The late seventies’ musical tsunami of punk and new wave washed away the livelihoods of many good Aussie rock bands before they really had the opportunity to establish themselves.
This was certainly the case with Melbourne band,Taste, who, after honing their act around the pubs and clubs of the Victorian capital and finally winning their due respect from the traditionally hard to impress inner city and suburban rock fans, recorded two warmly received albums, Tickle Your Fancy and Knights Of Love, before falling foul of fashion and splitting up just as an international career beckoned.
Championed in their heyday by acts such as Queen, who often used their single Boys Will Be Boys as their concert lead-in tape, and cited in the American music press at the time as one of the ‘next big things’, it does seem, in hindsight, that their split was particularly poorly timed and premature.
After the best part of thirty years apart, years spent involved in their own musical pursuits, the group finally reformed in 2007 to record a comeback album, Rock Is Dead.
Now, ten years further still on down the line, the band are touring the country promoting another new album, Life On Earth, and sounding as vibrant and powerful as they ever have.
Three members of the classic seventies line-up, Ken Murdoch (vocals and guitar), Joey Amenta (guitars and vocals) and Michael Tortoni (bass), have now been joined by powerhouse drummer, Damien Corniola, and they all combine to play rock and roll just the way we loved it back in the days before electronics castrated the guitar wielding beast. Can there be any sweeter sound than twin electric guitars riffing in synch with each other?
Taste’s Adelaide Fringe show in Showroom One at The German Club presented the fans with a generous cross-section of songs from both eras of the band’s career.
From their early period, the band dusted off the single, Tickle Your Fancy, very early on but then also hit us with Group E, and finished off the set with a trio of Boys Will Be Boys, Same Old Story, and a surprise run through of Knights Of Love favourite, Just As The Water Flows.
All of these older tunes sounded fantastic – now much punchier and more battle hardened than they were in their original recorded versions.
The surprise, however, was how strong and diverse their newer material sounds. All of these new songs were warmly received by the small, dedicated crowd of aficionados in attendance. Life On Earth tracks, A Room Full Of Angels and The Fatal Shore stood out as beautifully constructed songs that simply soared in tonight’s live incarnations.
Both Murdoch and Amenta were in fine voice throughout, and the whole band looked like they were really enjoying being back on the boards and giving it their all.
The band’s indelible smiles, and the strong air of bonhomie that prevailed for the duration of the gig was certainly infectious.
Taste are definitely old school. They delivered their set without any frills, and they served up a totally satisfying dose of tuneful, hard rocking, guitar wailing rock tunes (and we even got a good old fashioned extended drum solo at one point to really take us back to the days of yore!)
Taste played one Adelaide show only at The German Club on March 9.
Their latest album: Life On Earth is available to buy from the band’s website, www.taste-music.com