Organisers have announced the line-up for the seventh annual River Rocks festival in the Victorian city of Geelong (aka Gee-troit) and it's a good 'un.
Heavyweight stoner rockers Tumbleweed (pictured), rock royalty Kim Salmon & The Surrealists and Brisbane's peerless HITS head a gun line-up of 20 bands over over two stages at the Barwon Club on November 15.
You can’t replicate the past but you sure can borrow from it. Two founding members of ‘80s Wollongong upstarts Proton Energy Pills have teamed with three younger players to lay down some of their old band’s unrecorded songs and the results are satisfying.
As predecessors to Tumbleweedand the vastly underrated Brother Brick, the Protons lit a fuse under their hometown and made righteous noise on the national touring circuit before falling apart. Three decades on, there was never an intention to release these recordings and their progress to completion was stymied by various health issues. After hearing the fruits of their labour however, original members Dave Curley and Stew Cunningham(he of Leadfinger) thought: Why not?
The portents were good. A reformed band, firing live and determined not to be a heritage act. Old burned bridges rebuilt. New songs. Reunited with the producer of their best-sounding work and taking the time to make sure they hit the mark in the studio. And they did. Make no mistake. This is Tumbleweed's best moment since 1995's "Galactanphonic" and it might even eclipse it.
It's such an obvious idea that it's a wonder no-one issued this before. Thumbs up to Aztec for giving Wollongong's finest "the treatment" with a lavish double CD set covering all their early singles and EPs, along with their self-titled debut LP and the "Daddy Long Legs" CD single. It coincides with the band's reformation and return to bursts of gigging so it's all the more timely.
Waiting For The Last Gasp Of My Generation – Nasty S and The Ghost Chasers (Twenty Something Records)
French journeyman Nasty Samyhas been on the European underground touring circuit as long as anyone can remember, playing with the likes of Second Rate, Hawaii Samurai, The Black Zombie Procession, Demon Vendetta, Cab Drivers Stories, Teenage Renegadeand a bunch of other bands you’ve possibly never heard of.
He’s a lifer.
He’s also a magazine writer of some repute.
“Waiting For the Last Gasp…” is a cover album, with Nasty S playing most of the stringed instruments on a selection of ‘80s and ‘90s punkish and powerpop songs that he digs, and with a rotating cast of guest vocalists.
Jeez! I can’t remember what happened yesterday, let alone early 2022. I do know the Dark Clouds played a lot. So much we nearly filled up that tiny little pocket on the front of our jeans from all the cash we made.
10. Private Function!!! Finally got to see them and bloody hell am I glad I did.
“What’s that mate? Never heard of ‘em."
How about you stop banging on about Doc Neeson being the best Aussie frontman of all time, park ya Zimmer frame by the duck pond and have yourself a little nanna nap”. Chris Penney is Neeson, Gleeson, Bon, Stevie Wright, James Reyne and Isabella Manfrediall wrapped into one and turned up to 11.
I saw a lot of shows this year but these guys were standouts. Amazingly entertaining. Chaotic, shambolic, funny & wildly insane. A performance that makes most bands look like chopped liver. A band that makes Jimmy and the Boys look bland. The only band I can think of that comes remotely close to such a wild performance is …. Nobody ya hear! Nobody. A true force of nature. Driving past Albury Wodonga will never ever be the same.
9. WAAX. The new album. What a creeper. Wasn’t too keen on it the 1st couple of listens but I’m glad I kept spinning it. Really cool album. Lyrically smart IMHO. It may not grab everyone. A bit too JJJ as they say but it’s classy! I Got to see them live too. Enigmatic, theatrical, mesmerising & aesthetically pleasing. Incredibly entertaining live band. Sounded just like the record. Maz DeVita is the bomb! What a voice. Superstar performer.
