Archive for the ‘What’s The Rockbrat Viewing Today ?’ Category

dizzy dollzEarlier this year – we blogged about some footage from Sydney’s long-lost Dizzy Dollz – which had surfaced on YouTube. Some months later we learn that another gig has been upped – and it’s just as good. When I say I’m in love you best believe I’m in love, L U V – and Mr Rockbrat is diggin’ this time travel – to the seedy Kardomah Cafe big time ! Tonight we have another dose of glam/punk/rock n roll circa 1992. It’s a short set, but a great one. Does vocalist Bella still perform ? She must’ve intimidated the hell out of many a young cherry-boy from that stage. Her voice suits these tunes so well. Did this band ever demo the track ‘Bitch On Heat’ ? Loud and to-the-point – it’s as catchy as all hell. Same with ‘Can’t Stop Shakin’ ? Was that ever put to tape ? Guitarist Glenn Read’s solo is hot – so too, the one in ‘Good Morning Headache’ – he was someone we saw a lot over the years on the Sydney scene (Shy Thunder/White Widow/Starlet) – and he always played with a great tone and feel. Looking back – Dizzy Dollz were more than just T and A rock n roll. As mentioned in my previous post – fun and entertainment were the main focus points. How can you not dig an outfit who rip through cool Runaways and Dolls tunage ?! Their take on Eddie Cochrane’s Summertime Blues is the best you’ll hear this side of Joan Jett’s 1981 run-through. Love it. The Australian underground scene had some great – authentic rock n roll bands in the late 80’s and Dizzy Dollz were just one of em. Spend 40 minutes watching this set and you’ll be in agreeance. OK kids, the sun is now up so I should stumble down Bayswater Road and vanish like a vampire…


Here’s a good one – ‘Swimwear’, the recent video from Ginger Wildheart and his new pop combo Hey! Hello! Drenched in Cheap Trick pop sensibilities, ‘Swimwear’ shows that catchy heavy pop is still bankable in 2013. Hey! Hello! Features the very easy-on-the-eye Victoria Liedtke. In late July they released their self-titled, debut album (all via crowd funding mind you) and it rose to number 12 on the Brit charts, despite not having the backing of a major label. Hey! Hello! Have a sound described as a cross between Green Day and Abba – yet like most things with the Ginger brand on it – it’s great! After all his years of hard work, any commercial success he has is justly deserved.  You can download the album for a measly 7 quid here

Some years ago I recall a conversation I had with a woman who was somewhat illiterate when it came to rock ‘n’ roll. What sticks in my memory is that she raved on and on and on about the Eddie & The Cruisers movie which was released in 1983. From memory, the film was somewhat contrived, and its best part was the brunette love interest played by none other than Helen Schneider. Between 1978 and 1984, Schneider achieved success as a rock singer in Germany; and with this tune, (a reworked and lo-cal version of the mighty Tatt’s tune ‘Rock n Roll Outlaw’) Rock’n’ Roll Gypsy, she reached the top 10 in Germany and received a Gold Record Award, sharing the Goldene Europa Award with John Lennon. I recall buying the Helen Schneider With the Kick album (which this tune is on) on a previous trip to the Big Apple for a dollar. It’s pretty over rated. Interesting to note that long time Blackheart Thommy Price plays drums on the album. Like I said, it’s pretty light compared to the Tatts – you make your own mind up.

One of the long lost Aussie rock classics from the mid 70s – this is very Brit-glam flavoured, and you could be mistaken for thinking it was a UK band. Nope, Sherbet, with Garth on lead vocals. This was the B side of the ‘Only One You” 7″ which went Top Ten in late 1975. The video features model / actress Susan Stenmark, who later went onto TV fame in “The Young Doctors”(one for you Earl) and starred in the Sussan’s fashion ads in the early 80’s. This is a great tune. Love the solid bass playing of Tony Mitchell on this.

