The Barwon Club announces first gigs back with live audience

The Barwon Club announces first gigs back with live audience

Everyone has a story from a gig at the BC; from Henry Rollins kicking a guy in the face, to the time Ox from Poppin Mommas took a 9-inch grinder to a cymbal, or when Magic Dirt were young and full of the devil.

Established since 1990, The Barwon Club Hotel has proved to be Geelong’s leading venue for live bands. They were at the crux of the Geelong ’90s rock scene, and they’ve gone from strength to strength ever since, providing G-town with a steady flow of live bands, cold beer and wild stories… that was until the cheeky COVID-19 messed with their usual day to day operations, forcing the cancellation of all their scheduled gigs for the past five months.

Now, with restrictions easing enough to allow a hint of normality back into the lives of regional Victoria, the BC have announced their first lot of live gigs.

Kicking it off with four-piece grunge rockers Something Krook with support from local psych rockers Icky Sticks next Saturday August 1, the BC will be running two shows, with an early show at 6pm and a later show at 9pm.

There are only 20 pre-sale seated tickets sold per show, and tickets are $20 each via Oztix only. Group tickets can be purchased but there will be a maximum of five people per table.

In line with the current regulations, 1.5m social distancing will apply within the venue, hand sanitising stations will be set up around the band room, and full names and phone numbers of all patrons must be logged upon entry. In accordance with the current government restrictions, those living in the Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire areas will be denied entry.

They say the early bird catches the worm, but in this case the venue has requested punters do not arrive earlier than door times.

The same will apply the following weekend (Saturday, August 8) when homegrown legends The Poppin Mommas take to the BC stage and serve up their usual brand of VB fueled vitriol with support from Future Tongues. This gig is now sold out.

Tickets for both shows go on sale tonight, July 23, at 7pm via Oztix.

Perth’s Make The Suffer have released How to Survive a Funeral and it may easily become their magnum opus in years to come

In the sphere of Australian heavier music, it’s quite rare to find a band who seemingly improves with each and every release. Instead, most bands spend the majority of their career having fans comment “I just wish they went back to this sound…”

Make Them Suffer (MTS) are that outlier.

Their 2012 release ‘Neverbloom’ saw the band skyrocket to immediate ‘home-grown hero’ status, with the album’s iconic cover becoming regional Victoria’s most sought after calf tattoo for a few years there.

Now onto album number four, MTS have steered clear of the general direction most of their contemporaries are; there’s no mention of tumblr inspired pro-life lyricism, breakdowns haven’t been replaced by guitar solo’s and most importantly; at the same time MTS have maintained their brutality, they have also found their own unique subtleties.

‘Falling Ashes’ delivers a nice dose of those nü metal-esque highs which have been making their way back into modern heavy music which is contrasted with an technical and melodic keyboard interlude. But the key’s never feel half-assed with MTS; they aren’t just a focus in the melodic interludes instead they maintain their prevalence throughout, most impressively alongside blast beats in black metal inspired moments.

‘Bones’ is arguably one of the heaviest songs the band has ever released (with the exception of the chorus). The rhythm sections in this track just drip steeze with mesmerizingly groovy angular djent riffs.

The later half of the album seems to take more of a soft approach but there are still moments found in songs like title track ‘How To Survive A Funeral’ which will definitely put some pop in your two-step.

All in all, Make Them Suffers fourth efforts may easily become their magnum opus in years to come but I can’t claim that, there’s far too much that excites me about this bands future to claim this is the best it can get.

Greyscale Records
Reviewed by Alex Callan
Photo by Sandra Steh

Win a case of KAIJU!

Winter is well and truly here, but that doesn’t mean the brews have to stop flowing.

In celebration of launching our brand-new website (which is looking pretty swanky if we don’t say so ourselves), we’ve partnered with our long-time supporters KAIJU! to give one lucky Forte reader the chance to get their hands on a whole case of KAIJU! Krush Tropical Pale Ale.

This bev boasts a super-clean malt profile that allows a shipload of juicy tropical fruit flavours to shore up on the desert island of your palate unhindered. Fresh and moreish, KAIJU! Krush is a drop that makes a perfect drinking companion.

With a fun, bold and distinctly comic-book style, KAIJU! beers certainly stand out on the shelf of your local bottle shop and will look mightly fine sitting in your esky.

All you have to do is enter your details below to go in the running.

Competition closes Friday July 31. By entering, you agree to receive marketing collateral from Beat and competition partners. For more info, check out our privacy policy.

This local business is delivering wine and cheese straight to your door

Everyone knows sweet dreams are made of brie…

Whether you’re a fan of brie or blue, camembert or cheddar, gouda or gorgonzola, cheese paired with wine is an absolute match made in tastebud heaven. This decadent pairing dates back hundreds of years, and truly, there’s just something about grabbing a few friends, opening a bottle of wine and pulling out a cheese board to accentuate the flavours.

Geelong’s Austin’s Wines respect this iconic duo and have partnered with local epicurean businesses L’Artisan and the Fresh Food Merchant to provide locals with the luxury of fine wine and French-inspired cheeses from the comfort of home.

There are five different options to choose from.

If you’re feeling like seriously ‘treating-yo-self’, The Austin’s Wine & Cheese Pack is designed for that special night in, with four bottles of Austin’s Wines, four local cheeses, crackers, quince paste and a printed wine and cheese pairing guide. The 6Ft6 Cheese and Wine Pack comes in at a close second on the indulgence scale, with four bottles of 6Ft6 wine, and again four local cheeses, crackers, quince paste and a printed wine and cheese pairing guide. The other packs are each dedicated to those with a particular taste, with a white wine and cheese pack, a red wine and cheese pack, and a sparkling pack for the lovers on fine bubbles.

Offered every Friday throughout July and August, these specially curated package supports local farmers and businesses while giving recipients an indulgent in-home foodie experience – and with cases continuing to rise in the region, there’s really no better time to just sit at home by the fire and indulge, cheese in one hand and wine in the other, with some of your favourite humans.

“At this point in time, we appreciate that many people want – and need – to stay home,” Austin’s Wines and 6Ft6 co-owner Belinda Austin says.

“Like many businesses that have had to adapt to face the current climate, we looked at how we could continue to offer our customers special wine experiences. This sparked the idea of wine and cheese pairings and tastings at home.

“Just like making wine, crafting beautiful cheese is an art. We’re delighted to partner with L’Artisan who are passionate about what they do; producing indulgent local cheeses. Cheese and wine are a match made in heaven. It was a joy matching our wine with L’Artisan’s French heritage cheeses because they are just delicious!”, Belinda said.


Based on a farm on the Great Ocean Road, L’Artisan Organic Cheese was founded in 2010 by third-generation French cheesemaker, Matthieu Megard. Since then, Matthieu has played a key role in helping to develop the regional fine cheese industry using his own recipes techniques and locally sourced organic milk. L’Artisan carved a reputation for hand making high quality cheese made to traditional French methods, using milk reflecting the terroir of the Great Ocean Road. Today, L’Artisan works with two small organic, biodynamic family farms in Colac and the Otways’ Carlisle River.

