Sunnyboys + Rocket Science + The Prize Northcote Theatre, VIC Saturday 28 January 2023 Michelle Bilson photos
A work colleague of mine told me once she’d had her wedding reception at the Northcote Theatre, back when it was known as Fani’s Receptions in the late 1980s, 70-odd years after its original opening as a picture theatre. The marriage didn’t last too long – about six months, I think – but the venue was still hosting sumptuously catered family celebrations up until it was taken over and reinvigorated as a live music venue.
The benefit of personal geographical proximity aside, I’m not sold on Northcote Theatre just yet. The combination of a high ceiling and a lack of absorbent surfaces renders the acoustic profile imperfect. Like the property prices in the local area, the drink prices are on the high side; frustratingly, it’s a cash-free venue and the distance between the stage and bar makes for a challenging journey for all concern.
A heads-up to fans of the late Lobby Loyde: The 50th Anniversary Edition of the “Ball Power” LP by the Colored Balls ships on US label Just Add Water on January 27.
This touchstone of Aussie rock ‘n’ roll should need no introduction. Just in case it does, it's simply one of the finest hard rock albums to ever come out of Australia . You can file it under proto-punk, hard rock or psychedelic boogie.
This pressing has been painstakingly sourced directly from the 1973 quarter inch mix-down master tapes.
In the words of Just Add Water: “This has been an entirely analogue production chain and hasn't been touched by a computer at any stage of the process.
"Hear Coloured Balls as nature intended. Every copy includes a bonus poster!"
There will be 800 copies on black vinyl (100 each on opaque blue with white pinwheel swirl and half orange/half blue have sold out.) Order yours here.
Hi I'm Squatter the Cockatiel. I share a house with Chris Converse (4ZZZ and Punkfest) and Cathy Kerlin (Punkfest and Platform 5 Cafe and Bar) so I get to meet the really cool GC's* and hear some great music.
I am also a 4ZZZ subscriber.
Here is my top ten releases of 2022, in no particular order:
Written by Robert Brokenmouth, JD Misfortune & The Barman on .
Every Loser – Iggy Pop (Atlantic/Gold Tooth)
Best Ig album I've heard in a while.
On the other hand, after reading this you may be a bit peeved with me.
Hey, it's just my opinion. You?
You can go jump!
Having just finished a review of Michael Plater's new LP, “Ghost Music”, I'm in a kind of “blown away” mood, which I initially thought perhaps isn't the right headspace to be if I'm gonna review Iggy's new LP.
San Diego's dynamite trio The Schizophonics is returning to Australia and New Zealand after pre-COVID visits in 2019 and ’20.
Returning on the back of their latest LP, "Hoof It", The Schizophonics are husband and wife duo, singer/guitarist Pat Beers and drummer Lety Beers, and have built a formidable reputation around the world as an explosive live act.
Tapping the same wellspring that fuelled The MC5, James Brown, Iggy Pop, Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix and The Sonics, this electrifying outfit has released three albums since 2009.
Joining the Schizophonics for most Australian shows are The Unknowns, who hail from South East Queensland and share members and a record label with The Chats.
The Unknowns are set to release their second album "East Coast Low" on Bargain Bin Records around the time of this tour. Combining '70s style punk and power pop in a manner not dissimilar to the classic first three Ramones albums, The Unknowns' music is timelessly exciting and fun for all ages!
