BARFLY TOP TEN: Steve Lorkin, bass player for Buffalo Revisited and the 4 Stooges, session gun for Bob Short and the Light Brigade, guitarist-vocalist for The Cool Charmers and occasional I-94 Bar reviewer
I thought I’d take a unique approach to this year’s Top 10 by actually listing my top music highlights of the year which didn’t involve myself.
So you won’t be reading about my killer gig with the mighty Buffalo “Revisited” at the Bald Faced Stag in Sydney, where we performed the astoundingly cool Buffalo album "Volcanic Rock" from top to toe to celebrate the record's 40 years in existence.
You also won’t be reading about the one and only show by The Four Stooges at the Marrickville Bowlo that was in a word “devastating“.
Also you won’t be hearing about The Cool Chambers who struggled against a few odds in finishing recording and mixing our super duper originals for a planned release in 2019...nope...no ...none of that rubbish.
But you will read my Top 10...that has in fact become an explosive hits Top 20 (not in order):
1) Pink Floyd The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Record Store Day Mono re-issue. This sounds as great as I’d always suspected (having never heard a proper mono mix). It’s punchy and dynamic! Psychedelic being invented for many.
2) Amyl and the Sniffers LP Big Attraction/ Giddy Up - real punky rock - see my review on I94bar somewhere and go and see them play a show...the kids are alright
3) Mark Taylor 2 x 7”. If only more records were like this. Lipstick Killers, Psycho Surgeons guitar destroyer steps out front with a really brilliant double 7” with insane packaging, great songs and playing.
4) New Christs at the Marrickville Bowlo. Great band, great sound. Still explosive.
5) Bikini Kill - The Singles LP. Finally out on vinyl. The later day BK 7”s on one record...real punky rock #2!
6) John Foy book - Snaps Crack Pop. John is a true rock and roll dude be it his artworks, music fandom or his time challenging the biz with his Redeye label, his book tells his tale with words and pictures. Keep well John.
7) Cheap Trick - Enmore Theatre. CT are the yardstick for anyone who dares to grace a music stage. They still have it! Songs, style...Cheap Trick are the real deal.
8) Stewart Cunningham - See Ya Tonight benefit gig at the Bowlo. Stew is a true music maker, he is not well so a bunch of his brothers and sisters got together to help him out in a We Are The World kind of way by putting on a concert. Wonderful to see some Asteroid B612 peoples kicking out ye olde jams and playing those great songs again. Bullet is one of the planets great frontdudes, why isn’t he doing more ??
9) Shocking Blue - Singles Collection A&B sides Vol 1. So many great SB tunes were only on singles. so this comp ties them all together very nicely
10) Rose Tattoo at the Bowlo. In a good sounding room the Tatts can truly thunder. I’d seen them a few other times this year where the sound wasn’t ace but at the Bowlo they STOMPED! And they meant serious rock and roll business.
11) MC5 - books by Wayne Kramer - The Hard Stuff and Michael Davis - I Brought Down The MC5. Those MC5 fellows certainly made things hard for themselves. They shoulda/coulda been huge but they shot themselves in the foot(s) more than once. But here are two members stories from their own vantage view points. Read with sorrow, fear, danger, youthful buffoonery and scepticism.
12) Hits 7” Smash Hits b/w The Accessory. This record is a true leap forward for human kind, more records please Team Hits.
123 Radio Birdman + Hits + Los Chicos + DJ Frank at the Manning Bar, Sydney. Worlds collided on this night. Rock and roll lives!
14) Big Brother & The Holding Co - Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills (CD+ LP) an alternate take/demo version of Cheap Thrills, it sounds more alive and dangerous than the original LP. It’s bigger, bolder and wild! Get it!
15) Jesus Christ Superstar. Australian 70s cast CD, a long lost live tape was found. This production was my first live rock experience and it still blows me away..Wonderful performance.
16) Radio Birdman DVD box set. I salute Sequeiras x 2. You have triumphed.
17) Redd Kross - Oh Cananda . Astounding live LP from a great live act, brilliant song writing and playing that underlines their entire career.
18) Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica –Third Man Records “Vault” release. A borderline OCD project from Jack White + co. It comes packaged with all sort of bonus goodies ie; tote bag, patch, 7”, mask etc etc...and it sounds bloody marvellous!
19) The Visitors LP. USA reissue of one of entertainment's finest moments.
20) Johnny Thunders - So Alonesome. 40th Anniversary release of unreleased tracks from the So Alone era, not just crappy out takes but real gold!
Reserve bench –
Pretty Things at The Factory & The Tote. This band wrote the book on swagger, groove and hep. This lap of honour tour saw them grace our shore with a great career spanning set list.
James Williamson & The Pink Hearts - Behind The Shade LP. If only Ready To Die (or whatever it was called) by The Stooges was as good as this. James is a unique, gifted and original musician. This is a great album. It’s not like The Stooges...a bit of Van Morrison, Stones, Thin Lizzy, maybe.
Kinks - Are The Village Green Preservation Society 50th Anniversary various edition. A great re-issue put together by mega fan (and Monkees tour manager) Andrew Sandoval.
Rose Tattoo - Scarred For Live box set. Great 5CD set, music is brilliant (archival live recordings from 1980-1982). Sadly shoddy packaging with incorrect liner notes, band line ups, song writing credits etc.
PP Arnold at the Factory (see my review.)
The Aints. LP and gigs...thumbs up!
The 31st 12” EP. Young late 1970s hoods from Brissie who went onto Screaming Tribesmen, Died Pretty , Hitmen...even then they had the chops.