ALEX HAMILTON & BAND
You may have seen him on stage in Grace Cummings band or tearing the roof of the Pirates Bar at Out on The Weekend with his own band. Local guitarist and singer-songwriter Alex Hamilton – who just released his debut album Sweetest wine on Love Police Records & Tapes – grew up behind The Espy. A VHS of ‘The Last Waltz’ may have held his destiny. He loves everyone from Neil to Bob, to Joni to Townes. His music is folky and country rocky and sounds a bit like suede and whisky. And when he plugs in, sparks fly.
Amid belatedly celebrating twenty years of their stellar debut ‘Sunset Studies’, and with new album ‘Bloodsport & Porn’ still not half a year old, old mates Augie March will grace us with their graceful presence. Known and loved by festival goers of all ages, Glenn Richards’ band remains one of this country’s most vital; indeed, we can’t say it any better than The guardian, who recently said of the group’s new music: “Augie March has never betrayed a sense of their own time, with ornate arrangements, antiquated language and songs that slowly unfurl as if being pedalled out through a dusty pianola roll. The result is a masterful next chapter for one of Australia’s true treasures.”
Clad in tailored suits and leather boots, and with penchant for scuzzed-out tones, clattering rhythms and tender, introspective lyricism, Bad Bangs mean business. The Melbourne garage rockers released their debut album late last year through new label Blossom Rot Records and made an impression around the country. ‘Character Building’ was named 4ZZZ (Brisbane) Album of the Week, SYN FM (Melbourne) Feature Album of the Week, Edge Radio (Tasmania) Album of the Week and was also nominated for The Australian Music Prize. The band has spent the better half of this summer on a regional Victorian Album Tour, notably supporting The Murlocs at Castlemaine’s iconic Theatre Royal and selling out a home ground Melbourne show at the John Curtin Hotel.
CAITLIN HARNETT AND THE PONY BOYS
Get ready to dance, laugh and cry when Sydney-based alt-country outfit Caitlin Harnett and The Pony Boys take to the Boogie stage. Caitlin Harnett & the boys formed in 2015, have toured the USA twice and played with the likes of Tony Joe White, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Bernard Fanning, The Nude Party and The Felice Brothers. Since the late 2020 release of their debut album ‘Late Night Essentials’, they have been named Best Live Act in NSW at the National Live Music Awards and received an endless stream of accolades. Perhaps Triple J said it best: “In particular circles around Sydney, the name Caitlin Harnett is spoken in revered tongues, like the whispered password to a music scene Illuminati. Learn the handshake, feel the twang and order a round.”
Representing the American East Coast, Endless Boogie are now firm Aussie, and Boogie, faves – we love them as much as they love our Lobby and Thorpie. It’s not all ‘Suck More Piss!’ with these guys though – there’s a heavy underground vibe too. And Top Dollar’s haircut is one for the ages. New album ‘Admonitions’ was RRR’s Album of The Week upon release in June.
Legends! When they appeared in the early 80’s the Hard-Ons were the greatest Aussie punk band since The Saints. Forty years later, they still are. And they’ve influenced generations of bands along the way. Now with young Mr Rogers (Tim that is) upfront and coming off the back of their first ever Top 5 album, the fellas are a whole new experience, even though they still sound exactly like the Hard-Ons. They’re coming to Boogie with only a handful of shows under their belt – catch them before someone tears a ligament!
Describing what they play as “high energy, good-times adventure music”, Howlin’ Rain are the great West Coast of the USA rock outfit of the 21st Century. And this is their first time in Australia, although you may remember mainman Ethan Miller setting the Meredith sky alight when he played Golden Plains with the electrifying Comets on Fire in 2006. Howlin’ Rain tap into classic American roots and, like the Grateful Dead before them, create a singular sound that can reach stratospheric heights. The likes of Rick Rubin and the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson have lined-up to work with them, and their latest album ‘The Dharma Wheel’ is a ripper. No matter what you imbibe, do not miss these guys!
JACK DAVIES & THE BUSH CHOOKS
Formed just over three years ago, WA’s Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks emerged as an electrified take on Jack’s storytelling busker act, weaving suburban Australiana and intimate stories into a thundering wall of sound. Potential Boogie goers probably won’t care that they’ve had 4.5 million streams on Spotify or won a National Live Music Award for “Best Live Act in WA”, but they should be impressed that they have a song called “Half Frozen Beer” which won WAM Country Song of the Year. You could say that harmony and energy are what Boogie is about, and the Jack & The Bush Chooks have both in spades.
