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james baker

  • spencer benefitLiving legend Spencer P Jones is seriously ill and in need of your support. 

    The storied veteran of bands like the Beasts of Bourbon, The Johnnys and many of his own outfits is under medical care and currently unable to work.

    Mates James Baker and Tex Perkins have arranged benefit shows in Fremantle (March 20) and Melbourne (April 15) respectively. UPDATE: A GoFundMe account has been opened here for anyone unable to make the gigs.

    Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus), KISStake, The Painkillers, Beautiful Losers, Midfield Legends (featuring members of the Bad Seeds and The Triffids, Soulfisters, Maurice Flavels Intensive Care and more will play the Fremantle show at Mojo’s.

    The Drones, Paul Kelly, Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen, Adalita, Renee Geyer, Two Am I, The Pink Tiles and mystery guests head the Melbourne line-up at the Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda.

    A silent auction will operate in conjunction with the WA gig

    Fremantle benefit Facebook event

  • james baker ep coverLegendary drummer and scene-maker James Baker (Scientists, Victims, Hood Gurus, Beats of Bourbon) has a solo record out this month via US label In The Red, and Melbourne’s Strange World Records will be its exclusive Australian retailer.

    “Born To Rock” is a six-song vinyl EP from James Baker and the Groundbreakers and it’s available from Strange World for pre-order hereand from In The Red here

    The EP marks James’ 70th year on the planet and he and a hand-picked line-up will celebrate at The Duke of George Hotel in Perth on Sunday, March 17. 

    The bill is Big Boss Man, Abbe May, Datura4, Luke Dux and Joe Bludge and the show will raise money to assist James in fight against cancer. 

    And because he's on doctor's orders, James will be part of the April Australian tour by The Beasts and tickets for that run are available here.

     

  • The Beastsare back. The band whose core membership is drawn from surviving members of The Beasts of Bourbonis undertaking an Australian tour...and have revealed that it’s under doctor’s orders. 

  • dubrovniks title

    The Dubrovniks are playing a one-off Perth show before embarking on another European tour.

    The band reformed for Australian and European shows this time last year and is off overseas again.Their only local appearance will be Thursday June 2 at the Rosemount Hotel, supported by The Volcanics. Tickets are on sale now from http://www.rosemounthotel.com.au/

  • gurus-earlyThe "Stoneage Romeos" line-up of the Hoodoo Gurus will reunite for this year's Splendour In The Grass festival in Byron Bay on Friday, July 25.

    Clyde Bramley and James Baker, original members of the Hoodoo Gurus - post the bass-less line-up which went under the name Le Hoodoo Gurus - will join the band for part of the bracket.

  •  ron keeley adelaide


    The first thing you hear when the stylus drops on Radio Birdman’s “What Gives?”, “Aloha Steve & Danno”, ”Descent Into The Maelstrom”, “Do The Moving Change” or The Visitors’ “Hell Yes” are the drums.

    Solid, to the point, perfectly simple, lots of swing and dead on the money, That drummer’s name is Ron Keeley, who also played with Radio Birdman precursor The Rats (with Warwick Gilbert and Rob Younger), The Other Side (with Rob Younger) , The Hitmen (with Chris Masuak and Warwick Gilbert) and Comrades of War

    I wanted to hear Ron’s story first-hand and have a beer or three with him in his adopted home of Woking, Surrey,l just outside of London. It's only a short, 17,000-mile trip from Sydney, Australia. We met in The Crown, a wonderful old-style “wet pub” (no food, no gambling, no TV - just drink, so what’s not to like?) in July 2023.

    Read on at your own peril.

  • rough trade from venusRough Trade From Venus - The Secret Buttons (self released)

    Their third release, on which the West Australian trio unleashes six songs of dirt-encrusted sonic goodness, each delivered with the subtly of a MyGov website crash.

    Remember that lame concoction of a "band" called Wolfmother? Cooked up to ride the global wave of so-called New Rock in the early 2000’s, they were as dangerous as eating a soufflé in the shower. They gave trios a bad name. No wonder they were originally named While Feather. The Secret Buttons are nothing like them.

  • dave faulkner in a hatOne of the most important people to come out of Perth's music scene since the 1970s is Dave Faulkner. Whether he’s playing punk, pop or electro music, he's always trying to create something new and exciting. The Hoodoo Gurus’ latest single “Hung Out To Dry” is a perfect example.

    Faulkner picks a target in the current US President, someone who has been a punching bag for many people, and sticks it to him in a fresh and personal manner.

