Items filtered by date: September 2013
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 13:42

Regurgitator: Dirty Pop Legends

Like many wayward children of the ‘90s, in 2014 Regurgitator will move out of its teenage years and into its 20s.

But don’t expect an out-of-control, leaked-on-Facebook party, or even a commemorative tour.

“I’m like the worst celebration person ever,” admits lead singer and guitarist Quan Yeomans.

“I don’t like crowds particularly, and I don’t really like drawing attention to myself unnecessarily. This 20 year anniversary thing is something that we’re aware of, but I don’t know if we really want to draw too much attention towards [it]. We’re not like one of these bands that likes having a big tour based around that sort of event, I don’t think.”

It’s a good thing, then, that they’re having a tour based around their eighth album, ‘Dirty Pop Fantasy’, which dropped last Friday.

“I think I’d been listening to Prince or something,” Yeomans says of the name choice. “And it seemed like a really appropriate name. It rolls out of your face, I think, pretty well.”

It’s an album that started in Melbourne and finished in Hong Kong, where Yeomans is currently based. He laughs when the topic of long-distance band practice is raised.

“Rehearsal’s always been a bit of a dirty word with this band,” he jokes. “The way it works is that we normally suck, like big-time, for the first three or so shows. So, I would advise, unless you want to see a band kind of fall apart and make fools of themselves, like even more so than we normally would, then don’t come to the first few shows. Because it takes a little while to get our shit together generally.”

Of course, anyone who has attended a ‘Gurge gig knows that the guys usually deliver a pretty tight live set.

“We play a lot and we feel that we don’t need to rehearse that much,” says Yeomans. “But because there’s a new album and because we have to relearn all the songs… I have the memory of a goldfish, so I have to Google all my lyrics and the tablature and stuff, and teach myself how to play all the songs again.”

For Yeomans, whose musical career has included stints in other bands as well as solo projects, most musical avenues have now been all but exhausted.

“After 20 years of doing it, it’s almost like I really would like to try something else,” he muses. “I’d like to try writing a book or comic book, something like that. Something a bit more… well, it’s completely different I guess. There’s always musical ideas that pop up in your head and you wanna put them down. I have the skills to do that, and I have the gear to do that, so, you know, it’s something that I’ll probably always do and collect enough music for an album one day, kind of thing.

“The band is fun to play in and do stuff with, and it’s a good creative outlet for me; until I find something that is more satisfying, I think the band will keep going.”

And just like they did with the last two albums, fans are wondering whether the ‘Gurge will keep on churning out the tunes.

“You just can’t tell with this band. Because we go through like creative dramas and dry patches and thinking ‘what the hell’s the point?’. You know, you have your existential crisis every year or so, and so you don’t know whether it’s worth keeping on going or not. I think we’ve had a pretty damn good run, though, considering. We just sort of fumbled our way through. I mean, I don’t see why we’re such a popular band. It’s all such luck and such good timing to me. If you still enjoy what you do, then it’s fine. You can keep going.”

You only need to see them on stage to know they still love playing, says Yeomans.

“Even though we’re old codgers, we still get up there and jump around and enjoy things. It’s a very ‘90s kind of legacy that I think people have missed to a certain degree or do like to get their fix of from time to time. To actually see a band jump around, it’s quite a rare thing these days. We offer something a little different just through nostalgia I guess, more than anything.

“One day we’ll hit a brick wall for sure; we’ll release an album that’s just terrible and self-banish ourselves by embarrassment.”
Not just yet.

Regurgitator play Kings Beach Tavern October 10, The Hi-Fi October 11, Coolangatta Hotel October 12 and The Northern October 13. ‘Dirty Pop Fantasy’ is out now.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 13:33

The Cult: Electric Generation

Three years ago The Cult toured their 1985 album ‘Love’, playing its collection of theatrical post-punk bravado from start to finish.

The tour went well enough that they’ll be repeating the trick, only this time with their 1987 album, ‘Electric’. Thing is, ‘Electric’ was a very different album to ‘Love’, and deliberately so. For their first attempt at recording a follow-up they went to a manor house in Oxfordshire owned by Richard Branson, but the 12 songs they came up with in that genteel setting weren’t what they were looking for.

