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.
Woody Radio – DJs Gidget and Boris
A non-profit internet radio station based out of Canada run by Gidget and Boris alongside a team of international DJs that plays the best mix of indie power-pop, rock, punk, goth, electro and metal music that you probably never heard of (unless you keep your ear to the ground and finger on the pulse of the up-and-coming bands and artists).
For the past two years, both Gidget and Boris have kept Suburban Urchins in their charts, firstly with the "Born In The Suburbs" album, and Gidget has closed out 2022 with the Zed Girl EP climbing to number-one on her chart. LIsten here.
2022 was another year that was hampered by the pandemic; while we are seeing green shoots of recovery, the scars are still pretty deep. I’ve spent most of the year doing the usual stuff, so this is some of what has poked it’s head up in my rounds.
1. Guitar sales
2022 wasn’t all bad news for rock and roll. It seems that the market for new guitars has nearly reached $3b globally… which is a helluva lot of new Fender Strats. I know I’ve been doing my bit, but it does mean that the death knell for guitar based rock and/or roll may have been premature.
2. Young Rock Renaissance
On the back of those sales we’ve been seeing an increase in younger rock acts taking up the mantle. While the standard bearers of the Aussie bogan rock scene, Amyl & the Sniffers and The Chats, have gone from strength to strength, I’m seeing a lot of younger acts finding their feet on the live scene in Sydney. Special mentions to Euterpe, Polly and of course, out of self interest, Pocketwatch.
The Barman at an I-94 Editorial Board meeting with Our Man in Dimboola, Ron Brown (left).
THE BARMAN’S BEST ALBUMS OF 2022
Do The Understanding – Ron S Peno and The Superstitions (self released)
Ron S Peno has equalled and maybe surpassed his output with Died Pretty after a succession of excellent records with his champion Melbourne band. The man needs a muse and found an outstanding one in co-writer and guitarist Cam Butler. This is the Album of the Year.
The rest in no particular order:
The Damned: A Night Of A Thousand Vampires (Live in London) 2CD & Blu Ray
One of my all-time favourite bands. The Damned can do no wrong. Been blasting this a lot over the summer.
Evil Roomers: "Then Again/Revibe" 2CD
Comprising of an Evil Roomers rehearsal tape plus an additional disc of reworked and overdubbed recordings. Listening to this it is clear that the late Ian Krahe provided X with quite a lot of music that lives on in many of their signature songs.
Albert Bouchard: "Re-Imaginos" CD
Originally released in 2020, I only managed to grab a copy this year. Former Blue Oyster Cult (BOC) drummer Albert Bouchard re-imagines their much-maligned “Imaginos” concept album, originally a Bouchard solo project, released back in the mid-80s. “Re-Imaginos” features all new recordings and a double-album’s worth of material as initially intended. His talent as a writer and arranger is fully evident here, and the understated acoustic based backing lets the songs stand on their own without distraction. It is easy to see how the quality of BOC releases following his departure dropped in quality, his absence highlighting the importance of his artistic contributions to the original band. Guests include Ross “The Boss” Friedman and former BOC bassist Joseph Bouchard.
Asteroid B-612 with Scotty Nash, second from the right.
Founding Asteroid B-612 bass player Scott Nash has passed away after a protracted illness.
His partner Sarah posted the following on Facebook earlier today:
With no fuss and a little bit of pain relief, the one-and-only Scotty Nash took his final bow last night. He loved and was loved by so many and leaves a hole that no-one will ever fill. Evie, Sam and I could not be more proud of who he was and how he lived his life, particularly these past few very difficult months. Rest in peace now Scotty Nash . We will love you forever.
The Asteroids released four studio albums during their original lifespan – “Asteroid B-612” (1993), “Forced into a Corner” (1994), “Not Meant for this World” (October 1996) and “Readin' Between the Lines” (2000), before disbanding in 2004.
One of the best bands of the '90s (or any other decade) to emerge from Sydney's Northern Beaches, they recently partially reformed for shows in Spain but Nash was unable to make it. More recently, Scott played with Newcastle band Rangers of The Universe.