It’s been a long while since a music video properly impressed me. However, I’m wowed by the visual spectacular that is Boy & Bear’s latest effort, accompanying their single “Limit of Love” from the album of the same name.

“We really love the Oh Yeah Wow guys,” lead singer Dave Hosking said of the creative team behind the clip. “This is our third time working with them and they never disappoint. This time it’s elegant, beautiful and hypnotic.”

It’s been a long time since Boy & Bear played local shows, but they’re kicking off a national tour this week, with Art of Sleeping and Montaigne as support. There are still a handful of tickets left for the following shows.

22 January 2016 – Odeon Theatre, Hobart
23 January 2016 – Festival Hall, Melbourne
29 January 2016 – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
30 January 2016 – Red Hill Auditorium, Perth
12 February 2016 – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
13 February 2016 – Riverstage, Brisbane

The Snowdroppers are starting the new year right with the announcement of a string of new shows. The Gluttons for Punishment tour promises to be a “ramshackle travelling rock ‘n’ roll circus” which will leave behind “a wake of broken bottles, patchy memories, and a cohort of very happy hungover people.”

The Snowdroppers will be on hand to record all of the drunken debauchery for a brand new documentary documenting what it’s like to be an Aussie touring band on the road. Fans who purchase golden tickets, which are still a bargain at $25 plus booking fee, will get a downloadable copy of the documentary as well as free live tracks.

Make sure you arrive early because The Hard Aches and The Strums will be warming up crowds at all the following shows.

20 February 2016 – The Foundry, Brisbane
26 February 2016 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
4 March 2016 – Howler, Melbourne

Image used with permission from Rish Publicity

You know your concert calendar is too crowded when for the fourth time you’ve had to knock back a show on one specific day. I have no idea why the world has conspired to put everything awesome on February 27, but there you have it. I even actually bought tickets for two shows on that night, forgetting when I bought the second that I’d already committed to something else.

So it looks like I’m not going to see Canada’s Scott Cook when he plays in my suburb, and I’m bummed because literally no one else plays here. So I’m writing this article in the hopes that maybe you can catch him live, because he’s a bit brilliant. If you like folky storytellers in the vein of Shawn Mullins you’re going to love this guy. He’s playing virtually everywhere to support the release of his album One More Time Around, which has been my soundtrack for the afternoon. Hopefully your calendar isn’t as crowded as mine and you can get to one of these gigs!

13 January 2016 – House concert, Wingham (email trishmob@yahoo.com or call 0448 973 994 to RSVP)
14 January 2016 – Sutherland Acoustic @ Gymea Tradies Club, Gymea
15 January 2016 – The Acoustic Picnic @ The Music Lounge, Brookvale
20 January 2016 – Canberra Musicians’ Club @ Smith’s Alternative, Canberra
21 January 2016 – Billyroy’s Blues Bar @ Goldmines Hotel, Bendigo
22-25 January 2016 – Newstead Live Music Festival, Newstead
31 January 2016 – Saints & Sailors, Portarlington
4 February 2016 – South Coast Folk Club, Port Noarlunga (supporting Liz Stringer)
5 February 2016 – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide (supporting Liz Stringer)
7 February 2016 – Red Poles Café, McLaren Vale (12:30-3:30 FREE)
7 February 2016 – The Groove Garden McLaren Vale
12 February 2016 – House Concert, Eaglemont (Check Scott’s website for details closer to the show)
13 February 2016 –Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth (FREE)
14 February 2016 –Wandi Pub, Wandiligong (2-5 pm FREE)
17 February 2016 – House concert, Tilba Tilba (E-mail eagle_dreaming@hotmail.com or call 0422 690 670 to RSVP)
19 February 2016 – Kameruka Hall, Kameruka
20 February 2016 – House concert, Nowra (Email robcleary@yahoo.com to RSVP)
21 February 2016 – House concert, Picnic Point (3 pm. Email bvbyrn13@tpg.com.au or call 0421017975 to RSVP)
27 February 2016 – Troubadour Acoustic Club, Woy Woy
5 March 2016 – The Shack, Collaroy
6 March 2016 – Live in the Attic @ Hotel Blue, Katoomba
11-14 March 2016 – Burke & Wills Folk Festival, Mia Mia
17 March 2016 – The Lomond Hotel, Brunswick
18-20 March 2016 – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah

It’s been pretty quiet around the Australian music scene of late. Most of us are back at work, but it seems most musos are still on hiatus because I haven’t heard much about new releases or tours. Thank god for The Stiffys, who’ve taken advantage of the lull to announce a string of new shows.

