Ezekiel Ox – Cheering Bombs from Deckchairs

The Blackbear Lodge Brisbane – June 13, 2019 – words & pictures by Bec Harbour

Most people would be familiar with Ezekiel Ox from fronting funk metal band Mammal (who are on the line up for Dead of Winter festival this year). With a new EP Cheering Bombs from Deckchairs and touring Australia from top to bottom, the prolific Ezekiel Ox brand has a refreshing urgency not often heard in music right now, with the funk element making you want to dance right along to some hard rocking music.

Supporting band Born Lion from Sydney were first up, they were loud on their soundcheck, and they were loud during their set (thank fuck for earplugs). A hardcore influenced punk outfit, that would seem right at home in the 90’s, their blistering set should be taken in by more people (get there early to the gigs people – I can’t say it enough, there is a reason your band have chosen their support act – THEY like them).

Born Lion – The Blackbear Lodge – photo Bec Harbour

Ezekiel Ox and band were up next and tore through the new music from the EP (check out the video for Meglomania in fact you can check out the whole new EP here) as well as some older stuff. Zeke was off the stage early on, interacting with the audience and making the most of the small space.

The band was tight, and the front man was charismatic and fully engaged with the small crowd. I highly recommend getting along and seeing them as they are another step up live from their recordings (Adelaide and Darwin still to go).

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Press Club

The Foundry – 1 June 2019

Natalie Foster – Press Club at the Foundry – photo Bec Harbour

Press Club have just finished touring around the UK and Europe and have just dropped themselves into an Australian tour. You would think that they would be exhausted but no. Press Club put on one of the highest energy shows that I have seen in a long time.

They were supported by local band Blussh (who I missed as I had a 40th to attend) and Melbourne band Mid City. Mid City played a high energy set but were left looking lethargic (they weren’t) in comparison to Press Club’s energy.

Singer Natalie Foster came on stage with the biggest grin and engaged with the front row of adoring fans. They reeled off song after song from their release from last year Late Teens as well as the single they are touring for “Get Better”.

It looks like they are back off to Europe and the UK again in August, if you can I highly recommend that you get along and see them while they play these smaller shows in Australia – the audience interaction and energy is well worth it.

Meg Mac – Give Me Back My Name

Tivoli – 13 April 2019 – reviewed by Bec Harbour

Meg Mac – Tivoli – photo Bec Harbour Photography

Meg Mac has had a busy 6 months since the Brisbane Festival last year. Meg has put out a new single (Give Me Back My Name) and has been touring all over. Somewhere along the way Meg has also found time to record a new album.

Meg’s set included favourites including Every Lie and Low Blows, as well as newer music – Give Me Name Back and Hope (which is also the name of her new album).Meg’s music often has a serious undertone but resonates with her audience, with the crowd singing along on nearly every song. The cover of Tame Impala’s Let It Happen is still a part of her set and a big crowd favourite since its debut on Triple J’s Like A Version.

The set was over before you realised (no encore) and the crowd walking away satisfied at the end of the performance.

Charlie Collins

The Blackbear Lodge – Saturday 30 March 2019

Charlie Collins – Blackbear Lodge – photo Bec Harbour

I first saw Charlie Collins at A More Perfect Union last year, supporting Gang of Youths. Charlie was wearing this jumpsuit which she told us needed a good wash, then played some of the most amazing country inflected music.

Support act Jaguar Jonze has been on my list to catch live, I have crossed paths with Deena, the amazing person behind the “Jonze” brand at industry events. Jaguar Jonze was the perfect starter for Charlie Collins with her own brand of alt-country.

Charlie Collins came with her band and played a rocking set that had an interlude where she played with just her accoustic and then some violin. The set culminated with her single from late last year ‘Mexico‘.

Charlie said at the start of her set that she hadn’t expected the amount of people that came. Charlie captured Brisbane peoples attention at A More Perfect Union, and kept their interest by making really great music. Don’t be surprised if you’re at a bigger venue next time you’re in town, Charlie Collins.

