Red Ink will continue their comeback efforts with a tour to celebrate the release of their new single “Empty Town.”

The release of this killer track follows the band enjoying a self-imposed hiatus. After all that time away from local crowds, no doubt Red Ink are itching to get back on stage. They warmed up with their first UK in tour in May, so no doubt they’ll be in fine form at the following shows.

9 November 2012 – The Castle, Dandenong (All Ages)
15 November 2012 – The Toff, Melbourne
16 November 2012 – ‘CATS’ @ Rocket Bar, Adelaide
30 November 2012 – Upstairs Beresford, Sydney
1 December 2012 – Rock Lily, Sydney
7 December 2012 – Can’t Say, Purple Sneakers, Melbourne

Image used with permission from Remedy PR

After scoring the coveted support slot for The Living End’s Perth leg, it seems Sons of Rico are impressing all the right people. I caught up with the band’s frontman Alex MacRae to talk about the honour, their new single “You Don’t Know What You’re Missing,” and what we can expect from album number two.

You just scored the support slot for The Living End’s Perth shows. How does that feel?
Kind of bizarre! Here’s a band that we’ve all been fans of since our high school years and seen play on all sorts of stages ever since, and now we’re sharing a stage with them. Really cool, but kind of surreal too.

The support slot can be a tough gig when you’re playing with such an esteemed band. How do you intend to win the crowds over?
When supporting any band we adjust our setlist to include songs that we think will resonate best with a particular crowd. In the case of The Living End this weekend we’ll probably be cranking more of our guitar-heavy tunes. The hardest part for me will be trying not to upstage Chris Cheney with my super badass guitar solos.

After those shows you’ll be headlining your own gigs to launch your single “You Don’t Know What You’re Missing.” What can you tell me about the song?
The song has a bit of a cheeky origin. After a show in Sydney, Adam and I went out in search for a post-gig kebab and were accosted by a transgender lady of the night. Since she wasn’t offering kebabs we kept moving, but not before she said to us “you don’t know what you’re missing”! So I thought to myself “good point”, and the rest is history!

Do you approach a support slot differently to a headlining show?
A little bit yeah. You’re pretty aware that the audience is not your own, but we’ll still try and perform at our best as if it were our own show. There’s a little bit of readjusting that subconsciously happens when you’re onstage as a support, but we’re hardly going to get into leather if we were to support Aerosmith, although Rob has been looking for an excuse to bust out his leather.

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Ahead of his Bear in a Birdcage tour, I caught up with Tassie’s Ben Wells of Ben Wells and the Middle Names to chat about the new single, time on the road, and his band’s ever evolving sound.

Your new single “Bear in a Birdcage” has a different sound than the songs I’ve heard from you before. What inspired it?
Something we pride ourselves on is our onstage energy, so I suppose we wanted to write music that we could really let loose to and get the crowd involved in a little more. Also, with the change in the line up of the band recently we wanted to start making a different sound that suited having two lead guitars rather than a violin.

You’re about to kick off a tour of the East Coast. Are you looking forward to it?
Ah I’m so excited about going on tour. Playing live is my favourite thing and because we’re from Tassie we don’t get the opportunity to play to different crowds as often as we’d like, so we take full advantage of going on tour!

You must have the touring bug as you’ve clocked up more than 10, 000 kays in the last year alone. What is your favorite part about being on stage?
I love feeding off the crowd’s energy and the other guys in the band. It’s the only time you can really let loose. Plus you know the people who are there are there to see you play, so we don’t hold back at all.

How do you keep things fresh when you spend so much time on the road?
That’s probably the hardest part about going on tour. Making sure you eat healthy and spend lots of time doing your own thing when we aren’t playing. Going on tour is a good time to check out the rest of the country too!

Probably part of the reason you travel so much is that you live in Tasmania. When so many bands move to the mainland, what is it about the state that keeps you there?
We’ve talked about moving to the mainland before but living in Tassie has its conveniences as well. We recorded “Bear in a Birdcage” at the studio in my house, where we rehearse and write. I think it would be hard to be able to do that in a major city and be able to afford it on a musician’s wage. Plus the music scene down here is really starting to fire. There is so much good music coming out of Tassie it’s all time!

The video for “Bear in a Birdcage” is so much fun. How much input do you have in that creative process?
Thanks! I picked out the direcor (Simon Treweek) for the clip because he’s a prolific surf cinematographer and I knew he’d know what I was getting at with the song. We put a few ideas toward the clip but he knew what he was doing and he nailed it!

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The organisers of Byron Bay’s Bluesfest promised something special for their latest line-up announcement, and boy have they delivered. It’s a bill designed for the oldies, or young ones that appreciate classic music.

Robert Plant is heading up the latest additions with his new act, the Sensational Shape Shifters. Led Zep fans might be lucky enough to hear some of most iconic songs, as Robert’s been playing eight Led Zeppelin songs during his recent sets in South America. Let’s cross fingers!

As if that wasn’t enough to make you weak at the knees, Bluesfest will also bring Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson, Madness, Yes’ Jon Anderson, and Status Quo to Byron. Let’s just hope we don’t get a rendition of “Down Down, Prices are Down”!

These awesome acts join already named stars like Santana, Jimmy Cliff, Ben Harper, Chris Isaak, Joan Armatrading, and Iggy and the Stooges. Something tells me 2013’s Bluesfest is going to go off!
Bluesfest hits Byron Bay from March 28 to April 1.

Image source: Egghead06 @ Wikipedia Commons

Short Stack may have called it a day, but the band’s former frontman is still making music. Shaun Diviney is preparing to release some new material under the not so cryptic moniker Diviney.

