live - The I-94 Bar

Miles of Love - Powerline Sneakers b/w Star - Some Jerks (Buttercup)

powerline sneakers splitIt's double A-sided goodness from two of Australia’s best rock and roll bands, issued as a split-single to mark their shows together in Brisbane this weekend.

Melbourne’s Powerline Sneakers contribute “Miles of Love”, a harder-than-diamonds snarler from their “disasterpiece” long-player. Sly Faulkner’s soulful plea for his other half to come back is pitched against a background of his and John Nolan’s muscular guitars snaking in and out of each other’s pathways. Its lingering feedback outro is a signal to play it again.

Some Jerks have won a rep as Brisbane’s premier “surf garage rock” trio to see and “Star” is what you’d expect on the back of their “Strange Ways” LP. It sounds very ‘90s college radio (in a good way) without any false production veneer. It has an ethereal vocal and slinky bass-line from band-leader Vicki Watson and enough collective energy to light up the old Lang Park.

It’s the usual Buttercup deal (colour inserts, limited hand-numbered edition, this time just 300 copies.) Get it at the shows or drop the label a line.

Powerline Sneakers and Some Jerks play the Bearded Lady in Brisbane with Slumlawwd on Friday, August 31. Buy tickets here because Some Jerks shows there always sell out. Powerline Sneakers play an in-store at Sherpa Records in Brisbane on September 1.

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30 Years Of Borrowed Time - Beasts of Bourbon (self released)

beasts30Here’s one of those ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-out’ releases. It’s a limited edition (500 copies), triple CD set of three recent live shows by as many different line-ups, each representing a particular phase of the Beasts’ rocky and storied lifespan. Need it be added that it kicks the living shit out of ‘most anything else the band’s committed to tape or hard drive?

A bunch of old Wild Things who made my heart sing

troggs the gov

Chris Allen and Chris Britton up front of The Troggs, 2016-style. Mandy Tzaras photo 

The original Troggs were Ronnie Bond (drums), (guitar), Reg Presley (vocals) and Pete Staples (bass), and their first hits began over 50 years ago. Along the way, they profoundly influenced ‘60s garage rock (not to mention glam) and seem likely to have been the inspiration for “Spinal Tap" when a spirited recording session was recorded, edited and bootlegged ("The Troggs Tapes").

Those reasons alone would be good enough to shell out your $70+change and hurry along to the fine establishment on Port Road in Adelaide, The Gov.

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.

A Psychotic Xmas as the Turnbuckles prevail

jesse factoryJesse the Intruder of the Psychotic Turnbuckles

The Kings of The Combat Zone, the Psychotic Turnbuckles, returned to Sydney from Pismo Beach last Saturday night for a one-off Xmas show, presented by the I-94 Bar.

They were joined by Melbourne's Stoneage Hearts and Sydneysiders The Prehistorics in a no-holds-barred tag-team contest at Marrickville's Factory Floor. Shona Ross captured these images as the Turnbuckles triumphed in front of a packed house. Click more to see the images.

A trip in the Delorean with The Flaming Hands

flaming hands factoryHalf of the Flaming Hands: Julie Mostyn, Warwick Gilbert and Jeff Sullivan. Drummer Baton Price is obscured.  Murray Bennett photo

In preparation for their upcoming support slot with the Sunnyboys at the Enmore Theatre, the band calling themselves "The Strangers" - aka The Flaming Hands - lined up a show at Marrickville's Factory Floor.

The Thursday night crowd gathering outside the venue contained many familiar faces of gig goers and musicians from what was loosely termed the "Detroit Scene" of the late '70s-early '80s from which The Flaming Hands emerged.

After 37 years, ME-262 reform for one-off Sydney show with the Green Spiders

green 262It’s a bill to have fans of lysergic acid punk or Sydney-via-Detroit Funhouse jams reaching into the cupboard for their leather jackets and Cuban heeled boots, when the Green Spiders pair with the long, lost ME-262 for one gig only at Marrickville Bowling Club on September 28.

