Saturday, May 10, 2014

Broderick Smith's Big Combo - 2 Live Shows (1981)

(Australian 1979-1982)
Broderick Smith (born 1948 in Hertfordshire, England) is an Australian singer-songwriter, harmonica, guitar and banjo player. He has been a member of 1970s bands Carson and The Dingoes, 1980s Broderick Smith's Big Combo and performed solo. Broderick sings, plays harmonica and guitar. He writes his own material and performs other songwriter’s material as well.
Broderick started playing folk and blues music back in 1962. Leaving school and having a variety of jobs, he joined legendary Blues outfit the Adderley Smith Blues Band.
In 1968, Broderick was conscripted by the government of the day and press-ganged into the Australian Army for 2 years, in which he spent most of the time trying to stay out of trouble.
Upon his eventual release after the collapse of the Liberal junta he helped form a country roots type act called Sundown. But his first commercially recorded work was on Harvest EMI records  in 1972 with Carson, a boogie and blues band. This was his first real taste of traveling the country and playing music.

Broderick Smith's Big Combo
Then in 1973 he helped form The Dingoes, a legendary country rock group that is a main inspiration behind the modern country rock explosion. The Dingoes aim in life was actually to carry on the great work done by another band called Country Radio and explore the possibilities of blending Bush music with R’n’B.
The Dingoes were signed up to American management in 1976 and went over there to live and work until the end of 1978.  While in the States, the Dingoes were booked to do a national tour with Lynard Skynard which would have probably launched them to success was cancelled due to the plane crash which killed several members of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band.  They consequently returned to Australia disheartened and eventually disbanded. Kerryn Tolhurst remained in the states, living in Arazona, but only recently returned to Australia, when the dingoes reunited in 2009.

Broderick Smith
After his 1978 return to Australia, Broderick fronted various bands with his name featured: Broderick Smith's Hired Hands (1978-1979), Broderick Smith's Big Combo (1979-1982), Broderick Smith Band (1983-?) and Broderick Smith and the Noveltones (1988). Of these Big Combo provided his best known latter releases with the singles "Faded Roses" and "My Father's Hands" and the album Broderick Smith's Big Combo in 1981. Broderick Smith's Big Combo selftitled album finally made it to CD on Aztec Records. in 2010.
Smith was also a singer on the Andrew Durant Memorial concert album which was held in 1981.
Overall, Broderick has released fifteen albums to date, nine under his own name, recording both here and in Canada and the US. He has recorded with Cat Stevens, Jimmy Barnes, Steve Cropper, The Memphis Horns, Buffy Saint Marie, Phil Ochs, Ted Egan, Tommy and Phil Emmanuel. The list just goes on and on.

