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  • the mis made lansdowneThe Mis-Made in fulll flight at Sydney's Lansdowne Hotel. 

    The Hard Ons + Arse + The Mis-Made
    Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney
    December 13, 2019

    Didn't think I would get to see this gig but very happy I did. If anyone says that girls can't rock, they obviously were not at the Lansdowne tonight to see The Mis-Made.

    Mis-Made kicked off the proceedings with a tight set of blitzkrieg killer metal tunes. This is the sort of set that gives you goosebumps. Guitarist-singer Jessamine Finlayson's vocal style reminded me of Patti Smith and the band was tight.

    Arse came up next with a toxic concoction of brutal, kinetic energy. In your face rock and attitude. Always a pleasure to watch.

  • hellhathnofuryAs they say at well-to-do sailing clubs on Sydney's north side: "I like the cut of their jib."

  • Here's your guide to all that's occuring at the Sydney Rock 'n' Roll & Alternative Special at Marrickville's Factory Theatre this Sunday. You'll find a few of us at the I-94 Bar Stage featuring X, Jupiter 5, Sonic Garage and The Darrans with frequent forways to the Sixties Stage. Tickets are still available here but you'll have to be quick. 

    Click on the More link to see the full four-stage line-up and times. 

  • nick cave lax charismaLax Charisma photo

    Alexa Clayton-Jones and I went out to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds last night at Sydney's voluminous and brand new International Convention Centre.

    It blows my mind that for a few weeks in 1984, I played in the Bad Seeds, and I’m remembering bouncing around Europe in an old GMC wagon and some of the more colourful venues we played.

  • Brisbane-Sydney rock dogs SuburbiaSurburbia have let loose another Oz Rock dissertation on the state of life and in their own inimitable style it's called "Don't Piss In My Pocket". It's an ode to being free of bullshit. It goes live on streaming services on April 28. 

  • dead vikings 2018Japan’s The Deadvikings return to claim their stake and expand their domination over Sydney this week with their ultimate heavy protopunk.

    Their four-day Japanese invasion - their second in a year - starts at The Old Manly Boatshed on September 27 with locals Tshatki and 4 Barrel Hemi. Entry is free. 

    Day 2 (September 28) sees a foray in to new territory via Paddington's Captain Cook Hotel sharing the helm with goth rockers RK Ally, Black Knuckles and Black Heart Breakers. Entry is $10 at th door. 

    The third gig is a return to iconic inner west venue The Townie at Newtown on September 29, with Eightball Junkies and BUNT.Free entry.

    Day 4 peaks at the empyrean of Sunday venues, Frankie's Pizza, in the CBD on September 30 with Stu G's Cloak & Dagger kicking off followed by cosmic sludge monarchs Lord Dodongo and US trio BOYTOY, making their Aussie debut. No cover charge. 

  • jmc majotielveCredit: @majortielve

    It's easy to forget just how good the Jesus and Mary Chain actually are; how many drop dead classic songs they have recorded. Then, on a Thursday night at the Sydney Opera House (no less), they ram a shit ton of their greatest hits down our throats and they still leave out a huge chunk of back catalogue just to spite you.

    They make it look easy. But being this damn good is not easy.

  • scotty nash tributeRamblin’ gamblin’ guitar man Johnny Casino is taking leave of his adopted home of Spain in October to play two shows in Australia. 

    Sunday, October 8 he and The Secrets play Petersham Bowling Club on a tribute to late Asteroid B612 bandmate Scotty Nash.

    Support will come from The Carrie Affair, The Escapes, Dave Favours and The Roadside Ashes and Scotty and the Family Nash, a supergroup of Nash musical mates.

    The handful of tickets that remain for the 4pm gig are here

    In Melbourne, Johnny and The Secrets will play one night only at The Old Bar, Fitzroy, on Friday, October 6. Special guests are the Simon Juliff Band and Rockin' Pelmets. Tickets for that one can be had here.

  • stukas albumNo ballads were written in the making of this album.

    If you’ve heard or seen The Stukas, you knew that already. The Stukas are Sydney’s most enduring punk act, luxuriating in the glow of being known as their hometown’s “most hated band”. They play old school, take-no-fucking-prisoners punk rock.

    But you probably knew that already, too.

  • love hypnoticDon’t judge a book by the cover, they said. They were right. The contents of ”Love Hypnotic” leave its quirky artwork for dead.

