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Band Not Prepared to Just Take a Number

Band Not Prepared to Just Take a Number

Who: 1927
Where: Newcastle Panthers
When: Friday February 2, 2001

THE story of 1927, playing at Club Nova Newcastle on Friday night, speaks volumes about the fickle nature of the Australian music industry.

1927 may have sold 750,000 copies of its debut album . . .ISH in 1988, but last year new demoes again failed to make an impression.

To lead singer and songwriter ERIC WEIDEMAN it's a story he has lived through before.

The first thing Australia knew about 1927 was a song THAT'S WHEN I THINK OF YOU, which was released in 1988 through a tiny Sydney-based label TRAFALGAR RECORDS. Major labels had rejected the band's demoes back then, but CHARLES FISHER, who had worked on early recordings by RADIO BIRDMAN, COLD CHISEL and the HOODO GURUS, showed faith.

When the song rocketed to number three on the singles chart, followed by the number one single IF I COULD, the labels must have been kicking themselves. Three more hits YOU'LL NEVER KNOW, COMPULSORY HERO and TO LOVE ME took the album to number one, collecting three ARIAS along the way.

Weideman says what happened next was a combination of inexperience and the pressure of a follow-up album.

'I think it came in at number three or something,' Weideman says referring to THE OTHERSIDE, which produced three more hits TELL ME A STORY, DON'T FORGET ME and the title track.

But cracks appeared in the band's surface, followed by a change of management and musical direction.

'I guess it was then that we thought people were taking us a little too seriously or something, I don't know. . .' he continues.

With the arrival of grunge music in 1992, and a third self-titled album which performed poorly despite high profile producer MARK OPITZ, the band split.

Six years later, at a gig in Far North Queensland, the band resurfaced with original bass player BILL FROST, guitarist ADAM WARNOCK, drummer JJ HARRIS and Weideman.

Judging by the crowds at gigs ever since there still seems to be plenty of interest in 1927.

Weideman, still bitter from past experiences with 'wankers' in the music business, doubts whether another 1927 album will be recorded and released, but it will not be for a lack of trying.

'I actually did record an album last year with JJ last year, a solo project, which I'm really, really happy with which I think has a really good shoot,' he said.

'I did shop it around (but) I didn't get a great big deal of response.'

When not on tour Weideman and Harris play in an 'acoustic covers duo' on the Gold Coast.

'Lots of people' come to hear them play 1927 hits 'but that's not how I try to sell the thing'.

'That's that thing, and when it comes to do 1927 stuff I sell it that way, and when it isn't I don't,' he says. TE

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