Leslie Avril
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Leslie Avril

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 1990 | SELF

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | SELF
Established on Jan, 1990
Band Blues Roots

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
27
Leslie Avril @ Yarra Valley Grand Hotel

Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia

Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia

Nov
13
Leslie Avril @ St Andrews Hotel - St Andrews

St Andrews, Victoria, Australia

St Andrews, Victoria, Australia

Nov
11
Leslie Avril @ Pascoe Vale RSL

Pascoe Vale, Victoria, Australia

Pascoe Vale, Victoria, Australia

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Music

Press


COUNTRY UPDATE MAGAZINE August 2010

LESIE AVRIL BARES SOUL IN SONG

“Well, I swore when I was 15 years old I’d be retired at 30/ I told every
man in town I would be back and dirty at 40/I kept on doing it, I did those
gigs for years and years/in the heat and dust and rain and the floods/to try
and sell my songs but I’m still here.” - ‘How Long’ - Leslie Avril-Sam
Lemann.

Leslie Avril has been to hell and back - just check out her songs.

She was raised in leafy Melbourne suburb Eltham and moved deeper into the
bush before horrific Black Saturday fires claimed a bunch of buddies.

The Smiths Gully chanteuse also boomeranged from premature death of diverse
band members in a chagrin-charred career.

It started long before she sang with Reuben Tice - an embryo of Skyhooks.
Now, on the flip side of 50, she belatedly released fourth indie album I’m
Alright Jack - a soulful masterpiece.

Avril produced the 13-track disc with multi-instrumentalist Sam Lemann and a
team of Victorian musicians.

The singer collaborated on four autobiographical songs with Lemann and
included others by past and current band members.

Avril dedicated her disc to Papua New Guinea born bassist Les Scott who died
at 50 on February 2, 2007.

She also honoured him with the evocative ‘Song To Les.’

“I've lost a few bass players,” Avril confessed to Country Update.

“Spiro Philipas from the Blue Healers, Les Katzmarek from Adelaide (original
Cold Chisel) and then another - Les. Very sad stuff.”

Scott frequently played in Avril’s band at Sydney gigs and on her annual
pilgrimage to Tamworth.

Avril also revisited a song performed by her eclectic eighties band The Blue
Healers - not to be mistaken for Queensland namesake Blue Heelers with the
canine spelling.

Philipas was bassist in the Melbourne group that featured Dingoes and
Stockley, See & Mason guitarist Chris Stockley.

Stockley wrote ‘Perfect World’ with Steve Teakle on accordion, fiddler Andy
Baylor, Leman on mandolin and guitar and drummer Gary Young.

The southern capital’s healthy country-rock hybrid has long been a bonus for
Avril.

She recorded ‘Lonely & Longing’ - penned by Young who cut a country album
with Rockin’ Emus, featuring his legendary Daddy Cool hombres.
Another highlight is ‘Eastern Standard Time’ - insomnia anthem of much pain
and little pleasure - written by another bassist Paul Gadsby.

There’s also a duet with Andy Swann on Dan Penn-Chips Moman soul standard
‘Dark End Of The Street.’

Avril honours local peer Marni Sheehan in spiritual cheating song ‘Devil
Call Your Name.’
They compliment Avril’s originals scattered strategically throughout the
album.
She kicks off with ‘How Long’ - powerful paean to her career longevity.

The broken dreams, horrific hurdles and personal tragedy are meat on this
bucolic bone.

Avril doesn’t beat around any of those metaphoric bushes - her entrée is a
salient signpost to the struggles of a soulful spirit refusing to be
snuffed.

That’s just one searing song - a trip through the back pages of a woman,
never deafened by the ticking of the biological clock.

Want to know why Avril is not the star she should be?

Well, it obviously has nothing to do with talent, taste and desire.

Maybe some is explained here - nocturnal struggles for stardom far from home
and post gig peaks and valleys are reprised in ‘Foolish Things.’

Avril hasn’t Googled heartbreak and sorrow in cyberspace.

She lived it so many times in thousands of neon choral corrals and smoky
skull orchards in vast expanses of the globe.

Not just pubs, clubs and concert halls of her homeland - the unlucky radio
country for artists who choose to follow their musical passion and not the
cloying corporate chain radio wasteland.

Avril ventured deep into Scandinavia, U.S. Europe and the South Pacific in
chasing her dream.

She picks up slack for precious pre-fabricated peers as she depicts heavy
lifting of a long-suffering spouse in ‘Hard Workin’ Woman.’

Who is the woman who returns from working the bars, without opiates and
pills, and cleans house while burning midnight oil for that ungrateful
no-good man?

Cream on Avril’s gateau is her French vocal on ‘La Musique Country,’ replete
with accordion.
Lemann and Avril should be credited for sequencing haunting ‘Love Letters’
and a raw reading of Texan legend Guy Clark’s epic ‘L.A. Freeway’ as her
finale.
Yes, prolific latter day Tennessee troubadour-luthier Clark is one of many
artists to share stages with Avril.
Avril accentuates southern flavour of a disc cut at West Wing Recording in
Sunshine.

The CD slick, featuring Avril and Brisbane benefactor Jack Hutchinson in The
Lindsay Symons wooden boat, was taken at Albert Park Lake.

“It took me months to find one,” Avril confessed.

“The bloke holding the antique telescope is CD sponsor Jack Hutchinson from
Brisbane.”

- COUNTRY UPDATE MAGAZINE


DAVE'S DIARY - 25 FEBRUARY 2006 - CHRIS WALL

HONKY TONK HEART

"I'm in this bar-room almost every night/ I don't cause much
trouble/ I don't start any fights/ I wait my turn and I
tip way too much/ and the waitresses all like me cause I smile
but I don't touch." - Hanging Out - Chris Wall.

Wall wrote all the tunes on his debut disc including Trashy
Woman – cut by Jerry Jeff and Nu Country DJ LESLIE AVRIL and a huge hit
for Confederate Railroad in 1993.
He used the publishing royalties to create his label Cold
Spring.

Honky Tonk Heart also featured the stone country tunes I Wish
John Stetson Made A Heart, The Empty Seat Beside Me and Rodeo Wind.

But the tunes that scored most exposure on High In The Saddle,
Acid Country and Nu Country were Wall's satirical barnburners
Entourage and Something To Shoot.

Wall continued the stone country theme on his second disc No
Sweat with the same band.

Radio picked up on Hangin' Out, Boots, Faded Blue, I'll Take
The Whiskey (You take The Wheel, Fine Line and Larry
Mahan-Fred Crane tribute Rodeo Cowboy.

- www.nucountry


THE AGE E.G. 19.9.2008 STICKY CARPET

HELLFIRE

When you think of the Fringe Festival shows, you don’t expect to see established, older artists celebrating the music of one of the founders of rock’n’roll. But that’s exactly what “Hellfire” is.
Actually, Allen Wildes’production not only focuses on the feverish music & infamous exploits of Jerry Lee Lewis (played by veteran “Killer” impersonator Andrew King) but that of his sister Linda Gail Lewis, played by dynamic country singer Leslie Avril.
If you thought Jerry had made some rash decisions in marrying seven times, well Linda outdid him by tying the knot eight times, including getting hitched to her brothers’ band leader (twice!) and lead guitarist.
“Hellfire” focuses on a stormy five-year period of their careers, when Lewis battled extreme alcohol and drug addiction and was being chased by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and his various wives in divorce courts.
It features classic covers as well as some original songs written by Avril.

Patrick Donovan
- The Age


KACEY JONES-BECKY HOBBS
NU COUNTRY TV CONCERT
NOISE BAR - RAILWAY HOTEL, BRUNSWICK

LESLIE AVRIL

Then it was show time for guest Hussy - Leslie Avril.
“The coolest thing about traveling the world is the power of the song - meeting artists who have recorded your songs,” Hobbs explained as they joined forces for Cowgirl’s Heart.
This was indeed an energised highlight with artists trading verses and harmonies on the Hobbs tune, cut by Avril on her debut disc Champagne & Desolation.
“I want this girl to loosen up a bit,” Avril said, “she’s too straight tonight.”
This was Jones cue to compliment Avril.
“Leslie Avril is probably the best kept secret in Australia,” Jones added.
“I said to Becky the other night Leslie Avril is like Bette Midler of Australia - only with a better voice.”
Avril looked downwards and introduced Jones tune Never Wear Panties To A Party, replete with new Australian lyrics.
Hobbs then completed the mood swing with her maternal eulogy inspired by her father’s dying wishes - She Broke Her Promise.
“That’s a beautiful song, Beckaroo,” Jones commented - “I hope Carrie Underwood cuts it and you make a gazillion dollars so we can return to Australia.”
- www.nucountry


