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ChaseThe Sun02

Chase The Sun

Story & Photo by John Snelson I can’t believe that I didn’t know until tonight about this gig ! On Saturday night, my fave, rave Chase The Sun is raising itself out of its “hiatus” … and performing at Hermann’s Bar, Butlin Avenue, Darlington in Sydney.  Tickets are limited to 200 only and available from […]

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ByronBayBluesFest2015-lineup1

Bluesfest 2015

26th Annual Bluesfest 2015 The reunion of Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals AND Scottish Star Paolo Nutini top the 2nd Bluesfest Artist Announcement! Today, Bluesfest Byron Bay, the highly awarded 5 Day Music Festival, held over the 2015 Easter long weekend (EVENT DATES: Thu 2nd to Mon 6th of April, 2015) reveals its 2nd […]

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Chris Turner on Get Shot Radio

Story and Photo by John Snelson Last night we were privileged to have Chris Turner (Buffalo, Rose Tattoo, Frankie J Holden, The Wolftones, Blues Pirates, Chris Turner & The Cavemen … lots more and Big-Rock Records) in the studio, live … streaming around the world on Get Shot Radio. You can hear the whole show […]

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Penelope Somerville

Jayne Denham and Travis Sinclair at the Tivoli Room, Rooty Hill RSL 4.10.14

Story and Photos by Malcolm Katon   Saturday night at Rooty Hill RSL, the home of country, and thanks to Total Country, was the first performance of the Grew Up ‘Round Trucks tour which is the outcome of Jayne Denham and Travis Sinclair teaming up together.  They have performed together in the past but this is […]

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ArmadillosL1000349

Of Tulips & Armadillos

Story by John Snelson At the long weekend, I was fortunate to be in the nation’s capital – and what a beautiful time of the year it is – Spring in the world’s best city – according to the OECD in this article in the Sydney Morning Herald. On Sunday, we went out to Tulip […]

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Johnny Marr “Playland”

Review by Rufus Onfire Sometimes a long gestation period to achieve an end goal can open the floodgates to creativity. In the case of Johnny Marr it took a quarter of a century to deliver his first solo album in 2013’s “The Messenger”, and hitting the road to support it has seen the creative juices […]

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Chase The Sun

Story & Photo by John Snelson

I can’t believe that I didn’t know until tonight about this gig !

On Saturday night, my fave, rave Chase The Sun is raising itself out of its “hiatus” … and performing at Hermann’s Bar, Butlin Avenue, Darlington in Sydney.  Tickets are limited to 200 only and available from Ticketbooth.

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On the same bill, this amazing lineup

  • Transvaal Diamond Syndicate;
  • Big Blind Ray;
  • Bonez;
  • The Royal Artillery; and
  • Narla.

The presenter, Mojo Burning, aims to bring bands together who might be somewhat flying under the radar commercially, but all of whom in their own right are working hard, touring hard, playing hard and generating their own pockets of success on a national level.

Mmmmm … well, I don’t think Chase has been performing too much recently – but the band remains for me, the best blues/rock outfit in Sydney, if not Australia.  Get out and see them this Saturday night.

The MOJO ROADSHOW is proudly brought to you by Beats Cartel, The Music, Sailor Jerry Australia, LP Entertainment, Rhythm Section Management, The Illawarra Mercury, Newcastle Mirage and Newcastle Gig Guide.

Note also that Chase The Sun will be performing on

  • December 31st, New Year’s Eve at Beaches, Thirroul
  • January 25th just before Australia Day at The Wicko in Newcastle
  • January 31st, Blues at The Briars Festival, Mornington, Victoria

Bluesfest 2015

26th Annual Bluesfest 2015

The reunion of Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals AND

Scottish Star Paolo Nutini top the 2nd Bluesfest Artist Announcement!

Today, Bluesfest Byron Bay, the highly awarded 5 Day Music Festival, held over the 2015 Easter long weekend (EVENT DATES: Thu 2nd to Mon 6th of April, 2015) reveals its 2nd group of outstanding artists to perform at its purpose-built festival & camping site just north of Byron Bay.

The 1st Announcement for the 26th Annual Bluesfest that included THE BLACK KEYS, ZAC BROWN BAND, ALABAMA SHAKES and TRAIN among other greats created a stir AND this 2nd edition proves there is no stopping now, with more headlining announcements on the horizon!

