> Waiting Room
a Neighbours star lessens the distance between themselves
and their UK fans by daring to visit, whether it be to appear
in pantomime, or to thrash out some tunes in Alan Fletcher's
case, thousands flock to catch a glimpse of them. Consequently,
the UK tour of Alan's band Waiting Room couldn't be anything
but a success, but no-one could have predicted just how big
a success it would be. A thousand people were turned away
from the first gig of the tour, and band members Chris Hawker
and Tommy Rando were "flattered and overwhelmed"
at the public response to their music. As Alan himself told
Perfect Blend "It was awesome! I could not have predicted
the response from fans to WAITING ROOM. Everywhere we went
we were mobbed and cheered by thousands of fans. The best
thing was that many people came to see Alan Fletcher the actor
and went away singing the praises of the Band's music. Thanks
to everyone who came to the gigs and bought CDs. Your support
means I am days away from signing a two week tour for November."
we report further on the bands response to the success of
the tour and Kate talks us through her experiences at the
Durham gig, while Billy, Claire, Jamie, Karl, Lucy and Mark
look back at their fun-filled weekend in Portsmouth.
Chat With The Band - Alan, Chris and Tommy
was very fortunate to be able to speak to charming bandmates
Chris Hawker and Tommy Rando before their Durham gig. All
correspondence with Alan, unfortunately, was via e-mail. Hey,
the man's in demand!
How did Waiting Room come together and start performing as
Tommy: Chris and I had been playing together in Melbourne
as a duo band. We're both guitar players and singers. We were
doing a Valentine's Day gig in 2004 and Alan and his wife
were there. Al approached us and asked if he could sing at
our next gig and it all happened from there. Before we knew
it, we were performing at the Neighbours nights at the Elephant
and Wheelbarrow pub in St. Kilda every Monday, then touring
How did the UK tour come about?
Alan: When I was doing public appearances in Unis last
December, the promoters were very excited to hear that I had
a band and started to book the tour.
What are your thoughts on the huge reaction to the tour?
Chris: They had to turn away a thousand people from
the first gig. We were blown away.
Tommy: We're flattered and overwhelmed at the response.
Chris: It's just overwhelming. And, erm, did we mention
we were overwhelmed?
Why do you think you have such a massive student following?
Alan: I think universities in the UK have a very community
feel and students treat Neighbours as a group experience.
Dr. Karl seems to appeal to students here. I'm not sure I
know why but I'm glad he does!!
How did you decide on the name Waiting Room?
Chris: We originally wanted Fletch but it had been
What are your hopes for the album?
Chris: It's available at gigs and on our website. If
we get good airplay, it could lead to a record deal. It's
all about word of mouth and getting a label interested. We're
booked to go on Radio 1 on Wednesday, so hopefully, Al's voice
will hold out (Alan was suffering from laryngitis at the time).
Tommy: We wanted to put (the music) out there and see
what people thought of it. Al's aim was never to be top of
the pops. He's not Kylie. Al's always wanted to perform and
he has a passion for music. He would tell you that himself
if he was here.
Chris: We were originally going to make an EP but realised
we had enough material for an album. Adrian Hannon, the album's
producer, deserves a lot of recognition and John Reid - Elton
John's ex-manager helped us a lot too.
One of the tracks on the album was co-written by Neighbours’
Jackie Woodburne (Susan Smith). How did that come about?
Tommy: Yeah, Accidental Trespass. Jackie and Alan wrote
the lyrics and we pieced the music together. It’s a beautiful
Who are your main influences?
Alan: My major influences are bands like Oasis, Rolling
Stones, JET, U2, Killers and solo artists like Elvis Costello,
John Mayer, David Gray and John Hiatt.
What are your hopes for the future?:
Tommy: We’ve already been booked to come back in November.
Before the tour, England was new to us. We’ll see what happens
when we come back – it’s something we're really looking forward
here to read reviews on the Waiting Room tour
by Kate. Added on 11th June 2005