Monday 11 April 2022

THE SAINTS - Chris Bailey 1957 - 2022

None More Surly.

Great Australian Albums: The Saints - (I'm) Stranded. 
TV episode originally aired 18/8/07 SBS TV Australia.

This tells you more about the people in The Saints in the first three minutes than the entirety of that schmozzle of a documentary from 2015. Features Aussie rock icons Rob Younger (Radio Birdman), Nick Cave, Robert Forster (The GoBetweens), Brad Shepherd (Hoodoo Gurus), Damien Lovelock (Celibate Rifles), Mark Callaghan (GANGgajang) and probably a few I've forgotten. This documentary is really about the three albums by the Bailey/Kuepper line-up which is good because I think a majority of fans would agree that the second LP Eternally Yours is their greatest but then again (I'm) Stranded and Prehistoric Sounds are of historical and artistic significance and have their fans too. It's definitely the ultimate Australian three album run beginning with a debut and among just a handful worldwide ie. giving The Velvet Underground, Black Sabbath and Wire a run for their money.

The Saints - (I'm) Stranded (1976)
"Stranded - I'm so far from home
Stranded - yeah I'm on my own
Stranded - you got to leave me alone
'Cause I'm stranded on my own

How could they not appeal to my desolate teenage heart that was stuck in the cultural wastelands of a semi arid Australian country town. I mean they were a bunch of stroppy scumbags from the sweltering sub-tropical outer suburbs of Brisbane. The song was written in 1974 on the train home from the city back to the outskirts of town where the city met the country literally. Spitting in the face of the abyss with gleeful nihilistic abandon. Ed Kuepper has stated "Stranded wasn't a negative song... it was affirming."

Sounds 16/10/76

Juke 25/9/76

Sniffin' Glue 10/76

The Saints - Wild About You (1977)
Here's nod to one of their lineages of influences 60s garage Australian stylee. This set of Antipodean influences sets them apart from The Sex Pistols & Ramones and obviously embeds the Strayan characteristics of this music even further. Wild About You was originally recorded by Sydney band The Missing Links in 1965. Other Australian influences include The Purple Hearts, The Easybeats, Masters Apprentices, Coloured Balls and probably a stack more. First hearing The Saints, in all their sardonic alienated splendour, as a teenager in the mid 80s they just sounded so Australian to me. It was like the'd tapped in to our DNA. 

The Saints - Messin' With The Kid (1977)

The Saints - Nights In Venice (1977)

The Saints - This Perfect Day (1977)

Record Mirror 16/7/77

The Saints - Know Your Product (1978)
"Let's shoot the professor!

The Saints - Memories Are Made Of This (1978)

The Saints - No, Your Product (1978)

The Saints - Swing For The Crime (1978)
"And we hope that you had a good time"

The Saints - Brisbane (Security City) (1978)
The most haunting and evocative tune by the original Saints (1973-1978).

Stranded: The Saints (Documentary 2015) 
Originally aired ABC TV 15/9/15 
Directed by Serge Ou

Rock docs are pretty lame these days and this one's all over the shop. Why do I bother watching them? This is the rock doc nadir. Why is Bob Geldof talking about The Boomtown Rats? We don't care mate. We love The Saints! We're here for The Saints. Then it just wants to be about 70s Queensland politics and for a good while you kinda forget this is about the best band to ever come out of Australia. Then they go on and on about other Brisbane bands many of whom I admire but... This really should have been called something like Punk, Post Punk and The Police State in Brisbane.  

The four writers show a distinct lack of understanding about what The Saints were about. Sure the political climate was a part of the band but they weren't exactly a band rallying the collective scenester activists. No they were pretty anti-social and misanthropic. They'd only had one encounter as a band with Brisbane's finest under the tyranny of Sir Joh. They wrote songs about not wanting to be part of any kind of conformity. Anyone who knows even just a tiny bit about Chris Bailey knows that he was a contrarian of the highest order. I wonder if he hated this documentary? I'd say so. Anyway I came away knowing more about Jello Biafra than Chris Bailey so that's a fucking fail mate. Fuck off Serge!

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