TOUR: Phatchance and Coptic Soldier’s “Hey, Where’s Your DJ?” tour

So you may have noticed I recently reviewed Inkstains (Acoustic) and The Sound of Wings 2, the most recent releases from Phatchance and Coptic Soldier.

Well, they’ve recently announced a co-headline acoustic tour around a few of Australia’s major centres to showcase their new material, and if you’re a fan of hip-hop this is not something you want to miss. They’re touring with a full live band, alongside collaborator and musician Jon Reichardt, and if their recent EP releases are anything to go by, this tour will be special indeed.

It’s a shame they can’t make it to more cities, but if you can make it out to see them you really should. Best of luck to everyone involved, I’m sure you’ll smash it!

See the below poster for details.

INTERVIEW: Miami Horror

I recently got to catch up with Miami Horror, one of Australia’s biggest electro-pop bands around!

On The Tune: You guys are currently getting ready to head out on the Summersun Tour before you head off to Los Angeles. This must be a pretty exciting time for you guys. Why did you pick L.A.?

Miami Horror: Well it was between NY and LA, we felt LA was better because we like a little bit of space and having the ability to step out into nature if we need. The houses are bigger and we feel it’s the right atmosphere for creation.

OTT: I get the feeling these last shows over here seem to close an era, especially here in Australia. Are you guys going to tour Illumination extensively overseas now that it’s getting released there, or will it be straight into new material?

MH: The international tour is pretty comprehensive however we’ve already done America twice in the last year and are off to Europe in May and also September… So I think hopefully from July onwards we’ll have a lot of time off to start new material.

OTT: Will we see new tracks to move in a different direction to the stuff on Illumination? What can fans expect from new material?

MH: We haven’t really had the chance to think about direction yet, currently what we’re listening to is quite different to MH, so we need some time to work out how we can work in our new direction without loosing the MH sound that people would expect.

OTT: It definitely sounds like you guys are getting great reactions from overseas crowds to your current material. Where have you enjoyed playing the most? Any places that have absolutely wild crowds?

MH: Chile and Rio were probably our biggest most interesting crowds, it was a great feeling to sell out some pretty reasonable sized shows in the US as we weren’t really expecting it.

OTT: Lots of bands dream of playing South By South West over in Texas, you guys got to actually go over this year. How do you guys feel your shows went? Being one of the biggest showcases in the world was it a fairly hectic experience?

MH: SXSW is always pretty hectic, its hard work to find the good music because there’s just so much in general, all of our showcases were completely packed and went really well. Its a great opportunity to play to the industry and can bring many new opportunities.

OTT: Thanks for the chat, and congratulations on an incredibly successful 2010 guys! Good luck on the tour!

MH: Thanks!

TOUR/NEWS: Guineafowl tour and EP announcement!

That’s right! One of my favourite Aussie indie acts Guineafowl are touring in support of their Hello Anxiety EP, and you better be damn excited.

Guineafowl first amazed me with the hand-clapping and plucked subtleties of “Botanist”, and since then have gone on to awe me with the delays and pounding beats of “In Our Circles”. This is a band that I’ve been wanting more from for a long time, and finally it’s going to happen!

On the 11th of February, Guineafowl’s debut EP Hello Anxiety is going to be available through the lovely folks at Dew Process. Not only that, but a week later they will begin their tour in support of the EP, and if you’re lucky enough they’ll pass you by. It’s only $10-$12 entry! If you’re near any of these dates, be sure to check them out.

Guineafowl will hit it big, you watch.

LIVE: Karnivool, live at The Metro Theatre, Sydney (01-07-10)

Karnivool #5

One week ago, I embarked on a journey of epic proportions. Joined by one of my best friends and my dad, at approximately 8 o’clock in the morning we began a 7 hour drive to Sydney to see one of my favourite bands ever: Karnivool.

