The genesis of Running Blue emanated from some jamming sessions that Alan Kennedy and Damien Reilly had just after leaving school in 1982. From 1982 to 1984 there were a few acoustic gigs landed at the Briars Inn in Bowral.
Around a year or so later in 1984 Damien got together to start jamming with Tim Williams, Kenny and David Frew. Rehearsing songs on the weekend gave birth to a few crazy song gems like " Black and Blue " that by todays standards would not be politically correct to play with lyrics about cracking a whip all over town. Tim Williams had a way with words.
From these early sessions the band needed a singer so the call was put out to Alan and then things started to happen. It was not too long before Damien and Alan had penned 10 or so songs and it was time to get a proper band together. Alan knew Michael O'Grady and through Damien's connection with Peter Nathanial we were able to secure the talents of Sam Kalos and Nando Pettinato. The band formed around the original songs and regular rehearsals at Damien and Gerrard Studios in mid 1985.
The band started out as the Zylphs but then Alan ended up coming up with the name Running Blue. You can see some of the band name ideas that David Frew wrote down at the early rehearsal sessions here. The bands first gigs were as the Zylphs. Sam Kalos landed a spot in the Sydney University Band Competition and you can see the review in the media section of this site from the Honi Soit mag, a Sydney Uni mag that covered the band competition and social events then.
With the band changing its name to Running Blue after the band competition, the band then rehearsed over the rest of 1985 and quickly put together a 25 song plus set that comprised of mainly originals and a few cover songs.
Alan was the man that was always able to secure the gigs. He had a magic way with landing key gigs and we soon had regular shows at the Rose of Australia Hotel, The Whitehorse Hotel in Camperdown and any of the Sydney University gigs that Alan could land he got. It was a great time, and this was at a time when a band got paid to play and also got a rider ( booze ) and being all in our 20's we certainly tried to drink as much as we could. That was the 80's
The band got tight and the crowd like what they heard. By early 1986 it was time to record and see if we could translate the energy we had live into some recordings. The 1st session was a live recording session at Damien and Gerrard studios with Russell Pilling producing. You can hear these session on the Running Blue album.
More gigs and shows were booked and with the help of Peter Nathanial, his brother Trevor Nathanial agreed to produce two original tracks that he felt could do well on local radio and build a buzz for the band. The songs he selected where "Daniel" about a girl called Daniel of course and "Grey Day" a song that Damien had mostly written about domestic violence in the home.
The sessions were completed at JMC Studios in Sydney and they are a reflection of the sound at the time and influenced by other artists like Te Cure, Spandau Ballet and The Smiths. Alan always had that cool Morrissey sound happening.
Once the recordings were completed Alan was busy landing gigs again and we were back at the Rose of Australia pub and other venues into the late part of 1986. The band was entering into a tense phase with Alan and Michael wanting to do more cover songs and Damien, Sam and Nando wanting to focus solely on originals.
As things happen when you are young you sometime just stop getting together. It was the 80's and other things started to get in the way like parties, chasing girls and explosion of the late 80's club scene.
The band had a short brief but super creative period that produced some great songs that marked this moment in time for all to reflect on.
As we work our way through to 2022 there are new songs in the works. Who knows what will happen but one thing for sure is that the music will be great, original and have exceptional vocals from Mr Alan Kennedy and some cool synth pop from Michael O'Grady with Damien Reilly at the production helm.
This is Running Blue. You can check out all the news on Running Blue at www.runningblue.net
Running Blue are a Blue Pie Records USA and Blue Pie Publishing USA ( ASCAP ) artist. For more information on the band please visit Blue Pie Records www.bluepierecords.com
THE BAND MEMBERS:
- Damien Reilly | Bass Guitar | www.damienreilly.com
- Alan Kennedy | Sax & Lead Vocals https://www.facebook.com/alan.kennedy.779
- Sam Kalos | Guitars
- Nando Pettinato | Drums www.innerwestdrumlessons.com.au
- Michael O'Grady | Keys and Backing Vocals https://www.facebook.com/michael.ogrady.3388
Blue Pie Records USA LLC
Unit 6 No 9 Clarence Street
Moss Vale, NSW 2577
P: +61 2 9310 0155
F: +61 2 9310 0166
Damien Reilly, Nando Pettinato, Alan Kennedy, Michael O'Grady, Sam Kalos
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