Spencer P. Jones and The Escape Committee live in Adelaide

spencer adl2 
I missed the first band, but I’ve heard good things. I did catch The Pro Tools.

Led by the extraordinary Pete Howlett, ThePpro Tools hammer at you - they’re a lot of noisy, in-your-face fun; coupled with Howlett’s almost Dolls-esque behaviour.

“No-one flicks his hair with such elegant contempt as Johnny Thunders,” remarked fellow audience member Nazz Nassari tonight, in response to my observation that Howlett’s perfectly timed angry slash at his hair toward the end of their set expressed an eloquent contempt). I never saw Thunders, but Howlett has a sort of compressed loathing of his instrument, despite his dexterity and talent, as if somehow the instrument simply cannot do what Howlett wants it to. Therein lies part of the public persona/reality of the man.

Shot Myself Up - Iggy Pop (Easy Action)

shot myself upIf 1977 was the year Iggy Pop presented his professional face to the American public, it was really by a matter of degrees. Think about what constituted Mainstream USA back then and ask if it was ready for Iggy, even in the guise of a clean-living and professional working stiff? The question’s rhetorical so don’t bother answering.

The Iggy that Americans saw (those who took notice) is captured on “Shot Myself Up”, a made-for-radio recording captured live in a studio on Pop’s ’77 tour of his homeland.

New collection to lift lid on music of the Sharpies sub-culture

when sharpies rulewd frontFollowing in the tradition of acclaimed compilations like “Boogie” and “(When The Sun Sets Over) Carlton”, Festival Records and WMA are releasing a new collection of music from Australia’s sharpie subculture of the ‘70s.

“When Sharpies Ruled – A Vicious Collection” is a power-packed 23-track CD packaged with a slipcase, 28-page jewel case booklet with liner notes and a separate 60 page booklet of Sharpie snaps. It’s billed as “the ultimate aural and visual statement on the infamous Australian youth movement and gangs of the ‘70s” and who are we to disagree?

Sharpies were a uniquely Australian, working class phenomenon from the late ‘60s to the late ‘70s. Notorious for causing trouble, they’re remembered for their startling style sense - tight Italian cardigans and razor cut hair were favoured – and outrageous dancing.

Datura4 debut video for their new album

Perth psych-boogie rockers Datura4 (whose ranks include Dom Mariani and Greg Hitchcock) have their album "Demon Blues" out on CD and vinyl on Alive Naturalsounds July 10. Our review is here and this is the official video for the lead-off song.

Cum The Raw Prawn - Cosmic Psychos (Desperate Records)

raw prawnThere’s something reassuring about a new Cosmic Psychos record. It’s about ageing disgracefully and all that. The fuzz bass, careering guitar lines and shout-spoken – no, drawled – vocals about beer, drinking and other everyday pursuits wrap themselves around you like a favourite blue singlet on a sweltering December day.

No Psychos record is radically different from another and therein lies the comfort factor. If you’ve been paying attention, by now you know exactly what you’re going to get. There’s more verbal abuse here than Caitlin Jenner taking a post-operative vacation at an ISIS-controlled holiday resort.

Shifting Sands wash up in Sydney

shifting sands live

Burning dive bars like bridges Brisbane’s inconsolable Shifting Sands erode into Marrickville’s Factory Floor in Sydney on Friday, July 3.

Sprinkling their trademark downbeat alcho-aesthetic, one part piano bar depresso-core and one part island funeral, Shifting Sands play all the hits from their stunning debut long-player “Beach Coma” – one of the albums of the year for ours. 

Support comes your way from Devotional, who level it drenched and panoramic, and new project for Yvonne Moxham and Cec Condon (Mess Hall), Roadhouses. Buy your tickets here. There's a film clip after the MORE link. 

The Delta Lions donate single proceeds to charity

delta lions

Newcastle band The Delta Lions have just released a brand new double A side single and are donating all the proceeds to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. “Smoke Bombs” b/w “Mac & Laura” is up for grabs digitally at $A2 for both songs. It’s also available as a vinyl seven-incher and is the band’s first recording in two years.

Set up in 2011, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation is a not-for-profit charity without government or major corporate funding. It aims to raise literacy levels and improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous children living in remote and isolated regions.

Delta Lions are touring buddies of Leadfinger and one of the best blues-rock bands to emerge from Newcastle in recent years. Details or how to buy the single are available via the links below.

The Delta Lions on the Web

The Delta Lions on Bandcamp



R.I.P. Gary Quackenbush of the SRC

gary quackenbushGuitarist for influential Michigan rock band the SRC, Garry Quackenbush, has passed away after a struggle with lung disease.

Best known for his work with the SRC (Scot Richard Case) in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Quackenbush had been under home care. Friends rallied earlier this month in Detroit to stage a benefit show.

SRC released three albums (“SRC”, “Milestones” and “Traveler’s Tale” – the latter without Quackenbush) during their run and two posthumous records (“Lost Masters” and “Black Sheep”) after their break-up. The surviving members staged some reunion gigs in recent years.

Quackenbush was recognised as a master of sustain and feedback and the band’s influence was particularly felt in Europe thanks to a string of album re-issues.

Leni Sinclair photo

Anne McCue live at Django Bar in Sydney

McCue jill stokesberryJill Stokesberry photo

If I was to choose a Sydney venue for the launch of Anne McCue’s remarkable album Blue Sky Thinking, it would be the Django Bar. 

I was aware of the venue upstairs, Camelot, as one of the better bars in Sydney’s inner-west for the last few years The Django bar is downstairs and it is everything Django. Django sculptures Django oil paintings, Django drawings - such a Django Rhineheart vibe.

I was so early for a gig (7.15pm) and already it is packed; I knew was a sell-out but this was so startling. Even at that time I was able find a seat way at the back of the venue with mid-‘70s Tom Waits footage on a large screen, blaring across the room. There seems to be big expectations for this show.

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