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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Under The Southern Stars @ Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne – 16/03/2022

The stars align after a two-year hiatus to bring three generations of iconic rock and roll back to Melbourne.

With live music venues having the red tape treatment over the last two years finally, rock and roll lovers had the red carpet rolled out with an all-star international line-up gracing the Margaret Court stages in loud and proud performances uniting the enthusiastic Melbourne crowd.

Everywhere you looked the rock nostalgia was strongly represented, a sea of black t-shirts printed Metallica, Matchbox Twenty, Sex Pistols, Rose Tattoo, Rage Against The Machine and my personal favourite ‘Never too old for rock’ brought music lovers of all ages together under the one roof.

Two years out of the arenas and these accomplished musicians did not miss a beat, Bush stormed onto the stage with lead singer and guitarist Gavin Rossdale bounding around the floor with red and white flashing pyrotechnics and pulsating electric guitars and an audience ready to stand their feet and scream. Stone Temple Pilots emerged from the darkness with leading man Jeff Gunn breaking out in song with his thick brown trench coat, dark sunglasses and crouched posture digging deeps for those powerful choruses accompanied by original members Dean and Robert DeLeo showing they still got the goods on the guitar. Then the marvellous final set from Cheap Trick made the audience time travel back to the 80s with lead singer Robin Zander’s voice not losing any of its remarkable range and lead guitarist Rick Nielsen not losing any of his humour.

Every band’s leader showed their gratitude for the mighty Melbourne crowd who made the effort to stick around for the full concert; ‘it’s amazing to be here and trusting the show would go ahead … we’re just grateful to be out here’ Rossdale from Bush echoed to the audience. Gunn continued the appreciation for the audience saying how beautiful the crowd was and how great it was to be in Melbourne. Cheap Trick thanked the crowd by reminiscing about their experiences in Melbourne in times gone by including a rather comical conversation with Nielsen and the band’s young guitarist about never being to Australia, “and this is our youngest members first time in Australia” Nielsen exclaimed until the young guitarist corrected him with his revelation … he’d been here four times before … a stunned Nielsen admitting he was practically a local.

 The curtain raisers Rose Tattoo and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club got the crowd moving and shaking early in the piece, the strong rock and roll enthusiasts at the front swarmed the opening talent and made them feel right at home.

Some of the fans were simply swept up by the stardom on stage, one die-hard fan could be seen racing from pillar to post with a set list handy, hugging fellow fans and getting up close and personal at the edges of the stage in his sparkling golden jacket collecting sweaty guitar picks to add to his very own rock and roll hall of fame. His emotion did get the better of him as he teared up during some of spine-tingling harmonies sung in unison with the whole crowd during the chart breaking hits from Cheap Trick

In the kaleidoscope of great hits the crowd reacted to; Everything Zen performed by Bush had fans screaming the lyrics back at the band whilst Glycerine had audience members holding their phones up like a candle light vigil singing along with the lone Rossdale on stage strumming his electric guitar. The microphone was turned toward the fans as they were united singing the chorus of Comedown in the deep red lights as camera flashes buzzed around the stadium. The sea of phones again were raised as Stone Temple Pilots sang the catchy Interstate Love Song belted out by fans accompanied for flashing golden lights and a deeply crouched Gunn. Heads were shaking and sweat was splattering from the long locks of hair thumping to the chorus of Dead and Bloated which was fitting from those who made a few too many trips to the tuck shop. Cheap Trick teased their greatest hits out to the audience often making jokes about not playing The Flame instead opting to play some of their lesser-known tunes that only the die-hard fans would appreciate. However even the die-hard fans were starting to stamp their feet in protest. The audience that stayed to the very end however were treated to a plethora back-to-back Cheap Trick headline material playing If You Want My Love, I Want You To Want Me, Dream Police, Surrender and yes The Flame did get a run in case you were wondering. The seasoned professionals characteristically ended the show farewelling the audience the only way they know how … in song and bowing to a rowdy crowd appreciating the rock legend’s ability to stay at the top of their game for so long.

