Published in The Music (NSW, QLD) and on, Feb 2016


Put Down The Smartphone, People

Having made a career out of his bizarre humour, Tom Green‘s views on politics, business and technology go well beyond breaking the preconceived image some may have of him. Daniel Cribb gets a compelling reason to go off-the-grid.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since Tom Green’s cult comedy hit Freddy Got Fingered was released, and while it received some of the worst reviews ever, it’s a film that still, in 2016, has a solid fan base. “It really has found this amazing following of people around the world who I think look at things differently,” Green tells. “They look at the world differently, they like absurdity and laughing at the uptight nature of society and of the way films get made.”

It’s one of many times Green stepped into the spotlight of mainstream Hollywood media, in 2009 ending up on The Celebrity Apprentice, where Donald Trump fired him. As such, he’s in a good position to comment on Trump’s presidential campaign. “I think it’s an example of where we are in our world. People are very mesmerised by what they see on the internet and mainstream media, and if you don’t set your phone down, walk around and breathe the air and look around, you could literally get so sucked into this mainstream media machine that the world could evolve in very strange ways.

“I think it’s pretty funny, having been on The Celebrity Apprentice, having been fired by Donald Trump for going out drinking with Dennis Rodman on the night I was the project manager.”

Well-versed in the importance of technology as a big part of his career, it’s also a part of society that Green says consumes too much of our attention. It’s a topic that he often covers during his live show, which will hit Australia in March. “I think that people need to become aware that we are essentially becoming very robotic and we are going to our phones far too often and not living in the moment,” he explains. “I like to make sure that people who are young — who have maybe never lived life without a cellphone — are aware that there is a world out there, outside of the online universe and that you can maybe leave your phone at home and go out for a day without your phone on you.”

On top of constant touring and his relatively new podcast, The Tom Green Radio Show, Green has still found time to throw himself into a number of other projects. “I just shot this really cool movie called Iron Sky, and I have another movie that we’ll be announcing soon that will shoot this summer, which is going to be a really, really cool movie. That’s going to be coming out in about a year and half and that’s going to be really awesome,” he reveals.

“I’m developing a few television shows, so expect another television show in the next year or so, but right now I’m really excited about the tour, focusing on my podcast and recording some new music that I’m going to be releasing this year, so lots of fun stuff going on.”


The Music SA: Frusic Cover Story

Published in The Music (SA) and on, Feb 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 2.44.40 pm

A valuable organisation to local music and the scene all year round, it’s no surprise that Music SA has come at Adelaide Fringe with all guns blazing. The aptly titled Frusic program sees them collaborate with some of the best music venues in the state to bring punters a smorgasbord of music-related entertainment during the Fringe, 12 Feb — 14 Mar. Daniel Cribb gets the lowdown from some of those involved.

“It’s our chance to shout loudly about the importance of music and venues during Fringe,” Music SA general manager Lisa Bishop says of Frusic. “Music is the second biggest genre with over 220 shows on offer. We think that deserves a dedicated brand and marketing campaign.”

Local musician Max Savage, who is set to release new record True Believers with his band The False Idols in April, finds himself in the thick of Frusic, billed for two tribute shows at Jive, where he’ll embody Bruce Springsteen one night forBorn To Run before setting his sights on Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks the following. “As soon as you walk out onto the stage the music just sweeps over you,” Savage tells.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of albums and how they act as a collective statement. Good ones are an entity in and of themselves with each individual song forming a part of a greater whole… Astral Weeks was something that I started learning as a challenge to myself and it swiftly grew into a complete obsession with the album and its nuances, which took over my life for a good six months. I think it’s a record which has been an important landmark in a lot of people’s lives.

Born To Run is an incredibly evocative record. It’s constructed differently to Astral Weeks with a structure and polish that you rarely notice unless you really delve into the music. It’s a record which seems incredibly simple on the surface but reveals itself to be incredibly nuanced with time.”

It’s during past Fringe events that Savage had noticed the entire scene transforming into a completely different beast. “Adelaide Fringe is one of the few times in the year when the broader public venture from their homes with a willingness to spend money on live entertainment,” he says.

“People go to shows. People listen, look and learn; people are surprised, outraged and amazed; people are shocked and made to be uncomfortable. From grandparents to grandchildren, everyone has a go at being a critic, a participant and an artist.”

It’s a sentiment that Bishop is quick to reinforce. “It breeds new artists and is a safe ground for testing and presenting new work…and gives South Australians a sense of pride and community because nearly everyone in SA is touched by the Fringe is some way.”

But it’s not just Fringe where Adelaide excels. With a wealth of other events consuming the city throughout the year, it’s been labelled the festival state. “It’s probably because some smart person popped it as the tagline on our number plates all those years ago,” The Gov publicist Ryan Winter laughs. “But quite seriously, we have a well-developed audience for festivals and some pretty serious professionals here who can deliver outstanding events.

“The breadth of local community involvement is pretty incredible. The larger shows aren’t terribly different to other events, and naturally people travel here to perform but at no other time of year is there such a showcase of Adelaide-based talent on show. A lot of amateurs take the plunge to jump on stage for the first time and it’s something to see.”

One act to travel at length to perform at The Gov for Fringe is the incredible Damushi Ensemble. They’re making their way over from Ghana to showcase a very interesting style of traditional music called Juju & Highlife.

The Bluebee Room is another venue on the Frusic map, which has an exciting and diverse schedule. Owner-operator Linda Hamley couldn’t be more excited about it as she reminisces about past years.

“We’ve loved all our music shows at Fringe — being a full-time live music venue outside of Fringe — as there are the extra people out and about who might not normally catch much live music and they always seem to enjoy it,” Hamley says.

