On the 40th anniversary of the release of The Saints classic album "(Im) Stranded", founding member, guitarist and songwriter Ed Kuepper will revisit the material performed by that seminal Australian band.
Originally spawned in the early '90s, The Aints sought to bring justice to the sound and attitude of the original Brisbane-based band, capturing their energy and iconic onstage presence.
The Aints Play The Saints (73-78) national tour in November led by Ed Kuepper and an all-star band is selling out all over so new shows have been announced.
The gig at Melbourne's Caravan Music Club has joined Sydney's The Factory Theatre as a pre-tour sell-out. Limited tickets remain for the other Melbourne show (November 18 at the Corner Hotel) and all other shows in Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Due to demand, Sunday, November 26 has been set aside for a performance at Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast and tickets are on sale via aussieworld.com
This year was returning to my childhood and gromit years - teenage times as well as inner-city music, alternative and garage rock, beer-soaked pubs and the alternative. Namely the Beatles, Midnight Oil and Patti Smith.
Patti Smith and Paul McCartney get the guernsey for the best gigs of the year. And for the same reasons. Both artists are incredible live and these final tours were a massive thank you to the fans…
1 Macca at Suncorp Brisbane
Sir Paul delivered on all fronts. With the most thoughtful visual show and a hit every minute over those three hours and ten minutes, it ranged from pure, four-on-the-floor garage rock with guitars sonically attacking to more mellow stuff.
From “I Want To Be Your Lover” which would have made the Stones sound like a get-together at a nursing home to “Helter Skelter”, to the bombastic, “Live And Let Die” which inflamed the stadium, the cheesy “Mull of Kintyre” with a 25-piece pipe band, to the solo acoustic moments with “Blackbird”, this was gold. Macca’s voice, his insights, wit and humility, and his guitar playing were magnificent; 42 songs played. I won’t forget it a hurry.
1 Patti Smith at the State Theatre and spoken word at Sydney Opera House
Another pair of gigs where Patti gave 300 percent. Patti engaged us with insights, stories and, as with Macca, showed a great deal of humility. The band, led by Lenny Kaye, at times still had the intensity of 1975 CBGBs Patti, yet with overtones of a grandmother and an earth mother.
Australian punk was never the widespread movement as it was in England, or parts of Europe, where for a time, it was mainstream. Unlike Australia. The Sex Pistols(unofficially) went to number-one with "God Save the Queen". The Clash , The Buzzcocks, The Jam and Stranglers consistently charted,alongside Elton John and Cliff Richard.
Kids in the UK sat glued to radio and listened to John Peel as a holy ritual. In the UK there was a certain set of circumstances that led to the rise of “Punk Rock” from the kids who saw Iggy, the Ramones, Patti Smith and Thunders live. Factor in brilliant (if accidental) marketers like Malcolm McLaren and their ilk. Mix in the fact that, in the grip of a serious economic recession, England was a depressing place. It all gave rise to a powerful and widespread movement.
The shadow of the original Saints looms large in most places where people give a toss about punk rock but Switzerland seems the most unlikely. Think Switzerland and banks, cuckoo clocks and expensive chocolate spring to mind before “Nights in Venice” but then you’ve probably never heard of The Goodbye Johnnys.
The Goodbye Johnnys are named after a Gun Club song and hail from Zurich but Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, (circa 1976) is their spiritual home. Their LP sounds a lot like the early Saints with less sonic leakage and a few rough edges filed off.
Bob Dylan once said: “I should have never been successful: I was a fluke” In other words: Music that I write and perform, historically speaking, has never had mass appeal, he explained.
I have to agree with that; art that is intelligent, at times challenging and thoughtful does not generally have mass appeal (with a few exceptions.) KISS, One Direction and The Eagles have all sold mega tonnes of albums. delivered in massive crates (along with packs of Cornflakes) to mega stores, and still play sold-out arenas.
Meanwhile, artists like Ed Kuepper are down the road performing in small clubs, releasing music on their own labels and playing in intimate settings to refined music geeks and fans who like to think about their music.
It was tiny clubs where you could go to see Coltrane, Mingus or, on another level, Dave Van Ronk. It is perfect that we can see Ed in these venues.
The Camelot Lounge is quite a special place. It is a decent live venue in Sydney. So much care and thought has placed into this venue, which also includes the downstairs Django Bar.
It’s like a well-manicured museum - right down to the camel obsession and the food announcements that mimic RSL clubland bingo calls.
“No 67 your pizza ready and that rhymes with heaven” is quaint, and annoying at the same time: that said the booze is a good price. Places like this are truly a godsend.
The King of Reinvention, Ed Kuepper, is at it again. The ex-Saints and sometime Laughing Clowns guitarist recorded his first truly solo album in the mid-‘90s – just himself myself and a couple of acoustic guitars.
Ed Kuepper. Photo by Richard Sharman of Blackshadow Photography.
Posted October 29, 2008: If the thought of re-convening the classic mid-'70s Saints line-up presents more problems than formulating a lasting Middle Eastern peace plan, the organisers of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival series must be among international diplomacy's canniest operators.
The improbable becomes reality in January 2009 when ATP establishes an Australian beachhead, with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds curating and the Saints a feature act.
Yes, you read right. The Saints. Not any old Saints or even The Aints. The Kuepper-Bailey Saints, fercrissake, will be part of a varied and eclectic line-up over three locations and four days.
Four decades after the release of his first record, the iconic Australian classic ''(I'm) Stranded'' by The Saints, Ed Kuepper returns with an album that may well be considered a high point in his lengthy and uncompromising career.
Recorded over three days in August at Gasworks Studio, Brisbane ''Lost Cities'' is Kuepper's 50th release (excluding compilations) and is on his own Prince Melon Records label. It is Ed’s first entirely solo and electric release, a format Herr Kuepper likes to refer to as Solo Orchestral.
Last night, Jim Dickson (of the New Christs et al) feigned fear of my venomous penmanship. As if I’d write a bad word about Jim! The trouble began when the Barman sent me a pile of his old rubbish over to review. It’s not my fault he needed someone to put the boot in. Besides, I just called it as I saw it. Now everyone thinks I’m out to do them in. Here’s a review to prove that you only need fear me if you produce crap. I will give you every chance to prove me wrong and I’ll admit it when you do.
To those who witnessed Ed Kuepper’s live shows last year in which he first aired this new crop of songs, we were set afloat in a dimly-set world and intimate setting.
Ed was sitting on his throne; his approach was self-absorbed, ambient and ethereal, yet focused. With the odd Scotch on the rocks being downed, Kuepper was in fine form.
“Second Winter” feels almost like a concept album. Those are familiar with Kuepper’s work since his solo debut of “Electrical Storm” of 1985 will find it all like a passage between the past and the shadows of previous melodies and phrases. It's rather haunting.
Even the cover of the record has captured the ambience of the front of his first solo album (also made with long term collaborator, drummer Mark Dawson.) This shot shows four identified figures leaving an entrance of a stone building.
For more than 40 years, Ed Kuepper has been creating music. Over that time, he's claimed a place as one of the most progressive and critically acclaimed singer-songwriters and guitar players to emerge from Australia.
Ed has been (mostly) in the shadows of the mainstream and has always forged his own path.
No-one sounds like Ed Kuepper.
I was about 12 when “I’m Stranded” blared from my television set. With a mouthfull of Milo and with my school bag thrown on the sofa, I raced over and turned the volume up of the old National 18-inch colour “telly”. I was blown away by the sound and the image. It was the afternoon show ABC ‘s Flashez that I recall and an interview followed with people who seemed like street urchins. It was explosive. These blokes – The Saints - were the real deal.
Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers famously played “rent parties” at the turn of the ‘70s when they’d finished living in the UK and were back home in New York City.
What proportion of the proceeds from their sporadic gigs went towards keeping a roof over their heads was purely speculative. There were other activities to feed and audience members used to throw loaded syringes onto the stage.
Things were a world removed at the Manning Bar in Sydney on Friday night, where the audience threw two bouquets of flowers at Ed Kuepper.
We’re drawing a very long bow here, I know. This was the first leg of a modest two-city run (the next one in Melbourne on March 23) by Ed’s band The Aints. Chances are, the most popular drug in the room was Lipitor. The objective here is not to pay the rent – shit, Ed Kuepper now has a Brisbane park named after him so he can always live on a bench there - but to fund new recordings.
If that’s not exciting news, you’re in the wrong bar.
"There is a lot of junk on the radio, take a look if you don’t know,” Ed Kuepper declares on the opening track of “The Return of The Mail Order Bridegroom”. The mood is reflective and stripped-back with the acoustic chords ringing in an underpinning soundscape.
Ed’s solo career over the last 30 years has been prolific, emerging from the dust and legacy of arguably one of the world’s great proto-punks bands, The Saints, who were way too cool and intelligent for Old Blighty, and continuing with the magnificent direction that that he took his music with Laughing Clowns.
The Saints (without Ed Kuepper, if you had to ask) will play three intimate, exclusive Australian shows at Melbourne’s Gasometer Hotel in October. Chris Bailey will be joined by early ‘80s drummer-turned-journalist, Iain Shedden, Pat Bourke on bass and You Am I’s Davey Lane on guitar.
Hitler’s reaction to the news is above. The dates are below and as the venue is quite intimate, bookings are recommended.
Wednesday 5 October – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Thursday 6 October – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Friday 7 October – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
For the better part of 2013-14, Ed Kuepper toured Australia performing his crowd-pleasing 'By Request' show in city centres and regional towns, culminating in a sold-out performance at the City Recital Hall for Sydney Festival with the Sydney Chamber Orchestra.
For his first tour of 2015, Kuepper will defy industry pre-conceptions by performing a set of largely new and as-yet-unrecorded material.
Dubbed the "Nostalgia For The New Tour", the run will include a three-week-mid-week residency in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with spin-off weekend shows in regional areas.
The new material is being workshopped with the intention of recording a new album of all new studio material before the end of the year. Fear not, diehard Saints/Laughing Clowns fans: with each show being upwards of two-hours long and without a support, the sets will include back-catalogue gems.
Want the short version? A collection of veteran, all-star Australian underground luminaries (and one bankable Hollywood star) make a thought-provoking and at times surprising album, packed full of solid songs.
You deserve better than that, and so does "Two Hundred Years". So try this: Playing "Two Hundred Years" is like digging through an attic full of relics and finding things you remember, and things you never found the first time.
Mainman Bruce “Cub” Callaway should require no introduction but a few of you may have been sleeping, so here goes: He’s a former member of The Saints (post-Ed) who toured Australia extensively in the early '80s with The Bard, Bailey, and his merry men.