paul berwick - The I-94 Bar
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.
Step Into The Light – Paul Berwick’s Magnetic Quartet (self released)
At the risk of damning with faint praise, Paul Berwick made an indelible mark with the shoulda-been-huge Happy Hate Me Nots in the 1980s and ‘90s and he and his new band, The Magnetic Quartet, have much to live up to. This four-track EP “Step Into The Light” is a good start.
Sydney’s HHMNs developed from punk-pop to bona fide power-pop contenders over their first existence but never quite broke out into the mainstream. Another run in the 2000s after the sad loss of bassist Christian Houllemare tried but never scaled the same heights.
Berwick is a talented songwriter with a sharp ear for a melody and has assembled a superb band of old hands in Matt Galvin (guitar), Jim Dickson (bass) and Nick Kennedy (drums). Berwick fills out their sound on acoustic guitar. COVID has limited their live appearances to a handful of well-received gigs, so the question was would their recordings do them justice?
"In The Flesh" with
+ Paul Berwick
The MoshPit, St Peters, NSW
October 11, 2020
I attended a very special show from the delightful Joeys Coop. Must have been something in the stars or numbers - as on 10/10/20 we were part of something special. In these Covid days where we have been starved of live music, the hip MoshPit played host to 20 fans and close associates of the band AND it was live-streamed by Zenn Stream.
I felt hugely privileged being there and in the company of my music bestie after a wonderful Greek taverna feed nearby, and felt obligated to share my thoughts.
For those who need an intro, JC is a supergroup of sorts with the critically acclaimed Brett Myers (Died Pretty) on guitar, Mark Roxburgh (Decline of The Reptiles/ME262) on lead vocals, the engine room of Lloyd Gyi on percussion/vocals (Perry Keyes/ Sicarios et al) and Marc Lynch (Glide), they are a tight and sophisticated outfit who play smart Rock from the heart.
Check out the magnetism: Paul Berwick, Jiom Diockson, Matt Galvin and Nick Kennedy.
You could say they’re about to “step into the light” because that’s the name of the debut single for Sydney band Paul Berwick’s Magnetic Quartet. Bandleader Paul Berwick was the guitarist, singer and songwriter for Sydney’s late 1980s favourites Happy Hate Me Nots and has teamed with old friends Matt Galvin (guitar), Jim Dickson (bass) and Nick Kennedy (drums) to produce new original songs.
The individual band members have a wealth of experience (Happy Hate Me Nots, Radio Birdman, New Christs, Knievel, Big Heavy Stuff, Died Pretty, The Orange Humble Bandand Settlement)but have played only a couple of shows together as Paul Berwick’s Magnetic Quartet. They’re a class outfit as evidenced by their I-94 Bar promoted support to Leadfinger earlier this year.
They’ll launch the single with good mates Joeys Coop (featuring Died Pretty guitarist Brett Myers) at Sydney’s MoshPit Bar on Friday, November 12. Limited numbers of in-person tickets (and unlimited streaming passes) are selling here. (We’ll post a link to the single on Bandcamp after the gig.)
The On and Ons streaming from Sydney venue The Moshpit.
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the music industry globally. As if the digital disruption of music sales in the post CD era wasn’t enough, the closure of venues has killed the oldest revenue stream known to musicians, the live gig.
As the first industry to close and most likely the last to re-open, the meagre incomes of musicians have collapsed and the outlet for their creativity has disappeared. But being resilient and creative thinking beasts, the music industry and has turned its hand to live streaming as a way out of this abyss.
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.