Beasts of Bourbon
Beasts of Bourbon in 2007 | Credit: Martin Philbey/Redferns

Beasts of Bourbon Announce a Pair of 40th Anniversary Shows

Tex Perkins and his Beasts of Bourbon comrades will honour the band’s 40th anniversary with a couple of headline shows this winter. Perkins will be joined at the shows in Sydney and Melbourne by original Beasts members Kim Salmon (guitar), Boris Sujdovic (bass) and James Baker (drums), as well as guitarist Charlie Owen, who’s been with the band since 1996.

The band no longer performs under the name Beasts of Bourbon – they switched to The Beasts following the deaths of long-time band members Spencer P. Jones and Brian Henry Hooper in 2018, and the anniversary double-header is nicknamed The Beasts Be Suburban. However, the shows will honour the band’s entire six-album discography, plus 2019’s Still Here, released under the Beasts moniker.

Beasts of Bourbon – ‘Chase the Dragon’

Tex Perkins shared a statement reflecting on the band’s early days in the 1980s Darlinghurst music scene. “40 years ago, I was a skinny 18 year old kid living in Darlinghurst in Sydney having the time of his life – playing gigs, taking and drinking everything within arm’s reach,” he said.

Perkins was “constantly meeting and bonding with people in other bands who would turn out to be lifelong friends.” So, when his original bandmates left him “in the dead of night by the side of the road with a month long residency”, his new friends stepped in to help him reboot.

“Spencer Jones and Boris Sujdovic were there when we decided to call it the Beasts of Bourbon,” Perkins said. “James Baker, who would occasionally feed me, soon found his way to his rightful place at the drum kit.”

Jones, Sujdovic and Baker were all more experienced than Perkins. Jones had played in a slew of Sydney bands over the previous half-dozen years, including The Johnnys, while Baker and Sujdovic were members of Perth band The Scientists, and Baker was also playing in Hoodoo Gurus.

Perkins admired the Scientists. “Kim Salmon, friend and mentor, and singer of my favourite band in the world (The Scientists) completed the early ‘classic line-up’,” he said. “At first, we played a few songs of mine and a lot of covers. Alice Cooper, The Stooges, The New York Dolls and Creedence were among the go to songs we all knew well but never had the chance to play live before.”

Beasts of Bourbon’s debut album, The Axeman’s Jazz, arrived in July 1984, but was recorded just months after the band formed. “This all happened 40 years ago this year, so we felt obliged to acknowledge and celebrate this marker in time,” Perkins said.

The Beasts Be Suburban – 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Beasts of Bourbon

  • Friday, 11th August – The Factory, Marrickville NSW
  • Sunday, 13th August – Croxton Bandroom, Thornbury VIC

Tickets on sale: Sydney, Melbourne

Further Reading

Beasts Of Bourbon Become ‘The Beasts’, Announce National Tour & Album

Program Announced for Manly’s Night at the Barracks: Hoodoo Gurus, Tina Arena, Missy Higgins + More

Beasts Of Bourbon Bassist Brian Hooper Has Died

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