EDWIN GARLAND Guitarist with Moonlight 5, Waxworks, Dwarfthrower I-94 Bar reviewer Sydney, Australia
I am sure many will say the same: This has been a shit of a year. Even so, I included much more than ten. Who cares !!
The passing of Greg Sawers One piece of news hit me in the guts: Greg Sawyers’ death. What more can be said about this real local legend and complete old school identity. He could be fit equally well at the Marrickville Bowlo or Annandale Hotel (R.I.P.) or the Wentworth Park dog track with his working -class dreams and love of supporting pure rock ‘n’ roll. Band manager Greg Sawyers took over when God got drunk. For Ian Rilen, Louis Tillet, Steve Lucasand Steve Balbi, he was their minder and advocate. He always had a couch for those in need and was willing to cook up his bacon and eggs when they woke sometime after midday. Greg was all heart and part of a Sydney music scene that is now gone.
Like the escapees from lockdown prison that they are, Melbourne’s Swedish Magazines are setting a frenzied course for New South Wales now the gates are again open, and will land at Marrickville Bowling Club on Friday, November 26 for their only Sydney show, presented by the I-94 Bar.
The reformed early 2000s high-energy outfit will be packing a new best of collection, ”I Wish Life Could Be…”, on LP and CD.
And lending a hand as special guests are the re-animated Leadfinger (poised to release their own new record very soon) and the psychedelic Sabbath-meets-Dictators crunch of Jupiter 5, hauling their own vinyl and CD single. Tickets are on sale here.
Angelo, Jay and The Celebrity Roadie front up for Jupiter 5.
Jupiter 5 + 50LgE The MoshPit, Erskineville Saturday, May 1, 2021
The Moshpit is such a great venue. Located down the Sydney Park end of Newtown, this is the sort of establishment you would walk past during the day and not even be aware that it existed.
It is, virtually, a corridor with some lounges inside the entrance, a bar, some tables and chairs then the stage. Fantastic intimate vibe with a lot of band memorabilia lining the walls, craft beers on tap and friendly staff and clientele. The Moshpit is currently celebrating three years of operation with many great bands playing - so now you have an extra excuse to visit this iconic venue and check it out.
Hoody from The Johnnys revels in a pair of undies last seen on a stage when Tom Jones played Marrickville Bowlo.
The Johnnys Molting Vultures Jupiter 5 Marrickville Bowling Club Friday, February 14, 2020
After a hard day of work at the end of the week, the temptation to see three A-class bands at Marrickville Bowling Club was hard to resist.
I don’t usually plug bistros but I have to say that what might appear to be basic club or pub food was done exceptionally well at the Bowlo. Hats off to the Marrickville Bowling Club for having a fantastic diner.
After that meal and time well spent watching planes from around the world fly over as the sun set over the greens of the club with a Young Henrys Newtowner beer in hand, it was time to see Jupiter 5.
First up I confess I only know one of the members, Peter Ross the bass player, and love him and label head The Barman. Even so, I wouldn't say I liked a record just to please them. They know if I didn't like this, I'd (1) tell them, and (2) refuse to review it.
The Barman asked if I wanted to review this. Funny, when friends ask me to review stuff, the paid professional refuses, because if the disc is shit, how do you say it's shit without pooping on your friendship? Also, the Chief Editor or Drunk In Charge will squeak about conflicting interests. Well, for some people that's invariably the case. Our pollies have always had a talent for entertaining us with stories like “I didn't know”, “It was like that when I got here, honest” and “Look, define blackmail...”
You've all been in a similar situation, I'm sure. Perhaps not as a reviewer (nor, indeed, as a blackmailing fuckstick), but maybe rolling out on a Friday or Saturday to see your friend's band and, boy, did they suck the fat one. Thereafter, each weekend until the band thankfully collapses amid acrimony and blame, your excuses come thick and fast, from “her indoors is sick” to “I crashed the car” via “the dog ate my mobile” and “the police found my nightstick”...
