Sunday, November 22, 2015

Song of the Week #378

It's been very much a rock and roll've been warned.

Before I get right into it however, if you're in Canberra and at a loose end on Sunday then come along and see me playing the guitar whilst the rest of the band do their level best to drown out my mistakes! Ha ha! We're playing at 5pm at Beyond Q in Curtin. You'll hear Isbell's Southeastern played by us from cover to cover and then a few originals which will be recorded in 2016. It's free...please come. Sometimes at gigs we pass the hat around and the money goes to a charity. Any money that comes my way will go straight to helping out in Vanuatu. We play because we like to...helping people out is an added bonus.

Jason Isbell - Flying Over Water (live) -

Recently I sold one of my guitars. After four different Gibsons I think I should get the message that they just don't agree with me. It's like a battle to play them whereas my Fender and Burns are like old armchairs! I took the money and purchased an acoustic guitar. I've wanted one that I could plug in for gigs for a long time and taking the ancient Eko that I have always worries me; it's a great guitar but best played at home these days. I always play the first bit of the verse from this song when I try out acoustic guitars...nice ringing chords.

That's Bruce Kulick on lead guitar with KISS. Tommy Thayer does a great job these days but Bruce really knew how to shred as well. Check out the Crazy Nights album sometime for excellent guitar work...and dubious lyrical content!

I have no idea what the next band are singing about but I'll find out later. They are from Argentina and are called Eruca Sativa. Musically they remind me very much of Skunk Anansie. It's energetic, relentless and sounds pretty angry. The stabby guitar sounds towards the start are what drew me in initially.

Eruca Sativa - Fuera o Más Allá -

It's been a very long time since I played any music from Roky Erickson. I really liked his album that included random beeping and white noise...he said he included it because after electro-shock therapy it's what he hears in his head.

Roky Erickson - Two Headed Dog -

Rock and roll is as much a state of mind as a musical genre. Take this next tune for example. Other than the fact I thought Russell Morris was back with more great roots music, it's toe tapping and a lot of fun. It might be a little too country for some of you but rock music doesn't have to be all black t-shirts and electric guitars...

Drake White - It Feels Good -

It turns out that Russell DOES have a new album...another one to add to the list for a listen!

Russell Morris - The Lonesome Road -

I'll finish on a sad note. Chris Paine who played for the fantastic Australian band Killing Time died last week. I was fortunate enough to see the band play a few times before it went pear shaped and they were no more. If you like psychedelic rock with attitude then give me a shout and I'll point you at some of their good stuff. Killing Time changed their name to Mantissa to avoid legal issues in the USA. It's the same band.

Mantissa - Dream Alone -

Mantissa - Mary Mary -

That's it...Zoë's home in a few days but I really haven't started a countdown....really I haven't!


"...I don't remember being taught how to hate in Sunday School..." - Jerusalem, Steve Earle, 2002

Friday, November 13, 2015

Song of the Week #374

A sad note to begin this week's episode; former Motorhead drummer Phil "Philthy" Taylor passed away yesterday at only 61 years of age. Philthy was in the classic lineup with Lemmy and "Fast" Eddie Clarke who recorded classic albums such as "Ace of Spades", "Overkill", "Bomber" as well as the seminal live LP, "No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith". I was fortunate enough to see Philthy in action at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney in 1991. DJ DJ was there with me and the next day we were almost thrown out of a guitar shop for turning an amp up far too loud to test what would become my new guitar. Motorhead had made us deaf! RIP Philthy.

Motorhead - Bomber (live Hammersmith) -

Strangely enough I have been watching the biopic "Lemmy" this week. You may have guessed that it's all about Lemmy...if not, wake up! It's not a bad film with some interesting bits and pieces but unless you're a Motorhead fan or into hard rock it probably isn't for you. Australian readers - it's on ABC iView.

Hawkwind - Silver Machine -

I haven't listened to any Queen for ages. I like them a lot but perhaps I overdosed a few years ago. Nevertheless, I heard this live concert (Budapest 1986) for the first time this week and it's great. The footage I've seen on the 'net shows the band in full flight and the sound and mix are well put together. This song includes one of the best rock guitar riffs ever written.

