CD Review: Lagwagon

Published in The Music (WA, NSW, VIC, QLD) | 29.04.14 | Issue # 62

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With nine years between albums, a lot of punters were under the impression the studio album release days from SoCal punk staples Lagwagon had come to a close. That’s where Hang comes smashing through the ether to offer up the best elements from the band’s comprehensive back catalogue. With the raw energy of Duh and Trashed, the aggression of Hoss, melody of Let’s Talk About Feelings andBlaze and bleeding emotion of Resolve, the band’s eighth record is a career-defining record.

4 stars

http://themusic.com.au/music/albumreviews/2014/10/29/lagwagon-hang-daniel-cribb/

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Show Review: Dave Hughes 14.10.14

Published in The Music WA | 22.10.14 | Issue # 61

Published on theMusic.com.au

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DAVE HUGHES

Regal Theatre, 21 Oct

With enough time between his mainstream TV and radio ventures – including tours to Montréal and London – household name Dave Hughes had managed to wipe himself clean of the soul-crushing stench that is big-time media and return to his comic roots.

From the darkness emerged the sounds of a dying crowd, and Hughes soaked up every second of praise before throwing it right back in everyone’s faces by using his few years living in Perth in the ‘90s as an anchor to pursue a suburb-by-suburb attack on punters. Front row latecomers should have known better. “Come in from Balga? What happened? Car was hard to steal?” Hughes joked before turning his sights on punters who he presumed were fresh from an “upper-class Tinder date” at Nandos.

From there, a road down everything that “shits” him was on offer, with The Bachelor’s Blake Garvey, hipster beards, “chunky fuckhead” Jamie Oliver’s chins, ebola and – in an unsurprising turn of events – AFL. Not even his three-year-old daughter and her fake café were safe. It was his family and “relatable jokes about murdering his children” that yielded most of the profits, and an easy dig at Jetstar rounded out a solid hour-and-a-half with “aww” moments from Rolf Harris and Malaysia Airlines jokes.

http://themusic.com.au/comedy/reviews/2014/10/21/dave-hughes/

Show Review: Justin Timberlake 08.10.14

Published in The Music (WA) | 15.10.14 | Issue # 60

Published on theMusic.com.au 09.10.14

Justin Timberlake @ Perth Arena. Pic by Ashley Westwood

Justin Timberlake @ Perth Arena. Pic by Ashley Westwood

In an effort to no doubt get to know the locals – much like he had on Monday night at Perth nightclub Deville’s Pad – two members of Justin Timberlake’s entourage trolled through the audience with microphones, singling punters out and taking them to who knows where. As they slowly swept across the room, clusters of fans jumped on their seats, thrusting their arms into the air.

Tensions were high, and the moment of truth finally arose with anticipation at its peak – much like that scene in JT’s blockbuster film, In Time, where he fails to save his mother. The Grammy Award-winning, GQ Man Of The Year surfaced for the beginning of 20/20. In hindsight, earplugs may have been a good idea.

An expected theatrical entrance to Pusher Love Girl off last year’s The 20/20 Experience saw the pop legend rise from below the stage to the silhouette of a string section. His band, The Tennessee Kids, were also thrust into the spotlight from below, and thus began the pitch perfect vocals backed by an overwhelming mash of smooth, classy harmonies.  A brief 30-second break to soak up applause, which would have gone for minutes if the music hadn’t continued, and backing dancers arrived for Rock Your Body. Massive white hexagons consumed the stage background and overlooked the audience, switching between projector screens and an insane light show. Futuresex/Lovesound, Like I Love To Breatheand more were delivered with little time to breathe, climaxing in early favourite, My Love, with screeching solos, mesmerising choreographed dance moves and a massive horns-led transition into TKO. It was like being smacked in the face by the best pop had to offer and coming out refreshed.

Finally the music receded for a minute, and no one has ever received such a violent applause for simply taking off their jacket like JT did. “Fuck it, let’s party!” he announced, as he led us into Summer Love, shortly after which he was left to his own devices for LoveStoned/I Think She Knows Interlude, before really stripping things back as he perched himself behind for a piano for Until The End Of Time. Some took a cover of Jay-Z’s Holy Grail, on the studio version of which JT features, as an invitation to literally remove their clothes, and an a cappella Happy Birthday to one lucky punter resulted in tears of joy and a perfect segue into Drink You Away, with Timberlake sporting an acoustic guitar. The night reached its peak when a chunk of the stage hosting two protruding stairways rose and slid above the audience, slowly edging towards the back of the room, where he climbed down into the VIP area and stayed for the most of the remaining set, making those pricey VIP passes worth the asking price.

Classics Crazy Girl, SexyBack and Mirrors that, much like JT, don’t seem to age, and a cover of Michael Jackson’s Human Nature cemented the show as one of the year’s best before the legend disappeared into the shadows, probably to not be let into his own after party.

http://themusic.com.au/music/livereviews/2014/10/09/justin-timberlake-perth-arena-daniel-cribb/

Show Review: Bill Bailey 01.10.14

Published in The Music (WA) | 08.10.14 | Issue # 59

Published on theMusic.com.au 03.10.14

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BILL BAILEY

Riverside Theatre

1 Oct

Being the debut of his new show Limboland, Bill Bailey set the direction quickly, as front row late comers were treated to elevator music and a flute solo by the main man as he singled them out and played them to their seats. It was this type of improve and musical breaks that constantly swooped in throughout the two-hour show to sow together low points or jokes that just didn’t work like they should have.

With his leg perched upon a fold back speaker like a rockstar and 10 instruments on stage to back up such body language, Bailey had a dig at the liberals, danced like c-grade celebrity impersonating a mermaid’s dance move. Accompanied by an old smoking pipe as a prop, he was so sophisticated that he’d rather listen to an audio book of Fifty Shades Of Grey narrated by Ozzy Osbourne than listen to One Direction, and it was Bailey’s narration of quotes from Tony Abbott that garnered some of the biggest laughs of the night, and confirmed how much of an embarrassment the PM is on an international level.

Musical highlights were presented in the form of a performance of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball to the tone of German electro pop and ABBA’s Waterloo in the style of Rammstein. Knowing the content on offer hadn’t been rehearsed and fed to the ears of thousands of others across the world was a refreshing change of pace, despite a few longwinded rants that didn’t pay off as well as Bailey was probably hoping, but it was the raw delivery of those less-than-funny moments that gave the show its character and made it more engaging. It hadn’t been a good week for Bailey – or so the great detail given to the “milky swamp of disappointment” his morning tea became suggested – but the debut of Limboland surely turned that around.

Daniel Cribb