It’s a match made in the sub tropics: Dave Smith, founder of ARIA-nominated Brisbane synth act Boxcar, has teamed with Queensland rock and roll hall of famer Mick Medew and partner Ursula to launch a series of steamy dancefloor remixes of the title track from Mick Medew and Ursula’s “Love Is Calling”album.
Dave and Ursula go way back - to Brisbane in the ‘80s, in fact, when Dave helped make a video for Ursula's then band, Ironing Music.
Mick Medew is the former leader of the legendary Screaming Tribesmen, whose “Igloo” single is an all-time Australian underground classic, and more recently vocalist and guitarist for Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers.
“Love Is Calling” was 4ZZZ’s Album of the Week on its release onI-94 Bar Recordsin early 2022. The remix project has realised four Boxcar remixes whose titles are inspired by Dave Smith’s love of Roma and Brunswick Streets in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley entertainment precinct.
The artwork is by Ash Moses and the songs were meticulously mastered by Melbourne sonic wizard Ernie O.
The ”Love is Calling Boxcar Remix” EP will debut on the Heyday program on 4ZZZ on Saturday after 6pm Brisbane time and will go live on all streaming services from Monday. Save the streaming songs here.
Backstage at the Festival of Sue with (from left) BILLY POMMER JR, CLYDE BRAMLEY and ROB YOUNGER. EMMY ETIE photo.
GUADALUPE PLATA (Donostia, Basque Country) GUADALUPE PLATA are an innovative 3 piece comprising (1) vocals and guitar (2) washtub bass/guitar and (3) drums. The play an eclectic and exotic mix of rock, blues, jazz and rockabilly. I saw them perform live after my solo show in Donostia, Basque Country this year. Pedro’s guitar playing reminded me of my own, at times, demented approach to guitar playing.
KELLEY STOLZ, (Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco). KELLEY STOLZ is a singer, songwriter, musician from the USA. His music has been compared to that of BRIAN WILSON, VELVET UNDERGROUND, NICK DRAKE and LEONARD COHEN. He played an awesome show with SARAH BETHE NELSON as support. Kelley is an all- rounder – a singer, musician and song writer. The real deal.
“A FESTIVAL OF SUE: THE JDS ARE ON YOU” (The Factory Theatre, Marrickville, Sydney) Friends of SUE TELFER banded together to pay tribute to this much-loved Sydney lady with proceeds going to Support Act. A line-up that included myself (with special guest BILLY POMMER JNR on drums), X, the NEW CHRISTS, THE JOHNNYS, KIM SALMON, THE CRUEL SEA (instrumental), FRONT END LOADER, THE MIS-MADE, THE HOLY SOUL, & THE ON AND ONS. Having BILLY POMMER JNR on drums certainly gave me a run for my money. Highlights for me included the NEW CHRISTS, THE CRUEL SEA, THE JOHNNYS and X. Unfortunately, I did not get to see all the acts. Too busy chatting with my friends. It was such a great turn out from Sydney folks! After my trip into the city, seeing so many old buildings torn down (which caused me a lot of distress), it was great to see that Sydney folks still have a heart – a very big heart!
Open Season - Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers Firstly declaring an extreme bias and a conflict of interest with this one, Mick’s second offering from the Mesmerisers is even better than the last. The addition of ex-Tribesmen tub thumper Michael Charles has added muscularity to the band and they go from strength to strength. Some Sydney and Newcastle Birdman supports really won them some new fans. Brian Mann created a stunning sounding record. My fave album of the year.
Address to the Nation - Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders Again, another declaration as I’ve worked closely with Chris over the past thirty years. My second fave of the year… beaten by a short nose. Chris writes killer songs… plays guitar better than any player I have worked with and has a band so tight I couldn’t slide a fag paper between it. A great album, and it gave us a few wry smiles.
