It’s not often that you get to re-live a specific and significant moment of time in history. But come this April, that’s exactly what will happen.
2000 punters screaming, sweating and dancing to legendary Newcastle band DV8 was a scene you could find at a host of venues across the Hunter and beyond back in the 80’s.
Newcastle was alive with bands, venues and punters all living for the music.
And DV8 were the cream of local talent.
Songs like ‘I Want Your Body’, ‘Back To Basics, ‘Dry Your Eyes’ and ‘Darby St. Blues’ came to define the Newcastle rock sound at a time when hordes of music-loving punters packed into pubs and clubs to experience the DV8 phenomenon.
Big On Energetic Guitar-Based Rock
Formed out the ashes of Meccalissa, following in the footsteps of bands like Rabbit and The Heroes and paving the way for the likes of The Screaming Jets and silverchair, DV8 knew, as journalist Scott Bevan wrote at the time, “exactly what the average pub-goer was looking for in a band….an act that was low on pretense but big on energetic guitar-based rock.”
Comprising lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Greg Bryce, bass player Mark Middleton and drummer Brad Heaney, who later went on to join The Screaming Jets, DV8 were the consummate power trio. Their riff-driven brand of rock, injected with thundering rhythms and irresistible melodies, was genuinely loved by thousands of Hunter punters who flocked to their shows and propelled their numerous singles and albums into the charts.
The Concert Gets Captured
One of those albums was the 1987 classic DV8 Live! Recorded over two heady nights at Belmont 16s in April of that year, the double album showcases the raw energy and rock and roll assault that the band delivered. But there’s more!
The event was also captured on film, with a throng of sweaty, adoring fans pushing the band to greater heights as the concert continued.
Now, remastered on DVD for the first time, DV8 are about to hit the stage again almost 30 years to the day after that landmark weekend to launch this digital reincarnation at the same venue. It is not just a concert but a wonderful record of the times.
It’s a milestone event for Bryce who says that “ I was really proud of that moment in time. It was really us at the peak of our powers as a band and to have it recorded so beautifully by Kevin Shirley is an amazing thing. I’m really grateful and excited to celebrate 30 years since that night knowing that the band is still an incredible band to play in. It’ll be so much fun.”
The Seed Of Something Special Happening
While Newcastle Live was speaking with Bryce, he revealed something else that not many people would know . . .
“That night back in April 1987 wasn’t just a celebration of DV8 – there was something else going on. First of all, it was all being recorded by Kevin Shirley who has since gone to record silverchair, The Screaming Jets and many huge acts including Led Zeppelin and Joe Bonamassa. In the band, we had Brad Heaney on drums. The support band was The Embers – their bass player was Paul Woseen. And in the audience, as if by some divine force, was one Grant Walmsley celebrating his 18th birthday. Three of these four people went on to become key members of The Screaming Jets and the fourth, Kevin Shirley, went on to record both the Jets and silverchair. It was like the coming of age of Newcastle rock – like the seed of something special happening that night, right there in that moment, which would change history and take Newcastle music to the world. Amazing!”
Since those days, Bryce has performed thousands of gigs solo and in a variety of combos including the respected roots/folk trio Jigzag. His songs have appeared on platinum albums by fellow Novocastrians The Screaming Jets.
Which brings him nicely to yet another huge musical accomplishment – the 30th Anniversary of that magic DV8 Live! show back in 1987 and the launch of that show on DVD.
Bryce will be joined on stage by original (and current) bass player Mark Middleton and the dynamic Travis Suprano on drums as well as special guest, Grant Walmsley from The Screaming Jets.
It will be a hell of a show.
Don’t miss DV8 Live! All over again at Belmont 16s, Saturday April 1, 2017!
Tickets available here: https://www.proticket.com.au/Events/Details/4541
(PHOTO: courtesy of Wayne Campbell)