Tex Perkins (born Gregory Stephen Perkins on 28 December 1964 in Darwin, Australia) is an Australian singer-songwriter who fronts the Australian rock-band The Cruel Sea, but has also performed with the Beasts of Bourbon, Thug, James Baker Experience, The Butcher Shop, Salamander Jim, and Tex, Don and Charlie. He has also released many solo records. In 1997, a portrait of Tex Perkins by artist Bill Leak won the Packing Room award at the Archibald Prize.
Tex Perkins at The People Speak: Foxtel Broadcast Event, Sydney, Australia, in July 2012
|Birth name||Gregory Stephen Perkins|
|Born||28 December 1964|
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
|Associated acts||Beasts of Bourbon|
The Cruel Sea
Tex, Don and Charlie
1980s: Early GroupsEdit
Perkins started his musical career in Brisbane cowpunk outfit Tex Deadly and the Dum-Dums, before moving to Sydney in 1982, garnering considerable attention in the Sydney independent music scene and also touring Melbourne, before the departure of guitarist Mark Halstead ended the band.
He later formed Salamander Jim with Kim Salmon from The Scientists and Richard Ploog from The Church. Due to touring commitments for Ploog & Salmon, Perkins formed a different line up with Stu Spasm, Lachlan McLeod and Martin Bland. In 1985 this line-up recorded and released their only record, an EP titled Lorne Greene Shares His Precious Fluids on Red Eye Records.
Perkins and Peter Read formed Thug in Sydney in 1987 when Read's flatmate had a fascination for collecting and amassing electronic equipment. After using some of the gear on initial recordings in Read's home studio, Perkins was eager to take it to the stage. Thug's live sets would last twenty to twenty-five minutes, featuring dancers and theatrics. Thug released two studio albums Mechanical Ape / Proud Idiots Parade in 1987 and Electric Woolly Mammoth in 1988.
1983-present: The Beasts of BourbonEdit
Beasts of Bourbon formed in Sydney in 1983, the original Beasts lineup comprised Perkins, Spencer P. Jones, James Baker, Kim Salmon and Boris Sudjovic. The band's first album, The Axeman's Jazz, was an underground success, but the Beasts continued to be just a side project for its members until 1988 when the Beasts reformed to record Sour Mash, followed by 1990's Black Milk and 1991's The Low Road. In 1993, the group toured extensively to support the double album From the Belly of the Beasts, then disbanded temporarily. They reformed to release Gone in 1997, which received lukewarm reviews, but produced a minor single called "Saturated".
In 2003, they reformed to record a live album, Low Life, released on Spooky Records. In December 2006 it was announced that Albert Productions had signed an exclusive worldwide recording deal with the band and on 23 April 2007, released their new album Little Animals. In August 2013 the band celebrated their 30th anniversary.
1987–2003: The Cruel SeaEdit
After toying with different band members, The Cruel Sea came into fruition in 1987 with the union of Ken Gormley on bass, Jim Elliot on drums, Danny Rumour on guitars and James Cruikshank on keyboards and guitars, taking their name from the 1960s surf instrumental group, The Ventures. In 1989 Perkins (their then-lighting technician) started joining them onstage. This sparked an interest from Red Eye Records, and the band was signed and released a 1989 album Down Below. They received an ARIA Award nomination in 1993 following the release of their second album, This Is Not the Way Home in 1991.
The group's third album, The Honeymoon Is Over, released in 1993, and its title song, won five ARIA Music Awards of 1994. They followed with a high-profile world tour. 1995 saw the release of the hugely successful Three Legged Dog album, which won the group another ARIA award. In 1998, The Cruel Sea released Over Easy in 1997 and Where There's Smoke in 2001.
1992-present: Tex, Don and CharlieEdit
Tex, Don and Charlie is an Australian group formed by Tex Perkins, Don Walker from Cold Chisel and guitarist Charlie Owen. Their first album Sad But True was released in 1993. Their distinctively Australian country-blues cocktail was reflected in their live album of 1995, Monday Morning Coming Down.... In March 2005, Tex, Don and Charlie released their second studio album All is Forgiven and a third, You Don't Know Lonely in 2017. All four albums have charted in the ARIA top 100.
