The sub-theme of this week’s column is “amusing band names”. We highlighted Nice Biscuit’s name the last time we featured them, so I shant ramble on. What about the tunes? The new single, ‘Upside Down’, decorates a bluesy chord sequence with paisley, flower power reverberations before an abrupt tempo shift sends you falling down the stairs.
Thursday January 5 – The Foundry – Brisbane, QLD
Melbourne trio Arbes are growing subtly weirder with each release. Their latest EP, Psalms, retains some of the beachy sheen of 2015’s Swimmer while also letting the instruments veer off in unexpected and often inspired directions.
Thursday January 5 – Gasometer Hotel – Melbourne, VIC
Dan Kelly is playing at a winery and it’s free entry and he’ll be accompanied by another Dan, Sénor Luscombe of The Drones, a member of Kelly’s first and preeminent backing group, the Alpha Males. Did we mention it’s free and at a winery and Dan Kelly’s playing?
Friday January 6 – Purple Hen Winery – Phillip Island, VIC
Recalling the sun-drenched indie pop of The Drums, Best Coast and Smith Westerns, Top Lip don’t specialise in tantalising musical innovations. But it’s the middle of the friggin’ summer and what they’ve got to offer will more than suffice.
Friday January 6 – Brighton Up Bar – Sydney, NSW
Roxy Lavish and the Suicide Cult
Roxy Lavish and the Suicide Cult could be a Goosebumps book in which the titular Lavish forces his band mates to play raucous garage blues rock numbers with such debauched exuberance that they bring about their own demise. Suicide, in this case, is a side effect of hardy rock’n’roll commitment.
Friday January 6 – The Old Bar – Melbourne, VIC
I had a few ports over the Christmas period. I mean, I’m only bloody human. And now that it’s the New Year, I see no reason to stop. Christopher Port’s slinky UK garage throwbacks are also apt to accompany the summer party season.
Friday January 6 – Oxford Art Factory – Sydney, NSW (w/Haelos)
Another one on the quality band name thread is The Kramers from Perth. With Festivus over for another year, it can be hard to evade the encroaching melancholy. Season after season of Seinfeld, however, tends to soften the blow. The Kramers’ spasmodic surf punk is a lively candidate to fulfil a similar role.
Friday January 6 – Rosemount Hotel – Perth, WA (w/ Moistoyster)
Dan Brodie’s been kicking around for friggin’ yonks, but that doesn’t mean the Melbourne singer-songwriter’s growing tired. No sir. While it’s a couple of years since his solo acoustic collection Big Hearted Lovin’ Man, Brodie’s not keeping quiet. He’ll be back in Sydney this Saturday at the intimate and acoustically resonant Django Bar.
Saturday January 7 – Django Bar – Sydney, NSW
A Basket of Mammoths
Living in Melbourne, you can grow somewhat weary of stoner rock/doom bands. A case of not being able to hear the tunes for the beards, or something like that. But upon revisiting A Basket of Mammoths I recognised not just what a bloody great name they have, but also that they’re genuinely interesting, dynamic songwriters.
Saturday January 7 – Bearded Lady – Brisbane, QLD
Why Felicity Groom isn’t a much bigger global phenomenon is a baffling state of affairs. The Perth songwriter makes artful indie pop that sometimes has the sonic richness of Spiritualized and sometimes strips back to an organic songwriterly sound akin to Sharon Van Etten.
Sunday January 8 – Mojos – Perth, WA