The latest release on our own I-94 Bar Records is on sale and it's a killer. It's the debut 45 for Sydney band Jupiter 5, "H-Bomb" b/w "Supersonic Hero" and it's unveiled at The MoshPit in Erskineville, Sydney, on Saturday night.
Pre-sales of the vinyl are here and come with an instant download of both A sides and a live cover of the Dictators' "Minnesota Strip", which is on the limited edition CD exclusively on sale at gigs.
Jupiter 5 is a fuzz-laden garage-punk and hard rock five-piece with DNA extracted from Sheek the Shayk, Hitmen DTK, Thurston Howlers, 69BC and the Psychotic Turnbuckles.
They'll be supported by 50LgE,a bulldozing trio from the NSW Far North Coast making their Sydney debut and comprised of former members of the Psychotic Turnbucklesand The Eastern Dark.Doors open at 8pm or you can buy a pass to stream the show here.
Kevin 'BIGDADDYK' Cherry SYDNEY SOUNDS 2RRR 88.5 SATURDAY 6PM (Sydney time) TOP 10 + 2 OF 2021.
DATELINE: FRESHWATER BEACH, SYDNEY, NSW: I'm fortunate to be living within 10 minutes walking distance to the birthplace of Australian surfing - affectionately known to the locals as Freshie. I usually go there in the early evening around 6pm when it's un-patrolled as there are less people and cooler so I’m less likely to get sunburnt. Water temperature has been tropical (around 21 degrees Celsius) but refreshing. A great, healthy and socially-distanced way to spend Summer.
The following 12 highlights (in no particular order) are by local bands recorded during Covid lockdown and regularly played on The Sydney Sounds Show ON SaturdayS 6pm 2RRR 88.5mz.
1. MOONLIGHT FIVE Made their debut last year (and listed in my Top 10 of 2020) with the polarising song/video “Lockdown Blues”, followed a few months later with the more accessible “Listening to Gospel Music on The Radio” - both of which received radio airplay, locally and overseas, to critical acclaim. About to launch their third song/video “I Just Want To Be Me” which had its radio airplay debut on SYDNEY SOUNDS on January 8. A band that are not afraid to go out on a limb and create something a bit different from the usual Sydney rock sound.
At the MoshPit Bar in Sydney. Sandra Kingston photo
Celia Curtis’ Top Ten-ish of 2021 (in no particular order)
Pat Todd & The Rank Outsiders - “...there’s pretty things in Palookaville...” Album. Sixteen songs from the Punk/ Country/ Blues/ Rock’n’roll master craftsman. Pat Todd is the real deal! Sure, it’s not as instantaneously enthralling as 2008’s “Holdin’ on to Troubles Hand”; But seriously, SHOW ME AN ALBUM THAT IS? “..pretty things” grows on you like a stubborn fungus.
Literally anything Pat does in a year is Top 10 worthy. Luckily he put this record out so I didn’t have to rate one of his turds. (Which would have been good shit by the way).
This is not a real Top Ten list as such. Just a list of personal highlights that were beacons in what was another shit year for most of us.
The passing of Johnny Nolan(Bored!, Powder Monkeys, Powerline Sneakers) did not help. After his death, I read through al private messages we exchanged over the past decade. Johnny was a man of passion and so much love for music a genuine lovely bloke with his bands. R.I.P.
The Sonny Michaels Show This shambolic pisstake on the bad ‘70s TV host has equal parts Norman Gunston and Don Lane. We get two hours per month. It is so funny. Paula and Mike Brown are a talented duo and the Sonny Michaels character is world-class. They also present at least 15 artist videos who would not normally get viewed outside their YouTube channels .Great work.
