Category Archives: News and Touring

hummingbird update

NEW RELEASE: Big Merino – Brand New Single ‘Hummingbird’

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Big Merino – New Single – Hummingbird

Sydney’s Big Merino have recorded a brand new song called Hummingbird.
It’s the very first taste of a bunch of new songs that will be recorded over the coming months at Damien Gerard Studios in Sydney. The as-yet-untitled second album from the blues-country-rock-pop group is expected to be released this Winter.

Hummingbird is not an ode to wildlife, rather a lament on the tragic and powerful consequences of unmanned military aerial drone strikes.

A special black-and-white video for the song was recently shot by band member Alex, who just happens to be a professional photographer. He captured the band on the rocks over the ocean at Maroubra Beach, Sydney and it’s available to watch now on YouTube. 

Big Merino will launch Hummingbird on Saturday February 23 at Gasoline Pony in Marrickville, Sydney.  

Formed a little over two years ago, Big Merino play original songs that blur the lines between rock, country, blues, roots, soul, funk and grunge, while occasionally making forays into lesser known genres such as New Orleans 2ndLine.

Citing their major influences as Glen Hansard, The Frames, Jackson Browne and The Rolling Stones, songwriters Alex Craig and Stuart Davis write socially and politically-charged songs that are sometimes gentle and nostalgic and at other times nothing less than a fierce cry for revolution.

Lead singer/guitarist Stuart Davis cut his teeth singing Gospel with Tony Backhouse in Cafe at the Gates of Salvation, and brings that soulful Gospel feel to everything he does. He is joined by Alex Craigon guitar, Peter Richardsonon bass and Colin Sevitt on drums.


Listen to ‘Hummingbird’ at all your favourite digital music platforms from Friday, February 15, 2019:

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The Bondi Beach Latin American Festival is happening March 17!


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Have you ever wanted to experience the vibrant culture, music, dance and cuisine of Latin America? On Sunday 17th of March you can do it all as the BONDI BEACH LATIN AMERICAN FESTIVAL returns to the iconic Bondi Beach Pavilion.

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This year the BONDI BEACH LATIN AMERICAN FESTIVAL completes its 40th year, celebrating the magic of Latin culture by the sunny sands of Australia’s most famous beach. The festival will kick off at 11:00 am with the always colourful beachside parade, representing a diversity of Latin and Caribbean cultures including Comparsa Urumbe (Uruguay), Sabor Boliviano (Bolivia), La Rumba Latina (Colombia), Bateria 61 (Brazil), and the exquisite dancers and costumes of the Carnivale.

From midday to 8 pm the fiesta continues with the Bondi Pavilion hosting 4 arenas where you will find a diverse range of artists and genres representative of Latin culture. Artists such as Pato Lara & The Teyuna Collective, Nativösoul, Cumbiamuffin, Havana Social Club Salsa DJs, and Australiasia’s leading Brazilian performance company, Rhythm Brazil among others, will make your body move with the upbeat and contagious music that the region is known for.

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The party vibes will be in full effect with Bondi Beach providing an amazing backdrop against which to enjoy the “Latin Village” and visit its market stalls. An incredible variety of Latin food will be on offer in the “Latin Beats and Eats Arena” including Argentinian BBQ, Sofrito paella, Venezuelan arepas, Mexican tacos and nachos, ceviche from Peru, empanadas from Chile and amazing desserts such as the ever-popular churros.

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Traditional and emerging Latin dance styles will be on show with folkloric performances on the main stage, and free dance classes with professionals.

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There will also be children’s activities and art exhibitions, allowing to enjoy and participate in the warmth, fun and happiness of the Latin culture.

This extraordinarily engaging experience presented by Waverley Council and Bondi Association of Arts and Music will take place on the 17th of March 2019 at the Bondi Pavilion, so prepare yourself for a stunning day of immersion in Latin culture.

Tickets are now available at

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Click here to buy them now!

(Kids under 12 are free!)

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Dis-Connect’s new EP ‘Social Disease’ Launches March 30

The new EP from Hornsby, Sydney-based 3 piece Dis-Connect is called Social Disease and it’s out on Feb 8!

