ash naylor - The I-94 Bar
TOP TEN GIGS 2019
Ashley King photo
It is always hard to cut it down to ten but here goes.
Ice Cream Hands supported by Bryan Estapa Band- Factory Floor, Sydney
A great night of cleverly and carefully crafted power pop from Ice Cream Hands as Charles Jenkins and co bewitched us again with their sublime sounds. Support act Bryan Estapa Band were also a delight with their songs that owe a bit of a nod to high quality 70s AM radio sounds.
Charlotte and The Harlots/COFFIN/Turbobelco/Generation Landslide/Hy Test/Neptune Power Federation – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney
All killer no filler as this mighty bill saw each band up the ante and be better than the one before them. COFFIN and Neptune Power Federation were especially outstanding.
Thee Marshmallow Overcoat – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, Melbourne.
Ashley Naylor, Davey Lane and Brett Wolfie playing two sets of their favourites from the 60s and 70s. Do I need to say more?
Ice Cream Hands – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, Melbourne.
Oh yes, the night after Thee Marshmallow Overcoat, at the same venue. Bliss, heaven on a stick and a more sympathetic mix than was apparent at the Factory Floor show.
The Dark Clouds/Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers/Radio Birdman – Factory Theatre
The Dark Clouds showed why they are one of the best hard rock bands around but it was Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers who wowed the crowd with their set. Peppered with tracks from the Open Season album and select gems from Mick’s back catalogue they were the stars of the night. Radio Birdman also delivered a fine set and it was probably Rob Younger’s best vocal performance with RB for some time.
Australia has produced a number of fine powerpop bands over the years. One of the first – the very first according to US bible Bomp! Magazine – was Adelaide’s Young Modern. One of the most successful has been Even.
The link between both bands will be underlined by a special show in Melbourne on December 9, where Young Modern will team with Even's Ashley Naylor and one of his other bands, The Triad.
Young Modern will be celebrating 40 years, while Naylor and The Triad will salute mutual influence The Byrds.
Young Modern debuted in Adelaide – supporting Radio Birdman – in 1977. The band was formed by singer John Dowler, a seminal figure who's been talking about Big Star since the '70s.
Matthew, Ash and Wally are Even. Emma-Jane Johnson photo.
Ask any Australian fan of hooky powerpop who they rate and the answer will almost inevitably include Even, the Melbourne institution that’s been a fixture on the Oz scene since forming in 1994. Fronted by singer-songwriter-guitarist, Ashley Naylor, with Matthew Cotter on drums and Wally Kempton (aka Wally Meanie) on bass and backing vocals, they have just released their eighth album, “Down The Shops”, and it's reviewed here.
“Down The Shops” is a beautifully presented, vinyl collection of covers Even has released down the years. Ever since working up a rocking version of Badfinger’s “No Matter What” in their early mid-‘90s days playing the pubs around Fitzroy and St Kilda, Even have usually had a cover or two on the go. And they weren’t adverse to working up a load of them; they did "Even Jukebox" performances every year at Melbourne’s Cherry Bar.
Melbourne’s royal rock’n’pop trio Even - who did include a stonking cover of the Sex Pistols’ "Pretty Vacant” on their recent “Down The Shops” covers collection - reckon that the Queen’s Birthday is worth celebrating. Indeed, they reckon it is their Antipodean duty to do so, especially given that Prince Philip is now no longer around to start the party.
But with four shows across the holiday weekend at great venues in the city’s inner north, south, east and west, "Even Saves The Queen’s Birthday Weekend” is not just a celebration of a fabulous public holiday, but of the great rock’n’roll city that is Melbourne.
Even’s Friday to Monday run is gonna provide some right royal rocking with four hand-selected support acts adding a unique flavor to each show.
New Cosmic Country queen Freya Josephine Hollick opens proceedings at the Gershwin Room on Friday, June 11. From then it's the tres glam Imperial Leather, featuring entities from both RRR and PBS-FM at the Westwood on Saturday the 12th; stranded Mississippi-based Canadian-Australian bluesy country singer-songwriter Meghan Maike on Sunday the 13th at the Leadbeater; and melancholy and melodious young trio of singer-songwriters the Folk Bitch Trio on Monday the 14th at the Northcote Social Club.
Monday's show is a matinee and under-18's are allowed in if accompanied by an adult.
ESPY - GERSHWIN ROOM
Friday 11 June
With Freya Josephine Hollick
Saturday 12 June
With Imperial Leather
THE LEADBEATER HOTEL
Sunday 13 June
With Meghan Maike
NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB
Monday 14 June (Afternoon)
With Folk Bitch Trio
Reverse Light Years – Even (El Reno)
This double album features Even at their creative best – a beautifully crafted 17-track, 81 minutes with something for all tastes. It provides a definitive, seminal record for long-time fans and will certainly open the door to new legions.
Ash Naylor is arguably the hardest working “stop and go man” in Oz music. He, (Wally) Roderick Kempton II(bass) and Matt Cotter (drums) make a formidable three-piece. And a durable one.