The Stiffys Go Driving tour celebrates the fact that new guitarist Dev has a car, a luxury that’s allowing the band to head to a bunch of regional towns.

“It’s really great now that we have someone in the band who is capable of driving because Adam and I are both quite focused on enjoying the rock and roll lifestyle,” bassist Jason Leigh explained. “It’s been a lot easier for us to tour regional Australia since we transitioned from sailors to astronauts and I think people are being less confused by us.

These are the last Stiffys shows before the band heads back in the studio to record Art Rock Two. Catch them while you can at the following shows.

21 January 2016 – Phoenix Bar, Canberra
22 January 2016 – Rad Bar, Wollongong
23 January 2016 – Moruya Bowling Club, Moruya
5 February 2016 – The Eastern, Ballarat
12 February 2016 – The Sooki Lounge, Belgrave
19 February 2016 – The Loft, Warrnambool
5 March 2016 – Major Tom’s, Kyneton
12 March 2016 – Golden Vine Hotel, Bendigo
19 March 2016 – The Old Bar, Fitzroy

Fresh from the release of their epic summer anthem “On & On”, PLTS are set to follow the sun along the East Coast with a string of shows next month.

The Byron Bay band will take Brisbane rockers Pro Vita along for the ride for all but the Broadbeach gig. With two of Australia’s most exciting up-and-coming acts on the bill, you can expect good times from the following shows.

22 January 2016 – The Northern, Byron Bay (FREE)
24 January 2016 – Broadbeach Tavern, Broadbeach
29 January 2016 – Sol Bar, Maroochydore
30 January 2016 – The Foundry, Brisbane

Adelaide’s singer-songwriter extraordinaire Tom West is planning to record two live albums in January, and he wants you to be a part of it. He’ll play two shows – one in Adelaide and the other in Melbourne – and release the performances later in the year as an album called Golden Fleeces.

“I’ve felt for a while that shows are really the truest form of my music, and where I connect best with people,” he explained. “When the idea came up to do some live recording it seemed to make perfect sense. To be able to involve the girls and guys who have been coming out to my shows in the formation of this album is a dream.”

It makes a lot of sense to me. When I heard the single version of his song “Easy Love” I liked it, but when I watched this live video recorded in Toronto I got it completely. There’s just something about the spontaneous energy that comes from a live performance that makes a good musician truly great.

The shows will feature new material as well as some old favourites. If there’s anything you’d like to hear, make sure you email in your requests to hello@pokeintheeye.com.au.

Tom West will play his live album shows at the following venues. He understands people are strapped for cash post-Christmas, so tickets cost just $15 plus booking fee through Oztix.

28 January 2016 – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide
31 January 2016 – The Workers Club, Melbourne

In my mind, Josue has been one of the finds of the year with his old school sensibility and swag. His EP Bad News was a throwback to the 90s R’n’B in the most delicious of ways. So I’m excited to see he’s hitting the road this summer off the back of his latest single release “Closure.”

If you need more soul in your life, you won’t be disappointed with these shows, featuring Josue backed up by his band The Soulbenders.

20 January 2016 – Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle
21 January 2016 – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour
22 January 2016 – Brooklyn Standard, Brisbane
23 January 2016 – Treehouse on Belongil, Byron Bay
24 January 2016 – Ric’s Bar, Brisbane

I just love hearing a rock band strip things back. So while I appreciate Tonight Alive’s rebellious, rocking studio version of their single “Drive,” I actually prefer this acoustic version recorded for Triple M.

