2020 PUNK & HARDCORE SERIES...
Shamrock News Music
2020 PUNK & HARDCORE series...
Hi there, this is my entire 2020 Facebook Punk & Hardcore series that ran throughout the first four months of the Covid-19 Lockdown.
I grew up in Sydney as a teen punk and I wanted to share some of that journey with you. Hundreds read the following & viewed the clips. To kick the series into gear I begin with Protopunk, moving through the generations of punk - an evolution from U.S & UK, to Oz punk - and then on to hardcore; crossover-skatecore, followed by the 90's/post-Millennium punk & hardcore, finally completing the series with the thrash metal groups who loved PUNK.
My pal John Morton aka "Screamen Larry" - the Great Larry Swindle - co-hosted the series. Much of this also lives within my PUNK BIO - "My Life as an 80's Sydney Punk" which can be found in the older posts here. From 2019 into early 2020, I also released a Facebook series on Goth, Indie music through the generations, & Trip Hop. Following on from this Punk series, I will be delving into my Facebook Post-Punk & Groove-n -Trance series.
Enjoy much, Ian Browne.
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 1
PROTO-PUNK The STOOGES, TELEVISION, MC5 & DEATH!
…kick out the jams mother fucker!” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
Welcome to the first in the PUNK series. My story growing up as a Sydney Punk has been born again a year on from publication, and loads swarming to it during Feb, while turning up on a few more ‘music history & fashion’ websites. I was an 80’s punk, so what came before me had to be learnt, as I was too busy watching 'Kimba the White Lion' to bother with the likes of Sid Vicious. So, to the young following this, you will probably be confused at times, as your view to Punk is probably slightly deranged & off kilter. While da great rock-n-roll swindle known as Screamen Larry will arrive to the 2nd in this series, you just have moi today. Please excuse the swastika in the pic here (Facebook), tis really not my thang! More on that later in the series – which is a bloody long one.
Most associate the fashion & sound of Punk as that of the mid-70’s Pistols, or the Oi/street punk Exploited/GBH look-n-sound of the early 80’s. But where would punk be without the earlier angst of the late 60’s to early 70’s bands like - the New York Dolls, Nico, The Velvet Underground, Suicide, Alice Cooper, Patti Smith, even Led Zepplan - along with the fashion & free will of Glam’s Bowie, Roxy Music & Brain Eno. In fact, Suicide were the first to label themselves ‘punk’, before it was even a thing really. Yes, most of these bands were from the US & the UK, they themselves being influenced by earlier bands via the 50’s to early 60’s “going a bit harder” on the chords, or that voonderval ‘surf sound’. Very few punk lovers would reject the influence of IGGY & the STOOGES. To me he just has to be one of the earliest-quintessential punk rockers. Iggy is great live. From Michigan 1967, they shocked & delivered with true grit, yet seemingly clumsy, & with a healthy dose of raw anarchy! Iggy & da Stooges (69) "I wanna be your dog" https://tinyurl.com/nwngcue
As far as I remember, the first time I heard the MC5 was at my mate Pete Mackey’s house in the mid 80’s. His bro Michael, a well-known surfer, was a fan. Also from Michigan (1964), the MC5 gave it to the man, with lyrical protest against the Right, & restrictions to freedom. Yep, very punk! From (79) "Kick out the Jams" https://tinyurl.com/je8ju7q
TELEVISION was the creation of Delaware poets Tom Verlaine & Richard Hell. They moved to New York and eventually became Television in late 73, doing the early CBGB gigs. I had heard a few songs but didn’t know them as such. A friend in Darwin, Vince, who owned the Cyclone Café in Parap, leant me an album around 2008. He was a tad nutso, heh. He used to call me “The Bastard” - & awaiting my Saturday morning arrival - had a big white mug labelled as such - which sat high up on the back wall - for all to see. A few Yr 9 high school girls worked there too, and it was a tad weird when they sung out my dazzling title in the street! The looks I received! Anyway, by the time this song/album arrived in 77, their sound was known as true punk… "Marquee Moon" https://tinyurl.com/o7tyuno
DEATH were a band, who, like me, very few had known, that is, until the recent doco on the band that was punk before punk arrived (the link below). I am thrilled that a trio from a black neighbourhood in Detroit 1971 - Dave, Dannis & Bobby Hackney (all bros) - were one of the pioneers of the punk movement. They kicked up an awesome sound too which included early Funk. David has since passed sadly, so the clip from recent times of one of their old singles here includes his siblings “Keep on knocking” https://tinyurl.com/te5sh7q
DEATH’s doco “white boy music” https://tinyurl.com/v6648qd
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 2
The vanguard to Oz Punk: THE SAINTS, RADIO BIRDMAN, THOUGHT CRIMINALS & THE VICTIMS! …5 0 is on the move!” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
Hosted by Shamrock -n- Screamen
As proto-punk twisted & turned towards something new, a creature spawned in the gutters of the cities of South America, Australia, the USA & Britain. Punk had arrived, and although our first bands The Saints (73) & Radio Birdman (74) considered themselves more Rock really - finding inspiration in the likes of the Stooges & MC5 - none-the-less this paved the way for true punk, and the speedy chords of both bands suggested the grand arrival of early punk anyway. It has amazed many how this buzzing energy leapt from garage amps in these four earthly locations, yet unsurprisingly perhaps that an upheaval of angst should sizzle from the iron law of Sir Joe in Brisbane, where his ‘banana republic’ party, his police, prevented any sense of “fun” from occurring. The Saints released the planet’s 2nd ever punk album in Sept 76 (the Ramones in April of that year). Both Oz bands moved to the UK for a spell, and though their songs were popular there, they were too removed from the culture/fashion of those old streets. However, down in Sydney town, bands like the Thought Criminals began doing gigs around Bondi Junction (Blondies), the Cross & inner-city - sounding closer to the UK sound - with influences akin to their DIY (do it yourself culture) outfits. In Melbourne, Nick Cave’s The Boys Next Door (77) began linking arms with their Sydney cousins. Here is a great doco on the early punk scene of inner-city Sydney: https://tinyurl.com/wnxeeoj
A big welcome to Screamen Larry…
Screamen: "I was in year 6/7 (81-82) when my next-door neighbour who was about five years older than me gave me a whole heap of records. Aus Crawl, Cold Chisel, The Angels, Men at Work, just to mention a few, but it was the sound coming from his lounge room that I was more interested in. He had sold his soul for ‘punk’ and on high rotation was Sex Pistols, the Ramones, and Aussie bands: The Saints, The Victims and Radio Birdman - saying proudly - “this is Australian” and it was as good as any of the other bands, and this band The Victims, are from Western Australia, and in itself seemed a world away. The Saints: I loved the sound that Ed Kuepper gets out of his guitar, even on slower songs like ‘Messin with the Kid’, it still packed a punch. The single was one of the first punk singles to be released and it was self-funded, and they put it out themselves. It was fully DIY, which would become ‘punk ethos’ with fashion and music."...The Victims - Television Addict: "I love the bass line in this song and Dave Faulkner’s strumming rhythm guitar" (Dave would go on to form Hoodoo Gurus). ...Doccos - Stranded (The Saints History) …Great Australian albums - (I'm) Stranded - The Saints.
THE SAINTS Screamen’s choice: “STRANDED” (76) https://tinyurl.com/vds4tvm
Shamrock’s choice: “KNOW YOUR PRODUCT” (78) “Smooth talken, brainwashing, never gonna get me what I need… https://tinyurl.com/wyvb2c5
Shamrock: From those infamous gigs in Paddington Sydney, RADIO BIRDMAN. Wicked guitarist, Deniz Tekk founded this band. He lived in Sydney but was born in Michigan. Later Birdman would have both a Stooges & MC5 join the band (New Race in 81). This is one of the great Oz songs from any time! “Gotta get a line to Danno Gotta pick up his gun” ALOHA STEVE & DANNO (78) https://tinyurl.com/r5fzh39
A widely covered Stooges song: SEARCH & DESTROY https://tinyurl.com/scaqyls
From the early days of Sydney Punk: (77) THOUGHT CRIMINALS “FUN” (78) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh-bKOpiJjU
Screamen: From Perth: (77) THE VICTIMS “TELEVISION ADDICT” (78) https://tinyurl.com/srfp5h9
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 3 The RAMONES, SEX PISTOLS, THE DAMNED & THE CLASH!
...Now I got a reason To be waiting The Berlin wall” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
It’s now the mid-70’s & things are grim economically & socially for Ol' Blighty. It was time for change, ‘Anarchy’ had arrived. Punk had erupted from the stage of New York’s CBGB, Oz punk was up & cranking (see last week’s post) and the UK were up for it too. The Ramones had the first ever punk album & toured England to good crowds in 76. They are massively popular, even Motorhead did an honour single with R.A.M.O.N.E.S – and though I am pictured here wearing an old shirt - they are not one of my favs. For a while there they were though, ‘It’s Alive’ such a fast album for its time.
