The Government
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The Government

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"New Band Profile For September: The Government"

Band Name: The Government

Band Members:
Jenna Hardie (vocals, guitar), Sarah Norton (vocals, bass), Anthony Chiovitti (lead guitar), Chris Howe (drums).

There’s a little bit of a lot of influence… just to name a few…..Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age, Howling Bells, The Screaming Trees and so many more, being the LOVERS of rock that we are!!!

Favourite Perth bands:
Mink Mussel Creek, The Fuzz, From the Skies, The Avenues, The Flairz, Little Birdy, Sleepy Jackson, The Sugar Army, Snowman.

There are ROCK songs, there are MOODY songs, and there is even a song we like to refer to as THE EPIC.

Where does your band name from : Jenna and Bruna after a big night out (Jenna’s birthday 2005) sat down and workshop-d the band names over and over until we came up with The Government… and that was it… the name of the band… you gotta love the gov!!!

Upcoming gigs:
Thursday 7 September at Norfolk Basement Bar with Jeff Strong, Dave Pensabene and DJ Skatergirl

Thursday 21 September at Hyde Park Hotel, supporting DAY OF THE DEAD (free entry)

Thursday 5 October at Mojos Bar


not yet… they are on the way… we are planning to hit a studio and record a demo in the next couple of months and then we’ll post it on our myspace for your listening pleasure.

Contact Details :
- posted 11 September 2006

"Government reform: let’s get with the program!!!"

August 31st 2006

It’s been a while since the Government graced any of Perth’s live music stages, and so there was a certain giddy anticipation preceding last Thursday’s debut gig at Mojo’s Bar. Maybe my use of
the word “debut” is confusing, considering they’ve already had their real debut. But the band that played at Mojo’s last week wasn’t the band we saw way back in February 2006. With new songs and new members, the Government also has a new determination to rock the hell out of audiences far and wide.

Supporting the Government at Mojo’s on August 31st were The Belle Ends, a couple of musicians (and a musician couple to boot) whose combined talent obliterates the folks on Australian Idol (and yeah, I have been watching). I did tell Phoebe Hamzah, the female half of the Belle Ends and the owner of some mighty fine vocal chords, that she could kick those Idol contestants’ arses and should enter next year’s competition. Apparently though, her nerves are the main thing holding her back. You couldn’t tell from watching her up on stage, alongside her guitarist husband Tim (who also sings). The Belle Ends delivered a soulful and playful performance to welcome the crowd.

In the void that followed The Belle Ends’ set I wondered what the Government had in store for us for the rest of the evening. I already knew one thing for certain: it was going to be something new.

The Government’s policy of love, peace and loud guitars is these days enforced by some of the original line-up and some fresh blood too. Jenna Hardie as the principal songwriter is still the spellbinding frontwoman, but is experimenting more freely with her vocals. It helps that she is joined on vox by bomb-shell Sarah Norton, the band’s new keeper of the pocket. Sarah’s contribution of beautiful rich bass sounds and gutsy vocals serve to signif-icantly alter the Government’s
Bassist Sarah Norton.
sound. Guitarist Anthony Chiovitti holds the other candle for the band of old, but he’s very much in the present, leading the guitars from his quiet, deadly corner. Finally comes the newest addition to the Government family, talented new drummer Chris Howe who has no trouble keeping pace with his fellow rockers. Howe is the long-awaited fourth ingredient in the Government’s special rock ‘n’ roll formula. With this new foursome things now seem balanced, as if the click we’ve been listening for has finally sounded.

As this new incarnation of the Government took to the stage on Thursday night, I was yet to realise that this would be a night of rebirth. The Government have risen from the ashes and their fire is burning brightly.

Kicking off with an old favourite “Alicia” (you know, the one about the housemate!), the Govern-ment led a successful assault on the buzzing onlookers. The fact that they sped through their set in record time was evidence of their nerves, but from the dance floor it seemed to be the only one. As the sounds spread out from the stage the modest crowd seemed denser than it was, and a certain sparkling energy filled the room. Following on
from “Alicia”, “Love Me” served to warmed the audience up even further, and the onslaught continued with “Too Good”, the first new song showcased on the night. This dark number features verses that keep you down like an undercurrent, and a chorus that drags you out kicking and screaming. It’s demonstrative of the impressive range of moods reflected in Hardie’s tunes.

Next up, the old favourite “Quick Go” altered the mood in the room yet again, taking things down a notch. It was followed by another new song titled “Lust”, a rock epic which is bound to attain classic status in the fashion of Veruca Salt’s “25”. This song along with its follower, “Sympathetic Ear”, reiterated two important points in case anyone had forgotten: firstly, the months since the last Government gig have been spent on more than rehearsing only old songs, and secondly, song writing can get much better with practise. This band has been working hard, and it shows.

Introducing “Boy’s Job”, Hardie instructed the crowd to pay attention, and the Government girls helped deliver the message loud and clear: “It’s a boy’s job to blow my mind!” There was some vocal support from devoted Gov-fans too, of course, because we know that it’s a message that should be heard!

