Newcastle Music Directory

Archive for February, 2010

Kieran Glasgow Returns to the Hunter Valley

Friday, February 26th, 2010

From the Hunter Valley to the Pilbara and Back Again

Kieran GlasgowRaised in the working class town of Cessnock, NSW with a Celtic heritage, Kieran Glasgow comes with an honest and down to earth approach to his music. Kieran’s live performance showcases his talent as a songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist.

Drawing on his Celtic roots and contemporary musical training Kieran Glasgow’s sound is well crafted, warm and polished in the vein of Paul Kelly and Troy Cassar-Daly but with an edge reminiscent of Ryan Adams.

Glasgow’s new album “Harvesting Time” was released in January 2009. His songwriting and performance is always engaging and this album is no exception.

Kieran is a qualified plant mechanic by trade, but at age 19 with his apprenticeship complete, Kieran did a complete turn around and headed south to study music.

Since then Kieran has also worked as a support worker for people with a mental illness and true to his Celtic roots has even peeled potatoes for a living in Ireland. This of course has given him some great stories and quite diverse repertoire.

Kieran’s previous EP “Broad” was released in 2007 with the single and video clip “Wasn’t Just The Drugs” receiving radio airplay and programming on the ABC’s Rage. It was also added to SBA Music’s “Indignation” compilation and Nightlife’s video distribution.

He was also a featured vocalist on the Australian feature film “Em 4 Jay” directed by Alkinos Tsilimidos and was producer/project leader of a compilation CD entitled “Blossom” which consisted of poetry, songs and storytelling from disadvantaged people around Sydney’s inner west.

Kieran has been touring his solo show solidly around Australia, most recently completing a tour of over 120 gigs and covering 6 states. Highlights included the 2009 Queenscliff Music Festival, 2009 Adelaide Fringe Festival, 2009 Darwin Fringe Festival, 2009 Tamworth Country Music Festival, and 2009 Yackandandah Folk Festival. Kieran has also become a favorite on ABC Local Radio right across the country. As winner of the Vanguard Newtown Band Competition, Kieran performed at the 2007 Peats Ridge Festival and the 2006 Surry Hills Festival.

Kieran Glasgow - Harvesting TimeAfter a whirlwind 12 months trekking around some of Australia’s most remote town’s and highway’s solo musician Kieran Glasgow returns with a bunch of shows in the hunter valley, some crazy stories and a new album.

“I’ve always wanted to see more of this country but I had been really dedicated to pursuing my music. It hadn’t occurred to me that I could tour some of Australia’s more isolated places and still progress with my music career. I was based in Sydney for a while but growing up in the Hunter gave me an appreciation for the land and the working class. I think that’s why I relate to people living in regional towns.”

Many of Sydney’s best soul, blues and country musician’s played on “Harvesting Time” as well as being recorded, mixed and mastered by former Sony engineer Michael Lynch who has worked on recordings by Ryan Adams, John Butler and Pete Murray.

Kieran plays lapsteel and acoustic guitars as well as harmonica and foot percussion in his solo show. His sound is well crafted, warm and delivered in the vein of Paul Kelly and Troy Cassar-Daly but with a folk/blues edge resembling Jeff Lang. The gigs will feature songs from the new album as well as some original interpretations of artists from Johnny Cash to Jimmy Hendrix.

Kieran will be performing a number of shows in the Newcastle region in early 2010:

Kieran’s album Harvesting Time can be purchased at all live gigs and through and iTunes.

Benjalu at the Prince of Wales Hotel

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Emerging Newcastle roots rock band, Benjalu are excited to announce their first headlining appearance on home turf for 2010.

BenjaluThe Price of Wales Hotel in Merewether, one of the band’s favourite venues to perform, will play host to these local larrikins for their homecoming show on Friday the 19th March this year. They will share the stage with the amazingly talented Kim Churchill, fresh from appearances at the Port Fairy Folk Festival, with support from locals and new kids on the block Little BlaK Dress.

Benjalu have received great recognition in their short musical career, in fact the attention they’ve garnered thus far has been way above their expectations. Having released their second, highly-anticipated EP ‘Waterwalls’ last year, the boys have been on the road constantly, playing anywhere from Far North Queensland, to Far South Victoria, and everywhere in between.

Despite having only been together as a band since March 2006, these local lads from Dudley have impressed music aficionados across Australia with their distinct fusion of folk, blues, jazz and contemporary rock. They’ve bagged a few awards along the way with their original music and atmospheric live shows. Most recently, Benjalu cleaned up at the ABC 1233 Newcastle Music Awards, taking out Best Young Talent and the Blues & Roots category also.

