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REVIEW: STEVEN WILSON – PALAIS THEATRE, MELBOURNE

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 11, 2018

Steven Wilson, Palais Theatre, Melbourne. November 10, 2018
Review: Joshua Batten Photos: Sam Irving

Depending upon who you speak to, Steven Wilson is either the king of contemporary Prog Rock or a reverse-engineered attention seeker. In other words, he could be construed as the guy who’s trying to be commercially successful while making non-commercial music. Still, whenever Wilson comes to Australia, it’s a pilgrimage for prog fans young and old, all converging in one place to listen to songs that run for upwards of 10-13 minutes, with shoegazer-inspired guitar chugging, heart-tugging melodic passages, and heavy riffs in odd time signatures.

After two successful club tours of Australia, this was Wilson’s first show at St Kilda’s Palais Theatre. The upside of this meant that he and his band had a lot more space to work with, and his rear screen projections and light show could be seen clearly throughout the venue. Unlike previous video openings to SW concerts, which were more akin to Art Installations beginning as the doors opened and ending as the band walked onstage half an hour later, tonight as soon as the lights dimmed the show began with two minute short video called “Truth”. The video is a bit too complicated to explain here, but suffice to say it did fit in with the theme of the To The Bone album and its title track, which deals with the modern issue of truth as an absolute being questioned, as the rise of fake news and strong political ideals becomes more prevalent. I therefore found it strange that the band chose to open the show not with “To The Bone” but with the album’s second track “Nowhere Now”, which deals more with society moving backwards. This was followed by the album’s first single “Pariah”, which features vocals from Israeli singer Ninet Tayeb, whose parts were played off a tape with footage of her projected onto the rear screen.

The Palais is a seated venue, which works well for some of his older and much younger supporters who wouldn’t have attended the show otherwise, but doesn’t work so well for his core fanbase of Metalheads who are used to standing for the duration of the show. Wilson himself acknowledged this in his first talking spot of the evening, at which point he asked us to come to a compromise – sit for the first half of the show, stand for the second. The rest of the first half consisted mostly of the more experimental tunes from Wilson’s solo catalogue, including “Home Invasion/Regret #9”, “Refuge” and “Ancestral”. These songs showcased Wilson’s composition side, while also allowing for solo spots from keyboard player Adam Holtzman and guitarist Alex Hutchings. “Ancestral” had the most complicated light show of the night, while “Regret #9” and “The Same Asylum As Before” featured some bizarre rear screen videos that tried to bridge the gap between surrealism and reality.

After the intermission, everyone in the audience stood up, and immediately the whole vibe changed. As the Porcupine Tree epic “Arriving Somewhere But Not Here” slowly took shape, the enthusiasm from longtime fans became apparent with plenty of people singing along. This was one of many Porcupine Tree songs I’d never heard live before, and as such it was one of the highlights of the evening. Wilson then gave a lecture on the beauty of classic “Pop music”, and how it used to refer to things like ABBA and The Beatles, not Justin Bieber and The X Factor. With this notion, he encouraged us to do some “Disco dancing” to an “unashamedly joyous piece of pop music” and launched straight into “Permanating”. Even though this track has polarised some of Wilson’s core fans, everyone in the room seemed to enjoy it, from the musicians onstage to the fans in the back row.

For the rest of the second set, Wilson & co presented some newer tracks like “Song Of I” and “Detonation” and songs that were played at his last Melbourne show, including “Vermillioncore” and “Sleep Together”. Given that Wilson seems to be so interested in sophisticated pop music, I expected more of those kind of songs from his back catalogue, like “Halo”, “Piano Lessons” or “Harmony Korine” … but then the encore came.

Re-entering the stage solo with just his Fender Telecaster, Wilson launched into a ‘busker’ version of “Even Less”, a song which hadn’t been performed on either of PT’s Australian tours, and one of my personal favourites. To hear it played in a stripped back setting was amazing, and it was followed directly by my two other favourites, “The Sound Of Muzak” (“A miserable song with a catchy chorus”), and “The Raven That Refused To Sing” (“Just plain miserable”) complete with Jess Cope’s haunting stop-motion animation telling the story in front of our eyes.