Recorded in May 2018 at The Grove Studios on the Central Coast, the EP features 4 brand new tracks that use their serrated punk/pop sound to accentuate the difficult issues that are examined in the lyrics. Social Disease offers a glimpse of some of the pressures facing middle and lower-class Australians, from the use of prescription and illegal drugs, troubled relationships and the struggle of a low income to cultural diversity, sexuality and political bias.

The EP will be launched at The Hornsby Inn, Sydney on Saturday 30th March.

 Dis-Connect are Phillip Lambert (lead vocals, bass guitar) Steven Tonge (back vocals, guitar) and Grahame Giles (drums). The band was formed after Phil recorded 7 songs in his bedroom and gave the songs and his drum kit to Grahame and from that point it was 6 weeks until the band’s very first gig.

After a few years of playing live gigs, Steve joined the band and they recorded a demo at Damien Gerard Studios with Russell Pilling. A lot of live gigs followed, as well as the release of their debut EP, featuring the track Harmony, which gained national radio airplay on Triple J.

Social Disease will be live on Spotify, iTunes and all your favourite streaming services on Feb 8

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New single from Texas Strangers – River of Tears

Texas Strangers are a 5-piece Central Coast-based country rock outfit.

UPDATE-

They’ve just returned from a successful trip to the annual star-filled Tamworth Country Music Festival, where they played 7 gigs to rapturous crowds.

River of Tears is the first single from their forthcoming album Borderline and it’s now been added to full rotation at ABC Country radio as of January 2019

The Forthcoming Album Borderline will be released On Foghorn/MGM in March

From the pen of singer/songriter Steve Killeen comes a soulful and haunting tale of alcoholism and abandonment. Much like a river itself, the song twists and turns, rises and falls as it reveals itself.

Set to a sweeping “Classic Nashville” arrangement, the Texas Strangers have delivered a great Country track that will remain with the listener long after they’ve heard it.

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The single was recorded during the album sessions for Borderline at Damien Gerard Studios engineered by Russell Pilling. The Song was mastered by Sage Audio Nashville Tennessee.

OUT NOW through Foghorn/MGM

Listen on Spotify now:

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NEW ACOUSTIC EP – Joel Leffler – Brighton Lakes Sessions EP

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If you were to walk in the front door of one of those homes, turn right up the stairs and left into bedroom 3 you would find a grand piano, an acoustic guitar & an air of something recognisably creative.

This 8 track EP features popular songs from Joel Lefflers’s previous titles ‘Run With The Wolves’ & ‘Strip Me Bare’ along with 2 brand new acoustic tracks fresh out of the studio, ‘Where You Are’ & ‘Home To Me (Caledonia)’.

Much like Brighton Lakes face lift; these songs have been re-imagined to give an insight into what they sound like both in pre-production & live in show.

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Joel says of his experience recording the acoustic sessions, “I was recently diagnosed with severe anxiety that found me laying in an ER bed at Liverpool Hospital…What I thought was originally derived from music actually turns out to be – that music itself is the cure!”

Brighton Lakes Sessions EP was written, recorded & produced by Joel Leffler followed by mastering by Andrew Beck at Damien Gerard Studios.

Listen here:

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Sydney Morning Herald review of IVONA ROSE – So Modern album

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IVONA ROSE
So Modern (Foghorn)

FOLK POP

Reviewed by John Shand

The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum

Pick of the week 17-11-18

You hear the assortment of musical influences remotely, as if they are in the next room. In the foreground is a voice as both a singer and songwriter that sounds like no one else. Perhaps partly it is Ivona? Rose’s Polish background adding a layer of sepia-tinted Euro nostalgia to the folk and pop elements. But, more than that, it is a sense of clarity about how to burrow down to the authenticity of her own songs, so nothing sounds forced, even when they have been quite elaborately arranged and produced (the production being by Rose and Brian Campeau?, with the latter also playing guitar and synthisizers?). The songs are certainly not uniformly strong, but the title track, for instance, grabs you by the throat on the first listening, and sinks into your marrow the more you hear it, the music carrying faint echoes of Kate Bush while the lyrics lament the impact of modern gadgetry on our humanity. The textures are unique, too, with Rose’s piano, autoharp or melodica and Campeau’s? contributions coloured here and there by cello or trumpet, and underpinned by the authoritative and groovy rhythm section of Zoe Hauptmann? and Evan Mannell. JOHN SHAND

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New Album – The Jimmy C – Songs For The Species

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Humourous, up-beat, catchy, power/pop/psychedelic/rock … the Melbourne one-man-band The Jimmy C opens a can of earworms that burrow deep and leave you smiling.

