ROSE TATTOO-Tatts: Live In Brunswick 1982

Golden Motor Records

14 November 2017 by Michel van de Moosdijk

In case you are wondering what Tatts stands for: it is the shortened name fans and media gave to Rose Tattoo one of Australia’s finest and probably most underrated rock and roll and hard rock and boogie bands. Their music has always been loud, to the point and no nonsense. Formed in 1976 in Sydney by slide guitarist Peter Wells things really kick off when singer Gary ‘Angry’ Anderson joins the band. One of the first things he does is getting drummer Dallas Royall from his old band Buster Brown in the band. Also Buster Brown bassist Geordie Leach joins the group. The first three Rose Tattoo albums really put the name of the band on the map, but where AC/DC became a worldwide selling act Rose Tattoo did tour abroad but remained most of the time in Australia. Still the band did achieve some success in several European charts with their first album simply called 'Rose Tattoo’, but also known as ‘Rock And Roll Outlaw’. Numerous line-up changes (after the third album ‘Scarred For Life’ Royall, Wells and Mick Cocks all left) and also changing the music style a bit on albums like ‘Southern Stars’ and ‘Beats From A Single Drum’) before breaking up around 1987 prevented the group developing and following into the AC/DC footsteps. From 1987 on the group has been of and on in different line-ups with their latest CD being ‘Blood Brothers’ released in 2007. And whenever Guns N’ Roses toured in Australia it became custom for Rose Tattoo to get together and support the mighty Guns as Axel Rose and Co were huge fans insisting on Rose Tattoo opening for them. At this time there is a complete new version of Rose Tattoo (toured recently with The Angels throughout Australia except for WA where I reside) led by Anderson who is now 70 years old. During the years Anderson has seen several of his old band mates pass away, Dallas Royall being the first in 1991 (financially totally ruined because of drug addiction followed by a deadly cancer), also the guitarists Peter Wells (prostate cancer) and Mick Cocks (liver cancer) have died. A few other musicians that were in the band for a short time like guitarist Lobby Lloyd have also passed away. Angry Anderson is a very popular Australian citizen, a real icon in this country. He has acted in movies, stage plays, TV-series, has worked as a TV reporter and has done a lot for charity and youth development for which he achieved an award. He also copped criticism for his political views on Muslims. He has proclaimed that there will be one more Rose Tattoo album coming out in 2018 before he closes the chapter for good. But then Angry has said several times that he closed the book on the band so just wait and see what happens. With this little piece of history behind us let us concentrate on these live recordings from 1982 at the Bombay Bicycle Club in Brunswick. The best songs of the first three Tatts albums are captured here in a typical Aussie pub atmosphere where the drinks are flowing and the language is a bit abusive. Just the way I like it! The performance is inspired, raw, energetic and spontaneous. If you are looking for the perfect performance, do not bother with this CD. Rose Tattoo have always been about blood, sweat and rock and roll, playing it loud and proud, not being bothered about perfection. And as you listen to such classics like ,,Rock And Roll Outlaw’’, ,,Butcher And Fast Eddie’’, ,,Bad Boy For Love’’, ,,Out Of This Place’’ or the frog stomping radio hit ,,We Can’t Be Beaten’’ I am sure a smile will come to your face as you remember these rough dudes plugging along on stage, doing what they do best playing honest music for the working man!