2020 Barfly Top Ten: Peter "Blackie" Black

blackie pony 2PETER “BLACKIE” BLACK
Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superfly guitarist and solo artist
Sydney, Australia

My "top ten" is a mess and i know some of the records i'm yakking about, i only got this year. OK? Sometimes, ya gotta play catch up, 

1. Canine – “In Dog Years Ya Dead”
Came out last year but i only scored it half way thru this year…really progressive in parts, top notch! And at the same time i brought Concrete Lawn’s “Aggregate”. Saw ‘em live and thought, "Fuck yea". Played the record and thought "FUCK YEA!" The singer Maddiso sounds like Cal from “Grave New World”-era Discharge.. ..there's no complaints from me :-)

2. Dead – “Raving Drooling”
HUGE actually they sound slicker yet heavier than ever before.. love it.

3. Some killer sludge from both Lucifungus – “Derek” (check out the track “Quintro”) and Witch Skull's third album, “A Driftwood Cross” \\m/

4. Rivers Of Snake – “Sleight of Hand”
Go straight to track two “Black and Gold”…then you may start the album again.

5. Owen Guns – “Violating Community Standards”
Remind me of the wonderful Aussie punkers, Rocks.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Dylan Webster

dylan webster 2020DYLAN WEBSTER
Guitarist, Howlin' Threads and ex-The Fools
YASS-FM broadcaster
Yass, Australia


1. It’s great to see that Stew "Leadfinger" Cunningham of Leadfinger is recovering well from cancer and getting back into rock n roll with an album recorded. Thankful also to see that the New Christs emerged from lockdown (much appreciation to Dave Curley for the great live footage!). Tumbleweed’s blistering return to earth with killer new material is cool. Plus, Covid restrictions has often meant enjoying bands vicariously through images/video, so a big thank you to the great work of photographers like Matt Houston, Kaza Black and Keith Claringbold who allow us all to enjoy live shows.

2. 2020 did a good job scuttling so many gigs and opportunities that bands need to promote new music. Despite this setback, Howlin’ Threads pressed on and released a new EP and a separate follow up 7” vinyl single ("Edge on the World") this year. It was a real privilege to have Lenny Curley (Tumbleweed/Pink Fits) contribute lead guitar to our recording of "Professional Againster"; a feature track on a European compilation tribute to the New Bomb Turks (release Feb 2021). And, working with Cub Callaway (ex-Saints) is always a pleasure. Howlin’ Threads CDs, vinyl, digital downloads can be ordered via Bandcamp.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Keith Claringbold

kc 2020KEITH CLARINGBOLD
Bassist - The Smart Folk, The Amazing Woolloomoolloosers
Inveterate live streamer of gigs
Sydney, Australia 

2020 Top Ten

1.) Sunnyboys warm up gig, The Pink Fits in support at the Factory Floor in Sydney 
A big thank you to Steve Teece for tipping me off about this one. That sound, those songs, up close! The Pink Fits were great too.

2.) Nunchuka Superfly/Bitchcraft/White Knuckle Fever/Baby Machine/Beijing Bikini – Marrickville Bowling Club
As someone said to me, ”so great to see so many women on and off stage”.

3.) PopBoomerang night- Ups and Downs/Halfway/ The Aerial Maps – Marrickville Bowling Club
|A full house at the Bowlo.  Halfway had one of the best live sounds I’ve ever encountered. Ups and Downs the icing on the cake.

4.) The Schizophonics/The Fangin' Felines/The Drop Offs- Marrickville Bowling Club.
Exciting garagey fun. The Drop Offs twin drum attack! The family that drums together. This was the last gig before the Covid-19 Sydney lockdown.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Ron Brown from Dimboola

ron brown 2020RON BROWN
I-94 Bar correspondent from Dimboola in The Outback, Australia

Hello Barflies. It’s been a shitty year. No gigs in this year's Top Ten but the Farmhouse has still been rocking

10. The Stooges - "Live At Goose Lake"
After all the stories about Dave Alexander's bass playing at this gig being horrible and Iggy sacking him is now put to rest it. Better than they said.

9 .Deniz Tek & James Williamson  - "Two For One"
When two guitar greats join forces, one would expect it to be good. And it is.

8, The Casanovas - "Reptilian Overlord"
The Casanovas
have released another fabulous record full of big riffs.

7. Mick Medew -   "Psychopharmacologist"
The songs and vocals are brilliant, and also thanks for the Sunday streaming sessions with Miss Border Collie.

6. AC/DC - "Power Up"
They’re back with their best album in years - a true tribute to a lost brother.

5. Drop Kick Murphys – live stream
The DKM did a wonderful live stream from Finway Park , spectacular sound and songs.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Graham Hood of The Johnnys

hoody 1978GRAHAM HOOD
The Johnnys, Allniters, The Troughmen, The Cool Charmers, The Normals et al
"10 Highlights of my Punk pilgrimage across America"

1. In late 1978 I was naïve, wide eyed and bushy tailed, 20 years of age and full of beans, myself and two companions left Auckland, NZ and headed to LA on our mighty search for Punk Rock. There was a bunch of funky Afro American dudes on the flight in the seats in front of us, they kept hanging over the back of the seats and enquiring if we were punk rock? I said well we are punk rockers if that’s what you mean, they were very keen to find out about us and the music and kept buying us drinks – turned out they were Andrea True Connections' backing band heading home from Australia. After a several drinks we were all singing "More More More how do you like it, how do you like it"! Much to the chagrin of our fellow travellers.

2. Arriving in LA, the enormity of the place dawned on me . Our hotel downtown was really scary; we huddled in a corner of the room all night and listened to the fighting going on in the corridor whilst watching the door handle going up and down as the door was being tried. We moved to Hollywood the next day to a Motel 6 - equally as dodgy.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Matt Ryan of Munster Times

matt ryan 2020Zo Damage photo

MATT RYAN
Editor - Munster Times zine
Melbourne, Australia

Top 10 LPs of 2020 (no order)

Adele and the Chandeliers – First Date
First thing that grabbed me was that sweet Manchester accent of Adele Pickvance, one of the unsung heroes of Oz music and my new favourite vocalist. Nine cracking powerpop tracks, and a corker Buzzcocks cover. An LP of life, love and the simple things that make it worth living, laid down in a fun and warm LP

The Breadmakers -The Breadmakers
Melbourne’s garage gold standard return with their first LP in years. Ten '60s rock 'n' roll inspired tunes, and two covers that "Back from the Grave" aficionados will go nuts for. Proving once again three chords, or less, plus rough and fast is all you need in a track.

Jack Howard and the Long Lost Brothers and a Sister - Dog Songs
The Dogs Bar in St Kilda (RIP) did an amazing job of keeping live music going in St Kilda, and one of the marque acts was Jack Howard every first Sunday of the month. With lockdown that obviously came to an end, but this CD was a wonderful reminder of those Sundays. This CD comprises of songs Jack and Co play during their Doggies set. As I listened to this I could see myself standing in the corner, being greeted by landlords Gav and Sonya, while Bernie 2 Legs, Fiona and Josie Jo and I shoot the shit while listening to all these killer tunes, and trying to get Leeroy’s attention behind the bar. One of those bands you can’t really fit into a genre, brilliant songs with an amazing ensemble of musicians.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Steve Lucas of X

steve lucas 2020STEVE LUCAS
X, Heinous Hounds, solo and many more
Melbourne, Australia

1.) Single Malt Scotch. Preferably Irish. Nine that peaty shit. Clean and clear.
You can pick them up easy... The Dubliner for example. Easy on the pocket and a very smooth drop. Writer's Tears is a favourite. But more expensive.

2.) Blended scotch. If I can't access a single malt then blended it is. Best value is, believe it or not, Dewar's White Label. You can get a litre for around $45. It goes down surprisingly well. I was given a bottle of Johnny Walker Black a month or two ago and was kind of stunned by how good it tasted. Had not tried it in years so i feel i should mention it.

3.) Vodka. There are so many choices. They range from rubbing alcohol to crystal clear tears of angels. Russian or Polish is good. It's worth spending a little extra on if you knock it back neat. It doesn't mean there are not some real bargains out there. Pyccknn CTAHDATP Russian standard gold is a good example. I am very partial to that at the moment.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Mick Medew

mick medew 2020

MICK MEDEW
Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers, Mick & Ursula, solo artist, Mick Medeww & The Rumour, Screaming Tribesmen, The 31st
Brisbane

1.  OVERSEAS SHOW OF THE YEAR
Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets @ The Tivoli theatre Brisbane on February 19.

2. COMMUNITY RADIO
Community Radio saves the day again , they save the day for musicians and fans alike as well as shining a light on the injustices that occur in our communities  and beyond

3.   DAVE GRANEY AND CLARE MOORE  "Stage it"  Live streaming shows
Thursday nights have never sounded better

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Bob Short

bob short 2020Bob Short
Filth, Blood & Roses, Dead Rabids, 4 Stooges, The Light Brigade et al
Sydney, Australia

Twenty-twenty is a phrase used to demonstrate a standard of visual acuity. Providing a Top Ten list for the year of that name using normal standards of vision presents certain difficulties.

The harbinger of our civilization's downfall was, of course, the motion picture "Cats".  This was a movie that spent its first hour-and-a-half introducing a series of characters played by celebrities in bad valley CGI mode licking themselves inappropriately whilst singing and dancing.  Spoiler: It ends with the ritual suicide of the most downtrodden character by balloon. 

Its similarity to the year it announced were too staggering to avoid.  All year, we have been bombarded by celebrities entertaining (themselves) us from their living rooms in bad clothes and makeup whilst the poor and broken down die gasping for breath. 

What stands out in the year that broke the world? And make no bones, the world is broken.  Certainly, rock and roll is broken.  It has been a long time coming but that bucket has been firmly kicked.

There has been illness for a while now.  We've all been getting old.  Most people stop adding new songs to their playlists in their early 20s.  Some of us have kept our ears open much longer but that ultimately makes no difference.  You could make the most stunning new music and no one would be there to listen.  The old aren't interested in the new and the young aren't interested in the old.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Dean DarkCloud of The Dark Clouds

dean darkcloud 2020"Pizza, Punks & Prophets"
Barfly Top Ten 2020
Dean Darkloud of The Dark Clouds
Wollongong, Australia
(Anthony Mitchell photo)

“Rock n Roll ain’t dead. It just sounds a little different”

10. Wreckless Enterprise. Hats off to these two DIY Crazy Cats for doing what they do. With passion and intent, tirelessly flying the flag of creative support. 2020 saw them release, amongst other things the third instalment of their "Short Fuse" compilation series: 15 tracks, all under a minute jammed packed onto a 7” (or CD). It’s a punk rock smorgasbord.

Wreckless Enterprise: keeping the underground above ground. So, if it’s a home grown, all you can eat punk rock buffet that you are after; check out this blossoming grass roots label. "Short Fuse" we salute you!

9. Mike Foxall. The man behind the Art of Fox. You may know him as Inverted Crucifox, guitarist extraordinaire in Neptune Power Federation whom in my opinion are one of Australia's best modern live acts.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Robert Brokenmouth

robertb 2020Robert Brokenmouth
Barfly
Adelaide

The Barman
sent me a message asking some folks to tell us all about our 2020 top tens.

Apart from new recordings from the likes of Hugo Race, Velatine and Michael Plater, and the other few I've written about during the year, I've not been listening to a lot of music. Read a lot (including the three books I've reviewed here - the best three music books I've read this year), including a few Stephen King, Clark Ashton Smith, John Wyndham and a few books on plagues past and present. 

But really. 2020, huh? What a trip. So many dead. Wept more than a few times myself - but hey, my life's a doddle by comparison to the misery of so many.

But hey! First, we got to see an utterly evil President of the United States trainwreck, taint (and generally fist-fuck with studded gloves) any world-wide respect the USA ever had. I don't use the term 'evil' lightly.

Apart from being genuinely narcissistic and wilfully ignorant, Papa Ubu took great delight in splitting the country into a condition very close to civil war, while being utterly unmoved by the hundreds of thousands who got ill, and the thousands who have died, of which he is a goodly part to blame. If you wrote a modern take on Pere Ubu, Trump would be your starting point.

I-94 Bar