West Thebarton – the ‘Tops’ tour

The Triffid – Brisbane – 21 June 2019

Ray, lead singer of West Thebarton at the Triffid 21 June 2019
Ray – West Thebarton – The Triffid – photo Bec Harbour

If you are not from Adelaide, you might not realise that you pronounce the second half of West Thebarton’s name as theb-arton not thee-barton. Formerly known as West Thebarton Brothel Party, they recently dropped the extra baggage and became a band to see live.

There are things that can make or break a show for a photographer and 2 of the biggest happened at West Thebarton’s stop at The Triffid, bad lighting and an unruly crowd. In between the venue getting plunged into darkness then bathed in all of the lights and being clocked in the back of the head by a punter we do what we can.

The evening kicked off with Being Jane Lane, one of my favourite local bands. They always seem to be having such a good time on stage and tonight was no different. They were followed by A. Swayze and the Ghosts. Frontman Andrew Swayze didn’t stay on the stage long, climbing over the barrier into the crowd to a chorus of “do a shoey” (note to fans – they dont do shoeys and they are gross – stop asking for them). I very much regret not going and seeing A. Swayze and the Ghosts at BIGSOUND last year, from all accounts they went off at all venues they played at.

After an amazing set from 2 amazing support bands the anticipation for West Thebarton was building. Touring for their latest single Tops and some great live shows to back them, this was a much anticipated gig for many. And they did not disappoint. They played a ripping set including Moving Out, Set It Straight and of course their new single Tops. Lead singer Ray telling the crowd at one point to “have fun and enjoy yourself, but don’t be dick” when drinks started getting dropped over the D barrier (maybe some people weren’t letting go of the shoey thing?).

West Thebarton were Tops. They have a loyal following and most people were there to have a good time and see some amazing music played. Great gig from a great band, with great choices in support acts.

Gallery – photos by Bec Harbour

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.

Stones Corner Festival

Sunday May 5, 2019 – Photos by Bec Harbour

The Stones Corner Festival raises money for MND and Me Foundation, while showcasing brewers and foodtrucks and celebrating Stones Corner.

Stones Corner is slowly coming out of a dry patch, many retailers left when the outlet stores that populated the shopping moved themselves out to DFO. The precinct was left a bit empty and with no reason for people to go there, the area went quiet. Newer retailers and eateries began moving in, the pub went through a revitalisation and the Stones Corner Festival was born 6 years ago.

Headlined by Jebediah, Area 7 and Brisbane favourite Darren Middleton, the music line up was stellar, with a bit of everything for everyone. With the biggest attendance to date, the crowds still moved freely, and people had places to sit and catch up. A kid oriented play area down the Old Cleveland Road end ensured that the festival had a family vibe. The festival is only going to get bigger next year (they might need to expand a bit!) and if they deliver the amazing music, craft brewers and food offerings again, it will continue to grow.

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Philadelphia Grand Jury

24 April 2019 – The Blackbear Lodge – words and pictures by Bec Harbour

In 2009, Hope is for Hopers was a breath of fresh air in Australian music when it was wandering about not really knowing what to do with itself. I’d stopped listening to Triple J and had moved across to sourcing my new music from the internet. Philadelphia Grand Jury, or as their kick drum skin proclaims – the Philly J’s, didn’t sound like like much else out there.

They still don’t.

The Philly J’s are an eclectic mix, their sound has evolved but their high energy has remained the same – they move around the stage more than any other band I have photographed AND this includes drummer Dan W. Sweat who at the end of the set got his kit moved into the crowd.

They were supported by Georgie Nielsen and the Palms and Jaguar Jonze. I missed Georgie Nielsen and the Palms, by all accounts I missed a great set from them (darn Valley parking). Jaguar Jonze played an amazing set – they just keep getting better every time I see them play.

The Philly J’s started their set with No You Don’t. Second song was Ready to Roll.Their set was carefully constructed with crowd favourites sandwiched with the brand new song $10K – and recorded dialogue (I was trying to work out how Simon “Berkfinger” Berckelman was speaking – turns out you record your stage banter prior to the gig). At the end of the set Berckelman and Joel “MC Bad Genius” Beeson swapped guitar and bass duties, then handed them off to members of the audience while they moved the drum kit into the audience.

This was a great gig, they only have one show left to play after this one (Gum Ball Festival in the Hunter Valley). If you missed this gig, you might have missed out on seeing them for a while.

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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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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