Filthy Lucre, Silent Duck and Rat Ta’Mango

Live at Jive, Adelaide SA, Saturday 30th January 2016

The doors opened on Saturday evening at Jive to a hoard of hard rock fans eager to celebrate the release of Filthy Lucre’s debut full-length album Mara. As the venue started to fill, the first tasty band prepared to warm up the crowd for what was to come…

Getting things moving was local Adelaide psych-rock band Rat Ta’Mango. Having seen this band name previously around town, I was intrigued to hear them live and to put a sound to that peculiar name. I was impressed and satisfied by the bluesy tones that echoed throughout Jive and got the early birds moving on the dance floor.

Smack bang in the middle of the night was a quirky, quacky 6-peice band called Silent Duck. Full of unique humor, funky riffs and brassy horns, Silent Duck impressed throughout their forty-minute set. The crowd banter and vocal performance provided by ‘Sexman’ was on fire. I instantly noticed Frank Zappa type influences; the mix of horn section and rock ‘n’ roll music, with spoken vocals splashed here and there was aesthetically pleasing and quite progressive in many respects.

Silent Duck 30-1-2016Silent Duck  showcased their brassy funk-rock tunes.

To round off the night satisfying everyone’s burning desire to hear the tastiest, most blistering and intense riffs of all time, Filthy Lucre took to the stage. Vowing to play every song off the new album, I knew we were in for a treat.

Filthy Lucre is made up of Luke Marsh on guitars, cigars and vocals and Ed Noble on drums and percussion. This band only has two members but manages to create a huge sound; I am surprised and impressed every time, especially when I hear the cigar-box guitar put into action. It is full and in your face, making you stand up and move to the music.

From beginning to end Filthy Lucre brought the big guns, fat, chunky riffs were flying all around Jive. The energy was high on stage and off stage, with many fans in the crowd moshing and jumping around to the music hitting our ears. I’m pretty sure that drummer Ed Noble, was standing up for most of the gig!

All I could think of at the end of the night was how fortunate I am to have experienced such a powerful and memorable performance from Filthy Lucre. I had never seen such excitement and vigor in the local scene, the crowd was giving back the intense energy that they were receiving from the performers. It was a positive night full of sleazy, dirty rock music and Filthy Lucre were the stars.

As the night came to a close, I felt excited because I couldn’t wait to hear Mara, the album I was holding in my hands. I hoped that the sheer, exhilarating live performance of Filthy Lucre would be translated onto the studio record and the thick, fat tones would be captured for all to hear. I guess I will have to listen and find out… for the love of music.

Filthy Lucre 30-1-20156A solid riff-rock performance by Filthy Lucre made Jive go crazy.

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Ollie English – ‘Cabin Thoughts’

Released 9th December 2015

The first time I heard Ollie English I was mesmerized by his smooth voice and substantial blues influence. I finally got to experience his live show with a full band and pick up a copy of his new EP, Cabin Thoughts. After seeing Ollie perform and listening to the EP a few times, I can safely say the future of blues is in good hands…

The EP starts quietly with acoustic guitar and a beautiful falsetto vocal performance on ‘I Know You’re Gonna Leave’. This track shows how Ollie English has taken traditional blues influences and mixed them seamlessly with modern alt-pop aspects. Before long the drums and bass enter providing the first of many solid grooves that feature throughout Cabin Thoughts. When ‘I Know You’re Gonna Leave’ builds to a head, power and pain are felt simultaneously within the vocals as a scream from Ollie bellows and effortlessly compliments the dynamical characteristics of the tune.

Cabin Thoughts continues to be dynamical and emotive with nothing but acoustic guitar and vocal in ‘Winter Sun’. Ollie easily goes between raspy, gritty vocals and clean, expressive falsetto with musical stops placed strategically during the song adding significance to the solemn lyrical themes and vocal theatrics. The acoustic riff is memorable and guaranteed to get stuck in your head for the rest of the day (and that’s definitely not a bad thing).

Ollie English continues to impress with ‘Let Her Run’ and ‘Doldrums’ providing full band arrangements with some funky grooves and tasty guitar dabbles. I feel myself moving to the rhythms gracing my ears, thinking this is truly great music to listen to anytime, at a party or on a lazy Sunday afternoon, perfect for any occasion!

Ollie English proves that blues music is still alive and kicking. There is still much ground to be explored that has been formerly paved out by historic and famous blues musicians; English is elegantly continuing this exploration. It is refreshing to hear exquisite homegrown blues talent coming up right here in Adelaide, and Ollie is set to make a name for himself in Australia and, eventually, around the world. Get your hands on Cabin Thoughts for a modern blues experience and for the love of music!

