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Ross Henry

Ross Henry

Having settled in Sydney’s inner west Ross Henry is a Brit abroad who’s bringing more to this country than your average pom. Unlike most of us* who seem content with sitting around on Bondi’s beach getting as sun burnt as possible Ross Henry spends his days writing and producing music from his humble home studio ingeniously put together using secondhand mics and strange spaces to produce a sound that is as warm, as it is inviting. With In Fields, his latest EP Ross Henry delivers a solid folk album, full of intrigue and imagination.

Thanks to the lovely people of Maths & Magic and the power of email we caught up for a little Q&A to find out more about this folk playing fella.

Hey Ross, what was it that took you from sunny southwest England to the inner west?

I guess I like seeing what’s over the hill. It’s a good thing to do something new or put yourself in a fresh context, you’ll always gain a lot from it. I discovered the inner west upon my first shift at the Enmore theater. It seemed lot more interesting than where I first arrived in Botany, wasn’t a great deal going on there.

Did the move impact the music you make and the inspirations for it?

Well I’ve been studying music for the last few years, that in itself has helped me develop as a producer. In a way I see my music more like little experiments. I love playing with new elements and ideas even more so now. I aspire to just keep learning and developing and that hasn’t changed, oh and to pay the bills with my music would be amazing!

Can you tell us about your recording methods used for your EP: In Fields?

I bought a couple cheap secondhand mics, decked out my state of the art studio (cupboard) with some very basic sound proofing and spent two weeks recording and mixing. I used lots of overdubs and close miked everything. I see each release as a bread crumb in my development so it’s interesting to listen back to the tracks. Despite enjoying the outcome of recording this way, I missed the stripped down performance, so I’ve included live sessions in the EP too.

So what’s it all about? Is there a musical theme that runs through the EP?

I’m a big fan of melody, small vs big dynamics (especially when I play live) and subtly odd rhythm. All of which seem apparent within In Fields. I s’pose it’s a little story about wanting something that isn’t there. I like the live recording best, it’s got more energy, a more organic raw feel.

What’s next for you & the EP (news/tour dates etc?)

I just finished up a few gigs recently in the inner west and I’ll be free from the shackles of education come August. Soon I’ll be locking in more Sydney (and hopefully Melbourne) dates for September/October. I’m also pretty excited about a few electronic/interactive elements that are sneaking their way into my sets. On with the experiments!

Spend a little time to get to more about this guy through his music below and I promise you’ll enjoy what you hear. 

*when I said ‘most of us’ I just meant me…

If you like Ross Henry – You might like First Aid Kit

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Tigertown - Witches & Lions

Tigertown – Witches & Lions

Sydney six piece Tigertown are heading back on the road, bringing their enchanting blend of folk pop to a venue near you soon. Having already built on the successes of last year that saw Tigertown support the likes of Matt Corby & Emma Louise the band look set to make 2012 a year to remember.

Armed with a new management team in the form of Rowan Brand and Catherine Haridy (Eskimo Joe) and publicity from Mucho Bravado the band have just released a stunning new single Witches & Lions with a follow up EP scheduled for release imminently.

To celebrate these activities Tigertown are embarking on the ‘Age of Winter’ tour delivering their compelling live shows, full of magical harmonies and heartfelt lyrics to a string of cosy venues up and down the East coast. Witches & Lions is a strong return to scene and a signifier of what we can expect form the EP.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the band play live a few times, not forgetting the live set they played for us on Bondi FM, and they never disappoint. Sydneysiders should come along to the Hibernian House on 21st June for a magical musical experience that will not be forgotten.

Full tour dates below the Witches & Lions clip:

  • Sunday 10th June – The Queen’s Wharf, Newcastle
  • Thursday 14th June – Ed Castle, Adelaide
  • Saturday 16th June – Pure Pop Records, St Kilda
  • Sunday 17th June – The Workers Club, Melbourne
  • Thursday 21st June – Hibernian House, Sydney
  • Sunday 1st July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane

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Florence + the Machine

Florence + the Machine

There’s always so much excitement to be had in catching a big band play a small venue and last night’s Florence + the Machine gig at the Seymour centre was no exception.

The show which featured as part of Mastercard’s Priceless Music campaign was a knockout. Looking as elegant as ever and sounding as ethereal as always Miss Welch took the small crowd on musical adventure through the wonderlands of her music. Backed by the full band, featuring dual drummers, that harp, guitars keys and additional backing singers they meandered through songs the new album Ceremonials together with some classics of the debut album Lungs.

Stand out moments came from an awesome rendition of Between two lungs which featured the sublime vocal talents of Welch together with some outstanding drumming from the bassist and the lead drummer. Plus the crowd’s favourite  Shake it out and the masquerade masks that were adorned by all.

