Skip navigation

Category Archives: MUSIC

From a distant world to our Sydney shores comes the highly anticipated multimedia concert featuring music from the Final Fantasy video game series. Watch as poetic music by composer Nobuo Uematsu, conductor Arnie Roth and a full orchestra from the Sydney Symphony complement the surreal stills and videos from the games screened as background to the concert. This will be a dreamlike, epic and emotion welling experience. Way, way before James Cameron thought he was the king of the other world, Final Fantasy was born and is still going strong. Do not miss this two night only concert to be truly transported to a distant world.

Apr 15 & 16, Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, $35, 9250 7777,


BB King has performed more than 10,000 concerts in his lifetime. Period. I could just stop here, give you venue and ticket price information and be done. But just for giggles, I’ll throw in a few more numbers. Over 75 albums, 15 Grammy awards, ranked #3 on Rolling Stone’s ‘100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time’ and the octogenarian has been professionally recording since the 1940s. The King of Blues is still going strong and he’s probably got history and music soaked through to his bones. If you missed him at the Byron Bay Bluesfest, here’s your second chance to see a living legend on stage. No really, BB King is the recipient of ‘Living Legend’ medal in honour from the Library of Congress. Now, that’s a CV.

Apr 12 & 13, State Theatre, 49 Market St, Sydney. $107-$154. 9373 6655,

If Shakespeare was hired to write a hip hop sonnet, what would he have said? We speak to Festival Organiser Nick Power as he reveals the mysteries of hip hop in Sydney.

This is a four-week festival packed full of activities. How did you ever put it all together? Well, firstly, I’m part of a great team. CarriageWorks does an amazing job producing the festival. I had to dig deep into my little black book and called up some old friends. I keep an eye out as to who’s making noise on the local street scene.  I also connect with the community leaders who are making it happen in all elements of hip hop culture. A puzzle that’s slowly but surely come together.

Which events are you excited for the audience to see, hear, experience or take part in? Flexing Skills is always a favorite because you don’t know what’s going to happen – it’s totally freestyle. Plus, you have some of the dopest B-Boys, MCs and DJs mixed up into teams and given three topics and five minutes to rock a live set.  We’ve got the crew from Sketch the Rhyme coming onboard this year as well as funk heavyweights, The Resin Dogs.  It’s gonna be a great night!

Why the venue CarriageWorks? When I first walked into CarriageWorks, I was completely amazed and immediately thought you could put on a dope hip hop jam in here.  The crew at CarriageWorks thought the same thing and away we went.  I feel like we’re fully utilising the venue this year.

We hear Shakespeare is making a hip hop appearance. Please explain. Yea, I’m really looking forward to Funk It Up About Nothing. It’s a hip hop adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic Much Ado About nothing.  Chicago Shakespeare produced it and the show features the Q Brothers.  It’s got great reviews from all over the world.

In previous Platform Hip Hop Festivals, which were the most popular events? Freak the Technique is always super popular.  It’s the day where all elements of hip hop are represented and come together as one.  We’ve got a Graffiti comp, beatbox battles and Sydney’s best MCs rocking the mic. On the dance stage, we’ve got popping, locking and breaking battles.  In the evening, we go into the theatre for the finals of the breaking comp with Australia’s best B-Boys and B-Girls battling it out alongside killer DJs and live hip hop acts.  Plus, it’s all totally free!

Who are your top five hip hop local/international acts of all time? I’m going to represent the 5 elements in my answer: Beatboxing – Rahzel, Graffiti – Mistery, MC – KRS ONE, DJ – Grandmaster Flash and B-BOY – Storm.

Mar 12 – Apr 2. CarriageWorks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, Free-$35, 8571 9099,,

Tim Minchin has gone from zero to hero. In a short few years, the man went from being a struggling comedian to performing with the Sydney Symphony, a humble 55-piece orchestra. You can watch his rags to riches story on the DVD Rock n Roll Nerd while you wait for the comic musician who looks a little like a young Bill Bailey, to perform at the Sydney Opera House this summer. A songwriter, pianist, comedian and an expert in eyeliner application, Tim Minchin is a rare talent. You have to have to watch the clip below!!

My Fav Minchin Song

Mar 24 – 26. Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House. $44-$129. 9250 1777,

South African saxophonist Mark Ginsburg has just finished his thesis on the influence of Jewish prayer modes on jazz musicians. So not only does the man play the sax like a musical wizard, he’s done his research too. We like. “Growing up in Cape Town I had three primary musical influences – ethnic African music, my role as a chorister at the synagogue and my older brothers, who played jazz morning, noon and night,” says the multi-faceted musician. Join Mark and his bandmates Greg Coffin (piano), Karl Dunnicliff (bass) and Tim Firth (drums) as they jazz up venue 505. If you are a jazz aficionado, this is a must-see and if you are not, there’s no better time to get yourself acquainted with this passionate and sexy musical genre.

