• Gang War Sue Rynski photo

    Gang War's John Morgan talks

  • Robert Matheu photo

    Sonics Rendezvous Band - The One That Got Away

  • Mickster Baty

    15 years of Off The Hip Records

  • The Scientists

    Tony Thewlis' tales of the Scientists

BARFLY TOP TENS: James McCann of James McCann and The New Invincibles

james juxe photoJames McCann leading The New Vindictives in Europe.  JUXE photo. 

1) The Damned @ 170 Russell St, Melbourne
I’ve always loved The Damned: the rush of energy of their first few singles and albums. My wife is a big fan and she educated me on all things Damned. I missed them last time around so I was pumped to see them finally, to say the least.

I didn’t want to be disappointed so I did my homework and watched recent live shows on YouTube and read recent reviews. By all accounts the band was on fire , so I was ready for it and they didn’t disappoint.

They are still Punk Rock weirdos at heart and it was side splitting when Captain Sensible talked about Kurt Vile playing before them at Golden Plains: “It used to be Phil Collins and Paul Weller , but I’ve found a new one KURT Fucking Vile , what a fucking tosser “ It's true so much contemporary underground music is middle of the road , like Bread in the 70’s or LRB , this shit is still the enemy, even though I’m sure Kurt Vile is a lovely guy.

BARFLY TOP TENS: Kev "Big Daddy" Cherry of Sydney's Radio 2RRR-FM

kev cherry top ten1 . Welcome Aboard – The On and Ons: Catchy, melodic powerpop tunes by former Kings Of The Sun and Screaming Tribesmen guitarist Glenn Morris with bass and harmony vocals by Hoodoo Guru/Stepfords /Wetsuits member Clyde Bramley, performed with energy and great live.

2.  Beginning At The End – The Young Docteurs: Thirty or so years in the making and well worth the Wait.  If The Young Docteurs had done more recordings they would have been  one of the more influential Australian psych/Punk bands of the ‘80s.

3. Love Is A Gamble - The Steve Wernick Band: Folk rock, country and swing influenced songs well constructed and arranged, performed in a  unpretentious, heartfelt way.

4. Johnny Streetlight- Chickenstones: Blues influenced, Aus alternative rock with songs about homelessness, gambling and cheating relationships but performed with upbeat  humour.  A great band to see live, too.

5. Rx- Loose Pills: Some of Sydney’s best powerpop musicians with tight, up beat songs.

BARFLY TOP TEN: Simon Li, drummer with Sydney's The Phringe Dwellers and Dave Favours and The Roadside Ashes

simon li top ten1. The Sunnyboys / The Flaming Hands / The Shy Imposters - Enmore Theatre
2. Descent into the Maelstrom : The untold story of Radio Birdman
3. Powerline Sneakers "Bank Robber" video clip
4. Son Volt - Factory Theatre
5. Steve Earle - So You Wannabe An Outlaw CDLP
6. Tift Merritt - Stitch of the World CDLP
7. Lindi Ortega - "Til the goin' gets gone" EP
8. Ghost on The Highway : A Portrait of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and The Gun Club
9. Beware of Mr. Baker (Ginger Baker documentary)
10. (Far from) honorary mentions - 
- The Phringe Dwellers - recording new stuff with current line-up
- Dave Favours and The Roadside Ashes - releasing and launching 7" single + recording songs for vinyl LP
- Releasing my solo CD #4 "From Beth to Evie"

BARFLY TOP TENS: Doc Temple from Sydney band Chickenstones & host of The Devils Jukebox on 2NsB 99.3 FM and RADIO365.UK

doc at the deskThat Mr Barman fellow, of I-94 Bar notoriety, has graciously once again asked me to pen a brief diatribe on the music I heard this year that breached my inherent tinnitus (this being a persistent “ringing” that originates in the ear rather than in the environment.)

The noise heard by people with tinnitus may be a buzzing, ringing, roaring, whistling, or even a hissing sound and is often associated with hearing loss.

As I'm a fellow of balanced research, and YouTube had offered a viewing of their "2017 Rewind" collection. I felt it important to have a listen to the Boobtube wares in case it informed me of important musical/cultural creations that I had possibly missed over the past 12 months...

Lo and behold it did !! Instantly I discovered that the roaring, buzzing, whistling or hissing of tinnitus can INDEED originate in the environment, contrary to what was taught during my medical schooling. What's more, that the associated hearing loss was a relief !!

