Almanac Music (and Beer): Southwark Bitter – another view

Bev Hauser’s painting featuring Southwark Bitter, and Cindy Hauser’s painting depicting the majestic Electric Light Orchestra album Out of the Blue.


As mentioned in a comment in a previous post, Mickey Randall’s article titled “Almanac Beer: Southwark Bitter” caught my attention because of the mention of Southwark Bitter, ELO and Mondo Rock.


Even though I’ve never tasted Southwark Bitter nor even seen a can or bottle of it, the name immediately makes me think of a painting that I’ve been familiar with for as long as I can remember.


My mum Bev’s artwork is still on display in the lounge, after all these years. About a metre away is a more recent offering, as my sister Cindy’s artwork depicts the cover of ELO’s 1977 hit album Out of the Blue.


I listened to this album recently and had my view reinforced that this outstanding album will never get dated.


When I listen to Mondo Rock, it does sound very 1980s but I still enjoy it immensely.


When searching for the Mondo Rock cassette titled Up to the Moment, I also discovered another cassette that used to get played in our car on a regular basis in the 1980s. Does anyone remember the 1984 TV series Sweet and Sour, featuring a fictional band called The Takeaways?


And no, I didn’t think of the words “sweet and sour” to counteract the Southwark Bitter theme.


Two cassettes from the 1980s: Mondo Rock, and The Takeaways.



If you didn’t read Mickey Randall’s Southwark piece, click HERE:



For more from Liam, click HERE:






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About Liam Hauser

A Queenslander through and through, Liam went out of his comfort zone as he had a thoroughly worthwhile time in Tumut and Gundagai from 2008 to 2016 before enjoying a year in Gunnedah. His strongest sporting interests are State of Origin, Sheffield Shield, Test cricket and the NRL. His sporting CV doesn’t have many highlights, although he once top-scored in a warehouse cricket match with 54 not out at number 10, and shared in an unbroken last wicket stand of 83 with the number 11 who scored an undefeated 52. Liam has written books including State of Origin 40 Years, A Century of Cricket Tests, A History of Test Cricket, The Immortals of Australian Cricket, The Immortals of Australian Rugby League, and The Great Grand Finals: Rugby League's Greatest Contests. Also a huge fan of Electric Light Orchestra.


  1. John Butler says

    Liam, I must admit two of my earliest music purchases were New World Record and Out Of The Blue.

    I doubt I’ve listened to either in the last 30 years.

    I wonder if those old cassettes will still work?

  2. Liam- my relationship with ELO has been complex but I now think we understand each other. My primary school (and continuing) friend Chris loved them so I did too, but at high school I found their later releases tedious. I’ve returned to some of their songs in recent times and think Mr Blue Sky fantastic. It’s such a soaring melody and the coda is so sunny and celebratory. Vocoders seemed to be everywhere in the 1970s but this is the best use of one and adds immeasurably. The song bobs up in film frequently although I’ve not seen Paul Blart: Mall Cop in which it features. This won’t change.

    Is the Golden Circle can in the painting one for pineapple rings, and if not, why not?

    Well played.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I’m more of a Mighty Kong person (not Mondo Rock) Liam.

    I had vague memories of Tracy Mann in The Takeaways but only learned today that her singing voice was provided by Deborah Conway. There’s a veritable Who Was Almost Who of Oz Music shown on the Wikipedia page

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Bev’s painting is superb.

    I’m a big Mondo Rock fan, Ross Wilson is vastly underrated as an Australian music icon.

  5. I played “A New World Record” as recently as two weeks ago, and enjoyed it immensely. Rockaria, in particular, is a brilliant and unique piece of pop music songwriting. Like Mickey, I love “Mr Blue Sky”.

    Jeff Lynne is nothing short of a musical genius…he was the brains behind Travelling Wilburys and the first Petty solo album.

    Ross Wilson ain’t too shabby either

  6. Thanks for your comments John, Mickey, Swish, Luke and Smokie.

    John: those old cassettes do still work although the sound quality is certainly a bit rusty.

    Mickey: yes the Golden Circle can in the painting definitely is for sliced pineapple.

    Swish: I must say I’m not familiar with Mighty Kong. When I saw Mondo Rock in concert a few years ago, all of the music played was Mondo Rock (no Daddy Cool, Mighty Kong or Ross Wilson solo work).

    Luke: Bev thoroughly appreciated your feedback on her painting. As for being a Mondo Rock fan, I must make mention of the songs Good Advice, The Moment, and Keep the Motor Running. These songs are vastly underrated.

    Smokie, it’s great to hear of someone who recently played A New World Record. It will never get dated! Recently I also listened to Full Moon Fever; Tom Petty’s first solo album which features Jeff Lynne. With regard to A New World Record and Out of the Blue (my two favourite albums), I can’t single out any songs from these albums because they’re all perfect in my opinion!

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