Bon But Not Forgotten are a band who defy classification.
You could call them a cover band, but you would be wrong.
You could call them a tribute band but again you would be wrong.
You could also call them an originals band, but once again you would be incorrect.
What they are is an amalgamation of all of the above, and it is perhaps their inability to be labelled or pigeon holed into a stereotype that makes them the musical juggernaut that they are.
Vocalist Skenie refuses to let the band be placed under any sub heading, instead preferring to let the music and the fans dictate terms.
“It’s a tribute to Australian rock,” he explained matter – of – factly, “with Australian rock legends playing. We play songs from the bands that all the members are in or have been in as well as music from AC/DC.”
“It is a tribute to Bon Scott as well. Most of the songs are AC/DC but then we’ve got stuff from the Angels and Rose Tattoo and Screaming Jets and The Poor and other great Aussie rock and roll bands.”
The band that are coming to Cairns features a host of household names of known Australian musicians, including Skenie (vocals) and Julian (guitar) from The Poor, Bob Spencer (guitar) and James Morley (bass) from the Angels and Mickl Sayer (drums) from the Screaming Jets, but the band as a whole features a virtual who’s who of Australian rock royalty in a seeming revolving door of members.
“Gleeso (Dave Gleeson – Screaming Jets) sings with us sometimes, Angry (Anderson – Rose Tattoo) sings sometimes, Dai Pritchard from Rose Tattoo plays, Paul Woseen from the Jets plays sometimes, Mark Evans and Simon Wright (AC/DC) have played as well. It’s basically just whoever wants to do it and is available,” Skenie said.
“It’s a bit like the Party Boys, remember them from way back in the day? They had their core members which is sort of what we’ve got. James Morley is sort of the brains behind the thing but whoever finds out about a gig tells everyone else and whoever wants to do it does it. It’s pretty easy like that.”
When I ask him if the three vocalists have ever performed together Skenie’s voice gets a little excited.
” I did one gig once in Perth with Dave but it would be great to do one with all of us! That’s a good idea actually, get Angry and me and fucken Dave, that’d be sick.”
You would think that with so many talented and rock minded musicians from leading bands in the ranks that ego’s might sometimes get in the way, but Skenie was quick to refute that.
“No way, not at all,” he stressed.
“There’s no ego at all between any of us. We’re just good mates. Everyone respects everyone for who they are and what they do. There’s no shit players so everyone knows what they’ve gotta do so we just get together and fucken smash into it.”
Skenie’s main band, The Poor, are probably better known in Cairns as the band who supported AC/DC some years ago at the showgrounds, and Skenie says he still has a momento of that gig.
“Yeah it’s funny. For some reason at that gig I decided to jump into the crowd and when I did people started trying to rip my singlet off. They were pulling it all sorts of ways and it actually burnt into one of my tattoo’s so now I have a scar that reminds me of Cairns and that gig every time I see it,” he laughed.
While The Poor are best known for their smash hit ‘More Wine Waiter Please’, they have managed to put out a couple of excellent records in the last few years, namely Round 1 and Round 2, and Skenie says that although there is nothing set in stone just yet the next album is already under way.
“We’ve just been getting together every now and then but we haven’t really been doing much,” he said.
“We’ve all been doing our little side projects for a while. It’s kind of refreshing but I think we’ve pretty much….. we wanna get back into it now and do The Poor again. It’s all there ready to go. Every time we get back together it’s like putting your old boots back on and you go ‘fuck, I’ve missed these boots’. As you know, we did alot of writing a couple of years ago and we’ve got a whole bunch of songs together waiting to go and I reckon after we do these couple of gigs coming up that the band will get back together. I know that Gavin has been hassling me, he’s itching to play drums haha.”
So the one question that has been burning me from the start of this interview is does he think that Bon Scott would approve of Bon But Not Forgotten?
“Yeah he would,” Skenie replied without hesitation.
“Most definately. If he was still alive he’d be up there with us for sure!”
Bon But Not Forgotten headline Rumer’s Rockfest this Saturday at the Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron at 42 Tingira Street Portsmith along with Dreamkillers and nine local bands from 1 pm. Tickets can be bought from the club. For more information go to Rumer’s Rockfest on Facebook
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