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The Angels - Live At Narara 1983

47m Art, Music, Performance 1983

The Angels are an Australian rock band which formed in Taperoo, a small beachside suburb in Adelaide in 1974 as The Keystone Angels by Bernard “Doc” Neeson on lead vocals and bass guitar, John Brewster on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, his brother Rick Brewster on lead guitar and backing vocals, and Charlie King on drums.

In 1976, King was replaced by Graham “Buzz” Bidstrup on drums, Chris Bailey took over bass duties so Neeson could focus solely on vocals, and they changed their name to just ‘The Angels’.

Their studio albums peaking within the Australian top 10 are No Exit (1979), Dark Room (1980), Night Attack (1981), Two Minute Warning (1984), Howling (1986) and Beyond Salvation (1990). Their top 20 singles are “No Secrets” (1980), “Into the Heat” (1981), “We Gotta Get out of This Place” (1987), “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (live, 1988), “Let the Night Roll On” and “Dogs Are Talking” (both 1990).

The Narara Music Festival was an outdoor music festival held on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia in 1983 and 1984. Despite the name, it was actually held at Somersby, a short distance from Narara. Narara is the original clan name of the local Darkinjung people.

The 1983 concert ran over the Australia Day long weekend, from Friday 28th to Monday 31 January 1983. The event featured an all Australian music bill and comedian Austen Tayshus as M.C.

Australian bands and artists that appeared at the event include:

INXS Men at Work Cold Chisel The Angels The Choirboys Uncanny X-Men The Church Australian Crawl Margret Roadknight

Between 30,000 and 45,000 people are believed to have attended this concert. A significant portion of the concertgoers were stranded at Narara railway station, believing the concert was being held in Narara. Most of these people were forced to commute to Somersby via taxis.

A highlight of the event was The Angels playing with a blood red full moon rising over the stage behind them. They performed 11 songs at the concert, which were released as an album titled “Live at Narara”.

The songs on that album are:

Coming Down Eat City Mr Damage Stand Up No Secrets Take A Long Line After The Rain Shoot It Up Shadow Boxer Is That You Marseilles

The Angels were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in October 1998 with the line-up of Bailey, John and Rick Brewster, Eccles and Neeson. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, declared that “The Angels had a profound effect on the Australian live music scene of the late 1970s/early 1980s. [They] helped redefine the Australian pub rock tradition… [their] brand of no-frills, hard-driving boogie rock attracted pub goers in unprecedented numbers. In turn, The Angels’ shows raised the standard expected of live music. After 20 years on the road, the band showed little sign of easing up on the hard rock fever.”[2] Chris Bailey died on 4 April 2013, aged 62, after being diagnosed with throat cancer. Doc Neeson died on 4 June 2014, aged 67, of a brain tumour.


Bernie Cannon

Executive Producer

Doc Neeson


Greg Hunter


Andy Capp


Gary Maunder


Andrew Scott


Robert Eagle


Matte Butler







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