LIVE REVIEW: PIXIES @ Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, 07.03.17

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Returning for their fourth post-reunion Australian tour, Pixies have a new weapon in their arsenal in the form of last year’s album Head Carrier which saw a balanced return to their classic sound with fresh songwriting and a renewed edge.

In support, The Murlocs fulfilled their obligations but a 40 minute opening slot of mid-paced bluesy garage-rock fell flat ahead of the headliners dynamic onslaught. The end of their set was more interesting with a fuller sound courtesy of frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith adding a second guitar but it was too little too late.

Pixies’ defining approach to their current live show is one of economy. With four stick clicks they were straight into Gouge Away from their seminal Doolittle album and from then on there were zero words spoken to the audience, little interplay between band members and just song after song in rapid-fire procession with nary a lull between songs, bar a few guitar changes. The breadth of their catalogue was on full display as they roared through new songs from Head CarrierUm Chagga Lagga and Frank Black’s blistering throat shredder Baal’s Back particular highlights and easily the equal of the band’s older songs.

Four figures, all clad in black and fairly static in their movements, were like an immoveable core in the eye of a storm as strobe lights, smoke and the music created the shapes and sounds around them. Joey Santiago’s guitar was urgent, dissonant and cut through more than ever while drummer David Lovering led from the back, the heartbeat and conductor of the band. Paz Lenchantin is well and truly bedded in as a key member of Pixies 2.0, exuding both confidence and deference to the songs.

Here Comes Your Man, Gigantic, Bone Machine and La La Love You were glaring omissions from the setlist but it was hard to complain on the back of 30-odd songs that demonstrated what a gloriously weird and obtuse band Pixies are. Instilling a mass sing-along to Monkey Gone to Heaven, Where Is My Mind? and Hey and then realigning synapses with the 30 year old frantic dash of Isla de Encanta, the manic schizo-gallop of Vamos and the fractured surf-thrash of Broken Face. Disappearing in a wall of noise, smoke and white light, Pixies remain the perfect example of a re-formed band still creatively alive, committed to their songs and audience.

Chris Familton

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NEW MUSIC: The Tambourine Girls – The Tambourine Girl

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The Tambourine Girls feature 3 ex-members of Sydney band Deep Sea Arcade who are now forging their own winding path through the outer reaches of garage-pop and psychedelia.

They’ve just released the catchy and near-eponymous new single ‘The Tambourine Girl’, with the clip below.

Recorded with producer Tim Whitten (Powderfinger, The Go-Betweens, Hoodoo Gurus), the song itself is captivating, evocative in its execution encompassing the mythology of the muse, a subject woven through carefully as well as the very fabric of pop culture as a whole. Twiggy. Marilyn Munroe. Christie Brinkley. And The Tambourine Girl. “She dances and I follow and when I wake up I am empty, so I fill myself up and do it all again.”

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LIVE REVIEW: Eleanor Friedberger, Noire, Georgia Mulligan @ NSC, Sydney 16/06/16

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Almost until the moment the headliner stepped on-stage this threatened to be one of those gigs where punters just don’t turn up – for an artist with a relatively established fanbase and on her first solo tour with a band. Thankfully Eleanor Friedberger’s fans crept out of the woodwork at the last minute and, though the venue was only half full, they were a warm and receptive audience.

The late rush did mean that both support acts played to each other, a small coterie of friends and some early arrivals. Georgia Mulligan was playing her first show with a band and it was a fine set with a balanced addition of drums and bass to her smoky, slow-burning songs which always seem to sit right in the pocket and showcased her singular and emotive voice. Noire took things in a postmodern indie pop direction. You can hear shades of Beach House and The xx bathed in a dreamy wash of reverb. They showed a fine range of guitar riffs amid the mostly mid-paced songs but unfortunately the vocals were mixed way to low to really get a handle on Noire as songwriters.

Eleanor Friedberger is now three albums deep in her solo career and that gave her set a rewarding mix of old and new songs plus a Cate Le Bon cover. Between professing her love for Sydney and recalling a week-long bicycle adventure around the city on a previous visit, she delivered song after song with her trademark on-point and quirky turns of phrase, breezy strumming and the occasional jagged interlude. Because I Asked You, Girl With The Curly Hair were two highlights form the recently released New View, as were My Mistakes and I Knew from earlier albums. With her trademark shaggy fringe, worn jeans and a striped shirt she cut a striking figure, somewhere between understated rock star and beat poet – which pretty much sums up her music. It was in intimate performance that reinforced the notion that simplicity in music is sometimes the most effective way to present ones songs and connect with an audience.

Chris Familton

TOUR NEWS: The Sonics Return To Australia

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Seminal garage rock band The Sonics return to Australia this September. Last time they were here they ripped it up at the Dig It Up! festival, showing the young punks how it is done. In 2015 band released their first studio album in nearly 50 years with This Is The Sonics.

Led by saxophonist Rob Lind and featuring one time Kingsmen bassist Freddie Dennis and drummer Dusty Watson (Link Wray) The Sonics return to Australia in 2016 to perform all the ‘hits’ from those iconic ‘60s releases: Here Are The Sonics and Boom! plus This Is The Sonics and more. Unfortunately, due to illness, original members Gerry Roslie and Larry Parpaya are unable to travel, their spots having been taken by Jake Cavelier (Fuzztones / Lords of Altamont) and Evan Foster (Boss Martians) maintaining the garage factor and keeping the fuzz intact.

FEEL PRESENTS
THE SONICS
Australia Tour 2016

Friday 23rd September 2016
The Gov – Adelaide SA
with guests Straight Arrows
Tickets from http://www.thegov.com.au/

Saturday 24th September 2016
Max Watts – Melbourne VIC
with guests Straight Arrows + The Wylde Oscars
Tickets from http://maxwatts.com.au/melbourne/

Tuesday 27th September 2016
Rosemount Hotel – Perth WA
Tickets from http://rosemounthotel.com.au/

Thursday 29th September 2016
The Triffid – Brisbane QLD
with guests Straight Arrows
Tickets from http://thetriffid.com.au/

Friday 30th September 2016
Cambridge Tavern – Newcastle NSW
with guests Straight Arrows
Tickets from http://thecambridgehotel.com.au/

Saturday 1st October 2016
Manning Bar – Sydney NSW
with guests The Crusaders + The Pink Fits
Tickets from http://www.manningbar.com/

Sunday 2nd October 2016 *
Yours & Owls Festival – Wollongong NSW
Tickets from Moshtix & www.yoursandowls.com.au

Tickets on sale 17th June, 9AM AEST
* Yours & Owls Festival On sale 20th Oct

LIVE IN SYDNEY: Jamie Hutchings Solo @ Camelot Lounge

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Jamie Hutchings (Bluebottle Kiss, Infinity Broke) is playing another of his solo, career spanning shows this Thursday at Camelot Lounge in Marrickville. The solo format of the evening is a great one where he takes a swing at prominent songs from his catalogue plus fan requests and a bit more insight into the songs than you might get at a regular gig.

Camelot Lounge is a great spot too, plenty of seats, food, great sound. Get along early to catch folk noir duo Jep and Dep who will be previewing songs from their upcoming 2nd LP.

Here’s our review of the first retrospective show Hutchings played at Camelot Lounge early last year.

Doors 7PM

Jep and Dep 8PM

Jamie Hutchings 9PM

Check out the Facebook Event for further details.

 

NEWS: Rough Church Announce New Album and NZ/AU Tour

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Rough Church is the moniker of Los Angeles-based musician Greg Franco and he’s releasing his new album Shhhh this month on the Auckland, NZ label Powertool Records. The other strong NZ connection is that Franco recorded the album with Tom Bell at Chick’s Hotel in Port Chalmers. He was also able to use the talents of two of the country’s most influential musicians in David Kilgour (The Clean) and Robert Scott (The Bats, The Clean) on guitar and bass respectively.

Franco is bringing out his band for a tour of both AU and NZ through February and March.

TOUR DATES

  • 20th Feb @ Woodcock Festival, Tauranga
  • 21st Feb @ UFO, New Lynn, Auckland (+ Joed Out, Fyodor)
  • 25th Feb @ The Old Bar, Melbourne (+ Gold Medal Famous, Mia Schoen, Elli & Bev, Sarah Mary Chadwick)
  • 26th Feb @ Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne (+ Mucus Kids, The Olsen Twins, Levitating Churches)
  • 28th Feb @ The Tote, Melbourne – Kaleidoscope World Series (+ Gold Medal Famous, Mucus Kids)
  • 3rd Mar @ The Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Adelaide
  • 4th Mar @ The Gasoline Pony, Marrickville, Sydney
  • 5th Mar @ Town & Country Hotel, Sydney
  • 9th Mar @ Moon (+ VORN), Wellington
  • 10th Mar @ Golden Dawn, Auckland
  • 11th Mar @ UFO, New Lynn, Auckland – Andrew Maitais Birthday Party (+ Poppycock)

SHOW MORE

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