Special credit needs to go to the members of Wilson’s backing band, who are all technically proficient in their own right. The aforementioned Holtzman and Hutchings have great jazz fusion chops which they used to advance the technicality onstage, drummer Craig Blundell is super-tight and powerful with occasional extra fills to add a bit of difference to the recorded versions of the songs, and bassist Nick Beggs switched between picked, fingered and slapped bass as well as adding Chapman stick and powerful backing vocals to several songs.

Going to a Steven Wilson concert for the first time is like a rite of passage for progressive rock fans and music fans in general. However, if you’ve already seen him in an intimate club setting like I have, it can be hard to make the switch over to a larger theatre. Still, his show is one of the few that comes to Australia which combines musical virtuosity with choreographed lighting & carefully planned visuals. If you’re interested in music of the Radiohead/Muse/Pink Floyd vibe with a bit of Metal thrown in, check out Steve’s music and start saving for his next tour – you’ll certainly get something out of it.

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GALLERY: STARS – LIZOTTES, NEWCASTLE

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 9, 2018

Gallery: Stars
Lizottes, Newcastle. November 4, 2108
Photos by Richard Hogan

After over 35 years, Australian country rock legends Stars are back with the original line up; Mick Pealing on vocals and guitar, Mal Eastick on guitar, Roger McLachlan on bass and Glyn Dowding on drums and featuring Nick Charles on guitar. At Lizottes in Newcastle last week, the band played a stunning set, performing tracks from their 2 studio albums “Paradise” and Land Of Fortune”, “The Andrew Durant Memorial Concert” and the new album “Boundary Rider “ Richard Hogan was there to capture the action.
https://www.starsofficial.com

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DEAFHEAVEN 2019 AUSTRALIAN TOUR ANNOUNCED

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 8, 2018

Handsome Tours is proud to announce that Deafheaven will once again grace Australian shores next year, off the back of their latest album ‘Ordinary Corrupt Human Love’.

The tour follows Deafheaven’s famed 2016 visit, which saw the Californian outfit become the first black metal band ever to perform at the Sydney Opera House as part a stacked VividLIVE program also featuring Bon Iver, New Order and Anohni. This once-in-a-lifetime performance was described by Noisey as “dense, immense and immaculate” and inspired one MusicFeeds writer to herald it “one of the most enthralling and sonically captivating gigs of my professional career”.

Continuing the impressive legacy of their highly acclaimed second album ‘Sunbather’ and subsequent release ‘New Bermuda’, Deafheaven’s ‘Ordinary Corrupt Human Love’ sees the band expand on their kinetic sound with layered psychedelic vocals, jazz-inspired percussion, and intricate piano melodies. The album earned a stunning 8.5/10 from Pitchfork and the ominous crown of “true post-metal fusion” from Rolling Stone.

Formed in San Francisco in 2010, Deafheaven (vocalist George Clarke, guitarists Kerry McCoy and Shiv Mehra, and drummer Dan Tracy) made their debut with 2011’s ‘Roads To Judah’ and enjoyed an unexpected crossover hit with 2013’s ‘Sunbather’. Since then, the band’s genre-defying sound has made them one of the most divisive and disarming bands in modern metal and their lauded live show has recruited fans from all corners of the globe.

Tickets to these intimate headline shows in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney are on sale now and will move swiftly. Act fast.

DEAFHEAVEN
2019 AUSTRALIAN TOUR

Friday February 22, 2019
Perth Festival, Perth

Sunday February 24, 2019
Crowbar, Brisbane

Wednesday February 27, 2019
Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Thursday February 28, 2019
Manning Bar, Sydney

Tickets on sale now

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FIVE MORE BLUESFEST SIDE SHOWS ANNOUNCED

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 7, 2018

David Gray, Flogging Molly, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Meshell Ndegeocello, Shakey Graves added to Bluesfest road show!

After scaling enormous heights with album sales over 12 million (including the highest selling album ever to-date in Ireland with ‘White Ladder’), BAFTA, Brit and Grammy nominations, a Q Award, two Ivor Novellos and much more, David Gray returns revitalised with a new perspective, energy and new sound to take to his adoring Australian fanbase. With a loyal fanbase and a plethora of albums to enjoy, there’s no doubt tickets to see David Gray live in Australia this April will be in high demand.

Quintessential Irish-American Celtic folk/punk band Flogging Molly is leaving California this April to once again dazzle Australia with their wild live performance tactics. Known for their distinctive fusion of traditional Irish music and often abrasive hard-hitting punk rock, their impassioned live show has won the hearts of many Aussies over the past two decades. They will continue in that vein, playing an assortment of shows in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.

Lukas Nelson, the son of Willie Nelson and friend of Bluesfest is returning to tour Australia with his band Promise Of The Real on the heels of tremendous accolades for his work on Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s ‘A Star Is Born’ soundtrack. With a bounty of invaluable experience under their belt, expect Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real to deliver an indelible blast of cosmic country-soul, the sound of American music will be reborn in Melbourne and Sydney this April.

American singer-songwriter, rapper, multi-instrumentalist and bassist, Meshell Ndegeocello is coming to Sydney to perform a headline show this April. Over the past 25 years Meshell has received significant critical acclaim including 10 Grammy Award nominations and credit for helping spark the Neo-Soul movement.

Shakey Graves a.k.a Alejandro Rose-Garcia was born in Austin Texas to a musical family and is best-known for playing a smoky, spectral fusion of blues, folk and rock in a stripped down one-man-band style established in 2007. His live performances can be deceiving. Up to now, he’s been categorized as an Americana singer-songwriter, thanks to his traditionally rooted songs, fluent acoustic-guitar picking, Texas roots and from wearing his cowboy hat, looking like a one-man country band. But, the tag will undoubtedly be dismissed as restrictive and irrelevant once discerning listeners hear his radical new album performed live in Melbourne and Sydney this April.

For further information please see bluesfesttouring.com.au

On-sale dates for ALL artists
Pre-sale 10 am Local Time Wednesday 14th November
On-sale 10 am Local Time Friday 16th November
Venues, dates and ticketing links

David Gray
Sun 14th April 2019, Riverside Theatre Perth
Tue 16th April 2019, Enmore Theatre Sydney
Sat 20th April 2019, Palais Theatre Melbourne

Flogging Molly
Fri 12th April 2019, Powerstation Auckland
Sun 14th April 2019, HQ Adelaide
Wed 17th April 2019, 170 Russell, Melbourne
Thu 18th April 2019, The Metro Sydney

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Wed 17th April 2019 The Corner, Melbourne
Thu 18th April 2019, Factory Theatre, Sydney

Meshell Ndegeocello
Sat 20th April, The Factory Theatre Sydney

Shakey Graves
Mon 22nd April 2019 The Factory Theatre Sydney
Tue 23rd April 2019, The Corner Melbourne-
Wed 24th April, The Powerstation Auckland NZ

bluesfesttouring.com.au

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IT’S M. E. BAIRD’S TIME

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 6, 2018

M.E. Baird is a Singer-Songwriter and Artist. For M.E. Baird music and art is much more than just pursuits. They are his life force and foundation. M.E. Baird yields from the songbook of Folk, Rock and Blues with his own original interpretations that are enigmatic, deeply emotive, and visually rich.  His live performances are nothing short of compelling with his lamenting vocal style and singular stage presence.  Since beginning his career in 1992, M.E. Baird has toured nationally, and internationally, has written, and recorded four albums and several Up’s.  He has also contributed songs to compilations and soundtracks including original compositions for film and television internationally. Yet, he is practically unknown in his own country.

In 2014, M.E. Baird recorded FALL in Melbourne. His first truly solo album in twenty years. Due to personal circumstances and relocation north to New South Wales the album wasn’t officially released until May 2016.  FALL was an album burdened with personal tragedy, loss and grief resulting in an unavoidable sorrowful feel to the material.  The Album received critical acclaim and was hailed for its emotive intensity.

