5 Minutes With The Never Never

The Never Never are back and ready to fill the Rosemount Hotel. Formed in 1980, breakup in 1991, their fans are still keen as they were in these wild times

Peter Busher catches up with Cool Perth Nights before le big gig. 

Amber: Hey Peter, thanks for taking a few min to let us peek inside your feelings about the Rosemount Show. It seems lots of people are very excited…

Can you give a two sentence history of the band for those who were born after the internet was born and missed the 80s and 90s? 

Peter: School friends play music in the garage, then pubs, then concert halls, record, tour, for ten years and still love to play!

I saw people crying on facebook that they'd booked interstate trips that clash with the Rosemount date, people offering to do the door like they used to at your shows, people reconnecting over the event comments. Basically, lots of people who feel very strongly about your music and the shows they experienced. What do you think it is about your music that turned people on so deeply and lastingly?

I think why the band means a lot to people is the quality of the songs and the fact we and the audience were of the same age and live music was so much a part of everyone's life.

Do you think it's going to be a blissful nostalgic love-in, or is this going to be a top show for its own sake, with newbies in for just as much of a treat?

This will definitely be a top show in its own right. The band still rocks. I would be rapt if younger crew were to check out the music.

What's the general feeling in the band about the show? Do you have outfits sorted out? Can you all play as well/better than before? Are you guys all still playing music or have you moved on to trying to get your kids off Pokemon Go and looking after your property portfolios?

We are really looking forward to the show, I think we are all playing better than we ever have, mainly because we haven't stopped, so we've kept our chops up, the rehearsals have been great.

So I read you guys supported The Clash, Adam and The Ants, were playing 10 gigs per week at some point, playing to hundreds of people at local shows. Was there a sense of "success" then that you guys felt you achieved, or were chasing? Or were you 100% purely focussed on making good songs?

We were always proud of what we were achieving but for Simon and myself the music and writing was what we were trying to get better at.

I recently went to a Magnolias talk show where a few of the Triffids members were speaking. They talked so affectionately of the independent original music scene in Perth in the eighties. How hard it was in some ways and how amazing in others. Big call to confirm or deny, but do you think the Perth music scene was better in the past?

The music scene in Perth in the 80s was very different, big cover bands played in the beer barns and made a fortune, while original bands went quietly about building their own thing, as a punter you were either someone who went to one or the other. All the unis had gigs, you could play every night in pubs, sometimes do a support early for an international band then do your own gig and then do a club gig, it was a great time to be playing in Perth. I suppose everybody thinks their time is the best, but there are not the gigs there used to be, but we are still producing great bands from here.

Your press photos and cars looked cooler… The amazing chevvy… Only vinyl and tapes to listen to… Better, right?

That was my Chev, got it off my dad and drove it to Sydney and back again!! I've still got American cars and some motorcycles, love anything with wheels and an engine!!

Any greatest/worst memories of shows at that time?

Lots of great memories, some great supports we did like The Clash, four nights with Cold Chisel at the old Embassy ballroom, our last gig in Perth before we moved to Sydney, we had 600 people at The Red Parrot, and when we would come back to Perth on tour, all the great people who would come out to the gig.

We'd love to hear about one song you'll definitely be playing at the show… Can you tell me a backstory for one of the hits?

Our number one Indy single, double A-side Bigger in Texas/Just a few thousand miles, both songs were about the tyranny of distance, cause Perth seemed so isolated then.

What music are you interested in at the moment, either in Perth or further off?

I still love good music, Figurehead, Birds of Tokyo, Band of Horses, Teddy Thompson, The Jayhawks, are just some of things I'm listening to at the moment.

Tickets are still available to The Never Never at Rosemount Hotel Friday August 19 via the Cool Perth Nights ticketing page.