The Jimmy C is Jamie Coghill, a self-taught multi-instrumentalist who loves the music of the late 60’s and early 70’s.  Some know Jamie as the drummer from Luxedo, Fez Perez and The Devilrock Four, others know him from his own music as The Jimmy C. He records everything at home in his spare room.

Songs For The Species is a humorous collection of songs whose creator says is sonically influenced by  Super Furry Animals, The Kinks, Jellyfish, Supergrass, ELO, Pugwash, Beach Boys and The Beatles.

The album opener is Everybody Shits. “Imagine Jellyfish playing your favourite up-beat 70s sitcom theme,” Coghill enthuses. “[It’s] a bouncy pop song reminding us, “It doesn’t matter how cute you are, you still have an asshole.””

Another album highlight is the jangly Foot In My Mouth, “an ode to those of us who never fail to say the wrong thing every time we speak.” Coghill describes the song as, ” a slow plodding rocker with up-beat choruses and a chaotic split personality ending.”

Alt-country meets sunny pop in the harmony-filled “ASAPples”, which rides on some, “silly modern-life influenced lyrics” – the inspiration of texting, emojis and our technology-filled lives.

Born Without A Brain is where the drummer makes fun of drummers. “They’re my people!”, Coghill protests.  Power pop guitars, lush Beach Boys harmonies and upbeat vibes makes this track a catchy and enjoyable album standout.

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Songs For The Species is out now on Foghorn/MGM. 

Watch the video for “Baby Blue Sky” here:

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And see all SIX BRAND NEW VIDEOS from The Jimmy C here:
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Big Merino – Black Cockatoos Single and Video

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Big Merino – New Single – Black Cockatoos

The second single to be lifted from the current Surburban Wildlife album (MGM) is called Black Cockatoos. Released in a 3-track format, the lead song is accompanied by another album track “Sometimes” as well as a brand new, previously unreleased tune “A Day Without You” held over from the album sessions earlier this year.

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The stunning brand new video for “Black Cockatoos”(see pics)  shot by Director Alan Harca will be launched at the Black Cockatoos Launch at Django Bar Camelot on December 2, following a warm up show Sunday November 11 at the Botany View Hotel, Newtown.(this weekend)

For a sneak peak of the ‘look’ of the forthcoming video here’s the completed clip for B Side ‘Sometimes’ shot in the same space

Just click here or image below

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Formed a little over two years ago, Big Merino play original songs that blur the lines between rock, country, blues, roots, soul, funk and grunge, while occasionally making forays into lesser known genres such as New Orleans 2nd Line.

Citing their major influences as Glen Hansard, The Frames, Jackson Browne and The Rolling Stones, songwriters Alex Craig and Stuart Davis write socially and politically-charged songs that are sometimes gentle and nostalgic and at other times nothing less than a fierce cry for revolution.

Lead singer/guitarist Stuart Davis cut his teeth singing Gospel with Tony Backhouse in Cafe at the Gates of Salvation, and brings that soulful Gospel feel to everything he does. He is joined by Alex Craig on guitar, Peter Richardson on bass and Colin Sevitt on drums.

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The Suburban Wildlife album was recorded by Russell Pilling over three weeks at Damien Gerard Studios. Russell also remixed “Black Cockatoos” specially for this single release, adding some timpani tracks that weren’t on the album mix.

The album features guest performances from some of the cream of Australia’s musical talent including-
Living legend James Greening on trombone, souzaphone, euphonium, trombone, trumpet, flugelhorn and pocket cornet (the main feature of previously unreleased song ‘A Day Without You”)
Jonathan Zwartz - Double Bass
Johnny G - from Johnny G and the E-Types on piano, organ and accordion
Jess Ciampa - Australia’s most sought after percussionist
Michel Rose - pedal steel (The Catholics) and
finally a string quartet from the Sydney Chamber Orchestra. 

