Exhumed 2014 Band Competition
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend a function that, until recently, had never heard of. Sydney ABC’s radio presenter James Valentine, formerly of The Models, is the mastermind of this competition which is in its third year of production and is bringing out the best of garage band talent. Exhumed was created to find the bands who weren’t the wanna be’s, could’ve beens or has beens but was created to find the “never beens”. These are bands who love playing together simply because they love making music together. They may have played a few gigs here and there but have never had a recording contract or been recognised in any big way. There was at least one band that night that had never played a single gig before that night. Don’t get me wrong, these weren’t bands full of crap musicians. Quite the opposite was true. All these people could play, it’s just that these were bands that were more interested in playing together than performing.
There were nine bands in the grand final and no one was more surprised at the announcement of the winning band than the winning band themselves. The competition was high and the atmosphere was exciting. All of the bands were from the greater Sydney region and all performed outstandingly. Now the reason I attended this function was because my husband is the drummer in one of the bands. He loves to jam with his mates whenever possible and his good friends George Sich, Jason Winter and Damien O’Dell will regularly have “jambeques”* at George’s place so they have the opportunity to play together. So when your husband tells you he’s in the grand finale of a band competition you attend. It’s a BIG deal!!
The judges were well equipped with expertise and alcohol. There was Kirk Pengilly (INXS), Rosie Beaton (Triple J) and Richard Glover also known on the night as Bernard King (702 ABC Sydney) who gave their sincere and comical critique of each band after they performed.
The bands on the night were Swamp Dawkins; The Desert Suns; Kate Maclurcan & The Loose Ends; 7 Dead Dozens Injured; Ruby Amore; George Spade & The Foxin’ Hounds; The Boots; Night Light Band; and, Chickenstones.
The judges found the decision making so difficult that they each chose a 2nd band before James Valentine announced the winner.
“And the winner is……. George Spade & The Foxin’ Hounds”!!! The surprise and the excitement was unbelievable as the winner of the competition was the band that my husband was the drummer in. I was as excited as if I had actually won a competition. So in case you haven’t worked it out my husband, is the drummer of “George Spade & The Foxin’ Hounds”. You may know him as Mark Gibson, founder of Australian Music History!
They were all elated and thrilled to receive their “gold record” trophy. They have also since appeared on Richard Glover’s show on Radio 702 ABC and are waiting to be a support band at a Dragon gig. It wasn’t about the prizes it was about the thrill of entering and being selected to play in the grand finals…winning was just a bonus that they humbly were not expecting.
* A “jambeque” is a combination jam and barbeque. 🙂
Nice article and a good win!!
Well done Helen …….. and Mark 🙂
Thanks Greg, it was a lot of fun and a genuine surprise to win. 🙂
Thanks Greg, yes I suppose Mark deserves some credit too 🙂
Love your music! Congratulations
Thanks so much Melissa 🙂
Well done Mark. Exhumed is a great thing for Australian music. My band, The Noisy Johnnies, was one of four bands in the Melbourne final. We each got a gold record presented by Oz music legend Russell Morris. As a band who plays the best Australian rock album covers, we were tempted to perform The Real Thing on stage with Russell. He gave us great encouragement to write more originals and retain our own unique style as we keep great pub rock alive. Thanks for your website too. It’s the home of Australian music history.
Thanks John, it was a great experience to be involved in. Thanks also for your kind words. Much appreciated.
Knew you were a drummer,didn’t know you had that in you!
Thanks Peter, it’s just a bit of fun. I realised many years ago that my “talent” was standing behind the mixer instead of being on stage. I still enjoy playing though.
I was just looking up the Drop Bears, and Spy V Spy on this site and strangely stumbled upon this article, what a fabulous memory. I remember as they were announcing the 2nd place getters, and then Valentine began the intro for the “winners” announcement, we all locked eyes, and I remember laughing into my beer; “oh well, that was fun, at least we got a nice t-shirt, hang on…oh fuck…we’ve won…” and then the big hit of endorphins. There was no time to tune the guitar, that’s how unexpected this was. What a great experience. Thanks Gibbo, and Jase and Damo…and Helen for the article, and of course; Exhumed.
Glad you enjoyed reliving the memories of that night George. You guys are awesome 🙂
I’m blown away by the concept of exhumed. I was lead vocalist in a band called rhythm beats we replaced the resident band at the time at Beatle village in tailor square, the band was the easy beats 1968 to 1970, by the way has any one heard of what happened to the members of the Sandmen a club group late sixties to mid seventies, would appreciate any feedback.