Rose Carleo Band. Pic: LuzArt Photography
Expat local, Rose Carleo, cut her teeth singing and playing guitar in Perth and Fremantle’s pubs and clubs as a teen, and she’s returning home this weekend with new husband, Mick Adkins, in tow for a series of shows as part of the Bonfest celebration of former AC/DC frontman, Bon Scott.
Carleo grew up in and around Fremantle, and always looks forward to returning to her old stomping grounds to see some familiar faces.
“While I have lived in surrounding suburbs,” she says, “I’m a Fremantle girl at heart so I always feel at home there. I’m personally looking forward to catching up with our family and muso mates and walking around the areas I grew up in as a child. I’m still in touch with a lot of old band mates and industry peeps, too. I played at the Sail & Anchor on a Friday night for a couple of years with my trio and around the area for many years. That feels like a lifetime ago now.”
“I lived in Perth back in the mid ‘90s,” adds Adkins, “and while it was only a short stay of around four years I made a lifetime of friends that I still keep in touch with, especially the lads from (AC/DC tribute) AB/CD and the guys from the lighting, sound and stage crews. I have fond memories of playing in a band opening for The Divinyls and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts at Metropolis back in the day. The first gig I played with Simon (Wright) and Mark (Evans) was at Metro’s as well.”
Adkins should be familiar to rock fans from his lauded playing with the Rogue Sharks, Raise The Flag and Carleo, amongst others. His pivotal influences learning his craft mirror those of many in this country and around the world.
“As a kid I listened to Chuck Berry, The Beatles and The Stones, Rod Stewart and Lynyrd Skynyrd,” he recalls, “but I only came to the realisation that I wanted to play in band after listening to AC/DC, The Angels and Rose Tattoo – ‘The Big Three’ as far as I was concerned. Looking back I’d say it was those bands that were my biggest influences. So much so that the only way Dad could get me away from playing their songs on my first electric guitar was to turn the power off!”
Carleo’s first two albums were in a country music direction, before her critically acclaimed 2015 album, Time Is Now, saw her striking out in a very rock’n’roll fashion. In latter years Adkins has been a supportive influence.
“I grew up listening to a lot of country music and a lot of Aussie rock too,” she says. “I love both genres but have found over the years I naturally lean towards more of the blues rock style: gritty, guttural and honest. Mick and I first met in the mid ‘90s in Perth and ended up in the same band for a little while. I always respected his musicianship and opinion back then.
“Since we’ve been together, I think he’s always encouraged me to go with what feels right because at the end of the day, good music is good music, right? As long as it comes from the heart.”
Both are very excited about The Rose Carleo Band’s forthcoming EP.
“It’s a five-track EP of crackin’ heavy blues rockers,” Adkins tells us. “When you’ve got Mick O’Shea and Steve King in the band you know your songs are gonna have that extra smack-in-the-face effect. And the grooves the lads put down are so infectious. Rose absolutely sings her heart out and I get to play some widdly diddly guitar here and there.”
“We’re really looking forward to the EP launch in March,” Carleo adds, “and following on with filming the video for the first single.”
“Then we’ve got a stack of new Rose Carleo Band songs to demo up,” continues Adkins, “and I’ve also got some work to do with Rogue Sharks, tracking and mixing new material and getting some previously unreleased songs out there. It will be a packed 2018.”
Rose Carleo and Mick Adkins appear together with both the Rose Carleo Band and as part of Raise The Flag on Saturday, February 17, for the Jailbreak concert at the old Fremantle Prison. Full details at www.facebook.com/events/2000860673532180/
Rose Carleo Band – www.facebook.com/rosecarleoband/
Rose Carleo Official – www.facebook.com/rosecarleomusic/