The Downtown 3 are (from left) Carrie Phillis, Craig Jackson, Scott Nash and Johnny Casino. Emmy Etie photo.
During some lean times for rock and roll in Sydney, two staples of the live scene have been Johnny Casino & The Secrets and the Booby Traps. Casino (aka John Spittles) is a guitar toting veteran of hard-hitters Asteroid B612 and a variety of bands also much of his own making, The Secrets being the most durable (and essentially a two city collective with bases in Sydney and Melbourne) playing rootsy but righteous rock. The Booby Traps were a wonderful collision of fuzzy garage pop and girl group pizzaz, fronted by fetching songstress Carrie Phillis.
Thirty-one years after they last graced a stage in Spain, US powerpop supremos the Flamin Groovies are out on the road again. Mid-period vocalist-guitarist Chris Wilson is back in the fold, teaming with originals Cyril Jordan (guitar-vocals) and George Alexander (bass.) One of the catalysts behind the regrouping is the Dig It Up! travelling festival in Australia, curated by fans and friends the Hoodoo Gurus.
Among the bands leading the great garage rock charge backwards in the 1980s, perhaps The Chesterfield Kings stood tallest.