Robyn Hitchcock is on a bus, riding around the inner streets of Sydney, when I finally get on to him to chat about his upcoming couple of months of touring around Australia. With a couple of special anniversaries celebrated throughout his solo show, Robyn is also teaming up with Steve Kilbey, frontman for seminal ’80s Oz rockers The Church, for a couple of shows.
They’re the personification of punk rockers of the past: loud, raucous and rude, yet they possess a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that we find irresistible. So it’s no great surprise the Drunk Mums have been touted as “one of the best bands coming out of Melbourne” by manager and Cherry Bar owner, James Young.
“It’s homogenised rap-money bullshit. It just sounds ridiculous to hear an Aussie rapping about how much money they’ve got, because anyone who makes hip hop in Australia knows the financial reality! It doesn’t add up if you’re broke, boasting and bragging about how f*ckin’ baller you are when everyone knows we’re just scraping by.”
I’m unsure if it’s been said before, but it almost definitely has to be true: “A band that bathes together stays together”. In the case of Melbourne rockers My Echo, and according to a certain Facebook photo, bathing together seems to work for the better. In a stroke of homecoming beauty, the Melbourne-based band will be returning to their hometown of Bendigo to play one of Australia’s favourite festivals, Groovin’ the Moo.
“After Marc died there was no band and there was never going to be one,” explains Marc’s brother and bassist Todd Hunter. “I did soundtrack work for ten years and at the end of that time I just felt like the songs needed to be played again, and I got a bit lonely for the Dragon songs.”
As in the world of originals, you need a few things to fall your way if you want to be a successful cover band. Arguably, you need a little more. Playing songs people know and love can be a gamble, as we tend to be protective of songs we hold dear. Wooshka seem to be doing things just right.
It is steeped in blues music folklore that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi; and on a pilgrimage to the site, Dreamboogie kind of did the same thing. Lucky for them they did, because this allowed them to cheat death after their tour van nearly went off the edge of a cliff whilst on tour in Phillip Island.
In the digital age where all the bands vie for the top spot on the iTunes or ARIA Chart, it’s easy to forget about older mediums and the days gone by; enjoying an album for its entirety instead of just hitting ‘skip track’ in iTunes. April 19th marks Record Store Day for 2014, which has over the past few years led to a resurgence in vinyl records through special releases and reissues available on the day.
Starting work in an unfamiliar city may be daunting for some but for Jamie Smith, the new general manager at Courthouse ARTS, it’s a welcome change. “I love the fact that I know a little bit about Geelong but not too much. It’s like an adventure, and that’s why I love travelling so much,” Jamie says. “I’ve moved to cities that I’ve known nothing about, so this feels like another adventure.”
The name Juan Alban should be one that is all too familiar with the Forte readership. For those unfamiliar with his name though, Alban fronted a little band called Epicure, who was one of the most successful through the 2000s in the Australian music scene. Last year Alban released his debut solo record entitled Dr Pelican on Holiday!, and if you remember reading the review for it, I said that it was a cracking acoustic and relaxing listen.