Saturday, December 31, 2011

Triffids 1985 clipping + Blackeyed Susans clip

Have I mentioned that the recent 'Triffids and friends' gig was FREAKIN' AWESOME!!

This is a nice story from JUKE magazine feb 1985

One of the highlights for the recent gig was to finally see Rob Snarski stamp his cuban heels on stage...had to track down this old recovery clip from 1995..Blackeyed susans singing "smoking Johnny Cash"..really wtf does that mean?? codeword for summin?.. poor Johhny..r.i.p.

 drummer looks familiar .. . .

Lighthouse Keepers poster + review

The Lighthouse Keepers have a web page for those interested here -
I found a poster the other week and thought it would make a nice post.

1985 gig poster for brisbane club - Sensoria - George st..long one...

and then found this old review today and thought i'd better pull my finger out and post it...
JUKE -16 feb 1985 p16

Friday, December 30, 2011

Go-Betweens JUKE article December 1984

I knew all these old music papers would come in handy one day... Just didn't realise at the time I would be carting boxloads of em all over town for 30 years before they would find a nice home :/
Merry holiday / new year Stripey folks....
This one is a gem from 1984.

(aust.)   JUKE magazine December 8 - 1984 page 10

I'm running out of articles on go-be stuff here..If anyone wants to contribute contact that guy over there ----->>> Bob.

Monday, December 26, 2011

How the Fun Things Got Their Name!

Matt Mawson sent me this pdf of a wonderful article from

Time Off back in 1979.
Thanks Matt!

You will have to download the pdf to read it and discover
the answer to the Question!
Its not what I expected!

Happy New Year from the SSS blog as I sign off with a
massive 3 posts, Hope you all have a wonderful year ahead!

Thanks to our hard working team here as well
of Chuck and Donat
and I hear a rumour Chuck may have a Church
type post after their Christmas Eve Gig in the making!

The Seven Ballerinas

L to R: Mario, Nigel, John, Billy, Michael
This lineup recorded the single ‘Sometimes I Feel’
written by Michael and ‘Circles’ written by John in Sydney in 81.

Thanks to Michael for putting together this history of what was
a very good band and one of my favorites, over to Michael!

Formed in late 1980 after the demise of local Gold Coast Bands
Ratpack and The Strand.
The lineup was Ex Ratpackers, John Smethurst (guitar and vocals),
Nigel Baker (keyboards) and Mario Spina (bass) and
Ex Strand guitarist Michael Palmer.
Billy Pommer completed the lineup on drums.
After a handful of gigs Nigel Baker left and Billy Pommer
was replaced on drums by John Hippocrates.
Billy later went to Sydney as drummer for The Johnnys.

L to R: Mario Spina, John Smethurst, Michael Palmer and Johnny Hippocrates

Sometimes I Feel became a minor hit on 4ZZZ and also made
high rotation on Sydney’s radio 2JJ as it was back then.
On the strength of that we toured Sydney regularly.
Playing The Manzil Room, Bondi Tram. Governors Pleasure,
Stranded, Carmens at Miranda, The Trade Union Club etc etc.
In Brisbane the venues were rather sparse. 279 Club,
The Aussie National, The New York Hotel, Souths Leagues Club,
Easts Leagues Club. On the Gold Coast we played regularly at
The Playroom and The Jet Club.
And at the Royal Mail at Tewantin on the Sunshine Coast.
The band was very well received in Sydney.

The song Sometimes I Feel was also submitted by the
Engineer who had worked on the recording to 4MMM
to be on their first “Homegrown” LP. A collection of local
Brisbane bands. It was selected.
Be it naive or just stupid ego we were quite embarrassed about it.
I remember sitting in an office at MMM and looking
thought a pile of 45s. Was everything we liked to listen to.
Turned out it was their reject pile for the week.

There was record company interest from Polygram in Sydney
and in mid 82 we went into the studio to record what was to be
our first single but was really the first of many midnight to dawn
recording sessions. In actual fact unbeknown to us the recording
was organised by an AR guy from Polygram who was wanting
to form his own label. We were to be his first release.
Gangajang eventually got the honours.
When we heard the final tracks we were rather disappointed.
The producer had chosen to not work with anything we had
done in the studio and the songs had become too reliant on
his own use of samples and keyboards. It was eventually
agreed by all to forget it. 2 of the tracks from those sessions
“Another Day” written by Michael Palmer and “Falling Tear”
written by John Smethurst are on Youtube.
Listening to them now though I really like them.
The only place the recorded version of Falling Tear was ever
played was when the band appeared on Studio One.
A Saturday morning music show on channel 7.
We were promoting a festival “Summer Jam” at the Surfers Paradise
Raceway in January 1983 and we needed something
new to use as a backing.

