As if powered by a Marshall Amp time machine set at ‘11’, a night out with Brisbane favourites Smoking Martha is a high-octane journey; part majestic, Zeppelin-esque crunch, part Thin Lizzy style twin guitar attack and part Queens of the Stone Age-Sabbath mash up.

As if that is not enough, Thursday 26th March at the Eaton’s Hills Hotel will see them atop the highest of classic rock pedestals in support of Uriah Heep, a British musical institution with over 45 years of shredding the has-beens, also-rans and wannbees of hard rock. The gig will put Smoking Martha’s eclectic, raw and powerful punk rock credentials to the test.

But it doesn’t faze lead singer Tasha Doherty who is a firm supporter of Heep’s disinterest in chasing trends. “Sticking to your guns is very important, playing from the soul is what being a musician is all about”.

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Having recently featured in an exclusive West End Magazine 4101TV interview at The Bearded Lady, Smoking Martha may be mixing with the big guns, but they are mindful that Brisbane is Australia’s current musical hotspot. Tasha adds, “Brisbane is still very supportive of it’s own artists and the rock scene is still very much alive and pumping, and continuously growing”.

Surrounding Tasha is a band carved from the same granite that spawned the classic hard rock and punk identity of the 70s and 80s, but which offer 21st Century muscle. Jordon plays drums with an intensity that would remain vibrant and menacing even when playing a pleasing ballad, while bassist Matt plays what only be described as ‘lead bass’. But the jewel in the crown is the synchronistic guitar dueling from Mick and Aaron. While vintage is too bland a descriptor, this ageing rock journalist is reminded of Wishbone Ash, Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden. Tasha explains, “The twin guitars give us more room for diversity and dynamics. A melody is a single tune being played. A harmony is the same tune played just in a different key!! It takes two to tango”.

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Once the ears have stopped ringing at the end of the Uriah Heep gig, the Smoking Martha roadshow is heading to The Coolangatta Hotel on the 29th March (with Red Star Born, Love Hate Rebellion and Kip Casper), before making their debut at The Bunker’s Naked Sessions on April 1.

For more information about Smoking Martha, forthcoming dates, video and single/EP releases visit www.smokingmartha.com or their Facebook page.

Words by Colin Bushell | Photos supplied by Smoking Martha