Orange is the new blackboard – Julia Robins reports

Orange is the new blackboard – EDSOC REVUE, a review by Julia Robins. 

With slight trepidation and not anywhere near enough wine I wandered off to Education Revue. No one wants to see a bad revue and then have to write about it afterwards. Thankfully my fears dissolved as suddenly as they had arrived. The darkness of the opening song about the government’s refugee policy had me laughing if only to stop tears that would otherwise have flowed. It trod a fine line between comedy and tragedy set to a Disney classic ‘Be Our Guest’. The songs throughout were at points a little weak but some of the best adapted lyrics I’ve heard from a review, especially the one about pulling an all-nighter, which felt like a window into my life. The band itself was a small set-up with excellent drums and sax, although it would have benefited from greater sound balancing and tightening up some pieces.

Video sketches felt reminiscent of Noel Fielding’s absurdist work, especially their roasting turkey sketch. Top sketch of the night was the advertising sketch for men’s deodorant for when you accidentally treat a woman like a person, and if the revue had called it a night there we would have all gone home happy. I’m glad they didn’t though, because there were so many other golden moments that were simply well written and performed with such sincerity that each moment was a delight. Other gems included Voldemort asking us to say his name, as well as the kindergarten hacks, an extended skit that may have hit close to home not just for students aware of the impending election season, but also for many active and retired hacks present in the audience.

As is expected with any revue, there were some flat spots, but only one joke that really met with contention: the sketch about the presidential election was a good concept but its execution which had suddenly changed Hillary Clinton’s politics to prolife felt a little cheap, especially considering how much there is to criticise her for. All in all the cast, crew and production team should be proud of a show that taught me the new preferred weapon for duelling is no longer a rapier or pistol but the selfie stick, reminded me how much we love our pets (even Schrödinger!), and how the ability to save a skit that goes awry, rendering it funnier in the process, all make for a great review. Much like the areas of education (and social services) as a whole in this country, these folks need more funding.


Shapeshifter Interview

In 1999, a wee band formed in New Zealand’s Christchurch by the name of Shapeshifter. If you’re a true fan of drum and bass, dub and soul, you should have had an aurally intimate relationship with these guys. Inspiration struck Canterbury jazz students whilst at a DJ Grooverider gig and workings began on what was to become one of the most successful and influential New Zealand electronica acts ever. Shapeshifter found its feet opening for New Zealand band Salmonella Dub, who at the time had Tiki Taane mixing their live sets. Tiki now produces Shapeshifter’s live shows. 2000 saw the release of their first EP, D.N.A, released by Christchurch record label, Fabel Music. Shortly after, came their debut album, Real Time. After the success and touring of this album, the band shifted to Melbourne, where the based most of the production for their next record, Riddim Wise. With the release of their next two LPs; Soulstice and The System is a Vampire, Shapeshifter toured extensively throughout Europe and Australiasia, becoming a staple dish in the New Zealand summer music menu. Shapeshifter have recently finished touring for their latest album, Delta and are now embarking on an Australian tour before heading to North America. I caught up with P Digsss, the MC of Shapeshifter to talk about New Zealand music, Delta and their upcoming tour.

– Ben De Klerk

Shapeshifter will be playing Manning Bar on Saturday the 22nd of March supported by Foreign Dub, NCrypt vs Commit, Highly Dubious, Mad Cow, and Sakura. The show starts at 9 pm and goes until 3 am. You can buy general access tickets from the Manning Bar website, or if you are an Access holder, you can get a discounted price from the Access Desk in Manning.

Rufus Sydney Show September 18th at The Hi-Fi, Moore Park

A couple of weeks ago SURG was lucky enough to head along to the last leg of Sydney electronic trio Rufus’ sold out tour at the Hi-Fi, in support of their debut album ‘Atlas’.

Kicking off the night was Canberra 3 piece SAFIA. Despite the early set time and a room dotted with punters, the boys put on a show to rival that of the headline act. Sitting pretty at number one on the iTunes electronic charts as of that day, the boys proved just why they’ve been the centre of attention of late. Their set, that included their previous single ‘Stretched and Faded’ and current number one track ‘Listen To Soul, Listen To Blues’, was also filled with some high-quality unreleased material that we’re sure will be making its way onto our radios any day now. SAFIA’s on-stage energy mixed in with their infectious beats makes them a force to be reckoned with and a great start up act (although we’re pretty sure they won’t be keeping that title for much longer).

SAFIA were followed by a super smooth transition into the beats of Adelaide producer, and now Sweat It Out brother, Motez. After not making it to Rufus’ Adelaide shows due to poor traffic, we were glad he didn’t suffer the same fate with the notorious Friday night Cleveland street rush. His set was the perfect breaker between the two live bands. Getting everyone away from the bars and turning the mosh into a dancefloor for a half hour was exactly what everyone needed. His new signing also brings the promise of some new original stuff – our ears are definitely pricked and waiting for that one!IMG_6135

Following a final stage check the Rufus boys appeared in a sea of blue light for the last time on their Atlas tour. Opening with ‘Modest Life’, the crowd both on the floor and up above roared in support. Their distinctive synth, most pronounced in songs like ‘Tonight’, bounced out and spread through the space, delighting everyone’s ears as it did. Their two singles from the album, ‘Take Me’ and ‘Desert Night’, were met with a euphoric wave through the crowd, filling the room with an energy that had people dancing from wall to wall. Joining the sea of facesNot only were their performances spot on musically, the dedication to making it a unique experience for all who went made them a stand out act to watch. Treating the crowd to extended harmonica bridges in ‘Talk To Me’, a stellar light show and an on-stage accompaniment by Toucan lead singer Jess Pollard for ‘Unforgiven’ made it a truly unique show. Plus, on top of all that, the fact that they seemed to be having a genuinely good time performing and engaging with the audience made it so much more than just listening to songs from an album.IMG_6197

The only disappointing aspect of this night was the after party that was supposed to encapsulate the whole experience, held and Club 77 following the gig. Playing alongside Rufus DJs were other SweatItOut signees Yolanda Be Cool, Sydney producers What So Not and Motez made another appearance as well. However it appeared that a consequence of prolific advertising on their social media sites, combined with a low entry fee and small capacity resulted in a nightmare scene for many hopeful partygoers on arrival. The line to get into 77 stretched down more than 100m past its entrance and no more than 40 minutes after the show at the Hi-Fi had finished all those waiting were told to leave as no one would be allowed entry for the rest of the night. Even though there really wasn’t anyone to blame (except maybe Rufus for being so overwhelmingly popular, or SweatItOut for throwing such a tempting afterparty) it was a real dampener for what was otherwise a ridiculously good night of live music.IMG_6205

GIVEAWAY: Machete Kills

SURG FM has FIVE DOUBLE PASSES to giveaway to the highly anticipated sequel of MACHETE – MACHETE KILLS!

MACHETE KILLS reunites star Danny Trejo and director Robert Rodriguez. Trained to kill, left for dead, Machete is back and this time he’s on the right side of the law. With gleefully gory comic book action, outrageously over-the-top characters and an absurd all-star cast including Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Hudgens, Amber Heard, Alexa Vega, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Mel Gibson, plus Lady Gaga and “introducing” Carlos Estevez (Charlie Sheen) as President of the United States. Crazy.

machete kills

Bigger, bolder and more badass than ever, MACHETE KILLS is one of the coolest, gore-splattered, star-studded action films ever.

It’s out OCTOBER 24 – write it in your diaries + head to the SURG FM Facebook page – – to enter the competition.


Review: Stories We Tell

Promo poster for Stories We Tell

In the pixelated haze of memory, we enter a cycle of destruction and creation, as implicit in the act of remembering is the simultaneous act of forgetting, and thus, a story is born. The memories of an afternoon in the SURG studio were not far behind me as I rode in the lift up to the 18th floor of number one, Market Street, and the private theatre that resided in my future, waiting to become the partially obscured series of recollections that will fuel this review.

The film that would play was called Stories We Tell, the third feature – and first non-fictional – film of Canadian Sarah Polley’s directorial career. To call this feature non fiction belies the rawness and power that is behind its central concept: that it is in a sense autobiographical, as it writes the story of Polley’s life through the lens of her family’s recollections of her mother, Diane, and how her actions some thirty years prior have resonated into the future and touched all their lives.

Given the freedom to be experimental in this project, Polley clearly relished the opportunity, using a series of interviews with her extended family, edited together into what I can only assume is the story that resonates most with her. We see transitions from sharp, clear images delivered from steady tripods as the interviewees answer questions, to hand-held cameras that capture some of the impromptu feeling on set – at the various households of Polley’s relatives – to the most striking, dazzling aspect of this film: the Super 8.

A frame of Super 8

For those of us, myself included, to whom the words ‘Super 8’ mean nothing, this type of film is most easily brought to mind by picturing 1970s or 80s home videos, in all their grainy glory. The gaps between pixels in the Super 8 – the film was actually sourced authentically from people’s garages and attics – invoke a sense of nostalgia, and with that feeling a sense of something lost, perhaps having slipped through those grainy gaps and out of time. In Stories We Tell the scenes shot in Super 8 are re-enactments of old family memories, and cast perfectly. They are entirely fabricated, yet hold an eerie power to captivate and give a sense of longing for times past. There is a sense, too, that Polley has managed to pave a celluloid path to a mother who passed away when she was young, giving her a connection to what would otherwise be out of reach.

The storytelling itself is poignant, often funny, and above all reminds us of the tenuous nature of truth and the redemptive power of feeling that you mattered in another person’s life. The stories told sometimes diverge on key points and weave back together, with often humorously emphatic agreement over some details. The mystery, passion and drama of one family is courageously unveiled by an intriguing film talent in Polley, who has managed to bring together her relatives around the common thread of Diane.

Stories We Tell is being released through Palace Films, opening to the public on September 26, and is a must-see this Spring.

Max, Secretary (:

Stop. Space. Return.

Another semester, another broadcast. After a phenomenally successful Re O Day, with 30 new sign ups and loads of interest from people to do new shows, and continue old ones we are very excited for the upcoming semester. If you did fight the wind to come say hi, thanks a lot and we are very excited to have you on board. There are two tickets to Blue Man Group courtesy of AB Publicity up for grabs for one of the new signups so keep an eye out as that will be drawn shortly!

In regards to starting up broadcast again, we will be hosting a Re Training session on Monday August 12th to get all the new guys familiar with the tools of the trade, and if any one from last semester would like a bit of a refresher. Since we will be in the good studio it may be worth your while to come on down to see how it all works. It will run 6 – 8:30pm in the Holme Building and cover content as well as how to use the equipment and panel.

After training is done and dusted we’ll be asking for show proposals. As an exec we’ll go through all new proposals as well as those Semester 1 shows that have expressed interest in returning and create a brand new program grid!

There’s a lot to look forward to this semester, on and off air, so we hope you’ll tune in. We look forward to making radio for you.


– Gordon VP

Review: Groovin’ the Moo 2013

Felix and I were lucky enough to travel down to Canberra for Groovin’ the Moo 2013 in April and here is our (belated) rundown of the amazing day. The annual festival has made a strong name for itself since its incarnation in 2005 hosting huge acts including Silverchair, Hilltop Hoods and The Black Keys. This year the festival had three huge stages – Moolin Rogue, the [V] stage and the Triple J stage which all offered up some amazing artists. You can view the full lineup here

Each artist/band we managed to catch were absolutely fantastic and Felix snapped some amazing pictures, our full album from GTM 2013 can be viewed on our Facebook page:

The Bronx

American hardcore-punk band The Bronx did not disappoint! Frontman Matt Caughtran is such an unbelievable performer and the whole crowd loved every minute of it. Matt took every advantage to jump into the mosh and interact with the fans, keeping security busy!