 So, for all your rock enthusiasts out there, if you want a concert that’ll have you clapping your hands, banging your head, using your phone as candle sticks and your voice a screaming speaker whilst you’re singing along arm in arm with a random golden jacketed mega fan then Under the Southern Stars is the concert for you to rediscover your love for live concerts. 

You can still catch this spectacular rock music concert series, featuring rock royalty Cheap Trick, global rock superstars, Bush and the legendary Stone Temple Pilots, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club!!

 As well as Australian rock royalty Rose Tattoo and rock icons Electric Mary.


Sat, March 19: Bonython Park, Adelaide, SA
Sun, March 20: Bonython Park, Adelaide, SA
Tues, March 22: WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong, NSW
Wed, March 23: Quodos Bank Arena, Sydney, NSW
Fri, March 25: Kings Beach Ampitheatre, Caloundra, QLD
 Sat, March 26: Southport Sharks, Gold Coast, QLD
Sun, March 27: Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Presale starts Friday, Nov 26 @ 9.00am AEDT until 5.00pm Sunday, Nov 28 AEDT.
Register for presale access before 5.00pm on Sunday, Nov 28 for discounted early bird tickets.
General Public On Sale Monday, Nov 29 @ 9.00am AEDT

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On the verge of releasing new music, The Smith Street Band today announced they will play seven shows across regional Victoria in April and May. Playing for the first time in Macedon, Torquay, Traralgon, and San Remo, as well as returning to Hepburn Springs, Ballarat, and Frankston.

After postponing shows earlier in 2022, The Smith Street Band spent time bunkered down in their off-grid studio in regional Victoria recording their sixth studio album, which is set to follow on from #1 ARIA Album ‘Don’t Waste Your Anger’ released in 2020.

Melbourne newcomers Money Boys will be along for the ride for shows in April and Cheap Skate will play their first every shows supporting The Smithies in May.



Friday April 22 – Palais, Hepburn Spring *#

Saturday April 23 – Railway Hotel, Macedon *

Friday April 29 – Torquay Hotel, Torquay *

Saturday April 30 – Volta, Ballarat *

Friday May 6 – Kay Street, Traralgon ^

Saturday May 7 – Pier Bandroom, Frankston ^

Friday May 13 – Westernport Hotel, San Remo ^

with special guests

*Money Boys ^Cheap-Skate #The Resignators

Tickets on sale now



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AIR SUPPLY The Lost In Love Experience celebrating 47 years

In 2022, the band celebrates 47 years of performing…… the rest is music history…….

After much too long a wait, AIR SUPPLY return to their homeland to perform all-time classics including Love and Other Bruises, All Out Of Love, The One That You Love, and of course Lost In Love. The Lost In Love Experience is a true celebration of a career that spans over 47 years and has seen AIR SUPPLY achieve success after success, with so much amazing music still to come for their staunch legion of fans.

Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, Now and Forever, Every Woman In The World, and Sweet Dreams… these are songs that mean so much to so many, and Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock are joined by their stellar band to present the songs the fans love, in an amazing show that will be one to remember forever.

When Lost in Love was released in Australia in October 1976, it quickly soared to the top of the charts, and went on to be named Song of the Year. Seven consecutive Top-Five singles at that time equaled The Beatles’ run. AIR SUPPLY’s albums Lost in Love, The One That You Love, Now & Forever, and The Greatest Hits have since sold in excess of 40 million copies.


“We love coming back to Australia to where it all started” Russell Hitchcock





Tickets on sale Friday March 11 at 9am

Bookings: www.davidroywilliams.com

“It means the world to us to celebrate this major milstone by performing in our homeland of Australia,” said Russell Hitchcock about the upcoming tour. Graham Russell added, “On our 47th year as Air Supply, nothing will make us more proud as going back to the place where it all began!”.

Make sure you get your tickets early to witness this spellbinding performance of AIR SUPPLY’s catalogue of wonderful songs – these will be very special nights with some of the most beautiful love songs ever written.

AIR SUPPLY: An international success story 47 years in the making…..

Graham Russell & Russell Hitchcock met on May 12, 1975, the first day of rehearsals for “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Sydney, Australia; they became instant friends with their common love for The Beatles and, of course, singing.

