The Angels on rock and roll, a 43-year career and their Australian national tour

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The Angels on rock and roll, a 43-year career and their Australian national tour

“The book of rock and roll hasn’t been written yet. It is being written as we speak, but it’s not finished by any means and I don’t think it ever will be. Just like jazz music, or blues music, or classical music, it will be with us forever.”

With a career spanning over four decades, The Angels have a rich history; from being one of the primary instigators in the birth of Australia’s pub rock scene in the 1970s, performing as Chuck Berry’s backing band in 1975, and releasing 13 rocking albums over the course of their career.

To celebrate their rich catalogue of music, The Angels recently hit the road again on their ‘4×4 Across Australia’ national tour. According to John Brewster, the bands founding member and rhythm guitarist, the aim of the tour was to try something different and play some of their music which hasn’t been seen live for a number of years.

“The thing is, we have been around for a long time so when we go out on the road we like to come up with some sort of different angle – that’s really all it is. We have recorded, I don’t even know how many albums over the last 40 years, so the fans have a lot of songs that they want to see live and it varies between fans. We do the hits, but we like to get songs into the tour that we haven’t played for a while. The idea of the 4×4 tour was to just pick four albums and do four songs off each album,” Brewster says.

“One of the albums, which I am very pleased to be able to say we are doing songs from, is the Skin and Bone album, which is actually the last album we did with Doc Neeson way back in the late ‘90s. We have sort of rediscovered that album, even though we made it. By the time we finished it, we were all pretty sick of it and never gave it much of a listen. But now we have, and we realise it’s a great album.”

Already halfway through their tour, The Angels will be bringing a unique performance to Geelong’s Gateway Hotel this month, playing their major hits along with some of their less known tracks.

“We kind of rotate a bit, so one night isn’t exactly the same as the previous night. There are certain songs in our set lists that are actually important we play. People pay their money to see The Angels and to hear us do the big numbers, and I would say we have a number of those. Those songs are always there and always played. It’s the other numbers that we rotate around a bit,” he says.

“The Gateway’s great! Just a good old-fashioned rock bar. We have played there a couple of times in the last couple of years. Geelong is just a great rock town in itself; some regional towns are particularly known for having a great rock scene and Geelong is definitely one of them. Over our 43 years of existence, we have always thought of Geelong in a good way and people are just right into what we do.”

When & Where: Gateway Hotel, Geelong – April 8

Written by Alex Callan