Tex Perkins and Matt Walker’s powerful live show features songs spanning Tex’s vast catalogue, as well as brand new material they have written together for their Fat Rubber band album.
If you’re looking for an all-encompassing blues experience this April, look no further than Tex Perkins and Matt Walker.
The incredible live duo will take to the Palais Geelong on Sunday, 23 April 2023 at 7:30pm, bringing along a powerful live show bolstered with songs spanning Tex’s vast catalogue, as well as brand new material they have written together for their Fat Rubber band album.
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Tex Perkins has played a key role in Australian music and it’s understandably difficult to pull together a coherent picture of a man whose career has taken in everything from the groundbreaking experimental punktonica of Sydney mid-80s noiseniks Thug to the lilting, dark country of his recent material with the Dark Horses.
From the hard-edged pub rock of the Beasts Of Bourbon’s, a snarling slice of filthy pub rock to the evocative soundscapes of The Cruel Sea, whose extraordinary 1991 single ‘This Is Not The Way Home’ placed Perkins’ world-weary growl in a new musical context and heralded the emergence of an entirely original yet archetypically Australian sound.
Then there is the Tex, Don & Charlie albums, which saw Perkins joining forces with the legendary Don Walker, Cold Chisel’s pianist and master songwriter and son of the Clarence Valley, and Charlie Owen, previously Australia’s best-kept musical secret.
Building his reputation on a restless sense of adventure, an ability to evolve and adapt, a dark sense of humour and a knack for teaming up with some of the very best, Perkins is heading to Geelong an epic duo show this week.
“I used to head to Geelong a lot back in the day, it was always part of the tour circuit, the Barwon Club and various other great venues, but the last time I played down there was at a Spiegeltent down at Barwon Heads, just before COVID.
“But I’m coming back, it’s been too long. It’s time for my triumphant return to Geelong.”
Perkins will arrive at the Palais Geelong on 23 April with his incredible collaboration with Matt Walker – a much-respected singer, songwriter and sought-after guitarist across the country and guitarist in Tex Perkins and The Fat Rubber Band.
“Matt and I, we have an expanded version of our working relationship that is with The Fat Rubber Band, but Matt and I are a very effective duo,” Perkins explains.
“We took a couple of years break during COVID, but we first started playing together in 2017, although I’ve known Matt for the last 25 years.”
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But how did two of this country’s finest musicians begin working together?
“He invited me,” Perkins laughs. “It happened very organically and I’ve always highly respected Matt and seen him as the complete package, even from back in the 90s; he used to open for the Cruel Sea.
“So I’ve known him that long and I always respected him as the complete artist: he’s a singer, songwriter, great guitar player, he can pretty much play anything. He’s even a producer and a teacher as well. I couldn’t really see a place for me, I guess subconsciously I never saw him as a collaborator.
“But we’ve remained friends and worked together for The Man In Black: The Johnny Cash Story tribute show that we’ve done from time to time, so we worked together for that. But the turning point was I sent him a picture of a rare album that I had just bought, Beans and Fatback by Link Wray, it’s a record we had talked about, and then he replied with the immortal worlds, ‘awesome, we should make an album like that’.
“And so the door was open and I quickly rushed through.”
Becoming a writing-recording partnership was just the first step, with the two musicians quickly evolving into a live duo, performing gigs across the country together.
“Matt quickly became the perfect person to do that with. He plays a variety of guitars, I play guitar. Matt brings the beauty, I bring the dirt and the vibe, but we also sing really nicely together too.”
Not long after the fruitful working relationship between Perkins and Walker began, space was made for an expanded version of the duo, to further bring their vision to life.
With a clear vision and a number of original songs ready to go, the two enlisted bassist Steve Hadley, drummer Roger Bergodaz and Evan Richards on percussion to complete the Fat Rubber Band lineup and record their debut album’s ten tracks at Walker’s Stovepipe Studios in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges.
The result was a self-titled album, Tex Perkins & The Fat Rubber Bands, which was mainly written and produced by Perkins and Walker.
Now two years on and a worldwide pandemic later, Perkins and Walker are celebrating their newest release, with Tex Perkins and The Fat Rubber Band’s sophomore album Other World.
Released in February this year and featuring singles ‘Brand New Man’, ‘The Devil Ain’t Buying’, ‘(I Wanna Be) Close To You’ and ‘Around The World’, Other World sees Tex and his Fat Rubber Band in top form, with Stack Magazine’s Jeff Jenkins commenting that Tex has “delivered some of his finest work”.
“We’ve had some really great feedback, but you just never know whether things are going to connect, and that’s what it’s all about, it’s about connecting with people.
“Luckily this whole album and the recordings of it happened so easily. During Covid there was an inability to be together so when we were able to be together everyone really took the opportunity and brought their best.”
Recorded and produced by Roger Berdogaz in his home studio, with input from Perkins and Walker, Perkins explains “I loved making this record so much…because fucking magic happened. Yes, that’s right, magic or how about alchemy? I witnessed ideas, thoughts, whims and imaginings transmute almost effortlessly into living breathing songs with a soul and a heartbeat and even their own private history every time we went into the studio for this recording. Actually, no, magic is better.”
Expanding even more, Perkins says, “This magic came about with the help of over 40 years of experience from each of the Fat Rubber band members. They’re all truly great players and they’re all really generous collaborators, so I guess what I’m saying is, it doesn’t matter what happens from here.”
Fresh from taking their Other World album tour around the country, Perkins and Walker’s Geelong show will be one of the rare opportunities to witness their powerful live performance before the band embark on a 24-date European tour.
Described as a ‘blues swamp-groove kinda thing’ that’s a little reminiscent of some of the things in Tex’s back catalogue, the duo will set the stage alight with co-written originals, well-chosen heart-felt cover versions and classics from Tex’s back catalogue (Cruel Sea, Beasts of Bourbon, The Dark Horses etc).
Hailed as thrilling, occasionally deeply moving, and sometimes a lot of fun, but always very satisfying, this is one local show not to be missed.
The duo will bring their live show to the Palais Geelong on 23 April. Tickets are on sale now here.