ALAN LANCASTER’s BOMBERS – Live [1989 recorded / unreleased] (2019) *EXCLUSIVE*
More than 30 years ago now, Sydney rockers The Bombers were on the cusp of success. With a line-up that boasted Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan from Status Quo, John Brewster of The Angels, a powerhouse vocalist in Ty Coates and a legit blues player Steve Crofts (RIP) on Stratocaster guitar. The band inked a deal with US label A&M Records with a huge advance, released a terrific debut album in ‘Aim High’ had a couple of supports with international artists including Alice Cooper and Skid Row, had some media support and played the circuit constantly ….. yet as history has shown, they didn’t break wide open, and world-wide recognition never came.
Previously unreleased, ALAN LANCASTER’s BOMBERS “Live” showcase one of the band’s first gigs. It is the only recording capturing the ’live’ performances of the pre-studio productions. This is not a ‘regular live’ album, but one with a stupendous sound quality.
You got 50% of the classic Status Quo line-up right there, so expect Classic Rock with capitals.
As this just released live album from the archive shows, this gig was something special, lightning in a bottle, a genuine supergroup playing the pubs, and in spite of previous rock n roll triumphs with their aforementioned profile bands – it shows The Bombers were a band hungry for success.
This live album is pulled from one of the band’s shows they performed at Feathers (Crows Nest Hotel). While working up their chops and becoming match fit – week in week out, the audience were treated to a killer set that consisted of Quo and Angels classics, from Down Down to Marseilles, Small Talk to City Out Of Control.
Lancaster and Brewster were fresh from their stint with The Party Boys, so some numbers of that band were also included in the set (‘Is This The Way To Say Goodbye’, ‘She’s A Mystery’, ‘Rising Star’). There was also a ton of original songs, many of which made the ‘Aim High’ album, and many of which are included on this official live album.
I for one am glad that this album has seen the light of day. For it captures a band at the height of their powers in all their denim clad sonic glory. It also showcases what an astounding live band the Bombers were.
Highlights are many – from the amazing vocal prowess of Coates and his incredible range, to the rupturing guitar work of Steve Crofts – yet underneath it all are some incredibly durable rock n roll songs, songs that still sound great 30 years down the line.
That’s testament to the quality of the material. It goes without saying that this album serves as a fitting tribute to the memory of Steve Crofts.
Let’s take a look at some of the tunes. ‘City Out Of Control’ is an absolute monster. Punishingly brutal. The Angels original version paled in comparison to this Bombers version for sheer power. Coates’s vocals being the clincher here.
‘Is This The Way To Say Goodbye’ is super melodic. It’s beyond me how this wasn’t a worldwide radio hit. The bands’ first single, ‘Running In The Shadows’ is also here, and it still kicks ass, as does ‘Crime Investigator’, another solid rocker that grooves with intent and is highlighted by Coates’ tasty sax licks.
The brooding ‘No Danger’ gets another green tick, as does the foot to the floor romp of ‘Running In The Shadows’, which was to the band’s first single release.
The John Coghlan line-up of the band was only together a few months with Coghlan soon to depart back to Blighty, and to be replaced by ex-Boss drummer Peter Heckenberg.
So this live album is also an important musical document of a time, a place, and a period of Oz rock that no longer exists.
Quality Classic Rock as it should be done.
Only at 0dayrox
1 – City Out of Control (Live)
2 – Is This the Way to Say Goodbye (Live)
3 – She’s a Mystery (Live)
4 – Small (Live)
5 – Running in the Shadows (Live)
6 – No Danger (Live)
7 – Rising Star (Live)
8 – Aim High (Live)
9 – Crime Investigator (Live)
Alan Lancaster – vocals, bass
John Coghlan – drums
John Brewster – guitar, harmonica
Ty Coates – vocals, sax
Steve Crofts – guitar
Review by : australianrockreview.com/2019/10/21/album-review-alan-lancasters-bombers-live-2019/