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

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TOUR NEWS: The Rubens, British India, The Cairos.

A few exciting announcements this week in upcoming shows for Spring:

Sydney band The Rubens are releasing their hotly anticipated debut in September, so what better time to go see them? The Rubens are headlining at gig at UOW Unibar on Thursday the 20th of September, supported by Bertie Blackman and New Gods. Click here for more details!  The band also released the video for new song ‘My Gun’ last week. Check it out here! 

Melbourne rockers British India are back! With the release of their latest song ‘I Can Make You Love Me’ the band are hitting the road again this spring, and have added a Wollongong show at The Patch, for Friday the 26th of October. Bright Yellow and The Owls will also be playing.

Tickets on sale now! 

You’ve probably heard their ever catchy tune ‘Shame’ being blasted all over Triple J this year. The Cairos are passing through Wollongong on Wednesday the 10th of October, and will be playing at UOW Unibar.  Tickets on sale now through the usual outlets.



GALLERY: Soundproofed @ The Patch

photos by Jack Cowling

Review: The Broderick, Thorns, Outsiders Code, Colossus, Graves

By Sally McMullen

The Patch welcomed some of Melbourne hardcore’s finest on Sunday night. With The Broderick, Thorns, Outsiders Code, Colossus and Wollongong’s own Graves performing, a good night was bound to be on the cards.

Local favourites Graves kicked off the night and as always, nailed it. Once they fired up their set, the Patch was filled with raw and aggressive noise. Accompanied by heavy guitar riffs and clean bass work, Rhys Benn’s growl echoed through the mic as he stomped around the floor. Topped off with rapid drum beats and plunging bass drops, Graves had a developed sound and bounced well off of one another. Pulling off yet another impressive set, Graves definitely made locals proud in the otherwise Melbourne-infested waters.

Next up were Colossus. Diving straight into a lightning-fast guitar riff, Colossus had no trouble getting the crowd on board. Under a mass of long hair, the vocalist’s roughened voice worked well with the thrashing guitar as he spat lyrics into the front row of the crowd. Belting out heavy jungle drums that crescendoed into an explosion of noise, the drummer acted as the back bone of the instrumentals throughout much of their performance. By the time they rounded off their unfortunately short set, Colossus definitely left the audience wanting more.

With hardcore heavy-hitter Baina (of Her Nightmare, 50 Lions and Samsara) fronting Outsiders Code, there was no doubt that this would be an impressive set. The four-piece wasted no time, immediately descending into a set of power violence infused sounds, polished off with heavy breakdowns and rapid guitars. During tracks like “The Pain of Choices”, Baina barked into the mic, his voice bounding over the top of raging guitars and thumping drum beats. Due to the members’ long history with hardcore, it was no surprise that Outsiders Code were one of the stand out acts on the night.

As soon as Thorns appeared, so did a circle filled with the flailing limbs of many hardcore dancers. The set jump-started with a heavy guitar intro and the raspy growl of the frontman as he prowled around the floor, a permanent scowl fixed onto his face. Unlike the other bands who thanked the crowd for coming out on a Sunday night, Thorns showed no mercy. The lead singer told the crowd to quit being “pussies” because a good hardcore show could be had any night of the week. Thorns’ aggressive sound mixed in well with the energy of the gig and had the crowd head banging in unison throughout the entire set.

Last, but most certainly not least were The Broderick. Frontman Logan Fewster beckoned everyone in to create a tight circle and like their predecessors, had conjured up some hardcore dancers in no time. Soon enough, the whole audience was moving along to The Broderick’s progressive hardcore sound. During tracks such as “Savages”, the guys demonstrated their versatility, beginning with a melodic guitar intro before building up to a heavy breakdown. On drums, Ash Denman moved his arms with such speed that they appeared to be a blur as he churned out thundering beats. Although the whole band had great chemistry, Logan had a particularly strong stage presence, arms outstretched and veins popping out of his neck as he screamed out each lyric with all his might. The crowd were transfixed the entire set and I think it is safe to say that The Broderick were definitely worth the wait.

Sunday night brought a refreshing dose of Melbourne hardcore to Wollongong. From The Broderick to Graves, the lineup consisted of a truly talented bunch of dudes. In addition the impressive performances, it was also great to see a strong crowd supporting these guys and we can only hope to see similar shows in the future. And this was all before 9.30pm, not bad for a Sunday night at The Patch.

REVIEW: The Cairos + The Preachers + Rockets @ The Patch

Following the release of their six-track EP Colours Like Features, pop-indie four-piece The Cairos drew an intimate gathering of locals to The Patch on Wednesday night. Foregoing the dismal State of Origin that flickered on a TV near the bar, the Brisbane boys braved the NSW territory and joined their supporting acts on the first leg of their headlining launch tour.

After awkwardly greeting a rather cosy audience, Sydney band Rockets quickly altered the monotonous atmosphere with full, catchy and head-bopping guitar riffs. With a voice similar to The Killers’ Brandon Flowers, lead singer and guitarist Credo Jones gave an energetic performance, sporting a denim-on-denim ensemble that gave the impression that he’d just stepped out of the ’80s. Paired with his outrageously enthusiastic hair-swinging that almost knocked out his fellow guitarist, the band provided an entertaining opening and are definitely worth seeing live.

Due to a change in schedule, The Cairos clambered up on stage as supporting act The Preachers were missing half their band. Despite a few glitches, including a mischievous run-away foldback, the band performed with an enthusiasm that outdid the confines of the small venue.

Opening with Self Control, they jumped between a mix of old, new, upbeat and gentler tracks, proving that their live performance far surpasses the musical talent already evident on their EP. The youthful and lively stage presence was infectious; impossible to sit through without tapping a toe and singing along.

Continuing with new tracks Yeah No and pop anthem Shame, lead singer Alistar Richardson captivated the audience with flawless vocals that complimented the plucky guitars and walking bass line. Finishing on favourite We All Buy Stars, the Brisbane boys made it clear that they have much more in store for the Australian music scene.

By this time, The Preachers had retrieved all band members and took to the stage, crooning in a sultry manner that can only be described as old-school-slash-blues-slash-rock-and-roll. Featuring another denim-on-denim outfit, The Preachers danced, bopped and hopped in a way that left one feeling as though you were witnessing some sort of religious cult. Pairing tight guitar riffs with impressive and powerful harmonies, the band finished the night on a playful note, peering out into the remaining audience and asking “Can we go now?”

Catch The Cairos at more upcoming shows: http://www.songkick.com/artists/864093-cairos

GALLERY: The Mission In Motion, Jonesez, The Watt Riot @ The Patch

GALLERY: Tonight Alive, Young Guns, Totally Unicorn @ The Patch

Click for our review of the gig

REVIEW: Tonight Alive, Young Guns, Totally Unicorn @ The Patch

Click for our photo gallery from the gig

Words by David Young

Given the fact they’ve managed to pack out the Patch in their own regard previously, it’s no surprise that an enthusiastic batch of early birds leapt at the chance to see Austinmer’s finest Totally Unicorn set off the evening’s proceedings. Basically everything one has come to expect from the band’s live show is present and accounted for, from Drew Gardner’s snow angel in the middle of the dancefloor to his theft of Mike Bennett’s hi-hat at the set’s conclusion. Just because you know what to expect, though, certainly doesn’t mean that the band are prone to put on a boring show. They are the kind of live band in which you only get out what you put in – so uncross those arms and expose some wizards.

Having Totally Unicorn as your opening act is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it sets the energy and entertainment levels at a remarkable high for the rest of the evening. Conversely, that also means that the acts that follow will have great difficulty clearing the bar that’s been set – such is the case with Londonite pop-punks Young Guns. Although putting on a technically proficient set, their Jimmy Eat World-flavoured and radio-friendly take on heavy guitar pop cohesively delivered , the band struggled to maintain the interest of most of the audience. With their star on the rise in their native U.K., it’s clear that the band is used to not only playing to a much bigger crowd, but a much younger demographic. Not a bad performance, but certainly not a gripping one.

A layered build-up eventually brought all five members of Tonight Alive onstage to tear straight into album cut “Listening,” which quickly got the audience heaving towards the front and shouting along to the song’s irrepressible hook. Although the show was not a sell out, there was ample energy within the room to carry the early part of the band’s set, complete with older favourites such as “Wasting Away” and “Revenge and Its Thrills.” The band are at a point where they have a very clear idea of how to run their live shows, taking both dynamics and a flourish of theatricality into consideration. This has its good and bad points – although the band are hugely confident and certainly engaging in their live show, at times it felt like Groundhog Day to the band themselves. A rough new song, “Breakdown,” didn’t help the mid-set slump any further; presenting a tepid chorus and a poorly transitioned key-change.

Still, when the band launched into the grand finale of “Breaking and Entering,” there was no time for cynicism. There were stage-dives to be had and big sing-alongs to be sung, after all. Perhaps inhibitions and cynicism should be best left at the door in order to properly enjoy what Tonight Alive have to offer. It’s up to you.

TOUR NEWS: Heroes For Hire supports announced

Sydney pop-punk outfit Heroes For Hire have announced the local supports for their gig at The Patch on July 5.

HFH will be joined on the national ‘Just Shoe It’ tour by Luca Brasi and Carry Me Home, with Wollongongians also treated to Wake The Giants and The Conspiracy Plan for the local date.

Heroes are currently working on their third album with Steve Klein of New Found Glory, so keep an eye out for a release later this year.

Heroes For Hire, ‘Just Shoe It’ tour
w/ Luca Brasi, Carry Me Home + Wake The Giants, The Conspiracy Plan
July 5, The Patch
Facebook event

TOUR NEWS: Heroes For Hire, Luca Brasi

Aussie pop-punkers Heroes For Hire have announced an extensive national run through June and July, with Wollongong on the itinerary.

HFH will head out on the ‘Just Shoe It’ tour with fellow Aussies Luca Brasi and Carry Me Home (featuring members of Confession and I Killed The Prom Queen), which features a stop at The Patch on July 5th. Tickets are on sale now, through Oztix.

Heroes have also announced they are currently working on their third album with Steve Klein of New Found Glory, so keep an eye out for a release later this year.

Heroes For Hire, ‘Just Shoe It’ tour
w/ Luca Brasi, Carry Me Home
July 5, The Patch
Facebook event

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