Benjalu have spent the last two years touring solidly, performing countless shows as they clicked over the kilometres up and down the east coast highways. They are hoping to find some time in their already heavlily booked 2010 to lay down their debut full-length album release.

‘Waterwalls’ features eight tracks with drums and bass recorded live, giving the CD a more flowing feel. The tracks vary from funky rock to folk and roots, showcasing both new tracks and songs that have been popular at the band’s live shows. The title track ‘Waterwalls’ presents catchy guitar licks, a thumping rhythm section and expressive vocal delivery, perfectly relating to the lyrics, which relay the build up of strong emotions and their effect on life. Another of the stand outs, ‘So High’, features funky guitar, a catchy chorus and a rockin’ jam out of clarinet and guitars. Other highlights include the CDs’ opener ‘The Lie’ (recently receiving JJJ airplay), ‘Grey Old Man’ and Benjalu’s oldest song, ‘Java’. ‘Waterwalls’ was produced by Ian Pritchett (Angus and Julia Stone, The Beautiful Girls) and was released on May 29 last year to a huge home crowd at The Brewery, Newcastle.

Benjalu have shared stages with music luminaries such as The Beautiful Girls, The Sleepy Jackson, and Josh Pyke. Kate Miller-Heidke, Jon Stevens, James Reyne, Dann Hume (Evermore), Rogerthat, and Paul Greene.

They’re looking very forward to sharing their music with their hometown fans, friends and family at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Merewether on Friday the 19th March from 8pm. Tickets only $10, available from the band or from the venue on the night.

For more information about Benjalu visit their myspace page at

Amy Vee – Sleeping Dogs Lie

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

They say that the only constant in life is change. The shifting career of Amy Vee is no exception. Beguiling solo performer. Electric popster. Virtuosic rocker. In 2010, Vee will come full circle, her talent stripped bare on a captivating acoustic release called Sleeping Dogs Lie.

Amy VeeAmy Vee began her musical life as a solo writer and performer, eventually forming the musical collective The Virtues. Through natural evolution Amy Vee and The Virtues became a rock band, with their singer putting down her acoustic guitar in favour of an electric.

Ears took notice and Amy Vee and The Virtues became hot property on the live circuit, touring hard and garnering awards, from the 2005 MusicOz Artist Of The Year to a nomination for an LA Music Award. Her vocal work with Groove Terminator would see her tour Australia in support of Moby.

But in late 2008, Vee felt an instinctive pull toward her original sound – the soft introspection of timeless folk music. Deciding to “shake things up a bit”, the songwriter decided to distance herself from The Virtues’ sizzling, electrified approach and wrote a collection of solo acoustic songs. Recording a series of demos and taking a tour of Canada, Vee was ready to share her changed direction and recorded five tracks in the studio of Newcastle-based producer Gareth Hudson.

The resulting work, Sleeping Dogs Lie, is a gentle, drifting collection that unravels further with every listen. The instrumentation is minimal, yet no less absorbing. Vee’s lyrics carry themes of the necessity for change, even if that means personal sacrifice. It’s about seeing the positive influences in the world around you and embracing them.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes in myself – personally and musically, internally and externally. Some only minute, others quite profound. This new recording represents me acknowledging and accepting these changes,” explains Vee.

There is an inherent honesty in Sleeping Dogs Lie that can be heard in Vee’s personal revelations. One example is the final track ‘Fall To Zero’. “I think ['Fall To Zero'] is really about that fundamental need that we all seem to have to find a kindred spirit. Not necessarily a partner or a soulmate in the romantic sense… just that desire to be understood and respected and to have one’s thoughts and beliefs reflected back. I wrote this song during a time when I was feeling a bit lost and I think you can hear that longing in there,” explains Vee.

This restlessness finds its way into the song ‘Borrowing From Thieves’. “This song is about being comfortable with knowing that sometimes the things you want aren’t meant to be yours,” explains Vee. “It’s told through the story of two people who share an incredible bond but the paths of their lives mean they can never truly connect. By the end of the song, they’ve acknowledged the relationship for what it is – and never will be – and moved on.”

In 2009, Vee’s new material was recognised with a sweep at the 1233 ABC Music Awards. The singer received the ABC Music Publishing/APRA Songwriters and Composers Recognition Award, Best Folk Song for Borrowing From Thieves and the Best Contemporary Song for We Are The Hours.

