Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Bang The Drum - Selftitled (1990) + Bonus Single

 (Tasmanian / Australian 1989 - 1991)

Bang The Drum were an Australian rock band, first coming together in 1989 from the ashes of Tasmanian group The Shifters, Thundering Hearts and later Bigger Than Texas. That band put out two singles. "Holdin' Out" / "Public Man" and "Sunday Night Blues" / "Desperate Life", in the early 80s. Shifters consisted of Steve Driver (vocals), Jim Reece (guitar, vocals), Geoff Robson (bass, vocals) and Freddy Spiteri (drummer). The band split their time between touring heavily in Tasmania and playing in Sydney before breaking up in 1985.

Only Steve, the guitarist Jim Reece and the bass player Geoff Robson moved to Sydney to form 'Bang the Drum'. According to a review published in Consumable Online, 'their sound was overall much more rock oriented'.. New drummer "JJ Harris" had previous played with Australian band "Divinyls" from 1985 to 1986 before joining "Bang The Drum".

The Shifters
Bang The Drum released their 'self titled' debut album on WEA Records in 1990, and reached #62 on the Australian National Charts in May, 1990.

The album was well crafted and written, the production and arrangement was extremely well polished thanks to Charles Fisher. The guitar riff/solo by Jim Reece on "Stay Forever" always hits a high mark for me. Charles Fisher had worked with Moving Pictures, Martin Plaza, Air Supply, the Hoodoo Gurus and others. He went on to produce the self-titled album, “Savage Garden” in 1997; an album that reached #1 in Australia, #2 in the UK and #3 in the US.

Bang The Drum
Bang The Drum were the support act on Fleetwood Mac's 1990 World Tour "Fleetwood Mac - Behind The Mask".

The album contained 3 singles including the top 40 hit "Only You", "Passion" and "Stay Forever",  which featured on the sound track of Australian film "The Big Steal" also in 1990. That album was produced and engineered by David Hemming. The band have not been heard from since 1991 and didn't release another record.

Bang The Drum Releases
However, the singer Steve Driver fronted another band called Driver around 1993/94. Steve Driver was also the voice you hear on backups on 1927's first album titled 'ish...'

Concert Review (Fleetwood Mac Tour)

"There are many short lived bands that lay scattered across pop histories timeline, their musical legacy often lost in the shadows cast by rock and pop's luminaries and legends. Personally, as much as I love the work of the greats, it's often those lost gems that give me the most pleasure to reflect on and wonder what might have been.

Bang The Drum is such a band. The Sydney outfit came together in 1989 from the ashes of Tasmanian group Bigger Than Texas. They released one album, a self titled effort in early 1990, from which two singles 'Only You' (OZ#30) and 'Passion' (OZ#58) were lifted. Around the time the first single 'Only You' was sliding down the charts Bang The Drum found themselves as the support act for one of these rock legends Fleetwood Mac. I had recently bought the single 'Only You' on 45 and also had bought a ticket to see Fleetwood Mac in Sydney.

I had no idea who the support act was before hand and didn't much care until Bang The Drum played their set. This band was a class act. Vocalist Steve Driver, guitarist Jim Reece, keyboardist Jeremy Cole (ex-Jenny Morris Band), bassist Geoff Robson and drummer J.J. Harris (ex-Divinyls) added up to far more than the sum of their parts. There wasn't a dud song and far from struggling to engage the interest of an audience anxious for the main event, they rocked the house. I'd have to wait another 13 years to see another opening act as good - that was Jet opening for the Rolling Stones.

But unlike Jet, Bang The Drum's beat didn't, for some inexplicable reason, translate to a wider commercial appeal. Their sole album was every bit as good as the best on offer from the more established Aussie pop-rock bands of the 80s - 1927, Noiseworks, Moving Pictures, Mental As Anything, Icehouse...err well maybe not as good as Icehouse - but they were good!"
[Concert Review By Steve Rhys]

Band Review from The Canberra Times - July 12, 1990
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl (thanks to Deutros) and includes artwork for both vinyl and CD, along with label scans.  "Back Tomorrow" was a brilliant non-album song released as the B-Side on their rare 3" CD single "Only You", and is included here as a bonus track (thanks to D-Wizz).

Track Listing
01  Stay Forever 3:42
02  Only You 4:03
03  Passion 4:12
04  Old Money 4:22
05  Hell 4:19
06  Closing Your Eyes 5:11
07  Lonely 3:43
08  Hearts In Your Hands 4:45
09  Your Love 4:32
10  Justify 4:37
11  Back Tomorrow (Bonus B-Side Single)   3:08

Bang the Drum were:
Steve Driver - Vocals, Keyboards. 
Jim Reece - Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Vocals. 
Geoff Robson - Bass Guitar, Vocals. 
JJ Harris - Drums. 
Jeremy Cole - Keyboards, Sax.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Aussie for the Bang the drum share great work