Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dan Kelly- Leisure Panic! Tour

Dan Kelly has been out on the road in support of his fantastic new album Leisure Panic! and tonight was the last show of the tour at The Gasometer Hotel. Ben Ely was the opening act, doing a solo set on acoustic guitar. He played songs off his new solo album Goodbye Machine as well as a couple Regurgitator tracks. Next up was Jess Ribeiro and her band, who played an alt-country tinged set.

The stage was decorated with LED rope lights before Dan took the stage with his Dream Band, who were all dressed in sporty gear with the girls wearing tennis outfits and the boys in cycling lycra (I assume for Halloween). The set list featured many tracks from Leisure Panic! with its stories of adventure and humorous lyrics. Highlights were "Baby Bonus," "Creme De La Creme De La Creme," "Never Stop The Rot," "Gold Coast Man," and the epic transcendental track "On The Run," which was absolutely brilliant. We also were treated to a few older songs with "The Catholic Leader," "Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam" and "Drunk On Election Night," which Dan played solo as an encore to finish off the night. It was such an entertaining evening and great to get to see Dan play in such an intimate setting.

Here's the hilarious video for "Never Stop The Rot"

Thursday, October 29, 2015

T by LuxBite

Sometimes you just need a little sweet treat, and one of the best places to go to in the Melbourne CBD is T by LuxBite. Like the LuxBite cafe in South Yarra, they have macarons and cakes, but the added bonus is their cute little tarts. I sampled two of them this afternoon: Kuma the bear and the Halloween themed Jack Skellington.

Kuma contains cookie, Mork hot chocolate, strawberry, banana, white chocolate milkshake mousse, caramel, and chocolate tart.

Jack Skellington is a chocolate tart filled with white sesame caramel, sour cherry jelly and black sesame panna cotta, topped with hazelnut and coffee mousse and white chocolate glaze.

Needless to say both them were very tasty! I look forward to heading back to the shop to try even more of the assorted tarts on offer.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Melbourne Victory v. Melbourne City

The 2015 A-League season has just begun and tonight was the derby game between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City FC at Etihad Stadium. Justin was kind enough to invite me along once again this year, and he has amazing seats in the center close to the field. The atmosphere was fantastic as usual with all the chanting and singing in the north and south ends, especially as it was the first home game for Victory this season. I was looking forward to a bunch of flares being lit like last year, but there were only two throughout the whole match and those came from the Melbourne City FC corner of the ground.

The game itself was quite entertaining. It was a pretty even match, and Victory went into halftime with a 1-0 lead off an own goal, and then scored their second a bit over 10 minutes into the second half. Everything was looking good, but then Melbourne City came back and scored two goals within 3 minutes to tie things up 2-2. It seemed like the game would end in a draw but Besart Berisha scored a goal in the 90th minute and Victory won the match 3-2. It was a very exciting finish, but would have been devastating for Melbourne City supporters.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Basics- Melbourne Festival

The Basics recently released their fourth studio album The Age Of Entitlement, and with Wally back briefly from New York they have hit the road for an extensive tour of Australia. For the past two nights they played at the Foxtel Festival Hub as part of the Melbourne Festival. These shows were in the round like their Tinder Knight gig in February. The opening act both nights was Indigenous singer-songwriter Benny Walker, who played a lovely solo set of his songs on acoustic guitar.

The boys came out onto the stage in the middle of the room wearing their brand new suits for this tour. Both nights opened with the one-two punch of "Whatever Happened To The Working Class" and "A Coward's Prayer." The songs off of The Age Of Entitlement were the focus of the setlist, with pretty much every song getting an airing on one or both nights. The most political tracks "Tunaomba Saidia," "Time Poor" and "The Lucky Country" still hold true even with the change of leadership nationally. There was the heartache of the songs "To Think Of You," "Every Part Of Me" and "Feels Like Love." "Ashleigh Wakes" and "Roundabout" added some fun to the setlist, especially when Wally broke his brushes during the latter mid-song on the first night. We also got some classic Basics tracks with "I Don't Need Another," "With This Ship," "Rattle My Chain," and the beautiful harmonies of "Hey Rain!" They even played the raucous b-side "My Old Mate" finish off night one.

