It would be easily 40 years since I last saw Sunnyboys. This is the first chance I have had to catch them on their farewell tour, and given this is their second last show ever, I wasn’t about to miss it.
The audience is a local who’s who tonight, as I find the perfect early photo spot in front of a huge industrial fan, side of stage. Sorted!
Murray Cook and his Soul Movers kick off with their retro party sounds.
It’s all about the colour and the sparkle. We cop some fine (Wiggles-reminiscent) watusi moves from Muz, as he downs the guitar and takes up his spot centre-stage…a bit of preaching to his flock…hands in the air kinda stuff…
Bit o’ soul. Bit o’ pop. Bit o’ gospel.
The crowd grows by the minute, as the sun fades over Brisbane Water.
Where do I start?
Faaark. Tight. Perfect. Rock solid.
Sure, Jeremy is a bit war torn from the tour, but he is spectacular in every sense tonight.
1983 is here again…Love to Rule…My Only Friend and Trouble Brain opening proceedings, and it aint long before the crowd singalongs are in full swing.
To The Bone, Guts of Iron, What You Need and Happy Man lift that almost tactile crowd ecstasy even higher…. songs that not only stand the test of time, but take on their own new light as they showcase and highlight the career of an indie band that has always delivered live, and will continue to warm the cockles of all those who fall under the Sunnyboys’ spell.
Pete takes on vox on the more brooding airs of The Stooge. Retro keys courtesy of Alistair Spence. Jeremy as proficient as ever on the guitar.
Gone is true Sunnyboys wizardry. Pop. Rock. Melodies a plenty.
You Need a Friend, is once again true trademark Sunnyboys. Timeless in every sense, after more than 40 years, and fresh as a frangi on his occasion.
Bil Bilson throws in a lidl drum solo for the intro to Show Me Some Discipline. Not my fave song back in the day, but tonight it takes on a life of its own …sharp as shit. Crowd clap along and all!
It’s all in all a two-way love fest, wrapped in lush melodies, catchy hooks, sweet memories and a swag of instantly infectious songs from yesteryear. 500 plus pigs in mud!
Bergman is loving every minute…his son and grandson watching from the pit..Pete effortlessly smashing that bottom end right of stage…Bil keeping the beat insanely solid…and Jeremy just pulling the proverbial out of his hat.
Beautifully apt in every sense.
The killer, surf-etched power popestry of I’m Shakin winds up the set perfectly, ahead of the initial encore trio of Tomorrow Will Be Fine (those harmonies), Aint That a Shame and the one that defines just how great a song they can construct-Alone With You. Just wow!
Second encore is saved for the sheer splendour of The Seeker, as Jeremy puts down the guitar and gives it his all vocally.
Hands in the air as a salute to the crowd. He’s loving every moment. And so he should.
Electric. Dynamic. Engaging. Perfect.
Thanks for the music!
What was once the old Basement, hasn’t really changed its stripes since I was last there in the 80s.
Today’s capacity crowd for the one-off show from CJ Ramone opens up with Blake Cateris doing a solo thing.
A few covers before throwing in some punchy originals. And then back to the covers. Social Distortion’s Don’t Take Me For Granted, amongst the mix.
Songs about ADHD and tattoos…
Sometimes strong vox and a guitar are all ya really need!
Hot. Sweaty. Cramped. Just the way I so fondly remember it.
Chinese Burns Unit are a whole other beast..
Punched, dirty gutter punk.
Brutal bottom end...brutal top end… hell, just brutal all round.
Short sharp rocks comin at ya at breakneck speed.
Ghosts and cinnamon toast. The perfect intro to CJ.
It’s a full house…plenty of familiar faces…and a shitload more punters than his last tour.
An all-star cast, featuring Pinch (Damned) and Johnny Reiss (Rocket From The Crypt)… complete with Ramones-esque style wigs.
Straight into it, with Judy is a Punk and Sheena is a Punk Rocker, CJ keeps a watchful eye on his sweaty co-horts.
18 songs in all, including most of the classics…Rockaway Beach, Rock n Roll High School…I Wanna Be Sedated…I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
( “we’re gonna slow it down a bit… that’s something the Ramones never did” quips CJ).
Rounding off with R.A.M.O.N.E.S, and the obligatory thank yous, before the timeless punk rock classic that is Blitzkrieg Bop signs off superbly. Pinch missed a chord but who gives a shit at this stage of proceedings.
