Living End live in town, on tour
Author: Luke Voogt
Australian rock legends The Living End will hit Geelong next Thursday for their long-awaited regional tour.
“We haven’t done a regional tour for five or six years,” the band’s Andy Strachan said Monday after a Byron Bay show the night before.
The Geelong gig is a short drive down for the drummer, who moved to Barwon Heads a decade ago.
“I used to go surfing at 13th beach a lot,” Strachan said.
“I found myself getting in the car and not wanting to go home.”
Strachan landed the dream gig in 2002 after years going from one band to another” and “working sh_t jobs” in Melbourne.
He remembered the fateful call from The Living End double bassist Scott Owen after mutual friends introduced them.
“I was cooking a chicken risotto – as you do and he rang,” he said. “I thought he was just one of my mates taking the piss.”
Strachan had just returned from a tour with alternative rock band Pollyanna and was about to move back to his home city Adelaide “to get a proper job”.
“I moved to Melbourne with stars in my eyes looking to follow my rock and roll dream,” he said.
“We’d actually packed the house up. But I got the call and the rest is history.”
Strachan started playing as a teen with the 50s and 60s in Adelaide cover band The Runaways.
Remarkably, his future comrades Chris Cheney and Scott Owen played in their own 50s and 60s cover band in Melbourne during 1992 titled The Runaway Boys.
“It’s just hilarious – we didn’t even know that until we got chatting one day,” Strachan said.
“Although I’m sure their band was cooler than mine – I was just a 14-year-old kid and my band mates were all in their 50s.”
There’s a lot of “love” in The Living End despite Owen moving to Byron Bay and Cheney spending most of his time recording in America, Strachan said.
“Once we’re all in a room together, there’s so much energy. There’s a lot of bands that have relationship issues, but we all give each other enough space.
The band has played in front of huge crowds, including the 2016 AFL Grand Final, but “even last night (at Byron) was a highlight,” Strachan said.
“We’re so bloody lucky – to do what we do and watch people’s minds being blown it’s just a such beautiful thing.”
He never gets tired of Owen thrilling crowds by straddling and spinning his double bass.
“He’s quite an acrobat – he’s going to kill him- self one day,” he said.
The boys will belt out some “meaty riffs” at the Wool Exchange on 30 March like Strachan’s favourite How Do We Know.
And, of course, they’ll play the songs that started it all – like Prisoner of Society, he said.
“I don’t like beer cans being thrown at my head, so I think it’s pretty safe to say we’ll play that.”