Archive for the ‘Music Reviews’ Category

Sweet Dreams: Songs By Annie Lennox

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

FRINGE WORLD Festival 2015 Michael Griffiths in Sweet Dreams Songs by Annie Lennox 3 to 7 Feb 2015 De Parel Spiegeltent SMDe Parel Spiegeltent, Perth Cultural Centre
Perth Fringe Festival
Review by Nicola Heyes

There’s a fantastic buzz in Perth city at the moment with the Perth Fringe Festival. Not only is there an abundance of shows, cabaret, theatre, comedy and music, but there are people wandering around in fancy dress, pop up bars, weird and wonderful arts, and just crowds of people. In fact, 2015 has pulled in record numbers of folks – the Festival’s popularity has surged – and no wonder, with over 500 shows to choose from covering so many genres.
Waiting in a queue for Sweet Dreams, I couldn’t help but think how everyone would squeeze into the De Parel Spiegeltent. Sure enough, it may have looked like Dr Who’s Police Box tardis but it was a superb – if not intimate venue – for a very personable show.
Award winning cabaret singer and former Jersey Boy star Michael Griffiths IS Annie Lennox with no accent, costume or wig.
Judging from the publicity photographs for the Fringe Festival, I was expecting Lennox’s short red hair and costume but as Griffiths belted out the bittersweet lyrics and shared stories of triumph and heartbreak, I realised there was no need.
Featuring unforgettable songs like Why, Love Is A Stranger, Walking On Broken Glass and There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart), Griffith’s engaged with the crowd with superb finesse.
It was simply Griffiths – or rather Annie, as he referred to himself as – his synthesiser and candle (which he lit and blew out to fend off bad ideas and lyrics) and his amazing voice.
Cataloguing ‘Annie’s’ life – packed with trials and tribulations, highs and lows, and turbulent professional and romantic relationship with Eurythmic’s partner Dave Stewart.
He brought such compassion to fantastic songs – Here Comes the Rain Again and Who’s That Girl were haunting and sung with great emotion – and his charisma on stage was simply wonderful, funny and incredibly moving.

Belle and Sebastian @ The Astor Theatre

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Mount Lawley
3rd February, 2015

By Nicola Heyes

WHEN you leave a gig with a beaming smile and feel all ‘jingly jangly’ inside, that’s got to be good! I think a warm ‘jingly jangly’ happy feeling certainly sums up Belle and Sebastian’s performance at Mount Lawley’s Astor Theatre on a stormy and rather humid evening.

The Scottish band was bursting with indie pop energy, catchy well-known tunes and just a magnificent ensemble – they seemed so incredibly content to be on stage.

Melbourne indie foursome, Twerps, were the admirable support band, who were similarly jangle-meisters. The Twerps provided an Australian pop timelessness that harked back to the Go-Betweens, Paul Kelly and the Sunnyboys. They were the perfect prelude to the gig.

Belle and Sebastian’s charismatic front man Stuart Murdoch never stopped moving or bopping about on the stage all night.

The show was packed with fabulous nostalgic tunes from the band’s extensive catalogue such as Funny Little Frog, A Century of Fakers and The Boy with the Arab Strap, mixed with a few new songs from their highly anticipated ninth studio album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance – also crammed with their signature sentimental harmonies.

Murdoch happily joked along with the packed audience, and said: “I’m trying to ignore the Scottish accents” – commenting on the fact that although Perth is one of the world’s most isolated countries, there are so many people from Scotland living here.

The crowd certainly got well into the spirit of the show after being invited on-stage to dance during ‘Simple Things’ – everyone, including the band, danced with fantastic, energetic enthusiasm.

A great, happy, feel-good show!

Sunglasses at Night – The 80s Apocalypse Sing Along Cabaret

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Noodle Palace@ Central, Perth Fringe Festival

By Nicola Heyes.

If you ever wanted to re-live the 80s, then this would have been the gig for you! For myself, the 80s is a prominent feature in my music collection – and yes, I still have the vinyl records to prove it, so I was quite in my element at Sunglasses at Night. By the looks of the audience, so was everyone else.
There was a 98% show of hands when host / singer Geraldine Quinn (Rockwiz, Spicks and Specks and Upper Middle Class Bogan) asked the question about how many people were born in the 80s or before, so she was happily singing synth pop to many aficionados. Complete with 80s glamour in a sequinned dress sporting shoulder pads, Quinn certainly knew how to strike a pose with her flawless 80s style dance moves.
The 80s wasn’t about fun, it was Cold War, Chernobyl and fear – as described on the promotional flyers for the event. But there was certainly a lot of engrossing fun at the Perth Fringe cabaret – with plenty of audience participation – singing along to Kate Bush, Spandau Ballet, The Human League and Pat Benatar. Lyrics were on a big screen for all to see, with hilarious word play on some songs. Co-host de Grussa was the great synth- player side kick.
The highlight of the evening was Quinn handing out red balloons for the audience to blow up, for – you may have guessed it – 99 Red Balloons by Nena.
Belting out the anti war protest song in its original German version, Quinn was brilliant and the atmosphere was superb.
Another highlight of the cabaret performance was Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, another cracking tune from the 80s. This power ballard was delivered with pretentious passion and moody dancing – and the Welsh singer Bonnie did take a bit of rap from Quinn with her repetitive chorus and drawn out mourningful lyrics.
A great crash course in a great era, a fantastic performance and good Friday night fun.
Oh Vienna.
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Album Review: Mind Canary – Mind Canary

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

mindcanaryReview by Rich Moore Mind Canary, a small, melodic blip on the Perth scene, have produced their new EP like a rabbit from a hat. Wild-rooted and psychedelic with a steady rock structure, this self-titled EP stands as a sampler […]

Album Review: SpaceManAntics – Puraede’s Parade

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

a1241204153_10Review by Chris Gardner. Riding through space on a purple unicorn in your mind may have gone out of style, but don’t tell that to SPACEMANANTICS. The tie-dyed five piece have unleashed their debut album Puraede’s Parade onto our collective, […]

Album Review: Black Birds – Falling in Waves

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

black birds - falling in wavesReview by Bailey Lions Perth three piece alt-rock band BLACK BIRDS have created an entrancing sonic atmosphere with their debut EP Falling in Waves;  an ambitious collection of songs which combine crisp rolling drums and soft distortion that flow underneath […]

Album Review: Anton Franc – All This Talk

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Anton Franc - All This TalkReview by Chris Gardner Some people need less excitement than others. Your grandmother probably won’t go skydiving any time soon, and people recovering from surgery are encouraged to take it easy. There’s a time and place for first gear, and […]

Album Review: Eleventh He Reaches London – Banhus

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

a2725843048_10Review by Chris Gardner A third album is a good time to throw off the shackles of genre and lose oneself completely in mood, and from its morbid and visceral title to it’s droning waves of guitars and baritone vocals, […]

Album Review: High Tension – Death Beat

Monday, October 14th, 2013

High Tension - Death BeatReview by Chris Gardner There are a few thing that the rock and roll world needs more of: don’t-give-a-fuck four-pieces making raw, urgent punk rock are always welcome, for example. Add a conventionally attractive lady screaming her clitoris off into […]

Album Review: The Scotch of Saint James – Real People Fucking

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Real People FuckingReview by Stuart McGuckin. How many times can you say you’ve been listening to Real People Fucking without sounding like a perverted creep? For most people it’s probably zero, but now you can thanks to THE SCOTCH OF SAINT JAMES. That’s the […]