Open Season - Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers Firstly declaring an extreme bias and a conflict of interest with this one, Mick’s second offering from the Mesmerisers is even better than the last. The addition of ex-Tribesmen tub thumper Michael Charles has added muscularity to the band and they go from strength to strength. Some Sydney and Newcastle Birdman supports really won them some new fans. Brian Mann created a stunning sounding record. My fave album of the year.
Address to the Nation - Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders Again, another declaration as I’ve worked closely with Chris over the past thirty years. My second fave of the year… beaten by a short nose. Chris writes killer songs… plays guitar better than any player I have worked with and has a band so tight I couldn’t slide a fag paper between it. A great album, and it gave us a few wry smiles.
The Festival of Sue (X, New Christs et al) The shock of Sue Telfer’s passing pulled together a stellar line up talent who delivered on an emotional night. There were some killer performances but my top two were the New Christs, whose emotion tinged performance left no doubt that they are a top echelon act… but man of the match for mine was Steve Lucas and X. It was a blinding performance, Steve sang and played better than I have heard the band in years, Kim Volkman & Geof Holmes snarled and snorted like a beast. The Barman and Tiffany Palmer did a great job getting it all together, and we raised a great sum of cash for Support Act. I’d like to think Sue would’ve approved.
"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.
Much-loved Sydney blues-punks feedtime are releasing their first new album in 20 years on March 24. "Gas" will be on In The Red and "Any Good Thing" is the preview track. Pre-orders are happening here.
Against the backdrop of the burgeoning inner city music scene, feedtime was formed in 1979. Taking notes from the incendiary live shows of X and Rose Tattoo, feedtime set about creating their own interpretation of the events unfolding before them, a blues-noise that was equal parts abstract minimalism and working class roots-rock. Post-punk, yet right in the thick of it; miles ahead of the pack and not many seemed to notice.
Rose Tattoo’s "Never Too Loud", released in 1997 through Repertoire Records in Germany, was a compilation spanning the band's career at the time. Now, 22 years on, the Hard-Ons join Rose Tattoo on their "Still Never Too Loud" tour heading out across Australia in March, April and May.
Thirty-five years since their formation, the Hard-Ons have amassed an unprecedented and never-to-be-paralleled 17 consecutive number-one releases on the Australian alternative charts, making them one of Australia’s most commercially successful independent bands. Their cult following extends into Europe and the UK, and as of 2019, their brand of unapologetic punk rock has never sounded better.
The band are fresh out of the studio having just finished recording their 12th studio album due to be released later this year.
Angry Anderson’s Rose Tattoo recruits, considered some of the best in the business, comprise legendary bass player extraordinaire Mark Evans of AC/DC fame, iconic guitarist Bob Spencer of The Angels & Skyhooks, as well as unbelievably talented maestro of rock mayhem, Dai Pritchard.
Rose Tattoo hit the high seas on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise out of Miami in late February and headed straight into the recording studios in March.
STILL NEVER TOO LOUD Friday 29th March 2019 - Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW Saturday 30th March 2019 - Waves, Wollongong NSW Friday 5th April 2019 - Shoppingtown Hotel, Doncaster VIC Saturday 6th April 2019 - Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights VIC Friday 12th April 2019 - The Gov, Adelaide SA Saturday 13th April 2019 - Capitol, Perth WA Friday 26th April 2019 - The Triffid, Brisbane QLD Saturday 27th April 2019 - Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta QLD Friday 3rd May 2019 - Diggers, Ettalong NSW Saturday 4th May 2019 - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW Tickets from rosetattoo.com.au
Following in the tradition of acclaimed compilations like “Boogie” and “(When The Sun Sets Over) Carlton”, Festival Records and WMA are releasing a new collection of music from Australia’s sharpie subculture of the ‘70s.
“When Sharpies Ruled – A Vicious Collection” is a power-packed 23-track CD packaged with a slipcase, 28-page jewel case booklet with liner notes and a separate 60 page booklet of Sharpie snaps. It’s billed as “the ultimate aural and visual statement on the infamous Australian youth movement and gangs of the ‘70s” and who are we to disagree?
Sharpies were a uniquely Australian, working class phenomenon from the late ‘60s to the late ‘70s. Notorious for causing trouble, they’re remembered for their startling style sense - tight Italian cardigans and razor cut hair were favoured – and outrageous dancing.
He’s been called “the Godfather of Aussie stoner rock” and his status as co-founder of the legendary 70's band Buffalo (also home to Pete Wells who went on to Rose Tattoo) alone entitles Dave Tice to undying respect.
Tice also went on to front UK pub rockers The Count Bishops, formed Sydney’s Headhunters and his own Dave Tice Band. Long-running residencies with ex-ACDC bassist Mark Evans made the Tice and Evans duo a fixture in Sydney. His influence on the Australian rock, blues and heavy metal scene has been enormous.
The Sydney-based veteran still has one of the best voices in the business and is playing four dates in Melbourne to showcase his impressive back catalogue, partnering with a band of hot local players:
Thursday 24th September - Mr Boogieman Bar (Abbotsford) Friday 25th September - Station 59 (Richmond) Saturday 26th September - The Reverence Hotel (Footscray) Sunday 27th September - The Flying Saucer Club (Elsternwick)
It used to be an annual event and the Pete Wells' Anniversay Memorial Gig is back, in time for the 10th year of his passing.
Presented by Lucy Desoto with her band The Handsome Devils, this year’s guests will include Wellsy’s Rose Tattoo brother-in-arms Angy Anderson, Black Label and Black Aces.
Venue is The Bridge Hotel in Rozelle, Sydney, on the long weekend Monday, June 13 The gig runs from 3pm “til we're done and dusted”.
Wells was the founder of Rose Tattoo and a long-time member of hard-rock pathfinders Buffalo.Lucy Desoto was his long-time partner and musical collaborator in many of his solo bands.
The Handsome Devils are one of Sydney’s best-kept hard rock secrets featuring Desoto on vocals and keys, Mighty Mick O'Shea on drums, Steve “The King” King on bass and Magic Mick Arnold on slide guitar.
Angry Andrson pontificates and Bob Spencer enjoys it. Shona Ross photo.
Rose Tattoo Hard-Ons Metro Theatre, Sydney Friday, March 29 2019
Photos by Shona Ross
There were plenty of people giving plenty of reasons why people should not go to this gig. The announcement that Rose Tattoo would team with the Hard-Ons for a the national "Still Never Too Loud" tour caused some people to lose their shit online - and not in a good way. More on that soon.
The more mundane reasons were timing (“it’s a Friday night in Sydney after a long working week, maaaaan”), the venue (“the sound at The Metro is sooooo dodgy”) to ignorance (“I never heard that was on”) so most of it was nothing unexpected. Another apathetic night in the Harbour City.
Belated reviews are the best reviews. You know, better late than never.
Eleven days have elapsed since feedtime played Marrickville Bowling Club. The excuse for the late review is that the tinnitus needed time to subside. No, there are never excuses, only reasons. After experiencing two - Two sets! Count ‘em! - sets by feedftime in one night, you need time to get over it.
Not time to analyse it. Music like theirs should never be picked over like an insect that ends up pinned to a back-board in a display case at the Australian Museum. As if you didn’t know, feedtime plays music from the guts, not the head.
Allow me a brief Robert Brokenmouth-style digression.
Outlaws - Rose Tattoo (Cleopatra Records/Punktured Media)
On which the current, immaculately qualified Tatts pay tribute to the heritage created by a late and much missed past line-up, with mixed results.
Dispassionately assessing a re-recording of Rose Tattoo's classic 1978 self-titled debut album is a tough assignment for any fan of the original work. It was a unique record.
A masterful blend of blues-boogie-rock with massive bottom-end swing. It was laced with punk's confrontational edge and delivered by true outsiders with a gang mentality - when both of those qualities were real and mattered.
It's 13 years since he passed from cancer but the reputation of Lobby Loyde is not diminishing. We live in crazy times but one of the sane things occurring right now is that the trailblazing Australian guitarist, bandleader and producer is finally getting his dues outside his homeland.
As leader of the Coloured Balls, Loyde set a benchmark in Australia for innovative hard rock. The "Ball Power" and "Heavy Metal Kid" albums, both released in 1974, are all-time classics. As a player in The Aztecs, Rose Tattoo and solo, the earlier Wild Cherries and Purple Hearts,
Loyde blew up more amplifiers and sent more people deaf than anyone who followed. As a producer in the 1980's, he was a force behind albums for the Sunnyboys, Painters and Dockers, Machinations and X.
Re-issues of his Coloured Balls albums and Lobby's solo work on the Aztec label re-lit the spotlight in Australia in the '90s. Just Add Water Records is deep into a program of vinyl re-issues, out of Berkeley, California.
They've done a killer job on three singles and an LP re-issue of "The First Supper Last Or Scenes We Didn't Get To See".
We decided to track down label owner JASON DUNCAN and ask him about Just Add Water's mission to re-visit the music of Lobby Loyde, and a select bunch of other similarly-minded rock and roll outsiders.