The Angels

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The Angels

No pub jukebox worth its salt would be complete without an A to Z collection of The Angels’ legendary hits. In fact, I’ll wager that no Saturday night in the pubs around Australia would be complete without a unified chorus of ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?’ sang arm in arm, with glasses raised high. Now imagine that scenario with The Brewster brothers up close and personal, playing The Angels’ biggest hits, classic rarities and all the crowd favourites.
The A to Z Tour was created due to overwhelming popular demand. The Angels camp listened to fans persistent pleas to hear more of the Aussie rockers impressive back catalogue, so the Brewster brothers, John and Rick, took it upon themselves to come up with the 26 track set list.
“John and I put it all together,” Rick says, “and of course there are a couple of spots that we don’t have a song. One of them is Q – we just call that question time!” he laughs. “That’s when we throw it out to the audience and ask them what they would like us to play – everybody loves it.”
Rick says that he and John spent time reminiscing about old times while trawling through their body of work, but insists that The Angels’ commitment to the band, onstage and off, is as strong as ever. “Getting up on stage in front of a crowd and playing these songs never loses its appeal – it’s what we love to do,” Rick says.
Fronted by The Screaming Jets’ powerhouse vocalist Dave Gleeson (who sang with the band on and off before taking over the role permanently after the passing of Doc Neeson in 2014), The Angels will play 26 tracks back to back.
“We play ‘Take A Long Line’, ‘No Secrets’, ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ – all the good ones. Obviously Z was always a problem but solved very quickly because we all love ZZ Top, as does everyone out there, so we hope to do them proud with a cover of ‘La Grange’.
“We also play some of our more recent songs from ‘Take It To the Streets’ [2012] and ‘Talk the Talk’ [2014],” he continues. “These are songs that Dave Gleeson has been involved in, both writing and performing them. “It’s always been critical to us to write new music, as it continually injects that life blood into the band and that’s what keeps us going, I think. Glesso’s an amazing performer and so was Doc,” Rick quickly adds. “They’re poles apart in style and performance but equally as energetic.”
The Angels have endured a lot in their 40 year history – but the loss of long-time bass player and friend Chris Bailey, to a rapidly aggressive form of throat and lung cancer, stands out as the most difficult. Thankfully, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Brewster family and John’s son Sam stepped up to the plate. Although he is proud to carry on the tradition of close-knit family ties within The Angels, you’ll find no nepotism here. Sam has spent many years cutting his teeth in the Australian rock scene and played alongside current drummer Nick Norton in various musical projects.
“He picked Chris’s brains before he passed away and spent a lot of time with him, so it was very fitting. Towards the end Chris said to us ‘Sam is your man!’ and he handed over the baton. He’s a great guy, but over and above that he’s an incredible musician,” Rick says.
“Although, it’s something we’re not really used to, the whole band getting along – we’re all friends. We eat together and drive in a van together. We didn’t do that for years and years!” he laughs. “Now there’s a very genuine camaraderie and the positive chemistry totally effects how we perform. It projects out to the audience as well – they feel it.”
When & Where: The Gateway Hotel, Corio – July 25
Written by Natalie Rogers