australian tour - The I-94 Bar

"Like James Brown crossed with the MC5": Schizophonics land in Australia for two dates only

Schizos webSensational San Diego trio The Schizophonics have announced two Australian dates in June.

They'll play Sydney's Marrickville Bowling Club on Thursday, June 6 (with Grinding Eyes) and Melbourne's The Tote on Friday, June 7 after a run of New Zealand dates. Tickets for both Austrralian shows are on sale here

The wild, gyrating, and down-right gymnastic, guitarist Pat Beers is joined by his wife Lety on drums and bass player Blake Lindquist...and yes, Beers is their real name. By day Pat teaches music but at night, once strapping on that guitar, he becomes a man possessed .

The Schizophonics are, in one word, EXPLOSIVE. Their frenzied live performances tap into the same unstoppable combination of rock ‘n’ roll energy and showmanship that fueled the MC5 in the heyday of the Grande Ballroom.

When they hit the stage, they grab your attention and don’t let go. They’ve built up a formidable reputation in their home base of San Diego and a fervent following among locals.

“One of my favorite live bands ever!” proclaims Tim Mays, who has run the Casbah for over 25 years and seen literally thousands of live bands come through his doors in that time.

A roomful of love amid the loss

beasts adl

The Beasts
The Johnnys
The Gov, Adelaide
March 17, 2019
Photos by Alison Lea

It's the last night of the Adelaide Festival and the city centre is abandoned to the tourists, and no doubt some "end of festival" official shindig, doubtless adding anodyne "vibrancy" (one of Adelaide City Council's favourite buzzwords) to the joint.

Meanwhile, Adelaide's finest and most intelligent people are voting with their wallets and pile into the Gov, many having come from miles around. One bloke is here with his wife from Kangaroo Island (more expensive than a trip to Melbourne or Sydney); another bloke flew 300 miles to arrive at 4pm, with a return flight at 8am. There are many happy drunks.

Tonight was the most beautiful gig I've seen in years, if not ever. I cannot remember a more wonderful, cathartic experience.

Americana Hero: Alejandro Escovedo's long journey from punk to troubadour

nancy rankin escovedoNancy Rankin-Escovedo photo.

In 2018 Alejandro Escovedo released "The Crossing", an album based on the story of two boys, one Mexican and one Italian, travelling across the United States. “I’ve always lived along the border in California and Texas, so it’s been part of my story,” Escovedo says. But while immigration is fundamental to the evolution of modern America, in recent years it’s has become a hot political topic.

(To accentuate the point, a few hours before my interview with Escovedo, US President Donald Trump invoked emergency powers to secure the funds to continue the building of his border wall between Mexico and the United States.)

Escovedo didn’t set out to write a political album; it’s just that “whenever you talk about immigration at this time it tends to be political because of what’s going on in America”.

Australia: Just say Yes to Senor No

senor no bw promo

High-energy veterans Senor No from Basque Country (don't call it Spain) are embarking on their first Australian tour this month but their Anipoddean connection already runs deep.

Senor No was born in Donostia/San Sebastian, Basque Country in 1993, after the dissolution of the seminal Spanish group La Perrera. The band released their first LP with No Tomorrow Records in 1994 and toured Spain and surrounding areas relentlessly while recording five more albums and more than a dozen singles.

Senor No was the very first release for the seminal Spanish label Bang! Records which is a label responsible of releasing some of Australian best bands overseas.

Birdman tag-team with The Stems for two-weekend run

birdman octoberRadio Birdman is embarking on a short, sharp Australian tour with Citadel label-mates The Stems in tow. The five-date run will include Spanish band Los Chicos as guests on three gigs.

Tickets are on sale via venue websites.

Radio Birdman
+ The Stems
OCT
25 – Factory Theatre, Sydney
+ The LangLangs
26 – The Gov, Adelaide
+ Sunday Reeds
NOV
1 – The Triffid, Brisbane
+ Los Chicos
2 – Coolangatta Hotel
+ Los Chicos
4 – Croxton Ballroom, Melbourne
+ Los Chicos

C'mon, feel these Lemonheads

thelemonheadsEvan is in the backseat of his Cadillac. 

Beloved alt-rockers The Lemonheads are returning to Australia this December.

Since they were formed by Evan Dando in Boston, Mass, in 1986, the family tree of The Lemonheads has many twisted tentacles and tangential branches, and a host of one-liners etched into its bark. Anyone could be a Lemonhead but for how long who knows? Leastways they’ll be shoulder-to-shoulder with Evan throwing discordant chords against alt-country-tinged melodies, playing that light and dark card. Through their ranks have passed Descendents, Blokes Babies, Dinosaur Jr - and even a member of Australia's The Eastern Dark.

Dave Studdert's Tactical return

dave studdert colourDave Studdert.

When drawn to writing about Tactics, their new album and their forthcoming Australian tour, I had a youthful flashback to being a 17-year-old and moving down to Sydney from the bush. Armed with smudgy-ink copies of RAM magazine, I was aware of so many bands that I knew mostly in name only: Midnight Oil, Hitmen, The Saints…and some weird shit (at least in my mind) like The Tactics, Thought Criminals and Dead Travel Fast. I was like a sponge and I wanted to see every one of them.

I had a hunger for a tapestry of sounds and new, sharp sonic edges - stuff that was so far from the bland radio fodder like Cold Chisel and Dragon. I left a live music scene centred on a dilapidated pub by a river that often flooded…a place with peeling paint and populated by old tradies with battered faces, professional alcoholics and underage kids. We watched the odd cover band and the place was home to weekend rock-stars playing poorly -delivered Chuck Berry riffs. The alternative was the local blue light disco that usually ended in a bloodbath by the end of the night.

So, I moved. I headed to Sydney.

Dead Kennedys back Down Under

dk promo 2008

Jello-less since 2001, the Dead Kennedys are bringing their brand of seminal punk back to Australian audiences, 25 years since they first hit our shores and th first time since 2014. 

The band - these days that's East Bay Ray, D.H. Peligro, Klaus Flouride and singer Skip McSkipster - is doing a quick hit-and-run of four shows in a week.  

The Dead Kennedys had a huge impact in Australia in the 1980s. Their albums - “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables”, “In God We Trust, Inc”, “Plastic Surgery Disasters”, “Frankenchrist”  and “Bedtime for Democracy” – sold by the thousand at a time when punk had yet to break into the mainstream, and kept selling big numbers for decades.

Do you want to be in my Gang? Oh yeah.

andy gill rick de pizzolJohn 'Gaoler' Sterry. Rick de Pizzol photo.

Gang of Four
God God Dammit Dammit
Lion Arts Centre, Adelaide
November 5, 2019

Gang of Four are touring Australia and New Zealand and played Adelaide earlier this week. They were fucking brilliant. Exciting. Brutal. Gigantic. Fun, too. But... pointed and magnificent.

It's a no-brainer. Go see them while you can.

Right, well. A little context. When I was asking a few friends if they were going, one said, 'they sound like every other band'... well, no they don't. See, the thing is, over the last 40 years a lot of other
bands have picked up on their style, which is now familiar.

Don't be indifferent: The Aints! album is out in September

 

The long-awaited “The Church of Simultaneous Existence” album from Ed Kuepper and his Aints! Is almost upon us, with a September 21 release date announced for CD, LP and digital formats. The album will be accompanied by an Australian tour taking in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and WA over October-November, culminating in a show at the Meredith Music Festival on December 7.

This version of the Aints! differs from previous ones in its focus on not only revisiting the material of the original Saints but mining a well of woodshedded songs intended for what would have been that band’s fourth LP.

Extra dates added to Alejandro Escovedo tour

The great Alejandro Escovedo (The Nuns, solo) is coming to Australia and New Zealsnd in March and two more Aussie shows have been announced. He’s doing extra gigs at Brisbane’s Junk Bar (early and late shows) and the Camelot Lounge in Sydney. What’s more, he’ll be accompanied on guitar by Tim Rogers of You Am I.

Escovedo's new album "The Crossing" features goes spots by James Williamson (Iggy and the Stooges) and Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys.) His Australasian tour is stripped-down but the clip below gives you an idea of the power of the man's music. Full dates and ticketing information in the Read More link.

Front End Loader hits the road for release of seventh album

fel band portrait

They call themselves “Australia’s foremost proponents of Post Adult Complaint Rock” and they’re touring their new album with an extensive run of national dates.

