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the saints

  • 5 6 7 8 9Also Sprach might have been the king of Eurodisco but Ed Kuepper reigns supreme as the Monarch of Re-invention. Of his contemporaries, only Kim Salmon comes close.

    There was a modest risk in forming a third line-up of The Aints; the upside was that they'd pull crowds and make good cash, the other half of the equation being that it wouldn't take the legacy of the original band anywhere special. If you were a doubter, leave the room now...

    Re-shaping un-recorded songs written for the original Saints was a masterstroke. So was Kuepper's selection of his band - the engine room of Paul Larsen-Loughhead and Peter Oxley was never going to be a dud - and his decision to colour the material with bold brass arrangements...that was inspired.

  • cover 56789 TheAints lgeAustralia's best old new musical group, The Aints!, are continuing their march to world domination with an EP and more live shows.

    Ed Kuepper, Peter Oxley, Paul Larsen Loughhead and Alister Spence have added brass wizard Eamon Dilworth to the band ranks proper and are following up their debut album, "The Church of Simultaneous Existence".

    As befits a band summoned to expand on the legacy of Kuepper's fabulous if reluctant punk pathfinders The Saints, the EP will be called "5-6-7-8-9", taking its cue from The Saints’ 1977 four-track release "1-2-3-4".

    Click Read More to hear a track.

  • donat top ten 20172017 was a great year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Velvet Underground & Nico and "Forever Changes", the 40th of "(I’m) Stranded" and the 25th of something great (and local) which came out in 1992 that was more than likely one of Ed Kuepper’s. And speaking of Mr Kuepper, let’s launch into this Top Ten the Barman asked me to do.

    I’ll just prattle on about live shows I’ve seen as they’re probably more entertaining than my thoughts on Cosey Fanni Tutti’s autobiography "Art Sex Music"  which isn’t  rock & roll enough or director Kriv Stenders’s recent feature documentary on the Go-Betweens which is probably too wimpy for readers in I-94 Land.

    Fair enough - they’re not everyone’s cup of tea – especially if you prefer coffee.

    1.-7. THE AINTS 2017 AUSTRALIAN TOUR OF THE EAST COAST
    Apparently the best way to describe someone who follows Ed Kuepper’s shows from town to town is to call them an Edhead. In 1976, Saints fans were known as Kuepper Troopers as it was understood that even in those early days it was Ed’s band - up until 1978, at least.

    So fast-forward to 2017, The Aints awake after a 25-year hiatus and decide to tour through the most of the country’s capital cities doing Saints material from ’73-’78.

  • ed kuepper 2017 top ten2017...the year that was...and yes I have Sinatra's ''It Was a Very Good Year'' going through my head. Actually, it had its ups and downs but I'll focus only on the ultra good, in no particular chronology.

    My musical year started with a performance with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra as my backing band at The Tivoli. in Brisbane.  We played my most recent album “Lost Cities” in its entirety, as well as a selection of material I did for the “Last Cab to Darwin” soundtrack, plus earlier solo and Laughing Clowns tunes. “Ghost Gum” and “Collapse Board” were real high points for me. 

    Richard Davis conducted and made the transition from the garage to the concert hall for me not only possible but an enjoyable experience. Robert Davidson did the orchestral arrangements and brought the songs to life in a context I'd often dreamed about doing but hadn't actually heard.  

    Richard Wenn put the whole thing together. It would not have happened without him. His enthusiasm for bypassing the “greatest hits” approach and general tenacity made it work. Thank you, Richard. 

    We did the show again in Cairns a little while later, this time with a slightly trimmed-back orchestra (even flat-stacking them, there are only so many orchestral musicians that fit into the back of my ute.)

    This was also great and quite different due to the smaller orchestra. The whole thing has been a great learning curve for me. Thanks, one and all.

    The next thing I went on to do was what was announced as my last ‘’Solo and By Request'' tour, this time taking in all those out of the way and rural places I don't get to that often. The idea for these shows started in 2013.

  • the saints originalsThe classic early Saints line-up with reformation participants, drummer Ivor Hay and guitarist Ed Kuepper at front, and Chris Bailey at the rear.

    The Saints reformation has turned ugly with the Estate of late frontman Chris Bailey going public with a condemnation.

