ASHLEY THOMSON Ex-Kelpies, Rollcage, Brother Brick, Panadolls Sydney, Australia
Top Ten Gigs I wish I was at drunk
Beatles - @ the Kaiserkeller - Hamburg, Germany. October 1960. From the era when the Beatles played four sets a night, 50 days straight, making themselves an extremely tight rock n roll machine. Heineken ja ja!
The Doors - @ Whiskey a Go Go - Los Angeles, USA. August 1966 Mostly I just want to hear a fat version of “The End”. I’d probably drop a trip as well. JD.
Coloured Balls/Lobby Lloyd - @ Sebastians, Melbourne. Saturday April 15, 1972 I’d make sure I was fucking hammered and slammed my head into the PA when they did their “torture rock porn” version of Heartbreak Hotel, suck more piss indeed. Just beer.
Robert Johnson @ anywhere around the Mississippi Delta, USA. 1935 “Hellhound on my Trail” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Moonshine.
The Byrds @ Whiskey a Go Go - Los Angeles, USA. 1966 So influential, changed everything, still listening to them. A trip as well? Not sure. Watermelon wine.
It’s 17,378 kilometres from Villarreal in Spain to Marrickville in Sydney, Australia, and more than three years since Stewart Cunningham was last there. At times, it must have felt like he’d crawled all those kilometres home on his hands and knees.
Villareal is where he and his band, Leadfinger, played the last gig of their first overseas tour in 2017. It was nearly their swansong.
Erm, Barman..? Five Rolling Rocks in your review for this which follows below? I beg to differ. Seven bottles.
The Barman made the rules up, and he’s scrupulous about playing by them. Reflects well on him. Me, I don’t have the time or inclination to give shit reviews to shit music; if “Friday Night Heroes” didn’t cut it, I wouldn’t review it. A 3 or 4 means the LP is either interesting and promising at the very least, 4 means its very good. Five bottles means that this a damn fine LP.
Today, Leadfinger merit a much greater score because first, these songs are songs which will last, and which will become like old friends, and therefore go higher in our esteem, and second, well, truth is I can’t stop playing the bloody thing. The other rather remarkable thing is that, in context with the rest of the band’s output, “Friday Night Heroes” stands out.
It's an all-too-familiar story: Veteran of the Sydney and Wollongong underground scenes, Stewart “Leadfinger” Cunningham, has been undergoing treatment for lung cancer since June. Friends are rallying behind the vocalist-guitarist with a GoFundMe appeal launched and at least one benefit show in the pipeline.
Stewart has been a stalwart of the Australian underground music scene for the last three decades in bands such as Proton Energy Pills, Brother Brick,The Yes Men, Asteroid B-612, Challenger 7 and for the last 12 years, Leadfinger.
"Hello and Goodbye" is the debut album for The Hot Sweets, a short-lived Wollongong band that folded a couple of years ago. I’m here to tell you, there’s a lot to like about The Hot Sweets, particularly if melodic garage-rock/power pop be your thing.
Yet that catch-all tag is only the tip of the iceberg. To better define The Hot Sweets sound you need to add in the following descriptors – likeable female vocals, melodic sensibilities, hard hitting riffs, infectious choruses and underscoring it all – pop hooks. For as I’ve written a zillion times, no matter what type of sound you are after, if a song don’t have a hook – it ain’t worth the paper it’s written on.
Here’s the exclusive debut of “Cheer Squad”, a non-album digital-only single and taster on Conquest of Noise for Leadfinger’s forthcoming album “Friday Night Heroes”.
“Cheer Squad”is a high-energy bolt from the zeitgeist...it's a song about social media and not fitting in with the crowd, with an attitude that harks back to the ‘70s punk era. “Cheer Squad” is backed up by “The Man I Used to Be”, from the upcoming album. Buy and download the single over the next month and you’ll also get an amazing non-album bonus track called Three Brothers. Three great songs for $A4 and they’re all available here.
Leadfinger will play "Cheer Squad" this Friday night at an I-94 Bar show at Sydney's Marrickville Bowling Club with special guests Simon Chainsaw (with an all-star band of ex-New Christs, Hell Crab City and Filth members) and the garage groove of The Escapes.