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Posts Tagged ‘the boat people’

To celebrate a thousand issues and 20 years since its inception, local street press Rave Magazine put together a bit of a Brisbane all-star gig at the Zoo last night. Indie rockers Velociraptor opened the night to a fairly sparse crowd, sporting 11 of their 12 members tonight (well, 10 members for the first couple of songs as main frontman Jeremy Neale explained, “Lauren’s parking her car but we’ll have a keyboard player at any moment.”). There were a few moments where you had to wonder maybe six guitars in are too many guitars in one band, with some of the heavier moments sounding a little messy. Despite this, the group put on an exciting show, high in energy and enthusiasm.

Keeping in theme of bands with a ridiculous amount of members, folk-pop group Inland Sea were up next, opening their set with ‘Traitor’. Tonight they were down a few members, namely their string section which unfortunately impacted on their overall sound quite a bit. The strings add a much needed middle ground between ‘soft’ and ‘soaring’. It seemed like the group tried to make up for the lack of strings by simply being louder, instead coming across as overdone rather than enthusiastic. ‘All Fall Down’ was enjoyable, as it is simply a beautiful song (as is that whole EP actually), but for the most part the set failed to impress.

Highly anticipated, Dave McCormack of Custard fame took to the stage next. Custard, or any of McCormack’s other projects, have never really featured too heavily in any of my music adventures so I didn’t really know what to expect from the set. A few glitches with the synth/keyboard (which Seja Vogel from Sekiden/Regurgitator was helping out on) early in the set stalled things a little bit, but was a fairly seamless performance overall. McCormack proved that he’s still a mighty fine performer and enigmatic frontman.

Easily the most highly anticipated act of the night (apart from the ‘mystery’ headline act) was the Brisband Experience. Consisting of members from Hungary Kids of Hungary, Drawn from Bees, The Boat People, Rhubarb, the Blood Poets, Transport and as also Katie Noonan, the group performed some classic songs fromBrisbanebands. ‘Breath in Now’ by george was as beautiful as ever, with Katie Noonan showing that she still has an amazing voice. Rhubarb’s ‘Exerciser’ and the Go-Betweens ‘Streets of Your Town’ were both highlights that prompted some nice sing-a-longs. However the best moment of the set was easily the cover of Savage Garden’s ‘To the Moon and Back’, where Dan James of Drawn from Bees helped to turn a fairly corny song into something pretty awesome.

There were a lot of names thrown around as to who the mystery headline act could have been. Powderfinger, Robert Forster, Butterfingers, sixfthick and the Grates were a few rumours floating around. Most punters consistently guessed the act to be Regurgitator though, and there was a roar of applause as the trio walked onto the stage. Performing a classic hits style set, the ‘Gurge certainly made a spectacular comeback toBrisbane’s live music scene. Opening with ‘I Sucked a Lot of Cock to Get Where I am’ and then continuing on through favourites like ‘My Friend Robot’, ‘I Wanna be a Nudist’ and ‘The Drop’ there wasn’t a dull moment to the set. ‘Black Bugs’ transformed into a brief rendition of ‘Sweet Child O Mine’ and Seja Vogel came back to help out on synths for a few tracks, making ‘Polyester Girl’ a particular highlight. They closed their far too short set with ‘! (The Song Formerly Known As)’ and ‘Kung Foo Sing’, leaving most patrons on a trip down memory lane.

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Forget everything you ever knew about Blame Ringo. After a line up change and a bit of a change in style, the boys are just about ready to take up residency at the Powerhouse for the month. Frontman Pete Kilroy explained walked us through what we can expect.

I hear there has been a line up change! Who is gone and who has come?

There has been! Tony from The Boat People is back, along with Greg and Andrew from Montpelier who are along for the ride too. Jack and Jessiah are have departed.

What’s the story behind the line up change?

Jack wants to spend this year concentrating on his football (he plays for the Lions reserves) and Jessiah is keen to further develop his solo stuff. Both departed with lots of animosity and we’re not longer speaking to either of them.

The overall style of Blame Ringo undergone a bit of a transformation as well – can you walk us through what’s different?

We want people to have a better time at our shows, so we’re upping the energy and channelling our guilty pop instincts. We’ve kinda hit the reset button on our music. Some people close to us have freaked out a bit, but we reckon change is as good as a holiday.

Are you nervous about how audiences will receive these changes?

Not really. If worst comes to worst we’ll get some good exercise dodging the rotten fruit people will throw. There’s always a silver lining to every cloud.

You’ll be releasing an EP at the end of this year – can you tell us a little about it?

