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Fri 12 Oct 2012, 8:00pm–1:00am

Where: The Zoo, 711 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, Queensland

Restrictions: 18+

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $45.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Chicago instrumental five-piece Tortoise are heading to Australia in October to play their astonishing amalgamation of rock, dub, dance, jazz, techno and minimalism in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

While they’ve been around for over two decades and released six critically acclaimed studio albums, when The Line Of Best Fit reviewed Tortoise playing a show in London in 2009 they said: “All talk of age is useless – up there is a bunch of kids having the time of their lives and making some of the most vital music anywhere in the world...”

The band’s signature and singularly inimitable sound remains an American and international original. Since their self-titled debut release in 1994, Tortoise have shown impeccable compositional skill by alluding to their influences without subscribing to the confines of a particular genre, a trap that many musicians of a similar ilk fall into.

Between 1996’s Millions Now Living Will Never Die and 2001’s Standards, Tortoise’s position as one of the biggest influences in 90’s post-rock was confirmed, as well as a solid reputation of swimming much faster down the instrumental stream than their contemporaries. Combining a multitude of synths with double drummers, seam-splitting bass lines, polished guitar melodies and everyone playing a little of everything, Tortoise created an exciting and innovative sound somewhere between Can, Minutemen and Miles Davis.

“They didn’t single-handedly broaden the genre’s horizons, but their stature could make it appear that way – after Standards, for a minute, it seemed as if other bands were going to have to rush to catch up.” - Pitchfork

Tortoise kept themselves busy writing several more studio albums; a collaboration with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, scoring the soundtrack for a film; curating an ATP and of course, plenty of live shows. Their last album, Beacons of Ancestorship nods to techno, punk, electro, lo-fi noise, cut-up beats, heavily processed synths, and mournful dirges. It included the eight-minute composition ‘High Class Slim Came Floatin' In’, which playfully references the world of ecstatic rave and dance culture with robotic melodies that stop and start in several different time signatures and the uptempo math-rock tune, ‘Yinxianghechengqi’, which steadily accelerates into a wall of fuzzy atonal sqwonk.

But as impressive as their records are, “Tortoise is a band that needs to be seen live to fully grasp. It’s easy to get lost in their world of shapeshifting studio madness, but to see the same material performed by five dudes in front of your face is truly a whole other experience.” (Hidden Track).

Presented by Life Is Noise and Heathen Skulls. Tickets on sale now.

For more information, please contact Dave Cutbush: (08) 9271 9015