broadcast | Morphine’s Billy Conway, 1996

Boston’s very un-Boston-sounding Morphine took the combination of drums, bass and baritone sax and made insanely great swamp music. One of the three, Billy Conway, speaks to Adam about how their music slides right in anywhere. RIP frontman Mark Sandman who died onstage in 1999 (April 1998; 12 mins)

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Beasts of Bourbon

Interview with Brian Hooper

There is a song called Fake on the new Beasts of Bourbon album, titled Gone, which has Tex Perkins screaming ‘don’t know myself, don’t own myself, I’m a fake’. The power, venom and dirge of the Beasts’ traditional blue-collar sound permeates Perkin’s personal attack on himself, Fake being a song which could well be his retaliation to anyone critical of this, the seventeenth year of the Beasts of Bourbon’s collective mindset.

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Dinosaur Jr, Sunday September 28, 1997

Metropolis Perth

For the many kids who saw the end of the pop and pulp Countdown generation mutate into the all-embracing Rage regeneration, Dinosaur Jr has alway signified low-brow indie rawk and roll. In its early years, ABC TV’s Rage would screen the video of Dinosaur Jr’s Freak Scene every weekend as the epitome of US college radio’s adoration of long haired, lo-fi guitar discordance, a saturation which most loud Australian bands in the past decade can trace direct descendency from.

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Alice Cooper, Friday September 5, 1997

Perth Entertainment Centre

The tendency for withering rockers to beef up their shows with awesome explosions, technological diversions and improbably large inflatable farm animals is the norm in this age. The fact that we see none of it on this tour simply reiterates that this was Alice Cooper’s nightmarish gag twenty four years ago and he would now rather let the Marilyn Mansons of the world set the pace in cheesy theatrics.

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Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine, Monday March 31, 1997

Burswood Superdome, Perth

One would have thought that Gloria Estefan had far outgrown the Latino strut and golden shimmer of Miami Sound Machine. Still technically their lead singer, she has overshadowed the big Florida party band sound with her solo accolades and through the synthesiser-swelled conservatism of love balladry and tales of broken hearts.

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Silverchair, Thursday March 27, 1997

McGilvray Oval

Through the tiny window of opportunity that ‘grunge’ opened for simple youth bitterness, Newcastle’s silverchair (mind the non title case punctuation, they like it that way) was Australia’s gift from the great Kurt Cobain in the sky. Recorded while the members were just fifteen years of age, frogstomp, silverchair’s debut album, went on to platinum sales in the US, Australia and New Zealand. With album number two, Freak Show, already following the former’s trajectory, their motives and talent became blazingly clear during their sermon to 6,000 kids in Perth last week.

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Everything But The Girl, Friday March 7, 1997

Metropolis Fremantle

With the demography of their audience swinging wildly between conservative listening-led folk canoodling their partners and dancefloor-bound style councillors hip to the remix craze sweeping the Anglo world, Everything But The Girl could hardly please everyone all of the time.

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The Stems, Friday February 28, 1997

Metropolis Concert Club, Fremantle

Let us take a fleeting glance back to those high-rolling mid-1980s, a time of teen magazines like Countdown and Smash Hits, lime green shirts and a paisley power-pop outfit from Perth called The Stems. Their simple yet unassailable songsmithery endeared them to a huge European music public, propelled them on to play the final Countdown and, as 1987 brought down piles of Perth’s entrepreneurs, so too did The Stems tear each other apart in a messy split which many thought irreconcilable.

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