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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Charley Crockett @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 13/02/2024

Tuesday saw just another classic Summer day in Melbourne – 37 degrees, damaging storms, torrential rain, flooding, gale force winds, power outages, all the usual stuff – however none of this deterred a bunch of keen music lovers who ventured out to see the talented Charley Crockett. The Texan country singer has been touring Australia with his band for the past few weeks, with his final show set for Perth on 14th February. 

Knowing very little about him and only a couple of his songs, I was interested to see the demographic of his fan base. Based on my last hectic country music experience at the Forum, I was well prepared for what potentially may lay ahead for me. If you’ve been reading my previous reviews then you’ll know I love people watching, especially at gigs. The fans that rolled out to this gig were a lot more sedate than my previous experience, and proved a solid point that you can’t always stereotype the fans a musician or band may attract. Given the thick, traditional country sound to his music, I was surprised to find only a handful of Stetson hats wandering through the crowd and a limited amount of plaid shirts and cowboy boots adorning the punters. From the ages of early 20’s to late 80’s and everything in between, it really was the ultimate mixed bag of people. 

As I settled into position in the historically beautiful Forum theatre, I managed to catch the last few songs of the first support act, Sweet Talk. The local Melbourne 6 piece outfit have got a damn fine sound, and I was disappointed I didn’t get to catch their full set(Thanks public transport delays). Country, soul, blues, with slight funk undertones and hint of honky tonk, these guys have got a dash of everything in their music, and lead singer Tane Walker’s voice has got an awesome soul quality to it. This is a band I’ll definitely be looking out for in the future – I need more of them in my life! 

Next up were Sydney country band Caitlin Harnett & the Pony Boys. With their solid country sound and Caitlin’s distinct soaring vocals, they proved to be a big hit with the crowd despite Caitlin joking at times “You don’t even know who we are”. Their recently released album All Night Long is sure to be a hit with fans old and new, and the song Sidelines – which Caitlin wrote for her sister- is definitely a stand-out track. 

There was an excited buzz travelling throughout the audience now, and I could tell everyone was gearing up for the main event. Well our appetites were about to be fed, as Charley’s band entered stage left followed by the man himself, decked out in his crisp Ten Gallon hat and acoustic guitar strapped firmly to his front. They opened the show with $10 Cowboy, and the crowd were absolutely thrilled! 

Charley then greeted us with a “good evening Melbourne”, which was met with a rowdy applause. Bass player Colin Colby then switched out his electric bass for a classic upright double bass which gave the next track, Black Sedan, a really deep and rich sound. 

Just Like Honey and Lies and Regret followed which the crowd really got into, and the latter was a real toe tappin’ boot scootin’ affair. Charley was flying through the songs back to back with minimal audience interaction in between, and amongst those were some James ‘Slim’ Hand covers including In The Corner. Into the mix he also threw in Hard Luck & Circumstances, Odessa and Look What You Done To Me, which had slight hints of New Orleans Jazz vibes with it’s arrangement. 

It was then we went to Welcome Hard Times, before it sounded like we were headed into a Mexican stand-off when the moody intro to The Man From Waco rang out and had the crowd singing along to the chorus. After a few more songs, including a Jerry Reed cover of I Feel For You, Charley then thanked and praised his wonderfully talented band and said that “they make a $10 cowboy look pretty good”. He then said he had to ask us something, and asked if we were having a good time? This was met with deafening cheers and applause, in which Charley then summoned a big Hallelujah from everyone in the room. 

It was then into another cover, this time Tom T. Hall’s That’s How I Got to Memphis, before we got down with the funky blues tune Travelin’ Blues. Charley then picked up his banjo for the first time that night and proceeded to play the bluegrass sounding track Darlin’ Six Months Ain’t Long, promptly followed up with Lily My Dear. Trinity River was a hit with the crowd, and once again this track with its upbeat jazz feel makes you feel like you’re marching down Bourbon Street in New Orleans in a Second Line Parade. 

It really amazes me how a song can make you feel an experience that you’ve never encountered before, and during Run Horse Run I truly felt like a cowboy in the Wild West riding in the saddle of my faithful steed. After finishing the ode to his home state Goin’ Back to Texas, he cheekily told us that because this was his second Melbourne show he was twice as good as he was the night before, money back guaranteed. His set then drew to a close with Midnight Run and a huge and thunderous applause from the crowd who were hungry for more. When I say the crowd were hungry, they were bloody starving for more once Charley had departed the stage. The cheering and stomping from the audience would’ve put the hyena stampede from The Lion King to shame, and the sound was deafening as the crowd were trying to summon him back to the stage for an encore. There was a long delay where it looked as if that was it and a few concert goers started to disperse, but their ravenous calls were met with Charley reappearing with his acoustic guitar and singing a solo version of Lonesome As a Shadow. It was then one last song with the full band before the night drew to a close and a lot of happy souls were left to venture out into the night for their journey home. 

Charley’s voice is a deep, smooth salve for the soul and at times reminds me a lot of the late great Johnny Cash. I am far from a country music aficionado by any means, however I feel his style of country music is a lot different to what you hear commercially released these days. His old school country sound pulls from influences like Hank Williams and George Jones, and made me feel like I was back in the 1950’s sitting in some little honky tonk bar in the depths of the Deep South. Charley is certainly a talented performer, not just vocally, but musically and with his cute little dance moves and dashing cowboy looks, he really is the whole country meal deal. I really enjoyed my night with Charley, and can now officially call myself a fan! 

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New Bloom Fest 2024 Kicks Off Next Month & Sideshows Revealed

The new era of alternative rock and punk arrives in Australia this March with NEW BLOOM FEST, a brand-new touring festival set to launch next month.

Featuring some of the freshest up-and-coming artists in the scene, today NEW BLOOM FEST is also announcing an expansion beyond the festival events, with headline shows locked and loaded from some of the international NEW BLOOM FEST artists throughout March.

NEW BLOOM FEST’s inaugural events are set to be packed full of unforgettable moments, with American rockers CITIZEN, post-hardcore heroes MOVEMENTS, L.A. emotive hard-hitters TOUCHE AMORE and pop punk powerhouse NO PRESSURE all lined up to rattle the collective roofs in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, alongside alternative rockers FLESHWATER and grunge shoegaze duo SOFTCULT both performing as part of their debut Australian appearances. Also joining the sweltering international line-up will be an army of stellar local acts in each city to showcase the incredible might of the modern alternative scene at home and beyond.

Add in some of the amazing sideshows on offer and it’s set to be a month-long celebration of all things alternative rock and punk this March!


Tuesday 19 March – Uni Bar Adelaide 18+

Wednesday 20 March – Amplifier Bar, Perth 18+ SELLING FAST

Wielding quiet ballads, distorted rock anthems and everything in between, American rockers CITIZEN are a band impossible to resist and even more difficult to forget. Straddling the realms of post hardcore, shoegaze and pop alongside guitar-driven rock’n’roll, CITIZEN most recently furthered their enduring appeal via their fifth album Calling The Dogs; the band’s first album as a full five piece, and a resounding rebirth overall. From playing as teenagers in local dive bars to selling out theatres and appearing at festivals around the world, CITIZEN are a must-hear and must-see act, back and bigger than ever before.



  Saturday 9 March: Neck Of The Woods, Auckland 

Sunday 10 March: San Fran, Wellington 

Tuesday 12 March: Stay Gold, Melbourne ** SELLING FAST

Wednesday 13 March: Vinnies Dive Bar, Gold Coast ** 

Orange County rockers MOVEMENTS weave an intimate beauty into their post hardcore-meets-alternative-rock creations, with their latest album RUCKUS! dexterously showcasing their signature tension-and-release style in a whole new way. Off the back of a whirlwind few years at MOVEMENTS HQ, with their 2020 album No Good Left to Give debuting at #3 on the Alternative charts and their streams doubling to over 200 million streams in the U.S alone, MOVEMENTS continue to evolve and excite – and their return down under will offer fans a chance to witness them in a whole new light.

Special guests will be twin sisters Phoenix and Mercedes Arn-Horn, aka SOFTCULT. Spurred by the upheavals of 2020, including the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing pandemic, the sisters channelled their frustrations into their new sonic direction, seamlessly mixing grunge, shoegaze, dream pop and punk with a meaningful message. Don’t miss the SOFTCULT live experience next year when the pair head to our shores for their debut Australian performances.


  Saturday 9 March: Lynotts Lounge, Perth 18+ SELLING FAST

Sunday 10 March: Jive Bar, Adelaide 18+

Monday 11 March: Stay Gold, Melbourne 18+ SELLING FAST

Wednesday 13 March: Sooki Lounge, Belgrave 18+ 

Hailing from Los Angeles, TOUCHE AMORE have spent over a decade burrowing into themes of angst, alienation, cancer and death. From the release of their 2009 debut album …To the Beat of a Dead Horse through to their 2020 opus Lament, TOUCHE AMORE have actively matured alongside their releases, emerging on the latter with a nuanced collection of songs that fuse hard-won optimism into ferocious yet delicate terrain. From performances at Coachella Festival to touring alongside Balance and Composure and Every Time I Die, TOUCHE AMORE are always ready to stun in a live setting.


Saturday 9 March: Uni Bar, Adelaide Lic AA 

Sunday 10 March: Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne 18+ SELLING FAST

Tuesday 12 March: La La Las, Wollongong 18+

Wednesday 13 March: Burdekin Hotel, Sydney 18+ SELLING FAST

Thursday 14 March: Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane 18+ 

Conceived in 2017, America’s FLESHWATER has constantly cultivated a global cult-like following, ignited by the release of their 2020 debut EP, the aptly titled demo2020. Via their early single Linda Claire, which has gone on to generate over 3 million individual streams on Spotify alone, the scene was set for the 90s and early 2000s rock-inspired group to step beyond the underground. Since then, FLESHWATER have toured alongside No Pressure and Koyo, released their debut album, 2022’s We’re Not Here To Be Loved, and will head to Australia for the first time ever in 2024 as part of NEW BLOOM FEST.


Wednesday 20 March: The Espy, Melbourne 18+ SELLING FAST

Thursday 21 March: Crown & Anchor, Adelaide 18+ SOLD OUT

Friday 22 March: Amplifier Bar, Perth 18+ SELLING FAST

Sunday 24 March: Crowbar, Sydney 18+ SELLING FAST

Bringing together members from The Story So Far, Light Years and Drain, pop punks NO PRESSURE embrace 90s flavours with energised modern injections, crafting familiar yet infectious earworms that will always leave you wanting more. Releasing their debut EP No Pressure in 2020, NO PRESSURE followed up with their debut self-titled full length in 2022, with breakout singles Too Far and Lock it Up bustling with hooks, polished production and buoyant melodics. A band who can effortlessly tease a smile out of any crowd, the times will be fast and fun next March when NO PRESSURE take the stage.


Destroy All Lines & triple j Short.Fast.Loud Presents 




Tickets on sale now from destroyalllines.com

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Australia, are you ready for round 2? While it’s been less than a year since beloved UK alt-rockers Nothing But Thieves were last down under for an entirely sold out run, the band are returning to Australia this April and May to finish what they started last year.

Presented by XIII Touring, Untitled Group, triple j as well as Wasserman Music and War Road Management, for the second Australian leg of their Dead Club City World tour in 2024, Nothing But Thieves will be exploding onto stages in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide before heading to Auckland; but this time they’ll also be armed with the entire Dead Club City album out in the world, as well as some brand new music courtesy of the recently announced Dead Club City Deluxe edition.

An album that dazzles in disco hues, experimental funk, soaring synths, scorching riffs and mesmerising melodics, Dead Club City is undoubtedly the most intoxicating and innovative addition to the Nothing But Thieves universe to date. But beneath the pop glimmers and blistering soundscapes percolating throughout Dead Club City, a socially conscious core also lies in wait, seamlessly balancing real-world meaning alongside its fantastical overarching concept.

Securing Nothing But Thieves their second Top 10 ARIA Album and first #1 UK Album, produced by guitarist Dom Craik along with co-producer Jonathan Gilmore, Dead Club City follows on from the band’s LP Moral Panic, and subsequent EP Moral Panic II. And while plans to tour Moral Panic at the time of its release were curtailed by the global you-know-what, Nothing But Thieves‘ 2023 visit to Australia allowed the band and fans to celebrate moments of Moral Panic and Moral Panic II in live setting, as well fresh Dead Club City cuts, including Welcome to the DCC and City Haunts.

Now with a heightened repertoire to choose from in 2024, including the entirety of Dead Club City and the brand new bonus single Oh No :: He Said What?, Australia is set to once again experience the astonishing live prowess of Nothing But Thieves, which has previously seen the group headline arenas, tour alongside the likes of The Rolling Stones and Muse, and collectively cause Australian crowds to fall head-over-heels time and time again with their eclectic and explosive creations.

Come and experience the technicolour cosmos of Dead Club City and Nothing But Thieves as you’ve never seen them before this April and May – you absolutely won’t want to miss a moment.

Early Bird Pre-Sale Tickets On Sale: Wednesday 7 February @ 12pm local time

To Gain Early Ticket Access Register Here -> https://arep.co/m/nbts24

General Tickets On Sale: Thursday 8 February @ 12am local time
Tickets from https://www.untitledgroup.com.au/tours/nothing-but-thieves—welcome-to-the-dcc-world-tour-part-2

XIII Touring, Untitled Group, triple j, Wasserman Music & War Road Management Presents



Tickets from https://www.untitledgroup.com.au/tours/nothing-but-thieves—welcome-to-the-dcc-world-tour-part-2

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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Rise Against @ Enmore Theatre, Sydney 05/02/2024

Monday the 5th of February brought Sydney sweaty record breaking humidity and Chicago based rock band Rise Against playing at Sydney’s intimate Enmore Theatre. On their 25th year together, Rise Against are celebrating the occasion by joining Blink-182 on their Australian and New Zealand tour, but not before treating fans to a few special solo shows. One in Melbourne and one in Sydney.