8. Do the Pop festival in Victoria. This was a cracker. Rock stars young and old. So grateful to have been on the bill. Too many brilliant acts over the weekend to mention but the surprise package for me was The Refuge. I bought the EP. It’s good, but as a live act they killed it. Even the guy napping by the duck pond would like ‘em. Check ‘em out 7. The Weed. The Tumbleweedlads have still got it. Whatever the nostalgia event was called, Tumbleweed kicked it off in world class style. Extra special for me because my kids got to see one of their favourite bands with me. Richiehelped me out and got them in the press pit and they took some cracker shots for a school assignment.
Here's one. Pretty cool day out!
6. Stewart Cunningham of Leadfinger I’ve been a Stewart Cunningham fan my whole life. There hasn’t been a thing he has released that I didn’t like. Let’s hope he doesn’t release a Christmas album next year. Yeah - Nah I reckon I’d even like that. The new Leadfingeralbum. Well it’s got some dark clouds on the front cover so you know it’s gunna be good.
Seriously though, Stew has been dealt a pretty poor hand of late. I was therefore expecting a bit of a poor bloody me album. Couldn’t be further from the truth. It feels more like an album about love, connection and the lust for life. From the very first Brother Brick-ian strums of “You Think So” I was smiling. I danced, I cried, I air guitared and cried a little more (yeah yeah I played side 3 first). Incredible song writing. Beautiful record. Love the production and the packaging. Every silver cloud has a dark lining.
5. Mad Max It’s no secret we are big Mad Max fans. We have had the pleasure of hanging out with & playing our MFP tune to a lot of the original cast. Fifi, Goose, Charlie, The Night Rider, Cundalini but earlier this year singing “Johnny the boy has done it again” on the back of a truck with Johnny the Boy AKA Tim Burns standing in the crowd in front of me smiling was pretty special.
4. Wasteland At the drive in. No, not the band. Wasteland the documentary screened at the skyline drive-in in Blacktown. A Doco about Mad Mad Max fans. Forgot how much I loved the drive-in as a kid and then we got to see ourselves, very briefly on the big screen
3. Rot TV. Some pretty cool guitar picking on their debut album. It’s good, in a New Yorky, Detroitian, 1st wave British punk, ‘80s Melbourne, new era Scandinavian kind way. I like it. Well worth tracking down. Finger picking good.
2. The Owen Guns Yeah, they have a potty mouth. Yeah, I don’t quite get the contempt for either cyclist or ska music but The Owen Guns smashing out "C.S.M.F." live in Dapto was one of my rock n roll highlights for 2022.
1. Psychotic Turnbuckles Coming out of the rock ‘n’ roll Corona abyss for a tag team rumble with the Psychotic Turnbuckles in front of a very solid crowd at the Marrickville Bowlo was tops. They were on fire. The lead up banter with Jesseand the girls was pretty cool too. There is no disputing The Turnbuckles are still the undefeated champions of the Universe.
And Best song of 2022 goes to Bad//Dreems… What ya think about that? Jack!
Following the release of their sold out 7" singles boxset and run of five nights of hometown celebrations at La La La's in Wollongong just before Xmas, Tumbleweed steps into the new year with an announcement that was meant to come last year.
Aussie stoner favourites and Wollongong’s proudest exports, Tumbleweed, are off on a national Australian tour in August and September, playing the “Galactaphonic” LP in full for the first time, as well as a slew of favourites.
The band has re-grouped after the untimely death of bassist Jay Curley.
"Galactaphonic" came out in 1995 and critic Ian McFarlane described it as "an epic masterwork, a strident album full of fierce, booming metal-boogie and catchy, hard-edged rock'n'roll". Tour dates:
The Corner Hotel Melbourne Friday August 21
The Manning Bar Sydney Friday September 11
Rosemount Hotel Perth Friday September 18
Fowlers Live Adelaide Saturday September 19
Waves Towradgi Beach Hotel Wollongong Saturday September 26
The Australian underground music scene has been rocked by the sudden passing of Tumblweed bass-player Jay Curley. At 8am today, the band made a statement via its Facebook page:
"It is with deep sadness that we inform everyone of a great loss in the Tumbleweed family. Our brother, friend and bass player Jay Curley passed away suddenly in his home yesterday. We are still shocked at the news of his death. We hope that people will remember him for his music, his big heart and his total dedication to rock and roll."