BARFLY TOP TEN: Big Al Creed of Aberration, the New Christs, the SC5, the Panadolls et al

big al top ten 2018As another year draws to a close, your friend and mine, Mr. Craig T. Barman has requested I compile my top ten list for 2018 to be published on the esteemed I-94 Bar.

So, I turned my mind to the events of the year – and there have been as many standouts as low points – however, I think a lot of those have already been covered in a very heartfelt way by some of my compatriots here.

Needless to say, the loss of so many great musicians this past year – and the stellar support lent to those in dire need of it – has exemplified the way the “rock n roll community”, both performers and punters alike, pull together and lend of themselves a little bit more for who and what they love when the going gets tough. It’s been both saddening and heartening in one.

Now onto the list: I was reading a recent post on the social medias about a study that posited most people ceased seeking out new music around the age of 28-years-old. “What bollocks!”, I exclaimed to the socials.

Well, this may be true of a lot of people – but not the kind of people I know (and I’m sure not you, kind reader, being a lurker on the I-94). These are the ones who are forever curious; always hungry for the new; always the ones with the gleam in their eye when they are telling you about some new band or artist “you’ve just gotta hear!”; the ones who never declare “rock is dead!” or “there is nothing new that’s any good!”

I thank all of those people for keeping me in the loop of what’s going on because I too crave and thrive on new music; whether it’s all new or undiscovered (for me) gems from bygone eras.

BARFLY TOP TEN: Light Brigade, Four Stooges and Filth guitarist Bob Short

bob short four stoogesThe Barman has been pleading for a Top Ten list.  I have a Top Ten list but everyone is gonna fucking hate it.  For once I'm standing up and demanding some attention for something I believe in.

Normally, I let you ignore my records.  Normally, I just go with the inferioty complex.  But I bought my friend's in on this and I don't like them being ignored.  Fuck you all.  You're gonna listen to this fucking record.  And you can happily call me a cunt.

I noticed that the way to actually push things through social media is by being a repetitive rude cunt. 

If you ask me what the 10 most important things that musically consumed me, it was the ten songs on the album Going Underground by the Light Brigade.  Which other songs did I dedicate 100 hours plus a piece to?  A thousand hours.  Forty days.  A tenth of the year. 

No songs more obsessed me.  Musically, fuck all else actually mattered.  Other new albums this year?  James Williamson did a good one. 

The easiest cop-out is to call this record a Velvet Underground tribute but tribute albums are inevitably piecemeal.  A blur of people's visions.  Someone inevitably always has to do a Ramones version of a slow song and someone else has to slow a fast one down into an overblown ballad to try and force meaning onto lyrics that have none. 

BARFLY TOP TEN: I-94 Bar Adelaide correspondent Robert Brokenmouth

robert barfly 2018Almost everyone I know seems to be mourning people they loved who passed on this year. Some staved off the inevitable until later in their lives, for which I am only one of many very grateful folk. Other people are coping as best they can.

For many of us 2018 was a very mixed year. In many places great swathes of love came out, so the struggle was peppered with brilliant, unforgettable events, music, films and a few books.

Normally I just do some sort of Top Ten for the I-94 Bar, but this year has been memorable for far too many of the wrong reasons, which has annoyed me quite a bit, and I'm an old shit, so cue meme of Granpa Simpson shaking his fist at a cloud.

But let's start with Australia, the country which can't count on stable government, can't spot a recessionary bubble billowing up like a volcano, and increasingly puts local news first because that is, apparently, what we're really interested in.

BARFLY TOP TEN: Mark Horne of 300 St Claire

marko darkoThis is going to be a very biased view and I’m not trying to hide it. I’ll make my own rules just so I can bend them to suit my agendas.

Best gig of the year - The Stew Cunningham Benefit night in Sydney at Marrickville Bowlo. All the bands were awesome but what won the night over was the atmosphere and goodwill of all the people that attended. A truly special night.

Best local live act - The Celibate Rifles. The Rifles slayed it in support of The Sunnyboys at The Factory, then followed it up with a couple of scorchers at The Marrickville Bowlo and The Narrabeen RSL. The old fellas have still got it. Honourable mention to Stiff Richards who tore the roof off in support of The Rifles at the Bowlo, great band.

Best local release - The Aints!, "The Church of Simultaneous Existence". Wonderful album from go to whoa. Honourable mention to Warped - "Bolt From The Blue" - brutal honesty at its best.