I think this take brings those lyrics about breaking away from society’s expectations and expressing your own truth. It also really lets you appreciate Jenna McDougall’s stellar voice. You can hear that in person when Tonight Alive embark on their single tour next year. After that Tonight Alive are heading to Europe, the UK, and the US, so these might be our last local shows for a while. Don’t say you haven’t been warned fans!

16 January 2016 – Unify Festival, Gippsland
17 January 2016 – Max Watts, Melbourne
21 January 2016 – The Triffid, Brisbane
29 January 2016 – Metro Theatre, Sydney

I fell in love with Saskwatch when they first hit the music scene, but I fell out of love with them somewhere along the way. While the last couple of singles haven’t revved me, I think they’re back to their best with their latest single “Everyone’s Giving Up.”

It’s a much mellower sound from this funky Melbourne act than I’ve come to expect, but I appreciate it. With all those brassy notes it reminds me a little of something Prince might slip in to his set. “Everyone’s Giving Up” comes from Saskwatch’s third studio album Sorry I Let It Come Between Us, which is slated for release next year.

Saskwatch will support its release with the following shows just about everywhere in 2016.

9 January 2016 – Summer Of Soul Festival @ Mossvale Park, Berrys Creek
21 January 2016 – Australian Open Sessions @ Melbourne & Olympic Parks, Melbourne
23 January 2016 – Ozfest @ Miami Tavern, Gold Coast
24 January 2016 – Ozfest @ Waterfront Hotel, Sunshine Coast
4 February 2016 – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River
5 February 2016 – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough
6 February 2016 – Summerset Arts Festival, Carine Open Space, Carine
7 February 2016 – Mojos, Fremantle
25 February 2016 – UC Refectory, Canberra
2 March 2016 – Studio Six, Sutherland
3 March 2016 – The Basement, Sydney
4 March 2016 – Baroque, Katoomba
5 March 2016 – Small Ballroom, Newcastle
6 March 2016 – 5 Church Street, Bellingen
12 March 2016 – The Triffid, Brisbane
18 March 2016 – The Jack, Cairns
19 March 2016 – Street Party, Townsville
20 March 2016 – Magnums, Airlie Beach
26 March 2016 – Fat Controller, Adelaide
1 April 2016 – Club 54, Launceston
2 April 2016 – Republic Bar, Hobart
6 April 2016 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
7 April 2016 – Workers Club, Geelong
8 April 2016 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
9 April 2016 – Theatre Royale, Castlemaine
14 April 2016 – The Loft, Warrnambool
15 April 2016 – The Grand Hotel, Mornington
16 April 2016 – Westernport Hotel, San Remo
29 April 2016 – The Gap View, Alice Springs
30 April 2016 – The Railway Club, Darwin

Illy may have to make use of his own virtual swear jar following the release of his new single of the same name. I wouldn’t advise listening to “Swear Jar” while you’re at work or around the oldies, but if you’ve got some time to yourself this tongue-in-cheek track which hits back at some people we’ve all come across in our time.

“Swear Jar is a light hearted take on two very serious issues: that rare breed of dickhead artist who thinks they’re God’s gift to the world, and the far more common breed of dickhead that you find dwelling online, hurling abuse at others. They both suck. I wanted to write a song for them, and here it is. I hope they don’t like it. ” Illy said in the press release.

To coincide with the release, Illy’s encouraging all of his fellow potty mouths to dig deep and donate to his virtual swear jar. The online initiative is raising money for the vital work of beyondblue.

Illy’s also preparing to hit the road to promote the single. Good pals Dylan Joel and Citizen Kay will appear at all but the Darwin gig.

12 February 2016 – Discovery, Darwin
13 February 2016 – Capitol, Perth
19 February 2016 – 170 Russell, Melbourne
20 February 2016 – Metro Theatre, Sydney
26 February 2016 – The Triffid, Brisbane
27 February 2016 – Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta
4 March 2016 – Academy, Canberra
12 March 2016 – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide