Neptune Power Federation fly that freak flag high

screaming loz sutchScreaming Loz Sutch. Credit: Neptune Power Federation website

Neptune Power Federation
Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney  
October 9, 2022

It’s official! The Neptune Power Federation are my new favourite band.

Their last two LPs, “Memories Of a Rat Queen” and “Le Demon De L’amour” have been on high rotation at the home stereo system all year, but due to various life challenges I had never seen them live. So the gig at Frankie’s was a do or die mission to get there.

Heavy Rock is NPF’s bag..and heavy baggage they have in spades (Heavy Rock…not to be confused with its ugly bastard grandchild Heavy Metal). If you listen closely you can tell NPF (or The Feds as their fan club call them) have been sprinkled with the magic dust of the giants in that field. I’m talking first three albums of Queen, ditto for Blackmore’s Rainbow, Motorhead, AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Led Zeppelin and Buffalo (whose first guitarist John Baxter could even tell).

Bar band brilliance

down on seventh avenue cvrDown on 7th Avenue b/w I will Give up – Pat Todd and The Rankoutsiders (Dangerhouse/Heavy Medication)

Some people use “bar band” as an insult when it’s a badge of honour. There is no more exacting proving ground. Pat Todd and The Rankoutsiders  are the best bar band in the world and here’s the proof.

“Down On 7th Avenue” was written the night before Los Angeles’ finest went into the studio and it’s delivered as only a band that knows itself inside out can. A scorching rocker propelled by a tight-as-a-fish’s-arse engine room, crunching guitars and Todd’s impassioned vocal, it jumps off the turntable. The reprise is the sting in the tail.

B side “I Will Give Up” is more mellow, a ‘50s rocker with some tasteful Duane Eddie licks and tinkling piano that’s reflective of the band’s rootsy ethos.

Buy or die. There's no excuse for not owning this. 

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Buy it  

Ghosts are immortal

these immortal souls posterThese Immortal Souls
The Tote, Collingwood, VIC
Saturday, 12 November 2022

These Immortal Souls didn’t really have much of a physical presence in Australia, at least during the band’s creative peak. Rowland S Howard had first conceived the group in the immediate aftermath of The Birthday Party, though it took a false start with Barry Adamson, Chris Walsh and Jeff Wegener, and a brief tenure in the European incarnation of Crime and the City Solution, before

These Immortal Souls took permanent form with Howard, Genevieve McGuckin on keyboards, Howard’s brother Harry on bass and Kevin Godfrey (aka Epic Soundtracks) on drums.

For much of its time, These Immortal Souls lived a penurious, underground (literally and metaphorically) existence in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. An Australia tour over the summer of 1988-89 would be the only time the band would grace these shores until the band’s repatriation in 1994.

By late 1998, These Immortal Souls had departed into the dustbin of history.

An episode of Thursday Evening Gunk to Treasure

The replay of last week's Thursday Evening Gunk, the I-94 Bar Internet show, is here so kick back and watch. Host Chris Virtue of 2RRR speaks to Sydney's King of Urban and Western, John Kennedy, and bassist Phil Hall (Dropbears, Sardine v, Lime Spiders) about the John Kennedy's 68 Comeback Special album "Raining Treasure Vol 2" before a set by the band.

This Thursday at 8pm Sydney time go to the Moshpit Bar Facebook for the "Chicks Who Rock" episode, in which guest host Heather Goodman of Orbital Radio will talk to Jess Finlayson (Rasing Ravens, Nitrocris) and Bianca Kotoulas of young Sydney band Euterpe about the Sydney scene and women bands.  Join the Facebook event here.

Night of power and pop recalls the best of times

mick salutes bowloMick Medew and the Mesmerisers
+ The On and Ons
+ Pocketwatch
Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney
Saturday, 5 November 2022

Photos by Vic Zubakin of Look Sharp Photography

The 1980s was in many ways a dire period in music: if you look at the charts or are forced to endure a few re-runs of “Countdown”, you’ll agree. Mainstream music was based on synth and a chorus pedal, gated snare and re=recordings of “Funky Town”. And there was fucking Phil Collins and his drums.

The padded shoulders and “eat the poor” mentality that saw the rise of the trickle down economics of Reagan and Thatcher.  Whenever I see any sentimental recall of the ‘80s, I run the other way. The exceptions lie in pockets of underground music

Sydney particularly reacted against the culture of Ken Done tea towels and pastels and third rate sounds. We real street music with some of best bands in the world, many of whom you could see live for five bucks.

Just as then, we still have a Sydney underground music scene in 2022. We can still see shadows and glimpses of the past and talented young bands who have been handed the baton.

Velatine's "greasy, sweet corruption"

whisper park cvrWhisper Park b/w One and Only – Velatine (Spooky Records)

Damn, “Whisper Park” is dark and groovy. Just listen to that rippling rhythm, those soaring cadences..and Maggie Alley's louche, almost deadpan vocals. By god, she's got a voice on her.

Band member/producer Loki Lockwood has shot another sterling ICBM into an uncaring stratosphere, look out Shen-zen, here comes detonation... and yes, Velatine do provoke that effect. At least on me. A graceful, deadly shot into the air, where it lands, god won't help you.

Dead Boys Down Under

Dead Boys 2023 tourDead Boys circa 2017.

The reformed Dead Boys play their first Australian shows in a long and storied history in 2023 with three East Coast gigs.

Guitarist Cheetah Chrome is the sole original player as infamous frontman Srtiv Bators left the planet in 1990. The band release a truie punk rock classic in “Sonic Reducer”. 

Dead Boys were formed by vocalist Bators, Chrome and rhythm guitarist Jimmy Zero in 1975 before bassist Jeff Magnum completed the first line-up. The original Dead Boys released two studio albums“Young, Loud and Snotty and “We Have Come For Your Children”. 

The Dead Boys were initially active from 1975 to 1980, briefly reuniting a few times in the mid-1980s, and then later again in 2004 and 2005 without Bators.

Chrome and Blitz reunited the band with a new line-up for a 40th anniversary tour along with a new album, “Still Snotty: Young, Loud and Snotty at 40”, a re-recording of their debut LP. Blitz is absent from a current US tour.

Dead Boys Australian Tour
MAR
23 – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Tickets
24 – The Bridge Hotel, Rozelle, NSW
Tickets
25 – The Corner, Richmond, VIC
Tickets

Front-row seat to debauchery

theater cvrTheater of Cruelty – Iggy and the Stooges (Easy Action)

And back down the rabbit hole we go…

It’s apparent that all that exists in the way of Stooges demo's and live recordings is probably in the public domain by now. The chances of somebody unearthing another “Goose Lake” desk tape, or a slew of pre-production demos that the band misplaced, is a longshot.

So, Stoogephiles, we are done and dusted.

Not quite.

1980s link provides impetus for Mick Medew and Ursula's Boxcar remix project

mick medew and ursula boxcar crIt’s a match made in the sub tropics: Dave Smith, founder of ARIA-nominated Brisbane synth act Boxcar, has teamed with Queensland rock and roll hall of famer Mick Medew and partner Ursula to launch a series of steamy dancefloor remixes of the title track from Mick Medew and Ursula’s “Love Is Calling” album.

Dave and Ursula go way back - to Brisbane in the ‘80s, in fact, when Dave helped make a video for Ursula's then band, Ironing Music.

Mick Medew is the former leader of the legendary Screaming Tribesmen, whose “Igloo” single is an all-time Australian underground classic, and more recently vocalist and guitarist for Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers.

“Love Is Calling” was 4ZZZ’s Album of the Week on its release on I-94 Bar Records in early 2022. The remix project has realised four Boxcar remixes whose titles are inspired by Dave Smith’s love of Roma and Brunswick Streets in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley entertainment precinct.

The artwork is by Ash Moses and the songs were meticulously mastered by Melbourne sonic wizard Ernie O

The ”Love is Calling Boxcar Remix” EP will debut on the Heyday program on 4ZZZ on Saturday after 6pm Brisbane time and will go live on all streaming services from Monday. Save the streaming songs here.  

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