Rockbrat Introduces You To: The Rum Babas

The kind folk at Wikipedia pulled down my article on the Rum Babas as I ‘couldn’t prove the authenticity of my subject’. They also continually delete my photographs as I cannot prove I am the owner – but that’s another story for another time ! Well here on the Rockbrat blog I’ll write what I damn well want ! It really is a wonder Wikipedia have any contributors at all with the way they carry on. Anyway – let’s talk about The Rum Babas ! Info on this fine Sydney all-girl outfit is scarce, so how’s about we rectify that !!

The Rum Babas were an all female rock band from Sydney, Australia (1987-1993). The Rum Babas hailed from Sydney’s southern suburbs, and they were formed in 1987. They first came to my attention sometime in 1988 when they supported the Candy Harlots – whom they would support numerous times. This was no 2nd rate opening act ! Rather, the Rum Babas were a great live band who wrote great pop rock songs. Their sound was a blend of pulsating guitar rock with a flashy percussion beat. They gigged at many of Sydney’s live venues and would also support The Divinyls and also Concrete Blonde. Sandi had a unique voice which was a key element to their sound, as was the pounding percussion which she would perform – usually standing up front whilst singing ! It was a great visual aspect which I’m yet to see performed by another band.Great songs like ‘Feel The Beat Of the Drum’, ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Windscreen Hazy’ were are killer live cuts and it’s a shame they remain largely unknown.

The band appeared on Triple J’s New Noise program on 27 April, 1989. In search of success, The Rum Babas changed their name briefly to Jezebelle, before reverting back to their original moniker. They appeared on the Timberyard Records compilation album ‘Rockin Bethlehem – The Second Coming’ in 1990, recording the song ‘Hearts On The Table’. In 1991 they released a 10″ vinyl EP titled ‘3 Good Reasons’ which was produced by Kevin ‘Caveman’ Shirley (who would later find international fame with Slayer, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith etc) and was nominated for an ARIA award for best independent release. Released on Sydney’s Timberyad Records it, if nothing else – preserved their distinct sound for all time, but their live sound wasn’t at all captured.

Many people do not know that Fiona Horne – now famous as one of Australia’s premier witch, (also of Def FX fame) was once a member of Jezebelle. True. I saw her playing second guitar with Jezebelle at Coogee Bay Hotel. From memory the band did a one-off re-union in the mid-90’s at Newtown. Michelle Kerr currently drums for Spurs For Jesus under the pseudonym Miss Dirt Track Daisy. Sandi Novak is currently a member of Pretty Bionic. Looking back this band had so much going for them with some dynamite songs – it’s a shame they never made it. I am glad to say I was there and saw them many times. Good memories my friends…
 Band Members
* Sandi Novak – lead vocals, percussion
* Janelle Novak – bass
* Michelle Kerr – drums
* Kathryn Cann – guitar
* Katherine TulichDiscography  

* 3 Good Reasons EP (1991)  

Compilation Appearances  

* ‘Rockin Bethlehem – The Second Coming’ (1990) 







  Two very rare live recording are known to exist Rum Babas ‘Feel The Beat Of The Cross’ (live at Kardomah Cafe, Kings Cross 27.4.89) which also includes the band’s Triple J appearance, and Jezebelle ‘More Good Reasons’ live at Banjo’s, Gladesville 29.6.89 – covert art from both CD’s below


  (set list from a gig at St James Tavern, Sydney – 15 December 1988)



3 thoughts on “Rockbrat Introduces You To: The Rum Babas

  1. I was the engineer at Boneyard studios and the guys from The Screaming Tribesman were good mates from My Harlots days an Mick Medew asked me to record a rough demo of 4 tracks for em and Kathrine Cann’s brother was playing guitar for em and at the last tribute to midnight and I was in 2 other no 3 other bands at the same rime.. brain was stretched that night first show,… I know its all go up in faces?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s