The replay of last week's Thursday Evening Gunk, the I-94 Bar Internet show, is here so kick back and watch. Host Chris Virtue of 2RRR speaks to Sydney's King of Urban and Western, John Kennedy, and bassist Phil Hall (Dropbears, Sardine v, Lime Spiders) about the John Kennedy's 68 Comeback Special album "Raining Treasure Vol 2" before a set by the band.
This Thursday at 8pm Sydney time go to the Moshpit Bar Facebookfor the "Chicks Who Rock" episode, in which guest host Heather Goodman of Orbital Radio will talk to Jess Finlayson (Rasing Ravens, Nitrocris) and Bianca Kotoulas of young Sydney band Euterpe about the Sydney scene and women bands. Join the Facebook event here.
Dangerous Woman – Flowers For Jayne (self released)
Guitars are unfashionable, ergo Sydney’s Flowers For Jayne will never be musical flavour of the month with contemporary tastemakers or scenesters. And that’s fine. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not one of those people anyway. You think R&B is Stax or Motown 45s and hip hop is nothing more than softcore aural wallpaper.
Drums, bass and guitar (turned up loud) with a voice somewhere in the middle is a timeless configuration. Flowers For Jayne is a classic “power trio” - both in the heavy sense of the term and for having a keen sense of dynamics.
The band is the vehicle for vocalist-guitarist Jayne Murphy, former Lime Spiders member and woman about Sydney town, and she’s joined by ace rhythm section Jess Ciampa (drums in Bernie Hayes Quartet, The Nature Strip, Dog Trumpet, Jeff Duff Band, Smelly Tongues and others) and Phil Hall(Sardine v, Dropbears, The 68 Comeback, Lime Spiders, Flaming Hands, Matt Finish, Roddy Ray'Da & The Surfin' Caesars).
John Kennedy and the New Originals - John Kennedy and the New Originals (Foghorn/MGM)
Brisbane-raised English expatriate John Kennedy patented the Urban and Western genre after he transplanted himself to Sydney 40-something years ago and found underground success. It’s been a long (and winding) road since.
There’s been a decade living overseas in Los Angeles, Berlin, London, Holland and Hong Kong. Kennedy on paper’s had what appears to be a revolving cast of backing bands - J.F.K. And The Cuban Crisis, John Kennedy And The Honeymooners, John Kennedy's '68 Comeback Specialand John Kennedy's Love Gone Wrong.
Reality is that there’s been an intermingling of players in those bands and the line-up’s been stable in recent years, but perseverance has been a by-word.
It’s a brilliant idea so why didn’t someone do it before?
What’s that? you say. Record a bunch of iconic, mostly Sydney, underground songs in a way that honours the originals but makes them their own – at least for a few minutes.
UK-born, Brisbane-bred John Kennedy became a fixture on Sydney inner-city scene in the 1980s after cutting his musical teeth in his hometown. His distinctive “urban western” songs, and his bands JFK and The Cuban Crisis and John Kennedy’s Love Gone Wrong, earned him a healthy niche in a city that back then was groaning with musical talent.
John Kennedy was always backed by excellent bands and inevitably joined his peers in spreading their versions of the word on the national touring circuit, before moving overseas for a time. He and various line-ups of his John Kennedy’s ‘68 Comeback Special have been kicking around the now skeletal Sydney scene (read: Inner-Western Delta) for the last decade or so.