The new album, Ceremonials, is outstanding, if you’ve heard it yet then do your soul a favour and submerse yourself in the beauty that is Florence + the Machine. I think this is the fourth time I’ve seen her in Australia and she still gives me goose bumps, still knocks me out with the power of her voice and the glory of the performance.  Much thanks goes out to Mairead and my lovely lady for sorting out the tickets!

For more info on Florence + the Machine head here.

 

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Toucan - A Brave New World

Toucan - A Brave New World

Sydney duo Toucan release their Brave New World single last week and if you’ve not already heard it, then you’re missing out! Lively pop sensibilities buoy this track along keeping your foot tapping throughout the cheery little number.

Working hard at uni whilst keeping with a busy tour schedule has lead to some busy times for Toucan, who have played every major venue in Sydney, support of Charlie Mayfair, Pluto Jonze and TiGERTOWN along the way.

I managed to sneak some questions through to Jess & Shea in preparation of the EP launch this month.

Ben: Recently caught you on stage at the Vanguard and was excited to see the genuine chemistry between you both on stage. How did you all come together to form Toucan?

Jess: Shea and I first met at uni studying composition at The Sydney Conservatorium. We will both have received the graduation bit of paper soon! Shea is counting down!
We realised early on that we liked writing together and that our different musical backgrounds made for a fun collaboration so we got together and started from basics writing acoustic songs before moving towards what you hear today as Toucan.

B: So how long have you been together?

J: We have been together since the beginning of 2011!  Baby Band!

B: If your band was a fruit what type of fruit would it be and why? …(it was lunch time at the time…)

J: I think we would be Kiwi Fruits or Mangoes. I don’t know why our band would be that but they are my favourite so I hope we would be one of the two!

B: After seeing a band for the first time I normally try and do a little online stalking to find out more about them. Yet you guys seem to flying under the radar a little… Is this A) a deliberate attempt to remain allusive or B) are you just getting warmed up… or C) I am just rubbish at Googling?

J: Out of the three options I think I will lock in B. We formed this year so are still finding our feet and discovering what to do and what not to do. It’s fun working on recording, developing the live show and beginning to play with a range of other bands!

B: What’s up next for the band?

J: The next big event for Toucan is releasing our EP in November. Alongside that we are playing a range of shows in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney on Thursday 27th Oct.

B: Locally, who are the bands you’ve most respect for at the moment?

J: At the moment we have been checking out a range of Sydney bands like Nantes, Mrs Bishop, Lancelot and also Boy and Bear. There are so many great bands circulating around Australia at the moment. A great scene to be a part of.

B: I think Sydney is really growing as a musical city. Looking further a field, who represents your all time favourites in terms of constant inspiration (musical or otherwise)?

J: All time favourites… wow that is a tough one! I must have a short attention span because I can’t think of any one person. I think there are so many inspiring musicians, artists and people out there. I tend to waver in and out of obsessions with people. Right now I am getting right into Billie Holiday and I spent a long time loving Elton John, Ben Folds and Alicia Keys 🙂

Toucan’s new single Brave New world is out now through inertia, you can catch them live this week at the Oxford Arts Factory on the 27th of October or find another date via their facebook page.

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Charlie Mayfair

Charlie Mayfair

Brisbane’s best looking band Charlie Mayfair will be back in Sydney this month, playing a string of shows at the Oxford Arts Factory. Tim and I spent the night there last Friday and were blown away with their live performance. The devilishly talented sextet exudes enthusiasm on stage as they belt out tracks from their EP, Watch my Hands. Wonderful harmonies, wickedly entwined with wistful lyrics counterpart the more upbeat moments when drum sticks and mayhem are shared as the band go a little bit nuts in the name of a song.

They recently played Sunset Sounds and you’ll find them at the Oxford Arts Factory every Friday for a month, for free. You’ve missed one, make sure you make it to one of the next three. They’re supporting Sydney’s songsters Phatchance and Coptic Soldier and they’re not afraid to get onstage and join their fellow bandmates, mixing it up for a little hip hop.

Hooray, finally a band who are not only talented, they’re also really likeable. So much so they’re on the show this coming Saturday 19th Feb, come down to the Cafe and watch for yourself or listen online and on 88fm across the Bondi beach area.

See you there xxx

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Montpelier

Montpelier

The chaps from Montpelier joined us one Saturday morning live on air via the wonders of modern telecommunications. Tim and I caught up with Dave to have  little chat about their upcoming Sydney gigs and the new single – The Last Boat.

If you missed the live chat have a listen  to the Walk of Shame  interview via Soundcloud and be sure to check them out at World Bar, Kings Cross, this Friday.

If you’re in need of refresher, we featured Montpelier a while back on the Polyphonic Three, check out the link for more info.

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