The Straight Back Fellows

The Straight Back FellowsNigel Date guitar
Rob Shannon guitar, vocals, percussion

Tim Bradley drums
John Maddox bass & vocals
Dimitri Vouros clarinet & sax

‘The Straight Back Fellows’ was my first real foray into jazz. In partnership with my oldest musical buddy Rob Shannon (Arabesk). We brought all we knew which was music as varying and different as North Indian classical, neo classical metal, blues, 60’s and 70’s psycedelica, turkish oud, balkan gypsy rhythms and tried to play like Django. Upon meeting 3 young fantastic musicians bassist John Maddox, reeds and piano virtuoso Dimitri Vouros and drummer Tim Bradley the band was formed.

We all wore suits and hats to every gig. One had to become a ‘Fellow’, as to look refined, like we were men of means. We looked like trouble. Pythonesque, macabre even, clowns but super cool. We would make the music as beautiful and unique as we could dare. We were learning how to play and go to the next level. Suddenly we were doing loads of gigs. Concerts, festivals and darlings of the city corporate scene. Subsequently we were playing gigs with some of Australia’s best jazz musicians and as we learnt off them they were always respectful of our vibe with the music. It was undeniable. It was and is a happiness making band.

The Fellows are always available for work. It is the one band of musicians I’ve been involved with that is constantly asked about from people all over the country.’

There’s a link here to the last CD of original music they recorded. This music represents sounds of that era. Always evolving, Rob and I have composed enough material since for a series of albums. Improvising and creating new music has never been a problem for these two ever since their beginning on sheep farm wool shed in western NSW over 30 years ago.

The Straight Back Fellows were invited to play at a Winter Solstice party on Dangar Island on June 22 2019. More gigs and tours are in the works.

In early 2021 The Straight Back Fellows Podcast is going to commence.

Here we are at the Winter Solstice playing a tune of Rob’s.

You can get a copy of our 2007 album ‘Straight Up’ here

1 thought on “The Straight Back Fellows

  1. ChrisMRF says:


    This original Duo of Nigel & Rob just played the Wagga Wagga Art Galley 22 Jul 2017 9pm – top notch show!

    Full of ‘dinky-di’ Aussie banta, (even stooped so ‘stupidly-low’ as to have a crack at tha ‘Krouts!’ (Germans) – which may I say was COMPLETELY POLITICALLY INCORRECT!!! And which MOST ‘high-brow city-folk’ would have been ‘disgusted’ by/with (& whom would have, most likely made, some ‘PC-dumb-ass-comment-on!’) …but, because TSBF were playing to a ‘Country Crowd’ (i.e. who can ‘see things’ for ‘what they are’), TSBF’s were given the due – ‘you schoolboys dressed up as fully grown men’ – courtesy! That is, the comment was taken in the ‘context’ it was given – cheek! To put this in perspective in Italy only a ‘Wog’, (an Italian ‘slanging-off-their-own-Italian-descent’), can call a ‘ Wog’ a ‘Wog’! In USA only a ‘Nigga, (Yes, ‘meaning a dark skinned person, an African-American’ slanging off their own ‘African-American-descent’), can call a fellow ‘Nigga’, a ‘Nigga!’ The Lady of ‘German-descent’ at the Wagga concert just basically ‘smiled & waved’ (The Penguins Of Madagascar-Style) & let ‘Tha Boys’ (TSBF) rip into the next tune… but I digress…
    I said G’day to Both Nigel & Rob on my way out… yes too bloody shy to shake their hands!
    Shite! My guitar teacher is Jeff Donovan!!! ‘Country Australia’s BEST guitar virtuoso!’ The same Guy who played Classical Pieces just before ‘Tha Boys’ (TSBF’s) jumped onto ‘Center-Stage’ (floor… remember the concert was at the ‘Acoustically-Magnificent’ Wagga Wagga Art Gallery!)

    Anyways, this is what I really want to say:
    most people of the past three generations will always mention the guitar ‘greats’ as the likes of:
    ‘Stompin’ Robert Johnson, Chet Atkins, Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry, BB King, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, EVH, etc BUT only those who have ‘delved a little further’ into the ‘realms’ of ‘Guitar greatness’ will talk about Jango Rienhardt, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass & tha likes.
    TSBF’s have ‘delved’ & explore this ‘realm’/genre with real ‘pizzaz’ & ‘heart!’ Any ‘bum-notes’ they may have hit are washed away in the overall ‘True Blue Style’ of ‘lets’ have some ‘FUN’ – tha great ‘Aussie-Bloke’ attitude! Which I must say is SUPA-REFRESHING!! (As that ‘basic-joyous-aspect-of-Australian-life’, has some how been ‘lost’, on/by this generation! …whatever their – this generation’s – ‘endeavours’ are.)
    Bring on more Boys!!!!
    Fair dinkum! I say “Bloody Awesome! And well done – cracker of a performance Fella’s!”
    Thanks for a great ‘FUN’ night out,
    ‘The Straight Back Fellows’
    May GodJesus continue to Bless You!!!
    ‘Country’ ChrisMRF


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