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Wednesday, 27 March 2013 06:06

Danny Bhoy: Comedy In Review

Friday night and the Brisbane Powerhouse housed Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy — yeah, you thought he was Irish didn’t you?!

So did the Irish American Association of New York, Danny informed us, who invited him to an Irish-American comedy festival a decade ago! It was an hour-plus plunge into the wonderful world of letter writing to major corporations. The theme of the show was birthed after Danny bought a new Epson printer last year ... when the ink ran out three weeks later, Danny was rudely surprised to find the replacement ink almost cost as much as the printer itself. After writing to Epson, Danny was inspired to write to other multinationals: Telstra, Oil Of Olay (Yulan), British Airways and Vodafone all received scornful letters from Danny. It was an interesting approach to a stand-up routine, but Mr Bhoy pulled it off seamlessly — even his story about his one true lost love in New York had many in the audience wanting to pick up a quill and vent on parchment. His letter to his 13-year-old self had the full-house roaring with approval; even the World Trade Center joke was met with a smattering of guffaws from those who didn’t think it was ‘too soon?’. If you haven’t witnessed Danny Bhoy before, make sure you cross him off your bucket list next time he writes [sic] into town ... the man can weave a funny story across a range of topics, orchestrating the laughs with aplomb.

Thanks for the ‘cheering’ evening Danny.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 14:30

The Bamboos with Tim Rogers: Live Review

Last Thursday night, QPAC’s Concert Hall witnessed more funk than the venue had most likely ever encountered.

The perpetrator? You could say the nine-piece soul ensemble The Bamboos were the source. But even though frontman Lance Ferguson implored the seated audience to get up and boogie if the mood warranted it, it was that renaissance man from North Melbourne who fronts a bunch of rascals labelled You Am I that propelled the somewhat timid audience up onto their feet. From the moment Tim Rogers entered stage left he owned the stage, flitting about Lance and Kylie Auldist like he’d been in the band for years. The roll-call of songs was impressive — from You I Am covers to ‘60s soul numbers — while trying to keep up with Tim’s pelvic thrusts and running on the spot moves was impossible. Special mention to Ella Thompson, who took the breath out of the room while Rogers dealt with a costume change, singing a little ditty that showcased her amazing vocals.

One to keep an eye on.

click here to see more photos from the gig

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 15:04

Josh Thomas: Douchebag

Headed north for next month’s Brisbane Comedy Festival, Josh Thomas is currently questioning whether he’s a douchebag.

Your show is titled ‘Douchebag’. What makes someone an exceptional douchebag?
I use the word ‘douchebag’ to describe someone who does mean, obnoxious things on purpose. Like Kyle Sandilands or Bob Katter or Hitler.

Do you think anyone can be a douchebag?
Everyone is a bit of a douchebag, right? I think I'm ok, but then sometimes I can't help but tell my boyfriend his shoes look shit and he gets sad and I think maybe I'm a douche. They were fucking horrible shoes though.
The Brisbane Comedy Festival; do you enjoy travelling north to visit us?

I grew up in Brisbane, it's my home. I'll stay with my mum which is nice but she has cats, and cats stink plus I'm allergic to them. I adore Brisbane, but also have that thing a lot of people that grew up in Brisbane have where they think it's a bit lame.

What is it with bow ties and comedians? Both Wil Anderson and yourself are sporting them in your current promo images.
I'm very sure I was wearing bow ties before him. I might have to fight him.

Josh Thomas and cute animals; it’s like babies and politicians - how much effort goes into styling your promo photos?
My last tour was a big promo shoot — seven hunting dogs. Mostly because I had no ideas for the actual show so I was hoping that would distract people. This year it's just me and my dog and some afternoon tea, lovely. I'm much more confident this year.

Not to mock you or your dog John, but what the f#$k is a cavoodle?
Fifty percent poodle. Fifty percent cavalier King Charles spaniel. One hundred percent gangsta [sic].

Can you imagine a world today without social media? How would the current generation react?
Meh, we'd be fine. Everyone overhypes our reliance on it. If it disappeared within a few weeks we'd find something new to do.

