What’s your favourite work at this point in time?
I’ve been listening to the new DubFx album which I was lucky enough to play on and also loving Harvey Sutherland.
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
Back in the days when the Bachelors were recording there was this amazing new invention called the sampler. You could sample any sound and trigger it at any part of a song. Before the sampler, as a percussionist, you’d have to play the whole song on tambourine, or shaker or whatever other percussion instruments and it would sometimes take hours to make sure every bar was in time, especially if the song sped up or slowed down. We take it for granted now that we can make percussion loops in a minute and then cut and paste all over a song.
What, or who, inspires you?
Bachelors From Prague are inspired by the greats of jazz. Miles, Coltrane, Monk, Ellington, Blakey, Mongo. It was an unwritten rule that every song had to have the words city, night, or city at night in the lyrics.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
Caravan by Duke Ellington
What’s next for you?
I bought The Night Cat 3 months ago. The club was founded by Henry Maas, the Bachelors From Prague’ singer, and another great guy from that scene called David Dann. I loved the club in the 90’s and have been trying to buy it for 21 years. The previous owner Max Vella was kind enough to sell it to me after 11 years of me asking, I feel very privileged.
It’s been non-stop repair and renovation as we pour love into every nook and cranny. The room sounds fantastic now and we are starting to work on some visual elements and some of the practicalities of running it like a venue whilst maintaining all the beautiful character that 21 years of presenting live music has given the place. My goal is to make it the best looking and sounding ‘in the round’ venue in the world and that takes a lot of time and effort. It’s super exciting when people come to The Night Cat and tell me how good the venue sounds now. What’s next is some more soundproofing, renovate the bar and to build the artist dressing room from my dreams.
What’s your scene?
Back in the early 90’s Bachelors From Prague had our own scene. We booked our own shows in various venues mostly in Fitzroy, printed our own posters by hand on silk screens, made money on our own doors, owned our own record label and independently distributed our music. The gigs we played were full of a crew who all knew each other, who dressed up in cool suits, who loved jazz and latin music before it was widely known in Australia, who hung out in Fitzroy and sometimes St.Kilda and who were mostly on the alternative side of life, artists, musicians, dancers, poets. comics.
On Friday Sept 2nd we will bring that scene back to life for a night. Many of that crew have already confirmed they are coming and we’ve sold a bunch of tickets so it’s super exciting. I can’t wait!
About the Bachelors From Prague
It is 25 years since Bachelors From Prague have performed together. The eight-man group formed in 1984 and fast became recognised as the flagship of a movement supporting new jazz in Australia. More than simply a musical foray, the Bachelors rise was an exercise in style.
Having developed in the early years from a select bohemian interest into a passion for the youthful night club fraternity, Bachelors from Prague was super cool and in great demand. A mode of jazz that didn’t sit well with traditionalists, their sound captured the spirit of seminal 1950’s be-bop placed in an energetic modern framework. Influences were not limited to modern jazz, and a healthy amount of funk, pop/rock and cabaret surfaced from time to time. The great majority of songs were original compositions with some standards being re worked to give a Bachelors flavour.
Bachelors From Prague achieved prominence with constant national touring and performances in London, Italy and at The Edinburgh Festival in 1990. They recorded 4 albums, made numerous video clips and performed countless radio and television appearances including The Big Gig and Hey Hey Its Saturday!, cemented their place in the Australian musical landscape before folding in 1991. They remained forever in the hearts and minds of a devout following, with many of the bands members going on to achieve success in other groups including King Kat Blues Cabaret, The Black Sorrows, The Feeling Groovies, Paul Kelly, Vika & Linda Bull, Renee Geyer, Archie Roachand The Triffids.
To celebrate the re-opening of The Night Cat in Fitzroy – set up by Bachelors From Prague front man Henry Maas in 1994 and recently re-launched by Bachelors percussionist Justin Stanford – the original line up will gather in its entirety for one night only on Friday 2 September. Melbourne’s finest purveyors of Cool, Bachelors From Prague will present their signature high energy show with style and musical muscle. Fans everywhere have waited a long 25 years for this moment. The time is now!
Friday 2 September 2016
The Night Cat, 137–141 Johnston St. Fitzroy VIC
Tickets from www.moshtix.com.au
Further info at www.thenightcat.com.au
$30 + booking fee. Doors open 7.30pm
For the first time, the original recordings and original video footage and film clips are now available online.
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