“Austin’s have already established their own tradition and are strongly attached to their local roots and terroir. Just like us. The quality of their wines places them as a leader on the Australian winemaking scene and it is an honour to see our name associated with theirs,” adds Matthieu, who recommends the Austin’s Pinot Noir with their white mould cheeses. Mmm, sold.

Wine and cheese packs start at $85 delivered, depending on Geelong postcode. Each pack includes a wine and cheese pairing guide and an Austin’s wine guide. All orders placed before 3 pm on Thursdays will be delivered the next day.

To order and view the specific items in the wine and cheese packs, visit Austin’s Wines.

Alternatively, orders can also be placed through The Fresh Food Merchant for those wishing to order additional groceries delivered.

These are the world’s most Instagrammed house plants and here’s where you can find them

Even those without a green thumb can appreciate the beauty of houseplants. They make everything feel lighter, brighter, more alive and they boost our mood… and right now, it’s never been more important to create a healthy environment at home whilst we’re still working from home.

There’s no doubt we love house plants, and what do we do with things we love? We Instagram them. To discover which house plants people are loving the most, the team at Flowercard have trawled through global hashtags to reveal the world’s most Instagrammable house plants, narrowing it down to 9 of the most aesthetically pleasing plants available.

And because we’re a fan of a little extra greenery, we’ve tracked down some of the businesses stocking them in town!

Swiss Cheese Plant

This one was the winner by a long way, and it’s easy to see why. Otherwise known as the Monstera Deliciosa, this large, green robust beauty is native to the tropical forests of South Mexico and known for its striking, perforated deeply green leaves that will make you the envy of any plant collector. As they climb, short roots cling and long aerial roots grow down to provide support and absorb water and nutrients.

This plant enjoys a combination of bright, indirect light and shade, should be watered moderately, and the best part? If you are comfortable in your home, then your Swiss Cheese Plant will be too.

You can find this plant at Lush N Living, located at 365 Surf Coast Hwy, Mount Duneed.


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Monstera what’s not to love #lushnliving #supportlocal #locallyowned #geelongsmallbusiness #indoorliving #Indoorplants #airpurifiers #popupshop #removingtoxins #houseplants #crazyplantlady #crazyplantmumma #monstera #bringyourgardenindoors #plants #plantsofinstagram #365torquayrdmountduneed #newbusiness #creatingzeninyourlife

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Fiddle Leaf Fig

The fiddle-leaf fig (scientifically known as Ficus lyrata) is a perfect indoor specimen plant. The plant features very large, heavily veined, violin-shaped leaves that grow upright on a tall plant. Native to Western Africa, where it grows in tropical rainforest, these plants are perfect if you can pop them in a floor-standing pot where it can grow six feet or more. They look particularly nice in grand areas, creating stunning silhouettes and a unique aesthetic.

You can find this plant at Arizona Living, located at Stuart Ave, Jan Juc.

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$90 Fid’s restocked – GO!

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Chinese Money Plant

A Chinese Money Plant (also known as Pilea peperomioides) is an easy to grow modern looking houseplant and has recently gained a whole lot of popularity due to its distinctive beauty and ease to grow. Straightforward to care for, these plants are relatively small and are suited to life in pots, growing to a height of 20-30 cm in height, with the leaves growing up to 10 cm in diameter. Often featured in Scandinavian interiors, the bright green leaves provide an adorable, burst of colour against white walls. #supercute.

You can find the Chinese Money Plant at Diaco’s Garden Nursery, located at 140 Bellarine Hwy, Geelong.

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Chinese money plant #pilea #pileapeperomioides

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Snake Plant

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance yet vibrant plant, the snake plant is a perfect addition to your home! The Sansevieria trifasciata; also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue requires very little effort in terms of plant care, making it a perfect choice for most urban homes and beginner plant owners. The snake plant also produces oxygen at night rather than during the day and is said by some to improve sleep quality. Useful and pretty!

You can purchase a Snake Plant from Lustre Blooms/Oh Honey, located at 65 Myers Street, Geelong (opposite St John of God Hospital)

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A fresh drop of plants and pots have arrived in store!

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String of Pearls

The succulent senecio or string of pearls, is an eye-catching indoor plant that looks splendid when hung up. Fast growing, with cascading stems that need little pruning, it is happiest out of direct light and with minimal watering.

You can purchase the String of Pearls from Wombat Gully Plant Farm, located at 201 Townsend Road, Moolap.

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Hanging Planters by Zakkia in store now. Love love love #hangingplanters#stringofpearls

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Spider Plant

Despite its creepy-crawly name, the spider plant is one of the most popular (and easiest to grow) of all hanging houseplants, making a statement anywhere — from a tabletop to a mantle, or with its lovely arching leaves as a hanging plant. While these exceptionally hardy plants will survive in less than perfect conditions (another good one for beginners), in perfect conditions they can truly thrive. They’re native to tropical and southern Africa and are also known for its tremendous air purifying qualities, making it a healthy addition to your home as well. Win, win.

You can purchase the Spider Plant from Arizona Living, located at Stuart Ave, Jan Juc.

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Giant love $45 and trailing to kingdom come…

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String of Hearts

String of Hearts, also known as Ceropegia woodii, is a gorgeous, trailing succulent to add to any living space. This South African native vine features small, waxy, purplish silver leaves in the shape of hearts, hence the name. While to some, they might be difficult to care for, however once you get the hang of it, String of Hearts Succulent is one of the most tolerant houseplants. They’re also extremely versatile, so you can plant it in pots, hanging baskets, as well as in the ground.

You can find it at asdaisydoes, located at 16 Rutland St, Newtown.

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Pretty obsessed with our new range of @lightlydesign pots This combo in particular

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Peace Lily

Peace lilies, also known as spathiphyllum, are one of the most common houseplants because they’re easy to grow, affordable and beautiful. Tropical, evergreen plants, Peace Lilies thrive on the forest floor, where they receive dappled sunlight and consistent moisture. Replicating these conditions in the home is the key to getting your peace lily to be happy and healthy. With their dense foliage, beautiful flowers and air purifying capabilities, these guys really are a winner.

You can purchase low maintenance Peace Lily Hydro Plants from The Forest Collection online here with free delivery to Geelong.

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I'm not gonna lie, I'm really feelin' the tropical vibes from our latest drop of large and leafy Peace Lily Hydro plants! Such a bunch of babe!! Only a couple left online from our Hydro Plant drop last night! . . . . . ▪️FREE local Geelong delivery! (Leopold to Lara + inbetween) ▪️Delivery days = Wed + Fri. ▪️PayPal available online. ▪️Website link in bio.

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Jade Plant

The jade plant or money tree is one of the easiest succulents to try, making it extremely popular. It grows to form a tree-like, branching structure with shiny green, fleshy oval-shaped leaves that are often tipped red. They’re easy to care for, prefering bright indirect light and minimal water requirements. They are considered lucky and are also referred to as ‘lucky plant’ and ‘friendship plant’, making them a fantastic ‘thank you’ or housewarming gift.

