Catch Cassells brings his EP to Ballarat

Catch Cassells brings his EP to Ballarat

A new year brought with it Structure, a six-track EP from Ballarat’s Cassells.
Cassells: “Structure consists of six tracks about past and present friends, family, houses and locations that’ve affected me throughout the years, whether it’d been the loss of a dear friend or family member, the discovery of a different aspect on certain situations, the come and go thoughts we have at night, or the change in the people we love.”
Karova Lounge, Ballarat – June 28.

Florence + The Machine are heading to Geelong

It’s a happy Friday indeed!!
Florence + The Machine are returning to Australia next January for a string of national headline dates including a one-off a day on the green concert at Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong on Saturday January 19.
Off the back of their upcoming new album High As Hope (out next Friday June 29), this marks Florence Welch and her band’s return for the first time since their epic sold-out November 2015 tour, which featured four back-to-back Sydney Opera House Forecourt performances.
The UK artist has dazzled fans and critics alike across three celebrated studio albums: Lungs (2009), Ceremonials (2011) and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015), which produced a slew of worldwide hits including, You’ve Got The Love, Dog Days Are Over, Shake It Out, Spectrum (Say My Name) and Never Let Me Go among many others.
Roundhouse Entertainment Promoter Michael Newton says they are thrilled to be bringing another world-class act to Geelong.
“I can’t think of a better way to kick off our new season than with a superstar and extraordinary performer like Florence + The Machine. This will be our 10th show at Mt Duneed Estate, and after last year’s record-breaking Robbie Williams concert, the shows just keep getting bigger and better. After 18 years and 453 shows, we look forward to continue to bring diverse line-ups and some of the world’s biggest acts to regional venues across the country.”
Joining them, will be breakout 16-year-old sensation Billie Eilish and singer-songwriter Marlon Williams.
Don’t miss out when FLORENCE + THE MACHINE return in January to play fan favourites and debut songs from High As Hope in their very first a day on the green performance.
Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong – January 19. Tickets go on sale at 12.00pm midday on Thursday June 28 from Ticketmaster.

BIGSOUND reveals first lineup for 2018

Brisbane’s annual music festival-meets-conference BIGSOUND just gets better and better.
Following on from a massive first round announcement of speakers in May, BIGSOUND continues to cement its reputation as the country’s biggest discovery event for new music, with the unveiling of the first round of live acts, set to take the stage across 4 nights in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley this September 4-7.
The event, which brings together key industry figures and music fans from around to the world to sample the best of tomorrow’s hottest Australia acts, welcomes its first 75 acts.
Showcases from Australia’s most buzzworthy live acts, including The Chats, Eliott, Cable Ties, Asha Jefferies, yú yī and more, sit among a long list of Australia’s future headliners. Other must-see acts include Eilish Gilligan, Tyne-James Organ, Moaning Lisa, and T$oko. For all you metal-heads, hip-hop hooligans, and folk fanatics; ARTERIES, Kwame, and Georgia Mulligan front a wave of their genres’ up-and-comers.
The festival will also see return sets from a small selection of BIGSOUND favorites including Blank Realm, Olympia, Gabriella Cohen and Oh Pep! While Brisbane outfit Blank Realm will be using the event as the world premiere for new material – after their previous release achieved critical acclaim around the world from the likes of Pitchfork, BBC, Stereogum and more – Olympia and Gabriella Cohen are also set to make return appearances with fresh work under their belts.
BIGSOUND will display these acts to labels, publishers, agents, festival bookers and fans, all in hope of winning the Levi’s Music Prize, the $25,000 prize money, and the $5,000 travel money from Stage and Screen. Alumni of the prize-winners include internationally acclaimed Stella Donnelly, garage-rocker Alex Lahey, and indie-rock staple Rolling Coastal Blackout Fever.
Find the full first artist lineup at the BIGSOUND’s website. Tickets for 2018’s BIGSOUND are on sale now.

