Artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, and Wanda Jackson are often mentioned when talking about rockabilly music. Rockabilly was most popular during the 1950s when it spread around the globe and influenced genres such as the up-and-coming rock and roll movement.
Rockabilly fused elements of country, blues, and rhythm and blues to create a unique sound. It is characterized by a heavy backbeat, twangy guitars, and a vocal style that often includes yodeling. The genre is often seen as a precursor to the rock and roll movement of the 1950s and 60s.
Such was the popularity of rockabilly that more than 70 years later, musicians from other countries would still be playing and making music from the genre. One such act is the Bali-based band, The Hydrant.
The Hydrant was formed in Denpasar, Bali, in August 2004 by four friends who shared a passion for the music of the 1950s and 1960s. The band was initially formed as a cover band, playing classic rockabilly and rock & roll songs from the era.
However, as the band developed their unique style, they began to write and record their songs, blending the classic sounds of rockabilly with modern influences from punk, surf, and garage rock. This fusion is characteristic of the Rockabilly revival, a movement that gained traction in the 80s — 30 years after the birth of Rockabilly.
The band's current lineup includes Vincent on guitar, vocalist and harmonica player Marshello, drummer Christopher, and Adi on bass. The Hydrant has released five full-length albums, namely Saturday Night (2006), Rockabilly Live (2007), Bali Bandidos (2009), Dirty Thirty (2011), and Lokananta (2015).
When asked about their influences, the band named classic rockabilly acts such as Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Bill Halley, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash, among others. The members also named the 80s act Stray Cats, known for the Rockabilly revival movement that merged classic rockabilly with modern punk elements, a sound that The Hydrant is most known for today.
The Bali-based band is known for their energetic but suave performances and outfits that closely resemble their musical heroes. Their unique performances have made The Hydrant a crowd-pleaser in the Bali music circuit, where they play many of their gigs today.
The Hydrant has made its name known in Indonesia. However, they have also played for audiences abroad. In 2009, The Hydrant performed for the Pohoda Competition, the largest music event in Slovakia that over 30,000 people attended.
In 2016, The Hydra wowed music lovers in Nevada in the US, where vocalist Marshello was called 'Brown Elvis' or 'Bali Elvis' by endearing fans. This was a big moment for the band, as it took months of fundraising and concerts for the band to make it to the biggest gathering of rockabilly acts in the world. As a bonus, The Hydrant was the lone Indonesian act to participate, ably representing the country to the rest of the world's rockabilly musicians.
In 2017, The Hydrant performed again at the Pohoda Festival in Slovakia. They were the only rockabilly act to be invited to the festival and performed for more than 5,000 people in one of the world's most prominent open-air music festivals.
The Hydrant is a Bali-based band that is worth listening to. Their music combines rockabilly, punk, and surf rock elements, creating a fun, energetic, unique sound. With their infectious melodies and energetic performances, The Hydrant has quickly become a favorite amongst rockabilly enthusiasts. Whether you are a fan of classic rockabilly or looking for something new and exciting, The Hydrant is sure to please.
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