Following another new song named “Scientific”, it was time for the Government to draw the set to aclose. The finale took the form of a medley that bonded old and new when “Dream Lover” merged with an unforgettable new ode to those special rock ‘n roll givers, “Groupie”. This
was the icing on the cake I suppose, a thrilling end to a great show.

As the members of the band stepped off stage I began to reflect on what I had just witnessed. Not the precarious chaos brought to a venue near you by the Government of old, but a newer smooth-running engine of rock. Oh, they’re still dangerous. But they’re also in control.

The Government a -

"Garage to V WA final @ Artrage Bakery, Perth (28/2/2007)"

There are band comps and then there are band comps. And there are band comps that give your band the chance to play alongside artists like the Pixies, Gnarls Barkley and the Pet Shop Boys. Welcome to Garage to V, everyone.

From the hundreds of applications, four WA finalists were chosen to compete at the Bakery - The Flairz, The Government, The Plastik Scene and The Vans - for the right to represent their state at the national finals.

The first band on, The Vans, suffered from the inevitable case of opening band syndrome but, to their credit, did everything they could to counter that. The band's most valuable asset is undoubtedly the voice of Ryan Harris, and it wasn't until he put down the electric six-string and settled in on the acoustic that those vocals really showed their full potential. Stage left, Adelle Chylek assumed the Bez role for the night, introducing the band at every opportunity and, with her bass all but lost in the mix, was there as much for stage presence as she was for musical contribution. Midway through the band's set, phones around the venue started buzzing, with Radioman appearing as a free download. Fitting, as the song was definitely a highlight of The Vans' performance.

Following The Vans were The Plastik Scene, who, despite probably having the potential to be a great band on record, struggled to pull their weight on stage. The main selling point for this band is the concept itself – the combination of electronic sounds and conventional rock instruments – and when done properly this is the kind of music that could put Perth on the map. Though the rhythm section is probably the strongest all night, The Plastik Scene's performance offered nothing that a well-produced EP couldn't. The Massive Attack-slash-Moby-slash-Bjork vibe failed to come to life, leaving too many what-ifs.

The Flairz offered the opposite. With no real concept at all, The Flairz are all about the live show and plain old-fashioned rock and or roll. Still in their early teens, co-lead singers Dion and John Mariani are as experienced as any other musician playing on the night and they proved this for the duration of their set. As far as the performance element went, they barely put a foot wrong. There were the obligatory R&R poses, the centimetre-perfect tempo changes from drummer Scarlett Stevens and the cooler-than-thou presence of the band's new addition, Georgia Wilkinson on bass. The best and worst thing about the Flairz is the novelty of it all, and that is something will be keen to escape. Though they are a quality band in their own right and more talented than most people double, nay, triple, their age, every one of their four songs came off as a cut-and-paste from the bands they've grown up listening to.

The final band to grace the stage was The Government, who teased the crowd with a drawn-out reverb-heavy intro before launching full-pelt into the Breeders and Hole-inspired sound that shall be known as 'fuck me boots' from here on in. Though frontperson Jenna Hardie has the face of a young Polly Jean, her vocals drew so much more from Kim Deal's trademark style, while the sounds coming from bassist Sarah Norton, guitarist Anthony Chiovitti and drummer Chris Howe owe a lot to all those early-1990s bands from Seattle. But any band that wants to take their music out of the garage (and to V, evidently) needs the presence and image, as well as the sound. Though the eventual winners didn't quite match the style and swagger of The Flairz, the band couple the sex appeal of their music with the sex appeal of their stage presence – just like Ms Love, Ms Deal and Ms Harvey.

As the judges conferred, The Silents provided the soundtrack to a venue full of anticipation. As one of Perth's brightest hopes, The Silents have developed a strong reputation and won't need to worry about winning slots at festivals - they'll have offers pouring in as soon as their debut album hits shelves. At this show though, The Silents are little more than intermission music to the other bands' fans, as punters and bands alike sat nervously awaiting the outcome. The retro-rock four-piece pulled together newer tracks (Ophelia, There's No Future) as well as their ever-growing stash of 'old favourites' – including Triple J staple Nightcrawl and Little People.

With all the 'there can only be one winner' clichés put aside, the verdict was about as accurate as possible. The Flairz will have no trouble winning fans as they continue to grow, The Plastik Scene will no doubt find their feet in the studio and The Vans will convert the masses once they can record a dozen songs as good as Radioman. But The Government are now just one gig away from the biggest break of all. - Reported by: disasterplan - Friday, Mar 02, 2007. 12:18

"The Government: time to rock enrol"

The Government are pretty good at getting people to vote for them. No, not the Federal Government. Or State Government. Or even the local council. Perth indie-rock four-piece The Government came up trumps at the WA heats of Garage to V and won the first spot at this week's national final in Sydney.

