The Other Stone Sibling…

Julia Stone at Theatre Royal, Castlemaine

Julia Stone is freakin’ amazing.

I’ve Got Chills, They’re Multiplying

Julia turned You’re The One That I Want from Grease into a slow, crooning ballad thingie. And it was amazing. Also, the second time I’ve seen a female performer cover Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams in recent months. Is there some kind of conspiracy going on? I love me a cover, and tonight was no exception.

The Trouble With The Trouble With Templeton…

… is most of the band wasn’t there. The posters and whatnot said The Trouble With Templeton were supporting. Only Tom showed up. I don’t know how many others there would normally be, but the one who was there wasn’t much. I haven’t wanted a opening act to go away so much since Blood Orange opened for Florence + The Machine in March this year. Won’t be buying that album. One saving grace is, I assume that band name is a reference to Charlotte’s Web, because that’s the only place I’ve ever seen the name “Templeton”.

Fell In Love With A Girl

Ok, I’ve always liked Julia Stone, she’s pretty, got a hell of a voice, and her lyrics are great. She started up her stage banter, showed us the genuine personality behind all that, and I was swooning.

Freebird!

Julia showed us exactly why bands don’t usually take requests from the crowd. Second-last song of the set, and Julia was going to get the band to play I’m Not Yours aka my second-favourite Angus and Julia song, and someone in the crowd shouts for My Baby. Julia said the band didn’t know that one, to which her keyboardist responded “I do”. Julia, however, forgot some of the lyrics, but was so absolutely adorable in her embarassment we forgave her. It was still amazing, but I would have preferred I’m Not Yours.

Brothers in Arms

I wasn’t expecting her to play many of the songs she released with Angus, but I was happy to hear my favourite, And The Boys, among others. I love that she’s still grounded enough to know that some of her fans are only there for those older songs, while still catering to newer fans, and plugging her new stuff.

Speaking Of The New Stuff…

I love all of Julia’s solo stuff, especially the current album (was sad I didn’t get to hear Catastrophe from the previous album). Let’s Forget All The Things That We Say and I’m Here, I’m Not There stood out especially. She was absolutely wonderful.

Overall:

3.5/5

Lost points for the shitty opening act, as well as the venue, a small theatre in a small town, without any of the charm, probably because it’s decades overdue for a restoration.

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Height of Lameness…

Apologies, loyal readers (or Google bots). I decided that spending more on a train ticket than I did on the gig, only to have to leave early wasn’t worth it, especially when I’m seeing Loon Lake again in November. I seriously need to move to Melbourne or something. So I don’t have a review for you (however, I stand by my previous statements: Loon Lake was probably awesome, and Cub Scouts were probably awesome too).

Later Days,
Cam

A Quick Note

Just realised I didn’t mention Frenzal Rhomb… Due to my presence in Ballarat a few days before compounding my ridiculous levels of man-flu, I decided a punk/metal/alternative/whatever gig was the last place I should be. Also, it was my friend’s cute sister’s 21st.
And add another show to my Best Year Ever schedule:
Ball Park Music, 22 November, The Bended Elbow, Geelong
Tickets go on sale Friday, and there is absolutely no way I’m going to miss out.
Also, tentatively pencilling in the Queenscliff Music Festival later that month, I’m struggling to justify $200, but Missy Higgins, Emma Louise, Something for Kate and The Beards are making a pretty strong argument for my continued poverty.
Anyway, Loon Lake on Saturday night (and again when they open for Ball Park Music, making them one of three bands I’ll have seen three times this year, the others being Ball Park Music themselves, and Lanie Lane (who I’m also seeing this month)). Hopefully I’ll review that show on Sunday sometime (I am working all day, on zero sleep, plus the whole “Father’s Day” thing). If it’s a little bit late, just assume I’m going to rave over them, and give Cub Scouts a good plug (which is more or less useless, seeing as Tim Nelson is the only person who likes the blog’s Facebook page, and is therefore the only person I know has read it at least once before).
Anyway, I’ll see you then. Well, I won’t. You know what I mean.
Later Days,
Cam

Illy at Black Swan Nightclub, Bendigo

What’s that? A next day review? Surely you must be kidding? Well, I’m serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

On A Cold And Grey Chicago Morn…

Bendigo, or “Bendighetto” as I like to call it, is a horrid place. I spent my childhood living in Corio (a suburb of Geelong, lovingly referred to as “The Bronx” by locals), and my teenage years in a country town, so believe me when I say that I know a bogan when I see one. I also know four hundred bogans when I see them. Add in the cold weather, and horrid cramped venue, and we have one of the only downsides to this gig.

