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PHOTOS : SYDNEY SHOW (THE FACTORY FLOOR) WITH PINKY BEECROFT & BAD BITCH CHOIR
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PHOTOS & REVIEW : ALBUM LAUNCH CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE
Live Review : Damian Cowell's Disco Machine w/ Pinky Beecroft 4.0 and Thin White Ukes
The Corner Hotel - Saturday March 4th, 2017by Lisa Dib / Photos by Danni L
The evening’s proceedings open with a rather relaxed introduction to the charming Thin White Ukes who, in case it isn’t immediately obvious, are a three-piece ukulele David Bowie tribute act. They performed a mixture of Bowie hits and lesser-knowns with three-piece harmonic vocals for a bustling crowd; although it seemed a little low-key for some, it was a breezy and unique starter for the evening. What else is the Melbourne scene good for, anyway, if not busting out rare and odd gems like that?
Pinky Beecroft, former Machine Gun Fellatio frontman, followed with his new musical projectPinky Beecroft 4.0. The provocative frontman maintains today the same dark libidinousness he brought to MGF, something that, amongst other qualities, made them one of Aussie music’s most original and fun acts. Beecroft and band tore through a number of MGF favourites like sultry All of Them Ladies, an energetically revamped Wot U Got, filthy dirge Hollywood and the cunnilingus classic Pussytown, as well as the gung-ho charging Rock Boots, a 2011 track from Pinky Beecroft & The White Russians; he also included a new track, recently penned, simply and elegantly titled Fuckwit.
Beecroft marries a hefty share of verbose cynicism with an enticing wantonness; as he drawls through the band’s smoky cover of Blondie’s Call Me, a hedonistic fog fill the room. He is able to quickly jump from this to chattily engaging the crowd and enjoying the music all to himself. A charismatic, arresting performer (indeed, he seems to slow strip off as the set progresses, but I imagine a woolen jacket wasn’t super comfortable under those stage lights, to be fair), Beecroft doesn’t seem to be too fazed about the occasional gawping from the audience pit, because he seems so engrossed in his songs; he’s got a story to tell, you see, and you can listen or not, but he’s gonna tell it anyway - but you might as well get in on it, ‘cause it’s a humdinger.
Onto stage comes Damien Cowell, his band and accompanists - Emily Jarrett and Bek Chapman join Cowell in the singing and dancing element, making the show feel like a big 70s revue, which I suppose was the idea - and before long, they’re burning through the tracks from their latest record, Get Yer Dag On!. Comedian Tony Martin joins in for a few numbers, including synthy excursion Where The Fuck’s The Vengabus? and 2015’s Don’t Hector The Safety Cat, having a bloody whale of a time, clearly.
Comedy persona Ed Kavalee comes out for dub-y dance track Ennui Will Rock You, looking a touch awkward taking the ‘rock star’ mic, but seeming to enjoy himself nonetheless; folksy warbler Liz Stringer adds her steely, gorgeous vocals to Come On Waleed (“All my heroes go down the S-bend”) and Beecroft returns to the stage to accompany the band and Myf Warhurst for soul-rockier I Smell M.A.N.
By the time dance-rock number 365 Lemmys enters the setlist, the stage is packed tight: as well as the Disco Machine and Martin, local punks The Bennies join in, the lads tearing up the place and rousing the crowd to a fever. One of the lads climbs onto Cowell for a piggyback; the others gloriously flail around the stage and boogie themselves silly. It’s a wild time, and quite the sight. In classically daggy-fun style, the night ends with the band’s YMCA Frankenstein mash-up; bits and pieces of disco favourites, originals and even a nod at TISM, all blended and danced out via the cheesy Village People hit.
Everyone joins in for the dancing - because why not, when you know the moves? - and the Disco Machine go out in a flurry of dance beats, shimmies, Ys, Ms, Cs and As. A stellar evening in fine company.
[ 03.03.17 ]
RADIO : DAMIAN COWELL'S DISCO MACHINE PERFORM LIVE ON RRR'S BREAKFASTERS
Damian was interviewed the Friday before the Corner Show on RRR's Breakfasters before an acoustic rendition of 'Come On Waleed"
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INTERVIEWS : DC TALKS DAG
DC's been busy this week, doing media for the album and tour. Hear him espouse theories on phat beat disco, working with special guests and "standing in the rain for a forlorn look on your face, just as the celebrities open their venetian blinds."
DAMIAN COWELL ON:
Damian Cowell talks music, life and masks
February 23, 2017
Damian Cowell is a veteran of the Australian music scene. While the name may not be familiar, you have undoubtedly heard some of his music. From 1982 to 2004 he was an integral part of TISM, being part of the team responsible for such hits as (He’ll Never Be An) Ol’ Man River (aka “I’m on the drug that killed River Phoenix”) and Shut Up – The Footy’s On The Radio (which saw a lot of air time on both Triple M and Triple J).
Most recently Damian has been involved in a project dubbed Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine. The band released a self titled album in 2015, while the latest offering Get Yer Dag On! came out this month. He is also beginning a short tour with Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine during the next few months.
Even though he is a busy man Damian took time out to answer some questions about his new band, himself, and the required TISM related queries.
ML: To start with, for those uninitiated with the band, can you give an overview of what Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine (DCDM) is?
DC: Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine is the kind of music you need when you’ve been in meetings all day with people whose job is not to actually do anything other than be in meetings all day. Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine is the kind of music you need when you’ve been standing in a paddock all day listening to fragile, haunting, profound indie folk, yet all you sense is a lingering aroma of horseshit.
ML: So, why disco?
DC: Disco, to me, means dance music that isn’t cool.
ML: DCDM’s first album came out in February 2015, while the latest album Get Yer Dag On! came out this month. Can you explain a little about the new album? How is it different to the previous one?
