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Blues Reform School
30th Anniversary Show,
The Basement, Sydney
15 August 1997 
  


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In this live 1997 recording of the Foreday Riders' 30th anniversary show, you'll find not only a smorgasbord of full-blooded performances by a host of Australian blues luminaries, but also a compact sonic history of the band to that time.
When the 30-year mark was looming for the Riders in 1997, the rhythm section of Rosscoe Clark and Stan Mobbs felt that some sort of blues party was warranted, and set in motion the process leading to the big shindig that August. Good friend and energetic blues impresario Peter Ghossein was consulted, and the scale of the show escalated to take in most of the extended Riders family; after contacting former players from all eras of the band (and all parts of the country), Pete arranged the night for Friday August 15 at Sydney's prime night spot, the Basement.

Despite its epic duration and logistical challenges, the show (dubbed 'university of the blues') ran smoothly to time in an atmosphere of bonhomie and co-operation among the players, who all delivered the goods, egged on by a buoyant and well-oiled full house. Of course, with no rehearsal opportunities for most of the line-ups, and many players not having seen each other for years or even decades, the music has its rough patches, but we feel this is offset by the spontaneity of the night, something not easily achieved in the studio.
Fortunately Stan and Rosscoe had thought to supply a DAT to our ace sound engineer for the night, Luke Rodwell, who duly recorded the show at the desk. In the aftermath, however, the tape was put to one side and consequently remained in limbo - as Riders tapes tend to do - until re-surfacing for some reason in 2008.

The DAT was transferred to CD by Stan's associate Syd Green at Mononest Creative Studio, who did a top job of beefing up the sound and editing the selected tunes into a coherent whole - our thanks to Syd.

So this is very much a live recording, and while it may lack the sophistication of studio sound, we feel it conveys enough of the show's flavour to justify it being issued.  The CD follows fairly closely the night's running order, from the earliest to the latest line-up at the time, with a track chosen from the set of each outfit. The night is undoubtedly recalled by many as a monumental hoot, and hopefully this album can revive good-time memories for those who were there, and give others some idea of the show's rambunctious proceedings: as Stan Mobbs has so aptly put it - a Foreday Riders time capsule.

Big thanks are due to Peter Ghossein, Rosscoe Clark, Stan Mobbs, Luke Rodwell, Syd Green and all of the players on the show, who were unsparing with time and effort.  Also from the Riders, a big hand for the very supportive audience which made the night such a blast (and with a special thanks to Shane Pacey for inadvertently supplying the album title).



Click the photos below for enlarged view:





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