Fiery Townsville rockabilly-punkabilly band, The Vankeys are stoked to head south to play Stones Corner Festival in Brisbane next month.
Blistering and idealistic at times, but predominately musically adventurous, the group formerly known as The Koffin Rockers have expanded their horizons, fusing together an essence of rockabilly and hard ‘80s punk rock, with the added spice of Aussie pub rock and ska.
Laid-back larrikins Michael Hegarty (guitars/ vocals), Dean Gilboy (drums) and Shaun Butcher (upright bass/ backing vocals) personify the musical genre they play.
Their new album ‘Boring’ (released February 2019) has been created with an uncompromising energy winning them fans across the country.
But their next live appointment is Stones Corner Festival. “We’re pretty happy to come back to Stones Corner,” Michael says. “Obviously it’s pretty epic; when it comes to festivals it’s right up there with Hotter Than Hell.”
After taking their talents overseas last year, The Vankeys embraced then conquered the challenge of Europe but are thrilled to be back playing in Australia.
“It’s nice to be back in Australia with the home crowd who tend to know our songs a little bit more. You’re starting from scratch when you’re overseas, you have to build that fan base again.
“But we were still well received over in Europe and we’ve been lucky enough to be invited back, so that’s definitely on the cards.”
Bringing their infectious yet unorthodox style to pubs and clubs with a distinctive twist, their influences vary; from Area-7 to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the three-piece love to integrate the influences of their Australian and British punk idols to create a powerful chaos.
“We’re huge fans of The Clash, The Ramones; you could go through and list all the classics, and here in Australia you’ve got Bodyjar and Radio Birdman, and that pop-punk influence from a time when music was really happening – it’s nice to touch on that fabric and landscape and bring it back.”
With stylised artwork accompanying the album, the group pay homage to the ‘90s while still expressing themselves as genre jumpers.
“We wanted to go for something that was more universal and with a recent name change, we want to try and get away from the death and the psychobilly mentality of the ghoul and spooky stuff.
“[We're] going for something more universally accepted that stands out and would look great on a t-shirt. Plus we wanted to pay homage back to ‘90s and ‘00s; looking at our artwork, it could stand next to so many different albums and bands from different styles and genres without rehashing the past, but taking the music we loved growing up and putting our spin on it and taking it to a new market.”
The Vankeys join Jebediah, Area-7, Cheap Fakes, Darren Middleton, Pub Choir and We All Want To at Stones Corner Festival (Brisbane) 5 May. The Vankeys also support Area-7 at Villa Noosa Hotel (Sunshine Coast) 4 May.