Wolfmother and the Aussie Osbournes

Wolfmother

One great aspect of London is hearing about bands which would otherwise pass you buy. On the tube last Friday, I grabbed a copy of the Guardian’s music section which had been stuffed unceremoniously down the side of the seat. I don’t read any one particular newspaper by default, and on first glance this was a damn good music supplement. Not stuffy, not traditionalist or “why aren’t you listening to this already, you twat” sentiments. It just had interviews and articles and let you make your mind up.

In it, it had an interview with the frontman from Wolfmother, an Australian band trying to ressurect the raw, unprocessed sound of rock. Some recent bands have tried to do this with disasterous and embarassing results. It sounded (pardon the pun) too good to be true, that a band from 2006 had the intention of recreating the sound of Black Sabbath…

I was on holiday and saw this Sabbath tribute band,” says the singer of Australia’s latest hard rock export, Wolfmother, his enormous, corkscrew mass of hair quivering in the inappropriately library-quiet atmosphere of a Sheffield curry house. “These guys were over 40, overweight and middle-aged. But as soon as they played Paranoid, they turned into rock stars.” The tiny venue, he recalls, “turned into an arena”.

In the autumn of his youth, Andrew Stockdale experienced an epiphany in the satanic form of Black Sabbath. Well, not Black Sabbath themselves, but a band who sounded like Black Sabbath. “I was on holiday and saw this Sabbath tribute band,” says the singer of Australia’s latest hard rock export, Wolfmother, his enormous, corkscrew mass of hair quivering in the inappropriately library-quiet atmosphere of a Sheffield curry house. “These guys were over 40, overweight and middle-aged. But as soon as they played Paranoid, they turned into rock stars.” The tiny venue, he recalls, “turned into an arena”.

A while later, Stockdale, then 24, was visiting his friend Chris Ross, now Wolfmother’s bassist. He had one request: “Have you got any Sabbath?” The Brummie legends’ greatest hits were slapped on the CD player, and when a track called Wizard came along, Stockdale’s calling was complete. “I said, ‘Man, if people played this style of music now it would just go off,’” he remembers.

So I bought the album and, on the first two listens, it’s damn fine. It’s not Black Sabbath although there’s a definate hint running through the album demonstrating their influence. Anyway, this has nothing to do with cricket – other than the frontman looks like Andrew Symonds. There, see? Cricket can infiltrate any conversation you wish.

So, go and buy it. What are you listening to at the moment?

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