DC: The first DCDM album came about after a protracted period of listening to full on 70s disco, so you can occasionally hear it in the bass lines and the manic violin parts, whereas with Get Yer Dag On! I widened my pre-writing inspiration to include non-cool dance music from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Basically, music I like to jig around like a fuckwit to. There are bigger choruses, more hooks, cheesier synth lines. It’s much closer to my original band’s predilections, only where my original band had a frantic martial tempo the whole time, the grooves on Get Yer Dag On! are slower and funkier, in keeping with where I am as a person these days – well, I dunno about funkier, but I’m definitely slower.
ML: What were you hoping to achieve with this new album? Which songs on the new album are you most happy with?
DC: I was actually hoping that, after this album came out, people would never again need to use the phrase ‘ex-TISM’. But then again, I also hope to wake up one morning after a night of beer and pizza and discover that I’ve got thinner. I can’t comment on the album’s better songs, because I’ve been working on them for 18 months and I’m completely immune to their qualities. There are little bits that still leap out of the mix and make it all seem worthwhile however, like Ryan Adamson’s bass fills on Can’t Stop The Music, or the way Bek Chapman and Emily Jarrett’s voices hang in the ether after the word ‘remuneration’ on Peachy – these are the small delights for me.
ML: On DCDM’s first album there was a selection of guest contributors. The guest list has grown considerably on Get Yer Dag On! Did this make it easier or harder when putting it together?
DC: It’s a fucking nightmare. I don’t know what I was thinking, asking all those people. Is it an addiction? Quite probably. Once I got two, I needed three. Once I’d got nine I needed ten. It was like collecting plastic spacemen from inside Corn Flakes packets. My Mum had to stop me from surreptitiously shoving three extra boxes of Corn Flakes into the trolley just as she was paying the check-out lady.
ML: What inspired the DCDM ‘format’ of inviting guests to contribute to disco-esque songs?
DC: It started when I was listening to Plastic Beach by Gorillaz. The way Damon Albarn slunk around in the background, while all these stars were in the foreground, yet it still had his recognisable, at times good, at times annoying, stamp to it. Of course I was listening to Mark Ronson as well, and Calvin Harris, and that type of thing. It’s hardly an unusual practice, to get guest vocalists. But in the case of your sorta male-model-ski-instructor DJ types, like your fucken Calvins, your Ronsons, your Guettas, the songs are catchy and all that, but you kind of feel like they came out of a Corn Flakes packet, if I could toss a little self-allusion in there. (Not to be confused with self-delusion, which is the real reason for this entire album, and the continuing state of my career.) I wanted it to sound like me, but often not coming from me.
ML: Who are you most surprised agreed to participate in the new album?
DC: Henry Rollins, of course. Because he’s from ‘over there’, and I hadn’t imagined he’d heard of me, or be in any way familiar with my work. But he was, which was a little surprising, I have to say.
ML: You crowdfunded this new album, as well as the last one. Why have you decided to go with crowdfunding? What benefits does it provide?
DC: I am not so deluded that I would go into massive debt in the hope that everyone would buy my record and come to my shows and everything would be alright. Crowdfunding basically keeps me in existence. Well, in a public sense. It allows me to plan my next move according to the level of funding. I would never do shows with a big band like this unless I had the budget beforehand. Without crowdfunding, we wouldn’t be chatting now.
ML: What does DCDM offer to those who come and see it live that no other band offers?
DC: We’re not debilitated by ‘coolness’. While I mean that answer in all its lazy brevity, there is a more detailed explanation. There’s a lot of dance music around at the moment which has the appropriately energising beats per minute, but an enervated air about it. I call it the ‘can’t be fucked’. It’s often in the vocals. The singer sounds either ‘can’t be fucked’ or depressed. Dance music that’s depressed? It ought to be a paradox. I think it’s coolness. Nobody seems to want to scream and shout and jump around and carry on. It’s like they’re playing ironic dance music. Coolness before abandon. The ‘can’t be fucked’.
Well, you won’t find anything ‘can’t be fucked’ about the Disco Machine live. I appreciate that people who come to shows have to endure the travel to and fro, finding a parking spot, the inflated bar prices, the increasing ache of their feet on the unforgiving venue floor, the annoying fuckwit who plonks right in front of them and sways from side to side, obscuring their view of the stage – they have worked hard for this show. To get up, like most performers do, with the attitude of: “I’m great. I’m going to do whatever the fuck I feel like, because it’s yourprivilege, not mine” is a direct personal insult to everyone in the room.
So I strive to make our live show so upbeat, silly, eye-catching, that you will forget your troubles – maybe even for the rest of the night. There’s too much for your eyes to take in: forget about me, there’s two beautiful women with fabulous voices doing very silly dance routines. Our guitarist is a show unto himself. And if that’s not enough – and I don’t think it should be enough – there are video clips for every song, so that even if you don’t know the words, you can sing along. And when you are singing along, you might notice that the words aren’t the sort of words normally associated with dance music.
So that’s a little extra flavour for you to think about later. That’s what you get when you see the Disco Machine. Giant stadium-sized shows in small venues. It’s the least you deserve as an audience.
ML: What is it like performing with the rest of Damien Cowell’s Disco Machine, especially when compared to your previous bands?
DC: I wish they had been around when I was 20.
ML: Speaking of previous bands, mandatory TISM-related questions time. You must have known it was coming. Is it more or less restricting, either in a literal or metaphorical sense, now that you aren’t wearing the mask?
DC: It’s less restricting, but that’s a massive generalisation. I was in a famous band without ever having to worry about how cool I looked. That was a massive advantage, and undoubtedly helped me be more true to myself. However, I was only being partially myself, because I was part of a collective with a collective mindset. Now – it’s me. And I still don’t have to worry about being cool, because – well – have you seen me lately?
ML: What do you think whenever you see a band trying the mask shtick?
DC: I have to persuade myself that TISM were better than the shit gimmick for which most people remember them.
ML: Let’s move away from TISM and talk about you. Has age tempered the songs you write at all? Or are your songs even more politically, socially and culturally charged?