Instead, the British band flew to New York to start over. For lead singer Ian Astbury, an Englishman who’d grown up in Canada, New York at the time was a fascinatingly dangerous environment, and that helped redefine their sound.

“I mean, I walked around the corner one night after there’d been a mob hit in the street on 6th Avenue,” he says. “I didn’t know until I got in the studio. Someone said, ‘A guy’s been shot around the corner’. The place where we used to get ice cream got held up; Billy Idol got arrested when we tried to cop dope in Washington Square Park. There were muggings. It was winter, it was filthy.”

As well as spending time with Billy Idol they got to work with producer Rick Rubin for the first time, who had recently become an associate of the Def Jam label. Rubin was hanging out with the Beastie Boys, steering them away from their punk roots and into hip hop.

“Being in New York making the record had an incredible impact on the record,” says Astbury. “Being around the whole Def Jam family, hanging out with people like LL Cool J and Run-D.M.C. and Slayer and Beasties. They were omnipresent, they always used to come over and hang out in the studio so it was like a different scene in the studio every day. Strangely enough, they used to always come by when it was dinnertime,” he says with a laugh.

“Pizza boxes would be open and beers knocking around, everyone would get stuck in and then disappear. But they knew where Rick was and everybody wanted to find Rick. Rick was in the studio 24/7. He was in the studio every day with us, which I think is a bit of a rarity now.”

Rubin obviously didn’t want to push The Cult in the same direction as the Beastie Boys, but he did have an influence on their shift from the post-punk sound that had seen them labelled ‘goth rock’ (Astbury bristles at the words even today), and into hard rock and heavy metal revivalism. Astbury was already a fan of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and especially The Doors, but it was Rubin showing them American metal pioneers Blue Cheer that had the biggest impact.

“He wasn’t ‘Rick Rubin’ then,” Astbury says of the superstar producer who now works with Kanye West and Jay-Z. “He was in his dorm room when we met him. He basically showed us a Blue Cheer video, said, ‘Do you want to do this or do you want to do fluffy English alternative music?’”

New songs like ‘Love Removal Machine’ were a million miles away from “fluffy English alternative music”. Their hard-edged new sound helped them break America, and ‘Electric’ eventually outsold ‘Love’ and was certified gold. Being big in America wasn’t just important to Astbury because of the sales, but because when he’d been a kid in Canada, American culture was unavoidable.

“A lot of the TV shows I was watching were broadcast from New York,” he says, “its sports teams were very dominant, the local channel was from Buffalo, New York. I mean we had 48 channels of TV and most of it was from the States. I kind of grew up with a real strong North American influence on me, which is great. When I went back to England everybody goes, ‘Why are you talking in an American accent?’ It’s because I’ve grown up in North America!”

During that time in Canada Astbury’s family moved around a lot, and he attended “11 or 12 schools”. One of them he describes like something straight out of the Victorian era, a school where they still taught Latin and came down hard on anybody who was different.

“I got thrown out of school when I was like 11 for having blue food colouring in my hair,” he says. “Trying to emulate, being a glam kid. It was just food colouring, it wasn’t permanent, but I got thrown out of the class immediately. And that definitely sets a boundary right there, you know? That becomes a division. I love Bowie, I get thrown out of school because I love Bowie’s music and I want to affect his look so obviously I’m going to side with Bowie as opposed to side with school.”

Being a recent immigrant to the country as well as a troublemaker, the young Astbury had trouble fitting in at first, but love of music gave him a way of escaping, as well as helping to form bonds with kids who would otherwise not have had much in common.

“The environment was constantly shifting but what wasn’t shifting was my taste in music. The first thing I ever bought was David Bowie, ‘Life On Mars’, when I was like ten or something. And I’ve probably bought everything he’s ever released since, so that was a constant. The bedroom and record player was a refuge, and also a point of reference for the kids. You meet kids and say, ‘What do you listen to?’ ‘I listen to the Sex Pistols’. You go OK, that’s instant rapport – instant bond.”

The Cult play Eatons Hill Hotel Tuesday October 1.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 04:50

Thundamentals: Quietly Confident

Thundamentals broke the Aussie hip hop mould with a Matt Corby cover, reminding them their path isn’t set in stone.