Fortunately, the remedy was simple. I turned the bastard off and wondered what parallel universe of musical endeavour had led to my sudden selective deafness as it righted itself.

So, as usual, I shall make an opinionated mention of songs/releases/bands that crossed my bows during the stated period, though the pushing of record buttons, mixing and the mastering may have occurred a little before. To me, the release was when I got my sticky hands on the product, played said product and was then taken by the throat....

Mad Marc Rude: Blood, Ink & Needles. Directed by Carl Schneider

mad marc rude"He was a cocked pistol." -Robert Williams.

Mad Marc Rude grew up in ‘60s New York, the son of an abuser cop and negligent mom, who frequently expelled both him and his sister from the family home. He attended Woodstock the year I was busy being born. 

I think I first became aware of him as a teenager, when I read an article about the Hollywood punk underground in the pages of Rolling Stone. I already published a shitty fanzine and was the rowdy front man for a defiantly outcast Midwestern garage band that performed covers of Dead Boys, Misfits, Cramps, and Gun Club songs, as well as some sucky Dead Kennedys influenced originals with cartoonishly banal titles like, "Victims Of The System". 

Silver and Gold - Cub Callaway (East Dominion)

silver and gold coverAlternative title: "He Gets by With Some Help From His Friends".

Producer-guitarist Bruce "Cub" Callaway assembled a stellar cast for this, his 2013 return to recording after a lay-off, and it shows.

John Hoey (Died Pretty), Warwick Gilbert (Radio Birdman), Paul Larsen (Celibate Rifles), Clyde Bramley (Hoodoo Gurus) and Julie Mostyn Gilbert (Flaming Hands) all played roles. Lesser-knowns Ian Johnson, Louis Callaway and Harry Rothenfluh also contributed drums.

BARFLY TOP TENS: Bob Short of Filth, Blood and Roses, Dead Rabids and The 4 Stooges

bob top ten 2017Oh Christ.  The Barman’s on the phone from Bondi.  Says he’s gonna make me a star.  David Essex once made me a similar offer which probably would have certainly given me a #metoo moment.  A Top 10 list?  Shit.  Have you seen the state of Planet Earth? 

Just when you thought the whole place couldn’t sink much further, they gave a pussy grabbing paedophile the keys to the kingdom and a button for his tiny finger.  I tried not to write.  Mother said something about “if you don’t have anything nice to say…”  I’d been putting my foot in the truth for a long time and it was getting me in trouble.  Hate mail.  Death threats.  I wasn’t allowed to attack their freedom to be dicks.

And it’s been a shit year with a whole bunch of old timers coming back to provide a less than memorable version of the past.  I could name names but, let’s just remember I was there when those moments were something to throw your life behind.  Best thing about saying  that is anyone asking “Is he talking about me?” is probably right.

Noticeable Exception 1 is Top Ten 1.

1. PATTI SMITH plays Sydney 2017.  How to grow old disgracefully…

BARFLY TOP TENS: Chris Virtue of Sydney's 2RRR-FM

chris virtue1. The Aints at the Factory. Theatre in Sydney. The songs of the Saints’ initial period hold up after four decades with Know your product (with a horn section FFS!) being the best live track heard in ages. Harry Howard and the NDE in support were great too.

2. The Clouds at the (now sadly no longer with us) Newtown Social Club. It was as they'd never been away and the new songs are great. The Factory show was even better and Falling Joys were fabulous in support.

3. Nikki Hill at the Newtown Social Club. First time I'd seen her live and I'm now a disciple. Great voice, great presence, hot band with two cranking guitarists. She's the emerging first lady of soul and rock. Ignore her at your peril.

4. Guitar Wolf at the Marrickville Bowlo. In an era when punk has become a cliché, Seiji and the boys delivered the craziest show I’ve seen in years, if not ever, in front of the wildest mosh pit I’ve seen in years. From the opening in Godzilla masks to the human pyramid at the end, it was one for the ages, all powered by an unrelenting rhythm section with the hardest working drummer in showbiz. Good to see Bunt in a larger room and they were great.

Mobile Homeland - John Sinclair (Funky D Records)

mobile homelandNo introduction needed for the onetime spiritual leader of the MC5 so here’s a personal note about meeting John Sinclair:

It was on a night off during a business trip that involved a flying visit to Ann Arbor, Michigan in the early 2000s. Sinclair was in town for that city’s annual Hash Bash and had just played a show at The Blind Pig. I’d been drinking at the Eight Bar Saloon with some locals, including Scott Morgan who did the introduction.

More Articles ...