The Angels made it look easy – great songs, brilliant showmanship, amazing live shows. Emerging during the heyday of pub rock, the band broke records with their incendiary live performances and won themselves fans across the globe.
In 1971, brothers John and Rick Brewster teamed up at university with charismatic Irishman Doc Neeson to form The Moonshine Jug and String Band. The band morphed into The Keystone Angels before settling on The Angels in 1975. Along the way, their sound also transformed, into a raw rock and roll sound that was to become the backbone of the Australia rock scene.
The power of their live shows, propelled by the Brewster brothers and the intense, theatrical performances of Neeson, caught the attention of producers Vanda and Young. The band signed to Alberts Records and in 1977 entered the studio to record their self-titled debut album. Although the album included the seminal “Am I Ever Going To See Your Face Again”, it wasn’t until 1978’s “Face to Face” that Australia really took notice. A top 20 hit, many of its tracks are now considered Oz Rock classics, including “Take A Long Line”, “Marseille” and “I Ain’t the One”. The band quickly followed up with consecutive Top 10 albums, “No Exit” and “Dark Room”. The latter delivered the band their first bona fide hit single -“No Secrets” – which reached No.8. In the ensuing decade the band released nine albums, including seven Top 10s, and 1990’s No.1 album, “Beyond Salvation”. Along the way, The Angels amassed many high profile fans, including members of Guns N Roses, Cheap Trick and Pearl Jam and in 1998 was inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame.
The band’s incredible career was put on hold in 2000, when singer Doc Neeson retired from live performances, due to complications from a car accident. Rick Brewster and Doc Neeson were the only constants in the line up between 1975 and 2000, while other members included John Brewster, Graham “Buzz” Bistrup, Chris Bailey, Brent Eccles, Jim Hilbun, Bob Spencer and James Morley.
For most of the 2000s, the band did not perform, although a number of reissues, compilations and a 4-CD boxed set were released.