On Friday, September 1 the Gold Coast will be copping A Fist Full Of Rock at NightQuarter in Helensvale. The show will feature a bumper line-up of respected Oz music illuminati in the form of Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I, Jedediah and Magic Dirt front woman (and respected solo artist) Adalita. In the lead up, I managed to grab an illuminating chat with long time Hoodoo Gurus guitarist Brad Shepherd.
I asked Brad how the band feel about playing package style shows in non-run of the mill venues, such as wineries and big outdoor venues like their upcoming NightQuarter show.
“They’re very enjoyable shows to play. I accept that a proportion of our audience may no longer want to stand around in a pub in order to see us. These other types of shows tend to have more of a relaxed atmosphere, with a bit more space. And if we can give them value for money by having a bit of an ‘all-star’ line up, then that’s great.”
Being that the Gurus are only a sporadic touring outfit these days, I ask Brad if it takes him awhile to get back into the swing of delivering the goods on stage night after night.
“The way I approach each show that we play now is a little bit different, because the terrain has changed so much from when we toured a lot. We toured relentlessly between 1982 and 1987. And after a few weeks playing on the road, pretty soon the muscle memory would take over and I’d put the guitar on, step out on the stage and my hands would play the songs. I’d just stand inside the music and enjoy it. I didn’t have to think for a second what I was doing, it just happened. That’s my favourite place to be when we’re performing. So I’m planning with these shows, that I can get back into that place, so that the music has it’s own consciousness. But these days my approach is a bit different. I have to do a bit more homework before I go on stage, and work on my muscle memory. Because I really don’t want to think about it. I just want to step out on stage and have the performance take care of itself.”
Prior to the upcoming Fist Full Of Rock run of shows throughout the country, the Hoodoo Gurus, together with You Am I, are playing a bunch of warm up shows, traversing through regional areas and bringing their competitive rock fisticuffs to our non-city brethren. Says Brad of the experience. “I’ve been all over the world with the Hoodoo Gurus, but I’ve never been to Narrabri – that will be a new one for me! We did a standalone event with You Am I a couple of months ago in the Hunter Valley. They’re dear friends and we’ve known them for donkey’s years. But both bands are competitive. They get up there and try and make us look like fools and blow us off stage. And we won’t allow them to haha! Both bands lift their game, the bar is set high, and rock is the winner on the night. We have a philosophy when we go on stage, stronger than ever now. We never coast through a show, we have a deep level of conviction in what we do. And we can’t afford any mishaps with You Am I breathing down our necks. I expect excellence from both bands, fueled by a strong sense of competition.”
Which is great news for those planning on getting along to the upcoming NightQuarter show on Friday, 1 September. And throw Jedediah and Adalita into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for an epic musical jamboree of knock-out proportions.