Ragdoll ready to play big and loud

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Combining classic rock with 90's grunge, Ragdoll will bring their explosive sound to The Geraldton Hotel this weekend.
Camera IconCombining classic rock with 90's grunge, Ragdoll will bring their explosive sound to The Geraldton Hotel this weekend. Credit: Elspeth Erickson

Perth three-piece band Ragdoll will bring its rock‘n’roll sound to The Geraldton Hotel this week for two free shows.

Described as “hair grunge”, Ragdoll carefully skirts different sub-genres of rock music, blending the powerful sounds of 1980s classic rock with the scuzzy vibes of 1990s grunge.

Although the trio released its debut album, Back to Zero in May, the boys have been playing together since 2010.

But guitarist Leon Todd and drummer Cam Barrett met about 10 years ago, stumbling across singer Ryan Rafferty by sheer coincidence.

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“We went out to see some bands, we heard this guy singing and it was like, ‘oh my God, who’s doing that?’,” Todd said.

“Ryan has the biggest voice we’ve ever heard. Once we finally got together in a jam room, it was a pretty organic process.

“It turns out the three of us had very similar upbringings, both as people and musically as well.

“We just got on as human beings before we did as musicians.

“That’s been the nice part of making music with these guys.”

After releasing their debut EP in 2011, it wasn’t long before the three-piece were embraced by rock fans around the world.

Just six months after their EP release, Ragdoll headed to the US to play at a festival.

The boys have now toured the US five times and played around Europe, with plans to head back later this year.

“It’s really been a dream come true — we’ve been very lucky,” Todd said.

“We just started writing music we liked, and a friend of a friend passed on our album to someone who happened to be booking a stage at a festival.

“Since then, it’s been kind of breakneck. But you can never say no to things like that, even if it’s costing us.

“You can never look at it from a perspective of are you turning over a profit?

“Our attitude has always been ‘hey, people would kill to have these opportunities’.

“It’s a cliche, I know, but you have to go and do it.”

The band members are no strangers to Geraldton, having played here several times in the past few years. Todd said they enjoyed visiting Geraldton, not just for the beautiful beaches, but because of local people’s passion for live music.

“It’s a beautiful part of the world,” he said. “A lot of the regional places are really opening up to original music again, which is really encouraging.

“I find the attitude towards music there is much more in line with a place like Melbourne or cities in the States — people just have this undying passion for live music and an appreciation for it.

“If one person is going out, all their mates are going out, and their family. That’s what I love about it; the whole community goes out to see something.”

Todd said the band hoped to get to Geraldton more this year.

Ragdoll plays two free shows at The Geraldton Hotel this Friday and Saturday night.

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