“Mate, I’ve got son called Travis. He’s a cunt too.”
That’s how the conversation starts when we got on the horn to Kevin Bloody Wilson to discuss his latest tour. Well, what else would you expect from Australia’s master of foul-mouthed fun, whose incredibly filthy ditties have been sung in pool rooms and playgrounds alike for over three decades now? The man has a reputation to uphold, after all.
Still, this is a momentous occasion, as Wilson embarks on what, at first glance, looks like his final round of appearances. Or is it? “Well, this is The First Of The Final Farewell Tours…perhaps. What it’s about is, I’ll probably do final farewell tours for the next four years, five years, perhaps, and then I’ll have 12 months off and I’ll start the comeback tours. Like KISS. And I’m gonna out-Farnham Farnham.”
So we can expect to hear a lot of classic Wilson songs, or will there be more of a focus on recent material?
“Well, certainly all of the above,” he says. “I’ve got a new album coming out to coincide with the tour, called Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Certainly, we’ll be going back over 30 years of stuff that I’ve recorded. Certainly, I’ve recorded in excess of 300 songs across 18 albums. Certain songs like Living Next Door To Alan and Hey Santa Claus, You Cunt, they’re always going to be a part of it.”
Whatever you think of the man’s material, Wilson is part of a long and storied tradition within music – a tradition that spans cultures and centuries and shows no sign of ever dying out. “It’s interesting when you look at the history of the bawdy ballad. The reason I took it up was because they weren’t writing them any more! I never got to hear any new ones, you know? The old ones like The Hairs On Her Dicky Di Do, you’ve probably heard them as a result of the Kevin Bloody Wilson thing, but those songs have been around for hundreds of years. A lot of the famous scribes of our time, including Henry Lawson and going back as far as Shakespeare, used to write bawdy verse. Bawdy ballads were quite the tone back in those days – it was quite acceptable. Charlotte The Harlot, The Cowpuncher’s Whore, Poor Little Angeline – all these things I suede to read up on as a kid, because you could only get them in the adult section of the library in those days. I was always fascinated by them. When my music career started at 15, there was a time and a place to do these bawdy ballads, like when I was hanging around with me mates. I found that, when I went to record them, there weren’t any new ones out there, so that’s about when I started to write my own.”
So, would he say he’s made a valuable contribution to the culture?
“Culture and Kevin Bloody Wilson in the same sentence?” he laughs, before continuing more thoughtfully. “I was also interviewed by the music archives in Canberra. They spent two days with me, interviewing me, several years ago, taking all the songs and writing them down and taking recorded versions of everything I’d laid down up until that date and we still refresh it with every new album, so it’s historical in Australia as well. I’m pretty proud of that.”
Does that mean he’s becoming respectable?
“Oh, I fuckin’ hope not! It’s just something we do, isn’t it? Everybody’s got their favourite naughty story. Even the Queen must laugh at fart jokes.”
Kevin Bloody Wilson plays at the Crown Theatre from Thursday, December 12 until Sunday, December 14 and at the Bunbury Entertainment Centre on Saturday, December 21. For tickets and info head here.