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.  Connection is not always as deep ad meaningful as sharing band rooms, producers or success. Sometimes it can be as simple as having your band name start with an S, and there are lots and lots of those!

Celebration – Safehouse
The Immigrants – Sea Stories
Gift Horse – Seven Stories
Brighter than the Sun – The Summer Suns

S bands. There are thousands of them. We offer four here. We start with some post-punk, dark new wave, whatever you want to call it, from 1982, Melbourne band Safehouse released one EP on the Au Fait label (they also had a cassette only EP in 1983, not found that anywhere). Next up, slightly more known, Melbourne’s Sea Stories released a handful of Eps and three LPs in the late eighties and early nineties.  With vocals in part from Penny Hewson, we feature a track here from their first EP released in 1988 on the Rampant label called Secret World. Next Up, Seven Stories. Now these guys can get a bad rap for being a mainstream, major label pop band signed to Sony and getting some big names producers (T-Bone Burnett!!) but I really like this track from their debut LP released in 1990 called Judges and Bagmen. Underrated. Finally, we have Summer Suns, from the great state of Western Australia. Led by Kim Williams and featuring a rotating cast of players, the Summer Suns put out a few records in the early 1990s and a bunch of critically acclaimed singles. Garage, power pop, however you want toc all it, it is very much in the zeitgeist of the Perth scene.  This track comes from the 1991 LP Calpurnia released on the House of wax label, the in-house label of one of Perth’s great long-lost indie record stores (run by Kim Williams)

What I Feel – Decline of the Reptiles
Real Gone – Naked Lunch
Hindu Gods of Love – Lipstick Killers

A chunk of psych now.  We start with Sydney band Decline of the Reptiles, who were on the Waterfront label in the main and this slab from a 1984 7” produced by indie legend Nick Mainsbridge. Next up, a bit if supergroup, Mick Medew from the Screaming Tribesmen, Tony Robertson from the Hitmen and New Christs amongst others (members were in Howling Commandos, Rattlesnake Shake to name a few) put out one EP in 1988 (and a smashing 7” in 1986) both on the Waterfront label. Lastly, we nail down a classic. The Lipstick Killers and their downright seminal Hindu Gods (of Love). This version is from a 1980 re-issue on Voxx.

Sad TV – Mother Jones
Brother John – Visitors
Burned my Eye (Live) – Radio Birdman
Eskimo Pies- TV Jones

We take a little journey here. We start with a cover of the Visitors song, Brother John. The Visitors were Deniz Tek’s post Birdman band who released one single and one LP. This cover is from a double tribute 10” to Citadel Records called Storming the CItadel released in 1998. Next up we have a track from the remastered and re-released version of the only Visitors LP released on Wild Honey in Italy in 2018 and then we have Birdman with a live version on the semi-legit Birdman release called Rock and Roll War released on the Mission label in France and a track recorded live at the Double J studios. And we finish up with the very rare TV Jones track (Deniz’s pre Birdman outfit) which of course became a RB classic Eskimo Pie (or I-94 as it was called on the Living Eyes LP).

The New Brutalists – The Government
Prun Sunk – Because of Ghosts

Let’s finish this show with some post rock. I found these two CDs buried in my collection, another part that had been sacrificed for years to the storage Gods and for some reason I had never ripped before I left. We start with Government, a little known band from Melbourne (I think) released in 2000 on the Comrade label on the EP Underwater Themes For An Overrated Film. Then we have definitely Melbourne’s Because of Ghosts and a track from the hand released (and hand sown) EP Make Amends With Your Adversary Before Dawn released in 2003.