The Immaculate Crows were originally an Australian Brisbane-based Alternative band formed by Bruce Neilsen in late 1981. The first line-up consisted of Hamish McKie (singer), Mark Kasulke (rhythm guitar), Chris Allen(drums), Bruce Neilsen (lead guitar & principal songwriter) and Brad Leaf-Milham (bass guitar). Hamish left briefly and was replaced by David Page who would have been one of the first (if not the first) indigenous gay frontman/vocalists in an Australian Alternative band. David had been a teenage pop-star and was the first Australian to be signed to a Motown label, he sadly died in 2016.
Mark Kasulke left and was replaced by Mark Hocknell. David left and Hamish returned. Chris Allen left and was replaced by Neal (surname unknown). Prior to Chris leaving, the band were getting plenty of work with 4ZZZ who gave heavy airplay to two songs ‘Psychedelic Girl’ and ‘Dingo’ and were talking about getting the band support slots bigger acts such as Midnight Oil. The band broke up shortly afterwards as the new drummer wasn’t working out and the band lost momentum in the
Bruce left and formed Insurrection and The Popes before playing with The Immaculate Crows again briefly in early 1985 with Brad, Hamish, Mark and Dave Taylor (from The Popes) on drums. The Popes only played once but at the biggest venue in Brisbane at the time, the iconic Festival Hall in front of thousands of Catholic schoolgirls celebrating their end of the school term. All these bands did songs that covered a broad spectrum of genres including Punk, New Wave, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Indie Pop mainly consisting of Bruce’s songs and arrangements. The only four songs recorded in this period were digitalized and released in 2019 by Bruce.
And Then There Were Two, Bruce and Mark Hocknell reunited in 2019, fifteen songs written and arranged by Bruce were co- produced by Carolyn Neilsen and Mark Hocknell.
All mastering was done by Furkan Gulus who continues in this role. Twelve of these songs were released on the first album ‘And Then There Were Two’ and the other four have been released on the second album ‘Zombie World’. Mark left for other projects in February 2021.Both Mark and Bruce played bass and guitar parts on all these songs except for ‘Bird in the Sky’ where Roo Friend played bass and drums and Bruce played all guitars. Bruce also played all bass and guitars on ‘Shy Girl’ and ‘School of Hard Knocks.’ Singers in this phase consisted of Melissa Grace Stevens, Greg Max, Peter Cleary, Nicky Steel, Daphne Mae, Sam Wild, Jaimee-Lee and K M Steele.
These singers had varying degrees of singing and recording experience and came from a variety of working backgrounds including mums, scientists and authors. Bruce drew on songs that he had written when he was transitioning from poet to songwriter prior to starting The Immaculate Crows, songs written and performed with the 80s bands, some written in 2004 and some completely new songs.
Transition to a Collective
More recently, The Immaculate Crows is essentially a loose collective based around songs written and arranged by Bruce and produced by Carolyn Neilsen.
Some singers have left and others joined with the current core singers being K M Steele, Nicky Steel, Daphne Mae, Jessica Shipley, Brandon Webb, Ray Foai and Elena Skoko. Wayne Harvey is a new addition on guitar and Colleen South plays Ukelele and Piano Accordion. Bruce continues to play harmonica, guitar and sometimes bass as well as employing plug ins to add an extra dimension to songs. Song material is varied and broadly reflects social issues including Domestic Violence, Youth Suicide, Bullying, Female Emancipation, Anti-Vaxxers and Conspiracy Theorists, Poverty, Conformity, Cancel Culture and also includes some quirky love songs. Genres employed vary from Psychedelic, Alternative Rock, Indie Pop, Alternative Country to Alternative Blues Rock.
Listeners, bloggers and music journalists alike have said the music reminds them of artists as diverse as Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Jefferson Airplane,The Eagles, The Smiths, Doors, Public Image, Siousxie and the Banshees, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Stone Roses, Paul Kelly etc. The second album ‘Zombie World’ is out now and consists of the remaining four tracks co-produced by Mark Hocknell and eight tracks from the current phase where Carolyn Neilsen fully produces all songs. The music has Retro elements but overall remains authentic and hard to categorize.
SOURCE: Official Bio