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Wednesday, 11 January 2012 13:22

Woodford Folk Festival Review

Woodfordia Dec. 27-31, Jan 1

Stepping through Woodford’s golden gates, after a quick once-over from one of two security guards on duty, I am immediately transported to another world. A world where stilt walkers freely roam, chai and body odour waft through the air and hemp products are readily available on every corner. Melbourne band Husky kicks off musical proceedings on Wednesday afternoon at The Grande, where the seated audience is treated to superb renditions of ‘Hunter’ and ‘Fake Moustache’. Fellow Melburnian Jordie Lane is a ramblin’ man of sorts, but he looks right at home on Woodford’s Bazaar stage; his set is just as dependent on magical musical interludes as it is on Lane’s sharp wit and unbridled banter.

Gotye makes a one-off Woodford appearance at the Amphitheatre. Wally De Backer is joined on stage by a nine-piece band with all the bells, whistles, horns, loops and male backing vocal you could ever hope for. The set includes ‘Eyes Wide Open’, ‘The Only Way’ and ‘I Feel Better’, along with a back-to-back heartbreak medley of ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ and ‘Heart’s A Mess’.

Making the first of three scheduled Woodford performances, Busby Marou takes to the AlterNATIVE stage for a late night set. The duo’s understated acoustics are beautifully complemented by full band backing, breathing new life into ‘Banjo’ and ‘Save Some For The Others’.
By: Jodie Grinsted

Woodford is more than a folk festival, it has become an internationally recognised icon of world music and arts, while at home it continues to be a vital incubator for Australian performing and visual arts – nurturing generations of musicians, carnies, dancers, poets, comedians, actors and philosophers for over 25 years. This year’s inclusion of the Dreaming Festival added a deeper cultural aspect with the addition of the Blak Dramatics Stage, where I’m fortunate to grab a seat for the one-man show Chasing the Lollyman.

Seeing life through the lens of a gay Murri man growing up in the dusty redneck town of Mareeba is a rare insight indeed. Actor and playwright Mark Sheppard kept the audience laughing and enthralled to the end, his character morphing through several personas, clever prop changes to win a standing ovation at the end. It’s then time to boogie; Japan’s Mount Mocha Kilaminjaro at the Amphitheatre are my musical highlight this year – their quality and stage-craft are up there with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. For a band with no vocalist, they have to pull out all the moves to keep the show electric, which they do with aplomb. Their tightness and super heavy sound create some morbidly obese grooves that smother the crowd in wave after wave of fat, funky goodness. Thanks Woodford!
By: Rudi Quinzalez

Simply walking around during the day presents myriad shows via the many open tent flaps as you’re occasionally accosted by a troop of greenhorned gremlins speaking gibberish, linking arms with and even trying to marry festival goers. Representing German indie, the dysfunctional sibling duo of Die Roten Punkte put on a flawless comedic music set. The brother and sister band argued, threw tantrums and debated whether or not their parents were eaten by lions as they sang about bananas and robots with surprisingly catchy tunes.

Kira Puru & The Bruise on the Thursday night sucked the audience in with their sensual rhythm and the sheer volume and power of Kira’s voice. The dancefloor held a collection of people moving as if mesmerised by the jazz atmosphere, culminating towards the end of the show when Sideshow Wonderland’s cast turned the heat up as the contortionist and swordwalker crawled all over each other on stage while a sword swallowing space cowboy led the cheer. What could have followed this other than a burlesque collection including Rita Fontaine, Lola the Vamp, Flavella L’Amour and a whole lot of feathers yet not much clothing!

Bringing things back to harsh reality and the Dreaming theme of this year’s festival, Noel Tovey’s Little Black Bastard saw one of Australia’s most distinguished theatre practitioners recount the horrors of growing up amid poverty, alcoholic parents, sexual abuse and living on the streets.
By: Nath Martyn

Wednesday, 11 January 2012 13:14

Summafieldayze Review

The Spit, Jan. 2

Spank Rock left an impression — his microphone skills so profound I nearly forgot about the half-day it had taken to hike to his stage from the VIP bar. While Spank Rock knew how to get his modest yet dedicated crowd into action, it's doubtful he knew that there were three Flashs working the festival.

