The Cannanes

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The Cannanes
Origin Sydney, Australia
Genres Indie pop
Years active 1984-present
Labels 555 Recordings, Chapter Music, Dark Beloved Cloud, Insound, K Records, Lamingtone, Little Teddy Recordings, Slabco, Yo-Yo
Associated acts Nice, Ashtray Boy, Boyracer, Crabstick, Explosion Robinson, Flywheel, Guthugga Pipeline, the HiGodPeople, The Particles, The Lighthouse Keepers, New_Waver, Steward, Sukpatch
Members Stephen O'Neil
Frances Gibson
Andrew Coffey
Bon King
David Nichols
Explosion Robinson
Francesca Bussey
Greg Wadley
Guy Blackman
James Dutton
Jen Turrell
Johnno Lattin
Lance Hillier
Mia Schoen
Nick Ketley
Penny McBride
Shintaro Kiyonari
Stewart Anderson
Past members Annabel Bleach
Michelle Cannane
Foxy Humdinger
Randall Lee
Ivor Moulds
Sally Cameron
Jim Woff
Gavin Roy Butler
Nick Kidd

The Cannanes are a longstanding Australian indie pop band formed in Sydney in late 1984.


The original line-up of the band was Stephen O'Neil (vocals, guitar), Annabel Bleach (vocals), Michelle Cannane (guitar and percussion), Frances Gibson (bass), and David Nichols (drums).[1] The band released their first single "Life"/"It's Hardly Worth It" in a limited edition of just 12 cassettes in 1985, followed the same year by a cassette album, The Cannanes Come Across with the Goods. The band's first vinyl release was the Bored Angry & Jealous EP in 1986, which was proclaimed 'Single of the Year' by The Legend! writing (typically hyperbolically) in the NME.[1][2] Bleach left in 1987; Susan Grigg joined briefly on violin, but she and Cannane left soon afterwards [2] The band underwent several line-up changes over the years: Randall Lee (of Ashtray Boy) was a member of the group in 1987-88 during which time they recorded their debut album, The African Man's Tomato and two singles, Cardboard and I think the Weather's affected your brain.

The Cannanes released their second album, A love affair with nature in 1989, on their own label (or rather on no label at all). They toured the United States for the first time in 1991, recording the Caveat Emptor album to coincide with it, although it was not released until 1993.[2] Numerous other releases followed; core additional members in the early 1990s included bassist/vocalists Gavin Butler (on the albums Arty Barbecue and Short Poppy Syndrome) and Francesca Bussey (on a self-titled album and a long EP, Tiny Frown). Nichols left in the mid-1990s to form Driving Past with Gig Ryan, Andrew Withycombe and Mia Schoen; his immediate replacement was Ivor Moulds. O'Neil and Gibson remained constant members, returning in early 1998 with the It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure and Pain EP, and an album, Living the Dream, later that year. In the 2000s, the band continued play occasional shows in Australia as well as numerous overseas tours in Europe, Japan, The United States and Mexico. They also collaborated with electronica artist Explosion Robinson on the Felicity and Electro 2000 EPs and Trouble Seemed So Far Away album; and also collaborated with Steward (aka Stewart Anderson of Boyracer fame) on the Communicating at an Unknown Rate LP/CD and the Felicity EP.[1]

On 19 March 2013 a new Maxi EP Small Batch was released in the United States, and on 16 April the 7 track the Small Batch Remixes EP. In June the band returned to the United States as invited guests at the chickfactor zines' 21st Festival and recording dates in Brooklyn & Flagstaff, AZ. On 5 July a new album, Howling at all Hours was released Internationally on Melbourne based label; Chapter Music. This was followed by an East Coast Australian Tour and the release of a Maxi single on new U.S. label; Emotional Response, before the year was out. 2015 has seen a flurry of activity since the well received January re-issue of the "Communicating at an Unknown Rate" album.



  • Ben (1984) No label
  • Life (1985) Happy Penis
  • The Cannanes Come across With the Goods EP (1985)
  • Happy Swing EP (1987) K
  • Pictures EP (1993) No label
  • Happy Swing EP (2013)(reissue on All Gone)


  • Cardboard/woe 7" (1988)
  • I Think the Weather's Affected Your Brain/Stories to be kept under lock and key 7" (1988)
  • Broken Bottles Maxi-Single (1992) Bi-Joopiter
  • Miserable"/"William 7" (2000) 555 Recordings
  • Hit The Wall Maxi Single (2013) Emotional Response (7" & Dig)


  • Bored Angry & Jealous (1986) Distant Violins
  • No One (1987) K
  • Stumpvision (1992) Ajax
  • Pictures Cass, EP (1993) No label
  • Frightening Thing (1994) K
  • Prototype (1994) Little Teddy
  • Simple Question (1996) Ajax
  • Price You Pay (1996) H (split with Sleepy Township)
  • It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure and Pain (1998) Harriet
  • Population~Two (1998) Blackbean & Placenta (split with Timonium)
  • Australian Tour (2000) Blackbean & Placenta
  • Electro 2000 (2000)
  • Felicity (2001) 555 (split with Steward & Explosion Robinson)
  • Crank It Up! (2001) Blackbean & Placenta
  • Grassy Flat (2008) Dark Beloved Cloud
  • Small Batch Maxi EP (2013) (6 Track CD, 12" & Dig)(with Stephen Hermann)
  • Small Batch Remixes Maxi EP (2013) (7 Track Digital only)


  • The Cannanes Come Across With the Goods (1985) Happy Penis (CassAlbum)
  • The African Man's Tomato (1987)
  • A Love Affair With Nature (1989) No label (reissued 1990 on Feel Good All Over and in 1995 with additional tracks)
  • Caveat Emptor (1993) Feel Good All Over
  • Short Poppy Syndrome (1994) Ajax
  • The Cannanes (1996) Ajax
  • Arty Barbecue (1998) Ajax
  • Tiny Frown (1998) Yo-Yo
  • Communicating at an Unknown Rate (2000) 555/Yo-Yo (with Steward)
  • Trouble Seemed So Far Away (2002) Slabco (U.S.) & Lamingtone (Australia) (with Explosion Robinson)
  • Howling at all Hours (2013) Chapter Music

Compilations & Lives[edit]

  • Witchetty Pole (1993) Feel Good All Over (compilation of first EP and first album)
  • Living the Dream (2000) Chapter


  1. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C (2003) "Cannanes", in the Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0
  2. ^ a b c Ankeny, Jason "The Cannanes Biography", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation

External links[edit]