11 March 2011

Alistair Hulett Tribute Album

A new album pays tribute to the songs and to the legacy of Alistair Hulett.

Many luminaries of the folk music world - along with some bright young talents - are assembled on Love, Loss and Liberty: The Songs of Alistair Hulett. It features both specially recorded and previously released tracks. Artists include June Tabor, Roy Bailey, Rory McLeod and the Irish Rovers, along with Niamh Parsons, James Fagan & Nancy Kerr, Sydney City Trash and Handsome Young Strangers. There is added poignancy on a couple of tracks that feature the lamented voice of Alistair himself.

You can get your copy from the Alistair Hulett website, with all proceeds being directed into the Alistair Hulett Memorial Fund.


12 December 2010


Great gig at the Botany View Hotel (King Street, Newtown) tonight!

Steph Miller and the Winter Station are up first (6.30 pm), followed by Handsome Young Strangers. The evening culminates in a massed gathering of musicians ripping through the music of Sydney City Trash and Roaring Jack.

No cover charge.

Should be huge!

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25 November 2010

Radio National's Alistair Hulett Documentary

A special episode of the ABC Radio National programme Into the Music will focus on the life and work of Alistair Hulett.

Produced by Lea Redfern and hosted by Robyn Johnston, the episode is entitled 'Alistair Hulett 1951-2010: The Politics and the Poetry'. It tells the story of Alistair's life and musical career. There are interviews with key people in Alistair's life including his sister, Alison, and his partner, Fatima. Then there's the music! The programme features a wealth of Alistair's music, including many long-lost live recordings of both Roaring Jack and Alistair solo.

The programme will be first broadcast on ABC Radio National at 5pm (AEST) on Saturday 27 November 2010. It will be repeated on Sunday, 28th November at 1 am, and on Friday 3rd December at 3pm.

You can 'Listen Live' at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/. After the initial broadcast, the program will be audio streamed at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/intothemusic/ for a month.

Further details - including the track listing - can be seen at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/intothemusic/stories/2010/3038042.htm.

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24 November 2010

Roaring Jack on iTunes

Great news!

Roaring Jack’s Complete Works can now be purchased online via iTunes:


Alistair Hulett’s solo albums - as well as the albums Alistair recorded with Dave Swarbrick and with the Malkies - are also available via iTunes.

Plans are afoot to have copies of the Roaring Jack and Alistair Hulett CDs re-pressed. We will post on the blog when we have more information about this.

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01 July 2010

Steph Miller Gig This Weekend

Steph Miller and the Winter Station will make an all-too-rare appearance this Sunday night, 4 July 2010.

They're headlining at the Lansdowne Hotel, Broadway, Sydney. The action kicks off at 6pm with Rani's Fire, followed by Dan Hopkins & the Generous Few at 7pm and Susan Hurley and the Hurricanes at 8pm. Steph Miller and the Winter Station come on at 9pm.

Steph's band consists of Phil Blatch on bass and vocals, Browny on guitar and vocals, and Tully Ryan on drums.

Should be a big evening of folk, blues, roots and rock!


10 March 2010

Audio Tributes

Several radio shows and podcasts have paid tribute to Alistair Hulett recently. They feature the music of Alistair Hulett and Roaring Jack, and in some cases play rare live tracks. Check out the following:

ABC Radio National, The Music Show, 6 February 2010: Alistair Hulett Remembered (mp3)

ABC Radio National, Music Deli, 5 February 2010: The Music of Alistair Hulett (audio no longer available)

Barnacle Brian, The Scallywag Show with Barnacle Brian: Tribute to Alistair Hulett (Part I: the Roaring Jack years) (mp3)

Rory Dubdhara, Radio Rebel Gael, February 2010, The February Fenian Fandango (mp3)

Hugh Morrison, Pure Brilliant Podcast, Show #22, Tribute to Alistair Hulett (mp3)

David Rovics, On the Road with David Rovics, 23 February 2010, The Songs of Alistair Hulett (mp3)

Please let us know if there are any we have missed.

13 February 2010

The First Sydney Tribute to Alistair Hulett

Socialist Alternative is staging a memorial event for Alistair Hulett on Sunday 14 February 2010.

The memorial takes place at the Gaelic Club, 64 Devonshire Street, Sydney, between 3pm and 6pm.

It will be an opportunity for people to catch up and to share their memories of Alistair. Speakers include Tim Anderson (the activist for whom Roaring Jack's 'Framed' was written) and representatives from the Cockatoo Island Shop Committee, the Free Bougainville Campaign and the Maritime Union of Australia.

There will be live music, and an open mike for anyone who feels the need to celebrate Alistair's life through words or song.

01 February 2010

Tributes to Alistair

Since Alistair's passing, numerous friends, fans and comrades have shared their memories of Alistair. The many touching tributes include the following:

Robin Denselow (The Guardian), 'Alistair Hulett Obituary'

Bruce Elder (Sydney Morning Herald), 'A Musician of Talent and Conviction'

Duroyan Fertl, 'Vale - Alistair Hulett'

Diane Fieldes, 'Alistair Hulett - Comrade and Friend'

John Kilbride, 'Glasgow Folk Musician Alistair Hulett Remembered'

Chris Mair, 'Alistair Hulett'

Dave Riley, 'Socialist Alliance Tribute to Alistair Hulett'

Jimmy Ross, 'Alistair Hulett, 1951-2010: Musician, Activist, Socialist'

David Rovics, 'In Memory of Alistair Hulett: Scottish Singer and Socialist'

Will Swan, 'In Memory of Alistair Hulett'

John Tognolini, 'Vale Alistair Hulett'

Legendary activist Tim Anderson has set up a Tribute to Alistair Hulett on Facebook, and this is a tremendous source of funny and touching memories of Alistair.

I will update this entry as more tributes come to light.

29 January 2010

Alistair Hulett, 1951-2010

With great sadness I relay the news that Alistair Hulett passed away on Thursday 28 January (Friday 29 January, Sydney time) in Southern General Hospital, Glasgow.

Alistair died peacefully following a brief illness.

He had recently returned to Glasgow after several months working in Australia, during which time he played several shows across the country.

Alistair leaves behind an incredible legacy; a lifetime given to playing music, writing songs and actively engaging in political struggles.

All recordings by Roaring Jack, Alistair Hulett, Alistair Hulett and Dave Swarbrick and the Malkies are well worth acquiring. Many of Alistair's own songs have been taken on board by other artists.

Alistair's funeral will be held at Linn Crematorium in Lainshaw Drive on Friday 5 Feb at 1:30pm, with a reception afterwards.

Alistair Hulett, the man and his music will not be forgotten.

24 January 2010

Alistair Hulett Needs Our Support

Alistair Hulett, principal singer-songwriter with Roaring Jack, is doing it tough at present.

Alistair is in Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, battling serious health problems.

You can help to raise Alistair's spirits by sending messages of support via email (alistair.hulett @ googlemail.com) or post:

Alistair Hulett
Ward 26a
Southern General Hospital
1345 Govan Road
Glasgow G51 4TF

11 September 2009

Steph Miller's Album Launch

Great news from Steph Miller, formerly of this parish!

Steph Miller (Roaring Jack, Eva Trout) and his new band The Winter Station, are launching their new album Brickwork at the Bald Faced Stag, Leichhardt on 19 September 2009. The album, recorded March/April 2009 at Damien Gerard Studios,with Russell Pilling at the helm, includes a batch of Steph's songs wrapped up in a whole lot of rock, folk and blues. As with Steph's last album, Strange Sea, this is an independent release and brings together a bunch of great players from all aspects of the Sydney and regional music scene.

Also on the bill are Evil Roomers, Geoff Holmes' punk ensemble from 1977. This will be their 5th gig ever! Not to be missed. Geoff will also be on stage for a few tunes with The Winter Station, and Joe Fenech's Torchsong Country Soul band with the wonderful Maree Byrne beautifully interpreting Joe's songs, backed by a great band.

Everyone is welcome!

