Punch The Boss b/w Down The Coast – The Crankees (Evil Tone)
There’s no prospect of a new dawn in Australian industrial relations with sentiment like this going around. Sydney’s Crankees express something we’ve all felt on the A side, a furious little garage punk tune that’s fuelled in equal parts by Jimmy Meek’s snakey guitar line, Rodney Todd’s snarkey vocal and guest Hammond organ from producer Jay Whalley. What do we want? Puglism. When do we want it? Now.
The B side is almost as good, a wry ode to tree changing that keeps it simple and manages to namecheck Mollymook. There’s not a hint of garage slop; the band is tighter than the bends in the Princes Highway at Foxground with Meek’s guitar again to the fore. The production sounds great. Hopefully, they have an album in them.
Buy a copy here. It's a limited edition. While you're at it, look around and listen to Evil Tone's other stuff. They're putting out some great stuff.
Beyond The Sound (...And Beyond) – Scott Morgan’s Powertrane (Easy Action)
The passing of guitarist Robert Gillespie after a lengthy illness earlier this year should give you an excuse (if any were needed) to chase down this vynil re-issue of the 2007 CD he played on as a member of Scott Morgan’s Powertrane.
Gillespie was a guitarist of rare skill who’d played in The Torpedos, glammy Motor City Rockers and The Rob Tyner Band, and was a longtime Mitch Ryder sideman. Scott Morgan’s Powertrane may not have been household names but, damn, they were a fine band that was blessed with one of the great vocalists in Scott Morgan. He and Gillespie were also a superb guitar pairing – as you’ll hear on this record.
Witness To The Crime – Gunfire Dance (Easy Action)
If you loved the Damned, Thee Hypnotics, Bounty Hunters, and Lords Of The New Church, be sure to order this gorgeous Gunfire Dance vinyl album from Easy Action and play the motherfucker as loud as you can.
It is a posthumous compilation and a thing of real beauty, designed by Dave Twist with liner notes by yours humbly, and features some really beautiful, seldom seen photos of our UK lads from back in the day.
The Taste of Honey'...- Tim Hudspith and Goldentone (Dead Letter Records)
I saw Tim Hudspith play a few weeks ago. Still has that remarkably lush tone to his music, still those love songs which alternately haunt or spook the listener into a study of memory, or provoke a wry, pained smile of recognition.
We don't always get what we want, nor less what we deserve, but Hudspith twitches our romantic soul.
If you don't have one of those, I will ask you to ponder what on earth you're doing reading about rock 'n' roll.
Hudspith is a romantic of the old school. All those expectations raised and lowered, flying high then spiralling down to dust.
Moonage Daydream (2022) Directed and produced by Brett Morgen
Moonage Daydream, Brett Morgen’s love letter to David Bowie, is complete sensory overload.
Sitting in a near empty cinema on a Sunday evening, I found myself both captivated and bored at the same time. The documentary, at about 135 minutes, was long and some of the footage was used multiple times which was distracting; it could have been edited tighter.
Morgen as director, producer and editor has put together an epic that does, in some way, portray Bowie’s legacy, doing it justice.
Visually, the film was stunning, featuring footage I’d never seen before… not that I’d consider myself a Bowie tragic, but all people of a certain age found their lives intertwined with Ziggy or The Thin White Duke to some extent. Rare live footage of The Spiders was plentiful, if mentions of the contribution of that band, and especially Mick Ronson, were not.
Morgen’s art direction was a clumsy allegory to the chaos and isolation Bowie seems to have fostered. As an insight into the man as an artist you came away with a sense of his disconnection and disordered and chaotic approach to his craft.
The archival footage both on and off stage was plentiful, and you genuinely got a feel for the extent of his many talents with Bowie’s painting and videography featured extensively. There are many montages that flash through gigs and offstage footage at a great pace that becomes exhausting.
Rocking with the Renees – The Gymslips (Optic Nerve)
If East London’s The Gymslips swapped warm beer for weak cat’s piss and pretended to be in high school would they have presaged The Donnas? The English all-girl band (that’d be The Gymslips) haven’t been active since 1985 so it’s a moot point, as they say in philosophy texts.
This re-release of the Gymslips’ 1983 bubblegum punk debut LP brings a lot of froth and fun to the table. If you hadn’t worked that out by the first verse of openenign song “Renees” with its lyric “We’re the Renees/Here we come/1-2-3 and up your bum” you’re probably not trying.
“Rocking With The Renees” includes their debut single (a faithful cover of Suzie Quatro’s “48 Crash”) and 14 other tracks, one of them enigmatically listed as “Untitled”. There another four available on a vinyl EP, “Silly Egg”.
X Tote Hotel, Collingwood, VIC Saturday, September 10, 2022
Hello Barflies. Some things don’t change. There's |still nothing finer in old Melbourne town than The Tote Hotel, Collingwood, packed full of like-minded punters with a single purpose of getting their rocks off. And let me say that this Saturday night was no exception.
X were exceptional. I mean, they were just so “on” and tight. And so fucking dirty sounding. Steve Lucas just ripping his guitar. Man. he hits those strings hard. What a sound! I was literally two metres away from the great man.
X were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic album, “X-Aspirations”, playing the whole album in running order. How good it was. “Suck Suck” just busted out of the house sound system. Which is where I found Steve wrestling with earlier in the night when I dropped by to pay my pre-gig respects. He and soundie Dazza were in a state, trying to figure out said system. Thank fuck they got it sorted. Onya Dazza .
Kim Volkman (bass) was flashing the coolest pair of shoes I've seen in many a good year. Simon The Drummer was playing his third gig with X and second with Kim. He bashed and crashed through, locking in with Kim as a rhythm section that sounded like they’d been playing together for years.
Ian Krahe, original guitarist for seminal Australian underground legends X, left the planet in 1978 but his influence is still being felt. A celebration of his 65th birthday is being organised at Sydney’s Crowbar on Sunday, September 25, from 7pm. Tickets are selling here.
Current member of X, Geof Holmes, and friends will play songs by Evil Roomers, which was the original band for himself, Krahe, drummer Ed Fisher and bassist Ian Rilen. Holmes will be on guitar, joined by Jim Dickson(The Survivors, New Christs, Radio Birdman) on bass, John Butler (X) on drums and Ian Krahe’s nephew Luke Edwards, also on guitar. Slack Punks are supporting.
“We’ll be playing music Ian left behind when he died tragically in May 1978,” Geof explains. “You’ll hear some songs he wrote while in X. Unfortunately, Steve Lucas can’t be there so they will be our versions, with material from Ian’s earlier musical adventures with me in Evil Roomers.
Trash video guru Andrew Leavold’s documentary about iconic St Kilda identity and frontman for various bands., Fred Negro, gets its latest airing at the Sydney Underground Film Festival at Event Cinemas in George Street, Sydney, at 7pm on Saturday.
“Pub: The Movie” profiles Negro, the infamous Melbourne ratbag whose role in the local music scene cannot be underestimated: a musician and artist, an impresario and familiar local barfly, a satirist and cartoonist who chronicled his beloved St Kilda as the heart of musical talent in his weekly Pub comic strip.
Negro takes audiences through the dirty and mythic Melbourne music scene, regaling stories that also reflect on the changing face of modern cities’ role in birthing the future of music.
Leavold has used a wealth of archival material – photos, recordings, gig videos, newspaper clippings, fanzines, fliers, TV appearances and live performances – as well as new footage of the bars and pubs of St Kilda. Talking heads include Tim Rogers (You Am I), Greg Macainsh (Skyhooks), Paulie Stewart (Painters and Dockers) and Graham Hood (The Johnnys).
“Pub: The Movie” received a massive reception at the Melbourne International Film Festival last month. As part of the Sydney debut, Leavold and producers Jonathan Sequeira and Brett Garten will partcipate in a Q&A.