    In a tersely-worded media statement released overnight, Chris Bailey’s Family and Estate questioned the decision to reform The Saints with Mark Arm from Mudhoney replacing the late singer who passed away two years ago.

    “Neither the late singer’s family, nor the Chris Bailey Estate, were informed or consulted, on this decision,” the statement said. “We are surprised that Mark Arm agreed to do this without consultation.”

    The statement said the Estate owns “The Saints” name and its primary objective is “to honour Chris Bailey’s memory and the Saints significant legacy with integrity”.

  • dumb worldThese are quite remarkable recordings. Yes, you've heard rehearsal tapes and demo recordings by garage bands before, but these are different. It's all about the timeframe, the intensity and the fact that they're Australian and were recorded in relative cultural isolation.

    “Dumb-World” is a serious collection of raw demos and rehearsal tapes from future Sacred  Cowboys leader Garry Gray and his early bands between 1974-1978, featuring Judas and the Traitors, The Reals and The Negatives.

    To place this in a historic context, the Australian musical landscape was fairly frigid. The local artists’ soundtrack was blaring from commercial AM radio, but it that was drab even though the live scene was flourishing and there were so many gigs for local musicians to play. 

  • casino vibrationsVibrations, yours and mine - Johnny Casino (La Vila Nova/Beluga Records/Golden Robot)

    With the world turning to shit in every sense of the term, what's a poor boy to do other than play in a rock and roll band? The answer, in strange times of social distancing, is to record an album solo and pare the songs right back to resemble what they were like when first written.

    Plenty will testify that going naked in front of a microphone is harder than it sounds - even with very few people watching. Johnny Casino's "Vibrations, yours and mine" was recorded in a modest Spanish studio in four hours, with some pedal steel and backing vocals overdubbed later courtesy of Hendrik Rover (Los Deltonos)

    It was done pre-COVID but serves as a good template for how to go about things - which is with loads of emotional investment, a good deal of spontaneity and, importantly, heart.

  • epic brass

    It’s renowned as one of Melbourne’s most spectacular rock and roll shows and it hits Sydney’s Factory Theatre at Marrickville on Saturday. Epic Brass is the brainchild of Hunters and Collectors horns man Jack Howard and employs a stellar cast of underground stars to showcase the songs of the Saints, X, Laughing Clowns, Painters and Dockers, the Hunnas and Midnight Oil.

    Former Sydneysiders Ron Peno (Died Pretty), Steve Lucas (X), Penny Ikinger (Wet Taxis) will join Jack Howard and Fiona Lee Maynard, with John Archer (Hunters and Collectors) on bass and Ash Davies on drums. Tickets here.

    If you’re of a resident of Sydney’s Inner-Western Delta, you won’t have far to catch two sideshows before and after Saturday. Steve Lucas plays a free solo show at the Golden Barley at Enmore from 8pm on Thursday night with Penny Ikinger backing up at the same venue at 7pm on Sunday, also gratis.

  • dave faulkner 45

    Hoodoo Guru Dave Faulkner adds his autograph to a copy of "Product 45" at the Sydney Spencer P Jones Benefit.                       Emmy Etie photo

    It was a few weeks ago that a parcel was waiting for me on my veranda. This is not unusual as I often order my vinyl from overseas. I even get the odd review copy of a record. This package was much larger and there was much more weighty. It was the stunningly beautiful book Product 45 Australian Punk/Post-Punk Single Record Covers”.

    I sat down and carefully unwrapped the packaging, opening the first few pages, and my first impression was the high-weighted GSM quality silky paper.  This was not the standard book that you would pick up at Dymocks. It had the sense of a limited edition, extremely high-standard production by people who had taken so much care and pride with their talent invested in the design.

  • aints adelaideThe Aints in full flight: Peter Oxley, Paul Larsen and Ed Kuepper, with Alastair Spence obscrured. Mandy Tzaras photo.

    You knew something special was up in Adelaide tonight because as you approached The Gov, heading determinedly back to the carpark was a small group of lone pushing-toward-pensioner men, each clutching the same record: “The Aints Live at The Sarah Sands 1991”. There can’t be too many left of this, they only made 300; get yours at the gig; two LPs, $50.

    Now then.