The Amity Affliction

Felix legitimately dragged me by my ankles to go see Amity – I really was not sold on the idea. But I am now a changed woman! The Amity Affliction were too much fun, everyone was going absolutely crazy in the mosh and I even had a little dabble in the ‘Circle of Death.’ Definitely out of my comfort zone but Felix came to the conclusion that I’d discovered the little hardcore girl inside. The Amity Affliction released their third studio album in 2012, which I have promptly added to my Spotify, it’s titled Chasing Ghosts and you should get on it!



This was my band. I am obsessed with the 90s and these guys were the epitome of that nineties rock sound. They have been around for years having released seven studio albums and five EPs to date including their most recent album SuperHappyFunTimesFriends which was released in 2011. Their lead man Quan Yeomans had the crowd in the palm of his hand and it was amazing to see some of the older crowd completely invested in their music – yay nostalgia! Highlights including their 1999 hit ‘I Wanna Be a Nudist’

They Might Be Giants

These guys were HILARIOUS. The crowd erupted at the first few bars of their most recognisable song ‘Dr Worm’ and they were easily the band that interacted with their audience the best and most effectively. At one point their lead singer John Flansburgh split the whole crowd in half for some aggresive chanting of ‘Humans’ v. ‘Apes’ – the crowd ate it up. Standout songs were ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople)’ and ‘Birdhouse in Your Soul’

Regrettably they did not play the Malcolm in the Middle theme song and I got a little bit sad about that.


Flume really lived up to all the expectations I had. Flume (Harley Streten) has exploded onto the scene with four of his songs (including a remix) listed on Triple J Hottest 100 for 2012. His album’s breakout song “Holdin On” was listed at number four, the highest Australian song charted. Others included were “Sleepless” and his remix of “Hyperparadise” by Hermitude, both at the top 20 (#12 and #18) and “On Top” at #67. His performance at GTM reflected and lived up to this sudden success.


I LOVE EXAMPLE. HE IS SO SEXY. (…unfortunately for me he’s married to Australian actress Erin McNaught – too lucky!) This was my absolute favourite part of the day, may have managed to sweet talk the security guard to lift me over the barrier and join Felix in the photo pit. I should probably attribute how impressed I was with Example to the fact that I know every single word to every one of his songs. But he was also objectively good – I definitely saw Felix mouthing along to his rap at one point.

DID YOU KNOW: his stage name Example comes from the initials of his birth name Elliot Gleave (E.G.) which in latin (exempli gratia) means ‘for example’ #funfacts



 Being sneaky in Example’s photo pit!

– Alisha x

The Spirit of Radio

On Thursday, April 18, SURG FM let down its hair to celebrate the launch of its first semester broadcast for 2013. Dedicated members and newcomers all descended on Hermann’s Bar to hear some live tunes organised with Beat the System, and talk excitedly of the greatness to come in the following week, when on Monday at 8am, the breakfast show with Rob North kicked off SURG’s most ambitious year yet! 120 people rocked out at Hermann’s, but the best was yet to come…

Launch Party1

People gather round some live music at the Hermann’s Bar Launch Party

Once the broadcast kicked off last week, it again revealed the staggering diversity of our members, with shows ranging from breakfast and drive talk shows, to special interest programs on technology or Chinese culture, to music shows incorporating rock, pop, electronica, metal and everything in between. There are many first time broadcasters who are quickly learning the ropes and putting on truly quality, engaging student radio, dealing with cutting-edge campus issues or just demonstrating a huge breadth of musical knowledge.

