Apes tell us their top 5 Australian bands who aren’t from a big city

Hailing from Ballarat, rock’n’roll 4 piece Apes know what it’s like to be a band not from the big city, trying to make it in music. There are some incredible acts (past and present) hailing from our regional capitals that ought to be celebrated. So, Frontman Ben Dowd has kindly put together a list some of the best acts that haven’t come out of the big city.


1. The Vasco Era (Apollo Bay)

That first album, Oh We Do Like To Sit Beside The Seaside, was awesome. A three-piece, two brothers, just writing really cool blues / rock music. I listened to all their records growing up and there was always this certain energy about it and you could watch a Youtube clip of them performing and be like, “Fuck, that looks amazing.” And then I remember when I finally got to go see them – I think it was at Falls in ’08 or ’09 for the first time to actually see Sid in person was captivating. It was crazy.


2. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (Geelong)

Man they’re just killing it. They’re fucking workhorses. When we first started writing our debut album, they’ve released four albums since and I’m pretty sure the next two are already done. It’s just crazy. It’s a really good case of hard work reaping results. They’re not really a trendy band, it’s just the work that’s established them in the industry and I don’t think it’s going to slow down anytime soon.


3. Tame Impala (Fremantle)

Because Tame Impala. Fuck man, I remember catching them for the first time at that Meredith that everyone still talks about. It was the first festival I’d ever been to, I was like 17 and I didn’t know what to expect. It was bucketing down rain for three days and I was walking around in shorts buzzing (while everyone was sitting in their cars smoking bongs), trying to see as many shows as I could. I was up to like 4am on the first night, but still dragged my arse out of this soggy-arse tent I was sharing with a mate to go catch Tame Impala play at 11am and I’m glad I did because it was the best gig I saw all weekend. You could just tell that they had something about them that made them special and well, they’ve proven it now.


4. Frowning Clouds (Geelong)

I love those guys. I played my first ever gig with us and the Frowning Clouds in my first band when I was like 14, 15, down at the Potato Shed in Drysdale. It’s amazing to think that they were writing that kind of stuff when they were 15. It was just so ahead of their time.


5. Crepes / Hollow Everdaze (Bacchus Marsh)

Tim’s just been writing amazing stuff ever since I’ve known him. He’s got a really unique voice.


Catch Apes on their ‘Dimension’ tour throughout November & December:

26th – The Foundry, Brisbane [18+]
27th – Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach [18+]
4th – Major Tom’s, Kyneton [18+]
5th – The Workers Club, Melbourne [18+]
18th – The Workers Club, Geelong [18+]
19th – The Loft, Warrnambool [18+]
24th – Karova Lounge, Ballarat [18+]

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