Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Australian tour 2015. Artwork by Ben Montero.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Australian tour 2012. Artwork by Carl Breitkreuz.
From the Herald Sun newspaper:
The story goes that Ariel Pink was conceived on the set of Fraggle Rock after Kira from The Dark Crystal dropped by looking for “work.” He bobs onto the stage and says “Thanks Shags Chamberlain for choosing my set-list” then lets his brohemian underlings begin a superb set of songs that even feature new stream-of-consciousness numbers like I Sunk Your Battleship. Bright Lit Blue Skies and Round and Round are cathartic triumphs, rare times when Pink and his Haunted Graffiti completely give into their populist pop music desires. Shags comes on stage with his top off, a teal t-shirt sitting on his head like a smurf,a gourd containing an unknown potion (he doesn’t drink so, hmmmm) and plays tambourine for the whole show. At one point, he freezes and bends over in front of Ariel Pink then the Fraggle Man pretends to turn a key in his back and says “Shags. My Teddy Ruxpin.”
Hil. Aire. Their set is perverse but never perverted, sexual but never creepy, creamy but never bloated. If you look closely enough you can see a HOLLYWOOD mirage off in the distance, giant white blocks on the hill. As soon as Ariel Pink finish, the mirage disappears too.
From The Vine:
As good as the preceding bands have been so far (and programming is almost uniformly brilliant throughout the weekend), the consistently unpredictable, eminently watchable and surprisingly effeminate Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti provide the early highlight with a set that epitomises everything that is good about using the sounds of pop music in a very non-pop setting. Boasting the charisma machine that is Lost Animal’s Shags Chamberlain on tambourine and ‘vibes’ (at one point described by Pink as “Shags. My Teddy Ruxpin.”), the tight and textured sounds are bent through a number of songs, many of which seem new or obscure (and see Pink singing from a lyric book), but it’s the high points from Before Today that get the biggest response.
From Beat magazine:
The Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti live show is a notoriously temperamental one. I thought they were great when they were last in town for Laneway, and I grimaced when watching the livestream of Ariel’s Coachella ‘meltdown’. Scheduling them in a primetime slot seemed like a risky move, but by god did it pay off. Not sure exactly what elements conspired to make it such an auspicious set, but the ostensibly superfluous efforts of champion Melburnian Shags Chamberlain on tambourine really took things to the next level. Fright Night (Nevermore) and Beverly Kills were fucking great – and Ariel’s heavily made-up face emanated sheer joy under his sweet man-bangs. Oh and it turns out that Round And Round was pretty much made for night-time at the Supernatural Amphitheatre. Magic.
From Inpress magazine:
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti are the first act to lead the charge into the depths of Saturday night. The first time they played Melbourne they assaulted our eardrums with a noisy blend of lo-fi pop experimentation. Since then Ariel Pink has recorded a studio album and this evening the latest incarnation of his band Haunted Graffiti operate with the tight precision of a well-oiled machine to produce an altogether slicker and more lustrous sound that blends pop and psychedelia from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The flamboyant Ariel Pink, looking as though he has joined Genesis P Orridge’s Lady Jaye Project, sounds removed from what we know of him on record as he caterwauls and shrieks (in a feminine falsetto) his way through the set in a way that sets him apart from the rest of the band. Amusingly, their tambourine player seems to revive the Happy Mondays’ tradition of having a dancer in the band. The groovy, surf vibes of Bright Lit Blue Skies and synth pop of Round & Round provide the obvious feelgood moments.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Australian tour 2011. Artwork by Greedy Hen.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Australian tour 2007. Artwork by Nathan Gray.