Hunters & Collectors formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1981. The starting members were John Archer (bass), Geoff Crosby (keyboards), Doug Falconer (drums), Robert Miles (live sound, art director), Greg Perano (percussion), Mark Seymour (guitar, vocals) and Ray Tosti-Gueira (guitar, vocals). Originally Hunters & Collectors were considered to be a part of the Krautrock genre and featured strong percussion accompanied by prominent guitar and driving bass. Over time, Hunters & Collectors added a horn section, consisting of Nigel Crocker (trombone), Jack Howard (trumpet), Andy Lynn (trumpet), Chris Malherbe (trumpet), Jeremy Smith (French horn) and Michael Waters (trombone).
When Hunters & Collectors were first signed to Mushroom Records in 1982, apparently the record company had a bit of a dilemma classifying their music. So, to accommodate this eclectic group, Mushroom formed an “alternative” label called “White Label.” Their first release was World of Stone, a three-track EP in January 1982, followed by a self-titled debut LP, Hunters & Collectors. Their first single release, “Talking To A Stranger,” has been featured on David Marsden’s show. It has a curious, catchy rhythm/bass component that perked my ears up the first time I heard it. It had a very well-done video to accompany its promotion, but the single never made it into the Top 50.
As with so many gifted 80’s bands, Hunters & Collectors experienced trials and tribulations with personnel and management. They continued to release music, but couldn’t seem to get any traction. The band finally achieved hard-won Australian success in 1986 with the release of LP Human Frailty. This LP managed to make it into the Top 10, sparking some interest from US-based IRS Records. The release in the states brought the band here to tour twice.
The next couple of album releases did modestly well, keeping the band alive, performing, and recording. Further personnel changes continued to plague them as they sought the all-elusive momentum of success they once fleetingly enjoyed in the US. It wasn’t for lack of trying; Hunters & Collectors worked hard at producing solid music through the 90s, finally calling it quits in 1998.
If it wasn’t for hearing this group on shows like David Marsden’s Marsbar Theatre and Ed-FM’s Retrospect, I never would have had the pleasure of learning more about them. I hope you’ll take the time to check out their music and ultimately find something that you will enjoy, too.
Official Hunters & Collectors MySpace page.
Purchase Hunters & Collectors music here.
“Talking To A Stranger” via YouTube user hazermi:
“Say Goodbye” via YouTube user nzoz1986:
“When The River Runs Dry” via YouTube User nzoz1986:
“Throw Your Arms Around Me” via YouTube user tyronnem:
“Turn A Blind Eye” via YouTube user nzoz1989:
Hunters and Collectors (1982)
The Fireman’s Curse (1983)
Jaws of Life (1984)
Human Frailty (1986)
What’s a Few Men? (1987)
Ghost Nation (1989)
Demon Flower (1994)