TOUR NEWS: 360 upgrades local venue, more tickets on sale

Massive demand for tickets has seen Aussie hip-hop star 360 upgrade the venue for his Wollongong show next month, with a bunch of extra tickets on sale this morning.

The local date, scheduled for June 8, was originally booked for the Waves Nightclub complex at the Towradgi Beach Hotel, but the rapid sell-out of tickets has seen the gig be bumped up to “the largest venue within the Waves Nightclub complex at the Towradgi Beach Hotel” – whatever that means…

Anyway, the bigger venue means more fans can get in on the action, and a stack of extra tickets are up for grabs right now. Click here to get yours.

360 plays Towradgi Beach on June 2, with Bam Bam, Hermitude and special guest Gossling.

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REVIEW: Bluejuice, Loon Lake, The Cairos

(see our photo gallery here)

It looked like it would be another embarassing turnout for Wollongong music as Brisbane indie-pop quarter The Cairos took the stage. In a space like Waves Nightclub, a poor turnout is very noticable, and the 50-odd punters who were on hand for the opening set of the night awkwardly sat or stood around dancefloor area. The Cairos’ brand of quirky indie-pop draws from many points on the musical spectrum from 50s guitar-pop to 80s rock, this scattergun approach leaving their set feeling incoherent and unrefined. They do the loud-soft dynamic well, their default sound channelling Yves Klein Blue at points, and frontman Alistair has an excellent voice; but overall their lack of musical focus – coupled with an almost non-existent live presence – let down a band who clearly have an ear for a hook and an ability to craft a catchy tune.

Loon Lake kicked the crowd’s energy up a few gears in anticipation of the night’s headliners. The room had measurably filled during the set-change, with several hundred on hand for the hotly-tipped Melbourne rock’n’roll outfit. Bright, upbeat indiepop, their three-pronged guitar attack instantly produced a much fuller, more immediate vibe than their predecessors. Off-kilter, raucous and energetic, the five-piece blasted through a hugely entertaining set melding modern pop with 50s-influenced surf-rock jams and an attractively raw, unpolished vibe. In contrast to the introverted, almost sombre demeanour of The Cairos, it was clear that Loon Lake was enjoying themselves on stage, judging by the laughs and smiles between songs. Frontman Sam was warm, charismatic, and more than a little intoxicated, his gravelly and throaty vocals an interesting juxtaposition against their big, bright melodies. Dreamy and hazy at times, before dropping back into a more direct retro-pop, Triple J favourites and excellent set-closers ‘Bad To Me’ and ‘In The Summer’ finally coaxed the near-capacity crowd onto the dancefloor – and just in time for the headliners.

Coming out to the tune of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ (Friday the 13th was just hours away) and adorned in black cloaks and hoods, Bluejuice soon turned on the neon as the stabbing key chords of ‘Can’t Keep Up’ rang out and triggered an instant losing of shit from all assembled. With neon keyboards, glasses, guitars, wristbands and microphones, courtesy of some blacklights, the six-piece transformed the dark stage into a mass of light, colour, strobes and smoke. “We are inca warriors tonight,” Stav proclaimed as the upbeat ‘Recession’ gave way to a surprise early rendition of ‘Vitriol,’ which saw the dancefloor morph into a crowd-surfing, handclapping frenzy as frontman Jake waded into the crowd and was borne back to the stage on a sea of hands.

While the dual vocals and on-stage antics of Stav and Jake generate the “better video that on my iPhone so I can put it on Facebook later” moments of Bluejuice’s live show, it can’t be overlooked that the band are comprised of some very fine musicians; a drummer, bassist, keyboardist and guitarist form the backbone of the live sound, which transforms the polished and professional sound of their recorded work into something more energetic and infinitely more compelling live. This is especially true of latest album ‘Company’ (which this tour is in support of), a distinctly less energetic sound, a love letter to 80s radio pop. The mix of old favourites with new album tunes was excellent, the more serene synthpop of late meshing surprisingly well with the rawer, more high-energy oldies.

