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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

Live music roundup May 7

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Thawing the love with Holidays on Ice

Holidays On Ice is a collaboration between Angie Hart (Frente!), Dean Manning (Leonardo’s Bride) and Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint). Last year Holidays on Ice released their third studio album, titled The Luxury of Wasted Space, receiving critical acclaim from the SMH – ‘dreamy atmosphere and spooky melodicism make compelling chemistry’, and from The Age – ‘the album has a sense of togetherness and charm, touched by that little bit of genius’. Angie is best known as the voice of Frente! The group achieved worldwide success with numerous records, and a US Billboard Top 10 hit for their version of Bizarre Love Triangle. Dean was the songwriter/guitarist for Leonardo’s Bride, whose two critically acclaimed albums included the APRA Song of the Year Even When I’m Sleeping, which was also voted one of APRA’s Top 30 Australian Songs of All Time.

Los Angeles-based Stella Mozgawa is a member of indie rock band Warpaint as well as featuring on Kurt Vile’s Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze. Regrettably Stella will not be joining the group on this tour owing to Warpaint commitments. Their Hat & Hall tour will take in the Drill Hall in Mullum on Friday 22 May. The show will include the screening of a 40-minute film directed by Dean Manning, plus a performance by a local band (TBC). Don’t miss this intimate show that will surely sell out quickly. Friday 22 May at the Drill Hall, Mullumbimby. Doors open at 6pm and tickets are available from www.kupromotions.com.au/?p=1599.


Toby blues

Perth-based powerhouse singer/songwriter Toby returns to Byron Bay this month as part of her new album-release tour Nobody Told Me, recorded at Bear Creek Studio in Seattle with acclaimed producer Ryan Hadlock (best known for his production work on platinum-selling album The Lumineers by The Lumineers). Toby is a passionate, fun and powerful performer mixing soul, blues, folk, and rock with a splash of gypsy hick. Focusing mainly on Australia, Europe and Canada – she has performed more than 1,000 shows from impressive major festivals to intimate venues – nothing seems to stop this woman from touring.

She has released six studio albums, two live DVDs and several EPs, played numerous sellout shows and supports for the likes of Sheryl Crow, John Butler, Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes and The Indigo Girls.

‘What sets Toby apart from other performers mining a similar vein is her infectious energy, a kind of worldly appreciation of life that makes even her most melancholy songs thrum with a kind of joyousness. It’s a key reason why her live performances are so acclaimed,’ (Xpress magazine – Jan 2010). Catch Toby with guitarist Darryl Eagle at Pizza Paradiso, Suffolk Park, Thursday 7pm and with the full band at the Rails Hotel on Friday at 7pm.

Mothers Day live music roundup:

Lee Haslau
Lee Haslau

Lee Haslau

This Mothers Day pop on down to Club Lennox to enjoy the vibrant music and velvety harmonies of Lee Haslau. Always surrounded by a musical family, Lee didn’t realise she loved to sing until 12 years ago. Hearing a jazz and swing band play at a Sunday session in Margaret River awakened her passion for this style of music. The band she heard was called Doxy and after a request to go and listen to a jam session one day she joined in the vocals and percussion. A talent for harmonies and a velvet quality to her voice matched the jazzy style that she loves so much. Lee sings from the heart and love of it with no formal vocal training. Moving to the northern rivers two years ago, not knowing any musicians, Lee joined a local band, singing mainstream pop and rock as a backup singer. This was great fun but her passion was the laidback tunes of traditional jazz standards, blues and swing. For a brief time, Lee performed as a solo artist at local restaurants for dinner music and atmosphere. A chance meeting with local musician Horace Bevan a few months ago has burgeoned into a duo that combines the acoustic skills of the guitar and the vibrant and melodic tones of Lee’s vocals.

Music that spans the decades from the 1940s to modern tunes that have been adapted to match the jazzy style Lee loves will allow you to kick back, relax and enjoy the company of friends. Club Lennox on Sunday, 4pm.

