Touring their debut album Feel Something, Californian champions Movements have been moving around Australia for the past couple of weeks, and boy – what a pleasure it has been for anyone who got out to one of the shows.
Sydney Opera House is often seen as a place of grandeur and high art. But in recent years it has become known for showcasing rising contemporary stars from around the globe. Despite the Concert Hall being designed for seated shows, it’s not uncommon for audiences to stand and dance for the entire night. Unfortunately, for Courtney Barnett’s first show at the venue on Thursday night, the crowd was determined to uphold the Opera House’s polite and quiet image.
Sleepclub warmed up the crowd with their guitar-heavy riffs and slouchy vocal harmonies. The all female band really got the already filling up Lansdowne dancing and grooving along to their tracks. All three of the members of the band managed to fill the room to the brim with their mellow motifs. Despite them not having a bassist, the absence was barely felt. Interestingly, considering the band is only just starting out, their cohesiveness was to be admired. The name of the band suits the music perfectly, as well as their on stage presence. This kind of mature branding is unique to Sleepclub.
Sydney party-starter Joyride has a lot to say about the state of the city’s nightlife, and not a lot of it is not fit for publication. But while others might be lamenting the impact of the lockout laws, he’s turning it up to 100 and encouraging everyone to get down in whatever way they please. If you were looking for a good time on Friday night, his gig at Red Rattler was exactly the place to be.
In a night where the screams of adoring fans drowned out the music of the band, the four members of 5 Seconds of Summer had the Adelaide crowd wrapped around their fingers from the get-go. To get the party vibes flowing early on, support act Muki lit up the stage with electricity. Her DJ set the mood before Muki herself ran out into a wash of red and pink lights and high-pitched squeals of delight from the crowd.
It’s nearly impossible to talk about Kendrick Lamar without addressing the truly momentous impact he’s had on America’s political landscape. It’s even harder to try and navigate if I, a fair-skinned, fairly privileged, aspiring writer and Australian man can or even should address the politics of Kendrick’s music – given how it’s intrinsically tied to the experience and lives of African Americans in today’s U.S.A.
It’s a cold winter Sunday in Sydney and whilst many are attending churches the electro pop loving faithful are attending Chvrches. The Scottish band are currently in Australia for Splendour In The Grass festival but tonight it was Sydney’s turn to experience Chvrches as they play a full headline set at the iconic Hordern Pavilion. After seeing them previously at Enmore Theatre I was excited to see how they would be in a larger venue.
As a touring act of veteran status, there’s something special about using your platform to elevate artists on the ascent and expose them to a wider audience. To our headliner’s credit, this is exactly what they’ve curated in the form of Clypso and Kuren, two formidable up-and-comers within Australian dance music that have plenty of momentum and a world of potential behind them. The former is a ball of electro energy, exuding confidence and winning over the still-gathering crowd. Current single “Pop Roll Flow” rides a bass-line you can feel in your chest and a rhythm that could burn a hole in your dancing shoes – an essential listen in its own right. The latter, meanwhile, comes from the school of multi-instrumentalist producers who mix live instrumentation with programming and sequencing. His drumming is on-point, emphasising particular drops and twists within his compositions; his keyboard playing, too, adds a jazzy spontaneity to the fairly-faithful electro-pop numbers pulled out from within his canon. Both acts can safely lay claim to status as ones to watch – perhaps theatre dates of their own await in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, we can all say we were there when it all started.
On the outset of their opening slot, Vacations are out of their element. They’re a long way from their native Newcastle, and sonically are even further removed from the sound of tonight’s headliner. Their inclusion on such a bill is a genuine curiousity, to the point where you’re pondering if perhaps the bookers mistook them for a different band. Nevertheless, Vacations persist – and the evening is all the better for it. Having dropped their debut LP Changes back in April, the band have fine-tuned their particular off-shoot of warm, fancy-free jangle pop over the last couple of years. Fitting given their coastal heritage, the band rides a wave similar to that of bands such as Yves Klein Blue and Last Dinosaurs before them. “Moving Out” and “Relax” are all Johnny Marr chord shapes and wistful charm, boasting hooks that other bands will work for an entire career to develop. Yes, Vacations are considerably different to the main act – but rather than serve as detrimental, it’s complementary. This slot could have easily gone to some goatee-bristling meat-and-potatoes ‘rawk’ band, so at least there’s something a little more substantial here. Vacations dare to be different – and who dares wins.