Newcastle Music Directory

Archive for November, 2009

She’s So Hard – The Jezebels

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

The JezebelsThe Jezebels, formed at Sydney University, shun the typical indie pop rock line-up, with singer Hayley Mary, guitarist Sam Lockwood and drummer Nik Kaloper combining with pianist Heather Shannon to create “a band with a sound of their own” (the Courier Mail, 2009). The Jezebels are playing at the Northern Star Hotel on Friday November 27 to promote the release of their second EP, ‘She’s So Hard’.

A self-professed pop/electro/indie band, the Jezebels push the boundaries, combining a determined musical flair with song-writing that tackles social issues. The four-piece are striving to establish a collective social conscience in their music, with themes of social identity, self-awareness and drug abuse underlying their catchy electro-pop style.

If the response to their first EP is anything to go by, the Jezebels are a force to be reckoned with on the indie pop stage, with the release of their mesmerising first EP ‘The Man Is Dead’ seeing them on national tours supporting Tegan and Sara, Sparkadia and Josh Pyke, as well as well-received performances at Big Day Out, Festival Of The Sun, Pyramid Rock Festival. The band are not wasting momentum, setting out from their support of Bluejuice on their national tour to embark on a tour of the east coast of Australia to promote their latest release, She’s So Hard. On their first foray into the Newcastle music scene, the Jezebels are playing at the Great Northern Hotel at 7 pm on Friday November 27. Their second EP was recorded at Megaphon & Production Ave Studios, produced by The Jezebels and Lachlan Mitchell.

The Jezebels - She's So HardFollowing the success of their debut EP The Man Is Dead, with airplay on JJJ, FBI and community stations around the nation, the group is making headway in the USA, reaching no 114 on CMJ college radio charts.

Harnessing musical backgrounds and influences from pop, electro, classical, and country music with influences ranging from Tori Amos to ABBA, the Jezebels combine solid musicianship, emotive and stirring lyrics and an intense stage presence. The unique, surprising forcefulness and intensity of lead singer Hayley Mary have drawn comparisons with the likes of Chrissie Hynde and PJ Harvey. Catchy electro-pop anthem Disco Biscuit Love from their debut EP is a social commentary on drug abuse and cry for female empowerment as much as catchy electro-pop, and showcases the capabilities of a young band at the outset of their musical career.

If the true test of a band’s mettle and musicianship is stage presence and delivery, the Jezebel’s non-stop touring schedule and an infectious stage presence ensure that this young, capable group has more to offer than the typical indie pop band. The Jezebels are at their finest live, and with their raw live energy and intellectual song-writing they have something to appeal to most lovers of live music.

It’s not entirely clear that the Jezebels know where they’re going but they’re very certain about arriving” SMH (2009).

  • Who: The Jezebels
  • What: She’s So Hard EP Launch
  • When: Friday, November 27th – Doors at 9pm
  • Where: Northern Star Hotel, 112 Beaumont St, Hamilton
  • Free Entry

For more information about the band visit

Ben Webb Announces Debut EP

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Ben Webb EP LaunchBen Webb is a singer/songwriter hailing from Port Stephen who, within only half a year, has left an impact and wowed audiences up and down the east coast of Australia. In an industry saturated with hype and traditional record label formulae, Ben has show that he has what it takes to stand out from the crowd.

His debut EP “sketches, photographs and the occasional song …” (Recorded locally by renown producer Gareth Hudson) is now complete and it its an eclectic demonstration of Bens talents as a songwriter and musician. It features some of the Hunter’s finest talents boasting standout musicians such as Daniel March, Nic Cecire, Hannah Ayton and Klaye Sanders.

The EP features four distinct tracks, keeping the most varied music aficionado entertained. In his own words “The songs I write are quite varied, and usually a musician will try and stick to the one style or certain formula, trying to play it safe with the listeners subconscious. With this EP I decided to let the songs speak for themselves, kind of a more organic way of producing, where the story is told through the lyrics and the musical mood that surrounds it”.

Involved with music for as long as he can remember, it took two recent bouts of Bells Palsy (facial paralysis) on each side of his face within the past two years for Ben to realise that life is what you make of it.

Ben’s songs hit like a heartbeat, taking influence from musical iconography and mixed with a heart full of love and a life full of passion.

Ben’s EP Launch starts 7pm Wednesday the 25th Of November at The View Factory.

The night promises to be memorable with supports by Nick Saxon (fresh of East Coast tour with ASMF) and Josh Howard.

State Of Grace Album Launch

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Forbidden LoveState of Grace Debut EP Launch … Gigs on Friday 27th of November at Newcastle’s CBD with special guests Vaudeville, Candy And The Full Moons, DJ Menna, Loods and Tap Tap. Free Entry … 9pm start.

