What’s Goin On: REMI X SAMPA THE GREAT @ The Zoo

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski

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To start, I will admit I have been putting off this article. Not because it was terrible; it was actually far on the other side of the spectrum and I honestly wanted to create as much justice for the gig as this article can provide. It is definitely one gig I will never forget. Why? Well because it was my first hip hop gig, but the vibe, the music, the performance and the message made me feel something special about these artists that it still gives me goosebumps to think about. 

Remi and Sampa the Great have both been in the music scene long enough now, that they should be bigger than they actually are. Both black artists from Melbourne, Remi releasing TWO Ep’s in 2011, and Sampa debuting her first EP in 2015. Also, collaborating on singles alike “For Good”, it was inevitable for the duo to do a collaborative tour around Australia to promote the good music and good messages they provide in their music.

Firstly, greeted on stage by Sampa, she was a vision on stage, with great stage presence with the audience, getting them to engage with the music and groove. Playing fan favourites “Blue Boss”, “Black Dignity” and “FEMALE”, the Zambian born queen sings/raps about her pride of her heritage and pride/protest for female rights. As she is a great advocate for both black and female rights, it was so interesting to watch her on stage and how she presented her songs. With great momentum and passion in the parts that needed the most passion, the crowd (small but sweet) would continue to support and groove the night away.

One moment is still stained into my mind, when Sampa started speaking, as if it was slam poetry. The crowd was quiet, listening to every word she would say and eyes were hooked onto the stage waiting for what was happening. Then the bass dropped and Sampa went into full swing, audience going wild for something that was everything but expected.

Remi on the other hand, had some funky, good old hip hop tunes. The good old tunes that would take you back to the Bronx in the 1970’s when hip hop was just starting out. It had a funkadelic vibe to it, with all the right meanings. Also a great advocate for black lives and the working class man,  Remi put on a performance that was just as wonderful as Sampa’s and was really engaging to the audience.

Also performing fan favourites along the lines of “XTC Party”, “Substance Therapy” and “Livin'”, Remi got people dancing, singing and thinking- taking time to say that everyone has to work as one, just before the intro to “Livin'”.

Ending the show with a collaborative headline, both artists were on stage performing songs that they collaborated on including “Fire Sign” and “For Good”, ending the night on a fun note, dancing and interacting with each other, the fans and their friends on the side of the stage, that was later invited up for a dance to “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar.

Overall, the night was magical. There was no audience members that got onto each others nerves, the energy on stage was electric and again, the messages that both artists put across to the audience was important.

It was great to watch both Sampa and Remi use their platform to promote important messages across to the audience, as it is not every day you experience a mosh with a majority of white people praise and sing along to two small black artists as greatly as they did that night.

It was a wonderful experience and if you ever get to see either one or both perform together, definitely take the chance because they will certainly not disappoint.

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Pass the Mic: FAIRCHILD

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski

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Gold Coast based band FAIRCHILD is back from their stay in Manchester, to provide the titled single “So Long and Thankyou”, off their debut album So Long and Thankyou available August 4th.

Going back, the band have been together for a whopping 4 years, starting up in 2013. As a six-piece band, FAIRCHILD have successfully bought the 1980’s new wave era to life through their music produced throughout the last few years.

While in Manchester, the band supported The Human League, Mutemath & MOTHXR, as well as supporting other big bands in their home country, including Neon Indian, Yeo, Northeast Party House and Cub Sport. Performing at festivals alike Big Day Out and showcasing at Canadian Music Week, Music Matters Live and Tokyo National Music Market, its guaranteed for FAIRCHILD to be a massive hit at the time of their debut album release.

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Gearing up the single “So Long and Thankyou” slowly, it leads up to a punk-like beat upon new synth sounds, accompanied by lead singer Adam Lyons vocals, which are both punchy but spaced at the same time to achieve a different vocal sound to any other synth band.

