Episodes

  • Dave McCormack has one of those voices. As lead singer of Custard, his husky tones and the band’s playful indie rock beamed out of Brisbane in the 90s. They were a happy haven from the angsty guitar scene of the time. In 1999, after 5 albums and tonnes of shows as one of Australia’s favourite live acts, Custard called it a day.

    Dave McCormack would go on to play in other bands, he began composing soundtracks for film and television, and his voice would become familiar to an entirely new generation playing Bandit, the blue heeler dad in the mega hit kid’s show Bluey.

    Custard reunited in 2015 and have since released another 3 albums together. In 2020, during the first wave of lockdowns, I asked Dave McCormack to Take 5. His theme was cornerstone songs; the tunes he always returns to. And the reason I want to return to this wonderful conversation, is because we’re celebrating the most famous blue heeler in the world gracing our screens once again. This time with an epic 28-minute episode of Bluey. That’s like the Oppenheimer of the Bluey universe.

    So settle in for this very fun chat from the archives. And if your kids are listening, sorry for the confusion. Now you have an excuse to play them your old Custard albums.

    ABBA – S.O.S.Pet Shop Boys - Always On My MindBritney Spears - ToxicDevo – Peek-A-BooBob Dylan - Tangled Up In Blue

    This episode was originally broadcast in 2020.

  • Adrianne Lenker feels things deeply. You hear it in every one of her songs, whether solo, or with her band Big Thief. Lucky for us, she shares it all, and over the past few years has become one of the most promising and prolific songwriters around; making 6 albums on her own and 5 with her band.

    Her latest is “Bright Future” and it’s another stunning record of genius songwriting, and the inspiration for me to head back into the Take 5 archives and share this wonderful conversation from 2019.

    At the time, Adrianne was actually on holiday in Australia and it felt fitting, because her life had been a transient one, constantly on the road touring all over the world. But even when taking a break, she made time to share a conversation about music.

    This ended up being so much more. It’s about connection, about how melancholy can filter through joy, and how you can find space in the most intensely crowded of sounds. Even if you don’t know Adrianne’s work intimately, this is a conversation that will speak to you. It’s one I haven’t stopped thinking about since.

    It feels like, for Adrianne, music has always helped her understand the world around her. When she speaks about songs, everything slows down. She has a way of articulating what is often intangible, and when I watch interviews with her I find I’m drawn in to a kind of meditative state – she just has a way of seeing the world that is captivating. For all of these reasons, back in 2019 I asked her to Take 5. Her music gets under my skin, and I wanted to find out what got under hers. Dive in for this unforgettable and poetic conversation.

    Sibylle Baier – DrivingBill Callahan – What Comes After CertaintyIthaca – Impulse CrushSheer Mag – Point BreezeLife Without Buildings – Sorrow

    This episode was originally broadcast in 2019.

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  • Well I hope you’re up for a laugh, cos this Take 5 is a special one. As comedy festival season kicks it around Australia, I’ve dug into the Take 5 archives and pulled out some of my favourite chats with comedians. Unsurprisingly, they’re great storytellers. And as we know from almost 20 years of Taking 5, everyone has a connection to music.

    There’s another throughline to these tales too, they all speak to adventure; to shifting to a new place for a new perspective, and often a whole new beginning.

    You’ll hear Celia Pacquola remember her early shows making it big in Edinburgh, Fred Armisen talk about his transition from music to comedy, Rose Matafeo’s Rastafarian parents, how Steph Tisdell was gonna be a lawyer before hopping on a plane to the UK, and Simon Amstell’s tip into teenage years onstage.

    Belle & Sebastian – Step Into My Office, BabySleater-Kinney - Start TogetherStormzy – Cigarettes & Cush (Ft. Kehlani & Lily Allen)Kelis – Millionaire (Ft. Andre 3000)Patrick Wolf – The City
  • Laurie Anderson is bucket list. The artist, violinist, and poet has been exploring the world in her unique way for decades. She caught our breath releasing O Superman, and has continued to bring play, humour, and curiosity into all she does.

    Laurie was also the yin to Lou Reed’s yang, as a life and creative partner; putting on concerts for dogs, and most recently feeding her and his writing into a supercomputer to see what AI would spit out, in their voice.

    That was the catalyst for me asking Laurie to Take 5; and her work in AI as an artist over the past few years explores all the questions we’re having today about machine learning. Settle in, this is such a poetic conversation, full of great wisdom and plenty of laughs as well. I loved speaking with Laurie about music, and loved how much she embraced the theme I gave her, of duality. From Marianne Faithfull to Maggie Rogers, this is an extraordinary conversation with an all time great.