Best international gig - Señor No at The Botany View Hotel. It was wild, crazy and a helluva lot of fun. honourable mention to Los Chicos at the Rad Bar in Wollongong, they put on a show and a half, they were just pipped at the post.

BARFLY TOP TEN: James McCann of James McCann and the New Vindictives

james mccann emmy etie2018? This year all blurs into one for me , like being a passenger down the river with the occasional stop off to play, talk, refuel and get back on and cruise.

The cruise hasn't been steady, it's been rocky. More than any other time - or for some time.

The boat feels like it lost i's rudder and all the Generals on the field are nowhere to be seen; what would they say, what would they want us to do? I think we all know the answer to that.

So, here is my attempt to make neither head nor tail of the year 2018 so far...

Lincoln back to the '50s for a shaking good time

the lincolnsThe Lincolns. 

Okay, hands up, please. What are Croatians famous for being passionate about?

The Ustashi, says one. Well, once upon a time the Ustashi did arouse passions, but they seem thankfully forgotten. That's not the answer I was hoping for. Any one else?

Confusing civil conflict!

Hmmm. You're a cynical bunch. No, Croatia is renowned for being passionate about their football, or 'soccer' as we here in Australia call it. (The term "soccer" is a mangulation of "association football", BTW).

So, ho to the Croatian Sports Centre, home of the Adelaide Croatia Raiders Soccer Club, is at the end of a curving drive and situated between a Woolworths unload and reload depot and the Adelaide Superdrome, the headquarters for Cycling SA. 

Trio of bands make it real in Radelaide


brando rising adelaideBrando Rising strut their stuff last weekend. Marina Valieva photo. 

Someone from interstate recently commented that it looks like Adelaide is the place to be right now.

No, it's not. And certainly not with another inexcusable electricity price hike on the cards this year - do our Fearless Leaders have any idea what damage this is doing to the economy? No? Perhaps those protesting schoolkids could do better. Certainly they found a better cabinet in Ikea, so they must have a better idea about things than the current crop of cockwombles. 

However, the bleary light of today reveals that, had I known about the other gig last night, I might have faced a difficult decision. Missing the Yard of Retard gig, with (among others) Fear and Loathing and the first appearance of Bomber Down (featuring, as YoR so eloquently put it, "Rob Szkolik, Adelaide’as gayest man") would have caused a grave personal "torn in two" moment, as I had put my grubby paw up to see Brando Rising at the Enigma months before the gig was booked. Instead, I see the results of the Yard's gig on Fartabout and, not for the first time nor, I suspect, the last, I rather wish I could clone myself so I could do several things at once.

Go Out Tonight b/w F4 - The Professors (Buttercup Records)

go out tonightWhat did your Sydney sound like in 1978? The Professors did their best to define it for their own tight coterie of followers after Radio Birdman left for Europe to seek world domination, by sounding like this. 

Graduates of the infamous Oxford Funhouse, they took their lead from its most notable tenants bysetting up their own venue at The Royal Oak pub in Chippendale, They adopted their name from Chris Bailey's nickname for their singer - and the Saints repaid them with some namedropping in "KNow Your Product." The rest is history aka some photos and a caption in a Clinton Walker book

These two songs are from a demo tape that was exhumed by singer Stephen Vineberg and spruced up by engineer Barry McGuirk just a year ago. It’s been packaged in a gatefold cover by the folks at Buttercup and issued in a range of colours. Just as you’d expect. 

Memories From a Shithole - Whodunit (Beast Records)

memories from ashitholeThis Parisian band brags they’ve been “playing garage-blues-punk since 2003” and that’s no mean feat in a city where rock and roll gets simultaneously downtrodden by dance music and high culture. 

Two more things in their favour is that they’re on Beast Records, a well-established home for music that flies a ragged freak flag, and “Memories From a Shithole” was produced by expat Detroiter Jim Diamond, the ex-Dirtbombs bassist and sonic master now spending much of his work-time in Montpellier. His credits include the Bellrays, the Fleshtones and the White Stripes so he’s qualified to make this sort of noise. 

Whodunit aren’t your standard ‘60s acid punk rehash or two-chord crash-er-rama thrash artists. They don’t play second-rate Serge lounge tunes or bother trying to de-construct the blues. They just go for broke. 

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