Mental As Anything started off as a bunch of students who put a band together to play blues, 60s pop, rockabilly, country and increasingly their own original compositions to fill in time at art school in Sydney in the mid 1970s.
Initially playing to students at parties, pubs and uni dances, they caught the attention of new independent label Regular Records who, in late 1978, sold out 1,300 copies in a fortnight of the three-track vinyl Mental As Anything Plays At Your Party with one track, The Nips Are Getting Bigger on everyone’s radio over Christmas.
In 1979 the song became the band’s first nationwide hit on Festival Records. Mental As Anything with their two original lead vocalists Martin Plaza and Greedy Smith have been touring since the late 1970s, honing the craft of performing their songs live and perfecting the art of just being Mental.
See the Mentals in Saturday at Ballina RSL from 8.30pm. Tickets are on sale now at the box office, at the club on 6686 2544, or online at www.ballinarsl.com.au – $25pp. 18+ show.
More Splendour Agenda
For all you Splendour fans who missed out on tickets, hands on mouse when the clock struck four past nine on that fateful day, then good news is afoot. Splendour has had a capacity increase of 2,500 tickets and these will be released at 9am on Thursday through Moshtix.
If you miss out again, there’s the RE-sale at 9am on the Monday.
For ticket sale go to moshtix.com.au or phone 1300 GET TIX.
In the Constitushun
The Constitushun are a newly formed group conceived with the intention of giving some traditional hillbilly and just about any other noise with the banjo, guitar and fiddle layered over a groovy drum and bass rhythmic engine.
They play Club Lennox on Saturday from 7.30pm.
Sonic architects of songs with an emotional heft as heavy as the subwoofer-rupturing basslines that underpin their work, Truth are one of New Zealand’s finest creative exports.
Respected across the globe, since their inception several years ago, Truth (Andre Fernandez and Tristan Roake) have, as both world-class producers and party-rocking DJs, cut a clear pathway through the international dubstep scene.
Through keynote DJ support, they have been rewarded with single releases via Deep Medi Muzik, Tempa Records, Rottun Recordings, SMOG, Wheel and Deal, Blackbox Recs, Aquatic Lab, Disfigured Dubz, Argon and Boka Records.
Through these, including critically The Fatman (as released via Deep Medi Muzik) and their acclaimed Aquatic Lab-released album Puppets and its follow-up Rise, placing them as in-demand remixers and collaborators to The Nextmen, Miss Dynamite, Shapeshifter, The Black Seeds, Seven, Silkie, Kromestar, Tunndige, Datsik and countless figures of note within the international dubstep community.
They are joined by Xsetra and Windcard at the Byron Brewery on Saturday from 8pm.
Triple J’s Fave
DJ Helmy’s sound is of rhythm. No, not that doof doof stuff getting around these days by ‘button pushing’ DJs. We’re talking drums, drums on vinyl. Think reggae, hip hop, funk, rock, blues, swing, drum & bass, glitch, dubstep, dancehall. SOUL!
The Brewery on Sunday from 6.30pm.
This June your local community orchestra, the Lismore Symphony Orchestra, celebrates its 10th birthday and you are invited to the festivities. The program will include old favourites featuring 40 student string players – many of whom will go on to become the next generation of performers.
Dancers from the Karen Ireland School of Dance will also be featured. Admission by donation – suggested amount is $20 per adult – will cover the concert costs.
Lismore City Hall on Saturday at 7.30pm and Sunday at 2pm.
Music for the Community
The Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) has a stellar lineup for their annual Music Fundraiser to take place on Sunday 22 June with iconic headline act, Russell Morris and his band; supported by the exciting live act Goodrich; and the soulful Ray Sorenson and his band.
A distinguished member of the ARIA Hall Of Fame, Russell’s continuing popularity with audiences demonstrates the affection and esteem that he still commands as a true OzRock icon. A major pop star in the late 60s, he went on to become one of the country’s first singer/songwriters.
Goodrich have proven themselves to be a Byron Bay goodtime party favourite. Apart from often playing the local venues, Goodrich have performed at many Byron Shire fundraisers and charity events. Singer Bruce Butler formed the band twenty-five years ago on the northern beaches in Sydney.
Today they play purely for a fun time, performing tunes by the likes of Talking Heads, Elvis Costello and Iggy Pop, plus many other seventies and eighties greats with a dusting of today’s gems. Show at 2pm on Sunday 22 June the Bangalow Bowling Club. Ticket cost: $45 +bf with all proceeds going to the Northern Rivers Community Foundation. Bookings:http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=44341, all OzTix retail outlets.
Melbourne born and bred singer Kellie Knight brings powerful raw emotion to performance, enticing audiences with her ever-changing melodies and her distinct jazz-meets-nu-soul style.
She plays Lulu’s Cafe in Mullumbimby on Saturday from 11am solo and fronts her trio of Old School Funk and Neo Soul at the Rails on Sunday.
Kellie is joined by her fabulous Daze members Steve Mcleod (guitar) and Paul Brewer.