2010 will be an affirming year for Vee, as she takes the songs of Sleeping Dogs Lie to live audiences around Australia and the UK, with only her voice, lilting acoustic guitar and occasional use of live loops, percussion and melodica as her weapons of choice. While an artist’s future is never predictable, one thing is for certain. Vee is welcoming change.

Amy is excited to announce a slew of local appearances booked for March, including supports for Jon Stevens at Newcastle Lizotte’s (4th & 5th), Lambton Park Food & Wine Festival (6th March), Wine & Waves Festival Merewether (13th March) and Live ‘n’ Local at Newcastle Lizotte’s (24th March), all before she heads north for a mini-North Coast/Queensland tour in late March.

For more information about Amy Vee and a list of her upcoming gigs visit her website at

Debut Album From The Dread Sky

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Take your seats & hold on tight for the take off of The Dread Sky’s debut CD release!

The Dead SkyPrepare to be blown away by The Dread Sky’s debut self-titled album release, to be officially launched at the end of February this year. With a national album launch tour in the final stages of planning for this Summer/Autumn, The Dread Sky are more than excited to be touring off the back of their brand-new, solid-as-hell release.

Blending the joyous arrogance of 70′s punk and the drama of early British metal, with an underlying notion of evolved social conscience, The Dread Sky’s debut album is indeed true to this unique sound, setting this outfit aside from the others. With cheeky, Beatles-esque lyrical content, strong instrumental compositions and a wellproduced sound, this is a must-have album for your collection.

This extremely rare and hardworking band comprises three musically-obsessed gentlemen hailing from Newcastle, NSW, with two-thirds of the band actually spending a lot of time in the air.

“Myself and Neale (Brain, guitar & backing vox) are ex-military pilots, so we tend to spend a lot of time in the air and overseas. Much of the material on this release is based on that lifestyle”, explains Jerry (lead singer & bassist), “We’ve recently been debuting the CD in LA when we’re on layovers there, so that’s given us a good lead-up to our Australian tour!”

Co-produced by Gerling’s Burke Reid, mixed by Presets producer Scott Horscroft, mastered at 301 Studios by Steve Smart, with artwork by the ARIA award-winning team at Debaser, this album is set to turn heads and prick up ears across the country.

With all their hard work behind them, this explosive trio are itching to get on the road and launch this rockin’ 11 track album. Highlights from the album are aplenty, with lead track “The Pilot” proving to be an ironically catchy tune, “Mary Of Sirius” a Bowie-esque definite single, eerie ballad-type track “Snomen” a killer and “Maria’s” groovin’ melody and interesting theatrics.

The Dread Sky album is now available through iTunes, and selected independent record stores.

Be sure not to miss The Dread Sky as they jet across the nation this Summer/Autumn!

The Dread Sky will be performing at several locations around newcastle as part of their album launch tour:

For more information about The Dread Sky visit their website at

St Patricks Day at the Northern Star Hotel

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

The truth & legend of St Patrick is shrouded in the mists of time. In good Irish tradition, the fact and the fiction have been mixed and magnified so that they can no longer be told apart.

One legend says as a youth he was kidnapped by an Irish raiding party, where he was sold as a slave. After several years of herding cattle, sheep & pigs he escaped to Europe where he studied for the priesthood. After a dream persuaded him to return to Ireland and convert the Pagans to Christianity, he also supposedly rid the country of snakes, drove the devils mother into a lake and killed a witch with his handbell.

Pat The LeprechaunUltimately the blending of reality and exaggeration about St Pat matters for naught. Irish folk will tell you – it’s all about the Craic.

And the best Craic this St Patrick’s Day is at the Northern Star Hotel.

The festivities kick off in the early hours with a special $10 Irish Breakfast served in the restaurant for those keen to get a jumpstart to the day. Entertaining these early revellers will be Pat the loony leprechaun (aka Chris Kelly). Chris’s irreverent brand of humour is a Northern Star St Pat’s institution, with magic tricks and lewd Irish jokes his stock in trade. He juggles with balls, clubs, cricket bats and machetes. With a sense of comedy and wit Pat finds hecklers a delight – picking up on their idiosyncrasies without insult or injury. His ability to weave through the crowd on his 6′ unicycle while simultaneously playing an Irish jig on his fiddle will leave punters amazed. But it’s not just the early starters at breakfast that will get a taste of Pat the Leprechaun, with Chris set to take the show on the road, roving the entire hotel come lunchtime.

