The Vagrants
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The Vagrants


Band Alternative Blues


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"Vagrants EP Review"

The Vagrants
Self Titled

Considering their blues foundations and the attitude that’s prevalent throughout the Vagrants’ self-titled CD their sound is surprisingly (and for my part, refreshingly) clean. Don’t let the rough appearance of the gentleman on the front cover fool you (actually that’s guitarist/ chief songwriter Steve Iorio!) For a truly independent band – as in, of no label at all – this is a very slick production. Steve and bassist Jim Rintoul are the main responsible parties, but no doubt, at least part of the credit is due to the mix of Rob Feaster, who has worked with among other, No Doubt.

The infectious, briskly paced acoustic blues of Wrong Side of the Tracks introduces us to the Vagrants by way of Steve’s story as a wandering soul, “I ain’t ever going back to what I never had” is the catch cry. The bass heavy Accelerated Kharma is the hardest rocking moment on the record, where lead vocalist Renate Ludwig channels one of her idols, Suze DiMarchi. With Steve adding his own bottom0end growl beneath Renate, it’s a fittingly brooding vehicle for the lyrics about the irresistible lure of revenge over high minded philosophizing. If the band gets airplay for this one, they’ll be on a winner.

Suddenly, just when you think you’ve got the Vagrants figured out, along comes Ooh Ooh Voodoo - a slightly hokey boot-scootin tune that is the throwaway track of the CD. Missed the Bus is a song about people who never stop whingeing about lost opportunities. Featuring some great slide guitar work, it builds very well to a hard-chunking sing-along chorus. Insert air-punching here. Meanwhile, Alone fades away just when it’s starting to get somewhere! Steve takes the vocal reins for Two Strong Arms, which sees the band returning to a pure blues template for something kind a Black Crows. Nice strat work.

With the breadth of styles of this EP, the Vagrants seem out to prove that, true to their name, they are of no fixed musical address. Apart from the blues, that is,,, and isn’t that the music of the open road anyway?
- Beat Magazine

"Vagrants speak to Kristy Wanamaker"

The Vagrants in perpetual motionInterview
by: Kristy Wandmaker
The Dwarf
Posted: Wednesday, February 1
Australia has a habit of producing fantastic local bands, and then neglecting them. there’s something awry with the world. This was the case for Stephen Iorio of The Vagrants. Thankfully their name is true to their nature or we wouldn’t have the raw, warts and all power of their independent self titled first recording.

Perhaps thanks to these nomadic tendencies The Vagrants are a unique sound in today’s aural landscape of local bands. They’ve been compared to the likes of Ben Harper, Black Crows, The Allman Brothers, Stray Cats, The Stones and Jack Johnson. But as Iorio points out,

“People always try to compartmentalize things to understand them better. They will invariably compare us to the things that they know, and are obviously unable to compare us to the music they don't know. That means when someone compares you it is usually more a reflection of themselves that of the Vagrants. Therefore we will always be compared to different bands by different people.”
Their choice of instruments gives them a point of difference to most bands, including the occasional saxophone, flute or harp. By far the greatest twist at their disposal has to be Renate Ludwig. In the tradition of Fiona Apple, Alanis, and Susie Demachi, the power of the vocal resonating out the littlest person in the room is unfathomable.
The band have always been travelers.
“We came together slowly and met during different times. I met the singer Renate in 1992 when I came to Australia for a working holiday. I lived in Austria at the time and spent 100 days a year snow boarding. I convinced her to come with me. She bought a one way ticket to Vienna and left with $600 in her pocket and had never skied before. She is totally addicted now! We played in Europe together and traveled around in a Van with a PA and did gigs from Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Austria. When we came back to Oz we put together a band and that’s when we met James Spiteri. He was a Vic Uni student and I was there speaking about getting on radio.”
Even now, with the launch of the ever dangerous second album imminent, the band are planning to go off gallivanting again.
“We are all going to Europe and Canada next summer 2006 (June - Sept) to play. Our CD is getting good airplay in Germany and Denmark at the moment. We are in the process of signing an agreement with a booking agent for Europe, but we still need one for US and Canada if you know anyone good. We have always booked our own tours, but it will be great to have a hand.”
The adventurous nature of The Vagrants doesn’t translate to arrogance and insistence on staying independent.
“I would never say no to being on a great team, and getting help and support from people dedicated to our music. There is so much I don't know and there are professionals that I would love to work with in all areas of the music industry. Those areas include management, bookings, recordings, and yes, a record company. If there is one bold enough to cater to a broad crowd and won't try to stop us from producing creative music in all genres and styles. That is a hard ask but if I was approached by the right company I would be happy. We have already been approached by some European labels and we will chat to them more seriously when we are over there,” he says.
“We are a band always in motion and will always be and that includes the types of technology we use. We really wanted to make the first CD totally clean. It reveals all the flaws and if you can't hear them you never improve. You will hear the delays and vocal effects that we are getting into at the moment on the next CD.”
And so The Vagrants shuffle ever onward.
“I have always loved all types of music and you can really hear that at our shows. We are always keen to play with different styles of music to keep things fresh for ourselves as well.”
Catch them before they head off again, supporting Area 7 in a run of shows in Victoria.
- The Dwarf - Australia

"Vagrants on radio"

The Vagrants love to hit the road & if you want a full on music trip this is the Band to give it to you.

