Any Australian band who's ever played an interstate show can tell you all about the virtues of trekking up the mighty Hume Highway. This mammoth motorway takes you on a direct bee-line from Melbourne into Sydney, forcing leather-clad touring artist to step foot on the arid terrain of rural Australia and survive on dollar menu fast food from pit-stops in Seymour, Euroa, Albury-Wodonga, Gundagai, Holbrook and Yass.
It's on this voyage across the grey, kangaroo carcass-dotted highway where band friendships are truly put to the test, and no band understands this quite like Melbourne's own Private Function. These rough and ready punks are true road warriors: a touring band who specialise in delivering a cut-throat live show for punters, and seasoned veterans of the Hume, knowing the locations of every hidden speed camera, truck stop and decent country bakery that lays between the two captial cities.
As we all know, the key to surviving such a monster slog up the highway comes down to having a shit hot playlist on standby, and it's here where we're turning our attention today. To celebrate their new album Whose Line Is It Anyway? dropping in its entirety tomorrow and cherish the memory of when bands were able to play interstate shows, we caught up with Private Function's very own Joe Hansen to hear all about the band's go-to tracks for the tour van.
Poison Idea - 'Taken By Surprise'
A Private Function tour is not complete without this banger from the kings of punk, the centrepiece of their 1990 opus Feel the Darkness. Literally everything I try and do on guitar can be traced back to this song. It's got it all. No band is more punk and more relentless than Poison Idea. The only problem with this record is that anything that you listen to after it will sound weak as fuck. If you don't love this song and album you're a cop.
The Pleasure Seekers - 'What a Way to Die'
Arguably one of the most raucous songs ever recorded up to that point in 1965, this ode to partying and drinking yourself to death is the perfect motivator to a good night out. Featuring the first recorded appearance of Suzi Quattro on bass, this trashy scream-fest has everything we like about rock 'n roll and boozing. If you can get your hands on a copy of this single get in touch with us and we'll trade you a copy of our record for it
Jimmy Norman - 'I Don't Love You No More (I Don't Care About You)'
This is the first song to my knowledge that has a phone call intro skit, predating the 1990s rap album phenomenon by at least 30 years. We always love hilarious phone-based recordings, particular classic prank calls, and this track is a great combination of the two into a rock 'n roll soul anthem. Jimmy Norman's vocal performance shines hard on this one, but the slightly out of tune baritone sax solo truly steals the show
Lindsey Buckingham - 'Holiday Road'
Not many people may know this, but Private Function was created as a touring band just so we would have an excuse to go on holiday to warmer and more scenic locations than our hometown of Melbourne. As we are also fans of 1980s comedy films, the soundtrack to National Lampoon's Vacation is a perfect accompaniment to our adventures. This Lindsey Buckingham guy is pretty good, he should start a band or something.
Joe Diffie - 'John Deere Green'
We listen to a lot of country music on tour, but our favourite is definitely early '90s pop-country, specifically the good-time stylings of Joe Diffie. The great man unfortunately succumbed earlier this year to COVID-19, a tragic loss of one of Nashville's finest talents. While we normally power through his entire greatest hits offering, John Deere Green is his signature song and career highlight.
Danzig - 'Tired of Being Alive'
Again, this is a track that's incomplete without the whole Danzig II: Lucifuge album accompaniment, but is a cornerstone track of our travels. Danzig is one of those artists that can always bring up the mood and get us all in the zone to rock. Expect to hear this record blasting in our tour van when we're getting close to arriving at a venue in your town. It's like if Elvis never died or if Jim Morrison didn't suck. Key listening.
Steely Dan - 'Dirty Work'
All of our songs here at Private Function actually originate as soft rock songs written for early '70s AM radio, but we rock them up and play them faster to be palatable to the youth of today. Our favourite in the soft rock and yacht rock scene is definitely Steely Dan, especially their early West Coast based material. If you want the key influences and sonic origins of our music all you need to do is raid your parents' (or maybe grandparents'?) record collections.
Frank Sinatra - 'My Way'
Hopefully we've still got a few years left as a band, but we've already planned this song as our final number. We don't listen to much other Sinatra or crooners, but 'My Way' is the perfect lyrical encapsulation of our band philosophy and ethos. I was reading that apparently in The Phillippines this song was banned from karaoke bars after too many people sang it badly and were killed by fellow patrons, no doubt maddened by the level of arrogance and self-importance the song imparts on the performer. This is the kind of behaviour we hope to inspire at our shows
Limp Bizkit - 'My Way'
It was the best of times, it was the Durst of times. Fred and co. have always been a key influence on Private Function, merging and mastering genres and servicing it to the hungry fans. It truly was a blessed time around the year 2000 when a band like Limp Bizkit could have a number one album and headline the Big Day Out. We intend on returning music to that same high water mark
Eddie Rabbitt -' I Love A Rainy Night'
This one is pretty self-explanatory. When we're in the car and it's night time and it's raining, we love it. Thankfully there was a song written about this particular condition and it is quick to be played whenever the situation arises. As much as we like early '90s country, we also love early '80s country. This one is a stone-cold classic of FM country radio. Pray for rain so you can get the full experience with this banger
Private Function’s new record Whose Line Is It Anyway? arrives Friday August 28 via Damaged / Caroline Australia - preorder it here.