Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

European Cotton Club, A Great Gatsby Affair

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016
Midlandia, Rectangle Room, Perth Fringe Festival 2016
Saturday, February 13th

by Nicola Heyes

SHE’S got style, she’s got flair, she’s definitely got talent – and an amazing magical stage presence, so much so, that on Saturday afternoon I was transported into some deep, dark roaring ‘20s club. This was no speakeasy or a grand Great Gatsby type mansion, this was Midlandia’s Rectangle Room with Cathrine Summers and her talented four-piece band – part of Perth Fringe Festival 2016.
The European Cotton Club experience is something to be seen – it’s uptempo with a brilliant mix of traditional jazz from France, Spain and Italy to modern electro jazz, taking songs like Beyonce’s Crazy in Love to ‘Charleston’ level.
Summer’s shows – Summer Groove Sundowner at Lamont’s Bishop House and A Summers Night in Paris, at the Parrott House in Maylands (also part of Perth Fringe Festival 2016) have been incredibly popular – in fact A Summers Night in Paris was a sell-out – and has been nominated for an award. There’s no denying that this British-born Australian is a roaring success.
The two-hour set – along with her band: pianist, double bassist, drummer and saxophonist – took the audience through a journey of jazz and storytelling – particularly about Cole Porter’s influence on jazz – and how he inspired Summers. Her exquisite and perfect French accent shone as she belted out Edith Piaf’s ‘Non, Je Ne Regret Rein’ – her performance of such an iconic song was incredibly moving. From Parisian jazz to modern swing uptempo – with a great twist on Adele’s Rolling in Deep – Summer’s charismatic engagement with the audience is exhilarating.
With regular shows at Tart’s café in Northbridge – and other venues, Cathrine Summers will be wowing fans across Perth for many years, not just Perth Fringe Festival.
European Cotton Club’s final performance is Saturday, February 20th at Midlandia – be sure to see it.

Noiseweek: EOY Lists, A Love Supreme, Arca, Fourteen Nights at Sea, Sunn O))) and more

Friday, November 27th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


The inevitable torrent of end-of-year lists begins in earnest, with Rough Trade first out of the blocks with their 100 best LPs of 2015. Bjork’s epic Blood on the Tracks break-up album Vulnicura took out the top spot, with Australian acts Courtney Barnett and Royal Headache both in the top ten at #3 and #8 respectively. British/German composer Max Richter’s eight-hour-long classical lullaby suite SLEEP surprisingly taking out fifth place, alongside more predictable fare like Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear, Kamasi Washington’s The Epic and Jamie xx’s solo debut In Colour all among the top ten. Keep a look out for LIFE IS NOISE’s end of year lists in the next few weeks.


Good news for a number of Melbourne’s favourite venues this week with the state government giving out $250,000 in soundproofing grants, with Cherry, Ding Dong, 1000 Pound Bend, Revolver, Bakehouse Studios and the Bendigo Hotel all sharing the spoils for soundproofing works undertaken between 2010 and 2014, The Age reports. The grants are being welcomed as another step in protecting and nurturing the city’s vibrant live music scene after the enactment of last year’s ‘Agent of Change’ principle in planning regulations, which shifts the expense of soundproofing works on to new developments where a dispute arises, rather than existing venues. In other words: we were here first, you deal with it.


Synth nerds frothing over the collection of vintage analogue gear amassed by the newly established Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (M.E.S.S.) will soon get their chance to tinker with one of the largest and most comprehensive catalogues of modular synths, drum machines, samplers and other rare and obscure instruments, with M.E.S.S. opening to subscribers in early 2016. Established by local sound artists Robin Fox and Byron J Scullin, M.E.S.S. will offer 500 spots in its inaugural annual subscription program, with plans for training courses, workshops and live performances later in the year.


Arca’s Warped Beauty | Pitchfork

“Even more than Xen, which Ghersi now calls a “fragile” album, Mutant is made up of great extremes—the crushing bass of “Mutant” versus the viscous bliss of “Vanity”, or the metal chug of “Anger” versus the neo-classical strings of “Extent”. And one of the things that is so exhilarating about the record is how it’s constantly negotiating between two opposing poles. Tension is the air that Mutant breathes, and that is because Ghersi himself thrives on what he calls “those in-between states where you can talk to people about things that maybe aren’t OK to talk about otherwise—things that are taboo or repressed within us, things that we would never admit to ourselves.””

Seeing Through “A Love Supreme” to Find John Coltrane | New Yorker

“In the studio, there’s an undertone of serenity and also of composition that emphasizes the movement’s themes, of compression that builds the climaxes of a solo into repeated motto-like phrases or quick outbursts that soon resolve into calmer and more songful perorations. By contrast, the 1965 concert performance from France is full-throated, uninhibited, frighteningly wild and frenzied. It leaves a listener thrilled, shaken, drained; it’s a holy terror and a holy wonder.”

A Rational Conversation: How Do You Convince Kids To Listen To Vinyl? | NPR: The Record

“Our commitment or continued long-term participation to putting out vinyl records is largely based on our own emotional connection. Many of us who have been here for a while came of age listening to records even before the resurgence of vinyl that has happened over the course of the past five or six years. I talk to a lot of people I work with about this, but vinyl is freighted with this memory of the way you would listen to music. It’s less about what people talk about with the warmth or audio qualities of vinyl. It’s just about attention. If you can only fit 22 minutes of music of a side of vinyl, you’re doing little else during that time, and that’s kind of nice. So it’s definitely an emotional connection.”


Fourteen Nights at Sea — Minor Light

Get acquainted with the Melbourne post-rock mainstays’ latest release ahead of their shows supporting MONO in Melbourne and Sydney next week.

Roundtable — Dread Marches Under Bloodied Regalia

Yet another solid release recorded and mixed by Jason Fuller at Melbourne’s Goatsound studios, the trio’s debut full-length mines doom, stoner and classic prog and offers a contemporary take on the lost art of the narrative concept album.


Sunn O))) — Boiler Room

Club kids the world over are scratching their heads as to what the fuck just happened, with last week’s Berlin set from Sunn O))) featuring on the hugely popular Boiler Room channel. There’s form there – they’ve featured Earth and Boris previously, though for the most part it’s about pretty young things dancing behind (read: annoying the crap out of) superstar DJs.

David Bowie — Blackstar

For those who’ve been in a coma for the last week: The first single and title track from the ageing iconoclast’s forthcoming LP shows he’s still capable of the reinvention that’s defined his long and storied career. Apparently he’s been listening to lots of Kendrick Lamar and Death Grips, though long-time collaborator/producer Tony Visconti says it’s not going to be a hip hop record (in case you were worried).

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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Volunteer at Life Is Noise

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Life Is Noise is looking for volunteers/interns to help out in the office and at our events. If you are keen please email Please include five reasons why you want to work with us, what you are listening to at the moment and your CV. We would love to have you involved.

Win a Double Pass to This Is Nowhere

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

TortoiseFancy checking out the mind-melting awesomeness of Tortoise, Xiu Xiu, Tenniscoats, Jimmy Edgar, Grails, Ikonika and a whole stack of other great acts? You’re in luck, because we’re giving you (and a lucky friend) the chance to win a ticket to This Is Nowhere!

All you have to do to win is go to the This Is Nowhere Facebook event page and state which act you are looking forward to seeing most and why in five words or less.

All entries must be in by 5pm Wednesday, Perth Time.

This Is Nowhere — One Month Away

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

If you weren’t aware, we thought we’d give you a little heads-up that This Is Nowhere is just one month away.

We’re understandably pretty excited by the lineup (Tortoise, Xiu Xiu, Grails, Jimmy Edgar, Ikonika, Slugabed, for example) that crosses genres but maintains a golden thread of awesomeness throughout. It’s fair to say that this isn’t your standard list of bands, and we’re pretty thrilled to be able to bring you iconic acts like Tortoise at the same time as we hopefully introduce you to something new.

The venue itself (the amazing Somerville Auditorium, Dolphin Theatre and Lawrence Jackson Court) is also rather great. A cathedral made of “Norfolk pine trees, and rather than cold stone and marble”, The Somerville will be the perfect place to soak up the October sun, a fine beverage and some incredible music. The Dolphin Theatre, on the other hand, is where you can find the finest of beats, curated by ICSSC.

This Is Nowhere takes place on October 14. You can get more information here, and get your tickets here.

To get you in the mood, here’s a selection of clips from some of the acts of This Is Nowhere: