Story by Regi Su
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Blue Mountains Blues, Roots and Folk Festival in Katoomba. On the Saturday night, I looked at my watch, marked the darkness cooling the earth and trundled across to the Katoomba RSL to catch the Bearded Gypsy band.
Although amused to find them quite beardless, I was more surprised to discover such a young band had graced the stage, so late in the evening. I hoped they were good, otherwise this rowdy, drunk knee-ed audience in the local pub would clap them off stage.
Boy, did they see my concerns and, raise me one- they were fantastic. What the band lacked in beards, it made up for in sheer talent. They were energetic, a passion that filtered through the willing audience which held long into the night. They were tight, their individual talents on fiddle, acoustic guitar, bass and drums were crisp. They were well polished and their integration of instrumental solos were seamless. The drums and bass held the sound together like how, keeping beat and maintaining tempo, while instruments like the fiddle, ukelele, mandolin and both acoustic and electric guitars took flight.
They were a clever fusion of old melodies, taking inspiration from Celtic blues and gypsy jazz, and creating a new monster that was a little cafe jazz, a little bluegrass. Whatever genre they took notes from, they showed they were versatile and flexible, not only replicating a well loved and recognised vibe, but also creating a soundscape that was uniquely theirs- an eclectic hybrid. While their vocals were good, their instrumentals were electrifying on stage, creating tunes that got most of the crowd up and dancing.
Upon researching more about them, I was pleased to find that their career is already a did one, having supported the Beards and the Cat Empire. At the moment, they’re touring nationally, so I hope to see them around.
The 5 track EP, and in particular the lead track ‘Bad Timing‘ sums up the best of The Phatapillars story so far – showcasing the themes of heartache, self-delusion and lust, with singer-songwriter Eddie Boyd playing it from the heart and serving it up with just the right amount of gravel and middle finger. The rhythm section’s hyper onstage energy level has been translated well to disc, and the release has the feel of a young band that have already found their sound.
Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars have had a dream run since forming in 2013, winning the prestigious Bluesfest Busking competition in 2014, signing a management deal with Rhythm Section, (who also look after Chase The Sun and Claude Hay).
To celebrate the release of the EP Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars will be taking their show on the road on an east coast tour that winds its way from Brisbane to Melbourne over three sweaty weeks.
‘A Lover and a Fool’ is available from all online retailers from April 1
Story by John Snelson
“Creeper Vine” is the new record from singer-songwriter/guitarist Luke Escombe.
Luke’s tour is well under way now with the QLD dates done and dusted
- He is playing The Rainbow Hotel this weekend in Fitzroy before heading back to Newcastle and Sydney to show off his wares.
If you aren’t familiar with the Luke yet, check out some of his past amazing video clips.
They are done really well and are pretty funny too.
He will be releasing a fresh clip for the new release soon but the below clips are a great example of what to expect.
Click HERE to listen and/or download the new release “Creeper Vine”.
Review by Rufus Onfire
The creative process in the life of a musician – some like controlled chaos, others go for solitude in a burrow of paradise away from the hassle seeking their own slice of inspiration to create their latest piece of work.
For Melbourne’s Lincoln Mackinnon, his special place and new hometown was somewhere no one would expect. Tennant Creek in the top end of Australia was the place to be for this singer-songwriter to piece together the framework of his debut solo album we have before us.
Recorded back In Melbourne, sound wise it’s bluesy and rootsy feel throughout, from the stomping opener “Only A Fool” rolling into “Lonely Door” it’s as if you’re there with Mackinnon on a bar stool in a country pub enjoying a beer while the surrounding harsh ground of the territory is the backdrop for tales of intrigue, romance and getting by in these parts.
“Hold Me Dear” sees the other musos used on the album in full flight rollicking along for 6 plus minutes that surely has set closer written all over it when played live, while the ode to his former home “Melbourne Town” wreaks of being on the road, windows down cruising into town as the sun goes down and the day’s event are settled.
Every album needs a “hello I’m here” moment and on the first single “Murder in The Market Place” when the chorus kicks in you can just imagine punters being awoken from their slumber as Mackinnon the storyteller gets their attention superbly.
Blues scholars will enjoy “Leave Me Babe” and “Amazing Child”, lovers of the moody and broody will take to “Never Wanna See You Again” and “Backyard” (is that Cave & The Bad Seeds influence I hear in there?) while closer “Day You Came” has that southern style Americana swagger that rounds thing out nicely.
Mackinnon now has the Wrecking Train in cahoots with him as they hit the road to bang these tracks out live while at the same time getting stuck into album #2 as well!
No longer the Melbourne expat or Tennant Creeks best kept secret, Lincoln Mackinnon’s debut should see him gain a wider audience off the back of this fine release, and shake the cobwebs at a dusty seedy bar near you sometime soon as well!
Story & Photos by Ant Ritz
Roxette put on a brilliantly upbeat show at the Sydney Opera House.
From the very first song, Roxette had the crowd on their feet and they didn’t sit down, despite the occasional cry from the inevitable wowser, for the entire show. It was perhaps surprisingly upbeat, because 56 year old Marie Fredriksson, performed the entire show seated. She was actually assisted to her chair at the beginning of the performance and remained seated until the end of the final encore.
Fredriksson was diagnosed with cancer of the brain in 2002, so presumably(?) this is a legacy of that illness. However, reports are that she no longer requires treatment for cancer. Despite being seated, she pulled it off with style. She still looked like one of “the great rock chicks” sitting crossed legged for the entire show. Somehow she still appeared to exude energy and enthusiasm.
