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

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  • Why The Fleshtones still drink for free

Pretty Things take final Australian bow

pretty things oz 2018Iconic first wave British R&B and psychedelic cult heroes, The Pretty Things, will perform some of their final live performances in Australia in October.

The band has announced it will cease playing electric shows with a final hurrah in London on December 13, with special guests Special Guests David Gilmour, Van Morrison and Bill Nighy. Securign the Pretties for a run through Australia is a coup for promoter David Roy Williams. 

Local legends – and massive Pretty Things fans - including TumbleweedThe Sand Pebbles and The Living Eyes are onboard to help send them off.

The Pretty Things are waving goodbye. Be there to wave back....

Tickets are on sale from 10am (AEST) on Friday here.

Wednesday 3rd October - Sydney, FactoryTheatre
+ Tumbleweed + DJ Owen Penglis
Thursday 4th October - Brisbane, The Zoo
+ Golden Age of Ballooning
Saturday 6th October - Melbourne, Thornbury Theatre
+ Sand Pebbles + The Electric Guitars
Sunday 7th October - Melbourne, Caravan Club
+ The Breadmakers
Wednesday 10th October - Geelong, Barwon Club
+ The Living Eyes
Friday 12th October - Melbourne, The Tote
+ The Living Eyes + Banagun
Saturday 13th October - Adelaide, Fowlers Live
+ Somnium
Sunday 14th October - Perth, The Charles Hotel

A Call to You b/w Won't Say it to My Face - The Art Gray Noizz Quintet (Robellion)

art gray noizeThe last time I saw Stuart Gray was in Adelaide in 1990, at a grotty pub on Brighton Road which is now another craft-beer haven for the smug and pointless, and Bloodloss were playing what would be their last Adelaide gig, and the final with that line-up. They'd been hanging out with Stuart, and he'd been persuading Renestair EJ and Martin Bland to join his band Lubricated Goat.

It was quite an evening, somewhat bereft of punters, and The Goat promised, at the very least, overseas adventures. And, possibly, more punters. Frankly, it was a better opportunity for them than slugging out the gigs and LPs of great music to an uncaring town, so Ren and Martin left ...

I'd seen Stu in several bands by that stage; The Bad Poets and The Brats, notably. Each time Stu joined an existing band, he'd lifted them mightily. Eventually, he left for Melbourne and Sydney, as all ambitious Adelaide artists did. I expect you know the rest; he was with Tex Perkins' outfit Salamander Jim and there was a stint with the Beasts of Bourbon.

We Hate Each Other But We Hate You More – Baby 8 (Kasumuen)

baby8 coverMelbourne’s Baby 8 has delivered a smashing album full of songs about drinking, drugging and horrific nights out. It cuts straight to the bone. No love songs here, folks; just pure “boobs-to-the-wall” rock ‘n’ roll with some punk-pop thrown in.

“We Hate Each Other But We Hate You More” just kicks from the first track, “Nights Want to Kill“, which is the single. And what a cracker song it is.

Rachel Lendvay (vocals) shines throughout. Katie Dixon (Powder Line Sneakers) on guitar, Maureen Gearon (NQR) on bass with Matty Whittle (ex-GOD) on drums round out this powerful rock band.

Inside The Flesh Hotel - Beechwood (Alive Natural Sounds)

flesh hotelPull up a chair, crack a beer and let’s have a bet. Bukowski would. There are short odds on offer, my friend, that Beechwood is your new favourite band - even if you haven’t heard them yet. 

Bukowzki was from the other side of the USA,  as this trio from Brooklyn, NYC, the buzz on whom is substantial but not undeserved. It’s picked up momentum to move past a dull roar, even in these times of fragmented public communication. A recent European tour left the French, in particular, in raptures. See here for proof. 

You ever read Bukowski? Full of extremes, for sure, but also littered with patches of light and shade. Much like the sound of Beechwood. It isn’t easily categorised; there are so many stylistic threads coming together that you’ll die trying. A sometimes languid flow of vaguely ‘60s pop and psych elements runs right through it. Concise songs full of variety but somehow linked together. 

Manning Bar swings to the sounds of Gay Paris

gayparis bandIt’s winter in Sydney but the city’s monthly Rock and Roll Market is cranking up the heat with its latest live music line-up.  

Gay Paris (pictured, right), Papa Pilko and the Binrats, West Texas Crude– flying in from Brisbane – and rockabilly act The Red Rollan Deuces team with DJs Limpin’ Jimmy & the Swingin’ Kitten, Rod Almighty, The Crimplenes and Solid Gold Hell for the July 29 event at Sydney University’s Manning Bar from 10.30am.

