Sid Eaton

Sid Eaton

aka Mark (aka Sid) Eaton : A brief musical history…

East Fremantle was where it all began for Sid, Growing up with a healthy diet of 60’ & 70’s tunes at an early age (thanks to the old man!) he understood what rock was from the get go. Then the eighties came and a fixation with Countdown and eventually very late night viewings of MTV when he “couldn’t sleep” (at least that’s what he told his folks) introduced him to all that was good and bad through this time. The upside is this helped to develop a keen musical bullshit filter.

Firstly at the tender age of 16 he made an attempt at guitar lessons, he soon discovered playing scales was no fun, so no Yingwie Malmsteen was he. Instead playing riffs was right up his alley. Heavy riffs especially. The first heavy riff learnt was, fittingly, “She’s So Heavy” by The Beatles. This was where the meat and bones where and by far a better musical lesson than learning scales in miopixogladiollian (sic) mode.

Jamming with friends was the next logical step and when the lads got together, playing the drums and guitar, trading riffs and musical duties was a lot of fun especially when you had too much happy juice. A kit was left at Sid’s rehearsal room (parent’s garage) by a close friend. When no one was looking he started playing the tubs and recording early demos on a newly sort Tascam 8 track. Also being a nerd when it came to computers, his Amiga 500 was put into action as a sequencer and “experiments” into electronic music began.

Then the Loft happened the club that had it all…this is when a shared love for The Church, The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, The Jesus & Mary Chain etc., was mirrored in his first band, coined The Liquid Altar. Smokey J on guitar and Sid on drums. Joined later by Jeff G and Mr Brain, their first gig also held at the Chelsea (See Dave’s bio) Mr Brain left after about a year to be replaced by Mr Allan Hunter.

Gigs at the Lone Star, Grosvenor Back Room, The Shents, Harbourside, Newport, The West End and of course the much loved Orient ensued.

Simultaneously at this time, jamming with old mate Casper Shultz (awesome drummer!) and Sid on guitar sounded like at least a 4 or 5 piece, according to his mum, but to her surprise, when she came in to tell them to shut up, it was just the two of them. The reason for the big sound was because Sid had discovered the joys of alternate tuning, dropped D was in overload at this time and Casper was a powerhouse on the tubs. “Grunge” still has a lot of explaining to do.

With Casper and other mutual friends the bigger local bands of that time where the thing to go and see. The first gig ever was Circus Murders at the old Melbourne back room, awesome room, awesome band, plus as an extra bonus a couple decided the dance floor centre of stage was the perfect place to copulate their love for each other. (Can anyone say bobbing bike rack? Ewe!) Ah those where the day’s…Cinema Prague at the old loft, Effigy at the new Loft, DM3 at the Harbourside and Zebedee at Charlesworth’s backyard.

The decade rolled on towards the early 00’s and music was now something Sid chose as a profession, what a silly man. Turning his skills to audio engineering a studio was born from the front lounge room of Lord Street House. Working closely with Grant Staines of Idle 55 fame, tracks where recorded for his side project (another heavy riff thing) which eventually led to him performing drumming duties after the departure of Mr Tom Foss.

Sid continued to record bands and his own demos in share houses and the like. A little time went on and VLSA Productions was born at the old Monkey Music studio on Monger Street in Northbridge along with long-time friend Paul Sharp. Through a stroke of luck the studio facility was acquired by them and shortly after the house that was attached to it came up for rent. Sid’s friends moved in…ta-da! instant party house, with a studio!!!

This was a time for meeting many people from all genres and backgrounds of music and a pivotal time for Sid, having recently met Seb, Otway (The Panics) and Stevie B (Engineer to the stars and us, The SD’s). Friendships where born over beers and dirty bourbon and a band was quickly formed for a Guided by Voices cover night at the Grosvenor front room. This included Dave Wallace on bass duties just prior to his English jaunt. Back at VLSA studio, many parties, gigs, raves, events, rehearsals and recordings commenced. With the Veeline sampler, being a highlight of these recordings.

Making the leap to working as a live engineer at the Grosvenor and later the Amplifier on the Wednesday night Posie Club (See Seb’s Bio), was the next step before securing the live mixing gig for The Panics. Simultaneously The Giant Steps where born and mixing duties where passed to Sid also. Until the band reformed with a different line up called Ease, and to now include him on guitar duties (who’s going to mix now?).

Support slots for The Panics where soon on the cards with Sid performing duel duties of playing guitar in Ease and mixing The Panics. Leading to Ease also being signed to Pete Carroll and Gary Whelan's (The Happy Mondays) LittleBigMan Records for their debut album with help from General Justice.

Around this time an Australian tour began for The Panics supporting the release of their first album on LittleBigMan Records. The jokingly used catch cry “what happens on tour stays on tour” was used a lot (and there are photos) however no animals we’re harmed on this tour, except the bearded freaks. Great times had by all!

But time went by, The Panics departed for Melbourne and bigger things and Ease disbanded heralding the end of another 5 years. (David Bowie got it so right with that song).

A new project was on the horizon now with The Arachnids. With Louie becoming a newly acquired brother in law, this led Sid aka Mark to the recording of their debut (and only) album, using the facilities at Blackbird Studio (thanks Mr Parkin!). Sadly this band did not last long after the album launch due to a minor localized black hole implosion, which quickly morphed into the JabberJaws, with Louie on electric guitar and vox with Sid aka Mark (hello again) on drums and Sir Paul Sharp (Two Hands Project) on bass duties. (Does Sid aka Mark join every freaking band he records?!!)

This time only 3 years passed. Let’s call it a really quick 5 years.

Then marriage, houses, kids and the family life loomed large. Song writing was beginning to take his spare time up, also ventures into electronic music began (again) armed with very much upgraded gear from the Amiga 500 days, experimental sound works and recording techniques, and also soundscapes where of huge interest to him.

But writing songs on his newly acquired Martin acoustic (without breaking too many strings with alternate tunings) was now his main musical passion.

Then along came Seb with a proposition to play drums in a little band he was putting together…

Which brings you to the current story of…The Sensitive Drunks.

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