Another chance to Dance

witness to the crimeWitness To The Crime – Gunfire Dance (Easy Action)

If you loved the Damned, Thee Hypnotics, Bounty Hunters, and Lords Of The New Church, be sure to order this gorgeous Gunfire Dance vinyl album from Easy Action and play the motherfucker as loud as you can.

It is a posthumous compilation and a thing of real beauty, designed by Dave Twist with liner notes by yours humbly, and features some really beautiful, seldom seen photos of our UK lads from back in the day.

Old sounds from an old school romantic

the taste of honey cvrThe Taste of Honey'...- Tim Hudspith and Goldentone (Dead Letter Records)

I saw Tim Hudspith play a few weeks ago. Still has that remarkably lush tone to his music, still those love songs which alternately haunt or spook the listener into a study of memory, or provoke a wry, pained smile of recognition.

We don't always get what we want, nor less what we deserve, but Hudspith twitches our romantic soul.

If you don't have one of those, I will ask you to ponder what on earth you're doing reading about rock 'n' roll.

Hudspith is a romantic of the old school. All those expectations raised and lowered, flying high then spiralling down to dust.

Bowie done justice but a haircut wouldn't have hurt

moonage daydreamMoonage Daydream (2022)
Directed and produced by Brett Morgen

Moonage Daydream, Brett Morgen’s love letter to David Bowie, is complete sensory overload.

Sitting in a near empty cinema on a Sunday evening, I found myself both captivated and bored at the same time. The documentary, at about 135 minutes, was long and some of the footage was used multiple times which was distracting; it could have been edited tighter.

Morgen as director, producer and editor has put together an epic that does, in some way, portray Bowie’s legacy, doing it justice.

Visually, the film was stunning, featuring footage I’d never seen before… not that I’d consider myself a Bowie tragic, but all people of a certain age found their lives intertwined with Ziggy or The Thin White Duke to some extent. Rare live footage of The Spiders was plentiful, if mentions of the contribution of that band, and especially Mick Ronson, were not.

Morgen’s art direction was a clumsy allegory to the chaos and isolation Bowie seems to have fostered. As an insight into the man as an artist you came away with a sense of his disconnection and disordered and chaotic approach to his craft.

The archival footage both on and off stage was plentiful, and you genuinely got a feel for the extent of his many talents with Bowie’s painting and videography featured extensively. There are many montages that flash through gigs and offstage footage at a great pace that becomes exhausting.

Up yer bum is code for fun

gymslips cvrRocking with the Renees – The Gymslips (Optic Nerve)

If East London’s The Gymslips swapped warm beer for weak cat’s piss and pretended to be in high school would they have presaged The Donnas? The English all-girl band (that’d be The Gymslips) haven’t been active since 1985 so it’s a moot point, as they say in philosophy texts.

This re-release of the Gymslips’ 1983 bubblegum punk debut LP brings a lot of froth and fun to the table. If you hadn’t worked that out by the first verse of openenign song “Renees” with its lyric “We’re the Renees/Here we come/1-2-3 and up your bum” you’re probably not trying.

“Rocking With The Renees” includes their debut single (a faithful cover of Suzie Quatro’s “48 Crash”) and 14 other tracks, one of them enigmatically listed as “Untitled”. There another four available on a vinyl EP, “Silly Egg”.

Forty years after "X-Aspirations", there's nothing like X at the Tote

x toteX
Tote Hotel, Collingwood, VIC
Saturday, September 10, 2022

Hello Barflies. Some things don’t change. There's |still nothing finer in old Melbourne town than The Tote Hotel, Collingwood, packed full of like-minded punters with a single purpose of getting their rocks off. And let me say that this Saturday night was no exception.

X were exceptional. I mean, they were just so “on” and tight. And so fucking dirty sounding. Steve Lucas just ripping his guitar. Man. he hits those strings hard. What a sound! I was literally two metres away from the great man.

X were celebrating the  40th anniversary of the classic album, “X-Aspirations”, playing the whole album in running order. How good it was. “Suck Suck” just busted out of the house sound system. Which is where I found Steve wrestling with earlier in the night when I dropped by to pay my pre-gig respects. He and soundie Dazza were in a state, trying to figure out said system. Thank fuck they got it sorted. Onya Dazza .

Kim Volkman (bass) was flashing the coolest pair of shoes I've seen in many a good year. Simon The Drummer was playing his third gig with X and second with Kim. He bashed and crashed through, locking in with Kim as a rhythm section that sounded like they’d been playing together for years.

