The prowling blistering Beasts of Bourbon ruled supreme in the eighties – a sort of supergroup of legends that seemed steeped in swampy indulgence and bacchanalia in the vibrant music scene in the inner city of Sydney. This was an almost mythical time when virtually everyday of the week you could catch bands like The Scientists, The Triffids, The Go-Betweens and of course The Beasts plying their trade at venues like the Hopetoun, Trade Union Club and the Annandale Hotel. The epicentre was Surry Hills, the reverberations worldwide.
To celebrate 40 years since they first roamed the inner west at will, The Beasts of Bourbon, under the steady direction of legendary Tex Perkins, have announced two special anniversary gigs in Sydney and Melbourne. With the exception of Spencer Jones who has sadly passed, the lineup includes the classic members and Perkins poignantly recalls those early days and issues a very special invitation:
40 years ago, I was a skinny 18 year old kid living in Darlinghurst in Sydney having the time of his life – playing gigs, taking and drinking everything within arm’s reach!
Constantly meeting and bonding with people in other bands who would turn out to be lifelong friends.
When my band up and left me in the dead of night by the side of the road with a month long residency, it was those friends that were there to help me pick things up and start again.
Spencer Jones and Boris Sujdovic were there when we decided to call it the Beasts of Bourbon.
James Baker, who would occasionally feed me, soon found his way to his rightful place at the drum kit.
Kim Salmon, friend and mentor, and singer of my favourite band in the world (The Scientists) completed the early ‘classic line-up’.
At first, we played a few songs of mine and a lot of covers. Alice Cooper, The Stooges, The New York Dolls and Creedence were among the go to songs we all knew well but never had the chance to play live before.
It was a free for all, fuck it, let it fly kind of thing!
A few months later we spent 6 hours in a studio and recorded our first album The Axeman’s Jazz.
As I said this all happened 40 years ago this year, so we felt obliged to acknowledge and celebrate this marker in time.
Obviously, our fallen comrade Spencer Jones will not be with us, but long time Beast Charlie Owen will help us chase that feeling one more time.
We hope y’all can join us for some dirty ol time rock n roll played by sweet hearted old punks from the swamps of Surry Hills.
Who could resist? This will be something quite special. The dates are:
1 August 2023 – The Factory Theatre, Marrickville NSW
13 August 2023 – Croxton Bandroom, Northcote VIC
Here’s a little taste of what to expect: