The Holidays are coming back to town. The Sydney indie-pop guys are bringing new album Real Feel to Wollongong on June 5, playing at the Unibar's end of session party. They will be joined by Step-Panther, as well as local DJs competing in the final of the UOW DJ competition. Tickets are on sale May 12.
■ It is a big weekend of music in Wollongong but maybe the most intriguing gig is set for Howlin Wolf on Saturday, with new outfit Grown Ocean playing their debut set. Featuring members of Beaten Bodies and Howlin Wolf house band The Oxford Groove, the group is described as "an absolution inspired by Bob Dylan, J Dilla, Paul Motian and everything in between". Entry is free, with support from Reactionary.
■ Shining Bird have been announced as the main support for New Zealand indie-folk act Tiny Ruins' national tour in July. The Bird will play eight shows around the country on tour, with a local show slotted in for Anita's Theatre on July 3.
■ Wombarra Bowling Club seems the place to be in coming months, with a few cool shows lined up by the Farmer and The Owl crew. First on May 25, Sydney band You Beauty will play with The Pinheads and more - then Sydney rock 'n' roll favourites Straight Arrows will team up with TV Colours and The Pinheads again for another gig on June 13. Great to see some cool shows hitting places other than the CBD.
■ Speaking of the Farmer and The Owl, the tracklist for their Beached Friends compilation album has been released. Unsurprisingly, the bands playing at the album launch at the Unibar on May 29 all feature, with Hockey Dad, The Walking Who and Jenny Broke The Window all featuring; but as well, newer acts like Tees, Jack & Elmo, Tropical Strength and The Escarpment are all on the list too. Keep an eye on the Mercury in coming weeks for your chance to be the first to get the whole album.
■ Sleepmakeswaves have announced two shows at Rad Bar in a few months, playing on July 6 and a week later on July 13.
■ The UOW Unibar band comp rolls on next week, with five bands to play on Tuesday night. The Crimson Horror, Disengaged, Sheerkhan, El Grande and Your Mate will be hoping for a place in the final on August 21.
Q & A with 19-Twenty
Blues and roots outfit 19-Twenty will join Penny Hartgerink, Ray Beadle and more for a big blues gig at the Heritage Hotel this weekend. Band leader Kane Dennelly gave us the lowdown on the group.
Who are 19-Twenty?
Kane Dennelly, vocals and guitar; Syd Green, drums and percussion; Joe Winkler, drums and percussion; John Gwilliam, double bass; and Heath Dennelly, sax and harmonica.
When and how did the band start?
The band started seven years, thousands of kilometres, hundreds of beers and hundreds of gigs ago. It was to scratch an itch that has now become an obsession.
Describe your music (influences etc)?
Our music is best described as blues and roots; we like to call it rowdy, unpredictable and entertaining
How did your sound develop and how has it changed over time?
Our sound was developed playing in sweaty pubs for years. It was a great training ground to learn how to entertain. We focus on grooves that get people moving.
What's the Wollongong music scene like now?
The Gong music scene is really happening. There are venues opening up that are better suited for live music and they are supporting original music.
Next shows coming up?
We have a few dates coming up and some exciting festival dates too. All dates are on 19twentymusic.com. We have a new album out at the moment which has been receiving airplay nationally, including JJJ.