Queen - Now I'm Here (live) -

As you all know, Vanuatu is a huge part of our family's life these days. We've achieved a lot since the cyclone to assist people there. We've spent all the money we had from donations (and more) now on a number of things that have already been shipped or paid for. At the moment we have a huge stack of school supplies ready to ship out. If you've got a few dollars that you could spare to help us supply Level School then please let me know...anything will help! Since Zoe and I returned from Vanuatu we've managed to help with sports uniforms, books, money to install power in classrooms, a video camera and now school supplies. It's work that we'll keep doing and Zoe and I plan to be back in Pentecost in the middle of next year. I will admit that sometimes it is very hard not to be able to do more for such wonderful, kind and caring people.

Ziggy Marley - Love Is My Religion -

Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top has a new album. It's his debut solo outing and he's 65; not a bad effort! Blues fans will like some of it but there's definite reggae and African beat influences in there as well. "Perfectamundo" is well worth your time.

Billy Gibbons - Quiero Mas Dinero -

DJ SlimChicken asked me this week what I thought of the band Pantera. I am NOT a fan by any stretch. I saw them live years ago and they really, really, really sucked. But I'm open minded and DJ SlimChicken very rarely recommends anything bad so I cued up their well known album from 1990, "Cowboys from Hell". Guess's not half bad. I'm yet to move onto their subsequent albums but it doesn't matter; this one rocks! I was also surprised by how much vocalist Phil Anselmo sounds like Skid Row's Sebastian Bach in places! 

Pantera - Cowboys From Hell -

Cover version time....this is a pretty good cover of a Kylie classic by Tame Impala. Other than the spacy, ethereal quality of this version which really appeals, check out the guitar player's TWO pedal boards...that's give me an idea!

Tame Impala - Confide In Me -

A while ago I mentioned ELO's new album. Here's the single from it that was released a couple of weeks ago. There's no doubt that Jeff Lynne is a Beatles fan but this is a good listen.

ELO - When I Was A Boy -

I know nothing about Mark Kozelek except that he plays good music and that it's strangely compelling. One for listeners who like moody, acoustic stuff, Bonnie Prince Billy, Wilco and the like.

Mark Kozelek - Down In The Willow Garden -

Let's go out with a bang. Tom Waits' music is quiet, raucous, smooth, harsh, violent, drunk, mellow and just about everything else. Whilst his voice is an acquired taste, it's worth the effort.

Tom Waits - God's Away On Business -

That's it. Hug'll do you good.


"I got the shakes in my kneebone...", Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, Shakin' All Over, 1960.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Song of the Week #373

First up this week are my thoughts on the AC/DC show that Angus and I went to see last night at Sydney Olympic Park. I need to preface my comments by saying that all in all, it was a great show. They played all the songs you'd expect, brought the whole stage show and worked the crowd into a frenzy. AC/DC are a class act, they know how to entertain and they most certainly give each performance their all.

When it comes to live shows I'm picky about a couple of things. Firstly; is the band actually interested in being there? AC/DC had no problems in that area. Secondly; can they play their songs live? Again, a tick in the box. Thirdly: does the sound crew know what they're doing? Herein lies the problem 50,000 fans faced last average mix at best. This has nothing to do with the fact that Brian Johnson's voice is spent, we knew that before we went. The crowd sings all the words anyway. My problem is a sound crew taking a legendary band with quality equipment and making them sound dreadful. Both Angus and Stevie's guitars were almost unbearably harsh for the first three or four songs. Brian's vocals went from inaudible to loud and then back again. Was Cliff playing the bass? And there is much more to a drumkit than a kick drum and cymbals....where was the snare? I understand that this was an outdoor venue but this isn't your local pub rock band with a hired PA system. This is one of the biggest rock bands in the World. Perhaps it's time to engage a sound engineer who actually has some of the high range of his hearing left to ensure that we get a balanced mix. Volume doesn't make up for a bad mix. That was the only really bad point and it did improve slightly as the gig wore on.

I've loved AC/DC since I was about 15 and I always will. When Malcolm Young had to retire due to ill health it was a kick in the guts for the band and all of their fans. Seeing Stevie Young (nephew of Angus and Malcolm) playing Malcolm's original Gretsch guitar last night was a fitting tribute to the man. I'm unsure if he's playing it all tour or if it's just a special thing for Sydney since Mal lives here but it was a nice touch.

Sometimes the simplest songs say it all...

AC/DC - High Voltage (live) -

After watching the show I have my doubts that AC/DC will tour again. None of them are young men and it isn't as if they just pop out for a few gigs. This is a nine month tour. It's been a long way to the top. I think that their latest album, "Rock or Bust", is the best they've done in years so do we dare hope for another?

Let's move on.

