In 1980 a young kitsch-pop band called Teeny Weenys drove 4,000km from Perth to relocate in Sydney, Australia. Sydney fell in love with them — they were picked up by radio station Triple J, performed with the biggest bands of the time and were courted by major record companies. Unfortunately, it ended all too soon and they broke up without ever realising their potential.
Playing keyboards in Teeny Weenys was Peter Simpson. He then performed in various groups before switching to guitar and fronting The Spectre’s Revenge, playing an eclectic style of rock that drew on everything from surf instrumentals to acoustic ballads to a kind of punk jazz. The Spectre’s Revenge only official release, 1985’s No Moon at Midnight b/w (I wanna be like) Maynard G Krebbs, reached number one on the alternative charts in both Sydney and Melbourne.
In the meantime, various other Perth expatriates had gathered in Sydney in bands such as The Scientists and Hoodoo Gurus. In 1987 Peter Simpson got together with some ex-members of these bands to form The Dubrovniks.
A couple of hit indie singles and an ARIA-award-nominated debut album saw The Dubrovniks become bigger than anyone had anticipated and they were soon touring Europe, recording a second album and even breaking into the mainstream Top 40. As they prepared to record their third album Peter decided that he couldn’t give The Dubrovniks the dedication it deserved and left the band. He returned to record the Dubrovniks fourth album in 1994 but by then other members were also finding that other commitments made it harder to function as a band and The Dubrovniks drifted apart.
Over the next twenty years Peter Simpson played an occasional acoustic spot supporting a friend’s band but effectively disappeared from the music scene. In 2012, The Spectre’s Revenge reformed for two nights only at Sydney’s Excelsior Hotel. In 2015 and 2016 The Dubrovniks reformed and toured Europe. Then Dom Simpson (drummer for Sydney-based power metal band Darker Half) convinced his father that he should record some of the songs he had been writing during his 20+ year break. The result is “Return of the Dilettante.”
From the near-death experience of “All My Tomorrows”, the almost power-pop of “She’s Gone”, the haunted memories of “Stain in the Sand”, the gritty “Stare at the Sun” and the simple statement of love that is “Every Time We Say Goodbye”, these five songs showcase the re-emergent talents of Peter Simpson.
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