Bluesfest Second Artist Announcement includes:

BEN HARPER & THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS
FIRST MAJOR GLOBAL PERFORMANCE OF THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS REUNION
PAOLO NUTINI
DAVID GRAY
BEN HOWARD
COUNTING CROWS
GARY CLARK JR. • ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO
JIMMY CLIFF • MAVIS STAPLES
DISPATCH • RUTHIE FOSTER • THE BEAT
KEZIAH JONES • SHEPPARD
PLAYING FOR CHANGE

and so many more to come!

Bluesfest does what Bluesfest loves and that is writing festival history!

The much anticipated reunion of BEN HARPER & THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS at Bluesfest on Easter Sunday (April 5) will go into history as one of the major events on the 2015 Festival calendar. It is going to be the bands ONLY performance in Australia with NO other shows to be added. It’s exclusive as can be and Bluesfest is truly honoured to welcome back BEN HARPER & THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS after their 7 year break!

Scroll down to read what Festival Director Peter Noble has to say about the Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals Reunion and some of the other amazing artists in this announcement.

Also topping the 2nd Bluesfest artist announcement is multi-platinum recording artist PAOLO NUTINI. The Scotsman with Italian heritage has become a truly stellar writer and musician. His chart topping album Caustic Love released in April this year has received rave reviews, including “the best UK R&B album since the 1970’s blue-eyed soul heyday of Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker” by The Independent (UK) and has gained him many new fans. It has been a fixture in the Top 20 of the BBC ALBUM CHARTS since its release 25 weeks ago. NUTINI delivers a range of genres from Rock, Soul, and Folk to Blues with a stunning voice that delivers raw emotion. This young man oozes talent and on stage he is joined by his accomplished 9 piece band.  PAOLO NUTINI is going to be a real Bluesfest highlight!

DAVID GRAY returns to Bluesfest from the UK (since his first show in 2006). On stage GRAY lives every word and every note, immersing himself into the whole experience. His songs ‘This Year’s Love’, ‘Babylon’, ‘Please Forgive Me’, ‘Sail Away’ from his 1998 album White Ladder have become eternal & unforgettable hits. David was described in his early career as ‘a young Bob Dylan’ by Joan Baez in 1992 – (Bob’s muse when he was in his early career) and now 10,000,000 album sales later, David STILL has the record for Ireland’s biggest selling album with White Ladder . Peter Vincent from the Sydney Morning Herald describes the 2014 Mutineer album as follows: “It has garnered his best reviews in years” & “Timeless – As the likes of Cat Stevens, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen’’ – WHOA. His last shows in Australia were in 2009 and of course they were instant sell-outs.  His fans on that tour were very avid about Gray’s performances:“It’s ALL about the music – and the music is FANTASTIC”, “Best night of my life”, “A stellar performance from one of the greatest lyricists of all time”. DAVID GRAY is a great artist, brilliant performer and master songwriter, he is going to blow the roof off the tent at Bluesfest – an absolute don’t miss.

Young and talented English singer-songwriter BEN HOWARD has been drawing worldwide attention and gaining star status with 2 Brit Awards under his belt for best Male Solo Artist AND Breakthrough Act for 2013. Songs like ‘Only Love’, ‘Burgh Island’ and ‘Keep Your Head Up’ are deeply moving. Ben’s guitar skills are superb and accompanied by his 2 close band members on cello and drums, this 3 piece ensemble is a straight down pleasure to watch. Any expectations of this artist will be exceeded when you see him live. BEN HOWARD is totally original with a unique sound and unforgettable performances. BEN will also be bringing new material from his soon to be released album – I Forget Where We Were (October 24, 2014).

Multi-platinum American Rock Band COUNTING CROWS are no strangers to Bluesfest after coming to Byron Bay in 2013. For more than two decades, COUNTING CROWS have enchanted listeners worldwide with their intensely soulful and intricate take on timeless Rock & Roll and their hits like ‘Mr Jones’ and ‘Accidentally in Love’ are all time favourites. COUNTING CROWS never cease to amaze their audience with their powerful stage presence and they will be bringing brand new material with them from their latest and seventh studio album Somewhere Under Wonderland (September, 2014) which the Telegraph described as “Counting Crows channel Lynyrd Skynyrd and REM in their best collection of songs since their debut”.

Austin based Blues Luminary and Grammy Award Winner GARY CLARK JR. rocked the house at Bluesfest 2014. We couldn’t get enough and at Bluesfest 2015 he will be performing three times! GARY CLARK JR. is the new generation of Blues and a legend in the making.  He is a mind-blowing guitarist, incredible songwriter and a soulful singer who fuses his deep Blues influence with a love of classic Hip-Hop and Contemporary Soul. From the minute GARY CLARK JR. opens his show he commands the stage and it is no surprise that the NY Times described him as the next Hendrix.  For those fans that can’t wait until he returns to the stage at Bluesfest, GARY CLARK JR. has just released a new live album Gary Clark Jr. Live. GARY CLARK JR. has been an inspiration to many who have in turn inspired him, including the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page and Dave Matthews just to name a few, who hailed his arrival as a major talent and cherished chances to perform with him. President Barack Obama declared “he’s the future”and we couldn’t agree more.

ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO is a Grammy Award winner, tireless campaigner for women’s health and education in Africa, a UNICEF Peace Ambassador and also, with a 20 year discography, 12 albums and thousands of concerts around the world, a gifted performer  and prolific songwriter. On Eve, her latest album, and Savoy Records debut, named for her own mother as well as the mythical “mother of all living,” the Benin born, singer/songwriter builds on this ever-evolving legacy.   She has collaborated with the greats from the Jazz and Pop worlds—including Philip Glass, Peter Gabriel, Branford Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Herbie Hancock, Bono, Josh Groban, and Alicia Keys as well as Bluesfest alumni Carlos Santana, Dave Matthews, Dr John, John Legend and Joss Stone. Don’t miss the return of ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO to Bluesfest – you can be sure her performances will be very special!

Reggae Legend, the honourable JIMMY CLIFF, who Rolling Stone penned as “Reggae’s first global superstar”, is a 2-time Grammy Award Winner and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee. JIMMY CLIFF’S role in the 1972 Jamaican film, The Harder They Come, introduced Reggae to the world.  Then there are the hits such as ‘Many Rivers To Cross’, ‘Wonderful World, Beautiful People’, ‘Vietnam’, ‘Sitting In Limbo’, ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want’ and ‘The Harder They Come’ that has led to his songs being performed and recorded by Willie Nelson, New Order, Bruce Springsteen and Cher (among many others). Paul Simon featured CLIFF’S 1970 song ‘Vietnam’ in his 2011 concerts and Dylan called it the greatest protest song ever written.  Not one to shy away from a cover himself, JIMMY CLIFF’S version of Johnny Nash’s ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ in 1993 catapulted him onto the mainstream pop charts in the US once again. He left the Bluesfest crowd in awe in 2013 and we can’t wait for him to do it all over again.

VH1 named Grammy Award winner MAVIS STAPLES as one of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, and Rolling Stone listed her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.  MAVIS STAPLES is the real deal. In her 67-year career – from her ground-breaking family gospel group – THE STAPLES SINGERS ‘I’ll Take You There’, ‘Respect Yourself’, ‘If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)’ and on her own, MAVIS STAPLES is responsible for blazing a Rhythm & Blues trail, while never relinquishing her Gospel roots and it is now that her star is shining brightest. MAVIS STAPLES has publicly stated that Bluesfest is her favourite festival of all time. The lady don’t lie!!

If you are ready for some massive audience participation then don’t miss DISPATCH who are coming to Australia for the first time ever! These guys, hailing from the United States, are true entertainers – super talented and super energetic. DISPATCH will put on a high energy show that will rock the house, playing the classics and material from their 2012 released album Circles Around The Sun.  Playing to sold out audiences as big as 18,500 people in the USA, including their incredible three night sold out residency at Madison Square Garden! This highly anticipated first visit to Australia has been a long time coming for DISPATCH and they could not be more excited to finally bring their catalogue of new & old favourites our way.  This is what the band had to say; “For years we’ve wanted to perform in Australia! Here we are, 15 years deep into our musical career and it’s FINALLY time. We can hardly wait to get over there in 2015 and play songs spanning our whole career for you – we promise it will be worth the wait! See you soon!” Their genres are multifold, ranging from, Indie Folk, Roots Rock, Reggae, Fusion to Rock and Ska! If you are not familiar with DISPATCH, rest assured: You will be after next Bluesfest!