When they covered ‘Brother’ for ‘Like A Version’ last year Thundamentals didn’t expect all that would come with it. The track came in at 49 on the 2012 Hottest 100, earning them a legion of new fans and revealing a softer side to the hip hop trio. MC Tuka says the new sound wasn’t intentional, but the cover reminded them they don’t have to adhere to a preconceived idea of what Aussie hip hop is.

“We’re just trying to make the best music possible and thinking less about genre these days.”

Thundamentals’ new single, an unashamed love song — ‘Smiles Don’t Lie’, debuted at number five on the iTunes Hip Hop Charts and shows a continuation of their willingness to experiment with genres.

“There's definitely been some ‘pinch yourself’ moments. Just with the reaction to 'Smiles Don't Lie' we really didn't see how that was going to go down because it’s not like our other singles.”

Their sophomore album, ‘Foreverlution’, released in 2011 saw their first inclusion in the ARIA charts and produced hit singles like ‘Paint The Town Red’.

“I suppose 'Paint The Town Red' [was a sound] people were going to like. We played it a bit safe, even. With this record there's no inhibitions. We're going to make what we want to make and not play up to any other cliché of what Australian hip hop is meant to be anymore.”

As well as working on the new Thundamental’s record, Tuka recently released his second solo LP, ‘Feedback Loop’, which saw him support Seth Sentry and Kendrick Lamar.

“I don't think you're ever going to plateau when you're going at this kind of pace,” Tuka admits.

Thundamentals play Sprung Festival at Victoria Park Saturday September 21. They return for The Falls December 31 until January 3.

Published in Urban
Friday, 13 September 2013 00:00

Bigsound Live Night Two Review

After the first night of BIGSOUND Live rocked the collective socks off an unsuspecting populace, could the second night possibly live up to its memory? James Pearson, Daniel Wynne and Nash Johnston rate the second leg of Australia's best music conference.

The line to get inside Black Bear Lodge snakes its way down the Valley mall; standing at the entrance, I still can't see the end. A few punters hypothesise that it's because Megan Washington is playing later, but personally I think it's because these people want to hear Thelma Plum drop the F-bomb. How does she get away with that? Watching her sway her way through 'Around Here' it's easy to see why. Plum is perhaps BIGSOUND's most unassuming artist, and it's not through charisma that she holds this crowd's attention. There is some prime talent on display; every note Plum sings is exactly where she wanted it to be. Expect some big contractual movement after this performance.

Megan Washington needs no introduction around these parts. There's a surge to the front as she takes the stage of equal parts blonde schoolgirls with fake IDs and old men that seem to have snuck out of a retirement community. Washington doesn't so much launch into 'How To Tame Lions' as she does ease into it like a bath of warm, soapy bubbles. Unlike so many other acts that have been and gone over the last two days, the songstress is completely at ease. Thirty minutes breezes by, and even Megan's keyboard is smiling by the end. Megan, if you're reading this, let's get brunch sometime.

By the time Jeremy Neale takes the Black Bear Lodge podium, his quasi-bandmates DZ Deathrays have almost polished off a secret show across the road. This hasn't diminished the crowd though; a surging mass of hair, sweat and spilled beer awaits the Jeremy Neale Comedy Extravanganza (Now with Music). As Jeremy wheels out his usual (can I say usual?) catalogue, songs like 'In Stranger Times' and 'A Love Affair To Keep You There' leave you feeling torn. A small part of you is stubborn, and longs for the rest of Velociraptor to join Jeremy on stage. The rest of you, however, thinks that this is actually pretty awesome.

I will never be as cool as, dress as suavely as, or fight as well as Jeremy Neale. Post-BIGSOUND, I think I'm starting to come to terms with that.
James Pearson

The second night of BIGSOUND Live once again offered something for everyone with a dizzying mix of artists and genres. Gossling and her band appeared early at Black Bear Lodge and performed a restrained yet moody set on a stage lit by shining yellow lights. Switching between guitar and keyboard, the singer-songwriter played both crowd favourites like the single 'Wild Love' and new ballads from her upcoming album. It was a solid set with the most exciting aspect being the chance to hear what she has planned for the future.

One of the best and most exciting acts of the night was definitely North Coast band Mt. Warning. Combining heavy yet melodic rock with ambient electronic elements, their set was made all the more hypnotic by frontman Mikey B’s personal, evocative lyrics and filmmaker Taylor Steele’s arresting stage visuals. The climactic end featured an epic, soaring performance of ‘Youth Bird’ and Mikey B jumping into the crowd and starting a moshpit. To call them a band worth paying attention to doesn’t do them justice. Once they get started it’s almost impossible to tear yourself away.

Sydney’s Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, who are worth it for the name alone, kept a packed house at Rics thoroughly entertained with their particular brand of fuzzed-out power-pop. They were a lot of fun and it’s easy to see why Triple J loves them.

On the local front, the very soulful Nat Dunn and her band thrilled the crowd at Coniston Lane with their retro-pop stylings. Dunn has a powerful diva-ish voice that lends itself well to big love ballads and the collection of tracks she showcased kept everyone in high spirits. One highlight was her “song about mates”, the highly enjoyable ‘Mango Tree’.
Daniel Wynne

For some, the second night of BIGSOUND guaranteed to be a slightly subdued affair following the sheer magnitude of the previous evening, and Rainbow Chan at Electric Playground seemed the perfect choice to bring it in. The Sydney songstress looped and sampled her way through dream-pop rhythms and calypso melodies, and at times channelled a kind of fluid, free-spirited Natasha Khan-esque flair that was enormously captivating to watch. She produced a saxophone at one point (which she kept handy for Jeremy Neale later on) and welcomed an MC in fluro for a surprising touch of variety near the end. Rainbow comes highly recommended.  

On a whim, Saidah Baba Talibah at The Zoo followed. The Canadian group opened with some audacious funk, unabashed and flashy, and had they continued with it they would've brought the place to its knees. Instead, political banter and slow numbers soliciting revolution marred the set. Still, it's hard to entirely disapprove of a group that includes a spontaneous drum solo, plus, one of the members looked like she'd walked onstage after hanging with Santana, circa 1970; afro, tassels, beads and bands — it was wild.  

The winding line into Bakery Lane for John Steel Singers — who've generated considerable hype following a solid new single and 'comeback' of sorts — was a minor blow, and after 15 minutes of idle queuing it was time to move on.  

An elated and slightly intoxicated Dom Alessio welcomed Bored Nothing onto the Triple J Unearthed Stage at Oh Hello. The group played to a moderately sized, slightly unenthusiastic crowd, and Fergus Miller's detached demeanour didn't seem to help the general sense of disinterest in the room. The material is good but performance lacks spark, unfortunately.  

Finally, it was over to Black Bear Lodge for Brisbane's favourite, Jeremy Neale. The man has had an outstanding year; QMA award, Laneway Festival, an exhausting national tour schedule; and tonight he's looking sharper than ever. Liam Campbell broke the whammy bar off his guitar a couple of songs in – no easy feat – and this unexpected incident helped distinguish the set as something extraordinary.

Jeremy welcomed various Brisbane notables onto the stage for 'In Stranger Times'; and his self-proclaimed hit-parade, including the all-time classic 'Darlin', sounded better than ever. The performance was just further demonstration that this guy... Could go... All... The.. Way...
Nash Johnston

Published in Rock
Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00

Bigsound Live Night One Review

Fortitude Valley scrubbed itself up for BIGSOUND once again this week, playing host to the music industry's most respected power players and most entertaining degenerates. Nash Johnston and James Pearson weigh in on the first night's highlights.

One of the more exciting BIGSOUND buzz bands this year was Sydney's Bloods, with set closer 'Into my Arms' no doubt partially accountable for the recent barrage of hype. It's a cracker of a song; catchy, immediately accessible and concise — Australian garage at its finest. The group are stoked to be onstage tonight and word is they've been running around the Judith Wright Centre all day with smiles on their dials that don't threaten to fade anytime soon. Keep an eye on these guys, they're a riot.

