Slam Dance Corrobboree 3 with KOL RANT
Slam Dance Corrobboree 3 with KOL RANT
By Ian Browne Shamrock News
“My head just explodes with ideas all the time. I get really pissed how the world is politically.
I have to have an outlet for all that.”
I remember Kol Dimond from the punk days in Sydney. They were unique times, hard to describe to anyone who hasn’t duelled with time in the dim-misty light of a big city’s underground. And Kol? Well, he certainly has done just that. Eleven years ago, I ran into Kol in Lismore, and after moving to and from Darwin, I discovered him again in Mullumbimby. I have wanted to do a story on Kol for a while now, so we caught up in Mullum at our friend Eva’s café and got the tongues wagging for a good ol rant!
Kol: “That’s all I am…PUNK!”
England: High Wycombe southern England is where this lad was born and raised, 40 mins from London. “That’s all I am…punk!” …Kol stated when I suggested how he had managed to remain ‘punk’ all these years later.
Kol: I was 15 when punk came out. Joy Division and The Pistols came to Wycombe and I was sold. I used to live in a punk squat in Brighton and came to know The Damned’s ‘Captain Sensible’ through big Brian Paisley, in the early 80’s UK Brighton scene. I followed my brother out to Sydney and I stayed. I found the punk scene down here, I discovered The Thought Criminals, my ‘fave’ band of the early Sydney punk days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_LRqO2kaVQ
Punk gave me the foundation to live the way that seemed natural and right to me. Punk is a train of thought. You can diversify, find variety; who doesn’t? That’s bloody normal! Things change, you have to move on. But I’m always punk.
Shamrock: It’s 1979 and Kol now calls Oz home, getting his wicked fingers deep within the blood and sinew of Sydney’s thriving punk scene. It has been suggested that a group of Manly punks brought punk to Newtown. Kol described his journeys up along Sydney’s northern beaches to see early punk bands The Oils; yep, they were, and “The most popular one of em all was World War 24”, Kol stated.
Kol: It felt weird travelling up the northern beaches to go to punk gigs in the hotels there. Nothing was happening in Newtown back then, it was all around Railway Square in the city. Bands like Progression Cult, Suicide Squad, Cambridge Rapists and The Thought Criminals were the bands I got into when I arrived in Sydney. They played at the Grand Hotel and The Civic Hotel, down near Central Station.
Punk really took off around Sydney in the 80’s. I was in Hideous Wound during the time. I also used to enjoy heading out to the early Goth scene in Sydney at the Stranded Nightclub. In 85, we squatted the Gunnery in Woolloomooloo. When we moved in we celebrated with a three-day gig with bands Massappeal and Strontium Dog. I moved to Newtown later, I was part of the ‘Anarcho Punks’ movement, and I moved into a squat in the Uni in 87.Tutti Parze were part of the scene too. In those days I was part of the whole Radio Skid Row and Pirates for Peace scene, the anti-US Woolloomooloo era. This included working with indigenous mob in places like Redfern and Darlington. I was squatting in different places around the city with Anarcho Punks. Fighting with Skins was part of it. We bashed Nazis! There were two households of punk squatters, we weren’t worried about the Skins, there were too many of us. We went to the Roaring Jack gigs in those days. During the 80's the punks camped out in Main Arm were known by locals here as the 'Rat People'.
“We left Sydney in zips-n-chains and came back in Rajasthani mirrors & Hindu-cloth!”
Shamrock: After travelling UK/Europe, and then Oz during the mid to late 90’s, I returned to live in Sydney. I was surprised to see some of the Sydney punks I knew from the 80’s cruising about the city in Indian clothing. Gone was any sense of combat gear. Sure, I remember they were part of the whole ‘crusty’ anti-nuke scene of the late 80’s, but some of these guys; an older ‘gentleman’ from Northern England especially, were not to be messed with, and now ten years on they looked more like vegan hippies than ‘Oi -chaos’. I had been away from Sydney for far too long and was out-of-touch. Blimey, even the Engadine Skins started turning up to our parties back in Caringbah, and instead of throwing stones at us (my own fault) - were more interested in beer-n-banter.
But Kol still had his finger on the pulse.
KOL: In 1991, a big scene in GOA took off with the whole LSD scene and ‘electronica’. We left Sydney in zips-n-chains and came back in Rajasthani mirrors and Hindu-cloth! We formed Vibe Tribe and Non Bossy Posse. The Chaos Punks hated us, all the punks in leather and studs. In 1991 everyone thought we were stupid. Other punks also went over and returned ‘changed’.
The 90’s saw the first of the punk /electronica crossover with outfits influenced by the likes of The Fred Nihilists and Be Kind to Beavers, both of whom I played bass within during the mid to late 80’s. Later, as the Millennia came about, and the Olympics saw upheaval to Sydney’s inner-city indigenous communities, we formed Puss. I also spent time up in Darwin and out in Arnhem Land. I really like it up there, it’s great. I love Ramingining. There was a real clean-camp electronica movement out there. Everyone was friendly and stayed sober, singing in language too (Yolngu matha).