Doors at The Metro Theatre were set to open at 8pm, and not wanting to miss the opportunity to be up against the barrier, we lined up 2 hours early. Around 5 minutes after lining up, looking down the alley beside the Metro, who do we see but the one and only Ian Kenny! Deciding to take the chance while we had it, my friend and I walked up to him to see if we could get a photo before the gig. At first I wasn’t sure how he’d react – musicians such as himself must get asked for photos and approached by fans all the time, and it would probably get tiring. But he was the nicest guy, and was only too happy to have a quick chat and take a photo. It really made the night, getting to meet a musician from one of my favourite bands.

After that, we returned to the line outside the Metro. We were still basically at the very front, and the next 2 odd hours were spent chatting with a couple of people in line with us and a security guard (who by the way was one of the coolest security guards I’ve ever met).

The clock hit 8 and we all waited with anticipation for the doors to finally open. It took them about 10 minutes to let us in, and we walked (albeit very quickly) up the stairs to hand in our tickets and make our way inside.

Gay Paris #1

The first support act, Gay Paris, were on at about 8.30, so we didn’t have long to wait for some entertainment.

Initially, I had my doubts about Gay Paris. I checked out some of their demos and wasn’t terribly impressed, but their live show was something a bit more special. The lead singer’s style was out there, to say the least. Jumping all over the stage, talking with the audience, telling stories, rolling on the floor – it was all a bit odd, but it was interesting. He put a whole tonne of energy into it and it paid off. The guitarist I was closest to kept pulling surprised faces every so often, and did some awesome jumps during the tenser moments in their set.

In an instrumental sense, their material is full of loud rock hooks and quasi-punk-rock drumming, and it really does sound pretty good. The vocal lines consist primarily of deep growls, making most of the lyrics unintelligible from my perspective, but if that’s your thing then you should check these guys out. All in all, they put on an energetic show, and looked thrilled to be supporting someone as relatively big as Karnivool. So kudos to the guys for being interesting and warming everyone up – you did a great job.

MM9 #5

Next up were electro-rockers MM9. I was pretty excited to see these guys, having heard about their solid reputation when it comes to live shows.

They ended up being pretty entertaining. For those of you unfamiliar with them, they’re like a rockier version of Pendulum. The lead singer stood behind what looked like a small keyboard and a Mac, occasionally standing away from it and singing directly at the audience. The drumming was top notch, and was clearly tough work. The drummer had sweat pouring off his face by the end of the set.

Apart from a few troubles the guitarist had at one point, the set was flawless (as far as I could tell) on a technical level. It sounded good, and they interacted with the crowd, getting us all to sing along at a few points.

MM9 have recently released their debut “The Air Between”, and it sounds like they could begin making some bigger waves very soon. Keep an eye on them.

By this point the crowd was brimming with excitement. With each support act the mosh was getting more and more lively. With the curtains drawn over the stage, and the Karnivool guys doing a quick little sound-check to make sure everything was in order, everyone was getting fairly pumped.

The curtains opened, and we were given an empty stage. Everything was in its place. All we needed was the band. Then they came out.

Karnivool #9

The reaction from the crowd upon their entry was to be expected. It was enormous. This was the moment we’d all been waiting for.

Coming out on stage, Karnivool launched into the lead single from their latest LP “Sound Awake” – “Set Fire To The Hive”. And what a fitting beginning it was. The raw energy behind the song was matched only by the energy inherent in the audience’s enthusiasm. It felt like at least half of the mosh pit was singing along to every single word.

Karnivool then moved onto the rhythmically changing “Goliath” and LP opener “Simple Boy”, which saw guitarist Mark Hosking pick up a pair of xylophone mallets for the distinctive opening melody.

