australian - The I-94 Bar

Rarebits - Fast Cars (Methodmusic)

rarebitsIt's been mentioned here before that Fast Cars are a 1980s Sydney mod band, revolving around the creative core of Di Levi (vocals, guitar) and Fabian Byrne (guitar), that reformed a couple of years ago to make more music. This EP is their second since re-convening and was compiled for the “15th Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival” in Wales earlier this month.

Mod is a label that suggests Union Jacks, sharp clothes, Vespa scooters and The Who, but Fast Cars aren’t constricted by the genre’s straight jacket. “Rarebits” comprises four old tracks and two new ones and takes the band deep into psychedelic pop territory.

The Complete Steve & The Board - Steve & The Board (Playback Records)

SteveandtheboardThey were around for only a year and were well short of being a household name in Australia by the time they played their final note in 1967, but Steve & The Board left a handy collection of recordings in the wake. Legacy label Playback has applied love and diligence to this historical release and more power to them for preserving Australia’s musical past.

Steve & The Board played beat pop, pure and simple. Some of it carries the aroma of a stab at the charts, other songs shows broader love for the hard-edged R&B of the times. Most Australian bands in the mid-‘60s were in the thrall of the British Invasion that had hit the USA and Steve & The Board were no exception. Their recordings aren’t world beaters but have vibrancy and some occasional grit.

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 Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble (Exploding In Your Mind): The Wizards of Oz - Various Artists (Warner)

MonstrousPsychedelicBubbleCan you define psychedelica? Behind punk, it’s probably the most over-used term in the musical genre lexicon. That won’t change with this sprawling two-disc exploration of Australian psych, past and present.

Mixing ‘60s and ‘70s tracks with contemporary ones is an approach that could have gone horribly wrong.The wonder of this is how well the old tracks blend seamlessly with the new. Compilers Gaz Cobain (aka The Amorphous Androgynous) and Brian Dougans have done a splendid job of unearthing lost, forgotten and current nuggets and the mastering is great. It’s the fourth edition in a global series.

A Whole Wide World of love for Rocket Man

wreckless zac bonnellWreckless Eric. Zac Bonnell photo. 

“I will never have anything said against that man!” Eric Goulden, aka Wreckless Eric, is waxing lyrical about a fellow traveller in the English rock’n’roll and pop scene.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Eric might be talking about the late Ian Dury, the iconoclastic poet-cum-musician who provided a rough template for Eric’s own career, or maybe one of the sundry punk rockers who attached themselves to Stiff Records around the same time Eric bounced into popular consciousness with the now classic "Whole World World". Maybe even Joe Strummer? Pete Shelley?

Ain't that cool? Another Aints show, supports announced

The Aints Play The Saints (’73-78) national tour in November led by Ed Kuepper and an all-star band is selling out all over so new shows have been announced.

The gig at Melbourne's Caravan Music Club has joined Sydney’'s The Factory Theatre as a pre-tour sell-out.  Limited tickets remain for the other Melbourne show (November 18 at the Corner Hotel) and all other shows in Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Due to demand, Sunday, November 26 has been set aside for a performance at Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast and tickets are on sale via aussieworld.com

Aussie troubadours take their brands of darkness on the road

plater live fawniaMichael Plater live. Fawnia photo. 

Now, there are a few of you out there who read The I-94 Bar regularly. You may have noticed I'm rather a fan of Australian musician/songwriters Michael Plater and Tim Hudspith.

Plater's music spans various indie, gothic folk, country and “noir” influences, and his first two albums “Exit Keys” (2012) and “Mythologies” (2016) have received worldwide critical acclaim. Hudspith plays guitar with  Goldentone, Colourhweel, The Low-Fi Cowboys, Death Valley PTA and Dead Eyed Seraphim and is a solo artist in his own right. 

This month Melbourne-based Plater and Adelaidian Hudspith (a Ballarat expat) will be touring select interstate venues with intertwining dates, plus some shows in their own right at the end. So, Sydneysiders, Brisvegas residents, Canbrites and Newkies, get out of the house. Dates are at the bottom of the article.  

I was hoping to see the two Sydney shows, but... as you know, Adelaide's electricity bills aren't what they used to be, so I had to content myself with doing an interview with both Plater and Hudspith..

Battles announce sideshows

Already confirmed for the 2016 Laneway Festival, Feel are now pleased to announce headline shows for Brooklyn based trio Battles. 

The idiosyncratic three-piece, featuring drummer John Stanier (The Mark Of Cain/Tomahawk), bassist and sonic manipulator Dave Konopka, and multi-instrumentalist Ian Williams, will bring the noise via new album “La Di Da Di” for sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne.

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.

Citadel to release special edition of Stems classic in time for Oz tour

violets are blue cover lgeTo coincide with The Stems’ 30th anniversary tour celebrating the release of their 1987 debut LP "At First Sight Violets are Blue", Citadel Records is re-issuing the long deleted album as a limited digipak edition CD on November 3.

The album has been digitally re-mastered and includes three bonus tracks. A vinyl reissue will see light of day early next year.

Originally released through Mushroom Records' off-shoot White Label, the album was first pressed in mid-1987. The title track and subsequent singles “For Always” and “Sad Girl” gained mainstream airplay – a big call for an underground band back then. The Stems influenced a host of new local bands playing '60s garage rock and roll.

Descendents descend down under

Descendents 2017

Back in Australia for the first time since 2012, punk rock pioneers Descdents are touring next month in support of their new album, “Hypercaffium Spazzinate”.

Many say that the Descendents invented pop punk. t. They perfected the warp-speed amalgam of adolescent angst, snotty attitude and championship melody infesting the airways today. They took a genre that was about spikes, chaos and anarchy, and brought it to earth, singing about girls, growing up and food.

Died Pretty adds Brisbane

Died Pretty have added a Brisbane date to their run of select club sideshows to go with their A Day On The Green commitments:

Friday 4th March, 2016
The Factory, Sydney NSW
Tix: Ticketek and SABO

Friday 11th March 2016
The Triffid, Brisbane QLD
Tix: http://tickets.thetriffid.com.au/?Event=57714

Friday 18th March, 2016
Max Watts (formerly The Hifi), Melbourne VIC
Tix: Oztix.com.au and Ticketscout

Dino Jr sells out Melbourne show, another goes on sale

Dinosaur Jr have sold out their Melbourne show just 24 hours after the on-sale. Feel Presents are pleased as punch to announce a second Melbourne show for the original power-trio: Saturday, January 21 at the Croxton Hotel and it's on sale here.

Elsewhere Dinosaur Jr tickets have got off to a great start with the tour set to be a national sell-out well ahead of time. For all your Dinosaur Jr ticketing needs and up-to-date news check in at http://www.feelpresents.com/

 

Eight Years of Moonlight – Tamam Shud (self released)

eight years moonlightThis is a mind-blowing album on several fronts.

Firstly, because Tamam Shud formed almost 50 years ago: and could be last Australian band still standing from the ‘60s (certainly from the alternative and underground.) I cannot think of anyone else. The album features two of the founding members, Lindsay Bjerre (vocals and guitar) and Peter Baron (bass) from 1967; and two more members who were there four years later, in Tim Gaze (guitar) and Nigel MaCara (drums) from the ”Morning of the Earth” soundtrack era.

Historically, Tamam Shud was the first Australian band to put out a an album full of original compositions when “Evolution” was released late in 1968: There is not one Australian band that I can think of with original members, from their heyday; that has come up with a new album nearly 50 years later so the release of this on vinyl is an historical event.

Electric Demon - The Deadvikings (Zodiac Killer Records)

electric demonThey might not be Japan’s most prolific rock and roll band but The Deadvikings’ two full-length albums each pack a considerable punch. This one dates from early in their 11-year history and delivers their Hellacopters style jams in spade-loads.