Ultra Australia 2019 is coming…

Mark your dairies music lovers.
Following unprecedented demand and the subsequent success of the first ever Road To ULTRA Australia in February of 2018, ULTRA Worldwide has announced the massive expansion of the globally renowned festival to two cities across the Australian continent.
ULTRA Worldwide will return to Melbourne with world-class talent on 23rd February and will head to Sydney for the first time on the 24th.
Details on tickets, line-up and venue will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Too Heavy To Hug #691

To follow up THTH’s previous instalment, this one focuses more on the wintry albums that are so much colder than the freezing temperatures outside they’ll make you feel like you’re sitting in a desert when really, you’re sitting outside in your backyard with your mates smoking and drinking and listening to tunes without a fire pit or some type of gas heater.
The first obvious choice is Immortal’s At The Heart Of Winter. Immortal have the ability to make music into ice, or ice into music, either way the Norse snow and ice they blow through your speakers will make you feel as if the outside temperature is rather warm. Same goes with fellow Norwegians Satyricon and their classic album Nemesis Divina.
Typically, Tasmania is far colder than the mainland and unless you live in Ballarat, Tasmania is colder than Victoria. So, for those of you who live anywhere but Ballarat, check out Psycroptic, Tassie’s premier tech death metal act, and their abrasive Symbols Of Failure. While the production isn’t as cold as Immortal’s, the sheer ice cold steel this album pummels out of your speakers will make you think you’re sitting in a desert.
Quite possibly the only Melbourne band to make a record that is blisteringly colder than the cold of walking through the Melbourne grid and being blasted by the icy, antarctic winds are Destroyer 666 with their infamous Unchain The Wolves debut album. A Melbourne black metal band featuring snow on their album cover? Unheard of! That was until 1997 when the band featured a wolf in the snow eating a deer or something.
In other news
The Pantera set and Soulfly set from Dynamo 1998 will be released on Friday June 22.
Guns N’ Roses will release their massive Appetite For Destruction Locked N’ Loaded re-issue box set with a massive amount of extras on Friday June 29.
Immortal (without Abbath) will release their new album Northern Chaos Gods on Friday July 6.
Devildriver will release their new album Outlaws ‘Til The End, an album of country tracks done in the Devildriver style, on Friday July 6.
Deafheaven will release their new album Ordinary Corrupt Human Love on Friday July 13.
Machine Head will rock the Forum Theatre on Saturday July 21.
Psycroptic with special guests Archspite and Hadal Maw will be at Max Watts on Sunday August 18.
Satyricon will tear Max Watts to shreds on Thursday September 6.
The Sword will be at Max Matts on Saturday September 8.
Tesseract will play 170 Russell on Friday September 14.
Dimmu Borgir will headline their first ever Oz tour this October and their Melbourne show will be at 170 Russell on Wednesday October 17.
Parkway Drive, Killswitch Engage and Thy Art Is Murder will play Margaret Court Arena on Friday November 2.
An Evening With Steven Wilson will take place at the Palais Theatre on Saturday November 10.
The Ocean will release their new album Phanerozoic in two parts, the first part to be released in October, and the second part to be released next year. Phanerozoic will pick up off where Precambrian left off some ten years ago.
If you have any news about local metal bands, shows or albums, let THTH know by emailing to tooheavytohug@hotmail.com or get in touch via Twitter at @TooHeavyToHug
Paul S Taylor

J.F.K’s Top 5 upcoming Perth bands to watch out for

West Coast is providing the goods at the moment.
Perth rock band J.F.K has unleashed their new single ‘Feel It Again’, the perfect antidote to anything sweet or playing it safe.
Meant to be played loud and belted out with a certain confidence and braggadocio, we are especially loving this one that’s taken from their forthcoming EP. “‘Feel It Again’ is a fast paced, energetic Garage Rock banger reflecting my thoughts during a relationship. It’s about wondering if you’ll still feel the same about the person when everything goes wrong,” says the band.
In celebration of the single, J.F.K have given us their pick of Perth’s upcoming bands that we should pay close attention to.
FLOSSY – sister-fronted gnarly 90s rock, write total bangers and absolutely slay live. They’ve just put out an EP which you need to listen to.
DEATH BY DENIM – total indie rock babes, think DMAs meets Ocean Alley.
KOPANO – Has to be one of the best voices in Australia at the moment and writes absolute pop bangers. On top of that she’s a total #queen on and off stage – definitely one to watch.
TREEHOUSES – Indie emo sweethearts that are doing really exciting things combining spoken word poetry with nostalgic rock bangers.
SPACEY JANE – Probably my fave live act in Perth right now. Absolute dreamboats crafting some amazing garage pop that you literally can’t stop listening to.
With their sophomore EP in the pipeline and well on its way towards release, J.F.K are readying themselves for a huge second half of the year. Already, they’ve been on the receiving end of positive press and acclaim, with the next few months set to have the band on the road around the country. You can check J.F.K single below.

THIA. is strong, sassy and kicking-arse with debut single 'Underwriter'

Singer-songwriter and budding producer Thea Fitzgerald has launched her new project THIA. a confident and free expression of experience and femininity – and we are all about it!
To celebrate the launch of the new project, THIA. has released her debut single ‘Underwriter’; a layered electro-pop track that questions the constraints we often place on ourselves due to social pressure.
The absolute musical nugget not only explores the complications born of a fairly one-sided relationship, but also general uncertainty and does so in the best possible way.
The track is fueled with shades of soul combined with RnB, pop and dance influences to create vibrant and colourful music.
We. Love. It.

Jacob Lee has released an intimate single that we are obsessed with

If you are after a track to chill out to, look no further. Quiet over-achiever Gold Coast’s Jacob Lee has provided the goods with his recent single ‘With You’ released last Friday – the next offering from his upcoming debut album Philosophy.
Known for his intricate ability to capture the delicacy of human emotion, ‘With You’ describes the sage advice Jacob hopes to one day provide his future daughter. It is simply stunning and we cannot get enough.
With 12 official releases tucked away in his catalogue, Jacob has become known for his aptitude to write songs that gently touch the heart. The self-managed Gold Coast local is truly in a league of his own.
With two EPs and a string full of single releases, the 23 year old has already amassed a staggering 50 million streams across all online platforms – all without a label, manager and with no prior publicist.
Check it out and keep an eye on this one – we spy some good things to come.

Melbourne artist Eliott releases new single 'Calling'

Up-and-coming artist Eliott, responsible for the achingly beautiful songs ‘Figure It Out’ and ‘Over & Over’, is thrilled to share her next single and video ‘Calling’.
Premiering the single on Good Nights on triple j, Eliott’s astonishing soul-tinged vocals act as the song’s emotive centerpiece capturing feelings of heartache, longing and restlessness.
The 21-year- old says, “Calling is really the only heartbreak song on my upcoming EP – it’s about longing for someone to come back. I had this one line in my head for about two years which I never really fit with anything “so I’m calling out to you, like a wolf in the cold, howling for your love – so close but it’s not enough” and then one day I was in the studio with Jack Grace and it just moulded into this intense ballad – it took me two years to put those emotions into a song, and ‘Calling’ is what came from it.”
Check it out here.

With her debut EP release on its way, fans will be treated to Eliott’s first ever headline shows next month in Sydney and Melbourne.
With her Melbourne show already sold out, fans won’t be disappointed as second show has now been announced. The promising artist will also be supporting No Mono in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne on their National Album Tour.
She’ll be at the Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs) on Friday July 6 and Wednesday July 11.

Open your windows, call your mates, stretch your feet, and cancel your plans… The Southern River Band are here

