These blogs can get harder to write as the year goes on and the UK begins to get a bit tepid, just how we like it. In contrast, Australia drops to a freezing 20 degrees or so, making it hard to draw comparisons about the sun kissed weather beaches Down Under and the miserable, grey rain of Britain.
However, we're not at that point yet with one of the coldest Marches on record drawing to a close juxtaposing nicely with the still gloriously warm and sunny Australian weather.
It might be true that you'll struggle to get a darker tan than 'milky latte' before around September or so in Australia, you'll struggle to get anything more than just plain 'milk' back home. Seriously, there's still snow here, and it's April.
In short, you're not missing much back here so let's have a look at what's going on this month in Oz instead.
Birdy was just 14 when she
gained international fame.
Birdy - Various dates
When Jasmine van den Bogaerde reached number 17 in the British charts in January 2011 with a cover of Bon Iver’s Skinny Love, it came as rather a surprise to find out she hadn’t reached that high herself - she was just 14.
Still only 16, Birdy has since released a debut album and featured on the soundtrack to the blockbuster hit The Hunger Games: a stellar career all but cemented.
Birdy will be touring Australia in the first half of this month, hitting Brisbane (3rd), Perth (6th), Melbourne (8th and 9th), Adelaide (10th) and Sydney (12-14th).
The XX - Various Dates
The XX emerged from nowhere in 2009, blowing everyone away with their Mercury Prize-winning debut album. The soft-spoken trio recently released their second album, Coexist, and will be hitting Australia at the start of the month with gigs in (4th and 5th), Sydney (6th and 7th) and Brisbane (9th).
Plus, if you can’t get enough of the group, the band’s DJ, Jamie XX will be playing a gig on his own in Sydney on the 6th.
Pillow Fight - 6th
This Saturday is International Pillow Fight Day (we didn’t know there was one either) when hundreds and hundreds of people will gather in almost every major city on Earth and have a giant pillow fight, it’s not complicated.
Fights in Australia will be taking place in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. It’s free; all you need is a pillow, preferably one not filled with batteries.
Tracy Morgan - Various dates
Tina Fey’s critically acclaimed 30 Rock came to an end this year after 8 polarising seasons. Despite never gaining any real foothold in the TV ratings it won awards by the bucket load. Star of the show and Tina Fey’s fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus Tracy Morgan is using the show’s end to reacquaint himself with his first love: stand up.
The ineffable Morgan will be doing sets in Brisbane (10th), Sydney (11th and 12th), Melbourne (13th - two shows) and Perth (15th and 16th), bringing his own brand of the absurd Down Under.
Art After Hours - all month
If you like a bit of culture but are wary with what it might do to your hardcore party reputation, try a blend of the two with Art After Hours. Set in one of Sydney’s most prestigious art galleries, you can enter during the evening after the bored, screaming kids have left and enjoy the odd drink while eyeballing some modern day classics.
Game of Thrones has sent plenty
of fans into withdrawal.
Game of Thrones - until the 25th
If you’ve missed your weekly dose of Westeros over the past few months then don’t despair, the new series is underway but if that isn’t enough, Gastro Park will be hosting its second Game of Thrones feast throughout the month to celebrate.
Gum Ball - 25th to the 27th
If you’ll be missing your annual Glastonbury trip to the mud on your working holiday, you can get your fix this month. The Gum Ball is first up, set in the Hunter Valley over three days, catch bands like Turin Brakes, Money for Rope and the Hillbilly Killers and top off each night with a silent disco.
Arrested Development Trivia - 4th
Few TV shows have ever been so great and so ignored as Arrested Development. With a cast which has pretty much all gone on to bigger things – most notably Jason Bateman and Michael Cera – Arrested Development never got 10% of the ratings it deserved.
With a laugh-a-minute ratio unparalleled before or since and characters which have redefined the sitcom, its cancellation has been an outrage since it was announced.
Thankfully, it’s coming back. Whether or not the Netflix series followed by a feature film will be any good remains to be seen but you can get your fix in this week with the Arrested Development Trivia night.
Banned from Ikea for life.
Leap of Faith - Circus in Motion - 4th to the 6th
The circus is in town this week and not just any circus, Circus in Motion is directed by a former Cirque du Soleil artistic director and represents the finest in the modern day art form.
Expect few clowns and lots of flexible women in skin tight clothing swinging from the rafters on some curtains.
Melbourne Latin Festival - 5th to the 7th
This weekend is the fifth Melbourne Latin Festival and this year's event boasts a specific emphasis in this year’s festival on Arabian Nights, you can't get much more exotic than that.
Dancers from Italy, the Dominican Republic and the US as well as plenty of Kiwis and Aussies will be strutting their stuff in workshops, shows and parties.
Rag Trade - 6th
Backpacking is many things but elegant and clean it is not. If you’ve been trekking across Australia for more than about half an hour, chances are you could do with a few new threads or at least some more money for beer.
The Rag Trade is a flea market offering you a great opportunity to offload some of the heavier stuff in your bag and pick up the odd gem on the cheap.
Melbourne Comedy Festival - Until the 21st
The Melbourne Comedy Festival is now one of the biggest comedy festivals in the world and the marathon event comes to a close this month. This means the majority of shows have already been on for weeks and already either bombed or been a runaway success.
Check out the reviews of what’s on offer and either see some of the hottest names in comedy right now or some of the cheapest shows around.
Darbotz: Monster Inside Us - all month
If you’re a Banksy fan, or were before he became too mainstream for the likes of you, Darbotz, an up and coming graffiti artist from the streets of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is quickly making a name for himself in the rapidly developing street art scene.
His first show, Darbotz: Monster Inside Us, will be playing at MiFA all month.
You couldn't do this.
Banff Mountain Film Festival - 17th to the 20th
Australia might not be the first place which comes to mind when you think of snow capped mountains and fresh powder but you’d be wrong. With a country as large as Australia, almost every type of terrain and landscape can be found and Oz is no different, and neither is Aussies’ love of winter sports.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival showcases the best films from around the world of people trekking across Antarctica, surviving in the American Rockies, canoeing Kiwi rapids and plenty of other adrenaline fuelled adventures.
Hip Hop Festivals - 28th
Australia’s hip-hop scene might not be that well known outside its own shores but Australia’s love of the genre is no secret and if you’re a rap fan, Brisbane is the place to be this month.
First up, headlining the Movement Festival is one of the greatest MCs of all time: Nas. His 1994 debut Illmatic still ranks as one of the best and most original albums of all time.
Meanwhile, across town on the same day the Supafest gets underway with some of the biggest names in modern music including 50 Cent, Neyo and Akon as well as one of the most respected up and comers in the game, J. Cole.
Yacht Club DJs - 12th
Finding a party is never hard, stand still long enough and eventually you’ll hear the bass. Finding a good party is the hard part.
Fortunately, if you’re in Perth this month, you should be hard pressed to be disappointed when the Yacht Club DJs come to town.
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor with the Australian Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to Australia.
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