Ukulele Queen of the Bellarine, Sarah Carroll, is back once again with a cracking new record with her acoustic duo, Soft Gold. It’s been quite a few years in the pipeline but this project is definitely a change to the other bands that Carroll has been involved in over the years. A collaboration with Melbourne guitarist Marcel Borrack, Soft Gold has over the past few months in the lead up to the release of this record drawn heavy comparisons to acoustic duos such as Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
After playing in Pigeon for a few years and growing up in a family of seven, Danny Harley is now stepping out and making waves in his side-project, Kite String Tangle. His newest release, ‘Given the Chance,’ has gained significant airplay on triple j as well as over 750k listens on Spotify. But Danny didn’t expect it would surpass his previous song, ‘Commotion’.
It’s been a couple of years away from the scene, and now finally in 2014 Shaun Kirk is releasing his highly anticipated third album, Steer the Wheel. Moving a lot more in the direction of electric blues in relation to his previous albums, it is a welcome return for the now renowned blues and roots performer. Having relentlessly toured the country over the past couple of years, Kirk is about to crack in once again for a two-month national tour (his most extensive to date), which also sees him play at both Deni Blues Fest as well as Byron.
Voted as Mr Ocean Grove in 1971, Brian Mannix has in the years that followed become an Australian institution that in a way rivals the Dog on the Tuckerbox at Gundagai. Throughout the ’80s, Mannix’s band, the Uncanny X-Men, had a string of hits – and in the upcoming months, Mannix is bringing the Absolutely ’80s show to the Gateway Hotel as well as the Barwon Heads Hotel in April. With such an affinity to Geelong and the region having gigged relentlessly around years ago, these shows are a sort of homecoming.
Hemmingway said it best: “The circus is for me the only spectacular, the reality, a really wonderful dream vision” – and one man who couldn’t agree more is Silvers Circus’ own Ringmaster and Illusionist, Simon Tait. With over thirty years in the ring, Simon is the authority on all things big top. “I’ve been around for a while – I ran away to the circus when I was twenty-one, fresh out of university.”
Less than eight short months ago the boys of Residual hadn’t even played a show together; but since that point the band have grown beyond belief. They have recorded their debut EP, announced their first east coast tour of Australia and have rapidly gained fans all over Victoria – all achievements the boys never expected so quickly.
It can occasionally be a rough transition for music reality show contestants to find their feet in the tough music industry, but Imogen Brough has wasted no time in laying the foundations of a strong career after her appearance on The Voice. “It was great. I guess for me I’d just finished a Bachelor of Music performance at Melbourne Uni, so it was the perfect launching pad for me to really kick-start my career as a solo artist,” says Brough. “I loved it, I embraced it and I was really happy with how I went on it.”
He was named as one of the ‘Top 25 Future Guitar Legends’ by Australian Guitar Magazine for pioneering the ‘3 from 1 guitar’ technique – meaning he found a way to produce the sound of two guitars and a bass through a solitary instrument. The King of the North himself, Andrew Higgs, explains: “Somehow I stumbled across the idea of how to make a two-piece sound like a five-piece. But I didn’t have the money or equipment to test it out at first,” Andrew laughed.
The Christopher Coleman Collective is the perfect way to describe namesake Christopher Coleman’s band, one which has an ever-changing line-up from one show to the next as he collects whoever is available to play, making every show unique. “It certainly helps with keeping the shows fresh and spontaneous,” explains Coleman. “It’s good because it’s not about someone replicating a part that somebody else did; it’s very much the additions’ personality bringing their own interpretations to it.”
Without a doubt, one of the most exciting bands that I saw play at Queenscliff Music Festival in 2012 was All the Colours; having only just formed as a band, the indie-pop and rocky songs were infectious, and it was easy to see that they were a band on the rise. Fast forward a couple of years, and All the Colours are just resting and relaxing before heading out on the road in support of their debut album. On the massive bill that was Big Day Out 2014, my opening question to guitarist and vocalist Jono Toogood was: Did they get to drop it like it’s hot with Snoop?