Tuesday, 3 January 2017
Look To Find/A Million Years Past/I Once Knew/I 'll Lure You In/The Meadowsong
During the mid 80s Australia were the leaders in the pack for psychedelic bands and The Moffs on their early records were one of the best.Rifling through record bins is always an adventure. You never know what'll be next, what surprises you may find. When I stumbled across this self-titled Ep (mini-album?) by short lived Australian neo-psych band The Moffs, little did I know that I would be in for such a treat. Pretty uncertain as to what the record would sound like, I was immediately intrigued by the trippy psychedelic cover, the gothic font, and the 1985 release date. I was perplexed and excitedly intrigued at the sonic possibilities.
The first line-up included Tom Kazas, Smiley Byrnes, Nick (Chesh) Potts on keyboards/harmonica and Brandon Saul.They played their first gig at a party called "Freakout" at the notorius 181 Campbell St, Redfern. I'm not sure when Brandon left and Alan Hislop came into the picture (can anyone help me with this?). However at some stage, Alan joined the Moffs to play drums. Apparently, this line-up met through Nick, who knew Alan through Suicidal Flowers, a long-standing band that played intermittantly though the 1980's. He met Tom and Smiley through the Sydney mod scene. At the time, Tom was studying philosophy at the University of New South Wales.
The band were doing gigs around Sydney and Lismore, and being managed by Greg "Quick" Squirl. Greg Kasch mixed at some of these early gigs.One of the most intriguing thing about the band at this time was undoubtably their haircuts! In photos of this time, Nick, Smiley and Alan all have their eyes totally obscured by thick fringes. When they started to move away from the bluesier style of music, Nick moved onto No Man's Land (another 80's Sydney band that features a scary-looking singer with masses of hair-sprayed black hair called Dave Slade and current Celibate Rifles bass player, Jim Leone as well as stints with Suicidal Flowers. He was replaced by Mick Duncan who had previously been in No Man's Land.
More moves in the band saw Mick being replaced by Damon Giles (who had been in mod-style band, Stupidity)and Alan making way for Smiley's little brother,Andrew Byrnes, on drums. Damon left and began to do stints with Suicidal Flowers and the final line-up was formed, which was the most stable and included Tom, Smiley, Andrew and keyboardist Scott Barnes. The Moffs played shows for a few more years and eventually stopped playing as a band. In 1994, a compilation CD called "Psychedelicatessen" was released, which included 13 tracks from previously released vinyl and an unreleased track recorded in 1987.