YUNGBLUD is the new artist we need
YUNGBLUD might not be the artist we deserve, but he’s the new artist we need. A raw, electrifying and unusual combination of icons like Harry Styles and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, his recent live performance in Melbourne was the ultimate bridge between great rock music and a younger audience who didn’t know they craved it.
A side-show of his Splendour in the Grass debut the following day, the 19-year-old from Doncaster, UK – real name Dominic Harrison – was kitted out in tight black pants, hanging chains, jewellery, messy hair, dark eyeliner and a pink and black-striped shirt; all elements of what is quickly becoming his signature, recognisable look. A look, and a sound, that we’re undoubtedly going to only hear more of, as he gets bigger and better.
YUNGBLUD’s infectious energy and bursting smile flowed into the Corner Hotel through some of his most well-known hits, including ‘Anarchist’ and ‘21st Century Liability’, from his debut record with the same name.
Despite being released only two weeks earlier, it was astonishing that almost the entire room could sing along with him, lyric-for-lyric. His album has clearly had an immediate and profound impact on so many people, both young and old, evidenced by the mixed audience that night. From teenage girls in the front row handing him roses and lollipops, screaming to their friends through Snapchat when he touched their hands, to older guys dressed in all black, maintaining their headbanging and moshing through the night, YUNGBLUD’s audience is varied and unique.
I think where everyone can find common ground is through the power and weight of his lyrics – constant references to struggling, love and relationships, as well as the darker exploration of pain, mental illness, drugs and suicide; it’s honest, it’s vulnerable, and often really hard to comprehend. Yet YUNGBLUD presents these thoughts and inner demons in a way that is relatable – he doesn’t normalise or champion this darkness, but he admits that he struggles, paving the way for others to feel confident enough to speak out as well.
Another obvious reason as to why so many different kinds of people love and relate with YUNGBLUD has to be accredited to his genre-bending music. Foundations of alternative rock with strong punk protest, mixed with the influences of hip-hop and ska ensures that there’s a little bit for everyone, whilst still creating something entirely fresh and exciting.
All of this of course culminates in an insanely intense, buzzing live show that shouldn’t be missed.
A strong highlight was his emotional performance of ‘Polygraph Eyes’, a heartfelt protest against sexual assault, delivered by a man calling out other men. With a chorus ringing “Leave her alone mate, she doesn’t want to go home with you”, it’s hard to ignore the importance of his timely message. More so, it’s incredible witnessing a young artist use his position of fame and influence to make a stand for prominent social issues. I really hope that he continues on this path, writing music that is open and blunt, cutting straight to the point with each powerful note.
After powering through every track from his debut (like ‘Kill Somebody’, ‘Medication’ and ‘Psychotic Kids’) as well as the leftover songs from his self-titled EP (the heartbreaking story of ‘I Love You, Will You Marry Me’) YUNGBLUD certainly gained a room full of fans – given everybody there wasn’t already hugely in love with him. His bold intensity and sex appeal that very few artists can truly tap into these days constructed a brilliant show that had us sweating and beaming by its end.
YUNGBLUD is undeniably a new breed of rockstar. He’s full to the brim of both nostalgia and futuristic uncertainty, continually pushing boundaries and giving electric performances that appeal to a variety of people simultaneously.
Keep an eye out for this young musician – soon everyone will know his name, and he deserves all the attention he’ll undoubtedly receive.
Corner Hotel, Richmond
Saturday July 21
Supported by Bec Sandridge
Reviewed by Zach Edwards
Photos by Tyhe Reading
Lots on in August at the Shed
If you like the Can-Can and all things French you will not want to miss French Twist – the cabaret spectacular from Industry Dance that could be straight from the famous Lido in Paris. Enjoy dazzling costumes, amazing dancers in a true cabaret setting where patrons can bring culinary delights and purchase drinks from our licensed bar.
Morning Showtime returns in August with stunning ladies from the Sassy Sisters. Once again these talented ladies will have the crowds dancing in the aisles when they perform here, playing and singing some of the great hits with their friends in the band. Just the one show on Tuesday August 7 at 10.30am – and that includes Morning Tea.
We welcome back the wonderful Melbourne City Ballet with Madame Butterfly. Artistic Director Michael Pappalardo will take audiences on a journey. Cho-Cho (nicknamed “Butterfly) marries US Naval Officer Pinkerton only to have him depart for the Americas. As the years pass, Butterfly awaits his return with hope, refusing any new suite but her Pinkerton. It is only upon Pinkerton’s return that Butterfly realise their union was not as she thought, ending in one of opera’s most infamous tragedies. This beautiful ballet will be presented for one performance only on Friday the August 17 at 8pm.
We also have two film forums and a new children’s musical but we’ll have more information in the next issue. Check out our web page or Facebook for all the latest news and up to date information.
Always something on at the Shed, we hope to see you here.
360 on his triumphant return to music
Almost six years to the day since revolutionising Australian hip-hop with the multi-platinum Falling & Flying, 360 (aka Matthew James Colwell) announced the release of his fourth studio album, Vintage Modern late last year.