You have 200k Twitter followers; dude, that’s insane... no?
I'm surprisingly popular. I don't know why.

Josh Thomas plays the Brisbane Comedy Festival March 14-17.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:54

Russell Brand: Comedy Review

Last night I ventured to the Brisbane Convention Centre to witness Russell Brand, not really knowing what to expect. The self-confessed ‘Mrs Katy Perry’ has been a media-wet-dream, ready to downpour at any moment, and there have been many a cyclone over the last two or three years when it’s come to Russell’s not-so-private life.

But is he an egotistical prat or a genuinely misunderstood celebrity and recovering drug addict? I thought the former, but after a 90-minute tour de force, I left a convert — not the type who would be willing to throw his body towards the man with the black locks to challenge Messr Jesus' curls (I lost count somewhere around 25 of how many folks tried to do that  — both sexes as well); or whisper to him “I’m a horny stripper” with his microphone less than 3mm away; or flash boobs like the two girls did from row XX for what seemed like the longest five seconds ever — Russell certainly didn’t mind the delay!

No, no, no. Rather, I was impressed by Russell’s intellect — discussing the size of our solar system in the scheme of the entire universe and how “amazing” that is to illustrate why it’s ridiculous that sections of the community still find time to object passionately to men ejaculating in other men’s arses when there are so many other wonders to discover.

Or his voyage into the world of quantum physics and the theories of David Icke that had Russell convinced he should tell the world the Queen is in fact a lizard while performing ‘I Am The Walrus’ atop a psychedelic bus during the London Olympics Closing Ceremony.

His wasn’t over-the-top schoolboy toilet humour either. Russell had an agenda to enlighten the bigotry of the world, which he did with aplomb throughout his performance. His physically hysterical impersonation of Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott masturbating, along with a story about his mate who misheard Thorpedo being introduced at the Royal Wedding earlier this year as “a pedo”, while met with plenty of belly laughs, still left many unimpressed.

But fuck ‘em. Russell, it was a pleasure hearing you regale Brisbane with many a tale from your wonderful array of crazy and wacky adventures. Hopefully your hand didn’t fall off while signing all those autographs post show; and did you get that massage from one of your “night wives”?

Russell Brand played the Brisbane Convention Centre December 4 & 10. Stay tuned in 2013 for more Adrian Bohm Presents comedian tours.

Photos: Amanda Geary

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 13:59

Fedde Le Grand

Dutch house DJ Fedde Le Grand first started shaking global dancefloors half a decade ago with ‘Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit’. The Flamingo Recordings artist is headed to Australia for another round of summer dates.

Fedde Le Grand the DJ today compared to when you were starting out at Danssalon in the late ‘90s; what’s the biggest difference in your DJing and productions?

I think it’s probably the confidence to do my own thing musically that’s grown and developed over the years. I know that I have my own distinctive sound that I’ve nurtured and cultured as I’ve produced each track, and in the DJ booth I know what I want to do, how I want to take the music, where I want to take the crowd and have the confidence to believe in myself. I’d say behind the decks that I’ve also become a lot more technically proficient than I was in the early days. I don’t have to think about the mechanics, which leaves me free to really get into the mix and the music and manipulate and twist it as my instinct and the vibe dictates.

Looking back at your career so far... the success you’ve had, has it only fuelled your desire to continue for another decade and beyond?

Yes, for sure. I kind of do a mental re-take at the end of every year, looking at what’s worked for me and what hasn’t. I think it’s important to learn from everything you do and to push yourself even further with every success. Whether something’s worked really well or perhaps something didn’t live up to my expectations, I need to take something from each experience and build on it.

The success you achieved with ‘Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit’ — did that drastically change your lifestyle?

Like you wouldn’t believe! I was doing pretty well enough anyway, but of course nothing could prepare me for what happened when the track came out. It was a total mindblowing experience. One minute I’m DJing in my usual spots, the next I’ve got parties and promoters from all over the world wanting to book me, it just exploded. When you add into that all the radio play, the video going on TVs everywhere, all of a sudden everyone knew my name even if it was just associated with that track and my whole world had turned upside down. In a good way though.

Fedde Le Grand in the studio... what’s fresh outta the oven? Plans for another artist album?

