Leader of the pack

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - DEB­BIE SCHIPP

BURIED some­where be­neath a scruffy han­dle­bar mous­tache and hard­core side­burns, Matthew Nable is cer­tainly look­ing the part of the hairy ’ 70s bikie.

He hasn’t had the mul­let hair ex­ten­sions of Bikie Wars: Broth­ers In Arms’ lead­ing man Cal­lan Mul­vey or the body art of cast­mate Jeremy Lind­say- Tay­lor, but the trans­for­ma­tion into Co­mancheros com­man­der Jock Ross is con­vinc­ing.

And once Nable slips into Ross’s Scot­tish brogue, the trans­for­ma­tion is com­plete. He is one of the shin­ing lights in this dra­matic take on the in­fa­mous Milperra Mas­sacre.

What was ad­ver­tised as a bike swap meet in a tav­ern carpark turned deadly when ten­sions be­tween ri­val clubs the Co­mancheros and Ban­di­dos boiled over.

For Nable, tak­ing on the role of Ross meant re­vis­it­ing the con­flict that put bikies on his radar as a kid.

‘‘ When Milperra hap­pened, I was about 10 or 11 years old,’’ he says. ‘‘ It was the first time the con­flict for me, and for many, was pushed into the public arena.’’

He leapt at the chance to play Ross, hav­ing read the book on which the se­ries is based, Broth­ers In Arms.

Nable can’t con­done the blood­shed at Milperra, but is adamant nei­ther the Co­mancheros nor the Ban­di­dos went to that swap meet ex­pect­ing it to hap­pen.

‘‘ It’s a con­clu­sion I have come to the more I have re­searched,’’ Nable says.

‘‘ I think there were peo­ple who were hugely afraid of Jock and what he was ca­pa­ble of, but I think in­evitably they were young guys, they were af­fected by al­co­hol, there was a lot of pos­tur­ing go­ing on, there was a lot of bravado and I think when it hap­pened and some­one let off a shot it just got out of con­trol.

‘‘ And I don’t think you have to be a bikie or any type of out­law in that sit­u­a­tion or ex­is­tence to act or re­act ex­actly as they did. It’s panic and it’s some­one shoot­ing at you – you have a gun, you shoot back.’’

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