Secrets, Lies & Chat

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Australian Icons - The Angels

It's Saturday night, October 8, 2005, and I'm filling in some time, drinking tea, before I hit the hay. Bryan and I have an early start in the morning as we are booked to do a market day at Gordon, which is about and hour and a bit away from where we live.

I wanted to write a short blog about one of my favourite bands, an Aussie band of course, The Angels. The Angels were around in Oz when my 'kids' were in their teens, and the three of them saw the group appear live. I don't remember their music from then as I think I was too busy in those years to have much interest in any music that wasn't on the radio and I didn't hear before work, in the car on the way to work, or in the car on the way home from work.

Australian singers and bands had a hard slog to get any airplay in Oz, and really things haven't much changed. I found that out with my book. No one is much interested unless you have the money to expend on a huge campaign and get yourself through some doors that are bolted.

Anyhow in 2002 I began a relationship with a guy in Brisbane. He was 41 then and I was 56. Yes, I did like men younger than me (and still do :) I live with someone 5 years younger now and call him my 'toyboy' lol. Ian (my friend in Brissy) asked me to see if I could find a song for him, The Angels and "The Dogs Are Talking". He told me that he thought I would like it and encouraged me to suss it out. I eventually did get a copy of the song, and he was right, I did like it. I then began to get together a collection of their music and loved the live versions much more than those done in a studio. I played them all the time and when Ian and I were together, we always had their music with us. Even after we broke up I remained loyal to the sound and I introduced other people to their music as well. I knew all the words to my favourite songs and wondered how come I missed out on seeing them when I was younger.

I read some time ago that the band was going back on the road, but I also read that one of the members, Doc, wouldn't be with the other four as he had started his own Angels Band up. I didn't think much about it after initially reading the article, but a couple of weeks ago my partner noticed a billboard on a telegraph pole advertising they were going to be appearing at Rooty Hill RSL Club in Sydney. I rang the club, subsequently went along and joined up as a member, and bought two tickets to the concert. The original four members of The Angels had regrouped, but Doc, who sang lead all those years ago, wasn't with them. It didn't matter to me, as I was hellbent on seeing even some of them sing and play live.

My partner, Bryan, and I rocked along to the club on the Friday night, 30 September. We played the poker machines for a short while then went to the auditorium for the show. There didn't seem to be many people there and it didn't bother me at all as it meant I could enjoy the music without a lot of yobbos around. The first act, Black Label, was what I call a 'hard rock' band and the sound was so loud that it was distorted and made my ears ring and go sort of deaf. I thought they were chit, just woeful and when they left the stage I destressed!

The next act wasn't much better, although Kevin Borrich did at least sing so I could understand what he was singing about and the sound was down a few decibals and my ears were very grateful. Kevin was trying to gee the crowd up and get people up dancing, but only a few game ones made it to the dance floor and made a pretty poor attempt at dancing. Bryan and I had a great table looking across at the stage and once the intermission came after Kevin and his crew finished, we decided to go into the club and have a smoke between acts. When we came back, our table was taken by four young people, so we had to stand up as the place had filled up with people by that time. Obviously there were a lot who knew the other two bands and they didn't bother coming into the auditorium until The Angels were due on.

The Angels came out; I was spellbound. They played all the songs I had become so close to, and sang them so well. Doc being missing didn't mean a thing, the sound was there, the music was divine. I stood up against a wall with Bryan and rocked along happily, and sang along too. People filled up the dance floor and applauded and whistled and called out often. It was just as I had imagined it would have been in the pubs all those years ago. When the band finished and left the stage I was feeling euphoric, the sounds still in my head. But something was missing! The one song I wanted to hear, they hadn't sung. I wondered if because of the audience participation that went with that song was in a coarse language, the club had banned it being sung.

We all started to chant 'more, more, more' and the announcer came out and started to get the crowd going. Next thing we were doing just what the pub patrons used to do; we were chanting 'Angels, Angels, Angels' and of course, out they came to the uproar of the crowd. By now almost everyone was on the dance floor, although Bryan and I, probably two of the eldest people in the room, stayed seated (yes we had managed to score a seat by this time). They started playing again and I was disappointed; it wasn't the song I wanted, although I still enjoyed it.

After that song finished, John Brewster, lead guitarist and singer, said a few words of thanks and assured the room that the band would keep on keeping on. Then they started to play again, and, yes you guessed it, my song ..... 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again'. The room erupted, everyone on the dance floor crowded around the stage and we all chanted, in the right places, after 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again' .... 'no way, get fucked, fuck off' ... over and over again. It was a total buzz out and when it was all over I wished there was more.

So to anyone in Australia who knows The Angels music I recommend you go along and see The Original Angels live as you will definitely not be disappointed. The tickets were $22 each, cheap as chips.



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