1996-present: Solo CareerEdit
In 1996, Perkins released his first solo studio album, Far Be It from Me, which peaked at number 43 on the ARIA Charts. In 2000, Perkins released his second solo studio album, Dark Horses which peaked at number 24 on the ARIA Charts. In 2003, Sweet Nothing was released which was credited to Tex Perkins' Dark Horses and peaked at number 34 on the ARIA Charts.
In 2008, Perkins released the album No. 1's & No. 2's, credited to Tex Perkins And His Ladyboyz. In 2009, wrote the soundtrack to the Australian drama film Beautiful Kate. The album received an ARIA nomination for Best Original Soundtrack/Cast/Show Album for the soundtrack at the ARIA Music Awards of 2009.
In 2010 and 2011, Tex Perkins and The Tennessee Four (Shannon Bourne, guitar; Shane Reilly, guitar; Steve Hadley, bass; Dave Folley, drums) performed a series of shows in Australia and New Zealand, titled The Man in Black - The Johnny Cash Story, the show featured two hours of Johnny Cash’s music interwoven with the story of his rise to stardom, his fight for survival and his eventual redemption. Tex Perkins (a baritone, as was Cash) and Rachael Tidd (as Cash's wife June Carter Cash), performed faithful renditions of Cash's songs while telling Cash's story in the third person between songs. During the show, Tex humorously emphasises the name of Cash's guitarist Luther Perkins. Tex Perkins and The Tennessee Four performed a further series of shows in 2013 and 2014.
On 10 June 2011, Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses released a new, self-titled album which peaked at number 73. Everyone's Alone was released in 2012 followed by Tunnel at the End of the Light in July 2015 and peaked at number 52.
In 2015, Perkins collaboration with The Steel Springs on "One Minute's Silence", released on Anzac Day, to commemorate the centenary of the landing at Anzac Cove. The track, written by author Matthew Hardy, features The Welsh Choir and a spoken word performance by Australian rules football legend Ron Barassi.
Film and TV appearancesEdit
Perkins has a cameo role in the 1998 Australian film, Praise. He appeared on Battle of the Choirs on the Seven Network in Australia in 2008. He has hosted RocKwiz numerous times. He voiced a cartoon shark in the 2011 Movie Extra animated series Shaaark.
Perkins is a supporter of the St Kilda Football Club in the Australian Football League. He invented the sport of zoneball, a cross between Australian rules football and tennis. According to AFL player Bob Murphy, "Tex is to zoneball what Tom Wills is to footy ... The creator, the maestro, the master of ceremonies."
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Far Be It from Me||
|Sweet Nothing (with Dark Horses)||
|My Better Half (with Tim Rogers) (AKA TnT)||
|No. 1's & No. 2's (with & His Ladyboyz)||
|Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses (with Dark Horses)||
|Everyone's Alone (with Dark Horses)||
|Tunnel at the End of the Light (with Dark Horses)||
|Beautiful Kate (with Murray Paterson)||
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|The Best of Tex Perkins: Songs from My Black Cattle Dog||
- Audio interview with Tex Perkins Archived 10 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine on 612 ABC Brisbane
- Walker, Clinton (1996). Stranded: The Secret History of Australian Independent Music 1977–1991. Pan MacMillan. pp. 137–139.
- "ARIA Awards 2010 : History: Winners by Artist: Cruel Sea The". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 8 November 2010.[permanent dead link]
- "ARIA Awards 2010 : History: Winners by Year: 1994 8th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 8 November 2010.[permanent dead link]
- Baker, Glenn A. (16 April 1994). "New Artists, Indie Labels Dominate Australian Music Awards". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media: 51. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "ARIA Awards 2010 : History: Winners by Year: 1995 9th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
- "australian-charts.com - Discography Tex Perkins". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- Australian Associated Press General News, 8 October 2009, "Fed: This year's ARIA nominees"
- "Chartifacts - Week Commencing: 20th June 2011". Australian Recording Industry Association. 20 June 2011. Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- Ryan, Gavin (25 July 2015). "ARIA Albums: Tame Impala Currents Debuts At No. 1". Noise11. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Emery, Patrick (24 June 2011). "Tex Perkins: ‘My Sensitive Side Could Crop Up Anywhere’", Mess+Noise. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- Murphy, Bob (2 June 2011). "After the bad and big bads of zoneball, relax with your dream team", The Age. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "Discography Tex Perkins". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
- Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 216.
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