Finale – Across the sacred arid plains

Rumble in the jungle

Tussock bared searing landscape stripped by 'roos just because they can

It is 42 degrees out there. Here in our metal clambake clamshell the sweat drips off like rivers of raging emus. The hell-preview heat leaves us stultified and there is not a roo or koala to be seen, all hiding, baking or frying in the post apocalyptic landscape.

Occasionally we hear the dull ‘kerthud’ of a heat exhausted koala as its claws give up the ghost clinging to the ghost gum, a shudderingly eery event to witness and a chilling example of nature’s unforgiving nature.

Even the humble dribbling koala knows we can’t swallow it’s ghost chips. A kiwi has the dignity and self respect to confine its buffoonery to the wee small hours of the morning, avoiding the constant annoyance of snakes, scorpions, sloths, Tasmanian devils and wild feral dingos, all looking for a feed and prepared to kill for it if necessary.

kangaroo - blood red thistle thumping its way endlessly through the steely, shifting night

The hills are red as blood out there, red with the rage of a thousand enraged tigers painted blood red with the splilt blood of countless hammered virgins wrestling as angels transfixed in their gaze by elephantine grey alabaster icons, in the orthodox sense of icons as hallowed, haloed, hollowoed out tinseltown idealised sanctimonious relics, patently retouched exorbitantly priced fakery.

A raging emu, the first of our trip and a hallowed artifice for all that, or is it simply a thinly disguised ostrich, ocelot or cassowary swining its feathers in the breeze in the cruellest of cruel hoaxes, trips the light fantastic and creates the great divide between our suckered twin lands with a parting whip glowing like an angel with a white hot poker up her arse, the grimacing stench of smouldering white feathers whisking away the night like so much fetid gravy.

ah the good life.

As we farewell the prison compound of old and give the queen the old two fingered salute with just a hint of republicanist sarcasm, sing just one more time the eery lonesome lines of waltzing matilda as we know back home the waltzing dildo John Key continues to sell off our crown jewels garnet by garnet with all the precision of a bad seed, spilled in empty lust, some of us shed a tear or two, but briefly as we know elvis isn’t really dead just old fat and decrepit and we are destined to be the more famed cocks on the walk, blatantly spilling our seed all over, under, and around the boardwalk.

Posted in Adelaide, Australia, Sydney

Gig #14 – had a raid in a hostile area – Format Xmas Party kicks off early for lent – lent gear that is

The old wives tale about making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and a poor workman blaming her tools is flipped on its head tonite with a smorgasbord of top end amps and guitars on offer, an oasis for a touring band carrying the minimum back line in the trunk, and a great way to end up the tour, with a feast not a famine.

Droolable Amps, Format Xmas Party, Adelaide

Droolable Amps, Format Xmas Party, Adelaide

The fact we travelled 8 hours from Melbourne and had some serious fruit declaration difficulties getting across the border into south Australia to get here and have a 16 hr stint to get to Sydney after the gig to make the flight home on xmas day only makes the evening more of a special event, and the special circumstances and baking 34 degree heat here only accentuates the exotic nature of the venture and Sam Miers exquisite taste in selecting great and appropriate venues in a hostile and roo-weathered land which is in many ways foreign to these lads, yet in some ways so familiar, but on a larger scale while not raising too many heckles in the process.

First up are No Action playing a tight set through some nice gear, complaining of the infernal Adelaide heat, holding the house with a slick and well-rehearsed set.

Next up are Men’s Health, also playing thru nice gear, a good level playing field for all concerned and a nice ego test for the guitarist having a quiet frontman and a slight saxophone to contend with. With a lack of original material to fill a set these dudes played some well chosen covers after their originals including ‘Pablo Picasso’ and ‘some velvet morning’, fairly obvious but worth considering many of the attending youngsters may not have yet been exposed to some of these nuggets we fogeys take for granted … Not to mention a downbeat version of ‘love will tear us apart’ LOL… The 1-2-3-4’s in the song endings betray the newness of the outfit but a somewhat spirited effort.

Dragan and William - blown away by one of our biggest Australian fans in Adelaide

Schoolgirl Report perform a particularly intimate and personally affective set , managing the temptation of the amazing rack of gear admirably, mature beyond their years and developing day by day, gig by gig, step by step.

We played a typically terse, tense and spine tingling set, tinged with melancholy but with extra edge and bite being the final installment in this trans-tasman exchange of ideas and cultures, an opportunity for ideological and traditional intercourse rarely encountered in this day and age.

