Narrow Lands – Popular Music That Will Live Forever – 20th November 2013

Cat #: 148TZM

Once known to jangle, Sydney band Narrow Lands have turned their hands to rumbling. Since adding a baritone guitar to their mix, their music has become heavier, darker, weirder and, well, simply better.

On their debut LP, the guys from Narrow Lands mix the sweet grittiness of punk with a thundering mess of noise/feedback, in the spirit of bands like Swans or Dead China Doll.

Recorded in two days in mid-winter, in a shed behind Alan’s parents’ place on a little farm west of Bathurst, Narrow Lands aimed to keep the LP sounding as fresh, authentic and ferocious as possible.

Each ridiculous sound you might hear here is an experiment with the potential of an instrument, a way of allowing things to ‘freak out’ without forcing the issue. The result hits you like a friendly punch in the guts.

A co-operative release between tenzenmen and Octopus Pi (www.facebook.com/Octopuspi)

Then we all flock out together, feeling perky – 19th October 1994

We found the Twilight Zone yesterday – here in Bathurst. You know the one where Joe Normal is in small town Hicksville and everyone is weird!

We went in search of food and drink for lunch and ended up in a small cafe up a side street. We looked over the menu and thought we should be able to get some decent food. We were still deciding when the waitress came over and so we asked for a couple of cups of decaf coffee.

We noticed the unusual size and shape of this young waitress with piggy red cheek jowls and the glisten of swear across her brow and matted hair, a poor girl happy for employment. We stuck with it as she went to find out what decaf was! It was then we decided not to get any food. She came back – no decaf (whatever it is!) so I ordered iced chocolate and Broni ordered an apple, carrot and celery juice.

We waited and waited while the only other customers seemed eager to leave, accepting apologies from the blimp for earlier mistakes that we’d missed. Eventually, after much juicer noise from the kitchen, the blimp brought out half a glass of brown sludge with a diarrhetic dribble on top and apologised that the juicer had broken and that it was only dishing out small amounts she was showing us. We told them to forget it and she brought out my iced chocolate – which looked ok – unfortunately the chocolate was still in powdered form and the milk must’ve been left in the sun.

As I attempted to suck the lumps through the straw, the blimp’s mother came out with the broken juicer, covered in years of old fruit and veg and explained that the machine had broken, offering it up for our inspection. We nearly chucked, paid and left and ran and ran fast! I was worried someone was going to run after us, grab us and slaughter us in some midnight full moon ritual ceremony – phew! Got away for another day.

Give me some gas and the open air – 18th October 1994

So, early a.m. we catch the commuter train with the suits and the smart dressed young ladies into the city to pick up a hire car. Broni handles the controls, this being our first Oz car driving experience together. It’s already a blistering hot day at 9am. Slowly but surely we make it across the city to Wendy’s (Broni’s oldest sister) to pick up some stuff, then on out of the city, where suburbia ends and turns into farms and small town communities.

In the distance we can see the Blue Mountains beckoning us. We stop off for some salad, watching big carrier planes taking off from the army base close by and yippee, I get to take over the controls and charge us through the countryside, to the bottom of the mountains, slowly up, twisting turns, the smell of gum invading our nostrils, sun blazing in blue, oh blue sky faint whisper of cloud.

Not my picture…

We catch a brief glimpse from hilltop back to where we came, a breathtaking spectacle but we are still onwards, upwards, through orchard country and then into the real mountains with burnt scrub bushland, crickets screaming out their mad calls deafeningly loud in unison, cancelling out the radio. Road still twisty we balance on the edge of precipices looking into long deep vale valleys covered in black eerie gum tress caught in last years fires, for all the eye can see everything burnt, charred, like a graveyard to the flora, to nature and it’s wonder, each tree stood like a monument proud into the sky, now beginning to show signs of growth again.

For some half an hour we carry on through this beautiful landscape before descending down into the old coal mining town of Lithgow, and from here we drive for another hour across plains and farms to our destination, Bathurst, Australia’s oldest inland city. And here, at Broni’s parents, we make a brief stop before we head out to some places to look at with the intention of finding some place to get married and as usual, with our positive outlooks and thinking we find somewhere quickly that is an ideal place for marriage ceremony and reception so then we high tail round town to try and find a priest who might marry us outside, something which they are not known to do.

Again, not my picture

We run out of time doing that but not before a quick run up Mount Panorama round the race course there, where some guy got himself killed in the Janes Hardie 1000, going much faster than us I might add. During the rest of the year the course is open like a normal road, with a picnic stop at the top. Weird driving round roads with tyre barriers and red and white caution markers on the corner bumps.

Back to base we lazy away the rest of the evening in conversation and old photographs.

P.S. The crazy natural amphetamine of youth! Ya!

  • Main picture taken on top of Mount Panorama with my best man, Rob, March 1995.

Wide open spaces of open mind, these people need something to believe in – 17th October 1994

Oh wandering spirit in my soul, guiding me away from trouble and blasting me forward into the furnace of life – I embrace you, hold you and cherish you. I cherish this time, this day, this very second. I love my life, I love Bronwyn (deep, deeper), I love myself, I love the earth, the trees, the birds. My inner vision (and outer vision) now expanded with world awareness, my third eye open to positive elements (earth, wind and fire – oh yes, I feel a lot of funk in my life) and all that hippy mumbo jumbo shit.

Like someone said to us today, “you cannot convey to someone who hasn’t been to Australia, the space and feeling of freedom” and also it is that “that intimidates some people while others embrace it” and you see what I feel.

To bring you up to date we spent three pretty torturous stressy days at home together with a lot of all our stresses surfacing and causing us brief frictions but we understand each other and our situation and realistically just why these things are occurring as I probably explained some text earlier. So the last thing we wish to worry about is getting married yet this is what we’ve thrown ourselves into and we trip out to Bathurst where Broni and her 8 brothers and sisters were raised and her mum and dad still live.

Photo found online