Tex Perkins and The Dark Horses at Tanks Arts Centre
Experience the wide open sounds of Tex Perkins and The Dark Horses at Tanks this weekend, writes Jesse Kuch
One of Australia’s foremost musicians and songwriters makes a very welcome return to the Far North this weekend, bringing one of his most celebrated outfits of the last decade or so to Tanks for one night only.
No matter what the incarnation, be it The Cruel Sea, Tex, Don and Charlie, The Beasts Or Bourbon or any of his other experiments of the past three decades, Tex Perkins commands attention wherever he goes, a musical tour de force and bastion of integrity in the Australian musical landscape.
Speaking to Hit from his home in the hills near Byron Bay, Tex says he and the rest of his band The Dark Horses are looking forward to bringing their sounds to one of his “favourite venues in the world” for the first time.
“It’s my third or fourth time at the Tanks, each time I’ve brought up different versions of my bands,” he says.
“The first time was with Charlie Owen, who’s in the Dark Horses and I think I played with James Cruickshank (The Cruel Sea) as well. I don’t think the full Dark Horses line-up has been with me before. I have to say, it’s actually one of my favourite venues in the world. It’s a very specific kind of space to play music and I’ve found it actually has worked for us in the past. It’s not only the space, but whoever is responsible for setting it out.”
Tex says The Dark Horses didn’t really begin with a plan or intention in mind – but since forming around the turn of the century, have become one of his most interesting musical endeavors.
“The Dark Horses essentially started as a backing band for my solo album of the same name,” he says.
“We toured that record and we’ve kept that name ever since, even past seeing out my solo album deal. By now, it’s become its own thing, with its own identity and sound. For me, it’s really about the great blend of those musicians. It’s an interesting result of cross-polinisations, ideas and sounds. I guess at the core it’s an acoustic kind of band. It started out kinda a country rock band, but it’s progressed far beyond that.”
When asked about The Dark Horses being the definitive Tex Perkins band, the man is typically coy – but says something magic happens when this particular group of musicians takes to the stage.
“It almost is,” he says with a chuckle.
“I work with Charlie on all sorts of things, and James Cruickshank and I did our time in The Cruel Sea together. Joel Silbersher is a longtime Dark Horse and he’s another great element in the mix. Gus Agars is on drums and I’ve got the bass player Steve Hadley doing all sorts of things, as with everybody in this band. I didn’t actually plan The Dark Horses, making a ‘supergroup’ was not my intention. Essentially The Dark Horses has a core of musicians who has been there for a long time, it’s really lucky it’s all fallen into place how it has. If I was going to get the best of the best of the best, I’d have to have trials, auditions and an elimination process. We’d probably have to make a TV show to get through it, it would get ugly.”
See Tex Perkins and The Dark Horses at Tanks Arts Centre on Saturday night, supported by Mike Noga (formerly of The Drones). Gates open 7.30pm. Tickets $45/$40, from ticketlink.com.au or 1300 855 835.
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Riding high: Tex Perkins (centre) and his band The Dark Horses.