MD Horne - The I-94 Bar
High Tides, More Crimes – MD Horne (Outtspace/FOLC/La Villa Nova)
Only a shit stirrer would start a review of an album with the rhetorical question: “How do you know you’re getting old? You start listening to bush bands”. Guilty as charged – on the shit stirrer charge, that is. Lock me up.
Yes, the second solo album from Sydney’s MD Hornecontains mandolin, didgeridoo, his own bass, a sprinkling of bush balladry, and even a sea shanty of sorts but, thankfully, no lagerphone. It’s also damned good.
Red Dirt Bituman - MD Horne (self released)
This is a clever stripped-down blues-rock album, a stark and personal journey full of evocative twists and turns and as grittilyAustralian as its wilfully mis-spelt title suggests.
“MD Horne” is Mark Horne, Sydney bassist for many bands but most notably the brutal 300 st claire and Johnny Casino and the Secrets. Mark recorded it on a sojourn to Spain, where his mate Johnny is domiciled. MD handles acoustic guitars and vocals, and Señor Casino plays everything else.
“Red Dirt Bituman” is Horne’s debut solo album and its title plays on the dichotomy of a man torn between his connections to the city and the bush. Truth be told, most Australians cling to the coast like limpets on a tin boat and wouldn’t be seen dead on a dirt road. M.D. Horne, has travelled plenty of dirt tracks and blacktops and his music speaks of both.
Kevin 'BIGDADDYK' Cherry
SYDNEY SOUNDS 2RRR 88.5 SATURDAY 6PM (Sydney time)
TOP 10 + 2 OF 2021.
DATELINE: FRESHWATER BEACH, SYDNEY, NSW: I'm fortunate to be living within 10 minutes walking distance to the birthplace of Australian surfing - affectionately known to the locals as Freshie. I usually go there in the early evening around 6pm when it's un-patrolled as there are less people and cooler so I’m less likely to get sunburnt. Water temperature has been tropical (around 21 degrees Celsius) but refreshing. A great, healthy and socially-distanced way to spend Summer.
The following 12 highlights (in no particular order) are by local bands recorded during Covid lockdown and regularly played on The Sydney Sounds Show ON SaturdayS 6pm 2RRR 88.5mz.
1. MOONLIGHT FIVE
Made their debut last year (and listed in my Top 10 of 2020) with the polarising song/video “Lockdown Blues”, followed a few months later with the more accessible “Listening to Gospel Music on The Radio” - both of which received radio airplay, locally and overseas, to critical acclaim. About to launch their third song/video “I Just Want To Be Me” which had its radio airplay debut on SYDNEY SOUNDS on January 8. A band that are not afraid to go out on a limb and create something a bit different from the usual Sydney rock sound.
This is not a real Top Ten list as such. Just a list of personal highlights that were beacons in what was another shit year for most of us.
The passing of Johnny Nolan (Bored!, Powder Monkeys, Powerline Sneakers) did not help. After his death, I read through al private messages we exchanged over the past decade. Johnny was a man of passion and so much love for music a genuine lovely bloke with his bands. R.I.P.
The Sonny Michaels Show
This shambolic pisstake on the bad ‘70s TV host has equal parts Norman Gunston and Don Lane. We get two hours per month. It is so funny. Paula and Mike Brown are a talented duo and the Sonny Michaels character is world-class. They also present at least 15 artist videos who would not normally get viewed outside their YouTube channels .Great work.
1 - Celibate Rifles - “Extract from the Fungus”.
The moment it was released it went to no.1 in my charts.
2 - Drugs in Sport – “At Least We’ll Always Have Rock and Roll To Fall Back On” (OuttaSpace).
Label mates. Top, top pop album which I am playing every day.
3 - Chimers - "Chimers" (Poop Alley Records)
Was on the full time playlist for numerous weeks this year.