Weather lifts as Penny Ikinger and band storm Woy Woy

penny ikinger bowlo 2022The night before the Woy Woy storm: Penny Ikinger at Marrickville Bowling Club. 

After 150 days, the rain stopped. There was sunshine and it was a Sydney long weekend. Not sure how many built arks and were still floating along while I was driving north on the Pacific Highway to the coastal town of Woy Woy this sunny Sunday afternoon - on a tankful of $2.30 a litre petrol with just enough change to buy a chocolate milk.

The Link and Pin Café at Woy Woy has evolved into the coolest gig - and who would thought the birthplace of Spike Millikan would be a new home away from home for veterans of the Sydney Trade Union Club and Hopetoun Hotel?

And why not? It’s a 90-minute trip by train, road or by ferry across water. It is an adventure that many Sydneysiders are taking to see that anyone from local metal bands, to alternative darlings to Chad Morgan. The venue even launched the new line-up of the Hard-Ons. There is a vibe here and it’s run by hardcore music fans.

Unrelenting feedtime and Examplehead satisfy a full-house

feedtime bowlo feedtime's Rick Johnson.

feedtime
Examplehead
Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney
Friday May 20, 2022

Having never seen either bands live back in the day, this was going to be an extra special night. The original gig was postponed from June 2021 and then January due to COVID and tonight it was going ahead. I have been a huge fan of feedtime for many years, owning their self titled album, “Shovel” and “Cooper S”, along with a couple of singles from back in the 80s.

It is not often that either band play gigs (Examplehead have a few coming up and are worth checking out) so this was a rare opportunity to see both bands.

Patti raises Cain while living on Tulsa time

patti in oklahoma

Patti Smith and her Band 
Cain's Ballroom
Tulsa, OK  U.S.A.
Friday 6 May 2022

Patti Smith and her band were booked to play Cain's Ballroom as part of the Bob Dylan Center Grand Opening Celebration here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

After visiting the Bob Dylan Center earlier in the day, she posted on Instagram that she'd be "Raising Cain at Cain's".

I saw The Patti Smith Group at Cain's back in 1978. It remains one of the greatest concerts that I've ever experienced.

Starry tribute does SPJ justice

 spencer tribute tote

"Execution Days, A Celebration of the Life and Music of Spencer P. Jones"
The Escape Committee 

+ Adalita, Penny Ikinger, Sly Faulkner, Phil Gionfrido, Digger & The Pussycats,
The Pink Tiles, Claire Birchall, James McCann, Jules Sheldon, Foggy Notion,
Henry Hugo, The Last Gasp Horns

The Tote, Collingwood, Melbourne
Saturday 9 April, 2022
Photos by Michael Barry

Before we start, a disclaimer: I am a close personal friend of Patrick Emery, the author of "Execution Days: The Life and Times of Spencer P. Jones” and organiser of this gig. So therefore all objectivity is likely to be thrown out the window.

Patrick and I first saw the Beasts of Bourbon in a relatively small venue, Le Rox, in the city of Adelaide in early 1992. After the first few bars of the opening song, "Chase the Dragon", singer Tex Perkins kicked over the mic stand, the band abruptly stopped playing and Tex stormed off the stage headed towards the mixing desk. We were standing roughly in that area as he came charging in our direction and I was genuinely in fear that he was about to wreak some savagery upon us as part of the collateral damage of castigating the sound guy.

Cutting loose with The Meanies (and friends) on a Thursday night

meanies nick ramageThe Meanies. Nick Ramage photo. 

The Meanies
The Vains
Cull - The Band 
Jive, Adelaide
Thursday, 14 April 2022

You can't fault this sort of gig. First, it was one of those where folks you'd not seen in ages (I hadn't seen Nick in something like 25 years, for example0 and it was the eve of the first day where we can mostly ditch masks, QR codes and “social” distancing.Needless to say, most of us ain't 22 anymore so a lot of us were increasingly (and occasionally entertainingly - like the chap who tried to set up his own circular mosh pit) quite successfully drunk.

On the stage were three bands which instantly grab your attention, hold it despite your need to go for a wee or get more Coopers Pale, and keep you hanging on till the end of their set. 

Putting their best foot forward for a right royal Rogering

rogers foot Tim Rogers frontign the Hard-Ons is As Beautiful as a Foot. 

Hard-Ons
Ratcatcher

Enigma Bar, Adelaiude
Saturday, April 3, 2022

Long story short - I'm still reeling. The Hard-Ons have crossed the Rubicon and what they're doing in Australia is anyone's guess. Right now they should be out slaying the world, Europe then USA, then South America. We're damned lucky to have them. I might add, I don't reckon we deserve them.

Cull was  mean to be the opemnig band but cancelled. Dammit. I've tried about six or seven times to get out of the door to see them. The one time I get there ... Reports have reached me that they're damn fine. 

New support, Ratcatcher, went on later than planned because one of the folks in the band second on the bill couldn't do it – thanks COVID.

Dishing the Lachlan Valley Dirt on a Sydney Saturday night

joeys coop moshpitJoeys Coop.

JOEYS COOP
+ THE SMART FOLK
MoshPit, St Peters, NSW
Saturday 26 March, 2022

A Sydney night of intermittent rain stifles the post-COVID nightlife revival. Or so it seems. The Best Little Small Bar in Sydney, The MoshPit, has other ideas - and so do Joeys Coop and supports The Smart Folk.

It almost goes without saying that pandemic lockdowns have put obstacles in the way of everything. Joeys Coop put the release of their second album on ice and tonight is the Sydney leg of a much-delayed world (read: New South Wales) tour to launch “Lachlan Valley Dirt” at The MoshPit in Sydney’s inner-west.

The impacts of the dirty little virus live on. A whole bunch of MoshPit patrons who were at the King Street Crawl gigs a fortnight before were taken down by it. An unrelated infection forced The Smart Folk to play the Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll & Alternative’s Sixities Stage without bass-player Keith Claringbold.

Tonight’s news is that another wave of COVID infections and the seven-day isolation rule has shut down a two-band bill at the nearby Golden Barley Hotel. A few punters and unaffected band members make their way to this show.

X hits the spot at first Sydney Rock 'n' Roll and Alternative Festival

 x factory floor crX are Geof Holmes, Rick Studentt, John Butler and Steve Lucas. Photo by The Barman

SYDNEY ROCK 'N' ROLL & ALTERNATIVE FESTIVAL
I-94 BAR STAGE

+ JUPITER 5
+ SONIC GARAGE
+ THE DARRANS
The Factory Floor, Marrickville, NSW
Sunday, 20 March 2022

 Finally a gig that got me into the city, out of my COVID slumber and ignoring the daily infection numbers.

The rare spark of motivation was the Sydney Rock and Roll & Alterative Festival, an extension of Tiffany Palmer’s amazing and long-running Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll Markets   This event had become an institution in this city over the last decade - until COVID put an end to and anything half decent in a dull and corporate investment hub.

I was here at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville for The Barman’s I-94 Bar Stage in the room called The Factory Floor, but I did manage to peek at a few other stages. I discovered that cowboys and cowgirls were out in force with line dancing alive and well. It’s practiced by people whose childhood was dominated by episodes of “Hi Five”. Line dancing is allegedly cool and has left its mark on society with community colleges teaching the stuff. As a bloke who grew up in the bush, this pretentious King Street urban country fashion is amusing.

Old Farts At Play and The Kids Are Alright

sonic garage 3Pete Bourke, Phil Van Rooyen and Pete Trifunovic from Sonic Garage.

Sonic Garage
Pocketwatch
Bayley and the Liquid Squid
Marrickville Bowling Club, NSW
Friday, 11 March 2022

You can say “Boring Old Fart” but it’s good to stare rheumy-eyed into the middle distance, drool into a beer and recall much less complicated times in hushed tones. Times like the early 1980s, when the biggest challenge on a Friday night was to decide which two or three rock and roll shows you were going to attend, all of them within a short distance of each other.  

If they were local bands, the door charge was free or modest, and if the headliner was on the national touring treadmill, entry might set you back a ten spot. At least one of the supports was a band you’d never heard of, but paying your money and taking your chances was all part of the ritual. You got to conduct a post-mortem as soon as their set was over or over a hair of the dog at your local the next day. 

I-94 Bar