What’s On This Week In Newcastle? Hill-2-Harbour, John Butler Trio & The Writers Festival

Thursday 3rd April

Damien Leith @ Lizottes

Due to the popularity of Damien Leith’s recent national ‘Without a Fight’ tour - we are pleased to announce that more dates have been added in 2014. This is a strictly limited run, so get in fast. The tour which saw Damien play to packed houses, celebrated his all new and critically acclaimed originals album ‘Chapter Seven’ along with some of the classic songs he has recorded over the past seven years. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one of Australia’s finest Singer/Songwriters performing in a stripped back, intimate setting. His voice and storytelling will take you on a journey, from the first note to the final applause. ‘Very few voices excite me, but I fell in love with Damien’s voice when I heard it. His unique voice has inspired me to write again, much in the same way Roy Orbison’ voice inspired me to write. I believe Damien is going to be a big star. All the best to you, Damien. Looking forward to good things with you. -Joe Melson (Co-writer of Crying, Blue Bayou and Only the Lonely)

Tickets: Lizottes

Comedy @ The Playhouse

The Civic Playhouse, Newcastle is the home to a new monthly comedy club which is showcasing the best in Local, Australian and International comedy. Featuring the best comedians monthly, Comedy at The Playhouse is Newcastle’s biggest comedy night out.

April 3 will see Garry Who, one of the Pioneers of the infamous Sydney Comedy Store headline an all star cast. Garry is long remembered for his starring role on 90’s sitcom “All Together Now,” and more recently “Houso’s” and “Fat Pizza.” Nominated for an ARIA in 1987, Garry Who was also the resident entertainer on The Midday Show and constantly tours his out there brand of comedy around the country. He is not to be missed!

Hosted by Gareth Wasik, who’s debut album - “Jesus Can’t Play Rugby” was a number one hit on iTunes the night will also showcase local comedy legend Brendon Knott, and straight off the plane from LA – Greta Lee Jackson – one of the creative forces behind “Bondi Hipsters.” (ABC)

Doors: 7:30PM

Tickets: Ticketek 

Friday 4th April

Newcastle Writer’s Festival

Lovers of literature hungry to tap into the hearts and minds of their favourite authors will be inspired by the diverse mix of writers attending the 2014 Newcastle Writers Festival, 4 to 6 April .

From the best contemporary crime writing, to high voltage Aussie rock ’n’ roll history, award-winning poetry, ethical dilemmas, sex addiction, a centenary since the outbreak of WW1, motherhood, high adventure and high-heeled drama at a fashion magazine - this year’s festival is a colourful coming together of genres and ideas from some of Australia’s most interesting and respected writers and thinkers.

The versatile entertainer and writer, Wendy Harmer, launches the festival on Friday 4 April at the University of Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.

For the full program visit Newcastle Writers Festival

Tickets: Ticketek

Mental As Anything @ Lizottes

A popular urban myth concerns a group of art students who passed themselves off as a band in order to con the local publican into giving them a gig in exchange for free beer. The deception worked better than intended, and the group came to be known as Mental as Anything. Nearly two decades later, they are still irritating the public with their highly listenable, idiosyncratic brand of garage pop. A self-explanatory single to reflect their success, The Nips Are Getting Bigger, rose through the charts as did their fundamental understanding of the old adage that “for every action there is a reaction”. Ahead lay a very lengthy pub crawl which only the accomplished could survive.

Tickets: Lizottes

Saturday 5th April

Olive Tree Market @ The Junction Primary School

The Olive Tree Market is Newcastle’s Handmade Artisan Market. The Market is held on the first Saturday of the month at The Junction Public School. Come along and spend a few hours exploring stalls, meeting the artisans and uncover fantastic locally handmade wares! Stalls include: printmaking, jewellery, design, handmade toys, fashion, photography, body products,  ceramics and more! There is also delicious food, organic bread, coffee and plants.

Time: 9:00AM - 3:00PM

The Wolfe Brothers @ The Small Ballroom

Hailing from Hobart

Tasmania, The Wolfe Broithers burst into the national spotlight after being voted into 2nd place on the 2012 Final of the nationally televised Australia’s Got Talent. An amazing feat for a country rock act. In 2013 the band toured all year on Lee Kernaghan’s Beautiful Noise Tour. Their debut album “IT’S ON“ remained in the ARIA charts for 35 weeks and has produced 3 hit singles.

