The Bondi Cigars came together in November '89 as a loose Thursday night fun band playing at the Bridge Hotel, Rozelle, at that time consisting of members from several different Sydney outfits.
By early 1990 the Cigars had become a serious outfit with a self-titled album released on ABC Records. With the release of this album the band hit the road and went to every state and territory in the country, taking with them their unique brand of R & B, soul, funk and blues music. The Cigars won over many fans in these territories and nearly nine years later many of the original fans are still supporting the band.
The Cigars have toured from Cairns to Hobart, from Broome to Darwin and from Sydney to Perth and have been well supported during their tours in all the corresponding areas. Most of the material performed by the Cigars to-date have been original and most of it penned by singer/guitarist Shane Pacey.
With the release of their fifth album 'Mercy' on Larrikin the Cigars will again embark on a national tour of the country to promote their latest offering. The tour commences June 24th and the Cigars will tour extensively throughout the year. With the addition of Eben Hale, the latest in the line-up, the Cigars have a capable replacement in the singing/songwriting department, (check out "Make up Your Mind" Eben's contribution to the songwriting on 'Mercy'), something that had been missing for a while has been filled.
As well as the first self-titled album the band have also released 'Bad Weather Blues', 1993, 'Got The News' released in 1994 as Shane Pacey and the Cigars and 'After Closing Time' released at the end of 1995. With tour support and most major festivals targeted by the band, sales have been good to say the least.
The new album 'Mercy' sees the Cigars return to a rootsy approach featuring ten tracks written by Shane on acoustic, slide, and electric guitars as well as resonator guitar giving some of the material a swampy feel. Eben features with one of his originals and Shane and Alan have co-written two of the tracks. With the release of 'Mercy' the Cigars look back on over 8 years together and many highlights which have included playing at many festivals from Moomba in Melbourne to the Byron Bay East Coast Festival, appearing with many luminaries from overseas to local and interstate acts.
'A hard-drivinq set of original blues and soul giving further proof that their blues is really Australian.' - Drum Media
'The Bondi Cigars are the undisputed champions of Australian blues and our favourite sons. -Blues On Air Magazine
'Pacey's expressive voice communicates emotion without sacrificing clarity and his lyrics are certainly worth hearing.'- Blues On Air 'Bondi Cigars are purveyors of some of the finest blues around' - West Australian
The Bondi Cigars are; -
Andrew Vainauskas, drums and percussion, and now a 2 year veteran of the Cigars. Andrew hails from Sydney but had spent the previous five years working in bands from Melbourne to Cairns and has contributed much to the Cigars sound with his down home grooves and solid funky rhythms.
Eben Hale, guitar and vocals, comes from the Blue Mountains where he was a major contributor in the blues scene up there. Eben also has been contributing some good original material and shows lots of promise for the future.
Shane Pacey, what can we say? Shane has contributed much of the material that the band performs live and also plays some spine tingling guitar as well as adding slide and steel resonator guitar to his arsenal.
Alan Britton, as well as Shane, is an original member of the line up. Alan plays electric bass and sings and plays acoustic bass on two of the tracks on the new album.