Monthly Archives: January 2012

There’s No Animals in this Zoo

Shakin' the Cage - Zoo

Sometimes you wonder what artists from different countries and cultures, and a varied journey in rock and roll will come up with when they join forces or find themselves in ‘side’ projects or ‘solo’ projects.

This is an album that definitely flies under the radar. In 1990 the late Billy Thorpe, iconic rock guitarist from Australia gave up his non music business ventures to team up with a master of the skins, the enduring Mick Fleetwood to form Zoo. Thorpe composed or was involved in the composing of all the songs on the Shakin’ the Cage album. It was a period in which Mick was engaging in several side projects after Fleetwood Mac’s flame had all but fluttered out.

The album itself is a good rock album with some slower ballad type and a few harder rockers. A modern day album that is similar in its make up would be Black Country Communion, although in the later, the guitar maestro Bonamassa is more pronounced. Thorpe was a great rock guitarist, and playing live he could cut loose and often did. More frontal assault that subtle solo’s. Its a charismatic guitar that is a little infective.

Fleetwoods drumming is a definitive constant tying it all together. Certainly a rock album with a terrific pedigree and very enjoyable to listen too. A gem in a way, as they did tour, put out an album, shelved plans for more work which is a pity as this was a great starting point, and leaves one yearning for the follow up.


Shakin’ the Cage – by the Zoo

A side project band that featured to legends from accross the Pacific in Billy Thorpe from Australia and Mick Fleetwood the expatriate Englishmen ensconsced in Los Angeles.

A rare album that is a treat as well.

Double the Awesomeness – Notes from San Francisco

The late great Rory Gallagher was one of the worlds finest players, and at one point Jimi Hendrix nominated him as the best guitarist going around in the late sixties and early seventies, High praise from the guitar master of guitar masters!

Live music that energises the body!

Whiskey on a Sunday (live concert)

I’d like to have a few more listens to this, and why it made the challenge it reminded me of the night I saw the McAlpine Fusiliers belting it out in a pub. Flogging Molly really get it going. This is a live album with little fine tuning, and it is deliciously spicy. Flogging Molly is a mix of the Irish and punk music, with maybe a hint of grunge. Not wanting to be pidgeon-holed, however they do have a series of slower songs that allow you to savour the music even more. For me, “Drunken Lullabies” is a classic song, a catchy lyric, and good even tempo and it grabs you.

The crowd get involved as Dave King the Irish front man gets them worked up into a lather. He loves telling tales and banging his fast paced songs out. In latter days Mumford and Sons, refine it some more and they too are globally successful. They do it good and its a genre that requires more listening and participating in, either talking, singing, drinking or dancing when you’re Flogging Molly!

Chain are not the missing link in the Blues story.

Chain - Awesome Aussie Blues

It has to be said this album is short on the number of tracks but packed full of great blues music, harmonica and whimsical blues song titles. Where else would you find “How to Set Fire to An Elephant (Live)” than on a Chain album.

Oustanding blues music, raw, full of vigour and richly layered without the studio overkill. In fact the feature of Chain, was they got out there and played to the punters. Great vocals, guitar and rythm sections made for some classic blues songs. If it sounds like I’m effusive and gushing its because this album has opened up a little know channel of fantastic Australian music. The band has been around in one form or another since the late sixties. They caught a whiff of the British Blues movement on the tails of forays by the Easybeats and The Seekers into the European and UK music markets.

Brave, too with songs that were longer than standard single lengths. Spectrum too, defied convention and crafted longer, deeper songs that didn’t fit the popular singles culture, and yet they too were huge crowd favourites like Chain at festivals like Sunbury and in the dynamic pub rock music scene, where to get a gig, you had to be a great band.

This album is timeless in a way, take away the expectation of lots of dubs and edits, as it isn’t there, the band play and play well and the album is crafted blues note by blues riff. Too long in the cupboard, Chain are dusted off and back on the blues music agenda and deservedly so. Picking one song off this album for the playlust challenge was harder than it seemed possible. That too is a good thing!

It’s never about the kink when Flogging Molly

This is music that has a fast metabolism! Seeing the name on a t-shirt, prompted investigation and then discovering there is such a band and that they play high tempo irish music from the heart of Los Angeles prompted further investigation.

The First Song of the 2012 Playlust Challenge

Status Quo's third studio album (1970)

The year is underway and its a boogie laden blast from the past. The longevity of Status Quo has been amazing, considering they chose not to reinvent themselves for each new album. Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon was the departure from their earlier psycheledic/progressive rock styles and set the tone for their future endeavours which have had a modicum of success. They found a groove, gave the punters what they wanted over and over again and have been crowd pleasers and floor fillers as well as being part of the music media circus for all sorts of reasons over band splits and naming rights, but then which band hasn’t had some sort of lovers tiff?

As this is a remaster version it has a few ‘treats’ on it, so technically they can’t be nominated for the playlust challenge. However there are some terrific songs on this including th alternative versions of Down the Dustpipe and Gerandula. I’ve chosen Daughter as the stand out track and its a pretty even and entertaining collection of songs. Go the Quo!