This week I spent a lot of time listening to a great Australian band called "Skyhooks". Of course I knew who they were but I guess they were really popular before I lived here and as a result I didn't pay all that much attention. An online essay by one of their guitarists, and now Melbourne radio personality, Red Symons, piqued my interest. As a result of a very superficial amount of research I now know a lot more about quite a few Victorian groups of the 70s.
Skyhooks played a driving mix of glam and straight ahead rock with lyrics often concentrated on their local surrounds as well as things that young people were interested in. Quite a few of their songs were banned on radio and I'm sure that this just increased their popularity. Here's a couple of tracks to whet your whistle.
Skyhooks - Women In Uniform (live) - https://youtu.be/af5wTh_0jmI
Skyhooks - This Is My City - https://youtu.be/cgZSOzW9I7Y
If you liked those tracks then search out a compilation double album entitled "When The Sun Sets Over Carlton". It showcases a range of artists from Melbourne some of who you'll know like Joe Camilleri and Daddy Cool and a heap of others. It's a well curated collection with a lot of variety. It's also on Spotify and iTunes which is pretty cool really. See if you can pick this singer...
High Rise Bombers - Faster Than Light - https://youtu.be/X14A0EVG2f8
The bad thing about music is that there is so much really, really good stuff that you never get to hear. However, the internet is a great leveler for those on any kind of musical journey. No longer do radio DJs and record companies totally control what is published and listened to. It might make it significantly more difficult to make a living as a musician but for those passionate about writing, playing, recording and performing at almost any level the opportunity is there. I imagine that without the internet I would never have heard of this next singer songwriter and I'd be poorer as a result. John Moreland is from Tulsa and plays heartfelt folky country music that is so far from the contrived commercial stuff being pushed out mainstream that it isn't funny. Great songwriting and a voice to match coupled with acoustic strumming the way that nature intended.
John Moreland - Blacklist - https://youtu.be/FETNBYsfdsQ
If you can be bothered reading the news anymore you may have filtered through the diabolical mess that is the US Presidential pre-selection, the Australian Government slowly imploding, the Saudis getting a bit of a shock diplomatically and therefore wasted a millisecond of your time on Kanye West. His foul comments in his latest release about a female singer are worthy of nothing short of a complete boycott of his music. Misogyny sucks no matter how you try and justify it.
Taylor Swift - Shake It Off (live) - https://youtu.be/CFoA8L6NSa0
Do you know who Chris Spedding is? I didn't until this week. He's an English guitarist who has played with McCartney, John Cale, Roxy Music, Roger Daltrey and The Wombles (seriously). Rumour has is that he also played all the guitar and bass lines for the Sex Pistols debut album. In 2015 he released and album called Joyland and I've been slowly getting into it over the last couple of weeks. It's a healthy mix of rock and twang guitar and if you like Roxy Music when they rock out or Mark Knopfler then it might just be for you...it's quite varied in the best way.
Chris Spedding - Now You See It - https://youtu.be/A5oPsm_0AKw
In very sad news from Vanuatu, one of Zoe's uncles, and my big brother has passed away. Paul was the Pastor at Anvenvene Church on Pentecost and if you've seen the photos of Zoe and I with little Gordy then that's his Dad. As you can imagine, our family are very sad at this time and our hearts go out to them. RIP Tua.
Johnny Cash - All God's Children Ain't Free - https://youtu.be/Wy-kxryMi_A
That's it for this week. Carry on.....
More? Not my hometown but the next one over....