live - The I-94 Bar

30 Years Of Borrowed Time - Beasts of Bourbon (self released)

beasts30Here’s one of those ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-out’ releases. It’s a limited edition (500 copies), triple CD set of three recent live shows by as many different line-ups, each representing a particular phase of the Beasts’ rocky and storied lifespan. Need it be added that it kicks the living shit out of ‘most anything else the band’s committed to tape or hard drive?

A bunch of old Wild Things who made my heart sing

troggs the gov

Chris Allen and Chris Britton up front of The Troggs, 2016-style. Mandy Tzaras photo 

The original Troggs were Ronnie Bond (drums), (guitar), Reg Presley (vocals) and Pete Staples (bass), and their first hits began over 50 years ago. Along the way, they profoundly influenced ‘60s garage rock (not to mention glam) and seem likely to have been the inspiration for “Spinal Tap" when a spirited recording session was recorded, edited and bootlegged ("The Troggs Tapes").

Those reasons alone would be good enough to shell out your $70+change and hurry along to the fine establishment on Port Road in Adelaide, The Gov.

A Psychotic Xmas as the Turnbuckles prevail

jesse factoryJesse the Intruder of the Psychotic Turnbuckles

The Kings of The Combat Zone, the Psychotic Turnbuckles, returned to Sydney from Pismo Beach last Saturday night for a one-off Xmas show, presented by the I-94 Bar.

They were joined by Melbourne's Stoneage Hearts and Sydneysiders The Prehistorics in a no-holds-barred tag-team contest at Marrickville's Factory Floor. Shona Ross captured these images as the Turnbuckles triumphed in front of a packed house. Click more to see the images.

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.

Anne McCue live at Django Bar in Sydney

McCue jill stokesberryJill Stokesberry photo

If I was to choose a Sydney venue for the launch of Anne McCue’s remarkable album Blue Sky Thinking, it would be the Django Bar. 

I was aware of the venue upstairs, Camelot, as one of the better bars in Sydney’s inner-west for the last few years The Django bar is downstairs and it is everything Django. Django sculptures Django oil paintings, Django drawings - such a Django Rhineheart vibe.

I was so early for a gig (7.15pm) and already it is packed; I knew was a sell-out but this was so startling. Even at that time I was able find a seat way at the back of the venue with mid-‘70s Tom Waits footage on a large screen, blaring across the room. There seems to be big expectations for this show.

Another Heroic Friday night

leadfinger friday night factory

In an alternative universe where justice prevails, Leadfinger would be spending their Friday night cranking out a two-hour set to a packed Hordern Pavilion. Five-thousand sweaty people would be singing along to every word of every song from their newest - superb - album.

Instead, they’re middle-of-the-bill and out front of a half-full Factory Floor in Marrickville. And the thing is, to watch them and to listen to those brilliant songs played with such passion and fire and love, you wouldn’t know the difference on stage.

This was only my second Leadfinger show. My first was at the Blood Bank Benefit for Mick Blood in 2014. I’d heard of them but not heard them. I spent the next 40 minutes standing there with my jaw on the ground going “Who the fuck are these guys and where have they been all my life?” Now to be fair, I had waged a blitzkrieg on sobriety that day and only remember general amazement, and a scorching cover of “City Slang”, but I blabbered about them for ages to everyone I spoke to in the real and cyber worlds.

BellRays announce replacement Aussie dates

The world’s greatest exponents of down and dirty, heart breaking, soul shaking rock ‘n’ roll,The BellRays, are about to hit Australian shores again in August. The re-scheduled dates follow the cancellation of their planned double-headed tour of Australia with Supersuckers.

The ROCKPOCALYPSE Make Up Tour takes in three states and the national capital and includes forays into regional centres.

BellRays live in Australia

bell rays rickIt’s late in Adelaide, I got work tomorrow, and I didn’t expect to be writing this. So why am I?

When you’ve seen a band who so effortlessly lifts your spirits, who convince you that you matter, and that they give a damn for the people they’ve come several thousand miles to entertain; when you see that band put out truckloads of energy, effervescence, fizz and smarts, fronted by one of those extraordinary showmen who make it all look so damn easy you want to form your own band … yeah, well, I owe them.

Who? 

The BellRays.

Never heard a song before tonight.

