In the history of Australian music, there is hardly anyone out there who can rival the charm, charisma, and swagger of Tex Perkins. From his days as the leader of dark, bluesy rock act The Beasts Of Bourbon, to the decidedly more indie stylings of The Cruel Sea, and even further to his more experimental and somber attempts as a solo artist, the man is some sort musical genius, both on and off the stage.
In 1993, the group released their third record, The Honeymoon Is Over. With the album’s title track seeing the most success, the group ended up winning four ARIA awards that year, including Album of The Year, Song of The Year, Group of The Year, and Producer of The Year, which went to the recently-departed Tony Cohen. The Cruel Sea saw their greatest success during this period, and it was well-deserved.
The album’s title track saw Tex Perkins channeling his blues-rock roots into a bitter breakup song that managed to capture the hearts and minds of thousands. From the track’s catchy guitar work, to the cathartic chorus, the track has remained a classic of Australian rock since its release, still making an appearance on countless radio stations, and supermarket PA systems, 24 years after its release.
While I’ve never been lucky enough to see The Cruel Sea live, I did however manage to see The Beasts Of Bourbon perform a stunning set of their early work a few years ago. To see Tex Perkins strut around the stage like a man possessed was one of the most intriguing concert experiences I’ve ever had, and I can only wish and hope that The Cruel Sea will again perform some of their phenomenal live shows in the future.