After the shows’ performances at 10:30, they would play pizza parlors, coffee bars and night clubs with just one guitar and two voices. They quickly gained a reputation for great harmonies and for original songs that Graham was constantly writing. They made a demo on a cassette of two songs, “Love and Other Bruises” and “If You Knew Me” and took it to every record company in Sydney. Everyone turned it down but one — CBS Records — who admired their unique style.

They made a single in one afternoon and it shot to number one on the national charts. Quickly the duo needed a name for their band and luckily Graham had a vision during a dream … and “Air Supply: was born!

That same year, they opened for Rod Stewart across Australia and then throughout the U.S. and Canada playing all of the famous huge venues before Rod would take the stage. They found new fans, but did not yet break the U.S. market.

Back in Australia they had to start again and made a record called Life Support. On this record were some treasures of songs, including “Lost in Love” which went Top 10 in Australia and somehow found its way to music industry executive Clive Davis in New York.

Clive immediately signed Air Supply to Arista Records and in 1980, “Lost in Love” became the fastest selling single in the world, leaping to the top of all of the charts. Now Air Supply was on their way. The second single was “All Out of Love,” and that went up the charts even quicker

Seven top-five singles later, Air Supply at that time had equaled The Beatles’ run of consecutive top five singles. The albums Lost in Love, The One That You Love, Now & Forever, and The Greatest Hits sold in excess of 20 million copies. “Lost in Love” was named Song of the Year in 1980, and, with the other singles, sold more than 10 million copies.

The trademark sound of Russell Hitchcock’s soaring tenor voice and Graham Russell’s simple yet majestic songs created a unique sound that would forever be known as Air Supply.

However, it is the live shows that always hold audiences captive around the world. They were the first Western group to tour China, Taiwan, and countless other countries that before would not allow pop music across their borders. In 1983 they recorded “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All” by Jim Steinman which solidified the group as a permanent force in modern music. This song was released on The Greatest Hits album which soared past 7 million copies.

“Lost in Love”, “All Out of Love”, “The One That You Love”, “Sweet Dreams”, and “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All” have each achieved multi-million plays on the radio.

Air Supply began to tour with lavish productions in places that no one had been before. In South America and Asia they became a part of everyone’s life. In 1988, Air Supply was asked to participate in Australia’s bicentennial celebration and to play for HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana, where they learned both were already ardent fans. This engagement would be one of their most treasured moments in their career.

In 1989, they recorded “The Earth Is” album selling over a million copies outside of the U.S. This album was followed by “The Vanishing Race” CD and, with the singles “Goodbye” and “It’s Never Too Late”, again saw multi-platinum success. The following albums, “News from Nowhere”, “Yours Truly”, and “Across the Concrete Sky” all gave their second greatest hits album multi-platinum status as they traveled the world each and every year.

In July 2005, their live DVD, “It Was 30 Years Ago Today” celebrated 30 years of success around the world and in that same month, Air Supply smashed attendance records when, in Cuba, at one show they played to 175,000 people. Also 2005 saw the release of “The Singer and the Song”, an acoustic album of many of their big hits which received critical acclaim.

In May 2010, the long-awaited album, “Mumbo Jumbo” –also the duo’s first studio recording in eight years- was released. Recorded at Graham Russell’s home studio near Park City, Utah and at a state of the art facilities in Las Vegas with top session musicians and an orchestra, “Mumbo Jumbo” was produced by Russell and engineered by Sean O’Dwyer, whose credits include Pink Floyd, Randy Newman and Blink-182. Among the 14-tracks, released by was the first single “Dance With Me,” which earned Air Supply a prominent feature article in Billboard Magazine titled “Still Supplying The Hits After 35 Years.”

Just weeks after composer and vocalist Graham Russell was honored with a BMI Million-Air

Certificate recognizing 3 million performances of the duo’s hit “All Out Of Love,” Air Supply’s new song was the #1 most added track on the FMQB AC40 Chart, and also one of the most added on the R&R (Radio and Records) AC Chart and the Mediabase AC chart.

The band then released its live Jerusalem show for a DVD featuring two new songs, “Sanctuary” and “Everywhere.” “Sanctuary” was released as a single on iTunes in December 2011.

