Screamfeeder: Cargo Embargo

Published on and Inpress Magazine.


It was more likely winter but my memory, of course, rewrites it as the peak of summer. 

Brisbane, as I always think of it. Slightly yellowed, slightly 1980.

Brisbane, as I always think of it. Slightly yellowed, slightly 1980.

It’s the Griffith University campus bar and I’m here with the Burnside boys and the place is wet and dreadful with bodies. It may be St Pattie’s day, that year they ran green dye through the beer taps and everyone cheered then spewed an ungodly shade of jade.

The point is it’s Brisbane and the kind of place where they make a religion of dancing with your slacks around your ankles when ‘Eagle Rock’ comes on. Maybe it was February 24; my birthday and the night the house got ransacked while we were down the uni pub erasing memories of student fees and tutorials.

The Eagle Rock, somehow Queensland-style.

The Eagle Rock, somehow Queensland-style.

The point is I was pretty shickered, perhaps with green lips when I muscled over to the jukebox and pumped in the money for three selections. Pretty shickered when through excitement and confusion I hit play, play, play on the b-side of a Screamfeeder single that had somehow found its way on to the playlist amongst the Chisel and Daddy Cool. Three times straight ‘The Rat & The Goldfish’ played out to the packed room of pool tables, blokes and their quickly-warming pots. Ten minutes and three seconds of that beautiful sludge-noodle instrumental and a hot room of men-with-sticks alternating between calling the music bullshit and me a faggot. Eventually, Alice Cooper’s ‘Poison’ came on and the place returned to its comfortable semi-violent haze, but I didn’t forget. 

Screamfeeder would be there, resident, over the years. I’ve found E-mails of me buying things direct from the band. Tim Steward telling me he’s going to throw in some stickers and a frisbee to my order, and me trying to talk it cool, thinking ‘frisbee’ was hip-slang for a vinyl record – like Damien calling them black spinners – and saying I can’t wait and that I’ve just got a new stylus. Then the parcel arrives and of course it’s an actual frisbee and I’m feeling like a dick.       

Now, 2011, the kids are still playing it straight – Tim and We All Want To and are touringKellie’s just recorded an album. Screamfeeder have just reclaimed their back catalogue and they’re up and alive on Bandcamp – Cargo Embargo is a proper joy, every b-side and oddity they have, and on 30 Sep it’s released and will be free to the first 100 punters. 


Really, wake early that day, go there, get it, you’ll get ‘The Rat & The Goldfish’, and we will share something important and eternal.

She doesn’t know it, but I’m about to go find Paige in the living room – oh boy, how she hates it was I use her name in these things – and play her that track for the first time. She isn’t into ‘guitar music’ but I know she’s going to go for it. She’s got ears and a heart.     

Honestly, find a babe, play ‘em Screamfeeder, keep them forever. Amen.