The latest episode of the I-94 Bar streaming show "Thursday Evening Gunk" is here for your viewing pleasure. 2RRR radio host Chris Virtue speaks to Peter "Blackie" Black and Ray Ahn of the Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superfly about both bands and their parallel development. The episode closes with a scorching Nunchukka Superfly set.
Thursday Evening Gunk is streamed from the MoshPit Facebook pageon Thursday nights from 8pm Sydney time or you can take part for free at the bar on King Street in St Peters, Sydney. This week, Celia Curtis of White Knuckle Fever chats with Fred Negro of I Spit On Your Gravy about the racucous documentary "Pub: The Movie" that explores his musical anmd artisticv career and the St Kilda secene in Melbourne. Also joining are director Andrew Leavold and producers Jonathan Sequeira and Brett Garten. Our feature act is White Knuckle Fever.
So I Could Have Them Destroyed – The Hard-Ons (Music Farmers)
We need to talk. Oh, yes, we do.
There were doubts about this one. I’d seen the songs played live. Whether it was unfamiliarity or just an off night, to these ears the set didn’t gel. It cried out for more light and less shade. Ease off that pedal-to-the-metal thing, baby. Not in a greatest hits way, but maybe with the odd well-chewed pop bone thrown in. It wasn’t bad. Just not earth shattering.
The Victims are now Ray Ahn, Dave Faulkner and James Baker.
Given the current restrictions on social gatherings, there is a certain irony in the story of The Victims’ first gig in Perth in early 1977. Perth, by some calculations, the most isolated capital city in the world, didn’t have a big punk rock scene. After all, this was the era of bland commercial radio, flaccid cover bands and conservative social attitudes.
When drummer James Baker, guitarist Dave Faulkner and bass player Dave Cardwell set up at the sharehouse in one of Perth’s light industrial inner suburbs to play in front of 50 enthusiastic garage and punk rock fans, they’d pretty well captured the entire Perth punk market. But get that many people in a house right now, even to listen to a Ramones record, and you’d be breaking the law. Back then, all the audience cared about was that there were other people who felt the same way about music.
“Music for us was rebellion against the conformity of the city, being so isolated. Because everything we loved was so far away,” Faulkner says.
The Hard-Ons are vinyl fans. They believe, like many others who are a bit greyer, that vinyl records that were released before the digital age tell fascinating stories about the song/artist/record label, that streaming and MP3s can’t quite relay.
The band is playing two shows this month that celebrate vinyl. The big news is that the first 120 punters to arrive at the June 1 show at the Chippendale Hotel in Sydney and the June 2 gig at the Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle will receive a discretely brown paper-bagged seven-inch single from the personal collection of the band members
Says Ray Ahn: “There are 240 random records culled from our personal collections and the like. Some are GREAT. Some are good. Some are OK. Some are pretty shithouse. All are from another time and place, there will be records from 50’s, 60’s, 70’s 80’s. In addition, three mega-rare Hard-Ons records that are probably worth a fair amount from the HARD-ONS’ archive will be up for grabs to six lucky punters.”
The band promises loads of Hard-Ons seven-inch records will be on sale at the merch table as well, including some long deleted rarities.
FRI 1 JUNE: CHIPPO HOTEL with WHITE DOG + HELLEBORES SAT 2 JUNE: CAMBRIDGE Hotel NEWCASTLE + Human Failure + Obat Batuk
And later this month, the Hard-Ons hit Europe again:
Hard-Ons in Europe JUNE France 20 - TBA 21 – La Rochelle 22 - Clisson, Hellfest 24 - Orleans, Blue Devil Germany 25 - Essen, Don't Panic 26 - Osnabrück, Bastard Club 27 - Hamburg, Port Klang 28 - Berlin, music & peace Finland 29 – Tampere
This is the closest thing you'll see to a full-blown reunion of seminal Perth band The Victims.
For one night only, The Television Addicts will perform songs by The Victims with origional members Dave Flick (nee Faulkner), James Baker and Ray Ahn (Hard-Ons, Nunchukka Superfly) at Perth's Rosemont Hotel on August 9.
It’s hard to work out when Hard-Ons ceased being just another band and evolved into an unstoppable force of nature. Thirty-four years after publicly emerging into the dim lights of an inner Sydney pub stage, this indefatigable trio keep punching out albums when most of their contemporaries have long put their own cues in the rack.
