Who: Peter Wells When: Britannia Hotel, Sydney, April 23, 1995
The venue for tonight’s gig is the Britannia Hotel in South Sydney, in recent times proving itself to be one of Sydney’s better blues / country pubs. Despite it being a Sunday night, plenty of punters have dragged themselves out of TV land and prove to be quite a receptive crowd. It has to be remembered that essentially Rose Tattoo played heavy blues. Gut wrenching rock n roll, but blues none the less. The 1995 version of Peter Wells follows a similar script, although nowadays he’s playing blues / hard rock of the highest calibre. assembled before us tonight are Peter Wells on slide guitar and lead vocals, Lucy De Soto on keyboards and vocals, Mick Cocks on rhythm guitar, Chris Turner on bass and Paul Demarco (aka Fred Zepplin) on drums. Quite simply, Peter Wells is one of the best bluesmen this country has to offer. His guitar playing is so unique and original, that he is unrivalled. He is a show all on his own. His imposing presence on a stage is a sight to behold. THE original six foot illustrated man towering down on you captures your attention, and sucks you in, but it’s the music which blows you away and keeps you coming back for more.
The set opener is the aptly titled ‘Where It All Begins’, a straight down the line hard rock boogie tune, chock full of blistering slide guitar from the man who plays it best. Lucy De Soto’s golden tones compliment Wells’ harsh gravel like vocals superbly, and if this is where it all begins, then the crowd are in for one helluva shindig here tonight ! The band shuffles through on ‘Jungle’, and then slides comfortably into ‘Between The Saddle And The Ground’ from the ‘Everything You Like Tries To Kill You’ album, released back in 1990. This song is a classic. Catchy riff, catchy chorus and always a crowd pleaser, as was once again proven here tonight. ‘Crisis Point Casino’ is a highlight. recently lifted as the first single off the new album ‘Orphans’, it represents the stunning quality of Wells’ song writing. A hard hitting up beat song which tells the tale of love gone wrong, it drips of Wells’ distinctive slide, yet it’s the eerie sounding keyboards that wash over the vocals which make the song stand out. definite hit single material here, and at the time of going to press this single was at number 39 with a bullet in Switzerland ! Wells delivers one great song after another. ‘No Hard Feelings’ and ‘Nothing Wrong With Money’ are both delivered with ferocious intensity. Rockin’ good numbers you just can’t help but tap your foot or nod your head to the captivating beat. And then it happened. The band found another gear. Man, Lucy De Soto really sings her heart out on ‘No Second Chances’. This girl CAN sing ! Her delightful yet powerful vocals leave me gasping for air like a fish out of water, and then Wells delivers the knockout blow, ‘Rock n Roll Outlaw’. Who else can play it better then the two Tatts axemen ? The illustrious Mick Cocks really comes into his own now, and shares the spotlight with his tattooed brother. This song is still killer and tonight it is executed with all the brutality of an angry wild boar. ‘Let’s Do It All Again’ finishes the set, and as i make my way to the back of the bar I’m content in the knowledge that rock n roll of such good quality is still alive. If only more people could hear it. There is a lot to like about Peter Wells rock n roll. He kinda reminds me of Keith Richards or Ron Wood in a lot of ways. The genuine article, 100% quality. No cheap imitation here tonight either. If you are a blues, hard rock, or country music fan, you’re definitely going to find something you like about Peter Wells live. THE original rock n roll outlaw is back and ‘Orphans’ represents his finest release to date. This could be big people. (originally published in Vicious Kitten fanzine in 1995)