However, of course, it IS Jake and Stav that make this band. A true yin/yang contrast, Jake is the crowd-surfing, stage-diving, hip-gyrating, amplifier-climbing maniac, while Stav largely holds the fort behind the mic stand. It’s why they work so well, that the two play off each other and bring two completely different aspects to the show. During a zany, manic, rave-style ‘Medication,’ Jake was literally swallowed up by the crowd, much to the chagrin of flustered-looking stage hands who were looking to protect their microphones and equipment. Finishing up with ‘Head of The Hawk,’ ‘Shock’ and a rabid, singalong rendition of ‘Broken Leg,’ Bluejuice certainly showed once again that they are one of Australia’s finest live pop acts… and more pleasingly, actually managed to attract a decent crowd in Wollongong.

TOUR NEWS: GZA (Wu Tang) & Pharoahe Monch

Wollongong hip-hop heads rejoice; a pretty amazing double header tour is coming our way early next month.

Founding member of the Wu Tang Clan, GZA, will play Waves Nightclub on January 8, with New York veteran Pharoahe Monch in support.

GZA, touring nationally through January, will be playing his seminal classic ‘Liquid Swords’ in full. Local MCs Common Grounds, Kade, Social Change, Mass Effect and Elemont will open the massive show.

This is a pretty amazing opportunity to see two of the biggest names in the history of hip-hop on one stage, in WOLLONGONG. Tickets for GZA’s show at Sydney’s Metro Theatre sold out weeks ago, so you can guarantee this will be a massive night.

Tickets are on sale now through Moshtix. See the Facebook event profile for more details.

GZA (Wu-Tang Clan) & Pharoahe Monch, 
w/ Common Grounds, Kade MC, Social Change, Mass Effect, Elemont
Waves Nightclub, January 8
Tickets through Moshtix

INTERVIEW: Art vs Science

Controversy; Jim Finn from Art vs Science reckons regional shows are more fun than their big city counterparts.

“Definitely! In the cities, crowds are bigger, but they get bands coming through all the time,” the vocalist/keyboardist says down the line from Toowoomba; it’s the second night of the Art vs Science ‘Feels Like Home’ regional tour, and the three-piece have just finished soundcheck, before a sold-out show in regional Queensland.

“Out in small towns, its a rarer opportunity for them to see a live band, so they are more appreciative for bands to come to them. They seem more excited, and really get into it; more than city crowds, I think!”

While music fans in Sydney, Melbourne and alike may protest this assertion, it’s pertinent to note that Finn is probably one of the best-placed Aussie musicians to make such claims. Since forming in 2008 as little more than a side-project, the electro-rock trio – completed by Dan Mac and Dan W – have rarely spent more than a month or two at a time off the road. Indeed, they’ve returned from a big US tour just days before the ‘Feels Like Home’ jaunt, and have already played a few shows as part of the JD Set tour, paying tribute to iconic Aussie act Icehouse.

“That was brilliant,” Finn gushes. Art vs Science were joined by a host of big-name Aussie guest singers, which Finn explains; “it was great to play with Kate Miller-Heidke and Patience [Hodgson, from The Grates] and Tim from Dappled Cities, they’re all incredible performers in their own way. And to play with Iva Davies from Icehouse was amazing; I think there’s footage of him with us, I’m just looking at my keyboard with this massive grin across my face!”

Midway through this tour, AvS will jump on a plane and play a short run of shows with Gossip in Malaysia, before finishing up their Aussie assault… then jumping on another plane for another stint in America.

“Touring is something you get used to; even something you miss doing,” Finn tells Radar.

“On the road, you miss your girlfriend and your friends and family… and then you’re home and you miss touring and you want to get out on the road again! You see the world, see amazing things and meet amazing people.”

For now, however, the band are focused squarely on their Aussie “homecoming” tour, as Jim puts it. After a big capital city tour earlier in the year to launch their debut album, ‘The Experiment,’ the band have been looking forward to getting out on the road less travelled, and bringing their hyperactive brand of dance rock to as many fans, in as many towns, as possible.

