King Cannons
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King Cannons

Margate, Queensland, Australia | MAJOR

Margate, Queensland, Australia | MAJOR
Band Rock Alternative


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King Cannons @ The Venue

Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Townsville, Queensland, Australia

King Cannons @ Norfolk Basement

Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia

Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia

King Cannons @ metro city

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Perth, Western Australia, Australia



Day One: Friday Ninth

The PixieKills were the first band to kick off the festival and they were clearly having the time of their life. Their upbeat brand of music was perfect for the laidback nature of the festival. The Port Macquarie band had a high energy set and were a sign of things to come in the festival.

The Brisbane reggae duo The Lyrical came next on the acoustic stage. It’s obvious that the pair have had experience entertaining a crowd. Their song rang out “They say I’m a busker, you know that they’re wrong, I am a rockstar”, and the crowd quickly picked up all their songs. The punters responded wildly to a rousing rendition of ‘I just can’t wait to be king’ as The Lyrical finished their all too short set.

With the sound of bongos finishing up on the acoustic stage, tattoo clad, front man for King Cannons, Luke Yeoward, walked out. Port Macquarie locals took quickly to the reggae-like first song. They got the crowd clapping to their song ‘Take the Rock’. Their sound was versatile. There was no shortage of cow bell and percussive showcases in ‘Smoked Out City’ and ‘Stand Right Up’, which fit in with the fun atmosphere previously set by The Lyrical.

Wielding a 12 string guitar, Blake Noble walked out next onto the acoustic stage. Looking mildly timid as he looked out to the crowd, it was in no way reflected in his guitar playing. Rapid and fast paced, the one man played an array of guitar/tapping solos, including song ‘Tsunami’. The crowd seemed to appreciate his talent as a guitarist and he fed off their energy.

The rowdy festival goers demanded more of Nobel as Young Revelry took to the stage. The Perth three man band came out with the heavier sound of the day. While the FOTS-ians seemed to appreciate their self-described ‘garageish’ sound, it seemed misplaced, especially after the entertaining sets from the previous bands.

Colin Moore took the festival revellers for the next twenty minutes. With the heavier sound of Young Revelry still reverberating in peoples ears, Moore’s set was more subdued. His husky voice crooned ‘Time goes by’, and harmonica solos punctuated ‘Three fat Pills’. While his set was solid, it seemed lost on the crowd.

FLOATINGME was another heavier band on the bill. Intense and rapid playing, accompanied by front man Andrew Gillespie’s wild eyes, it was a definite change again from the other bands of the day. Knowing very little about the band, their live performance was an ideal introduction to their Butterfly Effect/Dead Letter Circus-like sound. The festival goers seemed ready to mosh, and I pitied/envied anyone right at the front.

Art vs Science came out to rapturous chanting. It was obvious who the crowd were there to see. Playing their first festival in Australia in months after touring around the world, the trio didn’t disappoint the punters. ‘Friend in the Field’ got the masses jumping, while ‘Gay bar?’ was met with anthemic singing. Spontaneous remixing punctuated the set, with ‘Shut up Johnny’ keeping the crowd entertained. ‘Parlez vous francais?’, the song that launched them to superstardom came relatively early in the set. A search for bumblebee get ups saw audience members dancing around on stage to ‘Bumblebee’. The only minor problem with their excellent set was the time they took to slow songs right down to do solos. Although extremely talented, the energy in the mosh they had so skilfully brought up was lost as they took time to do their solos. The FOTS-ians didn’t seem to mind though. Closing with “the first song we ever wrote as a band“, ‘Flippers’ was a fitting end to day’s festivities.

Stay tuned for Day Two’s review!

Photos credit: Ellise Cummings and Angelique Lu - Lip Mag

There’s no better reason to get back on the road than to tour a debut single from a debut record, and Auckland’s King Cannons were in the middle of just that when they landed in Sydney for the second time in two months. Having just finished supporting The Living End on a national tour, the ‘Shot To Kill’ tour was their own headline jaunt, stretching from Geelong to Maroochydore.

I arrived to see the two-piece Jackson Firebird entertaining a scant but attentive crowd. The boys from Mildura were rugged and gravelly, and really gave an enthusiastic performance. Whether cruising through slide guitar-fuelled blues, or on hands and knees beating on electrified box drums like Cro-Magnon Man, it was chaos distilled in a whisky bottle and poured all over the Oxford Art Factory stage.