Ric's Bar hosted Mining Boom, and the match was perfect. The intimate crowd packed in close to try and peer under the mop of hair masking the singer's face. No dice, he barely looked up once, not even while suggesting the crowd email the band for a free album — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is apparently the address, though that probably isn't right. The drummer had a MIDI drum pad alongside his kit that he used to trigger some wild '80s tom sounds along the way, a highlight among many the Perth group had to offer.

Regurgitator took to the Electric Playground stage as a three-piece of matching pink jumpsuits and proceeded into a proverbial thirty-minute hit-parade. Highlights included the driving 'Blood And Spunk' as opener, and a wildly received rendition of 'I will Lick your Asshole' that had the place — dare I say it — jumping. These guys are proven experts and despite the late timeslot allowing for a looser crowd (and they were loose), they could've captivated at any time or place. Don't fret everyone, Regurgitator have still got it.

Following official BIGSOUND proceedings, the party moved across to an over-crowded Alhambra Lounge for the (perhaps) one-off reunion of Philadelphia Grand Jury. The set included their signature cover of Jay Z's '99 Problems'; the brazen Berkfinger barrelled into the crowd to add further intensity to a venue already on the verge of boiling point. It was standing room only, but as the clock moved further into the morning hours the crowd began, fortunately, to thin out. Making way for a criminally short set for Jeremy Neale (we'll get to him tomorrow), then at 3am, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard.

King Gizzard are currently one of the best live groups in the country. The Melbourne septet, including two drummers, provided the strongest set of the conference thus far. Unwaveringly confident, steely-eyed and ambitious, the group are a perfect example of solid vision meets dynamite execution. The group maintain an outstanding grasp of soft-loud dynamics, but are by no means limited to it, with a versatile repertoire of songs spanning three full-length albums to draw on. Their opener was lengthy, perhaps 20 minutes, and it's this kind of aspirant daring that elevates the group to the very top echelon of current Australian music.

For those who were there, am I right or what?
Nash Johnston

"I hope we don't die!" jokes Bloods guitarist Sweetie between songs. Sure, she's not being serious, but I can still understand why. Electric Playground is at capacity, yet as Bloods begin thrashing through their latest EP, Golden Fang, the room continues to stand stock-still. You get the feeling that there are some vultures in the audience — Bloods are fresh meat, and the record label bigwigs are swooping in to see if there's anything worth tasting. MC, Dirk and Sweetie seem to be onto this fact as well; no one has ever seen the band this restrained. Each distorted power chord still sounds like garage rock, but the band are clearly on their best behaviour. While I'd like to see them unwind and kick an amplifier (a broken amp, I'm not sure they could afford to kick a working one), Bloods have never sounded this polished. Dirk even manages a drum fill or two. Dirk's tops.

I run into BC Michaels during the (what can seem eternal) twenty minute interlude between bands. The Dune Rats drummer is smelling quite herbal, as are the rest of the DR contingent. As he wanders off backstage I quietly think to myself, will he be able to drum in this condition? 30 seconds into the set and I realise that BC Michaels has probably never drummed this well in his life. It's the BIGSOUND effect, perhaps. Everyone is on show; this isn't a festival, it's a museum exhibit with bands in glass cabinets. 'Red Light Green Light' and 'Fuck It' manage to get the crowd jumping, a colossal feat given the stony, concrete-footed reception Bloods were previously treated to. It helps that the band have managed to recruit Johnny from Children Collide on guitar; as a four-piece, the energy of this band is uncontainable. When the set ends I run outside and start high-fiving strangers furiously.

After another 14-hour delay between bands, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard prove that they are, indeed, one of the hairiest bands in the world. I couldn't actually see any faces on stage, just so much thrashing, sweat-clodden dreads of hair that it seemed as if the Kraken was playing guitar and Confucious had taken up bass. I can't remember any names of the songs King Gizzard played. Come to think of it, I couldn't distinguish one song from another. All I heard was one long, loud thread of distortion. It was nice though, like having tea with your gran while the house catches fire.

Electric Playground is at 5000% capacity by the time Bleeding Knees Club take the stage. The band aren't in a great mood; with more than two-dozen Facebook friends, you get the feeling that they're too cool for any of us. While the set feels more like a rehearsal than a whole-hearted stab at performing, the crowd still manages to lose its collective marbles. BKC's reception eventually drags them to a higher level. I did not know it was possible to crowd surf to the bar, and back again. For the record, it is. Bravo, gentlemen. Bravo.
James Pearson

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 16:23

Grindr: A Love Story?

