|MILESAGO: Australasian Music & Popular Culture 1964-1975||Groups & Solo Artists|
Joe Azzopardi (guitar, vocals)
Mars Azzopardi (drums?) 1972
Mary Azzopardi (vocals, sax)
Rita Azzopardi (vocals, sax)
Tony Azzopardi (percussion)
Doug Charleston (bass)
Warren Clark (trumpet)
Steve Heard (keyboards)
Jim Nejaim (bass) 1973
Kevin Somerville (keyboards)
Terry Stacey (bass, vocals) 1972-73
Chalky White (keyboards)
Despite a career spanning eight years, there is very little information available about this band. According to Who's Who of Australian Rock Afrika played 'Tamla Motown material with an Afro beat'. As indicated by the personnel listing, it was very much a family affair, featuring several members of the Azzopardi clan, although we have learned that Stan Azzopardi was not part of the family group that includes Mary and Tony.
Joe and Mars Azzopardi had been members of Sydney band Bullett in 1971, who cut two Singles for RCA. Steve Heard and Terry Stacey were former members of Wildwood and Stacey later joined Francis Butler's 69-ers. Afrika worked in around Sydney for the next eight years. They released a single on the Axent label in 1979 and a self-titled LP on Larrikin in 1980, but the group split later that year.
Mary Azzopardi went on to considerable success in later years, working with Danny D'Costa and performing on recordings by The Rockmelons, Ian Moss, Margaret Urlich and Mondo Rock, The Angels, Billy Field, Dragon, Sunnyboys, Ana Christensen, Icehouse and Daryl Braithwaite.
Mary recently contacted Milesago and has kindly provided us with an update on the Azzopardi clan's musical careers:
In 1985 I was part of a duo with
Danny D'Costa; we had a recording deal with True Tone Records, and
released three Singles. They were "Give Me Rhythm", "Opportunity Knocks" and "Big House". Although we didn't do much with that, Danny
and I continue to write songs. An Australian sax player, Andrew Oh, released two CDs using several of our songs, which were released in the USA ,
which made it into the smooth Jazz charts (still no royalty cheques as yet!). I still do the odd session and backing vocals on Australian Idol."
"Rita is doing well, she married and is living in Newcastle and has three children, she is in demand as a singing teacher, and is also a part of a duo called 'Wine and Roses'.
Tony is also doing really well in Sydney, he is Australian Idol's regular percussionist on the show, and is highly in demand for live and session work."
"Fais-Do" / (unknown) (Sunshine)
"Running From Your Love" / (unknown) (Axent)
References / Links
Many thanks to Mary Azzopardi for additional information.
Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara and Paul McHenry
Who's Who of Australian Rock (Five Mile Press, 2002)
Dreams, Fantasies & Nightmares: Australia (Borderline Books, 1995)