Nick and Dennis ...the bothers Kipridis
of THE STREAMLINERS
SARB: Last time I caught the band at The Wheatsheaf you opened with a
delightfully laid back acoustic set. Tried to pick the material ...Tony
Joe White? Original numbers?
NK : The tunes we played were "Raw deal" (one of ours), "Baby
Lee" (a John Lee Hooker tune), "Irises" (another home grown number
which will appear on the upcoming CD) and a blues tune that our guitarist Sav
sang, the title of which I can't recall. We're planning on expanding our acoustic
repertoire for a longer set in the near future.
SARB: Nick and Dennis ...the bothers Kipridis! (I assume!) Care to throw
some light on the working relationship.
NK : Yes, we're brothers. Dennis is the bassist and I'm the singer/guitarist.
Some confusion may arise regarding our names as I have sometimes moonlighted
on electric bass for other acts when Dennis was not around.
The working relationship can get heated and tense at times, but thankfully not
that often. We sometimes hear of other sibling groups that physically attack
each other but we've never subscribed to that. You can still make good music
without having to knock someone's teeth out!
DK: Ditto….he’s also my older brother so I suppose that’s got
something to do with it ….plus we’ve been listening to music, watching
TV, going to the beach and playing live music together either with dad ( who
also was a part time muso ) or in many other previous bands for a very long time.
It’s certainly helped and moulded our working relationship to the point
where we’re quite comfortable and confident with each others approach to
song writing. There’s no better feeling when you don’t have to talk
much about a new song idea and you just run through it and plat it out as if
you already know the tune ………magic stuff.
SARB: I've always thought of your big white standup bass as the
band's trademark. Tell me about it.
DK: It’s a ¾ size bass viola made in German around 1968.
I’m not sure if it’s a trademark….but I certainly do enjoy
using it with this band…not because of the “image” ( which
I suppose does help identify the band somewhat ), but mainly for it’s sound
and the way it sits within the band sonically. Must say though, it does help
a great deal that I’m blessed with the opportunity to be playing with 2
of the best and quite unique guitarists in Australia ( I think so anyway ) .
These days I do tend to mix it up with both the electric and upright bass.
SARB: Great blues standup bass players ...other than Michael Saies!?
Players you admire? Players that you have learnt from?
NK : Guitar influences range from most of the black bluesmen, especially
King, Freddie & B.B. King (what is it with these Kings?) Otis Rush, Leadbelly
and Blind Willie McTell.
I also listened to "modern" guitarists like Leslie West, Joe Walsh,
Tommy Bolin, Jeff Beck et al...
Then there was a local guy called Rod Ling who used to teach guitar and play
the traps in bands like" The Filth" and "July 14th" in the
eighties. These weren't blues bands per se but he was doing interesting things
with the guitar and I learned a lot just watching him play.
DK: Ironically…I don’t listen to bass players much. Being a songwriter,
I feel it’s more important to listen to all the instrumentation to get
a better idea of what to play and how to make the song sound better. But to answer
the question, and I must admit, I do love upright players such as Charles Mingus,
Willie Dixon ( especially all the early stuff with Howlin’ Wolf ) …Richard
Davis, and again it’s not because of their technical ability but for their
approach to the songs and the tones they’re trying to produce on the tree …..absolute
killer stuff…it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It’s
all about performance and tone…it’s capturing that crucial sound
at that split second…. I mean just listen to Mingus’s “ Wednesday
Night prayer meeting “,”Better Git it in Yo' Soul” and Goodbye
Pork Pie Hat, and The Wolf’s, I’m Evil, Moanin’ at Midnight,
Everybody’s in the mood “Sun sessions ………Killa,
Electric bass players I admire…James Jameson, Bootsy Collins, Wilbur Bascomb,
SARB: I am always curious about what CDs musicians are currently listening
to. Care to share with us some of your listening habits. Any
NK : There's a CD called "Storytellers" with Willie Nelson & Johnny
Cash duetting a great version of "Ghostriders in the sky". Goose bump
material. A current fave is the Beach Boys' "Sunflower " backed with "Surf's
up". It's a double reissue and both of these albums are amazing. The Flying
Burrito Brothers' "Gilded Palace of Sin" is another I can't stop listening
to, as well as John Hammonds' "Wicked Grin" where he does nothing but
Tom Waits songs.
There's also a great DVD called "Bonnaroo 2002" that covers an American
music festival of the same name and features a broad range of music. Watch out
for the "Campbell Brothers" segment where they holler gospel stuff
with loud, over-the-top lap steel and pedal steel guitars. Killer!
DK: Sometimes I go for long stints without listening to a shred of music because
we’re so busy writing, recording or playing live. There was a period I
didn’t listen to anything for 10 months .
At the moment it’s Tom Waits, Tom Waits and er…………did
I forget to mention Tom Waits.
Recommendations …any albums from the Band, Ry Cooder, Los Lobos, early
Boz Scaggs, the Doobie brothers, Allman Brothers albums ( Idle south a fave )
, The Wolf, Frank Zappa…to many to list.
