Melbourne musicians rally behind Brian

brian hooper benefitLegendary Australian alternative rock and blues bassist, Brian Henry Hooper, was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer late last year. 

Brian's illness has devastated his many friends in the Australian music industry, who are rallying to support him and his family.

Hooper is a member of the Beasts of Bourbon, and has played with Kim Salmon and the Surrealists, The Voyeurs and in his own bands. 

The Beasts of Bourbon will re-form to headline a benefit to help their bandmate at The Prince Bandroom, St Kilda, on Friday, June 13. Tickets are selliong here.  Also on the bill are Kim Salmon and the Scientists, Adalita, Gareth Liddiard, Mick Harvey, Rosie Westbrook with further artists to be announced over the coming weeks. 

It's not the first time misfortune has knocked Brian down. After a freak balcony fall in 2004, doctors said he would never walk again. They were wrong.

Now, Brian faces the toughest fight of all to get back up again. You can also support Brian at GoFundMe


50 years on, the jams are being kicked out again

mc50 logoWayne Kramer is marking the 50th anniversary of the MC5's “Kick Out The Jams” album with a world tour under the banner of “MC50”.

Joining Kramer will be Brendan Canty (Fugazi), Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Doug Pinnick (King's X), and Marcus Durant (ZenGuerrilla). Each night the band will perform “Kick Out The Jams” in full, followed by a rotating encore built from later MC5 material.

Some European festival dates, including Spain’s Azkena Festival ,have been announced but only one US show – September 27 at the Fillmore Detroit - has been released. Watch this space.

Bowl me over! The Johnnys are back.

johnnys bowlo webAfter seven years, thousands of kilometres and innumerable demolished backstage riders, The Johnnys were Australia’s indisputable, rough riding champions of cowpunk.

Fresh from two gigs in New Zealand, The Johnnys – Graham Hood (bass and vocals), Slim Doherty (guitar) and Billy Pommer (drums) - will play their first Australian show in two years, headlining Marrickville Bowling Club on Friday, April 13.

They’ll be joined by The Four Stooges (Australia’s only Stooges homage band), Maximum Security (launching their debut album) and Bob Short & The Light Brigade.

The Johnnys formed in Sydney in 1982 when bass guitarist Graham Hood tried out for the Hoodoo Gurus after quitting the Allniters. He met Hoodoo Gurus' guitarist Roddy Ray'da and, with drummer Billy Pommer, they formed The Johnnys, playing their first show at Palms Disco on Oxford Street in Sydney.

New Zealand-born Spencer P. Jones joined on guitar and the four-piece released their single "I Think You're Cute" in October on Regular Records. Ray'da left and the band signed with independent label Green Records before joining major imprint Mushroom.

Sounds like it will be Epic

epic brass

Jack Howard’s Epic Brass has already blitzed hometown Melbourne and he's taking it north to Sydney's Factory Theatre on June 2 with an all-star cast.

Jack Howard’s Epic Brass is a celebration and an exploration of the great horn hits and hidden gems of Australian rock – from Hunters and Collectors and the Oils to The Saints, The Laughing Clowns and Wet Taxis, the show features an incredible set list of killer brass tunes.

The Epic Brass band features a mighty four-piece horn section. Jack is joined by a terrific cast of guest singers and players – Ron Peno (Died Pretty), Paulie Stewart (Painters And Dockers), Steve Lucas from X, Penny Ikinger (Wet Taxis) and Melbourne sensation, Fiona Lee Maynard, who bring their style and energy to this uniquely powerful show.

Bookie's reunion celebrates groundbreaking Detroit club

bookies logoOn March 17, 1978, Bookie's Club 870 became Detroit's answer to New York's C.B.G.B., The Whisky A-Go-Go in L.A., and London's Marquee Club.

Bookie's hosted shows by The Police, Iggy Pop, J. Geils, The Damned, Ultravox, The Dead Boys and many other international punk and new wave performers.

It also served as a home base for Detroit area bands like The Sillies, The Romantics, Gang War and former MC5 and Stooges members like Ron Asheton, Michael Davis,  Fred Smith and their then-current bands, Destroy All Monsters and Sonic's Rendezvous Band.

