Live Music Reviews

Posted 31 Jul 2013 @ 11:56am

Reviewed on Wednesday July 17

Dallas Green, formerly of Alexisonfire, now City and Colour, slipped into Sydney with relatively little fanfare to perform a quiet acoustic set ahead of a headline tour proper at the end of the year.


As the man himself said, usually these things are planned well in advance, but this one sort of snuck up on him – “I was playing in...

Posted 31 Jul 2013 @ 11:41am

Reviewed on Tuesday July 23


It’s amazing how much difference the right space can make; how artists and audiences alike subtly alter their behaviour depending on the size and shape of the room they happen to be in.


When a band’s style doesn’t suit its surroundings it can make everything painfully awkward, but the opposite is also true – I’ve never seen Tim Rogers...

Posted 11 Jul 2013 @ 10:01am

Reviewed on Thursday June 27


The evening began at the Hi-Fi with a solo set by Mick Turner (The Dirty Three). Modestly seated at the side of the stage – surrounded by a semi-circle of pedals – he created beautiful loops from his telecaster. Occasionally reaching for a touch pad drum machine, a violin bow, and a melodica, Turner formed a mosaic of open-ended, dynamic jams....

Posted 2 Jul 2013 @ 5:34pm

Reviewed on Wednesday June 19


You would never label Toy’s music groundbreaking, but the London five-piece’s krautrock and psych-garage inspired sound has definite accessible appeal. Widely compared to The Horrors – due to their mutual appreciation of 60s garage and thin, pale, androgynous Shoreditch look – their live set was precise and rhythmically taut, neatly demonstrating...

Posted 2 Jul 2013 @ 5:31pm

Reviewed on Friday June 21


The curtains drew back and a smoke machine hot-boxed the entire bar before Boris appeared onstage. Drummer Atsuo stood before a massive gong structure – the centrepiece of the stage – and struck it with his mallet to signify the beginning of the Boris ritual.


Silhouetted by red lighting and heavy smoke, Wata’s thin frame and Les Paul...

Posted 25 Jun 2013 @ 2:53pm

Reviewed on Saturday June 15


Lil B, Based God, 23-year-old Californian rapper, self-anointed internet guru with 700k Twitter followers who is 100% Gandhi, 100% Ellen DeGeneres and looks like Usher’s ‘swagged out’ younger brother. Oh, and according to him, he’s definitely had sex with your girlfriend. That’s the Based God legend and though The Standard was half-full, the crowd...

Posted 19 Jun 2013 @ 4:46pm

Reviewed on Thursday June 6


Walking down King St towards Enmore, I overheard a young couple: “Did you see that queue at Enmore? I can’t believe all the people out tonight – I HATE Odd Future fans.” Truth be told, despite the hype, when I rocked up to the venue the ‘out of control’ crowds I’d been warned of were nowhere to be found, and in their place was a ragtag bunch of...

Posted 17 Jun 2013 @ 6:29pm

Converse sure know how to throw a party. There was pizza being handed around, a never ending supply of Budweiser and Sailor Jerry Dark ‘n’ Stormies, and people taking to the dance floor to shake it out to some loose rock’n’roll.


May St Warehouse, St Peters

Thursday June 13


Converse sure know how to throw a party. Descending into the steamy narrow room of...

Posted 12 Jun 2013 @ 5:08pm

Scanner and The Heritage Orchestra reviewed on Wednesday May 29.


It was a unique experience to hear the elements of Joy Division’s back catalogue separated/dismantled and then enriched by orchestration. The skeleton of the songs remained, but a whole new life was breathed into them. While the eeriness of much of the rhythm parts was maintained, the melodies were enriched by the...

Posted 11 Jun 2013 @ 11:59am

Reviewed on Sunday May 26


Neither Vangelis nor a single frame of Ridley Scott’s dystopian masterpiece were present, or needed. From the moment the UK’s remarkable Heritage Orchestra began the swell of Blade Runner’s ‘Main Titles’, you could practically feel the fire billowing from the industrial leviathans of Los Angeles, 2019.


No soundtrack score commands the...

Posted 11 Jun 2013 @ 11:53am

Reviewed on Saturday June 1


On a rainy night in Sydney, C.W. Stoneking was dressed all in white, his hair neatly oiled, with a golden Telecaster slung across his shoulder. Early in the set, Kitty and Daisy Durham (of Kitty, Daisy & Lewis) joined the Katherine-born bluesman and his band on stage for a sterling combination of their country songs ('Going Up The Country' and '...