You can find the Jade Plant from Hello Botanical online here with Geelong delivery available.

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• loving these little peperomia obtusifolia plants • they love you back without too much fuss ~ thriving with just a little light and not too much water • delivered free melbourne- and geelong-wide or same day/guaranteed future date to select melbourne suburbs for $10 •

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Wanting to stock up on multiple plants with one stop? Arizona Living, Lush N Living, and asdaisydoes stock all of the above plants.

You can also find the majority of these plants at Lustre Blooms, excluding the Jade Plant. They’re actually hosting a massive plant extravaganza this weekend if you’re feeling like stocking up…

It’s official… Queenscliff Music Festival is postponed to 2021

The beloved festival has made the difficult decision.

Queenscliff Music Festival (QMF) has long been a significant fixture of the festival calendar – one that has filled a beautiful part of Victoria with joy and creativity for over two decades.

The 24th iteration of the festival was scheduled to take place from November 27 – 29 this year but they’ve just made the difficult decision to postpone the event until November 26 – 28, 2021 as a result of the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

QMF noted three considerations that led to the festival’s postponement: The health and safety of all concerned, including the festival attendees, staff, artists and more; the uncertainty surrounding what the landscape will look like come November, and the ability to provide a festival experience for all attendees that the festival itself can pride itself on.

All 2020 ticketholders will be contacted individually regarding the transfer and refund process. Already-purchased tickets will remain valid until 2021, while refunds will also be available for festival-goers.

Queenscliff Music Festival are currently working on a Plan B option that could see a revised event take place this year. It will all hinge on the nature of the restrictions at that given time.

The 24th Queenscliff Music Festival will take place from Friday November 26 to Sunday November 28, 2021. If you have any pressing questions, contact the festival directly at

Written by Tom Parker via Beat Magazine.

test gig 7

a test gig

Paul Kelly, The Teskey Brothers & more to perform for episode two of ‘The Sound’

The Sound made a triumphant debut on Sunday night, welcoming the likes of Nick Cave, Mark Seymour and the Undertow, Kate Ceberano, Steve Kilbey, Sean Sennett, Eskimo Joe, DMA’s, BENEE and Lime Cordiale onto the show to perform.

For their second instalment, they’re bringing Russell Crowe on board as a co-host with performances coming from Paul Kelly alongside Paul Grabowsky, The Teskey Brothers, James Reyne, San Cisco, Julia Stone, Cub Sport, Eves Karydas and more.

It comes as the second of six instalments of the TV show which is hosted by revered music personality Jane Gazzo alongside Zan Rowe. The Sound sees live performances complimented by interviews and collaborations with two-thirds of the show showcasing new material from the artists.

Alongside performances from some of the biggest names in music, The Sound will also spotlight a rising star as part of its Introducing segment. For this week, Sycco will be on the show – an artist who’s rapidly on the rise having just taken out an Unearthed Level Up Grants courtesy of triple j.

Get around the next episode of The Sound when it comes to ABC on Sunday July 26 at 5.30pm.

This article originally appeared onn Beat.

Four offbeat films to fill that movie-shaped hole in your life

Back when cinemas were still a thing, they were always useful as a guide to what movies were worth a look: if something was given a cinema release, chances are somebody somewhere thought people would pay money to see it. Now all you have to guide you are people like me, frantically trying to pluck gems out of the firehose of content that blasts out of our screens every single day.

The good news is, there’s plenty of decent things to watch out there – some even on the big screen once again. If you’re looking for something to fill that movie-shaped hole in your life, here’s four recent standouts.

The King of Staten Island

Scott Carlin (Pete Davidson) is wasting his life at 24, spending his days hanging out on New York’s Staten Island with his burnout mates and dreaming of a future as a professional tattooist. The opportunities to move forward are there, but thanks to a combination of mental health issues and the childhood death of his firefighter father he doesn’t want to take them: he’s in a relationship with Kelsey (Bel Powley) but he’d just as soon end it as give up on sneaking around, and when his younger sister (Maude Apatow) heads off to college she’s worried he’s only going to become more of a burden to their mother (Marisa Tomei). An attempt to tattoo a nine year-old (to be fair, he asked for it) brings firefighter Ray (Bill Burr) into his family’s life, and when he strikes up a relationship with Scott’s mum change is coming whether he likes it or not.

Director Judd Apatow tells this semi-autobiographical take on Saturday Night Live star Davidson’s life with a gentle touch, letting scenes play out in his usual loose fashion without the pressure to improvise laughs in every moment. Davidson is a spikey presence but the script (which he co-wrote) gives him a sympathetic backstory without softening his edges, leaving him room to be funny without forcing the laughs. Gradually this moves into coming-of-age territory, but thanks to Apatow’s quirky realism and Davidson’s off-kilter performance this mostly avoids the usual clichés. Scott’s path to maturity is more about finding himself surrounded by people who expect (slightly) more from him than any big moment of change; the scale stays small but the payoff hits hard.

Now showing in regional cinemas, including Village Cinemas Geelong and Waurn Ponds Readings Cinema.

A White White Day

Travelling along a winding road on a misty day, a car goes through a railing and down a cliff. On a barren Icelandic farm, a year of wind and snow passes. Police officer Ingimundur (Ingvar Sigurdsson), has thrown himself into renovating the family property since the death of his wife. The only warmth in his life is his relationship with his lively granddaughter (Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir). But as he gradually comes to suspect his wife of having had an affair, all he has is put at risk as the anger inside him builds.

Icelandic writer director Hlynur Palmason (The Winter Brothers) constantly grounds his story in the physical, creating a deeply felt world of rocks, snow, and horses wandering into the kitchen. The slow accumulation of detail and occasional surreal touches (watch out for an extremely creepy children’s show) only deepen the impact of this look at a man torn apart by a past he can’t face or move beyond. Ingimundur is an open wound; will he find a way to heal?

Now showing at the Pivotonian.

The Very Excellent Mr Dundee

When Paul Hogan (Paul Hogan) finds out he’s about to be knighted by the Queen, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. After fifteen years of semi-obscurity in Hollywood, a recent hiking incident (he ended up accidentally throwing a snake at a woman) has put him back in the news in the worst way. And in the days to follow, it seems like Hoges can’t catch a break, as every encounter with one of his famous friends (John Cleese, Chevy Chase, Olivia Newton-John) ends in headline-grabbing disaster.

In theory this isn’t the worst possible idea for a movie, mostly because it’s pretty much a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode dragged out to ninety minutes. In practice? This is rough going. We’re used to Australian comedy films being short on laughs, but this is all over the place; a handful of scenes come close to being good, while plenty of others struggle towards a punchline that’s either obvious or barely groanworthy. Many of the cameos were filmed on the red carpet for some other event entirely, while putting Hoges up against Cleese or Chase is a solid reminder why they’ve had lengthy international careers while Hogan’s range is limited at best. It’s not a complete loss, but you’re going to need a very large soft spot for Hogan to make it all the way through this.

Available from July 17th on Amazon Prime.


Scooby-Doo has been around so long, and in so many different versions, it really shouldn’t be surprising that the time has come for a reboot. Opening with the secret origin of Scooby and Shaggy’s childhood friendship, this then barrels into a fast-paced frenzy of CGI-animated antics as the Mystery Machine gang grow up and are thrust into a futuristic world filled with various other less successful Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters from the 60s and 70s. If you don’t remember The Blue Falcon and Dyno-Mutt, having them turn up early on (in a spaceship) is either going to be puzzling or an exciting introduction to a whole new world – this is hoping for the latter, but the former is probably a safer bet.

The idea of using Scooby-Doo as an introduction to a wider animated universe could have worked (a la The Lego Movie), but the Mystery Machine gang’s core premise – solving mysteries – doesn’t really lend itself to big wacky adventures. And they don’t come much bigger or wackier than this one, as characters as widely separated by logic as Captain Caveman and Dick Dastardly make their appearance in a globe-trotting and wildly confusing story that always manages to look great while rarely getting around to making sense. It’s not exactly satisfying viewing, but it definitely moves fast enough to keep (younger) audiences engaged; fingers crossed the next reboot takes more of a “back to basics” approach.

Now available on Premium Video On Demand (PVOD) and for premium digital ownership

Written by Anthony Morris

Scott Morrison to extend both JobKeeper and JobSeeker

But rates will be cut and eligibility tightened.

The JobKeeper wage support is set to be extended until March next year in an announcement made today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. However, payments will decrease from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight when the scheme’s initial September end date arrives.

For the first three months of 2021, the payments will drop again to $1,000 a fortnight. For those working less than 20 hours per week, payments will drop to $750 a fortnight in September and to $650 a fortnight between January and March 2021.

The JobSeeker supplement will be extended for a further three months but will fall from $550 a fortnight to $250 a fortnight from September, meaning that those eligible will be entitled to $815 a fortnight for the ensuing three month period.

The JobKeeper eligibility has been tightened as well with businesses having to prove that they’re still in financial distress in each quarter. To remain eligible after September, companies will have show that they’re down at least 30 per cent on pre-pandemic levels.

It has been forecasted that 1.4 million people will be on JobKeeper in the final three months of 2020 with 1 million to be on it for the first three months of 2021.

Still after a mask? Find out where you can get yourself a locally-made, reusable mask here.

Written by Tom Parker via Beat Magazine.

Someone has invented a battery powered mini jacuzzi for your balls and we can’t deal

Ah the internet.

Nothing is more relaxing and luxurious than winding down in a jacuzzi. An experience often reserved for hotel stays and weekend getaways, it really does sooth the body and the soul… but what if you wanted that feeling in one specific area, say somewhere like your balls?

Well now you can (because why not?), thanks to a seriously innovative new invention; the Testicuzzi. Yes… you read it correctly. The Testicuzzi.

Designed to bring males that warming sensation of a hot tub and spa treatment to one very localised area, the Testicuzzi is a handheld jetted ‘tub’ device that allows users to delicately sink their, um, balls into, with an “ultra-soft pre-cast silicone pillow to rest your largest member on”, battery-powered bubbles and hours of pleasure and muscle relaxation.

While it’s certainly been coined a ‘gag gift’ and it’s definitely not something we ever thought we would need, the company have reassured buyers that it is an actual product, with reports claiming the Tesitcuzzi may help relieve stress and strain on the key body part, similar to that of other muscle stimulation and relaxation methods…

The balls hot tub comes in a few different colour options and finishes to choose from, including a jet black edition with a red member pillow, a white edition with a black member pillow, along with the ultra-rare 14k Gold Plate Limited Edition Testicuzzi for when you want to really treat your balls to pure luxury. The gold ones are unfortunately sold out (how?) but the black and white tubs are priced at AUD$69.69.

The invention was launched on Kickstarter earlier this year, with the organisers still hoping to reach their fundraising goal. Irrespective, you can still pre-order the Testicuzzi now and expect to receive in by December 10, just in time for Christmas.

You’re… welcome?

Check out the website here.

5 sophisticated records with Sophisticated Dingo

Everyone’s favourite Melbourne puppies Sophisticated Dingo have dropped their latest tasty pop rock tune, ‘What Is Going On?’, signalling a slight change in sound with the duo opting for a softer cut than previous single ‘Vultures’. Still maintaining a healthy dose of garage punk and 60s surf rock influence, the track is three minutes and 56 seconds of pure goodness, as it tells a story about self-empowerment.

Sophisticated Dingo · What Is Going On?

To celebrate the track, guitarist and vocalist Lewis Matte takes us through five of the most sophisticated records. Best listened to while wearing a monocle and sipping tea.

ZZ Top – Eliminator
Has the classic ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ on it. That’s fair case in point to make clear to the world that they classed up their act. A lengthy beard paired with a suit is electrifying and the charts agreed. Top marks, ZZ.

Kate Ceberano – Pash
This is clean-cut, textbook entry pop rock. A+ for Kate and thank you for being the amazing role model you are. My mother loves her and that’s all the confirmation I need to know it is pure class.

The Hives – Veni Vidi Vicious
These blokes were always rolling around in penguin suits. They wouldn’t hop on stage without their top buttons done up. Clear commitment to the cause was shown. Really good tunes on here too. The album is everything you want from a noughties guitar band.

Robbie Williams – Swing When You’re Winning
Pop-star bad boy sings swing tunes. It’s like Michael Bublé robbing your wallet and hitting on your sister. Sounds great though and seriously I love Robbie Williams and that could not be made any clearer.

Hayley Mary – The Piss, The Perfume
A refined entry of songs from the front-woman of The Jezabels. The songs are strong and it feels great to listen to some new music somewhat related to a band I have loved since I was young. There is lots of attention to detail with the aesthetic of video clips and presentation of the release in general. Truly sophisticated.

Keep up with all the latest via their Facebook page.

PSA: Handmade donuts are now being served through outer Geelong in a charming, mobile fashion

When Geelong-local Haley Stratton travelled to far north Queensland in a campervan, she was won over by the freewheeling spirit of van life. Then when she took a job as a barista in Melbourne, a love of hospitality began to blossom.

At just eighteen, business-savvy Haley combined her two passions. She converted her trusty campervan into a mobile coffee van with the help of her handy father. In the thirteen years since, she has travelled from Geelong all across Australia – popping up for events, royal shows and, of course, to chase the sun. Now, her business has expanded into a fleet of four vans serving not just coffee, but also delicious, handmade donuts.

Tracking an impressive timeline, Haley runs Miss Loves A Coffee, Miss Loves A Donut and Miss Loves A Catering, a comprehensive mobile café. She is followed by a crowd of dedicated donut-lovers, who have affectionately titled her business ‘Donuts on Tour’. Like ebony and ivory, coffee and donuts are clearly just meant to be together – something Haley knows better than anyone.

“There is no happiness like someone’s first coffee in the morning. You can turn someone’s bad morning into a happy one with that first sip. And who doesn’t want a coffee and donut together? They go hand in hand,” she says.

Hailing from a family of business owners, Haley has spent years mastering both coffee and donut-making. Cutting her teeth in Melbourne’s world-class coffee scene, she knows the ins and outs of a smooth latte made quickly. Her team makes all their donuts on the day, plunging them each by hand, and are committed to giving their customers only the best. It’s no wonder locals come in droves for the ultimate morning (or afternoon) pick me up.

“Unlike your standard franchise shop, all of our donuts are served hot and straight from the donut fryer, so they are fluffy and melt in your mouth with each bite. One donut is never enough,” explains Haley.

Depending on your mood, you can indulge in a classic cinnamon or jam-filled donut, otherwise Haley recommends their delicious salted caramel or Nutella donuts. Washed down by locally roasted Capra Coffee from Geelong, there’s truly no better way to get through lockdown.

Like most small business owners, COVID-19 has presented huge challenges for Haley and her team. With all her events cancelled across a six-month period, she has been forced to try new ways of working. Rather than pulling the vans off the road, Haley has partnered with local businesses in the outer Geelong regions to provide locals with the hot, fresh donuts they need. The business provides the place to park; she provides the donuts. A damn good trade.

“I was blown away with how many businesses were more than happy to help us. We are locals and we love Geelong. If we can work alongside other businesses to help them as well in these uncertain times, and bring some excitement to their business, we love this.”

Towns like Lara, Colac, Mt Duneed and Armstrong Creek are the lucky ones to play host to Miss Loves A Catering. For the locals getting through this particularly gloomy winter, fresh donuts and hot coffee will certainly be a very warm, very welcome addition.

Stay tuned to Miss Loves A Catering Facebook page for regular location updates, as well as donut competitions!

Written by Tehya Nicholas

Platform Arts announces a $5000 artist residency in Geelong

Platform Youth Arts has announced a new program in Geelong to support emerging artists to develop their practice, undertake research and initiate collaborations that will strengthen the future of their arts careers.

Coined Platform LAB, this new, free program will provide considerable benefits to emerging artists by offering time and space as well as financing new works and providing ongoing mentorship.

Designed to cater to artists and collectives across all disciplines, from performance makers, visual artists, sound/lighting designers, writers and interdisciplinary artists, individuals are encouraged to apply for a six-month residency – from 21 September 2020 to 26 February 2021 – receiving $5000 cash and ongoing support from industry professionals.

Up to four successful individuals or collectives will be invited to participate in this new opportunity, which will focus on the skills and process of each artist or collective, rather than final outcomes such as exhibitions or performances.

Alongside $5000 cash, each successful applicant will receive six months in-kind studio and rehearsal space at Platform Arts; participation in two LAB Intensives, facilitated by Platform Arts staff and leading local and international artists; on-going mentorship and support from Platform programming and producing staff (including technical and marketing/media support); and industry previews of creative developments (online and in person).

“We are particularly interested in engaging artists who are exploring new ideas and experimental, multidisciplinary art. Platform LAB is for emerging artists who want to evolve their practice and are open to collaborating with other creatives and mentors at Platform,” says Platform Arts Executive Producer Ilana Russell.

“The Platform LAB program will foster critical thinking and collaboration among our next generation of artists. With Victorian youth unemployment at 16.1%*, there is an urgency to create programs that provide time, space and financial support for young artists to continue developing their practice and furthering their art careers.”

While Geelong artists are encouraged to apply, the residency is open to all artists from around Victoria on the condition they are able to travel to Platform Arts on the key dates.

Submissions open now and close on Friday 28 August. Platform will present a live Q&A session via Instagram (@platformartsgeelong) on Tuesday August 4, 5.30 PM. Applicants are encouraged to submit their questions prior to applications closing at the end of August.

To learn more, submit questions and apply visit the Platform Arts website.

*Australian Bureau of Statistics records as at May 2020

The 10 best places for when you’re craving a big bowl of pasta

We’re from the firm belief that every night is pasta night, and our region has a number of Nonna-worthy pasta dishes that are guaranteed to perk you up after a tough day.

Next time you’ve got pasta on your mind – whether it’s for dine-in or takeaway – let one of these restaurants sort you out with some of the best spaghetti, fettuccine, pappardelle, and ravioli you can find this side of Victoria.

Centra, Geelong
If you’ve got an urge for Italian done right, look no further than Centra which has become the go-to place for authentic rustic Italian in the Geelong region… whether it’s dine-in or takeaway. It’s modern, stylish, classy, and best of all is only about locally sourced seasonal produce that’s flavoursome, expressive, honest and (most importantly) delicious.

Now, back to the pasta. If you’re craving something vegetarian, Centra has a mouth-watering ricotta gnocchi dish with tomato sauce, Mozzarella and basil, or pumpkin tortellini with brown butter sage sauce and amaretti biscotti. If meats more your style, indulge in the lamb ragu pappardelle, or embrace the ocean and go for the Seafood Linguini with comes with prawns, scallops, calamari, mussels, olive oil and white wine… um sold? Pair with a glass of vino and you’ll be thanking us later.

The team also offer pizza and they’ve even got some pretty tasty ‘Centra Deals’ which are worth checking out.

Centra is open for dine-in and for takeaway Tuesday to Sunday’s from 4:30pm-8pm – pickup only. You’ll find them at 131 Yarra St, Geelong.

Pearl Torquay
A Surfcoast favourite serving up happiness in a bowl.

While a relative newcomer opening its doors back in March last year, Pearl Torquay has quickly become known for serving up some of the tastiest Italian cooking outside of Italy itself, providing locals with a go-to destination for fresh pasta.

With the perfect dining experience for customers on site and at home, Pearl Torquay pair their homemade pasta with classic sauces, ideal for an unpretentious hot meal on the go. Their current menu is small but faultless. Choose from the rigatoni with slow cooked brisket, pancetta and herb salsa; the fettucine with braised duck leg, mushrooms and cream; squid ink linguini with blue swimmer crab, mussels, chilli and prawn butter; or the penne with truffle parsnip cream, broadbeans and fried shallots.

Vegan’s won’t be left behind either, with Pearl Torquay offering up their delicious vegan spaghetti with broccoli sauce, horseradish and mushroom.

Making good on their promise of authenticity, you can even chase your pasta with something big, bold, Italian and interesting, like a bottle of the Gran Sasso Montepulciano.

Pearl Torquay is open for dine-in and takeaway Wednesday – Sunday nights from 5pm. Call them on 5261 7017 to book your table or order takeaway. You can pick up direct from 8 Pearl Street, Torquay.

Ragazzone, Ballarat

If you feel like treating yourself, pasta and vino lovers should check out Ballarat’s new modern Italian restaurant, Ragazzone. Now we don’t have a lot of information as they’ve only just opened, but from our eyes on the ground, we’re been told the offering is second to none.

We’ve been drooling over their pan fried gnocchi with walnut, cauliflower, muscatel and buffalo moz.

It is however dine-in only from Tuesday to Saturday and bookings must be made via the website.

Lipari Espresso Bar, Geelong

Geelong’s home of too good to refuse carb-loaded, butter-drenched pasta. Building on recipes passed down from the family, Lipari has created a menu that pays homage to all the family classics.

Here you just need to choose your pasta of choice (Penne, Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Tortellini, Ravioli or Homemade Gnocchi) and then match it to your favourite Italian sauce and you’ll be dreaming of it for days to come. Sauces range from your classics like bolognese, pesto, matriciana, a marinara seafood mix and napoletana, to more flavoursome options like calabrese, carbonara, a Chicken, Mango & Avocado sauce and the Chef’s Special Bacon, Spring Onions & Chicken (our pick!!).

Regarded by many as Geelong’s best Italian restaurant, one which people talk about and come back to time after time – you’ll soon see why.

Lipari is located at 10 Union Street, Geelong. They’re open daily from 5pm for dine-in and takeaway so call 5222 5600 to book or place your order.

Caruggi, Geelong

Providing Geelong with delicious Northern Italian Cuisine, Caruggi has long being the perfect place to sit back in a relaxed atmosphere and immerse yourself in all that is Italian.

From the classic napoli or bolognese, to something a little more indulgent like the Pesto Genovese with green beans and potato, the pappardelle al sugo del giorno, or the pansotti con salsa di noci (pasta filled with silverbeet and ricotta served in an otway walnut pesto), Caruggi have all your pasta needs sorted… and you can bet it’s made fresh, enough to rival that of your Nonna!

They’ve even got a gluten free pasta available if you require!

Caruggi is located at 66 Little Malop Street, Geelong. Pasta is available Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner dine-in, and takeaway.

Two Sugars on Pako, Geelong West

Two Sugars on Pakington Street is known for giving customers the real Italian experience at an affordable price, and now you can enjoy this experience both within their space or from the comfort of your own home – whatever you’re comfortable with, they’ll certainly make it worth your while.

With their full menu turning heads, it’s of course the pasta that has captured our carb-loving hearts. From the delicious linguine marinara, to the wholesome spaghetti alla carbornara and their spaghettini con polpette (traditional spaghetti and meatballs), you’re in for an absolute treat. You can even branch out and try their homemade ricotta gnocchi in rich tomato sauce, or the mouthwatering lasagna with Bolognese sauce and cheese.

If you’re not feeling pasta, there’s barely a person in the world that doesn’t seek comfort in the cheesy aromatic goodness of a pizza fresh out of a wood-fired oven – and these guys have you covered there too!

There’ve even got some pretty good meal deals on offer for pick up only if that’s how you want to do it including a large pizza, a large pasta and a coke for $35.

You can book your table online via the website, or call 52210377 to organise takeaway. You can also order through Deliveroo and UberEats for delivery.

Il Matto, Torquay

From Sicily to the Surf Coast, Il Matto has been bringing the true taste of Italy to Torquay for the last three years and is continuing to serve their home-style Sicilian food with generosity and heart for locals through this time.

If you need a warm pasta hug, we’d recommend the Linguine del Pescatore (seafood linguini), the Farfalle al Salmone (farfalle pasta cooked in a Vodka Flambee Sauce with diced of Fresh Local Salmon, Fresh Zucchini, Cream and topped with crushed Pistacchio of Bronte) or the Fettuccine al Ragu’ di Agnello (fettuccine with braised lamb ragout). There’s also the Spaghetti & Polpette (traditional Italian meatballs) which is always a favourite.

If pasta in the simple pillowy soft potato parcel form is more your style, Il Matto’s gnocchi is the real deal. You can get Pumpkin and Pesto gnocchi, Bolognese gnocchi, butter and sage gnocchi, or just the good ol’ Napoli gnocchi. This is Italian with sparkle, and everything they touch turns to gold.

Il Matto are currently open for lunch and tea, takeaway or dine in. Order online with their ‘eatappy’ app or call them on 042412008 to book a table in store at 3/15 Bell St, Torquay.

Clogs, Bendigo

After 45 years of looking after the families in Bendigo, the van Haandel family’s vibrant, late night restaurant and home delivery service has been responsible for shaping Bendigo’s social landscape – so you can bet you’ll find some quality comfort food for when you need it most.

While their pizzas have earnt Clogs a spot in the Herald Sun’s top 20 favourite Victorian pizza places, their pastas are simple, unfussy, and utterly satisfying – just as they should be.

Whether you opt for the pesto penne, the spaghetti bolognese or the beef lasagne, or you step it up and try the spicy chorizo orecchiette, the Portobello mushroom risotto or the mouthwatering seafood linguini, this is the type of pasta for curing colds and foul moods.

There’s even a pasta deal where you can enjoy two pastas for only $32.90? Make that Seafood Linguini order a double!

They’ve only just reopened for dine-in with limited numbers in accordance with current government regulations, but you can enjoy Clogs at home if you prefer with their dedicated takeaway page.

Order online, or book your table by calling 03 5443 0077. Clogs is located at 106 Pall Mall, Bendigo.

The Forge Pizzeria, Ballarat

The Forge Pizzeria in Ballarat has long been a favourite among visitors and locals who love sharing good, regional fare with friends. While their renowned for creating delicious wood-fired pizzas made with fresh, local produce and high-quality ingredients, they’ve got a tonne of pastas that are on par with your nonna’s.

If you’re keen on keeping it simple, try the Orecchiette & Ricotta, Spaghetti with meatballs, or the Fettuccine/gnocchi/tortellini Alfredo in a cream sauce.

If however you’re having adventurous pasta cravings, we absolute recommend the Angel Hair Primavera with sautéed vegetables in a pink cream sauce, Agnolotti – fresh lobster ravioli with shrimp in vodka sauce, or the Fusilli Alla Joe complete with eggplant, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, black olives & garlic. That’s barely scraping the surface of what’s available though, with other options including Spinach & Chicken penne, Penne al Filetto di Pomodoro, Pappardelle Quattro, Gnocchi Bolognese, and Linguini Carbonara.

The Forge Pizzeria has two locations in Ballarat, 1771 Sturt Street and 14 Armstrong Street North. Visit the website or call (03) 5337 6635 to place your order or book your table.

Town and Country Pizza, everywhere

Whether it’s dinner, lunch or even the odd cheeky leftovers for breakfast, there’s no going past delicious saucy pasta or creamy gnocchi.

If you’re after variety AND quality, Town and Country Pizza is the neato Italian chain that has somehow managed to maintain is authentic home-y vibe despite its size – and having been around for over 25 years, these folks definitely know what they’re doing in the kitchen.

