The Spitfires

TheSpitfiresThe Spitfires play their last ever Perth show at Amplifier this Saturday, May 10, with support from I, Said the Sparrow, Mezzanine, Order Of The Black Werewolf and Odlaw. BOB GORDON walks down memory lane with vocalist/guitarist, Sean Regan.

As ever, The Spitfires are full of surprises. Out of the blue, they’re jumping ship, jumping name and heading off overseas.

“Yeah we’re off to tour the UK and Europe for a couple of years,” says Sean Regan. “It’s just the next step really. We’re having to change our name to The Debt Stars, too, so we’re having to get rid of all our old merch and the tattoos on our arses changed.

“Apparently it’s called rebranding, but I’m not in charge of that side of things so there you go.”

Re-banding perhaps? Either way, for six years, The Spitfires (Regan and bassist, Paul Bovenkerk, with a succession of drummers) have maintained the hard slog, which as any local band will attest, can be quite a saga here in Perth.

“Perth, Australia, England and Japan you mean!” Regan qualifies. “Yes, it’s a slog and if anybody had ever told me what I’d have to go through before we started I’d have raised an eyebrow or two. I’ve had my house blown up, spent half a year living in a shed, had half my coats nicked at shows, lost girlfriends, been permanently skint, been overlooked by cretinous arseholes in the industry in favour of other bands who end up going nowhere and breaking up because guess what? They’re shit!

“Just a word of advice for anybody in the industry who reads this; if you have to spend half your time going around telling people how talented a band is, then they probably aren’t.

“Also, stop describing people as fucking geniuses. I went to one of the top 10 universities in the world and studied chemical engineering under some extremely bright minds and do you know how many times we used the word genius to describe anyone while I was there? Not once, yet apparently the music industry is overflowing with them!

“Anyway… lots of hard work and sacrifice, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

So what have been the highlights of the last six years?

“It’s all been good,” Regan says. “I just hope they let me have another six years. I got to demolish a statue of Margaret Thatcher at a gig earlier this year. Not sure how we’ll top that to be honest… maybe I’ll get to shoot Bono?”

And what, if we may ask, have provided the best moments of hijinx?

“Well, we ran a competition on the last tour to see who could have sex with the most people,” Regan reveals, “scored points for how dirty the act was, etc. Considering we’re in a band, I’d hoped it would have been higher scoring, but we’re clearly not as appealing as we thought. Still we beat Rainy Day Women, which is impressive considering how good looking they all are.”

And so it is that The Spitfires’ last Perth show is at Amplifier this Saturday (you can get a free copy of Songs From The Debt Generation on entry to the venue before 10.30pm or with a presale ticket available from the

God only knows how it will unfold. Regan doesn’t…

“Not sure,” he ponders. “The last Amplifier show got really out of hand; we had to pretty much abandon it when everyone stormed the stage.

“We’ve had to get three drummers in as we’ll be playing songs from the whole of our ‘career’ and we’ve had that many drummers (Neel Shukla, Lauren Reece and Alex Hay) that not one of them knows all the songs. The whole thing has a touch of the Brian Jones Town Massacre about it these days, which is a bit disconcerting… shame nobody bothers to film us.

Complete this sentence. By the end of 2014, we hope to have…

“Enough money to rent a proper flat, I suppose,” Regan offers. “Did I mention that I’m a genius?