With Sydney's long-running Dunhill Blues on hiatus, bassist Adam has opted to crank up the rumble with a new band, Space Boozies. "I Feel Alright" is their debut LP.
The Dunnies have been through several phases - garage big band, thrash country rock and battered blues rock - and but for a few superficial similiarities, Space Boozies sound a lot like none of them.
The Boozzies keep it short and sharp but there's a touch of bitter-sweet jangle in the guitars. Their music is still parked in the garage, but it's not as determinedly abrasive. Think of them as an Antipodean version of The Raunch Hands. Music to drink rather than to think by.
Where the Dunhill Blues wanted to tickle Nick Cave, Space Boozzies are keen to share some quality time with Australia's Queen of Decollage ("Tonia Todman's House") and swap egg recipes with Peter Russell-Clarke. The irreverence of the Dunnies hasn't gone away.
What a fucking great title. Almost as good as The Clash's "All the Young Punks" - itself a take on that Bowie song "All the Young Dudes" - wonder how many 1977 punks got that? Even though it was right in their alley?
You know how, during summer, assorted neighbours will play loud music, usually horrible, and, when the hours wind down and the drink begins to blur the world, they get maudlin and soppy and play those lachrymose ballads...? Sure you do. Well, when this happens at 230 am, that is your cue to dash over, swap their copy of Kamahl's Greatest Hits with any one of these three discs, flick the switch and revel in their dismay.
Either that or, rather suddenly, the party's on again and the police want to know your personal details. Again.
Cherry Red describe this collection as "60 tracks of the finest slices of JSG in its various guises, as established by collectors around the world over the past decade. Including tracks from the USA, New Zealand, Netherlands, Sweden, Iceland, Australia as well as homegrown UK. Some previously unreleased, many first time on CD."
John Dowler with his band The Vanity Project. David Laing photo.
In his 1981 feature on Australian powerpop pioneer John Dowler in Roadrunner magazine, Melbourne rock writer Adrian Ryan commented on Dowler’s then-new band, the short lived Everybody’s So Glad. He said they played with a certain kind of soul, and a type of sound that hadn’t been heard in town since Paul Kelly & The Dots underwent a line-up change too many, and since the Saints were last here. It was the kind of sound that “had nothing to do with horn sections and screams, but rather with jangling guitars, a passionate beat, allusions to something half forgotten.”
I love that soul and those jangling guitars. Being Melbourne born, I heard a bit of at as I was getting into music. It’s not the jangle of some insipid jangle-pop band, it’s a hard jangle, which is where the Saints come in. Ryan was referring to the Saints that recorded such classic tracks as “Call It Mine”, “In The Mirror” and “Let’s Pretend”.