Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska
Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.
|Saturday, 29th October||Buy Tickets|
Sydney band Retiree are coming down to Melbourne to launch their new single ‘Continental‘ on Saturday night.
They’ll be joined by two incredible supports, CORIN and SHOUSE, at Boney on Little Collins St from 8pm.
|Sunday, 30th October||Buy Tickets|
Paradise Music Festival is fast approaching, and this Sunday at The Gaso you can catch a glimpse of what’s in store for later in November.
The lineup includes Lucy Cliche, Tom Moore (Otologic), Simona Castricum, Brooke Powers, Tom Baker, River Yarra and the Paradise DJs. Head down for a huge day of good vibes and great tunes.
|Sunday, 30th October||~Free Event~|
Smooch Records are putting on a special show Sunday afternoon in the Queen Victoria Gardens.
Local favs SMILE will be playing tunes from Californian folk-rock-psychedelia icons The Byrds. They’ll also be joined on the day by Lower Plenty.
|Monday, 31st October||Buy Tickets|
GR!M in collaboration with LISTEN have put together an all-ages event on Cup Eve, showcasing a whole host of female/non-binary centric acts in celebration of the inagural GR!M camp (details on that here).
Featuring The Girl Fridas, Swim Team, LAZERTITS, Huntly, Pillow Pro and many many more playing from late afternoon well into the evening at Thornbury Bowls Club.
|Monday, 31st October||Buy Tickets|
ALTA are back in Melbourne to celebrate the launch of their new EP, Sincere.
They’re playing at The Toff in Town on Cup Eve, with support from the majestic Saatsuma and Christopher Port.
Melbourne’s Kllo, the powerhouse cousin duo made up of Simon Lam and Chloe Kaul, recently released a new single that is a tantalising preview track from an up and coming EP Well Worn that is set to be released in August this year. Following the success of their EP Cusp released back in 2014, ‘Bolide’ is an exciting new sound from the pair as they meld Kaul’s soft yet distinctively unique voice with Lam’s intrinsic production. The track moves through highs and lows with finesse, being driven by it’s captivating use of beat, harmonised and sampled vocals, and its lyrical story-telling keeping listeners intrigued as they decipher its meaning.
The weekend before last saw their ‘Bolide’ single tour come home to Melbourne after two successful evenings in Brisbane and Sydney. The Toff in Town was packed out as the crowd began the evening with Christopher Port and Alta before the Spotify favourites came on stage.
Playing through their old, new and yet to be released material, the crowd danced and sung along as Kllo captured their hometown audience, leaving them cheering for more as they’ll now all wait patiently till August for the highly anticipated EP launch to come.
Photos by Sarah Chavdaroska // @sarahchav
I walk into The Toff on Wednesday night and my attention is immediately caught by Xani Kolac’s red and white pinstriped onesie. Casually strumming her violin, Mark Leahy is on drums and Xani is singing about choosing career paths that refuse to pay. The crowd is already jammed in and the air is stuffy but we ignore it to cheer them on.
The Twoks are here to support Melbourne a capella group Aluka, and they are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. With tribal beats and folksy charm, Xani moves from plucking the violin to drawing her bow across its strings and looping her harmonies to glorious effect. She then flits over to Mark, grabs a pair of sticks and joins him in a drumming frenzy. Their set ends in a rush of energy that has me standing on my toes trying to see their joyful faces above the hoots.
Aluka’s new clip for ‘Keep My Cool’ runs on repeat while we all converge on the bar for water after the set. It seems everyone has had the same idea and I can’t help but notice the stench in the room. Please turn on the air conditioning. Just as we find a place at the front for maximum air flow, the curtain opens.
In front of us are Annabelle Tunley, Rachael Head and Sally Mortenson, all elegant as ever, and ready to go. Annabelle begins with a subtle poke at their clip, suggesting that we are probably already sick of them because of the video loop. She asks how long we had to cop it for and a gentleman from the audience yells out, “Oh it was about six and a half months worth”. Rachael knowingly pats her protruding belly and they all yell back “Oh daaaadddd”. We all laugh and Rachael introduces us to “Peanut” their fourth member. Cue the pregnancy jokes.
What ensues is a set filled with a selection of songs that will be featured on their album set for release next year. The album has been recorded in various, sometimes odd, spaces around Victoria. With different spaces for each song, they’ve experimented with how surroundings can add to the tone of a recording.
They break up their blended harmonies with cute anecdotes that induce chuckling. Annabelle explains how one space they used to record in was a war bunker in Point Lonsdale. Both producer Nick Huggins and Peanut’s dad were convinced that the bunker would collapse on them and their anxiety wore off on the group. They wouldn’t allow the girls to stand in certain areas of the bunker. Rachael giggles at the over-cautiousness.
A new song is introduced. We’re told it is about their trip to Europe. Most of us are laughing as they sing about waiting in stations, being mugged and getting nibbled by bed bugs.
‘Mind Tricks’ starts off a little spooky and moves off down its funky and unusual trails. Then Annabelle introduces their “sexy” song with the warning, “but be careful or you’ll end up pregnant” and we all laugh again. Rachael quickly concedes but explains that’s it hard to feel sexy with sweat on her upper lip. Yes it is still that hot in here. ‘Warm of Toast’ is textured, colourful and soothing and the girls sweetly migrate into ‘Shadow’. It’s a more upbeat number that get the crowd moving to its rhythms.
Aluka give an incredible performance throughout but ‘Keep My Cool’ is the highlight. Their a capella style proves that you don’t need instruments to create thoughtful music that is a joy to listen to. Each of their unique voices caress and support each other, combine together expertly and are always perfectly pitched. The first moment I heard this song I felt that I connected with it and I love hearing it live now.
