Vale Sydney band mentor Greg Sawer

greg sawersHe never sought the limelight but Greg Sawers was one of Sydney rock and roll's greatest unsung servants. His passing last night after a fight with illness has left a vacuum. 

Greg was a longtime manager of Ian Rilen and The Love Addicts, Louis Tillett and X. He worked with ex-Noiseworks member turned solo artist Steve Balbi, and a raft of others. He was pivotal behind the release of the posthumous Ian Rilen and the Love Addicts album, "Family From Cuba".

A concert rigging crew supervisor, Greg had been battling ill-health for much of 2020. Funeral details will appear here when they come to hand. 

Aussie veteran reprises Easybeats hit

vince melouney singleVeteran ex-Aztecs, Fanny Adams and BeeGees guitarist Vince Melouney has released a digital single with some high calibre helping hands.

Blondie’s Clem Burke is on drums on the cover of The Easybeats’ “Women” with Tel Shamy producing. Jonathan Lea of The Jigsaw Seen is on additional guitars, Alec Palao on bass and Paul Kopf on backing vocals. Alec and Paul are members of San Francisco-based band Strangers In A Strange Land and also play in the current version of The Seeds.

Check it out here.

 

A ray of summer sunshine as Sunnyboys announce anniversary show

 sunnyboys announce 40 show

Sunnyboys will celebrate 40 years since the release of their eponymous debut EP with a one-off show on December 13 at the Sydney Opera House’s  Joan Sutherland Theatre. Tickets are extremely limited so join the Sunnyboys mailing list by 10am on November 26 for your chance to secure pre-sale tickets. General tickets are on-sale on Tuesday, December 1 via sydneyoperahouse.com

Refusal of service never felt so good

rsa bluesRSA Blues - White Knuckle Fever (White Knuckle Fever)

Some explanation is in order - especially for those not watching at home: “RSA” stands for Responsible Service of Alcohol, an Australian rule that puts the onus on bar and pub staff to stop plying punters with booze when they’re as full as a fat lady’s boot. To continue service is to risk a draconian fine and imprisonment in a gulag.

While it’s true some Aussies can’t handle their grog, they’re a minority. That’s OK. We always legislate for the few. If only we were Europeans and could be trusted…

Now you’re wised up, “RSA Blues” is the lead song on a four-track, double seven-inch vinyl effort from White Knuckle Fever, the formidable - and fucking funny - psychobilly blues rock duo from Sydney, Australia. Celia Curtis (vocals, blues harp and burlesque behaviour) and Ross Threekshort (guitar and programming) are one of the best nights out this side of a Scientology building burning down. 

Archival cache of Paul Collins hits the spot

another world paul collins beatAnother World (The Best of The Archives) - Paul Collins & The Beat (Alive Natural Sound)

Paul Collins must be a hoarder. Probably a bit of OCD in there too, if you’ll excuse the long-distance and unqualified psychoanalysis. It goes with the pop songwriter turf. And this collection of previously unreleased recordings attests to it.

These songs are from Collins' sock drawer and they go all the way back to 1980. Don't let the demo quality of some of them deter you. There's more than the occasional fleck of gold among the 18 tunes. In fact, it's a rich vein. For example, "Hey DJ" outstrips the previously released version - by a long way.

Plastic fantastic

twisted plastic section Twisted - Plastic Section (Outtaspace)

Two salient points need to be made:

If you're going to tap a source, go back to the original.

And there ain’t nothing plastic about this Melbourne trio's sound.

Think Flat Duo Jets, the early White Stripes, Link Wray & The Raymen and BBQ to name a few. While you're at it, you can throw in that catch-all descriptor "Crampsian". In a big way...

Thirty years late, Lovergrinder births an album

lovegrinderLovegrinder The Album – Lovegrinder (self released)

There’s a popular theory - perpetuated by a few fans of Junkie Rock from Australia’s southern state's capital city – that the so-called salad days of Sydney underground rock and roll were a farrago based on an overdose of second-rate Radio Birdman copyists. 

Call it a typically defensive Sydney response but while the "Detroit" handle became a tag of convenience, most of the Harbour City’s bands of the 1980s/early ‘90s had tenuous musical links to the Birdmen. There was a handful of short-lived clones, but for the vast majority it was the energy and undeniable fuck-you-we’ll-do-what-we-want attitude of the Radios that were the hand-me-downs, and not their unique, impossible to replicate mutated musical mix.

Which brings us to Lovegrinder, yet another in the long line of Sydney bands that never progressed higher than the lower support rungs of the very crowded local live scene ladder. Not that there’s any great shame in that. For many, headlining the Tivoli or Selina’s wasn’t the goal because they had no interest in being on the rosters of the omnipotent Dirty Pool, Nuclear or Harbour booking agencies. Playing music was more about knocking around with their mates, consuming beers (or something illicit) and having a good time.

A Sunnyboy will be alone with you on the final Monday Evening Gunk

The season finale of Monday Evening Gunk is this Monday. Point your browser at the MoshPit Bar Facebook at 7.30pm Sydney time on November 23 to catch Richard Burgman of Sunnyboys, ther Saints, Weddings Parties Anything and many more talking to broadcaster-author Stuart Coupe and ex-Trilobites bassist Scott Leighton. A live set from Freaksd of Nature (a near Trilobites reunion) will take us out. You can catch-up for the replay here on Tuesday.  

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