As reported on FasterLouder, The Government overcame strong competition from The Flairz, The Plastik Scene and The Vans. And before even laying tracks down for a debut EP release, vocalist and guitarist Jenna Hardie, guitarist Anthony Chiovitti, bassist Sarah Norton and drummer Chris Howe find themselves jetting over to the east coast for a shot at the big time. While all those other governments sit around discussing how best to spend our tax dollars, this one is eyeing up a spot at the V Festival and $10,000 in recording time.

Taking a break from packing and rehearsing, Hardie, Howe and Norton took a break to tell us how much they're looking forward to their first interstate trip.

Be honest, did you have any idea you were going to win?
Sarah Norton: Not really! We were up against some pretty menacing competition.
Jenna Hardie: Music is a hard thing to judge, so, we just had no idea...
Chris Howe: I wanted to win, obviously, and I love our music so I definitely thought we had potential to win but I had no idea what the judges would think or what the other bands were like so I just went in there expecting anything.

How did you rate the competition?
SN: Really good calibre of bands, and diverse sounds. I really enjoyed watching The Flairz play.
JH: It was interesting seeing bands that you have only checked out online, and seeing them live... it is great to see the bands and the different sounds they produce in a recording compared to the live, moving experience.
CH: I thought the other bands were awesome and I hope to share the stage with them again. This time not competing, just having a fun night.

What happens now? Do you have anything special planned for the national final?
SN: I¹m keeping that a secret :)
JH: I'm buying a new leotard. And a new can of hairspray. (I might buy a few new pink picks too!)
CH: I might wear a leotard too (Jenna's old one should fit me).

What are you all going to pack when you head off to Sydney?
SN: Lots of sparkles. And a good quality black texta.
JH: My rock uniform of course! Black jeans, black tshirts, black singlets,black boots, black eyeliner, and a black leather jacket.
CH: Drumsticks. And maybe a pair of pants.

Are there any records you NEED to take with you when heading off on the road?
SN: This is our first trip! I hope the others like Hits Now Œ87.
JH: I'm so glad you said that Sarah!

What happens if you win? How do you plan to wow the crowds at V?
SN: Make eye contact with every single person in the room.
JH: If we win, it's champers all round! We would wow the V mosh by rocking out a bit of GOV LOVE!
CH: Maybe some fire.

And what happens if you don't win?
SN: Well afterwards, I guess I would drink scotch instead of champagne.
JH: It's back to the drawing board!

Do you have plans to get any material on record soon?
SN: Absolutely! As soon as we can we currently have just a few demo songs. The money to record is part of the attraction of Garage to V competition.
JH: Ditto - what Sarah said. We'd love to do an album.
CH: Can't wait.

When you record, are you looking to be the same band you are on stage or are you planning to try taking a different approach?
SN: What you see is what you get is what you hear!
JH: the recording process is SO different from playing live. Trying to get the live sound onto a record is quite a challenge. It's a real learning experience to record, especially as most of our experience so far is live.
CH: Live is where it's at. There's no point producing something on record that you cant do live.

"Sex sells". Discuss.
SN: There is quite a defined image out there as to what a rockin' chick should look or perform like. We don¹t really fit into that. Girls don't have to be tough on stage to be powerful, sexual and commanding.
JH: Yeah, but we're pretty tough! You know, like new kids on the block!

Would The Government make a good government? If the four of you were elected, who would take what position?
SN: Yes, we are totally corrupt! I don't know what role I would have but Jenna, well she'd be President for sure.
JH: Well, the government of rock would be good FUN... Sarah, you can be the negotiator!
CH: I'd be sitting up the back with the other backbenchers at those parliament debates bashing my hand on the desk when the heat gets turned up.

The Government play the national Garage to V final this Thursday night with The Seabellies, The Butcher Birds and Ouch! My Face! Head to to get your name on the door list. - Reported by: disasterplan - Friday, Mar 02, 2007. 12:18


The Government - EP (October 2006)

1. Boy's Job
2. Definitive State
3. Too Good



With a collection of trashy rock songs, love ballads and sing-a-long pop tunes, The Government has quickly found a place on stages all over Perth and Fremantle since their debut in mid 2006.

The pop-grunge outfit has garnered a place on stages alongside for high profile local acts (including End of Fashion, Day of the Dead and The Panda Band), and has been asked to support touring acts as diverse as Six Foot Hick and Van She. The Government has also run a series of successful residencies at Mojos Bar, where record crowds attended their midweek shows.

Not long after their first run of gigs, The Government headed to Studio Couch to record a demo with Shaun O’Callaghan. Although it was only very early days for the band, the spirit of The Government was captured well enough to see lead track “Boy’s Job” get plenty of airplay on RTR FM, and even the occasional late night spin at Amplifier Bar!

Playing killer live shows is what it’s all about and The Government made the most of two big opportunities in February. They scored a spot on the Bakery stage as part of the WAMi Saturday Spectacular and took out the WA State Heat of the national Garage to V Competition, which saw the band flown to the national final at the Gaelic Club, Sydney.

The Government has been gaining a solid reputation for captivating rock and roll performances, and come up with the goods each time.

You gotta LOVE THE GOV!!!