Some take up guitar to be heroes, strutting their stuff as a solo instrumentalist or a band’s blazing lead player. Others prefer to be singer/songwriters, using the instrument to create tunes and accompany themselves. Another player, however, is the one that finds a primary calling in helping others realise a musical vision – though they might occasionally shred or write songs too. Please welcome, the sidemen – the engine room and backbone of so many bands. And now it’s time to shine the spotlight on these sidemen.
Conceived by Steve Banks, a Byron Bay local, ‘Steve Banks and The Sidemen’ is a production dedicated entirely to showcasing some of the greatest musicians who’ve played with iconic bands like The John Butler Trio, The Black Sorrows, The Paul Kelly Band and 10cc (UK).
Alongside Banks, the production features Bruce Haynes (The Paul Kelly Band, worked with Renee Geyer and Archie Roach), Jeff Burstin (The Black Sorrows, Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons) and Greg Lyon (The Hip Operation, Georgie Fame, Crossfire, Doug Parkinson and many more) as well as Grant Gerathy (former drummer from John Butler Trio), Rick Fenn (10cc, Jack Bruce from Cream, Mike Oldfield, Peter Green); both from the Byron Bay region, along with special guests Ms. Vanessa Baker and Ms. Martine Monroe who bring their superb vocal talent to the party!
“This show is a product of serendipity; a chance meeting between musos, the right chemistry, the right players, the hits and the clear pedigree back to those great bands we all loved,” Banks reveals. “10cc, The Black Sorrows, John Butler, Paul Kelly, Crossfire and so many more, it’s our chance to contribute to keeping live music alive! That and a chance to add, indelibly, to the soundtrack of our lives.”
The show explores the careers of each musician through a brief interview on stage with Banks. It’s an opportunity to celebrate their proudest moments, discuss the songs they’ve written and those that have influenced them. Some of the hits the band will perform include, Family Man (written by Rick Fenn and recorded by Hall & Oates), and Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc, Chained to the Wheel and Harley and Rose by The Black Sorrows and Oh well by Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green) along with a cracking setlist of songs that inspired the Sidemen to be musicians in the first place.
“With this group of musos, it shows Australia has punched well above its population mass with regard to the music scene,” Banks says. “Influence and parallels certainly, but we had and still have our own brand. These performers have literally thousands of performance hours and dedication to their craft between them, providing joy to the listening audience.”
If you’re a music fan by any means, this will be so worth it.
It all goes down at The Potato Shed, Geelong – Saturday March 21.
Photo by Lisa G Photography