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Brokenhearted on the Nullarbor - The Systemaddicts (Off The Hip)

brokenhearted nullaborFirst an apology: it’s taken me ages to find the time to write this down, but “Brokenhearted” is a constant in the car, revving us all up when we … er. Go to the shops. Go to the beach. Go visit me mum. You know.

Oh yeah. What a fabulous band the Systemaddicts are. One of Adelaide's best. Yeah, you’ll hear fragments of Birdman in them, you’ll hear the big brassy sound of The Saints (especially their third album) but most of all you’ll hear the urgency and freshness that you got from some of those early ‘60s British explosion outfits. Vim, verve, smarts and relevance.

Peanut Butter Blues - Dr Boogie (self released)


"There is nothing to win by this kind of an outcry..." -Richard Hell

"Everything is really hard, if you ain't got that credit card." -Iggy Pop

peanut butter bluesOld grape popsicles don't expire, they just get freezer burnt.

Back in my bespangled youth, there was no Internet and no downloadable sound files you could carry around in your hand-held Orwell gadget. We had, like, Walkman's and a couple of cassettes, if we were lucky, you know? If we got real enterprising, we'd spring for all those big batteries to power up our boom boxes, with all the band stickers on it, but it costs a lot to keep those machines blaring, especially if you hung out with a ragamuffin lot of heavy metal kids, Stooges heads, and ersatz break-dancers.

Rock 'n' roll sounds still mostly came on collectible black platters with colorful picture sleeves, but you had to send cash away for it in the mail, relying on the honor of scuzzy rascals, and every so often, you might get chumped. 'Had to figure, somebody must be awful hard up, to rip off their own fans. There was no Pay-Pal, you just paid your pals.

Grab yourself some Pussy

nashvillepussy 01

The touring news just keeps coming. Atlanta’s Nashville Pussy is set to blaze a trail through Australia and New Zealand in May 2017.

Defying any fixed genre, Nashville Pussy are a cowpunk, hard rock and psychobilly monster smeared with whisky soaked sleaze. The band's lyrical themes mostly revolve around sex, drugs, drinking, fighting, and rock 'n' roll. 

A trip in the Delorean with The Flaming Hands

flaming hands factoryHalf of the Flaming Hands: Julie Mostyn, Warwick Gilbert and Jeff Sullivan. Drummer Baton Price is obscured.  Murray Bennett photo

In preparation for their upcoming support slot with the Sunnyboys at the Enmore Theatre, the band calling themselves "The Strangers" - aka The Flaming Hands - lined up a show at Marrickville's Factory Floor.

The Thursday night crowd gathering outside the venue contained many familiar faces of gig goers and musicians from what was loosely termed the "Detroit Scene" of the late '70s-early '80s from which The Flaming Hands emerged.

Radio Birdman, Died Pretty tour takes flight over Australia

Iconic underground products of the Sydney music scene, Radio Birdman and Died Pretty, are undertaking a double-header tour of Australia.

Although they formed 11 years apart, Birdman and Died Pretty had their roots in the same Darlinghurst breeding ground. Died Pretty's Ron Peno was a patron at the Oxford Funhouse and a member of Birdman support act The Hellcats. Birdman's Rob Younger has been a production hand at critical points of their recording career.

Muscially, they veered in disparate directions. Spirit-wise, the bands shared a common sense of independence and going their own way. Both bands will be alternating headline positions.

Chris Masuak announces Sydney show

maz factoryChris Masuak’s musical history reads like a muscle car ride through the mean streets of Australia’s rock and roll underground, but appearances Down Under have been few and far between since he relocated to Spain. Masuak is about to right that wrong with a handful of select shows in NSW in March and April, his first in four years.

Riding the best reviews of this solo career with his album “Brujita”, recorded in Spain, the ex-Radio Birdman guitarist will play a handful of selected Aussie dates with a hand-picked Australian band, The Harbour City Wave Riders, featuring Tony Bambach (Lime Spiders) on bass and Stuart Wilson (New Christs, Loose Pills) on drums.

We're all Happy Men and Women

sluggo enmore lightsIn days to come, when rock and roll has finally been relegated to the cultural nursing home to be read its last rites. It'll be a nice room with dappled sun, shared with other old cogders like Jazz and Rolling Stone magazine.

People will reflect that some of its best times were in Sydney in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. They’ll also realise how good things were, and how easily they slipped away.

This wasn’t going to be one of those high faultin’ essays on the fragility of cultural scenes and the futility of trying to recapture them (because, you know, things can never be like they were.) About how you can’t put your arms around a memory. Telling you: Don’t Look Back. But a story "angle" can just happen.

Sometimes we try to bury nostalgia or pretend it’s not a valid thing. It’s so easy to hope you die before you get old when you’re in the full flourish of indestructible youth…and then you want to take it all back when you realise that the future's not so much uncertain and the end is increasingly near.

So let’s make the observation that if nostalgia isn’t so much the elephant in the room at the Enmore Theatre tonight then it’s taking up much of the available space in the foyer. And that's fine. More than ever, with so many people who were influential in rock and roll dropping off the twig. We all crap on about how bad 2016 was for that sort of thing but of course it's only going to get worse. 

Right: Sluggo from Flaming Hands under the Enmore lights. Shona Ross photo

Sunnyboys bring the magic

Murray Sunnyboys shotMurray Bennett photo

I set out this afternoon towards the Enmore Theatre with every intention of taking some notes, keeping a rundown of the songs, and trying to come up with the sort of review that some people actually get paid to write.

Unfortunately, this grand plan fell apart by the time I’d been at the Warren View Hotel for an hour and met 26 (yes, I counted them) people I knew and ended up in more shouts than it was feasible to manage. Coopers Red is a great beer but a lousy friend when you’re trying to make a plan come together.

By the time I got to Phoenix (or at least the Enmore) it was 7.15pm, the Shy Impostors had just come on stage, and I was carrying enough Red on board to ensure that an in-depth profound analysis of the gig was as unlikely as AC/DC inviting Dave Evans back into the fold. So you’ll have to put up with this instead.

All Through Paradise - The Braves (Spooky Records)

all through paradiseYou might not get it first listen. You almost certainly will if you see them.

Remember when you used to follow a local band? Thought the world of them, and they took you all over the city, into dark corners you’d never normally go? Pubs filled with sad, bitter old men?

Everywhere The Braves go around Melbourne, there’s a crew of their fans who follow them. So even out in the tedium of the bored burbs, when The Braves play, the dancefloor is filled with dancing shapes. And the locals get it, and join in. And when The Braves go back, there’s more people.

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