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Album Review and Interview: Wing Defence - Friends (Independent)

Roger Bowie
Wing Defence - Weapons (live stripped back)

Here’s a new band fresh from the stadium, and the only band in the world named after a netball position. Its Wing Defence from Adelaide, a position which is most underrated, and often carries the perception that the player is not the best player in the team and first to be dropped. Kind of like Adelaide is every other Australian city’s poor little sister. Oh, you’re from Adelaide? We’ll put you at Wing Defence. And we won’t notice if you’re no longer there.

That’s why their new EP is called Friends, friends from the good times, friends from your roots, friends when you need them. Wing Defence are Paige Court and Skye Walter (and a band) and Friends is out this Friday July 3rd.

And it’s a wee cracker, full of great songs which rock and rip and rumble like the Breeders and Barnett.

I caught up with Paige Court last week. She and Skye met over a few beers a couple of years ago and the two musicians, both doing separate projects in the local scene, agreed they should do something together, which happened a few months later once they had both sobered up. Paige speaks of their growing friendship and the gradual discovery of what a working partnership can do for confidence and creativity. And less pressure.

Lockdown in Adelaide has also been less pressurised than other Australian States but no less weird in terms of the loneliness and the distancing. Things are starting to open up because there have been no cases for quite a while now. And Adelaide has a thriving music scene and it’s nice and compact, not unlike Auckland, I suppose. And Paul Kelly comes from Adelaide.

Paige loves New Zealand. She’s already been here in another guise, supporting Matt Corby on his shows throughout New Zealand last April. So, open up the Adelaide/ Auckland corridor, and bring Wing Defence in to support our team!

Wing Defence play punk and rock with some bubblegum pop thrown in, according to Paige. And gang vocals as well. Not beating about the bush, saying and playing it how it is.  She grew up with pop, but found other influences along the way, like Dylan, this time without the help of her parents. Aussie bands like Spiderbait and Press Club and The Grates are also big influencers.

Paige plays guitar, and Skye is front and centre on vocals. They both write, and the EP has been recorded now for a year, so the only priority right now is to get it out.

And out it is coming: Friends launches with Hindsight, a powerful pop rock anthem which has Skye surely exaggerating her Aussie accent. Weapons rocks along, and then comes Relocate, the most recent single which is all Garbage (which is excellent). The pace slows a little with Listerine, a sadder song about trying to hide the smell of booze, but, bugger it, let’s get loud and come to bed. Tough love isn’t working, bring out the gang. Jagged bass breaks the Silence, and a country rock guitar riff pretends for a moment that it’s not a rock song, but it is. Think of Breeders. Skye is all raging confidence and growl. Finally we’re into bounce and Bob and Barnett (Courtney), with another great pop hook, and it’s over.

This is an amazing little record, there’s not a bad track, it’s all good. Paige wants Wing Defence to be headlining within five years. This is a bloody good start. Check it out, Friends. Be who-ever you want to be. Play wherever you want to play…but play Wing Defence.



Written By: Roger Bowie Roger Bowie has been collecting music since 1964, starting with 45 rpm singles, and then building an LP and CD collection from 1970. 1.8 per week since then. Not a vast collection, but eclectic and occasionally obscure. Roger is a big Americana fan, and regularly attends AmericanaFest in Nashville, held every September. Also, he once played golf with Alice Cooper...