The Green Spiders come from the DNA of the Lime Spiders, Adolphus and The Most – all staples of the Strawberry Hills-Sydney Trade Union Club circuit in Sydney in the early ‘80s. They play the songs of the Lime Spiders that Green Spiders members penned.

Lime Spiders members Ged Corben (guitar), Tony Bambach (bass) and Tom Corben (drums) are joined by Ripley Hood (Mushroom Planet) on vocals to deliver a potent parade of hard rock and ‘60s punk gems.

Some 37 years after they last strode a Sydney stage, ME-262 are reforming to play this one show.

Comprising teenagers Mark Roxburgh, Andy Newman, Tony Gibson (one of the best guitarists of the era) and drummer Alan Marr, ME-262 (also known as Trans 262 and not to be confused with MEO-245) could be seen regularly around inner-city Sydney in the post-Radio Birdman years of 1979-82.

Heavily influenced by Birdman and The Visitors they played support spots to Sunnyboys, New Race and dozens of others. issuing an EP before fading away to form, or join, other bands like Decline of the Reptiles, Chris Masuak’s North 40, the Visitors and the Deniz Tek Group.

This show will draw from the band’s posthumous 2017 compilation "Original 7” Tracks/Demos" on boutique label Buttercup, which comprised their EP tracks and other songs drawn from a recording session with Rob Younger.

Th Green Spiders and ME-262 will be joined by a mystery band drawn form a range of bands from the Sydney underground of the late '80s and '90s. Tickets are on sale hereat a special early bird price. 

After 40 years, it's not time to say goodbye

x factory theatreX in full flight in Sydney. Murray Bennett photo  

Forty years of X and there’s a national tour to celebrate. Who would have thought? Certainly none of the original members, of which Steve Lucas is the only one remaining alive.

Lucas and bassist Ian Rilen were, of course, the only constant members of X. Almost. Even Ian was went briefly MIA from one line-up. The pair’s tumultuous relationship has been documented in many places and they were the heart and soul of the band.

An engaging double-header in Melbourne

camp cove promoCamp Cove.

A scenario The Barman will appreciate: My place of employment has organised for middle-managers to attend a two-day leadership and management session. The notional proposition is clear: to build engagement across and up through to the more senior levels of the corporate hierarchy.

"Engagement", in this context, is a corporate-speak for constructive interaction in the workplace. You can talk to someone, but unless you’re both engaged, it’s just words. And what are words for, when no-one listens anymore?

We’re assembled at the venue, a mid-range hotel-cum-conference venue in Melbourne’s CBD. The room is small and stuffy. The only window looks out to construction works being undertaken across the street. The décor is unimpressive, patterned brown carpet like a Brunswick sharehouse, uncomfortable chairs, inconveniently placed supporting pillars.

Anne McCue live at Django Bar in Sydney

McCue jill stokesberryJill Stokesberry photo

If I was to choose a Sydney venue for the launch of Anne McCue’s remarkable album Blue Sky Thinking, it would be the Django Bar. 

I was aware of the venue upstairs, Camelot, as one of the better bars in Sydney’s inner-west for the last few years The Django bar is downstairs and it is everything Django. Django sculptures Django oil paintings, Django drawings - such a Django Rhineheart vibe.

I was so early for a gig (7.15pm) and already it is packed; I knew was a sell-out but this was so startling. Even at that time I was able find a seat way at the back of the venue with mid-‘70s Tom Waits footage on a large screen, blaring across the room. There seems to be big expectations for this show.

Another Heroic Friday night

leadfinger friday night factory

In an alternative universe where justice prevails, Leadfinger would be spending their Friday night cranking out a two-hour set to a packed Hordern Pavilion. Five-thousand sweaty people would be singing along to every word of every song from their newest - superb - album.

