It’s not every day you see bands from Australian underground rock’s halcyon days (that’d be the ‘80s) rubbing shoulders with mainstream chart-toppers but that’s what’s looming.
“The Golden Days Of Aussie Pub Rock” is the first volume of a series through major label Festival/Warner that boasts four (count ‘em) CDs of Down Under backyard barbecue listening fodder.
Cool lesser lights like Sydney’s suburban pop-rockers The Lonely Hearts (“The Spell”), the unstoppable X (“Dream Baby”), The Numbers (“The Modern Song”), The Hitmen (“I Don’t Mind”), Huxton Creepers (“I Will Persuade You”) and the Screaming Tribesmen (“A Date With a Vampyre”) sit alongside heavyweights like Jimmy Barnes, Mental As Anything, The Angels, Cold Chisel and (gulp) Boom Crash Opera.
But wait, there's more. Boys Next Door, Sunnyboys, The Elks, The Boys and XL Capris fly the flag for independent bands. Stevie Wright, Finch, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and Angy Anderson (no, not “Suddenly”, thank fuck) represent the old guard.
The 91-song package includes comprehensive liner notes, with a track-by-track commentary and essay by key ‘70s Australian RAM magazine founding editor Anthony O’Grady. It’s out on April 1.
Here’s the new video from Archie and The Bunkers, the "teen sensations" from Cleveland, Ohio, whose debut album is out now on Dirty Water Records. Read our review here and follow the link at the bottom to buy it.
Spain's premier garage party band Los Chicos is heading back to Australia for their fourth tour.
Dates are mostly in Victoria with the boutique Boogie festival the centrepiece but Sydney punters are lucky to have scored a show at Marrickville Bowling Club where they'll be supported by a specially-reformed 300 StClaire.
If you haven't experienced the frenetic mobile party that is Los Chicos then you need to get your sorry arse to a show.
Think of them as something like The Fleshtones on sangria.
Los Chicos Australian Tour MARCH Friday 18 - Marrickville Bowls Club, NSW Saturday 19 - The Tote, Collingwood, vic Sunday 20 - MEMO. St. Kilda, VIC Wednesday 23 - Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC Thursday 24 - Baha, Rye, VIC Good Friday 25 - Eastern Hotel, Ballarat, VIC Saturday 26 - Boogie! Festival, VIC Sunday 27 - HOLA!, Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
This short film made the finals of Tropfest and was screened under the stars in Sydney last night. Hopefully, the soundtrack rocked some hipsters out of their stupor and made a few old music industry people squirm. Tropfest is the world's largest festival of short films and "Into The Maelstrom" was produced by John Meredith.
A full-length documentary by another film-maker is in the works. Stay tuned for more details.
The shadow of the original Saints looms large in most places where people give a toss about punk rock but Switzerland seems the most unlikely. Think Switzerland and banks, cuckoo clocks and expensive chocolate spring to mind before “Nights in Venice” but then you’ve probably never heard of The Goodbye Johnnys.
The Goodbye Johnnys are named after a Gun Club song and hail from Zurich but Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, (circa 1976) is their spiritual home. Their LP sounds a lot like the early Saints with less sonic leakage and a few rough edges filed off.
Hardcore is an odd beast. Visceral energy is its stock-in-trade. All too often it paints itself into a corner and whatever it has to stay is lost in a blur of downstrokes and angry intentions. Then somebody works out that you can play with dynamics and (shock!) melodies.
Perth band Leeches! stand out because they can do both. “Blurred Visions” is compelling, surging punk rock that seethes and burns - but also surprises with its no-nonsense harmonies and skilful playing. It reminds of Massappeal’s more creative stuff or even Off! That’s no faint praise.
Headliner Kim Salmon: No fish out of water. Campbell Manderson photo
Every time I go to Melbourne, something elbows me in the ribs and, somehow, things don’t go according to plan. The last few weeks have been short pay weeks, so I didn’t have quite enough dosh as I expected.
Of course, I had also completely forgotten that hotels now want a deposit against impromptu extra day stays and so forth, just in case you take the toaster into the shower or, to settle an argument, see how just far down the emergency stairs you can surf on the bed.
So, somewhat impoverished, I set off for St Kilda, a once-magical place of genteelly-crumbling art deco, dread gangsters (the real kind), assorted equally impoverished students, musicians, dealers and migrants and so on and so on. The event is the 16th A Day By The Green, a long-running Melbourne rock and roll institution.
Four years into their re-birth, Australian pop-rock champions the Sunnyboys are unleashing a live album on CD. “Best Seat In The House” was recorded at Enmore Theatre in March 2015 and will be released on February 27 through Feel Presents and Inertia.
You can read our live review here but rest assured that the band was in blistering form, playing with as much energy and vitality as they did in their first life more than 30 years ago.
Tracks include live favourites “Tunnel Of Love”, “I’m Shakin’” and “The Seeker” plus the hits “Happy Man”, “Show Me Some Discipline”, “You Need A Friend” and “Alone With You”.
About that band name: These guys hail from Ballarat in regional Victoria, Australia. Their touring schedule is unlikely to include the USA after they unwittingly named themselves with a derisive term for African Americans. You Yanks may know the term but it's almost unheard of in Australia. The faux pas is a pity because this album is a cracker.
“Should’ve Stayed Home” is a big step up from the debut record, “Devil’s Road”. It’s fuzzier, dirtier, nastier and more in your face. There’s a foot planted in rock and roll’s nursery (that’d be the 1950s) but they’ve taken it to a new sonic level.