*SHE RATES* at Karen Conrad Publicity – and in the Au Review :)

Karen Conrad introducing ‘SHE RATES’ for female-driven PR campaigns

In an attempt to try and fix the gender pay gap still in effect in Australia, Melbourne publicist Karen Conrad has introduced ‘SHE RATES’ for female-driven PR campaigns until January 30th 2017. The gender pay gap currently sits at a high 18.8%, which has prompted many calls for the Federal Government to reverse the trend. Currently, men earn almost $300 more per week, based on weekly earnings for full-time employees.

If you’re a woman with a new arts, fashion, music or theatre project to promote, jump on this opportunity and book in with Karen Conrad – you can also advance book projects with an end date before May 30th 2017.

“Last year I ran a special for four months to offer quality PR campaigns for women at 20% off my regular fees,” Conrad has said. “It went over so well, I’ve decided to do it as often as I can afford to.”



Rock ‘n Roll. Redemption and Rehabilitation in 2016.

I am a woman first. That means I am a feminist, because I have to operate within the confines of this sexist world and in particular the music/media industry.
It’s 2016 so I’m pretty annoyed that I still have declare that I’m a feminist. I mean, why do I have to even say that?
Instead, I think everyone who doesn’t believe in equality should have to declare “I’m a sexist asshole.” Then we’d know to stay clear of the idiots, right?
In recent days the Australian feminist/music community has been troubled by the national tour of a pack of sexist dudebros who happen to be in a band.
Long story short, their lead singer brutalised a woman (who used to work in this industry, too) and the band stood by knowing that and also allowed fans and one band member’s partner to participate in online bullying and threats to the survivor’s family and friends. Of course, the woman is no longer part of our community, out of fear. She lost her place here through no fault of her own, but because she was abused by a person bigger, stronger and in control.
Never mind. The band plays on, right?
So of course with this tour announcement, social media blew up and many venues cancelled performances. The band has issued two apologies. The first was at an industry event a few years before this tour was announced. If you weren’t an insider, you never heard about it. The second apology was issued a couple of days ago due to pressure via social media and venues cancelling their gigs.
It’s a pretty bad apology. I’d post it here but I don’t want to give the band PR and I am waiting to see how many other venues cancel their gigs. I can tell you that one of the lines the band included in the apology basically says it’s ok now because the abuser is sober.
Well, yes, because it’s hard to get hooch in prison and might it also be a condition of probation or something? I don’t know.
What I do know is I have been drunker than 1980s Tom Waits at his piano numerous times and I have never ever punched anyone, let alone my partner. So I don’t think it’s just an alcohol problem, guys.
Everyone knows these kind of abuses are rife in our industry and in the world – and they are shrouded in silence and that’s why they keep occurring.
In the end, the band has done nothing – zero – to address the issue except issue those lame ass apologies. They’ve continually stressed that the abuser is not offending now. And although it is true that he has served his time, I wonder if that means all is forgiven. Given that the entire band was complicit in this abuse, I think not.
Because as we all know “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” This is unacceptable.
I would be much more inclined to believe that they understood the seriousness of the crime if they had called this the I’m Sorry We’re Pigs Tour and/or gave at least part proceeds to a group that actually assists women fleeing intimate partner violence.
And by that I mean NOT White Ribbon. White Ribbon does nothing to assist women. It’s just a bunch of men talking to men and not listening to women.
The band, were they serious, might also might ask their fan base to simmer the fuck down and stop trolling everyone on the internet who suggests that it’s a good thing that these dudebros will not get a platform.
I believe in redemption and rehabilitation. I know that people do change. But I believe when a crime is particularly violent that the perpetrator(s) need to make genuine restitution. This has not happened in this case.
I am very glad the Melbourne’s Cherry Bar and others have cancelled this gig. I don’t think it was a simple thing to do. I’m glad for all the venues and media people who get it.
As a survivor of domestic violence I am very glad for your support, but I expect better in the future.
Thanks to all those who have done the right thing. xPsychedelic_Jesus

BAKEHOUSE 25 Year Birthday Party with The Drones!!!

