Home Interviews RICK BREWSTER chats with Rock Club 40 about Brothers Angels and Demons

RICK BREWSTER chats with Rock Club 40 about Brothers Angels and Demons

14 min read


For many of us, when we think of the Brewster brothers we think of The Angels; of their brilliant guitar playing and the classic songs they co-wrote with Doc Neeson. Songs such as ‘Marseilles’, ‘Take A Long Line’, ‘Shadow Boxer’ and, of course, the most famous of all ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’. Songs that have stood the test of time.


John and Rick Brewster are the third generation of a musical family and, together with John’s sons Sam, Tom and Harry, will be on the road in May telling the story of their history in the Brothers, Angels and Demons show.


“The Brewster Brothers, we’ve been doing for over 10 years but this actual show Brothers, Angels and Demons, we did for the Adelaide Cabaret show in 2012. It worked so well we sat down and said we’d love to take it on the road and now we have the opportunity to do that,” Rick Brewster explained to me during a recent phone interview. “It’s a fun show to do. Takes us right through the history of where John and I come from, how we started the band [The Angels] and goes into the fourth generation with John’s sons.”


John’s oldest son Sam has been playing bass with The Angels since 2013 when Chris Bailey resigned due to ill health. Sadly Chris lost his battle with cancer in April of that year and Sam continues to play bass with Chris’s blessing.


“Tom is the middle son. He plays drums. He’s got his own job. I think he is a job supervisor for a landscape company. That’s pretty full on [so] we can really only get him on weekends. He loves getting out and having a hit on the drums. He’s a natural player. A bit of a dark horse. No one ever knew that he was even learning drums. One day John heard him play and he said ‘Shit! You’ve gotta hear Tom!’”


John’s youngest son is Harry. “He is still studying music, doing various courses. I think that is where he is headed. I think he is sitting on the sidelines, waiting to join the band. If he is ever around when we [The Angels] are playing we usually get him up for a number or two.”


Rick went on to say that playing with Harry in this show “is fantastic because I sit behind a keyboard with a guitar on my lap. Having Harry there allows me to play a bit more keyboard, we can break it up a bit. He takes a guitar solo, I take a guitar solo. He adds something very special.”


With all this talk about his nephews, I asked Rick about his own children. “They are a bit young but they are coming on and, who knows, one of these days they might enter the group too.”


For this short tour the Brewsters have engaged Raymond Hawkins, the Electronic Swagman, to MC the show. Raymond has a long association with the Brewsters and The Angels. “He designed and operated our light show for years in the late 70s and early 80s. Very innovative, put on an incredible show. Then he went and did his own thing for many years. We reconnected with him a few years ago. When the idea came up to dothis run, we asked him if he would do the MCing which he was very happy to do. He had a go at it a couple of times with us. [He is] quite funny and informative and has his own stories to tell. He was on the road for us for six or seven years so obviously his story is from a different perspective.”

As an Angels fan and an avid reader, I was keen to know if either he or John would consider writing a book to complement the show. Rick’s response was just what I wanted to hear. “We are in the middle of doing just that with another old friend from the past. A guy called Bob Yates. We’ve been working on that for about a year now. It’s a huge project. A lot of history; all the archival material, he has been ploughing through all that and just trying to get the timeline accurate is a difficult process cause, as you probably know, two people never have the same memory of an event. We are getting there.”


The archival material Rick refers to are old copies of Juke, Ram etc. that he and John have kept, as well as photographs Rick has taken on tour. “A wealth of photos of mine. I used to, in fact still do, cart cameras around wherever we went. I have a huge backlog, 1,000’s of films of black and white photos.” Rick assures me there will be plenty of photos that even the diehard fans have not seen before.


After this tour Rick will be back on the road with The Angels in July and August. They will be joined on tour by another great Australian band, Mi-Sex, who now have Steve Balbi from Noiseworks as their lead singer.


