Painters and Dockers

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Painters and Dockers

How many bands, do you know that take a tugboat as transport to their gig? Well, the answer is one of the most infamous bands in the history of Australian music, the one, the only, Painters and Dockers. With the gig scheduled for January down at Port Melbourne, front man and singer Paul Stewart is excited about their mode of transport to the gig. Having just seen Daddy Cool out on stage at the Melbourne music awards the night before we talked, Stewart feels it’s exciting to see these classic bands back out on the road.
“Fucking hell, I’ve got my new liver and I’m all ready to go,“ Stewart says bluntly about Painters and Dockers 2014 and 2015 commitments. Over the last few years, the band has been playing as a trio at wineries around the region so the idea to reform for the Community Cup football match earlier this year, wasn’t a hard decision to make. “That was the beginning of the band again. It was a cracker of a show and since then the offers have been coming in thick and fast. We have just returned from playing at Punkfest up in Brisbane, which was sensational. Nostalgia is a beautiful thing, and I tell the guys we just have to stay alive to keep going.”
A couple of months back, James Tidswell from Violent Soho was declined from boarding a domestic flight, because he was wearing a Eat, Shit and Die T-shirt (one of the most famous Painters and Dockers songs), talking about the incident afterwards it seems the T-Shirt and the band are making a big statement in 2014. “ We decided to print 250 T-shirts after that day and we sold out in 17 minutes. We were really surprised by that fact and fucking look out, the Painters and Dockers are back and you never know what you’re going to get when we come to town.”
Most Painters and Dockers songs are about sex or death and, despite the interesting subject matter of the songs, it still surprises the band with the amount of young people that are coming along to the shows these days. “The other night we played a gig and 10 19-year-olds just started singing the songs. It was a weird fucking moment, it turns out that their dad was a mad Painters and Dockers fan and used to play our music on the way to school.”
Since forming in the eighties, the band has put out a swag of CDs and played hundreds of shows all around the country. Given a rebirth in 2014, Stewart feels that touring is easier these days than back in the day. “When Lobbie Lloyd was our manager we’d go out and play six nights a week. It certainly takes a bit of a toll doing gigs these days, so we take a bit of a laid back approach. My liver ain’t like it used to be either, so we don’t really party excessively too much anymore.”
The main philosophy of the band is to put on an amazing stage show, which is exactly what Painters and Dockers will do next March for the Motor City Music Festival show. “Mate! We will be bringing our A-game to Motor City don’t you worry about that! Anything can happen and we can’t wait to hit the stage.”
When&Where: Motor City Music Festival, Geelong Showgrounds – March 6-8
By Tex Miller