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Tex Perkins

Picture by: ©Martin PhilbeyTex Perkins & Charlie Owen hit WA this week, kicking off on Thursday, September 26, at the Newport Hotel; Friday, September 27, at the Freemason’s Hotel (Geraldton); Saturday, September 28, at the Charles Hotel and Sunday, September 29, at the Ravenswood Hotel. BOB GORDON catches up for a chat.

Tex Perkins was a bit worried that he’d isolated himself from all the AFL Grand Final action having booked himself a run of shows in WA this weekend.

“On second thoughts it’s probably the best place to be,” he says. “If Fremantle actually win it’s gonna be awesome over there. We’re in Geraldton on Friday night so I think we’re gonna drive back so we can go to Freo. There’s a pub that our mixer Dave reckons will be a Freo stronghold.”

Perkins returns to WA this weekend with old pal, Charlie Owen. The pair were last seen in April at the ARTBAR, where a 50-something lady yelled at him, ‘take off your pants!’” His response?
‘Take out your teeth!’

“We do provoke each other,” laughs Perkins about his relationship with his audiences. “We’re as bad as each other. It is remarkable how in this modern age where men are accused of all sorts of misogyny and sexism that women can just yell out stuff like that and it’s s’posed to be okay. Not that I’m offended (laughs).”

Of late Perkins has strapped on a rare electric guitar (‘I’m not a guitar player. I’m just a dancer, really’) for the self-titled album from his new outfit, The Ape. Guitarist Raul Sanchez (Magic Dirt) on guitar, drummer Gus Agars (The Dark Horses) and bassist Pat Bourke  came together on some songs Perkins had lying around, combining riffy guitar with hip hop beats.

“The pile of songs grew over the years,” he explains. “Songs that didn’t have any home. I would put them on the Ape Pile, as I started to refer to it. Then the pile got bigger and bigger and became a steaming pile of ape songs. Eventually I had to get it out of the house. I had to do something with it and at the beginning of the year I had some gigs booked under the name Tex Perkins and nobody else was around to help me out  with them so for some reason I found the courage to go to the pile of Ape songs and start from there.”
As for the East Coast shows The Ape have been playing- they’re a different yet familiar pair of boots.

“They’re rock’n’roll gigs,” Perkins says plainly. “The Ape sort of represents a gap in my repertoire of bands and creative outlets. It kind of sits stylistically between The Beasts Of Bourbon and The Cruel Sea. It’s probably heavier and scarier than The Cruel Sea and it’s not as intense and nihilistic as The Beasts. It’s a good fun rock’n’roll band if I can simplify it that much.”

Perkins reveals that he’s working on a film soundtrack at the moment but seems wary of the shifting sands of that industry.
“I’ll probably record a Dark Horses LP next year,” he posits. “The Ape is the car I’m driving at the moment, though. I would imagine we’d probably do another album quick smart.”

In the meantime, Grand Final weekend beckons on the West side. The possibilities are legless.

“Charlie and me will be playing a whole lotta songs by a whole lot of the bands that we’ve been in,” Perkins notes. “It’s a helluva set. All those middle-aged ladies are gunna love it.”

Tex Perkins also appears with The Cruel Sea at A Day On The Green in Kings Park & Botanic Garden on Sunday, November 17,  and at the Fremantle Arts Centre’s Sonic Sessions on Tuesday, November 19.

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