The Stems

The Stems (WA)

Thursday 2nd November, 9pm.

With Special Guests: Rocket Science

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of their classic debut album "At First Sight Violets are Blue", The Stems, one West Australia's most popular and iconic bands, are set to return to the live scene this November with a national tour kicking off in hometown Perth at this year's Fremantle Festival.

Original members Dom Mariani, Julian Matthews and Dave Shaw will be joined by guest guitarist Davey Lane (You Am I) to perform the album in full. Originally through Mushroom Records' White Label, "At First Sight" was first released in mid-1987. Rolling Stone Magazine has included it in the top 100 Australian releases to date.

THE STEMS epitomized local Australian 80s alternative rock, giving that genre a much wider currency at the time. They were one of only a handful of so called indie bands (among them the Hoodoo Gurus and The Sunnyboys) who cracked the mainstream charts of that decade.

Making their debut in March 1984 playing alongside The Triffids and The Saints, THE STEMS released a series of records on Sydney indie label Citadel Records, with each release reaching #1 on the Australian alternative charts. But it was their 1987 debut album At First Sight Violets are Blue, released by Mushroom Records, that received national and international acclaim becoming one of the best-selling Australian albums of that year despite an almost total lack of commercial airplay in those corporate FM dominated times.

Appearances on Countdown, magazine covers, sold out shows the world seemed at The Stems feet. However due to the pressures of non-stop touring and the usual personality differences the Stems mysteriously imploded on the eve of a massive European tour in late 1987.

Rising from the ashes of their 1980s breakup The Stems reformed in

1997 to perform a reunion show in their beloved hometown of Perth to an enthusiastic response. This event would see them return to the live scene in 2003. It is fair to say they were all surprised even amazed - how popular they still were. They toured Australia, Europe and the USA including an incredible one off show at the invitation of Bruce Springsteen's guitarist (and Sopranos, Lillehammer TV star) Little Steven, who lists himself as one of the Stems biggest fans. At this show they shared the stage with The Stooges, Bo Diddley, Big Star, Nancy Sinatra, and 60s underground bands The Chocolate Watchband, The Pretty Things, Creation and The Electric Prunes all of whom were an influence on their sound in their early days.

Things seemed to gain momentum. At the urging of Little Steven and a host of others the band made plans to record an album of new material ultimately titled Heads Up released by Shock Records in late 2007.

Recorded in Perth on all analogue equipment and mixed in Cincinnati by producer John Curley (White Stripes, Afghan Wigs, Greenhornes and Ronnie Spector) the album was released to rave reviews and sold solidly around the world.

On the release of Heads Up in late 2007 THE STEMS were invited on the "Clash of the Titans" tour with Radio Birdman and the Hoodoo Gurus.

Successful tours of Australia, Europe, Japan and Austin Texas's South by South West Festival soon followed. The band went off the road again in 2009 before reforming with a new line-up in 2013 with Ashley Naylor (Even/Paul Kelly) on guitar and vocals replacing original keyboardist Richard Lane.