It’s been a crazy year for comedian Nath Valvo and it all started when a friend told him about a little social-networking app named Grindr.

“The day he told me about it I went to the Mac store and bought my iPhone just so I could get Grindr,” Nath explains. “Then I downloaded it and became really addicted and was checking it at the most ridiculous times: I was checking it in job interviews, I did that thing where I was out to lunch or dinner with mates and I wasn’t even listening to them because I had my head down on Grindr.”

Nath’s new show, ‘Grindr: A Love Story?’ hilariously chronicles his experiences with Grindr, a smartphone app used by close to 1.5 million men every day to locate other men in their area and is apparently a neat new way to pick up.

According to Nath though, it has its pitfalls. “I lied to people. I pretended I was addicted to 'Words With Friends' but I was actually using Grindr the whole time. I just thought if I told them I was playing 'Words With Friends' they would think I’m a little less slutty and more intelligent than I am. So, I lied about addiction just so I could use Grindr.

“I think a rock-bottom moment I had was I turned Grindr on at my mate’s grandad’s funeral and I thought, ‘I think I’ve got a bit of a problem here’. So I started writing down all the stupid stuff that was happening and the humiliating moments I had and I got myself into some really awkward bedroom situations,” he says with a laugh. “I had a really crazy year using it so I’ve compiled them all together in one big show.”

Nath says this show differs stylistically to his other stand-up performances such as ‘Almost 30’ which he has recently been touring around the country to widespread critical acclaim.

“The 'Grindr' show is actually very different to my other shows — I present it like a TED talk, almost like an addiction ‘circle of trust’ where I want people to get involved and we actually hook an account live up on the stage through the show and we check live to see what’s happening. So this style of show is different for me but it’s my favourite part because I’ve never done two shows that are the same … I think the Powerhouse will be a bit scarred and won’t be the same after I leave.”

Nath has no fear of perpetuating negative stereotypes. In fact, he is perplexed by the number of people constantly telling him how he’s not the ‘gay’ gay.

“I don’t really get it, because in my stand-up shows I just talk about so much different stuff. I’m always going to talk about what I did on the weekend, a date I went on, my ex — I always talk about that stuff just as much as any other comedian. It just happens to be that I’m gay so I’m talking about how I met a dude or went to a gay club. So I don’t really think it’s a stereotype — I’m just a gay guy doing comedy.    

“That and I have extremely immaculate hair and a fantastic fringe that’s very borderline Justin Bieber so I actually do in fact look like a raging homo, so I don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Nath Valvo performs 'Grindr: A Love Story?' at the Brisbane Powerhouse, October 11 and October 12, 7pm.

Published in Comedy

1.'Kids'. I went through a phase where I would seek out any arthouse film I could find, and so began my penchant for Larry Clark films. Eleven year-old me didn't quite understand the ramifications of underage non-consensual AIDS sex but he was greatly influenced by real people versus actors cast in the film, and the improvisation versus scripted work.

2.'The Little Mermaid'. It foreshadowed the 'theatrical flair' I would have in later life. I wanted to be Ursula.

3.'Aliens'. Something about strong women with guns resonated from a young age. I think I also confused Sinead O'Connor and Sigourney Weaver.

4.'Enter the Dragon'. I didn't really like martial arts films, but if I watched them with my father I could bargain for later bedtimes.

5.'Moonwalker'. I wanted (and still dream of) a singing-dancing-music video reality. I wanted to be in a gang — but only if they had dance battles with guns.

Close runners up: 'Robinhood Prince of Thieves', 'Spaceballs', 'Terminator 2', 'The Labyrinth', 'Grease',  'Friday  the 13th' and 'A Chorus Line'.

Steven Mitchell Wright is directing Brisbane Festival and La Boite’s co-production 'The Wizard of Oz' until Saturday September 28.

Published in Theatre

Created and performed by students of the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA), ‘Spirit Of The Lore’ is a modern investigation of timely themes.

