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Humour and genial brilliance - that's The Undertones

the undertones live

This is a bit of a rant, I’m afraid. 

Opening support band to The Undertones in Adelaide, The Green Circles ,were good - but as I was preoccupied rescuing my keys from inside my car with the help of the RAA, I only saw the last half of their set. They seemed a little awkward tonight. The Green Circles are well and truly superb, however, and if this was a slightly off night for them, I’d better see them again to make up for it. Find them on Facebook and get their cds.

Next support, The Systemaddicts, are on Off the Hip in Melbourne, and they are one exciting, involving, often very amusing band. You don’t really know what you’re missing unless you’ve seen them. Fucking brilliant.

More dates for Radio Birdman film

ron keeley descentRon Keeley has his say in "Descent Into The Maelstrom"

We've labelled it the "best rockumentary ever" and you can judge for yourself as Jonathan Sequeira's Radio Birdman film "Descent Into The Maelstrom" makes it way into even more Austrralian cinemas. Check with local cinemas for times. 

There are no overseas screening or release plans finalised yet. Australian dates after the fold:

He also served: Gang War drummer John Morgan and life in the trenches with Johnny Thunders and Wayne Kramer

gang war on stageGang War at Second Chance in Ann Arbor in 1979.  Sue Rynski photo  

It’s said the drummer in a rock and roll band has the best seat in the house. It’s given John Morgan his unique perspective on some of rock and roll’s most talented, fascinating and sometimes flawed characters. 

Now living in Ventura, California, John Morgan’s spent half his life as a professional musician, playing with a long list of blues and jazz bands. But it’s his insights into two in particular: Gang War and Sonic's Rendezvous Band - the former as a partcipant, thw latter as an observer - that will hold the most interest for I-94 Bar patrons. 

Sublime - Charlie Marshall and The Curious Minds (Charlie Marshall)

sublimeThe politics of science are far too complicated for anyone without a wardrobe full of white coats and double degrees to navigate, so Charlie Marshall does it for you on this intriguing album of soul-pop and rock.

Remember the concept album? Being anti-prog rock, your average 1970s punk would have had his or her fingernails wrenched out one-by-one with pliers before listening to that shit. “War Of The Worlds,” my arse! Marshall really has pulled off soemthing special here. He's managed to make a concept record without it sounding pompously affected, full of its own shit or boring.

Shy Impostors – Shy Impostors (Citadel)

shy impostors shy impostorsIt came out with bugger-all fanfare five months ago, to coincide with the band’s one-off Sydney reformation on a Sunnyboys undercard, so it’s high time this one was passed around the I-94 Bar for a critique. 

You might know the back story but too bad: Shy Impostors were fronted by uber talented vocalist Penny Ward and contained future Sunnyboys Peter Oxley and Richard Burgman, plus Michael Charles, who would go on to the Lipstick Killers and Screaming Tribesmen. Not much shyness about that lot and no impostors among them.

Flamin' Groovies announce US, Euro tour dates and line-up changes ahead of new album

groovies 2017 lineup

The Flamin' Groovies have announced three new US tour dates in July, all in Northern California, as well as a change of line-up.The band's new rhythm section is Chris von Sneidern (“CvS”) on bass guitar and Tony Sales on drums. Longtime bassist George Alexander and Victor Penalosa appear to have stood down. 

CvS is a well-known San Francisco musician with several acclaimed albums, and was the subject of the 2009 documentary, "Why Isn’t Chris von Sneidern Famous?". Tony is the son of Tony Sales and nephew of Hunt Sales (who together formed the famous rhythm section in David Bowie’s band, Tin Machine, and recorded and toured with Iggy Pop and Todd Rundgren, among others).

Gotta Lotta Move - Boom! - James McCann and The New Vindictives (Off The Hip)

gotta lotta move boomIn musical terms, Melbourne's James McCann has traversed more miles than that ditzy blonde travel agent chick from the local Flight Centre. Unlike Sharon, however, McCann hasn’t done his miles with the benefit of industry junkets and a staff discount. In short, he’s paid his own way.

Back in the ‘90s, McCann co-founded The Drones in Perth, before moving to Sydney where he played with Harpoon, Lowdorados and an early version of the shape-shifting Nunchukka Superfly. Relocating his voice and guitar to Melbourne, McCann’s played under his own name or with his own bands, like The Dirty Skirt Band and The New Vindictives. The odd foray to Europe has kept his passport stamp collection growing. 

Hush The Mountain - Sabrina Lawrie (Pig City)

hush the mountainIf you’re not from Brisbane, you might be justified in asking: “Sabrina Who?” If you are from Brisvegas and you're still in the dark, shame, you need to get out much more. The rest of the world? You just need to pay attention.

Sabrina is well known in her home town and its small but vibrant live scene as a performer and band booker. She used to put bands through the much loved (and regrettably defunct) Beetle Bar. Her own Sabrina Lawrie and The Hunting Party is an ace band that I’ve been lucky enough to see, and she’s also dipped a toe in the water by playing in Los Angeles. 

Forty years of X-treme doings

earlyx

Before there was punk rock there was Ian Rilen. Then there was X.

X weren't punks in the sense of the term that the skinheads understood but they were primal, punk rock and roll in one combustible package.

Sydney had never seen a band like X whose wrecking ball power centred on Rilen's bass-played-as-a-lead-instrument, the massive backbeat of fellow veteran Steve Cafeiro, the slashing guitar of Ian Krahe and the shredding vocals of Steve Lucas, the latter two rookies.

Living a quiet life wasn't part of the X creed. Krahe's submission to a heroin overdose left the already outlawed X even more out on a limb, but they grimly continued as a trio and proceeded to record their debut album with legendary guitarist Lobby Loyde producing.

"X-Aspirations" became an instant classic, setting a benchmark for a whole legion of new, uncompromising and minimalist bands.

These words (and those that follow) were written for the liner notes for the 2009 re-issue of X’s debut album “X-Aspirations” but were inadvertently shelved. We’re reviving them to coincide with the 40th anniversary tour by the X line-up that lives on after the passing of all original members except guitarist-vocalist Steve Lucas. Lucas has crowd-sourced a Best of and Rarities collection ("X-Citations") on vinyl, copies of which will be available at the gigs. Read on.

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