The Wolfe Brothers are nominated for 4 Golden Guitars at the 2014 Country Music Awards and will release their second album in June 2014.

Doors: 7:30PM

Tickets: Kingdom Sounds

Backsliders @ Lizottes

As part of their 2014 tour, and in celebration of release of the new album ‘Refried’, Backsliders are back to play Lizotte’s Newcastle and Lizotte’s Kincumber. Dom Turner, Rob Hirst & Ian Collard will be playing their own primal mix of original blues, hollers and breakdowns, as well as arrangements of early 20th Century tracks from the devils music period. 2011 ARIA Blues and Roots nominees and I-Tunes Australian Blues and Roots album of the year winners, Backsliders have been playing, touring the festival circuit and recording for 25 years.

Despite this maturity, the latest release, ‘Starvation Box’ heralded as their best to date, has been described as sounding like “hungry youths from the Deep South”. Their sound melds driving Delta and Mississippi Hill country blues sounds with original 21st Century new blues anthems. Slide Guitarist, multi-stringed instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist, Dom Turner, is the founding member of the group. Dom’s influences are many and varied - a blend of delta blues, piedmont blues, rock, dub and sounds of Asia. He is a highly regarded speaker on blues and roots music and has guested on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) radio programs and presented music workshops at festivals and in universities (both nationally and internationally). As well as playing in the Backsliders, Dom has toured as a solo artist in the USA, playing Augusta Blues week in West Virginia in 1996 and 1998, and in early 2006, he toured Mexico with US blues greats, Del Ray and Steve James. In 2004 Dom was voted Songwriter of the Year’ at the Australian Blues Awards in Goulburn, NSW and has a sculpture in recognition of this honour at the Goulburn Visitors Centre. Drum and percussion virtuoso and songwriter Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil), an acclaimed name synonymous with the best of Australian music, has been with Backsliders for 12 years. As a founding member spending 25 years in Midnight Oil, Rob’s work needs no explanation - he stands as one of the world’s great drummers - now drawing on his early jazz and swamp-rock influences to produce a sound that is intergral to the Backsliders 21st century blues grooves. Rob’s achievements in the music industry are many and varied including In publishing his first work of prose on Pan McMillan - ‘Willies Bar & Grill’ telling the story of Midnight Oil’s USA & Canadian tour just after September 11.

Joining Dom and Rob are two of Australia’s most innovative and dynamic harmonica players; the legendary Brod Smith (Dingoes, Brod Smith’s Big Combo) and ARIA award winning harmonica genius Ian Collard (Collard, Greens & Gravy). The 2 blues-harp dynamos play alternate gigs, each blazing his own trail to the raw energy of the Backsliders sound. It’s a furious ride - with Dom Turner and Rob Hirst doing their thing, setting the grooves and taking no prisoners, and Ian and Brod (you never know who you will get) firing-up the amps to fuel the maelstrom. These guys are renowned for captivating live shows - an eclectic mix of blues styles moving from driving delta blues riffs and jungle-like rhythms to ‘Piedmont’ blues influenced ‘all-acoustic’ unplugged treatments of 1920’s songs by blues heroes such as Mississippi Fred McDowell and Robert Johnson. The achievements, success and reviews over the band’s 25 years tell it all.

Tickets: Litotes

The Pin Up Throwdown @ The Cambridge Hotel

Catfight Collections presents Pinup comp featuring 14 ladies all vying for the crown of Miss Pinup Throwdown 2014.

Featuring music by The Delta Lions and Pat Capocci Special guest appearances by La Darling Dolls burlesque troupe

Doors: 7:00PM

Tickets: $10 at door

The Stiffy’s @ The Lass O’Gowrie

Melbourne two-piece rock band The Stiffys have been widely heralded as the band to watch in 2013. Jason Leigh (bass) and Adam Stagg (drums) created the band from their share house to play a once-off show at a warehouse party.

They recorded their debut 13 minute album in one take from the same warehouse and found themselves on a sold out national tour not long after. The eccentric pair have been described as ‘like Death From Above 1979 on the beach’ and a ‘must see live act’.

