• First review of the album for James Williamson & The Pink Hearts

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  • Why The Fleshtones still drink for free

Australia: Just say Yes to Senor No

senor no bw promo

High-energy veterans Senor No from Basque Country (don't call it Spain) are embarking on their first Australian tour this month but their Anipoddean connection already runs deep.

Senor No was born in Donostia/San Sebastian, Basque Country in 1993, after the dissolution of the seminal Spanish group La Perrera. The band released their first LP with No Tomorrow Records in 1994 and toured Spain and surrounding areas relentlessly while recording five more albums and more than a dozen singles.

Senor No was the very first release for the seminal Spanish label Bang! Records which is a label responsible of releasing some of Australian best bands overseas.

LIke Shifting Sands through the hourglass, these are the days of their lives

izzy and geoffIzzy Mellor and Geoff Corbett. Cyrille Bellec photo.  

Sydney rock and roll fans are in for a special treat on November 17 when a roadshow of diverse but related Brisbane acts rolls into town. Marrickville Bowling Club will bear witness to the spectacular, self-destructing antics of Six Ft Hick, fronted by Geoff and Ben Corbett. The undercard is full of quieter moments, with Gentle Ben & his Shimmering Hands - a vehicle for Ben - and Shifting Sands, led by Geoff.

A Whole Wide World of love for Rocket Man

wreckless zac bonnellWreckless Eric. Zac Bonnell photo. 

“I will never have anything said against that man!” Eric Goulden, aka Wreckless Eric, is waxing lyrical about a fellow traveller in the English rock’n’roll and pop scene.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Eric might be talking about the late Ian Dury, the iconoclastic poet-cum-musician who provided a rough template for Eric’s own career, or maybe one of the sundry punk rockers who attached themselves to Stiff Records around the same time Eric bounced into popular consciousness with the now classic "Whole World World". Maybe even Joe Strummer? Pete Shelley?

Rotting Out - Black Heart Breakers (self released)

rotting outOnly an old fart would start a review with the statement: "Everything old is new again."

But it is really just to say that way back in the early ‘90s - when big festivals like the Big Day Out involved more people playing musical instruments than laptops - there was a rash of Californian bands pushing a brand of punk rock crossed with powerpop and ska that dominated stages and airwaves.

The Offspring were inspired by seeing Social Distortion at a school dance, The Bay Area’s 624 Gillman Street scene spat out Green Day and Rancid occurred after someone from Operation Ivy watched too many Clash videos. You know the rest.

Trade Winds – Johnny Casino (Citadel/La Villa Nova)

trade windsJohnny Casino albums are a treat for the converted and a revelation for those less fortunate. If you’re one of the latter, “Trade Winds” is as good a place as any to start.

It’s been way too long between records for Johnny - both this album and its predecessor "Time and Time Again" are old recordings woodshedded for later release - but well worth the wait. The big fella from Sydney’s Northern Beaches makes Spain his home these days, where he plies his dual trades of tattooing and playing music.

“Trade Winds” was recorded before he emigrated a couple of years ago with a crack band in North Fremantle, Western Australia. Drummer Warren Hall (The Volcanics, Datura 4, The Drones), a longtime Casino sideman, joined with Martyn P Casey (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds /The Triffids/Grinderman) played bass. That’s as fine an engine room as you’ll find. 



Convolutions of The Brain - Donovan’s Brain (Career Records)

ConvolutionsOne definition of a convolution is “a twist”, and there are more of those in the history of Donovan’s Brain than Donald Trump’s Twitter stream.

Starting as a garage band in 1986 - playing Thunders and Stooges covers - the Brain has evolved into a shape-shifting, back woods psychedelic musical collective, with nine albums and 26 past or present members. “Convolutions” covers 1991-2017 and generously spans three discs. That’s 49 songs and a touch under four hours of music.

The only constant in the Donovan’s Brain story is Ron Sanchez, a musician, radio host, restauranteur and producer who relocated many years ago from the US West Coast to the bucolic and relatively remote location of Bozeman, Montana.

Cabaret of Daggers - Tav Falco (ORG Records)

cabaret of daggersTav Falco is one of rock and roll’s outliers who sits in a unique musical space and time of his own creation. “Cabaret of Daggers” is a mix of traditional American, lounge, jazz and rootsy blues-rock songs that nobody else on the planet could have made.   

Tav continually dips back in time and cherrypicks music to place into his own setting. That setting being his Italian version of Panther Burns. “Cabaret of Daggers” was recorded in Rome with vocals tracked at Sun Studios. It will be a LP run of 750 copies released on Record Store Day on November 23. 

Legendary Melbourne venue Bombay Rock comes alive again to the sound of punk rock

ferocious chode bombay rockFerocious Chode get down at Bombay Rock.

Hello I-94 bar users and abusers; it’s been a while but I'm very pleased to let all you Melbourne punters out there know that the wonderful Bombay Rock (on Sydney Road in Brunswick) is back up and running as a venue. 

The State of Victoria has championed the Australian underground music industry. Fuck, it is good to see Bombay Rock back. Run by Smash, the wonderful lady who also backs up playing bass and looking bad-arse with Ferocious Chode (more later), who has hand-picked all the venue’s acts. 

Then, there’s the most friendly crew of bar staff - shit, they make you want to drink just that few more - and for the prices, this old pensioner can certainly do that. So folks, I highly recommend this fine place. And Smash, you are awesome.

Stars line-up to play with PP Arnold on her encore Oz tour

pparnold tvSixties soul and Swinging London icon PP Arnold returns to Australia in November and December for more shows with her all star band.

In case you haven't heard, that band would be Tim Rogers, Andy Kent and Russell Hopkinson of You Am I, Talei & Eliza Wolfgramm and James Black, and she'll also play select shows with the Rockwiz Orchestra.

Her recent run through Australia elicitted rave reviews - including this one.

PP Arnold‘s CV includes Ike & Tina Turner, Mick Jagger and Andrew Loog Oldham, The Small Faces, The Nice, Jimi Hendrix, Rod Stewart, Barry Gibb, Eric Clapton, Nick Drake, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Roger Waters, The KLF, Ocean Colour Scene, Primal Scream, Oasis and Paul Weller.

She was the Los Angeles teenager who became London’s First Lady of Soul after hitting town in 1966 with Ike & Tina Turner and coming to the attention of Mick Jagger.

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