The songs that Ian Krahe left behind

irk erk

Ian Krahe, original guitarist for seminal Australian underground legends X, left the planet in 1978 but his influence is still being felt. A celebration of his 65th birthday is being organised at Sydney’s Crowbar on Sunday, September 25, from 7pm. Tickets are selling here.

Current member of X, Geof Holmes, and friends will play songs by Evil Roomers, which was the original band for himself, Krahe, drummer Ed Fisher and bassist Ian Rilen. Holmes will be on guitar, joined by Jim Dickson (The Survivors, New Christs, Radio Birdman) on bass, John Butler (X) on drums and Ian Krahe’s nephew Luke Edwards, also on guitar. Slack Punks are supporting.

“We’ll be playing music Ian left behind when he died tragically in May 1978,” Geof explains. “You’ll hear some songs he wrote while in X. Unfortunately, Steve Lucas can’t be there so they will be our versions, with material from Ian’s earlier musical adventures with me in Evil Roomers.

Fred Negro's movie comes to Sydney

Trash video guru Andrew Leavold’s documentary about iconic St Kilda identity and frontman for various bands., Fred Negro, gets its latest airing at the Sydney Underground Film Festival at Event Cinemas in George Street, Sydney, at 7pm on Saturday. 

“Pub: The Movie” profiles Negro, the infamous Melbourne ratbag whose role in the local music scene cannot be underestimated: a musician and artist, an impresario and familiar local barfly, a satirist and cartoonist who chronicled his beloved St Kilda as the heart of musical talent in his weekly Pub comic strip.

Tickets for “Pub: The Movie” are here.

Negro takes audiences through the dirty and mythic Melbourne music scene, regaling stories that also reflect on the changing face of modern cities’ role in birthing the future of music.

Leavold has used a wealth of archival material – photos, recordings, gig videos, newspaper clippings, fanzines, fliers, TV appearances and live performances – as well as new footage of the bars and pubs of St Kilda. Talking heads include Tim Rogers (You Am I), Greg Macainsh (Skyhooks), Paulie Stewart (Painters and Dockers) and Graham Hood (The Johnnys).

“Pub: The Movie” received a massive reception at the Melbourne International Film Festival last month. As part of the Sydney debut, Leavold and producers Jonathan Sequeira and Brett Garten will partcipate in a Q&A.

A French kiss that will smear your lipstick

sentinentSentinent – Other-ed (Self released)

This instantly classic CD comes from France in a gorgeous pink minimalist gatefold sleeve with a photo of a black bat-winged androgyne on the cover shades of Specimen, Bauhaus, March Violets, early Cure and Joy Division/New Order.

Genius vocalist/songwriter/musician/fashionplate, Laurent Chopard, is predominantly famous all over the world for being the long-time editor of Veglam, home of the subversive international glam rock-glitter-sleaze and trash punk underground. If you loved ‘80s Goth and new wave, post punk, and dangerous synth-pop as much as I do, this brilliant collection of radical protest songs sung in an echoing, sexy baritone, an updated version of, you know, Sisters Of Mercy, Mission, Depeche Mode, Tubeway Army, Japan, OMD, Blancmange…you get the picture.

Feeling Superstitious: Ron S Peno brings his crack band back to Sydney

rsp sydneyTake the tip and don't miss Ron S Peno and The Superstitions when they play their first Sydney show since 2017 at Marrickville Bowliing Club on Saturfday, November 12. Tickets for the show, presented by The I-94 Bar, went on sale this mormnig here and are moving very quickly.

Supports are Fabels, Nothing But Dust (featuring Died Pretty bassist Steve Clark) and MD Horne. For health resons, Ron and The Superstitions will play early at 915pm, and the night will be closed by MD Horne.

Ron S. Peno & The Superstitions are fronted by one of Australia’s greatest and most charismatic performers, Ron S. Peno, whose voice is as instantly recognisable as it is arresting.

Ron came to prominence as lead singer and principal co-composer with Died Pretty in the 1980s and 1990s. With Died Pretty, he achieved Top 30 success with multiple albums, received numerous ARIA nominations, made many Big Day Out appearances and enjoyed years of Triple J support, as well as great national and international critical acclaim.

Ron and The Superstitions' first and third albums, "Future Universe" (2011) and "Guiding Light" (2017), were both long-listed for the Australian Music Prize, and they have toured through Spain, Italy and France.

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