"Execution Days, A Celebration of the Life and Music of Spencer P. Jones"
The Escape Committee
+ Adalita, Penny Ikinger, Sly Faulkner, Phil Gionfrido, Digger & The Pussycats,
The Pink Tiles, Claire Birchall, James McCann, Jules Sheldon, Foggy Notion,
Henry Hugo, The Last Gasp Horns
The Tote, Collingwood, Melbourne
Saturday 9 April, 2022
Photos by Michael Barry
Before we start, a disclaimer: I am a close personal friend of Patrick Emery, the author of "Execution Days: The Life and Times of Spencer P. Jones” and organiser of this gig. So therefore all objectivity is likely to be thrown out the window.
Patrick and I first saw the Beasts of Bourbon in a relatively small venue, Le Rox, in the city of Adelaide in early 1992. After the first few bars of the opening song, "Chase the Dragon", singer Tex Perkins kicked over the mic stand, the band abruptly stopped playing and Tex stormed off the stage headed towards the mixing desk. We were standing roughly in that area as he came charging in our direction and I was genuinely in fear that he was about to wreak some savagery upon us as part of the collateral damage of castigating the sound guy.
The Meanies. Nick Ramage photo.
Cull - The Band
Thursday, 14 April 2022
You can't fault this sort of gig. First, it was one of those where folks you'd not seen in ages (I hadn't seen Nick in something like 25 years, for example0 and it was the eve of the first day where we can mostly ditch masks, QR codes and “social” distancing.Needless to say, most of us ain't 22 anymore so a lot of us were increasingly (and occasionally entertainingly - like the chap who tried to set up his own circular mosh pit) quite successfully drunk.
On the stage were three bands which instantly grab your attention, hold it despite your need to go for a wee or get more Coopers Pale, and keep you hanging on till the end of their set.
Tim Rogers frontign the Hard-Ons is As Beautiful as a Foot.
Enigma Bar, Adelaiude
Saturday, April 3, 2022
Long story short - I'm still reeling. The Hard-Ons have crossed the Rubicon and what they're doing in Australia is anyone's guess. Right now they should be out slaying the world, Europe then USA, then South America. We're damned lucky to have them. I might add, I don't reckon we deserve them.
Cull was mean to be the opemnig band but cancelled. Dammit. I've tried about six or seven times to get out of the door to see them. The one time I get there ... Reports have reached me that they're damn fine.
New support, Ratcatcher, went on later than planned because one of the folks in the band second on the bill couldn't do it – thanks COVID.
+ THE SMART FOLK
MoshPit, St Peters, NSW
Saturday 26 March, 2022
A Sydney night of intermittent rain stifles the post-COVID nightlife revival. Or so it seems. The Best Little Small Bar in Sydney, The MoshPit, has other ideas - and so do Joeys Coop and supports The Smart Folk.
It almost goes without saying that pandemic lockdowns have put obstacles in the way of everything. Joeys Coop put the release of their second album on ice and tonight is the Sydney leg of a much-delayed world (read: New South Wales) tour to launch “Lachlan Valley Dirt” at The MoshPit in Sydney’s inner-west.
The impacts of the dirty little virus live on. A whole bunch of MoshPit patrons who were at the King Street Crawl gigs a fortnight before were taken down by it. An unrelated infection forced The Smart Folk to play the Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll & Alternative’s Sixities Stage without bass-player Keith Claringbold.
Tonight’s news is that another wave of COVID infections and the seven-day isolation rule has shut down a two-band bill at the nearby Golden Barley Hotel. A few punters and unaffected band members make their way to this show.
X are Geof Holmes, Rick Studentt, John Butler and Steve Lucas. Photo by The Barman
SYDNEY ROCK 'N' ROLL & ALTERNATIVE FESTIVAL
I-94 BAR STAGE
+ JUPITER 5
+ SONIC GARAGE
+ THE DARRANS
The Factory Floor, Marrickville, NSW
Sunday, 20 March 2022
Finally a gig that got me into the city, out of my COVID slumber and ignoring the daily infection numbers.
The rare spark of motivation was the Sydney Rock and Roll & Alterative Festival, an extension of Tiffany Palmer’s amazing and long-running Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll Markets This event had become an institution in this city over the last decade - until COVID put an end to and anything half decent in a dull and corporate investment hub.
I was here at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville for The Barman’s I-94 Bar Stage in the room called The Factory Floor, but I did manage to peek at a few other stages. I discovered that cowboys and cowgirls were out in force with line dancing alive and well. It’s practiced by people whose childhood was dominated by episodes of “Hi Five”. Line dancing is allegedly cool and has left its mark on society with community colleges teaching the stuff. As a bloke who grew up in the bush, this pretentious King Street urban country fashion is amusing.
Pete Bourke, Phil Van Rooyen and Pete Trifunovic from Sonic Garage.
Bayley and the Liquid Squid
Marrickville Bowling Club, NSW
Friday, 11 March 2022
You can say “Boring Old Fart” but it’s good to stare rheumy-eyed into the middle distance, drool into a beer and recall much less complicated times in hushed tones. Times like the early 1980s, when the biggest challenge on a Friday night was to decide which two or three rock and roll shows you were going to attend, all of them within a short distance of each other.
If they were local bands, the door charge was free or modest, and if the headliner was on the national touring treadmill, entry might set you back a ten spot. At least one of the supports was a band you’d never heard of, but paying your money and taking your chances was all part of the ritual. You got to conduct a post-mortem as soon as their set was over or over a hair of the dog at your local the next day.