Shaun heads up the five-piece which features talent from Operator Please and Die for You. Don’t expect another Short Stack though. Shaun left the band with dreams of creating a brand new sound. The first single “You’re So Cool” is our first taste of that.

You can hear more when Diviney plays the following shows.

5 January 2012 – The Old Museum, Brisbane (All Ages)
12 January 2012 – The Lair @ Metro Theatre, Sydney (All Ages)
19 January 2012 – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne, VIC (Under 18)

With their debut EP Fortunes proudly sitting on music store shelves, Pigeon are gearing up for a launch tour.

The EP’s just days old, but it should do well if the success of the latest single “All That Bad” is any indication. Triple J has embraced the track, sending it to number two on debut on their Unearthed charts and ensuring the song gets a film clip thanks to NIDA. With a killer sax line, what’s not to love?

Pigeon have barely been off the road this year, but they’re determined that fatigue won’t set in. They’ll play the following shows next month to celebrate Fortune’s release.

22 November 2012 – Port Macquarie Hotel, Port Macquarie
23 November 2012 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
24 November 2012 – Barcode, Wollongong
29 November 2012 – Alpha Beta @ Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta
30 November 2012 – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay
1 December 2012 – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane
13 December 2012 – Rocket Bar, Adelaide
14 December 2012 – Can’t Say @ Platform One, Melbourne

Image used with permission from Heapsaflash

When Lisa Miller struggled to obtain the rights for her long-unavailable first albums, Quiet Girl with a Credit Card and As Far As a Life Goes, she took matters into her own hands. The result is Meet the Misses, a new album which sees Lisa’s rerecording some of the best cuts from those early releases.

This isn’t an attempt to recreate the magic of the ’90s, but rather an opportunity to look at these songs in a new way. It’s almost like her Car Tape covers album mark two, except this time the songs being “covered” are ones Lisa originally created.

Lisa said she hesitated to make the album, as she was sure no one else would understand why she needed to rerecord those early songs. But in the end, she had to follow her heart.

“These songs represent an important chunk of my creative life, and I felt there was always going to be this blip or empty spot. I got tired of being angry and wanting to explain this frustration, this old nagging elephant in the corner. So instead I had a good look at these songs, played around with them and kept the ones that still felt real or right or just worked,” she explained. “And when the recording was finished, I realised that the old elephant had left the building, and I wasn’t angry anymore. This is a recording that I had to make. It’s not meant to change anyone else’s life but mine.”

Lisa will reintroduce music lovers to her early material when Meet the Misses hits stores on November 9, not so coincidentally the day she commences the Meet the Misses tour.

9 November 2012 – Basement Discs, Melbourne
30 November 2012 – Camelot Lounge, Sydney
1 December 2012 – Clarendon Guest House, Katoomba
7 December 2012 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
8 December 2012 – Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne
14 December 2012 – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide

Image used with permission from Thrillhill Entertainment

One of my friends introduced me to the music of Chicago-based singer-songwriter Joe Pug last week. I was instantly drawn in by his guitar playing prowess and rich, folky vocals. So imagine my delight when I discovered Joe’s actually heading our way next month!

It seems Joe’s a regular visitor to our shores. He’s actually made the journey twice since touring the country for the first time in November of 2010. This time around he’ll play intimate shows along the East Coast, culminating with an appearance at the Mullumbimby Music Festival.

Make sure arrive early to discover seven-piece string band Little Bastard. They play something they call party-country with mandolins, banjos, and fiddles. Sounds like fun! Tickets are available now through Love Police.

21 & 22 November 2012 – Workers Club, Melbourne
23 November 2012 – The Annandale Hotel, Sydney
24 November 2012 – The Waiting Room, Brisbane
25 November 2012 – Mullimbimby Festival, Mullimbimby

Image used with permission from Thrillhill Entertainment

The Central Coast’s After the Fall are on the comeback trail with a brand new album Bittersweet.

It’s been three long years since the band delivered [In Exile]. Since then the pop-rockers have injected some new blood in drummer Adrian and honed their songwriting skills. They recorded the bulk of their new record in the houses guitarist Mark Warner was housesitting, taking their time and enjoying the free electricity! If the title track is any indication, this album’s been worth the wait for the band’s dedicated fanbase.

Bittersweet will hit stores on November 23. After the Fall will no doubt relish the chance to play for fans again at the following launch shows.

29 November 2012 – The Wall @ The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney
1 December 2012 – The Great Northern, Newcastle
7 December 2012 – The Workers Club, Melbourne
8 December 2012 – Uni Bar, Adelaide

Hunting Grounds debut album In Hindsight just won’t quit. The band has released another single, “Star Shards.”

“Star Shards” is the third song lifted from In Hindsight, and it’s set to be another radio favourite. I love its anthemic quality and dreamy reverb drench guitars. The video, directed by Ballarat’s own Vegadeet Films, is also pretty brilliant. Who would have thought a scrap metal yard would be the perfect venue for an epic hockey match?

Hunting Grounds will support the release of “Star Shards” at a handful of shows before joining the Big Day Out tour this summer.

3 November 2012 – Bradbury Oval, Campbelltown (FREE)
5 November 2012 – Vault 8 @ Banana Alley, Melbourne
18 January 2012 – Big Day Out @ Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney
20 January 2012 – Big Day Out @ Gold Coast Parklands, Gold Coast
25 January 2012 – Big Day Out @ Adelaide Showgrounds, Adelaide
26 January 2012 – Big Day Out @ Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
28 January 2012 – Big Day Out @ Claremont Showgrounds, Perth