The album, which debuted at #1 on the ARIA Australian Album Charts and #3 on the ARIA Albums Chart in October and garnered a slew of enthusiastic reviews around the country, tells a tale of heartbreak, fallouts and drug addiction. It’s Colwell’s approach to the album however that is most inspiring, as he unravels—with incredible irreverence—overcoming addiction and understanding mental health, while tackling social issues like misogyny and Islamophobia.
“When I write, I usually write from personal experience, and in this album, I didn’t really want to not do that,” he explains. “I’ve done that on every album and virtually every song is about myself and something that I’ve gone through. I wanted to switch it up on this album, so some songs are a bit of social commentary, and some of it is putting myself in another person’s shoes and writing it from another perspective other than my own.
“Originally I was thinking of writing a whole album from other peoples perspectives about certain topics, but it ended up just coming out a lot more naturally and some of the stuff had to be personal.”
Writing the bulk of the album as acoustic pieces first, then teaming up with a tight-knit production crew – long-time collaborator Styalz Fuego, executive producer Nic Martin and chief instrumentalist Carl Dimataga – the album pairs 60’s trademark charm, honesty and razor sharp raps with a lush sonic backbone of guitars and live instrumentation fused with contemporary rap sounds, replacing the heavy synths and electronic drops his music is traditionally known for. Clearly taking on new challenges and directions with his sound, as well as marking three years since his last release, Colwell describes Vintage Modern as a new beginning.
“It was definitely a new thing. I’d spent so much time away, it really felt like I was just starting out again to be honest; it was strange,” he says. “I’ve been at it for so long, yet I felt like I was coming out with my first release which is really kind of weird… but that’s how it felt.”
Featuring collaborations from Perth singer/songwriter Sydnee Carter, long-time friends PEZ and Seth Sentry and Sydney singer/songwriter Hein Cooper, among others, Vintage Modern sees the re-invigorated artist holding nothing back on the topical and unfiltered album. ‘Yesterday’ tells the tale about taking the higher ground, his track ‘Dem Gainz’ pokes fun at gym-bro culture, ‘Money’ sees Colwell weaving in and out of personal tales about his triumphant rise and rapid fall, and the financial consequences and lessons learnt; and then there’s ‘Drugs’, a clear favourite from Vintage Modern, is a clever, cautionary tale written from the perspective of alcohol as if it were a hitman, a metaphor for the impact drugs and alcohol have on society.
It’s the powerful song ‘Tiny Angel’ that truly reveals 360’s maturity and his role in communicating important messages through music. Inspired by the stillbirth of a close friend’s child, ‘Tiny Angel’ breaks down the stigma around stillbirth and presents a male perspective on an issue that takes the lives of six children every single day in Australia.
“That was a song was the one that took the longest, most definitely,” he explains. “Because it was something I hadn’t gone through, and I really knew nothing about the whole process of what would happen in that kind of situation; even just pregnancy in general. I had to do a lot of research and talk to a lot of midwives about it, and find out the actual specifics of what actually happens in those situations.
With the approval of his close friend, 360 tackled the often taboo topic, using his voice to raise the profile of stillbirth in Australia. “It’s really full on,” he explains of ‘Tiny Angel’. “Recording it was the hard part. I think I recorded about 20 times before I actually got; I was recording it and then listening back and it was like I was telling the story but it wasn’t emotional enough, it wasn’t the right emotion,” he continues. “I had to get it; if I was going to be in that situation, how would I sound? So I went in and really tried to capture that emotion. And that’s when it happened. It was really really intense, and was really full on.
“I only did one take, which is the version that you’ve heard on the album. There might be a few little minor things in there that aren’t right, or that I didn’t mean to do flow wise, but the real emotional is there.”
Following an epic sold-out national tour earlier this year, Colwell is taking these inspired tracks to towns all over regional Victoria, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland before concluding in Tasmania, further marking his triumphant return to the spotlight.
“It was really touching,” he explains of his previous tour. “I had my doubts and I really didn’t know what to expect; that’s sort of part of the reason I felt like I was just coming out. I had no idea how the reception of these shows was going to go down because in the past, all my songs have had at least one or two songs on high rotation or on major radio, but with this album, none had at all.
“I was going in really hoping that people weren’t just coming to hear my old stuff,” he continues. “Coming out, it was mind-blowing to have people singing along to the new album, and rapping every word. It was really cool, I was super inspired by that. I felt like I was back, I was definitely back.”
With already sold-out shows in Ballarat and Bendigo, which saw second shows been added, there’s clearly a high demand to see the most charismatic Australian rapper in the game.
One things for sure; 360 is back and better than ever.
When & Where: Karova Lounge, Ballarat – August 22 & October 4; Taphouse, Bendigo – August 23 & October 12; The Wool Exchange, Geelong – August 24.
Kyneton Music Festival returns for 2018
Back again this Spring, the two-day Kyneton Music Festival returns for its seventh annual party in the park in the gateway to the Goldfields.
