June 16th Sydney, The Basement
June 17th Sydney, Bridge Hotel, Rozelle NSW
June 18th Melb, Ding Dong Lounge


 SUPERNAUT 1976-1980

Perth band Supernaut evolved from the pub band, Moby Dick, in 1974. The band consisted of English migrants Gary Twinn (vocals) brothers Chris and Joey Burnham (guitar and drums respectively) and Australian Phillip Foxman on bass
SUPERNAUT signed with PolyGram and in the middle of 1976 “I LIKE IT BOTH WAYS” was released as their first single. Melbourne radio picked up on the song right away but it was the band’s appearance on ABC’s “COUNTDOWN” that really brought SUPERNAUT to the Australian public’s attention. Around the country radio stations banned the song because of “lyrical content”. But after an appearance on Channel Nine’s BANDSTAND in Sydney and yet another on COUNTDOWN “BOTH WAYS” hit number one on the record charts and SUPERNAUT was everywhere. As if to confirm the boy’s success they finally found their fourth member, bass player Philip Foxman.

With all engines firing Gary, Chris, Joe and Philip began a relentless schedule of touring, TV shows and of course, recording a follow-up single. On the tail of “BOTH WAYS”, “TOO HOT TO TOUCH” hit the top spot and by Christmas SUPERNAUT had a gold album. Amidst all of these events had come the Australian music industry’s annual “KING OF POP AWARDS”. SUPERNAUT were presented with two: best new band and best video for “I LIKE IT BOTH WAYS”. Incredibly in almost exactly a year the lads had taken the ride of a lifetime.

From leaving school and home to becoming rock stars. More singles followed with another album “THE NAUTS” Wizard Records, singles “ Spies, followed by, I don’t want to be like you”.

The band reformed for the Countdown Spectacular 2, 2007.


Supernaut - Unemployed 7" Polydor 2079 116, 1978

As mentioned last week, more top shelf Aussie glam-punk is on the table. Here's a tasty treat of dole queue defiance from 1978 by a band better known for gender-bending than genre-blending, Perth's Supernaut.

Ahhh, Supernaut. Famous worldwide now for their absolutely brilliant glam masterpiece debut I Like It Both Ways and the fantastically suggestive flipside to their second 7", Lick My Lolly. There's an LP and five 7"s from their glam era, all but one (Young And Innocent) worth tracking down.

Unlike Branded, these guys tasted massive pre-punk success, I Like It Both Ways being a Number 1 smash. Following the also successful LP, which came out in December 1976, the band set up camp in a Melbourne studio to record their second album (provisionally titled Test Pressing). Recording stretched out over a year or so and eventually the album was scrapped as too dated. Part of this decision must have been based on the band catching a whiff, as 1977 waned, of the new thing coming from England and thinking, "Bloody hell! We can do this!". All that was released from the session was this punky 7" from April 1978. Props to the band for following their noses, especially given that major label land and radio ignored punk pretty much completely here.

Maybe they weren't just looking at the UK but immersed in it. In an online interview vocalist Gary Twinn (an English ex-pat, as were the blonde Burnham brothers) talks about going to see the Clash in London and buying tapes of the shows at the markets the next day, so they may well have spent time in London during '77 and '78.

Wait! Wait! Come back! This doesn't sound anything like the Clash.

So what do we have here. Mid-paced but high energy glam-punk, with a distinctly punk lyric and sneering vocal delivery. It's clearly more East End and Sarf London than Westway. If I had to name names I'd say a bit of Sham with a big dollop of Cock Sparrer - both bands with a history in glam and Faces style swagger. With anglo accents and backing vocals from the (Fremantle Oval) terraces it's definitely LDK-friendly, though those low down kids might wonder what the CES is. We're thinking of reclaiming simple thuggy drum beats as an Australian thing because here's yet another prime example. Maybe this is the true wallaby beat.

The lyrics are great too, we particularly like the couplet "Listen to the news at six, all those lies about statistics". Overall a really infectious song.


Unemployed era Supernaut, working it live. More here.

After Unemployed the band signed with Wizard and issued one more 7" as Supernaut before becoming The Nauts and issuing an album and one final 7". We're in two minds about featuring that stuff here, check back in 2012. Some of the early glam singles (interspersed with songs from The Nauts era) were briefly reissued on CD in the mid '90s, a time when Supernaut was affectionately viewed as a campy joke (at least in their home town). The disc seemed to disappear almost instantly, and amazingly, no subsequent reissues have surfaced.