Recent tour and the Sneaky Weasel Gang
I’ve just returned home from a 2 weekend tour of the mid-north of Western Australia, including performances in Kalbarri, Geraldton, Exmouth and Carnarvon. Would have to say it’s the best solo tour I’ve done with every gig being immensely fun and well received. Had the best shows I’ve played at the Kalbarri Motor Hotel, and the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at Geraldton’s Camel Bar. Some great food along the way (more in next blog) and met some terrific, interesting, and diverse people.
Perhaps the best part of the trip was hanging out with one of my favourite Western Australian bands, The Sneaky Weasel Gang. These young, committed musicians have won awards, respect and a huge fanbase playing a variety of blues, reggae, and funk – depending on their mood and inclination. They have some serious musical chops between them and, just as importantly, are cool, down-to-earth dudes.
They have a mandate from the WA public to travel around playing their own music while people groove out. Hanging out with them in Exmouth – one of their favourite places to play and where they are immensely popular – was a treat for me after long haulage by my lonesome.
Dan, the visionary band-leader, singer/songwriter/guitarist is a musical tour-de-force. He has an uncanny knowledge of his guitar which he plays with the natural ease and belligerant confidence of a 70 year old bluesman. Behind the scenes he has an incredible passion for amplifiers and instruments (anything vintage and scuffed), recording units (strange tape contraptions of a distant past), and an unquenchable thirst for musical knowledge. Aside from being one of the states most intriguing guitarists I have no doubt he will become one of Australia’s best known studio engineers within the next few years.
Bryn, the 9 foot tall drummer plays with a lackadaisical style, it’s truly mesmerizing that he can appear so laid-back while delivering such speed and precision. He has a strange burning intensity that only seems to be satiated when his gangly arms are weaving behind a drum kit. His passion for music is palpable as he tackles any available stereo with bursts of unbridled enthusiasm, pointing out some exotic drum-beat or instrumental flourish that captures his attention – “There’s just one thing that got me trippin'”.
And finally Jay, the heart of the group, subtle bass player bridging the manic drums and animistic guitar. Jay is cruisy. He emanates a sort of implicit wisdom that usually only a 140 year old confucian soul might exhibit. From behind his thick hair and accruing beard, slowly becoming indistinguishable, he discusses his new employment as chaperone for his grandparents, and teaches random backpackers magic and card tricks. He never seems too perturbed by any obstacle thrown at them on the road and when he has a bass strapped to his body he grooves away side of stage, the balancing foundation that keeps the other two Weasels in check.
Between the three best friends and band-mates there is an aggregate talent that is rarely seen in musicans 10 years their senior. They have a passion for boutique music while retaining an understanding of performance and how to connect with an audience without compromising their own vision. They are currently working on new material which Dan will be no doubt producing himself. I can’t urge people enough to go check out the Sneaky Weasel live show and see what they are about.
For more photos from my trip away check out the Spectacle facebook and say “g’day”