Guitarist, Howlin' Threads and ex-The Fools
1. It’s great to see that Stew "Leadfinger" Cunningham of Leadfinger is recovering well from cancer and getting back into rock n roll with an album recorded. Thankful also to see that the New Christs emerged from lockdown (much appreciation to Dave Curley for the great live footage!). Tumbleweed’s blistering return to earth with killer new material is cool. Plus, Covid restrictions has often meant enjoying bands vicariously through images/video, so a big thank you to the great work of photographers like Matt Houston, Kaza Black and Keith Claringbold who allow us all to enjoy live shows.
2. 2020 did a good job scuttling so many gigs and opportunities that bands need to promote new music. Despite this setback, Howlin’ Threads pressed on and released a new EP and a separate follow up 7” vinyl single ("Edge on the World") this year. It was a real privilege to have Lenny Curley (Tumbleweed/Pink Fits) contribute lead guitar to our recording of "Professional Againster"; a feature track on a European compilation tribute to the New Bomb Turks (release Feb 2021). And, working with Cub Callaway (ex-Saints) is always a pleasure. Howlin’ Threads CDs, vinyl, digital downloads can be ordered via Bandcamp.
Bassist - The Smart Folk, The Amazing Woolloomoolloosers
Inveterate live streamer of gigs
2020 Top Ten
1.) Sunnyboys warm up gig, The Pink Fits in support at the Factory Floor in Sydney
A big thank you to Steve Teece for tipping me off about this one. That sound, those songs, up close! The Pink Fits were great too.
2.) Nunchuka Superfly/Bitchcraft/White Knuckle Fever/Baby Machine/Beijing Bikini – Marrickville Bowling Club
As someone said to me, ”so great to see so many women on and off stage”.
3.) PopBoomerang night- Ups and Downs/Halfway/ The Aerial Maps – Marrickville Bowling Club
|A full house at the Bowlo. Halfway had one of the best live sounds I’ve ever encountered. Ups and Downs the icing on the cake.
4.) The Schizophonics/The Fangin' Felines/The Drop Offs- Marrickville Bowling Club.
Exciting garagey fun. The Drop Offs twin drum attack! The family that drums together. This was the last gig before the Covid-19 Sydney lockdown.
I-94 Bar correspondent from Dimboola in The Outback, Australia
Hello Barflies. It’s been a shitty year. No gigs in this year's Top Ten but the Farmhouse has still been rocking
10. The Stooges - "Live At Goose Lake"
After all the stories about Dave Alexander's bass playing at this gig being horrible and Iggy sacking him is now put to rest it. Better than they said.
9 .Deniz Tek & James Williamson - "Two For One"
When two guitar greats join forces, one would expect it to be good. And it is.
8, The Casanovas - "Reptilian Overlord"
The Casanovas have released another fabulous record full of big riffs.
7. Mick Medew - "Psychopharmacologist"
The songs and vocals are brilliant, and also thanks for the Sunday streaming sessions with Miss Border Collie.
6. AC/DC - "Power Up"
They’re back with their best album in years - a true tribute to a lost brother.
5. Drop Kick Murphys – live stream
The DKM did a wonderful live stream from Finway Park , spectacular sound and songs.
The Johnnys, Allniters, The Troughmen, The Cool Charmers, The Normals et al
"10 Highlights of my Punk pilgrimage across America"
1. In late 1978 I was naïve, wide eyed and bushy tailed, 20 years of age and full of beans, myself and two companions left Auckland, NZ and headed to LA on our mighty search for Punk Rock. There was a bunch of funky Afro American dudes on the flight in the seats in front of us, they kept hanging over the back of the seats and enquiring if we were punk rock? I said well we are punk rockers if that’s what you mean, they were very keen to find out about us and the music and kept buying us drinks – turned out they were Andrea True Connections' backing band heading home from Australia. After a several drinks we were all singing "More More More how do you like it, how do you like it"! Much to the chagrin of our fellow travellers.
2. Arriving in LA, the enormity of the place dawned on me . Our hotel downtown was really scary; we huddled in a corner of the room all night and listened to the fighting going on in the corridor whilst watching the door handle going up and down as the door was being tried. We moved to Hollywood the next day to a Motel 6 - equally as dodgy.
Zo Damage photo
Editor - Munster Times zine
Top 10 LPs of 2020 (no order)
Adele and the Chandeliers – First Date
First thing that grabbed me was that sweet Manchester accent of Adele Pickvance, one of the unsung heroes of Oz music and my new favourite vocalist. Nine cracking powerpop tracks, and a corker Buzzcocks cover. An LP of life, love and the simple things that make it worth living, laid down in a fun and warm LP
The Breadmakers -The Breadmakers
Melbourne’s garage gold standard return with their first LP in years. Ten '60s rock 'n' roll inspired tunes, and two covers that "Back from the Grave" aficionados will go nuts for. Proving once again three chords, or less, plus rough and fast is all you need in a track.
Jack Howard and the Long Lost Brothers and a Sister - Dog Songs
The Dogs Bar in St Kilda (RIP) did an amazing job of keeping live music going in St Kilda, and one of the marque acts was Jack Howard every first Sunday of the month. With lockdown that obviously came to an end, but this CD was a wonderful reminder of those Sundays. This CD comprises of songs Jack and Co play during their Doggies set. As I listened to this I could see myself standing in the corner, being greeted by landlords Gav and Sonya, while Bernie 2 Legs, Fiona and Josie Jo and I shoot the shit while listening to all these killer tunes, and trying to get Leeroy’s attention behind the bar. One of those bands you can’t really fit into a genre, brilliant songs with an amazing ensemble of musicians.
X, Heinous Hounds, solo and many more
1.) Single Malt Scotch. Preferably Irish. Nine that peaty shit. Clean and clear.
You can pick them up easy... The Dubliner for example. Easy on the pocket and a very smooth drop. Writer's Tears is a favourite. But more expensive.
2.) Blended scotch. If I can't access a single malt then blended it is. Best value is, believe it or not, Dewar's White Label. You can get a litre for around $45. It goes down surprisingly well. I was given a bottle of Johnny Walker Black a month or two ago and was kind of stunned by how good it tasted. Had not tried it in years so i feel i should mention it.
3.) Vodka. There are so many choices. They range from rubbing alcohol to crystal clear tears of angels. Russian or Polish is good. It's worth spending a little extra on if you knock it back neat. It doesn't mean there are not some real bargains out there. Pyccknn CTAHDATP Russian standard gold is a good example. I am very partial to that at the moment.
Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers, Mick & Ursula, solo artist, Mick Medeww & The Rumour, Screaming Tribesmen, The 31st
1. OVERSEAS SHOW OF THE YEAR
Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets @ The Tivoli theatre Brisbane on February 19.
2. COMMUNITY RADIO
Community Radio saves the day again , they save the day for musicians and fans alike as well as shining a light on the injustices that occur in our communities and beyond
3. DAVE GRANEY AND CLARE MOORE "Stage it" Live streaming shows
Thursday nights have never sounded better