The Beasts The Johnnys The Gov, Adelaide March 17, 2019 Photos by Alison Lea
It's the last night of the Adelaide Festival and the city centre is abandoned to the tourists, and no doubt some "end of festival" official shindig, doubtless adding anodyne "vibrancy" (one of Adelaide City Council's favourite buzzwords) to the joint.
Meanwhile, Adelaide's finest and most intelligent people are voting with their wallets and pile into the Gov, many having come from miles around. One bloke is here with his wife from Kangaroo Island (more expensive than a trip to Melbourne or Sydney); another bloke flew 300 miles to arrive at 4pm, with a return flight at 8am. There are many happy drunks.
Tonight was the most beautiful gig I've seen in years, if not ever. I cannot remember a more wonderful, cathartic experience.
In 2018 Alejandro Escovedo released "The Crossing", an album based on the story of two boys, one Mexican and one Italian, travelling across the United States. “I’ve always lived along the border in California and Texas, so it’s been part of my story,” Escovedo says. But while immigration is fundamental to the evolution of modern America, in recent years it’s has become a hot political topic.
(To accentuate the point, a few hours before my interview with Escovedo, US President Donald Trump invoked emergency powers to secure the funds to continue the building of his border wall between Mexico and the United States.)
Escovedo didn’t set out to write a political album; it’s just that “whenever you talk about immigration at this time it tends to be political because of what’s going on in America”.
High-energy veterans Senor No from Basque Country (don't call it Spain) are embarking on their first Australian tour this month but their Anipoddean connection already runs deep.
Senor No was born in Donostia/San Sebastian, Basque Country in 1993, after the dissolution of the seminal Spanish group La Perrera. The band released their first LP with No Tomorrow Records in 1994 and toured Spain and surrounding areas relentlessly while recording five more albums and more than a dozen singles.
Senor No was the very first release for the seminal Spanish label Bang! Records which is a label responsible of releasing some of Australian best bands overseas.
Jello-less since 2001, the Dead Kennedys are bringing their brand of seminal punk back to Australian audiences, 25 years since they first hit our shores and th first time since 2014.
The band - these days that's East Bay Ray, D.H. Peligro, Klaus Flouride and singer Skip McSkipster - is doing a quick hit-and-run of four shows in a week.
The Dead Kennedys had a huge impact in Australia in the 1980s. Their albums - “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables”, “In God We Trust, Inc”, “Plastic Surgery Disasters”, “Frankenchrist” and “Bedtime for Democracy” – sold by the thousand at a time when punk had yet to break into the mainstream, and kept selling big numbers for decades.
The long-awaited “The Church of Simultaneous Existence” album from Ed Kuepper and his Aints! Is almost upon us, with a September 21 release date announced for CD, LP and digital formats. The album will be accompanied by an Australian tour taking in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and WA over October-November, culminating in a show at the Meredith Music Festival on December 7.
This version of the Aints! differs from previous ones in its focus on not only revisiting the material of the original Saints but mining a well of woodshedded songs intended for what would have been that band’s fourth LP.
The great Alejandro Escovedo (The Nuns, solo) is coming to Australia and New Zealsnd in March and two more Aussie shows have been announced. He’s doing extra gigs at Brisbane’s Junk Bar (early and late shows) and the Camelot Lounge in Sydney. What’s more, he’ll be accompanied on guitar by Tim Rogers of You Am I.
Escovedo's new album "The Crossing" features goes spots by James Williamson (Iggy and the Stooges) and Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys.) His Australasian tour is stripped-down but the clip below gives you an idea of the power of the man's music. Full dates and ticketing information in the Read More link.
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:
Rose Tattoo’s "Never Too Loud", released in 1997 through Repertoire Records in Germany, was a compilation spanning the band's career at the time. Now, 22 years on, the Hard-Ons join Rose Tattoo on their "Still Never Too Loud" tour heading out across Australia in March, April and May.
Thirty-five years since their formation, the Hard-Ons have amassed an unprecedented and never-to-be-paralleled 17 consecutive number-one releases on the Australian alternative charts, making them one of Australia’s most commercially successful independent bands. Their cult following extends into Europe and the UK, and as of 2019, their brand of unapologetic punk rock has never sounded better.
The band are fresh out of the studio having just finished recording their 12th studio album due to be released later this year.