Malcolm Eastick
Broderick's been involved in the writing of somewhere around 200 songs and his solo albums have seen him writing virtually all the lyrics. He generally starts off with the lyric in a prose form and then when the music is written, he then tends to change the lyrics to suit the music. Broderick believes lyrics should say something and not just be something to sing along to [extract from]
Broderick Smith's Big Combo
After his time with Aussie legends Carson and The Dingoes, Broderick Smith (one of Australia's greatest voices) assembled an enviable group of musicians, christened Broderick Smith's Big Combo. Joining him were: Mal Eastick (guitar - ex-Stars), Mick O'Connor (organ - ex-Mark Gillespie Band), Chris Wilson (piano, guitar - ex-Buster Brown), Graham Thompson (bass - ex-Stars, Russell Morris Band) and John Annas (drums - ex-Atlas, Kevin Borich Express). The band soon became one of the country's biggest live attractions and was signed to Glenn Wheatley's W.B.E. label. They recorded their self-titled album at AAV in Melbourne with Ernie Rose producing. The album would feature four singles - the first two: 'Faded Roses' and 'My Father's Hands' became top 40 hits (as did the LP), followed by 'High Rise' and 'Ruby In The Snow'.
John Annas
Broderick has been likened to a Bruce Springsteen and his E-Street band, with his distinct voice and the Big Combo's twin Keyboard sound (Hammond Organ & Electric Piano). Broderick Smith even has the same initials!  They even do a great rendition of Springsteen's "Badlands" - as featured here on the Billboard set.
"Last Train from Mobil Town" is a great opening track on the Central Club set, and grabs you straight away. The Big Combo use the rhythm section in this song to sound like a driving train, with it's fade C/- John Annas on snare and drums and Mick O'Connor on organ, the song quickly builds. Like a lot of songs about trains, it is a metaphor about moving on in life. Broderick wants to leave this shit town that he has never been happy in and sees his future ahead being somewhere else, that's for sure.
Of course, both sets featured his hit single "Faded Roses" which is a considerably gentler song. Chris Wilson plays some awesome piano on this track, opening up the wonderful melody of Faded Roses which made it so popular with Australian audiences. Broderick paints a picture with his lyrics of a lousy cafe, a relationship where things aren't really that good, and simply asks where is it all leading to? It's basically a 'get out of my life' song rather than a love song, it's really just a breakup song.
"Iceman" is another great song that just chugs along and the Billboard set features some brilliant guitar work by Malcolm Eastick. Overall, these two live shows capture Broderick Smith in his element and his Big Combo band were probably one of the tightest units around at the time.

Big Combo On Countdown
 This posts consists of two posts, the first one 'Live at Billboard', recorded by 92.3EON-FM  in 1981 and the second recorded at the Central Club in Richmond, probably 1981 also. Both are soundboard quality and are presented here in MP3 format (320kps).  Thanks must go to the Dennis B at Midoztouch for the concert rips and to WoodyNet (also at Midoztouch) for his wonderful artwork.
Note: I have edited the artwork for the Billboard concert to match the correct track listing and also moved the last Billboard track "Into the Mystic" to the Central Club concert to retain a single CD format for both sets.  For more info on Broderick Smith, why not check out his comprehensive website
Brod Smith's Big Combo Live @ Central Club Hotel 1981  (156Mb)
01 - Last Train From Mobiltown
02 - Tightrope
03 - Almost Saturday Night
04 - High Rise
05 - I Was Here
06 - Faded Roses
07 - Fortune Favours The Bold   
08 - My Father's Hands
09 - Gimme Some Lovin'
10 - Two Steps From The Blues
11 - Back Off Baby Brother
12 - Iceman
13 - Ruby In The Snow
14 - Into The Mystic (Live At The Billboard)
Brod Smith's Big Combo Live @ Billboard 1980's  (178Mb)  New Link 27/6/2016 
01 - Dr. Rock 'n' Roll

02 - Almost Saturday Night
03 - Here Come Those Tears Again
04 - For Shame Of Doing Wrong
05 - Messin' With The Kid
06 - Mr B is Coming to Town
07 - Because The Night
08 - You've Got Some Imagination
09 - Jungle Work
10 - Ruby In The Snow
11 - High Rise
12 - Badlands
13 - Faded Roses
14 - After Glow Of Your Love
15 - Substitue
16 - Back Off Baby Brother
17 - Devil Drives
18 - Iceman


  1. Thanks for the great Broderick Smith posts. He has a sensational voice and can blow a mean harp.



  2. Thanks for these. My fav brod smith songs are Faded roses, my fathers hands, Ocean deep and Snowblind moon. probably more commercial sounding songs. Do you have any live Triffids music?

    1. Sorry - but The Triffids was not a band I really followed in the 80's.

  3. I have just managed to give these a listen. Both of these posts contain some interesting song choices that are perfomed very well..Thank you for these.

    Cheers, Glenn A.

  4. Hi there
    I am really impressed with the content and quality of the music.
    alas i have found the link to the Live @ billboard to be not working at the moment, Any chance of it being reposted Please

    1. Hi there HippyChords - great alias by the way
      All fixed now - enjoy :-)