De­but al­bum’s in the bag

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

NE of the Gold Coast’s new­est bands, Ma­mas New Bag boasts some of the coun­try’s most ex­pe­ri­enced ‘‘old soul’’ blues rock mu­si­cians. But don’t be fooled – de­spite their life­times of ex­pe­ri­ences tour­ing the world in some of the coun­try’s most pop­u­lar bands, Ma­mas New Bag are as ex­cited about their CD launch as any new teenage band would be.

A clock on their web­site ma­mas­new­bag.com.au is count­ing down the hours to the group’s first big gig at Coolan­gatta Ho­tel on Satur­day.

The band takes the stage armed with their slickly crafted de­but al­bum, a swag of mer­chan­dise and what bass gui­tarist Geordie Leach tips to be a killer rhythm and blues setlist. ‘‘Mu­sic is life for me,’’ he says. Af­ter some low-key warm-up gigs, Leach and band­mates Terry Gas­coigne, Ray Oliver, An­drea Sz­abo and Jackie McDon­ald – and some spe­cial guest mu­si­cal friends – re­cently signed off on their rock­ing col­lec­tion of cov­ers and an orig­i­nal that in­di­cates what’s to come.

A long-time mem­ber of Rose Tat­too, Leach and his band­mates boast an A-list mu­si­cal pedi­gree play­ing with ev­ery­one from Re­nee Geyer to Mov­ing Pic­tures.

‘‘It’s been a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause it’s been all hands on for me, as op­posed to Rose Tat­too, where we had man­age­ment and out­siders,’’ Lynch says.

‘‘This is all in-house – all as­pects have been done by An­drea and my­self, re­ally.’’

A pop­u­lar per­former on the lo­cal live mu­sic scene, ex­pe­ri­enced cabaret per­former and vo­cal pow­er­house Sz­abo has worked in ra­dio, as an ac­tress and co­me­dian and as a vo­cal teacher and choir di­rec­tor.

Mex­i­can-born gui­tarist McDon­ald has played with Latin and rock bands on both sides of the world while fel­low blues/jazz ax­e­man Oliver, who fea­tures in the Who’s Who of Aus­tralian Rock, has been a mem­ber of The Light, Black­feather, King Har­vest and Friends and has toured with the Pink Floyd show Be­yond the Dark­side.

Drum­mer Gas­coigne has played with ev­ery­one from Jeff St John and Ray Bur­ton to Richard Clap­ton, Phil Em­manuel, Black­feather and Bul­la­makanka and sup­ported Eric Clap­ton, Fred­die King and The Rolling Stones on tour.

– Pic­ture: BREN­DAN RADKE

OThe for­mer owner of Padded Cell Pro­duc­tions, Leach, who was in­ducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame with Rose Tat­too in 2006, says Ma­mas New Bag’s de­but al­bum has been 18 months in the mak­ing.

‘‘I mas­tered (vo­cal­ist) An­drea’s al­bum back in 2007 and we re­mained friends and did a few walk-up start shows to­gether,’’ he says.

E´ ‘‘Then we de­cided to put an act to­gether of some de­scrip­tion. We both like as­pects of the blues so we de­cided to make that the com­mon ground. That was 18 months ago that we de­cided to do some­thing se­ri­ously.’’ Leach says they be­gan ‘‘pick­ing tunes’’ in the blues genre. ‘‘It was a mat­ter of de­cid­ing what style of blues to play. The more we looked at it, there were too many good ones. We just picked songs that we liked in the end – and that cov­ered ev­ery­thing from west coast to east coast to Texas blues – all sorts of blues. We’ve got T Bone Walker, Muddy Wa­ters, BB King, Koko Tay­lor.’’

Ded­i­cated to keep­ing rhythm and blues mu­sic alive and en­ter­tain­ing, Leach says the group spent 12 months record­ing ‘‘in be­tween other things’’. ‘‘I was still fin­ish­ing up with Rose Tat­too,’’ he says. ‘‘With (front­man) An­gry (An­der­son) go­ing into pol­i­tics, I thought it would be kind of nice to do my own thing. There’s only An­gry and my­self left as orig­i­nal mem­bers – I re­placed the orig­i­nal bass player when he left back in 1977.’’

Leach says he first be­gan work­ing with An­der­son in 1973 in Buster Brown. When Rose Tat­too’s Euro­pean tours ‘‘dried up a lit­tle bit’’, Leach turned his hand to run­ning his own record­ing stu­dios.

‘‘Af­ter a while, that was tak­ing me nowhere mu­si­cally or in­spi­ra­tion wise. I was help­ing other peo­ple with their stuff and got to the point where I thought ‘I’ve got to do it for my­self now’. I had mas­tered An­drea’s al­bum and liked her voice and thought let’s use it. It’s time to get out and show the world what we’re all about.’’

– SUZANNE SIMONOT

Ma­mas New Bag and Moo Moo Pappa play the Coolan­gatta Ho­tel on Satur­day. Doors open 8pm. Tick­ets are $20.

New Gold Coast band Ma­mas New Bag (from left): Terry Gas­coigne, Ray Oliver, An­drea Sz­abo, Geordie Leach and Jackie McDon­ald.

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