Tour Is Over - If you want it - Thank you Australia from the Axemen

As a nod to the season and as a special treat for our South Aussie neighbours, we performed a poignant and heartwarming rendition of the classic Lennon/Ono anti-war anthem ‘Merry Christmas (War is Over)’ which had some audience members faces criss-crossed with rivulets of tears, others scrambling for their lighters in the singalong choruses.

I also debuted my lyric poem ‘Wandella‘ , a sombering ode to the events of a few days ago which have already made the name of this obscure east coast settlement as synonymous with alcohol, drug and testosterone fueled violence as Brighton or Altamont.

Posted in Adelaide, Australia

wGig #13 – At their Satanic Nanna-sties Request – Toting with the Circle Pits and the Pendulum swings like a hinemoa poi poi

Forever Young

The traditional two Finger Salute

Ah Melbourne, the Tote, the Tote-Mother, proud mother of a million or more gigs seemingly, so proud is their heritage as a venue.

Jealousy and envy are a two fingered throwback throw-up common to most conceited arrogant entitled gits and i am no exception.

Fat Yak Attack

You can tell the respect your outfit is assigned by the ‘rider’ [aussie for ‘bar tab’] ascribed to your unit, and the tote was especially generous  on this occasion, not running dry on pints of Fat Yak on tap as the day is long.

I can’t quite comprehend after all these years and in a foreign clime we are about to not only perform yet another incredible gig, see some fantastic bands for free as well as meeting up again with he legendary ms Reta leQuesne,  great to catch up with after many many years, looking well 🙂

Fuck you starin at Willis?

The Tote is quite an institution evidenced by the pride taken in its brag lists of performers and pub based merchandise such as beer cooler rubbers, t shirts with minute lists of acts that have played the tote in the past, etc.

Art of Rock

The Tote does seem to be a professional outfit, and the P.A. is undoubtedly the rocking-est of the tour,  evidenced in the soundcheck and subsequent gig, an effortless instant ‘Hello Sailor’ / ‘Dragon’ / ‘Jimmy Barnes’  big rock sound from the first kick drum soundcheck, without raising as much as a bubble of sweat.

Satanic Rockers and Mad Nanna are both the most repressed and the most free units in this commonwealth, possibly due to the penal nature of the historic penal australian colony, but this has its own repercussions in terms of how it affects the guiltless, the guilt-free, the ‘ordinary’, the downtrodden, the belligerent self-righteous and the beerless.

There comes a time and  point when and where, as a touring unit, we must realign our ley-lines to face-facet our connections with the file system.

The Satanic Rockers are the filthiest quiet rock band i have encountered to date in modern times -and when it comes to filthy quiet rock outfits i’ve seen more than my fair share ; Mad Nanna marginally less filthy but no less menacing , we are all boys here with the exquisite exception of  Angie from Circle Pit who is most definitely a chick, and a hot one to boot.

Satanic Rockers played a sterling stellar set through what can only be described as the best and most well managed PA system in the small segment of venues we have sampled to date, the sum of values we have attempted to proclivicate in terms of projecting our message to the worlds best extent is overwhelming.

Satanic Rockers (NZ) performed flawlessly, the best i have see them in my short experience of gigging with them and hanging out with their seething indecisive yet conducive reasoning blocs. What more can i say, spit into the canister?

‘Pignose’ a particularly poignant fingers up to the establishment, the ultimate ‘fuck you’ to spoilt  rock’n’roll royalty with a feces-despoilt finger playfully stirring the pudding.

Pat O'Brien, Mad Nanna

The Mad Nanna, legendary suburban Melbourne conglomerate and proud advocates of the slow simmered rock movement bubbled their way though another way out of the box set box set, each gig stepping the  slow cooker school of rock forward exactly one step ahead.’

Buy a narrower nose

Simmering like an irked freshwater croc fresh off being hoodwinked atop a coolibah tree and being sprinkled tastelessly with salt water and wretched potato crisps.

Circle Pit - pretty nice Sydney musos - not like Dragon at all

Especially flown in from Sydney, the second city, to fill the house, the Circle Pit do their shit on the Tote in typically manifest manner, confident, tight, cutest band of the night by the narrowest of noses, they know how to work a rockin room.

