Tex Perkins – The Basement 30th July 2008

Tex and I were unacquainted at best. To the ginge, I’d say he was sex on legs but before that night, I knew nothing of the man or his music really. And so it begins…

We arrive late to a full house at The Basement, a venue I had never been to. Tripping about in the dark whilst sifting among his real fans and managing to find a spot, well in the way of people behind me and anyone on their way to the toilet. I think about running into Jimmy Barnes or tripping over him in the audience and what a f***wit I’d feel like if I did. What would I say? I’d call him ‘Jimmy B’ and throw-up on his shoes and consequently wish I were dead. I receive a sms from an old friend, “perv on tex for me”. Fair enough… as far as I know! I’m here to perv on Tex Perkins. I mean SEE Tex Perkins! I have my focus back.

There, onstage is one tall glass o’ water holding a guitar. 6ft 4 and he tells us so. He’s an honest man. “Pay cheques into wine, sometimes beer but mostly wine’’, the line struck me as nostalgia often strikes me and suddenly I could do with a hard drink. He is accompanied on keys by James Cruickshank of the Cruel Sea and together they escape into Foreigner and Airsupply impersonations as seemingly old friends often do. Tex adjusts his microphone repeatedly as it’s, “having trouble holding an erection” and while I giggle I think of Tom Waits and Nick Cave and I wonder what other peoples assessments are, if they, like me had never met him before. We were all once in the same place.

Man… he’s cool. I’m betting everyone encased within the wooden ambience that was The Basement was thinking the same thing too, despite having known him a great deal longer than I have. Now, regardless of how demonstrably charming his failing microphone was, the phallic symbol had to be dealt with. Cue Henry, the motorbike jacket wearing roadie who is soon swept up in the music, grabbing a tambourine. Tex already had the house silently singing along to the lyrics in his back catalogue, (of which I will admit I was envious) but now everyone was, “Never gonna give myself up for anyone but Henry…” and not so silently either.

Those lyrics of love and betrayal, “I know you know that I know” and songs accompanied by keys and cello to further compound the feeling of sweet melancholic conjuring within me, I remember things I’d rather forget. He followed this by explaining that in this next song he will be pronouncing ‘can’t’ as Americans do because the alternative pronunciation sounds too much like c**t, well I myself c**t help thinking that not every artist has charisma or as much charm onstage. And you are only really confronted with that when you meet someone who defines it.

Singing, “million dollar hoe, he stops to state, “hoe is so much better than whore, don’t you think? Thankyou hip-hop culture for making it so polite.” Before diving into a beautiful rendition of Bowie’s Angels and then New York, New York and feigning to ride a bike on a barstool after sad echoes of his Half of Nothing then bringing a bottle of Pure Blonde (perhaps he is carb-conscious?) to his mouth and blowing into it like a flute…Well he had me there. I was compelled to take a blurry photo with my epic 1 mega pixel camera and send it to my old friend. It didn’t work. Some error thing, typical.

Man…he’s cool.

Must Read