All ages gig at The Loft on Saturday the 28th of November with special guests Vaudeville and Candy And The Full Moons. Tickets $10 – 5.30pm – 9pm.

This is an event not to be missed …

The six track Debut EP includes the massive debut Forbidden Love (nominated Top Five Rock Tracks in this years 1233 ABC Music Awards) which was recorded by Australian Rock Royalty Peter ‘Reggie’ Bowman (Southern Sons) and Cameron Mitchell (Hey Hey It’s Saturday Band).

State of Grace is a knockout – too fresh to stick in a box with Indie/Rock on the label. Every hour a new band forms in this country and occasionally one of them is great enough to ‘make it’ and we confidently tip State of Grace as the next big success story. These four superb musicians, all coming from well-respected bands, unite with a common musical goal.

Forbidden Love
Stars moving at the touch of your hips
And the way my blood is rushing from the kiss of your lips,
And I know this is a feeling that I cannot resist.
Can I run from this spell, cause this is forbidden love.

Listen to ‘Forbidden Love’:

Sometimes you meet someone or have a close friend that you have a great time hanging out with but then you start to develop feelings for each other and even if you deny those feelings at first you are helpless against the power of love – you can’t help it and there’s nothing you can do but see where this forbidden love takes you. This is ‘Forbidden Love’. Jerome.

Who Is State of Grace?

State Of Grace

Jerome O’Connor – Lead Singer, Rhythm Guitar

Jerome’s passion for music and his infectious enthusiasm is clear from the first moment you meet him. “Music has become my life and I love everything that I do that involves music or playing an instrument. I love performing and captivating the audience, I feel that I do it well – It’s amazing to sing your own songs, change people’s mood and create a presence that is euphoric!” At age 9, Jerome couldn’t convince his mum to buy him a drum kit so he started playing guitar and hasn’t put it down since. The Hunter School of Performing Arts provided Jerome (and Tom Shepherd, fellow State of Grace member) with inspiration from a rich pool of amazingly talented people who encouraged him to strive for perfection and hone his song writing skills. Among others, Jerome cites influences such as ‘The Foo Fighters’, ‘Motor Ace’, ‘Anberlin’ and ‘Copeland’. Jerome (and Tom) went on to win two ABC music awards with ‘Grandvue’.

Darren Brollo – Drummer

As early as he can remember Darren played drums and loved music, forming bands and writing original music. His scholarship to The Australian Institute of Music, where he attained his Advanced Certificate of Music, provided him with invaluable inspiration from teachers who have remained his idols – David Jones and Gordon Rytmeister. After recording his first solo project ‘Retribution’, Darren joined ‘Lo-tel’, achieving two Aria nominations for Best New Artist Album for ‘Planet of the Stereos’ and Best New Artist Single for ‘Teenager of the Year’. As the hitman for ‘Lo-tel’, Darren performed alongside ‘Fuel’, ‘Wheatus’, ‘The Super Jesus’, ‘Ben Harper’, ‘Midnight Oil’ and ‘Powderfinger’. Highlights include the Olympics Opening Ceremony before 110,000 people and The Nelson Mandela Concert at Melbourne’s Colonial Stadium. Highly regarded in the industry for his technical skill, Darren has always been passionate about drum education and is the principal of dbmusic Drum Academy.

Tom Shepherd – Lead Guitar

At six years of age Shepherd had his first guitar lessons and his first gig at 13 with his father’s Blue’s band playing blues festivals and venues up and down the coast. He continued to tour and play with various rock and jazz acts, gaining recognition for his outstanding technical skill on the guitar. Along with his original band ‘Grandvue‘, Tom has also built a successful teaching business. Shepherd and O’Connor joined Brollo to perform at the Drum Spectacular 08 and the nucleolus of a great group was born – three dedicated musicians, all perfectionists – a perfect match.

Damo Davey – Bass Guitar

In keeping with his band mates, bass guitarist, Damo, played music throughout high school. As part of the concert band, he won several awards in recognition of outstanding performance and musicology. He went on to complete the Music Industry Technology Certificate IV, and has toured extensively supporting rock acts including, ‘Silverchair‘ ‘Killing Heidi’, ‘Evermore’, ’28 Days’, ‘Trial Kennedy’ and ‘Operator Please’. His accolades include an ABC music award for Best Rock Act. Multi-instrumentalist Damo completed the team and a State of Grace was achieved.

  • When: Friday 27th November, 9pm
  • Where: Hotel CBD
  • Support Acts: special guests Vaudeville and Candy & The Full Moons
  • More:18+, free entry
  • When: Saturday 26th November, 6pm
  • Where: The Loft
  • Support Acts: special guests Vaudeville and Candy & The Full Moons
  • More: All Ages, Tix $10

Find out more about State of Grace at their MySpace profile at or at the Facebook Page.

State of Grace goes live on iTunes next Wednesday the 25th of November

Sibo Bangoura – ‘Keyim Ba’ Album Launch

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Sibo BangouraSydney based, West African born, Sibo Bangoura has released his first CD entitled “Keyim Ba”. (English: “very beautiful”). It has been universally praised for it’s outstanding musicianship and for harnessing the explosive power of Guinean drumming and song.

A passionate advocate for the music of his homeland, Sibo Bangoura is one of Australia’s leading West African percussionists. Born into a Griot (musicians) family in Conakry, Republic of Guinea, as a child he was surrounded by the traditions and magic of music – by virtue of his talent & dedication to his music, Sibo came to travel the world and is now based in Sydney, Australia.

“Keyim Ba” will be launched at several events around Australia in the next few months. Set to be launched in Newcastle on Saturday 21st November at The View Factory, this night promises to be an explosive evening of African drumming, dance and song. Sibo will be joined on stage by the captivating vocals and alluring sounds of the Kora played by Fode Alseny Sylla (Malin); guitar by well known Sydney musician, Blair Greenberg, along with members of the prominent Sydney Senegalese group, Kai Fech, and the high energy moves of Senegalese dancer, Fode Mane (of Newcastle based Jamo Jamo Arts ). Very special guest for the evening is well renowned local Newcastle artist Afro Moses from Ghana. One of Ghana’s most recognized artists, Moses has been labelled “the African James Brown”.

  • When: Saturday 21st November
  • Where: The View Factory, Newcastle
  • Support: Jamo Jamo Arts with special guest Afro Moses

Doors open 7pm, $10 with appetizers served for all.

Local Music Review on 1233 ABC

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Here is the list of tracks from local artists we previewed on the Afternoons program on 1233 ABC today:

  1. Mojo JujuDear Darlin’ – Entry in the 2007 Adult Contemporary Category. Mojo Juju won the Best Female Vocals that year too.
  2. SolverOne Step Too Far – Started out as “Extortion” (Best Young Talent in 2002) and later changed their name to “Solver” (ABC Music Artist of the Year in 2004). Fronted by “Morgan Evans” who won Best Male Vocals in 2004 and won the Telstra Road to Tamworth in 2007
  3. HighlanderThe Craiced Fiddle – Local Celtic band. Play with Bagpipes on Stage. They recently played in Jakarta and will be playing in Hyde Park Sydney for St Andrew’s day on the 29th of November
  4. Chris ByrneGlide – Winner of the Adult Contemporary award in 2007
  5. Grace TurnerOne Way Street – Winner of the ABC Music Publishing / APRA Songwriters and Composers Recognition Award and Best Young Talent and the Folk Category in 2007
  6. Robbie LongLandslide – Newcastle based Guitar player. Highly accomplished flatpicker. Has recorded many of the Music awards entrants over the years.
  7. Dukes of ErlingtonUnderestimated – Winner of the Alternative category in 2008.
  8. OnFortunately Everything – Winner of the Contemporary Popular Music category in 2003. Amy Vee was the band’s vocalist.
  9. Amy VeeHeart Shaped Space – Finalist in the 2009 Contemporary Category
  10. Amy VeeAll in Me – Finalist in the Pop category in 2003
  11. Grandmaster MonkDanza Hermes – Entry in the 2009 Blues and Roots category
  12. Jason LoweFaith – ABC Music Artist of the Year 2008, Best Male Vocal in 2008
  13. Bob CorbettShare Crop Gone – Finalist in the Country Category in 2007

For more information about the Newcastle Music Awards visit For a complete list of past entrants visit the Music Awards Archive.

CentreSection Album Launch

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

CentreSectionCentreSection, Newcastle based alternative rock outfit, will unleash their second release, full length album Aesthetic, to rockin’ audiences across the nation this Spring/Summer.

Having only been together since 2007, CentreSection have been busy getting their hands dirty within their local rock scene; gracing the stage at Newcastle’s High Voltage Festival, supporting Bright Yellow and generally spreading their own sound to keen audiences across NSW.

Their brand new CD Aesthetic is CentreSection’s first venture into the LP world, seeing the three young men further define their dark, sophisticated and catchy tunes since releasing their EP Latency in 2008.

“The new record was done in only three days, which was a bit crazy”, remarks lead singer and guitarist Robb Ryan, “It is indicative of our sound though, we feel it captures the raw energy that we bring to our live shows”.

