The Lighthouse Keepers

The Lighthouse Keepers Bio

The Lighthouse Keepers, initially the Light-Housekeepers, were an Australian country and indie pop band formed in 1981 in Sydney. In November 1984 the group issued their debut studio album, Tales of the Unexpected, and a single, ‘Ocean Liner’. In 1985 the band toured the United Kingdom supporting fellow Australian label mates, The Triffids. The Lighthouse Keepers combined a ‘loosely rehearsed, casual ethos’ with humour, punk attitudes and pure pop song craft. The ensemble disbanded in 1986, releasing a compilation album, Imploding, in November that year. According to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, their ‘tasteful, jangly brand of country-tinged folk rock was at odds with prevailing trends on Sydney’s early 1980s, Detroit-besotted independent scene. The band nevertheless issued a number of albums and singles, and always lived up to audience expectations’.

The Lighthouse Keepers (initially known as The Light-Housekeepers)[A] founders Greg Appel on acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals, and Stephen O’Neil on drums, bass, guitar and saxophone were members of Canberra-based groups The Grant Brothers and Guthugga Pipeline. The pair were joined by Juliet Ward on vocals, bass guitar and keyboards as Tex Truck and the Semis, for a University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) student talent quest. In 1981 augmented by Michael ‘Blue’ Dalton on slide guitar, dobro, bass guitar and harmonica they formed The Lighthouse Keepers. Dalton was a vintage music enthusiast who contributed a country blues style to arrangements as a foil to multi-instrumentalist O’Neil’s nifty and melodic bass, drums, guitar and C melody sax playing, further complementing the rich timbre and interpretive abilities of vocalist Ward, with Appel’s understated but skilfully rendered jangling Maton brand 12 string guitar. All members rotated to bass playing duties both on stage and also in the studio to facilitate various song arrangements.

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