AUSTRALIAN eighties rock legends The Angels have announced a three state tour next year, including Ballina, but without original frontman Doc Neeson.
An ongoing legal spat between Neeson and original guitarists/songwriters Rick and John Brewster has kept various versions of The Angels competing on the live circuit.
Former Screaming Jets singer Dave Gleeson will pick up the mic after touring solidly with the band.
"It's a bit like time-travelling for us," said Rick Brewster, who was recently named one of Australia's five best guitarists, alongside Angus Young."
We're doing some shows in theatres and towns we haven't been to in decades, but the band is playing with the same kind of energy and passion again now that that shot us to the top in the late 70s."
"We must be doing something right," said Dave Gleeson, of The Angels' recent successes.
"I just wanted to give all these classic Angels songs I grew up with the justice they deserve live onstage.
"Now after 60 shows together, songs like 'Long Line', 'Marseille', 'Be With You', 'After The Rain', 'Shadow Boxer' and 'Mr Damage' are inside me, I feel them, and I can let them out onstage. Our audiences get that. They know we mean it."
In recent months, The Angels have headlined sold-out music festivals and released a new album, Take It To The Streets, which debuted at No. 7 on the ARIA Australian Albums chart.
They've seen new songs like Waiting For The Sun become FM radio hits, they've released their first live album in 24 years, and published a book of live photos taken by professionals and fans during their 2011 Waiting For The Sun tour.
"The Angels have always been about giving fans the best show they've seen from us yet," says John Brewster.
"With Dave Gleeson tearing up the stage now, and the whole band playing at the top of its game, that's exactly what Angels fans who haven't seen us for a long time are going to get.
"We're having an absolute ball and everyone in the audience can feel it. This kind of energy is always infectious."
Meanwhile, another version of The Angels, this one fronted by Doc Neeson, will be touring the country at the same time with a line-up that includes a band of musicians who have all played with the band in its various incarnations since forming in 1974.
The competing tours reportedly are due to a lengthy legal battle over the rights to the name and an unhappy reunion of their line-up four years ago to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their classic Face To Face record.
The Angels' Greatest Hits: Take It To The Streets national tour begins in May 2013 and will hit Ballina RSL on Friday May 17. Tickets are already on sale.