A huge line-up for this year’s festival has just been announced with Adalita, Sonny & The Sunsets, RVG, Pony Face, A.Swayze and The Ghosts, Rackett, The Southern River Band, Mighty Duke & The Lords, Broads, TV Haze, Harmony, Amaya Laucirica, Emilee South, The Pink Tiles, The Baudelaires, Tom Lyncoln, James Ellis & The Jealous Guys and Moonlover all set to smash out loving lyrics and musical moments across the picturesque township of Kyneton in the popular two day festival.
The festival will spread across three venues over the two days. Friday kicks off the festival at Bluestone Theatre, with Saturday seeing the main acts taking the stage at St Paul’s Park while more intimate gigs go down in Major Tom’s next door.
Offering a laidback, communal vibe of locals and metro music lovers alike within the idyllic setting of The Macedon Ranges, Kyneton Music Festival is certainly one to tick off your music festival bucket list, and with a lineup like this there’s no better time to do just that.
It goes down October 26 & 27.
Festival passes are available for $99 for a weekend pass or $75 for a Saturday only pass from 9am Wednesday 1 August at kynetonmusicfestival.com.au
Last year’s Festival sold out, so get in quick to avoid disappointment!
Hideous Sun Demon returns with their thrashing brand of psych-punk music
Trying to get your band up and running can be a pretty tough gig, especially when you are trying to be a functioning human and still maintain a solid income…
But the odd few get lucky, like Jake Suriano, bassist from Hideous Sun Demon, who luckily scored one the most accommodating bosses in Melbourne.
“I work at a fabric store in Glenn Huntley,” he begins. “I actually got the job from our booker because Jake from Clowns also works here and so does Abbie from Würst Nürse; it’s kind of their parents’ business… so because Lauren, my boss, has two touring children, she is pretty chill with tours.”
And luckily so, because the Perth (now Melbourne-based) psych lords and currently gearing up for an absolutely mammoth regional tour in support of their third studio album, Fame, Erotic, Dream.
“Our live shows are pretty fun and rowdy and we kind of tried to do that for the album. We have always tried to track that live intensity and the last record was pretty noisy. It was recorded to tape and was recorded pretty hot and pretty raw; some people like it, some people don’t. Personally, I like a lot of low-fi music where as others want a lot more clarity,” Suriano says. “We are pretty damn happy with how this album sounds to be honest.”
Touching on the importance of the bands third album, Suriano highlighted the differences that fans may experience on Fame, Erotic, Dream.
“I think it’s a bit tighter and the songs are more to the point. Some of the other albums were a bit jammy with really long outros, really long sections with lead work and that sort of stuff. I think there was a bit more of a punk song-writing element in the sense that we kept things short and to the point. We have done a lot of different stuff, but when fans come to see us live they seem to really like the fast heavy songs,” he says. “It’s cool that we now have a few albums of different sounds because it’s nice to change up the set a bit.”
With a new album set for release tomorrow, Suriano has still managed to find the time to record some of his solo-work and on top of that has been in preparation for their huge 14-date regional tour.
“It should be interesting as we are now a three-piece but we recorded as a four-piece. We are going to meet in Adelaide and have a day and a half to practise it. I think at this point we have already been playing three to four of the new songs on our live sets so we just need to figure out what other ones to throw in,” he laughs before touching on his excitement for the bands first Geelong show.
“The last time we went to Geelong, we went to the Barwon Club and had a parma and it seemed like a really cool place. We are playing the Warped Small Town Disease and heaps of bands are on there; The Living Eyes are playing which is cool, BIN are playing, I don’t know what they are like but I know Cal from The Murlocs is in them so that should be good,” he smiles. “We are all really keen to get down there. We are going to be based out of Melbourne now so hopefully we will tour the East Coast a lot more.”
When & Where: The Barwon Club, Geelong – August 4 & The Eastern, Ballarat – August 25.
Written by Alex Callan
Five minutes with Mihra
From the solo project of Chevaunne Keleher to a full band, alternative pop outfit Mihra released their debut album, Hoping for Gold, in 2016 Their follow-up album, Girl and Her Symbols, is coming, teased as a concept album detailing “an individual dream from a month long period of keeping a Carl Jung inspired dream journal”. We chat to Mihra ahead of a gig in Warrnambool.
Hi Mihra, thanks for chatting to Forte. First up, can you give a quick intro to our readers about your music?
Our music aims to capture the night-time dream world but make it rhyme. On our upcoming album you’ll find abstract dream stories and experimental song structures, with snappy rock grooves, synths, guitars, quirky instrumental hooks and as much delay as we could get away with.
While you started your solo project back in 2014, you are also part of My Elephant Ride. What made you want to also explore music as a solo project?
I appreciate the balance between the more collaborative writing with My Elephant Ride and doing more of the directing with Mihra. We are still collaborative in Mihra, but I have a great opportunity being supported to fulfil an ambitious vision without compromising. On the other hand, collaborating can help vibrate ideas beyond what you can do in a lonely living room at midnight with a hot chocolate so it’s amazing to have both.
