The Metro Theatre is one of Sydney’s leading venues hosting an array of notable and emerging local and international artists across a wide variety of musical genres and more. But once you step foot into the venue, categories and stereotypes are no longer existent. People begin to embrace the music and one another. This was evident on Friday night at Julian Marley’s Sydney show (son of reggae legend Bob Marley). The Metro presented with a diverse range of individuals from the youthful to the old timers, cultures, from all walks of life and there was such a great sense of unison. After all, that is the essence of reggae music – ‘One Love’.
I must mention that the lady who stood next to me at the front row told me ‘this is the first time I’ve ever heard reggae music, I got dragged along to this show and I’m fucking loving it!’. Music is powerful, but reggae music can change your mentality!
Upon arrival, Sydney based 10 piece roots-reggae band The Strides took to stage with songs from their album Reclamation. Still rocking out since we last saw them perform almost two years ago at Notes Live in Newtown.
After The Strides it seemed like a prolonged set up time for Blue King Brown, however, it was well worth the wait. The audience was greeted by the ladies of Melbourne-based reggae-roots band Blue King Brown, with an acoustic set featuring lead singer Natalie Pa’apa’a and vocalists representing West Papua. With only three vocalists I predicted that this would be an intimate and engaging experience, and we were immersed in the rhythm of the music as well as the message that they wanted to share. Natalie illustrated a song about a couple that were separated due to the hindrance of bureaucratic red tape, however they were reunited again. At the end of BKB’s set I was left with a resonating message “Free West Papua” which was clearly stated on Natalie’s acoustic kickbox.
The crowd was anticipating Julian Marley and as he entered the stage, it was apparent that his father’s spirit continues to live on. Marley shared his Rastafarian faith, knowledge, music and of course his father’s life and spirit. There was a sense of nostalgia growing up to the Marley’s voices in my cassette player. No doubt Marley is acknowledged as an individual artist, but he is also an inclusive collaborator with his 12-piece Uprising Band, performing some original tunes as well as father Bob’s hits. Some memorable songs were ‘Boom Draw’, ‘Babylon Cookie Jar’ and Bob Marley’s ‘Kaya’.
It was refreshing to join some of the country’s most thriving reggae bands alongside Julian Marley, and no doubt they were aptly chosen to support him. With a combination of ‘Worldwize’ humanitarian reggae-roots acts, it became an insightful and memorable show. Although I could see that a larger venue could have easily accommodated a larger crowd.
Click here to check out our photographs from Julian Marley’s Sydney show!
He has a voice of an angel, a razor sharp wit and swears so much it would make the demon blush a deeper shade of maroon. He is also an incredible entertainer. Paul McDermott‘s Sydney Comedy Festival show “Paul Sings” gives the diminutive artist a chance to reflect on his musical comedy career with a show revisiting some of those songs that showcased his amazing voice. Trailing back to the early days of Doug Anthony Allstars, through to his work within the Good News Week franchises and his short lived ABC series Sideshow, McDermott broke up the songs with anecdotal tales with comedic timing and full of belly laughs.
Haven taken the show around the country as part of the various cities comedy festivals, tonight was the final show and McDermott and his four piece band were “ready to tear this a new one!” I’ve always been a fan of Paul’s singing ability but hearing a bulk of his songs in one setting I discovered how clever he is as a songwriter. He proclaims during the show that he “wrote most of these songs on the Tuesday morning before a taping” and being devoid of any musical playing ability he would have to hum the melody to other musicians to write the music which normally “lead to us fighting for an hour and in the end we had a song”. But Paul, whether he likes it or not, is a great songwriter. His lyrics create strong imagery and he takes you through a story to each song and the deliverance is pure class as he adapts the ultimate frontman demeanour.
It wouldn’t be Paul McDermott without some insults and put downs and those who kept arriving late felt the wrath of McDermott in only a way he could get away with. (Tone fair to the group who came in with ten minutes to go should have probably not bothered) The funniest part of the night was his retelling of how he and Marina Prior met Paul Stanley from KISS while performing the musical Witches Of Eastwick and how he managed to dry hump the KISS frontman in front Stanley’s manager and girlfriend in a display of as an with no fear who enjoys pushing the boundaries to its tenth degree.