One of the most unpredictable aspects of any Basics shows is what covers will get played, especially with these in the round shows where people are encouraged to bring the lyrics and chords of songs for the boys to play. My attempt to get them to do Journey's "Lights" on the first night failed miserably as they didn't know the song (I guess it's just the SF Bay Area that really seems to know it as we sing it at the baseball?). Someone did shout out for "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney and Wally took on the challenge and slayed it.

People has more success on night two as the boys did a hilarious version of John Farnham's "Two Strong Hearts" (with a snippet of Jimi Hendrix's "All Along The Watchtower" in the middle) and "Message To My Girl" by Split Enz. Earlier in the evening they played a fantastic version of another Enz track "One Step Ahead" with Kris taking a turn on drums while Wally was at the piano. On the first night they did Crowded House's "Not The Girl You Think You Are."

Both nights featured covers of The Everly Brothers' "Love Hurts" and David Bowie's "As The World Falls Down" from the 1980s movie Labyrinth. On the second night we were treated to two very special moments. One was the anti-war song "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" by Eric Bogle, which describes the experience of war from the point of view of a man fighting in Gallipoli during World War I. Then Wally did the most beautiful and heartfelt version of Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird" solo on the piano. As former keyboardist Dave Bramble was in the crowd they invited him up to play along on Neil Young's "Old Man" (with Kris changing the lyrics to reflect his age of 34).

It was a wonderful opportunity to get to see The Basics play together again over two nights in such an intimate setting. With them hinting about an indefinite hiatus after this tour, who knows how long it will be until the next big outing around Australia? If you get the chance to see them live over the next couple of weeks don't miss out (and there will be one last hurrah in Melbourne on Cup Eve at the Gasometer Hotel).

Here's the video for the current single "A Coward's Prayer"

Friday, October 09, 2015

David Bowie Is

The David Bowie is exhibition has been all around the world and is currently on at ACMI in Melbourne until 1 November. The exhibition is a comprehensive look at David Bowie's career across five decades and the things that have influenced him. There are numerous costumes, handwritten lyrics, stage set designs, album artwork, photos, videos, and movie clips taken from the Bowie archives. The exhibition is also unique in its use of headphones and guidePORT so that the sound played matches where you are standing in the exhibition.

Bowie is such a visual artist, and it was great to learn about the various influences on him and how it translated into a certain persona for each album. Seeing his costumes up close and being able to watch him wearing them in those iconic clips was a fantastic opportunity. One of the things I found most fascinating was his use of the Verbasizer software program to write song lyrics, which automated the process of cutting out words and phrases on paper and randomly putting them together. At the end of the exhibition you remove the headphones and get to watch concert footage beamed onto a large wall. These are the final weeks, so if you are in Melbourne be sure to get to ACMI to check it out.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Stiffys- Art Rock One Tour

Your boys The Stiffys launched their new EP Art Rock One tonight at The Tote. As Mary and I were walking down the street toward the venue we could hear the first band of the night Tankerville playing. They were LOUD and we caught the last couple songs of their set. Next up was two piece hard rock band Dr. Colossus, who play songs themed around The Simpsons. It was excellent and I particularly liked "Stupid Sexy Flanders."

The Stiffys emerged onto the stage in their space suits and with guitarist Dev in tow. They launched the set with their latest single "King Of The Internet." The boys were in good spirits and high fived each other after each song. They didn't have any Passion Pop but instead were drinking from bottles of white wine. We got to hear all the songs off of Art Rock One, with "Kick Another Flip," "Kissy Kissy" and "Space Blog" being my favorites.

The boys also played some older tracks, including "Champagne," "Ranger Stacey," "Call And Response Song" and "Erection! Everybody!" Mary and I were singing along, and there is no other gig where you would get away with shouting out erection or stiffys repeatedly. For "Boogie Boarding" there were two people who rode the boogie board across the crowd, and then Jason finished the song playing while standing on the board as the crowd held him up. It was a very art rock moment. We were encouraged to call out for an encore, and they obliged by playing "I'm Really Good At Sex Because I'm Always Doing It" to finish off the set. It was another GREAT JOB by The Stiffys.

Here's the video for "King Of The Internet"

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