flamin' groovies - The I-94 Bar
The Celebrity Roadie informs The Barman that he can't go out in public like that. As usual, he's ignored. Kyleigh Pitcher photo.
This is a Top Ten of two parts. First, live gigs, and second, albums. You know. Second part, different from the first.The rule of not reviewing my own gigs goes right out the door from the get-go. Got an issue with that? See you in the carpark...
Chris Masuak and the Sydney City Wave Riders:
This was a sensational run of shows- a mini-tour in and around Sydney because that’s all that time allowed - by Klondike and his crack band of Tony Bambach (bass) and Stuart Wilson (drums). Great players, top blokes. Armed with a killer setlist drawing on most of Chris’s back catalogue, the guys fired from the get go. Many of the versions surpassed the originals with Maz playing two guitar parts, as few people can. The shows blew away much of the skullduggery and malakarey involved with certain ghosts from the recent past.
HITS at Marrickville Bowlo
You can’t keep playing the same old songs or you’ll get staid and there’s no sign of HITS doing that just yet. Members are now scattered the length of the East Coast so it can’t be easy getting together…or maybe that’s a blessing in disguise because it keeps things fresh. They continue to be THE Aussie band to follow.
The podcasts are coming thick and fast now. Episode 32 of Drunk and Disorderly is live, with music from Donald Trump, The Damned, Flamin ‘ Groovies, Sator, The Hellacopters, The Godfathers, The Volcanics, Dion Lunadon, James McCann and The New Vindictives, Leadfinger, P76, X, The Hip Priests and The Dream Syndicate.
The Flamin' Groovies have announced three new US tour dates in July, all in Northern California, as well as a change of line-up.The band's new rhythm section is Chris von Sneidern (“CvS”) on bass guitar and Tony Sales on drums. Longtime bassist George Alexander and Victor Penalosa appear to have stood down.
CvS is a well-known San Francisco musician with several acclaimed albums, and was the subject of the 2009 documentary, "Why Isn’t Chris von Sneidern Famous?". Tony is the son of Tony Sales and nephew of Hunt Sales (who together formed the famous rhythm section in David Bowie’s band, Tin Machine, and recorded and toured with Iggy Pop and Todd Rundgren, among others).
Between The Lines: The Complete Jordan-Wilson Songbook ’71-’81 - The Flamin’ Groovies (Grown Up Wrong! Records)
I’ll Have a…Bucket of Brains! The Original 1972 Rockfield Recordings for UA - The Flamin’ Groovies (Grown Up Wrong! Records)
Keeping track of the Flamin’ Groovies discography used to be harder than Chinese arithmetic. Multiple line-ups on a slew of labels - major, independent or indecent, depending on who you believed - and a dizzying array of re-issues, compilations and live sets made it hard work.
Like everything else, the Interwebs changed that. Resources like Allmusic and Discogs allow you to thread your way - relatively coherently - though the back catalogue to make some sense of it.
“Between The Lines” is a clever concept: It compiles the original songs of the “second” Groovies from their salad pop days and strips out the covers.
Fresh from unleashing a volley of Scientists and Radio Birdman/Stooges offspring material, re-born Australian label Grown Up Wrong has a pair of Flamin’ Groovies releases in the wings to whet the appetite of even casual fans of the band.
Arch-Groovies acolyte and label head David Laing has compiled “I’ll Have a…Bucket of Brains”, which is eight tracks from the tapes made for United Artists in the UK in 1972. Mostly recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales with Dave Edmunds, this release captures the Groovies transitioning from punky R&B artists to flashy Stones types – en route to aspiring to be the new Beatles. It’s the Groovies album that never was, with four of the tracks instead being released on singles.
Expanded packaging and a speed-corrected take of the Groovies’ classic “Shake Some Action”, this collection was previously available as “The Rockfield Sessions” but has been long out-of-print.
The other offering is “Between The Lines: The Complete/Wilson Songbook ’71-81”, which compiles, for the first time, all original songs written by Cyril Jordan and Chris Wilson in the classic second version of the band.
That Flamin’ Groovies album we’ve told you about is finally going to be released. “Plastic Fantastic” is out on CD on September 22 on the band’s own Sonic Kicks/Severn Records.
“Fantastic Plastic” was recorded mainly with founding Groovies bassist George Alexander and the band’s latter-day drummer Victor Penalosa (both since departed), with assistance from members of the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Original member Cyril Jordan and longtime singer and guitarist Chris Wilson will be playing together on an album for the first time in 38 years. It features 10 fresh compositions co-written by Jordan and Wilson, plus covers of the Beau Brummels’ “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and NRBQ’s “I Want You Bad”.
One of the tracks, the stellar "Crazy Macy", was released on Burger Records and our review is here.