Nothing Extraordinary Ever Happens In Toowoomba (Ever)

May 5, 2011 by

By James Cobb

After an award-winning debut at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2008, Sarah Collins has brought her one-woman show to the Brisbane Powerhouse for what promises to be a very successful season.  Nothing Extraordinary Ever Happens In Toowoomba (Ever) is an engaging and interactive comedy about dysfunctional relationships, overcoming adversity, and rediscovering what it means to be a kid.

The performance is told through the eyes of Kevin John and his quest to overcome the monotonous boredom he feels with being ‘just an ordinary kid’.  Collins takes the audience on a heart-warming journey that is filled with anecdotes and fantastic characters that are incredibly sincere and quite often, all-too-familiar.  Her ability to capture the essence and naturalness of twenty different characters with a simple change of costume or expression is a tribute to her ability as a performer.

When you enter the space, you are greeted with a small stage, very basic props and a minimal lighting rig.  I was amazed at the number of different ways she used these materials.  It is fair to say that Collins is a genius when it comes to creating entire worlds with the most basic materials.  She relies as much on the audience’s imagination as she does on her own.  Instead of spoon-feeding you every detail, she sets your imagination free.

Nothing Extraordinary Ever Happens In Toowoomba (Ever) is running at the Brisbane Powerhouse until Saturday 15th May (excluding Mondays).  All ticketing information and performance times can be found at the Brisbane Powerhouse Website:


British India Live Review

April 21, 2011 by


The Zoo: 14.04.11

By Rachel Tinney

British India

First up are Adelaide up-and-comers City Riots. It’s clear as to why they’ve been chosen to support as they sound like a more commercial and clean-cut British India. Their pop-rock does get the crowd moving though, especially with single Tell Me How You Want Me To Dance. But singer Ricky Kradolfer’s (light-hearted) desperation at wanting the crowd to dance more in an attempt to impress British India makes them seem like the little brothers of the tour: cute, but annoying. For their final song, the lads from Boy in a Box are invited to the stage to help with a cover of The Boss’s Dancing in the Dark.

After a quick changeover (maybe due to the annoyingly drawn out late start) Boy in a Box emerge wearing either their own or British India’s merch proclaiming they are here to “fuck shit up”. Two things, if you’re wearing the shirt of the main act you are highly unlikely to want to annoy them by fucking shit up before them; and if the rest of the band is wearing their own merch, they are definitely not cool enough to fuck shit up.  Despite the fashion faux pas, vocalist Tobias Priddle tries to win over the crowd with his love of Brisbane, raving about his favourite Brisbane bar, RGs. Bad move Priddle, bad move. If the indie-looking crowd didn’t dislike you for your choice of attire, they’re definitely going to with your love of that watering hole.

Character analysis aside, Boy in a Box are an ambitious and highly energetic band but tend to fall short on the “fuck shit up” side of things.  They’re more suited to family-friendly gatherings if the polite reception of Moon Comes Up, Glitter, Gold, Ruin and The Warriors is anything to go by. The boys round out the set with City Riots back onstage for The Clash’s I Fought the Law before finishing up with The Killing Machine. A good set, but one that seems to have undone the excitement that was built by City Riots.

With barely any time to breathe between sets, British India take to the stage in an attempt to stick to the Zoo’s strict curfew. Launching straight into the obligatory new single that is March Into The Ocean, the boys then delve into their back catalogue and pull out beauties like Run the Red Light and Teenage Mother. Declan Melia quickly has the room in a frenzy, as he yells, sings and screams his way through a set that barely has room for any breaks.

As the room heats up and the stage gets hotter, Melia produces a towel to wipe away the sweat and continues to sing with it over his head for God Is Dead, Meet the Kids. It’s a night of odd fashion choices, with Melia also rocking some bright red heart-shaped sunglasses. New song She Prefers Older Women is thrown in with the hint that it may be on the next album, but just quietly I’d prefer a song that isn’t so damn repetitive.  The slightly down-tempo Vanilla and I Said I’m Sorry are small reprieves for the crowd (and drummer Matt O’Gorman whose arms have been almost invisible until now) but it’s their cover of The Offspring’s Self Esteem that quickly gets the crowd riled up again. Black and White Radio closes out the exhaustive set and with the exclamation there will be no encore, British India depart the stage, leaving the crowd gasping for air in a room dripping of sweat.

