Monday, 20 January 2020


Jazz fusion band Pyramid was formed in 1978. It consisted of musicians, David Hirschfelder (who would later play with the likes of the Little River Band, Dragon and John Farnham's backing band), bassist Jeremy Alsop, drummer David Jones (ex-Crossfire) and session man Bob Venier, who at that time was recognised as one of Australia’s leading trumpet players. In 1981 Alsop was replaced by Roger McLachlan from (ex-Little River Band/Stars). Although the band wasn't around for that long they did achieve cult status which saw them play at the 1983 Montreux Jazz Festival, appear on Don Burrows jazz program 'The Don Burrows Collection' on the ABC and record a self titled album on the East label.


Roger McLachlan (bass), David Jones (drums), David Hirschfelder (keyboards),
Bob Venier (trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion), Jeremy Alsop (bass)

Saturday, 18 January 2020


Sounds Like Chicken (SLC) began in 1999 when Nathanael Kitingan (Nat Kitingan) met Nyall Dawson at Monash University in Melbourne. Nat and Nyall attempted to start an unnamed musical project with Hugh Ogilvy (also from Monash University) featuring Nyall on electric violin, Hugh on guitar and Nat on drums. This trio did not get off the ground and so brothers Joel and Elliot Dawson joined to form Sounds Like Chicken, a ska project taking influences from Voodoo Glow Skulls, The O.C. Supertones, The Insyderz and Five Iron Frenzy. This early lineup was Nyall Dawson (vocals), Nat Kitingan (bass/vocals), Elliot Dawson (drums), Joel Dawson (sax) and Hugh Ogilvy (guitar).

Sounds Like Chicken's first show was at Joel's 21st birthday party in mid-2000. Hugh left the band at the end of 2000 due to other commitments and was replaced by Tom Dowding on guitar. Tom was an extremely accomplished bass player and so Nat decided to swap to playing guitar so that Tom's talent could be fully utilised. The band decided they needed another horn and so after a number of unsuccessful audition attempts, in 2001 Nat met Natalie Parker at university and invited her to a practice. Natalie was initially apprehensive but was eventually convinced by the boys to join the band. During her second practice she was already laying down trumpet tracks on their first demo recording which ended up becoming the band's self-made demo EP, 'Slowly Going the Way of the Chicken'.

Sounds Like Chicken toured interstate for the first time under this lineup in September 2001, playing in Sydney and Canberra and also at the Black Stump Music Festival. In 2002, Tom Dowding departed from Sounds like Chicken to be replaced by Joshua Diemar on bass. It was in this year that Sounds Like Chicken released their first studio EP, 'I Am Gibbon, Hear Me Roar', produced by David Carr (Antiskeptic, Taxiride). The EP gave the band airplay on community radio, Christian radio, and Triple J.
In early 2004, the band were signed to Boomtown Records, a Melbourne-based indie record label distributing through Shock Records and MGM. Deciding that a bigger ensemble was required, Sounds Like Chicken asked long-time friend Dave Powys (ex Staff Discount and Never In Doubt) to join on second guitar, making them a 7-piece band. Dave moved down from Canberra and recorded on the single ''Global Domination'', their first release with Boomtown and distributed through MGM. The single received national airplay and spot airplay on Triple J and was sold out within two months of its limited pressing. It was noted that producer Dave Carr's production was a big step up from previous releases.

It was shortly after this that the band decided it was time to move on and the band was without a bass-player. They were booked in to record an album and so asked if Carlos Echeverria (ex Know Exit and Wishful Thinking) would fill in and record bass for them. Their first full-length album, 'Like a Cannonball to the Ocean Floor' was released late that year through Boomtown, also doing well on the airwaves. The album drew acclaim from reviewers as a "brilliantly released debut album", although the length of 17 tracks drew some criticism. Sounds Like Chicken did a joint national tour with label-mates Wishful Thinking to launch the album. Carlos officially joined shortly after the album's release.

In early 2005 founding member and manager, Elliot Dawson, decided to part ways with the band. Mike "Carcass" Haydon (of Melbourne band The Knockabouts), only 17 at the time, was able to fill the role of drummer. Mike had been a tour roadie for the band for the past three years and so was already well-acquainted with their songs. That year Sounds Like Chicken released the second double-A side single off the album, ''Take a Bullet to the Grave/El Chupanebre'' through Boomtown Records, and completed a national tour over 3 months to launch it.

On 3 November 2006, founding member, Nyall Dawson, announced his decision to depart the band early in 2007. On 18 December 2006 Sounds Like Chicken announced they were calling it a day in a bulletin released on the band's MySpace. The main factors in the breakup was the future departure of Nyall Dawson and other key members of the band, the band stated... "We guess it’s time for some of us to move on. There was other plans for our lives and with the impending departure of some key members, we felt that SLC would simply not be SLC if we went on without them. We all feel at peace about this decision."
Shortly after, the band announced plans for an Australia wide farewell tour to take place in February–March 2007, along with the release of a final limited-edition compilation disk titled 'Death To The Crow' to coincide with the tour. Sounds Like Chicken's final show was held at TLC Bayswater, Victoria on Saturday 17 March 2007.

On 31 March 2014 it was announced on the band's fan-run Facebook page that they were reforming for a once off show on 11 May 2014 as a benefit for Fist2face record store. The show was held at Ding Dong Lounge and featured supports from Antiskeptic, The Ramshackle Army, Best Before, Payoff and more. The show sold out.


