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Live Gig Video: Model Aeroplanes perform an acoustic ‘Whatever Dress Suits You Better’ at T in the Park for The AU Review

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd July 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

As you know, we can’t always be everywhere, so that’s when mates come in handy: we couldn’t be at annual Scottish mega festival T in the Park this year, but our friends from down under at The AU Review were present and they filmed this lovely bit. Model Aeroplanes, who were a wonderful discovery of mine in the summer of 2013, filmed this acoustic version of their track ‘Whatever Dress Suits You Better’ – in the Scottish sunshine, no less! – for our Aussie buds. Watch the performance below.

This original feature on The AU Review ran here. Everything Model Aeroplanes on TGTF, including my interview with the Dundee lads at Liverpool Sound City 2014, is right this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obkopluPw1w[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2013: Day 5 afternoon – Aussie BBQ taster at Maggie Mae’s and Captiva Records showcase at the Rooftop at 6th – 16th March 2013

 
By on Thursday, 4th April 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

If you are still standing after 4 straight days of punishing your body with running around, gigs and libations at SXSW and are no worse for wear, then you deserve a gold star. I’ll be the first to admit, Friday night…er, in the wee hours of Saturday morning I didn’t crawl into bed until about 6 AM after a very enjoyable night of dancing and boozing, having been taken out as a very special guest by some boys in a band I’m fond of. Ahem. I won’t embarrass by naming them but they know who they are, and if you are reading this my friends, that was truly one of the most fun nights of my life. Cheers for that. I owe you one when you make your first triumphant visit to DC.

I had such a good time on Friday night and gosh darn it, it was my last full day in Austin on Saturday the 16th, and I was going to give myself the gift of a nice lie-in. I had been invited to see Dan Croll at noon, but my argument was that he was going to be at Liverpool Sound City where we’re having a stage and I’d have a chance to see him then, and since he now has an American record contract (so I heard?) I will see him on this side of the pond eventually anyway.

I had made a promise to Larry and Johnny of our friends the AU Review to check out the Aussie BBQ this year, since I didn’t have time in 2012, so I stopped into Maggie Mae’s, where I was overwhelmed with all the Australian talent that was going to be showcased across the three stages there. I used to think the Brits were the only country to have an awe-inspiring presence at SXSW, but Australia makes good work of taking up the entire last day of the festival to showcase their country’s musical best. See all of the AU Review’s excellent coverage of this year’s Aussie BBQ, as well as previous years, through this link.

Bearhug Aussie BBQ SXSW

After popping my head in to say hello to Larry between his very busy schedule of video interviews, I went looking for Johnny, who was tasked to take photos of bands on all three stages. When I couldn’t find him, I went downstairs to enjoy a bit of Bearhug, an alt-rock band from Sydney. Kind of slacker rock / Lemonheads sounding. Then I went upstairs to catch a bit of indie band the Rubens, who I saw at the triplej Unearthed night at the Oxford Art Factory during ARIA Week in Sydney last November. I was hoping to see if I would change my mind on them, given that they were playing in an entirely different environment. Nope. ‘My Gun’ still sounds cheesy and a poor man’s Oasis. Sorry, guys.

After a brief catch-up, some laughs and hugs and wishes for each other for safe travels home, I was off to my next destination. Emails had flitted back and forth in my inbox the previous night before and after I caught some shut eye, and suddenly I found myself being invited to see a couple different bands at a free showcase on Sixth Street. As fate should have it, all three of the bands happened to be playing at the same exact showcase being put on by Captiva Records, a music promotion and indie record label based locally in San Marcos, Texas, taking place on the Rooftop at 6th. I am not sure who decided which bands would play on their afternoon shows that went on all week, as at least on Satruday there was no emcee present or anyone who looked like he or she was running the show. Whoever it was though, he/she did an impeccable job of choosing some great artists to play, especially on the Saturday.

Kitty Clementine SXSW

I was proud of myself that I arrived in good time before I really needed to be there. What I found when I arrived was Australian singer Kitty Clementine, who self-proclaims to be a “big mouth wee belter from down under” on her Web site. Her outfit was vaguely Mad Max apocalypse meets Lady Gaga, which I suppose was appropriate as she found herself using the raised platform in this outdoor atrium-cum-rooftop, writhing against one of the tent poles. I’m no feminist but just…ugh. Please don’t. It makes me take you even less seriously. Her vocal styling was like she was trying to be Amy Winehouse, but Amy has nothing to worry about: it felt like an imitation, and not a great one at that.The guys in attendance appeared to appreciate the sexual writhing around though, with some of the bands I knew joking that they should include some pole dancing routines in their sets. (Just for the record, it didn’t happen. Phew.)

Story Books Captiva Saturday SXSW

The next band was Kent’s Story Books, who if you recall, I saw on the Wednesday night Communion showcase at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop and then interviewed three of the band on Thursday at Blackheart. The show at night was miles away from this last hurrah for the band, playing in the sunshine. I guess you could say that the Austin sunshine is something magical indeed. Their keyboardist Andrew was even wearing sunglasses for the entire set. (Well, almost. Afterwards he said, “I tried, but they kept slipping off my face”. And it’s the trying that counts.) ‘Simple Kids’, from their debut EP ‘To Be a Hunter’ on Communion to be released on the 29th of April, is a melancholy number about young love and how Kris Harris insists, “stay close to your troubles, don’t let them interfere/ with your sense of wonder, ’til it disappears”. Which is what being young and falling in love is all about, right? I think though in Story Books’ case, what got punters into the band was the reckless abandon in which Harris and guitarist Jack Tarrant banged on their guitars. No, sir. This is not just a folk band. Cross those words out and write underneath “rocking out band with folk tendencies”. That’s more accurate.

Knot
Simple Kids
Furniture and Things
Peregrine
To Be Good
Glory and Growth
All Those Arrows

By nature of being close to the action, a good proportion of bands showcasing at SXSW every year happen to be Texan bands. Such was the case with the band up after Story Books, called In the Works. Later that night, I had a run-in with one band members’ parents on 7th Street; his mum recognised me from the venue, asked me why I was photographing all the bands, then asked me (putting it mildly) to write nice things about him on here. Er…

In the Works SXSW

Okay, so here’s my entirely unbiased opinion on this band after hearing them play. Point #1: I don’t know how long they’ve been together or have known each other, but it doesn’t engender much confidence if when you’re playing SXSW, you have to make a point to acknowledge that your next song “is an original”. This made me think most of their arsenal is made up of covers. Huh? Point #2: I didn’t find anything particularly exciting or noteworthy about their set. They’ve also got a vague country/western twangy vibe, which generally doesn’t go down well with me. The good news though is, the band are still in university and have plenty of time to find their sound – or rather a unique sound that will set them apart from any other American band from Anytown, USA. I wish them luck.

The Crookes Captiva Saturday SXSW 1

And then for the third time in 24 hours, it was again Crookes time. It was their fifth and final show of this SXSW and well, it’s like they say: go big or go home. Guitarist Tom Dakin and singer/bassist George Waite were dressed in colourful shirts they’d purchased in Austin; Tom’s, with a tropical flower theme, was most appropriate for playing a gig under the gaze of late afternoon sun. Out the gate they played ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ with so much gusto, it probably caused this neck ligament accident reported a couple days ago on Twitter. On behalf of America, I wholly apologise to the band and the whole of England for any injury caused by SXSW. But it was a wild week of shows, wasn’t it? Trust me, I know. I almost got impaled by George’s wayward mike stand. Last year I had a close call with one of Cashier No. 9‘s guitars.

The Crookes Captiva Saturday SXSW 2

I’ve questioned the wisdom of posting a video of mine of them playing ‘Backstreet Lovers’ because you can hear me singing along a little bit too loudly. There is also a lot of arms and legs flailing from the vocal Crookes’ American fan contingent described previously in Friday night’s review. Our crowd’s singing along was even more evident during the Crookes’ foray onto the atrium platform to perform ‘The Cooler King’, with Tom quipping and pointing at all of us, “you’re our official back-up section!” But what was more important was the amount of cheering and hollering the band got not from us, but from people who had just a half-hour before had never heard of the Crookes before. Maybe this best exemplifies why SXSW is like Christmas to music lovers: keep your ears open, take a chance on a band playing in the sun on a rooftop, and you might just have stumbled on your new favourite band.

Where Did Our Love Go
Maybe In the Dark
American Girls
Sal Paradise
Sofie
Afterglow
Backstreet Lovers
The Cooler King (on top of the atrium riser!)

The Ghosts SXSW

After the sweat-athon that was the Crookes’ set, there was a brief changeover before the Ghosts, who became the last band I would see at SXSW. They’re a project that was started by Alex Starling, who was a supposed “secret” fourth member of the all too short-lived Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, who disbanded following their singer Charles Haddon’s tragic suicide at 2010’s Pukkelpop in Belgium. Out of tragedy, Starling didn’t wallow in his sorrow long. He regrouped, joined forces with drummer Ian Palmer, then headed west to North America to pick up some additional band members.

