Suave sound has Leroy’s Layabouts Smokin’
CHRIS CONNOLLY @connolly2204
They developed a loyal following in the 70’s and 80’s, released several critically acclaimed records, supported many touring American blues stars, and scored a handful of television appearances. After a lengthy break, the band has reformed with a classic line-up including lead singer and guitarist Leroy Suave, guitarist Gary Dale, bass player Mick White, drummer Tony Brown, keyboardist T-Bone Flint and saxophonists Bruce Allen and Dave Wray, the latter better known these days as singer Frank Bennett. Known for most of their career as simply The Layabouts, the band has reverted to its original name Leroy’s Layabouts. Leroy Suave rattles off a string of
LEROY’S LAYABOUTS PETERSHAM BOWLO SAT, MAY 17 influences including Little Richard, Leadbelly, early Rolling Stones, Shel Silverstein, Chuck Berry, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Fats Waller, Fats Domino, Louis Jordan, Harry
Belafonte, Elvis, Albert King, the Fugs, Jimmy Witherspoon, Jimmy Liggins, Carl Perkins, Big Joe Turner, Wynonie Harris, Professor Longhair, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Rushing, Python
Lee Jackson, Max Merritt and Captain Matchbox. “The music is eclectic but centres on good-time sax-based rhythm and blues from the mid 1940’s to early 1960’s – spiced up with jazz/rock sensibilities and humour,” Leroy said. “Expect fun: clapping, cheering, goodnatured heckling, dancing, a few intent enthusiasts watching guitar players’ fingers, lots of gorgeous women. (Okay, the last-mentioned was wishful thinking, but not entirely untrue.)” He said the mid 1960’s “British Invasion” R&B groups spoke in interviews of their American idols so he went in search of their records, digging further until he found more blues artists of interest. “Like many young, white fans, I foolishly sort of wanted to be black. One of the hardest things for a white male (especially if non-American) is to sound natural singing the blues – most try too hard and it shows – but after a lifetime of absorbing the essence it just comes of its own accord without having to think,” he said. The album will be launched with a live show at Petersham Bowlo on Saturday, May 17 at 8pm. Tickets are available at the door for $20/$15.
eroy’s Layabouts are launching their new album ‘Smokin’ at the Petersham Bowling Club next Saturday night. The band emerged in the mid 1970’s and introduced Sydney to an exciting pre-rock’n’roll sax-based music known as “Jump Blues”.
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May 9 edition of the ICW