"Hepcat Down Under"
by Paul Williams

 The rain came tumbling down as Hepcat played in front of their first Australian audience. The venue was just outside of Noosa, on Queensland`s "Sunshine Coast" which the tourist brochures tell you there are three hundred and twenty days of of sunshine a year. It must have been one of the forty five!

 The rain didn`t seem to dampen the spirit of the five thousand or so, mainly teenage crowd. This was the first date on the 1999 Australian Warped Tour. The main attractions for many of the younger crowd were probably bands such as MXPX and Pennywise. Australian ska favourites, Area 7 also played and like Hepcat really stood out from the other bands. Their latest single release "Bitter Words" is receiving national airplay and the band are keen to get to the U.S.A. in the near future. If you enjoy Hepcat then there is a very good chance that Area 7 will also "get to you."

 Hepcat played with only one sax, the tenor of Efren Santana, Alex Desert was absent, taking nine or ten band members on an international tour would be difficult! Greg Lee and the band captivated the crowd with several numbers from their "Right On Time" album, in their half an hour set. Although not available as a single here, "No Worries" hit the spot, especially when Greg and Kincaid kicked up their heels centre stage! From a personal perspective, it was great to see "Rudies All Around" performed live as well as "I Can`t Wait," "Nigel" and "Goodbye Street."

 The second date of the Warped Tour saw Hepcat play in front of eight or nine thousand, just south of Brisbane on the Gold Coast. The weather for January 4th was kinder than it had been two days earlier, the sun having been coaxed out from the disappearing clouds! Credit to the band for putting out a different set, other than the crowd favourite "No Worries," as earlier numbers such as "Bobby & Joe," "Keep On" and "Same O` Same O" featured! The test of any band is how do they sound live? Hepcat certainly lived up to and exceeded expectations!

 With all three of Hepcat`s albums sometimes difficult to spot in the stores, hopefully any of the newly won fans will persevere in getting their sweet sounds going again in the comfort of their living rooms! If Hepcat are going for the younger C.D. buying market (Warped Tour attendees) then they should be applauded as it can be fickle and often uneducated.

 Hopefully Hepcat can be inticed back to Australia, as I`m sure they could continue with the successful start they have gained here.