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
For fans of Classic Australian Pub Rock, Pink Floyd & Waylon Jennings, ‘Feelin Fine’ is the first single from Slide Milligan. 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.
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 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’ 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. Blood Red River will be released later this year.
Feelin’ Fine is OUT NOW on Foghorn/MGM
Stream or Download below
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Created during the longest lockdown in the world –
Melbourne’s irrepressible One Man Band records a full album
“From February to September of this year, with the pandemic still belligerently stomping through the living room like a toddler with a bucket on its head, I managed to use music as a way to “remain indoors” and focus on something that wasn’t terrible news in an attempt to preserve my sanity.
Ducking’ begins and ends with comic ‘bookends’ an almost Las Vegas lounge singer introduction and ‘Gateway Song’ that abruptly gives way to ‘Everything Is OK’ (something we all want to hear). A positive and up-beat acoustic guitar and glockenspiel tune with cheerful whistling that reassuringly squeezes your shoulder and says everything will be ok. Aaaahhh yes … I do hope so.
It’s an eclectic mix of up-beat rock, down-beat moody rock, tongue-in-cheek segues, power pop (and whatever Paranoia Grande is), that moves quickly in spite of the rather long 47-minute total playing time. Song durations range from 27 seconds to the cinematic and sprawling 5:07 of ‘Don’t Forget Me’ which is appropriate because it was actually written for a movie. “The Problem Y” was shot in California a few years ago and is yet to be released. Written & directed by Joe Bizarro with whom I spent 5 years making music for The Brides Of Satan grindhouse indie slasher which is now available to stream and buy.
‘Ducking’ is a fun, light hearted and amusing album in places but gets serious and even a little scary in others – all part of the emotional rollercoaster of the pandemic era. I feel the title sums it all up. We all know what we meant to say when we tried to text ‘Ducking’ but autocorrect had other intentions … our frustration becomes humour and we find that we can still laugh at ourselves. ” –
Jamie Coghill September 23, 2021
As a band I am called The Jimmy C. As a human person I am called Jamie Coghill and am possibly known for (by people with very good memories specifically within the Melbourne pub rock scene) playing drums with The Devilrock Four, Fez Perez and Luxedo – going back more than 20 years now to the very late 90s so to be familiar with me is super niche and you would have to have very good taste!
Sometime around 2005 I decided to make an album of songs I’d recorded on a Tascam 4 track cassette recorder. I’d been experimenting with writing and recording since my teens but until then I hadn’t recorded anything I wanted people to hear.
Over the past 16 years I worked on my song writing, playing and recording techniques and released 7 albums, 4 soundtrack albums (2 for an American web series: The Adventures Of Superseven and The Sandra West Diaries, and one for an American indie grindhouse film: The Brides Of Satan), and a few EPs and singles. I also made a sort of 10 year anniversary live album/video roping in a few friends to play and record my songs live, which lead to the formation of Lava Fangs, a garage power pop punk band with an EP, an album and some singles – we’re very good and you should check us out!
As a one-person band I have found the pandemic era to be quite productive, and a welcome distraction from almost two years of terrible news (I’m writing this the day after the Melbourne earthquake – who saw that coming?!?!). From February 2021 to mid-September I worked on a new collection of songs as well as upgrading my recording setup – still with quite out of date gear but a huge step forward from the stuff I used to record my previous albums!
Super Furry Animals, Ween, Queens of the Stone Age, Sloan,
Ducking is out now on Foghorn/MGM.
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Surrey Road is the culmination of over 20 years song writing and came from Steve’s desire to do an album of his own songs with various great singers that he knew or had worked with previously. Shelter Me was written by Steve and Pat Powell and features the smooth vocals of young up and coming Melbourne singer, Nic MC. Many of the other songs on the album are sung by Pat Powel himself, lending his legendary voice to the mix and pat also co write a number of the tunes.
Steve Played all instruments on the album himself other than guest appearances by Victor Rounds on bass and John prior on drums (selected songs). Steve produced, engineered and mixed the album at his studio in Melbourne with the exception of “when I see you dancing” which was mixed by John Prior at Unity Gain studios in Sydney.