Sydney’s Front End Loader have been a constant on the Australian music scene since 1991 and “Neutral Evil” is their seventh album. It’s described by by the band as “terrible music by terrible people about terrible things” and if it’s half as entertaining as the blurb promoting their tour, it’ll be a winner:

If you're hard of hearing, don't show up

still never too loudRose Tattoo’s "Never Too Loud", released in 1997 through Repertoire Records in Germany, was a compilation spanning the band's career at the time. Now, 22 years on, the Hard-Ons join Rose Tattoo on their "Still Never Too Loud" tour heading out across Australia in March, April and May.

Thirty-five years since their formation, the Hard-Ons have amassed an unprecedented and never-to-be-paralleled 17 consecutive number-one releases on the Australian alternative charts, making them one of Australia’s most commercially successful independent bands. Their cult following extends into Europe and the UK, and as of 2019, their brand of unapologetic punk rock has never sounded better.

The band are fresh out of the studio having just finished recording their 12th studio album due to be released later this year.

Angry Anderson’s Rose Tattoo recruits, considered some of the best in the business, comprise legendary bass player extraordinaire Mark Evans of AC/DC fame, iconic guitarist Bob Spencer of The Angels & Skyhooks, as well as unbelievably talented maestro of rock mayhem, Dai Pritchard.

Rose Tattoo hit the high seas on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise out of Miami in late February and headed straight into the recording studios in March.

STILL NEVER TOO LOUD
Friday 29th March 2019 - Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
Saturday 30th March 2019 - Waves, Wollongong NSW 

Friday 5th April 2019 - Shoppingtown Hotel, Doncaster VIC 
Saturday 6th April 2019 - Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights VIC 
Friday 12th April 2019 - The Gov, Adelaide SA 

Saturday 13th April 2019 - Capitol, Perth WA 
Friday 26th April 2019 - The Triffid, Brisbane QLD 
Saturday 27th April 2019 - Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta QLD 
Friday 3rd May 2019 - Diggers, Ettalong NSW 

Saturday 4th May 2019 - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW 
Tickets from rosetattoo.com.au
 

Japanese protopunks The Deadvikings set sail for Sydney's shores

dead vikings 2018Japan’s The Deadvikings return to claim their stake and expand their domination over Sydney this week with their ultimate heavy protopunk.

Their four-day Japanese invasion - their second in a year - starts at The Old Manly Boatshed on September 27 with locals Tshatki and 4 Barrel Hemi. Entry is free. 

Day 2 (September 28) sees a foray in to new territory via Paddington's Captain Cook Hotel sharing the helm with goth rockers RK Ally, Black Knuckles and Black Heart Breakers. Entry is $10 at th door. 

The third gig is a return to iconic inner west venue The Townie at Newtown on September 29, with Eightball Junkies and BUNT.Free entry.

Day 4 peaks at the empyrean of Sunday venues, Frankie's Pizza, in the CBD on September 30 with Stu G's Cloak & Dagger kicking off followed by cosmic sludge monarchs Lord Dodongo and US trio BOYTOY, making their Aussie debut. No cover charge. 

Jesus and The Mary Chain's perfect pop set to the aesthetics of noise

jmc majotielveCredit: @majortielve

It's easy to forget just how good the Jesus and Mary Chain actually are; how many drop dead classic songs they have recorded. Then, on a Thursday night at the Sydney Opera House (no less), they ram a shit ton of their greatest hits down our throats and they still leave out a huge chunk of back catalogue just to spite you.

They make it look easy. But being this damn good is not easy.

Marky Ramone tells: Why I didn't punch Bono

marky ramone 2017 


Ex-Ramones and Voidoids drummer, author and sc-fi fan Marky Ramone starts his first Australian tour in almost a decade this week. Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg reprises the back catalogue of the Ramones with Marky driving the backbeat behind a crew of hand-picked punk rock players.

Pete Howlett of Adelaide band The Pro-Tools was given the chance to pitch him 10 questions. Here's the result.  

Oh you Pretty Things: Phil May looks back without sorrow

pretty things sepia

In the middle of 1968 The Pretty Things were seated in a conference room with EMI executives and production engineer Norman Smith at EMI’s corporate headquarters in Manchester Square, London. The Pretty Things were presenting their new album, and their first with EMI, a concept album based around the story of a fictional character by the name of Sebastian F Sorrow: SF Sorrow.