DZ Deathrays launch Brutal Tapes EP

April 6, 2011 by

DZ Deathrays, Dune Rats

Woodland 01.04.11

– by Rachel Tinney

Woodland just doesn’t seem to be the right setting for what we are about to hear tonight. To me, Woodland is too pretty, too CWA hall-y to host some garage rock (and self-proclaimed ‘party’) bands. They’d seem more appropriate in well, a garage. But nevertheless here we are, at Woodland, about to witness the brutality of DZ Deathrays’ Brutal Tapes EP launch.


First up, and kicking off almost two hours after the venue opened (making me think my late-ish arrival made me miss most of the action) are Dune Rats. Following the current garage revival and filled with all the clichés of an American counterpart – think US sports apparel; yelled vocals; sweaty, sloppy, I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitudes – Dune Rats are the perfect warm up for the onslaught we are about to witness. For their final song, the boys from DZ Deathrays join them onstage, with Campbell Smith relinquishing his bass duties and joining BC Michaels and Simon Ridley on the drums for a killer party song.


It’s not too long before the smoke begins to fill the room and distortion fills our minds. All of a sudden the d-floor is littered with people keen to get their party on. From the first notes, DZ Deathrays’ well known brightly coloured, strobing lightshow incites seizures among the crowd – no wait, that’s just how they dance.  The disco punk duo’s lightshow isn’t the only thing kicking things into party mode though as Simon’s thunderous beats make him look like The Muppet’s Animal on speed. These boys are fast, and they are TIGHT. Powering through song after song, playing mostly tracks from their Brutal Tapes EP, the energy in the room continues to build through favourites like Gebbie Street, Blue Blood, The Mess Up and new single Rad Solar. Shane Parson’s yelps and screams only incite the crowd more when the hear the opening “WAAAHHHH” that is Teeth. Turns out this is their last song of the night and before you can say, “Huh? Already?!” DZ Deathrays have left the stage, no doubt to get in amongst the partying themselves.


The Belligerents EP Launch Review

March 30, 2011 by

The Belligerents

The Belligerents / Young Men Dead / Millions

Woodland: 26.03.11

by Rachel Tinney

Even though there was a LOT going on on Saturday night (Dan Kelly and Gareth Liddiard were at the Zoo and then there was the monster that was Ric’s Big Backyard Festival with the likes of You Am I, Pangaea and Die! Die! Die!) The Belligerents’ Less Arty, More Party EP launch managed to sell out fairly early, ensuring that Brisbane’s appreciation for local music is still alive and kicking.


First to hit the party-ready stage covered in streamers and balloons are relatively new band Millions. For only their second show, they quite easily manage to lure people from their faraway seats and get them shuffling their feet on the dance floor. The only thing is, the movements on stage don’t seem to match the enthusiasm from the crowd. But hey, like I said, it was their second show. Surely with some more under their belt they’ll develop that onstage chemistry and charisma I’m sure is there.

Young Men Dead

Next up on the bill are Young Men Dead. Renown for their energetic live performances the indie/electronica band do not disappoint. James Wright, proves his worth on the night by once again taking to the stage (earlier him and his curly mop of hair were drumming for Millions) to provide some fast-paced beats to get those dancing feet moving. Lead singer Beaver (aka David Thomas) gets in on the groove, skillfully moving around the stage, picking up a saxophone at times and climbing onto Wright’s bass drum to finish the set on a high, quite literally.

The Belligerents

After the final notes from Young Men Dead fade away and the DJ starts spinning some tunes, people begin to really get their party shoes on, anticipating a sweaty and fun-filled set from The Belligerents. Stepping up onto the stage to launch their EP there is a definite lack of art from the boys who I’ve seen before in some quirky costumes. Tonight it’s just the generic skinnies and tee combo with a beaded hat here, some oversized glasses there and a crash helmet on drummer Sam Sargent (for safety reasons, obviously…). But nevertheless the party is most definitely there.

The Belligerents

All members of the band are equal both in their talent and stage presence, working together as one and building on the electrifying energy already abuzz throughout the room. It is easy to see why the night sold out so quickly. Every track goes down a treat with the audience, with new single Such A Crime garnering a pretty raucous response. The party energy builds well and truly through their set, with three out of the five boys jumping into the crowd to indulge in a bit of crowd surfing. Regrettably the set comes to an end, but not before they bow to the crowd’s demands and return to the stage for a quick encore – sweaty, shirtless and armed with a fuckload of confetti. An incredible end to the set that definitely lives up to the Less Arty, More Party theme.

Justin Townes Earle Live Review

March 16, 2011 by

STEP INN (10.03.11)

by Benny Doyle

Justin Townes Earle. Photo: Benny Doyle

Rattlehand start the evening with a traditional sound awash with a slight modern edge. Adopting a high riding guitar style akin to a bearded Johnny Cash, Josh Shelton engages and entertains while his melting vocals seep into those of harmonica player Steve Wallis with pure cohesion. The mandolin work of Glen Jarvis is also critical to the band’s sound and drives Rattlehand with tight, structured string play. It’s everyman, but never workman, -like which essentially is the essence of connecting with the people.

If Betty Page grabbed a guitar off Muddy Waters and a vocal lesson from Amy Winehouse, there is no doubt Lanie Lane would be the end result. Lane battles against a crowd seemingly at odds with showing any emotion, but by the time ‘Jungleman’ has whisked you to the days of prohibition, and subtle elements of flaminco have met head on with the Deep South on ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’, the room is finally feeling a vibe in unison. Closing with ‘What Do I Do’, Lane shows herself to be a complete oddity domestically, in the best possible way.

The gangly form of Justin Townes Earle lumbers on stage and with an early dedication to his late granddaddy in ‘They Killed John Henry’, the storytelling begins and becomes as much part of the performance as his bold voice, creative finger picking and the tight-as-hell shadow work that Josh Hedley provides on violin and backing vocals. ‘I Don’t Care’ sends the faithful into raptures while his verbal ponderings regarding fried chicken and women highlight the subtle charisma that commands the room. Bluegrass, delta, folk, it does not matter, tonight Earle is holding all the aces. Shirt off, steaming, the current New Yorker calls final rounds with The Replacements cover ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ and leaves the stage with all present yearning for more.

Future Music Review

March 9, 2011 by

by Melanie Dinjaski

With Brisbane experiencing its wettest summer in nearly forty years, Future Music Festival 2011 should be one hell of a mudfest – and it doesn’t disappoint. After just one hour I’d collected mud on my clothes, in my shoes, and in my eyes. This is gonna be a looong day.

First up, I check out what looks like an inflatable jumping castle, the V Energy Green Room. Here fluorescent UV paint must first be liberally applied before entering the glowing rave where I found Stretch on the decks warming up the Future Music faithful, who were dancing up a storm. Oh crap, they really did. It’s raining when I emerge.

On the Mazda2 Stage, Melbourne group Gypsy & The Cat are about to start their set. Kicking off with ‘Time to Wander’ the crowd are revelling in the rock/dance fusion, featuring many hits from debut album, Gilgamesh. It’s a surprise their angelic vocals don’t get lost in the festival setting, but instead absolutely boom from the stage. These guys are flawless live. Strong from start to finish. Come album number two, they will be huge. Stay tuned.

Off to the Main Stage and DJ Hook’n’Sling is busy keeping those awaiting Ke$ha entertained. The place is filling with people; I really can’t believe how far she’s gotten by ripping off Lady Gaga. From a distance I can see a figure emerge on the stage. The lack of pants can mean only one thing – Ke$ha is here. And so are her fans. They are loud and loving the opportunity of seeing her perform songs with lyrics such as, “Rat-a-tat-tat on your dum-dum drum, the beat’s so fat, gonna make me come.” Me? Err, not so much. ‘Nuff said.

Tame Impala are more my thing. The psychedelic bohemian rockers have become a summer festival staple and it’s not hard to see why. Crowd pleasers. No-one can say that they fall short live. They go through the motions, playing fan favourites including ‘Half Full Glass of Wine’ and ‘Solitude is Bliss’ and before long it’s over. Too soon if you ask me.

After a walk around the Doomben site, I’m just amazed at how much talent is on offer here. So many DJs, so much dancing, SO. MUCH. FUN.

