Couple of gig reviews from Melbourne

28 June, 2009

1. An article from The Vine about the recent 14th of June gig at the Northcote Social Club in Melboure with Kid Sam. The reviewer likes them but has this to say:

One can’t help but wonder if in the conjuring of some spirit – and gosh they do it well – that they rely too heavily on conjuring the spirit. If their drive is also their folly. Which would be a shame because the stirring, glowing music of The Middle East doesn’t need such wooden signposts to make believers out of us.

The full article at The Vine

That article also has heaps of good photos.

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2. This is from a show back in February with Leader Cheetah, Super
Wild Horses, The Harpoons:

I can honestly say that before Friday I had never seen a drummer put down his sticks in order to pick up an accordion

The full article at Faster Louder

This one also has some more good photos.

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‘Saturday Tracks’ Feature on ABC Brisbane Radio

27 June, 2009

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The Middle East have been featured on ABC Brisbane radio show ‘Saturday Tracks’. It was broadcast today I believe but if you missed it you can grab the MP3 at the Saturday Tracks web site.

Ps, apologies to ‘another guy’……

Here is a transcript:

Phil Smith: Women in Docs was the last big thing come out of Townsville in terms of our program, with Saturday Tracks.

Mardi Lumsden: That’s true.

P: This is The Middle East.

(Plays ‘The Darkest Side’)

P: I’ll just leave that running there in the background I think Mardi. There’s some beautiful guitar and some interesting vocals in that. “The Middle East”. There’s not a lot about this band, but they’re making there presence felt right around the country.

M: They really are. And there is ridiculously little written about this band. They have seemingly sprung onto the national scene. They got picked up by Triple J unearthed as feature artists in December last year and apparently they had broken up at the time. They weren’t playing music any more. Not in this sense anyway. And then all of a sudden they’ve been touring nationally with international bands and they’ve done a national tour with Augie March, who I believe are talking to Warren today.

P: Okay.

M: And now they’re in the process of doing their first headlining national tour. They’re about to play with Holly Throsby on a side show and they’re about to play at Splendour in the Grass, one of the country’s biggest music festivals.

P: It’s a strange line up. And I’ll confess a connection to this. I have some connections in my generation, family connections to some of people in this band. But I gather the lineup varies. There’s anywhere between four and seven people that find themselves in The Middle East at any given time.

M: Yes. And can tell you some of their names but not all of them, because a couple of web sites, one of the guys is listed as ‘another guy’.

P: (Laugh) That is so triple j isn’t it.

M: (Laugh) I think it’s a blog about the band. The only information on their triple j unearthed page is that they play guitars and keyboards and some percussion. That’s all. But um, yeah it’s Joe and Jord Ireland, Bree Tanter, Rohin Jones, Mark Myers and Tim Barwise, plus or minus a couple of other people.

P: Ok. And the evolution of this has been to this very folky, indie sort of style.

M: Yeah and indie particularly I think because it is quite folky and it’s using those guitars but then it brings in, like you might hear in the background now, a glockenspiel, that’s used in a really percussive, and melodic at the same time, way.

P: This is the other one that’s been getting some airplay, “Blood”.

(Fade up ‘Blood’)

P: That’s a real slow burner. It’s nearly a five minute track. Takes a long time build up.

M: They have a tendency of writing really long tracks. One of the tracks on their EP, which is called ‘Recordings of the Middle East’, one of the tracks in seven and half minutes long.

P: I reckon part of the problem is when the band’s that big and you can’t come to a decision you just sorta do stuff like that.

M: Yeah maybe, but it works so well.

P: Seven different ideas for the EP, oh look we’ll just call it ‘Recordings of the Middle East’.

M: (Laugh). They’re doing some really exciting stuff and they don’t sound like any other band that’s, well I think, that’s in Australia at the moment. So that’s what’s making me really excited about them.

P: And we’ve put on the blog, we have what information we do have there, including a reference through to their myspace, to their own web site. And of course if you do check out our sister network, Triple J, go to unearthed you’ll find some more about them there. And Splendour in the Grass is really the next big local gig form them.

M: Yeah, they’re playing with Holly Throsby and a band called Leader Cheetah who are all on Spunk Records and they’re doing a side show for Splendour in the Grass down in Byron on the 24th of…

P: Byron’s nearly in our neighbourhood

M: Yeah it’s close. It’s worth the drive.


Rohin on opening for Bill Callahan

27 June, 2009

“My friend Nathan and I laughed for a couple of minutes every day for a few weeks before the show because it was just funny that we were playing with such an iconic artist to us, and seeing him play with Jim White and Mick Turner was incredible,” says Jones.

From a Mess+Noise article.


Googling The Middle East

27 June, 2009

You might have noticed it’s quite hard to google for ‘The Middle East’. And apart from the obvious reason, there is a band venue in Boston called ‘The Middle East’ just to make things worse. But here are some useful searches you can do:


Blood featured in the movie “Accidents Happen”

22 June, 2009

Take a look at this:

The movie stars Gina Davis. It’s an independent film made by an Australian director. It premiered at Tribeca in New York and showed at the Sydney Film festival last week. Here’s the IMDB page and here’s the official site for the movie and the Facebook page where you can find a few people talking about the soundtrack.

Apparently the song plays during the closing credits. That’s pretty cool. And not bad career-wise either I would guess!


Mess+Noise review of The Old Museum gig

18 June, 2009

Once they begin sketching their harmonious indie folk, we’re collectively spellbound. That’s no regular review hyperbole: from the dozens sprawled on the wooden floor to the hundreds gathered around their fringe, no-one speaks while the band plays.

Read the full article here.

By Andrew McMillen aka @NiteShok (who actually is the same guy who wrote the Rave Magazine review, so I guess we already know he liked it…)


Rave magazine gig review

16 June, 2009

There’s an element of respect in the air unlike any other show I’ve seen. While the band are playing – even when a single guitar is barely strummed, and a solitary voice pauses between lyrics – there is sheer silence across the packed room.

The full article.

And here’s a video of “Blood” from that show. Oh yeah, I’d nearly forgotten about that drunk girl.