One of Australia's all-time great rock vocalists, Jim Keays of the Masters Apprentices, has passed away today at the age of 67.
The 1998 ARIA Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee had been battling myeloma for some time and had been on life support since Monday.
The Masters Apprentices formed in Adelaide in 1967, rose to national promise and disbanded in 1972 after unsuccessfully trying to crack the UK market. Their songs "Turn Up Your Radio", "Because I Love You" and the snarling "Undecided"" (a garage rock classic) are embedded in the history of Australian music.
Christian Houllemare (centre) with the reformed Happy Hate Me Nots, with the author, Matt Galvin, next to him, second from the right . Mark Roxburgh photo
It's hard to remember how I first got to know Chris Houllemare. Was I a fan, a friend or a bandmate?
I was 15 when The Happy Hate Me Nots released their first two singles, in 1985. I saw them by accident at the Strawberry Hills Hotel after walking down Foveaux Street (fuck, EVERYTHING is French this week) from a World Series Cricket one-dayer, and I used my bus pass as ID to get into a gig at Hurstville Master Builders club not long after.
I was smitten. It was kinetic, real lyricism, real heart, really fucking fast. All at once.
I had this one marked on my calendar for months. On paper it doesn’t get much better – two of my all-time favorites on one bill at an excellent venue. And, Steve was planning an all Lou Reed set.
I realized when Lou died that I loved him more than anyone I had never met. When he went, it wasn’t like when I lost my parents or other loved ones, but I had never met Lou, not even at a book signing or anything. And when he died I really felt the loss.
Legendary trailblazing guitarist Ed Kuepper has extended his run of "solo and by request" shows by to some of Australia's lesser-visited musical corners.
The tour, in support of Ed's "Return Of The Mail-Order Bridegroom" album of acoustic reinterpretations of songs from his career, takes in hometown Brisbane, as well as Adelaide and the Gold Coast, but also detours to Darwin in the NT, Cairns in Far North Queensland and Margaret River in WA.
Reviews of the shows so far have been gloowing. Expect the usual Saints and Laughing Clowns classics (provided the crowd ask for them) but also a wide range of surprises.
This is the second retrospective package but the first well-rounded “best of” for the late (1994-2012) but great Swedish psych-rock-pop conglomerate. While the 2 CD “A Present From The Past” focused on outtakes and rare gems, “Golden Greats” is a single disc that’s largely what it says on the package.
When Big Black toured UK in 1987, playing their last gig in Europe, they had a few members of Wire come up on stage. Afterwards, having played with his heroes, Steve Albini commented: "Tonight we’ve walked with giants."
Wire are giants in a world of pygmy bands. Chrome are legends among giants.
Lady luck must have been looking out for me; I get sent on a last minute work trip to Oslo, and discover Deniz Tek will be in town for the opening night of his 2014 European Tour. The venue turns out to be a leisurely five-minute walk from my hotel. Easy Street.
Infinity Broke is the new vehicle for Sydney’s Jamie Hutchings and Jared Harrison, post the dissolution of Bluebottle Kiss. They were longtime acerbic indie fixtures on the Australian scene before Hutchings decided to go solo so the air is misty with expectation.
The first thing to say is that the self-released “River Mirrors” sounds superb. It was recorded in a shearing shed on a sheep property with a live ambience and stark glow.