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An Extensive History of The Cannanes
Dramatis personæ : Who ~ are/ were/ could be/ will be/ The Cannanes?

CANNANES MEMBERS: If you attend a live show you will quite possibly see a combination of Core, Regular & or Gold Star Contributors on stage ~ as well as the occasional glimmering guest : what follows is the beginning of an attempt to explain some of the main players in our saga : if you feel left out - rest assured we are endeavouring to fill the gaps ASAP - send us a photo if you don't like the one we've used... It's all very confusing ~ even for us!

CORE CANNANES

Frances 'Sputnik' Gibson (Vocals, Bass, Casio, Flute, Synthesizer: Getting us places)

photo Fran
Learnt to play flute as a child and watched her sister Ruth mime to Suzie Quatro records. Her band experience begun as part of a backing vocal trio known as "The Palmer Street Trio" very rare backing vocals with the "Lighthouse Keepers" and later in life she decided to play bass with the "Cannanes" before moving on to lead vocal, keyboard and flute duties. Fancies herself as something of a songwriter these days

Stephen 'Hairy' O'Neil (Guitar, Vocals, Casio, Sad trumpet: Persistence)

photo Hair

His first band was "Guthugga Pipeline" who started in Canberra around 1978 and also went by the names "Manic Rhythm", "The Human Salamanders", and "Manic Pipeline". Also whilst living in Canberra he played with "The Grant Brothers", moving to Sydney in 1983 to join "The Particles", and later that year "The Lighthouse Keepers".
Has played with ATV, Even As We Speak, Great Men Gather Together, Sweet Young Things, Teapot, The Pop Up Toasters, Sleater-Kinney, Jamalia and occasionally plays with Ashtray Boy, Flywheel, and El Duende. Has recently played a number of Lighthouse Keepers re-unions and performed as a member of The Living Dead in 'Van Park the Musical' and as well as guest spots with New Estate, Vacant Lot et al.

 

REGULARS

Andrew Coffey (Bass, Drums, Guitar, Vocals: Technical genius!)

photo Andy

Was introduced to guitar through the magic of rock solid catholic hymns in year 4, but soon progressed to play in a few bands around the steel city of Newcastle. His first serious band was Gouache and others include The Lone Gunman and Ranger Abel. He fulfilled his lifelong dream in August '98 when he was asked to join his favourite band... The Cannanes!

Andy is now expert in the web and fonts and stuff and gave our website a major overhaul some years back, though presently on an extended break from live work due to paternal responsibilities, he has managed to join us for recording dates in 2013? & 2016 and a few excellent cameo appearances at U.S. shows in mid 2016 - we hope to see him back on stage with us again some time in the not too distant future!

Bon King (Drums, Vocals: Inspiration)

Animal lover and Drummer in the superb El Mopa and singer/ guitarist/drummer with the also superb A Gold Star Secret and much other fine session work - Bon was no doubt a professional from birth!

Now expert in alternative energy, sheep, bees + growing stuff. He belongs to the local brass band and doing his darndest to create a utopian self sufficient paradise in Central Victoria

David Nichols (Art, Drums, Vocals, Programming: Ideas & Inspiration!)

photo Davo

The Cannanes would not exist without David Nichols - always helping out with advice, art, lyrics, technical assistance and criticism... he should really be up in the Core Cannane section but maybe that would confuse matters? David is an original Cannane and can now no longer escape his destiny and will always be part of the essence of the band no matter how much he might try to avoid it... He is now an academic at the University of Melbourne, author of various works including The Go-Betweens [A Biography] and Dig : Australian rock and pop music 1960-85 [an encyclopaedia!]. David plays drums with a number of bands. Read all about his life at his Lorraine Crescent blog

 

Guy Blackman (Bass, Keys)

Chapter Records maestro, music journalist, musician, and occasional Cannane. Guy appears to be in the heart of the Melbourne scene and his tentacles cross the globe

James Dutton (Guitar, Bass, Vocals: Rockin)

photo Jam E

Seen here in Howard Moon mode - trying out a Theremin in Chicago. James joined us on our '98 US tour and has been adding class to many or our shows and tours ever since

Some of you will be familiar with James from his other outfits the late great Ruff Buff, Flywheel (aka Safety Valve), Deep Country and Ancient Egyptian gods The Tut Tut Kyngs - not to mention those cruise ship favourites Razzmatazz

Nick Ketley (Bass & maybe Sax?)

Nick played with Stephen in the band Guthugga Pipeline back in the late 70s early 80s? and played his first show with The Cannanes at The Grace Darling in 2015 and many since!

Penny McBride (Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Maracas : Goodness)

photo Pen
Just some of Pennys bands are: Box Freezer Romance, Glovebox, Exploding Happiness, Ashtray Boy, The Hoo Haas and El Duende. Penny is a regular on the Newtown scene though luckily for us she has been joining us for most of our shows and tours this century-when not chilling out in India or Indonesia!

