═══════════════════ Shanghai (1990 - 1992) ═══════════════════

AFTER THE UNDECIDED? had come to an end I thought it was time for a bit of a change. I’d been working with the same people for quite some time so I hit the classifieds looking for an already established band looking for a new drummer.

Shanghai were a band that had agency backing, Peter Wells from Identities. Peter also ran a rehearsal studio at Clyde also called Identities and this was where I went for my audition. It was a Saturday afternoon and I was the last drummer for the day.

Obviously I got the gig, a nice bunch of people AND the first time I was in a band with a girl. I had done a fill in for a little while helping Tony out with one of his bands Original Crossing and Jackie Able was in that band but this was my first full time band with a girl. Donelle was the girlfriend of one of the guitarists and also played Saxophone! Should be interesting?

Line-Up One 
Cameron Mason - Lead Vocals 
Mark Jackson - Guitar/Vocals 
Dave Mackintosh - Guitar 
Donelle Bleakley - Keyboards/Saxophone/Vocals 
Noel Funicello - Bass/Vocals 
Greg Morris - Drums/Vocals

After accepting the offer to join I’m told the band has two gigs booked for next weekend, one at The Blue Boar InnBowral and one at Goulburn RSL. “Are you up for it?” “Sure why not”. Dave comes to my place Tuesday night and gives me a tape with all the songs and we arrange a rehearsal for the Thursday night. Talk about pressure but I got through it. It’s not really the way I like to start playing my first gig with any band. I’m old school when it comes to rehearsing, I like plenty of rehearsal so the band can be as tight as it can be for the first gig. I made plenty of mistakes, but mostly with songs I’d never done before. The gigs were OK, the audiences seemed to like us. It’s funny, there's something I’ve noticed whenever a band I’m in has been recorded live at a gig. If I make a mistake I always think that it will sound like crap but when I hear it back, most times it’s nothing to worry about.

Gigs came pretty often thanks to being in the agency but I noticed they weren’t great gigs, more bottom end of the market. Most rooms were pretty average and not many people to play to, the money wasn’t that good either. I’ve never been in this for the money anyway, so that didn’t matter. As long as I didn’t have to pay to play, I was happy. One of the better gigs was Rooty Hill RSL, in house PA, nice big stage and a dressing room!!

I found that I got on best with Cameron and Noel and we would talk all the time about music and life. I started talking to them about whether we were happy with how the band was going and mostly we agreed it was OK but could be better. I mentioned I knew a great guitarist and Cameron said he knew a guitarist too, so talk was now starting to be about whether we should form another band.

Then Mark decided to leave the band, I think he didn’t like what the three of us were saying about what direction the band should go in. So I suggested Jeff Stevenson and he auditioned. This gave Cameron and Noel the opportunity to see and hear how good Jeff is and this just fuelled the fire to form another band.

 

Line-Up Two 
Cameron Mason - Lead Vocals 
Dave Mackintosh - Guitar 
Donelle Bleakley - Keyboards/Saxophone/Vocals
Jeff Stevenson - Guitar/Vocals 
Noel Funicello - Bass/Vocals 
Greg Morris - Drums/Vocals

 

Jeff joined and we kept gigging but I think the two remaining original members started to feel outnumbered. The four of us continued talks of forming another band. Plus, we wanted more control over the songs we did and we wanted the opportunity to do some originals. I think Dave and Donelle could see what was coming.

 

We got together and had a jam with Cameron’s friend Leigh Randall and we decided this new band was much better than Shanghai so we parted company.

 

We've got a new band but we needed a name ..... yeah ..... That's Right!

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