Archive for the ‘Portfolio’ Category

Born of Osiris + Chelsea Grin @ Newcastle Hotel – June 23, 2019


09 Jul
Born of Osiris + Chelsea Grin @ Newcastle Hotel - June 23, 2019

It might have been a chilly, wet Sunday night outside, but within the cosy confines of the recently-rebranded Newcastle Hotel, piping hot modern metal was cooking up a storm. While we missed local opening act The Wandering, Taree progressive metal four-piece Diamond Construct continued their evolution from awkward teens to stage-pounding purveyors of dissonant chords and brutal breakdowns. Their latest release is garnering them some deserved attention and tonight’s almost-cruelly short 25-minute support slot shows they can impress even on a tight timeline.

Born of Osiris + Chelsea Grin @ Newcastle Hotel - June 23, 2019

Salt Lake City’s Chelsea Grin has darkened our shores a number of times in the past, but rarely with the same line up. The crushing deathcore four-piece has had 14 members within its ranks over the last 12 years and this tour saw new singer Tom Barber screaming his lungs dry in Australia for the first time.

Born of Osiris + Chelsea Grin @ Newcastle Hotel - June 23, 2019

While Tom is about the only member to make decent use of the small corner stage, they’re tight as hell, with drummer Pedro Viveros’ guttural vocals the perfect foil to Barber’s more razor-like fry screams. About the only downside of the performance is from a select handful of crowd members who wrongly presumed the rest of us wanted to watch them throw their limbs around the middle of the dance floor like epileptics with brain injuries. Sadly, this ridiculous, anti-social nonsense meant a large gulf was left between the front of the stage and the back where most were unwilling to risk a wayward fist or boot.

Born of Osiris + Chelsea Grin @ Newcastle Hotel - June 23, 2019

Illinois natives Born of Osiris have only managed to host nine different guys in the group over the past 16 years, and its core members have all been in it for the long haul for over 10 years. That cohesion clearly shows on stage tonight. It’s a polished display of progressive metal that boasts techy, classical flourishes over the top of bruising, tight riffage and twin vocalists Ronnie Canizaro and Joe Buras bring a real sense of urgency to the performance.

Born of Osiris + Chelsea Grin @ Newcastle Hotel - June 23, 2019

By the time the headliners took to the stage, there were no signs of the flailing-limb idiots and the dance floor was full of enthusiastic punters wanting to see the eclectic metal band perform a comprehensive set list of tracks from across its back catalogue. Guitarist lee McKinney’s axe didn’t quite cut through the mix as well as perhaps it should have, given his technical expertise, but overall the mix was thick and full and the audience lapped up every minute.

Definitely the best way to enjoy Sunday night in Newcastle this week!

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Feature Car: Zoran Krstevski’s Ford XE Falcon


15 May

Zoran Krstevski’s Ford XE Falcon appeared in the May 2019 issue of Street Machine magazine. This thing was truly flawless. The bodywork alone was so straight I couldn’t quite believe it. Powered by an ex-NASCAR 393ci Clevo, the smooth and subtle XE has the brawn to match the beauty.

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Zoran Krstevski's Ford XE Falcon
Zoran Krstevski's Ford XE Falcon
Zoran Krstevski's Ford XE Falcon

Feature Car: Dave Steele’s Holden HQ Monaro


29 Apr

My shoot on Dave Steele’s immaculate HQ LS Monaro was featured in the April 2019 issue of Street Machine. It was the first time I’d light painted a car in a studio environment and I’m pretty chuffed with the way it came out – particularly being a white car in a white room.
Powered by a stout 427ci Dart-based SBC, the car is heavy with attention to detail and sits with its smooth arse well into the weeds (which I love!).

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Dave Steele's Holden HQ Monaro
Dave Steele's Holden HQ Monaro
Dave Steele's Holden HQ Monaro

Feature Car: V Resto Garage’s 1970 Ford Falcon


17 Apr

Don’t be fooled by the typical GT-clone appearance of this brand new build from V Resto Garage – there’s nothing typical about the fit, finish and performance of this 1970 Ford Falcon. Under the bonnet lies a 514ci monster that’s housed within a flawlessly smooth engine bay. That same level of detail weaves throughout the car and combined with the 22in Simmons FR rims (12in wide at the back) and you’ve got one hell of a muscle car! It was featured in the April 2019 issue of Street Machine.

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V Resto Garage's 1970 Ford Falcon
V Resto Garage's 1970 Ford Falcon
V Resto Garage's 1970 Ford Falcon

Live Review: Heistfest 2019 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – April 7, 2019


16 Apr

36CrazyFists + Superheist + From Crisis to Collapse + BLKLST + Take My Soul @ The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – April 7, 2019

36 Crazyfists @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle - April 7, 2019

Another Sunday gig at the Cambridge Hotel and another early start. Not a huge issue in and of itself, when the venue fails to list the correct start time on its own website until late into the afternoon of the show and you aren’t surprised when the bands on show tonight are playing to far fewer people than they would normally.