As the band I play in moves towards playing some more original music we have the chance to be a lot more choosy about the covers we play - there will be fewer! If you're interested in hearing us try out some of George's tunes we'll give them a public airing at Beyond Q on November 22nd. We'll also run through Isbell's "Southeastern" album again. It's too good not to play!

And just in case you've somehow missed out on my love of "Southeastern"...a difficult but beautiful song...

Jason Isbell - Elephant (live) -

See what you think of this. I think it's a rather good interpretation of a great song. For what it's worth, it's also a very difficult song to get right!

Cowboy Junkies - Thunder Road -

Drive-By Truckers have just released a live album recorded at the famous Fillmore. My spider-sense tingled when I heard about this as a result of Jason Isbell having been in the band and some of my favourite live shows being recorded at that venue (especially Tom Petty). After only one listen it definitely rates a purchase...maybe even vinyl!

Drive-By Truckers - Birthday Boy -

I'm not a fan of driving. Sydney might be a fairly easy 3 hours or so but....blech!

Toots and the Maytals - Country Roads -

I need a sleep. Old men like me getting home late from rock concerts don't recover the way we used to! I'll try and do better next week.


"'ve got a hubcap diamond star halo...", Get It On, T-Rex, 1971.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Song of the Week #372

Straight into the music this week. Here's one for you fans of grungy indie pop. This isn't all that far from what I was playing in bands in the mid 90s!

Black Honey - Madonna -

I can't tell you anything about Black Honey other than they are from Brighton in the UK and there seems to be 4 people in the band. They do have more songs available here though and after I'm finished writing all of this down I may just head back for a listen. I will admit that when this song came around on Spotify Discovery I saw the title and thought Madonna had finally remembered how to rock!

Did I mention that this week's episode is rather late? You may have noticed that it's been becoming a bit of a habit. Sorry. Having a new job has changed up the way I think, do my cycle training, my mental health and lots of my world view...all in a good way. I think you can expect this blogging thing to continue as I'm hardly likely to stop after 370 plus episodes. I imagine that delivery could be anytime from Friday to Sunday. I continue to take notes the old fashioned way, in a notebook, through the week that are ideas, songs and thoughts to include here. Sometimes getting them into a coherent form takes a while!

DJ ZedBoots is in Romania at the moment. And as it's Halloween she's stocked up on garlic. Romania as I'm sure you know if where Vlad the Impaler hailed from. Bram Stoker made the link between him and vampires in a rather famous book...Dracula!

Iron Maiden - Transylvania (live) -

This time next week Angus and I will be heading out on a bit of a pilgrimage. We've had the tickets booked for months now and it's almost time for us, along with a few thousand other screaming fans to go along to see AC/DC. To say that I'm excited is an understatement. This will be the third time I've seen them. The two previous occasions were on the Razor's Edge Tour (1991) and the Stiff Upper Lip Tour (2001). Both of these concerts were a lot of fun and I'm sure next week will be no different.

AC/DC - Rock Or Bust / Highway To Hell (live August 2015) -

It's quite amazing, in the above performance, that Dave Grohl stayed offstage.

Some bands bring rather average support acts with them...cough, cough, Iron Maiden. AC/DC aren't making that mistake. They've included these next two bands and I'll be more than happy to be there early to watch them both. It's fantastic to see a newer Aussie act get a spot as well as something a bit left field.

Kingswood - She's My Baby -

The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk (live 2014) -

The Hives always remind me of a cross between Iggy Pop, The Beatles and Slade,

We'll dial it back a little now with a song from Cat Clyde. Hailing from London, Ontario this is a bluesy, jazzy, country, folky tune that got my toes tapping almost instantly. They've got an album called "Ivory Castanets" that was released a couple of weeks ago and is available here . 

Cat Clyde - Like A Wave -

A book I was reading this week mentioned the author's mid-90's mixtape. The selection was rather good (better than the book) and this band came up. I'd forgotten how good they were. If you like Weezer then you'll probably like them. Quirky in all the right ways...

Pavement - Cut Your Hair -

I like it when musicians show their influences and aren't ashamed of them. This next track is from a guy called Zakk Wylde. He's one of the best known heavy guitarists getting around. Zakk played with Ozzy Osbourne for years and now fronts Black Label Society. The next track is some of his earlier work. You can hear the country and southern rock influences clearly...

Pride and Glory - Machine Gun Man -

An Australian band I never tire of are Painters & Dockers. In High School someone gave me a copy of their live album, "Bucket" and I played it to death. They've got a uniquely Australian and dare I say it, Victorian sound. It's an eclectic mix of social commentary, punk, rock, brass and way too much energy. TISM were watching closely I imagine when they were coming up with some of their songs.

