Photo Essays

LOOK: Melbourne Music Week 2015

, , No Comment

000030000032000041 2

Photography by Nicholas Wilkins and Bec Cap

The team at Melbourne Music Week are notorious for transforming spaces. Previous years have seen the refit of former printing press the Argus Building and the Queen Victoria Market transformed to host shows. This year’s MMW saw the Royal Women’s Hospital restored to host a roller disco, lunchtime gigs and some serious late night parties. The corner of Grattan and Swanston St acted as this year’s festival hub, fitting so seamlessly into its surroundings that it was almost hard to remember what the corner previously looked like.

Nick and I got along to Live Music Safari, a music tour around Melbourne with fourteen live music venues opening their doors for free parties and gigs. Northside Records honcho Chris Gill dressed up as a disco ball for the Roller Jam x Rizky’s Block Party. We witnessed impressive pre-breakfast air guitar at Morning Gloryville, and decent DJs tearing up some afternoon sets at ‘The Hub’. Melbourne Music Week’s commitment to the independent music community, along with its ability to embody and respect the cities’ spaces makes it a definite week to look forward to when it comes around. Onto the next!

000057000035000001 000033000018 2000029

View the full photo set below


Read Post →

LOOK: Small World Festival 2015

, , No Comment

Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-3511

There’s a whole lot of you who read this blog outside of Sydney – and that means you probably take small scale music festivals for granted. Here in Sydney there’s a tendency towards cramming people into inconvenient spaces, charging them a buttload of money then telling them to fuck off once the show is over. That would be fine, as long as the festival was dickhead free, which mostly isn’t the case.

Along comes Small World Festival, set in suburban semi-industrial Alexandria, close enough to everywhere you want to be on the weekend & far enough from the CBD to avoid transportation anxiety. The food in the words of Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction was “some serious gourmet shit”, the crowd was chilled, booze supplied by Young Henry’s and the bands well…we all know these guys are great: Palms, DZ Deathrays, Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders etc.

Small World Festival proved that you can go to see bunch of bands out in a park and still have a damn good time. 

Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-103 Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-408 Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-288Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-3813Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-206Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-397Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-227Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-299Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-266Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-3110Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-195Small World Festival Sydney -WTH-184




(View full set below.)




Read Post →

LOOK: Bigsound 2015 with Koi Child, Donny Benet, JAALA & friendships

, , No Comment

JAALA_1_Jess Gleeson

Photos by Jess Gleeson


Over the course of BIGSOUND Koi Child, friendships, Cosima Jaala (Manglewurzel /JAALA) and Donny Benet allowed us to court them around some of Fortitude Valley’s least trash-laden alleyways and convenience stores for a few shots. Featuring Donny’s best Kirin J Callinan impression and some serious brotherly love from the Koi Child brood.



Koi Child 3_Jess GleesonKoi Child 1Koi Child 2



JAALA_3_Jess Gleeson

(View full set below)


Read Post →

BEHIND THE SCENES: Okenyo – ‘Just a Story’ video

, , No Comment

Trade 30 Part 3_0009

A few days ago, Sydney neo-soul artist Okenyo dropped the video for ‘Just a Story’, the slinky and dexterous lead single from her forthcoming EP, Mirage – and we got a sneak peek at the behind-the-scenes photo shoot. As you would expect from Zindzi Okenyo (remember this tour-de-force appearance?), the results are sexy and very stylish.

Photography by Shantanu Starick

Trade 30 Part 3_0467Trade 30 Part 3_0061Trade 30 Part 3_0077Trade 30 Part 3_0082Trade 30 Part 3_0124

More photos after the jump


Read Post →

FEATURE: Sugar Mountain Festival 2015

, , No Comment


Photography by Bec Capp


There are certain things that should be left unsaid in order to avoid conflict. At this year’s Sugar Mountain festival, Nas bulldozed through that rule with charming American gusto: “Man, these buildings – it’s like we’re in the projects”. Hold it there, mate. If you were looking for one sure-fire way to turn Sugar Mountain’s inner- city white kids bright red, this was it. The Victorian College of the Arts isn’t exactly the same place Jenny used to sing about. But you can’t really blame Nas for getting a bit carried away—this year’s Sugar Mountain played itself out like an epic.

