It was 2009 when fans of hard rock band Rose Tattoo were coming to terms with the fact one of Australia’s most revered acts could be no longer.
With five former band members having passed away in the years prior, lead singer Angry Anderson said the passing of guitarist Mick Cocks in December that year sealed the band’s fate.
“I don’t mean to sound self-important, but we did our last tour in 2008 and the next year Mick died, so I pretty much gave the whole idea away,” he said.
But fast forward 10 years and Rose Tattoo is back, with guitarists Dai Pritchard, Bob Spencer, Jackie Barnes and one-time AC/DC member Mark Evans bringing a new energy and passion to the stage.
Currently halfway through their Rock N Roll Outlaw 40th Anniversary Tour, Angry said it was like “putting on a pair of well-worn slippers”.
“I think realistically a lot of people kind of wondered what the new line-up is going to be like musically and I was very confident, otherwise I wouldn’t have picked them,” he told the Weekender.
“The great thing for me personally, being the last man standing, is that the passion is back.”
Noticing that in their absence their audience has gotten younger, Angry said it was a great feeling that the music was still reaching audiences of all ages 40 years on from when it all began.
“One of the things that Peter Wells had always said, is the mark of a great band is to make music that is played and sung after they’re gone,” he said.
“I get CDs from young bands and there is a cover of one of our songs and it’s a real moment that 40 years on there is some young teenage bands out there, who have not only discovered the music, but have thought so much of it that they wanted to cover it.
“I’m very proud for the guys that have gone, that we were able to write songs that people still want to hear.”
And just when fans thought it couldn’t get any better, the band announced their set to completely re-record ‘Rock N Roll Outlaw’ at the end of this tour for a new generation of fans.
“It’s going to be something, it’s going to be the same songs, but it just won’t be a copy, it’ll be a different album in its own right,” Angry said.
Rose Tattoo will be performing at the Blue Cattle Dog Hotel in St Clair on Saturday, October 6 at 8pm. Tickets are $44.90. To book or for more information, call 9670 3050 or visit www.bluecattledoghotel.com.au.
Lauren Suttie is the Weekender’s General & Community News journalist.