Brewster Brothers Electric To Rock The Gov

As the book The 100 Best Australian Albums highlighted, “The Angels can lay claim to being Australia’s longest-lasting band.” And when you’ve been around since 1974 and had thirteen classic albums, the hardest part of any gig is compiling a set list.It’s a problem that’s now been solved. Welcome to … Brewster Brothers Electric – Playing The Angels rarities. So, what’s the story? Well, the Brewster Brothers just love to play – it’s what they’ve been doing for the past five decades. So, while Dave Gleeson is off touring with the Jets, John and Rick have decided to take the opportunity to perform some of the songs they’ve been itching to play. It’s a gift for Angels fans – songs they’ve been hoping to see live for years. Rick Brewster tells HI Fi Way a little more about the tour.

Another tour! Are you enjoying touring more now than you ever have before?
The playing side of it I probably love that just as much or even more these days. I just like playing in any situation either on stage or in the studio or even rehearsals, which happened every year or two . The rest of touring, I could take it or leave it. I’m sick to death of hotels, hire cars and airplanes, but that’s what you do to get to the next gig.

Has this Brewster Brothers ‘Electric Tour’ been in the back of your mind for some time but haven’t found the time to do it?
Yeah, we’ve thought about doing something similar with Dave, but the thing is, it’s a real opportunity. I mean he works harder than any of us as far as gigs go, he finishes a tour with us and he’s out with the Jets, so it’s never been a really feasible thing to do it with him, but we’ve got this gem in the band, Nick Norton, freak drummer, guitar player and singer. So we thought, well, why not do it, put him out the front and have another drummer. We’ve got a band which can play all those songs that we never seem to get to play such as Dogs Are Talking, Let The Night Roll On, No Sleep In Hell, City Out Of Control, Invisible Man, the list goes on. They’re good songs and we like playing them and we’ve had for years people asking for some of those songs, so it’s just an opportunity to do that

Does it blow you mind to look at the back catalogue and see how much is there to draw on?
Little bit! Once, once we started putting the lists together, it was a bit mind blowing actually. We still found we had to leave out a lot of songs that we’d quite like to do. So thing is in a normal Angels show, if it’s a festival type show, we play for an hour. That limits us to ten to twelve songs at most. This show we can play for a couple of hours, do two sets and cover a lot more ground. We’re not relying on any of the normal songs that we play, Take A Long Line, Marseilles maybe Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again, Shadow Boxer, After The Rain and all those sort of songs, leave them behind for this tour.

Do you get surprised by some of the fan request particularly the deeper cuts?
We actually got a list from a good friend of ours who’s in touch with all those people on Facebook, and he put together a list of what everyone had been requesting, and it was a very long list, and we picked the eyes out of that. In a a sense that made the job easier. It was great to see the interest.

Are some of those hard to play, or do you forget how to play them or is there a lot of muscle memory involved?
A bit of both. I’m down in my home studio at the moment rehearsing my part for these shows. Muscle memory is pretty good for the chords. When it comes to solos, I very often have to relearn or modify, whatever I come up with. I found that when we recorded some of the songs, when I listened to the original versions of some of them, I couldn’t work out what I played and still can’t in cases like that, I just modify.

Are you planning on recording an EP to coincide with the tour? Were the songs chosen obvious choices?
That was very hard we always wanted to do Night Attack. That’s one of those songs that we never seemed to play in The Angels, but it’s a song we all liked. Small Price to Pay is another one of those. We got together a list of maybe twenty songs and gradually whittled it down. We decided to do Lives of Grace, which is not strictly an Angel with songs, it’s a Brewster Brothers song, but it gives the EP something brand new and it’s good song which we love playing it. So we actually called the EP Lives of Grace.

Beyond this tour what’s next?
Well we’ve got a lot of touring coming up with The Angels, both our own tour and special one offs. Somewhere in between that we want to get back in the studio. It’s been two or three years since Covid that we’ve got into a studio as a whole band. We’ve got an album that’s at least halfway finished, so that would be nice to finish that album, get it out there.

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch The Brewster Brothers Electric at The Gov on Friday 21 April. Tickets from The Gov

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