NEWCASTLE three-piece DV8 have been making unpretentious, high-energy rock’n’roll in the Hunter Region for decades.
And even after all this time, the band still know how to pack a room.
Since founding members Greg Bryce and Mark Middleton were joined by Rosie’s School of Rock director and ex-Screaming Jets drummer Craig ‘‘Rosie’’ Rosevear in 2000, the band have continued to garner loyal local audiences.
Next weekend the band return to the Wickham Park Hotel clutching their latest album, Live At The Wicko.
Rosevear spoke to LIVE about the gig and the band’s aptly titled new record.
Tell us about next week’s gig?
The Wicko has been such an awesome gig for us that we thought, what are we going to call this album? Well it’s so obvious, Live At The Wicko.
We’re actually going to have a night where we’ve got the CD and people can buy it, take it home and listen to it and hear themselves yelling on it from the last gig. It’s pretty exciting.
Why did you decide to record a live album rather than a studio album?
Because DV8 are really known as a live band, and it’s the banter between the songs that people like to hear.
The Wicko for us has been such an awesome gig, it’s always been absolutely full to capacity and there are people out on the footpath.
It’s just a magic gig and, I mean, I wasn’t old enough to be playing a gig at The Star Hotel, but Greg and Mark frequently talk about how it’s got the same full-on atmosphere as The Star Hotel.
That’s why we thought we should record a gig there, because it’s always going to go off and it did. The album turned out great.
In the best rock’n’roll tradition we’ve come up with this live album, aptly titled Live At The Wicko.
There’s no confusion there.
DV8 have been around for a long time now, does this album encompass the band’s whole catalogue?
DV8 still write songs now, and some of them are just timeless.
They may have been written yesterday, but they can sound like they were written 20 years ago. It’s hard to know.
So there are some new ones in there, but there’s also plenty of the old songs that people always ask for.
Because the back catalogue is so well known, you have to play specific songs for people, all the classics, so we put all of those on there.
How long have the band actually been together?
That’s a good question. I don’t know.
I’ve been with them for about 10 years, but they were going a lot longer before that.
I’d say from the late ’70s.
Is it gratifying to still be drawing such large crowds to the shows?
If you look at the demographic we get, it’s people from about their mid-30s and above.
We get a lot of baby boomers whose kids have grown up and left home, so they go out on a Saturday night and don’t have to worry about looking after their kids the next day.
It’s actually quite a rocking crowd – no fear about tomorrow, that’s for sure.
Who will be supporting DV8 at this album launch gig?
A young band called Ravaged that I found through Rosie’s School of Rock.
What we’re trying to do, and it’s actually been pretty successful, is give a bunch of young bands that have come through Rosie’s School of Rock the DV8 support slots.
It’s kind of a baptism of fire, because DV8 pull a pretty big crowd, so these young guys can get out there and experience a gig with the big PA and experience a bigger show than they probably would if they were playing at their friend’s backyard party.
We started that late last year with a band called The Elements at Hamilton North Bowlo, and we’re going to make it a regular thing to help the next generation of rock’n’roll.
DV8 launches Live At The Wicko at the Wickham Park Hotel next Friday night (February 4) from 9pm. Entry is free.