Show Review: Joshua Radin 18.05.18

Published on, May 2018

Pic by Dana Weeks

Joshua Radin

Rosemount Hotel

May 18

Ohio-born acoustic artist Joshua Radin was quick to make Rosemount Hotel his own as he eased into his unique brand of “whisker rock” like someone getting acquainted with old friends.

The troubadour’s voice was as smooth as the whiskey soda he was sipping throughout the set; every charming imperfection and emotion was amplified as punters stood in silence and hung off every word. It was only when the venue’s front door opened that distant traffic noises and murmurs from the beer garden broke that spell.

Radin’s calm, calculated tone between songs was enchanting, as he recalled past heartbreaks and regret with painful honesty, before diving headfirst into songs that had a real emotional connection. He wasn’t holding back and it paid off big time for those in attendance.

Melodies on fan favourite such as Winter and You’ve Got Growin’ Up To Do had a more free-flowing nature to them, and by slowing everything down slightly, even happier songs such as I’d Rather Be With You and Vegetable Car had heartbreaking undertones.

He also showcased an impressive vocal diversity, jumping from his trademark whisper to soaring melodies throughout the set, but it wasn’t until opening act Cary Brothers joined Radin onstage for an upbeat cover of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, Its All Right did the headline act really give it his all, stepping back from the microphone and belting out the last chorus with grit, proving he could easily front a rock band.

When Radin is on stage, everyone’s made to feel like part of something; a sentiment echoed with the clapping and stomping along to the chorus Belong – one of many highlights from a memorable set.

Watching Joshua Radin play to a relatively small crowd is a perplexing experience, given the sheer charm and raw talent that he extrudes, and while it would be nice to see him fronting arenas like he deserves, there’s some special about enjoying one of the world’s best-kept secrets in a such an intimate atmosphere.


Show Review: Richard Dawkins 14.05.18

Published on, May 2018

Richard Dawkins

Riverside Theatre

May 14

“What would replace religion if it went away?” asked the evening’s moderator, Australian radio host, satirist, filmmaker and author John Safran, to the formidable force sitting across from him. Celebrated evolutionary biologist, acclaimed author and atheist Richard Dawkins didn’t think for a second before rattling off a number of alternatives: “Human friendship, music, art, science, literature.”

He was relatively calm and softly spoken throughout their conversation, but would unleash when confronted with an opinion he opposes, which happened often when questions from Safran and audience members touched on the psychology and inherited flaws of religion, a lot of which he discusses in his new book, Science In The Soul.

“You can call religion a computer virus,” Dawkins said, discussing the way in which religion gets passed down through families, generation after generation. “It’s an amazing coincidence that everyone is born into the right religion – think about that.”

The conversation was largely driven by points he makes throughout the 2017 novel, with audience members treated to live readings, which were quickly given deeper analysis by the legend on stage.

A number of videos were also played, with Dawkins providing commentary, including Ray Comfort’s banana argument. “Checkmate, Richard,” said Safran, to which Dawkins responded, “It’s like a Monty Python set.”

Dawkins doesn’t shy away from controversy, he embraces it, as evident to his response to Republican Todd Thomsen trying to get him banned from doing a speech at the University of Oklahoma back in 2009: “I’m quite proud of that” – it’s a badge of honour.”

Having coined the term meme in his 1976 novel, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins was treated to “the life of a [modern] meme” by Safran, who projected images of Pepe the Frog onto the screen, detailing the character’s transition from a happy frog to hate symbol. “That’s quite good,” Dawkins said. “It does show an evolutionary progression.”

But being a founder of meme culture isn’t enough for Dawkins, who revealed he’s working on a children’s book (working title OMG, I Think I’m An Atheist).

He also covered off Darwinism (which he rejects – “natural selection does not have foresight”), and championed those like Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, the latter of which toured Australia in 2017, thanks to the same promoter, Think Inc.

It felt like a true privilege to be in the presence of such a historical figure for an evening, and the packed house and slew of questions thrown Dawkins’ way proved people are hungrier now more than ever for answers and change. EXCLUSIVE: Daryl Braithwaite On Harry Styles’ ‘Horses’ Obsession: ‘Stranger Things Have Not Happened’

Published on, May 2018

Harry Styles pic by Kane Hibberd

No one expected Harry Styles to bust out the chorus of The Horses numerous times at each show during his Australian tour, especially the man behind the hit, Daryl Braithwaite, who describes the occurrence as “quite extraordinary”.

Speaking with The Music about Styles’ obsession with the classic hit (originally by Rickie Lee Jones), Braithwaite said, “stranger things have not really happened”.

The pair met “ever so briefly” at the ARIAs last year, which is likely when the One Direction member’s love affair began, being treated to a live performance of The Horses during Braithwaite’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

Fast-forward five month and Braithwaite is sent a video of Styles singing the song to a stadium full of fans.

“I only found out about it by someone at Sony sending me a little video footage of him singing it and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s interesting’, and then it continued on,” Braithwaite said.

The next thing he knows he’s on FaceTime with the UK singer.

“He was at a restaurant with Denis Handlin from Sony, Michael Gudinski and Delta Goodrem and that was really funny.

“I looked at the phone and I thought, ‘Fuck, it looks like that Harry guy.’ He seemed genuinely nice. Maybe he was put up to it, or maybe he wanted to do it, but he was very complimentary.

“It’s funny, it really is – I’m old enough to be his grandfather, but it’s charming in the way he did it, and I did see some footage where he did tell someone off who didn’t like it.”

It also surprised Braithwaite that Styles’ prominently younger audience knew the song so well.

“It’s flattering that he would pick that song and on top of that from what I’ve heard on the videos I saw of it, that people seem to know it, which is more enduring.”

“My career’s not over just yet.”