Rarely has an Australian band received as much consistent and widespread acclaim from critics and music fans alike as the cheekily named Bondi Cigars. With three live and seven studio albums under their belt already, and over a dozen years of constant touring, this award winning quartet have well and truly worked their way into Australia’s musical heart. Now with an upcoming show at Soundlounge, we caught up with bassist, vocalist and founding member Alan Britton.
In 2015, the band released their 10th album, ‘Child in the Desert’ which was well received by fans and critics. I wonder what’s been happening on the recording front since then.
“Since Child in the Desert we have basically been touring to support that disc,” says Alan.
“And at the moment finding a good venue to record another live disc to give people an insight into Bondi Cigars’ live work.”
With such a robust discography, I can’t help but ask if Alan has a particular favourite.
“Every CD we have produced is a favourite in their own way to me and at the moment I do favour ‘Child in the Desert’, as I like the way Shane [Pacey, founding member, vocalist and guitarist] has crafted his songs on the album to be different but are still unmistakable Bondi Cigars. I also like the contributions from Frank [Corby, drummer] and Eben [Hale, guitarist, vocalist].”
Renowned for their live energy, the band has been invited to perform at festivals such as The Melbourne International Music & Blues Festival, Great Southern Blues & Rockabilly Festival, Moomba Festival, Queenscliff Festival, The Byron Bay East Coast Festival and more. Over the years, the Bondi Cigars have also built a solid reputation as one of the best live acts in the country.
After so many years of experience on the road, I ask Alan what, if any, advice he would have for young bands who are about to embark on a hectic touring schedule.
“The band has toured nationally since its inception and in the early days by road to every corner of the country, and we used to carry our food with us as the food quality wasn’t great in some places. My advice is to stay focused on the music, eat well, and keep up your water supply and save the partying until the end of the tour.”
With their fantastic mix of blues, soul, funk and R & B, Bondi Cigars have maintained their status as one of this country’s most in-demand touring acts, with shows numbering over a hundred and fifty each year. Over a decade later, many original fans are still supporting the band, although they are gathering new ones each day.
Bondi Cigars hit Soundlounge on 22 June. Tickets at soundlounge.com.au.