Melbourne music landmark and iconic rehearsal studios, Bakehouse are turning 25. To celebrate this momentous occasion they are throwing a massive birthday party at the studios on Saturday 16th July in conjunction with Leaps and Bounds Festival.
From 6pm that day, Bakehouse will be laying it on with a free feast in the courtyard, bands performing throughout their signature studios, followed by The Drones headlining an intimate Birthday gig upstairs in the Scrap Museum.


Drones Press for March 2015. Bakehouse Studio, Fitzroy
Drones Press for March 2015. Bakehouse Studio, Fitzroy

When Quincy and Helen took over the derelict mansion and stables in Richmond to set up Bakehouse, they transformed the building into more than just a rehearsal studio. Bakehouse has been essential to the formation of S.L.A.M. and a vital incubator for some of the wildly talent artists to have come out of and through Melbourne.

Bakehouse love a good surprise and they know you do too, so the full lineup for the night will be released over the coming weeks but you can expect artists who have all cut their teeth at Bakehouse over this last quarter of a century.

Tickets to The Drones go on sale Monday 4th July and are strictly limited so this will sell out.
Date: Sat 16 July 2016
Free BBQ & Secret Bands: 6:00pm
The Drones Doors: 8:30pm
Venue: Bakehouse Studios – 27-29 Little Hoddle Street, Richmond
Ticket Price: $52 + booking fee
Ticketing link (embargoed until Mon 4th July)

J M S Harrison “Tales Around The Lighthouse Lamp” launch at Workers Club 14 May – 1pm Matinee Show!

Join J M S Harrison and Backyard for a special double launch matinee show at Workers Club 14 May, 1pm as they team up to share their releases with the world (Melbourne).

You may have seen Melbourne based singer/songwriter J M S Harrison’s name recently as a performer at any one of the several sold out tribute shows he has been busy putting on 3 sold out tributes in the last few months, including a PJ Harvey album anniversary show at Northcote SC for Darebin Music Feast, two David Bowie tributes at NSC and Corner Hotel and an epic album anniversary show for The Smiths happening at Corner Hotel.

But you may not have seen him in his best guise of all, playing his own new music from his luminous new album ‘Tales Surround The Lighthouse Lamp.’

Recorded at Crosstown Studios, “Tales Surround The Lighthouse Lamp” features 12 sparkling new tracks and will be available exclusively on CD at the show, followed by digital release the week after.


At the same show, Backyard will be officially launching their 7″ vinyl Young and Old, after building up much hype on the scene playing shows across Melbourne since 2014.
Have a listen here: https://backyardtheband.bandcamp.com/

Joining these two acts on the day will be very special guests Christopher Coleman Collective, Luke Shields (Have/Hold), Eli Cash and Hayley Couper.


Leaps and Bounds Music Festival 2016 – First Programming Announcement

Yarra City Council is pleased to announce the fourth annual Leaps and Bounds Music Festival will take place across Australia’s busiest and most diverse gigging precinct this July 1 – 17.

Over 50 participating venues in Fitzroy, Collingwood, Richmond, Abbotsford, North Carlton, Clifton Hill and North Fitzroy will host more than 300 events featuring around 900 performances.

Leaps and Bounds runs from Friday 1 July until Sunday 17 July 2016 and will highlight the participating venues, new specially curated events by local producers and Australian music and musicians.

Early event announcements include:

TLB (Together Like Brothers) – All Ages Album Launch – Saturday 2 July –

The Evelyn Hotel. TLB is a Melbourne based South Sudanese born Hip Hop collective. Their music strives to empower through extremely danceable and positive mad rhymes. Tupac meets Bob Marley on the dance floor, addressing assimilation, racism and adapting to a new culture. This is an All Age Event.

Living Legends – a show dedicated to iconic local musicians will this year pay tribute to Deborah Conway and Phil Kakulas of Blackeyed Susans {show curated by Triple RRR’s Jonathon Alley) at Gasometer Hotel. The honoured artist doesn’t perform but attends the show to be serenaded and feted by the next generation of musicians and peers they have influenced covering their music and offering dedications.

BRUNSWICK ST SOUL FIESTA – Saturday 9 July – Soul music returns back to its spiritual home in Fitzroy. Brunswick St is one of Melbourne’s best known cultural hubs and live music strips that will host the inaugural Soul Fiesta as part of the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival. From 3pm until late there will be live soul, funk and jazz music and DJs in over 20 venues along Brunswick St including record stores, restaurants and bars.

Dave Graney ‘n’ the Coral Snakes performing THE NIGHT OF THE WOLVERINE – Saturday 9 July – At the Corner Hotel. Dave Graney ‘n’ the Coral Snakes were THE stand alone act in Australia during the 90s. Nobody stood near them. They cut through with wit, flash and weirdness and flew their freak flag for four albums while Dave Graney used street slang and literate word bombs to fully state his case. For the first time since 1997, ARIA Award winning artist Dave Graney ‘n’ the Coral Snakes reformed last year to perform their much acclaimed album “Night of the Wolverine” (1993) as well as many other classics from their soft and sexy songbook featuring the original gangsters who made NIGHT OF THE WOLVERINE – Dave Graney on vocals with Clare Moore on drums, Rod Hayward on guitar and Robin Casinader on piano.

Acid Country Live to Air – Thursday 7 July – PBS 106.7FM will broadcasting live from The Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy.The live broadcast will once again feature PBS’ longest-running program Acid Country, hosted by the incomparable David Heard and showcase some of Heardy’s picks playing live from The Rainbow Hotel and straight to the airwaves!

Richmond Theatrette –A very special season of shows will return to the Richmond Theatrette between 8 & 16 July – programmed and curated by Justin Naylor and Biddy Connor.

Aboriginal artist L J Hill who used to live in Melbourne will be coming down from country NSW to perform his captivating songs accompanied by Brendan Gallagher (Karma County/ producer for Jimmy Little) on guitar. LJ Hill has released two albums produced by Gallagher on the Laughing Outlaw label and the two are currently working on a third. LJ Hill’s song The Little Bird Tree which appears on the recent reissue Buried Country compilation was recently covered by Irish singer Pauline Conlan.

Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk – Friday 1 July – The Old Bar – After the release of their third album ‘Drive’ to critical acclaim Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk returns to the world famous Old Bar, for the opening night of the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival. To keep things exciting, there will be no pre-sales for this show – tickets only $10 on the door!

Robbie Rocket 10th anniversary – Friday 1 July – (Cosmic Psychos guitarist memorial) at the Tote.

Georgia Fields Single Launch with special guest Phia – Sunday 3 July –

Eclectic songbird Georgia Fields launches the second single “Open Orange” from her highly anticipated forthcoming album “Astril Debris” at Gasometer Hotel. Georgia will be accompanied by full band and special guest multi-instrumentalist art pop collaborator Phia, who also collaborated on the new Tim Shiel produced track.

Festival favourite Emily Ulman will embark on a Tour of Yarra, playing shows across the municipality in intimate venues. You Am I guitarist Davey Lane will also be going on his own Tour of Yarra presenting his multiple musical guises in six different venues.

Bus Tours with Bruce Milne through iconic sites in Yarra will return! However this year there will be a new route and an hour longer. The Leaps and Bounds Bus Tour will only run on Saturdays this year and will include a different special guest music icon on each tour.

JVG’s Brown River – Friday July 1 – The Gasometer Hotel – Leaps and Bounds Music Festival’s signature opening night event will be held at The Gasometer this year, featuring a cast of thousands and curated as ever by our theme time radio host and Triple RRR man Jon Von Goes.

No Bagpipes – Thursday 7 July – Originally from Shetland, local pop-infused alt-country rockers Duncan Phillips and The Long Stand joins forces with Scottish Aussie Blues/Soul Lord Steve Boyd and his new band The Rum Reverie to perform new music at Gasometer Hotel for a special double album launch. Featuring a scotch whisky tasting experience and a smokin’ horn section, but no bagpipes!

To The Nines – A selection of 9 classic albums recreated by 9 current day artists relevant to 9 classic venues. A changeup on the ‘classic album’ format, these shows will feature current artists honouring some of the classic albums written, recorded and performed in Yarra, in iconic Yarra venues.

SHOEGAZE Vs PSYCHE – Sunday 10 July – over 2 stages at the Corner featuring bands from the 90s as well as the new crop battling it out on their fuzz guitar pedals.