“These people would come up to us and say how much they liked the space and that they didn’t know it existed before Fringe. Some of them have since attended other gigs here.”

The long-term benefits that programs like Frusic yield is something that Fringe artist Mikey Green (formerly of The Audreys) has also noticed. “The streets are abuzz,” he comments. “It gets people checking out venues they’ve never been to before, catching up with neglected friends and breaking free from their reality TV routines for a while. And hopefully that translates to a year round thing for some folks? Maybe they’ll get the bug to go see all the other amazing bands that our players are in. Because they really are pretty special and could certainly do with a good looking bunch of music fans turning up for a cuddle in the cold winter months.”

Green is part of SA super group Doctor DeSoto, who will be transforming The Wheatsheaf Hotel into a cabaret style venue complete with tropical ferns and an overload of ’70s sailing outfits for The Marina — A Smooth Cruisin’ Yacht Rock Experience. “This nine-piece band will fill you full of smooth music until it feels like you’ve overdosed on Thousand Island salad dressing. There’ll be good hair, great hair and nicely pressed slacks. It’s a show dripping with more ’70s-style innuendo than you can point a cocktail frankfurt at.”

When he’s not in nautical overload, there are a few other Frusic events on his list to check out. “SA icons Brillig will doSpeakeasy, a 1920s themed gin-soaked gig. We’ll probably step off our yacht and head inland for that one. Not sure our Hawaiian shirts will be appropriate though,” he jokes.

“We’re also keen to do the Frusic Walking Trail. There’s a downloadable app which talks you through the rock history of Adelaide and gets you exploring. This sounds like a good recovery exercise the morning after a gig night. Maybe a bloody Mary breakfast and then hit the streets? Who’s keen?”

Savage’s plan is a little looser. “The Fringe is always a mixed bag; it’s an unpredictable and eclectic assortment. I think it’s best enjoyed as something done without serious planning; a balmy evening walk through the East End and tickets to whichever show is on. Once in a blue moon, you’ll come across something that will change your life.”

There’s not denying that Adelaide has a rich festival scene that sees hospitality and numerous creative sectors thrive around big events. As Green tells, programs like Frusic assist in giving the local scene attention that will more than likely carry on all year round. Live music is a big thing in Adelaide, and really steps up a notch over the Fringe period,” he reinforces. “It’s great to see the Frusic program giving punters a happy reminder. Their night need not be over after they’ve eaten an exotic dish in the Gardens and watched a fire juggler for a few minutes. The guys in the office aren’t gonna be impressed with that story anyway. Break open the Frusic guide and choose an adventure. Go on!”

Show Review: Simply Red 09.02.16

Published on, Feb 2016


Simply Red, Natalie Imbruglia, Morgan Bain

Kings Park & Botanic Garden

Feb 9

A little more pop and soul than blues and roots these days, local singer-songwriter Morgan Bain did a fine job of welcoming those brave enough to face the harsh 40 degree sun with a guitar, keyboard and series of sampled loops — jumping between all three during numerous songs.

Bain’s transformation in recent months is definitely a step in an exciting direction and promises big things from the 21-year-old.

Now a British citizen, Natalie Imbruglia wasted no time in becoming reacquainted with Perth fans after a long stint away, dishing up five-part harmonies in Wishing I Was There and an epic, sweeping chorus with Beauty On The Fire.

A soft version of Daft Punk’s Instant Crush from her 2015 covers record, Male, took things down an interesting path while pop hits Smoke, Torn and Big Mistake rolling out as the sun fell behind the stage set the scene perfectly.

The only thing the set could have done without was The Cure’s Friday I’m In Love led by banjo. A yee-haw has no place in or around a Robert Smith melody.

There was Big Love for the grand entrance of Simply Red, fans welcoming the band to the stage for a 30th anniversary celebration that doubled as a reunion show after a five-year hiatus.

Main man Mick Hucknall was on fire from the first soulful lyric sung. Never Never Love tugged on the heartstrings beforeNight Nurse took things in an unexpected reggae direction, slowly shifting into funk with Thrill Me.

For Your Babies and a cover of The Stylistics’ You Make Me Feel Brand New kept the crowd vocals going and added a sea of rhythmic, swaying arms into the mix before climaxing at crowd favourites Stars, Fairground and If You Don’t Know Me By Now.

The delicate guitar riffs and pulsating bass held their grip on the audience for most of the set, allowing Hucknall to manipulate emotions with his flawless and instantly recognisable vocals. If anyone had made a deal with the devil for a perfect singing voice, it would have been him.

They were romantic to the point of comedic value at times, especially when overzealous sax solos were layered upon synth and chimes. But that’s what makes them so great. 30 years later and Simply Red are still masters of soul.

Show Review: Jimmy Carr 02.02.16

Published on, Feb 2016



Jimmy Carr might just be the most witty comedian who ever lived.

His proper British accent lured punters into a false sense of security before an onslaught of disgusting one-liners and social commentary took over, challenging political correctness.

“You can heckle, but it should be funny,” read a welcome message, and for every slurred insult or misguided murmur, Carr had the perfect response. It was almost as if he’d spent hours perfecting each comeback.

Fans who only knew him from the small screen in their living rooms as the host of QI might have been thrown into a state of shock as he opened with a bit that blamed Oscar Pistorius’ girlfriend.

No one and nothing was safe, Carr even taking a stab at his own laugh, comparing it to a “seal getting finger blasted”.

There’s something about him that few other comics have. It might be his ability to take even the most contentious issues and turn them into pure comedy gold or the fact he’s so fast on his feet. Whatever it is, after 300 jokes and two hours, not a single member of the audience could challenge his craft. At least not without being verbally eviscerated.