Wasted Wanderers, Max Savage and the False Idols and Conchillia

Live at Jive, Adelaide SA, Friday 18th December 2015

On a stinking hot Friday night in Adelaide, many made their way down to Jive for a night of performances by local music royalty. I got to Jive nice and early to catch the full evening of tunes, knowing all too well that it was going to be an evening not to be missed.

The crowd was warmed up by unique alt-world-pop act Conchillia in traditional Conchillia fashion. Having just unveiled their new single, ‘Hunter or a Gatherer’, a couple of weeks earlier, they were at the top of their game ready to gather up the audience and hunt out their ears with their tight, worldly grooves. A jam on ‘Follow The Sun’ reminded me yet again of the high quality musical ability of each member of Conchillia.

Conchillia 18-12-2015Conchillia impressed with horn arrangements and fat grooves.

Bursting onto the stage just after 10 o’clock was Max Savage and the False Idols. The set progressed with power and commanded authority. Loud and in-your-face country rock was on the menu and was delivered hot and tasty with tunes like ‘Undertaker’ standing out in the set. I have been singing the songs in my head ever since and look forward to seeing Max Savage rock out again soon!

Max Savage and the False Idols 18-12-2015Max Savage and the False Idols serenaded with country influences.

To end the evening Wasted Wanderers put on a tremendous show full of intricate harmonies, refined vocal performances and bluesy guitar runs that would make any music goer weak at the knees. With memorable tunes like ‘Goddamn Anything’ and rocking jams like ‘Uncomfortable Shoes’, the Wanderers put on a show to remember.

A stand out for the evening was a rendition of ‘Keep It To Yourself’. This catchy, poppy tune always has the audience singing and clapping along. It’s songs like this that demonstrate how engaging and vibrant the stage presence of the Wasted Wanderers are. The whole band was on fire throughout the entire set, getting people moving and loving the music hitting their ears!

To finish off the evening a couple of encore tunes from the Wasted Wanderers were on the table since the crowd loved the music so goddamn much! It was a remarkable ending to a night of sheer excitement and notable performances from each band. Conchillia impressed with world influences, Max Savage and the False Idols brought country with a twist and Wasted Wanderers delivered some rockin’ blues forming a complete night of music at Jive. Get out there and see what world-class bands are on offer in little old Adelaide for the love of music and you may discover your new favorite band.

Wasted Wanderers 18-12-2015Everyone was dancing and singing along with Wasted Wanderers.

Electric Exiles, Jungle City and Mark Curtis

Live at The Crown and Anchor, Adelaide SA, Friday 21st August 2015

In a packed out Crown and Anchor on Friday night, Electric Exiles put on an engaging performance celebrating the release of their new single, ‘A Dizzy Fashion’. It was an evening of tremendous songwriting and enthralling high-energy music.

Kicking off the evening was Mark Curtis in traditional acoustic fashion. Showcasing mostly intricate originals with a few memorable covers, it was a charming set that got everyone warmed up for the night ahead. A cover of ‘Thirteen’ by Big Star got the front man of Electric Exiles, John-Paul, onto the stage. Tasty harmonies and tender vocals ensued, and a crisp expressive take on an old classic.

Blasting onto the stage, Jungle City reminded me of their high energy original rock ‘n’ roll tunes. Right from the first words of ‘Suicide Shuffle’, the room was along for the ride. The set progressed with groovy drums and thumping bass lines. The old school feels were in full swing however when singer Brenton Wilson announced the band was going to play something new. Jungle City launched into a blues-rock number that had the Cranker hanging on every note. With thoughtful dynamics and a carefully composed guitar solo, Jungle City presented their mature songwriting in a consistently energetic performance.

Jungle City 21-8-2015
Jungle City
captivated with their rock jams.

As the Crown and Anchor started to fill up, Electric Exiles made their way onto the stage for what would be an outstanding show. Starting the set with ‘Loser Girl’, they mesmerized with their catchy melodies, jangly guitar and powerful sing-along hooks.

Each time I see Electric Exiles I am impressed by the band’s image. Dressed in paisley shirts, long-sleeved skivvies, denim jackets and blazers, it was a distinctive dress code harking back to a retro time. Interestingly, it does not take away from the music which graces your ears, it thoughtfully adds to the remarkable ‘60s and ‘70s garage-pop influenced tunes.

Further adding to the band’s overall image were the infectious stage antics of front man John-Paul. Dancing around and rockin’ out like a star, it was a pleasure to witness as he had everyone falling in love with him around the room. In keeping with the ’60s themes, I watched as John-Paul swung the microphone around like Rodger Daltrey of The Who. Along with Danny slapping the bass, Teon spanking the drums and Matt tickling the keys, all jumping around and getting into the music, it made for an unforgettable rock show.