They have recently released their new album… the Lost In Love Experience… recorded with the Prague Symphony – a stand out fan favorite is the touching “I Adore You.”

Air Supply performed their 5000th concert in 2019 … that took place in Las Vegas

In January of 2020 the Herald Sun proclaimed Air Supply in the Top 5 of Greatest Aussie Bands of All Time. In stellar company with the likes of AC DC, BEE GEES and INX. And for Valentine’s Day they were profiled for an in-depth U.S. television network interview on CBS Sunday Morning.

In 2013 AIR SUPPLY were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame acknowledging their massive international achievements as one of Australia’s most successful musical exports.

And get this stranger-than-fiction final fact: In over 46 years, Graham and Russell have never had a real argument. Believe it!

And to the delight of music lovers everywhere… the story continues.

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New Kids on the Block, featuring Salt-N-Pepa, Rick Astley, En Vogue), try to “Bring Back the Time”

Nostalgia is a hell of a drug, as this video can potently attest. In support of their 2022 tour, New Kids on the Block, have released a new music video featuring appearances by Salt-N-Pepa, Rick Astley, and En Vogue.

The song, called “Bring Back the Time,” is a love letter to the 1980s. The video spoofs Twisted Sister, DEVO, Billy Idol, Flock of Seagulls, Talking Heads, and other MTV icons of the age.

The video features NKOTB and guests recreating iconic music videos from the late ’80s and early ’90s, including Journey’s “Separate Ways”, Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love”, and A Flock Of Seagull’s “I Ran”.

Of course, it’s very complicated to coordinate so many artists of this magnitude, who all have careers and lives and families, including just in my own band. But it’s easy to overcome those complications when you’re so inspired,” Donnie Wahlberg told Billboard about getting the song and video together.

Every single artist was so excited to jump in and be a part of this song. It’s an anthem. It’s uplifting. It’s fun and it’s exactly what we could all use right now. And that excitement from everyone motivated me to figure this out,” he said. “Same for the music video. I wasn’t going to stop at a few scheduling roadblocks, especially when everyone was so willing. It makes me incredibly excited for the tour, too.

Talking about plans for an upcoming EP or album, Wahlberg added, “We definitely have new music coming. At this point we have five songs recorded, all just really fun extensions of ‘Bring Back The Time’ – but much more moody, very ‘80s.”

Asked if there were any classic music videos they wanted to send up, but didn’t make the cut, he revealed, “We talked about doing ‘Walk This Way’, the Run-D.M.C. [version]. We were thinking it might be Salt-N-Pepa on one side in a split room and we would be Aerosmith on the other side. Of course, we shot in different locations, so we would have to split the two scenes in half and create a fake wall. I don’t know if Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith did that or not? But I think Salt-N- Pepa were more into the glam vibe, which honestly I think worked better.”

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Placebo Share New Single ‘Happy Birthday In The Sky’ From Album ‘Never Let Me Go’ Out March 25

Placebo have shared a brand-new single, Happy Birthday In The Sky. It is the final single that will be released ahead of the band’s highly-anticipated new album Never Let Me Go, which is due March 25.

Never Let Me Go is released on 25th March 2022. Pre-order the album here.

Happy Birthday In The Sky follows recent singles Beautiful James, Surrounded By Spies and Try Better Next Time, each of which offered its own unique glimpse into what has been weighing on the minds of the band in the near decade since their last album release. Where the album’s opening singles considered themes of personal accountability, tech-saturation, and humanity’s true place in the world, Happy Birthday In The Sky is Placebo at their heart-breaking best. Brian Molko grips every word and releases it in a flurry of controlled expressive outpouring, revisiting dark emotions to tell a story of loss and the mechanisms we use to cope with it. He comments:
Happy Birthday In The Sky for me, is one of the more heartbreaking moments on the album. Happy Birthday In The Sky is a phrase that I’ve been using for quite some time. When I say, happy birthday to people who aren’t with us anymore, it communicates the kind of heartbreak that we’re really, really good at communicating I think. You know that sense of loss, that sense of desperation. It’s as if a part of your body and your soul has been ripped from you unfairly. And you pine and you pine, and you wait.
What I am thinking is that this is kind of so visceral and so intense emotionally that it’s really going to communicate something very powerful to the listener. And that’s basically all I’m interested in. At what cost? Who cares. As long as the song really, really moves people, then whatever sacrifices you have to make in order to get there are fine with me. It’s not such a bad thing to inhabit these emotions – you’re very, very much alive and in the moment while you’re doing so.”

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SABATON Release Their Monumental Tenth Studio Album The War To End All Wars

SABATON Release Their Monumental Tenth Studio Album The War To End All Wars + New Video and Single ‘Race To The Sea’ Out Now

“It’s a work of art…”BRAVE WORDS

“…a masterclass in war history. ‘Soldier of Heaven’ delivers on the musical front on top of the historical one.”

“The War to End All Wars shows the best of both worlds: it is faithful to the classic Sabaton sound, yet it also manages to surprise even an old fan. One of their strongest works to this day!”INFERNO MAGAZINE

“Epic choirs, wonderful guitar soli and excellent drumming make this album to another milestone on the Swedes’ path.”POWERMETAL.DE

Today, the eagerly awaited new studio album from Swedish war chroniclers SABATON finally sees the day of the light: “The War To End All Wars” is out NOW. Highly praised by international media, the tenth masterpiece of the Swedish metal force is determined to shake the world in its foundations, introducing a new era in the band’s remarkable career.

Stream the album: https://music.sabaton.net/TheWarToEndAllWars
Order your physical copy: https://sabat.one/TWTEAWAlbum

Australian Physical: HERE

The band states:
“With our last album, The Great War, we found that we had only scratched the surface in terms of the powerful stories of courage and bravery and also the horrors that took place during the first World War. Fans would contact us and tell us these amazing stories from World War One that none of us had ever heard of before. Incredible, human tales like the British and German soldiers who put down their weapons on Christmas Eve in 1914 to share a moment of peace and reconciliation, right there on the battlefield; or the brave soldiers who fought in the White War, some 12,000 feet up in the Alps, who froze to death and whose bodies remain under the snow to this day. These are magnificent stories about everyday people who were willing to give their lives for something that was bigger than themselves. Marrying these true tales to loud, bruising, bone tingling heavy metal? Adding a second chapter to one the most frightening and liberating times in history? Why wouldn’t we make this album?”

To celebrate the release, SABATON releases a video for their fourth single ‘Race To The Sea’. ‘Race To The Sea’ is a song about the decision from Albert of Belgium during WW1 to flood the last part of Belgium and with the help of water prevent all of Belgium to fall into German hands.

‘Race To The Sea’ is the fourth single of the tenth masterpiece of SABATON, The War To End All Wars, that is released today, March 4th, 2022 via Nuclear Blast Records. Once again, SABATON will dive deep into the atrocities, miracles and happenings around WWI and take the listener to an emotional and exciting ride of 11 tracks. ‘Race To The Sea’ was preceded by the highly praised ‘Christmas Truce’, the massive hit ‘Soldier Of Heaven’ and overly popular ‘The Unkillable Soldier’.

SABATON is a five-piece heavy metal band from Falun, Sweden. Since the band’s formation in 1999, SABATON has achieved quadruple Platinum sales and performed colossal concerts in over fifty countries.

The band’s ninth studio album, The Great War, released on July 19, 2019, is a musically rich concept album capturing the sinister atmosphere of World War I – thus continuing the band’s trademark style of telling unforgettable stories from merciless battlefields all over the planet.

SABATON, signed to the world’s biggest heavy metal label, Nuclear Blast Records, played “The Great Tour” at major European festivals, and throughout North America, and Eastern Europe in support of The Great War.

SABATON has put the “COVID downtime” to good use, writing, recording, and releasing a variety of stand-alone singles and music videos. The band played its first post-pandemic date on July 9, performing in front of 40,000 fans when they headlined the Exit Festival in Serbia.

As you might guess… There’s no end in sight for this unstoppable war machine anytime soon!

More info:

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Band Of Horses New Album Things Are Great Out Now!

