An Evening with TEX, DON and CHARLIE
+ THE AHERN BROTHERS
@ Badlands Bar 20/09/17
Tex Perkins, Don Walker and Charlie Owen are all prolific names in Australian music history. It was an acoustic live performance on Triple J during the early 90s that ignited the flame that would later fuse three iconic musicians into the modern country and blues outfit we know today as Tex, Don and Charlie. Fans of the super-group braced the stormy weather and gathered at Badlands Bar last night for the first of two shows in Perth this week. Their first time performing together in the western capital, TDC took to the stage with a percussionist and double bassist to premiere songs from the new album You Don’t Know Lonely.
Warming the crowd with their folky, acoustic vibes were The Ahern Brothers; two singer-songwriters embarking on their first ever national tour as a roots artist. After releasing their debut album only last year, the Melbourne duo (who aren’t actually related) won a US writing competition that gave them the opportunity to write music together. With blissful melodies that imitate an aura of summer, Steve Grady and Josh Rennie-Hynes compliment each other’s soft, harmonising vocals. Songs like “Call, My Lover” and “Comb That River” tell stories about love and loss, innocence and longing over sombre and lingering strums. Despite most of the early birds keeping their distance from the stage, The Ahern Bros were well received by this middle-aged crowd.
When it was time for the main event, a doubled crowd welcomed Tex, Don and Charlie to a lantern-lit stage, kicking the introductory show off with “Redheads” and the first single off the new album “A Man in Conflict with Nature”. The brash lyrics and brooding undertones of the single earned itself a few laughs, however the audience remained stiff for a majority of the performance. “Love you Charlie!” the shy voice of an elderly woman calls across at a quiet moment, soon followed by a chant for the esteemed guitarist/pianist. Perkins received no such attention, unlike Walker who heard a few fans mentioned him. It might have been a blow for the lead vocalist’s ego, quickly swept under stage banter, but didn’t go unnoticed by some fans who wondered out loud if the heckling had bothered him during intermission.
It’s clear that each musician in this project shares the stage in mutual admiration of one another, which is exactly why TDC works so well after 12 years of side projects and other distractions. The setlist works around vocal and instrumental rotation, allowing Perkins the opportunity to relax on his swivel bar stool while Owen took control of the microphone, or Walker swapping out his keyboard for an acoustic guitar. The combined experience and talented shared across each artist is legendary, explaining the decent turnout on a cold night in the middle of the working week. Together they are poets performing anthems for the working class, reflecting on a wild youth that yearned the life experience inspiring a new album, all the while showcasing material that is relatable to an older, faithful audience.
An encore made way for three final songs, including finale “Postcard From Elvis” from 1993 album Sad But True; a crowd pleaser and undoubted TDC favourite judging from the band’s cheerful expressions. A relaxing evening of soothing country and blues, and a trip down memory lane for the fans that have been following Perkins, Walker and Owen since the beginning. A little less enjoyable for younger generations who missed out on faster, louder heyday of these iconic national treasures.
Setlist from 20/09/17:
A Man in Conflict with Nature
What I Am
Just Your Luck
Here’s as Good as Anywhere
One Step Ahead of the Blues
Whenever it Snows
Harry was a Bad Bugger
Dead Dog Boogie
Fake That Emotion
Sitting in a Bar
What I Done to Her
Postcard From Elvis
Check out Karen Lowe’s gallery of this show HERE
AMNPLIFY – DB
Connect with Tex, Don and Charlie
My nickname is “The Amnplifier”. Why? Because around here my focus is on being a conduit for providing greater outcomes that people come here for. My day to day “work” is living in the moment, and I love helping others concentrate on finding their connection to themselves through their experiences.
Why start a music environment? The truth is I love music, I love writing, and I love life. I work with musicians every day, and I feel certain that I will be until they put me in the ground. I have been managing people in businesses of some sort for over thirty five years so along the way I have developed some “wisdom” from my regular and constant “observations”.
Amnplify your experience. That is what we want you to do here, and if you want to let me know why you do, or don’t, shoot me a message on Facebook.
Hope you enjoy yourself here and find something that hits you somewhere.