A large amount of time was suddenly and inexplicably deleted, transporting me straight to Tiga. As I pondered whether or not time travel had indeed occurred, this music deity demolished all things stage-related, inciting a pulsating sea of fist-pumping tribal tattoos and inertia-driven silicone. It's true, I can't remember what songs were played (and neither can you), but the bruises and sunburn speak for themselves.

Calvin Harris landed at The Spit with enough technological wonderment that the rest of us nearly forgot what his act actually was. As every kind of laser, projector and video screen lit up half of the Sunshine State, it became clear that we weren't the only ones; Calvin, too, had forgotten.
By: James Pearson

Backing up after New Year is never easy, but the stellar line-up had me convinced Summafieldayze would not only be worth it but the perfect way to kick off 2012. The Stafford Brothers and their trumpet-toting sidekick Timmy were — well, The Stafford Brothers and Timmy Trumpet. Their delivery was no different to every, other single time I’d seen them. Still, hats off to the boys for being consistent.

Joseph Saddler — aka Grandmaster Flash — drew a huge crowd and dropped old favourites from the likes of MC Hammer, Run DMC, Nirvana, Reel 2 Real and Missy Elliott. But the hip hop DJ pioneer just couldn’t seem to get a handle on it, cramming his set with tracks and cutting from one to the next after only mere seconds of playtime. This uninspired but nonetheless crowd-pleasing performance was regularly interjected by calls to “put your hands in the air” and “make some noise out there”.

Headliners Pendulum were everything I’d hoped for and more. Their chilling renditions of ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘Propane Nightmares’ lifted the frenzied masses to a dizzying state of drum n bass euphoria, rendering their performance the best of the day.
By: Kim Vlasic

Thursday, 05 January 2012 09:23

Scene Mag: Most Read 2011

What you were reading in 2011

Who doesn't love a top 10? We do — and we've decided to follow-up our writers' choice Top 10 print tradition with an online most popular Top 10.

Scene Magazine's publisher Howard Duggan says "We've always known our readers are an eclectic and diverse bunch and our Top 10 'Most Read Online' bears that out. Where else are you going to see Boy Girl Wall, Snoop, Drag Queensland and The Oceanics all side-by-side vying for 'most read' status?"

We can't leave without noting that Scene Mag is fortunate to have genuine quality in its writer stocks. We won't name names, but a quick scout around our excellent content-rich site will bear testament.

And if you're interested in all-time time Top 10, then look no further than our home page.


Artist Genre Author
1 Joelistics
Urban Matt Shea
2 Snoop Dogg
Urban Matt Shea
3 Boy Girl Wall
Theatre Miss Yonemama
4 Fortafy
Urban Colleen Edwards
5 Drag Queensland
Theatre Matt Shea
6 The Queensland Country Comfort Hour
Rock Matt Shea
7 The Oceanics
Rock Matt Shea
8 DJ Sheep
Urban The Matchstick
9 Electric Playground First Birthday
Electronic Lady Lex
10 Blunted Stylus
Urban Matt Shea


Wednesday, 23 November 2011 10:21

Harvest Festival Review

Brisbane Botanical Gardens & Riverstage Nov. 19

Large, stripey broad-brimmed hat - check. Sunscreen applied so thick it acted as an additional layer of albino skin - check. I certainly was safe and sunsmart ready for Harvest. Mercury Rev took this scorching day up a few notches in the mid afternoon with a blistering set. This New York alt. rock band dressed mostly in black with shirt buttons undone filled the arena with their all-consuming, warm and heartfelt songs. ‘The Dark Is Rising’ and ‘You’re My Queen’ are such powerful songs when accompanied by vocalist Jonathan Donahue’s sweeping arm gestures and dynamite smile. I now want to go out and buy every single Mercury Rev disc ever released.