DC: Some of the lyrics I wrote for TISM weren’t that great. I’m a much better lyricist now. I don’t expect anyone to give a shit about that, but it’s important to me to keep improving. These days I also roam further in moods – some of my lyrics are wistful or melancholic, in amongst the silliness – sometimes all at the same time. These days I’m less likely to point the finger at others. I write in the first person, because I’m as fucked and shallow and venal as anybody. But that doesn’t mean age has necessarily tempered me. ‘I smell M.A.N’ is pretty out there.
ML: You are almost exclusively known for ‘fun’ or ‘novelty’ songs. Are you annoyed that you painted yourself into a corner? How do you think your fans would react if you released something serious or heartfelt?
DC: OK Matt, you used a couple of interesting phrases there. Whereas ‘fun’ is a neutral term, ‘novelty’ is a pejorative term which implies something worthless, ephemeral, loud and showy yet by its nature soon to be obsolescent. Something by ‘Crazy Frog’, for instance, might be considered a novelty song. A song that is definitively of a moment, ever more to be referred to as a curio, in a ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ way. Does this apply to TISM? I’d say if you disliked the idea of TISM, or you weren’t aware there was much else going on other than masks and swearing, you’d call their music ‘novelty’. And believe me, many have. Another phrase you’ve used, “painted yourself into a corner” is an emotive phrase which implies that the protagonist does not wish to be there, or is not in an ideal place.
If you were to use the phrase “Are you annoyed that you have maintained a consistent focus” it implies a completely different bias, yet is essentially the same question. No-one would ask Nick Cave if he was annoyed at painting himself into a corner because he was exclusively known for serious lyrical themes. It would seem nonsensical. That’s because popular opinion regards something which is ‘fun’ (we’ll leave out ‘novelty’, if we can just puff up my self-importance for a moment) as a less worthy artistic endeavour than something ‘serious’. I understand this, but I don’t agree with it. I like ‘fun’ music, but I often yearn for there to be a twist, or something you can get your teeth into, amongst the fun.
That’s what I try to do. I don’t always succeed, but it’s what I attempt. It’s extremely difficult to do, and if you can pull it off, it’s twice the artistic achievement of something that is one dimensionally – there’s my pejorative term – serious. Contrary to your suggestion, I have included such one-dimensionally serious and/or heartfelt songs on almost every one of the albums I’ve done since TISM. On ROOT!’s Surface Paradise there’s Home, which is a song about loss, among other things. On the DC3’s May Contain Traces Of Nut there’s Something Good which is not in the slightest bit ironic or mocking.
On the same album Being is bleakness personified, and Market Forces is like an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror. On the Vs. Art album I did for MONA in 2011, the majority of themes explored are serious in nature, including despair, love, self-hatred and nostalgic longing. How would my fans react? Well, I haven’t seen any particular controversy or complaints. I’ve had a few compliments, which is very encouraging, but you won’t find much evidence of it on my current Disco Machine album, and that’s deliberate, because I believe my listeners deserve better than me being lazy and one-dimensional.
Am I suggesting that some purveyors of ‘serious’ music might be lazy and one-dimensional? Geez, that’s an extreme claim – I wouldn’t do that, would I…?
Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine is touring nationally, appearing in Melbourne on 4 March, Sydney on 10 March and Brisbane on 11 March. Get Yer Dag On! is out now on the Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine website.
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NEWS : NEW ALBUM RELEASED TO 4.5 STAR REVIEW
Following a 5 star review in The Guardian, Damian Cowell's Disco Machine released their album this morning.
Hello my fabulous friends,
For me, what must you have given up? A holiday? Shoes? That money you owed the nice man from the Coffin Cheaters? And what can I give you in return? Ladies and gentlemen, this is not my album. This is our album. Thank you for making it possible.
OFFICIALLY RELEASED TODAY :
Digital download of Get Yer Dag On! The second album from Damian Cowell's Disco Machine. Physical copies will be sent in the mail to pledgers who ordered.
Check your email inbox for the download code.
HEAR IT NOW:
Available for purchase on Bandcamp: Both the Digital or Disc version: http://www.damiancowell.com/buy-stuff.html
See the band and Tony Martin tonight at The Barwon Club Hotel Geelong supported by Pinky Beecroft
SHOWS COMING UP:
See the band live in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Tickets on the Buy Stuff page of this website.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled for interviews with DC on Pulse FM Geelong, Pixel Pop Network, PBS FM and more as the weeks go by. We'II post direct to the Facebook page.
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INTERVIEW: KIDS LOVE BALLOONS
DC joined Chris Holland for a lengthy chat about simple pleasures and suicidal thoughts while nominating the three songs that make him most happy.
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NEWS: SUPPORTS CONFIRMED AS DAMIAN COWELL'S DISCO MACHINE PREPARE FOR 'GET YER DAG!' TOUR
Special guests on stage at Melbourne show:
JUDITH LUCY, THE BENNIES, MYF WARHURST,
ED KAVALEE, TONY MARTIN & PINKY BEECROFT
Joining the Disco Machine in Geelong, Sydney and Melbourne, Pinky Beecroft.
Beecroft was (and still is) the front-person for a bunch of bands, he was on the TV-show The Glasshouse, he was on a bunch of other shows, he does one-man live spoken-word comedy performance stuff, he writes TV & films and plays piano & instruments & everything and he hangs out with people like wildlife experts & firemen & forklift operators and he once saved a child from drowning no it was an adult and it wasn’t drowning but he saved it that’s what they reckon. And also he was in a band called The White Russians. Or maybe it was called something else. But it was really, really good.
THE THIN WHITE UKES
Age writer Michael O'Dwyer's band The Thin White Ukes will appear at the Melbourne launch. This will be a real treat, so get in early.
