gentle ben - The I-94 Bar

Beach Coma - Shifting Sands (Spooky Records/Beast Records)

beach comaShifting Sands are partly comprised of members of SixFtHick and Gentle Ben, whom you may have heard of … and quite a number of Shifting Sands’ songs are ludicrously radio-friendly.

No, I mean FM radio cross-over, cover of Cosmo friendly; "Boyfriend" and "Other Girls" are the tracks suggested; but that’s not where the band always hang. My favourites include "New Flame", "Dead Memory" and "Airway", the latter being a rather clever inversion of your expectation. In fact, the majors should be sniffing around right now.

Binic Folks Blues Festival is a safe European home for Australia's best bands

 

bcsixfthickBen Corbett makes a point to the crowd as SixFtHick play on.

In May 2012, I had the good fortune to travel to Brittany in France to see HITS plays three club shows in the cities of Brest, Lorient and Lannion. The brilliant Ben Salter happened to be touring France at the same time, so he arrived, guitar in hand, to see his friends in HITS - and was promptly added to the bill for those gigs.

HITS and Salter were welcomed with open arms and rapturous applause, but I started to hear French people say the same thing to them after every show - "You have to play at Binic!"

Dodging bullets and shifting sands with Six Ft Hick's Geoff Corbett

sixfthick crowdsurfKarina Astrup photo

A lot of bands say they're unique but Six Ft Hick’s claim is real. A two-headed mutant from deepest Queensland in Australia’s sub-tropical north, the Hick has been trashing stages around their home country, and further afield in Japan and Europe, for two decades.

Over four studio albums and a live long-player since 2000, Six Ft Hick have carved out a space for themselves somewhere between amped-up (vaguely) rockabilly and full-steam ahead trash rock, but it’s as a stage entity that they’ve made their most lasting mark.

With vocalist-brothers Geoff and Ben Corbett running off each other like crazed wingmen at a testosterone party, they’re an irresistible and confronting beast that’s impossible to ignore. Smashed glasses (mainly on their own heads), broken furniture, casualty ward visits and ringing ears are de riguer.