Australian music legends Glenn Shorrock and Brian Cadd team up once again to present a powerful two-and-a-half-hour show that traces the story of their musical inspiration, bringing together the two who first shared a stage in Axiom some four decades past.
For Shorrock, music has been a part of his personal story for as long as he can remember.
‘Music caught my ear from an early age. I remember singing as an eight-year-old boy in a choir, but the real thing didn’t happen for me until I got to Australia in the mid-50s.
There was rock music – horrible teenage noise that came out of America; Little Richard scared the shit out of my family!’
Shorrock’s father had introduced him to a less controversial love of music through opera. ‘My father was an accomplished singer. He would sing Italian operas; he was a big fan of the great tenors of that era, and I am too; they have been an inspiration.’
Interestingly, when Shorrock made his way along the musical path, the man renowned for having one of the best voices in the business wasn’t convinced he had much talent in the vocal department.
‘I didn’t think I was much of a singer. I was more of a ham and more a show-off. I really got into the dancing of the time, the rock ’n’ roll jive. We would go out to a church hall and we’d bring records and all the teenagers would dance.’
So how did Brian and Glenn come into each other’s orbit?
‘I came from Adelaide in 1965 into Melbourne with my band called the Twilights,’ says Glenn, ‘and we established ourselves as a popular band in Melbourne. Brian was in The Groop – and they had a couple of great records I liked. We didn’t become friends until it was necessary; by that stage we’d both been to England with our respective bands and they had both split up. The Twilights’ splitting-up came out of the blue. We were friends that became performers. We learnt our craft on the way. We had an unwritten law that if one left we all left, then it happened and I found myself in limbo, and as it turned out Brian was in limbo as well after his band had disbanded. We were actually at Ian Meldrum’s house when we hatched the plan to create Axiom. We went to England with no success. We should have gone to America because we were influenced by The Band and Crosby Stills and Nash, but in those days it was easier to get work in England. Brian and I had a basis of a longstanding friendship. Both of us began in Axiom and that led us to international success, me with Little River Band and he with his own songwriting in Nashville.’
So why come together now?
‘Brian and I always felt it was unfinished business; that’s why we are doing what we are doing now – basically it’s another way of reinventing yourself as a performer in this country; you have to keep changing your playing field.
‘We decided to put a band together of contemporaries – they made some good country rock!’
Shorrock laughs about the evolution of his voice in rock music to where he is today.
‘Back in 1970/71 I don’t think I’d heard myself sing for about 10 years. It wasn’t until the technology of the wedges or foldback were on stage that you actually heard what you sounded like. We often talk about that, when you can’t hear yourself you sing as loudly as you can – that probably toughened up a lot of singers – now in this incarnation we have a wealth of experience and we don’t play that loudly!
‘I have never liked really loud bands and I have never been in really loud bands. The Twilights were very sedate – we were wanting to be the Beatles, wanting to create sound pictures!’
Shorrock and Cadd have just released their new album The Story of Sharky and the Caddman, the album that tells the story of their musical journey together, and apart.
‘We decided we wanted a centrepiece to give the act theatrics, but really we wanted to start at the beginning and play the music that had influenced us. We were playing music from 50s and 60s; they are cathartic for the listener – and for us. Stuff like Run Around Sue – I cut my teeth on that as a singer!’
Cadd and Shorrock are an unusual musical fit. ‘We have very different voices,’ says Shorrock. ‘Mine is much more the crooner and he is the shouter – it works – it is always good to have something like that. Little River Band had it as well.’
Take a journey over the past four decades with Glenn Shorrock and Brian Cadd, two of Australia’s most successful and internationally renowned music legends, on Thursday at the Bangalow Bowling Club.
Tickets on sale now: www.bangalowbowlo.com.au or call 6687 2741.
Find this and many other great gigs in Echonetdaily’s North Coast Gig Guide.