Sydney trio The Ruminaters are all kinds of silly. Who knows what they were groomed on – perhaps Yves Klein Blue and the Stray Cats, perhaps The Clash and Hank Williams. The band’s lyrics cover things absurd and exceedingly mundane. Call and response vocals are used to humourous effect and it’s all rooted in the unmistakable dynamic of a guitar/ bass/ drums combination.
Thursday May 7 – Oxford Art Factory – Sydney, NSW
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders
New Wave Folk
Where to begin? Responsible for last year’s preeminent Australian release, JL & the Dreamlanders’ live show is next level shit. The band is an all-star collective, featuring Kirin J. Callinan, Donny Benet and PVT’s Laurence Pike, who dutifully unite under the faultless lead of Mr. Ladder. You’ll likely be overcome with awe and genuine unforeseen affection.
Friday May 8 – Howler – Melbourne, VIC
Syd Barrett is always a good influence. Not simply to name, but to actually invoke, which Tassie six-piece Violet Swells do with aplomb. These guys have a thing for puddles of vocal reverb, but you can tell they’ve also absorbed some of Barrett’s melodic panache, which prompts comparisons to Django Django.
Friday May 8 – Brisbane Hotel – Hobart, TAS
Born Joy Dead
One of three new projects to spring from the ashes of Hungry Kids of Hungary, Born Joy Dead is primarily a low-key melodic pop-rock affair. However, a subtle angularity creeps in here and there, which suggests The Dirty Projectors and St Vincent have been blaring in the tour van stereo. Very intriguing.
Friday May 8 – Black Bear Lodge – Brisbane
The Delta Riggs
The Delta Riggs aren’t little guys any more, and they’ve worked damn hard to make it so. Capping off a victory lap behind last year’s sensual, groove packed melodic wonder-piece Dipz Zebazios, this Friday the band returns to their former home, Brisbane.
Friday May 8 – Brightside – Brisbane, QLD
YaquiYeti seems out of the place on the internet. Self-promotion and download links don’t seem to fit with the Perth songwriter’s freak folk aesthetic. The songs exist within conventional verse-chorus-verse structures, but YaquiYeti frontman Joshua Sweetman possesses a splattering vocal style that adds pathos to his curious observations. Go and see it in the flesh, with not an html code in sight.
Saturday May 9 – Clancy’s Fish Pub – Perth, WA
Go on, watch the below video and try to stop yourself from dancing. This authentic Italian folk music is played by a bunch of Melbourne-based connoisseurs, who know how to enjoy themselves while honouring various Southern Italian traditions. This Saturday’s fiesta promises to be nearly as much fun as Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane performing at Harvest a couple of years back.
Saturday May 9 – Italian Festival, Civic Park – Darwin, NT
Pink Noise Generator
Post Punk Pop
Pink Noise Generator sound like an exceedingly polite Joy Division. Instead of songs borne of sublime melancholy and a petulant urge to rebel, the Adelaide band are pensively heartbroken yet eager to please. This makes them a great band to take mum along to this mother’s day.
Sunday May 10 – Hotel Metro – Adelaide, SA
Whipped Cream Chargers
The first time I saw Whipped Cream Chargers, they played in the middle of a tiny Sydney bar on a Tuesday night. There was no stage and barely enough space to fit both band and audience. Nonetheless, the Melbourne band’s freakish surf rock/ psychobilly was played loud and outrageous, and the besotted people of Sydney continue to talk about it to this day. After lunch with mum pop along to The Old Bar for what’s certain to be a beer soaked Sunday evening.
Sunday May 10 – The Old Bar – Melbourne, VIC
Cambodian Space Project
Cambodian Blues Rock
Cambodian Space Project is the brainchild of Cambodian vocalist Srey Thy and Australian guitarist Julien Poulson. The word ‘fusion’ generally connotes kitsch and debased quality, but this band’s mixture of quirky 1960s Cambodian pop and jazzy blues rock brings integrity to the term. It’s a wonderfully delicious thing, like sprinkling cumin on your weet bix. This Sunday’s gig is a fund-raising campaign to help the band stage an wildly elaborate rock opera.
Sunday May 10 – The Bearded Tit – Sydney, NSW