sonic garage - The I-94 Bar
Pete Bourke, Phil Van Rooyen and Pete Trifunovic from Sonic Garage.
Bayley and the Liquid Squid
Marrickville Bowling Club, NSW
Friday, 11 March 2022
You can say “Boring Old Fart” but it’s good to stare rheumy-eyed into the middle distance, drool into a beer and recall much less complicated times in hushed tones. Times like the early 1980s, when the biggest challenge on a Friday night was to decide which two or three rock and roll shows you were going to attend, all of them within a short distance of each other.
If they were local bands, the door charge was free or modest, and if the headliner was on the national touring treadmill, entry might set you back a ten spot. At least one of the supports was a band you’d never heard of, but paying your money and taking your chances was all part of the ritual. You got to conduct a post-mortem as soon as their set was over or over a hair of the dog at your local the next day.
Space Travels - Sonic Garage (self-released)
Welt – I Am Duckeye (self-released)
Sydney's Sonic Garage have produced a fine rock'n'roll album. Victoria's I Am Duckeye have produced a brutal, beautiful fucking monster. The fiorst bvand is from Sydney, the latter from Melbourne.
There are similarities to both records - Sonic Garage dedicate their album to Luke Lovelock. Duckeye dedicate theirs to one, Matt Browne. And both have striking covers; Sonic Garage show us Saxon Wyatt's bonnet art (it's got that 1970s and Eric Von Daniken vibe which all Hyundai cars should have), while Duckeye found a roadkilled bird which had then been half-painted over by a careless road-line marker.
Their back cover is very boganista - a bunch of beery customers you can barely see as most of a very smashed guitar goes sailing over someone's adjoining breezer block wall.
Space Travels – Sonic Garage (self released)
It’s a a couple of years since Circus Chaplains from Sydney’s Northern Beaches fell by the wayside after the passing of Luke Lovelock,but his bandmates Phil Van Rooyen (Dr Fruitworld, Panadolls, Chickenstones) and Peter Bourke aren’t ones for standing still.
They’ve gone on to a new band with ex-Mushroom Planet bassist Pete Trifunovic, drummer Ronny Welsh and pianist Russell Parkhouse (ex-Riptides).
Sonic Garagerecorded their album at Zen Studios in Sydney in these odd COVID times and it’s a wonderful, ragged and righteous collection of songs that recalls familiar Harbour City high energy rock reference points.
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.
This year I’m going to go with an all Australian bands top 5 of reissues / older stuff and a top 10 of new stuff.
Old Stuff (in no particular order):
1. SHUTDOWN 66 – Come On Girl Give Me Half A Chance.
Reissue of their 4th and final long play release, the original was very limited and is super hard to find, so I was stoked to hear that Soundflat Records from Germany was reissuing this awesome garage punk LP.
2. ASTEROID B-612 – S/T
The CD only debut long-player got a long overdue vinyl reissue this year from Spain’s Bang! Records.
3. THE LIPSTICK KILLERS – “Strange Flash”
One of the most highly anticipated releases from earlier in the year. A great collection of awesome studio and live recordings.
4. THE PROTON ENERGY PILLS – S/T
A collection of their studio releases. A fantastically packaged deluxe gatefold album.
5. BORED! – "Back For More" and BORED! – "Feed The Dog"
A couple of great releases came out this year from Bored! “Back For More” (Bang!) is an awesome compilation with songs spanning the bands career, and “Feed The Dog” (Fantastic Mess) got the reissue treatment with a couple of bonus songs thrown in.
Mark Fraser with Blackie of the Hard-Ons
Ten best albums for 2021… no particular order.
HARD ONS- “Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken”
Is it pop? Is it Punk? Who cares, its fkn perfect.
THE QUICK SIXES – “Swamped”
Swampabilly meets surf in the most perfect of ways.
X are Geof Holmes, Rick Studentt, John Butler and Steve Lucas. Photo by The Barman
SYDNEY ROCK 'N' ROLL & ALTERNATIVE FESTIVAL
I-94 BAR STAGE
+ JUPITER 5
+ SONIC GARAGE
+ THE DARRANS
The Factory Floor, Marrickville, NSW
Sunday, 20 March 2022
Finally a gig that got me into the city, out of my COVID slumber and ignoring the daily infection numbers.
The rare spark of motivation was the Sydney Rock and Roll & Alterative Festival, an extension of Tiffany Palmer’s amazing and long-running Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll Markets This event had become an institution in this city over the last decade - until COVID put an end to and anything half decent in a dull and corporate investment hub.
I was here at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville for The Barman’s I-94 Bar Stage in the room called The Factory Floor, but I did manage to peek at a few other stages. I discovered that cowboys and cowgirls were out in force with line dancing alive and well. It’s practiced by people whose childhood was dominated by episodes of “Hi Five”. Line dancing is allegedly cool and has left its mark on society with community colleges teaching the stuff. As a bloke who grew up in the bush, this pretentious King Street urban country fashion is amusing.