Events

Write-ups of events from days gone by.

PJ Harvey, The Tremors @ The Back Room Club, Byron Bay, 25/7/2004

This review is an example of my older writing. Eventually, I hope to have all my reviews archived here. The writing style is a little different, but then I suppose we’ve all changed in the past decade. (Yes, that means I’m cringing at that use of ‘incendiary’ too.)

Gigs where there’s some difference between bands are always good, and this evening’s show at The Back Room Club was no exception. The difference in this case was that the headliner, PJ Harvey, is the queen of come-close-but-stay-at-arms-length songwriting, at once embracing and spurning, while her support, The Tremors prefer to stay up close and personal; preferably trying to get a hand down your duds in the process. (more…)

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Synergy Percussion and Noreum Machi: Earth Cry 15/8/2015

Waiting.

Last Saturday evening I spent a little over an hour watching two percussion ensembles perform at Sydney’s City Recital Hall. It was the culmination of a couple of years of joint study and development between Sydney’s Synergy Percussion and Korea’s Noreum Machi. This show was the last of the tour, with the Korean trio set to fly out the next morning, so I was interested to see how the two would come together. (more…)

What Is Music? @ Annandale Hotel, Sydney, 13/02/2004

This is an older review of mine, presented here for archival purposes. The writing is undoubtedly different to the present, and the review style may differ between publications. Enjoy, if that’s the right word. 

Experimental or avant-garde music is occasionally referred to as “difficult listening”. It’s probably a phrase that was coined by someone after they survived a Fushitsusha gig. Don’t get me wrong – there were many moments of crystalline brilliance – but this was a gig that was always going to require a bit of perseverance.

Fushitsusha are, is, essentially, Keiji Haino. He’s a gargantuan figure in the Japanese music world, though he’s probably got more in common with JD Salinger in terms of his willingness to meet the press or press the flesh. This band is basically his excuse to be the loudest man on earth. From behind wraparound sunglasses, dressed head to foot in black and sporting a haircut so severe that it suggests a goth Ramone pixie, Haino would spend most of this evening playing through a wall of amps pushed louder than any I’d ever heard. (more…)

What Is Music? @ Gaelic Club, Sydney, 12/02/2004

WHAT? YOU'LL HAVE TO SPEAK UP.

Festival artwork, 2004.

This is an older review of mine, presented here for archival purposes. The writing is undoubtedly different to the present, and the review style may differ between publications. Enjoy, if that’s the right word. 

What Is Music? is a festival that’s been running since 1993 and aims to show gig-goers that there’s more to music than three chords and the truth. Judging from the mixture of baffled and ecstatic faces seen in The Gaelic Club this evening, the education continues.

As punters entered the room, Matthew Chaumont was already well under way. Seated in front of the stage, manning a couple of computers, a mixer, and what appeared to be a large speaker attached to a couple of metres of industrial ducting. Apparently called Metaphenomena, the piece was a series of bowel-shakingly low tones with a satisfyingly dirty texture. (more…)