With a huge range of pizzas that are truly delicious, it’s their pastas and risottos that are nonna-level forces to be reckoned with, covering everything from your tomato-y lasagne fantasy to a creamy pesto chicken dream. Simply choose your sauce (bolognese, marinara, napolitana, carbonara, vegetarian, pollo al crema, chicken pesto or our favourite, the chicken and spinach) and then choose your type of pasta (fettucini, gnocchi, penne, ravioli, spaghetti or tortellini).

You can order from the several locations around Geelong including Central Geelong, Waurn Ponds, Leopold, Lara, Armstrong Creek and Torquay or visit online at Open 7 days for pick ups, delivery or dine-in, depending on location.

It’s not rocket science. A simple slurp of spaghetti or forkful of fettuccine can make life suddenly look very sweet indeed – so round up your pasta loving mates (just five for now!) and buon appetito!

Retreat Society is a new online directory promoting self-care while supporting local small businesses

It’s no secret that self-care is often the first thing that gets sacrificed when life is busy and stressful, and people often think that taking time for themselves seems indulgent, especially in current times when it might feel like the world is crumbling around you.

It’s looking after your own wellbeing and taking time out from the hustle and bustle of the daily, however, that will help you get through this challenging time, and will help you to better care for others.

It’s this rational that spawned the creation of the Retreat Society, Victoria’s one and only self-care directory featuring a handpicked selection of delightful local businesses designed to help people take care of their mental and physical wellbeing.

“I created retreat society as a response to the hectic pace and pressures of my career, relationships, social life, health, hobbies and everything in between – I knew I was on the path to burnout,” says Retreat Society founder Emma Morgan.

“Life started to feel more and more like a never-ending to do list; an unrelenting pursuit to tick the next item off in order to ‘have it all together’ in order to be more successful or feel happier. It was exhausting, unsustainable and I realised something had to change or I’d be stuck riding this hamster wheel forever.

“By slowing down and introducing daily self-care practices, I discovered that true happiness isn’t found in external items, awards, achievements or ‘doing’ more. True happiness can instead be found when you slow down, be a little kinder to yourself and start to appreciate all the wonderful things you already do have,” Emma says.

“Retreat Society is here to encourage busy go-getters to take some time out from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, to slow down and look after our health and wellbeing. We’re all facing challenging and uncertain times in the world right now, so it’s never been more important to take care of ourselves; body and mind.”

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Providing simple ideas to nourish mental health, people can browse the directory to explore the six categories. ‘Pamper’ lists where you can unwind and indulge in luxurious beauty, skin, hair and body treatments; ‘wander’ leads you to a number of serene getaways in the region; ‘move’ lists some places where you can boost your energy levels or wind down; ‘create’ directs you to a number of creative workshops; ‘savour’ which leads you to delectable cafes and produce, and lastly, ‘discover’, which lists a number of cultural and entertainment delights.

Listing yoga studios, makeup artists, wellness studios, local cafes, retreats and blissful accommodation in Melbourne and regional Victoria, Retreat Society aims to encourage people to feel they can retreat, relax and recharge. It’s about giving ourselves permission to take some ‘me time’, a thinking which traditionally would evoke feelings of guilt.

“The core purpose around taking time out from the daily grind and looking after your health and wellbeing is one that’s important for every human – male or female – and I think there’s real value to be found across all the directory categories to suit many different types of people.”

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While the recent global events have indeed highlighted the urgent need to prioritise our health, it’s also become crucial to be supporting our local small businesses who continue to face an uncertain future. Research in April revealed 40% of Australian small businesses experienced a 50% or more decline in revenue in the previous 1-2 months, and given that Melbourne is now in the midst of another lockdown, these figures are even more concerning.

Retreat Society aims to ease some of the burden by supporting both our wellbeing and our small businesses at the same time.

“I’m passionate about the power of being kind to ourselves, and I believe so many delightful small businesses play an important role in helping us enjoy much-needed time out,” Emma reveals.

“Investing in self-care isn’t indulgent; it’s self-preservation – and if we can support local at the same time then the benefits are two-fold.

“I truly believe that the more you give to yourself, the more you can give to those around you too.”

So, if you want to retreat, relax and recharge – whether it be at a yoga studio, beauty salon, art gallery, creative workshop, nourishing cafe, cosy bookstore or weekend getaway – Retreat Society is the one-stop shop to point you in the right direction. And for those in lockdown 2.0, it’s the inspiration needed to create your very own self-care bucket list to tackle when restrictions lift.

You can visit Retreat Society here.

Photo by Molly Couch

Yirgjhilya delivers a powerful and soul tingling call for unity with her debut single ‘Baganar’

From South Australia to Far North Queensland and now Melbourne, Yirgjhilya Lawrie is a talented singer who finds her inspiration, confidence and strength within her community and family. Daughter of Coloured Stone’s Bunna Lawrie, Yirgjhilya grew up in a musical family allowing her to develop her creativity and musical expression from a very young age, empowering her to uses her musical talent to persevere in upholding the indigenous culture ever since.

Earning a solid reputation after paramount and poignant performances at Share the Spirit Festival, The 80th anniversary of the Cummeragunja Walk-Off, St Kilda Festival, Yirramboi Festival, Umi Arts: Big Talk One Fire and the ABC’s NAIDOC Special, Yirgjhilya has today revealed ‘Baganar’, her debut single written in Yergala-Mirning, an Aboriginal language from the Far West Coast of South Australia and translates to ‘call out’ and ‘rise up’.

Bringing you a powerful and soul tingling call for unity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for the troubling times ahead, we sit down with Yirgjhilya to talk about the single, her career in music and her role in standing strong in support of the Indigenous community.

First up, can you give our readers a little intro to you. How did you get involved in music?
I started off at a young age to which I suppose would make sense coming from a musical family; it was bound to happen eventually. I started singing in an all-girl rock band when I was 9 years old and it was great fun. Then as I got older, singing in different choirs and eventually playing a lead role in my high school’s rendition of ‘Hairspray’. Once I moved, I studied Music at JMC Academy in South Melbourne which was a great experience. That created networks and opportunities for me, and I got to do the dirty pub circuit. As my brother likes to call it, my voice sounds ‘seasoned’ haha. From there on, it’s just been a journey going up and up, moving further and pushing more and more boundaries.

Congrats on your debut single ‘Baganar’. It’s a beautiful, affecting five-minute track. Can you tell us a bit about the process of bringing the track together?
I was actually studying music I think in 2015 and at the time, I sang in a reggae band by the name of King Spirit. Our lead singer spoke French and loved to mix French into his songs, so in our song writing I began to experiment with mixing Mirning language into my parts. Thankfully my Father could teach me and for the writing of Baganar, he helped me put together the melody. So originally, Baganar was written as a reggae tune and I’m pretty sure I still have a live recording of it somewhere too haha. It’s taken on a new life now; one that is closer to who I am and shares a bit of Dive Team 5’s flavour too.

