In the category of ´cult bands` Rose Tattoo has been at the top of the pile for years. The raw style of blues rock that the Australians manage to create out of a hot mix of slide guitars, pounding hooks with sharp and tight rhythm along with the unmistakeable voice of the front man Angry Anderson is what gives the fans a welcome feast in what is today a fast food orientated music business. The best thing about Rose Tattoo is: The band can take a punch and are full of vitality, they put every kick in the face behind them and still have the energy to carry on and deliver a new quality product. Their new album, Blood Brothers is not only a true to the time Rock´n`Roll album that mixes traditional and modern styles in a super high quality but is also a tribute to the band members Peter Wells and Ian Rilen who unfortunately recently lost their lives. In short: Blood Brothers is a manifestation of Rock´n`Roll of the strongest form, powerful, unrelenting and wildly uncompromising.
Although the death of his two friends had left a massive hole in the life of singer Angry Anderson, he wanted – especially in respect to Peter Wells – to keep the band alive. Angry explains. “Peter said to me: You have to make the choice, but my opinion is that Rose Tattoo should still carry on after my death.“ and with this he saw that it was his duty to carry on the work that his friend had done over the years. „At fi rst I wasn’t too sure whether I could carry on the work with Rose Tattoo, but now with the experience taken from this album, I know that Peter is still with us and lives in our songs.“ This is why Blood Brothers sounds so typically down to earth and done with the hand. The current line-up of the band consists of Angry Anderson (vocals), Mick Cocks (Guitar), Steve King (Bass), Paul De Marco (Drums) and newcomer Dai Pritchard (Guitar), a group of people who know how to produce hand made Rock´n`Roll of the fi nest Australian sort which in the thirtieth year of their existence leaves nothing to falter. The new album was produced by Mark Opitz in ´Studio 301`, Sydney, Australia.
With Blood Brothers Rose Tattoo have managed to produce an album that equals the two predecessors 25 To Life (2000) and Pain (2002), so that the musicians after a long break are able to impressively return for the new millenium. The new album is full with lively rock numbers, that just stick in the brain and impress the fun the band members have in their music. For example in the songs ´Man about Town`, ´Nothing To Loose` or ´Sweet Meat` cracking riffs are met with straight-line grooves just to rock the listener’s heart. The moving song ´Wonder Why` is excellent with its dragging rhythm, addictive slide guitar and the unmistakeable vocals from Angry Anderson. With the gripping song ´Once In A Lifetime` the band remembers the massive merits of former band members, and with the previously released song ´Black-Eyed Bruiser`, which originally came out of the work of the Australian composer duo Harry Vanda/George Young along with Steve Wright (The Easybeats) and was a massive hit in 1974, they remember Peter Wells.
That Anderson not only writes about life as a rock musician, but is also an expert of history and can see beyond the borders of the music business is documented in the track ´One For All (1854)`, which tells the story of the ´Eureka-Stockade-rebellion` of the miners from Ballarat in November 1854, the only armed rebellion in Australian history. This was the rebellion where the community who demanded a democratic reform were crushed by the British military and local police force on December 3rd 1854. With all these songs Rose Tattoo prove: With all this traditional infl uence they really are one of the most unusual rock formations in rock history.
It was the year of 1976, as Peter Wells, former bass player of the Sydney band, Infamous Buffalo, went on the search for partners to start an aggressive new Street Rock´n`Roll band. The only condition: All members had to have tattoos, short hair and the same clothing style. At the same time in Melbourne there was a singer by the name of Angry Anderson, who’s voice reminded you of a young Rod Stewart. Anderson met with Wells and the chemistry between them hit off straight away.
With a blues-rock type sound, which reminded of the Stones and Faces, Rose Tattoo performed their fi rst gig on the evening of New Years Day in 1976 and shortly thereafter signed their fi rst deal with Albert Productions, the fi rm known as the Australian Hard Rock label where bands such as AC/DC and the Angels had also found their home. The in-house producers of the fi rm were the legendary Harry Vanda and George Young who had made their name with the Easybeats. The fi rst Tattoo single ‘Bad Boy For Love’, hit the radio like a rocket. In 1978 followed the self titled debut album, that in the meantime has been re-named Rock’n’Roll Outlaws.
In the early years of their career, the band spent all of their time on the road until 1981 where they released their second album Assault and Battery. Rose Tattoo had meanwhile developed into a form of Rock’n’Roll-Samurai: Angry regularly lost consciousness on stage or just stood whilst covered in blood and emotionally overwhelmed in front of the crowd. Fitting to this the band released their third album Scarred for Life (1982), where the title spoke more than a thousand words. After tours with Aerosmith and ZZ Top, in 1983 everything came to a halt. It was only ten years later that they got back together when their faithful fans Guns N’Roses, who had in the meantime covered ‘Nice Boys’, asked them to re-form and open their 1993 Australian tour.
On the evening before their performance at Calder Park in Melbourne Slash and Duff got together on stage with Anderson & Co. In 1999 Rose Tattoo fi nally presented themselves in Europe, playing several spectacular concerts under the motto ´Songs like a Hurricane 3` (feat. Böhse Onkelz, Saxon & Danzig). Something similar happened just a year later when the band made an appearance at the Wacken Open Air festival in 2000 showing the many young metalheads how real Rock´n´Roll is forged.
The musicians used the excellent atmosphere with over 25,000 Wacken fans to record songs for their live album 25 To Life. „We were a little nervous, but at the same time totally motivated to give our best“, Anderson remembered. „We went out on the stage and said: No matter what happens, today we are going to give everything. The atmosphere was really overwhelming.“ Anderson & Co. had already hit German stages in the previous summer with great club shows.
Finally they returned to Australia to compose the material for the highly praised album Pain which was then released in 2002. Due to the heavy illness of Peter Wells, further plans fort he band were put on ice, Wells passed away in March 2006, in October 2006, the former Bass player of the band Ian Rilen also lost his life.