CAPITAL NEWS REVIEW 2010

LESLIE AVRIL I’m Alright Jack (independent)
Four solo albums in and I think Leslie has finally delivered the knockout punch on disc she has always promised live. Thanks to producer and ace musician SAM LEMANN the balance between her natural bluesy exuberance and the often more rigid demands of studio work has been bridged. The result is an album that convincingly spans Country, Soul, Rock and other roots music forms with a preponderance of well chosen covers and the judicious inclusion of some well up to standard original compositions.
Aiding and abetting are some of Melbourne’s finest including drummer GARY YOUNG, bass player/backing vocalist PAUL GADSBY, guitarist/fiddle man ANDY BAYLOR and many more – obviously the great subtle guitar work of Lemann, the fine percussion of ANDY SWANN, another fine bassist in TREVOR READING and sublime B/v’s of JODY BELL.
All deserve a round of applause for getting the mercurial Avril over the finish line. What’s more her songs How Long, Foolish Things and Hard Workin’ Woman go head to head with heavy hitter covers such as Dark End Of The Street, Tonight The Heartaches On Me and Love Letter’s to keep quality control high. Capping it off is Leslie’s heartfelt song to departed bass player and all round good guy LES SCOTT. Song For Les is a touching tribute to a bloke who lifted the spirits of everybody he come in contact with.
Avril has an immediately recognisable voice that is at the same time strong and vulnerable, very much like the person herself. She should be justly proud of this album and to remind as to how long it has been coming we only need to look to her remake of the CHRIS STOCKLEY song she first recorded with their band THE BLUE HEELERS back in the late 80’s. Over twenty years on and a lot of gigs under her belt Avril has brought it all back home, better than ever. www.leslieavril.com
Keith Glass
- Capital News


BEAT MAGAZINE REVIEW May 2010

LESLIE AVRIL
I’M ALRIGHT JACK (INDIE).
She was raised in Eltham and moved deeper into the bush before Black Saturday fires claimed a bunch of buddies.
But Smiths Gully chanteuse Leslie Avril is a true survivor - she proves it again on this soulful masterpiece.
Yes, she’s on the flip side of 50 on only her fourth album since she trod the boards with Reuben Tice, embryo of the Skyhooks prototype.
But, like the fermented grapes she has groped, she has matured with age in a career that embraces jazz, blues, rock and her first love - country.
As one of the best practitioners of her art she bares soul and travails of her travels in her originals.
No point leaving best to last in four songs penned with guitarist producer Sam Lemann.
She kicks off with How Long - powerful paean to her career longevity.
The broken dreams, horrific hurdles and personal tragedy are meat on this bucolic bone.
Want to know why Avril is not the star she should be?
Well, it’s all here - nocturnal struggles for stardom far from home are reprised in Foolish Things and the heavy lifting of a long-suffering spouse in Hard Workin’ Woman.
Yes, real country.
Equally evocative is Eastern Standard Time - an insomnia anthem of pain and little pleasure - written by bassist Paul Gadsby.
And there’s Steve Teakle’s accordion driven treatment of vitriolic Perfect World - penned by Chris Stockley, guitarist in her nineties band The Blue Healers.
It’s Teakle on piano in driver’s seat of the idyllic Lonely & Longing - a tune from her drummer Gary Young and singing spouse Angie.
Those homegrown homilies are punctuated by a fiery duet with different drummer Andy Swann, followed by classic Tonight The Heartache’s On Me.
Avril honours Marni Sheehan in spiritual cheating song Devil Call Your Name and late bass guitarist Les Scott in Song For Les with Lemann on 4 and 8 string Ukuleles.
The cream on Avril’s gateau is her French vocal on La Musique Country, replete with accordion, and sequencing of haunting beauty Love Letters and inspired reading of Texan legend Guy Clark’s epic L.A. Freeway as her finale.
You may not read much about this dynamic disc that could be sleeper of the year. No need to try before you buy. - DAVID DAWSON
- Beat Magazine