Bakehouse Studios Silver Jubilee Concert Series – Saturdays 2, 9, 16 July –

The iconic studio in York St where many acts have recorded seminal albums from TISM, Spiderbait and the Drones celebrates its 25th anniversary. The Scrap Museum will host three nights of surprise bands and reformations, each week representing a different decade. Saturdays July 2nd, 9th and 16th at Bakehouse, Richmond.

HITS (Brisbane) – Saturday 2 July – Hits will play a farewell show before they head to Europe at the Tote.

The Push Summit – Tuesday 5th July, Fitzroy Town Hall.

King Parrot/Hard Ons/Camp Cope – Saturday 9 July – all ages show at the Tote Hotel.

Makehouse – Wednesday 6 July– workshop for Under 21s at Bakehouse Studios presented by Yarra Youth Services and FReeZa.

Smith Street Dreaming – Saturday 16 July – A very special gig bringing together many mobs in to the one community with a ceremonial fire, free BBQ and artists the Stray Blacks, Lady Lash, Yirrmal and MC Shiralee Hood. 16 July on the corner of Stanley and Smith Sts, Collingwood (opposite Woolworths), 1pm – 5pm.

Shake The Tree – Sunday 3 July – local producer Janelle Johnston will curate a huge family day at the Fitzroy Bowling Club for this year’s festival.

Music Victoria presents Leaps and Bounds Music Festival: Grants and Funding Panel – Wednesday 13 July – The pool of funding available to Victorian artists is greater than ever. However, the funding rounds are increasingly competitive, so find out about the latest grants available and get some sweet tips on how to stand out in your application.

Yah Yah’s Closing Party, Sunday 17 July will be the official host for the 2016 Leaps and Bounds Music Festival.

Leaps And Bounds Music Festival is commissioned by the City of Yarra and presented by PBS 106.7 FM.

TLB performance – LEAPS AND BOUNDS FESTIVAL MEDIA EVENT @ EVELYN HOTEL                          Photo credit: Tony Proudfoot




Riff Raiders perform Cheap Trick’s ‘At Budokan’ – R&R Hall of Fame Party @ Cherry Bar, 9 April

CHEAP TRICK – AT BUDOKAN – Rock Hall of Fame Celebration Performed by The Riff Raiders
Cherry Bar, AC/DC Lane Melbourne
Saturday 9 April 2016, 8pm

Tix $15 presale cherrybar.com.au or at door

On 9 April 2016 Cheap Trick will be inducted in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame at the official ceremony at New York City’s Barclays Center. This recognises the band’s four decades of almost continuous touring performing over 5,000 gigs and its influence on major rock acts such as AC/DC, Nirvana, Guns N Roses, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Foo Fighters, The Posies, Weezer, Fountains of Wayne, Kiss and Motley Crue.

To celebrate this special occasion Cherry is paying homage to this ground breaking rock n roll band with a special live performance of the album that started it all for them – At Budokan. Recorded live in Tokyo in April 1978, originally only for Japanese audiences, At Budokan launched Cheap Trick to the world, going triple platinum in the US alone, and giving us roaring guitar versions of ‘I Want You to Want Me’ and ‘Surrender’.

AllMusic review sums it up perfectly, ….With their ear-shatteringly loud guitars and sweet melodies, Cheap Trick unwittingly paved the way for much of the hard rock of the next decade, as well as a surprising amount of alternative rock of the 1990s, and it was At Budokan that captured the band in all of its power.

New Melbourne stadium rock powerhouse The Riff Raiders will perform the album in full. This is not some cheesy dress up cover band, they will be smashing out this set with the fun, passion, skill and respect those songs deserve.

This will be followed by a second set where The Riff Raiders will take on other hall of famers, including Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Queen and Kiss, in the Raiders style, choosing not the bleeding obvious songs, but the other killer songs from these seminal hard rock acts.

The night will be topped off by a special guest DJ appearance by James Young, playing Trick classics and even more hall of famers.

9pm: Riff Raiders – at Budokan 10.30pm: Riff Raiders – Hall of Famers Plus special guest DJ James Young


Riff Raiders smashing out Cheap Trick rarity Born to Raise Hell at their last Cherry Show:

Riff Raiders taking on Black Night in their formidable way at Cherry:

Riff Raiders - Band Shot-1


Steve Boyd’s Rum Reverie – ‘Papa Likes It’ single launch, Saturday 12 March, Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy



Saturday, 12th March, good people, Steve Boyd is back – Healing and Howling for your pleasure and mine at the Rainbow Hotel from 9.30, no cover charge.