How did you originally get into music, has it always been in your blood or was there a defining moment for you?
I think it’s something to do with being an anxious kid and seeing artists on Video Hits being so comfortable with being weird and bold and self-expressed. Who doesn’t crave that?
Tell us about the album that you’ve been working on recently; we hear the album is a concept album with ‘each song details an individual dream from a month long period of keeping a Carl Jung inspired dream journal’… can you tell us about that?
Yes dreams are an endless source of intrigue and it’s great because you get new ones all the time! I found journaling daily made me remember them every morning and I could spend the day reflecting and interpreting them. It’s art your brain makes for itself! And this album is art about brain art. Jung knows where it’s at too- if you like thinking about it check out Man and His Symbols.
What do you love about performing live on stage?
Performing live is great because you can look the crowd in the eyes and feel something with them on another level than real life. I mean sometimes that level is them feeling awkward that you’re looking them in the eyes but it’s still beyond the norm and that’s wild. And I love when people dance. So come dance at The Loft on Aug 4th!
We’re looking forward to the gig in Warrnambool! What’s next for Mihra?
Next we are releasing our new album! It’ll be out in November on Wigwam Records. We’ll be playing a bunch of shows in the mean time, so come say hi!
When & Where: The Loft, Warrnambool – August 4.
AMPED are hosting a Gangsters Ball
Winter proves to often be a hard season to party in. Freezing nights, rain that ruins the hair you spent an hour straightening and a log fire that crackles “please don’t leave me”, but thanks to Amped you can say goodbye to all of these things with not a worry in the world.
Launched in 2017, Amped has become one of Geelong’s hottest music venues. Since its inception, the bar has received a terrific reception, and has proved to be a popular hangout spot each Thursday to Sunday. Amped recognises the importance of keeping the live music scene prominent and jumped on the opportunity to bring individuals of all ages together for fun-filled evenings each week.
Guaranteed to provide fine dining, great drinks and of course, lots of dancing, Amped likes to keep their atmosphere vibrant, exciting and ever-changing, with past events covering themes such as 80’s countdowns, Robbie Williams Tribute, AC/DSHE and many more. There’s no other place like it in the Geelong region and the venue turnouts week after week just prove that there doesn’t need to be!
As one’s to always encourage a good night filled with dining, drinking and dancing, Amped is now excited and proud to present its first ever Gangsters Ball. Inspired by the popularity of Gangsters Balls in Melbourne, the team at Amped thought it was time to bring the party to Geelong, bringing the fashion, style, humour and classic entertainment of the 1920’s along with it. It’s going to be a real swing, burlesque and gangster extravaganza, encapsulated by dark suits, moneybags, cigars and pistols (fake of course).
Keeping live music alive, Amped will provide three bands over two levels. You’ll find Hot Club Swing, Georgia Brookes trio (upstairs), Mr Meaner and DJK on the rooftop, all bringing the good vibes. On top of this, there will also be FX Gatsby Guys and Dolls entertainment + Kit Amore Burlesque for a night of magical mayhem.
Nibbles and platters will be rotating all night from 5:30pm, promising to keep you full and fuelled for a dance party that will have you feeling straight out of 1925.
The night will take place on October 6, allowing plenty of time to hunt and perfect the best Gangster costume possible – think Gangster, flapper, Burlesque, elegant vintage, gambler etc. Anything from the 1920s to the 1950s goes so get creative!
Tickets are $60 direct from the venue or can be purchased over the phone (52211634) during business hours. There are limited tickets so get in quick!
AMPED Bar is located at 71 Yarra St, Geelong.
Written by Aine Keogh
Photos from film The Great Gatsby
Blunt Shovel & Shatter Brain are heading to Ballarat
Melbourne’s Blunt Shovel and South Australian outfit Shatter Brain are keeping it simple with their new split 12” release.
They have called it Twelve Inch Split, and it’s a perfect heavy metal marriage.
Each band has provided three tracks, which include originals and covers of some of their favourite metal songs.
The Eastern, Ballarat – August 3. Note they’re also the companions of King Parrot at The Loft, Warrnambool on August 11.
Regurgitator have just released their ninth album and are bringing it to Geelong next week
For many of us older folks, we may look back on 90’s and early 00’s Regurgitator gigs and albums through nostalgic lenses, but in these modern times we still head to their gigs and check out their albums for good reason… because it’s like catching up with old mates, seeing how they’re going, what they’ve been up to, and the stories they tell. That’s who Regurgitator are to us older folks. And to younger folks, they’d be same to you as what they were to us when we were young; a great band with a great sense of humour and great stories to tell. And most of all, they’re a lot of fun. I caught up with bassist and vocalist Ben Ely for a chat.
Having previously caught up with vocalist and guitarist Quan Yeomans in 2011, I brought up the same story with Ben about how I saw The ‘Gurge live in 2008 in the Laos capital Vientiane. The band were headlining a free sponsored gig entitled the ‘Tiger Beer Rock Your Passion’ gig. Four local bands played then the ‘Gurge closed the show. Problem was at the very start of their set, there was what seemed at the time, a power outage. Ten to fifteen minutes later the band re-emerged from behind the scenes, with all power surging, and kicked out a sweaty and powerful set in the National Circus, the venue which was a concrete structure built like a circus tent.
