Seas on Fire – East Coast Low (Crankinhaus Records)
The promise of their first recordings (an album and a promotional EP) has been realised and “Seas On Fire” showsEast Coast Low has the requisite rock and roll cojones to take on all comers.
A five-piece with most of its membership drawn from the matter-of-fact city of Newcastle, a couple of hours north of Sydney, East Coast Low is a product of its home-town: Nothing is overly dressed up and most of the songs get straight to the point, with no fucking around.
This is a well-travelled band. Grizzled, if you like. High rotation on the national youth network doesn’t beckon (though we all know they don’t program anything with a hint of ageism about them.) The Low formed in 2015 with members playing in Newy bands like The Fools and No Reason. The influences are myriad, although the ‘70s punk lineage is strong.
At Least We’ll Always Have Rock n Roll to Fall Back On – Drugs in Sport (Outtspace)
Effervescent and tough guitar rock-pop from Newcastle, Australia, will not be the Next Big Thing for the nmatiomnal yewf network Triple J. But it can be in your own listening space, and here’s the proof.
Drugs in Sportdo cranked-up guitar pop exceedingly well. It’s a genre that’s been milked and relegated to the mainstream’s back blocks in favour of sanitised, autot-uned pap. Anthony (bass), Errol (vocal and guitar), Geoff(guitar) and Jez(drums) apply their own twist. You can’t beat humans playing real instruments, especially (even if) they’re, ahem, older chaps or lasses.
Kevin 'BIGDADDYK' Cherry SYDNEY SOUNDS 2RRR 88.5 SATURDAY 6PM (Sydney time) TOP 10 + 2 OF 2021.
DATELINE: FRESHWATER BEACH, SYDNEY, NSW: I'm fortunate to be living within 10 minutes walking distance to the birthplace of Australian surfing - affectionately known to the locals as Freshie. I usually go there in the early evening around 6pm when it's un-patrolled as there are less people and cooler so I’m less likely to get sunburnt. Water temperature has been tropical (around 21 degrees Celsius) but refreshing. A great, healthy and socially-distanced way to spend Summer.
The following 12 highlights (in no particular order) are by local bands recorded during Covid lockdown and regularly played on The Sydney Sounds Show ON SaturdayS 6pm 2RRR 88.5mz.
1. MOONLIGHT FIVE Made their debut last year (and listed in my Top 10 of 2020) with the polarising song/video “Lockdown Blues”, followed a few months later with the more accessible “Listening to Gospel Music on The Radio” - both of which received radio airplay, locally and overseas, to critical acclaim. About to launch their third song/video “I Just Want To Be Me” which had its radio airplay debut on SYDNEY SOUNDS on January 8. A band that are not afraid to go out on a limb and create something a bit different from the usual Sydney rock sound.
TheDean fronting The Dark Clouds. Rayna Jeffs photo
1. Sentacruz & the Genre Fluid Blues. The Dark Clouds have been doing what they do for over 10 years now. So I’m pretty comfortable these days to refer to myself as an artist or even a muso. Now sadly for me there is one big negative to playing Rock n Roll. At times I find myself losing the whole “being a music fan” thing. I can get lost in critiquing the production, a snare sound, the arrangement rather than enjoying it for what it is.
So for this Barfly Top 10 I’ll try and throw my muso hat away and write it as the music fan I’ve been since I first heard "Linda Bella Linda" by Daniel Sentacruz Ensemble back in Rome, 1974.
Rob Younger at The Factory Theatre. Shona Ross photo.
Radio Birdman + Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers + East Coast Low Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW Friday, June 21, 2019
Radio Birdman + Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers + The Dark Clouds Factory Theatre, Marrickville, NSW Saturday, June 22, 2019
The Aints! + Colonel Kramer & The Eamon Dilworth One Man Brass Ensemble Factory Theatre, Marrickville, NSW Friday, June 28, 2019
Your own legacy is a hard act to follow. This is a tale of two bands.
On one hand you have Radio Birdman, a thoroughly re-tooled and different beast to its previous incarnations and still carrying a substantial reputation. They’re a prime reason why The I-94 Bar exists.
On the other, you have The Aints!, who are led by foundation Saints member Ed Kuepper and armed with a setlist partly planted in that band’s past, with the balance comprising songs that were written for the old band but never recorded.