Bald Faced Stag, 345 Parramatta Rd, Leichhardt. $5 on the door.


17 August 2009

Alistair Hulett in Australia

Alistair Hulett is spending the next few months in Australia. It's a mixture of business and pleasure, and fortunately for us there will be some gigs. The first is at the Harp Hotel in Tempe, Sydney on Saturday 29 August.

Alistair will also play at the Majors Creek Folk Festival, Folk in the Foothills (out Jamberoo way), and three shows in Melbourne.

Further details about these performances, and about others that may arise during Alistair's visit, will appear on his gig page at http://www.alistairhulett.com/gigs.htm.

Look out for Alistair's farewell shows in early December, when he teams up with Sydney band Wheelers and Dealers. Both acts will do their own sets before getting together for a set of mostly Malkies songs. Should be a hoot!

28 December 2008

Roaring Jack Anniversary Jam

It's on again!

The third annual Roaring Jack Anniversary Jam takes place this Saturday, 3 January 2009. Our venue this time is the Golden Barley Hotel in Enmore (Sydney, Australia). All Roaring Jack fans past and present - and their kids - are welcome to attend. Just bring your instruments and your vocal cords and we'll try to recreate some of those classic Roaring Jack tunes.

This of course is the 2008 edition of the jam, slightly late. We postponed it by a few months so that it would coincide with the current Australian tour by Alistair Hulett, Roaring Jack's principal singer-songwriter. Alistair is hoping to make it to the jam later in the afternoon, and will probably laugh uproariously as we take apart his songs.

Don't forget Alistair's final show of his current Australian tour takes place on Sunday evening, 4 January 2009 at the Harp Hotel in Tempe, Sydney.

23 November 2008

Alistair Hulett Tours Australia, December 2008-January 2009

Alistair Hulett, currently on tour in New Zealand, is touring Australia in December 2008 and January 2009. Alistair will be playing shows on a bill shared with American singer-songwriter David Rovics.

Alistair's Australian tour dates are as follows:

Thursday 4 December: Braidwood Folk Club, Braidwood NSW

Friday 5 December: The Folkus Room, Canberra ACT

Saturday 6 December: The Harp Hotel, Tempe, Sydney NSW

Sunday 7 December: Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong NSW

Tuesday 9 December: Bathurst Folk Club, Bathurst NSW

Thursday 11 December: Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thebarton, Adelaide, SA

Friday 12 December: Trinity Sessions, Adelaide SA

Saturday 13 December: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC

Sunday 14 December: Trades Hall, Carlton, Melbourne VIC 2.30pm

Tuesday 16 December: Newcastle and Hunter Valley Folk Club, Wesley Fellowship Hall, 150 Beaumont St., Newcastle NSW

Wednesday 17 December: Green Left Concert, Croatian Club, Wickham, Newcastle NSW

Thursday 18 December: Resistance Centre, 34 Abercrombie St, Chippendale, Sydney NSW 7pm

Friday 19 December: Sirens, Victoria Street, Hobart TAS

Saturday 20 December: Launceston TAS (venue TBA)

Sunday 21 December: AHIMSA House, 26 Horan St, West End, Brisbane QLD (in concert with Phil Monsour)

Saturday 27 December - Friday 1 Jan 2009: Woodford Festival, QLD

Sunday 4 January: Farewell Concert at the Harp Hotel, Tempe, Sydney NSW.

Please check the gigs page on Alistair's official site to confirm these dates. And don't forget to get in early to see David Rovics play!

09 October 2008

The Malkies - Suited and Booted

It's always a stellar event when a former member of Roaring Jack releases a new album. Here we have the new album by the Malkies, a band fronted by former Roaring Jack lead vocalist and principal songwriter, Alistair Hulett.

Suited and Booted demonstrates the Malkies' talents as an acoustic folk band - complete with bass and drums - on the rise. They've recorded a mixture of Hulett originals (all of which are pretty famous in these parts), traditional tunes and classics by the likes of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.

You can read my full review on the 21st Century Reviews blog.

Copies are available to anywhere in the world from Limbo Music. In addition, I hope to have a small quantity for distribution in Australia soon.

04 March 2008

A Gig for Rod

Further to my post below, the Rod Gilchrist tribute gig takes place this Saturday. Thank you Steph Miller for the following press release:

A Gig For Rod

In March 1998, Rod Gilchrist took his own life. All his friends and musical colleagues were devastated. Rod was a lovely bloke, great drummer, dedicated, hard working, generous, honest. His death was a shock to all.

On Saturday the 8th March, there will be a 10 year party gig to remember Rod and to bring together all the friends that knew and loved him. There will be many bands including Complete Madness, Evil Roomers, Urban Guerillas, Mr Bee - members of The Scream, Roaring Jack and The Wickermen. (Rod was a part of the legendary Roaring Jack, Thursday nights at the Sandringham Hotel, Newtown.)

The venue is The Bald Faced Stag, 345 Parramatta Rd, Leichhardt from 7.30 'til late. There will be a door donation of $5 (or more if you can afford it). After costs, the money will be donated to one of the many organisations dealing with depression, anxiety etc.

Everybody is welcome!

23 January 2008

Rod Gilchrist Memorial

Rod Gilchrist was Roaring Jack's drummer from 1988 to 1992, and he played in a host of other Sydney bands including the Urban Guerillas, Desert Boot and Complete Madness.

Rod passed away suddenly in March 1998.

Steph Miller is organising a gig to celebrate the memory of Rod Gilchrist. It will take place at the Bald Faced Stage Hotel in Leichhardt (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) on the evening of Saturday 8 March 2008.

Steph is inviting Rod's friends and former bandmates to get up and play.

More details as they are confirmed.

03 November 2007

The Malkies

Alistair Hulett's latest musical venture is a new band, The Malkies.

The band sees Alistair, on acoustic guitar and vocals, joined by drummer Hugh Whitaker, bassist Hugh Bradley and Phil Snell on fiddle, mandolin and lap steel. While not quite as upbeat and energetic as Roaring Jack, it's terrific to hear Alistair accompanied by a real live band once again.

You can hear samples of The Malkies - including new takes on a couple of Roaring Jack songs -on the audio page of the band's website (http://www.themalkies.co.uk/Samples.aspx).

08 October 2007

2nd Annual Roaring Jack Jam

It's on again!

Sydney-based Roaring Jack fans old and new are invited to the humble home of Paul 'Ica' Craven - 17 Union Street, Tempe - for the second annual Roaring Jack Anniversary Jam.

Bring your musical instruments and something to drink, and you'll be guaranteed of a brilliant afternoon!

If you want to brush up on the words and music of Roaring Jack before you visit, be sure to check out the Alistair Hulett Songbook and the Alistair Hulett / Roaring Jack Song Discussion Forum.

It kicks off at 12pm on Saturday 13 October. All welcome, but please let Ica know you're coming (monkeyspoof at hotmail.com).

10 July 2007

More Roaring Jack on YouTube

We've uncovered two more video clips from Roaring Jack! Hidden in the bowels of a television studio for years, videos from Roaring Jack's 1987 performances on Clive Robertson's Newsworld can now be seen on YouTube.

There are live renditions of The Old Divide And Rule and The Ballad of '75.

Check out Roaring Jack's Framed and a host of Alistair Hulett material while you're there.

12 February 2007

Alistair Hulett and Dave Swarbrick Australian Tour

Alistair Hulett and his old pal Dave Swarbrick are about to embark on a tour of Australia. They will be playing a swag of shows at pubs, folk clubs and folk festivals throught the land in March and April 2007.

You can see the complete list of shows so far on Alistair Hulett's Gigs page.

18 November 2006


Ye Olde Roaring Jack is getting hold of these newfangled technologies and giving 'em a right thrashing.

Now you can find the promotional video clip which Roaring Jack produced for the 1991 single 'Framed' - along with some of Alistair Hulett's post-RJ output - on YouTube.