There’s a roughness, a hardness to their sound, relying on guitars, synths and drums to make something like single ‘Everything Will Do’, with sections loud and punishing like Led Zeppelin’s height of grandeur, interspersed only slightly softer moments. At other times, they’re definitely channeling the most fun aspects of ’80s New Wave dance (have a listen to ‘Underrated’), and as a connoisseur of that era, I can appreciate this fully. It’s definitely a unique style, and I’m glad it just so happened that I got to see them at the conclusion of my SXSW 2013 experience.

 

SXSW 2013: Watch Dave Grohl’s keynote speech in full and his interview with the AU Review

 
By on Monday, 18th March 2013 at 5:17 pm
 

Good news. If you weren’t able to be there in person for Dave Grohl‘s keynote speech at this year’s SXSW in Austin last week, you can watch the speech in its entirety from this uploaded video on Youtube. Watch it below. Also below is a brief red carpet interview our friends at the AU Review did with the man.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efv0Y5Fs7m4[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQT2W2eG_yA[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2013 Australian band tips from The AU Review

 
By on Thursday, 28th February 2013 at 11:00 am
 

We made friends with the lovely folks of the AU Review at SXSW 2012, so it seems only appropriate to ask their Head Photographer Johnny Au for his best tips for Australian acts not to miss at this year’s event. Check ’em out from the links below and where possible, we’ve linked to their SXSW 2013 features on the AU Review’s Web site and my live reviews from ARIA Week 2012 in Sydney. Thanks Johnny for your great tips!

Alpine – read part 1 of the AU Review’s From 360 to WIM: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here

Ball Park Music

Emma Louise – read part 3 of the AU Review’s From 360 to Vaudeville Smash: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here

Flume – read part 3 of the AU Review’s From 360 to Vaudeville Smash: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here

Georgia Fair – read part 3 of the AU Review’s From 360 to Vaudeville Smash: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here

Glass Towers – read part 4 of the AU Review’s From 360 to Yolanda Cool: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here

Henry Wagons

Jack Carty – read part 5 of the AU Review’s From 360 to Yolanda Cool: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here

Jackson Firebird – read part 5 of the AU Review’s From 360 to Yolanda Cool: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here

Jonathan Boulet – read part 5 of the AU Review’s From 360 to Yolanda Cool: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here

People of Letters

San Cisco – read my review of their support slot with the Vaccines in early February in Washington here

Seth Sentry

The Audreys – read part 1 of the AU Review’s From 360 to WIM: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here

The Beards – read part 1 of the AU Review’s From 360 to WIM: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here

The Falls – read part 3 of the AU Review’s From 360 to Vaudeville Smash: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here; read my review of their performance at the MGM and SPA showcase during ARIA Week 2012 through here

The Rubens – read my review of their performance at the triplej unearthed showcase during ARIA Week 2012 in Sydney through here

The Trouble With Templeton – read my review of their performance at the MGM and SPA showcase during ARIA Week 2012 in Sydney through here

Vaudeville Smash

 

Interview: The Hummingbirds at Liverpool Sound City

 
By on Friday, 22nd June 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Interview by Larry Heath of www.theaureview.com
Reproduced by permission

Having the opportunity to catch them several times live at Liverpool Sound City, Larry managed to grab the members of Liverpool outfit The Hummingbirds (not to be confused with the 80s Sydney band of the same name) to talk about their shows, performing for the Queen, The Beatles, their music and much more…

Let’s talk about what you’ve been up to the last couple of days. You were saying you had never busked before and you busked for the Queen!

Yeah, so it’s a good start to busk for the Queen. We didn’t know it was busking until an hour before, we thought it was going to be a full stage with amps and lights and we got a call just saying it’s completely acoustic, just take your guitars and just play. We always talked about busking though, we thought it’d be a cool thing to do with harmonies and acoustic guitars, we’re good live, it’s not like we’re a studio band. We couldn’t cancel, we couldn’t cancel on the Queen so we just decided to do it, and we’ve been busking all weekend basically.

Well you played the opening party a month ago and at the industry party Wednesday night, so you definitely are sort of ambassadors, official or otherwise!

It’s a big festival, so it’s great that they actually picked us to do the opening party in London and the party in Liverpool. The roof-top show today was a one-off so that was brilliant.

Read the rest of Larry’s interview with the Liverpudlian band here: www.theaureview.com/interviews/liverpool-sound-city-the-hummingbirds-liverpool

 
 
 

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