While first waiting for restrictions to allow it, then bouncing back from an injury with my hands / arms, in February 2021, I played my first live anything since October 19 at The Sloth Bar in Footscray, quickly followed by a set at Wheelers Food Trucks and Bar in Werribee, both of which I’m appearing at again this week. To say it felt amazing to be back in a bar, drinking a beer, and listening to (and playing) live tunes, is a huge understatement.
Next week we have a Cunning Stunts double header in Hobart, which also includes an acoustic set from me to open the first show. Tickets still available for the first show, but the second show is sold out. Info below.
(Thanks as always to Dan Verkys for coming up with the awesome alternate poster for the first show that includes me on the billing!)
Apologies for being a little late on this site, but the new album “Live To Fight Another Day” came out on October 29, 2020!!! We are very proud of it and worked very hard. We love it SO much infact, that the album after this one is about to start being mixed, and then two more after that one are well underway as well haha!
The new album is out October 29, but you can check the video out for audio previews. Self recorded over the last couple of years, and was mixed by Dennis Leeflang, mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johannson, and artwork by Dan Verkys.
The second single from the forthcoming album “Live To Fight Another Day” (due later in 2020), a fun look at rock n roll being a lifestyle, dedicated to ultimate rocker, Mr Jim Gillbanks, who has been showing them how it’s done since 1936!! CHEERS TO YOU MATE!!
This was a song Chris had sitting around not being used anywhere, and once he and Richard started collaborating on the lyrics, all these gags and references to artists we love started making their way into the song – it very quickly turned into a classic Feckers song, and one that we knew very quickly would be a single.
Raphael Gazal – Lead Vocals Reese Morin – Bass Pat Valley – Lead Guitar (0.02 – 0.15, 2.56 – 3.38) Dennis Leeflang – Drums and Mix Chris Szkup – Guitars and Backing Vocals Richard Anderson – Backing Vocals
Written by Chris Szkup and Richard Anderson. Mixed by Dennis Leeflang @ Livelong Productions, Mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johannson @ The Panic Room, Artwork by Dan Verkys.
Thanks to everyone for appearing in the video and making it even more fun for us to do. Cameos: 0.37 – Yohei Eto (Japan), 1.45 – Dan Verkys (Australia), 2.28 – Ponch Satrio (Indonesia), 2.34 – Chris Hickling (UK), 3.05 – Gorilla Elvis (New Zealand), 3.10 – Rob Smith (New Zealand), 3.20 – Anne Milne and Spider Anderson (New Zealand), 3.46 – Mathew Szkup and Jake Long (Australia), 5.08 – Jim Gillbanks (UK).
“Cheers Jimbo” cameo’s (in order of appearance): Chris Hickling (UK), Paula Gonzalez (USA), Dave Mather (New Zealand), Shannon Gillbanks (UK), Johnno “King AWOL” Troulis (USA), Jordy Gibson (New Zealand), Paul Taylor (UK), Aaron Edwards (Australia), Ponch “Bugger” Satrio (Indonesia), Raewyn Anderson (New Zealand), Richard Anderson (New Zealand), Chris Szkup (Australia).
Was a great thing to finally get the remainder of the TCSO songs I recorded with Dennis Leeflang, Mathew Szkup and Rob Lundgren finally finished and released, and boy did they come up amazing!!! Listen below – in the process of creating a section of the site for this which will feature all kinds of “making of” and “story behind the song” type of stuff!! More sooooon!! 😀
I proudly own Ponch Satrio’s two previous albums “Get The Vision” (2010) and “Guitarville” (2011) and am a huge fan, but having been lucky enough to work with the man himself over the years, and also having met in Jakarta in 2017, I had occasionally heard bits and pieces of his music that were more vocal oriented (including the 2018 single release “Forever” which also appears here) than those albums, and really liked what I heard and hoped for more. And make no mistake, this isn’t to take anything away from those albums – they are incredible, and as a guitarist Ponch Satrio is one of the modern day greats, but as mentioned, I always hoped to hear more stuff with him lead singing on his music as well. So when I got the news that the new album “Start Again” (released May 2019 on Zoester Records) was going to be a vocal album, that certainly made me very happy.
Pleasingly, he handles this situation extremely well, providing great memorable lead and backing vocals for all 10 songs on the album, as well as playing all of the instruments aside from drums, which are played by Kevin Dwi. The production is crisp and modern but definitely still very real with a rawness to it, self tracked at his own Watermelon Productions, with Angga Irwan handling mixing and mastering.
It could be said that the album shows another side to what we know of Ponch’s music, but it is another side that is completely a part of his overall picture, and feels just as natural as his instrumental guitar work from previous albums. The album is just full of great hooks and melodies, and is very well composed with the song overruling everything else.
