If Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are Australia's most significant musical export of the last twenty years, then arguably the group that did the most in aiding that rise are The Saints. The Kuepper, Bailey, Hay & Larizza version of The Saints that is. The very same group who released their seminal debut single (I'm) Stranded in October 1976 (pre-dating the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned) and who were promptly signed at the urging of EMI UK to a three album deal that saw them leave Australian shores for the UK in May 1977, never again to return as a group. Along the way, The Saints released three classic albums (I'm) Stranded, Eternally Yours and Prehistoric Sounds, but broke up acrimoniously in late 1978 denying at least two generations of Australian music lovers the the chance to see them live.
At the request of the Brisbane Festival, though, The original Saints reformed last year to headline to over 5000 people at 'Pig City', a celebration of Brisbane music, initiated and sponsored by Brisbane Festival. Grown men were seen to weep as The Saints - complete with a three-piece brass section - ripped through a set of those first three album classics. This summer Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne get to witness these bonafide music legends for real.
"The most important Australian album ever made". - Nick Cave on The Saints (I'm) Stranded.
Released in April 1977, The Saints (I'm) Stranded regularly appears in any poll nominating Australia's greatest ever albums. In recent times this included; Melbourne newspaper The Age based on a survey of Melbourne's music and journalistic elite, a poll of the Australian music industry by AIR (Australian Independent Record Industry) and Australian on-line fanzine Mess & Noise. But it's not just here in Australia that the plaudits for this groundbreaking album have appeared. UK fashion bible GQ nominated (I'm) Stranded as the no.3 Australian album of all time behind AC/DC's Back in Black and the Bee Gee's Saturday Night Fever. Now there's some good company...
In addition to the regular poll positions, (I'm) Stranded was also the first album included in new Australian TV and DVD series 'Great Australian Albums' appearing alongside Crowded House, Silverchair and The Triffids. Not bad for an album that on release was as good as ignored, received no commercial radio play and did not chart. Further proof that great art is often initially misunderstood only to be fully appreciated by later generations.
To celebrate this fact - along with their inclusion in the inaugural Australian All Tomorrow's Parties Festival series - The Saints (including original members Chris Bailey, Ed Kuepper and Ivor Hay as well as long time Saint Archie Larizza on bass) have graciously agreed to recreate the album (all 32 minutes of white noise, punk snarl and songwriting smarts) in its entirety - via two very special Don't Look Back performances.
The first, will take place at Melbourne's salubrious Forum Theatre (a long way from The Saints original breading ground of Brisbane’s, Petrie Terrace) and will also feature the legendary X (not to be confused with the lesser American band of the same name) performing their classic second album 'At Home With You'. Released in September 1985, 'At Home With You' followed X's 1980 debut X-Aspirations (recorded with producer Lobby Loyde in just 5 hours) and featured singer/guitarist Steve Lucas, bassist Ian Rilen and (then) new drummer Cathy Green and featured the timeless 'Half Way Round the World' and also 'Degenerate Boy' - later covered with much success by Adelaide power trio The Mark of Cain. Original performers Steve Lucas and Cathy Green will reunite to present the album in its entirety and will also feature fellow album performers The Horns of Contempt (ex-Hunt
ers & Collectors) with new bassist Kim Volkman standing in for the departed Ian Rilen.
The second show sees The Saints returning home to the scene of the crime – Brisbane - appearing as special guests of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at their Brisbane Riverstage show, rounding out a fantastic bill that already boasts Spiritualized, Robert Forster, The Necks and James 'Blood' Ulmer. If you live anywhere near Brisbane or within some hours drive you would be mad to miss this.