Oztix? More Like Ozshits, amirite?

The tickets all read “Doors: 8 PM”. At 8.30 PM, a staff member from the venue came and told the hundred or so people lined up at the door that Oztix had stuffed up the time, and that the doors didn’t actually open until 9.30. A few dozen of us stayed (I wasn’t giving up the front of the line for one). If Oztix didn’t have a near-monopoly on small venue ticketing in this country, I’d probably stop using them.

Rollover DJ

I’ve never understood the whole “DJ” thing. I mean, I have all the respect in the world for the producers who mix the tracks, but once they’ve done it, it’s done. They get up on stage and press “Play” night in, night out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the music, but the first couple of tracks by Chasm Soundsystem and Skryptcha were just Chasm playing tracks, and Skyryptcha going “Yeah” along with the music. At least they had a drummer (his name escapes me) working alongside M-Phazes’ tracks while Illy was onstage.

All About The Hip Hop

Back to the opening act, it was pretty good once Skryptcha actually started doing his thing, nothing on Illy, but he still got the crowd going. Illy’s rhymes were second to none, I rate him as the best in Aussie hip hop, and definitely underrated by most.

Crowd Control

Illy had the crowd in the palm of his hand. He wasn’t much for banter, but he made up for it with sheer charisma. He had us absolutely blowing the roof off the Black Swan (which is probably quite possible, the place was a dive). The crowd crush was as strong as any I’ve been in, there were too many crowdsurfers to count, the gig went off.

Overall

3.5 out of 5 (points lost for Bendighetto, Oztix and Chasm)

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Two Weeks Later… Owl Eyes vs Stonefield at Karova Lounge

I got home from Splendour in the Grass on the Tuesday, driving twelve hours from Newcastle to Geelong, and somewhere along the way started coughing, and didn’t stop for about three days. On the Wednesday, I drove an hour an a half to Ballarat to see Owl Eyes vs Stonefield at the Karova Lounge. I was running a fever, my throat was absolutely killing me, I was lethargic, I could hardly breathe properly… And I was front row at a rock concert.

I had every intention of writing this review the next day, but somehow I felt even worse then. And naturally, I kept putting it off, and I’m still working through the damn cough, but here goes.

It’s Not A Car…
Kingswood were the opening act. I’d heard of them before, but didn’t really know their music. They had a great rapport with the crowd, and they rocked. They’re on my iTunes Wishlist, and I suggest you buy whatever they have on offer too.

Can’t Help Falling In Love

Owl Eyes, Amy and Hannah Findlay (and Sarah, but she’s seventeen). The girls from Stonefield are ridiculously hot, and Brooke Addamo is flat-out the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Amy Findlay has a fantastic stage presence, and is incredibly sexy as well. It helps that all the girls are very talented too.

The Voice

Owl Eyes’ voice is quite amazing, I absolutely love listening to her. She’s fantastic. I don’t really have enough adjectives for her. She played a few new songs, and they were brilliant. I’ll be buying her album.

Queens of Noise

I grew up on rock music. Anything you could attach the suffix -rock onto, I listened to. And Stonefield are continuing the tradition. These girls rock as hard as any seventies girl-band, and it’s even better because they’re Victorian.

Covers

Never get sick of awesome covers. Owl Eyes’ cover of Pumped Up Kicks came twenty-eighth on the Hottest 100 this year, and it’s even better live. For their encore, Stonefield returned to the stage with Owl Eyes in tow, and they performed an epic cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams.

Overall:

4 out of 5.

Splendour Wrap-Up

All in all, I had the best weekend of my life. There are moments that will stick with me forever. I’ll definitely go back next year.

