SAY GOODBYE TO: THE DELTA LIONS / by Kian West

Didn't we just speak with Ben Leece? Well, it turns out that he is also in hit local band The Delta Lions and they are about to call it quits! But before they do, they are all gracing the stage one more time at The Stag & Hunter Hotel in support of Leadfinger on July 14th. So I hit up Ben to tell us about this project and what they are going to do next...

Tell us a little bit about the band?
BEN: Four rogue blokes trying their hand at some sort of twangy rock and roll. Rites Of Springsteenish. We recorded 4 albums and self-released 2 of them, the other 2 we scrapped. We played a bunch of shows up and down the East Coast to mostly beer stained carpets, the other bands and the bar staff and it has been righteous.

When did you start playing together? Have you been in groups before?
B: We started the band in 2010. Mick is like the Kevin Bacon of Newcastle, he’s played with everyone at some point – homeboy is old, but Local Resident Failure, Case For Jefferson, Draw The Line, Arms Reach and Dropsaw to name a couple. Ryan was in a band called Candy & The Full Moons and Casey Harbour. Mat was in Coma Lies, The Exiled, Crowning Swarm amongst others and he and I were both in a band called No Heroes before this. I also played in Hazards, Every Word and am currently filling in on guitar in Life.Love.Regret.

Who are your influences?
B: The Replacements.

Have you got any local favourite artists?
B: Too many. Still flipping out over Lachlan X Morris’s album.

There is a show coming up?
B: Friday the 14th of July @ The Stag & Hunter. The last show The Delta Lions will ever play. We’re on with Wollongong band Leadfinger who are the dudes that took us under their wing when we first started. If you are fan of the guitar, these blokes will blow your skirt up. Should be a hoot.

What should people expect?
B: With zero rehearsals and no setlist on paper yet, expect anything. Definitely not doing the Amy Winehouse cover.

What is next?
B: Mate this is the end of the road for the band, unless there is, of course, a revival of never was Newcastle bands and they decide to bung us on a Day On The Green bill. But Mat has gone on to pursue a life in the Vegan Church, counselling wayward flesh-eaters. It’s like Hillsong, but with hummus. Mick has finally fully embraced his Italian heritage and bought a couple of acres out the back of Broke to plant an olive grove. Since the band has finished he now has no further use for his many sleeveless Gun’s N Roses shirts and figures he’ll be able to mulch the entire estate for years. The first vintage will be called Use Your Sicilian 1. Ryan just disappeared, so hopefully, he turns up for this gig. One day he was his normal, aggravated, moody self, the next he was gone. Some say he’s done his plums and run off with a beautiful woman but no one can actually confirm nor deny. And Ben, with his flair for the dramatic, has founded a boutique theatre company called Pipe Down Ponce Productions and has started rehearsals for his debut, Go Tell It On The Molehill. Adapted from the James Baldwin classic, Ben address’ the woes of white male privilege and entitlement.