Painters & Dockers - You're Going Home In The Back of a Divi Van -

Painters & Dockers - Soul Child (live) -

Painters & Dockers - The Boy Who Lost His Jocks On Flinders Street Station -

It's been a tough week for quite a few people that I know with two long and protracted and another quite unexpected. You really do need to live your life whilst you have the opportunity. Don't put things that you really want to do off forever...

Billy Bragg - Wishing The Days Away -

Finally, a huge shout out to DJ HB. She was at the Fleetwood Mac concert in Adelaide this week and sent me some great photos and videos. It looked like a really good show. I have to say that she has a very steady hand! What also made my day was the story about car trips as a kid and her parents love of the band. Those connections are priceless.

Fleetwood Mac - Tusk -

There you have it....plenty of music. Get listening!


" can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant", Alice's Restaurant 30th Anniversary (The Massacree Re-visited), 1995.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Song of the Week #371

Treat your ears this week with my hand picked, super-duper, extra special and perhaps interesting collection of tunes!

First up is a band called Palma Violets from England. To be frank, I thought this was a Clash song that I didn't recognise the first time I heard it, all the elements are there. However, it's a new track and it bubbles along rather well. I envisage a sweaty and enthusiastic crowd singing along to this one!

Palma Violets - English Tongue -

While we're with bands exhibiting a clear punk influence let's go back a little while to the mid 80's and a ripper of a track from one of my favourite bands, The Pogues.

The Pogues - Sally MacLennane -

If you've never listened to The Pogues then start with the album that the above song comes from, it's called "Rum, Sodomy & The Lash".

For some reason it looks like I'm on a bit of a punk trip this week. It always amuses me that Blondie are referred to as a punk band. I guess they are one of the links between punk and new wave. American Punk is also quite different to that which came out of the UK. So how did Johnny Rotten fit in post Sex Pistols? Just fine thanks very much.

The Dead Weather have a new album out (Dodge and Burn, September 25th). They are an interesting band and even though I'm not a huge Jack White fan I like what this band comes up with. Here's a track from their previous album which I have permanently on my music devices and then a new track.

The Dead Weather - I Cut Like A Buffalo -

The Dead Weather - I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) -

My turntable is in the throes of giving up the ghost. Every now and then it just stops in the middle of a song and whilst the slowing of the track is mildly amusing it's mostly annoying. It happened the other night during a live recording of ZZ Top and I'm sure that's some kind of sacrilege. I may have to admit defeat and look for a new one. Old ZZ Top albums are always good and "Fandango" is no exception. The A side of the LP is live and the B side contains some great studio tracks. It's a great place to start if you want to avoid the synthesizer driven tunes of the 80s.

ZZ Top - Thunderbird (live 1975) -

Coming up next is a tune from an American singer called Mark Lanegan. I heard the song thanks to the "Discover" setting on Spotify. Mark was in a band you may have heard of called Screaming Trees who were contemporaries of Alice In Chains, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam and other Seattle grunge acts. This next song is more indie rock than grunge. I'll take some time to listen to the full album I think which is called "Phantom Radio". If you liked Andy Prieboy's "Upon My Wicked Son" then you should enjoy this. Everyone else should listen anyway. It starts with that wavy, wobbly guitar sound that I like so much. Judicious use of a tremolo pedal!

Mark Lanegan Band - Harvest Home -

It wouldn't be a week on the World Wide Woozle without one heavier track. Veteran Brish band Saxon have a new album out called Battering Ram and it was released last week. For a band that has been around since 1976 and the "New Wave of British Heavy Metal" they sound fantastic. They have had the same singer and guitarists for pretty much the whole time.

Saxon - Battering Ram -

We'll finish this week with an indie-pop hit from New Zealanders, The Mutton Birds. Almost the perfect pop song in my opinion...

The Mutton Birds - Dominion Road -

Yeah, this week was all about the music. Maybe I'll have some angst next time!

DJ Rob

"So what's the plan, brother man?
We're waiting on your cue.
There's nothing new, to listen to, we heard it through and through.
We know you're playing the best you can,
The truth is we don't give a damn...." - Foxy Shazam, Welcome To The Church of Rock & Roll, 2012.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Song of the Week #370

Welcome back dear listener.