After a month of hibernation in RADA Studios in Perth working away on their second album and a support run with US rockers Radio Moscow on their Australian tour, The Southern River Band are hitting the road again in July and August to promote their upcoming single releases ‘Vice City’ and ‘Chimney’. We chat to lead singer and guitarist Cal Kramer ahead of the tour.
Hey Cal, thanks for chatting! You guys are absolutely killin’ it in the music scene at the moment, but you didn’t start off all that long ago… How did you get into the music world?
My parents used to have jam nights at our house where we’d have all these musicians come round and jam in our front room; my parents are both musical and mum actually plays in our band whenever we play in Perth! At the age of 10 or 11, I’d learnt how to play drums so I’d sit on the kit and play with all these people. A band from Perth came and played and they were called Blue Shaddy and they’d been playing Australia for years. I ended up joining that band when I was 18 and I started touring with them for about seven years until I knew I had to do my own thing. I started the band with a bunch of mates from around here, who I’d played with in past times and our original guitarist, Jake, who I’d known since I was five… That was 2015 actually, we started playing at the local pubs where they’d never had bands before, and we were playing covers and originals. That was there years ago and now I’m talking to you.
So you started playing drums, how did it come about that you became front man?
It was just organic. I’d always played guitar and it got to a point where the Shaddy’s were about 50 and they were pushing me to do my own thing… So I started writing songs. The best way to put it is, I’ve done an apprenticeship and they said if you want to do this you have to do this. I never had any aspirations to be a front man; I just like being in a band and being on a team. This is what I was going to do and I made a vow to myself to not be one of these contrived dickheads… and it turned out pretty well.
The name, The Southern River Band, is this derived from an aspect of your growing up in WA?
The Southern River runs through Thornlie, and that’s down here. When I was a kid my granddad used to take me down there with his dog Max, and we’d go down the river and catch Tadpoles so that’s sort of where it comes from. I’m a massive Lynyrd Skynyrd fan as well, and I thought the word ‘Southern’ was pretty cool, and that became The Southern River band.
I recall seeing you guys play at Boogie Fest and you could see that you all make sure everyone was involved and having a good time. Is that something you’re always thinking of as a band?
Always. In that moment, everybody’s there because they want to be there. People are taking their time out of their work, or week, or whatever they do, and then at that moment it’s everyone’s escape. It’s our escape when we’re on stage and we want everybody, I mean everybody, there to have the best time possible. Our whole thing is, just don’t be a fuckin’ dickhead to anybody and let everybody have the best time as humanely possible.
Your latest single ‘Cigarettes (Ain’t Helping Me None)’ is a track that would tune with the masses. What can listeners expect to come, is there new songs on the horizon?
The two new ones ‘Vice City’ and ‘Chimney’ and they’re pretty hectic. There’s heaps of shit going on, I don’t even really know how to describe them, they’re up and going that’s for sure. We’re so bloody excited to get them out. We’ve been working on them for a while… We were lucky enough to have a legend of a producer over here (Dan Carroll, from Artist studios) who actually plays guitar. We actually had our record producer come and play guitar at shows with us and it was bloody awesome – and that’s another cool thing about the new songs; because of the connections we’ve made, and meeting like minded people, everything just goes up a gear because you’ve got another person in their just striving to get this shit as good as it can possibly be. It’s been full pelt, but that’s the best way to do it.
When & Where: The Barwon Club, Geelong – July 26 & Karova Lounge, Ballarat – July 27.
All tickets available from www.thesouthernriverband.com
Written by Aine Keogh

REALLY Big Waves

There are big waves and then there are REALLY big waves. When most people think about big waves Hawaii immediately springs to mind, but there are plenty of places around the globe that have big surf and quite a few of them are a lot closer to home then you think.
Portugal has been in the news recently as big wave maniac’s head to Nazare to ride ridiculously big surf (in 2013 Garrett McNamara set a world record riding a 34m monster at Nazare… that’s over 100 feet in the old scale).
Bells Beach near Torquay can get its fair share on big waves… most people in Torquay still talk about 1981 when 15ft plus waves rolled into Bells Beach on Easter Saturday during the Rip Curl Pro. It was the same contest where Simon Anderson launched his new 3 fin ‘Thruster’ design that would change the face of surfing forever (Simon also went on to dominate the big waves on his new surfboard design and eventually win the contest).
There are also quite a few spots ‘Down South’ from Bells Beach where huge waves are regularly ridden by a small but dedicated core of big wave surfers.
Tasmania gets a few big waves. Shipsterns is now a well known wave spot which has a reputation for being big, cold and mean. The west coast of Tassie has also recorded some of the biggest waves in Australia as they surge north heading for Bells Beach and other parts of Victoria.
The Aussie record goes to Justin Holland who in June 2015 rode a 20 metre wave at Cow Bombie off the coast of Western Australia. Things were going well for Holland on this beast of a wave until he was smashed by tonnes of whitewater, breaking his leg in the process.
Another record was set recently south-east of Tasmania when a massive 23.8 metre was recorded heading north off Campbell Island. This was the largest wave in the Southern Hemisphere recorded by a wave buoy.
If you are wanting to know how big a 24 metre wave is, stand under the light towers at GMHBA Stadium and imagine a wave going one-third up the towers main structure…. that’s how big this wave was that cruised up the Tasman Sea last month.
There are surfers who dedicate their lives to chasing big waves around the globe. They can have the fame, the glory and the broken bones… I’m content to catch something a lot smaller.
Written by John Foss

