Go Out Tonight b/w F4 - The Professors (Buttercup Records)
What did your Sydney sound like in 1978? The Professors did their best to define it for their own tight coterie of followers after Radio Birdman left for Europe to seek world domination, by sounding like this.
Graduates of the infamous Oxford Funhouse, they took their lead from its most notable tenants bysetting up their own venue at The Royal Oak pub in Chippendale, They adopted their name from Chris Bailey's nickname for their singer - and the Saints repaid them with some namedropping in "KNow Your Product." The rest is history aka some photos and a caption in a Clinton Walker book
These two songs are from a demo tape that was exhumed by singer Stephen Vineberg and spruced up by engineer Barry McGuirk just a year ago. It’s been packaged in a gatefold cover by the folks at Buttercup and issued in a range of colours. Just as you’d expect.
B side first. “F4” is a thumping great punk rock song. Nailed to the floor by Joe Breen’s kick pedal, it has a whiff of the Lipstick Killers to it (even though it pre-dates them) with a glint of glitter in the gritty guitars of Bruce Tindale and Steven Burrell. Two minutes of acerbic punk. A side “Go Out Tonight” latches onto the ennui of inner-Sydney student/squatter life at the cusp of the ‘70s, setting its lyrical sights on an evening on the town. Simple and effective, it would have been bootlegged on “When Birdman Flew” if someone had thought to nick a copy of the tape.
Of course it won't last as long as a piece of Creatures graffiti on the wall of a Sydney railway overpass, so check out the purchase links at the bottom of these reviews. You sure as shit don't need a PhD to work that you need it. - The Barman
There is a famous saying that everyone who bought the first Velvet Underground album at its time of release formed a band. You could probably say the same thing about the few hundred people that saw Radio Birdman at the Oxford Funhouse. Five of those folks formed a band called The Professors.
The Professors members went on to continue to do interesting musical activities long after they broke up (and right until to this day in a couple of cases) but this release - recorded in 1978 in a bedroom at the Bakers Dozen in East Sydney on one of the very earliest Tascam multi track cassette recorders - was their humble beginning. The two tracks have a sound (to my damaged ears) that merges "Living Eyes" era Birdman, '60s garage, and Ramones with a dash of early Hitmen.
The A side lyrics are very simple (“I wanna go go go out tonight, I wanna go go go out tonight” x 4.) The sound is lo-fi but not too lo-fi. Side B “F4” is a bit tougher. The song reminds me of "Do The Pop" with cleaner guitar sounds. Both songs are very short - two minutes (this release would have made a very cool EP as more songs were recorded). The cover design is very cool. A gatefold with band photos...and coloured vinyl for you collector nerds.
The Professors, like most bands around at the time, didn’t last long. Singer Steve Vineburg went onto to play in the truly fab Fifth Estate - with Dean Coulter (pre Decline Of The Reptiles) The Eastern Dark's James Darroch and drummer/scribe Murray Engleheart. Bruce Tindale went onto Room 101, Coup De Ville (an almost all-star band who played '50s rock and roll) and an early line up of Decline of The Reptiles (who, in my humble fucking option, could have conquered the world) and, more recently, in Los Romeos Oxidados. Drummer Joe Breen went onto The Bambalams, Coup De Ville and now plays in a country rock band called The Beaut Utes. - Steve Lorkin