Melbourne’s ‘punk trad’ sextet The Hoodangers have long been one of my favourite ‘live’ bands, with their special blend of musicianship, energy and irreverent humour. They have released three albums, none of which has quite captured what the band is all about. Their latest, Live In Fitzroy, rectifies that. Recorded last year, it finds the band working out on venerable jazz staples like ‘The Girls Go Crazy’, ‘Climax Rag’ and
‘ Wild Man Blues’. Great solos from Eugene Ball (trumpet), Chris Tanner (clarinet) and Ben Gillespie (trombone),
high-spirited vocals from Tanner or Gillespie on every other song, and fantastic, controlled drive from Mal Williams (banjo), Mark Elton (bass) and Ollie Browne (drums) throughout.
- Rhythms magazine – July 2006
"(The Hoodangers) perform with such energy and wit that it's impossible not to feel this music is the product of current culture rather than moth-eaten memories...their aim isn't just to play music but to revel in the sounds they're creating, to push themselves into places they've never been before, and to let loose the Siberian tigers of their imagination."
- Jessica Nicholas, The Age Newspaper, Jan 25 1999.
"It took Australians to give us a lesson in New Orleans jazz...you'd think that they were punks - except that instead of electric guitars these six Australians played with a beautiful musical sense.
- Laurence la Presse, MontrÈal, July 8 1999.
"They sounded like the illegitimate offspring of King Oliver and Sid Vicious."
- The Age Newspaper, 6 November 1996
"One of the hottest bands, The Hoodangers, was also one of the youngest... [they] looked like punk rockers, but they played the old classics with all the passion and energy that the first conventioneers must have possessed."
- Down Beat April 1996.
"It's like the Clash would've played trad jazz if they'd had the chops."
- Tom McDermott, New Orleans Gambit Weekly, July 27 1999.
"...A scruffy looking lot, their clothes and haircuts as far removed from the striped-shirts-and-straw-hats Dixieland image as could be: if you reckon trad jazz is tired and boring, think again."
- Jazz-Line Australia, 2001.
“The egotistical performers …
their names are not worth mentioning
should not be invited to spread their ‘smut’ on our beautiful island
and attract such ‘slutty’ behaviour from our young!!”
- Gulf News, 2002.