It is with that unmistakeable, gut wrenching scream of Rob Younger and its clarion call exhorting us all to play some Stooges that Radio Birdman signals the start of another Wide Open Road, playing the things that connect and link the vast catalogue of Australian independent and alternative rock and pop.

Wide Open Road is the vinyl (and this week, digital) beat in the heart of the alternative jungle. It is with the glitching beats edgy, frantic guitar that we venture into the second in the series of shows showcasing the experimental edges of the indie scene. We get all experimental on your collective and dig deep into the dirty fringes and alternative edges of the indie scene. On this show we go to very hairy extremes of decency, the roots of dance, the pencil thin facial hair of Dave Graney and much more.



Off to New South Wales now and the dark end of the Red Eye records label. Started by John Foy, Red Eye was an amazing pop rock label putting out classic slabs by bands like the Beasts of Bourbon, the Clouds, and Ya Ya Choral (you may have heard that name earlier). However, there were artists and songs that were darker and more experimental that needed their own label, and that was Black Eye. Built around various bands featuring the core of people such as Tex Perkins (Beasts, Thug etc) Stu Spasm (Lubricated Goat), Lachlan McLeod (Salamander Jim), and Peter Read (Thug and Moist). We start with Thug. What a crazy band they were, releasing this extended WP with dozens of tracks in 1989. Mechanical Ape was the name of the extended A side of this EP. We then go to a band more akin to the Beasts (and featuring the vocalist of said band, Tex Perkins) – The Butcher Shop and a track from the Love Pump LP released in 1990. And we end with the most well known of the Black Eye releases, In the Raw by Lubricated Goat made famous by their appearance in 1998 on the Andrew Denton show Blah Blah Blah with their amps and pedals hanging out for all to see. Seminal.

Mechanical Ape – Thug
Youth Culture Shocker – The Butcher Shop
In the Raw – Lubricated Goat

Terse Tapes was a label put together by Tom Ellard of Severed heads to showcase all the weird experimental music he was making as well as the stuff he liked that was coming out of various dark holes across Australia. Named after a sampler in his collection (TRS-80), this cassette only label released some of the weirdest shit I have heard from a range of cross fertilised bands, collectives and drunk mates. We start with the Wet Taxis from Sydney and a track from the debut cassette Taxidermy released in 1981 and featuring later full member Louis Tillet on various synths, this is minimalist electro at its best. Next up we have two tracks from the two C-90 cassette sampler called One Stop Shopping from 1981 compiled by tom Ellard. This collection (which you can get on Bandcamp from Severed Heads) has some out there tracks from the very rare to some better known experimental players, with most of these tracks being the only thing they committed to tape. There are also a whole heap of rare tracks from the better known bands like Systematics, Scattered Order and Essendon Airport). We start with the Stutgarters, part of the Little Band scene in Melbourne in the early 1808s and the track ‘No Fixed Address’. Another band from the Little band scene was The Alan Bamford Musical Experience named after the 3RRR DJ who recorded many of the bands heard on the Terse Tapes, Fast Forward and other cassette only releases (in the main fetching hundreds if not thousands of dollars to get the original, so soz to all, but digital here for me).

Miniamata – Wet Taxis
No Fixed Address – Stutgarters
An Old Joke – The Alan Bamford Musical Experience

Dave Graney is a stalwart of the indie scene. Forming the Moodists with Clare Moore, Chris Walsha nd Steve Miller in the early eighties, they drew influence from the post punk scene of the UK and from being surrounded by the burgeoning alternative scene in Melbourne (although originally from Adelaide). We play three tracks that span the Moodists catalogue, from their very origins in the Sputniks and a track called Our Boys from 1979 (as a double A sided single and featuring future Adelaide artist Liz Deeley on bass). From their second single released on Au Go Go in 1982 is the classic Gone Dead. Produced and recorded in London by Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave, Violent Femmes and thousands of others). We wrap this track up with Chris Walsh from the modistes playing with Ed Clayton-jones who went onto be one of the key player sin Melbourne goth punk band The Wreckery and their much comped electronic single Honeymoon from 1980 and released on the Missing Link label from Melbourne

Our Boys – The Sputniks
Gone Dead – Moodists
Honeymoon – The Fabulous Marquises

Fast Forward magazine started in 1980 as the brainchild of Andrew Maine and Bruce Milne (founder of Au Go Go records). It was effectively a radio show put out on tape and released to the public as a ‘magazine’. So influential it has ended up as a record of the time archived in the national Film and Sound Archives in Canberra, Fast Forward is an excellent example of the critical influence of zines in the formation and fermentation of punk and alternative music. They represented an opportunity for fans to engage with music, share their own experiences and demonstrate their fandom like a badge of honour. For this bracket I have focused on four rare experimental tracks from well known artists who shared stuff on Fast Forward. We have the Go-Betweens with a demo version of their first single Karen, the Birthday Party with a demo of the track Figure of Fun released on the Prayers on Fire LP in 1981, the Laughing Clowns doing a live version of Collapse Board with a stunning avant sax/trumpet battle solo from Louise Elliot and Peter Doyle, recorded live on 12 Sep 1981. We finish this with a cover of the Boys Next Door classic ‘SHIVERS’ done by the Young Charlatans which featured Janine Hall, Jeffrey Wegener, Ollie Olsen, Rowland S. Howard, a supergroup of players from the Birthday Party, the Little Bands scene and of course the Laughing Clowns, etc. Wowsers. Get these tapes if you can from the archive

Karen – The Go-Betweens (Fast Forward
Figure of Fun (Demo) – The Birthday Party
Collapse Board (Live) – Laughing Clowns
Shivers – Young Charlatans

Full track list
Mechanical Ape – Thug
Youth Culture Shocker – The Butcher Shop
In the Raw – Lubricated Goat
Miniamata – Wet Taxis
No Fixed Address – Stutgarters
An Old Joke – The Alan Bamford Musical Experience
Our Boys – The Sputniks
Gone Dead – Moodists
Honeymoon – The Fabulous Marquises
Karen – The Go-Betweens (Fast Forward
Figure of Fun (Demo) – The Birthday Party
Collapse Board (Live) – Laughing Clowns
Shivers – Young Charlatans