I Won't Bend For You - Brian Henry Hooper (Bang! Records/Incubator)
First, it's a damn good LP, the kind you put on repeat all day when it lands in the letterbox. Second, it's so damn moving you'll find yourself tearing up in decades to come. Third, there are songs here which you'll put on at parties and have people scampering up, eyes wide, 'Who THE FUCK is this? It's brilliant!'
This has been a difficult last few years. The stupidvirus has not, of course, helped, but as far as I'm concerned it's just a gentle reminder of what awaits us all, one way or another. One dilemma which confronts some of us is - how best to remember the creative? A novelist, well; in George Macdonald Fraser's case, because he'd left the manuscript in a very prominent place, his family arranged for his very first book to be published. In a musician's case - what have they left for us?
It's quite unpleasant, and I may never listen to it again.
But if I do, it will be very loud, and I will end up in jail.
I like Gravel Samwidge. They're out of kilter with everything else around right now. The songs put the listener right in the singer's place, their intense, irritated narrative. The Gravels write songs as natural to Australia as the King Brown Snake, and just about as cuddly.
The Barman's right when he makes the comparison to Kim Salmon and the Surrealists (see "Don't You Know", with the silly/ griping sax, or "Briz 31", with the topply structure), but The Gravels have their own - possibly stranger - take on the universe and our misplacement in it. 'Long Distance Drive' captures that horrible last part of a long drive, when you're almost home, spaced out from too much driving and methadone, frantic to get there (Spinks' manic guitar sounds like a whizz-head on violin) yet forcing yourself to stay calm.
It was the moment I knew the relationship was in trouble. It was April, 1993 at Le Rox in Adelaide. Ed Kuepper was headlining, but it was support act Kim Salmon - in solo mode - who was holding our attention.
Just as Salmon strummed the opening chords to “Words From a Woman To Her Man’”– still, when push comes to shove, one of my two favourite Salmon tunes (the other being its companion piece, “Something to Lean On”), a punter in front of us turned and rebuked my girlfriend for disturbing the aural ambience with her loud commentary.
I knew the relationship was in trouble because I wanted to side with the anonymous interlocutor from the crowd.
For many years now I’ve been damn glad I don’t live in Melbourne. There’s more quality musicians there per square metre than almost anywhere you can name. The worst of it is, see, I don’t like to go see a brilliant band just the once. No, that’s not how you’re called to music.
Here in Adelaide, I would relentlessly follow - and record - my favourite local bands. The Lizard Train, Bloodloss, I couldn’t get enough of. There were others I liked, but not like this. If I lived in Melbourne, I’d have to have myself cloned.
Kim Salmon, expat Perthian (we think they’ve stopped worshipping Baal, we know they no longer eat their young at Easter but the inbreeding remains a problem) and one of a handful of musicians with the strongest and most extraordinary creative imperative in the country, plays here tonight with a pickup band (the only way the gig would work).
Episode 2 of "Monday Evening Gunk" with Australian swamp rock god Kim Salmon (Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon) is now online for your viewing pleasure. Kim joined Sydney co-hosts Jay Katz (Sounds of Seduction, Mu Mesons) and Tiffany Palmer (Sydney Rock and Roll Markets) down the line from Melbourne to talk about the new Kim Salmon and the Surrealists album "Rantings From the Book of Swamp".
"Monday Evening Gunk" streams free from the Moshpit bar Facebook pageevery Monday from 7.30pm Sydney time.
Blues-punk legends Kim Salmon & The Surrealists are announcing their new album“Rantings From The Book Of Swamp’”, set for release on September 4. “Rantings From The Book Of Swamp” will be the band's eighth studio album but the modus operandi remains the same - deconstruction and salvage.
It’s being preceeded by a single, “Burn Down The Plantation”, the proceeds of which will go to Stop Black Deaths In Custody.
The second episode of the I-94 Bar Internet TV show "Monday Evening Gunk" streams live this Monday at 7.30pm (AEST) from the Moshpit Bar in Sydney with swamp rock legend Kim Salmon the special guest.
This week's co-hosts Jay Katz and Tiffany Palmer will talk to Kim about his new album with the Surrealists, "Rantings From The Book of Swamp", as well as matters to do with the Scientists, the Beasts of Bourbon and his numerous other musical and art projects.
"Monday Evening Gunk" is free and comes to you from Moshpit, Zenn Stream, City of Sydney Council and Coopers beer. You can watch it on the Moshpit Facebook page here and register for a reminder at the associated Facebook event here.
Kim Salmon’s creative productivity knows no bounds. While he occasionally looks backwards, re-visiting his Scientists and Beasts of Bourbon history in the live sense, for example, the overwhelming sense with Salmon is one of overwhelming momentum.
That’s the case with “True West”, his latest project which pairs him with late period Scientists drummer Leanne Cowie (nee Chock) to be his most vital sounding record since “Sin Factory”.
Tony Pola - drummer for Beasts of Bourbon, The Beasts and Kim Salmon and the Surrealists - passed away over the Easter weekend. His wife Katherine Pola made the announcement via a Facebook post.
The West Australian-based drummer (pictured far right with The Surrealists), with bass player, the late Brian Hooper, and Kim Salmon had a reputation as one of Australian music’s most irascible and eccentric characters. He was a founding member of The Surrealists, as well as drummer on the Beasts of Bourbon’s “breakthrough” classic, “The Low Road”.
Bandmate Kim Salmon has launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover the costs of Tony’s funeral. You can make a contribution here. Kim also posted a tribute online:
Brian Hooper at last week's Melbourne gig. Carbie Warbie photo.
Much-loved Beasts of Bourbon bassist Brian Henry Hooper has passed away peachefully in a Melbourne hospital.
Brian’s wife Ninevah Hooper made an announcement on his Facebook page earlier today:
Brian’s ship peacefully sailed this morning. I was with him during that departure. It’s the hardest thing a partner could ever do but to say good bye.
I told my three year old twins that mummy and doctors could no longer bring daddy home. Daddy was flying away like s free bird in the blue sky.
Ava, Charlize, Matthew, Nina and Lana are all grieving the loss of their beautiful father. The Haddad and Hooper family are also experiencing their pain.
Cinzia Cozzolino and Michelle Rowe also cherish their memories of Brian.
Thank you for the support.
Hooper had been fighting lung cancer. Just a week ago, he appeared at his own benefit concert in Melbourne, playing with a reformed Beasts of Bourbon. Brian was accompanied by a team of nurses and breathing through an oxygen mask.
What Would I Know? - Brian Henry Hooper (Bang! Records)
Brian Henry Hooper was a remarkable man. I first encountered him when he was part of Kim Salmon's band, The Surrealists. I had no idea what to expect, and the huge shattering sound, the big horror-show songs, and Kim's howls backed by two droogies from an abbattoir... my mouth was flat on the floor. Magnificent.
It was many years later that I met Brian for the first time, more or less by accident at a different gig, when I used a rather unpleasant local term which Brian immediately picked up on - "That's a real Adelaide term, isn't it?" Brian was always interested in the world around him - I recall him also relating how beautiful Adelaide was as the aircraft came in to land... come in the right way to land, I suppose, and even...no, that's not right. I knew what he meant, the place can be damned pretty.