Posts Tagged ‘Girl Monstar’

Girl Monstar – Esplanade Hotel St Kilda 11 July 1992

girl_monstar_hoptounAfter a wretched ’91 which saw many a guileless critic write them off for dead, 1992 promises to be the year of Girl Monstar, when their unique semi tough addictive brand of rock “n” roll is at
last made communicable to the hungry world at large. With their debut album “Monstereo Delicio” finally in  circulation, and ace plucker Janene Abbott filling the rhythm gulf left by Damian beyond all expectations,  things are very much on the up and up. I just can’t figure why they’re not gainfully employed superstars already.
Monstar Maniacs from every corner of Melbourne have converged on St Kilda’s (in)famous Espy for tonight’s she-rock shindig and I can sense a welcome dose of Monstar medicine on it’s way. What I haven’t anticipated is the very palatable pairing of Sherry and Anne,  arriving on stage in their mellow, acoustic guise – The Honeybees. The punters are provided with a half hour set of easy listening favourites as a prelude to the Monstarous main course. Citing highlights from The Honeybees set is much like splitting hairs, but I’ll chuck in my two bucks worth. Their duet on Neil Young’s ‘There Comes A Time’ rates honourable mention, as does the passionate rendition of “I’m A Believer” .  Sherry’s handling of “These Boots Are Made For Walking” renders every other version – Nancy Sinatra’s
included, obsolete. And I’d sell my left lung and buy a Hawthorn membership ticket to hear Anne McCue’s  one in a million voice illustrate the dreamy lyrics of “Ventura Highway” one more time.

The sensitive, wistful stuff done with, Melbourne’s own rock “n” roll wet dream cum queens  of noise – the mighty Girl Monstar – crash the stage opening with a tumultuous version of Alice Cooper’s  definitive road song “Raped and Freezin”. A couple of old favourites follow, the dramatic bitch anthem,  “Maneater” and Anne’s rueful soap opera, “Johnny”. “Are You Ever” is nothing less than a three minute invitation to salvation, a priceless cut of melody from the wizard ink of Sherry V – it sticks in the brain in the  nicest possible way. Another ace from the Valier deck – the telling ballad “If Only You Knew”, also carries the mark of Monstar magic.
The David/Bacharach classic “Walk On By” receives special treatment from lead guitarist  Anne. After the way the dirty old Stranglers mauled it in the late 70’s, it’s a delight to hear Anne’s angelic  vocal delivery give it fresh life. Her own composition “Higher Than High” is white hot pop and proves that  she can write ’em as good as she can sing ’em. A juiced up “Egomaniac” (Surely one of the best tunes ever committed to a B – side) is further evidence of her creative merits. “Surfing On A Wave Of Love”, dare I say their signature tune, is the night’s fitting finale,  but if it hadn’t been for the house lights coming on at such a rude interval, we may have seen the Bardot of percussion, Susie World take the mic for “Headbanger I Luv U”, the only track from “Monstereo Delicio”  not to get an airing tonight. This band has well and truly transcended the novelty status imposed on it from its earliest day. If Girl Monstar don’t make it logic is hopeless. (Archive Source: Monstar Maniacs Issue 1 – July / Aug 1992) by Bruce Earl

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Melbourne’s Girl Monstar first walked onto a stage at a club called ‘Heroes’ in Carlton, North Melbourne – 25 years ago. ‘Heroes’ – probably better well-known as ‘Hearts’ was a busy Nicolson Street live venue in the 70’s and 80’s – but today provides residential apartment living. Another iconic live venue bites the dust….wonder if the rock n roll ghosts keep the home-owners awake at night ? The Boys Next Day apparently played their final gig there – and, some years later – Girl Monstar would plug the amps in for the first time there too – endings and beginnings from a rock n roll haze. GM had me hooked very early in their career – and this band and their infectious brand of rock n roll have long been a part of my life. 25 years ! Was it Noel Gallagher who wrote ‘… it’s never gonna be the same, coz the years are falling by like the rain’ – never a truer word spoken my friends. Looking back, music fans of my generation were spoilt for live rock n roll back in the 70’s and 80’s -and by gosh the talent pool here in  Australia was immense. Girl Monstar were a band who I would’ve’ seen around 50 or so times, probably more. Back then – when life was less complicated – I just wanted to rock – and let me tell you – Girl Monstar delivered. Apart from those who had their ear to the ground – their name may be unfamiliar to many. But make no mistake – their legacy looms large. How rare is it to find a band where all four members can sing great, perform well and possess stage-prowess personalities as well ?! Bassplayer Damian Child was an essential ingredient to the band – stalking the stage at right with a BC Rich, gravel throat and charisma a-plenty. She would depart in 1991. Drummer Susie World was – and still is – a powerhouse behind the skins. Lindy Morrison often gets the wording when the press think ‘Australian female drummer’. I saw Sue drum enough times to know that she’d pummel Morrison in the department of percussion. No contest. Sherry Valier and Anne McCue did most of the writing and it was apparent to me and the Gig Lizard very early on – that both had star potential. No fluke that the now-Nashville-based McCue has gone on to forge a career in music and has a solid worldwide fan base. She’s got where she has on talent alone and when Lucinda Williams correctly labelled her ‘an amazing guitarist’ around ten years back now, some of us had long been aware of this. Do you own any Anne McCue albums ? Man, you should – she is building an impressive back-catalogue which is worth exploring. Sherry also has produced an amazing body of work which stands her on par with any big-name writer to come out of Australia. Yep, her tunes are that good. I could write about Girl Monstar until the sun comes up, but instead – I will direct you to girlmonstar.com – it’s all there. 11th of November 1988 was the date folks – Carlton in North Melbourne the place – a place where some Australian rock n roll history began.

