Radio Birdman's 2015 European tour made enough successful noise for them to gain spots this coming June on several European festivals, most notably Spain's Azkena Rock Festival and Belgium's Sjock Festival.
The impact of their sold-out London show was such that they have been invited back to the UK with Manchester and Leeds added onto the itinerary and several other shows being slated.
The good news for Australian fans is that prior to their return to Europe, the band will play a limited number of local shows over the first two weekends of June. These are expected to be the band's only Australian shows for 2016.
Tickets go on sale Monday, 1st February from 12PM AEDT:
RADIO BIRDMANAUSTRALIAN TOURFriday, 3rd June 2016The Factory, Sydney NSWTix: http://bit.ly/1JDGYd7
Saturday, 4th June 2016The Triffid, Brisbane QLDTix: http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=59587Tix: http://tickets.thetriffid.com.au/?Event=59587
Friday, 10th June 2016The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart TASTix: http://brisbanehotel.oztix.com.au/?eventId=59552Tix: http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?eventId=59552
Saturday, 11th June 2016Max Watts, Melbourne VICTix: www.maxwatts.com.au or 1300 724 867 or www.oztix.com.au
Sunday, 12th June 2016The Gov, Adelaide SATix: http://thegov.oztix.com.au/?Event=59520
It’s difficult to believe that Chris Masuak is only in the second half of his 50’s when you examine his output. It’s been a diverse and solid career, spanning almost four decades.
He was in his late teens when he joined Radio Birdman. He was half of the sound of the “twin-guitar attack” that assaulted Sydney with its array of proto-punk influences, to forever stake Birdman a claim as one of the most influential bands the city has produced.
Then there were the post-Birdman bands. The Hitmen never had the songs, in my opinion, but they always delivered as a live act. Masuak’s guitar playing was the stand-out. Chris was still in his early 20’s and still forging his own style. It lay somewhere between the technical brilliance of Mountain and the pop-rock sensibility of The Dictators.
Finally extracted from the vaults after 12 years (it was recorded on a day off during an Australian tour in 2004) this was released globally for Record Store Day yesterday. “Buried and Dead” is the killer Masters Apprentices song was a staple in the Birdman set at the time, while the similarly reverred “Ballad” was recorded for a since-shelved Alice Cooper tribute on Sub Pop.
There's always been a No Man's Land between meticulousness and spontaneity about Birdman in the studio. Maybe meticulousness won but the band wasn’t all that fussed about the output of this recording session at the time.
The A side is the pick. Delivered with the sort of intensity you’d expect, it’s highlighted by entwining Tek-Masuak guitars and a roaring stop-start feel. “Ballad of Dwight Fry” has a stab but doesn’t quite hit the mark; Rob Younger’s vocal is muted, whether by range or intent, and the dynamism this line-up was capableof doesn't come through. Cock an ear to the live 1976 version floating around on YouTube for proof.
(It'll never happen but the propsect of a box set of Birdman singles of versions of songs they've covered live is a tantalising idea. The source material IS out there.)
Of course it's the limited edition 7" you need if you're a fan. Be warned though: It carried one of the heftiest Record Store Day price tags ($A28) around. That could be a gouge (such things aren't unknown on Record Store Day) or it could just reflect the cost of having it sent from the pressing plant to the label and on to shops in short time.
Catch Chris Masuak (ex-Radio Birdman, Hitmen, Screaming Tribesmen and the New Christs among others) on Monday Evening Gunk at 7:30pm Sydney time on November 2 on the MoshPit Facebook. Klondike will be interviewed by Bob Short (Filth, Dead Rabids) and Tiffany Palmer (Sydney Rock and Roll Markets) before ripping into a live set with his band The Viveiro Wave Riders.
Ex-Radio Birdman guitar slinger Chris Masuak has released a promotional clip to launch a crowd-funding campaign for his forthcoming album to come out on CD and it's likely to cause a stir with fans of his former band. The song's title is "Bird Brain."
You can get on board the crowdfunding campaign to grab anything from Birdman and Hitmen rarities, a Masuak show in your backyard to a copy of the album (when it comes out) here. Meanwhile, here's the clip:
Ex-Radio Birdman guitarist Chris Masuak’s Aussie-Euro band The Outside embark on their short and sharp French tour this week. Featuring Masuak on guitar and vocals, expat Aussie and former tennis professional Gregory Bowen on guitar, Frenchman Bruno Mondo on bass and Spaniard Juan Martinez El Kara on drums, their five-show run includes a support to Supersuckers in Rennes. This is the film clip for their Bowen-written 2013 single “In The Class”.
FEB13 - L'Armony, Montreuil14 - Piano Bleu Saint Brieuc15 - Le Galion, Lorient17 - Mondo Bizarro, Rennes (with Supersuckers)18 - Nantes, La Cour
He mighr be embarassed by it being said, but Jim Dixon is the Grand Old Bass Man of Sydney’s rock and roll scene.
Since dropping in as a member of raw Brisbane band The Survivors at the tail end of the ‘70s to relocating and driving the bottom end for The Passengers and many more, he’s been as much a fixture as cold beer and sticky carpets.
Active duty in London with the Barracudas and then back home to play with the likes of Louis Tillett, Penny Ikinger, the New Christs, the Deniz Tek Group and Radio Birdman, Gentleman Jim is omnipresent as both player and punter. Along the way he’s supplemented his music by working in a record store, running his own curry kitchen and, more lately, bussing tourists around Greater Sydney’s natural wonders.
Well Cooked! - Wild Zeros (Heavy Medication Records)
To say there’s anything new in the rock and roll zoo is simply a crock. Recycling is de rigeur but that doesn't equate to a negative. Dig in the right places and you’ll find stuff to light you up good and proper, even if it's been worked over like a re-birthed Renault. Here’s a case-in-point.
French band Wild Zeros are your basic punk rock trio with a bit of musicality. They proffer a bunch of rough-edged riffs and ragged melodies - in the style of The Devil Dogs and the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs. They don’t do anything especially new, but what they do is good and they make their own mark in their own way.
What do George Michael, L7, Michael Caine and Radio Birdman have in common? They’re all Official Selections at the worlds largest and most prestigious Music Documentary Film Festival “ In-edit Barcelona & Madrid Spain 2018.
Jonathan Sequeira’s critically acclaimed and uncompromising documentary "Descent Into The Maelstrom – The Radio Birdman Story" is available to buy on DVD. The film will be released via streaming services (iTunes and Vimeo worldwide) on October 5 with YouTube to follow late 2018.
Who's for popcorn? Rob Younger and Deniz Tek at the World Premiere. Bruce Tindale photo
It’s been pissing down in Sydney for morer than 24 hours. I wait in a corner window at the Imperial Hotel, watching the steady torrent of streaming cars, my eye on the entrance to the Chauvel Cinema, tucked away inside Paddington Town Hall. A homecoming of sorts, 40 years on.
Fortry years. No longer is Radio Birdman a part of the zeitgeist, no longer are they merely an immediately cognisable legend. The weaves of history, misinformation and untruth, as well as the shedding of members and other things, like time moving on … all these things have taken place, as with many bands of yore.
Raining Treasure 2: More Australian Indie Gold Covers – John Kennedy’s 68 Comeback Special (MGM/Foghorn)
Tribute bands are mostly a blot on the musical ecosystem, right?. OK, they provide a fertile spawning pond for young players and pay bills for the oldsters, but most cover acts faithfully mimic role models just to milk money from morons.
This isn’t about the odd cover thrown into a set of originals because the drummer and the rhythm guitarist like the song or the band jammed out a loose approximation of a chart hit at rehearsal two nights earlier and wants to be ironic.
No, this is a gripe about hacks making money by mindlessly sating the appetites of dim RSL club masses who don’t know what they like but sure do like what they know. These people dance when they should know better or clap hopelessly out of time in the way that only middle-aged white people can.
Which is not territory into which “Raining Treasure 2” ventures on this eclectic collection of songs by Aussie bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s .
Radio 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.
These are quite remarkable recordings. Yes, you've heard rehearsal tapes and demo recordings by garage bands before, but these are different. It's all about the timeframe, the intensity and the fact that they're Australian and were recorded in relative cultural isolation.
“Dumb-World” is a serious collection of raw demos and rehearsal tapes from future Sacred Cowboys leader Garry Gray and his early bands between 1974-1978, featuring Judas and the Traitors, The Reals and The Negatives.
To place this in a historic context, the Australian musical landscape was fairly frigid. The local artists’ soundtrack was blaring from commercial AM radio, but it that was drab even though the live scene was flourishing and there were so many gigs for local musicians to play.
She’s been called “fuzz queen, sonic chanteuse and primal mistress of dark folk” and Europe is getting a brief opportunity to come up with more superlatives for Melbourne's Penny Ikinger and her unique brand of rock and roll this Northern summer.
Penny is promoting a CD single “Gin No Suzu” b/w “Ride On Cowboy” (that's the cover art at right), from her forthcoming album with a short series of dates in Spain and France, the peak of which will be appearances atAndoaingo Rock Jaialdiain Spain (June 17) and as part ofFete de la Musique at Petit Garagein Paris, France (June 21.)
We Got A Right – The Golden Rat (Vicious Kitten Records)
What do you get when expat bi-coastal American underground star Mr Ratboy collides with Hiroshi The Golden Arm (aka Japan’s Johnny Thunders) in a Tokyo garage, each armed with the songs that pre-occupied their formative musical minds in the period spanning 1976-82? An absolutely killer album.
“We Got A Right” is a record that came about through necessity. Hiroshi The Golden Arm and Mr Ratboy first met in 1993 when the latter was a member of Jeff Dahl’s touring band. Fast forward a few years and Mr Ratboy is a resident of the Land of the Rising Sun and the pair strike up a musical partnership in the electro-trash outfit Ace Killers Union.
Europe might be getting a taste of a substantially reconfigured Radio Birdman this month but their former guitarist Chris Masuak isn’t standing still.
With a new album in the can (recorded with his band The Viveiro Wave Riders) the Spain-based Masuak is star attraction at a gig billed as “The Australian Rock Festival - The Legacy of Radio Birdman In Spain” on June 19.
Bar Flora Disco is the venue, in Masuak’s adopted home of Viveiro, and the gig will be shot for a forthcoming Birdman documentary by Australian filmmaker Jonathan Sequeira. Support will come from surf-punk outfit The Sonic Race.
The long awaited DVD of “Descent Into The Maelstrom: The Radio Birdman Story” will be released in Australia on September 21, with Europe, the USA and Japan to follow.
The DVD will come in a digipak or deluxe edition, the latter with a swag of extra collateral, an LP of the soundtrack, bonuses and a signed certificate of authenticity.The standard DVD also contains a wealth of previously unseen interviews. Pre-orders of the digipak and deluxe sets are open here.The deluie edition is pictured above.
We'll post news about the overseas releases as it comes to hand.
Director Jonathan Sequeira’s campaign to have the world-acclaimed documentary screened on free-to-air TV in Australia via the national broadcaster, ABC, continues and you can lodge your own protest via the link at the bottom of this page.
The first date of Australian public screenings for the Radio Birdman documentary “Descent Into The Maelstrom” has been announced. It’s in Adelaide on July 21.
Writer-producer-director Jonathan Sequeira will field a Q & A in conjunction with the screening at GU Film House in Hindley Street, starting at 7pm. Tickets are here and more dates in other Australian cities will be announced next week.
"Descent Into the Maelstrom" is the true story of Radio Birdman, from their original formation to the present. Like the band itself, it’s an independent production, made from outside the industry. It shows what the band meant to the fans, and how they changed Australia, by inspiring a golden age of indie music from Cold Chisel to Midnight Oil.
The forthcoming Hard-Ons documentary by "Descent Into The Maelstromn" producer Jonathan Sequeira has qualified for tax-deductible donation status with Film Australia. There are no crowd-sourcing rewards other than enduring gratitude (and maybe a name-drop) but don't let that stop you. You can tell from the trailer that it'sgoing to be great. You can send some cash here and claim it on your tax return if you're Australian.
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