Karnivool #14

Everyone’s performances on the night were amazing. Drew Goddard’s extensive pedal set-up allowed him to recreate the majority of the studio sounds in a live environment, and when a band puts on a performance that’s so good you can hardly tell the difference between them and a CD, you know they’re something special. Ian Kenny’s vocals were amazing, and did not disappoint one bit. Jon Stockman’s bass playing was energetic and ferocious, yet still accurate. Though Mark Hosking was over on the opposite side of the stage to where I was, I couldn’t fault anything I heard, and Steve Judd’s drumming was superb, handling every time signature change and rhythmic nuance like the expert he is (I’m not sure why he had a plush bee on his drum kit, but it was cool none-the-less). In a sense I expected all of this. Karnivool are widely renowned for their live performances, and it really was a sight to behold, seeing 5 extremely talented musicians up on stage playing together.

Launching into “C.O.T.E”, one of my favourites from their debut album “Themata”, provided a nice contrast between their equally interesting songs from a few years ago and their latest material. At the end of the night, they really did quite a good job of mixing together old and new material. “Roquefort”, “Themata”, and “Shutterspeed” all got an airing, and the crowd loved it. These more mosh-friendly tunes really got everyone pumped up and excited.

Karnivool #7

Having already played through most of “Sound Awake” however, there was one final track to play before the main set was closed: “Change”. Having been alternating between “Deadman” and “Change” at previous gigs, I was glad they played the latter. It’s an amazing track that goes for over 10 minutes, and it really showcases everything brilliant about Karnivool: their ability to create moving songs, that despite their length manage to be captivating and beautiful. “Change”’s different sections fit together seamlessly, and this song is truly amazing. A brilliant end to the main set.

Karnivool #2

After around 5 minutes, Karnivool came out again to a rapturous applause. Everyone knew the encore was going to be something special – and they were right.

Bringing out fan favourite “Fade” from their “Persona” EP showed just how far Karnivool have come over the years. Moving from their early nu-metal influenced days, they’ve developed into a more progressive and unique group. I warned my friend earlier about “Fade”, and it turned out I was right – the mosh pit went off. Everyone loved it. I suspect that the New Day tour gigs could be the last gigs that they’ll play it. Maybe they’re giving it one last run before they put it on the shelf. I don’t have any evidence to justify it, but it’s just a feeling I get.

After “Fade” they pulled out the tour’s title track – “New Day”. Kenny’s hair was a little dishevelled, and they were beginning to look tired, but it seemed to me that Karnivool put in every ounce of energy possible, right up until the final notes.

All up it was an amazing gig. My friend managed to get one of Judd’s drum-sticks and a set-list, but the real prize was a drum plate thrown out at the end. It had been signed by all of the band, and was well out of my reach, going straight into the middle of the mosh.

I feel like I probably spent too much time taking photos and not enough time getting into the gig (you live and learn I guess), but regardless I still enjoyed myself a hell of a lot. It was one of the best gigs I’ve been too, and one of the most enjoyable. If you ever get a chance to see Karnivool, do so. For $40, Thursday was an absolute bargain. Make sure you see them before they start filling stadiums.

You can view a tonne of fairly good quality videos from the night here from ChezBerryxXx.

You can check out the whole set-list from the night here.

You can view all of the photos that I took here.

Also; check out the professional, and consequently much better photos taken by TheEnglishGentleman from FasterLouder over here.

triple j also managed to snap a few awesome ones. Take a look here.

BRAND NEW/TOUR: Birds of Tokyo – “Plans”

I’ve been wondering for quite some time what Birds of Tokyo were doing with the new album. They released new single “The Saddest Thing I Know” a while ago (the clip is in 3D if you’ve got a pair of glasses floating around!), but there were no details on the new album.

But, good things come to those that wait. And things don’t get much better than this.

Due to be released on the 23rd of July, Birds of Tokyo’s third album, which is to be self-titled, is looking to be amazing. As always, Ian Kenny’s vocal melodies are brilliant. The softer ambient atmosphere is a bit of a throw away from previous tracks like “Silhouettic”, but let’s not forget, in terms of alternative music BoT really are on the poppier side of things, which is not intended as a derogatory description at all. I can easily see this being the album where they really break onto mainstream commercial radio. For such a solid band they deserve it too. So perhaps self-titling this album is the beginning of a new era for the band. Regardless of whether this actually happens or not, it doesn’t matter. This track is great, and I’ll be picking up their new album on release.

