Three new albums and a re-issue walk into a bar...

venus fly trap  lucy cover
horse feathers yesterday repeating

Mars - The Venus Fly Trap (Glass Modern) 
It’s Not a Competition But I Win! – Lucy  (Lucy)
El Bendito Y El Maldito - Horse Feathers (Polar Bear Records)
Yesterday Repeating - The Smart Folk (Self-Released)

The Venus Fly Trap? Never heard of them.

On investigating a little on the Interwebs, it seems that not only have I heard of them, I’ve probably heard them, but forgotten them.

Well, it was about 30 years ago, back when the UK was still reeling in the bass-centric aftershock of bands like Killing Joke, the Fall and the Gang of Four, but more importantly, the Second Australian Wave (you know, The Birthday Party, the Moodists...).

Let’s not forget the impact of The Scientists either... Certainly the Jesus and Mary Chain were heavily influenced by the BP and Kim Salmon’s mob of hairy ruffians; the JMC emerged, screaming like babies with diaper rash, in 1983. Also, around 1986 Big Black were making an impact on the UK (which would lead to a short-lived “subgenre” the UK inkies dubbed “arsequake”; there was another daftly-termed subgenre as well but you get the idea).

Touring roadshow brings stoner doom to the Lansdowne

Burden Man ThreeBurden Man make their point.
 
Menagerie Festival
featuring
Hobo Magic
Khan,
Rufflefeather, Hypergiant,
Burden Man, Buffalo Trio
& Dead Eye Currency
Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney
January 11, 2020
Words and Photos: James Wallach
 
You have to hand it to the revived Lansdowne Hotel. It represents diversity in the genres of bands it presents and the fact that th booking policy supports both upcoming and established acts - much in the tradition of the original venue.  Tonight was no exception, with Menagerie Festival 2020 described as a touring heavy psych/stoner/doom extravaganza.

With an early start of 5.30pm, Dead Eye Currency opened proceedings with just a handful of people attending. Described as a stoner, psychedelic band on their Facebook page, we also find that this is their last gig as members are going on to other things.

Get fired up because it would be Evil not to support Dick

evil dick industries

Evil Dick Enterprises is the latest incarnation for Evil Dick, formerly of Strutter, the Aampirellas and currently the frontman for one of Australia’s best-loved bands, HITS. While HITS remain a sporadic going concern (you couldn’t kill that band with an axe), Evil Dick Enterprises launched as Richard’s official side project on New Year's Day 2020.

Evil Dick’s “plan” is to make music outside the framework of HITS and the first project is a digital single, half the proceeds of which are being donated to Rural Fire Services in the wake of Australia’s devastating summer bushfires.

“I Hope That No-One Knows” is a haunting, ethereal debut that you can hear and grab with its B side, “Lovecats”, at Evil Dick Industries’ Bandcamp siteHere’s what various people are saying about it:

Latest giveaway winners announced

black buzzardsThe prizes have been drawn in the Purple Urchin-Black Buzzard giveaway. The winners of a double pack of CDs fron the two bands - courtesy of Spiff Hopkins who leads both Black Buzzards (pictured) and Purple Urchin and has played in Hellmen, the SC5 and The M16s among many others - are:

Jamie Don of Wollstonecraft, NSW
Andy Wallace of Ettalong, NSW
Steve Finch from Lake Cathie NSW
Roy Mutton of Helensburgh, NSW
Graham Stapleton from Mermaid Beach, Queensland

2019 Barfly Top Ten: Tamara Bell

tammy 20191. Lookin’ 20p In the 10p Mix
SLEAFORD MODS ARE COMING in 2020!!!!!
Please, I don’t want to argue with you.
All disparaging feedback please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. New Rock Syndicate
Masami Kawaguchi from Tokyo graced us with his stunning soul again this year. Please refer to everything Penny Ikinger said in her Top 10. This gentleman is the most startling, perfect and inspiring guitarist I have ever seen and a true darling of a human being. Eternally grateful to have met him. Look at anything he has done, please. You’re welcome.

3. The Kids Are Alright
You know when you’re 32 and you think rocknroll has probably hit its comfortable slippers and pipe phase, and will be unlikely to return to what you’ve felt it to be in your life. Then you get to 39 etc. and realise ashamedly that you were very wrong. About most things, pretty much everything - it is an experience that spans generations, and is one of the many joys of ageing.

So many “young people” (definition pending, vomit pooling in throat) made music that blew my tiny mind out of my ears this year. Please pay attention to a band called Cable Ties, and one called Stiff Richards. Important, incendiary, vital, nasty, gorgeous, respectful, clumsy, intricate, hot, cold and wild. You may select which adjective attaches to which band yourself - like a choose your own adventure! God, this one has been bloody ridiculous, I’m sorry and you’re welcome.

Finally, a box set worth the bucks

1979 box1979 - Motorhead (BMG)

You all know who Motorhead are. You may dig them, you may not – although I can’t fathom how any true rock fan couldn’t. For mine, there has never been a more authentic, hard-hitting, long-lasting, and utterly committed rock band. Frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister frequently opined that they were simply than the dirtiest rock and roll band on the planet, disagreeing with the oft-applied heavy metal label.

As a teenager in the '80s they were definitely metal to me – they were louder, faster, and grittier than anyone else – but with the benefit of hindsight, I understand why he proclaimed: “We Are Motorhead – And We Play Rock And Roll” at the start of every gig for their last few decades. Having said that, without doubt they inspired generations of metal bands, as well as many in other genres.

Sparks of punk and glam brilliance power "Electric Junk"

electric junkElectric Junk - Jeff Dahl (Iwannabeahoople Records/Ghost Highway Recordings)

Say what you like, but Jeff Dahl ruled the punk rock roost for many of us in the 1980s and ‘90s. Working with Cheetah Chrome, Stiv Bators, Poison Idea and spending time in Angry Samoans, he churned out a prolific stream of Stoogesque and glam-splattered albums under his own name, firstly out of Los Angeles and then from a ranch in the Colorado desert. 

Dahl also edited the coolest zine in the world (“Sonic Iguana”) and mentored many like-minded bands. No matter that he played shows only rarely in his home country. Jeff toured Europe and Japan and kept the Real Rock and Roll torch alight.  After relocating to Hawaii and taking a decade-long hiatus, Jeff Dahl spat out the formidable “Made in Hawaii” album in 2017. “Electric Junk” arrived in late 2019. 

Killer split-single on its way to six winners

The winners of our Fantastic Mess Records/Baby 8/Penny Ikinger single giveaway are:

David Lowrie of Inverclyde in Scotland
John Arvantis of Highbury, South Australia
Georgia Kenndy of Bayswater, Western Australia
Fred Therag of Haan in Germany
Mark Littler of Warriewood in New Soth Wales and;  
Bob Blunt of Erskineville, Nw South Wales.

Congratulations all, keep an eye on your letterboxes.

2019 Barfly Top Ten: Penny Ikinger

backstage suefestBackstage at the Festival of Sue with (from left) BILLY POMMER JR, CLYDE BRAMLEY and ROB YOUNGER. EMMY ETIE photo.

GIGS

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!

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