“It’s just great to be back touring Australia. We’re getting out to places we don’t normally go; I mean, I’ve never been to Toowoomba before, but the show tonight is sold out! I’m just keen to see a lot of smiling faces on this tour,” Jim says.

Eyebrows were raised when Perth-based blues-rock act Abbe May was announced as the tour’s main support act, but the band themselves specifically picked May to join them on the road. Big, crunching, stomping blues riffs mingling with sugar-high electro? Surely that’s an odd combo, right?

“I like to think that we’re sort of similar,” Finn says of the rationale behind the decision.

“Abbe May has those big dirty grooves, which is sort of similar to our music; big loud noises, big grooves… except that we’re more dance and she’s more bluesy, obviously!”

“Plus, we all think she’s awesome; so if we like her music, and people like our music, then people should like her music. That’s the triangle of music!” he laughs.

Art vs Science plays Waves Nightclub, Towradgi on Sunday October 2nd.
Tickets are on sale now, via Moshtix.

TOUR NEWS: Abbe May joins Art vs Science tour

Perth-based singer/songwriter, Abbe May, has been announced as the national support for Art vs Science’s upcoming ‘Feels Like Home’ regional tour. May will join AvS at all dates on the tour, including the show at Waves Nightclub on October 2nd.

May, who released her debut album ‘Design Desire’ earlier this year, will also perform as part of the Nick Cave tribute concert series, ‘Straight To You,’ in November.

Tickets for the Art vs Science show at Waves are on sale now. For more details on the show, click here.

ART vs SCIENCE, ‘FEELS LIKE HOME’ NATIONAL TOUR
w/ ABBE MAY

WAVES NIGHTCLUB, TOWRADGI
OCTOBER 2nd
$25 (on sale now)

GIG GUIDE: September 19 – 25

WEDNESDAY
Eskimo Joe, Frankie & The Heartstrings, The Pennys @ Unihall
7.30pm, $41/47 (tickets through Bigtix), 18+

THURSDAY
The Panics, Georgia Fair, Avalanche City @ Unibar
7.30pm, $23/28 (tickets through Bigtix), 18+

Richard In Your Mind, The Laurels, Fishing @ Yours & Owls
8pm, 18+

Resist The Thought, Never See Tomorrow, Never Content, Elite Element @ Waves Nightclub
7.30pm, $12 (tickets through Moshtix), 18+

FRIDAY
Funkoars, Vents, Maze & Mattic @ Unibar
8pm,  $19/22 (tickets through Bigtix), 18+

Kaleidoscope, Sex in Columbia, Ghosts of York, Flat White Cats @ Yours & Owls
8pm, $6, 18+

Bulldoze All Bowlos, Steel City Allstars, Chainsaw Mascara @ Dicey Rileys
8pm, free, 18+

Hold Fast, Psychotic Numbskulls, Acid Monkeys @ The Patch
8pm, $5, 18+

SATURDAY
sleepmakeswaves, Lumiere, Pirate, Basil’s Kite, Reactionary @ The Patch
8pm, $12, 18+

Gravity Takes Over, Curious Temple, Shady Nook, Dane Overton, Mitchell & Polly-Ann @ Rydges CBD Bar
6.30pm, $5,

Clocks and Clouds, Jub, Gobble Gobble @ Yours & Owls
8pm, $5, 18+

Pour Habit / Smoke Or Fire supports announced

Punk legends Pour Habit and Smoke Or Fire are set to destroy Waves Nightclub on October 5th, as part of their big national tour through that month. The local supports for the tour have just been announced, and once again, they’re crackers.

Both The Conspiracy Plan and Totally Unicorn will add to their already impressive list of support slots, when they warm up the stage for the Fat Wreck Chords double-bill. The Conspiracy Plan have already supported Tonight Alive, and will open for Man Overboard at the end of this month; while only yesterday we brought you news that Totally Unicorn would play alongside Frenzal Rhomb at their Sydney and Newcastle shows in September, adding to a big year in which they’ve supported Oh Sleeper, The Chariot, La Dispute and Comadre.

