Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hidden Treasures #2 : The Visitors - Miss You Too Much

In 1978 when Deniz Tek and Rob Younger returned from the USA to Australia, their band Radio Birdman had taken heavy losses on the British tour which resulted in the dissolution of the band. Tek and Younger expected to reconstitute the band in Australia, but the damage done on the British tour was too great to repair. Ron Keely had already quit, Warwick Gilbert had said nothing but was expected to leave. What they didn't expect was Chris Masuak informing them, upon their return, that he would no longer play in the band, choosing instead to join the band The Hitmen.

Tek and Younger had decided that the days of Radio Birdman were over, as they felt there was no longer a critical mass of dedicated original members to work with. Younger stayed in Sydney where he formed the band The Other Side, whilst Tek relocated to Newcastle to finish his medical internship. He didn't play for about 6 months until the pain of withdrawal became too great and he began to collaborate with Mark Sisto, the old Birdman master of ceremonies and bodyguard who had remained loyal even after being unceremoniously ejected from the British tour a year earlier.

It was from an intense desire to play that the energy came to form The Visitors, the same desire fuelled the live performances and recording of the album. The Visitors assembled in a rehearsal room in Sydney in early December 1978. They made their first public appearance at the Stagedoor Tavern two days after Christmas Day with the Lipstick Killers in support.
From 1978 to 1979 The Visitors were Deniz Tek on guitar, Mark Sisto on vocals, Ron Keeley on drums, Pip Hoyle on keyboards and Steve Harris on bass. Their style was a dark mixture. The band being 3/5ths Birdman, including the chief songwriter, was almost like the next phase of Radio Birdman had that band continued on. At the same time, the sound of the band was more like the early Birdman days with the single guitar plus keyboard format.
They only gave 12 concerts
December 27 - Stagedoor Tavern (with Lipstick Killers)
February 9 - Balmain Town Hall (with Lipstick Killers)
February 29 - Civic Hotel (With The Other Side)
April 7 - Governor Bourke Hotel (with Lipstick Killers)
April 21 - Stagedoor Hotel (With Hitmen)
May 19 - Governor Bourke Hotel (with The Other Side)
June 2 - Civic Hotel (with Lipstick Killers)
June 22 - Newcastle Uni (with Lipstick Killers and The Passengers)
June 23 - Manly Flicks (with Lipstick Killers and The Other Side)
June 30 - Rags (with Nightshift and Works)
July 28 - Stagedoor Tavern (with Thought Criminals and The Numbers)
August 5 - Stagedoor Tavern (with Hitmen and Comrades of War)

Vivien Johnson on The Visitors

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