“Back on The Zine” EP Launch 4pm Sunday 18 November 2018

Event cover

Those of you familiar with the chap in the hat will, of course, recognize him as Frank DiNamo from the first three releases in the “Back on the Zine” series.  The final release will be a beautiful 12″ vinyl EP in a gatefold press.  Why a gatefold? Because it will take a full two pages to conclude the comic strip story that started all the way back in October 2017.

Single Launch 1

The Offtopics launching “Sunrise in Richmond” at Cherry Bar in 2017 (Photo: Con Cotsonis)

Part two, “Funky Grandma” got a live on-air launch during Vince Peach’s “Soul Time on 3PBS in March 2018.

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Pictured Right to Left – Mark Bretherton (looking smooth), Vince Peach (looking cool) and Polash Larsen (looking like a sweaty goonda) (Photo: Probably Omid with Mark’s phone)

Part three, “A Man Needs Cooling” saw The Offtopics return to the scene of the crime… er… (the band’s first ever gig was at the Brunswick Mechanic’s Institute for a Metanoia Theatre Season launch).  The band packed out the theatre and put on a fabbo show!

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So much pointing! Don’t they know god kills a fairy when you point?? (Photo: Eddy Acheson)

The show also included this video shot by Patrick Stapleton and starring Donna Dimovski-Kantarovski.  We shot the video at Brunswick’s Daddy Bar and had heaps of fun in the process.

 

And now, Sydney Road’s iconic Spotted Mallard will host the band for the final installment – the big, fat 12 inch to finish it all off.  This beautiful record comes with the aforementioned gatefold cover and an A1 sized poster designed by the inimitable Melanie Myles of Hybrid Expression.  The poster is designed to let all you collectors hang and display the full Back on the Zine story.  Here’s a sneak peak!

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This is how it’s supposed to be. Don’t miss out!

The EP will include all the hitherto released material as well as two additional songs.  One of them is our rollicking cover of the old Jo Jo Zep classic “Shape I’m In“. We Offtopics merely stand on the shoulders of giants like Joe Camilleri, Tony Faehse and Jeff Burstin. (We also love Wog Rock!) Joe Camilleri once said to Polash that “It’s better to have one really good thing than a whole pile of shit”.  Our Funk Dynamo is clearly hoping for one of those over the other.  Guitarist Dave Sheehan (who plays cricket with Jeff Burstin at Clifton Hill CC) is hoping he doesn’t cop too much crap over our version of this great Aussie anthem.

So what the hell is a “zine” and what does “Back on the Zine mean, anyway?  The term, short for magazine or fanzine, comes from the counter-cultural publishing movement of the 60’s and 70’s.  A lot of comics and music writing got printed in this format.  Pronounced “zeen” there’s also a wry association with us old musos being back on the scene – though did we go away?  Perhaps we did…

We’d love to see YOU back on the scene with us though, on Sunday 4pm 18 November at The Spotted Mallard.  The Offtopics being family men (for the most part) have chosen a family-friendly time to get their funk on.  This venue is pretty kid-friendly (for a place without play equipment – Polash DID try to find a place with both a PA and a slide…) so bring the whole family if you like.  Kids enter free.  There’ll be plenty of food and drink.  We’ve been working on this whole series since April 2016 – literally two and a half years by the time we launch.  Don’t miss out! Come celebrate with us in November.  We’d love to see you at what will most likely be our last gig for 2018!

Tickets are available via Moshtix

The Facebook event is here.

And you’ll be able to buy advance copies (along with previous releases) here.

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Well that should take us through to the end of the year…

But wait – you’re probably thinking – it’s only August!  Well, here in Offtopics land with the kind of extensive stakeholder network we have (eight band members’ kids, partners, work and other commitments) we have to work several months ahead.  The big news is that we’ve set a date for our EP launch – the final part in our epic, four-part vinyl series but we wouldn’t be us if we only had one thing to share with you so, with that in mind, here’s a raft-load of announcements…

Ahem…

  1. First up we have a cosy, little gig at The Edinburgh Castle Hotel in Brunswick on Thursday 13 September.  We’ve had our eye on the EC since our old mates Checkerboard started playing the occasional show in the front bar.  As Dave, our lead axeman (and older brother of Checkerboard’s bass player Amos) said “there’ll be twice as many of us and we’ll be half as loud.”

    We’ll play a couple of sets and you can wash down your burger and beer with some of our funny funk.  In those environs we’re looking forward to some mellower, more romantic songs… unless of course we have a repeat of the infamous events of a couple of months ago at The Union Hotel.  Trakkie-dakked punters unexpectedly put aside their parmas to kick their heels up.  There were some excellent renditions of the tracksuit pants dance (where one keeps one’s hands in the pockets to avoid an elastic let-down).

    This is a free gig and you can find out more about it here.

  2. October won’t see us doing any public gigs.  We are playing at a private party but for the most part we’ll be using the month to prepare for our November EP launch.  From the feedback we got about our “Man Needs Cooling” single launch in July, the set we played was pretty killer.

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    We’ll be refining that show further with some new songs, dance moves and stage business.  October’s all about craft, craft craft for us.

  3. OK – this is the big one you’ve been waiting for.

    Sunday arvo at The Spotted Mallard on 18 November from 4pm.


    Like it says… SAVE THE DATE!  Due to the Funk Dynamo’s commitments to the FIH World Cup in Bhubaneshwar in December this will be The Offtopics’ LAST GIG FOR 2018!!!

Two and a half years in the making, turnover in the band, three vinyl single launches, graphic designers losing their minds, numerous radio and other interviews about it and we’re finally approaching the launch of our “Back on the Zine” EP.

We’re really thrilled to be playing at this iconic Sydney Rd venue at a family friendly time.  Although the band’s name might suggest a certain randomness of approach (and we try to be as free as we can on stage) there are usually considered reasons for us doing what we do.  Without giving away too many spoilers it’s all about the story.  If you’ve been following the adventures of Donna and Frank as they try to get to The Funkhole you might have an inkling of why an afternoon show in Brunswick makes all kind of sense.

We’ll put out a thorough write up about the EP Launch once the ticketing link is live.  In the meantime you can read up on the back story via these links:
[media release] The Offtopics – SINGLE Launch #1 (2017)

[media release] The Offtopics – Funky Grandma (SINGLE #2) 2018

[media release] The Offtopics – A Man Needs Cooling (SINGLE #3) 2018

Stay tuned for more folks!