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Interview with Australian comedy legend, Kevin Bloody Wilson (Includes interview)

Raucous, risqué, delightfully non-PC and laugh-out-loud funny are just some of the words and phrases that could be used to describe Kevin Bloody Wilson, the 68-year-old singer/comedian who has sold over three million albums in Australia alone, amazingly without the help of mainstream media promotion.

Most of his ‘perilously close to the bone’ material comes in the form of pleasingly in-your-face songs – suitably outrageous sing-alongs such as “D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F,” “Living Next Door to Alan,” “Dick’taphone” and “I Knew the Bride (When She Used to be a Mole)” – a tradition that has been carried on well by his daughter, the equally unrestrained and also very funny Jenny Talia.

Kevin, a huge fan of Billy Connolly and the late Robin Williams, spoke to me from his home in Perth, Western Australia (he lived for many years in the town of Kalgoorlie, where he worked in the mines) and began by telling me where the tongue-in-cheek title of the tour came from:

“Well everybody’s making their farewell tour, so I thought, ‘F**k it, I’ll jump on that bandwagon too…’ We’ve got a bloke in Australia called John Farnham who keeps on doing these farewell tours and then he does a comeback tour about 12 months later, so I’m gonna ‘out-Farnham’ Farnham.

“I’ll do a couple of years of farewell tours and I’ll take a couple of months off and then I’ll do the comeback tours for a couple of years. Then I’ll have myself diagnosed with bi-polar disease so I’ll have a break-up tour and a bit more time off and then a reunion tour. So I’ve got it mapped out for about the next 10 years…”

Kevin on stage.

Kevin on stage.
Alice Walker

I mentioned to the very approachable star that I’d heard he’s doing a lot of newer stuff this time around, songs from his latest album, 2013’s Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!, for example. “I do, yes,” he confirms.

“From my latest album and also one of the things I always do is take songs out there that haven’t been recorded yet, just to road-test them and make sure that they bed down well and that people laugh at all the right places. I’m constantly doing that. I write a lot – I write all the time, in fact.”

“There are six or seven core songs that I do in the show,” says the experienced entertainer of the tunes that always get the biggest reaction. “‘Hey Santa Claus You C**t’ that’s always pretty popular! Most people who’ve heard of me have heard of that… Songs like ‘Do You F**k on First Dates’… As I say, there’s a core of them, but given that there are about 30 songs in the show, the rest of it really sort of revolves around itself.”

Does the setlist change every night? “I don’t have a setlist… The audience guides a show by calling out requests or having requests sent before the show.”

Even as he nears 70, Kevin Bloody Wilson remains as busy as ever. Since releasing his very first album, Your Average Australian Yobbo, in 1984, the cult hero, who co-wrote ‘Genie in the Bottle’ with country singer Adam Harvey, has remained on the road, performing roughly 120 shows a year all over the world (he is equally at home in the Australian Outback or on stage at the London Palladium). When he looks back on his time in the spotlight, which memories particularly stand out?

“The whole lot of it’s been a highlight because I never expected it to happen at all,” he states modestly. “I was driving through Ireland with my wife and peering out the window. ‘You are now entering Northern Ireland’ and my wife started laughing. I said, ‘What are you laughing at?’ She said, ‘It’s a long way from Kalgoorlie, isn’t it?!’

“It’s full of highlights every day… When somebody comes up and says, ‘I’ve been listening to you since I was three. My dad first introduced me to your music and he’s long gone, but every time I hear your music, I think of my dad.’ When people say stuff like that, it has an impact on you.

“If I have a talent it all, it’s being able to see the funny side of most situations… Not necessarily at the time, but when you look back at it, you think, ‘F**k, that was funny.’

“I tried to ride a bull and ended up with cuts and scratches and abrasions and a bloody crook neck for about three weeks, and it was only after that when I was having a beer with me mates who saw it – and we were talking about it – that I realised how funny it must have been.”

Kevin’s tour, featuring Jenny Talia as his special guest, starts on Friday 6th March 2015 at the Albany Entertainment Centre in Albany, Western Australia.

The other dates are as follows:

Wednesday 11th March 2015 at the Hexham Bowling Club in Hexham, New South Wales.

Thursday 12th March 2015 at the Evan Theatre in Penrith, New South Wales.

Friday 13th March 2015 at the Rooty Hill RSL in Rooty Hill, New South Wales.

Saturday 14th March 2015 at the Doyalson-Wyee RSL in Doyalson, New South Wales.

Wednesday 29th April 2015 at the Caloundra RSL in Caloundra, Queensland.

Thursday 30th April 2015 at the Kedron Wavell Services Club in Chermside South, Queensland.

Friday 1st May 2015 at the Twin Towns Services Club in Tweed Heads, New South Wales.

Saturday 2nd May 2015 at the Ballina RSL in Ballina, New South Wales.

For more information, visit the official website of Kevin Bloody Wilson.

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