I cannot describe adequately in words the vibe that is about on such a nite, travelling  and playing some fairly raucous rock songs by anyones measure, but passion speaks volumes and our passionate set this night, the first with my rejuvenated arm partially reactivated after the dreadnought events of the vicious Wandella beatings i had hoped to put behind me but haunts me to this day. I don’t consider myself a particularly vindictive person but do rate myself as a moral arbiter with more considered thought and reflection than the majority of pious so-called christians.

We played next, having exhausted our generous rider of Fat Yak Pints hours earlier, a searing set hurried along by the tote’s relentless close-out schedule, finally silenced only by Nick ‘nth wheel’ the Mixer ‘s manic watch-pointing antics after a couple of rousing encores. the tote runs a tight ship.

the lineup, tote runs a tight ship

As a longterm Axeman and tryhard nice person i was particularly proud of the team on this evening, the professionalism and showmanship exuded by all was nothing short of majestic.

The Axemen are awesome

The class of 2011 Axemen are a force to be reckoned with, musically perhaps there is a gap where bob used to live, he was invited to  come and declined, in summary his non-presence made the sojourn much more pleasant than his presence would have contributed to the trip. As a barely functional mediated git myself i have no time or energy for coddling such a conceited self-serving disrespectful immature asshole such as bob is these days.

I wouldn’t want to seem bitter about it though. In my opinion Bob is a talented songwriter , a cringingly likeabale personality on the surface, with nothing underneath, morally, physically, philosophically, or anythingly, and more recently just a dick. but what would i know? Bob who?

See you next time at the Wiredly Tote!

Posted in Australia, Melbourne

Gig #13[a] – Toting the line , Melbourne

Reprinted from:

By Julian Wu

190. Circle Pit, The Axemen, The Tote 21/12/2011
Circle Pit from Sydney, play sloppy, charming indie pop with a punk attitude.

There’s [malnourished] Boy/[blond bombshell] Girl vocals, as they both switch and swap rhythm and lead guitar.

There’s a real fresh feel to begin with but it’s easy for the mind to ponder when standing in the audience of a Circle Pit gig since there’s nothing really outstanding or mindblowing happening.

That said, they all look pretty cool on stage.

Circle Pit have got the look

With a rotating cast of players over a 30 year history, The Axemen walk on stage and they’re a motley looking bunch, but for a group that’s infamously sloppy, they can really play, really well. Upbeat, raucous, Kiwi slobs, they really bring it on with good songs, underscored by powerful drumming.

It’s tight and loose all at the same time, with moments of indie bliss, boogie, power pop, rock’n’roll trash, and punk. And they have a song that feature’s Barney Rubble. Nope, I can’t help myself but buy the album.

They play 2 encores, repeat a song from their set, ready for another but are told by the bar man to cease playing. So ends The Axemen’s Melbourne dates on their Australian tour in 2011.

The Axemen are awesome

Posted in Australia, Melbourne

Gig #11 The Phoenix, Canberra ACT louder than words territory

It seems  Canberra, federal capital of the great Southern Land, situated in the third state of our 5 State Aussie Tour (comprising Queensland, New South Wales, The Australian Capital Territory,  Victoria and South Australia) is not particularly renowned for its fringe elements and wild post-punk appreciation as a rule, but a quick look through the gig archives of  The Phoenix pub (‘The Irish ultra-cool hip hangout in Canberra’ – shows a strong commitment by and support of the venue as a post-punk/alt-art/community supportive and supported conceptual nurturing ground for local and touring artists.

One of the great things about this tour has been not only playing with a wide variety of musical / theatrical performers in various groupings but crossing paths with some acts on meandering and diverse, but not mutually exclusive tour paths, and using (in many cases), different equipment on consecutive nights, adding unique facets to their sound on every gig and soaking in a little more of  each others mana at every avenue.

This was the case tonight, having played with each of the acts on the bill on at least one occasion on the tour so far, and what has made it special is getting to know and hang out with the artists and observing their interactions with each other, not just artistically but in their day to day touring routines, eating and drinking habits, their reaction to various stimulations and setbacks and how they each incorporate their experiences since the last gig, trading thoughts and ideas openly in what can almost be described as an extended family or tribe type relationship, its conflicts and personalities ebbing and flowing rhythmically, churning and resolving as an ocean, exposing and reclaiming old relics, treasures and barnacle-laden buckets alike.

