the on and ons - The I-94 Bar

2019 Barfly Top Ten: Penny Ikinger

backstage suefestBackstage at the Festival of Sue with (from left) BILLY POMMER JR, CLYDE BRAMLEY and ROB YOUNGER. EMMY ETIE photo.

GIGS

GUADALUPE PLATA (Donostia, Basque Country)
GUADALUPE PLATA are an innovative 3 piece comprising (1) vocals and guitar (2) washtub bass/guitar and (3) drums. The play an eclectic and exotic mix of rock, blues, jazz and rockabilly. I saw them perform live after my solo show in Donostia, Basque Country this year. Pedro’s guitar playing reminded me of my own, at times, demented approach to guitar playing.

KELLEY STOLZ, (Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco).
KELLEY STOLZ is a singer, songwriter, musician from the USA. His music has been compared to that of BRIAN WILSON, VELVET UNDERGROUND, NICK DRAKE and LEONARD COHEN. He played an awesome show with SARAH BETHE NELSON as support. Kelley is an all- rounder – a singer, musician and song writer. The real deal.

“A FESTIVAL OF SUE: THE JDS ARE ON YOU” (The Factory Theatre, Marrickville, Sydney)
Friends of SUE TELFER banded together to pay tribute to this much-loved Sydney lady with proceeds going to Support Act. A line-up that included myself (with special guest BILLY POMMER JNR on drums), X, the NEW CHRISTS, THE JOHNNYS, KIM SALMON, THE CRUEL SEA (instrumental), FRONT END LOADER, THE MIS-MADE, THE HOLY SOUL, & THE ON AND ONS. Having BILLY POMMER JNR on drums certainly gave me a run for my money. Highlights for me included the NEW CHRISTS, THE CRUEL SEA, THE JOHNNYS and X. Unfortunately, I did not get to see all the acts. Too busy chatting with my friends. It was such a great turn out from Sydney folks! After my trip into the city, seeing so many old buildings torn down (which caused me a lot of distress), it was great to see that Sydney folks still have a heart – a very big heart!

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Celia Curtis

celia curtis 2020CELIA CURTIS
Vocalist for White Knuckle Fever and Stone Cold Fox
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Celia Curtiss Top20 of 2020!

GIGS

The gigging landscape undulated wildly in 2020 but it was by no means barren. The absence of the annual stagger to (and from) River Rocks Festival in Geelong definitely stung a bit, but there were some corker live gigs and streams in 2020. Here are some of my favourites I was lucky to attend/ play:

1.   Jan 4 2020, PUNKNATS, The Old Canberra Inn
Due to raging fires and road closures, Crapulous Geegaw, Tweekers and Grim couldnt make it. But you just cant stop the rock. Lucifungus, Oaf, the Dirty Sluts, Minor Surgery, rooted, Hymn, Herxhaim, DuShkanu,White Knuckle Fever and(my personal faves) Thee Cha Cha Chas all went hard.

It was 44 degrees Celsius in a tin shed. Literally the worst air quality in the world. A late southerly that brought out the p2 masks and a blanket of apocalyptic Orange smoke. But fuck it was a great day. Milly, Tilly and Outtaspace Presents did a top job organising once again and The Old Canberra Inn was as hospitable as ever.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: The Barman

barman2020THE BARMAN
I-94 Bar barkeep
Sydney, Australia
 

“Monday Evening Gunk”
My favourite thing to do on a Monday night. Props to Jill, Wax, Pat and Sonjaat MoshPit, News and Brews co-pilot Rossy,  tech-head Zac, photographer/chronicler of choice Shona Ross, and the many guests and hosts involved. My original Top Ten was going to be a chronological list of Gunk episodes because it would be like picking a favourite child. 

“Goose Lake” – The Stooges (Third Man Records)
What a fucking trip.

"If This Is The Hand I'm Dealt" and "I'm Gonna Cheat As Much As I Can" solo albums by Peter Black
Got to these very late in 2020 and the Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superfly guitarist just goes from strength-to-strength with his quirky, catchy and compelling solo work. One acoustic, one electric. Get a full hand.

A Festival of Sue tickets go on sale

festival of sueTickets for The Festival of Sue, the tribute to late Sydney music booker Sue Telfer, are now on sale here.

X, the New Christs, The Johnnys, Kim Salmon, Front End Loader, The Mis-Made, Penny Ikinger, The Holy Soul and The On and Ons have been announced in the first wave of bands on the bill.

Proceeds from the October 20 show - featuring a dozen bands over two stages at The Factory Theatre in Marrickville, Sydney - will go to Support Act, the charity for music industry members who have fallen on hard times.

It's a dazzling line-up with more names to be added and will run from 2-10pm. It will sell-out so don;t delay.  

BARFLY TOP TENS: Sydney Celebrity Roadie Peter "Rossy" Ross

rossy and johnny rocketeerThe Celebrity Roadie Peter Ross attracts fans wherever he goes. Veteran road manager John Pearce (right) inspects his ponytail to make sure it's real. 

