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 beat in the heart of the digital jungle and It is with the twang of guitars, the smash crash of dusty grooves and the slow flashback of memory that e celebrate the smell and touch of long lost vinyl gems. For many years, I have been a vagabond soul, wandering from Sydney, to The Hague, back to Sydney, then onto London for a decade before settling back here. With the sheer joy of lockdown I have been opening up boxes of records and books that have been stored in my mums house then her garage, for almost twenty years in some cases. So, on this show, nothing complex, nothing fancy, just a whole heap of deep grooves from a series of classic LPs and singles, many of which have not seen a needle for two decades. And it is awesome to have them back.


SMALL DISCLAIMER: To maintain the narrative thread of the show and keep up the the connections between tracks that we loosely hold dear, the occasional track has not been locked in a box for a generation. These first two tracks fit into that category.

Karen – Go-Betweens
8 Pictures –  Go Betweens

We start this show with two tracks recorded live at the Town and Country Club in Kentish Town, London (NW5 represent). This venue is now known as the O2 Forum and is maybe 300m from my old house. These two track feature of the newly released live album that was part of the G Stands for Go-Betweens Vol 2 box set released a few months back.

This Girl, Black Girl – Go-Betweens
I Need Two Heads – Go-Betweens

Two more GBs classic here. This Girl, Black Girl was the B-Side to Man O’Sand To Girl O’Sea released by Rough Trade in 1983. A great Grant song that featured often in their live set. The we have their third single, released in 1980, released on Postcard records in the UK, the great iconic Scottish label that also featured bands like Orange Juice and Josef K and on Missing Link here (home of the Birthday Party for one). This great single is hard to come by, as it was not compiled on the Able Label singles EP, but did make an appearance on vinyl in the first G Stands for Go-Betweens box set.

Frozen World – Angie Pepper
Do the Pop – Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs with Deniz Tek

Two songs connected by Deniz Tek. The first comes from 1984 and Angie Pepper’s amazing debut single Frozen World. Co-written by Tek and co-priced by him and Rob Younger, this proto Birdman style blues riff is a lost gem. Following that we have the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs from LA and their 1997 single with Deniz Tek covering the Birdman classic ‘Do the Pop’ b/w More Fun.

V FOR Vendetta – Bughouse
Never Look Back – The Whippersnappers
Sweet, Sweet Love – The Whippersnappers

Three great songs here. Bughouse were a Sydney band, active 1989 through to 1994. Featuring the lead Vox of Lea Cameron and songwriting and guitar chops of Genevieve Maynard (who found some pop fame with Stella One Eleven later in the decade), Bughouse put out one LP and handful of great singles (including a cover of Birdman’s New Race, there you go, connections). V for Vendetta was their first single released in 1989 was produced by Damian Lovelock and featured piano by indie legend Louis Tillett. Next we have the Whippersnappers, dreamy beautiful pop music with stunning vocals cotters of Annette Crosbie. Gigging around the late eighties, this track on Green Fez was their debut released in 1988. We have a second track from them released on a White Label split single with the Hollowmen in 1990/. The track is an old Russel Morris song from 1971. Rare as apparently. It ain’t even on discogs.

Burnt So Low – Falling Joys
Lock It – Falling Joys

Two tracks from the Falling Joys now. We start with Burnt So Low, a track that I first heard on the Omega EP, but in reality was first released in 1987 on single, Great poppy trash from the Joys. I know its an obvious song, but Lock It from the debut LP Wish List is still the song that made it for me. I love this track, epic almost shoe gaze or loud/quiet of whatever you want to call it. Get this record, it is a stunning debut. Get their latest song, Fight for Your Life to raise money for bushfire relief, a sometimes forgotten cause in these corona days.

Under the Milky Way – Ripe
Metropolis – The Church
Love Itself – Curious (Yellow)

Three songs linked by the Church. We start with Melbourne band and their cover of the Aussie classic Under the Milky Way, recorded in 1990 and released on a Lemon music promo (and a 3RRR compile). We then have Metropolis from the underrated Gold Afternoon Fix LP released in 1990. This was the lead single and a glorious example of the Church at their pop finest. And finally Karin Jansson and her band Curious (Yellow) (the brackets are (important)). Releasing a handful of singles and an LP (Charms and Blues) on Red Eye in 1990, produced by Steve Kilbey, this is a cool Nordic pop track released on Red Eye in 1991.

Onto the next show, with more from the long lost vinyl boxes of my past. Whilst you are at it, check out my podcast also dating back to the day, A Walk in the Black Forest Lockdown edition, broadcasting daily at http://www.walkblackforest.org