still here - The I-94 Bar
The Gov, Adelaide
March 17, 2019
Photos by Alison Lea
It's the last night of the Adelaide Festival and the city centre is abandoned to the tourists, and no doubt some "end of festival" official shindig, doubtless adding anodyne "vibrancy" (one of Adelaide City Council's favourite buzzwords) to the joint.
Meanwhile, Adelaide's finest and most intelligent people are voting with their wallets and pile into the Gov, many having come from miles around. One bloke is here with his wife from Kangaroo Island (more expensive than a trip to Melbourne or Sydney); another bloke flew 300 miles to arrive at 4pm, with a return flight at 8am. There are many happy drunks.
Tonight was the most beautiful gig I've seen in years, if not ever. I cannot remember a more wonderful, cathartic experience.
In April 2007 I sat opposite Spencer Jones and Greg ‘Tex’ Perkins in a booth downstairs at the Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda. The occasion was an interview to promote the release of the Beasts of Bourbon’s first studio album in 10 years, "Little Animals". Having recently arrived back from a short tour of the United States, Spencer and Perkins were weary from the long-haul flight.
Perkins was in Beasts mode – cocky, enigmatic, and just prickly enough to remind you who was the tough guy here. Spencer was, as he always was, just Spencer – the cowboy hat, a faint smile, and a reassuring honesty that defied his decades of service in the duplicitous, ego-obsessed world of rock’n’roll.
A fraught fraternal atmosphere hung over the interview. Spencer and Perkins had been friends, band mates, fellow reprobates and occasional antagonists for the past 25 years. They were like brothers, Perkins once mused, and like brothers they loved and fought. And Spencer and Perkins were the only remaining links to the genesis of the Beasts of Bourbon, an irreverent make-shift band thrown together to fulfil Perkins’ gig commitments at the Southern Cross Hotel, way back in June 1983.
Boris Sujdovic, Tony Pola, Kim Salmon, Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen are The Beasts.
The Beasts of Bourbon formed, somewhat by accident, in 1984. If you were 12 today, would you really be inclined to take the trouble to listen to something recorded by a bunch of blokes who started back then?
Well, the hell with your boring old 12-year-old self. The new album by the Beasts of Bourbon's direct descendants, The Beasts, is called "Still Here" and it rates seven (if not eight) bottles (out of five) in my books. It's really simple: "Still Here" is essential if, as you claim, you're a Beasts of Bourbon fan, or if you think of yourself as someone who loves rock'n'roll.
The Beasts are embarking on their second Australian tour this year, this time in tandem with Magic Dirt’s Adalita.
Still running hard off the back of their studio album “Still Here”, the band formerly known as the Beasts of Bourbon is planning a run up and down Australia’s East Coast before shows in Perth, Fremantle and Adelaide.
The Beasts are Tex Perkins, Kim Salmon, Charlie Owen, Tony Pola and Boris Sudjovic. Their shows earlier this year were sell-outs and showed the ex-Beasts had lost none of their power. even with the fallen Spencer P Jones and Brian Hooper gone. .
Tickets for The Beasts’ national tour go on sale on Friday, August 9 via Oztix.
The Beasts + Adalita
28 - Barwon Club, Geelong VIC
29 - York On Lilydale, Mt Evelyn VIC
30 - Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne VIC
4 - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
6 - The Metro, Sydney NSW
7 - Wollongong Uni, Wollongong NSW
12 - The Triffid, Brisbane QLD
13 - Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff NSW
14 - Sol Bar, Maroochydore QLD
20 - The Gov, Adelaide SA
21 - Rosemount Hotel, Perth WA
22 - Rock Rover, Fremantle WA