boilerroom waxo

We were made to wait two years. 2014 saw the festival get a much-needed injection of cash from the Mushroom Group. This was like Broad City’s comedy central moment. And boy did they sure deliver the goods—Nas’ Illmatic (in full), Kim Gordon’s art rock experiment Body/Head, and surprise appearances from Neil Finn and Dev Hynes via video link during Kirin J Callinan’s set. Throughout the day, though, you got a sense that this festival wasn’t riding off sheer spectacle. Sugar Mountain bills itself as a “summit of music and art”, but that tagline forgoes the most important assertion of all—this festival does so much to distill and communicate a Melbourne story that’s wholly our own. For some of this city’s inhabitants, our ‘indie’ culture is increasingly bleeding into a mainstream definition of Melbourne. We’re a city that boasts of coffee that’s second-to-none, a music city that bites the hand that feeds it and wins, and a city that “demands some level of civic engagement beyond simply walking the streets.

boilerroom Chela1 Chela2


From the inner-city’s gentrified masses to the sports-luxe goths roaming Melbourne’s CBD till the early-morn, Sugar Mountain was a summit for Melbourne’s disparate microscenes. If we’re a city defined by villages, then the villagers flocking to Sugar Mountain would all have a link to an ‘alternative’ culture that’s continually eroding into ever more niche divisions. The club kids could’ve stayed with the 2 Bears while Kim Gordon resonated with the crowds old enough to remember Sonic Youth. Melbourne, though, was in fine form: Twerps, Chela, Slum Sociable, Banoffee, NO ZU, Oscar Key Sung, Ash Keating, Leif Podhajsky—if you thought there couldn’t have been a more ‘Melburn’ festival than Paradise, then Sugar Mountain sure blew that out of the water.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget our local craft beer and gourmet food trucks.


As much as this could’ve devolved into an insular Melbourne love-in, SM felt more like a celebration of local and international artists who have contributed to the city’s broader culture. TwerpsMarty Frawley revealed that his Mum studied painting at VCA. I’llsHamish Mitchell (as Sangkhara) and collaborator, Nicholas Keays did the video art for Oscar Key Sung and Cassius Select. Lauded Melbourne photographer Prue Stent helped to create Sugar Mountain’s art direction. Ash Keating’s multi-storey abstract painting, arguably the festival’s artistic centrepiece, adorned the VCA (of which he’s a graduate). The very fact that Sugar Mountain hosted art reminded us that we’re a city that we do ‘culture’ without tokenism, sometimes.


People actually went into the VCA’s exhibition spaces and viewed Leif Podhajsky’s mixed- media works—the same could be said of Hisham Baroocha’s sitting next door. If most major galleries are afraid of declining audience numbers (apart from MONA), then Sugar Mountain went on to show that it’s not that hard to re-contextualise visual art’s consumption (despite parts still being shown in a traditional white cube). The idea of mixing a music festival with visual art is a promising one—a decision that lends itself to Melbourne’s inherent thirst for involved civic engagement (ahem, MPavilion, NGV’s Friday Nights).


So as much as it could’ve been criticised as a festival where privileged inner-city white kids dance to Nas like they’ve been through their fair-share of #struggles, Sugar Mountain is at its best when it lets Melbourne tell its own stories through a mix of local and international artists who have directly or indirectly contributed to our collective identity. For a generation raised on a late-90s definition of pop culture—one where hip hop, R&B, and pop reigned supreme—Sugar Mountain gave everybody the chance to relish a interpretation of popular culture, which made the Johan Rashids of this city sit alongside Body / Head without fear of being caught in their shadows.

It’s these moments which remind us all, that hey, not only have we got one world, but we’re actually making a contribution to it even though we’re stuck at the end of the earth.

nozu crutches

tail guy (more…)

Read Post →

LOOK: PBS Drive Live featuring Black Cab + GL + Lowtide

, , No Comment


Supporting community radio is one of those things you gotta do, you know. Today’s the last day of the annual PBS Drive Live campaign, so once you’ve done your good deed for the week and signed up for membership – head along to PBS HQ at 6 to catch Primitive Calculators, Table of Dreams and Habits. It’s a free show, just RSVP.For more information on how to become a member, just head here.

pbs6 pbs8 pbs7pbs9pbs13pbs14pbs15pbs25pbs23pbs18pbs5pbs26pbs12pbs19pbs16

Read Post →