"Like James Brown crossed with the MC5": Schizophonics land in Australia for two dates only

Schizos webSensational San Diego trio The Schizophonics have announced two Australian dates in June.

They'll play Sydney's Marrickville Bowling Club on Thursday, June 6 (with Grinding Eyes) and Melbourne's The Tote on Friday, June 7 after a run of New Zealand dates. Tickets for both Austrralian shows are on sale here

The wild, gyrating, and down-right gymnastic, guitarist Pat Beers is joined by his wife Lety on drums and bass player Blake Lindquist...and yes, Beers is their real name. By day Pat teaches music but at night, once strapping on that guitar, he becomes a man possessed .

The Schizophonics are, in one word, EXPLOSIVE. Their frenzied live performances tap into the same unstoppable combination of rock ‘n’ roll energy and showmanship that fueled the MC5 in the heyday of the Grande Ballroom.

When they hit the stage, they grab your attention and don’t let go. They’ve built up a formidable reputation in their home base of San Diego and a fervent following among locals.

“One of my favorite live bands ever!” proclaims Tim Mays, who has run the Casbah for over 25 years and seen literally thousands of live bands come through his doors in that time.

James Griffin re-emerges for solo Sydney show

james uniThe Subterraneans performing at Sydney University in 1986. From left to right, Peter Coutanche (X, Kamikaze Kids), Marty Willson-Piper (The Church), and James Griffin.
Photo, Kim Sandeman. 

James Griffin, onetime inner-Sydney underground music household name now living in Melbourne, is poised to play his first show in living memory in his old hometown of Sydney this month.

Griffin will play the Golden Barley Hotel in Enmore solo on Sunday, May 19, reprising his extensive back catalogue of work with The Subterraneans, The Agents and as in his own name.

A successful poet, songwriter and broadcaster, James Griffin began his performing and songwriting life in the  early '70s. Originally an alt-folk/punk-folk solo acoustic artist, he built a successful live performance career around such songs as "20th Century Blues", "I Smoke Money", "I Don't Think I Drink Enough", "I thought It Was You On the Boulevard" and "Australia's Just A Suburb of the USA".

A Tribute to Sonny Vincent - Various Artists (Disturbed Records)

sonny tributeThree years ago, family tragedy thrust Sonny Vincent from being a cult New York punk legend into the role of full-time carer. 

Based in Europe for two decades from where he prolifically recorded and toured, he was suddenly pulled back to the USA by a home gas explosion and fire that left his son, daughter-in-law and grandson on life support in a North Carolina hospital.

Sonny’s family has survived but his music is on indefinite hold. Day-to-day life now revolves around his 12-year-old grandson Cayden, still undergoing skin grafts while trying to live the life of a schoolboy. Sonny hasn’t picked up a guitar since that fateful night and has been existing on donations.

Hippy Days in a room filled with quiet joy

arlo1Arlo Guthrie
The Gov, Adelaide
April 24, 2019
Jeremy Tomamak photos

One of the things that really got to me the very first time I saw the film "Alice's Restaurant" (on late night telly, back in the days when Adelaide only had four stations) was the mutation of black humour, intelligence, and improbability running through the film like a twisted thread of opal.

Not least is the fact that Arlo was (in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War and the draft) declared by the US Army as “not moral enough to join the army.”

As Arlo told Rolling Stone: "I never thought of “Alice’s Restaurant” as being an anti-war song, but you can’t run a war being that stupid. You won’t succeed in the war and you won’t succeed in other things either. And I think that’s some of the lessons we still have yet to learn, you know?"

And tonight, I wonder what we're in for. His father, underground folk guitar hero Woody Guthrie, died of Huntington's disease (HD), also known as Huntington's chorea in 1967, at the age of 55, and when Arlo was just 20.

Liquorice - The Ramalamas (Half a Cow)

licouriceThis is an intruiging and charmingly all-over-the-shop album on which this Sydney five-piece sheds its alt.country label and heads for a garage in a swamp. There's more variety in this Licourice than a pallet-load of Darrel Lea Allsorts. 