    Descriptor? Somebody said “acid washed garage goodness” and that’ll do. Respect. That one can’t be topped. There’s an almost effortless drift to this Sydney band’s sound that makes it click. Wafting melodies and dreamy vocals jostle with rustic guitars to create an alluring soundscape. 

    I know. You’re dying to know if there is an actual Jim Mitchell and the answer’s Yes. There’s the man - on vocals and guitar - who's evidently the creative multi-instrumentalist, and his band. And they are a band. They even play live and tour - a lot by contemporary standards. 

  • Jonathan Armstrong Midnight Oil 01 
    Midnight Oil
    Hordern Pavilion
    Monday 3 October 2022

    Photos by Jonathan Armstrong of www.bigjphotography.com

    The 1982 Capitol Theatre run of shows in Sydney was a crossroads for Midnight Oil. They were broke and had already notched 500 gigs since September 1977, which was the date that they decided to go full-time after a Bondi Lifesaver show.  

    Midnight Oil was equally the largest drawcard on the Australian live circuit but it was not reflected in record sales. It had cost a lot to record their third album, “Place Without a Postcard’ overseas with legendary producer Glyn Johns (Rolling Stones and The Who). “Place” was a rocking, earthy and colloquial album. The production was warm - yet it was of the past and sounded like it had been recorded it in 1970.

  • mick gig webLong regarded as one of Queensland rock and roll's most venerable singer-songwriters, Mick Medew is returning to a Sydney stage after a five-year absence with his band The Mesmerisers.

    With one album ("The Mesmerisers") under their belt and another underway, Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers will play Marrickville Bowling Club on Saturday, February 24, with support from Loose Pills and The Dark Clouds. Tickets are on sale here.

    The Sydney show has been added to follow a support to The Sunnyboys in Thirroul on February 23.

    Vocalist-guitarist Medew is co-founder of the Screaming Tribesmen and more recently leader of Mick Medew and The Rumours, and he's been making a mark on Brisbane (and Australian) music for more than 30 years.

    Originally a member of seminal inner-city Brisbane band The 31st, whose ranks included future members of the Hoodoo Gurus, the Hitmen and Died Pretty, Medew went on to front the Screaming Tribesmen, a band schooled in tough guitar rock overlaid with alternately hooky and plaintive melodies.

    The Tribesmen outgrew their home town and moved to Sydney in the 1980s, becoming Australian independent music chart toppers with the classic single "Igloo".

    The band lasted 16 years, signed to a US label, released three albums and toured North America and Europe (twice) before Mick moved home to Queensland and put them on hiatus in 1993. Reunions for tours followed in 2011 (Australia) and 2012 (Europe).

  • fast cars moreFast Cars grew out of the Sydney mod scene of the 1980s. Home turf was the fertile Sussex Hotel and they made a modest mark with a couple of EPs before moving on. This five-song CD is their first release in 30 years.

    Here’s what a mod band sounds like after it grows up. That’s not being trite or dismissive. Creative people don’t stand still - and bands like Fast Cars were no exception. Guitarist Fabian Byrne went on to the dance-orientated Fiction Romance, shifted into management and ran the Method label that gave a leg-up to bands like Allniters, Paul Kelly, Spy vs Spy and The Amazing Wooloomooloosers. So you’d expect “More?” to sound different to Fast Cars of the ‘80s.

  • mystery trainThis is one angry sounding record. Its 11 songs seethe and burn with fuzzed-up, roaring guitars and are propelled by an engine room whose controls are set for the carpark just outside the Gates of Hell.  

    That’s a place with which Chickenstones main man Andy “Doc” Temple Ellard has become familiar over the last 18 months. In early 2018, he and the band were riding high on the back of a new album, “Johnny Streetlight”, and preparing for a tour of Europe when Doc got a tap on the shoulder from some fucker called Cancer.

    Now, that prick comes in many guises and the kind that came cold-calling was especially nasty and persistent. Doc is a Registered Nurse so he had an understanding of what would be involved, but all the forewarning in the world doesn’t make the fight physically easier. Many rounds of treatment later, Doc’s emerged at the other end - with shorter hair and a deeper suntan - and he’s still looking over his shoulder.

  • screaming loz sutchScreaming Loz Sutch. Credit: Neptune Power Federation website

    Neptune Power Federation
    Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney  
    October 9, 2022

    It’s official! The Neptune Power Federation are my new favourite band.

    Their last two LPs, “Memories Of a Rat Queen” and “Le Demon De L’amour” have been on high rotation at the home stereo system all year, but due to various life challenges I had never seen them live. So the gig at Frankie’s was a do or die mission to get there.