A laughing Ben on the other end of the phone explained what happened that night with the power outage. “That show was sponsored by Tiger Beer, which is a Thai beer company, and the most popular local (Laos) beer is Beer Lao and apparently Beer Lao sabotaged our power and went back and cut the electricity. They broke into the electricity box and then they cut the power and then they put a padlock on it, so someone’s had to find an axe, and we’re standing out the back and this dudes there with an axe chopping the electricity box open to get to the power to flick the mains back on,” he explains. Whilst Quan explained this to me back in 2011, it was not confirmed. However, ten years after the fact, Ben confirmed it. “We just found that out recently, ‘coz a friend of mine helped organise a show,” he says. “He does foreign aid work over there, and he just heard that gossip just recently, it’s just kind of ‘fresh off the press’.”
Now Regurgitator are about to release a new album, Headroxx, after five years. In doing so, they’re continuing to do what they have always done best by going against the flow of the current popular music industry style. “Because we’re older, we just don’t get played on triple j,” he explains. “It is kind of liberating for us right now because we just feel like ‘oh, no-one’s going to play us anyway so let’s just make it as weird as we possibly can’. So we kind of did that; we could probably make it even weirder.”
I asked Ben about the themes on the new album, out of curiosity. He explained that the band members generally write songs alone then bring them to the table to share and workshop for possible inclusion on the album. “We found out that a lot of the songs we liked had a similar kind of theme about being a bit anxious and kinda crazy in the modern world, and the stresses and pressure that the modern world brings, with pressure with money and bills and family and everything,” he says. “Every song had a similar kind of theme, that’s why we called it Headroxx. It’s kind of like rocks in your head or kind of like your head being rocked, or this idea that you’re a little bit mentally kinda crazy; driven a bit crazy by your situation in the world so that’s why we called it Headroxx. It’s like a fun play on feeling a bit strange.”
Considering it has been 22 years since The ‘Gurge released their first album (they released two EPs prior) Tu-Plang, and considering the crowds they still draw, I had to ask Ben what’s in it for the band. “We just really enjoy each other’s company and enjoy playing and touring. People still come out and see us which we’re flattered by, and we just really enjoy it… Then we thought why don’t we do new a new record.”
Regurgitator will perform at The Wool Exchange on Thursday August 9.
Release: HEADROXX is out August 1.
Written by Paul S Taylor
Photo by Stephen Sloggett
What's On at Courthouse Youth Arts
‘You are all the colours’ is the debut solo show of local emerging photographer, Gabrielle Barnes. After experiencing a relationship break-up, Gabby began investigating the ways in which love is depicted on social media and in the photographic medium. In this exhibition, she aims to depict notions of ‘falling out of love’ and ‘disconnection’ through the power of human gesture and the emotive play of colours.
A student at RMIT, Gabby is currently studying a Bachelor of Photography and is exploring lighting and post-production techniques and is enthralled by the affective nature of photography.
The exhibition runs until August 22.
We also have brand NEW opening times! The CHYA Gallery is open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm and Saturday from 10:30am located at 60 Little Malop Street, Geelong.
Yours in art, CHYA.
Curl up with a good book and help save the planet at the Monster Book Fair
On these cold and often wet weekends, there is nothing better than curling up in front of the fire with a good book. But who knew you can be a Super Hero by doing just that?
This August sees the return of The Rotary Club of Geelong West’s major annual fundraiser, the Monster Book Fair.
Having been a large success in previous years, so far the annual book fair has raised tens of thousands of dollars that have been channelled back through the Club’s supported projects such as Barwon Health Patient Transport, Samaritan House, Operation Newstart, Christ Church Meals Program, Geelong Kokoda Youth Program and Interplast, not to mention all of the many smaller charitable programs that apply to the Club for grants each year. Supporting those who need it most, you’re doing your bit to change the world just by picking up some great books at the Monster Book Fair.
Who thought you could achieve so much sitting down!?
If the cheap prices and social benefits are not wonderful enough, there is also the added bonus of book fairs being environmentally friendly. Purchasing books at the Rotary Club of Geelong West’s Monster Book Fair helps to recycle books and prevents them from being sent to landfill, helping reduce waste and thus benefiting the environment. Win, Win, Win! Whether it is a novel, cookbook, biography or children’s book, buying a book here will not only give you hours and hours of great reading, it will ensure that these books are being recycled in an efficient and effective way.
With thousands of books on offer across almost all possible genres, there is bound to be something to impress even the most demanding of readers. With entry at just a gold coin donation, and books for ridiculously cheap prices ($1 for paperbacks and children’s books, or $2 for hardcovers), it’s definitely worth checking it out.
It all goes down at the Geelong West Town Hall from Friday August 3 to Sunday August 5 from 9am.
