Sidewinder was an Australian rock band founded in 1991 in Canberra by brothers Martin and Nick Craft with Pip Branson and Shane Melder. Sidewinder were staples of the Australian alternative rock scene in the 1990s. They played their first live shows in 1991 and in 1992 signed to Half A Cow, the record label owned by ex-Canberran musician Nic Dalton (Lemonheads, Plunderers), which was later purchased by the multinational label Universal Music.
Sidewinder played their first live shows in 1991, when most of the members were still in high school. Within a year they had signed to Half A Cow, which was later taken over by the multinational label Universal Music.
Sidewinder released two albums and three EPS between 1992 and 1998, all of which were critically acclaimed and received solid Triple J and commercial airplay. These albums ‘traversed a broad sonic terrain, from Beatlesesque psychedelia to eardrum shattering ballsy rock’. Their second album, Tangerine (1997) made many top ten lists for the best album of the year, and is sometimes considered to be one of the finest records of the mid-1990s.
Sidewinder were one of the ‘best loved live acts of this decade [1990s]’. had regular spots on festival bills, including the Big Day Out (1994, 1995, and as national touring artists 1996) and played every Homebake from 1996 to 1998 (January, December 1996/ January, December 1998).
They toured extensively with many of their contemporaries, including bands such as Powderfinger, Custard, The Hummingbirds, You Am I, The Clouds, The Fauves, Tumbleweed and Magic Dirt. They also played with other bands, such as Something for Kate, the Dirty Three, the Whitlams, the Underground Lovers and Gaslight Radio. They also supported international touring artists. Most notably, they were guests of U2 on the Australian leg of their PopMart Tour of 1997. They also played with Pavement, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Red Kross.
Despite their ability to pull crowds throughout Australia, their critical successs, good airplay and solid sales figures, Sidewinder were dropped by Universal in 1999.
Martin went on to have a successful solo career under his own name and is currently working as a producer and songwriter. His albums include I Can See It All Tonight, in 2004, Silver and Fire (2006) and Arrows at the Sun (2008). He also plays as a touring member in Jarvis Cocker's band. Nick formed The Zillions and released the albums Zig-Zag Zillionaire (2005) and Zeuxis: Xight Zeen (2008), as well as music for theatre soundtracks. Both Martin and Nick were signed to the UK label 679 Recordings, as well as having deals in Australia.
Guitarist-violinist Pip Branson became a touring member of Something for Kate in 2001, and now plays with his own band, The Pip Branson Corporation. He is also a member of Mikelangelo and The Black Sea Gentlemen, under the name Rufino. Shane Melder plays with a number of bands, including the Died Pretty, The Hummingbirds and David McCormack's band.
- Atlantis - 1995
- Tangerine - 1997
- T Star - 1992
- Yoko Icepick - 1993
- The Gentle Art of Spoonbending - 1994
- "Anything You Want" - 1995
- "Evil Eye" - 1995
- "Not Coming Home" - 1996
- "Titanic Days" - 1997
- "Here She Comes Again" - 1997
- "God" - 1998
- Online Review, http://yourzenmine.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/sidewinder-tangerine.html
- Homebake, History, http://imcmusic.net/homebake/
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