GREASE, a review, by Dzintra Menesis by Newcastle Discovered

When Kian offered me two tickets to attend opening night for Grease at The Newcastle Entertainment centre, I practically jumped out of my skin at the opportunity. As a student juggling assessments whilst working full-time, I don’t tend to “get out” much. Opening night for Grease was a chance for me to kick-up my heels and have some fun… And gosh, did we have some fun!

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AMY VEE - I AM THE FIRE by Kian West

I'M SITTING here close to crying as I listen to the newest single by stellar artist Amy Vee. Not necessarily because 'I am the fire' is a sad song, if anything it feels empowering in a way. But I'm feeling an emotional overload that tends to happen to me when I hear people bearing their soul in music. It's a song that reminds me of the band 'George' and of the rich singer/songwriter history that this country has produced and it makes me really excited to hear the rest of Amy's music to come. 

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TRACK PREMIERE - "Weightlessness" Lachlan X. Morris by Ryan Williams

About 6 months ago, in the deep  sweaty armpit that was last summer, Lachlan X Morris invited me to RTN and for me to blow the dust off my old trumpet from high school (that is not a euphemism for anything else, either). I honked and bleeped through 2 songs on his new album. Now the thing is ready - I think he's photoshopped my trumpet into something that actually sounds pretty good. 

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ALTAI - ALTAI EP by Kian West

These young boys have been on our radar since they played at a TNL event late last year (Or was it this year? Time flies hey...) and opened things up with an incredible set. 

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TRACK PREMIERE - "Other People" - Nicholas Connors by Ryan Williams

Something happened to Nicholas Connors in Melbourne. Something good.

The singer/songwriter returned from the big city last year and has since been spotted haunting the live music venues of this city - as well as the recording studio. Watching his set, either solo or with his band (the Lords of Leisure) I'm often sad it's over.

This first offering from the upcoming EP is reflective songwriting at it's finest. "Other People" is a cold-blooded-blues dissection of our interactions with.. you guessed it, other people. At least that's what I get from it. There a serious nod to Jim Morrison and L.A. Woman too. Music to accompany a long drive by the beaches to.

Reconnecting with previous collaborator and engineer Fraser Marshall (PALS, Lachlan X. Morris, RAAVE TAPES) a new EP is due to release later this year. I can't wait.

Wavevom - I Learnt 2 Swim by Kian West

A very short jangly surf-punk rock song from 2 piece Wavevom. Jed yells at the mic a sad tale of missing out on sunshine and hanging out with friends. These guys create a wall of sound for two pretty simple guys thrashing at drums and guitar. It's an unpolished raw sound that fits perfectly with Newcastles love affair with guitar rock turn pub rock turn stadium hit. Simple, but entertaining. 

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Review: Baltic Bar-Mitzvah, The Bean Project and The Dew Cats by Laura Kebby

Review: Baltic Bar-Mitzvah, The Bean Project and The Dew Cats at the Commons Sunday 18/9/16

By Laura Kebby

It seems that on any given night of the week a little niche corner of our town is suddenly transformed into a bustling hub of talented musos singing their heart out. This Sunday night at the Commons was absolutely no exception. A select few gathered to watch The Dew Cats, The Bean Project and Baltic Bar-Mitzvah treat punters to a folk extravaganza.

 

The Dew Cats opened the evening with some gypsy jazz with a twist. Fusing traditional jazz tunes with popular contemporary tracks leaving audience members truly coloured impressed. Steph’s vocals were sultry and dangerous with the ever important air of mystery, whilst Julian and Sam bounced effortlessly from one another furiously showcasing incredible talent on guitar. Nick on double bass was stoic, steady and deliberately focused, as all good double bass players are, serving as a backbone to a really incredible set.

 

Melbourne hipsters (because everyone from Melbourne is a hipster in their own right and proud of it) gave the crowd a lively set of alt-folk with just the right amount of country to make my heart swoon. Their rendition of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire was beautiful and brilliant as they put their own spin to the cult classic somehow managing to make the French Horn sound as effortlessly cool and rock and roll as Jimmy Hendrix at Woodstock (well… maybe not that cool but they were a really great band!).

 

It’s Tuesday today. And still I sit here floored by the performance produced by Baltic Bah-Mitzvah. So fabulously high energy, spontaneous and sporadic their performance was, that I can’t stress enough that you truly do need to see them to believe just how great they are. Hannah Murray is an incredible front-woman, who filled the room with her presence and passion for music. Backed by her (merry) band (of followers) the kids brought the house down.

 

The Commons is one of those venues where you feel so incredibly warm and welcome. The BYO (with $5 corkage) aspect is a winner with punters and no matter what the crux of the line up is, you are guaranteed to experience a great show in a cosy music lovers paradise. 

 

PS> Read all about The Dew Cats in our October issue! 

Paper Thin EP - A Review by Laura Kebby

I’ve written before about the music community and the amount of talent that seems to circulate, generating an apparently endless stream of talented musos doing talented things. This particular project however, seems to be the absolute cream of the crop. From my very first listen I was so full of pride at exactly how evident this is, in terms of the hard work that has gone into creating this EP. Paper Thin, the new project from Newy heavyweights, Spencer, William, Liam and Aidan have produced an EP that even prior to its release was generating a whole heap of hype. And rightfully so. Although some may be quick to liken their sound to a mash up of Wil Wagner (particularly the early ‘Us Boys Run’ sound) with the backing of a full band à la ‘Fear Like Us’ and ‘Like… Alaska’, there is a true sense of depth and home town personability about their sound. Hearing Spencer sing is so much more like debriefing with a mate after a hard day than it is simply listening to a band meshing together some killer sounds. The entire listening experience is this transference of feeling, a mutual understanding. Whether you’re at a ‘bus stop on Hunter Street or Southern Cross Station’. As a collective, Paper Thin really mesh this beautiful combination of backyard punk with purposeful production.

 

Track wise, Japan song is a standout, a jangly, catchy and colourful tune that had me tapping my steering wheel profusely whilst lost in traffic. The full band revamp of Spencer Scott fanbase favourite “Hotel Spencer” is entirely wonderful and also doubles as an incredible live music experience. In fact the whole EP is backed by punchy hooks and a killer full band sound that makes you forget about even the deepest and darkest corners of your mind that make up ‘the state of your life mate’.

 

The Paper Thin EP is out now through Lost Boy records and is available here: http://www.lostboyrecords.com/product/paper-thin-paper-thin

And preview some tracks on triple J unearthed here: https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/paper-thin

 

Also, the guys will be playing a show at the Hamilton Station aka God’s Country on Thursday evening to launch this really great EP check out their Facebook page for more details (https://www.facebook.com/PaperThinNewcastle

Ceilings – "Animals" by Laura Kebby

Tracks like this are the reason I am in this business. Immediate comparisons to Aussie indie-heavyweights the Jezabels, Newcastle based Ceilings create beautifully atmospheric indie rock. Their debut track “Animals” builds effortlessly, with so many wonderful yet complex and perfectly produced layers that had me hugging my headphones for more. Ceilings manage to layer aspects of pure joy with a fusion of depth and undercover darkness and with every listen I hear something new, as the complexities continue to surface. Holly’s vocals seem to add this wonderful air of mystery and intrigue and had me chasing the true meaning behind the “Twilight Hours”. I cannot wait to hear more. (no really, please, more music). Ceilings are playing at the Edwards bar at 7pm this Friday! I’ll be there, the one with the notebook at the bar, looking happy and content at being surrounded by talented people doing talented things. 

ANIMALS is out NOW! Listen on Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2a07Uod

If you're really frothing, you can purchase on iTunes too
http://bit.ly/2a09iqM

 

RMC – EP Review – “I just have a lot of feelings” by Laura Kebby

The latest installment in the Rachel-Maria Cox aka RMC saga definitely rings true to the EP title. “I just have a lot of feelings” is a collection of tunes that never fails to hit extremely close to home. It’s actually a really surreal experience listening to the EP, leaving you feeling both exposed and privileged that you’ve suddenly been privy to a snapshot of the deepest and darkest corners of RMC’s mind. There is a real art to creating extremely introspective music, weaving deeply personal streams of consciousness through guitar chords and down beats.  It can be very hit and miss, like listening to a conversation that you didn’t really want to be a part of, but listening to “I just have a lot of feelings” made me want to sit cross legged with a tea by candlelight and glue together all of the missing pieces. 

An absolute standout is “A phone I can’t use”, an extremely catchy, upbeat commentary on the internal battle of cataloging memorable interactions, and clinging to the promise of a late night text tone. It’s a wonderful microcosm of introspection, masked by clever, oh so catchy indie-pop and before you realise it, you’re bopping along to an extremely personal internal monologue, blindsided by feelings. And I absolutely love it.  

Musically it’s great to hear that although RMC is backed by a (flipping talented) full band, their voice still sits at the forefront, making deep cuts as if talking directly to the listener, something that has carried over from their acoustic live show to the in house EP listening experience. The bottom line? “I just have a lot of feelings” is a really great EP, from an incredibly wonderful artist.

Want to know /hear more? Everything is apparently coming up Milhouse, as RMC’s EP launch tour kicks off this Thursday at the Lass O’Gowrie to coincide with the EP’s physical release via Sad Grrrls Club. You can also pre-order the full EP as well as preview the track “A phone I can’t use” on band camp (https://rachelmariacox.bandcamp.com/). You can also find out more about RMC in the latest print issue of Newcastle Mirage when it starts appearing in all sorts of cool places around Newcastle. 

 

 

Jones The Cat - Past On Smile EP review by Laura Kebby by Laura Kebby

Jones The Cat - Past On Smile EP review

By Laura Kebby

I am continuously blown away by the amount of talent and passion coming from our town, and the upcoming EP from local outfit “Jones the Cat” is absolutely no exception. Although I could say, that their EP “Paste on Smile” is an exception of sorts, it’s so far from “just another indie-punk album”. There’s this magnificent undertone of clear cut and purposeful composition flowing through each and every track. As a true concept artist, frontman Jack writes songs layered with conflict yet somehow each piece falls perfectly into its rightful angsty punk place. Track wise, “Wasted” playfully pays homage to bender regrets and borrowed blankets with an unbelievably catchy hook and an ever relatable chorus. It’s a song that will leave you throwing your head back, spilling bear on your mates and singing at the top of your lungs. On the much more (deliciously) darker side of the EP, “I want you still” combines a raw flurry of spoken word with a dirty and oh so incredible punk-rock backbone. Easily my favourite track on the EP and epic bonus points from me for the ‘Cheap Trick’ reference.

 

So… Where can you get your hands on this sweet little collection of tunes? Headto either:

 

https://jonesthecat.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/jonesthecat/?fref=ts
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/jones-cat-0

OR BETTER YET, head to the Lass on Saturday night to watch them launch both their EP and their upcoming East Coast tour with what is sure to be a really killer show, and grab their CD for only $10 Dollerydoos!

Adeline Pines album Review - Laura Kebby by Newcastle Discovered

Local outfit Adeline Pines have absolutely produced the goods with their debut full length album - “Life of Wires”. Such a diverse and often eclectic mix of alt-country tracks, with just the right amount of undercover punk thrown in to appeal to a huge number of both old and new fans. There is something so raw, gritty and real about the way that Adeline Pines, particularly frontman Corey Price, really throw a story of heartbreak, heartache and a true “life of wires” at you with the album’s intensity growing with every listen.

 

“Life of Wires” is by no means a passive listening experience and the album really showcases the diversity of the band. Standout track “Open Hands” begins with this killer yet oh so dirty guitar riff and the entire track builds with every listen from that uniquely solid sound. “Forrest Fire” is yet another faced paced, fury filled, angsty onslaught of sound that really sticks true to the underlying metaphor.  On the flip side, “Another Young Boy” and “Your Little Victories” are seemingly stripped back, which really showcases the true talent of the outfit. One thing that seems to never waver, is the bands uncanny ability to draw the listener into each dark and dusty corner of the track leaving the intended wanting more with every play.

 

The sound, although eclectically diverse, is somehow deliciously cohesive with a seemingly effortless flow between tracks. The whole album seems to be about these jagged and mysterious pieces that are collected along the way as every track progresses. It’s this process that makes the unique “Adeline Pines” sound so addictive.

 

Standout Tracks: “Open Hands” and Your Little Victories”.

Listen to Because You’re… Wanting some killer lyrics to connect with and some late night ballads but also wanting to get sweaty to some dirty guitar on the sly.

Buy this album because: You love a band that can change up the setlist, you’re a sucker for some heavy

alt-country and a die hard fan of nomadic wonderment. Oh and most of all… You’re a FAN OF LOCAL MUSIC.      

Find the album here: https://adelinepines.bandcamp.com/album/life-of-wires
Find them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/adelinepinesmusic/?fref=nf

And support some really awesome local musicians.