Top Tens for 2022: Dylan Webster of the Yassville Skyline radio show and The Howlin' Threads
1. Do The Pop! Festival, October 2022 - Port Campbell, VIC.
One of the best rock n roll experiences I’ve had since the glory days of the Big Day Out in early-to-mid-1990s. A good sized, easy going crowd, all (mostly) attending for two good reasons: beer and rock 'n' roll. An exceptional line-up featuring a range of established and up-and-coming bands. Big thanks to Mick Simpson of Grindhouse and friends for organising what will go down as one the great inaugural festival events. No question this is my Number One pick for 2022.
2. Howlin’ Threads EP "Of The Sea" (Meinshaft Records)
It was great to self-release this 4 x track EP featuring contributions from a wicked array of Australian rock n roll legends, including Penny Ikinger (Wet Taxis) on vocals, Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) and Kent Steedman (Celibate Rifles) on lead guitar, James McCann (Harpoon) on slide and harmonica, and Brent Williams (New Christs) on keys. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to work with all these amazing people. For those keen to own one, a few Deniz Tek autographed copies are available here.
3. Execution Days – A Celebration of the Life and Music of Spencer P Jones. The Tote, April 2022.
An amazing event featuring SPJ friends, collaborators and Melbourne-based musicians… all coming together for one great night of music. Big thanks to key organisers Helen Cattanach (Moler) and James McCann.
4. Deniz Tek – LP “Long Before Day”.
It is great that Deniz Tek is still releasing cool records … and this one is a killer. For posterity, I invited Deniz to co-host the Yassville Skyline show on YASS-FM in June as an opportunity to hear Deniz introduce each track and give some insights into the recording process. . For those interested in Deniz Tek’s solo work, it was also a privilege to recently interview him with Art and Steve Godoy about their collaborations and music. Go here to listen.
5. The SPJ Biography by Patrick Emery (full title: "Execution Days – The Life and Times of Spencer P Jones").
A great read, revealing so much of SPJ’s life story that I was unaware of. A meticulously researched book.
6. RADIO KSG (the Kent Steedman Group).
I’m missing the Celibate Rifles like everyone else. It is still a huge adjustment to realise ya can’t simply go and see the Rifles regularly anymore. I had the opportunity to have a very lengthy chat about all of this with Kent recently, and was able to ask a whole bunch of stuff.. ranging from Damo The Musical, the Turgid Miasma of Existence recording sessions, his time with The Hydromatics (featuring one of my heroes, Scott Morgan from Sonic’s Rendezvous Band) and of course we discussed Kent’s solo work. It has been edited it down to 2 x 1 hour episodes and available here.
7. JJ McCann Transmission LP “Hit With Love” (unreleased.. yet).
I get to double dip here, and if asked, this new album from James McCann (Harpoon) will almost certainly feature in my Top 10 for 2023 too. I had the opportunity to check out the JJ McCann Transmission live a few times this year and they’re red hot. One of the highlights of the recent Do The Pop festival, this band kills it live. I’m lucky to have been given early access to the 12 x new Rob Younger-produced songs on the record and I can assure you it is dynamite. Can’t wait to hear it on vinyl.
8. Penny Ikinger, live.
I was fortunate to see Penny play live a few times this year. Brilliant each performance, a great band too. Penny’s version of "Bad Revisited" at the SPJ show was cool, as was her set at Do The Pop. NSW fans turned out in droves to see Penny’s recent tour a few months ago, and I really enjoyed her set at the Servo in Wollongong (sharing the bill with Leadfinger). I tend to do a lot of hours behind the wheel to see Penny perform, so her Citadel Records released LP "Penelope" has really copped a work out this year.
9. Richard Burgman /Sunnyboys interview.
I’ve been listening to Sunnyboys since I was 9, so it was pretty surreal to get the opportunity to chat with Sunnyboys guitarist Richard Burgman for a few hours. I acknowledge that I’m an absolute hack when it comes to interviewing. I’m not trained, it is all pretty much unscripted and informal.. and.. this was my first ever interview. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed finally meeting and talking with Richard, he was so open and happy to delve into some of the less covered aspects of the band’s history. If anyone hasn’t heard Richard’s (1979-80) band Shy Imposters yet, then this interview provides a good intro. What an amazing group. Brilliant. Check out the Citadel website to get a CD copy ASAP. A must have.
10. The New Christs, live at Do The Pop, Port Campbell October 2022.
So many great bands on the bill. But, it’s kind of implied that the headline act for a "Do The Pop’"titled festival is the New Christs. Right? As the ‘night descended and daylight ended’ … the band hit the main stage and killed it. A bit of rain and wind didn’t dampen crowd enthusiasm. A solid set, sounded great. Get out and enjoy 'em while you still can, while they are still playing live and still putting on amazing live shows. I don’t want to imagine a world where I can’t see the NCs regularly.
Yassville Skyline Radio in 2022: I had the privilege of meeting and working with so many amazing rock 'n' roll people this year… Australian legends like Dom Mariani (The Stems), Richie (Tumbleweed) and Mick Medew (Screaming Tribesmen), USA-based stars including Matt Bischoff (The Fluid), and amazing up-and-coming bands like Persecution Blues and The Prize (Melbourne). Best of luck to Chimers for 2023... big things coming their way.. Whether it has been through my own recordings, arranging radio airplay for like-minded bands, or through Zoom chat interviews… all of it has sustained my insatiable appetite for real rock 'n' roll. To everyone who has shared their own music for radio airplay, who participated in or listened to the interviews, who contributed to the program (yes, sharing and liking social posts definitely counts!), or who supported my band Howlin’ Threads by buying our music – THANK YOU.
Dylan Webster hosts "Yassville Skyline" on YASS-FM in New South Wales on Saturday nights from 7-9pm (AEST) and plays guitar in the Howlin' Threads.