sharpies - The I-94 Bar

Big Attraction/Giddy Up - Amyl and the Sniffers (Homeless Records)

amyl and the sniffersThis may well be the only review of the Amyl and the Sniffers LP that makes no mention of mullets, sharpies, bogans or moles.

(I must mention, however, that one of the best mullets I have ever seen is the bass player from the mid-period line up of The Angels as seen in the film clip of that "No Way Get Fucked" song...although he is no match for Bob Spencer who in the same video has no hair and a monster rat's tail! Awesome!)

Amyl and the Sniffers are a young Australian punk rock band from Melbourne...and they play like they really mean it. Unlike some fake punky rockers over the past 40 years who, despite having the right shoes, clothes, haircuts and an obscure Killed By Death seven-inch that sells for $800 on eBay,  were just trendies with no guts, heart , soul or songs. 

New collection to lift lid on music of the Sharpies sub-culture

when sharpies rulewd frontFollowing 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.

Tougher Pucker - Shandy (Contra Records/Longshot Music)

tough puckersIt's hearsay but I’ve got this on good authority: Being on the end of a kicking from one of Australia’s Sharpie gangs at the end off the ‘60s or start of the ‘70s was never have been as much fun as going to a show by Brisbane band Shandy.

For the uninitiated, a shandy is an Australian beer with lemonade added. Truly a relic of the ‘60s and, personally, there’s no reason to commit a crime like this unless your grandmother is really insistent and has a doctor’s certificate to prove she’s dying from thirst. Shandy, the band, on the other hand is less offensive by a factor of double figures. Shandy rocks.

The Sharps were a uniquely Australian brand of street gang that roamed the suburbs of Sydney and especially Melbourne 50 years ago. They liked their music raw and guitar-infested. Glam and boogie were the go. You can read more about it in this reviewof "When Sharpies Rules, the landmark compilation that came out in 2015.

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