"Bowie with a darkness and delicacy that gives you goosebumps" — Angie Hart
"A new standard of what to expect from this humble instrument" — Steve Kilbey
"The best version of ‘Ashes To Ashes’ you ever heard" — Robert Forster
BAD BITCH CHOIR
Back due to popular demand when they played the 2015 Sydney Launch of Damian Cowell's Disco Machine, this roster of 20 femme fatales, the Bad Bitch Choir has become an inner west phenomenon. Whisperings about their boisterous performances and shiny outfits are getting louder, and now the Bad Bitches are ready to roar. They’ve stomped on stages like The Vanguard, Oxford Art Factory, the Newtown Social Club and GOODGOD, performing solo and with respected local artists The Stiffys, Hobo Bordeaux, Twincest and Pinky Beecroft. One of the Bad Bitch Choir’s most exciting opportunities so far was to play with Clare Bowditch and Adalita at The Factory Theatre for Clare’s Winter Secrets tour.
Support the supports. See you at a show.
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NEWS: ALBUM ARTWORK RELEASED - PRE ORDER NOW
In anticipation of the official album release on the 20th of February 2017, DC has released the artwork for the new album "Get Yer Dag On!" featuring 17 special guests. The cover is a hand-inked rendering of all the album's contributors, completed by Damian himself.
We hope to see you at a show this February / March.
In the meantime, pre-order your copy here:
Note: Listening Party pledgers will receive their album copies on the 17th February. The album will be available for purchase at the Geelong album launch on February 18.
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MUSIC CLIP: 'COME ON WALEED' RELEASED - SEE IT ON ABC RAGE
The clip, the whole clip and nothing but the clip.
The homemade video we've all been waiting for!
Press play to watch the full version of "Come on Waleed" featuring Henry Rollins, Liz Stringer, Tony Martin, Andrew Hansen, Sabrina D'Angelo, Gogglebox cast members Angie & Yvie with Damian Cowell's Disco Machine and friends.
Enjoy and do a disco machine a solid... share us, flu like.
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ARTICLE: THE AGE / SYDNEY MORNING HERALD INTERVIEW DC & TONY MARTIN AS HENRY ROLLINS IS ANNOUNCED AS ONE OF MANY SPECIAL GUEST ON UPCOMING ALBUM.
BY MICHAEL DWYER:
The first time Tony Martin met Damian Cowell he had no idea who was inside the balaclava. Martin was on air with Mick Molloy at Fox FM in Melbourne when two members of techno-rock-satire troupe TISM arrived in full regalia for their scheduled interview.
The radio comedians couldn't have known that the masked man identifying as Humphrey B. Flaubert was in fact a mild-mannered advertising copywriter from sister station Triple M, taking a sneaky break from his office cubicle downstairs.
Damian had called a cab, left his desk and gone down to the back alley to meet up with Ron Hitler-Barassi and get into these giant inflatable archbishop costumes," Martin says.
"They got in the cab and drove round to the front of the building, came up and did the interview, then he went downstairs again, got changed and went back to his desk.
The masked members of TISM in 2004. "It was a full 10 years before I knew that," he says.
A further 10 years later, give or take, the former D-Gen comedian is no less surprised to find himself an integral part of Damien Cowell's Disco Machine, a band that picks up where TISM left off, but with a long red carpet of high-profile guests where the carefully guarded anonymity used to be.
"Henry Rollins was in Melbourne," Cowell explains of his new album's biggest cameo, "and I'm friends with the person who was his stage manager.
"It turns out he has a copy of [TISM's] Great Trucking Songs of the Renaissance so he was happy to do it, but it was this total fly-by-night moment: basically an iPhone recording of him sitting in his dressing room knocking out a few takes of the phrase 'Come on Waleed'."
That's the title of the first single from Get Yer Dag On, the second album by Cowell's Disco Machine. With its references to disgraced heroes Rolf Harris, Bill Cosby, Lance Armstrong and Gary Glitter, it's a classic Cowell social commentary, using celebrity foibles to illustrate the decline of human civilisation to an irrepressible electro-dance beat.
"All my heroes they turned into Satan/ You're my new renaissance man and so I'm supplicating/ Come on Waleed don't go changin' on me," he pleads in between soulful interjections by Liz Stringer as the band gallops through a Bee Gees-cum-Prince pastiche.
The album's 18-odd cameos also include Ella Hooper, Josh Pyke and Henry Wagons. Myf Warhurst sings, Shaun Micallef croons and Kate Miller-Heidke returns for her second guest appearance in as many Disco Machine albums.
It's Adalita who nails the hook to what might, thematically speaking, be the key track. Barry Gibb Came Fourth In A Barry Gibb Lookalike Contest is a true story, Cowell insists: a suitably insane microcosm of the rising idiocracy's preference for reality TV over reality.
"That's how I try to work," he says. "I'll take something that may be thought-provoking and totally trivialise it, shrink it down to the stupidest concept. I'm always writing about the facade of life and hopefully alluding to what's beneath it all."
Hence the wide net of spring-loaded cultural references, from Grohl to Pistorius, Sun Tzu to the Venga Boys, bebop to Bonehead from Oasis, and 365 Lemmys to Ennui Will Rock You.
READ MORE: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/a-tale-of-two-dags-tisms-damien-cowell-and-tony-martin-continue-the-satire-with-new-album-20170102-gtklqs.html
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VIDEOS & PHOTO FOOTAGE : DAMIAN COWELL'S DISCO MACHINE FEAT. TONY MARTIN AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF VIC NGV FRIDAY NIGHTS
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RARE INTERVIEW : NGV SIT DOWN WITH DAMIAN COWELL DAYS BEFORE HIS DISCO CHRISTMAS SHOW
We interviewed Damian Cowell, who will be headlining NGV Friday Night at NGV International with Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine (With Tony Martin) Presents: Disco Christmas on Friday 23 December 2016.
You’ve been creating music since the 1980’s, and have collaborated with a multitude of other musicians and performers over the years. Has your sound been influenced by working with other artists?
I’ve recently discovered that when people with awesome voices like Kate Miller-Heidke or Liz Stringer sing my nonsense it sounds like art, and all of a sudden I don’t want to give it all up and take up lawn bowls. This is good news for me. Bad for the general public.
