Queen of the Pill - The Jackets (Voodoo Rhythm)

queen of the pillI read Voodoo Rhythm label head booster Beat-Man's customary over-the-top accompanying blurb for this Swiss band. Other people, famous folk whose music you love, rate The Jackets very high. Who? Well ... Alice Cooper. 

Nah, can't be that good.

It's better. 

Every song is crafted, clever, and a blazing, shooting, call-out-the-army riot in a small town over a misplaced pair of slippers. 

The band are: Jack Torera aka Jackie Brutsche (guitar, vocals), Chris Rosales (drums) and Samuel "Schmidi" Schmidiger (bass).

You have to imagine a slightly different 1960s. Where the studios were better. Where short, sharp, powerful bolts of lightning strike over thundering drums and a glorious fuzz drone (no song here is over 3 minutes). Where more women were into the macho world of r'n'r. 'Queen of the Pill' is ten supercharged luscious slabs of dance-frantic, limbo-struttin', death-defying rawk that'll come close to blowing your head off.

Quake Up! - Surfquake (Surfquake)

surfquakeIt’s a (mainly instrumental) surf album but “Quake Up!” covers more genres than you can shake a wax stick at. Movie and TV themes, sci-fi and garage pop litter the wake of this Essex quartet like pebbles on a Pommy beach. It's probably a reason for surf music purists to hate ‘em.

Surf music isn’t a language that openly speaks to everyone these days but it’s murmuring away in the background. From an Australian perspective, scratch the veneer of any of our greatest rock and roll bands from the last 50 years and you’ll surf music lurking underneath. The blues and beat pop that British migrants brought with them rode right over the top of surf in the early ’60s.

Bella Wreck - Bella Wreck (Heavy Medication)

bella wreckThis re-issued gem on Polish label Heavy Medication is by a band led by an Australian expatriate based in Germany. It was originally released in Europe on vinyl in 2014 and it’s odd-on that if you weren’t in the know back then and you come from outside Europe, you probably wouldn’t have noticed.

Dave Thomas is the Australian vocalist and guitarist in Bella Wreck and, no, he’s not the Dave Thomas from Geetroit legends Bored! For one, he’s about a metre taller. He also has strawberry blond hair down to his arse.

This Dave Thomas lived colourfully for a while in New York City and was a member of Sydney bands Flame Boa and The Crisps. The Crisps included Hoody from The Johnnys and Stuart Wilson (New Christs and Lime Spiders) on drums.

Remembering Tony Grudge Hayward

tony grudgeTony “Grudge” Hayward, my friend with the impish smirk, that strong, capable, street-smart man who saw through the city snobs and inspired friendship in all around him because he was simply a force of nature, has died. He was taken to palliative care on May 11 and passed six days later. 

Tony was a member of C-Bombs, Roadkill66 and REPO. Six months ago I would've said Tony was damn near indestructible, but once more, Adelaide's scene is in a state of shock and grief.

You need to know that I am probably the least of Tony's friends to write this, and I apologise for that. I came so late to Tony's life, and it was a damned big life. There are many bandmates, friends and relatives with much, much more to tell - and in time perhaps they will.

Tony died in a South Australian country hospital; he went in knowing the end was imminent, and he faced it in characteristic style, with an apparent offhand acceptance. Was he brave for the love of his life? Partly, I am sure; but even had she not been there, Tony had faced a lot of things, dealt with them all because he was, as I say, a capable man as well as being tough, brave.

Mandy Tzaras photo

Shoving some Stranglers down our throats

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Hugh Cornwell
The Manning Bar, Sydney
Thuirsday, May 9, 2019

The Stranglers were the first UK Punk/New Wave band I ever saw. It was February 25, 1979, at the State Theatre in Sydney with opening band, The Hitmen.

Of course, The Stranglers were not punk or new wave or pub rock or ANYTHING. They played Strangler Music (god bless their drug taking, karate fighting, foul mouthed socks). A band like that couldn’t last forever. Lead singer/Guitarist Hugh Cornwell went one way, the rest of the band went another way…que sera sera …what ever will be will be.

Hugh's stranglehold on the hits

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Hugh Cornwell & band
The Gov, Adelaide
Sunday May 5, 2019
Richard De Pizzol photos

It's a chilly sort of night and I really don't feel like going out at all.

However, I have made arrangements and shall honour them.

Bad Bob arrives, leans on his horn and I am dragged from my chamber to encounter my chum, all chirpy and smoky, in a dinky little white car and we zoom off, leaving dazed possums and alarmed cats behind us.

A full sick night, mate

adam mondayitis"The Odd Night Out"
Botanic Gordon + Leitmotiv Limbo
+ r.domain + Vomit of the Universe
The Metro, Adelaide 
May 11, 2019
Photos by Somnambulist Dillinger

I'd never seen any of these outfits. Only heard of one of them, Vomit of the Universe (aka VoU), because my friends Adam Mondayitis (pictured right - sometime DJ at 3D Radio until they got gentrified, Hydrocephallus and Smallpox Confidentialist) and Jordy Dodd are VoU and ... well. You never know, do you? Might be dreadful. Might be wonderful.

The organiser wasn't sure what the order of play was until everyone more or less got there. So this is how the bands appeared on the FB event page (and yes, it's 'sic'):

Vomit of the Universe - guitar and drums duo plays slimey soiled rusty metal

r.domain - modular synths of megalopic proportions with a sea of wires

Botanic Gordon - formerly of the '70s organ synth, now renovating for future antiquity

Leitmotiv Limbo - clarinet sin storage, synth put aside, "just playing spring sculptures"

Powertrane with Tek and Asheton, Scientists head revival of Grown Up Wrong label

grown up wrong banner

This could be the best news fans of raw and real rock and roll will hear this year: Esteemed Australian label Grown Up Wrong - th forerunner of Dogmeat Records - is back in business. Owner David Laing is kicking off with a bang with two killer releases to get the ball rolling (again.)

First  is a fantastic collection of primarily live recordings from the original Perth-based line-ups of The Scientists - back when James Baker of Victims/Hoodoo Gurus was still drumming for them. "Not For Sale: LIve 1978/79" is an archival set of recordings from the band's ragged powerpop days when they sounded like a collision between the Flamin' Groovies and The New York Dolls.

The second release is a reissue – with extra tracks, and for the first time on vinyl – of a rare 2002 live album called “Ann Arbor Revival Meeting” by Scott Morgan's Powertrane with Deniz Tek and Ron Asheton.

Where's The Professor? He's in Sydney this Sunday night.

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The Professors were formed in 1978 and were part of a booming inner Sydney scene that developed following the departure of temporary residents The Saints and homegrown Radio Birdman. They took their name from singer, Stephen Vineburg’s friendship with Chris Bailey of The Saints.

Vineberg - was name-checked by their friend, Saints vocalist Chris Bailey, in the lyuics of "Know Your Product" ("Where's the Professor?/We need him now").

The Professors were a prime example of the DIY ethos. They were largely self taught and established a successful music venue at the corner pub: The Royal Oak Hotel in Chippendale. They also played at most of the popular venues in Sydney including The Civic Hotel, the Rex Hotel, Paddington Town Hall and Henderson Road. 

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