Brian Mann and Mick Medew trading licks in Thirroul. Shona Ross photo.
Gonna break that rule about not reviewing I-94 Bar gigs, as the second of this two-night engagement was badged thus. If you can’t write about things you like, what’s the point? It’s the ethos of why we do this e-zine thing.
So let’s be up front and say that Mick Medew is a good mate and his band, The Mesmerisers, are lovely people. In customary evangelical spirit, I’m unashamedly going to tell you that if you love rock and roll then you have to see them - in their native Brisbane or on one of their few forays outside of Queensland.
The first leg of this two-night weekend stand was a support to the mighty Sunnyboys, opening a bill shared with the mercurial Ups & Downs. The venue was the magic Anita’s Theatre in Thirroul, an hour-and-a-bit south of Sydney. The second was a Sydney show at the increasingly familiar stamping ground of Marrickville Bowling Club. The Mesmerisers are making the road trip a family affair with partners and two offspring in tow.
Needing to leave Queensland for a fresh start in March, Lime Spiders vocalist Mick Blood said a sad farewell to his beloved dog, Monty, and set off looking for a new home. After a torrid few months, Mick finally found a new home in Newcastle, NSW, and set about getting back into work and getting on with his life.
Within a few days of moving in, however, disaster struck when Mick was bashed unconscious at a local nightspot, leaving him with serious head injuries. He is now in hospital and requires a long period of treatment, recuperation and life re-building.
Ripley Hood stands in for Mick Blood in the Lime Spiders. Steve Whelan photo
Ten bands. One bill. Despite being run (a.) in what is, these days, a notoriously taciturn live music town as Sydney and (b.) in direct competition with some obscure code of football’s grand final, it made sense.
Blood Bank was one of four benefit shows in as many cities to assist Lime Spiders vocalist Mick Blood, rendered unable to work after an altercation a few months ago in a pub in his newly adopted home town of Newcastle. Mick suffered a brain injury and is on the mend but it’s going to be slow progress on a long road.
Sometime I-94 Bar scribe Ken Shimamoto has birthed a new band online. Brokegrove Lads is a psychedelic improv rock group with musicians from Fort Worth and Albuquerque and their first release is a single, composed in tribute to late Deviants vocalist, writer and Pink Fairies alumnus Mick Farren.
HITS BACK - The Clash (Sony) Welcome to my new favourite Clash album. Well that’s an odd statement, isn’t it? I mean to say, it’s just a compilation album, isn’t it? Another entry in a seemingly endless series of Clash compilation albums bearing titles like “Story of”, “Essential”, “On Broadway”, “Singles” and “Super Black Market”. Who actually needs another reshuffling of this well trod back catalogue? According to Sony Music, we do. Like, surely this is an anniversary of something or other. This time the compilation explores the central conceit of a “hand written set list by Joe Strummer.” This begs the question; was there ever a set list that wasn’t hand written before, say, the early nineties and the availability of the home computer with printer to even the most drug addled musician? Love the hand writing and spelling, Joe. Slade and the City of London Freemen’s School would be proud.
Hoodoo Gurus - Photo by Hoodoo Gurus - Photo by Richard De Pizzol
The Gov, Sunday, June 9, 2013
Haven't you always loved the idea of parallel universes? In a parallel universe, Iggy Pop invites the Lime Spiders to open for his every gig throughout 1990, and they come to the attention of endless slebs who praise Mick Blood's icewater-on-hot-embers voice so much that he ends up co-starring in one of the die-hards franchise, singing duets with Amy Winehouse. Mick's a kind man and he helps her kick the hard stuff.
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.
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.
Long 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).
Ex-Screaming Tribesmen Mick Medew has been awarded the Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award by Queensland's peak music organisation, QMusic.
Mick received his honour at last night's Queensland Music Awards in Brisbane.
Previous recipients include the late GoBetweens member Grant McLennan, indigenous artist Kev Carmody, producer Mike Chapman, the Bee Gees, Railway Gin vocalist Carol Lloyd and Ed Kuepper of the Saints and solo fame.
Hard 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.
The battle-lines used to be clearly drawn between Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney was the home of high-energy guitar rock in its many variants, many of them Motor City-derived, while Melbourne spawned an artier, darker strain of music with one foot squarely planted in territory that became known as junkie rock.
These days Sydney’s musical crown is less faded than displaced. Melbourne is in the ascendancy. Its thriving music scene retains an artiness but it rocks as well. The place still does darkness better than most but its palette seems broader. Its tentacles seem to spread further than any other scene in Australia.
Norwegian-American Mark Steiner has visited Melbourne and gulped hard on water drawn from its musical well. He did an Australian tour a few years back but the influences were obviously already in place. There’s a Bad Seeds/Rowland S Howard/Wreckery streak several kilometres wide running right down the back of his bluesy music, but it’s marked by poise rather than self pity.
Mick Blood’s life was turned upside down in June this year when an altercation in a pub in his new home of Newcastle left him in hospital with serious head injuries.
The vocalist for legendary Australian band the Lime Spiders suffered brain damage and faces a long road of rehabilitation and recovery.
The Lime Spiders were one of the most influential bands to spring from the fevered Sydney underground scene of the 1980s. After the success of their "Slave Girl" single on Citadel Records, they went on to sign a global record deal and toured the world.
Over the course of three studio albums, four EPs and a live record, the Spiders cut a swathe through the Aussie music scene, appearing on the soundtrack to the “Young Einstein” movie and earning praise from the likes of Jello Biafra, Iggy Pop and Joey Ramone.
The cream of the Sydney scene is now rallying behind Mick in his hour of need with an all-star benefit show scheduled for the Bald Faced Stag Hotel at Leichhardt in Sydney from 3pm on Saturday, September 27.
This is a return to the record store racks (those that are left) for Mick Medew and one that's well overdue. His regular band The Rumours are still a going concern and this was conceived as a solo side project, but grew into a full-blown, plugged-in album with a new band. "The Mesmerisers" is a superbly rounded record.