Tracks

  1. Use The Gun Instead
  2. Whisper Through The Wall
  3. Brave New World
  4. Pull The Pin
  5. Keep It A Secret
  6. Early Morning Brain
  7. Body Shop
  8. Young Rodents
  9. You Are My Current Affair
  10. Party Girls
  11. Owe You Nothing
  12. John From Earth
  13. Strategic Air Command
  14. Light Fling
  15. Atlantic Romantic
  16. The Other People Incident
  17. Happy Birthday I.B.M.
  18. Holiday House
  19. Golden Arches

The Band

Sean Kelly
vocals, guitar

Mark Ferrie
bass

Andrew Duffield
keyboards, synthesisers

Janis Freidenfelds
(aka Johnny Crash):  drums, percussion

The Crew

Mark Woods
sound

Mark Stevens
lights

Tim Roberts
foldback, truck

Models LIVE at the Overlander Hotel in Shepparton in 1980, is the 20th release of the Australian Road Crew Association’s (ARCA) Desk Tape Series.

Models are the 20th act to throw their support behind the Australian Road Crew Association’s live Desk Tape Series.

The Series was created by the Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) to raise funds to provide financial, health, counselling and well-being services for roadies and crew in crisis.

Thanx to Rod and Desi for the cover photo, Mark Woods for the recording, Nprint for the cover artwork, Phil Dracoulis for the mastering and Models for supporting roadies and crew.

The recordings are made off the sound desk by a crew member – in this case Mark Woods, their long-time sound engineer who joined them in their very early days.

The Models LIVE at the Overlander Hotel 1980 live tape and all the ARCA Desk Tape Series recordings are available through Black Box Records – ARCA (australianroadcrew.com.au) and the following:

https://ffm.to/liveattheoverlanderhotel1980  (Please paste into browser if it fails to work)

Models LIVE At The Overlander Hotel 1980 was recorded two years after the band formed in Melbourne.

Audiences insist there have been two totally different Models through the years.

There was the early art-rock industrial line-up which was miles ahead of US bands like Nine Inch Nails, and the later chart busting version with ‘Barbados’ and ‘Out Of Mind Out Of Sight’.

But Models have always insisted their approach to their music has remained the same. By the time of The Overlander Hotel tape, the “quirky” version was drawing big crowds to inner city venues in Melbourne and Sydney. Record companies were already circling but the band wanted to release its first album independently to keep creative control.

“We were different to other bands at that time, so we stood out,” recollects bassist Mark Ferrie.

“From the very beginning there was a basic connection between the four of us. We were playing 4 to 5 times a week.

“We certainly could play. We were unconventional and experimental, definitely ambitious, we felt we were on the cusp of something that was going to break through.”

Adds Mark Woods, who was doing sound for the band Phones before getting the call to mix Models at Marijuana House, Fitzroy in early 1979. “I loved the band from that first show, quirky songs, they played well and generated a lot of energy onstage.”

Models were formed in August 1978 by singer and guitarist Sean Kelly, who’d emerged in the punk era in Spred and Teenage Radio Stars with school mate James Freud.

With Models, Sean Kelly expanded his musical palette, to include David Bowie, Lou Reed, Eno and Roxy Music, thus augmenting his earlier influences, Top 40, classical music, show tunes and the theatre record collection of his parents.

Sean, who started living in boarding rooms at 15 to make his way in life would remember, “I was like a sponge. Anything black soulful or experimental or funky. I became really eclectic so I’m lucky I cut my teeth on those.”

Sean started playing piano and drums but switched to guitar. Mark Ferrie notes how Sean’s unique approach to guitar playing added to Models’ distinctive sound.

Original drummer Johnny Crash (aka Janis Friedenfelds), who died in on January 24, 2014, came from Adelaide’s electro-industrial scene and proved himself a dynamic addition.

Johnny Crash

Woods: “He was a very distinctive self-taught player and part of why Models didn’t sound like other bands.”

Ferrie: “Johnny was an incredible drummer. We clicked together very quickly as a powerful rhythm section”

“In fact I joined Models just to play with him again. We’d been together in bands like Peter Lillie and the Leisuremasters and he was always an incredible drummer to play with.”

Mark Ferrie replaced Peter Sutcliffe (aka Pierre Voltaire) who later won $503,000 in May 2014, on TV quiz show Million Dollar Minute.

Ferrie grew up in the western suburbs (“with an accent to match”) before studies at Melbourne University opened him up to the new sounds from the Carlton scene and later the St. Kilda movement when he moved to live there.

By the time of The Overlander Hotel tape, original keyboard player, the gifted and experimental Ash Wednesday, had been replaced by the innovative Andrew Duffield.

Andrew studied electronic music and emerged with electro-pioneers Whirlywirld with his school friend Ollie Olsen. Aside from being a pioneer in synthesiser music, Andrew was also a fan of left-of-centre names such as Captain Beefheart.

Woods: “Andrew was thrust into the middle of a band that was doing a lot of shows and had already started to become popular so he had to learn fast.”

Models’ spiky mix of new wave, glam, dub, pre-industrial and pop struck a chord with a new generation of punters looking for their own heroes rather than adopting those of older siblings.

Mark Woods recalls much of the audience were college and post-college students – some of their biggest fans were The EMUs (Ex Melbourne University Students), a drinking club mainly but they booked a few Models gigs.

Models LIVE At The Overlander Hotel 1980 captures the way the band would switch from hard hitting (‘The Other People Incident’, ‘Holiday House’, ‘Golden Arches’) to synth-driven new world epics (‘Atlantic Romantic’, ‘Happy Birthday IBM’, ‘Keep It A Secret’ and ‘Early Morning Brain’) to left of centre dance pop (‘Brave New World’, ‘Strategic Air Command’).

They played five sets in that one day – three in the afternoon and two at night – at the country hotel in Shepparton in central Victoria. It had a 50’s style ballroom with a large dancefloor.

Models were paid $500 and a cut of door takings.

Some of the country audience initially didn’t take to them – they didn’t do covers and Models’ policy at that time of not releasing singles meant they got no commercial radio airplay.

Woods: “But by the end of the afternoon sets, the crowd changed. You can hear it on the recording, they’re starting to clap more and really getting into it.”

Ferrie states: “Models always rose to the occasion when we had to prove ourselves.

“The first time we went to Brisbane they thought we were from Mars.

“One time we were opening a sell-out show at the Crystal Ballroom in Melbourne for The Stranglers – and they didn’t show up. So we were promoted to headliner status, which was very scary. But we rose to the occasion, totally!”