Their music is pedal to the metal, hard, hot & steamy. Renate’s voice tells you this is a girl not to mess with & the boys back her all the way. Vocals & instruments are done so that you know they mean business & also know their business.

Music at its best. The Vagrants can only keep on going, onwards & upwards to the very top.

I play them on my show Spirit of the Blues & love them.

Wendy Rudin,
Spirit FM 92.3
“Spirit of the Blues”
- Wendy Rudin Spirit FM 92.3

"Vagrants Live Review"

Beat Mag -
Jaymz Clements

It was cold, it was wet, and it was St Kilda. Basically, the perfect setting for getting down and dirty with one of the greatest experiences that happens to haunt ol Melbourne town. Indeed, late afternoon on the day that Eurovision would later be taken out by a bunch of Nordic wankers who'd broken into Gwar's trailed backstage at a gig in Helsinki years back, there were people out to see the jazz tinged blues rock of The Vagrants in the superbly decadent front bar of The Greyhound.

Renate (the singer) prowled, scowled the way into the grizzled punters hears, as formerly hirsute guitarist Steve Iorio tore the Greyhound apart like the re-incarnation of boogie Jesus, but way better at the blues.

The beers went down, the tunes went down, and the punters got down. They dropped the rockabilly jazz rock explosion of "That's what life is like", the groove ridden highway RAWK of "Accelerated Kharma", and disgustingly funky folk blues rendition of "Wrong side of the Tracks"

They boogied their way into "Let's Party" and subsequently, the party continued. The overlap of white boy funk meets restrained and upbeat rootsy bluesy folk meant that no matter who was there, be they old, you, young, sexy or homely, it was a joyous crowd. You’d actually be hard pushed to find a crowd as happy and as buoyant down in St Kilda on a cold wet Sunday Afternoon.

But then, that's the nature of The Vagrants. Their groove gets under your skin; the riffs make your toes go at angles away from your knees. It's like getting pissed on the mandibles of funk and expounding all that's fun in life. Melbourne should be proud.

- Furst Media


EP out on MGM records in 2006 sold out of a short run.
Full length CD out on MRA (Nov. 2006) has already recouped in 3 months, and is selling well in Australia and on CD Baby in the USA, and distributed by Radar Records in Germany and Rock Revolution in France.
Next CD being recorded in May of 2007, and much requested live CD being done in June.



A high energy show from a brassy female on vocals steals the show!! But behind her the groove and energy comes from a tight band of friends that are studio musicians, trained in the best music schools and all are road tested live performers. This got them solid airplay on radio in Australia and abroad. Their live energy has gotten them on TV for their stage presence. The Vagrants also now have a growing number of soundtrack credits to their name.

Their varied background shows up in the huge diversity of their roots based indie rock. It will include funk, reggaea, blues, rockabill, jazz and of course a huge helping of rock.

You don't learn 5 Languages from sitting at home on your arse watching TV! We did that by travelling. The whole idea of a journey should be NOT having a plan that gets in the way of fun, music, and potential. We never let the origianl plan keep us from learning and opportunity. Why bother booking a return flight?

This is a live band that knows how to rock. They don't work an audience, they work them out! Everyone leaves with a hand in the air, feet hurting, sweating, and smiling.
The Vagrants got their name from the obvious, life on the road with no home. The good times and the bad give their music its diversity, raw energy, edge and sweet tones. Happier on the road than at home they have been gigging constantly in separate projects and have all come together as one on stage to launch the Vagrants. Getting compared to Evanesence, Ben Harper, The Killers, Black Crows, The Allman Brothers, Baby Animals, Stray Cats, The Stones and Jack Johnson says a lot about how hard it is to categorise the music.

Have played major Australian festivals including Mordialloc Festival, National Blues Festival Goulburn, Frankston Guitar Festival, Monbulk Jazz and Blues Festival, Williamstown Festival, PBS Concert Series, and the Mt Hotham October Fest.

Our members have played in Australia, US, Germany, Denmark, England, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Japan, New Zealand, Canada and are alway looking to expand their experiences.