As the intermission between support and headliner got underway, I hit the bar and took in my fellow punters – this wasn’t a standard OAF crowd. Replacing the standard Surry Hills fashionable fare were men with goatees and girls in hoodies; I was staring at the early 2000s, and I didn’t mind at all. They were here to hear some rock’n’roll, and so was I.
King Cannons entered without fanfare and got to work. Josh Matthews on the drums gave the crowd a samba beat to dance to, and lead singer Luke Yeoward punched at his guitar with an intensity that would last for the entire set. Devoid of pretence and bullshit, the band played through some harmonica-laden pub rock before aurally embracing the crowd with ‘Take The Rock’, one of the standouts from their debut EP, which had the crowd yelling “Take The Rock” and “Blow It Up” back at the band. After playing their current single, ‘Stand Right Up’, they performed a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’ which segued into their biggest radio-friendly hit, ‘Smoked Out City’. The highlight of the set for me, though, was a song called ‘The Brightest Light’. Unknown and unheralded, I have no idea whether this is an original or a cover, but it was heartfelt, earnest and a great representation of the band.

This was a tight and powerful show from a band on the rise. I struck up a conversation with guitarist Rob Ting outside having a smoke; “I’ll give you $20 to write good things about us,” he laughed, before qualifying it with “Who am I kidding? I’m a musician – I don’t have $20 bucks.” Don’t worry about it, Rob – this one’s on the house. - The Brag

Melbourne’s dismal public transport system caused me to miss opening act Hunting Grounds, but as I walked into the Palace, King Cannons were taking to the stage. Quite a large group, King Cannons could only be best described as modern day tribute to The Clash, with hints of the Stray Cats thrown in for good measure. Over the next forty-five minutes, they converted the crowd into fans with their unique and striking brand of rock. Giving away free copies of the debut single Stand Right Up at the merch desk, I saw many crowd members head to the stand to secure their own copies. A brilliant band in their own right that deserve to be heard, you can be sure to hear King Cannons across the airwaves and selling out their own shows in the near future. - The 59th Sound

The evening started off with 2009’s Triple J Unearthed High’s winners, Hunting Grounds (previously known as Howl) and the New Zealand-born, Melbourne-bred, King Cannons. Both bands put on stellar performances, each performing as if they were the headline act. After Thursday night, you can consider both these bands as official blips on our radar. - Tone Deaf

To start off the night’s affair at Brisbane’s Tivoli, King Cannons strut onto stage and take charge of a crowd that could have easily ignored them. Songs from their EP like Take The Rock and Teenage Dreams feel like songs you heard on the radio in the 80s alongside Bruce Springsteen and the Oils. Hunting Grounds (previously known as Howl) also look the part for their harder rock sound – with wild hair and a dark, animalistic feel to their music. Both opening bands are fantastic choices for the main event. - FasterLouder

King Cannons, a six-piece Kiwi-come-Melbournian act, open the show with an old-school brand of punk rock marked by clanging guitars and keys, but more notably frontman Luke Yeoward’s quintessential punk vocal style. Hints of influences from various genres and eras protrude through the music, yet the band manages to maintain direction and hold course throughout. With an album scheduled for release in the New Year, word among the punk faithful is sure to get around. - FasterLouder

Post frantic and, at times, savage sounds of Hunting Grounds, the tight retro rock and roll of King Cannons seemed a little strange, despite both bands actually being right for the bill. The first thing to strike about King Cannons was that they weren’t kids like the band before, and they certainly weren’t awkward about being on stage. Classic rock and roll infused with reggae and soul, King Cannons took to the stage like headliners: “I know we’re the support band here but we wanna get this place moving”. They got a pretty good response, too, with plenty clapping along and stomping their feet to the dancehall numbers – how could they not with all that cow bell and bongos. - FasterLouder

This is the kind of band that should be paraded in front of the masses at the Aria’s. This is one serious band and it’s truly staggering this is their first EP. KING CANNONS attack you with political nous, yet they don’t throw it in your face. Its authentic, it flows perfectly and it feels right.

I’d call it reggae rock but whatever you brand it; it’s truly astounding just how good it is. The more heavily influenced reggae numbers would sit perfectly in the background lying next to the pool sipping on a Long Island Iced Tea without a worry in the world. But at the same time the messages they carry lyrically make you sit up and take notice.

The Clash has a large influence on these guys and it shines through musically, lyrically and in the outright passion they convey. It's obvious to anyone they love what they do and they are damn good at it. Luke Yeoward believes every word he sings. His passion really takes this band to places where most just can’t go.

The EP kicks off with one of the year’s most rocking songs, the aptly titled Take The Rock. It’s the first track and it grabs you around the neck and throttles you to gain your attention. It is rock ‘n’ roll at its finest. It builds up perfectly to a chorus that will blow you away. It’s the purest rock song on the album. The other highlight is a song called Smoked Out City, just as Take The Rock does. It takes you away to a really good place and with its heavy Clash influence and reggae undertones, these Kiwi's turned Melbournites have done themselves, proud.