Standing at a lectern in the conference room, Smith, in-house engineer at Abbey Road studios where the album was recorded, read snippets from the story before the corresponding song on the album was played. But it was apparently immediately that the corporate stiffs had no empathy for The Pretty Things’ ground-breaking album.

“They’re all sitting there in their suits, looking a bit bemused,” recalls singer Phil May. “We weren’t sure how well it went down, so the next morning I get a phone call. Because we were going to have both the story and the lyrics on the cover, they rang me and asked me I really thought the story was important enough to print on the cover. I was gobsmacked. Why did we read it to them? What was the point of that whole exercise, and now you’re asking me ‘Was it important?’ Imagine if it came out with the story – it would have been really confusing! What the bloody hell is going on?”

Pretty much on top of their game

dick taylor ADLVic Conrad's band The First Third has a drummer who plays hard and owns the kit, a guitarist who knows how to dance in and out of a tune, a bass player who, like Vic, runs a record shop.

Vic himself sings, plays guitar and two keys. They're really damn good. Sixties structures sieved through to now. Apparently they'll have a new CD out soon.

But I'm here to see the Pretty Things.

As I left, the two original members and one of the more recent recruits were answering questions and signing merch, while the bassist and drummer were chatting at the exit with assorted fans. This is a band who are comfortable with their crowd. Because, to them, they're not that far removed.

Let's get rid of the "original members" thing. Like a lot of bands who came up through the R & B scene in the 1960s in England, not only was their lineup not always been stable, some of the band were linked to the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd and god knows who else.

Phil May, the vocalist (looks a bit like a movie star) and one of the band's songwriters, is one of the two members who've stayed the distance. The other is the incomparable guitarist Dick Taylor, picured right.

Pretty Things take final Australian bow

pretty things oz 2018Iconic first wave British R&B and psychedelic cult heroes, The Pretty Things, will perform some of their final live performances in Australia in October.

The band has announced it will cease playing electric shows with a final hurrah in London on December 13, with special guests Special Guests David Gilmour, Van Morrison and Bill Nighy. Securign the Pretties for a run through Australia is a coup for promoter David Roy Williams. 

Local legends – and massive Pretty Things fans - including TumbleweedThe Sand Pebbles and The Living Eyes are onboard to help send them off.

The Pretty Things are waving goodbye. Be there to wave back....

Tickets are on sale from 10am (AEST) on Friday here.

Wednesday 3rd October - Sydney, FactoryTheatre
+ Tumbleweed + DJ Owen Penglis
Thursday 4th October - Brisbane, The Zoo
+ Golden Age of Ballooning
Saturday 6th October - Melbourne, Thornbury Theatre
+ Sand Pebbles + The Electric Guitars
Sunday 7th October - Melbourne, Caravan Club
+ The Breadmakers
Wednesday 10th October - Geelong, Barwon Club
+ The Living Eyes
Friday 12th October - Melbourne, The Tote
+ The Living Eyes + Banagun
Saturday 13th October - Adelaide, Fowlers Live
+ Somnium
Sunday 14th October - Perth, The Charles Hotel

Radio Birdman saddles up to coincide with documentary DVD release

RadioBirdman2018Radio Birdman is playing a limited number of Australian East Coast shows over two weekends this September/October, before heading off for a 22 date tour of Europe.

The Australian run will coincide with the release of "Descent into the Maelstrom”, the Jonathan Sequeira-produced documentary dealing with the band's rise and demise in the late 70's and later re-emergence.

The documentary has received great attention at various film festivals in London, Glasgow, Norway, Amsterdam and Detroit and is now scheduled for local release on DVD with bonus content this September.

It will be available at the band's shows, online and via discerning retail outlets.

Supports on this tour will include Adalita (Melbourne), Brisbane's Hits (Brisbane and Sydney) and all shows will feature special guests from Spain Los Chicos.

RADIO BIRDMAN
AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2018
SEPT
27 - Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne
+ Adalita + Los Chicos
28 - The Triffid, Brisbane
+ Hits + Los Chicos
30 - The Gov, Adelaide
+ Los Chicos + The Sunday Reeds
OCT
6 - Manning Bar, Sydney
+ Hits + Los Chicos + DJ Frank Cotterell

Tickets for all shows are on sale from Wednesday. June from Oztix.