Dishing the Lachlan Valley Dirt on a Sydney Saturday night

joeys coop moshpitJoeys Coop.

JOEYS COOP
+ THE SMART FOLK
MoshPit, St Peters, NSW
Saturday 26 March, 2022

A Sydney night of intermittent rain stifles the post-COVID nightlife revival. Or so it seems. The Best Little Small Bar in Sydney, The MoshPit, has other ideas - and so do Joeys Coop and supports The Smart Folk.

It almost goes without saying that pandemic lockdowns have put obstacles in the way of everything. Joeys Coop put the release of their second album on ice and tonight is the Sydney leg of a much-delayed world (read: New South Wales) tour to launch “Lachlan Valley Dirt” at The MoshPit in Sydney’s inner-west.

The impacts of the dirty little virus live on. A whole bunch of MoshPit patrons who were at the King Street Crawl gigs a fortnight before were taken down by it. An unrelated infection forced The Smart Folk to play the Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll & Alternative’s Sixities Stage without bass-player Keith Claringbold.

Tonight’s news is that another wave of COVID infections and the seven-day isolation rule has shut down a two-band bill at the nearby Golden Barley Hotel. A few punters and unaffected band members make their way to this show.

X hits the spot at first Sydney Rock 'n' Roll and Alternative Festival

 x factory floor crX are Geof Holmes, Rick Studentt, John Butler and Steve Lucas. Photo by The Barman

SYDNEY ROCK 'N' ROLL & ALTERNATIVE FESTIVAL
I-94 BAR STAGE

+ JUPITER 5
+ SONIC GARAGE
+ THE DARRANS
The Factory Floor, Marrickville, NSW
Sunday, 20 March 2022

 Finally a gig that got me into the city, out of my COVID slumber and ignoring the daily infection numbers.

The rare spark of motivation was the Sydney Rock and Roll & Alterative Festival, an extension of Tiffany Palmer’s amazing and long-running Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll Markets   This event had become an institution in this city over the last decade - until COVID put an end to and anything half decent in a dull and corporate investment hub.

I was here at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville for The Barman’s I-94 Bar Stage in the room called The Factory Floor, but I did manage to peek at a few other stages. I discovered that cowboys and cowgirls were out in force with line dancing alive and well. It’s practiced by people whose childhood was dominated by episodes of “Hi Five”. Line dancing is allegedly cool and has left its mark on society with community colleges teaching the stuff. As a bloke who grew up in the bush, this pretentious King Street urban country fashion is amusing.

Old Farts At Play and The Kids Are Alright

sonic garage 3Pete Bourke, Phil Van Rooyen and Pete Trifunovic from Sonic Garage.

Sonic Garage
Pocketwatch
Bayley and the Liquid Squid
Marrickville Bowling Club, NSW
Friday, 11 March 2022

You can say “Boring Old Fart” but it’s good to stare rheumy-eyed into the middle distance, drool into a beer and recall much less complicated times in hushed tones. Times like the early 1980s, when the biggest challenge on a Friday night was to decide which two or three rock and roll shows you were going to attend, all of them within a short distance of each other.  

If they were local bands, the door charge was free or modest, and if the headliner was on the national touring treadmill, entry might set you back a ten spot. At least one of the supports was a band you’d never heard of, but paying your money and taking your chances was all part of the ritual. You got to conduct a post-mortem as soon as their set was over or over a hair of the dog at your local the next day. 

Swedes give their Best Of the launch it deserves

swedish mags launch

Swedish Magazines
+ Thee Cha Cha Chas
Old Bar, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Friday, 3 December 2021

When Nick Carraway suggests the impossibility of recreating the past, F Scott Fitzgerald’s nouveu-riche protagonist Jay Gatsby is incredulous. “Can’t recreate the past? Why of course you can!” Gatsby, of course, is wrong. The past, as vivid and real as it may seem to us, cannot be dialled up like an old movie on the latest streaming service. At best there are flashes of lived experience, memories that loom large in consciousness, recollections skewed and exaggerated.

I can’t remember exactly when I first saw the Swedish Magazines. Probably about 2003 or so, I think, in a world that seems quaint by comparison to today. Van and Cal Walker had already been in Melbourne for a couple of years or so. They’d been noticed by the right people around town, if not the people with the money and connections to catapult them down the road of commercial success.

When pop's obvious allure shines through

glenn bowloGlenn Morris of the The On and Ons.

