From Cruel Beasts To Apes

This year will see Between the Bays Music Festival return to the beautiful 35-acre rural property of Penbank School. Now in its 9th year, the festival has well and truly earned its status as the Mornington Peninsula’s best annual family-friendly gig on the summer calendar. With all proceeds raised going to Penbank School’s partnership with the Wugularr School in the Northern Territory, music lovers have never had a better excuse to pack a picnic on February 22 and check out the likes of Diesel, Daryl Braithwaite, The Basics, Boom Crash Orchestra, Russell Beggs and the latest incarnation of Tex Perkins with The Ape.
October 4 saw The Ape release their self-titled debut album to acclaim from fans and critics alike. A tough, boozy, and chunky sound through and through, Perkins states on his website (perhaps with a wink) that “The Ape is the album I was born to make. It is the album that Richie – the president of the Tex Perkins fan club – has been waiting for. It’s an album busting with swing and grunt, and is easily the best thing I have ever done, or will ever do.”
The cheek of Tex Perkins certainly hasn’t dissipated over the years, and fans of the multifaceted performer will be pleased to hear that elements of his other outfits have come together to form The Ape.
“It’s a rock band with swing and groove. All my bands have a bit of that I guess. The Beasts of Bourbon, for me, is an intense experience physically; I have to roar my head off in front of a really loud band, singing nihilistic-y sort of aggressive, attitude-filled lyrics…The Ape is a rock band with heavy grooves but it’s far friendlier. It’s got a smirk on its face all the time. The Cruel Sea is more of a groove, good time sort of thing and The Ape is heavier than that, so it lies somewhere in between those two. I find it more fun than both of those bands personally, because I get to sing and occasionally let loose on a really loud wailing guitar.”

While the sound and performance has distinguishable roots to other guises of Tex Perkins, the prolific rocker did not always see a way for these tracks to find an audience, explaining; “I originally just wrote them as a sort of writing exercise – they weren’t going to go anywhere – it was really just something for me to do; to get something out of my system. I didn’t see it as appropriate to my career and where my music was going at the time. I later presented them as demos to a record company and that didn’t go anywhere, so then I sat and thought for a long time. At one stage I was going to form a fake band of 12 year olds or even younger kids and then present these songs as if they were playing them.”

The resulting thoughts were humorous to say the least, particularly in retrospect of listening to The Ape. Despite “seriously thinking that was what [he] was going to do with the songs for a long time”, seven years on from writing the tracks Perkins finally had an ‘ah-ha’ moment.
“It was exactly a year ago now that I had a bunch of Tex Perkins gigs that I would usually get Charlie Owen or someone like that to accompany me, yet all of my regular cohort was busy at the time. Then I thought, ‘hmmm maybe it’s time to have a look at this pile of songs’. I had a bit of an epiphany that I’d get an actual band to play them…once I made that decision to bring people around the songs, it all unfolded very quickly.”
The resulting 10 –track album will be played in its entirety at Between the Bays Music Festival, leaving us to wonder what else will fill up The Ape’s timeslot on the day.

“We’re a 10-song, first album band. And we play all those 10 songs, but it will only take up abut 45 minutes so there’s a good 25 minutes of who knows what. There will be simple classic rock songs. Possibly not the most well known classic rock songs…I don’t want to give away too much but you might hear a Rolling Stones song; you never know. You might hear a Kiss song; you might hear a Stooges song…I even have an Elvis song.”

Whatever Tex Perkins and The Ape decide to thrash out on the day, we’re sure that the crowd will lap it up. For more information and to grab your tickets for the event head to


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