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RiotACT Gig Guide (18 – 24 March): Social distancing edition

Hayden Fritzlaff 18 March 2020
New Zealand's Carb on Carb

New Zealand’s Carb on Carb performing for Homegrown Sounds in 2019. Photo: Homegrown Sounds YouTube.

Regular gig guiders might notice that this week’s list looks a little different.

Even as the music industry enters something of an existential crisis, it’s not all doom and gloom for punters looking for their live music fix. Scroll on to check out a host of events and activities that you can get involved in even while practising social distancing.

Citizen Kay

Citizen Kay features on the locally-made How Musicians Work podcast. Photo: Supplied.

How Musicians Work podcast

This Canberra-run podcast currently sports some 26 episodes, each one an in-depth chat with a musician about their craft. One highlight is a sit-down with producer/rapper/songwriter Kojo Ansah (AKA Citizen Kay) in which he delves into the creative process, his ever-evolving relationship with brother Kofi (AKA Genesis Owusu) and some truly inspirational Spotify playlist recommendations. Interviews with Kevin Mitchell, Groovy Daughter, Hope Wilkins and Evan Buckley are just some of the other episodes well worth a listen.

Slagatha Christie

Slagatha Christie are but one of the acts who’s live sets you can find on YouTube. Photo: Canberra DIY Gig Guide.

twohandsonlyonemouth YouTube channel

Attention Canberra music fans. If you haven’t yet unearthed this channel, you’re going to want to cancel all your plans and sit yourself down in front of a screen to explore this wonderful corner of the web. Using superhuman stealth powers, twohandsonlyonemouth has managed to capture live footage from virtually every gig dating back to 2012. It’s all here, every act from early 2010s scene staples like Pocket Fox and Cuddlefish through to today’s up-and-comers. There are simply too many highlights than can be mentioned here. For starters, do yourself a favour and check out Cathy Diver’s supergroup rendition of ‘Handle With Care’.

Hedy Blaazer

The latest release from Hedy Blaazer, ‘A Happy Song’, has the young artist sounding more assured than ever. Photo: Supplied.

Catch up on the latest Canberra releases

Each month, we compile a list of our favourite new songs from Canberra artists. This month sees excellent new releases from electro-pop artists Endrey, post-rockers Lost Coast, blues singer-songwriter Dorothy-Jane, and emo power-pop songwriter Azim Zain. Scroll to the bottom of the page for an up-to-date playlist of all our favourite local tracks from 2020.

Artwork for The Social Distancing Festival

You can catch a whole range of live music online this week. Image: The Social Distancing Festival website.

The Social Distancing Festival

This online music festival compiles live streams from events all around the world. Experience everything from opera, to electronic music, puppetry to experimental theatre, all in real-time. There are only a handful of listings currently, but the stream will be populated by more and more intriguing gigs throughout the week.

David Lane

David Lane Spreading the word on 2XX at the CAP Expo in 2017. Photo: Elena Kemezys.

LocalnLive on 2XXfm 98.3

LocalnLive is a Canberra institution. Hundreds of local songs have earned their first radio play on this show over the years, and it’s still going strong. Taking place from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on weekdays, the program’s playlist features a selection of fresh Canberra tracks and old favourites. Generally geared towards whichever acts are playing live in a given week, expect the airwaves to be thrown wide open to a whole range of Canberra musicians in the coming weeks. Tune in online or on the wireless.

Homegrown Sounds

Since kicking off in 2019, Homegrown Sounds has hosted local, national and international musical guests on its humble red couch. Click through to discover a charming library of independent musicians performing in their natural habitat, caught on video for your viewing and listening pleasure. Azim Zain’s rendition of 2019 single ‘Passenger Seat’ is an emotionally-charged highlight.

Canberra symphony orchestra

Concerts have been moving to online live streams as live events become unviable. Photo: Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

Melbourne Digital Concert Hall

Yes, that title does say ‘Melbourne’, but dire times call for dire measures. This digital concert hall is still finding its feet, but it looks set to become a viable way to experience gigs without needing to physically attend. Audience members can purchase digital ‘seats’, granting them access to all manner of live performances, albeit in an online environment. Perhaps we have something to learn from Australia’s music Mecca after all.


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