“Someday soon, will you tell us when it’s time to play for you?” asks iconoclastic Australian music legend Ron S. Peno, towards the nd of “See You When I’m Looking At You”, the nearly nine-minute long "chain" song from Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission and friends and released this week.
It’s a question that many artists hope will soon be answered, and one of many telling moments in an epic song, sung and worded by a cross-generational selection of some of Australia’s finest singer-songwriters in COVID-19 isolation.
Conceived by Thomas – the ARIA-winning singer-songwriter of Weddings Parties Anything – in April, “See You When I’m Looking At You” began life when Mick wrote a verse and a chorus while isolating in his Melbourne backyard.
Legendary British rock and roll group The Godfathers will release a new double A side single - "I’m Not Your Slave" b/w "Wild And Free" - on June 17 to celebrate the 35th anniversary since the band’s formation.
Both tracks were recorded immediately prior to the Coronavirus lockdown in the UK and although composed late last year, strike a chord with current events. Sole surviving original member Peter Coyne describes them as “truly exciting, state of the art rock and roll”.
Following an acrimonious split with the last line-up, frontman Coyne is joined by guitarist Richie Simpson and drummer Billy Duncanson (both previously in Heavy Drapes and Baby’s Got A Gun), bass player Jon Priestley from iconic punk band The Damned and guitarist Wayne Vermaak.
The Godfathers - famed for their primal rock sound with songs like "Birth School Work Death", "I Want Everything" and "Unreal World", a mob inspired image and explosive live concerts - will resume touring in 2021 to promote a new studio album.
The single is available in limited edition, seven-inch vinyl single and limited edition CD that features the two numbers, plus demo versions of both songs unavailable in any other format. Pre-orders here.
Hugely influential pre-punk pathfinders the Dictators are reforming to record and possibly play. But it will be without longtime vocalist Handsome Dick Manitoba, with the 'Tators reverting to their original configuration.
Bassist-vocalist Andy Shernoff confirmed the move today, saying he and guitarists Ross The Boss and Top Ten would re-convene with ex-Blue Oyster Cult member Albert Bouchard on drums. Shernoff, the songwriting member of the Dictators, said the line-up would soon be "recording a few tunes to feel things out".
Australian underground elder statesman and co-founder of The Stems, Richard Lane, has passed away in Fremantle. An announcement has been made via The Stems’ Facebook page.
Richard had lately been a member of The Painkillers, the hard-rocking garage outfit formed by James Baker, and rehearsed with them last Saturday.
Richard and Dom Mariani formed The Stems in 1983 and went on to have a fruitful if tumultuous musical partnership. Lane was a driving musical force behind the band’s early garage sound, epitomised on their early singles. He also played guitar and keyboards on the debut album “At First Sight Violets Are Blue” and the 2007 reformation record, “Heads Up”.
The band dissolved in 1987 but has reformed a couple of times. Richard was not a part of the line-up that was reconstituted in 2013.
Richard spent time living in Perth and Sydney. He formed a small record label, Idaho Records, in Perth in the 1990s and played in a number of other important bands including The Chevelles, The Rosebuds and The On and Ons.
Richard founded Penny Lane’s Music Workshop in Fremantle in 2003 as a community-based outlet to teach music. He is survived by second wife Cathy and daughter Penny.
Australian cult power pop singer-songwriter John Dowler, best remembered for his groups Young Modern and the Zimmermen (and their classic 1985 single “Don’t Go to Sydney”), is returning with a new album, "12 Stiches".
It's the second long-player for John Dowler's Vanity Project. and comprises 10 new band originals, a Brian Wilson tune and an interpretation of Split Enz’s “Time for A Change”.
Half A Cow is releasing "12 Stitches" digitally and on CD on May 1 and it's preceded by an EP, "A Certain Reputation". It features the first single “Billy’s Pizza” and three non-album tracks - new versions of Spare Change’s acerbic and artful “Let’s Get Rich Together” and the Zimmermen’s chiming “Ordinary Man”. Get it here.
One of Australia's finest power-pop bands, Melbourne's Little Murders, are the subject of a forthcoming documentary but the project needs an injection of fan funds to push it over the finishing line.
Director-producer Matt Wilson has been documenting the history of Little Murders and its founding and sole continual member Rob Griffiths. "Little Murders - 40 years on the smell of an oily rag" has a funding target of $6000 and is 40 percent of the way to the goal.
"In our ageist society it's rare that a musician in his 60's can maintain what is essentially a pop band and bring it to a level allowing a tour in Japan in 2019," Wilson writes.
Australian underground rock and roll has suffered another loss with the passing of former Bored! leader Dave Thomas, aged 56. Thomas had been fighting cancer.
Thomas co-founded Bored! in Geelong a satellite city of Melbourne, in 1987. The band was an early blend of punk rock and metal, and spawned a scene dubbed "Geetroit" for its trademark power and high-energy.
The much-anticipated return of Endless Boogie and the Australian debut of Howlin’ Rain will happen, and has now been moved from April to late October and early November.
Both bands will be appearing at the rescheduled Boogie festival (October 30-November 1) in rural Victoria and at the same East Coast venues they were originally booked into. All existing tickets will be honoured.
Endless Boogie & Howlin' Rain OCT 29 - The Tote, Melbourne, Sydney NOV 5 - Crowbar, Sydney + feedtime Endless Boogie only 6 - Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane 7 - Eltham Hotel, NSW