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Monday
Jun012015

Alphamama @ LazyBones Marrickville Review 

There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing an artist who intertwines music with performing arts. Alphamama’s performance at LazyBones in Marrickville, was vocally and visually stimulating. 

The opening performance took us on a beautiful love story journey, with two performers at the front with an abstracting dance, hypnotising the audience. 

The audience was in awe, stunned by Alphamama’s vocals, and taken away with the complexity of the performance. Throughout her tracks, audience participation was the key ingredient to the night. Her vibes and artistic characteristics reminded me of Yoko Ono, when she asked the audience to undress her and then dress her with their clothes. 

As the night progressed, Alphamama finally dropped her single ‘Spit Me Out,’ a track which captivates the power of a women and filled with emotions. 

Whilst the audience wasn’t entirely taken aback by her artistry, those who were there to experience the magic were excited to be involved and appreciate her music.  

Saturday
Mar142015

Seth Sentry “Run” Tour @ The Metro, Sydney

As I walk into The Metro of Seth Sentry’s sold-out gig it made me wonder what all the fuss was about. I am a regular at hip-hop gigs here in Sydney and it always surprises me when I go to a show, and see a completely different kind of audience supporting hip-hop. Where do all these people come from? What is it that Seth has that the rappers here don’t? 

Seth bursts onto stage with so much energy and hype that it’s hard not to smile when he comes on. He has that charismatic behaviour about him that makes you just want to move when he moves. Laugh when he laughs, and just not care about anything else. Barely anyone in the house had their feet on the ground for longer than two-seconds.  

The audience was hanging off every word he was rapping, at one stage it felt like hip-hop karaoke. One-by-one the audience will reiterate his lyrics, all with enthusiasm, all with respect.

His DJ, DJ Sizzle is just as part of the show as Seth is. Amping up the show, wearing sick outfits and making the audience move just as much as Seth does. Like batman and robin, DJ Sizzle is more than just the man behind the decks. He also crowd surfed all the way up the stairs and back of The Metro. If that is not an achievement, I am not sure what is.  

As I watched everybody rap along to his latest track “Run,” there wasn’t anyone in the room that didn’t know the words. A rapper who is in his 30’s rapping about his youth to youths. I’m not sure how he makes it work, but he just does. 

As the show comes to an end I finally figured it out. I know why people come out to support him. His energy, his humour, his authenticity, he’s just like everyone else in the room. There has been many occasions where he admits that he makes music for him and his friends, and that’s it. There is no mistake why he’s sells out gigs, it just so happens that these people, his fans, are him. A reflection of him anyway, ones that can sympathise with his lyrics, his music and his personality. 

Thursday
Mar122015

THE BUDOS BAND & THE BOMBAY ROYALE AT ROYAL MELBOURNE ZOO REVIEW

You've got to love the excitement you get when you are entering a new venue for the first time. I recall my first few music festival or night club experiences, entering the doors that you have looked at from afar (and sometimes for hours while lining up) and finally seeing what lies on the inside! While I have been to the Melbourne Zoo a couple of times before, hosting an afro-beat band from New York and Melbourne's own Bollywood royalty certainly makes this night at the zoo special and I get that same feeling of anticipation as I walk through the turnstiles and into the Zoo Twilights area.

There is a reason Melbourne Zoo is one of the most popular zoo's in Australia, and this big kid at heart certainly made the most of the animal exhibits that were open late specially for gig attendees. We visit the Lions, the Giraffes and even get to listen to a zoo talk at the Elephant enclosure. During our brief walk through the exhibits, I notice a couple of familiar faces - members of both Bombay Royale and Budos Band are out and about enjoying the animals.

After filling up on some Jerk Chicken at a nearby food truck (and a few Mountain Goats) we find a spot for our picnic blanket and settle in about 15 metres back from the stage. It's a pleasant Melbourne summer night, not too hot and the venue is slowly filling with music lovers of all ages. One of the great things about these gigs is the space available for punters, they really have set the shows up with picnics in mind and although the clusters of people spread quite a way, everyone has a good vantage point.

The Bombay Royale don't really believe in warming up, they hit the stage with so much energy, it is almost impossible to remain on the picnic blanket! A small dance area quickly forms at the front of the stage. Taking the crowd through some easy to copy dance moves (a hit with the kids at the show) and some catchy sing-a-longs, the 11 piece wind through an all too short 40 minute set, culminating in The Bombay Twist. During the break there is a rush to the merchandise desk and copies of their latest vinyl are snaffled up.

As we await the arrival of The Budos Band it is worth noting the perfect time-slot that headliners of these gigs enjoy - sunset. Prior to the guys taking the stage, the dance floor grows, as does the average hair length of the front row of the audience - where were these hard rock fans hiding until now? The set starts with a funky organ solo, before we are taken literally Into the Fog. The presence these guys have on stage is incredible, all 9 of them, dressed in black.

Their set is filled with deep bass grooves, heavy funk and psychedelic guitar. The new direction of their latest album Burnt Offering, as discussed in our interview with the band (read it here) becomes very apparent, you can definitely hear the band taking afro-soul to a heavier place. In saying that, the horn section still bring the funk and there is no denying the groove taking over the audience. After some cheeky interactions with the audience (the band are amazed to be playing in a zoo, and I dare say at such an early time-slot), the groove builds and tracks are blended into instrumental jams. Although some older tunes Ride Or Die and Black Venom are thrown into the set, this is certainly a chance for the band to show off their latest work, Aphasia is certainly a highlight.

As darkness fills the zoo, the Budos set draws to a close and the audience slowly bring themselves back from the funk expedition they have just been treated to. We pack up our picnic rug and make our way to exit , all the while sharing a silent 'nod' of recognition with the others who witnessed the 'full Budos experience'.

Written by Harry Upton.

Thursday
Dec042014

Album review - Don Miguel's 'Waiting for Carmine'


Don Miguel's debut production 'Waiting for Carmine' is a story expressed with New York affection - a collaboration of modern production and classic samples, as well as some dope conscious rappers such as Greyscale, Guilty Simpson and Rapsody. Bree Stewart writes.

The Producer from Long Island N.Y, grew up working in Peter McManus Cafe, a well known bar Don's Family operates in Manhattan. What better way to channel a life of NY culture than to place ear to speaker and lay some skilled beats down for the public?

Reviving classic 90's production, Don kicks off the album with an organic intro track 'Cabrón' (Ft. Rice Cultivation Society and Delicate Steve) exhibiting mellow piano and some gentle truths through spoken word, this is the preface to the overall feel of Don's piece. 'Crop Circles' with ST 2 Lettaz unveils classic 4x4 beats and delicious string samples - Don begins to delve into the true NY culture with Lettaz spitting lyrics such as “so experimental, a chemist in the kitchen with the lab rats”, these dudes: cheeky meets chill.



A few more serious tracks such as 'Forever (However)' (Ft. Rapsody and Rashad) may pull you back into contemplative mode, but if you’re after some humour during a Sunday Sesh, enjoy the gritty and playful 'No Sympathy' (Ft. Boldy James and Monsignor Ghost), throw in a bit of timeless scratching, and comedic rappers, this tracks my personal winner with silly spits - “I never eat the booty that’s on everything but I eat the pussy like a sack of onion rings.”



It will take a single listen for you to realise Don Miguel’s bringing NY back to our speakers with real words, real beats and authentic talent. Check his latest single 'Sweat' on bandcamp or youtube (Ft. Justin Credible, Ness Rhyme, and Atownomas of Heart Of Brooklyn). 

      

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