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| 6 June 2024 | Reply




This is it, folks, a brand-new Angels album is on the way, a remarkable new record that sits comfortably in the legendary band’s classic catalogue.

Ninety Nine – The Angels’ first studio album in 10 years – coincides with the 50 Not Out tour, celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary. As the book The 100 Best Australian Albums declared, “The Angels can lay claim to being Australia’s longest-lasting band.”

Most bands would mark a major milestone with a victory lap, content to trade on past glories. Not The Angels. When thinking about how they should mark their 50th birthday, they decided: “Why don’t we go for broke?”

Ninety Nine is classic Angels, from the intriguing title to the cover artwork, which depicts Rick Brewster’s predilection for collecting old phone boxes. Then there’s the songs, filled with mystery and menace and riffs that are a rallying cry to rock fans around the world.

The record rages with the energy of a new band just starting out. “There was a lot of spontaneity with this album,” John Brewster points out. “If someone had an idea, we recorded it.”

Introducing the album is the hard-hitting first single – Ninety Nine (Go For Broke), an opening salvo that’s both an instant Angels classic and a savage statement on the state of the world. “It refers to the fact that 99 per cent of us have to accept our lot, while the one per cent take the lion’s share,” explains singer Nick Norton, who wrote the song with bass player Sam Brewster. “The super-rich are richer than they’ve ever been.”

“Only choice for the ninety-nine,” Nick Norton sings, “is to cut and bleed.”

Ian McFarlane, the author of The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop, noted: “The Angels helped re-define the Australian pub rock tradition.” And now John Brewster, Rick Brewster, Sam Brewster, Tom Brewster and Nick Norton are giving it another twist.

“I haven’t been this excited about anything we’ve done in the studio for many, many years,” Angels guitarist and founding member John Brewster says. “I’m proud of everything this band has done, but we have what I call ‘benchmark albums’, particularly Face to Face, No Exit and Dark Room.

“This, to me, is a benchmark album.”

“We’ve found a new energy,” Sam Brewster says. “And I think you can hear that on this record.”

Re-energised, revitalised, renewed … The Angels’ 14th studio album is alive on arrival.

“It’s a good feeling,” Rick Brewster says. “We got what we set out to achieve. This is The Angels 2024.”

To celebrate the new album and following the sold-out success of The Angels – 50 Years In The Making national tour last year, the band will embark on a series of shows celebrating this milestone anniversary with a new tour: 50 Not Out.

“We were blown away by the reaction to last year’s shows,” John Brewster says. “The fans have really embraced Nick Norton out front of the band and I have to say they were some of the most enjoyable shows of our career.”

“We were so energised by the reaction, we wanted to do more shows – and give the fans more,” adds co-founder Rick Brewster.

When you’ve got 50 years of songs to draw on – songs ingrained in the hearts of every Australian rock fan, such as Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again, Take A Long Line, No Secrets, Shadow Boxer, Marseilles, I Ain’t The One, Comin’ Down, Mr Damage, After The Rain, Night Attack, Dogs Are Talking, Let The Night Roll On and We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – the biggest challenge is coming up with a set list.

“The 50 NOT OUT tour will give us the chance to celebrate the entire history of The Angels, and share our new material also,” Rick says.

Ninety Nine will be available to purchase at all shows on the upcoming tour, with 50 NOT OUT kicking off on album release day. With The Angels playing a massive set, it’s the chance to see the band dig deep into their classic catalogue and deliver some rarities and surprises. No wonder the legendary American critic David Fricke called The Angels “a guaranteed great time anywhere”.


Fri 28 June Prince Bandroom- St Kilda, VIC
Sat 29 June Croxton Bandroom – Thornbury, VIC
Fri 05 July King Street – Newcastle, NSW
Sat 06 July Factory Theatre – Marrickville, NSW
Fri 12 July Doyalson RSL Club – Doyalson, NSW
Sat 13 July Hindley Street Music Hall – Adelaide, SA
Fri 19 July Mounties – Mt Pritchard, NSW
Sat 20 July Hornsby RSL – Hornsby, NSW
Fri 26 July Freo Social – Fremantle, WA
Sat 27 July Astor Theatre – Perth, WA
Fri 02 August Beats at Sopo – Southport, QLD
Sat 03 August Alexandra Hills Hotel – Brisbane, QLD


The Angels story started in 1974 when the much-loved Adelaide group The Moonshine Jug and String Band went electric, debuting their new outfit, The Keystone Angels, at the Modbury Hotel. Rick Brewster put down the washboard, picked up the electric guitar and Australian music would never be the same.

As Jimmy Barnes declared, The Angels are “a band that changed Australian music forever”.

The new band’s first big gig was supporting Cheech & Chong at Adelaide’s Thebarton Theatre. The audience threw Minties at them, but the band was undeterred. They then jumped in John Brewster’s EH station wagon and hit the road, “doing gigs wherever we could get them”.

They played at Sunbury, toured as Chuck Berry’s backing band, supported AC/DC on a South Australian tour and played with Ike & Tina Turner. And then, after being urged by Bon Scott and Malcolm Young, the legendary Vanda & Young signed the band to the iconic Albert’s label. Producer George Young suggested dropping “Keystone” from the band’s name, and the classic Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again became the first release by The Angels.

In 1978, the band toured with Meat Loaf and David Bowie, scored their first Top 40 hit with Take A Long Line, and released the landmark Face To Face, which went quadruple platinum and spent 79 weeks on the charts. As Ross Wilson would later reflect, it was “a breakthrough album in the evolution of Australian music”.

The rest, as they say, is history, with The Angels landing eight Top 10 albums and 17 Top 40 singles.

“It’s been a hell of a ride,” John Brewster smiles. “I liken it a bit to a rollercoaster – there have been lots of twists and turns and ups and downs. But when you look at the whole trip, it’s just been great.”

“Our relationship with the audience means everything to the band,” Rick Brewster adds. “In fact, it’s the reason we’re still going.”

After 12 years as the band’s drummer, Nick Norton stepped out from behind the kit and became The Angels’ new lead singer in 2023, joining John and Rick, and John’s sons Sam (on bass) and Tom (on drums).

“It’s been such a blast getting out front and up close with the fans,” Nick says. “Singing these songs is such a privilege. I’m certainly aware of the band’s enormous legacy, but I’m just having an incredible time.”

Nick also brings a third guitar to The Angels’ famous wall of sound. “For the very first time in The Angels’ history, we’ve got three guitars live on stage,” John Brewster says. “The fans are loving it, and we are too.”

“The Angels is bigger than any one of us,” Rick Brewster points out. “It’s a band that’s all about the songs and the power of the guitars.”

These shows are a celebration of everyone who has played with The Angels and everyone who’s enjoyed an Angels show.

The Angels: established 1974. Still rocking in 2024. There is No Exit.

THE ANGELS are L-R Tom Brewster (drums); John Brewster (guitar/vocals); Nick Norton (lead vocals/guitar); Rick Brewster (lead guitar); Sam Brewster (bass/vocals)




Category: Aussie Tour News

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