Well actually there are! I'm working on a new album to be released in the next year. For the album I'm working on a lot of very cool tracks. And next to that there’ll follow a few very interesting collabs, with for instance Sultan & Ned Shepard and Deniz Koyu. Another project that I'm really excited about is a remix of an amazing classic. But I don't want to give it all away just yet, so follow me!

You’ve collaborated with the likes of Will.i.am, Robbie Williams, Madonna and many others; what’s been your most memorable experience?

I think for me the most memorable experience was working with Rob Birch from the Stereo MCs. He’s always been a musical hero of mine so to get to work with him on the track ‘Wild & Raw’ was really indulgent on my part. The track had a funky groove to it that wrapped around his vocals and worked really well. It was an honour to work with him, but also a great boost for me to know that I was getting to a point where I could actually work with people that I’d been dreaming of because of the respect that I had as a producer. That was a nice feeling.

Fedde Le Grand plays Summafieldayze at Doug Jennings Park January 5. summafieldayze.com
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:18

Organikismnes: Five-Star Rating

New Zealand D&B producer Organikismness — who also moonlights with fellow Kiwi bass animals Soulware — is headed to Oz with both acts in tow.

Proudly New Zealand, what does bass music mean to Organikismness?
Well I reckon bass music is to the 2000s/ 2010s what dance music was to the late ‘80s and 90s — it’s a way to bunch together a whole lot of musical genres so people can categorise it easier. I'd like to think that I don't/ we don't really write bass music — just music (with heaps of bass).

For the uninitiated, is there a ‘typical’ set from Organikismness?
It very much depends on the time, the place and the occasion. It’s always 100 percent my own music, and I always try to play as full a spectrum of music as I can get away with, without compromising the audience or my own personal direction.

You’ve been quoted by Knowledge Magazine as ‘one of New Zealand's most diverse and prolific producers to date’. How do you react to such commentary about your work?
Pretty stoked if I'm honest. I think the review of Soulware in the Sunday Star Times last year was the most epic one so far; I was in Australia when it came out and I had so many people from my family call me on one day [which was a very ‘long’ Sunday] that I thought somebody had died; turned out to be quite the opposite. We'd actually been given the only five-star review of 2011 and everybody from my mother to Tiki Taane were bigging us up for it — that was choice.

You’ve toured with the likes of Pendulum, Spor, Andy C, Tiki Taane, The Mad Professor... do you watch other artists like a hawk when they’re performing, recording to further your own education?
In the studio yes, live, no. I don’t like to get in people's space, mainly cause I don’t like people in mine, well not when trying to work in front of 1,000s of people. But in the studio, you’re eventually sharing a creative space so studying and learning off each other is a very important part of the whole process.

Organikismness and Soulware play Manifest, at Bestbrook Mountain Resort, September 28-30.


Wednesday, 05 September 2012 15:09

Brujo's Bowl: Jolly Good Boogie

When questioned about the contents of Brujo’s Bowl, Saxon Higgs — the Welsh producer behind the BB moniker — offers: “an eclectic meandering of tribal beats and rhythms with phat basslines which should move you with no effort”.

Which is what you can expect to be doing when Brujo’s Bowl arrives in town later this month for Manifest.

The Saxon Higgs story... you were in a number of bands as a teenager before hearing electronic music. What was that time like for you?
Hehe! To be honest, during my teens I think I may have been very lost. My bands consisted of distorted electric guitars, long hair, headbanging mentally, black nails and roaring down into mic, resulting in the singer losing his voice once a week after we had our band practice. I’ve learnt to forget my old tastes in music, but I also love to laugh about it. I went through many phases, reggae and dreadlocks. Ska and punk.

First hearing electronic music ... can you recall that time and how the music you were soaking up was so different from what you’d heard previously?
My friend runs a small techno festival in Wales called Free Rotation. Some of my oldest companions and I went and helped out with the set-up for a free ticket when I was about 15. Quite a few of my parent's old festival friends went to this event and helped out. Nice family do. So I was surrounded by the influences of the elders and their music. This was where I saw 2562, the true sound of dubstep in my opinion. This was when producers who were fusing 2step garage and dub together, were finally building their own roots in the electronic music scene. When the wah wah, and wobble wobble of the bass was fresh. 

