HEADLINERS: GANGgajang is headlining the Agnes Blues, Roots & Rock Festival next year.
HEADLINERS: GANGgajang is headlining the Agnes Blues, Roots & Rock Festival next year. Wendy McDougall

GANGgajang to bring a local vibe to festival

THEY have a Bundaberg street named after them and now GANGgajang will continue to keep their vibe local when they headline the Agnes Blues, Roots & Rock Festival early next year.

The band has just been named the headline act for the annual event at Agnes Water.

GANGgajang was formed when The Riptides singer Mark Callaghan joined with The Angels rhythm section of Chris Bailey and Graham "Buzz" Bidstrup, The Aliens' Geoff Stapleton, percussionist and backing singer Kayellen Bee and guitarist Robbie James.

The name reflected a new attitude: music was all about "the song" and any good song could be played solely on an acoustic guitar.

Their name was formed from the "gajang" sound of a guitar being strummed and the idea of them being a gang of friends.

 

 

 

GANGgajang have been around since late 1984 when they released their first single Gimme Some Loving after getting together via the ABC TV show Sweet and Sour.
GANGgajang have been around since late 1984 when they released their first single Gimme Some Loving after getting together via the ABC TV show Sweet and Sour. Contributed

It all began in Sydney in 1984 when Australian music was really coming of age.

GANGgajang's self-titled debut album was released in 1985, with the singles Gimme Some Lovin', Giver of Life and House of Cards quickly climbing the charts.

GANGgajang is now regarded as one of the all-time classic Australian albums, while Sounds Of Then continues to connect with new generations of Australian music fans to this day, especially in Bundaberg where singer Mark Callaghan grew up.

 

The Callaghan family settled in the region when they moved to Australia and it is where Callaghan penned the lyrics of Sounds Of Then, relating to the experience of watching "lightning crack over cane fields", a regular sight of the 1970s in the region.

Bundaberg thusly has a street named in the band's honour, GANGgajang Way, and the organisers of the Agnes Blues, Roots & Rock Festival are certain the accolades will continue for these genuine storytellers when they share their superb sounds on stage on Saturday, February 17.

 

 

GANGGAJANG WAY: Peter Willersdorf, Robbie James, Mark Callaghan, Buzz Bidstrup and Geoff Stapleton perform at the opening of GANGgajang Way in Bundaberg.
GANGGAJANG WAY: Peter Willersdorf, Robbie James, Mark Callaghan, Buzz Bidstrup and Geoff Stapleton perform at the opening of GANGgajang Way in Bundaberg. Mike Knott BUN311015GANG6

"We are so pleased to have GANGgajang as our headline performers, the affinity of their lyrics to our area and to our audience is perfect, not to mention their sound in an outdoor venue - we can't wait," festival team member Amber Rodgers said,

Not only does the band have a local connection, they have also toured Brazil three times playing to packed venues up and down the east coast, with one of the highlights being an outdoor concert to 20,000 fans on Rio's Copacabana Beach.

True to their "gang" philosophy, this "informal body of friends" has continued to work together for more than 30 years, while also pursuing separate interests including writing, recording and touring with other artists such as the reformed original Angels line-up, a resurfaced Riptides, Yothu Yindi, Jimmy Little, Jimmy Barnes, The Stetsons and Absent Friends

Early-bird tickets are available until December 31. Find out more online at www.agnesbluesand roots.com.au.

 



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