A Makeshift Goodbye: Rowe’s last show + a playlist of female-fronted D.I.Y. faves

May 1st 2017

After six wonderful years championing Sydney’s DIY community behind the mic at FBi, it’s Rowe’s last show hosting Makeshift tonight!

Starting out as an Allnighter way back in 2011 – somehow making it into the training group after missing her audition time – Rowena McGeoch took over Monday Arvos for a spell before stepping up to host Makeshift in April 2014. Since then she’s been curating the best in DIY, garage, proto-punk, punk, post-punk, power pop, glam, noise, experimental and outsider music, and all that’s in between.

Her final show will be a highlights reel of some of her favourite releases, both new and old, as well as a few special Makeshift moments. Tune in from 11pm so you don’t miss a thing – and in the meantime, check out this playlist Rowe has compiled for us below, detailing a handful of her favourite records which happen to feature female front-people.

We’ll miss ya, Rowe!



Mopsie Beans – Appearances (1981)

Mopsie Beans is the moniker of Elizabeth Ward, known for her rollicking busking efforts around Western Sydney in the late 70s and early 80s. I discovered Mopsie Beans on the best blog on the planet, Wallaby Beat (look it up!), and girl am I glad. Each of the songs on her theatrical records contain weirdly relatable Australian stories accompanied by odd minimal synths and bumpy drum machine. Many of her songs are hammy cries against the cult of domesticity and take a musical peep inside the weird minds of everyday people in the face of everyday struggles. Sadly, Mopsie passed away in 2007, and although I obviously never had the chance to see her perform, I’m glad her theatrics shine through in her two records.


Pink Section – S/T (1980)

Apparently this band is named after the pink-hued entertainment section of the San Francisco Chronicle… Apparently… Although they are definitely named after lady bits. Pink Section’s songs are as angular as the triangles adorning their record sleeves. The point of view behind their music can be summed up with their own lyric, “housewife, pissed off, flipped out coz the world’s messed up”. 10/10 for attitude. The highlight of their 12″ EP would have to be ‘Francine’s List, but all of the songs are pretty great. Judy Gittelsohn and Carol Detweiler from the band later went on to form another of my favourite weird gal outfits, Inflatable Boy Clams, and both bands have received re-issue treatment from Superior Viaduct in recent years. Hope you love ‘em!


The Screaming Abdabs – Paris Theatre Tape (1978/2015)

Another Wallaby Beat wonder! I would never have heard this band if Luke and Henry hadn’t bothered to release their Paris Theatre Tape from 1978 on record in 2015. My discovery of their cool-as-hell singer Carmel Strelein upon the release of this record is the reason I first shaved my head at the end of that year. Strelein’s iconoclastic attitude is again summed up with the lyrics of my favourite song on the record ‘Money not Love’: “I don’t want your fucking love, I just want your money!” Amen sista! Learn more about her extraordinary life and larger-than-life persona on the Wallaby Beat write-up here.


Dolly Mixture – Demonstration Tapes (1978-84)

This was the first record I paid a lot of money for. The band members’ names hand-scrawled in pink permanent marker outweighed the ugly brown spotting on the plain white sleeve and I knew I had to have it, regardless of the price-tag. Dolly Mixture’s girly post-punk pop is on full display on this double LP collection of 27 demos. The B-side to the first record is a personal highlight, featuring songs recorded in 1980 including ‘Side Street Walker’, ‘Angel Treads‘, ‘Step Close Now‘ and ‘Never Let it Go‘. I read somewhere that other bands questioned their credibility because they wrote songs about boys and their bass player Rachel Bor went out with Captain Sensible… Eh… For me, their teenage dreamy subject matter subverts girly stereotypes to make music that is really different from anything else I’ve heard. Never gonna let ‘em go.


The Shivvers – S/T (1979-81/2014)

When I first heard The Shivvers’ song ‘Please Stand By’, I pinned the singer as a pre-teen boy. When I finally saw footage of the band I was very happy to find out Milwaukee’s finest power pop frontperson was in fact Jill Kossoris. This band has written some incredible pop songs and received very little in the way of mainstream recognition. They only released one single, ‘Teen Line‘, in their golden years but have been the subject of several retrospective compilations like this one on Sing Sing. At least you and I can enjoy them now.


Voigt/465 – State (1978)

One of Sydney’s all-time greatest (and most photogenic) post-punk bands. This record is the closest thing to perfection I’ve heard pressed on 7 inches of vinyl. Rae Macron Cru’s vocals on ‘Secret West’ are up there with Exene Cervenka from X in ‘Adult Books as far as songs with ridiculously great purposefully out of tune vocals go. I love this record.


The Particles – Colour In (1980)

Formed in 1977, the Particles are one of Sydney’s all-time punk-informed pop bands who existed in a revolving line-up until 1985. It’s hard to pick a favourite Particles single. The first one Colour In takes the crown with their second record Advanced Colouring coming in a close second. Members of this band went on to play in other better known Sydney pop bands including The Cannanes and The Lighthouse Keepers.


Sister Irene O’Connor – Fire of God’s Love (1973)

Two nuns, one drum machine. Fire of God’s Love is a collection of incredible, eerie “Songs to Ignite the Spirit” recorded by Sister Irene O’Connor with the help of Sister Marimil Lobregat in Homebush, 1973. My friend and I found and paid $2 for this record in an unnamed Sydney junk shop and have listened to it compulsively since.


The final Makeshift airs on Tuesday 2 May from 11pm-1am.



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