the-rich-and-famous-take-us-to-your-leader-epIts 2017 – and Jeff Hoad, one of Oz’s rocks best vocalists & frontmen is back with a vengeance and releasing killer new rock ‘n’ roll – and for that we should all be thankful. ‘Take Us To Your Leader’ is a brand spanking new 5 track EP for the Rich and Famous – a Queensland 3 piece made up of Hoad, Dean Turner and Dean Reeson.

For the uninitiated, let me give you a little context. I’m on record of having stated that in the 1980’s, Jeff Hoad (with Kings Of The Sun) was one of the few Oz rock frontmen who was a genuine rock star that wiped the floor with all those late 80’s LA wannabe hair bands. He had musical chops to match the look and was cooler than Fonzie. Like most Australians though, he was, thankfully, down to earth, had a sense of humour – and a humility that the majority of sunset strip poseurs lacked.

In recent years, there has been a musical separation between the Hoad brothers with Cliff now doing his thing with Kings Of The Sun, and Jeff out with The Rich And Famous.  I dig both bands. Jeff and his brother Cliff are as Oz rock as The Angels, Chisel and Rose Tattoo and all power to both of ‘em.

The first thing that’s apparent to me when I press play on the ‘Take Us To Your Leader’ CD is just how strong and distinct Jeff’s vocal delivery is. Man it’s good to hear him back.  Track 1 is the title track, and it’s a corker. Behind a lyrical theme of reptilian alien invasion (V?) and fifth columnists – is a cleverly crafted rocker layered with subtleties ranging from an early 70s UK glam stomp on the chorus to an almost spoken word middle 8. I like this a lot. ‘Dirty Music’ is a full throttle rocker that simply kicks ass and grooves with a capital G. Ripping solo to boot.  I like ‘Have You Heard’ a lot, highlighted by some neat wah wah guitar and Jeff stretching himself vocally. In fact, all 5 songs on this EP get a green tick, yet if I need to select just one, ‘Blast Off’ is the EP’s plum for mine.  Catchy as all hell with a sing along chorus and melody galore, this screams radio hit. This is how The Darkness try to write ‘em.

This EP sees Jeff Hoad extending himself as a song writer, and going beyond the Kings Of The Sun formulae for which he is most known. Whilst anything he does will be referenced to KOTS, these songs display a diversity/growth that only add to his KOTS legacy.  That’s a good thing in my books. Jeff Hoad is back and sounding better than ever. Highly recommended. 5 out of 5. Pick up the EP and other killer albums by The Rich and Famous at

Listen to an interview with Jeff on The Australian Rock Show here



ARS75 (Copy)The Angels guitarist Rick Brewster was interviewed on a recent episode of “The Australian Rock Show” podcast.  Guns n Roses, Soundgarden and Nirvana have all cited the iconic Australian band The Angels as a musical influence. Their songs have been covered by several bands including LA Guns, Coney Hatch and most notably Great White, who covered the song ‘Face The Day’. When asked his opinion on which band recorded the most impressive Angels cover version – Brewster named Mick Ronson’s interpretation of ‘Take A Long Line’. “I’ve heard that song a number of times and I think he’s done a great cover – they’ve done the guitar solo pretty much exactly as it was written – I was really impressed”.  The song appeared on Ronson’s posthumous ‘Heaven and Hull album in 1994, and also features vocals from Ian Hunter and Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott. Author Bob Yates, along with Rick and John Brewster from The Angels have just released a detailed publication on the band, and are about to embark on a run of Australian dates with Rose Tattoo commencing in October. Listen to the interview with Rick Brewster here

Episode 75 – Rick Brewster Interview

Posted: August 17, 2017 by rockbrat in Uncategorized

A new and much needed publication on The Angels has just been released and it is essential reading.  The book is written by Bob Yates, along with Rick and John Brewster and on show #75 of Australian Rock Show, Rick joins us to look over some of the Angels history?..from Sunbury 1975, backing the legendary Chuck Berry, recording with Vanda and Young, to the American tours with the Kinks and Cheap Trick, Rick shares some of these memories and much more. Essential listening !  Music by: The Angels, Thunderclap Newman

Check out this episode!

Kanako rock 'n' roll - 7th Ave. Yokohama. Photo (c) C. GRAY

Kanako rock ‘n’ roll – 7th Ave. Yokohama. Photo (c) C. GRAY

I have long been a fan of Kanako Nakayama – who is every bit as rock ‘n’ roll as Joan Jett. She is the real deal, and for the better part of almost twenty years has fronted her own band, the amazing VooDoo Hawaiians, a band whom I big fan of. In the 1980s, Kanako Nakayama was guitar player with all girl band Princess Princess, one of the biggest bands in Japan of that decade.


Before I rabbit on about VooDoo Hawaiians, let me provide some background /context. Princess Princess formed in 1983, and in the late 1980s / early 90s were one of, if not the biggest, pop rock band in Japan. Their seventh single, ‘Diamonds’, went to No. 1 in 1989 and was the first CD single to become a million seller in Japan. With the single, Princess Princess joined the ranks of Japan’s top musical artists. More number one singles and albums followed – with all their albums released from 89 to 93 rising to Number one on the Japanese (Orion) charts. The band split by 96, yet reformed in late 2012 to perform several fundraising concerts for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. This included concerts at the Sendai Sun Plaza Hall, Budokan in Tokyo and Tokyo Dome. Big venues – which gives you an idea of the stature of Princess Princess and the high regard in which they are held.

