Yours & Owls – a video retrospective

When the quiet little coffee shop opened two years ago, nobody could have ever predicted how much Yours & Owls would shake up the local music and culture scene. Two years on, Owls has become the hub for live music in the Wollongong CBD, and has inarguably become the nucleus around which the new local music scene has been built. Playing host to virtually every local band, as well as nationally touring stars and even a smattering of well-respected internationals, Yours & Owls has provided a space (albeit a cosy one) for music to flourish and live in the centre of Wollongong.

Two years down the track from their unassuming opening on Crown Street, Owls has hosted many shows that will likely be forever etched into the memories of local music fans, young and old. From acoustic sets by The Flatliners, to secret Totally Unicorn gigs, to epic Budha Nights where music lovers are introduced to their new favourite bands, Owls has something for everyone. Basement, Bomb The Music Industry, Tim Hart (of Boy & Bear), The Rubens, Hunting Grounds,  Fait Accompli, Millions – Yours & Owls has played host to many of the most memorable local shows in recent memory. Luckily, thanks to Owls’ policy of video recording most of their shows, we can look back and remember the epic gigs that we’ve been to, or check out the ones that we missed. With the Yours & Owls 2nd birthday party fast approaching (this Friday, August 31!), here’s our look back at some of the more memorable shows that have gone down within the walls of Yours & Owls:

Sticky Fingers
On their most recent tour, Sydney funk-rock outfit Sticky Fingers played a two-night-stand at Owls. They blow us away whenever we see them, and seeing them in the cosy surrounds of Y&O was pretty special.

Tommy M & The Mastersounds
Tommy M seem to play Owls every single week, but that never seems to diminish the crowds they bring. Surely holding the record for most consistently packed-out shows (we hear that their Budha Nights gig with Rocking Horse a few months back was the fastest pack-out of the venue ever), the eight-piece quickly became an Owls favourite.

The Walking Who
These guys, too, have become something of a regular fixture on the Owls calendar. Their brand of fuzzy psych-rock has won The Walking Who a lot of fans recently, including Sydney institutions Select Music and FBI Radio.

The Rubens
Back before they blew up on JJJ, The Rubens were playing places like Owls. Check their performance from 2011 right here.

Totally Unicorn
Arguably the most memorable gig in Owls history was the Totally Unicorn show of September 2011. The final show on a quick east coast tour, the Totally Unicorn guys destroyed the tiny venue in a show that saw punters flying off the stairs onto the crowd below, Drew crowd-surfing the length of the venue, and a greater concentration of tie-dye than any other location in history. Check out the chaos below.

Of course, Totally Unicorn and The Walking Who will be some of the star attractions at Yours & Owls’ 2nd birthday celebrations on August 31. The three-venue party will take over Owls, the Town Hall and Fever/Blue Note nightclub, with Step-Panther, Alotta Presha, Let Me Down Jungleman and a dozen more playing throughout the night. For all the details, click here.

Radar Illawarra presents: Budha Nights at Yours & Owls

So a few weeks back, we announced that Radar will be organising some monthly parties at Yours & Owls as part of their mad successful and awesome Budha Nights.

The first Radar party will be February 15th, and we’re stoked to reveal that the launch of the Radar/Budha collab project will host YETIS, TOMMY M & THE MASTERSOUNDS and THE WALKING WHO>!

All these guys have been doing amazing things recently, and anyone who caught Tommy M or The Walking Who at Stacked Festival over the weekend will agree that those two are in top form at the moment; and with Yetis recently returning from a clutch of gigs over in New Zealand, you know they’ll be up for it too.

As we said before, local DJ/producer legend Moonbase Commander will be knocking up some exclusive party mixes to play between sets, to keep you dancin’ and drinkin’ and makin’ a fool of yourself all night long.

Like all Budha Nights, it’s free entry all night long. Get in early though, because it’s gonna fill up fast!

RSVP to the Facebook event by clicking right here, right now!

