They’re hard, they’re fast, they’re warm and unpretentious.
Their feet-off-the-floor stage attack is an exhilarating invitation to dance. Their songs are melodic, forceful and have lyrics that skirt the cliches.
Enough adjectives. What else do you need to know?
They’re called the Large Number 12s and they come from Melbourne.
After a couple of years together they have just released their first record and are leaving satisfied, sweaty audiences almost everywhere they go…..
They use traditional rock’n’roll devices of guitars, slamming drums and harmonies with a freshness that’s getting rarer by the day.
Invite them home soon…..
Review by Adrian Ryan circa 1989
The Large Number Twelves rarely gig outside of St Kilda, but they play every gig like it’s a 50,000 capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden – even though it’s only to 100 people at the front bar of the Greyhound Hotel.
Named after their favourite pizza, the band write classic country rock songs full of lovely melodies, catchy choruses and Charlie Owen’s stunning guitar work.
The writing of brothers Chris and Wes Harrington can be so good it’s easy to assume that songs such as All the Boys, Give a Little Love and When I Was a Boy are Tom Petty or Bob Dylan covers.
But their subjects are much closer to home: the junkies, dealers and war veterans walking around Melbourne’s streets and the gentrification of their beloved St Kilda.
Recorded live in Melbourne and Adelaide, it also features Spencer P. Jones’ classic Sailer’s Grave done in a sea shanty style.
These guys are probably too rough around the edges to ever come close to playing a stadium, but when Chris sings: “why did you change/ chasing the safety of the mainstream” you get the feeling he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Review by Patrick Donovan, The Age.
Melbourne is not a bad place to be on a Sunday afternoon when you are a long way from home, and you don’t have that much else to do.
Under the umbrella of – “You just gotta see this band….man” from one Kevin Garant, guitarist extrordinare, we find ourselves at the “Pint”, St Kilda.
Now I gotta say, you do get the call for seeing bands that are…..”…” pretty regularly, (especially when one runs an independent label) and whilst it’s always good to see whats going on, and enjoy great live music, it’s not that often that a band takes your breath away, playing in the front bar, no fancy PA, just a bunch of shitty looking amps, a couple of 58’s thrown through an old Eminar PA (yes the purple one), playing songs that are Australia, and as street level as you would ever hear, played with the enthusiasm and attitude that you know these guy’s would be doing this, whether they were paid or not, and they been doing this for that long, it’s obvious that they don’t gotta think too hard about it….it just comes off the bat like s sweetly hit 6 over the northern stand at the “G”….”
Review from www.mixmasters.com.au
In a nutshell The Large Number 12s (named after a pizza) are the best pub band ever, anywhere.
No frills, no pretence, they prefer playing on the floor, eyeball to eyeball with the audience through their tiny 30+ year old PA.
Their sets are a combination of quality originals and versions (definitely not covers) of their favourite songs both standards and overlooked gems, many written by other Australian artists and deserving of an audience.
Delivering the sort of harmonies unique to siblings, brothers Horse and Wes Harrington front the band and write most of the original material.
Cal McAlpine (Drums) and Mick Robbins (Bass) make up the engine room, and Charlie Owen plays guitar when not touring with “Tex, Don & Charlie” or “Beasts of Bourbon.”
Considering the Largies have been performing virtually every week for the past 12 odd years it is a testament to their love of what they do that they are able to continue playing with the same energy and passion.
Unfortunately their recorded output in that time has been far less prolific (1 studio album & 1 live album) and they have yet to fully capture the same energy of their live performances in the studio.
The track featured here (Ring in the changes) is taken from their 1999 self titled album.
As with much of their original material the song highlights their roots and influences melded with their own unique sound.
Recorded music is great but for me nothing beats a beer, good company, good atmosphere, good music and the occasional terrible dancing — and this band is the perfect catalyst for all of the above.
Trust me, I’ve seen them more than 300 times.
Review from www.duggup.com.au