Men Of No Shame: Earl Slick, Glen Matlock and Slim Jim Phantom
Sweat is pouring down my neck and back. Rob from the C-Bombs is dangling pictures of his empty pool at me on facebook and I suddenly remember to start dialling.
I’m calling Glen Matlock in London. It will be something like 8.30 in the morning there. He’s organised, sounds quite sober, matter-of-fact and down to earth. Which is pretty good, cos if you’ve never heard the bugger’s name you’ve certainly heard at least one of the bands he’s been in, and helped write the songs for: The Sex Pistols.
Glen is coming to Australia for the ‘Men of No Shame’ tour with Earl Slick and Slim Jim Phantom.
Penny onstage with Dimi Dero, Vinz Gulluliy and Johnny Casino at Andoaingo Rock Jaialdia in Basque Country.
In no particular order:
1. GUITAR WOLF (Japan) and Mach Pelican at The Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne Ah! Guitar Wolf! Boy, can these guys fly! Liberating and exhilarating to listen to and watch. Every now and then I go to a gig and get a guitar lesson for the price of the entrance fee! This is the second time I have seen these guys, and there I was, right up the front again, with my comrade in arms, Julian Wu, protector of rock ’n’ roll women in volatile crowds.
2. CHARLIE OWEN at The State Library of Victoria, Melbourne Charlie melded instruments - electronic, electric and acoustic - in a way only Charlie knows how. Situated in the Reading Room of the State Library of Victoria, a tremendous building built in the gold rush era of the 1850s, the setting was opulent and reverential. Charlie had his very own pulpit/stage so to speak and kept us spellbound for an hour or so.
Well, this is awkward. David Bowie produces a new album. It's actually pretty good. Easily the best album he's produced since "Low". I know, right? A lot of people hate that one too but an album made by a coke snorting lunatic whilst driving around a car park at seventy five miles an hour is by definition going to sort the likes from the dislikes.
After the Seventies glory years of Glam and guitar solos, things took a turn to the weird. The so called Berlin trilogy featured two good albums "Low" and "Heroes" and the rather jumbled "Lodger". His production of Iggy Pop's "The Idiot" quietly changed the way we'd look at popular music. Joy Division and Public Image Limited were obviously paying attention as well as a veritable army of prissy nerds with their sister's make-up kits and Casio keyboards.
Moonage Daydream (2022) Directed and produced by Brett Morgen
Moonage Daydream, Brett Morgen’s love letter to David Bowie, is complete sensory overload.
Sitting in a near empty cinema on a Sunday evening, I found myself both captivated and bored at the same time. The documentary, at about 135 minutes, was long and some of the footage was used multiple times which was distracting; it could have been edited tighter.
Morgen as director, producer and editor has put together an epic that does, in some way, portray Bowie’s legacy, doing it justice.
Visually, the film was stunning, featuring footage I’d never seen before… not that I’d consider myself a Bowie tragic, but all people of a certain age found their lives intertwined with Ziggy or The Thin White Duke to some extent. Rare live footage of The Spiders was plentiful, if mentions of the contribution of that band, and especially Mick Ronson, were not.
Morgen’s art direction was a clumsy allegory to the chaos and isolation Bowie seems to have fostered. As an insight into the man as an artist you came away with a sense of his disconnection and disordered and chaotic approach to his craft.
The archival footage both on and off stage was plentiful, and you genuinely got a feel for the extent of his many talents with Bowie’s painting and videography featured extensively. There are many montages that flash through gigs and offstage footage at a great pace that becomes exhausting.
The Lincolns are sharp, smart and write damn fine, modern songs, play with punch and verve, and crowds come out of the undergrowth wherever they play (I’m guessing they’d pull in the middle of the Simpson Desert), and most of the crowd get all gussied up and dance till the pompadours collapse like upset bowls of black pasta.
The Lincolns tour around the country; barely a weekend goes by without another sell-out Lincolns gig somewhere. They work hard at day jobs, too, so the band is their release; yet they drive to every gig and there’s more than 140 songs in their repertoire. Yes, really. And they live in Adelaide. And, their overseas tours have been extremely successful, and there’s another one sorted out for 2017.