Depending on which side of the footpath you were on in the Australian 1970s, Sharpies were either misunderstood working class rebels or teenage thugs and bullies.
One Sydney Sharpie who went by the name of Big Victor (name changed to protect the guilty) would wait at suburban railway stations looking for long-haired surfers with the intention of breaking their surf boards and, if need be, a bone or two in the process. The Sharpies in Melbourne may have been different.
This is their soundtrack - ironically of mostly long-haired bands. The only real sharpie bands would have been Lobby Loyde and the Colored Balls and Buster Brown, whose singer Angry Anderson was a sharp. Certainly, Billy Thorpe had a sharpie haircut for while. The music is Australian 1970s pre-punk heavy rock/glam and as a collection that's representative of this era, it is nothing short of excellent.
In case you haven’t heard, the Flamin’ Groovies have a new album dropping in 2016 and a single about to hit the shelves. US tour dates have just been announced for November.
What started as a reunion in 2013 with tours of Japan, Australia, and the UK, has continued and evolved into a full-blown return. In the past two years the band has toured the USA extensively with repeated visits to New York, L.A. and their hometown of San Francisco, as well as recently returning from a hugely successful tour of Spain, France and Italy.
In anticipation of their 50th Anniversary in 2016, they are putting the finishing touches on a new album and a documentary.
Their forthcoming single features two Cyril Jordan/Chris Wilson penned tracks - the recently written "Crazy Macy" and the first track ever written by Jordan & Wilson, "Let Me Rock" recorded for the first time.
You can hear a taste of the new output on teaser track “End of the World” by reading on.
Influential English post-punk group The Fall is returning to Australia this October to perform shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
The Fall and its leader Mark E. Smith have a place as one of the most pre-eminent groups in any discerning musical history across the last four decades. The Fall, more than any other group, are definitive and transcendent of a whole musical world and pop culture: post-punk.
UK label Easy Action is launching into its three-legged re-issue campaign for trans-Atlantic super group the Hydromatics by leading off with the band’s next-to-last studio recording. And with good reason. “Powerglide” is the perfect meeting place of blue-collar Detroit rock and roll and blue-eyed soul.
“Powerglide” came out in 2001 but if you can remember blinking back then you probably missed it. No sooner had it landed in the racks then the Italian label that put it out went belly-up. Fourteen years later, the gap in the market for genuine, rocking soul with power is larger than ever, so it deserves to sell by the truckload.
This lavish double CD package closes the lid on the first life of the Hard-Ons, nicely. Not in the literal sense of the term. Far from it. It's like a skateboard ride down a very rough track, a mix of disparate hardcore and metal songs that sits at odds with much of what came before.
When the original album came out in mid-1993, nobody knew (but band members could sense) that it was the last recording by the Hard-Ons with their original line-up. That's the context and it now makes sense.
It’s funny how records released in the past evoke specific memories when revisited years later. For me, this one doesn’t throw up much. I think I bought it well after it came out. It seems lots of fans shared that indifference.
From 1970-76, Buffalo were undoubtedly one of Australia’s greatest high-energy, rock and roll bands. They were a great example of four musicians whose combined musical chemistry created devastating results.
Their five original albums (on the great Vertigo label) sell for massive amounts of money on eBay. Decent condition copies are practically hard to come by, as most of Buffalo’s original 1970’s fanbase were drugged/drunken freaks who trashed those albums at their hippy parties.
After the band broke up Pete Wells put together Rose Tattoo, Dave Tice based himself in England where he joined great R & B/pub rock combo The Count Bishops.
First published in November 2005
This album’s the second and final chapter for a project that had modest enough aspirations. Jim Keays just wanted to strip things back and rock out on covers of obscure and semi-obscure songs.
He and his crack band not only sound like they had a great time but produced a killer recording in “Age Against The Machine”, the follow-up to 2012’s “Dirty Dirty” set of garage rock covers.
We don’t have pop stars in Australia any more. In their place, we have reality TV-manufactured, milksop product whose fame is carefully designed to meet a demographical need and is disposable as the songs somebody else writes for them. Just as the tag “R & B” has been diluted beyond recognition, these people aren’t pop stars in the true sense of the term.
You might know him for an infamous TV fist fight with a shock jock (and, hey, that was almost one lifetime ago) but back in the 1960s, Normie Rowe was one of Australia’s first bona fide pop stars. There was no need to manufacture stars back then – the media certainly was complicit but they largely just appeared – and the good looking Rowe inspired teen adulation on the back of a string of national hits.
There are few survivors from when New York City’s rock and roll world revolved around a few seedy nightspots in a now unrecognisably gentrified district called The Lower East Side who are still musically active. Joey Pinter is one of them, making spirited, raw guitar music on their own terms, and this is his debut solo album.
Transplanted to Los Angeles and now living in Chicago, Pinter is best known as Walter Lure’s guitar foil in his killer post-Heartbreakers outfit, The Waldos. These guys should have been huge but labels kept their distance and Walter had a career in stockbroking that clipped their touring wings. Their solitary album, "Rent Party", was recently re-issued and kicks arse.
Pinter played in a host of other NYC bands, most notably with Max’s Kansas City regulars The Knots whose solitary 45 “Heartbreaker” b/w “Action” is highly collectable. So he has lots of form.