|BEACHHEAD came into being in early 1980 when
it was heard that Kings Cross (Sydney) nightclub,
La BASTILLE required a band for its midnight
to dawn slot on Friday and Saturday nights.
The venue also doubled as a coffee bar and
brothel with the audience often including
many 'ladies of the night' between jobs.
Mainly it played to the usual collection of late night drinkers, but became a favourite with other musicians, usually those who had just finished their own gigs in other parts of town and were in for last drinks to wind down before going home to bed.
For the next two years the band played at a number of different venues in both Sydney and Wollongong. At one stage holding residencies simultaneously at SONIA'S in the Leichhardt Hotel, FRENCH'S TAVERN in Darlinghurst, La BASTILLE and the WENTWORTHVILLE Hotel
Since that time there have been many different line-ups, with one particular combination performing as BEACHHEAD's BLUES staying together from around August 1993, when it recorded five tracks released on a cassette in December that year, until January 1996 and gaining a huge following as it toured up and down the east coast. From Agnes Waters, north of Bundaberg in Queensland, as far south as Portland, a town on the south western coast of Victoria, just short of the South Australian border.
The current variation has been together since around August 1996 and has played a number of venues in Sydney, among them the HARBOUR VIEW Hotel in the Rocks, the UNITY HALL Hotel in Balmain, the 'Sydney Blues Club' at the EMPIRE of ANNANDALE Hotel, Rydge's CRONULLA BEACH Hotel and the JANNALI INN.
Outside of the metropolitan area it has performed at the KURRAJONG HEIGHTS Hotel, the HOTEL GEARINS at Katoomba, the GRAND CENTRAL, the TATTERSALL'S and the COMMERCIAL Hotels, all in Lithgow, the COMMERCIAL Hotel in Wallerawang, the CORONATION Hotel in Portland (N.S.W.), the OXFORD TAVERN & FAMILY Hotels in Bathurst and, more recently the ROYAL Hotel in Oberon.
In 1997 it performed at the prestigious MANLY JAZZ FESTIVAL, in 1998 at the Annual DUBBO JAZZ FESTIVAL (performing at both the Castlereagh & Civic Hotels) and in January 1999 was part of the programme for the 6th Annual THREDBO BLUES LEGENDS FESTIVAL.
Since then the band has also played a three nighter in Canberra at the HOLY GRAIL BAR, during the inaugural BATHURST JAZZ FESTIVAL at the Family Hotel in June 1999 and packed the house at the METROPOLITAN HOTEL in Orange when it performed there for the Orange Jazz Club in July 1999.The band played its first gig in almost three years at the inaugural CANBERRA Blues'n'Rock Festival in March 2003 and received extremely high praise from all those punters lucky enough to catch them.
Gigs for the band are few and far between these days. However, in February of 2008 they were one of the featured artists at the 2008 AUSTRALIAN BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL in Goulburn NSW and friends including great singers Gail Page & Diana Wolfe (leader of The WOLFE GANG), harmonica players Hugo Pfandler (from the Sydney Blues Society) & 'Harmonica Ron' and legendary guitarists 'Blind Dog Donnie' (Formerly of Lil' Fi & the DELTA RHYTHM KINGS) & Mal Eastick sat in with the band much to the delight of both band members and punters alike.
A 'special' guest over the entire weekend however was bassist Grant Watson who drove down from Brisbane just for the Festival and the chance to play with his old bandmates once again.
From the get-go in 1980 BEACHHEAD has always played its own brand of R'n'B, sticking close to the roots, but also embracing elements of such idioms as Reggae, Funk and Jazz. In many cases, long before others did.
They have been asked to perform in Canberra in June 2008 for the Canberra Blues Society, although at the time of writing the times and dates have not yet been confirmed.
Rod 'BEACHHEAD' Jeffery
Gary 'GUITAR' Dale
Adam 'TREV' Barnard