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, the vinyl beat in the heart of the digital metropolis. On this show we get back to business as usual serving up a tasty array of classics cuts from the deep canon of Australian independent and alternative manna from heaven

Home Movie – Plunderers
Crayon Cafe – Captain Denim
Something Strange – Love Positions

We start with Canberra’s the Plunderers and this time we go the entire 10” (of vinyl) with the lead and title track from their 1991 Citadel released EP. Produced by Rob Younger, this EP was the last release of new material (with only a live 10” to follow a year later. Featuring the talents of Nic Dalton, the late Steve Plunder and soon to be Falling Joy Pete Velzen, this is a great way to sign (especially with the epic Slideshow on the B-Side and a dirty cover of the Dee-Lite classic, Groove is in the Heart)

And then they put his out on 10”, same band, slightly more country and more aligned to where Nic Dalton took his later band, Godstar, but whatever the case, Crayon Cafe is a cool little pop song from 1991, with a great pun in the title (Fade) and a cut out piece of jeans on the cover. Awesome.

I recently found this single deep in a record store in Pamplona, Spain. Put out by Elefant Records in Madrid in 1999, this EP features tracks from the Love Positions first and only LP. Who were they? Nic Dalton from the above mentioned bands, plus Robyn St Clare from the Hummingbirds. So in the spirt of celebrating one the great indie bands I decided to play this ‘cover’ of the Hummingbirds track from the 1991 LP Va Va Voom.

Greatest Mistake – The Cracked Jaffers
Precipice – The Glory Box
Heir of Pretension – The Naked Remain
Jose – Penthouse Paupers

Lovely, jangly pop from Melbourne now. We start with The Cracked Jaffers, recorded in 1986 and released on Geelong label Kavern 7 (home of the Bo-Weevils). Next onto The Glory Box with this 1991 single released on Shock records. And finally garage punk from the Naked Remain release don the Mr Spaceman label in 1987. Finally, we have Penthouse Paupers from 1987, this track is from the debut EP released on Grown Up Wrong (a side label of Dog Meat Records) Doing my research I was unable to identify any other connections to these bands, either between them or when these bands broke up (although apparently the harmonica player of Penthouse Paupers (who features prominently on the track) went on the Backsliders). If you know of anything else, let me know.

Blue and White Future Whale – Tactics
Twice Remembered/Twice Removed – Tactics

Tactics were a post-punk group which formed in Canberra in 1977. Songwriter and vocalist, David Studdert was the main constant throughout their four albums (My Houdini (December 1980), Glebe(November 1981), Blue and White Future Whale (1986) and The Great Gusto (1990). This is the title track from the 1986 album. A mix of post punk discordance and slightly poppy rhythms. More angular and post-punk is this track from the 1981 live LP The Bones Of Barry Harrison recorded between 1978 and 1981.

Anthem – Clouds
Jennifer (Alternative version) – Falling Joys

What a great debut LP, Penny Century from the Clouds is poppy, harmonic, sing-alongy and simply one of the best records ever committed to vinyl. Full of amazing tracks and singles, I decided to go with Anthem as it showcases the sublime harmonies between Trish and Jodi. Released in 1991 on Red Eye, you can’t wrong with this record. Next up we have a track from the Falling Joys, touring with the Clouds in 2017/18. This track is from the 2nd single off the debut LP Wish List. Jennifer is a song about singer Suzie Higgie sister. Part of a 5 track extended single, this alternative version is slower and moodier than its popper parent.

Satin and Bones – Fast Cars
Saturdays Girl – Fast Cars

One of the original bands on Sydney’s Method Records, this track comes from the first method records release in decades, by the band Fast Cars. Coming out in 2015, this is the lead track from the EP. Brilliant return to form. Going backwards, from the 1983 Method Records compilation, we have Fast Cars again with their classic post punk song ‘Saturdays Girl’ from the debut single released in 1981. If you see one of these, grab it.

Goes so slow – Even as we speak
Bizarre Love Triangle – Even as we speak
Clouds – Even as we speak

Another band returning to the vinyl is Sydney’s Even as we speak. Starting with this track recorded in 1989 and released on Sydney’s Phantom label, they became darlings of the UK scene after John Peel played this song on the BBC. The band signed to seminal label Sarah Records and released a number of singles, which the next track was the first one released 1990, the classic cover the New Order hit Bizarre Love Triangle (eventually spawning a similar version by Frente). Finally, we end with a track from the new 10” (what is it with 10” records this show!) called The Black Forest. A lovely return to form from a great band, with Mary Wyer remaining in beautiful voice.

Bonus track – A Walk in the Black Forest – Even as we speak

Really, this song has special meaning in my life, being the soundtrack of one of the funniest shows on radio (TM).