    As well as the new Gurus single, Faulker's reconstituted former band The Victims had their first release in many moons this year. It was a physical EPfeaturing recordings of four songs (“Charlie”, “Horror Smash”, “I Wanna Be With You” and “Everynite”) that were written, but never recorded, when the legendary band formed in Perth in the 1970s.

    The re-born Victims reunites Dave with original member James Baker and new recruit, the great Ray Ahnof the Hard Ons, who give a slightly modern touch to some classic tunes that were birthed at the dawn of punk rock. 

 Dave spoke to me via Zoom in Sydney where he tells me he is fresh from mastering the next Gurus single.

  • oldest friendOf the four albums by The Painkillers since 2006, this is the first to feature a full band. It also reprises five of its nine songs from earlier recordings. 

    The Painkillers were formerly a duo - guitarist-singer Joe Bludge, a bluesman, and drummer James Baker, a man who surely needs no introduction. 

    Coming from Perth (yeah, yeah, the most isolated capital city in the world) kept them a secret from the rest of Australia. I remember rushing across town one Saturday night, after an opening spot by Wrong Turn at The Empire (RIP), to catch a rare East Coast Painkillers show at Sydney’s Excelsior Hotel (RIP again), and finding the band barely outnumbered by punters. 

  • tv-addictsThis is the closest thing you'll see to a full-blown reunion of seminal Perth band The Victims.

    For one night only, The Television Addicts will perform songs by The Victims with origional members Dave Flick (nee Faulkner), James Baker and Ray Ahn (Hard-Ons, Nunchukka Superfly) at Perth's Rosemont Hotel on August 9.

    Tickets will be available from June 25 from www.oztix.com.au

     

  • last victims showWest Australian punk rock trailblazers The Victims play their final show at Perth’s Rosemont Hotel on June 10.

    Original members Dave Faulkner, James Baker and contemporary recruit Ray Ahn are also preparing to release the line-up’s last recording, made with the legendary Ed Stasium (Ramones) behind the desk.

    Formed in May 1977 by Baker (The Geeks, The Scientists, The Painkillers, The Rockin Hendy, Hoodoo Gurus, Beasts of Bourbon, The Dubrovniks), and Dave Flick aka Faulker (Hoodoo Gurus, The Manikins, Midget and The Farrellys, Antenna) with original bassist Dave Cardwell,the band’s best known for its sizzling debut single “Television Addict b/w I’m Flipped Out Over You”, which has been covered by You Am I, The Hellacopters and Teengenerate.

    In August 1978, The Victims released a five-track extended play, The Victims (also known as “No Thanks to the Human Turd”), with: "I Understand", "Open Your Eyes", "TV Freak", "High School Girls" and "Disco Junkies". A compilation album, All Loud on the Western Front” (1989), “Sleeping Dogs Lie” (2011) and “Culture Shock” (2014) have followed.

    2019's “Horror Smash” EP was recorded by the Faulkner-Baker-Ahn line-up and was a suberb addition to the catalogue.  

    Supports will be The Shakeys and The Volcanicsand tickets are here.

     

  • Expectations are one thing. Outcomes are another. The Scientists reformation (as in 35th anniversary of the original line-up) show at Sydney’s Factory Theatre failed to deliver for any number of reasons.

  •  

    Pro Tools were bloody good. Drums bass guitar. Bassist I've seen before. Guitar is now Pete 'the Stud', who is a ridiculously talented, good natured show off. And damn good value. See them if they come to town, track them down and invite them if that society wedding promises to be a bit dreary.

  • television-addictsThe planets have aligned and the World's Worst Kept Secret is out. Legendary Perth punk band The Victims are (almost) reforming for select Australian East Coast shows.

    The Victims were temporarily reincarnated in the guise of The Television Addicts, playing a one-off gig at The Rosemount Hotel in North Perth in August last year.

    Founding Victims members James Baker and Dave ("Flick") Faulkner were joined on stage by lifelong Victims fan Ray Ahn and the trio proceeded to belt out a set of classic Victims tunes, most of which had not been heard since the band broke up in mid-1978.

    Another unannounced gig followed in Sydney for Clyde Bramley's 60th birthday party. 

    This February, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will also get a chance to see The Television Addicts for one night only.

