Bootless and Unhorsed

Tamworth 2011

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.

Bootless and Unhorsed

The year that iswas

Winter has not been a feature of my life for some years, in fact almost since the inception of The Re-mains we’ve found cause to be largely absent from it, whether in the Northern Territory, far north Queensland or Canada. But this year, as the band takes a hiatus from touring and I’m at Uni, here we are. Freezing….. We’ve launched the new album, Inland Sea in Maitland, Sydney, Yamba and Federal and next weekend, in Lennox Head and Nymboida. It’s selling well and getting radio play at various places….. The band is an eclectic beast, as always. With Shaun in semi-retirement, Tom Jones wintering in Darwin, Al Fisk tinkering in Sydney, CP (Christian Pyle) reprising his role on guitar and Darren Bridge the new bassplayer, it’s all new sets and relocating the sound….. Last weekend we played Lennox Head, Nymboida and a party near Alstonville. The band was in furious form and still recovering. Saturday night I’m playing solo at the Tatts in Lismore, opening for a band called the Little Stevies who are apparently making waves in the folk scene. In August I’m going south, to Goologong, where my mate Balfe aka Mush aka Craig Lawler (see his review of Inland Sea) and his beau, Josephine live, to rendezvous with the Lonely Horse Band for a week of songwriting on the ever contentious and lively issue of bushrangers, of which there are the ghosts and legacy of plenty in that region. August sees The Thoughtful Hussars return into action on the 26th, charging like the Light Brigade into the Gollan Hotel, where, supported by Captain Freedom, we’ll be playing a few new tunes and anticipating Dylanfest with a few run-throughs. On the 28th, The Re-Mains play in Brissie at The Old Museum, a venerable venue managed by the manager of Bang Bang Boss Kelly, a banjo-swinging mob from that part of the world who are launching an album of their own. …. In September a long awaited return to Darwin looks likely, with the return of Leigh Ivin to the band. We’ve been in discussion for a while about the possibility of recording some of the vast back catalogue of unrecorded country rock and roll classics (well, they’re classic to us – Country Rock and Roll is Number One, Coalface Annie, Sharks, Return to Lizard County, Beef Week Queen, Same Road … the list is exhaustive), and playing some reunion shows, culminating in a short stint at Tamworth Country Music Festival next year. A Darwin/NT run will be the first of these – looks like an interesting time. In October I’m playing Dylanfest at Coraki Hotel. Part of Darren Bridge’s growing musical empire, Dylanfest will be a celebration of the works of the great man (Dylan, not Bridge) by a variety of local and visiting outfits including Mick Hart, the man whose constant circumnavigations of the globe resemble those of Bob himself – and Hart did in fact support Dylan on one European leg of his never-ending tour a few years back….. The band I’m putting together for this festival will be known as The Antiquarian Filibuster and will feature the aforesaid impresario Darren Bridge on bass guitar, and on loan from Invisible Friend, Brendan Drinkwater on drums and Michael ‘Whitey’ White on electric piano and organ. …. I’m stoked to have this all-star lineup, as I’m really quite chuffed to be able to play a full set of Dylan songs at a proper festival. Dylan was personally responsible for lodging in my head the notion that I too, could write surreal and stream-of-consciousness narratives, whack a guitar and tootle on a harmonica and get paid for it and I’m returning the favour with renditions of Idiot Wind, Tangled Up in Blue, Jokerman, Sweetheart Like You, Just Like A Woman, I Want You, Lay Lady Lay, Mozambique, Oh Sister and possibly Series of Dreams….. This will be part of a busy month in which I am also supposed to be completing my thesis for Honours in Media. At the start of the month I’m playing Gibbostock in Nundle, a celebration of another great and strange man, Gibbo. That’s on the 2nd. These events are usually recreations of Nymagee Outback Music Festival in miniature, only with freezing cold instead of blinding heat as the central theme….. ON the 24th The Re-Mains, or a version of the band, will be playing Big Sunday at Tyalgum, in cahoots with Gleny Rae Virus and Den Hanrahan. These shows will also possibly feature the return of Leigh Ivin….. In November we’re on the bill of a small festival in Nymboida, again at the Coaching Station, owned by one Russell Crowe. His Museum of Interesting Things, on the site of this venerable building, holds a number of interesting props from such movies as Gladiator, Romper Stomper and Robin Hood, not to mention some of Johnny Cash’s gold records….. Later that month we’re also part of a bill at a big charity do at Lismore Turf Club at which The Hoodoo Gurus are allegedly also appearing. Stay tuned for more CRnR action.

Northern Star Column

Post-Nymagee Column, 3/11/09

This weekend just gone was Nymagee Outback Music Festival, the annual gathering of the country rock and roll tribes from all over Australia. In the geographical centre of New South Wales, a little to the left of Condoblin, little to the right of Cobar, but nowhere near as back as Bourke.
You had the Junes from Melbourne, theGibbo and the Fugs from Tamworth, Neil Murray from the Endless Road, Den Hanrahan from Canberra, Leah Flanagan from Darwin, Jackie Marshall from Brisbane, Liz Stringer, Dangles the Air Guitar Champion Apparent and of course Hully and Tonchi, Directors from Bourke, spearheading the Lonely Horse Band.
The Re-Mains came from Coonamble, where we’d played the night before, myself in the red acrobatic plane built by Steve Reynolds in the States and flown over specially. Executing tight rolls over the tiny, one-pub and a couple-of-shacks township, boasting more burrs per square inch than a Lightning Ridge wether. And there was The Australian Beef Week Show, a living tribute to country rock and roll.

The line-up was tremendous, the performances ebullient and dramatic – the punters flocked from as far afield as Goonengerry and Wilcannia. We made it home Monday, weary, but revitalized by the family reunion.

Next Saturday night I’m playing two songs solo at the fabulous Blue Moon Cabaret in Nimbin. Another colourful, dramatic occasion that the world needs more of.