LIVE: Rocking with Strangers

SYDNEY boys Strangers will deliver their fresh take on Aussie rock to the masses when they embark on an extensive nine-date album tour from Newcastle to Bunbury. 

The band’s dynamic and confident debut album Persona Non Grata is laden with guitar-driven, rollicking riffs.

Over the past year the five-piece has received support from Triple J, been schooled in rock by The Darkness, Calling All Cars and Good Charlotte when they opened huge venues for the band, performed showcases at the 2012 Big Sound music conference and have just been announced to appear at the illustrious SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, this year. 

 Strangers perform with special guests The Dead Love & Born Lion at The Great Northern Hotel on January 31. Tickets from oztix.com.au or 1300762545.

Live chatted to lead vocalist Ben Britton.

How would you describe your sound?

Heavy melodic rock ’n’ roll that’s tough enough for the boys and sweet enough for the girls.

What did you learn from touring with The Darkness, Good Charlotte and Calling All Cars?

We tried to approach these shows like any other pub gig. However, we soon realised that things that work at a pub show don’t necessarily work in a 5000-capacity room and vice versa. It’s all trial and error to see what works best on the night, I guess. Every band we have supported have been amazing and there’s a reason they are where they are. We just try and pick out their strong points and work it into our own. We also learnt that it’s not a good idea to fill your diesel van with 50litres of unleaded petrol.

What are you looking forward to at SXSW?

Performing in completely unfamiliar territory, open bars, and the power of the Australian accent. It’s been a dream of ours since the beginning to get overseas and we couldn’t be happier that we get to be a part of such a world-class event.

What can audiences expect from a Strangers show?

Loud, energetic, honest rock ’n’ roll, a half-naked handlebar-moustached guitarist and a beer with us afterwards.

The Voice singers add second show 

DUE to popular demand Carmen Smith and Diana Rouvas have added a Newcastle show to their successful Two Voices tour.

Following their impressive performances on The Voice the pair performed sellout shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

They have announced intimate acoustic shows for Lizotte’s Newcastle on January 18, as well as shows in Cronulla, Dee Why and Double Bay.

They will perform separate acoustic sets before coming together for an encore. Tickets from lizottes.com.au.

Blues star coming to Newcastle

 AFTER his latest album release Trouble’s Door and a nationwide sellout tour with more than 50 shows, Ash Grunwald is determined to set alight the summer stages with his soulful tunes and stomping bluesy beats.

He will perform at Lizotte’s Newcastle on January 24. Tickets are $35 plus booking fee. Meal and show is $77. 

Award-winning country band to tour

FRESH from taking out the ARIA award for Best Country Album 2012 with Two Worlds Collide, The McClymonts have announced their Acoustic Harmony Tour 2013.

“We want to create a more intimate vibe,”  Samantha McClymont said.

“People always tell us they just want to sit back and listen to our harmonies, so that’s what we’re doing. We are going out with just our guitars and singing everyone’s favourite songs from the last three albums. Our musicians will all be playing acoustic and unplugged.”

The trio will perform at Belmont 16 Footers on February 1, with tickets from  49450888 or 16s.com.au.

They will also play at Wests Newcastle on May 17, with tickets from 49351300 or westsnewcastle.com.au.

More dates for electronica duo

THE Presets have announced additional dates for their upcoming Australian tour, as their third album, Pacifica, is certified gold in Australia.

Pacifica is already their most critically acclaimed to date, earning a J Award nomination and a shortlist entry for the AMP Awards.

The Presets will perform at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on February 11 (sold out) and February 12. Tickets from ticketek.com.au or 132849.

Ireland’s Bloom here for 11th time

IRISH singer-songwriter Luka Bloom will stop in Newcastle on his 11th tour of Australia.

Bloom, who first generated interest with the song Riverside in 1990, will perform at Lizotte’s on the Central Coast on March 8 and Lizotte’s Newcastle on March 10.

With a career spanning more than two decades, Bloom is touring his latest album, This New Morning.

After spending two years reworking new versions of his classic songs, Bloom said it was an experience in Australia that encouraged him to start writing new material again.

‘‘I was invited by the organisation Dalai Lama Australia to come down and sing a particular song (As I Waved Goodbye) before he spoke each evening,’’ Bloom said.

‘‘So by the end of 2011 I had 15 or so songs and felt very strongly it was important not to delay recording.’’

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