The Festival of Sue (X, New Christs et al) The shock of Sue Telfer’s passing pulled together a stellar line up talent who delivered on an emotional night. There were some killer performances but my top two were the New Christs, whose emotion tinged performance left no doubt that they are a top echelon act… but man of the match for mine was Steve Lucas and X. It was a blinding performance, Steve sang and played better than I have heard the band in years, Kim Volkman & Geof Holmes snarled and snorted like a beast. The Barman and Tiffany Palmer did a great job getting it all together, and we raised a great sum of cash for Support Act. I’d like to think Sue would’ve approved.
4 Radio Birdman, The Stems, Los Chicos - The Croxton Band Room, Melbourne What a line up of talent! The Stems’ sound was amazing, Best bit of the night thoughg was meeting legendary X singer Steve Lucas (pictured at right - hatless) and his lovely wife Joey.
5 The Johnnys – Memo, St Kilda. The Johnnys are still the Cow Punk Kings of The World,
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.
CHRIS KLONDIKE MASUAK’S TOP SEVERAL OF 2020 Guitarist, Viveiro Wave Riders Ex-Radio Birdmnan, Hitmen, Screaming Tribesmen, New Christs Viveiro, Galicia, Spain
We were having fun at the start of 2020.
The Viveiro Wave Riders had already been hither and yon … around the country and up to Breizh (“Yec’hed mad!” with the emphasis on “mad”) when it all came to a shuddering halt.
Life abruptly became somewhat more complicated, confusing, and occasionally alarming, but that’s not to say it stopped being entertaining.
COVIDOUCHERY We jumped on protocols pretty quick-smart over here in Spain, even as our hospitals became alarmingly overwhelmed and morgues literally over spilled.
We were heartened, encouraged, and edified by the sage advice that flooded social media from other apparently more civilised and informed countries.
We hardly even scratched our heads in wonder at their oblivious dawdling procrastination and general goldbricking, or as they gathered in teeming proliferation to demonstrate in support of their “rights” even as their “leaders” unequivocally let them know Just What The Priorities Actually Were.
GERRY RANSON Vive Le Rock magazine writer and Mule Freedom PR publicist London, UK
TOP TEN TRACKS FROM 2020
Like going deaf or blind, a lack of gigs seems to have sharpened my other music-loving senses, so I’ve been digging more sounds than ever this year. This is just the tip of a very big, and very loud, iceberg. Working as a PR, I’ve taken the flaming liberty of including some of my own wares in here – can you spot ‘em? But I make no excuses: I’m incredibly lucky and privileged to get to work with people whose stuff I love. I hope after reading this, you’ll love it too. - Gerry x
PS - The Celibate Rifles' "Extract From The Fungus" would’ve been No.1 if I’d heard it yet.
10.) James Williamson & Deniz Tek – "Jet Pack Nightmare" They may be getting on – ain’t we all? – but Ann Arbor’s finest can still cut the Stories For Boys action rock! A venomous boogie riff to kick off "Two To One", the album that was bound to happen one day.
9.) Blue Öyster Cult – "The Alchemist" It’s taken them nine years to come up with a new studio album and when they do, it’s recorded in lockdown conditions. And it’s still the best thing the boys from Stony Brook have done in donkeys’ years. Fourteen newly minted and totally Cultish songs, "The Symbol Remains" is conspicuously low on epics, but this six-minuter – with its "Flaming Telepaths" dink-dink-dink – hits the spot.
KEVIN "BIG DADDY K" CHERRY 2RRR-FM host of "Sydney Sounds" Sydney, Australia
I'm sure that everyone agrees that 2020 has been a shitty year. The worst I can remember in my 60 years on this planet. I'm not generally into reminiscing and my bad short term memory usually prevents me participating in these types of lists. Living on the Northern Beaches area of Sydney and being in lockdown for the second time, however, I've decided to attempt to give my impression of the year's music events.
The last band that I saw before the first lockdown in March (which resulted in all the gigs I had planned to go to in the following weeks collapsing before my eyes like a stack of dominoes) was THE MEZCALTONESat The Orient Hotel in Sydney’s The Rocks district.