SARB: You have played at many venues over the years. No Proprietors or
Venue Operators are reading this! Your favourite? Your "most challenging'?
NK : The Semaphore workers club is probably our favourite gig. The vibe
and audience are always great and Benny the MC never fails to whoop it up at
the end of the
night with his "F*** the GST" speech. Good value. The most challenging
jobs are always restaurants or cafes where a full band doesn't quite "fit" both
figuratively and literally. The owner usually runs around telling us to turn
down when just five minutes later, we'd be told to turn up! Umm.. it's hard to
play that way.
SARB: "The Blues" ...a music that has a rich history, it continues
evolve and inspire us today! Your slant on it?
NK : When Muddy Waters made the move to Chicago in the forties and eventually
played electric guitar, he didn't seem to worry about sounding like Robert Johnson
or Charlie Patton or any of his other heroes. He didn't try to sound "old" or "authentic".
His stuff was cutting edge at the time. It was making heads spin. To the average
Joe on the street, the Muddy Waters band must've sounded like they came from
outer space! This is why I get kind of itchy when today's blues buffs wax lyrical
about "REAL blues" and where one should draw the line. Although some
of my favourite blues bands are unashamedly revivalist; I still love them and
they're doing a great job but music WILL evolve and "the Blues" are
DK: Some people don’t label “the Streams” ( as our fans call
us ) as a blues band….I think that’s great because it tells us that
we have a certain sound that’s quite unique but certainly ‘Roots’ based.
It’s just a label after all. I mean what sort of label do you put on artist
such as Tom Waits, Los Lobos, Bob Dylan ?
What really steams up my window though, is when certain ‘BLUES’ purists
just use the term “The Blues” as some sort of measuring stick to
compare if any new or different music is of any real worth or not…..yeah
great. If we don’t give good or new approaches to music a chance, we will
still be living in caves and clubbing each other in the head for listening to
something different as Slim Harpo’s killer electric guitar solo in King
Bee…”sting me baby”.
SARB: I can remember catching a certain "roots music" show in Nashville
when I was there. It was one of the best I had ever seen anywhere...and
there was only 6 or so people there! I met the promoter afterwards and
asked him ..."where's the crowd?" His reply ..."all home watching
TV!" The health of the Adelaide live music scene at the present time?
NK : During the seventies and early eighties, you could make a living playing
music five or more nights a week if you wished to. Those gigs are long gone and
they're never coming back. As you know, it's a totally different game today;
money is getting tighter and there are probably more bands than ever with a diminishing
number of venues to play in.
Then we have the "blanket bombing" promotional techniques of certain
mainstream music while all other music is duly "tagged" & labelled
and left to dwell in the fringes of popularity forever. This probably helps to
explain why only "..6 or so.." people turned up to that great gig you
But it's not all bad! There seems to be a shift in the interests of young minds
toward hybrid styles that mix the old with new. Like current clothing trends,
it seems that "anything goes" right now and it promises to be an exciting
DK: I suppose with the demise of live music venues, it’s certainly weeded
out the bands who are serious about their own music as apposed to concept or
cover bands. If you can stick it out in these drought times, you can possibly
accomplish anything. It has certainly made us stronger as a unit and more so
helped us concentrate on recording and publishing.
SARB: Your absence on the SA Roots and Blues Gig Guide is conspicuous !
When and where can we next catch the Streamliners?
NK : We sincerely apologise for being so transparent!
Our "other lives" sometimes get in the way and prevent us from taking
things further. We're professional bank robbers by day, you know.
Here is a list of upcoming dates:
March 18th Bacchus wine bar.
March 20th Wheatsheaf Hotel (Thebarton)
March 27th Joiners Arms Hotel
April 22nd Bacchus wine bar
April 23rd Grace Emily Hotel
April 30th Wheatsheaf Hotel Theb.
May 27th Semaphore Workers club
SARB: 2005! What has it got in store for the band?
NK : Our new CD is in the works and will probably be out around April/May. We're
also going to try and take the band a little further this year than we have in
the past and light a few brush fences (figuratively speaking of course!).
DK: Our aim from here onwards is to certainly concentrate on pushing more product
every year….Koar Blimeee …we’ve got enough songs anyway.
SARB: A question that Ihave directed to all those in this series of interviews
... Free ticket and accommodation for a month! Where would you head to?
tough to answer but I can't go past a trip to Mexico. It'll have to be either
Acapulco beach or UFO spotting in Mexico city. Yep. Or even saucer
spotting at Lima, Peru, or the strange markings in the desert a little further
on in Nazca ( ...kids, this is what happens after prolonged exposure to Blues
music without a safety net.).
DK : San Francisco . I would like to visit all the Dirty Harry street
film sets… like ‘Mina
street’ where in “The Enforcer” he negotiates with 3 gun
men holding up a store with hostages to meet their demands and then he rams
the shop front with his 1972 coppertone Chevrolet and out comes the 44…..whammo…..makes
Maybe then to a delightful Mediterranean island away from the hustle
and bustle of city life and enjoy eating fresh white bait and salad and the
...all by the Agean se ...but a month for all this is not long enough! ...plus
what about the beverage bill ?????