V what? Yeah, me neither, until Sweden Rock Festival that is. The Australian blues based band Vdelli flew across my radar in 2014 due to the hugely successful Scandinavian festival. With the experience of pilgrimaging from Toronto, Canada to the annually held Sweden Rock Festival four years running, I have my own little pre-festival rituals. One of those little “explorations” is investigating the many band names appearing there that are totally unfamiliar to me. The “seeing eye chart bands” as I’ve seen them described as by esteemed DBG colleague Loose Cannon. I’ve made many fantastic band discoveries in those nether regions of festival rosters. They often prove better than headliners and I’ve upheld this thought time and time again. Vdelli are just another in this strain of my music discovery. And furthermore Sweden Rock, I thank you for it!
Of the Vdelli set at Sweden Rock in 2014, I wrote:
The first band of the 2014 festival was a group called Vdelli on the 4 Sound Stage. Vdelli, a blues rock power trio from Perth, Australia presented a great and spirited set with selections from their back catalog as well as their latest release. There were several over indulgers (of booze) already present at this early hour of the festival, stumbling about the crowd while as the guitarist and namesake of the band told of the two days of travel it took for them to get to Sweden. He also said that he was glad they were on first so that they could then drink and watch all the other bands as well and would be available to meet fans at the Band Merchandise booth after the set. He was genuinely laughing throughout the set, obviously not lying when he said he was happy to be here. Several songs stuck out for me, “Loose Ends”, “Never Going Back” and “Time for a New Town”. “Change the View” came with the announcement that it was the first video for the band, just being made recently. The last song of the set, “Don’t Bring Me Down”, resulted in broken guitar strings and I do mean every string on his guitar, can’t say I’ve seen that before! Searching out some of Vdelli’s catalog is a must and this guitar-driven, boogie, blues rock was a great opener to the festival.
A Short Bio
The blues-based, classic rock-influenced trio glean their moniker from guitarist, vocalist, and founder Michael Vdelli. Rounding out the three, we find bassist Leigh Miller and drummer Hanser Schüler. Realizing some membership adjustments throughout the years, Vdelli has remained constant. The band has been issuing albums since 1997’s self-titled debut. Five of the 12 studio albums came courtesy of German label Jazzhaus Records which they joined in 2010. The first issue for Jazzhaus, Ain’t Bringin’ Me Down, saw Vdelli working with industry heavyweight Kevin Shirley. The trio made headlines in Australia and also Germany, achieving #1 on German Amazon charts. Extensive European touring has been well documented in the live release Live & On Fire in 2014. They have set stages for the likes of ZZ Top, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy.
Out of the Sun
In late October 2016, Vdelli returned with Out of the Sun again on Jazzhouse. Out of the Sun opens with “Get Up, Get On It”. Near three and a half minutes of blues influenced, hard rock infused swagger. The title track follows, more of a straight-ahead hard rock affair that shows you just why Vdelli have made a name for themselves down under. The toe-tapping hard-rock boogie bursts throughout the whole album with highlights being “Looking for a Lifeline” (video below) and “Newtown”. While those are my top picks, the whole album flows well and is chock full of swagger-filled anthems. Songs such as “The Things That I Do” and “Addicted to Everything” are certainly worth a mention. Bassist and one-half of the Vdelli/Miller composition duo is afforded the chance to stretch his vocal chords on “Rock Out”. And it works well. “Noel Burnt the Kitchen Down” represents the one track seems a little odd or out of place to me. Therefore, I can’t decide where I fall on it, like or dislike.
Once again, thank you SRF! It would be great to see their name appear on the 2017 Sweden Rock poster…just sayin’! Vdelli may not be in my usual listening wheelhouse and as a result, my enjoyment may surprise many. You should check them out too, start with the video below.