Top Tens for 2021: Clyde Bramley of The On And Ons and ex-Hoodoo Gurus

clyde and glenn
Clyde Bramley’s Top New South Wales Live Music Venues 2021

“The Magnificent Seven” (I’m sure there are many more out there, but I haven’t had a chance to interact with them over the past year!)

1. Marrickville Bowlo, Marrickville, NSW
The flagship Sydney venue at the moment. I particularly like the Sunday arvos with a very civilised 4:30-7:30 time frame. Richard Ball always does a sensational mix.

Brace of books that celebrate Aussie blues - and rock and roll

blues portraits vol 1 and2Blues Portrait Volume 2 by Pauline Bailey 
Blues Portrait Volume 3 by Pauline Bailey

If you want to pick an argument, get into a discussion with a professional musician about what constitutes blues music.

There are those who regard themselves as “blues players” and those who do not, and never the twain shall meet.

There’s a mindset among some self-described blues players that they’re the “real deal” and everyone else is not. It must really rankle for them to have seen the annual Bluesfest evolve into a (mostly bland) celebration of the mainstream.

Top Tens for 2021: Ross Nelson of Sonic Stew on Sydney's 2RRR

 ross nelson 2021

2021 ALBUMS:

1. COURETTES – “BACK IN MONO” (DAMAGED GOODS) 
The Courettes
still seem to be without profile in these parts but have been gathering plenty of fans across Europe over the past few years. A Brazilian/ Danish wife (guitar & vocals)/ husband (drums) team who have been fine tuning their garage crossed with 60’s girl group sound, culminating in this whizz bang LP.

2. HARD-ONS - I'M SORRY SIR, THAT RIFF'S BEEN TAKEN (CHEERSQUAD) 
I thought the prior Hard-Ons album was their best yet and then they go and drop this. Hard to beat!

3. CIVIC - FUTURE FORECAST (FLIGHTLESS)
Fantastic rockin’ album which delivers on the promise of their earlier EP and singles.

Top Tens for 2021: Robert Lastdrager, Melbourne-based writer and drummer.

T Bones DannysT Bones at Danny Hamburgers in 1990:  Charlie Wilde, Helen Cattanach, Andrew Pupillo and Rob Lastdrager.

Bring on 2022 after a surreal 262 days in lockdown here in Melbourne. We all did a lot of daydreaming and walking the hood waiting for cocktail hour. Here are a few highlights that got me through in no particular order.

1. T Bones Greatest Hits 1991
Our 30th Year anniversary. Recorded at Sing Sing in Melbourne by Mark Smith in a couple of days. I was worried at the time after having four wisdom teeth removed days before the recording, I needn’t have been. Still has great R&R energy. Would’ve been cool to do a 30th reunion show in 2021. C’est la vie.

Top Tens for 2021: UK music publicist Gerry Ranson

gerry ranson 202110. JAMES DOMESTIC – “FAZE OUT”
This just scrapes in as a debut single but by the time The Domestics’ frontman’s album emerges this Spring, it’ll be a shoo-in for end of year lists. A brilliant first effort, “Faze Out” keeps some of the East Anglian hardcore pioneers’ energy but cloaks his Dury-ish man-in-the-pub spiel in junskshop electronica.

9. VIEWS – “MOTHER TAPES ANTHOLOGY 1986-1990”
Not sure how this lot passed me by in my student days, but this double from Area Pirata is an excellent introduction to (or reminder of) Brescia band Views. One for paisley underground fans, they borrow the Dü’s knack for belligerence and melody with occasional wigouts into Yo La Tengo lightheadedness.

8. SONNY VINCENT – “SNAKE PIT THERAPY”
STILL one of punk’n’roll’s best-kept secrets, Sonny came within a Rizla’s breadth of going overground and not a moment too soon. The Limit album that came out earlier in the year, fronted by Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling, brought him a whole new audience, but this is really what he does best. A confident resurgence considering the trials of recent years.

Rapping with the Reverend: Gunhouse Hill's Paul S. Cunningham in conversation

gunhouse mill

I've known this soulful, creative, talented brother Reverend Paul S Cunningham of Boston’s Gunhouse Hill for a long time now, through the miracle of modern telecommunications on the surveillance panopticon. In recent days I've been locked outta social media for too much facts-based push-back against billionaire techlords’ preferred narratives. Reverend Paul is one of the only people I miss being able to look in on.

Let me tell ya ‘bout him.

Top Tens for 2021: Adam Brzozowski and Milly Dalton, co-owners at Link and Pin cafe and live music venue, Woy Woy, NSW.

adam and milly 2021TOP 10 FROM OUTTASPACE!
By Adam Brzozowski and Milly Dalton, co-owners at Link and Pin cafe and live music venue, Woy Woy, NSW, and the Outtaspace record label.

The label went a bit quiet (because REASONS), but we’re ending 2021 with a BANG!

1. NOT THE JOHNNYS Link and Pin, New Year’s Day 2021
Hoody, Slim and special deputies Kane Dyson and Matt Brown had the audience fit to bust; it was our first proper rock’n’roll show in the beer garden after the Avalon COVID spike. There were a few tears between us when the fellas ripped into ‘Injun Joe’. You can see THE JOHNNYS live at Link and Pin on 9 January, 2022! Tickets here.

Top Tens for 2021: Darren Birch of Black Bombers

darren birch 2021

Another year with nothin' to do....!! No gigs to speak of though we did manage to fit in one Black Bombers show just before the years end to blow away the cobwebs..!! Top Ten? Mostly reissues but here goes...

Bored – “Back For More” (Bang!)
A UK Record Store Day release. R.I.P. John Nolan

Endless Boogie- “Admonitions”
The Boogie is indeed endless.

Top Tens for 2021: Edwin Garland of Sydney bands Moonlight 5, Waxworks and Dwarfthrower

 moonlight 5 2021

This is not a real Top Ten list as such. Just a list of personal highlights that were beacons in what was another shit year for most of us.

The passing of Johnny Nolan (Bored!, Powder Monkeys, Powerline Sneakers) did not help. After his death, I read through al private messages we exchanged over the past decade. Johnny was a man of passion and so much love for music a genuine lovely bloke with his bands. R.I.P.

The Sonny Michaels Show
This shambolic pisstake on the bad ‘70s TV host has equal parts Norman Gunston and Don Lane. We get two hours per month. It is so funny.  Paula and Mike Brown are a talented duo and the Sonny Michaels character is world-class.  They also present at least 15 artist videos who would not normally get viewed outside their YouTube channels .Great work. 

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