Translating to ‘call out’ and ‘rise up’, what were the inspirations behind penning the track? Is there a particular backstory to the song?
There is a particular story behind it that sparked me writing it, but my goal was always for it to be a timeless anthem for everyone who resonates with it. In 2014, the Western Australian Government had just announced its plans for the closure of close to 200 Aboriginal communities, basically cutting them off and upgrading other larger communities, which can be seen as the most logical thing to do. But how can we talk about self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Islander people and healing towards a better future when we’re not even consulted for matters regarding our communities, and being re-traumatised by the Government leading to dispossession? The people of those communities – that’s their homes, their safe place to go to, so why force them out again? And who knows if that had gone ahead, what communities are next? The ones my ancestors and I belong to as well? All of them? That’s just the Government flexing its power on its most vulnerable people.

The sole drums at the three-minute mark are very powerful within this song. Did you work with a band for the instrumentals and back-up vocals?
Yes, so my lovely band guys are “Dive Team 5.” I’ve worked with them since 2016. The drums you hear at that part are meant to mimic a heartbeat, a beat you may or may not have heard before in some traditional Aboriginal music. Not all traditional Aboriginal music is the same, but for Mirning people we mimic the heartbeat, and that part in the song was my way of connecting what keeps me alive with my music.

You’ve lived in a few different places. How do you find the Melbourne music scene?
I moved here for it. I’ve always felt a calling with Melbourne and as soon as I finished Year 12, I was out the door. My Mum always says once I’ve made my mind up you can’t stop me, so I think she already knew I had big dreams and most were in Melbourne. It’s just the melting pot for literally everything. I just love how diverse Melbourne is; I suppose you could say it’s full of people from everywhere chasing their dreams, music or not.

Your dedication to being a mentor for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth resulted in being awarded and crowned Victorian Miss NAIDOC 2019. Can you tell us what that experience means to you, and what that has meant for you since?
When I first moved here, I felt like an outsider for a good few years. Growing up in Cairns, constantly surrounded by my family, culture and community, I never felt short of connection, love and culture. But when I moved here, it was completely different. Rightfully so, it took those few years to build trust with the community here and although it was hard, thinking of it now, we’re a tight-knit community and we take care of each other, but that takes trust. So, when I won Miss NAIDOC Victoria 2019, it was a weight off my shoulders like “Ok we see you, welcome.” Funny enough, in May that same year, literally days before my crowning, I was welcomed into Wurundjeri country with a smoking ceremony by Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Bill Nicholson, which was the first time in 6 years, so kind’ve a weird coincidence? Or you know, something more ancient and higher than us. Reflecting on it now, it makes sense; everywhere I’ve ever travelled, I’ve always paid my respects to the lands, it’s spirits and its elders past, present and emerging. It’s funny now to think the same rules didn’t apply in Melbourne because it’s a city? No, you still need to respect and acknowledge the lands, it’s people and in turn, I’ve been privileged and blessed to call Melbourne home and a place that I get to work on and contribute to. It was a special turning point in my life culturally as an Aboriginal Woman living off country, and as a leader and mentor to our youth. In a few months’ time, in November I will hand over my crown and sash to a new Miss NAIDOC to be recognised and the one thing I can only stress to them will be that being a leader and mentor is a journey, not a destination, and that winning this role is a step towards greater achievements in your life.

We’re really seeing an appreciation of the work of Indigenous artists more and more in recent times which is amazing. For you, what’s being the biggest highlight for you since you began a career in music?
I love singing and making music by myself and with other great artists. All of my career has been a highlight with more to come. Although to be specific, being a part of contemporary Aboriginal music in Australia is a highlight because in my Father’s time, roughly 40 years ago, it wasn’t a thing and Aboriginal musicians could only enter into venues through the back door if they could enter in at all. So, a highlight of my career is living, breathing and thriving proof of our continuing progression and adaptation in a modern world.

Your song is written in Mirning, an Aboriginal language from the Far West Coast of South Australia where there are approximately less than six fluent speakers of Mirning left and as a new wave of Indigenous Artists emerge, they’re now returning to their mother tongue. In doing so, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I’d hope people connect with my music in a way that makes them happy and empowered. I hope they connect with me too and feel like I share their views. I hope that people feel encouraged to reconnect with their mother tongues if they can and know that speaking your language and participating in your culture is what makes you special, and never shy away from it. I’ve always felt like my culture and language is like returning home; it heals you to speak your language, be with family, and live your culture. It’s important to note that not all of us have the privilege of knowing who our mobs are, or knowing language, etc. and that’s the result of colonisation. Maybe I’m too optimistic, and you can drag me for this, but I believe our language and traditions always have a way of finding us – connection is inevitable. I hope that people can feel healing through my music.

Your song, and music as a whole, is a great way of standing strong in support of the Indigenous female community. How do you think your music can empower others?
A lot of my music has been a way for me to heal and in hopes healing others who resonate. My story of becoming who I am today has been a bit of a crazy one and I hope by making music about it, I could inspire someone or make someone feel less alone. I don’t necessarily think of supporting the female Indigenous community specifically by writing music or just being who I am because I consider myself to be quite masculine in the way I present myself. I still identify as female but I also know that not everyone does. So I suppose anyone, regardless of gender, if they connect with me and my music, then that’s cool and all I can hope for.

Are you currently working on any new music?
Due to Miss Rona, I haven’t been able to record any new tracks aside from Baganar and another. But all in due time, it’ll be good when we can start recording again and working on new tracks. For now, I’m just happy to let Baganar have it’s time in the sun and me too, because I think we’ve earned it. I’m still constantly writing notes in my phone for new ideas and if I get an idea, I try to write down a song in full, as much as I can. I used to write phrases here and there and then try to piece them together later, which can still happen. However, I like to try to write a whole song when I’ve got the initial idea.

Release: ‘Baganar’ is out now. Check it out below.

Bendigo’s IRONSTONE deliver high energy, fast-paced metal with their debut EP Prophecy

Hailing from the regional Victorian town of Bendigo, progressive metal heads IRONSTONE released their debut EP earlier this year entitled Prophecy – six hard hitting tracks that deliver high energy fast paced metal complimented by superb production and ear melting solos.

IRONSTONE’s Prophecy at its core is what I would consider ‘modern metal’.

Prophecy begins without hesitation, ‘Downpour’ – the albums first track gives an early indication of just how clean and professional the production of the album is. It’s often the case that metal bands suffer from below average production, in regard to IRONSTONE – this is certainly not an issue.

Track three of the album – ‘Better unseen’ – gives a glimpse into a more thrashy styling with delicious speed metal riffs that will get you feeling the energy from where ever you may be. ‘Killed a man’ – the albums fourth track and my personal favourite tells a dark yet interesting story with unique progressions and some trippy atmospheric guitar.

From eye opening screams and crisp vocal harmonies, to incredibly clean production and superb lead guitar, IRONSTONE’s Prophecy will undoubtedly draw good amounts attention and appreciation from the Australian metal community, which in my opinion is well deserved.

Reviewed by Alex Lynch