The Porkers

The Porkers

BandRockReggae

The Porkers are a 14 legged party animal ! For 19 years they have been honing their horn driven mix of ska, reggae & rock, added with elements of calypso, funk, surf & 50's rock n roll. The Porkers have played with everyone from The Royal Crown Revue to Suicidal Tendencies!

Biography

The Porkers come out Swinging !
I remember as a child watching one of those shitty educational cartoons that the ABC used to play in the afternoons, and there was this dog singing a song about persistence. The song has always stuck in my head – it was that god damn awful – but the stupid little mutt’s message didn’t really mean a lot to me until recently, when a new six track EP from the Porkers landed in my lap. Now, if that dog was looking for a bunch of blokes who have lived his little ditty, then he couldn’t find better candidates than the Porkers, and their new release Now Hear This proves it. It’s almost criminal the extent to which the Porkers have been ignored by the Australian music industry. Tim Rogers likes to whinge (quite legitimately) about how You Am I never got the fucking kudos they deserved, but his story sounds like a prissy little prat chucking a tanty compared to the tale of the Porkers. In ska circles, Australia has never produced anything bigger (no, don’t even mention Area 7). Pete Porker and his band of no-goods have won the respect of everyone in the international ska scene – from the Mighty Mighty Bosstone’s Dickie Barrett (who described their second album Hotdog Daiquiri as "fucking awesome") to Rancid’s Tim Armstrong (who has recorded with the Porkers horn section) and even the Cuban born 'Godfather of Ska' - Laurel Aitken sang their praises after a show together in New York City. Even American Rolling Stone – that bastion of elitist music-snobbery – had to admit that the Porkers were one of two highlights from the 1999 Vans Warped Tour (the other being the Living End, funnily enough). And yet, here in Australia, it seems to have made little or no difference. While the Porkers have had tracks on over 30 international compilations and had their albums released everywhere from Europe and the US to Japan and Brazil, it’s been hard to get a break at home. Hard, in spite of the fact that the Porkers are one of this country’s best loved live bands. They’ve entertained thousands (even inciting a spontaneous strip tease one memorable night in Bathurst), and blown some much bigger bands off the stage. They’ve toured hard, played everywhere, and won fans at every turn. They’ve also done it all off their own bat. Independent, and damn proud of it, almost everything the Porkers have ever done has been self-funded. Three albums, 2 mini-albums, a string of EPs, and not a hint of selling out. Even when ska went pop, the Porkers refused to cash in, sticking instead to their roots and choosing to make sure that somebody was around to remind the world that there’s more to ska than "Second Class Citizen". So what’s it all achieved? Well, a shit load of loyal fans for one. And they’ve also amassed a great swag of songs that is still setting crowds alight everywhere. But, maybe most importantly, the journey they’ve taken has won the Porkers some genuine credibility. They’ve learned the lessons, dodged the cliches, and come out the other side. There’s basically no other band on the planet who can make ska sound as fresh and vital as the Porkers do in 2004 – one day, the powers-that-be are going to realise that. Let’s just hope that Now Hear This, and its lead single "Swinging Like Tiger Woods" is the thing that finally catches their attention. After all, there’s only so long we can pretend that that stupid singing dog didn’t have a point.
Dan Lander, Editor - Australian Guitar Magazine 2004

Lyrics

Arthur Gram the Kombi Van Man

Written By: Power/Holland/Cooper/Parkes/Palmer

Head up the coast on a Thursday night, We had to drive but Bigfil took a flight, hundred and hundreds of miles away,
Gotta take a dump after Hungry Jacks, gotta fight just to get in the back seat, not long to go.

Pre-chorus-
I can smell the sugar cane, girls from Byron are on my brain, whats a guy supposed to do when he looks at you ?

Chorus -
I'm going to Byron to see a real hippy driving around in a Kombi van, I'm gunna fill my bowl with Skippy cornflakes, a peice of toast and halfa can of coke.

Go to the beach for a swim with Mugga, pretty soon we'll head back to the pub, got a lot of lugging to do, I'm running round putting up the t-shirts, we're up in the room just chocking away, before the show.

Head down the coast sometime Sunday arvo, gotta be back at work tomorrow, wish I didn't have to work.
Marty's complaining about the heat, Phil and Rocket are poundin the beaten track, and Rob as well.....

Aporkalypso

Written By: Cooper/Feletti/Dunn

Gotta hit the road tomorrow gotta find a new place gotta get a fresh start gotta find a new space,
Won't be going back again ugly things don't want to face so I'm packin my collection gotta find a new base,

Chorus -
Aporkalypso whoa whoa whoa

Sick of the way things are round here still doin what I'm told, there's gotta be much more to life than working till I'm old,
Can't see the point of workin 9 to 5 just to go home tired, me and the boss don't see eye to eye so I'm quitting before I'm fired !

Bridge -
Pressure from the inside, pressure from the outside it's causin me to lose my mind,
I can't afford to deal with this stress, I guess, I must confess, I can't let it get to me, bringing out the very worst of me, causin a scene ain't no picnic, damages done just apocolyptic !

Won't have time to tell my friends I'm packing up and leaving, but they'll all know by word of mouth tomorrow in the evening,
I'll sort out the true from the false a perfect test of time, and it won't take me too long to re-write the right wronged and I won't be wronged no more, but I don't know just how aporkalypse now aporkalypse now, my future's so unsure.......Aporkalypso !

Discography

1990 - 'Tired of Being Pork Hunts' - 7" single EP.
1994 - 'Grunt!' - CD Album
1996 - 'Not Bad, Pretty Good, Not Bad' - CD mini album
1998 - 'Hot Dog Daiquiri' - CD album
2000 - 'Time will tell' - CD album
2001 - 'The Porkers VS SalmonellaDub' - CD EP
2004 - 'Now hear this' - CD mini album
2005 - 'The Porkers live at Nakanoshima' - CD album
+ a whole bunch of CD single/EP's
+ 'Best of' CD album compilations in Japan and Brazil.
National radio play in Australia on the Triple J network, high rotation of tracks - 'Too big for your boots' and 'Waiting for us'. Plus spot plays of 'Swinging like Tiger Woods', 'Chemical Imbalance', 'X-Factor', 'Perfect Teeth', 'Keep my Cool'.
'Swinging like Tiger Woods' in top 20 of Brisbane's 4ZZZFM 'Hot 100'.

Set List

The Porkers have a vast back catalogue and huge bunch of cover versions to choose from when making a set. This gives them a unique abilty to select a set which most suits the type of crowd they are playing to. A frantic set for a punk rock crowd, a more laid back reggae set for a roots style music festival. They've played 20 minute festival sets, and on millenium new years eve in their home town they played for 2 hours !

A typical set in 2006 -
Goin' off
Skankin' carpark blues
Deep Breath
Chemical Imbalance
Harder then it looks
Not at all
Keep my Cool
Too big for your boots
Aporkalypso
Black Superman (Johnny Wakelin cover from 1974)
Waiting for us
Jah Laundramat (cover of Boston band - Bim Skala Bim)
Swinging like Tiger Woods
Perfect Teeth
Alcohol
It's too late to be straight
Arthur Gram the Kombi Van Man
Schooners of the Black

Other cover versions that occasionally turn up in the set -
Counting the Beat (The Swingers) -with brass
Rock N Roll Radio (The Ramone