Rock n Roll CPR v Nostalgia Neuralgia TheDean’s 2019 - 10 things you should know
1) D is for Dickhead Hey you! Yeah you sitting on your lounge watching TV. You sitting on your lounge, watching people sitting on their lounge, watching TV. If you’re a fan of that show no worries. I can live with that but if I have to listen to you talk to your mate Thommo about it the next day, way too loudly on the phone in a crowded carriage and your follow up sentence is “all music these days is shit” and that there hasn’t been a decent Aussie Rock Band since the Screaming Jets, you my friend; are a Dickhead.
2) A is for Australian Dirty, Fast & Built to last. The Australian Kingswood Factory album Bloodshot and Shakin’. Get on it. Buy Australian & buy it now! Cow Punk, Punk-a-billy, punk, punk rock, rock punk or just plain old dirty rock n roll? Not sure how to pigeon hole these guys but I do know they are pretty much everything I ever liked in a band back in the day. If you don’t check ‘em out next chance you get, that’s just plain Unaustralian.
It is always hard to cut it down to ten but here goes.
Ice Cream Hands supported by Bryan Estapa Band- Factory Floor, Sydney A great night of cleverly and carefully crafted power pop from Ice Cream Hands as Charles Jenkins and co bewitched us again with their sublime sounds. Support act Bryan Estapa Band were also a delight with their songs that owe a bit of a nod to high quality 70s AM radio sounds.
Charlotte and The Harlots/COFFIN/Turbobelco/Generation Landslide/Hy Test/Neptune Power Federation – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney All killer no filler as this mighty bill saw each band up the ante and be better than the one before them. COFFIN and Neptune Power Federation were especially outstanding.
Thee Marshmallow Overcoat – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, Melbourne. Ashley Naylor, Davey Lane and Brett Wolfie playing two sets of their favourites from the 60s and 70s. Do I need to say more?
Ice Cream Hands – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, Melbourne. Oh yes, the night after Thee Marshmallow Overcoat, at the same venue. Bliss, heaven on a stick and a more sympathetic mix than was apparent at the Factory Floor show.
The Dark Clouds/Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers/Radio Birdman – Factory Theatre The Dark Clouds showed why they are one of the best hard rock bands around but it was Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers who wowed the crowd with their set. Peppered with tracks from the Open Season album and select gems from Mick’s back catalogue they were the stars of the night. Radio Birdman also delivered a fine set and it was probably Rob Younger’s best vocal performance with RB for some time.
My Way Or The Highway – The Dark Clouds (self released)
When I was a little chap, I was in England and received a tip to listen to the John Peel show on the radio.
Those shows have stayed with me; Peely was a distinctly dotty individual with broad and peculiar taste. The BBC tried hard to get him to quit by stuffing him into unlikely slots and wishing his fans would fuck off. I recall, however, one show in which only a couple of songs had made a mark on me (one was by The Outcasts, one was the Cure's first single), and then, right at the end, he played The Sex Pistols.
Good god, that really cleared the sinuses. There was a clarity about the band, a rawness which hardly any other band possessed at the time.
It's a night of high octane rock and roll with Simon Chainsaw & The Liberators, The Dark Clouds and Toadvine at the MoshPit Bar in Sydney from 7pm (AEST) on Sunday, April 18. Catch the bands live or watch the stream by grabbiung tickets here.
Ten Things, Bands and Albums that have caught my eye in 2022, in no particular order.
The Square Tugs – “Monster Hits “ This LP is a cracker. The Brisbane-based trio started out as a Circle Jerks cover band (hence the name), but this isn't a one-dimensional release: 16 tracks that channel everything old school (the Ramones, The Damnedetc) into a great album that gets better the more you listen. Its an old school sound without sounding jaded; it still manages to sound fresh with great production and a mix of songs which are funny and also political. Most of the songs clock in at under two minutes - the only disappointment is that they're over. Check it out.
The Dark Clouds – “My Way Or The Highway” It's taken forever for these slack bastards to get an album out, and as a consequence many of these songs will sound familar to those of you who have seen ‘em live. It's been worth the wait though as this is a belting rock ‘n’ roll record. Led by a larger-than-life frontman, a wicked lead guitarist and a tight as a fishe’s bottom rhythm section – they’re just as good on record as they are live which is no mean feat. They are one of the most under rated live rock bands in the country. Uf there was any justice they would be filling big venues. If you are fans of rocking proto punk, or balls-to-the-wall Aussie pub rock you'll find something worth your while here. Buy the record, catch them live (they're old - every show could be their last.)
2022 was another year that was hampered by the pandemic; while we are seeing green shoots of recovery, the scars are still pretty deep. I’ve spent most of the year doing the usual stuff, so this is some of what has poked it’s head up in my rounds.
1. Guitar sales 2022 wasn’t all bad news for rock and roll. It seems that the market for new guitars has nearly reached $3b globally… which is a helluva lot of new Fender Strats. I know I’ve been doing my bit, but it does mean that the death knell for guitar based rock and/or roll may have been premature.
2. Young Rock Renaissance On the back of those sales we’ve been seeing an increase in younger rock acts taking up the mantle. While the standard bearers of the Aussie bogan rock scene, Amyl & the Sniffersand The Chats, have gone from strength to strength, I’m seeing a lot of younger acts finding their feet on the live scene in Sydney. Special mentions to Euterpe, Polly and of course, out of self interest, Pocketwatch.
They emerged from the fog of COVID a year ago to give the pandemic the middle finger, riding a container ship to Australia all the way from Pismo Beach.
The Psychotic Turnbuckles have again been coaxed out of semi-retirement in their palatial beachside mansions on the California coast to Destroy Dull Sydney one more time. Tickets are on sale here.
Make being at Marrickvile Bowling Club on Saturday, February 26 your New Year’s Resolution to see The Undisputed Champions of Rock and Roll bring the thunder.
Jessie the Intruder, The Grand Wizard, The Psychedelic Unknown, Count Forza and Gorgeous Karl Domah will be laying waste to two pretenders to the throne in Melbourne’s The Vibrajets and The Dark Clouds.
Comprised of past and present members of The Stems, The Shimmys, and The Breadmakers, The Vibrajets aren't the garage band the pedigree might suggest.
This is wigged out and twangin' surf and frat and rock'n'roll that goes back to the source – and is best enjoyed while shakin’ your moneymaker on the dance floor!