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:: Spotlight :: The Night That I Was Kidnapped By Dallas Crane

By: Georgia O'Connell

Intro: If you didn’t know how much time they have spent on the road, one might think that Dallas Crane is the new wave in wannabe rock ‘n’ roll comebacks. But for the band who have been around for the past eight years, their hard work and dedication has lead to sold out live shows and a new self-titled album that proves just how sexy Australian rock n roll is.

When Dallas Crane asked me to go to Geelong as part of their ‘filth and grime” tour (supported by 67 Special, The Cops, and The Pictures), I thought, yeah whatever, and hang like a groupie. No thanks. But in that moment, I thought f**k it. I’ll go. I don’t have to work tomorrow.

Dave Larkin, Shan Vanderwert, Pete Satchell and Pat Bourke are four guys with their instruments, just trying to make some music with some longevity. Doing their own thing has paid off, and has shown the Australian public, that if you ever thought that rock ‘n’ roll was dead, you’re wrong, and that it is certainly alive with Dallas Crane.

Their raw classic Aussie rock sound makes your foot a stomping, and your guts feels like it might just squirm right out from under your skin with excitement. They know what works onstage, and they know how to make the crowd have a good time.

One o’clock we said we would meet. The boys came down from the office upstairs. So the interview began. And the first thing I can think of is a band that in the next twelve months will be so famous they won’t know themselves. We spoke about the tour, their influences, and they told me wild stories from their shows across the country. But as the time moved closer to their leaving, Pete said, ‘So, you’re coming to Geelong with us? We won’t be back until about three in the morning.”

I thought about it for a minute. But who really needed to think.

“Yeah I’ll go” I said, “But you have to call my work and tell them that I’m not going in”.
So they called my boss, and said they were kidnapping me, for the rest of the day, and because of that, I wouldn’t be able to make it in. As funny as it was, all I could think was “Oh s**t, what have I got myself into?”

“We’ll take care of you”, Dave said. That they did.
So here we are, in a Tarago with a slab of beer, some crossword puzzles, and some “In what year which band sung which song questions” all the way to Geelong?

All I could think of was “Are these guys some sort of hidden dungeons and dragon nerds?
“Yeah, but we kiss girls sometimes too”, said Dave.
That’s comforting?

First stop was the radio station. K-Rock. The receptionist, as dumb as she was, buzzed in “Hi, Dallas Craner are here for their interview”. Are you serious, was she really that stupid?
She didn’t know the name of a band, any band that is coming for an interview. What an idiot.

Second stop, another local radio station just round the corner. Kicking the football out the front, while we waited for their interview to finish, it was all very professional like.

We finally made it the Barwon Club for sound check. And with no one to lug in their gear, they hurled in trip after trip equipment after equipment into the small band room to warm up. When their supporting act, 67 Special turned up, it was nothing short of a reunion. In the time that 67 Special have spent with Dallas Crane, it’s obvious the bond that was found between the bands. In that moment, I swear I felt like I was right out of an Australian version of Almost Famous.

But as Pete explained to me, it’s not a regular occurrence that two bands, with several different personalities, can all get along so well. In this circumstance, it works just fine. So hours before they hit the stage we sat in this dingy old pub room answering stupid trivia questions in between the add breaks on the TV.

Dallas Crane isn’t everything you think a rock band is or should be. They are just different; four guys, with their instruments, having a good time. Instead of sitting around playing old Rolling Stones songs, they would play pool, watch The Simpsons, and drank beer. And when the headaches kicked in we just drank more beer. What a great way to make a living I thought.

“There is no better way to make a living” said Dave.

67 Special warmed up the night, as early as 9:30. Their enthusiasm, and catchy sound, brought the crowd in from the street, and the show began to take place. But when Dallas Crane came on, it was on for young and old, and I could barely make it to the front of the stage to take photos. Although the venue was small, that surely didn’t keep the crowd away. They went crazy for the music.

Dallas Crane has this thing about them. This cool, calm, collected appearance. But once they get onto that stage, they unleash this absolute power and passion for music, for rock, and having a f**king good time.

So when the night died down, and the equipment went back in the Tarago, we made our way back to Melbourne. They dropped me home, and thanked me for going with them to Geelong. Are you serious? I just had the best time of my life. Thank you for kidnapping me.

Sure, there are the drugs, and there are some raunchy stories, and lots of fun, and rocking out, but then there are nights like this one, that remind you about what its like to be a working class band, on the road to making it in the big time.

Dallas Crane is one of these bands. This year, with the release of their self-titled album, including smash hits like “Dirty Hearts” and “Iodine”, a headlining national tour, they have certainly proved to be one Australia’s finest live acts.

It’s a bonus that they play sold out shows across the country and epitomise the true meaning behind a real Australian rock n roll band. Good on ya boys. You have kept the spirit of rock n roll alive, and made sure that it keeps kicking on. We love it, and keep those tunes coming.