From houses of worship, to houses of Blues, RUTHIE FOSTER has always been a rafter-rattler. And with a soul-filled voice honed in Texas churches, she can move audiences to tears or ecstasy — sometimes in a single song. Her last two albums, 2009’s The Truth According to Ruthie Foster and 2012’s Let It Burn, moved the Recording Academy to deliver Best Blues Album Grammy nominations; her latest, Promise of a Brand New Day, could make her a contender once more. Those who have followed RUTHIE FOSTER’S eclectic musical history know that she can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of Soul, Blues, Rock, Folk and Gospel.

After coming in at number 45 in the UK Telegraphs 100 best Glastonbury performances ever and one of the major players of the UK’s 2-Tone movement, THE BEAT will be another standout performer at Bluesfest 2015. Forming in 1978 in Birmingham, THE BEAT has seen changes to the original line-up over the last 30 years and the formation of the American based band, The English Beat who have recently toured Australia (led by Dave Wakeling) but it is with great pleasure we welcome back original front man Ranking Roger to Bluesfest. It will be 6 years since he last performed with ‘Special Beat’ featuring members of The Specials and THE BEAT. Most of you will be familiar with at least one of their hit singles such as; ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’,‘Too Nice To Talk To’, ‘Can’t Get Used To Losing You’,‘Hands off She’s Mine’ and ‘All Out To Get You’.  It’s time to take a trip down memory lane!

“George Clinton sharing a joint with Fela”.  KEZIAH JONES describing the sound of his latest album Captain Rugged. Another Bluesfest debut we can’t wait for is the charismatic Nigerian musician KEZIAH JONES, who was born among the ghettos and skyscrapers of bustling Lagos and also goes by the name of ‘Captain Rugged’, his quirky and socially committed double. KEZIAH JONES has honed his craft of sharing the powerful story of his country, following in the footsteps of Fela Kuti, a fellow countryman and great defender of pan-africanism who was imprisoned several times for speaking against the Nigerian dictatorship. His live performances are not to be missed and Jones will be bringing his own brand of ‘Blufunk’ to Bluesfest, a fusion of raw Blues and Punk Funk attitude crossed with Yoruba Rhythms.  We are counting down the days until we see this real-life superhero next Easter!

Australia’s own Brisbane sensation SHEPPARD has been creating quite a stir overseas! They have been dominating in the UK and through Europe and beyond, hitting the top 10 in Ireland, #1 in Italy, #3 in Austria and #4 in Poland with their song ‘Geronimo’  which has also received a mammoth reception back home and has earned the title of the highest selling Australian single for 2014.  It will be the first Bluesfest performance for SHEPPARD which features siblings, George, Amy and Emma Sheppard along with Jay Bovino, Dean Gordon and Michael Butler and no doubt it won’t be their last. The star will continue to rise for this incredible multi-platinum Indie six-piece.

PLAYING FOR CHANGE stands for so much more than just music. It is a movement created to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music. PLAYING FOR CHANGE supports music schools and programs that are created and operated by the local community and then purposefully connect those communities around the world. The PLAYING FOR CHANGE band is made up of musicians from all walks of life coming from all over the world. Their Bluesfest performance will be an unforgettable live musical experience featuring Grandpa Elliott, legendary street musician from New Orleans, who sings alongside Clarence Bekker (Netherlands), Titi Tsira (South Africa), Tal Ben Ari “Tula” (Israel), Jason Tamba (Congo), and Mermans Mosengo (Congo). The rhythm section features Roberto Luti (Italy) on lead guitar, Orbe Ortiz (Cuba) on the bass, Peter Bunetta (USA) on drums, and Keiko Komaki (Japan) on keyboards.  Together on stage they create an atmosphere of love and unity for everyone! PLAYING FOR CHANGE is coming to Bluesfest for the 3rd time in a row. Wonderful, indeed!

