I went to see Courtney Barnett!

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Courtney Barnett

Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to see one of my favourite artists live; Courtney Barnett! She was playing a venue called The Gov, which is a bit famous in Adelaide. My parents bought me a ticket just under a day before the show, so thank you so much!

Me before the show

Me before the show

Courtney Barnett is an Australian indie singer, songwriter + guitarist. Her lyrics are marvelously witty and honest and funny, and she sings with her Australian accent. A lot of her songs are a little bit grungy, but a lot of them are softer, too. She and her partner Jen Cloher run an indie record label called Milk! Records. Courtney designs all her album art, too. She released her debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit in March this year.

The Gov opened its doors at 7:30 and Mum + I arrived not long after. But as we were waiting, somebody walks past us and into the beer garden. And that somebody was Courtney! So after a few minutes, I plucked up my courage and went up to her. I introduced myself and told her that I’m a huge fan. She introduced me to her drummer, Dave, shook my hand, and asked if I was from Adelaide. Dave then took a picture of Courtney and me! They both said they hoped I would enjoy the show. Both Courtney and Dave were really nice, and it was amazing to meet someone I really look up to as an aspiring musician! A memorable start to a memorable night! Courtney actually watched the supports in the audience, which I thought was cool.

Courtney and me!

Courtney and me!

Soon after, the first support band started. They were called The Yabbies, and they were okay, but I thought the second support band were really good! They were called Teeth and Tongue, and played a certain style of half-synth-y, half-guitar-y indie pop which is just pleasing to the ears. Their frontwoman — Jessica Cornelius — also had great stage presence, which is always a plus. I loved dancing to their beats, and got some good photos of them, too.

Teeth and Tongue

Teeth and Tongue

Finally, at around 9:45, Courtney and her band came on! She launched into ‘Elevator Operator’, the first song on her new album, and sung the words in her signature Aussie voice. Everyone stood up, and I took prime position on top of a booth seat so I could see!

Courtney

Courtney!

Courtney and her band then played ‘Lance Jr’, a song from her first EP. ‘Lance Jr’ was in fact the first song of hers that I heard. Courtney then talked to the audience for a bit and played a few more songs from her latest album, like ‘Aqua Profunda!’, ‘Dead Fox’, ‘Small Poppies’ and ‘Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party’.

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A lot of people who go and see Courtney live comment on how her live performances are a bit heavier than the studio versions of her songs. And they’re right. Courtney, Dave and her bassist (a dude called Bones!) absolutely rocked The Gov! The walls and floors were quite literally vibrating! Her voice was a little bit sweeter live than it is on her studio songs — but then, she almost screamed a few of the songs live, too. There was such an air of excitement and energy buzzing throughout The Gov that night…

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Courtney then played a few more songs. One of these was the B-side of her latest single, ‘Depreston’, which is all about house-hunting in a suburb in Melbourne called Preston. (Courtney, who lives in Melbourne, often references the city in her songs.) She also played a song called ‘Kim’s Caravan’, which is about the decline of the Great Barrier Reef and climate change in general. ‘Kim’s Caravan’ is one of the softer songs on Sometimes I Sit…, but it certainly wasn’t live. Courtney’s guitar was feeding like mad during the outro, and it sounded awesome! After a bit over an hour, Courtney, Dave and Bones finished the set with the gritty A-side of her latest single, ‘Pedestrian at Best’, left the stage…

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…And then came back! Courtney announced that she would play a cover of The Lemonheads’ ‘Bein’ Around’. She then dedicated a song to her Adelaide audience — one called ‘Pickles From The Jar’! The song mentions Adelaide a few times, hence the dedication… Finally, Courtney and her band finished off the encore with a heavy version of ‘I’ll Make You Happy’ by The Easybeats. And so she and her band finished her show a little bit after 11:00.

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I really, really enjoyed seeing Courtney Barnett live! Though I couldn’t see very well, and my ears rang for a while, I had an awesome night! Courtney really is amazing live, and is definitely a must-see. (And meeting her and Dave was a huge plus!) You can listen to Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit here, and you can buy it here.

I didn't take this picture. All credit goes to The Gov!

I didn’t take this picture. All credit goes to The Gov!

I Saw The Beatle Boys Standing There

With 'Paul' and 'Ringo'...

With ‘Paul’ and ‘Ringo’…

 

And 'John' and 'George'...

And ‘John’ and ‘George’…

 

Last night would quite easily qualify for one of the best nights in my entire life. Excluding the George Harrison tribute show I saw earlier this year, an Etype Jazz show I saw five years ago (both of which are a part of the Adelaide Fringe, so I don’t count them), and my annual trip to WOMADelaide, I saw my first rock concert; a Beatles tribute called The Beatle Boys, at Adelaide’s Thebarton Theatre!

The Beatle Boys are an Australian Beatles tribute from Newcastle, NSW, and they are currently going around Australia and New Zealand, recreating The Beatles’ ’64 tour of Australia and New Zealand, as a part of the 50th anniversary celebrations. Unlike some of the other tribute bands I’ve heard of, they weren’t tacky (i.e. they didn’t wear fake-looking wigs; they actually had their hair cut in a moptop, or Arthur – as George called the infamous ‘do in A Hard Day’s Night!) and they weren’t deadly serious about the entire ‘We-have-to-be-exactly-like-The-Beatles’ thing. In fact, the show was a bit tongue-in-cheek; the guy who played Paul put on exaggerated facial expressions, and there was no shortage of jokey Beatles references! According to their website, they’ve been playing for 26 years, and have played everywhere from Swaziland to Canada. Two years ago, they did a ‘rooftop concert’ on top of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, which I just watched on YouTube, and is really cool (I then proceeded to watch Let It Be music clips, and then daydream about the future day it is released on DVD/BluRay; it was supposedly going to be released last year, but that clearly didn’t happen!)!

Last night, their gig consisted of two parts, separated by an interval; the first part was a recreation of The Beatles’ Melbourne concert, with the addition of ‘This Boy’ (which was only played here, in Adelaide). Before the band appeared on the stage, a collection of footage showing The Beatles arriving in different cities around the country, and songs recorded by John, Paul, George and Ringo/Jimmie’s support acts were shown/played on a screen. Finally (as excitement built up), the lights dimmed, the final support act’s song faded, and The Beatle Boys ran onstage. They did a great job with their version of The Beatles’ concerts from 50 years ago; in some aspects, it was an almost-exact replica of the footage I have seen (Scouse accents and all), and in others (as I said before) it was very tongue-in-cheek, and not-at-all serious. They encouraged us to scream (when they weren’t playing!), dance, clap, sing and generally be a Beatlemaniac – naturally, I did all of the above things!

The second part consisted of “more than eleven songs,” as the man who played John joked, including material right from 1962 to 1969. They played everything from ‘Love Me Do’ to ‘Get Back’, ‘I Should Have Known Better’ to ‘Revolution’, and ‘Day Tripper’ to ‘Back In The USSR’. There were some very funny jokes in this part, including ‘Paul’ remarking, “The White Album is my favourite album, ’cause we could do whatever we wanted!” I did a lot of filming of both halves, so once I’ve downloaded them off Mum’s phone, I’ll pop them on here, so you can see the band yourself. It’s not quite the same as seeing them live (which – trust me – is quite an experience), but you’ll get an idea of how good they were!

After the show, The Beatle Boys came out to the foyer, and the majority of audience lined up for photos and/or signatures. As you can see above, I got pictures with them all, and as you can see below, I got them to sign my ticket. They were all really nice men, and they were quite impressed with my gorgeous John-and-Paul tee from last weekend! Just think – what a gorgeous job ‘Beatles impersonator’ would be. I can think of almost nothing better than playing John for a group of like-minded fans; sadly, though, this is impossible because I am a girl, so I’ll happily be content with my dream of being a musician when I leave school.

I’ll just upload the rest of my pictures – after that, good day sunshine, until I upload the videos of the concert (tomorrow, maybe)!

My signed ticket!

My signed ticket!

Outside the Thebarton Theatre (or the Thebby, as locals call it)...

Outside the Thebarton Theatre (or the Thebby, as locals call it)…

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Waiting, waiting, waiting…

 

My “Magical Mystery Tour” To Melbourne

Hi all,

Today, we are coming back to Adelaide (I am currently writing this in the QANTAS lounge!), from Melbourne.

I had a fantastic time at the Beatles In Australia exhibit, but it was slightly different to it’s Sydney equivalent. I was disappointed to see that John’s suit had not made an appearance (it must have been sent back to the V&A, where it is kept), and that the gift shop was fairly limited (I did, however, purchase an Anthology 2 disc!) but it was still fabulous! It’s quite ironic, really, that John, Paul, George and Ringo can still create the same euphoria that they did all those years ago, isn’t it? Look out, future children/godchildren/nieces/nephews – prepared to be brainwashed with the Fab Four! Sadly, photography was prohibited within the exhibition (probably because of Apple Corps.’ strict copyright laws), but here is the link to the accompanying website, plus a sneaky shot of me out the front!

http://www.thebeatlesinaustralia.com/

Posing as the Fifth Beatle at the entrance to the exhibition - note t-shirt with incredibly-attractive picture of John and Paul!

Posing as the Fifth Beatle at the entrance to the exhibition – note t-shirt with incredibly-attractive picture of John and Paul!

The exhibition (in Melbourne) included sights such as a drumhead signed by Ringo, a block of stone from the urinal at The Cavern, a jukebox stacked with all the singles released by The Fabs before June ’64 (when they came), a projection of ‘The Beatles Sing For Shell’ (a TV broadcast of one of their Melbourne concerts from ’64) and one of John’s famous Lennon caps that he had actually worn (!). If you’re in Melbourne before July 1st, go and check it out – it’s a must-see for every Beatlemaniac!

Despite the fact Beatles merchandise within the exhibition was limited, I managed to find a stall in the Queen Victoria Markets which was selling band t-shirts – I found one with an incredibly-attractive picture of John and Paul repeated film-style over a black background. I also found an official Beatles postcard in a vintage clothing shop (in which I also bought a gorgeous 1960s orange shift-dress, that fits perfectly!). My latest editions to my collection of Beatle-y things are pictured below.

Left to right: ‘Anthology 2’ CD, exhibition pamphlet, John and Paul tee and Beatles postcard.

When The Beatles Drove Us Wild is on tonight (as you probably already know) – apparently, it scans everything from the concerts to their effect on society, from the famous campaign to bring them to Adelaide (thanks, Bob Francis!) to groupies, and according to The Advertiser, John says something “that will pierce your heart” at the end (what are you going to say, Johnny?). Make sure you tune in!

Also, it’s my Dad’s birthday (da da da da da da, da da) today – if you’re reading this, Dad, happy birthday; hope you  had a great day!

So anyway, have a great rest of your Tuesday (I’m missing a day of school – how fun!), and enjoy my Beatles picture of the week! Bye for now.

Isn't this just so darn cute?!

Isn’t this just so darn cute?!

Beatle-y News

 

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A picture of some really-cool rare Beatle collectables that my godparents gave me yesterday (thanks!), sitting on our record player.

