The Cannanes + Summer Flake + The Monies

The Metropolitan Hotel, Adelaide, September 22, 2013

There is a likelihood I will offend during this review. If I do, I apologise in advance, to the bands and to I94bar, and to The Dark Lord Barman. Particularly as I am going to delve into that dreadful area of 'journo advising a band how to improve'.

Grong Grong live to air

3D Radio, Adelaide, October 27, 2013

There was always only one gig for me in Adelaide this week, and it wasn't a gig. We were lucky enough to be among the few watching Grong Grong play live to air on 3D Radio last night.

Release The Bats in Melbourne 2013

 ATP-96Tom Verlaine turns on Television.

The Palais & The Prince of Wales, St Kilda, Melbourne, October 26, 2013

I have a lot time for the All Tomorrows Parties as a festival, it is ultra-cool. Awesome vibe. In fact, my festival going was a dim memory since the late Nineties until the ATP Sydney Cockatoo Island of a few years ago. It a lineup of was The Saints, Rowland S. Howard and Bad Seeds. No brainer really, It was an awesome day. Nor, was it a no brainer to get down to Melbourne for another dose of ATP with a lineup that included Jesus Lizard, Television, Scientists, Breeders and the Roland S Howard tribute Pop Crimes.

Television + Ed Kuepper

television row

Enmore Theatre, Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Restraint is not often a by-word around these parts but let’s at least try to keep some perspective. A visit to Australia by Television seemed unlikely, if not an absurd proposition, just a few years ago. The band was scarcely active, Richard Lloyd having had long flown the coop, and Tom Verlaine had let a label issue two mothballed solo records that were barely promoted. It seemed if the TV hadn’t been turned off it was in storage and in danger of being forgotten.

Hugo Race + Sacri Cuori + Carla Lippis

The Metropolitan Hotel, Adelaide - September 27, 2013

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Tonight was a passionate night of balance, power, and space. Each group told us stories, ran films in our heads.

The streets are empty. Empty as in, it's Tuesday night. Except it's Friday night. Where is everyone?

Just the previous night, the suburbs decanted some 10,000 to land like a torrent of ants in Adelaide's great dome of the popular people's front to see Rihanna, who is, I am told, a superstar. From overseas.

Bellrays + Johny Casino and The Secrets

Annandale Hotel - August 1, 2006

If you don't like slobbering, breathless gushes, leave now. OK? I've already copped a broadside from someone about one review of a gig this week - and the fucker wasn't even at the show - but here goes...

What an in-fucking-credibly amazing show. Just about the best thing I've seen this year. The Stooges beats it (although that was surreal an experience I'm still not sure it happened). Soulful, rocking, energetic and dynamic. Perfectly paced and a testimony to a band at the peak of its considerable powers. Cruisey and light at the get go, it shaped as a righteously loud and grooving way to ease us all through a Tuesday night.

Mick Harvey + JP Shilo + Louis Tillett





Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thebarton, Australia - June 22 and 23, 2013

My dad used to say that nothing was free. There's always a catch. There's a reason that nice man on the street is giving away Bibles, Robert.

He was right, of course. Those free music magazines you pick up for the what's on this weekend guide, the reviews of pub food, new beers and pricey wine, they make their living from the adverts. Stop putting in the stuff that the people with money to spend want to see and they'll stop bending at the creaky knees to pick it up. And the advertisers start to wonder why they're paying four or five hundred bucks a week. Self-evident, yeah? You don't change a money-making formula unless you can make more.

Stranded in The Jungle. Jerry Nolan’s Wild Ride by Curt Weiss (Backbeat Books)

stranded in the jungleThe cover does not lie. It was a wild ride for Jerry Nolan, drummer from the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. And it’s all outlined in detail in Kurt Weiss’s gripping, 310-page biography.

Much of the wild nature of the journey was self-induced: in a New York underground rock scene where junkies were prominent, Jerry was one of the most notorious. A bigger fiend than his running mate Johnny Thunders, some say. 

His death at the unripe age of 45 - on life support, fighting bacterial meningitis and pneumonia - was more than likely related to his two decades of intravenous heroin use. He was HIV-positive at the end - and possibly in the grip of AIDS, the author suggests.

Curt Weiss (aka Lewis King) drummed in Beat Rodeo and succeeded Nolan in the lesser-known Rockats. He met Nolan only in passing. His style is incisive and direct, and his critical faculties are those of a rock and roll player, which is no bad thing when talking about Nolan's technique.

KURT COBAIN ALERT! Three Fall books reviewed

you can drumThe Rise, The Fall and The Rise - Brix Smith Start (Faber)
The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall - Steve Hanley and Olivia Piekarski (Route)
You Can Drum But You Can't Hide - Simon Wolstencroft (Route)

Yep, You read the headline correctly. I'm serious. Cobain was such a fan of The Fall he tried to get on their tour bus and travel with them. 

The Fall refused.

There's an absence in our culture. You may not have noticed. It's like some necessary abscess has been entirely excised from our cultural body. We needed that pain, that savagery, to tell us what we are, what we shouldn't be, and to remind us that we can be more than what we are. 

This article is all about Mark E. Smith. Because his personality, his drive and charisma shoved a certain rock'n'roll band forward through barrier after barrier...