And on the eight day – God created Steffanie. When at other times he was not focused on the job and carelessly produced herds of bull necked swamp donkeys, he sure was paying attention to detail the day he created Steffanie, cos in her he did indeed create one stunning, shapely creature (slobber)…..who grew up to be a model and one hell of a rock singer. Steffanie Borges, most famously replaced Keiko Terrada in Show-ya, and with Show-ya released the way underappreciated ‘Touch The Sun’ CD, which I’ve reviewed elsewhere on this blog. (Incidentally, the only Show-ya album to be sung in English). She also cut two fine solo albums in 1985 and 1986, called ‘Hideaway’ and ‘Pink Noise’ respectively. These were both re issued late last year in Japan and you can expect a review of both these re-issues in the not too distant future. Anyway, here is a live acoustic video of ‘Touch The Sun’, the title track from the 1995 album when she was fronting Show-ya. It’s one of my favourite vocal performances from Steff.

Another year over – and a new one just begun. On behalf of Mr Rockbrat, I would like to wish all Rockbrat readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Thanks for your continued support of the Rockbrat Blog. We hope you have enjoyed some of the articles we have penned this year. Rock on ! Cowboy Col. Here’s one of Marc Bolan’s lesser well known tunes, which from memory turned up on the Marc On Wax label in 82. Merry Christmas!



hang onto your wigs – we’re doing a ‘live’ video

Some facts – I owned this thing back in the day. The day – as in 1985. Can I say that ? I wonder how that rates in this world of ‘Kiss cool’  where, it is how old you were when you got into Kiss, which gives you the serious cred amongst your fellow Kissers…you know what I am talking about here – the ones who fudge the truth a little (the Cowboy wrote about it recently and you hear it now and again on Kiss podcasts) “I got into Kiss in 1975 when I was five years old” Sure you did. Most children that age are still content to play with cars, crayons and horses, yet it would seem some supercool kinderbrats – (back in 1975 at least), had their ears to the ground   and were dissected the Dressed To Kill album. P-lease. So what if you got into Kiss in 1988 ? Where’s the shame ? Ahhh I get it, gotta look the goods amongst the older (and no doubt wiser) Kiss fans/disciples  who jumped on board the Kiss train in the 70’s …..but Mr Rockbrat digresses.  This fondness for the make-up era attracted a large part of the Kiss audience in the 80’s, be in no doubt about that. As a Kiss droid, I recall seeing an advert for this in a copy of Circus magazine and all but peed my pants. Apart from a seldom-seen VHS copy of the Kiss film venture ‘Attack of The Phantoms’, there was nothing ‘officially’ released to slam into our family’s video player. So when I bought this, I was indeed – in heavy metal heaven. Last night, I decided to re-watch this show – step into my DeLorean as it were – the date set to 8th December 1984 and the place – Detroit’s Cobo Hall. Ponder this – only the year before – Kiss were still recognisable head turners – stomping around in platform boots and face-paint on the Creatures of the Night Tour. Flash forward a mere three months later and they play their first ‘unmasked’ show – in Lisbon, of all places. The capital city of Portugal, rich in culture and history/kisstory – and setting for the very first Kiss show without the costumes. That tour was in support of the Lick It Up record, followed by the Animalize platter…which brings us back to winter in Michigan in 1984. Kiss were – though I couldn’t see it back then – let me use the ‘F’ word – faceless. Just another hard rock band out on the road trying to get bums on seats. As you will have gathered – laughter (piss taking) is something Mr Rockbrat takes great delight in, especially with New York’s finest – and there is plenty to scoff at here:
Spinal Tap was released in March of 84. If $immons saw it, he was surely dozing through it and missed the joke. Though I bet Stanley didn’t get the joke. Serious business the one he’s in.  reckon that around this time period, only Krokus, Quiet Riot and Pretty Maids (along with Biff and pals in Saxon of course) rivalled Kiss in the field of looking ridiculous. I’ll get to the frivolity in a moment, but first, let’s go over the set list:


It ain’t a crime to be good to yourself…


Kiss my ass – indeed !