The origins of the ‘Brujo’s Bowl’ project ... is there a distinct moment where you knew the music you were making would be filed under Brujo’s Bowl?
As I started getting in to psy music, I also became very interested in psychedelics (you don't say?). I started reading about the different religions and cultures which used various entheogens for healing purposes. One series of books was 'The Teachings Of Don Juan' by Carlos Castaneda, which he wrote during his apprenticeship with a Yaqui Indian known as Don Juan Matus. Don Juan was a shaman from northern Mexico. But in the books, shaman was referred to as Brujo, which is the Spanish term for a person who practices in witchcraft, and in some places it means healer or shaman. So where do these shaman make their ayahuasca, peyote and psilocybe cubensis tea? In a bowl would be the stereotypical place. So I used this as a kind of metaphor for the way I produce my music. I mix all the sounds into a healthy sized bowl. What then comes out, I hope will alter perceptions of the world.

The current sound your peddling ... is it a mixture of a number of genres?
I don't like sticking to one genre of music. It bores me. Music should take the listener on a journey. And a live set should take them on an even bigger journey. I've always choreographed my sets to journey through the genres. Starting with a bit of techno, in to zenonesque and dub. And finally peaking into some psybreaks. And of course with my chill sets there is usually no genre definition or set BPM. 

You’re headed out to Oz with a date at Manifest ... you must be looking forward to the trip?
Aye, very excited. It’s going to be an honour to visit the homeland of the Zenon tribe. I can tell that we are all going to get on splendidly. And yes, days are getting shorter here, very weird to think that the Oz summer is starting soon.

Playing an outdoor, rural festival like Manifest ... what do you most look forward to?
Just the essential vibes of the scene in Australia. The people and how they are. I'm also looking forward to the food. I'm a big fan of food and the different cultural dishes I find when I'm travelling. And of course, I'm looking forward to having a jolly good boogie.

Brujo’s Bowl plays Manifest, at Bestbrook Mountain Resort, Sep 28-30.
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:33

Threds: Shattering the monotony

Local online mens clothing company Threds is looking to turn the scene on its head with its range of exclusive lines and attitude towards urban wear. Director of Threds, Nat Webb, lets us in on the secret.

The Threds philosophy ... what image do you want to project?
For far too long the Australian male clothing market has settled for monotony. The big industry brands, pedalling the same old designs on the same old threads. Retailed robots consume the streets, wandering aimlessly without an identity, without a purpose, mere clones among the masses. Threds aims to shatter the monotony; to provide a fresh alternative to this store-front stereotype. By offering a unique collection of the finest local and international mens streetwear labels, your new identity will be forged. 

What makes Threds standout from other online men’s clothing outlets?
Threds prides itself on offering a unique collection of streetwear that is a cut above the rest. We source only the most exclusive labels, which in most cases allows international labels, the only retail opportunity within Australia. With local labels we assist where we see potential and feel there is something different on offer to the mundane swag that plagues the retail shop fronts. We also market our products at much more competitive prices than the generic brick and mortar/ men's online store. We are not out to make a quick buck, we are here to offer something fresh, an alternative that people can be proud to represent at reasonable prices.

What are some of the brands you stock?
We are the only Australian stockists of Civil Clothing, Acropolis Apparel, To Die For Clothing, Adapt Apparel, FLUD Watches, Swallows N Daggers, Paper Wallet, Freek Ugly and Komplement. We are proud to present some rising local talent such as DE Collective, Perv Eyewear, La Vur Clothing, Bambam Clothing, Velvet Couch and Orchill Accessories. Some larger brands which are making a serious statement worldwide at the moment featured on Threds are Rogue Status/ DTA, Quintin Co, Rocksmith, ROOK brand and Orisue. 

What selection processes do you have in place?
We are excited to present a variety which appeals to all customers in the street wear/ casual wear demographic. We have strict controls in place to ensure only the best quality products are available and we will not compromise on that. We want to ensure we embrace brands that will endure longevity in the industry and aren't out to make a quick buck. We do not feature brands that are aiming to become another ‘typical’ surf brand.

Is there stereotypical Threds shopper?
The stereotypical shopper would be any person who wants to forge their own identity. Someone who stands out from the crowd and enjoys being or doing something a little unique or different. Any street skater, musician, or artist who thrives for that something extra or enjoys making a statement with whatever they may be involved in.

Do you have plans to stock female lines?
In the future, we are definitely looking to expand in many ways. Plans are already in place to move into footwear, jeans, shorts and further our accessories range.

Have you aligned the Threds brand to any musicians, celebrities?
We have been fortunate enough to align with many local talents. We are currently supporting The Medics, Troy Brady (The Amity Affliction), The Sweet Apes (Triple J), Hands Down (Melb DJ), Fundamental Elements and Dollarosa.

You have the launch show coming up with a host of musical acts playing...
We are set for a killer night of tunes from local lads Fundamental Elements kicking us off with some hip hop, The Sweet Apes throwing down some raucous beat downs with angelic vocals and to finish it off Hands Down will be providing us with a healthy DJ set filled with the latest house/ dub/ electro. We want everyone to share this launch with us, so come along, invite the masses and lets have a freakin' rad night.

The Threds launch party takes place at X&Y Bar September 14.
Friday, 27 July 2012 09:47

K+Lab: That's not Awkward

After a couple of weeks spent touring Canada, New Zealand ‘party rocker’, K+Lab, will cross the Tasman for a run of Australian dates.

You’re coming to end of your Canadian tour... how has the trip been?
Canada has been insanely fun. They really know how to party and they're loving the beats! The first night I arrived I turned up at the wrong dude’s place and this guy let me in and made a bed for me. After he talked to his flatmates he realised I had the wrong flat number, then it just got awkward. 

The K+Lab definition of glitch hop is? For me, it's all about combining phat hip hop breaks with chunky, dirty, ‘grindy-slap-mama’ basslines. Your love of hip, funk, bass — do you have an older brother or parent responsible for your musical upbringing?
Yeah for sure. My older brother bought me a guitar when I was ten and encouraged me to keep at it. He was into a lot of trip hop, breakbeat and hip hop artists at the time such as DJ Shadow, Portishead, Massive Attack, Wise Guys, Unkle, Roni Size which got me into hip hop, breaks and drum & bass.  

New Zealand’s bass scene... is there a sense from the locals that NZ is beginning to build a rep among the mainstream for the quality of music that is being produced? We're definitely proud of the quality of artists especially within the bass music scene. We have some great hip hop artists that are doing well which is refreshing, I was getting worried when Dane Rumble was topping the charts.

On that tip... Wellington’s underground scene...
There's a pretty loyal drum & bass and dubstep following in Welly; anytime The Upbeats play, it's madness! We don't get a lot of glitch hop, but the Brainfeeder gigs seem to be growing which is wicked. Lorn was one of my favourite acts that came through last year. If you’d been around in the ‘60s or ‘70s, do you think you’d have been a musician? I would like to think I’d be a drummer in a funk band or be rocking the double bass in a jazz band. I can't live without making noise — technology just makes it easier to create whole tracks rather than be part of a band.

K+Lab will be joined by Blunt Instrument at Coniston Lane Saturday July 28.
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 15:19

Film Review: Ted

Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis. Direct by MacFarlane

How freakin’ cool would it be that as an eight-year-old, your wish for a living, breathing teddy bear came true. Freakin’ cool. Better yet, how freakin’ cool would it be that you developed into adulthood alongside your living, breathing teddy bear? Freakin’ cool. Which is where we meet Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane - the crazed genius behind ‘Family Guy’) and John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), two wise-cracking best mates whos friendship is about to be tested by John’s four-year relationship to Lori (Mila Kunis). What ensues is 90-minutes of piss-funny marijuana jokes infused with toilet humour and high-fiving sports bravado and cameo performances from Tom Skerritt and Norah Jones (a plushie, who would’ve thought?). But the winning plotline comes in the form of Sam J. Jones playing himself by reliving Ted and John’s childhood love of Flash Gordon.

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