The Smallest Gig’s October Lineup

The Falls
Image Courtesy of The Falls

There’s a quiet revolution that’s happening in the music scene across our capital cities and regional centres – the house concert. A staple of the folk circuit for some time, the house (and garden) concert has recently been co-opted by a number of high profile indie and rock artists as a way to connect with their audience in an intimate, warm and welcoming space.

At the forefront of this movement in Sydney is The Smallest Gig, a bi-monthly concert series that has already seen two very successful garden gigs featuring artists such as Matt Corby, Lissa, Emma Davies and more.

The next show from The Smallest Gig is due to take place on the 10th October and features the incredible lineup of The Falls (above), Kodachrome, Zoe Elliot and Tin Sparrow. To secure tickets (and the undisclosed Sydney location) you’ll need to e-mail The Smallest Gig at – if you miss out make sure you follow The Smallest Gig’s Facebook Page for videos of the show and all future gig announcements.

Time to join the revolution.

New Tigertown Video “Go Now”

Image Courtesy of Tigertown

Sydney indie-folk collective Tigertown absolutely blew us away when they supported Charlie Mayfair on their recent tour. And now they’re blowing us away again with the video for their debut single “Go Now” which was directed by Sam Kristofski and features Tigertown with some pretty epic landscape. Watch it below:

“Go Now” is available for download from iTunes along with the bonus track “The Right Time”.

Bon Iver Announces Australian Tour

Bon Iver
Image Courtesy of Bon Iver

Hot off the news that Bon Iver has been announced for the Golden Plains Sixxx Festival we now have a confirmation of solo dates for the US artist. Let’s cut straight to them shall we?

Saturday, 3rd March – Perth International Arts Festival, Red Hill Auditorium, Perth, WA (Tix on Sale 7th November)
Tuesday, 6th March – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA (Tix on Sale 30th September)
Thursday, 8th March – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, VIC (Tix on Sale 30th September)
Saturday, 10 March – Golden Plains Sixxx, Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, VIC (Ticket Ballot Open Now)
Sunday, 11th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW (Tix on Sale 5th October)
Monday, 12th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW (Tix on Sale 5th October)
Tuesday, 13th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW (Tix on Sale 5th October)
Thursday, 15th March – Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, QLD (Tix on Sale 30th September)
Friday, 16th March – Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, QLD (Tix on Sale 30th September)
Saturday, 17th March – Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, QLD (Tix on Sale 30th September)

Is you mind blown?

Bon Iver Announced for Golden Plains Sixxx

Bon Iver
Image Courtesy of Golden Plains Sixxx

While you’ve probably been spending your morning eying off some other festival announcement it’s probably best you pay attention right here, right now. Because none other than Bon Iver has just been announced for 2012’s Golden Plains Sixxx festival. How awesome is that?????

Golden Plains Sixxx will be held in Meredith, Victoria from the 10th to the 12th March next year. The only other artist announced so far is psychedelic rocker Roky Erickson – the rest of the lineup is due on or before the 17th October.

The festival sells tickets via a ballot system (much like it’s sister festival Meredith) which you have to enter before the 14th October via the official Golden Plains Sixxx website. Which you’re going to do right now – because it’s friggin’ Bon Iver!

New Okkervil River Video “Your Past Life as a Blast”

Okkervil River
Image Courtesy of Okkervil River

Okkervil River’s upcoming Australian tour is just under two weeks away and to celebrate we thought we’d share their new video with you. Taken from the band’s latest album I Am Very Far, the video for “Your Past Life as a Blast” features some really nice vintage footage – check it out below:

The full dates for Okkervil River’s Australian tour are below:

Wednesday 12th October – Capitol, Perth, WA
Friday 14th October – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 15th October – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 16th October – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC (Will Self Solo)
Tuesday 18th October – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 19th October – The Hi Fi, Brisbane, QLD

Interview: The Bon Scotts

The Bon Scotts
Image Courtesy of The Bon Scotts

The Bon Scotts, despite what you may think, are not an AC/DC cover band. Far from it in fact. The Melbourne seven piece are in fact at the forefront of the “big” folk revival, writing melody rich, eclectic songs which you can’t help but tap your feet along to. The Bon Scotts are about to hit the road to support their new album We Will All Die At The Hands of CGI and our very own Evan Hughes was lucky enough to chat with Robert Zimmerman from the band as they hurtled towards Adelaide for their gig at The Gov tonight.

