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Progressive Pizza Party! @ The Tempo Hotel 24/05/13

31 May

It was a Friday night in Brisbane when Morse Code Musics Progressive Pizza Party hit The Tempo Hotel for a night to showcase the best of the best amongst the youngest Prog bands in Brisbane. Headlined by Psychedelic aficionados, Perilium, the night also featured bands, FreeThought, Weightless in Orbit and Spherian. Statistically speaking, a gig like this should have gone under the radar and gathered a crowd in the double digits. However….. it far exceeded everyone’s expectations.

It’s 6pm and doors have just opened. The crowd is scarce and hopes for a packed audience were looking dim. However towards the final moments before the first band hit the stage, the crowd began to gather….

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Spherian was  first to hit the stage. These guys are primarily a Groove Metal based band and this being the bands first show, expectations were low. However, people could not have been more wrong whilst the band smashed their way through the set. Their playing was incredibly tight, their sound was crisp and their creativity was unique. You would have thought this band had been playing shows for years. These guys will definitely be major contenders in Brisbanes Prog scene within the next few years.

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Next up was Progressive Metallers Weightless in Orbit. With a sound similar to Between The Buried and Me, Tool and Animals as Leaders, this was a band that people have been waiting to see for some time now and like Spherian, this was the first taste for an audience to see them live. The band powered their way through an intensely brutal, beautiful,  and technically flawless set which must have covered close to 20 genres of music. These guys have immense talent and played as though they have been on the circuit for years. Their final song was concluded with thunderous applause from the audience. Keep an eye on these guys, I wouldn’t be surprised if they achieve some incredible success.

At this point of the show the venue was filling up quite quickly. It was hard to move around, it was a bit stuffy and the energy was exciting. The night was far exceeding everyone’s expectations and it was only halfway through.

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FreeThought were next to show their talent. This was maybe only the 2nd or 3rd show the band had played and once again, they shocked everyone by sounding like a band that had been around for years. Their modern metal sounds coupled with hints of Classic Prog and Power Metal influences made for a very exciting set. These guys will be another great addition to Brisbanes Prog scene and have a sound that isn’t much seen around these days. Keep and eye on FreeThought folks.

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It was then time for Headliners, Perilium. These guys hit the scene a couple of years back and since then, have slowly become well known in Brisbane as ‘that young Prog band’ (Funnily enough they were the oldest band on the bill tonight). The crowd was anticipating something special. House lights go down, intro tape rolls and Perilium make their way on stage. Their set included 2 new additions as well as favourites from their 2012 album, ‘Optic 72’. The boys powered their way through their set and gave the crowd the high they desired. It was a set high in energy and luscious in colour.

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This show far exceeded anyone’s expectations. It was so inspiring and amazing to see such a great attendance for newly established bands. If anything, this was a showcase of Brisbane’s future Prog scene and after witnessing this show, it has nothing to worry about…It’s in very good hands.

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Photos by William France

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Osaka Punch Farewell Show – The Zoo 18/05/13

27 May

The 18th of May saw Osaka Punch play their final show with good friends Vayer and Le Suits, before heading towards potential domination of Europe. This was a highly anticipated night by Brisbane locals and garnered massive buzz and discussion. What makes this gig even more astonishing is the fact that it was hardly promoted. Osaka Punch have always been a band that has been successful purely from word of mouth advertising and the sheer love and dedication from their amazing fans. This was sure to be a special show for all involved….And it certainly was.

Vayer kicked off the night with the power and precision that has made them a favourite amongst Brisbane music lovers. Their intense and energetic show got the crowds attention and brought up the excitement in the room. Up next was the lovable Le Suits. This band along with Vayer is one of Osaka Punch’s favourite bands. No one knows how the 9 piece band was able to fit on the Zoos small stage, but somehow they managed. They then proceeded to tear the roof off the place. Their infectious grooves, engaging personas and unique sound was more than enough to get the crowd extremely excited for the headliner.

