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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Bourbon back on tap

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Mandy Nolan

In New Orleans Bourbon Street may be the most famous street in the French Quarter, but round here Bourbon Street has nostalgic resonance for very different reasons. Much-loved 80s rockers who probably played more live gigs than anyone in Australia. Seven spoke with Horace Bevan about getting the band back together.

Tell me, what the impetus was for Bourbon Street to get back together?

We got offered to do the Airlie Beach Music Festival last November, and that got the band talking again. The lineup was awesome (Hoodoo Gurus, Ian Moss, Dragon, Johnny Diesel, Glenn Shorrock, Brian Cadd, Russell Morris and many, many, more great Oz acts) and it was an honour to be asked to do it. It was truly a great festival, kind of part Bluesfest with a big top tent and main stage, and part Blues on Broadbeach with cool acts playing everywhere in every possible venue. The organisers involved the whole town and it was a bloody hoot to do a gig on the main stage.

Why did you guys stop playing in the first place?

Things in life always run their course and after we made our last album in 2007, Banned For Life at Airlock Studios Brisbane and Old Dog Studios in Corndale, with Ian Haug from Powderfinger co-producing, we thought it was a good record and we did well in the studio, but we looked around when it was finished and there was nothing else to see and at that point there was nowhere else to go but apart. It was an emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially draining experience for everyone involved.

What’s it like getting the band back together?

It is new, it is great, it is fun and it is music! All the right elements seemed to have come into play again. To be honest it is like being a kid again, only with a little more responsibility. It has been really well supported and we have been humbled and overwhelmed.

What has changed and what has stayed the same? What’s got better? Or worse!

Everything changes and everything seems to stay the same! As technology advances, people are people and stay the same. What is happening now among the four musicians that play together in Bourbon Street is a very direct, honest, dynamic energy to be together playing their music and sharing that energy with other people.

What is the essence of a great gig?

When you have performed to the best of your ability, given all of yourself that is possible, and have somehow moved, touched or inspired someone in the audience.

How has the music industry changed since you started out?

Fewer gigs for sure, and fewer venues with abundant crowds craving for live music. I think opportunities still exist and you need to look in new different portholes to find them.

If you were to give some advice to younger players, what would it be?

Believe in yourself no matter what! Not in your ego, but in your spirit! Believe what you’re doing is a good thing to share with others. If your intention is pure, your audience will naturally and organically find you.

Who are the people who have most influenced you?

Me personally – Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Angus Young and Roy Buchanan… you’d have to ask the other guys their influences but I know Col digs Mick Jagger and Robert Plant, Simon digs Paul McCartney and Lenny digs Phil Rudd… No doubt Bourbon Street has been influenced by the entire 60/70s music and also put our toe into the very source from the blackest pool of blues music from the 1920s and 30s. We are a northern rivers of NSW rock Australian band and we are pretty proud about that.

Why do you think Bourbon Street fans have endured even when the band has stopped?

The band and the fans shared an important part and period of our lives together in the 80s and 90s. That time is gone and so are some of those people but the song remains the same.

What should we expect for your Lennox gig?

Four 50-year-old dudes rockin’ out hard with AC/DC underpants and Rolling Stones socks on!

Bourbon Street play at the Lennox Hotel on Saturday at 9.30pm.


Find this and many other great gigs in Echonetdaily’s North Coast Gig Guide.

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