You Tube Videos

The band continued playing live and self funded recording. Some of these recordings are on Youtube.

There is also a clip of the band recorded live at the Playroom doing a version of Joy Divisions Transmission.

The band called it a day late 84. Johnny and Mario went on to play in The Bossanova Kids and The Tellers.

In 1991 Michael Palmer and John Smethurst were joined by Chris Bailey (Gangajang and the Angels) on bass and JJ Harris (Divinyls) on drums and they recorded a version of Sometimes I Feel. Our live sound engineer Frank Kerestedjian at the controls in his studio in Sydney. A 10 year full circle.

L to R: Mario Spina, Johnny Hippocrates, John Smethurst
and Michael Palmer

Strand and Gold Coast Bands Press Clippings 1979

A big thanks to Michaels Mum who held on to these all these years
and Michael for bringing them into the digital age!

Click on any photo for a larger view

The Strand - Live At The Miami Hotel 26-01-80

Michael recently sent me this wonderful piece of Gold Coast/ Brisbane
music history. Some great tracks on this I especially like the track
Triple Z in my head as it goes through all the great shows that were
on the station back then.
Jeremy Oxley who went on to the Sunnyboys did his apprenticeship
here as a 17 year old and other went on to the excellent Gold Coast
band The Seven Ballerinas

But I shall put you over to Michael who can
tell you all about this band!
Thanks Michael!

The Strand was Tait Brady (vocals), Keith Mackay (bass), Mick Lake (drums),
Michael Palmer (guitar), Shane Williams (keyboards, vocals)
and Jeremy Oxley (guitar, vocals).

The Strand were formed late1978 on The Gold Coast. They embraced the
current trends in English New Wave and Pop playing covers of bands like
Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, Ian Dury, Doctor Feelgood, Nick Lowe etc. etc.
The Strand managed to acquire a residency at the Miami Hotel on the
Gold Coast playing every Friday and Saturday night.
Playing to an empty room at first but as word grew so did the crowds.
Mid 1979 saw the arrival of a new guitarist.
A 17 year old Jeremy Oxley.
The bands list of originals songs grew once Jeremy joined.
‘I Can’t Talk To You’ appeared on the first Sunnyboys album.

The CD was recorded on the bands final night at a packed Miami Hotel in
January 1980. It contains 17 of the originals the band played.

After The Strand, Jeremy went to Sydney and formed The Sunnyboys.

Michael Palmer joined with John Smethurst, Mario Spina and
Nigel Baker from fellow Coast band Ratpack to form Seven Ballerinas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Gatekeepers - Indoors/Ogre/Silence


Peter Jetnikoff - vocals, guitar
Greg Wadley - bass
Ian Wadley - drums

The Gatekeepers began around later 1982, containing various former members of the Pits, Motherless, the Swirl and the Dum Dums. Shortly after, the group self-released an 11 track cassette, Cosmic Street of which two of its tracks appeared on the monumental 1984 c60 compilation, Leaving Home for the Party on the Roof - Susan Burn and Keeper of the Gate as well as the early 4ZZZfm compilation tape Queensland in Quarantine featuring the Unkindest Cut released in the same year.
Early line-ups featured drummers Elizabeth Connolly and Greg Gilbert (aka Des Johnson), Margo Hoyte on keyboard in addition to mainstays Peter Jetnikoff and Greg Wadley.
Fast forward to Melbourne in 1988, and the Gatekeepers exist primarily as a recording venture, releasing the 12" EP Indoors/Ogre/Silence in that year and the 7" single Saturday/In This House two years later.

In addition to the cassette album and vinyl releases, the Gatekeepers appear on various SPILL cassette and CD compilations (Happy Still from SPILL Compilation One is a must-hear) well into the mid part of the decade, as well as an acoustic version of Silence for the Brisbane-based Malignant label collection Fuck the White Race from 1994.

This single was released on HWS (somewhat of a precursor to SPILL, who also provided a catalogue number to the first self-titled EP by Small World Experience.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Save What You Can: The Day Of The Triffids

David McComb in 1987. Photo by Bleddyn Butcher.
Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra. Gift of the artist 2002

Perth in 1978 had the Victims and the Triffids. The punk (or post-punk) explosion had imploded rather quickly in Australia, even if the country came to creating their own American or English equivalent three months later through the pages of the NME or across the import shops. Both bands used the tricks of the punk trade to DIY and not to rub shoulders with A&R suits in the hopes of that big record deal to propel them to fame and stardom. The Triffids were never famous, at least not in Australia. And they’re not famous now. Key songs and albums have been since dredged up and are today regarded as 80s classics by Australian music writers and beyond.

