Growing up in Brisbane in Australia's deep north in the early Seventies,for anyone with anything more than a passing interest in rock'n'roll,was pretty dull.Even if there had been a local scene "a pub circuit" like there was in Sydney and Melbourne - and there wasn't -
It only would have been full of glittery heavy metal,hippy art rock and wimpy soft rock.
Rock'n'roll was at a low ebb.
It was in this climate that the band were inculcated,a band at odds with everything around them - prophets of punk who rejected even that tag,and then went on - and Still go on -in a career that's only ever seen the name " THE SAINTS " associated with wilful individualism.
I'm Stranded fell largely on deaf ears in Australia. but in England particularly it was canonized, as perfect, prototypical punk. This is at a time, after all, near the end of 1976 ' when the Ramone's first album was still fairly new, and neither the Sex Pistols nor the Clash, or Australia's Radio Birdman, were yet to make it onto vinyl.It was a mixed blessing for The Saints, because although it was the reason why they were signed-up by EMI in London.It was also because they refused to conform to punk's narrow precepts that they eventually got squeezed out.
The triumvirate Of Bailey,Kuepper and Hay split-up in England at the end of 1978 after The band had made their third album for EMI, Prehistoric Sounds. After that, THE SAINTS became more of a shifting aggregation serving as a vehicle for Bailey alone.....
Balley's since steered The Saints through innumerable line-up's and through thick and thin. Although (as yet"1984") the band is still yet to make a breakthrough into the mainstream proper - i.e., have a real international hit record - it survives thanks to Bailey's commitment and the dedicated support of fans all over the world.
More recently also revealing roots in Celtic folk, Bailey has honed the Saints'sound, on record. to one that's at best Shimmering and soulful and still rock-solid. But if the Saints as a performing entity can be shambolic as much as anything, that too is part of their charm. Chris Bailey retains a healthy irreverance for convention, and the trappings of showbusiness success.
This album brings together some of the rare and unreleased material from The Saints recording career up until 1984, thus covering the band's original incarnation, and then the first phase under Chris Bailey's tutelage.
Chris Bailey can be dismissive of his earlier achievements. But if that's so, it's the reason why THE SAINTS were great back then -because they were looking forwards not backwards - and also the reason why they're still great today,still making vital music.Chris Bailey doesn't dwell on his past,or trade on it, because he doesen't need to; he's got new songs, a new band.
Long may THE SAINTS march on.