Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Visitors: Visitation '79

The Visitors were an Australian rock band formed in 1978 after the breakup of popular punk rock band Radio Birdman. The songs were written by Deniz Tek but unlike many other Tek bands,

Tek did not sing vocals in The Visitors. Instead the vocals were sung by long-time friend of the band Mark Sisto. The addition of Sisto's vocal alongside a predominantly ex-Birdman lineup, created what many [who?] believed as the next generation of Birdman, with a vocal which mirrored that of The Doors. They played only 12 shows in the Sydney area starting in late 1978 and continuing into August 1979.

It was from an intense desire to play that the energy came to form The Visitors, the same desire fuelled

the live performances and recording of the album. From 1978 to 1979 The Visitors were Deniz Tek on guitar, Mark Sisto on vocals, Ron Keeley on drums, Pip Hoyle on keyboards and Steve Harris on bass. Their style was a dark mixture. The band being 3/5ths Birdman, including the chief songwriter, was almost like the next phase of Radio Birdman had that band continued on. At the same time, the sound of the band was more like the early Birdman days with the single guitar plus keyboard format.

Visitation '79 by the Visitors is a legitimate follow-up to the two classic Radio Birdman albums

that preceded it.
The material certainly stands with guitarist/writer Deniz Tek's other work, and although Mark Sisto's singing certainly isn't better than that of Rob Younger, it is very similar in style and holds up well by comparison. This is the only album the Visitors made, and this reissue has been remastered to great effect by Tek and keyboardist (and fellow M.D.) Pip Hoyle.

The songs are pretty dark and pure rock & roll. The moody opener, "Living World," sets the tone with Hoyle's Manzarek-like organ work. A song about John Needham, "Brother John," follows.

Needham became Tek's manager, but was then just a friend of the band who issued the album as the first release on his own Citadel Records, a label that probably put out more great music than any other indie label in the '80s. "Haunted Road" is next, a song about North Territorial Road near Ann Arbor, MI, Tek's hometown. Other highlights abound. "Sad TV" is absolutely devastating, and a song many should relate to.

"I'm going home to watch my Sad TV" pretty much sums up life for many in this world. "Let's Have Some Fun" is an upbeat rocker in the tradition of Radio Birdman's "More Fun." "Hell Yes" is a hair-

raising footstomper that sounds like a good show closer. Appearing for the first time on the reissue is "Skimp the Pimp," a song by Tek that dates back to his first Australian band, TV Jones. The version here is chaotic (in the best way possible) and fully realized. Several of these songs were performed by New Race on its one and only tour; that band elevated the material to an even higher level. [Note: the original Citadel album cover had an Easter Island motif and was seriously cool.]

The Visitors – Visitation '79
Label: Red Eye Records – RED CD 39, Polydor – 517 017-2
Format:    CD, Compilation 1994
Country: Australasia
Released: 1979
Genre: Rock
Style: Alternative Rock, Garage Rock, Punk



01. Living World
02. Brother John
03. Haunted Road
04. Life Spill
05. Journey By Sledge
06. Sad TV
07. Miss You Too Much
08. Euro Girls
09. Let's Have Some Fun
10. Hell Yes
11. Disperse
12. Skimp The Pimp



Bass – Steve Harris
Drums – Ron Keeley
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Deniz Tek
Piano, Organ, Backing Vocals – Pip Hoyle
Vocals – Mark Sisto

Flac Size: 320 MB


RADIO BIRDMAN on Urban Aspirines HERE


  1. I have. I don't think there anything good about Aussie that i didn't have,
    at least until about 10 years ago.
    All together old & new i get 2000.
    I have a good friend in Germany who bought me the Aussie scene from the late 70s to the late 90s.

  2. Another Deniz Tek band I'm unfamiliar with -- thanks!