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    History Repeats After All. "The Finn Brothers". Entertainment Centre [review]
    (The Adelaide Review, 2004-12-10) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    There is a sense of full circle here. Who said our beginnings never know our Enz? Neil and Tim Finn are touring a new album, ripe with harmony and turbid with memory. On stage at the Ent Centre, the flickering home movie of squinting kids on the front porch in Teasdale Street, Te Awamutu sets an expectation, but it is certainly not nostalgia. The Finns have a lot of history and, in middle age, they are starting to sift through it.
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    Goat Leg Soup. "Muse". Thebarton Theatre [Review]
    (The Adelaide Review, 2004-09-28) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    It is only eight months since we saw UK band Muse at Big Day Out, but now they are back with more fans and a lot more fanfare. Their stocks have risen with the release of their latest album, Absolution, a recent tour with The Cure, and their steady determination to prevail. There have been comparisons - with Radiohead, for instance, and the latter end of Britpop - but increasingly, Muse is taking inspiration from such brazen exhumations of the flamboyant as The Darkness and the We-Will-Rock-You community singalongs of the Queen revival.
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    Getting the Band Back Together. "Cream at the Royal Albert Hall, London" [review]
    (The Adelaide Review, 2005-05-27) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    When it was first announced in the English press that the 1960s cult group Cream was reforming for four nights at the Royal Albert Hall there was an outpouring, you might say, of dairy metaphors. Would they be as fresh as they were thirty seven years ago? Would the old enmities between members sour the occasion? Would they blend, or remain somehow colloidal? Would they prove to be long life, or go to powder?
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    Kelly Rides With New Gang. "Paul Kelly". Her Majesty's Theatre [review]
    (The Adelaide Review, 2004-06) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    I like Paul Kelly to stay the same and tend to get tetchy when he changes things around, especially when he tinkers with his band line-up. I couldn’t see why he had to shoot the Messengers or why he would hire hotshot American guitarist Randy Jacobs. Was the Professor Ratbaggy project just a scratch band, and what about that bluegrass Smoke thing ? And, these days, what is he doing with his nephew Dan and where are Hadley and Haymes, his bass and keyboard henchmen ? Clearly, if it was up to me, Paul Kelly would still be back at the year dot.
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    Jumping Joe Looks Sharp. "Joe Jackson (with Joe Camilleri and Bakelite Radio)". Thebarton Theatre [review]
    (The Adelaide Review, 2003-10) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    For the Thebarton show, Joe Camilleri and his fellow Bakelite Radio members, guitarist Claude Carranza and bass player Steve Starr, open the proceedings with an excellent set featuring all the Jo Jo moves from Poor Boy Blues to The Chosen One. He gets a warm welcome and deservedly so. His return, with the Falcons, to the Gov late this month will be well worth catching.
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    Running on Plenty. "Jackson Browne". Festival Theatre [review]
    (The Adelaide Review, 2004-05) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    Fourteen guitars - all in a row. The show is billed as solo acoustic but it looks like the set up for the Eagles. Jackson Browne admits it is “obnoxious” for one person to have quite so many instruments but, he confides, he needs all those special tunings.
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    Audio with Pictures. "Music DVDs" [review]
    (The Adelaide Review, 2003-06) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    The arrival of the DVD has been rapid in Australia. We are well-known for our speedy take-up of new technology but the saturation of the market by the digital versatile disc has been particularly swift even by our standards. Probably it is due to the fact that DVD players, which cost upwards of seven hundred dollars three years ago, now cost less than a quarter of that now. And Dolby digital sound systems are also far more affordable than component stereo units of, say, twenty years ago. Essentially, for a couple of thousand dollars you can fill your living room with speakers and still have a fat sub-woofer behind the sofa.
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    Remaining in Light. "David Byrne". Norwood Concert Hall [review]
    (The Adelaide Review, 2005-03-04) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    Talking Heads, as their name suggests, were very much a high concept band and, like other Seventies exponents of art pop such as Devo and Kraftwerk, their’s was a studied, highly theatrical persona. So it is not just refreshing, but a complete surprise, to find Talking Head frontman David Byrne so affably direct as he lights up the stage at the Norwood Concert Hall.