Natalie Parker (trumpet/vocals),  Joel Dawson (sax),  Nyall Dawson (trombone/vocals),
Dave Powys (guitar/vocals),  Nat Kitingan (guitar/vocals/bass),  Ben Hobson (bass),
Mike Haydon (drums), Elliot Dawson (drums),  Carlos Echeverria (bass), Josh Diemar (bass),
Joe Ireland (bass),  Tom Dowding (bass), Hugh Ogilvy (guitar)



Thursday, 9 January 2020


The Gadflys were formed in Canberra in the 80s. The band emerged amidst the unlikely yet burgeoning Canberra punk scene, they soon transcended the strictures of punk and ’80s synth pop to develop a unique style. Opting to play acoustic instruments – classical guitar, clarinet and double bass – their sound became less abrasive and more melodic though they still retained the urgency and energy of punk.

Founding members Phil and Mick Moriarty’s dad played clarinet in a band called Clean Living Clive’s Good Time Palace Orchestra. He had a record of Benny Goodman performing “Sing Sing Sing” at Carnegie Hall, with Gene Krupa’s drums pounding away like a runaway freight train, a big influence on the boys. The brothers developed an enthusiasm for the tambourine rhythms and melodic thrills of ’60s Motown. They both admired the straight-shooting singing styles of Iggy Pop and Shane McGowan. Mick coined the term Mongrel Jazz to describe the blend of blues, klezmer, skiffle and cool jazz, underpinned by righteously rootsy grooves, which formed the Gadflys sound over four albums two EPs.

After 15 years of constant touring and gigging, the Gadflys’ fortunes were boosted courtesy of a three-year stint on Paul McDermott’s satirical TV panel show Good News Week. Playing original tunes live to camera, they soon won over a legion of new fans. The GNW gig showcased the instrumental verve of musicians at the top of their game. The band also backed well-known artists Neil Finn, Steve Harley, Glen Tilbrook, Diesel and Yothu Yindi. Recently teaming up with long-time band members Elmo Reid on bass, and Pete Velzen on drums, the Moriarty brothers have recorded the first Gadflys’ album in 19 years, 'Love & Despair'. A single, “Deborah” was released October 2019 .


Peter Velzen (drums), Mick Moriarty (vocals/guitar/double bass),
Phil Moriarty (vocals/clarinet/harmonica), Andy Lewis (bass/piano), Jonathon Nix (bass), 
Peter Kelly (trumpet/percussion), Kathryn Brownhill (violin/piano), Elmo Reid (bass)



Friday, 3 January 2020


Downtime was a metallic hardcore punk band from Sydney. The band formed in 1994 after guitarist and vocalist Billy Hughes left Toe to Toe. He formed the band with drummer Brendan Peace (with whom he had been in King Pest, a post-high school band, back in 1988) and James Meek (who had kicked on from the band Massappeal) on bass. They released their first album 'Lose Yourself' in 1995 followed by 'Tooth And Nail' in 1997. A few lineup changes occurred after the release of their second album until they finished up in 2002. The band appeared on stage with touring international bands such as Suicidal Tendencies, Fu Manchu, SNFU, Sex Pistols, All, Pennywise and Bad Religion. Billy Hughes was killed in a motor vehicle accident in 2011. 


Billy Hughes (vocals / guitar), Brendan Peace (drums), James Meek (bass), Eric Groethe Jr (bass),
Dave Dunn (bass), Percy Ricaud (drums)

Sunday, 22 December 2019


The Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band (MNOJB) formed in 1957. The band became prominent when they commenced playing for promoter Horst Liepolt at the Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Club in St.Kilda during August of the same year. Later that year at the Adelaide Jazz Convention they were voted best New Orleans group in Australia. At Sydney in 1958, Cootamundra in 1959 and in their home town in 1960 the honour was repeated and in addition, the band were chosen to represent New Orleans jazz before an audience of 60,000 at an important History Of Jazz concert given in Melbourne's vast Music Bowl. Jazz record label Swaggie signed them up and they released a number of singles, EP's and albums. The band also held down a successful Saturday residency at the Esquire Club in Glen Iris. In 1961 they provided a much needed shot in the arm on their arrival in the UK. British jazz fans felt traditional jazz had become too commercial for their tastes and the MNOJB was just the right prescription. From September 1961 the band toured extensively in the UK, Ireland, and Germany until disbanding in London in April 1963.


Llew Hird (trombone), Nick Poiltes (clarinet), Willy Watt (banjo), Graham Bennet (drums),
Lou Silverleben (bass), Mookie Herman (bass), Frank Turville (trumpet), Dave Rankin (trombone),
Kevin Shannon (trombone), Charles Powell (trombone)

Saturday, 14 December 2019


In October 1968, a major split took place within the band The Vibrants. Marc Leon, John Hossen and Barry Rogers left with their manager Don La Roche to form a new group called The Graduate. They added Michelle Kennedy from The Laurie Allen Review and drummer Frank Durant. They released their first single in 1969, ''I Just Made Up My Mind/Birds And Bees'' on the Columbia label.  Glenys Hewett replaced Michelle after she returned from Vietnam and Liam Bradley joined on trumpet and vibraphone. The band toured South East Asia in 1970 shortly after the line-up change.

In 1971 David White replaced Barry Rogers on bass and Murray Ellington replaced Liam Bradley. Moving to the Festival label they recorded ''It's Alright/Get It Together'' in 1972. Soon after Brian Fitzgerald and Graeme Fisher replaced John Hossen and Frank Durant. Hossen later turned up in popular Perth band The Troupadors. Judy Condon replaced Glenys Hewett. In 1973 they released their third single ''Riverboat Queen/Icy Fingers'' this time on the RCA label. In the mid 70s Glenys Hewett returned to vocal duties and the band added Jenny Wrenn. The band covered many genre's including rock, blues, jazz, latin and even country and they toured the length and breadth of Australia. The Graduate appeared on TV shows like Happening 72 and they supported Jose Feliciano on his 1973 tour of Australia. Barry Rogers, John Hossen and Frank Durant have since died.