“Girls were not supposed to know about the lore. For men, they know what it is. Also, our Elders … would understand what the lores were. My nan hasn’t told me anything about it yet. We’re still learning,” explains performer and ACPA student Jakaya Dixon.

The term 'lore' refers to the traditional customs and stories of indigenous Australians. ‘Lore’ was learned from the Dreamtime, and was passed down through generations via songs, dance and stories.

Born in Armidale, New South Wales, Jakaya has worked with the likes of Lee Purcell, Penny Mullen and Marcus Hughes. She has also worked with Wesley Enoch as Assistant Stage Manager for Roger Bennett's production 'Up The Ladder'. With such a diverse range of experiences, Jakaya was excited to be part of 'Spirit Of The Lore' which is a contemporary exploration of the 'challenges and responsibilities faced by today's Indigenous youth, left to their own devices without the guidance of Elders'.

"The performance is mainly acting", but also uses traditional mediums of music and dance to tell the story. With the help of ACPA staff, the performers wrote the script and some songs, and choreographed the dances.

“Yes, we did almost everything! The boys went away and they came up with all of their dances. And the girls went away and … we've created our own dances for this play. We've got a women's dance and we've called it 'Healing' … it was designed to help one of the characters that has been bashed and raped. The dance calls on all the good spirits, taking bad spirits out of her. 'Healing' calls to our ancestors to help the character,” Jakaya states.

Jacqueline Schofield, production designer for the show, describes the performance.

“This brand new work focuses in on a group of 12 men and women who find themselves in a foreign space; a place that promotes the intersection of conflicting world views, personal values and learnt rules of behaviour. It's about 12 individuals sharing one common goal; survival.

"The idea is that we're a community … the lores that we had to break down were things such as when young girls got hurt, what would we do about it? When there was fighting, who is in charge and who isn't in charge? And there was no one in charge, that's the message we're trying to portray — you can't be in charge, you have to do it as one."

Jakaya plays the vital role of 'Justice'. "I'm kind of Mother Earth, or mother to the 12 individuals —a strong woman that knows my knowledge and tries to keep them knowing the knowledge of their culture."

'Spirit Of The Lore' makes its world premiere at Qpac from Sept 11 To 19.

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 16:03

Peking Duk: Feels Like

Together since 2010, Canberra lads Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles — aka Peking Duk — reminisce about the water that has passed under the bridge since their formation.

“I pretty much started out listening to my dad playing Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix records around the house,” explains an eloquent and circumspect Adam. “With Reuben in bands and things, I kind of dabbled with the guitar and then progressed into hip hop, which I’m a little embarrassed about,” laughs the proud youngster.

“I was making these terrible beats on Garage Band on the computer and then ran into Reuben who was doing pretty well with his band Rubicon at the time,” Adam says.

He explains that as the lads turned 18 and got a taste of the club scene, later becoming somewhat obsessed with its energy and vibe, they decided to start producing.

“We got our hands onto Reason software and Reuben covered off on that really quickly. Then we bought some really crappy $50 decks and started jamming on those; we didn’t actually learn to DJ on them; it was when we got to DJ at the club we were told that if we couldn’t make people dance, we’d lose our jobs!”

But dance they did – and they continue to do so. It didn’t hurt Adam and Reuben, either, releasing tracks ‘The Way You Are’ and ‘Feels Like’, both of which have become bona fide smash hits.

“Musically, we decided when we started out writing electro and even more funky stuff – and then pondered some of the stuff we were producing now — we’ve evolved onto a sort of indie tip. We’re enjoying guitars and organic instruments as opposed to just synths. We enjoyed writing ‘The Way You Are’ and wanted to write a follow up single and worked on it pretty carefully; the new single, ‘Feels Like’, really did that and feels like it’s on the summer vibe we were looking for.”

Adam claims the duo have a lot of music in the bank, outlining a forthcoming collaboration with 360 and Daniel Merriweather they hope will see the light of day shortly.

“We’ve also got a collaboration with Laidback Luke and Benson from Melbourne coming up – as well as the plenty that we’re already working on,” he says. “There’s a real range of styles there too — soulful and dance oriented, but also upbeat party tunes – and while the Laidback Luke track is a straight up party stomper, we’re trying to temper that with music that goes in different directions as well.”