“We just did a run in New Zealand with Mi-Sex and Dragon. I was pleasantly surprised to see Mi-Sex. I think Steve is great. He has a great voice, he is really theatrical, the whole band is. Mi-Sex were lucky to find Steve. We were lucky to find Dave Gleeson.”


Personally I am looking forward to the Brothers Angels and Demons show. The intimate venues, I think, will suit this story telling show well, as does Rick. “I like intimate. They’re always good shows. It’s always good to have the audience really close to you. There is nothing worse than those shows where there is a football field between you and the first lot of people.”


Brothers, Angels and Demons is the history of the Brewsters but a large part of that history is The Angels. Sadly in 2013 and 2014 we lost two Angels, Chris Bailey and Doc Neeson. I asked if they will be honoured in the show. “Both Chris and Doc are crucial to the history we share. They obviously deserve a mention.”

by Suzanne Bunker


Copyright © Suzanne Bunker 2016.  All rights reserved

The tour dates for Brothers Angels and Demons are

Saturday 7th May 2016

 Norwood Hotel, ADELAIDE SA 97 The Parade, Norwood SA (08) 8431 1822 | www.moshtix.com.au  ;

Friday 13th May 2016

Birds Basement, MELBOURNE VIC 11 Singers Lane, Melbourne VIC www.birdsbasement.com  ;

Saturday 14th May 2016

 Caravan Music Club, OAKLEIGH VIC 95-97 Drummond Street, Oakleigh VIC www.caravanmusic.com.au  ;

Thursday 19th May 2016

Brass Monkey, CRONULLA NSW 115A Cronulla Street, Cronulla NSW (02) 9544 3844 | www.brassmonkey.com.au 1300 762 545 | www.oztix.com.au  ;

Friday 20th May 2016

Lizottes, NEWCASTLE NSW 31 Morehead Street, Lambton NSW (02) 4956 2066 | www.lizottes.com.au  ;

Saturday 21st May 2016

The Basement, SYDNEY NSW 7 Macquarie Place, Sydney NSW (02) 9251 2797 | www.thebasement.com.au

2016 HARDWIRED TOUR DATES  The Angels and Mi-Sex are

Friday 1st July 2016

 Rooty Hill RSL [Tivoli Theatre], ROOTY HILL NSW (02) 9625 5500 | www.rootyhillrsl.com.au ;

Saturday 2nd July 2016

Revesby Workers Club [Whitlam Theatre], REVESBY NSW (02) 9772 2100 | www.rwc.org.au ;

Wednesday 6th July 2016

Big Red Bash, BIRDSVILLE QLD www.bigredbash.oztix.com.au ;

Friday 8th July 2016

The Palms at Crown, MELBOURNE VIC 1300 723 038 | www.ticketmaster.com ;

Saturday 9th July 2016

 Wrest Point Showroom, HOBART TAS 1300 795 257 | www.tixtas.com.au ;

Friday 15th July 2016

Twin Towns, TWEED HEADS NSW 1800 014 014 | www.twintowns.com.au ;

Saturday 16th July 2016

Aussie World, SUNSHINE COAST QLD (07) 5494 5444 | www.rollerdigital.com/aussieworld ;

Friday 22nd July 2016

The Juniors, KINGSFORD NSW www.thejuniors.com.au ;

Saturday 23rd July 2016

 Doyalson RSL, DOYALSON NSW (02) 4390 0622

Friday 29th July 2016 Dunsborough Tavern, DUNSBOROUGH WA 1300 438 849 | www.moshtix.com.au ;

Saturday 30th July 2016

Charles Hotel, PERTH WA 1300 762 545 | www.oztix.com.au ;

Sunday 31st July 2016 Ravenswood Hotel, RAVENSWOOD WA 1300 762 545 | www.oztix.com.au ;

Friday 5th August 2016 Waves, WOLLONGONG NSW 1300 438 849 | www.moshtix.com.au

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