Aesthetic, which features 10 solid rock tracks, takes the listener on a roller-coaster of emotions, sounds and relentless honesty. CentreSection’s powerhouse recording effort was engineered with Colin Wright (Grant Walmsley, Polymorphia) and Dan Nash (Sarakula, Sketching Cato) and smashed out at Glebe Studios in Sydney earlier this year.

Aesthetic tunes are varied in style, with something for everyone and a common theme of emotive, thought provoking lyrics, solid drum and bass grooves and screaming guitars.

Definite, sing-along single “Centre Of The Earth” is reflective of early Grinspoon, but with a distinct CentreSection rockin’ touch. “How You Feel” gives an insight into the band’s more reflective side, showcasing lead singer/guitarist Robb Ryan’s strong songwriting skills and unique vocal style.

With their Aesthetic launch tour in the works for October/November this year, CentreSection are ready to leave a permanent footprint in the Australian music industry.

Catch CentreSection at their official Newcastle album launch on November 14th at the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle West.

Other upcoming gigs in the Newcastle area include:

2009 Music Awards Category Winners Announced

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

1233 ABC Newcastle Music AwardsFrom Monday 9 November – Wednesday 11 November, 1233 ABC announced the 2009 category winners live to air and featured live studio performances each day.

Access the website, Facebook group or Twitter for regular updates.




And The Winners Are …

Caleb Skips Chemistry – Battles Begun

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Caleb Skips ChemistryCaleb Skips Chemistry, Newcastle’s highly charged, hard-rocking energetic four-piece, will be releasing their debut EP Battles Begun to steaming audiences up and down the NSW coast-line this Spring/Summer.

After years of relentless gigging and achieving countless milestones along their journey, the band can be incredibly proud of this EP as it firmly establishes them as the premier act within their musical realm.

This brand new release shows the maturity of a band who have grown together for five years, firstly as brothers and secondly as musicians. The Battles Begun EP explores Caleb Skips Chemistry’s artistic vision of exuberant, youthful music with hard hitting lyrical content and themes.

“To be completely honest with you, I wasn’t sure how our fans would react to these songs we were producing.” said Caleb Skips Chemistry drummer Tom Campbell, “They are darker, and more sinister then our early releases … this is a lot to do with our growing as people. As a band we couldn’t stand back and let atrocities happen without stamping our say on these issues!”

Battles Begun, which features 5 tracks ( including a blood-boiling intro), is a vivid exploration of one bands searching for social equality. The issues tackled in this EP range from Paedophilia within fundamentalist church groups to conspiracies within leading government establishments.

Conceived within the bands hometown of Newcastle, Battles Begun is engineered by Gareth Hudson ( Vaudeville, Fictions, Amy Vee) and produced by Caleb Skips Chemistry themselves. “We took full control of our sound, while working with Gareth to achieve maximum results”. The title track ” Battles Begun” was engineered by Terry Latham and produced by Tom Williams ( Room 24, Broadway Mile ) and recorded at Impromptu studios.

With their Battles Begun launch tour virtually underway within weeks, Caleb Skips Chemistry are reeling and ready to get this battle started!

Catch Caleb Skips Chemistry launching their Battles Begun EP this 14th November at the Cambridge Hotel. The band will be supported by CentreSection (Launching their album Aesthetic) and Elephant. Doors open 8pm, Cost $6.

Caleb Skips Chemistry

Battles Begun Tour Dates:



Park Sounds

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Park SoundsLive music returns to the city on the 7th of November as Pacific Park comes alive with the sweet sounds of some of the region’s finest original artists. Park Sounds is produced by Music Industry Business students currently studying at the Newcastle Campus of Hunter TAFE and is presented by AAA Projects as part of the City Council’s Summer Festival. Park Sounds supports the aspirations of the Renew Newcastle initiative to highlight cultural events and revitalise the city.

A diverse and intricate fare is on offer with multi-award winning soloist Amy Vee, followed by the cabaret flavours of Great Toad and the Chameleon Circus, the rich harmonies of Central Coast five-piece Jonnday and the roots-based grooves and textures of grandmastermonk.

The perfect setting for a lazy Saturday in the sun, Park Sounds will provide you with cool vibes to compliment the warm weather. Bring a picnic, relax right next to Newcastle Beach and celebrate the summer festival season.

Weather permitting, Park Sounds will run from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Pacific Park in Newcastle East and is an alcohol free, all ages, family friendly event with free admission.

  • When: Saturday November 7th, 2009, 2PM – 5PM
  • Where: Pacific Park, Newcastle East – Link to Map
  • Cost: Admission Free
  • All Ages, Family Event, Weather Permitting

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