Live Preview: The Angels

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Cited as an influence by Guns N’ Roses, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Great White, and currently fronted by Dave Gleeson of the Screaming Jets fame, Australia’s The Angels are returning to the UK after an absence of 35 years. Meet their guitar-playing Brewster brothers Rick and John.

The band last played here in 1980 supporting Cheap Trick. Why has it taken so long to return?

Rick Brewster: The short answer is that because, unlike AC/DC, we were unwilling to leave Australia for long periods of time.

John Brewster: It probably wouldn’t be happening now but for the fact we were booked to play at Sweden Rock and added a couple of extra shows.

With two Gleeson-voiced albums, should we expect a mix of that material and older, Doc Neeson-fronted fan favourites?

Rick: Yeah. Dave is very well established as this band’s singer and he does a great job.

John: My son Sam has taken over on bass after the death of Chris [Bailey in 2013]. To have him up there on stage with me is quite a beautiful thing.

There was a bitter falling out with Neeson. You tried to reconcile things, but a month before he died he told Classic Rock: “I don’t want to see their faces again.”

Rick: John and I did everything we could to mend those fences, and we wanted to be a part of his benefit concert but we were stonewalled. What happened was sad and stupid.

Bon Scott and Malcolm Young recommended The Angels to Albert Records in 1975. How do you feel about the Malcolm-less AC/DC going out on the road for what looks like the last time?

Rick: Malc wanted them to do it, and that’s exactly what they’re gonna do. In some ways it’s the same with us; John and I believe that the repertoire is bigger than the band itself.

Classic Rock 211: News & Regulars