It seems incredible to me that it is 40 years since the Suburbs first official gig at the Octagon Theatre, Perth for the Grim’s Back But Are The Screamers concert. Nonetheless, there it is. After Pus; probably Australia’s first punk-band in hindsight; I had left for London and spent over a year writing, recording demos and refining what I wanted to be a totally original brand of music and performance that used theatre and music to reflect my life and that of my Perth brothers and sisters. The first line-up was a temporary one for the Octagon show. Shane Bradshaw, Howie Johnstone, Paul Felton, Jim Fisher and Terry Serio pitched in to help me out. Fans from Pus like Kathy McKay and Graham turned up to scream. In London I had met Tony Durant who has been a musical brother to me ever since. Back in Perth post the Octagon I linked back up with old friend and talented keyboard man John Dennison. Though Howie was happy to help for the Octagon gig he was otherwise engaged at the time and thanks to Neil Howe, mandarin of the UWA Tavern, we found Stuart Davies-Slate. My local servo-jock Jeff Flint was the man who came to my rescue when I asked if he knew a guitarist. He recommended one John Ryan who he knew from WAIT. In turn John recommended Haydn Pickersgill of the Single Side Band and the Suburbs first real line-up came into being with Neil Howe and I knocking on the door of almost every pub in Perth asking for gigs. Later Rod Espie helped me establish interstate contacts as did Peter Grace, Ian Smith and the Costello boys. Jeremy Kirwan Ward did some fabulous graphics and logos for me. Bleddyn Butcher shot photos, Tim Lambert recorded us on a mobile 8 track, Greta Scacchi shared a Survival Concert stage lit by John Doyle, Dave Ellery recorded us at the ABC and put us on radio, Brian Beaton did a video clip of Australian Heat. These were fabulous times full of extraordinarily talented people. Now I’m heading back to Perth to celebrate the milestone and to preview the songs from my new album WHEN. And I’m hopeful there will be more than a few familiar faces in the audience if I no longer recognise them. Many of my fans have already assisted me greatly on this new album by pre-ordering one of several packages. For those turning up I will have their packages minus the CD and one or two other surprises. Thanks to all those musicians, road crew, promoters, agents and above all fans who have been there with me at any stage of this incredible life journey. Dave Warner October 2016, forty years on,
NB: These photos are from the Grim’s Back concert all shot by @Bleddyn Butcher. Tickets to the Charles available from Bottleshop and Ticketmaster. Sat Oct 29.