The guitar playing while very “hooky” also still has a good amount of heaviness and cool riffs (the intro to “Wicked World” for example) to go along with the great textures and layering in the parts. It also should be noted that while there is some ripping guitar playing (especially the solos of “Tell Me When It’s Over,” “Emptiness” or “Wicked World”) it absolutely never outstays it’s welcome. When you have chops for days and know so many amazing licks that you run your own Guitar Dojo (true story! – Ponch really does run his own school in Jakarta, Guitar Dojo), and I suppose even if you don’t have chops for days, or run your own Guitar Dojo, the secret is knowing when to use those licks, or more importantly knowing when NOT to use those licks. To quote a former teacher of mine and great man, “it’s like sprinkling salt” – too much of it and the whole thing is ruined and there is no going back. None of the songs on “Start Again” have had too much salt added to them. Fans of The Foo Fighters and most definitely the “Normal” album by the great Bumblefoot will definitely find a lot to like about these tunes, as well as rock fans and music lovers in general. Listening to the songs I can feel the soul of the lovely guy who created them, and that is what it’s all about.
Favourite songs – ALL OF THEM!! Perhaps a special mention to “Wicked World” for the heavy intro and ripping solo, but honestly all of these songs are extremely well written and performed, and I feel they are best consumed as part of the overall picture. We may be able to purchase songs as singles very easily nowadays compared to the past, but let’s get back to listening to full albums. Like this one! Crank it!
There is a pretty cool event happening this Sunday (which just happens to be my 63rd birthday as well) at Whole Lotta Love, which I hope if you’re in Melbourne you’ll consider coming to!! This will be my first time playing a full set at that cool venue, so to say I’m looking forward to it is an understatement.
Since I always kinda go my own way with things too, I promise that if you live somewhere else aside from Melbourne I won’t even spam you with an invite to the event – afterall what would be the point of that?
Haha cheers guys and I hope to see you on Sunday!! 🙂
Been a big couple of months, I figure I will just do a summary of everything here since I didn’t manage to keep up with adding everything along the way!! Hope everyone is well!!
TUNES AND PARMAS WITH FRIENDS:
Early March I was at the Royal Oak Hotel in Fitzroy for the first time, and in the crowd were a few of my good friends from New Zealand!! We closed my acoustic set there with “Slackers and Wankers” and they didn’t throw us out, so that was good!! 😀
Will be back there on May the 8th @ 8.30pm!!
THE ART MASTER BRANCHES OUT:
Next up my mate Dan Verkys who has handled artwork for myself and The Feckers for 10 years and going strong, came to me with the idea of having more articles on his website to go with the amazing artwork that has always been there. He was kind enough to have me as one of the first things he did with the new format of his website. When that guy comes calling, I am THERE – I don’t mind what it is. Thanks so much mate!!!
JAMMING WITH A LEGEND:
Early April, my brother Skube had tagged me in something about local guitar legend Phil Para inviting people to come and jam with him at his gigs. Skube and I have sunk quite a few pints in the crowd at Phil’s gigs before, and I always remembered (despite the pints) how amazing he was – I HAD to do this!!
What a great bunch of guys he and his band are, and the staff at The Fyrefly where the event was held were also very lovely. An amazing night!!
LIVE AT SWAMPLANDS:
Late April I did a solo gig at Swamplands Bar in Thornbury, as part of a night that Dylan Beast runs there every week. Dylan and I used to play in an acoustic duo a year and a half ago, so it was a great excuse to catch up and play some tunes as well. We played solo sets and guested on a song for each other too. Amazing fun!!
THE FECKERS AND WHAT’S NEXT:
The next album from The Feckers is well underway and has actually begun the mixing process with Dennis Leeflang of Livelong Productions handling that stuff. The third song to be mixed is currently underway in his very good and capable hands and it is sounding KILLER.
This coming week I have the live set at The Royal Oak @ 8.30 as mentioned (May 08), as well as a two hour slot on Casey Radio as part of the Casey Beat program (May 11) where we’ll be talking and playing some songs live and studio. Should be great fun.
A little tribute to our boy Keds who left us in December last year at 14 years of age. This was written and recorded during Feb 28, and March 1, 2019. Audio, video and playing on all tracks by me. I hope you enjoy!!
First thing I see when I get home
The same friendly familiar face I know
Talking before I get indoors
You went next to the tray on the floor
You pissed on me, made me retrieve
You from the neighbours roof next door
Approached every day comically
Fly through the air before chicken hit the floor
You’d run to stay right by my side
The galloping of horses running with such pride
With the choice of an empty queen size bed
You’d stretch out along my ribcage instead
Accepted me, quickly
I guess it was, meant to be
That side of you, many would never see
How they misunderstood you, is how they don’t get me
Don’t worry we won’t tell your brother how you felt
You were always down for it, no matter what you were dealt
Ultimate gangster right til the end
Your territory you’d die to defend
Never back down, if right or wrong
My mate Kedi, I say “so long” (this is your song)
During the making of the second album from The Feckers “Live To Fight Another Day”, we found, as is often the case that we had too much stuff, and somehow this version of the great W.A.S.P. song “Mean Man” happened, which when we decided to throw it out there, also happened to be the first music from The Feckers in five years!!! Hope you enjoy. Head over to the official site to download it for free!!!
“Mean Man” (Written by Steve Edward Duren), originally appears on the W.A.S.P.album “The Headless Children” from 1989. That is a killer song and album, so make sure you check it out and go buy it you bastards!!