Queensland Music Awards 2019

Royal International Convention Centre – Tuesday 19 March 2019

The 2019 Queensland Music Awards (QMA’s) were an amazing showcase of how strong and diverse the Queensland music scene is. The awards were hosted by Patience Hodgson (The Grates) and comedian Mel Buttle and featured performances from DZ Deathrays, Amy Shark, William Barton and Clea.

Clea and Emily Wurramara both were dual recipients (Clea for the Pop category and Song of the Year and Emily Wurramara for the Indigenous and Blues and Roots categories). Other winners included Tia Gostelow for Album of the Year and Pool Shop who took out the Billy Thorpe Scholarship. For a full list of winners and photos from the night see below.

Song of the Year – Clea (Dreaming)
Album of the Year – Tia Gostelow (Thick Skin)
Billy Thorpe Scholarship – Pool Shop
Rock – Jungle Giants (Used to Be In Love)
Export Achievement Award – Confidence Man
Electronic/Dance – The Kite String Tangle (Give it Time feat. AALIAS)
Pop – Clea (Dreaming)
Hip Hop/Rap – Resin Dogs (Pack Your Bags)
Singer Songwriter – Amy Shark (I Said Hi)
Peoples Choice Awards – Metro Venue – The Triffid
Regional – Sahara Beck (Here We Go Again)
Indigenous – Emily Wurramara (Lady Blue)
World/Folk – Asha Jeffries (Everybody Talks)
Jazz – The Biology of Plants (Long Black)
Peoples Choice Awards – Festival of the Year – The Big Pineapple Festival
Blues/Roots – Emily Wurramara (Tap Sticks)
Country – Emma Beau (Wild Heart)
Heavy – Dead Letter Circus (The Armour You Own)
Soul/Funk/RnB – Mark Peric (The Sound of Light)
Peoples Choice Awards – Regional Venue – NightQuarter
Schools – Tokyo Twilight (Little Things feat. DVNA)
Video – Buttah (Ghost in the Machine)
Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award – Henry ‘Seaman’ Dan

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War on Women

The Crowbar Brisbane Tuesday 12 March 2019

War on Women – photo Bec Harbour

First things first – I owe this gig to the tenacity of my friend Scott who contacted War on Women and suggested that if they wanted a photographer for their Brisbane gig that I’d be a good one. War on Women were supporting Converge on their Australian tour after the Download festivals (come on bring this festival to Brisbane!).

War on Women released their album, Capture the Flag in April last year. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this band is another punk band singing angry love songs, they have strong feminist, political and societal commentary to share.

The band tore through a solid set with singer Shawna Potter engaging with her audience – leaping in at one point, quite a few had come primarily to catch War on Women. I was so caught up with the energy of their set that I found myself forgetting to take photos (a hallmark of a great gig for me). The front row of punters were screaming along to everything they played.

Listen to this bands lyrics, they have an important message to share. They also have a perfect platform to deliver this, through music. I hope they do more festivals where people can discover them, engage with their messages and make a change, even just in themselves.

Tape/Off – ‘Vigorous Lover’ tour

Black Bear Lodge – 1 March 2019

Tape/Off – photo Bec Harbour

I saw Tape/Off at the Valley Drive In during BIGSOUND 2018, all I could hear was a wall of sound coming from behind the Brightside, and I wanted to know more. I checked them out on their Triple J Unearthed and Facebook profiles later on and realised that their favourite bands included many of mine. I like a noisy band.

Tape/Off – photo Bec Harbour

Tape/Off released ‘Broadcast Park’ last year just before BIGSOUND and the latest single ‘Vigorous Lover’ is a step away from their usual sound dynamic. Cnt Evn, Minor Premiers and Requin as supports were thematic choices with their own brands of quality noise.

Tape/Off played a solid set that included ‘Wake in Fright’, ‘Micronation’ and ‘Day In, Day Out’ and of course ‘Vigorous Lover’. ‘Vigorous Lover’ shows the melodic chops the band has and some clever lyric play: “She wanted a vigorous lover, that would go all night, I’m not such a vigorous lover, but I go alright…”

Get and see Tape/Off, especially if you like noise in abundance. The tour namesake single ‘Vigorous Lover’ shows a bit of a sardonic side through the lyrics and softer sound that you might not realise Tape/Off possess.

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