- RELEASE DATE /8 July 2022
- CATALOG /CRT068
- LABEL /Cheersquad Records & Tapes
- FORMAT /Limited edition yellow and black smash vinyl, digitally, and black vinyl
The Pub Dogs (L-R): Graham Lee, pedal steel, vocals; Barry Palmer, guitars; Chris Wilson, vocals, harp; Marko Halstead, vocals, guitar, mandolin.
A FEW WORDS
Following on from Cheersquad’s ARIA Album Chart Top 20 and ARIA Blues and Vinyl Chart-topping reissue of Chris Wilson‘s iconic Live at the Continental album, and its earlier release of the great man’s final (self-titled) album, Cheersquad Records & Tapes now presents a rare jewel from the Chris Wilson catalogue: The Pub Dogs’ Scatter’s Liver. For the first time on vinyl, and available as a limited edition “yellow and black smash” vinyl. One hundred copies only, and also available on black vinyl and digitally. All vinyl will include a download card, and all digital tracks will be added to your Bandcamp collection too.
Scatter’s Liver is the only record by The Pub Dogs featuring the late, great Chris Wilson alongside Graham Lee of the Triffids, Barry Palmer of Harem Scarem and Hunters & Collectors, and country singer Mark C Halstead.
Originally released in 1991 on CD only, on legendary 3RRR presenter Max Crawdaddy‘s Crawdaddy label – and coming on vinyl for the first time ever on Friday 8 July – Scatter’s Liver by the Pub Dogs is a rough-hewn country-blues gem. It was the only release from a scratch band par excellence which Chris was part of around the same time as the Crown of Thorns, and Chris’ last release before signing to Mushroom’s Aurora label.
The Pub Dogs, as their name might suggest, was a band made up of drinking buddies. In addition to Chris on vocals and harp, from Chris’ Sole Twisters and Harem Scarem days, and Crown of Thorns, was guitarist Barry Palmer (who would later join Hunters & Collectors and then form Deadstar). From Chris’ days playing with Paul Kelly & The Messengers was pedal steel guitarist Graham Lee, also known and loved for his work in The Triffids and the Black Eyed Susans. And from Graham’s corner was singer, guitarist and mandolinist Marko Halstead, a man perhaps best known at that point as a member of Qld bluegrass outfit the Kingswoods, notorious for their 1983 cover of the Sex Pistols’ ‘Pretty Vacant’ entitled ‘Purty Vacant’, and his stint as twangmaster in Tex Perkins’ early hillbilly punk band Tex Deadly & the Dum Dums. As Mark C. Halstead, he would go onto make a fine country record for W. Minc Records – the label that Graham Lee ran with The Moodists’ Steve Miller – and become a regular performer (and customer) at Miller’s pub, the Standard in Fitzroy St.
A loose and short-lived combo that didn’t really get beyond the bar, The Pub Dogs nonetheless made musical magic, and Scatter’s Liver is a document of a time in Melbourne when the influence of American roots music was really starting to be felt north of the river. The album includes a couple of key songs in the Chris Wilson canon, ‘Alimony Blues’ and ‘Face in the Mirror’, as well as a superb Marko Halstead composition called ‘Tell Me’. It finishes off with another Halstead vocal, on a gorgeous version of the haunting ‘Way of the Flesh’, written by the Black Eyed Susans’ Phil Kakulas.
Originally a live radio broadcast on JJJ FM recorded by Jim Atkins and produced by Chris Thompson in Melbourne, Scatter’s Liver, upon its release, was played almost every afternoon in the bar at The Punter’s Club in Fitzroy during the early 90s. The album’s title refers to Elvis Presley‘s pet monkey, who apparently liked a tipple.