He’s having a ball, we’re all having a ball…and the smiles are wider than Donald Trump’s proposed Mexican wall.
One killer Ramones set.
No KKK this time around, but hey, what a gig!
Fkn loud. Fkn crowded. Fkn hot and sweaty. But so much fkn fun.
Chinese Burns Unit. Pic: Mark Fraser
Blake Cateris. Pic: Mark Fraser
Traffic was crap coming up from the coast, so unfortunately I missed Caligula.
Local heroes Porkers are 35 years in the making and still as pig-arse irreverent as ever. A blend of old and new, their sets are always a shitload of fun.
Today is no different.
Brass riddled, raw-as-fuck ragged ska that’s as funny as it is infectious.
Pete Porker controls the mayhem beautifully, and the Tshirt says it all Porkers…Australian for beer!
Tumbleweed have never been on my fave list, but the beauty of live music is that it can change your stance in an instant. And so it was, with today’s offering of true Tumbleweed hairy stoner rock, that I have to say, is as infectious as all fuck.
Guitars ablaze. Tight razored riffs that can peel paint.
Frenzal Rhomb are notching up 30 years of snot-arsed raggedy punkesque gutter rock.
Today that notch goes a rung higher.
Kicking off with a piss-take karaoke rendition of We Built This City, they wasted no time turning up the dial.
Jay is as vitriolic as ever. Menacingly treading the stage with not a fuck to give!
It’s true Frenzal Rhomb from the outset. Angry energy…always with a message. Copping a drenching from the tarp overload above, sees Pete Porker run on to help the mop up. Haha.
Jay calls for the smoke machine to “fuck off… we’re not the Foo Fighters!”
Never Had so Much Fun is the perfect tail-end punch in the face…a suitable finale.
Ratcat were the 80s darlings of indie pop, and have had a few line-up changes over the years.
Simon Day has long been the anchor and Nic Dalton (brandishing a Proton Energy Pills Tshirt) holds the bottom end duties on this occasion.
A bluesy instrumental intro…into the perfect pop bounce of Go Go…and we’re away. One cool jam!
Some false starts…some confusion…but ultimately it’s that true Ratcat popervescence that takes us right back to late 80s Sydney. Hell, I even went and bought the Tee.
Baby Baby’s swirling, snarled guitar…and the obligatory crowd singalong.
Tingles…Skin…the classic that is Don’t Go Now. It’s a Greatest Hit list, and it’s perfect pop fun all round.
Tribal rhythms…menacing punches that kick the bejesus out of all in its way. That’s COG!
Dark eccentric soundscapes. A riveting aural assault.
The facials. The brutality. The lure. As the Tshirt says… in Cog we trust!
And then there’s the enigma that is Spiderbait. Always kickarse live. Always surprising.
Kram is on fire on this occasion. And despite losing his house in the floods, he’s running on high octane.
Janet taking on the vox for You’re Fucking Awesome. Just brill. Crowd goes nutso…
Old Man Sam…“Drinking beer…drinking beer without a care”…one cowpoke frenzied crowd pleaser.
Kram perpetually working the crowd into a frenzy.
Janet swaps bass duties for drums for Buy Me A Pony and pulls it off nicely.
A new record on the way sounds in the key of J! All songs penned by Janet!
Singalongs don’t come any louder than the one that accompanied the schizoid popestry of Calypso. Always a winner!
Black Betty is as raw and rugged and as tight as ever. An epic extended version to take us home.
As the sun sets, Lismore’s fave sons, Grinspoon hit front and centre. It’s been over twenty years since I last caught them…at the winter Xtreme Games in Jindie.
Faaark! Commanding from the outset.
Jamieson putting on those campish moves, as he struts around the stage in striped trousers and suit jacket … he owns it...and the whole thing's a complete rock show … stadium style!
Dead Cat Three Times (DCX3) still as enthralling as ever.
Just Ace…bouncing off the walls. Hard Act To Follow. No Reason. Champion. The moodier Chemical Heart.
All the hits. All the energy. All the attitude.
Dark. Driving. Deserving.
Well done Scene and Heard. Now somebody please point me in the direction of home...and a full strength beer!.
Mark Fraser-redbackrock.com ,
Spiderbait. Pic: Mark Fraser
COG. Pic: Mark Fraser
Checked into my less than salubrious three star accommodation and scored a ride (thanks Tony) to the showground.
Tatts were well underway when we arrived.
Electric Mary apparently pulled out just prior to the show, so Rose Tattoo scored the opening honours.
I missed the start of their set, but what I caught was typical Tatts rough, raw, ravaged, classic Oz pub rock.
Solid as all shit. Angry on fire and in a menacingly jovial mood.
It’s a rock n roll smorgasbord of classic denim and leather soaked rock, as forty years of hits pump out across that muddy paddock.
We can’t Be Beaten (released in 1982!!), the brutal Scarred For Life…and the timeless classic that is Bad Boy For Love.
A tail-end epic rendition of Rock N Roll Outlaw and the killer Nice Boys round off a memorable Tatts foray. Timeless!
Like cheese and chalk, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club launch into their more indie, super cool three-way edge.
Quirky stances, balaclavas and one thump-arse bottom end. A dirgey ramshackle, incessant wall of noise…guitar held high…guitar held low.
It’s a fuzzed, moody, darkened edge that seems to go over the heads of the Tatts fans yelling for more Angers. For these ears…enthralling.
Now anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I have never been a fan of Stone Temple Pilots.
That said, and this being my first live encounter with their newish frontman Jeff Gutt, I have to say, I was pretty impressed. Gutt is the consumate frontman and possesses an inherent charm, confidence and charisma…reminiscent of Killers’ vocalist Brandon Flowers.
Dean DeLeo delivers a similar confident panache on guitar, oozing that seasoned rock-star aura.
Musically, they are pretty rock solid, and then some. A true rock show in every sense.
Faaarrrk, what a powerful beast.
Electric. Hectic. Ear bleedingly good.
It’s been a long time between drinks, but with a new album doing the rounds, and head honcho Gavin Rossdale still as engaging as ever, they completely owned today!
Blood river…enthralling. Swallowed…beautifully razed.
And Glycerine…GR solo with guitar fuzzed to infinity. Someone mentioned he was going through the motions, and maybe so, but it’s still one of my fave Bush tracks, and it’s good to hear it in all its stripped back bare entirety…live.
Cheap Trick. Age shall not weary them!
I wasn’t impressed when I saw Cheap Trick way back in 1980. Rick Nielson was more focused on his guitar theatrics…spinning and throwing his plethora of guitars around. The music took second place. And basically, it bored the shit out of me!
Today, it’s all about the music…Rick does what he does best, and that’s play guitar.
Robin Zander struts out in his white suit with spangled pants and Captain hat.
Tom Petersson wields the bass axe. Rick’s son Daxx now sits where Bun E Carlos once waved the sticks…and I believe Zanders’ son is the second guitarist.
It’s a combo that works and when they launch into Dream Police second song in, I’m sold.
There’s still plenty of theatre, but it knows its place beside the music.
Rick throws picks into the crowd. Robin owns every inch of the stage ( his vox still reaching those peaks) , and it’s a cavalcade of hits that unfolds perfectly.
If You Want My Love…still as fresh as the day it was released. Compulsory crowd singalong.
The Flame…an epic love ballad. Some nice acoustic guitar.
I Want You To Want Me. Jukebox fave that further incites the dedicated.
And saving the best till last, the all-time classic that is Surrender, just seals the deal, as it creeps, builds and explodes into that infectious chorus.
The penultimate timeless classic. Feelgood plus, the whole set through.
Docs are good and mud spattered, back is fucked, camera well loaded....and I'm hangin' for a full strength beer.
BUSH: Pic Mark Fraser
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Pic Mark Fraser
Still only just coming down from the high that was the first birthday weekend of Link and Pin
Body forgets what sleep is…liver is screaming…and my ears are ringing insanely.
Hard ons AKA Clandestine Sausage completely blew all our minds on Friday night…a sledge hammer to the brain, moving at freight train speed. The secret ahow was the worst kept secret on the Coast.
Breaking in their new front man Tim Rogers, this was a milestone event… being their first ever show with the new lineup.
Any doubts I had, were completely annihilated thirty seconds in, as Rogers writhed and wriggled and completely owned that Gabba Gabba Hey stage. The ultimate frontman!
A presence that just demands your attention, backed by one of the finest, loudest punk bands in the country.
