Where Things Happen Studio, By Kian West by Kian West

It was about a year ago when I first met Suzan after an Idea Bombing event as part of the Newcastle Writers Festival. I’d just finished ranting at a packed audience inside the Press Bookhouse about our love affair with print in a digital world. A year later I was still keen to speak with her about the interesting work she showed me. So Suzan let me in to where all the magic happens.

Read More

PLACES WE LOVE: 90 Degree Studio by Kian West


A fresh addition to the Musos Corner building is the 90 Degree Studio, a state-of-the-art Studio, training facility and accredited TAFE school.

Place: 90 Degree Studio (above Musos Corner) Address: 1 National Park Street, Newcastle West NSW 2300 Hours:

90 degree studio 2
90 degree studio 2

Why We Love it: Providing people with new skills in a fresh and engaging way is what we are all about. If you are thinking about learning some production skills for your band or making electronic music then they should be the first stop.



To many a Novocastrian Muso's is part of growing up. Woven into the culture of this working class city is a deep love of music and for decades the place where passionate Muso's have headed for everything from the first acoustic or some epic amplified beast to shred, they have you covered. Place: Muso's Corner Address: 1 National Park Street, Newcastle West NSW 2300 Hours:











Why We Love it: To wear our heart on our sleeve for a second, Mirage would like to highlight for a moment the back cover of Newcastle Mirage November 2015 Edition featuring a full page advert from Muso's Corner! Not only to they support budding young musicians (and young at heart) they are helping us to keep making Mirage, so a big thanks to Muso's Corner! Sometimes we don't think people really realise how much heart & soul goes into making our cute little zine print and to have a business choose us means a lot. So show your support to us by supporting local business and if Christmas means new music gear for you this year then step on in and tell 'em Mirage sent ya!



SAWTOOTH1Quietly hidden in Tighes Hill sits the most amazing Studio. Why you ask is this place so amazing? The analogue, people driven approach to recording in a digital age. Not to say they don't have all the modern bells and whistles you should expect from a recording studio, but they have heart and soul. Sawtooth is the ying to Burst Media Studios yang, complementing each other perfectly, Sawtooth is the audio production and rehearsal spaces and Burst conveniently have White Screens and Green Screens for film in these same locations. You could come in week-to-week to jam or stop by for a Album recording and stay to produce that first single video.   SAWTOOTH3 Place: Sawtooth Studios Address: 8/6 Revelation Close, Tighes Hill NSW Hours: See here -

Why We Love it: Well, we do work in their awesome shared office space, so we might be a little biased, but we Love Sawtooth because of the people that run it. Their genuine interest in what comes through the studios and passion to assist any creative to produce a 10/10 result no matter what it is or how long it takes. SAWTOOTH2