I head back over to the Mazda2 Stage, where the one and only, Mark Ronson and The Business International are due. A musician/producer extraordinaire, is there anyone Mark Ronson hasn’t collaborated with? And all at the age of just 35 too. Astounding. Ronson and friends take the stage in matching stripe shirt/blue jacket combos, starting off with a longish instrumental piece, before jumping into ‘The Bike Song’ with Alex Greenwald and Spank Rock killing it on stage. A surprise is seeing the band perform the song Greenwald is most famous for writing, with his old band Phantom Planet – The OC theme song, ‘California’, to which the audience willingly sing along to. Ronson praises the crowd and after giving us a taste of his impressive DJ skills, they finish with the uber-hit ‘Bang, Bang, Bang’ featuring Amanda Warner rocking out in front. Just awesome.

The mob are now closing in on drawcard act, MGMT. Wearing a black cape and baseball cap (a strange combination if ever there was) lead singer Andrew VanWyngarden launches into ‘Brian Eno’. Watching from the grandstand, it’s clear that fans still haven’t embraced their newest album. Musically they play it right. But the favourites will always be ‘Time to Pretend’ and ‘Electric Feel’ and you get the feeling they will always suffer for their remarkable early success. When these older songs are heard, the audience instantly come to life. Which is more than can be said for the band. VanWyngarden and co. are near motionless with exception to guitar strumming and piano tinkling. For the old album, I suppose this is ok, but for newer, rockier tracks like ‘Song for Dan Treacy’ and ‘Flash Delirium’, the lack of passion from the band instantly put a dampener on each track. They peak early with old favourites, but fizzle out into an uneventful finish. In one word – disappointing.

Over at the Main Stage, the ground is slowly but surely sinking into a muddy abyss. I go in as far as I think humanly possible, to witness Dizzee Rascal in the process of getting the crowd ‘Bonkers’. As if he needed help. We’re all a little crazy for coming out in weather like this for ten hours! Jumping about on stage he works the crowd like no other. A fine performer.

Pendulum are pretty much renowned for their live set, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re like Australia’s answer to The Prodigy. Full of energy and gusto this band know how to put on a show. EVERYONE at Doomben was as the Mazda2 Stage when they stormed on. It feels like there is no standing room left! Their ABC News theme remix is met with huge screams of excitement – never has news been so cool. But without a doubt, the song that sets everyone off is ‘Slam’, and even those who are not necessarily fans, cannot help but get into that infectious synth and drum chorus.

I was heading back over to the Main Stage, when it became evident that sloppy Doomben Racecourse was just too much for this reviewer, finally calling it a night when a little airborne mud made it to my mouth. It’d be safe to assume that The Chemical Brothers were kickass anyway…

Plutonic Interview

March 7, 2011 by

Head over to the 4ZzZ interviews podcasting page to check out our chat with talented Aussie hip-hop producer Plutonic in the wake of his latest collaboration with G Love.

Mogwai: Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

March 2, 2011 by
– by Jeremy Hunter
Mogwai’s latest album churns out another 50 or so minutes of spaced out slow crescendos. We’re lucky they do it so well.

My relationship to Mogwai is as more of an acquaintance than a friend, that is to say, I know people who Truly Love them whereas I have somewhat of a disconnected respect. So forgive me if I can’t reference this album too much in relationship to their past work. What I can do however, is tell you that this album is a good listen on its own, and has more than enough sonic gems buried in it to satisfy repeat listens for any acquaintance of melodic post-rock.

The songs are all colourful landscapes, each with a unique instrumentation and tone. Opening track White Noise is reminiscent of a slowed-down Foals with overlapping math-rock melodic lines weaving in and out of eachother. Death Rays gives off a vibe of vastness; if it featured a high soaring vocal, you would swear it to be a Sigur Ros track. And here is where, perhaps, the album falters; even with my limited experience, I recall a Mogwai of a few years back being heavier, grittier, and… well… stronger than what this album offers. The second track, Mexican Grand Prix, seems so full of energy with its relentless, driving drumbeat and synth line, yet the song never seems to really go anywhere. I recall seeing Mogwai at Splendour a few years back, turning the audience at the GW McLennan tent into a weak-kneed, ear-bleeding cult of True Believers who, at the close of an epic set, were still howling for more (well, at least I was). Does this album fill those shoes? Perhaps not.

But looked at from a different angle, this album is really quite beautiful, if not as intense and immediate as some of their other work. Letters To The Metro allows the listener to drift along on a slow-flowing stream of piano with a background wash of hihats for accompaniment. How To Be A Werewolf is a lazy track that cruises along like your first car around your hometown. And this may be where my lack of experience is useful: there is real musical gold in this album, but the emotions are of a different flavour than some of their previous work. Some might call it inoffensive and pleasant, whereas others might think it radiant and lush. I personally lean towards the latter, as this album conveys something subtle yet majestic, if only you let it work its magic on you.

