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Everything you need to know about your favourite artists that are appearing LIVE ON STAGE at Festivale 2020.
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Almost 17 years since it was first released, Motor Ace’s classic 2002 album Shoot This will now be issued on vinyl for the first time. To mark the occasion of its release on June 28, the band has overseen a slight twist on the album’s original cover artwork. The album will be pressed as a limited run of white vinyl.
An ARIA Number One album on release, Shoot This was initially demoed after Motor Ace wrapped up touring their 2001 debut Five Star Laundry. “It was an exciting time for us,” drummer Damo Costin says of the album’s conception. “We demoed the record at Hothouse Studios in Melbourne and recruited Chris Sheldon, who had mixed Foo Fighters’ The Color And The Shape to come out to Australia to record the record. The demos were really good, so there was pressure to come up with something special.”
The first song frontman Patrick ‘Patch’ Robertson presented to the band was Carry On, which would later reach 13 on the ARIA Singles Chart and figure in the Triple J’s 2002 Hottest 100 countdown.
“Patch had come in with Carry On as a demo and we were blown away,” Damo says. “It was a sign of a twist in a new direction and wider in scope.”
Bassist Matt Balfe suggests Carry On set a new tone for the band. “Carry On was a big leap in a different direction from the guitar angst of Five Star Laundry,” Balfe says.
Shoot This debuted at number one in the ARIA Albums Chart, besting the #4 peak of the previous year’s Five Star Laundry. “We had worked hard to promote Shoot This, so when the record went Gold and landed at number one we were on stage in Adelaide and we were pretty blown away,” Damo says. “I remember seeing a bottle of champagne backstage after the show that was gifted by our team and it didn’t take long for us to celebrate. We were The Beatles for a week and we certainly enjoyed it, I can assure you!”
From there, Shoot This took Motor Ace across the globe. “We toured relentlessly in Australia, Japan, UK and the US for the best part of two years,” Matt says. “It was an amazing experience that opened doors to new audiences around the world and simultaneously tested us as a group and as friends. Shoot This was our bittersweet record.”
While the band released just one more album, 2005’s Animal, before calling it a day, last month saw Motor Ace return to the live stage for their first Australian tour in 13 years. The gigs were acclaimed by fans and critics alike, with reviews with The Music concluding Motor Ace “had lost none of their spark”, The Rockpit said they “sounded as tight and as clean as one of their well-produced albums” and X-Press commented Motor Ace were “still incredibly tight, they are absolute pros”.
While successfully straddling the line between commercial success and managing to keep their Alternative Music roots secure, over their career, Eskimo Joe have racked up a long list of impressive stats. With 6 studio albums under their belts and sales in excess of 750,000, in Australia alone, the band has seen 3 of those albums debut at number 1 on the ARIA charts, with juggernaut ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’ shining for a monster 62 weeks in the Top 50 and “Foreign Land”, from their fourth album ‘Inshalla’, bringing home 2 APRA Awards, for Most Played Rock Song on Australian radio and Best Rock Song of 2010.
Eskimo Joe have enjoyed 35 ARIA nominations in their career thus far – a number only surpassed by Silverchair, Powderfinger, Kylie Minogue and John Farnham. They have brought home 3 International Song-writing Awards, 11 WAMi Awards and 8 ARIAs and 11 of their compositions have featured in Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown, with ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’ landing 2nd place. The stage however, is where Eskimo Joe shine and the band have performed at many significant events including: Sound Relief, Live Earth, Make Poverty History, the ARIA Awards, the APRA Awards, Big Day Out, Homebake, Laneway Festival, Falls Festival, Southbound, Splendour In The Grass, Triple J’s One Night
Stand and Sundance Film Festival in Utah, USA, on the same stage as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Along with a significant number of tours within Australia, the band have had their music released to great acclaim from fans and critics alike, in the United States, Canada, Europe and Korea with large festivals and sold out tours to boot.
Eskimo Joe continue to captivate their large and devout fan base by pursuing new horizons and embarking on new challenges. The band will celebrate their 21st birthday in February and March 2018 by embarking on a national tour featuring The Sydney, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras.
As their storied career continues to evolve, Eskimo Joe have certainly come a long way from their humble beginnings, as much loved indie rock kids in Fremantle, WA.
Two times Platinum, 8 times Gold and APRA award winning, Jack Jones singer and songwriter (guitarist) with 90’s rock giants Southern Songs has entertained audiences across Australia and the globe.
