Where are the Way Hip Antelopes?

Okay, so, I went to university in Canberra, right? (Canberra is Australia’s capital city, if you’re not familiar with our sociopolitical and geographic minutiae). Canberra’s an interesting place. When I lived there, it was all about the Three P’s: Porn, Pot & Pyrotechnics. The industrial suburb of Fyshwick was a porn mecca, marijuana was decriminalised and you could buy fireworks from stalls at Belconnon Mall. Come to think of it, I don’t think I partook in any of those things cos I was too busy studying, Your Honour.

Anyway, one of the best things about Canberra (apart from all-day breakfast at Cafe Essen, the coffee at Tosolini’s…), was the band The Way Hip Antelopes. I have their 1998 CD Everlasting Why, (which I coyly bought from one of their vocalists, Kate, who worked at a CD store near uni – It was one of those ‘Oh, you’re the girl from the CD, and you’re working at the store I’m buying it from… this is a little uncomfortable’ things) but I don’t know if they ever expanded beyond the local scene, which is a huge shame because I think they were really ahead of their time, and hell, if the Byron Bay Bluesfest crowd got a hold of them now, they’d be playing all over the place.

Their sound was a mix of middle-eastern melodies, lush acoustic guitar arrangements, folkish leanings, complex-but-grooving drums (Ben, the drummer – I used to get in his ear when he worked at the same CD store as Kate), in-the-pocket basslines courtesy of Loki (who served me many an ale at the Phoenix, if I recall correctly), soaring, sometimes-jazz-tinged male lead vocals and ethereal, atmospheric female harmony vocals (the latter of which are sadly missing from the only video I could dig up, a from a 2004 reunion show at The Phoenix). Man, when they were on they were fucking on, and there was nothing greater than seeing them at a venue like the Gypsy Bar. Nothing! (Man, the Gypsy Bar was awesome. Were you there? Then you get it, right? If you weren’t, dude, you missed something).

So where are you, Way Hip Antelopes? Are you all still around? Do you Google yourself every now and then to see who remembers? Cos I remember, and I friggin’ miss you guys.

Thunder from Down Under: The Top 10 Aussie Bands Who Rocked the World

As you (probably) know, I’m Australian, and as Gibson.com’s resident antipodean, I’ve written a feature about Aussie bands. Now, so as to not overload readers with relatively obscure names, this article is about Aussie bands who made it big in the US. Please don’t think I’m overlooking great bands like The Angels, The Screaming Jets, Cold Chisel, Mantissa, Johnny Diesel & The Injectors, The Poor, Baby Animals, Alchemist, Roxus, or transplanted Kiwis like Shihad. Perhaps I’ll do an article about internationally-obscure Aussie bands for I Heart Guitar to spread the love around. Nevertheless, here is: Thunder from Down Under: The Top 10 Aussie Bands Who Rocked the World

“Aussie bands have been cranking out hits both at home and abroad almost since the dawn of rock. For every Elvis Presley there was a Johnny O’Keefe. For each Bad Company there was an Angels. For every Wilco there was a Powderfinger. Not every Aussie band that made it big back home managed to replicate their success in the rest of the world (and Aussies don’t drink Foster’s very often either), but here are 10 who did.”

Read on!