Speaking of lunch, the great Irish fare continues with the hotel’s chef offering up some tasty $10 treats from their menu for both lunch and dinner. And lunch and dinner patrons will also be entertained by the Celtic convict country stylings of Gleny Rae Virus. Best known for her work with the Tamworth Playboys and The Junes, Gleny has a concocted a special routine for St Pat’s Day ranging from traditional ballads to old fashioned sing-alongs all the while accompanied by a troupe of disparate musical magicians.

But it won’t just be the breakfast, lunch and dinner crowd that will be catered for, with The Northern Star being the place to be for a Guinness or Kilkenny all day. Entertainment starts off in the front bar from 10am and runs until midnight, and the beer garden will be jumping from 1pm, with live music from Paddy’s Craic, Jigzag, The McNasty’s & Hugh Gordon’s Irish Combo.

  • What: St Patrick’s Day
  • Where: Northern Star Hotel
  • When: Wednesday March 17
  • Cost: All entertainment is free.

St Patrick’s Day entertainment at the Northern Star Hotel

All told St Patrick’s Day at the Northern Star Hotel has over 30 hours of entertainment, on 3 stages, all squeezed into one short day – that’s partying Irish style.


  • Pat the Leprechaun (7 – 9am)
  • Gleny Rae Duo (12 – 2pm)
  • Gleny Rae Trio (6 – 9pm)

Front Bar

  • Jigzag (10am – 12)
  • Paddy’s Craic (12 – 3pm)
  • Hugh Gordon (3 – 6)
  • The McNasty’s (6 – 9)
  • Hugh Gordon (9 – 12)

Beer Garden

  • Jigzag (1 – 4)
  • Paddy’s Craic (5 – 7)
  • Jigzag (7 – 10pm)

Bookings for breakfast lunch & dinner are recommended and can be done through the hotel on 02 49611 087

Youth Rockin The Black Dog Band Competition

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Screaming Jets guitarist set to Rock the Black Dog!

Agents of Peace and Screaming Jets founder and songwriter/musician Grant Walmsley, is set to be one of the judges in the upcoming “Youth Rockin’ the Black Dog 2010″ band competition.

Rockin The Black Dog 2010

Youth Rockin’ the Black Dog is a new and innovative musical arts competition in the Hunter designed to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst young people. The winners will receive a three-track professional recording session and 500 produced CDs among other prizes.

Launched on 1 February, the Youth Rockin’ the Black Dog event is a partnership between the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, the Black Dog Institute, and the local music industry. It aims to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst young people, while giving local musicians a platform to showcase their talents.

The event is the brainchild of Newcastle-based music producer and performer Gareth Hudson. Gareth organised the successful 2008 Rockin’ the Black Dog concert in Newcastle, which also aimed to raise awareness of mental health issues.

“The competition aims to use music to engage young people and increase their awareness of mental health issues,” Gareth said. “While the music does not have to explore these issues, there will be other opportunities through the audition rounds and the grand final for young people to obtain important information.”

The competition is open to young people aged 15 to 21, and entries close 19 March, 2010. Entrants need to submit two songs (one original) to be judged by a panel of acclaimed local musicians.

Six finalists will then battle it out live during a night of great music at the Loft Youth Venue in Newcastle on 21 May 2010 before a winner is announced.

Tickets for this event will go on sale on 1 March 2010, and can be purchased from The Loft Youth Venue.

More information about the event and to download an entry form visiting or become a fan of Youth Rockin’ the Black Dog on Facebook.

Brisbane Four-Piece Montpelier To Perform In newcastle

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

MontpelierIn October last year, Brisbane four-piece Montpelier announced their arrival with the release of their first single The Rafters, which. The band have recently completed recording their in LA. The band will be touring along the East coast of Australia in March this year to promote their debut self titled record which they recently completed recording in Los Angeles.

“We recorded in LA because we were provided with an extremely fortunate opportunity which we grabbed with both hands. The story of how we got to be in LA recording is an unbelievable one, and frankly sounds almost impossible, so I am not surprised that some people may struggle with the concept. I am very proud of how we got to be in LA and what we did while we were there. I would gladly recount the process any day, to anyone,” affirms John Pickering.

Montpelier returned to Brisbane with a product of world-class quality, however they returned with something of equal significance that couldn’t be captured on a disk or a computer file. Experience. “The whole experience gave us so much more breadth as a band and as individual musicians. It put everything in perspective; where we were at, what we were here to do and where we were going. It’s not just about the product, it’s about the whole experience,” says Dave Butler.