 

As most Beatlemaniacs are aware, 2014 is a huge year in the Beatles calendar. Americans have been getting all hyped over their 50-years-since-The-Beatles-invaded-America celebrations, with festivities ranging from a beautiful photo-book called The Beatles: Six Days That Changed The World (I will do a review on it some point) to the now-infamous Grammy special screened on Foxtel back in February (I, ashamedly, have not seen this yet – our household does not have Foxtel, so my lovely godparents recorded it for us, but my stupid BluRay player repeatedly rejects the disc that they put it on). However, those over in the US of A are not the only people celebrating at the moment; here in The Great Southern Land/Terra Australis/Down Under/Australia, we’ve been having a Beatlemania revival, too (yay – for once, the rest of the country is acting like an extremely-understated version of moi!). Since last September, there has been a ‘Beatles In Australia’ exhibition doing the Sydney and Melbourne rounds. I was in Sydney for a weekend back in December, and Mum wanted to see an exhibition at the Powerhouse; to my delight, I discovered that the above exhibition was also being held there, so I’ve already seen it. I am, however, flying up to Melbourne very soon especially to re-view the exhibit, as a three-month-early birthday present – talk about being a Beatlemaniac! If it’s anything like it was in Sydney, there will be everything from original posters that a screaming fan proudly held up at The Fab Four’s Sydney Airport arrival, to John’s original suit from the tour! There was also an extremely large portion of Beatles merchandise for sale in the Powerhouse gift shop at the time – hopefully the Arts Centre have a shop, too! Anyway, if you turn out to be in Melbourne before the 1st of July, check it out – I, for one, really enjoyed it in Sydney (and hope to do so in Victoria, too).

As for things going on back home in South Australia…The two major newspapers here (The Advertiser and The Sunday Mail) have been taking advantage of the 50th anniversary of John, Paul, George and Jimmie Nicol’s (who was the replacement drummer – poor Ringo was stuck in London with tonsillitis) visit to Adelaide – I, in turn, have been fattening my Beatles scrapbook with their twenty-million articles (which I am not complaining about)! Here in Adelaide, we made Beatles history by giving the boys their biggest reception ever – surprising, really, considering how small we are, but (as with before) I’m not complaining; all the former Beatles (except Ringo, of course) have commented on their Adelaide visit, and this makes me very proud to be South Australian. But anyway, check out the Sunday Mail today, and yesterday’s Advertiser (if you still have it) – yesterday, there was a giant four-page spread in the SA Weekend, plus an article on a security guard who got their signatures. Today, in the Mail, there was an article of a woman who met John and Paul in ’64, and got Paul’s signature in 1975 (what a lucky-duck).

As for the TV – about a week ago, there was a half-hour special called Yesterday: The Beatles In Adelaide (thus, I assume, only screened here) on Channel 7, which was based around interviews with DJs/fans who were present, and a lot of archival footage (which was really interesting to look at). Despite the fact the documentary was ten years old, it was really good and I really enjoyed it. However, there’s another television special coming up on Tuesday, 10th of June (a new one!) on ABC1, called When The Beatles Drove Us Wild – apparently, this one is something very special, and unlike the former, it goes for a full  hour, so tune in!

As for other Beatle-y news – most Beatlemaniacs now know that A Hard Day’s Night is finally being re-released! This is good news for us Australians, ’cause it’s been out-of-print here since 2005! I’ve already pre-ordered my BluRay, and you can do the same with the link below (we are the same region as the UK, so the disc is watch-able here):

http://http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hard-Days-Night-Anniversary-Restoration/dp/B00KATQSA2/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1402183042&sr=1-1&keywords=a+hard+day%27s+night+50th+anniversary+restoration

And while you’re at it, take a look at the brand-new trailer made especially for AHDN’s re-release (if you’re lucky enough to be reading this in the US, you’ll get to see it at your local cinema):

 

 

So anyway, have a fab long weekend (I’ve listened to Abbey Road, read my new Beatles books/magazine pictured at the top of the post and posted on here), and enjoy the sunny day that has somehow found itself in the middle of Adelaide’s – to quote George Harrison – “long, cold, lonely Winter” (and trust me  – Adelaide Winters are freezing). Good day sunshine, for now!