You can never tell where the lightning will strike: the time and place that will produce a great band. The Band came from scattered little towns on the Canadian rock’n’roll circuit. The Triffids from Perth. Nirvana from Aberdeen, population 16,000.
Here is another one, Leader Cheetah, a band formed out of songs written in the Adelaide Hills. That’s where the band’s singer and guitarist Dan Crannitch and his drummer brother Joel grew up. That’s where, joined by guitarist Dan Pash and bassist Mark Harding, they rehearse still, surrounded by the bush and the seasons.
‘It’s true, a lot of bands seem to come from out-of-the-way places, somewhere a bit off the track,’ says Dan. ‘You grow up with no idea of scenes or caring about what’s hip. It’s all about finding your own taste in music, creating your own thing. You’re trying to be true to who you are.’
That story is repeated often. These bands get a precious few years to find who they are, to dream and to create that voice that sets them apart, then send it out to the world to see if it soars. That’s working fine for Leader Cheetah, who won many new friends with 2009 debut album, The Sunspot Letters. They toured the country, played shows with fellow travellers like Elbow and Doves. Now their second album, Lotus Skies, confirms their place as one of the most exciting and distinctive bands to emerge in Australia in years.
As with most bands that are built to last, Leader Cheetah don’t sound like anyone else as much as themselves. No-one can say for sure what accidents of history, genes and personality creates an original sound in a band, but Leader Cheetah have it.
Let the boys put you on their lead Friday at the Currumbin SoundLounge.