JFK CARTOON

John Kennedy – New Review and Tour Dates

Heres the most recent review of John Kennedy’s Raining Treasure Volume 2 (More Australian Indie Gold Covers) by none other than Michael Smith – a bit of an Aussie Icon himself

Before the creative juices are once again unleashed in order to explore the next musical chapter, John Kennedy found there was still a little unfinished business from his past few years of activity, taking stock of various aspects of his back catalogue either as selections from across several releases with 2018’s compilationSecond Best, or remastering his most successful album,Always the Bridegroom, recorded with his band Love Gone Wrong, which topped the Australian Independent Music charts in 1987. Then there was his bit of fun, a collection titled Raining Treasure, loving reinterpretations of his favourite post-punk indie Australian pop singles.

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Well, before he and the band kick into recording an album of new material, Kennedy felt that there was still some fun to be had from those classic singles – and some you would never have imagined crossed the defiantly defended “frontier of cool” that ruled in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Though, “I don’t think you can beat ’66, ’67 quite frankly,” he admits, “but ’72 gives it a good run.” Enter Raining Treasure Vol. 2. “In terms of engagement with music, it was really the punk, New Wave and then the DIY explosion that followed that which led me to get involved in my first garage bands after school, and then, after an old school friend (singer and guitarist) James Paterson returned from an overseas trip, we formed JFK and the Cuban Crisis and got involved in the Brisbane indie scene. We were the wave behind the Go-Betweens and the Riptides. So all of that was in the background, that early ‘80s golden period of Australian indie and of course there was a lot of great stuff that happened in the late ‘70s and all through the ‘80s on independent record labels, so that’s what was really the inspiration behind these two Raining Treasure albums.

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“The first time around it was pretty much going through my own seven-inch vinyl collection, just picking my favourites or absolute ‘stone-cold’ classics of the genre, and then trying to find our own interpretation, or super-charging them. This time round I did look further to some acts that I would never have been into in that period. I also looked at those two compilations Do The Pop and Tales from the Australian Undergroundand then I was asking other people what they thought would make coolselections. One of the key examples of throwing a wider net for Volume Two came from the band’s bass player Phil Hall. He had noted my aversion to Radio Birdman the first time round and said, ‘Well, here’s one that we might be able to do something with,’ and pitched Radio Birdman’s ‘Hand of Law’. Apart from two or three songs I don’t know much of Radio Birdman’s catalogue, but he played it to me and I liked it but it’s pretty simple and doesn’t go anywhere. It just gets in a groove, which is a good groove, and he suggested that perhaps I could amend the melody and push it a little further – which is what I did – added a few chords to the chorus, and then rather than putting in the ‘Theme from Hawaii Five-O’, we put in ‘Pipeline’, so a little homage to Birdman’s surf-punk genre.”

The least likely song Kennedy could have chosen has to be The Angels’ ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’. “We have done it as a waltz live, in the past; not very often but in the wake of Doc Neeson’s death as a little bit of a tribute. It’s a great pop song in the original version but it was nice to actually to bring a completely different vibe to it – that’s Phil Hall playing vibes in the background! He’d provided the horns on a couple of songs on Raining Treasure Volume One. The Cruel Sea’s ‘The Drift’ was an interesting choice, and ‘My Pal’ by GOD was a left-of-field selection, but then Phil just worked them and worked them and turned those two into epics.”

And if you’re going to cover The Sports’ ‘Who Listens to the Radio’, why wouldn’t you kick it off with the riff behind Mental as Anything’s ‘Nips Are Getting Bigger’. “It just occurred to me that they’re not too far apart in the groove,” he chuckles. “In our band me and (guitarist) Murray Cook especially are both huge Sports and Mentals fans. And why the reggae groove? If you listen to the rhythm guitar in the Sports original, that’s the rhythm that’s being played. So I just sort of latched onto that with the proviso that we were not making ‘mock’ reggae. We just wanted to touch that flavour.”

Then there’s the upbeat country take on ‘Shivers’. “It’s odd, because I’d call this a classic, but for the Young Charlatans it might have sold in the hundreds, so it’s not a best-seller” – Kennedy perhaps tastefully ignores the fact that The Screaming Jets scored themselves a #19 hit single with it in 1993 – “but it’s still somehow iconic, so how do you take it and offend as many of its original fans as possible?! So we thought we’d go with a country song with banjo to the fore.”

 Checkout Shivers Video

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Raining Treasures Vol. 2sees Kennedy performing his first duet, on a tune titled ‘Face with No Name’. “Phil played in the last reformation of Flaming Hands about two years ago – he was actually playing sax. I obviously knew of them from back in the day but it was also obvious that Julie Mostyn still has a fantastic voice, so when we were thinking about how we would approach the song I asked Phil if Julie would be up for a duet, and happily she was.” And Kennedy unleashed his inner Jim Morrison as the song breaks out into The Doors’ ‘Do You Love Her Madly’.    MICHAEL SMITH

Sydney Upcoming dates

Egg Records Instore, Sat 4 June

Golden Barley Hotel, Sun 5 June

Melbourne Tour Dates

Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Thurs 16 June (Melbourne album launch)

Dogs Bar, St Kilda on Fri 17

Post Office Hotel, Coburg on Sat 18

 

Stream or Download the album here

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Throwing Shapes Releases New Single ‘The Moment’

This song is about seizing the moment, because life is happening now. But it’s also about mindfulness and the importance of being in the moment. As we generally spend 50% of the time thinking about the past and future. We’re only truely paying attention to what we are doing in our lives, half of the time.

Frantic auto filtered drums begin this track along with thick keyboard arpeggios. This resolves into a fast up-tempo backing track layered with clean and big piano and synth lines. Some vocoder vocals and funky guitars and bass bring this track home and add some top line hooks.Screen Shot 2022-05-10 at 5.26.27 pm

Throwing Shapes is Fox Shannon: a musician, DJ and producer from Perth, Western Australia. Unique and forward thinking electronic music. With influences from Pendulum, Sub Focus and Shock One to Disclosure, Deadmau5. Pink Floyd and David Bowie.

Throwing Shapes have performed alongside other well established D’n’B artists such as Terrence & Phillip at local dance music festivals such as Reawakening and Back2Funk. Their energetic performances and catchy dance floor hooks have seen them feature on numerous compilations and won growing interest from community radio, with air play around the country and some US stations.

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‘The Moment’ is out NOW May 13
Foghorn/MGM

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Slide Milligan Releases Debut Album ‘Blood Red River’

Slide Milligan’s musical journey has been half a life in the making but sounds as exciting as the latest Australian Rock & Roll export being paraded around the world. After years and years of playing in bands through the late 80’s/90s, Dave “Slide” Milligan gave up his musical dreams to pursue a trade in rural fencing and woodworking. To unwind after working all day in the paddocks of rural Australia and his sawmill, Dave built himself a lap steel guitar.

Over the years he started to write a collection of exceptional songs that weren’t your usual “roots” music fare, mixing his hard rock background and his ability to tap into that authentic Australian sound. Despair and dread mixed with sunshine and water, and he caught the ear of local producers and with some help with production from Indie impresario Andy Clockwise (he was working on a fence on Clockwise’s farm when he was back from LA and the two lit a bonfire in the paddock), “Slide” has produced a psychedelic slide guitar masterpiece called “Blood Red River”. A pastiche of outlaw country, psychedelic post-punk & a different approach to the slide guitar. This music sounds familiar yet fresh in the current musical landscape. At the ripe old age of 52, this new artist is sure to make a splash in the country-indie-rock crossover here and abroad.

Song Descriptions
Feelin’ Fine
The track is an undeniable summer anthem in the vein of the Sunny Boys, Australian Crawl & The Church, and features vocals by Slide’s daughter Lani. The up-tempo “Australiana Classic” song rolls along with infectious melody and nostalgic production. Sure to resonate with fans of Classic Australian Pub Rock, Pink Floyd & Waylon Jennings.

Gasoline
Up-tempo drums begin this blues rock/indie tune. Produced by Andy Clockwise, who also did a brilliant job on the kit, this song is peppered with modern sounds but maintains a retro feel. Think Black Keys, Jack White and adding it to your list you can’t go wrong.

Slide Milligan – Blood Red River is out NOW (May 6th)
Foghorn/MGM

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Gareth Koch Releases Single ‘Soleares Flamenco’

Soleares is one of the most profound forms of flamenco, often referred to as the heart & soul of the genre. The mood is solemn & grand & when sung the lyrics are deeply heartfelt. The style originated among the Calé Romani people of Cádiz or Seville in Andalusia. The metre or ‘compás’ of Soleares is one of the most widely used in flamenco & is the foundation style for many flamenco forms. The track was recorded in a single take on a beautiful Ignacio Rozas flamenco guitar, hand-built in Madrid.

Song Description

Tasteful nylon string guitar begins this full sounding flamenco piece. Traditional guitar ‘knocks’ feature here and there on the percussion side. The song is so masterfully played it’s hard to imagine that it is just one guitarist and done in one take.

About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & songwriting. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.
Born in Milan, Koch began his musical studies on piano and clarinet, and at age 12 was accepted into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before winning a scholarship for advanced guitar study at the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music.
In 2002 Koch formed what might be termed the first guitar supergroup. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to number 1 on the classical music charts and appeared on the pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & in 2020 released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church).

Soleares Flamenco is OUT NOW – via MGM

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