40. Various Artists – “Banter”

I just realised that I’d forgotten to look over in the ‘compilations’ section lately. There are a few banked up that I’ll chuck into the mix over the coming weeks (so as to break up the long streaks of same-artist reviews).

banter-candle-records-compilation-album-coverCandle Records was the home of Aussie acoustic pop from 1994-2007. This was the second of their compilation CDs. The neat thing is that they didn’t just chuck together songs fans probably already owned. Instead this release includes 22 tracks from 11 acts, none of which had yet appeared on recordings. In fact, this CD saw the debut of a few new faces, including one who would become the label’s biggest name (at least down under).

Part of the thrill of Candle for me was that these were bands I was very regularly seeing play around the pubs of Fitzroy (and sometimes even North Fitzroy). Some of the songs were familiar from live sets, others were little tasters of bands from far afield (Sydney, Brisbane, Perth). Songs were typically very well crafted, some with a strong humorous element, many earnest and daggy.

Highlights: the LucksmithsT-shirt Weather, the debut tracks from Darren Hanlon (especially the hard-to-find-elsewhere Funpark Fugitives) and country-chicks Fibrotown who sadly never graced another Candle release. One of my bugbears with Candle was that the artists often lost their vitality and uniqueness over time. These sampler albums are wonderful reminders of them at their freshest. It is sad the label is no more…

File under: A very tasty sampler


2 responses to “40. Various Artists – “Banter”

  1. Unrelenting Tedium

    Okay…are you ready for a total mindfuck? I read this and then got in the car to drive home. RRR had dance music on so I flicked to PBS and what should be playing but T-Shirt Weather. If that isn’t a sign from god to take drugs and sell them I don’t know what is.

  2. You were so lucky to see these bands live. They’re fabulous.

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