Cosmic Psychos: Blokes You Can Trust – DVD (Umbrella)


Blokes You Can Trust starts with a man talking about being a farmer. That man is Ross Knight. He’ on his farm near Kyneton and he’ dwarfed by a huge bulldozer. Ross talks about growing up on a farm and his family’s heritage in the area. But poor Ross is in a bit in limbo thinking that his farm may be taken from him in a legal battle caused by his separation. But what’s so refreshing about Ross is that he is still quite optimistic. As he’ talking the heavy riffage of Custom Credit kicks in behind him, and thus begins the story of one of Melbourne’ most iconic punk rock outfits, the mighty Cosmic Psychos!

In 1978 Ross started a band with a few mates called Rancid Spam, and that morphed into Spring Planes. They would jam for hours from which Ross and Steve found Bill Walsh and the Cosmic Psychos were born.

The film then shifts into the early days of the psychos and how they quickly climbed the alternative charts. All of a sudden Europe called. But Ross was torn between the farm and the band. So for the first tour of Europe, the farm called and the psychos were left to tour without Ross. But all that changed and Ross was back on for subsequent European tours.

All of a sudden the Psychos became huge, and found themselves touring the US. The band found friends in Seattle and all over the alternative music scene including bands like Mudhoney, L7, and the Melvins.

Ross also found a friend in the S&M scene.

Suddenly the film heads off in a new direction, viewing the world through Ross’ s eyes as he is introduced to slave action. Now Ross being Ross, he had no idea what he was in for when his new friend Whitney dressed him up in leather with nipple clamps to go out on the town. But Ross still persisted to wear his Blundstones and off they went. Ross spent most of the night talking to a group of transvestites dissecting everything from footy, to cricket to weight lifting.

So to return the favour, Whitney travelled to the farm in Oz. But I don’t want to spoil this visit, so go and watch it yourself.

With all good stories there is sometimes tragedy. Rocket Robbie Watts, their awesome guitar player died from a heroin overdose. This shook the boys to the core. And not long after that Bill Walsh left the band to pursue his nightclub.

Anyway as the band say ” you can’t keep a good man down,’ so Ross brought in the drummer from Hoss and the guitarist from the Onyas. This new line up gave the Psychos a new lease of life, and sold out four nights at the Tote in Melbourne, which was then followed by a gig at Ross’s farm.

This DVD is an unlikely tale of an extraordinary and an extraordinarily humble band with a huge cult following all around the world who found themselves lauded by the most unlikeliest folks. It’s a fact not lost on Ross himself. “Here’s three ugly looking blokes, touring the world, playing all these wonderful cities, dinning at all these wonderful restaurants, meeting all these famous people, and in the back of my head I’m thinking to myself, I’m a fucking farmer!”


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