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The Cruel Sea



ACTIVITY PERIOD: 1987–2003, 2008, 2010



RECORD COMPANIES / LABELS (Current & Past): Red Eye, Polydor, A&M



After toying with different band members, The Cruel Sea came into fruition in 1988 with the union of Ken Gormley on bass, Jim Elliot on drums, Dan rumour on Guitars and James Cruikshank on Keyboards and Guitars. Taking their name from the 1960’s surf instrumental group, The Ventures, these like minded musicians were content with exploring their unique instrumental surf sound that dominated Sydney’s inner city pub circuit.

This successful recipe was altered in 1989 when their then lighting technician, more widely known as front man for heavy rockers The Beasts of Bourbon (lesser known for his erm, interesting conglomerations in band Thug) Gregory “Tex” Perkins started joining them onstage in ’89 delivering his lyrical and singing prowess that still gathers wide acclaim today. This sparked an interest with “alternative” label Red Eye Records and resulted in the band being signed and a 1989 release of the album Down Below featuring Tex on vocals.

The years that proceeded saw Tex, the bands self professed “motivator, bands bully” officially join the band and a string of releases and tours to add. 1993 saw the band’s national recognition come to light at the Aria awards where they took the categories “Best Australian Single” - The Honeymoon is over, “Best Australian Album” - The Honeymoon is over, “Best Australian Group” and “Australian song of the year” - The Honeymoon is over. Not letting success go to their head bassist Kenny proclaimed to the audience: "I read in the newspaper this morning that we were gonna clean up this year (at the ARIAS) so if you could all help by pushing your chairs to the back of the room at the end of the night…" Unfortunately the band returned home with only two Awards in tow - two were misplaced at the after party.

Following this success came the release of their album Three Legged Dog, made most famous by the single Better Get a Lawyer and a stringent tour of Canada, the US, Europe and as support for the Rolling Stone’s Australian leg of their Voodoo Lounge Tour. They also claimed another Aria award in 1994 for “Best Australian Group”

Their next release, an often overlooked album of B-Sides and studio out takes Rock ‘n’ Roll Duds proved to act as a teaser for the three year release drought that was about to be faced by Cruel Sea fans. This break borne the first Tex Perkins Solo Album, Far Be it From Me During this time, The Cruel Sea returned to their instrumental roots and embarked on a series of gigs minus Tex.

In 1998, The Cruel Sea arose with their new album Over Easy and again another rigorous touring schedule supporting their Takin all day national tour. And after the success of his first album, Tex released his second solo album Dark Horses, a thoughtful sometimes tear-jerking collaboration of one of the many sides of Tex.

This was followed with the timely release of The Most, a best of collaborating a decade of their music bridging together the gap between Australian “Aternative” and “Mainstream” music.

The Cruel Sea’s latest effort, Where there’s smoke is arguably one of their best yet. Its sense of broadness demonstrates the talent that The Cruel Sea have gained since growing from their roots. The members of The Cruel Sea agree that the recording of this album in the laid back bush environment of the North Coast was an enjoyable and relaxing experience for all. This satisfaction permeates its way through the songs on the album making it one of The Cruel Sea’s most satisfying albums to date.

Including their releases, The Cruel Sea can be spotted on many compilation CD’s, in the background of many surfing videos and even tacky Aussie soap operas (ie: summer bay’s Diner). They can also claim fame to the catchy Blue Heelers theme.

Source: Band Bio from Tex Perkins Website:


Parent Category Page Links: Music Artists / Outfits - Australia

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