TOUR: Buckley Ward

Melbournian indie-popsters Buckley Ward have just returned from a year of working on their sophomore album, and with a new line up as well! They’ve just announced a couple of shows around the country in support of their latest single, “So Pretend”.

Thursday 8 September – Oh Hello, Brisbane, QLD (free show)
Friday 9 September – Lightspace, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 10 September – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW supporting Winter People
Saturday 24 September – Melbourne, Yah Yahs with I, A Man

Take a listen to “So Pretend” below. Full of lush pop harmonies, they manage to craft this relaxing atmosphere around beautiful guitar melodies. Well worth checking out. You can download it for free over here too.

VIDEO: Illy – “Cigarettes (ft. Hue Blanes)”

This video isn’t brand new, but it’s really surprising that it doesn’t have more views! It’s such a strong single, off an album that got a whole heap of attention, and the artistic direction the clip takes is pretty cool too. The video was shot around Melbourne, including at Red Door Sounds in Collingwood and The Corner Hotel in Richmond. It was directed by Andrew Wood of Rockaway Creative.

Illy’s breakthrough album The Chase really threw him into the Aussie hip-hop limelight, and this song is a great example of just how much he deserves that success. That chorus has so much potential for huge moments at gigs and festivals. I can see people waving their lighters already.

BRAND NEW/TOUR: Kaiser Chiefs – “Little Shocks”

It’s great too, because while their latest single “Little Shocks” may not have an instant hook like “Ruby”, it shows growth in the band, who are clearly willing to try something new.

The track sounds like a bit of a grower, but it’ll be very interesting to see where their new album goes stylistically. I hope it gets some solid rotation on triple j.

The band are coming over for Splendour, but they’re also playing a couple of sideshows with Papa Vs Pretty and Stonefield.

Wed 3 Aug – UC Refectory, Canberra, ACT – 18+
Fri 5 Aug – Palace Theatre, Melbourne, VIC – 18+
Sat 6 Aug – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW – All ages

There’s a pre-sale for Frontier Members from noon on the 6th of June, for 24 hours (or until the pre-sale allocation is gone). General tickets go on sale from 9am on the 9th of June.

A Splendour sideshow in Canberra? Wow. Well, there you go. Not that I’m complaining of course, seeing I live there. It’s just a bit surprising.

TOUR/COMPETITION: Ben Sherman Big British Sound! + Win some CDs!

For those of you hanging around Sydney and Melbourne, early May is going to bring you some great live music. In fact you guys get access to pretty cool music most of the time. But especially now, because on the 11th and 12th of May is the Ben Sherman Big British Sound!

“What’s that?”, you might ask. Well, it’s a night filled with emerging artists from around Australia. It’s been pretty successful the past two years, and has seen artists like Art Vs Science, Tame Impala, Little Red, and Seabellies grace the stage.

The catch? Each artist performs one or two covers from British artists they like. So not only do you get to see some brilliant Aussie musicians play, but you get to hear some special covers as well.

Head down if you get the chance! Tickets are only about $10 each.

Melbourne
11th May (Wednesday), 2011 – 19:30-22:30
The Corner Hotel, 57 Swan St
Tickets – http://www.cornerhotel.com/
Ball Park Music
Strange Talk
Boy In A Box
Owl Eyes
DJs Simon Winkler & Jess McGuire (RRR)

Sydney
12th May (Thursday), 2011 – 19:30-22:30
The Gaelic Club, 64 Devonshire St, Surry Hills
Tickets – http://www.moshtix.com.au/event.aspx?id=46271
Ball Park Music
Strange Talk
Boy In A Box
Step-Panther
DJs Sweetie & Shag (FBi)

COMPETITION:

Thanks to the folks organising the Ben Sherman Big British Sound, you can score copies of the latest releases from Ball Park Music and Boy In A Box!

All you have to do is comment and tell me who your favourite British artist is, and why! Easy, right? Get to it! Just leave an e-mail address somehow when you leave a comment, otherwise I can’t contact you.

I’ll pick the best entry and announce the winner on Saturday afternoon, so get your entries in early!

Competition is over! Congratulations to Benny Nitro!

REVIEW: Goodnight Owl – "Goodnight Owl [EP]"

Goodnight Owl manage to develop a balance between soft and melodic acoustic sounds – not unlike those of a modern indie folk band – rolling off-beat drums, and lofty vocals, that despite being an odd combination, elevate them up there among bands paving the way by creating different, yet good music.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Goodnight Owl recorded their debut EP in late 2008. Eddie Alexander deferred from university in 2008, and began work on Goodnight Owl. Shortly afterward, he was joined by Joe Walker and Bella Walker, all three of whom grew up in Alice Springs.