MINDY MENG WANG
Someone to ease you into proceedings as Boogie begins, Mindy Meng Wang is a versatile Chinese/Australian composer. She was born and trained in China, and studied western musicology in the UK before emigrating to Australia. A contemporary pioneer of the guzheng, she introduces the ancient Chinese horizontal harp into many western genres including experimental, jazz, western classical, electronic and improvisation. Mindy’s breathtaking album ‘Phoenix Rising’ features a range of collaborative pieces with artists from across the musical spectrum. Mindy has also released a collaborative album with Tim Shiel, titled ‘Nervous Energy’ which MTV described as “some of the best Australian electronic music released this year.”
Northern Rivers-based Mylee recently started a solo thing after making her last record some years back with her partner Ozzy Wrong (aka Ozzie Wright). Her debut solo album ‘Whiplash in the Moshpit’ – recorded by King Gizzard live sound engineer and Family Jordan guitarist Sam Joseph, and amongst the first batch of releases on Love Police Records & Tapes – has been described as “music that makes you feel like you’re on holidays with friends…” So it obviously captures the whole Boogie vibe! The album features the current Double J fave ‘Any Road’ and is really a wonderful mix of twang and stum. Mylee is set for Splendour mid-year but you can see her first at Boogie!
“We dedicated ourselves to being these brain-burrowing, commune-dwelling psychedelic lunatics,” says Nicholas Allbrook, enigmatic front man of Pond. Which just about sums up this revered collective who came out of the West a decade or so ago to help introduce a new and FREE take on the sunshine-psych that has taken on the world. Unable to join us in 2021 due to that Covid thing, they make good their rock and roll sparkle promise to shine once again at Boogie!
QUALITY USED CARS
The artist whose name will instantly send an email to spam, Quality Used Cars is the project of Francis Tait, self-described “an inconsequential member” of Squid Nebula, The Vacant Smiles and Millar Jukes. Francis has spent the better part of the past decade as a regular face on the Melbourne live circuit, his different projects finding him striking up any combination of soul, jazz, blues, disco, psychedelia and surf rock over the years. With Quality Used Cars however, Francis forgets all that and focuses on charismatic songwriting and a style that blends sunny Australiana with alt-country tenderness and scrappy garage-pop smarts. Characterised by an idiosyncratic, warbling vocal and a penchant for sticky hooks that refuse to overextend themselves, Quality Used Car’s debut album Good Days/Bad Days is instantly and joyously lovable and out now.
They’re relative newcomers, but ardent gig goers will know the faces and names from local bands like Deaf Wish, Rabid Dogs and Miss Destiny, whose powerhouse vocalist Harriet Hudson-Clise is up front. Those who’ve braved some of the danker dives will also recognise guitarist Graham Clise, originally from the Bay Area in California, who has played here a bunch with previous bands Annihilation Time and Lecherous Gaze and is now a local. Rot TV is like a culmination of everything they’ve all done before – a killer mix of high energy ‘70s style hard rock and punk, with the guitar – Vintage Guitar mag has called Graham “one of the most-heralded underground rock guitarists of the past 15 years” and “a mashup of Chuck Berry, BOC’s Buck Dharma, and Black Flag’s Greg Ginn” – coming on like a guitar army. Debut album ‘Tales Of Torment’ just released!
Fun, lo-fi pop combo The Skips are in fact a revamped version of BIN, and feature original members Cal Shortal (The Murlocs, ORB), Lachie Baulch and Lys Mac together with newbies Cal Barclay and Max Fletcher (Forever Son). Recently signed to There and Back Again Records, The Skips offer catchy tracks dripping with hooks, and are jangle-punk Australiana at its finest. Described as “the soundtrack to an AC/DC themed puppet show”, they take inspiration from the 80’s twee-pop/C86 scene and address toxic consumer culture, friendship, and the government destroying very day Australians in their songs.
SOUTHERN RIVER BAND
The band from Thornlie (where? exactly) have spent the last 2 years touring Australia, gigging relentlessly, taking their Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Party to anywhere with a stage and a PA. SRB rang in 2020 playing with one of Australia’s greatest ever bands Cold Chisel to over 16,000 rabid fans, and shows with Birds of Tokyo, Jebediah, Gyroscope, Wolfmother, Grinspoon, Amyl & The Sniffers, and a gargantuan national tour with The Darkness, all followed. And you thought there was a lockdown? Early on these chaps once listed their influences as Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, Van Halen, The Stones, and they haven’t let themselves down yet!
TROPICAL FUCK STORM
Maybe the most provocative band in the country, TFS are also an in-your-face live group – a furious melting pot of noise and rhythm, with Gareth Liddiard’s twisted enunciations on top. Less traditional than Gareth and Fiona’s old band the Drones – it’s not guitar based for starters – but with plenty of their wake-in-fright element involved – TFS continue to mutate and are now three albums into an existence that is seeing them single-handedly reinventing punk in their own image.