Perry Keyes – WHO WEEKLY Review


March 2015    CLIPPING

Sunnyholt is a concept album about battlers. With references to Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, the La Perouse snake show and wrestler Mario Milano we could be nowhere but Sydney. The title track is what Lou Reed would have written if he grew up in 1970’s Blacktown rather than ’60s New York. Like poet Kenneth Slessor, who wrote of Kings Cross, “You find this ugly, I find it lovely.” Keyes finds beauty in the stories of the down-but-not-quite-out, creating working-class poetry from their lives and surroundings.    3 ½ Stars  Barry Divola

Mark Moldre – SPEED DATE with BRAG

BRAG 18 March 2015

1. Your Profile
We’re a band of misfits and marauders. We’re gin and green tea drinkers. We’re a group of musical pillager’s who sound like the un-oiled wheels on a lurching gypsy caravan. If you listen very closely you’ll experience tender romance and dark corners, death and redemption, human struggle versus biblical consequences, dreams/nightmares and bad weather. We can be as gritty as a 1920’s speakeasy and as smooth as Sinatra at The Sands.
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Mark Moldre – French connections!

A lovely story from Mark Moldre

I’m not sure if anyone will remember – a few weeks back I posted a photo of a few French Madeleine’s and a message that I received from a French pastry chef and her staff about how much they enjoyed my new song Madeleine which they’d been playing on YouTube. I was so chuffed that I sent them a copy of the album. Their response has truly bowled me over.

Today I received a parcel which contained a bottle of French wine and a USB stick full of all their favourite French music. At the bottom of the box was a letter and a small wooden carving – which was actually a pen knife called an Opinel. Apparently its a French institution that French men and some women carry one for cutting bread or cheese (they receive one at a young age). This particular knife though was purchased from a French artist who will carve your likeness into the handle – he usually refuses to work from a photo but chef’s Severine and Charlotte went to visit him a photo of me – and – Beef Bourguignon, Chocolate Cake and a bottle of wine to be sure that he would accept. He even included my cigar box resonator guitar.

My daughter now thinks I’m famous. I’m enjoying that while it lasts. Incredible kindness from wonderful people that I’ve never met on the other side of the globe – it really knocked me off my feet.


See Mark at the National Folk Festival   ask him to cut you some cheese!!!

Perry Keyes – RHYTHMS Review

Jeff Jenkins  (March/April 2015)  Rhythms Magazine


Perry Keyes calls them “ghost stories”. The title of his new album, Sunnyholt, refers to the road leading out west in Sydney, which delivered more than 150,000 people in the late-’60s, early-’70s. As the inner-city slums were cleared for high-rise and medium-density housing, the people were “re-settled”, promised jobs and a new start.

Sunnyholt tells the story of the families that fell between the cracks. Deep in the heart of nowhere.

One of the album’s main characters is based on Keyes’ Uncle Ronnie, an old boxer – “a 50-fight failure” – who had a face with “a lot of character, like a dropped pie”. “When he talked,” Perry explains, “it was like he was telling me ghost stories. When you get old, you collect a lot of those.”

Keyes says the songs “ran the gamut from rampant nostalgia to abject dismay”. Continue reading


“Sunnyholt”  3 ½ Stars

Perry Keyes has carved an impressive niche in the rock landscape with songs that mourn and celebrate in equal measure the history and culture of the neighbourhood in which he grew up,  Sydney’s Redfern, Waterloo and surrounding suburbs.  This latest album, his fourth and the first part of a two-album series, takes that principle a step further with 10 songs that document, poetically and with a mixture of passion, humour and nostalgia, how those same suburbs evolved in the 1960’s and 70’s, when much of the population moved west to accommodate inner-city development.  Musically Keye’s previous albums such as “Meter ” and “The Last Ghost Train Home” switch between atmospheric folk to all-out rock ’n’ roll, a style that has seen the name Springsteen mentioned in his wake.  Certainly his vivid descriptions of working-class life are from the same well, but Keyes sings from his own heart and is joined here most impressively by singer Bek-Jean Stewart on the despairing Shitville.  There’s more than a touch of Lou Reed in the strings-laden title track, a somber ballad documenting the contrasting cultures on the streets he knows: “The inner city’s fine if you can spend your time on 10 types of coffee and low-fat food”.  The opening of The Soft Blue Sky, a sea shanty tune topped by horns, also looks back at better times, while Brylcreem Alcohol and Pills is biting and nostalgic.  Sunnyholt is singular in its vision.  Maybe part two will broaden the palette.

Weekend Australian 14-15 Feb 2015 – Iain Shedden


Perry Keyes – RHYTHMS Magazine – Review & Interview

“Sunnyholt”  Deep In The Heart Of Nowhere

ARTICLE  12 Feb 2015

CLIPPING  (live video links below)

Perry Keyes is “backstage” at Melbourne’s Basement Discs (it’s actually just a tiny space behind a curtain). The store’s Pat Monaghan asks how he’d like to be introduced. “Feel free to talk me up,” Keyes jokes. “But don’t call me ‘Sydney’s Bruce Springsteen’ – everyone will expect me to go on stage and jump from amps and slide on my knees.”

Perry Keyes is not your typical rock star. There’s no swagger. Indeed, he walks with a limp – the result of being the last laboratory-confirmed case of polio in Australia. 

Keyes spent most of his early life in hospital. Music was his way of feeling connected to the world.             Continue reading

Perry Keyes – Review – SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Sunnyholt   ★★★★


This album deserves far more space than afforded here, for not only is it is a quality record of storytelling, it is a major and very Australian album. Having covered life in the working-class inner suburbs, in the pubs where old footballers might hold up one end of the bar and the houses where a scrabbling mother ponders how to pull together the next meal, Perry Keyes follows the story west. Out near Mount Druitt and St Marys where the government moved some of the poorest in the late 1960s for a fresh round of social engineering. There’s less Springsteen than on his earlier albums and less despair shot through with bursts of exultant defiance. There is more austerity; the title track is a dark tale told drolly so that you can almost get through it before realising what a kick in the balls it is. The detail is killer, whether mixing GI cordial with gin and soda or playing housie with the Greeks and the Maltese. The songs are killer too. They’ll stay with you a long time.

Bernard Zuel  SMH   6 Feb 2015     The Melbourne Age


Perry Keyes – Review – STACK Magazine


I’m alive tonight!” So starts the fourth album by Perry Keyes, the best songwriter you’ve never heard.

It’s an optimistic opening, but don’t expect a fun ride.Sunnyholt refers to the road running through Sydney’s outer-western suburbs, where many inner-city residents relocated in the ’60s and ’70s. 

All messed up with nowhere to go, this record documents the downside of the Great Australian Dream. It’s bleak, but Keyes’ writing is so wonderfully evocative – just check out the marvellously titled Mario Milano’s Monaro, which starts: “My cousin Doreen drives a taxi, she likes girls and one day cricket.” 

These are heartbreaking tales of wasted lives, where “a lonely girl knows how it feels to have the beautiful things ignore her”, and “I’d trade all the lights on Sydney Harbour to feel my father’s arms again”. Bek-Jean Stewart’s sublime vocals sweeten Raymond John Denning and Shitville, but there are no happy endings in Keyes’ songs, unless they’re “in $59 rooms selling stoned rub and tugs”. 

You’ll hear snatches of Lou Reed, Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen, but Perry Keyes is telling his own story. And there is no better Australian songwriter. 

Jeff Jenkins  2 Feb 2015


Sam Shinazzi – Review – STACK Magazine

“Forever & For Now” 3 ½ Stars

Sydney’s Sam Shinazzi is in a reflective mood on his fifth album. And he’s got a restless heart. Forever & For Now documents a relationship where two people are moving in different directions. The result? “Now we’re both grieving. “ Shinazzi namechecks Springsteen in The Day We Met: “You called me from Philly while The Boss was on stage, I held my fist in the air.” But these aren’t stadium songs. Instead, they float by, and the singer has no easy answers. “Sometimes things just happen,” he concludes, “and you don’t know why.” File next to Ben Lee

Jeff Jenkins  2 Feb 2015         PURCHASE  Forever & For Now


Mark Moldre – Review – EAR TO THE GROUND

“An Ear To The Earth”   Experimental singer songwriter captures the past in song

ARTICLE  11 Feb 2015


[Note: This album is from 2013. We rarely cover albums more than a year old.]

Not since I first heard Pokey Lafarge have I been so impressed with an artist’s ability to capture a bygone era. A bit of the 1930s in sonic form, Mark Moldre‘s old soul transports listeners back to the Great Depression’s saddest of speakeasies. It’s quintessential American and straight from Australia. It’s freshly old. It’s minimalistic and full band. This album of contradictions is just what your sophisticated music palate has been dying to hear.   Continue reading