Pretty City is bringing the balls back to Australian rock ’n’ roll. Most recently, the band has just released their latest single ‘Roll On’. With blues-influenced psychedelic riffs, it is a positive sign of what is to come from the group on their debut album which is set to be released by the end of the year. When we sat down to chat with Hugh Matthews, he was getting amped for their support set for Stonefield at the Gasometer that night.
“We’ve just managed to sneak onto this bill tonight mate. I’m really excited to be jumping up with them. They are a really solid live band and have a great energy about them. It’ll be awesome to hang out with the girls and do our bit to rock out. There’s lots of knee moves and sliding around on stage today, but Pete Townshend windmills are a given,” Matthews said.
‘Roll On’, which is a cracking track that you should definitely get your chops around if you haven’t yet, was written in the most natural of environments, and quite naturally, as Matthews relates. “I wrote that song on an acoustic guitar in my kitchen and I think that the reverby kinds of sounds you hear on the finished track are initially inspired by my kitchen. I was strumming away this bluesy riff and the lyrics came and are about getting on with things when you are faced with adversity.”
Pretty City materialised in late 2012, when Matthews contacted John-Luis Moretti (lead guitar) and Andrew Schapper (drums). Playing in different bands with Moretti, it was an email to flesh out some songwriting ideas that first sparked the flame. “Johnno was the action man on stage with every band that he played in. He was always getting things done on stage and had so much energy. We all wanted to have a voice in the band rather than just having someone learning other people’s parts. I think that we have achieved that with the music that we have created so far.”
Chatting about the tour for ‘Roll On’ so far, the vibe of the audience as a topic is quick to be discussed. Although there hasn’t been too much outlandish behaviour, there has been some sensual dancing by some punters on the Gold Coast. “It was sort of like the intro to a bond movie where there is the silhouette of the girl in the clothes. It added something proggy and psychedelic to the show, which was good.” Upon hearing this, I was quick to ask Matthews if he has a desire to compose a Bond theme in the near future. “I would enjoy the challenge of penning the opening tune. It allows you to use some cheesy spooky chord changes that you may not use naturally. You could also use some chromatic shapes to make it a lot more epic.”
The first professional musician that I have interviewed to admit to using a couple of Aldi guitar effect pedals in his rig, despite their cheap nature, there is an awesome sounding chorus – and one you should check out. Hitting up Beav’s Bar in Geelong this Sunday (the 26th), Matthews can’t wait to get back and rock in Geetroit. A mixture of British blues-rock psychedelia – if big guitar sounds are your thing, then look no further than Pretty City.
When&Where: Beav’s Bar, Geelong – July 26; The Loft, Warrnambool – August 1; and The Bridge, Castlemaine – August 2
Written by Tex Miller