For about 15 minutes after the dying rays of sun left the lip of the Amphitheater stage on Day Two of Splendor In The Grass, Powder finger were reunited. You read correctly: Powder finger, the band responsible for triple j listeners’ #1 Australian album of all time, and who last performed together in 2010, got back together this afternoon at Splendor to have a bit of a bash in front of maybe 10,000 people.
In joining Fanning on stage, Darren Middleton, Ian Hang, John Collins pulled off a surprise eight years in the making, four Fingers (drummer Jon Cog hill was in absentia) uniting to form a glorious fist in salute to the benevolent gods of Australian Rock music. What’s more, the hits sounded as good as ever: Powder finger’s casual SITE run-through included the revving engines of '(Baby, I've Got You) On My Mind' and the deathless 'These Days', which, not-by-coincidence, instigated two of the biggest singalongs of the entire festival.
In November 2015, the same Powder finger members enjoyed a semi-reunion at Brisbane venue The Traffic, during guitarist Darren Middleton's Splinters album launch, but that was a Neil Young cover. Fanning foreshadowed the surprise comeback earlier in the set, busing out a solo acoustic version of 'Sail The Widest Stretch' from the band's swansong album, 2009's Golden Rule.
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Video from the show (below) sees Jay being welcomed onstage by Growl, who tells him, You look like me about an hour-and-a-half ago,” before describing his baggy dance moves as “office party shit”. “Let’s do it again,” he says after the song, before trying to climb Taylor Hawkins’ drum riser, almost falling over and being removed by security.
Composition de BernardFanning Indie Powder finger Hailing from Harare Zimbabwe, Too was destined to confute stigmas associated to impervious cultural restraints, and draw on profound exposure from his musically diversified household.
Too’s approach actively supports, and demonstrates equality to all artists, by reassuring abolishment of unnecessary discontinuity rivaled by dissimilar musical interests. A month later in March on the East Coast, Too supported the likes of International Hip-Hop artists/producers Wale, Metro Booming, Toga, Magento and Lil Wayne at the sold-out Jumanji Festival in Melbourne and Sydney.
In the 1890s, Jacques boarded a boat to New York City where he met with and signed a number of Tin Pan Alley recording artists. He brought the rights back to Australia with him and began importing their music.
Jacques' son Frank joined the family business in the latter part of the 19th century. Alexis' son Ted, a keen musician, joined in 1959 and in the '60s came up with the idea that the company could start writing and recording their own music.
Ted was a keen entrepreneur and set about establishing a music company, despite not having many connections in the industry. “They started with Billy Thorpe camp; the Aztecs who were signed to someone else at the time.
The next is this group of immigrants who were jamming in the laundry at Villa wood Migrant Hostel. Their most well known song, 'Friday on My Mind' (1966) also charted in the US, UK and throughout Europe, selling over a million copies.
But they were only the beginning of what would become a hugely successful rein of rock music dominance, the likes of which is yet to be seen again. AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, The Angels, Billy Thorpe, John Paul Young and Easy beats frontman Stevie Wright were among the many artists to have hits on the Albert Productions label, thanks largely to what was referred to as “the Albert's sound”.
In 1982, Angry Anderson of Rose Tattoo and Doc Neeson of The Angels were interviewed by triple j in support of a tour the two bands were about to kick off with opening act Choirboys. “All three bands have come through Albert sat one stage or another and there's a certain kind of school of sound that comes out of that,” Neeson continued.
“Those guys have just got a real feel for rock'n'roll and when you work with them long enough it rubs off, fortunately. “It's a very driving rock sound, a lot of it is based around the groove of a song,” he says.
You can hear that a lot in The Easy beats initially, and it seems to me that George and Harry then drummed that into all the bands they worked with.” “George Young talks about taping up black curtains to cover windows and putting mirrors on drums.
Ted would constantly be on his hands and knees in his jeans and his business shirt crawling around just playing with things. It was a combination of Ted Albert's obsession with sound and audio gadgetry and the genius songwriting and production talents of Harry Wanda and George Young that brought this Albert's sound to life.
