adelaide - The I-94 Bar

3D Live to Air - The Billion Dollar Bums (Billion Dollar Music)

billion-dollar-bumsTake the massive rhythm section of Fear and Loathing, add ex-Love Fever and Primevils’ David Mason on one guitar and the redoubtable Sean Tilmouth on the other guitar and you have a crunching, bowel-scouring rock band. 

The Bums were first put together a few years back by the late Renestair EJ; their first gig featured a rather heatstroked Ren beaning a startled Mr Tilmouth with the mic stand. Mr Tilmouth’s response to this was not, "I say, that’s a bit harsh, Ren old buddy". No.

Sean knocked Ren out cold, and floored him again when Ren got up and went for the cuddle of forgiveness. I’ve seen the video and this band owe me a new pair of underpants. 

A little bit of Magic as jangle pop returns

the magic numbers colour2Subtract-S warm up The Gov. Rick de Pizzol photo.

The Magic Numbers 
Subtract-S
The Gov, Adelaide
March 26, 2019
Photos by
 Rick de Pizzol 

Ho to the Gov once more, to attempt to find a car park which may not exist, to finally succeed in an adjacent suburb, and plodge back the way I drove, feeling not remotely conspicuous as a I pass several pubs with the locals whooping it up, trailing behind a herd of badly-dressed bumpkins heading, it seems, in the same direction.

No, thankfully, they're not; the Entertainment Centre across the road has another do on and the streets are filled with the aforesaid bumpkins and, perhaps needless to say, their cars. I don't know whether the local council is aware of the hideous car parking problem in these suburbs, caused mostly by the Ent Cent, which I thought had ample parking, but I have decided every night from now on I shall drive to where I left my car tonight, and walk to the Gov and back. Excellent cardio.

Adelaide's Captain Spud inspires no fear or loathing but brings lots of weird

chris spud

It is my great privilege to interview the elusive Chris Spud at his home. Who? You may ask. Among other things he’s a member of Fear and Loathing, who might just be Adelaide’s most seminal band of the last 30 years. He’s also a solo artist in his own right with persona like Captain Spud producing quirky music that spans the genres of exotica, punk and electronica.

Chris Spud’s home: It’s the kind of neat and tidy which frankly gives me a headache, yet is essential for Chris and Mrs Spud to live an orderly life while creating … a certain kind of chaos. A sheep’s skull peers in through the window…a pricey artwork leers down like the bottom of Poseidon’s trunks…

Be amazed by this Adelaide punk footage from 38 years ago

Andrew Bunney is a 3D radio announcer and former member of the Coneheads and the Exploding White Mice. He shot and compiled this amazing piece of Adelaide underground rock and roll history in 1978, featuring rare live footage of three local punk scene originals.  

The footage features The Accountants playing “Elizabeth City Riots” (with Bad Boy Bubby star Nick Hope on bass!), The Dagoes delivering “This Perfect Band” and The U-Bombs dropping “Give Me A Medal”. 

Says Andrew: "There are a lot of people who are in this film (or would be interested in seeing it), however I don't have their contact details. Please feel free to alert any such people, especially Doug Thomas, Hugh Llewellyn, Ron Putans, Kate Jarrett, Doss (Frances) Grieve, Andy Steele, Nick Hope, Richard Gak, Neil Perryman, Bo Costerson and Roy Ersinger."

Blow The Bloody Doors Off in Adelaide

terry bleddynWarning: Some non-rock 'n' roll content ahead with lots of laddish, British crime and action 1960s films relevance.

"Blow the Bloody Doors Off" is a triumph of ingenuity, intelligence, organisation, talent and sheer bloody guts.

Once or twice I reflect how damn lucky Adelaide is. "Blow the Bloody Doors" off isn’t touring the rest of Australia, though it should, and soon.

Its star is Terry Edwards (pictured right) with guests including Zephyr Quartet, Seamus Beaghen, Rosie Westbrook, James Johnston, Trevor Nichols … you get the picture. It’s an all-star cast.

