Review by Regi Su and Images by Kate Wehl
Ash Archer and the Spitfires‘ most recent album; ‘Ride Like The Wind’, really captures the grit and essence of Archer’s vocals and composing abilities. Earthen and grounded with elements of Nickelback and Bon Jovi, Archer’s vocals capture a grit in the timbre and his lead guitar is raw power.
Although the sound seems to channel some of rock’s best, they transcend the genre and create a unique mix with tweaks of their own. The album is like playing with a live wire, bringing energy and spark with every strum of the guitar.
The Spitfires’ solid, clean sounds back Archer’s original tunes and dynamically, the composition is professional. The band is more than a backing support, it’s part of the sound creation.
Archer’s first album with the Spitfires, ‘Ride Like The Wind’ was released in March 2014. Archer rose to fame through the internet, with social media launching his professional career. However, this album shows a certain development and a maturation.
This sound is so much more than just a garage band gone viral. The band has a solid and earthen sound that has created a new identity in the rock soundscape of Victoria.
Their recent accolades at the Espy are a testament to that as well. Watch out, as Ash Archer and the Spitfires take Melbourne by storm. Congratulations to Ash Archer and the Spitfires; official Grand Finalists for the 2014 Espy Artist Showdown.
Review by Regi Su
Sydney-based Alternative Indie Rock band Marlow have released ‘Life on Repeat’ as a new single in 2014. This band has been labelled as a ‘healthy middle ground between progressive and alternative’ and I’d have to agree their sounds are fast paced, high energy and bursting with electricity. Their older tracks cement their sound with easily identifiable lead vocals, strong lead guitar, rock drums and a unique timbre. Their consistency of sound gives them a place in an already successful genre, alongside bands like The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus vocally and, possibly channeling a bit of Thirty Seconds to Mars in terms of their waves of rock.
Marlow definitely have a place in the Australian soundscape. In fact, they’ve already shown a good run, with singles like ‘Always There’ in 2012 hitting the airwaves, through the Austereo radio network and airplay in ABC’s Rage program.
Marlow’s new hit single ‘Life on Repeat’ fits very nicely into the band’s established identity. The sound is so satisfying. It’s still electrifying but gets right into your bones with a slower pace and more dynamicism. It’s really catchy and shows maturation from previous singles because the song really captures the rise and fall of mood. I look forward to seeing where this band takes their music.
Story & Photos by John Snelson
Click right here to see these photos of The JHD Revival Band in all their glory.
After a hiatus, it was really something else to get along to The Lazybones Lounge in beautiful Marrickville on Saturday night to see my one of my favourite bands, the JHD Revival Band … and get a shot of revival myself. The Lazybones Lounge, a bar, a restaurant and live music venue featuring jazz, blues and funky alternative bands seven days a week.
This has to be Australia’s best funk-blues-jazz-soul band … yes, that’s one big mouthful for one big band and one big accolade. Yes, it is so well deserved, well named and well … if you need reviving, get a life and get along to the next performnce of the JHD Revival Band.
Led by the ubiquitous vin rouge connoisseur, John Hardaker, an excellent guitarist and musician with flair, the band just oozes professionalism, appeal and ability both on a collective basis and from an individual talent point of view. I love ‘em.
What I also like about the band apart from the music itself, is the rather bizarre, quirky individualism that John Hardaker fosters and encourages in his players.
Add this to the obvious talent on an instrument basis, their love of just playing together, the standard of presentation that has taken many hours of rehearsal to perfect … plus a great choice of material .. and the answer is a great night of top class music presented for enjoyment.
I mentioned the terrific choice of material … here’s a sample so you can get a feel … that weird blues song with the freezing riff from Led Zeppelin III “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, Albert King‘s classic “Born Under a Bad Sign“, Gertude “Ma” Rainey‘s “CC Rider”, Sam Cooke‘s “Bring It On Home To Me” plus a few tracks from the JHD Revival Band CD including “Mystery Blues”, “Keep It Tight”, “Revival”, “Spoonful of the Blues” and “Grow Your Own“.
Great stuff !
There is plenty of room for innovation as each artist gets a moment in the spotlights … and that’s not easy with a 9-piece membership.
Let me introduce them with a few adjectives that depict them for me …
- black and bereted, John Hardaker on guitar
- “scissorhands” Lozz Benson on drums
- bizarre Edwin Thomas Hughes on congas/percussion
- a booted bass player Shannon Haritos on the Fender Jazz Bass
- on keys Michael Wheatley and
- a talented young soul singer in Emily Benson
- a trio on brass in the form of The One Truth Horns being
- the quiet one, Abi McCunn, alto saxophone
- a bright and shiney Greg Levine on tenor saxophone
- the gal in the fascinator, Shawna O’Neill on that rather huge baritone saxophone (and flute at times and even a bit of vocals).
