The American college town of Ann Arbor - A2 to the locals - has a lot to answer for. This re-issue of a long out-of-print live recording of some of its famous sons makes it apparent.
Originally released on CD only by Philadelphia's Real O-Mind Records in 2002, it's on vinyl as well as shiny silver disc this time around, and marks the return of David Laing's Grown Up Wrong label.
Everything about this show smokes. Powertane were the vehicle for A2 legend Scott Morgan, a soul prodigy (The Rationals) who made up a quarter of one of the greatest guitar rock and roll bands to ever go MIA in the mists of musical legend status, Sonics Rendezvous Band.
Fresh from unleashing a volley of Scientists and Radio Birdman/Stooges offspring material, re-born Australian label Grown Up Wrong has a pair of Flamin’ Groovies releases in the wings to whet the appetite of even casual fans of the band.
Arch-Groovies acolyte and label head David Laing has compiled “I’ll Have a…Bucket of Brains”, which is eight tracks from the tapes made for United Artists in the UK in 1972. Mostly recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales with Dave Edmunds, this release captures the Groovies transitioning from punky R&B artists to flashy Stones types – en route to aspiring to be the new Beatles. It’s the Groovies album that never was, with four of the tracks instead being released on singles.
Expanded packaging and a speed-corrected take of the Groovies’ classic “Shake Some Action”, this collection was previously available as “The Rockfield Sessions” but has been long out-of-print.
The other offering is “Between The Lines: The Complete/Wilson Songbook ’71-81”, which compiles, for the first time, all original songs written by Cyril Jordan and Chris Wilson in the classic second version of the band.
The I-94 Bar iinvited LIpstick Killers members Mark Taylor and Peter Tillman to front up for a chat on Friday, to mark the release of their band’s killer posthumous compilation “Strange Flash!” on Grown Up Wrong! Records. Fan Steve Lorkin and Tillman’s former Filth bandmate Bob Short were hosts for this wide ranging chat reflecting on the band’s rise through the Radio Birdman-inspired Sydney underground scene to their disintegration in Los Angeles. You'll find our review of the album here.
There are supposed to be two types of Scientists fans: those who like the first punky-pop incarnation from Perth and people who like the latter, swampy line-ups that sprang up in Sydney and moved to the UK. Of course that’s nonsense. The world isn’t binary. You’re free to love ‘em both.
Getting a handle on the recorded legacy of either, however, is no easy task. The grunge Sydney-UK Scientists recorded in fits and starts, falling out with their then-record company and seeing their stuff released in forms that did not please them.
You'll drop big money tracking down original vinyl but the output of the Perth Scientists has been reissued several times over in jigsaw fashion. At one stage their legacy did suffer from a poorly produced self-titled record (the posthumous so-called Pink Album) being their only LP. Thankfully, there’s enough out there to give a more complete picture of their sound, to which “Not For Sale” adds much.
This could be the best news fans of raw and real rock and roll will hear this year: Esteemed Australian label Grown Up Wrong - th forerunner of Dogmeat Records - is back in business. Owner David Laing is kicking off with a bang with two killer releases to get the ball rolling (again.)
First is a fantastic collection of primarily live recordings from the original Perth-based line-ups of The Scientists - back when James Baker of Victims/Hoodoo Gurus was still drumming for them. "Not For Sale: LIve 1978/79" is an archival set of recordings from the band's ragged powerpop days when they sounded like a collision between the Flamin' Groovies and The New York Dolls.
The second release is a reissue – with extra tracks, and for the first time on vinyl – of a rare 2002 live album called “Ann Arbor Revival Meeting” by Scott Morgan's Powertrane with Deniz Tek and Ron Asheton.
The long-awaited anthology of material by Australia’s legendary Lipstick Killers finally arrives on CD and LP on Grown Up Wrong! Records on June 25.
“Strange Flash – Studio & Live ‘78-‘81” as a double-LP will include the original 1979 “Hindu Gods of Love”/”Shakedown USA” single, the posthumous “Sockman/Pensioner Pie’ 45 plus additional studio masters from the same ’78 session; an unreleased album-length 1980 demo session recorded by Australian guitar god Lobby Loyde; and the near-complete LA show that comprised the original live album “Mesmeriser”.
The “Mesmeriser” tracks will add additional tunes and subtract a couple that one band member wasn’t happy with.The set features liner notes by Ugly Things contributor and Grown Up Wrong! Records’Dave Laing, some killer pix and flyers and repro’s of the stunning Lipstick Killers posters designed by highly collectable Sydney poster artist John Foy, and a piece by Byron Coley.
The LPs will be a run of 500 copies on orange vinyl an 500 on black.
The double-CD includes adds a near complete live show recorded in Adelaide in 1978, some of which was released on a handmade cassette by members of the band in the mid-‘80s, and a couple of the tracks of which appeared on a very limited run 45 also released by the band in later years. But a good chunk of it has never been heard - and it is wild.
There’s no doubt that the Lipstick Killerswere in a class of their own when they stepped out of the shadow of Radio Birdman and onto Sydney stages. With sensibilities inherited from the import racks of White Light Records and the frantic energy of the Oxford Funhouse, they mixed stuttering power and rawness with a sense of theatre and an appreciation of the ridiculous.
The Lipstick Killers had a lineage going back to Funhouse denizens the Psychosurgeons,and the physically confronting Filthbefore them. If Birdman’s birth marked the Ground Zero for Sydney’s underground scene, the Lipstick Killers were heading a fast-following platoon whose ranks included Shy Imposters, Kamikaze Kids and The Passengers.