TOUR NEWS: Smash Mouth

Hey All-Stars! If you Can’t Get Enough of late 90s funk-pop, you will be no doubt be totally stoked to hear that Smash Mouth are coming to town.

The true Believers have been waiting for this for ages, and it’s finally come true; your favourite Shrek theme tune performers will play Waves Nightclub on October 18. They’re doing a full Aussie tour to support latest album ‘Magic’ (never heard of it? Neither have we…), with Kid Mac opening all shows.

You don’t have to do anything crazy like Walk On The Sun to get tickets, either. Tickets are on sale July 30.

Smash Mouth, ‘Magic’ Australian tour
w/ Kid Mac
October 18, Waves Nightclub 

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TOUR NEWS: Hilltop Hoods, Horrorshow, Briggs

Hilltop Hoods have added a local date to their massive ‘Speaking In Tongues’ national tour.

The trio, the top-billed Aussie band on the Splendour In The Grass lineup, will play the relatively intimate Waves Nightclub on August 3; compared to the massive Hordern Pavilion, Challenge Stadium and Festival Hall venues that they have already booked for the national album launch tour, the Wollongong stage will be one of the more cosy stops along the two-month long tour.

In celebration of the tour, the Hoods will release a remix EP of tracks from latest album, ‘Drinking From The Sun.’ Titled ‘The Good Life In The Sun,’ you can download it free from the band’s website. Listen to ‘Rattling The Keys To The Kingdom’ (remixed by Suffa) here.

Support will come from fellow Aussie hip-hop talents Horrorshow and Briggs. Tickets are on sale now through Oztix or Moshtix.

Hilltop Hoods, ‘Speaking In Tongues’ tour
w/ Horrorshow, Briggs
August 3, Waves Nightclub 

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.

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.

GALLERY: Bluejuice, Loon Lake, The Cairos @ Waves

Photos by Courtney Fry, 12/4/12

(See our review here)

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

GALLERY: Smoke Or Fire, Pour Habit, The Conspiracy Plan, Totally Unicorn @ Waves Nightclub

Opening the nights proceedings like a bull in a china shop (an overweight, sweaty bull) were locals Totally Unicorn. For the next thirty minutes, chaos ensued; vocalist Drew made every piece of floor and furniture his own, before taking a flying leap off an amp stack and into the arms of Conspiracy Plan’s Glen Haworth. Slowly, punters made their way to floor to witness the antics, as well as some new tracks in Happy Birthday From The Over Pass and Kids In Suits, before closing with favourite, Cool Dads With Cool Sons.

Up next were pop-punkers The Conspiracy Plan, who had obviously raided their dress up box, as they strode on in all manner of crazy clothes. Opening with their latest single, Dangerous, it set the tone for a set of a fun times pop punk. Some in-between song banter about Totally Unicorn ended with Drew’s promise of “I’ll rape you later.” The Conspiracy Plan served up a big dose of well-known favourites in Cold Feet, Bombo Hill and the infectious Prick, before a mankini-clad finish.

As the first show of the tour, it was always going to be something special, so by the time Californian act Pour Habit took the stage, a sizeable crowd had formed on the floor. Opening with Institution, the maniac that is vocalist Chuck Green made good use of every square inch of stage and floor, running rampant amongst the crowd. The crowd loved it, going absolutely ballistic as they bumped off one another, with enthusiastic punters singing along to every word. The sharing of a man love moment with Drew from Totally Unicorn got hearts racing, before ending the ruckus that was their set with Bad Luck Drunk and an upside down Chuck Green.

In contrast to their tour mates, pop punk veterans Smoke Or Fire took things a little more seriously (but not to say that they weren’t there to have fun). Showcasing a number of a new tracks from their as-yet-unnamed upcoming album, some similarities can be drawn to that of Hot Water Music, considerably in Joe McMahon’s voice. Being their first show back in almost a year, their sound was a little rusty, but that soon cleared up, with Jeremy Cochran shredding on guitar during The Patty Hearst Syndrome and California’s Burning. The set-closing This Sinking Ship brought on a bit of a sing along, their DIY punk attitude is why these guys are still at the forefront of their game after more than a decade in the scene.

Words and photos by Brendan Delavere (Gaslight Photography), on 5/10/11 at Waves Nightclub.
Click to enlarge.

GALLERY: Art vs Science @ Waves Nightclub

Photos by Lara Barker on 2/10/11 at Waves Nightclub.
Click to enlarge.

WIN: tickets to Smoke Or Fire & Pour Habit

Smoke or Fire and Pout Habit are in town this week, to kick off their Aussie co-headlining tour. Waves Nightclub is the first stop on the tour, and with rad locals The Conspiracy Plan and Totally Unicorn, the show is set to be a cracker.

The good blokes at Chopdog Promo have given us a ticket to the show, and we’re giving it to YOU!

All you have to do is ‘like’ Radar on Facebook, then tag Radar in a status on Facebook where you tell all your mates to check out our page. Once you’ve done it, just post on our wall and let us know. So easy!

Click here for more info on the show

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

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.

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