Dr Strangeways
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Dr Strangeways

Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia | SELF | AFTRA

Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia | SELF | AFTRA
Band Rock Hip Hop

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"Tossing the fish to the clapping seals"

Tossing the fish to the clapping seals. By POP VULTURE with CAMERON BUCKLEY.

Every 10 years or so an art and music movement occurs, and as its predecessor becomes ‘bled in’ and accepted by mainstream audiences, the new revolution rises.
Generally despising the movement before, it’s what you see the kids turning on to.
Try and imagine a double helix, one movement on the decline, another on the way up.
A ‘tic toc’ process kicks off, waiting for the next underground wave to roll in.
It’s a floating era that can regurgitate many musical acts from an infinite sea of possibilities and paths. In itself this is a movement.
Saturday night, KI warehouse will see the long-awaited album launch of one of Alice’s home-grown gems, a paradigm of musical life atop this instrumental pop-cultural purgatory plateau, Dr Strangeways.
A melting pot, bubbling with the infusions of many sub, sub, subbity-sub genres of music, has finally tossed the fish to the clapping seals.
I can remember when you were Bloom Boogie on The Lane rooftop fellas, and have heard the cool opening melody to ‘Racehorse’ come across via speaker for a few Halloweens now.
But arrived the album has, landed it has, wrapped up in a cool cover with a psychotic looking Willy Wonka-like character on it, Dr Strangeways’ Strange New World is now available for you to own, to touch, to listen to, to burn, to tell your friends interstate that you know these guys. To listen to those same friends say ‘Yeah OK’.
Now down to the business of tracheotomy selection.
The album opens with ‘Space Clown’, bold and proud, brass section and didgeridoo going toe to toe with a lyrical rundown of who and what’s to come.
The exploitation of people’s unrelenting dependency on telecommunications is brought cleverly to life through lyric and note in ‘locked in’.
‘Look Outside’ has the group singing its way through some quirky wordplay, denoting the laid back attitude and approach adopted by born Territorians.
This also comes to the surface with MC Skank’s vocals on the freshly polished version of ‘Racehorse’, proving beyond any body of doubt that the NT accent coexists well with a Hip Hop tune.
The album also takes a turn for the serious as ‘Oh Lady’ touches on issues close to home such as the encroachment of big industry life on Central Australian culture.
Cabaret fans will be happy to know that the carnival-like tune that you heard cannon-balling festival proceedings was none other than track 10, ‘Russian Mickey Mouse’. It’s a dance of keys, a waltz of electrified strings and brass that beads sweat, a highlight of musical craftsmanship demonstrating a temperance of instruments relating to each other.
Towards the end of the track there’s this point where the keyboard sounds like it’s being drowned, and with its dying breath it screams out its last words. Just like when a flower is at its most beautiful just before it dies, a last little explosion of colour and life, this is a worthy climax for the patience shown in constructing this album.
- Alice Springs News


"Dr Strangeways play Masters Games"

Dr. Strangeways play Masters Games.Posted on October 7th, 2010

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dr strangeways, dr. elephant, masters games
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Alice Springs band Dr. Strangeways performed at the Opening Ceremony for the Alice Springs Masters Games on Saturday October 9th, 2010.



Dr. Strangeways performing New Years Eve at the 2009 Woodford Festival. Pic: Facebook
Dr. Strangeways was on the bill with singer Wendy Matthews and a “Superband” made up of veteran Australian performers Mark Seymour, James Reyne and Ross Wilson. Iwantja Band musician Jeremy Whiskey also joined Dr. Strangeways at the Masters Games gig, guesting on bass. This major event at Anzac Oval also attracted a major crowd.

Dr. Strangeways musician Rory Davis was enthusiastic about the gig afterwards, saying that it “went really well. We played a 20 minute set of our more upbeat songs. There were around 5000 people there… A huge stage and sea of people. It was a real highlight for the band.”

This was a great opportunity for the Alice-based desert-ska ‘big band’ who also delivered a popular set at the recent Alice Desert Festival on opening night. With tour plans for Darwin, Dr. Strangeways also intend to return to the studio in the near future to start recording new material with collaborators Damien Armstrong (Nokturnl) and Jeremy Whiskey (Iwantja Band). Having played at Woodford and Wide Open Spaces festivals, their debut album ‘Strange New World’ was released in 2009.

Popular Darwin rock band Dr. Elephant will feature in the entertainment line up on Closing Night of the Masters Games (October 16), supporting Australian Idol-winner, Shannon Noll. Held biennally, this is the 13th Masters Games in Alice Springs, known as one of the world’s pre-eminent “mature sporting events.”

See a video of Dr. Strangeways jamming with Colourfide and Dr. Flouride after their Desert Festival performance, on Facebook.

Find out more about Dr. Strangeways on MySpace, Facebook and Unearthed. And read an interview with Dr. Strangeways on the Music NT Forum.

- Music NT


"Strange New World"

Dr Strangeways, named after a formidable Alice Springs English teacher, are leading the charge when it comes to the enormous amount of exceptional music being produced in Central Oz of late. Combining countless instruments, the collective have created a record that is both impossible to pigeonhole and resist grooving to. Reggae rhythms, rollicking guitar, harmonica, keyboard and flute solos, masterful hip-hop flows and sophisticated sampling carry themes of volatile NT politics and central desert life, which are delivered intelligently and with razor sharp wit. One of many highlights, Racehorse is a brilliant slice of Oz hip-hop, infused with funk and served with soul; the MC’s erudite rhymes about NT possibilities are indicative of the band itself and the entire region at that. - BMA Magazine


Discography

Strange New World LP 2009
Alice Sprung! compilation single 'Reggae Racehorse' 2008

Photos

Bio

These desert dwellers first album ‘Strange New World’ received national airplay on radio and television. Live performances include the Woodford Folk Festival 09/10, three consecutive Alice Desert Festivals, the inaugural Wide Open Space festivals and the 2010 Master’s Games Opening Ceremony (supporting James Reyne, Mark Seymour and Wendy Matthews).

Currently recording new material. Indigenous Arrente and Pitjatjantjara guitarists Damien Armstrong (NoKTuRNL) and Jeremey Whiskey (Iwantja Band) add to a phenomenon that rocks like Uluru.