Written shortly after the death of guitarist Tim Voeten’s father, the song is definitely a journey lead with different components of both instrumental and vocal, as you hear the pain in the voice of Lyons.

Voeten, himself, spoke about the single stating:

“”So Long and Thankyou” was written in different sections, by different members of the band, but with the same person in mind—my father. When I hear this song, of course I think about my Dad, but I also remember that it helped cement in me my love for making music with these people. During those long nights in the studio, I knew it was okay to not be okay. I’d show up with some half-baked idea and we͛d have a few drinks and mess around with it. I never knew one of those half-baked ideas would become “So Long and Thankyou”.”

The statement further evokes the idea of a musical journey throughout the song, making it relatable to listeners in more than one way.

The debut album So Long and Thankyou will be released early August, produced and mixed by Catherine Marks, who has previously worked with the bands Foals and Wolf Alice, so you know this album will have a lot to provide to listeners.

For those who are fans of Two Door Cinema Club and The Killers, you’ll be happy to hear that they have vibes of guitar riffs of Two Door Cinema Club although the vocal and emotion of The Killers, according to EARMILK, so keep that in mind while you give FAIRCHILD a listen!

SO LONG AND THANKYOU WILL BE RELEASED VIA THEIR RECORD COMPANY CANVAS SOUNDS, THE SINGLE AND ALBUM PRE-ORDER WILL BE AVAILABLE MONDAY. 19TH JUNE. 

Just a Chat: Joe Hansen from Grinspoon

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski

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Amongst the excitement of the Grinspoon Guide To Better Living Tour Announcement, I was lucky enough to have a chat to Joe Hansen, bassist for Grinspoon about the good old tour days, the upcoming tour, good music and deserted islands? Read below!

GZ: So, tell us, how did Grinspoon come together?

JH: Phil Jamieson (singer) and Kris Hopes (drums) were playing in a band in Port Macquarie, Pat Davern (guitar) and I were playing in a band in Lismore.  We met in Lismore at a jam session and it kind of just made sense. Phil and Kris needed a bass and guitar player, they were a drummer and singer. It made sense at the time, it was a happy accident.

GZ: Did  you think that all these years later, you would be celebrating the bands 20th Anniversary?

JH: Its pretty crazy, in those days you never really thought down the track. We never really looked further than the next album or the next gig. Next thing you know, its been twenty years. Its pretty wild, but its been good. We’ve had a few ups and downs but we are all still hanging in there and love each others company.

We never had a big strategy, so we just take it one step at a time and you look back and gone “Oh ghee, we’ve done seven albums now”. You never really expect that you would still be going twenty years later.

Just to make one record is such a cool thing to do. It’s so awesome and we are lucky enough to done it as long as we have and to have an audience and do what we’ve done.

GZ: Are you excited to go on your 26 date national Guide to Better Living tour?

JH: We’re playing the whole Guide to Better Living album from start to finish so that’s what I’m looking forward to. It’s a bit different cause [our tours have] never been like this. But it should be fun to go back to our first record. A lot of the songs have always been on our set, but some songs that haven’t been played since they been released will be played too. So its exciting to play through the whole record.

GZ: Talking about tours, is there any memorable gigs that you played whether there was a crazy fan getting on stage or meeting a specific band?

JH: It’s hard to pick something out of thin air. We had fun on the warp tour we did in the late 90’s with Unwritten Law, a band from San Francisco. We just did standard rock and roll partying behaviour too which was fun.

GZ: Is there any favourites off the Guide to Better Living album?

JH: Not really, theres a few songs we’ve had on our set since its been we’ve released the album. Although, listening back to the album, I’m looking forward to playing “Rail Rider” which is a kind of different song for us. Its going to be a cool one to play, its epic, there’s a few different parts in it compared to the normal Grinspoon song.

GZ: So, what music have you been listening to recently?

JH: International Noise Conspiracy is one of my favourite bands so I’ve been listening to them. They also have a few members in another band called Refuse, their some of my favourites. I’ve also been reminiscing with Sound Garden since Chris Cornell passed away. Also, I’ve been listening to Super Unknown a lot too.

