Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hit the ground running

Watched a great documentary on Australian punk (before there was punk) group 'The Saints' debut album 'I'm Stranded' last night. Part of SBS's 'Great Australian Albums', it was the final episode of the series.

Here are some of the insights I gleaned from the program.

THe record label goliaths of the time released what they felt like, not necessarily the type of music the public was thirsting for.

Back in 1976, it cost $500 to produce 500 records in Brisbane (QLD).

The group financed the vinyl themselves.

400 of those 500 copies were sent to press.

The Saints influenced a number of famous Australian rock and punk groups / musicians including Robert Forster (Go-Betweens), Brad Shepard (Hoodoo Gurus), Rob Younger (Radio Birdman) and Damian Lovelock (Celibate Rifles) whom were heavily influenced by the group's music and their attitude.

Rave reviews in publications 'Sounds' & 'Melody Maker' attracted the interest of 'EMI' records in the UK.

The music that The Saints made was a product of and a backlash against the authoritarian government and police in Brisbane at the time.

They never got their $20 bond back paid to the string of local halls they gigged in.

Personally the most fascinating revelation from the documentary was here was a Australian group making the type of music that punk was to become. Yet when the group were over in the UK and (just as the image that punk came to be known for) was becoming prominent in the UK, The Saints refused to conform to the image, going as far as to distance themselves for the movement alltogether. Guitarist Ed Kuepper stated that the group were doing and acting how they wanted (as always) and found the whole 'you have to look, sound like (insert group here) attitude stifling, suffocating and something that they wanted nothing to do with.

Great Australian Albums Myspace.

One track that completely blew me away when I first heard it on DJ Premier & Big Shug's 'Live From Headcourterz' radio show was Mista Cane's - 'True Confessions' (Featuring The Game & San Quinn).

Buy it at iTunes.

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