By Chris Mineral
An all-round celebration of all things great about vinyl.
Record Store Day was happening in Melbourne on Saturday, April 13, where a whole clutch of Melbourne’s great record stores hosted a stack of some of Melbourne’s greatest bands celebrating the brilliance of our independent record store scene.
Record stores participating included Off The Hip Records, Wax Museum Records, Easty Street Records, Greville Records, Paradise Records, Basement Discs, Wah Wah Records in Collingwood, Zia Records, Muscle Shoals Records.
In the city, at Rocksteady Records, one of the highlights was the set performed by Batts performing songs from her debut album The Grand Tour. This is Batts’ debut album, and The Grand Tour utilises audio recordings from NASA spacecraft journeying through the solar system.
Visit Melbourne and News Ltd went on a tour of some of Melbourne’s happening venues with Batts and it is worth tuning in on YouTube to witness great spaces such as The Northcote Social Club, Some Velvet Morning, The Old Bar and Black Pearl.
Batts will be performing at Howler on June 28 as part of her The Grand Tour Jupiter, Saturn and Beyond album tour. Space is the place. The Grand Tour track listing is – Intro/ Mars/ Overstayed Your Welcome/ Don’t Treat Me Like You Do/Little White Lies/ Interlude/ Shame/ Folding Chairs/ Gun/ Dark Heart/ Waste Of My Time.
Batts’ influences and inspirations happen to include Courtney Barnett’s superb Nameless Faceless song, the transcendent Sharon Van Etten, David Bazan and, of course, David Bowie.
Mess Ltd is holding workshops where you can learn the basics of synthesis with the unique Mess collection in-sessions for female and non-binary people. Build your own triangle sequencer at Mess to take away with you at the end of a four-hour workshop!
The workshop will be run by Ewa Justka – Polish electronic acid-tech, noise artist, self-taught instrument builder and electronics teacher based in London. Mess is located at 15 Dowling Place, North Melbourne.
The cost of the workshop includes the sequencer kit and materials. Limited capacity, booking essential!
Greville Records, a stalwart record store in Melbourne, has celebrated its fortieth anniversary.
One of the highlights over the years of record store days was the performance at Greville Records by Taipan Tiger Girls in 2016. Featuring Ollie Olsen on keyboards/synthesisers, Mat Watson on drums and Lisa MacKinney on guitars, it was an epic performance of hypnotic interstellar overdrive setting the controls for the heart of the sun.
Canadian singer/ songwriter Mac De Marco has a brand new record Here Comes The Cowboy, out through Macs Record Label via Spunk Records and one of the feature tracks is All Of Our Yesterdays.
Deborah Conway, magnificent singer and guitarist, will be highlighting two albums in an epic concert at Hamer Hall on Sunday, June 16. 26 years ago, the much-appreciated Conway created the brilliant and stunning album Bitch Epic that featured the superb single Alive And Brilliant. This album was the first recording with her musical collaborator Willy Zygier, having met a couple of years beforehand.
Bitch Epic, produced by Jim Rodinelli and Zygier also featured Consider This with Vika and Linda Bull and Today I Am A Daisy and World Of Love with chanteuse Christine Anu.
Conway and Zygiers’ most recent recording, Words Of Men will also be in the spotlight. Keyboardist Hugh Blanes who recorded Words Of Men will be on stage as part of Conway’s band. The Words Of Men/ Bitch Epic 25th Anniversary Tour will be one of the concert highlights of this winter.
Melbourne International Film Festival’s third Hear My Eyes event features soul, hip hop and spoken word artist Sampa The Great who will perform a live soundtrack to the film Girlhood.
Directed by writer/director Celine Sciamma, Girlhood is a movie that details young women of colour growing up in the projects of Paris. Making the Parisienne urban projects emerge with great clarity on the screen with capable visual brilliance from cinematographer Crystel Fournier, Sciamma would no doubt be intrigued by what Sampa The Great will present on the night to this coming of age cinematic treat.
Sampa The Great’s debut album BBEE9 was a most soulful presentation of her musical and artistic vision.
Alex Lahey will be featuring songs from her second album The Best Of Luck Club at her show and it will be taking off at Cape Canaveral at The Forum Theatre on Saturday, June 22.
Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself (Dead Oceans) is one of the best songs from this album, which will be available from May 17.
Russell Morris’s new album Black And Blue Heart is produced by Nick DiDia and Bernard Fanning. It is a return to his authentic blues roots. His previous album Shark Mouth featured Paul Grabowsky, Renee Geyer, Mark Lizotte (Diesel) with songs featuring Sydney and Melbourne icons such as Squizzy Taylor, Thomas Archer, Phar Lap, characters and stories.
Russell Morris will be performing at the Caravan Club at Bentleigh East on June 28.
Jess Ribeiro will be launching her The Love/Hate album (Barely Dressed/ Remote Control Records) on July 26 at The Northcote Social Club.
Sheriff – June 14, Thornbury Theatre
Deborah Conway – Hamer Hall, Sunday, June 16
Alex Lahey – Forum Theatre, Saturday, June 22
Batts Album Tour – Howler, June 28
Sunday Arvo Blues Sessions – Every Sunday in June, Cherry Bar AC/DC Lane
Hear My Eyes: Girlhood + Sampa The Great, Saturday, August 3, Plenary Theatre
Systa BB Music Show – The Good The Dub And The Local, Tuesday arvos, 3RRR