Angel in Your Pockets
Enjoy a gala dinner and evening with the woman that Andre Rieu has described as ‘The Angel of Australia’, Mirusia, at the Pocket Rainforest Restaurant on Saturday.
With more than 12 million hits on YouTube for her performance of Schubert’s Ave Maria, it’s no surprise she’s been called an Angel. Mirusia says she is living the life that she has always dreamed of – able to touch people’s hearts with her singing.
Bookings are essential for this 3-course dinner and show. Phone 6680 3300 or 0438 841 122 or go to email@example.com.
With his new album Crayon Days (April 2014), Carl Wockner is fulfilling the growing hype around his name. Produced in Nashville by industry heavyweight Michael Flanders, the album reflects Carl’s international capabilities.
Carl delivers a captivating live performance, featuring a violin accompaniment for his rich vocal delivery and articulate guitar lines.
Carl’s impressive early career portfolio includes support slots for Diesel, James Reyne and Shannon Noll, and performances at the Caloundra Music Festival, Broadbeach Country Music Festival, Noosa Jazz Festival and the blues tent at the Gympie Muster.
Often referred to as ‘the man with the big hair and the golden tonsils’, Carl’s treasury of songwriting skills and performance experience earned him a place as finalist in three categories at the 2012 and 2013 MusicOZ awards. Friday at the Brewery from 8pm.
That Durrumbul Glo
Byron band The Link bring their celestial music journey to the Glo Dance floor this Friday full moon at Durrumbul Hall, joined by special guest vocalist Murray Kyle.
It will be an amazing night of conscious dance. The signature sound of The Link is a long unbroken set of organic live dance music.
The band lock in for a dynamic journey through grooves influenced by tribal didgeridoo rhythms, celestial Celtic harp, psychedelic folk rock, eastern trance drones and afro-brazilian drumming circles. Rocking local crowds in Byron Bay and Bellingen, The Link have performed at festivals such as Wide Open Spaces (Alice Springs), Kuranda Roots, Island Vibes, Dance Camp and Arise Dance Party.
The night will also feature the phat global activated grooves of DJ Pulse. 8pm–12. Info at www.GLOdance.com.
Waxhead are just a couple of waterlogged mates thankful to have grown up exploring this Rainbow Region wonderland.
The crisp west-blown end of autumn days coupled with majestic east swells and endless crystal blue sky have seen the Waxhead boys frothing like manic children for months on end.
It’s been an amazing year and the band is in high spirits, getting the opportunity to start the year off playing Falls Music & Arts Festival, Snapper Rocks World Tour of Surfing event, and in a stroke of good fortune realising a childhood dream of playing the Byron Bay Blues Festival.
Their latest single Small Fry was just released and Waxhead are touring the east coast in a daze as they navigate this strange world outside of their home bubble.
Small Fry is very much a product of their environment, the sentiment of the rainbow children of the Byron bubble shire. If you would enjoy throwing an egg at Tony Abbott’s head or watching a coal and gas CEO or executive kick himself in the dick, then the lyrics of this song will most likely speak to your soul.
Saturday at the Hotel Great Northern.
Willy McElroy is the featured performer at No Depression at the Gollan on Thursday.
A passionate, soulful Irish singer/songwriter, Willy is also the frontman for The Wild Zinnias, who have played around the area for the last 200 years.
This gig will basically be a pile of lies and jokes told round some original songs and some other Irish writers’ songs and a couple of pints. The venue is perfect cause it’s cosy and friendly. 7pm.
This Saturday heralds the return of the northern rivers’ favourite Dolphin Award-winning reggae band, Radio Jupiter, to the Bangalow Bowlo. The new onboard crew includes Blui Morgan, EV Peterson, Sin on horns, Mark Wayshner guitarist from USA, Don Coutts on congas, and the amazing Si Jupiter at the helm. Put your dancing shoes on and book your tickets early. 7.30pm, Door tix: $18, presale tix: $15 (+bf).
Greens Take on Refugee Week
This Sunday the Northern Rivers Greens present a Refugee Week event with the screening of Mary Meets Mohammed – a movie about refugees.
Also featured is a talk by Michael Douglas of Sanctuary Northern Rivers, the agency that sponsors refugees moving to our region. 4.30pm at Butterfly Room, 60 Hindmarsh Street, Lismore. $8 donation to cover soup and bread – more donations welcome!
Melanie Safka first shot to stardom with her unforgettable appearance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969.
The performance prompted the now common phenomenon of signalling an artist for an encore by holding up some form of light (first it was a candle, which merged into lighters, then flashlights and now mobile phones).
In her hit song, Lay Down (Candles in the Rain), Melanie shared her experience of when the audience lifted up their candles in the rain during her set at Woodstock.
Sydney producer David M Hawkins has been working for several years to bring Melanie back to Australia and this year it is a reality, thanks to the invitation from Kate Ceberano to play her final Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Adelaide is the first stop on the tour and will be the world premiere of her new People in The Front Row tour conceived together by Melanie, her son Beau and Mr Hawkins.
In the USA, Melanie has had 13 Top 40 hits, including three No 1 hits.
Saturday at the Star Court Theatre in Lismore.