Instead, they’re middle-of-the-bill and out front of a half-full Factory Floor in Marrickville. And the thing is, to watch them and to listen to those brilliant songs played with such passion and fire and love, you wouldn’t know the difference on stage.

This was only my second Leadfinger show. My first was at the Blood Bank Benefit for Mick Blood in 2014. I’d heard of them but not heard them. I spent the next 40 minutes standing there with my jaw on the ground going “Who the fuck are these guys and where have they been all my life?” Now to be fair, I had waged a blitzkrieg on sobriety that day and only remember general amazement, and a scorching cover of “City Slang”, but I blabbered about them for ages to everyone I spoke to in the real and cyber worlds.

At 71, still a Real Wild Child and rock and roll's beating heart

iggy soh bwThe World's Forgotten Boy.  Miriam Williamson photo.

Iggy Pop
Sydney Opera House
Monday, April 15 2019
Miriam Williamson photos

Iggy Pop and band put the torch to the Sydney Opera House the same night that a fire devastated Notre Dame in Paris. Coincidence? I think not.

The Pop has been a semi-regular tourist to Australia since 1983 and I’ve caught him on every run but one. Stooges excepted, this was close to his high-point. 

It is true that at age 71 - a pubic hair’s breadth away from bringing up 72 - James Osterberg moves a little more gingerly these days. The stage-dives are gone - at least where hard-backed seats are fixed to the floor - and he’s clearly pacing himself to go the distance. 

BellRays announce replacement Aussie dates

The world’s greatest exponents of down and dirty, heart breaking, soul shaking rock ‘n’ roll,The BellRays, are about to hit Australian shores again in August. The re-scheduled dates follow the cancellation of their planned double-headed tour of Australia with Supersuckers.

The ROCKPOCALYPSE Make Up Tour takes in three states and the national capital and includes forays into regional centres.

BellRays live in Australia

bell rays rickIt’s late in Adelaide, I got work tomorrow, and I didn’t expect to be writing this. So why am I?

When you’ve seen a band who so effortlessly lifts your spirits, who convince you that you matter, and that they give a damn for the people they’ve come several thousand miles to entertain; when you see that band put out truckloads of energy, effervescence, fizz and smarts, fronted by one of those extraordinary showmen who make it all look so damn easy you want to form your own band … yeah, well, I owe them.

Who? 

The BellRays.

Never heard a song before tonight.

Mainstream entertainment world don’t know they exist. Across the road from The Gov is the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, lighting up the sky with a multicoloured display and one of those shifting electronic billboards advertising Neil Diamond, Elton John and Mrs Brown’s Boy and that Russell excrescence.

That’s where The BellRays should be playing. I once saw James Brown there. The BellRays may not be the same thing, but pound for pound they’re just as entertaining, and a damn sight more intimate and friendly.

 

Pic by Rick De Pizzol

Black is back

peterblack soloHe’s best known as the voice and scorching guitar of the Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superfly but there’s another string to Peter Black’s bow.

Just back from a seven-week tour of Europe where he played 44 shows in 46 days, Blackie is promoting solo album number-four, “Clearly You Didn't Like The Show”, in Australia.

Dates are as follows:

Saturday, 7th November 2015
Blackwire, Sydney NSW

Saturday 14th November 2015
Transit Bar Canberra ACT

Wednesday 25th November 2015
Hamilton Station Newcastle NSW

Thursday 26th November 2015
Black Bear Lodge Brisbane QLD (with Mark Zain)

Friday 27th November 2015
Old Bar Melbourne VIC 

Friday 4th December 2015
Ruby L'otel Rozelle, Sydney NSW

Sunday 6th December 2015
Rad Bar Wollongong NSW

Bloodstock: Brisbane benefit unveiled for Lime Spiders singer Mick Blood

bloodstockHot on the heels of the Perth show and a day after the Sydney gig, there's a Brisbane benefit for Lime Spiders vocalist Mick Blood happening in Brisbane.  

"Bloodstock" is being held at Roma Street's Beetle Bar on Sunday, September 28th from 1pm and features the talents of friends and former bandmates.

You can catch Screamin' Stevie, Dr. Bombay, The Busymen, The Counterfeit Umbrellas, The Pretty Fingers, Hill 60, Team Utopia and Brisbane's own Burlesque beauty, Miss Red Devotchkin, from 1pm.

Tickets are available at the door for $10. All proceeds will go directly to Mick's Support Act fund.

Mick is recovering in a Newcastle hospital after a pub altercation left him with brain damage.

Bloodstock on Facebook

www.supportact.com.au

Blue Oyster Cult in Sydney

Blue Oyster Cult. Fashionably obscure forerunners or collective remnants of past glories? Only in it for the money tourists or a heritage act with a reputation to uphold and something still to say? The first band to make the umlaut cool? You can debate these things until you're Blue in the face. The only way you're going to find out is to get off your arse and see for yourself.

Bob Dylan in Sydney

dylanI often put forward the argument about his Bobness that if any new artist produced a run of albums with the depth and quality of "Time Out Of Mind" in 1997 until "The Tempest" in 2013, we would hail them as a lyrical genius, the likes of which we'd not heard since Leonard Cohen.

We would be in wonder of this songwriter who draws Americano from his depth of styles, whether it be through darkened Southern blues, Western swing, folk ballads, rockabilly or Irish balladering.

We'd note the remarkable gravel in the vocals akin to Tom Waits and Shane Mc Gowan, and the way they descend to a whisper, the aural equivalent of the oldest oak tree, all weathered and timbered.

But it's Dylan. No singer/songwriter compares, and there is no other career like his.

Boris with Last Days of Kali and Crypt in Australia

boris blue

 

Well, Boris in Adelaide on Sunday night were brilliant. Who are they?

 

Boris have been around since 1992, put out their first CD ‘single’ in ‘96, and have released 23 more LPs of their own songs (including three this year, and two last year) and 12 collaborative LPs, not including three collections of rarities and live material. They’re not huge in their home country of Japan, or indeed anywhere else, really. But those who know them cannot get enough and are total addicts. 

 

I first heard them in 1996, when a mate, Paul, came back from Japan with “Absolutego”, put the bastard on and left it playing. After 45 minutes, and my third “Paul, which track is this..?” I got the same answer: “Oh, still the first one.” I demanded to see the disc. The song went for over an hour, and was (and is) fabulous. Lots of changes, altered states, tempo alterations…the lot. It’s like a long LP which keeps returning to its central theme which, not speaking Japanese, I have no idea of whatsoever. But you keep returning to it.

Brisbane punks RAZAR to headline one-off show

white chairs2

Brisbane’s legendary RAZAR will reform for a one-off show on October 14, celebrating that city’s punk rock history.

The Triffid is the venue for “Return To White Chairs Vol 2”, the second instalment in reunion gigs for the punk and counterculture music loving crowd that met and drank at the infamous Elizabeth Street bar in Brisbane City between 1977-‘87. RAZAR will be joined by Ipswich darlings The Toy Watches as the main support.

A massive undercard that spans punk, new wave and rockabilly genres and includes old timers The Horny Toads, Scrap Metal, Public Execution, The 5 Hanks, Vacant Rooms and The Chrysalids. Contemporary Brisbane bands Dr Bombay, Dangerous Folk, The Bollocks and Cultured Few will fill out the bill, which is raising funds for the Growing Nepal Foundation.

Hailing from the sleepy Brisbane suburb of Mt Gravatt in the mid ‘70s, RAZAR began as a high school garage band, comprising 18-year-old Greg Wackley on drums, his 16-year-old brother Robert Wackley on bass, vocalist Marty Burke and Steven Mee (both 16) on guitar.