On the surface, it seemed Craig Dermody’s life wasn’t going all that bad in his home of Melbourne, Australia. He was playing around town in the psychedelically damaged rock unit Spider Vomit as well as in his wonderfully brainless Punk band, Divorced.
He was exhibiting his paintings in various DIY art spaces to decent acclaim and even cooked up a solo project that was getting positive nods around the Aussie underground. So why the hell did he uproot himself and move 10,000 miles away to Brooklyn? “I love New York and always knew I was going to live here for a part of my life” thumbs Dormody via his iPhone in between constant gigging and working countless hours doing set design. “I also knew I was going to keep doing my band. I’ll be surprised if I’m not doing it forever.”
The band he speaks of is Scott and Charlene’s Wedding, the above mentioned solo project Dermody originally cooked up to play a friends’ birthday party seven years ago. Scott and Charlene’s Wedding is now an internationally tangled, many-membered mess of an actual band with an LP going into its third pressing and a gig list around town the length of my lovely, slender arm. The LP–entitled Para Vista Social Club–was originally self-released by Dermody in an edition of 200 with individually painted covers he exhibited in Melbourne before leaving. The Bedroom Suck label from his homeland ended up pressing the record up in larger amounts earlier this year and now the U.K. label Fire will be picking up the slack by re-issuing it on a larger scale with promise Craig will deliver a second full length to the label with his new U.S line-up of the band that he assembled when he landed in Brooklyn earlier this year.
Para Vista Social Club is a tangled mess of belligerent jangle pop that switches between being a tuneful temper tantrum by a child you’d leave by the roadside and a surly celebration of desperation. On the track “Epping Line,” Dermody says life is such a bummer these days that he doesn’t even want to eat his morning sausages anymore, and you just want to play the fucker the world’s smallest violin. But then there’s the track “Footscray Station,” which might be the greatest, most authentic and empowering Rock ‘N’ Roll anthem to come down the pike in the past five years.
“I wrote ‘Footscray Station’ after visiting a friend of mine, Pippa Joseph,” says Dermody. “She was opening a clothing store in Melbourne and the banks had stuffed up her plans. She was pacing up and down the soon to be shop saying she wasn’t going to give up while waving her fists around. I went home and thought about how depressed I was about driving trucks every day for a furniture moving company and how shitty it was and I thought about Pippa saying we can make it if we if try. ‘Footscray Station’ just came out. That song still means so much to me, it props me up when I’m feeling down and out.”
Scott and Charlene’s Wedding play Cakeshop on October 12th and Pianos October 15th.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 11, 2012