Evan Hughes: You’ve just released the second single, “Kids in Counterfeit”, from your brand new album. How are you feeling about the response to the single and album so far?
Robert Zimmerman: We’ve held advance listening parties for the album and everyone we’ve played it to has been pretty blown away. We don’t think they were just being nice either. “Kids in Counterfeit” has been received well and is a real barnstormer when we play it live, so we’re pretty chuffed all round.
EH: You’ve just kicked off a tour that’s going to take in a bunch of dates around the country. Are you visiting anywhere you haven’t been before?
RZ: We like to get around to a lot of towns off the beaten track, but unfortunately we won’t be able to do that much on this tour. We’re playing in plenty of places that we’ve visited before, just in larger venues this time!
EH: How are fans responding to your live show?
RZ: Really really well… We’ve even had hipsters dancing and clapping along. Apparently once you have seen us you can’t unsee us … in a good way.
EH: Being a seven piece there’s obviously a lot of different musical voices within the band. Can you explain the writing process? Does everyone have an input or is there one driving force behind the songs?
RZ: All of the songs are penned as bare bones by our frontman and are then fleshed out and arranged to varying levels by the rest of the band working in collaboration with him. This usually involves lots if shouting.
EH: Your music is obviously heavily folk influenced, especially your instrumentation. Why do you think this type of music is connecting with people at the moment?
RZ: Folk music has always been around and is a commentary of the lives and issues of any particular era. Now is no different, and we think that there is a need for music that actually says something. Pop music seems to have become very plastic of late and has definitely worn a gold bikini and bling for too long.
EH: After this current tour what’s next for The Bon Scotts?
RZ: A brief sanity break over summer, and then we’ll start thinking about the next album. If we’re still talking to each other after the tour.

Make sure you catch The Bon Scotts on one of their upcoming dates and have a listen to their latest single “Kids in Counterfeit” below:

Thursday 29th September – The Gov (Front Bar), Adelaide. SA
Friday 30th September – The Jade Monkey, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 1st October – Semaphore Music Festival, Semaphore, SA.
Saturday 1st October – The Jetty Bar, Glenelg, SA
Sunday 2nd Octover – La Mar @ The Jam Room, Glenelg Surf Club, Glenelg, SA.
Thursday 6th October – Transit Bar, Canberra Civic, Canberra, ACT.
Thursday 13th October – The Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW.
Friday 14th October – Queen St Mall – Upper Stage, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 14th October – The Joynt, South Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 16th October – The Rails. Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 29th October – Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 17th November – The Sandringham Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th November – The Grand Junction Hotel. Maitland. NSW

Victorian Dates to Follow

New Major Chord Video for “Gather All This Love”

Major Chord
Image Courtesy of Major Chord

Melbourne folky Major Chord (AKA Dan Flynn) first came to our attention through a number of support slots and festival appearances but it took us a while to actually sit down and give his music a proper listen. What we discovered was a sweet melodic guitar player and singer that is head and shoulders above so many of his contemporaries.

With an album launch at The Northcote Social club next Thursday 6th of October it’s timely that Major Chord has just released his gorgeous new video for “Gather All This Love” directed by Johnny Flynn (Dan’s brother, not the UK artists of the same name). Check it out below:

Review: TinPan Orange at The Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

TinPan Orange
Image Courtesy of gifas

TinPan Orange single launch, supported by Leon Thomas
22nd September 2011, The Northcote Social Club

Although TinPan Orange have taken a few months off and are only now easing their way back into the live music thing after the birth of Emily Lubitz’s son in August they certainly haven’t been idle. There’s a whole bunch of new songs that have been written including the new single “Barcelona” and the addition of a drummer to the band in the form of Danny Farrugia (The Bamboos). So it was with eager anticipation that I made my way to The Northcote Social Club (my first time in the iconic Melbourne venue) to watch TinPan Orange on their home turf.

