CELIA CURTIS Vocalist for White Knuckle Fever and Stone Cold Fox Sydney, NSW, Australia
Celia Curtis’s Top20 of 2020!
The gigging landscape undulated wildly in 2020 but it was by no means barren. The absence of the annual stagger to (and from) River Rocks Festival in Geelong definitely stung a bit, but there were some corker live gigs and streams in 2020. Here are some of my favourites I was lucky to attend/ play:
1. Jan 4 2020, PUNKNATS, The Old Canberra Inn Due to raging fires and road closures, Crapulous Geegaw, Tweekers and Grim couldn’t make it. But you just can’t stop the rock. Lucifungus, Oaf, the Dirty Sluts,Minor Surgery, rooted, Hymn, Herxhaim, DuShkanu,White Knuckle Fever and(my personal faves) Thee Cha Cha Chas all went hard.
It was 44 degrees Celsius in a tin shed. Literally the worst air quality in the world. A late southerly that brought out the p2 masks and a blanket of apocalyptic Orange smoke. But fuck it was a great day. Milly, Tilly and Outtaspace Presents did a top job organising once again and The Old Canberra Inn was as hospitable as ever.
It doesn’t take many dots to join the lines between rock and roll and its forebears, country music and blues. Sydney’s Dave Favours and his band The Roadside Ashes do It better than many.
“Too rocking for country purists and too country for the rock crowd” is a familiar descriptor and it’s one that Dave Favours grips in a bear hug without any concession to social distancing. Hie says his music owes as much to Hank Williams as The Clash and that’s one reason you rockists (guilty as charged) may want to give it more than a cursory listen.
The more I hear of Keith Urban and Kasey Chambers, the more it's apparent that they have nothing to do with what anyone should consider to be country music. They arei hospital strength disinfectant-treated confections, aberrations so far removed from the original form so as to be irrelevant. Their records are turds polished within an inch of their sorry lives for moronic masses wearing shit-eating grins. A snob's view? People like Dave Favours come along and you know your opinion counts.
Dave Favours & The Roadside Ashes is a Sydney band that plays both sorts music - Country and Western - whose debut single recalls T Tex Edwards, the maverick punk-country artist from Dallas, Texas.
Band leader Dave Favours used to be in The Delivery and has been at this alt.country thing a while. Like T. Tex, Favours has an appreciation for country’s less-travelled roads and a bit of punk in his background.
“Part Time” has a laconic, resigned feel, with pedal steel bleeding through the lyrics about demons, deep inside, and drinking. Dave Hatt (bass) and Simon Li sit in the pocket nicely.
Their members (both of them) have been on more stages than a ticket collector for Cobb & Co, but playing together as Saloon Daddies is a relatively new experience. So what else does a new-ish Sydney alt.country duo do but jump into a studio to reel off an EP before it all becomes too slick or predictable.
You read right - “Your Horse Has Bolted” is alt.country. What’s it doing in the I-94 Bar? As a sage man once observed: “You can’t live on Detroit rock alone.” It's had quite a few spins in recent weeks and right now it's wedged between a selection of Blue Oyster Cult and the Sonics. Odd bed fellows, for sure, but what’s more, it’s pretty good.