Byron Theatre was packed to capacity. As soon as the doors opened the audience swarmed to their seats in anticipation.
“The Sidemen” is the inspiration of Byron local Steve Banks.
Steve was a businessman with a voice. With a background playing in blues bands through the late 70’s and early 80’s he moved from music to a business career. In 2015 he stepped back into the music light to record an album with “session guys”. When he moved to Byron he kept the connection going, meeting Greg Lyons ( A North Coast local) galvanised the pathway to shining the spotlight on The Sidemen.
They are a group of extraordinary musicians. In fact, some of Australia’s and one of England’s most successful players. The show developed after conversations with one of the ‘now’ Sidemen and co-founding member Greg Lyon, after Lyons described himself as only a sidemen.
Tonight’s line –up features some of Australia’s most accomplished sidemen, including Greg Lyon (The Hip Operation), Rick Fenn (10cc and Tears for Fears) and Grant Gerathy (John Butler Trio), Bruce Haymes (The Paul Kelly Band, ReneeGeyer and Archie Roach) and Jeff Burstin (The Black Sorrows, Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons)
As the lights dim and the show start Banks interviews each of tonight’s members, revealing long and prodigious careers and burgeoning notoriety in others. Between each interview they perform songs they have played on, wrote, co-wrote or just love. There is much laughter, shameless name dropping, revealing more and more of their amazing collaborations.
Steve has a vision for The Sidemen, he is devoted to putting musicians back in charge if their careers.
The Sidemen with perform again, the format works perfectly. Allowing the audience to get to know these amazing musicians: the engine room behind some of the best.
Words & images – Lisa Gough