LSM - Wandella Bruising Day 1


This was also my first gig after the Wandella incident and due to the bruising and excruciating pain in my arm i was unable to play guitar on this and the next gig, which i was saddened about but by external accounts from the gigerati (ie the other touring bands who had seen us perform both with and without lead / support guitar) was one of their favourite shows of the tour… go figure…

Posted in Australia, Canberra

Gig #10 – Batemans Bay / Wandella – dreamtime travelogue the real deal – dialog with the warming land – bush buddies boil it up – punch drunk kids take it on and take it out on the oldies

Satanic Axe Nanna Gangsters - Feeling right at home in Batemans Bay

The Sydney to Batemans Bay trip is a magic journey into the dreamtime, the birthplace of the aussie tour and hometown of Schoolgirl Report, their family friends and acquaintances. As strangers in this foreign lander feel honored to be introduced to Sam’s family and there is an eery and awe-inspiring peace about the place, a familial calm that only goes with coming home, the place of the tour planning, the time of the dreaming.

We drove to the gig, a good 20km out of Batemans at Wandella, an old Dance Hall situated eerily in the middle of nowhere and tonight home to a lot of drunk and speed/testosterone-imbued kids, their girlfriends and their mates, and their mates metal variant bands…. plus Satanic Rockers, Mad Nanna, xNoBBQx, and a DJ – What could possibly go wrong?

At the start of the rapture kicked off with satanic rockers and mad nanna, followed by break a leg, a straight up hardcore group. Followed up by a couple more hardcore groups. Followed by another hardcore group. The main problem with having 9 bands in one note is if they don’t announce themselves it is confusing as to when one act starts and the next commences.

The real action was yet to begin however.

Ominous clouds hover above Wandella Hall, Wandella

Ominous clouds hover above Wandella Hall, Wandella

After the birthday boy (‘Slippery Sam’)s band played , xNOBBQx and the Axemen were due to do sets, but a dj started setting up his rig and doing his thing… One thing led to another, and we decided to start moving gear outside for some potential outdoor action with xNOBBQx.

This seemed to upset some of the punchier members of the audience including the birthday boy’s brother who took it on himself to punch me out, not once but twice, with his buddies doing an encore performance an hr or so later in a cowardly ambush as I went to check on the car.

A Youthful Miscreant - Slippery Sam's Slipperier Brother

Unfortunately (?) this resulted in bruising and inflamation severe enough to prevent me playing guitar at the subsequent two gigs in Canberra and Melbourne and being reduced to singing only on those occasions…

We ended up heading back out from the outback and staying in a motel for the nite, after filing a police report once we heard the same guy had allegedly been responsible for at least a broken nose that evening, with an ambulance being called out a couple of hours earlier.

Satanic Rockers and Mad Nannah played appropriately hard-edged sets – one can tell these guys really put out for the kids.

My rehabilitation begins here – as if to hammer home the point one of the positives to come out of the senseless violence of the weekend was it inspired the following poem:

Steve McCabe: Bruising to the arm, but not to the soul

Wandella croc shine
(halls and wild oats)

Bateman’s is a nice place to be
Wandella across the emu-ploughed chasm
Is a whole different story
Halls and wild oats

The scene of many a punch-up
Contrived violence, this must be some kind of Aussie windup
The promised Roos shy away
The lone koala semaphores help
From atop its barren gum stalk

Night of pulsing bladders, addled bullshit
Thank the gods of our parents no one gives a shit

We are all forever young
Fire in the belly, belligerent rule-the world lizard seething in its lair
Laughing rowdily like a kookaburra
With all its possesions burned
Burned in the arsonic bushfires of yore

Cracked Actor

Platypus bills pile up on the mantel piece
Payback time is coming in the dreamtime surely it will bring peace
Since the dreamtime the best creatures suffered the punches
The best of the best remain, the punchers starve hungrily.

Posted in Australia, Batemans Bay, Wandella

Gig #9 Breakfast with the Circle Pits, dinner and a do at Black Wire

After a 5:30 am arrival back from the free and humane red rattler, a rather splendid establishment, we were ferried to balmain to the stately home of Angie Circle Pit’s mum, where we awoke after a few hours stolen sleep to a sumptuous breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, halvarian cheese morsels, toast, feta and baked beans we took a stroll down the road to check out the cafes and balmain street life.

Got coffee, took pics and returned to sip, review the gig, and write more of the songs that make the whole world sing and howl. Before we knew it was time to hit the traffic and head to the next gig, Parramatta’s legendary Black Wire Records, where we are up to play tonite with the legendary Lolife, the legendary, the legendary NZ’s own Satanic Rockers, and the legendary Whores.

Lolife played a tuneful and tight set, followed by Silvermoon (not to be confused with Silverchair, Nickelback, or the ubiquitous Goldfinger) playing a more raucous but just as tight set, with a great range of songs and themes

Next up the mighty Satanic Rockers, playing through the tiniest amps imaginable amplified to the nth degree thru the p.a., to good effect. They may look somewhat like a Mother Goose tribute band, but there were no requests for ‘Baked Beans’ once they ploughed through their awesomely turgid set.

Whores took the floor with a solid almost slick sound wall approach, an impressive wall for a 3 piece, some commentators calling it ‘the great wall’. Attitude and terser turgidness is the themes of the evening it seems and these guys have both in spades

We played an energetic and well-received set to a receptive and responsive Annandale crowd, and had a good nite on the merch table, and meeting up for the first time in years with legendary Connoisseur and Axel GrinderPhil Ascott.

Added a few Lines To ‘animals have rights too’ and did some work on ‘kookaburra’, a new number inspired by the majestic mocking creature so named, and so prevalent in this great southern land.

Posted in Australia, Sydney

Post Gig #8, Fat Masty TV comes to the party in Sydney

L-R ‘Sleepin’ Dragan  Stojanovic, William ‘girls best friend’ Daymond, Steve ‘Belly Roll’ McCabe, Roberta ‘flak’ Masty, Stu ‘Take a photo it’ll last longer’ Kawowski

Posted in Australia, Sydney

Gig #8 Red Rattler Hellish Hell Razors

NZ’s own Satanic Rockers kick off the evening at the Red Rattler in Marrickville, Sydney. A slow thudding guitar-riff ridden sound with attitude, reminiscent of deja voodoo perhaps or early axemen, you gotta love that. As seems to be the norm here, they played a short sharp set, 6 songs I believe.

Schoolgirl Report

Next up are our lads schoolgirl report, playing the rattler for the first time after an arduous drive down to Sydney from Newcastle. They sound a bit ‘bigger’ more symphonic (especially the synth steel drums) and more rhythmic tonite than previous gigs, probably partly to I. I do w ith the decent p.a. at the red rattler.

Mad Nanna return to show they are NOT the slowest rock band about (after seeing satanic rockers earlier in the evening), and xNOBBQx follow up with a caustic, beat laden set of typically dark sardonic sound sculptures.


Alps on next, the sultan of effects boxes on a solo trip in the Marrickville hood, rockin all the way to south Sydenham.

Circle Pit

Circle Pit a little raunchier, with a strong and rockin bunch of songs, then our set – consensually the best of the Aussie shows to date, with
the possible exception of Latrobe house party.

Posted in Australia, Sydney

‘Roo-spotting on the Tundra

The old coach road from Byron Bay to Newcastle is literally swarming with ‘roos and their young, bleached buffalo skulls, the ghosts of highwaymen and desperadoes and cackling kookaburras, emus still trying to learn to fly After all these years and snakes and lizards fighting tooth and nail over territory which has been disputed for generations. This is the cruel unforgiving nature of the outback, the harsh sun beating down cruelly on billabong and ghost gum indiscriminately.

The soothing sound of thousands of molten koalas nibbling quietly on the eucalyptus, nutritious but notoriously hard on the gums, the harsh reality of being alone in the outback except for my band really hitting home now.

The needless death of a wombat on the side of the road makes no sense other than to magnify the fragility of the delicate Eco-system, it’s guts spilled half on the Tarmac and half on a verdant patch of grass in a vibrant mishmash of obscene red and green against the man made grey of the bitumen and metal road where it has not degraded into a reddish brown dust bowl. Every couple of feet or so there are roadworks, maybe happening now or maybe abandoned some time ago.

Herds of kangaroo fossick and hop from feeding hole to feeding hole, roaming the landscape, the scouts going ahead sniffing for the next billabong, the old timers starting a fire by rubbing their rear legs together, like giant silent cicadas, their oversized clown feet comical in their buffoonishness yet critical to their survival over the eons – since they discovered the miracle of fire the kangaroo has continued to dominate the landscape, lighting fires everywhere they go, to keep their arch-enemy the platypus at bay.

Posted in Australia