Not one to be content with the shows end, he took the band and audience into the foyer for an encore and then stuck around meeting with fans for some time after it was all said and done. The accomplished artist, comedian and singer could easily continue to add to this show and write more songs and establish a music career. An entertaining show that is part crooner concert, part comedy show, part variety cabaret sideshow. Whatever it is, it highlights the talents of Paul McDermott.
There’s something to be said of any band that can hop flawlessly from rock to reggae to drum and bass and back again and take a crowd of people along with them for the ride. And that is that they are undeniable rock stars. That’s just what I’d call New Zealand band Six60 who managed to effortlessly transition between genres this past Friday when they hit the stage at The Metro in Sydney to a sold out crowd.
Opening with their light hearted reggae anthem ‘Don’t Forget Your Roots’ the energetic 5 piece captivated the audience thanks to their boyish enthusiasm and playfulness on stage. Six60 made it clear that they love what they do. In return the crowd assured them that the feeling was mutual by singing (or screaming?) along to almost every note of every word of every song that they played throughout the show. It didn’t matter whether the guys were tackling honey-coated reggae or gutsy rock tinged tracks the crowd was with them every step of the way, and the atmosphere of the show felt a lot like one hell-of-a-party.
Lead singer Matiu Walters’ vocals remained flawless through out the show, despite the fact that he jumped around the stage with boundless energy for 90% of the show and the fact that he’s the only singer in the band – there’s no backing vocalists to help him out. I couldn’t help but ponder how much warmth extra vocals and harmonies would add to the bands sound, but Walters looked like he didn’t mind carrying all the vocal responsibilities at all. And I quickly forgot about my love of harmonies as Walters’ vocals gave more than most do; he was honest and subtle when required on the stripped back numbers but switched to bold and strong on command. All of this delivered with his cheeky devil-may-care attitude, which was perfectly in tune with the rest of the bands mood.
By the time the show got to its encore of ‘Someone To Be Around’, thanks to the crowds unusual chant choice of “Whoop there it is!”, Six60 had delivered a strong show that managed to have the dynamic energy of a stadium rock concert while maintaining the personable, down to earth vibe of your local pub gig. But as humble and carefree as Six60 may appear they are far more than just a pub band. Six60 make having the musical equivalent of split personality not only look easy, but very much like something that every band should take a stab at. After all why should we have to stick with one genre if we can enjoy a mash of them all in one show by one talented band? If Six60 keep dishing out their brand of rock-roots-reggae with a dash of dub then I’ll gladly keep making room on my plate for more of their treats.
Birds of Tokyo took to the stage and the Enmore Theatre quivered with applause and screams from the crowd. This show marked the end of a tour for Birds of Tokyo with their new album ‘March Fires.’ They get straight to it with a song off the album.
The crowd, whilst not the most lively, are taken on a journey from the bands most recent stuff, to their early songs, and they are receptive.
Ian Kenny, the vocalist, keeps the front of the crowd moshing by dancing along to the tunes on stage.
The backdrop lights up in flashing images, telling a story to accompany each song.
A woman next to me leans over to her friend and says ‘what do you think?’ The friend replies ‘thank you SO much for introducing me to them. They are amazing!’ She then gets back to gyrating and head-banging with the rest of the crowd.
The big winners aka the most popular songs, ‘Plans’ and ‘Lanterns’ got a round of sing-alongs from the audience, and coming from such a large audience, this was a delightful experience.
Whether you’re a newcomer to Birds of Tokyo, or a seasoned fan like myself, you will love their live show.
Their new sound, while not a huge leap away from their previous albums, is slightly more melodic and careful. That said, though, I think anyone that is a fan of their previous albums will love ‘March Fires.’
You really can’t lose with this band, because they are simply such a fun night out.
The support act for the night was Regular John. You might have heard this band doing the rounds on Triple J lately with their tracks ‘Sky Burial’ and ‘Strange Flowers.’
If you haven’t heard of them though they are a red-hot, psychedelic, punk rock four-piece band from New South Wales.
Their set-list on the night consisted mostly of songs from their most recent album ‘Strange Flowers’ and some from their previous album ‘The Peaceful Atom is a Bomb.’
Regular John have made up a huge step up from their first album to their last and have evolved into a sophisticated hard rock band.
They are still slightly experimental, particularly with their latest album, simply in that no two songs quite sound the same, but that’s something that, personally, draws me to them.
These guys are a gold-standard support act and I definitely recommend checking out one of their stand-alone live shows.
