REVIEW: Alpine, Clubfeet, Georgi Kay @ The Patch.

High off the success of their debut album A is for Alpine, six-piece Melbourne indie-pop ensemble Alpine entranced an enthusiastic and expectant crowd at the Patch on Wednesday night. With their distinctive fusion of breathy vocals, catchy melodies and knee-jerking energy, Alpine cemented their place as inventive and innovative newcomers at the forefront of the Australian music scene.

Opening crooner Georgi Kay greeted a thriving Patch with relaxed, mellow and minor tunes. With a voice that mixes a little bit of Angus and Julia Stone with a little bit of Sarah Blasko, Kay has harnessed an unusually strong and defined voice for someone of only 18 years. Despite her reserved stage presence, Kay’s commanding sound and quirky lyrics generated an affectionate we’re-all-friends-here vibe among the crowd that continued for the remainder of the night.

Next up, electro-pop (or “blow wave”) five-piece Clubfeet stole the stage with light guitar riffs, synth-dominated loops and a frequently featured tambourine. As a few casual boppers took to the floor, the boys from Melbourne harmonised through charismatic dance songs, often laced with an underlying ’80s sound. After sharing a drink with a generous young lass in the front row, lead singer Sebastian Cohen shared a few dance moves of his own to Teenage Suicide (Don’t do it) and set closer Last words; providing entertainment to all the late-comers who had just strolled in.

Finally, the lights dimmed and the much anticipated set of Alpine opened with trance-like melodies and husky vocals. Decorated in glittery eye make-up that reflected the cosmic undertones of their voices, front-women Lou James and Phoebe Baker descended with an energetic stage presence that showcased flawless pitch, while Ryan, Tim, Christian and Phil plucked out melodic riffs and thumped out inventive beats.

Filled with impeccably-timed syncopation and dynamics, the band flew through a mix of EP favourites such as Heartlove, while also introducing newbies Seeing Red and Hands.  The Patch was promptly transformed into a gathering of swaying individuals that gave the impression of floating, but in the middle of crowded, sweaty dance-floor sort of way.

As a few ill-timed jivers enthusiastically raved through the crowd, some spirit fingers made an appearance on stage as James declared “Let’s get noisy, in a nice way.”

And that is precisely what we did. In a perfectly well-behaved manner, the audience hummed and warbled out the opening lines of Gasoline while the two female leads encouraged some dramatic head-bopping. It’s safe to say that the song sounds even better live than it does on CD- an impressive feat- although it remains unclear as to whether this is because of the bands quirky onstage character, or just a result of their outstanding musical talent.

(As a side note, for all current residents of the Gong, it seems that Lou, in particular, is a big fan of our cities name, joyously exclaiming: “I love the name Wollongong. Woooooollongong.  I’m going to call my kid Wollongong.” Fact.)

Finishing on Villages, with some chronic hand-clapping and a few sensual dancers making their way towards the bar, it was evident that Alpine had come and conquered, no doubt winning over all ears in the venue (but perhaps not those of the surrounding sites, who issued a few cheeky noise complaints).

For further tour information, get click-happy right here:  http://www.facebook.com/alpineband/app_308540029359

The Jezabels release ‘Endless Summer’ video

The Jezabels are heading our way very soon, and they’ve just released the video for new track, ‘Endless Summer.’

Lifted off upcoming debut album, ‘Prisoner,’ you can check out the video below.

The Aussie four-piece will play the Unibar on October 20, with Alpine and Hey Rosetta. Click here for more info.

TOUR NEWS: The Jezabels

It’s been a massive year for Sydney-based The Jezabels. Their third EP, ‘Dark Storm,’ hit #1 on the iTunes charts, they blew minds on their sold out national headlining tour and at Falls & Peats Ridge festivals, and scored two tracks in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2010.

Now, fresh from playing Splendour In The Grass over the weekend, the quartet announce their latest national headlining tour, in support of soon-to-be-released debut LP, ‘Prisoner.’

Booking a month-long, Australia-wide tour for October, The Jezabels will play the Wollongong Unibar for the first time on October 20th.

It will be a hectic few months for the band, returning from a UK and European tour just days before heading back on the road for what is sure to be another run of hotly-anticipated shows.

Canadian band Hey Rosetta! – most recently here in support of City & Colour – and Melbourne-based group Alpine will support on each leg of the tour, including the Unibar show.

Tickets are $25, and go on sale through OzTix, BigTix, Redback Music and the Unishop on August 12th.

