The set times have dropped, and your Easter weekend is looking better than ever before!
Head down to Marrickville for the Bad Friday Block Party on Friday April 14th.
And those through the gates before 2pm, get their first beer for free.
Right off the bat, we’ve an internal conflict: Melbourne singer-songwriter Maribelle opens the bill – a sold out four-act Enmore Theatre frothfest – with somewhat of an underwhelming showcase. Her backing tracks sit too quietly in the mix and sound muffled – as if her DJ couldn’t afford the Spotify bill and ripped them from YouTube in a pinch. Speaking of her DJ, he’s the epitome of unnecessary; he spends most of the set dancing and standing around, and on the few occasions he actually touches his deck, he tweaks single knobs to no audible effect. On the other hand, Maribelle herself is phenomenal. Her voice outright demands attention, rippling through the hall with a bite as venomous as it is tender. She makes the stage her playground, spits every rhyme with precision and crushes every high note like an empty Sprite can under a boot.
Hometown heroes Spit Syndicate are up next, and from the second they snap into their first tooth-ratting anthem, have the whole goddamn venue in the palms of their hands. Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice command the stage, firing out slick sung choruses and harsh rapped verses with a fierce confidence – as if they were playing to a crowd 500,000 and not 500. Lupi in particular is a spectacle, his oversized kimono dancing behind him like a cape when he darts from one side of the stage to the other. The pair are backed live with keyboards and guitar, which adds to their set a vivid personality that would be lost in the hands of a DJ. The set itself is jam-packed with surprises, too, cameos from Maribelle (“Inhibitions”) and Thelma Plum (“Hold Me Down”) standing out alongside choices cuts from the duo’s forthcoming fifth LP, One Good Shirt Had Us All Fly.
Though his set comes nowhere close to matching the sheer intensity of Spit Syndicate’s, Gold Coast producer Paces takes the stage with a sunny slew of boisterous and tropical-fused dancehall. Sans an occasional Launchpad riff or live-triggered drop via drum pad, Paces brings little to the table in terms of his own performance. As such, drawcards come courtesy of his dancers, Sarah and Hannah, and recurring drop-ins from vocalists Esther Sparkes and NYNE who both completely steal the show with their jaw-dropping melodies. Sure, it’s hard to fuck up your songs when all you’re doing is playing them through a MacBook, but with enough visual twists and turns to keep us engaged, we feel confident in saying that Paces puts on a decent show.
Not one to be shown up by his openers, though, Illy busts out with a full light and video production that spans the entirety of the Enmore’s liberal stage. The lyrics to “Forget It” beam above a dwarfed Alasdair Murray, the Melbourne rapper thoroughly emersed in his own deluge as every boastfully tight line flows from the PA like waves on a Tahitian island. He’s so cocky about the precision of those introductive bars that we almost want him to fuck up – but alas, it never happens. The ego is warranted. Fucking hell.
Ensuing cuts from Two Degrees – the ARIA #1-debuting fifth album on which Illy is touring – fly by in bursts of pop-driven elation. “Swear Jar” is an easy highlight later in the set, while in its anticipation, “Hazard To Myself” and “Looks Could Kill” bring the now-squishy venue off its collective feet. Punters fawn passionately over his early matierial, too – even a passing mention of The Chase (2010) is enough to elicit deafening cheers. Second only to closing number “Papercuts” (the last of a sprawling four-track encore), breakout hit “Cigarettes” draws the loudest singalong – one so emphatic it comes close to eclipsing Illy himself. Similarly hailed is the now-iconic “Ausmusic Month Medley” from his 2014 Like A Version sesh, and a slightly more recent flip of Peking Duk‘s “High”.
Tonight, Illy isn’t his usual overhyped and script-sticking self. A 90-minute runtime means he has the chance to pace himself and really connect with fans, which he does whenever at all possible. There are a few moments where he crouches down to personally address some of the punters on the barrier: a fourth-wall break that feels refreshing in a usual slew of shows where artists won’t break character unless it looks like someone’s dying. Between clusters of cuts are motivational speeches and uplifting quips: Illy is all about optimism, and the resultant is a vibe more welcoming than most hip hop shows.
Not to mention, the man is fucking talented: he whips around the stage and leaves not an inch without a footprint, all the while pouring every ounce of his energy into smashing out hard and honest verses without a hiccup in sight. In all, one only needs to witness his live show in person to see why Illy is reeling in new fans by the second.
– Ellie Robinson
The Smith Street Band
More Scared of You Than You Are of Me
Pool House Records/Remote Control
When The Smith Street Band arrived in the Triple J Hottest 100 at number 21 back in January with their single “Death to the Lads,” there was elation from both their fans and the band’s immediate camp. There was, however, an underlying sentiment that just couldn’t be shaken: They’d shown up to the wrong party. Consider that the band’s song – which sports overdrive guitars, a “Power and the Passion” drum-beat and guitar harmonies that feel like Queen and Iron Maiden in a fight to the death – arrived between uber-cool acts The xx and Kanye West with Chance the Rapper. All three songs are fantastic, but as Sesame Street once so informatively showed us, one of these things is not like the others. Truthfully, this could serve as an extended analogy for The Smith Street Band’s place in the current climate of Australian music. Theirs was never the kind to light up radio or take to rooms bigger than the Tote or the Reverence in their native Melbourne. The fact that it’s taken them this far says a lot about how much work the band have put in, and how far their brand of earnestness and open-book honesty has brought them.
We have arrived at album number four, More Scared of You Than You Are of Me, which arrives some two-and-a-half years after their breakthrough LP Throw Me in the River. It’s an album that’s reflective of the highs and lows that have come within that time period; of growing up, breaking up, getting out and staying in. Frontman Wil Wagner ensures that there is not a single line that doesn’t resonate – either contextually, emotionally or both. Consider the moment of silence that lingers as he sings “You’re the worst thing that ever happened to me” in “Suffer,” before the guitars hammer it home. When the fatigue sets in as he recalls “the drive home from a 30-hour flight” on “Run Into the World,” which is brought home by the odd pairing of Laura Stevenson and Tim Rogers in a triumphant flourish. When he roars “I will let you kick the shit out of me/While you hold my hand” atop of “25”’s incessant drums. It’s all there, between each and every line. However you take in The Smith Street Band as an entity, More Scared… ensures that you’re bound to at least feel something.
It’s also an album where the band – with producer and longtime friend Jeff Rosenstock – have thrown more styles and sounds into the mix than ever before. The band’s debut LP, 2011’s No-One Gets Lost Anymore, envisioned a little bit of keyboards as an indulgence. Here, there’s probably a kitchen sink rattling around somewhere in the background. From choirs and electronic drums (“Shine”) to swelling string arrangements (“It Kills Me to Have to Be Alive”), it’s clear that no expense was spared – and it all comes together to serve the songs themselves. The Smith Street Band are looking at the bigger picture here, vividly filling in the details along the way.
Of course, the more things change musically for The Smith Street Band, the more things stay the same for the band itself. They’re forever going to be square pegs – a flanno revealing a stick-and-poke in a room full of designer labels revealing a session at Bondi Ink. Still, an album like More Scared of You Than You Are of Me is indicative of one clear, undeniable fact: They’re not going anywhere. Not yet, at least.
– David James Young
Strap yourself in as Luca Brasi announce some very special guests for their headline tour. They’ll be touring nationally in June with American act Pianos Become The Teeth and fellow Tasmanian natives Maddy Jane and Speech Patterns.
All the way from Baltimore, Maryland, Pianos Become The Teeth exploded on the scene with their 2009 debut Old Pride and gained national attention with 2011’s The Lack Long After, their third album Keep You saw them taking a brave step forward to craft a musical statement that truly transcends genres.Keep You had critics far and wide gushing over the release with Alternative Press throwing their stamp of approval with a 5/5 star review saying “An incredibly bold, beautifully shimmering, deeply aching and immaculately crafted album.” While Brooklyn Vegan adds “Their best material yet.”