I caught the last few songs of TV On The Radio before moving on to see Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I can’t pinpoint what it was, but I couldn’t seem to get into their set. I left a few tracks in to check out Death In Vegas, the UK psychedelic rockers. They were perfect for what I was in the mood for and I really dig the surfy-synth-sound aspect of their music. I then walked over the grassy hill where the main stage opened up before me to find Bright Eyes playing his opening piano chords. The crowd began to cheer and would do so for the next 60 minutes as frontman, Conor Oberst, captured us all with his varying songs.
By: Danielle Golding

Droves of gatherers braved the scorching Queensland sun to secure their share in the bountiful musical crop that was Harvest Festival. First pick of the day was TV On The Radio, whose set undulated between tracks from all four studio albums. With their full and distinctive sound, they expertly built and dwindled layers of guitar, synth and trombone that culminated in the anthemic ‘Wolf Like Me’.

Complemented by the setting sun, The National provided the Riverstage with a welcome yield of indie rock. On point from the first note, the band produced a rich, dignified sonic experience, accompanied to perfection by Matt Berninger’s baritone. The emotional climax of ‘Terrible Love’ marked the end of a truly heartening performance.

Not having sown musical seeds in Australia for over a decade, Portishead finally took to task headlining the festival. With shuddering bass and a melancholic mix of live and programmed sounds, they created a tense and engaging groove. A pin could have been heard to drop in the Brisbane River when, in her achingly exquisite voice, Beth Gibbons performed a half-tempo rendition of ‘Wandering Star’ accompanied only by a simple bassline, wailing guitar, and the silence of 10,000 people.
By: Jerath Head

For the majority of Harvest revellers, Portishead was the main ticket; but for mind, The Flaming Lips were the big drawcard - yes, they’ve toured here half-a-dozen more times than Beth Gibbons and company. But fuck, you can’t beat the Wayne Coyne led Oklahoma outfit, particularly when it involves Coyne entering the crowd inside a gargantuan plastic inflated ball, enough coloured confetti to cover a couple of football fields — multiple times — oversized balloons of every conceivable colour launched into the crowd and a stirring rendition of ‘Do You Realize’ to close proceedings. Yes, I walked out on Portishead — but not because I didn’t like it. The trip-hop of the UK act was too damn slow after the candy-cane induced high of The Flaming Lips.
By: The Matchstick

As far as festivals go, this one was the hairiest I’ve ever been to. Granted the date coincided with the Movember madness that’s currently happening, but it was the onslaught of beards, side burns and hairy chests that was most noticeable. The vibe was super chilled to match the musical line-up with the fashion also reflecting this.

With a slew of sundresses, the girls looked cute, fresh faced and summery with straw hats, bold bangles and lots of long wavy hair. Flip to the lads and there were skinny coloured jeans aplenty, arty tees and lots and lots of quirky, cool sunglasses and shoes. Walking out through a myriad of upside umbrellas hanging high in the sky, all felt right way up in my world.
By: Majella McMahon

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 13:29

Gold Coast Film Festival

Actress Interview

Local actress Georgina Haig stars in upcoming Australian thriller ‘Crawl’, a tense, character-driven film set in an unknown rural town where a seedy bar owner hires a hitman, the double-crossing backfires and a young woman is caught in the middle and taken hostage.

Q: Describe your character and what appeals and repels you about her? Marilyn's the innocent in the film who ends up having to make a choice about whether to lose that innocence in order to survive. The idea of an ordinary girl that everyone can relate to being put in an extraordinary situation appealed to me. It's nice when characters have contradictions, and that was the part of her that appealed to me the most.

Q: Hardest aspect of this role? It was the scene where I was gagged and bound. I spent most of the afternoon that way and it made me so angry. I had to do a lot of foot stamping to get the energy out. It's so interesting how putting your body into a stressful place affects you psychologically too. It's ridiculous because you know it's pretend but your body is going into fight or flight as though no one’s given your subconscious the memo.

Q: What do you think of the local film industry? I think it's incredibly hard to get a film made in this country, and it's a huge credit to Ben, Bryan and Paul that they got this film up privately. Australians just don't see that many Australian films, but it's also our responsibly as filmmakers, and the responsibly of the funding bodies to remember that audiences want to be entertained and people are entertained in lots of different ways.

