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Encyclopedia entry for 'The Bam Balams' LETTER:

Formed in 1984
StyleRock'n'roll
 Original line-up: Brendan Kibble (vocals, guitar), Brad Fitzpatrick (guitar, vocals), Steve Cole (bass, vocals), Matt Manchester (drums, vocals)
 Album: Genuine Rock & Roll Medicine Show (Green Fez, 1988).

History
While many of their Sydney-based contemporaries exploited Detroit-inspired hard rock (Trilobites), 1960s acid-punk (Lime Spiders) or 1960s psychedelia (Moffs), The Bam Balams were practitioners of a lively brand of rock'n'roll that mixed R&B, blues, rockabilly, country and pop.

The band's name was derived from a track on The Flamin' Groovies' album Supersnazz, and other influences ranged from Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Rolling Stones and The Byrds to Creedence Clearwater Revival and Gram Parsons. Singer/songwriter Brendan Kibble formed The Bam Balams during April 1984. The line-up of Kibble, Brad Fitzpatrick, Steve Cole and Matt Manchester recorded the singles `Deliver My Love'/`Mean Thang' (November 1985) and `No-One Else'/`Gettin' Over You' (June 1986) for the Citadel label. Ex-Radio Birdman singer Rob Younger produced the records and Citadel in-house engineer Alan Thorne (Died Pretty, Lime Spiders and Screaming Tribesmen) worked the desk.

Kibble broke up the band at the end of 1986 and formed a new line-up with Steve Carlin (guitar), Amr Z. Abdallah (bass) and Warren Elford (drums). Citadel's sister label Green Fez issued the band's next single `Surfin' in the Swamp'/`Fire in My Soul' in March 1988. The band broke up again, and Kibble received an invitation from ex-Long Ryders singer/guitarist Syd Griffin to join his new band in Los Angeles. Kibble declined the offer and decided to reform The Bam Balams with Ian Little (ex-Grooveyard) replacing Carlin and Joe Breen -(ex-Coupe DeVille) replacing Elford. Abdallah remained from the previous line-up. The lavishly packaged album The Genuine Rock & Roll Medicine Show (December 1988) and its single `Wheel of Fortune'/`Rock it to the Moon' (November) were strong records. Abdallah left in 1989 and Greg Marchant came in as replacement. The band's next single, `Hellfire'/`Hold on Me' (November 1989), was written about one of the band's heroes, `The Killer' (Jerry Lee Lewis).

Dave Castellari replaced Marchant in 1990, and The Bam Balams put out their final record that year on the Pink Flamingo label, the 12-inch EP Extended Play (`10000 Miles'). The Bam Balams never gained commercial success, but the independent charts indicated that all their records sold well.



Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop / Ian McFarlane 1999
under licence from Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd

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