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Come on Spring…

Posted in Beats, General by brettok on October 8, 2009

Isn’t it supposed to be Spring?  More like Winter here the last couple of days.  So when the voice in my head was wondering just where Spring was, it suggested a dose of classic Aussie pop to evoke the sun and good times.

A true piece of pure pop pleasure from Antenna.  They were an “underground supergroup” I suppose, featuring legends Kim Salmon (The Scientists, Kim Salmon and the Surrealists, Beasts Of Bourbon) and Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus).  Watching this led to a couple of hours of digging through videos related to these guys, and other iconic bands from the 80’s and 90’s.

Kim Salmon is a true genius, underrated and criminally ignored (except by his peers and contemporaries), and the Surrealists put out some great albums.  Kurt Cobain reckoned Kim “wrote the book on grunge”, high praise indeed.  ‘I Won’t Tell’ is one of my favourite tracks.  This was performed live on ABC TV show ‘Recovery’, a Saturday morning show.  Kim’s vocals for that time of day are amazing and pitch perfect.

While ‘Come On Spring’ is, I think, a perfect pop song, the Hoodoo Gurus could write a catchy tune to rival the best of them.  They could also rock as hard or harder than most bands live at the time.  I first saw them in about 81, and they kept going flat out for 20-odd years.  They reformed a couple of years ago, but I probably saw them the last of a dozen or so times in the mid-late 90’s. This was when they would inspire me and my mates and our girlfriends to dress in paisley and headbands and shake the hair all night long.

Mr. Salmon was also earlier in the Beasts of Bourbon, probably even more of an ‘underground supergroup’ than Antenna, featuring Tex Perkins on vocals.  This track, ‘Chase The Dragon’ is off the 91 album ‘The Low Road’ and features Surrealists’ rhythm section Brian Hooper and Tony Pola.

So dirty and sleazy.  Love it.  Tex went on to front the Cruel Sea, who could get (almost) as dirty as the Beasts, like here, but also made some of the most radio friendly tunes without ever sounding cheesy.  And Tex, (like Kim) well he was born a rock star.

Back to some pure pop now.  The Falling Joys and the Clouds were two darlings of the alternative scene in the 80’s and 90’s, and put out some beautiful songs, laden with melody and fantastic female vocals and harmonies.  ‘Lock It’ hasn’t dated one bit.  I really like it.

It was hard to pick which Clouds song to post, but ‘Hieronymus’ won out as it has a strong Pixies influence in the guitar sound and evokes memories of Newcastle Uni on a Thursday night, hot and sweaty dancing in the Bar On The Hill, having to go out on the verandah to cool off.  A few years later my own band would be gracing the same stage as the bands who helped shape my musical tastes, and listening to them now brings a little piece of that back to me.

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