Hide your lighter fluid when these Schizophonics come to play

The Schizophonics Marrickville Bowlo Tom Wilkinson 28Tom Wilkinson photo.

The Schizophonics
Grinding Eyes
Sk8tergrrrl
Marrickville Bowling Club
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Photos by Tom Wilkinson

This gig was a bit of a big deal for Sydney’s spluttering live rock and roll scene. There’s an online buzz on San Diego’s Schizophonics, driven by their livewire videos and their reputation for spectacular shows. The Harbour City, however, was absent from their original travel plans.

A tour through New Zealand was being followed by just one Australian show - at The Tote Hotel in Collingwood, Melbourne - until last-minute intervention by a drummer in one of Oz’s most prominent bands (Russell Hopkinson of You Am I knows who he is) and another party who shall remain nameless. 



So a side trip to Sydney was organised - for a Thursday night show at Marrickville Bowling Club. The night after a hurriedly organised, extra Melbourne show. 

Marrickville Bowlo has become a haunt for Sydney’s older rock and roll demographic. Lansdowne for the kids, Bowlo for the seniors. It’s a nice-sounding room with a great PA and friendly staff. The drinks are cheap.

Japanese psych master guitarist Masami Kawaguchi’s New Rock Syndicate hits Australia

new rock syndicateHe's played with Penny Ikinger and Deniz Tek. Now, after a sold-out solo tour in 2018, one of Japan's most exciting guitarists, Masami Kawaguchi, returns to Australia for a tri-state and regional tour with his band, New Rock Syndicate. 

New Rock Syndicate plays Sydney for the first time on Friday, July 5 at Marrickville Bowling Club, presented by Kasumen Records and the I-94 Bar.

The band will be performing material from the most recent New Rock Syndicate album "Now" ( as well as tracks from limited edition seven-inchers and the extensive NRS back catalogue. 

Supports in Sydney are The Holy Soul and Joeys Coop (featuring Died Pretty's Brett Myers).

Masami Kawaguchi presents New Rock Syndicate in Australia with a rhythm section made up of Dave Gray (Rocket Science and The Electric Guitars) and Don Drum (Paul Kidney Experience and Fraudband),

Masami has been a member of some of the greatest Japanese psych bands of the last two decades - Miminokoto (with Acid Mothers Temple Official), Los Doroncos (with Doronco of Les Rallizes Dénudés), Aihiyo (with Keiji Haino), LSD March/LSD Pond feat Bardo Pond. 

Most tickets are on sale here.
 
Ballarat – The Eastern - Friday June 28
Adelaide – Crown & Anchor – Saturday June 29
Warnambool – Dart & Martin - Sunday June 30
Canberra – Transit Bar - Thursday July 4
Sydney – Marrickville Bowlo - Friday July 5
Newcastle – Lass O’Gowrie - Saturday July 6
Port Kembla – the Servo - Sunday July 7
Melbourne – The Tote - Friday July 12
Castlemaine – The Taproom - Saturday July 13

Delusionally Yours – Ronny Dap (self released)

delusionallyHe’s not a household name (yet) but don’t let that stop you. Ronny Dap is the self-styled King of Aussie Pub Rock DIY, a minstrel for those who wish their weekend trip to Bunnings was for guitar strings and not Ozito home-brand power tools that fall apart, shoddy customer service and a cheap sausage sandwich.

Yobbos. We’ve had a few. For those playing along at home overseas and not familiar with everyday Australian vernacular, Yobbo is the term for “a heavy drinker, who places mateship above all else and lives for those wild memorable moments that are unforgettable”. According to the authoritative Urban Dictionary, anyway.

From Billy Thorpe to the Cosmic Psychos, yobbos have been part of the musical and cultural fabric –the cut of the cloth being comfy jeans and a blue singlet. Turn up your nose if you must, but disdain for the upper crust, accompanied by larrikin behaviour, pre-dates Oz rock and roll by a long way. It’s probably one of the few defining national characteristics most of us can agree on.

The Aints! Play The Saints - The Aints! (Fatal Records)

PlayTheSaintsNo need to apologise for liking the nostalgic side of The Aints! That’d be the part represented by the segment of their live show, comprising the songs of the Kuepper Saints from their first three studio albums. This live document - culled from their 2018 Australian gigs - showcases the songs in all their sweaty, over-driven glory.

While a bracket of the “new” Saints songs would have been equally welcome from the studio album "The Church of Simultaneous Existence", there’s no complaining about this collection. Ten tunes, classics mostly, and all breathing fire.

Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot: The Billy Childish Story 1977-2018 - Billy Childish (Damaged Goods)

punk rock ist nicht totHow do you sum up the musical career of Billy Childish, England's finest, over two CDs or six sides of vinyl? "Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot" (translation: Punk rock is not dead) pulls it off pretty well.

The Childish oeuvre isn't for everyone. Across various groups - the Pop Rivets, Thee Milkshakes, Thee Headcoats, Thee Mighty Caesars, Musicians Of The British Empire, The Buff Medways and CTMF among them - Billy has been the poster child for low-fi, crudely-recorded, minimalist rock and roll.

Whip smart lyrics, sometimes confessional and often sardonic or profane, delivered in the voice of a street hooligan and set against distortion and dissonance. As a guitarist, Billy is no Steve Vai and for that we can all be eternally fucking grateful.

Who Is That Mad Band? - The Process (Temple Gong Recordings) & Dub World - The Process (Temple Gong Recordings)

mad bandYou’d be right if you said reggae doesn’t get much of a look-in at the I-94 Bar. It's not that anyone’s allergic to it, but rock and roll is the staple beer on tap.

You can argue that the Clash turned out their own kind of rock-reggae with mixed results, but the genre remains at the margins around much of the world - like its distant punk rock cousin.

Bob Marley introduced the wider world to reggae in the ‘70s but it had been entrenched in Jamaica for generations. A generation of immigrants had already spread rocksteady and ska to the UK.

The music that Marley brought to stadiums and concert halls was a few steps away from the sound that pervaded the alleys of Trenchtown. Major labels provided th bread, not Jah, and their producers rubbed the rough edges off Marley, Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff to make them acceptable to mass market ears. 

There is Only Now - The Galileo 7 (Damaged Goods)

there is only nowOne of those online dictionaries defines "freakbeat" as "a sub-genre of rock and roll music developed mainly by harder-driving British groups, often those with a mod following during the Swinging London period of the mid to late 1960s".

Fair enough. This review is written by someone who used "The Rubble Collection" of UK freakbeat as the soundtrack to painting a dining room wall. There are 10 discs in that box set and, no, it didn't all of them to get the job done. Almost.

The point is that if you don't know the tag, you'll know th sound. Odds are you've probably heard, latched onto and loved a freakbeat band without consciously knowing it. In which case, you're a candidate to be equally besotted with The Galileo 7.

Ann Arbor Revival Meeting - Scott Morgan’s Powertrane featuring Deniz Tek & Ron Asheton (Grown Up Wrong)

Ta2 revival meeting smhe American college town of Ann Arbor - A2 to the locals - has a lot to answer for. This re-issue of a long out-of-print live recording of some of its famous sons makes it apparent.

Originally released on CD only by Philadelphia's Real O-Mind Records in 2002, it's on vinyl as well as shiny silver disc this time around, and marks the return of David Laing's Grown Up Wrong label.

Everything about this show smokes. Powertane were the vehicle for A2 legend Scott Morgan, a soul prodigy (The Rationals) who made up a quarter of one of the greatest guitar rock and roll bands to ever go MIA in the mists of musical legend status, Sonics Rendezvous Band.

Transmission coming through, loud and clear

sand pebbles stairs

Sand Pebbles
John Curtin Hotel , Carlton
Saturday, June 1 2019

I remember 2004. Living in a spacious weatherboard house in North Fitzroy, two small children, disrupted sleep patterns, fumbling through the fog of the embryonic years of parenthood.

Watching the Howard Years roll on. Mark Latham pushed his way into public view, tried to take up the fight with Howard. Toned down the more provocative aspects of his public discourse, held a press conference in front of a row of American flags, presented himself as the guy who understood the aspirations of the suburban demographic, but who wasn’t a product of an era that’d never return. Who’d have though 15 years later Latham would be a One Nation member in the NSW parliament? People thought Pauline Hanson was finished too. History is funny, innit?

More Articles ...