The Stems

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The Stems were an alternative rock band formed in Perth, Western Australia in 1983 and were heavily influenced by 1960s garage rock and 1970s power pop.[1] They broke up in 1987, reformed in 2003 and released a new album in 2007.




The Stems formed in late 1983 when vocalist/guitarist Dom Mariani, formerly in the Go-Starts, was introduced to Richard Lane. Lane had seen Mariani in the final few gigs of the Go-Starts and asked him for guitar lessons which became jams, then writing songs, and finally the decision was made to form The Stems. A friend, Gary Chambers, was recruited to join on drums and bass guitarist John Shuttleworth was poached from the Pink Armadillos.[1] The bands debut gig in March 1984 was supporting The Saints and The Triffids at the Old Civic Theatre in Perth.[1] Their sound was influenced by 1960s garage acts ranging from the Electric Prunes, The Standells, The Chocolate Watch Band to The Easybeats.[1] A local Saturday night residency at the Wizbah venue saw throwback covers with a growing list of original songs which developed a cult following for the band. Shuttleworth decided to leave so a final gig for the band was arranged which drew a large crowd. The success of this gig and freshly written songs saw the band recruit a new bass player, school friend Julian Matthews.

The Stems played at local venues such as The Wizbah, The Old Melbourne and The Shenton Park Hotel on a regular basis, the group built up a substantial following in Perth, at a time otherwise dominated by cover bands.

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