Growing up in Australia in the 1970’s and 1980’s there were two main Aussie hard rock bands you would hear on the radio and see on music TV shows – AC/DC and Rose Tattoo. Many of their songs were the signature rock tunes of that time and are still as popular as ever.
Although Rose Tattoo has stopped and started playing over the years (1976-1987, 1992-1993 and then from 1998 onwards) and the band line-up has changed a bit; the “Tatts” have been fronted by the legendary Angry Anderson since 1976 and the current band backbone has been formed by Geordie Leach on bass guitar (he has been with the band on and off since 1977), Robin Riley on guitar (1981-1983 and 2000 onwards) and Paul DeMarco on drums (1992-1993 and 1998 onwards). Dai Pritchard has been on the slide guitar since 2007. Sadly an astonishing 5 former members of Rose Tattoo have passed away from cancer with 4 of them lost between 2006 and 2009!
Anyone who reads my blogs regularly will know I am a huge heavy metal / hard rock fan. I have seen AC/DC four times in concert but I have never been able to see a Rose Tattoo gig until very recently. They were playing a show out in Ferntree Gully a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria on their “Young As You Wanna Be” tour, so my friend Mick and I had to go check them out.
The night started out well with two local support acts Fine Art Dealer and Jackson Firebird. The latter were the surprise packet of the night, a duo that play the loudest drum based swampy “cock rock” I have heard in a long time, including using padded hands to do some furious drumming like a wild Gorilla on a plastic tub and piece of metal sheeting (click this link to get some idea of what to expect from one of their gigs)! Oh and the drummer was singing through a loud hailer type arrangement. Awesome!
Then it was on to the main show. Rose Tattoo took to the stage with Angry in fine form drinking a bottle of Stones Green Ginger Wine and interacting with the crowd (his “brothers and sisters“) throughout the show offering commentary on the world, women and rock ‘n’ roll. Time marches on, but with a stern glare across the crowd he still remains “angry” and sings with a lot of passion!
Rose Tattoo belted out all the classics during their fiery set. Songs included Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw, One of the Boys, Bad Boy For Love, Assault & Battery, Rock ‘n’ Roll is King, Scarred For Life, Juice on the Loose and We Can’t Be Beaten.
My long wait to finally see them was well worth it! We had a great time, the crowd was singing along to everything and the old ears were well and truly ringing afterwards! Rock ‘n’ Roll is truly king!