Veteran rockers still party hard
AFTER almost 30 years in and out of the game, the Bourbon Street band know you should never pass up a good opportunity.
The Aussie rock ’n’ roll quartet come out of retirement for a string of shows, including a gig at Airlie Beach Music Festival next month where they share the stage with rock legends Hoodoo Gurus, Mental As Anything and Ian Moss.
Formed in the late 1980s, Colin Germano, Horace Bevan, Simon Dundon and Lenny Patch made a name for themselves by spending more nights on stage than off.
This weekend, the original line-up plays a warm-up gig on the Gold Coast.
Frontman Germano says Bourbon Street still know how to have a good time.
‘‘There may be a few more grey hairs in the crowd and on stage, but at least there’s hair,’’ he laughs.
‘‘We have only jammed together twice since all this came about.
‘‘We had to re-learn some of the old songs but it felt so good to blast them out. It brought back a lot of memories.’’
The birthplace of Bourbon Street is Lennox Head but now the lads live along the coast from Ballina to Coolangatta.
In 1988, Bourbon Street released debut record, Stronger than Dirt, which was shortly followed by Live By Night and Time Flies before the band broke up in 1993.
The group reunited briefly for a fourth album called Banned for Life in 2007, but disbanded four days after its release.
‘‘The wheels fell off – we got four days into the tour and realised none of us were fit enough to do it,’’ says Germano. ‘‘It was a challenge for four guys to go through all that through the decades but we love each other very much and always have.
‘‘None of us ever stopped playing music.
‘‘We have all been busy with other bands.’’
Germano says Bourbon Street were ‘‘road addicts’’ in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
‘‘We were gigging five nights a week. It was different then. We played Wednesday and Thursday nights to 300-400 people – it doesn’t happen like that any more,’’ he says.
‘‘It was a healthy scene with dozens of competent rock bands. That’s gone – and in its place are pokie rooms, smaller venues and duos with sequenced backing music.
‘‘The music kids play doesn’t help – they play a lot of angsty music these days. I think the ones who stick to their guns and listen to the blues will be healthier musicians in their adulthood.’’
Germano says old and new fans who attended the Bourbon Street reunion gig would be treated to ‘‘the real thing’’.
– ROSE SADLEIR
Bourbon Street play Southern Cross Tavern, Coolangatta on Friday.