The year 2019 marks an auspicious occasion for The Angels, the 40th anniversary of their third album No Exit. The album, which spawned classic hits such as the title track No Exit and the still beloved show-stoppers Shadow Boxer and Mr Damage, peaked at No. 8 in the charts. It was an apt follow-on from the band’s seminal Face To Face album, demonstrating to fans in 1979 that The Angels were a rock band here to stay.
Fast forward four decades and the No Exit album is still a fan favourite. As the anniversary approached for its big 4-0, it was a natural progression to take the songs out on the road and celebrate them in the best way The Angels know how, with a massive tour. The special thing about the tour is that there are no supports – it is just The Angels, full on, recharged for the entire show. Rick Brewster speaks to Hi Fi Way about the tour and No Exit.
Hard to believe another milestone has rolled around for The Angels? Can you get your head around the number forty years alone?
Yeah it is hard to believe but that’s where it is. The thing is that is has a life of its own and we don’t really think about it along the way. When you say forty years it sounds a lot but we have kept doing it.
Do you get nostalgic with milestones such as this?
Certainly, the memories come back of recording this album and last year it was Face To Face. That had its own memories and No Exit is a continuation of Face To Face. I don’t think we really ever stopped, when we finished Face To Face we had already done some demos for No Exit.
Was it really tough following up Face To Face with No Exit?
That was a big point of discussion and we didn’t want to rush it, in a sense we did rush it because a year later we released it. We did take our time, we were very particular about the songs, the arrangements, the sounds and making sure it came up to the bar that we had set with Face To Face. It was a daunting task but very fulfilling when we got to the end. We really felt that we had matched Face To Face even though it was a different set of sounds and a different set of rules in a way because we started to stretch the boundaries more with No Exit with things like double tracking of vocals and guitar solos, using guitars effects that I had never done before and putting organ on a couple of songs. The whole thing was a great memory and a lot of fun.
Are you memories from that period of time just strong now as they ever have been before with the good and not so good times with No Exit?
Oh yeah, the worst times were the arguments between John and I. Typical sibling arguments, rivalry if you like. It was all about musical difference, I should put a verse there or the outro is to long, I don’t like the guitar solo and all that. We used to go hammer and tong which was horrible at the time but it resulted in that album. It was a big part of it and I think you have to go through those times but these days we don’t argue the same way. We debate things, we’re a bit older now and we know which buttons not to push. The rest of thew memories are fantastic, we have this bottle of laughing gas in the corner of the control room and we used to go in there every session and have a suck on the bottle, worship the bottle and get spaced out for a minute then get on with it!
What do you think now when you play No Exit back these days?
To be honest with you I haven’t played that original album for many years apart from the odd little bit as a comparison or just to learn songs if we going to play them live. Because we re-recorded the album I’ve listened to that more than the original, that had a few differences to and obviously a different line up.
Playing the full show, do you have to bump up the fitness regime?
There’s nothing hard about getting up on stage and playing, we all love it and we’re used to it and done it all of our lives. This tour we don’t have time for a support act because we want to play the whole No Exit album and then a whole lot of songs that aren’t on that album that we’ll come back and play. Hopefully we’ll put something a more recent in the set as well.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch The Angels on the following dates…
Saturday 29th June 2019
The Gov, ADELAIDE SA
Friday 5th July 2019
Highfield Caringbah, CARINGBAH NSW
Saturday 6th July 2019
Pittwater RSL, PITTWATER NSW
Friday 12th July 2019
Gateway Hotel, GEELONG VIC
Saturday 13th July 2019
Village Green Hotel, MULGRAVE VIC
Friday 19th July 2019
The Triffid, BRISBANE QLD
Saturday 20th July 2019
Kingscliff Beach Hotel, KINGSCLIFF NSW
Friday 26th July 2019
Belmont 16ft, BELMONT NSW
Saturday 27th July 2019
Hornsby RSL, HORNSBY NSW
For more information, please visit www.theangels.com.au