On Saturday night I went along to LongPlay for the video launch of Katherine Hymer’s new single ‘In the Sky’. Accompanied by Sydney solo artist Mara and Melbourne duo Astral Skulls, the show was held in a kind of mini-theatre at the back of the bar. The minimal lighting and vases of white flowers strewn with fairy lights provided the perfect setting for Hymer’s haunting music.

© Greg Holland/Supplied

Mara opened the show, staying close to the floor as she alternated between playing the viola and mixing electronic sounds. Her vocals were hauntingly beautiful though sparingly used. I would have liked for her to connect with the audience a little more, as it sometimes felt as though she played in her own studio, and we were intruders spying upon her.

Astral Skulls were up next, exhibiting a small amount of awkwardness in front of the audience that was endearing rather than uncomfortable. The description of Astral Skulls on its Facebook page is “…the solo project of Kurt Eckhardt (with live synths by Kalindy Williams)”, but it didn’t feel as though Williams belonged in parentheses. Her synths were an integral part of the music even if she herself took a definite backseat to Eckhardt. Her backup vocals were hard to hear, but the two worked well as a duo and the music was fun and immensely enjoyable.  

The video for ‘In the Sky’ was shown before Hymer took the stage. The deliberately ethereal beauty of the video would have been over-the-top if not for the occasional violent and jarring images, but I felt that there was a promise of something that was never quite delivered. It was delivered, though, when Hymer played the song live, adding nuances that were not present in the recorded version.

Hymer is currently in a transitional phase from solo artist to band, and it isn’t difficult to imagine her performing on her own. Without taking anything away from the eminently talented musicians that accompanied her, she commanded the stage from behind her keyboard, effortlessly drawing the audience’s attention to herself and keeping it there. Her vocals went from delicately pretty to loudly powerful, as did her playing. I would have liked to have seen more of the nuances that she displayed in the live performance of ‘In the Sky’ in her other songs. I felt that she did her amazing voice a bit of an injustice by not showing us more of what it can do. 

©Greg Holland/Supplied

All three acts can currently be heard on triple j Unearthed.
Katherine Hymer
Astral Skulls
mara

Back in March, we here at DoneUndone were lucky enough to catch Batz supporting Kingswood at 170 Russell. We hadn’t seen them play before, and they certainly captured our attention. Their energy was electric, and singer Christina Aubry was like a young Chrissy Amphlett, completely dominating the stage. We were lucky enough last Friday to be able to send Stephen Boxshall along to their gig at The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar, and they’ve even been kind enough to answer a few questions for us. 

1. If you could only tell us one thing about the band, what would it be?

Secretly we are all vampires.

2. Now what else would you like to tell us about yourselves?

We look just as good as how hard we work. We’re punk on the streets and disco in the sheets. We got plenty of songs in the kitty so expect to hear our name around town a lot more in the future. Fear the machine, praise the Batz.

3. How long has the band been together? Where did you all meet?

We are 1.5 years old. coming into our terrible twos. Look out! We all met on the dance floor one fateful evening at the local disco and, after an extensive boogie, decided to start a punk band.


4. If you were describing your music to someone who had never heard it, how would you do it?

I always tell people we are what would happen if the cramps and the B52s had a baby that was raised by Karen O
(Yeah Yeah Yeahs).

5. Who have you been inspired by?

We draw inspiration from anywhere we can. 60s surf rock, garage music, pop, dance, art, rain, food and walking home alone.

6. Who are you listening to?

Absolutely obsessed with ESG right now. check out the song ‘dance’. it’s out of control. The Lemon Twigs are ripping. Cigarettes After Sex , Romeo Void, Deap Vally, Teeth & Tongue, Destrends oh my god I could go on forever.

7. Despite the boys in the band outnumbering the girls, when we saw you the girls were front
and centre and really driving the energy – is this a conscious decision or a naturally occurring
phenomenon?

This is a result of the power and energy we draw from each other. Chrissy is up front leading us head first into the set, carving a path with her deranged energy. And Dali is guiding me, Josh and Jake with her steady rhythms on the bass. She’s my rock when it comes to live shows. If I’m lost I’ll look to her. So does Jake. And Josh holds us all up with his hard-hitting, 4-2-tha-floor. So naturally the girls have gravitated to the center of the stage.

8. What’s your favourite Melbourne venue, either to play at, or just to hang out in?

We love playing Rod Laver. It’s a bit small though. We always have to put on two or three nights so everyone can get a chance to see us. As for rancho relaxo hanging we love Rooks, Joes Shoe Store, The Labour, Amarillo.

9. You’re one of the artists currently on triple j Unearthed (and totally killing it from the looks of
things). What would you say has been the best platform so far for getting yourselves and your
music out there?

The best platform has always been the stage for us. After shows we get this wonderful whirlwind of compliments and kudos. It’s a shame that sometimes we’re too buzzed from the show to take a moment to fully appreciate all the love we receive but by no means does it go unnoticed either. Triple J unearthed has been really helpful and we are very grateful, community radios are awesome as well they really are a great platform to get your music out there!

10. Tell our readers how they can hear/see you!

You can find us on facebook for more shows. Instagram @batzband for all our captured moments. And you can search us on all the platforms for our music. Yeah!

Batz are:

Christina Aubry

Dali Platt

Jakob Kagan

Jim Stirton

Joshua Aubry

You can check out our review and photos here: HERE


Words and Interview: Claire Watt

Images: © Stephen Boxshall/Rag and Bone Photography

New Melbourne kool thangs, BATZ, took to the stage at The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar last Friday to launch their new single to their newest camp of fans. Having wowed crowds with their Kingswood support in recent months, the joint was 100% sold out with punters wanting to catch a glimpse of their new local favourites. The BATZ legends themselves were in attendance early to support their supports, which is always inspiring to see, and the opening acts didn’t disappoint. Dada Ono and China Beach held their own and we’re keen to see them again real soon.

BATZ took the stage to a full to the brim band room, choked with smoke from an overzealous smoke wizard. They played a tight yet energetic set, proving that their time touring with fellow Melburnites Kingswood was very well spent. The new single, Gameshow Queen, is a beauty even if there was an unintentional false start on the night. Lead singer, Christina Aubry, may have given herself away by saying that she had had a little too much to drink in celebration and simultaneously asking for more shots for the rest of the band.

Aubry is the total package for what any punter wants in a lead vocalist. Punchy, raw, take-no-shit and and channeling Chrissy Amphlett, she is quite the focal point for a band that is all round kicking arse/goals and even if she wanted to share the limelight with the 4 other members of the band, your eyes can’t help but be held in awe of her stage presence.

Asking the crowd what they’d like to hear for an encore, they were responded to with resounding applause for the new song, which is fronting their highly anticipated 2nd EP, due out soon. We’re keen to hear more from these guys, and look forward to sharing more of their adventures and an interview with you soon.

 


photos: Stephen Boxshall

Melbourne’s iconic Cherry Rock festival was held again this year, for the 11th year. Held at Cherry Bar in AC/DC lane, it’s a seething mess of bodies, booze and bloody good times. Held in May each year, the weather is always unpredictable and this year offered more of the same. The rain mostly held off, but the high concrete horizons don’t let in much sun so the cold and damp sets in pretty easily. Being an inside/outside festival has its pluses though – if the cold is biting you can head inside for the next set in not too long. And by the time the indoor set is finished, you’re almost gagging for that cool air again.

This year the festival was headlined by NZ stalwarts Shihad as well as Brant Bjork, Dwarves and Nashville Pussy from the US. Ably supported by Indonesian stoner rockers Mooner and Kelompok Penerbang Roket as well as Sweden’s Bottlecap and Spain’s Bala and a swag of Aussies that are well known to the Cherry crowd.

It was a bit of a buzz for me personally to see Nick Oliveri with Dwarves – as a fan of Queens of the Stone Age, it was the first time I’d had a chance to see Oliveri perform in the flesh. He was thrilling on bass, if a little daunting. And his bandmate in Blag Dahlia was so in your face it was verging on uncomfortable to be shooting so close to the stage.

Brant Bjork and his fuzzy desert rock tunes were welcome refuge in the middle of the day. It was nice to bliss out a little before the senses were assaulted with the addition of fellow desert rock icon Sean Wheeler. He was a showman from the first, and brought some real energy to a cruisy set from Bjork.

But my highlights for the day were the chicks. Amyl and the Sniffers are a local Melbourne outfit with a mullety/sharpie/bogan vibe that gives no fucks at all what you think of their VB t-shirts. Frontwoman Amy is shouty and loud and brash and totally commandeering. She held the familiar Cherry crowd in the palm of her hand while simultaneously spitting them out with a spray of her beer. 

My other highlight was Bala from Spain. A two piece, all female wall of sound. Flinging hair, shouting lyrics, freaking loud guitar and smashing drums. It was a killer set and I was quite blown away by how much noise came out of just two people.

Cherry Rock, I salute you and all your messy glory. You’re a Melbourne institution and while I was pretty crook this year and it was a little harder to enjoy you, I was thrilled to be able to witness your shenanigans once more.


* gallery shot for AMNplify and you can see the full gallery here: Cherry Rock 2017

As chicks, it’s pretty safe to say that we are drawn to chicks being grouse and playing music while they are doing it. Whilst I was originally drawn to The Kills via The Dead Weather via Jack White, I can now say that The Kills are my current musical obsession. Currently in Oz for Splendour in the Grass, showcasing their new album Ash & Ice, us Melburnians were pretty lucky to score a sideshow at the Forum, and I was able to see them for the first time.

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© Stephen Boxshall/Rag and Bone Photography

The connection that Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince have with each other is palpable. At one point, when Mosshart played “That Love” solo after the encore break, Hince gave her a shoulder squeeze in support and encouragement, and it was truly touching in its simple and wordless way. From where we stood it was hard to tell if Mosshart was emotional or perhaps nervous to perform the song on her own, but she did amazingly and really, the emotion in the room was unmistakeable.

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© Stephen Boxshall/Rag and Bone Photography

Besides their connection with each other and the way in which that translates through their music, their energy and vibrancy was out of control. Mosshart throws her mane of (currently red) hair around like a banshee possessed, not skipping a note or becoming breathless with the exertion, which is a feat in itself. Well, to me, considering I get puffed putting the bins out. As for Hince, I’ve not seen a guitarist treat his guitar with equal parts reverence and disdain in that way for a long time. Reverence for the way he could make his music shine and reverberate in the hearts and souls of the 2000 punters in the room, but a complete disdain for the fact that he can’t get ENOUGH NOISE out of it. He slaps it and twists his arms around the fretboard trying to coax just that bit more. A highlight for me was the way he used the mic stand to wring extra punch and extra grind on those strings.

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© Stephen Boxshall/Rag and Bone Photography

Playing crowd favourites from their back catalogue such as “No Wow” and “Future Starts Slow” and teaming them with new singles “Doing It To Death”, “Heart Of A Dog” and others that are sure to become classics (“Siberian Nights” is my *faaaaaaavourite*), The Kills really did kill it here in Melbourne Town, and there was not a single soul in that crowd that weren’t warmed through on one of our coldest nights.


words: Mandy Campbell
images: Stephen Boxshall
(images captured at the 3RRR event)

Sixteen years ago, the DoneUndone team were dancing to Magic Dirt’s ‘Dirty Jeans’ on a Thursday night at Goo – Metro’s alternative night. By then, Magic Dirt had already been around for almost ten years. These days, Goo, and even Metro itself, have fallen by the wayside, but Adalita Srsen, Magic Dirt’s awesomely talented and completely unique lead singer, is still going strong.

With two solo albums already under her belt, she’s currently working on a third, but took a little time away from recording to answer a few questions for us.


DU: If we lived in a world where information was not so easily accessible, what is the one thing that you would actually want people to know about you?
AS: I’m a pretty private person but one thing I would definitely want aspiring musicians to know about me is that I taught myself how to play guitar, how to write a song and how to sing. I have never taken a single lesson. And I write all of my own songs and wrote 99% of Magic Dirt’s songs.

You’ve been on the music scene since the early nineties – in this time, when careers seem to be short, what do you credit for your longevity?
I think just the sheer joy of writing music has kept me going. Magic Dirt was a not just a band but a close knit group of friends who loved what we did and loved each other so that absolutely was pivotal to our longevity. And I guess I still have songs in me and people want to hear them – my fans are pretty amazing and have been deeply loyal for many years. Also I think somehow I’ve been able to work in various other projects just because I guess I’m who I am and unique in my own way so I can bring my special brand of creativity to a lot of different projects. And I say yes a lot!

There’s a lot of talk about the music industry in general being a 
difficult place for women – have you experienced this yourself?
I haven’t personally no. I’ve had my fair share of dickheads yelling stupid stuff out at shows but I always take care of that very quickly. In regards to gender, I don’t feel particularly attached to mine. I feel quite androgynous. And ultimately I just view myself as a creature, a being, in this case, a human so I don’t really think about my gender until I’m reminded. But I have zero tolerance for discrimination, aggression, hostility or disrespect towards anyone at any time, regardless of why. Using gender as an excuse for bad behaviour is just that. An excuse.

I heard Courtney Barnett say the other day that you and Magic Dirt are an inspiration to her. How do you feel about being a role model for the next generation of women in the music industry?
I love it! I love Courtney and what I love most about her is that she’s just done it her way and been herself the whole time. She hasn’t changed for anyone and that’s great. I feel like I’ve been myself too and that makes me happy. I love if I can inspire men and women alike. If I can do it, anyone can!

© Stephen Boxshall/Rag and Bone Photography

Following on from that, what advice do you have for women starting out in the industry?
Stand up for your art. Follow your instinct. Surround yourself with supportive people. Follow your heart but keep an eye on your money. Say what you want to say. Life is too short to not do what you really want to do. And if you ruffle feathers along the way then it means you’re not pleasing everyone but it’s not about pleasing everyone. It’s about making YOUR art YOUR way. Stay focused on that. And most importantly, fuck the rules.

Are there any up and coming artists, women or otherwise, that you think our readers should really check out?
Dark Fair, a two piece band from Melbourne. Absolutely amazing band, I can’t believe they’re not huge yet but I reckon they will be. They are working on their debut album as we speak. Don’t forget their name!

Part of our focus at DoneUndone is on Melbourne’s live music scene. What’s your favourite Melbourne venue to play at?
I love so many. The Tote Hotel is a perennial favourite and a spiritual home of mine. The Prince Of Wales in St Kilda – it’s such a great rock n roll room. The Corner Hotel is a great room for sweaty, sold out rock shows. The Northcote Social Club has a great stage and P.A. and for really big shows The Palais is always lovely. Outside of Melbourne really love playing The Bridge in Castlemaine, Karova Lounge in Ballarat and The Barwon Club in Geelong.

© Stephen Boxshall/Rag and Bone Photography

Do you have a favourite pub in Melbourne, not necessarily to play at, but just that you think has a great atmosphere and is a great place to hang out?
Ah so many. The Tote, The Old Bar, Labour In Vain, The Retreat Hotel are all cool. The Gem is great with it’s cool Americana vibe. The Cornish Arms has an awesome vegan menu. The Gasometer has the roof that opens up. So many to choose from!

You’re working on a new album at the moment – is there anything you’d like to tell us about it?
Yes! I’m recording at the moment. It’s going to be a big project, the songs are pretty epic and intense in feel. There are lots of layers, arrangements, ideas and parts to get down so I think it will take a little longer than I expected. But I’m really excited, it’s going to be a good one. I’m hoping to have it out this year.

Despite being incredibly busy, Adalita actually apologised to us for the time it took to get back to us – which really wasn’t long at all. Fair to say, we here at DoneUndone are even more in love than we were before. 


words and interview: Claire Watt
lead image: Warwick Baker
live images: Stephen Boxshall

It’s not really very fun to head into the night in Melbourne in Winter, but it is always very fun to head out to see La Bastard play. This homegrown surfabilly and good time rock’n’roll band are always a feast for the senses and their gig at the Post Office Hotel in Coburg was no exception.

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The pub was like a warm inviting haven, the heady scent of mulled wine simmering at the bar was just about the most comforting smell you could imagine on a night that felt like it might snow at any moment. The atmosphere was relaxed and jovial, you could really tell that everyone was keen to enjoy La Bastard’s last local show before they head off on their Euro tour next week. The crowd was a sea of some very familiar faces (friends of the band) and people who were there to enjoy the free gig and have a drink or two.

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Once the band started up they were almost immediately joined for a dance by a man I affectionately dubbed Tai Chi Man; his slow and engaged dance style was fun for the band and the crowd to watch, and helped to entice Ben off the “stage” (not that he ever needs any encouragement) and others up to boogie. One thing I love about La Bastard – they always have the crowd dancing. It’s a blast seeing people dancing in a small pub environment watching a band, and it’s not something that happens very often in my experience.

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Interval between the two sets saw people disperse from the front bar and only slowly come back in once the second set started but things kicked up a gear again when they played ‘Call of the Wild‘ and the crowd got back on their feet as Ben and Dick got up on tables and Anna danced around and through the crowd.

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If you get a chance to see La Bastard when they get back from Europe, please do. Trust me when I say you’ll be in for a toe tapping good time, and I dare you to not dance.

SEE THE FULL GALLERY HERE

La Bastard, 4th July 2015 at the Post Office Hotel.
(All photos by Mandy Campbell.)

READ OUR REVIEW HERE

Click on thumbnails for full size images.

First Aid Kit first came into my consciousness through a couple of covers – firstly through Kingswood covering ‘Wolf‘, and then through First Aid Kit themselves covering Jack White’s ‘Love Interruption‘ for Triple J’s Live at the Wireless.

Back in March First Aid Kit toured the east coast in some of their biggest headline gigs, as well as a slot at both Golden Plains and WOMADelaide. Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg command attention with their strong and beautiful harmonies, hair swishing and keyboard pounding, and don’t let your mind once wander from the performance in front of you. The stunning Palais was the perfect backdrop for their folky blues and the sold out crowd were enraptured from the moment the women entered the stage.

If you’ve never seen First Aid Kit make sure you catch them next time they’re here. They are currently on a bit of a break while they write some new songs and “see what happens”. Lets hope they hit our shores again really soon.

Full gallery can be seen here at TONE DEAF.
(click on image for slideshow)

Earlier this month I was able to shoot and be mesmerised by TV On The Radio live here at the Forum in Melbourne. Not knowing much about them or their music, I went in with an open mind and I was very pleasantly surprised. They were energetic and charismatic, and singer Tunde Adebimpe had the pumping crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.

Full gallery can be seen here at TONE DEAF.
(Click on image for slideshow)