Angry Anderson’s Rose Tattoo recruits, considered some of the best in the business, comprise legendary bass player extraordinaire Mark Evans of AC/DC fame, iconic guitarist Bob Spencer of The Angels & Skyhooks, as well as unbelievably talented maestro of rock mayhem, Dai Pritchard.
Rose Tattoo hit the high seas on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise out of Miami in late February and headed straight into the recording studios in March.
STILL NEVER TOO LOUD Friday 29th March 2019 - Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW Saturday 30th March 2019 - Waves, Wollongong NSW Friday 5th April 2019 - Shoppingtown Hotel, Doncaster VIC Saturday 6th April 2019 - Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights VIC Friday 12th April 2019 - The Gov, Adelaide SA Saturday 13th April 2019 - Capitol, Perth WA Friday 26th April 2019 - The Triffid, Brisbane QLD Saturday 27th April 2019 - Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta QLD Friday 3rd May 2019 - Diggers, Ettalong NSW Saturday 4th May 2019 - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW Tickets from rosetattoo.com.au
Japan’s The Deadvikings return to claim their stake and expand their domination over Sydney this week with their ultimate heavy protopunk.
Their four-day Japanese invasion - their second in a year - starts at The Old Manly Boatshed on September 27 with locals Tshatki and 4 Barrel Hemi. Entry is free.
Day 2 (September 28) sees a foray in to new territory via Paddington's Captain Cook Hotel sharing the helm with goth rockers RK Ally, Black Knuckles and Black Heart Breakers. Entry is $10 at th door.
The third gig is a return to iconic inner west venue The Townie at Newtown on September 29, with Eightball Junkies and BUNT.Free entry.
Day 4 peaks at the empyrean of Sunday venues, Frankie's Pizza, in the CBD on September 30 with Stu G's Cloak & Dagger kicking off followed by cosmic sludge monarchs Lord Dodongo and US trio BOYTOY, making their Aussie debut. No cover charge.
It's easy to forget just how good the Jesus and Mary Chain actually are; how many drop dead classic songs they have recorded. Then, on a Thursday night at the Sydney Opera House (no less), they ram a shit ton of their greatest hits down our throats and they still leave out a huge chunk of back catalogue just to spite you.
They make it look easy. But being this damn good is not easy.
Ex-Ramones and Voidoids drummer, author and sc-fi fan Marky Ramone starts his first Australian tour in almost a decade this week. Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg reprises the back catalogue of the Ramones with Marky driving the backbeat behind a crew of hand-picked punk rock players.
Pete Howlett of Adelaide band The Pro-Tools was given the chance to pitch him 10 questions. Here's the result.
In the middle of 1968 The Pretty Things were seated in a conference room with EMI executives and production engineer Norman Smith at EMI’s corporate headquarters in Manchester Square, London. The Pretty Things were presenting their new album, and their first with EMI, a concept album based around the story of a fictional character by the name of Sebastian F Sorrow: SF Sorrow.
Standing at a lectern in the conference room, Smith, in-house engineer at Abbey Road studios where the album was recorded, read snippets from the story before the corresponding song on the album was played. But it was apparently immediately that the corporate stiffs had no empathy for The Pretty Things’ ground-breaking album.
“They’re all sitting there in their suits, looking a bit bemused,” recalls singer Phil May. “We weren’t sure how well it went down, so the next morning I get a phone call. Because we were going to have both the story and the lyrics on the cover, they rang me and asked me I really thought the story was important enough to print on the cover. I was gobsmacked. Why did we read it to them? What was the point of that whole exercise, and now you’re asking me ‘Was it important?’ Imagine if it came out with the story – it would have been really confusing! What the bloody hell is going on?”
Vic Conrad's band The First Third has a drummer who plays hard and owns the kit, a guitarist who knows how to dance in and out of a tune, a bass player who, like Vic, runs a record shop.
Vic himself sings, plays guitar and two keys. They're really damn good. Sixties structures sieved through to now. Apparently they'll have a new CD out soon.
But I'm here to see the Pretty Things.
As I left, the two original members and one of the more recent recruits were answering questions and signing merch, while the bassist and drummer were chatting at the exit with assorted fans. This is a band who are comfortable with their crowd. Because, to them, they're not that far removed.
Let's get rid of the "original members" thing. Like a lot of bands who came up through the R & B scene in the 1960s in England, not only was their lineup not always been stable, some of the band were linked to the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd and god knows who else.