Doors: 8:00PM

The Newcastle Roller Derby @ The Newcastle Entertainment Centre

Newcastle Roller Derby - Double Header!!

The 2 Newcastle representative teams are taking on teams comprised of players from other leagues throughout Australia.  The first game will commence at 5.30pm and is the NRDL Star Riots v the Sex Bob-ombs.  The second game will see the NRDL Dockyard Dames take on the Evil Exes.  Both games are full length bouts.

Doors: 5:00PM

Tickets: NRDL

Sunday 6th April


Newcastle’s classic 10km literally runs from a Hill to a Harbour and is the largest event in the Festival attracting over 2000 runners in 2014. 10km is a great distance to test your speed for serious runners and test your endurance for recreational runners.

Starting from Empire Park just up the road from the famous Merewether Beach break, the event lines up on Memorial Drive just past the Cooks Hill Surf Club and runs straight up towards the Strzelecki lookout. It climbs for 1.8km and then levels out to heads down- hill, entering beautiful King Edward Park. Winding through the Park, the run heads past the Bogey Hole and then onto the cliff leading to South Newcastle Beach, past the skate park and up onto Shortland Esplanade. The course then passes some classic Newcastle café’s, hotels and then past the historic Newcastle Ocean Baths. The course then approaches Nobby’s Beach (home of the Pasha Bulka for a while) turns right at the Nobby’s Surf Club House and towards the Macquarie pier, better known as Nobby’s Break-wall. It is then an out and back run of 3km and back to the surf club for stroll down the Wharf Rd passing Customs House, Newcastle Rail Station, Harry’s Café D Wheels and the Queens Wharf complex and Brewery. Turning just before the old Fanny’s night club site the course returns to Shortland Lawns on Foreshore Park and a great spectator crowd ready to bring you home. Newcastle Herald Hill to Harbour touches much of what Novocastians love about Newcastle. We hope you enjoy it too. Note a change to the course for 2014 is necessary. Runners will no longer run on Fort Drive and will instead run further out on the Beach-wall. If sea conditions are not favourable then runners will run the additional distance into the Honeysuckle area of the Foreshore. To register for this event visit newrun

Time: 6:30AM

Dave Carter @ Lizottes

Dave Carter has been performing and entertaining professionally in Australia for a little over three decades. Dave has had the opportunity to travel all across Australia and around the world performing in front of crowds that range from dark corner intimate acoustic gatherings, to enormous festival crowds of thousands. Dave is a songwriter, a multi instrumentalist, and an amazing vocalist, and his ability to caress an audience during a performance has left lasting impressions on many fans over the years.

Tickets: Lizottes

Road To Ransome @ The Hamilton Station

To celebrate the release of the long awaited debut album from Road to Ransome, they will be embarking on an east coast tour at the start of April. Having played in these towns on weekenders or one off shows, they are eager to return this time in a full tour to unleash their own brand of symphonic fueled metalcore. They will be playing the singles “Nightmare” and title track “Animus”, along with many others from this heavyweight of a release.

Doors: 9:00PM

Tickets: Free Entry

David Strassman @ Wests New Lambton  

David Strassman ‘Careful What You Wish For’

Riotously funny! An all new comedy creation from the twisted mind of Strassman.

Alternate realities? Parallel universes? Strassman’s side-splitting new show tumbles down the rabbit hole — a mind-bending journey where nothing is as it seems.

Chuck and Ted E. Bare are back, transformed by a strange ‘wish” into bizzaro- alternate selves. The road home may be scary for Strassman… but an hilarious scream for us!

What have the critics said? At the Edinburgh Festival, The List said “Absolute genius. The writing is truly superb and the performance – or should that be performances? – breathtaking in linguistic and ventriloquistic dexterity. Takes the ancient art of ventriloquism up several notches.”

Doors: 6:00PM

Tickets: Proticket 

Monday 7th April

We have loads of weekly Monday night options for you to choose from, check out our guide

Tuesday 8th April

Open Mic Night @ The Great Northern

Everyone is welcome to get up and perform or just enjoy the local talent

Time: 7:00PM

Wednesday 9th April

John Butler Trio @ Civic Theatre

The John Butler Trio recently completed a quick stint of thrilling performances in capital cities selling out small capacity iconic venues around the country as they introduced new tunes and their new drummer, Grant Gerathy. With the trio’s sixth studio album ‘Flesh & Blood’ locked and loaded for a February 7th global release the band are pleased to announce a national tour, their first extensive Australian tour in 4 years.

