|If you hang out under the Story Bridge on any Sunday evening you're sure to catch the Texas vibe emanating from the Bombshelter Bar at the Story Bridge Hotel. If you go and investigate further you'd be hard pressed to see the source of excitement. The crowd spills onto the street, and it's hard work just getting through the door, let alone being able to see the band. This is not on New Years Eve, this is not what happens with a public holiday on Monday, this is every week of the year.
The Hipshooters have created quite a stir since crossing our shores from their native New Zealand just a year ago. With Anton Tipi Elkington out front and Billy Williams on Bass, the band is completed by local boy, Bob Peele on drums. 'Live At The Bombshelter' does full justice to a 'Shooters' gig. Too often live recordings are scratchy and mistakes aplenty, not so with this offering. The outfit is so tight and polished you could believe it came from the studio. The album features twelve tracks, eight of which are original. The compliment are made up of some popular standards, 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' and 'T-Bone Shuffle' among them. They have suffered none through the Hipshooter's energetic interpretation.
Certainly what strikes you most is Tipi's startling guitar work to see him play, you have to wonder how he doesn't snap the slender neck of his Strat. He bends the strings almost to breaking (and sometimes beyond), extracting every ounce of torment and passion and then some. His hard edged vocals similarly convey all the angst and ecstacy endemic in the Blues.
Of course a great frontman a band does not make. Billy Williams and Bob Peele keep pace with Tipi the whole frantic way, providing colour and substance of their own. Billy's groovy Bass is as much a part of the Hipshooters experience, and with Bob, provides the basis of all that goes with it.
The Hipshooters originals are quality pieces and to my mind are the better tunes on the CD, having been written to the talents of the members, allowing them to shine through.
Listen to 'Still Crying' to get what I am talking about. The guitar solo is pure sex.
'Live At The Bombshelter!' runs for around one hour, do buy this CD, I can't recommend it highly enough.
Taken from ; RAVE MAGAZINE .
BASE NEWSLETTER NO.4 Jan, 1996.. page 10.