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!
Big beat soul
Alice Ivy’s ecstatic sample-heavy big beat soul music sounds like Primal Scream’s Screamadelica has been turned into an Off-Broadway musical. There’s little evidence available as to how Ivy executes it all live, but it’s almost certain to be a joyous, booty-shaking-with-strangers experience.
Thursday June 11 – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne, VIC (w/ REMI)
In the Harry Potter novels, Hufflepuff is the least celebrated, most mocked House of Hogwarts. The house has a reputation for cheerfully endearing witches and wizards, which belies the extent of their power. A similar misunderstanding occurs with regards to Adelaide songwriter Luke Hueppauff. His agreeable acoustic strumming and unimposing voice initially seem like a recipe for easy listening folk music. But patience exposes the understated majesty of Hueppauff’s songwriting, as well as his unique voice.
Thursday June 11 – Exeter Hotel – Adelaide, SA
Hobart barely scores a mention in the narrative of Australian music, but the city’s full of surprises. Perhaps being widely ignored is beneficial for the local musos, as they can set about honing their craft without the distraction of expectation. Tiger Choir support this hypothesis, condensing stacks of detail and individual flair into upbeat four/ four pop tunes. Like a Calippo, it’s immediately familiar and consistently rewarding.
Friday June 12 – Odeon Theatre – Hobart, TAS (w/ The Preatures)
Indie pop/ electro
The first time I took MDMA (well, ecstasy), it provided wondrous happiness as well as an avalanche of mawkish emotion. It taught me a lot about speaking your mind and the weight of words. The following day I struggled to imagine life without drugs. Anyway, Hannah Joy’s single ‘Shiver, Wither’ makes me feel strangely nervous, due to the looming risk of addiction. Joy knows a few things about strong pop hooks, and she’s also got a striking vocal personality and offers some wise (though not overdone) words.
Friday June 12 – Standard Bowl – Sydney, NSW
In the world of post-modern pop, it’s common practice to meld together once disparate genres. But, while it’s nothing new, genre fusion remains regularly underwhelming or cringe-worthy. Meanwhile, Perth’s Mei Saraswati offers a master class in blending elements of underground electronica, modern R&B and eastern rhythms. The secret to her mastery is an in depth understanding of her various influences, all of which are utilised for constructive, rather than merely referential, purposes.
Friday June 12 – Mojos Bar – Fremantle, WA
There’s not a whole lot of progress being in the world of Ciggie Witch’s songs. The band lets us know that life’s so hard when you’re lazy, awkward and prone to falling asleep at work. Do we really need to hear these things detailed in songs? Well, although Ciggie Witch’s tunes mightn’t stimulate social change or emotional expansion, they provide listeners with a sympathetic friend. And sometimes that’s far more important.
Saturday June 13 – Hotel Metro – Adelaide, SA
The Spinning Rooms
Mixed emotional rock
The Spinning Rooms are wild. There are far heavier punk bands in Australia, likewise more chaotic, experimental and virtuosic. But the Melbourne quintet are a melting pot of those various qualities, whose creative decisions are arbitrated by what’s going to get viscera shaking. To do this, The Spinning Rooms rarely pursue the obvious path, but tenor sax generally plays an integral role.
Saturday June 13 – The Old Bar – Melbourne, Vic
Little Red were a pretty big deal for a while there. But then they broke up, and all members pushed on with other projects – none of which has really taken off. Bass player Quang Dinh fronts Naked Bodies, who are too leftist to cash-in on LR’s crowd-pleasing reputation, butt they’re no less worthy of attention. There’s a bit of a spazzed-out ‘80s cabaret thing going on, with splashes of UK pub rock and an exposition of the power of a four-piece rock band.
Saturday June 13 – Black Bear Lodge – Brisbane, QLD
The Sloe Ruin
There’s no such thing as bad publicity, or so the saying goes. Last week, after The Sloe Ruin played in Melbourne, some deranged patron smashed one of the band’s guitars. If it weren’t for this incident, it’s unlikely I’d have stumbled upon the Adelaide band’s warm-and-fuzzy Grand Ole Opry country tunes. The Sloe Ruin are all about multiple voices harmonising in a way that the star-crossed lovers of their lyrics have failed to. Toe-tapping, shoulder swaying, they’ve no doubt won a bunch of new fans by virtue of their misfortune.
Sunday June 14 – Wheatsheaf Hotel – Adelaide, SA
Like countless others, The Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster and Grant McLennan were initially encouraged to make music thanks to the haphazard and untidy sound of The Velvet Underground. The Go-Betweens themselves went on to inspire a similarly massive number of music fans to embrace their own awkwardness and give songwriting a crack. Restless Leg are one such act. The Sydney band’s songs aren’t overwhelmingly original, but they feel true, and that’s a feeling that’ll never grow old.
Sunday June 14 – The Midnight Special – Sydney, NSW