Culture, Tradition & Traffic Jams

There he sits on the crumbling steps of a temple, its tiered roof offering shade from the midday sun. With arms folded across his lap, he watches the traffic racing by, stirring a cloud of dust around his shoulders.

The crinkles around his eyes deepen as he squints through the dust and sunlight, as his eyes meet mine his face cracks into a wide smile and his hands raise to make Namaste. Returning the gesture, I follow his gaze to the square opposite, where make shift tents, colourful flags and decorations have been erected to border the river of people weaving their way through. Continue reading

Live, Breathe, Music

Getaway Plan 470 copy 2

Getaway Plan Requiem Tour, The Hi-Fi, West End

As Matt Wright launched himself from stage and into the eager and waiting crowd, they swelled forward obligingly to catch him.

You could taste adoration in every breath. Each song was met by a chorus from the fans. Such dedication isn’t usually displayed at launches, given that the punters have only had days, weeks at best, to listen to the new tracks- let alone learn to sing along. It goes to show that even with a years break, The Getaway Plan are just as phenominal and just as loved as they ever were.

The night was kicked off by a less than awe-inspiring performance by Gatherer. They were loud and enthusiastic, but a bit sloppy and failed to rev the crowd. Maybe it just wasn’t their night? However next up, Perth rockers Break Evenwere whitsling a completely different tune.

They matched the energy of their earlier peers, but with an intensity that blew them clear out of the water. Even if you aren’t a scream rock fan, Break Even would be sure to have you at least quietly tapping an appreciative toe. I suppose it all boils down to the passion that they can create in each and every note. Break Even have definitley broken off with more than their fair share of talent. They poured themselves, heart and soul, into their instruments and through the mics, delivering each song with more fever and ferocity than the last.

As The Getaway Plan took to the stage, the very last breath of air was squeezed from the front of the sweaty, convulsing crowd and the night took off. Their new album Requiem is certianly worthy of touring, and of the reception they recieved in Brisbane, at The Hi-Fi.

It was clear, watching the group together on stage, that their time spent recording in Canada had forged stronger ties than ever before. They moved with tenacity and passion, seemlessly bringing their latest tracks to life before our very eyes.  Leaving us with a high energy encore of City Meets the Sea, and I don’t think there was a soul left standing who wasn’t singing.

Continue reading

From The Pit

I started writing as a reviewer for live music. It was perfect. While studying, I co-created a music blog called Not Street Press that promoted emerging talent and live music in Brisbane. Here’s some of what we got to do in the name of ‘work’.

Hack – Globe Theatre -Nov 2011

Think high energy, think unpredictable punk rock and underground music. Seasoned on the streets of Brisbane, Hack  are a group known for delivering an indulgently immature stage presence while maintaining a super tight performance and high sound quality. It’s plain to see that Hack love nothing more than playing to a live crowd. They feed off the energy of the crowd, breathing it in and injecting it straight into their stage personas to deliver larger than life alternate punk rock.

 

Interviews with Andrew Wessen of Group Love & Hamish Rosser of The Vines.

 

The Vines Future Primative Tour- The Hi-Fi, West End -Aug 2011

Craig smashes guitarBy the time The Vines returned onstage for their encore, the mosh was half empty as most of the punters had been picked up, crarried forward, passed into the welcoming arms of the somewhat under-enthused security guards and escorted outside, supposedly to write 100 lines on Why I Should Not Crowd Surf At Concerts.

Rock concert… come on.

They were dubbed in the earlier years by Rolling Stones Mag, as the band that brought back rock’n’roll, and the reasons are not at all misguided. Their FTW attitude, to say the very least.

Frontman Craig Nichols and lead guitarist Ryan Griffiths quelled any thoughts of a second encore with a rather extroverted display of enthsiasm.. that is, they smashed Craig’s guitar to pieces and threw the schrapnel into the writhing, screaming crowd.

Craig bantered with the crowd, red eyed and grinning he proposed that instead of throwing cans anywhere on the stage, extra points would go to anyone who could land one on his head.

More from not street press here: http://notstreetpress.wordpress.com

The Merchants of Thamel

I’m tripping through the streets of Thamel, doe eyed and foggy, with the sights and sounds of Nepal’s capital closing in. At least we are moving, that’s important right now. We need to keep moving because the ground feels like it’s getting away on us.

I’m surrounded by lights poking holes in the thick dust that chokes the streets. The dust creeps in through your mouth and fills you up, sliding beneath your skin.

Bump. Marijuana?… Continue reading

Kicking Up Dust

After the first performance, we couldn’t get them to stop! If they were moving, they were dancing. The campsites would fill with dust as the children practised their ‘shake a leg’, dodging smacks and yells from the adults who were opposed to having dust in their tents and cooking. At night our tent cities would come alive with campfires, fluro lights and the smell of food cooking.

“This is how we do it,” Aunty Nandy would tell me, teaching me to make island scones or cook enough rice and yam for a horde of hungry dancers. Continue reading

Viva en el Amor: River of Ice in the Land of Fire

Go now, see this natural wonder of the world while it still exists.

We woke early, the sun already carving a passage of light through the white clouds despite only having set late the night before. It was cold, the air fresh, and our skin tingled with the anticipation of what the day held in store.

A river turned to stone. Brilliant blue ravines cutting through peaks of white. A wall of ice moving slowly through through the mountains, crashing, breaking into the lake below.  Continue reading

Gemstones Of Nepal

“We have over 10,000 rivers in Nepal, with the collective power to generate enough hydro-power for the whole of Nepal and then some- but we don’t have the power stations built to harness it, so we continue to import electricity from India!”

We are sitting in a small shop in Thamel, Kathmandu, glass cabinets of gem stones and jewelry glinting up at us from under the fluorescent light. Continue reading

Aka.

Aka.

Her arm disappears into the thick greenery of her overgrown garden, emerging a moment later with a fat green tree frog clutched tightly between her frail fingers. The frog eyes us with some level of concern, and Laila turns to me expectantly.

I stare back at them. Not an overly unusual sight to see this lovely lady with some form of wildlife wrapped around her, but I haven’t joined the dots yet. Finally I get it. Continue reading