• Dinner with Lou Reed

  • Birth of the Celibate Rifles

  • Why The Fleshtones still drink for free

The Pop Group live in Adelaide

pop group liveTom Way Army photo

Supports Simon Barker and Brian Ritchie were on first. Barker had me enthralled, utilising his kit like it was a series of implements to make specific sounds. The musical pieces he and Ritchie made were enthralling. Ritchie (the, er, violent femmes among you may recognise the name) played a succession of rather out-sized flutes.

Now, given that we were in the Freemason's Hall, a very macho, secretive kinda place, and that Ritchie was wearing a sort of rubber cape (with a zip), what looked like Indian love beads and wielded those protuberent, suggestive flutes... well. And there was a dancer, who worked hard but I didn't really enjoy. I was just transfixed by the music. Beautiful, sometimes crushing ... and rather lewd ... hmmm.

Flatiron b/w Stick Up Jack - feedtime (Sub Pop)

flatironHere’s a single with a reason for living. Like all great 45s, it’s succinct and to the point. It belongs to feedtime, who were be the 1980s Australian underground’s most underrated band.

Revived on the back of a 2012 box set by Sub Pop after 20 years of inactivity, feedtime emerge from suburban Sydney anonymity whenever they feel like it. Obligingly, Sub Pop has released their this, their first recording in two decades.

Boogie Pimps - The Juke Joint Pimps (Voodoo Rhythm)

boolgie pimpsThere’s only one thing to do with this album: Play it. Loud. Over and over, Recorded in an analogue Italian studio in two days by a German duo, it’s soaked in whiskey, boogie and blues.

You can bitch about bands that go out of their way to sound vintage and to some extent you’d be right most of the time, but there’s no faking this stuff when it’s played correctly and in the right spirit.

“Bogies Pimps” is not self-consciously retro - it actually sounds contemporary but without the affectations you might expect, or a clean-up. It’s  stripped back Chicago blues and The Juke Joint Pimps could be playing in your lounge room. Only on the closing “Mister Vegan” do the Pimps allow themselves a brief surrender to a looped electronic rhythm track.

Lady Luck - The Villenettes (Off The Hip)

villenettesThey’re four girls with guitars and this is their debut album. It twangs a lot and is laced with reverb in all the right places. It rocks like my vintage mono jukebox and the songs are ace. That’s it in a nutshell, but of course you want more…

Being an all-female band is fraught with dangers, not the least of which is that a certain percentage of sneering (probably male) arseholes won’t take you seriously. Don’t make that mistake. The Villenettes play this ‘60s garage psychobilly hellcats thing with skill and feeling.

Guess who's guitar sound this is: "Take Me Away" by Joeys Coop

Died Pretty guitarist Brett Myers has re-surfaced in Sydney band Joeys Coop, whose debut seven-inch single is due out soon on Citadel. Joeys Coop is Mark Roxburgh (Decline of the Reptiles), Andy Newman (Deniz Tek Group, Decline of The Reptiles), Matt Galvin (Eva Trout, Perry Keyes, Loose Pills), Lloyd Gyi (Perry Keyes, Dave Warner) and Myers.

We at the I-94 Bar are fans of the members' bands but we're especially keen on that distinctive Myers jangle-and-soar so you can guess what we think of the song. Joeys Coop will launch “Take Me Away” at Petersham Bowling Club on Sunday March 22 with supports Knievel, Buddy Glass and Matt Shacallis. More gig details here.

Crush On You b/w Falling Apart – Psychosurgeons (Blank Records)

psychosurgeons crushThere’s been a flurry of excitement about this - and rightly so. Along with Filth, the Psychosurgeons were one of the first Sydney bands to firmly grasp the grasp the back of punk’s bondage pants, give them a good tug in a downward direction and expose its arse.

The Psychosurgeons’ “Wild Weekend” will always be a classic 45, so hearing that this was on the way created the sort of anticipation that you could cut with a figurative knife. Or razor blade, if that was your thing.

The Villenettes take their party on the road

villenettes portraitStill on a high from their sell-out hometown launch, Adelaide’s all-girl outfit The Villenettes will keep celebrating the release of their first full-length album, “Lady Luck”, with a mini-tour of neighbouring state Victoria.

They’ll re-launch their record at The Luwow in Fitzroy in Melbourne on Friday the 13th of March.The mayhem will continue the following evening when The Villenettes stop over at The Karova Lounge, in up-country Ballarat, with locals The Yard Apes.

Supporting The Villenettes at The Luwow will be ‘60s garage girl gang The Reprobettes and The Luwow’s GoGo Goddesses and DJs.

Recorded at Melbourne’s Head Gap Studio (Adalita, Magic Dirt, Paul Kelly, Violent Soho) with Neil Thomason and Mick Baty, the album is released through local garage label Off The Hip Records. It follows their first release, the “V for Villendetta” EP, that sat at #1 on Adelaide radio station Three D for four consecutive weeks.

“Lady Luck” will be Feature Album on PBS 106.7FM on the week commencing 23 February, having also had this honour on Three D and Radio Adelaide.

Getting Some Fun with the Sunnyboys' Richard Burgman

sunnyboys croll
As they were in 1981. Catherine Croll photo

In 2012, a reformed Sunnyboys delivered arguably the most emotional comeback of any Australian band in living memory. More on that soon. Three years later, they’ve given us the most unlikely of resurrected albums, with a stunning re-issue of their second record, “Individuals”.

Originally released in May 1982 when the band was poised to take the Australian charts by the throat, it sold respectably but ultimately foundered under the weight of massive expectations and a curiously subdued mix.

The discovery of a previously lost rough mix among the estate of their late producer and manager (as well as legendary guitarist), Lobby Loyde, cast a new light on a largely overlooked record. The new version sounds as lively and dynamic as the band’s “Sunnyboys” debut from 1980.

Celibate Rifles back home for mini-festival

sunkenThere was a time when Sydney’s northern beaches beaches were a hotbed of high energy rock and roll.

Since the decline in the Sydney live music scene (and the demise of the Manly Fisho's Club) the opportunity to enjoy local bands under one roof has been rare. An event at Narrabeen RSL on March 28 is trying to revive those days.

Sunken Ascension is a mini-festival, headlined by the home-grown Celibate Rifles, and running across three levels of the club. 

It’s free from 2pm and all-ages until 8pm, after which it’s $25 (or $20 pre-sale.)  For that you get cheap beer, inexpensive food, a downstairs cocktail lounge and a local shuttle bus.

Celibate Rifles, C.O.F.F.I.N, Captain Kickarse and The Awesome's, The Archaic Revival, Gutter Tactic, Bloody Kids, Taelor Jane, Bilby and Asia Hatton are playing and tickets are here.


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