Tickets for the show are on sale right now! Click here for all the details.

SMOKE OR FIRE, POUR HABIT
w/ THE CONSPIRACY PLAN, TOTALLY UNICORN
OCTOBER 5th 
WAVES NIGHTCLUB 

GIG GUIDE: August 8th – 14th

THURSDAY: The Bungalows, Sticky Fingers @ Yours and Owls
8pm, $10, 18+

THURSDAY: Southerly Change, Swing Booty @ Sol Studios
8pm, $10, all ages

FRIDAY: Regurgitator, Disasteradio, Sydney Girls Choir @ Unibar
8pm, $15, 18+

FRIDAY: Justin Derrico, Alotta Presha, The Good God Damned, A Cat Named Kesey @ Waves Nightclub, Towradgi
8pm, $30, 18+ (CLICK TO BUY TICKETS)

FRIDAY: Mom Dad & The Kids, Let Me Down Jungleman @ Yours and Owls
8pm, 18+

FRIDAY: Blueberry Circuit, The Maze, Tommy M & The Mastersounds, Abstract Classic @ City Diggers (KidzWish Fundraising Concert)
7.30pm, $10, all ages (under 18s need to be signed in by an adult)

FRIDAY: Acid Monkeys (album launch), Baby Machine, Rock Steady Dub Militia @ Dicey Riley’s
9pm, free, 18+

SATURDAY: Ash Grunwald @ Waves Nightclub, Towradgi
8pm, $23.50, 18+ (CLICK TO BUY TICKETS)

SATURDAY: WIM, The Preachers @ Yours and Owls
8pm, $10, 18+

SATURDAY: Mortal Sin, Wolfkhan, Nekrofeist, Casket @ The Patch
7.30pm, $15, 18+

SUNDAY: Holland, I Am Apollo, Jack R Reilly @ Yours and Owls
8pm, 18+

GIG GUIDE: July 4-10

WEDNESDAY: Seeker Lover Keeper, Toby Martin @ Heritage Hotel, Bulli
8pm, SOLD OUT

THURSDAY: Seeker Lover Keeper @ Sea Notes record store, Stanwell Park (in store appearance)
5.30pm

THURSDAY:Seeker Lover Keeper, Toby Martin @ Heritage Hotel, Bulli
8pm, SOLD OUT

THURSDAY: Pom Pom, Chainsaw Mascara, Narly, Leo J, Paul Danger @ Sol Studios, Wollongong
8pm, $7/$10, all ages

THURSDAY: The Butcher Boys, Isi & I @ Yours and Owls
8pm 

THURSDAY: Avaine @ Wollongong Youth Centre
6pm, free, all ages

FRIDAY: Jebediah, Violent Soho @ Waves Nightclub, Towradgi
8pm, $22 pre-sale (tickets through Moshtix), 18+ 

FRIDAY: Three Wise Monkeys, The Good God Damned, Yardvark @ Dicey Rileys
9pm, free, 18+

FRIDAY: Chainsaw Mascara, Steel City Allstars, Rainbow Monsters, Moroccon Holiday, Greg Niven & The Forgotten Few, The Raids, Distract, Crash Tragic, Endeavours @ The Patch
3pm, $10, 18+

FRIDAY: Common Grounds, Mass Effect, Kade MC, V-Def @ Rydges CBD Bar
8pm, $8, 18+

FRIDAY: Elite Element, On Empty, Distract, Transitory, Fiend @ The Patch
8pm, $5, 18+

FRIDAY: Dave Brown, Lukas Simonas, Rob Hughes @ 5 Crown Lane
8pm, $5

SATURDAY: Sarah McLeod, Axle Whitehead, The Firetree @ Waves Nightclub, Towradgi
8pm, $17 pre-sale (tickets through Moshtix), 18+ 

SATURDAY: Saskia Sansom, Transcription of Organ Music, The Singing Skies @ Yours and Owls
8pm

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

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