Down to Kill: Onetime Filth bassist Martin Joyce with future Lipstick Killers Peter Tillman. Mark Taylor and Dave Taylor.
FLASHBACK: May 29, 2001 - Sydney music fans are in for a special treat. On May 11, one of the best bands of the late 1970s and early '80s Sydney "Detroit" scene, the Lipstick Killers, re-form for one show only. The occasion is a benefit for their original drummer David Taylor, who has been tragically injured in a car accident.
Taylor was also a member of the seminal punk group that spawned the Lipstick Killers, the Psychsurgeons, who were as raw and confrontational as bands come. As regular support to Radio Birdman at the latter's Oxford Funhouse (along with the Hellcats, fronted by Died Pretty singer Ron Peno), they grabbed what shows they could in a still resistant Sydney scene. That was until their singer Paul Gearside was set upon - mid gig - by a pack of Hell's Angels. He departed and the band picked up Peter Tillman, frontman for the even more extreme Filth. A change of band name later and the Lipstick Killers were born.
That finder of lost treasures extraordinaire, David Laing, is on the hunt for archival photos, handbills and posters relating to Sydney band the Lipstick Killers.
Formerly head of the Grown Up Wrong and Dogmeat labels and longtime footsoldier for Shock Records and more recently Universal, Dave is branching out on his own and his first project is a double CD of definitive Lipstick Killers goodness.
Working with Lipstick Killers guitarist Mark Taylor, Laing has already unearthed some unheard gems and now wants to do the packaging justice by adding unseen images. Says "Dogmeat Dave": “I’m especially keen to find decent promo shots, including good quality versions of the ones regularly doing the rounds. In particular I’m after photos and a contact for one, Gary Lane, who did a shoot in ’79 – one photo was used in RAM magazine.”
Our own loss-leading I-94 Bar Records is proud to announce the imminent release of "OPen Season", the new album by Mick Medew and The Mesmeriers.
Led by Brisbane legend Mick Medew, the band includes members of his Screaming Tribesmen, the Lipstick Killers, The 31st and Shy Impostors. "Open Season" is available for pre-order from our Bandcamp now and will be out on CD and digitally from June 4. Enjoy this teaser and the ordering link is here.
The I-94 Bar iinvited LIpstick Killers members Mark Taylor and Peter Tillman to front up for a chat on Friday, to mark the release of their band’s killer posthumous compilation “Strange Flash!” on Grown Up Wrong! Records. Fan Steve Lorkin and Tillman’s former Filth bandmate Bob Short were hosts for this wide ranging chat reflecting on the band’s rise through the Radio Birdman-inspired Sydney underground scene to their disintegration in Los Angeles. You'll find our review of the album here.
Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers bring their killer brand of rocking powerpop to New South Wales in March for just two shows.
Catch them Friday, March 27 at Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney and Sunday, March 29 at Mayfield Bowling Club in the Hunter.
The only Sydney show pairs them with Peter Simpson and his Vanity Project, the rock machine par excellence led by Peter Simpson of The Dubrovniks and his hand-picked line-up.
Opening proceedings will be local psychedelic-garage rock super-group Jupiter 5, with members of Psychotic Turnbuckles, Buffalo Revisited and Sheek the Shayk. Tickets are on sale here.
It’s 4pm doors at Mayfield where the supports are Imaginary Things, The Stoids and The Perils. The Mesmerisers hit the stage at 9.30pm.
“Open Season” is the latest album for Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers (on I-94 Bar Records) and it’s full of clever, hooky song-writing, a soulful engine room and driving guitars.
And of course there’s the unique voice of Mick Medew, front-man for the Screaming Tribesmen, the Brisbane-born and Sydney-bred pop-rock legends who topped independent charts in Australia and the US in the ‘80s.
It came out with bugger-all fanfare five months ago, to coincide with the band’s one-off Sydney reformation on a Sunnyboys undercard, so it’s high time this one was passed around the I-94 Bar for a critique.
You might know the back story but too bad: Shy Impostors were fronted by uber talented vocalist Penny Ward and contained future Sunnyboys Peter Oxley and Richard Burgman, plus Michael Charles, who would go on to the Lipstick Killers and Screaming Tribesmen. Not much shyness about that lot and no impostors among them.
One of the trace elements of Sydney’s punk history will be exhumed on September 11 when Filth supports the Celibate Rifles at Oxford Art Factory, as part of the Sedition festival.
Filth sprouted from Radio Birdman’s fertile Oxford Funhouse scene and spawned the Psychosurgeons and the Lipstick Killers. Nihilistic and self-destructive, Filth presaged a richly diverse and extreme musical movement based in pubs like The Grand and The Civic.
Loud, fast and full of body fluids that were generously shared with audiences when the mood took them, Filth attracted fans who are even more deranged than them and were rarely invited back by venue operators. One show at Bondi with a nascent X remains infamous for both the repair bill and the number of fans sent to hospital.
The long-awaited anthology of material by Australia’s legendary Lipstick Killers finally arrives on CD and LP on Grown Up Wrong! Records on June 25.
“Strange Flash – Studio & Live ‘78-‘81” as a double-LP will include the original 1979 “Hindu Gods of Love”/”Shakedown USA” single, the posthumous “Sockman/Pensioner Pie’ 45 plus additional studio masters from the same ’78 session; an unreleased album-length 1980 demo session recorded by Australian guitar god Lobby Loyde; and the near-complete LA show that comprised the original live album “Mesmeriser”.
The “Mesmeriser” tracks will add additional tunes and subtract a couple that one band member wasn’t happy with.The set features liner notes by Ugly Things contributor and Grown Up Wrong! Records’Dave Laing, some killer pix and flyers and repro’s of the stunning Lipstick Killers posters designed by highly collectable Sydney poster artist John Foy, and a piece by Byron Coley.
The LPs will be a run of 500 copies on orange vinyl an 500 on black.
The double-CD includes adds a near complete live show recorded in Adelaide in 1978, some of which was released on a handmade cassette by members of the band in the mid-‘80s, and a couple of the tracks of which appeared on a very limited run 45 also released by the band in later years. But a good chunk of it has never been heard - and it is wild.
There’s no doubt that the Lipstick Killerswere in a class of their own when they stepped out of the shadow of Radio Birdman and onto Sydney stages. With sensibilities inherited from the import racks of White Light Records and the frantic energy of the Oxford Funhouse, they mixed stuttering power and rawness with a sense of theatre and an appreciation of the ridiculous.
The Lipstick Killers had a lineage going back to Funhouse denizens the Psychosurgeons,and the physically confronting Filthbefore them. If Birdman’s birth marked the Ground Zero for Sydney’s underground scene, the Lipstick Killers were heading a fast-following platoon whose ranks included Shy Imposters, Kamikaze Kids and The Passengers.