Tex in the Country: On with The Show!
For a lot of musicians the COVID-19 lockdown has been devastating. With their live gigs cancelled many were looking down the barrel of a year with very little certainty. Tex Perkins was about to head off on a European tour with The Beasts of Bourbon, and he had a new album with Matt Walker to tour but that had to get put on hold. But Perko has been making magic in them there hills, with the creation of a unique live show, called The Show, shot in a rustic shed on the family property. What he and his crew have created is an intimate, yet rowdy evening of music, with a special guest each month, familiar faces, and new discoveries. While everyone was going on Zoom streaming from the couch, Tex was making good TV.
‘When it all shut down everyone went “Ooh…”, and then 24 hours later I thought: “I know what I’ll do, I’ll go online!” I find it difficult to do facetime calls, so that was never going to happen.’
Tex credits his partner Kyrstina with the concept for The Show. ‘She is the driving force. We had the hall where we shot it. It was built as somewhere we could play music and show movies – somewhere we could have people over without having them in the house.’
So the venue was already built, just waiting for a project.
‘We had all that infrastructure, the lights, the stage, the PA, and the space. Not only that, we had our neighbours – Anthony and Kynan Malone – Kynan is a budding sound engineer and their dad has been our technical adviser. Everyone on our property had cameras and they were musicians. If they weren’t filming, then they were playing. Everything in The Show was in arms reach, like Headland and Jez Mead.
‘I loved seeing my close friends, neighbours and family transform themselves into a multi-faceted creative unit.’
One of the bonuses of The Show for Tex has been introducing his audience to some of his favourite musicians.
‘All the musicians I have on The Show have been around for years. They are incredibly talented, but they don’t have a huge profile. It’s been a pleasure introducing them to my audience who are really embracing them.’
In The Show, Tex steps up as host, something he admits is ‘the toughest part.’
‘I am getting away with it… when we started out, we had the music and the chat separate. I had the couch set up, a bit like Parkinson. We worked out we could chat with the musicians in the context of playing a song. It seemed to be the most natural way to do it.’
Sometimes what really makes a show like The Show so interesting are the mistakes – or watching someone as competent and in charge as Tex Perkins take on something that he finds a bit challenging. He’s even leaving in some of his mistakes!
‘In episode one, when I was interviewing Murray, I got stuck on the word “contemplative”. My brain kept saying, that’s wrong, the word is “contemplate”. I got stuck for nearly a minute… I could have cut it out, but I thought, let’s leave it in.’
The Show is understated, and stylishly shot. It’s like this rare opportunity to sit and watch what amazing musicians do when they hang out together. It has a relaxed natural feel, but the music is incredible, and the vision is pretty bloody good too.
‘Our underlying philosophy was that we wanted to show something easy on the eye – we had two smoke machines – the whole show is glued together with smoke and reverb!’ laughs Tex.
So far Tex and his crew have made three episodes of The Show, with the fourth one going to air at the end of the month. This month’s guest is Lucie Thorne.
‘She’s a total one woman troubadour’ says Tex. ‘It’s just her and her electric guitar and her stories. We got her to play by herself after she played on a bunch of my songs. She fit with me perfectly – I want to do more stuff with her. It’s not what you would expect out of a female harmony with me.’
The fourth The Show airs on 26 July. For $15 you get the link, which, after it goes to air you can keep and watch as many times as you like. I’d recommend getting the previous three links, watch them, and then cosy up on the 26 July and watch this one when it goes to air… it will be a great night in!