Tag Archives: gigs

R.I.P. Rave

Rave Magazine 2

As a teenage music nerd, my bedroom walls were perennially populated by posters featuring various scowling dudes with guitars looking down on me lying on my bed losing myself in my headphones whilst devouring Rave magazine. Growing up I always thought that being a music writer would be the most inconceivably, unbelievably, incontrovertibly cool job imaginable. Years later, I moved into my first Brisbane sharehouse with two wonderful girls, one of whom was just starting to pick up speed as the lead singer of now superstar act the Grates. Her then boyfriend wrote for another local music mag, and it occurred to me for the first time that music writers were actual people who existed in the real world and breathed and ate and drew on the fridge and used the bathroom when you really, really needed it. 

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It wasn't until late last year, when I'd accomplished the infinitely more arduous task of having my first novel published that I got around to signing up with Rave. In the short time since then I've reviewed countless gigs and albums and squeezed in just a handful of interviews. As a writer, it's been a fun challenge to pump out tiny bite sized non-fiction pieces at a high rate of frequency, as opposed to my primary concern of churning out massive 80 – 100k word fictional behemoths every few years (if that.)

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I was devastated when I received news that Rave was shutting down, and not only because of the fact that I will now have to start PAYING for gigs like a total loser. Rave provided valuable exposure for local bands and artists, great opportunities for local writers and photographers and, perhaps most importantly, was an entirely independent operation. Independent media is important; the beauty of working for Rave was that we didn't have to serve anyone's agenda. My editors would occasionally ask me to change a few things here and there, but this was more for content quality than because we were beholden to some corporate giant with vested interests (just look at the whole Rinehart/fairfax debacle at present). Clearly music journalism is nowhere near as important as political journalism, but journalistic integrity is of fundamental importance in terms of filtering what and how information reaching the masses and and we are currently seeing a dangerous erosion of its values which the loss of important independent media sources will only exacerbate. Thank Christ operations like New Matilda and The Conversation are still afloat.

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Here are a few highlights from my time with Rave; bands I would never have otherwise heard of, concerts I might never have gone to, interviews with amazing people I would otherwise have never met. Thanks to all the wonderful writers, editors and photographs and bands that I've worked with. This city is filled to the absolute bursting point with obscenely gifted artists and it's been an absolute blast working with a team dedicated to celebrating this this talent. See you at a gig sometime!

INTERVIEW with Jo Nesbo

GIGS 

Cut chemist

Bright Eyes

2011 Poetry Slam

Ball Park Music

ALBUMS

WILLIS EARL BEAL – acousmatic sorcery

 

BIG DEAL – Lights Out

 

STEVE SMYTH – self-titled

 

BLACKLIGHT featuring Pigeon / Lunch Tapes / The Medics reviewed for rave magazine


View and comment on the original article at Rave Magazine HERE.

BLACKLIGHT: The Medics / Lunch Tapes / Pigeon / Boss Moxi

Lightspace – Fri Nov 4

The promoters of tonight’s event describe the venue, Lightspace, as a ‘classy warehouse.’ Sheer white curtains adorn the walls and stage, candles cast flickering shadows and my friend (name withheld by request) comments that the luxury hand soap in the bathroom is worth $40 a bottle and she is considering relocating it to the interior of her handbag. From the very beginning, it is clear that this is not going to be your standard warehouse party.

Boss Moxi are the first of four bands this evening, they greet an initially sparse crowd with a sonic smorgasbord of bouncy psychedelic rock tunes and twin guitars soaked in delay. There are a few average tracks scattered amongst their better material, but songs like Esso and Hospital Drums are catchy enough to make this a memorable performance. Halfway through, the second guitarist switches to saxophone and their act really starts to pick up. The last few songs bring their set to an explosive, frenetic finish.

 

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Pigeon are next on the bill, and their five members proceed to set up an impressive arsenal of brass, electronic and rock instrumentation. Essentially, Pigeon sound like The Knife jamming with the Happy Mondays in Ibiza in the ‘80s whilst watching Eurovision. The really appealing thing about watching this band is that you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. Their five members switch from laptops and synths to guitars and drums to brass and back again. The crowd responds to their brilliantly unpredictable performance with a frenzied display of raving and moshing, and by the time they pull Boss Moxi’s sax player onto the stage for a ‘sax off’, this has become one of the most outstanding local shows in recent memory. From this they segue into a bizarrely brilliant synth and brass cover of Phil Collins’ Another Day In Paradise with a quick cameo appearance from the iconic sax solo from Baker St. Watching this band play is 16 kinds of fun, and by the time they finish the crowd is soaked in sweat and smiles.

 

Lunchtapes

Announcing this is their final performance “as Lunch Tapes” I can only guess as to whether the band means they are planning a name change or undergoing some kind of superhuman metamorphosis. Playing a fun, energetic selection of loud ‘70s psychedelia-influenced rock songs, Lunch Tapes’ standout track The Thrills Of Being Young exemplifies their whole approach to performance: violinist Harriet Straker adding lift and energy to their sound, and lead guitarist Julian Holland playing some absolutely blistering licks. I look forward to seeing Lunch Tapes 2.0.

 

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The Medics are the last in an extraordinary line-up tonight. Their four members (and their hair, which is collectively shaggy enough to clothe a small Alaskan village) don their instruments and begin. Their classic rock band line-up looks almost underwhelming after this evening’s selection of violins, trumpets, synths and saxophones, but they have an undeniably commanding presence. Somewhat reminiscent of The Temper Trap, they play a series of epics that ebb and flow from quiet, dreamy moments to soaring electric crescendos paired with ethereal vocals. However, the band sometimes gets a little lost in themselves, during one particular odyssey the audience performs that awkward ‘clapping at the assumed end of the song only to discover that there is another section’ two times over before the song eventually ends. Finally, a storm of drums and throbbing bass and strummed guitars brings the evening to a close.

JOSH DONELLAN