Montpelier will be sharing their debut EP and remarkable live show with everyone this March. Their biggest tour to date kicks of March 5 at Brisbane’s most iconic live music venue, The Zoo before heading down the East Coast. “It’s the final step in this journey that started back in LA with Kevin, but in a way it opens the door to moving forward, and expanding on what we’ve achieved so far,” says Andrew.

Montpelier will be giving three free concerts in the Newcastle region throughout March 2010.

  • When: Wednesday March 10 – 12:30pm
  • Where: Bar on the Hill, Newcastle University
  • Cost: Free Lunch time performance

Montpelier’s debut EP is released on Friday March 5. You can pre-order your copy now from the band’s website at

Vocal Workshops With Renee Grant-Williams

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

The Studio NewcastleChristina Aguilera, Johnny Cash, The Dixie Chicks, Ben Folds 5, the Grateful Dead, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Miley Cyrus, Chicago, Creed, Martina McBride and Tim McGraw are just some of the world famous musicians that have turned to Renee to help them work on their technique, correct a problem or prepare themselves for the rigors of performing.

Renee offers a number of teaching tools including her Vocal Master Class DVD, her Vocal Warm-Up CD, and the book Voice Power. Check these plus a full list of Renee’s accomplishments including past and present clientele

You will have the chance to tap into this highly valued resource when Renee conducts workshops at The Studio on February 16 and 17, 2010.

With topics ranging from Passive Breathing, Controlling Vibrato & Killer High Notes to Tips on Contests & Choosing the Right Songs for your voice, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

People interested in attending can download this information sheet and can register at

The Scare and Here Come The Birds!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The ScareSince forming on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in 2003, The Scare have partied hard and toured even harder. They’ve flown around the world by the seat of their pants, survived in the freezing back alleys of Birmingham, England, sleeping on couches or on floors or in gutters. They returned to Australia and released their full-length debut, Chivalry in 2007, only to have it fall largely upon deaf ears, thrusting the group into a period of intense self-scrutiny.

Then came the Daniel Johns produced Oozevoodoo. Having formed a special bond after meeting at a mutual friend’s studio, Johns invited the group to spend some time at his Newcastle home, which is where the initial seeds for oozevoodoo were sewn. As Johns recalls: “They came up here and within a day of being here we wrote ‘I’m Desperate’. In my house, smashing away incredibly loudly, annoying my neighbours”. A quantum leap from Chivalry, it is neither a carbon copy of anyone else, nor a mere pastiche of The Scare’s influences. Featuring a heavier attack, simpler rhythms and more ambitious vocal melodies that circumvent the traditional, the lyrics to each song act like mini scenes in a wider epic.

Successful tours followed, including a slot on the recent Big Day Out touring circus, with the bands’ profile and fan base continuing to grow. Now the Scare return to Newcastle for the very first show of the University year – The Enrolment Party.

Joining the Scare on this will be local bands Here Come The Birds and The Great Escape.

After forming in 2005, Here Come The Birds quickly launched their first single ‘Bravery & Defeat’. Instant JJJ success and a slot on Splendour in the Grass alongside Vampire Weekend & Devo lead to a tour with Van She and Operator Please. The band were winners of the Rock category in the 2008 ABC Newcastle Music Awards with their song Sharp White Teeth.

Tickets are available from The Rock Shop, Billy Hydes, Oztix, Ushops on Campus &

Kindred – Ignite The Machine

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Kindred - Ignite The MachineNewcastle based metal band Kindred have recently finished recording their latest CD “Ignite The Machine“.

The CD was mixed and mastered by Fredrik Nordstrum and Shane Edwards. Nordstrum and Edwards have produced and mixed some of the best Metal and Hardcore in the world including bands such as In Flames, Soilwork, Opeth, Arch Enemy and many more.

In June 2008 Kindred signed with Waterfront Records, MGM Green and JMC and shortly afterwards released their debut EP “Exordium”.

Last month Kindred recorded the video clip for the single “No More Praise” at Fox Studios, Sydney. The clip was filmed by the well know director Jay Johnson (Linkin Park, Warners and Universal).

Kindred have also been invited to tour South Australia and Victoria with Melbourne band Tread who have just released their cd “Rise from Silence”, Kindred will also be supporting Sydney metal band Daysend on their National tour.

Kindred will be supporting Daysend in Newcastle at the Cambridge Hotel on Friday, March 19.

Ignite The Machine” will be made available for purchase at all major music outlets including JB HIFI, Sanity and many independent outlets through MGM Australia and Waterfront records international. The CD and tracks will also be able to be purchased for download through iTunes internationally.

“Diverse, Solid and Melodic …” – Reverb Magazine

Two preview tracks are now available at

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