Jul 21, 2024

Kim Gordon @ Volume Festival

Volume Festival returned to Sydney this July. A little earlier than 2023, but very welcome. My show of the festival was to witness the icon Kim Gordon on Friday night in the Art Gallery of NSW. The setting was the underground The Tank. A unique space for sure, dark and mysterious. Although the number of poles didn’t help for great sight lines. Gordon of course was a member of the legendary Sonic Youth and is now forging her own solo career. Earlier this year she released a wonderful album in ‘The Collective’ and in fact her set included every song from that superb album. It was a relatively short set, but a furious one. Gordon and her four piece band pounded through that album as well as a few songs from her debut album. It was a great set with her abrasive industrial tinged guitar rock banging loud through the cavernous space. Gordon is aging extremely well. Her music is vital and strong and vibrant. Powerful stuff. 

Set List
Bye Bye
The Candy House
I Don’t Miss My Mind
I’m a Man
It’s Dark Inside
Psychedelic Orgasm
Shelf Warmer
The Believers
Dream Dollar

Air BnB
Paprika Pony
Cookie Butter
Hungry Baby
Grass Jeans

Jun 21, 2024

Dirty Three @ Enmore Theatre

Dirty Three are a legendary iconic Australian band. If they're not Australia's greatest ever band they are certainly in the conversation. Formed in Melbourne in 1992 the original lineup of Warren Ellis, Jim White and Mick Turner has not changed over the years. Thursday night at the Enmore Theatre was their first Sydney show in a few years and I was not going to miss it. Their shows are epic and monumental and this one was no different. They also have a new album coming out next week, so it was actually exciting to hear some of those tracks. They opened and closed with new songs and they sounded great, with Ellis even playing some piano. But of course we most loved the classics. Which included an absolutely epic 'Indian Love Song' and of course the untouchable 'Everything's Fucked'. I think my favourite though was the transcendental 'I Remember a Time When Once You Used to Love Me'. It turned out to be quite a long set, nearly three hours in total, including a blistering encore. This is of course somewhat due to the blissful ramblings of Warren Ellis. Ellis is a phenomenal musician and his violin playing is quite incredible, but his rapport with the audience is strange and beautiful and funny. He goes on five minute streams of thought that are hilarious and touching. A true national treasure. Mick Turner and his guitar anchor the band, whilst I don't think I have seen a finer drummer than Jim White. Dirty Three should be cherished totally. I hope they return soon.    

Set List
Love Changes Everything I
Love Changes Everything II
Love Changes Everything III
Indian Love Song
Sea Above, Sky Below
I Remember a Time When Once You Used to Love Me
Everything's Fucked
Some Summers They Drop Like Flys
Authentic Celestial Music
Love Changes Everything IV
Love Changes Everything V

Sue's Last Ride

May 29, 2024

The Hold Steady @ Stay Gold Melbourne

Two years ago The Hold Steady brought their Weekender to Melbourne and I was happy to fly down and attend one of the three shows. It was totally worth it. In 2024 they did it all over again and I flew to Melbourne to attend the third night of the Weekender. It was at the intimate Stay Gold in Brunswick. And what a wonderful night it was. The Hold Steady have been around for 21 years and thus have a large catalogue to draw on. Interestingly they are happy to play many old favourites. But I really love their latest two albums and I would have loved to hear more from those albums. But I’m certain the enthusiastic crowd loved every minute, as I did. We sang our hearts out to ‘Stuck Between Stations’ ‘Chips Ahoy’ and ‘Stay Positive’. It’s a dedicated fanbase, The Unified Scene. It’s real and not fake. If you hadn’t seen front man Craig Finn before you might think it’s a bit of an act. But it’s not, it’s all genuine. Finn speaks about the unique connection between band and fan. It’s truly unique. Long may The Hold Steady reign. 

Set List
Hornets! Hornets!
Constructive Summer
Same Kooks
Family Farm
Party Pit
Don’t Let Me Explode
Sequestered in Memphis 
Carlos is Crying
Girls Like Status
We Can Get Together 
Yeah Sapphire
Chips Ahoy!
Modesto Is Not That Sweet
Denver Haircut
T-Shirt Tux
Stuck Between Stations 
Massive Nights
Unpleasant Breakfast 
Your Little Hoodrat Friend
Most People Are DJs

Certain Songs
Entitlement Crew
Stay Positive 
Killer Parties

May 25, 2024

Explosions in the Sky @ Sydney Opera House

Friday night was the opening night of Vivid 2024. And what a way to start. A celebration of Spunk Records. After 25 years the label is closing down and this night was a form of celebration. It was a great lineup in the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House. Firstly there was the return of The Middle East. They really aren’t together anymore but it was great to see them return for this special night. Then there was a short set from Aldous Harding, but it was Explosions in the Sky we all came to see. The Texas masters are just a phenomenal live band and they proved it again tonight. 21 years ago they released their classic album ‘The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place’ and tonight they would play the album in full. 5 songs of pure thunderous beauty. It was glorious to behold as the five men swayed in time to the music, riding every peak and lull with sensual movement. After about 50 minutes we were able to catch our breath as the album closed. The band then gave us about another 30 minutes of great music to send us into the night completely and totally satisfied. Explosions in the Sky are truly one of the great bands on the planet and proved it again tonight. 

