Chris Newwton in The Smart Folk. Corrie Ancone photo .
10 great Australian indie singles from 2021 you may not have heard…yet
By Chris Newton – guitarist/vocalist from The Smart Folk, and The Lost Husky; and bassist from Tigers At The Edge Of Time.
Like many fellow musos, in 2021 after getting out of the gates early in what proved to be a false start race that lockdown soon put sternly to bed, I fell into the pit of songwriter’s block for six months.
Thankfully, many bands – several of whom I’m privileged to call friends – didn’t suffer the same fate.
Here’s just ten independent ‘singles’ that have hit the online shelves this year, that give me (and hopefully you) hope for the musical future. In no particular order…
The Johnnys are playing a Sunday afternoon show at the hottest bar , the Link and Pin, in Woy Woy (an hour north of Sydney) in January. They're following in the steps of the Hard-Ons who playsed a secret gig with their new frontman, Tim Rogers, on December 10 as a warm-up for theiur national tour. The Johnnys do the Link and Pin on January 9 from 5pm. Buy a ticket in advance here.
Back in the dim, dark past of Sydney’s nascent underground music scene, a band called the Thought Criminals stood out like the proverbial dog’s. They were so unlike all the other spotty kids on the inner-city block.
Nineteen-seventy-seven (the time of their birth) was the Year of Radio Birdman. The Thoughties, with their jagged rhythms, blaring keyboards, political lyrics and highly-strung vocals, sounded nothing like them. They were post-punk before punk had ended.
Shooting up vaccine while saying, “’scuse me while I kiss the sky
Wavves – “Hideaway” album. I play it every day for months. Loved ‘em since “King of The Beach”.
Private Function - Best rock/punk band in Australia and also the funniest. Their live shows are action from start to finish.
Ceremony – There has been an astonishing progression over the last 10 years. Think Husker Dü/Replacements, but they have gotten to this neon, cool place at the moment. Their old shows on YouTube are killer.
A kid I made, Spike Vincent, made this beautiful song called “Time Machine”, it’s in skateboarding movies etc. I love it.
Watching this year’s Stones tour on YouTube and the Beatles doco (I love both of ‘em.)
Started a new label called Rolled in Glitter Records: “You can’t shine a turd but you can roll it in glitter” . I will be raiding my vaults. Vanity label extreme.
How my close friends were supportive during virus crazy time.
Shane McGowan doco “Fairy Tale in New York”. It gives me rising sad tears every time.
Also fuck all you, you rusted on Radio Birdman heads!!!
Last Sunday afternoon-evening at Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney’s inner-western blues delta was an occasion for pop music fans. And whether it was a breaking of the lockdown drought or an appreciation that this was an album launch, they turned out in their droves.
John Nolan (left) with Tim Hemensley and Timmy-Jack Ray in the Powder Monkeys.
John Nolan, the former Powder Monkeys and Bored! guitarist and more recently member of Powerline Sneakers, has died. It is understood a family member found him earlier today in his Melbourne home.
The lanky, long-haired and wickedly talented Nolan was an elder statesman of the Melbourne underground scene. He initially rose to prominence in Geelong band Beyond the Magnolia Curtain in the mid-1980s. and went on to the twin-guitar line-up of Bored!
In 1991, Nolan and Bored! bassist Tim Hemensley (ex-GOD) left Bored! to set up the Powder Monkeys, who became one of Australia’s most fearsome - and infamous - outfits.
Greetings Rockers and Goomers! It’s the end of another weird year. How many is that now?
Here are my Top Ten releases - mostly Australian artists - and venues, in no particular order of preference. Not all were released in 2021 - but close enough. These releases and venues kept me sane in 2021.Merry Xmas and a free and Happy New Year!