Down to Kill: Onetime Filth bassist Martin Joyce with future Lipstick Killers Peter Tillman. Mark Taylor and Dave Taylor.
FLASHBACK: May 29, 2001 - Sydney music fans are in for a special treat. On May 11, one of the best bands of the late 1970s and early '80s Sydney "Detroit" scene, the Lipstick Killers, re-form for one show only. The occasion is a benefit for their original drummer David Taylor, who has been tragically injured in a car accident.
Taylor was also a member of the seminal punk group that spawned the Lipstick Killers, the Psychsurgeons, who were as raw and confrontational as bands come. As regular support to Radio Birdman at the latter's Oxford Funhouse (along with the Hellcats, fronted by Died Pretty singer Ron Peno), they grabbed what shows they could in a still resistant Sydney scene. That was until their singer Paul Gearside was set upon - mid gig - by a pack of Hell's Angels. He departed and the band picked up Peter Tillman, frontman for the even more extreme Filth. A change of band name later and the Lipstick Killers were born.
That finder of lost treasures extraordinaire, David Laing, is on the hunt for archival photos, handbills and posters relating to Sydney band the Lipstick Killers.
Formerly head of the Grown Up Wrong and Dogmeat labels and longtime footsoldier for Shock Records and more recently Universal, Dave is branching out on his own and his first project is a double CD of definitive Lipstick Killers goodness.
Working with Lipstick Killers guitarist Mark Taylor, Laing has already unearthed some unheard gems and now wants to do the packaging justice by adding unseen images. Says "Dogmeat Dave": “I’m especially keen to find decent promo shots, including good quality versions of the ones regularly doing the rounds. In particular I’m after photos and a contact for one, Gary Lane, who did a shoot in ’79 – one photo was used in RAM magazine.”
Our own loss-leading I-94 Bar Records is proud to announce the imminent release of "OPen Season", the new album by Mick Medew and The Mesmeriers.
Led by Brisbane legend Mick Medew, the band includes members of his Screaming Tribesmen, the Lipstick Killers, The 31st and Shy Impostors. "Open Season" is available for pre-order from our Bandcamp now and will be out on CD and digitally from June 4. Enjoy this teaser and the ordering link is here.
In the early 1990s John Foy found himself in the eye of the storm enveloping the music industry.
Foy’s independent record label, Red Eye, had done a deal with Polydor, the Australian arm of multinational company Phonogram. A sold-out at show at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion in 1991, headlined by Ratcat and featuring English band Rideand Red Eye bands The Clouds and Falling Joys, had awakened major labels to the commercial potential of the independent music scene. Other Red Eye bands like The Cruel Sea would surf the independent wave into the late 1990s, even after Foy withdrew from industry machinations.
Thirty years later, Foy looks back on those heady days with fondness. But even as he trawled through his archive of posters, ticket stubs and memories for his “Snaps Crack Pop!” visual collection cum autobiography, he’s not dwelling on what he should have done back in the day. Foy has always lived in the moment, for better and for worse.
The I-94 Bar iinvited LIpstick Killers members Mark Taylor and Peter Tillman to front up for a chat on Friday, to mark the release of their band’s killer posthumous compilation “Strange Flash!” on Grown Up Wrong! Records. Fan Steve Lorkin and Tillman’s former Filth bandmate Bob Short were hosts for this wide ranging chat reflecting on the band’s rise through the Radio Birdman-inspired Sydney underground scene to their disintegration in Los Angeles. You'll find our review of the album here.
Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers bring their killer brand of rocking powerpop to New South Wales in March for just two shows.
Catch them Friday, March 27 at Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney and Sunday, March 29 at Mayfield Bowling Club in the Hunter.
The only Sydney show pairs them with Peter Simpson and his Vanity Project, the rock machine par excellence led by Peter Simpson of The Dubrovniks and his hand-picked line-up.
Opening proceedings will be local psychedelic-garage rock super-group Jupiter 5, with members of Psychotic Turnbuckles, Buffalo Revisited and Sheek the Shayk. Tickets are on sale here.
It’s 4pm doors at Mayfield where the supports are Imaginary Things, The Stoids and The Perils. The Mesmerisers hit the stage at 9.30pm.
“Open Season” is the latest album for Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers (on I-94 Bar Records) and it’s full of clever, hooky song-writing, a soulful engine room and driving guitars.
And of course there’s the unique voice of Mick Medew, front-man for the Screaming Tribesmen, the Brisbane-born and Sydney-bred pop-rock legends who topped independent charts in Australia and the US in the ‘80s.
It came out with bugger-all fanfare five months ago, to coincide with the band’s one-off Sydney reformation on a Sunnyboys undercard, so it’s high time this one was passed around the I-94 Bar for a critique.
You might know the back story but too bad: Shy Impostors were fronted by uber talented vocalist Penny Ward and contained future Sunnyboys Peter Oxley and Richard Burgman, plus Michael Charles, who would go on to the Lipstick Killers and Screaming Tribesmen. Not much shyness about that lot and no impostors among them.
One of the trace elements of Sydney’s punk history will be exhumed on September 11 when Filth supports the Celibate Rifles at Oxford Art Factory, as part of the Sedition festival.
Filth sprouted from Radio Birdman’s fertile Oxford Funhouse scene and spawned the Psychosurgeons and the Lipstick Killers. Nihilistic and self-destructive, Filth presaged a richly diverse and extreme musical movement based in pubs like The Grand and The Civic.
