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Wednesday, 25 March 2009 15:14

Sneaky Sound System

ALBUM NUMBER TWO

Calling in from “freezing” London, Sneaky Sound System's Daimon Downey (aka MC Double D) is excited about his group's upcoming tour of Australia. The Sydney-siders are gearing up to play a few shows in SE Queensland and this time they’re making sure they turn up to the airport extra early.

The last time the group were booked in to play Brisbane, it was to headline BBQ Beats - but they missed their flight. “Have you ever flown with those cheap airlines?” Downey explains, exasperated. “They are a pain in the arse! We were one minute late! You have to get there 30 minutes before the plane takes off and we were there 29 minutes before and we didn't even have any luggage. But they wouldn't let us on.

“We even looked into hiring a jet but the paperwork to get that done was so much. In the end, we were in the airport for the duration of how long our set would have been. In all the time we have been a band, we have never missed a show; so apologies all round.”

The past few years for Downey and fellow bandmates Connie Mitchell and Angus McDonald have been packed with shows, with the trio supporting their self-titled debut album. While the touring has been constant (“we have kind of mastered it and I don't really have a house! I can live in hotel rooms, I quite like it”), the trio are happy to be on the road again, this time with a shiny new album to show off.

Starting off their ‘Poptronica Tour’ in Brisbane, it will be a chance for fans to hear their new tracks in a club setting. "It's about pop music and popular culture and electronic music, so we thought the name summed it up,” Downey says of the tour. “And we will be going back to the clubs on this tour. It means we can come up with a few little surprises and hopefully we can play a few of our remixes live. But we don't really rehearse our set until the soundcheck because we like to keep our set pretty flexible.”

While they like to keep things loose, Downey assures us that being the first cab off the rank, Brisbane fans will be able to see the band at their prime.
“Brisbane, it is a great place to start! And the good thing about this show is we will be completely warmed up,” Downey laughs. “We are doing some shows in the UK and the US first, but we will still be fresh for Brisbane; this is the home town of Angus, so we like coming back up here.”

Their new album, aptly titled '2' given it is their sophomore release, was ready to go even before the fans were ready to hear it and that's just the way the band wanted it to happen.  “The time it took to put it together was a lot shorter than the first album,” Downey says. “We had an idea of what we wanted to do and it only took a few months. It wasn't too hard to put it together. And it didn't take long to think of an album title!”

Downey says the whole project came together before there was time for people to ask about what their plans were for the second album, so outward pressure and expectations didn't impair on the writing process at all.   “When we told people we were ready to record our second album, people were surprised with the fact we had already finished (writing) the album because we were still doing shows for the first album,” Downey says.  “You don't want to live with the expectation of the previous album. But we put pressure on ourselves to write a good album.”

Sneaky Sound System will kickstart the Queensland leg of their tour at Family on Thursday April 2, Platinum Nightclub, Gold Coast, on Friday April 3 and Alexandra Hills Hotel on Saturday April 4. Their album '2' is out now through Whack/MGM.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 15:13

Tribal Kings Interview

Banging The Drum

It is amazing the Tribal Kings manage to tour, considering how hard it is to get the trio in the same room at the same time.

The live electro group are an ensemble of three rather busy men - Mark Pellegrini, Michael T and Jason Heerah - who all have various other projects constantly on the boil, so getting them together to rehearse, let along perform is a luxury. “We are always working on things, Mark is in the studio with different projects and Jason is always drumming for some television band so it is really hard to all get together,” T said. “It can be very difficult for us to tour and get together and it's hard even to get the same day free. We all have to cross-reference our timetables,” he laughs.

And after somehow finishing off a music video for their upcoming release and starting auditions for a vocalist for the next one, the group have made sure they kept a few days free in the schedule to head north.

The boys will be hitting the Gold Coast this week to perform their brand of percussion-based electro with a show set down for the Coolangatta Sands Hotel on Saturday.

As well as performing, the Melburnians are set to make the most of the sunshine. “It's been rainy, cold weather here lately. We get stirred all the time about the weather, but it will be good to go somewhere nice and sunny,” he laughs. “And we haven't played at the Gold Coast before, but we really looking forward to coming up there. “I think people will really dig the show.”

Starting life after a jam session between the two DJs - Pelligrini and T - and singing percussionist Heerah, T says the thing that has earned them a reputation for being a great live show is their usual set-up. “We are different from a band because we are electro dance music mixed with that live aspect… and we are a lot different to a DJ show, because we have a live drummer and singer in Jason out in front.

“He just gets so involved with the crowd and while Mark and I play the music, Jason is interacting and we have to keep on asking 'what is he going to do next?'” T laughs.

Tribal Kings will perform at the Coolangatta Sands Hotel on Saturday, August 29.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010 15:35

J Williams Interview

Transforming

From street skating to hip hop dancing, and now creating RnB music, J Williams has a strong grounding in performance. With a slew of Top 40 singles under his belt and a show coming up on the Gold Coast next month, the busy New Zealander took some time out to introduce himself to Scene.

Tell us about yourself and your music...

I’m just a home-grown South Auckland boy who loves music and dance. Guess you could say I’m passionate about performing and entertaining peeps. My music, I’m really into my RnB/ hip hop, whether it be old school or new school. A big inspiration musically would be Michael Jackson!

You have a new album out called ‘Young Love’. What’s it about and how did that come together?

‘Young Love’ lets listeners hear and see who I really am on an intimate level. It talks of my ups and downs, trials and tribulations with love in my life. When I was around 16 or 17 I wrote some of the tracks that feature on the album, e.g ‘Blow your Mind’, ‘Till It’s Gone’ and more, so in that regard the album is a literal translation of me at that time. When Hard Work was listening to the overall album he asked me what I thought the album should be called – I was giving him a few ideas. He said the theme that ran strongly through the album was young love, so yeah that’s how it came about. All that coupled with the direction that Patriarch and Hard Work had in mind bought ‘Young Love’ to life.

What inspires you to write music?

Anything. The other day I was watching the movie Transformers and it inspired me to write a full throttle, fast, pedal-to-the-metal dance track. Conversations with friends and family, my life experiences, it’s tapping into a truth about either myself, people or the way I see things and bringing them to life.

You are about to perform on the Gold Coast early next month. What can people expect from a J Williams live performance?

Expect the unexpected. Expect to be entertained and just be ready for the next level in live club shows. We are bringing the entire Illegal Musik family, DJCXL, BS Dance Crew, Patriarch and Hard Work. And of course myself and a whole lot more so be ready, we coming with that next level iiiiisssssshhhh!!! Gold Coast - are you ready?

J Williams will perform at Shooters on Tuesday, March 2. 'Young Love' is out now through Illegal Musik.

Thursday, 23 June 2011 10:58

Fortafy

Story Boarder

Competitive bodybuilder by day and MC/ nightclub promoter by night, Fortafy is a name currently heating both the Brisbane and Gold Coast urban scenes.

What first drew you to music?
As cliche as it sounds, I’ve always listened to music from an early age, and not only to the beat/ hook of the commercial songs, but I was actually drawn into the more conscious type music with meaning and stories behind them.

Tell us about your group Fundamentalz?
Fundamentalz consists of myself and Exbozay; we met in boarding school in New Zealand and hung out and started writing lyrics, as we both had the same influences such as Talib Kweli, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots etc.

You released your own solo EP earlier this year, ‘Caffeine’. Are you happy with how it turned out?
‘Caffeine’ for me was a big milestone personally, as the music made on that EP was exactly how I thought it would be when prepping or first thinking about what my solo EP would sound like. I was very happy to meet talented producer Heaprize, who I was a fan of; realising he lived down the road was a blessing for me.

Do you have a set process when it comes to writing music?
The music I write always depends on the mood; sometimes I’ll have situations written down that might be one or two pages long and then come across a beat one day that I think will suit that concept, and then I’ll transform that story into a song. Other times I hear a beat and write the song on the spot.

Outside of music – your other interests include tattooing/ body art and body building. What has drawn you to these pursuits?
Bodybuilding has really made me disciplined in other aspects in life such as music and general everyday life, so I owe a lot to bodybuilding. Tattooing is just an extension of having a good body/ mind; the tattoos tells a story of one’s life.

You’ve written a song about your tattoos and the body art in general. Do you think people judge you any differently because of your ink? I generally have a good response to my tattoos; (I) don’t really pay attention to people who look at me differently anyway, I just try and smile no matter what.

