It’s 17,378 kilometres from Villarreal in Spain to Marrickville in Sydney, Australia, and more than three years since Stewart Cunningham was last there. At times, it must have felt like he’d crawled all those kilometres home on his hands and knees.
Villareal is where he and his band, Leadfinger, played the last gig of their first overseas tour in 2017. It was nearly their swansong.
Nunchukka Superfly White Knuckle Fever Bitchcraft Babymachine Garry David Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney Friday, February 21, 2020
Friday night and gig-bound, I really had no idea what to expect. Part of the thrill of seeing a multi-band bill is to be blown away by a group you're unfamiliar with although I was armed with the knowledge that only one, Nunchukka Superfly, is familiar so I was attending with an open mind.
First up was Garry David. Without previous knowledge who Garry David was, I was expecting, maybe, a solo guitarist singing busking style songs with an inner city bent? Wrong.
Here's a preview of the new EP by Sydney's mod-inspired band The Smart Folk. They'll launch "A Sunny Afternoon At The Zoo" at Marrickville Bowling Club on Sunday, April 18 with special guesrts The OzSkas (ex-Allniters) and powerpopppers Ther Blue Rinse Set. You;; find the Facebook event here.
Brian Mann and Mick Medew trading licks in Thirroul. Shona Ross photo.
Gonna break that rule about not reviewing I-94 Bar gigs, as the second of this two-night engagement was badged thus. If you can’t write about things you like, what’s the point? It’s the ethos of why we do this e-zine thing.
So let’s be up front and say that Mick Medew is a good mate and his band, The Mesmerisers, are lovely people. In customary evangelical spirit, I’m unashamedly going to tell you that if you love rock and roll then you have to see them - in their native Brisbane or on one of their few forays outside of Queensland.
The first leg of this two-night weekend stand was a support to the mighty Sunnyboys, opening a bill shared with the mercurial Ups & Downs. The venue was the magic Anita’s Theatre in Thirroul, an hour-and-a-bit south of Sydney. The second was a Sydney show at the increasingly familiar stamping ground of Marrickville Bowling Club. The Mesmerisers are making the road trip a family affair with partners and two offspring in tow.
It’s a bill to have fans of lysergic acid punk or Sydney-via-Detroit Funhouse jams reaching into the cupboard for their leather jackets and Cuban heeled boots, when the Green Spiders pair with the long, lost ME-262 for one gig only at Marrickville Bowling Club on September 28.
The Green Spiders come from the DNA of the Lime Spiders, Adolphus and The Most – all staples of the Strawberry Hills-Sydney Trade Union Club circuit in Sydney in the early ‘80s. They play the songs of the Lime Spiders that Green Spiders members penned.
Lime Spiders members Ged Corben (guitar), Tony Bambach (bass) and Tom Corben (drums) are joined by Ripley Hood (Mushroom Planet) on vocals to deliver a potent parade of hard rock and ‘60s punk gems.
Some 37 years after they last strode a Sydney stage, ME-262 are reforming to play this one show.
Comprising teenagers Mark Roxburgh, Andy Newman, Tony Gibson (one of the best guitarists of the era) and drummer Alan Marr, ME-262 (also known as Trans 262 and not to be confused with MEO-245) could be seen regularly around inner-city Sydney in the post-Radio Birdman years of 1979-82.
Heavily influenced by Birdman and The Visitors they played support spots to Sunnyboys, New Race and dozens of others. issuing an EP before fading away to form, or join, other bands like Decline of the Reptiles, Chris Masuak’s North 40, the Visitors and the Deniz Tek Group.
This show will draw from the band’s posthumous 2017 compilation "Original 7” Tracks/Demos" on boutique label Buttercup, which comprised their EP tracks and other songs drawn from a recording session with Rob Younger.
Th Green Spiders and ME-262 will be joined by a mystery band drawn form a range of bands from the Sydney underground of the late '80s and '90s. Tickets are on sale hereat a special early bird price.
Do you have tickets yet for the garage punk gig of the year? It's on in Sydney this Saturday night and you can buy a ticket for Born Out Of Time #1 here. All pre-sales will receive a free CD of bands playing the series of bills.
Presented by Off The Hip Records and I-94 Bar., the first of a swries of shows will feature Grindhouse, The Crusaders, The Beat Taboo, Aberration and The Devours. Make a beeline for Marrickville Bowling Club. Doors open at 7pm and the event runs until 1am.
After seven years, thousands of kilometres and innumerable demolished backstage riders, The Johnnys were Australia’s indisputable, rough riding champions of cowpunk.
Fresh from two gigs in New Zealand, The Johnnys – Graham Hood (bass and vocals), Slim Doherty (guitar) and Billy Pommer (drums) - will play their first Australian show in two years, headlining Marrickville Bowling Club on Friday, April 13.
They’ll be joined by The Four Stooges (Australia’s only Stooges homage band), Maximum Security (launching their debut album) and Bob Short & The Light Brigade.
The Johnnys formed in Sydney in 1982 when bass guitarist Graham Hood tried out for the Hoodoo Gurus after quitting the Allniters. He met Hoodoo Gurus' guitarist Roddy Ray'da and, with drummer Billy Pommer, they formed The Johnnys, playing their first show at Palms Disco on Oxford Street in Sydney.
New Zealand-born Spencer P. Jones joined on guitar and the four-piece released their single "I Think You're Cute" in October on Regular Records. Ray'da left and the band signed with independent label Green Records before joining major imprint Mushroom.
Rock and roll cowpunks The Johnnys are proud to be sharing a stage for two special shows with a true Australian country music legend, Chad Morgan, in April.
The Johnnys will perform with Chad Morgan at the Hardys Bay Club on the NSW Central Coast on Friday, April 5 and Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney on Saturday, April 6.
Chad Morgan, 86, has been performing to generations of Australian music and comedy fans for more than 50 years. Dubbed “The Sheikh of Scrubby Creek” after one of his most popular songs, Chad released his first album in 1952.
He is renowned for his vaudeville style of comic country and western songs, and goofy stage persona. Chad is the ultimate comic of Australian country music and is instantly recognisable for his unique trademark – those teeth!
A platinum and gold record artist, Chad has an enormous and devoted following and is constantly touring the country, performing songs such as “I’m My Own Grandpa”, “The Shotgun Wedding”, “Double Decker Blowflies” and “There’s Life In The Old Dog Yet”.
Tex Morton once described Chad as the only original country music artist in Australia. Slim Dusty called him the crown prince of comedy. When Gordon Parsons came up with “The Pub With No Beer”, Chad’s the bloke who wrote the words down and contributed a verse of his own.
Chad and The Johnnys go back 30 years. Guitarist Slim Doherty said: “Chad Morgan played a few shows with us in Sydney many moons ago and loved us as we did him.
“He has a cameo in our 'Buzzsaw Baby' film-clip and it is an honour to have shared the screen with this legend. I have an Eko Electric guitar Chad 'signed' with his pocketknife which I still treasure immensely.”
The Johnnys are Slim Doherty, bassist Graham Hood and drummer Billy Pommer Jr and they will be coming fresh off a national you’re with The Beasts. These shows will be a unique pairing and will sell out so don’t delay. Pre-sales tickets are available here.
Hoody from The Johnnys revels in a pair of undies last seen on a stage when Tom Jones played Marrickville Bowlo.
The Johnnys Molting Vultures Jupiter 5 Marrickville Bowling Club Friday, February 14, 2020
After a hard day of work at the end of the week, the temptation to see three A-class bands at Marrickville Bowling Club was hard to resist.
I don’t usually plug bistros but I have to say that what might appear to be basic club or pub food was done exceptionally well at the Bowlo. Hats off to the Marrickville Bowling Club for having a fantastic diner.
After that meal and time well spent watching planes from around the world fly over as the sun set over the greens of the club with a Young Henrys Newtowner beer in hand, it was time to see Jupiter 5.
Trans-global pop combo Fast Cars will play live in Australia for two shows only in October, promoting their new album “Soft”.
Principal members Fabian Byrne (based in Australia) and Di Levi (who lives in the UK) will be joined by friends and various supports for a gig at Marrickville Bowling Cub in Sydney on October 12, and as part of the Modtoberfest bill at the Lansdowne Hotel also in Sydney on the afternoon of October 20.
Byrne and Levi will be joined by original bass player Dave Pye and drummer Pete Bennett (ex- The Welcome Mat). The first 50 payers at the Bowlo will receive a Fast Cars CD of rarities and outtakes and tickets are on sale here.
Supports for the Marrickville Bowlo show are Love Minus Zero (launching their “No Limit” album and a single) and The Smart Folk.
Originally a part of the 1980s Sydney mod scene, Fast Cars reformed over the Internet as a recording unit around Byrne and Levi in 2016 and have released two albums so far.
Take the tip and don't miss Ron S Peno and The Superstitions when they play their first Sydney show since 2017 at Marrickville Bowliing Club on Saturfday, November 12. Tickets for the show, presented by The I-94 Bar, went on sale this mormnig here and are moving very quickly.
Supports are Fabels,Nothing But Dust (featuring Died Pretty bassist Steve Clark) and MD Horne. For health resons, Ron and The Superstitions will play early at 915pm, and the night will be closed by MD Horne.
Ron S. Peno & The Superstitions are fronted by one of Australia’s greatest and most charismatic performers, Ron S. Peno, whose voice is as instantly recognisable as it is arresting.
Ron came to prominence as lead singer and principal co-composer with Died Pretty in the 1980s and 1990s. With Died Pretty, he achieved Top 30 success with multiple albums, received numerous ARIA nominations, made many Big Day Out appearances and enjoyed years of Triple J support, as well as great national and international critical acclaim.
Ron and The Superstitions' first and third albums, "Future Universe" (2011) and "Guiding Light" (2017), were both long-listed for the Australian Music Prize, and they have toured through Spain, Italy and France.
Dave Kettley and Rob Younger marshalling the New Christs at Marrickville Bowlo on Saturday night..
Sydney, you’re such a contrary beast with this live music thing. And you fucking know it.
A year ago, this same bill of the New Christs and Melbourne’s James McCann and The New Vindictives pulled close to a full room at Marrickville Bowlo. This Saturday night, the place isn’t empty by any means but the head count is much lower.
Was it the cold weather? HTFU! It’s winter. Maybe a spot of fatigue with great rock and roll shows seemingly happening weekly? For sure, we’ve been spoilt. It was also the third New Christs appearance in these parts in as many months. if you were one of the waverers that stayed home, it really was your loss.
How do you spell Royalty? The I-94 Bar is presenting two very special shows this weekend with The Johnnys teaming with Australian copuntery legend Chad Morgan. Catch them at Marrickville Bowling Club in Syndey on Saturday with MD Horne's Last Call and The Link and Pin at Woy Woy on Sunday with The Howlin' Rats.Tickets for Marrickville are here and Woy Woy here
This Satrurday in Sydney will be huge when X return to the city of their birth. All-girl leather-clad groovers DollSquad and teenage tyros Pocketwatch will be in support at Marrickville Bowling Club with tickets selling here. If you're quick, you can pick up two tickets for the price of one by using the code RETURNOFX at the check-out.
"Shake Yer Popboomerang 3" Sydney Launch Ups and Downs Halfway The Aerial Maps Marrickville Bowling Club Friday February 29, 2020 Photos by Mark Fraser of Redback Rock
This isn’t going to be one of those reviews where someone walks you through a song-by-song recreation of the gig. For starters, I’ve seen Aerial Maps once, Halfway never, and Ups and Downs twice. None of them are really big on song introductions either. So I have no idea what any of the tunes were called, besides a couple from the headliners.
