60's British rock legends to return to Australia

The Troggs will play a string of dates across Australia in November.  Photo Contributed
The Troggs will play a string of dates across Australia in November. Photo Contributed Contributed

Every so often a song will move beyond its one hit wonder status.

Once in a blue moon a song will move itself into the social collective consciousness to such an extent that just about everybody remembers when and where they were when they heard it.

'Wild Thing' just happens to be one of those songs, and the band responsible for making it into a hit will be gracing the shores of Australia for the first time in 20 years.

Guitarist Chris Britton laid down the track on two Vox AC30 amps, recorded on a four-track mono, in a live take on the run.

He still remembers seeing Jimi Hendrix ripping out the song in London.

"I saw him play Wild Thing', before he played it at the famous festival, at a little theatre in London called the Saville Theatre.

"That was quite a night.

"It was about midnight on a Sunday evening and I think Cream were playing and the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and Jimi Hendrix and half a dozen other bands.

"That was a brilliant gig and Jimi Hendrix actually finished the night playing 'Wild Thing' and setting fire to the guitar which actually blew me away.

"It was hilarious - very fun and all done in good taste”

The track arrived at their front door courtesy of Larry Page and Chip Taylor, the songwriter who was responsible for writing the track.

"The demo we got was almost sent to us accidentally by Larry Page with a load of other demos because he was looking for a song for us and we particularly picked on that one because we liked it,” Chris said.

"It was virtually Chip Taylor with an acoustic guitar and he had gone into the studio and recorded it and he was almost talking it rather than singing it.

"And we liked that idea of it so we kept the talking attitude.”

The band picked up on a flute-like sound on the demo and putting it down to an instrument fondly known as a 'Shepherds Flute' or Ocarina they recorded their version using the little known instrument.

As it turns out the sound on the demo was Chip Taylor's sound engineer blowing through his thumbs.

Chris said that they had the song down within a half an hour, rehearsed it at the bass player's house in his bedroom because he was sick with flu, and then recorded it in ten minutes at the studio.

He said that it was quite common in those days to look for hits off demos and particularly from American artists as the demo would get sent over to England and recorded, ultimately meaning the English version would be a hit before the American version could get over.

"Communication was a lot slower in those days, so an American hit wasn't instantly printed, produced, and marketed in England,” he said.

"There were demo's flying around everywhere and people trying to get hold of a good song to do, although I think 'Wild Thing' had been lying around in the cupboard before we got hold of it and turned it around in a different way.”

Chris said they had remained in contact with Chip Taylor, and that the song writer had recently sent them a couple of demos which could possibly see the light of day should the band head back in the studio.

The band will play a string of 13 dates up the East Coast of Australia including Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay, primarily focusing on the older material but sliding some of the newer songs into the set list for their 50th anniversary tour.

Chris said one of the mysteries of doing the tour all the way over in Australia and coming from England was they never quiet new how they would travel from gig to gig.

"I hope it is reasonably comfortable, for all I know it is a horse and trap, but I should think it is a bus or a car, but we will find out when we get there.”

Chris said he remembered Byron Bay, was keen to see the Sydney Opera House, and get back on the Manly Ferry again.

He said it he was expecting a little bit of a party vibe backstage as it was the nature of the business but you couldn't really tell what backstage would be like until you got to the venue and saw how security reacted.

"Smaller gigs are usually a lot loser.

"There is always a bit of a party vibe, it is the very nature of the business, or do you think you would have a bit more fun with a bunch of accountants do you?

"The biggest gig I've ever been on was Times Square in New York on New Year's Eve which was quiet interesting.

"But most of my fond memories are of smaller gigs where you at least see the audience and see the response and have a lot of fun with them.”


Thursday 3rd November HERVEY BAY Beach House Hotel

Friday 4th November BRISBANE Hamilton Hotel

Saturday 5th November SUNSHINE COAST Caloundra RSL

Monday 14th November CRONULLA Brass Monkey

Tuesday 15th November SYDNEY The Basement

Wednesday 16th November NEWCASTLE Lizotte's

Thursday 17th November SPRINGWOOD Blue Mountains Theatre

Friday 18th November CENTRAL COAST Entrance Leagues Club

Saturday 19th November REVESBY Revesby Workers Club

Sunday 20th November ROZELLE The Bridge Hotel

Tuesday 22nd November ADELAIDE The Gov

Thursday 24th November SYDNEY Factory Theatre

Saturday 26th November MELBOURNE The Palms at Crown

Tickets available from:

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