fixed up - The I-94 Bar
After almost a decade of hanging around the fringes of the Australian music business, Leadfinger are making their first trip to Europe to play a run of gigs this October.
The tour kicks off in Paris before zig zaging across France with support from locals Asphalt Touregs, who feature former Fixed Up singer/guitarist Francois Lebas.
After a layover in Switzerland to play Geneva and a spot of recording in southern Spain, the tour ends with a couple of gigs in Barcelona and Madrid with fellow Aussies, James McCann and the New Vindictives.
Leadfinger is one the best underground rock’n’roll bands in Australia right now.
Since forming in 2007, they have released five albums through various labels, including Spain’s Bang! Recordsand Australia's Citadel Records.
The most recent Leadfinger album, "Friday Night Heroes” - out through Conquest of Noise Records - was met with high praise as their best yet.
It’s a truism that many bands from Europe rock but don’t rock and roll. It’s not their fault, of course, it’s just a matter of cultural conditioning. Rock and roll is not their first musical language and the “high art” the place is steeped in suffocates that "low art", like any other form of musical expression, into submission.
So when you find a Continental band that “gets it”, you better latch on to them, tight.
Some of us are (ahem) old enough to remember a French band called Fixed Uo, who were on Sydney’s Citadel label, and made it to Australia to play and record in the mid 1980s. Rob Younger and Jim Dickson produced an album for them. Soulful garage rock was their stock in trade. They “got it”.
Their legacy was just two LPs and a stack of singles but Fixed Up’s punky and soulful garage rock touched people in their native France and all the way around to the other side of the world in Australia.
A lot’s been made about the Sydney-Detroit connection, mainly through Radio Birdman and its now fading local musical legacy. The irrefutable fact was that Birdman and its associated influences ruled the Sydney roost in the early 1980s. As true as that was, you can make a strong case for the affinity between Australia and France being almost as important, once the Sydney underground scene started to diversify and expand.
The Franco-Ausstralian link was made when John Needham, chief of seminal Sydney label Citadel Records, started dealing with the likes of Sonics Records in France. Suddenly, there was a pipeline for Australian bands to have their music heard on the Continent - meaning outside the UK where the perpetually jaded music press briefly adopted Aussie arty pop, junkie rock and the swamp sound for a time.