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No Fright In Sight On Night Of Wolverines

No Fright In Sight On Night Of Wolverines

Who: Wolverines
Where: Belmont 16ft Sailing Club
Author: Anita Beaumont
When: Friday March 24, 2006

THE Wolverines are roaring into the region on their Harley- Davidsons this weekend to give patrons at the Belmont 16-Foot Sailing Club a dose of their country-rock sound.

The group say they took their name from an encyclopedia's description of a wolverine: a short- snouted, blunt-headed, long- haired, heavy-set, nocturnal, eat- anything, almost-extinct animal viewed by some people as a pest.

But while their beards and bikes may look mean, members Darcy LeYear , Chris Doyle and John Clinton have proved themselves anything but.

Not only do they greet and mingle with their audiences at each show but the Wolverines are tireless fundraisers for charities.

They raised money for causes such as cystic fibrosis with their play-on-words hit single 65 Roses .

Written by Lee J. Collier, the song is about a little boy who could not pronounce his sister's condition.

The band members also sailed from Sydney to the Whitsundays on the Sail For CF Kids tour, playing gigs along the way to raise awareness and money for the cause.

Drummer and vocalist Clinton said they were often branded the ``bad boys of country'' due to their ``hairy appearance''.

But he said that anyone who had been to their shows knew they were not really bad cheeky, perhaps, but not bad.

``When we were first starting out there would be 10 or 12 security guards out the front of all the venues we played,'' Clinton said. ``They were expecting trouble because they'd heard all of the hype.

``But our audience demographic is from ages eight to 80 and everyone just comes along to have a good time and a bit of a laugh.'' Shortly after the group formed in 1994, Clinton was doing some signage work for a club in Tamworth in the lead-up to the annual country music festival.

There was an empty, unused room in the club that Clinton promised the owner he could fill with music lovers during the festival.

``The first night we looked a bit sick because we only got about 12 people in.

``But we got 100 the next night and there was a journalist in the crowd that loved our music.

``He wrote up a story in the paper and on the third night we arrived to people queuing out the front door waiting for us.'' Although they have played at bigger venues in Tamworth since, Clinton said they still migrated towards that first little room because of its intimacy with the audience.

In their 12 years together the Wolverines have developed a huge following and have introduced audiences all over Australia and New Zealand to their blend of tongue-in-cheek, off-the-cuff humour and energetic shows.

Clinton said they get about 900 hits on their website each day.

Along with Adam Harvey , the Wolverines proved themselves an audience favourite at the recent Central Coast Country Music Festival .

The support they had received from fans over the years has earned the band a Golden Guitar for 65 Roses, as well as a string of people's choice awards around the country; which Clinton maintains mean more to them than other industry awards ``because these are the people who come to our shows''.

Clinton added they were all looking forward to their show in Belmont, particularly keyboardist Chris Doyle, who used to live in Warners Bay.

The band performs at Belmont 16-Foot Sailing Club on Friday night at 8.30pm.

Tickets are $22 and are available from the venue on 4945 0888.

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