‘Detroit Rock City’ was the obvious opener, but the Frehley-penned  “Cold Gin” at second song was not. It remained in the set for years and I ain’t really sure why as it was never a stand-out. I couldve done without  “Smell The Glo…err I mean “Fits Like a Glove” and also ‘Under The Gun’ from the record they were touring. As for airing b-grade HM fodder like Young and Wasted ? Unnecessary – especially when you think about the amazing back catalogue of tunes they got to choose (ahem) from. oh that’s the old Kiss, I geddit. The excruciating I Still Love You is like watching paint dry and by continually including it in the Kiss set year after year, indicates that an egomaniac (with a purple aura) was at work. Black Diamond is one of my favourite Kiss tunes and it is great here, unlike the tiresome ‘Love Gun’  or their anthemic set-closer, which I will not name as I am sick to death of it. Simmons used to have that annoying way of singing it too – veering from the original recording with his own – “we’ll drive you (pause) cray…..zeh”. Overall a fairly weak set, though back in the day I wore out the tape. It ruled man – or unreal – as we used to say (that’s late 70’s speak for ‘fully sick’). Little did I know, as we all didn’t, that some of the audio was apparently touched up in the studio. More Kiss trickery from wizards Gene and Paul. Still, when you’d faked Alive! and Alive 2, what did it matter anymore ? According to some sources, some  (if not all) of Stanley’s vocals were overdubbed for a cleaner audio sound. Is it any wonder with all the dancing and prancing he used to carry on with back then ? He can barely stand still at the mike. Actually his dancing is fucking ridiculous and at times he resembles an epileptic string puppet. He is constantly kicking and prancing and it is damn hysterical. No one takes themselves more serious than the Eisenite. The Cat (in his excellent new book) mentions that Paul would strangely grab his own ass on stage at different times – like tonight. Check the Starchild out when, during his long-winded Love Gun intro, he actually turns his backs to the audience and fakes making out !? Like Ralph Malph used to do on Happy Days sometimes. Bizarre. Maybe he was lost without his black star and diamond vest ? His bass playing buddy sure as hell was. $immons must be the least athletic guy in town so him performing those high kicks is a riot. Shame he didn’t fall on his ass and dislodge that dead cat he was wearing. Bruce Kulick was competent but had the stage presence of an oak tree….amd his solo’s have no feeling…compare the solo in Black Diamond to Frehley’s (actually no one will ever fill Ace’s boots or match his sound). Eric Carr – as always gave his all….even during an unneccesary drum solo – nothing against Carr, I am just against drum solo’s full stop. As for solo’s, could Paul Stanley get away (ahem again) with a guitar solo ? I mean, really ? Yes, he was far more competent in 84 than 74, but since when do rhythm players get a solo ? I will not even mention Gene’s (are they leather diapers he is wearing ?) boring bass solo. A bass solo !? Billy Sheehan ? Sure. Stanley Clarke. uh-huh. Gene Klein ? No way….and he needs the accompaniment of the former Fox to come to his rescue. Should I mention the women’s underwear ? I mean really – there is so much of it draping the mike’s and guitar necks that they could’ve opened a lingerie shop. Ladies and Gentleman, Spinal Tap. Note that at one point Stanley tells the crowd ‘this place looks like a damn zoo’. Yet when it came to that tour’s stage threads,  the band in fact are wearing more leopard and tiger print garb than the big cats at the nearby Detroit Zoo (which is an improvement on the spandex and knee pads from the previous tour). Yes, Kiss Sherlock , I am aware Animalize had animal skins on the jacket sleeve…. Looking back this performance is good at best. I was fond of this line-up – they were together for a few years, but looking back – the charisma just ain’t there. Criss, Frehley and the 70’s peak were a looming shadow, and long since passed. Kiss had morphed into a faceless heavy metal act – a stereotypical HM band cranking it out for largely male dominated audiences.. In 85 I dug it, but now I can see through olderize. It is fun to watch, though I could not get through all of it. Before any Kiss drones get all flustered about my thoughts – don’t take it all to heart. After all, they’re just another rock n roll band. Merry kissmas folks.