The venue was close to capacity by the time Osaka Punch began setting their stage (an absolutely monumental turnout for an unsigned local band who only just released their debut album). The crowd was buzzing with excitement when the band finally hit the stage   and went into their much loved single ‘Eat Red Carpet’. The rest of the show featured everything we have come to love about Osaka Punch. They haven’t changed a thing since their former days of being called ‘The Kidney Thieves’ and that’s why we love them.

The show was one of the best they’ve ever put on and definitely reassured their fans that they’re better than ever. The ever so energetic and bashful, Dane Pulverenti absolutely slayed it on the drum kit and is truly a contender as one of Australias great drummers. OP’s great leader, Mr Jack Venables showed us once again how to get crazy. Chrispy Town brought the funk and layed down the heavy with his brilliant and tight guitar work and the stylish and sleek, Trav Jenkins offered up some incredible guitar solos and hair whippery. Together, they are Osaka Punch and together, world domination awaits them. Thanks for the memories, lads. We hope that you’ll stick around a bit longer and create some more.

I’d also like to add (as a budding local musician and myself a lover of local music) how inspiring and uplifting it was to see a local Brisbane band nearly sell out a venue such as The Zoo. It reassures you that it is possible to achieve that one moment every musician lives and strives for. When the band finished their set and were finally able to bask in the glory of their success, it was an amazing sight to see. I hope any local musician in attendance at this gig was as inspired as I was.

Work hard, be nice, love what you do and you will be successful.

Watch out Europe, you’re not even going to know what hit you.

Photo by Jerry Nicholls

Are there too many international bands touring Australia?

15 Mar

Australia is one of those countries that is geographically separated from the world, yet still so prevalent and important. In the world of music and culture, we pretty much get the best of everything. We’re a jack of all trades, master of none kind of country if you will. For us, It wasn’t too long ago that we were complaining that the big names hardly ever come to tour our great nation. Now, we seem to be complaining that we have too many touring! What’s with that? Are we being ungrateful or are our complaints justified?

In the past couple of years Aussies have been bombarded with international bands touring the country. Long gone are the days of waiting years for your favourite band to come down. Now it seems to happen every year! And if you have multiple favourite bands, you can forget about affording to see all of them, with increased ticket prices and only a short amount of time between the announcement and the day tickets go on sale, most people surely can’t afford to see every band. Unless you’re rich and have quite a bit of spare time, it seems inevitable that you’re going to miss out on most of your favourite bands when they come to tour.

So are we just a country full of whingers or are our complaints justified? It’s such a first world problem, right? Australia should consider itself incredibly lucky that international bands even bother touring here. Australia is one of the most inconvenient and expensive countries to tour in the world. It really is a pain in the ass for promoters and artists to tour here, so in that respect, we should be grateful. On the other hand, promoters could ease up on the amount of acts they are bringing out….But they’re just making too much damn money off of this shit! It’s really a grey area, no ones opinion is either wrong or right.

However, does this effect our home grown bands? Yeah, of course it does. Am I going to blow off seeing my favourite local band to go see my favourite international band? Probably. It’s a matter of spacing it all out. The number of tours effects our Aussie bands in both negative and positive ways. On the negative, it takes away the punters from the local venues and thus, an audience away from a local band. On the plus side, when international bands give support slots to Aussie bands, it gives them a chance to experience a whole new type of show and expose them to a much wider audience.

I can’t afford to see every band I like that comes to tour here, in fact, I don’t get to see a lot of them. Perhaps we need some guidelines? If I had to suggest a few ideas for easing touring congestion, i’d say lengthen the time between tour announcements and tickets going on sale (give us normal folk a chance to save up to see our favourite band) and that tour supports should be reserved for Australian bands (support Australian bands whilst your down here).

Australia really is a lucky country. We get a lot of amazing acts come to our country every year. We definitely should be grateful for what we have, but we need to be careful to not over crowd the market. A few tweaks here and there could definitely ensure that punters of all classes can go see their favourite acts and at the same time, keep our own culture healthy and strong whilst nurturing our own bands so that they too can tour the world and become successful.