Entertainment

'And they will never tear us apart'

Legendary Australian band INXS is coming to Coffs Harbour.
Legendary Australian band INXS is coming to Coffs Harbour. Tomas Correa Arce

THEY'RE one of the most recognised names in Aussie music history.

After 30 years, and more than 5000 live shows played to 25 million people across 50 countries, INXS have announced a tour to regional Australia.

And after all those accolades they're still just blokes who like to play music.

We spoke to Tim Farriss, guitarist and faithful Manly lad, about the upcoming tour, new singer Ciaran Gribbin, and what it's like to play in a band of brothers.

"[Manly's] where we've got our equipment set up, we're all living nearby," Tim said of the tight-knit INXS members.

"Yeah, we have Christmases together, but it's not a big deal if we don't - now our kids are friends too."

Being locals has meant - as it does for lots of Aussies - trips to the local pub, one of which had a very interesting outcome: new singer, Ciaran.

"Andrew met him at the pub," Tim said.

"Ciaran got up and played and sang 'Mystify' - Andrew walked up to him afterward and told him he wrote that song. Ciaran said 'no way' in his Irish accent - he was fresh off the boat then."

A chance encounter turned into something bigger when Andrew invited Ciaran to the odd jam - which turned into songwriting sessions, and eventually recording sessions.

"The rest of us heard some of their stuff and said yeah, keep going," Tim said.

"So Cairn's first gig was 15,000 people in Peru."

Not bad for a journeyman singer-songwriter.

The rough and tumble world of Aussie pub rock was the breeding ground for INXS, with the first show under that name played in Toukley in 1979.

That first line up - Michael Hutchence as vocalist, Garry Gary Beers on bass, Andrew Farriss on guitar and keys, Jon Farriss on drums, Tim Farriss on lead guitar and Kirk Pengilly on guitar and saxophone - was to prove remarkably resilient.

More than most bands could hope in their wildest dreams, the original INXS line-up recorded 10 albums, topped charts and toured the world.

And then - tragedy.

The final leg of INXS' 20th anniversary tour was to be in Australia in November and December of 1997.

But on the morning of November 22, Michael Hutchence, aged 37, was found dead in his room at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Double Bay, Sydney.

The following February, the NSW coroner ruled his death a suicide.

It was a devastating time for the rest of the band - and they took until 2002 to make a formal announcement of their future intentions.

"It took us a long time to get over," Tim said.

"But we feel we're doing him justice by playing the songs he wrote.

"You know we're one of the only bands in history to turn down a Rolling Stone magazine cover?

"They only shoot the singer. And INXS is a band. So Michael said no."

The sense of closeness fostered by the surviving members comes not only from habit and family ties, but from a longstanding and deep love of music.

Have you ever listened to INXS on a long car trip?

These are songs that will, literally, get you through the night - they're timeless, and people are attracted to them time and time again.

"It's bizarre - the diversity of our audiences is mindblowing," Tim said, "everyone from six years to 65 years old."

And the secret to INXS' longevity? Possibly just an unconscious drive to do what they do best - play.

"We haven't ever gone back."

INXS is playing Friday, June 22 at C.ex Coffs.

For your chance to win tickets, email your favourite INXS song in the subject line to entertainer@coffscoastadvocate.com.au before 5pm, Monday May 14. 

Topics:  c.ex coffs harbour inxs music music tour



Origins of devastating disease still unknown

A Bellinger River Snapping Turtle is assessed.

Water quality results 'good' despite more than 400 turtle deaths.

Things to do on Australia Day on the Coffs Coast

FUN TIMES AHEAD: Toormina Hotel has a big day of family activities planned for Australia Day. Check out your local venues Facebook page for details.

Coffs Coast's Australia Day activities

CLOSED: Massive clothing chain shuts down for good

Sixty-eight stores employing 560 people will close by January 31

Local Partners

From Casino to Iraq: How Shay is serving her country

WHEN Shay Maloney left Casino to join the Army in 2013, shortly after her 18th birthday, the idea of a deployment to Iraq was far from her mind.


Reconciling with stories of the past to build future

STORY TIME: Coffs aboriginal elders Aunty Bea Ballangarry and Mark Flanders hope to teach life lessons through stories.

Mark Flanders hopes stories will help shape the future

Fans invited to meet Jets at training session

FLYING IN: Catch the Newcastle Jets at the free training session at the international stadium on Thursday.

Catch up with the Newcastle Jets at the free training session

Legendary batsman opens up

STAR: Sir Viv Richards.

Cricket hero Sir Viv Richards will tell his tale at Coffs race club

Veterans of Australian film see what SWIFF is all about

Dave Horsley of the Screenwave International Film Festival, actor Bryan Brown, and Dov Kornits from Filmink at the screenwave launch at element bar.

Coffs Coast's emerging film industry ahead to a screen near you

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Auction breaks Moonee Beach sale record

RECORD PRICE: This Estuary Dr home sold for 1.355 million at the weekend

An Estuary Dr property has achieved a record residential price

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

Steady growth in a Coffs buyer's market

Boambee stood out as the region's most expensive suburb for houses with a $650,000 median sale price.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!