Band of Horses have released their highly anticipated new album, Things Are Great, out now via BMG. The album, features their first US #1 radio hit with “Crutch,” which the band performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last week.

Watch the performance here

The band has also shared the Ben Fee-directed video for newest single “Warning Signs,” the first song on Things Are Great, and perhaps the most emotionally evocative and revealing song on the record.

“Warning Signs” immediately calls into question the album title, as the raw and autobiographical content of the track wonders if things are actually great, and if they ever will be.

The song begins with an anxious and eerie chiming guitar and was born out of an incident in 2016, when Ben Bridwell lost his voice onstage at the Sydney Opera House, bringing him to tears in front of the Australian audience. Bridwell explains, “I had gotten in a bad situation in Sydney, Australia—we were really overworking on that tour–and my voice went out and I actually cried at the Sydney Opera House onstage. I couldn’t sing and I just started weeping. And you can’t sing when you’re crying. It’s impossible. So that’s what the whole, like, crying at work thing was. I thought it seemed a bit universal. Everybody knows you’re not allowed to be emotional at your job, but I bet all of us have probably been through something like that. But I think it hints at other things in my life, deeper problems that seemed unsolvable at the time. I think there’s probably a few in there. Neuroses that permeate the other songs as well.”

“Warning Signs” joins previously released videos for “In Need Of Repair” and “Crutch” and an official lyric video for “Lights”.

Things Are Great Tracklisting
Warning Signs
Tragedy of the Commons
In The Hard Times
In Need of Repair
Ice Night We’re Having
You Are Nice To Me

Things Are Great is available now

Follow Band Of Horses
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Website

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Tumbleweed announce Extra Shows and Special Guests FRIDGE

There’s a buzz in the air. Following the release of their sold out 7″ singles boxset and run of five nights of hometown celebrations at La La La’s in Wollongong just before Xmas, Tumbleweed are set to continue the celebrations of their 30th anniversary as a band with a national tour. And with the announcement of an added show in Ballarat, the band has also announced old mates Fridge as their special guest on the tour.

Fridge – who started out in Tasmania in 1991 before moving to Melbourne – shared many a bill with the Weed early on, as well a mutual love of fuzz. Known for popular albums like Space Junk and Cactus, the band also shared bills with the likes of the Cosmic Psychos, Spiderbait, Bored!, Hard-Ons, Celibate Rifles, Meanies and a young You Am I – as well as Iggy Pop and Monster Magnet. Tumbleweed are thrilled to have them on board.

Tumbleweed’s Richie says:
“We had heard rumours about this band of fuzzed out long hairs from Tassie, but the first time I saw them was the Meanies’ Gangrenous launch at the Club in Collingwood in 92. I remember rocking up to the gig and we were hit by an almighty wall of warm fuzz and hair and human bodies heaving. They were certainly drawing from a common well as us. Backstage we hit it off immediately with our shared love of music and we have remained firm friends ever since. Both Al and Phil have played in Tumbleweed at various stages over the years, and Al played in Richie and the Creeps and in my Richie and Friends solo shows a few years back. Phil is now living in Wollongong and is our live mixer these days. Squiz is now famous as the guitarist in King Parrot and he still rocks up to every Melbourne show and sleeps on our couch and Tony was the one that got away to greener pastures, so it’ll be great to drag him out of his Tasmanian hibernation! They are our brothers! Fridge for the first time in 25 years! What a way to celebrate our 30th Birthday!”

Ahead of the tour, Tumbleweed have also just announced the March 11 release of vinyl reissues of two of their classic albums, as well as, for the first time, the digital availability of their complete catalogue, which is now available on streaming services or as high-quality download via Bandcamp.

The vinyl reissues are as follows:

Galactaphonic vinyl reissue out March 11th
Vinyl on limited swirl or standard black vinyl.

Sounds From The Other Side vinyl reissue out March 11th
Double gatefold vinyl on limited swirl or standard black vinyl.

