Did you ever see The Decline of Western Civilization documentary? The first one?
Pretty uneven, isn’t it? And by god, there’s a lot of indifferent stuff in there. The Germs are horrible, but rather wonderful. Fear are also quite nasty, and funny, and wonderful. The rest … well, it’s kind of interesting. But Decline (Mk I) is not a film I readily return to.
Even so, because it captures a scene in a scattergun style, it’s significant. By no means was that every significant band. By no means known to man, woman or beast.
But when it first came out here in Australia (1984, I think) it made and confirmed a huge impact. The wave of US hardcore and secondary punk was finally breaking into our homes (well, not if you listened to mainstream radio and watched TV, granted. I mean, us in the alternative scene.
You remember that…) and gentle young souls with spiky hair, the right jeans and Doc Martens and leather motorcycle jackets with UK punk band names and patches all over them? (I was always reminded of my school exercise books when I was about 13; I figured I’d done that already, I didn’t need a jacket that reminded me of school.) When, in 1983, we tried to explain to these gentle souls that, you know, it was the American punk bands which were amazing, they were aggressively dismissive.
The Systemaddicts in full flight. Mandy Tzaras photo
Right now, Adelaide might not be the centre of the musical universe, but that's not for want of talent, effort and sheer fuck-offed-ness. Last weekend proves it.
First, Friday night at The Grace Emily Hotel. It's probably wrong to describe Subtract-S as Tomway Army's band, but he's definitely the leader, and the star. In fact, at the Grace Emily in Adelaide tonight, the air positively stinks of stardom, the kind of stardom which winks at you, lures you in like a jam rolypoly to Billy Bunter, then rams a fist into your blubbery belly.
If you've not caught Subtract-S, you must. In the audience tonight was a gentleman who'd come all the way from Hamburg just to see Adelaide bands. And he loved it.
There’s no-one better qualified to decry “this counterfeit world” than Pat Todd as he does on the opening cut of the same name on his new album.
Todd’s been The Real Deal for three decades, first with Los Angeles underground legends The Lazy Cowgirls and more recently with The Rankoutsiders. “Blood & Treasure” is long=player number-four and builds on a substantial body of work.
People sometimes look down their noses at the term “bar band”. Why is a mystery. Isn’t a “bar band” the antithesis of a “stadium band”? Todd has assembled one of the world’s best bar bands in The Rankoutsiders and it would be a travesty to think of them playing Coachella.
There’s something special about a gutsy and compelling female vocalist fronting a hard rock band when it’s done right. Canadian band Sulfur City tick all those boxes.
Sulfur City’s bold, bluesy and soulful sound is a perfect fit for the Alive Naturalsound stable which has carved a market in the rootsy hard rock space. They’re the label’s first female-fronted act which was a surprise. .
Hailing from Ontario, the band’s focal point is ex-truck driver and bartender Lori Paradis, a flame-haired vocal powerhouse and electric washboard player (!) whose voice will knock you flat at 20 paces. “Talking Loud” is an attention-getting debut record overflowing with blues-boogie and soul goodness.
The eighth year of boutique festival Mazstock in the far northern New South Wales town of Lismore is almost on us and it's another rip-roaring line-up.
There's a distinct Sydney/Wollongong flavour with the likes of Bunt, Leadfinger, The Hot Sweets and Loose Pills mixing it with locals like Royal Chant and The Antibodies.
Click here to find ticketing details at the Facebook event.
Here's part two of Art and Steve Godoy's mini-documentary of their last tour of Europe as part of the Deniz Tek Group. In case you missed it, part one is here.
Art and Steve Godoy in: 'Deniz Tek and The Golden Breed USA/European tour through OUR eyes'.
Are you ready to rock in double denim? Are you ready for the infamous Turbobelco? The pride of Belconnen and of this nation’s capital hits Marrickville Bowling Club on Saturday, May 21.
Yes, there are many Turbonegro tribute bands throughout the world, but Turbobelco are one of the greatest denim-clad homages to Norway’s kings of Deathpunk rock ‘n’ roll that you’re ever likely to witness. The five-piece features members of The Vee Bees, The Levitation Hex (Adam Agius, also ex Alchemist), Law Of The Tongue and Pod People, with the flame-haired Baron Von Kreep on vocals.
Supporting will be no less than arguably Wollongong’s finest punk ‘n’ rollers to surface in recent years, the re- formed Hy-Test, playing their first Sydney show in years.
Also on the bill are The Neptune Power Federation recently released their second album, boast members of Nancy Vandal, Frenzal Rhomb and Fattura Della Morte among their ranks - and they rock like it’s 1986!
Opening will be the mighty Mucho Sonar, whose sound has been described as “Motorhead plays Little Richard. Complete with face melting horn section.” Getting the party started will be the DJ Crucifox and the Turbojugend Sydney DJs. It runs from 6pm till midnight and tickets are $12 at the door (or $10 for Turbojugend members.)
In early May thieves broke into Dan Sullivan's Johnston Street recording studio in Melbourne and stole guitars, effects pedals and recording gear worth thousands of dollars.
Despite the best efforts of friends and fellow musicians, the equipment and gear has yet to be recovered, leaving Sullivan and James McCann personally and financially devastated.
The studio has recenty been used (for free) to record tracks for an upcoming Spencer P Jones tribute album.
On Sunday, 22 May members of the Melbourne music community will come together at The Tote in Melbourne to raise money to replace the missing gear. The event will feature performances from Kim Salmon, Garry Gray & the Sixth Circle, James McCann & the New Vindictives, Penny Ikinger, Midnight Scavengers, Fraudband, Los Dominados, Claire Birchall & the Phantom Hitchhikers, Jules Sheldon, Helen Ryder and Tex Napalm.
Come along and see some great music, while helping out some hard working members of the Melbourne music community in a time of need. Keep an eye on the Facebook event for playing times and to spread the word.
Punk rock guitar legend Cheetah Chrome is hitting the live music bolt-holes of Europe for the first time ever, backed by a hand-picked Dutch band called The Knobs.
The new millennium has brought new opportunities for the ex-Dead Boy, including his first release under his own name, a critically-acclaimed book and multiple tours in the United States alongside the likes of Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls), Ronnie Spector, the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, James Williamson (The Stooges) and The Blackhearts.
In Fall 2016, he will be returning to Europe to embark on a tour across mainland Europe and through Scandinavia. Cheetah has recruited a quality cast of bandmates who have aligned themselves with his style and have brought his influence to their country.