Joe Camilleri is still cool in black

HITCHING A RIDE: The Black Sorrows will perform with John Farnham, Jon Stevens and Shannon Noll at Hope Rocks.
HITCHING A RIDE: The Black Sorrows will perform with John Farnham, Jon Stevens and Shannon Noll at Hope Rocks.

JOE Camilleri is lamenting that modern tooth fillings aren’t made to last anymore while he’s driving to a dentist appointment.

“The whole thing is about keeping the doctor with the finery he’s accustomed to,” Camilleri says. “It’s like the iPhone, it’s only meant to last a little bit longer than two years, but only lasts one year.”

Unlike fillings or various modern white goods, Camilleri and his band The Black Sorrows have been built to last. For more than three decades The Black Sorrows have toured relentlessly and produced 17 albums of material, cross-pollinating the genres of rock, blues, soul and jazz. Last year the five-piece knocked off 70 shows during a three-month period.

The Black Sorrows have more live commitments scheduled this autumn when they return to the Hunter Valley to perform on the under card of Hope Rocks, headlined by the legendary John Farnham. The bill at Hope Estate also includes former Noiseworks frontman Jon Stevens and Australian Idol runner-up Shannon Noll.

“We go back a long way and have crossed swords on many occasions,” Camilleri says of Farnham. “I’ve done a lot of shows with John, he’s a nice chap and he’s band is really good.”

The Black Sorrows’ drummer Angus Burchall can expect double duty on the night, as he also plays percussion in Farnham’s band.

“Angus moonlights with me, so I give Angus a bit of grief,” Camilleri laughs. “I say, ‘you should be paying me, its kind of like a holiday. You get to play real music.’ It gets right in his grill.”

Unlike Farnham and many of Camilleri’s contemporaries, The Black Sorrows aren’t trading solely on past glories, which include the hits Harley & Rose and Chained To The Wheel

The band’s Facebook page quotes Camilleri saying “The Black Sorrows will never be a heritage act as for us there’s no finish line. The heart and soul of The Sorrows still beats loud and clear.”

Last September The Black Sorrows released the well-received album Faithful Satellite, which showcased Camilleri’s continuing thirst to expand his music.

Tickets for Hope Rocks on April 8 are on sale through Ticketmaster.