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new christs

  • tendrilsAs ethereal and otherworldly as when it came out on CD in 1995, “Tendrils” continues to defy easy categorisation on LP.

    It was the first album for the pairing of Joel Silbersher (Hoss, GOD et al) and Charlie Owen (New Christs, Beasts of Bourbon and, again, many more) and married seemingly disparate guitar approaches to restrained vocals against an background of minimal percussion.

    By then, Joel and Charlie were two of the so-called underground’s best-known players. Owen was - and still is - a consummate guitar player’s player and had had national success with the Beasts; Silbersher was the diminutive and cocky ex-GOD rocker whose current band, Hoss, seemed poised for much bigger things. He should be internationally lauded to thsi day. Putting them together in a studio was always going to produce something interesting.


  • dave thomas crisps

    Dave and Hoody: The Crisps. Shona Ross photo

    The Crisps
    + PocketWatch
    + The Hot Ness
    Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney
    Friday, 7 April 2023

    Photos: Shona Ross

    Seventeen years after they last stood together on a Sydney stage, The Crisps are hitting the road up and down the Australian East Coast, partly to promote the release of an EPand partly for fun. Tonight’s show is number-two of the run and happening on the Friday of an Easter weekend.

  • Stems 2018 bw lanscape

    The Stems, Perth's most popular and iconic 80s garage rock band, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the release of their classic debut album "At First Sight Violets are Blue" with a successful all Australian capital cities tour in November 2017. To coincide with the tour, "At First Sight Violets are Blue" was reissued as a limited edition tour CD.

    The tour garnered enough interest in Europe for Spain’’s Fuzzville Festival to make an offer for them to appear at the festival. More shows naturally followed and the band are now set to embark for a three week European tour over April/May which will cover Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and the UK. 

    The UK leg includes a show at London's historic 100 Club.

  • behind the fridgeDivine Rites – New Christs (Citadel Records)

    Not so much an album as a compilation of singles, “Divine Rites” stands the test of time. Just 45 minutes long and spanning a dozen songs, it was released in Australia in 1988 as a mini-album and CD – a holding action while the newest line-up of the band worked up its debut full-length album, the stunning “Distemper”.

    The New Christs materialised after Rob Younger took a lengthy lay-off from performing. The Other Side, his first post-Radio Birdman group, had disintegrated without committing anything to vinyl. Pity. The Other Side live were brutal, founded on a plundering of the ‘60s punk and early ‘70s Alice Cooper vaults and fueled by the take-no-prisoners guitar of Charlie Georgees. The band (Younger, Georgees, Clyde Bramley on bass and Mark Kingsmill/Ron Keeley on drums) worked up some fantastic originals, some of which would be played by the New Christs.

  • lovegrinderLovegrinder The Album – Lovegrinder (self released)

    There’s a popular theory - perpetuated by a few fans of Junkie Rock from Australia’s southern state's capital city – that the so-called salad days of Sydney underground rock and roll were a farrago based on an overdose of second-rate Radio Birdman copyists. 

    Call it a typically defensive Sydney response but while the "Detroit" handle became a tag of convenience, most of the Harbour City’s bands of the 1980s/early ‘90s had tenuous musical links to the Birdmen. There was a handful of short-lived clones, but for the vast majority it was the energy and undeniable fuck-you-we’ll-do-what-we-want attitude of the Radios that were the hand-me-downs, and not their unique, impossible to replicate mutated musical mix.

    Which brings us to Lovegrinder, yet another in the long line of Sydney bands that never progressed higher than the lower support rungs of the very crowded local live scene ladder. Not that there’s any great shame in that. For many, headlining the Tivoli or Selina’s wasn’t the goal because they had no interest in being on the rosters of the omnipotent Dirty Pool, Nuclear or Harbour booking agencies. Playing music was more about knocking around with their mates, consuming beers (or something illicit) and having a good time.

  • dylan webster 20221. Do The Pop! Festival, October 2022 - Port Campbell, VIC.
    One of the best rock n roll experiences I’ve had since the glory days of the Big Day Out in early-to-mid-1990s. A good sized, easy going crowd, all (mostly) attending for two good reasons: beer and rock 'n' roll. An exceptional line-up featuring a range of established and up-and-coming bands. Big thanks to Mick Simpson of Grindhouse and friends for organising what will go down as one the great inaugural festival events. No question this is my Number One pick for 2022. 

    2. Howlin’ Threads EP "Of The Sea"(Meinshaft Records)
    It was great to self-release this 4 x track EP featuring contributions from a wicked array of Australian rock n roll legends, including Penny Ikinger (Wet Taxis) on vocals, Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) and Kent Steedman (Celibate Rifles) on lead guitar, James McCann (Harpoon) on slide and harmonica, and Brent Williams (New Christs) on keys. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to work with all these amazing people. For those keen to own one, a few Deniz Tek autographed copies are available here.

     

  • penny ikinger 2022MARVELLOUS MUSICAL MOMENTS OF 2022 AND MORE MUSINGS:

    Firstly, thanks to The Barman and I-94 Bar contributors Keith Claringbold, Dylan Webster, Matty Ryan and Edwin Garland who included my shows with my band in NSW and Melbourne in their Top Tens for 2022. That is so cool and greatly appreciated! Thanks to everyone who came to these shows! It was fabulous to see so many “old” friends there!

    Thanks to the musicians who played in my band – Tim McCormack on bass, Jason McGann on drums, Julian Held on guitar, Sam Billinghurst-Walsh on guitar and Ryan Oliver on keyboards. They are worthy of the attention they have been getting.

    In fact, thanks to all the musicians who performed live on the indie rock circuit in 2022. These are not easy times for many musicians, and it’s been fantastic to see so many artists back in action on stage, in the post lockdown world. Often, I cross paths with them when they attend other people’s gigs as well. It’s a wonderful thing to behold - intrepid rock’n’roll soldiers leading the charge to bring live music back into the forefront of our hearts and minds! 

    Thanks to all the punters who have been supporting live gigs. Thanks to the music journalists for reviewing our shows and new releases and to the radio presenters who have been playing our music. Thanks to the venues and the promoters, with a special thanks to The Barman for his tireless efforts to keep our rock scene alive and well.

  • christian-headshotTributes are flowing for much-loved Happy Hate Me Nots and former New Christs and Someloves member Christian Houllemare who has passed away.

    A long-time Australian resident, the French-born bassist was found at his home in Sydney’s inner-west over the weekend.

  • who is innocentTheir legacy was just two LPs and a stack of singles but Fixed Up’s punky and soulful garage rock touched people in their native France and all the way around to the other side of the world in Australia.

    A lot’s been made about the Sydney-Detroit connection, mainly through Radio Birdman and its now fading local musical legacy. The irrefutable fact was that Birdman and its associated influences ruled the Sydney roost in the early 1980s. As true as that was, you can make a strong case for the affinity between Australia and France being almost as important, once the Sydney underground scene started to diversify and expand. 

    The Franco-Ausstralian link was made when John Needham, chief of seminal Sydney label Citadel Records, started dealing with the likes of Sonics Records in France. Suddenly, there was a pipeline for Australian bands to have their music heard on the Continent - meaning outside the UK where the perpetually jaded music press briefly adopted Aussie arty pop, junkie rock and the swamp sound for a time. 

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