BOB BLUNT Venue helper, organiser and frontperson for both Garry David and Beijing Bikini Sydney, Australia
2020 in a nutshell
Let's not start with the boring and the obvious - the moan that goes 'oh, what a shitty year that was' or how "Sydney is dead co's it aint what it used yo be'"- yawn. That rhetoric and emotion doesn't belong here - we're on an onward and upward trajectory - yep, the good gigs plus the other good stuff.
GRAHAM STAPLETON Blogger and punter Mermaid Beach, Queensland, Australia
Now, I'm just a punter, not someone you'd all know, but I like my music and you've probably noticed me posting or commenting here or elsewhere, so here's my top 10 of 2020 in no particular order.
1. MONDAY EVENING GUNK A real breath of fresh air for people locked down over the world, great conversations, reviews, and live music streaming to the masses for free, and enjoyed by the few lucky people that could attend the shows.
2. OUTTA SPACE PRESENTS There must be something in the water on the Central CVoast of NSW, 'cause Milly D'Alton and Adam Brzowski and crew have released some great LP"s and 7"s through their label OUTTA SPACE PRESENTSthis year. I've gotta head down to Woy Woy and check out their new venue Link & Pinas well sometime.
3. VINNIE'S DIVE BAR Ha! Who woulda thought in the rundown Crackhead Central of Southport, Queensland, here'd be Resch’s Silver Bullets at a discounted rate (if you know, you know). Wish they still had draught on tap though. Anyway, probably one of the first venues in Australia to welcome back live music, and they've really been "thinking out of the box" by recently opening a record and other merch store in the venue, so grab some cool vinyl whenever you pop in.
Hiss & Crackle Records, Wallsend Old-school record shop with an owner who knows what you wanna hear before you’ve heard it; limited-edition local releases, live in stores and shitloads of support for non-mainstream artists.
Celia Curtis’s (White Knuckle Fever, Stone Cold Fox)highly entertaining live stream and Facebook performances They kept us Covid-sane.
Tequila-based beer. For when you’re torn between a frothy and and a marg, and Umina BWS shuts at 8pm on a Sunday.
Thee Cha Cha Chas and Fuzztoon Studios They released a spookily prophetic 7” (‘It’s Coming After You’), always smiling despite hardcore Melbourne lockdown. And Lluis’s prolific art kicked 2020’s arse.
How do you spell Royalty? The I-94 Bar is presenting two very special shows this weekend with The Johnnys teaming with Australian copuntery legend Chad Morgan. Catch them at Marrickville Bowling Club in Syndey on Saturday with MD Horne's Last Call and The Link and Pin at Woy Woy on Sunday with The Howlin' Rats.Tickets for Marrickville are here and Woy Woy here
Remember tours? Thee fuzz-toned and fabulous Cha Cha Chas have escaped the Victorian lock-down and are bringing their one-woman-one-man-band goodness to New South Wales this month.
“The Day Is Done Tour” kicks off on June 4 at Link & Pin in Woy Woy with The Not Nots, The Mild Times, Space Boozzies and Imaginary Things, and spans the following two weekends with gigs in Newcastle and Sydney. The band escaped Victoria before the COVID-19 drawbridge went up late last week.
Thee Cha Cha Chas, comprising Kylie and Lluis Fuzzhound. have been tearing up stages in hometown Melbourne for years with their gravel-rash-guitars-and-deadbeat-drums sound, and busted an EP, “It’s Coming After You”, out of the morass that was lockdown in early 2020.
The I-94 Bar has a hand in organising two free gigs at The Golden Barley Hotel in Enmore. Mark down Sunday, June 6 and a return bout on Sunday, June 13 for double doses of all the lo-fi rifferama your head can handle. June 6 finds them matching primal beats with the rough and raw Dunhill Blues as supports, while June 13 they’ll have the Sabbath-in-the-garage sounds of Jupiter 5 opening up. The tour is brought to you by Hog Wild Records and Outtaspace Presents.
The Cha Cha Chas “Day Is Done” NSW Tour JUNE 4 - Link & Pin, Woy Woy - June 4 + The Not Nots + The Mild Times + Space Boozzies + Imaginary Things 5 - Mayfield Bowlo + Dunhill Blues 6 - Golden Barley, Sydney + Dunhill Blues 10 - Frankies Pizza, Sydney + Scatter Light + The Object Project 13 - Golden Barley, Sydney + Jupiter 5
The label went a bit quiet (because REASONS), but we’re ending 2021 with a BANG!
1. NOT THE JOHNNYS Link and Pin, New Year’s Day 2021 Hoody, Slim and special deputies Kane Dyson and Matt Brown had the audience fit to bust; it was our first proper rock’n’roll show in the beer garden after the Avalon COVID spike. There were a few tears between us when the fellas ripped into ‘Injun Joe’. You can see THE JOHNNYS live at Link and Pin on 9 January, 2022! Tickets here.
Clyde Bramley’s Top New South Wales Live Music Venues 2021
“The Magnificent Seven” (I’m sure there are many more out there, but I haven’t had a chance to interact with them over the past year!)
1. Marrickville Bowlo, Marrickville, NSW The flagship Sydney venue at the moment. I particularly like the Sunday arvos with a very civilised 4:30-7:30 time frame. Richard Ball always does a sensational mix.
The night before the Woy Woy storm: Penny Ikinger at Marrickville Bowling Club.
After 150 days, the rain stopped. There was sunshine and it was a Sydney long weekend. Not sure how many built arks and were still floating along while I was driving north on the Pacific Highway to the coastal town of Woy Woy this sunny Sunday afternoon - on a tankful of $2.30 a litre petrol with just enough change to buy a chocolate milk.
The Link and Pin Café at Woy Woy has evolved into the coolest gig - and who would thought the birthplace of Spike Millikan would be a new home away from home for veterans of the Sydney Trade Union Club and Hopetoun Hotel?
And why not? It’s a 90-minute trip by train, road or by ferry across water. It is an adventure that many Sydneysiders are taking to see that anyone from local metal bands, to alternative darlings to Chad Morgan. The venue even launched the new line-up of the Hard-Ons. There is a vibe here and it’s run by hardcore music fans.
The Johnnys are playing a Sunday afternoon show at the hottest bar , the Link and Pin, in Woy Woy (an hour north of Sydney) in January. They're following in the steps of the Hard-Ons who playsed a secret gig with their new frontman, Tim Rogers, on December 10 as a warm-up for theiur national tour. The Johnnys do the Link and Pin on January 9 from 5pm. Buy a ticket in advance here.