Schizophonics Australian-NZ Tour MAR Australia 1 – La La La’s, Wollongong, NSW + The Unknowns 2 – Crowbar, Sydney, NSW + The Unknowns 3 – Drifters Wharf, Gosford, NSW 4 - Tent Pole Festival, Mt Duneed, VIC 8 – Northcote Social Club, VIC + The Unknowns 9 – Hotel Westwood, VIC + The Unknowns 11 – King Lear’s, Brisbane, QLD + The Unknowns 12 – Vinnie’s Dive Bar, Gold Coast + The Unknowns Tickets here New Zealand 15 - Space Academy, Christchurch 16 - Valhalla, Wellington 19- - ONEONESIX, Whangarei + Neon Serpent 22 - Whammy Backroom, Auckland + Ratso 23 - The Green Room, Thames + Neon Serpent 25 - Piha Bowling Club, Piha + Neon Serpent Tickets here
Wollongong's Chimers - whose self-released and self-titled album of 2021 has found fans in Henry Rollins,Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, and members of The Mark Of Cain and Mudhoney - have released a new single "Generator" ahead of extensive live dates.
The single will be launched in Sydney on January 20 at Vic On The Park with support from Private Wives, and in Wollongong on January 27 at La La La's with Uncle Pit.
Irish born Padraic Skehan and life partner Binx formed the band in their Wollongong backyard during the initial lockdown of 2020. Veterans and drummers both of the ‘Gong’s vibrant garage-scene - The Pink Fits, Drop Offs, Evol and more. Chimers is an altogether different beast, Padraic taking a giant leap forward by removing himself from the back seat and assuming the roles of singing, playing guitar song-writing.
It was with great sadness that Melbourne cult retro band The Breadmakers learned of the passing of their old pal, Graeme Thomas, of the Preston Records studio and label, in November last year.
Thomas was hugely influential to just about any roots, rockabilly or rock ‘n’ roll musician in Melbourne in the 1980s and 90s – and it was no different for the young Breadmakers. They’d heard some of the amazing recordings that Graeme had made in his home-built studio that sounded exactly like they had come out of the ’50 and ‘60s and asked him to record them too.
Graeme was a musical perfectionist, and taught the band so much about getting the sounds they liked in the studio. He could make his studio sound like Sun Studios in Memphis, or just about any other vintage studio by moving microphones, changing amplifiers and rearranging a few baffles.
Graeme once offered to truck in enough soil to completely cover the studio floor so that he could get the sound of the Fortune Records Studio from Detroit Michigan, which famously had a dirt floor.
Tony Bishop, Rob Lastdrager and Leon Beveridge.See item 2.
With the world and me still waking up from the pandemic in 2022, my Top Ten consists of some old friends and favourites, re-visited, remembered and revived.
Experiencing Covid for the first time at New Year’s and enduring a heatwave in Melbourne, I’m not complaining. It’s given me quiet time to think and a chance to raise a glass to all my departed rock and roll compadres. RIP Chris Bailey especially. The raw energy of the early Saints powered my escape from Brisbane in the '80s, something for which I will be eternally grateful.
MARVELLOUS MUSICAL MOMENTS OF 2022 AND MORE MUSINGS:
Firstly, thanks to The Barman and I-94 Bar contributors Keith Claringbold, Dylan Webster, Matty Ryan and Edwin Garland who included my shows with my band in NSW and Melbourne in their Top Tens for 2022. That is so cool and greatly appreciated! Thanks to everyone who came to these shows! It was fabulous to see so many “old” friends there!
Thanks to the musicians who played in my band – Tim McCormack on bass, Jason McGann on drums, Julian Held on guitar, Sam Billinghurst-Walsh on guitar and Ryan Oliver on keyboards. They are worthy of the attention they have been getting.
In fact, thanks to all the musicians who performed live on the indie rock circuit in 2022. These are not easy times for many musicians, and it’s been fantastic to see so many artists back in action on stage, in the post lockdown world. Often, I cross paths with them when they attend other people’s gigs as well. It’s a wonderful thing to behold - intrepid rock’n’roll soldiers leading the charge to bring live music back into the forefront of our hearts and minds!
Thanks to all the punters who have been supporting live gigs. Thanks to the music journalists for reviewing our shows and new releases and to the radio presenters who have been playing our music. Thanks to the venues and the promoters, with a special thanks to The Barman for his tireless efforts to keep our rock scene alive and well.