ST KILDA'S STILL ALRIGHT - I Spit on Your Gravy (Turkeyneck/Corduroy)
In underground rock scene in Melbourne, through the early to mid 1980s, a wide variety of bands existed, including Gothic rock acts like Nick Cave and The Birthday Party and Dorian Gray, Garage rock stalwarts The Seminal Rats, 60s music inspired groups including The Bo-Weevils, The Saucermen, Tyrnaround, The Shindiggers, The Believers, The Beach Nuts and hard core punk acts such as Vicious Circle, Royal Flush (whom included both Tim Hemensley [ex-GOD, Bored!, Powder Monkeys] and Roman Tucker [ex- Martians / Rocket Science]), Bodies (including Dave Thomas ex-[Bored! / Magic Dirt]), Sick Things (featuring members of The Virgins and The Dirty Three) and St. (Sin) Kilda's legendary export I Spit on Your Gravy.
Legend has it that vocalist Fred Negro was one of the few to witness Radio Birdman on one of its Melbourne tours, all those years ago. From there, he would eventually find some friends in Scotty Simpson (drums) , Mark Carson (bass), Jason Banner (guitar) and the female backing vocal duo dubbed The Spitettes Sam and Viv.
This line-up recorded the eight studio tracks, six of which originally appeared on the "St. Kilda's Alright" LP on Polyester Records and all of which reappear and for the first on CD as part of "St. Kilda's Still Alright" CDLP.
With the band being formed in the early 1980s, a range of influences would contribute to the bands sound including The Stooges, Radio Birdman, The Saints, 80s L.A. hardcore punk acts X (featuring John Doe and Exene Cervenka) and The Dead Kennedys and late 70s British punk legends The Sex Pistols, The Damned, etc., etc.
With the young Fred Negro providing the lyrical impetus for the band, deep, existentialist lyrics should not be expected and are not delivered. What does appear are high energy punk rock tunes exploring shenangians and hard times in inner city Melbourne ("Thursday Crawl", "Let's buy a Pizza" and "The Goink") and tongue-in-cheek stabs at life's institutions ("Catholic Song").
I Spit on Your Gravy would eventually disband by the end of the 1980s and Fred Negro would maintain his underground scene status by providing the weekly 'Pub' comic strip in Melbourne street press magazine "InPress"; forming The Fuck Fucks (with which he continued his always incredible onstage antics, now with Watermelons and which he had begun with Roast Chickens in I Spit on Your Gravy) and jokey country act Shonkytonks and hosting Sunday evening Karaoke contests at St. Kilda's (where else?!) Greyhound Hotel.
I Spit on Your Gravy briefly reformed in 2001 for a one-off gig at St. Kilda's Esplanade Hotel and four tracks from this gig were recorded and released as part of the release of "St. Kilda's Still Alright". These included 'Piranha' (for which a video clip was made in the 80s).
As part of "St. Kilda's Still Alright" are an incredibly detailed set of liner notes, including old interviews, articles, gig posters and lyrics to the six songs on "St. Kilda's Alright" and features an incredibly tasteful picture of a Qantas airplane crashing into The Esplanade Hotel for the cover sleeve.
With the release of "St. Kilda's Still Alright" I Spit on Your Gravy (the infamous St. Kilda-based contribution to Melbourne '80s punk) will be remembered in the digital age, when much of what is popular music has become so politically correct; the exact opposite of what this band embodied. - Simon Li
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