Foundation Radio Birdman drummer Ron Keeley is offering a rare piece of memorabilia for sale on the UK eBay site, taken from his own collection.
This item is a 24 inch (61cm) diameter painted bass drumhead from his white Rodgers kit. It was hand-painted by the band’s long-serving bass player and their artist, Warwick Gilbert. It saw action from 1976-78. It was re-used by Ron after Birdman broke up and he joined The Visitors, at that point being covered by a cardboard fascia with that band’s logo.
“It was on the kit for ALL the Radio Birdman gigs we played during that time, including all those at the Funhouse, the famous live session at 2JJ Studios, both of the legendary 1977 Paddington Town Hall gigs and many others,” Ron said.
“Condition is pretty good considering its age and the number of ‘skirmishes’ it was involved in…although it’s a bit battle-scarred (and stained in places with splashes of beer and other unidentified liquids.)” The item comes with a personally signed Certificate of Authenticity stating that the drum face is a contemporaneous item from Ron’s personal collection, and describing its provenance.
It’s their fifth tour but who’s counting? Spain’s ultimate party band Los Chicos is returning to Australia in October, playing with Radio Birdman and doing sideshows. They’ll will take their garage-country-punk to stages in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and the the Gold Coast, so if you live in any of those places or within driving distance, you have no excuse. Keep up to date on tour dates and ticketing here.
NOV 1 – The Triffid, Brisbane (w/ Radio Birdman) 2 – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast (w/ Radio Birdman) 3 – The Outpost, Brisbane* 4 - The Croxton, Melbourne (w/ Radio Birdman) 5 - The Tote, Melbourne* 6 – The Metropolitan, Adelaide* 8 – Marrickville Bowlo, Sydney* - New Christs headlining + 300 St Clare 9 – River Rocks, Geelong (sold out)
Tickets for the previously announced Radio Birdman Sydney Manning Bar show on Saturday, October 6 are selling fast, with a sell out expected. The band has announced a second show at the same venue on Friday, October 5 and tickets are on sale here.
Radio Birdman is doing a limited number of Australian East Coast shows over two weekends this coming September/October before heading off for a 22-date tour of Europe. Supports on the Australian tour will include Adalita (Melbourne), Brisbane's HITS (Brisbane and Sydney) and all shows will feature special guests from Spain, Los Chicos.
Last year's Australian tour with co-headliner Died Pretty was surrounded by the buzz of the limited cinema release of "Descent into the Maelstrom", the Jonathan Sequeira-produced documentary about Radio Bifrdman. The local release on DVD with bonus content will coincide with the tour with a special edition available at the band's shows.
Alternative title: "He Gets by With Some Help From His Friends".
Producer-guitarist Bruce "Cub" Callaway assembled a stellar cast for this, his 2013 return to recording after a lay-off, and it shows.
John Hoey (Died Pretty), Warwick Gilbert (Radio Birdman), Paul Larsen (Celibate Rifles), Clyde Bramley (Hoodoo Gurus) and Julie Mostyn Gilbert (Flaming Hands) all played roles. Lesser-knowns Ian Johnson, Louis Callaway and Harry Rothenfluh also contributed drums.
Check out the magnetism: Paul Berwick, Jiom Diockson, Matt Galvin and Nick Kennedy.
You could say they’re about to “step into the light” because that’s the name of the debut single for Sydney band Paul Berwick’s Magnetic Quartet. Bandleader Paul Berwick was the guitarist, singer and songwriter for Sydney’s late 1980s favourites Happy Hate Me Nots and has teamed with old friends Matt Galvin (guitar), Jim Dickson (bass) and Nick Kennedy (drums) to produce new original songs.
The individual band members have a wealth of experience (Happy Hate Me Nots, Radio Birdman, New Christs, Knievel, Big Heavy Stuff, Died Pretty, The Orange Humble Bandand Settlement)but have played only a couple of shows together as Paul Berwick’s Magnetic Quartet. They’re a class outfit as evidenced by their I-94 Bar promoted support to Leadfinger earlier this year.
They’ll launch the single with good mates Joeys Coop (featuring Died Pretty guitarist Brett Myers) at Sydney’s MoshPit Bar on Friday, November 12. Limited numbers of in-person tickets (and unlimited streaming passes) are selling here. (We’ll post a link to the single on Bandcamp after the gig.)
There was a time when sharp divisions ran like Pacific Rim fault-lines between underground musical factions in Sydney.
One one tectonic plate stood the Radio Birdman-influenced, leather-clad, guitar warriors steeped in ramalama-fa-fa-fa and the Stooges, on the other an esoteric bunch of people making sounds with synthesisers and other assorted machines. Picket lines were established and few crossed them, unless by accident or if no-one was looking.
Space Travels – Sonic Garage (self released)
It’s a a couple of years since Circus Chaplains from Sydney’s Northern Beaches fell by the wayside after the passing of Luke Lovelock,but his bandmates Phil Van Rooyen (Dr Fruitworld, Panadolls, Chickenstones) and Peter Bourke aren’t ones for standing still.
They’ve gone on to a new band with ex-Mushroom Planet bassist Pete Trifunovic, drummer Ronny Welsh and pianist Russell Parkhouse (ex-Riptides).
Sonic Garagerecorded their album at Zen Studios in Sydney in these odd COVID times and it’s a wonderful, ragged and righteous collection of songs that recalls familiar Harbour City high energy rock reference points.
Punk/proto-punk guitar heroes, James Williamson (Iggy & The Stooges) and Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman), have joined forces for a studio album. "Two To One" is released in September 18 by US label Cleopatra Recordsand "Stable" is the lead-off video track..
Williamson and Tek met at a memorial show for founding Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton in 2011 and reconnected when Williamson finally made it to Sydney with Iggy & The Stooges in 2013. They’ve since become neighbours in Hawaii. Although generationally separated, they share roots in the fertile Ann Arbor/Detroit high energy rock scene of the late '60s and early ‘70s.
Concrete Box b/w Crazy For You – Room 101 (Lost in Pyrmont Records)
This particular Room 101 were the first band to use the name that I'm aware of; there is now a chat show (dear God), a band from Lansing (Michigan) and a post-hip-hop outfit from Nuh Zuhlund, which explains why this band's bandcamp addy is https://room1011.bandcamp.com/
"Concrete Box" is a slice of simple, socially-observant venom articulately snapped out, with zipping twin guitars in sharp sync with bass and drums, with a lyrical trajectory perfect for the physically active lead singer. Granted the pop world had moved on somewhat from guitars (so the industry thought at the time) but the crowds in Sydney thronged to hammering bands like Room 101. Given some of the rather woeful "punker" type bands which appeared each Sunday night on 'Countdown', Room 101 would've cheered you up no end.
It’s taken me a little while to get to this one, and I wish I’d got here sooner.
There’s 12 tracks, nine by guitarist Dylan Webster, three by other guitarist Jason Sharples. With your bass by Dave Lundquest, drums by Serge Ou (no, really, that’s what it says here) and vocals by Michael Preiss… we’re looking at a band capable, if we read the back of the CD right, of constructing and delivering the twin guitar assault.
My oath they do.
“What's he doing reviewing THAT?”
Only people of a certain age will “get” this review. The term "Guilty Pleasure" will not be used at any point.
Admit it, punk. If you grew up in Australia in the 1970s and ‘80s (OK, you were might have been underage and still growing up, but you could sneak into licensed premises) and lived anywhere outside of Melbourne and Sydney’s inner-city regions, a dose of Pub Rock was unavoidable. A way of life, even.
These boys come outta the blocks right at your face and do their best to tear it off. So you’re dancing like a middle-aged dickhead in the living room (or I am, anyway), loving the sharp, smart changes, the handclaps, the groove, the bounce and bluster.
Given the band and the song this website is named for (it's not Pinky and Perky, nor New Order, nor The Smiths. Give up..?) it’s almost a no-brainer that you’d probably enjoy “The Sonic Race” EP.
In fact, I’d say this: if you’d never heard Birdman, MC5, Stooges, Dictators or the Dolls … or anyone like them, and you heard The Sonic Race… you would go out and buy an instrument and learn how to play it, and drag people in until you could all go out and play like demons and lay waste the countryside.
It's a long time between Penny Ikinger records but the results are usually worth the wait. "Tokyo" follows "Penelope" (2010) and "Electra" (2003) and is as evocative as ever but with a slightly rockier disposition.
"Tokyo" was recorded with a batch of top-notch Japanese psychedelic musicians, with heavy input from Radio Birdman's Deniz Tek. The latter's influence is evident - not just in some flammable splashes of lead guitar but also in the odd lyric. That Four Winds Bar sure has done some mileage since being name-dropped by Blue Oyster Cult all those years ago...
Even so, "Tokyo" is very much a Penny Ikinger record. Gone are the days where she needed to be referenced as "a past member of Wet Taxis" or as "Nico defrosted". As clever as that last marketing line was, Nico ultimately shut out the world. Penny embraces its musical possibilities and has her own distinctive voice.