M.E. Baird’s follow up solo album and 5th long player, TIME is a tad more upbeat. At its core the album is a lyrical and sonic journey through age, experience and a testament to the passing of ‘time’. The tracks on TIME individually explore varied sub texts ranging from belonging, coming of age, corruption, migration, fortune, misfortune, contempt, loneliness and the joy of being alone.

All tracks for the album were written in the winter of 2016 and recording of the album began in the following winter. The album was recorded at Wild Mountain Sound Studio, Brisbane located amongst the sublime beauty of Mt Nebo’s Eucalyptus forests. The album was produced by producer/musician, Jamie Trevaskis.  Jamie and M.E. Baird had mused for some time about recording a new album together, with Jamie playing a leading and creative role in the co- production of the album.  When recording began it became instantly clear that Jamie, as a collaborator was be able to transport the songs sonically into a universe far beyond the ordinary.

It was important for the songs narrative to tell Jamie Trevaskis where the song/story needed to go sonically. Where a song needed to be tough, it had to be threatening, where it needed to be honest, it needed to be candid, where there was tenderness, it must be achingly forgiving and where there’s was anger, it’s uncompromised.  It was creatively vital that the album not pander to any genre, audience or expectations, of course, there is some hat tipping and influences evident; it would be arrogant to pretend otherwise. Both Jamie and M.E. Baird wanted to show that it is an album born of maturity, rigour, determination, and patience.

With this album there was a return to how M.E. Baird made records in the past. All tracks were recorded to analogue tape, predominantly live and with very little overdubs. This was done not for nostalgic reasons but for a more ‘authentic’ audio representation. It also places more emphasis on musicianship rather than software know-how and digital trickery.

In regards to band members, most notable in the line up is Welsh/Australian songstress Sali Bracewell with her piano/keyboard skills and extraordinary vocal talents.  Sali’s vocal dexterity is featured on many of the songs but most clearly on the title track, Time and My Girl. Also key to the process was long time collaborator, Hannah Jane who provided her distinctive and haunting string arrangements, violin playing and virtuous vocals.  Seconded from Brisbane, bands Sacred Shrines and Hillsborough for the rhythm section were new friends, Phil Usher on drums and Robbie Zawada on bass, truly two of Brisbane’s finest musicians.  Lastly, but certainly not least, was notable Brisbane singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Skye Staniford who provided percussion. The album was Mastered by Andy ‘The Master’ Stewart at The Mill Mixing and Mastering, studio, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.”

http://www.mebairdmusic.com
https://soundcloud.com/mebaird
http://www.facebook.com/mebairdpage

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MELBOURNE MUSIC WEEK DETAILS ‘FREE’ STUFF!

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 6, 2018


No dosh? No worries. Melbourne Music Week’s FREE program has you covered.

Melbourne Music Week (MMW) has shared details of the FREE programming portion of the nine day music event, ensuring incredible live music, engaging talks, and bold explorations of sight and sound are available for all.

Here’s  a few of the free events happening

Officially kicking off Melbourne Music Week’s opening night is a Welcome to Country at Fed Square on Friday November 16 at 6pm. The Welcome to Country will recognise and acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which Melbourne Music Week gathers and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. Opening night will then see an all-Victorian line-up grace the stage at Fed Square, with free sets by DRMNGNOW, ALTA (pictured above) , Sui Zhen and one of Melbourne’s favourite party starters, Ara Koufax.

The new MMW Busking Program invites emerging talent to partake in a paid programming slot throughout the week. Having seen the likes of Tash Sultana rise from street side performances to sell out stadiums, the program was initiated by City of Melbourne to celebrate and encourage busking as a legitimate pathway into the music industry. From the Night Noodle Markets at Birrarung Marr through to CBD alleyways and arterials, Melbourne’s up-and-comers will bash out their best wares, also taking home a 12 month permit to continue their craft.