However, I must say that it doesn’t seem to be quite as well organised as Big Day Out, but that’s just due to the venue, I would imagine. There are no traffic jams at BDO because it’s all in a wide-open space, Splendour is a warren of stalls and stages and barriers. I got stuck between the McLennan Tent and Supertop too many times to count. The toilet situation was pretty ridiculous, there needed to be more toilets for females, their lines were longer than the line to get into the festival, and of course there are always girls who will just go to the mens’, which holds us up as well.. On Saturday I spent half an hour waiting at the gates, while they tried to get enough people together to check wristbands and tickets. They’ve been doing this for twelve years, you’d think they’d have it all down pat.

Minor problems aside, here’s the wrap-up:

Best Travel Moment:

Being stranded in the middle of a canefield near Kempsey, due to roadworks and having Missy Higgins’ Sugarcane start playing. I smiled like an idiot the whole time, until the workers let me through.

Best Non-Musical Moment:

Running into Chit Chat. My goal for the weekend (besides “Go see awesome music all weekend”) was to meet someone famous. I loved Machine Gun Fellatio way back when, so this was kinda cool.

Top 10 Acts:

1. Missy Higgins. I loved every second of this set, and I’m going to be jumping on tickets to her tour in November/December.

2. Jack White. Rock god. ‘Nuff said.

3. Ball Park Music. Always amazing.

4. Spiderbait. The 90s came back for an hour, and it was good.

5. Lanie Lane. Betty Baby and Don’t Cry are two of my favourite songs to dance to.

6. Kimbra. Always puts on an amazing performance, and her voice is ridiculous.

7. Emma Louise. Makes me swoon, and her songs are amazing.

8. 50 Years of Dylan. A bunch of today’s artists pay tribute to one of the greats.

9. Gossling. Love love love her voice. And the girl’s got style.

10. Jinja Safari. These guys always put on a hell of a show.

Top 5 Regrets

1. Hilltop Hoods. I was tired, and they were two hours ago.

2. The Kooks. The clash was unfortunate, I chose what I wanted to see most.

3. Smashing Pumpkins. I should have given Billy Corgan a chance, even if he’s a pretentious twat.

4. Leaving Lana Del Rey. Her interview with Alex Dyson has made her grow on me, and I really would have liked to hear video games.

5. Kate Miller-Heidke. I went through a phase where I absolutely loved her music, but Spiderbait had to get my vote on the day.

That’s it for today, it’s bed time. I get to drive twelve hours tomorrow. Then on Wednesday, it’s back on the road to see Stonefield and Owl Eyes in Ballarat. The things I do for my non-existent readers…

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Splendour in the Grass 2012: Sunday

Today, I discovered the First Aid tent had Panamax, and I coupled it with Red Bull, and I was good to go all day long.

Best Non-Musical Moment

Making friends with a girl from Footscray in the second row between Angus Stone and Missy Higgins. She’s a singer/songwriter, and as soon as I can make a gig, I’ll be reviewing it right here.

Best Cover

Gossling’s cover of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool’s Dance The Way I Feel was an early contender, though it looked like Ball Park Music’s cover of The Four Seasons’ December 1963 took the lead a few hours later. However, the last band I saw was a Bob Dylan tribute act, 50 Years of Dylan. Their final song brought all the artists back on stage to perform Like A Rolling Stone. Kav Temperley of Eskimo Joe, Kevin Mitchell of Jebediah (or just Bob Evans), Patience Hodgson of The Grates, Josh Pyke and Holly Throsby as well as their awesome backing band were absolutely amazing, so good in fact that even after The Smashing Pumpkins started in the Super Top, there were still a few thousand of us in the McLennan Tent. I was more than happy for this classic song to be the last thing I heard at Belongil Fields. I wandered past Smashing Pumpkins, didn’t recognise the song they were playing, and just kept humming Like A Rolling Stone.

Best Moment #10

New stuff from Ball Park Music. The song titles escape me, but they were pretty good, and the crowd just ate it up. Can’t wait for the next album.

Best Moment #9

Husky are one of those bands that I love to see, but always seem to be supporting someone way better. They opened for Noah and the Whale when I saw them at The Corner last year, and opened for Laura Marling at The Forum this year. Sunday, they were unfortunate enough to be right before Ball Park music, so I had to leave to secure my spot. However, everything they played was up to their usual standard. I loved Hundred Dollar Suit especially.

