The Barman would have me squawk about “full disclosure”. Don't you get arrested for that?
Oh, not if you're a politician? Mysterious donors suddenly appear with suitcases of cash for your defence team? What if you're a priest? Oh, you get transferred to a 'virgin' happy hunting ground?
Uh-huh. Anyway, I know Bob Short. He knows me. I know where he lives - and if you own either of these books, you know where he lives, too.
Man on the edge.
Okay, so this is the second part in a series. Do you need to own part one?
Well, strictly speaking, no. However, to fully grasp what's going on, yes, you do. Allow me to recap, just slightly.
So, we have a flash comic book, with artwork which is deliberately awkward and muckily-presented (in best punk d-i-y style). Never mind the photoshops, Bob works with what looks like printouts from the internet, white-out, textas and possibly water-colour.
There is a plot, but it's muddied (or clarified, perhaps) by a multitude of composite characters purposely designed to keep us away from the plot as such, so as to focus on Bob's main drag, which is social commentary.
Bob Short Filth, Blood & Roses, Dead Rabids, 4 Stooges, The Light Brigade et al Sydney, Australia
Twenty-twenty is a phrase used to demonstrate a standard of visual acuity. Providing a Top Ten list for the year of that name using normal standards of vision presents certain difficulties.
The harbinger of our civilization's downfall was, of course, the motion picture "Cats". This was a movie that spent its first hour-and-a-half introducing a series of characters played by celebrities in bad valley CGI mode licking themselves inappropriately whilst singing and dancing. Spoiler: It ends with the ritual suicide of the most downtrodden character by balloon.
Its similarity to the year it announced were too staggering to avoid. All year, we have been bombarded by celebrities entertaining (themselves) us from their living rooms in bad clothes and makeup whilst the poor and broken down die gasping for breath.
What stands out in the year that broke the world? And make no bones, the world is broken. Certainly, rock and roll is broken. It has been a long time coming but that bucket has been firmly kicked.
There has been illness for a while now. We've all been getting old. Most people stop adding new songs to their playlists in their early 20s. Some of us have kept our ears open much longer but that ultimately makes no difference. You could make the most stunning new music and no one would be there to listen. The old aren't interested in the new and the young aren't interested in the old.
The year was 2010, Sydney-born Simon Chainsaw had been living in Brazil for about 10 years.
His local band S.C.H.K. (Simon Chainsaw & the Hippy Killers) had recently broken up. Now a free agent, he could take up opportunities to play in different territories.
He’d recently toured Brazil, Europe and Argentina and released “Fuck The Neighbours!” (cover versions of ‘70s Aussie Punk) and a proposal came in to play back in his home turf of Australia to promote the new disc.
He hooked up with three original ‘70s Aussie punks for the shows: Chris Masuak (Radio Birdman, Hitmen, Screaming Tribesmen) on guitar, Murray Shepherd (Fun Things,Screaming Tribesmen, Hitmen and The Monarchs) on drums and Bob Short (from arguably Sydney’s first punk band Filthand later Dead Rabids) switching from customary guitar to bass.
The Barman has been pleading for a Top Ten list. I have a Top Ten list but everyone is gonna fucking hate it. For once I'm standing up and demanding some attention for something I believe in.
Normally, I let you ignore my records. Normally, I just go with the inferioty complex. But I bought my friend's in on this and I don't like them being ignored. Fuck you all. You're gonna listen to this fucking record. And you can happily call me a cunt.
I noticed that the way to actually push things through social media is by being a repetitive rude cunt.
If you ask me what the 10 most important things that musically consumed me, it was the ten songs on the album Going Underground by the Light Brigade. Which other songs did I dedicate 100 hours plus a piece to? A thousand hours. Forty days. A tenth of the year.
No songs more obsessed me. Musically, fuck all else actually mattered. Other new albums this year? James Williamson did a good one.
The easiest cop-out is to call this record a Velvet Underground tribute but tribute albums are inevitably piecemeal. A blur of people's visions. Someone inevitably always has to do a Ramones version of a slow song and someone else has to slow a fast one down into an overblown ballad to try and force meaning onto lyrics that have none.
That sold-out Celibate Rifles-Filth show, being held on September 11 as part of the Sedition 2019 festival at Oxford Art Factory in Sydney, has been cancelled. Organisers issued an online statement this afternoon:
We regret to inform you that we have had to cancel the “Do You Feel Lucky, Punk - Celibate Rifles + Filth” event. After the death of Damien Lovelock, the lead vocalist for the Celibate Rifles, we endeavoured to find an alternative line up however we couldn’t make it work. We deeply apologise for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation of the event. If you have purchased tickets for this event and have not yet received an email from us, don’t hesitate to get in contact and we can refund you the cost of your ticket/s.
Meanwhile, the Rifles will celebrate their late much-loved frontman with a tribute gig at the Factory Theatre in Sydney in September. Guitarist Ken Steadman told the band's Facebook page:
On Sunday September 22nd at the Factory Theatre, we'll be performing "Damo the Musical". We will do our best to say farewell in honour of him in our own style. Likely to run from around 4pm till 8pm with the music he loved, grew up with and contributed to. A few covers, some Wigworld tracks and plenty of Celies with guest musicians and multi media tributes to Senor Lovelock. Tickets will be available in a few days.
Once upon a time I went to The Big Day Out. I can’t remember which, but the events themselves I always thought were a nuisance which one was obliged to endure in order to see the two or maybe three bands you actually went to
Anyway, it had dawned on me that “my generation” was utterly reviled by the one coming up. Which is understandable, of course, as every generation has to gain independence and identity, and the quickest route is to revile the old farts. ’Cause of course, we no nuffink.
Now that I am a card-carrying Old Fart who Shouts At Clouds and Doesn’t Like the Look of Those Teenagers, I have a blessed distance to view the rich landscape of modern music [Barman: insert vomit noisehere]. In 1987 Steve Albini made a passing comment: “Pointless teenage thrash bands”.
There's some more news about that one-off show featuring Filth with the Celeibate Rifles at Oxford Art Factory in Sydney on September 11.
A limited edition vinyl EP will be issued on the night, featuring four songs originally played by Filth in a run of just 150 copies. Roll-over the image to check out the tracklist. They are not recording by the original line-up.
"Do You Feel Lucky, Punk" is the name of the event and tickets are on sale here.
It's part of the broader Sedition 2019 Celebration of Public Art and Protest in Sydney during the 1970s, more of which we'll be bringing you soon. Check it out here if you can't wait.
One of the trace elements of Sydney’s punk history will be exhumed on September 11 when Filth supports the Celibate Rifles at Oxford Art Factory, as part of the Sedition festival.
Filth sprouted from Radio Birdman’s fertile Oxford Funhouse scene and spawned the Psychosurgeons and the Lipstick Killers. Nihilistic and self-destructive, Filth presaged a richly diverse and extreme musical movement based in pubs like The Grand and The Civic.
Loud, fast and full of body fluids that were generously shared with audiences when the mood took them, Filth attracted fans who are even more deranged than them and were rarely invited back by venue operators. One show at Bondi with a nascent X remains infamous for both the repair bill and the number of fans sent to hospital.
Dead Rabids main man Bob Short was a member of seminal Sydney punks Filth before he fucked off to England to become a goth and live in abject poverty. He’s also penned the odd vituperative review for the I-94 Bar. So now it’s your turn. Do your best.
There’s no hint of hyperbole in you being told that the A side is a fantastic song. A stone classic. Dead Rabids are no more and never pulled a lot of people when they were a going concern, but don't let that stop you plonking down your hard-earned virtual cash and picking up a copy before it goes out of print.
The pathos runs deep on "The Sound of My Broken Heart" and it sounds like something the early Saints would have turned out in one of their more reflective moments. Put away any sharp objects and lock the medicine cabinet.
Flip the single and switch the mood to bathos: "Do the Harold Holt" is an old Filth song (I think) and you can imagine singer Peter Tillman spitting out its message for poliical leaders to jump into the sea three times and surface twice. A resuscitated classic. The Rabids' abbreviated take on "White Rabbit" sounds positively doom-laden and there's a harsh beauty in its acrid chords. Feed your head some squat food.