“When we came back here and listened to some stuff on the radio, I couldn't get over how sterile it was sounding,” Wanda told triple j in 2009. While Wanda and Young were a crack songwriting team, their focus was on bringing out the best in the bands that Albert's had on its roster.
Bands were encouraged to pen their own material with the assistance of the two highly skilled writers. “They nurtured the artists in a way that they helped them in the songwriting, which is what their strength was, structuring the songs,” former Albert's CEO FIFA Raccoon told My Warhorse earlier this year.
“It's one of the first studios that I've ever been in in the music business that I've looked forward to going there,” On Scott told Double Jay in 1975. , were well-received in Australia and the band had begun to attract international attention.
According to Jesse Fink's book The Young's: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, the single did not go down well with the band's American record company. In it, former Camp;R boss Jim Relevant says Atlantic Records left 'Jailbreak' off the US release of the album because it was “too horrific for teenage consumption”.
While the sessions were well and truly before his time, Wayne Connolly has heard a story about what was going on when the band cut the now classic track at Albert's almost 40 years ago. By all accounts, when he came to do the line 'With a bullet in his back', he literally fell backwards.
They went in, and he was lying flat on his back, he'd collapsed backwards whilst doing his vocal. Stevie Wright's solo breakthrough hit 'Evil (Parts 1, 2 camp; 3)' broke all the rules of pop songwriting.
Clocking in at 11 minutes long, the song goes through a gamut of different shades of rock'n'roll from the big, riff-heavy opening track to Wright's sensitive croon over the delicate piano and strings of the second part and the theatrical flourish that ends it. Lyrically, the song tracks three separate stages of a relationship and ends tragically.
It got a big hammering on the radio, and I've always had my suspicions that they played a full 11 minutes because it gave them a breather, they could piss, have a cigarette. It's an impressive piece of songwriting and one which connected immediately with the Australian public, shooting to the top of the charts in 1974 and resurrecting the career of The Easy beats' former frontman.
Wanda backs up this faint praise for the smash hit by floating a conspiracy as to why it was so popular on radio upon its release. “It got a big hammering on the radio, and I've always had my suspicions that they played a full 11 minutes because it gave them a breather, they could piss, have a cigarette,” he laughed.
While he'd never earmarked the song as a hit, he remained in awe of his former band mate Wright and his ability to turn an audience on. “Having said all that, for me, it wasn't the sort of song that would set the world on fire, but when he was together, Jesus, I can't think of a better showman than Stevie,” he said.
In 2004 a group of Australian musicians came together, at the insistence of Jet's NIC Center, to record all three parts of 'Evil' for a special one-off single. The band called themselves The Wrights and featured Center, Chris Cheney (The Living End), Davey Lane (You Am I), Tram (Spider bait), Pat Burke (Dallas Crane), Daniel Hardenberg, BernardFanning (Powder finger), Warren “Pig” Morgan (Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs), Phil Jamieson (Grin spoon) and Dan Knight and the sessions were produced by Wanda.
“We went into the studio and started jamming the song and then recorded it with the one and only Harry Wanda, which was probably the highlight of the whole thing,” Tram tells Double J about the sessions. A long way from the bad boy tales and thick, punchy differ of AC/DC comes 'Love Is in the Air', a romantic ode set to a disco beat that captures a very specific, and popular, part of the sound of 1977.
The song was a top ten smash hit all over the world and, more than anything, showed just how versatile Wanda and Young were as songwriters. 'Love is in the Air' has been covered countless times, by everyone from Kamal to Tom Jones to Brazilian rock band The Fevers and even Colin Firth and Rupert Everett.
“Harry and George were looking for a follow up to 'Walking in the Rain' and kicking around ideas. Harry and George had a book of song titles where they jot down names every time they thought of something.
The songwriting talents of Harry Wanda and George Young meant the music that came from the label was second-to-none. “They were a powerhouse of creativity,” former Albert's CEO FIFA Raccoon told My Warhorse earlier this year.
“They had a great mentor in Ted who had a lot of faith in them and confidence in their ability who gave them free rein to go out and do what they did best, which was created and bring bands in to the company, and he's set up the studios for them.” “I always think it's worth remembering that Ted Albert did support AC/DC for seven or eight years, which is what it took for them to turn a profit with any of their albums.