Growing up on Tasmania’s Bruny Island, Maddy Jane launched onto the scene with her single Drown It Out which landed rotation on triple j and becoming Unearthed’s feature artist of the week. Maddy Jane developed a love of music and songwriting listening to Paul Kelly and Courtney Barnett. She spent the better part of 2016 touring Australia supporting Tash Sultana, Montaigne, Luca Brasi and playing a string of headline shows.
Speech Patterns, the four Tasmanians who formed in late 2012 have produced a sound that is sure to leave you picking up your jaw by the end of an intense, melodic and excitable live show. They have performed with local and international bands such as Luca Brasi, Title Fight, Propagahndi, A Wilhelm Scream, The Smith Street Band and The Menzingers. After slowing down in late 2015 with an indefinite hiatus, Speech Patterns have returned with a fresh lineup that has once again sparked their passion to play for their own blend of fast melodic punk.
LUCA BRASI AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
PRESENTED BY THE MUSIC
PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH, MADDY JANE & SPEECH PATTERNS
THURSDAY 22 JUNE – THE GOV, ADELAIDE
FRIDAY 23 JUNE – 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE *SOLD OUT!
SATURDAY 24 JUNE – CAPITOL, PERTH
SUNDAY 25 JUNE – 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE *NEW SHOW ADDED!
WEDNESDAY 28 JUNE – BRISBANE HOTEL, HOBART *NEW SHOW ADDED!
THURSDAY 29 JUNE – BRISBANE HOTEL, HOBART *SOLD OUT!
FRIDAY 30 JUNE – THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE
SATURDAY 1 JULY – THE METRO, SYDNEY
The wait is finally over, TEG LIVE & SONY Music are proud to announceBODY COUNT’S eagerly-awaited return to Australia in June seeing the band perform in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne for the first time in 22 years to celebrate the release of their highly anticipated album Bloodlust.
The Australian Bloodlust Tour will be the first BODY COUNT shows in the world to support the release of the new album.
Ice T says “We can’t wait to come back to Australia! It’s been over 20yrs… Don’t miss this concert.”
BODY COUNT, the gangster-metal collective that made music fearsome to mainstream America, their renegade track Cop Killer sending politicians, parents and law enforcement officials into a proverbial tailspin when it was released unto the world a quarter-century ago. That’s not to say Ice-T and BODY COUNT have been silent over the past 25 years, but as Ice is quick to point out, you can’t start a movement if people aren’t willing to move.
THURSDAY 1 JUNE – TIVOLI THEATRE, BRISBANE
FRIDAY 2 JUNE – MARGARET COURT ARENA, MELBOURNE
SATURDAY 3 JUNE – HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY
VOYAGER are building towards what is to be a mammoth album release – with their new record (their 6th!!) GHOST MILE out on May 12th and a tour with France’s The Algorithm already announced, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty of it.
Take yourself back to a time when Wheatus and Alien Ant Farm were smashing their way to the top of the Hottest 100. To a time where the epic stadium rock of Hoobastank reigned supreme. And to a time when the ‘jackass’ skate punk of Lit and CKY were as common as mohawks and wallet chains.
Mish are a band that set expectations and immediately set about destroying them with a crushing and beautiful focus that will spellbind the listener. Today they announce the release of their brand new album ‘Entheogen’ – a devastatingly heavy and complex (Mish) mash of various influences and styles. Bird’s Robe will be releasing the record and is available for pre-order now.
Fresh off a triumphant handful of US dates—including a surprise pop-up performance that was the talk of SXSW and a run of make-up dates including the euphoric sweat drenched NYC frenzy described above,At The Drive In has unleashed Hostage Stamps, the third single from the highly anticipated new album in • ter a • li • a, out May 5th on Rise Records/Cooking Vinyl Australia.
Byron Bay singer-songwriter and one of Australia’s most loved musicians, Pete Murray has today released his new single, Take Me Down (out now), alongside the announcement of his sixth studio album, Camacho – available June 2. With over one million album sales to his name, the quiet achiever of Australian music will showcase new tracks and old favourites on an epic 33-date national Camacho Tour that will kickstart in Lismore on July 12 and finish up in Darwin on September 9.