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    Back to Beguinnings. "Roger McGuinn". Governor Hindmarsh [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2001-07) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    I first heard of Roger McGuinn when he was known as Jim. He was the serious young ectomorph in the houndstooth coat and little black lozenge spectacles on the cover of the first Byrds album. Foppish in their American Carnaby gear, singing harmonies four and five deep, the Byrds swooped on Bob Dylan songs and showed there really was another side to them. They layered and enriched the sketchy sound of early acoustic Dylan and with their careful diction raised up his poetic lyrics like jewellers setting gemstones. And the sound they added, like a dozen golden hammers, was Jim McGuinn’s chiming Rickenbacker twelve string guitar. McGuinn already had a career before the Byrds. As a kid barely out of high school he had been recruited to both the Limeliters and the Chad Mitchell Trio, riding high on the hootenanny craze of the early sixties. Growing up in Chicago he had been drawn to the folk scene, had attended the Old Town School of Folk and, at clubs such as the Gate of Horn, learned from such luminaries as Bob Gibson, Josh White and Odetta.
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    New Works for New Audiences. Recent Releases on CD. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2002-01) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    It has just been another outstanding year for Paul Kelly. He has released no less than four albums, each of them indicative of the rich variety of his gift. "…Nothing But a Dream" (EMI) is his latest studio work, full of familiar Kelly riffs and trademarks. Other CDs reviewed are "Romantic Callas" by Maria Callas and "Top Secret" by various artists.
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    A Revival by Any Other Name. Bonnie “Prince” Billy. Governor Hindmarsh. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2004-10-15) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    The last time I saw Bonnie “Prince” Billy was at the Tivoli at the beginning of 1998. He was trading under the name of Will Oldham then and, like Will Robinson, another of his aliases, he was a little lost in space. It was a brilliant set, but also exasperating and a little worrying. Oldham huddled at the side of the stage avoiding the spotlight, mumbling to himself, and the band (which included the Dirty Two, Jim White and Mick Turner) looked increasingly perturbed, as though it was turning into a bad night in Roswell. Certainly there are fresh signs of confidence in his recent recordings. Master and Everyone is more sprightly and tuneful than earlier work and he has even caused consternation with the smoothed-over Nashville sound of his Greatest Palace Music re-recordings. It is as though Will Oldham would like some profile - a bit of success and recognition for his singular talent. Fronting a four piece band, featuring his brother Paul on bass and Matt and Spencer Sweeney on guitar and drums, “Prince” Billy is very much in charge as he opens with the rippling guitar chords of Ohio River Boat Song. It has a sweet, spare melancholy, with harmonies from Matt Sweeney and singer Cindy Hopkins blending with Oldham’s artfully expressive off-note vocals.
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    Opposites Attract. "The Dissociatives". Thebarton Theatre. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2004-07) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    The link between Daniel Johns and dance mensch Paul Mac is both surprising and entirely likely - even if they are half a generation apart, and one comes from teenage grunge, and the other from the Very Cool end of the club scene. They met when Mac produced a Silverchair mix back in 1997 but now, in the Dissociatives, they have a new symbiosis which makes them interesting and equal partners. They keep the songs in the same sequence as the CD release with the addition of a couple of new songs (no titles given) and two covers (The Fauves and Tom Waits).
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    You Can (Still) Get Anything You Want …. Arlo Guthrie. Norwood Concert Hall. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2004-07) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    There is something irrepressibly good-natured about Arlo Guthrie and he’s been like that for forty years. Opening with "Chilling of the Evening", one of his earliest folk rock songs, he follows with a string band ditty from the Oklahoma hills. Guthrie, ever the raconteur, is also historian to the great days of American music. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, Josh White, the Weavers, they all visited the Guthrie house where Woody and his wife Marjorie, herself famous as a bohemian dancer with the Martha Graham troupe, held court. Without affectation, Arlo recalls singing St James Infirmary with Cisco Houston as a kid of thirteen. On stage, with his son Abe on keyboards and pedal steel player Gordon Titcombe, Guthrie still carries the world lightly in his hand.
