Bondi Cigars.
Bondi Cigars. Submitted

Bondi Cigars hit the coast

WHEN the Bondi Cigars were first gigging around Sydney, late 1989, they moved in a blues/R&B circuit which had then been sparked into new life by the ‘blues revival’ of the mid-80s.

And while many of the Sydney bands from that era have vanished, become historical footnotes or undergone major changes, the Bondi Cigars - true survivors - have battled on, without ever compromising their distinctive no nonsense style, to become a leading force in Australian R&B.

This weekend the boys will be heading to Woolgoolga on Monday and then to Coffs Harbour on Tuesday to spread the sounds from their new album, Universal Stew.

However the Bondi Cigars lead vocalist and main songwriter, Shane Pacey, promises that all of the classic Bondi tunes will still make it into the set.

While writing Universal Stew, Shane did nothing more than look what was happening in the world around him.

“I had just gotten out of a fairly serious relationship and when you emotions are going all over the place, it can be quiet a fertile time for song writing,” he said.

“The album is really about looking to the good and bad times of the past and being hopeful about the future. Now though I am very happily married to a different lovely lady and loving life.”

Performance wise, Shane firmly believes that the Cigars play with the same energy and intensity after 20 years of travelling around and playing countless venues.

“We don’t really have a rehearsed set list or show. That’s not really how we do things,” he said.

“We like to see what the crowed is reacting to and go from there to make sure everyone who turns out has a great night.”

Over the years, the boys have come to really appreciate their fans, and their intensity.

Shane told of how people would drive for 600 kilometres; make a weekend of it, just to hear them play.

“It is amazing the commitment of some people. They just want to see a live act and are willing to travel for it,” he said.

“Where I grew up, we didn’t really have much of a live music scene so we try to take our sound to where the fans are.”

The Cigars have made the trek to the Clarence Valley more than a few times, and have some very fond memories of Grafton and Yamba.

“Grafton is always a great place to visit. And Yamba is great too. During our travels, we have found that the closer the audience is to the coast, the faster they get going,” Shane said.

“We love coming back and playing in the same towns to see if we recognise any faces and to have a beer with old friends.

“We have seen some kids grow up because they came to see us when they were 16 or 17 years old and 20 years on, they have families and careers. It’s funny to see how people change.”

  • The Bondi Cigars will play at Club Coffs on Tuesday December 29. Tickets are $12 and doors open at 7.30pm.

Phone the venue on 6652 1477



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