There’s also a huge program of free panels and discussions under the MMW: Talks umbrella. Topics include ethics in music journalism, Melbourne’s night-time economy, sound healing and music therapy, connecting to the Chinese music market, how to run inclusive music events and more. The MMW: Talks program will also feature MMW headliner Jeff Mills, with an in-depth discussion with film maker Amiel Courtin-Wilson (Bastardy, Ruin, Chasing Buddha) on the visual worlds of music – a rare opportunity to hear from one of the world’s biggest names in techno. The MMW: Talks program is held in multiple locations across the city including NGV, MPavilion, State Library Victoria, SIGNAL and Melbourne Town Hall.
The Sound School 2018 Showcase on Saturday 17 November is a free, all ages event that hosts debut performances from synth, DJ and music production superstars from SIGNAL Arts, Phoenix Youth Centre and Footscray Community Arts programs as well as artists from their 2018 electronic music workshops in Melbourne.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s ensemble in residence, PLEXUS, will perform at the NGV on Sunday 18 November. The daytime performance is a contemporary response to the iconic Roger Kemp tapestries that adorn the Great Hall and is free with registration. Later that afternoon, Wergaia and Wemba Wemba woman and winner of Triple J’s Unearthed National Indigenous Music Awards, Alice Skye, will perform for free at the stunning MPavilion, showcasing her new debut album Friends With Feelings and its rumination of love, loss and life..

On Wednesday November 21, Jack Daniel’s presents a free gig at Cherry Bar featuring indie-rock band Slowly Slowly. Riding high from the release of their highly acclaimed new album St. Leonards, Slowly Slowly are proving exactly why they are earmarked to be one of 2018’s breakout independent bands.

On the same night, Rooftop Cinema presents NOW SOUND: Melbourne’s Listening – a free feature length documentary exploring Melbourne’s love for music. Directed by accomplished music film director Tobias Willis and produced by music journalist Marcus Rimondini, The documentary tells stories of the trials and tribulations that constantly threaten to demolish Melbourne’s iconic music culture and the unending passion that revives and sustains it.

13 of Melbourne’s most loved live music venues will swing open their doors for free on Thursday November 22 as part of MMW’s infamous Live Music Safari. From 3pm to 5am, locals like Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar, Section 8, The Toff, Boney, The Curtin, Belleville and Cherry Bar will host talent like HABITS, Mesa Cosa, HEXDEBT, Huntly, SILENTJAY, Regurgitator, Warped and Vince Peach for free. Leave the wallet at home and get ready for a musical meander around one of the world’s best live music cities.

For more detail on MMW’s free programming, visit the Melbourne Music Week website mmw.melbourne.vic.gov.au  

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HOLY ‘MOLER’, THEY’RE BACK!

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 2, 2018

Announced last week, the original members of Melbourne’s 1990’s dynamic post-punk pop trio, Moler, are celebrating 25 years since they first formed with a special one-off reunion show in Melbourne. Gracing the stage of The Curtin Hotel in Carlton on Friday November 23 will be founding members Helen Cattanach (Helcat) on bass guitar/lead vocals, Julien Poulson on lead guitar with David Peacock and Steven Boyle sharing the drums.

According to music journalist, music historian and author Ian McFarlane, “[Moler] built-up a buzz around the Melbourne independent scene with its mix of noisy guitar fuzz, hard-driving beats, strident pop melodies and Cattanach’s alternately sweet’n’purring and aggressive vocals.” Moler had it all – triple j high rotation, ARIA noms, and killer support slots alongside international acts Weezer and Ash, and much loved locals The Fauves, Cosmic Psychos and Magic Dirt. Moler were also a part of the 1997 triple j Turn Up Your Radio Tour, alongside The Mavis’s and The Earthmen.

Originally called Snuff, the trio broke onto the scene with their five-track EP, Driven (1995), soon after they changed their name to Moler and signed with Mushroom Records offshoot, Infectious Records. They hit the ground running with their unique brand of heavy rock laden with searing hooks, scoring a spot on popular ABC Saturday morning music program, Recovery, with a blistering performance of Shopping Trolley, the lead track from the trio’s debut EP On Special (1996). Wasting no time, they released a second five-track EP, Coaster, in September (1996).

In early 1997, Peacock departed the band with Steve Boyle replacing him on the skins. It is with Boyle they released four-track EP, Infatuation (1997), the title track was added to high rotation on triple j and also featured on the band’s ARIA-nominated debut full length release, Golden Duck (1997) alongside popular singles Invite Me To Your Party and Red Light Disco. In 1998, Boyle was replaced by Damo Costin (Motor Ace) for the single release of Delicious (1998), however Costin’s time with the band was short lived with Motor Ace’s popularity on the rise, and he was replaced by Neil Lynch. In 1999, Pirates’ Lament was released with yet another revolving drummer, Darren Seltmann (The Avalanches) featuring on that recording. Mike Glenn (HOSS) joined the band in early 2000 for a tour of the United States in March. The group’s final release, Red & White Stripes (2001) a four-track EP, the title track the single, featured Geoff Dunbar on drums. They disbanded in the same year.

The always constant Cattanach and Poulson have remained true to their art. Julian has taken Cambodian psychedelic music to the world via the Cambodian Space Project, with a recent documentary of the same name going to air on ABC TV. Cattanach still fronts her own band Los Dominados with husband Mike Alonso, their 5th studio album is being launched later this month. Cattanach was recently part of the house band for the ABC Spicks and Specks reunion show, alongside Adalita (Magic Dirt), Kram (Spiderbait), and Ash Naylor (Even) to go to air on November 4th.

Excited to be getting the band back together, Peacock throws his two cents in about the upcoming show, “There’s no new rekkid, in fact our records are so rare you can’t buy/stream or download them anymore from anywhere. So come hear them live, loud and most probably a little loose to celebrate 25 years of Moler”. Everyone feels a little hazy about the epic whirlwind that was Moler, as Cattanach jokes, “I can’t remember a thing! What happened?”

Moler in four words? How bout five? – Memories, Oscilliations, Loops, Echoes, and Reverberations, says Poulson – adding “We were a band made better suited for art galleries, or more so, for the movies of our minds, than for the grungy clubs of the Nirvana Nineties but what fun we had! Traveling the length and breadth of the country in a vintage Valiant hearse bought from the Wodonga Undertakers…I mean who does that? Moler that’s who! And I can almost feel that old Hemi firing up again”.
Special guests – include supports from Glomesh and Digger & The Pussycats.

MOLER 25TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION SHOW
FRI 23 NOV | THE CURTIN HOTEL, CARLTON VIC | 18+
Tickets available from johncurtinhotel.com

Watch: SHOPPING TROLLEY LIVE ON RECOVERY

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MELBOURNE GUITAR NIGHT SPRING EDITION

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 2, 2018

The Melbourne Guitar Night is back! Australian Musician and the Melbourne Guitar Show in conjunction with the Australian production team behind the acclaimed music documentary Acoustic Uprising, supported by the Australian Music Association and NAMM present the second Melbourne International Guitar Night at the Toff in Town on Wednesday November 28.

The Melbourne Guitar Night is a curated night of modern acoustic guitar, featuring performances by international and Australian talent pushing at the boundaries of the instrument. A packed house witnessed the first Melbourne Guitar Night back in August with wonderful performances from Janine Marshall, Van Larkins, Malcura, and Thomas Leeb. Check out our review of MGN1 HERE

Headlining MGN edition 2 is world touring guitar extraordinaire Adam Miller. Anyone who saw Adam at the Melbourne Guitar Show this year will know about his sophisticated groove and jazz influenced finger-picking mastery. Beautifully unpredictable, his shows are improvisation filled performances that are “downright danceable”. Adam is supported by a virtuoso line up of Australian modern acoustic/singer songwriters including Phisha, (Melbourne), Cooper Lower (Warnambool) and Sonia Serin (Melbourne).

Show curator Drew Roller has done a fabulous job in putting together these shows with a great mix of artists that highlight the diversity of the guitar. The grand plan for the Melbourne Guitar Night is to become a leading destination for guitar music of all kinds in Australia and a place for international acts to come and perform. It will also be a great forum to foster and develop new guitar talent.

