Sunday, May 27, 2012

Eurovision 2012

It's that time of year where they break out a lot of pyro, wind and smoke machines- the Eurovision Song Contest! This year it was held in Baku, Azerbaijan with 26 countries competing in the Grand Final.  All of my favorites from the semi-finals made it through, including this year's winner Sweden.

Loreen (Sweden)- "Euphoria"

Watching the vote count is always entertaining as you get to see all the different voting blocs among the European nations.  I also wonder if some were throwing their top points toward countries they knew wouldn't have the money to host the contest next year.  My favorite performances of the night were:

Nina Zilli (Italy)- "L'Amore È Femmina (Out of Love)"

Mandinga (Romania)- "Zaleilah"

Buranovskiye Babushki (Russia)- "Party for Everybody"

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Boy & Bear- Remembering The Mexican Tour

Last night Mary and I met up at The Forum for Boy & Bear's second sold out show in Melbourne.  The band are playing in more intimate venues around the country for this tour as a thank you to their fans who have been there from the beginning.  As we walked into the foyer I was quite impressed by what may be the best merchandise I've seen at a show (besides tea towels)- Boy & Bear scarves and beanies.  They were very cute although I didn't buy any.

The first act for the evening was Sydney band Tin Sparrow.  While I thought they were good it was hard to ignore how much many of their songs sounded like the headliners. Next up was The Jungle Giants from Brisbane, who sounded great.  I enjoyed their set and it was nice to see a female lead guitarist for a change. Their bass player was very energetic and did a run through the crowd during their last song.

Boy & Bear started their set with a reworked opening to "Rabbit Song" before launching into "Lordy May."  They played nearly all of the songs off their ARIA award winning album Moonfire, including "Milk & Sticks," "Part Time Believer," "Feeding Line" and my favorites "Big Man" and "My Only One."  We were also fortunate enough to get two new songs (one was titled "Three Headed Woman"). In addition they did their cover of Crowded House's "Fall At Your Feet," which had me thinking of ex-Crowdies drummer Peter Jones who sadly passed away that afternoon from brain cancer.  The single that started it all, "Mexican Mavis" got a big reaction from the crowd and they finished the night with an rousing rendition of "Golden Jubilee." It was another wonderful gig by the band and I'm glad they are still sticking to their philosophy of no encores even when they have enough material to actually do one now.

Here is the video for the latest single "Big Man," animated by Negative Films

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Major Tom And The Atoms- The House That Love Built Single Launch

After Bic Runga's show last night Mary and I walked to Cherry Bar on AC/DC Lane to catch Major Tom And The Atoms' single launch.  We arrived just as the band were setting up so it was perfect timing.  They started their set with "Wishing Well" and soon had the crowd in the pit dancing up a storm to their songs, including "Mockingbird," "Lizard King," "Hey Flo" and the single being launched that evening "The House That Love Built."  For a few songs Tom was joined on stage by Jacqui Rath, which added some female vocals to the mix.  It was a fun and entertaining set as expected, and they finished off the night with my favorite song of theirs "Rolling Stone."  Now that Tom has officially left Little Red he is focusing all his energy into the new band.  I'm looking forward to the release next month of their debut EP Shake It Til You Break It.

Bic Runga- Hello Hello Tour

Last night Mary and I made our way to the beautiful Athenaeum Theatre for Bic Runga's tour in support of her latest album Belle.  We had insanely close seats in the second row on the right hand side of the stage.  The opening act was Sydney singer-songwriter Ollie Brown.  He played solo on acoustic guitar and was quite hilarious with his between song banter.  Ollie recently won the Australia's Best Busker competition and we were impressed with his songs.  He also did a cover of Jackson Browne's "These Days."

Bic Runga began her set with "When I See You Smile."  She played the first few songs solo on guitar, including "Drive" and "Something Good" before being joined on stage by her band.  Bic was very thankful that we came to see here since she has been AWOL for the past six years.  She alternated between acoustic and electric guitar and piano throughout the evening, playing songs from all of her albums.  Highlights included "Get Some Sleep," "Winning Arrow," "Tiny Little Piece of My Heart," "Hello Hello" and "Darkness All Around Us."  She finished the main set with "Sway" and had the crowd singing along from the first verse.  The encore began with "Good Love" and then Bic played "Gravity" solo on piano for the last song of the night.  It was great to finally see Bic live again and hopefully it won't be too long before she is back playing in Melbourne.

Here is Bic's video for the first single off the album Belle, "Hello Hello"
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