Play it again Sam
It is funny how life works sometimes. Sammi Constantine was enjoying her life as a full time dancer when she became sick. Hospitalised with anorexia, Sammi had to stay in bed for six weeks. It was during this time that she began writing. Her whole world changed. Dancing and everything that came with it was her universe. She started doing something different to help her express her emotions.
Sammi wrote and wrote and wrote. When the time came for her to be released from hospital, she got back on her feet, picked up a guitar and from there began hustling. She found a new passion and fell in love with it. The best medicine for her now was the guitar.
Along the way, Sammi found it amazing what music can do when you feel down and everything else doesn’t seem to be working. Especially when you can write and get everything out. This was so powerful in her eyes and her thoughts.
A new single is being released and with that comes excitement; her new song ‘Feel Your Body’ has Sammi living happy in the moment. The new single has taken two and a half years to get to this point. It was relevant to her during that particular time but, she held onto the song. Trying at here. Trying it there. Tour with it. Test it out. There have been several versions of this song before reaching the sound she now has.
Although Sammi hasn’t released anything for over a year, this has not been a year off for the singer-songwriter from Central Coast, New South Wales. She just needed to lock down and find the sound she was after. The time off was just the boost she needed to re-ignite herself. A lot of self discovery and time to mend whilst writing. Initially thinking she might take a three month hiatus, it turned into one year. However, that is fine with Sammi. It takes the time it is supposed to take and she doesn’t look back with any regrets.
Attending an alternative school, Sammi found herself the black sheep of her hometown. Her music may reflect this. Her songs are written from a dark and deep place. Her songs are for herself and hopefully that resonates with people more than lyrics that are empty and hollow because they are just words. Always trying to put as much of her heart into it as possible, if people relate to that, they will enjoy her music.
Early on in her music pathway, a gig at Groovin’ The Moo saw her on stage with her friends ‘Bad Decisions’. They are a DJ duo who allowed Sammi to join them for their set to share the experience. She pretty much stood in the corner of the stage the entire time. It was a learning opportunity where she could envisage herself where she wanted to go from that point in time. Now she is unable to keep still. Always on the move and confident with her stage presence.
Artists like Amy Shark are paving the way for new Australian musicians to spread their own sound as a solo artist and if Sammi’s dreams come to fruition, a set at Coachella Music Festival is just around the corner.
For now though, she is planning on winging it after the single, letting the wind to take her as she lets go a little bit. Let everything that is supposed to happen, happen. Watch out for Sammi Constantine.
Written by Sam Young
Pop Culture #694
If you like old films – and these days by “old” we’re talking anything from last century – we’re increasingly returning back to the bad old days. With video libraries all but extinct (shout out to Geelong’s Manifold Video, still going strong), and rental kiosks barely holding a month’s worth of new releases, it’s up to streaming services to put the classics within reach.
Increasingly, they’re not interested, with the numbers of old titles available constantly in decline. Which means the days of sitting on the fence when it comes to classics is over: either you accept the status quo and consign history to the dustbin of, uh, history, or you do what most people already do when it comes to books and music and start a collection of your own.
Surprisingly, considering the previously stated doom and gloom, there’s never been a better time to get into collecting: as it’s become increasingly clear that the people still buying DVDs and blu-rays are in it for the love, various distributors have lifted their game as far as putting a little extra care where their titles are concerned.
Umbrella in Australia have always gone the extra mile when it comes to extra features – in fact, they took so much care in curating extras for their Australian titles their research and interviews led to the hit Ozploitation documentary Not Quite Hollywood – but in recent years they’ve branched out into trashier cinema with an international flavour, including excellent local releases of the original Punisher movie and the final four Death Wish films.
Now they’re focusing on cult classics with their new line of “Beyond Genre” titles, and for fans of 80s monster horror of the H.P. Lovecraft kind the first three blu-ray titles are a must: the original Re-Animator, Bride of Re-Animator and Beyond Re-Animator, and Dagon.
While the debt to Lovecraft’s original short stories is best described as “slight”, they’re firmly classics in their own rights. The tale of a scientist who discovers a way to re-animate the dead and somehow things bringing back everything he can is a good idea, the Re-Animator series is bolstered by a memorable performance from Jeffery Combs as Herbert West, Re-Animator, some surprisingly effective special effects make-up, and the kind of offbeat dark humour that’s a hallmark of the 80s. Dagon, on the other hand, is more serious and crazier for it, as a small fishing village turns out to be home base for a race of monsters that worship an unholy sea god.
Umbrella’s gone all out with the extras, with the original Re-Animator receiving the two-disc treatment featuring both the original unrated version and the extended integral cut, plus commentaries, interviews, deleted scenes and documentaries. The two sequels are packaged together with an equally extensive collection of extras, while Dagon comes with a wide range of interviews and making-of-featurettes.
Often with more mainstream films the (increasingly sparse) extras are little more than advertising fluff, but with these films – where, let’s be honest, a lot of the appeal comes from how much fun it seems everyone was having taking things too far – having the cast and crew spill their guts only adds to the fun. If you’re any kind of horror fan these are well worth tracking down; here’s hoping Umbrella keeps the weird titles coming.
