MRR COLUMN

My last column for Maximum Rocknroll

I steeple my fingers to the wet palm fronds. The plant does not respond. Rude. Back in Sydney after seven months in exile in London, increasingly confused as to which one is home, upside down, which way up? Which way around? Tropical rain is still rain. It would serve you well to re-examine your notion …

Continue Reading
MRR COLUMN

BB and the Blips N.America Tour / Nothing is immortal and the future is the only real thing!

We drink in each others’ wide open accent and I’m charmed at the girls’ gawking shyness. Her girls were born just after Katrina. She was pregnant when it hit. “We lost everything, so this place was a new start.” I garble an approximation of their hyphenated names during our set. The assembled crowd is one enormous grin. Everyone’s a woman; everyone’s dancing, a combo which always makes me want to cry and it crosses my mind that I can potentially channel and then transmit enough of this joy to guard everyone in the room from all future pain and then realise I’m getting (always) ahead of myself.

Continue Reading
MRR COLUMN

The Story of a First Timer – Pt.ii

I’d been booking gigs and playing in bands for a few years, but still felt like my city was adrift in an endless swirling feedback loop which seemed to shut down possibility at every corner. So many gendered expectations! A super-limited scope of “acceptable” bands! Boring! Thinking back to my list of excuses for not attempting to make my own noise, prior to stepping over the line and getting into it finally, I knew that something had to give in order to create some real space for the shy, the freaked-out, the clueless, the dabblers, the ‘oh I used to play once’, the uncertain and the terrified.

Continue Reading
MRR COLUMN

The Story of a First Timer, Pt i

Here is a story I have probably told before. I did not play in a band until I was twenty-one years old. This was more than seven years since I’d begun to define myself entirely through music. That’s a long time to feel like a fraudulent half-a-participant, especially as a teenager. It’s also a long time to internalise that you’re not enough. You see, I was hearing voices…

Continue Reading
MRR COLUMN

Good Bands Gone Mad: Punk LPs of the Nineteen Eighties

It’s never been a secret that punk (especially hardcore) can come unstuck on the LP format, providing as it does the extra space for tasteless errors where a two-minute perfect banger might not have showed such cracks. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to much feted ’80s bands who stayed together through some extreme sonic chicanery, with bravery, buffoonery and sometimes profoundly terrible results. In an era of hype-specific genre delineations, here’s something beautiful and revealing about these records, all made well before punk ‘broke’ in 1991, sometimes with half an overly optimistic eye on a pot of gold or just a future more enlighted audience.

Continue Reading