Best Moment #8

I got to cross Angus Stone off my “I really wish I had gone to Splendour 2010″ list. That just leaves Julia Stone and Mumford and Sons. Angus was fantastic, and ignoring the crazy chick behind me, the crowd was perfect. Angus is a supremely talented songwriter, and he’s going to be around for a long, long time.

Best Moment #7

The Rubens put on a great show, and the crowd (especially the female half) absolutely loved them. I’m just happy to see an Australian rock act that actually rock.

Best Moment #6

I lied earlier, there was a fourth act that I’ve seen open for Boy and Bear, and they came out to “help” San Cisco perform Rocket Ship. San Cisco are one of my favourite young Australian bands, their brand of fun indie pop is intoxicating. Except Awkward, and even that’s starting to grow on me.

Best Moment #5

I politely shouted “Play the Woolies song!” to Gossling, to which she replied “No, you play the Woolies song!”. She took it in good humour, and for the record, I don’t mind the Woolies song (and I work there, so I hear it ten times an hour). Her set was outstanding, I just love her voice. I thought I saw 360 hanging about backstage (I don’t know what 360 looks like, but this guy looked like I would imagine he looks like), so I was dreading a rendition of Boys Like You, but it never happened.

Best Moment # 4

How many indie rock outfits do you know of that can get a circle pit started? Ball Park Music were at their best, and on any other day would have stolen the show. Sam was as charismatic as ever, Jen was enchanting, and the rest of the guys were fantastic. This may come as a shock, but I love these guys.

Best Moment #3

I saw Bob Dylan live in 2006, and he was amazing, even in his sixties. However, I wasn’t front row then, and Bob Dylan may be the best songwriter of all time, but he does not have a voice like Holly Throsby or Josh Pyke, he does not have a stage presence like Kav Temperley, who seemed to be channeling Mick Jagger, he does not have the boyish charm of Kevin Mitchell, and as far as I know, he has never attempted to crowd surf like Patience Hodgson. I loved every second of this set. I missed The Kooks so I could keep my front row spot, and I regret nothing.

Best Moment #2 and #1

I’m going to gush far too much about this one for it to just be one entry, and I couldn’t separate it into two.

Seven years ago, I fell in love with an amazing songwriter. She was only a couple of years older than me, supremely talented, adorable, and her songs were fantastic. She was my first foray into the music of indie singer-songwriter chicks, the first time I saw her on rage, I was hooked. I never got to see her live.

Yesterday, I saw that girl all grown up and mature. Then around six thousand people sang one of her first hit singles along with her, word for word, and she smiled like that girl I saw on rage, and I was thrown back. I fell in love with Missy Higgins all over again.

It’s been five years since Missy released On A Clear Night, she wrestled with writer’s block that whole time, and finally this year she brought us The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle. And it’s just as good as anything she’s ever produced.

I belted out every song word for word, new and old. I even wept openly for Ten Days, The Special Two, Scar and even Everyone’s Waiting. I’m not even a little bit ashamed of that. I’ve been waiting seven years to see Missy Higgins, her music has always hit me strongly, and I was in the second row, not ten metres from where she sat at that keyboard.

I was my seventeen year-old self again, and she was the girl on rage.

Welcome back Missy. It’s been far too long. We missed you.

 

Splendour in the Grass 2012: Saturday

Saturday was a bit of a disappointment for me, probably because I was so tired, I was not in the mood to put up with anything. So here goes:

Best Non-Musical Moment

On my way out I ran into Chit Chat from Machine Gun Fellatio (and also a presenter for Max, or at least he was last I watched Max). It took me a second to recognise him, he was heading one way, I was heading the other, I couldn’t quite place him until I walked past. I spun around and shouted “Chit Chat!” and he looked back and smiled. He seemed to be in a hurry (he must be a Bloc Party fan), so I didn’t try to stop him, I just told him I was a big fan and we went our separate ways.

Best Cover

I didn’t catch any covers on Saturday, at least, none that I remember. Saturday’s a blur, and so is Friday (if not for my notes, I probably would have struggled to do either blog.