The Ramalamas have been around for a decade or so, led by Chris Nielsen (vocals-guitar) and subsisting in their city’s fragmented live circuit while putting out a string of albums, of which this is their fourth. Nielsen name-checks the usual ‘60s references (Kinks, Stones) with a nod to the US West Coast’s psychedelic folk-pop scene. 

As well as owning a serviceable pop voice and playing nifty guitar, Nielsen is an award-wininng illustrator and his work adorns the CD cover and inlay. 

At 71, still a Real Wild Child and rock and roll's beating heart

iggy soh bwThe World's Forgotten Boy.  Miriam Williamson photo.

Iggy Pop
Sydney Opera House
Monday, April 15 2019
Miriam Williamson photos

Iggy Pop and band put the torch to the Sydney Opera House the same night that a fire devastated Notre Dame in Paris. Coincidence? I think not.

The Pop has been a semi-regular tourist to Australia since 1983 and I’ve caught him on every run but one. Stooges excepted, this was close to his high-point. 

It is true that at age 71 - a pubic hair’s breadth away from bringing up 72 - James Osterberg moves a little more gingerly these days. The stage-dives are gone - at least where hard-backed seats are fixed to the floor - and he’s clearly pacing himself to go the distance. 

Scuttlers & Scoundrels and Barrels of Death - Geof Holmes (self released)

scoundrels boxGeof Holmes is a name you should know, but the reality is that he’s unfamiliar to anyone outside a tight circle of Sydney musicians and followers of a certain vintage.

Holmes was one of the guitarists with Evil Roomers, the 1977 precursor to seminal Australian band X. With his close mate Ian Krahe on guitar, Steve Lucas on vocals and Ed Fisher on drums, they were in rehearsals when joined by bassist Ian Rilen, already on his way out of Rose Tattoo.

For various reasons, that line-up of Evil Roomers never got out of the practice room. Rilen, Krahe and Lucas would hook up with ex-cop Steve Cafeiro on drums to form the first line-up of X. Holmes went on to join Lucas, Rilen and Fisher in a potent 21st Century line-up of X. Last year, he sat in with the Lucas-only version of the band in Sydney for one song.

Strangling out the hits and more

hugh cornwellAs far as The Stranglers go, he's the man who wrote the hits, sang the hits and played guitar on the hits. Hugh Cornwell was an integral member of the band until 1990, before carving out his own solo career.

Cornwell will grace Australasian audiences with his presence in May with a tour playing music from The Stranglers and his latest solo album "Monster". 

Expect "Golden Brown", "No More Heroes", "Strange Little Girl", "Always The Sun", "Nice And Sleazy", "(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)" and "Peaches" – the great songs that established the legend of The Stranglers - after a set of his own material with his crack UK band.

MAY  
1 - Christchurch – Churchills
2- Wellington – San Fran Bath House
3 - Auckland – Powerstation with The Murder Chord
4 - Brisbane – Triffid
5 - Adelaide – Gov
8 - Canberra – Basement
9 – Manning Bar with Little Murders 
10 - Melbourne – Max Watts
11 - Perth – Rosemount with The Painkillers 
Tickets on sale here

 

 

The Damned back to antagonise Australia

the damned 2019The Damned - arguably the greatest surviving British punk band, bar none - are back to inflict their brand of insanity on Australia in August for three shows only.

Still firing on all cylinders and breaking all the rules, this most spiritually chaotic of all punk groups have never been away, never surrendered their ideals, always forged onwards. When Lemmy of Motörhead famously referred to them as “the only real punk band” you know they are the real deal.

Their live show is still as riotous as ever. As The Independent said: “They have become, if possible, more eccentric and outrageous as they grow older, with many of their live traits coming across as delightfully raucous.” Tickets go on sale Thursday 18 April at 9am here

TOUR DATES:
Thursday 22 August – Factory Theatre, Sydney 18+
Friday 23 August – The Triffid, Brisbane 18+
Saturday 24 August – Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne 18+
  
 

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