Yes FOLKS it’s now been 25 YEARS since one of Melbourne's revered treasures the Moonee Valley Drifters started doing gigs in Melbourne. This was during the early days of the Hawke Government, just after Australia won the America’s Cup, Muddy Waters and George Jones were going strong, and John Howard was a big loser.

IN 1985 Tom Forsell and Warren Rough got it started with steel great the late Peter Linden, and Bernie O'Brian bass. Unfortunately this line-up lasted about three months, then Tom reformed the band with Rob Grenville on guitar, and a couple of other players including Gerry Hale (Uncle Bill) and finally adding Paul Pyle on double bass, Andrew Lindsay on drums and the return of Peter Linden on steel. This line-up stayed together for quite awhile and established the band with long residencies at the Terminus and Great Northern Hotels.

Forsell maintained the band through long term residencies at pubs like the Cricketeers Arms, the Bleak House, and finally the Old Homestead for 11 years. The band were playing over 120 gigs a year, including the Gympie Muster, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Byron Bay fest, Channel 9 TV shows and live radio on the ABC, RRR, 3CR, and PBS. The band released and recorded 5 CDs’ on Brunswick Records, Larrikin-festival, and TWO independent release all of which received significant airplay and great reviews from Rolling Stone through the Age, Sun, Sydney, Brisbane and Tamworth papers. They had songs in Australian films and managed to be written into Sydney crime writer Robert G. Barrett’s books, supported Herbie Hancock, shared the stage with Flaco Jimenez, Chad Morgan, Lee Kernagan and Slim Dusty. But amazingly they were able to do all of this without compromising but played vintage or “crucial country” with a mix of Cajun, swing, blues, and rhumbas styles and a strong dose of original songs.

The Drifters were nominated for best country instrumental at Tamworth, and “Here I go Again” was in the top 20 on Sydney’s 2UZ in the early 90’s, but the real legacy and story is the bands ability to mesh honky tonk, with swing, Cajun, and even Latinish rhythms to bring people in and keep em” on the dance floor. So in this day of planned obsolesces, some atonal vocals, and throw away music, its nice to see something that’s good last for 25 years. Come down and join them for their 25 year birthday celebration AS THIS GIG WILL NOT BE REPEATED. This show will have current band members as well as past members which will feature 3 different lineups, with songs from 1985 through to now. So don’t miss it, and “its hot, it swings and its crucial”.



East brunswick hotel- Lygon St

Brunswick from 2;00 sharp through 5:00 pm

$10 cover at the door

With The Drifters including

Tom Forsell, Paul Pyle, Nick Grant, Nick summers and Dude Brockton with guests Brendan Shearson, Rick Dempster, Rob Grenville and more Guests