Just saw on twitter that Doc Neeson has died. Think I’ll have to blast out some Angels songs in remembrance.
As a young man, seeing the Angels live, I was always impressed with Doc’s “theatrical” performance.
To me he wasn’t just a singer – but an “actor” really acting out the songs and the characters in songs.
I dabbled in drama at the time – and loved telling my friends that No Exit – as well as being an Angel’s album (and song) was also a play by Jean-Paul Satre.
Doc (real name Bernard) was an arts student – and in my opinion his performances were ambitiously artistic.
The lighting and use of stage equipment was theatrical too – with shafts of light like prison bars or Doc using a boom mike-stand like a machine gun straffing the audience.
These are my fond memories of Doc. What are yours? – please share in the comments section below.
In my opinion, The Angels really raised the bar for Aussie bands and the pub rock scene – in terms of performance and production.
I saw echoes of the Angels in bands that followed – like Midnight Oil – the theatrical lighting – the movement.
Doc seemed to have a “modified pogo” jumping up and down – but with a scarf above his head – or with his fingers spread wide open.
Peter Garret from Midnight Oil’s movement reminded me a bit of Doc.
Recently I heard Rob Hirst from Midnight Oil speak about how some of the Oils songs were influenced by The Angels and how their lighting was influenced by The Angels.
I think he said that the Oils even later used the Angel’s lighting dude (who was theatre trained)
But I digress – like someone pogo-ing around at an Angel’s concert.
Thank you Doc – for your music – and your performance – and your making rock shows more theatrical.
I’ll probably put on a CD of No Exit later today.
My favourite Angels song? Probably Shadow Boxer. What’s yours?
the candle that sheds a tear – No Exit
the haunted tear that never fell – Dawn is Breaking
I know many Australian and other Angels fans around the world will associate Doc and the Angels with the audience response to Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?
Yes, the were a great hard-working, honest pub band. Doc was a great “pub band” singer.
They were also – much, much more!
Please share your memories and favourite songs and lyrics in the comments section below.