Marc Leon (guitar/vocals), Michelle Kennedy (vocals), John Hossen (sax), Barry Rogers (bass),
Glenys Hewett (vocals), Liam Bradley (piano/trumpet/vibes), Frank Durant (drums),
Judy Condon (vocals),Brian Fitzgerald (keyboards/sax), David White (bass), Graeme Fisher (drums)
Greg Cook (guitar), Murray Ellington (trumpet), Mike Anderson (drums), David Dunn (drums)
Eddie Podgeronick (bass), Keith Van Heysel (keyboards), Jenny Wrenn (vocals)

Thursday, 5 December 2019


The ‘Beans began as an impromptu fill-in at Jabbo’s Jazz and Blues Club (situated in what is now a Roma Street carpark) in 1983, when regular Saturday night act, The Headstones, took breaks. A series of drummers joined childhood friends Paul Grogan and Guy Mansfield on stage, until Jabbo’s regular Mike McCann was permanently recruited. Evan Clarry, who was Mansfield’s classmate at Church of England Grammar School, joined from the first official gig. The Headstones' leader, Chris Flynn (later of The Dubrovniks), suggested the act name themselves after things called mungabeans that he'd seen at a health food shop. Bean sprouts were uncommon in Brisbane; no-one recognised the error in the name, nor the association with hippies, so posters were printed with the erroneous name which stuck.

The ‘Beans performed regularly at Brisbane’s underground venues throughout 1985 and ’86, progressing from support to headline act largely on the strength of a bizarre stage show and repertoire. As a film student, guitarist Evan Clarry had access to elaborate cinematic props, which embellished the simulated sex and violence characterising Beans’ gigs. And, while the theatre was often tongue-in-cheek, perceptions of subversiveness in a conservative, heavily policed Brisbane led to undercover police often infiltrating Mungabeans’ gigs. The band’s early repertoire was dominated by covers of kitsch glam and Australian rock songs of the early 1970s, largely to irritate elements of the self-conscious underground music set who reviled the material. Over time, Grogan’s compositions replaced the covers, as the band became more ambitious.

Interest in Sydney led to the band moving there in 1986 (as had The Headstones, Screaming Tribesmen, Ups & Downs and others). Like many Australian independent acts of the 1980s, The Mungabeans gained more popularity overseas than in their own backyard. In their case Germany and England took to the band, however the 'Beans never toured outside Australia. In a 1986 article published in RAM (Rock Australia Magazine), the band was cited as ''influential on a wave of ex-Brisbane performers who succeeded internationally as independent and mainstream music markets merged in the late 1980s. The 'Beans paved the way for a new wave of young bands, who eschewed taking themselves seriously''. They split in 1990, reforming in 1991 as Undermine, before splitting for good in 1992. High points of recognition in Australia were multiple appearances on Rage and regular airplay in 1988 of The Beans' song ''Too Late (to Turn Back Now)'' from their debut EP, 'A Much Sweeter Gag'. 


Paul Grogan (vocals/guitar), Guy Mansfield (bass/vocals), Mike McCann (drums)
Evan Clarry (guitar)



Thursday, 28 November 2019


In August 1983 Peter Wells (ex-Buffalo, Rose Tattoo), on guitar, formed Scattered Aces (styled as $cattered Aces) with Paul De Marco aka Fred Zepplin on drums (ex-Chris Turner Band); Ronnie Peel on bass guitar and lead vocals (ex-The Missing Links, Pleazers, The La De Das,); and former Buffalo bandmate, Chris Turner, on guitar and vocals (ex-Drain, Buffalo). The group issued a six-track extended play, 'Six Pack', on Big Rock Records in April 1984. They followed with a cover version of Eddie Cochran's 1958 song, "C'mon Everybody", as a single but they had broken up by mid-1984. Peter Wells died of prostate cancer in 2006.


Peter Wells (guitar), Chris Turner (guitar), Ronnie Peel (vocals/bass), Fred Zepplin (drums)



Wednesday, 20 November 2019


Rod Bryar, a member of the folk group The Ozark Trio met classically trained guitarist Greg Coach in 1963 and they decided to form a duo. Hooking up with agent Elliot Davis, they began gigging around Melbourne doing pub shows, restaurants and coffee lounges including a tour of Tasmania where they played at the Wrest Point Hotel before it became a casino. They also appeared on TV on Graham Kennedy's In Melbourne Tonight. In 1966 they recorded a self-penned single on the Leedon label, ''Outside Of The World/Sit By Me''. Bryar was conscripted in to National Service and was sent to Vietnam in 1967.


The Outer Edge of Fame (book) by Rod Bryar

Monday, 11 November 2019


One of regional Victoria's most successful bands, the six-piece The Rhythm Rockets formed in Mildura in the 60s. The Rockets were very popular in the Sunraysia region, especially at the legendary Mildura venue called The Ballerina where they would pull huge crowds in excess of a thousand punters. In 1966 they competed in the local Hoadleys Battle of the Sounds competition hosted by radio station 3MA (Mildura). Winning their section they then went on to the Victorian Country Final and came third to overall winners, The Dynamoes from Shepparton. Rewarded with a recording contract with the Go!! label they ventured down to the big smoke to cut the singles ''Near Me/On Whom Her Favour Falls'' and ''Just You Wait And See/Summer Has Gone''  written by the band members. Both singles failed to make an impression on the Melbourne charts. 

