By Ian Beeck | posted on June 18, 2020
WE HAVE all had passions that we have missed madly during COVID-19 restrictions … for some it was AFL, others simply eating out but for many it was watching a live band; sweating, dancing and drinking without a care in the world.
Tomorrow this passion returns when EXP hit the Gold Room at Six Degrees as they blast out classics from Led Zeppelin, Cream and Jimi Hendrix.
EXP are dubbed the ultimate ‘60s psychedlia and ‘70s hard rock and blues tribute band.
Bass player and singer David Rastrick could not contain his excitement leading up to the gig.
“I expect the show will be full of energy and electricity as we’ll be back to the stage fresh again,” he said.
“It’ll be like new – dynamic and on the edge. It sure will be fun to play for people again.
“Personally, I’m very happy playing and recording music at home, working on new material and technical challenges.
“It’s giving to other people that makes the live music experience so special for a musician.
“It’s gratifying seeing the music you play bring joy to others.
“This gig will be significant as one of the first live band music gigs back in Albany- Kinjarling.
“It’ll be one of the first opportunities for people to come out and party!”
Rastrick said the opportunity to perform live as a band in a pub setting came around sooner than he thought.
“I was expecting it would be a lot longer until it was feasible for venues to put on shows,” he said.
“I’m grateful that venues and events like Six Degrees, Denmark Festival of Voice, Harbourside and Wilsons Brewery have stepped up to put live music on again.”
However, there are still measures in place to combat COVID-19 and this gig will be different to previous gigs.
“All venues will maintain sanitisation, physical distancing and attendance record-keeping measures,” Rastrick said.
“The shows will be less crowded.
“People who don’t live together will be required to keep 1.5m apart and to remain at their own location rather than sharing a communal dance floor.”
EXP were formed early this year and consist of Rastrick, guitarist Mardae Selepak and drummer Paul Myers.
Rastrick is in more bands than he can count (“about 10”) and plays as a session musician for at least another 10 bands throughout the southern region.
“I do this for a living. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s a challenge paying the bills,” he said.
“Covid has been yet another challenge to quickly adapt to, to survive in the industry.
“My main instrument is trumpet, and jazz, reggae and soul are my usual styles.
“EXP has been a chance to re-visit some of the music I played as a youth – but better!
“I’m enjoying playing bass as well as singing in the trio.
“The ‘power trio’ is such a fun format to play in.
“The bass has both a crucial and expressive role in the music, holding the band together and driving it forward.”
Selepak is a classical guitarist, training initially under Denmark’s Colin Reeves, and then kicked it up a notch, touring nationally with the Australian Guitar Duo.
EXP was Selepak’s first major expansion into rock and blues, wanting to emulate some of the great blues-rock guitarists; Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.
Local rock veteran Meyers is the go-to drummer in the area, playing with popular acts including Lez Karski, Pinstripe and Mooseknuckle.
Meyers and Rastrick first played together in a high school rock band but rarely played together since and are thriving together under EXP.
The band also enlisted Denmark drum legend Mark Gretton to play drums as a back-up for Myers due to his association with so many bands and gigs.
EXP performs in the Gold Room at Six Degrees on Friday from 8pm.
Tickets are limited due to restrictions.