conway savage - The I-94 Bar

BARFLY TOP TEN: James McCann of James McCann and the New Vindictives

james mccann emmy etie2018? This year all blurs into one for me , like being a passenger down the river with the occasional stop off to play, talk, refuel and get back on and cruise.

The cruise hasn't been steady, it's been rocky. More than any other time - or for some time.

The boat feels like it lost i's rudder and all the Generals on the field are nowhere to be seen; what would they say, what would they want us to do? I think we all know the answer to that.

So, here is my attempt to make neither head nor tail of the year 2018 so far...

Collaborators and friends give Brian Hooper's posthumous album a St KIlda welcome

brian hooper charlie marshallIt was the sort of rock’n’roll crowd you would have expected to find in St Kilda. Weathered old punks, redoubtable rock dogs, wandering spirits from a bygone era. Lots of black, some punk rock bling, a room full of fading memories of lost nights and wasted days.

And so much love. Love for rock’n’roll, and love for the late Brian Hooper, whose new album, "What Would I Know?" was being launched, with a cast of his loyal friends and rock’n’roll family.

The obligatory "I missed the opening act" apology: It’s a long hike across town by public transport, especially when there’s a connecting bike ride in there as well. The fact that my household was engrossed in a compelling episode of "Peaky Blinders" rendered it inappropriate for me to spirit out of the place in time to see Joel Silbersher and Charlie Owen revive their Tendrils project.

Serendipitously, but sadly, the last time Tendrils appeared on stage was at Brian’s fundraising gig. Everyone I spoke to said it was, as always, memorable. Hopefully next time Tendrils play it will be free from the spectre of tragedy.

Vale Bad Seeds keyboardist Conway Savage

conway savage carbieLongtime Bad Seeds pianist Conway Savage has passed away, aged 58. Close friends confirmed his passing on Facebook.

The Melbourne-based former Feral Dinosaurs and Happy Orphans member joined Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in 1990 and had been a fixture until last year’s US tour when illness forced him to step down. Savage was operated on for brain cancer and is understood to have been in care recently.

He guested on many albums by the likes of ex-GoBetween Robert Forster, Kim Salmon, Dave Graney, former Triffids member David McComb and Spencer P. Jones.

Savage has a string of solo releases and collaborations to his credit. His most recent EP was 2010’s “Pussy’s Bow”.

Carbie Warbie photo