Forty years after the release of one of the great Australian debut albums of all time by ‘The Saints’, Ed Kuepper returns with a brand new band ‘The Aints!’ and a brand new contender for the title.
When the heavily lauded, heavily influential first incarnation of The Saints split in 1978, Ed Kuepper, the sonic architect and primary songwriter of the original band and their three albums: the proto-punk classic (I’m) Stranded (1977), the r’n’b infused Eternally Yours (1978) and the brass-laden genre-defying Prehistoric Sounds (1978) left behind a plethora of unreleased material, however, rather than attempt to salvage what could have been Kuepper chose to move on forming the legendary Laughing Clowns performing and recording in Australia and the U.K. from 1979 through 1984 before embarking on an ARIA award winning solo career that has kept him touring and recording steadily since 1985.
Come the 40th anniversary of The Saints debut Kuepper decided it was time to revisit the music of his youth. Recruiting like-minded souls in Sunnyboys bassist Peter Oxley, drummer Paul Larsen Loughhead (The Celibate Rifles / The New Christs), jazz pianist Alister Spence and trumpeter and finally brass arranger Eamon Dilworth the band performed as The Aints! Play The Saints (’73 – ’78) covering Kuepper’s tenure with the band and all the classics including This Perfect Day, Know Your Product, Swing For The Crime and (I’m) Stranded to large crowds and a hugely appreciative response. But rather than purely recycle those formative songs Kuepper began to introduce the new-old material to an audience certainly eager to hear what else Kuepper had been sitting on since 1978. A further positive response from the music department of the ABC saw these two iconic Australians join forces and consequently bring to light what is in essence, the long lost fourth album by The (original) Saints.
”Things had started to move fairly quickly once The Saints recorded [I’m] Stranded (Fatal Records) in mid ’76. We recorded three albums over the next two years as well as doing a fair bit of touring, and for a while things were looking very promising, however, business problems, compounded by personal and artistic differences meant the band didn’t get around to recording all the material I had lying around….so forty [very] odd years later it occurred to me that these songs might well have made up a hypothetical 4th album….The Church of the Simultaneous Existence…..the songs that refused to die….performed in much the way they would have had the band not split up in 1978’’ – Ed Kuepper
From the glorious slash and burn of Stranded-era track SOS ’75 via the horn-driven Red Aces (the mooted follow up to 1977s classic 7″ Know Your Product) to Winters Way, recorded and released by the Laughing Clowns for their 1984 swan song LP Ghosts Of An Ideal Wife but written in 1975 and presented here closer to its original form.
Meanwhile Goodnight Ladies (arguably the albums centrepiece) draws from three songs written in the period. The earliest from 1969 when Ed entered high school and describes as ‘‘a kind of overture of my pre-Saints stuff.” Elsewhere Country Song in G can stand proud next to Kuepper’s 1990s solo classics The Way I Made You Feel, I’m With You and Wish You Were Here though its inception dates back to late 1977.
“I started my first high school band a few weeks after buying Eternally Yours. I learnt how to play most of the songs on guitar. It’s rare a band can make a perfect album, let alone three… It’s even more extraordinary when 40 years later a fourth will be revealed.” – Jake Robertson (Ausmuteants / School Damage)