1. Do The Pop! Festival, October 2022 - Port Campbell, VIC.
One of the best rock n roll experiences I’ve had since the glory days of the Big Day Out in early-to-mid-1990s. A good sized, easy going crowd, all (mostly) attending for two good reasons: beer and rock 'n' roll. An exceptional line-up featuring a range of established and up-and-coming bands. Big thanks to Mick Simpson of Grindhouse and friends for organising what will go down as one the great inaugural festival events. No question this is my Number One pick for 2022.
2. Howlin’ Threads EP "Of The Sea" (Meinshaft Records)
It was great to self-release this 4 x track EP featuring contributions from a wicked array of Australian rock n roll legends, including Penny Ikinger (Wet Taxis) on vocals, Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) and Kent Steedman (Celibate Rifles) on lead guitar, James McCann (Harpoon) on slide and harmonica, and Brent Williams (New Christs) on keys. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to work with all these amazing people. For those keen to own one, a few Deniz Tek autographed copies are available here.
THE FARMHOUSE TOP TEN
Hello Barflies, another year nearly gone, another Top Ten and what a wonderful 12 months it has been. I got off the farm a few times for my horrible public transport trips to Melbourne. A thousand-kilometer return trip is getting harder and harder to get motivated to do, but some bands are bloody well worth it. Oh, and family and friends also. Big shout out to my gig buddy, The Tasmanian Bushman. 2023 - bring it on! So folks, here you…here’s my humble Top Ten.
X at The Tote
X live at the Tote Hotel playing ”X-Aspirations” for its 40th anniversary. What a blast this night was. Steve Lucas’s screaming guitar and vocals are always great but at the old stomping ground, the Tote Hotel in Collingwood, they were something else. A memorable night and the gift of a scarf from Kim Volkman made my evening.
The Johnnys at St Kilda Bowls Club was another wonderful gig. It was made all the better because it was my birthday and Bushy got me a wee bit drunk. And I got a present from Billy Pommer Jr.
Diggin’ It! – Wild Zeros (Heavy Medication/Adrenalin Fix/Beast)
Scuzzier and nastier than your usual French garage rock, “Dig It!” is three tracks of furious punk fun.
First impressions count for a lot and on the strength of their 2019 seven-inch compilation on Heavy Medication, “Well Cooked”, Wild Zeros are a singles band, in that they’re equipped with succinct, catchy songs that do their business and get out of the way. This 45 does nothing to dispel that.
The title track skids along like a Renault with no brakes with a distinct Devil Dogs flavour. There’s a nagging chorus and room for a brief guitar break before the thing shudders to a halt. “Tough Job” doesn’t have many lyrics aside from the title and probably doesn’t need them. “Did You Dig It?” is a raw and rhetorical question that's served with a side of raw six-strings.
The whole shebang has as many chords as it has songs and is delivered with a ragged sense of l’ espirt that’s invariably fuelled by a case of those Kronenbourg 1664 green bottles.
Captured in his element by Jonathan Sequeira.
Top Ten Sydney Gigs of 2022
Rubber Necker - Hollywood Hotel, Surry Hills.
Three sets!! Free admission! On a school night! In Surry Hills! Just like the old days and Rubber Necker were brilliant. Their debut album is coming in 2023.
Out of Time – Sonic’s Rendezvous Band (Easy Action)
Some bands defy objective assessment and Sonic’s Rendezvous Band is one of them. So let’s not even try to pretend.
How can you be objective about a band that issued just one single in its lifetime when it happens to be “City Slang”, inarguably the greatest rock and roll seven-inch of all time? Can you really question the worth of a band whose lineage is former MC5, Rationals, Stooges and The Up members?
Yes, you could. But that’s just you.
Patrick couldn't make the photo session so he sent Halfrid.
1. Spencer P Jones tribute night, Tote Hotel, 16 April.
Everything I’d hoped from that gig, and more. Foggy Notion, James McCann, Digger and the Pussycats and the Escape Committee led by the incomparable, indefatigable Helen Cattanach. The opening three song salvo – “Terrorise Your Friends”, “What’s Got Into Him” and “Your Pretty Face is Going to Waukeegan” – with Sly Faulkner on vocals and The Last Gasp horns, was as powerful a start to a set that I can remember. So much love in the air. Spencer would’ve loved it.
The year started with a lot of writing and preparing of songs which would appear on the debut album ''Love is Calling by Mick Medew and Ursula .The world close to us was starting to look engaging again with Covid seemingly dissipating
1. Love is Calling Release - June 19
Our album is released on June 19, gaining much attention. Having the album chart on 4ZZZ's chart show for four weeks and being selected as Album of the Week is yet another example of our wonderful radio station being good to us . Seeing many reviews and articles in print was a first for the century. Thanks to Craig Barman for all the hard work.
Anna White photo
Two of the hardest working men in Australian show business, Ed Kuepper and Jim White, return for a short series of duo shows this summer.
Kuepper has just completed a run of residency shows with his new instrumental project Asteroid Ekosystem and drummer White is taking a brief pause from international touring with Bill Callahan, Xylouris White and Marisa Anderson.
The pair will continue their journey of exploration via Kuepper’s extensive catalogue and a studio release by the pair looms in 2023. Acoustic troubadour Darren Cross will open all shows which are on sale now via feelpresents.com
ED KUEPPER & JIM WHITE
Thu Feb 2 Murwillumbah, The Regent
Fri Feb 3 Coffs Harbour, The Jetty
Sat Feb 4 Brisbane, The Outpost
Wed Feb 8 Sydney, The Great Club
Thu Feb 9 Cronulla, Brass Monkey
Fri Feb 10 Melbourne, Brunswick Ballroom