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 we celebrate the smell and touch of long-lost vinyl gems. On this show we feature connections between members of bands and their solo work. Taking the Hummingbirds and the Church as our touch points, we do a swing through catalogues and find a couple of lost classics, pop gems and remembered lost friends.

Lullaby – Alannah Russack
Cleaners Wife – Dutiful Daughters
Deserve – Growl
Puppet on a Chain – Fragile
Port of Old Fremantle – The Aerial Maps
Into Your Arms – Love Positions

Six songs (count ‘em, SIX!) here connected with members of the Hummingbirds. Regular listeners will know my obsession with this band. There are definitely one of the ground zeroes of my musical education. So, it seemed appropriate to disaggregate then into some solo slabs. We start with singer/Songwriter extraordinaire Alannah Russack and two songs from her, the first from the band Dutiful Daughters who released one EP in 1989 called A Superfluity Of Nuns. We follow that with a track from her most recent EP Lesser Mysteries of Love from 2014. She is releasing a new record this year and from the tracks I have heard live it is going to be a beauty (to find out more keep an eye on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Alannahrussacksmusic/ and you can buy her stuff on Bandcamp, because you should. https://alannahrussack.bandcamp.com/

Next up, we have a track from drummer Mark Temple, and the band Growl. Moving to guitar and recording with Paula Bray, Mark formed Growl and put out one single and an EP in 1995. Moving onto Simon Holmes, always in our memories, we feature two tracks, one from the post Hummingbirds supergroup Fragile and a track from their second release, an EP called Radical Simplicity featuring members of Sidewinder and Disneyfist. We then move to the amazing poetic glory of the Aerial Maps featuring the poetry of Adam Gibson, and a track from the 2011 LP Sunset Park, featuring Simon on guitars and vocals. Of course, you can now get the best of the band on vinyl from Bandcamp and if we want to go full circle, Alannah is now a touring and recording member of the reunited Aerial Maps. We end with Robyn St Clare, and a track from her band with Hummingbirds alumni and all-around Sydney legend Nic Dalton called the Love Positions. Released on the Half a Cow label (also owned by Dalton) Billiepeebup was released in 1990 and featured an eclectic mix of covers, and originals including this song which was covered in 1993 by the Lemonheads and became their biggest hit.

Cascade – Marty Wilson-Piper
When Reason Forbids – Peter Koppes
The Amphibian/Random Pan- Steve Kilbey
Constant in Opal – The Church

Three tracks from the various solo projects of the Church now. We start with Marty Wilson-Piper from his 1989 solo LP Rhyme. We the dark and foreboding with this extended minimalist synth piece from a 1987 EP also called When Reason Forbids. We follow that with two tracks from the Steve Kilbey double LP on Red Eye called Remindlessness released in 1990 to great indie scene critical acclaim. I think it is the most accessible of that era of solo records by the main song writing force of the Church, but as always with sprawling double records can get a bit pick and mix traversing genres. Finally, we round out the set with a track from the Persia EP released in 1984 (also on Remote Luxury here in Australia released the same year) and was the transition piece between the electro goth of the earlier years and the jangling psych of 1985s Heyday record.

Hope you’ll be There – The Kents
Is it strange– Thanks for the Fish
Sometimes I Feel – Seven Ballerinas


We start this delve into the Brisbane scene of the 1980s with the one and only single from the Kents. Featuring future Cloud Stuart Eadie on drums, this is a great slice of pop that was self-released on 7” in 1985 (classy sax break as well courtesy of Brendan Smyly). Next up is Thanks for the Fish. This track comes from their only 7” released in 1987. A vaguely Do Re Mi style sparse arrangement, you can find a whole heap of rare tracks from Thanks for the Fish not released anywhere on a compile at the simply magnificent Bandcamp site called Brisbane Music Graveyard, which as dozens and dozens of releases from Brisbane bands, most of which have been long deleted. Including this 1981 single from Seven Ballerinas. Originally from the Gold Coast, this post punk act were played on community radio and enjoyed a decent live following until their demise in 1984, and they sounded pretty damned cool and cutting edge: track in point is this.