THE MEZCALTONES are a fantastic Mewxican Hillbilly Surf band from the Northern Beaches fronted by COL “PADRE” PORTER, his guitar-slinging wife NERALYN and whip-twirling, go-go dancing, singing percussionist, MISS MIMI, as well as the three other members. They always put on an entertaining performance of original songs and crowd pleasing covers and obscurities. They attract an audience that loves to get up and dance.
I also saw them at a socially distanced performance at The Marrickville Bowlo, which was a different atmosphere due to the restrictions, which meant that none of the audience could get up and dance or even stand with a drink in their hand.
1. The Damned at The Triffid, Brisbane, March 15 A school night: Wednesday. The Mesmerisers go on at 7.30pm to a packed house. We carve, the crowd makes us feel like they are there to see us. The Damned 's tour manager remarks that he has never encountered a support band being granted a bottle of Gordon's gin as part of their drink rider: another milestone ticked.
The Damned play for two-and-a-half hours - brilliantly. They are a big hit with the audience - and with Captain Sensible back in the band, they could hardly miss.
2. Perfect Match Now I do know where she comes from: Banyo. I’ve got a Date with a Banyo girl, tonight.
3. Died Pretty, Radio Birdman and The Mesmerisers at The Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, June 23 The crowd have all turned up early and turn on to us straight away. Died Pretty get better every time I see them. They always were a fantastic band.
4. Perfect Purchase My Zoom H5 portable recording device does everything i wanted it to.
5. Gap Farmers Markets, Brisbane, June 25 Andrew Ross and Co sure know how to put on a festival . We go on before dusk. I wear my sunglasses for half the set. Michael again chooses the right shirt for the occasion.
It's almost 2019… and the world seems to be going mad. But the big question I ask myself… is rock dead?
I see alternate styles of music like rap, hip-hop and commercial pop dominating youth culture. I wouldn’t recognise Drake or Flume if they dropped their USB sticks in front of me. In closeted rock’n’roll enclaves such as the I-94 Bar dirty rock’n’roll seems to be thriving, but one by one icons are dropping off the perch. How much longer can it survive?
The benchmark I’ve been looking at is guitar sales. Electric guitar sales have slipped 22.7 percent since 2008… the price of guitars is rocketing, yet it appears that the acoustic market is on the up… Something like a 15 percent increase over the same period. Although insipid, whiny vocal sounds have probably been tied to the same trend.
The trend that parallels the increase of Ed Sheeran wannabes is the rise of vinyl sales. I’d guess that pot smoking hippies, listening on their Technics SL1200 to Bob Dylan re-masters trying figure out how to play protest songs while avoiding the dreaded F chord are to blame.
Despite my sense of foreboding I did manage to catch some quality rock’n’roll but I put that down to confirmation bias. My personal faves:
Tickets for the only Sydney show by Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers are selling - and how.
The I-94 Bar presents the former Screaming Tribesman and his all-star band at Marrickville Bowling Club on Saturday, November 5 with support from the impeccable powerpop stars The On and Ons and fuzz-fiends Jupiter 5. Grab yours here.
Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers will play a free show at Mayfield Bowling Club in Newcastle on Friday, November 4 with support from local heroes East Coast Low and Mick Medew and Ursula.It's free admission and you can see the Facebook event here.
Mick Medew and Ursula will launch their "Love Is Calling" album with a free Sunday show at The Golden Barley Hotel in Enmore on Sunday, November 6 from 6pm. Facebook event details here.
Radio Birdman is playing just two Australian shows this year - June 21 at The Factory Theatre in Sydney and June 22 at the Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle - and Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers are joining them for both.
East Coast Low complete the bill in Newcastle and The Dark Clouds join the Sydney line-up.
The support spots will be part of a busy year for Mick Medew and his band with their forthcoming album expected to be out in time for the shows.
Both gigs will sell out with tickets available from both venue websites.
