Wide Open Road 2015 Show 5 – Solid Gold Hell by Djringfinger on Mixcloud

Welcome to the July edition of Wide Open Road. It is summer here in the beautiful Northern Hemisphere and my thoughts turn to Australian music. I thought about some themes for this show – favourite summer tunes (but that would be incongruous for those of you ‘enduring’ ‘winter’ in Australia. I thought about nineties, mainly because we had a ‘rage’ night playing classic nineties clips one Saturday morning. In the end I decided, bugger it, you are going to get bits of all of that and more. So let’s kick it off with some Church related songs, mainly because the Church played London a few weeks back and were brilliant. We start with Peter Koppes off his 1989 record ‘From the Well’. This track features the backing vocals of his then wife Melodie (who in 1984 put out a 7” featuring Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes and Richard Ploog, which is damned hard to find because it never went further than test pressing phase). Curious (Yellow) was formed in Sydney in 1987 by Karin Jansson as a kind of jangly pop band (I think a bit like Lush in the UK). Jansson was formally the guitarist in Swedish feminist punk band, Pink Champagne. This LP came out on Red Eye in 1989 and was produced by Steve Kilbey. Finally we have Marty Wilson-Piper from his solo album ‘Art Attack which came out on Rykodisc in 1988. This track was the lead single and features the acoustic guitar majesty that is MWP. Actually, let’s finish with a Church track, this one coming from the second Church LP ‘The Blurred Crusade’ released in 1982. I have always loved this track, the song is a high water mark in the acoustic goth phase before they got jangly. This was a single as well. Find it basically on every compile they Church have put out. They have been playing the song again recently as part of their recent tour playing TBC in it’s entirety.

Only Wait – Peter Koppes
Taken by Surprise – Curious Yellow
On the tip of my tongue – Marty Wilson-Piper
When you were mine – The Church

And now onto something completely different. I promised nineties. I am going to deliver in spades. We start in WA. My second Australian home after Sydney. The home of my wife, the wonderful DJ SCSi-b of Babypop and VS fame. The hottest and brightest place I have ever been. Eskimo Joe have put out many great records, none better as a single than this slice of pop that could have been only been inspired by the sounds coming out of the newly national Triple J. Arriving in 1999 on their self titled EP, this song was all over the radio and was in the hottest 100. I just think it screams summer for me and a sense of freedom and fun that many of todays bands could do with a good dose of. Like this next track from Perth band Jebediah. ‘Leaving home’ was the soundtrack from many young sandgropers leaving the suburbs and heading into the city. This track from the 1997 record ‘Slightly Odway’ is an essential Perth song, the sunshine and brightness push through with every chorus and lived experience. Let’s jump across to Brisbane and quirky pop of Custard. Apartment was the lead single off the Wisenheimer LP released in 1995. This was one of string of hits from this band led by Dave McCormack. Finally, it is time for one of my my favourite lost songs of the 1990s. This is the lead track from the first Pollyanna EP ‘Fordgreensilverrocket’ released in 1994. This is a great track devoid all the overwhelming poppiness of Lemonsuck, the triple J breakthrough.

Turn up your stereo – Eskimo Joe
Leaving home – Jedediah
Apartment – Custard
Frail – Pollyanna

Now, a complete and (slightly incomplete) change of pace. last show we highlighted the amazing talents of the late Stevie Plunder. Now we get to play some stuff from his brother, Justin (in the guise of Justin Credible). This single by the band Whopping Big Naughty came out in 1993 on the seminal Amphetamine Reptile label. This track was produced by Stuart G Robertson of the Falling Joys. Also featuring the scream of Justin Credible is this Smudge track from the 1992 EP
Love Lust And Lemonjuice. What can I say about Smudge that isn’t left on the platter by this track? Not much, four brilliant LPs, a handful of classic singles and EPs. Get them, get them now. And finally we have Sneeze, the warped and twisted love child of Tom Morgan (Smudge) and Nic Dalton (Plunderers et al). This is a track from their ‘Doctor of Love’ single with vocals by Justin Hayes. Dropping on Half a Cow in 1999, the title track is a masterpiece of croon, but this is a name check song in the finest tradition.

Your not coming – Whopping Big Naughty
Plug it Up – Smudge
Loud and True -Sneeze

With the return of the original line up of the Scientists doing shows across Australia in mid 2015, it is time to rip the planet a new one and play some fucking Scientists. Well, at least a few choice covers before we get into the real stuff from the twisted mind of Salmon et al. Let’s start with Melbourne band Sunset Strip and their cover of ‘It mud be nice’ from the 1993 compile ‘Set it on Fire’ released on the Dog Meat label. The original was from the final Scientists LP ’The Human Jukebox’. Next cover is Magic Dirt doing ‘We had Love’. W shave played this jam before Adalita just commits so hard to the vocals it burns the needle right off the stylus every time I play it. Coming from a limited edition tour EP in 2006, this track features the brilliant bass work of the late Dean Turner to its fullest.
And finally, we really should pull out some actual Scientists. Where do you want to start? Every one has their favourites,. For me, that is a tough choice, everything from frantic romantic, to we had love, to swampland. But you know, I can never go past this track. Solid Gold Hell is from the Au-Go-Go EP ‘This heart doesn’t run on blood, This heart doesn’t run on love’ from 1984. Watch the clip below, it is brilliant.

It must be nice – The Sunset Strip
We had Love – Magic Dirt
Solid Gold Hell – The Scientists

Right, onto the label run by the very funny Bruce Griffiths (Aberrant) which put out a slew of seminal singles and LPs in the eighties and early nineties. Based mainly in Sydney, this label gave their start to so many bands and offshoots of bands (Hard Ons, Happy Hate Me Nots, feedtime, X to name just a few). We start with Examplehead from 1989, straight line rocking that sold in buckets overseas. Oh, did I mention it was produced by Kent Steedman from the Celibate Rifles. This is opening track from their LP Powertools. School days from the Hard Ons was one of the first HO tracks I ever heard. Released on their ‘Hot for your love baby’ LP, the original version came out in 1985 Aberrant compile ‘Why march when you can riot?’. From the ‘Flowers in the Dustbin’ compile we have ‘In Tune with Living’ by Positive Hatred, who spawned the Happy Hate Me Nots. I have to thank my dear friend and radio co-host Richard for finding out about this song when he played it on our radio show on 2RRR in Sydney way back when.

Out of my head – Examplehead
School Days – Hard Ons
In tune with Living – Positive Hatred

And that about wraps it up for July. As always, thanks for listening. Share the show, tell your friends, make some suggestions and I will see what I can do. Until August and the end of summer, DJ Ringfinger out.