Getting Back On Topic

Well we promised news a long time ago and here it is 100% guaranteed not to be “fake”.

With an intro like that where to start? Where to start…?

Let’s go back further than we need to – let’s talk about this guy. Welcome aboard Omid Shayan!


Photo by Emma Phillips

Yes – we know he’s been in the band since early 2016 but what a year it has been! A new American president, a new Australian Prime Minister and a sizeable percentage of every important 20th century icon of arts, culture and music – DEAD! That’s why we’re leading off with a good news story. Omid joined up to fill the shoes of the departing Jason Chalmers and brought with him not one but two saxy tones including both tenor and baritone.

Omid like many Offtopics players is a band leader in his own right. His own band “Shayan” play just the kind of structured jazz that made you think you wanted a picture of John Coltrane on your bedroom wall next to that Jimi Hendrix poster. Being Iranian, Omid likes to thread Persian melodic influences into his jazz. In the Offtopics though it’s all about dripping funk.

And he brought hair – SOOO much curly black hair! We think The Offtopics benefit from his low, baritone rumbles and, in our own small way, we like to think we’ve contributed a little something to Omid. Sometime in 2016 Omid and his partner found out they were pregnant.  Does associating with The Offtopics increase your sexiness and fertility? Well – you might think so. You might very well think that indeed but WE couldn’t possibly comment…

Moving the clock forward to the end of 2016 we lost Dan our guitar player. Don’t panic – he’s not dead – he just decided it was time to move on from the group. This was a bit sad as he’d been a massive part of the formation of the band. All of our early rehearsals were at his house – in fact, we recorded the early demos in his lounge room. If Dan hadn’t been so generous, sympathetic and kind to Polash after he left The Deans in 2012 there would be no funk dynamo.


Photo by Emma Phillips

We’ll miss his exciting lead breaks and if you find that you are missing him as much as we are you can see him playing country in The Pheasant Pluckers and rocksteady with Tim in Johnny Longshot.

How ever will The Offtopics manage without a guitarslinger, you cry? Fear not! We’re incredibly lucky to welcome aboard two of the tastiest players in Melbourne. First up is Anthony Mark Shannon.

AKA “Tone”

AKA “Skull”

AKA “The Beulah Bullet”.


Photo by The Funk Dynamo

Why so many nicknames? Well he usually goes by his middle name but we already have a Mark on keys and maracas. Having two would be confusing so for the moment we’re just going to use all of Mr Shannon’s handles until something sticks. Some trivia about this guy:  Did someone say “TRIVIA”???  As a former Sale of the Century Champ he’s officially the king of trivia in The Offtopics! Some of the other guys might find that hard to swallow but there may well be a new leader for obscure music history facts. The Buelah Bullet comes with a good music pedigree. His brother Dean was in Ballarat alt-rock outfit Epicure and his son is the creative force behind Melbourne dreamy rock band The Bickies.

When it comes to guitar this guy knows how to keep it “Stanky”.

And now onto the other part of The Offtopics double axe attack:

Introducing – or rather reintroducing Dave Sheehan!


Dave had been taking a bit of a break from music and wasn’t sure if he could commit to a band – after all there were cricket finals to think of, work, family etc. The argument was clinched by his young son who took a break from riding the ferris wheel at Inverloch to weigh in on the quality of the band’s demos. It was decided. The “band was impressive” and “the grooves were dug”. “Dad, you should definitely join!” were the words of the young scion – and that was that.

Polash caught up with international Glenroy Pop Sensation Kylie Auldist at the launch of the Brunswick Music Festival. When he mentioned that her former Curtis Late bandmate Dave was joining The Offtopics she went very quiet and still for a second.

“How did you get him?” She breathed… “You are a lucky, lucky man…”

And The Offtopics are a lucky, lucky band!

That’s all for the personnel roundup. Stay tuned for the next installment where we tell you all about our studio project with Kalacoma’s Nick Hererra. There’s definitely a gig coming up in May and hopefully another one before that. All will be revealed but for now – get stanky and stay funky.


Vote 1 Offtopics for Open Studio: Saturday 2 July


Either way you look at it we’re all in desperate need of something realistic to look forward to on the 2nd of July.

Well here are some election promises The Offtopics will definitely deliver on:

  1. Booty Shaking music


The Offtopics stand by their track record of funkifying the night.

2. Songs that will focus on what’s important to all of us.

Somebody Funked My Grandma

The Offtopics know what the hot button issues of the day are.

3. Melding the refined aesthetic sensibility of Sir Mixalot with Andy Griffiths “The Day My Bum Went Psycho”

There’s no black hole in The Offtopics’ booty.

4. Reliable looking candidates like this guy:


Awww… why wouldn’t you trust him?  Timmy just beams competence in this picture!

So don’t be disillusioned by the Open Studio Party this election.  Vote 1 Offtopics.  Dance, laugh and clap your hands at Open Studio Saturday 2nd of July from 8:30pm.

Open Studio: 204 High Street Northcote.

This Advertisement Authorised by The Offtopics, Melbourne.

The Offtopics at Oussou

The Offtopics are back to rock Oussou.  Two delicious sets of fonky originals so we advise you to take your chance to dance.

This is our second gig at Bar Oussou this year as they trial a new curatorial approach to music.  Naturally we want to see them do well so we’ll be trying extra hard to put some junk in our funk so you better take the chance to dance!

You don’t have to take our word for it. Just ask your friendly neighborhood Spidey-butt.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 3.39.45 pm

Anyone can dance to The Offtopics so don’t be afraid to show us your moves.


Even these moves…

Or these ones…

Or even…


Of course if you can’t make it to Oussou this Friday then here’s a dance party you can have at home courtesy of the good students of the “Humor and Code” Class at the Parsons School of Design and Technology.  Enjoy!

Entry is free this Friday.  Can’t do any better than that!



The Offtopics are back to fonk The Catfish

In the worlds before this Friday… Primal chaos reigned. Heaven sought order.
But the Phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown.
The four worlds formed again and yet again,
As endless aeons wheeled and passed… Hang on… enough Monkey business.


All is well fonksters because The Offtopics are playing again this Friday at your favourite craft beer and sandwich haunt on Gertrude Street.

the offtopics ay The Catfish 22 Apr

That’s right – we’ll brook no timewasting!  There’s so much to do.  There are two whole sets of funky songs to get through before the night is over.  It’ll also be our last gig before we start doing some extended studio time prepping for our first ever album.  We’re really excited about this as *cue drum roll* we’ll be working with Nick Herrera who has previously recorded bands such as Hiatus Kaiyote and some other bands who you’ve probably never heard of.

Anyway – it’ll definitely be worth joining the conga line at the gig this Friday as we’ll be kicking out all sorts of jams.

There’s also a facebook event if that sort of thing floats your floating thing.



The Offtopics to play the LuWow’s Christmas revue with The Rebelles, Frosty the Snow Bastard and much much more on Saturday 19th December


If this is the Silly Season then you need Melbourne’s silliest band of bravos to usher it in.

Saturday 19th December sees The Offtopics team up with those mighty maidens of shimmy – The Rebelles – to wail on the whole Christmas thang.  There’ll be cocktails, dancing and Frosty the Snow Bastard’s Hissy Chrissy Karaoke all at Fitzroy’s finest Tiki Bar/cave of the Lava Goddess The LuWow.

Tickets $10 on the door.

Facebook event:

Don’t know much about The Rebelles and their shimmy shammy whammy?  Check them out here:

The Offtopics own the stage – so pay yer dues!

For those who missed the California Honeydrops show at The Northcote Social Club on the 26th of November – here’s what The Music’s Brad Summer had to say about it.

The Offtopics’ humble efforts get a mention too…



The Offtopics get their Yah Yah’s out on Saturday 19 September

The Offtopics and Red Eagle at Yah Yah's

The Offtopics and Red Eagle at Yah Yah’s

Those clown princes of fonk, The Offtopics, are co-headlining an epic night of sizzling soul and swampy blues at Yah Yah’s on Saturday 19th September.  The night starts at 8pm with a trio of soul from That Gold Street Sound and Funk Rabbit with The Offtopics at 9pm in a trend-bucking early headliner.  Red Eagle are launching their forthcoming vinyl extravaganza that evening so after a solid dose of funkiness get ready for some deep water Warnambool blues.  They’ll be supported by Crossfire Hurricane.

This line-up is all killer and no filler so think about getting in when the doors open at 7pm.  There are good odds that this show is going to sell out!

For more info and updates check out:

or get in touch at

The Offtopics Go Swimming with The Catfish.

Some call him...

Some call him… “Tim”.

Saturday 8th August will see The Offtopics tickling The Catfish’s whiskers. The band’s sultry northern horns, slinky guitar and ever so cuddly grooves will be the perfect compliment to The Catfish’s craft approach to high-end carbs on tap.

Two funkified sets, craft beer and Philly Cheese Steak on Gertrude Street. Sounds like a recipe for boom-chacka-lakka-boom-boom shimmy shimmy boom!

The Offtopics play from 9pm. Entry is free. Contact for more information. goes Live!

Musicians famously bide their time, hone their act and polish their material in their bedrooms. In The Offtopics’ case the bedroom has been greater Brunswick as they’ve discreetly established their funny, funky sound in low-key venues such as Bar Oussou, The Brunswick Bowls Club and the Moreland City Band Hall. To give birth to something special you have to be thorough which is why the band went through a nine-month gestation period in the Brunswick Mechanics’ Institute front bar.

The time has finally come to leave the warm, womb-like embrace of that figurative bedroom and squint red-faced at the world bellowing “We Are Here! We ARE HERE!!”

These days that means getting together some demos as well as some decent photos for your website and social media. Cutting a demo was easy. With gigging experience going back to the 80’s the band had the nouse, the chops and the networks to whip up recordings early on capturing all the slink and the kink of their signature sound without leaving the guitarist’s lounge room.

Images were harder. The Offtopics knew it would take all the skills and experience of an artist who has photographed stars like Bono, Bob Geldof, Gotye and Kimbra to make them look good. The boys had some luck and managed catch the highly accomplished Emma Phillips in a moment of weakness. Emma gazed undeterred at this motley band of misfits with their combined age of 316 (and a combined weight of half a metric tonne). With a cavalier flick of her SLR she created the “Holiday in Vegas” series of headshots you see on the band’s ‘About’ page.

So HEAR The Offtopics and SEE them as well online at and BOOK them for your next event.