no fixed address

  • no fixed address liveSaw this unexpectedly in Streetlight Records in Adelaide and instantly snaffled it.

    No Fixed Address (or NFA, as the Social Security acronym had it) was what every itinerant/traveller/boho put down as their address when they turned up in a strange town and went to lodge their form. Meant they weren't entitled to rent assistance. 

    The reason this release only gets its beer bottle rating is for the songs - not the memories. Certainly not for the sound - whoever did this was either having difficulties or not paying attention. The bass doesn't dominate like a liquid hot night in Adelaide, somehow to the fore and in the background at the same time; the guitar seems cleaner than I remember it, the pace seems slightly faster (though that could be time playing tricks) and, perhaps Veronica Rankine wasn't playing that night as I can't hear her sax.

  • NFA FC HybridNo Fixed Address by Donald Robertson (Hybrid Publishers)

    “No Fixed Address” is a magnificent achievement. It's also readable, interesting, engaging and fucking disgusting.

    We'll get to the latter comment in a bit.

    As you know, one of the few benefits of lockdown was that some great work has emerged - but we're damn lucky it's Donald Robertson who decided to write about No Fixed Address. He was there at the time, was an aware chap, and wrote extensively about the scene he was so much a part of in Roadrunner magazine. Also, Robertson's approach resembles that of a historian approaching The Rolling Stones

    Why? Well, while you may not have seen them, or even heard of No Fixed Address, the band's importance in Australian Aboriginal history is bloody enormous. Robertson gets this so well that, in the opening chapter, we discover that NFA would not have existed but for the determination of a number of significant people to encourage, enthuse and integrate Aboriginal people into the Adelaide arts culture, long before the band had learned to play.

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, this was fairly unheard of; so it is, in a way, no surprise that names like Leila Rankine, Catherine Ellis, Ted Strehlow and Veronica Brodie all turn up as incidental characters. 

    Don't recognise the names? Go to the “Australian Dictionary of Biography” (aka the ADB online); you don't get an entry in there for sitting on yer bum watching “Drone and Away”, “Australia's Got Alkies”, “These Kitchen Fools” or “Married at First Fart”. (ED: You left out “The Farmer Wants a Root”.)