Now there’s a book by Bleddyn Butcher, a 500-plus page account of the band’s beginnings and ending, primarily focusing on the band’s singer, songwriter and spirit - David McComb. Save What You Can. The kind of writing and immaculate accounting in this shape and form is usually reserved for the likes of Bob Dylan, or the Velvet Underground; two artists of the 1960s that McComb coincidentally fancied. There’s no back fence to climb over to get through the story of David McComb, nor the band he created to drive his songs from a foolscap page to a lit stage. And consequentially, Butcher takes the long, scenic way and approaches the 21 years of the band ‘til their demise in 1989 with a sense of detail and care. This is what creates a difference between an encyclopedia entry on the internet and a book on your hand. You want to pick up a music biography knowing when you’ve thumbed the last page, there are no more questions left to ask. That’s it. The story’s told.

Bleddyn Butcher is a name you see on the back of anyone’s record collection that’s decent. Usually on the back and credited for what’s in the front, courtesy of his knack in taking superb photos. The Moodists. The Go-Betweens. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. The Birthday Party. Ed Kuepper. Laughing Clowns. The Apartments. Crime & the City Solution.The Triffids. All of these artists sort fame and fortune in Europe. Some slept in hotels, others on floors – some both, depending on the circumstances. Armed with a camera or a typewriter, he was somehow always there - documenting the path of Australian independent music; something he's managed to do terribly well in the last thirty-plus years.

It’s been years (and years) that this book has been in the making, and finally it's complete. The day of the Triffids is upon us.

Save What You Can: The Day Of The Triffids by Bleddyn Butcher is available through Treadwater Press or any respectable bookseller.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

An Evening Visit From The Apartments

As the sweeping melahancholia of Theme de Camille by Georges Delerue (from Jean-Luc Godard's Le Mépris) fades out of the stage speakers, it's here in cloudy Sydney where the Apartments reveal themselves once more in their home country. A Saturday night in Marrickville after a long, moody day of dark clouds and a reprise of suit weather brings forth a stage-shy band and a faithful seated audience for only their third show in this town in over twenty years.

A lot has happened in this time; some things remembered for eternity and others best forgotten. And so it seems the veil of silence has been lifted with the release of a new single, Black Ribbons and a show in Melbourne a month ago in November. Or was it October? When it comes to the Apartments, time brings all things to pass.

Left to right on the plainly-lit stage is guitarist Eliot Fish, and beside him is Amanda Brown on her violin and tambourine. Behind her on piano is George Bibikos. In front of him and beside Ms Brown is chanteuse Christine Jane in her second appearance with the thousandth Apartments line-up. And on the far right - on a matching stool - is Peter Milton Walsh with a voice and an acoustic guitar.

Eleven songs are played. The arrangements and instrumentation resemble that of their last album Fête Foraine - exercising the intimacy of song without its pop and stripping colourful arrangements down to small flakes and piecing it all together again - no horn, nor drum. And in this supper-club space without cutlery, every word and note behind it demand a sense of attention. With Walsh to the far right, he looks to his and conducts the band through his softly tinted glasses and tapping feet.

Before the songs are played, some stories are told. And some tales. A little insight that takes you further inside the tunes than a lyric sheet or a liner-note could attempt. There's talk evil men, seduced women, the son of a French banker with symbolism in his veins, a record company and a river city he left thirty years ago.

And so the Apartments reopened for another night, checking out to sign in again at an unknown time and place. In the last thirty years, there's been more silence than sound. Songs are played or recorded when they're ready. This isn't anything new, it's just how it is. And as the show ends with one last song, it leaves us with two questions; and the curtain falls.

Where are the parties that were never held? Where are the snows that never fell?

Setlist: Thank You For Making Me Beg/All You Wanted/Knowing You Were Loved/World Of Liars/Sunset Hotel/All His Stupid Friends/Mr. Somewhere/On Every Corner/Things You'll Keep/Black Ribbons/Twenty One

All images and words - Donat Tahiraj. Brisbane.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Only The Lonely - John Kennedy

I just discovered this and have to tell you all,
the fabulous John Kennedy has a new 6 track ep,
Sons Of Sun, which includes this cover of the
Roy Orbison classic and reinterprets it as a reverb
drenched dreamy ghost track.
The video was shot in St Stephens Cemetery in Newtown,
Sydney on bright winters day in June 11 by Al Yung and
edited by him in Hong Kong
I'm off to Itunes now!