BASEQ - Blues Assoc. of South East Queensland (Helen Farley). Nine years and numerous lineup changes have seen the Bondi Cigars go through many highs and lows, or probably more accurately many highs with some lesser ones. Hard working and totally committed to the quality and integrity of the music, the Cigars have earned themselves an enviable reputation as one of Australia 's favourite Blues / R&B bands, both live and in the studio.
As always we have the core of Shane Pacey (vocals, guitars-acoustic, electric, resonator and slide), and Alan Britton (bass, vocals), joined by newcomer Eben Hale (guitars) and Andrew Vainauskas (drums and percussion). Mercy features thirteen great songs that really move along. Each song has an infectious melody and rhythm that has you bopping and grooving to the beat.
The album features all original material. Ten tracks were written by Shane Pacey, two were written by Shane and Alan and one written by Eben Hale. It's great to see Eben already making such a significant contribution. It must be very daunting suddenly becoming a part of such a well-established institution. The material is instantly accessible, you won't have to wait for it to grow on you.
There's a variety of textures and moods partly due to the variety of guitar feels. Both Eben and Shane contribute solid solos. Eben also takes lead vocal duties on his own Make Up Your Mind lending a little vocal diversity. In The Cold Light Of Day sees Shane go it alone with his acoustic guitar, just superb! I also enjoyed Feeding Time , the lyrics of which I'm sure most musicians could identify with. High points also came with the easy grooves of Second Skin and Save A Little Mercy For Me, but in reality I loved each note of every song. Make sure you pick up a copy!