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GANG OF FOUR, A 100 FLOWERS BLOOM: Would you like politics with that?

GANG OF FOUR, A 100 FLOWERS BLOOM: Would you like politics with that?

The ideas and ideologies which came in the late 70s with punk, new wave and anarcho-pop threw up some extraordinary bands, not the least of which was Gang of Four, an outfit from Leeds whose 1979 debut Entertainment! brought together minimalist punk-funk bass and drums with guitarist Andy Gill's switchblade guitar and howling feedback. Oh,...

RADIO BIRDMAN REMEMBERED: Detroit rock'n'roll . . . . outta Sydney, Australia

RADIO BIRDMAN REMEMBERED: Detroit rock'n'roll . . . . outta Sydney, Australia

Radio Birdman were one of the great Detroit rock bands, except they came from Sydney. Inspired by the Stooges and MC5, they blasted out of Australia in the pre-punk Seventies in one of those short, fast flights that would end in legend or obscurity. They managed to achieve both. Most people have never heard of them let alone their sonic...

Magazine: Real Life (1978)

Magazine: Real Life (1978)

If there was a godfather of the Manchester scene in the Eighties there's a good case to be made that it wasn't Tony Wilson (who founded the Hacienda and Factory Records) but that it was Howard Devoto, singer and songwriter for Magazine, the band he formed in 1977. In that crucial year Devoto promoted the two local concerts by the Sex Pistols...

Larry Wallis: Police Car (1977)

Larry Wallis: Police Car (1977)

The punk era tossed up -- threw up? -- some real oddities, few more unexpected than Wallis who was no spring chicken in the world of short haired rock'n'roll for angry 18-year olds. He'd been in the music game for over a decade and in the Sixties had been in such household names as The Entire Sioux Nation and Shagrat. To be fair, Shagrat...

THE CHURCH INTERVIEWED (1994): Men keeping the faith

THE CHURCH INTERVIEWED (1994): Men keeping the faith

Fourteen years after springing their classic paisley-pop hit An Unguarded Moment, six years on from picking up an American gold disc for their album Starfish and looking at a back-catalogue of releases that reaches dangerously close to double figures, the Church -- now trimmed back to founder members Steve Kilbey and Marty Willson-Piper...

CHRIS BAILEY, THE SAINTS, INTERVIEWED (1994): From Saint to Pope

CHRIS BAILEY, THE SAINTS, INTERVIEWED (1994): From Saint to Pope

There were always a couple of good reasons for liking the Saints, Brisbane’s punk-to-pop finest who were fronted by sole constant Chris Bailey. The first was Bailey running intellectual rings around rock show host Dick Driver on national television. The other was a great song. What that song was came down to taste. Maybe it...

The Saints: (I'm) Stranded (1976)

The Saints: (I'm) Stranded (1976)

Bob Geldof once observed, "Rock music of the Seventies was changed by three bands -- the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and the Saints". That the Saints out of suburban Brisbane -- hardly the home of rock music, let alone an angry and intelligent version -- should be in that illustrious company comes as no surprise to anyone who followed...

THE JOE STRUMMER STORY, a documentary by MIKE PARKINSON (DV1 DVD/Southbound)

THE JOE STRUMMER STORY, a documentary by MIKE PARKINSON (DV1 DVD/Southbound)

With each passing year the myth and power of Joe Strummer seems to grow as his story has its contradictions and inconveniences ironed out. His wilderness years after the Clash are all but ignored and increasingly it seems as if Strummer moved seamlessly from agit-prop rocker to senior statesman who took his message of tolerance and commitment to...

Various Artists: Kris Needs Presents Dirty Water; The Birth of Punk Attitude (Future Police/Southbound)

Various Artists: Kris Needs Presents Dirty Water; The Birth of Punk Attitude (Future Police/Southbound)

This excellent, wayward and musically diverse double disc is like a mix tape/vanity project from a friend who just wants to get down his/her favourite raw rock'n'roll/mad attitude songs in the one place for you, the stuff that has been inspirational and still stands up. Here UK rock journalist (Zigzag) and sometimes band frontman Needs takes...

The Scavengers; The Scavengers (2003 vinyl issue of '78 sessions)

The Scavengers; The Scavengers (2003 vinyl issue of '78 sessions)

We all have musical moments written into our autobiographies. The emblems afterwards -- the album, concert ticket or scar beneath the eye -- are inadequate to convey the emotion you experienced, whether it was when Tina Turner belted out your favourite-ever song to you personally (and 35,000 others), or when you got nailed at Zwines in...

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