Leon Thomas is not a name I was familiar with but the Melbourne audience showed the singer-songwriter genuine affection when he came on stage armed with his electric guitar. Thomas’ stripped back, bluesy sound was complimented by multi-instrumentalist (and TinPan Orange member) Alex Burkoy’s accompaniment. As the set progressed Thomas gradually lost or removed items of clothing (he had entered the stage dressed for winter it seemed), added a drummer to his band and settled into a groove that resulted in some really catchy tunes. I feel that Leon Thomas worked much better with the “full band” sound and that his performance improved throughout the set – he’s definitely an artist worth checking out if you’re a fan of the Jack White school of blues.

By the time TinPan Orange arrived on stage, complete with new drummer Danny Farrugia and sometimes-keyboard player Harry James Angus, The Northcote Social Club was packed full of fans eager to see the band following their brief hiatus. Launching into their much loved track “Like Snow” you could tell the band were happy to back on stage and excited to be showcasing their “new” drummer-inspired sound.

On Farugia’s drumming, I did feel it was a little understated, especially on the older songs. There were times when I wasn’t sure whether he was playing at all (apart from the occasional crash cymbal) but I guess this did show respect to the original arrangements of many of TinPan’s much loved songs. It was the newer songs, especially the latest single “Barcelona”, where Farrugia demonstrated the depth and gravitas he has added to TinPan’s sounds – I found myself watching him closely throughout the new single, marvelling at just how skillful a drummer he is.

TinPan Orange played a really balanced set covering most of their earlier work and a smattering of newer songs. Emily Lubitz was as charismatic as ever, winning the audience over with her relaxed banter (apparently her new born baby was back stage, a bottle of whiskey in hand). Probably my favourite of the new songs was performed by guitarist Jesse Lubitz – although for the life of me I couldn’t tell you the name. “Broken Heart” maybe? And of course Alex Burkoy’s skill on the violin, electric mandolin, bass and more are simply not rivaled on the indie-folk scene – the man quietly steals every show he’s involved in.

A special mention has to be made of the cover songs from the night. “Walk Like an Egyptian” suited the band right down to the ground but it was TinPan Orange’s version of the “Round the Twist” theme (from the 80s/90s children’s television show) that both surprised and delighted the crowd. Emily’s haunting voice over the sparse arrangement and perfectly timed backing vocals from the rest of the band achieved the fine balance needed in a cover song – keeping it recognisable while stamping your own unique style on the song.

As an introduction to The Northcote Social Club I couldn’t have asked for a better show than the return of TinPan Orange. I left the gig eager to hear more of the new stuff and thanking the folk-gods that Emily had chosen to return to the stage so soon. A truly wonderful gig – I can’t wait for the next one!

Stream Feist’s New Album Metals

Image Courtesy of Feist

So far we’ve heard a couple of tracks from the new Feist album Metals which is due to be released next week on the 4th October and it’s sounding very very promising. So you can imagine how excited we were to discover that the folk-pop singer has decided to stream Metals in its entirety.

Head over to Feist’s official site, enter in your e-mail address and get streaming – it’s that easy.

Newtown Festival Announces 2011 Music Lineup

Tin Sparrow
Image Courtesy of Tin Sparrow

The Newtown Festival is one of the most popular community events in Sydney and it’s easy to see why – a great location (Camperdown Memorial Park) a great atmosphere and a fantastic lineup of bands every single year. And while the Newtown Festival tries to draw local and national bands to the event from an eclectic range of genres there’s invariably quite a few amazing folk and acoustic artists peppered amongst the lineup.

And 2011 is no different with a list of artists that seems pulled straight from the pages of Timber and Steel including Tin Sparrow (above), Gossling, The Barons of Tang, Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes, Georgia Fair and many many more.

The Newtown Festival is held on the 13th November and entry is via a gold coin donation (all proceeds of which go to the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre). For the full lineup plus what’s happening in the rest of the festival check out the official web site.

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