Greg Sawers & Penny Ikinger - photo by Loene Carmen
Siolo artist and ex-Wet Taxis and Sacred Cowboys member
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2020 started with a bang! I was treated to an ear-splitting performance from X at their Bushfire Relief Benefit show at The Spotted Mallard. in Brunswick, Melbourne. It was like travelling through a time warp littered with gritty rock n roll riffs and howls. The ones that X do best. They’ve still got it!
I was taken on another spin by a stellar line up of Guitar Wolf (Japan), 5,6,7,8’s (Japan) and Rocket Science at The Tote and also saw Japanese band The Jetboys at the same venue. Guitar Wolf and The Jetboys, arguably two of the best punk influenced rock bands of this day and age, are brutal. They play loud & fast with utmost conviction. Whatever it was they were singing about I was sure it was sacrilegious. It felt that way and that’s what counts.
The Schizophonics (USA) also performed in Melbourne (The Tote again!). This relatively youthful three piece exploded all over the stage and reassured that rock 'n' roll is not dead. Not that I ever thought it was, but that’s what ’they” keep telling me…
I-94 Bar barkeep
“Monday Evening Gunk”
My favourite thing to do on a Monday night. Props to Jill, Wax, Pat and Sonja at MoshPit, News and Brews co-pilot Rossy, tech-head Zac, photographer/chronicler of choice Shona Ross, and the many guests and hosts involved. My original Top Ten was going to be a chronological list of Gunk episodes because it would be like picking a favourite child.
“Goose Lake” – The Stooges (Third Man Records)
What a fucking trip.
"If This Is The Hand I'm Dealt" and "I'm Gonna Cheat As Much As I Can" solo albums by Peter Black
Got to these very late in 2020 and the Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superfly guitarist just goes from strength-to-strength with his quirky, catchy and compelling solo work. One acoustic, one electric. Get a full hand.
RONNY VAN DYK
Wreckless Enterprise label honcho and member of The Leftards
Wollongong, NSW, Australia
TOP TEN '60s CLIPS
PETER ‘ROSSY” ROSS
Celebrity Roadie, Jupiter 5 bassist
This is a list of things that have caught my eye in 2020 - in no particular order.
WHITE KNUCKLE FEVER
Everybody’s favourite two piece have been kicking goals all through the year culminating with a new double single release that is killer. Ross and Celia are not only hard working but one of the funniest bands in Sydney.
Milly and Adam have been working their rings out throughout the year, releasing high quality record after record. It’s been great watching the rise of their Central Coast colossus. Now they’ve even got their own venue in Woy Woy, The Link and Pin! Honourable mention also goes to Wreckless Enterprises.
LIVE MUSIC OFFICE
Sydney’s dormant live music scene won’t return overnight to prominence, and it doesn’t happen by accident. Blokes like John Wardle, and his team, have been pushing for legislative support and reforms to remove the barriers to get live bands into back into venues. They’re kicking some goals and it would be remiss to not acknowledge their massive efforts.
MONDAY EVENING GUNK
Live from the little venue that tried, Sydney’s version of CBGBs The Moshpit, MEG was one of the bright spots in a difficult year. Driven by The I-94 Bar’s Barman and Jill “Force of Nature” Dures, it was one part history lesson, Rockwiz knock-off, Molly Meldrum’s Humdrum and a live gig packed into a one hour live stream for 10 weeks… a garage rock version of Countdown if you like. A technical conundrum handled with style by Zac Ruokari from Zenn Streaming, the show was fun to be involved with and we can only hope it gets another airing in 2021.
MILLY D'ALTON AND ADAM BRZOZOWSKI
Owners of Outtaspace Records
Co-owners of Link and Pin live venue
Central Coast, NSW Australia
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.
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.
SIMON LITub thumper for Phringe Dweller, Fart Eastern garage folkie and "Senior Tactical/Artillery Supply Associate" for Lethal Mercenaries
Ip Man 4
Final of a film series exploring life and career of Kung Fu master Ip Man who helped train martial arts legend Bruce Lee.
Dark Side of The Ring : "Benoit"
Two episodes from a pro wrestling documentary series about wrestler Chris Benoit, screened on SBS TV.
Ex-Kelpies, Rollcage, Brother Brick, Panadolls
Top Ten Gigs I wish I was at drunk
Beatles - @ the Kaiserkeller - Hamburg, Germany. October 1960.
From the era when the Beatles played four sets a night, 50 days straight, making themselves an extremely tight rock n roll machine. Heineken ja ja!
The Doors - @ Whiskey a Go Go - Los Angeles, USA. August 1966
Mostly I just want to hear a fat version of “The End”. I’d probably drop a trip as well. JD.
Coloured Balls/Lobby Lloyd - @ Sebastians, Melbourne. Saturday April 15, 1972
I’d make sure I was fucking hammered and slammed my head into the PA when they did their “torture rock porn” version of Heartbreak Hotel, suck more piss indeed. Just beer.
Robert Johnson @ anywhere around the Mississippi Delta, USA. 1935
“Hellhound on my Trail” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Moonshine.
The Byrds @ Whiskey a Go Go - Los Angeles, USA. 1966
So influential, changed everything, still listening to them. A trip as well? Not sure. Watermelon wine.
KEVIN "BIG DADDY K" CHERRY
2RRR-FM host of "Sydney Sounds"
I'm sure that everyone agrees that 2020 has been a shitty year. The worst I can remember in my 60 years on this planet. I'm not generally into reminiscing and my bad short term memory usually prevents me participating in these types of lists. Living on the Northern Beaches area of Sydney and being in lockdown for the second time, however, I've decided to attempt to give my impression of the year's music events.
The last band that I saw before the first lockdown in March (which resulted in all the gigs I had planned to go to in the following weeks collapsing before my eyes like a stack of dominoes) was THE MEZCALTONES at The Orient Hotel in Sydney’s The Rocks district.
THE MEZCALTONES are a fantastic Mewxican Hillbilly Surf band from the Northern Beaches fronted by COL “PADRE” PORTER, his guitar-slinging wife NERALYN and whip-twirling, go-go dancing, singing percussionist, MISS MIMI, as well as the three other members. They always put on an entertaining performance of original songs and crowd pleasing covers and obscurities. They attract an audience that loves to get up and dance.
I also saw them at a socially distanced performance at The Marrickville Bowlo, which was a different atmosphere due to the restrictions, which meant that none of the audience could get up and dance or even stand with a drink in their hand.