OK, I haven’t done a cover song blog post in a little/long while and I can’t believe I’ve not done this before! But seems they’re well, two main members Fiona Kitschin and Gareth Liddiard now calling The Drones now defunct because they have a new band TFS. Anyway might be good time or seems they will not be doing anymore music/covers, I guess? Right time to blog this plus this is like three or four about them in someway or form in the last week or two. I think I’m getting a little over-hyped for TFS brand new album!
Their 2002 debut album Here Come The Lies has no less four covers on the 12 track album. Second song is Dekalb Blues which an old song by Leadbelly was first recorded by the Library of Congress 1935, originally entitled De Kalb Blues:
Third track was The Downbound Train Chuck Berry mid-50’s classic is updated:
Fifth song was New Kind Of Kick wrote by The Cramps:
Seventh was Motherless Children is by far and away the most brutal and was also on 2001 hand to find EP. Motherless Children originally is a traditional Negro spiritual sometime called Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child which dates back 1800’s but 1927 was recorded by Blind Willie Johnson and released as single and also been covered by Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton just to name a couple of the songs performers:
Wild About You: A Tribute To The Australian Rock Underground 1963-1968 was a comp album of early 2000’s Aussie bands doing 60’s song of Aussie songs. The Drones did the opening song on it Believe In Me by The Throb. The one and only place I can find it is on something the free music archive and you stream or download it, linked here and full tracklisting can be found on discogs linked here too.
Around this time mid-2000’s-ish they did do Hendrix’s Manic Depression live on radio somewhere? Maybe, Melbourne which was very manic version after DJ asked Liddiard if he’s OK or something live on air and his replay was “I am, actually I just shat my pants!” At one time you could download it for free from The Drones website but I can’t find it anywhere online right now.
Slammin ‘On The Breaks was written by Spencer P. Jones of 1994’s album Rumor Of Death and covered/released as B-side on the 7″ single The Bird In A Church in 2003 and now can be found on comp album The Miller’s Daughter of 2005:
I think I’ve blog this recently somewhere else? In 2005 they did Hoodoo You Love on Hoodoo Gurus tribute album Stoneage Cameos which is Who Do You Love written by Ellas McDaniel aka Bo Diddley:
In 2005 they did one of my fave Neil Young song Cortez the Killer live in Holland and for some unknown reason YouTube has it in two parts? Was another free download but it was one whole complete track:
John Lennon’s Well Well Well cover was on some but on all versions of album The Miller’s Daughter. Worth to note songs also on The Miller’s Daughter album John Lee Hooker lyrics are used in the song Someone On Your Bond and both John Coltrane and Alan Vaga words are used in I Believe track too but can’t called them covers:
The second last song on 2006’s Gala Mill is Are You Leaving for the Country written by Richard Tucker who married to Karen Dalton who did the best version of this song:
Kim Salmon penned song by Beasts of Bourbon’s Words From A Woman To Her Man covered on radio in 2006 which now can be found on triple j: Like a Version Anthology: Best of:
Rowland S. Howard penned song by These Immortal Souls’ Crowned from the 2006 tribute album A Tribute to Rowland S Howard:
I Drink originally written and sung by Charles Azvanour which they did it on Custom Made EP in 2007:
Around this time for Aussie indie music award show called AIR Martha Wainwright backing band was The Drones for some unknown reason they played Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ 1985 Train Long-Suffering and as far as I know no recordings of it has never, ever popped-up anywhere online but happy smiley face snap:
In 2008 The Meanies, Dan Kelly & The Alpha Males and The Drones all did a 7″ that plays at 33 speed together. It was The Meanies new single for If I Say Uncle and on the flip side The Meanies covers of Dan Kelly And The Alpha Males doing Cruelty’s Fun and The Drones doing Buffalo Free and isn’t on YouTube yet! It’s real and I’m not just making up this crazy shit, it’s on discogs linked here.
Also in 2008 The Drones were support band to Patti Smith’s Sydney Opera House gigs and she dug them so much she invited the whole band to join her band to preform Nirvana’s Smell Like Teen Spirit. This was around the time of Smith’s own cover album Twelve which her album version of the same song was pretty or very mellow. Gary on dirty lead guitar gave it way more of a kick and I remember Fiona played keyboards not something she normally plays but match his guitar and I think Mike and Dan just sung backing vox? I downloaded it at the time somewhere? But can’t find it anywhere online now but I did find a Liddiard interview linked here talking about playing with Smith around the time he did PS’s Horse album live with Adalita, Courtney Barnett and Jen Cloher in 2015. BTW what was sold as Smith’s final Aussie tour a year or two ago, Courtney Barnett was her support and CB joined PS on stage too. BTW Patti is back next year booked to play headliner at Bluesfest 2020 in Easter!
Most likely the cover they performed the most live from 2009 right up to 2016. Is Kev Carmody’s epic River Of Tears track and a more acoustic version can be found on Cannot Buy My Soul – The Songs of Kev Carmody double CD album:
Suicide Is Painless as written by Johnny Mandel or also known as Theme From M.A.S.H. TV show/movie. They covered it in 2009 and second of two JJJ’s like a versions they did and can be found on triple J’s Like A Version Vol. 5. YouTube has the double with their own original song as preformed on JJJ radio the same day an acoustic guitar version Oh My song which can be also found their Havilah album of 2008:
In 2010 they did Long Gone Whistle was was the title track on triple CD comp album sub-titled The Songs Of Maurice Frawley as tribute album put together by Paul Kelly for his late great old mate:
Also in 2010 Joel Silbersher joins The Drones live on stage to play an epic version of his old band GOD’s song My Pal. It was for a gig called “Last drinks at the Tote”, a Melbourne pub that was closing down which has re-opened since. BTW when The Drones moved from Perth W.A. to Victoria in early 2000’s bass player Fi Kitschin worked behind the bar of Tote to pay the rent:
In 2011 Aussie tour The Drones were joining by Adalita and J.P. Shilo who were supporting to play encore cover of Bob Dylan’s Oh Sister originally from his 1976 Desire:
2013 on another Aussie tour for encores The Drones was joined by support band Harmony for Diamonds In The Mine by Leonard Cohen, originally from his 1975 album Songs Of Love And Hate. When Cohen passed away in 2016 it was back in their setlist like their finally Melbourne show in November at the Melbourne Town Hall they ended their last hometown show with this Cohen cover. This is pretty shit sound compared to everything else above:
BTW at the last Mel gig the second last song was Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun. A Pink Floyd cover from A Saucerful of Secrets album of 1968 but no ones has uploaded that to YouTube yet? Just to proves they’re NOT a cover band because this does seem like a hell of a lot them? The final W.A. show was in November at Fremantle Town Hall and they didn’t play any covers at all, I was at it and here’s a link to what I say back then. The final The Drones show ever was in Sydney in December 2016 at Fairgrounds fest which was sold as a bit of a festival for the whole family, bring all your little kids. They did announced “this is going to be the final Drones show for a while” and then off course quietly broken up!
I’ve collected everything above and I don’t why I say can be found here and there because almost all of it is on YouTube for free! Well, that’s it until maybe a reunion tour or something in a few years time?
Please remember the brand album by ex-Drones Gary and Fi (without any fuckin’ covers on it) Braindrops by Tropical Fuck Storm is out this Friday!
P.S. I’m having the rest of this month off blogging!