As always, punters will be dazzled by an array of unique stalls featuring fashion galore, rock ‘n’ roll, alternative, vintage, handmade and unique clothing for men, women and children, jewellery, accessories, cult DVDs, artwork, homewares, collectables, tikis, posters, handmade unique goods.

Organisers promise there will be more than 50,000 LPs, 45s and CDs on sale, covering rock, punk, metal, rockabilly, blues, jazz, country, reggae, club and hip hop. The Record Fair is presented by Revolve Records (Erskineville) and Egg Records (Newtown).

You’ll also find a café, bars, international food, giant kids’ games, classic and vintage vehicle display plus more.

The Severance – Blaney (YERRR/ BMG)

the severanceLouder than War gives this album from Ed Blaney, the onetime latter-day member of The Fall, a rating of nine-out-of-ten, but sod that, it's a seven bottler out of five if I ever heard one.

Sass, bounce, beat, humour (of the kind that warms those mysterious cockles on a winter's night), well-crafted songs somewhere between pop, rock and wiggle yer butt, all the while dragging your sorry ageing carcass onto the dancefloor. Except for a couple of quiet ones, but you'll be listening hard to those. Sucked in? Deep inside!

Right, let me get my breath back. You don't hear much of the kind of pop made in “the ‘60s” anymore, do you? Well, alright, it's not the ‘60s anymore, that's one reason. And another is ... the music industry lost its innocence long, long ago, but found it again in the '60s, or appeared to.

Radio Birdman - still hated by the elites after all these years

descent posterJonathan Sequeira’s raw and stunning documentary, "Descent Into The Maelstrom - The Radio Birdman Story", has been snubbed by Australia's national public broadcaster the ABC.

Released as a short-run feature in Australian cinemas and shown at film festivals and limited screenings in the USA, Japan, the UK and Europe, “Descent” will be released via DVD and streaming in September this year to coincide with a Radio Birdman tour of Australia and Europe.

The taxpayer-funded ABC was offered a deep discount to screen it on Australian free-to-air TV but has declined, after months of dithering and silence.

In an online statement published overnight, filmmaker Jonathan Sequeira said:

Regardless of my involvement, it is a tragedy that the ABC will not be broadcasting the largely unknown story of the most important band in Australia’s music history. I consider that to be letting down the Australian public, and a failure of the ABC to follow its charter.

Radio Birdman has also issued an online statement overnight:

Considering the highly relevant content of the film, from the perspective of Australian music history, ABC was the obvious choice of channel…The band is disappointed but not really surprised. We have been familiar with this sort of attitude from the establishment since the 1970's.

Curiously, ABC has screened documetaries about the Saints and the Go Betweens, as well as series of programs based on its own "Countdown" franchise. 

You can make your opinion known by contacting ABC-1 Channel Manager Natalie Edgar via abc.net.au/contact/complain.htm

THE PLOW - Hieronymous Bogs (self released)

the plowFirst time I laid my tired eyes on the impactful, dark, visually striking, elemental art work of Hieronymous Bogs, I knew he had come to some of the same conclusions about life and death as I had.

Like a candle flickering in the dark, his prophetic folkart, found object assemblages, and iconic religious alters are invested with a compassion and humility one seldom sees, nowadays. His multimedia sculptures and paintings are filled with visceral, primordial, intimate terror and sadness, gratitude and grace, and his music has that same kind of rawness and naked vulnerability, beat poet bravery, and Cohen like melancholy.

If you see him in his big hat, hitch-hiking on the side of the lonesome highway, with a crow on his shoulder and bluebirds nesting in his beard, pick him up, and he will humbly regale you with vividly spun, purplish tales of poignant observations and quiet awakenings.

Fickle Sydney shivers while the New Christs burn

dave and robDave Kettley and Rob Younger marshalling the New Christs at Marrickville Bowlo on Saturday night.. 

Sydney, you’re such a contrary beast with this live music thing. And you fucking know it. 

A year ago, this same bill of the New Christs and Melbourne’s James McCann and The New Vindictives pulled close to a full room at Marrickville Bowlo. This Saturday night, the place isn’t empty by any means but the head count is much lower.

Was it the cold weather? HTFU! It’s winter. Maybe a spot of fatigue with great rock and roll shows seemingly happening weekly? For sure, we’ve been spoilt. It was also the third New Christs appearance in these parts in as many months. if you were one of the waverers that stayed home, it really was your loss. 

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