the Hummingbirds: c/d

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One of Australia's greatest powerpop bands. They had fantastic songs, three part boy/girl harmonies, massively overbudget Mitch Easter-produced albums (that IMO rate among the best powerpop records ever) and their song "Blush" still blows me away 15 years after hearing it for the first time.

So, have you heard them? Do you rate them?

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Saturday, 19 April 2003 12:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i've only heard evan dando's cover, it was nice.

keith (keithmcl), Saturday, 19 April 2003 14:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"words gets around" does it for me

Jens (brighter), Saturday, 19 April 2003 15:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Love Buzz" remains one of my all-time 99-cent-bin scores. Classic, for sure.

M Specktor (M Specktor), Saturday, 19 April 2003 16:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i find hummingbirds records in every second hand bin in every australian town i go to. either they pressed a lot of them, or people don't have taste. now, "2 minutes with a good man in niagra falls" - what a great song. they certainly knew how to make a pop song. they were good live, too.

the sly persuader, Saturday, 19 April 2003 16:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...
bump for ned. have you heard these guys?

electric sound of jim (and why not) (electricsound), Friday, 12 May 2006 04:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

i downloaded this on a whim from some blog, about a month ago. and, oh boy. am i glad i did! i am absolutely head over heels in love with this! i've been listening to this constantly, ever since.

esoj's description in the original post does it for me. let me just mention "tuesday". that's my personal favorite from this album. these guys just knew how to write some great pop songs, i'm telling 'ya.

if you're gonna slsk this, let me recommended going for the split the did with ratcat too, that's very nice, as well.

i need to hear everything this band has ever done. i'll be looking into other projects these people have been involved with, too.

this is one i need to track down on actual cd or vinyl.

andi, Sunday, 20 May 2007 17:07 (ten years ago) Permalink

oh, and i was talking about 'lovebuzz' in that post.

andi, Sunday, 20 May 2007 17:10 (ten years ago) Permalink


come on. who else loves this band? someone at least tell me that they're going to look into them.

andi, Monday, 21 May 2007 07:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

all of their records are worth looking into, with the possible exception of the EP with "you just gotta know my mind" on it

electricsound, Monday, 21 May 2007 08:14 (ten years ago) Permalink

I listened to my copy of "Alimony" a couple of weeks ago: I still love it but in that "oh how I used to love this single" kind of way.

It was a bit upsetting actually.

"Two Weeks with a Good Man in Niagara Falls" was brilliant.

mrlynch, Monday, 21 May 2007 09:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

Aw, 'I Scream' on 'You Just Gotta Know..." is pretty amusing.

I actually really like the two EPs they released after 'Va Va Voom' - 'Gone.' and 'tail'- best. A couple of the tracks are real "wall of sound" gems.

Simon I think is still producer for hire and I last saw Robyn St Clare's name in the writing credits for a couple of songs on this :

SeekAltRoute, Monday, 21 May 2007 10:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

i'll be looking into other projects these people have been involved with, too.

you might not find what you want. most of what Simon's done since is not especially pop-song-oriented, mainly soft introspective songs or long guitar jams that kinda rule live but you never feel like listening to on record, ever. the Her Name In Lights record was kinda like the Alannah end of Hummingbirds though I s'pose, amiable girly vocals wandering through spring grass. (that's with Mary Wyer from Even As We Speak writing and singing, and Alison Galfunk on drums). If you like the Hummingbirds and want to try some of Simon's straight production, the first Modern Giant EP is probably a good first stop, you'll see why by the fourth word. though he actually plays on that too. the (first proper) Noise Addict EP was actually pretty poppy, but that was like two seconds after the H'birds split so he was still in that mode. most of his production work is on standard Synneyindie bands. though I think he might have done Custard early on.

go backwards for Robyn (though you have to really, she's barely done anything publicly since they split [though that HAC fake-comp is good fun]) - the Love Positions album is very much proto-attitudinal for the Hummingbirds, and you get the original versions of both Into Your Arms and Don't Go Now.

energy flash gordon, Monday, 21 May 2007 10:54 (ten years ago) Permalink

though though though though though.

energy flash gordon, Monday, 21 May 2007 10:57 (ten years ago) Permalink

oh wow, i didn't realise the her name in lights and even as we speak connection. love even as we speak, haven't gotten around to her name in lights yet, but now i probably will soon.

yeah, i thought i read that simon hasn't really done anything so interesting since hummingbirds (or, at least that would be so interesting to me). i really love when the girls get lead vocals on the songs, so i'm definitely just more interested in hearing what else they've done. i'm just a sucker for girly indie pop. what i love about the hummingbirds though, is that they kind of have that going on maybe like, a third of the time, but the songs just sort of rock really hard or something, and the production on 'lovebuzz' is just so over-the-top. the guitars are so loud and so great. this isn't really indie rock, or indie pop, or twee pop though, is it? it's power pop or pop underground or something? i have it tagged in itunes as pop underground, along with like, teenage fanclub and one other thing. i really wanna find out about more bands like this, if there are any. . . ?

yeah, though. love this band. sad how forgotten they seem. i mean, i've been into things kind of a lot like this for a couple years now, and i'm only just finding out about them.

andi, Monday, 21 May 2007 15:18 (ten years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

bump for ned. have you heard these guys?