Fortafy regularly performs at Magic City in Brisbane and Shooters Nightclub on the Gold Coast.

Wednesday, 01 June 2011 14:07

World Press Photo 2011

Photography in Preview
Sometimes a good photograph tells a story that words cannot convey. And other times, it can simply be about capturing a moment that will never be repeated.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 17:03

Boy Girl Wall

Boy Girl WallTheatre in Preview

Imagine for a moment that the walls that surround you could talk - what do you think they would say? Would they tell you who to love?

In the latest production of 'Boy Girl Wall' - from the minds of award winning, theatre-makers The Escapists - this is just one of the scenarios that is presented in the play's quirky and inventive world.

Primarily, the play is the story of Thom and Alethea, two neighbours living in a West End apartment block; their lives are falling apart around them and they are both attempting to get through it alone. But 'the Wall' that separates them in the building has other ideas, and has decided they belong together.

Developed by the same team that put on the highly praised 2007 'The Attack of the Attacking Attackers', The Escapists are a Brisbane-based group of creatives comprising of Jonathon Oxlade, Matthew Ryan, Lucas Stibbard and Neridah Waters.

With lighting designer Keith Clark and 'honorary Escapee' Sarah Winter assisting with the realisation of the piece, you may come to think of this as a 'love story'. The team describe it as 'a story about love' - and at its heart, it is a simple tale - but told in a multilayered fashion.

"It's about two people who are unhappy; in life and in their jobs," Winter explains. "And it's the story of the wall that believes they are destined to be together. And in between that there are also multiple characters like a computer and the days of the week - Thursday is a character - and magpies and — you will learn facts about astronomy. It's very whimsical — it's a whimsical comedy."

Told with the aid of suspended blackboards, sticks of chalk, sock puppets and an overhead projector and using the techniques of physical theatre and stand up comedy, it requires the audience to let go and take an imaginative jump into this new world.

At times almost like a 'draw your own adventure story' - whenever a character needs something that is not part of the set - they draw it. The audience is also asked to accept one more dramatic licence - while it may seem like the telling of this story would rely on a cast of thousands - the twist is that on stage, the performing duties rest squarely on the shoulders of one man.

Stibbard, who co-wrote the play with Ryan, performs each and every role in the play, and let it be known, he has previously suffered for his art. Premiered to rapturous applause and rave reviews, 'Boy Girl Wall' was almost a victim of its own early success. When it was previewed at Metro Arts Theatre 2009 - Stibbard was so exhausted by the preparations for the show that he was hospitalised after the opening night performance.

But he has since managed to complete full runs of the show - including a well-received tour to the Adelaide Fringe Festival early last year - and Winter says he is ready for the latest Brisbane showing.

While now in its third season, Winter says this new production offers something for all fans of theatre, and those who have seen it before should return to see how much the play has grown.  "People who have seen it before and loved it should really come and see it again," Winter enthuses. "The play is evolving— we've 'tweaked' it — it's a bit different from the last time it was performed here in Brisbane. Each time it grows and changes and we find new ways of telling the jokes and refreshing it. We want it to be a new experience."

While some alterations to the performance have occurred organically; moving it to a different space has obviously forced other changes upon it. Being performed this time in the comparatively vast surrounds of the Roundhouse Theatre at La Boite - much of the work the team has had to do in the lead up to opening night has been to adapt the story to suit the space.

While previously they were in an intimate space, where they could draw on the walls and it was easier to create their slightly off-kilter world, the open expanse of the Roundhouse has presented them with an all new challenge.

"We have needed to find a new way to present the show, and finding ways to present it to the audience," Winter, who has a background in performance making, says of the process.

"In the past on the stage, it has been performed straight on — but here with the Roundhouse stage there are three sides. "The Metro was a small and intimate venue so our job here is to bring it out more. It has been so fun to revisit the piece — it's been a fun process and an enjoyable show to work on — I think people can tell that we love this show."

'Boy Girl Wall' will play at La Boite's Roundhouse Theatre from April 1 to April 17.

Wednesday, 09 March 2011 16:52

Asher Treleaven

Comedy in Preview

Have you ever been confronted by an angry, drunken bogan on a Saturday night kebab mission - and not known how to handle the situation?

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