The Angels ‘A-Z The Wireless Show’
Live Gig & Live Stream – The Bridgeway Hotel
Going back to the Bridgeway Hotel after nearly 40 years was a surreal feeling. Back in the 80’s the Bridgeway at Pooraka was THE place to go every Friday and Saturday night particularly if you were from the northern suburbs. We saw all the best bands there …. AC/DC, Midnight Oil, Uncanny X-Men, Train, Swanee, Cold Chisel, The Angels. I could go on and on but there’s not enough time here.
Walking back through those doors where we’d line up most weekends was a peculiar feeling. It looked the same but different, random memories returning.
Father of five and I went direct from a work Christmas lunch, arriving at the pub minutes before The Angels took the stage. The venue setup was unfamiliar, with tables and chairs cabaret style on the dance floor with taller standing bar tables at the rear. I remember in the 80s it was just wall-to-wall people, sticky floors and perspiration in the mosh pit.
This was my last gig to finish off 2020, a pretty unbelievable year in so many ways. In keeping with this new world we find ourselves in, the gig was also live-streamed for those fans unable to attend.
Like all artists, The Angels had many gigs cancelled this year, we held our breath hoping this one wouldn’t, as it had already been postponed once. Thankfully the Covid Gods smiled upon us, The Angels didn’t disappoint, although it was weird sitting down at an Angels gig, and it did slightly affect the traditional audience response to “Am I ever gonna see your face again?”
It was the usual line up since 2013 of the Brewster brothers, John on rhythm guitar and Rick on lead guitar, John’s son Sam Brewster on bass, Nick Norton on drums and Dave Gleeson, also of The Screaming Jets, on vocals.
Rick remained seated for most of the gig but did stand up taking his usual stance with his brother for a song.
Dave reminded us not to leave at the conclusion of the first set, as they would be back for a second. Dave Gleeson has been fronting the band now for 10 years after the departure of Doc Neeson and his subsequent death of a brain tumour. This caused major discontent at the time amongst loyal fans, those who were for and those that were dead against having anyone other than Doc as lead singer. I remember both camps being highly emotional and poles apart, but over the years, opinions have mellowed and Dave has been accepted as a valuable addition to the line-up, enabling the songs that were the soundtrack to our youth, to be played live and with renewed energy.
The night was emceed by radio and media personality Greg Clark who I’d interviewed the week before on Radio Adelaide. Greg played a video from the archives, of a rather difficult interview with John and Rick from Music Express 42 years ago then replicating the interview live with John and Dave.
When hubby and I arrived, all seating was taken, so I asked a nice looking couple if we could rustle up chairs and join them at their table. They graciously agreed, so we were second row centre, the best seats in the house. Rick and Tricia are a lovely couple. Rick was a lawyer but saw the light and is now a documentary filmmaker. They were guests of the Brewster Brothers and like Baz and I, they are also planning a road trip to Byron Bay to see The Angels play at Bluesfest at Easter.
The Angels played an awesome set list (see right courtesy of Greg Clark).
How do you pick highlights from such a great show with so many favourite songs?
But here’s my top four ….
- Nick Norton coming from behind the drums to sing a song he wrote, ‘Escape’ from the ‘Under The Stone’ EP
- ‘Be with You’ just because it’s a beautiful ballad
- Founder of the Fan Club Mignonne and I agree that ‘Shelter From The Rain’ was a standout. “It’s from the first album and hasn’t been played in eons”.
- Best song from the encore ‘Can’t Shake It’
Coincidentally, just today a ‘Weekend of Rock’ was released for Adelaide Oval in February with The Angels headlining on Friday.
Happy new year to you and yours, stay safe and see you down the front in 2021!!