LESLIE AVRIL
I’M ALRIGHT JACK (INDIE).
She was raised in Eltham and moved deeper into the bush before Black Saturday fires claimed a bunch of buddies.
But Smiths Gully chanteuse Leslie Avril is a true survivor - she proves it again on this soulful masterpiece.
Yes, she’s on the flip side of 50 on only her fourth album since she trod the boards with Reuben Tice, embryo of the Skyhooks prototype.
But, like the fermented grapes she has groped, she has matured with age in a career that embraces jazz, blues, rock and her first love - country.
As one of the best practitioners of her art she bares soul and travails of her travels in her originals.
No point leaving best to last in four songs penned with guitarist producer Sam Lemann.
She kicks off with How Long - powerful paean to her career longevity.
The broken dreams, horrific hurdles and personal tragedy are meat on this bucolic bone.
Want to know why Avril is not the star she should be?
Well, it’s all here - nocturnal struggles for stardom far from home are reprised in Foolish Thing and the heavy lifting of a long-suffering spouse in Hard Workin’ Man.
Yes, real country.
Equally evocative is Eastern Standard Time - an insomnia anthem of pain and little pleasure - written by bassist Paul Gadsby.
And there’s Steve Teakle’s accordion driven treatment of vitriolic Perfect World - penned by Chris Stockley, guitarist in her nineties band The Blue Healers.
It’s Teakle on piano in driver’s seat of the idyllic Lonely & Longing - a tune from her drummer Gary Young and singing spouse Angie.
Those homegrown homilies are punctuated by a fiery duet with different drummer Andy Swann, followed by classic Tonight The Heartache’s On Me.
Avril honours Marni Sheehan in spiritual cheating song Devil Call Your Name and late guitarist Les Scott in Song For Les with Lemann on 4 and 8 string Ukuleles.
The cream on Avril’s gateau is her French vocal on La Musique Country, replete with accordion, and sequencing of haunting beauty Love Letters and inspired reading of Texan legend Guy Clark’s epic L.A. Freeway as her finale.
You may not read much about this dynamic disc that could be sleeper of the year. No need to try before you buy. - DAVID DAWSON
- Furst Media Pty Ltd


But the Paris factor is even more accentuated by a vocalist blessed with the alluring looks of French sex-siren Danielle Darrieux and the voice of the legendary Piaf. The singer who has the rare combination of looks and voice is Leslie Avril and her rendition of `La Vie En Rose' brought tears to my eyes. Merci beaucoup Mademoiselle Avril and trio. Toorak Times, Melbourne 1990.

A jazz band headed by a singer with a fume blanc voice." Mark Shield, The Age, Melbourne 1990.

This lady has one of the finest white female blues voices this writer has ever heard and that includes names like Bonnie Raitt. Glen Milne, Valley Voice, Melbourne 1979.

When I saw this girl I admit it, I looked twice. When I heard her sing she knocked me flat. Her name is Leslie Avril and she sounds like Streisand. Brian Goldsmith, The Herald, Melbourne 1980.

John clowns around with Leslie Avril. She has a Bette Midler voice, a bawdy humour to match and she couldn't give a damn who John McEnroe is ... and he knows it. They like each other. Pol Magazine 1982.

Leslie Avril pores over her piano and sings the blues prompting comparison with Joplin and Holliday. Peter Wilmoth, The Age, Melbourne 1981.

Proudly introduces Leslie Avril ... Spectacular ... Sensual ... Seductive. Don't miss this exciting and talented performer. The Hilton, Melbourne 1983.

The effect is instant, electrifying. The girl is dynamite. A rich throaty voice that can make a Patsy Cline classic like `I Fall to Pieces' sound as if it was written for Janis Joplin, and kick an old chestnut like `King Of The Road' clean down the block. And all the while she shimmies and struts her stuff like a born trouper. Doctor Dease, Daily Telegraph, Sydney 1991.

Move over Renee Geyer, there's another sultry siren burning up the neon honky tonks of suburbia. David Dawson, The Truth, Melbourne 1986.

The future of New Country Music in Australia rests with the talent of the calibre of Leslie Avril. David Latta, Country Music in Australia, The Book 1992.

When a girl singer on her first trip to the festival stopped the show with a dynamic performance. She shimmied, she shook, she strutted, she flaunted and she flirted ... but most of all she sang. Searing ballads followed by driving rockers, all delivered with a voice full of power, style and class. It was enough to win me, the crowd and the band, but what hammered home was that irresistible sense of fun. Mort Fist, Northern Daily Leader, Tamworth 1990.

Lee, no stranger to success, has praise for two under-appreciated peers - expatriate Kiwi singer Darcy Le Year and Leslie Avril. Lee Kernaghan "In Press", Melbourne 1994.

Avril has one of the smokiest, most powerful voices in country music. It's a voice that can virtually wring the emotion from any song. Susan Jarvis, Country Music Magazine, 1993.

She came out of the South unannounced and caught us all unawares five years ago. Hardened Festival regulars and top-class session musicians were alike unprepared for the effect that Leslie Avril has on her audiences. This dynamic and powerfully sensuous singer makes every song her own. Leslie is one of the great live acts in the country - there are few who approach her impact. Mort Fist, Tamworth 1995.

Now this is a lady with one heck of a future in front of her. In possession of a vocal range that ranges between angelic and someone who's chainsmoked Winnie Reds for 20 years. Western Herald, Tasmania, 1997.

The intimate feel of a small club, a voice laced with vinegar and a band as hot as a blowtorch,. Terry Reilly, The Age, Melbourne 1997

Leslie Avril has one of those voices that can wring every ounce of heartache from a classic country song and she’s sexy and funny with it. Drum Media Magazine, Sydney, 1998
- various


Discography

"Champagne & Desolation"
Leslie Avril "Live"
"Cowboy in my Bed"
"I'm Alright Jack"
"Live at Williamstown"
Various tracks on compilation CDs, LPs & utube.

Photos

Bio

Coming from a theatrical family, Leslie has performed extensively throughout Australia, Europe, Scandinavia, the Pacific and the U.S.A.

In Australia she has guested with & supported artists such as : Bill Chambers, Anne Kirkpatrick, Normie Rowe, Ross Wilson & Daddy Cool, Greg Champion, The Bushwackers, The Blues Cowboys, Phil Manning, Johnnos Blues Band, Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, George Washingmachine, John Farnham, Todd McKenny, Spectrum, Darcy LaYear, Alby Pool, Mick Pealing, Tom Forsell, Brent Parlane, Keith Urban, Marcie Jones, Red Rivers, Chris Stockley & Kerryn Tolhurst, Bo Jenkins, Dutch Tilders, Cold Chisel, Barry Crocker,Simon Gallaher, Red Volkaert along with British muso Dave Stewert.

American artists she has shared the stage with have included : Beccy Hobbs & Kasey Jones, Bonnie Raitt, The Doobie Brothers, The Drifters, Michael Bolton, Joe Sun, Laura Brannigan, The Righteous Brothers plus various other bands in California, Nevada, Colorado, Kansas, Texas & New Orleans.
In Colorado she recorded at the legendary Carabou Ranch.

Over the years she has been invited to perform at all the major festivals throughout Australia, including - 24 years at the famous Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Highlights since winning a national television talent show in 1980 have been : performing at the re-opening of the National Gallery of Victoria, being a major recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts Grant, reviving her role as Polly Garter in the play "Under Milkwood" at the Athenaeum Theatre & in 2011, being inducted into the Tamworth "Hands of Fame".

In her home town, she has also had her own weekday radio show "Leslies' Live Lunchbox" & has been a guest presenter on 3CR, 3RRR & 3PBS.

She has also performed on piano for dining functions with renowned chefs Tony Bilson at Montsalvat artist colony in Eltham & George Malouf at Stones Winery in the Yarra Valley.