Flashback to the late nineties/early noughties when Boyd was fast gaining a reputation as a singer, songwriter and performer of considerable substance.
Borrowing largely from the classic American roots music forms, his band Steve Boyd and The Preachers were festival circuit regulars sharing stages with the likes of Bob Dylan and Ray Charles. Their wildly impassioned performances drew a large, loyal crowd and their recordings were heard on American College radio and mentioned in prestigious UK music bible ‘Mojo’.

Changing the core line-up and the group’s name to The Steve Boyd Revue did not slow things down in the slightest. In fact, as the sound morphed into a bigger Gospel-Soul affair, complete with Hammond organ, percussion, brass and backing singers, the group’s credentials only grew. Steve was seemingly poised to ease into a long and successful career in music.

So what happened next?

Life happened.

A series of life-changing events, unexpected challenges and personal tragedies occurred and Boyd was hurled into an inward journey of epic proportions.
Through this period of soul-searching and healing, he established a new relationship with music.

For over ten years Boyd ran music and song writing groups for VincentCare Victoria. Primarily working with marginalised members of the community, He discovered music’s power to ease the hearts and minds of those struggling with poverty, mental health, addiction and homelessness.

Running song writing and music therapy groups, Boyd discovered he had a talent for drawing out the creative spark within a broad range of participants from all walks of life. Under his guidance these groups performed at various community festivals and even most memorable time at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout at Etihad stadium.

Upon occasion, Boyd enlisted additional music mentors to assist him. At one time none other than Spencer P Jones caught the bug and got on board Steve’s plight to soothe, challenge and inspire some of the folks who would otherwise miss out on the opportunity to make music altogether.

In actuality the entire process was cathartic not only for the participants but for Boyd himself. Over time he rediscovered his muse with a vengeance and began considering the next chapter of his musical odyssey. Now was the time to recommence writing and rehearsing new material for his own project. It simply felt right.

Time had done its job healing old wounds but a creative void desperately needed filling.

Enter Steve Boyd’s Rum Reverie.

Essentially the brainchild of both Steve Boyd and Paul Fiddes (long time friend and musical collaborator), the project came about over many nights of shared musings, quaffing of shiraz and listening to vintage vinyl records.

Much the same as Boyd, Fiddes had taken an extended excursion from music whilst focusing on exclusively on photography. It became apparent that both shared a yearning to return to the fold.

At the end of the day it was agreed that nothing else quite compared to the wild high of bashing out original tunes in the sweating bars of Melbourne. Both agreed it was time dust off the drum kit and restring the guitar.

There was new music to be made.

The influences are primal and instinctive; perhaps not schooled and certainly not slick. Initially starting out as a two-piece, the core group of Paul on drums and Steve on guitar and vocals was eventually augmented by upright bass and brass. This process occurred through many writing and recording sessions: Steve and Paul allowing the music to dictate what should happen next.

The sound is heartfelt and raw.

With a punk brain, a gospel soul, a blues heart and even hints of jazz trickling through its veins, Steve Boyd’s Rum Reverie may be something of a musical Frankenstein’s monster.

It’s a monster that will hoot, holler, growl and grind with all it’s might.

Check out the new EP and first single ‘Papa Likes It’ at this downloadable link:


RIP Ross Hannaford.

Ross Hannaford, he of the Richest Baritone was the first Australian guitarist I ever fell in love with, nearly 20 years ago now.

Over the years, it has been my very great pleasure to cross paths with him to work on several projects including various Daddy Cool appearances, Hall of Fame inductions (yes, plural), gigs and his most recent solo album release.

Always rated as one of the finest guitar players in Australia, Hanna was also a badass fashionista, making his own colourful and much admired outfits for appearances.  His quirky sense of humour and unique style were evident in his music and also in his beautiful paintings.

Recently diagnosed with cancer, Ross released his newest solo album “Hanna” to a rapturous capacity crowd at Caravan Music Club in Oakleigh in December 2015.