Mainstream entertainment world don’t know they exist. Across the road from The Gov is the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, lighting up the sky with a multicoloured display and one of those shifting electronic billboards advertising Neil Diamond, Elton John and Mrs Brown’s Boy and that Russell excrescence.

That’s where The BellRays should be playing. I once saw James Brown there. The BellRays may not be the same thing, but pound for pound they’re just as entertaining, and a damn sight more intimate and friendly.

 

Pic by Rick De Pizzol

Black is back

peterblack soloHe’s best known as the voice and scorching guitar of the Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superfly but there’s another string to Peter Black’s bow.

Just back from a seven-week tour of Europe where he played 44 shows in 46 days, Blackie is promoting solo album number-four, “Clearly You Didn't Like The Show”, in Australia.

Dates are as follows:

Saturday, 7th November 2015
Blackwire, Sydney NSW

Saturday 14th November 2015
Transit Bar Canberra ACT

Wednesday 25th November 2015
Hamilton Station Newcastle NSW

Thursday 26th November 2015
Black Bear Lodge Brisbane QLD (with Mark Zain)

Friday 27th November 2015
Old Bar Melbourne VIC 

Friday 4th December 2015
Ruby L'otel Rozelle, Sydney NSW

Sunday 6th December 2015
Rad Bar Wollongong NSW

Bloodstock: Brisbane benefit unveiled for Lime Spiders singer Mick Blood

bloodstockHot on the heels of the Perth show and a day after the Sydney gig, there's a Brisbane benefit for Lime Spiders vocalist Mick Blood happening in Brisbane.  

"Bloodstock" is being held at Roma Street's Beetle Bar on Sunday, September 28th from 1pm and features the talents of friends and former bandmates.

You can catch Screamin' Stevie, Dr. Bombay, The Busymen, The Counterfeit Umbrellas, The Pretty Fingers, Hill 60, Team Utopia and Brisbane's own Burlesque beauty, Miss Red Devotchkin, from 1pm.

Tickets are available at the door for $10. All proceeds will go directly to Mick's Support Act fund.

Mick is recovering in a Newcastle hospital after a pub altercation left him with brain damage.

Bloodstock on Facebook

www.supportact.com.au

Blue Oyster Cult in Sydney

Blue Oyster Cult. Fashionably obscure forerunners or collective remnants of past glories? Only in it for the money tourists or a heritage act with a reputation to uphold and something still to say? The first band to make the umlaut cool? You can debate these things until you're Blue in the face. The only way you're going to find out is to get off your arse and see for yourself.

Bob Dylan in Sydney

dylanI often put forward the argument about his Bobness that if any new artist produced a run of albums with the depth and quality of "Time Out Of Mind" in 1997 until "The Tempest" in 2013, we would hail them as a lyrical genius, the likes of which we'd not heard since Leonard Cohen.

We would be in wonder of this songwriter who draws Americano from his depth of styles, whether it be through darkened Southern blues, Western swing, folk ballads, rockabilly or Irish balladering.

We'd note the remarkable gravel in the vocals akin to Tom Waits and Shane Mc Gowan, and the way they descend to a whisper, the aural equivalent of the oldest oak tree, all weathered and timbered.

But it's Dylan. No singer/songwriter compares, and there is no other career like his.

Boris with Last Days of Kali and Crypt in Australia

boris blue

 

Well, Boris in Adelaide on Sunday night were brilliant. Who are they?

 

Boris have been around since 1992, put out their first CD ‘single’ in ‘96, and have released 23 more LPs of their own songs (including three this year, and two last year) and 12 collaborative LPs, not including three collections of rarities and live material. They’re not huge in their home country of Japan, or indeed anywhere else, really. But those who know them cannot get enough and are total addicts. 

 

I first heard them in 1996, when a mate, Paul, came back from Japan with “Absolutego”, put the bastard on and left it playing. After 45 minutes, and my third “Paul, which track is this..?” I got the same answer: “Oh, still the first one.” I demanded to see the disc. The song went for over an hour, and was (and is) fabulous. Lots of changes, altered states, tempo alterations…the lot. It’s like a long LP which keeps returning to its central theme which, not speaking Japanese, I have no idea of whatsoever. But you keep returning to it.

Brisbane's 4ZZZ winds back the clock to 1975

buffalo revisisted brisbane

The Year Was 1975... Platform shoes, hot pants, flares and long hair were the height of fashion, HJ Holdens were selling like hotcakes, and a little community radio station by the name of 4ZZZ was born in Brisbane....

