Spin doc­tor

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shed­den

WORD reached the Spin Doc­tor of­fice this week of the ref­or­ma­tion of one of Syd­ney’s least cel­e­brated rock ‘n’ roll combos, the de­light­fully monikered Hard and Fast From Be­hind. It has been 21 years since this cut­ting-edge out­fit, fronted by the smoul­der­ing Chan­nel 10 en­ter­tain­ment guru An­gela Bishop, grabbed pub rock by the scruff of its neck at a 10 Xmas party, a per­for­mance that set in place an ex­ten­sive tour that got as far as Rozelle, we be­lieve. HFFB is back, Bishop tells SD, to take part in a bat­tle of the bands com­pe­ti­tion next week, an event hosted by the Kennedy Awards for Ex­cel­lence in NSW Jour­nal­ism. Most of the orig­i­nal HFFB lineup has re­assem­bled for the com­pe­ti­tion at The Loft in Dar­ling Har­bour next Thurs­day. Also tak­ing part are en­sem­bles rep­re­sent­ing Chan­nel 7, the ABC and that up­holder of jour­nal­is­tic ex­cel­lence, NRMA In­sur­ance. Funds raised from the event go to aid for­mer 10 news di­rec­tor and Daily Tele­graph re­porter Kevin Hitch­cock, who is bat­tling quadriple­gia. Aunty is rep­re­sented by coun­try blues band the Maybes, fea­tur­ing, among oth­ers, Aus­tralian Story pro­ducer Ben Cheshire. Bishop says there has been a strong lobby from in­side 10 and out to change the name of her band for the con­test and they are listed in the pro­gram as Eye­wit­ness, but don’t be fooled. This will be clas­sic HFFB play­ing clas­sic rock. Bishop’s ap­pear­ance out­side the box takes SD back to an­other glam­orous fundrais­ing oc­ca­sion some years ago, when yours truly took the drum stool for what is con­sid­ered by those who were there to be the sem­i­nal ver­sion of Kenny Rogers’ Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town, fea­tur­ing Richard Wilkins in a wheel­chair and Bishop as a saucy nurse. Time stood still where I was sit­ting is all I will say on the mat­ter. One won­ders if Bishop will go down that par­tic­u­lar cor­ri­dor again on Thurs­day. SPEAK­ING of out­ra­geous cos­tumes, SD has been thumb­ing through the new ABBA: The Of­fi­cial

Photo Book, 400 pages of cof­fee-ta­ble-sided cou­ture fea­tur­ing the fab­u­lous Swedish pop­sters that raises a lot of ques­tions, but chiefly: “What were they think­ing?” Never in the his­tory of pop have so many hideous out­fits adorned such great talent; so many, in fact, that it was ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to pick one to ac­com­pany this col­umn. Per­haps it was be­cause they had al­ready used up the world’s sup­ply of satin that they chose to give tin foil a go for this racy lit­tle shot. The book is a fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­ment of Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Frida’s ex­tra­or­di­nary ca­reer and fea­tures many rare and never-be­fore-seen pho­tos, in­clud­ing a num­ber from their Aus­tralian vis­its, such as a boat­ing trip on the Hawkesbury River in NSW and a swim­ming ex­pe­di­tion at Carnac Is­land in Western Aus­tralia. The book is pub­lished by Hardie Grant, $75. WHAT can we ex­pect from the new Michael Jack­son al­bum Xs­cape, to be re­leased by Sony on May 13? The pre-pub­lic­ity for this post­hu­mous re­lease has one at least mildly cu­ri­ous. It’s the project of Epic Records supremo LA Reid, who has scoured the su­per­star’s vaults for pre­vi­ously un­heard nuggets and set about, it says here, con­tem­po­ris­ing them. “Michael left be­hind some mu­si­cal per­for­mances that we take great pride in pre­sent­ing through the vi­sion of mu­sic pro­duc­ers that he ei­ther worked di­rectly with or ex­pressed strong de­sire to work with,” says Reid.

spin­doc@ theaus­tralian.com.au

Won’t be foiled again: ABBA

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