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By George

By George

Who: george
Where: Newcastle Panthers
Author: Jade Lazarevic
When: Friday November 28, 2003

BRISBANE band GEORGE has always been proud of its roots.

The ethereal rock act spent five years working independently and released three successful EPs GEORGE, YOU CAN'T TAKE WHAT'S MINE and BASTARD SON/HOLIDAY before releasing its long-awaited long-player POLYSERENA in 2002.

Although the band was aware of the unconditional support from its faithful fan base, it was unprepared for the response it received following the release of Polyserena.

Released through FESTIVAL MUSHROOM RECORDS, Polyserena was cert ied platinum only three weeks after release and sat in the national top 10 for five weeks.

Such success spelled the start of a much-needed break for the band which has left fans asking the question: ``What happened to George?'' ``A few people are starting to ask what has happened to George but we weren't expecting what happened with Polyserena to happen,'' drummer GEOFF GREEN said.

``It caught all of us by surprise and I think we just needed to take some time out and gain some perspective on the whole thing to make sure that as a group our goals were still the same.

``We asked why we still wanted to be in the music industry and the answer is because we all love making music and it's about the five of us making music together; nothing has changed.

'' While Green spent his break away from George ``just chilling out'', the other members of the band kept busy with a variety of side projects.

Vocalist KATIE NOONAN and guitarist NICK STEWART recorded an album under the moniker ELIXIR, TYRONE NOONAN dabbled in jazz and electronica and bassist PAULIE BROMLEY established a jam session in Brisbane called GROOVE COLLECTIVE.

But with a shared passion to begin work on the follow-up to Polyserena, the five re-grouped in July and headed into Byron Bay's STUDIOS 301 to record.

Titled UNITY, the album is complete and set for release in February, 2004.

``I think in general this album is a very happy album.

It has quite a positive vibe running through it.

``We thought the title Unity seemed to fit best for where we were as a group because of our personal journey and where we've come from to where we are and the fact that we still have a common goal.

``I also think the title sums up the material and the meanings behind the songs.

'' Green said the album has taken a ``less is more'' approach and is a step up from Polyserena, with the addition of orchestral arrangements.

``We feel that the tonal qualities of the album are much clearer, they have matured a lot more.

``Polyserena was the first album and pretty much anything that was in the studio, we used.

``This time we have gone with the less is more kind of thing and it's funny because when you initially listen to the album it doesn't sound like there is less on there.

'' The album's first single STILL REAL was released on Monday and will be supported by a short tour that will take in theatre-style venues.

Dubbed STILL REAL: INTIMATE AND LIVE, Green said the band hopes the tour allows it to get up close and personal with fans to revisit the intimate vibe reminiscent of their early tours.

``We have been able to play in theatres and that is something that we had always wanted to try and it's something that the group believes is a strong point for our music.

``We always try to incorporate a little bit of an acoustic breakdown in our shows when we tour but we'd love to do a tour outright where it's just the five of us, two acoustic guitars, a snare drum, almost like busking, and play our songs that way.

'' George will perform at NEWCASTLE PANTHERS on November 28.

``We won't play too much new material.

We want to keep a fair bit of the album secret so that there are lots of surprises for fans.

``It's like opening a Christmas present, you don't really want to know what's in there because its nice to get that surprise.

'' George will be supported by MISSY HIGGINS.

Tickets are $28 pre-sale from the club on 4929-7555 or $30 on the door.

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