Disappointment

I was tired and sore, so I was ready to take anything and turn it into a huge problem, but here we go:

Bleeding Knees Club misjudged the length of their set, and had to cut the last song, since they hadn’t played Teenage Girls, and it’s their biggest song, I’m going to assume that was what they were going to play.

Ladyhawke does not sound great live. She was still fairly good, but her music is pretty heavily produced, and that doesn’t carry well into a live set.

Lana Del Rey… I think I went into this wanting to hate it, because that’s the cool thing to do. I’m regretting it a little bit now, but the acoustics up the back weren’t the best, so I only stayed for two songs.

Disappointed in myself too. If I had only realised the first aiders on site had pain meds on Saturday, I would have been good to go all night. Instead, I found myself more interested in going  to bed than in having a good time. After I bailed on Lana Del Rey, I went home, because I didn’t want to wait two hours for the Hilltop Hoods.

Having gotten that out of the way:

Best Moment #3:

Last Dinosaurs put on a good show, which I watched safely from the Strongbow area, where I had a seat, and a constant source of alcohol.

Best Moment #2:

The chick grinding on the guitarist/singer of Bleeding Knees Club during Girls Can Do Anything, and then whispering something in his ear after. She looked especially happy to be up there. Bleeding Knees Club were awesome through their whole set, even if they can’t tell the time properly.
Best Moment #1:

Fun fact: at Splendour in the Grass, there were three acts who I have seen open for Boy and Bear. One each day. Friday was Emma Louise, Sunday was Ball Park Music. Saturday’s was Jinja Safari, and they were absolutely spectacular. I had no idea who they were when they opened for Boy and Bear early last year, but since then, Mermaids and Peter Pan have become some of my favourite songs to dance to. And dance I did, regardless of the backpain.

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Splendour in the Grass 2012: Friday

I know, I know… I promised daily blogs, plus some from the road. Unfortunately, the road blogs didn’t seem like they’d be enough, and honestly, I was far too exhausted to blog after the festival. However, I have notes (and pics, which will have to wait until I get home), so I’m going to write these blogs from my bed in a cheap hotel in Newcastle, almost halfway home from the best weekend ever. Every day is going to get its entry, and then I’ll do a recap, top ten kind of thing.

Without further ado, Friday:

Biggest Surprise:

Spiderbait

I grew up on Spiderbait (this is their 20th anniversary, apparently), they were about the heaviest (then-)current band I knew as a kid. Calypso was a favourite of mine, after I heard it on Ten Things I Hate About You, and they got a fair amount of play on Triple M back in those days, especially Buy Me A Pony and Glockenpop and the like, at least, as far as I remember, I was just a kid afterall. I was expecting a half-hearted job by some over-the-hill metal-heads. Nope. They sounded almost album-perfect, they were having the time of their lives, and Kram later admitted he was in tears. The mosh pit was pretty crazy, and I just think they couldn’t believe that twenty years on, so many people would still love their music so much. I was exhausted going in, but that didn’t stop me moshing like they were the first act of the day.

Best Non-Musical Moment:

Front row centre for Emma Louise. I spent Chet Faker’s set pushing forward to the front, I almost got there by the time Ben Howard graced the GW McLennan tent, and then next thing I knew, there I was. And there she was. And I swooned. Emma Louise is literally the cutest, most beautiful girl I have ever seen. And her music is amazing, but that’s not what this section is for.

Best Cover:

A few choices here, Kram’s cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit, his duet with Lanie Lane on Nick Cave’s Henry Lee, Spiderbait’s Black Betty, but it absolutely has to go to Lanie Lane for her cover of Gold On The Ceiling by the Black Keys. I covered it when I reviewed her show, it was amazing both times.

#10 Best Moment:

Michael Kiwanuka’s set. I really got into his music on the drive up. He has a fantastic sound, and he’ll probably stay in good rotation on my iTunes.

#9 Best Moment:

Caught the end of Howler before Spiderbait, I was sitting on the ground behind the techies’ bunker in the middle. I liked Howler, but missed out on them when I was putting together my Splendour prep playlist, so I wasn’t really there for their set. However, they sounded amazing, the crowd loved them, and I got to dance with a pretty girl for a while.