    Marianne Faithful – Falling in Love Again Ornette Coleman – Lonely WomanLou Reed – Magic And Loss (The Summation)Bob Dylan – Don’t Think Twice, It’s AlrightMaggie Rogers – Alaska

    Kate Crawford's atlas of sound.

  • Jack Antonoff is one of the most celebrated producers working today. With 10 Grammys under his belt, including three in a row for Producer of the Year, he has shaped the sound of pop music over the last decade.

    Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, The 1975, Lorde… these are just some of the names he’s produced and co-written with. And within the industry, he’s known as a brilliant collaborator – opposite to the classic Svengali directing himself into the story. Jack listens, guides, and celebrates the song. For him, it’s about the feel more than anything else.

    Jack is also a muso himself; for years he’s played in bands and written songs. And you can tell what a fan he is, and how his big heart is filled with music. From R.E.M. to Joanna Newsom to Waterboys, this is a glorious celebration of songwriting, from a Jersey boy who followed his dreams.

    R.E.M. – At My Most BeautifulSaves The Day – HoldJoanna Newsom – Sadie Tom Waits – Hold OnWaterboys – The Whole Of The Moon
  • It’s fair to say, boygenius’ debut album was highly anticipated. But did you know that it was an Australian producer that helped bring it to life? Catherine Marks was born and bred in Melbourne, but made her way to the UK where she’s been working with everyone from PJ Harvey to Foals, The Killers to, yes, boygenius.

    Her work is lauded across the world, winning awards and fans as one of the rare women to celebrated in the field. And while home in Australia for a hot minute, Catherine joined Zan Rowe to Take 5. The magic of what happens when crafting a song or an album can sometimes be intangible, and it’s made up of a million elements that bring music to life. You're invited into her studio to see the big picture of making five extraordinary songs.

    Wolf Alice – Storms The Big Moon – Bonfire Manchester Orchestra - The Silence Roman Lewis - Mindless Townboygenius - Not Strong Enough
  • In the early 00’s The Streets burst onto the scene. Original Pirate Material was like nothing else around, combining garage beats with everyday stories from a geezer we could all relate to. Mike Skinner wanted to literally push things forward, taking the garage genre in a new direction and using his lyrics to talk about what was really going on inside the hearts and minds of people in the clubs. It struck a chord, and The Streets got a lot of attention.

    Over five albums Mike Skinner would tour Australia a whole lot, always playing festivals and always drawing a huge crowd. Then in 2011 he called it a day, releasing his final album and doing his final shows as The Streets. Music stayed in his life though. He threw himself into producing, directing, and most notably DJ-ing, behind the decks instead of out front on stage.

    Across his five songs choices we get a snapshot of a kid writing raps in his notebook in a hostel in Sydney. As well as the man today who is older, wiser, more grounded but with plenty of stories to tell. From Johnny Cash to Grim Sickers to Daft Punk, this is The Streets, Taking 5 with Zan Rowe and playing us his songs from then and now.

    Johnny Cash - A Boy Named SueSnoop Dogg - Serial Killa [Ft. D.O.C., RBX & Tha Dogg Pound] Grim Sickers - Open The Till [Ft. Ghetts & Darker The Shadow Brighter The Light]Daniel Bedingfield – Gotta Get Thru ThisDaft Punk - Human / Together / One More Time / Music Sounds Better with You / Stardust (Instrumental) [Live]
  • Comedian Cameron James loves music. For years he’s been telling his stories through song, ploughing through personal history with a hook and a melody. You would have seen him pop up on funny panel shows, or heard him in hit podcast Finding Drago.

    Cameron’s latest comedy show is called Mixtape, and it’s a love letter to the songs that shape our lives. Which is why he’s the perfect person to Take 5. From Silverchair to Gladys Knight & the Pips, settle in for some ripper stories and the art of the mixtape.

    Silverchair – The Greatest ViewIggy Pop – CandyNew Radicals – You Get What You GiveGladys Knight & the Pips – Midnight Train To GeorgiaTyler, the Creator – See You Again
  • Zoë Coombs Marr has been making us laugh for years. You might have seen her doing award winning stand up comedy, often doing meta shows that twist our brains. Maybe you caught her alter ego Dave, or have seen Zoë pop up on The Weekly, The Project and watched her brilliant 3 part series Queerstralia.

    Zoë is one of my favourite creators; she always keeps me guessing with what she’ll do next, and she always does it differently to everyone else.