I guess a dedicated reviewer would have gone and had a squiz at the set lists, or maybe bailed up a hapless band member, but to be honest I was too busy drinking with a dear friend I hadn’t seen in ages to worry about that. So it’s going to be more about the vibe, man, and a few observations I jotted down in a notebook.
Izzy Mellor and Geoff Corbett. Cyrille Bellec photo.
Sydney rock and roll fans are in for a special treat on November 17 when a roadshow of diverse but related Brisbane acts rolls into town. Marrickville Bowling Club will bear witness to the spectacular, self-destructing antics of Six Ft Hick, fronted by Geoff and Ben Corbett. The undercard is full of quieter moments, with Gentle Ben & his Shimmering Hands - a vehicle for Ben - and Shifting Sands, led by Geoff.
The reconstituted Lime Spiders will play their one and only Australian show this year at Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney on December 2.
Mick Blood is leading a fresh line-up of the band before playing the Purple Weekend Festival in Leon, Spain, which runs from December 6-9. Other bands on that bill include the Allniters, Frowning Clouds and Nikki Corvette.
Sydney supports for the Spiders’ return (being billed as “Summer of Love Revisited”) are The On and Ons and The Amazing Woolloomoolosers. Tickets will be available through Oztix later this week. Mick Blood is being joined in the Lime Spiders by Dave Sparks (guitar), Andrew Nunns (drums) and Phil Hall (bass).
Long regarded as one of Queensland rock and roll's most venerable singer-songwriters, Mick Medew is returning to a Sydney stage after a five-year absence with his band The Mesmerisers.
With one album ("The Mesmerisers") under their belt and another underway, Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers will play Marrickville Bowling Club on Saturday, February 24, with support from Loose Pills and The Dark Clouds. Tickets are on sale here.
The Sydney show has been added to follow a support to The Sunnyboys in Thirroul on February 23.
Vocalist-guitarist Medew is co-founder of the Screaming Tribesmen and more recently leader of Mick Medew and The Rumours, and he's been making a mark on Brisbane (and Australian) music for more than 30 years.
Originally a member of seminal inner-city Brisbane band The 31st, whose ranks included future members of the Hoodoo Gurus, the Hitmen and Died Pretty, Medew went on to front the Screaming Tribesmen, a band schooled in tough guitar rock overlaid with alternately hooky and plaintive melodies.
The Tribesmen outgrew their home town and moved to Sydney in the 1980s, becoming Australian independent music chart toppers with the classic single "Igloo".
The band lasted 16 years, signed to a US label, released three albums and toured North America and Europe (twice) before Mick moved home to Queensland and put them on hiatus in 1993. Reunions for tours followed in 2011 (Australia) and 2012 (Europe).
Sometimes you get all philosophical. The penny dropped on Saturday night, after a succession of $14 jugs of beer with a mate, that the New Christs are probably the band that I’ve experienced live for the longest number of years.
Of course there have been so many line-ups that a statement like that becomes very elastic. But the wrist stamps don’t lie...
And they go right back to 1984 when a loose and limber Rob Younger bounded onto the stage of Sydney’s Capital Theatre, fronting the band’s first live incarnation, in support of Iggy Pop.
That line-up of Chris Masuak, Tony Robertson, Mark Kingsmill and Kent Steedman (the Rifle later to be subbed by a Spider, Richard Jakimyszyn) might have been equalled by the “Distemper” one (Charlie Owen, Jim Dickson and Louis Burdett/Nick Fisher) but never bettered. The former had a brutal edge, the latter a bluesier, expansive feel with jazzy inflections.
The current configuration of Dickson, Paul Larsen, Dave Kettley and Brent Williams measures up nicely in the history of the New Christs, probably sitting at level-pegging with the late-‘90s line-ups. They’ve all served up differing sounds and brought something different to the stage, with the one constant being Younger’s undeniable presence and bitter-sour song-writing.
“Emotional Jihad” and “Word Salad” are terms that others have used down the years to describe Younger’s lyrical vision. You can’t do much better than that.
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.