Birds of Tokyo have also announced an up-coming tour. It’s going to be their “every album tour”, and will showcase their new material alongside their classics. The band are now “bigger, bolder, more refined and more fearless”. And it certainly looks like they’re planning one hell of a special tour.

Dates:

September 22, 2010 – Adelaide, SA

September 24, 2010 – Brisbane, QLD

September 26, 2010 – Hobart, TAS

September 30, 2010 – Sydney, NSW

October 01, 2010 – Melbourne, VIC

October 02, 2010 – Fremantle, WA

REVIEW: Celadore – “Distance Is A Gun”

 

Melbourne trio Celadore are touring their debut EP, “Distance Is A Gun”, at the moment.

“Distance Is A Gun”, the title track, is full of catchy hooks, and for a three-piece it sounds like these guys have some energy behind them.

Their unashamedly pop-rock influences show, and their embrace of these influences is really something to be proud of. Despite staying true to a style of music that’s been done time and time again, it’s a solid effort, and with the introduction of various off-beat guitar rhythms, it’s interesting enough for those of us who need a bit more in a song.

Lyrically, they feel a notch above their contemporaries, with lines like:

“closer to a stranger, than anyone i love.

the less space the better, distance is a gun.”

Celadore have crafted a solid song filled with catchy hooks. Keep an eye out for these guys, because once they get their break, they could be up there.

Verdict: Positive.

Grab a free download here.

Check out their clip for “Distance Is A Gun” here.

NEWS/TOUR: Powderfinger split and tour + Karnivool tour!

Yesterday I learnt of the sad news that Australian rock band Powderfinger would be splitting up after one final tour. After the release of “Golden Rule”, the band felt inclined to quit after what they felt was a fitting last album.

They’re planning a tour of Australia, for which I and many other fans are very grateful. They’re a good band and deserve a proper send off. Over the course of 7 weeks they’ll not only be playing the obligatory major centres and capitals, but they’ll also be travelling to certain regional centres along the way.

Check out the tour dates and details here. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday the 30th of April.

In other news, Australian prog-rockers Karnivool are planning another Australian tour in support of their brilliant sophomore LP “Sound Awake”. Having just returned from a tour in the states, the New Day Tour will run through June and July, and it’ll be their last set of tour dates for 2010. I certainly don’t want to be missing this one.

You can find out more about dates and details here. Tickets go on sale on Friday the 23rd of April (I’m not sure what time). Here’s hoping for a fair few all ages gigs.

NEWS/TOUR: Liam Gallagher @ the Brit Awards + Peter Gabriel makes a fuss + The National tour with The Antlers.

Oasis picked up the Brits Album Of 30 Years for “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” at the Brit Awards recently.

“I’d like to thank Bonehead, Guigsy, Alan White…. the best bands in the f**king world live forever.”

Liam Gallagher is quoted as saying, obnoxiously omitting his brother Noel from his thanks. He then subsequently threw his microphone and trophy into the audience.

Watch it here, though this version is censored. Skip ahead to about 1.40 if you wanna see when Liam comes on stage.

Host Peter Kay then appropriately summed up the performance with “What a knob-head.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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In other news, Peter Gabriel recently did a cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” for a covers project, and in return expected Thom Yorke to cover “Wallflower” for him. Yorke had apparently agreed to do so and was set to do it, but hasn’t been in contact for a while. And a lot of online media establishments are making a buzz about it. Seriously, give the man a break. Radiohead have been working on their new LP for a while. And he hasn’t said he isn’t going to return the favour. Just wait or something.

To be honest, I thought Gabriel’s cover of “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” was apalling, but I’ve never heard any of his music before. Maybe it’s his style, but I really couldn’t enjoy it at all.

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Lastly, The Antlers are set to open some North American shows for The National in June. In North America. I live in Australia. Dammit. That would be an absolutely amazing gig to see. Just thought I’d get that out of my system.

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.