I had been looking to film/photograph any bands I grew up with. Stars were a band I admired and I had watched the Andrew Durant Memorial Concert a few times back in the 80’s, as a mate of mine was a fan of them, especially Mal’s Guitar playing. I had met Milena Barrett a few times before this. I had filmed a rehearsal of a band she was in. Milena was saying on her Facebook site that she was singing with Mal Eastick at the Empire Hotel. I wrote to Milena and she asked Mal who said it would be okay. I always turn up a few hours early to film/photograph sound checks.
On this occasion I was waiting for them to turn up when Mal arrived first. He was lugging in equipment so I asked could I give him a hand and explained it was me who Milena had asked about if I could film and photograph the night. We talked about Stars as I had a Stars record of my mates and Mal signed it for him. Right from when I met him Mal was very courteous to me and allowed me to take any photos I wanted of him. At the end of the night I asked could I take a few photos of the band. Mal wanted a few promo shots too and after taking a few on stage we went outside and I took a few in front of the Empire Hotel Entrance.
Mal didn’t start with his band, he had a good friend on stage who he had been teaching Guitar to for a few years and they played a Duo-on acoustic, Bill Gunther. They started off with a standard Blues in E, then an Otis Rush song, All Your Love. They only played two songs, but you could see that Bill was thrilled to have played on stage with Mal. I was thinking how great it would be to have a Guitar teacher such as Mal. an Australian Icon. They had a short break and then Mal’s band joined him on stage.
Mal has a great band behind him. Stan Mobbs on Bass and Tony Boyd on Drums. They played 3 songs then Milena Barrett Joined them on Stage. Milena has a very soulful, blues voice, very powerful singer. When I first heard her sing in a backyard rehearsing, I was so impressed I couldn’t wait till I could film her again. Mal and the band (without Milena) started off with a few covers-Going Down To San Jose, by Freddie King, mixed in with Mal’s first solo Album-the Opening track Jungle Funk, then I Need Your Love by Fleetwood Mac. Milena then joined the band for a few songs. A Gary Moore song (not sure of the title) followed by Don’t Lie To Me by Albert King, then another of Mal’s originals, Heavy Heart and a few others.
Bring It On Home (Sam Cooke), Sweet Home Chicago (Baby Don’t You Want To Go) Tommy Mcclennan, then Milena had a Short break while Mal and the band continue on. Mal then plays a dedication to his Son Aaron-Blues for Aaron. Milena and the band then come back on for the final set. Mal’s Guitaring was very good. His reputation is well deserved. Milena has one of Australia’s best voices in my opinion. Tony is a great drummer, Stan Mobbs is well known in the music industry as a Brilliant Bass Player. The entire band are top class musicians. When you have such talented backing musicians, it allows guitarists-such as Mal, more freedom to play around them and that makes his playing more interesting.
At the end Mal says this was their first gig with Milena, and Milena had only met the band a few weeks a earlier. Just shows the brilliance of Mal (including Milena) and the band to be able to do that with such precision. I have always enjoyed Blues music and Mal’s band play all the standards with intensity as the original artist did. To write this I watched the entire night again. Milena has easily the best Blues/Soul voice in Australia no doubt about that.
Mal Eastick – Acoustic Set/Band Song List That Night.
Duo Song List
- Standard Blues Jam in E
- All Your Love (Otis Rush)
Mal’s Song List
- Swept Away
- Going Down To San Jose (Freddie King)
- I Need Your Love (Fleetwood Mac)
- ???(Gary Moore)
- Don’t Lie To Me (Albert King)
- Heavy Heart
- ????????? (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
With Milena Barrett
- Bring It On Home (Sam Cooke)
- Sweet Home Chicago (Baby Don’t You Want To Go) Tommy Mcclennan- Milena Takes a Short break
- Jungle Funk (Opening Track From Mal’s Spirit Album)
Mal Solo -Blues for Aaron (Named for his Son) From Mal’s Spirit Album
With Milena Barrett
- ????????In The City
- After Midnight (JJ Cale)
- Goodbye Man???
- (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay (Otis Redding)
- Misty Blue (Bob Montgomery 1966)
- Take a Look at Yourself) (also known as “Before You Accuse Me (Ellas McDaniel aka Bo Diddley)
Mals Band (Without Milena)
- The Gringo From Mal’s Spirit Album
- Standard Blues in A
With Milena Barrett
- Cocaine (JJ Cale)
- Standing On Shaky Ground
- Sunshine Of Your Love (Cream)
- I’m Tore Down Lyrics (Freddie King)
- The White Room (Cream)