Poolside at a Brisbane hotel in balmy spring sunshine is not, perhaps, where you’d expect to find Gareth Liddiard, the poet of existential wrath and melancholy. But encouraging daft stereotypes was never his forte, either, and the frontman of The Drones is having a welcome day off. Continue reading “Gareth Liddiard interview, published in Reverb”
Backstage at a Tamworth Country Music Festival show in 2005, Jimmy Barnes is shrieking like a cranky cockatoo. He grins apologetically and remarks, “It’s my warm-up routine,” before joining fellow vintage rockers Normie Rowe and Ross Wilson onstage.
That unmistakeable scream is the first thing that jumps out on Cold Chisel’s first album in 14 years, as Barnesy warms up on No Plans.
Spraying f-bombs over a blues jam circa Rising Sun, Barnes comes out swinging while the band flexes its honky-tonk.
I worked with Vince in London in the 1990s, with TNT and SX magazines. He had his own office into which he’d invite me to chat, asking me what I knew about certain bands, the gossip on various mutual acquaintances back home. He was always working, getting the scoop for the columns he wrote for various publications and websites. He was a pioneer as far as web-journalism goes, he caught onto its potential early and I believe he had the first ever rock-journalism blog.
We’d often smoke a joint after work and he’d regale us with tales of mayhem from the rock’n’roll days – he and Bon escaping from truckdrivers who wanted to bash them for their long hair and hippy clothes, the crazy days of Barnesy’s addictions and Vince’s attempts to keep it secret. You’d forget sometimes that this was a guy who had been right in the pocket – he’d sung with Bon Scott in the Valentines, introduced Bon to AC/DC, managed Chisel and Divinyls. Occasionally he’d let slip a little of the influence and respect that he’d earned.
One time he asked me did I know anyone that played didgeridoo. I said I could play. He asked did I want a gig. I said yes. Next thing I’m being billed as Diamond Daley, didge player to the stars, recorded with REM and Midnight Oil, and I’m being paid 600 quid to play didge for ten minutes to a mob of scientists at Oxford University. Such was the influence and old-fashioned showbiz panache of this impresario, rock icon, AIDs activist, high-end businessman, respected journalist and good mate. Everyone on those magazines loved Vince, and on the few occasions I saw him around the Northern Rivers he was always the same energetic, enthused ideas man, on the scent of a new project. Seeya mate.
Ed Kuepper claims he’s ‘difficult to work with’. But that hasn’t stopped him from founding the Saints, the Laughing Clowns, recording dozens of influential albums and recently, joining the Bad Seeds, possibly the most important band of the past 20 years, as guitar-slinger. On the eve of a national tour with Laughing Clowns drummer Mark Dawson, he reflects on the convoluted artistic process that has brought him to this point.
“I take what I do fairly seriously, I know that can be a kind of , a pain in the arse to people if they’re just trying to have a great time. Hopefully I don’t wallow in too much artistic angst while I’m onstage.
Salut. The Re-Mains return to the fray at Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2011 with four shows at the Courthouse Hotel, Peel Street, from Jan 19-22nd – all shows late – 11pm till stumps. The big news is the line-up – the return of Leigh ‘Keepin’ It Steel’ Ivin on pedal steel and electric guitars in cahoots with Uncle Burnin’ Love on banjo and electrics. While Leigh has been back on the road with the band, playing Darwin and Melbourne shows, this is the first time he’s reunited with UBL since 2006. Expect lots of Ronny and Keef-style lick trading, and I ain’t talking about the after-party (ies).
On bass, Tom Jones, returning for a one-off reprise as his role as the drunkest-man-standing-and-still-playing-bass from his pop-star status as Leah Flanagan’s double-bassist in Darwin. On drums, ‘Frisky’ Fisk of Marrickville, demonstrating why Mohawks are still punk, despite their tawdry immersion in the pages of Vogue. And, inevitably, yours truly, Dick Maley as Folksinger, despite rumours to the contrary that the job had been contracted out to Gibbo.
This does need some explaining, as different line-ups of the Re-Mains franchise have been circulating around Australia and Canada, with Dick Maley being the only common denominator, furiously trying to keep track of who remembers which songs so as not to launch into, say, ‘Same Road’, only to meet with confused silence from the uncomprehending mob on stage. Hence Buckets Drinkwater, CP Pyledriver and Sideshow Bridge, who also feature in contemporary line-ups will not be at Tamworth but will, however, be playing at the Lennox Point Hotel on Saturday January 29th.
The band will also be recording a new album during the Tamworth sojourn, the long-awaited ‘Country Rock And (that’s how we) Roll’. This will feature many of the live staples as yet unreleased, the likes of ‘Country Rock and Roll is Number One’, ‘Country Rock and Roll is My Hollywood’ and ‘Country Rock and Soul, the Hank Denfield Waltz’.
In further news, the band may well return to Canada in 2011, and will be looking forward to seeing old mates the Red Hot Poker Dots, back from the US, at the festival, as well as Den Hanrahan, Gibbo, Swaino, Virus, Mick Seigers, the Blues Cowboys and the Dirt Radio Band.
Sallyanne Ryan, who made the fabulous doco about the Nymagee Outback Music Festival, ‘A Day in the Dirt’, which has been showing and winning film prizes across the globe (Google it), will also be on hand, filming footage for her epic biopic about The Re-Mains. So get on down to Tamworth, people, for the latest instalment in the continuing saga of Country Rock And Roll. New album Inland Sea will be on sale, as well as a box set of all CDs, subscriptions to our website-only downloads of unreleased live track recordings and exclusive Meat Tray stubby holders.
Incidentally, the band has now been going for nine years, despite more line-up changes than the Melbourne Hit Men’s Association, near-death experiences, the Curse, and too much beer. And the CMF show on the 19th will be the band’s 806th show, since auspicious beginnings at the Winsome Hotel, Lismore on the 28th of February, 2002.