*This post was in the drafts folder when I found out that Brian Henry Hooper had succumbed to his illness exactly one week after the benefit gig. Rest in peace Brian, and thanks for all the incredible music. My sincerest condolences go out to all of his family, friends, and bandmates.
So right before the bushfires there was this one awesome night in Melbourne…
With my husband being a die hard long time Beasts of Bourbon fan and with our last Melbourne trip already THREE YEARS AGO, discovering that there was going to be a benefit concert for Beasts bass player Brian Henry Hooper was all we needed to get our arses back to Melbourne.
Brian is, sadly, battling lung cancer, and as well as a Go Fund Me page to raise money for treatment and a one last family road trip, this benefit concert was the perfect way to say thanks. Thanks for all the music, for all the memories, and for everything Brian has contributed to Australian music over many decades. Plus the line up was insanely good and it promised to be a rocking night of Aussie punk rock.
Count us in. #nobrainer
With the gig in St Kilda we thought we’d have all day to explore what looks like a very cool beachside suburb, and probably would have had a great day had we not missed our 6.30am flight and ended up landing in Melbourne at almost three in the afternoon instead. A stiff drink was the first order of business and never was I happier to be staying two doors away from a pub.
Dinner at Mr Wolf was delicious and the margaritas went down a treat, but with doors opening at eight we didn’t want to miss a single act. And with so many artists on the bill it was one act after another all night, no between-set time to kill, just a lot of great live music. What everyone really came to see though were the Beasts of Bourbon, and when they took to the stage with Brian in a wheelchair and his bass on his lap, complete with a bevy of nurses with beers in hand, the mood was absolutely electric.
It was an emotional set, full of the classic Beasts swagger and noise, but tinged with a sense of disbelief and sadness, and at times even Tex seemed unable to cope with the sheer emotion of it all. And with Spencer Jones to his right, who has been fighting his own cancer battle, it was understandably a very different Tex to what we’re used to. The unspoken feeling was that we will never see the Beasts all up on stage ever again, and the sold out crowd gave everything they could by way of cheers, claps, and even tears, to make it clear how beloved this band have been for so many years.
The night rocked on and on and on, and every single artist who took to the stage gave their all. And as much as we wanted to stick around to say hi to Adalita, we were, I’m ashamed to say, no match for the energy of these rock icons, so as soon as the last act finished in the early hours of the morning and almost 24 hours after our alarms had gone off, we hobbled back to our hotel room to snatch a few hours sleep before heading home.
It was also really fucking cold in Melbourne the next morning, not at all what this Sydney girl was prepared for, so I basically froze my butt off waiting for the airport shuttle bus despite swapping my skimpy singlet top for hubby’s t shirt.
A rarity for this girl scout who is usually prepared for anything, but I guess a five o’clock wake up call will do that to you.
This week we’re seeing a couple of legendary Aussie rock bands, also of the loud pub variety, so stay tuned.
And here, courtesy of YouTube, is a clip from the benefit gig, showing why the Beasts of Bourbon will go down as one of this country’s best bands ever.