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THE BEASTS @ The Rosemount gets 8/10

The Beasts @ The Rosemount Hotel
w/ The Painkillers
Friday, March 15, 2019


Friday night found the faithful turning up in numbers early, in anticipation of the long-awaited return of The Beasts (formally Beasts of Bourbon) to a Perth stage. With the untimely passing of both Spencer P Jones and Brian Hooper spurring the band back to the studio to record their latest album, Still Here, Tex Perkins and company sauntered into town for some of the last dates on their national tour in support of the new release.

The Painkillers

With the main room at the Rosemount steadily filling early, it was up to local favourites, The Painkillers, to kick off the evening and they didn’t disappoint. Having played for many years as a duo with frontman Joe Bludge and the iconic James Baker on drums, The Painkillers have, in more recent times, morphed into a four piece with the addition of guitarist Richard Lane (The Stems) and Martyn P Casey (The Bad Seeds, The Triffids) on bass. With Bludge well and truly on form, The Painkillers delivered a great set that seemed to go down a treat with the growing, expectant audience, highlighted by Redfern Girl and a personal favourite, $6 Chicken.

The Beasts

Long known for delivering their own brand of dirty, dangerous rock ’n’ roll with undeniable swagger to audiences around the world, The Beasts took to the stage to loud applause from the now full room. Starting the set with On My Back and Pearls Before Swine from the new album, the band instantly proved that they hadn’t lost a step over the years, and if anything, had gained in intensity with age, if that’s at all possible. Despite a couple of audio hiccups at the start of their set, The Beasts powered on into The Low Road and Bad Revisited with the guitar pairing of Kim Salmon and Charlie Owen delivering blistering riffs over the ever-solid rhythm section of Tony Pola and Boris Sujdovic.

The Beasts

With Tex Perkins introducing James Baker’s Drunk On A Train, saying that it will “be covered more than Louie Louie by next century” the band continued on with their typically uncompromising set before pausing to pay tribute to their fallen bandmates with the Brian Hooper penned What The Hell Was I Thinking followed by At The Hospital, the last song written by Spencer P Jones. Always a consummate performer, Perkins once again appeared to have the audience in the palm of his hand, hanging on his every word and inflection as The Beasts launched back into their trademark riff laden rock with Just Right and Chase The Dragon before finishing their set with the undoubted crowd favourite, Drop Out.

The Beasts

Of course, that wasn’t to be the end of the show, especially if the audience had anything to say about it, and Tex and the band dutifully returned and delivered an unforgettable encore. The Torture Never Stops and It’s All Lies, both from the new album were followed by another Spencer P Jones classic Execution Day before the band hugged and made their way off stage to the deafening applause of their hot and sweaty fans.

The Beasts proved, not that there was ever any doubt, that they continue to be one of the country’s most intense and powerful live bands. Sure, there’s been quite a bit of water under the bridge since the days when they started out playing to punters in small inner city Sydney pubs but as I said earlier, they’ve aged like a fine wine. They just keep getting better. While the sad passing of Jones and Hooper was a major loss it also appears to have been somewhat of a blessing in disguise, bringing the band back to the studio and sending them back out onto the road… where they belong.


Photos by Karen Lowe

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