The Go!! label eventually lost interest in the band because they were too busy working Mildura’s Ballerina Ballroom and other local dances and private gigs and did not commit to Victorian country or national touring. Today Geoff Evans and Col Avery still perform on a regular basis. Lead guitarist Bill Tyers has a recording studio in Queensland and still plays professionally, while Peter McWilliams (bass) and Geoff Waters (drums) lead a quieter musical life. Mildura’s locally owned radio station 1611AM still gives the Rockets airplay to this day.


Geoff Evans (vocals/guitar), Col Avery (vocals), Bill Tyers (guitar), Peter McWilliams (bass),
Geoff Waters (drums), Neil Warhurst (sax)

Thursday, 7 November 2019


Tinsley Waterhouse is an R&B and blues musician who started out as a drummer in the 1960s in Melbourne, first with blues groups, the Gravy Train and then the Horse before briefly joining a New Zealand-formed band, Chants R&B in mid-1967. He formed Tinsley Waterhouse's Old Tracks in 1979, which became the Tinsley-Townsend Band in April of the following year and then the Tinsley Waterhouse Band in July 1980. As a vocalist he has led numerous lineups of this band.

In February 1981 the group issued a four-track extended play, 'Full of Ink an' Talkin' Shorthand', via Project 9 Records. For the EP Waterhouse, on lead vocals, was joined by John Ballard on tenor sax and guitar (ex-Phil Manning Band, Broderick Smith's Big Combo), Steve Ewart on trombone, Noel Herridge on drums (ex-Sid Rumpo, Wild Beaver Band, One Armed Bandit), Neil Hodgson on bass guitar (ex-Fox), Gerry Joyce on guitar (ex-Gulliver's Travels), and Sean O'Sullivan on trumpet. Roadrunner's Donald Robertson observed, in April 1981, that it provided, "Enjoyable, undemanding soul/R&B the best track is the one original, 'I've Been Dreaming', which features triffic horns and Mr. Waterhouse's strong gravelly vocals, with feeling." 

Tinsley Waterhouse Band's debut album, 'After the Mudd You've Got ... The Tinsley Waterhouse Band', appeared in October 1982 via EMI Custom. Alongside Waterhouse and Ballard the group's line-up were the latter's ex-Broderick Smith's Big Combo band-mates, Peter Lee on drums, Mick "The Reverend" O'Connor on Hammond organ and Ron Robertson on bass guitar. In March of the following year his backing band were Joyce and Roberston joined by Paul Hitchins on drums (ex-the Sports, Nighthawks), Chris Stockley on guitar (ex-Cam-Pact, Axiom, Dingoes, Stockley See Mason Band, Rock Doctors), and Neil Wyatt on saxophone (ex-Dutch Tilders, Keith Lamb's Airport). By August 1984 Stockley and Robertson were joined by Barry Cram on drums (ex-Michael Turner in Session, Avalanche, Russell Morris Band, Contraband, Ideals) and Leigh Horton on saxophone (ex-Saxons, Pete Watson's Rockhouse).

Tinsley Waterhouse Band's second album, 'Hangin' Around' (1985), was recorded in three separate sessions using three different line-ups. According to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, "As well as covers of a number of R&B; staples like Robert Johnson's 'Sweet Home Chicago' and Jimmy Witherspoon's 'What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?', the album included the single 'Don't Get Mad'." For his third album, 'I've Been Dreaming' (1988), Waterhouse was joined by Cram, Ron Anderson on saxophone, Tim Ayres on bass guitar (ex-Kevin Borich Express), Paul Gatcham on saxophone and Ron "Groper" Trinder on guitar. In 2010 Waterhouse combined with Driftwood Lounge to issue an album, 'Blues 'n' Western', via Ray Vonn Records.



Thursday, 31 October 2019


Vincent Hugh Jones was born on 24 March 1954 in Paisley, Scotland. He is the second eldest of four children to John Jones and Mary (née Docherty); the family moved to Australia in April 1964 and lived in Wollongong; and was educated at Corrimal High School. He attributes his love of jazz to hearing Miles Davis's album Sketches of Spain, when he was about 14 and taught himself to play the trumpet. Jones began his career in 1974 in New South Wales as a bebop trumpet player on the club and jazz circuit.

In November 1981 Jones recorded his debut album, 'Watch What Happens', with John Bye producing at Richmond Recorders in Melbourne. Adrian Jackson of Jazz magazine touted Jones as the "new Melbourne jazz star" in June 1982. The second album, 'Spell', came out in 1983, followed by a new album each year until 'It All Ends in Tears' in 1988. 

Five more albums were produced from 1992 until 1999’s 'Live' recorded at the Basement in Sydney. “The sonic quality here is remarkable for a live album . . . it’s a mystery that Jones isn’t a household name.” Rolling Stone “Vince Jones is living proof that independence is not about genres …. He’s a soulful survivor, with a voice as cool as a long G&T and a repertoire that balances jazz, rock and soul.” Beat Magazine ”

Through the 1990s Vince Jones and his band found success on the European circuit making an impression on reviewers, audiences and promoters. They played to packed houses in Germany, London, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands including the major festivals – the North Sea, Montreux, Aarhus – and a range of more intimate venues.

In 1994, he contributed "A Song for You" for Kate Ceberanos 1994 album, 'Kate Ceberano and Friends'. He has sold more than 200,000 albums worldwide and still tours and performs regularly. Currently he is living on the south coast of New South Wales, on the edge of the Royal National Park, and he teaches part-time at the Canberra School of Music, Australian National University. 