Jed Starr

As a gig goer and hard rock/ heavy rock fan in Sydney in the 1980s, I saw guitarist Jed Starr on dozens of occasions in different bands. All great. I haven’t seen (or heard about) Jed Starr since 2002, and I’d be interested to know of his current musical activities if any.  Jed certainly had a few bites of the ‘success cherry’, yet ultimately, none came to fruition. He was always very close to ‘making it’ but fate can be cruel, and despite some great recordings, he never made it to the top.  Darren McCormack and his brothers Matt and Shawn grew up in Sydney, but by the early 80’s, he and his brothers and family were residing in Los Angeles, and in 83, they were playing the Hollywood Clubs. By the mid 80’s however, the family moved back to Sydney. As history has shown, he was a victim of poor timing, as the LA rock bubble was just about to explode and he was close, for the first time, to being at the right place at the right time and ‘making it’ (a recurring theme in his career). If they had of stayed in LA ? Who knows. Poor timing I guess. So anyway, by the mid 80’s, he and his brothers has all taken pseudonyms (Darren was known as Jed Starr, Matt was known as Big Bird, and Shawn was known as Snuff Beastly) and were playing the Sydney circuit with a couple of bands including ‘Kings Cross’ their glam/hard rock outfit, and also ‘Massive Appendage’ their speed metal band. By around 1987, they had a third band called ‘Festers Fanatics’, featuring the irrepressible Fester on vocals. Festers played largely covers. Great and inspired versions though. The McCormack’s had their own label called ‘Original Records’ and released albums by all these bands on their own label. I saw him with Kings Cross on several occasions, including supporting Stryper at Sydney’s Homebush Stadium. I used to spot him and his brothers everywhere. I spied them coming out of the Hordern Pavilion after Metallica in 1989, and even coming out of the Valhalla Cinema after the screening of ‘The Metal Years: Decline of The Western Civilisation’. I bought all the records, even the 7” of ‘Georgie Girl / I Can’t Take It’. In around 1990, McCormack moved to Melbourne and hooked up with a band called Killing Time. An amazing band. Heavy, funky, metal. Lots of hooks, grove and originality. I saw Killing Time on several occasions and they were always great. The bonus of having his former Kings Cross buddy Tubby on drums made it better still. The amazing ‘Ruby’s Mind’ (his tune) had the industry in a buzz, with labels falling over themselves to get the bands signatures. I bought the Mandelbroth Set and Dream Alone 12” EPs, for no other reasons than I was a Jed fan. ‘Dream Alone’ in particular showed off his melodic song writing and likeable vocals. After a couple of EP’s though, he was gone – as was Tubby on drums. Killing Time morphed into Mantissa and a heavier direction yet without Jed’s infectious knack for melody – it left me a little cold. In 1992, Mr. Rockbrat would run into him at countless Girl Monstar gigs in Melbourne, and he ended up producing their debut album, ‘Monstereo Delicio’. Post Killing Time, he fronted his own band, Starworld. I saw Starworld a couple of times, including a gig in the front bar of the Brookvale Hotel on a Thursday night (with Kings Of The Sun’s Anthony Ragg on bass). In around 94, he was the guitar player Jon Stevens chose to work with on his new, post Noiseworks solo career. I saw Stevens on ‘Hey Hey Its Saturday’, and there was Jed on guitar. I was sure that Stevens album would be massive, and Jed would go along for the ride. Nope, the album stiffed. Fate can be cruel. By the end of 96 I’d moved out of Sydney and lost track of his musical wanderings, that was until 2002 when I found myself sitting at the Railway Hotel on Chapel Street in Windsor. I was with Mr. Giglizard and we were having a few pre gig drinks prior to heading to Richmond to see Radio Birdman. Giglizard alerted me to the fact that Lucy De Soto was also in the pub and was talking to….none other than Jed Star, sporting long hair and long beard. In spite of suffering a stinking hangover the next day, what followed was a memorable evening spent with Giglizard (who had gone to the same high school as Jed) and Jed, where many old rock stories were told over several glasses. I recall Jed being impressed in both Giglizard and my knowledge of his musical output, and various gigs and venues we had seen him at over the years. He was also impressed that I had a copy of ‘Georgie Girl’ on 7”. He managed to sell his Peter Green ticket to Giglizard and then was gone – that’s nine years ago now. If anyone knows where 2011 finds Jed Starr, please let us know, and if you run into him, let him know that he is fondly remembered here at Rockbrat HQ.