The delicate nature of Goodnight Owl’s music is one of its defining qualities. The piano and various background effects really contribute to the texture of the songs, the layered melodies complimenting the guitar lines very well. The drums move the songs along at a pace that don’t leave them dwindling slowly behind the interest of the audience. With the interesting rhythms that change with different fills and breaks, Goodnight Owl manage to hold your attention whilst not being in your face and out there, like so much other music.

In particular, Eddie’s vocals blend into the melodies seamlessly. They’re very distinct in the way that they aren’t being shown off and over-done, they manage to fit into the mood of the whole EP. It’s true that the song’s produced here are greater than the sum of their parts. They manage to come together to form a unique combination of different sounds and textures.

Maps & Compasses is a great opener for the debut, and for a conclusion with such emotional vocals and a raw feel to it, Stale Bread does not disappoint. The 5 tracks on the EP really all fit together, and they don’t fade from your memory with repetition, like so many short EP’s do. This is a band with a distinct style, but one which doesn’t repeat itself into mediocrity.

As many people will point out, you have to work with what you have. Without the backing of a major label, Goodnight Owl have managed to create an EP that shows a developed, interesting sound, that only grows on you as you listen. With weaving melodies and catchy drum lines, interspersed between the delicate additions from the piano, this EP is not only creative, but great to listen to as well. Here’s to a full-blown LP in the future!

Score: 8/10

Having blogged about Goodnight Owl before, it was great to get an offer to review their debut EP. I’d just like to give a shout out to the band and Sabrina Robertson for giving me the opportunity to do so.

triple j Unearthed page. Download their stuff here.

MySpace page.

LIVE: Pearl Jam, live at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne (20-11-09)

Pearl Jam. One of the most successful alternative rock bands in the world. On Friday the 20th of November, 2009, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to see them live. They did not disappoint.

Though we were seated in the stadium, and missed out on the feeling of being crushed against the barrier by hundreds of people and being within mere meters of the band (despite the notion sounding ridiculously uncomfortable and painful on paper, it really isn’t that bad, and is entirely worth it), we did have very good seats that provided us with an almost direct view of the stage and the two screens situated either side.

The first support act, Liam Finn, was very good. Though I’d only heard a few of his songs, the way in which he played his guitar parts, looped them around, and then went to play the drums and sing for a bit was very clever. He gave off so much energy while he was on stage, jumping up and down all the time, singing into the mic while practically lying down, and then leaping about with all sorts of instruments, he certainly got the crowd going and put a lot of effort in.

After about a half hour wait, Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 came on for their support slot. Having heard next to none of their songs, I was pleasantly surprised. Harper’s slide guitar playing was very skillful, and his voice practically radiated around the stadium. It was amazing, he managed to put so much emotion into his songs, while moving from the softer more delicate songs to vary his style throughout the set. Edit: It was during Ben Harper’s set that Vedder came out to join them in a rendition of Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie.

By the end of the support acts, the stadium was close to having filled up entirely. The front mosh section was absolutely packed.

It was about 8.30 when Pearl Jam came on, and it’ll come as no surprise that the crowd went crazy. Beginning with Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, a brilliant acoustic number which contains one of the best moments for the crowd to join in on vocal duties, they continued to proceed through the majority of their most popular hits for the next 2 hours. Playing well known numbers such as Alive, Jeremy, Even Flow, and Daughter, amongst the many other songs they pulled out, it was impossible to go away from the concert being disappointed. Although I’m unfamiliar with some of their more obscure songs, as I only have a best of and a live album, I’m sure that they mixed up their set list and played some other fan favourites as well. With the number of songs they have up their sleeve, they have a stunning amount of freedom in terms of the material they play.

Initially after playing for about an hour, they left the stage and finished up. But as everyone there knew, it was merely a pretext for the next few encores that were to come. The first encore involved inviting Ben Harper out to cover Queen and David Bowie, with Under Pressure. (Edit: Sorry about that, got mixed up. Thanks for the correction) After playing another 8 odd songs I’d say, they left again, only to be called out by an enthusiastic and loving crowd for a few more. This time, Vedder invited Liam Finn out to do a duet, which was very good. It was great in the way he not only interacted with the crowd, telling stories and dedicating songs to people, but also in the way they involved the support acts in their own. They were so dedicated, that they continued playing until after the lights in the stadium were back on, normally an indication of a completed gig.

In the end, it was an amazing experience. They had so much energy, playing and running around for hours, and they involved the crowd as well. It’s really these kind of bands that put on a great show for their fans that are the good ones live. A brilliant concert, well worth the $100+ ticket price.