Wednesday, 23 October 2019


The Clefs formed in Adelaide during 1963 as an R&B group by Winston "Tweed" Harris on keyboards. The early line-up included: Garry Love (drums), Denis Marshall (sax), Howard Michael (guitar/bass), Michael Atkins (bass), Dick Richards (guitar). Briefly Pat Aulton joined on co-lead vocals, and he later became a record producer. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, observed, "they became an in-demand dance band on the city's thriving club circuit." Barrie McAskill (ex-Fabulous Drifters) replaced Aulton as co-lead vocalist in 1965. Further lineup changes included Brenton Haye (sax), Tony Shepp (sax), Bob Jeffery (sax), Les Tanner (guitar), Keith Drage (drums), Vinnie Jones (drums), Trevor Pridham (vocals), Glenys Shearman (vocals) and Bev Harrell (vocals). The Clefs played many venues around Adelaide including residencies at the Princeton Club, the Thornton Club and The Miami Club, they also became the resident backing band for a weekly pop T.V. show called “Seventeeners” (ADS Seven).

Harrell left the group and started her solo career, "she was one of the most popular solo singers on the mid-1960s pop scene." Signing to EMI they recorded their first single on the Columbia imprint in 1965, ''March Of The Siamese Children'' taken from the film The King And I, followed by, "I Can Only Give You Everything" and "A Boy Like Me" in 1966. In 1967 the band relocated and stamped their mark on Melbourne’s trendy Dance and Disco scene and appeared regularly on the top T.V. show of the time, Ken Spark’s Komotion, produced at Reg Ansett’s newly formed Channel 0. They also appeared on Bobby & Laurie's Dig We Must.

Some of the many venues the band played at were, The Thumpin Tum, Berties, Sebastian’s, Tenth Avenue, The Winston Charles, Opus, 431, Black & Blue, The Catcher, Show Go, Q Club, Ginza, Show Go, 5th Avenue and Pinocchio’s. Then another lineup change occurred when Vinnie Jones returned to Adelaide and was replaced by Gil Matthews (drums), Bruce Howe, Les Tanner and John Young returned to Adelaide and were replaced by Les Stacpool (guitar), Doug Stirling (bass) and Bob Jeffery (sax). In 1967 Harris quit the Clefs forming the supergroup The Groove, leaving Barrie McAskill to take over the reins and renaming them Levi Smith's Clefs (a reference to Four Tops' lead singer Levi Stubbs).. Tweed Harris (1941–2004) died of throat cancer, aged 63.


Winston “Tweed” Harris (keyboards), Garry Love (drums), Denis Marshall (sax),
Howard Michael (guitar/bass), Michael Atkins (bass), Dick Richards (guitar), 
Pat Aulton (vocals), Brenton Haye (sax), Tony Shepp (sax), Les Tanner (guitar), 
Keith Drage (drums), Vinnie Jones (drums), Trevor Pridham (vocals), Glenys Shearman (vocals), John Young (guitar), Bruce Howe (bass), Barrie McAskill (vocals). Bev Harrell (vocals),
Les Stacpool (guitar), Doug Stirling (bass)



Friday, 11 October 2019


The Premiers formed in 1958 with Stan Azzopardi (guitar), Bobby Cookson (vocals/guitar), Joe Gatt (drums) and Kenny Merandis on tea chest bass. Merandis was replaced by Lee Conway and the band added Colin Jones (sax) and Noel Tresider on piano. The band gradually developed to the stage where they became regulars at dances throughout Melbourne's southern suburbs most notably at the Mordialloc Life Saving Club and Springvale Town Hall. They also backed a lot of singers at gigs including Olivia Newton, Lana Cantrell and The Bee Gees to name a few. Around 1961 Bobby Cookson departed to start a solo career.

Their first experiences in the recording studios was providing accompaniment for Astor label artists like Betty McQuade and old friend Bobby Cookson. In 1963 they cut a single ''Mary Had A Little Lamb'' which was a minor hit on the Melbourne charts. Colin Jones left soon after and was replaced by Ken Semple. They soldiered on for another year before calling it a day. Lee Conway went on to become a very successful a country and western artist. Stan and Noel would later turn up in the Paul McKay Sound.


Mary Had a Little Lamb

2 MAR '63



Monday, 7 October 2019


Christopher James "Chris" Freeman (c. 1950–1992) was an Australian multi-instrumentalist and teacher who specialised in six-string and 12-string guitar for classical and flamenco music. Freeman was taught ukulele by his father when aged seven and learned guitar from the age of eight. He began working on multi-tracking from the age of 16.

Freeman attended Geelong Grammar School in 1966, starting at Timbertop and was in C Unit. He formed the Dementers a three member guitar vocal group with Dale Hollands and Jonathan Gibson. The trio sang occasionally in the Timbertop chapel. Prince Charles attended Timbertop in this year and heard the trio. He owned a placid blue Fender electric guitar at this time and displayed a solid rhythm in performing songs like the Trogg's hit "Wild Thing". He was a capable student, joining to the higher maths classes, and possessed a sharp (sometimes wicked) sense of humour. He was popular with fellow students and teachers. Despite his asthma, he was a determined cross country runner participating in the Marathon school run and compulsory long distance weekend hiking events.

In 1967, when aged 17, Freeman's left hand middle fingertip was severed in a car accident. He had it replaced with a silver one crafted in a playing position. Nicknamed "Silver Finger", he learned to work around the injury using his left hand "only to press down on the strings". At the age of 21 he travelled to Spain and was taught by flamenco guitar virtuoso Manitas de Plata. In 1970 he attended Taylor's Coaching College in Melbourne and during lunch time he and friends would go to Allen's Music to play guitars and sing current Beatle songs. He liked John Lennon's songs such as "Across the Universe". He was never shy when it came to performing music. He drove a white Volkswagen "V" dub and lived in Melbourne's eastern suburbs and started performing at the Green Man coffee shop.

In 1976 he self-financed his debut album, 'Thesilger', (named for the replacement finger) on T. S. F. Records. Mike Daly of The Age felt that Freeman "experimented with quaint effects involving digital harmoniser and distorted vocals – with mixed results". Two years later Freeman followed with 'Shifting Sands... Night & Day'. When performing solo, he used a backing tape with orchestral tracks previously recorded on a Fairlight CMI.

In May 1981, Freeman combined with keyboardist and orchestral arranger John Shaw to issue an album, 'Chris Freeman and John Shaw', independently on Chris Freeman Records and distributed by EMI Records. Aside from his own work he also covered ''Gymnopedie'' by Satie and ''Recuerdos de la Alhambra'' by Tárrega. Daly described this album as "a very different proposition" compared to Freeman's debut: here the "melodies are dominated by his lyrical adaptation of the rich flamenco style". The Sydney Morning Herald's Susan Molloy found it was "of precious quality and outstanding beauty" displaying a variety of styles "from classical to flamenco to rock and roll, from disco to calypso-reggae and soft country rock".

As well as recording and performing Freeman also taught flamenco and classical guitar techniques. In early 1982 he toured with the Peter Stuyvesant International Music Festival. He issued two further albums with Shaw, 'Synthesized Orchestration' (1983) and 'Synthesized Orchestration Vol. 2' (1984). In 1990 Freeman and Shaw compiled their collaborations on CD, 'The Best of Chris Freeman and John Shaw'. The following year he released a solo compilation album, 'Best of Chris Freeman'.

Freeman died in 1992 after an asthma attack. Australian musicologist Ian McFarlane described him as a "gifted multi-instrumentalist" who "garnered considerable praise for his work, but he never embraced the notion of mainstream acceptance".



Thursday, 26 September 2019


Blekbala Mujik were formed in 1986 in the rural community of Barunga (Gulin-Gulin) in central Arnhem Land. The founding member, Peter Miller on vocals and guitar, lives in Alice Springs, and was a member of the Northern Land Council. The band sings partly in English and partly in Kriol, which is a creole language based on English and Australian Aboriginal languages. Blekbala mujik means "blackfella music" in Kriol.

The group signed with Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) and, in 1990, they issued two albums, 'Nitmiluk' and 'Midnait Mujik'. In 1993 they issued a seven-track cassette, 'Come-N-Dance'. In May 1996 they followed with their eponymous full length album, 'Blekbala Mujik', via CAAMA and distributed by Shock Records, which Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described as "a mix of catchy Aboriginal pop, reggae, techno-tribal dance material and bright funky rock." At the ARIA Music Awards of 1996 in September, Blekbala Mujik was nominated for Best Indigenous Release. In June 1997 they issued "Walking Together" as a CD single. In February 2013 they issued a new album, 'We Are One', and followed with a compilation, live album, 'Greatest Hits Live', in September 2014.


Peter Miller (guitar, vocals),  Lazarus Murray (a.k.a. Gulindirriy) (didgeridoo, vocals),
Lachlan Lawrence (bass,vocals),  Johnny Blanasi (guitar),  Michael Havir (keyboards, accordion),
Dwayne Billy (clapsticks),  Jason Fuller (clapsticks, vocals, dancing),  Allen Murphy (drums),
Sammy Bush (vocals),  Ngarritj Ducky (clapsticks)



Monday, 9 September 2019


The Ray Price Quartet was formed in the early 60s in Sydney. Ray Price had been a member of The Port Jackson Jazz Band since 1947. Besides his work as a jazz musician he was also a member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra during the 50s as a double bass player. Many famous names passed through the ranks of the band including Col Nolan, Dick Hughes and John Sangster. Signed to CBS their first release was the Sidney Bechet composed ''A Moi De Payer'' which made the top twenty on the charts in 1962. The quartet recorded three albums, 'One Day I Met An African', 'Puff And Others' and 'The History Of Jazz'. In 1965 they charted with the folk song ''Puff The Magic Dragon''. The quartet had a residency at the Adams Hotel's Tavern of the Seas on George Street Sydney for many years. Price died of pseudomonas pneumonia on 5 August 1990 at Redcliffe, Brisbane, and was cremated in Sydney.


Ray Price (banjo), Johnny MacCarthy (clarinet), Dick Hughes (piano), John Costelloe (trombone)
Wally Wickham (bass), Pat Rose (clarinet/sax), John Sangster (trumpet), Col Nolan (keyboards)

A Moi De Payer

28 JUL '62

Puff (The Magic Dragon)

27 FEB '65

Sunday, 1 September 2019


Adelaide band Young Modern was one of Australia’s pioneering power pop/new wave bands of the late 1970s.Vocalist John Dowler formed the band in 1977 (taking their name from a 1960s Adelaide teen magazine) when his previous band, Spare Change, broke up. Combining the musical stylings of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Byrds and The Who, the band decked themselves out in sharp suits, white shirts and black ties, while Dowler sported a superb Brian Jones haircut.

In May 1978 Young Modern recorded an album worth of demo’s before recording a debut single in Melbourne.  ''She’s Got The Money b/w Automatic'' was released in October 1978, but sounded lightweight and lacked the punch of the band’s live shows. It nevertheless remains an Aussie cult classic. The band relocated to Sydney – with Mark Carroll replacing original guitarist Michael Jones – but failed to make an impact on a live music scene still besotted by Radio Birdman, in an environment where Cold Chisel, The Radiators and The Angels reigned supreme.

Young Modern called it a day in July 1979. Dowler moved to Melbourne and formed The Zimmermen in 1983, releasing the killer single ''Don’t Go To Sydney'', no doubt based on first hand experience. Vic Yates and Mark Kohler attempted to keep Young Modern together with new player Peter Laverick (vocals), Peter Hilton (guitar) and Mike Donovan (bass), but the line-up was short-lived. Andrew Richards joined Sydney band The Singles (who released ''That’s Just Someone That I Knew'' in February 1981), while Yates, Kohler and Donovan returned to Adelaide.

