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.
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.
“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
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
The new single and video for Drawing Arrows is Out Now on Foghorn/MGM
Have you felt like you in the same space as someone, but somehow a thousand miles apart? ‘This Space Between’ focuses on the feeling of how we are more connected and yet more isolated than ever.
The song itself feels like a rock anthem hiding inside a more radio-friendly track. Building to an amped up reprise at the end.
Drawing Arrows is a love letter to rock music. Not one band, not one decade, but the whole effect. With multiple influences – from Australian rock’n’roll, US grunge and flamenco guitar to Britpop rock and amped-up punk.
With band members from Spain, the UK and right here in Australia, each member brings their own unique influences. Sidney (vocals) and David (bass/guitar) have previously worked on an experimental dubstep project (Milo Firewater). Drawing Arrows is a creative outlet – a way to channel all their experiences – not just musically influences. The aim – to create music that feels good to play and to listen too.
Powderfinger, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Nothing But Thieves and Queens of the Stoneage all inspired an authentic live sound that sits as well on stage as it does in your headphones.
This Space Between OUT NOW(Fog/MGM)
Checkout the Video
Paul Scott unleashes his ‘Insufferable’ Persona on the airwaves once again this time with a long play album Tea and Medals created in and out of the 2 big Aussie lockdowns ….
Heres a bunch of international reviews just in – read all about the album below-
When we asked the ‘Insufferable’ Paul Scott to send us an update to his bio below we got some straight to the point words such as: “Well it is simple really I am Inedible, Incorrigible , Indescribable , Incredible, Incoherent , Indigestible, Intellectual , Indistinguishable , Intractable.”
And when asked to comment on the new album he said – “you can take the album any way you like but to me it’s Inscrutable , Insoluble , International , Incorruptible, Inspirational , Instructional, Industrial ,Invaluable, Intangible and Individual”
Working with a host of collaborators/producers and mixers including: Steve Melville (The Tea Party, Paolo Nutini, Regurgitator), Tim Powles (The Church), a team based in Los Angeles and many others ‘Tea and Medals’ was born from a set of home demo’s written during lockdown in 2020. With the brief hiatus between the two NSW lockdowns, studio time was booked at various facilities including Damien Gerard’s on the Central Coast where a specific Re Amp procedure was added to some of tracks prior to final mixing. The overall finished album was then mastered by Grammy Winner William Bowden (Gotye, You Am I) at his hi-end luxury suite in Tasmania.
Paul Scott began his career in music, writing and playing bass in angular NZ group Pop Mechanix. Despite court cases, a revolving cast of singers and multiple record labels, their single ‘Jumping Out A Window’ became a staple of New Zealand pop culture.
Relocating to Australia, Paul formed Montana with Ken Stewart (Mr Blonde), Michelle Margherita and Steve Melville. Their first release featured ‘Koolest Band’ which received national airplay and high rotation on JJJ. A brief tour of the USA and a performance at SXSW, led to ‘Koolest Band’ being included in the Hollywood movie ‘You Drive Me Crazy’. The subsequent album ‘Bubblegum Love’ was released in Australia, Spain, France and the USA.
Scott has since plied bass for various Australian acts, playing everywhere from community halls and malls in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to the Sydney Opera House. More recently Scott has released ‘Surrender to Robots’ also under his ‘Insufferable’ moniker which found wide response and positive reviews which led to the creation of the new album Tea and Medals.
The Insufferable Paul Scott – Tea and Medals is out NOW Oct 29
Download or stream: