The City Sharps 4th release recorded and mixed by Peter (Reggie) Bowman at Screamlouder Studios.
- Water & Blood
- No-one Cares
- Frankenstein’s Baby
- Do you love me?
- Shut-up Shut-up
Available now from the Skins ‘n’ Sharps online store.
here come the Sirens
The City Sharps third release, an EP titled here come the Sirens is their best yet, consolidating their unique sound with these thought provoking idolistic vocals surrounded in a blanket of hot guitar and hooks, flourished throughout in booming bass and driven by hypnotic pounding drums.
here come the Sirens is available from the Skins ‘n’ Sharps online store.
Here come the Sirens
Needs saving now
Mad, Mad, Mad
Melbourne band City Sharps debut album: Suburban Sharp
This album is a tribute to all things Sharp, legendary front man Chane Chane belts out the title track Suburban Sharp in a pure Oz Rock style.
The City Sharps
The City Sharps were formed out of necessity, after a revival of interest in this unique Australian sub culture, four of its old sons who were acquaintances, decided they were unhappy with all the new bands struggling to capture the magic riffs, recording techniques and tricks that created the 70’s sounds, and were not too impressed with the limited ideas & constant “covered up rip-offs” or ”inspired by someone else’s” beats & rap nursery rhymes that make up most of the top 40 lists these days. With all these symptoms, no wonder the music industry is in a sick state.
These four Sharp’s to work immediately, sculpting real life tales & lateral to extreme solutions, into every day stories poised to create discussion or argument that can only be appeased by vigorous dancing. The thick’n’tight two fisted punch, #1 from John Corniolia’s drums fits like a glove & tickles with its tassels, he’s one of Australia’s best & most versatile ( also plays with D. Braithwaite, the all-stars bands & a top session drummer ) & #2 Sam Biondo’s take you off the track with imaginative & driving classic, bass sounds, ( he also curator of the Skins & Sharp memorabilia & Culture )
Then we have Tone Biondo, an obsessed Guitar enthusiast, collector & expert. He pulls more sounds than faces, has played through many unique stages, can take you to the 60’s, 70’s through to the naughties, sounds as clear on stage as he is on recordings, the same energy loud or quiet, every lick that you must have, he’s got it.
Now we come to Chane Chane, a performer of world class, an ex Sharp gang leader who gave up his gang life to become the first Punk Rocker on Australian TV (Countdown & Sounds Unlimited) with his unsigned band La Femme. The band & Chane went on to become legends of the Australian Music Scene. As is usual with rebels, Chane has once again put his past behind him to start over again with City Sharps. ( the opposite of his 1977 decision to leave Sharp’s for a musical career) In a recent interview he said, “this music has always been with me, it’s what I grew up with & it has one thing over punk, . . melody. . . I’m also uncomfortable with the tag Legend, I think Survivor would be a better definition, . . then again, the legend of the City Sharps has just begun. . . . . . .
This is the Story of how the songs & the Album evolved. After being inspired by the recent Sharpie Exhibitions to form a group & write 4 songs of real experience, we had a few drink’n’tell stories nights, to base the concept upon, Chane recalled was talking to an old Sharp Pete who told him of a tram ride that changed him into a Sharp, ”this guy got on short hair, Connie, suede shoes etc., etc. similar to The legend of the Suburban Sharp, and finished by Pete saying I had to have that look, be that cool, that’s what sharp meant to me. Chane having this story & having met Orson Wells & been at school in the times of Leonard Teal’s Man from Snowy River radio broadcasts & marching to military beats during assembly, knew monologue was there, the Legend wrote itself, we wrote the music to Suburban Sharps & Another Drink (will make it better) at our 1st jam together. Drink’s sarcastic tone, are words from experience, Chane hasn’t drank for 20 yrs, Sam & Tony have slaved their demons, John is not detoured. None of us subscribe to that never trust someone who don’t drink line, that line is from a drunk. Dammed if I Do is self explanatory, Chane bought his melody & words to Tony’s the night before the 2nd jam & it worked, along with a cover, the still unheard ‘Jump into the Fire’ they then rehearsed all 4 songs twice & booked Reggie & his studio Scream Louder for the next week.
Recording Process was 4 songs in 4 hrs., record all music. The next night’s 4hrs, record all lead & backing vocals & all guitar overdubs, burn demo & all take a copy home, think on it for a week. Then back to studio, 4 hrs. to mix then finished, 12 hrs. all up in studio time. Then they had a meeting where Sam asked if they wanted to do a whole album, “Fuck oath” was the response & they set about writing. After 2 months Chane’s health got worse he had to stop work, he was 3 months into Interferon treatment & chemotherapy for hep C. A treatment regime that last for 12 months & he was not only physically ill & in constant pain, his weight dropped to 50kg, but emotionally wrecked when his girlfriend/ manager/ business partner, took the business he founded, dumped & defamed him as an act & boyfriend after 7 yrs threw him & his cat out to start over again. All the members gathered around him & kept the writing & music in his life, as he requested, “if I’m gonna die I’ll do it, doing my art & my art is music” Chane said.
And through these times, the process remained the same, acoustic rehearsal’s were at Chane’s who was getting better now, due to the loving & care he was receiving from his beautiful ex wife Gerlinda, then 2 – 3 studio rehearsals with the new songs & then back to Reggie’s. Now Chane is in his 8th month of treatment, still despite his condition (he now weighed 45 kg all skin & bones & voice) you couldn’t tell by listening how sick he really was. I am Again helped him through all this, “I know”. Sam’s didgeridoo sound & the hook guitar, lay the bed for a post revolution memoirs Kings of the World, I’ve got a Secret was a one take breeze & the still unheard Wanna get Off was too much fun recording, but we still cant release it till we know what it’s about. (Bondage love, Drugs or Sex) To finish off this session the apocalyptic, political song 30 mins (till the end of the world) mixes a fat sound & beat along with a mental image of those actual minutes.
The concept of Sharpie revivals was alive & well; Skin, Heads, Against, Racial, Prejudice, spells Sharp and this still lives on in the form of parties & gets together s that the City Guys were always invited too for the next 3 months, till Chane’s treatment finished. But then more complications set in, Chane has an operation a month later to remove a hernia from his groin area, that he suffered through violent vomiting while on treatment. But the day he got out of hospital he was rehearsing the next 4 songs for the second time, then a week later back into studio.
Gangbusters is a number dreamed up by Sam & bought into reality by Chane’s cutting words, Tony’s beautifully haunting guitar & John’s no way out drumming. Is this Anything is Tony, Sam & John’s version of Chane’s tribute to Rock & a hard place, while Just like You practically wrote and played itself, thank ‘something’ Reggie was there to record it as he showed all through out his roll with City Sharps, if he wasn’t right in the moment with them, he was ahead coz he understood their vibe, the perfect person for a perfectionist roll. They finished the recording experience, 36 hrs. of studio times, all finished with a laugh, and the song These Things, a nostalgic song about nostalgia, and times as wild youth… As Sharps
This is how the City Sharps were inspired & formed & their first Album “SURBURBAN SHARP” was inspired & created. I will say that I was fortunate to witness their evolution & to be around in the times of the City Sharps.
The story of the City Sharps
Chane Chane: vocals
Brass, Strings, Harp, an original Sharp & Gang Leader
Chane Chane was an original sharp at 14 shaved his head and left home, 15 became first Melbourne Sharp to have a Bowie cut, at 16 started his own gang Wests Rd Sharps- Ascot Vale, then aligned with the Anderson Rd Sharps- Faulkner, by 17 he and WR Sharps joined up with the biggest gang on the Broadmeadows line the A.N.A’s- Glenroy and then he formed Oak Park Boot Boys. Music was his refuge from his manic lifestyle, he was obviously a Bowie fan (calling himself Chane Bowie most of his skin/sharp days) he had an eclectic mostly British glam collection from Pavlov’s Dog, Sparks, SAHB, Roxy Music to Bolan and ELO, (he also did a painting apprenticeship and like all aussie teens, grew up with ‘Countdown’) at 18 became Punk to escape the violence, started up La Femme, who went on to record 2 albums, appear many times on Countdown and other TV shows. As well as being an amazing live act, La Femme toured with Iggy, The Ramones and many others became a Rock & Punk legend and has had a 35 year musical career.
Tone Biondo: guitar
Gibson 71 Les Paul custom, 69 SG custom Fender 59 Music Master, 63 Stratocaster, 68 Telecaster, 64 Duo Sonic 2, 63 Jaguar Gretch 66 Astro Jet & Gretch White Falcon & an ex- Sharp.
