Right..it’s about time for some good ole’ rock ‘n’ roll. We are talking about a band influenced by the rockier side of The Beatles and Tom Petty and who absolutely dig Deep Purple. And so after being treated to the two support bands, The Dark Light and the very impressive Madre Sun, Melbourne rockers Electric Mary took centre stage at the Islington Academy in North London.
In lead vocalist Rusty Brown’s own words this was going to be an evening of rock ‘n’ roll like it used to taste. It certainly was and the band has a great 70’s style rock sound. They launched straight into Let Me Out from the new album Mother which hit a relatively small audience like a train. This may be off the new album but it was evident that everyone already owned a copy. Rusty by name but Brown’s vocals were obviously very well oiled.
Although formed in 2003 I have only just discovered them. A real surprise as I do like my Aussie rock and they are certainly well established having supported such luminaries as Whitesnake, Judas Priest, the afforementioned Deep Purple and Alice Cooper. The band named itself after Brown met Mary Campbell, the manager of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
Two excellent guitarists Brett Wood and Pete Robinson flanked Rusty and hairy bass man Alex Raunjak with Paul (Spyda) Marrett, the relatively new boy as he only joined the band in 2017, on drums at the rear. Although very 70s retro, this band has its own identity which sits comfortably within the current wealth of bands playing high grade rock music.
Rusty, who had greeted me on my way in is a real character, somebody whom I would happily share a few beers with at any time. He was the entertainer within the band and kept his fellow band members and indeed the audience amused. There was a molesting the nipple moment that must have had some significance but passed me by.
All but three of the fourteen main set numbers were culled from the bands 2009 second album Down To The Bone and most recent album Mother, released earlier this year. The first single Sail Away from debut 2004 release Four Hands High was also included.
There was no taking the foot off the accelerator for the entire eighty minute set. Electric Mary is a very efficient power rock machine, Rusty’s great rock voice was complimented by Wood and Robinson, each pitching in with brilliant guitar solos, the frightening Raunjak’s heavy bass perfectly playing off Spyda’s drumming.
There was even a rock ballad with Sorry Baby, maintaining the power but not the intensity, thrown in for good measure with Raunjak giving us some sweet harmonica.
As I mentioned earlier, this band has managed to evade my radar until now so each number on the set list was very new to me. I was certainly the Virgin Mary that Rusty had referred to early on. I can highlight the stand out numbers as perhaps Gasoline And Guns, One Foot In The Grave and final number My Best Friend but to be fair there were no duffers.
Rusty came into photo pit to get close and personal with the dedicated fan base on a several occasions and I was even asked to take his photo whilst he was posing with two ladies at one point.
And when it came to it: did everyone want an encore? Of course they did and the band obliged and bowed out with It’s Alright. A song released In September of this year before the start of their European tour. This is a band that is now fixed on my radar, and after couple or three CDs to purchase at the march stand, I will keep a watchful eye on their future events.
Photography and words by Phil Honley of Electric Mary at O2 Academy 2 Islington on Wednesday 6th November 2019. Phil has his own photography site here: http://www.gigsnapz.co.uk.