Aussie legends to take music fans down memory lane
WITH the 80s sound and 80s music undergoing a bit of a rival it's not unusual to see some of those big names of the era out and about on the road playing to multigenerational crowds.
Over Christmas two of those bands, 1927 and Pseudo Echo, will be finishing up a National tour that has taken them here there and everywhere over the past two years.
The tour rolls back onto the North Coast with the bands playing the Kingscliff Hotel on 16 January - a chance to play close to home for 1927's Brisbane-based bass player Simon Shapiro.
"The rest of the guys live in other states but it's a bit of a home gig for me," he explained. There probably hasn't been a massive amount of those in the ten years that Shapiro has been with 1927 - joining when original lead-vocalist Eric Weideman reformed the group for a tour to celebrate the 20 years of their record-breaking debut album Ish. They needed a bass player and he came back from recording with another band in the US for the tour and has been with them ever since (this line up lasting way longer than the original band).
Formed in 1987 in Melbourne by former Moving Pictures guitarist and keyboardist Garry Frost (co-writer of Moving Pictures' What About me) who famously saw a young Weideman on Red Faces and drove from Sydney to Melbourne to recruit him for his new band.
The band went on to have songs that are still resonating today - that still bring a smile when you hear them - songs that include That's When I Think of You, If I Could, Compulsory Hero and Tell Me A story. That first album Ish went on to become the highest selling debut by an Australian artist, won two Arias and went multi-platinum. Frost left before they recorded again and after two more albums 1927 quietly drifted into history in 1993 until the 20th anniversary brought them back.
It's now thirty year's since that first incarnation of the band played the Tweed for the first time - coming on stage at the Stardust Room at Seagulls as support for America. It's 30 years since a young journalist interviewed her first muso - a young Eric Weideman, a cassette of the unreleased album Ish sent to her by courier (no cover art, no nothing) for the task. You never forget your first and so it's nostalgic having a quick chat to Simon ahead of this tour.
He too interviewed Eric Weideman not quite as far back but well before he joined him on stage the first time.
"I interviewed him for a newsletter at a school I was teaching at," Simon reminisces with a chuckle.
It's a nice memory but that's what the songs of 1927 evoke - nice memories and Simon agrees that they are the stars of the band not the musicians that playing saying that even now people can't always place the band until they hear the That's when I think of you.
"How many people have walked down the aisle to If I could," he laughs.
"Some bands have big personalities and its more about that but for 1927 it's the songs."
While Eric was good looking and talented, he never sought fame - he had been "a drummer with a good voice and good looks" first and was more content to let the music speak for itself.
"He still looks great and the girls that were in love with him 30 years ago are still in love with him," Simon says.
"But he is a bit enigmatic - he never sought celebrity or appeared on Spicks and Specks or shows like that."
It was all about the music then and still is now.
Pseudo Echo and 1927 will play the Kingscliff Hotel on 16 January, contact the venue for details.
Tania Spiers Phillips
Who still has her copy of Ish around here somewhere.