Crticial acclaim for their recent run of solo shows together in Melbourne has prompted Penny Ikinger (ex-Wet Taxis, Sacred Cowboys) and Mick Medew (ex-Screaming Tribesmen, Mick Medew and the Rumours and currently in Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers) to do it all again in Brisbane with a one-off show at The Junk Bar.
Mick and Penny will play the Sunday Night Dream Card show on January 12. They'll play sets of their own material - and music of bands they have been in - and duet on some slected tunes.
The Junk Bar has limitd capacity so pre-sale tickets are the only way of guaranteing a spot and they can be bought here.
Psychopharmacologist - Mick Medew (I-94 Bar Records)
Issued by this website's very own head honcho, The Barman, who is responsible for organising many, many gigs which you've all thoroughly enjoyed. The kind of punter who decides he wants to see bands, and figures you will, too, so he puts them on.
This LP rates 5 bottles, and that's not because I know Barman and he's slipped me a brown envelope behind the cistern at Central Station, but because “Psychopharmacologist” is bloody lovely, and you absolutely need it in your collection. The press release explains that this is “Mick Medew’s first true solo album and his most surprising musical adventure yet with its broad stylistic sweep and kaleidoscopic use of sound”, and that's a fair comment.
It’s been a long time between shows but Sunnyboys are re-emerging for a three-state Australian winter tour.
When they last toured in 2020 Sunnyboys chose the salubrious surrounds of Taronga Zoo, Melbourne’s Forum and the like; this time though, the band will get down and sweaty playing intimate venues more akin to their breakout year of 1981.
Melbourne pop-rockers Even will join the fun in Sydney and Melbourne while former Screaming TribesmanMick Medew will bring his band The Mesmerisers to Brisbane and Byron Bay. All shows are on-sale tomorrow May 6 at feelpresents.com
Sunnyboys JULY 1 – Factory Theatre Sydney + Even 9 – The Corner, Melbourne + Even + Little Murders 15 – Great Northern, Byron Bay + Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers| 16 – Princess Theatre, Brisbane, + Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers Tix here
Excuse this blatant plug but we're proud to announce that “Love is Calling” - the debut album for Brisbane duo Mick Medew and Ursula and one of the special records to emerge from the fog of COVID, has fnally been released in physical form (CD) on our own I-94 Bar Records.
"Love Is Calling" has already been featured as 4ZZZ's Album of the Week in Brisbane. Mick Medew and Ursula is rock and roll legend Mick Medew (Screaming Tribesmen) and musical and life partner Ursula, formerly of underground Brisbane synth pop band Ironing Music.
“Love Is Calling” was conceived from a series of live Sunday afternoon lockdown streaming shows the duo delivered from their northern Brisbane suburbs home at the height of the pandemic. You can hear the tracks on our label Bandcamp and the Brisbane launch is at Platform 5 Cafe & Bar, on Junction Road in Lutwyche, Brisbane, at 2pm on July 9.
Leader of the Mesmerisers and ex-Screaming Tribesmen and Rumours guitar icon, Mick Medew, is undertaking a short run of solo electric shows in Melbourne in November. Three gigs will be with Penny Ikinger and Claire Birchall is on the bill for the other.
Mick Medew Solo & Electric Melbourne Tour NOV 1 – The Espy, St Kilda w/ Penny Ikinger 3 – The Welcome Swallow, Brunswick w/ Claire Birchall 8 – Acland Street Folk Club, St Kilda w/ Penny Ikinger 10 - The Welcome Swallow, Brunswick w/ Penny Ikinger
I-94 Bar Records is proud to announce the impending arrival of “Psychopharmacologist”, Brisbane musician Mick Medew’s first true solo album and his most surprising musical adventure yet.
It will be out on CD and digital on October 2 and pre-orders here will receive an early release track, "When The Wood Is Brown (Full Return)", via download.
Medew has shown with his current band, Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers, and past units, the Screaming Tribesmen and Mick Medew and the Rumours, that he's a master of guitar pop-rock. “Psychopharmacologist” puts him in a different place with nine songs that make optimum use of the studio and bring wildly varied influences to bear.