They arrive back on stage for an encore to give a stunning and novel performance of ‘Say My Name’ by Destiny’s Child that sees Sally weaving in the chorus of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry Me a River’.
We leave the venue with cheerful grins and our hands clutching presents. Aluka have given us two copies of their single, one to keep and one to give to a friend. The second is kindly gift wrapped in hand-folded paper.
I feel happier after seeing them on stage. Aluka are not only talented musicians with spunk but I’ve found them uplifting too.
The band had the night recorded. Here’s a little taste:
REVIEW BY STEF ITALIA
05 Oct ALUKA – Keep My Cool
I need a minute to steady myself. Aluka has released their new single “Keep My Cool” and it has swallowed me whole.
If you haven’t heard of these ladies before, here’s the spiel. Aluka is comprised of three Melbourne lasses who have been weaving a cappella arrangements since 2008. Their complex harmonies are shrugged off in an effortless style and they’re bound to knock you out.
Busy constructing their debut album, they’ve spent the year touring their music and providing vocal support for Lisa Mitchell’s live work. You can also hear them backing up Clare Bowditch on her 2012 release, The Winter I Chose Happiness.
“Keep My Cool” explores those odd moments of nervous infatuation that sometimes take us over in subtle fits. Knitted together in a tight textural patterning that floats between soothing and spooky, it’s immersive, impressive and incomparable.
REVIEW BY STEF ITALIA
The walk to The Toff in Town had never felt so long. Melbourne had unleashed her wrath on us and rain was plummeting down. We finally arrived, clothing drenched and hair windblown, at that point I just wanted to be at home in bed. However I sure am glad I made the trek through the rain that night to go see Melbourne quintet Oh Pep! launch their self-titled EP.
All I knew about these guys was that they played folk music. I was completely ignorant of what was to come. As soon as the curtains were drawn I was impressed. Standing before me was the cutest group of guys and girls all of which were armed with stringed instruments (bar the drummer).
The room was packed and people grinned while tracks off the new EP where played with perfection. The entire set was full of energy, tracks like ‘War Song‘ introduced the new listeners to what it is they do. Mandolins, violins, guitar and a double bass are the ingredients that make these songs so tasty! They have deep-seated folk roots that can feel a little country and blue grass at times but there is a likable quality in the music that everyone, including the non-folk fan, will enjoy. The collection of instruments is a nice change to a standard guitar driven band and definitely works in their favour.
Highlights of my night included ‘Boat Song,’ which brought a guest member onto the stage to play an extra snare drum. Just in case the sound wasn’t full enough the echoes of duel snare drums rolling is quite an empowering feeling that goes right through your body. The song starts strong and then soars up and beyond what you believed it could reach. The climax is extremely well written and developed and left me feeling more excited than I was to begin with.
Another personal favorite of mine was the bands only (sort of) love song, ‘Fooling Around.’ The pace is brought down slightly in this track and the violin is plucked which adds a nice dynamic. Front woman Olivia Hally’s vocals are reminiscent to those in First Aid Kit but they are layered with a slight toughness and a subtle Australian accent. I feel as if this track brings out the great elements of Hally’s vocals and is one of the reasons why it stood out for me.
Overall the night was impressive to say the least. Oh Pep! play modern folk music that is appetizing and appealing to a broader audience. While the main themes in the songs revolve around the sea and travelling, this doesn’t grow tiresome, but actually increases the pleasure in the songs because each one is telling a story. It was a joy to watch this humble and thankful band proudly present their EP to a crowd who appreciate the hard work they have put into it.
Playing an evening residency at a very cool little venue in St. Kilda, called Pure Pop Records, you can catch Oh Pep! every Saturday evening. Be sure to check them out.
REVIEW AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHANTELLE MATUTINI
At the risk of sounding like groupies, The Ripe adore Love Migrate. Obviously we were super excited to head down to The Toff in Town on Thursday night and see them live. Performing songs from their upcoming debut Plagued Are All My Thoughts, Like White Ants in the Fence and a few other newbies, their poignant pieces kept us transfixed and seemed to be over far too soon.
If I’m to be honest with you, I’ve found this gig one of the most difficult to pin down with words. It’s as if their brand of dark pop is too complicated in feeling to be done justice. To begin with, the air was rife with a constant sense of tension; their set was packed with unbridled emotive sensibilities. ‘Galah Love‘ employed blissful pierces of harmonica that reverberated and eased the pressure built by Alexander’s trembling vocals. The pump organ was brought out for ‘What Kind of Man Have I Become,’ a gentle, hypnotic tune whose grandiose crisis morphed into ‘Plagued Are All My Thoughts’. This track typically glowed and kept the crowd engrossed with its stirring rhythm.
‘Dirty River’ was just as pensive but subtly picked up pace before disarmingly releasing restraint. Crowd-favourites ‘Little Kid’ and ‘Making This Hard’ enjoyed similar airs of sensitivity but were heavier in energy and more fun rather than intriguing to watch. Both were marked by memorable rock-driven guitar riffs and impressive percussion sections. The rising sense of expectation that ‘Making This Hard’ built instrumentally and lyrically made its climax all the more sweet and was a stand-out moment for me. ‘I Want You To Mend’ was a heart-rending narrative expressed via a rousing series of hollering vocals that swelled into a moving crescendo.
Love Migrate gave a charming and engaging performance. Apart from thanking the audience after a few numbers they devoted little time to crowd interaction, though this was unnecessary after the atmosphere they had created. They played with a mature and graceful presence that demanded unwavering attention.
You can catch their picturesque new video for ‘Making This Hard’ right now and their debut will be out 12 October. Make sure to listen for dates in November to see them at it live again.
REVIEW BY STEF ITALIA
PHOTOS BY CHELSEA DENNISON