The Poor + Black Label + Mad Charlie – Gig Review
The Sandringham Hotel, 10 December 2010
Next up was a band that you could tell had played plenty of shows together. BLACK LABEL’s sound and stage moves were at the pro level, no doubt about it. You could see the difference in confidence early on and this also allowed them to step things up performance wise. A five piece with two guitarists sharing rhythm and lead duties, they had a big sound and presence onstage.
By this stage the Sando was really starting to fill up. And interestingly it was almost exclusively with well seasoned rockers. It was a shame that some younger demographics weren’t able to witness some of the fine Aussie rock ‘n’ roll on display. One thing that really stood out in their set was the performance from the guitarists in the band. In particular, the guitarist on right stage shredded the hell out of his Gibson Les Paul all night, showing off some of the finest lead guitar playing I’ve seen in a while with tasty blues leads and lightning quick runs.
BLACK LABEL had themselves a pretty decent following in the crowd with plenty of punters singing along to the choruses and everyone seemed to be digging the sound. To sum up their sound I’d call it melodic hard rock with some Maiden influences in there for sure (respect). BLACK LABEL certainly aren’t forging forward with any new style you haven’t heard but nor would they want to. They’re pretty damn good at playing the one they do right now.
To read the full review, please visit Sludge Factory:
Melody Black + Familia + Black Label + I Junk Review
The Sandringham Hotel, 23 December 2010 – Review by Colin Diamond
BLACK LABEL kicked the night up a gear immediately once they hit the stage. And while I’m being fashion conscious I might as well mention that the band’s getup in comparison to iJUNK’s MOTLEY CRUE stylings looked as if they all just rode in on their Harleys. Along with the tougher image came a tougher sound and they hit us with lots of big bluesy guitar riffs and some good ol’ Aussie rock ‘n’ roll vocals.
The boys ripped through their set and particularly hit their straps with a cranking tune called Shake it which had the Sando buzzing. After witnessing their performance last time at the Sando, this gig confirmed for me that BLACK LABEL is a great live band and well worth checking out.
To read the full review, please visit Sludge Factory:
LIVE TO RIDE MAGAZINE
Head: BLUES, BOOGIE & BLACK LABEL
INTRO: It’s all about rock n roll, blues and good times…
FOR THE PAST couple of years Black Label have been rocking the Sydney scene and successfully touring up and down the east coast. This five piece outfit have had great reviews but are still yet to score a recording contract.
So what is the appeal of Black Label?
We are a rock-n-roll band pure and simple, we have always played rock and we come from rock backgrounds. Historically good Aussie rock bands are pub-rock bands and to pigeon-hole that even further good pub rock bands have their roots in the blues. That’s Black Label, good old blues rock and boogie.
How would you describe Black Label’s sound?
Hard and heavy rock and roll that’s been inspired by the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rose Tattoo and AC/DC.
OK so who are yas?
Steve Mulry, vocals; Kevin Pratt, lead, rhythm and slide guitar; Mark Foster, lead and rhythm guitar; Laurie Marlow, Bass and George Muscat, drums.
Steve Mulry? Any relation to Ted Mulry?
Yeah, brothers. Steve actually performed with TMG at the Gimme Ted concert.
What is the crowd reaction to Black Label?
We go over well and pull our own following. We’ve been going hard work-wise building up a following through lots of gigs. Last year we played 70 dates and through our sponsor, Woodstock Bourbon, we’re able to promote our gigs with advertising and at the gigs hold free giveaways. We’re a band that gives you value for money, after all if you giveaway free stuff to punters they remember it.
Any recordings to date?
We’ve recorded two CDs so far, The Dealer and just recently Lawless.
We noticed that Lawless was sponsored by Woodstock Bourbon.
Yes, we have the same demographics and we approached them about sponsorship of the band and they came through. But it doesn’t end there either Woodstock helped us with the air fares when we went on tour interstate and when we play any bike gigs they like to get involved as show sponsors and supply us with the Woodstock semi-trailer as our stage.
How many bike gigs have you played?
It’s probably easier to name the clubs that we haven’t played for especially in Sydney.
What’s been your biggest rock and roll moment so far?
That would have to be supporting Rose Tattoo and The Angels Band on the one bill. It was great to share the stage with bands that we grew up listening to.
You guys have supported the Tatts before though haven’t you?
We’ve been lucky enough to tour with Rose Tattoo four times and it’s been bloody great.
Has Black Label ever suffered the consequences from being associated with the biker gigs/shows?
Do we get ‘barred’ from certain gigs do you ask? Yeah it happens. It’s bloody stupid and shits us because some of the venue bookers think the band brings trouble in the form of bikers. It’s a double-edged sword really, you can play these good bike gigs but then loose the RSL and Leagues club gigs. Even some pubs spin out and won’t book us. They’d rather book a ‘Bop girl’ band and put up with the rap-dance crowd, who are either off their heads on eccies or involved in drive by shootings � stuff ’em, we don’t need those gigs anyhow!
Any plans for the future?
Realistically just to go with the flow, keep playing and enjoying it. Ideally it would be nice to get signed by a big record company but these days the industry has got nothing to do with how good you are it’s more about marketability and who you know. That’s what they’re after not talent but looks and other spin-offs.
OK so who do black label know?