    Ever hear of Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman? Good. Now you have

    The first comic came out, it must’ve been 30 years ago. I had a T-shirt, gave it to Bob, who has cherished that damn thing for about 25 years now. I did my heart good to see Bob bouncing around tonight in that tattered t-shirt. “I thought I told you to SHUT UP!” Fleming bellows from the shirt. It perfectly matches the night.

  • half deaf completely madHalf Deaf, Completely Mad: The Chaotic Genius of Australia’s Most Legendary Producer
    By Tony Cohen with John Olson
    (Black Ink)

    “Unputdownable” is a word and it officially entered the English lexicon in 1947. That’s a full decade before Tony Cohen came into the world, but the descriptor could have been custom-built for “Half Deaf, Completely Mad”, his posthumous autobiography.

    This is a tale of hyper-energy and off-the-wall sonic experimentation cleverly disguised as a 230-page paperback. It’s a weaving, sometimes wobbling story told through Cohen’s often bloodshot or pinned eyes, with dry wit and self-deprecation. 

    People who worked with the man and saw his excesses first-hand might question his ability to recall fine detail, but in the same manner that Tony would feverishly splice three-inch tape to insert a crucial edit, his co-writer John Olson stitched the bits together.

    Not familiar with Tony Cohen’s work? The music he produced was the soundtrack of the life of anyone into Australian underground music in the 1980s and ‘90s. The Boys Next Door, the Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Michael Hutchence, The Johnnys, Beasts of Bourbon, Go-Betweens, Hunters and Collectors, Kim Salmon, Laughing Clowns, The Cruel Sea, The Saints, X, TISM…the list goes on. Flick through your own record collection and get back to me.

  • the saints 2024 tourHere's news to make it This Perfect Day or send you down a One Way Street...

    The Saintsare reforming with Mudhoney's Mark Arm up front for a six-date Australian tour in November.
     
    Arm, founding Saints members guitarist Ed Kuepperand drummer Ivor Hay will be joined by bassist Peter Oxley of Sunnyboys and former The Birthday Party/Bad Seeds member Mick Harveyon guitar.

    The dates will be in celebration of a vinyl box set release of the 1977 classic debut album "(I’m) Stranded" on In The Red. The sets will be largely drawn from it, "Eternally Yours" (1978) and "Prehistoric Sounds" (1978). 

    Wed Nov 13 Hindly St. Music Hall, Adelaide, SA
    Fri Nov 15 Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
    Sat Nov 16 Northcote Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
    Wed Nov 20 Freo Social, Fremantle, WA
    Fri Nov 22 Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
    Sat Nov 23 Princess Theatre, Brisbane QLD SOLD OUT
    SUN Nov 24 Princess Theatre, Brisbane QLD 
    Tickets via feelpresents.com

  • PlayTheSaintsNo need to apologise for liking the nostalgic side of The Aints! That’d be the part represented by the segment of their live show, comprising the songs of the Kuepper Saints from their first three studio albums. This live document - culled from their 2018 Australian gigs - showcases the songs in all their sweaty, over-driven glory.

    While a bracket of the “new” Saints songs would have been equally welcome from the studio album "The Church of Simultaneous Existence", there’s no complaining about this collection. Ten tunes, classics mostly, and all breathing fire.

  • church of simultaneous existenceHave you heard that the people at Warner Bros are working on a re-make of the Road Runner cartoon? Hollywood has unfailingly screwed up the legacy of almost every other iconic TV show with a lame makeover, so why the hell not?

    Rock and roll has its own history of reinvention and Australia’s master of the art is onetime Saint, Ed Kuepper.

    Kuepper’s enduring career has been through more twists and turns than Wile E. Coyote navigating a cliff-side road on an ACME corporation-sponsored suicide mission, but unlike the bird-seeking missile of cartoon fame, he usually delivers his payload with unerring accuracy.

    So make no mistake:  “The Church of Simultaneous Existence” is a controlled demolition that’s worthy of comparisons to his most seminal work.

  • glory days“What's he doing reviewing THAT?”

    Only people of a certain age will “get” this review. The term "Guilty Pleasure" will not be used at any point.

    Admit it, punk. If you grew up in Australia in the 1970s and ‘80s (OK, you were might have been underage and still growing up, but you could sneak into licensed premises) and lived anywhere outside of Melbourne and Sydney’s inner-city regions, a dose of Pub Rock was unavoidable. A way of life, even.