Also, Violent Soho is one of my favourite bands, so Ive been listening to them a lot lately. They’re such a great band. I was watching them a few years back at Splendour in the Grass, during the bands [Grinspoon] break and there was this humungous crowd. I started thinking about our gigs in the day and thinking “F*ck that was fun”.

GZ: Just a fun question, but if you were stuck on a deserted island with one other band member who would it be? Why?

JH: *Laughs* Oh, I dont think I’d take phil cause he’s useless, so is Pat. I think Kris. Drummers are pretty handy and have survival skills. I think he’s the one Id have to go with. The others are hopeless, I dont think we would survive very long. The rhythm section have to stick together.

GZ: Anything else you would like to say?

JH: Come along to our tour. We are doing the album then some other songs as well that’s not on there as an encore. Hopefully everyone out there comes along and has fun!

Thanks Joe for the fantastic interview and we will definitely see you there for your tour!
Click here for tour dates

 

Drops: Pete Murray

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski

Camacho created by Pete Murray will be released tomorrow (Friday June 2nd), and its definitely a tune to take your time to listen to. The divine creator of “So Beautiful”, a song that everyone knows is back and better with something great for fans and strangers alike.

The singer/song writer definitely uses the history of his acoustic background to dabble in some pop roots to create an album worthy of the 21st Century. As music is recycling itself  into the twenty-tens (?? is that what we call them??), components of the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and even 90’s find their way into popular music of today in a refined and suitable way. Pete Murray does this So Beautifully  well, incorporating his own stuff and components of other genres to give his music a new spark.

“Only One”, the first track of the album Camacho holds a low key grungy beat with its looming bass guitar which is an interesting start to an album, whereas fourth track “Give Me Your Love” is very folk/singer song writer, accompanied by guitar and soft instrumentals before delving into a jazzy drum beat. Accompanied by honky-tonk piano in some parts, you can really tell the historic influence on Murray as a musician.

“Take Me Down” another track on the album is again different, as there is use of an electric drum kit and slight use of synths, creating another out-there beat, compared to the rest of the album.

Title track “Camacho”, is a looming song, of pop-darkness with deep guitar solos but upbeat drums and rhythm guitar. its a great mixture of both, as vocals tie it together sounding similar in tune to the Black Keys single “Lonely Boy”.

The rest of the album is a melodic mixture of heavy and low guitar, sweet sweet vocals and up-beat pop to make up what the album Camacho is all about! So similar, yet so different to what else Pete Murray has done, its definitely something to take your time and listen to.

Order the album here

Catch his tour dates below and purchase tickets here

WED 12 JUL | LISMORE CITY HALL, LISMORE NSW | LIC AA

 THU 13 JUL | VILLA NOOSA, NOOSAVILLE, QLD | 18+

 FRI 14 JUL | THE TIVOLI THEATRE, BRISBANE, QLD | 18+

 THU 20 JUL | GREAT WESTERN HOTEL, ROCKHAMPTON, QLD | LIC AA

 FRI 21 JUL | RACEHORSE HOTEL, IPSWICH, QLD | 18+

 SAT 22 JUL | THE STAR GOLD COAST, QLD | LIC AA

 SUN 23 JUL | REDLAND BAY HOTEL, REDLAND BAY, QLD | 18+

 WED 26 JUL | CEX COFFS HARBOUR, NSW | 18+

 THU 27 JUL | THE CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE, NSW | 18+

 FRI 28 JUL | THE ENTRANCE LEAGUES CLUB, BATEAU BAY | 18+

 SAT 29 JUL | ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW | LIC AA

 THU 3 AUG | NAUTILUS THEATRE, PORT LINCOLN, SA | LIC AA

 FRI 4 AUG | HER MAJESTY’S THEATRE, ADELAIDE, SA | LIC AA

 SAT 5 AUG | LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE, WARRANMBOOL, VIC | LIC AA