Q: What do you want audiences to say as they leave? Hopefully they won’t say much but put their hand to their chest and feel the heart pulsing. And then forget to turn their phones back on til late - that's when I know I've been taken in by a film.

Q: Describe the film in 5 words? Unforgiving, edgy, cinematic, brittle, unrelenting.

‘Crawl’ is screening as part of the Gold Coast Film Festival, November 25, 5pm at Australia Fair Event Cinemas. Plus the cast and crew will be attending the session to present the film.

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 02:56

Island Vibe Review 2011

Home Beach, North Stradbroke, Oct 28-30
Friday, day one, and the vibe was steadily building amid the glorious surrounds of North Stradbroke Island. Despite perpetual cloud cover the UV index was extreme, although it couldn't melt your heart as completely as the bluegrass sounds of The Rusty Datsuns. The folk trio relaxed us into puddles on the floor, and then shaped us up again for a good ol' fashion hoedown.

With spirits now high and willing, Afro Mandinko provided the body with reason to move. The contemporary African dance ensemble dispensed a vibrant, irrepressible rhythm that engaged the entire Main Stage in a single groove. By day two 'island time' had truly kicked in, and the sun was out to celebrate. Leading us into the much-anticipated Saturday night were Cheap Fakes, with suave suits and a party-inducing fusion of funk, reggae and pop that blew the unsuspecting afternoon crowds away.

Dubmarine continued the trend, exploding onto the stage with a truly dynamic live set of dub and dancehall reggae. High-octane frontman, D-Kazman, worked up a frenzy, pulling audience members up to 'help us dance for this one!' Roots legends Blue King Brown then took to the stage, bringing things down a notch for the beginning of their set. However, they couldn't repress the energy for long, and brought out Nicky Bomba to step it up with a whirlwind percussion jam.

Sunday afternoon shook away the morning clouds as the ever-eager crowds began to drift in, and Electric Wire Hustle was waiting with their unique take on soul music that combined sweet vocal lines, heavy layers of synth and some astounding live drumming. To cap off a sensational weekend, crowd favourite Chali 2na graced the stage with a mischievous attitude and a funky-ass backing band. Some Jurassic 5 numbers and his personal style of driving hip hop drew the most animated reaction of the entire festival.
By: Jerath Head

The Silver Bullet Rollers had a nice '50s style 'desert/ surfer' vibe about them — unfortunately though, the Alice Springs group were plagued with various sound problems throughout their set. However, after a few false starts they soon got into the swing of things, and were able to show off their fun, upbeat sound.

Brisbane group Kingfisha were one of the acts of the festival, with their blend of reggae and big band sounds. Anthony Forrest's smooth vocals suited their laidback Jamaican-inspired rhythms to a T. Playing tracks from their debut EP, 'Promises', as well as some new material, it was a great way to usher in the evening. At the Jolly Roger tent, DJ Katch was busy spinning tunes in his idiosyncratic way: jumping from behind the booth, to in front of the stage, to sitting at his drum kit, to appearing side of stage to hand out free CDs; it was clear to see he's not one to sit still. With a set list that spanned Mexicana (while wearing his wrestling mask) all the way through to material from his Resin Dogs days, his scattered approach may have confused some punters, however, most seemed to lap up his eclectic style.

Headliners Blue King Brown were next on stage, and following the high intensity performance of Dubmarine before them, they seemed happy to take things a back a notch. Surprisingly, it was their first time playing at the festival that seems tailor-made for their brand of 'conscience' music. They ran through a mix of their hits, including 'Water (For The Fire)', 'Stand Up' and 'Moment Of Truth' with vocalist Natalie Pa'apa'a also speaking to the crowd about taking care of the planet and each other.
By: Colleen Edwards

Funny Noises

That weird and wacky duo The Umbilical Brothers are about to unleash their weirdness and wackiness on Brisbane audiences one more time. With the boys about to hit the Powerhouse stage we thought we’d better drill down a bit deeper with Shane Dundas and find out a bit more about these guys with some hard-hitting questions ... or something like that anyway.

