2020 Barfly Top Ten: Peter "Rossy" Ross
PETER ‘ROSSY” ROSS
Celebrity Roadie, Jupiter 5 bassist
This is a list of things that have caught my eye in 2020 - in no particular order.
WHITE KNUCKLE FEVER
Everybody’s favourite two piece have been kicking goals all through the year culminating with a new double single release that is killer. Ross and Celia are not only hard working but one of the funniest bands in Sydney.
Milly and Adam have been working their rings out throughout the year, releasing high quality record after record. It’s been great watching the rise of their Central Coast colossus. Now they’ve even got their own venue in Woy Woy, The Link and Pin! Honourable mention also goes to Wreckless Enterprises.
LIVE MUSIC OFFICE
Sydney’s dormant live music scene won’t return overnight to prominence, and it doesn’t happen by accident. Blokes like John Wardle, and his team, have been pushing for legislative support and reforms to remove the barriers to get live bands into back into venues. They’re kicking some goals and it would be remiss to not acknowledge their massive efforts.
MONDAY EVENING GUNK
Live from the little venue that tried, Sydney’s version of CBGBs The Moshpit, MEG was one of the bright spots in a difficult year. Driven by The I-94 Bar’s Barman and Jill “Force of Nature” Dures, it was one part history lesson, Rockwiz knock-off, Molly Meldrum’s Humdrum and a live gig packed into a one hour live stream for 10 weeks… a garage rock version of Countdown if you like. A technical conundrum handled with style by Zac Ruokari from Zenn Streaming, the show was fun to be involved with and we can only hope it gets another airing in 2021.
ALICE COOPER, AIRBOURNE & MC50
Gigs were thin on the ground for me in 2020… this killer bill was worth the price. Although the MC50, or more accurately Wayne Kramer and friends, played a short and sweet set, they sprinkled enough revolutionary rock dust on the assembled to feel the blessing. Airbourne, as ever, worked their rings out, but The Prince of Darkness delivered what he always does… a flawless show packed with hits and oddities. Who knows how many more times we will see the aging Prince, but you need to check him out next time he hits our shores.
MY FAVOURITE RELEASES
STARCRAZY – “YOUR TIME IS NOW”
This young Sydney act fronted by Marcus Fraser, are my favourite band of the year. They’re a rollicking rock band filled with chops, songs, hooks and fun… these guys have released a couple of great singles and have a new EP ready to drop. They even caught the ear of Alice Cooper who has played them on his syndicated radio show. Who said rock was dead?
THE ON AND ONS – “MENACING SMILE”
Power pop princes The On and Ons have delivered another polished gem of a mini-album. Prolific song writing from singer/guitarist Glenn Morris ensures another annual album is on the way for the next few years at the very least. Clyde Bramley and Brian Morris lay a great platform for the songs… there really isn’t anything not to like about them.
MOONLIGHT 5 - "LOCKDOWN BLUES"
The debut from Moonlight 5 took me by surprise and was a welcome return for WaxWorks mainman Ed Garland. Gritty, dark and high quality… I never saw it coming.
MICK MEDEW - “PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGIST”
This solo album from Mick Medew was no surprise to those who have followed his career. Well-crafted songs, polished to perfection by Brian Mann, with a country tinge was classic Mick.
One of my favourite topics. It looks as though the pandemic has defied a trend Fender and Gibson reporting a massive uptick in guitar sales. That can only be a good thing. It could mean one of two things… we will be getting a deluge of new acts eager to ply their wares in the coming years, or, in about six months, it might be a good time to haunt Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree to pick up some bargain instruments once people get their busy lives back and find that it isn’t as easy as it looks!
I’ve have been loving the initiatives shown by musicians during lockdown. Regular live shows by Steve Lucas, Kim Salmon, Mick Medew and Ursula among others have shown you can teach old dog new tricks. The Moshpit livestreaming initiative deserves and honourable mention too, as does The Streaming Factory from Sydney’s Northern Beaches built by Overtones front man Dave Tozer. On that topic, the live set from Chris Masuak & The Viveiro Waveriders from Monday Evening Gunk showed us what we were missing… it was blistering… and shot on mobile phones too.
Hopefully the end of the reign of the bumbling demented child king is nigh… but I am going to miss his comedic genus and that of his Kool-Aid supping supporters. I do not dismiss the chance that there will be a twist in this tale, but I feel that he joke has gone on long enough.
Finally, despite the isolation and strange events of 2020, there were still too many other great things to mention like The Bots Bots, Mark Horne, Blue Oyster Cult, Noosa Temple of Satan, the vinyl renaissance etc… but I don’t have time to list them all when I have to get back to social media and provide checks and balances to extreme views… Yes. I am looking at you Barman!