The Aints! aren't just the flowers in your dustibin

flowersJohnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers famously played “rent parties” at the turn of the ‘70s when they’d finished living in the UK and were back home in New York City.

What proportion of the proceeds from their sporadic gigs went towards keeping a roof over their heads was purely speculative. There were other activities to feed and audience members used to throw loaded syringes onto the stage.

Things were a world removed at the Manning Bar in Sydney on Friday night, where the audience threw two bouquets of flowers at Ed Kuepper.

We’re drawing a very long bow here, I know. This was the first leg of a modest two-city run (the next one in Melbourne on March 23) by Ed’s band The Aints. Chances are, the most popular drug in the room was Lipitor. The objective here is not to pay the rent – shit, Ed Kuepper now has a Brisbane park named after him so he can always live on a bench there - but to fund new recordings.

If that’s not exciting news, you’re in the wrong bar.

A two-night Date With Some Mesmerisers

brian and mickBrian Mann and Mick Medew trading licks in Thirroul. Shona Ross photo.

Gonna break that rule about not reviewing I-94 Bar gigs, as the second of this two-night engagement was badged thus. If you can’t write about things you like, what’s the point? It’s the ethos of why we do this e-zine thing.

So let’s be up front and say that Mick Medew is a good mate and his band, The Mesmerisers, are lovely people. In customary evangelical spirit, I’m unashamedly going to tell you that if you love rock and roll then you have to see them - in their native Brisbane or on one of their few forays outside of Queensland. 

The first leg of this two-night weekend stand was a support to the mighty Sunnyboys, opening a bill shared with the mercurial Ups & Downs. The venue was the magic Anita’s Theatre in Thirroul, an hour-and-a-bit south of Sydney. The second was a Sydney show at the increasingly familiar stamping ground of Marrickville Bowling Club. The Mesmerisers are making the road trip a family affair with partners and two offspring in tow.

The twisted, ordered sounds of feedtime

feedtime at the bowlo

Belated reviews are the best reviews. You know, better late than never. 

Eleven days have elapsed since feedtime played Marrickville Bowling Club. The excuse for the late review is that the tinnitus needed time to subside. No, there are never excuses, only reasons. After experiencing two - Two sets! Count ‘em! - sets by feedftime in one night, you need time to get over it.

Not time to analyse it. Music like theirs should never be picked over like an insect that ends up pinned to a back-board in a display case at the Australian Museum. As if you didn’t know, feedtime plays music from the guts, not the head. 

Allow me a brief Robert Brokenmouth-style digression. 

Tears without fears when Andrew and Melinda play

mckubbin kayIf you’ve not seen or heard Andrew McCubbin play, or if you have but not seen his current set, drawn from his new LP “Where Once There was a Fire”, then I can only urge you to do so.

They're in Adelaide tonight but McCubbin and Melinda Kay toured Europe earlier this year to a strong response from crowds, most of whom it is fair to say, were unfamiliar with the music.

The new album is a deeply romantic, sweet, painful, exhilarating slow burn. So, no, they’re not Marky Ramone (who played tonight elsewhere) or the Cosmic Psychos or a Birthday Party covers band.


Aints no doubt about it

 the aints factoryThe Aints in Sydney. Iam Amos photo.

It’s a concept both risky and bold. The Aints, as they were originally constituted, were a short-term thing that evolved into something more substantial. After a live record and two studio albums, they’d been put to one side for a time (25 years) while main protagonist Ed Kuepper did other things. Many other things.

Much water had passed under the Go Between(s) Bridge since then. History had also put on a lot of weight. The original Saints had re-convened for a tour that did a degree of justice to the band’s name, but was clouded by ill-temper.

Thoughts of doing it again apparently reside in the church of indifference, baby.

Ex-Pistol elicits miles of smiles

matlock adelaideMandy Tzaras photo.

Glen Matlock's Adelaide show was such a fine, big smile-stretched-across-the-face, hugely enjoyable gig. Not because of the association to THAT band, but because Glen is who he is, likes the kind of music he likes, and brings it into you. 

If you’re hesitating about whether to see this man’s gigs - don’t. 

Just go. 

One Night In Venice

aints adelaideThe Aints in full flight: Peter Oxley, Paul Larsen and Ed Kuepper, with Alastair Spence obscrured. Mandy Tzaras photo.

You knew something special was up in Adelaide tonight because as you approached The Gov, heading determinedly back to the carpark was a small group of lone pushing-toward-pensioner men, each clutching the same record: “The Aints Live at The Sarah Sands 1991”. There can’t be too many left of this, they only made 300; get yours at the gig; two LPs, $50.

Now then.

Ever hear of Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman? Good. Now you have

The first comic came out, it must’ve been 30 years ago. I had a T-shirt, gave it to Bob, who has cherished that damn thing for about 25 years now. I did my heart good to see Bob bouncing around tonight in that tattered t-shirt. “I thought I told you to SHUT UP!” Fleming bellows from the shirt. It perfectly matches the night.

Scientists bring a sackload of magic

kim in colour barry takes photos
Kim Salmon in full flight. Photo by Barry C. Douglas of Barry Takes Photos.

Before we start: The Scientists were bloody brilliant; Geelong hosted a magical gig. See them while you can, you may never get this chance again.

Now, then. There really are times when not being a multi-millionaire is, frankly, a bit of a fucking niggle.

So there I was, reading that a certain band were going to tour Australia - they’ve played a few reunion gigs overseas as one of the two guitarists lives in London - but they haven’t toured Australia in well over a decade. So there’s every chance this could well be the last time I’ll ever see them.

Race and Russo are Hooked on John Lee

hugo wheatyDateline: Adelaide. Hugo Race (pictured right) and Michelangelo Russo arrived at the venue shortly after 4pm, just in time for a swift soundcheck, have a couple of beers, smoke a couple of rollies and a cigar (respectively) while Michael Plater was on.

Quizzed later about their 4am wake-up to drive from St Kilda to Adelaide’s West End, Hugo denied it being a hard trip. "Warsaw to Paris, that’s a hard drive" … you knew he meant non-stop.

And it’s not the first time Hugo’s done this drive; this time he was captivated by the patterns of light, the yellows of the rapeseed, a stand of blasted trees waving in the wind… Charlie Marshall does this kind of thing. Not so much old school as a rediscovery of the essence of travel.