It’s very different. That said, we think it’s the best stuff we’ve written. Bands always say that though, don’t they? I guess all we can guarantee is that all the tunes will be infectious and you’ll be able to comfortably put the EP on at a party.

You’re about to take up residency at the Powerhouse for June – what can we expect from these three shows?

The first thing anyone who’s seen us before will notice is that we won’t really be playing any of the old songs anymore. We’ve actually only got two tunes from the last set. We’re also trying to make the show a bit bigger. Bigger sound / bigger vibe / more depth to what we’re doing. It’s a bit of an experiment really, but the songs are there so we’re confident!

You’ll be playing at Unconvention over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend as well; are you excited about being part of this event?

We were very chilled until we found out Dan Kelly is going to be there. Pete has said he is going to dedicate every song to the great man. There will be a lot of gushing going on. It’s a great initiative though, so yes, we are excited to be a part of it.

What is your favourite thing about playing in Brisbane?

Everyone is friendly and the vibe is always relaxed. Kinda like the whole city in general!

What can the uninitiated expect from a Blame Ringo show?

Big harmonies, a fun vibe and Ross to wear brown clothes.

What does the future hold for Blame Ringo?

Depends how much fruit gets thrown in June. We’ll get back to you on that one!

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Well, it’s January. And that means that voting is well and truly underway in Triple J’s Hottest 100. In fact, there’s only one more week left to vote so if you plan on doing so, you better start thinking about which songs you’re going to vote for! Some years the voting process is really easy for me, other years it is pretty tough. I’m always torn between voting for the songs that I love, and voting for the songs that I think will do well (in order to keep the songs I don’t like from getting in the top ten!). Basically I put too much thought into something that ultimately doesn’t really matter. To me the Hottest 100 is kind of like an awards show – I know I’ll be disappointed with the results, but I still tune in because I enjoy the suspense.

Alright, so my ten picks for the ‘hottest 100’ of 2010, in no particular order (well, actually, alphabetical)…

1. Ball Park Music – iFly

2. Best Coast – Boyfriend

3. The Boat People – Damn Defensive

4. Cloud Control – There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight

5. Hungry Kids Of Hungary – Wristwatch

6. Inland Sea – All Fall Down

No video!!!! Check out their Myspace to hear the track.

7. Jonsi – Go Do

8. Kimbra – Settle Down

9. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

(it was hard to pick just one song from these guys…)

10. Yeasayer – Ambling Alp

 

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Alright, I’m back from my holiday and I STILL haven’t put together my list of ‘top ten albums of the year’. I’ve been trying for ages and it’s just not happening. There have been a lot of good albums released this year, and a lot of great ones that I haven’t even gotten around to listening to. There are a probably a few albums that I’ve brushed off and will go back to listen to next year and think ‘why did I put that in my top ten!’. But such is life I guess.

 

For me I had two stand out albums of the year – Jonsi’s Go and the National’s High Violet. I can’t even begin to explain how well each of these albums resonates with me. Right from the first listen, I fell in love with both, and both had songs that made their way to my ‘most played’ in iTunes, knocking off songs that had been on it for over a year. I love both of these albums because they’re so different. High Violet is absolutely gut wrenching. It’s just plain depressing. Go is my uplifting album. I like to play its opening track ‘Go Do’ on the bus first thing Monday morning to try and brighten my spirits. They’re albums with so much passion and texture, they’re both moving in completely different ways.

 

My favourite Australian releases were The Boat People’s Dear Darkly and Foreign Tapes by Parades. I’ve loved everything the Boaties have released, and I swear they just keep getting better and better as the years go on. I actually didn’t buy Foreign Tapes until a few months ago. I saw Parades for the first time at Big Sound – and it was in fact the first I’d even heard of them – and was immediately drawn to their style. They’re both great pop albums, extremely catchy and easy to listen to right through til the end.

 

One of the surprises for the year was Arcade Fire’s release, the Suburbs. I tossed up whether or not this was a ‘top ten’ album. I don’t think it is for me. I really do love it, but I think it’s more so because I expected it to be awful.

 

I had a few other highlights, including Hungry Kids of Hungary and Spoon. I loved both of those albums, but I find that I really have to be in a certain mood or frame of mind to listen to them. To me a top ten list means anytime, anywhere, all the way through which is probably why I had so much trouble putting together a list of ten albums this year. Bring on 2011 though! I’m excited to see what it will bring.