At least three live albums have been released of Bookie's concerts and a new two-record set of Iggy Pop's six-day residency is now being released on Easy Action in the UK. The book "Detroit Rock City" chronicles the Bookie's days through the eyes of people who were there.

The Bookie's 40th Anniversary Reunion will be held on Saturday, March 17 (St. Patrick's Day) at the New Way Bar on Woodward, Detroit, roughly three miles north of the original Bookie's. Admission is FREE. There will be posters and photos on display that night as well as live performances from The Sillies (who started the club) and members of R.U.R., Coldcock and other surprise guests.

First Lady of Soul is Oz-bound - and You Am I can't wait

pp arnold posterBest known for her beautiful and classic mid-to-late ‘60s hits including “The First Cut Is The Deepest”, “(If You Think You’re) Groovy” and “Angel of the Morning”, as well as the power chorus of the Small Faces’ iconic hit “Tin Soldier”, PP Arnold is set to undertake her first ever concert tour of Australia.

And she’ll be backed by a super group of super fans in Tim Rogers, Rusty Hopkinson and Andy Kent of You Am I, Talei Wolfgramm and James Black.

The Los Angeles teenager, who became London’s First Lady of Soul after hitting town in 1966 with Ike & Tina Turner and coming to the attention of Mick Jagger, is still going strong. And she’s once again at the right place in the right time, as she has been so often in a career that’s lasted over 50 years.

PP’s tour down under follows the release last year of “The Turning Tide”, an album of unreleased recordings from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, produced by both Barry Gibb and Eric Clapton. It cracked the UK Top 30 upon release, recently made the NZ iTunes Top 20, and has been the subject of many accolades and much airplay since its release.

Although this will be PP’s be first concert tour of these parts, she has previously performed here as a featured singer with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters in 2002 and 2008. In recent times she has also recorded with Primal Scream, Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller. She has a voice that other artists love to work with; her first duet was with Rod Stewart on a single produced by Mick Jagger, way back in ’67.

Front End Loader hits the road for release of seventh album

fel band portrait

They call themselves “Australia’s foremost proponents of Post Adult Complaint Rock” and they’re touring their new album with an extensive run of national dates.

Sydney’s Front End Loader have been a constant on the Australian music scene since 1991 and “Neutral Evil” is their seventh album. It’s described by by the band as “terrible music by terrible people about terrible things” and if it’s half as entertaining as the blurb promoting their tour, it’ll be a winner:

Have you heard the News? Win a deluxe single pack

news contest

Thanks to the generous folks at Buttercup Records, it’s time for another giveaway. This time the prize is a deluxe edition of the News single we reviewed a couple of days ago.

It's the Cool Cardboard "Cake Box" edition with pull up lid. It includes all the paper inserts, a sticker, flexi-disc of an unreleased News song and a wild T-shirt (black with bold red print.) And the actual 45, this time in white in a special run of just 78 copies.  The single - a re-issue of the 1978 "Dirty Lies"/"Chop Chop Chop" seven-inch with two extra tracks on the B side - comes in a hand-sprayed paper sleeve.

Three ways to get your kicks, boofheads

3 way tossThey don't make old fashioned multi-act tours like they used to. That's one reason why the bands behind an East Coast Australian mini-tour deserve your support.

"3-Way-Toss" pits The Meatbeaters (Adelaide), The Vee-Bees (Canberra) and FAT (Brisbane) at each other's throats in a three-way, no-holds-barred slam-down. A toss of the coin will determine playing order. It's going to be fast and loud.

These are old-fashioned, street-level, blue-collar rock and roll bands. Subtelty is not their long suit. As the bands themselves say: "By boofheads, for boofheads, direct from the shallow end of the gene pool straight to you!" 

Three dates only. March 2 (Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney), March 3 (The Phoenix in Canberra) and March 4 (RAD in Wollongong.) 

They'll be joined by supports RUST (Sydney), Dickie Birds (Canberra) and 99 Scapegoats and C.O.F.F.I.N. (Wollongong - check out the latter's Radio Birdman cover) so it's wall-to-wall Rock Action.

Do you have what it takes?