Monday, October 11, 2010

Hoodoo Gurus rock the US Northeast

Australia’s legendary Hoodoo Gurus kicked off their U.S. tour last week, with four shows in the Northeast: New York, Boston, Philly and Washington.

Fan reviews are raving about the gigs, as the Gurus are on the road in support of their new disc, “Purity Of Essence.”

Dave Faulkner and Brad Shepherd stopped by NPR Radio on Sunday to talk about some of their storied history and the new album, including the origin of its title. “It's from ‘Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb,’ the Stanley Kubrick film,” says Faulkner. “It was the obsession of the main protagonist who causes World War III. He's a bit worried about his manhood being zapped by the commies. At least the essence is being polluted.”

Like previous Gurus efforts, “Purity” displays a variety of musical styles - from the gospel-tinged “I Hope You’re Happy” to the hard rocking “Crackin’ Up” and “What’s In It For Me?” to the country-twang of “Somebody Take Me Home.” “I took a long time to get into country,” says principal songwriter Faulkner “It actually took Elvis' Sun sessions to kind of bridge the gap between rock and roll and country for me. And I'm a huge fan now.” At the end of the day, it all come back to rock for the Gurus. “We've always been in like a hard rocking band,” says Dave. “But it's been kind of the more punky sort of '70s energy that sort of forms out our sort of furious bluster.”

The Gurus were well past legendary status at home when, in 1997, after 15 years and 7 studio albums, they originally called it a day – Faulkner explains why. “What it was, the previous record we had made I just loved. It was an album called 'Blue Cave.' And I felt that I didn't want to make a record that I didn't like as much as that album. So, I just thought let's just stop while we're ahead and, you know, there's also the certain sort of prejudice in the industry against older artists. You know, it's just a fact of life that it's a young person's game as far as getting attention and radio and things like that.”

“It just seemed like a natural thing to do,” continued Dave, “just to quit while we were at the top of their game. And it was a good thing to do, actually, at the time. But, you know, unfortunately, the Hoodoo Gurus, that beast that lurked within the four of us wasn't so easily conquered.”

The Gurus reunited in 2003, released “Mach Schau” in ’04, and were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Hall Of Fame in 2007.

Explaining the band’s longevity, Shepherd gets the last word. “Honestly, I just think it's because we're music fans. It's really simple. You know, I personally feel like an archaeologist or something. You know, you just keep digging and you never get to the bottom. There's always new music to turn you on.”

The Gurus continue to play different sets at every show, as usual, mixing classics with new tracks and taking audience requests on the fly. How many bands even consider doing that anymore?

The Hoodoos now head west for four shows in California starting tomorrow night:

Oct 12 – San Diego, CA – Belly Up
Oct 14 – San Francisco, CA – The Rrazz Room
Oct 15 – Petaluma, CA – Mystic Theatre & Music Hall
Oct 17 – Los Angeles, CA – The Viper Room

A few clips of the Gurus’ Boston gig on Thursday have surfaced…check ‘em out…

Hoodoo Hoodoo Gurus

Hoodoo Gurus – Bittersweet
Showcase Live, Foxborough, MA – October 7, 2010

Hoodoo Gurus – Miss Freelove ‘69
Showcase Live, Foxborough, MA – October 7, 2010

Hoodoo Gurus – The Right Time
Showcase Live, Foxborough, MA – October 7, 2010