CROSSES × BITCHES BREW We’re only a few months into 2014 and already the debut self-titled album from electronic rock band Crosses stands out as one of the year’s potential highlights. The album’s lead single, “Bitches Brew”, is a great example of the attention to detail and overall restraint found throughout the album, which keeps the listener engaged but on edge. However, the track erupts in an intense ending sure to please fans of frontman Chino Moreno’s other projects. Check this out if you like: Puscifer, Nine Inch Nails, OSI. BALL PARK MUSIC × SHE ONLY LOVES ME WHEN I’M THERE While I didn’t mind the band’s first two albums, I never thought a Ball Park Music track would grab my attention the way that “She Only Loves Me When I’m There” has. The band has absolutely stepped up their game as far as production and songwriting is concerned, and they have managed to strike a perfect balance between layered and dense without being too busy or cluttered. All of this combined with a creative song structure and a series of amazing vocal melodies have made this one of my favourite 2014 tracks to date, one that will likely get my vote in that big old countdown. Check this out if you like: The Black Keys, Franz Ferdinand, The Rubens. ARCADE FIRE × NORMAL PERSON Like many, I was lucky to see Arcade Fire live a couple of times at the beginning of this year when they toured Australia as part of the Big Day Out festival. While there was much to love about “Reflektor”, the studio album they released towards the end of last year, there were a few tracks that didn’t strike me as being particularly strong (as can be the nature with many double albums). One such example was the track “Normal Person”, which I thought was good but nothing to write home about until I saw the band open their Sydney festival set with it. The sheer energy and excitement the band injected into the track’s live performance gave me a whole new appreciation for it, and I’ve had it on high rotation ever since. Check this out if you like: Phoenix, LCD Soundsystem, Broken Bells. PERIPHERY × FEED THE GROUND Periphery kicked off 2014 by releasing “Clear”, a brand new EP consisting of tracks written individually by each member of the band, rather than collaboratively as heard on their studio albums. Given that the EP was described as more of an experiment than a legitimate entry in the band’s discography, its polarising reviews from even the band’s biggest fans are unsurprising. “Feed The Ground”, an uptempo metal track with accessible, memorable pop-influenced vocal melodies, is one of the highlights from the EP. The occasional screamed vocal and heavy riffing won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but as far as quality heavy music goes, there certainly is a lot here that fans of pop and/or alternative rock could enjoy. Check this out if you like: Protest The Hero, Twelve Foot Ninja, Dead Letter Circus. MAGIC NUMBER × COMING BACK TO ME [ATJAZZ REMIX] I came across this track while compiling some new material to play at Sunday Republic a few weeks ago, and was absolutely blown away. While I can’t say I’m familiar with any previous material released by Magic Number or Atjazz, this remix is by far one of the tastiest soulful deep house tracks I’ve heard in a long time. The use of syncopation and occasional glitched vocals throughout adds a subtle, unique dimension to the track’s stripped down, jazz-influenced ensemble. In a perfect world, this is the kind of track that would receive some kind of widespread recognition and popularity. Check this out if you like: Moloko, Goldfrapp, Massive Attack. AMOS WELLINGS × MARCH DATES Saturday 15th March × THE ARGYLE HOUSE Wednesday 19th March × THE ARGYLE HOUSE Saturday 29th March × KING STREET HOTEL *More to be confirmed

Fresh to Newie: Stepping Stone Studio by Kian West


One of the perks of writing for Newcastle Mirage is the invitations you get to visit new and exciting developments in our amazing city, such as the freshest of fresh: Stepping Stone Studio. 1800400_479240545515143_2024071473_n Well, to be perfectly honest, my mother is actually cooler than I am - she set up the introduction in typical fashion, dropping my name while she was checking out the studio and mentioning (I imagine it went like this), "My son writes in a local magazine, the Mirage" (or something similar) then probably pulled out baby photos or something equally embarrassing before handing over one of my business cards. Who needs a PR when you have a mum like that?

So Cate gave me a call and we set up a time to stop by SSS and chat all things art and such. I was lucky enough to meet one of the other in-house contributors, Nadia (left in image), who is originally from Port Macquarie and moved here about 5 years ago. I'm assuming because Newcastle is such a hot-bed of activity, but she could have her own reason...

I also met with Catherine (right in image), the reason I was visiting in the first place. Cate has moved to Newcastle recently to further her studies at the University of Newcastle. She has traveled some way to be here, hailing from some outback town outside of Geelong (I don't remember specifically). If you don't know where Geelong is, shame on you! It is in Victoria, the state below NSW with 4 seasons in one day.

Stepping Stone Studio is a Fresh Renew Newcastle addition inside the shop where Go-Lo previously lived at the bottom of Market Square, below Pocket Design. Their agenda (apparently according to the website) is to create ‘A diverse, thriving and valued community of Newcastle Artists creating and selling Art work together in a nourishing, inclusive and fun environment’.

"Stepping Stone Studios is an inviting and friendly Art studio and exhibition space located in the heart of Newcastle. Stepping Stone is proud to be part of the Renew Newcastle project. Through the Renew Newcastle, this space was offered to local artist for use as an Art space. The opportunity was taken up with enthusiasm and the space was soon overrun with a diverse community of artists.

The Art work at Stepping Stone is for sale! Any purchase made will be helping to grow and encourage our talented local art community and support the Renew Newcastle project.  At Stepping Stone you can discover small items that are great for gifts or adding colour to your home. You can also find treasures both for little kids and big kids (adults). With a diverse group of Artists we can boast a diverse collection of artworks in a range of themes, mediums , sizes, shapes and colours!"

Shop 7a and 7b Market Square, Hunter Street Mall, Hunter Street Newcastle 2300

Stepping Stone Studio opening hours:

Wednesday to Friday 10am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 2pm.