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Lights, man, guitar

Saturday, 22nd September, 2018

Musician Steve Andersen will be performing tonight at the Palace Hotel. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Musician Steve Andersen will be performing tonight at the Palace Hotel. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

‘Gun-for-hire’ musician Steve Andersen will be playing an acoustic show full of classic tunes at the Palace tonight.

“I take Australian and American classics and I play them on acoustic guitar, without backing tracks and without any frills and extras,” he said.

“It’s everything from John Cougar and American stuff to Cold Chisel and Australian stuff. Pretty much anything you’ve heard on the radio or in the pubs. Classic stuff, not too recent but songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

“But that’s my show. A few lights, a man and a guitar.”

Steve, who’s been playing solo for around six to seven years, brings with him a wealth of experience playing with big name artists.

“I grew up in Melbourne around people like Kate Ceberano and that’s where I got my musical base,” he said.

“I started playing down there and then moved to Brisbane where I was playing in lots of local bands. One of them was Rusty and the Ayers Rockettes and the guitarist in that band was a young Keith Urban.

“I toured with those guys for a fair while, then moved onto touring with different rock bands playing mostly bass.

“I played with Stevie Wright (of Easybeats’ fame) and Phil Emmanuel for a little while. I played bass for Meatloaf and filled in a couple of gigs for him.”

“I was basically playing as a ‘gun-for-hire’ for many years. In later years I decided I just wanted the freedom of doing it myself so I just do my solo shows now.”

Despite playing with all these big names, Steve said they were just like anybody else.

“They’re just regular people. Keith’s changed a bit over the years but he’s a nice guy. He’s doing very well for himself, obviously,” he said.

“I haven’t seen Kate (Ceberano) for many years but she’s done really well also. I see her brother more than I see her, Phil’s quite big in the music industry too. We cross paths every now and then.”

Steve said the experience of performing in a band across the country was an “adventure”.

“The Australian music scene is, by its nature, full of extremes. If you’re touring the country with a band it’s an adventure to say the least,” he said.

“It’s not living in fancy hotels, it’s living in pubs, out of the back of cars, vans, and it’s a life experience with all that goes with it.

“For places like here in Broken Hill there’s pubs that, in days gone by, would be major rock venues. Like the Rising Sun (Hotel) out here, Cold Chisel played there many times and now it’s the local hang out.”

Working at Hutchinson Builder’s, Steve said he’d be in town for over 12 months.

“We built the health centre here (and) I’m a site manager for them. That’s what brought me out to Broken Hill,” he said.

“I’m a Queenslander. I was playing in bands over there but the nature of my work is that I need to be able to move around and not have other people burdened by my travelling. So I do it where I am, and as I am.

“I’ve done a few shows here but I haven’t really promoted myself, I’ve been too busy. But we’re coming to the end of our work in Broken Hill so I have a bit of time on my hands. 

“It’s [all] fallen on my shoulders really. I’ve just been asked to do one show here and from that it’s sort of exploded a bit. There’s some shows here, some in Mount Gipps and some out in Silverton.

“The shows that I’ll do here will be for the fun of it really. It’s a fun night out for me (and) I don’t have to do it for a living at the moment.”

For those looking for something fun to do on a Saturday night, the show would be a good opportunity to get your dance on said Steve.

“Come along and throw some requests at me, see if I know them. You never know what you’re going to get,” he said.

“I’ve got a pretty big musical repertoire and if I don’t know a song I can play something really similar to it.  

“So come along, have some fun (and) have a dance.”

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