised jumping off the...

Posted 28 Nov 2016 @ 9:51am

Reviewed on Thursday November 24


Live, Bree Tranter’s vocals are just as bruised and woozy as on record. She exudes a beaten air, delicate but dense, with an often elusive whisper that blurs words at the edges. Soft, trawling guitar riffs or slow-moving keyboard chords are usually at the centre of her songs. In some places they are all there is, but then echoes open up...

Posted 28 Nov 2016 @ 9:33am

Reviewed on Friday November 25 (photo by Ashley Mar)


Somehow it feels like Crowded House have never gone away. Perhaps it’s the ubiquity of their songs, which have been the foundation of rock and adult contemporary radio in this country for decades now. Perhaps it’s the fact Neil Finn has kept churning out verses and choruses like a one-man hitmaking machine since his most...

Posted 21 Nov 2016 @ 10:53am

Reviewed on Monday November 14


When Sixto Rodriguez stepped out from behind the curtain, the cheer that greeted him was incredible – here was a man that some folks had been waiting 40 years to finally see in the flesh. What was surprising, however, were his chaperones. Rodriguez walked very stiffly, and seemed to rely on assistants to steer him towards the stool from which he...

Posted 21 Nov 2016 @ 10:02am

Reviewed on Tuesday November 15


On the same day a national tour has been announced for Vanilla Ice, Coolio and Color Me Badd, TLC are performing the first of three Sydney shows – the third of which will also feature Nelly, Blackstreet and 112. It's enough to remind one of the lesson imparted by True Detective's Rust Cohle: time is a flat circle, and everything that was will be...