I thought I’d take a unique approach to this year’s Top 10 by actually listing my top music highlights of the year which didn’t involve myself.
So you won’t be reading about my killer gig with the mighty Buffalo “Revisited” at the Bald Faced Stag in Sydney, where we performed the astoundingly cool Buffalo album "Volcanic Rock" from top to toe to celebrate the record's 40 years in existence.
You also won’t be reading about the one and only show by The Four Stooges at the Marrickville Bowlo that was in a word “devastating“.
Also you won’t be hearing about The Cool Chambers who struggled against a few odds in finishing recording and mixing our super duper originals for a planned release in 2019...nope...no...none of that rubbish.
But you will read my Top 10...that has in fact become an explosive hits Top 20 (not in order):
1) Pink Floyd The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Record Store Day Mono re-issue. This sounds as great as I’d always suspected (having never heard a proper mono mix). It’s punchy and dynamic! Psychedelic being invented for many.
2) Amyl and the Sniffers LP Big Attraction/ Giddy Up - real punky rock - see my review on I94bar somewhere and go and see them play a show...the kids are alright
3) Mark Taylor 2 x 7”. If only more records were like this. Lipstick Killers, Psycho Surgeons guitar destroyer steps out front with a really brilliant double 7” with insane packaging, great songs and playing.
4) New Christs at the Marrickville Bowlo. Great band, great sound. Still explosive.
5) Bikini Kill - The Singles LP. Finally out on vinyl. The later day BK 7”s on one record...real punky rock #2!
6) John Foy book - Snaps Crack Pop. John is a true rock and roll dude be it his artworks, music fandom or his time challenging the biz with his Redeye label, his book tells his tale with words and pictures. Keep well John.
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.”
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.
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.