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Australia's Angels of rock continue to roll

The Angels' Sam, Rick and John Brewster, Dave Gleeson and Nick Norton.
The Angels' Sam, Rick and John Brewster, Dave Gleeson and Nick Norton. Craig Peihopa

WHEN Doc Neeson left The Angels, original member Rick Brewster had only one man in mind to fill his sizeable shoes.

One of rock's greatest frontmen, Neeson commanded the stage almost like no other, but a tour years prior convinced Brewster that Screaming Jets' frontman Dave Gleeson could one day be the man for the job.

"When we toured with the Jets, I made up my mind then that if Doc was ever to fall over, Dave would be a great choice,” Brewster said.

"When Doc left in 2010, Dave (was) available. By chance, he turned up at a Brewster Brothers gig in Adelaide, and John and I invited him up to sing a few Angels songs.

"Next thing we knew he was in rehearsals with us, and next thing you know we were recording.”

The result was 2012's Take it to the Streets album, which peaked at No. 24 on the ARIA albums chart and confirmed The Angels still had a sizeable presence on the Australian music landscape.

Perhaps fittingly, The Angels' next move in progressing the legacy after 2014's Talk the Talk, was an August release of double album Brothers, Angels & Demons, which documents more than 40 years of history.

"It covers everything; Angels tracks from the early days and also from the latter days with Gleeson,” Brewster said.

"The last three tracks are the last recordings we ever did with Doc on Symphony of Angels, so they're very special.”

The Angels have compiled a vast back catalogue from which to choose from, after their rise from the Adelaide pub scene in the 70s.

From original incarnation, the Moonshine Jug and String Band, to the Keystone Angels before settling on The Angels, the band has endured international tours, break-ups and infighting.

The stories of that legacy have been compiled in a tell-all autobiography, which coincided with the release of Brothers, Angels & Demons, and an upcoming 15-date national tour.

Through The Angels' line-up, now featuring Brewster (lead guitar), his brother John (rhythm guitar and vocals), Nick Norton (drums), and John's son Sam (bass), the band continues to connect with fans.

With a new album in the pipeline, Brewster said there was no chance of slowing down any time soon.

"I always say it's the songs. They have outlived every line-up change, that's what it is for us,” Brewter said of the passion to endure.

"We love performing and that's what it's about for the audience. We've been lucky to write songs that stand the test of time.”

And as for that famous song that garners a certain signature reply starting with "no way” from audiences in reaction to the band asking "am I ever going to see your face again?”.

"No one knows how it started, we've heard so many theories. It was probably in a night club somewhere or on a cruise ship,” Brewster said.

"I went through a stage when Doc was in the band when I got really sick of that song and didn't want to know, but since Dave, he makes it a bit more tongue in cheek, the way it should be.

"It's a great thing to see young people screaming out the lyrics. It's a great feeling.”

The Angels

Where: Nightquarter, Gold Coast

When: December 2

Special guests: Rose Tattoo and Mi-Sex

Tickets: oztix.com.au, or 1300 762 545

Topics:  angels brothers entertainment music national tour nightquarter nightquarter gold coast rock the angels tweed entertainment



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