Pinky Beecroft & The White Russians are a 4-piece indie/alt rock band from the east coast of Australia. They are generally based in Redfern, Sydney, and are often called pbWR.
They released their debut album - "Somethin' Somewhere Better" in 2008 to much critical acclaim and before that, they released a 5-track EP, self-titled.
The current line-up is:
Pinky Beecroft, vocals and keyboards
Christian McBride, drums
Nick Stewart, guitars
Ben T, bass
Pinky Beecroft was the frontperson/singer of Machine Gun Fellatio, but quit that band in 2005. Rumour has it that the split was wildly acrimonious; so far nobody's gone on record to affirm or deny. Christian McBride had been working as a piano & drum technician for mgf and was drumming in several bands of his own including Field Day…. when the allegedly disgruntled Beecroft approached him to form something altogether new and different. Together they formed Matthew - a four-piece pop band based on the Central Coast of NSW and which fell to bits almost as soon as it started. "Babies and overseas travel," according to Beecroft were the reasons for the band's demise, although he has never explained who the babies were, or who was doing the travel.
Some time after this, Beecroft decided to form a new band - The White Russians. His search for a guitarist led to Nick Stewart, who had been co-founder and guitarist of the critically-acclaimed, platinum-selling george. At the time, Nick was working with Amiel, and also with Katie Noonan and Elixir, and was much in demand for his session work. According to Beecroft, "I never knew much about george, the band. I met Nick kind of by accident, and invited him to come to a bit of an informal mess-about session. I'd already tried out a number of guitarists, and I'd pretty much decided on somebody else. To be honest I thought Nick was a nutter, and besides that, he lived in Queensland, which I knew would make things ten times harder, trying to coordinate rehearsals/recording in Sydney. I was living in Melbourne at the time and just getting together for a jam was an exercise in logistics. Here's this interstate nutjob from this band that I didn't know much about, and I just thought…. it's all too hard. But then he started to play….. and his playing was unbelievable. Truly. He was at a whole new level. I just thought, well… I can't not have this person in the band." Beecroft adds: "And he turned out to be a very nice fellow. For a Queenslander."
Christian McBride was again behind the drum kit, and after the departure of original bassist Ken Folan, it was McBride's call to enlist Monstars bassist Ben T. "The guy's a mother," according to McBride. Presumably this is a reference to Ben's bass-playing ability, although Ben T is also widely noted for his good looks and old-school charm. Beecroft apparently refers to him simply as "Mr T" - which has proved to be confusing, at times.
Cameron Bruce - a friend of Beecroft's and one of the great keyboard players of Australia - has also been a part-time floating member of the band, and has appeared live with pbWR at certain shows.
A 5-track EP titled Pinky Beecroft & The White Russians was recorded at Gigpiglet Studios in Redfern, Sydney, with Gareth Stuckey producing and engineering. The EP has been released on the Gigpiglet label, distributed through Inertia. The band's first live show was in June 2006 at the Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne.
They followed this show with twelve to eighteen months of almost total inertia. Rumours abound that Beecroft spent this time trying - and failing - to develop a drug addiction. "I was looking for a press angle," he says. "No matter what I did, I couldn't seem to get cancer, and I heard drug-addiction was pretty much the only other way to get any press."
The band returned to the recording studio - once again at Gigpiglet in Redfern - and recorded their debut album, a 13-track masterpiece called Somethin' Somewhere Better. It was released on the Gigpiglet label through Inertia, 23rd August 2008.
Beecroft says the album is the definitive White Russians long-player, and has compared it to Cold Chisel's East, and Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run. According to Beecroft: "It's a little bit like those albums, in that it's a masterpiece. That's probably the main similarity."
With the completion of the album, the White Russians have been playing live. Quite a lot. And they're really, really good.
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