Maintaining that broad appeal without being pigeonholed then appears to be their raison d'être.

“And as well as that — more than anything — we are just music lovers, 100 percent,” chimes in Adam. “Between the two of us, we spend so much time listening to and appreciating music. I love getting inspiration for the music we write from everywhere. I have to admit though, we don’t necessarily listen to the sort of music we create – for example, I’m getting into cheesy hip hop like 2 Chainz; and I’m constantly on the lookout for new music; I’m always browsing through blogs and trying to seek out inspiration in order to find new ways of doing things!”

Finally – and let’s be frank — the lads are about to hit the big time. Not only are Triple J supporting them heavily, but Big Day Out has invited them along to their annual music-fest.

“Yeah, we’re both really, really excited,” Adam says. “We’re working hard on a really cool visual show with lots of props and fun stuff on stage. Hopefully, we can bring Gareth, the new character from our film clip onto the stage as well and have a bit of a laugh – it’s going to be a good, sweaty time! A lot of the crews playing at this gig are our favorites – groups we’ve both followed for a long time. To be giving something back, being at the other end as it were, that’s a really rewarding feeling. We’re both completely stoked to be honest!”

Peking Duk play Big Day Out at Metricon Stadium and Carrara Parklands Sunday January 19.

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:57

Interpulse: Heartist Attitude

Interpulse is a Melbourne-based trance DJ whose minimalist style is reminiscent of spiritual, tribal music.

You’re appearing at next year’s Rainbow Serpent Festival where you have played almost every event. What makes the festival so special?

Going to Rainbow is the kind of experience that changes people's lives. You meet amazing people, see beautiful things, hear brilliant music and generally get to appreciate and celebrate life. Once I experienced it for the first time in 2001, I was always so excited to go back each year. I often think of the festival when I've writing music, as it's so inspiring.

Are you planning anything extra special for Rainbow?
Well, rumour has it that I may be playing on the main stage again this year, which is extra special in itself. I will possibly include extra performers, however, I will make the final call on that closer to the time, depending on what I feel most inspired to do.

How has your live show progressed since you began?
It sounds 400 percent better! It's sped up a lot, and it's more dynamic and expressive. I'm in the process of developing some very cool ideas which may or may not be ready for Rainbow.

What’s your favourite part about playing at festivals compared to a club show?
Playing music out, in amongst nature has a therapeutic affect on me. I especially love playing under the stars, with great atmospheric lighting.

Do you enjoy the community/ camping atmosphere that events like Rainbow are able to cultivate?
Yes, very much so. Sometimes it's easy to miss a lot of the entertainment at Rainbow because there is so much enjoyment to be had sitting at camp in such a friendly environment.

Modern technology — how much do you like to immerse yourself in all the new gadgets, apps, etc that are available now?
I seem to spend a lot of time using computers, but I avoid extra gadgets unless there is a good reason to use them... I'm waiting for the gadget that does everything.

Your flavour of trance music appropriates aspects from lots of different cultures. How would you describe the style of music that you produce?
I don't actually fit neatly into any genre. Each one of my tracks has its own sound. I listen to my heart when writing music, rather than following other people's formulas. I came up with this saying: ‘Write the music that lives inside you, not the music they play next door’.

Having spent eight years as one half of the trance duo Mantrix, do you feel Interpulse reflects similar sounds?
Sometimes Interpulse reminds me of Mantrix a bit, but the fact that Mantrix was two people means that Interpulse is more a reflection of my own taste; and my sound production quality is also much more advanced now.

You refer to yourself as a ‘heartist’ as opposed to an ‘artist’. Could you elaborate on that?
Well for one, I like playing with words... I guess one could take me more literally than I intend a statement to be. However, that statement is referring to the fact that I write music from my heart, as opposed to writing music based on an interest or an experiment. The reason I became a musician was because I loved the feeling of playing with chords and melodies on the guitar. It's still that feeling that drives me to write my best music. I have to love it.

Interpulse brings his live show to Rainbow Serpent, in Lexton Victoria, January 24-27.

Published in Electronic


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