Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mickey Finn - Selftitled (1980)

(Australian 1976-1981, 1990)
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Mickey Finn formed in Adelaide, South Australia in 1976, evolving from the popular band Fraternity, which is best known for its association with Bon Scott and also the Levi Clefs. By late 1975, Fraternity had been renamed to Some Dream. In 1978, the band was eventually renamed as Mickey Finn, comprising of Bruce Howe (ex Levi Clefs), John Eyers (ex No Sweat), Mauri Berg and Joff Bateman (both ex Headband).
This bluesy rock band was led by Eyres - alias 'Uncle' John Eyers and created a large following in Adelaide's pub scene etc.
By 1980, John Freeman had rejoined as their new drummer and a second guitarist, Stan Koritini, had also been added. It was this lineup that cut the selftitled album for the Eureka label, featured in this post.
Mickey Finn released two Singles in 1980 and 1981 before fading from the rock scene, although they reunited in 1990 for a brief period.
There is not really much information documented about this short lived band other than snippets of information that I managed to find on each of the band members.
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.Mauri Berg
A member of HOY-HOY! , this band started out as a trio based on the early blues of the Texas band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, who were themselves fans of earlier artist's including Slim Harpo.
Now as a trio with Mauri Berg at the helm, the music is tougher, so the, "we're not loud, you're soft", catch phrase applies.
Whyalla boy, Mauri Berg, makes good.''1968" W.G.Berg, "1970" Headband, The Mount Lofty Rangers, with Bonn Scott. "1971" Fraternity MkII, with Jimmy Barnes and John Swan. "1976" Mickey Finn, mark one and two.
Mauri has recorded at Alberts Studios, toured the country on the strength of some no.1 singles and inspires and awes music lovers with soaring guitar playing, and definitive guitar licks.
(For more information about HOY-HOY, see hoyhoymusic.com)
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John Eyers
Fraternity recorded a single entitled "Seasons of Change" in April of 1971, then welcomed harmonica player "Uncle" John Eyers, who, in the true spirit of the Age of Aquarius, stopped by for a visit and simply never left. John Eyers joined on harmonica and vocals in May that same year.
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John Freeman
There are plenty of fine drummers and percussionists around these days, but few have a true personality and personal style. Those of the old school invariably have some trademark fill, a unique placement of the beat and a sense of belonging within the music, and not just part of it. Adelaide's John Freeman is a case in point. His history includes classic Australian bands like The Levi Clefs, Fraternity, Mickey Finn and a later stint with Jimmy Barnes. In between times he's played with everybody who's anybody in Adelaide and also performs authentic and passionate country blues guitar and song when the gig arises. These days he holds down the rhythm section in a fine swinging R&B outfit called 'Rhumboogie' which also features Adelaide guitar legend Chris Finnen.
.Bruce Howe
He is an Australian bass player born in Adelaide, South Australia. Bruce has played with many good bands and certainly has stuck it out through the early years of the sixties through to the turn of the century. He spent most of his playing days with Barrie McAskill and The Levi Smiths Clefs and moved on to play with Jimmy Barnes in 1984, and then the Mega Boys and the Dalai Lama in 1986.
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This post consists of FLAC and MP3 rips (320kps) from my vinyl copy and is free of any crackles or pops. Album artwork is included along with label scans. My favourite tracks are the covers "I'm A Man" and "Baby Please Don't Go". The remaining tracks are Eyers-Berg compositions, with the exception of "So many Lies" which was written by Howe.
Overall, this is an outstanding bluesy, Aussie Rock album which shouldn't be missed.
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Track Listing
01 - Too Much Rigmorole
02 - Well Oiled Millionaire
03 - So Many Lies
04 - Neon Tube Kid
05 - I'm A Man
06 - DT's
07 - Quick Release
08 - Eat Your Heart Out
09 - Baby Please Don't Go
10 - Animal

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Band Members:
(Uncle) John Eyers - Vocals, Harp
Mauri Berg - Lead guitar
Stan Koritni - Rhythm guitar
Bruce Howe - Bass
John Freeman - Drums
Special Guest: John Swan - Backing Vocals
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Mickey Finn MP3 Link (80Mb)
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Mickey Finn FLAC Link (235Mb)
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13 comments:

  1. Hard to find lp as well. been looking for a mint copy for a very long time.. some really great voaclas .. a pleasure to hear it in full again thanks

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  2. Aha! Saw these guys play at the Central Club in Prahan in 1981. Man, I still have great and fond memories of that gig. Sorry Sadness - I have a mint copy of that album - I look after my records obsessively, but they also have hardly been played in the last 25 years (through circumstance, not choice).

    Anyway, great GREAT band, and I would pay lots to be able to see them live again.

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  3. Gidday AussieRock. I looked for a way to send a message independently of this page but can't find one. I'm rapt to find your site. I had a listen to the digitized version of the Mickey Finn album. I'm interested to know what system you use to rip your vinyl. I've got 400-450 LPs, many of which I'd like to rip, but I've only heard dodgy examples of ripped vinyl before and haven't taken the step of getting a 'machine' to do it. The quality of this version (through my computer speakers, admittedly) seems more than acceptable. Email, if you're happy to divulge, is philpatterson@internode.on.net.

    Respect.

    P.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Phil
      I use the free software program 'Audacity' V1.3 to do the ripping, and currently use a basic 'Base' brand USB Turntable.

      Audacity has a declicker tool which I use sparingly for really bad vinyl and a bass enhancer for those tinny reproductions. Most of the clicks and pops are removed manually however, if I have the patience!

      Very simple program to use and enables me to convert to either MP3 or FLAC (although you will also need to install 'LAME' , a high quality MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3) encoder).


      Hope this helps

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  4. Hey, thanks for that - I'm going to get set up and give that a go.

    I might just mention that while I was scrolling through your list of bands, I was trying to think of bands from circa early '80s you didn't have listed - well, there are plenty, of course, but one that came to mind straight up was The Boys - so I went snooping in Google and found that they've got a Facebook page and are re-releasing their two albums. Anyway, I love re-encountering music from that time, so thanks again for the page, and the tips. P.

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  5. Paul Larsen Loughhead.October 25, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    I was lucky to see Mickey Finn quite often at the Semaphore Hotel in 80-81 and they were the best band one could hope to see in a life time.The Album comes close to the live stage sound..Great to see this page.

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  6. Brings back memories, saw Mickey Finn a few times, I reckon they were a support band for a Dire Straits concert at memorial drive in Adelaide. Great music, been trying to find an album with no luck, one friend bought the album in the day and it was played at most parties, I too would gladly pay $$ to hear them live again.

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  7. Hey just found this great site and remember this fantastic band. Was a Levi Smith Clefs and Fraternity fan - still am ! Does anyone know what happened to Bruce Howe ? Am a bass player too and loved his playing Trev

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    1. Hi Trev,
      Bruce has hung up the bass for the last 4-5 years.
      He will be inducted into the SA hall of fame this october 2014, with a couple of others from the Mickey Finn band.
      I have just completed a radio documentry, search for " a harp player called Uncle".
      I will have a follow up story to this one later.
      Thanks to Aussierock for your site.

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    2. Thanks so much TLG for the reply. Managed to get to the SA Hall of Fame and caught up with Bruce and John. Great recognition and a way to acknowledge the finest musicians in our state

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  8. I have two nice copies of this great album

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  9. Saw Mickey Finn in 1979 at the 5th Australian Venture (Senior Scouts) that's the 5AV - Goodtimes was the Camp Newsletter. The Scouts used Victoria Park racecourse as a camping ground (well before the Grand Prix) the band was on a stage on the track and we were in the stands.

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  10. 1978..Berri River Rock Concert on the banks of the Murray at Berri SA. A Great Finn concert performance, Norman Gunston and Cheeta were on the same bill...yeah I know Norman Gunston on the bill at a Rock Concert ?....but ....he was bloody funny live. Mickey Finn were legendary in SA in the late 70's, saw them many times..Last time I saw Uncle he was recording live pub gigs of other blues bands around town, Mauri Berg and Trapper are playing with Frank Lang in Hoy Hoy still today.

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