Welcome back to the Mercury’s weekly local music round-up, with Josh Butler wrapping up new music, gigs and band news.
• Entries for the UOW heats of the National Campus Band Competition are about to open.
Hundreds of university bands from across the country enter the competition each year, and UOW bands have a legacy of success in this competition – last year’s representatives, Dlinkwnt, came third in the national final and Sydney Girls Choir were named runners-up in the 2010 national final, while Rocking Horse and The Baby Dolls (2011) and Beaten Bodies (2012) also made the NSW finals.
The first heat at the Unibar is April 29, with a few more rounds before the Wollongong final on August 21. Entry forms available here soon.
• UOW is also fielding entries for the National Campus DJ Competition. The first heat will be held on April 30, before the UOW final at the End of Session Party on June 5. Details here.
• The Haze was a promising, if ultimately short-lived, reincarnation of the Midnight Kamikaze band nights held at Hostage X. It popped up in 2013 but quietly faded away not too long after; but like the circle of life, it has come back around again. It relaunches at Hostage on April 4, with locals The Vanns, Blueberry Circuit and Rivet City joined by Tasmanian guys Younger Dryas.
• The Vanns will then back up the next day to headline the Kiama Youth-stock concert. They will play at the Kiama Pavilion on April 5 with Kaleidoscope, Scarborough and a bunch more local talent. Tickets are just $5.
• Illawarra electronic producer Nick Lynar has released a new track called I Still. Premiered this week on the influential tastemaker blog Stoney Roads, it’s a delicate, shimmering and emotive tune – the type that washes over you, akin to the likes of James Blake or SBTRKT. Lynar is part of a quietly growing wave of electronic producers making a splash in Wollongong – events like Parkside, This House Moves and Lair Lyf are some of the biggest parties around – and it won’t be the last we hear of this guy.
• LORD are looking for a new drummer. Email email@example.com if you think that could be you.
• Members from two of the area’s most under-rated bands, Vulpes Vulpes and Hockey Dad, have teamed up for new group Batrays. Their first single On My Mind runs a fine line between the arid, dirty rock’n’roll of VV and the ramshackle, high-energy surf-tinged tunes of Hockey Dad. Batrays is definitely a name worth keeping an ear out for.
• Speaking of Hockey Dad, they play Rad next week with Palms and The Gooch Palms in what should be one of the more fun rock bills to hit the Gong this year.
• If you’re heading to Sydney this weekend, a few of Wollongong’s finest are playing there. Punk outfit Harbourer launch their debut EP at the Exchange Hotel in Darlinghurst, with fellow Wollongong band Mowgli in support, while The Walking Who and Shining Bird are playing FBI Social’s third birthday party at the King’s Cross Hotel.
Indie-folk crew Yetis make some of the most beautiful music you’ll hear this side of the equator. They launch their gorgeous new single, Kind Eyes, at Rad on March 27. Curtis Smith took some time to answer a few questions.
Who are Yetis?
Yetis are a family, made up of siblings Cameron, Curtis and Jenna Smith, and ‘‘brothers’’ David Muratore, Rhys Stamnas and Thomas Brett.
Members in any previous/current bands?
I [Curtis], along with Cameron and David play in a heavier post-rock/hardcore band called Mowgli, and I also play with Sydney folkster and brilliant singer-songwriter Patrick James.
When and how did the band start?
It was started by my brother Cam and I. We’ve always loved to play music together. I’d been overseas for a year and we’d send some demos or recorded covers to each other. When I got home I sent a text out to David, we jammed and starting sharing our precious tunes.
Describe your music.
We love harmonies, we love making music that draws you in and makes you not want to leave because you are suddenly sitting on your favourite arm chair with a glass of whisky in hand and it feels good. Yetis also love unique instrumentation so we do throw in the occasional chaotic saxophone solo. Influences include Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, James Vincent McMorrow.
How did your sound develop and how has it changed over time?
We started out with a far more pop/rock style. There was only four of us then, six now.
What’s the Wollongong music scene like now?
Now it’s an exciting time as places like Rad Bar are coming into their own, Howling Wolf Bar, Illawarra Brewery, and the Yours & Owls and Music Farmers crew are continually pushing for a creative culture to grow.
• Bin Juice, Moonlight Cowboys – Rad, Friday, 8pm
• Sienna Skies, Reigner – Youngbloods (Hostage X), Friday, 8.30pm
• Wendy Matthews – Waves, Saturday, 7pm
• Trumpdisco, Shivers, Sam Roberts – The Grand Hotel, Saturday, 8pm
• Foxground, Lucha Libre, Calypso Toad – The Den (City Diggers), Wednesday, 8pm
We want to hear from you. To have your music, gig, news or anything music-related featured next week, email details to joshua.butler@ illawarramercury.com.au.