Yup, The JHD Revival Band …. the best thing to come out of Sydney since the F3.
Gigs coming up ….
DECEMBER 2014 SHOWS
Friday 12 December – Acoustic Picnic, Dee Why, 6-piece (feat. special guest Adam Lean, drums)
Sunday 14 December – Beaches, Thirroul with The One Truth Horns (feat. special guest Mel Wishart, alto sax) FREE
Thursday 18 December – JHD Revival Band Xmas Show + That Red Head, Annandale Hotel, with The One Truth Horns (feat. special guest Ross Harrington, alto sax) FREE
FEBRUARY 2015 SHOWS
Friday 13 February – Town Hall Hotel (Townie), Newtown with The One Truth Horns (feat. special guest Jess Dunn, bass) FREE
Story and Photos by Malcolm Katon
One of the highlights for me of the Sydney Country Music Festival on the 8th November, 2014 was the chance to see this Newcastle based band again. Since first seeing the band perform in 2012 I have watched them mature as a band and create a fan base that seems to follow them all around NSW. The Viper Creek Band are comprised of lead singer Damien Baguley, Jochen Walter on Guitar, Joel Stewart on bass and the ever smiling Adam McCann on the drums. They formed in 2011 and have released 2 EP’s Crazy Tonight and Dance Like No One’s Watching whilst their debut album Kickin’ Up Dust was released in March this year.
Whilst they have created their own distinct style of music they do at times remind me of Keith Urban, McAlister Kemp and Eric Church. Their songs range from country rock to softer ballads.
The Viper Creek Band set started with a crowd favourite “Tonight Tonight” from their Kickin’ Up Dust album followed by the title track from the same album.
If you want a band to kick start the audience then The Viper Creek Band are the ones that can do it. What I believe sets an artist apart from their peers is the ability to entertain the audience. There are many bands that sound good but not all of them know how to perform live and invigorate the audience like The Viper Creek Band do. This, along with their fresh sound, is what raises them above the pack.
The set list was mainly original songs from their album and also included “Let’s Get Outta Here” from their EP Dance Like No One’s Watching.
Back up vocals on the day were provided by Sydney based Victoria Avenue and they also look like they have a future in the industry. Keep an eye out for them as they have a few gigs of their own coming up.
The guys performed a great version of Slim Dusty’s “Lights on the Hill” which most of the audience sung along too and is another one of my favourites.
The band also performed a good cover of “Forever and Ever Amen” which was written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz and made famous by Randy Travis.
I was glad that “Missin Me”, the second single from Kickin’ Up Dust was included in the set as this is a great song that was written by another Novacastrian, Morgan Evans along with Mark & Jay O’Shea.
The crowd really enjoyed and connected with the words of last songs of the set “Thank God For Beer” and “My Hometown”.
There is still a chance to catch one of their gigs before the end of the year as they are performing at the following locations:
Bramble Bay Bowls Club Qld
22nd November, 2014
Neath Hotel, Neath
19th December, 2014
Federal Hotel, Branxton
20th December, 2014
Club Lemon Tree, Lemon Tree Passage
31st December, 2014
Words & Photo’s: Matt Young
If you thought the G20 conference was the main event in Brisbane on the weekend, then you were sadly mistaken. The real show was taking place on Sunday night, with German legends Accept hitting the HiFi Bar as part of their first ever Australian tour. Obama who?
Continuing the trend of legendary classic Metal bands hitting our shores for the first time in their career, Accept delighted their legion of Aussie fans by finally making it down under. And boy was it worth the wait. Reports filtering through about the groups first two sold out shows in Sydney & Melbourne was that they were simply on fire. Last nights Brisbane show was more of the same. What a gig.
With Mark Tornillo now fronting the band, (having taken over from founding vocalist Udo Dirkschneider in 2009) Wolf Hoffman (guitar), Peter Baltes (bass), Herman Frank (guitar) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums) showed today’s crop of bands how it’s done. Age certainly has not wearied them and they had the sizeable crowd in the palm of their hand with their crunching riffs and energetic stage presence.
Touring behind recently released album Blind Rage, the boys played a lengthy set. Having been around since the early eighties, Accept have plenty of material to choose from and kept fans happy with all the classic hits plus tracks from their more recent albums as well. The newer material sounds killer live. They opened with Stampede from Blind Rage and of course closed the show with Balls To The Wall.
