Archive for May, 2008

This came across my desk today, that the Black Keys will perform a special warm up show for their Australian tour at the Great Northern Hotel in Byron Bay on June 16, 2008. Tickets available from the venue from this Monday. This show is in addition to all the other shows already announced on the Australian tour. Gotta be close to one of the best venues to see them at. Of course the Keys have performed at the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival many times and as the news said “it is a little known fact that the Keys have an extra terrestrial association with the Northern Rivers region of Australia”. I’m not sure what that means but I do know it will be an awesome gig.

the black keys byron bay show australia 16 june 2008


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My mate Craig and I went and saw the band Stiff Little Fingers on Friday night at the Forum, Sydney. SLF are the most legendary Irish punk band no one seemingly knows about. It was the first time they had played in Australia. For most of the crowd just like us it was probably the first time they had ever seen the band perform live even though they knew all the words. Given that they were at their peak with the debut album, Inflammable Material, in the late ’70s you would be forgiven if you didn’t know who they were either. For those who do know and like the band (me), conversation often revolves around whether you like their new stuff as much as their old. I fall firmly into the ‘I like the old stuff’ camp. I don’t like any of their albums past the Inflammable Material album. The gig got me thinking about how some Black Keys fans reserve all their cheers at gigs for tracks off Thickfreakness, as if the band has released nothing else. So I find myself in a bit of a contradictory position because I think the latest Black Keys album is their best work. I’ve said before but I found Magic Potion, although good rather repetitive compared to Thickfreakness. The SLF gig also got me thinking about what sort of gig the Keys would play in 15 or 20 years time. Would the crowd expect a Black Keys cover band-like experience to mirror the urgent performances they witnessed 20 years before? Certainly if the SLF gig was any benchmark the encore is seemingly reserved for the most well known and respected tunes. Luckily I don’t think it is the case for the Keys since Strange Times is seemingly becoming more well known than any of their material. It’s made it to Grand Theft Auto even for a whole new generation of listeners to note. As I recall Dan once saying in an interview after Thickfreakness was released, knowing when you’re on to a sound that strikes a chord with an audience the last thing you want to do is alienate your new found audience and stuff up all your momentum. So far I’ve been happy to follow the Keys where they’ve wished to take me with their music.

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Update 19 May 2009 – If you want to see the questions I actually asked Pat Carney from The Black Keys in an interview check out the interview I did – Part 1 and Part 2.

Update 6 March 09 – Dan and Pat if you are reading this, don’t despair. I know they are lame questions. I was goofing around when I wrote this, and now it’s published forever. I’ve got much more insightful thoughts, propositions and ideas to ask you about if we get to do an interview.

In a recent post, I mentioned I’d love to interview The Black Keys for this site. I thought I’d list the questions I’d ask the band if I ever got to meet them.


:: Dan, my girlfriend reckons you mumble when you sing. I’ve told her it’s just your style. She says it’s a congenital mumbling condition. Discuss.

:: Patrick, have you ever monitored your heart rate during a gig? That’s some work out you get.

Supplementary: do you have a pre-show hydration routine you follow?

:: Is there any chance you will do another album of blues-soaked cover versions? Or at least an acoustic album of swamp hollering with duelling banjos?

:: Dan and Patrick, do you remember that strange radio interview you did with Triple J that I posted about? I wont be offended if you think Robbie Buck is a bit of a moron – many others think the same.

:: Patrick your Uncle is a noted musician with Tom Waits’ band and Dan your Cousin was a noted guitarist. Do either of you feel a sense of genetic disposition to the music you play because of the environments and influences that have been around you all your lives? Indeed, do you think you could have been anything other than musicians in some shape or form?

:: Dan, do you remember walking past me outside Kings Arms in Auckland in 2005?

Supplementary: Even if you don’t, would you and Patrick be prepared to play at my 40th birthday as expressed in my recent dream ? It’s not for a while yet so you have time to think about it.

:: Dan and Patrick, if someone chopped your right arm off, what instrument would you play?

:: Dan, Junior Kimbrough was obviously a huge influence on you as a blues musician. What influence did he have on your attitude to the style of music you play.

:: Patrick, why have I never seen you smile when you drum? When you play in Sydney, can you smile so I can take a photo? That rare captured moment will be worth something some day.

:: Dan, I’d really like you to get more creative with your tour merchandise. How about bringing out a Black Keys iron helmet ala Ned Kelly, the Australian bush ranger, for the Australian tour? If you didn’t know, iron helmets and beards really work together and the fans would feel special I’m sure.

Ned Kelly t day before his executionNed Kelly\'s armour

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