The Deadvikings toured last year’s “Libertatia” in Australia - well, in Sydney - and they're back in 2018, confusingly pushing their first CD from 10 years ago. Ours is not to reason why...

"Electric Demon" has some wayward moments (the ragged "The Ripper" and the low-key opening title track, which sounds underdone) but for the most part, it's surging high-energy rock songs. They're clearly in the thrall of the 'Copters and their Scandi Rock contemporaries, but this is hardly a bad thing when done right.

Ex-Pistol elicits miles of smiles

matlock adelaideMandy Tzaras photo.

Glen Matlock's Adelaide show was such a fine, big smile-stretched-across-the-face, hugely enjoyable gig. Not because of the association to THAT band, but because Glen is who he is, likes the kind of music he likes, and brings it into you. 

If you’re hesitating about whether to see this man’s gigs - don’t. 

Just go. 

Ex-Pistol locked and loaded for Australia-NZ shows

glenmatlock01Founding member of The Sex Pistols and Rich Kids and writer of hits “Pretty Vacant” and “God Save The Queen”, Glen Matlock is a musical legend and raconteur extraordinaire.

You'll see for yourself when he and his band hit Australasian shores in November, celebrating the 40th anniversary of “Never Mind The Bollocks”.

Matlock will be conducting exclusive Q&A's and playing Pistols classics and choice cuts of his own.

Matlock departed the Pistols as they hit their peak, leaving the way open for Sid Vicious to join. His next band, the Rich Kids, put out an influential album of the late ‘70s, “Ghosts Of Princes In Towers”.

Expat Masuak heads Aussie rock celebration

maz live in spainEurope might be getting a taste of a substantially reconfigured Radio Birdman this month but their former guitarist Chris Masuak isn’t standing still.

With a new album in the can (recorded with his band The Viveiro Wave Riders) the Spain-based Masuak is star attraction at a gig billed as “The Australian Rock Festival - The Legacy of Radio Birdman In Spain” on June 19.

Bar Flora Disco is the venue, in Masuak’s adopted home of Viveiro, and the gig will be shot for a forthcoming Birdman documentary by Australian filmmaker Jonathan Sequeira. Support will come from surf-punk outfit The Sonic Race.

First Lady of Soul is Oz-bound - and You Am I can't wait

pp arnold posterBest known for her beautiful and classic mid-to-late ‘60s hits including “The First Cut Is The Deepest”, “(If You Think You’re) Groovy” and “Angel of the Morning”, as well as the power chorus of the Small Faces’ iconic hit “Tin Soldier”, PP Arnold is set to undertake her first ever concert tour of Australia.

And she’ll be backed by a super group of super fans in Tim Rogers, Rusty Hopkinson and Andy Kent of You Am I, Talei Wolfgramm and James Black.

The Los Angeles teenager, who became London’s First Lady of Soul after hitting town in 1966 with Ike & Tina Turner and coming to the attention of Mick Jagger, is still going strong. And she’s once again at the right place in the right time, as she has been so often in a career that’s lasted over 50 years.

PP’s tour down under follows the release last year of “The Turning Tide”, an album of unreleased recordings from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, produced by both Barry Gibb and Eric Clapton. It cracked the UK Top 30 upon release, recently made the NZ iTunes Top 20, and has been the subject of many accolades and much airplay since its release.

Although this will be PP’s be first concert tour of these parts, she has previously performed here as a featured singer with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters in 2002 and 2008. In recent times she has also recorded with Primal Scream, Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller. She has a voice that other artists love to work with; her first duet was with Rod Stewart on a single produced by Mick Jagger, way back in ’67.

Front End Loader hits the road for release of seventh album

fel band portrait

They call themselves “Australia’s foremost proponents of Post Adult Complaint Rock” and they’re touring their new album with an extensive run of national dates.

Sydney’s Front End Loader have been a constant on the Australian music scene since 1991 and “Neutral Evil” is their seventh album. It’s described by by the band as “terrible music by terrible people about terrible things” and if it’s half as entertaining as the blurb promoting their tour, it’ll be a winner: