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Radio Birdman Touring, The Reurn of Budd, A Hottest 100 Wrap & Antipodean Soul/Funk/Disco Playlist

Jeb Taylor

Love it or hate it, Triple J’s Hottest 100 was on over the weekend and it always creates plenty of interest and talking points. From a personal point of view, it was great to see Hockey Dad land at 45, a great start for their new album campaign and their 8th entry now! It was also a strong year for local Illawarra bands with Pacific Avenue and The Terrys both making it into the list and The Vanns making it to the 200 list. Obviously the top half dominated by international hits but there was still a fairly strong Australian music representation across the list. There is some new music from Hockey Dad coming very soon.

On Monday Radio Birdman just announced a run of shows for their 50th anniversary. When I was doing the Heavy Demo feature at the end of last year, I spoke about what Radio Birdman and The New Christs meant to me. Detailing how I’d grown up as a fan, got to work closely with The New Christs and became friends with most of the Birdman crew. If you’re a regular in the shop you may have even crossed paths with Rob talking music with us over the counter on his regular visits. A decade or so back I got to tour across Europe with The New Christs a few times (this week’s feature photo is on one of those tours in La Havre, France) and spending weeks in a van you get to know everyone very well. You also get to know a bands live set closely and The New Christs never disappoint, with Rob’s energy being a highlight. Radio Birdman obviously features half of The New Christs these days, and it will be great to see them back on the stage this winter for what will most likely be their last tour, but I’m sure the members will keep rolling with their other projects beyond this tour.

Speaking of returns one of my favourite nineties bands Budd have made a return to the stage recently and they are booked to play Sunburn Festival in Canberra this April. I’ve also heard some whispers about vinyl reissues of their records happening this year. The Brisbane trio are one of the first live bands I ever saw when I was a very young teenager as they really used to play a lot of all ages shows in the nineties. If you’re not across the band that have this heavy driving sound that draws from a variety of staple bands of the era such as Kyuss, Fugazi, Sonic Youth and the like. They were even at one stage signed to the Ecstatic Peace label which was run by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore.

Seeing this edition of Counter Culture has been fairly guitar heavy, I thought for this weeks playlist I’d go for Antipodean Disco, Funk and Soul 1970 – 1980. While the Bee Gees might have taken Australian disco to the world, there was some great stuff happening both here and in New Zealand if you dig down a little bit deeper. The excellent New Zealand compilation ‘Heed The Call’ is a great starting point for music from across the Tasman, while a lot of the Australian music from this era is quite hard and expensive to find, and there is a lot of great stuff that hasn’t made its way to streaming. But here is a bit of a starting point featuring some of the music that is streaming.

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