Two of Bendigo’s finest young talents will be belting out their bluesiest, rockingest best tomorrow night, Saturday, March 19, at the Golden Vine.

Young guns Bill Barber and Frank Bell will set-up camp on a very special night for Barber when he launches his debut album, Thanks For Your Consideration.

Barely into the legal beer-drinking stage of their lives, Bill Barber and Frank Bell have been turning heads, making ears prick up and winning fans around Bendigo for a while now.

Barber is a talent that no less than Lloyd Spiegel considers “next in line to become one of Australia’s blues greats.”

Thanks For Your Consideration has been some months in the making. Recorded locally at Carisbrook’s Bald Hill Studio, it was produced by the ubiquitous Pete Gavin. It’s a mix of classic blues covers like Crossroads and Barber originals, including Death of Me, Push of My Luck, Don’t Give Up and Say What You Wanna Say.

Bill Barber’s journey is one I’ve watched closely over a dozen or so gigs since first seeing him on stage at Big Hill two years ago. Barber has grown from boy-with-talent to accomplished-performer in those two years – playing a mix of literally hundreds of solo, duo and band performances.

Supporting Barber at the Golden Vine is his friend Frank Bell, the young man who sports Bendigo’s most identifiable quiff. Bell, a sometime member of Bill Barber and the Blackwood Shakedown, is a Bendigo local who has also put in the hard yards to get a following in recent years. He’s played gig after gig after gig either on his own or under his Frankie and the Flying Fishfingers moniker.

Family influences had Bell listening to a somewhat predictable diet of Johnny Cash, The Eagles and Slim Dusty growing up. But his tell-tale quiff suggests rawer rock n roll and rockabilly influences like
Carl Perkins – something that comes through very much in his live shows.

Bell’s career to date mirrors Barber’s to a degree with their live sets a mix of both recognisable and interestingly interpreted covers and original songs like 3AM and A Riverside Lullaby.

He’s also played his fair share of unusual gigs, including one at the Centre State Rodders’ Club with Union Street Blues: “We had about eight or nine guitarists, a bass player, a drummer and two harmonica players on the stage – needless to say it was very crowded!” said Bell.

Saturday night at the Golden Vine is a great opportunity to get an early career glimpse of two future Bendigo music stars.

Frank Bell’s first CD release, a single entitled White Horse will be launched on May 7.