Hits - The I-94 Bar
If there's one recent (i.e. it came out in late 2009 and is still being spun) Australian album that merits robbing a bank, mugging your neighbour or running down to Cash Converters and pawning your partner so you can purchase a copy, it's "Living With You Is Killing Me" by Brisbane band HITS.
Top 10 not in any order:
1) White Stripes –Vault #33 Icky Thump X
Third Man Records Vault only release, 10 year anniversary edition. Includes a wacko coloured vinyl re-press of the double album plus two bonus albums containing all the non-album b-sides and the full demos housed in a way out box. The demos are furious ! Only released for a few months via Third Man Records.
2) Shy Impostors CD (maxi EP/mini album CD)
Unleashed by those God-loving folks at Citadel Records. Seven demos recorded 1980 and now finally after a loving re-mix by Jason Blackwell sound truly fab. The songs, vocals and rough as guts musicianship by these proto legends are gold. Melodic and dirty.
3) Buffalo Revisited gig at Brewtality Festival in Melbourne
Is it truly an honour for me after being a Buffalo fan since 1974 to be playing with their mighty vocalist Dave Tice with some fellow Buffalo maniacs (Troy and Marcus). And to be playing those great songs (a mind melt to learn btw). We hit our cosmic groove at the Brewtality Festival in Melbourne; more to come for sure.
This year was returning to my childhood and gromit years - teenage times as well as inner-city music, alternative and garage rock, beer-soaked pubs and the alternative. Namely the Beatles, Midnight Oil and Patti Smith.
Patti Smith and Paul McCartney get the guernsey for the best gigs of the year. And for the same reasons. Both artists are incredible live and these final tours were a massive thank you to the fans…
1 Macca at Suncorp Brisbane
Sir Paul delivered on all fronts. With the most thoughtful visual show and a hit every minute over those three hours and ten minutes, it ranged from pure, four-on-the-floor garage rock with guitars sonically attacking to more mellow stuff.
From “I Want To Be Your Lover” which would have made the Stones sound like a get-together at a nursing home to “Helter Skelter”, to the bombastic, “Live And Let Die” which inflamed the stadium, the cheesy “Mull of Kintyre” with a 25-piece pipe band, to the solo acoustic moments with “Blackbird”, this was gold. Macca’s voice, his insights, wit and humility, and his guitar playing were magnificent; 42 songs played. I won’t forget it a hurry.
1 Patti Smith at the State Theatre and spoken word at Sydney Opera House
Another pair of gigs where Patti gave 300 percent. Patti engaged us with insights, stories and, as with Macca, showed a great deal of humility. The band, led by Lenny Kaye, at times still had the intensity of 1975 CBGBs Patti, yet with overtones of a grandmother and an earth mother.
1. My increasing exploration of soul music and samples.
2. My increasing discovery of unknown female artists throughout history.
3. Cable Ties
5. River Rocks
6. Lolling Stones
7. That female rapper Kate
8. Deaths... Malcolm, Prince, David...
9. Alice Cooper
10. Dancing in my own living room and sitting in front of my system.
11. HITS Bandcamp
12. All my friends' bands who gigged all year, put stuff out and all my friends who helped it happen. Friends at gigs.
The Top 10 People I Love In RocknRoll That Make Me Love People In RocknRoll (2017 Edition)
1. Shannon Cannon
Shannon is an A1 World Class Top Shelf Human. She is somehow simultaneously all ticker, all smarts, all love, all staunchness, all practicality and logic yet all compassion and instinct. That kinda mix just don't happen often.
From her borderline illegal and harmful practical jokes on idiots she works with to her endless efforts and love to rehabilitate her dear daschund Bruce to walk again against all odds and massive financial hurdles, she is a wave crossing the full spectrum of traits of inspiring people.
Shannon takes this all into her music, I've seen it get pummelled outta her on stage playing bass like a war machine, I've seen it in the drive and focus with which she has forged Juliette Seizure and the Tremor Dolls (incidentally the majority of which are honourable mentions for this top 10), and I've seen it in the difficult, taxing and uncomfortable work she does/has done to earn money to fund music. I've seen it in the minimal twitch of her eye in place of a fist to the cock that she chose to use to respond to a dear and misguided friend of mine's amazement at her wearing a Dictators shirt ("a chick! Wearing a Dictators shirt!"). Shannon is the real deal whatever the hell that means to any of us.