#8 Best Moment:

Ben Howard’s set was great. Another guy I had intended to listen to more before the festival, but never got to. The crowd was really into it (and a huge crowd, for someone I hadn’t heard of until the Splendour announcement). Best part was, I didn’t get caught in the rain and hail, because I was listening to this fantastic English artist. In fact, I didn’t even notice the rain until he stopped mid-sentence (between songs) to say “Shit! It’s pissing down!”. At points I could hear the rain over the music, which is crazy, since he was pretty loud.

#7 Best Moment:

Gypsy and the Cat had a huge crowd, the Super Top was over half-full, and they deserved it. Dancing to The Piper’s Song and Jona Vark was far more fun than it should have been.

#6 Best Moment:

“Put your hand up if you want to see Janet English play the drums on a song!”
*Everyone puts one hand in the air*
“Put your other hand up if you want that song to be Buy Me A Pony!”
*
Everyone puts their other hand in the air, and cheers*

Spiderbait. Buy Me A Pony. Epic.

#5 Best Moment:

Kimbra busting out Warrior, with a backing track of Mark Foster. Got the song  stuck in my head all over again. I really wish I hadn’t left early, but… Jack White started fifteen minutes before she finished. At least I got to hear this one though.

#4 Best Moment:

Kram’s covers. He went in to both of them apologising because he was going to “Fuck up all the chords”, but nobody cared. Smells Like Teen Spirit went over exactly as well as you’d expect during a Spiderbait set. Henry Lee was pretty awesome too, especially for one of my least favourite Nick Cave tunes.

#3 Best Moment:

Emma Louise played a lot of new stuff in her set, and said it would all be on her album which is coming out soon. She looked absolutely adorable, her voice was perfect, and her songs were absolutely amazing. I cannot sing her praises more.

#2 Best Moment:

Going into this weekend, I had every intention of going to see The Shins, over Lanie Lane. Then Betty Baby started playing in my car as I drove through southern New South Wales, and I changed my mind instantly. Fast-forward  to Friday, and I had every intention of sitting down up the back during Lanie’s set. That lasted exactly until Betty Baby, when I got up and charged straight into the thick of the crowd and danced my heart out.

#1 Best Moment:

Three little words:

Seven.

Nation.

Army.

Go listen to the recording  on the triple j website (if it’s up). It doesn’t do it half justice. Jack White is a modern rock god. Seven Nation Army was the anthem of the rock-aligned portion of my graduating high school class, we couldn’t get enough of it. I never got to see the White Stripes, but now I don’t care. Standing in a crowd of 15,000+ chanting that iconic guitar riff while Jack sang over the top, down to our chants for an encore just turning into five minutes of chanting the guitar riff again. Friday night was absolute magic, and Jack White was the wizard.

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Best Year Ever Part 2: Best Year Harder

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before how I’m trying to see at least one gig a month this year. I’ve been succesful so far, and I now have my tickets bought for the second half of the year. I’ll (hopefully) be reviewing each show, so here’s what we’ve got in store for you:

July

Splendour in the Grass July 27-29, Belongil Fields, Byron Bay

Duh. It’s all I’ve been talking about the whole time. I’ll hopefully be doing daily reviews, assuming my phone’s internet works where I’m staying. And probably blogging from the road too.

August

Owl Eyes vs Stonefield August 1, Karova Lounge, Ballarat

As soon as I had my car in working order again, I started searching for gigs in August, and this was the first thing that came up. Having used up all of my annual leave for Splendour, I have to be careful this month with my gig selection, the Melbourne leg of the tour clashed with work, so instead I’m driving out to Ballarat the day after I get home from Splendour. I love Owl Eyes, and I think we need more bands like Stonefield, because I miss good rock music.

Frenzal Rhomb August 3, The Hi-Fi, Melbourne

I’ve never been to the Hi-Fi before, and I just realised that all of my August gigs  are at places I’ve never been. I was supposed to go there for Bluejuice this year, but you saw how that turned out. I’ve loved Frenzal since I was a teenager, and they were awesome at BDO, so I’m looking forward to this one.

Illy August 18, Black Swan Hotel, Bendigo

There’s a lot of driving in near future. This time the Melbourne show clashed with another show at the time I was buying tickets (I’ll cover this in September), but Illy is my favourite Aussie hip hop act, so I couldn’t miss out. Not sure how I’ll fit in with the crowd, and I’m not sure I care.