The Guppies are your standard teenage-y-punk band from Newcastle, which I guess is not that standard. They are great, all the same.
They have a fluid musical styling with a penchant for easily-accessible, very catchy tunes, like ‘Never Liked Mondays,’ and ‘Bad Blood.’
As terribly cliché as this might sound, the three-piece just simply know how to rock out on stage and gave us all a ‘rocking out’ lesson on Sunday night.
I also have to recommend catching these guys live.
It was no secret that everyone packing out the Manning Bar on Friday night was there to see Ball Park Music. In fact, this was the first University of Sydney end of O’week celebration, which had completely sold out – the bar was wall-to-wall, people.
The gig was being filmed and the crowd responded appropriately by, as one might put it, completely losing it. As soon as Ball Park Music started the first song, the crowd was singing along, but not just to some of the lyrics, to almost all of them.
In fact, this gig cemented in my mind just how far Ball Park Music have come over the past few years. I remember when I first saw them live at Townsville’s 2011 Full Noise Festival. The band were playing a fairly early spot, and only had a draggle of devoted fans come out to see them.
I could tell at the time, though, that they had the formula it took to be massive indie winners. They had a solid set list full of indie-pop songs that demand you to dance and sing-along, as well as great stage presence.
If you haven’t heard of Ball Park Music, now, then you should probably remove yourself from whatever rock you seem to live under that doesn’t pick up Triple J.
As they got into the gig, it soon became obvious that the majority of the audience were definitely devoted fans, as they knew the words to just about every song they played.
The band played stuff from both their last album Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs and their most recent album Museum, which they released last year. They also covered a Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons song ‘Oh What a Night,’ which proceeded to cause the audience to erupt in dance.
Without ever straying from their indie-pop style, they seem to just keep getting better. If you’re an indie-pop fan then you’d be crazy to miss one of these guy’s live shows.
Ball Park Music also had some killer support acts on the night, which received a lot of love from the crowd.
New Gods are a five-piece out of Melbourne. These guys are definitely the most pleasing of the support acts to an indie-pop lover’s ear and they have some definite winners in their set list.
New Gods have a somewhat basic, but thumping indie-pop rock sound propped up by great harmonies.
Lime Cordiale are another five-piece from Sydney. They have a 70’s beach-rock feel, with chilled out, but fun tunes. One of the things that sets these guys apart is their strategic use of trumpets on a lot of their tracks, which is particularly evident on the track ‘Pretty Girl.’
Some of their tracks collide a bit creating a wall of sound, but I dare anyone to not dance to them.
Professor are, yep, another five-piece with a slightly more heavy rock sound. Professor have a whimsical goth-rock feel and for some reason ‘pirate music’ comes to mind, due to their onstage presence and get up.
They have great energy, which they kicked off the show with and definitely had the audience going.
A hot Wednesday night at the Enmore Theatre only got hotter once the night kicked off at 8pm. The Enmore was a choice venue for the event; its sloped floor perfect for a good view of the stage by all.
Sketch The Rhyme is an incredible invention for Aussie Hip-Hop.
The show kicked of with The Hi-Tops Brass Band, who gave off strong Aussie hip-hop vibes through their crisp, complex brass melodies. They really set the atmosphere for the whole show, hyping the crowd for themselves, and for the MCs and artists.
Ellesquire made a special appearance in their closing song, widening the grins in the front row of the crowded room. After a break, Sketch The Rhyme stepped into gear with P. Smurf, Ellesquire, Urthboy, Rapaport and Verbaliser (standing in for Tenth Dan).
After only having seen P.Smurf as part of Daily Meds at a show in Katoomba during 2012, it was awesome to see that Big Village is getting great Aussie Hip-hop out there, after he dropped the first track of his debut EP on the day of the show.
Sketch The Rhyme created a very in depth event with the MCs, we not only shared their laughs and emotions, but watched them as good friends literally, just doing what they love and having a sick time.
If you don’t know what Sketch The Rhyme involves you can check out their facebook page here, however, basically it’s a bunch of awesome freestyle games, with big names.
Games including Perfect Snatch, “Dead, Celebrity Heads” e.g Marilyn Monroe, a new game involving sketched bodies and rap battling (where Verbaliser battled P. Smurf, and Ellesquire Battled Rapaport), and ‘Last Mand Standing‘. The crowd loved this one which ended in a face off between P. Smurf and Ellesquire where the word was ‘Jungle’. P. Smurf took a nice win.
More The Messier was a crowd pleaser, and Guess The Next Topic closed the show with a bang. BIG ups to Big Village for setting this up.
The art was impressive on the night, the freestyle, sketching combo worked out perfectly at The Standard. Artists were Mie Nakazawa, Sam Clouston, Edgarr & Duckman, and Days One.
For more info on Big Village Records visit: http://www.facebook.com/bigvillage
As soon as Clubfeet took to the stage, the crowd were dancing and swaying rhythmically.
Clubfeet began to gain momentum as of last year after the release of their second album Heirs and Graces. The album has received positive attention from Triple J and music critics alike.
Clubfeet’s live set-list on the night was scattered with gold such as ‘Heartbreak,’ ‘Everything You Wanted,’ and ‘My Shadow’ off the back of the album.
Clubfeet put on a lively gig, but also one of the most relaxed gigs I have been to in a while. By that I mean that the smooth laid-back tunes seemed to keep the crowd in a trance of upbeat, and happy dancing – which, for live shows generally, is actually a rare achievement.
One of the best moments of the night, however, was when Chela joined the band on stage for the song ‘Heartbreak.’ Chela collaborated with the band for the studio version of ‘Heartbreak’ and they both worked just as well with each other in a live setting.
It’s genuinely quite hard to leave a Clubfeet gig without feeling upbeat. If synth-pop is your thing, then this band is definitely not one to miss.
Clubfeet’s indie-electro support act, Collarbones are an interesting duo. With their kooky style and moves, they put on a very entertaining live set.
Collarbones consist of a keyboardist and singer (Marcus White and Travis Cook). As a band, I believe they are thoroughly underrated.
They played tracks from their debut album ‘Die Young,’ which has received a lot of critical praise.
Their music puts me in mind of a cross between Bon Iver, during his earlier days, and The xx.
It is the sort of erratic-tech music that often times can go horribly wrong, but for some reason, Collarbones manage to make it work, really well.
Collarbones ended their gig on a high by playing a track and then proceeding to jump into the audience and dance with audience members. This is actually the first time I’ve ever seen this happen in a live show and was thrilled.
As a result, they had most people jumping around in delight.
Collarbones are definitely another one to watch out for on the touring circuit.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made way at their final sold out show at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney last night. They didn’t expect this kind of success for their single ‘Same Love’ from album The Heist to reach number one spots in Australia. Originally their show was to be held at the renowned (and average-sized) Oxford Art Factory in Sydney. However it sold out instantly, so a second show was held which also sold out ‘in the blink of an eye’. An upsize of the venue was necessary, and the Metro Theatre seemed sufficient, however, due to the overwhelming response from fans, the show was taken to the Enmore Theatre in Sydney! The fans were spoilt with many treats last night.
By 8pm fans had already packed the venue front and back in time to see the aptly chosen support act for the night (and only support act) Melbourne based hip hop duo, Diafrix. Although it seems that much of commercial hip hop promotes promiscuity and homophobia, excessive use of drug and alcohol, crime, money, fame with a heavy use of derogative language (all as a norm of societies across the world), Diafrix seem to break the stereotypes and misconception with a positive approach.
Their album Pocket Full Of Dreams is what could be described as a genuine compilation of narratives from cultural and personal struggles and exchanging it for more positive outcomes and a change in common attitudes and thoughts. So I am all for positive hip hop, and it’s one thing to immerse oneself into their pre-recorded music, but witnessing a live delivery of their album took me on a whole other level. Diafrix spread good vibes throughout their set leaving all to look like perspiring sardines. The front row were pushed up against the media barricades – sweaty, thirsty, had full bladders, but weren’t prepared to give up their spot on the floor. Security yanked out a few overheated (and a little intoxicated) fans from the crowd. Diafrix definitely owned the stage. Aussies definitely need to check these guys out live if you haven’t already done so. Any one looking for a live hip hop act, these are the guys to hit up.
The 30-40 minute wait was well worth it for Macklemore fans, as he made way to the stage and crowds roared in reverence to see the man himself, Ryan Lewis and the band. Fans joined in singing familiar songs from his latest release The Heist. Each track received the “same love” as his hit singles ‘Thrift Shop’ and – ‘Same Love’. Through witnessing various hip hop gigs in town, the crowd was well behaved for such a large cohort. Brilliant production work by Ryan Lewis throughout the album and at the live show in Sydney.
