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Hoodoo Gurus bring garage sound to town

Rick CarrollAspen, CO Colorado
The Sydney-based Hoodoo Gurus perform Monday at Belly Up Aspen. (Contributed photo)
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ASPEN When the Hoodoo Gurus blow into Belly Up Aspen on Monday for a stop on their reunion tour, Aspen will be in for a nostalgic treat that has made some Denverites mighty envious.The surfer-garage-punk outfit from Australia is back in the U.S. after a 13-year absence, and the band’s tour schedule features major markets only – with Aspen the exception. They played Chicago last night, and they’ll be in San Diego on Tuesday, but their only Rocky Mountain region show is at Belly Up.”We have a lot of fans who have been blogging on Denver chat cites, and there’s been some grumbling that we’re not playing there,” singer/guitarist Dave Faulkner said. “We’ve never had a reason to go to Aspen, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Faulkner, 49, and his bandmates invade the U.S. at a time when the Australian rock scene, fueled by artists such as the Vines and Jet, is enjoying a respectable run in the States. Expect the four rockers from Sydney to deliver the infectious, feel-good sounds – both Beatlesque and Ramonesish – that made them college radio darlings in the 1980s. They never broke out into the mainstream like R.E.M., the Replacements or the Pixies, but there was a time in the 1980s when the Hoodoo Gurus were synonymous with college radio. Their debut album, “Stoneage Romeo,” featuring such tunes as “I Want You Back” and “Tojo,” laid the groundwork for a three-album run that included “Mars Needs Guitars!” and “Blow Your Cool.” And while subsequent releases such as “Magnum Cum Louder” and “Kinky” stayed true to their catchy, trash pop culture sounds, the Hoodoo Gurus’ relevance faded in favor of the more raucous grunge movement in the early 1990s.

The band faded into obscurity in the mid-1990s before officially calling it quits in 1997. But in 2001, when they played Sydney’s Homebake festival, something started to click, Faulkner said. “We had been broken up, but there was this certain nagging thing about wanting to play again,” he said. “And then we played Homebake, and we didn’t have a thought about getting back together, but from that show, nothing had changed. We had the same spirit and energy and we had lost our strength. The flavor was just real.”Faulkner said the Gurus plan to just give the fans what they want, by digging into their archives for the tunes that gave them a formidable following some 20 years ago.

“I think we’re more powerful than we’ve ever been,” Faulkner said. “The show we played just the other night [March 20, in New York] was killer. It was one of the best shows we’ve ever had. It’s been a fantastic time, and we’re very happy right now. We’ve been playing really well, which is a bonus.”Tickets to the Hoodoo Gurus are $40. Mick Kelleher opens the show at 10 p.m. The Belly Up is at 450 S. Galena St.Rick Carroll can be reached at rcarroll@aspentimes.com.


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