You can get straight to the 'Framed' video by clicking on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmv-1DEDkB8, and you can search YouTube for 'alistair hulett' to get to the other ones.


Please let us know if you are aware of any other Roaring Jack footage which we can seek to convert to YouTube.

28 September 2006


Due to popular demand (well, a couple of people asked me for this), there is now an entry about Roaring Jack on the free online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

The nature of Wikipedia allows users to make changes to entries where they have something to contribute. So, if you are able to help make the entry more definitive, go for it!

A big thank you to Leann who helped me draft the entry over lunch yesterday, and who typed it all up. Also to Alistair who cast his critical eye over our text and made sensible suggestions.

30 August 2006

Roaring Jack Fans' Anniversary Jam

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Roaring Jack's formation, a group of committed fans is holding a jam/party/barbecue in Sydney on Saturday, 2 September 2006.

Paul Craven, Mark Hyland and Darren Whitaker have spearheaded this event, to take place at Paul's house (17 Union Street, Tempe) from 12pm on Saturday. Fans of Roaring Jack and of the solo works of Alistair and Steph are welcome to attend. Bring your own food, booze, musical instruments and singing/shouting/screaming voice!

24 July 2006


Alistair Hulett's very own website has just gone live!

It's a terrific source of info on Alistair and his music. You'll find a biography and discography, news and gigs, downloadable photos for media use and MP3s of selected Alistair Hulett / Roaring Jack songs.

Watch out for the soon-to-go-live Songbook
on Alistair's site. This will contain MP3s of Alistair playing acoustic versions of selected Roaring Jack songs. The songs are those that Alistair still plays live but which don't appear on any of his solo albums. In addition, there'll be enough info about each song for you to have a go at playing the song yourself!

A lot of work has obviously gone into Alistair's site, both from the designers and from Alistair himself. Congratulations to all involved.

The Alistair Hulett site run by Folk Icons will still continue, as will the Roaring Jack Archives.

12 July 2006

Pure Brilliant!

Well, their songs may be over 15 years old, but Roaring Jack are getting a new lease of life through the world of podcasting. Check out the Pure Brilliant Podcast and The Scallywag Show for two fine examples.

13 March 2006

Niamh Parsons

The songs of Alistair Hulett figure prominently on the new album by Irish singer Niamh Parsons. Niamh's latest album is entitled The Old Simplicity (Green Linnet GLCD1232). In what has to be a new record for Alistair, Niamh sings three of Alistair's most covered songs: 'Blue Murder', 'He Fades Away' and 'No Half Measures'.

Check out Niamh's site and Green Linnet for further details.

08 February 2006

Alistair Hulett's Latest Album

I have just written a review of Alistair Hulett's newest album, Riches And Rags. You will find it here. Meanwhile, the album can be purchased online from the following places:

The Roaring Jack Archives (Australia)
Jump Up Records (Germany)
People To People (Germany)
AK Press (USA)
Shite‘n’Onions (USA)
The Living Tradition (UK)
Footstompin’ Celtic Music (UK)
Musikfolk Limited (UK).

15 January 2006

Riches And Rags

2005 was a pretty good year in the life of a band that had broken up thirteen years previously!

Alistair Hulett toured Australia and played all the folk festivals, as well as some memorable sets with former Roaring Jack colleague Steph Miller and with new blood Sydney City Trash. Steph's excellent album Strange Sea (released 2004) received airplay on ABC Radio and on other community radio stations. The Roaring Jack Archives moved to its new home, http://www.roaringjack.com . And as the year drew to a close, Alistair Hulett released a cracker of an album in Riches And Rags.

2006 looks to be just as busy. Alistair's off to the USA to tour with David Rovics in April. Then there's talk of a new Roaring Jack release on Jump Up Records, this one a compilation of live and previously unreleased studio material. Can't wait for that!

10 January 2006


This is the Roaring Jack Archives Blog, the latest venture of the ever-expanding empire of the Roaring Jack Archives. I will use this site to post news relating to the band and its former members.

You're welcome to add news items too, if you come across anything newsworthy. Cheers!

The Roaring Jack Archives