John Kennedy’s 68 Comeback Special – Union Hotel

On a balmy Sunday afternoon in Newtown, the sweet strains of country twang meeting a gritty, bluesy, inner western Sydney story wafts out of the Union Hotel. That sound can only mean that John Kennedy’s 68 Comeback Special has fired up again to woo the locals with his classic stories of inner west Sydney life.

The current configuration of the band sees 4 rather tall gents made up of John Kennedy, Peter Timmerman on drums, Steve Broughton on bass and Murray Cook on guitar; all seasoned musos that have lived a bunch of collective lives.


This afternoon the swelling crowd was made up of old fans, locals, and a new generation of fans brought along by parents who lived through “back in the day”. The band played through their recently released Second Best Greatest Hits vol 2 Collection featuring stories wound into Sydney and Brisbane landmarks, suburbs and 80’s and 90’s music scene. Songs rolled through old classics like the obligatory King Street and Miracle in Marrickville; through to newer numbers like Peter Says and Strawberry Hills Forever. There was even a specially requested, noisy version of The Scientist’s Swampland in honour of Kim Salmon. Here’s a version of one of his classics.


But, was the Brown Note lurking in all that twang and story? I think it was there, but just hiding in those stories and folk tales of the dirty heels of Newtown through the 80’s.

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