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Breathing In The Fumes

By John Bones on November 17, 2010 in Arts

The Fumes play the Coogee Diggers on December 3...

Ever since The Fumes exploded onto the Aussie rock scene with their self-titled debut EP in 2004 and their critically-acclaimed debut album Guns Of Gold in 2006, the infamous blues-rock duo have left slack jaws, ringing ears and wagging tongues in their wake.

The geetar-slinger and mighty-bearded vocalist Steve Merry and drumming prodigy Joel Battersby have not so much made a name for themselves, they’ve branded it on the consciousness of punters nationwide by pursuing a constant regimen of touring.

The Fumes have sweated up stages with the likes of COG, The Beautiful Girls, Ash Grunwald, Angus & Julia Stone, Hayseed Dixie (USA), Evermore, Dan Kelly and many other great local and international acts as the well as playing major festivals including Groovin’ The Moo, Falls Festival, Festival of The Sun, The Great Escape, Woodford Folk Festival, Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly Festival and the West Coast and East Coast Blues & Roots Festivals.

On Friday, December 3 The Fumes will be continuing their hard working ways when they venture to the Eastern Suburbs to tear the roof off the Coogee Diggers in what is bound to be an absolute ball-tearer of a show.

During the month The Beast caught up with the aforementioned guitarist and singer from The Fumes, Steve Merry…

The Fumes in a sentence are… Suffering from tinnitus and a hangover.

First memory of music… Listening to my dad’s records with him, lying on the lounge room floor with the speakers either side of us.

First album you bought… I think it was Australian Crawl.

Song that gives you goosebumps… Banana Boat by Harry Belafonte.

Fave driving album/s… Right now, I’m listening to a Charlie Parr album called Roustabout.

A The Fumes highlight… Playing Fuji Rock Festival in Japan – massive!

If you could pick a supergroup its members would be… Bette Midler on drums, Bob Dylan on bass and Jeff from The Wiggles up front vocals and guitar.

Sydney bands giving you the good tingles at the moment… The Hard Ons.

Fave Sydney venue… Upstairs at the Annandale Hotel.

Band or genre that gives you an ice-cream headache… The Arias.

If you bowed to corporate sponsorship it would be to advertise… Us!

Your dream bill for a night (The Fumes included of course)… The supergroup mentioned above.

An unknown The Fumes fact… My house is an absolute pig sty.

What next for The Fumes… Trying to hold down some breakfast. Oh, and going back to the States again. We’re also playing at the Coogee Diggers on Friday, December 3 so get yourself a ticket!

To find out more about The Fume visit or For tickets to their gig at the Coogee Diggers visit