Over in London at the shop called SEX, Malcom McLaren was brewing something new for the UK. His time managing the New York Dolls saw him inspired by the energy & fashion of NY City. As seen on the opening PUNK post here, Television’s Richard Hell was the first to wear spiky hair & ripped clothes with safety pins, all emulated by the SEX entourage of the not-so-far-off London era. McLaren’s partner, fashion guru Vivienne Westwood, designed much of the clothing fashion of the day, the female punk ‘look’ arriving with the scene’s Jordon & Catwoman (pic here). As the Pistols took off, street fashion such as the: bondage look, leather jeans & jackets with studs, fish nets (partly thanks to the Rocky Horror Picture Show), colourful, spiky hair, body piercings, bin liners, heavy eyeliner/makeup, ripped-n-torn with safety pins - while the skins were already in Docs back in the early 70’s - the punks took to them later in the decade. Of the Sex Pistols’ crew (the Bromley Contingent) later punk/pop stars Billy Idol, Siouxsie Sue & Adam Ant, along with the prementioned Soo Catwoman - thrived. McLaren actually invited Richard Hell to sing for the Pistols, declining, and allowing an historical creature to take to the stages in Johnny Rotten, and in later days the anarchic Sid Vicious on bass. And here’s me an 80’s Sydney punk making sure school students keep to their social distancing in class, hardly an anarchist! But back in the mid-late 70’s the young wanted change, & the Pistols helped all that along.
The Damned were the first to release a punk single anywhere with New Rose (see below). I can really hear the Glam scene & Proto Punk sound within, but it too is distinctly Damned. They really brought pace to punk! Motorhead’s Lemmy played bass for them for a spell, as did da Saint’s Algy Ward. The Damned were more Goth in the mid 80’s (as seen in my Goth series). Frontman Dave Vanian’s ‘look’ at the time was brilliant!
Inspired by the Ramones & the Pistols - along came The Clash - and they too embarked on the orgy of distortion spewing from the stages of London’s Marquee, the Nashville & the 100 Club. If their first single release White Riot makes you ponder a fascist reckoning, their foundation in social-Left lyrics & workshopping in London would dampen that query. The Pistols’ swastika imagery was less politically motivated, it was more a shock treatment for society; an immature, early days of punk attempt to annoy the stiff-upper-lip of England. Punks were generally against racism & class discrimination.
The RAMONES (74) …history making songs & better fast! Blitzkrieg Bop (76) https://tinyurl.com/y5ye8p4g
Sheena is a Punk Rocker (77) https://tinyurl.com/y8th2psk
SEX PISTOLS (75) Holidays in the Sun (77) https://tinyurl.com/bnwoejw
Pretty Vacant (78) https://tinyurl.com/kpzxomp
The DAMNED (76) New Rose (76) https://tinyurl.com/utdhty7
From my fav series of all time ‘The Young Ones’ - Video Nasty (84) https://tinyurl.com/yd7o6nxz
THE CLASH (76) Such a good sound! Tommy Gun (78) https://tinyurl.com/ojulczl
From later days, I do enjoy this song: This is England (85) https://tinyurl.com/rab2x39
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 4 GENERATION X, BUZZCOCKS, JOY DIVISION & SLAUGHTER & THE DOGS!
...to the centre of the city where all roads meet, waiting for you” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
If Anyone is actually listening out there, while this vile bat soup malignancy stalks the terrain, I will continue with the PUNK series hey. Screamen da great Larry swindle will be aboard here & there, as I have his work filed for the lonely weeks ahead, and while employment slips away, I will run two PUNK posts a week. I have loads of bands in the chamber. But this week you’re just nude with moi! …and I do so like feathers…
So, it’s the latter part of the 70’s, and while Cronulla youngsters Screamen & Shamrock were watching repeats of the Banana Splits, & Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, the teens & young adults of Oz cities were starting to tune in to what was sizzling out from the old streets of London, Manchester & Dublin. Less so now was our fascination with the Detroit sound, & true Punk was thriving! London’s GENRATION X (76) kicked up some fuzz, but like The Clash, they also had some decent instrumental clarity. As part of the Pistol’s ‘Bromley Contingent’ - William Broad, aka Billy Idol, fronted this poppy punk outfit, going on to tour with the greats of punk. Punk had also begun to erupt on the streets of England’s north - the Pistol’s energy & fury switched on something new in many a young mind - and bands like the....
BUZZCOCKS (76) were inspired by what was now touring out from London. From Manchester, catchy punk numbers stole many a heart & they quickly became one of the big 5 of UK punk. In the 90’s my pals in Succotash were offered an east coast tour with the legendary northern punkers.
The Salford lads JOY DIVISION (76) had arrived, and as seen in my 2019 GOTH series here, they were one of the pioneers of the later Goth movement. To this day, JOY DIVISION’s sonic industrial storm-scape attracts many to wander back to those latter years of the 70s - when punk ruled supreme in Britain. They were unique. I find it ‘weird’ seeing them as the sensitive folk of NEW ORDER - when in the 70’s scandal & ire lay at their feet with the JD title having been borrowed from the sexual slavery wing of a Nazi concentration camp. I love New Order, I must state!
SLAUGHTER & THE DOGS (75) came packaged with knuckle dusters & Doctor Martin boots! A forerunner to the Oi movement, they were popular within both the punk & skin camps. At their birth, their gig in 76 at the Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall with the Pistols, saw them become one of the punk pioneers of the NW of England, where the infamous venue - the Electric Circus - became the epicentre for punk magic.
GENERATION X “Your Generation” (77) https://tinyurl.com/qv4yw9n
BUZZCOCKS “Orgasm Addict” (77) https://tinyurl.com/vz5r3km
JOY DIVISION “Transmission” (78) https://tinyurl.com/v47jsod
”Shadowplay" a reimagined version, tis great! (79) https://tinyurl.com/wppjb3b
SLAUGHTER & THE DOGS “Where Have All the Boot Boys Gone?" (77) https://tinyurl.com/un2w2w5
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 5 STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, THE JAM & THE RUTS!
…grab it and change it, it's yours” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
In recent times, my friend Bev Wilkerson has played alongside SLF with Sydney’s RUST, who will feature later in the series. STIFF LITTLE FINGERS hail from the troubled times of Belfast, 79. In time they would call London home, allowing them to thrive further within the punk scene. What I always thought was a political statement suggesting a change to laws imposed on the folk of Northern Ireland (Ulster) - the popular song below ‘Alternative Ulster’ apparently ‘has nothing to do with supporting the Nationalists, or the Unionists, instead it was about seeing beyond the divisions’ (John Whyte, 2014) … & a call for alternative music to have its time in the dim light of Belfast. Attacking British patriotism in an era when the National Front were very vocal, “Fly The Flag” (below) at first glance does feel very pro-British. I was almost blown off the street myself by a policeman with an uzi in Belfast 94, thinking me to be armed IRA. That wee episode turns up in my coming book “What the Monsoon Knows”. I personally feel England should stay in England & leave Northern Ireland to the natives!
The Jam (72/debut 77) came from Woking, England & were described as Mod-revival music, a genre & street culture more popular in the 60’s. As The Jam were spawned within the punk era, they have been written into punk folklore. The song “In the City” (below) really encapsulates both the Mod & Punk sound I feel. The Jam really hit a chord with such a wide audience, & I also enjoy front-man Paul Weller’s 90’s into-post-Millennium releases. THE RUTS’ ska-punk, anti-racist sound, saw them gather in a top 10 UK hit with Babylon’s Burning (see below) & John Peel Sessions, while they also toured the UK in 79 with The Damned. My pal Robert Bearne, drummer in D.T.A MISSION, now lives in Qld, but grew up in Hayes, and remains pals with the fellas from the Ruts – where singer Malcolm Owen & guitarist Paul Fox also lived. Like I mentioned in The Clash’s post here, fascist groups like the boof-headed, belligerent National Front, were antagonising the Pakistani community in & around London, and the song Jah War (also below) depicts Southall, and the London riots of 1979, where anti-Nazi protestors met the National Front head on.
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS “Alternative Ulster” (78) https://tinyurl.com/rb3pcmq
…I’m alright, Union Jack” “Fly The Flag” (80) https://tinyurl.com/roaac74
THE JAM …. Cause time is short and life is cruel” “Town Called Malice” (82) https://tinyurl.com/ro6mue3
…walk the streets like a wanted man” “In the City” (77) https://tinyurl.com/rbvrq4x
THE RUTS …burning the ghetto With anxiety” “Babylon’s Burning” (79) https://tinyurl.com/wre5oxo
…fighting fighting” “Jah War” (79) https://tinyurl.com/rvhkqcp
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 6 one for da ladies! X-RAY SPEXS, THE SLITS & SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES!
…little girls should be seen, not heard!” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
Well, up until now, this series has been an all punk-ballsack-brigade, though we did mention Soo Catwoman & other femme-punk fashion icons within the Sex Pistol’s reign. But now it’s time for our punk Zenobias to stand & be counted. You are probs familiar with modern-day, femme-punk power - with Russia’s all-gal crusade PUSSY RIOT causing quite an ‘anti-establishment’ stir - and rightly bloody so! Early days New York punk Patti Smith’s (77) album Horses was a big influence over in the UK for punk queen Siouxsie Sioux. It’s funny, but if you take DCI Luther’s word for it, as he stood over the corpse of a goth lass on the brilliant crime drama ‘Luther’ - actor Idris Elba states to his partner that Siousxise & the Banshees were “Post Punk” – not Goth (they were actually both in time though). The same can be said for The Slits too, in relation to punk. But let’s not mince words, post-punk is very broad, and blimey it’s still the 70’s in London – so PUNK tis!
Born in Munich, Ariane Daniela Forste, charismatic singer “Ari Up” arrived fresh-faced into London punk at the age of 14. How did this come about? Well, her mum Nora married John Lydon in 79. The Slits formed in 76 & the voonderval Neneh Cherry was also in The Slits on back-up vocals for a spell! They also toured for The Clash (White Riot 77 tour) alongside other punk greats, The Buzzcocks. The Slits broke up in 82, but reformed in 2005, graciously touring Oz. Ari Up also featured on our Spicks & Specks (ABC TV) in 2007.
Yes, there is a place for post-punk in the ‘Banshees’ journey. We will see Siouxsie Sioux return in all her Goth glory in the Post Punk posts, later in the series. But this is their early gear. The ‘Banshees’ featured in both my Goth & Indie series here last year, mind you. Siouxsie Sioux is probably best described as the – “Godmother of Punk & Goth” - she is an enigma within Brit-music! They formed in London 1976, with Steve Severin on guitar. Later-on Budgie would arrive on drums, exiting The Slits, and The Cure’s Robert Smith too charmed on guitar.
As mentioned earlier in the series, Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Janet Ballion) was part of the Bromley Contingent - the Sex Pistols’ entourage - and Sid Vicious too was on board - bangen about on drums - before moving on to join the Pistols on bass.
X-Ray SPEX formed in London in 76. Now these guys were labelled ‘classic punk’, phew, and the song below “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!” is now listed as punk royalty. Poly Styrene (born Marion Joan Elliott-Said) sung with hysteria & a complete disregard for any sense of popularity. Yet it seemed to achieve the opposite effect, heh. Sadly, she passed in 2011. A sound splendid also within Ska-Punk, Xray Spex brought with them a 15-year-old Lora Logic (born Susan Whitby) on Sax. They would go on to play alongside such punk greats as: The Saints, XTC, The Clash & The Stranglers.
X-RAY SPEXS “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!” (77) https://tinyurl.com/pujfja6
THE SLITS “Don't create Don't rebel Have intuition Can't decide” … “Typical Girls” (79) https://tinyurl.com/s73ggg8
…live in Paris 2007 https://tinyurl.com/tzobybw
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
“Hong Kong Garden” (78) https://tinyurl.com/tm2btna
“Make Up to Break Up” (77) https://tinyurl.com/vo42qqd
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 7 CHRON GEN, KILLING JOKE & THE SCIENTISTS!
… Are the people here for fun Or maybe looking for a fight!”www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
Well now, Chron Gen means Chronic Generation, & they sprung to life in 1978 from Letchworth, England. Outlaw was my fav song as a young teen punk. No, it wasn’t as agro or as heavy as some of the other sounds I was listening to, but it spoke of sticking up for your rights in society; being yourself - & I so love the lead-break - it reminds me of TV shows like Dick Turpin (English highway-man). This song lived on the album from which the pic of the punk lying in the gutter derived – the one chosen as the cover page for my punk bio (found in the older posts from my website link above). I’m not sure the band would have been ‘into’ the depicted soccer violence seen in the film-clip though.
Now Killing Joke were/are amazing! They arrived to Punk from Notting Hill, London, also in 78. I didn’t choose any live clips here, there are plenty about though. My bestie Pickle-n-I used to kick back & listen to their first self-titled album Killing Joke, there are three songs chosen below from this album. Like Joy Division, they are unique, while giving birth to latter-days Industrial fusions, and big bands like Metallica, who covered The Wait (below). The song Wardance (below) was also chosen by the English public as one of the top 100 punk songs of all time. Killing Joke in turn became more Goth; then in the late 80’s/90’s returned to that unique punk sound of theirs, but by now even more intense (the song chosen here, Intravenous). Though a popular song in the UK during the mid-eighties, I chose Love Like Blood as one of my fav songs for 2019, & it featured in my 80’s Indie series here on FB. The Scientists were from Perth (78) - and alongside REM & Pixies - were one of the main influencers for Kurt Cobain in Nirvana. With a creative Kim Salmon at the helm, they moved to Sydney & then London during the 80’s, with their now Swampy-psychedelic rock sound. I have always wanted to give back to this popular Oz punk band that were so well admired by many up & coming bands during the 80’s.
We are now moving from the 70’s into the 80’s…..
CHRON GEN “You can't come in if you don't look right Doesn't the music make it right” OUTLAW (82) https://tinyurl.com/tkpqpje
KILLING JOKE …this is music to march to” THE WARDANCE (80) https://tinyurl.com/w3ypff3
“The body's poisoned Got to sit tight” THE WAIT (80) https://tinyurl.com/tbms2ld
…he’s just cattle for slaughter” THE REQUIEM (80) https://tinyurl.com/qrnkxff
… Pump poison in your veins INTRAVENOUS (90) https://tinyurl.com/ud3b7r3
THE SCIENTISTS “9 parts water 1 part sand” SWAMPLAND (86) https://tinyurl.com/rvdcssj
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 8 Charged GBH, EXPLOITED & MOTORHEAD!
… I'm strapped into my bed, I've got electrodes in my head” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
Your HOSTS: Shamrock-n-Screamen
Now the following are not ‘sounds for the faint-hearted’, punk was now fast & heavy: “Oi!” had arrived! And today heralds the return of Screamen Larry.
“At high school 82-84 - Sex Pistols, The Clash & Ramones - was the soundtrack. There was a second wave of punk, harder and faster. The Pistols & the Saints were finished & Sid Vicious was dead & other bands were heading in different directions. Along came Punk & Disorderly Compilations featuring bands like: UK SUBS, GBH, Exploited & the Dead Kennedys.”
Shamrock: Yeah, that’s right, known as the ‘UK82’ sound, punk in the UK & the U.S. was now more intense. In the UK, these guys were massively popular, and jolting out to places like Oz & Kiwiland, “Oi!” & “Street Punk” too had become the new anthem for us 80’s teen punks. For me personally, I wore 'Charged GBH' down the right right sleeve of my jacket, because few bands sent me as high as they did. Songs like THE HUNTED pumped in the adrenaline, they gave me a confidence that no other band/sound ever has. I had the GBH albums, my bestie Pickle - The Exploited’s - which I landed up inheriting anyway, heh. Then known as Charged GBH, they started out in Ol' Blighty in 78. I still get a buzz from GBH’s: The Hunted, Generals, Give Me Fire – and seen below - Sick Boy, City Babies Attacked by Rats, & Diplomatic Immunity. One of my fav bassists of all time would have to be since-departed Cliff Burton from Metallica. Apparently, he lived in his GBH shirt, and more reason to like him, I feel.
The Exploited, from Edinburgh Scotland (79), had a strong punk & skin following. Like GBH, they were mostly limited to a few chords, but they too rocked it in the corrosive. My pal Bev Wilkerson plays alongside both bands in Sydney’s RUST. A doppelganger in the form of GBH’s current drummer Scott Preece, they get snaps together to wind everyone up.
Motorhead, really, punk, no, why? Well because Lemmy played bass in The Damned for a spell, and that speed metal sound - which lent itself to both punk & metal anyway - has been popular with punks to this day…thus they land here. I was speaking to a big biker dude the other day in a Motorhead shirt, & he was stoked I liked them too.
Screamen: “Honourable mention go to the EXPLOITED - Punks Not Dead - and GBH - Self Destruct."
Shamrock: I have chosen a few that empower me too.
(82) “I’m a SICK BOY & there’s no cure!” https://tinyurl.com/y6wn5um7
(82) “CITY BABY attacked by rats!” (Live) https://tinyurl.com/ycdjtjfz
(84) “Diplomatic Immunity” (Live) https://tinyurl.com/y78vmm5u
(81) “Self-Destruct” (Live) https://tinyurl.com/y7f8fhuy
(82) “Fuck the USA” https://tinyurl.com/6by8z65
(81) “Dead Cities” https://tinyurl.com/y8ynrgxz
(82) “Sid Vicious Was Innocent” https://tinyurl.com/yau74kxm
(81) “Punks Not Dead” https://tinyurl.com/ycqorf8d
MOTORHEAD (80)…”Ace of Spades” https://tinyurl.com/y9a964sr
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 9 CHANNEL 3, ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE & CRASS!
…and I’m looking out for Number 1!” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
From the desire of a US punk band wishing to be heard in the UK (like the Ramones did earlier), to yob-punk’s complete-n-utter disregard for society’s sensitivities, then to a crass band that turned out to be anything but ……instead ‘thoughtful”, the early-mid 80’s continued to surprise!
CHANNEL 3 formed in 1980, LA. The popular single below -I’ve Got a Gun- was well received in the UK, finding its way into my collection in Sydney via a friend, too. With various band member change ups, the band has released seven albums over the years. Perhaps the crudest, least politically correct band of all time -ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE- formed in 79 in Royal Tunbridge Well (phew!) England. Their singer ‘Animal’ (Nick Culmer), become an international- foul-mouthed- icon. My brother purchased the “Live in Yugoslavia” album all those years ago. I read somewhere that they were actually bikers, and like many early punk bands, they attracted bikers out on piss to their gigs too. On the band’s website though, Animal proudly broadcasts his 40 years of being a PUNK - while also announcing to all that he, “loves women, & has never shagged a sheep!” Animal hooks up with Metallica at times, and as seen below, has sung the infamous – “SO What!” on stage with em over the years.
CRASS exploded from Epping, Essex in 1977. In terms of a street punk fanfare, they were huge. Some of the army gear myself & friends were wearing in da 80’s probs due to this band’s intensive workshopping of anarchic - squat-life - street culture – living out the punk dream. They were massively ‘anti-war‘ during a time when the Cold War’s nuclear fallout weighed heavily on minds, & of course the Falklands War. CRASS had plenty to protest, considering the reign of Thatcher & her Tory party’s disregard for the workers: CRASS suggested a non-violent protest - using depictions of street-art on their album sleeves - and other punk paraphernalia, that sold their anti-establishment mantra. They had many singles slam dancing all the way to the top of UK Indie charts.
CHANNEL 3 “I’ve got a gun” (82) https://tinyurl.com/ycapqpj8
ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE “Streets of London” (81) https://tinyurl.com/yaws3ey5
...Animal with Metallica “SO WHAT!” (81) https://tinyurl.com/yd8auetl
CRASS “Bloody revolutions” (80) https://tinyurl.com/yd5yvopq
"Nagasaki Nightmare" / "Big A Little A” (81) https://tinyurl.com/y8m4cyug
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 10 DEAD KENNEDYS!
…where people dress in black ” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
Your hosts Shamrock-n-Screamen
Well now the DK’s, one of the greats! And so much so, that they will fly solo here this fine, crisp, Saturday lockdown-late-Autumn morning. The Dead Kennedys took on the planet from 1978. Out on bayside San Fran, and as the Clash did for London, these guys really put a focus on anti-racism – front-man Jello Biafra stepping up & letting the world know that there was no place for it! He even ran for Mayor of San Francisco at one stage. And I think the anti-racist stance is part of the reason why Screamen likes the following choice in songs, too. Morning Screamen…
Screamen Larry: "At high school, the Dead Kennedys Logo began to pop up, scribbled on many a desk. If you sat at a desk with the DK logo you knew someone was on the same wavelength. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables copped a flogging! In 1983, DK's played Cronulla Workers Club with the Celibate Rifles."
Shamrock: Yeah, there was a riot that night on the street afterwards, hey. We were only young fellas then Screamen, I wasn’t into the DK’s by that stage. Even though bands such as GBH & Stupids got my adrenaline going, bands like Radio Birdman & The Dead Kennedys allowed for more in depth exploration of song timing, song structure. Within these nuances both bands held intrigue & nostalgia. I loved the fast, edgy stuff that the DK’s provided too, but the sounds below hit the mark, any day of the week. For society in general, and as too for the Ramones, I feel the DK’s will never fall from vogue. Screamen’s bro-n-law still has my live DK’s vid! My first choice is - Holiday in Cambodia - it has to be one of the best punk songs ever penned! Anti-war, anti-demoralisation to life: “In daddy's car Thinkin' you'll go far Back east your type don't crawl” tis Screamen’s choice too…
Screamen’s Choice: Dead Kennedys - "Holiday in Cambodia" (1980) https://tinyurl.com/y8uw323z This song has everything from rumbling bass line, surf guitar sound with echo and delay of east bay with straight up punk chorus. All of which has been an inspiration for me.
"NAZI PUNK FUCK OFF!" (81) https://tinyurl.com/y9mpdf93 Punk was always about inclusion no matter colour, creed or sexual preference. It’s about frustration and not violence, short and sweet Nazi punks fuck off!
Shamrock’s Choice: “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” (80) …You know we can, I so love the lead break, cool song! https://tinyurl.com/ya5eed62
“Moon Over Marin” (82) A song about environmental degradation, this is not only for me but Peter Croaker too. Not such a great break for him, I used to sit next to Pete in English - in Yr 12 at Woolooware High - and taped a few bands for him. Last year he told me how much he still loved this song and saw them live in London. https://tinyurl.com/ybt6m33m
"California Uber Alles" (79) https://tinyurl.com/y8dvdkpz
…now that we have the neutron bomb” …“Kill the Poor!” (80) https://tinyurl.com/yagcdcr6
PUNK-n-HARDCORE series - Part 11 NO NONSENSE, STRANGE TENANTS, THE SPECIALS, THE SELECTOR, & BAD MANNERS!
…this town is turning to a ghost town” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
SKA Revival – 2 TONE!
As we head into the noisy pit of Oz & US hardcore in coming weeks, we will say goodbye today to Ol’ Blighty’s punk history - with a nod to SKA! Many I talk to are surprised when I tell em that reggae is the offspring of SKA. With West Indian immigration to London, and both black-n-white coming together on the dance floor, SKA was popular in London too during the late 60’s & early 70’s. But the SKA we are feasting on here is via the late 70’s, the London punk revival of the Bahaman genre.
As we saw earlier in the series, The Clash & The Ruts adopted reggae in their fusion, and Bob Marley visited London to a reggae friendly punk family then. But by now SKA had a punk edge! As you may remember during my 80’s Indie series, I had Sydney’s All Niters, and UK’s Madness, & The Specials - on show. A good example of SKA-Punk is Madness’ - 'One Step Beyond!' While 'Ghost Town' - by The Specials, is here once again. I love it too much to leave it out! But instead of Sydney this week, I have for you two Melbourne SKA bands who were popular all around Oz, in the early-mid 80’s.
'No Nonsense' enjoyed touring Sydney, where during their first gig to the emerald city, they had more than 750 people rock up to dance! How do I know all this? Well apart from my background reading, my pal Tony – 2tone - Walton is the tall fella seen here on sax (in film clip). We used to work together in Darwin, and he has been playing with Darwin’s popular SKA outfit -The Cyclones- in recent years. No Nonsense, however, made it clear to the aggressive skins that turned up, trying to spoil the party for everyone, that they were not welcome! Strange Tenants also used to frequent Sydney. A popular outfit, Brisbane & Adelaide too offered them plenty of gigs. On their Bio site it suggests that ‘hordes of skins, mods, rudies, & punks were busy skanking to their tunes’, and like No Nonsense, they too made it clear that thuggery was not on their agenda – as seen/heard on the single below, with Two Steps Back’s antifascist mantra.
But we can thank Jamaica initially, followed by the late 70’s London sound - for what was occurring SKA-wise in Oz. From Coventry, The Specials were a frontrunner to 2 Tone. Their song Gangsters, ground-breaking, allowing white-n-black to come together, rattling the streets in funky SKA jive. The Selector too pathed the way for others to follow. An early one for you here, while also appreciated - the larrikinism of front-man Buster Bloodvessel, noticeable in Bad Manners’ Top of the Pops ‘Can Can’ - if you like your tightly cropped gentleman in long flowing dresses, that is!
NO NONSENSE “My Dad” (early 80’s) https://tinyurl.com/ya2lvp52
STRANGE TENNANTS “Two Steps Back” (early 80’s) https://tinyurl.com/y3myburr
THE SPECIALS “Ghost Town” (81) https://tinyurl.com/pk4aj6q
“Gangsters” (79) https://tinyurl.com/p4x9w3t
THE SELECTOR “On My Radio” (79) https://tinyurl.com/ycej89q8
BAD MANNERS “Can Can” (81) https://tinyurl.com/q7mjymd
Punk-n-Hardcore series - Part 12 HUSKER DU, DESCENDENTS & FUGAZI!
Yankee Doodle Punk! ...don’t wanna know if you R lonely” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
Husker Du hail from Saint Pail, Minnesota (1979) and their front-man Bob Mould too featured in my 90’s Indie series with his band Sugar. Husker Du (Norwegian for "do you remember?") were popular, as they weren’t afraid to explore a variety of genres; never tied to any sense of just being punk. Legends Black Flag & Dead Kennedys thought them grand and invited them to join them on tour. An earlier song for you below.
Arriving to the planet from Manhattan Beach California in 1977, the Descendents are a hugely influential punk band for the type of sound that I just couldn’t get into during the mid-90’s. Though I like the fellas from Green Day, and their tunes are fine, only Pennywise is truly enjoyed via that style of ‘later days’ punk. That being said, my pal Trousers and others, listened to the Descendents. The band themselves described their earlier sound as ‘melodic hardcore’, and from this era Kabuki Girl can be enjoyed below.
When I hear Fugazi, I think about the lads in TV (Terrible Virtue) a skatecore band from Sydney, and all mates of mine. They, and other pals from my crew, were fans of Fugazi. Later to the scene 1986 Washington DC, they are best known as the biggest of the straight edge bands. With members coming across from popular bands Dag Nasty & Minor Threat, and although not the first to do so, they were experimental in fusing: reggae, funk & punk!
HUSKER DU “In a Free Land” (82) https://tinyurl.com/gq2aaw3
“Don’t want to know if you are lonely" (86) https://tinyurl.com/cp3vm5f
DESCENDENTS “Kabuki Girl” (82) https://tinyurl.com/ctasbmf
“Hope” (82) live in Mosman, Sydney https://tinyurl.com/y7eay32r
FUGAZI “Waiting Room” (89)
Punk-n-Hardcore series - Part 13 GERMS, BLACK FLAG & FEAR!
“The Rise of LA HARDCORE!” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
Though we have neglected New Wave in this series, it incorporated early punk with synth-pop elements making it more Top 40 friendly. While Hardcore, kept the elements of speed & angst: it was now harder & faster! Power-chords & distortion on steroids were the order of the day, but protest of the ills of society remained. This in turn influenced the speed-metal & skatecore scene, which we will entertain in coming weeks! While Hardcore was the evolutionary transcending of U.S. Punk - in the UK, Oi & Street Punk was their extension along the punk family tree (as seen here a couple of weeks back: GBH/Exploited etc). In the meantime, the art side of punk headed towards the more sensitive New Wave & New Age Romantic genres.
In Australia, Sydney for eg, while hardcore was popular in the mid-late 80’s, the Oi/street punk fashion of England still remained. Slam-dancing came with hardcore, and I discussed the Sutho Royal’s slam-culture in my Punk Bio from the website link above. I was a fashion-fusion creature of British street punk - meets LA skatecore, the latter saw the mohawk laying limp & a bandanna now hugging my skull. By then bands like: Massapeal, Terrible Virtue, Drokk, Spunk Bubbles & LOD smashed out the hardcore, while The Rocks & UTI included elements of hardcore - but remained loyal to their ol’ school punk following. Melbourne’s Depression did everything!
The recent SBS series PUNK portrayed the American hardcore scene as being ‘highly violent’. Like many of us, all the way over here in Oz, Spheeris's documentary film The Decline of Western Civilization either introduced us to the following California hardcore bands, or at least gave us a clearer insight. LA band the Germs (1976) were intense! Singer Darby Crash was known as a brilliant song writer. Sadly, he took his life in 1980. Guitarist Pat Smear eventually played for both Nirvana & the Foo Fighters. What bands like the Germs brought to punk were highly theatrical live performances. The American bands, more so than their Australian counterparts, explored this energy. Joan Jett produced the Germs’ first album GI. It is known as the first ever hardcore album.
Black Flag (1976) hail from Hermosa Beach, California. Joining the band in 81; after a stint as their roadie initially, Henry Rollins is a very well-known product of this band. A thoughtful fella, he certainly did it big on stage. I stood next to him while he psyched himself up before a gig in Sydney, he was going nuts! (I preferred Sydney bands Massappeal & Toys Went Berserk that night) Black Flag mixed it up, slowing the pace in amongst the rawer stuff. They toured North America persistently, these DIY California bands made this their aim, allowing far-flung regions to get to know them. As can be said for Suicidal Tendencies - along with punk greats, these guys were also influenced by Black Sabbath.
Fear (1977) also from LA, RH Chili Pepper’s Flea slogged it out for them in 82! These guys could be abusive to those in the crowd and had a slam dancing team on stage, while also enjoying TV appearances. They too were more experimental than most punk bands of their era with influences such as jazz, while incorporating more sophisticated rhythm sections. Have a listen…
The GERMS “Lexicon Devil” (79) https://tinyurl.com/y2huq93e
BLACK FLAG “Rise Above” (81) https://tinyurl.com/88rp73s
“White Minority” (80) https://tinyurl.com/y7p3n9tw
FEAR “Beef Baloney“ (82) https://tinyurl.com/kf2pw44
Punk-n-Hardcore series - Part 14 DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES & SUICIDAL TENDENCIES!
…Trip at the brain yeah you know what I’m saying!” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
CROSSOVER - SKATECORE - THRASH …your hosts Shamrock & Screamen!
I was a bit torn when punk ‘crossed over’ to speed metal! My bro 1F was into it before me, and sure, I enjoyed Suicidal Tendencies' first album, but really, that was skater punk. By the time ST’s ‘Join the Army’ came about, I got used to it, and two songs from this album have landed below. Morning Screamen Larry…
Screamen: "Mid to late 80's saw the rise of hard core with bands like Black Flag, Bad Brains, DOA and Minor Threat - already established, and there was an even faster and harder movement happening. Suicidal Tendencies, DRI, Cro Mags, Corrosion of Conformity and Sydney's own Massappeal, with new genre's exploding like grind core. With bands like Napalm Death, SOD, DRI and Sepultura, this is my little brother’s soundtrack. IT’s amazing that within ‘then’ years, the amount of band styles and genre's that spawned - and still inspire to this day."
Shamrock: DRI (1982) Houston Texas, was known as the first of the crossover bands, their album of the same title sorted that out. Honestly, I lost track of em. I did enjoy them at the time, & my bestie Pickle went and saw them at the Sutho Royal 97, about then anyway? I struggled to find the tunes I used to know but put two up here for the die-hards. They were a very fast punk band before they crossed over to thrash. As for Suicidal Tendencies - Venice Beach, California (1980) it was them & The Cure as my favs for the late 80’s. Our crew the DP’s were so into them in the Cronulla-Caringbah region. So much so that my good pal Kyle Horton went over & knocked on front-man Mike Muir’s door in LA, asking him for a gig back in Oz! Our pal Nasser Sultan, drummer for the Rocks, put up the dosh, and Suicidals toured twice with Kyle’s band Throwdown: all good DP pals of mine & Screamen’s.
I so love ‘Trip At The Brain’, tis one of my fav songs of all time, and the instrumental for ‘A Little Each Day’; the intro & finality - brilliant! Rocky George is my favourite metal guitarist. Enjoy da tunes…
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES…I’m not crazy!
Screamen’s Choice: “Institutionalized” (83) Along with ST, music round this time became a soundtrack of the surfing/body boarding - skate and BMX culture around Cronulla. https://tinyurl.com/7cc3jq3
Shamrock’s Choice: “Trip At The Brain”…flying free… (88) https://tinyurl.com/q2pmwp6
“A Little Each Day” …took a walk down under the street (87) https://tinyurl.com/y8yyfryb
“Join the Army” (87) https://tinyurl.com/yczb5jp6
“You Can’t Bring Me Down” (92) https://tinyurl.com/y7htybgf
DRI “Thrash Zone” (89) https://tinyurl.com/y73z9yus
“Enemy Within” (89) https://tinyurl.com/ydb6dhme
Punk-n-Hardcore series - Part 15 UNCLE SLAM, EXCEL, BEOWULF & NO MERCY!
SKATECORE - VENICE SOUND ….psycho ward, is your home!” www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
Now these guys were fast! Uncle Slam would have been fun live. Of the Venice community to which Suicidal Tendencies helped flourish, these guys kept that punk element while allowing thrash to enthrall. Arriving to the scene during 84 as The Brood, as time moved along none less than five ST members had played for them; and where drummer Amery Smith went on to join the Beastie Boys - and now plays with other ST members, & Excel’s front-man Dan Clements - in AgainST! There was an Excel song that started with a cool jutting, stand-alone bass line, which I can’t find, a sound I did my best to emulate back in the late 80’s. Forming in 83, and true to their punk - crossover- thrash genetics, they played it fast-n-hard! A nod to their ‘metal’ influences, they also mixed it up by delving into gigs with speed metal lords: Testament & Megadeth.
Beowulf started out as Black Sheep (1981). I always thought they sounded like Motorhead, but better! They had a different sound to other bands of West LA’s Venice. I like the song below ‘Muy Bonita’, tis almost hard rock really. There is a reason why No Mercy sounded like Suicidal Tendencies, they pretty much are one in the same. They began in 82 with Mike Clark at the helm. Between he & Mike Muir, both bands shared songs, shared bands…savvy? If anything, No Mercy were more thrash metal, the whole ST skatecore thang corrupting the groove, while also seeing ST becoming more metal. The song ‘Waking the Dead’ has not landed below, but is worth a listen, and being recorded for both bands.
UNCLE SLAM …you’re so weak, stupid geek!” “Weirdo Man” (88) https://tinyurl.com/y7goqpp5
EXCEL “Your Life My Life” (87) https://tinyurl.com/yd396s9s
BEOWULF “Muy Bonita” (82) https://tinyurl.com/y9d52ojo
NO MERCY “Master of No Mercy” (82) https://tinyurl.com/yaxaam75
Punk-n-Hardcore series - Part 16 CRUMSUCKERS, M.O.D, S.O.D & PIXIES!
EAST COAST HARDCORE - CROSSOVER www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
Next week: Oz Punk & Hardcore!
We have been listening to the west coast’s skatecore sound for the past few weeks. Now it’s the east coast’s turn, particularly the NYC region. Of course, the Ramones started the whole sound that followed on to what’s on offer here today. I enjoyed my Crumsuckers & M.O.D on vinyl. Crumsuckers started out in Baldwin, Long Island NY (1982). As to for their punk predecessors, CBGB still supported the culture, allowing hardcore bands to trip the 80’s light fantastic! It’s hard to put a finger on it, but with the nicely abrupt time changes; that typically gruff hardcore voice & fiery pace, these guys still managed to carve out a sound that was their own. As made available with this pioneering of east coast ‘crossover’ they played alongside both ‘punk hardcore’ & ‘thrash metal’ royalty.
M.O.D Method of Destruction (1986), well now it’s here that we introduce the infamous Billy Milano! The band mixed it up between surf punk sound with thrash metal indulgences, where having a good laugh at society, too was on offer. As they have been around for so long, MOD’s band membership history includes 23, all suffering tinnitus I am sure! Scott Ian’s sound is obvious with his awesome heavy power-chords that fans of Anthrax & S.O.D, too will recognize.
A desire brought to life via Scott Ian’s fictional invention of ‘Sargent D’ (clip below), S.O.D Soldiers of Destruction (1985) also had Billy, Scott, and two other Anthrax members in the mix. If you believe they were racists or right-wing rednecks, you missed the point! They took the piss out of society. They were heavy but funny! I am a fan of Scott ‘NOT’ Ian in all his bands. Billy Milano was on bass for Psychos & actually lugged gear for a spell with Anthrax. He is a mountain of man, and this was handy for Metallica once when a group of skins decided to give the band some grief. Milano stepped in & sorted it! I did choose another song for the clips below, about taking one’s life (not a serious suggestion) but as there is so much awful shite occurring globally at present, decided to deny it here. In terms of punk-metal-thrash, perhaps only Uncle Slam were as intense as the sod. I loved blasting my brother’s tapes of this band in the late 80’s, probs supplied via our pal Trousers. SOD has had an interesting career within the sordid history of music, having charmed many other bands, and too having played to massive audiences around the globe.
From Boston 1986, Pixies. Hey, why hardcore? Yep, they featured in my Indie series & were my fav band during the early-mid 90’s - and while they will also return during the Post Punk series - this song ‘Rock Music’ is nothing but intense hardcore!
Next week Screamen & I will feature Oz Hardcore, particularly Sydney’s SUTHO ROYAL scene!
CRUMSUCKERS “Trapped” (86) https://tinyurl.com/ya9anxhr
M.O.D “No Hope” (1989) …followed by entire album ‘Gross Misconduct’ https://tinyurl.com/y7k6kx65
S.O.D “Freddy Krueger” (1985) https://tinyurl.com/y8bfxzyb
“Sargent D …is coming and you’re on his list!” (1985) https://tinyurl.com/y7eytuxf
PIXIES “Rock Music” (1990) https://tinyurl.com/y8fpn5os
Punk-n-Hardcore series - Part 17 HARD-ONS, CELIBATE RIFLES, THE HELLMENN, TRILOBYTES & MOTHERS! SYDNEY’S 80’S PUNK www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
The following three week’s Australian Punk nostalgia also relates to my Punk Bio: My life as an 80’s Sydney Punk here in the older posts.
Screamen & I did feature some of the earlier Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane & Sydney bands here – but the following weeks we will showcase the mid 80’s to Post-Millennium Oz scene. Monsieur Larry returns next week, by the way. My two fav bands to see live during the 80’s in Sydney were Drokk & Toys Went Berserk. However, other than a couple of Succotash gigs a few years on that were fun, the Hellmenn gig at the Sutherland Royal Hotel (Christmas Eve or New Years?) was brilliant! Occupied elsewhere during the festive season, the crowd was smaller than usual, and my crew & I let loose. The funniest gig was with Screamen at Selina’s, Coogee Bay Hotel, where we laughed our butts off at the Cramp’s drummer - with his steely resolve in sunglasses to remain frozen faced - finding his Achilles heel - eventually making him crack under pressure & laugh along with us! Poison Ivy & the other lady in leather were appreciated too…(segue)…
The Hard-Ons (81) all went to school out in western Sydney. I first saw them with Melbourne’s Depression at the Sutho Royal. There was a film crew there that night. Lyrically they could be clownish, kinda power-poppy, & at times crass. Singer Keish de Silva drummed while singing, this stood out. On bass, Ray Ahn used to work at my pals Tegan & Adam Pinkus’ dad’s music store in Miranda. Later in the mid-90’s, I saw them debarking from a plane while I was working at the airport. They used to travel to places like Germany, being popular here & abroad. They also teamed up with one of my favs 'Stupids’, a skate-punk band from England who toured here. As seen below, ‘Then I Kissed Her’ was originally by the Crystals in 1963. The Celibate Rifles (79): I always thought of these guys as lords of the 80’s surf punk scene. They were loud and energetic live, deserving their fame! Some of my pals, & my bro & I, first tried to see them at the Sutho Royal, but it was packed out. I happily caught them in later days. I was sad to hear how Damien Lovelock passed, he was charismatic. The band was still playing in very recent times; many of the members remaining - Steedman, Morris et al. - while also guesting for other popular groups over the years.
The Hellmenn (86) were a bit grungier, more hardcore than the previous. They were Manly lads & popular too along the coastal fringe. They released some epic ‘skate-punk’ tunes. In 89 they toured with Henry Rollins. Front-man Ben Brown’s wild cartoons were a feature of underground Sydney 80/90’s life too. The Trilobites (84) were perhaps more ‘indie rock’ than punk. But the two latter songs below I feel are punk enough! Their tunes grabbed attention abroad also & I like Mike Dalton’s voice, but oh dear I just can’t remember if I saw em live (?) Must of! They recorded a live gig just up the road from my joint at Caringbah Inn, 1987. Some Sydney street scenes are on show in the first clip below. Mothers (87) are probably remembered firstly for their gorgeous singer Fiona Horne. I used to be at some of the gigs with Def FX, when lugging gear & dazzling out some of the light shows for Succotash. I never met Fiona though, but met The Mother’s drummer Rick’s bro, last year in Uki. The rest of the band were of the fairer sex, punk chickadees. I never saw em live but wanted to show them off here anyway. As too for some of the work for the prementioned Sydney bands, Waterfront Records (was a fan) released The Mothers EP ‘12-Incher’ & their single ‘Drives Me Wild”.
HARD-ONS “Girl in the Sweater” (86) https://tinyurl.com/y6uk9tr7
“Then I Kissed Her” (86) – live- https://tinyurl.com/y853wx79
CELIBATE RIFLES “Johnny” (89) https://tinyurl.com/y5uxmag6
“It’s Such a Wonderful Life” (87) https://tinyurl.com/y988644p
THE HELLMENN gonna skate till the day I die!...“Out of Control” followed by “So Bad” (87) https://tinyurl.com/y9cdxepn
THE TRILOBITES “Minibar of Oblivion” (90) https://tinyurl.com/y73svcsj
“Watch My American TV” (86) https://tinyurl.com/ych7p6bz
“Legacy of Morons” (86) https://tinyurl.com/y86qlaz7
THE MOTHERS “Weekend” followed by “Drives Me Wild” https://tinyurl.com/yafkampq
Punk-n-Hardcore series - Part 18 MASSAPPEAL, SPUNKBUBBLES, TERRIBLE VIRTUE & ROCKS!
The SUTHO ROYAL DayZ www.shamocknewsmusic.com
HOSTS: Shamrock & Screamen Larry…For more insight into the following, check out my 80's Sydney Punk Bio in the older posts.
The Sutherland Royal Hotel in Sydney’s south was my playground during the mid-late 80’s. There were plenty of other venues my friends & I used to inhabit, and they & the bands that thrilled too, can be relived via the Bio link above. I would’ve loved to have shown you a few bands that didn’t make the cut here, but there are no You Tube links existing, rather offline video footage. Of all the bands it was the Cronulla-Caringbah lads DROKK, that were may fav. My good mate Anthony Short (Trousers) was the drummer, the other fellas I knew too. Psychedelic Turnbuckles were another loud band that did the rounds; the Happy Hate Me Nots, Trouser’s - Stifled Scream (ex Vultees members), Love Age, my friend Mel’s - Epileptic Pigmeez, Lazarus (metal), Roaring Jack, UTI & LOD - all good fun! From the Caringbah scene, Cazbah’s sharing on FB of da Royal’s memorabilia, & his close connection to the bands at the time, have been very popular in recent years. My pal Fraser Bayley said he was ‘up the Royal one day’ & the punks had a brawl with the ‘workers’. Bodies were going through windows he tells me! I never had any probs there, I knew most of the Sydney Punxs, some of the Cronulla Alleys that hung out, and my crew The DP’s were always in healthy numbers. We all got on well & watched out for each other in the turmoil of the slam: punks, crusties, hardcore heads, metal heads, bikers, stoner-hippies, surfers, the odd goth, the odd skin - and the blow-in middle-ager just wanting to feel a part of something once again. Up the Royal we used to knock back many a New from the plastic slam-friendly schooners. Good times!
The Great Larry Swindle rides again! Morning Screamen: “Mid to late 80's saw the rise of hard core with bands in the US, and there was an even faster and harder movement happening. New genres were exploding, including here. Sydney Band - Massappeal – ‘Beginning of a Hurt’ has a rawness and thickness to the sound that is Australian. Reminds me of Waterfront Records and Royal gigs!”
Shamrock: Yeah, I chose ‘Balance’ even though Nobody Likes a Thinker “pull more cones” etc was iconic in Sydney, when ‘Jazz’ came along - the intensity - the mayhem, could not be ignored! Massappeal started out in 85, away from the city-n-coastal fringe where punk delighted. Instead, these guys began their days out in the west of Sydney where their craft was less understood. Even though they sounded full on, they were cruisy dudes, maniacs on stage, sure, but arrogance just wasn’t their thing. Massappeal were loud & always pulled a crowd. They & the ‘Rocks’ were probs the biggest bands up the Royal, well, when Celibate Rifles weren’t about, I guess. Randy Reimann was quite a showman! They were known abroad too. Kevin McCrear on bass became a pal when he later joined our crew in Succotash. When Sean Fonti arrived on bass in the late 80’s, I remember all his dreads flying about. I knew Sean & his bro more so during their Caligula days. Peter Allen drummed so well with Massappeal. Tis more on Pete below in TV. In terms of Oz hardcore, Massappeal brought the biggest sound!
SPUNKBUBBLES (89) were a fun punk-metal-crossover band. The songs I chose below were my favs. I knew drummer Spiker through Trousers. He was a funny dude & I loved his high-hat stabs, which Trousers also did for DROKK - an edgy inheritance via thrash metal to crossover.
TERRIBLE VIRTUE (TV) late 80’s. These guys were all pals of my crew. In fact, their scene merged with ours during the late 80’s, early 90’s. Well known Rock photographer, Rod Hunt, was their front-man, as he was too for DROKK. He has played in many hardcore/thrash bands over the years. Drummer Peter Allen was a jazz drummer who thrilled within hardcore bands. He & Trousers are wicked drummers! There are newer You Tube clips that show off TV’s later works, but I chose their earlier stuff below. They were wild live, the punks loved em.
ROCKS (76) lived down at Cronulla & were from southern/SW Sydney too. They had been around since the first wave of Oz punk & were popular with the Sydney Punx, the trains to Sutherland from Kogarah, Redfern or Central - filled to the brim with punk hair, punk fashion. I think just about anyone with punk roots in Oz knew who they were, making them a very versatile group to book gigs with - slamming was always on the cards. My mate in those days, Nasser Sultan, drummed with them too, before becoming one of Succotash’s managers. I reckon you will dig their groove here.
More on Oz 80’s Punk next week: Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney!
MASSAPPEAL “Beginning of a Hurt” (86) https://tinyurl.com/ycxfsadz
“Balance” (89) https://tinyurl.com/yaxepncc
Live 89 during a Henry Rollins gig https://tinyurl.com/ybhqo666
SPUNK BUBBLES all from (87) “Tonight” https://tinyurl.com/y85cuv82
“Byron Bay” https://tinyurl.com/yaff4po3
"Spiker’s Theme” https://tinyurl.com/y745rdsc
Live at Caringbah Inn “Ace of Spades” (87) https://tinyurl.com/y9tctfs6
TV- TERRIBLE VIRTUE Live at the Sutherland Royal Hotel (89) https://tinyurl.com/ydfnkajs
“I Only Laugh When it Hurts” (89) https://tinyurl.com/y74klk4k
ROCKS “Combat Zone” Live at the Botany View, Newtown https://tinyurl.com/ydcf7hs4
“What I Say” https://tinyurl.com/ybx4a5yy
Punk-n-Hardcore series - Part 19 EXPLODING WHITE MICE, DEPRESSION, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVY & FESTER FANATICS!
…keep your hands out of the water!” Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney! www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
One comparison that can be drawn between Sydney & Melbourne is that both cities were the world’s best 80’s city scapes in which to go out & see a variety of Indie & rock bands! Melbourne remains the victor. Sydney was once grand, but too many venues have dropped the baton. Though one thing folk in bands have told me over the years is that Sydney was the more willing to explore the new sounds brewing in the US, UK & Europe. Perhaps to its credit, the wonderful city of Melbourne seemingly happier to remain more traditional. And where would Indie music be without Melbourne’s Dead Can Dance, Paul Kelly & Nick Cave! The awesome punk cult classic featuring Michael Hutchence as the singer, “Dogs in Space”, was my friend Steve Holt’s real-life band. Steve told me how Michael H played his friend’s role perfectly. Of course Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, Wollongong, Byron Bay & Brisbane - have all spawned many a great band over the years; the latter has seen many generations of muggy summer dripping mascara goths, patrolling the city streets too; the Valley’s 4ZZZ FM being a brilliant Indie resource, where punk remains alive to this day!
EXPLODING WHITE MICE (83) Adelaide punk: popular with the traditionalist punks & the surfers. But I can’t talk for what these guys meant to the Adelaide community, that’s out of my reach here. They & the Scientists were sure to be well-loved there. Did you see the Sydney film, a crime thriller which was slightly bent (name eludes me, so does any web search) with da Mice playing in the pub? How fast was that song! Tis hard to believe that one of their tags is ‘power pop’. These guys were still thundering well into the 90’s, touring to places far and wide; the song here ‘Fear’ one of their most popular. DEPRESSION (82) Melbourne hardcore thrash band, from the album ‘Depression - Ultra Hard Core Mega Heavy Punk Metal Thrash 1987’ …my fav song of theirs (3rd of theirs below) is about the depravity that accompanies heroin use. But it’s more the fast, edgy rhythm section that blows me away, a truly gritty punk song. As I mentioned the other week, I saw these guys with the Hard-Ons at the Sutho Royal. My pal Pickle-&-I met the singer too, he reminded me of a punk version of Angry Anderson; a big tattoo ran across his skull. The place was full of mohawks-n-studded jackets “Du-presh-on, Du-presh-on!” …both bands being a real drawcard for Sydney’s nocturnal life. Alongside other Melbourne hardcore legends Vicious Circle, these punks were well catered for in that big port city. They are one of the heaviest bands I have ever seen live! My good pal Antony Smith, who moved to Cronulla from London in the early 80’s, said he knew of them back in Ol' Blighty. Pretty hard to ignore them, they were so full on!
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVY (83) Melbourne psychobilly punks, these guys were funny! My bro had the album ‘FRUIT LOOP CITY’, and Rage used to play the single below often as a fav choice of many in the industry. Singer alias Fred Negro, well, I very much doubt he meant any harm by this title, but in today’s climate, may well have seen himself in the hot stuff. Call in Harry Connick Jr! Now I’m not sure just how true this is but Fred was said to have ‘appeased the vegetarians’ at gigs by having sex with a rockmelon on stage, instead of his plastic chicken, while the band’s producer Paul Elliott also had the Vice Squad chase his ass when doing letterbox runs for their Sydney gigs - which included anti-Fred Nile propaganda.