Brando Rising - Brando Rising (self released)

brando rising coverI coulda sworn I sent a review of this violent fucker in yonks ago but... apparently not. Anyway, it's been a couple months, and I still play it, often and loud, usually in the car, and I have the dangerous driving fines to prov

"Brando Rising" sounds fresh, piercing, varied and they approach the six songs here from every which way, and the disc hurtles toward you with the measured savagery of a Hammer film (or a killer making his way up the stairs). There's a healthy dollop of Stooges/ Iggy influence (no surprises as singer Rip fronts the Four Stooges when he's got a few moments to spare) and as The Barman points out belwo, a few other influences. 

Don't let the influences influence you. Guitarist Kelly Hewson wields a nasty, savage guitar and is one of the few guitarists to use wah-wah and get away with it. Wah-buzzsaw? Something like that. Either way, they've got a top rhythm section which knows how to party, a guitarist who wants to rule the world and a singer who already does (so I am told). They're entertaining, intense, new, not particularly pretty and belong headlining at your local beer barn.

Buzzcocks and Moulting Vultures (2)

First up I must confess I’m a Buzzcocks tragic from way back. Been in Adelaide for 10 years now and this is the fourth time I’ve seen them, plus once in '92 in Melbourne. So the title Buzzcocks Tragic sounds good to me.

Crowd Surfing With The Molting Vulures: The Best Of - Molting Vultures (Off The Hip)

molting vulturesNo less than Psychotic Turnbuckles elder statesman The Grand Wizard provided the good oil about this Adelaide band, who remain largely unheard outside their home town and more enlightened parts of Melbourne.

You might be surprised, then, to hear that The Molting Vultures have been going since 2004 and have four albums under their belts. “Crowd Surfing” picks the eyes out of the albums and presents them on one disc, with a couple of newly-recorded songs thrown in.

Fuck you Sydney, the Currie was hot in Adelaide

cherie wideJoanne Bennett photo

I missed Babes Are Wolves but caught The Babes (two men, two women), who did a good strong metallish rock set - both bands had people dancing and paying attention despite only using about a quarter of the stage. No mean feat. Both are Adelaide acts and I can see I’ll have to investigate properly.

One of the most enduring memories I will carry away with me from tonight’s show is that this 5’1” thin scrap of a person, Cherie Currie, demonstrated sensibility, strength and love without any of the usual r’n’r proclamatory chest-beating. She still looks gorgeous (her genes should be investigated and the rights procured) with her boyish figure and sexy smirk …

But that’s the last time you’ll see me use the term “sex”. It’s essential to mention, of course, but whereas most of us, at 56, have begun to look like Santa (and the ladies begin to resemble the Family Guy dog’s lost teenage love.. I don’t know if you know the episode, Brian turns up at a shack where some ghastly bovine opens the door and…) Cherie looks good in a way most of us would kill to look like when we were 32.

Hippy Days in a room filled with quiet joy

arlo1Arlo Guthrie
The Gov, Adelaide
April 24, 2019
Jeremy Tomamak photos

One of the things that really got to me the very first time I saw the film "Alice's Restaurant" (on late night telly, back in the days when Adelaide only had four stations) was the mutation of black humour, intelligence, and improbability running through the film like a twisted thread of opal.

Not least is the fact that Arlo was (in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War and the draft) declared by the US Army as “not moral enough to join the army.”

As Arlo told Rolling Stone: "I never thought of “Alice’s Restaurant” as being an anti-war song, but you can’t run a war being that stupid. You won’t succeed in the war and you won’t succeed in other things either. And I think that’s some of the lessons we still have yet to learn, you know?"

And tonight, I wonder what we're in for. His father, underground folk guitar hero Woody Guthrie, died of Huntington's disease (HD), also known as Huntington's chorea in 1967, at the age of 55, and when Arlo was just 20.

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.

Kim Salmon and Hugo Race: Separate shows, many parallels

kim at wheatyThis was the weekend that Hugo Race and Kim Salmon played separate shows in Adelaide on successive nights. At first glance, there might seem little to compare the two. But there’s plenty.

Both guitarists, both swimming against the stream writing songs which are, essentially, written as much for the ages as us. Both Hugo and Kim are touring professionals who love playing live, giving to a crowd.

Arguably, both also make the kind of music which seems to endlessly slip between the cracks in a modern world so devoted to novelty (rather than a trend) and the appearance of substance or significance, as opposed to any depth or meaning.

Kim Salmon - Mandy Tzaras photo

Leadfinger on the road: Twin guitars assault Adelaide, locals pretend it isn’t happening

leadfinmger adelaide augustLeadfinger rocks out. Adelaide slumbers.   Mandy Tzaras photo.

It’s going to take a while to recover from this weekend. Each of the bands above play very different rock from each other, and were all well-suited in the line-up. Curiously, at each gig I was reminded of the late Darby Crash.

Friday night gigs are always a bit weird as so many of today’s musicians have day jobs. So, for example, they finish a week’s work and, instead of coming home to a beer or four and a chewie, people have to hurry home, put their gear together, get their stage concentration going and head out the door.

So a Friday night gig has all the makings of tired people fucking up and so on; for myself, I have work the following day, so I have to curtail the popping of champagne corks (cue: mock-chorus of “aaww” followed by a hail of empties).

Live PBS 106.7FM - No Fixed Address (No Fixed Address)

no fixed address liveSaw this unexpectedly in Streetlight Records in Adelaide and instantly snaffled it.

No Fixed Address (or NFA, as the Social Security acronym had it) was what every itinerant/traveller/boho put down as their address when they turned up in a strange town and went to lodge their form. Meant they weren't entitled to rent assistance. 

The reason this release only gets its beer bottle rating is for the songs - not the memories. Certainly not for the sound - whoever did this was either having difficulties or not paying attention. The bass doesn't dominate like a liquid hot night in Adelaide, somehow to the fore and in the background at the same time; the guitar seems cleaner than I remember it, the pace seems slightly faster (though that could be time playing tricks) and, perhaps Veronica Rankine wasn't playing that night as I can't hear her sax.

Melburnians Take The Barn

melburnians2 melburnians3

Cabin Inn, Michael Plater and Tom Redwood at The Barn near Adelaide. It’s up the hill on the unpaved road, dodge two donkeys and a sot in a ute, down the hill and round the bend and there you are. Just follow the signs.

Of course, I’m kidding a little about how to get to Aldgate’s The Barn. There might not have been quite as many donkeys, for example. But it was an adventure, since none of us had been there before.

The Barn is a combination of things, and it works surprisingly well. Rather like the Wheatsheaf Hotel but just outside of the city, it’s an artist’s space (to five artists, it seems) as well as a gallery/learning centre/wine hall which serves decent grub. And they’ve been having music on.

Misanthro-PC - The Pro-Tools (Conquest of Noise)

pro-toolsAdelaide has a history of swaggering, scrunching rock and roll bands who manage to spit out one single or EP and vanish into the backwater. Acid Drops and Die Dancing Bears, for example. Few are lucky enough to release an LP and get away with it like, say, The Primevils and the Exploding White Mice.

My Adelaide weekend beats your year

system addictsThe Systemaddicts in full flight. Mandy Tzaras photo

Right now, Adelaide might not be the centre of the musical universe, but that's not for want of talent, effort and sheer fuck-offed-ness. Last weekend proves it.

First, Friday night at The Grace Emily Hotel. It's probably wrong to describe Subtract-S as Tomway Army's band, but he's definitely the leader, and the star. In fact, at the Grace Emily in Adelaide tonight, the air positively stinks of stardom, the kind of stardom which winks at you, lures you in like a jam rolypoly to Billy Bunter, then rams a fist into your blubbery belly.

If you've not caught Subtract-S, you must. In the audience tonight was a gentleman who'd come all the way from Hamburg just to see Adelaide bands. And he loved it.

Perdition - Not Just Another Anthology (Reactor Records)

perditionPunk rock from Adelaide? No. This is a actually great little pop record.

Take the CD’s opener, "Nothing For You". If it weren’t for the times (of buzzsaw fuzz guitar) and the haircuts (ok) you’ve got yourself a tight, fast, witty and pointed powerpop outfit.

Simple.

PJ lets Adelaide (and the Thebarton Theatre) shake

pj harvey alison leaPJ Harvey makes her point. Adelaide laps it up. Alison Lea photo

BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM

Poor old Thebby.

BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM

Poor old Thebby, and its heritage-listed planks.

BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM

After posting on Facebook that bits of poor old Thebby’s ceiling were falling around them, I’m fairly sure Sunn 0)))) had to turn down the volume a few months ago. Not that we noticed.