1 Aug

[LIVE REVIEW] Little Mix // QUDOS Bank Arena // 29/07/17

Zoe Badwi has a hell of a challenge before her. It’s her duty to entertain an entire arena worth of rabid pop fans, mostly children, for an entire half-hour while they await the arrival of the act whose name is printed on the tickets. The only things she’s been given to do this are a microphone, an industrial-strength fan and two CDJ decks; with a giant curtain hanging over most of the stage – meaning there’s about a quarter of the space there normally is. Can our heroine MacGuyver her way out of this one? Well, yes and no. Yes, she throws together a mix of crowd-pleasing bangers – mostly remixes of pop hits, as well as some of her own songs – but the performance itself is simply bizarre to watch and objectively report on. It’s primarily Badwi doing her part to hype up the crowd and occasionally singing over the tracks as the mix seamlessly plays out. Including it in a review feels somewhat counteractive, on account of there being minimal elements of the set to actually review. It’s brought up here for completion’s sake, but also to openly ponder the logistics of having such an opener involved.

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28 Jul

Catfish and the Bottlemen + Bishop Briggs + Bec Sandridge + The VANNS // UOW Uni Hall // 25/07/17

Appearing at Splendour in the Grass last weekend Catfish and the Bottlemen took no time to slow down with their sideshows in Sydney, Melbourne and Wollongong; Tuesday night being their only regional show outside of Splendour. Still touring off the success of their 2016 album The Ride, which hit number 6 on Australian charts, the Bottlemen were set to bring their modern style rock’n’roll thundering in to the University of Wollongong Uni Hall.

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26 Jul

Hollow Heart + Supports // Rad Bar // 23/07/17

The night started off with local boys, Lowgazer, a progressive/hardcore metal band out of Wollongong. I entered the room just as their set began, and despite the band clearly being a little under the weather, their set was face paced and entertaining. Lead vocalist Joel McTaggart did his best to get the small crowd pumped up, showing us true stamina by pulling off a backflip mid song.

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24 Jul

Julien Baker // Factory Theatre // 20/07/17

After last year’s successful first Australian tour in support of EP Sprained Ankle, Julien Baker returns again to tour Australia, including a spot on the bill at Splendour in the Grass. Hitting Sydney’s Factory Theatre, Baker’s personal lyrics combine with her intricate guitar work to weave sonic journal entries that display the inner most thoughts of the Memphian guitarist for all to see. An ambient take on folk and alternative rock that blends 90’s trendsetters Sunny Day Real Estate and indie idols Death Cab for Cutie, with just a tinge of Bruce Springsteen mixed in. Baker’s music is for fans of sad songs and melancholy optimism.

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31 May

The Smith Street Band + Joyce Manor + Ceres + Alison Weiss // The Tivoli // 27/05/17

I walked into The Tivoli just as Allison Weiss took the stage. As the crowd was still forming, I headed upstairs to grab a drink, then settled by the upper balcony. Allison and her band delivered a lashing of pop-infused indie-rock with a joy that was contagious. She took a moment to say that if anyone was coming back for the show on the following night, her life would be a little more complete. By that time, she said, she would have cuddled a koala.

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9 May

Fiona O’Loughlin // Factory Theatre // 05/05/17

Credited as Australia’s Queen of Comedy, Fiona O’Loughlin brought her A Few of My Favourite Things show to The Factory Theatre last week as a part of the Sydney Comedy Festival.

After finally seeing her live I believe in this title, not because her jokes get the most laughs, but because her comedy so clearly represents that of the country at large. She’s much more eloquent and succinct than the rest of us, but her stories feel familiar thanks to her self-deprecating and irreverent attitude.

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2 May

Simon Taylor: Spectacular-ish // Enmore Theatre // 30/04/17

There’s something about Simon Taylor. For one thing, he looks nothing like his Instagram DP. He’s also quite funny. And in a country where the very idea of a millennial buying a house is laughable, his comedy works better than you might expect.

From his magic tricks, hilariously making a Dove appear and disappear, to his singing and dancing, which goes some way to explaining how he flirts in the digital age, Simon Taylor showcases his multi-talented approach to comedy with style.

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