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

Porcelain Bus – Into the Fire
Naked Lunch – Teenage Blues
The 31st – Time Moves Fast

From their 1990 LP released on Blue Mosque, this cool track by Sydney’s Porcelain Bus was produced Died Pretty’s Brett Myers. A fuzzy piece of indie rock that builds to a great dirty guitar solo in the middle. Naked Lunch were a bit of supergroup featuring Mick Medew (from Screaming Tribesmen) and Tony Robertson from the Hitmen and The New Christs. Released in 1996 this single was depdicated to the 31st, a Brisbane band that featured Mick Medew, Tony Roberson and Ron Peno from Died Pretty. This song was also produced by Brett Myers. And finally, from that legendary band we have the track Time Moves Fast from 1979ish. One of the rare tracks they laid town (and recently re-released on LMCR fully remastered by Don Bartley) this slice of Brisbane punk seeded so much more in the ensuing years. Get it now.

The Hitmen – Bwana Devil
The Monarchs – 2001
Super K – Recurring Nightmare

Reformed in 2018, the Hitmen were formed from (Underneath the) ashes of Radio Birdman by Johnny Kannis and Chris Masuak. Releasing five records over eleven years, the Hitmen featured a floating line-up of alternative royalty. This was a single released in 1982 from their second LP ‘It is what it is’. This track was written by Hoodoo Guru Brad Shepherd. Also written by Brad, this next track comes from his 2001 LP by the Monarchs recently released all over the inter webs for sale and streaming. One of the two kick arse rock songs on this LP, 2001 features some solid riffing and some stunning lyrical rhymes. And finally, we head to 1996 for another song co-written by brad (this time with Paul Thirkell and Ron Peno from Dired Pretty). The band is Super K and the single was released on the Citadel label in 1986 (with organ by the amazing Frank Brunetti)

The Go-Betweens – Darlinghurst Nights
The Celibate Rifles – Darlinghurst Confidential
Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls – Darling it Hurts


A change of pace, but one of those times on this show when the links get glancing and deep. One of the things I love about doing Wide Open Road. So, I saw Robert Forster from the Go-Betweens onstage twice in the last few weeks. Once was in London watching Right Here, the brilliant documentary by Kiv Stenders and then again with Scottish tweesters Belle and Sebastian doing a cover of the Orange Juice classic Rip it Up and Start again. This is a track from the last GBs record Oceans Apart remembering as we do the untimely death of Grant McLennan. This brilliant song name checks the aforementioned Frank Brunetti. Simple, really. Next up, another song about the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst, this time from the mighty Celibate Rifles, a track featured on their 1984 self-titled LP released on Hot. Finally, we have another song about the colourful suburb of Darlinghurst (were I spent my first three of teaching at the old jail that at the time was a TAFE college – vale East Sydney College). This track is from the sprawling Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls double LP Gossip release din 1986. The track is Darling it Hurts and when you run the words together you get Darlinghurst. Fucking genius from one of Australia’s song writing geniuses.

Fingerpop – Crying Rain
Pollyanna – Frail
Pollyanna – Brittle then Broken


Centred on Mark Lucas late of the NuGenes (an early Jodi Phillis of the Clouds fame vehicle), Fingerpop released one single in 1991 featuring a gentleman called Matt Handley on drums. He went onto form the semi-legendary and popular band Pollyanna for which we have this very early track from their first EP called Fordgreensilverocket which has released in 1994. And lastly we have a screamer for the ages. One of those songs I play extremely and scream the lines out as loud as I can. It is cathartic. The song is Brittle then Broken from the 1997 LP Hello Halo. A great brooding epic of a song with a lyric that includes the line ‘I’ll piss on everything you want’. Can it get better?

Jakob – Nice day for an earthquake

Time to end the show with this. New Zealand slowcore. Jakob are from the music capital of NZ – Hawke’s Bay in Napier. This comes from their debut LP Subset of Sets which I picked up randomly in NZ at a record store advertised by a sticker that said ‘Post-rock’. I was sold.