The band, which was formed in 1999 and went by the name Transistor Revolt for a year before settling on Rise Against, which they have stuck with since then. The band is made up of Tim McIlrath on vocals and rhythm guitar, Zach Blair as lead guitarist, Joe Principe on bass, and Brandon Barnes on drums. They are well known for aggressive and catchy hooks, as well as their outspoken lyrics on social issues such as animal rights, political injustice and environmentalism. 

Setting the tone for the night was Redfern based punk rock band, Beerwolf. With a very similar sound to Rise Against, they were the perfect choice as opener for the night. The band chatted with the crowd between songs, and at 8:30pm the band played their last song for the night and cleared the stage. 

Sound checks were carried out and finally the lights went dark. As the band took the stage of the Enmore Theatre, I imagine they were reminded of the last time they walked out on the same stage on March 9th, 15 years earlier.

As the air conditioning of the intimate Theatre strains itself, the distinctive chord progression of Prayer of the Refugee begins to play and the crowd recognises it, pushing forward towards the stage. Rise Against absolutely fills the venue with their energy right from the start, an unmistakable characteristic of a Rise Against show. 

What follows is truly a set list for the fans. An ode to the early years of band. Taking the audience back through history, starting in 2003 with Like The Angel from their album Revolutions Per Minute and unraveling the set with some of the biggest hits from their early albums.

The set list featured the most tracks from the albums The Sufferer & the Witness and Appeal to Reason, such as Re-Education (Through Labor), Ready to Fall, Survive, The Good Left Undone and The Audience of One

The set also included the tracks Satellite and Make it Stop (September’s Children) from their 2011 album Endgame and was only sprinkled with tracks from 2017 onwards with the only tracks making an appearance being The Violence from their album Wolves and Nowhere Generation from their newest album of the same name. 

There were more than a few stand out parts of the night. One being the acoustic set before the encore. The first track Hero Of War was a treat only for Sydney, having been left off the setlist the night before in Melbourne. Following up with Swing Life Away, McIlrath dedicated the track to his late friend Chris Cornell, former member of Soundgarden and Audioslave. McIlrath seemingly takes a moment to reflect, speaking with the crowd about doing what you want to do today, in case tomorrow doesn’t come. 

The other absolute stand out moment of the night was the song Give It All. The energy put out by the band to the audience was reflected right back by the crowd. For the first time McIlrath was down off the stage, standing on the barricades and singing quite appropriately ‘I give it all

Now there’s a reason why I sing

So give it all

And it’s these reasons that belong to me’.

The mosh pit holds the energy after that for the last two songs, as the band close the set with one of their most well known songs, Savior

Even after being together for 25 years, Rise Against are still complete Punk-Rock powerhouses. It’s obvious that their passion for the music and the message are what keeps them releasing music and touring, with such intensity and vigor for so many years.

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InterviewsTour Interview

Interview with Hugh Cornwell

Click above to see Casper chat with Hugh Cornwell on announcement of Australian Tour!

When future historians of music draw up a list of the movers and shakers who changed the modern musical landscape, there will be no doubt THAT HUGH CORNWELL’s name will be prominent amongst them. As a pioneering musician, songwriter, and performer his pervasive influence persists in the record collections of music aficionados, across the globe’s radio waves and on stages around the world, Hugh’s presence is unquestionable.

As leader of THE STRANGLERS, Hugh was the main songwriter of all the band’s most memorable songs across ten stellar albums all of whom consolidated Cornwell’s stature as a unique songwriter and musician. His lyrics to ‘Golden Brown’, from the La Folie album, and their multiple meanings, is a songwriting masterclass.

Widely regarded as the poet laureate of punk, Hugh Cornwell has also built a substantial and singular body of impressive solo albums.

Don’t miss this British Music Legend as he Performs Iconic Stranglers Hits and Classic Solo Songs with a Full Band!

“His solo work is a joy to listen to, great lyrics and wonderful guitars, and The Stranglers numbers stand the test of time, still sounding great after all this time” (Scottish Music Network)

“Cornwell’s voice is spiky or smooth as required” (Norfolk Rocks)

HUGH CORNWELL August 2024 Australian Tour Dates

Thursday 1st August The Great Club, SYDNEY (Marrickville)

Friday 2nd August Blue Mountains Theatre, BLUE MOUNTAINS (Springwood)

Saturday 3rd August The Croxton, MELBOURNE (Thornbury)

Sunday 4th August Memo Music Hall, ST. KILDA

Thursday 8th August The Triffid, BRISBANE

Friday 9th August The Gov, ADELAIDE

Saturday August 10th Rosemount, PERTH


Presale:  Tuesday 13th February, 9am Local time

General Public: Friday 16th February, 9am Local time

From: https://metropolistouring.com/hugh-cornwell-2024/

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