Sforzando (band)

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OriginMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Years active1995 (1995)–2007 (2007)
Past members
  • Quincy Hall
  • Raju Sharma
  • Scott Jansen
  • Paul Tierney
  • Dave O'Reilly
  • Ben Tarpey
  • Sharon Ryan
  • Wez Rowe

Sforzando were a Celtic music band from Australia, which combined elements of punk, Western European folk music and sea shanties to create "a soundscape for the ocean". They described themselves as a "pirate orchestra" while fans refer to them as a "pirate band". They had Irish and Balkan influences in their sound. They issued two studio albums, We Sail Away (1997) and Hideous Sea Creatures (2002) before disbanding in 2007.


Sforzando formed in 1995 in Melbourne by Quincy Hall on lead vocals, Dave O'Reilly on lead guitar, his sister, Karen O'Reilly, on bass guitar and Ross on drums.[1] The group's name, sforzando, is used in musical notation to indicate that the following note should be played loudly (see dynamics). They chose this to match their loud, frenetic punk rock style.

In 1999 they performed at the Lighthouse Cafe, during the Port Fairy Folk Festival, which was recorded for their live album, Midnight at the Lighthouse, with the line-up of Hall, Scott Jansen, Stuart Mathieson, Dave O'Reilly, Karen O'Reilly, Raju Sharma and Paul Tierney.[2]

By 2002's album, Hideous Sea Creatures, they were a six-piece and self-described as a "pirate orchestra who blend ferocious punk, Western European folk melodies and classic sea shanties to create a soundscape for the ocean."[3] Sylvia Gauci of Vibewire caught their gig in August 2002 at The Tote in Collingwood; she felt they "played a wide selection of both more traditional, folk-inspired tunes along with the fast punk and vivacious violin playing. But on top of the musical fun, lead singer Quincy used some time to voice his opinion on the highly questionable state of our government and foreign affairs – a very commendable use of time talking to the audience."[4]

By 2006 the line-up was Hall on lead vocals, Sharma on percussion, Jansen on violin, Tierney on drums, Dave O'Reilly on guitar and Garth Heron on bass guitar.[5]




  • We Sail Away (Mabuhay Records, 1997) (MBR00004)[6]
  • Midnight at the Lighthouse (πR8, 1999; live at Port Fairy Folk Festival) [2]
  • Hideous Sea Creatures (Sound Vault, 2002)[4]

Extended plays[edit]

  • SFZ.ep (Sforzando, 2005) (1698249)


  1. ^ O'Reilly, Dave; Hall, Quincy; O'Reilly, Karen. "History". sforzando.com.au. Archived from the original on 18 October 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b Sforzando (2000), Midnight at the Lighthouse, [Sweden]: Nosag, retrieved 11 August 2017 Note: Swedish label, Nosag, released the album in 2000.
  3. ^ "Artists :: Sforzando". Australian Music Online. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b Gauci, Sylvia (14 August 2002). "musicwire > gig-reviews > Pirate Party @ The Tote by Sylvia Gauci". vibewire.net. Archived from the original on 12 September 2003. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  5. ^ "The Brig – Diggin up the Past – Biography". sforzando.com.au. Archived from the original on 18 October 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  6. ^ Sforzando (1997), We Sail Away, Mabuhay Records, retrieved 11 August 2017

External links[edit]