Doc Neeson

Growing up in Newcastle, Dave Gleeson – who later formed The Screaming Jets – also loved The Angels. “Their songs from the late ’70s and early ’80s are more ingrained in me than even Jets songs, because they’ve been with me since I was 12 or 13 years old.”

When Dave rocked up to a Brewster Brothers gig in the Adelaide Hills in 2011, they asked him what Angels songs he knew. “All of them,” he replied. After Dave joined them on stage, John and Rick knew they had found their new lead singer. Dave was initially reluctant, due to his reverence for Doc, but he couldn’t resist joining his favourite band.

“I’m definitely respectful of the fact that I’m not the creator of the Angels’ sound,” Dave says. “And I’m mindful of bringing that energy that Doc brought to the band. But it’s a real treat for me to be up there blasting out songs that I’ve loved since I was a kid.”

The Angels’ long-time booking agent, Tony Grace, says adding Dave to the band was a masterstroke. “You couldn’t write a better script. I held in high regard what Doc did in his generation … but Dave Gleeson was the best of the best in the current crop. He is what rock ’n’ roll and Australian pub rock stands for.”

More than four decades into their remarkable journey, The Angels remain fierce and uncompromising. They have always done things their own way. As rock historian Ian McFarlane notes, “The Angels were often seen as a punk/new wave outfit, yet the high-energy sound, powerful guitar riffing and muscular yet supple rhythm section took the band beyond such easy categorisations.”

This is it, folks, over the top! remains an irresistible rallying cry to rock ’n’ roll.

Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes calls The Angels’ sound “powerful, aggressive and joyous”, adding, “I hope they do it for many more years to come.”

That’s the plan.