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JDSS Review 2

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens, Turner Bowls, 4th Apr 2014
by JD Kent

I had scarcely finished buying my first lemonade of the night when the hauntingly beautiful sounds of a crotch punched Thom Yorke began to seep into my conscious. Cracked Actor had begun the nights festivities with their trademark pensive falsetto, rumoured to be so powerful it could bring Eminem to tears.

Minus a drummer, their newly stripped back sound was the perfect setup for Fossil Rabbit, solo guitarist and loop pedal artiste whose atmospheric instrumentals drifted seamlessly across my cochleae before punching my brain right in the pleasure centres (in a nice way, I promise).

After a markedly ethereal beginning, the arrival of Indian Red on the stage signalled a change in pace. A little loud to begin with, they soon settled into the room, with an upbeat mix of indie folk and Fleet Foxes style harmonies that were impossible not to sing along with.

When headliners Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens finally took to the stage it was to mark a milestone, the end of a successful nationwide tour that saw their musical skills honed to perfection, all in search of an answer to a single age old question, “Have you ever made love on a geological anomaly?” Yes, that old chestnut. Regardless of your answer,  Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens have a sound that could suck sadness out of a black hole and replace it with unicorns. Or at the very least, put you in a good mood after you imagine unicorns being crushed to a molecular singularity by a sad black hole.

Paradise

Rufino and the Coconuts, Mikelangelo @ the Turner Bowls, 22nd Mar, 2014
by Jasmina Atanasievska

After Paradise Island, a Hawaiian-themed concert at Turner Bowls Club on Saturday March 22, I noticed I was drawn to listen to the music of Lana Del Ray and Croatian rock musician Neno Belan – they reminded me of that night on Paradise Island.

Rufino & the Coconuts and special guest Mikelangelo took me to an interesting holiday destination. My favourite Rufino & the Coconuts song from that evening was their second, ‘Teeth, Teeth’ (‘Zubi, Zubi’), about a dentist, or ‘zubar’. I don’t think I will ever forget the refrain; it slices into your mind and stays there.

Because I come from what used to be Yugoslavia, and therefore understand 99% of the Croatian words Rufino used that night (like the ones related to teeth and dentistry), I will take the liberty of comparing this group’s style of music to that of Neno Belan, a great Croatian musician and singer from the ’80s.

Croatia largely borders the Adriatic Sea, and most good pop music in ex-Yugoslavia came from groups and singers who originated on those shores. The music (and the accompanying videos) would bring you to the sea: beaches, summer, dreaming by the water, ocean life, falling in love with strangers (read: tourists), islands … beauty, generally speaking. So you can spot some common influences here. To top it all off, Rufino & the Coconuts write and play all their songs for dancing. When Rufino said to the crowd, “Now, all sit down,” everybody laughed uproariously – nice.

Such an atmosphere fitted well with the other performer, Mikelangelo. He had Elvis Presley hair and songs reminiscent of Elvis-era rock ‘n’ roll and Beach Boys surf rock. Mikelangelo (is he Italian or from somewhere around the Adriatic coast, I again feel that style?) also communicated well with the crowd, and they cheerfully responded.

Deep Sea Sirens

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens, Turner Bowls, 4th Apr 2014
by Crazybrave

Apparently the Turner Bowls Cub is called the RUC now. I’d never been to the place before, under any of its guises, but the CMC had made it into a cosy grotto with a gorgeous stage and more fairy lights than you could reasonably hope for on a Friday night. From my place curled up on the couches, it was very easy to appreciate Seb and Matt’s beautiful guitars/hats ensemble. Amelia Filmer-Sankey warmed our bliss with poetry between sets. Fossil Rabbit made me feel all right about being out in so much rainy dreary wetness, and then the sweet rhythms of Indian Red infused me with quiet charm as if Melbourne had tiptoed north and kissed me on the cheek while my eyes were closed.

Julia Johnson’s dry humour had the night flowing beautifully. I particularly enjoyed the little bits of background she gave for each song, allowing us to more fully appreciate the superb storytelling in their music.

The RUC is a large, centrally located and above all relaxed venue which was pretty full by the end of the night. Unfortunately the kitchen was behind the stage, and wait staff were coming and going through the audience most of the night. But maybe you’ve just got to embrace it – along with the pokies and TV screens at the bar – as part of the ambiance, like everyone walking past the stage to the bathrooms at the Phoenix.

This is the kind of night every Canberren should experience, where there is so much talent in the room, so much chilled out happy, pretty, lovely stuff. Sure it’s raining outside, but Chris is here with his loop pedal, and Amelia wrote another poem, Julia has a banjo, Indian Red bought a saxophonist with them especially and there are all these fairy lights.