BOB BLUNT Venue helper, organiser and frontperson for both Garry David and Beijing Bikini Sydney, Australia
2020 in a nutshell
Let's not start with the boring and the obvious - the moan that goes 'oh, what a shitty year that was' or how "Sydney is dead co's it aint what it used yo be'"- yawn. That rhetoric and emotion doesn't belong here - we're on an onward and upward trajectory - yep, the good gigs plus the other good stuff.
PETER ‘ROSSY” ROSS Celebrity Roadie, Jupiter 5 bassist Sydney, Australia
This is a list of things that have caught my eye in 2020 - in no particular order.
WHITE KNUCKLE FEVER Everybody’s favourite two piece have been kicking goals all through the year culminating with a new double single release that is killer. Ross and Celia are not only hard working but one of the funniest bands in Sydney.
OUTTASPACE RECORDS Milly and Adam have been working their rings out throughout the year, releasing high quality record after record. It’s been great watching the rise of their Central Coast colossus. Now they’ve even got their own venue in Woy Woy, The Link and Pin! Honourable mention also goes to Wreckless Enterprises.
LIVE MUSIC OFFICE Sydney’s dormant live music scene won’t return overnight to prominence, and it doesn’t happen by accident. Blokes like John Wardle, and his team, have been pushing for legislative support and reforms to remove the barriers to get live bands into back into venues. They’re kicking some goals and it would be remiss to not acknowledge their massive efforts.
MONDAY EVENING GUNK Live from the little venue that tried, Sydney’s version of CBGBs The Moshpit, MEG was one of the bright spots in a difficult year. Driven by The I-94 Bar’s Barman and Jill “Force of Nature” Dures, it was one part history lesson, Rockwiz knock-off, Molly Meldrum’s Humdrum and a live gig packed into a one hour live stream for 10 weeks… a garage rock version of Countdown if you like. A technical conundrum handled with style by Zac Ruokari from Zenn Streaming, the show was fun to be involved with and we can only hope it gets another airing in 2021.
Fifteen songs from as many bands in 11 minutes. A punk rock barrage. Sounds like fun - and it is.
As you can tell from the name, this is the third in the series of concise and imperfectly formed, all-Australian compilation EPs from Wollongong label Wreckless Enterprises and it doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t in its headlong rush to the finish line: It’s a punk rock speed dating party and you wouldn’t want to be left on the shelf, would you?
Stoneage Scomeos - The BotBots (Outtaspace/Wreckless Enterprises)
This really shouldn’t work. A couple of rehearsals and one gig that was truncated for excessive swearing. A by-the-seat-of-the-pants recording session fuelled by beer in a terrace house-cum-studio, four months later. Seven songs in nine minutes. Punk rock, eh?
The buzz of blowflies announces “Engadine Maccas”, a 52-second treatise about an alleged bout of Prime Ministerial diarrhoea in a southern Sydney fast food joint. Apocryphal or not, you don't need to wear brown corduroys to know the song's as funny as fuck. The makers of Imodium need to license it for an ad.
There’s a whiff of genius about the concept: Twelve bands on a seven-inch single. Not one song longer than a minute. Yeah, I hear ya. Sound on a vinyl single degrades the closer the grooves are crammed together. Hence, the brevity of the songs. And it’s punk rock. It’s not supposed to be audiophile.
Some of these bands you may know and others may be new. A compilation of this order is a public service, of sorts. It’s is a way to sample the unfamiliar and chase down their output if they row your boat. Musical democracy in action.