Seminal Brisbane radio station 4ZZZ FM turns 40 this December and to celebrate they're hosting a month-long party! One such shindig will be held at iconic Brisbane live music venue The Zoo on Saturday December 19th and will feature a revised version of ground-breaking Australian rock band, Buffalo.

Frontman Dave Tice has frequently been dubbed The Godfather of Australian Stoner Rock for his work with ultra-heavy ‘70s band Buffalo and he’s now re-visiting his revered outfit’s legacy with a series of select shows.

Tice has assembled a new line-up under the banner 'Buffalo Revisited' to focus on the earliest of the original band’s five albums. Tice will be joined by Vince Cuscuna (guitar), Steve Lorkin (bass) and Murray Shepherd (drums). All of them are veterans of a host of underground Sydney bands.

Buffalo formed in Sydney in 1971. Largely unrecognized by commercial radio, Buffalo was one of the country’s first exponents of the style heavy metal, pre-dating other pioneering Australian hard rock and heavy metal acts, such as Coloured Balls, AC/DC, The Angels, Taste and Rose Tattoo.

BRUCE! take new EP on the road

No-nonsense four-piece stoner-punk powerhouse BRUCE! have been flat out since releasing their 2012 full-length debut and are heading back out on the road with a series of extensive Australian dates.

The Wollongong locals have shared stages with the mightiest of all mighty rock lords, including Turbonegro, Supersuckers, Brant Bjork, Regurgitator, Beasts of Bourbon, Cosmic Psychos, Tumbleweed, and most recently supporting Violent Soho in Sydney on their sold-out Australian tour.

Buzzcocks and Moulting Vultures (2)

First up I must confess I’m a Buzzcocks tragic from way back. Been in Adelaide for 10 years now and this is the fourth time I’ve seen them, plus once in '92 in Melbourne. So the title Buzzcocks Tragic sounds good to me.

Bye Bye, Johnny

casiono portraitAdiso Amigo: Johnny Casino is moving with his wife to Spain and there are just three chances for Australian fans to say goodbye.

The longtime solo artist and former guitarist for Asteroid B612 is playing send-off shows with his interchangeable band, The Secrets, in Sydney and Melbourne.

April 8 finds him at Newtown Social Club with The Secrets (Mark Horne and Ben Fox) and sharing a stage with touring Spanish party band Los Chicos. 

On April 12 he’ll be in solo mode from 5-7pm followed by a Secrets bracket (Michael Evand and James Saunders) at The Labour In Vain in Melbourne. 

Johnny’s final stand is Sunday, May 10 and a solo show at The Midnight Special in Enmore, Newtown from 6pm.

Catch Leadfinger and The Saloon Daddies...on the quiet

LeadfingerSoloHey Sydney: you don't wanna miss rock royalty, Stewart 'Leadfinger' Cunningham in rare solo mode (playing both six and 12-string acoustic guitars) at the Midnight Special in Newtown on Sunday, October 18.

Leadfinger's history speaks for itself - The Proton Energy Pills, Brother Brick, Asteroid B612, Challenger 7, The Yes Men - and the opportunities to see him this stripped back and intimate are few and far between.

Joining him are acoustic alt-country punks, The Saloon Daddies. Entry is free and it's an early start at 6pm.

Celibate Rifles visit Brisbane "on the quiet"

carried awayTheir “On The Quiet” remains the best example of the “unplugged” concept we’ve ever heard so it’s a penny-dropping moment to hear Sydney’s iconic Celibate Rifles are heading north to Brisbane perform an acoustic set on April 23.

O'Malley's Irish Pub in Queens Street, Brisbane, hosts a fortnightly, mid-week live music club called ‘The Bunker’ and that’s where the Rifles will strip things back to showcase tunes spanning their impressive 35-year career.

The one-off show promises to be a rare treat and the Cellies wil be joined by local support acts, Weezal and Thirteen Seventy, also in rare acoustic mode.

A very limited number of pre-show tickets go on sale midday Wednesday 11th March for $20 +BF here  or from The Bunker 

Some tickets will be available at the door but numbers will be extremely limited to keep the event intimate. The Bunker is proudly presented by O'Malley's Irish Pub, and community radio 4ZZZ 102.1FM Brisbane.

STOP PRESS: Two more amplified Rifles shows announced