peregrine began as the vehicle for the performance of songs written by Brett Winterford, who after several early line-up changes settled on drummer Mathew Smith and bassist Dane Higgins (both joining in 1999), and guitarist Felix Akurangi (joining in 2000).
Winning a local band competition in Sydney's beachside suburb of Manly within their first few gigs, the band established a residency at the Excelsior of Glebe, in one of Sydney's most artistically diverse inner-city suburbs.
This residency ran for an exhaustive two years, packed out on Wednesday (and later Thursday) nights, and featuring guests including Andy Clockwise, Melanie Horsnell, Paul Greene, Aaron Thomas, Lior, Tim Ireland, Bertie Blackman and Wesley Carr.
The residency also attracted much of the cream of Sydney's art scene - writers, painters, musicians and filmmakers were regularly in attendance. At the time, the band was described in street-press magazine 'Revolver' (now 'The Brag') as "Sydney's best kept secret".
In 2003, the band booked itself into Big Jesus Burger Studios in Sydney's Surry Hills to record its first album, which was released under the title "One Big Happy Heart Attack".
Songs were tracked live onto two-inch tape, and featured many of the guests that had shared the Excelsior stage with the band - songwriters Paul Greene, Melanie Horsnell and Josh Schuberth back Winterford's vocals, friend Marcus Webb plays Hammond Organ and Fender Rhodes keyboard, while other regulars pitched in on cello, violin and harmonica.
A representative from Shock Music Publishing happened to enter the studio while the band was laying down one of its newer tracks, 'Fingerpointing'.
Winterford's publishing and the album's distribution would later be signed with Shock.
The album was reviewed very favourably by Australia's national newspapers - with The Australian giving it four stars and praising its "narrative wit" and "quiet charm".
The album's opening track 'Fingerpointing' was picked up by Australia's national youth radio broadcaster Triple J among others, and was featured in the radio station's 'Home and Hosed: First Harvest' compilation, and on several films and television shows.
After touring 'Heart Attack' consistently up and down Australia's East Coast, the band took a break in 2004/05 to allow Winterford to travel. Upon his return, the band reformed with new bassist Mark Holbert, and began tracking a follow-up album at Sydney's 301 Studios.
According to blogs posted on the peregrine web site, the album features appearances by celebrated Sydney songwriter David Lane, keys player Clayton Doley from The Hands, the string section from the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the voices of peregrine's regular guests Paul Greene and Melanie Horsnell, among others.
The band has consistently posted updates about its album's progress, but little information is available as to its title or release date. In the meantime, the band has sold out shows at Sydney's famed jazz venue "The Basement" and appeared at the Peats Ridge Music Festival, among others.
The band recently updated its myspace site with a track from the forthcoming album, titled "The Good Ship".
Winterford also writes music stories for the Sydney Morning Herald and is a keen advocate for the local live music scene in Sydney. Acts he has interviewed for the daily newspaper include Gomez, Tori Amos, Arctic Monkeys, The Shins, Wolfmother, Silverchair, The Magic Numbers, Peter Bjorn and John, The Waifs, Archie Bronson Outfit, and Regina Spektor.
Winterford also occasionally appears as a solo artist, leaving the rest of the group to perform as an instrumental groove outfit called 'The Solid Ones'.
|One Big Happy Heart Attack||2004|
|The Good Ship||2007|
"Narrative wit and poetic soul-searching in abundance. Quietly charming." - Iain Sheddon, The Weekend Australian
"Brett Winterford sings with a wistfulness that makes him eminently likeable.” - Katrina Lobley, Sydney Morning Herald
"A good songwriter is also a good storyteller. The lyrics, the melody, the rhythm - a multi-dimensional world guided by the writer but created by the listener. This is one such gift of good music; its ability to transport you to far off places that are inaccessible from your current situation. Peregrine have that. Swashbuckling, rollicking melodies through the seas of the unknown." - Hutch, Sandwich Club blog, March 2007
"Heart Attack hums with life, both sprightly and seductive." - Mike Gee, The Brag
“Proficient, infectious, acoustic popsters with intelligence.” - Soph Gyles, The OzMusic Project
“Are they one of the big secrets about town or what? Amazing vocals, beautiful pop melodies, stunning.” - Craig New, Revolver Magazine