|The Satellites, Kick Ass Aussie Rockabilly|
The Satellites formed in '94 with one intention; to play what they enjoyed most. Raw authentic rockabilly, cool swing and to play some of their own original tunes. This is exactly what they did and within a couple of years they developed quite a large song repertoire and gained a strong following, creating our own Adelaide rockin' scene. The band have certainly made some remarkable achievements in the past few years which includes tours and their CD 'Bop Tonight' (Realesed May, 1998).
Touring started in '97 when The Satellites played the Wintersun festival in Queensland. This is an annual weekender style event that attracts around 50,000 people from all over Australia. The main reason they wanted to go was to see Carl Perkins (RIP), but there was problems and he couldn't make it. Steve Mitchell recalls: "Well, I'd been trying for the past couple of years to get in on this show, but didn't have a promotional package, so we made a quick video and a rough recording and man they gave us one of the biggest shows that weekend! The crowd was about 800 strong and so the following year we were given top billing and played sold out shows (1500 people). That guaranteed our place in Wintersun for the third year running. We did win the award for 'Best Performing Rockabilly Band' in '98, we were all really excited about that. Then in '99 with our new line up we won two awards, 'Best Rockabilly Band', and 'Best Performing Band'. Since the Wintersun weekends it's just been GO GO GO with gigs, and I've been getting calls from all over Australia wanting us to perform. We've played in Canberra and Sydney and man what a BALL we had! Sydney was just Mad. Saturday night was sold out at 450 tickets and the crowd stayed right till the very end. Everyone had a great time, especially us!"
The Satellites first line-up, as on the CD 'Bop Tonight': Belinda Hartman (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals), Steve Mitchell (Bull Fiddle, Vocals), Tom Stehlik (Tin 'n' Skin), Steve Markovic (Lead Guitar, Vocals).
Since the release of 'Bop Tonight', The Satellites have changed lineup. They now have a new guitarist (Paul Abram) and new drummer (Jad Green). According to manager / bass player Steve Mitchell, this move has been all for the better.
The Satellites 1999 line-up:
Belinda Hartman (Rhythm guitar & vocals) has been on the scene for a long time and was learning a little rhythm to accompany her sweet vocal tones. Man this gal can sing like a bird (and roar like a lion). Well, over time she had been looking to form her own all gal rockin' combo, but in Adelaide that didn't look like it was going to happen, so she waited for the right combo and the right opportunity to get up and wail her thing and The Satellites were it.
Steve Mitchell (Double Bass & vocals) started out jammin' with friends and playing guitar before the opportunity came up to learn double bass and the prospects of playin' live grew closer. Before too long Steve was playin' bass with an acoustic trio The Hound Dogs and these guys won an international busking competition in 1992. The trio played all kinds of places (including on top of cars out in the streets, cafe's, drive in movies etc.) until their split in late '92 which led to the formation of The Doo-Dadds (another raw rockabilly trio) fronted by Steve Mitchell. This band included members of other previous Adelaide rockabilly bands and was quite successful until their split in '94. From this came what we have now 'The Satellites' and things have never been better.
Jad Green (Drums) has been belting the skins professionally for around 12 years. He's changed roles several times throughout this time. Including drum tech for Boom Crash Opera touring nationally, then drum tech for Big Pig. Formed a soul band called the Six Little Pigs. Jad has been manager for prominent cover band Fallen Down Monster, then subsequently drummer for Fallen Down Monster. In '94, Jad joined local cover band The Court Jesters and now currently plays stand up drums in Adelaide's leading rockabilly combo The Satellites.
Satellites Scoop Awards!
They kicked ass in '97 at the Wintersun Festival in QLD, and again in '98 winning the award for 'Best Rockabilly Band', and now again in '99 with their new line up they have returned from QLD with two awards in their clasps. 'Best Rockabilly Band' (again) and 'Best Performing Band' The Wintersun Festival is an annual event which attracts around 50,000 people from all over Australia. The Satellites have proven once again that they are leading the way in Australian Rockabilly.
Since releasing their debut CD, the band has gained huge interest from both interstate and overseas, including sales to UK, Germany, USA, Finland, France etc. More recently they have changed line up, and this has been all for the better. Kicking off their new sound, they backed the Go-Getters (from Sweden) and things have just been GO GO GO! ever since. A tour is lined up for Melbourne very soon, where they will record for a European release. Then they're off to NSW for the Narooma 'International Rockabilly & Blues Festival', where they will be playing with some real rockin' legends. Ronnie Dawson, Johnny Johnson, and Little Charlie & The Night Cats are just some of the acts that The Satellites will play alongside.
The Satellites have generated a huge following across Australia and have toured to Canberra & Sydney last November. This tour is planned again very soon and Melbourne gigs are just around the corner. The Satellites anticipate that, with this great new line up, they can aim for bigger and better things. New opportunities are now opening up for The Satellites, with their sights now set on the overseas market, where rockabilly has always been huge. They have already had great response with sales and distribution worldwide, including a German label who is looking to release a vinyl platter. The wheels are already in motion for a European tour.
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