This is a band that deserves to be heard, they might just turn out to be something special. These are Kiwi's we should be proud to call Aussies! - Sludge Factory

Melbourne based six piece King Cannons make music that is a little bit punk, a little bit reggae, a little bit roots and a whole lotta rock. This is a genre I’ve never cared for but even to my skeptical ears their self-titled EP is a well crafted release that showcases the band’s obvious talent and enthusiasm for their sound. King Cannons play with so much passion and energy that it is impossible even for a hater such as myself to dislike this release as the music exudes excitement and fun with a nostalgic whimsy for summers long gone.

Opener “Gasoline” sets off at a frenetic pace with front man Luke Yeoward’s vocals delivered in a venomous fashion. “Smoked Out City” is the perfect travelling song for a big boozy road trip with it’s slow building melodies that explode into a fantastic sing-a-long chorus ‘in a smoked out city on a two wheel cruiser, lookin’ for the Big Kahuna’. Radio spruiked single “Take The Rock” is the definite highlight with it’s catchy riff and Yeoward’s impassioned cries, which is a striking feature of their sound that elevates King Cannons from being simply a fun band, to a band that plays with heart and soul. “Teenage Dreams” is another infectious dance-worthy gem that is sure to have you up and moving. “Time To Yourself” ends the EP on a relaxed note with it’s comforting laid back reggae grooves.

The King Cannons EP is a fantastically fun release from a band who play with a shambolic swagger and endearing energy. Their music makes me want to scull whiskey, chain smoke and grind on table tops with a reckless abandon. Turn the stereo up and loose yourself in their good time vibes.

Review Score: 7/10
- The AU Review

By Chris Mitchell.

Every gig at the East Brunswick Club presents the same early dilemma. Upon disembarking from tram, does one choose the left door and head straight for the band room, or head for the right door, and into the front bar to fight for a booth.

As per usual, the chance to sit down for a cool adult beverage won out, and the right door it was. As the sounds of Johnnie and the Johnnie Johnnies rang through the walls of the beer garden, what became obvious was the amount of familiar faces at the East. The last few King Cannons shows have been like this, and it gives the gig more of a party in your backyard feel. This is a growing hallmark of the Melbourne alternative scene, check out some shows and chances are you’ll see someone you know. If not, make some friends.

Heading into the bandroom, it was a little disappointing to see that there were fewer punters than hoped. However, it was still early, so after a quick trip to the bar we settled in to watch the Level Spirits. They were interesting, engaging to watch, but they somewhat failed to capture the attention of the majority of the crowd. That didn’t seem to worry the band too much, frontwoman Miss Molly Jen Morrison energetically throwing herself around the stage as the band rocked through some garage rock numbers, heavily influenced by 50s and 60s rock n roll.

By the time the King Cannons hit the stage the room had filled up sufficiently. The Cannons hit the ground running, ripping through Smoked Out City and Gasoline within the first few numbers. The punters were easing into it, and halfway through the set most couldn’t help but bop along the reggae and punk influenced rock tunes.

As usual, the King Cannons had a monster presence on the stage, singer and guitarist Luke Yeoward cutting an imposing figure. His slicked back hair may require constant maintainence throughout the set, but his stage banter is entertaining and he, along with the rest of the band, are flawless players.

They rock through the first half of the set, pausing only to have a drink or run a comb through their hair. In the second act, the Cannons bring out a few of their more reggae influenced tracks, like Time To Yourself, and finally the entire room is dancing.

The performance of new single Take The Rock was a particular highlight. It’s an exciting song and it’s good to hear it getting played on the radio. A quick encore later, and it’s lights up. While the show didn’t perhaps attract the numbers the band would have hoped for, they put on a great show, and their music is too good to be ignored for long. Live, they are more than solid, and even the most pessimistic punter will be shuffling their feet by the end.

Another great King Cannons show. They are steadily building a good reputation in the Melbourne scene, and have carved out a nice little niche for themselves since relocating from New Zealand. It is well worth checking the out, and becoming part of the party family that they are amassing with each show. - Loud N local

King Canons
King Canons EP

This EP feels like honesty tied to a sledgehammer; the New Zealand six-piece have grabbed The Clash and Bruce Springsteen by the scruff of the neck and throttled them into some weird shape called King Cannons.

After leaving small town NZ to seek greener pastures in London a couple of years ago, the earthy punk band found nothing but roadblocks in the Northern Hemisphere. So fast forward a year or so, and greener pastures have turned up – in Melbourne, Victoria. After a period of good ol’ fashioned name-building around the Melbourne scene, King Cannons landed a deal with EMI. The fruits of all of that labour? A tight little five-track debut EP full of punch and grit and honest rock ‘n’ roll.

Starting off the proceedings is the downright irresistibility of ‘Take The Rock’, with 70s punk attitude mixed with 80s pub rock hooks that Cold Chisel would be proud of. ‘Teenage Dreams’ revels in the same smoky pub feel as songwriter Luke Yeoward retells the well-thumbed tale of dreams snatched away by adulthood.

Things get fiercer with ‘Gasoline’, a heavy-handed ska cut that stands equal with ‘Take The Rock’ as the strongest on the record. ‘Smoked Out City’ is a small-town anthem of classic rock that gives an overt nod towards The Boss himself, while the closer ‘Time To Yourself’, which sees the band engage in an experiment with reggae, unfortunately suffers in comparison to the rest of the blistering songs on the recording.

Taking influence from both London and New Jersey, King Cannons have nailed a classic rock sound that’s distinctly from Down Under.

Rick Warner - The Brag

With a rockabilly aesthetic, punk rock ethos and (at times) laid-back reggae vibe, King Cannons have demonstrated their ability to diversify with their new self-titled EP.

This Melbourne based six piece blend the sounds and sentiments of bands such as The Clash, Bad Religion, Rancid and Bruce Springsteen; and their roots and punk based rock ‘n’ roll does sound (as their website states) like a collective cocktail of each band members “many different individual influences and inspirations.”

The opening track to their self-titled EP - Take The Rock i- s a catchy punk rock anthem that really gets the ball rolling. It has received a fair bit of airplay on Triple J and is definitely one of the highlight tunes on the EP. Front-man Luke Yeoward’s rough, husky vocals and politically charged lyrics ‘stick it to the man’ and deliver a good old fashioned punk rock style assault on capitalism.

Teenage Dreams is a fun ‘skankin’ tune featuring pulsating ska rhythms and a fun ‘bru-ha’ beer-drinking-sing-along chorus; whilst Gasoline introduces some cool sounding time changes, angst ridden lyrics and a unique edge with its fusion of ska rhythms and galloping rockabilly drum-beat. Smoked Out City has an unmistakeable political agenda and the song encompasses some of the ska-influenced organs and break down’s of their other tunes whilst maintaining more of a straight-up rock based sound.

The last track - Time To Yourself - is the black sheep of the EP and probably my least favourite. The easy listening reggae sounds and Rasta accent don’t do it for me, though having said that, it is good to see a band not afraid of mixing it up and I’m sure this tune would be a fun edition to their live shows.

King Cannons encompass all the hallmarks of the ska punk genre but still manage to bring something unique and different to the table. From all reports these guys put on a really good live show and after recently signing to major record label EMI, it would appear they might be on the right track to forging a name for themselves.

If either ska, punk, reggae, rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly or a combination of all five of these genres feature in your CD collection, then King Cannons will be sure to tickle your fancy.

WORDS BY: Reece Crabtree - Shout Out Music


What’s more fun than a song infused with punk and ska sing-along, rockabilly, stomp-ability? A whole EP of ‘em! King Cannons – now based in Melbourne since relocating from across the ditch – are onto a winner with their self-titled release, with two songs especially standing out – ‘Take the Rock’ and ‘Teenage Dreams’.

Charismatic singer and guitarist Luke Yeoward belts out each track with an earnest energy. The band sound like they worshipped at the temple of Sublime and Rancid and other bands of that ilk and it’s nice to hear that sound in vogue again. - Junior Online


King Cannons EP 2010
1. Take The Rock
2. Teenage Dreams
3. Gasoline
4. Smoked Out City
5. Time To Yourself

Take the rock & Teenage Dreams were both added to high rotation on Triple J.

King Cannons debut album (To be released early 2012)
1. Stand Right Up (Sent to radio in August)



The King Cannons road is long and winding, nearly 36 months veering through remote parts of rural NZ and the UK all the way to their current HQ: Melbourne, Australia.

It's a simple ethos that hasn't changed since day one. Soul food. Six good friends coming together to create music crafted from their many different individual influences and inspirations.

The result is ferocious. A constantly evolving, roots and punk based rockÂ’nÂ’roll sound that is unmistakable.

From Springsteen to The Clash, Chuck Berry to the ease of a Jamaican Sunday, King Cannons play with ferocity and passion but maintain a certain chill that exudes classic cool.

Its music for everyone who shares in that sentiment.

King Cannons are undoubtedly best known for their live performance. Slick, not only in their look, but in their sound. King Cannons own the stage and the audience. Never afraid to tell it how it is with tracks such as Take The Rock, or to relax, and get introspective with numbers like Time To Yourself.

It's immediate and impacting, always on point, and exactly what you need to get you moving