Vinyl pre-orders and streaming details are all here –



Tumbleweed 30th Anniversary Tour

with special guests FRIDGE
(all shows except Adelaide)

Triffid, Brisbane, Thurs 14 April – TIX
The Gov, Adelaide, Fri 15 April – TIX
Volta, Ballarat, Fri 22 April – TIX

Westernport Hotel, Ran Remo, Vic, Sat 23 April – TIX
The Croxton, Melbourne, Sun 24 April – TIX
Crowbar, Sydney, Fri 6 May – TIX

30 Years On

30 years used to be a long time in rock’n’roll. When Tumbleweed began in 1991, if you were to look back 30 years you would happen upon a time prior to Beatlemania, when rock’n’roll was still buzzing from Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Elvis!

A lot can happen in three decades, but paradoxically, sometimes very little changes.

Tumbleweed exploded into the 90s with astounding vigour and vim; from the humble village of Tarrawanna in Wollongong NSW, Tumbleweed were desperate to break the shackles of their steel town and take their sounds to the world. 

They meant business from the get-go and had already built a network of friends in Seattle, just as the fuse was lit before the big grunge explosion. Mark Arm from Mudhoney produced the first single “Captain’s Log”/”Space Friends” (1991) and it was mixed by Jack Endino at Reciprocal in Seattle. Tumbleweed back then were three Curley brothers, Lenny, Jay and Dave with Richie Lewis on drums. The band transformed before the release of the first single with Paul Hausmeister and Steve O’Brien – previously of Wollongong 60s garage punks The Unheard – joining the band and Richie becoming the lead singer.

With this new and invigorating 5-piece line up, the band developed their sound and pioneered a new era in Australian rock’n’roll, with the rapid fire of releases “Stoned”/”Holy Moses” 7” (1991), Theatre of Gnomes EP (1992) and Weedseed EP (1992) all dominating the alternative charts, and a non-stop touring schedule supporting just about every band in the spotlight, from Fugazi to Nirvana to Iggy Pop. The momentum led to the band signing directly to Atlantic Records in America. For a moment it seemed that they were destined to take on the world; they toured England with Mudhoney and played the Astoria in London with the Lemonheads, and on a quick showcase tour in the US they played New York’s legendary CBGBs. 

Back in Australia they were on tour when their debut album was released entering the charts at #12.

By the end of the Australian tour, the band’s original manager quit.

Atlantic records dropped them shortly after and the overseas opportunities inevitably dried up. 

Tumbleweed then concentrated their efforts on Australia, finding a new label in Polydor and released a single “Daddy Long Legs” (1994) and second album Galactaphonic (1995). They toured to sell-out crowds and seemed to be sailing sweetly when they foolishly kicked out guitarist Paul Hausmeister. Steve left out of solidarity.

Lenny, Jay and Richie continued on with various other members through the third album Return to Earth (1996), which spawned the hit single “Silver Lizard”, and then album #4, Mumbo Jumbo (1999) which, funnily, got them the only ARIA nomination they ever received.

But things were not the same.  Richie and Lenny walked away from it in 2000. 

In 2009 the classic line up Richie, Lenny, Jay, Paul and Steve reformed for the 15th anniversary of Homebake, a festival Tumbleweed had helped pioneer with “Weedstock” back in the 90s. 
They released their fifth album Sounds from the Other Side in 2013 to critical acclaim and just wrapped up touring that album when, in August 2014, tragedy struck. Jay Curley, bass player, brother and founding member, died suddenly in his home. The band were devastated.

In 2017, old friends Spiderbait asked Tumbleweed to reform to play a special anniversary show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne. The band recruited old Wollongong mate and Pink Fits bass player Jamie Cleaves to fill in on bass. With Jamie they discovered new life in the band, a new spark that reignited their passion for rock’n’roll. With Jamie now a solid member of the band they recorded a single “Shadowland/ Rebellion” (2021) with Rob Younger.

Tumbleweed are now loving it more than ever. They have found a balance, are writing new music and are playing the best shows of their career!

Tumbleweed are about to embark on a tour to celebrate still being around 30 years on! From the fairy tale beginning full of unbridled potential, to the crushing failure to realise their dreams, Tumbleweed’s story has been one of the highest highs and the lowest lows, but it has always been real.

To be continued…



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