The Cruel Sea

The Cruel Sea

Fri 22 March

I’ve loved The Cruel Sea ever since I walked into the Harold Park Hotel in 1987 and saw this great instrumental band for the first time.


Led by the unique guitar stylings of Danny Rumour, The Cruel Sea were unlike any other band I had ever heard. At first the influences and references were quite obvious, surf instrumental music similar to classic acts like The Ventures, The Shadows and The Atlantics, but they grew and absorbed so many other influences. Country, Soul, Blues, Funk, Latino and Reggae all went into the mix. This ever growing gumbo of music just got tastier and spicier.


No one plays like Danny Rumour. He’s a one-off, a gifted musician who is a gift to the world. And no one plays like Ken Gormly, the bass player. He makes the music bubble and bounce in a way that makes it also fat, solid and dependable. The drummer, Jim Elliott, is also a one-off. A rhythm aficionado, his playing has a wit and intelligence that always compliments and supports not only the other instruments but the songs themselves.


In 1989, I, Tex Perkins, was invited to write and sing with this wonderful band and continued to do so for over 20 years.


There were many amazing, triumphant performances, world tours, platinum albums, awards and blah blah blah! We had a good run.


We eventually slowed down and our activities grew less frequent. Then, in 2015, our keyboard player and second guitarist, the enormously talented James Cruickshank died from cancer treatment. It was a huge blow to not only the band but many friends and fans.


As a band and as people we drifted apart. Perhaps James’ death brought more pain than we could have anticipated. I didn’t imagine The Cruel Sea would ever play again. I mean who could replace Cruickers? But, as they say, time heals all wounds and you know what else heals? Music!


We, The Cruel Sea, are honoured to welcome the great Matt Walker into the fold. Matt really is the right guy for this job. A brilliant singer songwriter, producer and guitar player, Matt fits in perfectly. The band have known him and loved his music since he would open for us back in the 1990’s.


I am in awe of these great musicians and truly grateful to be back playing with The Cruel Sea. What more can I say?


Tex Perkins