Detroit guitarist Robert (Bob) Gillespie died on June 17 after a long illness.
He played lead guitar and provided backing vocals in a slew of outstanding bands including The Rob Tyner Band, (1976-78), The Torpedoes (‘78-80), The Motor City Rockers (with Jimmy Marinos of The Romantics), Powertrane Featuring Scott Morgan and as a longtime sideman to Mitch Ryder.
A Chance To Relax…with The Smart Folk – The Smart Folk (self released)
With a changing of the political guard in Australia, we’ve been assailed with talk about a new, genteel and respectful way of doing business in the Federal Parliament - as if none of the fuckers are going to revert to type and we won’t end up with the same shit-fight on our hands. It’s just as well that 90 percent of the population doesn’t give a rat’s arse.
Rock and roll may be similarly set in its ways, but there are band chosing different pathways to tread. Sixties-derived pop with a jangling edge is where Sydney’s The Smart Folk chose to reside and they're making their mark in their own way.
“A Chance To Relax…with The Smart Folk” is the latest EP from this band of ex-mod scene regulars and if it doesn’t wrap you in a stranglehold and impress with its urgency and energy, that’s fine. It’s mid-paced, obviously freakbeat-influenced guitar pop that has a warm charm – maybe more so than the records that have come before.
You Might Be Through With The Past, But The Past Ain’t Through With You b/w Ruby Baby – Pat Todd and The Rankoutsiders (Heavy Medication)
Ex-Lazy Cowgirls leader Pat Todd makes records that his contemporaries wish they could. If you ever see an album by Todd and his band The Rankoutsiders in the wild, just grab it. Get your hands on this non-album track 45 on Polish label Heavy Medication as well.
“You Might Be Through With The Past…” is a prime slice of Americana-via-Chicago-blues goodness with blazing blues harp, bristling guitars, a willing engine room and the knowing vocal of Mr Todd dishing it all up with a side of punk rock attittude. It’s the same crew that brought you “…there’s pretty things in Palookaville…” (on Hound Gawd! Records), one of the best records of 2021 bar none.
Flip it and you get a good-time take on the Leiber and Stoller song “Ruby Baby”, a standard that’s been done to death by evertone from The Beach Boys to Dion. In the hands of Todd and Co, it’s spraypainted with a liberal coat of rough ‘n’ roll charm to sound damned near brand new. Raucous and righteous! Don't walk, run, the purchase link is below.
The night before the Woy Woy storm: Penny Ikinger at Marrickville Bowling Club.
After 150 days, the rain stopped. There was sunshine and it was a Sydney long weekend. Not sure how many built arks and were still floating along while I was driving north on the Pacific Highway to the coastal town of Woy Woy this sunny Sunday afternoon - on a tankful of $2.30 a litre petrol with just enough change to buy a chocolate milk.
The Link and Pin Café at Woy Woy has evolved into the coolest gig - and who would thought the birthplace of Spike Millikan would be a new home away from home for veterans of the Sydney Trade Union Club and Hopetoun Hotel?
And why not? It’s a 90-minute trip by train, road or by ferry across water. It is an adventure that many Sydneysiders are taking to see that anyone from local metal bands, to alternative darlings to Chad Morgan. The venue even launched the new line-up of the Hard-Ons. There is a vibe here and it’s run by hardcore music fans.
Back in the 1980s, Sydney indie label Vi-Nil Records released the likes of singles by Hard-Ons, Lipstick Killers, Psychotic Turnbuckles, Labradogs, Conspirators, The Klerks and more. Forty years on, a new compilation album "Indie Sounds From The Harbour City (1983-1987)" showcases the cross section of bands on the label, and has been pressed on 14-track splatter vinyl and a 20-track, digipak CD.
To celebrate the album and the re-launch of the label, a series of kickarse live shows are locked in for late July. The first album launch is at Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney on Friday, July 22, featuring the seasoned power pop of The Labradogs, the garage/punk/psych sounds of newly signed teensters Shacked, the stripped back intimate airs of Peter Black (aka Blackie from Hard-Ons) the Detroit garage energy of The Conspirators (playing a very rare show).
Lion Island, Labradogs, Shacked and Blackie will play a second launch at Link and Pin Cafe in Woy Woy onj July 23 and the4 Hamilton Station Hotel will host a Newcstle launch on July 24 with Disgraceland, Shacked and Labradogs. Pre-sales for the album are open here.
Trumpet player. One of the guys in the Hunnas horn section. And The Horns of Contempt.
Who's been playing with Midnight Oil a lot over the last few years. Special gigs with X, a few with Hunnas, but ... you know. Day job, kids ... who has time to be creative these days?
Jack can't let go of the creative bug. In between all those suburban things, he's been doing solo material, working with the band Epic Brass (a sight to behold) ... good, God, there are 15 releases on his Bandcamp page!
An EP with a generous serving of guests, “Of The Sea” is nothing if not true to Howling Threads’ Detroit-via-Darlinghurst musical roots. Which sits just fine around these parts.
If you don’t know already, Howlin’ Threads is a trio whose members are located in and around Canberra and Wollongong. Dylan Thomas (guitar and vocals) and drummer Adam Fermo were in notable Newcastle band The Fools in the ‘90s while bassist Matt Houston was briefly in Tumbleweed.
Australian seminal psych-guitar masters, The Church have just announced a national headline tour of Australia - their first in four years - playing shows and will be playing shows in Sydney, Melboubne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Margaret River this September.
Fans can access early bird tickets by signing up prior to pre-sale commencing here. Pre-sale starts Friday, June 17, 12pm local time. General public tickets go on sale Tuesday, June 21, 12pm local time.
Entering their fourth decade of making music and playing live shows with all the fierce creative energy of their early years, ARIA Hall of Fame inductees, The Church will treat fans with two remarkable sets over 2 ½ hours with a taste of new songs from the band’s forthcoming 26th studio album, "The Hypnogogue" - plus performing a string of hit songs across their expansive music career including "Under The Milky Way", "Reptile", "The Unguarded Moment" and "Almost With You".
The 2022 epic five-piece line-up is bassist, vocalist and founder Steve Kilbey; with long-time collaborator Tim Powles, drummer and producer across 17 albums since '94; guitarist Ian Haug formerly of Australian rock icons Powderfinger, who joined the band in 2013 and Jeffrey Cain (Remy Zero), touring multi-instrumentalist who is now a full-time member of The Church since the departure of Peter Koppes in early 2020. The band has also recruited Ashley Naylor, long-time member of Paul Kelly’s touring band and one of Australia’s finest and most respected guitarists (Even, The Grapes, The Stems).
This Satrurday in Sydney will be huge when X return to the city of their birth. All-girl leather-clad groovers DollSquad and teenage tyros Pocketwatch will be in support at Marrickville Bowling Club with tickets selling here. If you're quick, you can pick up two tickets for the price of one by using the code RETURNOFX at the check-out.