Honourable Mention: Tremor Doll Graeme Cole (happiest man in rocknroll) and of course Bruce.
KC goes to more live shows than your mother goes to Tuppaware parties. Here's his Top Ten of Sydney gigs.
EVEN – NEWTOWN SOCIAL CLUB
A power pop fans dream and a very early “gig of the year” contender from the Fab Three. Supported by the wonderful On and Ons and Soul Movers on a stinker of a summer EVENing. Is it heresy to say I like them and their songs so much more than You Am I? I eagerly await the Christmas Even show at The Landsdowne on December 23.
THE APARTMENTS – THE FACTORY FLOOR
A wonderful set of sparse songs, full of emotion, not sentimental but heart tugging and soul searing. Spare and simple arrangements enhanced by nuanced and subtle musicianship of Peter Milton-Walsh’s fellow musicians, including Amanda Brown.
DIED PRETTY – ENMORE THEATRE
Following on from two cracking shows in 2016, Ron Peno and co delivered another amazing set and they were the band of the night at Radio Birdman’s big show. Brett Myers, what a guitarist.
Tamara and Evil Dick. Caroline Burston photo
In a parallel historical universe the vast southern continent now known as Australia might have been conquered by France.
While France was still a functioning monarchy at the time Captain James Cook invoked the now discredited legal fiction of Terra Nullius to claim the territory on behalf of the English throne; by the time Arthur Phillip lobbed into Botany Bay in 1788, France was starting to buckle in the face of rising bourgeois unrest, and had bigger internal fish to fry (or heads to lop, as the case may be).
A heads-up that the wonderful debut album from Brisbane’s HITS, “Living With You Is Killing Me”, is being re-issued in re-mixed and re-mastered vinyl format on both sides of the world.
Brisbane label Merenoise is doing the business in Australia with Beast Records unleashing this baby in France for Europe and the Rest of the World.
They won’t last long so avail of the links in the label names. We’ve heard a digitised version and even that sounds great, with greater dynamic range and new life in the bottom end.
With a guitar sound dirtier than a mud wrestler’s crotch after a dozen championship belt rounds and 10 short, sharp songs delivered in no-nonsense and rapid succession, the debut full-length album from Brisbane punk trio Shrewms hits the Rock Action bullseye with grim accuracy.
These are high-tensile tunes delivered with lashings of gutter rock charm and despite the clever wordplay in the title, you won’t find any Westboro Baptist Church choir numbers among them. Unless the congregation has taken to gargling with paint stripper instead of fundamentalist Kool-Aid.
HITS are an important band: for those who really care about Australia Rock, the history, the character and breathtaking urgency that some bands at certain times can produce.
One of Australia’s few remaining dangerous rock and roll bands, Brisbane's wonderful HITS, is heading out on the road again in February…and it’s all in the name of Disaster Relief.
WTF? We’ll let the band explain in its own words:
“As many of you already know 2014 was a bittersweet year us little Hitsies, but behind the scenes things went quite a bit shit.
“Gregor broke his leg quite badly, Evil is currently sporting two broken ribs and ringworm, Tam almost had her finger amputated, Stace fell off her balcony and someone tried to cut Andy's rats tail off while he was asleep. But we aint dead yet!!!
“We are hitting the road again with some of our best friends and bringin' our bullshit with us to spread across your toast like Vegemite.”
Here’s the word on the dates they’ll play. More details about venues and supports as soon as they send ‘em:
FEB 26. NEWCASTLE with FRONT END LOADER
FEB 27. SYDNEY with FRONT END LOADER
FEB 28. WOLLONGONG with FRONT END LOADER
MAR 6. MELBOURNE with THE NEW CHRISTS
MAR 7. GOLDEN PLAINS FESTIVAL (SOLD OUT)
MAR 9. GEELONG with THE OBLIVIANS (USA), WARPED + More
MAR 13 BRISBANE WITH MICK MEDEW AND THE RUMOURS
MAR 20 ADELAIDE WITH THE MEATBEATERS
MAR 21 ADELAIDE WITH THE MEATBEATERS
The chaotic, unpredictable and, dare we say it, dangerous thing that is Brisbane band HITS have announced that their long-awaited second album is on its way on Queensland label Conquest Of Noisein April.