Born – Irwin Thomas – in New York City, raised in Sydney, Jack arrived in Australia as a ten year old. Even as a youngster, he began showing an incredible talent with his guitar playing. At fourteen Jack was already playing professionally in both cover and original bands. At the same time, he was earning a reputation as a very accomplished and well respected studio musician.
After heading back to the United States for several years to further study his craft, Jack eventually returned to Australia and joined the successful 90’s band Southern Sons as lead singer/guitarist. With hits such as Heart In Danger, Always & Ever, Hold Me In Your Arms, Waiting For That Train, I Cant Wait Any Longer, Lead Me To Water, Silent Witnesses, & You Were There, his vocal ability was highly praised by both fans and musical peers alike. He not only enjoyed success in Australia, but in Asia, Canada, Germany, & pockets throughout Europe, confirming he was a major talent on the international music scene.
His vocal ability is highly praised by both fans and musical peers alike… Not only has he enjoyed success in Australia, but in Asia, Canada, Germany & throughout Europe. Confirming he is a major talent worthy of recognition. Jack’s touring and recording credits are equally as impressive. Working as singer/ guitarist with Multi Platinum Artists such as: Guy Sabastian, John Farnham, Glen Sharrock (Little River Band), Tina Arena, Tommy Emmanuel, Rick Price, Merryl Bainbridge, Graham Goble (Little River Band), RichardClapton, Garry Beers (INXS), Dweezil Zappa, Ahmet Zappa, Jeff Jacobs (Foriener), Schuyler Deale (Michael Bolton, Billy Joel), Crystal Talefiero (Billy Joel), Joe Travers (Billy Idol, ZappaPlaysZappa), Deb Byrne, Stoolz Roachman & the Idiot Sevilles, Renee Geyer, Bachelor Girl, Anthony Warlow; DeanGuyer, Daniel Bedingfield, Jon Stevens, Ian Moss, Doug Parkinson, Jeff Martin (The Tea Party), Mark Seymour (Hunters & Collectors), Jon Toogood (Shihad), John Waters, Dean McGrath (Hungry Kids of Hungry), Tim Morrison (Trial Kennedy), ROACHFORD and countless others. The enigmatic Southern Sons singer and guitarist is respected as one of Australia’s iconic musicians,A new acoustic album of he’s hits marks Jack’s return.
With 20 years of critically adored music under his belt Jack has returned to Australia.
This is HEAVY LIES THE HEAD, the breathtaking, emotional and long-awaited new song from Australia’s own vocal genius & performer Vanessa Amorosi.
Boy you’ve got to be pretty blind
Not to see the signs
You started up a fire
Now you know I’m gonna burn it down
You’ve been under estimating every single part of me
Vanessa Amorosi delivers HEAVY LIES THE HEAD with a performance for the ages, her powerhouse voice bursting to be heard once again in a song that’s sure to be talked about. HEAVY LIES THE HEAD is cutting-edge and controversial by Vanessa’s own admission on where much of today’s music sits in 2019. “I am so excited as this song is something that I have wanted to create my whole career. It’s a real professional highlight for me musically. I believe everyone will be able to relate to the lyrics through their own personal experiences where it is usually harder to walk away from confrontation and maintaining the moral high ground, knowing in the end that karma will eventually kick in. I always believe good prevails over evil,” she said.
Sleeping in the bed just how you made it
Heavy lies the head
Tell me what you did
Baby, You can keep the mess that you created
Nobody can get back what they wasted
It’s clear that Vanessa is singing HEAVY LIES THE HEAD with the honesty of experience formed since her early years as a singer songwriter to present day; “I think I’m always trying to do that with my songs, have a real story rather than something that’s been made up, have a real message. I have no doubt that people will be able to relate to this song on many levels. People that know me well know I am a straight talker, so I wanted to lead with a song that has power lyrically about standing up for yourself and being strong” she says.
Even said you loved me
But they were just words words words
Heavy lies the head
It’s been close to a decade since we last heard a new solo track from Vanessa Amorosi and the release of her last album, the platinum-selling Hazardous, which featured Vanessa’s number one smash hit, “This Is Who I Am”.
With combined international album and single sales of over 2 million, why has it taken so long for Vanessa to follow up on her massive success? The simple answer to that complicated question is that Vanessa had to go get a life. After dedicating her childhood through young adulthood to singing and performing, year after year on the road, touring Australia and the world, Vanessa wanted to go and explore new real-life experiences to feed back into her art.
“I needed to start from the bottom and crawl again so I would relight that fuel in me. Sometimes I just get to a point where I reflect on what I’ve done and I think, ‘You know what? I’ve got to be better than that. I’ve got to be better. I’ve got to go and learn how to be better,’ and it just takes longer than the thought.”
She moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to begin that journey of self-discovery and develop her music career in different ways. Her time away has given Amorosi the ability to evolve into the woman and artist that she has always wanted to be. She is independent, sensitive, courageous and happily representing her true self.
Once in LA and somewhat anonymous for the first time, Vanessa immersed herself in all kinds of musical experiences. She became obsessed with exploring the real roots of her first and greatest musical love — gospel. And it didn’t take long for the hardcore and influential LA music scene to realise this ‘new kid in town’ had an unmatched voice. Vanessa is now a familiar face on the local live scene, regularly performing alongside the best musicians in the world.
One of the first to instantly recognise the depth of Vanessa’s talent was the legendary and iconic Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. Dave quickly took on the role of Vanessa’s mentor, and paid her the ultimate honour when he invited Vanessa to be the featured guest vocalist on his 2013 solo album, Lucky Numbers. Vanessa and Dave remain the best of professional and personal friends having recently completed work on a shared passion project — a fully-fledged gospel album. More about that soon.
Vanessa promises a collection of new songs that will be “very, very diverse — very rocky tracks, dance tracks, a power ballad — because I don’t make a single and repeat the song over and over again. Every situation is very different and the songs all lend themselves that way. Because I have so much life experience I suppose (laughs) I’m able to write all these different songs.”
Vanessa’s A-list collaborators on her growing song collection include Sweden’s Aleena Gibson (Jason Derulo, Nick Carter) and Trevor Muzzy (Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga), as well as Jon Levine (Drake, Dua Lipa), Jordan Palmer (Andy Grammar, Lights), Louis Schoorl (Tina Arena, 5 Seconds Of Summer), and Levi Lennox (ZAYN, M.I.A.).
It’s incredible to think it’s almost 20 years since a teenage Vanessa Amorosi from outer-eastern Melbourne burst onto the Australian charts with her debut number one album The Power, which featured four massive hit singles: “Have A Look”; “Absolutely Everybody”; “Shine”; and “The Power,” and who stole the show at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, seen by an estimated 4 billion people.
Now, at 37, and as a mum, with a lifetime of experience and success behind her, Vanessa Amorosi is finally ready to reveal to the whole world the true depth of her talent and artistry.
The epic HEAVY LIES THE HEAD is only the beginning. Next step, Vanessa is literally busting to get out and tour again. “My main goal is I want to release music that people are really excited about and I want to be able to get on the road,” she says, “because that’s a beast I can only put on ice for so long. And eventually I’m erupting!”
Fortunately for everyone, Vanessa will be back in Australia through March and April joining John Farnham, Daryl Braithwaite, Jon Stevens, Thirsty Merc and Dragon on the Red Hot Summer tour across the country.
Black and Blue Heart -The new album produced by Nick DiDia and Bernard Fanning
After six decades on the road, an album can almost write itself. It might arrive in the space of a few months, fully formed in vision and texture in the mind of the vigilant creator. But it takes a rare combination of talent and circumstances to realise that vision as vividly as Black and Blue Heart.
“I’d met Bernard [Fanning] years ago,” Russell Morris remembers. The Powderfinger frontman came backstage at one of the Australian rock legend’s countless gigs to pay his respects with a mutual friend. “But It wasn’t til I moved up to Queensland last year that we sat down and started talking.”
The warmer environs had already exerted a strange, organic influence on the songs Russell was writing in the wake of the platinum-selling, ARIA-winning blues-rock trilogy — Shark Mouth, Van Diemen’s Land, Red Dirt Red Heart — that so spectacularly relaunched his career from 2012 onwards.
“I thought I was writing an album which was rootsy, bluesy, almost psychedelic, but nothing came out the way I expected.” He gave the demos to Fanning and producer Nick DiDia (Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Powderfinger) and “they rang me back within two days,” Russell says. “They said, ‘We can’t stop listening to these songs. This will be a great album’. So I said, ‘Let’s do it’.”
The two producers speed-dialled their dream studio team: guitarist Dan Kelly, drummer Declan Kelly and, from Fanning’s touring band, bassist Matt Englebrecht and keys player Ian Peres. Perched between the tropical bush and panoramic ocean views of La Cueva Studios near Byron Bay, Black and Blue Heart found its rhythm fast.
“I didn’t want to have any smooth edges,” Russell says. “Pop songs were the last thing I wanted. The musicians had the songs the week before but they were told not to do too much work. They came into the studio, we’d play them once, twice or three times, and that was it.”
That raw energy commands attention from the ragged count-in of Ain’t No Angel, slammed down with splashy drums, overdriven Hammond organ and vintage vocal echo. From that bracing opener to the sinuous, conspiratorial whisper of Is There Anybody Out There?, this extraordinary album begins to climb yet another peak for one of our all-time greatest singer-songwriters.
“I’ve got two passions: history and astrophysics,” Russell says. “Is There Anybody Out There is totally out there; not like out in my backyard, but out in the universe. It’s questioning how much life is out there in the great beyond and wondering … ‘Are you going to contact me?”
Co-written with Split Enz’s Eddie Rayner maybe 15 years ago, it’s the only song that wasn’t fresh off Russell’s pen. A lifelong observer of human experience, he found inspiration in art and life, past and present.
A classic gangster film informed the tragicomic character portrait of Witness Protection. Fat Man and the Priest came from a conversation with a mate “about people who sit in moral judgement of other people.”
The office drone in Asleep at the Wheel may have come from distant, monotonous memories of working the mail desk for the Kiss Army in Los Angeles back in the mid ’70s, he says with a laugh.
“I think the song that’s had the most emotional connections with people is Forever Remembered. It’s about missing people close to me who I’ve lost; friends like Jim Keays and Darryl Cotton and [rock photographer] Ros O’Gorman. They’re all in there.”
Then there’s the title cut, a song of simmering tenderness and empathy that Bernard Fanning describes as “a song for the ages. Russell’s been a really substantial artist for a very long time but I think that song will live on with his best,” he says.
“As soon as we heard the demos, the quality and grace of the songs was obvious immediately,” Fanning says of the album overall. “It sounded to me like the kind of music only someone with Russell’s backstory could make.
“He’s always been renowned for his incredible voice but it’s really come into its own now. His tone just communicates this unique life experience, so we just had to get that down.”
Born and bred in the USA, Nick Didia’s perspective was more immediate. “I was hearing this amazing history for the first time as we were making the record,” he says of timeless Australian classics such as The Real Thing, Wings of An Eagle and Sweet Sweet Love. “And his stories are incredible. I mean, I thought I’d been around,” he laughs.
“Their contribution was enormous,” Russell says. “Bernard’s harmonies in parts are fantastic [check the skybound chorus to Sitting Pretty, for instance]. He knew the songs better than I did. See, I wrote the songs so quickly, by the time we got to the studio I couldn’t remember some of the details. Bernard knew them back to front. Nick and Bernard’s attention to detail was just extraordinary.”
For their part, the producers deflect back to the source material, a rush of pure inspiration that Russell credits to the stunning career-reset of his Shark Mouth trilogy.
“I went back to the blues, where I started in the early ‘60s, and that allowed me to reset all the quantum things in my writing and in my body. It kickstarted my creativity. I think that’s how this album happened so fast and so confidently.
“The band, the studio… it all fell into place beautifully but the songs came from where I came from. I went back to the well and I drank from the fountainhead, and this is the result.”
After many years of perseverance & constant touring The Whitlams had their breakthrough album in 1997, which saw their song ‘No Aphrodisiac’ make it to #1 on JJJ’s Hottest 100. At the 1998 ARIA Awards, they won Best Group as well as Song of the Year and Best Independent Release for their third album ‘Eternal Nightcap’. In 2011 this album was placed 27th on the ABC’s My Favourite Album poll, and more recently was voted no. 17 in JJJ’s Hottest Australian Albums of All Time.
The Whitlams recorded output, spans seven albums since 1993, and includes the double platinum Love This City, the number 1 album Torch The Moon and Truth, Beauty & A Picture of You – Best of the Whitlams which sat in the Top 10 for six weeks. More recently, front man Tim Freedman released a solo album on Sony titled Australian Idle and toured the country in his one man show Everybody’s Talkin’ ‘bout me about the life and music of Harry Nilsson.
The Whitlams are Tim Freedman on piano and vocals, Jak Housden on guitar, Warwick Hornby on bass and Terepai Richmond on drums.