Starting in the mid-90s fresh out of high school, Sydney, Australia three-piece Peabody chose the road less traveled by mixing smart suits, Rickenbacker guitars, classic pop melodies and good old Australian pub sweat. The band recorded and self-released two EPs and also delivered literally hundreds of live shows before recording their debut album for Nonzero Records. Following the success of that album, Professional Againster, Peabody impressed again with the release of their second album, The New Violence. Touring solidly after that release Peabody played with bands such as the Hoodoo Gurus, Spiderbait and Dallas Crane plus festivals - the Big Day Out, Homebake and Livid.
The New Violence was recorded at Jonathan Burnside’s Razor’s Edge studio in Sydney with producer Jamie Hutchings (Bluebottle Kiss) and engineer Dave Trump (The Church, Big Heavy Stuff). Even before its release, The New Violence has already spawned one high rotation single – Got You On My Radar, a song which took a hammering on Triple J throughout the summer months, peaking at #12 on Triple J’s weekly online poll, the NET 50. The commercial single also reached #13 on the AIR charts.
After the departure of longtime drummer and friend Graeme Trewin, Peabody re-grouped in August 2006 with Jared Harrison, drummer with Sydney’s avant-rockers Bluebottle Kiss. Then in November 2006, guitarist Tristan Courtney-Prior joined to make Peabody a four piece. Working with producer Jamie Hutchings again, Peabody recorded and released their third album, Prospero in 2008. Releasing The Devil For Sympathy as the first single from Prospero, Peabody once again began touring Australia and also played a festival in Vietnam with sideshows in Hong Kong.
In April 2010, Peabody recorded their fourth album Loose Manifesto with Sydney engineer and musician Tim Kevin (Youth Group, Jim Moginie). It is due for release in October 2010.
There is also a band from New Orleans called Peabody.
In The Beginning (1990)
Peabody played their first show on August 4th, 1990 at the Warehouse Cafe in New Orleans. The band spent the next few months performing and practicing, slowly building up a set of originals. On December 7th, 1990 Peabody played their first show as the headlining act at Jimmy’s Music Club in New Orleans. Around this time Peabody made its first demo in a small home studio called Zymondo.
It soon became evident that the band’s following wanted a recording of Peabody’s music. In February of 1991 the band went into Southlake Studios to record four songs. These recordings were paired with a few songs from a live recording and packaged as Unsigned. The cassette only release quickly sold all of its 500 copies.
In October of that year Peabody was once again in the studio, this time with veteran producer/arranger Mark Bingham, best known for his string arrangements on the R.E.M. album Out Of Time (recall the intro to Shiny Happy People). The sessions, done in Chris and Karen’s living room, produced four songs, but the sought after first full length CD never materialized. In 1992 the band continued performing in the New Orleans area and building a following. The world famous New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival asked Peabody to play for the first time in ‘92. The band also netted a trip to New York City as a showcase performer at the CMJ New Music Seminar held in October.
Lost In Old Rivers (1993-1994)
Returning from New York, Peabody once again went about the process of recording a debut CD. After checking out numerous recording studios and producers the band decided to record and produce the record themselves. They spent the next few months of 1993 putting together, piece by piece, a recording studio. They dubbed it Our House Recording Studio and finally on May 20th, 1994, the debut CD, Lost In Old Rivers, was released.
By 1995, the band had made another big decision. Peabody was now going to be a full-time job for its members. In their newly purchased van, Peabody hit the road. The band felt that it was time to break out of New Orleans and start playing to people throughout the southeast. Almost all of 1995 was spent breaking into new markets, quite a change from the relative comfort of playing to 300+ crowds in New Orleans. By the end of 1995 the follow-up to Lost In Old Rivers was starting to take shape.
All seemed on schedule until early in 1996 when the band underwent its first line-up change. Bassist Lou Carollo informed the band of his intentions to leave in order to pursue a career back home. The changes brought about by the full time traveling schedule had finally taken their toll. The new album came to a screeching halt while the remaining three members went about the task of replacing Lou.
An old friend of the band, Jimmy Legnon, seemed to be the perfect choice as Peabody’s new bass player. After a few crash practice sessions Jimmy was out on the road with the band playing out of town shows. On the days back in New Orleans, the band scrambled to get bass tracks recorded, new CD photos taken, and artwork arranged for the new album.
Peabody’s second album, called Heroine, was released on August 2nd, 1996. The band continued to travel and write new material, steadily building a following throughout the southern region. With over 6,500 copies of Lost In Old Rivers sold, and Heroine already going into its second pressing, the band seemed poised and ready for the next step.
The Long And Winding Road (1997-2003)
For the next year, Peabody would continue to travel in support of their two CDs. Playing regularly in places like Dallas, Atlanta, and the Gulf Coast, all seemed well for the band. While the band always found eager fans in new markets, financial strain had finally started to take its toll on the band. Bassist Jimmy Legnon was considering more lucrative job opportunities in the medical field. Soon the tough decision was made and Peabody was once again in search of a bass player.
After some months of searching for and auditioning bassists, the band came upon Thomas McDonald, a journeyman musician who had traveled extensively with acts such as Anders Osborne. Pretty soon after his acceptance of the spot, Peabody was back out on the road playing shows.
As new material began to accumulate, thoughts of a third CD became more frequent. The Egyptian Room of American Sector recording studio was eventually picked as the site for the creation of the next Peabody release. Taking a break from the travel schedule, the recording sessions were going well when work was forced to halt halfway through when the studio had to be relocated to a new home.
While the band waited for the chance to complete the recordings, it became increasingly clear that the relocation was going to take a lot longer than planned. Peabody had to make a decision on what to do now…
The decision was finally made to take some time off. Peabody had been around for some ten years, and the band had all pretty much put their lives on hold while they recorded and toured. The next few years would be spent getting back to some of the things they had had to leave undone.
Chris and Karen dabbled in the real estate market and expanded the child development business that they had been a part of.
Steven went back to school and finished his undergraduate studies in Physics that he had left undone when the band started traveling full time. He eventually moved on to complete his Masters in Physics. Thomas continued to show up around the city, and world, playing with various bands.
While the band took a back seat to other things for a while, it never completely died. Peabody played occasional shows for special events, most notably, the annual Anne Rice Halloween party.
Sometime during 2001, in the midst of the longest Peabody hiatus to date, Steven talked with Chris about getting together on a weekly basis to play. This wasn’t to do Peabody, it was just to get together and jam again. Steven contacted Peabody’s original bassist, Lou Carollo, to see what he thought about getting together regularly to play some songs (mostly Rush). Everyone though it was a great idea and soon Steven, Chris and Lou were all together in the same practice room, just playing for the sake of playing.
The Time Has Come (2001-now)
It didn’t take long for the guys to get Karen to join in on their weekly jam sessions, and soon the original Peabody line-up was together again for the first time in six years. Once this happened, it was inevitable that the band would look towards playing live once more. With the addition of Ron Hotstream as auxiliary stage guitarist/backing vocalist, the newly reformed Peabody booked the occasional show. In October 2001, the band performed on the Louisiana Jukebox TV show.
The band finally got word that the former Egyptian Room recording equipment had resurfaced in its new location and under its new name: Piety Street Recording. Thoughts turned to the half complete third CD. All of the original recordings from the Egyptian Room sessions were done with Thomas McDonald playing bass. Instead of picking up from those tracks, a decision was made to scrap the previous recordings and start from scratch. In July of 2002 Peabody was once again in the studio laying down tracks for the follow-up to Heroine.
Although everything sounded great, and the band was anxious to get the CD completed, recording was sporadic. Sometimes months would pass between sessions. Finally, on June 13th, 2003, the recording, mixing and mastering of These Things Take Time, as it was appropriately dubbed, was complete. Artwork by longtime band roadie/assistant/photographer Ritchie Champagne was finalized and the CD was finally released on November 11, 2003.
This is not the end of the story…stay tuned!
Edited by nickcarr on 4 Jul 2010, 04:13
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