The new single, ‘A Dizzy Fashion’, was smashed out making the audience go wild. “Na na na” was bellowed throughout the Cranker, as the drums, vocals, bass and guitar all played as one tight musical unit to form an extremely catchy intro. Having only heard the song a couple of times before, I was happily singing the melody all night long.

During the evening John-Paul announced that there would be an EP coming out soon. So to end the set Electric Exiles played what hopefully could be the next single off the EP, ‘Garden Maze’. The fresh tune got the audience dancing to the solid rhythms and singing along to the anthemic choruses. That is the beauty of Electric Exiles, having heard the song for the first time, anyone could sing along and feel included. Not many bands possess this unique songwriting technique, which make Electric Exiles distinctively exceptional.

The debut Electric Exiles EP is set to come out later this year, and judging by Friday night, it is going to be an important must-have EP. The whole evening was exciting, interesting and superb from beginning to end. Electric Exiles incorporate pop-rock songwriting magic into a one-of-a-kind live show that needs to be seen to be believed. So get out there and check out these breathtaking artists for the love of music.

Electric Exiles 21-8-2015
Catchy songs and an on-point performance, Electric Exiles were exhilarating.

Rory Gallagher – ‘Live In Europe’

Released 14th May 1972

I picked up Live In Europe last week because I wanted to experience the magic of Rory Gallagher for the first time on vinyl, the way it would have been when he was making albums back in the day. After the first listen I was in love with his guitar tone and technique, and the variety of blues influences that Gallagher incorporates seamlessly into his music.

Live In Europe was compiled from different live performances recorded during a European tour in February and March 1972. I was intrigued by the song selection on the album. What one usually expects from a live album would be live renditions of their favorite songs or the hit singles. It is understood that Gallagher was not fond of singles; he opted for the album format. This outlook is evident in Live In Europe; it is a no messing-around live album where the best songs of the tour were selected based on their musical value, not popularity. Furthermore, only two songs on the album are Gallagher compositions, the others are arrangements of traditional and older blues numbers.

The album starts with ‘Messin’ With The Kid’, a powerful piece with blistering guitar solos throughout and the raspy voice of Gallagher. Starting with this number showcased just how impressive three rockers playing together can be. Wilgar Campbell provided driving drums, with exhilarating fills and Gerry McAvoy held it all together with his tight, walking bass lines.

As Live in Europe progresses, Gallagher and his band explore many different instruments and timbres as more traditional blues influences are revealed. ‘I Could’ve Had Religion’ features slide guitar and harmonica mixed together impeccably by Rory, making the listener hang on every expressive note. Further adding to the traditional blues sound, acoustic guitar is used in ‘Pistol Slapper Blues’. The acoustic guitar is ideal to compliment the conventional overtones of the piece along with lyrics that are dated and hark back to simpler time when blues was created.

The second side of the record starts with Gallagher playing mandolin on ‘Going To My Home Town’. Throughout the song Campbell is keeping time with the kick drum while the audience claps along. This recording captured the atmosphere that would have been present at a Rory Gallagher concert. It makes you feel as if you are there!

Closing Live In Europe is ‘Bullfrog Blues’, another traditional blues arrangement by Rory Gallagher. This is a commanding musical statement on which to end the album. Slide guitar bellows as McAvoy walks his bass like a maniac, and in typical live fashion, there is a tasty drum solo by Campbell. This solo action from the other musicians is something I crave from a live album of this era, though short and sweet, I was satisfied.

After having listened to Live In Europe multiple times since I found it last week, I can safely say that it is a seminal blues album that you will dig from the first listen. With many penetrating guitar solos, varying dynamics, textures and just awesome bass, drums and guitar interplay, it’s a classic blues album everyone can enjoy for the love of music.

Rory Gallagher - Live In Europe Cover 9-7-2015 Rory Gallagher - Live In Europe record 9-7-2015

Conchillia, Lost Woods and Naomi Keyte

Live at The Crown & Sceptre Hotel, Adelaide SA, Saturday 27th June 2015

With a world of influences, Conchillia delivered earthy and grooving tunes at The Crown and Sceptre Hotel on Saturday night. There were many positive vibes floating around the room as they prepare to record an upcoming EP and had recently returned from a tour of the east coast.

Kicking off the evening was soloist Naomi Keyte. I hadn’t heard Naomi before, but I was pleasantly surprised by the compositions that graced my ears. With mellow, lush and reverberant sounds, Keyte showcased relaxing songs and intriguing chord progressions. I was impressed by the use of a loop pedal that made a single performer sound like an orchestra of guitars and vocals, all harmoniously singing and playing together as one.

