Sid Rumpo

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Sid Rumpo
Origin Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Genres R&B, blues rock
Years active 1971 (1971)–1974 (1974)
Labels Mushroom, Festival
Associated acts Jelly Roll Bakers, Wild Beaver Band
Past members
  • John Hood
  • Noel Herridge
  • Owen Hughes
  • Robert Searls
  • Ken Wallace
  • Mick Elliott

Sid Rumpo were an Australian R&B group which formed in Perth in November 1971. They issued their debut album, First Offense, in April 1974 on Mushroom Records/Festival Records but disbanded by the end of that year. The band were formed by John Hood on lead guitar and harmonica (ex-Jelly Roll Bakers, Juke); Noel Herridge on drums (Adderley Smith Blues Band); Owen Hughes on bass guitar (Jelly Roll Bakers); Robert Searls on lead guitar and vocals; and Ken Wallace on piano. In 1972 they won the Western Australian state final in the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds. They appeared at both the 1973 and 1974 Sunbury Pop Festivals. According to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, "[o]ne of the unique features of the band's sound was the use of dual, harmony guitar lines which had the effect of enhancing the natural spaciousness of the music. To top it off, Searls was one of the great gravel-throated blues wailers of the day".[1]


In November 1971 Sid Rumpo were formed in Perth by ex-Jelly Roll Bakers members John Hood on lead guitar and harmonica; and Owen Edward Hughes on bass guitar. They were joined by Noel John Herridge on drums from Adderley Smith Blues Band; Robert James Searls on lead guitar and lead vocals; and Kenneth James "Ken" Wallace on piano.[1][2] In September 1972 they won the state final of the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds; then they relocated to Melbourne a month later.[1]

In January 1973 Sid Rumpo performed at the second Sunbury Pop Festival,[3] with their track, "Sailing", appearing on Mushroom Records triple live album of the event, The Great Australian Rock Festival Sunbury 1973, in April.[1][3] The track was co-written by Elliott, Herridge, Hughes, Searls and Wallace.[2][4] Soon after they signed with Mushroom Records.[1] In May they appeared on ABC-TV music series, GTK, to showcase their track, "Don't Bug Me Boogie". Mushroom issued a Various Artists album, Garrison: The Final Blow Unit 2, which included Sid Rumpo's live rendition of "Now I'm Free", recorded at The Garrison in Prahran.[1]

In August 1973 Hood left to return to Perth and was replaced by Michael John "Mick" Elliott (ex-Moppa Blues, Sunshine, Tank, Sayla) on lead guitar.[1][2] The band performed at the third Sunbury Pop Festival in January the following year, two of their tracks were cover versions of Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle" and Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago". Both tracks appeared on the Various Artists live album, Highlights of Sunbury '74 Part 2, late that year on Mushroom Records.[1]

In February 1974 the group recorded their debut album, First Offense,[5] at T.C.S. Studios in Melbourne; it was released in April by Mushroom and distributed by Festival Records.[1][6][7] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, noted that it was "a strong album, mixing hard blues tracks like 'Spotlight' and 'Breaking My Back' with lengthy, progressive rock outings like 'Sailing' and 'Song with no Trees'".[1] They also issued their debut single, "The Riddle", in that month.[1]


  • John Hood – lead guitar, vocals, harmonica (1971–1973)
  • Noel Herridge – drums (1971–1974)
  • Owen Hughes – bass guitar (1971–1974)
  • Robert Searls – guitar, lead vocals (1971–1974)
  • Ken Wallace – piano (1971–1974)
  • Mick Elliott – lead guitar (1973–1974)



  • First Offense – (April 1974)
    • First Offense – (1994) CD version[6]
    • First Offense – (2013) extended version with bonus tracks[7]


  • "Jump Down Step Aside"  - (1974)[8]
  • "The Riddle" – (1974)


  • Garrison Unit 2
  • Great Aussie Rock[9]
  • Sunbury '73[10] 1973
  • Highlights of Sunbury '74 1974
  • Boogie Balls & Blues Vol 1 1988


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Sid Rumpo'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 30 September 2004. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "ASCAP – ACE Title Search". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Retrieved 20 January 2014.  Note: requires user to enter details, e.g. click on 'Performers' tab and enter 'Sid Rumpo', then select track title.
  3. ^ a b Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Sunbury Festival 1973". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "'Sailing' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 20 January 2014.  Note: User may have to click 'Search again' and provide details at 'Enter a title:' e.g. Sailing; or at 'Performer:' Sid Rumpo
  5. ^ Sid Rumpo (Musical group) First Offense [sound recording]: Mushroom Records, 1993. 1 sound disc (CD) : digital : 4 3/4 in. Series Mushroom midprice masters All tracks written by Sid Rumpo. First released in 1974? Contents: Spotlight -- Breakin' my Back -- Spider Curry -- Sailing -- The Riddle -- Don't Bug me Boogie -- Song with No Trees -- Poor Man's Orange. D19761 Mushroom
  6. ^ a b Sid Rumpo (Musical group) (1994), First Offense, Mushroom Records. National Library of Australia, retrieved 20 January 2014 
  7. ^ a b Sid Rumpo (Musical group) (2013), First Offence, [Australia] Mushroom/Warner Music Australia. National Library of Australia, retrieved 20 January 2014 
  8. ^ Blues org au details
  9. ^ Taylor, Matt. We'll Never Do the Same Again; Sneddon, Greg. Winter; Brown, Buster. Something to Say; Rumpo, Sid. The Riddle; Manning, Phil. Love is the Mender; Skyhooks. Smut; Ayers Rock. Lady Montego; Madder Lake. Booze Blues; Dingoes. Way Out West; Colour Balls. Johnny B. Goode; Chain. I'm Gonna Miss You Babe; Aztecs. Going Back Home (1998). Great Aussie Rock (Media notes). Mushroom Records. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Great Australian Rock Festival (1973 : Sunbury, Vic.); Cardier, Glenn; Taylor, Matt; O'Keefe, Johnny, 1935-1978; Healing Force (Musical group); Blackfeather (Musical group); Aztecs (Musical group); Friends (Rock musical group); 69ers (Musical group); Coloured Balls (Musical group); Madder Lake (Musical group); Band of Light (Musical group); Carson (Musical group); Might Mouse (Musical group); Country Radio (Musical group); Sid Rumpo (Musical group); Mackenzie Theory (Musical group); Bakery (Musical group) (1991). The Great Australian Rock Festival, Sunbury '73 (Media notes). Mushroom Records. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hood, John (2012). "Chapter Six: Sid Rumpo in Perth. Chapter Seven: Sid Rumpo in Melbourne". For the Love of Music. Fremantle, WA: High Voltage Publishing. ISBN 978-0-64658-561-1.