I want to look back on how Indigo Rush started, so in this post I will take a stab at detailing how it all began.
Brett Stevens and myself had played in a ramshackle band called Shiyan, in which we had gigged around the Bathurst area, recorded a four-song demo and done surprisingly well in the short time we were together (that's another story). But after some rather odd behaviours from certain members Shiyan broke up, and for a year or so Brett and I continued to hang out socially.
Brett had heard of a guitarist called David Powter (long before that other guy with the same name), so we went to check him out at a gig. I remember we went to his share house in Keppel Street in Bathurst, where he seemed like the most outgoing, affable and fun-loving person I'd ever met. I was pretty uptight at this time in my life, and Dap seemed like the friendliest guy I'd ever seen! So right away the three of us struck up a friendship and soon we were vibing musically as well.
I don't know how two scruffy ex-Shyian members convinced a pro like Dap that we were worth his time and trouble but after a few discussions - where Brett did most of the talking - he was convinced that we could do something together. There was enough musical common ground to go forward, and I think it was mine and Brett's sheer gall and unbridled enthusiasm that sealed the deal.
Dap had played in several bands prior to us and was already something of a seasoned, even cynical, professional. So maybe we were the breath of fresh air he was looking for - and so was he for us. Also, his current band had a female vocalist and while this certainly drew crowds, having me as a male vocal would allow Dap to play more of what he personally liked.
Dap's first genius idea was to recruit Cameron Ashpole - his drummer in Out for the Weekend - for the new band. His second master stroke was to look up a legend, a man and a bass player who in his time had PA'd for The Hoodoo Gurus, had played in many local bands and was an engineering guru and computer whiz. Oh, and he had his own PA - which the rest of us didn't and needed desperately. And while it was not our original intention to be a five-piece, the fact that this guy had all the gear was too much of a necessity to pass up. (Certainly at this time both Brett and myself could not afford the gear!)
We (somehow) managed to convince this mysterious figure from the mists of Bathurst's golden time of rock - Garry Anderson - to come to a meeting at Dap's new digs in Lambert Street. He sat down at the kitchen table, seeming like he was wondering what the heck he was doing there, judging by the smirk on his face. But to our credit we soon won this veteran over. We outlined the kinds of music we were interesting in doing - the best of some of the older stuff (Zeppelin, Van Halen, Queen) and the new stuff (Green Day, Third Eye Blind) and everything in between. Once again it was our enthusiasm and the prospect of being the kind of versatile, kick-ass band not seen in Bathurst since the good ole days that made him come around.
It was agreed that Garry would receive an extra share of the proceeds from gigs for his contribution of PA gear. Garry and Dap would also contribute their knowledge of contacts at local venues, and Brett knew a couple of people as well. Phew - lucky for me as a rank novice that I had all this terrific experience to support me in the new group. It was an exciting time - for the first time I was going to play with guys who actually knew the local area and the local industry, who had played extensively in the past and actually knew their shit - and could get us proper gigs (unlike in my previous band)!!.
I still recall our first gig, at what was then called The Tavern in George Street (now The Waratah Bar & Grill - how fucking tame is that!). Garry had gotten access to begin setting up in the afternoon (it was a Friday), and after finishing my casual shift at Mitre 10, I went to give him a hand. I can't tell you how fucking cool it was for me, as an inexperienced, know-nothing kid, to head in to a venue and see this nice guy Garry smiling over at me as he was setting up the mixing board and the PA in the dim day time lighting of one of the most popular venues in town. The fact that it was for something I was a part of was a feeling I will always cherish.
The gig was a massive hit. People had no idea who we were, but they knew the songs we were playing. And it went off. There had not been a versatile covers band like us in town for a long, long time - the music scene in the country had declined massively since Garry's heyday in the 80's - and the crowd lapped us up. Plus, all my years of bedroom mike and singing practice came to fruition in that moment.
Afterwards I was absolutely drained but the feeling was incredible.
So that's how it began. Four fantastic years of fun, hanging out, meeting girls (but not a lot of "action" I can assure you!), singing my heart (and throat) out and playing around the countryside. Together with my time at uni it was the very best time of my life up to that point.