RADAR ILLAWARRA PRESENTS: BUDHA NIGHTS @ YOURS & OWLS
LAUNCHING FEBRUARY 15TH
w/ THE WALKING WHO, TOMMY M & THE MASTERSOUNDS YETIS
FREE!

Yardvark announce album launch mini-tour

Yardvark will launch their new album, ‘Flannelette Heart,’ with a four gig mini-tour through January and February.

The Wollongong indie-rock band will play the Patch on January 20, with support coming from The Pennys and Lumiere. They will then travel to Sydney for a show at Spectrum in Darlinghurst the following night, with Radio National and Wollongong’s own The Walking Who joining that show.

The band will then play the Stacked Music Festival at City Diggers on January 27, before heading to Newcastle in mid-February for the last date of the tour.

For more details, check out the Facebook event page.

GIG GUIDE: January 2 – 8

Happy new year to all Radar readers, and welcome to the first gig guide for 2012! A wide range of stuff on this week, from Italian hardcore band Raien at Yours & Owls, to a new weekly band night at the Glasshouse Tavern continuing into its second week with The Walking Who and Curious Temple playing, and the popular Monster League event returning to the Kiama Leagues Club on Friday night.

The biggest show of the week, however, will be happening Sunday night at Waves Nightclub; Wu Tang Clan founding member GZA will be performing his classic album ‘Liquid Swords’ in full, with legendary rapper Pharoahe Monch and a bunch of local hip-hop talents in support. Tickets for that one are still available (click here for more info), and it’s sure to be a pretty amazing show.

TUESDAY
Raien, Loma Prieta, Lo!, The Reverend Jesse Custer @ Yours & Owls
8pm, 18+

WEDNESDAY
Young Pretties + more @ Yours & Owls
8pm, free, 18+

THURSDAY
Curious Temple, Gravity Takes Over, Vicious Dickens, The Walking Who, Dom @ the Glasshouse
8pm, $10, 18+

Smith St Band, Bats & Battleships, I Am The Agent, Thomas Covenant @ Yours & Owls
8pm, 18+

Directions, Jack R Reilly @ Wollongong Youth Centre
6pm, free, all ages

FRIDAY
Monster League: The Bungalows, King & Co, The Flat White Cats, Jack R Reilly, A Cold November @ Kiama Leagues Club
7pm, $5, 18+

Earth Mechanics + more @ Dicey Rileys
9pm, free, 18+

Delinquent, Shady Nook, Sylvain @ The Patch
8pm, free, 18+

Cape Tribulation, Red Sea Drifters, Massonics @ Yours & Owls
8pm, 18+

SUNDAY
GZA, Pharoahe Monch, Common Grounds + more @ Waves Nightclub
8pm, $35 (buy tickets) 18+

Stacked Music Festival adds The Conspiracy Plan, Walking Who, Chicks Who Love Guns

The final lineup for Stacked Music Festival has been announced, with some big names bolstering an already strong lineup.

The fourth announcement for the January festival is headed up by Sydney act Chicks Who Love Guns, who were most recently in Wollongong to headline Huchi Muchi’s launch party at Yours and Owls in September. Big-name locals The Conspiracy Plan, Sydney Girls Choir and The Walking Who also join the festival, set to take place on January 27 and 28 at City Diggers.

Tickets for the festival are available now, through StackedFestival.com.au and Moshtix. Two-day passes are just $26, with single day tickets from $16.

Keep an eye on Stacked Music Festival’s Facebook page for more details.

STACKED MUSIC FESTIVAL, FINAL LINEUP ANNOUNCEMENT
Chicks Who Love Guns, The Conspiracy Plan, Sydney Girls Choir, The Walking Who, Triggermoose, Crash Tragic, Matt Southon, Tainted Fist, Fiend, Justin Frew’s Loose Intentions

FULL LINEUP
Chicks Who Love Guns, The Conspiracy Plan, Sydney Girls Choir, The Walking Who, Triggermoose, Crash Tragic, Matt Southon, Tainted Fist, Fiend, Gay Paris, The Pennys, Lumiere, Bennie James, Mass Effect, The My Tys, Big Erle, Hy-Test, Alotta Presha, Tommy M & The Mastersounds, Young Braves, Vulpes Vulpes, Lost in Verona, Mung, Rekollect, The Omissions, The Watt Riot, Arcaien, Tokyo Spares, Yardvark, Clockwork 925, Common Grounds, The Maze, Round The Corner

