“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”Johnny Rotten’s famous last words at what was to be the Sex Pistols final concert in 1978.
A few months back Mike Noga felt cheated.
“Upon flicking through the FM dial with careless abandon one day, it occurred to me that no matter how hard I looked, I could not, for the life of me, find any true SOUL in the songs that were being handed back to me on a static plate”.
Best known for his work as the drummer for Australia’s most critically acclaimed rock band The Drones, Mike Noga found a rare gap in his hectic schedule and decided to address the situation.
Mike gathered close friends, his Gentlemen of Fortune cohorts Pat Bourke (Dallas Crane) on bass and Gus Agars (The Gin Club) on drums. Set up shop in an old warehouse on the outskirts of Melbourne, rehearsed up these songs… and hit record. Two nights later he had the finished result. Each song captured in the first or second takes. No more mucking around. Get in there, blast them out, and get out. The way it used to be done… and for Mike… the only way.
Mixed by good friend Burke Reid (The Drones, The Mess Hall, Gerling) The Balladeer Hunter, the follow up to Noga’s 2006 debut Folk Songs is an all too rare slice of reality and soul. A true ‘album’ as opposed to a collection of songs, and a modern day mix of folk ballads and slap-in-the-face, venom-filled rockers that wreak of early Springsteen, 70’s Dylan, the relentless pummelng of Suicide back to back with the secret whisper of Leonard Cohen.
An album that will remain ageless. “Where have all the great albums gone? Where are the Highway 61’s and the Astral Weeks’? The albums that you go back to time and time again like an old blanket, to wrap yourself in their familiar embrace. To hear an artist REALLY pouring his or her heart out, warts and all. To embrace every little mistake the musicians decided to leave in ‘cos the take felt so good. To hear the squeak of a kick drum pedal or the clang of a steel string.
All these wonderful truths that are processed out of today’s throw away, passionless, bubble gum, factory production, copy cat world of rock and pop.” “All I want is some truth. So I hope you hear the passion my little band and myself poured into these songs. I hope you hear the truth. I hear a record I’ll put on in 30 years time and still be proud of. And a record that will still sound relevant, like all your favourites”