New Weird Australia Podcast #16, Severed Heads – Live-to-air Set & Interview

From 2009-2012, the New Weird Australia Podcast featured selected interviews and in-studio recordings from my FBi radio show, as well as live performances from events, video interviews and more.

Severed Heads are regarded as being one of the most influential experimental and electronic bands in Australia, pioneering the use of tape loops and samples in the late 70s and early 80s, and forging an innovative career that stretched across three decades.  Retiring in 2010, Severed Heads nonetheless came together once again in May 2011 to play a series of shows with electro-pioneer Gary Numan, and, prior to the tour, gave their final live to air performance on New Weird Australia.

Over 50 minutes in length, this exclusive Severed Heads set is in two parts – a ‘pop’ set featuring well-known classic tracks from the back catalogue, and a shorter ‘weird’ set, with the band recreating early material with Ableton Live. In between, I discussed the legacy, ‘the retrospective era’ and upcoming solo activity with Severed Heads frontman, Tom Ellard.

Live tracks featured in this podcast: (Part One) Now, An Explosive New Movie / Pilot In Hell / Harold And Cindy Hospital / Kittenette / Petrol / Pilots Hate You / Choose Evil / Heart Of The Party / Dead Eyes Opened. (Part Two) Ken Burns Effect / Gashing The Old Mae West / Wonder Of All The World

New Weird Australia Podcast #4 – Tom Ellard (Severed Heads)

From 2009-2012, the New Weird Australia Podcast featured selected interviews and in-studio recordings from my FBi radio show, as well as live performances from events, video interviews and more.

SEVERED HEADS are regarded as being one of the most influential experimental and electronic bands in Australia, pioneering the use of tape loops and samples in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and forging an innovative career that has stretched across three decades.

Returning for a special ‘grand finale’ show at the 2010 Sydney Festival, Severed Heads’ mainman TOM ELLARD joined Danny Jumpertz and I for a look back at their career, playing highlights and rarities, and finding out what was in store for the Sydney Festival gig.

img: test render from ‘Sevs In Space’ (via tomellard.com)

BACK CATALOGUE. Three Heads Meet Messmer And Koo Koo

Mitch Jones & Michael Tee stand as two of the key figures in the history of alternative music in Sydney. Together they founded M-SQUARED Records – home to a cluster of now seminal local post-punk artists such as SYSTEMATICS, THE MAKERS OF THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST, YA YA CHORAL, PROD and their own band, SCATTERED ORDER. Nearly 30 years after the fact, SCATTERED ORDER reformed their original line-up earlier this year, and started both playing live and recording once again. I was asked to DJ at their second ‘reformation’ gig with THE MAKERS OF THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST and A SLOW RIP last month – a gig which also represented one of the last live events at the Abercrombie Hotel in Chippendale before it closed its doors.

This mix is essentially my DJ set trimmed to a neat 43 minutes, and features Australia music from the M-SQUARED heyday (1979-1983), both from label artists and beyond. Witnessing this music now, some 30 years later, I’m not particularly aware of the impact that each artist or track may have had at the time, instead I chose to respond to the sounds that still have resonance today. Indeed, listening end-to-end to this mix, this feels like the start of a much longer continuum, and it becomes clear (almost immediately) that there are many current local bands and artists that – wittingly or otherwise – are fostering a unique Australian tradition that began over three decades ago.

Tracklisting:

  • Severed Heads – Introduction / 1982 [from Adenoids 1977 – 1985 Disc 4]
  • Systematics – … And The People Are Blowing Their Minds / 1981 [from Boxed Brownies]
  • Ronnie and the Rhythm Boys – Hey Joe / 1979 [from Little Bands EP]
  • Ya Ya Choral – God’s Buzzsaw / 1983 [from Such A Dutch Man]
  • Yclept Dinmakers – I Think A Shell / 1982 [from Klinger The Blowies]
  • Hiroshima Chair – Reset / 1980 [from Reset]
  • SPK – Mekano / 1979 [from Auto Da Fe]
  • Severed Heads – Food City / 1981 [from Clean]
  • The Limp – Rony Club / 1981 [from A Selection]
  • Essendon Airport – Runway Rock / 1979 [from Sonic Investigations (Of the Trivial)]
  • Microfilm – Summer House / 1981 [from From Belgrade With Love]
  • Prod – Fish Hook / 1980 [from More Songs That Will Never Be Released]
  • Negative Reaction – Untitled A01 / 1980 [from Negative Reaction]
  • Zyé yé yé – I Want To Live / 1981 [from Primitive Calculators]
  • Laughing Hands – Two / 1981 [from Dog Photos]
  • Severed Heads – Much About Bones, Hello Donald Merry Xmas / 1980 [from Adenoids 1977 – 1985 Disc 1]