BOB BLUNTVenue helper, organiser and frontperson for both Garry David and Beijing BikiniSydney, Australia
2020 in a nutshell
Let's not start with the boring and the obvious - the moan that goes 'oh, what a shitty year that was' or how "Sydney is dead co's it aint what it used yo be'"- yawn. That rhetoric and emotion doesn't belong here - we're on an onward and upward trajectory - yep, the good gigs plus the other good stuff.
GRAHAM STAPLETONBlogger and punterMermaid Beach, Queensland, Australia
Now, I'm just a punter, not someone you'd all know, but I like my music and you've probably noticed me posting or commenting here or elsewhere, so here's my top 10 of 2020 in no particular order.
1. MONDAY EVENING GUNKA real breath of fresh air for people locked down over the world, great conversations, reviews, and live music streaming to the masses for free, and enjoyed by the few lucky people that could attend the shows.
2. OUTTA SPACE PRESENTSThere must be something in the water on the Central CVoast of NSW, 'cause Milly D'Alton and Adam Brzowski and crew have released some great LP"s and 7"s through their label OUTTA SPACE PRESENTSthis year. I've gotta head down to Woy Woy and check out their new venue Link & Pinas well sometime.
3. VINNIE'S DIVE BARHa! Who woulda thought in the rundown Crackhead Central of Southport, Queensland, here'd be Resch’s Silver Bullets at a discounted rate (if you know, you know). Wish they still had draught on tap though. Anyway, probably one of the first venues in Australia to welcome back live music, and they've really been "thinking out of the box" by recently opening a record and other merch store in the venue, so grab some cool vinyl whenever you pop in.
MILLY D'ALTON AND ADAM BRZOZOWSKIOwners of Outtaspace RecordsCo-owners of Link and Pinlive venueCentral Coast, NSW Australia
Hiss & Crackle Records, WallsendOld-school record shop with an owner who knows what you wanna hear before you’ve heard it; limited-edition local releases, live in stores and shitloads of support for non-mainstream artists.
Celia Curtis’s (White Knuckle Fever, Stone Cold Fox) highly entertaining live stream and Facebook performancesThey kept us Covid-sane.
Tequila-based beer. For when you’re torn between a frothy and and a marg, and Umina BWS shuts at 8pm on a Sunday.
Thee Cha Cha Chas and Fuzztoon Studios They released a spookily prophetic 7” (‘It’s Coming After You’), always smiling despite hardcore Melbourne lockdown. And Lluis’s prolific art kicked 2020’s arse.
Chris Masuak and Dog SoldierThe Silver DragonsLink and Pin Café, Woy Woy Sunday, 21 May 2023
We still want to cling to memories of our youth and for some it’s easier than others. Some say this music thing is an affliction. Others joke that it’s a curse and others consider it fun.
When we were teenagers or aged in our early 20s and seeing bands I don’t think we would have imagined that some of us would still would still be doing so 40 years later. In fact, I used see the musos on stage aged in their late 20s and think they were really old farts.
Well here I am on a Sunday afternoon, on the noisy express to Newcastle full of screaming kids and even louder adults bellowing, as the train weaves snake-like past the Hawkesbury River, on my way to another afternoon gig at the Link and Pin in Woy Woy. Heading to see Chris Masuak and one of his rare Australian tours these days.
The Link and Pin is venue of another time: an oasis that exudes an old-time vibe as you walk in. It’s like you stepped into a place not quite rural and certainly not inner-city despite its rock posters and wall full of underground records. The beer garden is rustic and packed as the drinks flow. I have never have not had a good time there.
Remember tours? Thee fuzz-toned and fabulous Cha Cha Chas have escaped the Victorian lock-down and are bringing their one-woman-one-man-band goodness to New South Wales this month.
“The Day Is Done Tour” kicks off on June 4 at Link & Pin in Woy Woy with The Not Nots, The Mild Times, Space Boozzies and Imaginary Things, and spans the following two weekends with gigs in Newcastle and Sydney. The band escaped Victoria before the COVID-19 drawbridge went up late last week.
Thee Cha Cha Chas, comprising Kylie and Lluis Fuzzhound. have been tearing up stages in hometown Melbourne for years with their gravel-rash-guitars-and-deadbeat-drums sound, and busted an EP, “It’s Coming After You”, out of the morass that was lockdown in early 2020.
The I-94 Bar has a hand in organising two free gigs at The Golden Barley Hotel in Enmore. Mark down Sunday, June 6 and a return bout on Sunday, June 13 for double doses of all the lo-fi rifferama your head can handle. June 6 finds them matching primal beats with the rough and raw Dunhill Blues as supports, while June 13 they’ll have the Sabbath-in-the-garage sounds of Jupiter 5 opening up. The tour is brought to you by Hog Wild Records and Outtaspace Presents.
The Cha Cha Chas“Day Is Done” NSW TourJUNE4 - Link & Pin, Woy Woy - June 4+ The Not Nots + The Mild Times+ Space Boozzies + Imaginary Things5 - Mayfield Bowlo + Dunhill Blues6 - Golden Barley, Sydney+ Dunhill Blues10 - Frankies Pizza, Sydney + Scatter Light + The Object Project13 - Golden Barley, Sydney+ Jupiter 5
TOP 10 FROM OUTTASPACE!By Adam Brzozowski and Milly Dalton, co-owners at Link and Pin cafe and live music venue, Woy Woy, NSW, and the Outtaspace record label.
The label went a bit quiet (because REASONS), but we’re ending 2021 with a BANG!
1. NOT THE JOHNNYS Link and Pin, New Year’s Day 2021Hoody, Slim and special deputies Kane Dyson and Matt Brown had the audience fit to bust; it was our first proper rock’n’roll show in the beer garden after the Avalon COVID spike. There were a few tears between us when the fellas ripped into ‘Injun Joe’. You can see THE JOHNNYS live at Link and Pin on 9 January, 2022! Tickets here.
Clyde Bramley’s Top New South Wales Live Music Venues 2021
“The Magnificent Seven” (I’m sure there are many more out there, but I haven’t had a chance to interact with them over the past year!)
1. Marrickville Bowlo, Marrickville, NSWThe flagship Sydney venue at the moment. I particularly like the Sunday arvos with a very civilised 4:30-7:30 time frame. Richard Ball always does a sensational mix.
One of these people is Greg Chappell.
HIGHLIGHTS OF A DANGEROUS 2021 LIFE
1. Pubs re-opening.
2. White Knuckle Fever at The Link and Pin, Woy Woy, NSW,
3. Hard-Ons at The Link and Pin.
The night before the Woy Woy storm: Penny Ikinger at Marrickville Bowling Club.
After 150 days, the rain stopped. There was sunshine and it was a Sydney long weekend. Not sure how many built arks and were still floating along while I was driving north on the Pacific Highway to the coastal town of Woy Woy this sunny Sunday afternoon - on a tankful of $2.30 a litre petrol with just enough change to buy a chocolate milk.
The Link and Pin Café at Woy Woy has evolved into the coolest gig - and who would thought the birthplace of Spike Millikan would be a new home away from home for veterans of the Sydney Trade Union Club and Hopetoun Hotel?
And why not? It’s a 90-minute trip by train, road or by ferry across water. It is an adventure that many Sydneysiders are taking to see that anyone from local metal bands, to alternative darlings to Chad Morgan. The venue even launched the new line-up of the Hard-Ons. There is a vibe here and it’s run by hardcore music fans.
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.