mesmerisers - The I-94 Bar
Brian Mann and Mick Medew trading licks in Thirroul. Shona Ross photo.
Gonna break that rule about not reviewing I-94 Bar gigs, as the second of this two-night engagement was badged thus. If you can’t write about things you like, what’s the point? It’s the ethos of why we do this e-zine thing.
So let’s be up front and say that Mick Medew is a good mate and his band, The Mesmerisers, are lovely people. In customary evangelical spirit, I’m unashamedly going to tell you that if you love rock and roll then you have to see them - in their native Brisbane or on one of their few forays outside of Queensland.
The first leg of this two-night weekend stand was a support to the mighty Sunnyboys, opening a bill shared with the mercurial Ups & Downs. The venue was the magic Anita’s Theatre in Thirroul, an hour-and-a-bit south of Sydney. The second was a Sydney show at the increasingly familiar stamping ground of Marrickville Bowling Club. The Mesmerisers are making the road trip a family affair with partners and two offspring in tow.
In no special order:
1. The Damned at The Triffid, Brisbane, March 15
A school night: Wednesday. The Mesmerisers go on at 7.30pm to a packed house. We carve, the crowd makes us feel like they are there to see us. The Damned 's tour manager remarks that he has never encountered a support band being granted a bottle of Gordon's gin as part of their drink rider: another milestone ticked.
The Damned play for two-and-a-half hours - brilliantly. They are a big hit with the audience - and with Captain Sensible back in the band, they could hardly miss.
2. Perfect Match
Now I do know where she comes from: Banyo. I’ve got a Date with a Banyo girl, tonight.
3. Died Pretty, Radio Birdman and The Mesmerisers at The Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, June 23
The crowd have all turned up early and turn on to us straight away. Died Pretty get better every time I see them. They always were a fantastic band.
4. Perfect Purchase
My Zoom H5 portable recording device does everything i wanted it to.
5. Gap Farmers Markets, Brisbane, June 25
Andrew Ross and Co sure know how to put on a festival . We go on before dusk. I wear my sunglasses for half the set. Michael again chooses the right shirt for the occasion.
Radio Birdman is playing just two Australian shows this year - June 21 at The Factory Theatre in Sydney and June 22 at the Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle - and Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers are joining them for both.
East Coast Low complete the bill in Newcastle and The Dark Clouds join the Sydney line-up.
The support spots will be part of a busy year for Mick Medew and his band with their forthcoming album expected to be out in time for the shows.
Both gigs will sell out with tickets available from both venue websites.
Long regarded as one of Queensland rock and roll's most venerable singer-songwriters, Mick Medew is returning to a Sydney stage after a five-year absence with his band The Mesmerisers.
With one album ("The Mesmerisers") under their belt and another underway, Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers will play Marrickville Bowling Club on Saturday, February 24, with support from Loose Pills and The Dark Clouds. Tickets are on sale here.
The Sydney show has been added to follow a support to The Sunnyboys in Thirroul on February 23.
Vocalist-guitarist Medew is co-founder of the Screaming Tribesmen and more recently leader of Mick Medew and The Rumours, and he's been making a mark on Brisbane (and Australian) music for more than 30 years.
Originally a member of seminal inner-city Brisbane band The 31st, whose ranks included future members of the Hoodoo Gurus, the Hitmen and Died Pretty, Medew went on to front the Screaming Tribesmen, a band schooled in tough guitar rock overlaid with alternately hooky and plaintive melodies.
The Tribesmen outgrew their home town and moved to Sydney in the 1980s, becoming Australian independent music chart toppers with the classic single "Igloo".
The band lasted 16 years, signed to a US label, released three albums and toured North America and Europe (twice) before Mick moved home to Queensland and put them on hiatus in 1993. Reunions for tours followed in 2011 (Australia) and 2012 (Europe).
Ex-Screaming Tribesmen Mick Medew has been awarded the Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award by Queensland's peak music organisation, QMusic.
Mick received his honour at last night's Queensland Music Awards in Brisbane.
Previous recipients include the late GoBetweens member Grant McLennan, indigenous artist Kev Carmody, producer Mike Chapman, the Bee Gees, Railway Gin vocalist Carol Lloyd and Ed Kuepper of the Saints and solo fame.
This is a return to the record store racks (those that are left) for Mick Medew and one that's well overdue. His regular band The Rumours are still a going concern and this was conceived as a solo side project, but grew into a full-blown, plugged-in album with a new band. "The Mesmerisers" is a superbly rounded record.