Big props to Metropolis Touring for continuing to promote these kind of tours. Accept finish the Australian tour tonight with another Melbourne show, get along if you can & check out their catalogue if you haven’t already done so. They Rock!
More info: www.acceptworldwide.com
Story by Jane Hearn :: Photos by John Snelson
The Finn Rhythm & Blues Band like to think of themselves among the last of the travelling blues minstrels, and they may well be right.
Led by Jim Finn, the argent artisan behind the drums with a gravel pit voice and the fantastic guitarist Paul Surany on a beautiful sounding Strat with Mike Bellamy on bass, the Finn Rhythm & Blues Band really rocked last night at The Old Canberra Inn.
Three great musicians who no doubt can remember clockwork watches, metal dustbins and real chewing gum, these guys really know their stuff. They play a welcome but rare brand of danceable, rhythm and blues, funky soul – rock , hey that’s my scene … and they play medleys that give you more time on the dance floor moving seamlessly through similarly paced and styled songs. We loved it.
Fitting too that they appear in one of the newest cities in the world but one of the oldest boozers in town – The Old Canberra Inn – one of the earliest licensed pubs in the Australian Capital Territory, the building pre-dates the city itself. The Old Canberra Inn was built as a slab hut in 1857 and has bags of character!
Finn’s music is classic R&B as we knew it in the 50s and 60s but includes of course more recent songs presented with their own particular flair and infused with a fair amount of soul and funk.
The repertoire included such favourites as Big Joe Turner (and later Bill Haley & The Comets)’s “Shake Rattle and Roll“, Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky“, Deep Purple’s “Black Night“, Golden Earing’s “Radar Love“, Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin’ The Dog“, Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here“, The Rolling Stone’s “Paint It Black“, Jimi Hendrix’ “Stone Free“, Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music” and as an encore, Credence Clearwater Revival’s great swamp song, “Who’ll Stop The Rain ?“.
A highlight for me was Paul Surany‘s great sound on Procol Harem’s Whiter Shade of Pale from 1968, the number that some have described as the modern man’s version of August Wilhelmj’s arrangement of the second movement in Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3. Paul’s interpretation of Gary Brooker‘s organ sound onto the Fender seemed so easy – such a beautiful sound Paul, just beautiful.
Some great gigs coming up – see below …
Fri 21 Robina Tavern 227 Ron Penhaligon Way, Robina QLD 8.30 pm
Sun 23rd Harrigans Drift Inn Harrigans Ln, Jacobs Well QLD 12.30pm
Sat 29th Jack Duggan’s
Fri 5th Crown Hotel 160 Elizabeth St Sydney 8 pm
Sat 6th Home Tavern Fitzmaurice St Wagga 9.30 pm
Sat 13th George 4th Hotel Argyle St Picton 8.30 pm
Sun 14th Town Hall Hotel King St Newtown 7pm
Edgeworth Tav. Main Rd Edgeworth NSW 8.30 pm
Sat 20th Teagardens Hotel Marine Dve Teagardens 8.30 pm
Sun 21st Ruby’s L’otel 68 Victoria Rd, Rozelle 6pm
Wed 31st (New Years Eve) Finn and Dave Tice Band Bald Faced Stag Front Bar, Parramatta Rd Leichhardt 8.30pm – 1am free entry
Story and photos by Malcolm Katon
2014 was the 3rd year of the Sydney Country Music Festival which was held at the Bella Vista Farm in Bella Vista just off the M2. The popularity of the festival has grown substantially from when it started in 2012 with 600 attendees to over 6,000 attendees in 2014. The growth is the result of the hard work put in by the organisers and the quality of the acts that they procured for the festival.
Any gig with artists of the calibre of The McClymonts, The Viper Creek Band, McAlister Kemp, Beccy Cole and Luke O’Shea is sure to be a festival that draws the crowds. As well as the big name established artists there were great performances by Chelsea Basham, Ashleigh Dallas and Wagon. At $45 a ticket this represents great value in anyone’s books.
Being a relative new festival and only the second time at the Bella Vista Farm it is expected that there would be a few teething problems. The higher than expected crowd (Over 1,500 tickets were bought at the gate) did cause some problems with toilets which the organisers corrected by having more delivered through the day. The other concern of patrons was the line-up for the bar facilities was too long which was also not helped by the higher than usual temperature on the day and the extra crowds. The organisers have confirmed that these two issues will be fixed for 2015.
There were a lot of good things about the festival including, the artists line up, the variety of food, the location, easy parking, friendly staff, extra activities such as line dancing, ute display, rock climbing and whip cracking for the time in between artists.