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NATIONAL TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED : GET YER DAG ON!
"Hello everyone. It's me here.
The new Disco Machine album is a big sizzling paella of goodyness, and I'm still throwing ingredients in at the last minute. And here's the exciting news: we're serving it up to you live and loud, complete with special guest stars, this coming summer.
The tiny-yet-gargantuan 'Get Yer Dag On!' tour starts at the Barwon Club in Geelong - the first time I've played there in more than 30 years - then hits Melbourne, Sydney and, thanks to my overachieving Pozible result, we're going to make it to Brisbane!
We'll be joined on the tour by our motivational guru Tony Martin, we'll also have the fabulous Pinky Beecroft with us for the first 3 shows, and we'll have more special guests to announce in the coming weeks.
If you were there last time at our Melbourne and Sydney album launches, you'll know they both sold out, so if you haven't already, it's a good idea to get your tickets early.
You have my word: this will be one big, silly party."
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LIVE FOOTAGE: THE VIDEO THAT WENT VIRAL - RRR SKULLCAVE FOR MELBOURNE MUSIC WEEK AT THE STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA - DAMIAN COWELL'S DISCO MACHINE
Here it is - the live Facebook video of Damian Cowell's Disco Machine debuting 'Come on Waleed' that was viewed by over 20,000 people overnight.
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LIVE SHOW : DAMIAN COWELL'S DISCO MACHINE (WITH TONY MARTIN) PLAY THE NGV NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA THIS DECEMBER 23
DAMIAN COWELL'S DISCO MACHINE (WITH TONY MARTIN) PRESENTS: DISCO CHRISTMAS
FRI 23 DEC, 6PM
NGV INTERNATIONAL Part of NGV Friday Nights
Start the weekend early with NGV Friday Nights, including live performances by international and Australian acts, after-hours access to major summer exhibitions David Hockney: Current and Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists, DJ sets in the NGV Garden, talks, food and bars.
Doors open 6pm. Headline act from 8.30pm
HEADLINE: DAMIAN COWELL’S DISCO MACHINE (WITH TONY MARTIN) PRESENTS DISCO CHRISTMAS
Australian music legend Damian Cowell – the voice of TISM – and his disco friends are joined by comic icon Tony Martin to bring you the most vicious satire, adorable silliness and killer disco beats. You’ll be smiling all the way into the new year at their NGV Friday Nights performance.
DJ: WOODY MCDONALD
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TARGET HIT : IT'S OFFICIAL. THE NEXT DAMIAN COWELL'S DISCO MACHINE ALBUM HAS BEEN FUNDED. THANKS TO CROWDFUNDING, THEY'RE BACK.
The Disco Machine have done it again, attracting well above the $15K in crowd funding that they needed to kick start the next album.
"I'd like to begin by saying thank you to you every last gold-hearted, deep-pocketed one of you who gave the Disco Machine bandwagon another coat of paint and a push back onto the freeway. You're all stars! Because of you, I've started scheming. Phone calls have been made. The map of world domination has little coloured drawing pins on it." - DC
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EDITORIAL: SHAUN MICALLEF INVIITES DAMIAN COWELL TO PEN A FEATURE FOR LAST SATURDAY'S SPECTRUM LIFT OUT IN THE AGE NEWSPAPER
On the eve of the final day of Damian Cowell's Disco Machine's Pozible funding campaign, Damian Cowell has been featured in the Saturday Spectrum section of The Age, an issue put together by special guest Editor, Shaun Micallef, (collaborator on the Disco Machine's first album in 2015).
The article entitled "The Summer Spotify" is a thoughtful dissertation on the industry of nostalgia which gives a nod to Melbourne's RRR radio station and tries to understand how "Music no longer defines your lifestyle – it's the other way around. "
Will Shaun return to the microphone for the upcoming album? Only one way to find out. It's the 24th of October. You have less than 24 hours to snatch your reward or pre order your album on Pozible : https://pozible.com/project/get-yer-dag-on
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NEW ALBUM FUNDING CAMPAIGN : THE DISCO MACHINE LAUNCH CROWD FUNDING CAMPAIGN WITH DC + JUDITH LUCY DUET "PEACHY"
If You Wouldn't Mind Giving Me Some Of Your Money, That Would Be Peachy!
In 2014, engorged with your love and support, I staggered into the public consciousness like a drunk at closing time and made Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine – the band, the album, the tour - and managed to persuade Tim Rogers, Shaun Micallef, Tony Martin, Kate Miller-Heidke, John Safran, Julia Zemiro, Sam Pang, Lee Lin Chin, Liz Stringer, Kathy Lette and the Bedroom Philosopher to join me for the ride.
Shaking my sorry ass was so much fun I went back to the broom cupboard and started work on new songs to do your vacuuming to – only this time, I widened my scope from the joys of 70s disco to 80s, 90s and 2000s disco – bigger choruses, bigger beats, bigger and cheesier hooks. It would be a clarion call for everyone to ‘Get Yer Dag On!’ And I started imagining a fresh list of guest superstar cameos.
The first of these was Judith Lucy, who joined us on ‘Peachy’. I even made a crappy home video of it.
But that’s when the disco piggybank cried poor. So here I am, at your door. Do you feel like going at it, once more?
How The Funds Will Be Used
With your love, I will once more enlist the talents of the mighty Disco Machine. I will make Get Yer Dag On! – the album. I’ll invite a star-studded cast to join me. I’ll ask my favourite director to make a ‘proper’ clip and we’ll bring it all to you in a bunch of celebratory nights where everybody can dance like no-one is watching.
Well, you probably know me by now. I ain’t pretty. But hopefully, I’ve earnt your trust. There’ll be challenges, surely – but with your patronage, challenges can fuck off for starters.
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SHOWS: THE DISCO MACHINE TO APPEAR AT MELBOURNE'S FRINGE FESTIVAL : A 50 minute multimedia extravaganza of "vicious satire, adorable silliness and killer songs.”
TISM mastermind Damian Cowell and his bootylicious friends bring you the disco party of the year.
