Cootamundra rock and rollers get the band back together

ONE NIGHT ONLY: Cootamundra band The Relics, Robert Kennedy (front), Keith Holder (left), Phil Rees and David Cook practise for their Saturday reunion gig. Photo: Les Smith
ONE NIGHT ONLY: Cootamundra band The Relics, Robert Kennedy (front), Keith Holder (left), Phil Rees and David Cook practise for their Saturday reunion gig. Photo: Les Smith

They might be called the Relics, but the music the band plays still gets people dancing.

Formed in the 1960s, Philip Rees, David Cook, Keith Holder and Robert Kennedy will reunite for one night only in Cootamundra.

In their heyday the Relics toured the Riverina performing classic rock and roll.

It was when Mr Holder and Mr Rees started to become reality as they were learning to play electric guitar as teenagers

“Phil and I used to live across the road from each other in O’Donnell Street,” Mr Holder said.

 “He heard the noise I was making and I heard the noise he was making and we got together.”

They decided to start the band with a focus on rock and roll, a little bit of 12-bar blues and some barn dancing music.

Mr Holder said after try outs they found David Cook to play bass and Robert Kennedy for drums.

Mr Holder and Mr Rees played guitar and sang.

“Once we found out that we could get on together and we liked the same sounds, it went on from there,” Mr Holder said.

The Relics headlined shows around Cootamundra as well as Temora, Junee, Young and West Wyalong – they even played a gig at a Sydney discotheque called the Hawaiian Eye.

“Anywhere where they’d pay us to play,” Mr Holder joked.

After six or seven years the band split with members moving around Australia and the world.

Mr Rees moved to Europe and spent the last 43 years in France.

He said he was excited to get back to Cootamundra and play some music with his friends.

“The last time we played together, it would have been 1968,” Mr Rees said.

“I though it would be a more casual reunion but I’m very excited about the gig.

“We came together at the right time, the Beatles were big then.”

He said people would organise “barn dances” for the Relics to play at, which Mr Rees described as being similar to line dancing.

“So we had to learn a few songs,” he said.

Mr Rees kept one of the original guitars he used called a Gretsch Country Gentleman, it’s similar to the guitar used by George Harrison from the Beatles.

The Relics play at the Central Hotel from 7.30pm on Saturday.

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