Adelaide Cabaret Festival – Tex Perkins and The Dark Horses

Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses. Photo by Martin Philbey.
Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses. Photo by Martin Philbey.

Tex Perkins is well-known from the ’80s & ’90s re: The Beasts of Bourbon, The Cruel Sea and then the fun cover band, Ladyboyz. He’s now doing his stuff with The Dark Horses; and they’re a great mix of muso’s, made for each other, from where I was sitting. The guys on stage present in a ‘take it as it comes’ style and it’s fantastic.

We are as relaxed and open to an evening of excellent music as them. It is rock band stuff totally, with some more subdued elements and the many years of music experience on stage flows all over us.

They hit us with some new songs to begin with (“Don’t worry, you’ll get some oldies too.” Tex assures us) and the new material works very well indeed. ‘Tunnel at the End of the Light’ is brilliant, a taste of the awesome instrumentals and vocals to come. Perkins’ voice is fabulous, even better than I remember. It’s gutsy and alive with a big range all the way.

They seem like a bunch of mates having a quality jam and that suits the mainly older audience well. Every head in the row in front of me was grey and isn’t that cool? We’re all still rocking!

I wasn’t too sure what Tex would do with a Cabaret Festival gig. Interesting programming! Fortunately, the guys did nothing too glittery at all, not swaying too far from the bigger music venue format. It was late night stuff at 7PM and I was itching to stand up, grab a drink and sway, especially with some of the more full-on electric guitar riffs that were absolutely superb.

Don’t quite know how this will be taken, but I felt at times when the electrics went beautifully berserk, that I was listening to some of the more intense earlier Neil Young with Crazy Horse sounds and that’s a compliment, utterly. It was all cohesion, precision and power between the A class team and their wonderful instruments. That magic – when a bunch of musicians hit the mark.

‘She Speaks a Different Language’ and ‘So Much Older’ really saw them go for it, and wow! ‘They Shoot Horses Don’t They’, was seriously the best version I’ve ever heard.

To be honest Tex was off my radar until I knew that I was down to review this show, but he and The Dark Horses are fully back on it now. I’ll be watching out for them, you should too! Great night of music, that could’ve gone on longer. Top notch sounds never date and neither does laid-back, fooling-about, rocker style either. Very nice work indeed, boys! Thanks CabFest. Loved it!

Stephen House

Stephen is a writer with numerous plays, exhibitions and short films produced. He has been commissioned often and directs and performs his work. He has won two AWGIE Awards from The Australian Writers Guild and an Adelaide Fringe Award (as well as more), and has received several international literature residencies. Stephen has been Artistic Director of many events. He has been performing his acclaimed solo show, “Appalling Behaviour” nationally from 2010 – 2014 (100 shows to date). Stephen has 2 new works in development.

Stephen House

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *