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The Wishers: Hold Your Course - EP Review (Plus The History Of Paul McCarthy)

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by Alexander Dermer (subscribe)
Alex is a freelance writer, retail worker, short film maker, an avid lover of The Arts and always willing to explore.
Published November 11th 2012
Even More Divine Than Perth's Giant Cactus
Western Australia's answer to The Rolling Stones.

Left To Right. Luke Dux, Kylie Soanes, Paul McCarthy, Mark Constable, Abby Soanes.
"We've never had a rehearsal yet…all the songs have been developed on stage which gives it a real edge…(meaning) they have to really listen to each other".
Paul McCarthy, lead singer of The Wishers.

Despite bearing a noticeable influence from world-renowned artists such as Nick Cave and The Velvet Underground; The Wishers are without a doubt one of the most remarkably orgasmic rock troupes ever to spawn from the dark depths of Perth, since, well ever.

Left To Right. Jozef Grech (stand-in for Luke Dux), Kylie Soanes, Paul McCarthy, Abby Soanes, Mark Constable.

As an admit-able cynic towards most modern music, I can say with much confidence that this is a shining diamond amongst a hugely obnoxious rough. From the first second of hearing them play, The Wishers will leave you with a great belief that this downhill spiralling industry hasn't quite yet reached hell.

With an emotionally deep, gut wrenching use of vocals and a stupendously talented use of instrumentals, The Wishers appear as a dazzlingly radiant mirage. Almost every track they play is near guaranteed to set up camp somewhere far into the back of your mind, and stay with you for a long time to come.

Mark Constable

Kylie Soanes

Abby Soanes

Luke Dux

Paul McCarthy

Overall The Wishers are a furiously bold, heartfelt addictive cocktail to the senses; a shining example of "Australamerica" that should never be understated, and one that must be heard by all true lovers of sound.

Their EP Hold Your Course is now available through 78 Records. Don't forget to keep a sharp eye out for their live CD on the 22nd of December 2012, and their début album due to be released in April 2013.


The History of Paul McCarthy and the Lead up to The Wishers

Despite the birth of The Wishers occurring only as recently as October 2010, one does not simply create heaven for the ears without having there own fair share of history. The lead up to this Australian rock phenomenon all began in 1978, with the now lead singer and guitarist of The Wishers, Paul McCarthy. At the time there appeared to be a depressing lack of original music around Western Australia, so one day Paul decided to create his own. Paul's first chisel into Australian music history began with his first band, The Transplants. Despite the band's life span barely surpassing a year, they were fairly well received around the Perth music scene and the drummer eventually went on to join the now famous Beasts Of Bourbon.

Despite the sudden departure from his short-lived group, Paul was still keeping himself occupied with his song writing, much of which ended up being performed by one of the largest cover bands in town, The Boys. It soon became the perfect partnership, as long as Paul kept up writing, The Boys kept up playing, and it sure did take them far. As Paul McCarthy and The Boys soon rose in popularity, they soon became the first artists in Perth to sign up with the major record label, Festival Records. Shortly after their major record deal, The Boys made countless appearances on Countdown and spawned a huge cult following over east.

Their major hits include; "When You're Lonely", "Hurt Me Babe", and " Weoh Weoh Weoh"; all of which were written by Paul himself and resulted in the release of there first self titled album. However shortly after their first album's initial release, the lead singer of The Boys dropped out. Fortunately for the band, the leader singer was soon replaced by another talented Perth artist, Wayne Green; as the lead up to the recording of their second album, Inside The Cage.

Paul wrote six out of the ten songs from that album, and although it didn't sell as well as the first, it soon became critically acclaimed and was voted in by Rolling Stones magazine as one of the 20 best albums of that year. However despite the overwhelmingly positive reception, in 1982 each of The Boys decided to break up for good.

Despite yet another break of a band in which he was involved with, Paul made no hesitation to jump into writing for the next one. Paul soon began writing all the music for another troupe titled The Union (later evolved into The Doodlebugs), who were one of the first Perth bands to ever self release an album.

It was not until 1986 that Paul decided to get back into the practical side of the music scene with his new ensemble, The Jackals. Up until 1994, The Jackals were almost constantly on tour all around Australia. However despite some commercial success throughout their live gigs, they were a group that sadly never truly took off; which was likely due to there seemingly disposable use of bass players.

After The Jackals split, Paul still never seemed to fail in keeping himself busy with a number of things; including a degree at Uni of Library Science, participating in an acoustic album with the orchestra/band called The Fish Is The Last To Discover Water, and becoming a course coordinator/song writing lecturer at Leederville TAFE.

Leederville Tafe

In 1999 Paul left TAFE, when he decided that things were running smoothly where he was, and that he wanted to try something different. Once he was approached by someone with the idea of a music magazine, it was the beginning of a phenomenon that would soon rock the entire WA music scene.

Groove was a huge hit, that featured a full colour print, great content, and over 15,000 readers per issue. However one problem still remained with the magazine, that occurred with many of his other career choices; it wasn't exactly what Paul wanted to do. After Paul's best friend suddenly developed cancer, it prompted him to grab life by the coconuts and go back into doing what he really loved, performing.

Shortly after Paul began to perform again as a solo act, he was invited to jam with guitarist, Luke Dux. After not much time at all, the two, together soon formed a duo. During one of their live performances, Luke's brother's girlfriend came along and asked if they needed a bass player, her name is Abby Soanes. And as it turned out, Abby's sister Kylie was also a musician, and now plays drums for the band. Last but not least, Paul decided to call his friend Mark Constable (now on harmonica), who joined the band without a second thought.

There were then five, and The Wishers were finally born.

Want to keep up with the latest info about The Wishers ?
Check out their Facebook page here.

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