Photo Essays

LOOK: Golden Plains XI, 2017

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Words and pictures by Bec Capp 


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Golden Plains XI marked my 10th time at the festival (I missed one about 4 years ago when I was doing that thing where Melbournians go live in Berlin). In 2007, when I was 16, my best mate told me about this cool ‘new’ festival her older brother knew about and convinced me to go with her. It probably cost $200 and The Presets were playing so it didn’t take much persuasion. We bought a slab of passionfruit UDLs, traded them off with a girl we knew from a nearby school for some No-Doz, and I never looked back.

Be it noted that I don’t condone underage drinking and neither does Golden Plains. There is a strict “No Dickheads” policy in force at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, which helps make this festival so special. GP XI was particularly dickhead free. Thanks Aunty (and maybe Pitch).

While the place is always a haven, some things have changed over 10 years. My group of friends (which has solidified and grown substantially thanks to this festival) has moved from screaming at bands on the barrier, all the way back to the fourth lantern on the left. The fourth one – that’s a new level of relaxed. Soon we’ll be sitting on the hill. In fact, I did watch Neil Finn from the hill. The amphitheatre was so beautiful from back there, with the sound of everyone singing along, I actually welled up. Friends I’ve danced with in the crowd are now up on stage. These days I like Bloody Marys, Sunset Strip has become like Bourke Street Mall on the weekend Zara opened, and there are cold showers where you never have to line up (highly recommended).

Of course, some things never change: the same friend from 2007 handed me a passionfruit UDL at about 3 a.m. on Monday, and in that moment it was the best thing I had ever tasted. There’s always a band I’ve never heard of that turns out to be a festival highlight (thanks Chain & The Gang). There’s always a great moment when you’re full of love, hugging everyone in your vicinity (thanks Total Giovanni). Pink Flamingos are consistently delicious and I have been camping in pretty much the same place since Golden Plains I.

It might only be a few days, but over a decade those few days every year have had a substantial impact on my life. Thanks to this place for the friendships I still have today and for moments that are unforgettable for many reasons. I would like to thank the Nolan family for making their home my own. RIP Jack Nolan.

See you in the ‘sup come December for MMF #27.

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LOOK: Bent & Sydney 2000 Tour Photos

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Tristan, Steve, Skye, Heidi

Last month two of Brisbane’s best bands recently stretched their legs and bank accounts on a national tour – taking in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart (The Entire Nation) and playing with local top dogs like Primo, Parsnip, Treehouse, Sex Tourists, LA Suffocated and Dolphin.

Both bands are DIY as hell – from Sydney 2000‘s bananas stage attire to Bent‘s playful, haphazard film clips to the fact that Steve Rose from Sydney 2000 drove from city to city the entire way cuz none of the others have licenses. Glen Schenau from Bent (also Per Purpose, Deck in the Pit, Kitchens Floor) takes photos of gigs around town on disposable, capturing and documenting blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments of scrappy, sweaty beauty.

We asked Glen for some photos of the tour – which was also a kind of farewell for Heidi Cutlack, who plays bass and sings in Bent and drums in Sydney 2000, and has since moved to Japan.

(Couple of iPhone ones in here too, don’t comment)

Thanks Glen, and thanks Heidi for making your wild, cool, and uniquely lovely music in Brisbane for so long.

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Sex Tourists – Sydney

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Bent

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LA Suffocated – Sydney

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Sydney 2000

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Place Holder – Sydney

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Kitchen’s Floor (Brisbane in Melbourne)

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Dolphin – Hobart

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Treehouse – Hobart

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Bent

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Sydney 2000

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Primo – Melbourne

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Parsnip – Melbourne

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Bent’s ecstatically sick new record Snakes and Shapes is out on Moontown now

Sydney 2000 have tape out and floating around that should be online sometime in the future. Until then, see if you can hunt it down, nestled in the fur of the meanest cat on your street, sown into the pocket of the camo shorts you haven’t worn since 2009.

Bent Facebook / Sydney 2000 Facebook 

Bent Bandcamp

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LOOK: Client Liaison, Backstage in Brisbane

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Client Liaison_Backstage_By Savannah van der Niet_10

If you’ve seen Client Liaison live, you know what the fuss is about. If you haven’t, I can’t urge you to see a live show more.

The same on-stage as off-stage, these guys can’t help but give an air of genuine flair. Manager Adam always seems to sport a CL shirt and business socks, a true devotee to his mates. Monte chats with stylist Kristy about costume changes, as she fixes his collar and tightens his cufflinks. Geordie catches up on lost sleep under the keyboard in rehearsals. I find Tom planning a surprise birthday party at McDonalds for Harvey’s birthday on tour the next morning (they require advance notice, the disappointment sets in), then the pair compare catwalks backstage. The better walk is left undetermined.

