Rehearsing for Heaven
New Zealand native Tony Backhouse founded Sydney’s foremost a cappella gospel choir, Cafe of the Gate of Salvation, in 1986. He arranged, composed and still writes music for the choir he directed for 21 years. He also founded the Honeybees choir and has sung with the reclusive male a cappella group the Heavenly Light Quartet since 1996.
Tony has run more than 2,000 vocal workshops on four continents, for the public, festivals, schools, churches, organisations and corporate training events. He continues to record and arrange vocals with artists around the world, and lead tours to black churches and choirs in the USA bi-annually.
He returns to Australia in January to teach at his 19th Summersong Music Camp, and inspire singers of all levels in his infamously fun and uplifting workshop.
Tony presents his a cappella workshop, Rehearsing for Heaven, at Byron Region Community College in Mullumbimby on Saturday 13 January at 1–4pm.
Admission from 12.40; no bookings necessary; cash payment on arrival $35, or $30 for Summersong graduates.
Jimeoin the Ridiculous
From the ridiculous to the hilarious… come and see Jimeoin’s new show as he takes you into the brain of one the world’s best standup comedians and masters of observational humour. Jimeoin is acclaimed as one of the hottest standup comics of this generation – a true comedy master. A prolific writer with an exceptional audience rapport, he is known and loved for his brilliantly funny wit and charming observations on the absurdities of everyday life.
Jimeoin’s regular appearances at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and his widely successful Australian tours attract sellout advance bookings, often with extra shows added owing to demand. Internationally, Jimeoin has toured to great acclaim from New York to New Zealand, Aspen to Amsterdam, the Middle East to the Far East. He regularly tours the UK and Ireland, has performed in Europe as well as at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival, and is both an alumnus and one of the biggest comedy acts each year at the world’s biggest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Friday 12 Jan at the Ballina RSL. Show 8.30pm. Adults: $44
Roots Raga Reggae – Mt Festival
Roots Raga Reggae is a world music event aimed at supporting world music artists and raising funds for the Heart of Fukushima project. It will be entirely live acoustic world and classical music with Indigenous elders such as Lewis Walker coming to open the ceremony. The event itself will be family friendly and strictly alcohol and drug free; with South Indian catering, yoga, dance and musical workshops from midday and running until about 11pm in the hired venue (continuing later with a private afterparty in Mt Jerusalem until dawn for a special sunrise musical raga). It will feature sacred world and Indian classical music artists with international guests and upcoming classical masters popping in after Woodford Folk Festival. The event is organised and hosted by Indian slide artist Shivam Rath and will also feature the music of Shen Flindell of Brisbane’s Sangeet Mela. Other featured artists are Bart Stenhouse with flamenco guitar, Georgia Shine on cello, Sarita McHarg on sitar and vocals, yoga workshops with Murray Kyle and featured international performers Tahir Qawwal, Taro Terahara, Tetsuya Kaneko, Yuki Kaneko, Yogeshwari Giri, Mico Sundari and Saikat Bhattacharya on sitar. The day features yoga and workshops, mountains, music and gathering.
Saturday at Kohinur Hall. Tickets $30 with local and family concessions available.
To book and to get more info go to aumbience.net. Starts at 12pm and goes through until 11pm.
How to be a rockstar
Tessa Waters has spent the last couple of years shaking her stuff with enthusiasm, if not grace, in her dance-themed WOMANz show… and now she’s encouraging children to do the same.
From invisible hula-hooping to crimping, Tessa Waters celebrates the ridiculousness of the human form and gets laughs from waggling whatever body parts the kids suggest. To the same end there is, of course, also a section on farts, that ever-faithful staple of any children’s comedy show!
Saturday at 12pm at the Brunswick Picture House. Adult $15 | Concession $12 | Child $10 | Family of 4 $40
On the back of the release of their debut album Not Punk, Per Se. Lazertits are jumping in a van with their besties Swim Team for a tour up the east coast. Hot off supporting the likes of Spiderbait, Waax, The Courtneys, Sonny and the Sunsets, and Screaming Females, this dynamic duo of femme fun is set to sway and bump the Brunswick Picture House. Lazertits and Swim Team released two singles together as a split 7” double A side. The two tracks Lil Sister and Positively Hopeless topped the AMRAP radio charts, tag teaming in first place for four consecutive weeks; both accompanying film clips featured in the prestigious ‘wild one’ segment on Rage.
Brunswick Picture House on Saturday from 7pm. All tix $20. brunswickpicturehouse.com
The big man of comedy’s Byron pilgrimage
Every January Austen Tayshus, the legendary white pointer of Australian comedy, makes his way to Byron Bay. It’s his favourite show of the year. ‘It’s a smart crowd,’ he says. And he’s right. Not everyone is going to ‘get’ a Tayshus show. But Byron, he reckons, does. And that he believes is the point. Austen likes to make people think. Push them to the brink of their comfort zones. And sometimes way over the edge.
It’s why he’s such a fierce figure in the Aussie comedy scene, a scene where many comics and promoters are terrified of him. Austen, aka Sandy Gutman, doesn’t play safe. He doesn’t suck up to venue owners. And he certainly doesn’t stroke the ego of other performers or promoters. In a landscape where comedy tends to lose its edge because of the corporate need to be mainstream and to be commercially successful, Austen Tayshus still doesn’t give a rat’s. He is a lone wolf. Smarter, funnier, and more experienced than anyone else in Aussie comedy. But be warned. He’s also a lot more dangerous. A Tayshus show is not for the faint hearted!
There are few comics with the tenacity and killer instinct of Austen Tayshus. The comedy superstar who first came into being in 1981 has the ability to take a room hostage just with his tongue. He’s the closest thing the Australian comedy scene has to its very own Bill Hicks. Topical, dangerous, irreverent… he’s the High Priest of Satire, unflappable and relentless. Every Austen show is unique. He has the ability to weave current politics, what’s happening in the room, philosophy, anthropology, religion and of course sport, and let’s not forget the pope, into one gag.
Tayshus is a man of controversy. There is no subject he won’t dissect. Uncomfortable, confronting, but always illuminating, an Austen Tayshus show is both comic and cleansing. He doesn’t need you to like him. In fact he’d probably prefer that you didn’t.
Austen Tayshus headlines at the Byron Services Club on Monday with Mandy Nolan as MC and support. Doors 7pm. Show 8pm. Tickets $20/25 at the club or online at mandynolan.com.au.