Category Performance

Still The Boss

As I stood in the foyer waiting for Calum a fragment of a lyric came into my mind—‘… thinking that maybe we’re not that young any more …’ There was a lot of grey hair, some walking sticks, and some big bellies—but, to be fair, some youngsters too. All in all a pretty representative cross section of Sydney. The tickets had been a last minute Christmas present for Calum. The

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Los Trios Ringbarkus: a tour de farce

‘Someone said we were the sickest pair of wimps they’d ever seen,’ says Steve Kearney of Los Trios Ringbarkus on British reaction to the zany duo who carried off the ultra-prestigious Perrier ‘Pick of the Fringe’ award at last year’s Edinburgh Festival (1983). ‘I think they expected a couple of sunbronzed Aussie comedians to come out telling dingo jokes. They were … stunned.’ Relaxing around their hotel rooftop pool during their recent Sydney season, Kearney

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Magical Mushroom Moments

Recently I’ve been reading Stuart Coupe’s biography of Michael Gudinski. It prompted a memory of Mushroom Record’s 10th anniversary bash, on the 1982 Australia Day long weekend. Mushroom flew me over from Adelaide for the concert and quite frankly, I’d forgotten how good it was. This was my account in the February 1982 edition of Roadrunner. ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ Well folks, it was a pretty wild weekend. The Big M/3XY/Mushroom Evolution Two

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Doug Anthony Allstars: tick fucking tock

I first heard the Doug Anthony Allstars in my rented flat in Edinburgh during the 1988 Fringe Festival. I’d gone to Scotland to cover the Festival prior to taking up a new job and was listening to a program about the Fringe on BBC Radio Scotland. Midway through the show, the host introduced a song from a hot young Australian trio who were wowing them at the Gilded Ballroom in

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Capricorn Dancing: JJJ’s 10th birthday

Goodness me—can it really be JJJ’s 40th birthday this coming weekend? And even more incredibly—is it really 30 years since its legendary 10th birthday concert on Sydney Harbour featuring the mighty Midnight Oil? I was there for Countdown Magazine and this was my report in the March 1985 edition. When Jay Jay Jay-FM turned ten on the nineteenth of January it was most appropriate that the focus of the celebrations

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Jim Keays: master craftsman

I interviewed Australian rock legend Jim Keays for the ’60s retro issue of Roadrunner (September 1978). Although in a fallow period between his space-opera concept album The Boy from the Stars and 1983’s Red on the Meter, at the time Keays was a dynamic performer and as always, had some interesting observations on the then Australian music scene. He continued to entertain audiences, most notably with fellow ’60s icons Russell

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Stiffs Greatest Stiffs Live

Just before I left the U.K. to return to Australia after two and a half years away, I was fortunate to catch this remarkable concert. The venue was Bath University, the date 7 October 1977 and it was the third date on the Stiffs Greatest Stiffs Live tour. This review was my second ever published article, in the Adelaide punk fanzine Street Fever (December 1977). Nick Lowe bounds on stage and

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Sex Pistols at the Stowaway Club, Newport

My first published article. From Street Fever, the punk fanzine produced by Stuart Coupe and myself in Adelaide in December 1977. I was on a train from Darlington to Bath in 1976 when I first heard of the Sex Pistols. I had been away from England for six weeks working in Libya for a surveying company. I was on my way home after delivering some maps to head office. I

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Walking Down The Road; Split Enz in the U.K. 1976

The first interview I ever did was with Tim Finn of Split Enz, in Bath, England in October 1976. I sent the piece to Nation Review, but never heard back. Thus it is published here for the first time. ‘Split Enz are on the road becoz travel broadens the mind’ blared the full-page ad in Sounds last week. ‘Surreal Maoris’ Hair Raising Tale’  ran the headline in New Musical Express.

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Exile on Lygon Street

School reunions can be awkward at the best of times. Imagine if at your reunion, the yearbook had been repackaged by a multi-national and was selling online and at retail, the public were invited, the venue was an iconic Carlton wine-bar and the prefects were up on stage being interviewed by a lanky, blonde-curled faux-hip DJ about  schooldays—’Ring, ring goes the bell/The cook’s in the lunchroom ready to sell’  and

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Live, Work & Play: the Sports’ 1979 U.K. tour

I first met Keith Shadwick in 1978 when he came to Adelaide on tour with the High Rise Bombers. Keith was a poet and a saxophone player and he was friends with my housemate Larry. They’d both been part of the Melbourne mid-70s performance poetry push, with people like Eric Beach, Gig Ryan and πο. Keith had an impressive musical pedigree too, having been in Renee Geyer’s first band Sun, Sydney

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When the sun sets over Carlton

It was one of those memorable car trips. Driving to Coogee last Friday night with Ralph and Hilary Kerle and Greg Taylor to see Joe Camilleri and the Black Sorrows and listening to the new compilation (When the Sun Sets Over) Carlton – Melbourne’s Countercultural Inner Ciy Rock Scene of the ’70s. Unusually for three such grizzled veterans of the rock’n’roll circus as Greg, Ralph and myself, none one of

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Laughing Lennie

Many years ago, I watched a documentary on Foxtel’s Arena channel called ‘Beautiful Losers’. Made in 1997, it was about Leonard Cohen, Marianne Faithfull and Willie de Ville, in which the three songwriters and performers were interviewed about their lives and careers. Willie de Ville, who I recall as a sharply dressed, late 70s, new wave one-hit wonder from New York (the hit being the latino flavoured ‘Spanish Stroll’) was moderately

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Models roll back the years

The Models rolled back the years at the old Kinselas on Taylor Square last night. Although Roger Grierson pointed out that this version of the band was not one that ever trod the boards back in the day (Mark Ferrie having left before Barton Price joined), in many ways for me this is the strongest ever line up. When they opened with Two Cabs to the Toucan—and NAILED it—you got

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Oznost tickles Edinburgh

It’s feast or famine in Edinburgh, the ancient and beautiful capital of Scotland. Every August, in an unparalleled orgy of cultural consumption, the staid city changes pace and plays host not only to its world-renowned International Festival and associated Fringe but also to Britain’s only television festival, a film festival, a jazz festival and an acoustic music festival. While the International Festival is similar in style and content to many

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