 WED 9 AUG | EASTBANK THEATRE, SHEPPARTON, VIC | LIC AA

 THU 10 AUG | CHELSEA HEIGHTS HOTEL, CHELSEA HEIGHTS, VIC | 18+

 FRI 11 AUG | WREST POINT SHOWROOM, HOBART, TAS | 18+

 SAT 12 AUG | LAUNCESTON COUNTRY CLUB, LAUNCESTON, TAS | LIC AA

 THU 17 AUG | BATEMANS BAY SOLDIERS CLUB, BATEMANS BAY, NSW | 18+

 FRI 18 AUG | WAVES, WOLLONGONG, NSW | 18+

 SAT 19 AUG | CANBERRA THEATRE, CANBERRA, ACT | LIC AA

 SUN 20 AUG | BEER DELUXE, ALBURY, NSW | 18+

 WED 23 AUG | ULUMBARRA THEATRE, BENDIGO, VIC | LIC AA

 THU 24 AUG | REGENT MULTIPLEX THEATRE, BALLARAT, VIC | LIC AA

 FRI 25 AUG | FORUM THEATRE, MELBOURNE, VIC | 18+

 SAT 26 AUG | THE WOOL EXCHANGE, GEELONG, VIC | 18+

 FRI 1 SEP | WINTERSUN HOTEL, GERALDTON, WA | 18+

 SAT 2 SEP | FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE, FREMANTLE, WA | 18+

 SUN 3 SEP | DUNSBOROUGH TAVERN, DUNSBOROUGH, WA | 18+

 WED 6 SEP | EMPIRE THEATRE, TOOWOOMBA, QLD | LIC AA

 THU 7 SEP | THE VILLE, TOWNSVILLE, QLD | LIC AA

 FRI 8 SEP | TANKS ARTS CENTRE, CAIRNS, QLD | 18+

 SAT 9 SEP | DARWIN SKI CLUB, DARWIN, NT | LIC/AA

Drops: Alt-J

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski

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Alike nothing they’ve done before, Alt-J has returned after the release of their singles “3WW” and “In Cold Blood” with the full album RELAXER set for release June 2nd.

Diving straight into the third track (as you know what “3WW” and “In Cold Blood” sound like, which is simply more than just a cover, “House of the Rising Sun” is a divine composition, channeling Woody Guthrie’s version rather than the original by The Animals. Stripped back further than most of their other songs, its a great organically instrumental song that has re-birthed the 1964  original to give it another life for the youth of the 21st Century.

Next on the album, “Hit Me Like That Snare” is hauntingly rock with the accompany of honky-tonk piano and heavy guitars followed by spoken vocals rather than singing. Alike the works of The Doors, this song is very careless in a precise way. It is tight, but has the same “I don’t care” attitude of Jim Morrison.

The band switch up their sound for a more gentle tune on the track “Adeline” which sounds a lot more like their older music, including synths and a steady beat. With a more chilled out vibe, its easy to get lost in this song. It’s easy listening with great instrumentals that are soothing. This sound is very similar to their album An Awesome Wave. creeping vocals and seamless backing tracks are a great combo for a break from the heavier tracks earlier in the album.

Although this is only a few minutes of the overall 40 minute album, there are plenty more surprises Alt-J have up their sleeves for this album, and we will leave that for you to discover when the album comes out June 2nd (this Friday)! So keep your eyes peeled for details and your ears open for one of the biggest albums of the year. With clear influences of musicians from the 60’s and 70’s in the earlier tracks, this looks like a new path for Alt-J. Check out the “3WW” music video below!

What’s Goin On: San Cisco @ The Tivoli

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski

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Waiting outside in the cold May air, standing outside the Tivoli in your jean jacket and converse, you hear numerous conversations about the show and what everyone is excited for. Finally, the time comes where the line starts to move- you hand your ticket to the security outside of the venue and stroll inside. You find your spot at the front near the barrier and wait for the show to begin. The music from the speakers stops, everyone goes silent, the lights go out and the gig begins…

First greeted by Boat Show, a Perth based group, the tone sets on stage, with plenty of energy by vocalist Ali Flintoff as she takes a swig of her drink and starts their set. Their set included songs “Staying Alive”, “Cis White Boy” and “Suss” (all on their album Groundbreaking Masterpiece which you can buy here), with a lot of spunk and confidence. Boat Show’s songs are very much a great big “F*ck You” to whatever is wrong with society, and with a strong punk component from the band, its portrayed in an upbeat way.

Thelma Plum, the beauty herself, then graced the stage for a calming set, filling the venue with synths and an angelic voice alike none-other. As cliche as it sounds, Thelma sounds even more wonderful in person than she already does on her recordings, so to see her perform only metres away was a treat in itself.

Although, the headlining act was hard to beat. As San Cisco came on stage, the crowd roared with excitement and there was the one or two high pitched squeals from both males and females who were excited to see their favourite band members in the flesh.

As the band powered through their set, it was expected to play songs only from their new album The Water, although, we were treated to every great hit that they had produced including “B-Side”, “Magic”, “Fred Astaire”, “Beach”, “The Water” and “Did I Do You Wrong?”.

The band as a whole put on a great performance. With not too much talking, they were able to create a jam-packed set, with great light-show and some groovy moves by vocalist Jordi Davieson. It was a great atmosphere and San Cisco showed their passion in their performance, with continuous smiles throughout.

Highlights during the gig especially was “Too Much Time Together”, “Beaches”, “Fred Astaire” and “Run”. As they were all fan favourites, everyone would join in and have a dance, with Jordi beaming with happiness. It was a wonderful experience.

Although, there was only one personal let down. THEY DID’NT PLAY AWKWARD. So, my dream of hearing “Awkward” live will forever live on. And for the sake of it, listen to it below! Gallery will be up in a different post so keep your eyes peeled. 

Pass the Mic: Donnarumma

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski

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Donnarumma
Noun
1. Grooviest band to be featured on Set Sound
2. Creators of “Love Your Man”
3. Funky

If that definition of Donnarumma does not impress you nor make you want to check them out, I’ll give you just a little bit more of a taste.

Booming vocals, a strong hook, hard-hitting drums and unexpected horn solos are what make up Donnarumma and their single “Love Your Man”. Summed up by Louis Donnarumma, he says:

“Love Your Man is about the jealousy that warped my perception of a relationship I was once in. The song travels back to a time where I felt betrayed by my partner – what an innocent boy I was! The video shows this toxic relationship where the girl goes insane, kidnaps her partner and tries to kill him – then it is revealed that he’s been cheating on her the whole time and he ends up getting what he deserves. Sounds ridiculous I know, but we tried to be as over the top as we could be. It’s like those moments when you’re so angry you picture the most outrageous stories in your head. We find it amusing and love the irony; there’s this man singing how he doesn’t feel loved, but does nothing but betray her!”

Although, this is only the start of their upcoming EP Billy Billy which is to be released June 30th. With the same blues based beats, on the second track of the album “Into The Moss”, it’s very similar to “Love Your Man”, which is significantly different to “The Anxious Dance” as this single holds many components of alt-rock without the use of the horn. This is also followed with the last two tracks on the EP “All Night Long” and “Billy Billy”, making it an interesting body of composition, wondering what they will have next.

The passion of the whole EP is felt strongly through speakers, and lucky for those in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, Donnarumma can be heard in person during their newly announced tour in July! Check out the dates below!

SAT 1 JULY | GRACE EMILY HOTEL, ADELAIDE SA | 18+
FRI 7 JULY | WHOLE LOTTA LOVE, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+
THURS 13 JULY | RAD BAR, WOLLONGONG NSW | 18+
FRI 14 JULY | THE TOWNIE, SYDNEY NSW | 18+