See TheMusic studio sessions article here. 

“Great songs, great songwriting and the best of it full of a real sincerity and commitment.”
Michael Smith – Rhythms

“‘Sometimes’ with its soaring backing vocals is one of the most powerful rock songs I’ve heard in many years. ‘Black Cockatoos’ with the string quartet and a brilliant guitar work by Alex Craig is destined to become an Australian classic.”

BIG MERINO
Black Cockatoos Single
Official Release All Digital Platforms via MGM
November 2 2018

Click below to download or stream.

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John Kennedy’s Second Best reviewed by Bernard Zuel

In 2001, John Kennedy compiled the early vinyl singles and album selections from his bands JFK and the Cuban Crisis, Love Gone Wrong and the Honeymooners.

17 years later, its follow-up retrospective collection is out now in all good record stores. 

Leading music journalist and former Sydney Morning Herald writer Bernard Zuel has reviewed the set known as “Second Best: Greatest Bits Vol. 2″.

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“Well of course John Kennedy would call the second set of his career songs collections “second best”. If he’d called it something like “the other bits”, “warmed up leftovers” or “oh no, not me again”, none of us would have been surprised,” Zuel writes.  “This way he gets a play on words, a dig at himself, and a reminder he’s been around long enough to warrant at least two sets of favourite songs before we have stopped laughing: result.”

Kennedy and his band (with the current line-up of Love Gone Wrong drummer Peter Timmerman, ex-Wiggle Murray Cook on guitar and former Pop Mechanics’ leader Paul Scott on bass) blend pop, rock, folk and country, all topped with the uniqueness of Kennedy’s vocal and lyrics.

Zuel says, “Some of his lines have the double dose pleasure of being funny on first hearing and rather telling on second, an effect which is enhanced with a voice that sometimes just seems to be taking the piss. Even when it’s not. Speaking of his voice, yes, when he is not dropping down to a Johnny Cash-ish timbre he has always sounded a fair bit like Elvis Costello – which is what caught the ears of some of us way back when he first appeared as the presidential JFK & The Cuban Crisis.”

Read the entire review here at Bernard’s website: https://www.bernardzuel.net/single-post/2018/11/04/JOHN-KENNEDY-–-SECOND-BEST-REVIEW

OUT NOW on Foghorn Records through MGM.  

Available on CD and digital platforms. 

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Jessie May Kitchen – NEW SINGLE “Teen Love”

Hot on the heels of her sparkling debut, “Coffee Shop”, comes Jessie May Kitchen’s second single, “Teen Love.” A jangly guitar-driven pop song, it’s a sweet ode to all the uncertainties in the early days of teenage romance.

The 17 year old singer-songwriter says her new single, “goes through the emotions of our day by day, week by week, forbidden puppy love. It is written about the previous relationship I was in, when the person I was dating wasn’t sure about what they wanted or who they were yet, so it was very confusing for me.”

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Jessie May says she knew very early how much she wanted a life in music: “I wanted to become a singer/songwriter when I was 5 years old. I remember seeing people singing on TV and thinking, “Hey! That’s me!” My parents told me I could be anything I wanted as a young girl, but like most families panicked in my high school years telling me I, “should find a plan B” or go for something, you know, is, “easy, safe or guaranteed money,” So, for a while I was lost and didn’t write for years, until one day in 2016, I realized that I’m happiest in songwriting and singing; that this is who I’m supposed to be. So, I picked up a guitar and was me again. My parents are much more supportive of me now that I’m older.
And even if it’s not the ‘safest’ road to travel, it sure is the sunniest.”

A new video for “Teen Love” is in production right now and will be released soon.

In the meantime, check out her previous video “Coffee Shop”(which premiered on Scenstr earlier this year) as well as all the links and release details below! 

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The song has already been added to Mood Media and Soundslikecafe networks and it’s being picked up by community radio stations all around the country.

The new single release features 3 versions of the song – the main track,  an acoustic-only version just like Jessie performs it live and an instrumental.

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Jessie May Kitchen – Teen Love (Foghorn/MGM)
Released October 12 All Digital Platforms

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