The On and Ons @ almost everywhere – The Sydney power-pop phenomenon rolls on and gets ready to record a third album. Strong songs from singer/songwriter Glenn Morris and the pedigree of Clyde Bramley, Jon Roberts and Brian Morris make for irresistible pop. Welcome Aboard!
Watch

The Flaming Hands @ Factory Theatre & Enmore – A couple of power packed shows from these '80s icons blew my mind. Julie Mostyn’s crack band of Radio Birdman’s Warwick Gilbert, Peter Bull and Barton Price brought a polished sheen to Jeff Sullivan and Julie’s songs. They should come back again… soon!
Watch

.

It’s The On and Ons Calling - The On and Ons (Citadel)

on and ons callingA couple of listens in and it’s evident why Paul Collins recruited the core of this band to back him on his Australian tours. The On and Ons play classic guitar pop in the mould of The Plimsouls, the Flamin’ Groovies in their Beatles-besotted era and Collins’ own The Beat.

This is a band that walks down the pop side of the street. If lineage counts, The On and Ons start with a considerable advantage over many others. The members’ rap sheets include the early Hoodoo Gurus, the latter-day Screaming Tribesmen, Kings of the Sun, The Barbarellas and The Stems. To paraphrase Lou: Their powerpop day beats your year.

New On and Ons bring a big smile

menacing smileMenacing Smile - The On and Ons (Citadel)

It’s an EP with six tracks of primo rocking powerpop from Sydney’s arch exponents. Two albums into this caper and The On and Ons sound like they own the space. 

Short story: “Menacing Smile” is lined with wall-to-wall hooks and harmonies. Glenn Morris writes impeccable pop tunes and the band delivers them like they were born to do so. 

On and Ons back live and giving away a new song

on and ons bowloAussie pop-rock supergroup The On and Ons have been busy recording their follow up to the highly acclaimed album "It's The On and Ons Calling", along with a bit of touring including a Radio Birdman support. Later this month there'll be a gig with a special preview of songs from the new record.

Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney is the venue on August 27. The On and Ons wil lbe supported by Loose Pills and Chicanery. Every punter receives a free download of a new On and Ons single, "Run About".

The On and Ons contain former members of the Screaming Tribesmen, Hoodoo Gurus and Barbarellas. Details of their launch event are on Facebook here.

Loose Pills have recently returned from a break, supporting Died Pretty and featuring at the Mazstock festival in Northern NSW. They are in blistering form.

Chicanery are an exciting bunch of young ladies and formed at the age of 15 during high school. The group has played numerous shows since then. Now university students, the band has begun recording their debut EP, set for imminent release. "Open Road" is the first single from the upcoming EP, written for a documentary titled "Pontiacs Down Under", and has enjoyed some good radio play.

Get on down. Cheap drinks and food. Only $15 at the door.

Streaming stopgap keeps heads above water

on and ons streamingThe On and Ons streaming from Sydney venue The Moshpit.

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the music industry globally. As if the digital disruption of music sales in the post CD era wasn’t enough, the closure of venues has killed the oldest revenue stream known to musicians, the live gig.

As the first industry to close and most likely the last to re-open, the meagre incomes of musicians have collapsed and the outlet for their creativity has disappeared. But being resilient and creative thinking beasts, the music industry and has turned its hand to live streaming as a way out of this abyss.

Sydney bands get behind 2RRR

the baddiesUnderground music would be even further below the radar without community radio. That's why a group of Sydney-Central Coast bands are putting their weight behind a fund-raiser for 2RRR next month.

Aberration, The Balkan Grill, The On and Ons and The Baddies (pictured right) are playing North Ryde RSL on October 7. The gig runs from noon and admission is $20 at the door.

2RRR Fundraiser
Aberration
+ The Balkan Grill
+ The On and Ons + The Baddies
North Ryde RSL
- Oct 7
(Noon-6pm)

Sydney live music stalwart Sue Telfer brings home the gold

Sue Telfer goldOur late friend Sue Telfer has been named the Australian Women in Music Awards 2019 Music Leadership Award gold medallist. The award - which recognises a female CEO, managing director, label manager, A&R director, artist manager or publisher who has made a significant impact in music industry leadership - was announced at the Brisbane Powerhouse last night.

Sue was a 27-year manager with APRA-AMCOS and a long-term band booker/den mother on Sydney’s live music scene. We’ll be celebrating her life at a tribute concert at The Factory Theatre in Sydney on Sunday October 20 from 2pm, featuring X, the New Christs, The Johnnys, Kim Salmon, The Cruel Sea (instrumental), Front End Loader, The Mis-Made, Penny Ikinger, The Holy Soul and The On and Ons. Tickets are selling fast and are available here,

They're back for more and you should be as well

back for more cvrBack For More – The On and Ons (Citadel)

Regular Barflies need no introduction to The On and Ons. They are Sydney’s finest power-pop exponents. Their catalogue of two prior albums and a mini-album since 2015 is as much a testament to the songwriting abilities of ex-Kings of the Sun and Screaming Tribesmen guitarist Glenn Morris as the grooves and harmonies provided by bandmates Brian Morris (drums) and Clyde Bramley.  