SURG Panel 2



Loose Cannon Lane and Joey Jo Jo Joseph contemplate exercise boot camps

What’s even more exciting is that people are already experimenting and pushing the boundaries of what we can do with our old-school equipment, getting live performers into the studio. This is what community radio is about, and the fact that university students, many of whom aren’t even enrolled in media degrees, run it, is the icing on the cake. Sitting in the studio over the last week has been an incredibly entertaining and educational experience; some really great radio is happening in the basement of a nondescript building somewhere on the northern edge of the University of Sydney campus, and I’m honoured to be a part of it.

And so, my friends, keep up the good work, try new things, and plug the HELL out of our Facebook Page!

All the best for the rest of semester, from your Secretary, Max.

I fought the law (and the law won)

On Wednesday evening we gathered in the Law Building to get the run-down on how NOT to get sued when broadcasting (pictured below, our broadcasters doing some serious thinking). This is the de-brief from our legal training!

SURG legal training

Here are the essential points that will help you avoid saying defamatory things!

  • When you’re talking on-air, think: WHO are you identifying, whether directly or implicitly? WHAT imputations can be drawn from what you say? (your intended and even unintended meaning).
  • Do these imputations?
    1. subject a person to ridicule
    2. cause people to shun or avoid the person
    3. harm their professional reputation/cause them to lose business, etc
    4. do damage to the person’s reputation in the wider community

    If the answer to one of these questions is yes, you may have defamed someone. (This is bad).What to do if you fulfill these conditions and are in fact defaming someone: Once you sense something defamatory has been said, put on a song so that the matter does not have a chance to escalate. RETRACT the comment as soon as possible (like right after the song ends). CONTACT your executive, preferably our President, Annie on

Key things to keep in mind about liability:

  • You (and the station) are liable for defamatory remarks made by any guests you have on your show
  • As a general rule, you cannot defame a corporation, nor can you defame a deceased person. However, you can defame the estate of the deceased and the estate may take action against you.

At the end of the day, use common sense – how would you feel if something was said about you? We hope that for those who attended they found the session very informative! We would like to thank Annamarie for providing us with lots of interesting info and examples, and taking our many questions. SURG will continue to provide you with information sessions on all aspects of the radio industry, get along to one if you can!

Max, Secretary.


It’s all things go at SURG FM HQ! We have a tonne of exciting things in the works over the next couple of weeks and to keep you all updated here are some key dates:

17th April: Compulsory SURG FM Legal Training

This seminar will be discussing copyright and defamation issues to do with broadcasting on SURG FM. It is a compulsory session for anyone intending to broadcast this semester so put it in your diaries.

18th April: Broadcast Launch Party!

Most anticipated event of the year – we will be kicking off Semester One’s broadcast with a huge party at Hermann’s from 5pm. The launch will coincide with the USU’s mid-semester party and the amazing Beat The System will provide beats long into the night. Drinks are on us + we have a double pass to Supafest to giveaway so there is no excuse not to be there!

22nd April: SURG FM Semester One Broadcast Kicks Off

From Monday morning 8am, you’ll be able to get your SURG FM fix through We have so many new things planned for this semester – an hour broadcast at Manning in the works, weekly wrap-ups of all your on-campus news as well as a bunch of new shows featuring everything from architecture to trip-hop. NOT TO BE MISSED!


26th-28th April: We’re going on the road!

SURG has every event covered with the exec team heading to both Supafest and Groovin’ the Moo 2013 in the coming weeks. Supafest is featuring huge names including 50 Cent, Akon and Waka Flocka Flame + Groovin’ the Moo boasts Example, Flume and The Amity Affliction among others – make sure you’ve snatched your tickets and join us! Low on funds? Remember there will be a double pass to Supafest up for grabs at the Broadcast Launch Party, just another reason to get to Hermann’s!


Bookmark for post-event coverage both through our blog and through our broadcast.