The Excelsior Hotel, Surry Hills
Saturday, September 19, 2009

And so the Passengers finally launched their "In the Garden of Good and Evil" CD at The Excelsior Hotel.

Illness, overseas travel and scheduling three people who live hundreds of kilometres apart all conspired to delay this event.

Those in attendance experienced the quiet majesty, stunning depth and genuine power in the bands's new album, delivered in a warm, direct but emotional manner.

Terry Serio's Media Frenzy were the main and only support which your reviewer managed to catch, whose ranks featured ex-Paul Kelly bassist John Schofield and provided a set that at its peak reminded this reviewer of a slightly more blues/roots influenced/oriented Lou Reed.

The Passengers whose current lineup (sans keyboards and drums) of Angie Pepper, Jeff Sullivan and Jim Dickson took to the stage and opened with "The Overpass."

It was the first of many highlights.

"Brighter", "The Moment", "Sold my Soul", "Darklands" (featuring Jeff Sullivan on vocals) , "I Bend But Do Not Break" and "Wall of Love", interspersed with a lone 'original' The Passengers gem "It's Just That I Miss Yo". All of which reminded us that Angie Pepper's voice remains 'most special' and Jeff Sullivan's guitar-work, songwriting and onstage banter are most memorable.

With an encore including "Fool's Heart", the launch of "In the Garden of Good and Evil" was another resounding reminder of the truly unique and special position held by this band in the vanguard of the kind of Oz rock loved at this here online establishment. - SIMON LI