Dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ, Lachy Doley is the most celebrated organ player in the world today. Including powerhouse drummer Jackie Barnes and Joel Burton on bass, The Lachy Doley Group are a super energetic force that perform as if their lives depend on it. This year they’re heading once more to iconic Gold Coast festival Blues on Broadbeach, for two shows in May that – believe us – you won’t want to miss. We chatted to Lachy ahead of their performances.
How does it feel to be referred to as the greatest living organ player in the world today?
It just sounds ridiculous to me when I hear things like that. I know what I’m capable of and I know what other people are capable of, so it’s very flattering when such prestigious people and idols of mine – like Glenn Hughes from Deep Purple – say something like that. I’m thrilled to think that they think so.
Your talent really is inhuman though. Did your spaceship crash land on earth when you were a baby?
Haha not that I know of! I might step near some kryptonite one day and find out.
What are some of the personal characteristics to which you attribute being able to get to the next level, musically?
I think a lot of it has to do with passion and authenticity. I cannot stand the idea of putting on a mediocre show. Every show I do has to be mesmerising, and if it’s anything less than that I’m really disappointed. I think that’s got a lot to do with it, and I give everything and I expect everything from my band. Perseverance, hard work, being willing to have to drive and travel and put yourself under heaps of pressure to nudge that little bit further. I’ve always been willing to do that, because this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. There’s nothing like the Lachy Doley Group in the world, and I think people find it fascinating that we’re a band without a guitar player but still have a huge and full sound.
And at what point would you feel like you’ve reached a level that you’re satisfied with?
The end result for me is to be able to travel around with my family, and sort of holiday and play gigs at the same time. I’d like to be able to come home and not have to be a slave to doing gigs and doing things that may not really suit the Lachy Doley Group. Basically be doing what I’m doing but a whole lot better, haha!
You’re regular faves at Blues on Broadbeach. What do you love about it?
I think this’ll be sixth time. We’ve had so many good shows up there now I think we’ve carved a little crowd there on the Goldie. We don’t get to see a lot of other bands because we’re usually hopping from stage to stage and playing with other people. Thankfully this year we open the festival at 10am Thursday and then we’ve got the whole day to check out music which is great, and Friday we’ve got another early show.
I understand you met your wife there, so I imagine it has some emotional attachment to it…
Yeah I’m definitely gonna bring the family up too this time. It’ll be quite fun to reminisce about when and where we met!
Tell us a bit about your latest album ‘Make or Break’. Is it a departure from the norm, or is it a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’?
This album was just wanting to consolidate what we’ve done great on the last albums and what we’ve really done great live, and try to make the best album we can with those elements. We’ve spent a lot of money so sonically it sounds a billion times better than the last albums. We’ve incorporated that live element in the album. Every time we normally record six months later the songs sound completely different after playing live so this time we went ‘Alright. Before we commit to this, what we would be doing in six months’ time?’ We had to put that mindset on and it worked really well, we came up with all these interesting sections.
Is there anything else you want people to know ahead of your shows here?
If they haven’t seen us before, expect it to be really loud, really quiet, really fast, really slow, really intense and whole lotta fun.
You can catch Lachy Doley Group on the Thursday and Friday of Blues on Broadbeach, in their last Australian shows before kicking off an epic European tour. Blues on Broadbeach runs from 16 – 19 May, and is a free event. For full lineup and scheduling information, visit bluesonbroadbeach.com.