Take My Soul @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle - April 7, 2019

Sadly, one of Newcastle’s brightest new bands Take My Soul only plays to a couple dozen punters just after 4pm. Despite the lack of bodies, the modern, down-tuned, 7-string-wielding five-piece brings all the riffs as well as some stupidly tasty, crystalline clean parts that provide the perfect balm to the brutality of the heavy stuff. Their new EP is definitely worth checking out.

BLKLST @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle - April 7, 2019

Melbourne’s BLKLST is on stage next and the crowd is still thin on the ground, but the four-piece make a huge racket for a single-guitar band. Self-proclaimed as a nu-metal/hardcore hybrid, they’re pretty on the money, with the band’s singer showcasing some moves and vocal influences very reminiscent of the late 1990s scene that spawned bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit and so many more. Super tight, the bass player offers some sick backing vocals, too. Definitely worth a watch.

From Crisis to Collapse @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle - April 7, 2019

From Crisis to Collapse is next to inflict their aural assault onto the growing crowd. Based in Byron Bay, the five-piece wasted no time laying waste to the audience with Technicolor bogan front man Angus Carter seemingly equal parts mental and brutal. While his on-the-edge-of-sanity persona is enough to grab your interest, the group’s riff-laden song list does the rest, with more meat on the bone than your local butcher. Sadly their fleet-fingered lead guitarist is lost in the mix during lead breaks.

Superheist @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle - April 7, 2019

When Superheist reformed in 2016, fans were suitably stoked to see the beloved metal/nu-metal band back on stages around the country. Back in the early ’00s, their albums reached into the Top 20 thanks to some cunning pop-sensibilities and excellent song writing.

So while tonight’s crowd might be there in part due to a strong sense of nostalgia, it’s not all down to their back catalogue. The set list is peppered with new tracks that are every bit as catchy and crushing as the old stuff – perhaps even more so, given their use of 8-string guitars for an even more guttural approach.

Superheist @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle - April 7, 2019

While guitarist and brainchild DW Norton might be the only mainstay in the band from its heyday, the current line up proves full of energy and presence – particularly singer Ezekiel Ox (Mammal) who spends most of the set out in the middle of the crowd.

We’re assured that this won’t be the last Heistfest and with a line up of bands like this, we can’t wait for the next tone.

36 Crazyfists @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle - April 7, 2019

Finally, Alaska’s 36 Crazyfists launch onto the darkened stage. Calling the Cambridge main room half full would be optimistic, but those present are all enthusiastic to see the veteran four-piece in action – at times a little moshing can be seen splitting the crowd into two halves.

Around since 1994, the band’s catalogue has been consistently strong and drummer Kyle Baltus (a member since 2012) absolutely pounds the skins tonight, providing the perfect basis for some tight, intense performances. They may have been the most mainstream-sounding of the line up tonight, but there are enough punishingly heavy moments to make everyone happy.

36 Crazyfists @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle - April 7, 2019

Singer Brock Lindow must have cooked himself tonight, wearing a Parka for at least the first half of the 13-song set. His voice sounded great in the more sung parts, but proved a little raspy in the heavier sections. Guitarist Steve Holt really shined there, providing a mean roar when required.

This reviewer thinks the Cambridge has some responsibility for this gig’s small audience. With a University-oriented weekly show called ‘Sunday School’ happening from around 8pm, the venue clearly wants to have its cake and eat it too. Only problem is that they haven’t done enough to inform everyone else.

The fact that their own website listed ‘Doors at 8pm’ until mere hours before the event had to impact attendance and the bands are the ones that suffered. Otherwise it was a great show full of strong performances and you should definitely pencil in the next Heistfest for 2020.

Phil Anselmo & The Illegals @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – March 31, 2019


10 Apr

Originally published on Life Music Media

Phil Anselmo & The Illegals - Newcastle, March 31, 2019
Phil Anselmo & The Illegals – Newcastle, March 31, 2019
Phil Anselmo & The Illegals - Newcastle, March 31, 2019
Phil Anselmo & The Illegals – Newcastle, March 31, 2019
Phil Anselmo & The Illegals - Newcastle, March 31, 2019
Phil Anselmo & The Illegals – Newcastle, March 31, 2019

It’s not every Sunday that you get to experience some of the crustiest, filthiest metal the scene has to offer while the sun is still shining (festivals being the exception). But here we are on a perfect Autumnal day, walking into the iconic Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle before 5pm to witness just that.

Palm (Japan) - Newcastle, March 31, 2019
Palm (Japan) – Newcastle, March 31, 2019

Sadly missing out on openers Potion, we’re glad that we’re there early enough to see Palm from Osaka, Japan rage the stage with its own unique blend of down-tuned riffage. The Cambo is about half full at this stage, but razor-throated singer Toshi bounces around the stage in full flight with a blood curdling scream that get the punters riled up. More than once there’s a circle pit collecting bodies in the middle of the room. By the end of the set, the band’s dreadlocked Aussie bassist is pulling a shoey from a random punter’s jogger.