Interviews Department – Working hard!

February 25, 2011 by

The newly-established, and fast-growing, Interviews Department here at 4ZZZ have been run off their feet for the past few months. Their fearless leader Sarah and interns/lab rats Ava, Ellen and Krissi have been busy organising interviews, conducting interviews, editing interviews, archiving interviews and generally doing a whole bunch of interview related tasks, for the benefit of 4ZZZ’s listeners (and readers. Thanks for checking out the blog!). is the place where you can have a listen to, and download the podcast of, just a few of the many interviews that the fantastic 4ZZZ announcers and staff conduct on a daily basis with some great local, national and international bands!

New podcasts become available all the time, so keep your ears tuned to your radio (102.1fm of course!), your eyes on our podcast page and just kick back and enjoy life!

*      *      *      *      *

For all interview requests and enquiries, email

Please Note: Whilst we want to do the best job possible, please be aware that the entire Interviews department are volunteers. We still need to work paying jobs, do our homework, hang with friends and find five minutes to stand in a meadow at dusk. Please be patient with response times and allow enough notice to enable us to give your request the time it deserves. Details we need on every occasion are: Talent’s Name and bio, Exact date and time of availability, contact phone number and email address. If you’d like to thank us and are already a 4ZZZ subscriber, feel free to drop in some lamingtons on a Friday or take us to lunch.

Griff the Invisible

February 23, 2011 by

– by Melanie Dinjaski

Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Maeve Dermody, Patrick Brammall, Toby Schmitz

Writer/Director: Leon Ford

Starring a fully clothed and clean shaven Ryan Kwanten (sorry True Blood fans) Griff the Invisible
shakes up the superhero genre like never before.

After the first clichéd line – “Get outta my neighbourhood” – delivered by a man in a rubber suit, you
may think otherwise. But whoa there now. This superhero is a little different.


Griff (Kwanten) is the softly spoken, doe-eyed, lonely, do-gooder who feeds alley cats and hates
his nine-to-five job. By day he is a Client Liaison Officer for DHL, but by night he becomes Griff the

Whether he’s fighting crime or his arch nemesis Tony, the womanising work bully with a bad haircut,
there’s no job too small for this hero. His inner city apartment is full of high tech superhero gear,
including an all important red phone that receives calls directly from the police commissioner
and…okay, so it does sound pretty cliché.

But all is not as it seems.

Without giving the plot away, the best way to approach this film, is to go in thinking of it as a little-
known indie production. Forget who Ryan Kwanten is and forget Superman. This is not a regular
superhero flick. Everything is over the top and quirky and not to be taken seriously.

For instance, when in need of advice Griff turns to Wikipedia. I know right! Finally a Gen Y superhero
that we can relate to! I mean honestly, who can afford an Alfred Pennyworth in this day and age?

And it gets weirder when we meet Griff’s love interest, Melody (Maeve Dermody), the equally
awkward experimentalist – that’s right kids they’re not called scientists anymore! In Melody’s spare
time she falls off things, does surveys about surveys and has romantic dates at her parents’ house.
Oh, and she frequently attempts to walk through walls.

Perfect for each other yes? Perhaps. If only Melody wasn’t the girlfriend of Tim, Griff’s somewhat
irritating, but well-meaning brother.

How will our hero work through this doozy?

At worst, Griff the Invisible is one of the most clichéd superhero films ever made. But at best, it’s a
fascinating take on a stale and previously predictable genre. The haters will say it’s an example of
why Australian film struggles – no budget, no pizzazz, no direction, no oomph. While those who love
it will say it’s a good laugh, with a whole lot of heart in the deeper, more solemn moments thrown
in to keep the story honest. A fun soundtrack provided by Sydney band ‘Kids at Risk’ also ensures
there’s never a dull moment in the film.

With well received screenings at the Berlin Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival, Griff the Invisible

is certainly worth seeing, and it should sit well with most audiences.

Check it out. There’s never been a superhero so adorable.

…well maybe Tobey McGuire’s Spiderman comes close.

Griff the Invisible is in theatres March 17.