Scene News: Melbourne Rhythm & Blues legends The BREADMAKERS release new album!

Recorded by Mikey Young, The Breadmakers is the band’s first album in over a decade, and their seventh album in a “career” that how lasted over three decades. It includes a version of The Marksmen’s lost 1966 Australian classic “Moonshine”.

Rhythm’n’Blues ravers THE BREADMAKERS are a Melbourne institution and have an international fan-base that views them as Australian icons. Formed back in 1989, they became mainstays on the garage-rock underground, and unlikely heroes on the Fitzroy/Collingwood indie scene in the ‘90s. (Regulars at The Evelyn, Punters Club and The Tote, they’d often cross the river for gigs at The Great Britain, The Corner and The Espy, even The Continental.) They’ve released six previous albums and undertaken countless overseas trips, the most recent to Spain in early 2019.

They’ve played countless Garage festivals and Weekenders across Europe, and Japan, sharing bills with the likes of The Monks, Thee Headcoats, The Mummies, Guitar Wolf and Teengenerate. Here at home they’ve shared stages with the likes of The Pretty Things, The Stems, Southern Culture on the Skids, The Aints and every ‘60s-inspired group who has passed through. They’ve done The Big Day Out, Meredith Music Festival, and, appropriately enough, the Zoo! They’ve built a reputation based on consistency and reliability; always loose, but always fun.

The band was first formed by members of early garage-rock outfits including The Puritans, Bo-Weevils and Cracked Jaffers from Melbourne and The Unheard from Wollongong. They used – and continue to use – vintage instruments and amps. The intention was to play an authentic style of mostly Southern R’n’B like their heroes The Rolling Stones had attempted in their early days.

Amazingly that was 31 years ago. At that point, The Stones themselves had only recently clocked up their 25th anniversary. In their first 25+ years, The Stones had progressed from R&B through all manner of rock and pop styles, even disco. The Breadmakers, in their 30+ years, have barely progressed at all! They still sound like they should be sharing a bill with The Pink Finks, Rising Sons and Spinning Wheels at the Wild Colonial Club in 1965.

Whilst their early records were recorded in mono at the legendary Preston studios with crazed rockabilly & blues producer/engineer Graeme Thomas, The Breadmakers have at least progressed in that department. These days they record with Mikey Young of Eddy Current Suppression Ring, who has had a hand in a record by just about every young punk band that has mattered over the last 15 years or so. Mikey’s actually been playing keyboards with The Breadmakers on and off for some time now, having befriended them when working at Corduroy, the infamous vinyl pressing plant that Breadmakers bass man Cadillac Slim aka Nick Phillips ran back in the ‘90s. (That was back when no one cared about vinyl of course; Nick went out of business before everyone caught on.) Mikey recorded the new album in a beach shack on the cliffs of Sorrento back beach (as he does) and has captured the immediacy and energy of The Breadmakers’ sound like never before.

The new album, released on Germany’s Soundflat label, is the band’s first since 2008’s Night of The Cobra. It’s only their second album in over 20 years. It contains 10 new Breadmakers’ originals, including raucous toe-tapers like opener “Corner of My Eye” and “Monkey Do” which would’ve caught Stan Rofe’s ear back in the day, and a number of moody numbers like “The Savage” and “Swamped”. The album also includes a couple of fantastic covers. “Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” was originally recorded in 1965 by Memphis teens Danny Burk & The Invaders; famed Sun Records session guitarist Roland James produced it. “Moonshine” is an Australian ‘60s garage classic; originally recorded by The Marksmen from Wollongong in 1966, the original 45 is one of the holy grail records of the era. The Breadmakers do them both justice.

Decked out in a stunning new cover illustration by drummer Scotty Lacey, and available on vinyl and digital download from Bandcamp (with a CD coming soon), The Breadmakers is The Breadmakers’ best album yet. They’ll get around to launching it in Melbourne – and no doubt hit the road again for parts unknown – when the episode of The Twilight Zone we’re living in has finished. In the meantime, they have 31 years of history and a great new album to talk about, so interested media types should get in touch.


THE BREADMAKERS is out NOW. Get it here.

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