Sunday, February 11, 2007

(Bands from Brisbane, Australia)


Regurgitator were originally a 3 piece indie rock band with Quan Yeomans (guitar and vocals), Ben Ely (bass and vocals) and Martin Lee (drums). The three had met on a bus in inner Brisbane. At this time, all three were already in several bands, some containing future members of The Resin Dogs and George. Regurgitator at this time were not considered to be the main focus of any members, and were recognised only when Ely provided Paul Curtis of Consume Management a demo for one of his other bands, Pangaea. The flip side to the Pangaea demo contained tracks put down with Yeomans and Lee as Regurgitator.

Their first show was a benefit for Greenpeace in a Brisbane public park, consisting of approximately 5 songs played twice. Quickly following this, they played a variety of guest spots with Primus, Beck, The Buzzcocks, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Ministry among others. A tape recording of tracks in Brisbane led to a signing to the Warner corporation with the first self-titled EP to be released soon after in late 1994 featuring the tracks I Like it Like That and Couldn`t Do It. The second EP NEW featuring one of their ice-breaking singles Blubber Boy (a twisted take on a eskimo fairy tale) and Track 1 was released mid 1995.

Their next single FSO was released in December 1995 as a prelude to their first national Big Day Out tour in January 1996. Upon completion of this tour, they relocated to Center Stage studios in Bangkok to record their debut album with producer Magoo who had previously provided the production mortar on their first 2 EPs. In April 1996 the first single Kong Foo Sing paved the way for the debut album TU PLANG (Thai for Jukebox) - a rubble of punk pop, hop-rock-beats & discarded sounds. This release coincided with a guest spot on the first national tour by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

By August 1997 the second album UNIT was complete with the first single Everyday Formula being mixed at their warehouse studio by US producer Rob Cavallo when on a brief visit to Brisbane. This album heralded a new direction with a strong pop ala 80`s electro vibe although never short of their self-deprecating sense of humour and fun. UNIT along with second single Black Bugs was released in late 1997 along with another extensive Australian tour. It wasn`t until 1998, where a national Australian tour as guests of The Prodigy & the release of the Polyester Girl single (selling 40,000+ copies) that the album really exploded going on to sell in excess of 240,000 copies - reaching triple platinum in Australia. The album was to receive various ARIA awards including best album for 1998.

The beginning of 1999 saw Regurgitator complete their second national Big Day Out tour before relocating their various studio bits & pieces, along with Magoo for their third album together, to a Byron Bay beach house. The result, ...Art, was released in Australia in August 1999 with their first single Happiness out in June. To launch this a tour in June with Japan`s Audio Active, preceded a more extensive Australian/New Zealand album tour. At the end of this tour Martin Lee was replaced by Peter Kostic. After some summer Australian festival appearances over the end of 1999 and beginning of 2000, the release of the third single from ...Art, Freshmint coincided with an extensive New Zealand, Japan & Australian tour - the Japan leg being their most successful dates ever, the album going on to sell 12,000 copies there.

In the latter period of 2000, Quan & Ben commenced work in their home studios on material for their fourth album. Early in 2001 they relocated to London to mix the new material with Andy Gill from UK arterrorists Gang of Four fame. The end result of this being Eduardo & Rodriguez Wage War On T-Wrecks. The first single Fat Cop was released in May to coincide with a short Australian tour and was followed by a quick trip to Japan for the great Fuji Rock Festival, coming after the release of the 4th album in early June. During this time the album was released in Singapore, Germany and Scandanavia. At the completion of the tour they then headed back to Japan after performing a main stage spot on Brisbane`s Livid Festival for 2001.

In June 2002 they performed in London at the Fierce Festival to 20,000 people, along with Midnight Oil, Spiderbait etc.

After a long overdue hiatus, a compilation of singles to complete their deal with Warner, Jingles was released in October 2002 with more touring in December 2002 and January 2003.

A decade plus of live shows across Australia, Japan, Europe and the US; numerous festival appearances; four albums and various EPs they then embarked on an independent career. Their first album in this direction Mishmash! was created from the Band In The Bubble project - a multiplatform glass recording installation built in Federation Square, Melbourne where the band recorded and lived in full view of the public for 3 weeks.

The first single was "The Drop" and the second was "My Friend Robot". In May 2005 they released the "My Ego" single, which contains three remixes created by Quan Yeomans in his new home in Hong Kong. They then released the "#?*!" (or Pillowhead) EP which contained b-sides from "Mish Mash!".

With numerous appearances around the country, including a performance at the world's biggest short film festival, Tropfest, surrounded by 30,000 people, Regurgitator looks to be taking a short break with Ben now working on his project Jump 2 Light Speed and Quan working hard on his solo career. The band also recently licensed their Band in a Bubble project to Initial TV in the UK.

One of my favourite things about Regurgitator is the sense of humour and fun they display in both their lyrics and music and in the energy of their live shows.

Regurgitator - Blubber Boy

Regurgitator - Everyday Formula

As an extra special treat for all of my lurkers, here's the clip for Blubber Boy, which refers to the classic documentary movie Nanook of the North:-

Regurgitator - Blubber Boy

Do you like these tunes? Then why not support the artists (and my blogging habit) by buying some music. Check out the links above or for some good compilation albums check out these links:-