September

Loon Lake September 1, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

I missed these guys when they opened for Bluejuice, so I had to make the effort to make it this time. I really liked their music, and I’ve adopted them as one of those bands I really have to push people to like since I saw them at Big Day Out. Plus Cub Scouts are opening, and I may have mentioned before: I love those guys.

Julia Stone September 8, Theatre Royal, Castlemaine

My last ridiculously out of my way gig for the year. I had a ticket to see her at The Forum the next night (still have it, send a Facebook message to the PS Whatever page if you’re interested), but then found out it was one of my closest friends’ birthday party that night, so plans change, and I’ve convinced my friend to drive out to Castlemaine with me. I love Julia’s solo work, not quite as much as her stuff with Angus, but enough to drive to Castlemaine to see her.

Lanie Lane September 20, Beav’s Bar, Geelong

Finally back in Geelong, my only Geelong gig for this half of the year (I was going to attend Tim Hart (of Boy and Bear)’s show at the same venue, but that clashed with my rescheduled Julia Stone show). I saw Lanie in my huge May lineup (you may have read the review, scroll down the main page if you haven’t), and I just had to see her again. She’s playing Splendour, but she’s one of my clashes, so I might not see her there. Time will tell.

October

Mumford and Sons October 25, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

This is the big one for me. I’m almost as excited for this as I am Splendour. Mumford and Sons are probably my favourite band, at least they’re my favourite overseas band who are still touring and making music. Two years ago, my friends and I were going to go to Splendour to see them (and the rest of that year’s monster lineup), but everyone decided they didn’t have the money for it two days before tickets went on sale. Since then, I’ve seen everyone I wanted to see there with two notable exceptions: Angus and Julia Stone, and Mumford and Sons. This show is two years in the making for me, and there is absolutely no way I am going to be more than four rows back.

November

The Black Keys November 1, Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Another good rock outfit. I didn’t even know they were touring until their first show sold out. I’m not a huge fan of the Music Bowl, but it’s not so bad in the summer. I forsee myself rocking out to them for a full week before this show.

Coldplay November 13, Etihad Stadium

I just lost all my indie cred, didn’t I? Ok, back at Sound Relief in Melbourne, they piped in footage of Coldplay’s performance in Sydney, and the crowd went crazy for it, even though they were watching it on TV. The Sydney crowd was even more into it. I kinda want to be a part of it, plus, as far as mainstream bands go, I could do a lot worse. And Temper Trap are opening.

December

Gotye Dec 8, Sidney Myer Music Bowl

My last foray into the huge crowds for the year (possibly for a while, I’m going to try to save some money next year). How could I not see the biggest act to come out of Australia in recent years? I’m probably going to have to start listening to a bit of his older stuff to prepare, but I’ll worry about that when I have money in my bank account for iTunes.

The Living End 16 & 22, The Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Ending my year with my favourite venue, with one of my favourite albums ever. The Living End are touring the major cities at the end of the year, doing seven shows, and playing a different album in its entirety each night, with an encore for their first album, the self-titled The Living End. I was in primary school when The Living End was released, and Prisoner of Society exploded. I found myself waking up to watch Rage in the morning, in addition to Video Hits (I was like, 8. Don’t judge me.), so I could listen to it twice. They followed up with Roll On, and it was almost as good, if a little bit same-y. Since then, they’ve had a couple of good songs, but nothing that matches up to those first two albums. Which is why, on the 16th, I’ll be seeing them perform Roll On from start to finish (calling it now, Uncle Harry will go absolutely off-tap), and then on the 22nd I’ll be seeing them play almost undoubtedly my favourite Australian album from the 90s (Powderfinger’s Internationalist and Odyssey Number Five (2000 is technically still the 90s) and Silverchair’s Neon Ballroom are about even with it for me), The Living End. I could not think of a better way to top this year off. I’ve seen The Living End twice, once I couldn’t actually see them at Geelong’s Waterfront New Year’s Eve thing, which I was outside the gate of, and the second time, they only played White Noise at the NRL Grand Final (which my team lost, in a record margin). So neither time counts. These two definitely will.

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