When I knew I Wanted to Be Funny... I didn't consciously want to be funny. In school my friends and I were just naturally funny to each other. But once I got paid for being funny, I certainly wanted to continue being funny.

My Big Break...

Hate to admit it, but Star Search in the early 90s. Don't tell anyone. It actually led to our getting on other TV shows. You see, talent shows can lead to long careers ... in comedy.

My Worst Bomb...
Our worst bomb was (literally) London 1996. We were three days into a promising looking West End season when the IRA (after an 18 month ceasefire) left a bomb in a phone booth just around the corner from our theatre. The season didn't exactly benefit and we just missed out on being the latest explosion on the West End.

I Wish I'd Met...
We're talking dead comedians here right? Groucho Marx. Although I have a feeling he wouldn't have given me the time of day. Spike Milligan. He would have given me his interpretation of the time of day.

Comedy's Biggest Influences...
Comedy's biggest? That's a large call. The bible?

Funniest Movie Ever...
Some may not be brilliant right through but have hilarious gags (‘The Man With Two Brains’, ‘There's Something About Mary’) ... but based on pure, consistent laughter the first time I saw them: ‘Holy Grail’, ‘Flying High/ Airplane’, ‘Spinal Tap’, ‘Bedazzled’ (the original, need I say it), ‘Dr Strangelove’, ‘The Waterboy’, ‘Schindler's List’...just kidding on the last two.

Funniest Internet site...
Oh, so many time-wasters to choose from. Here's a couple: I like theonion.com, and I know I shouldn't because it's wrong, but Engrish.com will definitely make you laugh.

Funniest TV Ever...
‘Arrested Development’, ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Black Books’, ‘The Simpsons’ (it's passe to reference, but man they've scored a lot of laughs), ‘Python’, ‘BrassEye’, many things Shaun Micallef's done...  Currently ‘30 Rock’ and ‘Flight Of the Conchords’. In their infinite wisdom, Oz TV networks put many of these on in the middle of the frickin' night.

The Umbilical Brothers present their show ‘Heaven By Storm’ at The Powerhouse from August 05 to August 16.

Wednesday, 02 September 2009 15:02

Spread Interview

Film In Preview

He's Demi Moore's knight in shining armour, the court jester of 'Punk'd', the prince dumbass of 'Dude Where's My Car' and the king of Tweeter - but such royal pedigree hasn't changed Ashton Kutcher who caught up with our very own Sue Denim to wax lyrical about his new film 'Spread'.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009 11:54

Orphan : Interview

Film in Preview

Director Jaume Collet-Serra and screenwriter David Leslie Johnson give us an insight into the making of their thoroughly disturbing film, Orphan, which opens this week.

Lead actor Vera Farmiga said that she loved the script for Orphan because it reminded her of the feel of Roman Polanski's early stuff. When you were writing this what kind of pull were you going for?
David Leslie Johnson:  It's really interesting, first of all I'm blown away that she made that comparison. But, definitely I had in mind the feel of seventies horror and seventies dramas, and things like that. I think it's one of the things that Jaume really responded to.

Jaume Collet-Serra: I'm a big Polanski fan. And I was drawn to the script for similar reasons. It was a movie that has the characters that are very well developed, and their back-stories are important to the movie and come back to haunt them later.  And, obviously, I just always am a big fan of Polanski and the way that he explores the psychology and the fears that we all have in our daily lives; that's what makes it really scary. I think people can relate to the characters and the story.

