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Soon to jet off for their second US tour, Ragdoll play a farewell show this Friday, May 2, at Beat Nightclub with support from Emerald City, Sleepfreak and Lip Service. BOB GORDON reports. 

Last weekend saw Ragdoll play several shows in Esperance. This weekend sees them playing a farewell show before they set off on another US tour. These guys are committed to this at every level. 

“We certainly like to think so,” says guitarist, Leon Todd. “Regional tours have always been the lifeblood of the Australian music scene; people are always so enthusiastic and appreciative that we’re prepared to make the long journey. We often wonder who’s crazier, people from the Midwest of the US or from regional WA!”

The trio’s last US visit was in May 2012, wherein they played two sets at the Rocklahoma festival followed by a Mid-West tour.

“The last US tour was incredible with so many ups and downs,” Todd recalls. “For every negative there were a million positive things to outweigh them. We played alongside some of the world’s biggest bands in Guns N’ Roses, KORN and Alice in Chains at Oklahoma’s giant  Rocklahoma festival, got caught in extreme weather events, had run-ins with dodgy booking agents and picked up some amazing support slots on the fly. All the rock’n’roll cliches and then some.”

Like any good touring band, experience provides lessons that Ragdoll will take into their next US jaunt, the Rewind Your Mind tour, which will again take in Rocklahoma, a support slot for Skid Row at LA’s Whiskey A Go-Go and more dates besides.

“We’ve spent a lot more time and energy in the planning stages of this tour,” Todd says. “We see the touring aspect the same way as the musical aspect; it’s a skill that can only be honed by hard work and experience. We’re fortunate enough to have had the experiences we’ve had to inform and enhance the Rewind Your Mind tour.”

The band released their third EP in the Spring of 2013. The response has been…

“Really positive,” Todd states. “I feel that our sound had evolved of the last few releases to the point where there is a definitive ‘Ragdoll’ sound. The release of our first official music video, All I Want, in tandem with the tour has certainly broadened our fanbase, both at home and abroad.”

As for a new releases, Ragdoll are taking stock for a moment given this upcoming touring opportunity.

“We’ve compiled our first two EPs with some previously unreleased live songs to release in conjunction with the Rewind Your Mind tour. It’s going to be very exciting to be able to offer such a wide range of our music on one release to new and existing fans. It gives us the chance to road test some new material before we get back in the studio in the last half of the year.”

After a series of line-up changes in earlier times, the power trio-styled Ragdoll has been rockin’ it since 2011, with Ryan Rafferty on vocals/bass and Cam Barrett on drums. The musical and personal bond between the three is greater than ever.

“You need to be tight as people to be tight musically,” Todd reflects. “We’re just really lucky we found each other and that we’ve got to share both a musical and a personal bond. Ryan’s farts may be the only threat!

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