I had the privilege to release the Hardons first EP, and now the privilege of hosting the first outing of the new chapter in HO history.
I’m still smiling and shaking my head in disbelief at what was one of my finest Hardons encounters in over 35 years.
Perfectly bludgeoned pop punk rock that is as honest as the day is long. Songs from the new album. Plenty of classics...and an encore that just kept on keeping on.
Thank you Raymond Ahn Peter Black Murray and Tim Rogers for not only helping myself, Adam Brzozowski and Milly D'Alton celebrate our first twelve months as a venue, but also for one of the most exciting live gigs I and everyone there that night have ever experienced. I shit you not.
History was made in The Woy tonight.
And it would be remiss of me not to mention Jack Nolan Music who opened the night’s proceedings with a beautifully sparse, gentle genre of sounds that wreaked true professionalism.
Cheese and chalk… but that’s what makes music so special. It speaks to all of us in different ways.
Saturday saw Space Boozzies Froth Dogs MD Horne's Last Call Spurs For Jesus and DRUGS IN SPORT punching out a full day of killer sounds, that ran from the Boozzies’ dirty ravaged street punk, and the smack-you-in-the-mouth three way thrash of Frothies, through to Mark Horne’s gravelled vox and folksy alt-country Celtic sea shanty style, Spurs’ dusty country cowpoking and the power pop sheer genius of the Drugs.
It doesnt get much better!
Thanks to my partners in crime, Milly and Adam, my family, and everyone who has ever stepped into the Link, bought a beer, ate a burger, grabbed a record or a Tshirt, danced to a band, stopped for chat, thrown down a cocktail or just simply came to hang out.
Without you guys, we are nothing.
And finally, our amazing staff. They are the heart and soul of the business, and we love ‘em all!
Look forward to catching you all at the Link.
Jack Nolan. Pics: Mark Fraser
Spurs For Jesus. Pics: Mark Fraser.
The Doggies kick off all stripped back tonight. Acoustic guitar. The most infectious of all instrumental openers.
Gorgeous melodious, pop beauty.
Catchy in a heartbeat and as warm as that first fourth grade kiss.
Summer on a stick.
Plug in the tele and we’re back to pure power pop… doggie style!
Loved ‘em for the best part of 40 years. Justified fully tonight.
Hands down the best show since their recent return to the stage.
Smart Folk are doing their final show with long time drummer, Feej tonight.
Transport yourself back to the 60s, and indulge in a yardbird style smorgasbord of sheer killer popestry.
Catchy as all fuck.
Seasoned pros across the board.
Dance barefoot amongst the dandelions…naked of course.
Darlin Be Home Soon..stripped and stapled.
Pete the earth, and Chris the energiser bunny, as he bounces around the stage.
Feej and KC the sensible and vital bottom end.
The Shadow of the Panther’s awesome 60s etch.
Overall, a wicked summer-etched tapestry of seasoned, sugared power pop.
Do Ya Know? Well ya fucken well should!
Farewell Feej! Going out on a more than worthy note tonight.
Summer has arrived!
Labradogs. Pics: Mark Fraser
Raising Ravens is the latest project for Jess Finlayson (Mis-Made, Nitocris), and with that pedigree, you can kinda guess the musical direction.
With fellow cohorts Tara Doyle (bass) and Scotty Bradbury (sticks), tonight is tight as fk, solid in your face rock… and then some.
Some more tender moments… ravaged and yet beautifully raw.
And then total highway runaway… full throttle double B. Aural bliss!
Theirs is a three way assault that belts, bloodies and blisters.
New single on the way.
Smittty & B Goode are a totally different breed of fish.
Quirked, killer, fuzzed rock.
Very cool dynamics.
The recent single, Wheels on Fire, is pure, snarled power pop. Beautifully raw and snotty at the same time.
The Smitty sound is a unique blend of punchy, ragged power pop and razed, indie garage rock.
Pulling surprise pockets out of their arse, it’s a set that drags you in affably and delivers all the right punches.
Some obvious nods to classic retro rock.
Pain is the flip side of recent said single. Catchy. Kickarse. Kool.
Infectious as all fuck!
Double speed g’bye!. Hell yeah.
Mark Fraser- redbackrock.com
Smitty & B. Goode. Pics: Mark Fraser.
Smitty & B. goode. Pics: Mark Fraser