Well, four years after the fact here but I did randomly find a copy of loveBUZZ for a buck the other day.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 05:16 (seven years ago) Permalink


lemon lime & butters (electricsound), Tuesday, 1 June 2010 05:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

I got loveBUZZ for a couple dollars used on Amazon a while back. The instrumental sections on "Everything You Said" are awesome.

skip, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 05:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

i've only heard evan dando's cover, it was nice.

btw what was this?

Señor Communications Adviser (sic), Tuesday, 1 June 2010 05:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

i thot he meant 'into yr arms'

beach sluts (electricsound), Tuesday, 1 June 2010 05:46 (seven years ago) Permalink

ah, makes sense

(not a Hummingbirds song, readers)

Señor Communications Adviser (sic), Tuesday, 1 June 2010 06:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

sly persuader was OTM up there: I remember getting Lovebuzz in a supermarket in Brisbane in 1991 and Va Va Voom in Geelong JB Hifi in 1993, ie. both a couple of years after release, and both for peanuts. I still retain these childhood memories but remember little else about these vacations.

I really liked them, or at least the IDEA of them - faintly off-key boy-girl vocals and a sound that one of them claimed grew out of attempt to sound like JAMC's "Never Understand". I remember "Blush" being something of a crossover hit and it felt, genuinely, like the proverbial breath of fresh air on the TV and radio, in a way that presaged Ratcat's and then Nirvana's surprise success a little bit later. Their A-sides were great. Both of those albums, at something like 14 tracks each, probably could have lost a couple of the weaker tracks and arguably some of Mitch Easter's bells and whistles though.

I must listen again to that late Gone EP too - some pretty "wall of sound" moments, as someone already said...

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 07:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

i listened to 'gone' and 'tail' recently after not having heard them for years, sounded great. to this day i still don't know if that (awesome) 4th song on tail is called 'sick on' or 'sick on self pity'

electricsound, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 07:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

woah this brings back memories. Blush was bloody grebt.

... what ever happened to that andi character?

property-disrespecting Moroccan handjob (Trayce), Tuesday, 1 June 2010 11:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

i had lovebuzz on cassette in high school and then lost it -- would love to hear it again. used to love "word gets around" so so so much.

an outlet to express the dark invocations of (La Lechera), Tuesday, 1 June 2010 13:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Snagged the best-of for a buck the other month so it's fun hearing the early songs like "Alimony" and "Everything You Said" here.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 16 February 2012 18:13 (five years ago) Permalink

Blush was a pretty much perfect powerpop single. Must dig out the 12".

Viva Brother Beyond (ithappens), Thursday, 16 February 2012 18:17 (five years ago) Permalink

everything they put out was great

are you ready for a little spittle? (electricsound), Thursday, 16 February 2012 21:31 (five years ago) Permalink

i still miss that album

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Thursday, 16 February 2012 21:40 (five years ago) Permalink

this video is pretty ott goofy though, let's be honest
i guess that's kinda cute

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Thursday, 16 February 2012 21:44 (five years ago) Permalink

^^record company fiddling

are you ready for a little spittle? (electricsound), Thursday, 16 February 2012 21:56 (five years ago) Permalink

One can only hope. Would have loved to see the pitch meeting for that one.

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Thursday, 16 February 2012 22:00 (five years ago) Permalink

for foreign readers: Simon and Alannah are currently both in The Aerial Maps, and the Hummingbirds played two reunion shows last year (one festival with five original-era members not including Robyn, and one headline about nine months later with a ring-in bassist [and bonus ring-in gtrst on one song])

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Thursday, 16 February 2012 23:11 (five years ago) Permalink

lovebuzz is one of my favorite dollar-bin albums ever.

skip, Friday, 17 February 2012 20:13 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

to this day i still don't know if that (awesome) 4th song on tail is called 'sick on' or 'sick on self pity'

that would be a fecal matter (electricsound), Tuesday, 19 March 2013 13:25 (four years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

I'm rather shocked to learn that Simon Holmes died, and that I didn't realise sooner. :(

Maximum big surprise! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Saturday, 4 November 2017 03:42 (two months ago) Permalink

Big tribute show coming up next month:

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 4 November 2017 07:31 (two months ago) Permalink

the remembrance by Tim Byron that the Graun review quotes might as well be linked directly:

Simon was a warm & sweet guy offstage, and always focused when on. I hadn't seen him since a secret Simon & Allanah / encoring as Hummingbirds gig early last year. Just ten minutes walk from my house, I found out about it half an hour before, when the regular music trivia at another local pub was called off for the week because too many regulars were going to the show. But we didn't talk that night - I was too busy catching up with ppl I might not have seen for years, including the fill-in bassist (at whose encouragement they'd relearnt the songs), folks that had played with him in Fragile and others, and Tim above.

It's better, I think, to have that as a last memory. Instead of saying 'hey' if he was coming out of work as I was passing, or congratulating him on the show, to have been brought together with people from across the city by the chance to see him & Allanah sing.

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Saturday, 4 November 2017 09:54 (two months ago) Permalink

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