sue telfer - The I-94 Bar

2019 Barfly Top Ten: Bob Blunt

bob blunt 2019You want me to write a year in reflection? Well, where and how to start? I will bang on these keys and most likely bang on in my usual stoic warm way.

Mind you, I rarely write about music these days. I look back and reflect on the shit I once wrote and it seems all so naïve, sycophantic almost. But here’s a try and since it’s not the 10 best gigs, nor the 10 best recordings, I have license to mix it up.

Best thing that happened – helping out with the band bookings at MoshPit, a small unpretentious little bar down the south end of King St which now fits 120 people. Yes, it’s small, and don’t go there if you feel paranoid or claustrophobic as you’ll probably hate it. But, in the vein of CBGB’s in NYC, Frenches which was on Oxford Street (Darlinghurst) the Old Bar in Melbourne, and its local counterpart Midnight Special in Enmore, this place oozes fun.

Where else can you put on your favourite bands and liken it to your best ever lounge-room party. There’s a whole range of yummy booze, great staff, the co-owners Pat n Wax, + two sound people who know what they’re doing within limitations. Nunchukka Superfly, Thee Evil Twin, Face Command, White Knuckle Fever and Los Monaros are just some of the great local acts that graced there in 2019. We was lucky and their goodwill was priceless. Sydney needs venues like these so in my unbiased best, please support.

Best things I listened to – newish stuff from Pallet, Small Town Incident, White Knuckle Fever, Sounds Like Winter, Syntax Error, Joseph Leonard, Wreckless Enterprise Recordings volume 1 and 2 – compilations featuring Dirty Slutz, Babymachine, Leftards, Minor Surgery, Space Bozzies, Bitchcraft, Piss to Eme.

2019 Barfly Top Ten: Chris Virtue

chris virtue 20192019 was first year for a while that I wasn’t doing a radio show and being in Canberra for work, I felt I was little bit out of the loop. Nonetheless, it was another memorable rock ‘n’ roll year and here’s my top10 in no particular order.

Kim Volkman and the Whiskey Priests at Marrickville Bowlo in Sydney
This took me back to when I first started seeing bands in Melbourne in the mid ’70s. It was no-nonsense loud rock. Two really good guitarists on top of a solid rhythm section. I loved how the band occupied half the stage and hardly broke formation through the gig. The record’s pretty good, too.

Sue Telfer Tribute in Sydney
It was really sad to lose Sue. She was seriously special and it was great to see so many people come out and so many good bands turn it on. All the bands I saw were great with X as a four piece the standout. I reckon it was the best gig I’ve seen Steve Lucas do.

2019 Barfly Top Ten: Tamara Bell

tammy 20191. Lookin’ 20p In the 10p Mix
SLEAFORD MODS ARE COMING in 2020!!!!!
Please, I don’t want to argue with you.
All disparaging feedback please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. New Rock Syndicate
Masami Kawaguchi from Tokyo graced us with his stunning soul again this year. Please refer to everything Penny Ikinger said in her Top 10. This gentleman is the most startling, perfect and inspiring guitarist I have ever seen and a true darling of a human being. Eternally grateful to have met him. Look at anything he has done, please. You’re welcome.

3. The Kids Are Alright
You know when you’re 32 and you think rocknroll has probably hit its comfortable slippers and pipe phase, and will be unlikely to return to what you’ve felt it to be in your life. Then you get to 39 etc. and realise ashamedly that you were very wrong. About most things, pretty much everything - it is an experience that spans generations, and is one of the many joys of ageing.

So many “young people” (definition pending, vomit pooling in throat) made music that blew my tiny mind out of my ears this year. Please pay attention to a band called Cable Ties, and one called Stiff Richards. Important, incendiary, vital, nasty, gorgeous, respectful, clumsy, intricate, hot, cold and wild. You may select which adjective attaches to which band yourself - like a choose your own adventure! God, this one has been bloody ridiculous, I’m sorry and you’re welcome.

A Festival of Sue tickets go on sale

festival of sueTickets for The Festival of Sue, the tribute to late Sydney music booker Sue Telfer, are now on sale here.

X, the New Christs, The Johnnys, Kim Salmon, Front End Loader, The Mis-Made, Penny Ikinger, The Holy Soul and The On and Ons have been announced in the first wave of bands on the bill.

Proceeds from the October 20 show - featuring a dozen bands over two stages at The Factory Theatre in Marrickville, Sydney - will go to Support Act, the charity for music industry members who have fallen on hard times.

It's a dazzling line-up with more names to be added and will run from 2-10pm. It will sell-out so don;t delay.  

Sydney music champion Sue Telfer to be celebrated by all-star line-up

sue telfer

Friends of Sydney music scene legend Sue Telfer have banded together to assemble a line-up of bands to pay tribute to this much-loved lady at The Factory Theatre in Marrickville on Sunday, October 20. Over eight hours and two stages, a line-up that includes X, the New Christs, The Johnnys, Kim Salmon, Front End Loader will crank up the volume for Sue.

Sydney’s live scene suffered a monumental blow in June when long-time administrator, venue booker, confidante and den mother to countless bands, Sue Telfer, passed away suddenly at her Sydney home.

Sue grew up in in the halcyon days of Sydney’s inner-city scene of the 1980s. A employee of musicians’ rights organisation APRA-AMCOS for 32 years, Sue was around Surry Hills’ vibrant music pubs and clubs for even longer, most notably as the long-time booker for its legendary Excelsior Hotel.

Vale Sue Telfer, Sydney music icon

sue telfer
Michelle Fabok photo

Sydney’s live music scene suffered a body-blow last week when much-loved and long-time live music booker, musicians’ rights advocate and den mother to countless bands, Sue Telfer, passed away.

Sue had been conspicuously absent from a Deniz Tek acoustic gig she’d booked at Sydney’s Golden Barley Hotel last Tuesday night. Her employer, APRA AMCOS (the Australasian Performing Right Association and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society), raised the alarm when she failed to log-on remotely for work.

Police attended Sue’s inner-city unit and found her. There were no suspicious circumstances.