rossy 20222022 was another year that was hampered by the pandemic; while we are seeing green shoots of recovery, the scars are still pretty deep. I’ve spent most of the year doing the usual stuff, so this is some of what has poked it’s head up in my rounds.

1. Guitar sales
2022 wasn’t all bad news for rock and roll. It seems that the market for new guitars has nearly reached $3b globally… which is a helluva lot of new Fender Strats. I know I’ve been doing my bit, but it does mean that the death knell for guitar based rock and/or roll may have been premature.

2. Young Rock Renaissance
On the back of those sales we’ve been seeing an increase in younger rock acts taking up the mantle. While the standard bearers of the Aussie bogan rock scene, Amyl & the Sniffers and The Chats,  have gone from strength to strength, I’m seeing a lot of younger acts finding their feet on the live scene in Sydney. Special mentions to Euterpe, Polly and of course, out of self interest, Pocketwatch.


3. Midnight Oil
I was lucky enough to catch the final show of their world tour at the Hordern. Three-and-three-quarter hours is a stretch for anyone let alone a bunch of blokes just this side of 70. They may never tour like that again, but I think we’ll get the odd show here and there. From the first time I saw them in 1979 to this time, they’ve never disappointed.

4. The Dark Clouds
The ‘Gong’s finest have put out another ball tearer in “My Way or the Highway”. Despite a troubled birth, the work of the band and Brent Williams is stellar. You gotta love ‘em. 

5. Gunk and Podcasts
The longer version of Gunk, live on Thursday night from the Moshpit, was fun. The extended News and Brews section with The Barman was fun, and Jill from The Moshpit is a force of nature. Recognising the Sydney scene’s history is a worthy project. I’ve also managed a few appearances on the Unfiltered and Undiscoverded podcast with Braggy and Curly it’s a free ranging long form interview series and I’m looking forward to more of them next year.

6. Starcrazy
Probably my pick of the emerging new bands in Sydney are glam rockers Starcrazy. Saw them absolutely slay Frankie’s Pizza on one of the last nights of that esteemed venue and they look to be gaining momentum towards a big 2023.

7. Cheap Trick
After a number of postponements and venue shifts Cheap Trick gave us a masterclass in power pop at Sydney’s Luna Park. They’re getting a bit older and weary, but gee they can still rip it up. Here they are in Melbourne:

8. Alice Cooper - Live from the Astroturf
The DVD/Bluray release of this 2015 Record Store Day performance was one of the highlights of the year. Hit after hit by the guys who created the legend, ably assisted by Ryan Roxie, put a smile on my face for weeks.


9. Pistol
Danny Boyle’s partially fictionalised Disney version of the Sex Pistols story surprised me by being so much better than I expected. It was a hoot and stands up well after repeated viewings.

10. Justin Hawkins
As an unashamed fan of The Darkness, I have come to watch the vodcast “Justin Hawkins Rides Again” on an almost daily basis. His analysis, wit and guitar playing are top notch. The man is hilarious and it’s well worth a look.