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Guide to Honi Soirée

Avani Dias and Xiaoran Shi give you a taste of what’s on offer at Honi Soirée, a Red Rattler fundraiser happening at the Rat on August 9.


Serendipity doesn’t even begin to describe how Nic and Misha came together to form Melbourne duo, FRIENDSHIPS. They worked together at a tyre factory, where Nic fell in love with the invoices Misha adorned with abstract doodles. Fate was sealed when coding enthusiast Nic mistakenly wrote code in the music programming software Max/MSP, and a series of tones and rhythms was played back.

Thus, the stage was set for the pair to explore together their respective passions: Misha and visual art; Nic and electronic production.

Drawing heavily on the languid hip hop production of the southern Californian scene, you can expect to hear echoes of Shlohmo in their sly percussive  language, and Samiyam in their labile dynamics which are as imaginative as they are intense.

Nic foresees that their upcoming gig will be “probably the greatest live audio/visual show” ever. While we cannot make such lofty promises, you can most definitely expect no funk. “I hate funk.”


Leigh Hannah, the man behind THE TOWNHOUSES, admits to identifying with auteur, Woody Allen, a personality notorious for his unabashed neurosis. Allen’s resolutely singular vision has yielded an oeuvre of prolifically personal films, and Leigh arguably applies a similar approach in his musical endeavours.

A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Leigh finally made the leap to solo production after years spent playing in bands.

The seed of The Townhouses in its current form was born in a backyard shed as spare guitar-based instrumentals and developed, over time, into layered electronic arrangements which retain the intimacy and minimalism of his earlier efforts.

Listening to the absent elements of his music is just as satisfying as the synth melodies which — never insisting upon themselves — dissolve into the vapour of a hushed vocal, of far away chimes.

Expect all of this and more, including  a Youth Group cover, at the show.


reckless vagina

RECKLESS VAGINA is a name that can provoke a number of interesting images and reactions. When asked why a five-piece from Sydney decided to make music under this often controversial title, they simply asked if either word was truly bad. However, the music made by this band is strong, refreshing, and anything but offensive.  They unite emphatic guitars with eclectic synths to create delightfully poppy tunes.

Their live performance is their most memorable facet – from psychedelic interpretations of ‘Advance Australia Fair’, to spontaneous, audience collaborations, you don’t need to know the songs of Reckless Vagina to have an entertaining experience.

When asked what we can expect from their live set, they simply said, “ever seen a cricket compilation of classic sixes from the 80’s?  Well if that can translate musically, that’s what you’ll get”.  You’d be reckless to miss it.


moon holiday

Alexandra Ward is a Sydney electronic producer who makes music as MOON HOLIDAY. She creates moody beats accompanied by her ethereal voice. Her musical ambitions started off after moving to Australia from China, “I was coping with changing cities at the age of sixteen and so I relied on technology rather than friends to make music.”

After winning FBi Radio’s Northern Lights Competition, she featured on Flume’s incredibly successful, self-titled album, and sang in Karen O’s choir during the Vivid festival.

Her live performances are dynamic and sexy with a level of improvisation that is often hard to obtain from a producer. With a new EP on the way and a fresh approach to her live sets, Moon Holiday’s performance at  Honi Soirée will keep you dancing in space.


mere women

No romance, but plenty of love goes into the souds of MERE WOMEN, who are inner west veterans with diverse influences that meander from Beyonce to Bowie to the various incarnations of Steve Albini. An overwhelming urgency dominates their music, which houses the restless tussle between Amy’s paranoid snarls and Flyn’s frenetic drumming.

Mere Women are in possession of a rich history from which to seek inspiration and reinvention. Their brand of “post-punk pop” is very much in touch the substance of everyday life without managing to lose sight of what went before and what might be. It’s music for listening, for dancing, for reminiscing.



A live experience with Sydney three-piece, MILKK, is a step into a very lush jam session filled with perfect guitar licks and experimental, progressive rock. They were talented enough to join the likes of Tim Freedman, Cloud Control and The Vines when they won the 2012 Sydney University band competition. USYD’s musical elite has been bred through this annual competition, and the first prize money of $2500 has allowed for the band to develop their sound and release a self-titled EP.

Although primarily instrumental, Milkk are not afraid of dropping a high-pitched, shrill wail mid-set. However, this lack of singing has by no means restricted storytelling through their tracks.

Milkk have promised Zumba and sweat from their upcoming live set and if that isn’t reason enough to see them, then maybe their excellent music is.


the dharma

After being finalists in the 2012 USYD band competition, THE DHARMA quickly made waves on the Sydney music scene. With hints of psych-rock, jazz, and dub reggae in their music, The Dharma’s tunes push the term ‘genre’ to unexplored territories.

Innocent jam sessions between teenagers naturally turned into pub gigs for The Dharma. Their live sets are incredibly tight, and a mesh of written material and improvisation: “We’re building a new set now but keeping it open for jamming and room for whatever we feel is right on the night.”

Look forward to sax solos and a merging of electronic and organic music at Honi Soirée.


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