It’s a multimedia extravaganza featuring dancefloor shakers like: Where The Fuck’s The Vengabus?, 365 Lemmys, Barry Gibb Came 4th In A Barry Gibb Lookalike Contest - even a crazy disco collision between Radiohead and the Village People. Why did over 16,000 Australians sign a petition for this man to represent us at Eurovision? Because there’s never been anyone like TISM.
And Damian Cowell, the voice of “I’m on the drug that killed River Phoenix” is back, with his hot young band pumping out “vicious satire, adorable silliness and killer songs.”
Why did Shaun Micallef, Tim Rogers, Kate Miller-Heidke, Tony Martin,John Safran and a host of other stars line up to appear as special guests on the recent DamianCowell’s Disco Machine album? Kate Miller-Heidke says he’s a “hero of Australian music” – or as Tim Rogers puts it: "If anyone's gonna make fun of me, better it be Damian rather than someone who writes bad songs".
Damian and his Disco Machine are gearing up to release a new album, again with a cast of guest stars, and their Fringe Festival show will feature songs from their new album, songs you’ll recognise and songs you never thought you’d hear this way…
As the Herald Sun raved: "Cowell is the master of killer punchlines and disco beats".
A Fringe highlight – don’t miss out.
Fringe Hub : Lithuanian Club - Main Theatre
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NEWS: THE DISCO MACHINE MAKES 2015 TOP 20
"If it’s not already an oxymoron, Damian Cowell is most famous for being one of the Australian anonymous members of art-rock band TISM. Since TISM broke up, he’s had a few projects (ROOT!, The DC3), and this is the debut of his most recent group. Cowell’s lyrics are wickedly satirical and his gift for pop hooks are well-served with the legitimately great disco arrangements. Whatever Cowell does is worth checking out, and the Disco Machine is no exception. Standout Track: I’m Addicted To Moderation."
- UNICORN BOOTY
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THANK YOU MELBOURNE : (LIVE PHOTOS ADDED)
Thanks for helping us crack the Christmas bon bon last Saturday night, Melbourne. Here's a preview from our team photographer. Many more where these came from - including 360 degree coverage of the audience and stage from all angles.
* VIEW DISCO CHRISTMAS GALLERY
* TAG YOURSELF ON THE BOOK OF FACE
In the meantime, the Disco Machine raises it's glass to you for the all-in sing and dance fest you put on for the band to keep up with. Synergy, folks. Synergy.
LYRICS FROM DISCO CHRISTMAS LIVE AT THE CORNER
Silent night holy night
Chadstone car park shitfight
Mr Range Rover who thinks parking’s his right
Vs chip-on-the-shoulder who king hits on sight
Only one car park to go
Somebody call triple O
Silent night holy night
Can’t get to sleep for the Christmas lights
The bloke up the road is at it again
Power restrictions and all cos of him
Snowy River’s a creek
Just so he can be best in the street
Silent night holy night
Finally got to sleep at 5
Back up at 6 cos some kid’s gone ga-ga
Mum didn’t buy him a Ferrari pedal-car
He’s cracking the shits on my lawn
Another AFL star is born.
BEAT MAGAZINE REVIEW:
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OÙ EST LE VENGABUS? : NEW SONGS FOR A LIVE AUDIENCE
DC and his Disco Machine, featuring Tony Martin will debut a few new songs for a live audience at this Saturday night's show at the Corner Hotel with Pinky Beecroft 4.0 and Anarchy in the Ukulele. OÙ EST LE VENGABUS? GET YOUR DAG ON and I HATE THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY will get a run, among others. It's that time of year, after all. Where the fuck's the venga bus?
Christmas by Cowell.
Does it get any better?
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PODCAST INTERVIEW : DC GUESTS ON TEN QUESTIONS WITH ADAM ZWAR
AN OFFICIAL APOLOGY TO RIVER PHOENIX & KEN DONE. A sad movie. A misshapen ambition to play in a StKilda premiership and how Peter Minack, in DC's own words, emboldened him "to stop being a third rate Elvis Costello and try and be a first rate Damian Cowell," during the very early days of TISM. It's all enclosed in this podcast interview, 'Ten Questions with Adam Zwar' for you to unwrap before Chrissy (the event, not the person).
Listen in and ask yourself if our beloved Humphrey B. Flaubert really just apologised to Nick Cave, the good people of Rowville, T.S. Elliot, Reo Speedwagon, Britney Spears, Hugo Race, people who hate Americans, Americans, Nick Cave, Edie Sedgwick, Kevin Bloody Wilson, the religious right, the lecturing left, Nick Cave... Who else?
Major kudos to everyone's favourite writer (see Lowdown / Wilfred television series and decades of music journalism) Mr Adam Zwar for soliciting and recording these admissions while he was in the car on the way from Tullamarine on a rainy day.
10 QUESTIONS WITH ADAM ZWAR FEATURING DAMIAN COWELL:
SUPPORT ADAM ZWAR'S GREAT WORK:
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RADIO : DC'S ALL OVER IT
We heard him with Dave O'Neil on ABC 774's 'Afternoons', today, before he appeared on PBS FM's 'The Afterglow' with Lyndelle Wilkinson.. But wait, there's more... DC and Tony Martin have just been announced as part of 3RRR's Summer Line Up.
"I'm spelt two ways as I join Tony Martin on @3RRRFM's as 'The Arseless Chaps', Sunday arvos 1-2." - DC
FROM THE STATION: Longtime 3RRR ‘floater’ Tony Martin (The Two Tones) is teaming up with Damian Cowell (formerly of TISM, currently of Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine) to help fill the summer gap on Sunday afternoons. From 1-2, join the Arseless Chaps, as they insist on calling themselves, for opinion, chat, and startling outbursts of bitterness. Filling in for the Downlow from 20/12/2015 – 6/2/2016. Sundays.