Next up was Lost Woods. This is the third time I have seen Lost Woods and they keep getting better. I admire a band that each time you hear them you can pick up something new and exciting that you hadn’t noticed before. This time the thoughtful guitar interplay between brothers Sam and Tom Baird struck me and sounded better then ever, filling out the mix and producing melancholic soundscapes. ‘King of Aberdeen’ from the Lost Woods EP was a highlight; the chorus is so catchy I was singing it all the way home. Lost Woods played a kickass set and had me tapping my feet the whole time!

Lost Woods 27-6-2015Lost Woods provided catchy, grungy melodies.

Conchillia took to the stage one by one throughout a carefully crafted first song. Right from the beginning when bassist Kiah Gossner joined drummer Miles Sly on stage, the togetherness of this band was evident, further added to by Tom Kneebone on electric guitar, Jake Goss on saxophone and Nathan Forward on trumpet. When vocalist Jes D’Cruz entered the picture with her ukulele, Conchillia was in full swing!

The set progressed as Conchillia proceeded to take the audience on journey around the world. There were upbeat, grooving sambas and laid back, jazzy blues, all mixed with modern-contemporary characteristics. There were moments of intense emotion when Jes introduced a song about the passing of a close friend. The audience fell silent and hung on every word and note. There were also light-hearted numbers, such as ‘Follow the Sun’, that had everyone singing and dancing.

A unique Conchillia touch was when a veggie plant was given away to one lucky audience member. When D’Cruz asked what the plant was, calls of coriander and basil resonated, but it was parsley that took home the prize. This crowd participation demonstrates the band’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle and sustainable environment. It includes the fans and makes them feel that they are part of something special and important.

The whole evening was beautiful and elegant, carefully put together by the artists involved. I was lucky to finally experience Conchillia. Their music is powerful and brings people together. It seamlessly unites many different cultures and styles of music as one, forming a new and refreshing world-indie pop genre that everyone needs to experience. With the emotional ambiance of Naomi Keyte and the grungy hooks of Lost Woods, it made for an awesome night of music. Check out all three of these incredible artists for the love of music and you too could go home with some parsley.

Conchillia 27-6-2015

An earthy and organic performance by Conchillia.

Blues Pills – ‘Blues Pills’

Released 25th July 2014

It has taken me a while to catch onto the magic of Blues Pills, but it has finally happened. I got the Swedish rockers’ debut album, the self-titled Blues Pills, late last year. I listened to it during an exam period in the final year of my degree, so unfortunately the relaxed and chilled effect records have on me would have been non-existent and my mind would have been elsewhere.

The other day I pulled this album out and put it on. Right from the first powerful song, all the positive vibes of the first listen started flooding back to me and I was banging my head to the bluesy tunes.

The album starts with ‘High Class Woman’, a commanding song that pounds the eardrums from the outset. Elin Larsson’s vocal performance begins expressive and smooth, before long the song builds into a blistering powerhouse of awesomeness smacking the listener in the face. One of the first aspects of this album I came to love was Larsson’s vocals, it only took 30 seconds. Throughout Blues Pills, her voice is a pleasure to hear and demonstrates such depth and energy. It only gets better!

Having a quick read of their Bio on the Blues Pills official website, it mentioned soul influences. And right they are, proving this my soul-music-loving sister even knocked on my door and asked what the band is, a rare occurrence. ‘Ain’t No Change’ featured verses with a hybrid version of Motown combined with blues and rock. Further adding to the blues-rock side of things are multiple solos from guitarist Dorian Sorriaux, demonstrating his carefully crafted vintage guitar tone. ‘Black Smoke’ was also a stand out track, which incorporated many classic influences, such as a driving shuffle similar to that of Machine Head era Deep Purple and harmonised guitar melodies reminding me of Thin Lizzy.

Blues Pills is full of vintage influences throughout; much of the old school sound can be attributed to the production. The album was recorded, mixed and produced by Don Alsterberg, who has previously worked with the retro Swedish band Graveyard. Alsterberg does a tremendous job of making the recordings sound organic and fresh just like they would have been back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. I don’t know exactly how he has done this, whether Blues Pills was recorded analogue, not digital, or minimal editing was carried out to make the music sound live and raw. What I can safely say is the rock ‘n’ roll music coming out of Sweden at the moment has a magical touch. It makes the listener feel like they are in a time warp; they can put on a vinyl and travel back to the golden age of rock, at the same time as discovering new and current music. Absolute bliss.

Blues Pills have served up a hearty stew of soulful blues-rock, it has never tasted this fresh and balanced. With the powerful, smooth vocals of Elin Larsson, the thumping grooves from Cory Berry, the fuzzy bass tones of Zack Anderson incorporated with the refined, retro guitar chops of Dorian Sorriaux: this is an album to get lost in and celebrate the hay day of good old rock music. So spin this one and head back in time for the love of music.

Blues Pills - Blues Pills cover 23-6-2015 Blues Pills - Blues Pills record 23-6-2015