The Meat Puppets are an outfit I’ve been looking forward to seeing ever since I heard they were coming.
There are a few similarities with the last outfit I saw recently, The English Beat. Old band touring, only two original members, no set list. No encore because of curfew (Fowlers is right next to a huge block of student accommodation; you only rarely see the occasional student at Fowlers, and their sense of dislocation and disgust is visible).
But the gigs are very, very different, and not just because of the style of music.
It was an unusual night. First, I was comp’ed quite unexpectedly and had no time to do any research on the current state of play on The Beat (as I still think of them).
Slightly giddy after a long day concentrating old and fragile papers (don’t ask), I found myself examining many things in considerable detail.
People, f’rinstance. We all kind of make our own fantasy of what we’re really like, and try to live it. Sometimes someone comes along and, unbidden, flings open the French windows and lets a bit of air and light in.
Hipbone Slim (aka Sir Bald Diddley) is a musical slut, fathering nine records by four different labels in three countries in 10 years at last count. The parentage of each of his offspring js easy to pick - by rockabilly out of garage rock with dashes of ’50 instrumental and skiffle thrown in - and “The Out Of This World Sounds Of” throws up no surprises.
One Thousand Years sound like they’ve spent that accumulated amount of time listening to their dads’ record collections. And exactly why is that a bad thing? Rock and roll’s grim hold on the collective consciousness is eroding by the day so if bands like this West Australian quartet are going to fly the flag, who are we to complain?
Legendary UK psych rockers the Pink Fairies are scheduled to play the Hop Farm Festival in Kent, England, in July.
They’re billed to share a stage on July 5 (day two of the festival) with Peter Hook and Maximo Park, among others. Headlining the main stage that night is the execrable James Blunt (!)
The line-up is Russell Hunter, Duncan Sanderson, Andy Colquhoun, Jacki Windmill and second drummer George Butler.
The Pinks initially announced only two dates - in Bilston on May 15 and at the 100 Club in London two days later - and reports form those shows were very positive.
Further gigs are now planned for October including Hawktoberfest, a multi-band line-up in Manchester with old sparring partners Hawkwind.
Multi-instrumentalist and hypnotic crooner, Hugo Race, returns home to Australia in June and July, fresh from an intense wave of European solo headline concerts in support of his latest EP "Ophans".
The five-city tour will include dates in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmania.
Race delivers a unique take on experimental blues, folk and dark-edge, dragging inspiration from artists the likes of Neil Young, Velvet Underground and Wilco.
His EP is credcited to Hugo Race Fatalists, the collaboration between Race and Italian instrumental gurus, Sacri Cuori , and is said to create "ground-breaking, intense sonic soundscapes that merge folk, experimentalism, electronica and rock".
Seven 45s full of Iggy Pop and Iggy and the Stooges goodness. Packaged in a box with some incident extras (patch, big hole single adapter) thrown in. OK, you probably don’t need this box set from Los Angeles label Cleopatra Records but you may still want it.
The New Christs have announced dates for their European tour to promote their new studio album, "Incantations", on Impedance and "Live" LP on Pitshark. Stay tuned for Australian gigs.
Call me biased and armed with far too much hindsight for my own good, but for a brief time in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Detroit was the lesser-known but undeniable epicentre of genuine rock and roll. The music industry, as it was, might have had its moneyed roots deeply planted on America’s East and West Coasts, but the real action was occurring deep in the US Midwest.
Sure, there was Motown and its over-ground success that eventually shifted to L.A. to mutate and die but we’re talking a parallel universe here that was populated by a different cast of characters plying a blue-collar strain of music. It’s an eternal truism that musical scenes never last. The Motor City’s rock and roll had its moment but succumbed to fashion, drugs, shifting attention spans – whatever factors play to your own historical biases – and has never recovered.