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INTERVIEW : DC ON AMATEUR HOUR WITH LAURA IMBRUGLIA
LAURA IMBRUGLIA GETS A DANCE LESSON FROM DAMIAN COWELL IN HER GARAGE
Beyond the closeted, shadowy halls of the Disco Machine rehearsal space, where Damian and his dancers practice pulling shapes to the sound of two drummers trying to outdo each other and Gordo tuning his guitar, no one has ever permeated the walls of their clandestine world.
In a special episode of her guerrilla style web-channel Amateur Hour, host, (the fabulous Laura Imbruglia) opened up her own personal garage for a DCDM dance lesson replete with crowd favourites, "F off C", the "Saturday Night Introvert" and the "I'm Only On The Dancefloor Because My Wife's On The Primary School Disco Committee."
Girl's got some rhythm. This all happens after Laura - in a Wayne's World style interview - draws comparison between DC and Diana Ross. You heard it first, kids. See you Saturday night at the Chrissy show.
"Morning! Here's our special garage edition mini-episode starring Damian Cowell (ex-TISM frontman, eternal legend), as promised. Go see his disco xmas gig this Sat night at The Corner Hotel! Learn how to dance from the master! TICKETS HERE " - Amateur Hour
OUTTAKES FROM THE AMATEUR HOUR INTERVIEW.
"We had the extreme honour of interviewing TISM's Damian Cowell ahead of his Disco Christmas show on Dec 19. This is an outtake that sadly ended up on the cutting room floor. Interview will be online tomoz :)"
Posted by Amateur Hour on Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Damian Cowell Interview Outtake
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RADIO: DC ON 'AFTERNOONS WITH DAVE O'NEIL' ABC 774
Damian went in for a chat on ABC 774's "Afternoons with Dave O'Neil" show. Wednesday 16th of December at 1.20 pm
"Look who they've just appointed head of ABC"
"Not sure which one is the most trouble. @itsdaveoneil @DamianCowellDC"
-ABC Radio Melbourne
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INTERVIEW : DC ON QUALITY TIME WITH JEAN & ANGUS
Quality Time with Jean & Angus Episode 32- with Damian Cowell
"Surprise! A bonus QTPOD before the festive season destroys us all! What an honour to have bona fide Australian legend Damian Cowell aka Humphrey B Flaubert from the legendary TISM join us at the QTPAD. We talk bad Christmas presents, Australia in the ‘80’s and keeping the spirit of anarchy alive.
Plus the first annual QTPOD awards!
Catch Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine w/ Tony Martin at the Corner Hotel, Sat 19th Dec, 2015. Tickets
Subscribe and listen via iTunes or Stitcher or stream below
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LIVE TRACK : FROM DC'S GUEST APPEARANCE : THE SWEETEST PLUM LIVE PODCAST EVENT - TRADES HALL, CARLTON - SUNDAY 5PM
DC made a short but very (bitter) sweet guest appearance at Declan Fay and Nick Maxwell's end of year live broadcast for "The Sweetest Plum" podcast at Trades Hall Sunday 13th of December.
The show also featured resident one man big boy band Steven Gates from Tripod, along with Geraldine Quinn.
Steven Gates assisted DC in delivering his first public tease of 'Disco Christmas' with an acoustic take on 'The Little Drummer Boy"
Listen if you dare:
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EDITORIAL : WHY WE LOVE DAMIAN COWELL - BY JOHN SAFRAN, TIM ROGERS, SHAUN MICALLEF, TONY MARTIN & KATE MILLER HEIDKE.
Ex-voice of TISM Damian Cowell is back in town, with guests Kate Miller Heidke, Liz Stringer and Tony Martin joining him for two shows to cap off a very big year. It's the 20th anniversary of him singing 'I'm on the drug that killed River Phoenix', he and his ex-colleagues were the people's choice to represent Australia at Eurovision. He released a solo album with a who's-who of Australian music and comedy as his guest stars, and to top it all off, he's been tracked down by the world's most 'trending' blogger.
Mere weeks before her anti body-shaming blog 'Tinder Date' shot her to notoriety with chat show hosts, stadium evangelists, self-loathing teens and academics all over the world, UK writer Michelle Thomas was on holiday in Australia, discovered the bizarre TISM-for-Eurovision petition and met the man at the centre of it all.
Here she talks to Damian's recruits and the man himself, as she attempts to make sense of why he out-voted Kylie Minogue by 75 to 1.
Interviews and story by Michelle Thomas with Jacqueline Donchi (for Nibbles Music)
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RADIO : RRR INTERVIEW WITH DAMIAN COWELL & TONY MARTIN ON THE BREAKFASTERS (INCLUDING LIVE PERFORMANCE WITH BAND OF "THINGS I SAID IN JOB INTERVIEWS")
Listen to a replay of Damian Martin and Tony Cowell (or was it Damian Cowell and Tony Martin) together on RRR at this link from Friday morning's final Breakfasters.
They discuss "dropping" tracks like a tray of glasses, the time Bill Hicks was on Hey Hey it's Saturday, TISM's final performance in which they were showered with one dollar coins (were you there?), the time Ted Emery (Kath n Kim) was ejected from a venue for heckling Ricky May and other scintillating topics including Tony's new job in the disco machine live band, filling in "for all of the people on the album who can't sing" before he joins the Disco Machine for a live to air recording of "Things I've Said In Job Interviews" (Tony does a killer Safran in this). Interview starts at 2 hours 48.
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NEWS : A NEW SONG FOR A LIVE AUDIENCE. HEAR IT AT 'DISCO CHRISTMAS' ON THE 19TH.
"In the minimal techno k-hole
They’re buying guitars and apeing Dave Grohl
All the femme fatales of indie folk
Have stopped singing like they’re choking on a sausage roll..."
Get Your Dag On.... with Damian Cowell's Disco Machine feat. Tony Martin (+ Pinky Beecroft & Anarchy in the Ukulele) at The Corner Hotel. 19th December.
