dark clouds - The I-94 Bar

After the Sun - The Dark Clouds (self released)

after the sunWhen I got “After The Sun” in the mail about six weeks ago, I wondered whether the Barman (whose review follows this but was published first) had it right.

Doesn’t seem to matter these days about influences, except to the sad bearded bastards desperate to appear interesting, and besides, I particularly enjoy listening to a CD cold, without the hype and boosterism. But … if you like rock’n’roll, and have ever kicked yourself (like me with Leadfinger) that you weren’t on the ground floor of a band on the elevator heading up fast to the 99th floor…

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Dean DarkCloud of The Dark Clouds

dean darkcloud 2020"Pizza, Punks & Prophets"
Barfly Top Ten 2020
Dean Darkloud of The Dark Clouds
Wollongong, Australia
(Anthony Mitchell photo)

“Rock n Roll ain’t dead. It just sounds a little different”

10. Wreckless Enterprise. Hats off to these two DIY Crazy Cats for doing what they do. With passion and intent, tirelessly flying the flag of creative support. 2020 saw them release, amongst other things the third instalment of their "Short Fuse" compilation series: 15 tracks, all under a minute jammed packed onto a 7” (or CD). It’s a punk rock smorgasbord.

Wreckless Enterprise: keeping the underground above ground. So, if it’s a home grown, all you can eat punk rock buffet that you are after; check out this blossoming grass roots label. "Short Fuse" we salute you!

9. Mike Foxall. The man behind the Art of Fox. You may know him as Inverted Crucifox, guitarist extraordinaire in Neptune Power Federation whom in my opinion are one of Australia's best modern live acts.

A two-night Date With Some Mesmerisers

brian and mickBrian Mann and Mick Medew trading licks in Thirroul. Shona Ross photo.

Gonna break that rule about not reviewing I-94 Bar gigs, as the second of this two-night engagement was badged thus. If you can’t write about things you like, what’s the point? It’s the ethos of why we do this e-zine thing.



So let’s be up front and say that Mick Medew is a good mate and his band, The Mesmerisers, are lovely people. In customary evangelical spirit, I’m unashamedly going to tell you that if you love rock and roll then you have to see them - in their native Brisbane or on one of their few forays outside of Queensland. 

The first leg of this two-night weekend stand was a support to the mighty Sunnyboys, opening a bill shared with the mercurial Ups & Downs. The venue was the magic Anita’s Theatre in Thirroul, an hour-and-a-bit south of Sydney. The second was a Sydney show at the increasingly familiar stamping ground of Marrickville Bowling Club. The Mesmerisers are making the road trip a family affair with partners and two offspring in tow.

BARFLY TOP TEN: theDean of Wollongong band The Dark Clouds. Facebook, Rock n Roll and all that Jazz.

the dean

Earthlings! We The Dark Clouds don’t care who you are! If you like polls, surveys and lists or if you think Shannon Noll is the pits. You’re all going under The Thunder.

1) You know that guy. The keyboard warrior, the one always going on about there is no good music these days. The guy with Brian Mannix as his profile pic. Well strike me lucky and call me Shirley you Putz. Here’s 10 bands in ten seconds: Port Royal, Legs Electric, The Lazys, MASSIVE, Aberration, Grindhouse, Dead Set, The CRAW!, East Coast Low, Electric Mary. See how easy that was. 10 ripper bands in ten seconds.

Double dose of Birdman with Mick's Memserisers added to the bills

rb 2019Radio Birdman is playing just two Australian shows this year - June 21 at The Factory Theatre in Sydney and June 22 at the Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle - and Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers are joining them for both.

East Coast Low complete the bill in Newcastle and The Dark Clouds join the Sydney line-up.

The support spots will be part of a busy year for Mick Medew and his band with their forthcoming album expected to be out in time for the shows.

Both gigs will sell out with tickets available from both venue websites.

The Dark Clouds preview is one wild ride

Wollongong-based rockers The Dark Cloudshave just released a new video to preview their forthcoming second album. Always hitting home with their cultural rewferences, there's an obvious nod to "Mad Max" in this one. Here's "MFP". 
 

The Dark Clouds storm into view

The Dark Clouds from Wollongong are one of the newer Aussie bands in the Detroit-rock-Dictators mould making an impact on the local underground scene. Here's their debut video for "Lilac Dress" from their debut album, reviewed here. Connect with them on Facebook here.

Top Tens for 2021: Monster Thunderclap of The Dark Clouds

monster 2021MONSTER THUNDERCLAP’S TOP TEN

1. EAST COAST LOW – “SEAS ON FIRE”
Cause I f&*king like it!

2. LUCIFER STAR MACHINE – “THE DEVILS BREATH”
Cause I F#&king like it!

3. GRINDHOUSE – “SEX PUNK POWER”
Cause it’s SEXY!!

4. SHOWS 2021
Cheers to all the awesome bands we shared a stage with, and a huge shout out to all the venues…. CAUSE I SAID SO!!!  

5. LEADFINGER AND SWEDISH MAGAZINES AT MARRICKVILLE BOWLO, NSW
No explanation needed!!

6. TUMBLEWEED 30TH ANNIVERSARY SHOWS AT LA LA LA’S, WOLLONGONG, NSW.
Brilliant!

7. SPIDERS – “SHAKE ELECTRIC”
Cause it’s Killer!

8. MONSTER MAGNET – “A BETTER DYSTOPIA”
Cause it’s a mind-blowing album of covers!

9. MARVEL – “LIZARD LOUNGE”
Cause they do it for me!

10. AUSSIE BANDS
All the great Aussie bands putting out inspirational music (WE SALUTE YOU!) F@$k all the lazy MOFO’s, that say there isn’t any good music anymore.

Monster Thuinderclap plays guitar for Wollongong's The Dark Clouds. 

Top Tens for 2021: TheDean of Wollongong's The Dark Clouds


dean 2021TheDean fronting The Dark Clouds. Rayna Jeffs photo

1. Sentacruz & the Genre Fluid Blues.
The Dark Clouds
have been doing what they do for over 10 years now. So I’m pretty comfortable these days to refer to myself as an artist or even a muso.  Now sadly for me there is one big negative to playing Rock n Roll. At times I find myself losing the whole “being a music fan” thing. I can get lost in critiquing the production, a snare sound, the arrangement rather than enjoying it for what it is.

So for this Barfly Top 10 I’ll try and throw my muso hat away and write it as the music fan I’ve been since I first  heard "Linda Bella Linda" by Daniel Sentacruz Ensemble back in Rome, 1974.

You're never alone with a bulging back catalogue. Ain't that the truth

 rob factory
Rob Younger at The Factory Theatre. Shona Ross photo.

Radio Birdman
+ Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers
+ East Coast Low
Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday, June 21, 2019

Radio Birdman
+ Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers
+ The Dark Clouds
Factory Theatre, Marrickville, NSW
Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Aints!
+ Colonel Kramer & The Eamon Dilworth One Man Brass Ensemble
Factory Theatre, Marrickville, NSW
Friday, June 28, 2019


Your own legacy is a hard act to follow. This is a tale of two bands.

On one hand you have Radio Birdman, a thoroughly re-tooled and different beast to its previous incarnations and still carrying a substantial reputation. They’re a prime reason why The I-94 Bar exists.

On the other, you have The Aints!, who are led by foundation Saints member Ed Kuepper and armed with a setlist partly planted in that band’s past, with the balance comprising songs that were written for the old band but never recorded.

I-94 Bar