One of Melbourne's best acts, James McCann and The New Vindictives, will play their first show in Sydney, as support to the New Christs, at Marrickville Bowling Club on July 15. Tickets for the gig are here.
They'll bring with them the CD version of their their new album "Gotta Lotta Move - Boom!" (Beast Records for vinyl, Off The Hip for CD). This is "Sheena Says", the second video single from it.
To celebrate the release of their new album "Incantations" and their pending European tour, here's Bob Short's take on some songs the New Christs have played, taught us, reminded us of or otherwise desecrated. In a nice way.
He mighr be embarassed by it being said, but Jim Dixon is the Grand Old Bass Man of Sydney’s rock and roll scene.
Since dropping in as a member of raw Brisbane band The Survivors at the tail end of the ‘70s to relocating and driving the bottom end for The Passengers and many more, he’s been as much a fixture as cold beer and sticky carpets.
Active duty in London with the Barracudas and then back home to play with the likes of Louis Tillett, Penny Ikinger, the New Christs, the Deniz Tek Group and Radio Birdman, Gentleman Jim is omnipresent as both player and punter. Along the way he’s supplemented his music by working in a record store, running his own curry kitchen and, more lately, bussing tourists around Greater Sydney’s natural wonders.
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.
Let’s get the clichés out of the way; the show business myths that promise that the cream rises. That living fast and dying young will ensure immortality. It’s all bullshit. Too many artists fall through a crack in the Earth whilst laurels crown the insipid and the banal.
How many great albums and films have vanished to land fill? How many books are lost because libraries can’t afford the storage on their back catalogues? How much blood, sweat and tears has evaporated into the ether? Forgotten whilst the over culture lets us eat dog food. Here is your chance to right that wrong.
The New Christs have a long history running through possibly the most convoluted list of line-up changes any band has endured and still retained a moniker. This has meant new albums have held a certain fear factor. What will they sound like this time? Can anything they do compare to the towering peak of “Distemper”? Let’s face it. If that’s your five-star album, you have a lot to live up to.
“Incantation”, the first New Christs studio album in five years, hits the shelves on June 6. Recorded by Jim Moginie (Midnight Oil) in his Sydney studio and mixed at the famed Alberts Studios by award winning engineer Wayne Connolly, you can see the cover artwork at right and can hear the first single, "Waves Form", by clicking More (if you're on the front page) or by scrolling down (if you landed direct.)
The hard-to-find New Christs live album - previously available only as a CD and sold mainly at shows on their last European tour - is looming on vinyl. French label Pitshark is issuing the imagnitively titled "Live" in an edition of 500 copies only.
The gig was recorded in 2011 at the final night of Sydney's Excelsior Hotel and rocks royally. Rob Younger and guitarist-keyboardist Brent Williams re-mixed 11 tracks especially for vinyl.
Sometimes you get all philosophical. The penny dropped on Saturday night, after a succession of $14 jugs of beer with a mate, that the New Christs are probably the band that I’ve experienced live for the longest number of years.
Of course there have been so many line-ups that a statement like that becomes very elastic. But the wrist stamps don’t lie...
And they go right back to 1984 when a loose and limber Rob Younger bounded onto the stage of Sydney’s Capital Theatre, fronting the band’s first live incarnation, in support of Iggy Pop.
That line-up of Chris Masuak, Tony Robertson, Mark Kingsmill and Kent Steedman (the Rifle later to be subbed by a Spider, Richard Jakimyszyn) might have been equalled by the “Distemper” one (Charlie Owen, Jim Dickson and Louis Burdett/Nick Fisher) but never bettered. The former had a brutal edge, the latter a bluesier, expansive feel with jazzy inflections.
The current configuration of Dickson, Paul Larsen, Dave Kettley and Brent Williams measures up nicely in the history of the New Christs, probably sitting at level-pegging with the late-‘90s line-ups. They’ve all served up differing sounds and brought something different to the stage, with the one constant being Younger’s undeniable presence and bitter-sour song-writing.
“Emotional Jihad” and “Word Salad” are terms that others have used down the years to describe Younger’s lyrical vision. You can’t do much better than that.
The New Christs emerged from the recording studio to play a show at Thirroul Hotel south of Sydney last Sunday. Ace videographer Boris Zemljacenko of BZ Film Co was on hand to shoot some footage. This is "It's Not A Game" from the forthcoming album "Incantations."
It’s a well worn path that The Volcanics tread but they’re not afraid to stretch out and take a slight detour on this, their fourth album. For the most part, however, “Oh Crash…” finds the Perth band doing what it does best: Delivering straight-up, guitar rock and roll.
Yes, the reference points are all obvious - at least to these ears. They include latter-day Asteroid B612, mid-period MC5 (without the tinny production) and the New Christs (in their sullen moments.) Vocalist John Phatorous has that steely edge and lets slip the occasional guttural utterance that conveys that he's not a man to be fucked with - at least on stage. He can sing the shit out of this sort of music, too.
Comeback kings the Sunnyboys have announced a full-blown Aussie summer tour, along with deluxe releases of their second and third studio albums.
The 2015 tour will include shows in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide plus a slot at the Perth International Arts Festival, just the second Sunnyboys appearance in the W.A. capital since 1984.
Brisbane and Sydney will be treated to appearances by their former sparring partners, the Riptides. Other guests on the February tour include The New Christs (Melbourne and Sydney) young punks Bad // Dreems (Adelaide) and Dom Mariani's post-Stems vehicle DM3, in Perth.
And so the return, and rise, of the Sunnyboys continues. If you said they could top this one, you’d need to back it up.
They billed themselves as Kids in Dust when they stepped back onto a stage for the first time in 21 years at the Dig It Up festival in Sydney on April 24, 2012. The nom de plume was supposedly to avoid performance anxiety or to ramp down expectations, maybe both. It didn’t matter; any tentativeness was swamped by a roomful of love.
Nor were there any misgivings in evidence at the same packed venue, the Enmore Theatre, last Saturday night. Just an irresistible king-tide of energy and good spirit.
Friends and former bandmates are staging a memorial gig in Sydney on Saturday, September 20 for the late Christian Houllemare, bass player for the Happy Hate Me Nots, New Christs, Someloves and Bad Brains. Funds raised will go to his family in France.