You can judge the quality of a pop album by its earwig-ability and album opener “Vanishing Act” sticks in the brain like a dose of dopamine. Wrapped in a simple, uncluttered ‘60s sound with carefully arranged three-part harmonies, it’s punctuated by finger-clicks and Morris’s parrying guitar.

Top Tens for 2021: Big Daddy K Kevin Cherry of 2RRR's Sydney Sounds show

kev cherry 2021Kevin 'BIGDADDYK' Cherry
SYDNEY SOUNDS 2RRR 88.5 SATURDAY 6PM (Sydney time)
TOP 10 + 2   OF 2021.

DATELINE: FRESHWATER BEACH, SYDNEY, NSW: I'm fortunate to be living within 10 minutes walking distance to the birthplace of Australian surfing - affectionately known to the locals as Freshie.  I usually go there in the early evening around 6pm when it's un-patrolled as there are less people and cooler so I’m less likely to get sunburnt. Water temperature has been tropical (around 21 degrees Celsius) but refreshing.  A great, healthy and socially-distanced way to spend Summer.

The following 12 highlights (in no particular order) are by local bands recorded during Covid lockdown and regularly played on The Sydney Sounds Show ON SaturdayS 6pm 2RRR 88.5mz.

1. MOONLIGHT FIVE
Made their debut last year (and listed in my Top 10 of 2020) with the polarising song/video “Lockdown Blues”, followed a few months later with the more accessible “Listening to Gospel Music on The Radio” - both of which received radio airplay, locally and overseas, to critical acclaim. About to launch their third song/video “I Just Want To Be Me” which had its radio airplay debut on SYDNEY SOUNDS on January 8. A band that are not afraid to go out on a limb and create something a bit different from the usual Sydney rock sound.

Top Tens for 2021: Celia Curtis of White Knuckle Fever and Stone Cold Fox

celia curtis 2021 sandra kingstonAt the MoshPit Bar in Sydney. Sandra Kingston photo 

Celia Curtis’ Top Ten-ish of 2021 (in no particular order)

Pat Todd & The Rank Outsiders - “...there’s pretty things in Palookaville...” Album.
Sixteen songs from the Punk/ Country/ Blues/ Rock’n’roll master craftsman. Pat Todd is the real deal! Sure, it’s not as instantaneously enthralling as 2008’s “Holdin’ on to Troubles Hand”; But seriously, SHOW ME AN ALBUM THAT IS? “..pretty things” grows on you like a stubborn fungus.

Literally anything Pat does in a year is Top 10 worthy. Luckily he put this record out so I didn’t have to rate one of his turds. (Which would have been good shit by the way).

Top Tens for 2021: Melbourne musician Penny Ikinger

penny2021GIGS:

Adalita - Melbourne Town Hall
Adalita performed in the magnificent space of the Melbourne Town Hall, with J.P. Shilo playing the four storey-high Grand Organ. They were accompanied at various stages by Adalita's band, plus backing vocalists Charm of Finches and The Letter String Quartet. Adalita's emotive and well-crafted songs were driven home by her powerful guitar playing and the brooding sound of the swirling organ. A contender for one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen in my life.

Ed Kuepper and Jim White  - Rising Festival
Ed Kuepper and Jim White opened the ill-fated Rising Festival in Melbourne at the Comedy Theatre and what a show it was. It felt pretty exciting to be at a gig in another iconic building. There was also an element of fear - in this seated though crowded space, was I going to get out of there virus free? All in the name of rock ’n' roll!!!

The Rising Festival had an eclectic, artistically challenging and ambitious programme of events but unfortunately was closed down on the second day due to you-know-what. Another one bites the dust.

Liz Reed photo

Vale Stems co-founder Richard Lane

richard lane ripAustralian underground elder statesman and co-founder of The Stems, Richard Lane, has passed away in Fremantle. An announcement has been made via The Stems’ Facebook page.

Richard had lately been a member of The Painkillers, the hard-rocking garage outfit formed by James Baker, and rehearsed with them last Saturday.

Richard and Dom Mariani formed The Stems in 1983 and went on to have a fruitful if tumultuous musical partnership. Lane was a driving musical force behind the band’s early garage sound, epitomised on their early singles. He also played guitar and keyboards on the debut album “At First Sight Violets Are Blue” and the 2007 reformation record, “Heads Up”.

The band dissolved in 1987 but has reformed a couple of times. Richard was not a part of the line-up that was reconstituted in 2013.

Richard spent time living in Perth and Sydney. He formed a small record label,  Idaho Records, in Perth in the 1990s and played in a number of other important bands including The Chevelles, The Rosebuds and The On and Ons.

Richard founded Penny Lane’s Music Workshop in Fremantle in 2003 as a community-based outlet to teach music. He is survived by second wife Cathy and daughter Penny.

I-94 Bar