Written by Anthony Morris
This State We’re In #694
Dearest Forte friends!
We hope you’re all keeping warm and rugging up when en route to all the great live music that’s been happening over this chilly month! I know we went on about CHANGES Conference & Festival a lot last month but it was such a great few days, we just had to tell you all about how it went down (and why you should all come along next year).
The conference and festival was officially held over two days, with local and international speakers focusing on new and innovative ideas and current states of play within the music industry worldwide.
Speakers included Jenn Pelly (Pitchfork), Cherie Hu (Billboard & Forbes), Joseph Edward Keyes (Bandcamp) and Alex Zaccaria (Bolster) all inspiring the audience with their wealth of knowledge within their areas of expertise. There was an overwhelming desire from the listeners to learn and discover new ways of thinking about where our industry is headed in relation to audience development and engagement, technology, diversity and marketing.
There was a particular focus on interactive sessions and opportunities for all sides of the industry to actively learn and gain knowledge for individual benefit which was particularly beneficial to everyone attending. Being its first year, it was an incredible event and we can’t wait for how it develops next year.
Music Victoria’s Regional Showcase at the Grace Darling Hotel as part of CHANGES was a fantastic event (the best, we reckon!). It was great to see so many people attend and support such incredible artists from all over regional Victoria, and all the artists performed killer sets including Bones and Jones, Nancie Schipper, Yergurl, Chapel and White Bleaches. Curated by Shaun Adams (Karova Lounge, The Barwon Club Hotel) the diversity of acts was especially exciting, with the audience listening intently, head-bopping, and then dancing.
So, if you missed out on all this fun, it’ll be back next year so make sure you keep an eye out and jump on it as soon as it’s announced.
We’re looking forward to jumping into all the gigs this month to keep warm and hope you are too!
Until next time rockers,
Al & The Music Vic Crew
One of our newest members, and also one of the great artists who performed as part of our CHANGES Regional Showcase, is the wonderful Nancie Schipper! She has just released a new song, ‘Long Fall’ that all of us in the office are obsessed with. It’s available to listen to on all the things (Spotify/Apple Music) and we suggest you go and listen to it RIGHT NOW!
Gig of the month
Sean McMahon at Major Tom’s, Kyneton on Saturday August 11
One of Victoria’s finest songwriters and live performers Sean McMahon has just this week released a wonderful, country laden ballad ‘Spring’. Luckily for us, Sean will be making his way across the state this August to plug this great new single, including an intimate show at Kyneton’s favourite music hall Major Tom’s on Saturday 11 August.
“We’re The Chats, Get Fucked”
Eamon Sandwith and Josh Price, two thirds of The Chats, come bounding down the stairs of the Northcote Social Club as Forté arrives. The Chats are about to start sound-check for the first leg of their first headline national tour. The show tonight is sold out. Their new song ‘Do What I Want’ has just been released. It’s already receiving good feedback, even though “it’s a bit different from Smoko”. The boys are wary of this. They’re frothing.
Nothing can equalize their rough-as-guts energy, even as they tune their bright-red guitars and toy with the sound tech. They pick up from the chorus of WOD’s ‘Top 5’ in a burst, as if someone has flicked a switch. And then they stop again.
“That ok with youse?”
The Chats are Eamon Sandwith (lead vocals/guitar), Josh Price (vocals/guitar) and Matt Bogis (drums). They met in high school, in a music class where they got away with murder. Luckily, not literally.
Bogis is an accomplished skater, Price isn’t too bad in the surf, and Sandwith is “too unco” for anything other than walking on flat ground. But what Sandwith can do is wrangle a microphone. The facial contortions he makes throughout their set put Jim Carrey to shame. The placid, albeit distracted Sandwith of hours earlier, turns into a tyrannosaurus on stage.
The Chats serve up that Cabana-stick kitsch that is an all-Aussie guilty pleasure. Songs like ‘Pub Feed’ are, well, pub rock at its finest happy hour. After all, this is a band that only lists on their triple j Unearthed profile under influences, “Beer”. They’ve even penned an ode to VB.
Though they insist their tastes are changing, as Sandwith quips “I walked in on him (Price) having a glass of Rosé last night”. But when pushed for more influences, they oblige.
Bogis tells us, “I’m into my blues; everything, anything, anything with real talent. Fuck the DJ’s”. This starts a rapid back and forth between the boys.
Sandwith: “See, I like music with the least talent involved”.
Bogis: “That takes talent though”.
They go on until they realise what’s probably most important for any band to have, even more so than talent: “we just learnt to put up with each other”, as Sandwith concedes.
One thing is for sure; The Chats have learnt a lot more than just getting along in the past six months. They’re not long home from touring with Aussie legends Cosmic Psycho’s, which was a real education.
“We had some ups and downs along the way, “me (Sandwith) and Pricey got real sick”- Sandwith with food poising and Price self-inflicted with Tequila.
“They taught us a few lessons on pushing on with a hangover.”
“We definitely grew a lot as a band on that tour.”
“Without even noticing it either,” they all concede.
The boys have come a mile from a shed-studio in Peregian beach, Noosa. After three consecutive national tours, The Chats are heading to Europe later this year.
“Even a year ago we were just getting small shows on the coast we were like fuck yeah we’re hyped.”
“You’d have like twenty people turn up and we’d be like YES, we’ve pulled a crowd boys.”
“I think we got paid a carton of beer for a year before we started getting real.”
During Forté’s chat, they mention they’re working on a full-length album and that we can expect new music on the tour. When the unavoidable Smoko question comes up, they’re not fazed. “What’s a band without a hit?”
When it’s time for the show, the boys begin their set with that same kick in the nuts, “We’re The Chats, get fucked.”
And when they treat us to a new song never played live before, CCTV, they tell us “count yaselves lucky”.
The Chats will be supporting Queens Of The Stone Age at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena on September 7 & 8.
Check out their website
Written by Darby-Perrin Larner
Foodie Traveller: Moules Mariniere
On a recent drive down to Portarlington, I was reminded of the time I backpacked through France and enjoyed so many new culinary delights. What reminded me most were the sea fresh black mussels, which are sold on the Port pier for a cheap $5 per kilo.
These salty, tender mussels are harvested right there in the bay so they are super fresh. If you fancy a nice drive to the Bellarine, get to it! While you’re there, grab some crusty sour dough, oven-baked at the Portarlington Bakehouse. Also while you’re down that way, ‘do yourself a favour’ and check out some of the best wineries in the country – just a stone’s throw away.
Here’s my quick and easy recipe for cooking these delectable morsels. It’s so simple with just a few fresh ingredients and literally takes 10 minutes to make. Just remember to de-beard the mussels and rinse beforehand.
(mussels in broth)
1/2 to 1 kilo of fresh black mussels
1 tomato (diced)
1/2 brown onion (diced)
1 large clove garlic (chopped)
2 sprigs parsley (chopped)
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup cream
1 tblsp. olive oil
In a large saucepan, heat oil and add onion, then add garlic and sauté until slightly browned. Add in mussels, stir and place lid on for 1/2 to 1 minute. Add the tomato and wine, and put lid back on for 2 to 3 minutes. Next stir again and add parsley and cream with lid on for one last minute. All mussels should be open now. Grind black pepper over and serve in a nice big bowl with crusty bread and a beer. Yummo!!
Stewart is a local chef and traveller of the region.
Follow Stew’s adventures, dishes and recipes via his website.
Written by Stewart Clarke
Ella Hooper unleashes indie pop anthem and announces Bigsound showcase
Charismatic naughties front woman and self-proclaimed ‘pop witch’ Ella Hooper is excited to reveal her latest solo offering ‘To The Bone’ – a cathartic disco pop number on burning bridges and starting anew.
The acclaimed vocalist and one half of Australian rock royalty Killing Heidi, Hooper has spent the last few years splitting her time between playing a series of shows to celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary, as well as dancing on her own two feet, with DJ sets nationally at Groovin’ The Moo, plus the release of her solo endeavour In Tongues and the double EP Venom/New Magic each earning her stripes as a remarkable force in her own right, and still one of Australia’s busiest musicians.
Now recognised as a true modern day pop goddess, Ella Hooper is set to bring her unprecedented stage attack and brazen charm to the 2018 Bigsound Festival in Brisbane come September.
Check her latest track below. This one packs a punch of both silliness and sexiness in a bombastic and deeply groovy indie banger reimagined through an apocalyptic disco lens.
It’s catchy doom pop you can’t help but get down to.
Top Five Tips For Touring Bands from nine piece band Black Bird Hum
Sydney roots-reggae band, Black Bird Hum, are no strangers to the live stage relentlessly touring the country regularly. This has not only won them legions of fans but also made them a favourite amongst festivals. As veterans of touring circuit, they share their best tips.
1. Get a really, really big van (we have nine people on tour). How ever many people you have, just get a couple spare seats. Gigs in Australia are hours apart and you don’t want to be sitting on top of each other for consecutive 10 hour stretches. Plus, you’ll have room for hitchhikers who can provide a distraction when you’re getting sick of talking to each other.
2. Take ear plugs in case your drummer snores really badly. I learnt this hard way at Nimbin Mardi Grass, and ended up taking a blanket and pillow and sleeping on the floor of our (really uncomfortable) van to escape our old drummers epic snoring.
3. Elect a new Tour Manager everyday based on who is last on the bus that morning. We’re late to everything. Soundchecks, gigs, interviews. No one wants to be tour manager, so this rule helped speed us up each morning.
4. Make it a rule that everyone has to shower before getting on the bus. On day one, the bus is a source of excitement. By day three, the novelty starts to wear off and you realise it stinks.
5. Talk to people who come to your shows. After your mums, they’re your next biggest fans. There’s people who we talked to after shows we played four or five years ago who still keep in touch and check in on when our next track is coming out.
Black Bird Hum’s new single ‘Say You Want’ is out now.