Posted 11 Jun 2013 @ 11:49am

Reviewed on Friday May 31


It’s Friday night at Vivid, so cue weaving through thousands of gawkers at the lights and fountains and general spectacle of the harbour, to get to the Opera House. Luckily, inside the Joan Sutherland Theatre is just as visually stunning, with smoke and a dripping sound lending Cloud Control’s Dream Cave set (named after their forthcoming album) an air...

Posted 4 Jun 2013 @ 6:11pm


Reviewed on Monday May 27


When I heard that Kraftwerk were performing their back catalogue in order at London’s Tate Modern in February this year, I kicked myself for not being in the UK. It's a sign, then, of how far Sydney’s ascended the cultural ladder that we got the full set of shows only two months later.


With the promise of eight shows in four...

Posted 31 May 2013 @ 11:07am

Reviewed on Saturday May 18


The Hard-Ons are still playing when the news starts spreading. “Bar says no more beer!” meaty men mouth to their meaty mates. The order to stop selling beer cans, according to bar staff, came from “the band”. Either Jello Biafra doesn’t want to duck torpedoed cans all night or he knows that forcing The Metro to revoke the crowd’s beer rights would...

Posted 31 May 2013 @ 11:00am

Reviewed on Thursday May 16


Demonstrates developed technical skills incorporating technical fluency? Check. Performs with a sense of personal expression and an understanding of solo/ensemble techniques? Check. New Empire was every HSC music teacher's dream. Parts memorised to perfection, head bangs on cue and decked out in colour-coordinated navy, black and white we-are-simple-...

Posted 17 May 2013 @ 4:52pm

Reviewed on Friday May 10


The intimate size of the backroom at Goodgod gives gigs a delightful lounge-room feel, with the bands setting up onstage only a few feet away, plugging in their equipment and testing sound levels. It keeps things nice and relaxed, as Amy Franz and Hayley McKee sidle into a slightly scrappy hour-long set, plowing through most of their excellent new...

Posted 16 May 2013 @ 5:51pm

Reviewed on Saturday May 11


It was a confused atmosphere before Saturday’s gig. Punters in their least-ripped band shirts appeared nervous. A half-naked guy wearing devil horns and painted head-to-toe in red stared quizzically at an extensive wine list. The long tresses of interspersed metalheads (some in suit jackets) were unusually well-brushed. A puzzling picture indeed,...

Posted 16 May 2013 @ 5:49pm

Reviewed on Friday May 10


You Am I guitarist Davey Lane opens the bill in solo mode tonight; his melancholic six-string rock a nice prelude to his later appearance as part of Kevin Mitchell’s stage band. In the meantime, it’s Tigertown – and what a discovery these guys are. They’re like Fleetwood Mac raised on a diet of atmospheric synths and rolling African rhythms. Later,...

Posted 16 May 2013 @ 5:46pm

Reviewed on Friday May 3


After more than a decade of sold-out shows and electrifying festival appearances, Melbourne Ska Orchestra brought the jims, the jams and the swing when the 30-piece band hit the stage on Friday night. Imagine the force of more than a dozen horn players, a mean rhythm section, percussionist, two organists and three singers and you may begin to understand...

Posted 16 May 2013 @ 5:41pm

Reviewed on Thursday May 2


If there’s one place that you can abandon cultural cringe once and for all, it’s at Sydney’s favourite metal barn on a freezing Thursday. The hangar is already at half capacity when Melbourne’s reigning champs of Weird Electronica Midnight Juggernautstake to the stage. They roar through a stellar set, which includes road tests of new material from...

Posted 16 May 2013 @ 5:34pm

Reviewed on Friday May 3


A single spotlight illuminated a table made from scaffolding as Tool’s mystery support DJ walked onstage to complete silence. Dropping straight into Prince’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’, Tool fans began to second guess if they were at the right venue. Grooving though a selection of feel-good party hits, the DJ’s set slowly became darker as he ventured from...

Posted 16 May 2013 @ 5:26pm

Reviewed on Wednesday May 1


To say the last twelve months have been kind to this group would be an understatement. Last year, having completed a stadium tour with Coldplay, cleaned up at the ARIAs and booked dates at Lollapalooza in Chile and Brazil, The Temper Trap’s triumphant homecoming promised to deliver.


Support came from theatrical and captivating indie...