Do you miss the thrill of the unexpected? Do you long for the anticipation and uncertainty that goes with risk taking and the sudden inhale of breath in response to seeing someone break the rules? You need to visit The Imperial Hotel in Sydney’s Erskineville on a Friday night.
Forget the clichés about French rock and roll bands being full of pale and inspid breadstick-chewers who can barely rock and are lamentably unable to roll. This Paris trio can do both as well as almost anyone you can name, and might just be the best band you’ve never heard.
3 Headed Dog are Brenko (guitar), Vinz (bass) and Manga (drums.) All have been members of anarchic noisemeisters, Dimi Dero Inc, and the late Holy Curse, who for mine were the best rock and roll outfit in 20 years to have crawled from under the lid the establishment keeps firmly on France’s underground music scene.
Last night, Jim Dickson (of the New Christs et al) feigned fear of my venomous penmanship. As if I’d write a bad word about Jim! The trouble began when the Barman sent me a pile of his old rubbish over to review. It’s not my fault he needed someone to put the boot in. Besides, I just called it as I saw it. Now everyone thinks I’m out to do them in. Here’s a review to prove that you only need fear me if you produce crap. I will give you every chance to prove me wrong and I’ll admit it when you do.
How many rock and roll tours have you heard about where the people booking the run are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts for a band they’ve never met? That’s the unlikely scenario behind the Australian East Coast visit by Perth’s The Bible Bashers.
Brisbane’s endearing gutter punks HITS andJames Doyle from Raygun Mortlock are the benevolent bookers getting right behind The Bible Bashers' tour starting in Queensland tonight.
HITS and The Bible Bashers will meet for the first time at Stones Corner Hotel In Brisbane ,and the pairing will continue all weekend with shows at Curummbin Creek Tavern on the Gold Coast (Saturday) and Condong Bowls Club in NSW (Sunday).
Gigs in Newcastle and Sydney follow with a finale at The Record Crate in Sydney on October 1.
You can have a listen to The Bible Bashers on Bandcamp and, if so inclined, see them in person at one of their shows. They also hang out on Facebook.
Turn up early as all the supports are behind this tour, too.
Bible Bashers East Coast Tour
Stones Corner Hotel, Brisbane with HITS - Sept 22
Currumbin Creek Tavern, Gold Coast with HITS - Sept 23
Condong Bowls Club, Condong with HITS - Sept 24
Lass O'Gowrie Hotel, Wickham with The Grounds - Sept 27
The Union Hotel, Newtown with Thee Evil Twin - Sept 28
Time & Tide Hotel, Dee Why with The Mis-Made - Sept 29
Frankies Pizza, Sydney with Mumbofish + Marvel - Sept 30
The Record Crate, Glebe, NSW - Oct 1
Organisers have announced the line-up for the seventh annual River Rocks festival in the Victorian city of Geelong (aka Gee-troit) and it's a good 'un.
Heavyweight stoner rockers Tumbleweed (pictured), rock royalty Kim Salmon & The Surrealists and Brisbane's peerless HITS head a gun line-up of 20 bands over over two stages at the Barwon Club on November 15.
Tamara, Richard and Stacey on-stage at the Tote. Matthias Baratheon O'Meara photo
It has now been six years since was lining up at the Excelsior Hotel in Sydney when Jim Dickson (New Christs and Radio Birdman bass-player) told me about this band from Brisbane that I had to check out. Knowing Jim for three decades from his time selling Indian food down at Max’s in the late ’80s, I had never heard him express how blown away he was by a local band.
It’s 25 HITS gigs later for me. I’ve been seeing them from a time when only about five of us living outside their home of BrisVegas were convinced that they could be the greatest exponents of dirty, street-level rock ’n’ roll in this country.
Nowadays, HITS are the band on everyone’s lips. That’s why I am flying down from Sydney to to see my favourite Aussie band to play The Tote in Melbourne, not long before they’re due to embark on their second tour of Europe.