On the other hand, at lot of the energy also came from Marie’s partner in Roxette – Per Gessle (also 56 years old), who rocked and strutted and danced around the stage like he was still 21. Per Gessle has always been the main songwriter of the band/duo and there is no doubt that they have been master architects of pop.
Roxette were formed in 1986 and its easy to forget just how many hits they have had over the decades. Every song was a well known song and the audience more often than not was enthusiastically singling along. They have been touring again internationally on and off since 2011, so they are be bound to be back in Australia with a few years.
Roxette Set List – Sydney Opera House – 25th February 2015
Sleeping In My Car
The Big L
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain
Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Listen To Your Heart
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Story & Photos by John Snelson
Fantastic performance on Saturday afternoon on another of Tony Cini’s Blues On The Water Cruises on Sydney Harbour by the best blues/rock band in Sydney, Chase The Sun. (More photos here )
Returning from a hiatus period, Chase has lost none of its oomph and power, from the driving drums of Jon Howell to the colourful bass playing of Ryan Van Gennip … to the virtuosity of legendary guitarist Jan Rynsaardt.
Some old favourites were on the play list including “Peaches and Cream” and “Pants” a few covers to get us dancin’ – plus the normal sit-down slide session on the steel Fender.
Nevermind what they look like, this Chase The Sun is the best modern blues band in Sydney if not Australia.
They are also such nice guys, they even let Tony Cini sing with them.
Onya Tone !
Story & Photos by John Snelson
Tony Cini reckons that Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars will be the next big thing and he may well be right. There’s some talent here, no doubt about that.
(More photos here )
Eddie is nothing if not an enigma. He is full of beans and chucks himself around something rotten, but hey, this is good stuff with hands on guitar, uke and the gobiron … terrific stuff.
If you want to party invite the Phatapillars and Eddie of course, as these guys know how to pump out a bit of attitude.
Great band, great music … all on Tony Cini’s latest Blues On The Water Cruise just a few days ago on Saturday afternoon.
(More photos here )
Story and Photos by John Snelson
Tony Cini turned it on again on Saturday.
Anytime is a beaut time to be on Sydney Harbour – it’s a beaut boat time.
The weather was tops, the music was terrific, the food was tasty and the times yeah, t’was good too all round. What a fantastic afternoon !
Tony was selling his “Blues On The Water” t-shirts at such a great price people were buying crates of them and jumping overboard – some of them stuck around to enjoy the music and smile at the dicky bird.
Some more shots right here of the crowd having a good time. Well why wouldn’t we with bands like Chase The Sun …
… and Eddie and The Phatapillars
Read on ….
Album Review by Rufus Onfire
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Life’s been good to the man known as “The Chief” of late.
(Pssst … “That’s not me although it hasn’t been too shabby either”) Ed.)
Solid first up solo release, overseeing the expansive uber reissues of his old band’s generation defining first 2 albums as well as seeing his beloved Man City bag a couple of bits of silverware for good measure as well.
The Amorphous Androgynous collaboration which was slated to follow his 2011 self-titled debut and take us in a different direction was shelved come 2014, so was his regular recording place and knob twiddler as well, with Dave Sardy occupied elsewhere and the sunny skies of LA giving way for some self production action in a studio not far from home in London.
Sure, Noel was the main contributor song wise early in the career of Oasis but towards the end of their run it became more of a democracy where others were invited in to help in what was for the most a formulaic process of the straight up rock we grew to know and love or pan depending which side of the fence you sat on.
Solo wise though like many other before it presented Gallagher with the chance to spread his wings and take other styles and sounds in, and none more so here than on the superb opening track “Riverman” it’s muse drawn from a 70’s track Morrissey had put him on to with its gliding feel and chiming in saxophone (sax and Noel, you better believe it folks) here the ideal segueway into the first taste we got of this record late last year “In The Heat Of The Moment” underpinned by a fuzz bass like sound to great effect.
“The Girl With X-Ray Eyes” draws on psychedelia and balladry that only the input of the Stacey brothers Jeremy and Paul can bring to the table sound wise (the brothers having also worked with the Finn Brothers a decade ago), while those pining for the familiar sounds get their wish when the chorus of a 2 decade old demo (My Sister Lover) is transplanted into a ball tearer of a tune “Lock All The Doors” that has live set highlight written all over it, sublime.
Gallagher has always had a steady kitbag of songs at the ready, and “The Dying Of The Light” sounds like one that could have been a handy addition on the debut, while the so called “Space Jazz” moment the Chief has spoken of pre-release is the wandering sax that pops in and out on the breezy groove and horn fest that is “The Right Stuff” (cue a late night video filmed around the streets of the capital coming to an imaginary mind near you).
Never one to not occasionally reference the titles and themes of others in lyrics “While The Song Remains The Same” wreaks of classic early 70’s rock, it’s title a familiar nod to someone else while the snippets of sounds blended together here with some great percussion work result in a track that jumps out of the speakers to great effect.
We also get a disco/new wave foot tapping beat double shot of sorts too here with “The Mexican” and “You Know We Can’t Go Back” a ying and yang of guitar sounds spliced in with the right mix of rhythm and those horns again to somehow complement each other perfectly.
And then the closer, the steady beat and bass line of current single “Ballad Of Mighty I” is kept steady by the Chief’s axe but enhanced to stunning effect by his old mate Johnny Marr doing what Johnny Marr does when called on to add his bit, that brush of class on an already impressive canvas.
10 songs in total, get in and out in good time and look to deliver in the process. Long-time fans like yours truly may wonder what might have been had album #2 matched what was originally on the menu, but the alternate dish offered up instead in an age of manufactured and generic machine like fodder is something to savour and devour with satisfied pleasure.
“Life really is good for The Chief right now isn’t it !”.