The 1978 Young Modern demos were combined with both sides of their single in December 1979 and released as an album entitled 'Play Faster'. In 2006, Dowler reunited Young Modern to cut a new album, 'How Insensitive', which was released the following year; the band went on tour after the album's release, and another reunion jaunt in 2010 resulted in a live album, 'Live at the Grace Emily'.


John Dowler (vocals), Vic Yates (guitar), Michael Jones (guitar), Andrew Richards (bass),
Mark Kohler (drums), Mark Carroll (guitar), Peter Laverick (vocals), Peter Hilton (guitar)
Mike Donovan (bass)



Sunday, 11 August 2019


The Indelible Murtceps were formed in Melbourne in October 1971 by Mike Rudd as a side project for his main group, Spectrum, using the same roster for both bands. The line-up was Ray Arnott on drums, Lee Neale on keyboards, Bill Putt on bass guitar and Rudd on lead guitar, lead vocals and harmonica. With the advent of pub rock Spectrum's lengthy and complex material was precluding bookings on the lucrative local dance and pub circuit. Spectrum were performing in a full concert setting, using a large PA system and light show, sometimes augmented by a dance, performance troupe, The Tribe. They commonly appeared at larger venues, like the T.F. Much Ballroom, and at rock festivals.

Rudd created a performance set of simpler, dance-pop tunes, with a reduced stage set-up, for use by Indelible Murtceps, allowing Spectrum to continue its progressive course while supplementing members' incomes with the more frequent Murtceps gigs. The name 'murtceps' is 'spectrum' written backwards. According to music journalist, Ed Nimmervoll, the Murtceps were "a stripped-back version that could play anywhere and often." Susan Moore of The Australian Women's Weekly recalled that Spectrum's "music was often regarded as 'progressive' and more for listening purposes, which didn't please dance audiences too much. So the band developed an alter ego which they called the Indelible Murtceps, who turned up when a dance band was required." 

In January 1972 they appeared at the inaugural Sunbury Pop Festival, with Spectrum providing a separate set. Three live tracks by the Indelible Murtceps, "We are Indelible", "Be My Honey" and "But that's Alright", were issued on a various artists live album of the concert, Sunbury. They were one of three bands featured on a short film, Australian Colour Diary, No.43: 3 Directions in Australian (1972), directed by Peter Weir, which provided "a sample of three trends in recent Australian pop music".

During that year Murtceps recorded their debut album, 'Warts Up Your Nose', at Armstrong's Studios with Howard Gable as producer; it was released on 20 January 1973. Most tracks have satirical, scatological and sexual themes. According to Duncan Kimball of Milesago website the centrepiece is Rudd's epic 13-minute ode to marijuana, "Some Good Advice". The album was packaged in a brown cardboard cover, intended to evoke the plain brown wrapper traditionally associated with pornographic publications. By May 1972 they had released their debut single, "Esmeralda", which (like the song "Rene" by The Small Faces) was a light hearted ode to a prostitute. The single version was different from the album version. It peaked at No. 36 on the Go-Set National Top 40.

In September 1972 Neale had a nervous breakdown and left, he was replaced by John Mills on keyboards. Neale left the music industry. The Indelible Murtceps released a second single, "Indelible Shuffle", from the album in June. Ahead of the single, in March, Arnott announced he was leaving both groups and Rudd decided they would play their final gig at the Dallas Brooks Hall on 15 April 1973. The performance appeared on the double live album, 'Terminal Buzz' (December 1973), which was credited to both Indelible Murtceps and Spectrum. Mills, Putt and Rudd co-founded a new group, Ariel; while Arnott joined Mighty Kong. Bill Putt died in 2013. Lee Neale died in 2019.


Mike Rudd (vocals/guitar/harmonica), Bill Putt (bass), Ray Arnott (drums), Lee Neale (keyboards)
John Mills (keyboards)


20 MAR '72




Monday, 22 July 2019


Fat Daddy were formed in the mid 70s in Melbourne. The band were big favourite on the Sharpie scene. They were known to wear face masks for live performances: ''We used to wear these grotesque masks. We were anti the whole pretty boy/satin/Sherbet thing. We wanted to be the ugliest band in the world..."(Max Vella). The band signed to the Bootleg label and released two singles in 1976. The first single ''Roll Daddy Roll'' was a no-nonsense-straight-ahead boogie piece followed by the rockin' ''Fat Funky Rock n Roll''.  The band later merged with Ken Murdoch (Ex Taste; also on the Bootleg label) and became Texas. Texas were pretty big on the live scene from 1976-79 and released a few singles and an album in a rockin’ bluesy ZZ Top style.


Max Vella (guitar/vocals/harp), Mick Stillo (bass), Carl Stanley (drums), Tony Catz (guitar/vocals)

Tuesday, 2 July 2019


One of the first ska bands formed in Australia, No Nonsense came out of Melbourne. No Nonsense emerged from an early ska band called Dicky Moron and the Rude Boys, which had a name change from Dicky Moron and the Four Skins. Both bands were fronted by lead singer Richard Bruce. It is debated whether other Melbourne ska band, Strange Tenants or No Nonsense was formed first, but either way it seems there was only a couple of months between both bands forming in 1981. After a year and a half as purely a live band, No Nonsense ventured into the studio, emerging with their first EP, 'Utter Nonsense'. The EP (although admittedly of poor quality) sold over six thousand copies on the Man Made label which then gained the attention of EMI records which then took over the contract and re released the EP to a wider audience then selling another seven thousand copies. Eventually giving up their day jobs and turning pro, the band released their first proper EP, 'A Round Tuit' which was produced by Little River Band guitarist David Briggs. The EP featured two of their own compositions and a version of the theme from the 1970s Hawaii Five-O TV series. 

