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Glimpses: 1963-1968 Rarities – Yardbirds (Easy Action)

glimpsesScratch deep enough and you’ll find an undercoat of Yardbirds below the shiny paintwork of every worthwhile rock and roll vehicle.

We’re talking a group that was part of the original wave of British blues, but took 12-bar and twisted it for their own purposes. The Yardbirds were true progenitors of overdrive and sustained feedback, bringing in eclectic influence like Gregorian chants and Eastern ragas.

All-in sonic escalations (dubbed “rave-ups” by the band) were features of their song arrangements. Does that that ring any bells about contemporary bands all these years later?  

Blood Bank Benefit show with the Lime Spiders and guests

spiders-ripleyRipley Hood stands in for Mick Blood in the Lime Spiders.       Steve Whelan photo

Ten bands. One bill. Despite being run (a.) in what is, these days, a notoriously taciturn live music town as Sydney and (b.) in direct competition with some obscure code of football’s grand final, it made sense.

Blood Bank was one of four benefit shows in as many cities to assist Lime Spiders vocalist Mick Blood, rendered unable to work after an altercation a few months ago in a pub in his newly adopted home town of Newcastle. Mick suffered a brain injury and is on the mend but it’s going to be slow progress on a long road.

Stoneage Hearts return with new line-up


Australian powerpop-garage band the Stoneage Hearts have beenrevived with drummer Mickster Baty being joined by a new line-up. The new Stoneage Hearts make their pubic debut at Melbourne’s Public Bar on Friday, October 3 with the Molting Vultures from Adelaide and The Interceptors. Their newest album is due for release early 2015 on Off The Hip Records.

Benefits in two cities for Mick Blood this weekend

mick-monsterBenefit shows will happen in two Australian cities this weekend for Lime Spiders vocalist Mick Blood to assist his recovery from brain injury.

The Lime Spiders (with guest vocalists) will headline a 10-band line-up including the Psychotic Turnbuckles, an unplugged Dubrovniks and a mystery act billed as But Jacques The Fish? at Sydney's Bald Faced Stag from 3pm on Saturday.

Screamin' Stevie and a collection of Brisbane's best acts will go through their paces at that city's Beetle Bar on Sunday. Admission to the Brisbane show is $10 and doors open at 1pm.

The Sydney show is tracking towards a sell-out but pre-sales are still happening here. Some tickets are expected to be on the door.

Mick was involved in an altercation in a pub in his new home town of Newcastle, NSW, two months ago that left him in hospital.

He was recently released and is making good progress but faces a long road to recovery. He hopes to make an appearance at the Sydney gig.

Funds raised will assist Mick's living and medical expenses. 

A benefit has already taken place in Fremantle and another is planned for Melbourne's iconic Tote Hotel on October 17.





3 Song Demo - Lola In Slacks

Lola In Slacks is a very new band which is starting to cause a stir in Glasgow; there's somewhat of a sense of mystery around this ambitious, literate outfit.

Charismatic singer Lou Reid (!) is the focal point, with songwriting partner and guitarist Brian McFie providing skilful garage grind and spiraling melody. Lesley McLaren has a growing reputation in her own right as a great rock 'n' roll drummer, and the band is fleshed out by Davy Irvin on bass, Villy Karagouni on keyboards and Martin Stuart Taggart on additional guitar.

Stunning X recording makes it to vinyl



Remember that sublimely raw set of demos by the Australian X that came out as the “X-Spurts” CD a few years ago? Canadian label Ugly Pop Records has just re-issued it on vinyl after doing the same with the “X-Aspirations” album. 

Recorded in a lounge room in Sydney's Surry Hills and stored for 35 years, "X-Spurts" pre-dates "X-Aspiration" and features the oririginal X line-up in stunning form. This is one of the greatest "lost" recordings to have been unearthed of any band. You can procure a copy here and there is an Australian distributor if you prefer the bricks and mortar store option. 


A Fistful of Desert Blues - Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove (Rustblade)

fistfulThe cover - taken by Lydia Lunch - shows the ruins of an ancient desert city. Could be Jericho. Whether Jericho is in the Mid-East or the West of the USA makes little difference. We’re dealing with perennial humanity in a perilous place with a mythological backdrop. But, you know, the Israelis and the Palestinians are still killing each other, and as I say, it’s a big thing on a big, operatic stage with no solution and no apparent beginning, never mind end…

… and there are plenty of abandoned towns in Australia… it doesn’t take much, just a bit of intolerance and a bit of ignorance, and idealism for a hopeless, not very sensible cause…

Tumbleweed continues with green message in tribute to Jay

drop-oceanTumbleweed has announced its latest single will carry an environmental message as well as be a tribute to recently deceased bass player Jay Curley, with the band continuing – at this stage – for a select handful of shows.

In a short statement issued this morning, vocalist Richie Lewis said: "After the recent passing of our brother, friend and bass-player Jay, we want to use our time on the planet positively, we want to contribute, we want to do what we can to raise awareness about important issues and to highlight and support people who are dedicated to making the world a better place. Life is too short and too precious to waste any more time.

"Our next release 'Drop in the Ocean' is about the power of one, how collectively we are a part of something bigger and better and it is a fitting tribute to Jay.

Spiteful – Sonny Vincent & Spite (Still Unbeatable Records)

spitefulSonny Vincent’s address book is fuller than a well-hung pornstar’s underpants so it’s no surprise to see him working with another star-studded gang on his latest album.

With his band drawn from the ranks of the Sex Pistols, the Stooges and The Damned, “Spiteful” is a gold-plated punk rock blast from go to whoa.

Paradisio - MODFAG (Little T & A Records)

paradisioIf you’re a fan of the hard stuff, heated up to an inch of its life and played fast, the guess is you’ll take to Modfag like a vulture to fresh roadkill. These Texan punks recall any number of Eurotrash bands from the ‘90s, with a dash of glam and a goodly dose of US ‘60s punk applied.

Bob Dylan in Sydney

dylanI often put forward the argument about his Bobness that if any new artist produced a run of albums with the depth and quality of "Time Out Of Mind" in 1997 until "The Tempest" in 2013, we would hail them as a lyrical genius, the likes of which we'd not heard since Leonard Cohen.

We would be in wonder of this songwriter who draws Americano from his depth of styles, whether it be through darkened Southern blues, Western swing, folk ballads, rockabilly or Irish balladering.

We'd note the remarkable gravel in the vocals akin to Tom Waits and Shane Mc Gowan, and the way they descend to a whisper, the aural equivalent of the oldest oak tree, all weathered and timbered.

But it's Dylan. No singer/songwriter compares, and there is no other career like his.

First sighting: Radio Birdman box set tracklisting

pthThe tracklisting for the Radio Birdman boxset has leaked via a UK online retailer. The seven disc set (six CDs and a DVD) is slated for release in early October. 

Update: Citadel Mail Order is taking pre-orders here.

Information from the band that the Paddington Town Hall gig (cover pictured at right) would be the jewel in the box set crown appears to be spot-on with the core of the release being familiar. There is enough meat on the bones in the form of bonus material, however, to satisfy most people.

The band's out-of-print EPs and some startling alternate versons and demo songs are being included although some live material that's been doing the rounds of fans for years is remaining in the vault. 

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