The Record Collection

Roaring Jack: The Complete Works (1987-91)

Jump-up Records 004 (2002)

Track list:

mini-LP “Street Celtability” (1987)
01 – The Old Divide and Rule
02 – Buy Us a Drink
03 – Wild Rover Again
04 – Yuppietown
05 – Ballad of 1975
06 – Shell Shocked Crowd

“The Cat Among The Pigeons” (1988)
07 – Uisge Beatha
08 – Love in the Modern Age
09 – Lights of Sydney Town
10 – The Day That The Boys Came Down
11 – The Lass Behind The Beeertaps
12 – Go, Leave
13 – Destitution Road
14 – The Swaggies Have All Waltzed Matilda Away
15 – Moving On
16 – Playing for the Traffic
17 – The Thin Red Line
18 – The Cat Among The Pigeons
19 – Lads of the BLF
+ b-side
20 – Honkey Tonk in Heaven

“Through The Smoke Of Innocence” (1990)
01 – Girl on a Gate
02 – Song of Choice
03 – Her Latest Affectation
04 – Ways of a Rover
05 – Lass from Yarrow
06 – October Wind
07 – Polythene Flowers
08 – Child’s Play
09 – The Bonny Wee Well
10 – Take Away Love
11 – A Stranger and a Friend
12 – Shot Down in Flames
13 – Just Like Cigarettes
14 – The Ball of Yarn
+single “Framed/Criminal Justice” (1991)
15 – Framed
16 – Criminal Justice


Alistair Hulett – guitar, vocals
Rab Mannell – electric & acoustic guitars, Celt o’caster & cealtern, bouzouki & cittern
Hunter Owens – accordian, mandolin, vocals
Steph Miller – accordian, vocals, mandolin, whistle, zither, dulcimer, cittern & spoons, slide guitar,
Dave Williams – bass, tenor banjo, fiddle
Steve Thompson – drums, bodhran, lagerphone
Rod Gilchrist – drums

Cover notes written by Alistair Hulett:

During the four years these recordings were made, Roaring Jack was involved in more than a few political campaigns.

Some, like the fight to overturn the Labour Government’s de-registration of the Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) and the workers’ occupation of the repair yard on Cockatoo island, ended in defeat.

On the other hand, the victorious campaign exposing the frame-up of Tim Anderson (CEFTA) was one of the sweetest moments in the political life of most of us on the Left in Sydney.

It was great to be a part of it all, and listening again to these songs brings back a flood of memories.

In particular, it reminds us all of the two band members who can’t be around to enjoy the craic with us anymore.

The surviving members of Roaring Jack would like to dedicate this collection to the memory of Steve Thompson and Rod Gilchrist.

Sleep on tender comrades.

Really, the only tracks missing from The Complete Works are 1989’s 7″ version of ‘The Swaggies Have All Waltzed Matilda Away’ (different from the album version) and its b-side, ‘Song of a Drinking Man’s Wife (No Half Measures)’.

01 Street Celtabillity: 1987 – Mighty Boy MBEP 0002 EP
02 The Cat Among The Pigeons: 1988 – Mighty Boy MBLP 7007 LP
03 The Cat Among The Pigeons: 1988 – Mighty Boy MBCD 7007 — CD release w/4-bonus tracks
04 The Thin Red Line & Honky Tonks In Heaven: 1988 – Mighty Boy MB 20127
05 Destitution Road & Just Like Cigarettes: 1988 – Mighty Boy MB 20177
06 The Swaggies Have All Waltzed Matilda Away & No Half Measures: 1989 – Mighty Boy MB 20247
07 Through The Smoke Of Innocence: 1990 – Mighty Boy MBLP 7016 LP
08 Through The Smoke Of Innocence: 1990 – Mighty Boy MBCD 7016 — CD release w/2-bonus tracks
09 Framed & Criminal Justice: 1991 – Mighty Boy MB 203012

The Cat Among the Pigeons (1988)
Producer: Roaring Jack, Tony Espie
Recorded and Mixed by: Tony Espie
Mastered Leon Zervos at Studio 301, Sydney, Australia.
Through the Smoke of Innocence (1990)
Produced, Recorded and Mixed by: Tony Espie

Roaring Jack is an Australian Celtic punk/Folk punk band of the 1980s and 1990s.

The band formed in 1985 and played their first shows in Sydney in 1986.

Original members were Alistair Hulett (acoustic guitar and vocals), Dave Williams (bass), Steve Thompson (drums), Bob (Rab) Mannell (electric guitar and bouzouki) and Hunter Owens (accordion/mandolin and vocals).

Owens was later replaced by Steven (Steph) Miller on the same instruments and on vocals. Rod Gilchrist replaced Steve Thompson on drums after the recording of their first album.

The band split in 1992. Alistair Hulett then enjoyed a successful solo career as an internationally recognised folk musician.

Steph Miller formed his own band, The Wickermen in 1991 and spent most of the 1990s as a multi-instrumentalist in the successful Sydney band, Eva Trout.

Steph released a solo CD, Strange Sea, in 2004.

Alistair Hulett died of liver failure and cancer on January 28, 2010.
—wikipedia (Nov 2012)