1. The Sunnyboys / The Flaming Hands / The Shy Imposters - Enmore Theatre 2. Descent into the Maelstrom : The untold story of Radio Birdman 3. 4. Son Volt - Factory Theatre 5. Steve Earle - So You Wannabe An Outlaw CDLP 6. Tift Merritt - Stitch of the World CDLP 7. Lindi Ortega - "Til the goin' gets gone" EP 8. Ghost on The Highway : A Portrait of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and The Gun Club 9. Beware of Mr. Baker (Ginger Baker documentary) 10. (Far from) honorary mentions - - The Phringe Dwellers - recording new stuff with current line-up - Dave Favours and The Roadside Ashes - releasing and launching 7" single + recording songs for vinyl LP - Releasing my solo CD #4 "From Beth to Evie"
For every band that “makes it” there are hundreds, if not thousands, that never get past thefringes of a scene. Sydney’s Hunchbacks were one of the many runners-up in the mid ‘90s. Despite patronage from the likes of Asteroid B612 (whose main man John Spittles produced them), they never cracked the big(ger) leagues.
That the hard blues edge of The Hunchbacks is apparent on The Fringe Dwellers’ debut album “Hook Down Easy” should be no surprise: Vocalist Carl Ekman (on bass) and guitarist John South from that band are leading lights. They’re joined by sometime I-94 Bar scribe Simon Li (drums) and Damien Smith (vocals and guitar.)
The sound of “Hook Down Easy” drips Sydney’s underground music scene circa 1986. It’s in the driving, hard-edged sound and sparring guitars that do it. That’s where the band’s roots are and there’s no escaping them. I’m guessing that won’t be a drawback for many reading this.
Once you get past the homespun production, “Foreign Insurgence” is a handy slice of garage punk Rock Action.
It’s a mini-album by Lethal Mercenaries, a band formed seven years ago by Charlie Lethal - aka Sydney musician and onetime I-94 Bar scribe Simon Li - and some local underground luminaries.
Simon is Hong Kong-born, Melbourne-raised and Sydney domiciled, so his influences are varied. He’s also a product of Melbourne’s musical training ground, Rock and Roll High School, and a slavish devotee of that city’s late rock royalty, the Powder Monkeys.