    Heavy Rock is NPF’s bag..and heavy baggage they have in spades (Heavy Rock…not to be confused with its ugly bastard grandchild Heavy Metal). If you listen closely you can tell NPF (or The Feds as their fan club call them) have been sprinkled with the magic dust of the giants in that field. I’m talking first three albums of Queen, ditto for Blackmore’s Rainbow, Motorhead, AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Led Zeppelin and Buffalo (whose first guitarist John Baxter could even tell).

  • rolling-stones-sydneyHard to pick when I first heard the Stones. They've always been around, the songs, like a family member, those classic ‘60s hits: “Ruby Tuesday”, “Paint it Black”, “Get Off My Cloud”, “Mother’s Little Helper” and so on.

    I knew heaps of Stones songs growing up. “Get your Ya Yas” out was popular at parties in Brisbane in the ‘70s. Flogged, it was. “Midnight Rambler” goes right alongside some drunken maniacs lurching around in a Brisbane backyard dancing the Pre Vomit Shake.

    "You heard about the Boston" THUMP !

  • on and ons bowloAussie pop-rock supergroup The On and Ons have been busy recording their follow up to the highly acclaimed album "It's The On and Ons Calling", along with a bit of touring including a Radio Birdman support. Later this month there'll be a gig with a special preview of songs from the new record.

    Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney is the venue on August 27. The On and Ons wil lbe supported by Loose Pills and Chicanery. Every punter receives a free download of a new On and Ons single, "Run About".

    The On and Ons contain former members of the Screaming Tribesmen, Hoodoo Gurus and Barbarellas. Details of their launch event are on Facebook here.

    Loose Pills have recently returned from a break, supporting Died Pretty and featuring at the Mazstock festival in Northern NSW. They are in blistering form.

    Chicanery are an exciting bunch of young ladies and formed at the age of 15 during high school. The group has played numerous shows since then. Now university students, the band has begun recording their debut EP, set for imminent release. "Open Road" is the first single from the upcoming EP, written for a documentary titled "Pontiacs Down Under", and has enjoyed some good radio play.

    Get on down. Cheap drinks and food. Only $15 at the door.

  • on top straight arrowsThey’re not its most prolific band but they’re one of Sydney’s best. The Straight Arrows seem like kids but have been around for nearly a decade and this is only their third long player. It’s doubtful they care about keeping score and neither should you.

    What you need to know is that “On Top” is uncomplicated, nicely raw and melodic. Two guitars, bass and drums and well-crafted, economical songs. Tight but loose. Cleaner-sounding on this record than before but still rough enough around the edges. 

    Owen Penglis writes good songs, alright. Cock an ear to the grinding yet light fuzzfest of “The One” or the buzzsaw burst of album opener “Nothing To Me”. They’re instantly catchy - like early Ratcat to cite a band that was around before these guys were born. Penglis and Al Grigg weave curtains of fuzz with their guitars and the energy level never sags. 

  • Sunnyboys-Our-Best-OfThere are obvious life lessons in the saga of the Sunnyboys and they’ve been related so many times that they probably don’t bear repetition here. If you’re a fan, you’ll know them all anyway (the results of crashing and burning, the enduring nature of brotherly bonds, the power of redemptive love.) If you’re not, you can wise up, musically speaking, with this collection.

  • sacred cowboys st kildaSacred Cowboys on St Kilda Beach with the SS Minow.

    “Sydney audiences can expect to hear much of the ‘Diamond in the Forehead’ album and a number of songs that will comprise our second album. Expect rock and roll out of the early 1970s, expect high volume in the guitar department, expect Nobel Prize-winning freak flag songs”

    Garry Gray wrote this to me, and I visualise him, pounding the keyboard with pride about his forthcoming shows in Sydney in mid-November.

    Gray has been making music for 42 years. I imagine by now he knows when he has a killer album ("Diamond in the Forehead") and a killer live band (The Sixth Circle) locked in. As I wrote a few months ago who when I caught The Sixth Circle live at the Tote Hoteland was blown away by a great, pure rock, street-level band:

    All that dark and shade in this set; theatrics and drama. The tempo pulls back with “Club Siren”. “Our God hangs #6” is wild rock beat and with the guitars blues-based. Gray’s menacing vocals howling: 'I got hung without a trial'. "Cadillacs” has that proto punk rawness and a blues progression. There are elements of deep soul with raw gritty urban blues, and a solid rock 4/4 backbeat. Live, it is a no-nonsense rock monster.

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