Hell all our friends are crims! No that’s not really true we have some options as to who we are going to get distributed through and there is a record company that we are currently negotiating with but as yet we haven’t signed any contracts.
So where can we get your CDs?
You’ll have to hit our website, www.blacklabelaustralia.com.au but it will be in the
shops sooner or later.
Have you had much support from radio?
All the regional stations have been very supportive and we’re getting regular airplay in Warrnambool but the big city stations are hard to crack. Even so we’ve had a lot of support from C91.3FM in Sydney where they have a couple of the old MMM DJs working. They’re great.
Who writes the songs?
We all write but Kev writes the most and on Lawless the whole band worked on the songs together.
Do any of you ride?
One expensive hobby is enough! Maybe we could talk Woodstock Bourbon into supplying the band with some Harleys!
What kind of gear do you use?
More or less it’s the same back-line used by AC/DC; Gibson, Marshall, Ampeg and Sonor drums. It’s big and loud just as it should be.
What’s the best story from being on the road?
We were playing a gig at Seagulls, Tweed Heads and the PA bloke was a guy who didn’t like long-haired black T-shirted rock-n-rollers. He saw our stage gear and warned us that if we played loud he’d set the manager and we wouldn’t be paid. The gig was packed so we played just like we always do and the crowd were going off. The PA guy called the manager who warned us to “Turn it down or turn it off” so we turned it off. I mean after all ya can’t play rock-n-roll without giving it some stick.
The crowd sussed it out and yelled abuse at the PA guy and the manager who called security to subdue the crowd who were yelling stuff like “Leave the band alone ya fuckwits!” Finally the manager asked us to set up again and play “PLEASE” which we did but only after we got paid first.
The rest of the night as we played we were laughing at the PA guy and as we packed up at the end we met up with Rose tattoo’s ex bassist Geordie Leech who’d seen the whole thing and invited us back to his place for a piss-up and a barbie.
That’s about the best story we’ve got so far.
So where can LTR readers check out Black Label?
We’re based in Sydney’s western suburbs so most of our gigs are based around the Sydney area, but we will be touring Victoria and Tasmania later this year. All our gig details are on the website www.blacklabelaustralia.com.au but the next two biker gigs are the Fourth Reich’s show in Wollongong in March and the after-party at the Highway 61 Clubhouse on Good Friday.
THE DRUM MEDIA –
May 15th 2001
It’s a long time since anyone in Australia cut an album like The Dealer. There have been the odd ones here and there recalling this style of “good ol’ boy Southern US of A fried rock”, from stalwarts like Peter Wells, but Black Label, if you’ll excuse the pun, are the real deal in that department. right from the opening track, Snake In The Grass, these guys hit the floor with all guns blazing, James Carvin’s slide ripping out the riffs before the band settles into a solid boogie over which Steve Mulry’s (yes, there’s a connection to that other Mulry, and there’s something of a similarity in the vocal tones too, naturally) punchy vocals, and things pretty much stay that way throughout the album.
Now when I said Southern rock, it’s not pure Lynard Skynard, whom the boys tribute with the track Southlands. There’s plenty of blues edge there, though it’s Johnny Winter rather than Stevie Ray, so it’s far more raw, open and honest, blues from the gut. There’s straight ahead boogie like Good Luck, Good Times, which owes as much to Status Quo (when they mattered, and really could rock) as anything from, say, Foghat or even Rose Tattoo (I can just hear Angry getting his teeth into Motorcycle Rider).
And there are plenty of twin lead lines that recall Thin Lizzy at their finest – check out some of the lines on Tell Me Something New, Bad Influence or Down Hill Road in particular, just for starters – so it’s quite a respectable rock’n’roll pedigree we’re talking here, though it’s a pedigree that bespeaks of the glory days of ’70s blues-rock rather than today’s version.
And Black Label have no reason to feel the less for wearing their allegiance on their collective leather-clad sleeve. Just turn up the volume and go with it.
May 7th 2001
Well I saw AC/DC at the Entertainment Centre and not long after hearing Black Label’s new album, The Dealer I had flashbacks that made me blush. I can’t believe my own ears but dammit if Black Label haven’t captured the true essence of rock’n’roll in all its glory. Featuring ex-members of the Oz Deep Purple Show, the Stones Experience and the Storm AC/DC Show, its all here – long hair, dirty blues, big riffs, other things. And the lyrics. Gratefully printed in the CD sleeve. For example: “Baby let’s go to a joint downtown/ be some rockin’ and the band is playin’ loud/ don’t hesitate just take my hand/ I’m goin’ to take you to the promised land”. Ahh, the promised land. Where any self-respecting naughty but nice woman wants to go. Black Label have the balls, the gusto, the sheer focused intensity to take you there too. On Mamma Said, we feel the lead
singer’s universal distress with the lyrics: “Well you’ve come to a point where you’re down on your luck/ and somethin’s got a grip on your soul/ but nothin’ you do seems to work out right/ the world’s spun out of control”.
I hear you man.
Apparently Oz Bike magazine “saw ’em rip it up at the Bankstown Show and would highly recommend them to anyone booking talent for bike shows”. Do you need more? The lead guitarist is called Fozz and they have song titles that make you feel the song before you hear it: Midnight Ramblin’, Bad Influence and Motorcycle Rider being three excellent examples. Just beautiful old school rock from the outer suburbs to stir the emotions and raise the blood pressure to alarming highs.