FESTER FANATICS (87) Sydney Crossover: You might have thought Fester Fanatics front man (Aldo) Alfie Fester - was in action for a SKA or Oi! band. But this was 87 Sydney, hardcore was in full swing! I enjoyed them live up da Royal, or was it at the Chicken Shack - the Den perhaps? Oh well, wherever da FK it was, they were fab! I played them at home willingly too, a similar vibe to (S) MOD.
EXPLODING WHITE MICE “Fear” https://tinyurl.com/y7l33jbw
DEPRESSION “Money” (84) https://tinyurl.com/y8946eup
Demo (82) https://tinyurl.com/y8gcw6sq
…go & take a hit of smack & throw up in the sink!” (Live 87) scroll across on the bar to 33mins to find this song https://tinyurl.com/yb9mzexm
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVY “Piranha” (87) https://tinyurl.com/yb23u4vf
FESTER FANATICS “The Pusher” (87) https://tinyurl.com/y87kqj2e
“Counting the Beat” (89 - a Swingers cover) https://tinyurl.com/y7q9alwn
Punk-n-Hardcore series - Part 20 THROWDOWN, BLACKBALL, RUST & TOE TO TOE!
In honour of the Hooky bros mum. And Horton bros mum Carole: miss your smile and banter, “the Brownie boyz!”
90’s & Post-Millennium Punk-n-Hardcore
I would have liked to have shown you more Royal days memorabilia. In time, perhaps, if I can track some down. But alas, we draw to-a-close on the punk series soon. Thankfully, I have the POST PUNK series then on the roll! You can read more interviews with the following bands from my ‘Slam Dance Corroboree’ series from the link here - just scroll through the older posts www.shamrocknewsmusic.com
In the early 90’s, Succotash, along with Caligula & Def FX, gave exploring new fusions a red-hot crack! Some of the old guard didn’t appreciate this: “traitors!”, these renegades had steered their gaze from punk! My pal Kol Dimond, his story on my site too, where he describes a life moving out from England & squatting in Sydney’s inner-city - well, he & other Sydney Punx, were influenced by their trips to Goa, their music transforming more towards electronica, as time moved along. The 90’s was a time for exploration!
As Ernest O’ Limpass, I toured with da Tash for Triple J through SE Qld. Why the tag? Well the day before I left with the band, I ran down the Wall at Cronulla, bruising my heal on the jump at the hill’s base. Not exactly equipped to lug gear on tour with a swollen hoof, I just concentrated on limping about the joint & doing the light shows. Succotash had played with just about every big Indie name in Oz, Hoodoo Gurus took a shine to em & they toured a few times; supported LA’s awesome Fishbone; even landed a then cancelled gig with Ice Cube & da RH Chili Peppers! Succotash were/are all my homies; Dirtpipes (DPs) my family - a big party scene around Cronulla-Caringbah, 80’s into 90’s! I lived in a DP share-house with Tash’s sampler Kyle Horton then too. Anyway, they released a wicked song called ‘Payback’ - where in the clip I played the long-haired bookie taking bets on the band, dragging their sorry butts around a ring as an analogy to pit bulls. My bro 1F, Screamen Larry, Sawnoff, along with other DPs… & the girls from Nitocris (Newtown) all laying down the bets with moi as Gangstars! Now the clip was about to get airtime; it featured on Video Hits, but then it was suddenly pulled due to a vegan hit squad in Newtown suggesting Pay Back communicated animal cruelty… when the whole reason for the song was to promote the bleeden opposite! Blimey, right! And it was the last time my good mate Dave Jackson would sing for da Tash, moving on to concentrate on his work with street kids, & working with the Indigenous community. Anyway, Succotash had previous luck on radio & TV with their hip hop number, Bedazzled. I was in that clip daggy dancing with Screamen & our pal Bugs (us three in punk garage band then) …but our funkyass grooves were all edited out by the clip-makers (wise) to the detest of the Tash boyz (of course). In time the lads would start hanging & gigging with da groovy Sound Unlimited Possie. So, you might be surprised by their transitioning (?) back to hardcore for the following - when the lads then became THROWDOWN!
My brother was Throwdown’s first singer. It was 1995. He went well too while in rehearsal stage, getting themselves into groove with Suicidal Tendencies covers etc, a band; legends, which Throwdown would go on to tour with a few times. Instead, 1F joined myself & Joelsa Longcut (from the Trip Hop series here earlier in the year) travelling Oz …thus Kyle Horton (Horto) took to the mic, while continuing on with bass. All DPs of course: our mate Adam Cable was on guitar, Bev Wilkerson on lead; Anthony Short (Trousers) on drums, fast & devilish! In the clip below at a festival on the Sunshine Coast, Derek Turner features on guitar with Bev (Derek’s FB site is Quarterpipe Records). Now Derek & Bev are wicked metal guitarists, both having played in death metal outfits. Back then our pal Troy Sherry too was a 6-string genius, he almost joined the Tash at one stage. Anywayz, Throwdown were intense, and they were popular in northern NSW, SE Qld, Sydney & Melbourne - especially when they toured. In the pic here the tall fella with the beard is Jay, by then playing guitar alongside Bev. My bro 1F and I, along with Screamen Larry, get a mention in the Throwdown song ‘Keep em Guessing’ - which is about us Dirtpipes & pals.
BLACKBALL (2016) is all Bevynn Wilkerson. The following is a bit of a Bevathon, he is a popular lad. Of course, you can read about Monsieur Wilkerson from the link above, but he started out in Perth - becoming a Cronulla DP adoptee, alongside his partner Five & her sis Jen. Going back to his roots, he shot ‘The Journey’ clip in WA with guest Al from Razorback, & Bev’s parents. He also plays guitar with RUST (2005). A bit of an Oi!-roots Sydney street punk outfit with members from World War 24, they have toured the UK & Europe a couple of times, including being welcomed into the punk fortress of Blackpool’s REBELLION FEST! GBH, Exploited, Stiff Little Fingers are amongst the punk godfathers Rust have hit the stage with over the years, here in Oz too! When Rust played at Maroubra a couple of years back, one of the Bra Boys asked Bev if he knew me. Thankfully for favourable reasons!
A band that Bev hasn’t played ‘for’, but played ‘with’, heh, is TOE to TOE (92). Probs by now the biggest of the Oz hardcore bands, I met singer Scotty Mac a few times during the earlier punk days. His band ‘Under The Influence’ (UTI) were popular with the Sydney Punx. My pal Justin Robertson joined as Toe to Toe’s guitarist, Scotty, from the city, now a common sight by this stage around Cronulla himself. Toe to Toe toured OS too, playing alongside such greats as Drop Kick Murphies & Agnostic Front. Suitably, both Throwdown & da Toes toured together, allowing younger crowds to touch base with something similar to the 80’s underground culture. Though I caught the earlier Throwdown & Toe to Toe gigs, I missed a lot of all this, as I was travelling my long tangling hippy hair around the country for a couple of years, but by now the limp had abated at least. I miss em! No, not Throwdown, I still catch up with them, I mean my then abundant hair follicles!
Enjoy the clips here. But tis not my crew in the live Throwdown gig here, but instead the youngens of Nambour, Qld.
THROWDOWN Live at Nambour Oval “Don’t Wanna Stop!” https://tinyurl.com/yaeeq5rx
“Can’t Taste the Words” https://tinyurl.com/y8u857as
BLACK BALL “The Journey” https://tinyurl.com/yb6f2blu
“Old School” https://tinyurl.com/yaq52ctc
RUST “Trains, Planes & Automobiles” (2018) https://tinyurl.com/ya5fn4fo
TOE to TOE “Falling Short” (97) https://tinyurl.com/y7prk6hq
“Hope and Sorrow” https://tinyurl.com/yd49sl9c
Punk-n-Hardcore Series - Part 21 PENNYWISE, MINISTRY, STUPIDS & CYCO -MIKO!
…fighting in a war with damnation!” with your hosts Shamrock & Screamen.
90’s PUNK...I wasn’t a fan of the punk coming out of California post 89. I found it too poppy. After being amongst all the 80’s hardcore & street punk, it was just too tame: there for the teens or twenty-somethings - those that instead skirted around the edges of 70 – 80’s punk. However, having enjoyed the recent SBS series PUNK with Iggy Pop, I appreciated getting to know some of the people from bands like Offspring - a band I just couldn’t ‘get into’ at the time. PENNYWISE (1988) I could stomach. Fast and less annoying, I like the cover of Men At Work’s ‘Land Down Under’ (below). From Hermosa Beach, and with 12 studio albums at their feet, they were even more popular here in Oz than back in the States or Europe.