Set List
First Breath After Coma
The Only Moment We Were Alone
Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean
Your Hand in Mine
Greet Death
Magic Hours

May 22, 2024

Sleater-Kinney @ Metro Theatre

Thirty years go Sleater-Kinney played their first ever show in Sydney. Tuesday night in Sydney the legends returned. Carrie Brownstein reminded us of this last night. Last here 8 years ago they produced an exciting and thrilling show, conclusively proving they have lost nothing at all. Their energy and spirit is certainly intact. This was billed as their 'Little Rope' tour, in regard to releasing that album in January. I think the album is pretty great, their best in years. So it was a great pleasure to hear 8 of the 10 tracks played. They sounded great live, especially 'Untidy Creature' and 'Small Finds'. Of course with a large catalogue they have plenty more to choose from. So many standouts on the night. 'One More Hour' was my personal highlight, a firebrand of a song. But I also loved 'Price Tag', 'Bury Our Friends', 'The Center Won't Hold' and 'Jumpers'. The two founding members are as great as ever. Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker have great energy and synergy and Tucker's voice is still a weapon, one of the greatest voices in rock history. Their encore was great too and a little different. They played a real old one in 'Slow Song' upon an audience request and then closed with the classic rocket in 'Entertain'. Sleater-Kinney are still as great as ever I am here to tell you.

Set List
Needlessly Wild
Bury Our Friends
The Center Won't Hold
Small Finds
The Future is Here
All Hands on the Bad One
Hunt You Down
One More Hour
Start Together
Don't Feel Right
Price Tag
Can I Go On
The Fox
Dress Yourself
Dig Me Out
Modern Girl
Untidy Creature

Slow Song
Say It Like You Mean It
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone

Apr 3, 2024

Current Joys @ Factory Theatre

Last night in Sydney marked the first ever Australian show for Current Joys. It was the first stop on a brief three city run around Australia. If Sydney was any indication then fans in Melbourne and Brisbane are definitely in for a treat. The band played for close to a hundred minutes, with energy and verve to a sold out Factory Theatre. I actually only came to Current Joys in 2021 when they released their excellent album in 'Voyager'. It was easily one of my favourite albums of that year. Last year they returned with 'LOVE + POP', which expanded even further on their sound. It was bolder and brassier, but still very good. For this show they actually only drew a little on those two albums. 'American Honey' and 'Amateur' were played from 'Voyager'. Quietly I wished there was more. Bu the band drew on lots of songs from their entire catalogue. And here was the thing that surprised me. This was an All-Ages gig and the crowd was very young. I could easily say I was the oldest one there. And they were massively into their older songs. I later found out that the band have created a following to some songs being exposed on Tik-Tok, so those songs were greeted with screaming and great rapture. Especially 'Blondie', which everyone seemed to know the words to. Phones were in the air and it was quite a scene. So it was certainly a night with a difference. An exciting and at times thrilling one.

Set List
My Shadow Life
Ramblings of a Dying Adolescence
bb put on deftones
American Honey
You Broke My Heart
My Motorcycle
I feel truth inside of u 
Weird Science (Don't Leave My Arms)
Become the Warm Jets
A Different Age
New Flesh

Mar 23, 2024

Wilco @ Enmore Theatre

If you have the opportunity to see Wilco more than once, then just do it. So we had little hesitation in seeing the Chicago band for a second night in a row at what would be their final night of their current Australian tour. Plus Wilco always switch up their set list from night to night and so it proved. Obviously we received standards like ‘Jesus, Etc.’ and ‘Impossible Germany’. But we also received different songs from the night before such as ‘At Least That’s What You Said’ and ‘I’m The Man Who Love You’, which were both magnificent. I can’t add a lot more to my review from the night before, suffice to say Wilco were in incredible form. And the crowd lapped it all up. And as much as the Opera House is a great venue nothing beats a night at the Enmore. 

Set List
Infinite Surprise 
At Least That’s What You Said
Handshake Drugs
I Am My Mother
Cruel Country 
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
One Wing
Either Way
Box Full of Letters
Jesus, Etc.
Impossible Germany 
Dawned On Me
I’m Always In Love
Heavy Metal Drummer
I’m The Man Who Loves You
A Shot in the Arm

California Stars
Falling Apart (Right Now)
Spiders (Kidsmoke)