Peter Noble, Festival Director Comments on the 2nd Artist Announcement:

“Ben Harper, Paolo Nutini, David Gray and Ben Howard in the one Bluesfest announcement. What a line-up, each one of these artists is gold – purely brilliant in their own way. This is starting to shape into one of the great Bluesfest artist bills and we have plenty of artists still to go in future announcements.

You join BEN HARPER & THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS with Bluesfest and it’s a very special bond: it was way back in 1996 when the Festival broke the news that this band was important and in return, their huge success showed us (Bluesfest) the way forward to booking the style of event the festival is famous for today and one that has been copied all over the world.

I am very honoured that BEN HARPER chose the first major global performance of the INNOCENT CRIMINALS Reunion to occur at Bluesfest. Bluesfest is their spiritual home and the last time the band performed officially was in 2007 and it was in 2008, when they decided to take a break. They did one impromptu unannounced performance – at Bluesfest in 2011 to the astonishment of their fans – who came expecting to see the RELENTLESS 7. What an unexpected performance, it was pure magic.

I remember that night in 2011 well: It was all so last minute, to a point where their percussionist bought a djembe drum from a busker in the street in Byron Bay– the home of Bluesfest- for the performance, as he hadn’t brought one with him. It really was so special for everyone – the audience couldn’t believe that they were seeing, perhaps the most influential band to EVER play Bluesfest, back on our stage unannounced and hearing the songs they love once again. I recall the band’s celebrations in the dressing room, after their truly great show, going most of the night – they were all so thrilled to be back together again. What an honour that they chose Bluesfest to reunite and do their first official performance – save for a couple of warm up dates in a club in San Francisco. We have had so many magical moments at Bluesfest – this is surely going to be up there with the best.

How can I only gush on about BEN HARPER when we have some of the absolute best of the NEXT generation artists also in this announcement in PAOLO NUTINI and BEN HOWARD. They are at the vanguard of the UK music movement of now – and are rightly hailed as superstars in waiting.  Between them they have topped the UK album charts, won the Brit Awards, Q awards, UK festival Awards – headlined EVERY major festival from Glastonbury to Latitude.

GARY CLARK JR. is fast becoming THE Blues guitar player and singer of this generation. To celebrate his return to Bluesfest – we are going to have him perform 3 times – because when it’s that good – you just can’t get enough and rest assured, each show is going to be very powerful!

MAVIS STAPLES turned 75 on her last birthday – she is one of our all-time favourite artists at Bluesfest. Her stellar career goes back to the 1950’s with the family band – The Staples Singers, led by her dad – Pops Roebuck Staples – to their chart topping run in the 70’s singing such classics as – ‘I’ll take You There’, ‘If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)’, ‘Let’s Do It Again’, ‘Respect Yourself’– and many, many more. With the passing of Pops Staples, MAVIS has gone solo – around the beginning of this century – and shown that she has got the IT factor, winning a Grammy Award and headlining so many festivals including the Chicago Blues Festival, as well as having this year’s Newport folk Festival dedicated to her. She is one of the greats. We can’t wait to welcome her back to Bluesfest. Simply a DO NOT MISS artist.”

Chris Turner on Get Shot Radio

Story and Photo by John Snelson

Last night we were privileged to have Chris Turner (Buffalo, Rose Tattoo, Frankie J Holden, The Wolftones, Blues Pirates, Chris Turner & The Cavemen … lots more and Big-Rock Records) in the studio, live … streaming around the world on Get Shot Radio.

You can hear the whole show right here if you missed it ….. or if you want to hear it all again :-

Get Shot Radio #089 (Chris Turner) by Getshotmag on Mixcloud

Jayne Denham and Travis Sinclair at the Tivoli Room, Rooty Hill RSL 4.10.14

Story and Photos by Malcolm Katon

 

Saturday night at Rooty Hill RSL, the home of country, and thanks to Total Country, was the first performance of the Grew Up ‘Round Trucks tour which is the outcome of Jayne Denham and Travis Sinclair teaming up together.  They have performed together in the past but this is their first joint tour.  These two artists have been dubbed the two biggest country rock acts that cheer on the truckies.

Opening the night was Travis Sinclair and he  is no stranger to the trucking industry as he did grow up around trucks and still drives them in between gigs.  I’m pretty sure he said that he is carting yoghurt around these days!

Travis Sinclair

Travis Sinclair

Travis Sinclair has released three albums to date;  Diesel Boy (2011) and Rhythm of the Highway (2008) Rush (2005) and the crowd were treated to a few songs from each one including one of my personal favourites “Kick the Kenny” along with “Midnight Run“, “Diesel Boy”, “Heavenly Body, “Boundary Rider”, “Eating up Bitumen”, “Flag” and “Rockin the Rig”.  The set also included some classic covers including everyone’s favourite Slim Dusty’s “Light on the Hill” Steve Earle’s “Hillbilly Highway” and Brooks and Dunn’s “Independent Trucker”.

Although I was first introduced to the music of Travis Sinclair by my truck driving neighbours about 6 years ago you don’t have to be a trucker to like his style of music.  Whilst his music has a distinct style and is largely based around life on the road it still appeals to a much larger audience with it’s catchy lyrics and a beat that is hard not to like.

To the delight of the crowd, Travis was also joined on stage by his son Wyatt-Silas for a song.

Travis Sinclair with his son Wyatt-Silas

Travis Sinclair with his son Wyatt-Silas

Fans of Jayne Denham were treated to an energetic performance by Australia’s answer to Gretchen Wilson.

Jayne Denham does not hold back.  Six weeks ago she broke her foot during a performance and despite only just having had the plaster removed this week she was still bounding around the stage in her usual energetic style.

Jayne Denham

Jayne Denham

To date Jayne Denham has released 3 albums; Sudden Change in Weather (2008), Shake this Town (2010) and her latest Renegade (2013).  Whilst the major of the set were songs from Renegade including the title track “Renegade”, “Beyond these City Lights”, “Cowgirls MIA”, “This is Rodeo” and “Addicted to Diesel” there were also a few classics from her previous albums.   A Jayne Denham audience would have left  disappointed if she hadn’t of performed “Trucker Chicks”, “Shake this Town”, “Chick Ute”, “Country Girl with a Rock N Roll Heart” and “Mad Professor” from her first two albums.

Jayne Denham

Jayne Denham

The stage was certainly full of action for “This is Rodeo” with six dancers from the Barker Dance Studio in Glenbrook joining her on stage to perform a choreographed dance routine.

Jayne Denham also did a rousing medley as a tribute to some great aussie performers including  the Divinyls“Boys in Town”, Jimmy Barnes‘  “Working Class Man“, and ACDC’s “Black is Black”

Travis and his Band

Travis and his Band

For the encore Jayne Denham was joined on stage by Travis Sinclair and some younger members of their families to perform the lovely song “Grew Up Around Trucks” which is also on her latest album.

The crowd at Rooty Hill was a little smaller than I had expected but then considering that it was a long weekend, school holidays and the NRL grand final weekend I think that they did quite well and no one that was there left disappointed!

Penelope Somerville

Penelope Somerville

Both Travis and Jayne were supported by the same talented band for their sets and the line up was Jake Sinclair – guitar,  Andy Payne – bass, Glen Farina -guitar, Paris Jefferees- drums, and Penelope Somerville – fiddle.

The tour will continue with a gig at the Blazes in Tamworth on Thursday, January 22 with more to come in the next twelve months.

 

Of Tulips & Armadillos

Story by John Snelson

At the long weekend, I was fortunate to be in the nation’s capital – and what a beautiful time of the year it is – Spring in the world’s best city – according to the OECD in this article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

On Sunday, we went out to Tulip Top Gardens – they are open from 13 September to 12 October 2014, 9.00am-5.00pm, everyday of the week.

ArmadillosL1000347On stage, presenting the music for the afternoon, Annie & The Armadillos showed their versatility with a creative selection of soft jazz and smoochy grooves reminiscent of Sade, Clannad and Enya.

The Armadillos went through an eclectic repertoire including reggae, modern jazz, bluegrass, country and blues – professionally presented – and limited or perhaps focused on singer Annie Sloane.

Audience engagement was achieved with the children dancing before the stage along with a few parents dragged away from their family picnics.

The gardens are full of magnificent tulips and other spring flowers creating a spectacular display. Hundreds of blossom trees provide avenues and magic bowers where fmilies and lovers may idle in truly romantic glades and bosques.  The tinkle of the waterfalls melds in with the buzz of working bees and the piped music filtering through the blossoms. It all works – great stuff.
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It was great to see so many migrant families – and hardly any booze and absolutely no cigarettes – a really nice atmosphere all round.

Johnny Marr “Playland”

Review by Rufus Onfire

Sometimes a long gestation period to achieve an end goal can open the floodgates to creativity. In the case of Johnny Marr it took a quarter of a century to deliver his first solo album in 2013’s “The Messenger”, and hitting the road to support it has seen the creative juices flow rapidly to produce a 2nd album so soon after its debut.

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Where “The Messenger” thrived on joining together the melting pot of sounds that this iconic and influential UK artist had been involved in over 2 and a bit decades as a self-styled gun for hire so to speak, a swift follow up album largely written on the road supporting his debut solo release has the aim of trying to capture this current feelgood factor live on record a second time.

The new “Playland” album sets off at a rollicking pace with the opening track “Back In The Box”, the title certainly not reflective of the sounds that indicate Marr isn’t simply rolling out a batch of unused B-sides from his solo debut, and that he means business once more when laying down these tracks.

Opening single “Easy Money” delivers a signature Marr riff as its lyrics wail about the almighty dollar and how the events of one’s life were once in tune with the green stuff until some reflection has the goings on around you not feel as they once seemed to be. “Dynamo” is more of the same sound wise with another sublime Marr riff driving this rocking track to perfection.

Candidate” slows things down a bit tempo wise, but still mines many incarnations of soundscapes this guy has created for himself and many others, in fact songs like “25 Hours” may not be out of place on a Modest Mouse album.

Those wanting something to compliment their Smiths catalogue could look no further than the album’s best bits in “The Trap” and “This Tension”, while one whose current idea of ear humming enjoyment is punchy rock should look to load up the album’s title track, “Boys Get Straight” and “Little King” post haste for maximum effect here.

Long time Marr fans will rejoice in a follow up album so soon after a long awaited debut solo slab, those who came to his music recently will love the swift companion piece action albums wise, while the rest of us will look at it on face value as another guitar laced album from a man who mines a good guitar riff.

Whatever way you look at it though, in a world where technology and fleeting fame seem to be the essential ingredients in the quest for chart success, sometimes the good things that went before remain the best, and in the case of “Playland” more of the same from Johnny Marr provides a second delightful bite of the musical cherry in a short space of time.

Rating 4/5

Gary Allen @ The Enmore Theatre 25.9.14

There was no mistaking Gary Allan as he walked onto the stage right on time at 9.45pm in his designer ripped jeans, boots, tee shirt and leather jacket. But it wouldn’t matter what he had worn or when he walked out on the stage, the crowd were there in numbers to hear the award-winning outlaw singer-song writer live in Australia for the first time since 2008.

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

I always wonder how artists that have been as successful as Gary Allan has been decide upon the songs for their set list. With so many hits to choose from including 26 Billboard singles and new music to showcase it must be a difficult job to decide what to play.

Gary Allan had a set list of 21 songs including the opening song “Tough Goodbye” from his Set You Free album (2013). Other songs in the set included “Feeling Like That”, “Right Where I Need to Be”, “Man to Man”, “Pieces”, “Smoke Rings”, “Get off the Pain” and “It Ain’t the Whiskey”.

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Included in Gary Allan’s set were stripped back acoustic versions of “Songs About the Rain”, “Radio”, “California”, “Every Storm”, “Bones”, “Man of Me”, “Airplanes” and “Bullhorn

The crowd was kept happy when Gary Allan and the band returned to perform “Runaway”, “Best I Ever Had” and “Dark Whiskey” during the encore.

Not only does Gary Allan have a longer than usual set list but he performs with an eight piece band of highly talented musicians.

Gary Allan was well supported by the Mavericks and Blackjack Billy. Chugg Entertainment and Rob Potts certainly know the artists that will be well received in Australia and I personally hope that they continue to bring artists of this calibre out to Australia.

Gary Allen

Gary Allen

Gary Allan is worth seeing live and if you are quick you can still catch him in Australia again on the 1st October 2014 at the Palais Theatre St Kilda, VIC and they are also performing at the Deni Ute Muster being held on the 3rd/4th October 2014 in Denilquin

You can keep up to with the band on his website http://garyallan.com/wired/ or like his facebook page.

