Friday, July 17, 2009

Western Flyer - Live To Survive! (1979)

(Australian 1977-79)
An Australian blues legend, Matt Taylor has been playing his brand of Australian-twinged blues music since the mid-'60s. His first band, the Bay City Union, was formed in March 1966 and was one of Australia's first traditional Chicago blues bands. Taylor briefly sang with the Wild Cherries before forming the Horse, and then briefly stepped in as lead singer with Cam-Pact for a two-week tour of Sydney during early 1970. He then joined blues band Genesis in February, who released a collaborative single with Carson County Band, titled "Bad Luck Feeling"/"Back Home" under the banner the Meating. They toured until August 1970 when Taylor left to join Chain, the move proved fruitful with the hit single "Black and Blue"/"Lightning Ground" and the groundbreaking album Toward the Blues.
After their success Chain took a break and Matt Taylor moved to Western Australian in the 70’s. He played solo around Perth and realised Perth was a viable proposition for a blues player to make a living. Many local bands were working five or six nights then. He formed Western Flyer in 1977, released an album 'First Flight' to the open arms of blues fans and played to full houses across Australia.

Western Flyer toured nationally 3 times, did the "Countdown" thing, and released 5 singles. A late seventies release, this is a live album by this blues rock act with the occasional rural overtones. This is their second album, featuring Matt Taylor who brings the blues to the band and Brian Peacock (NZ ex-Procession) who brings a more rural pound, this is a pretty good live album. The playing is good and the band were either very experienced musos or went on to bigger things; Mick Elliot (guitar) had played with Sid Rumpo, Bandicoot and Jim Keays, Bruce Devenish (drums) was a jazz drummer who wrote and played with the jazz band that featured in Rock Mass For Love (see Bakery) back in 71 and played with Phil Manning in 75. James Gillard (bass) occasionally played with Skyhooks and went on to feature in bands such as Broderick Smiths Big Combo, Russell Morris and Mondo Rock.

The final gig for Western Flyer was at the White Sands Hotel in Scarborough. After convincing the hotel manager his new band would fill the hotel the following week The Matt Taylor Band featuring Dave Hole on guitar and Ric Whittle on drums pulled in the promised crowd. This was in the punk era and at that time there was one blues band touring Australia and that was The Matt Taylor Band. After two years Dave Hole left the band and Phil Manning, who was twiddling his thumbs in Tasmania, flew to Perth and joined Matt. The extremely successful ‘Oz Blues’ album was recorded under the name of The Matt Taylor And Phil Manning Band.

Standout track on this album for me is Matt Taylor's first hit single (as a solo artist from 1973) - "I Remember When I Was Young". The rendition on this live set is slightly different to his earlier version with a distinct groove and tempo that makes it a great addition to this recording.
The rip provided was taken from vinyl at 160kps and includes full album artwork (Thanks to Paul at Midoztouch)

Track Listing
01 - Throw Me A Line
02 - Nannup Tiger
03 - Sunburst
04 - Runaway
05 - The Promised land
06 - Again
07 - I Remember When I Was Young
Band Members:
Matt Taylor - Vocals/Harp/Guitar
Brian Peacock - Vocals/Guitar
Mick Elliot - Guitar
James Gillard - Bass
Bruce Devendish - Drums

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