In The Beginning
Article about Hunters taking on the USA.
Author: Graham Reilly, The Age.
Date: 10 October 1997.
Original URL: N/A
In the beginning they were the hippest band in Melbourne even before they had played their first gig. Just after the somewhat frothy Jetsonnes parted ways, the word was out that their lead-singer Mark Seymour was putting together a new band. Among the 1981 Crystal Ballroom habitues, the inner-city-dwelling, post-punk, in-the-know music aficionados, the impending importance of this band was somehow taken for granted. It was just assumed they were going to be great.
And they were. Part of their greatness lay in their difference. Before they became what one reviewer in the mid-1980’s described as the Aussie battler’s rock band, their music was an eclectic combination of driving, if not grandiose, funk rhythms, overlaid with guitar and 44 gallon drum, and underpinned by John Archer’s tubular bass lines. It was primitive and sophisticated at the same time. All this came together in Talking To A Stranger, one of the most memorable and innovative songs of the ’80s.
I was at their first gig. At least I think I was. Sometimes it was hard to know where you were in those days. It was one of those gigs where everybody you knew or had seen around was there. Everyone seemed to be smiling, an unusual facial expression for this normally grim, black-clad crowd. It was the most exciting and electric debut of any band I’d ever seen. The anticipation was bouncing off the walls. The band was wearing dinner suits, even the sound mixer. It seemed they had an entourage wearing evening dress as well. It sounds poncy now, but it was right then.
They arrived on stage and you knew, just knew it was going to be extraordinary and it was. I, and everybody else, was open-mouthed. This was something special. It was an event. It was history. No doubt about it.
Thankyou to Stephen for typing out this article for us all to enjoy!