Phil May, the vocalist (looks a bit like a movie star) and one of the band's songwriters, is one of the two members who've stayed the distance. The other is the incomparable guitarist Dick Taylor, picured right.
Iconic first wave British R&B and psychedelic cult heroes, The Pretty Things, will perform some of their final live performances in Australia in October.
The band has announced it will cease playing electric shows with a final hurrah in London on December 13, with special guests Special Guests David Gilmour, Van Morrison and Bill Nighy. Securign the Pretties for a run through Australia is a coup for promoter David Roy Williams.
Tickets are on sale from 10am (AEST) on Friday here.
Wednesday 3rd October - Sydney, FactoryTheatre + Tumbleweed + DJ Owen Penglis Thursday 4th October - Brisbane, The Zoo + Golden Age of Ballooning Saturday 6th October - Melbourne, Thornbury Theatre + Sand Pebbles + The Electric Guitars Sunday 7th October - Melbourne, Caravan Club + The Breadmakers Wednesday 10th October - Geelong, Barwon Club + The Living Eyes Friday 12th October - Melbourne, The Tote + The Living Eyes + Banagun Saturday 13th October - Adelaide, Fowlers Live + Somnium Sunday 14th October - Perth, The Charles Hotel
Radio Birdman is playing a limited number of Australian East Coast shows over two weekends this September/October, before heading off for a 22 date tour of Europe.
The Australian run will coincide with the release of "Descent into the Maelstrom”, the Jonathan Sequeira-produced documentary dealing with the band's rise and demise in the late 70's and later re-emergence.
The documentary has received great attention at various film festivals in London, Glasgow, Norway, Amsterdam and Detroit and is now scheduled for local release on DVD with bonus content this September.
It will be available at the band's shows, online and via discerning retail outlets.
Supports on this tour will include Adalita (Melbourne), Brisbane's Hits (Brisbane and Sydney) and all shows will feature special guests from Spain Los Chicos.
RADIO BIRDMAN AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2018 SEPT 27 - Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne + Adalita + Los Chicos 28 - The Triffid, Brisbane + Hits + Los Chicos 30 - The Gov, Adelaide + Los Chicos + The Sunday Reeds OCT 6 - Manning Bar, Sydney + Hits + Los Chicos + DJ Frank Cotterell
Tickets for all shows are on sale from Wednesday. June fromOztix.
Tickets for the previously announced Radio Birdman Sydney Manning Bar show on Saturday, October 6 are selling fast, with a sell out expected. The band has announced a second show at the same venue on Friday, October 5 and tickets are on sale here.
Radio Birdman is doing a limited number of Australian East Coast shows over two weekends this coming September/October before heading off for a 22-date tour of Europe. Supports on the Australian tour will include Adalita (Melbourne), Brisbane's HITS (Brisbane and Sydney) and all shows will feature special guests from Spain, Los Chicos.
Last year's Australian tour with co-headliner Died Pretty was surrounded by the buzz of the limited cinema release of "Descent into the Maelstrom", the Jonathan Sequeira-produced documentary about Radio Bifrdman. The local release on DVD with bonus content will coincide with the tour with a special edition available at the band's shows.
The Stems, Perth's most popular and iconic 80s garage rock band, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the release of their classic debut album "At First Sight Violets are Blue" with a successful all Australian capital cities tour in November 2017. To coincide with the tour, "At First Sight Violets are Blue" was reissued as a limited edition tour CD.
The tour garnered enough interest in Europe for Spain’s Fuzzville Festival to make an offer for them to appear at the festival. More shows naturally followed and the band are now set to embark for a three week European tour over April/May which will cover Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and the UK.
The UK leg includes a show at London's historic 100 Club.
Primal Scream is back in Australia for the first time in six years this month, on the back of recent albums "More Light" (2013) and "Chaosmosis" (2016) but focussing on their 30-year back catalogue.
Co-founding member and guitarist ANDREW INNES spoke to the I-94 Bar's EARL O'NEILL this week and expounded on a handful of topics that are close to his heart...
My First Records
My mum used to come home with a big pile of seven-inch singles that were a bit beaten up. I think they were ex-jukebox; all sorts of things, Beatles and Stones but strange country and western records, comedy records...so I was exposed to wide spectrum of music. Apparently before I could read I could tell which song it was by the colour of the label and the shape of the words.