Katelyn Slyer photo.
Wollongong's Chimers - whose self-released and self-titled album of 2021 has found fans in Henry Rollins, Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, and members of The Mark Of Cain and Mudhoney - have released a new single "Generator" ahead of extensive live dates.
The single will be launched in Sydney on January 20 at Vic On The Park with support from Private Wives, and in Wollongong on January 27 at La La La's with Uncle Pit.
Irish born Padraic Skehan and life partner Binx formed the band in their Wollongong backyard during the initial lockdown of 2020. Veterans and drummers both of the ‘Gong’s vibrant garage-scene - The Pink Fits, Drop Offs, Evol and more. Chimers is an altogether different beast, Padraic taking a giant leap forward by removing himself from the back seat and assuming the roles of singing, playing guitar song-writing.
It was with great sadness that Melbourne cult retro band The Breadmakers learned of the passing of their old pal, Graeme Thomas, of the Preston Records studio and label, in November last year.
Thomas was hugely influential to just about any roots, rockabilly or rock ‘n’ roll musician in Melbourne in the 1980s and 90s – and it was no different for the young Breadmakers. They’d heard some of the amazing recordings that Graeme had made in his home-built studio that sounded exactly like they had come out of the ’50 and ‘60s and asked him to record them too.
Graeme was a musical perfectionist, and taught the band so much about getting the sounds they liked in the studio. He could make his studio sound like Sun Studios in Memphis, or just about any other vintage studio by moving microphones, changing amplifiers and rearranging a few baffles.
Graeme once offered to truck in enough soil to completely cover the studio floor so that he could get the sound of the Fortune Records Studio from Detroit Michigan, which famously had a dirt floor.
Tony Bishop, Rob Lastdrager and Leon Beveridge. See item 2.
With the world and me still waking up from the pandemic in 2022, my Top Ten consists of some old friends and favourites, re-visited, remembered and revived.
Experiencing Covid for the first time at New Year’s and enduring a heatwave in Melbourne, I’m not complaining. It’s given me quiet time to think and a chance to raise a glass to all my departed rock and roll compadres. RIP Chris Bailey especially. The raw energy of the early Saints powered my escape from Brisbane in the '80s, something for which I will be eternally grateful.
MARVELLOUS MUSICAL MOMENTS OF 2022 AND MORE MUSINGS:
Firstly, thanks to The Barman and I-94 Bar contributors Keith Claringbold, Dylan Webster, Matty Ryan and Edwin Garland who included my shows with my band in NSW and Melbourne in their Top Tens for 2022. That is so cool and greatly appreciated! Thanks to everyone who came to these shows! It was fabulous to see so many “old” friends there!
Thanks to the musicians who played in my band – Tim McCormack on bass, Jason McGann on drums, Julian Held on guitar, Sam Billinghurst-Walsh on guitar and Ryan Oliver on keyboards. They are worthy of the attention they have been getting.
In fact, thanks to all the musicians who performed live on the indie rock circuit in 2022. These are not easy times for many musicians, and it’s been fantastic to see so many artists back in action on stage, in the post lockdown world. Often, I cross paths with them when they attend other people’s gigs as well. It’s a wonderful thing to behold - intrepid rock’n’roll soldiers leading the charge to bring live music back into the forefront of our hearts and minds!
Thanks to all the punters who have been supporting live gigs. Thanks to the music journalists for reviewing our shows and new releases and to the radio presenters who have been playing our music. Thanks to the venues and the promoters, with a special thanks to The Barman for his tireless efforts to keep our rock scene alive and well.
Scruff Myers' Superhands - Scruff Myers' Superhands (Blunder Town Records)
The Superhands' debut LP, and it's taken me far too long to get to it. The second LP will be under way shortly, I am told.
Blunder Town's press release explains that Superhands started as a one-off party band, which clearly took off in Scruff's head.
Scruff? John “Scruff” Ellis had 16 years’ service with legendary UK clockwork punks The Adicts, and if you're not familiar with them, I suggest you start here. The Adicts play in an instantly recognisable style - it's catchy, anthemic, uplifting stuff.
My radio program “Sydney Sounds” had been on 2RRR-FM in Sydney on Saturday nights from 6pm for almost 20 years. Earlier this year, it was moved to the earlier time slot of 2pm Saturday, which is a more accessible slot for many of its listeners, so has managed to maintain its faithful followers and gain new ones. It can be streamed live via website 2rrr.org.au as well as all online radio streaming apps.
12 Super Duper Extraordinary Girl Trouble Rock ‘n’ Roll Tracks – Bang Bang Band Girl (Voodoo Rhythm)
First, the whinge. This is one of those cases where you’re left wondering what might have been if the contents matched the cover. A one-lady band from Chile via the Netherlands, Bang Bang Band Girl, has great taste in covers but the sum of its parts make this album not so much unhinged as mildly off-beat and muffled.
The one-sheet for what's almost an album full of covers promises a “spaced out wall of fuzz, theremin, reverberation and a warm, dangerous yet sweet voice” and there are elements of all those, but they’re sometimes buried by so-so production.
Cramped – 50LgE (self released)
This six-song EP from the New South Wales Far North Coast trio 50LgE (“50 Large”) with lineage derived from The Eastern Dark and the Psychotic Turnbuckles is as stylistically diverse as they come, swinging from swampy rock to garage rockers.
“Cramped” is an unabashed lift from the early Cramps, not weird enough to rouse Bryan Gregory from his grave but obvious enough to send the message that 50LgE are big fans. “White God” chalks up one for the atheists without getting out of second gear.
It’s a bill to have fans of lysergic acid punk reaching into the cupboard for their paisley shirts and Cuban heeled boots, when the Green Spiders pair with old school punks Moot and garage throwbacks The Jane Does at Marrickville Bowling Club on Friday, February 24.
The Green Spiders come from the DNA of the Lime Spiders, Adolphus and The Most – all staples of the Strawberry Hills-Sydney Trade Union Club circuit in Sydney in the early ‘80s. They play the songs of the Lime Spiders that Green Spiders members penned.
Lime Spiders members Ged Corben (guitar), Tony Bambach (bass) and Tom Corben (drums) are joined by Ripley Hood (Mushroom Planet) on vocals to deliver a potent parade of hard rock and ‘60s punk gems.