Adalita - Melbourne Town Hall Adalita performed in the magnificent space of the Melbourne Town Hall, with J.P. Shilo playing the four storey-high Grand Organ. They were accompanied at various stages by Adalita's band, plus backing vocalists Charm of Finches and The Letter String Quartet. Adalita's emotive and well-crafted songs were driven home by her powerful guitar playing and the brooding sound of the swirling organ. A contender for one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen in my life.
Ed Kuepperand Jim White - Rising Festival Ed Kuepper and Jim White opened the ill-fated Rising Festival in Melbourne at the Comedy Theatre and what a show it was. It felt pretty exciting to be at a gig in another iconic building. There was also an element of fear - in this seated though crowded space, was I going to get out of there virus free? All in the name of rock ’n' roll!!!
The Rising Festival had an eclectic, artistically challenging and ambitious programme of events but unfortunately was closed down on the second day due to you-know-what. Another one bites the dust.
1. COURETTES – “BACK IN MONO” (DAMAGED GOODS) The Courettes still seem to be without profile in these parts but have been gathering plenty of fans across Europe over the past few years. A Brazilian/ Danish wife (guitar & vocals)/ husband (drums) team who have been fine tuning their garage crossed with 60’s girl group sound, culminating in this whizz bang LP.
2. HARD-ONS - I'M SORRY SIR, THAT RIFF'S BEEN TAKEN (CHEERSQUAD) I thought the prior Hard-Ons album was their best yet and then they go and drop this. Hard to beat!
3. CIVIC - FUTURE FORECAST (FLIGHTLESS) Fantastic rockin’ album which delivers on the promise of their earlier EP and singles.
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!
2. Snake Pit Therapy – Sonny Vincent (Svart) New York punk’s (almost) last man standing bounces back with his best-sounding and arguable most well-rounded album ever. Sonny has been hidden in plain sight for the many for far too long.
R.I.P. Ed Yonker. At the time of his passing earlier in 2022, I was going to write a few words about this legend of the Australian music Industry.
This quiet achiever in an industry full of sycophants, where inflated egos don’t match their mediocrity.
There few gems I have encountered in “the industry” like Ed Yonker. He was one of the good ones. A hip cool cat with his leather jacket who, as a teenager, had seen the Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Animals in Holland in 1963-65. At first, he was not that impressed by what he found in the Australian musical landscape when he migrated here.
Ed was of the one first attendees at Beatle Village on Oxford Street in Sydney. He used to catch the train, avoiding the bogans who wanted to fight a cool kid in what was the early days of the Bohemian inner-city music scene. He was often at the gigs by The Easybeats , The Creatures and The Missing Links.
COVID-19 did its best to stall things and their show this Sunday with Simon Chainsaw and the Liberators and debutants Pocket Watch is postponed, but the debut vinyl single from Sydney's Jupiter 5is now out. You can listen to it and score your copy from our record label Bandcamp.
X are Geof Holmes, Rick Studentt, John Butler and Steve Lucas. Photo by The Barman
SYDNEY ROCK 'N' ROLL & ALTERNATIVE FESTIVAL I-94 BAR STAGE X + JUPITER 5 + SONIC GARAGE + THE DARRANS The Factory Floor, Marrickville, NSW Sunday, 20 March 2022
Finally a gig that got me into the city, out of my COVID slumber and ignoring the daily infection numbers.
The rare spark of motivation was the Sydney Rock and Roll & Alterative Festival, an extension of Tiffany Palmer’s amazing and long-running Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll Markets This event had become an institution in this city over the last decade - until COVID put an end to and anything half decent in a dull and corporate investment hub.
I was here at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville for The Barman’s I-94 Bar Stage in the room called The Factory Floor, but I did manage to peek at a few other stages. I discovered that cowboys and cowgirls were out in force with line dancing alive and well. It’s practiced by people whose childhood was dominated by episodes of “Hi Five”. Line dancing is allegedly cool and has left its mark on society with community colleges teaching the stuff. As a bloke who grew up in the bush, this pretentious King Street urban country fashion is amusing.