    Her 2024 comedy show seems to be her most personal to date, cos it’s her story. “Every Single Thing In My Whole Entire Life” will see her dig through it all, on stage across Australia. It’s an idea that lends itself well to a soundtrack, which is why I asked her to Take 5. From Elaine Stritch to Yothu Yindi to Romy, this is a funny and glorious conversation about life itself.

    Yothu Yindi - Treaty Elaine Stritch - Are You Having Any Fun The Lemonheads - The Outdoor Type Hot Chip - Bath Full of EcstasyRomy - Enjoy Your Life
  • It’s been a big week for Kylie Minogue. 20 years after she won her first Grammy, she backed it up; grabbing Best Pop Dance Recording for "Padam Padam".

    It caps off one of the biggest recent peaks of Kylie’s career, and that’s saying something. Since most of us were little kids, Kylie has been in our lives. As an actor who became a pop star who became an icon in Australian music. She’s a chameleon, a stayer, and she fills every dancefloor with her magic.

    I love Kylie Minogue, and I thought it’d be fun to crank open the Take 5 archives, and share the brilliant convo I had with her back in 2020.

    It was the first year of the pandemic, she’d been working away for months on a shimmering new record, and on the day she joined me to Take 5, Disco was released everywhere.

    It felt like the perfect salve in a tough time; the community and dancefloor we all craved, and who better to gift it than the Queen of Pop. From Donna Summer to Daft Punk, this is a glorious celebration of Kylie's foundations.

    Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby Earth, Wind & Fire – September Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive Bee Gees – Night Fever Daft Punk – Around The World
  • We’re kicking off the 2024 Take 5 season with an absolute legend. He’s a star of the small screen, a comedian, a children’s book author, he’s part of the very fabric of Australian life, and 20 years ago he won the Gold Logie.

    As we celebrated the Hottest 100 of 2003 on Double J, I jumped into the time machine to relive it ALL with the brilliant and delightful Rove McManus. And from pop stars to drummers to nerds, he shared the songs that were gold, to him.

    Ben Folds Five - One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn FacesP!nk - So WhatThey Might Be Giants - Doctor WormG Flip - The Worst Person AlivePowderfinger - Burn Your Name
  • It’s fair to say 2023 has been a year for Caroline Polachek. Her second solo album soared into our hearts on Valentines Day, and stayed there. It solidified her place as one of the most remarkable musicians operating today; her voice as one of the most incredible of our time, and her output an unflinching celebration of art in all forms. Sonically, visually, and spiritually, Caroline Polachek defies genre and time. She’s just a marvel.

    Desire, I Want To Turn Into You has topped many best of lists this year, and it’s Double J’s #1 album of 2023. So what an absolute treat to see out this year with the woman herself, and Take 5. Volcano’s have featured heavily in her live shows, and capture the energy of what she does in every way. So I asked her to pick “volcano songs” and she really delivered.

    From wild American composers to glitchy electronic trailblazers, and the mysterious world of Sault... this is a joy for the senses, the heart, and the mind.

    Harry Partch – Daphne of the Dunes David Sylvian – Before the BullfightGreetje Bijma & Oceanic – Step Snakes Pink Floyd – The Great Gig in the SkySault - Air
  • Spoon are one of those bands that are quiet achievers. Over 25 years they’ve put out 10 albums and toured all over the world… they’ve weirdly never become super famous, but have a very dedicated bunch of fans. And I say weirdly, cos frontman Britt Daniel knows how to write a hit.

    He’s one of my favourite songwriters, and you can hear in Spoon’s songs and their curiosity that there’s a deep love for music and melody. From Sinatra to Prince to Gambino, this is a fall down the rabbit hole of a great musical mind.

    Gloria Jones - Tainted LoveFrank Sinatra - Strangers in the NightPrince - If I Was Your GirlfriendAC/DC - Rock And Roll DamnationChildish Gambino - Redbone
  • If you’re like me and came of age in the 90’s, then Supergrass loom large. The UK band exploded into the Brit Pop scene like a firecracker, with a song that captured the cheeky charm they’d come to be known for. Six albums followed, before they called it a day. And a few years later, lead singer Gaz Coombes went out on his own.

    In the last decade or so, Gaz has released a handful of critically acclaimed solo albums, and despite the madness of the era he came up in, remains one of the more grounded and lovely muso’s around.

    Gaz came to Australia to support Robbie Williams on some huge stadium shows, and while he was here I asked him to Take 5. From Scott Walker to Broadcast to Lennon, this is a brilliant conversation and peek into a great songwriter’s brain.

    Captain Beefheart - Sure ‘Nuff ’n’ Yes, I doDaniel Rossen - Silent SongBroadcast - I Found The FScott Walker – It’s Raining TodayJohn Lennon – Remember
  • Rhys Nicholson grew up making people want to laugh. As a kid in Newcastle, they were supported every step of the way, with a family of wild creatives and even an uncle in a famous Australian band. Over the past few years, Rhys’s star has shone brighter and brighter. Winning major comedy awards, becoming a judge on Ru Paul’s Drag Race Down Under, and now writing their first memoir Dish.

    But did that broke teenager moving to Sydney to give comedy a crack, have any inkling about how life would unfold? To find out, I asked Rhys to Take 5 with the unexpected. And from John Prine to Ru-Paul, mapped a beautiful picture of Rhys's magical life.

    Scissor Sisters – Running Out David Byrne – Glass, Concrete and Stone John Prine – In Spite of Ourselves Georgia Mooney – War Romance Ru Paul – Sissy That Walk
  • For more than a decade now, Flight Facilities have been bringing the party. Starting life as DJ’s in Sydney’s club scene, they began making their own original music with “Crave You”, and from the get go were onto a winner. But that love of DJ-ing and deep cuts was always central to their foundations, and when not performing on big stages they were stitching together Decades Mixes, capturing ten years in a musical time capsule. These mixes became the stuff of legend, and as they clock fifty odd years of bangers, it felt like a perfect time to Take 5.

    From crate digging samples, to hidden gems, and timeless bangers, this is a joyful journey through time.

    Labi Siffre - I Got The (1975)Punkin Machine - I Need You Tonight (1981)Black Box - I Don’t Know Anybody Else (soul mix) (1990)The Similou - All This Love (2006)Todd Terje - Inspector Norse (2012)
  • Liz Stringer is one of Australia’s finest songwriters. And she’s been doing it for years, honing her craft across six albums and countless stories. Her latest is a beauty, the critically acclaimed First Time Really Feeling. It’s one of those albums that floored me when I first heard it, and continues to, two years on. Liz is about to play it live one last time, stripped back and in solo mode, before she enters a new chapter in making a new album.

    So I thought this would be a perfect time to sit down with Liz and capture her in this moment. We all go through stages, through cycles. And the things that inspire us and push us into new ways of thinking are always surprising. From Sam Fender to Lianne Le Havas to Archie Roach, hear the songs that have soundtracked Liz Stringer’s creative cycles.

    Sam Fender - Spit of YouLianne La Havas - Can't FightMidnight Oil - DreamworldYara - Bad BehaviourArchie Roach - Love in the Morning
  • For more than 20 years, Pendulum have been at the top of the D&B game. Hailing from Perth but breaking through to the London scene, their massive sound has seen them play big stages, drop huge hits, and blend their love of heavy guitar and electronic music in all they do.

    But their musical palette is broad, which you’ll discover when founding member Rob Swire Takes 5 with the whole shebang. From Spiderbait to Empire of the Sun to Karnivool, this is a capture of the many sides of one of Australian music’s biggest exports.

    Spiderbait - Buy Me A PonySilverchair - Freak (Remix For Us Rejects) Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A DreamKarnivool - Simple BoyWoodes – Dots
  • Over the last few months, a steady murmur has been building about a film called Past Lives. It’s the story of childhood friends, sweethearts even, who part ways when they’re 12 in South Korea and reunite many years later. And it’s the directorial debut of playwright Celine Song.

    It just opened in Australia, and lucky for us, the writer and director came out recently to share its story. While in town, I asked her to Take 5 with her past and present. And from Grizzly Bear to Leonard Cohen to Modest Mouse, captured Celine’s own story and some beautiful reflections on human connection.

    1.Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks2.Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Californication3.Leonard Cohen - True Love Leaves No Traces 4.The Killers - When You Were Young5.Modest Mouse - Float On
  • If you’ve watched any Australian telly over the past 20 years, then you’re well acquainted with Julia Zemiro. She’s charmed us as the host of RocKwiz, visited famous people’s childhood’s in Home Delivery, and been a theatresports champion. She’s Roz in the TV series Fisk, and she brought a local connection to Eurovision when hosted the Australian telecast.

    Above all she loves music, and it was high time I invited Julia to Take 5. I always love chatting with her, but I didn’t expect some of the revelations she let drop in this conversation. About the road she took to get here, and what she’s thinking about doing next. From ABBA to Jacques Brel to Everything Everything, this is a beautiful capture of an extraordinary human’s story so far.

    Abba - That's MeJacques Brel - AmsterdamYothu Yindi - TreatyConchita Wurst - Rise Like A PhoenixEverything Everything - Duet