Articles-Celeb In The Making




Astro Tabasco is a Sydney based instrumental band, which has in recent times also been part of the instrumental brass section of
The Whitlams.   Andy Kell plays the saxophone, and is one of the main song writers and prime organisers of Astro Tabasco. 
When asked how the band decided on its name Andy stated, “We’ve been together for quite a while.  The band rose out from being a kind of lounge band a number of years ago.  We did do a fair bit of Latin influence kind of stuff, and we wanted to move off into a the kind of weird, I guess, part of the galaxy, in terms of our song writing and so on.  So we kept the Tabasco bit so we would reflect our kind of interest in Latin lounge music, and we just put it together like that, it (the name) doesn’t mean anything in particular.” 

Astro Tabasco Sydney based instrumental band. Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.

The band has been together for about five years.  They took a break for a year when the band changed drummers and one of their original trumpet players left.  After that “it took a year of song writing to readjust to the new line-up,” recalls Andy.  The band is currently recording their second album.  “We are three quarters of the way through our second album, which should be out by the end of the year.  So we are very, very excited about that.  We’ve been plugging away.”  

Astro Tabasco does not have a lead singer and is only instrumental.  “We are an interesting band in that we write all of our own stuff and we have a long history of playing in lots of different pub and rock bands in Sydney, but we don’t have a vocalist.  It’s all instrumental stuff so you know, obviously, we have to look for ways to get our slightly non-traditional music across to the people. Some of our music was played last year on 'The Dream' with the 'Roy and H.G. Show' covering the Olympic Games in Athens last year (2004).  Our music was also used as background to some of the equestrian events and stuff like that because it’s a little bit kind of crazy, and Latin sounding," Andy explained.

"We are hoping that some TV producer will hear one of our songs and back it as a theme song for their new hit TV show.  That’s our kind of aim,” Andy laughs.  “We are going strong, we’re writing new material even as we are recording this album.  It’s all very exciting.” 

Astro Tabasco is also known to have guest artists performing with them.  “Because of our history in the music industry in Sydney, we get a lot of guest singers up to have a sing with us.  Christa Hughes and Pinky Beecroft from Machine Gun Fellatio,  Ian Moss from Cold Chisel,  Brendan (‘Boom-Boom’) Gallagher from Karma Country, Dave McCormack (from the band Custard and currently performing with the Polaroids), so we’ve had a whole bunch of people.  We love doing that and getting those people up to sing their songs with us and we do it in our style.  So that’s something we do as well.” 

Astro Tabasco was one of the acts for 'The Last Weekend' event, organised by Unions NSW in Sydney on August 7, 2005.  This event was organised to promote and protect Workers Rights.   Andy Kell is very passionate about Australian politics and how it can influence the Music Industry:  He remembers the 1980’s and the influence the recession on the Australian Music scene.  “Suddenly the live music scene in Sydney collapsed because of the recession.”  Andy continued, “We are constantly trying to think about ways to increase our profiles, that’s part of what you do as a band.  It becomes difficult for us if the venues are put under pressure to cut the amount of music they have.  This will happen again if audiences don't have the time or the money to buy the tickets like they used to do."

The band has performed at different Labour Organisations events in the past, either individually or as part of the band.   The band also supports various charities, performing at different gigs on a case by case basis and “loves to support different organisations”.  Astro Tabasco performed at a recent charity event for Cystic Fibrosis.  “One of the children present at that gig would be benefiting from the funds raised there, so it was really exciting playing for him,” Andy recalls.

Article and photo by Chrissy Layton -  AusNotebook Music & Creative (26/9/05)


Associated article:-  Celebrities Support Campaign


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