Their last national headlining tour was entirely sold out, and tickets for their only local show are sure to fly out the door. Make the most of this rare chance to see one of Australia’s most promising young acts, in such an intimate venue.

(see the official Facebook event for more details)

THE JEZABELS
w/ HEY ROSETTA! + ALPINE
OCTOBER 20th
WOLLONGONG UNIBAR
$25 + bf
ON SALE AUGUST 12

TOUR NEWS: Sparkadia, Imaginary Cities

After a successful tour with Alpine and Operator Please through March, Sparkadia have announced a brand new national tour.

Making September a pretty crowded time for touring bands – with The Vines, Birds of Tokyo, Dead Letter Circus, Calling All Cars and Josh Pyke among acts hitting the road in the same month – the Alex Burnett-led group will head out on the ‘Mary’ tour, taking in all major capital cities and select regional centres.

Sparkadia will hit Waves Nightclub on September 10th (a week after The Vines rock the Unibar, a day before Josh Pyke is in town, and a week before Birds of Tokyo & Calling All Cars hit Wollongong), with Canadian band Imaginary Cities in support. Tickets go on sale Friday July 8th.

September looks like it’ll be a busy and exciting (and potentially, financially traumatic) period for local music fans, with so many big-name Aussie acts in our little town; so start saving your pennies!

SPARKADIA, ‘MARY’ NATIONAL TOUR
w/ support from IMAGINARY CITIES
WAVES NIGHTCLUB, TOWRADGI
SEPTEMBER 10TH
TICKETS ON SALE JULY 8TH

WEEKLY PREVIEW: 28 March-3 April

GIG OF THE WEEK:
The Holidays, Gold Fields @ Unibar
8pm, $15/$18, 18+

A number of great gigs in Wollongong this week, with The Holidays at the University heading up the list. Fresh off playing South By South West music conference in Texas, the Sydney band will take to the Unibar stage to show off their Red Bull Music Prize-winning debut album, ‘Post Paradise.’ A dreamy, laidback blend of pop and summery synthrock, ‘Post Paradise’ put The Holidays at the forefront of a new wave of Australian electro-pop emergent in 2010. After their SXSW appearances, a slot on the national Laneway Festival, and an upcoming tour with Cut Copy, The Holidays are set to make 2011 their year.
Also on the bill are Ballarat’s Gold Fields; a real air of expectation surrounds this young five-piece, who have already toured the UK, racked up a number of impressive tour slots and scored high praise from Triple J on the back of impressive single ‘Treehouse.’ With more a full-sounding dance-rock sound in the vein of Friendly Fires or The Naked & Famous, Gold Fields are similar enough to the headliners to make a sonically consistent show, but different enough to make it an interesting double-bill. Be sure to catch both these bands in the small setting of the Unibar; the next tours these bands do, are sure to be much bigger.

Also this week are a couple of FREE, ALL AGES events being run by the Wollongong Youth Centre as part of National Youth Week. Friday night is the huge “Youth Fest” being held in McCabe Park featuring Mercury Bluescope band comp finalists The Maze, alongside a stack of other great local acts; and young music fans will be able to spend Saturday afternoon at a gig too, with the Youth Centre hosting Losing With Style, Thomas Covenant and the Flat White Cats.
If you’re a young person in Wollongong, get out and support these events; gigs can only happen if enough people come along to support the bands playing, and to support the Youth Centre organising them. It’s not often that you can see three free, all ages gigs in this town, so get out and get behind them!

ALSO THIS WEEK:

WEDNESDAY: Sparkadia, Operator Please, Alpine @ Unibar
8pm, $22.50, 18+

THURSDAY: The Go Set, Attila The Stockbroker (UK), Sydney Girls Choir, Handsome Young Strangers @ The Harp Hotel
8pm, $12, 18+

FRIDAY:  Wollongong Youth Centre’s “Youth Fest”
Featuring: Endeavours, The Maze, Friends With Benefits, The Bittersweet Empire, Leebold Hill, Stay Down, Saralisse @ McCabe Park, Wollongong
7pm, FREE, all ages

FRIDAY: Grace Woodroofe, WIM @ Otis Bar
8pm, $10, 18+

SATURDAY: Kaleidoscope, We All Want To, The Flat White Cats @ The Patch
8pm, 18+

SATURDAY: Losing With Style, Thomas Covenant (CD launch show), The Flat White Cats, Apollo 93, Grey Tempest @ Wollongong Youth Centre
12pm, FREE, all ages


We’re always happy to help out! If you would like to include an event in Radar’s weekly gig guide, please contact radar.illawarra@gmail.com

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