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This review has been a long time coming. I always find it most difficult to review the albums I love the most, and this could easily be the Boaties’ best release to date. The third full length album from the Brisbane quartet sees pop music at its finest. Few albums are flawless, and while I’m not saying that Dear Darkly is perfect, it is damn well near it. No, not all of the tracks are immediately in your face, but they instead creep under your skin with clever arrangements and smart, introspective lyrics. The shared songwriting duties between Robin Waters and James O’Brien provide contrast and variety within the album, emphasizing the Boaties’ well known eclectic styles and talents.

The ballads of Dear Darkly are warm but bittersweet, with a lot of room to breath. These lingering moments work well for the Boaties because they hold the authority and charisma to pull it off. This means that the album never feels cluttered, with each track seeming to fit perfectly in its place. There are of course classic catchy hooks and choruses, such as that of ‘Echo Stick Guitars’ and ‘Damn Defensive’ which is the highlight of the album for me. The lyrics are just so hopelessly relatable, “Couldn’t get in touch, because you didn’t have your phone/ Didn’t want much I just didn’t want to be alone/So why do you have to be so damn defensive/Didn’t want much you just shut me down”

‘Cat’s Collar’ is has a strangely pressed disposition that really shows there is so much more to pop music that the ‘ballad’ or the ‘catchy single’. The boys still know not to take themselves too seriously though, with the upbeat music of ‘Too Much on My Mind’ and ‘Dance to my Pain’ betraying the lyrical themes.

Year after year we continue to see the Boat People improve and expand on their unique style of pop. Dear Darkly will almost certainly be heralded as their finest, but at this rate who knows what they have in store for us in the future.

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The Medics kicked off the night, with the Cairns quartet having a slow start to their set. While musically tight, the four piece wasn’t very engaging, and this can most likely be attributed to lacklustre vocals. While the energy of the band fluctuated a bit throughout the middle of set, the performance remained mediocre. Unfortunately the set then ended in complete disarray, in an almost punk style – a long way from the near ambient sound we heard at the start of the set. The guitarist jumped between guitar, auxiliary percussion and xylophone, giving their closing song a disjointed sound. The bass player leapt into the crowd, tambourine in hand and the song come to a feedback filled stop.

Skinny Jean were up next, beginning their set strongly and impressing the ever-growing crowd immediately. Clearly a group of incredibly talented musicians they made their way through some of their live classics such as ‘Search and Progress’, ‘Ajax’ and ‘Atlas’. ‘Army Wife’ was a stand out, with the band doing a switch around of instruments, and the only song of the night where female vocals dominated, which left the crowd absolutely captivated.

The Boat People took to the stage to the sold out Troubadour, announcing that since this was of course an album launch that they would try and play as much of their release Dear Darkly as possible. Kicking it off with ‘Under the Ocean’ and jetting through ‘Soporific’, ‘Antidote’ and ‘Cat’s Collar’, it was clear why this local band has become so popular. As seasoned musicians they have an amazing and confident stage presence, while delivering a tight and flawless performance.

Mixed in with entertaining stage banter, the Boaties are renowned as great live performers, and tonight certainly didn’t disappoint. Shared vocal duties between James O’Brien and Robin Waters keep it interesting, with both singers having different styles and inflections but having a similar earnestness in the way they sing. Older tracks ‘Awkward Orchid Orchard’ and ‘Born in the 80s’ made an appearance, though it would have been nicer to see a few other older tracks. ‘Echo Stick Guitars’ was a clear highlight amongst the crowd, and ‘Damn Defensive’ even got the placid, but appreciative crowd singing along. An amazing return for the Boat People.

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I really couldn’t figure out which one to post today, so I figured I would just post them all!

(look! he’s in a laundromat!)

1. The Stress of Leisure

I’m surprised I haven’t heard of these guys (or just one guy maybe?) before. Surprised and ashamed. The band is led by local musician Ian Powne, and I’m not quite sure how to pinpoint the style. I’d throw it into the general ‘indie’ bin of course but that really doesn’t do it justice. Check it out.  Seriously.

2. The Boat People

The Boat People have been around for ages. Shame on you if you’re from Brisbane and don’t know who they are. I was excited to find in my Facebook feed this morning that they have a new music video out for their song ‘Soporific’ from their upcoming album. I’m always a fan of Boaties video clips (why oh why didn’t I mention these in my Sunday thoughts!)

3. How to Destroy Angels

Trent Reznor finally has a new project. If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s called How to Destroy Angels, an electronic/light indstrustiral act with his wife Mariqueen Maandig. It’s all still a little mysterious, but Pitchfork have uploaded the first single, so I definitely recommend you have a listen. But don’t listen expecting another Nine Inch Nails. It’s very different.

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