The live show is sold out. The window to the backstage area fogs with the heat of a million bodies wildly dancing to music every Australian has a soft spot for. The stage is scattered with palm trees and giant water coolers.

Put it on the company card. Too much is never enough. Get ready to Feed the Rhythm and dance all night.

Photos taken on digital and 35mm film at their ‘World of Our Love’ show in Brisbane at The Triffid. Client Liaison is Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller, plus touring band Tom Tilley and Geordie Miller. Stylist is Kristy Barros.

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See more work from Savannah van der Niet (Savvy Creative) HERE.

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LOOK: Ali Barter – Melbourne Laneway Festival 2016

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Ali Barter portrait 1

‘It was a bit less thought out, a bit more off the cuff.’

Sitting in the bright Windsor home she shares with husband Oscar Dawson (HOLY HOLY), his parents and a train of siblings and toddlers, Ali Barter is talking about her latest single, ‘Far Away’. Built around a classic four-piece rock set up, the track howls with echo, cymbals and huge guitar riffs, foregoing much of the studio-derived ornament of last year’s AB-EP.

It’s the result of a series of last-minute writing sessions, arranged at the tail end of a family trip to LA.

‘I went and spent two or three hours with this guy I’d never met before, called Harlan Silverman, and we wrote this song in his garage. It was sort of half finished, ‘cause I was really tired… But I think the lack of thought that went into it is why it’s good’.

Back home, ‘Far Away’ was recorded quickly in a simple basement studio – ‘and that was it. No hiring the best studio, trying to get the best sound.

‘Sometimes I feel like I overcooked things on my last EPs. I’ve had too much time to mull over things and think about references and who I want to be. And this was just a song. I brought this half-cooked song to my band, and we rearranged it a bit and played it in one rehearsal, and then we were like, “Well, that’s done. Let’s record it and not fuck with it too much, and then let it go”’.

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The LA sessions resulted in a number of songs intended for Barter’s debut LP, which she plans to record later this year in much the same style as ‘Far Away’.

‘I would like to do them all that way – like, all in the room – because I think sometimes I put too much pressure on myself. We did this Pozible campaign in 2013 and raised 15 grand. We went to Brisbane to work with Matt Redlich, who’s the HOLY HOLY producer, and we were there for six weeks recording all these songs. By the end of it my voice packed up completely, and eventually I had to have surgery. I think there was just too much pressure…

‘Courtney Barnett recorded one of her EPs in, like, three days in a house and it was done, you know. It’s like Neil Young says – “the more you think, the more you stink”. I definitely identify with that’.

When we visited, Barter was gearing up for a hometown performance at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. It would be her second appearance at the festival; in 2013, she joined the Melbourne line up as a triple j Unearthed winner. ‘That was awesome. From that, I met my manager and my booking agent. Everything started from there for me’.

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This year she played alongside locals like Blank Realm, Royal Headache and DMA’s (‘They played “Delete” the other day, and even though I’ve heard it a million times, I almost cried – I got goosebumps’), and headliners Beach House, Vince Staples and Grimes.

By this point, she’d already played two cities. ‘We’ve had some hiccoughs,’ Barter admitted. ‘At the Brisbane show, my guitar died. The amp blew up halfway through my set, so I couldn’t play – and I always play with a guitar. I don’t have any mic skills, I don’t have any dance moves…’

It must have sounded better than she let on, though, because after Silicon left the tour, Barter shot up the bill to take an afternoon slot on the festival’s main stage. She glided through her set, dance moves and all – and we were there to take some photographs.

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EXPAT: Bad Tropes, Berlin

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Bad Tropes are Luke Troynar and Jonny Zoum; two Melbourne expats who’ve been developing their brand of subtle, acoustic pop in Berlin. The 35mm film photos below were taken by the duo (and a patient friend) in the studio and at some of the band’s favourite haunts around the city.

Empty spaces become amplified when you’re wandering through the city between late night and early hours of the morning – and these photographs capture that same quality found in the duo’s minimal sound. Bad Tropes skim from introspective acoustic moments to darker pop sensibilities. There’s hardly a drum fill to be found (sometimes a good thing) and lots of contemplative blank space to mull over. It’s hard to decipher whether the vanity pursuit the guys sing about on ‘Pretty Won’t Rust’ is trying to make a point or just poetic sarcasm, but it’s a chilled tune nonetheless.

Bad Tropes are working on their forthcoming LP, to be released in April on Wait! What? Records.

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