Take Me Home

In the mid-1970s John Denver was arguably America’s most celebrated male entertainer. His 1973 Greatest Hits album remained on Billboard magazine’s chart of top album sellers for about three years. In 1975 and 1976, Denver won four American Music Awards – honours that measured the sentiments of music buyers rather than industry figures. Of his 24 albums released on the RCA label during his lifetime, 14 were eventually certified gold (for sales of 500,000 copies), and eight of those sold more than a million copies each. Rick Price takes the music of the man to the stage with his tribute show at the Ballina RSL on Sunday at 8.30pm. Now whose mum doesn’t love a bit of Denver? Tix at the club!

Big Blue Thinkin’

Bluesy songstress and multi-instrumentalist Anne McCue has just launched her sixth studio album Blue Sky Thinkin’. McCue recorded and produced the album alongside Dusty Wakeman (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam) in Los Angeles and Nashville, and it was mastered by Ray Kennedy (TwangTrust with Steve Earle). The album reunites the band from her critically acclaimed Roll album and allows Anne to explore some of her favourite pre-R’n’R influences, including Billie Holiday, Charlie Christian, Howlin’ Wolf, Memphis Minnie, Astor Piazzola, Peggy Lee, Django Reinhardt, Hoagy Carmichael, Bessie Smith…

Now based in the thriving songwriting community of East Nashville, McCue is returning to Australia during late May/June to the delight of her many fans. This is a rare opportunity to catch Anne in both solo and trio combinations. Joining her in Mullumbimby will be Matt Bone (Starboard Cannons, Warren Earl Band) on double bass and Grant Gerathy (John Butler Trio, Angus Stone) on drums. Anne McCue plays the Court House Hotel on Sunday 31 May from 3pm.

Pre-Sale tickets $23 + bf: www.trybooking.com /130529.

Monstro Music

El Monstro is a five-piece hardcore band that has been performing solidly on the Brisbane music scene and they have recently been featured as a support act for Guttermouth on the Brisbane stop of their 2015 Australian tour. The music on their first release Parthenia has been described as: ‘A perfect amalgam of Defeater/La Dispute and more “metal” riffing. An engaging storyline that is both vague and pointed underpins a melange of tasty instrumental work to compliment the plaintive vocal styling over the top’ (IPHYB 16/03/14). El Monstro is currently hard at work on their second EP that will be released later this year. Originally formed in Cairns, far north Queensland, Dr Parallax is an instrumental blend of odd time signatures, key changes and various genres that they sum up succinctly as Instroprog.

While combining many different elements and influences, Dr Parallax never loses sight of the groove, and their music will keep your toes tapping even if you’re not quite sure what they’re tapping to. With plans to release a live EP soon from their show at The Zoo in Brisbane earlier this year, Dr Parallax is also working on their first studio EP with aims to release it before the close of 2015. Fronted by the enigmatic presence of singer Tomina, Flynn Effect are an alternative metal band that take inspiration from eclectic sources such as video games and European theatre, combining them into a slick and sonically captivating sound that is both bold and accessible. Last year saw the group release their first album, Skin, which received favourable reviews and has seen the band perform a string of dates across the Brisbane music scene in its support. Their live performance has become synonymous with polished production, huge sound and dazzling light shows.

Big and the Bangs (or BATB) take great pleasure in remaining undefinable. Are they rock? metal? stoner? As their bio says, trying to put your finger on it will only succeed in getting said extended digit burnt. Having played extensively up and down the coasts of both southern Queensland and northern NSW, Big and the Bangs will be guides and keepers of local law on this trek across the border. Yet mere guides they are not, for they will be taking to the stage with their powerful and diverse sound, playing tracks from their two EPs: Fight, Smash, Win and The Big, The Bang, The Boom, and showing the Brisbane contingent how it’s done.

El Monstro, Dr Parallax and Flynn Effect are taking to the road for a two-date mini-tour to northern NSW. Supporting them on these dates will be local mad men Big and the Bangs! Get set for two unreal nights of free music at YACRock Cafe in Byron Bay on Friday 15 May and The Tatts Hotel in Lismore on Saturday 16 May.

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