Fireworks for Newrybar
Newrybar Public School is set to light up the night sky on Saturday with its annual fireworks and bonfire spectacular. Put on by the school’s P&C, Newrybar Fireworks has been celebrated by the school for more than a quarter of a century of the school’s 124-year history.
Through community support the school is able to raise much-needed funds that directly benefit the students. Even in this digital age, fireworks still rock.
After enjoying a whirlwind six months since the release of their highly anticipated debut album, States, The Paper Kites have embarked on a whirlwind national tour.
Reigning in at #17 on the ARIA charts, debut album States received a number of impressive accolades for sophomore single, Young, including a J Award nomination for Australian Music Video of The Year as well as ranking 27th in Rage’s Top 50 Music Videos of 2013.
With a strong reputation for creating innovative and mesmerising video clips, which have attracted more than 10 million YouTube views, The Paper Kites’ live presence is just as impressive and their national tour is sure to sell out fast. Don’t miss your chance to see The Paper Kites performing their much-loved old, new, and most popular songs at the Hotel Great Northern on Friday.
Create an artistic masterpiece with pendulums and see how fast you can throw a ball at the Shell Questacon Science Circus public exhibition on Sunday at Ballina RSL.
The public exhibition features more than 40 interactive exhibits and spectacular science shows to excite school students, families and whole communities about the world of science.
Science Circus presenter Caitlin Devor is eager to share her enthusiasm for science with Ballina locals.
The Science Circus is currently touring throughout the north coast region, sharing flying rockets, freezing-cold liquid nitrogen and colourful slime with students in local schools.
From 11am with tickets available at the door, cash payments only. Admission: adult $6, child/concession $5, family $18 and children under five are free.
What’s Worth Fighting For?
Sometimes we are called to take a stand in life. Whether for a political cause, a social injustice or a rift in relationships, we are impelled to fight for what we believe is right.
When and why have you felt inspired to action? It could be CSG, the environment, inequality or a mobile phone tower down the road. Maybe you were just sick and tired of getting ripped off!
Perhaps you took a stand in your personal life, finding the courage to speak up to family or friend. How did you take a stand and how did this action affect your life?
Whether it is a crucial global issue, a threat to your local neighbourhood or a personal dilemma, come and share your stories of what you have fought for and watch as the Playback actors bring them to life in drama, movement and music.
Saturday at the Drill Hall from 7.30pm. Entry by donation. Enquiries: 0403 023 693 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conrad Birdie is off to the army. Conrad (Dane Strudwick), rock sensation and central character in Ballina Players’ musical production Bye Bye Birdie, has been drafted.
His agent and publicist Albert Peterson (Jordan Stotter) hatches an audacious plan. Conrad will perform Albert’s new song One Last Kiss to a lucky fan-club member and kiss her goodbye on The Ed Sullivan Show.
This, Albert plans, will make the song a huge financial success and enable him to achieve his ambitions. The grand plan ends in disaster.
In terms of pop-culture significance, the induction of Elvis Presley into the army in 1957 was a major event. Bye Bye Birdie is a humorous and affectionate satire on American society in the late 1950s and the emerging teenage obsession with singers such as Elvis and with the rock ’n’ roll movement.
Staged at the Players Theatre from Friday June 13 until July 5. Evening performances will commence at 8pm and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Opening night on Friday will be a special event, with pre-show champagne and finger food.
Book online at www.ballinaplayers.com.au or at Just Funkin Music, 6686 2440.
Peter Berner’s Comedy Caper
Although known for his role as host of ABC’s BackBerner and The Einstein Factor, there is something that a lot of people don’t know about Peter Berner.
This bitingly insightful, hard-nosed cynic is also one hell of a standup comic. In fact it was his power on the live circuit that saw him emerge from the Triple M network with his own program The Peter Berner Experiment.
It’s very rare for Triple M ever to back a solo radio show. It proved to be a ratings winner. Berner started his career as a standup back in 1988. Since this time he has performed locally and internationally, as well as writing and performing solo comedy shows in festivals in Australia and the UK.
His intelligent humour has always set him apart as one performer who can comfortably straddle comedy styles as disparate as satire, observational comedy and reactive comedy with ease, leaving audiences in hysterics.
His comedy has also proven to translate into the electronic media, with Peter constantly employed on both TV and radio since 2001.
Berner is joined by Nick Penn and Mandy Nolan at Cabarita Beach Bowls & Sports Club on Saturday 21 June.
Show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 6676 1135. For more information go to www.cabaritasportsclub.com.au.
Every band has a story to tell about how they started out and where playing their music has taken them. But few can say they have gone from busking on the streets to gracing the stage at Glastonbury in just four years.
Yet for Melbourne band Saskwatch, this is just one of many remarkable feats in their short history.
If you haven’t heard their music or experienced them in the flesh, chances are you will soon.
This is one band that won’t be content until they’ve taken their infectious, powerful brand of music to all the corners of the world – and so far, the world is willing.
Saskwatch Nose Dive National Album Tour with support – Grizzly Jim Lawrie
Doors open from 7.30pm, show begins at 7.30pm
Tickets $15 online, or $20 at the door unless sold out.