Fluid rhymes by Macklemore and his fans to match especially throughout ‘Jimmy lovine’. We got treated to the soulful voice of Ray Dalton who also joined Macklemore on tour with ‘Can’t Hold Us’, which got the crowd clapping and singing along like a gospel choir. We can’t forget the awesome trumpet playing by Macklemore’s official trumpeteer Owuor Arunga. But it was not until the number one single ‘Thrift Shop’ began to play, that the audience screamed with excitement. Shortly after it eased in with the second number one hit single in Australia ‘Same Love’ (renowned song that supports same-sex marriage). At one time I was wondering who the chick was with the long blonde hair that entered the stage. Yup, it was Mr Macklemore himself. Never once did he fail to entertain and constantly delivered great music and remained animated.
It’s about time Australia got to see the men behind the Thrift Shop song Macklemore, Wanz and production work by Ryan Lewis. It goes to show that if one is an artist of some sort, keep making art. You never know how far you can go. Macklemore sure didn’t expect to top 2 singles in the last few months in Australia. Looking forward to seeing him flourish worldwide!
Check out the links below for more info:
No Sleep ’Til Adelaide Tour
Big Village is proud to present the first East Coast tour and Adelaide Fringe Festival season of Sydney-based live art hip hop gameshow Sketch The Rhyme. The strikingly entertaining show pits teams of artists and rappers against each other in a fast-paced, MC-driven battle of wits, played out with the accompaniment of a live band, and not-so-serious nods to famed drawing duels: Pictionary and the legendary Mr Squiggle.
Conceived by Big Village Records MC, label manager and creative director Rapaport, Sketch The Rhyme was developed during the 2008 Underbelly Festival, Carriageworks, through collaborations between esteemed visual artists, freestyle MCs and improvising musicians. Spurred on by the sheer fun and creativity of those initial brainstorming sessions Sketch The Rhyme has gone onto to feature at Edinburgh Fringe Festival , Woodford Folk Festival [2009 & 2010], Melbourne Fringe  and the Sydney Comedy Festival Great Debate.
Bringing together Big Village MCs Rapaport, P.Smurf from Daily Meds and Jeswon from Thundamentals, Sketch The Rhyme teams the label mates with artists Claire Nakazawa, Duckman, Sam Clouston, Edgarr and Mie Nakazawa, whose expertise in a range of visual disciplines from street art and graffiti, to comics, cartoons and painting creates one hell of an engaging hip hop show.
WATCH SKETCH THE RHYME COME TO LIFE
CAN YOU POZIBLY HELP SKETCH THE RYHME?
Big Village and Sketch The Rhyme need your help getting this show on the road! Why not watch and share their Pozible video, support their campaign and tell your friends about Sketch The Rhyme on Facebook or Twitter? Sketch The Rhyme will thank their Pozible helpers with sweet rewards: from artwork and props to workshops or even a Sketch The Rhyme show in your own home!
CHECK OUT THE REWARDS
“No Sleep ’Til Adelaide” Tour
Fri 15 Feb – The Standard, Sydney, NSW
Feat. MCs Urthboy, Rapaport, P.Smurf, Ellesquire and Tenth Dan
Supports from Hi Tops Brass Band + DJ Migz
Plus artists Claire Nakazawa, Mie Nakazawa, Sam Clouston, Edgarr, Duckman and Days One
$15 + BF / $20 on the door
Sat 2 Mar – Speigeltent, Melbourne (11am show), VIC
Adelaide Fringe Festival
Thu 7 March – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 11.50pm
Fri 8 March – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 11.50pm
Sat 9 Mar – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 11.50pm
Sun 10 Mar – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 11.50pm
Mon 11 Mar – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 11.50pm
Tue 12 Mar – Gluttony: The Piglet – 6.45pm
Wed 13 Mar – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 11.00am
Wed 13 Mar – Gluttony: The Piglet – 6.45pm
Thu 14 Mar – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 1.00pm
Thu 14 Mar – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 11.50pm
Fri 15 Mar – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 1.00pm
Fri 15 Mar – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 11.50pm
Sat 16 Mar – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 11.50pm
Sun 17 Mar – Gluttony: The Pig Pen – 11.50pm