Tag Archives: music

The Meanies

I was listening to 3RRR’s show, The Golden Age of Piracy, a couple of weeks ago, and heard Link McLennan AKA Link Meanie, run through his “Formative Five” songs. For the record, they were:

  • Dudley Moore Trio – Song for Suzy
  • The Beatles – Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite
  • The Royal Guardsmen – Snoopy Vs The Red Baron
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 – Mas Que Nada
  • Jesus & Mary Chain – Taste the Floor

You can listen to the show via Triple R’s on-demand service.

This reminded me about the interview that I did with Link, back in the day, around when the 10% Weird album was out. In case you didn’t know, The Meanies are the doyens of Melbourne’s indie/punk scene. You can see the video for the song, 10% Weird at the bottom of the blog post.

For the interview, I ventured out to Pascoe Vale, in Melbourne’s north. Link was living in a bungalow in a cul de sac street that ended at the perimeter fence of Essendon airport. It was a little bit like the movie, The Castle.

Driving back home, I popped the tape in the car stereo, and to my horror, discovered that the batteries in the recorder had cut out. At the same time, I went past a speed camera, and in my agitated state, was pinged for traveling a couple of kilometres over the speed limit. Not great.

So I rang Link (on the land line!) and travelled back to Pascoe Vale, and did it all again. The results appeared in Blast Issue 3 (The One With the Purple Cover), I think. Thanks to the wonders of OCR, here it is.


The Meanies – Big in Spain

LINK MEANIE spends a pleasant afternoon with Ed. He chats about music, touring, pinnies and Jake and the Fatman.

“In Spain they loved us, as far as we can tell. Maybe it’s just their way of showing us that they hated us? No, we got a good response in Spain. Spain just stood out like a sore thumb when it came to response and excitement. We’re doing six shows in Spain this time, at the end of the tour and that’s just perfect, to end on a high note.”

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The Steinbecks

Here’s the latest of the retro music posts from Blast! Magazine.

The Steinbecks
The Steinbecks 1994. l-r Josh Meadows, Robert Cooper, Joel Meadows, Bianca Lew, Adam Dennis.

Melbourne’s Josh and Joel Meadows had made inroads to jangle pop notoriety with The Sugargliders by releasing music on Sarah Records, home to such luminaries as Tallulah Gosh!, The Field Mice, and Heavenly. They are also cousins of Tali from The Lucksmiths. From the smouldering ashes of The Sugargliders, rose The Steinbecks.

I met up with Josh in early 1995, just after the release of the first The Steinbecks album, At Home and Abroad with the Steinbecks (Summershine). They had launched the album at the now defunct Carlton Moviehouse by screening Head by The Monkees and then playing tunes from their album.

Here’s the song “Apollo” “2 Star Motel” from At Home and Abroad with the Steinbecks. People who like the previously mentioned Sarah Records bands will most likely have already heard of The Sugargliders and The Steinbecks. For readers that haven’t, if you who enjoy Camera Obscura, The Bats, or Belle and Sebastian, then you may find The Steinbecks to your liking.

This interview appeared in the first edition of the fanzine, and I was lucky enough to have the The Steinbecks play at its launch gig at The Lounge. As I remember, it was a really warm December night with a good turn out. The band image that you can see at the top of this post and the start of the Youtube video is the promo shot that I used in the article.

Later, I used to pop into the RMIT University book shop to say hi to Josh, when he worked there. I lost contact with him, but do seem to remember that he went off to do some work in Papua New Guinea. I also caught up with some of their subsequent releases on Summershine and then Microindie Records. It seems that their last release was 2005’s Far From the Madding Crowd.

July 2013 update – and they’re back with this single:

The Steinbecks.

Josh Meadows tells Ed that “Fresh is the vibe. Fresh and up and fizzy” in The Steinbecks camp.

Josh – We’ll just test if the coffee sounds good…(slurps)…Ahh!

Ed– (Laughs) What’s the vibe in The Steinbecks at the moment?

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Zorbing: Stornoway’s debut single video

I’ve bigged up (big upped?) my friends Stornoway a few times on this site, here, herehere, here, here, and here.

They have been steadily improving through gigging tirelessly and are now up to the point that Michael Hann of The Guardian said, “they immediately became Our New Favourite Band“. They are certainly one of my favourite bands. This glowing assessment was echoed by Hann’s colleague, Paul Lester in this article.

They are now on the verge of releasing their debut single called Zorbing, that you will be able to purchase on iTunes from 15 June 8 June.  The video for which has just been posted on Youtube…

They are playing at various festivals this summer, most notably the legendary Glastonbury Festival. It’s turning into a big summer for Stornoway! Chapeaux!

For more info, check out their MySpace page.

PS – I’m excited to announce that there will be some Stornoway action at my Oxford wedding celebration in December!!

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Let me tell you about Even

I would like to recommend the music of my friends from Melbourne, Even

Back in the day, I was co-founder of a printed fanzine known as Blast! Magazine. I answered some type of ad that I saw somewhere on the campus of the University of Melbourne, my alma mater and thus I became the music contributing editor and general jack of all trades for this publication.

I learnt a lot by putting out five editions of this fanzine in the couple of years of its existence, including design layout “skills”, image manipulation, marketing and promotion, article and review writing…amongst others. In a way, I wouldn’t be where I am now without Blast!

At this time of my life, I spent a lot of time hanging out with and going to see musical artists of the Australian (and New Zealand) independent variety such as Snout (I was their de facto tour manager once…to Adelaide!!), You Am I, The Fauves, The Steinbacks, Rail and Even. I had a reasonably firm ambition to be involved in the live/recorded music industry in some way.

Therefore one of the activities that enjoyed the most while working on Blast! was writing articles about bands, reviews of their recorded output and organising launch parties/fundraising gigs that involved some of the bands that I wrote about in the pages of the zine.

Even were introduced to my by my friend Greg, a sometime member of the aforementioned Snout. It’s a bit hazy but I think it was at a Student Union night. The photo below is of Ash Naylor, singer and guitarist of Even, taken when I interviewed him at the Black Cat Café, Melbourne the afternoon of the launch gig of their first EP In Stereo at the sadly now defunct Punters Club.

Ashley Naylor

In 2002, Even played some shows in the UK as well as recording some songs that ended up on their Free Kicks album. Ash, Wally and Matt were nocturnally recording tracks in London, going to gigs and generally carousing as far as I can tell.

One of the shows was at the Bullingdon Arms in Oxford. They jumped in a van for the 100km trip up the M40 and arrived in Oxford a little bit fatigued. Luckily for them, I was in tour manager mode for the evening because the time for their set was rapidly approaching but the band were nowhere to be found. I went looking for them and found the trio in their van behind the Tesco supermarket on the Cowley Rd, fast asleep.

How rock is that!?

More after the jump…

Even road case

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