The John Butler Trio’s ‘Flesh & Blood’ album tour will take in major capital cities and a host of regional centres throughout March and April 2014. Fans can expect a set list encompassing tracks from their new album ‘Flesh & Blood’ as well as crowd favourites from the breadth of the trio’s catalogue.

‘Only One’, the first single from the album, released on November 15th, offers a fresh take on JBT’s signature sound. Cascading acoustic riffs flow effortlessly over driving rhythms while sun kissed steel drums and an inspirational melody and lyric delivers a quality summer soundtrack. It’s already been welcomed with open arms by fans and media alike with community and commercial radio, triple j and ABC radio stations around the country embracing the new tune.

‘Flesh & Blood’ was recorded in John’s studio ‘The Compound’ in Fremantle Western Australia, with Jan Skubiszewski (Way Of The Eagle) in the producer’s chair. “Working with Jan was everything I hoped for and more,” Butler says. ” I really loved his musicianship, ideas, communication skills and the sounds he was pulling. His suggestions were always spot on and he really became the fourth member of the band. His experience with the wide variety of music he’s made and produced was just perfect for the eclectic band we are.”

‘Flesh & Blood’ captures the John Butler Trio working up old strengths and finding new ones even at a time of change. For fans, there is much to take from this, their sixth album. “I hope they go on a journey with it or take it with them on a journey.” Butler reflects. ” I hope it can be the soundtrack for some cool moments in their life and some shit moments in their life and I hope it can be there for them at the ebb of their energy wave and at the crest of it. In the loud times and the quiet times. That would be nice, and I think that’s what all good art’s done for me. It’s been there for me, in one way, or another.”

The John Butler Trio are very pleased to have Emma Louise and her band as special guests for the Flesh & Blood Tour.

Doors: 7:00PM

Tickets: Ticketek

Mundine Fight @ Newcastle Entertainment Centre

Anthony Mundine will fight former IBF welterweight world champion Joshua Clottey in Newcastle on April 9.

Mundine, the No.4-ranked contender for Floyd Mayweather’s WBA super-welterweight title, will fight New York-based Ghanaian Clottey, 36, on Wednesday, April 9, at Newcastle Entertainment Centre.

Mundine has fought in Newcastle twice before, winning unanimous decisions over Mexican Rigoberto Alvarez in 2011 and Japan’s Crazy Kim in 2008.

Clottey (37-4, 22 KOs) beat Zab Judah in August 2008 to win the vacant IBF title but vacated it the following April without making a defence.

His other big win was over American Diego Corrales in 2007, and his losses were to world champions Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Carlos Baldomir. He has not been stopped. Clottey isn’t ranked but has won his past two fights.

Doors: 6:00PM

Tickets: Ticketek

Maids @ The Small Ballroom

Fresh off touring their explosive brand of heavy rock everywhere from the East Coast to WA, Maids have just dropped their new video for I’m Afraid, as well as a fresh round of tour dates this April to retake the East Coast with a wave of unparalleled loudness and debauchery.

The video for I’m Afraid is ambitious in its portrayal of the song’s dark psychotic themes. Filmed entirely in Sean Cook’s living room, Maids teamed up with Lumina Visual to create a drowned and deserted city that pairs brilliantly with Sean Cook’s lyrical journey of fear and idealistic dreams - a cinematic exploration of the grey and depressing grass on the other side. This video allows a sneak peak into the dynamic relationship of Sean Cook and Matt James as the camera shifts between Cook’s softer melodic verses and James’ powerful choruses.

Doors: 8:00PM

Tickets: At door

Antics @ The Cambridge Hotel

with Glorified (MELB) + Ambleside + Pasha Bulka + Hourglass + Fresh Nelson

Antics is a mid-week student party, held every wednesday night from 8.30pm featuring the best up and coming original live bands and Newcastle’s best Dj’s. Drinks are priced for the student budget plus there is free pool, free jukebox and free entry all night.

Doors: 7:00PM

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