Taste: The 1970s Australian Glam Rock Icons Are Back

  • Written by 
  • Monday, 03 June 2019 13:15
Taste are part of the 2019 Hot Fest II line-up. Taste are part of the 2019 Hot Fest II line-up.

Icons of '70s Aussie glam rock, Taste will tickle your fancy with a little romance when the knights of love take the stage on the Hot Fest concert series.

The second Hot Fest tour has Taste joining contemporaries John 'Swanee' Swan, Kevin Borich Express and Marie Wilson as well as a host of talented emerging artists in a 'Legends & Up And Comers' format.

“We're working with Kevin Borich and John Swan [Swanee], who in particular is an old friend of ours, and we all toured together in the late '70s and early '80s so it'd be good to catch up again.

"And it's good too because it's going right around Australia,” original Taste guitarist and songwriter Ken Murdoch says of Hot Fest.

“It also gives a chance to show new talent and in particular bands, which is great because bands these days don't have as many places to play or an avenue to show their new songs.

"This is a really good opportunity for them to get onstage, in front of hopefully a big crowd and also see what it's like to play with some veterans who can teach them a thing or two.”

Taste rose to prominence in the mid-'70s as a glam-rock outfit, releasing two albums ['Tickle Your Fancy' and 'Knights Of Love'] and garnering the respect of peers such as AC/DC, Queen and Suzi Quatro.

But it would all come crashing down before the end of the decade in a classic rock & roll tale of mismanagement and poor decision-making. “We were priming up to go to America, everything was looking very good,” Ken says, recalling the last days of the band.

“As is the way with young guys, parents got involved and they said 'we don't understand how come you're on TV and the radio and playing to a thousand people every night, but you're not getting any money'.

“Then they started getting involved and found another guy with a lot of money who wanted to try his hand at managing a band, so he seduced them with his cash and I had no choice but to go along with the decision.

“If you can learn one lesson from us, it's that record labels sign managers as well, so when they found out in America that we'd changed management they weren't so keen anymore on doing the deal.

"Then because this guy didn't know what he was doing everything started going wrong – he started pitting us against each other and it got ugly in the end, so I decided to leave.”

Reforming years later, Taste released their 'Life On Earth' album in 2016. Back in the saddle and ready to rock at Hot Fest, Ken is particularly excited at the prospect of seeing and hearing some new live music. “It's always interesting to hear new music, but you don't get to hear it live that much anymore,” he says.

“So it'll be nice to see what other bands have to offer, because when we started it was a case of when you started to develop a little bit of a following you could end up working five, six nights a week.

“That's how you really homed your craft; if an audience didn't like you they let you know very quickly in those days,” he laughs. “You had to learn how to be a frontman, in my case anyhow, otherwise they would have eaten you alive.”

Hot Fest II 2019 Tour Dates

Sat 8 Jun - The Bridge Hotel (Sydney)
Sat 15 Jun - Shoppingtown Hotel (Melbourne)
Sat 29 Jun - Coolangatta Hotel (Gold Coast)
Sun 30 Jun - Ross Island Hotel (Townsville)



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