Stephen Hermann [aka Explosion Robinson] (Bass, Guitar, Keyboards: Studio Production)

photo Explosion
We met Steve when he was still a student and we got to play with the magnificent Sukpatch up in Minneapolis way back when... ['96 it was]. Now he runs NYC Studio Explosion Robinson. He is a highly accomplished audio / visual genius who rarely appears with us live but is always there with us in spirit. Explosion is well known in the US as a seminal member of Sukpatch; his solo work [as Explosion Robinson], and production work with other artists particularly on the LA based label Slabco. See his cd The Luxury Leader on Slabco + visit his site for some groovy A/V (link on our links page). Now Director of sound studio in Manhattan Expert in SOUNDS

Stewart Anderson (aka Steward) (Drums, Guitar, Keys, Percussion, Vocals: The UK connection)

photo Stew

Is from Leeds UK, back in the 90's Boyracer took the world by storm - these days Stew runs the 555 record label has expanded his workload to play in bands far too numerous to mention here check out his website (see links page)

Stew is currently being a cowboy in Arizona! Running the ranch with the genius musician and writer (and Gold Star Cannane!) Jen Turrell and the delightful Myffy and Ms Tallulah.... expect to see him working with The Cannanes some time in the twentytens

 

GOLD STAR CONTRIBUTORS

Annabel Bleach (Lead Vocals: Early Years)

Picture on it's way

Annabel was our first lead vocalist back when Fran G. was on bass. As well as being an acknowledged expert on pop culture she presently lives in Australia and has a job propping up the NSW government. Rumour has it she may sing a song at the 40th anniversary!

Ben Donaldson (Muse/Member)

Picture on it's way
Ben was a member of the Newtown Sounds who would go on to merge with The Cannanes for a brief period becoming the group known as 'The Cannanes meet the Newtown Sounds' - according to the History of The Cannanes Part 1, Ben was the drummer for the first TCMTNS 1st gig on the 15th of February 1985. Ben was also the inspiration for early Cannanes songs and has continued over the decades to provide support and inspiration to the band ~ oh and he

Francesca Bussey (Bass, Keys, Vocals: Inspiration)

Picture on it's way
Musician, theatre producer, and soon to be history teacher. Francesca lives in Melbourne and is often seen dancing wildly around her large back garden

G Roy (Bass, Guitar: Grunt)

photo Gus

 

photo GRoy

The artist formerly known as Gavin was the singer in Canberra band "Guthugga Pipeline" with Stephen way back when...

A Cannane for several years in the 90's, Gavin came back in the mid noughties and then left again!

He plays with other outfits such as Egyptian Psychedelic Gods The Tut Tut Kyngs , and used to play in Flywheel and with Cannane David Nichols outfit The Grey Tapes

During the day Gavin assists visually impaired people to find books of their dreams. In his free time he writes and indulges in what is sometimes known as The Sport of Kings

Greg Wadley (Synthesizer, drums, live sound: Vision)

photo Greg

Greg does an incredible amount of live mixing + studio recording and mastering for Melbourne bands and other indie punk / pop / experimental scenes. He runs a label called Spill (see links page) and plays with The Hi God People, New Waver and Solids amongst many others past and present

Greg has been involved in many facets of The Cannanes for years now (live performance, live mixing, and studio work) ~ and has even been known to join us on Synth while mixing Front of House!

When he has a moment free he moves from one flat in Carlton to another, just to keep us guessing!

Ian McNeil (Bass)

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Moved back to Canberra where he is now an award winning fancy schmancy chef in the nation's capital.

Ivor Moulds (Drums & more)

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CONTENT NEEDED

Jen Turrell (Bass, Drums: Red Square Records honcho)

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Musician, writer, Jen lives in Flagstaff Arizona. Her varied musical excursions include running Red Square Records, 555 Records + playing and recording with Possum Moods, Boyracer etc. Time spent in Jen's company is always illuminating and a delight. Jen has joined us live a few times and also took part in the Kitchen Sessions

 

Jim Woff (Bass)

photo Woffy

Despite his constant refrain of 'shut up', Woffy as he is known is now an internet addict despite never having seen a computer till 2010. He plays in the esteemed Sydney group Crow and is possibly the only person we know to have lived in the same house in Sydney for 100 years. Whoever owns that house has clearly never done an inspection.

Lance Hillier (Multi Instrumentalist/Recording Engineer/Producer/Founder member of the Bendigo Unemployed Musicians Society)

Picture on it's way

Lance played on and engineered our tenth album Howling at All Hours. Depending on what day it is Lance will be an expert barista, sommelier, cartographer, guitarist or luckily for us producer and engineer.

Central Victoria would not be the same without this unpredictable genius!

Mia Schoen (Bass)

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Mia has played live written music for and recorded with the Cannanes .... The indomitable spirit and talent of Mia Schoen is as some might say 'awesome'. Her paintings and band New Estate are intriguing, confronting, humorous and pretty bloody good. Mia is an inspiration to the Australian public!

Michael Nichols (Co-writer/Dancer/Interviewer)

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Davids brother Michael has written numerous brilliant songs in olden and modern times, which the band have recorded and performed live over the years + hope to do more in the future! Michael also appears in the documentary film Short Poppy Syndrome Interviewing the band in 1990? and dancing in a live performance filmed at their house in Cope Street Redfern

Michelle Cannane (Tambourine & Vocals perhaps Guitar?)

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The Cannanes would not have existed without Michelle!..... Michelle is doing her bit to assist in the process of giving bits of Australia back to the Aboriginal people of Australia, currently back in Sydney after a long stint living in Derby Western Australia ....... Where would we be without her!

Nick Kidd (Bass & French Horn)

photo Nick

CONTENT NEEDED

Randall Lee (Bass, Guitar, Vocals: Enthusiasm)

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Continues to expand his Ashtray Boy empire with US, Australian and New Zealand lineups of the band and also does rad stuff with the ocean (he's an oceanographer by trade!).

Sally Cameron (Vocals, Keys)

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CONTENT NEEDED

Simon Williams [aka Crayola aka Crayola Sarandon] (Bass)

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Graphic designer, artist, songwriter, musician in Sarandon. Simon heads the U.K. connection for the Cannanes and has generously provided musician skills as well as lyrics from afar.

World expert in beer photography - he is also General Secretary at CAMRGB [ The Campaign for Really Good Beer ] which makes him a very useful companion in the English pub!

Susan Grigg (Violin & Keys)

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CONTENT NEEDED

 

HONOURABLE MENTIONS + CANNANES FOR A DAY (or sometimes Two!)

Over the years we have been lucky enough to receive usually much needed help from folk we may have neglected to thank elsewhere on our website, quite often these people gave up a good chunk of time to help us out with shows, tours or recording projects, herewith a no doubt incomplete list and inadequate mention.

Adam Garcia (Drummer Extraordinaire!)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Adam Hervey (Bass & Inspiration)

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Funny Adam H should sit next to Adam G as they both play in the most amazing Timonium - check out some of their music here - Sorry no proper bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Adam Yee (Bass & so much more!)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Alsy MacDonald (Guest Drums early days)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Calvin Johnson (Song co-writing & K label honcho + )

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Calvin is one of the lynchpins of the Cannanes story, providing us with lyrics in the early days as well as helping put together shows for us and sharing the stage with us on numerous occasions. Sorry no pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Cameron Smith (Drums)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Captain Houdini (Inspiration: Early years)

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Not only did the captain give us the name for our 1st 12" - he also collaborated on some recordings that will we hope one day see the of light of day again

Carlos Icaza (Drums/Percussion)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Erica Bricking (Bass)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Foxy Humdinger (Dreamy Drums: Early years)

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Our mate Houd had a dream that his mate Foxy was on stage playing with The Cannanes, the dream became a reality on 17th May '86, while Davo was overseas Foxy did the honours, he probably should be up in the Goldstar section... when last heard of was selling travel in Nottingham ~ SHOUT OUT!

Geoff Towner (Bass & Guitar)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Gordon Renouf (Saxophone)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS ... set up and now runs the Darwin Legal Centre. Nick - works for a large law firm in Sydney but did Frans job whilst we undertook the 2nd US tour.

Ian White (Co-writer)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

J Neo (Emergency bassist)

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San Francisco '99 - Last show of U.S. leg of our world tour

Mark Monnone (Bassist)

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Mark helped us out at our A love affair with nature re-issue launch at Melbournes Legendary Tote Hotel in 2016. We hope to have a chance to form a musical collaboration with Mark some time again in the not too distant

Michael Nichols (Co-writer)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Neil Michka (Guest Guitarist)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Patty Stirling (Co-writer + Violin & Vocals)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Rhea Flaten (Drums & Friendship)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS!

Robin Miles (Vocals circa Love Affair)

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Sorry no bio or pic yet ~ just a big THANKS works for TAFE and still dabbles in music.

Shintaro Kiyonari (Bass +Guitar +Tour Manager!)

photo Shintaro
CONTENT NEEDED

Tom Greenhalgh (Drums)

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Sarandon member Tom did a wonderful job on drums during our UK mini tour in 2010 ~ we hope to have the pleasure of playing with Tom again some day.

Yannick Slade-Caffarel (Pre Teen Guest guitarist)

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Yannick since his pre-teens? has joined us on stage on several memorable occasions - and we hope again sometime soon!

Zak Engel (2013 Chickfactor multi instrumentalist)

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Zak helped us out big time in 2013 learning a whole set [which he did damned fast!] to play one show at the Chickfactor 21st Festival held at The Bell House Brooklyn

 

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