I first saw Blackie when I was 16. It was the Hard-Ons’ 21st birthday tour, and I was stuck in Coolangatta, a long way from home. I knew nothing of the band but the name intrigued me so I went along. To this day it’s one of my top five gigs.
Hit after hit of pop punk brilliance, and for me the Hard-Ons are the gold standard in the genre. And here was guitarist Blackie, who combined metal style shredding with fast three chord punk rock playing. My tiny mind was blown.
Since then Peter Black has launched a solo career. 2020 marks the release of his sixth and seventh solo offerings. One electric, one acoustic. Aside from being one of the country’s best guitarists, Blackie’s solo work proves what a beautiful songwriter he is. The man can do no wrong
I-94 Bar: Now you’re playing a gig this Saturday with the Hard-Ons, and I saw a while back you did a gig in Sydney with Nunchukka Superfly, which was 20 people only. You obviously love playing live, but I take it with the lockdown period playing live now must be that extra bit more special?
Blackie: Man, I tell you how fucking weird this is. We did a couple of gigs recently, where I played solo and with the two bands, and I did a solo gig with John Kennedy’s 68 Comeback Special. But three weeks ago Nunchukka played a gig with a band from Canberra, and it didn’t really occur to me, as I had been driving for three-and-a-half-hours, it was all so trippy, like fucking hell, now I got to sing!
It hit me as it’s the first time I had been out of Sydney for 10-11 months. It was weird, but awesome. I’m like now I got to find the venue, find a park, and lug the gear. I loved every second of it
We Are The Plague - Suzie Stapleton (Negative Prophet)
Suzie Stapleton is a lifer: a singer songwriter guitar, violin and piano player and a rare breed of musician. She is the complete package. From the angular arrangement of melodies to the blues that float around her head, music is a 24/7 occupation..
Originally from Sydney, this artist knew that Melbourne was where she needed to be to develop her craft and skills by playing solo, and with all sorts of musicians, both live and in the studio. She became highly respected in that town.
I first saw her at the Prince of Wales in Melbourne with a cellist accompanying her, and Suzie completely claimed the room as her own. Even the most ardent St Kilda, beer-in-hand, rock pigs were blown away Two EPs were released and licensed in Europe, where word soon spread about her atmospheric vocal, guitar playing and original and dark arrangements.
Anglesea 1981 - Little Murders (Off The Hip)
It’s a snapshot. Not grainy - this is from a well balanced desk tape - but captured with no attempt to airbrush the minor imperfections. Which adds to the charm.
If you don’t know Melbourne’s mod-pop kings Little Murders your life is incomplete. They were two years into their stop-start career and “Anglesea 1981” captures one of the early line-ups on a New Year’s Eve night in a crammed pub on the Victorian Surf Coast. There’s a fair sprinkling of what you should recognise as classics, plus some spirited covers.
He never sought the limelight but Greg Sawers was one of Sydney rock and roll's greatest unsung servants. His passing last night after a fight with illness has left a vacuum.
Greg was a longtime manager of Ian Rilen and The Love Addicts, Louis Tillett and X. He worked with ex-Noiseworks member turned solo artist Steve Balbi, and a raft of others. He was pivotal behind the release of the posthumous Ian Rilen and the Love Addicts album, "Family From Cuba".
A concert rigging crew supervisor, Greg had been battling ill-health for much of 2020.
UPDATE: Greg's funeral will be held at 12:15pm on Friday, December 4 at the Palm Chapel, Macquarie Park Crematorium, Macquarie Park. Wake details to be confirmed.
Veteran ex-Aztecs, Fanny Adams and BeeGees guitarist Vince Melouney has released a digital single with some high calibre helping hands.
Blondie’s Clem Burke is on drums on the cover of The Easybeats’ “Women” with Tel Shamy producing. Jonathan Lea of The Jigsaw Seen is on additional guitars, Alec Palao on bass and Paul Kopf on backing vocals. Alec and Paul are members of San Francisco-based band Strangers In A Strange Land and also play in the current version of The Seeds.
Check it out here.
Sunnyboys will celebrate 40 years since the release of their eponymous debut EP with a one-off show on December 13 at the Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre. Tickets are extremely limited so join the Sunnyboys mailing list by 10am on November 26 for your chance to secure pre-sale tickets. General tickets are on-sale on Tuesday, December 1 via sydneyoperahouse.com
RSA Blues - White Knuckle Fever (White Knuckle Fever)
Some explanation is in order - especially for those not watching at home: “RSA” stands for Responsible Service of Alcohol, an Australian rule that puts the onus on bar and pub staff to stop plying punters with booze when they’re as full as a fat lady’s boot. To continue service is to risk a draconian fine and imprisonment in a gulag.
While it’s true some Aussies can’t handle their grog, they’re a minority. That’s OK. We always legislate for the few. If only we were Europeans and could be trusted…
Now you’re wised up, “RSA Blues” is the lead song on a four-track, double seven-inch vinyl effort from White Knuckle Fever, the formidable - and fucking funny - psychobilly blues rock duo from Sydney, Australia. Celia Curtis (vocals, blues harp and burlesque behaviour) and Ross Threekshort (guitar and programming) are one of the best nights out this side of a Scientology building burning down.
Another World (The Best of The Archives) - Paul Collins & The Beat (Alive Natural Sound)
Paul Collins must be a hoarder. Probably a bit of OCD in there too, if you’ll excuse the long-distance and unqualified psychoanalysis. It goes with the pop songwriter turf. And this collection of previously unreleased recordings attests to it.
These songs are from Collins' sock drawer and they go all the way back to 1980. Don't let the demo quality of some of them deter you. There's more than the occasional fleck of gold among the 18 tunes. In fact, it's a rich vein. For example, "Hey DJ" outstrips the previously released version - by a long way.