Life in the Northern Rivers: Why here?
How did you operate within the Northern Rivers in comparison to the Newtown days?
Kol: The whole Vibe Tribe scene got too big, we couldn’t manage it anymore. It was too expensive, too hot on the gay and punk scene back in Sydney. Half the Vibe Tribe went to Melbourne, half to this region. We held illegal beach parties, and the ‘Beyond the Brain’ parties in Byron. We brought out author Terrance McKenna from England, as part of the whole mushroom psychedelia scene.
I had two record labels with me when I arrived up from Sydney. In Sydney I was releasing a lot of local music. I did it all online up here, I released about 15 albums. Deb at Lismore’s ‘Music Bizarre’ released all of our albums. My label was the Organarchy Sound System.
There’s not many old faces left in Sydney.
“Crazy Shit in Asia”
Kol: I love travelling. I went to Myanmar not so long ago, and how could you not be enthralled by such a place. I didn’t really like dirty old Mandalay, and the capital Naypyidaw, with its empty 24-lane highway designed to allow planes to land in times of war. It was just weird and sterile. But I loved Yangon, Bagan temples and Lake Inle.
Recently, I was invited to enter two of my blogs on Asia into the book titled “Crazy Shit in Asia”. The author, Matty Towner, is a friend. He intends to publish stories by locals on different areas of the world. It will be funny. A lot of his mates have travelled Asia, to places like Goa too. I have been writing for the last 20 years. He liked my style. A while back I went over to Greece when all the economic troubles were occurring. There’s lots of Anarchists there, and the people are nice. When people have less, there seems to be a nicer vibe around. They were dealing with it all from the grass roots up, dealing with the banks by organising community housing; and coop working, with locally gown food coops.
ZINE RANT “I still think Anarchically!”
Shamrock: From an account of a traveller’s intimacy with a Thai ‘ladyboy’ in Bangkok, and a poem aptly titled “I AM ANARCHY” - this zine was made to send cramp through the prudent eyebrow. Along with stories about the capitalist concept of laziness, and the need to work, and a piece written by Paul Phillips “Heroin Chic”, which is a very raw account of a man’s struggle with heroin -attributed to sexual abuse at the hands of a female babysitter; in true social-left punk tradition the third volume of RANT leaves nothing to the imagination. The second page hits you nicely with an image of Pauline Hanson surrounded by syringes, all complimented by tagged-titles related to what the zine illuminates.
Kol also includes a film and music review page, while guest writer Peter Keil has his own rant on the need for community exertion of conscience-driven free will.
What’s the slant on RANT?
Kol: My head just explodes with ideas all the time. I get really pissed how the world is politically. I must have an outlet for all that. I still think anarchically. I decided to put a zine out. A great punk tradition the zines. I’m up to Edition 4. Hard copies can be found in Mullum and Byron cafes.
There is a talk by The Ngara Institute in the Courthouse pub here in Mullum tonight. The title is “Can Anarchism be useful in modern Australia?” I will cover this for RANT, and I will say a few things during the talk, and have a listen. It’s really important for people in this day-n-age to constantly engage positively with the world. There’s so much hatred in the world. It’s broadcasted across Facebook by people. Find a way to channel your energy, whether it’s volunteering at the local coop, or writing a zine. Otherwise you just get caught up on Facebook, and working all the time, and you land up as the person you despise.
Whenever something hits me, I go and write about it. If I see something on the news; talk to a racist, a bogan, or I see something about travel; or something with a political undertone, I write about it in a very twisted way. It’s a bit ‘Sbigharnoff.’ The writing is a bit scatty. I do take some contributions, last edition I had two guest writers. I have written stories about volunteering in East Timor. Anything that is important to me and grabs my attention.
Shamrock: I mentioned to Kol that RANT’s “My Ladyboy Mate” in Bangkok, was very brave. To which he replied with a shrug of his shoulders, “Well it’s real, no need to be afraid of feeding out the real stuff. People like it.”
Kol: It will just keep coming. I like printing it out and making it into black-n-white. I will put a book out “the best of”. Stories like “My Ladyboy Mate” will contribute to that.
Shamrock: I suggested to Kol that he’s had an intense life. He replied, “It was fun.”
RANT ONLINE: http://online.flowpaper.com/7ace074e/Rant3Layoutopt/
Shamrock: Go to my older posts to see my story on the crossover punk/electronica ‘Reclaim the Streets, Newtown’ DOIC “DO IT OURSELF CULTURE” featuring some of Kol’s music.
And you can see Kol’s outfits here: Hideous Wound - Be Kind To Beavers - The Fred Nihilists - Non Bossy Posse - Puss https://www.mixcloud.com/kol-dimond/