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INTERVIEW: DAMIAN COWELL CHATS WITH MYF WARHUST ON DOUBLE J ABOUT 'DISCO CHRISTMAS' & WHY HE OWES HER AN APOLOGY
Fri 4 Dec, 11:00 am
TISM's Damian Cowell
He’s the voice behind TISM and now he’s serious about something else – disco. Damian Cowell joins Myf to talk recording a new disco album with friends and kicking off a national tour culminating in a special Christmas gig in Melbourne (Dec 19 Corner Hotel with special guests Tony Martin, Pinky Beecroft and Anarchy in the Ukulele).
Join massive music fan Myf Warhurst as she plays new releases, talks to musicians and dips into our vast archive of artist interviews and live music recordings. Oh - and of course, there's the music quiz!
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FOOTAGE: DC & KATE MILLER HEIDKE DO THE BEARD'S DUET "I'M GROWING A BEARD DOWNSTAIRS FOR CHRISTMAS" AT QMF
"Is there nothing Kate Miller-Heidke can't do? Surviving a duet with me…, then cred-ing-up opera https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_AdSV2ZF4w ." - DC
The Disco Machine played at Queenscliff Music Festival in November 2015. The day after their set, Kate Miller Heidke (who features on a duet on Damian's 'Disco Machine' album) invited DC to join her on stage during her set. They sang the charity single "I'm Growing A Beard Downstairs For Christmas" (by The Beards & KMH) to a packed house.
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GIG ANNOUNCMENT: DAMIAN COWELL'S DISCO MACHINE ft. TONY MARTIN presents: 'DISCO CHRISTMAS' - 19 DECEMBER 2015 - CORNER HOTEL
(SUPPORTED BY PINKY BEECROFT 4.0 AND ANARCHY IN THE UKULELE)
The voice of TISM and his super duper disco friends are joined by comic legend Tony Martin (and more special guests to be confirmed) for the Christmas party of the year on the 19th of December at The Corner Hotel.
The Disco Machine will be ‘re-interpreting’ those Christmas songs you normally hear on an album full of ex Idol contestants wafting out of shopping malls while some prick cuts you off in the carpark.
There’ll be tales of ‘my worst ever Christmas present’, door prizes, highlights from last February’s sold out show at the Corner and even a crazy disco collision between Nick Cave, Radiohead and the Village People.
It’s the 20 year anniversary of Damian Cowell singing ‘I’m on the drug that killed River Phoenix’ – now it’s time to celebrate with the most inappropriate Carols by Candlelight of the year. Get your “dag on” with the man 16,000 Australians voted to represent us at Eurovision.
Supported by Pinky Beecroft 4.0 (ex Machine Gun Fellatio) and Anarchy in the Ukulele.
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MUSING: WHAT NEXT FOR THE DISCO MACHINE?
They came, they saw, they took your money and ran.
Thankfully, they returned, with the great gift of song in the form of dystopian disco; downloadable, memorable, view-able discquetto ditties on youtube and (if you were lucky) on some hand-selected stages across the country.
Winter is a challenging season for a disco band. The fingers freeze over the keyboard, the bass isn't as easy to 'feel, brother'' as it was on that hot summer night and the girls flatly refuse to wear hot pants at rehearsals. ("Fuck that for a joke, boys".)
But the disco ship is yet to sink.
It's Captain slash Anchorman remains active, above and below deck.
Damian makes the occasional phantom appearance on Facebook if you're inclined to a bite-sized feed. (Thanks for your patience while his Twitter and Facebook addresses were updated and a search and rescue party were sent out for his old link's URL's. You are a patient mob.) Keep your eyes out for DC and co's movements on this website or sign up to the E-Newsletter if you fancy some inbox action.
You just never know... you may just get yourself a nice surprise on a warm summer night when the ship slaps to shore, cracks the hull on the concrete dock and a vaguely familiar man in a sensible suit appears on the plank, flanked by a crew of disco outlaws (and two inordinately talented gals in hot pants and neck ties).
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GIG: DAMIAN COWELL'S DISCO MACHINE (With Special Guest Tony Martin) PLAY THE QUEENSCLIFF MUSIC FESTIVAL THIS NOVEMBER 27-28-29 2015
Queenscliff Music Festival continues to reach skyward, breaking big waves with its line up announcements of talent set to hit Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula. The annual last-weekend-in November festival enjoys its 19th year in 2015 and turns up the volume throughout the lush picturesque surrounds of the fishing port of Queenscliff.
With a reputation for its spotlight on top notch Australian live acts, there is something for everyone at QMF, and its line up announcements will certainly not disappoint.
Find out why 15,000 Australians wanted this man to represent Australia at Eurovision. The voice of TISM and a big funked up band is joined by comic legend Tony Martin for the dance party of the year.
It’s the 20 year anniversary of Damian Cowell singing ‘I’m on the drug that killed River Phoenix’ and gatecrashing the charts as the voice of TISM – who were back in the news earlier this year because of a huge online campaign for them to reform and represent Australia at this year’s Eurovision song contest. Despite over 16,000 votes, that was never going to happen. But you can find out what all the fuss was about as Damian brings his razor sharp wit to Queenscliff Music Festival, featuring tracks from his past and present - even a crazy disco collision between Radiohead and the Village People.
Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine is joined onstage by TV and radio comedy royalty in Tony Martin, who appears on the recently released album Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine along with other special guests such as Tim Rogers, Kate Miller-Heidke, Shaun Micallef and John Safran. After touring that album nationally in February, Damian performed a sold out season at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and the Herald Sun raved: ‘Cowell is the master of killer punchlines, all the more forceful for being delivering in a singsong way over eminently hummable disco beats.’
With his 7-piece band pumping out a monster groove, Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine will re-educate you in the ancient art of how to ‘get your dag on’. As squirrelcomedy.com said: Let a multiple-ARIA-winning legend of Australian music take you on a journey full of ‘adorable silliness and killer songs’.
"Disco by the sea... in a fun park... with ice creams. Maybe Angus & Julia Stone will even share their camper van and beard clippers with us. Boogie." - DC