julie mostyn - The I-94 Bar

All-star cast announced as rare Flaming Hands film-clip unearthed

Flaming Hands have announced their line-up, six weeks out from their Sedition Festival show at Paddington RSL on August 31, and it’s an all-star cast.

Founders Julie Mostyn-Gilbert (vocals) and Jeff Sullivan (acoustic guitar) will be joined by Cub Calloway (guitarist with the Saints, New Christs and Ed Kuepper and The Yard Goes On Forever), bassist Warwick Gilbert (Radio Birdman, Hitmen, The Rats), Barton Price (The Models) on drums, John Hoey (Died Pretty, New Christsw) on keys and Phil Hall (Sardine v, Drop Bears and Lime Spiders) on sax.

Coinciding with this news, a rare 35-year-old Flaming Hands clip for single “The Edge” has resurfaced online.

An act of Sedition to celebrate Sydney music's glory days

sedition posterSedition 2019 is a Celebration of Public Art and Protest in Sydney during the 1970s, running across various venues and spaces this August-September. To celebrate, Feel Presents have put together a live music component featuring some musical giants from Sydney’s fertile post-punk scene of the late 1970s.

Mark down Saturday, August 31 at Paddington RSL for a show by The Aints!, Flaming Hands, Shy Impostorsand The Professors. DJ Dr Rock with be providing the soundtrack between sets. Tickets go on-sale at 12 midday today here. 

Ed Kuepper needs little introduction; as a founding member of Brisbane world beating proto-punks The Saints - residents of Sydney for a short four months in Jan-April 1977 - and Sydney’s post-punk giants the Laughing Clowns (1979-1984) Kuepper is almost single handedly responsible for igniting two musical movements. 

The Aints! is a continuation of those both projects having lain dormant for some 35+ years but reignited with a passion in 2017 that has thus far seen the release of two full lengths albums, a mini-album and a series of scorching live shows.

Flaming Hands and Shy Impostors both sprung from the ashes of Sydney's exclusive Detroit scene headed by the pioneering Radio Birdman during their reign of 1974-1977.

It's Just That They've Missed You: Julie Mostyn on the return of the Flaming Hands

jeff and julie
Jeff Sullivan and Julie Mostyn.    Steve Teece photo

The dictionary defines serendipity as “a pleasant surprise” and it's a term that scientists working in medical research are fond of using.  It’s also at the heart of how the looming reformation of beloved Sydney band the Flaming Hands came about.

Singer Julie Mostyn is on the phone from the Coffs Harbour home she shares with husband Warwick Gilbert, onetime bassist and graphic artist for Radio Birdman. She clearly remembers serendipity’s intervention on that very same landline, late in 2016.

“It was one of those life-changing phone calls…one that shocks you out of something you’ve been trying to get out of for a while,” she recalls.

“It was a call from Peter Oxley of the Sunnyboys, and he said: ‘Would you consider reforming the Flaming Hands?’ And I thought for half a second and said: ‘Yeah, that’d be good’.”

Talk about timing. It was as good as any excuse for Julie to ditch her day job in a local bank and embark on what's not so much a career revival as a chance to revisit great times, renew old partnerships and - maybe - push the musical boat out just a little further.

More on that last point later. More immediately, it means Flaming Hands supporting the Sunnyboys at the Sydney show of their February Australian tour, with similarly reformed friends, Shy Impostors, opening the gig.

Flaming Hands were Sydney’s best soul and psych pop band, a potent and popular outfit based around Julie Mostyn’s passionate voice and guitarist Jeff Sullivan’s emotion-baring songs.