No Nonsense played mainly at venues of the early 1980s Melbourne ska scene like the Aberdeen Hotel (an old hotel in Fitzroy later to be renamed the Loaded Dog). They toured Sydney playing at The Manzill Room, Mona Vale Hotel, Sydney Trade Union Club, The San Miguel (with The Allniters) plus other NSW venues. The band also featured at the 3XY Rocktober concert in 1984 playing on the same bill as Skyhooks, Uncanny X-Men, Australian Crawl and Richard Clapton. No Nonsense would eventually release a single "Simple Needs" in 1985 which would achieve little, and the band would then undergo further line up changes, culminating in their eventual demise in 1986.


Richard Bruce (vocals), Rod McQueen (guitar), Morris Argiro (bass), Peter Bonett (keyboards),
Tony Walton (sax), Graham Sullivan (sax), Tommy McEwan (drums), 
Laurence Maddy (keyboards, trombone)

Sunday, 23 June 2019


Rick and The Bad Boys formed in the mid 60s comprising of bass player Peter Snerling, drummer Barry ‘Butch’ McClause, guitarists Bob Gunn and Kim Humphreys plus singer Rick Suey. Initially the band was called The Loose Ends and played songs by the Stones, Easybeats, Missing Links, Kinks, The Who, Pretty Things and the odd obligatory Beatles tune. The band beat The Precious Few (later to gain fame as Heart & Soul) in a play off for a residency at the Turramurra Teen Tavern on Sydney’s upper North Shore.

After the Turramaurra Teen Tavern residency finished the band opened their own venue The Folk Nest, an empty store room above a Hornsby coffee shop. The Folk Nest opened Saturday nights from 7 through to 10 pm. About four months later the cafe’s lease was not renewed and the Folk Nest became just another forgotten by-line in the history pages of North Shore Rock & Roll. The band continued to run their own dances at The Chatswood Town Hall and occasionally played The Lindfield Laundromat and The Beach House, Surf City’s sister venue in Elizabeth Street in the Sydney CBD.

Nat Kipner in conjunction with Ossie Bryne (St Clair studio operator) signed them to their newly formed Down Under record label. They immediately insisted on a spruced up image, a cleaner pop sound and a name change to Rick & The Bad Boys, all their other signings receiving rebranding of a similar nature featuring their lead vocalist’s name out front.. Gino and The Affair, Kevin Bible & The Book, Steve & The Board, Derek’s, Accent, and the list went on.

The band recorded ''Bad Boy/Listen'' in 1966 and it went nowhere; however, the record is now much sought after collectable. In 2007 a copy sold on E Bay for $106.00! Rick & The Bad Boys managed one TV appearance, a pre recorded episode of the ABC’s national 6pm pop culture program Be Our Guess but the episode never went to air.


Peter Snerling (bass), Barry ‘Butch’ McClause (drums), Bob Gunn (guitar), Kim Humphreys (guitar), Rick Suey (vocals), Peter Jaeggle (drums)



Friday, 14 June 2019


Johnny Nicol is a jazz singer/guitarist born in Ayr, Queensland. He began his career in 1958 as a member of The Maori Troubadours and recorded an album, 'A Little This, A Little That', with them. He then went on to perform in on the Gold Coast then in Italy, Las Vegas and throughout England, then on a cruise ship between New York and the Bahamas. Later he proved very popular in South-east Asia. He returned to Australia in 1969, and in 1972 hosted an ABC Radio music show in which he introduced emerging talent Renee Geyer to a wider audience.

He featured in a band with Col Nolan called The Col Nolan Soul Syndicate, which released the 'Live at Jason's' LP in 1973. Following that he released a solo album, 'Touch of Blue' (Phonogram, 1975). Nicol has since released four more solo albums, two CDs and a DVD.

With Col Nolan he opened the Australian tours for such greats as Benny Goodman's last tour and also the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ). Johnny also performed on the American bases throughout Southeast Asia in the early-1970s. Jazz legends Don Burrows and Bob Barnard both name Nicol as their favourite Australian jazz singer. Johnny Nicol is still performing along the eastern seaboard of Australia. He is now based in the Cairns area. 

Saturday, 8 June 2019


June and Lew Smith migrated to Australia in 1961 making their home in Melbourne. Their decision to migrate was assisted by an English musician friend, Eric Jupp, who in the late 1960s hosted a popular music program on national ABC TV.  In Melbourne with Lew working as a musician and librarian, June had a full-time vocation looking after the four children. However she still found time to join a pop band of the day called Division Five with a three-night-per-week residency and a repertoire including tunes by Janis Joplin and Creedence Clearwater Revival. With Lew later joining the band it was renamed Maximum Load and enjoyed a three night-per-week residency at the Beaumaris Hotel that was to last three years.

Signed to the W&G label the band released its first single in 1971 ''Riding Through the Dandenong Ranges'' which surprisingly charted locally. The follow up singles didn't fare so well. In 1973 they released their self titled album 'Maximum Load'. The LP highlighted June Smith's powerhouse vocals and the band's versatility in jazz and other genre's, which was a far cry from the two novelty singles that they released previously. In 1973 Maximum Load disbanded when June and Lew moved to Perth. June Smith died in 2016 a much loved artist of the Western Australian jazz scene.


June Smith (vocals/trumpet) Lew Smith (flute/sax/clarinet/vocals) John Grunden (bass)
David Evans (keyboards) Ken Vatcher (drums) Peter McKay (keyboards)

Riding Through the Dandenong Ranges

6 MAR '72