DJ AB and I survived 28 hours straight of standing up, commentary, giveaways, interviews and general mirth and mayhem! Huge thanks to DJ Guz for his magic touch on the sound system and to DJs Hammertime and BeanzMeanz for coming out to make sure we weren't flagging! The weather was fantastic for the 24hr mountain bike race and the event was a roaring success. Next year, assuming they want us back, we're taking a couple of beanbags and a wider range of food! As well as the commentary and music being on the speakers in transition and around the immediate area, there was a speaker system out on the course at one point and that proved quite popular. We might try for a couple more next year as a result of competitor comments. AB also did some remote broadcasting from different parts of the course.

Gnarls Barkley - Crazy (live) -

DJ ZedBoots is in Berlin for a few days. Apparently the hot water is good and the Germans are very well organised!

Nena - Rette Mich -

I hope you watched that video...all keytar players need studded leather gloves in my opinion!

Listening to Ryan Adams' version of 1989 has meant that Spotify has started suggesting I try some of his other songs. This seems like a fair thing...I did...and this one sounded pretty good.

Ryan Adams - Gimme Something Good (ive) -

Last night I watched a documentary about Keith Richards on Netflix called Under The Influence. He's a pretty funny guy who seems under no illusions that he's having a very fortunate life. I'm not sure how his gnarled up hands still manage to play the guitar but the footage with just him and an acoustic shows that he can! It was interesting to hear about the two records that he and Mick loved that basically got the Rolling Stones started (Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry). Well worth a look. I just wish that he'd give up the ciggies. Here's a track from his brand new solo album...

Keith Richards - Trouble -

Suze Demarchi (Baby Animals) has a new album out. It's a solo affair with a ton of guest artists. Thematically, every song is about "home". Look, I love her voice and she's a great singer. This's a little slow, or maybe it's just laid back! Perhaps a good lazy summer afternoon listen.

Suze Demarchi - Home -

And for all you heathens who read that and wondered, "Baby Animals? Who?"...

Baby Animals - Working For The Enemy (live) -

I wonder how long brick and mortar record shops can survive? Yesterday I had a quick trundle around one and walked away empty handed. The financial realist in me said that I could listen to anything I wanted pretty much online and then order a physical copy for a lot less. Add to that the fact that some new releases still aren't in stores here when they've been available for a few weeks and I'm less and less inclined to walk in. The price of vinyl is just silly as well. I do wonder why there were no copies of the new Cold Chisel CD in their area on the rack and just a stack at the checkout...that seems dumb.

Midnight Oil - Know Your Product (live Saints cover) -

Peter Garrett is on a national book launch tour. Personally I wish he'd get back to singing and his version of dancing. 

Yesterday I helped out at a charity fun run for my work. After cycling about 60km in the morning, riding around as the safety bod at the race and then cycling home I managed to rack up almost 110km for the day. Any job that lets me cycle whilst working has to be good! As a result though I was pretty wiped out. There's nothing better sometimes than sitting down to a great live music DVD. Last night it was this...absolutely superb:

Gary Moore with Scott Gorham - Cowboy Song / Boys Are Back In Town -

Here's a guy that's playing locally pretty soon. Ticket prices are insane though. As H remarks, you can buy many full back catalogues for less than a price of a concert ticket. For some bands I'll suck it up and pay the cash but I must admit that the $160 + for Iron Maiden tickets is just too much.

Chris Cornell - Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart -

To finish...a punk version of a great to reveal! It's a hoot and it's also not an easy tune to sing.

Have a great weekend,


Muddy Waters, The Blues Had A Baby & They Named It Rock And Roll, 1977 live recording

Friday, October 9, 2015

Song of the Week #369

Neil Young sang, "I used to be in a rock and roll band, but they broke up..." This song got me thinking recently about all the bands I've played in. From the early days of blues and rock covers with Mr. Walker, the original indie pop of Lovesmudge, Oz rock stylings of Push Grunt Shove and of course the Gothabilly chaos that was The Dark Violence of Beauty. They are all very, very different to what we do in Junk Sculpture. The thing is, all of those bands were (and Junk Sculpture still is) heaps of fun. I can see that every band allowed me the opportunity to learn new things, try new sounds and play with musicians who were a lot more proficient than me. At our most recent show in Coonabarabran I had a terrible time for the first set because I couldn't hear my own guitar very well (luckily DJ Guz worked his magic and all was well in the second set). There were bum notes everywhere and I totally murdered the intro to one of my favourite songs. Maybe it's time to invest in some "in ear monitors". When I think about all of the songs I've played live I know that either my memory isn't as good as it was or that we just do more challenging stuff; certainly this is the first band that I've ever used a cheat sheet with. There are so many changes and variations in some tunes that I just can't quite get them to stick in my mind and a prompt every now and then is a real relief! Last night I was practicing the riff from Neil Young's "Powderfinger" for an upcoming gig. Plugging the guitar into my phone and rocking out through headphones is pretty cool. You don't bother anyone with volume and there are tons of different sounds on tap to muck around with as well. My rambling message here is if you play an instrument get out and play with other people. Don't worry too much about how good (or not in my case) you are...just have fun.

