Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Innocent Bystanders - Don't Go Looking Back

Just My Mother's Son/Lookin' Down At You/Let Me In/I Don't Care/Dangerous/Hard To Know/Those Days/Late Knight Criers/Don't Go Looking Back

At a time when cover bands dominated the Western Australian music landscape, "Bystanders" were one of the few original acts to make a dent and after a few years of hard work eventually pull very respectable crowds. Their Monday night residences at the Herdsman Hotel drew crowds of over 250 people, many of them music industry types there to listen to this powerful Australian band heavily influenced by Cold Chisel and Bruce Springsteen. The standout features were the depth of Keyser's songwriting and his powerful vocals and the amazing young teenage guitarist Mark Lizotte aka Diesel.
The band's songs drew heavily from their local environment of beaches, hot summers, weekends down South and even the demolition of the Scarborough Beach Hotel. In addition Keyser soaked up many influences and ventured into the realm of story-telling with his songs.
In 1983 the band released a cassette entitled Live at the Subi, recorded at the Subiaco Hotel with a mobile recording truck.
In 1984 the band flew to Sydney and recorded a single, "Lebanon" with Peter Walker (Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel producer)[1] with the lineup of Lizotte, Brett Keyser (vocals), John ‘Yak’ Sherrit (drums), John ‘Tatt’ Dalzell (bass) and Cliff Kinneen (keyboards).
Lizotte left the band in 1986. Keyser then recruited new players John Heussanstamm (guitar) and Al Kash (drums; ex-Blackfeather) and issued the album Don’t Go Looking Back on the Chase label. The other members followed Lizotte and formed the successful Australian act Johnny Diesel & The Injectors.


Vinyl is here


  1. Does anybody have more info and maybe photo's of Innocent Bystanders?

  2. Does anyone have any info, photo's etc on Innocent Bystanders? I used to go see them when they first started out, playing sometimes to half a dozen people, half of which was me, my brother and a mate. Ended up seeing them play at least 2 or 3 times every week until their demise. Best and most memorable gigs were at the Subi and Herdies and I was there when they recorded "Live at the Subi". Never forget The Subi with the fires burning, people up the back on tables so they can watch the band through the packed in crowd play "Writing Home" with the sounds of incoming choppers shaking The Subi to its foundations. These were very special times for me and still think they are one of the best bands ever to come out of Perth(along side The Injectors). I still listen to "Live at the Subi" regularly. I went on to follow Johnny Diesel and the Injectors and was at thier first gig at Muso's Club. Same again, 2,3, even 4 times a week, every week. Would like to here from anyone with anything on Bystanders.
    Cheers Mark

  3. This brings back memories for sure! Whatever happened to Innocent Bystanders and the band members?

  4. John Heussenstamm has his own website:

    I spoke to Brett Townsend about 10 years ago, can't quite remember what he said but i asked him about Brett Keyser and Innocent Bystanders.

    Brett Keyser is in a new youtube video because someone took some vid at the Perth Blues Club recently. Google it to find it.

    Leisa. Perth

  5. Mark - I would have been in some of those crowds. We went and saw IB a couple of times per week even though there might have only been the same 10 to 20 people in the crowd. I remember going the Old Melbourne week in week out on a Sunday. Also went to the Nookenburra heaps. I have the Live at the Subi on cassette and record of Dont go looking back. Love those old songs.

    I remember going to the Subi and it was totally packed - I am sure I was there when they recorded Live at the Subi.

    Those were the days...
    Leisa. Perth

  6. Hey Leisa - thanks. Googled and found it. Times have changed!
    I used to go see IB lots, then moved to Melbourne and lost track of them.
    Those were the days indeed!

  7. Hi Bystander Lovers. Remember songs like Thai Hotel , Who had the Aces. and The Song about Brett and his mate Andy and their Toranas. Great band Great gigs.

  8. Does anybody have a copy of "Live at the Subi" that they'd be willing to post online or even send to me? Been looking forever. Thanks. J. S.

  9. Hi J.S. been promised "Live At The Subi" a few times but has never eventuated if I ever find it will post it.