The Convict’s Return

An early Fireman’s Curse era concert review from the UK.

Author: Chris Bohn, New Musical Express.

Date: March 1983.

Original URL: N/A


Article Text

More Aussies lob in – Chris Bohn takes a tumble to the latest reffos H And C

Photo Caption: Australian person trying to play a French horn upside down and without blowing into it.

Hunters and Collectors
London The Venue

BRITONS, SUCK on Australian rock! Impelled by the twin frenzies of a desperate media search for virgin territories and a deep mistrust of the choreographed stupidity of home movements, the mob turns up hungry and inquisitive for Melbourne’s Hunters And Collectors.

If they were expecting more of the Molly-coddled stereotypes reinforced by the sodden idiot introducing The Tube’s down under special with an ugly, inane patriotic composite of blood, beer and sand, they were gladly disappointed.

Hunters And Collectors instead share the predilection of more sensitive countrymen (c.f. Mad Max) for a technicolor expressionism that goes way beyond the suffocating grasp of the balls ‘n’ surf breakers looking to ride in on this latest wave. That much has already been made clear by their ‘Talking to A Stranger’ video what with its delirious rush of muddy earthern imagery.

Their debut is immediately impressive. A Giant backdrop of grotesque distortions of pop art – more ham than Bacon, but no mater – is a vividly accurate hint of the livid gashes of sound to come. They’re arranged round a stoic rhythm section that resists all temptations to follow the others into the wilderness. Maybe it’s the weighty boiler the extra percussionist is forced to carry that acts as ballast against any flights of fancy. This dilettantish embracing of post-industrial primitivism aside, H AND C are efficient jugglers of diverse elements.

In rediscovering Kevin Ayers’ deceptively lazy guitar spirals, they’ve found a hole through the funked up fug inadvertently instigated by The Talking Heads. H And C’s guitars chime gloriously, swing and sway absurdly but powerfully enough to withstand the genuine chill conjured up by the electronics operator. Personally, my scepticism melted when three unlikely looking horn players stumbled onstage in the middle of one number to blow something resembling Taps.

Lights out.



Thankyou to Tammy for typing out this article for us all to enjoy!