Neil Young - Buffalo Springfield Again -

This is episode 369. I got a bit confused with some lyrics a few weeks ago and almost played this song. But now the number is right...I'm sure you'll work it out.

The Belle Stars - The Clapping Song -

DJ ZedBoots has been in Oslo, Norway this week. After surviving a cyclone, rats eating her shoes, Air Vanuatu flight scheduling dramas and the Italian train network you'd think she'd be pretty robust; and she is. However, ZedBoots managed to fall out of a tree and end up at the hospital. All is well and we assume that the Norwegian hospital staff now refer to her as that "Crazy Tree Hugging Australian girl!"

Cold Chisel are an iconic Australian band. Arguably one of our best. I was interested to see them play live recently on the TV because, well, I have their most recent live DVD and it's a bit pedestrian in places. I was hoping for something special. Given that they only got to play 3 of their big hits I thought that they did a great job. At this point DJ Will "still sorry for running you out in cricket" pointed out to me that Chisel have a new album. So I had a listen and I must admit my expectations weren't that high. Wow! I was so wrong. It's a great listen. The band sounds energetic and focussed. The songs are the right mix of Oz rock and rockabilly that you might expect and the production is first class. Well worth a few dollars and another listen.

Cold Chisel - Alone For You -

This weekend DJ AB and I are out at the Scott 24hr Australian Mountain Biking Championships. We're not riding but will be providing commentary and music for the entire race. In effect that means we'll be talking for probably around 28 hours straight. We must be mad. If you're in Canberra please feel free to come out and visit us...especially in the middle of Saturday night when we might be struggling! It should be a hoot. We've doubled our appearance fee from the last two year's overnight shifts. It was $0.00 to start with and it still is. It's a great event run by a fantastic crew of volunteers. I think they feed us...I hope so! If you're located close to Stromlo try tuning in on 99.5 on the FM dial.

Elvis Costello - Radio Radio -

Queensryche have a new album. This is the version of the band without the original lead singer but that includes pretty much everyone else. It's complicated. The album sounds really good. If you liked Queensryche pre-Empire then this is for you. Great guitar work, soaring vocals, interesting lyrics and of course the classic almost prog-metal sound and feel.

Queensryche - Guardian -

Staying with Heavy Metal just for a moment, Death Dealer have a new album out as well. I had a listen to it yesterday as I drove to and from Goulburn for work. It's an interesting band made up of players from all over the world including an amazing Sydney guitarist called Stu "Hammer" Marshall (no relation but I'd love an ounce of his talent!) Very much for fans of classic metal bands like Manowar, Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force and Iron Maiden. It's on Spotify so have a listen and then buy a copy. I believe they are touring here in early 2016 so keep an eye out.

Death Dealer - Break The Silence -

In band news, we have a show in the works for New Year's Eve at Vivaldi's so watch this space. It'll be a little different but a lot of fun and I've got a ton of new songs to learn.

The Beatles - Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam -

When I saw this old cover of a Creedence track pop up in my Spotify "Discovery" list I was pretty sure I'd hate it. I was wrong...

Hanoi Rocks - Up Around The Bend (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover) -

I try to call my "brother" Michael in Vanuatu once a week. Michael was Zoë's host father at Level which is where she was during the cyclone. I am able to have email and snail mail contact with our family at Atavtabanga but for Level it's the phone or nothing! Today we had a good line for the first time in ages and Michael and I could actually almost understand each other. The fantastic news is that we're going to be able to help out sending his eldest daughter to secondary school in 2016. Education in Vanuatu isn't free and for secondary school a large proportion of students have to board. When Alison and I were trying to work out the best way to help people in Vanuatu in a long term sense we thought about education and this is our first step. We don't intend to set up a charity or anything but helping in this small way just seems like the right thing to do. Hopefully I'll be able to hear all about how school is next year when I return. I'm saving up my pennies and my leave days!

Rock on Brothers and Sister,

<intentionally blank, like my stare>