Opinion

Angels lament the passing of Doc

CURRENT LINE-UP: The Angels (from left) Rick Brewster, John Brewster, Dave Gleeson, Sam Brewster and Nick Norton.
CURRENT LINE-UP: The Angels (from left) Rick Brewster, John Brewster, Dave Gleeson, Sam Brewster and Nick Norton. Craig Peihopa

AUSTRALIA lost a great man this week. When Doc Neeson lost his battle with a brain tumour early Wednesday, the news shook not only those who'd shared the stage with him over the years, but a vast majority of Australians who were lucky enough to feel some connection with the music of one of the country's finest rock and roll bands.

While Doc parted ways with fellow Angels founders John and Rick Brewster in 2010, the camaraderie that was built over more than 35 years of living the rock life together was always going to be hard to break.

Guitarist John Brewster, who is part-way through a national tour with The Angels featuring Dave Gleeson on lead vocals, said Doc's loss was devastating.

"I spent most of my life with Doc - a greater proportion was spent with him than anyone else," Brewster said.

"Rick and I founded this band with Doc in 1974, after Doc joined The Moonshine Jug and String Band in '71.

"There was a camaraderie that nothing could break. Being in a band was like a rollercoaster - particularly in the early days when we were burning the candle from both ends."

Brewster dismissed the rumours that have floated around since Neeson left to form his own Angels group just over three years ago.

"People were saying we were at war - it was all rubbish," he said.

"All I can do now is reflect on the good times we had."

There was no shortage of good times for The Angels in their prime.

Brewster paid tribute to Doc's role in the massive appeal of the band - starting in the late 1970s and carrying through to the present day.

"My best memories of Doc are just of how good a stage performer he was and how he pushed the envelope," he said.

"I remember him climbing a PA stack at a festival in 1983 - it was just one of those ridiculously dangerous things he used to do.

"It was as wobbly as hell and an absolute death drop but he got away with it and, when he got up the top, he was encouraging everyone to hold up their cigarette lighters.

"I think that just showed his dedication as a performer.

"He was a great front man."

As part of their current national tour, The Angels will perform with Dave Gleeson on lead vocals at Queensland Lions, Richlands on August 8.

Fans can expect a dedication to Doc during the performance.

"We will raise a collective glass to Doc and his memory," Brewster said.

"Rick and I love Doc."

The Angels also lost long-time bass player Chris Bailey to cancer in April last year.

John Brewster's 31-year-old son Sam has taken over on bass.

New frontman Dave Gleeson has also become an integral part of the band, which is topped off by drummer Nick Norton.

"People come to see the big hits, and that is an important part of what The Angels are about.

"Having said that, we've done two new albums with Dave since he joined the band," Brewster said.

"Dave has a sound in his voice that suits our songs. He is not trying to be Doc but he is in the same ball park - he is a brilliant front man."

The Angels are releasing two commemorative albums to celebrate their 40th year - Volume 1 features 40 greatest studio hits, while Volume 2 features 40 live tracks.

Brewster said every Angels band member featured somewhere on the recordings.

"The records are a celebration of everyone who was ever part of The Angels," he said.

Fans can expect to hear plenty of The Angels' timeless classics during the tour, with the odd new song thrown in for good measure.

New material has been well received, with the band favouring the title track from the latest studio album, Talk the Talk, as a set opener.

It is still timeless classics like Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again and Take a Long Line that have ensured the lasting popularity of the band for 40 years.

"Some songs don't age," Brewster said.

"I'm a lucky guy - I'm in a band that can still pull a full house.

"It's a wonderful thing to be able to do.

"When we formed the band we thought we might last five years or so."

Performances

Topics:  doc neeson, opinion, qt big read, the angels



Ipswich pensioner wins $260K on scratchie

BIG WIN: A woman purchased a ticket at a Goodna newsagency and is now $260K richer.

Found out while waiting in the doctor's surgery

Shark warning! Ipswich to erect signs at river hot spots

BULLISH: Brisbane and Bremer rivers are full of bull sharks so warning signs are planned to go up alerting residents to the dangers.

Sharks still teeming in Brisbane, Bremer rivers

Firm told to apologise, pay back $16K to Korean backpackers

Boonah Packing Pty Ltd supplied labour to one of Australia's leading carrot producers, Scott Moffat & Co, trading as Moffatt Fresh Produce who supply carrots to major supermarket chains like Woolworths and Aldi.

Boonah business caught ripping off foreign workers

Local Partners

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.