Australian rocker, Russell Morris is still ‘The Real Thing’

By Deb Kloeden, Adelaide correspondent

Review: Russell Morris & Band

Venue: The Gov, Adelaide. 6th May, 2017

Australia’s 60s/70s rocker, Russell Morris is currently touring the country with his band, performing a series of headline shows. He will also be on tour with The Badloves late May, and the band, America in July. Russell Morris became a psychedelic rock legend here in Australia when he released his debut solo single ‘The Real Thing’ in 1969. Not only was it a musical marvel in terms of clever repetition with a dreamy, psychedelic, hazy feel, based on the Beatles ‘I am a Walrus’, but it was almost seven minutes in length. This was very unusual here in Australia at the time. Radio stations were used to playing tracks of a mere two to three minutes long, so a shorter radio version was made as well.

On Saturday night I revisited my teenage memories and caught Russell Morris & his band at the iconic Adelaide live music venue, The Gov. More recently, Russell Morris has become more of a blues/rock musician and has release three new albums in the past five years. These albums form a trilogy of Australian stories, based on Australian life during the 1920s and 1930s. Yarns, living on the road, famous icons and historical national hardships form the basis of these albums ‘Sharkmouth’, ‘Van Diemen’s Land’ and his latest, ‘Red Dirt – Red Heart’.

At the Gov, he performed songs from all these albums as well as his famous early works, ‘The Real Thing’ and ‘Wings of an Eagle’. He also played a cover of The Beatles ‘I am a Walrus’, introducing it as the song that influenced his highly acclaimed first single. His band was very tight, with an awesome lead guitarist who took on impressive long guitar riffs and worked closely with Russell on stage.

Russell Morris drew an all ages crowd, although many were music-loving veterans who were keen to re-hear his early music and sang along enthusiastically. They have a busy schedule ahead of them and will also be supporting Melbourne’s The Badloves and US legends, America on their up-coming Australian tour. Catch them if you can.


LISTEN (Red Dirt – Red Heart)
WATCH (The real Thing)


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Deb Kloeden

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