Mar 2, 505, 280 Cleveland St, Surry Hills, $10,

Some say this is the best festival in Australia. The biggest fancy dress costume party, gorgeous views of the Hawkesbury River, superb music all with the gathering of people who love to have fun and care about the environment. Those some people may just be right. This year, the festival organisers are adding shower stalls (“please use vegetable base soaps” says the website) to the other usual facilities like free water, pass outs throughout the festival and an international food spread like no other. 2011’s artist line-up goes a little something like this: Lamb, Tricky, Cut Copy, Kool & the Gang, De La Soul, Kate Nash, The Beautiful Girls, Roy Ayers, Architecture in Helsinski, Midnight Juggernauts and Norman Jay MBE amongst many others. Come out come out wherever you are. It is time to play this weekend away.

Feb 17-20, Del Rio Riverside Resort, Wisemans Ferry,

What’s better than just watching Kool & the Gang perform at the Enmore Theatre? Being a part of “The Kool Experience”. Not only will you be treated to the best seats in the house, you’ll meet with the gang before and turn it up a notch post show at their official after party. With 18 performers and a very groovy Roy Ayers sharing the stage with the funk and soul masters, this will be a Celebration not to be missed. When it comes to sampling the legend’s infectious tunes, everyone from DJ Kool, Brand Nubian, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, N.W.A and Kris Kross had wanted a piece of Kool & the Gang. Now, here’s your chance to see why this gang is the Rat Pack of soul.

18 Feb, Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Road, Newtown. $98.40-156.20. 9550 3666,

I never knew I was maternal until I saw Soap. Be warned readers, this production brings out the mother in you. You’ll gasp, cover your mouth and wished the performers would just wear a helmet for god’s sake! Hanging off aerial straps, tip toeing on the ledge of a wet bathtub, a pair of very mesmerising legs, an operatic diva with cougar-like tendencies and a cheeky trick the audience won’t see coming, Soap is a visually stunning performance of new circus, comedy and dance on a water-soaked stage. Add one portion water to seven artists performing to the music of Mika, Sia, The Doors, Nina Simone, Gnarls Barkley, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Curtis Mayfield, Goldfrapp amongst others and watch as they grow into a bathroom spectacular. Even though the performers lack the dexterity of better known circus acts like Cirque du Soleil, there is no denying the pure novelty of this production. A rough start with a few synchronisation problems did not stop the riotous opening night audience from whistling and shouting ecstatically in German. (Soap is a German production making its Australian debut after a quick stopover at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Like a modern family, the amalgamation of talents worked like a mismatched charm. This is liquid gold! Speaking of which, I recommend a visit to the toilet before the show starts.

Until Jan 23, Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House, $44-55, 9250 7777,

Can you believe it’s been a decade since the 90s? A whole decade since little tube tops coupled with baggy overalls, a whole decade since hiding your belly button piercing from your parents and a whole decade since we were warned against chasing waterfalls. Ahh the 90s… When the world was rife with R&B music and AIDS was the hot topic. Finally, enough time has passed for us to relive the 90s. Join Mike Champion,  Berni Love, DJ Nasser T, DJ Sam Boutros and live band The Harlem Knights for a night of 90s fun. The cheese factor will be shooting through the roof with hits from Boyz II Men, TLC, Bobby Brown, Kid n Play, Foxy Brown and many more. Oh and ladies, get shopping for sexy jammies, as one lucky pyjama jammy jammer stands to win a $500 hair makeover. We’ve waited a whole decade for this day. Who knows, the 90s may very well be the new 80s.

29 Jan, Notes Live, 75 Enmore Rd, Newtown, $20-$30, 9557 5111,

You can either be hungover and sulky on the first day of the year or you could celebrate the birth of 2011 at the beautiful surrounds of the Domain. Replete with cocktail bars under the trees, an outdoor cinema with some interesting choices for your screen entertainment, burlesque performances, music and more music, Field Day is set to shake you out of your hangover. The event stars 2manydjs live, The Presets, Major Lazor Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem, Architecture in Helsinki, Fake Blood, Datarock, Krafty Kuts, The Proxy, Sinden, Fred Faulke DJ Yoda, Sebastian Leger, Lyrics Born, Skream & Benga, The Juan Mclean. Amanda Blank, Treasure Fingers, Nic Fanciulli, Riton, We Have Band, Jack Beats and many more.

Jan 1. The Domain, next to the Botanical Gardens. 11am-11pm.