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MARK ‘TONY CHAMPAGNE’ SHANNON (THE OFFTOPICS) – GUITAR

After a massive 12-months, the release of Melbourne’s brokers of groove The Offtopics debut self-titled EP is on the horizon, completing the comic-style story they started back in September 2017. The eponymous EP, dubbed Back On The Zine, has been almost three years in the making and since the release of the first single, Sunrise in Richmond, in September last year, The Offtopics’ fans have been following the story of ‘Red Eye Jane’ and ‘Funky Grandma’ across the seven-inch single covers. The Offtopics launch the EP this Sunday November 18 at the Spotted Mallard in Brunswick.

Ahead of the launch, guitarist Mark Shannon sat down for a Q&A with us

What was your first guitar? 
My first electric guitar was an early 70s Fernandes (Japanese) Les Paul copy. I paid $150 for it new and it was better than the real Gibson I have now. I wish I’d kept it.

What was your first band t-shirt?
The Partridge Family.

A record that changed your life?
Daddy Cool’s first album, Daddy Who? Daddy Cool. Ross Hannaford’s solo on the third track, Come Back Again still does strange things to my soul.


What’s your main guitar now?
A Fender Thinline Telecaster.


Through what amp and why?
Vox AC15. The answer to the next question will tell you why.

Which pedals are your standards?
The only pedal I use is a Jim Dunlop Cry Baby, and I only use that on one song in our set. My AC15 needs no modification sir.
 
What gigs have you been playing lately?
Cherry Bar in the city, Union Hotel in Brunswick, Edinburgh Castle in Brunswick, Moreland CIty Band Hall also in Brunswick.

Most memorable gig?
A toss up between playing support to Hush at the Horsham Town Hall in 1975 or playing support to the Ted Mulry Gang in Mildura in 1976. Flashpots and satin.


Worst stage nightmare? 
When excessive sweating makes my mascara run and my chiffon damp.


What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
The Spotted Mallard in, um, Brunswick. The Festival of Folk, Rhythm and Life in Eldorado.

A guitar tip for the kids?
Listen to anything by Steve Cropper.

The Offtopics eponymous EP is released on 18th November 2018 at a special hometown Sunday Session show.

Sunday 18th November 2018 | 4pm
The Spotted Mallard, BRUNSWICK VIC
www.spottedmallard.com

For more information on the band, please visit www.theofftopics.com

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