Live music reviews and features. Most of these were originally published on Amnplify – The Australian Musician Network
The Clouds pic Freetoeknee
Cold Chisel at festival Hall 19/4/2012
There was something very special about scoring the coveted front row position, in front of Ian Moss, for Cold Chisel’s Festival Hall gig in Melbourne.
The man whose guitar riffs made me fall in love with music, way back then, was in fine form as he easily worked his way through his collection of strats.
King of the North
Hard rock n’roll- blues two piece, King of The North, felt highly privileged to have scored the support slot for this iconic band.
Featuring a stripped back, but hard-core guitar and drums, the band pounded through numbers from their current demo EP. Reminiscent of Melbourne punk two-piece, Digger and the Pussycats, Kings of the North displayed high energy that at times out-did the Chisels!
A largely middle-aged audience stood tamely while one of Australia’s most culturally important institutions entered the stage.
Barnsey, clad in leather pants, that he really should have reconsidered before wearing them, launched straight into screaming Standing On The Outside, from the band’s 1980 East record.
This was followed up by Cheap Wine. The two opening songs were performed a little sluggishly, but the show’s pace picked up nicely as the set progressed.
They performed all the hit songs that commercial radio made into national anthems, while throwing in a couple off their new No Plans album.
Vocals sweet and rough
This was my very first Cold Chisel show, and I was involuntarily struck with emotion as Mossy sang his sweet vocals in Bow River. It was a rare pleasure to watch this axeman at work. Mossy proved that he can still hold a sweet note and he sang with power and beauty.
Barnsey used the stage and engaged his audience. I would have liked him to treat his parts in My Baby with a little more sensitivity, due to the delicate aspects of those melodies. His voice, always full-on, now is a constant scream and was brutal for the entire set with little variation.
The show, was post-phoned from last Tuesday due to Moss being bitten on the finger by a cat. Moss cheekily displayed a soft-toy kitten on his amp which was later thrown into the crowd
Don Walker sat suavely up the back on his keyboards, while Small and new drummer Charley Drayton held the pace with real intention.
The band played for nearly two hours, with a long encore. They dedicated When The War Is Over to deceased drummer, Steve Prestwich. The room turned into a karaoke night when Khe San struck up- at least it was performed by the original band!
It would have been great to hear more obscure album tracks being performed. The band delivered briefly when out came the powerfully written ballad for a prisoner, Four Walls.
REGURGITATOR at the Hi Fi Melbourne
26th August, 2011
By Michelle Slater
TheGurge looked on with delight when a packed out mosh pit of early 20 somethings ripped the Hi-Fi Bar a new arsehole.
Dressed in skeleton suits, the trio were a joy to watch as they performed with broad smiles and invited audience engagement at every opportunity.
Quan and Ben, along with new drummer Peter Kostic, displayed their brand of self-depreciating humour by performing a collection of songs that remain relevant in today’s electro-pop climate, as they did when the band first formed nearly 20 years ago.
I will lick your arsehole
A room full of punters yelled “I Will Lick Your Arsehole”, which always sparks a cheesy grin from band members, when the band opened with this mainstay of The Gurge’s live set-list, off their land- mark Unit album, from 1998.
The usual favourites such as Polyester Girl and Kong-Fu Sing were performed amongst some new songs, which were received with great nthusiasm from a pumped up crowd.
Security were kept busy by removing crowd surfers that were reminiscent of the band’s late 90s’ mosh era BDO performances. An over excited audience member threw his designer black canvas sneaker onto the stage.
A highlight of the night was when Peter took a mic up-front to perform an interesting synth arrangement off his i-Phone!
Such was the connexion between band and audience, that a beaming Ben said, “Melbourne! The best gig of the tour!”
Few bands have survived the early 90’s Aussie post-grunge, indie-rock era as successfully as Brisbane’s Regurgitator.
The Gurge are an innovative band that aren’t afraid of experimentation. Animated graphics featuring unusual fluffy creatures and 80’s b-grade movie mash ups added a new dimension to their live set.
Regurgitator are consistently strong live performers who have built a reputation out of hard work and creative diversity. It isn’t unusual for a multitude of genres to appear in one song.
The Gurge were one of the first Australian bands to meld punk with hip- hop and rock, on Kung Fu Song. They reinvented the 80’s elctro-synth sound on Unit in the late 90s before the style became popular with the kids of today.
Judging by this gig, The Gurge can keep punching out some good tunes if they keep true to their artistic diversity. The old mare has years ahead of her still.
TRACEY ROBERTS AT NEW NORTH GALLERY: “SINGING THE PICTURES” 29/8/11
By Michelle Slater
Roberts is a visual artist and a singer-songwriter who is a regular guest on “The Dotted Line”. She is also a visual music-colour synaesthetic.
Synaesthesia is an interesting brain response where some people are able to equate abstract ideas with visual colours.
Roberts does this through art and music. When she hears a particular note, she visualises a corresponding colour, so her entire keyboard represents a virtual artist’s palette.
“Immersion” was her exhibition of later works that involve brilliant colour use around surrealist figuration. Her works are composed digitally from scanned organic sketches. They are then printed onto high quality sliver ingrained paper which enhances colour intensity.
Each work is intrinsically connected with a corresponding musical piece, making the exhibition and concert an audio-visual narrative of the artist’s life.
Picture: Lance Fishman
Roberts’ music has a heavy jazz- cabaret infusion with a strong vocal delivery. It was the perfect style of music for an intimate art gallery performance.
Roberts performed songs off her current “Parallel Universe” album as well as songs from her back-catalogue. She included some favourite jazz classics and even a reinvented Mylee Cyrus cover!
She was joined by Chistina Green, a multi-instrumentalist who co-hosts Burrinja Gallery’s monthly “Acoustic Brew” with Roberts in Upwey.
Anthony Baker, who looked the part dressed in a blue suit, bright red shirt and beret, was on the drums.
Roberts described how each picture was visually created and how it related to the musical notes on her keyboard.
In one picture, a searing line of white light piercing through blocks of purple and blue represent the note “high C”. Roberts then performed the painting through musical representation.
Members of the Brain Institute attended the evening, and a representative was keenly taking notes in the audience about the artist’s synaesthesia.