-Australia. Big country. Kangaroos, dingos . . . and what else pops into your mind when you think of it?
Of course! MUSIC! Australia has been very well known for a big music scene and the typical Aussie sound since the 60’s. Bands like The Easybeats (‘Friday On My Mind‘), The Allusions (‘Gypsy Woman‘) or The In-Sect (‘Let This Be A Lesson‘) are only a few of a huge number of Aussie ones from those days. I always understood the unique Aussie sound as being a very complex combination of various sounds which cannot be reduced to only one genre. I mean, who does not know The Saints and their big hit ‘(I’m) Stranded‘, but when you really get into them, you see that they are so much more than just a punk powerpop band. No song sounds quite like the other, no record is comparable to another. That’s why I’ve loved ’em so much since I was a kinky little teenage girl of thirteen. Anyway, last but not least, of course, who else could it be – hardrock legends AC/DC. Are they even only a hard rock band? Is there any other band that sounds just a tiny little bit like they do? Nope. Not at all. Not that not many have tried, but for those who did, it never really worked out. Maybe a guitar line here and there, but that’s pretty much it.-
And that brings me straight to a not (yet) so well known “Aussie Band” from Newcastle, New South Wales a bit north of Sydney:
What kind of a name is that? Sounds like something back in the days before electric light, doesn’t it? Although bandfounder and frontbeast Dan Wilton just saw the name on a sign outside a pub, inspired by The Monkees‘ song ‘Listen To The band‘, he decided to do His Own Thing musically. It’s hard to find a description of what they sound like. As Dan once said about someone “Too much soul that she can’t control“. That’s exactly what they have: a lot of soul! And a whole lot of multiple talents, as Dan is a hell of a singer, outtasight and wild performer, who also plays guitar , piano and who knows what else. Some songs have fuzz and garage elements combined with the right dose of “in yer face” punk rock attitude. Dan’s outstanding voice can give you goosebumps or a screaming smack in the face in the same song.
They first played scorching dancefloor-busting cover versions of their soul and garage inspirations, and had their first gig in 2010. The two beautiful Lampettes, Miss Brooke and Miss Mel, go-go dancers and vocalists worked the crowd into a frenzy, while the mauling guitarwork of Cameron Macey, the belting bass of Jarrod Wilton and the pounding drums of Brad Rheinberger laid down the sounds of Smokey Robinson And The Miracles, The Isley Brothers, The Commitments, The Young Rascals, The Kinks, Them and The Seeds. Lead singer Dan, tried to be Righteous Brothers, Ray Davies and Little Richard at once. A wild, soulful, sweaty show!
All the while, The Lamps were doing some of their original tunes, and soon out came their first EP release, 5 furious numbers on the CD ‘Do The Ox‘. A handful of soul-flecked dance numbers, a Jan & Dean inspired ‘Hot Dog City‘, and a slow-burning, powerful opus ‘I’m Coming Home‘,with new lyrics to a Mighty Hannibal tune. Dedicated to the King of Dirty Bass guitar instros, Jet Harris, the CD sold out 2 pressings and gained airplay in the USA, Spain and Germany.
The Lamplighters have just finished recording a full length album unleashed on the world in June 2016. There are 12 new tunes written by Dan Wilton, some composed with Lampette Mel Keevill, which include Kinks-inspired garage rave-ups, Beau Brummelesque jangly rockers, stompin’ soul numbers and some soaring harmonies on the top! Look out for the new Lamplighters album , entitled ‘Soda Pop Soul‘ soon!
The Lamplighters are:
Dan Wilton : Lead singer, guitar, keyboards
Cameron Macey : Lead guitar, vocals
Jarrod Wilton : bass, vocals
Brad Rheinberger : Drums
Brooke Munce : gogo dancer / backing vocals
Mel Keevill : gogo dancer / vocals