In Australia we are often referred to as the lucky country and nine times out of 10 that is because the majority of the year is filled with sun, surf and sand with some of the best landmarks around from the Sydney Opera House to Ayers Rock, the Great Barrier Reef to Bondi Beach – there’s always something that is bringing people to Australia. Now if you’ve just started reading this column, you’ll probably think that this has turned into a shameless promoting of tourism of Australia, yet I assure you that there is a point to all this. I also think that Australia could be donned the lucky country for its array of live music throughout the months of March and April particularly. That’s not to say that July with Splendour in the Grass isn’t amazing and that Falls doesn’t have its place in the festival calendar because it does, but the next couple of months in festival programming and sideshows to gigs is particularly special.
Following on from the summer festival season, we are about to see some of the biggest bands converge on Australia to play festivals and sideshows. Over the Labour Day weekend in particular there is the Port Fairy Folk Festival, Golden Plains, Womadelaide and the Moomba festival. In terms of big name acts coming to play in our ‘hood’, we have the Village People, Conor Oberst, First Aid Kit, Parquet Courts, Nick Waterhouse, Sinead O’Connor and Rufus Wainwright to name but just a few.
If you’ve got tickets, well congratulations, because these upcoming months of performances – especially with Bluesfest around the corner – are going to be nothing short of brilliant. If you haven’t though, don’t despair because there is always next year. However, one of the coolest parts of sideshows for Golden Plains is the summer concert series at the Melbourne Zoo, over the course of the January and February the Zoo is hosting some of the world’s biggest acts.
Could there be a better sideshow than joining in with the Village People for a cheeky chorus or two of ‘YMCA’, I highly doubt it. It’s a massive draw card for Golden Plains and an unforgettable experience all round. If you’ve got Instagram, I’m sure that over the next couple of weeks it will explode with fans dressing up in their favourite Village People costumes getting ready to join in the massive party of their reunion shows. Whether this will end up a new album or more touring, or a one off show, it is going to be a highlight of music in Australia in 2015.
One of the other gigs that you may not be aware of, unless you are signed up to the Corner Hotel mailing list, is the double headline show for America’s own Shovels and Rope and Shakey Graves. Two of the biggest artists in America at the moment are headed down under for some shows. If you listen to Twang on Triple RRR, there is a possibility you may have heard of these guys, however they are some of the greatest American songwriters at the moment and
I’ll definitely be heading along to check them out when they tour again. It’s been a little bit of a surprise that they are coming given that it’s only been a couple of months to get your tickets, but they are two acts to watch over the coming years so Forte, you have been informed!
Byron Bay Bluesfest always seems to put on a show and this year is no exception, with man of the moment Hozier coming to play some shows and Tony Joe White returning. TJW is also coming to play in Geelong, which is insane for our little regional scene and you should take the opportunity to see a blues legend at the top of his game while you can.
We are very lucky in Australia with the amount of top notch music coming to town and, although your bank balance may hate you, because of Falls and surrounding sideshows in January you should definitely get amongst the March/April programming of gigs or mark it on your calendar to get out and amongst it next year.
Written by Tex Miller