Farewell – The Avenues

Farewell – The Avenues
Review/Photos by Dylan McArdle
If you’d asked me three or four years ago who my favourite local band was – I probably would have answered without hesitation “The Avenues”. While there’s been many strong pop/rock bands on the scene, The Avenues had something that made them stand out for me; perhaps it was Cain Turnley’s sweet vocals or Andy Lawson’s ability to let loose with the guitar on stage.

Having not played in some time, I’d kinda figured the band had gone the same way as Cain’s previous band Cartman and was in extended hiatus until I found out about Saturday’s CD launch.  Unfortunately, The Avenues weren’t ready to take on the world (as it said in the Amplifier newsletter) as this was also their farewell show. Given that, it was a show I had to make it down to.

Andy Lawson
Andy Lawson

Cain Turnley
Cain Turnley

Shaun Sibbes
Shaun Sibbes

Steve Parkin
Guest vocalist Steve Parkin

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Unlike previous CD launches, there were no support acts under obscure aliases, but instead we were treated by a great performance from a band I’d not seen before – The Preytells.  A combination of strong vocals and tidy guitar work means that this indie pop act is one I’ll definitely look out for in the future.

But as good as The Preytells were (for those inside to see them), the night belonged to The Avenues.  Some CD launches and farewells are all about getting guests up on stage to join in and this was no different, but it was the way it was well organised that made it special. On the older Avenues tracks, the “current” lineup made way for Tom Craig and Nic Jonsson and it felt like we’d gone back in time – especially hearing classics like “Company” for the first time in who knows how long.  The band members, new and old, were far from rusty too and I think the pre-launch practice sessions must have paid off.  It was like they’d never been apart.

For a band with a decent number of original tracks – a couple of familiar covers in “History Never Repeats” and “Taxman” were also highlights of the set.  The later featured another favourite of mine – ex Autopilot front man Steve Parkin on vocals.

It was fitting that after an hour or so on stage that the last song of the night was indeed strongest track – “Gold and Grey” and as I remembered from times before Andy Lawson cut loose on stage.  Sadly though, this would be the last time and despite the fact the band never really archived everything it could of done their career did end on a particular high and memorable note.

The Avenues Setlist


For the complete gallery of photos from the night, please visit:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=47611&l=619f6&id=586678946

Photos: Gigantic @ The Rocket Room (2008-09-20)

Photos: Gigantic @ The Rocket Room (2008-09-20)
Photos by Dylan McArdle

Last weekend saw local power pop act Gigantic launch their 10″ vinyl “On The Verge Of Something Big”. I was lucky enough to get free entry to Saturday’s show at The Rocket Room (a venue I’d never been to before I might add).

Despite a small crowd, the band played as good a set as I’d seen from them and I enjoyed them and also the support from The Four Walls and particularly opening band Generals & Majors.

The Di Renzo brothers now head overseas once again for a string of dates in Japan, Germany, Spain and the USA!


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For the complete gallery of photos from the night, please visit:
http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=40308&l=b1072&id=586678946

Live Review: Rocket Science @ Norfolk Basement (2008-09-12)

Live Review: Rocket Science @ Norfolk Basement (2008-09-12)
Review/Photos by Dylan McArdle

Some bands come to down with a lot of hype, and other bands…well they make their noise on-stage. I’ve been a big fan or Melbourne rock band Rocket Science for a long time and as such I was eagerly awaiting last weekends shows, especially after hearing the new album.  And they didn’t disappoint.

It’s always nice to walk into the venue and instantly hear some you like and that was the case on Friday night at the Norfolk Basement when opening act The Shake Up had already taken the stage.  Sure, they are a no-frills punk/garage rock band, but they were very catchy and entertaining.  The boys looked like they were enjoying playing and didn’t care if the crowd was still kinda sparse.  It was nice to see some dancers in the crowd share the bands on-stage energy.  I would have bought their two track CD if they were selling it minus their T-shirt, but luckily for me their downloadable from their MySpace site.  Definitely a band I’ll look to check out again.