    Thursday 12 Feb: The Reverence Hotel, Footscray VIC
    (supported by Sun God Replica and Deep Heat)
    Tix: www.reverencehotel.com

    Friday 13 Feb:
    Newtown Social Club, Newtown NSW
    (supported by Bruce and Thorax)
    Tix: www.newtownsocialclub.com

    Saturday 14 Feb:
    Punkfest at The Prince Of Wales Hotel, Nundah QLD
    (supported by Screamfeeder, 1.1.1 and Loud Goes Bang)
    Tix: www.oztix.com.au

    This is the closest thing you’ll get to a full-blown Victims reunion. Come and see what all the fuss is about.

     

  • victims lastLegendary '70s Perth punk group The Victims - who introduced the world to both Dave Faulkner and his original drumming partner in the Hoodoo GurusJames Baker – will say a final farewell with shows in Melbourne and Sydney in early December. 

    The announcement follows the release of a new and final Victims single "Girls Don't Go For Punks"/"Victim", on esteemed Los Angeles label In The Red.

    Since regrouping in late 2014 with uber  fan Ray Ahn of the Hard-Ons on bass, The Victims have released two vinyl records (an E.P. and the new single), as well as an anthology of their '70s classics, all on In The Re. They have also played a handful of shows on the Australian East and West both coasts. But now the time has come to say goodbye. 

    A Perth farewell show, played in front of hundreds of heaving fans at the Rosemount back in June, was so great that plans were put into effect straight away to get the group over to Sydney and Melbourne. It just wouldn't have been fair to fans in both cities otherwise - including a new generation of '70s punk loving kids who need to see what the fuss is all about. 

    The Victims play Brunswick Ballroom in Melbourne on Friday December 1,and the Crowbar in Sydney on Dec 2. And then they're done. Joining the band in both cities will be Wollongong's fantastic Chimers.

    THE VICTIMS - LAST SHOWS
    with special guests Chimers
    DEC

    1 – The Brunswick Ballroom
    Melbourne
    w/ Lice Trays
    Tix on sale now
    2 – Crowbar, Sydney
    Tix on sale now

     

  • gurus-wide
    Steven Danno photo


    The thing with nostalgia is that it never gets old. Like sand through an hourglass, reunions of storied bands are an inevitability. Some are great, some barely tolerable.

    The verdict is in on the return to duty by three versions of the Hoodoo Gurus, as a warm-up for an appearance at the Splendour In The Grass festival a few days later. This was a championship-style triumph rather than a chore.

  • horror smash ep“Horror Smash EP” - The Victims (In The Red)

    “Horror Smash” is four old songs re-recorded in two sessions over 2017 and ’18 by a tweaked version of The Victims. They were Perth’s (almost) first punk band and a launching pad, of sorts, for Dave Faulkner (nee Flick) of the Hoodoo Gurus and James Baker of the Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon et al. Hard-Ons bassist Ray Ahn is the new third wheel and this single - on blood-spattered clear vinyl - has come out on revered US label In The Red.

    The first thing to say is that it sounds like The Victims. No airs and graces. No frills. Downstrokes and rawness. No solos. No backing vocals. Black humour lyrics. Strap yourself in and hope you make it to the end. At which point you’ll get up and flip the thing over. 

  • Scientists Southern CrossTony Thewlis and Kim Salmon fronting the Scientists at Sydney's Southern Cross Hotel in 1982.

    The Scientists at their peak were unmatchable. A glorious collision of droning, caustic, fuzz guitars, minimalist bass, anguished lyrics about alienation and ominous, funereal rhythms, they created something unique after landing in Sydney in 1981. 

    Originally ragged New York Dolls-inspired popsters back in Perth, the re-constituted Scientists stripped their music back to its darkest roots, concoting their own brand of psychedelia and incorporating influences like Suicide, the Stooges and Captain Beefheart.

    Too big for their own Surry Hills backyard, the band moved to the UK in 1982 and, in typical expatriate Australian underground band fashion, starved before going on to influence countless other acts into the ‘90s and beyond.

  •  chris virtue 2023

    Top Ten in no particular order

    1. Iggy Pop – Every Loser
    After the WTF-was-that-all-about of 2019’s “Free”, Iggy is back doing what Iggy does best – fronting a small combo and letting it rip.

    We get a taste of most of Iggy’s personas, including the punk god to the dodgy philosopher to the Sinatra-influenced sleazebag. Standout tracks, well, pretty much all of them, but “Strung Out Johnny” turned into an earworm that went for weeks.

    At 76, he still shows that he’s got plenty to offer and plenty to say and this would be a fitting record for him to go out on. Compare it to the doggerel the Stones put out recently. Sir Michael sounds like he’s singing through a vocoder FFS.