2020After the breakup of Princess Princess, Kanako Nakayama released two great solo albums ‘Howling’ and ‘Nakayama no Ippatsu’. Both albums are worthy of your attention and tracking down. She also broadened her appeal to a wider audience when she collaborated with Redd Kross on a cover of KISS’ ‘Hard Luck Woman’, a tune recorded for the 1998 Japanese Tribute album ‘Kiss Tribute in Japan.’ In 1999, Kanako formed the hard rock group VooDoo Hawaiians, a band who first came onto my radar in 2001. Kevin K played a show at Club 251 in Shimokitizaza in 2001 – and VooDoo Hawaiians were also on the bill, along with Blacklist (Gaku Tori), and Sheena Ayukawa (RIP) of Sheena & the Roketts.

Over the years, Voodoo Hawaiians have contributed songs to a range of compilation/ tribute albums (including one for Hanoi Rocks) and released half a dozen albums all worthy of your attention. “Pretty And Brutal” in 2000, “Rock ‘n Roll Animal” in 2001, “Drive, She Said” in 2002, “4our” in 2006, “Love And Roll” in 2014 and 2015’s “Are You Comin To the Parade ”? She has also performed with the group Tokyo Rocks and on a number of tribute albums in the late 1990s into the 2000s. She did a pretty cool version of ‘Hoochy Coochy Brown Eye Rose’ some years back’ and this, like a lot of their other material is available on You Tube for you to dig into and explore.

I saw Voodoo Hawaiians at 7th Avenue in Yokohama just before Christmas last year, and it was a kick arse gig. 7th Avenue is a small, but authentic rock club and has been one of the best rock venues in Yokohama for many many years.  Mr Rockbrat and I first saw Kevin K here in December 1998 – so it was a little strange to be back at the same venue 18 years after I first set foot in there.   Voodoo Hawaiians are incessantly on the road throughout Japan,  and have played some shows in the US some years back.

I encourage you to check out their web site at Voodoo Hawaiians and to pick up some of their excellent albums. Kanako Nakayama also has a web site you can explore. All cool. Recommended by Cowboy Col.



Episode 74 – Steve Mascord Interview

Posted: August 6, 2017 by rockbrat in Uncategorized

After a three decade diet of rock n roll, rugby league and the road – Australian rock journalist Steve Mascord has just published his first book ‘Touchstones’ – and it’s a ripper. Steve joins us on episode 74 of the Australian Rock Show to look over the book, to talk some footy and to talk some rock n roll. Not only does the boy from Wollongong give us a taste of steel ? he selects all the music on this show too ! Essential listening !

Music by: Doomfoxx. Choirboys, Vain, Princess Pang, Kiss, Kings Of The Sun

Check out this episode!

jadeGifted French musician Juliette Jade took a couple of years out to hone her craft. Whilst her legion of fans pondered her whereabouts, Jade went underground, driven and committed –  focusing only on her fretboard.
Not only are we beginning to hear the fruits of that labor (her debut album ‘Terrarium’ was released late last year) – but her guitar playing has gone from razor sharp, to white hot. A few days back Juliette released the song ‘Lost Paradise’ – finally putting to tape one of her most well-known guitar solo’s. It’s good, damn good. Yeah I know they don’t ‘cut to tape’ anymore. That’s a bygone recording reference no longer used – retained by many older (and discerning) rock n roll folk – like us. We’ve been around the rock n roll block once or twice and have seen and heard plenty. Yet I gotta confess – they’re not many current artists who have me in a spin quite like Jade does.

This composition ‘Lost Paradise’ began life some years back as a YouTube video – it’s managed to attract two and a half million people and counting. The original video contains emotion-charged soloing that’ll leave you speechless – you’ll want to watch it again and again. Although not being included on ‘Terrarium’, it remained too good of a song to remain unrecorded – and it’s pleasing to see this recording come to fruition. Slow-paced and brooding with sorrowful lyrics sung in that soft voice of hers – I’m quickly transfixed. The 3.28 marks is when all hell breaks loose with a slashing solo which grabs you by the throat. This is the solo which really got me hooked on her, so many years back – it’s well written and executed to perfection.

The superlatives from her growing army of admirers is constant, they’re the fans who keep on coming back to view her videos – to hear her play. Yet what is it that Juliette Jade has which captivates so many ? My answer ? It’s her style and her sound – her flair, feel and emotion, that are etched in the way she plays – simple as that. It’s an original style that is all her own.

In today’s modern age – many artists have lost their way, often trading creativity for hits and likes. Juliette Jade is a breath of fresh air and an artist in every sense of the word – one who has the capacity to produce an amazing body of work. Highly recommended.

Listen to a recent interview conducted with Juliette Jade here

Kevin K Interview

Posted: August 2, 2017 by rockbrat in Uncategorized
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This is an interview Colin Gray (Australian Rock Show/Rockbrat Blog) conducted on September 3, 2010 with legendary NYC rocker Kevin K. At the time, Kevin was about to release his autobiography, ‘How To Become A Successful Loser’, and his 20th Studio album, ‘Joey And Me’. In this detailed interview, Kevin talks about the book, the ‘Joey And Me’ album, playing with Walter Lure in LA, the state of the music industry, his memories of NYC, the ‘Firestorm’ and ‘Deutschland’ albums, his brother Alan, Cheetah Chrome, Freddy Lynxx, the New Toys and a whole lot more. This interview originally aired on the Rockbrat Radio podcast (now defunct) at 10PM on 10 September, 2010.