With so many amazing local acts at our fingertips, we scrounge the interwebs, our own inbox's and gig-guide to bring you a stack of artists we think you should catch live this long week(end). All well priced, all playing at awesome local live music venues and all worth the experience. Enjoy!
21st century soul has a tendency to sound like mere remix fodder or else just plain muzak-y. But burgeoning Sydney artist (of Filipino descent) Kuseah has an undeniable fire, which helps her combine soulful vocals, hip hop phrasing and pop hooks. Heck, she even incorporates reggae grooves that – dare I say it – are pretty fucking sexy.
Thursday June 4 – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Big Bad Echo
Big Bad Echo are guilty of leaning too heavily on their influences. The five Brisbanites have obviously supped on the likes of The National, Kurt Vile and The Strokes. But they manage to bring those artists together to form an unexpectedly rewarding union. Also, in spite of the transparent roots, BBE don’t sound the least bit amateurish.
Thursday June 4 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
The Scrapes are conjurors of chaos, siphons of bitterness and muck. The way the two-piece mutates and desecrates stringed instruments will send shivers down your spine. The interweaving of dissonant violin and rudimentary guitar recalls The Dirty Three. Only, The Scrapes largely forgo structure, which makes it all the more unsettling.
Thursday June 4 – Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD
High Tension supply the sort of easy-thrills hard rock riffing that the The Bronx specialise in. But comfortable head-banging fodder this ain’t. Karina Utomo’s vocals are prone to bouts of wild feline screeching – and this shit sounds bad. I don’t mean Loud Reed and Metallica kind of bad. This is bad like the kid your mum always forbade you from hanging out with, or bad like the sight of domestic animals fighting.
Friday June 5 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA (w/ King Parrott)
Saturday June 6 – Amplifier, Perth, WA (w/ King Parrott)
You could accuse Miss Destiny of shamelessly borrowing from their horror punk and glam rock influences. But the four-piece are far too in-your-face immediate for anyone to put forward such a studied verdict. The core of the band’s power stems from Harriet Hudson’s tar battered vocals, which are matched by eagle-claw guitar sounds.
Friday June 5 – John Curtin Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Neil Murray was the guitarist and key songwriter for the Warumpi Band, so you’d imagine he’ll rip out classics like ‘My Island Home’ and ‘Blackfella/ Whitefella’ this Friday. But Murray hasn’t resigned himself to nostalgia-act territory. In fact, his latest single ‘Whispering Casuarina’ is an authentic piece of Australian country music that it’s liable to go down as one of his career highlights.
Friday June 5 – The Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Rhythm n Soul
The Sugarcanes hark back to the sort of good old-fashioned R&B that proliferated in the US in the early-‘60s and made The Beatles all excited. That said, it ain’t a one-dimensional throwback. The Melburninans sound just as adept playing driving rock’n’roll as plaintive doo wop. The grooves stay solid while the vocals flit from vulnerable to nasty.
Saturday June 6 – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Open Swimmer, the project of Melbourne’s Ben TD, has a hint of the earnest folk pop that’s been inescapable over the last decade. But thankfully it’s only a hint. Open Swimmer is more about pop experimentalism, in a similar vein to The Dirty Projectors or Magnetic Fields. In all, it’s pretty bloody delightful.
Saturday June 6 – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide SA
The Native Cats
Delightful is not the right word for describing Hobart duo The Native Cats. Eccentric, shambolic and rough are far better descriptors for the band’s electro-laden confessionals. That said, while it’s inherently off-kilter, the Cats remain impossibly endearing.
Saturday June 6 – Brisbane Hotel – Hobart NSW
A cat sitting in your lap pricking you with its claws everytime it moves and causing major discomfort to your nether bits is still too charming to shoo away. Likewise, Wireheads are a god damn mess; their wonky garage grooves (replete with bits of violin and flute) are not pleasant to the ear. But the overall sensation is strangely comforting.
Sunday June 7 – Hotel Metro – Adelaide SA