THE MELBOURNE GUITAR NIGHT SPRING EDITION
WED 28th of NOVEMBER

TICKETS
https://moshtix.com.au/v2/event/melbourne-guitar-nigth-showcase/108252

Check out Van Larkins performing at Melbourne Guitar Night #1

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FENDER ANNOUNCES LTD EDITION JIMMY PAGE TELECASTER

Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - October 30, 2018

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced it is collaborating with one of rock’s most legendary guitar players – Jimmy Page – to recreate his famous 1959 Fender Telecaster 50 years after Led Zeppelin formed in October 1968. Among music’s most iconic guitars is Jimmy Page’s Telecaster, known for its two “mirror” and “dragon” designs. It helped launch Page’s career in The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, and the guitar was used to record “Led Zeppelin I” along with countless hit songs on world-renowned albums. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin and Page’s storied career as a guitar icon, Fender will release four artist signature guitar models throughout 2019, giving fans and collectors the chance to own a piece of history. Two models will be made on Fender’s production lines, and two will be produced in the Fender Custom Shop – dubbed the “Limited Edition Jimmy Page Telecaster Set.”
“It’s an incredible honor that one of the most-respected rock legends has entrusted Fender to recreate one of his most-prized guitars,” said Mike Lewis, VP of Product Development at Fender Custom Shop. “Some of the most-esteemed artists in the world work with the Fender Custom Shop, because it is the pinnacle of craftsmanship for the Fender brand and the guitar-building community.”

“This unique Fender Telecaster has an amazing backstory and helped inspire some of the greatest rock music of all time, both in the later years of The Yardbirds and at the genesis of Led Zeppelin,” added Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “Now we’re giving a new generation of players access to two great instruments in honor of Jimmy, his storied career and amazing musical body of work created and performed on this guitar.”
Page originally received the Telecaster in 1966 from Jeff Beck, who gifted it to Page for recommending him to The Yardbirds. Through the years, the Telecaster took on several looks and personas, as Page customized it aesthetically and sonically. When he first received it, the guitar was undecorated in its factory white blonde finish and remained that way until February 1967, when he added eight circular mirrors to the body. Page played his mirrored Telecaster only briefly in the final years of The Yardbirds, and by mid-1967 he was ready to change the look. He removed the mirrors, completely stripped and repainted the instrument himself, this time hand-painting a mystical dragon on the body.


When Led Zeppelin was formed in October 1968, the Dragon Telecaster became Page’s go-to instrument and he played it on stage and in the studio until 1969. It was also the main guitar used on the legendary Led Zeppelin I album. Page went on tour in 1969, and upon his return, he discovered a friend had kindly stripped the body and painted over the dragon paint job. The paint job compromised the sound and wiring, leaving only the neck pickup working. He salvaged the neck and put it on his brown string bender Tele, and has since re-stripped and restored the body in full.

“This guitar is so special and has so much history, so I approached Fender to see if they’d be interested in recreating it,” Page said. “They really got it 110 percent right, or 150 percent right. It’s so absolutely as it is, as it should be, and as it was.”
“Visiting the Fender Custom Shop to sign and paint the guitars with Paul Waller was a real thrill,” he added. “To see all those absolute gems on the wall, it’s a pretty amazing experience.”

Among the four artist signature models will be two highly collectible, limited edition Fender Custom Shop versions masterbuilt by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Paul Waller – one with mirrors and the other with the painted dragon. For nearly eight months, Page has worked closely with Paul Waller, Master Builder at the Fender Custom Shop, to advise throughout the process, assuring every detail was accurately recreated. Only 50 units of each Fender Custom Shop model will be made available with personal touches from Page himself, including a handwritten signature on the headstock and hand-painted flourishes on the guitar body’s dragon artwork. Known for its world-renowned quality and craftsmanship, the Fender Custom Shop has built instruments for some of the world’s most-esteemed guitar and bass players over the past 31 years.

“Jimmy first approached us in February with the idea to recreate this Telecaster, and as we were planning, I could feel his passion throughout the process,” said Paul Waller, Fender Custom Shop Master Builder. “To achieve his vision, I wanted to get every little detail replicated exactly, so you couldn’t tell the difference from the originals and these models. That’s what we’re known for in the Fender Custom Shop: quality craftsmanship and authenticity.”