Sydney Blues & Roots Festival

by John Snelson

Tonight’s show is focused on supporting Australian artists and in particular this year’s Sydney Blues & Roots Festival …  in the studio to tell us all about it, is Peter Fricker one of the organisers … some great music and other news too …

Get Shot Radio Sydney Blues & Roots Festival Special by Getshotmag on Mixcloud

The Preatures “Blue Planet Fire”

by Rufus Onfire

We’ve been waiting a while for the new Aussie music of 2014 to start to permeate the charts and fill our ears with joyful sounds. Drip fed early on in the year things have now headed towards a waterfall and in amongst the current is this long awaited debut album from Sydney band The Preatures.

preaturesThe 5 piece combo has been banging about for the past few years in EP form and also managed to secure a coveted Vanda & Young song writing gong in the process while hitting the road to develop their sound and songs which included the prestigious SXSW festival earlier this year, a perfect environment to road-test songs that would end on this record.

Recorded under the guidance of their guitarist Jack Moffitt and Texan Jim Eno from the band Spoon at Eno’s Public Hi Fi Studio in Austin, the title track get things underway and sets a nice relaxed opening feel for the album ahead, followed by current single “Somebody’s Talking” with its pop fills and spills that are overlaid by the sultry vocals of Isabella Manfredi to perfection.

The song that got the Vanda & Young peeps excited “Is This How You Feel” bookends the new single nicely and then gives way to a more atmospheric sounding “Ordinary”, in title only not in sounds as it’s punchy riffs drive the tempo.

Debut albums also present an opportunity at times to rework/tweak previous songs for a wider audience as is the case with previous singles “Two Tone Melody” and “Better Than It Ever Could Be” (now titled It Gets Better) where the added production gloss has not dampened what went before with these tunes.

Throw in the slow building groove of “Rock And Roll Rave”, the more rock savvy “Whatever You Want” and “Cruel” and the brooding closer “Business, Yeah” and there is enough different styles and sounds to invite the listener in with a variety of grooves and good vibes.

While it’s been worth the wait, at the same time there seemed to be some elements of play it safe here that didn’t see this album jump out at you at first listen. But it’s a grower on further playbacks and you get the feeling like their contemporaries their immediate future lays beyond these shores which may mean success at home follows rather than precedes with this album.

A solid first up debut, with enough to signal there is more to come from this combo down the road.

Rating 4/5

Allah-Las “Worship The Sun”

by Rufus Onfire

It’s been a picture postcard for decades now when it comes to music and superstardom. The sunshine and good vibes of Los Angeles California have produced many an influential and iconic performing artist over the years and continue to this day.

allah lasIn the case of the 4 piece garage rockers Allah-Las it all started at the legendary LA indie store Ameoba Music, a place where lovers of great songs hang out and in this case bonded together with a common goal to keep this legendary soundscape factory rolling along.

As was the case with their self-titled debut in 2012, those glossy and jangly sounds of the 60’s mixed with sunshine and surf for visual effect aren’t really tampered with here on the new album, with just more intricate layers placed on a top of what is already a nicely put together vehicle.

De Vida Voz” starts the cruisy journey here, stopping along the way to pick up first single “Had It All” which seems like a lost Byrds track filed away for future use and reignited here dust and all to good effect.

Artifact” contains a great title and its paisley rock feel will have those whose ears love the jangly sounds of yore humming with glee. Instrumentals aren’t forgotten either with “Ferus Gallery” splicing in some extra percussion that has surfing movie soundtrack written all over it.

It ain’t all good vibes and smiles though as the mellow sounds of “Nothing To Hide” and “Yemeni Jade” give rise to the afternoon taking over and the sun starting to look to set over the sea, but not before the likes of “Follow You Down” and the country tinged “Better Than Mine” slot in nicely as the album moves towards its crescendo and closing track the feedback and effect savvy “Every Girl”.

Sure, Allah-Las influences are struck in a nice little mid/late 60’s rut, but it’s a rut that they mine with good effect resulting in a release that may not create a wow factor that some may be seeking or aspiring to hear, but produces a solid album that would be a worthy addition to a summer soundtrack or that moment when all you need from a song is a smile and good feeling, the way it should always be.

Rating 3.5/5


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