The On and Ons
+ The Amazing Woolloomooloosers
Marrickville Bowling Club
Sunday, 12 December 2021
Photos: Shona Ross

Sometimes things are just obvious. Like using the term “pop music”.

It’s an archaic phrase and more than a little quaint, with its origins way back in the mists of time. Probably severely devalued, too, due to its prolific over-use in modern times. 

According to the The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, it originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for rock and roll and the new music styles that it influenced.

Last Sunday afternoon-evening at Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney’s inner-western blues delta was an occasion for pop music fans. And whether it was a breaking of the lockdown drought or an appreciation that this was an album launch, they turned out in their droves.

A choice Thursday night with some local heroes

leadfinger return

It’s 17,378 kilometres from Villarreal in Spain to Marrickville in Sydney, Australia, and more than three years since Stewart Cunningham was last there. At times, it must have felt like he’d crawled all those kilometres home on his hands and knees.

Villareal is where he and his band, Leadfinger, played the last gig of their first overseas tour in 2017. It was nearly their swansong.

Crash-landing in Erskineville

j5 at the moshpitAngelo, Jay and The Celebrity Roadie front up for Jupiter 5.

Jupiter 5
+ 50LgE
The MoshPit, Erskineville
Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Moshpit is such a great venue. Located down the Sydney Park end of Newtown, this is the sort of establishment you would walk past during the day and not even be aware that it existed.

It is, virtually, a corridor with some lounges inside the entrance, a bar, some tables and chairs then the stage. Fantastic intimate vibe with a lot of band memorabilia lining the walls, craft beers on tap and friendly staff and clientele. The Moshpit is currently celebrating three years of operation with many great bands playing - so now you have an extra excuse to visit this iconic venue and check it out.

A Psychotic Situation in Sydney as COVID's fog starts to lift

turnbuckles fusebox
Jessie The Intruder makes a point, The Grand Wizard adds riffage. 

The Psychotic Turnbuckles
White Knuckle Fever
The Stallers
Factory Theatre Fusebox, Marrickville, NSW
Saturday, April 17 2021

This was my the first concert since early 2020 that did not have some form of restrictions like seating (although numbers were capped) and what a great night it was. Held in the Fusebox at the Factory Theatre, a smaller and more intimate venue than the adjoining main performance space, this was the perfect venue to showcase three top rate bands.

Starting proceedings were The Stallers who were the perfect reason you cannot afford not to get early to a gig and not catch the support bands. "Tight", "loud", "devastating", "passionate" are four words to sum up the powerhouse of The Stallers.

Joeys Uncooped to unveil new songs

"In The Flesh" with
Joeys Coop
+ Paul Berwick

The MoshPit, St Peters, NSW
October 11, 2020

I attended a very special show from the delightful Joeys Coop. Must have been something in the stars or numbers - as on 10/10/20 we were part of something special. In these Covid days where we have been starved of live music, the hip MoshPit played host to 20 fans and close associates of the band AND it was live-streamed by Zenn Stream.

I felt hugely privileged being there and in the company of my music bestie after a wonderful Greek taverna feed nearby, and felt obligated to share my thoughts.

For those who need an intro, JC is a supergroup of sorts with the critically acclaimed Brett Myers (Died Pretty) on guitar, Mark Roxburgh (Decline of The Reptiles/ME262) on lead vocals, the engine room of Lloyd Gyi on percussion/vocals (Perry Keyes/ Sicarios et al) and Marc Lynch (Glide), they are a tight and sophisticated outfit who play smart Rock from the heart.

A Thumping great night

the rip offsThe Rip-Offs.

"THUMP 2020"
Perdition + The Toss + Fear and Loathing
+ Chainsaw Preachers + Lumpsucker
+ The Rip Offs + Surfer Rosa
The Gov, Adelaide
Saturday, September 26, 2020

It's probably bad for me, but lately I've been thinking a bit. 

Mostly about the continuous nature of rock'n'roll. Sure, the stupidvirus has thrown a spanner in the works, but spanners were surely forged with the express intent of being chucked into the smooth-running of rock'n'roll. 

I put on Little Richard's very first album (on CD) as I drive toward Port Adelaide; I realise that his extraordinarily-controlled shrieks and vocalising are the origin of so much we hold dear, from the Beatles to the Stones to Smokin' Bones to  whatever new shit you just heard. 

I-94 Bar