Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The UK Adventures of [ME]

You may know the story, excellent local band sets off to foreign shores seeking fame and glory.
While many bands find success by touring our not unsizeable nation relentlessly, earning tags like 'hard-working' or 'live instituion,' there are many more who find Australian acceptance by first 'making' it overseas. Think of talents like Lisa Mitchell, Sarah Blasko who blossomed from their journeys in London and America respectively, or the old big in America - big at home idiom that beset INXS and Silverchair. It's a strange thing, but one that many burgeoning bands must face.
In fact, in my talks with bands like Alpine and Big Scary they touched on the limitations of touring Australia, and more specifically with Kins' trek to the UK to record, whose own Thomas Savage put it best: "big landmass, not many people."
Which brings us to [ME]...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders: Live @ The Corner

Another live review sydnicated with/from/in black sorcerous union with Everguide - your local, brilliant events guide who handily compile great gig listings, like this one...

After fawning over their sophisticated arrangements and inventive sonics for some time now, last friday afforded me the first opportunity to see Sydney experimental outfit Ghoul in concert. Supporting Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders in a sensational double-bill, they played few recognisable cuts from mini-lp Dunks but nevertheless impressed, with their delicate balance of electronic abstractions with blooming, organic songwrting.
If the swathe of new material they played was any indication, things are boding well for their highly-anticipated debut album. Brooding subs meet looping guitars while drummer Pavle Vizintin kept things apace with some deceptively complex rhtyhms over both live and sampled beats. Meanwhile brother Ivan Vizintin's characteristically haunting croon (part-Antony Hegarty part-Wild Beasts' Tom Fleming) kept the human element alive; even joking at one point that their unofficial fifth member - a laptop - 'helps keeps us in time." Can't wait to see what Ghoul do with the canvas of a full album, given their exciting palette, though their live show lacks a visual focus or a dynamic peak - their music is marvel enough to ensure them as a must-see.

Departing the stage, the strains of Bowie’s peak Eno/Berlin period, aka Low, began humming through the room, acting as a terrific mood-setter for the evening as well as marking a smooth transition to the steady throb of Beautiful Sound’s opening.  Flanked by his latest sidemen - The Dreamlanders, their line-up augmented by Andrew Hannaford (on loan from Ghoul) - and bathed in blue light was the man himself, Mr. Jack Ladder. Looking, and often, sounding like an outcast from a Tom Waits song, he commanded a curious presence through his wafting theatrics, as if in a trance, and more-so with his rich baritone.