Mojo Music, Sydney
Friday, July 1, 2011

Pictures: EMMY ETTIE

Share The live rehearsal of the Strippers at Mojo Music (one of the few decent record stores in Sydney that sells good vinyl) made me think one thing: when I move out of the flat I'm currently living in, I want these guys to play the moving out party.

Seriously, these fellas are the party band/punk-rock jukebox you want to hear. If you really wanted to send one great big "fuck off to your neighbours (and who hasn't lived next to complete arseholes at one or more points of their renting career?), the Strippers would be the band to do it – and to bring the curious folks from the apartments near to you around to your door, to hear the goodness they have to preach.

What we had was two sets of scorching '70s/late '60s/early '80s hard rock, punk and glam delivered with a fierce love of the music itself, as well as a lot of panache. Three-quarters of the band are seasoned veterans of the Sydney rock scene - such as vocalist Ripley Hood, ex-Mushroom Planet, ex-Funhouse. The guitarist is Bob Short, member of many a band in Sydney's golden age of rock – Dead Rabids, Simon Chainsaw, and Filth, But what was especially heartening was the presence of 15-year-old drummer Max, son of bass player Darren Trew of Southern Preachers and Killer Klowns. Max was as rock solid and committed to the music as his seniors – the rock was in his veins, and he played it like he meant it - as did all of the band.

There's a future for good rock'n'roll, folks – like Paul Weller told us many years ago, "the kids know where it's at". We might despair when we hear the dreck played on commercial radio, but think about when you were a teenager – what were you into? If you were like me back in the '80s and heard about Big Star, the Velvet Underground, The Stooges, The MC5 and so on, and went and sought these bands' music out, I'm assuming it must have been the same call to arms this young fella (clad in his Dead Boys t-shirt) would have had.

The songs? All kinds of goodness, played hard and loud, the way they should be: "Sonic Reducer", "Boss Hoss", "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", "Queen Bitch", "20th Century Boy", "Under My Wheels", "The KKK Took My Baby Away" – and many more, all played with the kind of rock solid resolve of the total fan of rock'n'roll, in it's raw, primal beauty.

Let's face facts, people. You cannot beat a four-on-the-floor high-energy rock'n'roll band, and that's what 77 Sunset Strippers are about. And while some snobs might turn up their nose at the idea of a cover band (and fuck 'em for doing so), think about how many times you've been at a pub after work on a Friday night, and the cover band there has dragged out vapid '80s hit after vapid '80s hit – when you see the high-energy assault that is the Strippers, you'll want to book them for your end of year work party. It'll certainly get people up and shakin' their asses.

The short version: go and see them, if they come to your town. Blue Cheer once stated that "Good Times Are So Hard To Find" – not if the 77 Sunset Strippers are rockin' in your postcode. Rockin' good news!



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