'You better shine your shoe's, buckle your boots, whisper a thousand frantic prayers' - The Old Grey Man Of Ben Macduie

Concieved as a jangling, loose wheeled cart of wild story songs with accompanying theatrics and spoken word, Songs Of The Hollow Bone Moon was performed from late 2007 to 2010 across eastern Australia as both a full theatrical concert and more straight forward gig. The album was realesed in October, 2008. 


The Album

Dark and wild, daring and adventurous, both worldly and otherworldly at the same time, marked by both confusion and clarity, sanity and madness, traditional and experimental extremes, among a host of other adjectives and contraries. Most of all, though, Songs of the Hollow Bone Moon is unquestionably a deviation from the commonplace art that we patrons typically expect to find on our plates. In this case, there is something altogether different. Not just different, but eclectic, avant-garde, poetic, endlessly creative, mysterious, artistically genius, and infinitely entertaining’ - 

James. G. Carlson, Philadelphia Examiner

A concept album of darkly wild tales presented as half moody radio drama and half deranged 'cabaret noir', inspired by colonial ghost stories, cryptozoology, folklore, it's essentially a tribute to the wilder regions of the imagination and the unknown - not so much 'about things' as about the imagined idea of things.

Recorded in three different houses around Melbourne in 2008, and featuring a Tar Gang lineup of Renato Vacirca, Jean Brown, Kirri Buchler Will Tait, Carla Ori, Sean Louth, Pablo Calero and Bernard Nolan. It was recorded by Anto Macaroni, mixed by Pikkle Henning, and mastered by Wez Prictor at The Finishing Post, then released independently in October 2008 through four shows at Melbourne's Trades Hall. It was also also released online through Peak Plasma Concerntration records.

The album is available at the store on this site or as a digital download on bandcamp. 


The Live Show

A live music adventure over lands and seas, through stretches of time near and distant… from the beginnings of mankind to the moody peaks of the Scottish Highlands. Songs... was performed from late 2007 to 2010 across Australia as both a full theatrical concert and more straight forward gig. Highlights include performing at The Village Festival, the album release of Songs Of The Hollow Bone Moon for Melbourne Fringe, Brisbane Festival, ACMI/Federation Square’s Tim Burton exhibition concert series, Adelaide’s Garden of Unearthly Delights Speigeltent, and opening for Vulgagrad and Mikelangelo and the Tin Star.




























A show of music combined with strong performative elements and atmospheric songs as diverse in style as the stories themselves, ranging from sodden sea shanties, to Dada-esque absurdities, to haunting ghost story waltzes, junkyard hoe downs and gritty colonial style cabaret. Spoken, performed and sung by the commanding Pete in his inimitable bass baritone, accompanied by the infamous Tar Gang on guitar, violin and Junk Percussion, plus the mysterious ‘Tar Pit Men’s Choir’ on backup vocals...


'A rollicking ride on a leaky vessel lost in the North Sea and accompanied by madmen. It’s hiding in a barn from blunderbuss attacks as dogs bark forlornly. There are elements of Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, David Lynch.' The Village Festival Newspaper 


Things To Watch






Camila Galaz | Monday Oct 6th, 2008 | for Buzzcuts Reviews.


'In the lamplight lit darkness of the Old Council Chambers a stage is set and the audience take their places. Out of this darkness emerge the strange characters that make up this band. There is the talented violinist who never shows her eyes, the passionately controlling pianist, the straight-faced percussionist and the sleepy drummer. And of course there is Pete, who, dressed like an escaped convict from Port Arthur cautiously traversing Eagle Hawk Neck, puts down his camp bag and begins to tell his tales. Their music and storytelling style follow a long tradition of dark Australian music set within the Australian bushland. They are like a scripted Dirty Three mostly due to the emotional and seemingly improvisational playing of the violinist and drummer, with sea shanties taking the place of Warren Ellis’ storytelling…

There is an endearing quality to the performance. When confronted with the setup of technical devices, Pete becomes a granddad trying to assemble Christmas lights or program a VCR. He also shows a bit of ankle, so don’t bring your grandmother. And perhaps, in the end, that is the joy of this band. They crack jokes, break guitar-strings and pull the audience into another world. Whether that is a 1880s bushranger hideout or a school trip to Sovereign Hill, it doesn’t really matter - they are hugely entertaining.'

 Philadelphia Music Examiner, 2008.


'Occasionally there comes along a piece of art which transports one from his or her present location in the universe to someplace else altogether. For me, that has been the case in quite a few instances. But very few artistic projects have taken me as far or to such strange places as Melbourne, Australia's Pete & the Tar Gang and their debut release, Songs of the Hollow Bone Moon.

With twenty-three tracks, Songs of the Hollow Bone Moon is constructed of more than just songs in the sense that most records are. Unlike most albums, Songs of the Hollow Bone Moon is a book of short stories, an exercise in modern poetics, and a collection of experimental songwriting compositions, all fused together into one sizable endeavor. And all of it goes to show that Peter Reid, the ringmaster for this ragtag troupe of musical deviants and strange thespians, has a way of weaving intricate stories and wonderfully bizarre pieces of original music into one tremendous web of plot, character development, poetry, and sound.

What’s more, the atmosphere of Pete & the Tar Gang’s concept album is such that this review should be accompanied by a pack of cigarettes and a generous glass of rum. It should also be experienced over a backdrop of old-timey settings, aged sea-going vessels with creaky boards and barnacle-covered hulls, bottles of liquor, the wonderful smell of used book stores, dark forests, damsels in distress, ramshackle barns, campfires, big cities, remote mountainous regions, bizarre creatures, episodes of madness, and long desolate roads. Keeping that in mind, dim the lights, sit back and relax, and I will introduce you to: Pete & the Tar Gang...'

'Confusing and fascinating... If you enjoy listening to music which is as far from any artist played on radio stations, then this is the band for you.' Matt Gallant, The Dwarf, June 2009

'A rollicking ride on a leaky vessel lost in the North Sea and accompanied by madmen. It’s hiding in a barn from blunderbuss attacks as dogs bark forlornly. There are elements of Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, David Lynch.' The Village Festival Newspaper 





Poster - by Pete Reid

Poster - by Pete Reid

Poster - by Pete Reid

Poster - by Pete Reid

Poster - By Pete Reid

Poster - By Pete Reid

Poster, 2006

Poster, 2006

Photo by Carmen Reid, graphic design by Jean Brown and Pete Reid

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© by Pete Reid