kc 2019TOP TEN GIGS 2019
Ashley King photo

It is always hard to cut it down to ten but here goes.

Ice Cream Hands supported by Bryan Estapa Band- Factory Floor, Sydney 
A great night of cleverly and carefully crafted power pop from Ice Cream Hands as Charles Jenkins and co bewitched us again with their sublime sounds. Support act Bryan Estapa Band were also a delight with their songs that owe a bit of a nod to high quality 70s AM radio sounds.

Charlotte and The Harlots/COFFIN/Turbobelco/Generation Landslide/Hy Test/Neptune Power Federation – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney
All killer no filler as this mighty bill saw each band up the ante and be better than the one before them. COFFIN and Neptune Power Federation were especially outstanding.

Thee Marshmallow Overcoat – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, Melbourne.
Ashley Naylor, Davey Lane and Brett Wolfie playing two sets of their favourites from the 60s and 70s. Do I need to say more?

Ice Cream Hands – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, Melbourne.
Oh yes, the night after Thee Marshmallow Overcoat, at the same venue. Bliss, heaven on a stick and a more sympathetic mix than was apparent at the Factory Floor show.

The Dark Clouds/Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers/Radio Birdman – Factory Theatre
The Dark Clouds showed why they are one of the best hard rock bands around but it was Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers who wowed the crowd with their set. Peppered with tracks from the Open Season album and select gems from Mick’s back catalogue they were the stars of the night. Radio Birdman also delivered a fine set and it was probably Rob Younger’s best vocal performance with RB for some time.

Masami’s New Rock Syndicate – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney 
Other than seeing him play as part of Penny Ikinger’s band a few years back, I was unfamiliar with Masami’s work. Wow. The first number was like a history of rock guitar, everything from surf twang n treble through chord crunch and psych to new noise. The rest of the set did not disappoint and having Dave Gray on bass to weave his fuzz magic was the perfect melodic combination. The surprise delight of the year.

Sedition- The Professors/Shy Impostors/Flaming Hands/The Aints – Paddington RSL
A great musical night featuring bands that originated in those far off 1970s, an era that was at the forefront of the Sedition festival. Again, it was one of those nights where each band went to a level above that of the one that played before them.

Charles Jenkins – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney
Yes, him again, this time solo, something he does very regularly in Melbourne. Fabulous, sublime, witty, wonderful.

Sue Telfer Tribute with X, New Christs, The Johnnys, Kim Salmon, The Cruel Sea (instrumental), Front End Loader, The Mis-Made, Penny Ikinger, The Holy Soul and The On and Ons– The Factory Theatre
A great night of music and memories dedicated to a very special and much loved person who did so much for so many. The saying ‘there was a lot of love in the room’ was never more apt.

Los Chicos – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney
The most fun you can have standing up! I do hope they return every year, as it is always party time from the minute they hit the stage.

Keith Claringbold is a Sydney live music stalwart who plays bass for The Smart Folk and The Amazing Woolloomooloosers. He is a former member of one of Sydney's first mod bands, Sets, and power poppers The Introverts.