The Loft goes pink for breast cancer awareness

From June 18 to 24, The National Breast Cancer Foundation is challenging all the men, women, girls and boys of Australia to GO PINK in support of the thousands of mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and children whose lives have been – or will be – affected by breast cancer.
In light of this disease we cannot ignore, Warrnambool’s The Loft are doing their part to change the outcome by going pink this Friday June 22.
The event is being headed by Matthew Murray, who is going pink in support of his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer when Matthew was just 15 years old. After being given the all clear, 10 years on she was diagnosed again. Soldiering on, she was eventually given the all clear again after major reconstructive surgery. You can read Matthews story here.
To raise funds and show support for people just like Matthews mother, the event will see local musicians and DJ’s take to the stage for the evening, along with Pink margaritas, raffles and prizes.
So go on, find your best pink outfit or accessories and support one very worthy cause this Friday. By going pink this June and raising funds for research, you’re helping us move closer to the ultimate goal: zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.
Entry is a gold coin donation with proceeds going towards The National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Mavs are hosting a 15 course Greek Meze Night

We know there are lots of great things to eat in Greece, from the perfect lamb gyros to delicious sheftalia to the juicy octopus. There’s actually so much good Greek food that it’s hard to commit to just one or two things for a meal.
Cue the meze spread… little amazing dishes of everything, meant to be shared by the whole table between friends.
This year as part of Tastes of Central Geelong Festival 2018, Mavs is hosting a delicious 15 course Greek Meze to the soundtrack of lovely Greek music.
This is your chance to experience a taste of Greece in Geelong’s only authentic Greek restaurant. Of course, to get the full Greek experience, treat yourself to a glass of Greek wine or ouzo. You might as well do it right!
There’s a few sessions for you to choose from, including July 10, 17, and 24 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm and bookings are absolutely essential.
Opa!
Call 5221 0837 to secure your place at Mavs Restaurant (73B Lt Malop Street) this July!
The number of courses and cost appear different in the printed program. Since going to print the restaurant has changed the cost and number of courses as per listed here. The online information is correct.

There's a fine-looking group of male strippers heading to Lambys this Friday

Five straight days of working 9-5 is exhausting, there’s no denying it… you’re tired, you’ve got half a can of dry shampoo in your hair and you haven’t seen the girls since last weekend! It only makes sense that when Friday night rolls around you want to spend it doing something fun to relieve the stress, glam up, throwback some shots, have a boogie and maybe check out some hunks.
Cue Magic Men; the Melbourne-based agency which specialises in girls’ nights out, from hen parties to one-off private events. It’s all the things you could want; tempting, flirtatious, exciting. Magic Men brings the phenomenon of Magic Mike, Fifty Shades of Grey and others to life with a high-energy and breathtaking lavish male strip show unlike any other.
Every week the guys perform an action-packed two-hour show fueled with high energy performances with electrifying dance moves that will have you sitting on the edge of your seats.
Along with the weekly shows in Melbourne, the guys aren’t shy of hitting the road and bringing the ultimate ladies night to you… and good old Geelong made the list.
“We haven’t been to Geelong for a while so it’s good to come back. The Geelong girls are always such a good crowd so it’s good to see them and recognise some of their faces,” smiles Will Parfitt, the almost identical look-alike to Channing Tatum (star of the hit movie Magic Mike), and one of the Magic Men heading to Geelong.
“We’re going to lock in more regular Geelong shows in future too. We’ve always got lots of girls from Geelong coming to the Melbourne shows so we need to start coming back to them; they’re some of our most loyal girls.”
Returning to Geelong for the first time this year, the boys will be heading to Lambys with a never before seen show with new Magic Men taking to the stage, as well as some original favourites.
“We’ve got the Magic Men X group which is the new generation of guys that we’ve bought on,” Will explains. “As part of it, one of the boys looks a bit like Aquaman [and actor Jason Momoa] and he’s covered in tats… it’s a show that no ones ever seen before; he hasn’t even done it in Melbourne on a Saturday night.”
magic men
With its rampant success over the past few years, Magic Men has since expanded to now include weekly shows in Sydney and Brisbane, occasional tours to cities like Tasmania, and they’ve even locked in a trip to New Caledonia this year.
“Magic Men is stronger than ever. We’ve got a big international tour coming up, our first ever which is so good,” Will beams. “People have seen that we tour around; it’s not just Melbourne. We’ve been doing loads of interstate tours; we’ve done Tassie, we’ve got Sydney coming up and we’re hoping we can get some more international ones as well.”
As soon to be official international strippers, it’s clear Magic Men are taking the ‘Magic Mike’ story to the next level, especially with Will, who has recently been making headlines all over the world for his striking resemblance to Channing Tatum… seriously Google Image search ‘Channing Tatum’ and a picture of Will will pop up. See, proof.
So whether your a fan of Channing, Aquaman or a man in uniform, all you need to do is round up the gals, pop on your heels and prepare for one helluva night.
Tequila. Fur shrugs. Ginuwine. Snapchat. Male strippers… welcome to your Friday night!
Tickets can be purchased at www.magicmen.com.au or on the door for $35.
giphy (1)

Splendour in the Grass announces arts program

Splendour in the Grass is epic, we know it, but it’s not all just about the music. Come July, North Byron Parklands transforms into a cultural mecca, not only bringing together incredible musicians, but innovative, thought-provoking and seriously exciting artists, who join together to create a festival experience on another level.
The Splendour Arts Program and Artist in Residence of 2018 will showcase some of the most boundary-bending and content-ready artistic #collabs to date.
Featuring new and evolving artworks, get ready to immerse yourself in the freshest, wildest and most jaw-dropping open-air gallery this side of NYC.
First off for the Splendour 2018 Artist in Residence (a new annual collab), Splendour has teamed up with Australian contemporary visual artist Brooklyn Whelan to create our awesome 2018 event artwork, as well as Zero Three, a site-specific video mapping project incorporating his ethereal cloud paintings.we have Brooklyn Whelan. This collection of larger-than-life moving images will be projected on the Mix Up Stage tent top. But get in quick! Like your best ever Snapchat, this artwork will expire after the three days of Splendour in the Grass – never to be seen again – like an impending storm system that shocks, awes and then vanishes forever.
As for the Splendour Arts Program, well you’re all in for a treat! First up, they’ve got ‘The Witch Hunt and Pickles Family Funerals by Andy Forbes, which is influenced by the realms of religious cults, fetish and socio-political taboos. Get ready for some graveyard boogie with spooky DJ’s in the barn window, audience interactive comedy, and sacrifices around a large-scale wicker human sculpture in the graveyard.
Next we have The Cleaners, a brand-new durational performance installation by multi-award winning contemporary performance makers, Shock Therapy Productions. There’s a completely white living room sitting in mid-air, a giant mud-filled slingshot on the ground and two cleaners in white uniforms who take great pains to maintain the room’s perfect whiteness. Let the games begin.
The Cleaners 1_preview
Sam Songailo work takes form in painting, installation, video, sound and sculpture. This time he’s got Gateways 2 that’s ponders the question, if a drum machine without a soul, an empty collection of circuits and wires could bring us to our feet and move us to dance, was a soul so important after all? It’s highly immersive and realised on a monumental scale… you won’t be missing Gateways 2 at Splendour 2018!
Always a fave of ours, the Kings of creating large scale shit that is very f*cking cool (remember Happy Kanye from 2017, or Nicholas Cage in a Cage from 2015?) are back, this time with Snoop Dogg Hot Dogs. We already love it. This one comes from when Andy Warhol said rich people eat the same hot dogs as regular people. In 2016, Snoop Dog was invited onto Jimmy Kimmel Live! to take on the host’s first “Howz It Mizzade” video challenge demonstrating hot dogs being made. “This is a hot dog!? Oh cuz, I ain’t never eating a m—–f—— hot dog! Ugh!” he said. “If that’s how they make hot dogs, I don’t want one. I’m good.” Looks like Snoop’s family barbies are going to have one less person in the line for franks. Visit the garden of Snoop Dogg hot dogs at Splendour 2018, serving up American dreams all day, erryday.
Laith McGregor is obsessed with figures who have beards and are without eyes – their empty sockets sit in vacant faces that still manage to appear tragic, making us feel all the feels. In 2018, McGregor brings Hide Your Eyes, which is a self-portrait in the likeness of a guru/religious figure, manipulated in various ways to attempt to deface, distort and alter. Ready with permanent markers to be drawn on in situ, Laith’s banners will evolve in collaboration with the Splendour crowd. Channel your inner Banksy and draw faces, text, graffiti and ramblings of your own, directly onto the work to build an alternate communal persona. Let the fun begin.
Last but not least, we’ve got Melbourne-born visual artist Ash Keating. As one who likes to work big, he makes enormous paintings, sometimes 20-metres tall. Like hugely physical performance art, Ash explores colour, movement, paint, water, air and gravity. He painted the entrance tunnel for Splendour in the Grass in 2016 and now returns to repaint the surface with his ongoing ‘Gravity System Response’ series.
It’s all happening this year. For locations and performance times, check out the website.

