December 15, 2017
Let’s start with the basics for the uninitiated:
The Easybeats were an Australian rock band that formed in Sydney, Australia, in late 1964, and disbanded at the end of 1969. They were the first rock and roll act from Australia to score an international pop hit with the 1966 single “Friday on my mind”.
All five founding members were from families that had migrated to Australia from Europe and inspired by the “British Invasion” spearheaded by The Beatles, The Easybeats quickly rose to become one of the most popular groups in the city and Australia. Their concerts and public appearances were regularly marked by intense fan hysteria similar to “Beatlemania” soon dubbed by the Australian press as 'Easyfever'.
Fast waaaaay forward and enter Empire Touring, who made it their mission to bring you music from The Easybeats and Steve Wright, performed by Australia’s rock n roll royalty: Chris Cheney, Phil Jamieson, Kram, Tex Perkins & Tim Rogers. This full-blown musical experience is bound to resonate with music aficionados.
The Easybeats left an undeniable mark on Australian music history by becoming the first local band to generate an international hit. They steered a new era of people away from mainstream music culture.
In Australia, they were the reigning kings of rock & roll from the summer of 1965, assembling a string of eight Top Ten chart hits in a year and a half, including an EP that managed the unusual feat of making the singles chart.
After The Easybeats broke up in 1969, Stevie Wright released his debut solo album Hard Road in 1974, which spawned the three-part epic single ‘’Evie’’, to a phenomenal response. After the single was released, it shot to No. 1 and remained in the charts for 26 weeks – it became the biggest Australian single of that particular year and the only pop song over six minutes to reach No 1.
In 1979, Stevie Wright headlined The Concert of the Decade on the steps of Sydney Opera House, which featured a stellar line-up of acts. It was there that he performed Evie (complete) – which after all these years, is still referred to as a mind-blowing experience, by the thousands of adoring fans that were there on the day.
In 2005, The Easybeats were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
To this day, their music continues to inspire and transcend new generations of musicians and music lovers, particularly, the all-star team of Aussie artists that performed their songs on this evening, and whose careers have been inspired by the energy and electricity of the Easybeats’ old black and white TV performances and their timeless tunes.
To say that The Easybeats’ legacy looms large is an understatement per se and tonight’s show was well executed and curated homage to their aggression and finesse, the sexuality and cheek that has been a template for any band that the protagonists of the evening have been involved in, which showed as they reveled in the opportunity to bash and pash the living hell out of the tunes.
The show was backed by the super Easyfever band: Jak Housden (The Whitlams), Ashley Naylor (Even), Dario Bortolin (Baby Animals), Dave Hibbard (Joe Bonamassa) and Clayton Doley (Divinyls) and fronted by Chris Cheney from The Living End, Phil Jamieson of Grinspoon, Tim Rogers of You Am I, Kram of Spiderbait and Tex Perkins of Beasts of Bourbon, Tex Don & Charlie and The Cruel Sea, which culminated in a multi-headed supergroup capable of honouring Australia’s first international rock band by capturing their energy and electricity.
Each of the frontmen brought their unique swagger to the stage and magical moments were created with permutations of duets with the total of the evening becoming even bigger than the sum of the individual constituents would have you believe.
Photos by KAVV
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