live - The I-94 Bar
It'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.
Here’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?
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.
Jesse 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.
Half 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.
X 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.
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.
Jill 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.
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.
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.
It’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.
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
He’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
Hot 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
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.
I 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.
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’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.
The Year Was 1975... Platform shoes, hot pants, flares and long hair were the height of fashion, HJ Holdens were selling like hotcakes, and a little community radio station by the name of 4ZZZ was born in Brisbane....
Seminal Brisbane radio station 4ZZZ FM turns 40 this December and to celebrate they're hosting a month-long party! One such shindig will be held at iconic Brisbane live music venue The Zoo on Saturday December 19th and will feature a revised version of ground-breaking Australian rock band, Buffalo.
Frontman Dave Tice has frequently been dubbed The Godfather of Australian Stoner Rock for his work with ultra-heavy ‘70s band Buffalo and he’s now re-visiting his revered outfit’s legacy with a series of select shows.
Tice has assembled a new line-up under the banner 'Buffalo Revisited' to focus on the earliest of the original band’s five albums. Tice will be joined by Vince Cuscuna (guitar), Steve Lorkin (bass) and Murray Shepherd (drums). All of them are veterans of a host of underground Sydney bands.
Buffalo formed in Sydney in 1971. Largely unrecognized by commercial radio, Buffalo was one of the country’s first exponents of the style heavy metal, pre-dating other pioneering Australian hard rock and heavy metal acts, such as Coloured Balls, AC/DC, The Angels, Taste and Rose Tattoo.
No-nonsense four-piece stoner-punk powerhouse BRUCE! have been flat out since releasing their 2012 full-length debut and are heading back out on the road with a series of extensive Australian dates.
The Wollongong locals have shared stages with the mightiest of all mighty rock lords, including Turbonegro, Supersuckers, Brant Bjork, Regurgitator, Beasts of Bourbon, Cosmic Psychos, Tumbleweed, and most recently supporting Violent Soho in Sydney on their sold-out Australian tour.
First up I must confess I’m a Buzzcocks tragic from way back. Been in Adelaide for 10 years now and this is the fourth time I’ve seen them, plus once in '92 in Melbourne. So the title Buzzcocks Tragic sounds good to me.