Australian Played was first formed in October 1991 by duo partners (Not Jazz), John Backer & Graeme Craske. After successfully auditioning for Adelaide based Rolling Stones tribute, Sticky Fingers and doing less than a handful of gigs, the duo decided that John really didn't make a decent Mick Jagger what with having a normal lower lip and all, and whilst the songs were all good fun and pretty easy to play & sing, they figured there must be something better!
So rather than wait until the right band came along to join they started Australian Played. After a few short months, Graeme decided to return to his solo act after learning his wife was pregnant with their first bub and as with many bands around the world, many other players came & went. In total, Australian Played has played host to: 13 lead guitarists, 5 rhythm guitarists, 5 bass players, 4 keyboard players & 3, yes only 3 drummers. But we've only ever had one lead singer.
In December 1994, John decided to relocate to NSW with the intent of starting a new line-up from scratch. On January the 25th, 1995 the band played its final gig at Lennies Tavern, Glenelg in South Australia before a packed house in excess of 1,200 punters. On that same night, John was introduced to Greg Lines who was, and still works Sydney wide with his duo/trio, GTS. The pair arranged to make contact on Johns' arrival in Sydney and soon after, John had teamed up with Greg & Scott Pendlebury as part of the GTS trio and the basis of Australian Played.
By late 1996, a firm and final line-up was forged that included Cal Rorke on drums, Steve Lyvidikos - lead guitar, Alan Harpley - rhythm guitar & vocals, Brett Wakeling - bass & vocals and John up front. The band worked consistently until mid 1999 when, after a disagreement between members, it was decided that it was time for a change. On Christmas eve that same year, the new look Australian Played performed its first live show to a packed house in sunny downtown Port Kembla featuring:-
- John Backer - Lead Vocals
- Andrew Dawson - Keys/Guitar
- Robin Karpathy - Bass/Vocals
- Steve Lyvidikos - Lead Guitar/Vocals
- Errol Reeves - Drums/Vocals
The rest as they say is history. With the exception of our lead guitarist, the band has stuck together through the ebbs & tides of the live music scene for more than 10 years. Andrew, Errol, Robin & John have been the mainstays of the show since that first gig in 1999 and in July 2015 we were pleased to welcome Jim Astley on lead guitar who slotted in to the line-up like we had played with him a 1,000 times before.