Ask any record tragic. There’s a tried and tested rule for albums. Most long-lasting bands deliver one or two gems at their high point and the rest are shit or on a plateau. “Peel Me Like A Egg” easily stacks up against most of the Hard-Ons’ 10 previous studio efforts. It’s not so much because the band has stayed true its composite punk, metal, speedcore and pop roots (it’s always good to know what you’re going to get) as much as they’ve managed to make each release sound fresh.
Angry Andrson pontificates and Bob Spencer enjoys it. Shona Ross photo.
Rose Tattoo Hard-Ons Metro Theatre, Sydney Friday, March 29 2019
Photos by Shona Ross
There were plenty of people giving plenty of reasons why people should not go to this gig. The announcement that Rose Tattoo would team with the Hard-Ons for a the national "Still Never Too Loud" tour caused some people to lose their shit online - and not in a good way. More on that soon.
The more mundane reasons were timing (“it’s a Friday night in Sydney after a long working week, maaaaan”), the venue (“the sound at The Metro is sooooo dodgy”) to ignorance (“I never heard that was on”) so most of it was nothing unexpected. Another apathetic night in the Harbour City.
That almost-reunion we told you about of Perth punk pioneers The Victims is bearing fruit with a recording session preceding a one-off show.
Original members Dave Flick (aka Hoodoo Guru Dave Faulkner) and mercurial drummer James Baker were joined by Hard Ons bassist Ray Ahn for a gig at Perth’s Rosemont Hotel on August 9, billed The Television Addicts. You can see some footage below with more after the fold.
The planets have aligned and the World's Worst Kept Secret is out. Legendary Perth punk band The Victims are (almost) reforming for select Australian East Coast shows.
The Victims were temporarily reincarnated in the guise of The Television Addicts, playing a one-off gig at The Rosemount Hotel in North Perth in August last year.
Founding Victims members James Baker and Dave ("Flick") Faulkner were joined on stage by lifelong Victims fan Ray Ahn and the trio proceeded to belt out a set of classic Victims tunes, most of which had not been heard since the band broke up in mid-1978.
Another unannounced gig followed in Sydney for Clyde Bramley's 60th birthday party.
This February, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will also get a chance to see The Television Addicts for one night only.
Thursday 12 Feb: The Reverence Hotel, Footscray VIC (supported by Sun God Replica and Deep Heat) Tix: www.reverencehotel.com
“Horror Smash” is four old songs re-recorded in two sessions over 2017 and ’18 by a tweaked version of The Victims. They were Perth’s (almost) first punk band and a launching pad, of sorts, for Dave Faulkner (nee Flick) of the Hoodoo Gurus and James Baker of the Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon et al. Hard-Ons bassist Ray Ahn is the new third wheel and this single - on blood-spattered clear vinyl - has come out on revered US label In The Red.
The first thing to say is that it sounds like The Victims. No airs and graces. No frills. Downstrokes and rawness. No solos. No backing vocals. Black humour lyrics. Strap yourself in and hope you make it to the end. At which point you’ll get up and flip the thing over.
A quick follow-up to the news that You Am I's Tim Rogers has joined the Hard-Ons. Pre-orders are open for their album "I'm Sorry Sir, That Riff Has Been Taken" which is out on Cheersquad on LP, CD and digital on October 4. Grab your copy here.
The announcement certainly has people takling. And the official word from the principals? Hard-Ons’ Ray Ahn says: “I’m thrilled to have Tim on board, and I am loving his contribution!”
Bandmate Blackie concurs, "How fucking good is this!!"
And Mr Rogers? “I was already the luckiest goof in rock’n’roll, and I get asked to make a racket with my heroes? Strewth. Wake me up sometime, will ya?”
The first fruit of the partnership, a single “Hold Tight”, is out on all streaming platforms on Friday, August 13.
This lavish double CD package closes the lid on the first life of the Hard-Ons, nicely. Not in the literal sense of the term. Far from it. It's like a skateboard ride down a very rough track, a mix of disparate hardcore and metal songs that sits at odds with much of what came before.
When the original album came out in mid-1993, nobody knew (but band members could sense) that it was the last recording by the Hard-Ons with their original line-up. That's the context and it now makes sense.
It’s funny how records released in the past evoke specific memories when revisited years later. For me, this one doesn’t throw up much. I think I bought it well after it came out. It seems lots of fans shared that indifference.