King Parrot - Newcastle, March 31, 2019
King Parrot – Newcastle, March 31, 2019

Melbourne’s King Parrot is up next with an extensive set of its uniquely Aussie, filthy, rockin’ metal. The band’s energetic live show lives up to the hype generated by existing fans and Phil Anselmo himself, who has previous done a lot to champion the band on the world stage. Looking gloriously bogan as each member barges their way around the stage, humour is a major component of their image, but there’s nothing funny about the songs – which are brutal, crusty and have the rapidly-filling room hanging on to every riff. It’s easily the heaviest use of a Gibson ES-355 this reviewer has ever seen.

After a decent wait (even though it is still only 7pm!), The Illegals take to the stage amid a cacophony of distortion and pummelling drums. Former Pantera and Down (and many more besides) front man Phil Anselmo clenches his fists and plays a little air guitar side stage in the darkness – psyching himself up before launching into a blistering set that is split between 50-percent new material and 50-percent Pantera classics.

Perhaps the first thing you notice is that Anselmo still has an imposing presence on stage. The second thing is that he still boasts one of the best screams/growls in metal some 30 years after hitting the world stage on Cowboys From Hell (there weren’t any songs in the set list that let us gauge the health of his singing voice).

The Illegals are super tight, in a wonderfully ragged way and the mix is thick and full, which makes the aural onslaught of the blast beats and breakdowns particularly satisfying. While all the chosen tracks in the first half of the set get plenty of attention from the crowd (who clearly are also almost universally familiar with them), it’s no surprise that the Pantera tracks in the second half send everyone in the room into a state of apoplexy.

Mouth for War, Becoming, I’m Broken, Hellbound (with a medley of Domination and Hollow riffs), Walk and A New Level pretty much flatten the building and sound even more intense tuned down a couple of steps from the original recordings. At times the crowd threatens to drown out Phil’s barks and screams as everyone sings along to the classic lyrics that for many, influenced their adolescence.

During I’m Broken, Phil brings Toshi from Palm and Youngy from King Parrot on stage to help with the words. It’s not the last time the small Cambridge stage plays host to more musos. At the end of the set, the band invites all the other bands up on stage for a ‘jam’ to celebrate the end of the tour for Potion and Palm (a result of additional dates being added to the end of the tour with Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane being sold out).

It’s a barnstorming set and a brilliant afternoon of metal that leaves the room spent – even though it is still only 8.30pm!

Feature Car: Leigh Parker’s 1988 Volkswagen Mk2 GTI Golf


03 Apr

My photo shoot on Leigh Parker’s 1988 Volkswagen Mk2 GTI Golf appeared in issue 61 of VW Magazine Australia. With its comprehensive list of mods, including BBS wheels, Brembo brakes, 1.8L AGU 20-valve motor and much more, it’s one hot hatch.

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Leigh Parker's 1988 Volkswagen Mk2 GTI Golf
Leigh Parker's 1988 Volkswagen Mk2 GTI Golf
Leigh Parker's 1988 Volkswagen Mk2 GTI Golf

Feature Car: James Gatt’s 1964 Chevy Nova


29 Mar

Between an unfortunate workshop accident and life just generally getting in the way, it took two years for me to finally get James Gatt’s superb 1964 Chevrolet Nova in front of my camera and it appeared in the March 2019 issue of Street Machine. Bags, billet and a sexy multi-throttle injection setup, the car is all class.

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James Gatt's 1964 Chevy Nova
James Gatt's 1964 Chevy Nova
James Gatt's 1964 Chevy Nova

Feature Car: Stephen Sherry’s Holden LJ GTR Torana


27 Mar

Shephen Sherry’s LJ Holden GTR Torana, known as GRNADE, is a fresh build but is already well known in the scene and with good cause – it packs a 680hp, 6/71-blown 383ci SBC-powered punch! I got to photograph the car for the March 2019 issue of Street Machine.

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Stephen Sherry's Holden LJ GTR Torana
Stephen Sherry's Holden LJ GTR Torana
Stephen Sherry's Holden LJ GTR Torana

Cover Car: Owen Rice’s Holden CV8 Monaro


05 Feb

I photographed Owen Rice’s beautiful Holden CV8 Monaro burnout car for the front cover of the return issue of Street Machine Commodores. This is so much more than a simple skid car. It’s also a fully fledged show car, complete with custom interior, detailed undercarriage and smooth engine bay. There is detail everywhere! Oh, and it makes almost 1200hp from its 400ci, 8/71-blown stroker.

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Owen Rice's Holden CV8 Monaro
Owen Rice's Holden CV8 Monaro
Owen Rice's Holden CV8 Monaro