Mr Rockbrat recently visited the Rock Chicks Exhibition, currently on at the Melbourne Arts Centre – and running until the end of February 2011. The whole concept of celebrating women in Australian music via assorted forms of media and memorabilia is a great idea – and a long overdue one at that. It would be great if this exhibition went on the road and visited other capital cities – however that won’t be the case so you’d best get to Melbourne and check this out before it shuts. There are many great artists featured along with records, guitars, stage clothes, photographs, assorted memorabilia and much much more. Of particular interest to Mr Rockbrat was the Girl Monstar display – who were Australia’s greatest all-girl outfit – and whose recognition at a display like this is long overdue. Susie World’s drum head hangs proudly on the wall – battered and bruised by the Bardot of Percussion – during a couple of hundred live gigs but still in one piece. Vocalist Sherry Valier’s make-up case is on display, along with a set-lists and some rare photographs and live video. To the right sits a school uniform once worn by Christina Amphlett adjacent a vintage Divinyls street poster from the early 80’s…..and so it continues. Nitocris to Magic Dirt, X to the Moodists to Marcia Hines and Railroad Gin. Many acts have been covered here – it’s an exhibition which is well researched and well run – and it’s free entry to boot ! The Arts Centre is only a short stroll from Flinders Street Station so be sure to visit this exhibition before it shuts in February. To officially launch the exhibition, a concert was held outside the Centre on Friday 12th November 2010, and featured some great performers. Clare Moore and Rebecca Barnard were there, and I also saw performances from former

Railroad Gin vocalist Carol Lloyd, Morgana from Nitocris and Adalita from Magic Dirt fame. The rain which teamed down did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of all who were in attendance and a good time was had by all.  

Who: Girl Monstar
Where: Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda, Melbourne – 11 July, 1992

Looking back I would’ve shot more rolls of film on Girl Monstar than any other artist. They were an amazing rock n roll band who should’ve made the big time. Alas. This photograph of guitarist Anne McCue and drummer Susie World was taken at the Espy in St Kilda on a cold winter’s night back in 1992. It seems like yesterday. I quite like this pic as Susie is looking straight at me whilst Annie is focusing on the fretboard. Girl Monstar are one of the bands featured (and justifiably so) in the upcoming ‘Rock Chicks’ exhibition at Melbourne’s Arts Centre beginning November 6. Detailed info on Girl Monstar (and many other great live photo’s) can be found at the Girl Monstar Fan Site

Episode #1 of Rockbrat Radio was successfully launched – and aired aired live on the internet on 31 August 2010.

The debut show was titled ‘long lost all-girl bands’ and featured acts such as Girl Monstar, Dragster Barbie, Mystery City, Leathur Panteez, Trinymph and Rum Babas

Listen out for new shows in the coming weeks !

Show #1 can be downloaded or streamed here

Just over 20 years ago – in November of 1988 – an all-female rock n roll band from Melbourne Australia (featuring Sherry Rich and Anne McCue) stepped onto the tiny stage at a pub in North Melbourne and performed their debut show. They were called Girl Monstar – and for nearly two decades, the band – and indeed the individual members – have played – and continue to play a large part of my brother’s life – (he once ran their fan club and runs girlmonstar.com). So to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of Australia’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands – this episode of Buried Treasure Podcast is dedicated to Girl Monstar

Running time 2 hours, 35 minutes
File size: 141 mb

Download the Girl Monstar Tribute Podcast

 

Sherry Valier – guitar / vocals
Anne McCue – lead guitar / vocals
Sue World – drums
Damian Child – bass
Janene Abbott – bass

Songs include: SURFING ON A WAVE OF LOVE, YOURE A SUCK, JOE COOL, MY BABY (Makes Me Stay Up All Night), SICK OF YOU, YOU NEED US, GOLDEN MILES, HIGHER THAN HIGH, IF ONLY YOU KNEW, MAN EATER, CRAVIN, BLUE, CIGARETTES, SITTING HERE ALONE, THREE TIME LOSER, TWO WHITE DOGS, I WONT CRY, PANDORA MINK, DESERT IN THE RAIN, STUPID, DO IT THE RIGHT WAY, TALK BACK TREMBLIN LIPS, ARE YOU EVER
 
Girl Monstar www.girlmonstar.com
Sherry Rich www.sherryrich.comwww.themudcakes.com
Anne McCue www.annemccue.com
Damian Child www.damianchild.com
Sue World www.myspace.com/theexoticspace