The album is clocking strong metrics on digital platforms and the main single SHELTER ME is heading to radio via Play MPE
Steve Williams came to prominence as the lead guitarist in the 80’s pop group Wa Wa Nee, who had top 5 hits and ARIA Nominations in Australia and chart action in Europe and the USA. This prompted Steve to relocate to Europe after working with James Freud and Richard Clapton following Wa Wa Nee’s breakup. After working as a session musician in the UK and Europe he returned to Australia in 2005 and continued session and production work including musical theatre and television appearances. He has played in bands alongside Jon Lord from Deep Purple, Choirboys, Matt Finish, Ray Parker Jr, Real Life, and many more.
The Surry Road album was recorded in Steve’s Melbourne studio. Steve co-wrote all the tracks with musicians that he has worked with over many years of touring and recording :
Tracks feature guest vocals from Pat Powell(Melbourne Ska Orchestra and many more) and other well known vocalists such as: John Kenny (Rockmelons), Tim Watson(Taxiride), Vince Contarino, Terry Slesser(UK) and Louise Person as well up-coming Melbourne singer Nic MC.
The songs were co written with a host of writers including Mark Gable(Choriboys), Scott Smith and many of the singers above.
With the worldwide release of Surrey Road marking off this long span of writing and recording Steve’s new album for 2022 is already underway with a much more personalized and singular approach.
Checkout the Album
Connect with Steve Williams
Having played together in various bands since the late eighties, Brent Williams (Pop Mechanix, The Moon), Rhys Lewis-Smith (The Moon, Mr Blonde) and Bruce Thomas (The Moon, Greg Brady Overdrive, Ancient Marinators) reconnected and their weekly jam night recordings were sometimes joined by friend and guitarist Iain Martin.
The collection of tracks quickly grew and they all agreed that some were too good to leave in the vault. Whilst still just a collection of cool ideas, that felt good to play and the thought that this could turn out to be something more than a weekly jam session slowly took hold. The lads agreed it was time to search for a singer/songwriter.
They didn’t have to look far. Longtime friend Liz Clear (The Amazing Woolloomooloosers, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Clear) had vocals with attitude that perfectly matched their brand of epic indie rock.
Checkout the Video for NO Disco
Liz picked up the challenge and was inspired to lay some tracks up with words and melodies. Before they knew it, they had a crackerjack bag of hits.
They formed the band, Grander Things, fine-tuned their set and picked four of their favourites to record with Dave Trumpmanis at his studio in St Peters.
Grander Things wear their influences on their sleeves, but their sound is equally hard to pin down. A combination of all that has lit their fuse; rock, punk, new wave and pop.
Mixed and mastered by Russell Pilling from Damien Gerard Studios, the result is their four-track debut EP, MASH. Short and sharp. It delivers.
Born from the last four decades of rock, punk, new wave and pop all mashed up, these songs are filled with big guitars and soaring melodies that hook you right from the start.
An assault on the senses. This song captures the pain of romance when communication breaks down.
Haunting depiction of a friendship turned sour.
Classic rock breakup song. You can’t come running to me tells it like it is.
Not for the faint hearted. This song is all about empowerment.
Connect with Grander Things:
Steve’s Next Live Venue show
‘STEVE KILBEY (THE CHURCH), AND HIS WINGED HEELS- GARETH KOCH (SAFFIRE) & ROGER MASON (ICEHOUSE) PERFORM
“SONGS FROM ANOTHER LIFE”
LIVE AT BRASS MONKEY CRONULLA
FRIDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2020
Steve Kilbey has created a fine new album for 2020. His first solo release for an astoundingly creative year reveals a dazzling array of songs brimming with ideas, personality & effervescence. The collection is at once whimsical yet personal, and in a masterful sleight of hand Kilbey’s Eleven Women are not quite as one might expect.
Eleven Women is full of melodic invention & lyrical surprises. Singling out tracks for special mention is frankly impossible since this album consists entirely of highlights. Amongst these bijous however the timelessly beautiful Think of You shines brightly. This song has the unmistakeable stamp of eternity & evokes a sense of having existed since music began.
September 4 Foghorn/MGM
Hear it now
Read the Rolling Stone Review
Plus the RS Interview
Watch the Zoom Interview with WhatsMyScene
and for some insights into #thechurch as well read this great interview from backseat mafia
Wanna see Steve play Sheba Chiba Live Acoustic- just click here
Connect with Steve