CHRIS “KLONDIKE” MASUAK’S TOP SEVERAL FOR 2021
What’s another year without the obligatory screed from Klondike?
You know that my tongue is firmly in cheek but my heart unashamedly on sleeve when wishing you all as peaceful, calm, and rockin’ a Christmas as is possible to the human mind!
Frank with The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs.
TOP TEN ALBUMS
Cheap Trick – "In Another World" The masters of hard rock power-pop return with another banger. What year is this? How is it possible these guys are still so good?
The Wildhearts – "21st Century Love Songs"Ginger is one of my favorite songwriters and this Wildhearts album is a ferocious reminder that he is still at the peak of his powers.
The Darkness – "Motorheart"My favorite Darkness album since their debut, this one has swagger, hooks, and lots of blistering guitar riffs!
1. Do The Pop! Festival, October 2022 - Port Campbell, VIC. One of the best rock n roll experiences I’ve had since the glory days of the Big Day Out in early-to-mid-1990s. A good sized, easy going crowd, all (mostly) attending for two good reasons: beer and rock 'n' roll. An exceptional line-up featuring a range of established and up-and-coming bands. Big thanks to Mick Simpson of Grindhouse and friends for organising what will go down as one the great inaugural festival events. No question this is my Number One pick for 2022.
2. Howlin’ Threads EP "Of The Sea"(Meinshaft Records)It was great to self-release this 4 x track EP featuring contributions from a wicked array of Australian rock n roll legends, including Penny Ikinger (Wet Taxis) on vocals, Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) and Kent Steedman (Celibate Rifles) on lead guitar, James McCann (Harpoon) on slide and harmonica, and Brent Williams (New Christs) on keys. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to work with all these amazing people. For those keen to own one, a few Deniz Tek autographed copies are available here.
Chris Masuak at Resurrectionfest 2022 by Santiago Carollo
CHRIS KLONDIKE MASUAK’S TOP SEVERAL FOR 2022
Is it really that time again?
I can never summon up the ennui to diss Christmas. I get that it pushes some people’s buttons but I’m bucking the buzzkill.
This is the time to be relentlessly cheerful, if not for your sake, for those that need it.
So, put “A Christmas Gift For You”, “Rockin’ Little Christmas”, and “It’s Christmas Time Again” on high rotation.
At mind numbing volume!
Address to the Nation - Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders (I-94 Bar Records)Bomber Down - Bomber Down (self released)
“Address to the Nation” and “Bomber Down” come out of the blocks, fiery and roaring, full of piss and vinegar. Tight strong songs, stuff that belongs on the stereo, in the car, loud at parties and annoying pimply neighbours who ruin the neighbourhood and go to bed at 8.30.
“Address to the Nation” is Klondike's fourth long-playing solo band CD; the others, although most readers of this site will have them, were Klondike's North 40: “The Straight Path”; Chris Klondike Masuak “Workhorse”; Chris Masuak and the Viveiro “'Brujita”.and now this all issued by the website you're reading now.
Full Disclosure nonsense: I like Chris too. Also, I knew the members of the immediate precursor to Bomber Down, Phil, Sean, Rob and Tony. Rob and Tony are no longer with us - it's not been a good year.
The second instalment of “Raining Treasure”, the rather excellent countryfried salute to Sydney underground rock and roll’s heyday by Sydney’s Urban and Western master, John Kennedy, is on its way.
A crowdfunding campaign is in full swing and rewards range from autographed copies with your name on the cover to a show in your own home.
You can make sure you’re part of the action with John and his band The 68 Comeback Special by going here.
The second in a series, “Raining Treasure Vol 2” will features covers classic ‘70s and ‘80s songs (and obscurities) by The Boys Next Door, The Riptides, The Passengersand Radio Birdman.How do you say Yeah Hup with a country twang?
Flaming Hands vocalist Julie Mostyn-Gilbert is a guest on the album and is pictured at the recording session with Kennedy.
Here’s one you might not have expected: Adelaide’s hard ‘n’ heavy Exploding White Mice are reforming for shows, in conjunction with the Adelaide Film Festival. The Mice were a staple in the ‘80s and ‘90s with their landmark “Nest of Vipers” EP (1983) and a string of albums with a variety of line-ups. They were renowned as one of the best Radio Birdman-Ramones influenced outfits in Australia and took a distinctly poppy turn in their later days.
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