Sunday, 1 January 2012

XL Capris - Dead Budgies 7" Axle 101, 1979

While Mopsie Beans didn't make it to John Peel's glory box, one Australian record did. It's an old favourite of any follower of the Australian punk canon - XL Capris' great punk version of Tommy Leonetti's nightly signoff song from Channel 7, from back when 24 hour broadcasting was still a thing of the future.

The original XL Capris (Nancy Serapax on drums, Errol Cruz on guitar and vocals, Alligator Bagg on bass and vocals and Dag Rattler on guitar and vocals) were a fine, quirky punk band who played their first gig on New Year's Eve 1978 in the foyer of the Nimrod Theatre in Darlinghurst (now the SBW Stables Theatre).

Over the next year they gigged aplenty around Sydney (see a review below), and made an early trip to Melbourne. We particularly like this snippet of info from the band's history in Aberrant's Why March When You Can Riot LP liner notes: "Mid January 1979; first 'real' gig at Garibaldi's. The band was banned from this venue because an excited fan threw the men's toilet out the window". Continuing their connection with today's date, the year culminated with the release of My City Of Sydney on New Year's Day, 1980. There are all manner of stamped variations of the white paper sleeve, some busy, some sparse.

Apart from this first single, the best way to hear the original line up is as a download, Live At Georges. Skylab (Son Of Telstar) from these recordings appeared on the aforementioned Aberrant compilation. With various members leaving, the band became less interesting as they evolved, eventually releasing two albums and three more singles. Some later live stuff can be heard here.

Today we feature the less heard flipside of My City Of Sydney, Dead Budgies. It's a strange amalgam of punk rock, bird calls and parody; the song title getting twisted to "dead Bee Gees, dead bodgies" and "dead bludgers". If you never flipped over My City Of Sydney, here it is.

Dead Budgies [Download]

In a small piece of it-never-ends action some final copies were sold at a later gig. Rather than do up more stamped sleeves the band simply applied a sticker to some found sleeves (and stamped the back with the red XL CAPRIS seen on regular versions).

Live review, Choke #3, 1979
An original badge


Anonymous said...

Great single and a good live band. I hadn't heard the b side for years although its probably still lurking on a tape somewhere. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

I just played this again for Robin Gibb.


Dr Steve said...

I have one of those badges!
Thanks for a great blog.