Tone by 1976 was in his first year at Jordanville Tech, where it was tough and full of Sharps. However having his older brother already establish at the school made his transition easier. Between lots of brawls and some school work, music class was his salvation. Mrs. Paskey his music teacher and mentor took him under her wing with her 1963 White Falcon guitar. She gave him the chance to play guitar as she did with his brother and many others. To this day, playing guitar is Tone’s passion, whether playing in bands, recording or just at home in his zone. He is possessed by guitars and the endless color of sounds, it runs in his blood and it keeps him Sharp.
Sam Biondo: bass
Fender 68 P Bass, 63 Jazz Bass, Gibson Thunderbird, an original Sharp, from Jordanville home of the Holmesglen Sharps.
Sam went to the notorious Jordanville Technical Secondary school, at the age of thirteen I got into music, 1974 I attended the Peaches and Cream Festival Australia day weekend in Cobram. This was the first time I saw live bands outdoors such as Skyhooks, Daddy Cool, Billy Thorpe and Buster Brown. That weekend changed my life, music became my vice. At school every given moment I would be hidden away in the music room jamming with Sharpie mates Matt Sanford (RIP), Shane Ryell, Mark Warrich and Anthony Baker who later became respected musicians. 1975 I was in a Heavy Rock band call Black Diamond we played the local school socials doing supports with all the big name bands of the time. As a young local band we amassed a huge Sharpie following from gig to gig. We entered a local battle of the bands in 1976 the winners would have a prime spot playing at the most popular Zodiac dance We won! The band that came second was a band called “The Boys Next Door” (Nick Cave etc) we went on to play the Zodiac Dance along side with Rabbit and Supernaut. Black Diamond went on till 1982 playing the Melbourne gig circuit. After I joined Magna Carter, Dio Chan an 80s Metal band, Go Man Go a psychobilly band in the 90s. In 2000 founded(?) underground bands Goldfish and System Error, come 2008, back to my roots, City Sharps!
Frank Borg: drums
1967 Ludwig Drums, Zildjan Cymbals. Old Punk & an ex-Sunshine Sharp.
As a young immigrant to Australia in the early 60’s, it was not going to be easy for a young English boy to survive in the Western Suburbs. Frank soon made some valuable friends at Sunshine Technical School, and by the time the Sharpie movement started there in 1967, he was well placed in the Sunshine Sharps, hanging out at the coffee lounge run by the local church called: Crossroads. He started learning drums in 1965, and was playing in his first cover band in 1967 at the age of 16. After a brief hiatus, he played in his first Melbourne Punk\Alternative Band: Piano Piano with Ron Rude in the early 80’s. Over the years, Frank has played in many bands, from 50’s & 60’s covers, to Rockabilly and Alternative band Scrap Museum. His playing style brings a unique flavour to the City Sharps.
Song list and comments
The Legend of the SUBURBAN SHARP
Chane did get drunk with Orson Wells & admitted to listening to Lennard Teale, so he got the (Voice Over) gig.
Us, us, hooray 4 us, this song took 20 mins to write at our first rehearsal and we recorded it in 2 takes.
The dark side of being a Sharp, and Tone really in his element.
IS THIS ANYTHING
For all the conspiracy theorist, everything is a conspiracy, and something the media have stoped saying, everything is something, but not what it seems, doctor.
DAMED IF I DO
I saved my last girlfriend from her booze soaked messed up life, but when I was critically sick she dumped me & threw me out, then slagged my name to all my acquaintances, dammed.
I’VE GOT A SECRET
To be or not to be, real or fake, cool or hot, what you hiding from yourself, it’s so 70’s sounding.
KINGS OF THE WORLD
Sam had this bass groove that we all hooked on to, & you know that manic moment, we all been there, and shouted to one and all, when we were. . . .
I AM AGAIN
Written when I nearly died, sick and alone, good pick yourself up song.
ANOTHER DRINK (will make it better)
Experience helps, I know what I think.
JUST LIKE YOU
Part murder mystery, part reality, part personal, John had a beat that married tone’s riff.
Everything, every time, all your memories, do you, do you remember ?
30 MINUTES (till the end of the world)
This is what will really happen. ps. I love U
City Sharps events and publicity
Kev Lobotomy Show on 3PBS (7-10pm);
JVG Show on 3RRR (1-4pm)
City Sharps LIVE EP launch at Kuston Lane Gallery, Hawthorn 2-5pm