Citizenship Tests: Cec Condon from The Mess Hall

Part 1. Geography
a. Tell us about your hometown.
I was born in Mackay in North Queensland, but grew up just outside of Atherton which is deeper into North Queensland. It’s a predominantly rural area and I didn’t have to wear shoes at school until I was 12 and went to boarding school in Kooralbyn, just outside of Brisbane.

b. Name your favourite bands from your neck of the woods.
I’m going to have to name Brisbane bands here because I don’t know of any “originals” bands from Atherton. Current bands I like from there are Six Ft Hick and The Keep on Dancins. Then there’s the retired ones: The Saints being one of them, of course, The Standing 8 Counts and Trinkets.

c. Where’s your local and what’s it like?
My local is now The Huntsbury Hotel in Petersham, Sydney. It’s a typical pre-chrome and glass Sydney pub, complete with tiled urinals. It has an hilarious crowd of old men who are regulars, as well as my personal favourite: a middle-aged man who looks like fat John Bonham circa ’79, right down to the terry toweling fishing hat.

Part 2. History
a. Which Australian bands did you grow up listening to?
You Am I were a big part of my youth, as well as the Dirty Three after I saw them at Homebake when it used to be on the Gold Coast. I was also introduced to The Beasts of Bourbon and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds through one of my teachers. This was all around high school time. Prior to that it was all about The 12th Man and Kevin Bloody Wilson.

b. What’s the first Australian record you bought?
I think it was actually Hi-Fi Way in Year 8, complete with bonus disk. Or it may have been The 12th Man.

c. Who’s your favourite Australian band/artist of all time?
Dirty Three.

d. What’s the most “Australian” record ever produced?
It’s only a mini-LP, but The Scientists Blood Red River always strikes me as uniquely Australian. The same goes for The Saints’ Prehistoric Sounds. That album is pure Brisbane to me, you can practically feel the humidity coming out of the speakers – even though I think it was recorded in London.

Part 3. Current Affairs
a. Who are some of your favourite new Australian bands?
I guess some of these aren’t so new anymore, but I really like The Drones, Pivot, St Helens, The Necks and The Holy Soul.

b. If you could collaborate with one current Australian artist, who would it be, and what would it sound like?
Renee Geyer and it would sound like Serge Gainsbourg, but dirtier. Also I wouldn’t sing on it.

c. Last great local gig you saw.
The Dirty Three and The Laughing Clowns at The Enmore for the Sydney Festival. The Dirty Three did Ocean Songs and it was incredible.

d. Do you think an Australian artist needs to go overseas to succeed?
No, look at “The Finger”! [Powderfinger] I think there is a certain type of Australian artist that needs to go overseas to succeed, the type of artist that cannot “penetrate the mob skull” as Dave Graney so eloquently put it.

Part 4. Multiple Choice
a. Dan Sultan or Dan Kelly?
Both of them, at once. I’m just watching.

b. Dylan Lewis or Jane Gazzo?
As far as I’m aware Gazzo was never in a white funk band called The Brown Hornet, so I’ll pick her.

c. ‘I Am Australia’ or ‘Still Call Australia Home’?
Neither. ‘Redback on the Toilet Seat’ for me. Although ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ was in the Great Aussie Shower Songbook, which I had when I was a kid. It was made out of rubber, so you could take it in the shower with you. ‘Redback on the Toilet Seat’ was also in it.

d. Double Dare or It’s a Knockout? It’s a Knockout. No question there!

e. Pie or sausage roll?
I will always take a good quality pie over a sausage roll any day of the week. However, if the choice is between a Mrs Macs servo pie and a sausage roll, I will take the sausage roll.

f. Radio Birdman or The Beasts of Bourbon?
The Beasts for sure. They have such a unique Australian sound. I can’t really say the same for Radio Birdman, probably because they have a yank guitarist.

g. RocKwiz or Spicks and Specks?
Spicks and Specks. Alan Brough is a funny bastard. Also, I never get to see much RocKwiz because it’s on in an inconvenient timeslot.

h. Rose Tattoo or The Angels?
I don’t really like either of them.

i. Presets or Cut Copy?
The Presets all the way! They’ve sold way more albums. Also known as “The Pre-Sales”.

j. Pat Rafter or Pat Cash?
Pat Cash by a mile. Rafter is just too nice.

The Mess Hall duo of Jed Kurzel (right) and Cec Condon (left) back in the day!

Continuing re-posting old Mess + Noise stuff and the third one under under the title of Citizenship Tests. Some reason I’ve not taken note of the date when this one was first published by them and it really was to hard to find all this stuff so I’m not trying again but I guess it would be in my history somewhere? Anyone does anyone even care? It would be around the year 2010, I think?

The Mess Hall band are no longer with us too but drummer Cec Condon does have a new band called Roadhouses, here’s the facebook page and video clip just above. Plus it seems the other bloke in the band has gone to Hollywood doing movie scores now. Jed Kurzel is his name and has done a couple movies starring Michael Fassbender. Also just above is his end credits to the Aussie film for the insane based on a true story movie Snowtown.

BTW today is #AusMusicTShirtDay so put on and wear an Aussie artist/band/act t-shirt!

Once again I’ve picked out the Aussie tunes above to go with all Cec’s answers and do hope you enjoy them?

Cheers 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s