Bandmates rally to help a seriously ill Spencer P. Jones

spencer benefitLiving legend Spencer P Jones is seriously ill and in need of your support. 

The storied veteran of bands like the Beasts of Bourbon, The Johnnys and many of his own outfits is under medical care and currently unable to work.

Mates James Baker and Tex Perkins have arranged benefit shows in Fremantle (March 20) and Melbourne (April 15) respectively. UPDATE: A GoFundMe account has been opened here for anyone unable to make the gigs.

Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus), KISStake, The Painkillers, Beautiful Losers, Midfield Legends (featuring members of the Bad Seeds and The Triffids, Soulfisters, Maurice Flavels Intensive Care and more will play the Fremantle show at Mojo’s.

The Drones, Paul Kelly, Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen, Adalita, Renee Geyer, Two Am I, The Pink Tiles and mystery guests head the Melbourne line-up at the Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda.

A silent auction will operate in conjunction with the WA gig

Fremantle benefit Facebook event

Blink and you'll miss these Babeez

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You have to hand it to the guys at Melbourne label Buttercup Records - they do vinyl re-issues right. Their latest effort, paying homage to seminal Melbourne 1977 punks Babeez, might be their most audacious yet.

An LP that encompasses all the band’s known studio recordings is one thing - producing it in limited editions with tailored covers is another.

Mythologies - Michael Plater (Evil Keys Music)

mythologiesThe first time I saw Melbourne guitarist Michael Plater I confess I didn’t get it. He was working on a style, which involves building up a mixture of tone and counter-tones, emotion in the strings lending timbre to the vocal.

I only saw a couple of songs, however; since then I’ve seen him on his last two trips to Adelaide, and can tell you that first, on his own he is a very different kettle of vermin, and second, with folk like Dean Richards or Cabin Inn, the stage is not a safe place.

Fly High - Hunky Punks (Hunky Punks)

hunky punksHunky Punks have been playing the traps around Adelaide over the last year or so, gaining an enthusiastic following, and look like heading interstate. Telling you now: see them. The sheer breadth of improvement over such a short space of time is somewhat gobsmacking. Get "Fly High".

Unlike those bands who practice twice before their next gig, the Hunkies are well-tight, snappy, light, powerful, strong and basically "Fly High" is going to get well and truly into your head. I love the way each song veers away from the last; there’s so much rich variety here, so much gritty eloquence you’re dancing way before you know it. Matt Hills’ production is damn fine, and if the world were a bit fairer, the majors should be crawling up the arses of Messrs Simpson, Omsby, Becker and Grasel.

Beast Records Night at the Tote Hotel in Melbourne

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Tamara and Evil Dick.  Caroline Burston photo

In a parallel historical universe the vast southern continent now known as Australia might have been conquered by France.

While France was still a functioning monarchy at the time Captain James Cook invoked the now discredited legal fiction of Terra Nullius to claim the territory on behalf of the English throne; by the time Arthur Phillip lobbed into Botany Bay in 1788, France was starting to buckle in the face of rising bourgeois unrest, and had bigger internal fish to fry (or heads to lop, as the case may be).

Reptile Brain b/w Reptile Sludge - Imperial State Electric (Bootleg Booze)

imperials state electric singleImperial State Electric being the current band (or more like a collective with rotating membership) for Helicopters main-man Nicke Andersson. That alone should tell you what to expect.

Imperial State Electric had passed me by before this but if the single is anything to go by, the sound and spirit of the ‘Copters is alive and kicking.

This single is the same song done twice ("City Slang" style) and it comes from the 2013 album, “Reptile Brain Music”. Neither side lets anyone down: It’s bristling with guitar riff Rock Action and an uncompromising drive in the bottom end. One of the people responsible for all that engine room power, Bassist Dolf de Borst (The Datsuns), does the honours on vocal. The flip is a dirtier version of the song with Nicke behind the microphone.

This is a second pressing which tells ironed-on Helicopters fans (and even casual ones like me) that it’s not too late to make sure they don’t miss out.

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Bootleg Booze Records on the Web

Leftovers and Rarities - The Dead Brothers (Future Folklore Records)

dead brothers frontFuture Folklore is very much a new label; "Leftovers and Rarities" bears the product number FFR001. It’s a vinyl record first; and limited at that, which means because the band are damned popular in Europe, if you’ve heard the Dead Brothers, you want it and you’re going to regret forking out for Prince last week or whenever it was.

The odds ’n’ sods of most bands don’t usually make for decent records, though, let’s face it. For every great KISS LP, there’s a wagon-load of stinkers. “Black Moose”was the last time I reviewed The Dead Brothers; so rather than be fair about this, I’m going to ignore all the trainspotterish notes other journos will jump on, and treat “Leftovers and Rarities” as a new, possibly “lost” album.

My Script - Kim Salmon (kimsalmon.com.au)

my scriptContrary bugger that he is, while this hasn’t quite been released, quite a few radio shows are playing tracks; this is probably because the DJs have all contributed to Kim’s crowdfunding site and have been snaffling the thing. And no wonder, because My Script is a ripper of a CD, all raucous yet bedroom-y, intimate and deafening by turns.

It’s also quite clear that this is Kim’s first "real" solo LP, allowing us to see the full gamut of his talent. Miles Mumford is in the production chair, in between contributing poignant soundscapes.

On the back cover, “All Rights Reserved” is followed by “All Wrongs Righted”. In a way that’s typical of the man Salmon; I mean, yeah, it’s bit of flung-out wordplay, but imagine setting out a task so hopelessly impossible to complete…

The Passing Parade - Jack Howard (Jack Howard) and False Idols - Hugo Race and the True Spirit (Glitterhouse)

false idolspassing paradeSeems that the long EP is the way to go. A CD single was always a bit naff, a CD EP was okay but seemed a little wasteful in terms of time; a full CD these days is the equivalent of a double vinyl LP back in the mists of time.

Speaking of going back, a decent 7” was a work of art, whether it be by the Clash or the Psycho Surgeons, the Cramps or The News (I’ll never forget the first and only time I’ve held a single-sided single in my hands - utterdelight and incomprehension all at once). An EP was harder to achieve but was still a work of art.

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