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.
‘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”’.
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’.
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.
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.
Photos by BEC CAPP
* * *
“Where are you camped?”
“How have you been?”
“Where are you camped?”
“Hey, how are you?”
“Good, but I just saw someone I went on a Tinder date with, and I’m trying to ignore them. Where are you camped?”
“Hey, where are you camped?”
“It’s a good spot, and we’re next to this guy I have on Tinder. I hope he doesn’t recognise me, but still finds me hot in person.”
“Where are you camped?”
“Is it time for lunch yet?”
“Ah, so fresh.”
“I love oysters.”
“Smoked trout, what a delight!”
“Where’s the Prosecco?”
“I love your fur.”
“That’s not Prosseco, that’s sparkling shiraz!”
“Are we ready for the pork?”
“Why are we playing the second movement? It has to be Spring!”
“I’m so full I can’t stand.”
“Beer is going down very badly.”
“I don’t think a four course meal was a good idea after all.”
If you thought the barrage of FOMO-inducing photos on of picturesque Lake Mountain was over – then shame on you. Good things take time. You should have known that we’d post our Paradise Festival photos a week later than everyone else with these film photos capturing moments of bliss, tinies and 90s latex cameos.
Film takes time to process, and so does the brain to process memories. The week after a festival, (especially one with a club) can be a rough one. Congrats to those who did attend. You made it. Thursday was a particularly shit one for me. Now that I feel good again the memories feel even better.
For those of you who did attend, maybe you will find your face in the crowd, maybe not. Either way you will look back with nostalgic warmth on the weekend that was. Maybe you are traumatised from lugging heaps of unnecessary crap up a mountain. Perhaps you only remember watching hippies making bubbles and wondering why club kids wear white at a festival.
Or maybe you don’t latch on to the negatives. I remember watching an unbelievable sunrise on Saturday morning that I wasn’t able to photograph with justice – and don’t have a big enough vocabulary to describe. Maybe it was dancing in the afternoon sun to Totally Mild and The Harpoons and thinking that everything in the world was alright. Whatever it was, this three-year-old baby of a festival is located in the most picturesque setting.
Paradise Festival is truly unique and will continue to do great things for local music. For those who missed out this year, the feeling that you could/should/would have attended will only intensify as Paradise grows older.
See full photo set below.
Craft is transient, as are its makers. When the creative hunch strikes, it’s not uncommon to move as far as we can from familiarity – but more often than not, we seem to return back to the places from where we begin. We spent a day driving around suburbia with Melbourne based alt hip hop group RaRa for our new ‘Suburbs’ series, which aims to shine a light on local musicians and their ongoing relationship with the places where they live.
Nestled in the cosy suburbia that is Melbourne’s inner east is Doncaster; more commonly known to locals as ‘Donny’. A leafy, working class suburb bordered by Eastlink and the Yarra, ‘Donny’ is marked by prams, modified Commodores and rendered 80s brick family dwellings with sloping double carparks.
Middle class Pleasantville seems miles from the the stomping ground where you would have expected RaRa’s slanted genre-bending hip-hop to have taken shape. But from what we saw driving around the neighbourhood; touring empty swimming pools, wandering into unused houses that were former party sites and visiting the family homes the boys still reside in – even if the four boys claim they’re “from another planet”, this will still be home.
Director / Film: Anthony Juchnevicius
Photography: Bec Capp
Animation: Nelson Armstrong
With thanks to: RaRa, Bec Capp, Annie Toller, Oscar McMahon
Featuring: RaRa (Ll’vo, The Lovely Me, KL, River Deep)
RaRa are launching their new EP Planet 2016 at Shebeen in Melbourne on the 19th of December, supported by ESESE & friendships.
Planet 2016 is out now via Zero Through Nine.