Loud, fast and full of body fluids that were generously shared with audiences when the mood took them, Filth attracted fans who are even more deranged than them and were rarely invited back by venue operators. One show at Bondi with a nascent X remains infamous for both the repair bill and the number of fans sent to hospital.
The long-awaited anthology of material by Australia’s legendary Lipstick Killers finally arrives on CD and LP on Grown Up Wrong! Records on June 25.
“Strange Flash – Studio & Live ‘78-‘81” as a double-LP will include the original 1979 “Hindu Gods of Love”/”Shakedown USA” single, the posthumous “Sockman/Pensioner Pie’ 45 plus additional studio masters from the same ’78 session; an unreleased album-length 1980 demo session recorded by Australian guitar god Lobby Loyde; and the near-complete LA show that comprised the original live album “Mesmeriser”.
The “Mesmeriser” tracks will add additional tunes and subtract a couple that one band member wasn’t happy with.The set features liner notes by Ugly Things contributor and Grown Up Wrong! Records’Dave Laing, some killer pix and flyers and repro’s of the stunning Lipstick Killers posters designed by highly collectable Sydney poster artist John Foy, and a piece by Byron Coley.
The LPs will be a run of 500 copies on orange vinyl an 500 on black.
The double-CD includes adds a near complete live show recorded in Adelaide in 1978, some of which was released on a handmade cassette by members of the band in the mid-‘80s, and a couple of the tracks of which appeared on a very limited run 45 also released by the band in later years. But a good chunk of it has never been heard - and it is wild.
There’s no doubt that the Lipstick Killerswere in a class of their own when they stepped out of the shadow of Radio Birdman and onto Sydney stages. With sensibilities inherited from the import racks of White Light Records and the frantic energy of the Oxford Funhouse, they mixed stuttering power and rawness with a sense of theatre and an appreciation of the ridiculous.
The Lipstick Killers had a lineage going back to Funhouse denizens the Psychosurgeons,and the physically confronting Filthbefore them. If Birdman’s birth marked the Ground Zero for Sydney’s underground scene, the Lipstick Killers were heading a fast-following platoon whose ranks included Shy Imposters, Kamikaze Kids and The Passengers.
Another year with nothin' to do....!! No gigs to speak of though we did manage to fit in one Black Bombersshow just before the years end to blow away the cobwebs..!! Top Ten? Mostly reissues but here goes...
Bored – “Back For More” (Bang!) A UK Record Store Day release. R.I.P. John Nolan
Endless Boogie- “Admonitions” The Boogie is indeed endless.
This year I’m going to go with an all Australian bands top 5 of reissues / older stuff and a top 10 of new stuff.
Old Stuff (in no particular order):
1. SHUTDOWN 66 – Come On Girl Give Me Half A Chance. Reissue of their 4th and final long play release, the original was very limited and is super hard to find, so I was stoked to hear that Soundflat Records from Germany was reissuing this awesome garage punk LP.
2. ASTEROID B-612 – S/T The CD only debut long-player got a long overdue vinyl reissue this year from Spain’s Bang! Records.
4. THE PROTON ENERGY PILLS – S/T A collection of their studio releases. A fantastically packaged deluxe gatefold album. 5. BORED! – "Back For More" and BORED! – "Feed The Dog" A couple of great releases came out this year from Bored! “Back For More” (Bang!) is an awesome compilation with songs spanning the bands career, and “Feed The Dog” (Fantastic Mess) got the reissue treatment with a couple of bonus songs thrown in.
2. Snake Pit Therapy – Sonny Vincent (Svart) New York punk’s (almost) last man standing bounces back with his best-sounding and arguable most well-rounded album ever. Sonny has been hidden in plain sight for the many for far too long.
10. JAMES DOMESTIC – “FAZE OUT” This just scrapes in as a debut single but by the time The Domestics’ frontman’s album emerges this Spring, it’ll be a shoo-in for end of year lists. A brilliant first effort, “Faze Out” keeps some of the East Anglian hardcore pioneers’ energy but cloaks his Dury-ish man-in-the-pub spiel in junskshop electronica.
9. VIEWS – “MOTHER TAPES ANTHOLOGY 1986-1990” Not sure how this lot passed me by in my student days, but this double from Area Pirata is an excellent introduction to (or reminder of) Brescia band Views. One for paisley underground fans, they borrow the Dü’s knack for belligerence and melody with occasional wigouts into Yo La Tengo lightheadedness.
8. SONNY VINCENT – “SNAKE PIT THERAPY” STILL one of punk’n’roll’s best-kept secrets, Sonnycame within a Rizla’s breadth of going overground and not a moment too soon. The Limit album that came out earlier in the year, fronted by Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling, brought him a whole new audience, but this is really what he does best. A confident resurgence considering the trials of recent years.
Indie Sounds From The Harbour City (1983-87) – Various Artists (Vi-Nil Records)
The Vi-Nil label lurched into life in 1983 with The Klerksand spawned more notable offspring such as the Hard-Ons and the Psychotic Turnbuckles before winding down at the end of the decade. This collection marks the label’s re-birth, and features a representative selection of its first era stable.
There are 20 tracks and it’s a diverse output, ranging from power-pop to acid punk and back to new wave and garage rock. Vi-Nil’s release of “Sockman” by the Lipstick Killers was my introduction to the label and to these ears it still epitomises the frenzied attack of the first era line-up.