Winter at the Potato Shed

Into its 10th year, the Bellarine Peninsula’s Winter Solstice Play Festival continues to spotlight important local issues.
This June 29 and 30 on the full moon of winter’s longest nights, the Potato Shed Theatre in Drysdale will host the Bellarine Peninsula’s yearly showcase of new theatre: The Winter Solstice Play Festival. For Theatre 3Triple2, which has produced the event for the last 9 years, it is an opportunity to tell local stories written by Geelong playwrights. And this year, they are shining the theatre spotlights on environmental and social issues.
What Became of the Hooded Plovers? by Shane Foyster, is a quirky whodunit set on a mythical town on the Bellarine Peninsula, where the calm of seaside life is turned upside down after the disappearance of a young girl, Polly Ann Plover. The play looks at our local environment as a neighbourhood, and each animal has a human face, the audience is encouraged to investigate the disappearance of the Hooded Plover, in same way they would if a young girl went missing in their own street.
The second play that will be performed, Until Next Week, by Amy Jo-Reynolds, is a dramatic insight into the lives of a group of individuals who attend a weekly Recovering Alcoholics group, found at any night of the week at Community Centres across Geelong. True to the spirit of these groups, each individual learns that saving each other begins with saving themselves and taking the first step towards redemption.
The Winter Solstice Play Festival includes live music by local folk musician Melody Moon, roaring bonfires, mulled wine and entry to two original one act plays. The event happens for only two night each year at the Potato Shed Theatre, Drysdale.
Tickets are only $20.00 each and can be purchased by calling the Potato Shed directly on (03) 5251 1998

Lloyd Spiegel: Backroads

A mastermind of the guitar and blues music in general, Lloyd Spiegel is back at it again with his eighth album, Backroads. Promising a close and honest take on Lloyd’s life outside of music, Backroads is sure to give the fans a fresh look at Lloyd’s abilities as an artist/performer.
Starting off the CD with a bang, The Kick Around showcases Lloyd’s creative ability in conjunction with a high paced, gritty beat. A great opening track to capture the audiences’ attention right off the bat.
Starting out so strong, the second track Betcha Bottom Dollar would not have an easy task of continuing said trend, but it manages. With strong story telling and a fusion of big band sounds and blues, Betcha Bottom Dollar is the type of track that will be put on repeat many times, I presume.
Throughout the album, you will experience many different types of blues, from high tempo, hard hitting and sizzling guitar, to a more steadily paced story driven sound that will have you listening closely for the subtle beauties within Lloyd’s music.
Fans and new listeners alike should take the chance and take the backroads!
Only Blues Music
Reviewed by Alex Lynch

The Finks release patient, wilful and poignantly imperfect album

Rolly Nice is the new album from The Finks and it is a cracker!
With a run of Victorian album launch shows this June, with shows in Collingwood (June 23) and Brunswick (June 24) still to come, The Finks are making their mark.
The Finks have been with Milk! Records since their first EP Things Work Out was released in 2012. Since then, they’ve released two more EPs (At the Royal Witherspoon and Settling) and two albums (Lucklaster and Middling).
Their new record Rolly Nice is a handful of objects, an album of contrasts. It includes sketches for solo piano, a guitar-led instrumental in ‘La Chose’ and a monologue set to music in ‘Charlie’s Manifesto’. Lyrically, ‘Thankful’ and ‘Peter Out’ have the brevity of poems, while ‘Body Language’ and ‘When What Changed Us Changed Us’ take on the complexity and intimacy of other lives lived.
Now, Rolly Nice is a patient, wilful and poignantly imperfect album. To celebrate their release, The Finks have come up with a ‘Mostly Piano’ playlist for us!
Misty by Errol Garner
I don’t remember but I’m told that one of my skills when I was three or four was to sit at the piano and show anyone who asked where every octave began with a C.
Angel Eyes by Joe Albany
I liked the idea of playing piano but I hated having to read music and sit exams and curl my fingers in the correct position. I wanted to play what I heard and to look at my hands while I was doing it.

Mother’s Love by Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou

My second piano teacher was a private tutor who didn’t believe in exams. Mum would drop me off at his house for half an hour or an hour and we would play duets and he would teach me the merits of boogie-woogie. His german accent made the word sound theatrical. His was the first stranger’s house I can remember being in, aware of its foreignness, staring at the decor.
Kegelstatt Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano by WA Mozart (played by The Family Trio)
My older brother played the trumpet. Dad used to play the violin and maybe some other instruments and I remember my brother’s supervised practices with dad always in the room, clapping and humming. I had a drum kit set up in the next room but nobody seemed to mind. My brother was a talented musician but he thought basketball was more fun.
Libra by Mary Lou Williams
“We moved to Tulsa, and I went to live over an undertaker’s. Apart from natural deaths, there was a killing every other day, with weekends the best for business. I was not working, and to break the monotony I’d got permission to drive for the undertaker. In those days they had to go after work, racing to the scene as soon as a kiling was reported. Whoever got there first took the body.” – Mary Lou Williams


Lush Life by Billy Strayhorn

“All of this made Strayhorn drink, and drink, and drink. He attracted some attention an on English tour by ordering his gin-and-tonics in pint glasses; on the road, he would mix himself a stream of drinks from a miniature bar specially mounted in a suitcase.” – Martin Gayford
Chant by Nils Frahm
My friend says that one of her favourite things as a child was to open the front panel of her family’s piano and to realise that the jar of water they kept inside needed to be refilled.
Pieces Lyriques, Op. 54: IV. Notturno by Edvard Grieg (played by Mara Dobresco)
I wrote my first song on the piano. It was a breakup song, mostly chord bashing. I was young and heartbroken and taking lots of long walks in the rain but I remember finishing the song and playing it over and over on the piano and feeling a lot better.
Springtime in Chicago by Sun Sa
“There are some words that sound very bad, but they are very good for people. And there are some words that sound very good, but they are very bad.” – Sun Ra
Theme from Samson and Delilah by Camille Saint-Saens (played by Nina Simone)
When I left the third piano teacher I knew they’d be the last. I can remember my parents being less disappointed than I was expecting. “As long as you don’t end up regretting it,” they said.