Repressed Records is very excited to present a night in celebration of the best of Australian Independent music as part of Vivid Live at the Sydney Opera House. We feel all the artists accurately represent what the shop is about and we're grateful they agreed to be part of this. We look at the show as a celebration of a thriving community but also a great opportunity to broaden its appeal and get some of these great artists heard by a larger appreciative audience. It's not some insular scene but a continuation of what has happened before in Australian music, bands with something to say growing from a grass roots level to find an audience. We hope you can make it along, it'll be a great night. Playing on the night are:
Royal Headache Our best selling band of all time in 13 years of business and a long awaited return to performing live. They played one of their first shows in the shop, played a small gig we put on the at the old Sando supporting Straight Arrows. By next in-store, there was a line going out the door to purchase their debut album that was put out by R.I.P Society, the label run by Nic Warnock who has worked at Repressed Records for ten years. They will be playing songs from their long awaited second album accompanied by Gabrielle De Giorgio on Keyboard. Soulful, gritty, catchy with a punk energy.
Blank Realm are post-punk / psych band from Brisbane, Queensland. Having moved on from their open-ended experimental beginnings, Blank Realm have veered toward songs in the manner of later-era Big Star, The Zombies, or Echo & The Bunnymen, all refracted through a grimy basement lens.
In 2014 the band self-recorded and released what has been called their breakout album Grassed Inn (Fire Records and Bedroom Suck). The record combined the band’s experimental tendencies with a blossoming knack for pop hooks. According to Pitchfork ‘Blank Realm is still bent on mixing the diamonds with the rough, and on Grassed Inn that particular swirl is at its most intoxicating.’ Grassed Inn received critical acclaim, and was shortlisted for the 2014 Australian Music Prize. Have a listen to Reach You On the Phone, Falling Down The Stairs
Exhaustion and Kris Wanders A collaboration between Melbourne pysch-pummelers, Exhaustion, and the Dutch-born tenor saxophonist Kris Wanders, a veteran of the early days of European free improvisation who performed widely with legendary figures like Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald, and Han Bennink before moving to Australia in the late 1970s, where he has continued to perfect his brand of raw soulful, free jazz.
Wanders often grounds his playing in mournful blues phrasing, releasing slow arcs of notes that build into guttural cries and rapid-fire fragments of post-Coltrane scalar exploration. Duncan Blachford’s FX-saturated guitar playing moves between shimmering feedback and explosive reverb-tank interruptions, and the way his lingering pause over each note, allowing it ring out into feedback, combines with the cymbal-heavy pointillism of Per Byström’s drumming is reminiscent of the atmosphere of suppressed violence in Masayuki Takayanagi’s classic mid-70’s New Direction Unit recordings. At other moments Byström builds up thudding, irregular pulses that, accompanied by Ian Wadley’s wandering bass lines, bring the quartet into classic free jazz territory. I'm really looking forward to seeing this. A truly unhinged meeting point of intuitive psych-rock excesses and speed-of-thought free improv interplay. Wanders and Exhaustion manage to imbue both peaks of manic ferocity and descents into near silence with the same feeling of concentration and intensity.
Monica Brooks has modelled sound works, compositions, and improvisations from piano, computer, field recordings, glasses, radio, and accordion. As a performer she has collaborated with various fabulous folks such as Jim Denley, Dale Gorfinkel, Herminone Johnson, Chris Abrahams, Robbie Avenaim, Kraig Grady, Richard Nuns, Eugene Chadbourne, and Joe Talia. For this Vivid festival event Monica will be performing solo on piano. While terms like improvisation and composition may unfortunately render rock fans weary of a music that is overly dry or difficult, fear not as Monica’s music is immediate, affecting and full of soul. Her previous solo piano performances have been strikingly beautiful and sonically immersive.
Monica is currently recording a solo album for piano with assistance from Jon Hunter (Magnetic Recording Council), Chris Abrahams (The Necks), and Yoni Hochman (Holy Balm) for R.I.P. Society Records, due for release in 2015. Have a listen to her music here
Superstar From their beginnings playing Another Green World era Brian Eno-inspired wonky instruments in 2007, Superstar have moved through a range of styles and spaces, leaving a smattering of small-run cassettes on a range of labels. 2012 saw the release of their first LP, taking cues from the song that inspired their name, combined with deep dirges and warbling drones.
After playing continuously throughout Australia over the past two years including exclusive shows at ACCA & MCA Superstar return with their second LP, Table for Two in 2015. Moving on from the slow, pastoral pop of their first effort, Table for Two sees more colour added, with coastal melodies and soft instrumental washes forming the base of the 6-song collection. The live show will present a selection of fortified classics and fresh weaves for a truly high-sheen touch to an evening of quality living. Give them a listen here
Snake is the solo project of Al Montfort, who has spent the last decade playing in some of Melbourne's most active underground bands - Straightjacket Nation, The UV Race, Total Control, Dick Diver, East Link and Lower Plenty. From mutant glam punk to damaged post punk to feral dole wave, Snake has made a huge impact on the sound and drive of contemporary Australian music. In 2013, Snake started to accumulate solo recordings while travelling India, and released a tape at the end of the year that reflected the breadth of stylistic influences he'd absorbed from a decade of songwriting within bands. In 2014, Snake made a movie for an online arts journal, featuring four new songs and perambulations through Melbourne in pre-Xmas frenzy. In 2015, he will release his first record under the name Snake and Friends, and play his first show at Vivid festival. The friends involved in the playing are Amy Hill (bass, vox), Xanthe (percussion, vox), Nick Kucelli (synth, sax), Zephyr Pavey (mandolin, pedals) and Mikey Young (synth, flute). Have a listen here
Tickets are $35 (bargain of the year) and available here
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