Last man standing Waldo brings "LAMF" to London

lure 100 club

Walter Lure plays LAMF
100 Club, London

August 10, 2019



Walter Lure has had a storied career, duelling with Johnny Thunders in the Heartbreakers, recording with The Ramones, burning up stages with his own Waldos and in working in the markts on Wall Street. 

Of the Heartbreakers, Lure is the last man standing after the passing of Thunders and Jerry Nolan in the '90s and the departure of Billy Rath in 2013, and he has done gigs showcasing the Heartbreakers debut "LAMF", most notably in New York City with a fairly stellar cast including Wayne Kramer and Clem Burke.

Damned great show by punk rock trailblazer

brian james 100 club

Brian James
De Rellas
100 Club, London
Friday, August 23, 2019

While the Damned are busy touring Oz, Brian James, the band's co-founder and architect of their "Damned, Damned, Damned" album, is playing a solo band show at the 100 Club.

Now there’s too much academic analysis over who invented punk. Some people refer to The Sonics from mid ‘60s America as the first punks, or The Ramones; some (well from Australia. anyway) will plump for Birdman or The Saints. Who issued the first single is beyond debate. The Damned's “New Rose” was the first punk single. 

From the Cradle to the grave

cradle of filthCradle of Filth
+ Hybrid Nightmares
The Gov, Adelaide
September 4, 2019

It's fair to say that most people who rock up to these shows won't be bumpkins like me, who completely missed all the advances and shifts in the metal throughout the 1990s and onward.

Almost certainly there were few folk attending who didn't know the latest LP backward. The friend I'm going with, Azhurn, knows the bloody lyrics. Now, we ain't talking Ramones here. We're talking pieces which don't repeat phrases, no choruses except musical ones, and a narrative series closer to a somewhat demented storyteller. Dani's voice is simply astonishing, shifting several times within a single phrase, and occasionally it appears he's singing two notes at once.

Here's some of the press release (slightly amended):

"When you talk about classic albums shaping genres 'Cruelty and the Beast' by Cradle of Filth sits proudly and menacingly at the top of the tree for extreme music. In 1998 'Cruelty and the Beast' showcased the band's hybrid of brutality and macabre romanticism, crafting a concept album based on the life of Hungarian mass murderer Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who tortured and murdered hundreds of young women in the 16th and 17th centuries.

“'Cruelty and the Beast' was both bombastic and grandiose, inflected with gothic touches, yet unquestionably rooted in black metal. In addition to the feral bludgeoning and the slower, more melodic keyboard passages, 'Cruelty and the Beast', featured three haunting, elegiac instrumentals filled with chiming organs, horrified screams and synthesised orchestra parts that enhanced the drama and split the presentation into three acts. No other band would have been capable of creating such an opus. As a concept album, it is executed with perfection … creative, intelligent, shocking, written brilliantly and played expertly."

Memories are made of this sort of Sedition

ed paddoEd Kuepper leads his Aints! through their final show for a while.  

Sedition 2019
The Aints!

The Flaming Hands
Shy Impostors
The Professors
Paddington RSL, Sydney 
Saturday, August 31 2019

It could have been an exercise in nostalgia for its own sake. It was anything but.

On paper, a bunch of bands digging into their own back pages is a fraught exercise. Things can never be what they once were; voices age and players who were at one time singularly focused on the musical here and now inevitably drift on or find new interests. Some pass on. Others fall out with each other.

Each of these bands come from a special time and a place that can’t be re-captured. Each was leaning, to some degree, on their back catalogues tonight. All were doing their best to be true to their own legacy without getting hung up on it.

With The Damned, you just can be happy today

the damned factory

The Dammed
The Factory Theatre, Marrickville
Thursday, August 20 2019
Photos: Monique Simmons

Culturally, Britain was so different to the USA in so many ways in the ‘70s, and that had much to do with distance.  The US is a vast place with all sorts of cultures and entrainment influences. The south was different to the west coast and out was again different to the east. And that really showed in the disparate pockets of music that sprang up everywhere.

On the other hand, England was more centralised. Long before the ‘70s dawned, it had the ingrained tradtiion of music halls as its historical DNA.

Music halls were everywhere. At one time there were more than 200 theatres in London alone. They hosted events running for four hours and ranging from comedy, clowning, horror to serious  drama. For more than a century, popular theatre was a staple for the working man and middle class alike. 

Well, you may ask, what has this got to do with The Damned appearing live in Sydney on a Thursday night? I say, everything.  A Dammed gig is like a trip through classic British pantomime and theatre, full of drama and packed with wit and slapstick. 

Foul mouthed yobs: Adelaide "punks" in pub ban fury

Sarah telling Hermann not to swear
Sarah telling Hermann from Fear and Loathing not to swear. 

Fear and Loathing
The Filthy Gypsies
Lucy the band
Swamp Kitteh
The Federal Hotel, Semaphore, Adelaide
August 24, 2019
Photos: Wayne Ridley

What a pack of bastards. The folk in the bands, I mean. I wasn't going to review this gig, partly because the sound wasn't as good as it could have been, I missed most of the first act's set (and they were damn good and deserve a better review), one of the bands was using a stand-in bass and extra guitar player and... well, I hadn't gone with the intention of reviewing anyone, just a couple of brews and some friends. And the bastards have asked me to review the thing. 

If I could claim to have been too drunk, I would.

Oh, yeah, "full disclosure" as the Barman says on occasion, I know a lot of these folks. But you, I-94 Bar reader, may rest assured that I would never review a band unless I thought them worthy of your attention. All I will add is that I wore my latest and current favourite Chickenstones T-shirt.

You're never alone with a bulging back catalogue. Ain't that the truth

 rob factory
Rob Younger at The Factory Theatre. Shona Ross photo.

Radio Birdman
+ Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers
+ East Coast Low
Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday, June 21, 2019

Radio Birdman
+ Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers
+ The Dark Clouds
Factory Theatre, Marrickville, NSW
Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Aints!
+ Colonel Kramer & The Eamon Dilworth One Man Brass Ensemble
Factory Theatre, Marrickville, NSW
Friday, June 28, 2019


Your own legacy is a hard act to follow. This is a tale of two bands.

On one hand you have Radio Birdman, a thoroughly re-tooled and different beast to its previous incarnations and still carrying a substantial reputation. They’re a prime reason why The I-94 Bar exists.

On the other, you have The Aints!, who are led by foundation Saints member Ed Kuepper and armed with a setlist partly planted in that band’s past, with the balance comprising songs that were written for the old band but never recorded.

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.

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?