I’m looking forward to 2015 as the festival will be held over 2 days, 31st October, 2015 and 1st November, 2015 with camping available for anyone that wants to make a weekend out of it. It has already been announced that Adam Brand and The Wolfe Brothers will performing next year.
A smaller stage near the entrance to the festival was used for the Silver Saddles competition finals. This competition was designed to unearth raw country talent from NSW and over the past few months competitions were held to determine the finalists. This year’s finalists were Ellen Amy, Rachael Fahim, Blake Dantier Band, Goldheist, Gayle O’Neil and Justin Robinson. The judges had a hard decision to make and couldn’t split Gayle O’Neil and Justin Robinson who were named joint winners for 2014.
There is a great early bird special on tickets for the 2015 Sydney Country Music Festival and if you would like to take advantage of it then head over to their website. If this year was anything to go by then I am sure that next year will be a huge not to be missed event on the music calendar.
Story & Photos by John Snelson
Top solo artist on the bill at The Sydney Blues & Roots Festival undoubtedly was the much loved Rick Price.
What can I say about Rick Price that hasn’t been said before ?
Nothing really … he is a great entertainer, he has a wonderful voice with an amazing range, he knows how to write really good songs, he loves engaging with his audience, he is a really nice, friendly guy … and oh yes, he sure can sing !
It was a beautiful afternoon at Windsor … the audience was seated under the main tent or standing in the shade under the trees …
… so Rick left the stage to mingle with the crowd so they could see him close up, hear him unamplified and touch him – yes, there were a few of those !
Thanks Rick for a great afternoon …
… and for spending some time with the fans signing all those CDs and autographs !
Words & Photo’s: Matt Young
Well it took them 30 years, but veteran Canadian Heavy Metallers, Anvil, are in the country doing a run of shows. What took them so long to get here? We went along to Brisbane’s HiFi Bar for a look.
I’m sure most of you know the Anvil tale? Formed in the early eighties. Revered by their peers. Looked set for stardom. That didn’t happen. They kept plugging away. Success still eluded them. They fell on hard times. Things looked somewhat bleak. Nearly 30 years had passed by.
Then a little documentary called “Anvil – The Story of Anvil” was made about them and their career & things changed. People took notice of them again, realised that their music kicked arse, and we witnessed the comeback from obscurity of a band that simply wouldn’t give up.
The two main characters of Anvil are charismatic front man Steve “Lips” Kudlow and powerhouse drummer Robb Reiner. Last night they showed that they still love what they’re doing, can still rock with the best of them, have chops galore and fans willing to come out and see them play. Those that were in attendance lapped up what was dished out, which was essentially a greatest hits set spanning the bands catalogue.
If you’re into Metal and haven’t heard of Anvil, do two things. First have a look at “Anvil – The Story of Anvil” and then go and check em out live while they’re in town. Great band with a great story.
Rodrigo y Gabriela who recently played The Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury, are bringing their unique blend of blues, metal, jazz and world music back to Australia soon.
They are booked for Bluesfest 2015 at Easter next year AND they are coming to Melbourne to The Palais on 7th April AND to The Sydney Opera House on 9th April 2015.They are at once charming, entertaining and rather musically “virtuous”. “A unique and exhilarating chemistry.” so says Michael Dwyer, of The Age
Rodrigo y Gabriela have taken the mainstream media and music lovers the world over by storm as they showcase their blistering original songs and famous cover versions in their live set on Spanish guitars. Nothing short of thrilling. You can trust The Guardian when it reported that their live show was “So ear-poppingly dexterous, so ineffably charming and so supremely entertaining… their hyper-speed virtuosity is mesmerizing.”
‘9 Dead Alive’ is the recently released album and sees Rodrigo y Gabriela playing face to face, guitar versus guitar, bursting with melodic energy and rhythmic invention. Recorded at their Pacific Coast hideaway in their late summer, the album captures the warmth and spontaneity of two great musicians riffing and jamming together; perfectly distilled into 9 new songs teeming with desire, elegance and gusto.
Rodrigo y Gabriela Australian Tour Dates 2015
Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th April 2015 Bluesfest, Byron Bay NSW
Tickets on sale now at bluesfest.com.au
Tuesday 7TH April 2015 The Palais, Melbourne VIC
Tickets on sale Friday 21st November www.palaistheatre.net.au ph 136 100
Pre sale Access: November 18th
General public On Sale Friday November 21st 9:00am AEST
Thursday 9th April 2015 Sydney Opera House, Sydney NSW
Tickets on sale Monday 10th November
www.sydneyoperahouse.com Ph: 9250 7777
Pre sale Access: Click here to purchase member only pre-sales
General public On Sale Monday November 10th 9:00am AEST