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.
Won’t be foiled again: ABBA