David, after doing your work on the script, what was it like to see the finished project that turned out so well?
DJ:  I feel almost ridiculously excited every step of the way. Because I feel like I've been really spoiled and very lucky because everyone at Appian Way was very supportive of my radical take on the story. Jaume came on board and really got it. And everything that changed when he came on board was an improvement. Then it was cast and I couldn't have asked for a better cast. So, I've been tremendously lucky-down to the soundtrack. I mean, I was listening to John Ottman's soundtracks when I was writing the screenplay. And by coincidence he wound up doing the score for this. So, I know it doesn't happen that way every time. And I'm not going to get used to it. (Laughs)

Having an excellent adult cast as you do here, really elevates the genre. But finding the kids that you did must have been a challenge.  Starting with Max, played by Aryana Engineer, but also Isabelle.
JC-S: We were very lucky. Casting for kids is difficult because they grow up so quickly. So, whoever was a great kid in the last movie, now is like fifteen by the time that you're making this. So, you have a chance to find new and fresh people. Isabelle had done a couple of things. She came in and read, and I was blown away by her performance. She just owned the character. She would make actual choices in delivering the lines, which is something rare in a kid. Basically that's what you get in a casting. I really felt that she was thinking about what she was saying and she was really, believing it. That's what we wanted.  With Aryana, it was a very specific character. It's a young, five or six-year-old little girl who has to play deaf-mute. And there were two options. The obvious one was to hire a kid and teach the kid some sign language. But I wanted to keep it real. And we found Aryana in Vancouver. I think some neighbor suggested that she would go for this audition. And she did it. And we brought her to L.A. and I met her and she was so natural.  But she was just a kid and she was so innocent that I think, ultimately, it really paid off because that innocence is what we're trying to protect in this movie. And every time that she would step in front of the camera, even though we had rehearsed it, I didn't know what was going to happen because she didn't know what she was doing.  She was just reacting for real to what was happening. And that's priceless when you get that.

As a director, to film those scenes with the kids, you have to go to some really dark places. What is your job in communicating? Making sure they feel comfortable?
JC-S: Well, you have to, obviously, explain what they're doing. Mostly with Isabelle, obviously, she understood what she was doing on most levels. You have to be careful in how you say things, and you have to rehearse over and over again. With Aryana, it was different because she doesn't really understand what was happening.  For her everything was a game. She was going to school most of the time on set.  And she would just come to set and do her thing. I would ask her, 'Do you remember what we did yesterday?'No. It was just a game. She didn't really register anything.

Orphan opens in cinemas this Thursday Aug 13.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 12:02

Sam Raimi: Interview

Drag Me To Hell

In the world of horror movies no name is written in brighter blood than Sam Raimi’s. His long-awaited return ‘Drag Me To Hell’ is just that, a journey through all sorts of bad shit, but then no one films bad shit quite like Raimi.

What brought you back to horror?
Freedom. That was one of the main reasons. On this picture I could have complete creative control and final cut, which I actually had for the first time since my first film, ‘The Evil Dead’. I didn't have to negotiate creatively with anyone. So it was refreshing in that way. I also liked working under a smaller budget for a change. Although I had done that for 20 years, for the last seven or eight years I'd been working with the luxury of Spider-Man type budgets, big studio productions.

How did ‘Drag Me To Hell’ come about?
That was just by chance. My brother, Ivan, and I had written this short story in 1989. Then just a few years ago, in 2002, we adapted it into a screenplay. I have a horror movie company called Ghost House Pictures, so I thought, why not make it into a full-fledged screenplay for the new company? We wrote it in mind with me to produce and for another director to come in and shoot it. Unfortunately that meant cutting the script so it could be made on a smaller budget. And as I started cutting, I realised that's not why I was in it. I wasn't there just to make a movie. I wanted to make this movie.

Is Drag Me To Hell based on a legendary curse?
The story is an absolute fabrication. The only aspect that we even considered doing any research for was who would be the demon that Alison Lohman's character calls forth: The old woman. We did the most minor amount of research and discovered there are different demons that exist in many different cultures under the name of 'Lamia'. In one culture, it's this baby-eating God. In another, it's a snake. In another, it's a very sexy, but evil woman. Maybe they're just telling different stories about the same thing? Maybe we can tell our own story about that demon and call it The Lamia? What we really have at the core here is a timeless concept that was used in this film, along with many others: the idea of a character that commits a sin of greed and has to pay the terrible price for it.

Sam Raimi’s ‘Drag Me To Hell’ hits screens on July 23.

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