Sydney’s best emerging live bands are playing in the dappled sunshine of the Seymour Centre Courtyard every Friday night this summer – and it’s all for free! Eat and drink from the pop-up bar and BBQ and catch our city’s best indie musicians on the outdoor stage.
Courtyard Sessions is kid and pooch friendly. We ask that parents keep an eye on their children and note that alcohol is served at this venue. Dogs must be kept on leads at all times, and cleaned up after. The Seymour Courtyard is fully licensed. No BYO food or alcohol allowed.
23 November - The Asthmatix
Bringing together off-kilter samples with live violins and keyboards, the Asthmatix have been blending hip hop with traditional Jewish music, Middle Eastern melodies and turntablism since 2007, producing a unique sound not unlike the Avalanches (if they were raised in a Kibbutz).
30 November - Polar Knights
Conjuring up playful, layered, effects-driven guitars reminiscent of Cloud Control and The National, vocal harmonies echoing an early Weezer, and topped with beats and fills from a vast range of drum disciplines, Polar Knights create clever, layered, experimental rock that shifts restlessly and captivatingly between genres.
7 December - Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters
Sydney’s only authentic, operatically trained 1920s-30s dance band singer, Greg Poppleton, and his trio-to-sextet of world class jazz musicians the Bakelite Broadcasters, swing you back to Gatsby’s mansion and a world of white linen suits, flappers, dapper chaps and Gin Fizz.
14 December - Atom Bombs (with Driffs)
Drawing influence from sixties surf bands, Spaghetti Western soundtracks, Middle Eastern psychedelia and horror B-movies, Atom Bombs are the new kings of Sydney surf guitar, laying down thick, reverb-drenched instrumental surf guitar licks with a raw, modern twist.
11 January - Chook Race (Mel)
Scrappy three-piece garage band/street gang Chook Race sound like MC5 or Eddy Current Suppression Ring playing in your tin garden shed, write songs about playgrounds, vanilla yoghurt, running late and the best way to poach an egg, and temper their naked guitar assault with a muffled ear for melodic dual harmonies.
18 January - Jenny Broke the Window
Wollongong indie rock four-piece Jenny Broke the Window have cultivated a tight and infectious sound that starts dancefloors where ever they go, with the bop of Vampire Weekend, the drive of Razorlight and impressively refined song-writing chops.
25 January - Donny Benét
The Sophisticated Lover himself, Donny Benét burst onto the scene last year with a wardrobe of rolled-sleeve blazers, a drum machine, a Fender Rhodes and a Moog synthesizer with a pitch bender that just won’t quit, firmly establishing himself as the newest poster boy of Italo Disco Funk (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) and bringing 1982 party times to 2012.
1 February - Lanterns
Lanterns (the side-project of two-quarters of Young Romantics) make dreamy electronic folk, often likened to Oliver Tank, múm and Thom Yorke’s solo work – the kind of cute and catchy tunes draped in detailed production and found-sound samples that wouldn’t be out of place coming from Iceland.
8 February - Ernst Carter Jnr. w/ Special Guests
You may have seen Ernst Carter Jnr. fronting local band Saving Grace and electronic outfit One Glove (now known as Dream Delay) – his solo project is a chance to wield his incredible voice over delicate pop songs with devastating effect.
15 February - The Liberators
The Liberators bring the super heavy grooves of 1970s Nigerian Afrobeat and American Funk to the shores of Sydney; a 10 piece super group, The Liberators pack a serious Afrofunk wallop.
22 February - Midnight Pool Party
Sydney duo Darren Morilla and Oliver Dela Cruz have mixed their RNB backgrounds with a potent cocktail of keys-and-guitar nu-disco and electro-pop, set to wash over Sydney’s dancefloors this summer.
1 March - The Fontaynes' (EP Launch)
They may be only 18 years-old, but Inner West four-piece The Fontaynes’ countrified garage rock and blues sounds like it’s straight out of the 60s, travelling by way of The Who and Neil Young & Crazy Horse; they’ll be launching their debut EP at Courtyard Sessions.
8 March - the night
Sydney collective the night has been growing since 2008, evolving towards the dreamy, ethereal wall of sound (influenced by Bright Eyes, Manchester Orchestra and Brand New) of debut LP i am and say, which they’ll be revealing at Courtyard Sessions.
15 March - Welter
Singer-songwriter Elliot Weston has been a leading figure in Sydney’s acoustic scene for years, and with rock/folk band Welter has built a large and loyal following for his distinctly local, narrative driven lyric and song-writing style.
22 March - Orca! Straight Ahead!
“Too electro for the rock crowd, too rock for the electro crowd,” Sydney duo Orca! Straight Ahead! toss vocoder, live drums and guitar, loops, poly-rhythms and other oddness into a party-starting melange that’s quite unlike any other band around.