Thursday, April 04, 2013

RIP Chris Bailey of the Angels

Chris Bailey was the bassist for Australian rock band the Angels, known as Angel City in North America. Of the four albums of theirs I have (the American versions of Darkroom, Face to Face, Night Attack, and Two Minute Warning), I see - pulling them from their sleeves - that only one song has a Chris Bailey credit for co-writing a song, "Storm the Bastille," off Night Attack. Almost everything else is Brewster-Neeson-Brewster, with the occasional Eccles popping up.... so Bailey may not have been one of these songwriting-genius bassists like Lemmy and Rob Wright and Mike Watt and Gerry Hannah (say). Nor can I recall offhand many bass solos or standout stylistic flourishes that he may have contributed to Angels songs, so he's no Brian Ritchie, either (though there is that great rolling bassline in "Take a Long Line"). He mostly just disappears into the song and fleshes it out, without showing off overly much (which, of course, is an entirely respectable thing for a bassist to do, especially when there are two guitarists in the band). All the same - he was a solid musician and a member of a band I've liked since I was a teenager, and I'm sad to report that he died today of throat cancer at the too-young age of 62. (Scary, too, to hear that singer Doc Neeson is battling a brain tumour; suddenly cancer seems to be everywhere. My best to him).

Incidentally, I always thought "Storm the Bastille" would be a great cover song for the Little Guitar Army to tackle, but I bet their version (as with their take on the BOC's "Godzilla") would kick righteous ass on the original... It's a good song, but if there's a man in the world with the genius to improve it, it would be Cal...

(By the way, for filmpeople checking in, the Angels appear live in Jane Campion's film Holy Smoke, doing "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again," and their song "Take a Long Line" is played in the killer croc movie, Rogue, by Wolf Creek director Greg Mclean. So you actually do know their music a little, maybe!) 

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