mark - The I-94 Bar

Adieu to a Hoodoo Guru: Kingsy leaves the band

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The Hoodoo Gurus have announced the departure of Mark Kingsmill, their drummer for the last 30 years, from the end of March.

In a Facebook post, frontman Dave Faulkner said: “I won't invade Mark's privacy by going into elaborate detail about his reasons other than to say he feels he's had enough of this vagabond rock 'n' roll lifestyle we all lead.

“Though he still enjoys playing drums, Mark has completely lost his appetite for the endless travelling and the many hours of hotel room boredom.

“The physical demands of playing the drums as energetically as he does are also exacting a higher toll on his body than ever before. Really, who can blame him for wanting a change?”

Decline's demise gives rise to Joeys Coop

All eyes turn to Marrickville in Sydney’s inner-west on April 11 for the debut of Joeys Coop, a band whose ranks read like a who’s who of inner-Sydney underground (and overground) rock.

Get your dancing shoes on with The Pop Group's Mark Stewart

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The late ‘70s in the UK saw a deluge of explosive music and art colliding, and while not all was good by any means (much was utterly dreadful), some was brilliantly wayward. The Pop Group are one such, and they are doing only THREE shows in Australia in March.

The first is at the Adelaide Festival on Thursday 5th March, the next day they’re in Sydney at the Factory Theatre, and the last gig is at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne (where they will be supported by the rather swish Harry Howard and the NDE). Then, they’re slugging through the USA and back to Blighty to cause more sore feet and body odour. Toting a brand new album "Citizen Zombie" that's relevant and brilliant. 

Guess who's guitar sound this is: "Take Me Away" by Joeys Coop

Died Pretty guitarist Brett Myers has re-surfaced in Sydney band Joeys Coop, whose debut seven-inch single is due out soon on Citadel. Joeys Coop is Mark Roxburgh (Decline of the Reptiles), Andy Newman (Deniz Tek Group, Decline of The Reptiles), Matt Galvin (Eva Trout, Perry Keyes, Loose Pills), Lloyd Gyi (Perry Keyes, Dave Warner) and Myers.

We at the I-94 Bar are fans of the members' bands but we're especially keen on that distinctive Myers jangle-and-soar so you can guess what we think of the song. Joeys Coop will launch “Take Me Away” at Petersham Bowling Club on Sunday March 22 with supports Knievel, Buddy Glass and Matt Shacallis. More gig details here.

Lost Psychosurgeons tape discovered

psychosurgeons crushA long-lost and forgotten rehearsal recording by legendary Australian punk band the Psychosurgeons is about to drop on seven-inch vinyl.

Legacy label Blank Records – the same people responsible for two pricey but desirable box sets of 45s by a host of ‘60s Aussie bands on the Festival label – are issuing “Crush On You” b/w “Falling Apart” any tick of the clock now.

The songs were found by Psychosurgeons/Lipstick Killers guitarist Mark Taylor on an un-labelled quarter-inch tape in a shoebox and of course the release has his blessing. The only other known recording by the Psychosurgeons was the “Wild Weekend” b/w “Horizontal Action” 45, recently re-issued by Crypt Records (with voluminous liners “borrowed” from the I-94 Bar.)  

The Psychosurgeons were one of the earliest Australian punks bands and a mainstay at Radio Birdman’s venue, the Oxford Funhouse. Members went on to form the Lipstick Killers and “Crush On You” featured in their early set lists. You’ll be able to find the single in finer vinyl shops or you can pre-order it here.

Mark Steiner And His Problems in Adelaide

steiner-adelaideAdelaide's Metropolitan Hotel is on the corner opposite Her Majesty’s Theatre, a favourite venue of Barry Humphries and host, in a few weeks, to Leo Sayer. The difference in capacity between these two venues is significant.

Touring Norwegian-via-New York musician Mark Steiner's guitarist, Henry Hugo, made the comment that for all the millions of flowers, only a few are seen.

I might add that certainly, as we get older, we tend to flock to the art which made us happy in our youth, and that we tend not to examine the new as rigorously or with such delighted determination as we did all those years ago.

Mark Steiner brings "Saudade" Down Under

steiner-headshotNorwegian musical troubadour Mark Steiner has had a ongoing love affair with Australia since 2008 when he first visited our shores, fulfilling a self-promise after hearing the music of Rowland S. Howard when he was a teen growing up in New York in the ‘80s. He’s now making his fourth trip Down Under, playing songs from his latest album, “Saudade”, in and around Melbourne in January.

A purveyor of melancholic lounge-noir compositions, Steiner’s commanding voice and dark, sinewy rhythms of electric guitar have been described as “the epitome of a booze-soaked evening in a dirty clandestine bar and an ashtray full of pain”

Saudade - Mark Steiner and His Problems (Plug Ugly)

saudadeThe battle-lines used to be clearly drawn between Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney was the home of high-energy guitar rock in its many variants, many of them Motor City-derived, while Melbourne spawned an artier, darker strain of music with one foot squarely planted in territory that became known as junkie rock.

These days Sydney’s musical crown is less faded than displaced. Melbourne is in the ascendancy. Its thriving music scene retains an artiness but it rocks as well. The place still does darkness better than most but its palette seems broader. Its tentacles seem to spread further than any other scene in Australia.

Norwegian-American Mark Steiner has visited Melbourne and gulped hard on water drawn from its musical well. He did an Australian tour a few years back but the influences were obviously already in place. There’s a Bad Seeds/Rowland S Howard/Wreckery streak several kilometres wide running right down the back of his bluesy music, but it’s marked by poise rather than self pity.

The Wayback Machine aka Hoodoo Gurus live in Sydney

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Steven Danno photo


The thing with nostalgia is that it never gets old. Like sand through an hourglass, reunions of storied bands are an inevitability. Some are great, some barely tolerable.

The verdict is in on the return to duty by three versions of the Hoodoo Gurus, as a warm-up for an appearance at the Splendour In The Grass festival a few days later. This was a championship-style triumph rather than a chore.

I-94 Bar