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    Distant Light Shines Brightly. Alex Lloyd. Heaven II. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2003-12) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    The Heaven set strongly favours the new CD. The title track, Distant Light follows, with Felix Bloxsom’s choppy drum intro curving into those close vocal harmonies - it won’t be long, a Lennon McCartney mantra with evocations of Neil Finn in sweetest voice. This is assured melodic pop. As is Green, one of several impeccable singles from Lloyd’s previous album Watching Angels Mend. The new songs prevail - the memorable Chasing the Sun, Far Away and 1000 Miles. The band - Shane Nicholson on guitar, Barbara Griffin on keyboard, bassist Mike Mills and Bloxson on drums - is in great form. The arrangements are straightforward , nothing fiddly, attesting to Lloyd’s confidence in his material and its lyric strength.
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    Parallel Worlds. "Blondie". Thebarton Theatre. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2003-09) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    Video may have killed some radio stars but it was the absolute making of Blondie. From their first appearance in 1977 at the height of the Punk and New Wave incursions, this New York pop band not only made their mark but set their own agenda for success. Hopping genres from arthouse pop to disco, reggae and even rap, Blondie not only ruled the airwaves but the cathode rays as well. With Countdown and Rock Arena the main sources of pop music on Australian television, the release of Blondie film clips was an event. Surely there is no greater classic than 1978’s Heart of Glass from Parallel Lines. The opening bars of rippling disco bass, the robotic movements of Chris Stein, Jimmy Destri and Clem Burke with their faux Mod haircuts and then, backlit and ravishing, the insinuating vocals of Debbie Harry.
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    Heart in the Highlands. Bob Dylan with Paul Kelly. Entertainment Centre. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2001-04) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    This time he blew in from the West. Still on the Neverending Tour, and back in Australia - three years on, and sixth time round - Bob Dylan has turned his Sisyphean treadmill into a victory lap.
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    Return Journey. Emmylou Harris with Buddy Miller and Kasey Chambers. Thebarton Theatre. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2001-05) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    Emmylou Harris is surely one of the true Daughters of the American Revolution. And she has been at the centre of not just one, but several, musical insurrections. Teaming up with producer Daniel Lanois, she co-wrote new material and gathered an assortment of songs from Neil Young, Hendrix, Dylan, Anna McGarrigle, Steve Earle , Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch. The Wrecking Ball album was faithfully Emmylou, the shimmering voice sounding better than ever, but the mix was new. It is very fitting, then, that Emmylou Harris is touring with innovators such as guitarist Buddy Miller and rising Australian singer Kasey Chambers. In fact, it is Buddy Miller, mainstay of Harris’s band Spyboy, who opens the proceedings with a short set drawn from albums which tell it all -Poison Love, Cruel Moon, Your Love and Other Lies.
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    Go-Betweens Get Back Their Mojo. "The Go-Betweens". Governor Hindmarsh. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2003-07) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    The Go-Betweens are having a new golden age - not only with strong current material, but a lineup that is nimble, thrifty and as appealing as any around. ... Listen to the encores - The Clock, Spring Rain, Was There Anything I Could Do. They have never sounded better or more crisply intelligent. ... I love Lee Remick, she’s a darling. Forster is in heavy lidded rapture, and a grinning McLennan is briefly back on the bass. Back to the very beginning, Forster observes, as they take a final bow.
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    Single Bill. Billy Bragg with Dave Graney Show. Norwood Concert Hall. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2001-11) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    The prospect of The Dave Graney Show on the same card as Billy Bragg made this event doubly appealing. But I am sorry to report Mr Graney ‘s opening set is a disappointment. On stage and nearing the end of his solo tour, Billy Bragg is looking like a geezer in his forties. There is a little grey in the quiff and with his flattened nose and his cupid bow lips he looks less like the young Trevor Howard and more like the older George C Scott. But he is chipper and still holds an audience like the consummate busker he once was, his customised Burns electric slung from his hip and his London patois laced wiv wit.
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    Blind Faith Up Close and Personal. "The Blind Boys of Alabama". Governor Hindmarsh. [review]
    (Adelaide Review, 2003-05) Bramwell, Murray Ross
    In Adelaide for a second time are The Blind Boys of Alabama, the gospel singing group founded in 1939 and enjoying considerable chic since moving several years ago to Peter Gabriel’s Real Music label and collaborating with musicians of the calibre of David Lindley, Ben Harper and Robert Randolph. They have won Grammys two years running and their latest CD Higher Ground includes material from Prince, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield and Funkadelic.