Sir Bob Geldof will join locals Danielle Spencer and Jon Stevens for the Rock & Rebuild charity concert at Star City’s Lyric Theatre on May 1.

The event comes in the wake of recent disasters around the world. All monies raised by ticket sales and donations made on the night will benefit the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund and the Australian Red Cross’ Victoria Floods Appeal, New Zealand Earthquake Appeal, and Japan and Pacific Disaster Appeal.

Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.

Image source: International Monetary Fund Photograph/Stephen Jaffe/Wikipedia Commons

Tour buddies Guy Sebastian and Lionel Richie have recorded a new version of Lionel’s dance-tastic 80s smash “All Night Long” to benefit Australian flood victims.

The soulful pair laid down the tune in Los Angeles this week, and have pledged all money raised will reach the Flood Relief program.

I love the concept, but as an old school Lionel fan I’m also a little nervous. Apparently the new version was produced by RedOne, the man behind Lady Gaga and that awful Richie-sampling Enrique Iglesias tune “I Like It.” Here’s hoping they ease up on the electronics and preserve the fun of the original!

I can’t wait to hear the song, and am also kicking myself for not getting tickets to this upcoming tour. No doubt Lionel and Guy will perform it for fans at their Day on the Green and theater shows!

Image source: Dwight McCann @ Wikipedia Commons

Is your social calendar looking a bit bare this weekend? Well get yourself down to Deck 23 in Dee Why tomorrow night for the Kind Acts of Randomness flood fundraiser.

Kind Acts of Randomness

And random it is, with a mixed bag of music, comedy, trivia, and even live art. Well you’re certainly not going to get bored! The bill is understandably eclectic, with singer-songwriter Andrew Morris, Lindsay “The Doctor” McDougall, The Cloud Girls, Versions, and even ABC reporter Lucy Carter all scheduled to make an appearance.

Tickets are just $25, which includes the entertainment, a complementary drink and canapés. All of that money’s going to the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal too, so why not come along?

Floods in ToowoombaI’ve written a lot about the many flood fundraisers in Sydney and Melbourne, but musicians in other parts of the country are also doing their bit. One of the more exciting events on the agenda is Come Together, which takes over Perth’s Flying Scotsman on February 11.

Local indie legends Yummy Fur will reunite to headline the bill, but the acoustic set from The Ghost Hotel, and sweet tunes from up and coming singer-songwriter Karin Page should also be something special. Dom Mariani and Nick Sheppard, The Astor All Stars, and Andrew Ewing are amongst the other artists on the diverse bill.

Tickets are just $10 on the door, which is a pretty good deal for six hours of music. All money raised from the tickets will go to the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund, and the Flying Scotsman will also kick in 20% of the night’s bar profits.

Image source: Timothy @ Flickr

Sting is doing his bit to give back to those working so hard to help Queensland recover from the recent floods. He’s issued an invitation for emergency workers to attend his Symphonicity concert in Brisbane next Monday as his special guest.

Recipients will be selected via ballot from the Red Cross, the State Emergency Service, and Volunteering Queensland. You couldn’t have more deserving folks in your audience, could you?

No doubt there will be a few tears as Sting dedicates “Fragile” to the flood victims, as he has throughout this Aussie tour. Sting has also donated the use of his song “Fields of Gold” to Sony’s recently released Flood Relief: Artists for the Flood Appeal album. He’s also made a personal donation to relief efforts, and encourages others to do the same.

“The spirit of community that has grown out of this devastation has been inspirational,” Sting said in a statement.  “I’ve contributed to a benefit compilation CD and like many others, made a personal donation to the ongoing flood relief efforts. It’s a small gesture, but in the wake of this tragedy, it’s important to help out however possible.”

Of course, Sting has more to spare than the rest of us, but isn’t it wonderful to see artists digging deep and helping us out? Hats off to him.

Image source: Olaf Heine/Sting website

It’s been some time since we’ve heard from Town Hall Steps but rest assured, the Sydney rockers have been far from idle.

In 2010 the band, fronted by new lead singer Tyrone Bain, packed their bags and like so many Aussie acts before them moved to the Old Dart. After only two months on British soil they’d booked their first UK tour, inked a deal with Bizarre Management, and generated some major buzz.

This year is shaping up to be another big one for the band, as their new single “Hummingbird” will get a global release towards the middle of the year.

Town Hall Steps haven’t forgotten where they came from though. Tomorrow night they’ll play a Queensland flood relief show at The Walkabout in Shepherd’s Bush. In addition to the ticket sales, they’ll also donate one pound from every CD sold to the relief efforts.

“It’s the least we could do,” the band said in a statement. “We really felt for the families affected by the floods when we heard the news break here and wanted to help any way we could. We hope when we come back to Australia to tour in these areas everyone will be back on their feet again”

We’ll keep our fingers crossed, right? In the meantime, if you’re in London make sure you get out and support this ex-pat band at this charity show!

Image used with permission from AAA Entertainment

Sony Music Australia is the latest group to put its hand up to help out flood victims in Queensland and Victoria. Today it releases Flood Relief, a bumper three-CD set featuring just about every inspirational tune you could hope to find from the Sony back catalogue.

Songs like Bruce Springsteen’s “Human Touch,” David Campbell’s version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and Adam Brand’s “It’s Going to Be OK” have been carefully chosen to lift the spirits of a nation affected by this national disaster.

“The effect of this tragedy and its terrible toll on life, families, communities and property has touched many people both here and around the globe,” said Sony Music chairman and CEO Denis Handlin. “On behalf of Sony Music and the Sony Foundation, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected, and our immense gratitude goes to all the emergency service people and volunteers who have so generously given in this time of need.”

Sony has a proven track record with this kind of thing. In 2009 its Bushfire AID – Artists for the Bushfire Appeal raised $1.7 million. Let’s hope this new album can top that. All monies raised with benefit the Salvation Army Flood Appeal.

One thing that’s really troubled me as I’ve watched coverage of the Queensland floods over the past few weeks is the plight of our animal friends. I’ve seen images of horses and cows wading through the water, and kangaroos struggling to hop through the deluge. It’s heartbreaking.

If you care about animals as much as I do, you’ll be interested in Brisbane electro-dance punksters re:enactment, and their efforts to rebuild their home state’s flooded RSPCA headquarters.

Thankfully all the animals were evacuated from the premises, but the RSPCA desperately needs funds to rebuild their shelter so they can continue their vital good work. The RSPCA is ineligible for a share of the flood relief funds, so they rely on direct donations from you.

So point your browser to http://re-e.bandcamp.com/track/scraps and choose how much you want to donate. You’ll get a healthy dose of good karma, and a copy of re:enactment’s track “Scraps” to boot!

Image used with permission from Shiny Entertainment

The Queensland flood relief efforts have received a boost after the Barnes family album Floodlight shot to number one on the iTunes chart a little more than a day after its release.

But why wouldn’t it? The digital album features some amazing songs from Jimmy Barnes, his children EJ and Mahalia, and David Campbell, his brother John “Swanee” Swan, his brother-in-law Diesel, his son-in-law Ben Rodgers, and a couple of special guests. And it costs just $4.99, which is a price that even the most cash-strapped music fan should be able to afford.

I made my donation at Coles when news of the floods first broke, but this album has inspired me to dip back into my wallet again. Every little bit helps after all. Click here to purchase your copy through iTunes.

Brisbane band Avalon Drive crushed fans when they split up in November 2008, but the time is right for a reunion. The lads will play one last show at the Hi-Fi Bar on February 5. I caught up with lead singer Damion Page to talk about the show, Avalon Drive’s heyday, and how the Queenslanders are giving back to their city after the recent floods.

You disbanded in 2008. Why was the time right now for one more show?
People change. I needed some time and a break to get back to basics with music. As much as it pained me back then to disband, I back my decision up 100%. I don’t think we should ever have to sacrifice our love for music for something you aren’t 100% happy with. Music is an extension of me and nothing felt right. Come 2011, everything is feeling great and we are pumped about everything that is happening.

How are you feeling at the prospect of playing together again?
Doesn’t feel like we ever stopped, the energy, ideas are all still alive. If anything we have more of an understanding of what we all need from playing music and embrace absolutely everything that’s put out there. Onstage is going to be electric, always has been.

You’re playing again in front of your hometown audience. How important were the people of Brisbane to your success?
My god how Brisbane backs their own bands. It’s simply amazing and still astounds me how alive Avalon Drive fans were and still are. It’s nuts. We are so fortunate and we are so grateful for it. We never ever truly got to thank everyone; this is our way of doing that. By bringing everyone into one room, singing the same songs. Without our Brisbane fans and friends behind us, it just wouldn’t have been the same.

I’m sure this show will be extra poignant considering everything Queensland is going through at the moment. Have you or any of the other members of the band been directly affected by the floods?
I think all of Australia has been affected. It’s certainly made me realize how fragile life can be and I think I can speak for most people out there when I say how important your friends and family are. We decided to give all our profits from this show to those affected by the floods and hope that Brisbane gets back to being beautiful Brisbane ASAP. A few members were caught in the midst of the drama but no story can compare to the tragedies some of our neighbours have faced with the loss of their loved ones. Too hard to put into words I’m sorry.

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