STACKED MUSIC FESTIVAL
JANUARY 27-28, 2012
CITY DIGGERS, WOLLONGONG
On sale NOW

TOUR NEWS: Guineafowl supports announced

The support acts for Guineafowl’s upcoming ‘The Lie Is’ tour have been announced, with two stellar openers joining the Wollongong show at Yours and Owls.

Locals The Walking Who will open the show on November 26th, with Adelaide act Fire! Santa Rose, Fire! to play main support duties to Guineafowl.

The band were last in town to play a showcase set at the UOW band comp final, and anyone who was there can tell you what an incredible, joyful and fun show they put on. We called it a “lush, upbeat and tropical-tinged” performance, with the five-piece certainly putting on a beautiful set to close out the evening. This time, they’ll be returning to Wollongong in a proper headlining capacity, to celebrate the band’s return from a quickfire tour of the USA.

GUINEAFOWL, ‘THE LIE IS’ NATIONAL TOUR
w/ FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE! and THE WALKING WHO

YOURS & OWLS
NOVEMBER 26

TOUR NEWS: Megastick Fanfare, Oh Ye Denver Birds

Next up for Owls is a double bill of experimental goodness from Megastick Fanfare and Oh Ye Denver Birds. This double act will hit Yours & Owls on October 22, with tickets going at $15.

This writer saw Megastick Fanfare a few weeks back at Changing Lanes festival in Sydney, and was totally blown away. Crazy, dense experimental electronica, the only real comparison you can give is PVT or Holy Fuck; deep, dark, brooding yet utterly mind-blowing. Don’t miss out on this one.

Local support on the night will come from equally awesome locals, The Walking Who.

Check out the new clip for ‘I Believe In Love, Kid’ from Oh Ye Denver Birds’ upcoming debut album, ‘Good Ivy.’

MEGASTICK FANFARE/OH YE DENVER BIRDS
w/ THE WALKING WHO
YOURS & OWLS
OCTOBER 22
$15

GIG GUIDE: August 29 – September 4

It’s been quite a while since Radar has been this excited to put together a gig guide. There’s a crazy amount of incredible gigs on in Wollongong, so if you can’t find a show you want to go to this week, you should basically call it quits and admit that you’re not a true music fan. Man Overboard, The Vines, Papa vs Pretty, Architecture In Helsinki, Cut Off Your Hands, Calling All Cars, Young Revelry, Siberian Nights… from grungy rock, to pop-punk, indie-pop, electronic, and good old-fashioned rock’n’roll, there’s really something for everyone this week, so don’t waste this opportunity; get out to a gig, show the big promoters and big bands that Wollongong will support live music, and force them to keep bringing tours our way.

We’ve also got the mega ROCK THE VOTE event happening, as well as the WUHOW Red Party. There’s so much happening this week; if you don’t see at least one show, there’s something wrong with your brain!

GIGS:

WEDNESDAY: Man Overboard, I Am Villain, The Conspiracy Plan, Never Content @ The Patch
8pm, $30 (BUY TICKETS), 18+

WEDNESDAY: Architecture In Helsinki, Cut Off Your Hands @ Unibar
8pm, $28.10 (BUY TICKETS), 18+

WEDNESDAY: Charlie Mayfair, The Pennys, Yetis @ Yours and Owls
8pm, 18+

THURSDAY: The Vines, Papa vs Pretty, Bleeding Knees Club, Step-Panther @ Unibar
8pm, $37.75 (BUY TICKETS), 18+

THURSDAY: Tommy M & The Mastersounds, Vanguard Party @ Sol Studios
8pm, all ages

THURSDAY: Matty Woods, Jevon Tawhai @ Yours and Owls
8pm, 18+

FRIDAY: ‘Rock The Vote’ w/ Ox & The Fury, Policing In Crisis, Yardvark @ Dicey Riley’s
8pm, $12, 18+ (see more details)

FRIDAY: WUHOW Red Party w/ The Bungalows, The Walking Who @ Unibar
7pm, $10 presale, 18+ (see more details)

FRIDAY: ‘Siberian Nights’ w/ Erik Omen In Atlantis, Disco Club, Domeyko Gonzalez @ Yours and Owls
8pm, 18+

SATURDAY: Calling All Cars, Boy In A Box, Redcoats @ Waves Nightclub
8pm, $16 (BUY TICKETS), 18+

SATURDAY: Young Revelry, The Walking Who, Ruby Frost @ Yours and Owls
8pm, 18+

REVIEW: Young Revelry, Chicks Who Love Guns, Co Lab @ Yours and Owls

It’s rare that any show in Wollongong sells out, let alone two shows on the same night. Let alone on a cold, rainy night like it was on Thursday, when both the Otis Bar’s last show, and the Young Revelry gig at Yours and Owls, were filled to capacity. For those who chose the cosy, hole-in-the-wall cafe that is Yours and Owls, they were witness to a night of powerful energetic rock, guitar squalls, epic feedback, and almost certainly the loudest gig the tiny venue had ever hosted.

Owls packed out early, as the local opening band took the stage (or, more accurately, floor). Heavy Heads had been advertised to fill this support slot, but we were instead treated to a project dubbed ‘Co Lab,’ featuring members of Heavy Heads and fellow locals The Walking Who. Human tessellation proved to be the order of the day for this set – and for the rest of the night – as five musicians, two guitars, two keyboards, half a drumset, a laptop and two tambourines crammed into the tiny performance space. Co Lab served up a brand of slow 1960s-style psychedelia, tinged with elements of dry desert-rock and blues. Spacy keyboard parts mingled with driving, almost tribal drumming and droning, unintelligible vocals to make for a rhythmic, hypnotic performance calling to mind Tame Impala, The Doors or Wolfmother in their spaciest moments. A confident, powerful and polished performance from the collaboration project, and one that surely won them a roomful of new fans.

After a quick changeover, and the addition of a full drumkit, Sydney five-piece Chicks Who Love Guns took charge of the evening. Kicking off with the groovy – and subtly titled – ‘Smash Fuck,’ the band initially seemed to lack energy. After a static beginning, band picked up the energy and enthusiasm to match their raucous, bratty garage-punk. With a brash, in-your-face punk rock somewhere between The Bronx, The Hives and The Ramones, CWLG kicked the night up several gears from the shoegaze-y, noodling psych-rock of Co Lab; but it seemed that local punters weren’t all that receptive. “This room was full before we started. Thanks for making us feel welcome,” laughed diminutive frontman Cass Navarro around halfway into the set, as the room dropped to around half capacity. Maybe as a “fuck-you” gesture to departing fans, the band’s on-stage energy spiked after this.

Navarro walked the length of the venue, twice, then climbed a wall, knocking down several hanging paintings in the process, before the set’s highlight; the sudden arrival of a lycra-clad, obviously drunk middle-aged man wearing neon Crocs, who danced wildly through the last two tracks. Finishing up with a flawless rendition of new track ‘God Love & Satan,’ and old favourite ‘Vomit On The Dancefloor,’ Chicks Who Love Guns probably departed feeling disappointed at the crowd reaction; but it was a solid, energetic set that deserved a greater crowd response.

Perth’s Young Revelry started their set playing to literally a handful of fans, but as those milling about outside Yours and Owls heard the almighty racket that the trio kicked into, the room again filled. A groovy, 60s-psychedelia number pricked the ears of attendees, who were soon swaying and nodding along to the band’s heavier, almost hypnotic rhythms. Comparable to Led Zeppelin or – again – Wolfmother, the three-piece also channelled a grungy aesthetic that was at once powerful and groovy, heavy yet danceable.

The band took off on a sonic journey through their set, jumping between heavy psych-rock, more conventional rock’n’roll, garage-punk and some poppier moments, variously calling to mind the Pixies, Children Collide, The Who and Nirvana. It was a bit of a mix’n’match, with almost no flow or transition between tracks; each was executed brilliantly and competently, and it made for an interesting listening experience, but it was difficult to follow the set from one song to the next. The band might benefit from narrowing their musical focus, to ensure a more cohesive, coherent performance.

Nevertheless, it was an exciting set that never lacked energy, precision or enthusiasm, and signalled that this was a band almost ready to step up to the big leagues of Australian indie music. Armed with a slew of radio friendly rock tracks (don’t be surprised to see them feature in a Triple J Hottest 100 list in the next year or so), Young Revelry are certainly one to watch in coming months.

See below for video of Young Revelry’s headline set. For more videos from the night, see Yours and Owls website.

Young Revelry 140711 from Laww Media on Vimeo.

WEEKLY PREVIEW: 30th May-5th June

GIG OF THE WEEK:
SATURDAY: Kaleidoscope (EP launch), Dane Overton (EP launch), Vanguard Party, Curious Temple @ Rydges CBD Bar
8pm, free, 18+

Just in case you weren’t aware, the most diverse, most rockin’-est, most free-est, most local gig of the YEAR is going down at Rydges CBD Bar on Saturday. The gig, celebrating the launch of EPs from the stoner-rock dreadlocked dudes of Kaleidoscope, as well as folk/roots singer-songwriter Dane Overton, has steadily been dropping delectable and delicious details since being announced earlier in the year; first, synthesiser-fuelled party animals Vanguard Party were added to the lineup, then the gig was announced to cost the wallet-friendly cost of five bucks. In the last few weeks, the door charge was lowered to the even MORE wallet-friendly price of FREE.
So you’ve really got no excuse to not get to this gig.
Featuring the most diverse lineup you’re likely to see in Wollongong for a while – from indie-pop to folk to psychedelic rock – and some of the region’s finest young talents, as well as celebrating the launch of two fine new releases from Kaleidoscope and Dane Overton, this gig is sure to be one to remember. And, let’s face it; what other venue offers free entry on a Saturday night? Get out and support new local music, and support gigs held at Rydges; it’s a sweet venue that is working hard to offer a venue for Wollongong musicians.
For a taste of what their respective EPs have in store, check out brand new tracks both bands; ‘Vacancy’ by Dane Overton and ‘The Towers’ by Kaleidoscope, both premiered on Radar!

ALSO THIS WEEK:

TUESDAY: Uni band comp @ Unibar
7pm, free, 18+ 

WEDNESDAY: Owl Eyes, Jenny Broke The Window, Jack Reilly @ Otis Bar
8pm, $10, 18+

WEDNESDAY: Places People, Jaime Robbie Reyne (single launch), Gentlemen & Vagabonds @ Harp Hotel
8pm, 18+

WEDNESDAY: Boy & Bear, Jinja Safari, Emma Louise @ Unibar (SOLD OUT)
8pm, 18+

THURSDAY: Tommy M & The Mastersounds, My Little Underground @ Wollongong City Gallery
6pm, free, under 18s only 

THURSDAY: Pez, Maya Jupiter, 360 @ Harp Hotel
8pm, $15, 18+

FRIDAY: Bulldoze All Bowlos, Elephant, Bat Yoghurt @ Dicey Rileys
9pm, free, 18+

SATURDAY: Head-On @ Headlands Hotel, Austinmer
feat. The New Christs, Hoss, The Vee Bees, Nunchukka Superfly, Mother & Son, Bulldoze All Bowlos, Dunhill Blues, The Walking Who
3pm, $15 pre-sale (tickets available here), 18+

SATURDAY: The Jet Boys(Japan),  Topnovil, Rukus, The Scam @ The Patch
5pm, $15, 18+

SATURDAY: The Villains @ Wollongong RSL Club
8pm, free, 18+ 

SATURDAY: Crisis @ Dicey Rileys
8pm, 18+

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

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