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The Vasco Era

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Fiery three-piece blues-rock band the Vasco Era are known for their impressive live shows. Frontman Sid O'Neil in particular is well regarded for his distinctively violent howl and skill with a slide guitar, as well as his forays into percussion. His older brother Ted O'Neil plays bass and school friend Michael "Fitzy" Fitzgerald plays drums. All three are originally from the town of Apollo Bay, and the shared experiences of growing up in small-town Australia inform their songs' angry swagger and stomp. Near Melbourne, Victoria, Apollo Bay is a quiet coastal tourist town where buildings aren't allowed to be over three floors high. The three members of the Vasco Era moved to big-city Melbourne to find gigs, making their name while supporting the likes of Gomez, the Black Keys, the Violent Femmes, and fellow Australians Wolfmother. After recording two EPs -- 2004's Let It Burn and 2005's Miles, both featuring the popular song "Kingswood" -- the Vasco Era took a trip to San Francisco to record their debut album, Oh We Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside. First single "When We All Lost It" (like all of the album's song titles, it contains the word "when") was released in 2006, followed by the album in 2007. They were assisted by Jeff Saltzman, producer of the Killers' album Hot Fuss and former manager of Green Day. Oh We Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside was well received, frequently played on national youth station Triple J and nominated for the station's J Award for Australian Album of the Year. The band's sophomore effort, Lucille, followed in 2010. The trio quickly returned in 2011 with a self-titled release, featuring the single "Child Bearing Hips." ~ Jody Macgregor

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2004 in Apollo Bay, Victoria, Australia

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