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The Angels | FESTIVALPHOTO
 

The Angels

If there was ever a band to single handedly represent Australia’s “pub rock” scene over the years it would undoubtedly be The Angels. Amidst there Australian tour promoting their new album “Take It To The Streets”, the group hosted a buzzing Acacia Ridge Hotel to create a remarkable 70’s rock vibe that could only be felt to be believed. The audience were covered, their faces with smiles and most of their bodies with tattoos. The venue itself was generous, ignoring the need for a crowd barrier to host a truly personal experience.

Combine these attributes with some ‘old-school’ guitar tones and the constant anticipation for the string of hits to come, the atmosphere was set and ready to take even new fans right back to a night of pub rock in 1974 when The Angels were formed. The only thing missing was the original singer Doc Neeson, who was forced to cancel his involvement with the band after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in January this year.

Doc’s dire exit however was repaired with the arrival of Dave Gleeson. Former singer of the iconic Australian rock group ‘The Screaming Jets’, Gleeson hit the nail on the head with his punchy vocals and tireless onstage energy. Warming the crowd up with a few tracks from the new album such as “Waiting For The Sun” before diving head first into nostalgic bliss with their hit “She Keeps No Secrets From You”.

From here the hits keep coming with “Take A Long Line” setting the bar early in the set and really lifting the audience to their full vocal potential. Although fairly unanimated throughout the night, guitarists and brothers Rick and John Brewster were clinical, flawlessly riffing their way through whilst flaunting their iconic ‘sunglasses onstage’ image. Halfway through the set John begins thanking the members individually whom each received a warm reception. None warmer though than the fill-in bass player for the remainder of the tour who John reveals as his son who had just learned the material to replace bassist Chris Bailey who is dealing with medical problems.

When mentioning The Angels at anytime, the song which is immediately pursed on most people’s lips is the smash hit “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again”, and when the first few notes of the song were elegantly strummed, every audience member who hadn’t had their turn of dancing yet were soon to face the inevitable. As if it were scripted, each gap in the chorus was frantically chanted back with “No way, get fucked, fuck off!” lines that were obviously not written by the group but somehow made their way into the song as a regular part of the live Angels experience.

From start to finish the night was a wonderful trip down Aussie Rock’s memory lane, a well-respected band, a truly humbled yet euphorically responsive crowd and best of all, that undeniable sound of true rock and roll.

Writer: Matt Campbell
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