Tame Impala are one band making some noise over in the west and it was no surprise to see them on the bill now they are signed to Modular Records.  Once a side project of fellow up-and-comers Mink Mussel Creek, these guys are now a formidable act in their own right.  They not only have the retro look (almost to match the surrounding they were in), but the sound too and just that right amount of reverb coming through the speakers.  And they’ve been around long enough to sound polished and the building crowd appreciated this.  Singer Kevin Parker has a really great voice. As usual, they left their best track (Half Full Glass of Wine) ’till last and I know these boys have a bright future ahead of them (especially with a debut release coming up).

Kevin Parker - Tame Impala
Kevin Parker – Tame Impala

Roman Tucker - Rocket Science
Roman Tucker – Rocket Science

Now I’ve seen Rocket Science plenty of times before so I knew what to expect.  Crazy vocals and stage antics from lead singer Roman Tucker and powerful keyboards set them apart from other rock bands, not to mention the theremin as well.  But it’s been a while since they’ve last toured and to be honest Roman has stepped his performance up, a lot.  I don’t think I’d seem him leave his post behind the keyboard much, but this time when he wasn’t playing he was strutting his stuff at the front of the stage and off stage too.  I guess there’s nothing like a bit of crowd venturing and Roman did this during Six Foot Four early in the set and later on he let loose on Modern Life.  It was easy to see why he was sweating so much, and I’m actually quite surprised he didn’t hurt himself.  He did manage to tear a whole in the arse of his pants though!

With such a showman up front, the rest of the band kinda pales in comparison but it is important to note that there was a new guitarist on stage – Micky Heartbreaker. He may have only being playing in the band 3 or 4 weeks but he looked like an old hand and considering he’s been playing with Kit and Roman in side project The Ransome Brothers.

As with any good album tour show the band played the best of the new record and the best of what they previously had to offer – and there was no differing from the formula here.  It was a thoroughly good set, high on energy and intensity.  After the hour or so set there was an encore – short but sweet with a couple more songs that had some of the crowd asking where On Robot was.  For me – my ears hurt, my feet were sore and I’d sweated heaps more than I’d like but bloody hell I’d enjoyed myself.  This was one of the best live sets I’ve seen this year, not quite as good as Shihad @ Capitol a couple of weeks back but not far off.  It was a worthy performance from a band that’s earned their reputation as a mighty fine live band.

Photos: Muph & Plutonic @ Swan Basement (2008-09-04)

Photos: Muph & Plutonic @ Swan Basement (2008-09-04)
Photos by Dylan McArdle

Last Thursday night Melbourne hip-hop duo Muph & Plutonic rolled into town to play a series of shows to support their new album “…And Then Tomorrow Came”.

The crowd at the Swan Basement was small and you could almost say it was a disappointing turnout, especially since TripleJ had featured this album as their album of the week not so long ago.

On the upside, the boys (with DJ Bonez on the turntables) put on a great live show and the small crowd got up close and into the swing of things (with plenty of dancing, clapping, waving and singing along), so it made for a really enjoyable mid-week night out. They were also very well supported by Hunter & Sweepah.

Plutonic Lab&nbspMuph & Plutonic
Muphin DJ Bonez

For the complete gallery of photos from the night, please visit:
http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=38071&l=7740f&id=586678946

Photos: Mink Mussel Creek @ The Bakery (2008-06-07)

Photos: Mink Mussel Creek @ The Bakery (2008-06-07)
Photos by Dylan McArdle

On Saturday night Mink Mussel Creek farewelled drummer Kevin Parker in MMC’s last show for a few months. Kevin is leaving to concentrate on his other band – Tame Impala. When Mink Mussel Creek return it will hopefully be to launch their debut album!
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For the complete gallery of photos from Saturday night (including some of Sex Panther) please visit:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=27889&l=98802&id=586678946

Photos: WAMi Festival Public Opening

Photos: WAMi Festival Public Opening @ Forrest Place (2008-02-01)
Photos by Dylan McArdle

On Friday afternoon, the WAMi Festival ’08 kicked off with a free performance in the heart of the city by Abbe May and The Rockin’ Pneumonia and Bob Evans.

Abbe May and The Rockin’ Pneumonia

Bob Evans

(click thumbnails for larger 1438×960 & 960×1438 photos)


For more information about WAMi Festival ’08 please visit http://wam.asn.au