It was his final live performance and the celebration of his 65th birthday.  He always sounded great, but he has never sounded better than he did that very last time.

Thank you, Mr Hannaford.

‘Twas an absolute pleasure.




Last Days for Grant Gronewold’s (aka HTMLflowers) NO VISITORS debut solo exhibition at Fort Delta – open until Saturday, 27 February

Only two more days to see artist Grant Gronewold’s (aka HTMLflowers) solo debut exhibition ‘No Visitors’ on view at Fort Delta from February 5th – 27th.

Gronewold’s long-form narrative comic work-turned-exhibition No Visitors consists of coloured drawings in the form of limited artist proofs and editioned prints. The work attempts to show the complex, painful and often isolating reality of living with a life threatening illness while still favouring and revealing this through a more intimate approach. Rooted firmly in real life experience, Gronewold uses his avatar, Little, to recount the embarrassing, demeaning compromises that often define the lifestyle of the disabled.

Drawing from his time as a chronically ill child visiting Ronald McDonald House, Gronewold uses the logic of insomnia to question the true function of corporate charity; often designed to aid the chronically and life threateningly ill, namely children.

Frequenting the exhibition are looming depictions of Ronald McDonald stalking wandering children in hospital gowns – revealing him as a kind of talent scout in search of new mascots to join him in McDonalds’ ongoing PR crusade to image themselves as a force of good. This major theme of the exhibition – the formation of corporate identity coercively appropriating the plight of others less fortunate – is presented alongside images of negligent doctors practicing paternal procedures on their patients – their faces hidden and disguised behind bright surgical masks.

Gronewold’s style and philosophy for the exhibition deceptively blends Injury, punishment and violation into colourful images, abundant with motifs and bright settings rendered in the waxy, porous textures of coloured pencils – a medium often associated with child’s play and bold imagination. Images of ripe, engorged strawberries being split with enormous razorblades, pop-up flying windows circulating the outskirts of hospital rooms, and wooded allotments appearing as feverish apparitions all ambivalently contribute to a fantastical and renewed picture of the sterile utilities and institutions; seemingly born from tides of contemplative, mindful insight and maddening boredom.

Fort Delta, Shop 59 Capitol Arcade (Basement Leevel) 113 Swanston Street. Enter via Howey Place, Melbourne.

Enquiries: info@fortdelta.com.au ‪#‎grantgronewold‬ ‪#‎htmlflowers‬ ‪#‎fortdeltaAsleep-Under-A-Blade-web

Duncan Phillips & The Long Stand play ‘The Wilderness’ Sunday, 28th Feb @The Standard, Fitzroy

Scottish born Duncan Phillips will play his new single ‘The Wilderness’ along with other choice tunes with his crackin’ band The Long Stand on Sunday, 28th February at The Standard Hotel, 293 Fitzroy St, Fitroy VIC.  Free gig!  

Listen to ‘The Wilderness here:  https://soundcloud.com/duncan-phillips-music



Duncan has been playing his excellent alt-country Americana tunes all around town for the past few years after stumbling upon Melbourne during his holiday travels and deciding to stay and explore the massive music scene here.

Originally from the village of Scalloway in The Shetland Islands, Scotland, his accent is heavy in conversation, less so in song, but if you can understand him, you’ll love his songs.

“I was lucky to grow up in household where music was part of everyday life. My mother was the booker for the world-renowned Shetland Folk Festival and my stepfather was lead singer in a popular local blues/rock band.”

“I was constantly exposed to a wide array of musical styles. There could have been anything from traditional Scottish music to the Ramones blasting from the stereo. I also had the benefit of meeting and interacting with highly accomplished musicians from an early age.”

“The Wilderness came around shortly before pre-production for the album began. I’d been listening to a lot of Springsteen and that influenced the overall feel of the song. The Wilderness is metaphorical for being emotionally lost after watching friends fall victim to lifestyle choices, and ‘home’ in the song is symbolic of wanting to return to a healthy state of mind.”

Recorded and produced by Alics Gate-Eastley and Duncan Phillips at Appleby Studios, The Wilderness is the first single from his soon-to-be-released debut album of the same title.

Visit Duncan at https://www.facebook.com/duncanphillipsmusic.