Fender will also build both mirror and painted versions on its production lines, which will be more accessibly priced for a broader base of fans to purchase. While these will not be hand-signed and hand-painted by the artist, Page did consult with Fender throughout the design process to ensure the guitars are true-to-spec of the original Telecaster.

All Jimmy Page models will be released throughout 2019 and will be available at local dealers. Fender will reveal the complete model lineup in January 2019. In true tradition, Fender’s Artist Signature Series models honor popular and iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. Photos of Jimmy Page and Fender Custom Shop Master Builder can be found here. Access the teaser video for the guitar release here.

For additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. To learn more about Fender Custom Shop, visit www.fendercustomshop.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender. Follow Jimmy Page on Facebook and Twitter @JimmyPage.

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RUFUS WAINWRIGHT POSES FEBRUARY AUSTRALIAN TOUR

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - October 24, 2018

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation, announces his return to Australia in February 2019. With special shows at LA’s Orpheum Theatre and Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame later this year, Rufus will begin celebrating the 20th Anniversary of his 1998 self-titled debut album, and the 2001 follow up Poses.

Rufus will bring his All These Poses Tour to the Adelaide Festival on Friday 22nd February, Sydney’s stunning Enmore Theatre on Tuesday 26th February, before playing two Melbourne shows at the esteemed Zoo Twilights series and Melbourne Recital Centre on Saturday 23rd and Monday 25th February respectively. The tour will finish at Canberra Theatre on Thursday 28th February.

Melding both the beautifully moving with the powerful and bombastic, the broad spectrum of Rufus Wainwright’s talents will be on full display when he returns to Australia in 2019, performing his most beloved songs from his first two albums. In a prolific career, the New York born, Montreal-raised singer songwriter has released nine studio albums of critically acclaimed chamber-pop, and three live albums, including the Grammy-nominated Rufus Does Judy At Carnegie Hall.

Renowned for his mesmerising stage presence and scintillating vocals, Rufus has collaborated with many of the world’s greatest artists including; Elton John, Robbie Williams, Pet Shop Boys, Joni Mitchell, Robert Wilson, Lou Reed, Boy George and producer, Mark Ronson.

In 2009, the singer-songwriter-composer’s first opera, Prima Donna, premiered at the Manchester International Festival, followed by a run at Sadler’s Wells in 2010 and a 2012 American premiere for New York City Opera at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.  Rufus’ second opera, Hadrian, based on the story of the intriguing Roman Emperor, made its debut in Toronto on October 13 by the Canadian Theatre Company.

Rachel Eckroth will be supporting on all dates. Performing experimental jazz-pop, the US artist is an enthralling and seasoned live artist, who has played in KT Tunstall’s band, experimental jazz trio Antelog, and will also appear in Rufus Wainwright’s touring band on his upcoming dates.

Don’t miss Rufus Wainwright on his exciting All These Poses Australian Tour – and discover why Rufus has been affectionately referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and praised by The New York Times for his “genuine originality.”

“20 years, what can I say?” states Wainwright. “In life, one stands the test of time but in music, thankfully, one reaps the rewards. Come savour a very fine vintage of songs, those were some pretty good years!”

TICKETS ON SALE 10AM, MONDAY 29TH OCTOBER 2018 (LOCAL TIME)*

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT | ALL THESE POSES AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2019

With Special Guest Rachel Eckroth

ADELAIDE
Friday 22nd February – Adelaide Festival
adelaidefestival.com.au

MELBOURNE
Saturday 23rd February – Zoo Twilights, Melbourne Zoo
With Special Guests Mojo Juju & Rachel Eckroth
zootwilights.org.au

MELBOURNE
Monday 25th February – Melbourne Recital Centre
melbournerecital.com.au

SYDNEY
Tuesday 26th February – Enmore Theatre
ticketek.com.au

CANBERRA
Thursday 28th February – Canberra Theatre Centre
canberratheatrecentre.com.au

*Melbourne Zoo on sale at 8am, Tuesday 30th October 2018

For more information go to:
Rufuswainwright.com

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